Archive for the 'Selling Tips' Category

Be Prepared

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

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Kevin Martin
I was happy to see my grandson Kevin become a Cub Scout. Scouting definitely played a role in my life when I was about his age. Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts, have many things in common. They learn the rules of getting along with other people and what it means to make a commitment to something bigger than themselves.

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Robert Baden-Powell
Baden-Powell was the founder of scouting. He instilled the motto “Be Prepared” into the Scouting philosophy. It’s a good one.  He wasn’t thinking just of being ready for emergencies. His idea was that all Scouts should prepare themselves to become productive citizens and to give happiness to other people. He wanted each Scout to be ready in mind and body for any struggles, and to meet with a strong heart whatever challenges might lie ahead.

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Girl Scouts are taught to be prepared for the rejections received in the game of selling, by learning to sell Girl Scout Cookies. Being prepared for objections is the most important aspect of selling success. Some parents believe they are helping their children by bringing their cookies to work and selling them on their behalf. I think those people are missing the point of their child learning how to sell.

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No Easy Day
I am in the midst of reading this book, and have already bought copies of it for friends and relatives. Besides the interesting insight to this all important mission, I am impressed by the amount of preparation that was done before launching it. Prior to receiving the go-ahead from The President these guys rehearsed their mission in great detail at a mock bin Laden compound they built at home. They were made to repeat the raid over and over, day after day under the scrutiny of White House observers who needed to know for sure they were going to be able to succeed. They performed these “practice sessions” as though they were the real deal using real helicopters, real guns and everything else that was needed for the mission, all the while not even knowing if they would be able to go. It was all about being prepared.

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While there are always some surprises with any Navy Seal mission, minimizing those surprises by being prepared is crucial. In their case it is usually a life or death situation. In selling it’s just a matter of making the sale or not. Perhaps that’s why so many salespeople are not willing to study and prepare with role playing sessions. I am already including what I have learned about preparation from reading this book into my Success Rallies. One might ask, “What does shooting Osama Bin Laden have to do with selling a piece of jewelry or art in a retail location?” The answer is, “Everything!” When you know what objections or excuses you are apt to hear from your customers you can then (in advance) prepare yourself with the best possible responses. Yes, there will still be some surprises, and some excuses you will not be able to get over, but minimizing them is in everyone’s best interest, especially your customer’s.

PROSPECTING

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

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You Need To Dig For It

If gold were found lying on the surface, everyone would pick it up. The fact is that you need to dig for it, sometimes deeper than you may want to. The same is true whether prospecting for gold or for new business. There are two kinds of people in the world; there are those who get what they want, and those who take what they get. Guess which one gets the most.
Customer prospects (and gold) are everywhere.

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Put On Your “Prospecticles”

The good prospector is always on the look out for new business. Regardless where you might be, chances are there are some good prospects within sight, but you must be looking for them. I have a term; DBWA (Doing Business Walking Around). It is amazing how many people you can meet if you have your “Prospecticles” on while you are anywhere.

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W. Clement Stone

Like many people I have walls of framed mementos in my office. Perhaps the most treasured of them all is this 1975 photo of me and W. Clement Stone (May 4, 1902 – September 3, 2002) taken in my Hollywood office (very faded), along with the one of him wearing an oversized “Do It Now” T-Shirt that I had made and sent to him.
“Clem”, as he was affectionately called was a prominent businessman, philanthropist and self-help book author. “Do It Now” was Clem’s motto. While in my office that day he told me this wonderful story.

As Clem was getting into the elevator to go up to his office at Combined Insurance Company of America, a man stepped in and said, “Hey Clem, I’m ready to buy that policy you have been talking to me about.” Clem said, “Okay, I will drop by your office later today to write it up.” The policy was for a million dollars.

By the time the elevator reached the top floor Clem had an idea. He called a spontaneous meeting with his top salespeople and announced, “Just a few minutes ago a man in this building told me that he is ready to sign for a million dollar life insurance policy. I told him that I would come down today and write it up. I’m kind of busy today, and was wondering, would any of you like to go take it?” Of course they all raised their hands enthusiastically. Clem then said, “Great, go find him.”

Clem told me that they sold well over a million dollars of insurance that day, in that building, and never found the man. Think about it! This story has stayed with me for the last 37 years. All of those “prospects” were in that building all along while his salespeople were sitting on their hands drinking coffee, or doing something other than prospecting. The business was right there under their noses. All it took to get them out there “prospecting” was the assurance that someone would buy. That assurance is always the case.

“I start buying when I run into someone that is selling.”
-J. Paul Getty

Clem died at the ripe old age of 100. I hope you will take the time to click and read this story. If you don’t find it inspiring, have someone take your temperature.

Discounting

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

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Do You Expect One?

I asked the above question on my iPhone “Thumb Survey Application” and these were the results.
One area where many retail salespeople shoot themselves in the foot is offering discounts. Doing this not only eats into the company’s profit, but can actually cause you to lose the sale entirely. How could that be?

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TRUST

One of the biggest determining factors when buying is trust. If the price is not real, maybe the product isn’t either. Offering a discount to make a sale can communicate just that. When customers make excuses for not buying, like, “I need to think about it” and the truth is they just don’t like it, a discount won’t make them like it any more. I walked into a furniture store recently and the salesperson came out of the back room and announced, “Have a look around, if you see something you like I can work with you on the price.” What he was really saying is, “None of our prices are real, and if you are a good enough negotiator you might get a deal.”

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“Just asking…”

Many customers don’t need a discount to buy, but, if one is available they will take it. A wealthy client of mine went into a reputable jewelry store recently and picked out a bracelet for his girlfriend; $5,000. He asked the salesperson if that was his best price. The salesperson paused, thought for a minute and then said, “Well, we could finance it.” With that he pulled out his  black American Express Card and said, “That’s okay, just put it on here.” He told me that was “the nicest insult he ever had.” It was as if the salesperson said, “Well if you can’t afford it what are you doing in this store?”

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“If We can, will you…?”

With all of this being said, there are times a discount can close a sale and many salespeople are armed with this tool. If that’s the case, it should only be used to CLOSE the sale, not to OPEN the sale. If your company gives you a “discount budget” and price becomes an issue, ask the customer, “Is the price your only concern?” If the answer is, “No” you have work to do; offering a discount isn’t the answer. On the other hand, if the answer is, “Yes” you can say, “Okay, I will see what we can do, but if I get the okay, are you ready to get it today?” Now go call or ask someone. Don’t put yourself on the bargaining table. The customer may be a better negotiator than you are.

Tools of the Trade

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

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They Make the Job Easy
Every profession has tools to make the job easier and get it done better.

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Carpenters Have Them
A carpenter would have a tough time getting a nail into the wood without a hammer. Tools, like everything else are constantly evolving. Even the hammer has been improved. Up to speed carpenters today use an air gun to drive nails. It is faster and more efficient, however there tare still a lot of carpenters out there swinging their hammers.

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Doctors Have Them
Can you imagine a time before X-Ray machines, stethoscopes, or even anesthetics?

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Architects Have Tools

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Mechanics Have Tools

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And We Have Tools
The tools made available by Success Dynamics are designed to make the selling job easier and more efficient.

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In addition to our Books, Success Rallies and the Morning Report, we have other FREE tools available by simply going to the website at www.SuccessMadeEasy.com, and then hovering your mouse over “Services” and clicking on Tests and Tools. There you will find links to these and other tools that you can download and print.

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If you have any questions about HOW to use these or other Success Dynamics tools, call or e-mail me and I will help you to Sell, Sell, Sell more every day.

“Can of Worms”

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

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Empty It!
I conducted a role playing session recently with a major customer. We focused on “clienteling” and the importance of calling back past customers to be sure that all is well. One of the salespeople said, “What if I call them and it opens up a can of worms?” Obviously she was referring to customers with a problem or concerns.

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Better Than Before
A broken bone properly repaired becomes stronger than it was before the break.

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Fixed!
The same is true with a customer that has a problem you take care of. An executive at this meeting commented that it’s the quiet customers he fears losing. They just get mad and go away without giving you the opportunity to fix the problem. When customers share their problem they give you the opportunity to cement your relationship even stronger than it was before the problem. Not only were you interested in making the sale, but to assure their satisfaction after the sale. And those without a problem are equally glad that you cared enough to follow up. That’s when the door opens up to make additional sales and get referrals.

Earning Customer Loyalty

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

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Where there’s a will…

It was mid-December (2007) when I contacted Budget Rent-a-Car saying that I needed a car on Maui on Christmas Day. “No way,” or something like that was the response. I had to understand, since Christmas Day begins the busiest week of the year here in Hawaii.
One week later I was on a plane to Maui and got into a discussion with the guy next to me. He turned out to be a VP of National Car Rental. I explained my Christmas Day dilemma and he said, “If I can get you a car, can we have your business?” I said, “You can for that trip, for sure. Where we go from there we will have to see; I have been loyal to Budget for more than 25 years.”
He gave me his card saying, “E-mail me your flight information and I will see what I can do.” I did, and when I arrived on Maui on Christmas Day, there was a driver waiting for me with a brand new car.
Well that was four years ago, and I have not been back to Budget since.
It pays to be willing to go the extra mile to get (and or keep) business.

E-Mail Power

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

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People Love It
Of course there are exceptions, and some e-mail is better received than others, but generally speaking, “You have mail” are welcome words when opening your e-mail program.

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Yesterday’s Inbox
The same was true in times past when all mail came to your physical mail box. The more there was, the better you liked it.

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“Thank You.”
When was the last time that you went shopping, came home and opened up your e-mail to find a simple “Thank you” e-mail from one of the stores where you shopped? Such e-mail would likely be well received, especially if it came from someone you did NOT buy from, and does NOT have a “sales pitch” as a part of it. A link to your web site is enough. Everyone likes being appreciated.

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CRM’s
I talk with many companies that have Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM) in place to gather e-mail addresses and other customer information, but in too many cases it stops there. Or, they go into a data base somewhere with good intent to send e-mail about upcoming sales, promotions or new merchandise. In some cases even that doesn’t happen.

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Pick One!
A good way to get e-mail addresses is to have a weekly or monthly drawing of some sort with winners posted on your web site. Be sure that you do not ask for too much information on the drawing ticket; name and e-mail address is all you need. I dropped my business card in a fishbowl at a cafe recently and got a return e-mail telling me who the winner was (not me), but offering me a consolation prize of a free bowl of soup with my next purchase.
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Get it Together!
The names in your data base are pure gold. Get creative; e-mail is free, and properly used can be the most effective and inexpensive marketing tool of all.

Assuming the Sale

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

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Ask For the Money
Everyone has heard the old adage that when you “assume” you make an ass out of you and me. In most cases that’s true, but there are times in selling when you must assume the sale and ask for the money.
Once you have overcome any objections and are certain your customer wants what you are selling, do not “ASSUME” that he or she will whip out the credit card and say, “I’ll take it.” Simply ask, “Will that be cash or check?” Your customers will not be shocked to hear that they need to pay for it.

What’s in a Smile?

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

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Make Yours Sincere and  Effrective

When you smile at someone, be sure that it is it seen as sincere?
The best way to do that is to really mean it!

“To be persuasive you must be believable; to be believable you must be credible; to be credible you must be truthful.”
-Edward R. Murrow

Your smile is a huge part of the first impression that you make when you meet someone. First impressions are lasting impressions, and you only get one chance to make it.
Make the right one the first time.
Smile with your heart, not just your lips.

It Happens, Even to the Best

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

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Get the Money Now
When the iPhone4 was about to be released I ordered mine on line and got it in the mail the day before the long lines formed at the stores. I wanted to do the same with the iPad2, but learned that I could not order it on line until they were on sale at the stores, and that the delivery time would be 4 to 6 weeks.
I didn’t want to wait that long and wasn’t about to stand in line for 9 hours, so I chose to hold off buying it. That was on Friday; 3/11. On Saturday I stopped in at the Waikiki store and was told that they sold out. I asked when they would get more and she said, “We never know.”

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Cool Covers
I had a meeting at Ala Moana the following morning (Sunday) and was attracted to the store by their cool cover display. It was 8 AM and the store was full, but when I tried to enter I was told that they open at 9 AM and the people in there were taking a class. I asked if they have any iPad2’s left, and she said, “Yes, come back after 9.” I did, only to discover that all they had left was the 32G Verizon model. I wanted the 64G AT&T model. I passed, and he said, “Try us tomorrow, we get shipments every day.” I left thinking that if he had said, “We can take your order now and call you as soon as it arrives,” I would have handed him my credit card.

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AT&T
On Monday I dropped in at the AT&T Store where my account is and was told that they don’t have any yet, but that they can order it for me and I’ll get it in the mail in 5 to 7 days. I said, “Okay, but I would like to se the covers to select the one I want.” He said that he needed to go in the back to see if they have any ready to show. When he returned I told him that I have to be at Ala Moana in the morning anyway, and I will wait to see if they have any in stock. He said, “That’s a good idea.” I arrived at the Apple Store at 8 AM on Tuesday and a long line had already formed outside the store. That gave me time to think about it and in doing so I came to the conclusion that I don’t even want it. With my MacBookAir and iPhone4 I have enough, and the iPad2 wasn’t going to allow me to do anything they don’t; in fact less, and I would have one more thing to haul around with me. In spite of my decision, part of me still wishes someone had taken my money on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday when I wanted to buy.