ADOPT THE RIGHT ATTITUDE – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #25

Jose John May 23, 2013 No Comments
101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas IDEA 25: ADOPT THE RIGHT ATTITUDE Sales people often ask me what the key to sales success is. Would that it was so simple! Success comes not from one thing, but is largely in the details: the approach, the techniques used- and the attitude that people take to it. This is more than just the ubiquitous “positive mental attitude” beloved of many a book on how to be successful (in selling or anything else). It comprises a number of attitudes, including: A conscious and considered awareness of the psychology of selling and how it works. The best sales people always seem to have a clear understanding of what they are doing and deploying the right approaches at the right moment. A customer focus: because the psychology of decision making and buying demands this and it is a foundation for success. A will to win and an ability to not allow any rejection along the way to cramp their style. As few (if any) sales people have a 100 per cent strike rate this is simply necessary. Persistence: because not every order comes easily or instantly. Creativity: even a superficial reading of this book shows the need for that. Awareness that selling is a...
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MAKE YOUR CUSTOMER IMPROVE YOUR PRODUCTIVITY – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #24

Jose John May 23, 2013 No Comments
101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas IDEA 24: MAKE YOUR CUSTOMER IMPROVE YOUR PRODUCTIVITY For anyone selling, and certainly for a full –time sales person, sales productivity is vital. Only when you are face to face with a customer or prospect will you produce business, yet there is so much more to be done. Tasks ranging from administration to travelling (and details like finding somewhere to park) take up time and, if unchecked, reduce your productivity. Idea From a financial adviser based in the City of London … I regularly receive telephone calls from financial advisers (don’t we all?), and one sticks very much in my mind. He was interesting and personable, and I listened for longer than I might have done with someone less good. I already had an adviser I was happy with, however, and did not want to pursue matters with him. But I did ask him what would happen next should I be interested. “You come and see me”, he said. This surprised me. Most such people cannot wait to come to my home or office, so I queried it. “Don’t you mean you come and see me?” When he confirmed that I must visit him, I explained my interest, and asked him why he...
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REMEMBER THAT IT IS A COMMERCIAL TRANSACTION – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #23

Jose John May 23, 2013 No Comments
Best Sales and Marketing Ideas IDEA 23: REMEMBER THAT IT IS A COMMERCIAL TRANSACTION Any sales person has a complex job to do. It may run from finding prospects to conversations, meetings, written proposals, and more, but the final stage is always the same –closing on profitable deal. But is there more to be done? Idea A long time ago in what is now Harper Collins, the publishing company … No apologies for including this idea, even though it goes back to an early part of my career when I worked in publishing. It was there that I got into sales and marketing for the first time, although I started out wearing an editorial hat. I received a timeless piece of advice from my sales manager, which has stood me in good stead ever since. I found it especially useful when, years later, I started my own business. I went into his office one day swelling with pride at having obtained my largest order yet. I did receive some praise, I think, but what I really remember is that he stopped me as I was halfway out of his office. “Hang on”, he said. “There’s something else”. Then he said something that has stuck in my mind ever since....
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DIRECT THE MEETING – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #22

Jose John May 23, 2013 No Comments
101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas IDEA 22: DIRECT THE MEETING It is without a doubt easiest to sell successfully if you are in the driving seat. Being too circumspect at the start can seem like a soft, comfortable approach, but it may only succeed in putting the customer in the driving seat. From there they sometimes dictate what happens, at worst with pointed questions such as “Before we do anything else, tell me what this going to cost”. You need a way to take control. Idea From a financial adviser … Quite simply, set an agenda. Let me be more specific suggest the agenda that you want and that you feel will make being persuasive easiest, while still making the other person feel the meeting is useful to them. Fist think through how you feel something is best dealt with. Have it clear in your mind ( and put it in writing for more formal meetings). Then table it in a way that presumes it will be accepted. “It may well be helpful to have an agenda in mind, not least so we can do this in a reasonable time. Perhaps I could suggest …” in other words put it over as something that both of you will...
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SEND A CARD – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #21

Jose John May 23, 2013 No Comments
101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas IDEA 21: SEND A CARD There is always a need to keep in touch, to remind customers and prospects of your continued existence, either because there is time ahead of an order or because you need to maintain contact between orders. In this electronic age the written message is going out of style, but for many people a written message still has something special about it. Indeed maybe that is precisely because it has become rarer these days. Idea From Highgate House Conference Centre … The traditional time to send cards is at Christmas, or in parts of Asia, at New Year. This may be something you do almost as an reflex, but have you ever stopped to think about what benefit you get from it? A typical customer may get 20, 30, even 100 cards’ from suppliers and business contact ahead of Christmas. They appear in the last hectic fortnight before the holiday, and are cleared away by the office cleaner before people return to work in the New Year. Can you remember even by mid – January who sent you a card and who did not? Most likely not. So one school of thought suggests that you should forget Christmas cards,...
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USE A SPOKEN LOGO – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #20

Jose John May 17, 2013 No Comments
101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas IDEA 20: USE A SPOKEN LOGO There are many circumstances when it is advantageous to be able to describe to people what you do and what you sell briefly in sentence. Once common occasion is when you meet someone at a conference and they ask, “What do you do?” If you waffle at such a moment you are lose any chance of creating interest, and maybe a specific opportunity to do business Idea This idea comes from the book Why Entrepreneurs Should Eat Bananas by Simon Tupman (Cyan Books), a valuable selection of ideas for “growing your business and yourself”. Simon Tupman, who runs Simon Tupman Presentations, is a motivational speaker and author. He coined the phrase “spoken logo” as an antidote to perhaps unwittingly bland and bald descriptions such as “I am a lawyer”, “We make electronic equipment”, and “We conduct market research”. Simon quotes one of his customers, an accountant, who replies to this question with, “I take the hassle out of keeping books and records up to date for busy people who have better things to do”. This is good example because it gets straight to the point, focuses on the benefit for clients rather than the service provided, and...
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SUPPORT THEIR CHARITY – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #19

Jose John May 17, 2013 No Comments
101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas IDEA 19: SUPPORT THEIR CHARITY There are parts of the world where bribes are the norms, but for the most part it is not a good idea to bribe your prospect, and certainly that is not one of the ideas listed here. However there are ways to please people that cannot be categorized as bribes. One is to support a charity favoured by a prospect or customer. Idea From an Australian professional body…. I came across this at the time of Boxing Day tsunami in South East Asia. On e visit to Australia I was keen to put my time to profitable use, and suggested to a number of local bodies that I gave a talk or seminar during my visit. One organization that took up the offer was involved in raising money for tsunami victims, and it was agreed that some of the money from the event would go to that because I supported this charity particularly because I had been holiday in Thailand in the aftermath of the event, so I was happy to do this. It made a favourable impression even before I had met anyone from the association. Other possibilities can utilize the same principle. For example a financial...
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MAKE PAYMENT DEPENDENT ON RESULTS – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #18

Jose John May 17, 2013 No Comments
101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas IDEA 18: MAKE PAYMENT DEPENDENT ON RESULTS Buying anything entails some risk. Customers wonder, will it be good, will it work, and will it last? And will I regret buying it? Understandably, if something is seen as expensive these sorts of feeling are intensified. People tend to worry less if they see something as good value, or are offered a special deal. But there is another way to reduce their perception of risk. Idea This idea comes from m62 visual presentation (and others)… One sure way to change the perception of both risk and price is to offer a price linked to result or satisfaction. I mentioned this company on page 25: it specializes in creating high-powered persuasive presentations for organization involved in big-ticket selling. Some would say its services are expensive, although its results are impressive. With certain kinds of client situation it offers a result-based price: if the presentation it creates is designed to win a specific piece of business or contract, there is a reduction in price if the bid is unsuccessful. So in a sense, it asks for a higher price if all goes well or a lower one if it does not. Clearly a supplier doing this has...
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USE VISUAL AIDS EVEN WHEN YOU CANNOT – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #17

Jose John May 17, 2013 No Comments
101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas IDEA 17: USE VISUAL AIDS EVEN WHEN YOU CANNOT Every sales person knows the truth of the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Visual aids (everything from a graph to the product itself) have to be used in the right way. You must let them to speak for them, and that means keeping quiet once they have been introduced and shown. (This is typically not something that sales people find easy to do, but people cannot concentrate on taking in what they see and listening at the same time, so if you talk, they might miss a point and your case will be diluted.) Idea This comes from the world of mining… The way to make the best of visual aids is not simply to see what is available and use it, whether it’s appropriate or not. It is to see what could be useful and organize whatever is necessary to make it available. A salesman selling mining equipment made this point strongly to me. He sold machine like a Black & Decker drill but the size of a small car. It was not practical to bring a machine along to someone’s office, and it was difficult to get...
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STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #16

Jose John May 17, 2013 No Comments
101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas IDEA 16: STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM One sure way to sell more is to link selling one thing to selling another. This is true from marketing perspectives – for example mobile phone and call revenue, or computer printers and toner cartridges- but it is also true of selling. Historically, for obvious reasons, it has been known as the strawberries and cream technique. Idea Check out the Amazon website… The way to make this idea work is to envisage links between one thing and a whole raft of others. The past masters of this are Amazon. Visit the Amazon website and notice how it is set up. Whatever you do no it-just view something, add it to a wish list, or buy it –the system makes use of what you appear interested in other suggestions to you. For example, if you’re looking at book, it will provide link based on the author, the kind of book, the subject of non-fiction titles, and more. That the system works well in the terms of human psychology is demonstrated by how addictive it is. As a habitual book buyer I can spend a long time following a track through the system to see if it puts something interesting,...
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CLIMB THE STAIRS – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #15

Jose John May 17, 2013 No Comments
101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas IDEA 15: CLIMB THE STAIRS Many businesses need a constant supply of new prospects. Prospecting – and cold calling – is not most sales people’s favourite activity. The trick to ensuring that have a constant supply of new people to talk to is to have number of methods, where each lends itself to regularly producing some new names. These might include everything combing directories or association membership lists to simple observation – moving into that new building under construction. Idea I first observed this being done by the representative of a printing firm…. Any sales person has to create professional effectiveness in term of time. Prospecting must not take too long, and you do not want to undertake labyrinthine research when something simpler will do the job. The sales person I am thinking of here worked in central London. He wanted to find customers within tight radius of the printing works to minimize travel time, and had hit on what he called the climbing stairs method of prospecting. This he did specifically to try to find new customers close to existing ones. Every time he visited a customer in an office block, he took the stairs (on the way down is easiest!) and...
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LOSE YOUR EGO – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #14

Jose John May 17, 2013 No Comments
101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas IDEA 14: LOSE YOUR EGO In many field of selling it is more important to get the order than to get the credit or some kind of person involvement. Idea A consulting firm (which must remain nameless)…. Without a doubt the best example I have ever come cross of this occurred in a training consultancy. A potential project had reached a crucial stage. An enquiry had been received, meeting held and a written proposal submitted. Everything seemed to be going well, and at his most confident, the consultant who had achieved this much believed that confirmation was imminent. Indeed he soon got a response, but it was negative. In many bespoke businesses the next step is to try to find out why the company hasn’t won the contract. If you can do so- in the case it might have involved price, method, timing, ales than favourable comparison with an alternative supplier or many more reasons- this can be useful information for the future. Sometimes such a discovery call can actually change things and turn a no into a yes, as happened this time. The consultant telephones the decision maker and persuaded him to discuss why the company had said so. However he was...
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BE WILLING TO GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #13

Jose John May 17, 2013 No Comments
101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas IDEA 13: BE WILLING TO GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY Not all sales meeting take place in a cozy office, or indeed in any sort of comfortable environment. Some take place on the move, some are conducted outdoors, I’ve know them to happen at the bottom of mineshaft. The environment and the circumstance provide opportunities for sales people, but sometimes it takes a moment to organize yourself to fit them. When I started out in country in consultancy and training, the company I worked with did a great deal of work for agricultural machinery producers Massey Ferguson. It became a regular trick that when a new consultant started work on the account, no one told them to put a pair of Wellington boots in their car. More than one person found themselves out and about on various farms floundering in inches of mud (or worse) in their best shoes as a result. Of course, people with experience of that industry knew a pair of boots was a standard part of the kit. Idea From a company manufacturing roads sweepers…. The reason for putting boots in the car was not just to clean, but also to be able to suggest and respond opportunities to see...
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INSISTING ON RESPECT – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #12

Jose John May 16, 2013 No Comments
101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas IDEA 12: INSISTING ON RESPECT The relationship between a customer and a supplier is worth some thought.  The people involved do not have to like each other, at least not in the “Do come to dinner” sense, but they must have a good working relationship. There must be trust that the supplier will do as they say – or promise – and there must to a degree be mutual respect. The latter can be achieved in a number of ways, many of them linked to service and what is done. Idea This one is from my own experience…. I was in discussion with a potential client that was considering commissioning some training work. A meeting went well, and was followed by my submitting a written proposal. Another meeting was scheduled. I arrived, as I try to do, a few minutes early and announced myself at the reception. The appointed time- 10am-came and went. At 10.20 I spoke to the receptionist, to make sure my arrival had been announced. I was assured it had. At 10.30am, with no words from my prospect (not even the offer of a cup of tea!), I wrote a short note which I left with the receptionist. It explained...
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BE ON TIME – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #11

Jose John May 16, 2013 No Comments
101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas IDEA 11: BE ON TIME Punctuality is one of the old-fashioned virtues. It is in the same mould as courtesy, of which we are told that it “costs nothing”. But matter and punctuality links to a thought already expressed here, that you should not waste a customer’s time. If you are asked to turn up at 10am or whatever, do so. Organize yourself so that you can. This means everything from leaving sufficient time for journey, to finding out in advance where you will be able to park. Don’t waste 10 minutes driving around in circles, then arrive late, mouthing the old cliché about awful traffic. You may get away with it, but it makes a difference. If things are finely balanced, it’s something to put on the negative side when your offering is weighed up. Idea From a small replacement tire specialist… A salesman selling tires to construction companies with fleets of huge trucks and road-building equipment had been after one particular prospect for a while. He was put off many times, then the prospect finally agreed to a meeting. They specified 8 am, and phrase it as, “Be there on time. It’s the only chance you’ll get”. Their location meant he...
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