MAKE PEOPLE BELIEVE YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #42

English_Master May 27, 2013 No Comments
101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas IDEA 42: MAKE PEOPLE BELIEVE YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL This heading should perhaps be followed by the words, “even when you are not”. There is no question that success, however you may choose to define it, is a sign-one that lends conviction to a sales argument. If you are successful people will figure that you must have customers, and they must be happy customers too or you would soon cease to be successful. Conversely if you are not (yet) successful it is difficult to get a hearing; and this makes it difficult for companies, and sales people, in their early days. Idea Jerry Della Femina throws a party … Jerry Della Femina is a heavyweight of the American advertising business, but it was not always thus. One advertising agency he founded was slow to attract clients, and it looked as if it might well founder. As Christmas approached he decided to pour his last remaining funds into an epic Christmas party. He sent more than a thousand invitations to journalists and potential client, and put on “one hell of a do.” People love to be associated with success. The “big do” indicated success, and a large number of those invited attended. It gave him...
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TELL PEOPLE YOU’VE WON AN AWARD – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #41

English_Master May 27, 2013 No Comments
101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas IDEA 41: TELL PEOPLE YOU’VE WON AN AWARD Given that any sales persons needs to build a case, and that one huge reason to buy is not normally going to persuade everyone, you need to produce a weight of a case that is irresistible. Your product may only have a certain number of benefits, and it is difficult to create more (certainly without changing the product), but credibility factors are another matter. Not only may there be many things to add here, you may be able to take action to ensure that there are more Idea Lonely Planet travel guides …. These guides are now well known and successful, but their start was not meteoric and at one time their future hung in the balance. The Lonely Planet Guide to India won the prestigious Thomas Cook Travel Guidebook Award. This might be called lucky, but the company did of course have to ensure that the book was good, and enter it so that it was considered for the award. One of the founders of the company, Tony Wheeler, was quoted as saying, “It took us to another level. It really opened doors and made a huge difference for us”. He was saying more...
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SELL IN COLLABRATION WITH SOMEONE ELSE – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #40

English_Master May 25, 2013 No Comments
101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas IDEA 40: SELL IN COLLABRATION WITH SOMEONE ELSE Sometimes there are significant problems in selling. One such is when the status quo is powerful. Customers are using something else that they find satisfactory, and it blinds them to the possibility that you are offering something different and better. However good a sales person you are, you may conclude that a sufficient degree of credibility can only come from cooperation with someone else. Idea A personal initiative from the vice chairman of Sony USA … A dramatic example of the principle involved here occurred when technology in the music business first moved away from vinyl records with the invention of CDs. Record companies were wedded to the existing technology, and were intent on avoiding change and protecting their present investment in it. Given this block, the answer for these promoting CDs was to take a step back and ask who is likely to be interested in a new medium that improves the quality of recorded sound. The answer was the recording artists themselves – the music makers. They gave initial demonstrations to this group, with predictable results: the technology really was better and they loved it. Subsequently approaches to the industry, backed by this...
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LINE UP THE WHOLE TEAM BEHIND THE SALES PERSON – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #39

English_Master May 24, 2013 No Comments
101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas IDEA 39: LINE UP THE WHOLE TEAM BEHIND THE SALES PERSON I once telephone the office of sales person I dealt with regularly for a while (in a plastics company from which I bought ring binders to use on training courses). Since he was usually out “on the road”, I did not expect to find him in except by chance. I asked the switchboard operator for him by name and without comment, and was told, “I’m afraid he’s rarely in the office during the day. He’s only a salesman”. Only a salesman? This was a guy who had spent time telling me that he was the most important contact I could have in his organization, and for all I knew his image was being regularly sabotaged by such remarks on a daily basis. If you wonder why this occurs, consider: there can be something of them and us situation between inside staff and field sales staff. Largely, in my view, this is because the sales role is not understood. The prevailing image is of people able to swan about in their smart company cars all day with very little supervision. If the sales side is misunderstood, then the sales side must do something...
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WORK ROUND INHERENT PROBLEMS – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #31

English_Master May 23, 2013 No Comments
101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas IDEA 31: WORK ROUND INHERENT PROBLEMS Sometimes there are problems that you make selling more difficult, yet by their nature they are seemingly impossible to change. This example, where the hindrance is physical fact, is taken from one particular industry. Because of the specific circumstance the solution is not one that would be necessary or possible for everyone, but like so many of the ideas here it demonstrates a kind of creative thinking which I applaud, and which you can imitate. Idea At local office equipment distributor had an office and showroom in a medium-sized town (say the size of Cambridge in the United Kingdom). It was on a prime site but there was one drawback: there was no easy customer parking nearby, and none that was free. The small staff car park was shared with the other businesses in the block in which it occupied the ground floor. The company knew that many customers would not buy without a demonstration, and also surmised that the lack of parking put some people off from making a visit. Of course there were a number of things that might have helped, including moving the showroom, and banning the staff from parking on the premises so...
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LET ONE CUSTOMER SELL TO ANOTHER – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #30

English_Master May 23, 2013 No Comments
101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas IDEA 30: LET ONE CUSTOMER SELL TO ANOTHER Sometimes in selling you will face situation and objections that seem intractable, ones that need outside evidence to overcome. There’s no surprise there, you might say: aren’t many of the things that provide proof or evidence to enhance credibility external factors? They certainly are, and a motoring magazine’s road tests of a car, or independent petrol consumption figures, are just cases in point. Testimonials are common too, and act to beef up many a brochure as well as sales pitches. Idea From a sales training film…. This idea is from a fictitious company. It is represented in what must be one of very few training films aimed at sales managers, and dealing with an aspect of how to manage a team of sales people. (The film, titled Training Salesman on the Job, was made by Rank and distributed by Longman Training.) In the film we see a salesman having difficulty with an objection. He is selling industrial equipment of some sort, and any company purchasing it must invest time and money in staff training to make sure that people can operate it effectively and safely. The buyer is interested, but is blocking, using the fact...
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THINK OF A NUMBER – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #29

English_Master May 23, 2013 No Comments
101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas IDEA 29: THINK OF A NUMBER Sales people need many skills, not simply because selling is itself a complex process, but also because it must often work in conjunction with other skill such as negotiation. A prime one is numeracy. It once heard of a salesman having rings run round him by buyer who kept tapping things out on a desktop calculator and making financial statements that were hard to rebut. He then discovered it was pure bluff- the machine was not switched on! Idea A story told at Henley Management College (and originally recounted in my book Hook Your Audience, published by Management Pocketbooks)…. A delegated on a management program at this renowned college by the River Thames could not get anything right regarding finance. By the time the course concluded, he was very much the class dune. As attendees dispersed back to their respective companies the group agreed to meet up a year later to see how everyone was faring, and in due a dinner was arranged at a smart restaurant. The “dunce” arrived a little late, but as he did so it was clear to all from the Porsche he parked outside, the suit he wore, and a dozen other...
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CHALLENGE THE CUSTOMER’S CULTURE – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #28

English_Master May 23, 2013 No Comments
101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas IDEA 28: CHALLENGE THE CUSTOMER’S CULTURE A number of the ideas described here effective not only because they are practical in one way or another, but also because they do something that customer’s find unexpected. This element alone is worth considering: it’s useful to have a few such ideas in your own armory. A good example is something a colleague of mind did some years ago. Idea From a management consultancy and training company … This idea shows how something about a specific customer, in this case something that was almost chanced across, can be turned to advantage in a way that surprises. A consultant was visiting the Swedish manufacture SKF in Gothenburg. At the company’s ultra-modern office and factory there was a procedure used to impress visiting customers. They signed in, went about their business, then when they left they were presented with a smartly printed card, listing the time at which they had arrived, and that at which they were departing. Below this was a note of the precise number of ball bearing (the company’s main product at the time) that had been produced in the factory during their visit. Even for a brief visit it was an impressive figure, and...
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TACKLE A NEW CATEGORY OF CUSTOMER – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #27

English_Master May 23, 2013 No Comments
101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas IDEA 27: TACKLE A NEW CATEGORY OF CUSTOMER However experienced you are, you may find yourself faced with selling in circumstance where you have no experience, indeed no frame of reference, and where the nature of a business area and those in it are to a degree alien. It is a mistake to think that if you can sell everything and anything. Your lack of experience may show and blight the results you want. Idea From consultant and author Frances Kay …. This is another example from my personal experience. First, let me say that most people who write books – business books, at any rate – do so at least in part because it is visible and helps build a positive profile. Frances Kay agreed with this. She wanted to add a book to her credentials, but was unsure how to go selling the idea to a suitable publisher. This is a specialist area, and probably hundreds of proposals are received for every single book that is published, so the strike rate can be low. So she looked around for someone who had been published and presumably gone through the necessary learning curve. She settled on me (I have written more than...
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STAND UP TO CUSTOMERS – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #26

English_Master May 23, 2013 No Comments
101 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas IDEA 26: STAND UP TO CUSTOMERS There is an old saying that if you appear to be like a doormat, you should expect people to walk all over you. Sometimes a customer relationship can feel like this. Some customers are not just demanding (aren’t they all?) but take extreme liberties that demand something that goes beyond any definition of even excellent service. Such a relationship is costly, at worst reducing or removing the profitability of the business. Idea Seen in a market research company in Hong Kong … Situated in Hong Kong, this company has offices and clients around the Asian region. At one time the staffs of one of its largest clients were causing the manager they dealt with considerable problem. The clients’ disorganization was at the root of the problems. They were forever cancelling or changing meetings and demanding attendance at others at short notice. They commonly telephoned demanding that the manager rush to one of their many regional offices at a moment’s notice, with the need to travel from, say, Hong Kong to Singapore compounding the problem. This sort of situation costs time and money, and ultimately threatened the viability of a carefully coated project. Being sales and service oriented,...
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ADOPT THE RIGHT ATTITUDE – Best Sales and Marketing Ideas #25

English_Master 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

English_Master 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

English_Master 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

English_Master 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

English_Master 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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