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Posts Tagged ‘Sales’

No Can Be Your Friend

The word “no” can be your friend! One of my favorite books on the subject of no is Go for No. It touches on points I’ve been teaching my students for years!

If you’ve trained with me, or if you’ve been to one of my marketing seminars, you’ve heard me say, “When someone tells you no, smile and ask for a referral to 3 or 4 more people that will tell you no, because you need 3 or 4 more people to tell you no before you get to a yes!”

This book takes you one step further. It tells you to go for no to get MORE yeses!!!! You see, too many people go for yeses. Once I get to their quota of yeses they stop. What Go for No teaches is not to stop until you get to your “no” quota, not your “yes” quota. This is great advice and something every salesperson should read! Pick up a copy from Amazon.com or see if your local book store can order one for you.

Want a little taste of what you’ll learn, check out this video:

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Your Sales Pipeline


Some call it a funnel and some call it a pipeline. Either way I’m talking about putting potential customers in one end with the hope they will come out the other side as a sale.

Selling is not a perfect business. There is emotion, fear, desire, and need involved. People buy for many different reasons. It would be nice if we could just walk up to a customer, show them our product and they write a check. Does it happen? Sure! Just not very often!

Instead of looking at sales as a one time thing, we need to look at selling as a process. Similar to how a farmer sows seeds into a field, you need to sow an interest in your products into your customers. Not every seed will sprout, just like some of your customers won’t be interested in what you sell. That’s why farmers sow so many seeds, they expect a percentage to fail.

Every time you show your products to a potential customer, they start to travel down your sales pipeline. Some slide right through and buy right away, some won’t even consider going in the pipe and others meander down the pipe as they make their decision.

It often takes time for your customer to get to the end of your pipe. It could take days, it could take weeks. It doesn’t matter! The point is to keep the pipeline full.

So how can you feed the people in your pipeline so they don’t turn and walk out the way they came in? Here are a few suggestions:

1. Thank you cards. When someone shows interest in one of your products, but doesn’t buy, send them a nice thank you card for considering what you’re selling and let them know you will follow up at a later date, or offer a buying incentive. (so much off, free case, something like that)

2. If it’s a trusted customer, offer to leave the product with them to test for a few days. This is called the “Puppy Dog Close”. Once you get it in their hand and they get used to using it, they’ll want to keep it.

3. Be sure to mention the product each time you see the customer. This is not being pushy. This simply gives them another opportunity to buy. Remember! We live in a busy world. We all need reminders from time-to-time.

Since I specialize in training sharpeners, while on the road, I take some time and ride with a few of my students when I can. Almost all the shear sales I see them make are not impulse buys, but the result of sowing interest in the shear over time.

How do you keep guiding customers into your pipeline? Well for starters, be sure your customers know you sell shears and/or other products. Then be sure you have some to show! You can’t sell from an empty wagon and people like to touch and feel before they buy. Give them something to touch and feel!

One thing is certain, your customers will buy what you’re selling from somebody. If you take the time to show them what you have, and remind them of it, they will eventually buy from you!

Image: saleslogistix.com/services/Pipeline – SalesLogistix is a consultancy focused on implementing the most complete and usable SFA / CRM systems. They provide advisory and services for any SFA system, implement / extend Salesforce.com, develop custom Salesforce applications, and sell add-on products for Salesforce.com users.

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I Can’t

I hear it a lot…

I can’t sell well, I’m not a natural born salesman.
I can’t break into a new territory, someone else has it all sewn up.
I can’t sell these new products, I don’t know anything about them.
I can’t make money in this business, their isn’t enough work out there…

Then I see a guy like this…

Seems to me that some people don’t know the meaning of the word can’t. Think of him the next time you think you can’t do something.

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Close a Sale Like a Kid

My youngest son Aidan (5) has been on an Indiana Jones kick as of late. In fact, it’s pretty much all he talks about. He’s seen one of the movies (under heavy supervision by mom and dad), he plays the Lego online Indiana Jones game and he’s even put together his own version of an Indiana Jones Outfit.

His latest acquisition is a little Lego Indiana Jones figure. Charles, my oldest son Ian’s (11) friend, let him “borrow” it. Aidan was elated! But it wasn’t long before the time to return the figure started to draw near, so Aidan started coming up with a plan to talk Charles into letting him keep the figure longer.

He started reasoning with his brother that Charles had plenty of these figures and should let Aidan “take care” of this one a little longer. Ian wouldn’t bite.

Aidan then moved on to his sister Mia (8). He figured she might be able to work her feminine wiles on Charles and get her to convince him to let Aidan keep Indy. Mia was repulsed!

Well the day to return Indy finally came. Aidan realized he wouldn’t be able to elicit any help from him siblings, so he hitched up his britches, walked up to Charles and asked a simple question, “Charles, may I keep Indiana Jones a little longer?” Do you know what Charles said? “Sure Aidan, you can keep him a while longer.” I’m willing to bet Aidan will ask for another extension and that eventually, Lego Indy will be a permanent part of the O’Donnell household. We shall see.

So what is the point of all of this? Aidan asked. It would have been easier for him to just assume Charles would say no, return Indy to him and go home, but he asked. Did you know more sales are lost because salespeople don’t ask for the sale than any other reason? When you have an opportunity to sell something to one of your customers, don’t just hand it to them and hope they will buy. Ask for the sale! The worst they can do is say no. What do you do when they say no? Well that’s a topic for another post.

Lego Indy Image: gazraa

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Yesterday I shared a post Mike Dandridge wrote about customer service and an article Jeffrey Gitomer wrote about the same. Mike wrote about first impressions and Jeffrey wrote about how good service is hard to find. Well I’m happy to say I had the opposite experience today.

I had a morning meeting in Greenville, SC today. We met at a hip little Coffee Shop called Coffee Underground. When I stepped up to order I didn’t know what I wanted. The young lady behind the counter made some excellent suggestions, so I told her to go for it. I asked her to include what my friend was having on my bill. She looked up, called him out by name (he frequents the place) and asked if he’d have his usual. Less than a minute later we had our order and this time I was called by name. Cool!

After my meeting I went to see my website provider. I had some questions, and since I was in the area I figured I’d just drop in and see if they could help. My contact dropped what he was doing and walked me into the conference room. When I told him what I needed, he said he could show me some stuff right then, but it would be better if we set up an online training date so he could have a team put together to help me. He also said that they would record the training, burn it to a CD and send it to me so I could reference it in the future. Wow! I told him I’d call him later to set up the appointment and moved on.

My next stop was my customs broker. My brother-in-law lives in China and he’s starting an export business. He was looking for some contact info. She got me what I needed and had me in and out in ten minutes. Fast and friendly!

My final stop was the bank. I used to hate going to this bank because the teller was detached and I always felt like I was an interruption instead of a customer. I guess they fired the old teller because there’s a new fellow working the drive-through and he’s dynamite. I actually look forward to going to the bank now and all he does is smile, calls me by name and says thank you. Real hard huh!?

As you can see, none of these things took a lot of time, but all of them made an impression. I know this is an overused cliche, but it really is the little things that mean a lot. What little things are you and your company doing to make a good impression on your customers?

Image: CustomersRock

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Recently on Jim Sharp, I wrote an article on filling your Sales Pipeline. In the book I’m reading right now, Meatball Sundae, Seth Godin wrote a short section that fits well with this theme. (Click here to go to my Squidoo Len and see the book) This is what he wrote:

“Every business has its 1 percent. Every business has a group of customers so motivated, so satisfied, and so connected that they want to tell the rest of the world about you and what you do.

Your challenge is to give these people a megaphone. To switch your view of the market from a vertical funnel (attention at the top, sales out at the bottom) to a horizontal one, in which ideas spread from one prospect to another.” *

He makes a great point. We all have customer advocates, and those advocates can be a sounding board that can make your business or your sales boom. Word-of-mouth and word-of-mouse are two powerful tools. Work to over deliver and excel in what you do, and these advocates will propel you to the top!

* Meatball Sundae, Seth Godin, Page 84

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One of the best ways to get known is to get published. Jeffrey Gitomer touches on this point often. His column, Sales Moves, is published in a number of Trade Journals around the country. He also writes an E-zine called Sales Caffeine that is distributed electronically to well over 100,000 subscribers weekly. He practices what he preaches!

Another way to get published is blogging. That’s what I do. But how can someone just starting out drive some hits to a blog like mine, or to a page to sign up for an E-zine like Jeffrey’s? One way is submitting articles to Article Submission Sites. These sites are places you can go to submit free reprint articles to promote yourself by sharing what you know about what you specialize in. Sites like these are an outlet for companies that write E-zines or blogs. Many of them are on the prowl for good content they can use as a filler. This makes producing their publication easier for them, because they don’t have to come up with all the content. And it’s a great opportunity for you, because if a company includes your article in their publication they’re required to include your byline, which can lead people to your site.

Here is a list of Article Submission Sites. Some are active, and others are dead. There are many more, but this is a good start. Part of networking is getting known. This is just another way for you to get the word out about yourself.

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