I’ve just attended a very interesting presentation – and I’d like to share the knowledge with you.
Until I heard the conversation I had not realized just how problematic a regular Business Card is. I knew that people are likely to have problems finding it after a week or two, but I hadn’t realized that after I move office and so I have a new address and phone number then the card I gave you is now full of useless info.
Here is a solution to that – an electronic card. It is my gift to you. And by ‘gift’ I mean that it has some apps attached that you can use, immediately, and for no cost to you. All you do is click the ‘Your Free Apps’ link at the bottom of the page.
Save your passwords in a safe place, your bank account information, invoice your clients and more, and all of this is available form any internet-connected device.
Would your customers appreciate this kind of link?
I hope my gift is as useful to you as it has been for me
We all complain about marketers and salespeople, and we look back on a long history of problems. Well, mostly a long history of perceived problems.
What I mean is that the problems are often non-existent, that the sales person was really only ever trying to do the best they could to deliver what the customer wanted.
The biggest issue is that the art and science of marketing and sales has changed in recent times.
Prior to about the 1970’s there wasn’t really a lot of sales-specific training. There were a few early adopters like Nightingale but there was no sales training ‘industry’ as we have now.
Those early techniques were refined and honed to a fine point and then stored away, forever documented in books and articles.
The real problem starts when you accept that the market has changed since the 1980’s or thereabouts.
People are still people, and we still have the same values and principles. What has changed is our reaction to marketing messages.
Modern technology allows us to be bombarded with information, almost 24/7. Our phones now accept emails from multiple email accounts, we can receive text messages from anyone who has our number (and our growing social media involvement means that the number is more widely known than ever before) and the applications we install on our phone to make our life easier can ‘push’ messages our way. That means we have become immune to an old-fashioned promotion.
Advertisers used to produce really painful adverts as well as the clever ones based on the principle that “I don’t care why they remember the brand as long as they remember it”. The painful adverts are now mostly avoided by the average consumer, meaning they have a negative effect. They motivate people to avoid the brand rather than supporting it.
Today marketing and sales is more collaborative than ever before. The buyer has to inform the seller about what they are looking for and the seller has to present their case to the buyer. Each has to be confident that they fully understood the other and that they are sure that their message was delivered.
The real test? Would all parties repeat that exact transaction again? The goal should be to ensure that every participant is happy with the outcome: fair prices paid, fair profits made, and the right product or service is delivered to the right place at the right time.
Earlier this week we discovered some hints to be more productive in your business – here are some more hints about being more productive, this time on Social Media.
The first hint is to actually track your time on social media sites! You know what it is like – you get involved in something you really enjoy and suddenly hours have flown by. That can very easily happen when immersed in social media.
Before we go any further let me suggest that you may decide that your private social media time doesn’t need to be managed, and so this advice is not needed. That’s fine. If, however, you believe that you have a fully balanced life to fit into each 24 hours then you need to manage social media just like you manage the rest of your time.
You can time yourself by using any time recording method, one of the many applications designed to track time or just a piece of paper with the start and end times on it.
When you have tracked your time for at least a week you will be able to compare the results you are getting, and then decide if your time is well spent or if you need to lift your game a little.
Another time saving trick is to turn off the ‘push’ notifications on your email and phone. The reason you want to turn the notifications off is because it is too easy to see something that looks ‘interesting’ and then wander off on a tangent. That is the easiest way to waste time known to 21st century humans!
Unsolicited messages are almost always very interesting, after all whoever sent them spent considerable time, effort and money developing an attractive message and getting it in front of people who are interested, and this includes you! There is a time for non-targeted browsing, but most of the time – control your inbox.
A special case of controlling your inbox is to unsubscribe from any and all mailing lists that you never bother to read, or read only sporadically. If you have no real interest then don’t waste bandwidth downloading the stuff.
Sites like Facebook and Twitter allow (or even encourage) messages from entire communities, meaning members can very easily send messages to every other member. Often, many or maybe even most of the messages are of no real interest to you. Instead of allowing messages to appear ad-hoc regularly visit the group site to review the messages and only read those that are actually of interest to you.
So now you are measuring your time, recording the time that you spend on these sites and what you did there. Now – the benefit to you is that you can now review your time logs and decide if you received good value for the investment of that amount of time.
Did that time achieve your initial goal? If not – what can you do to fix that? What are you prepared to change in order to achieve what you really want?
Let us know what you’d like to give up and what you’d like in return!
See you next time, Iain
Many self employed or those with a commission component in their salary are – perhaps unconsciously – chasing clients away. Are you one? You’ll know when you’ve read this article.
Some discourage clients by describing the benefits of working together in ways that make it sound like any benefits gained might be accidental! It’s true that results might vary from client to client, but don’t make the fact that you can’t guarantee the best results for every client the focus of your presentation.
Describe the best possible result, and then do your best to deliver. Let them know from the start that the client has responsibilities as well, and the better they perform them the better their results will be. You are an expert at what you do, and that means the bulk of the variation is in the client’s hands.
A lot of clients want to find out the price before discussing more than the briefest of details. When asked at this early point many coaches and sales people mumble and often deflect the conversation away from talking about money. The fact is: your client just asked you a question, and they must get a good answer or the game may well be over.
If you already know enough to give them a good quote then do so, with confident tone and posture. If you don’t yet know which of your services is most applicable then just say so: “I’d like to be able to tell you right now what the price would be, but I’m not yet sure which of our services would best suit you. May I ask for some details that will help us both find the right solution?”
You then perform your normal fact-finding to determine what they need, and then confirm the value of the solution, and then give them your quote.
Do you give others the opportunity to tell you about what they need? Meeting people at networking events, for example, is often mishandled. Unless the client leads the conversation this is not where you sell. It is where you establish a good connection, and permission to make contact from time to time.
You then make contact within 24 hours. Thank them for their time, and reinforce how interested you were in what they said and did, and in their business. Then ask them if they understood your services, and what you have to offer, and if they say “No” then offer to meet them to more fully explain. If they say “Yes” then offer to meet them to discuss how you may be able to help people they know.
Talking about helping others is less confronting than asking for a sales meeting, and the important thing is to make contact and arrange another one-on-one conversation. This is the time when you really start building your reputation, and good reputations lead to great sales.
Have you recognised any of your habits here? Or perhaps some of your employees? Well, now is your chance to change that, starting right now. (And we’d appreciate some feedback about what you changed and the effect that had)
The vast bulk of the current documentation focuses on various techniques. Those techniques cover the opening statement (or question) which is typically some statement of the problem to establish that the salesperson knows and cares about the problem you have, then it will continue into the solution phase where the fix will be described (or elicited via more questions) and so on.
That’s all good stuff, but it misses the mark completely. By the time you have read this article you will know why.
Some pundits even suggest that there are different sales ‘personalities’. The point being that to make a sale you need to match your in-built sales model. The way I make a sale might not work for you, and vice versa, and yet both methods might be equally effective.
I think that’s good advice – find your own path, do not try to ‘be’ someone else, but it still only goes half way to the solution.
The real solution is that everybody has their own Buying Strategy. Different people buy for different reasons. To make a sale you need to resonate with the potential purchaser’s Buying Strategy.
There are four groups of motivators that result in four different strategies that different people use when about to buy.
One group is interested in how impressed their friends (and strangers) will be when they see the purchase. Maybe even envious! They are motivated to buy to be able to demonstrate that they are successful, financially secure and can afford the best. They are convinced by facts and data.
Another group is interested in how much fun they and their friends will have as a result of the purchase. They are somewhat spontaneous, and tend not to think about the purchase for too long, instead buying as soon as they can see the great times ahead.
The next group are more likely to buy if they can see how the purchase has a positive effect on their family. That it will add to the quiet good times they already experience. They will want to know the facts though not in as much detail as the first group, and they need to feel that the purchase is a good idea. (These guys can be the toughest to sell to because even if they have all the facts, and they indicate a benefit, they still may not buy!)
The last group is concerned about the effectiveness of the purchase, how ell it will work for them. They are straight-talking, will ask a question and expect a straight forward answer. They buy as soon as they figure out how useful the item will be to them, in their circumstances. That means you can’t talk them into buying, they must do it themselves!
Unless and until you present your case in the correct manner you will find sales a somewhat hit-and-miss affair. By that I mean that you might only sell to two or three out of every ten people you talk to. Yes, I know most companies think that’s a good rate.
What if I told you that when you present your offer in this way – so that it resonates with the purchaser’s buying strategy – your sales rate will double? That would make sense, you are now connecting to the buyer in a way that is natural to them, so of course your results will dramatically improve.
So the single most important factor influencing your sales is their Buying Strategy, and whether that matches your style. By the way – there are four Sales Styles that match the Buying Strategies and even knowing that can improve your sales. The best part is none of these strategies depend on ‘buying’ the sale, or competing on price.
Your percentage sales will increase and your profit per sale is also likely to improve! Don’t believe me? Ask me for proof.
What I want to know is how many of you would be interested in attending a webinar on this topic, and learn exactly what the different strategies are, how to identify them the moment the person steps into your store, and how to communicate your message to them in a way they understand? All without having to ask questions, or spend time observing them interact with others. (No, it isn’t NLP, though if you know NLP this is a far better method of establishing rapport than the NLP techniques though of course they can be used in conjunction with this method)
Everyone who has used this technique so far has achieved better than double their normal rate, with some even reaching over 80%! And the “Buyer’s Remorse” rate reduces!
Leave a comment or email me and if there are enough people interested I will organise a webinar to share the information.