H e l p i n g
y o u
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’ 5 7
S A L E S KnowHow powered by
legacy be? What will your
INSIDE: BUILD YOUR SALES LEGACY: 12 Key Elements to Success
GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE IS THE ONLY OPTION:
12 Tips for Outstanding Customer Service
8 BY 8 and 5 AFTER 5:
An Easy-to-use System for Boosting Results
PERSONAL PRODUCTIVITY AS A HABIT Page 24
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Publisher’s Letter legacy
7 What Will Your Legacy Be? – Bill Sayers 8 Build Your Sales Legacy – Paul Stuckey 10 Great Customer Service is the Only Option – Eric Gilboord 11 13 Tips for Outstanding Customer Service – Eric Gilboord 14 How to Ask Powerful Questions – Jenae Rubin 16 Flyers are Not Salespeople! – Jenae Rubin 18 Are You the Consolation Prize? – Tibor Shanto 19 8 By 8 and 5 After 5 – Tibor Shanto 20 Q uestions Reveal the Underlying Needs of Your Trade Show Visitors – Barry Siskind
22 The Impact of Colour in Your Exhibitions – Barry Siskind 24 Personal Productivity as a Habit – Laura Stack Q2 2012
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4 Sales KnowHow
Copyright 2012 Scott’s Directories Scott’s Directories is a division of BIG Directories LP. Business Information Group (BIG) is a subsidary of Glacier Media Inc.
ur condolences go out to our friend Bill Sayers whose father passed away recently. Bill writes about his Dad in this issue of Sales KnowHow™, and his article is a poignant reminder that every day is instrumental in building and maintaining a good life – and a good legacy – and how important this is to our family and loved ones. I appreciate how Bill asks us to pause and think more about this concept as it pertains to each of us. It’s a good wake-up call which reminds us we have the ability to accomplish great things and leave a worthy legacy provided we act in accordance with that vision each day. If the work necessary to build a true legacy takes a lifetime to put in, then that lifetime of “doing good” will certainly benefit countless people along the way. Wanting to leave behind a solid, genuinely-good legacy therefore makes for a massive win-win – today and for years to come. If we talk within the context of your employer, your colleagues and especially your customers, your aim should include a solid “Reputation Legacy”. What’s the resounding reputation you’d be proud to leave as your defining characteristic in your professional arena? What more can you do – or do differently – each day to improve the likelihood of being remembered that way? Bill’s article also took me back to my father’s passing in June 2007. My Dad, Norman, was the original Scott’s Directories salesman and after succeeding at that as a self-employed rep for over 30 years, he had definitely created a solid reputation amongst his clientele. His is a legacy of good service, honesty, integrity, and so much more. Five years later, I still receive comments and accolades from his clients who
recall him favorably and miss his personality, sense of humor and friendly rapport. I often hear first-hand accounts like “Norman was one of the best sales reps they’d ever met” and “he was a great guy; I always liked his style”. I take pride in knowing his legacy in sales lives on amongst the marketplace he served. No doubt a lot of those memories are fading now - eventually the last of his clients will themselves retire – but through Norman’s legacy I’ve always been motivated to do my personal best and to influence others positively, helping to perpetuate the concept into the future, one day at a time. On Page 8 I’ve included a list of 12 elements to success I know Norman used widely throughout his career to build that legacy that lives on today. Also in this issue, you’ll find more great advice from all of our experts – advice you can use to improve your skill set right away, or take as food for thought for what you can apply to your routine over the months to come. Sales KnowHow™ publishes valuable advice for sales professionals – we hope you can profit from every issue. Here’s wishing you a very enjoyable summer 2012!
Paul Stuckey, Group Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org For More Articles by Paul Stuckey Click Here
6 Sales KnowHow
What Will Your Legacy be? M
y father was a determined man. His love of my mother and his family was legendary. We didn’t always agree with Dad; however, all he wanted for his kids was to make sure we were healthy and happy in our personal and professional lives. We have all accomplished that!! His determination and focus allowed him to make sure his family saw a different part of this great country every summer, when we were growing up. By the time I was sixteen I had been coast to coast by car and had seen all the beauty and grandeur of Canada and met some great Canadians from every part of the country. My father did things his way and while he could be a stubborn Irishman - his intention and determination never faltered. My father’s “Legacy” will be remembered and cherished by many for a long, long time. If I asked your customers what your “Legacy” with them would be - What would they say? Would they say you were a “friend”, a “coach”, a “leader”, a “wise person”, a “teacher”, you are “smooth”, and a “champion”…? Being a great sales person is making sure you have a great legacy. My father always said - “Do unto to others as you would have them do unto you”. Every day you are out there what are you doing to be of service? What are you doing to make sure your customers are getting what you said they would get. And how are you treating all the people in your life? Do you answer the phone? Do you return e-mails? Do you
By Bill Sayers
do what you say you will do? Great sales people know their way around their own organization and around their customer’s organization. They know their products and services. Most importantly they know how they create value for their customers. If you don’t know how you create value for your customers then the only thing you can provide your customers is a cheaper price. If all you have is price as your means of securing business, then your career will be one of chasing the finish line to the bottom of the pile. The last man standing is not a successful or wealthy man. How are you a friend to your clients? How are you coaching and teaching your clients and what wisdom are you imparting. How are you leading your clients and being that champion that they need. If you can do all of this you will appear to be smooth and make all of those efforts look easy!! Here is my question to all of you - When you finish your career will you be remembered - Will you be memorable!! Or will you be quickly forgotten and insignificant? I am grateful everyday that I get a chance to help sales people to become better sales reps, to become a better person, to help them realize their dreams and ambitions and to help them create a part of their “Legacy”. Sayers Says: What will your Legacy be? Will you be remembered or forgotten? What are you determined about? What do you want to be remembered for? What are you grateful for? What will your customers tell me is your Legacy?
Bill Sayers is an inspirational speaker and a visionary business leader. He has spent the past 29 years in the "Sales" arena. He started his career as an inside sales rep and worked his way up the corporate ladder to the level of VP of Sales at an IBM company. During that time he worked for Revelstoke Lumber, King Products, Linotype, Ryder Transportation, GE Capital IT Solutions and IBM. Bill is able to communicate powerful concepts in a manner, which enables practical application in the business world and drives profitable results for his clients. His goal is to help sales people ignite their passion for the game of sales. Passion - Process - Performance www.thesayersgroup.com For More Articles by Bill Sayers Click Here
Build Your Sales Legacy Want to build a reputable legacy in Sales? My Dad did, and here are 12 elements for success he nurtured and utilized over his long career in sales, including his 30 years with Scott’s Directories. In so doing, he built a solid reputation amongst his clients; and they’ll work for you too. 1. Carpe Diem – Seize the Day and be optimistic in your approach. Expect success and rush to meet it each day. Maintain a healthy mind, body, and spirit – eat well, exercise, and practice the “early to bed and early to rise” mantra for the majority and you’ll be greeting each day with open arms for the new opportunities that abound. 2. Possess and exude a positive attitude. Be memorable as the refreshing, enthusiastic, upbeat but professional person to deal with at all times. Cherish the interaction with others in the business world; tap into your “people-person” skill set and enjoy the mutual experience. 3. Be more than just a sales person – be a business consultant. More often than not, real value in the eyes of the customer is built by the sales person – especially when products or services amongst suppliers are considered similar or even identical. It’s not always low price that wins the sale – it’s what the sales person adds and it all starts with taking the time to learn about the customer’s business and exact needs, issues and concerns. Ask questions and listen to the essence of what’s being said, offer solutions to their challenges and be prepared to clearly and succinctly explain what your products will do for them. Customers will reward a sales person who can provide valuable - actionable - advice. 4. Know and understand your lineup 100%, inside and out. Believe fully in the product or service you handle, or else look for something else ASAP. Driving a Chevy while selling
8 Sales KnowHow
Fords is not conducive to complete success - let your customers know you are a trustworthy representative by associating yourself with your product as closely as possible. Your reputation and your product’s reputation will become as one – you meld with the brand. 5. Make sure you can offer proper demonstrations of your products as applicable to each prospect’s unique needs or realities and touch points. Don’t just be a talking brochure – modify your pitch to appeal to each set of values you identify. However, you should ensure you have all of the correct marketing material and pricing for your customers’ reference. Without professional support and handout material to leave behind, or a good website to back you up, your competition can walk right in and capitalize on the interest you created by going that one extra step with compelling copy and sales literature. Final thought – get your contact information on those materials as often as you can. 6. Do all you can to advance your sales skill set. Regularly read know-how articles and books, attend courses and webinars, sign up for newsletters, listen in the car or watch videos online. Keep track of your own accomplishments and misfires using these skills so you come away with an education on the things that work for YOU personally. Knowing how to fit the appropriate teachings from multiple trusted sources into your own style is vitally important to building your personal repertoire for effective sales.
By Paul Stuckey Group Publisher 7. Keep excellent notes, records and files on your clientele so as to build the relationship and rapport, but also to know when they are best reached each year and even how they like to be contacted. A lack of discipline here can be costly to one’s potential earnings as the annual timeline evolves. Years ago it was card files and Rolodex, nowadays it CRM. Either way, the better the record-keeping, the more you’ll profit as time marches on. 8. A “no” today from a qualified prospect doesn’t mean a “no” forever – always offer to tee up a future appointment or sales call; perhaps 6 or even 12 months down the road. If they are qualified, expect them to buy at the time best for them. Your professional and persistent influence might persuade that decision sooner and it’s good to make calls to touch base – as a consultant you can use the call to ask more questions and if you’re properly prepared, you’ll have more information to bestow. If you say you’ll call in 6 months, make sure you do. It’s important you make the follow-up call meaningful by having something to say other than the original pitch. Be optimistic about this – most business people will appreciate the followup if it happens when you promised it would, and it helps open up more discussion about their needs. 9. Watch for movement and advances in the marketplace; don’t go through life with blinders on. Open up your awareness to the evolutions in the business world and recognize new opportunities to sell when they appear. From companies mentioned in magazine articles and nightly newscasts to their 53’ trucks on the highway, there are countless ways to see identify new prospects each day as they pass before our eyes – if we care to absorb what our eyes are seeing. Prospecting is fun and rewarding when you can unearth new opportunities on a regular basis. 10. Be a self-promoter. Attend industry functions and gatherings, trade shows, cocktail mixers and the like. Experiment
with the opportunities for professional networking that arise, and be ready with your so-called elevator pitch. Carry a few cards at all times, and don’t be shy about telling the world about yourself – it’s easier when you believe in what you do. Persevere, be steadfast, and stick to it for the long run and over the years you’ll become known as the expert in your field. Face-to-face interactions are so powerful but the new frontier here is obviously LinkedIn and other professional networking sites. Participate in all you can - spanning across a variety of forums with a consistent personal brand can be very effective. 11. Pay down debt, save and invest. In good times and in bad, the commission-based sales person must tuck some of their additional earnings away rather than habitually living a feastor-famine existence. In the good years especially when there’s large commission cheques and bonuses earned, it’s a wise person who directs their money around in ways that can pay dividends later in life. The ups and downs of professional sales is far less stressful – i.e. you maintain a level keel - when the bills are minimal and larger incomes didn’t all go to buying flashy items that now sit as liabilities when times get tough. Once the investment groundwork is laid, the mortgage is minimized or cleared and one’s career is blossoming, those extra dollars a professional sales rep earns can be employed for family-wide recreation and luxo rewards. Always pay yourself first. 12. Balance. Balance work with family, social pursuits, and all that life has to offer. Keep time reserved each week for rest and relaxation, and understand that business success is nothing without a strong family core and true love. No amount of monetary gains can outweigh the importance of good personal relationships and the joy of a healthy, communicative family. Putting your heart into all that you do while maintaining (enforcing) a proper work-life balance is vitally important and will undoubtedly produce a legacy your family and loved ones will be proud of.
Norman H. Stuckey Aug 8 1923 – June 30 2007 Norman started his sales career in the 1950s and rose to VP Sales for Alexander Hamilton Institute located in New York, NY. In 1977 Scott’s Directories was in its 20th year, but they had never employed an outside sales person. Norman became the original Scott’s Directories salesman by proving he could sell directly to prospects the advertising and mail offers hadn’t been able to convert. He was exemplary in that role for 30 years, working well into retirement age and enjoying it thoroughly. He built a big clientele and sold countless directories in the process. His legacy amongst his clients is one of honesty, integrity, good service, fair dealings, and so much more. He is fondly remembered and sadly missed. Norman H. Stuckey, summer 1999
Great Customer Service Is The Only Option Where Would We Be Without Customers Customers are the most important component of your marketing program. You can have the best product or service and the most knowledgeable and impressive staff, but without a happy customer, you may have no one to make the sale to. No sales lead to fewer staff or at best, a lessqualified staff, leading to a downward spiral. This situation may sound like a doom and gloom prediction, but a solution is not far out of your reach. In fact, there are many steps you can take to not only secure your relationship with existing customers but also attract and retain new ones. The old adage ‘‘Treat customers as you wish to be treated’’ has never been more relevant. Competition is fierce and small companies are stealing business from formidable competitors through solid, reliable customer service. The stigma of small companies being too small to handle customer needs is disappearing. Large companies often hire people on contract (consultants, small suppliers, etc.) for many of the jobs that were salaried positions in the recent past. You have a better opportunity to compete with larger competitors and win new business than ever before. Great customer service can even the playing field and make all the difference in the world to your business.
Treat Customers As Well As You Like To Be Treated Here are two very different experiences with customer service, a negative experi-
10 Sales KnowHow
ence with a large company and a positive one with a small business.
A Negative Experience A customer arrived at a bank about two minutes before it officially opened at 9:30 a.m. An older gentleman had been waiting for a few minutes and seemed somewhat agitated. Other people were waiting in their cars for the doors to open. Time takes on new meaning when waiting and a few minutes can seem like hours; the bank had to keep the doors closed until 9:30 for security reasons. As 9:30 a.m. came and went, no one opened the doors. An employee was spotted inside the bank and the growing crowd waved to bring him over. He thought this was amusing and waved back as he continued going about his business. The agitation among the customers increased. The waving employee finally let the customers in. It seems he found the furious, waving exchange humorous and greeted them with a big smile as if it were a joke. The crowd did not laugh. As the customers approached the tellers, it became apparent that they would have to wait again. The customers were not happy. This bank was a new, large branch that had amalgamated from several smaller ones. It was supposed to offer state-ofthe-art service. This was not the first neg-
ative experience for any of these customers. As they waited for a teller, stories of prior bad experiences began to circulate among them, each story outdoing the previous one. Occasional service problems can be tolerated. An ongoing disregard for your customers cannot. As the old expression goes, ‘‘The customer is always right.’’ Unfortunately, some businesses seem to ignore this advice and they drive customers away. The bank’s problems could be easily fixed with extended hours and more staff. Good service begets more business and more business pays for extended hours and increased staffing. The cycle continues and your business grows.
“Confidence is key to
successfully acquiring new business.”
A Great Experience A businessman set out to buy a new suit. A store had been recommended to him through word of mouth. He approached the front door and noticed a sign asking him to press the buzzer. Before he could count to three, a friendly salesman opened the door and welcomed him inside. The first question the salesman asked was how had he heard about the store? After receiving the answer, the salesman dispensed with the formalities and asked the businessman how he could help him. The customer described the occa-
By Eric Gilboord
sion he needed a new suit for and the salesman took over. The next hour was probably the easiest and most enjoyable shopping experience the businessman ever had. The salesman described the construction of various suits and explained the differences between manufacturers and styles. He made good recommendations and coordinated shirts and ties to make several outfits from one suit. He made the purchase very easy and an enjoyable experience for the customer. It was obvious why the business had been built on word-of-mouth, and the businessman planned to pass its name on to other people. The salesman turned a new customer experience into a longterm relationship. Successful businesses know how critical customer service is. In a highly competitive marketplace in which many companies offer similar products and services, a great way to distinguish yourself is by offering superb customer service. It is imperative to understand what your customer is really looking for. Customers don’t think very differently than you do. When you are buying products or services for your business or home, you are a customer. Your thinking is probably like your customer’s. Next time you are purchasing something, keep the following points in mind and look at the purchase from a customer’s perspective. It’s not difficult to learn something from one industry and transfer the information to another. Try to relate what you learned to your own business.
Tips For Outstanding Customer Service 1. Make The Experience Easy And Enjoyable. Make the entire interaction a simple and pleasant experience for your customer. Do not present reasons for someone to not do business with you. If you don’t have a product in stock, get it. If you are not normally open at a certain time, extend your hours. When you do extend your hours, let everyone know about it through a mailer, telephone calls to regular customers, social media, on your website, signs in your window, and any other form of customer communication you are currently using. Not every announcement requires an advertising campaign. 2. Anticipate Needs. Ask your customers questions and look for opportunities to satisfy needs they did not realize they had. Present options beyond what the customer is asking for. Sometimes, a customer is unaware of all their needs. 3. Clarify Requirements. Be clear about your customers’ requirements. There should be no confusion as to what they are looking for and what is expected of you. If a customer asks for something you feel is not the best choice for him or her, provide that product or service but also give your recommendation. Explain the reasons for your preference. Make sure the product or service you recommend exceeds his or her expectations. As a supplier, you know from experience whether or not you’re going to meet or exceed a customer’s needs. The ability to satisfy them is in your hands. If the customer’s expectations are unrealistic, you will probably fail to produce a happy customer. “We want happy customers, right.” A2E 4. Be Flexible. Be flexible and prepared to customize your product or service to fit a customer’s unique needs. Each customer has his or her own set of requirements. He or she may need something to be longer, heavier, quicker, or less expensive than what you normally offer. Your goal is to satisfy him or her. Make sure they know you customized the product or service. Customizing often requires little effort from the supplier but can make a world of difference to the customer. Remember, you know your product better than the customer does. What you may take for granted could be the difference between night and day as to how the customer uses your product. Sometimes, a simple adjustment can make a huge difference.
Sales KnowHow 11
5. Make No Room For Surprises. Most customers don’t expect more than delivery of what you promise when you promise it and at the price you promised it for. 6. Provide A Reward. As a customer, you’d like products or services to cost less, even if they’re priced properly. Everyone wants a deal and in a world of discount outlet malls, big box mega stores, and sales for every conceivable holiday, customers expect prices to be lowered or extras to be thrown in. Customers like to receive a bonus, an indication of appreciation for their business. Offer something extra for free. Free is much more appealing than a discount. Simple, and straightforward. 7. Be Interested. Take a genuine interest in your customers. Make a personal comment or observation on their purchases. Your customers are not merely customers; they are complex human beings with the same emotional needs that you have. 8. Satisfy Your Customer. Customer satisfaction is an ongoing quest. You should be constantly on the lookout, within your business and outside, for new ways to satisfy a customer’s basic needs. Every day you are given the extraordinary opportunity to learn what to do and what not to do. All customers want purchases and interactions with suppliers and staff to be simple. Keep your eyes and ears open and relate the information to your business. Don’t forget to share it with fellow employees in weekly staff meetings. 9. Be Quick. Speed is of the utmost importance today. Making a purchase faster, or even better, walking out of the store with a purchase, is the goal of many shoppers. Purchases that are not usually made on impulse can become required purchases as soon as the customer has made the decision to make them. We live in an ‘‘I want it now’’ world. 10. Make It Convenient. To purchase your product or service. If it is too large (an elephant), dirty (top soil), or difficult (panes of glass), a customer may need a special truck to transport it. Delivery would make a customer’s life easier. Arranging the delivery should not be the customer’s responsibility, nor should it involve another purchase decision from another supplier. Cover these common additional requirements by prearranging services and add-ons with suppliers you have approved. A new customer and an unapproved third-party supplier is a recipe for disaster.
11. Decrease Their Work. Take the work out of using your product. Who wouldn’t prefer something to come pre-assembled and ready to run? Customers want enjoyment from a purchase. They want their lives to be easier – that means less work, not more. Keep instructions to a minimum or eliminate them. Bikes, furniture, and toys fall into this category. As a supplier, you are much better equipped than the customer to assemble and prepare a product for use. You do not want a customer coming back to your store with a half-assembled bike or toy and parts. 12. Be Alert To Product Changes. Reusable products should be consistently and automatically replenished or replaced. Online or offline technology-based products or services like computers and software should be updated or upgraded as new features become available. Develop a database and contact customers before these changes come onto the market. The upgrade to the product should come from the supplier. You want to be the first to receive information that any new products or services are available, even before you need or want them. There is nothing better than a happy customer who finds out that for little or no effort he or she can be even happier. 13. Accept Returns. Accept returns as part of the normal business process. If a customer is not happy after giving the product or service a fair chance, take it back. Be prepared to offer a no-hassle return policy. If customers have a difficult time returning a purchase, they may resent your company and could let others know how they feel. On the other hand, many customers will go out of their way to let friends know about a positive experience, even if it ended in the return of a product. The person that a customer is telling the story to may be a prospect who has more extensive needs than the original customer did. Eric Gilboord is a specialist in making marketing easy for business owner/operators and any staff with sales or marketing responsibility. He demystifies marketing so they can use it to generate sales today and increase the value of the business faster. He believes in blending traditional marketing with new media/social media. ROI is a must. Eric is a popular columnist and author of many articles and books on increasing the value of businesses through marketing. The Expert Business Calls for Marketing Advice...That’s Easy to Understand. Eric Gilboord is the CEO of Warren Business Development Center Inc. One Call for Quality Integrated Sales & Marketing, Services & Education www.warrenbdc.com For more information call 416-270-2466. To sign up for his marketing tips newsletter and to read his blog please visit: www.EricGilboord.com For More Articles by Eric Gilboord Click Here
12 Sales KnowHow
‘JUST TELL ME MORE’ New book from, Eric Gilboord, the author of the best-seller. ‘Just Tell Me What To Do – Easy Marketing Tips For Small Business’
Promotional price: $5.00 Coupon Code: QK72Y Expires: December 31, 2012 Order your copy online. http://www.ericgilboord.com/book.html For bulk order pricing. Call 416-270-2466 Email email@example.com Tie in a keynote address with Eric.
Available in print and all e-book formats.
Eric Gilboord is the CEO of Warren Business Development Center Inc.
One Call for Quality Integrated Sales & Marketing, Services & Education www.warrenbdc.com Q2 2012
Sales KnowHow 13
How to Ask
Powerful Questions Some questions are extremely valuable while others are exceptionally weak. You want to take advantage of the power strong questions offer. Here are simple tactics to guide you to making sales more easily.
By Jenae Rubin President Sales Powerhouse
ome questions actually stop the sales process…fast. Generally these are questions that are answered with simple “Yes” or “No.” I call these types of questions “throw away questions.” They actually stop the sales process. After your Prospect answers, you don’t know where to go. He answered your question. Your question didn’t call for any elaboration. Your question didn’t call for his participation. In fact, it’s almost like you’re drilling him by asking questions that start with: Is... Do... Can... Are... Will... Examples of throw away questions are… “Is that OK?” “Do you want to go ahead?” “Are you happy with your current supplier?” Throw away questions lead to dead end answers: Yes or No. Now what? Now, you have to ask another question. If you have to ask another question, just begin with a better question in the first place! The best questions give you more information. They give you hot buttons. They advance the sales process, because Prospects elaborate. These questions begin with: Who... What... Where... When... Why... How... Illustrations of these explorative questions are… “Who makes your buying decisions?” “What are your major challenges?” “When do you plan your budget?”
“Where are you currently doing business?” “Why have you chosen to use that media?” “How can a company like ours serve you better?” Even better questions yet are those that actually get agreement on your top benefits. Think about this… No one wants to be told anything. Plus, you, the Seller, are not credible merely by association with your profession: sales. After all, you want to sell something. And Buyers are on their guard, because they want to protect themselves from being taken advantage of. Here’s the rule: If the Seller tells the customer something, it’s dubious, but… if the Prospect tells you, the Seller, it must be so! How do you accomplish this? It’s actually very easy. (Thank goodness!) This subtle change in your approach will get tremendous results. Here’s what you do: use leading questions like… “How much would your business grow if you reached the key decision makers in your industry?” The formula is pretty simple: “How important is it for you to (Fill In The Blank With One of Your Benefits!)” When they answer in the affirmative, you can smile and say something like, “I’ve got great news for you. That’s exactly what you get with us.” Now they are ready to talk turkey! Here’s to successful, stress-free salesTM, Jenae Rubin
Jenae Rubin is the president of Sales Powerhouse – Overcome Overcoming Objections and may be reached at Jenae@SalesPowerhouse.com or 954-290-9896. Copyright 2012 Sales Powerhouse, Inc. This article may be reproduced with credit and copyright intact. For More Articles by Jenae Rubin Click Here
Sales KnowHow 15
Flyers are Not
Salespeople! By Jenae Rubin
have approximately 25-30 potential clients that contacted us inquiring for business. I send them our marketing material as they request. And then I don’t hear from them again. I even follow up, and then nothing. Any thoughts or techniques on what I could be doing wrong? I would love to hear from you.” It is amazing how many salespeople think they can just send people information, and they’ll buy! If it were that easy, salespeople would be unnecessary! So, what to do? Fortunately, once again, it’s not rocket science! Start by asking questions. A ton of questions. Before you know what your Prospects’ hot buttons are, you have no idea what to say – or not to say – to them. Additionally, the way they express their concerns triggers their emotions. If you don’t start with a structured set of questions designed to unearth their challenges and goals, you are a commodity, and you will have more price objections than your fair share. In every market, in every industry, in every economic condition, there are successes and failures. I have some very good friends who are doing very, very well in the real estate market in South Florida – one of the worst in the nation – where everyone else is moaning. How can this be? Their competitors are struggling, why not them? Because they understand that the key to a successful sale is focusing on what the customer wants and needs and not what they are selling. Why don’t you get follow up calls and visits with Prospects? Because you gave away too much information at the beginning, and they don’t feel they need to talk with you anymore.
16 Sales KnowHow
Think about this… After you talk about price, what’s the next logical place to go? Pause. To the sale! But most of your Prospects are not ready to buy when you bring up the price. If you’re like most salespeople, you talk about price – you even bring it up - before they’re ready to buy. Now Prospects feel they have all the information they need to make a decision. Did you speak with them about their needs? Did you really address their hot buttons? Do you know what they are? Most salespeople are so happy to get the meeting in the first place, they tell everything they can squeeze in about themselves for fear they won’t get another meeting. And that’s what you create… no more meetings! Funny how that works. The solution is to stay focused on their needs. Ask a ton of questions. Talk to them about solutions from their perspective which is not the same as talking about your product or service. Your product or service is the solution. Here’s the secret. Imagine you are sitting in their seat. What questions are they struggling with every day of their business lives? Address those scenarios… then tell them you’ve got great news… that you provide just that. Here’s the difference. YOU are the last part of the conversation. Right now, YOU are probably the focus of the conversation. Make your calls about them with you as the solution, and watch sales turn around. Here’s to successful, stress-free salesTM, Jenae Rubin Copyright 2012 Sales Powerhouse, Inc. This article may be reproduced with credit, links and copyright intact. For More Articles by Jenae Rubin Click Here
Sales KnowHow 17
By Tibor Shanto
Are You The Consolation Prize? I
am very concerned when I hear capable sales people tell me that they set out to be a consolation prize when they engage with a potential buyer. Worse, I feel downright scared when I hear sales experts encourage sales people to set out and settle for being a consolation prize, rather than encouraging them to win. Here is the problem, when speaking with potential prospects who tell you “we are all set”, or “thanks we are happy with our current provider”. Too many reps and experts settle for second prize, in fact, they present themselves as nothing more than that, second prize. And in a game where there is only one winner, and second prize is reserved for the first place loser, second prize is hardly something to aspire for, especially if you want to drive revenue for your company, employer. Here is how it goes, when sellers hear the
word above, they respond with something like, “well that’s great, maybe I can send you some info, and be a second choice”; in fact here is a direct quote: “I simply offer myself as a secondary source, and offer to keep in contact should the need arise that they might be able to use my services.” Seriously? Sounds a lot like “well, I guess I can wait on the sidelines till something out of my control happens which may offer me a chance at bat”. When will that future moment in time come, this quarter, next quarter, the quarter after you are fired? The job of the sales person is to work with the buyer to understand how they can benefit from your offering now. Now so they can gain advantage on their competitors; now so you can make quota. Making this a bigger challenge or opportu-
Tibor Shanto – Principal - Renbor Sales Solutions Inc., is a recognized speaker, author of the award winning book Shift!: Harness The Trigger Events That Turn Prospects Into Customers, and a sought after trainer; his work has appeared in numerous publications and leading websites. Called a brilliant sales tactician Tibor helps organizations execute their strategy by using the EDGE Sales Process to create the perfect combination of strategy, tactics, skills to ensure execution. Tibor can be reached at info@SellBetter.ca or 1-416-822-7781. You can read our blog, The Pipeline with new material three times a week, and follow Tibor on Twitter @Renbor. For More Articles by Tiboor Shanto Click Here
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nity is the fact that some 70% of prospects you will contact will describe themselves in one of the ways above, “all set”. Meaning, that if you master overcoming this common objection effectively, you will measurably increase your sales, and sales success. As with most things in sales, overcoming this common objection is not easy but it is doable - doable often enough to help you succeed. To do that you have to master a couple of things. First before even making the call, you have to understand: Why people buy – This is not some vague concepts but specific drivers for people taking action. Most common are Financial, Productivity Gains, Time Gains, Risk Management, and Personal Interest. Why they buy products like yours – Now you need to focus this on your specific buyer. Based on their role, sector and other inputs, you will be able to pinpoint the above. You will need to, based on past experience (yours or the collective experience of your company), frame your response in what specific challenges they face. By knowing this you’ll be able to move the dialogue beyond the surface level, connecting with the buyer allowing him/her to engage based on factors they are living with every day. Why they buy from you and your company specifically – With that in place, you can highlight the advantage you bring, and confirm that with a specific example of the impact you have delivered to others in their role. We have a work sheet to help you do this, just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (855) 25-SALES. Armed with that, you use any number of common techniques to deliver the message; you can use Feel, Felt, Found, or Renbor’s own Acknowledge, Involve, Credibility, Action Item. Again, contact us for specifics. The other thing you need, or else it will not work, is attitude. If your attitude going into the call is that you do in fact have a better mouse trap that will help your customers win more, then that is where you will go. If you go in hoping to be a consolation prize, waiting for elements beyond your control to deliver success, that too is where you’ll end up. Second place in the race, first place for… What’s in Your Pipeline?
© Copyright Notice All content, text, graphics, are Copyright 2011–2012 by Tibor Shanto. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any use of materials in this publication, including reproduction, modification, distribution or republication, without the prior written consent of Tibor Shanto, are strictly prohibited.
8 By 8 and 5 After 5
ad an interesting discussion at a reseller conference I presented at earlier this week, with Jason Stitt, a VP of Sales at a local technology firm, dealing with sales activity. We talked about the level of activity, the timing of the activity, and of course the quality of activity; mostly how these factored in prospecting and driving new revenue. Now if you are in a position to make your quota without having to prospect, including cold calling, and do it purely and strictly through referrals, you may find the rest of this mundane, pedestrian and old school. But if you are like the serious majority of B2B sales reps, and you need to pick up the phone and talk to people you want to turn into prospects, read on. As we talked about the importance of including prospecting in your daily activity, and the challenge of getting everything done in the hours of the day, while maximizing that precious time we in sales call ‘face time’, read 9 – 5. We compared notes and again agreed that if you are in sales, 9 – 5 is the middle of your day, not the whole day. The good news is that for most in business these days, 9 – 5 is a nostalgic trip that was last enjoyed by Ward Cleaver. This means you as a sales person have options. You can see prospects/clients in the middles of the day, and prospect at the start and end of your day. In fact he told me how he has implemented a program called 8 By 8 and 5 After 5. Yes, it is as simple as it sounds - make eight calls to potential buyers before 8:00 am, and then another five calls after 5:00 pm. The trick is to stick to the discipline of doing it every day. Making sure you schedule meetings between 9 – 5, so you can make your calls every day. As you execute, you will improve, and as you improve your confidence and success builds, and your calling yields greater results. The added bonus, if you get an appointment booked before 8:00 am, it gives you that spring in your feet, knowing that no matter what happens in the middle of your day, you have something new in your pipeline to work on and you can spend the day playing to win. What’s in Your Pipeline? Q2 2012
Sales KnowHow 19
Questions Reveal the Underlying Needs of Your Trade Show Visitors
our trade show presentation should be all about individuals. When visitors attend a show or conference the last thing they want is to be grouped into a homogeneous mass and treated identically. You have undoubtedly gone to great expense to develop a brand message that accurately reflects your values as a corporation. One that clearly represents the experience your customers will enjoy doing business with you. But, all that hard work is in jeopardy if the front-line people, your staff who meets customers at a trade show, canâ€™t walk the talk. The answer of course is to ensure that each of your front-line staff understands your brand and is trained to ensure that the right messages are passed along. The first task they face is to understand the visitor who has approached the trade show booth. If this person is approached and then inundated with all sorts of product information that may or may not apply to them they instantly feel pressured and reluctant to move forward. However, when your booth staff takes the time to uncover the unique perspectives of each visitor prior to providing information it ensures that the interaction has meaning for both parties. For years I have been suggesting that booth staff develop a list of questions in advance. The six questions I use form an easy to remember acronym â€“ ACTION. The ACTION questions are as follows: A = Authority Does this visitor have the buying authority or can they influence the buying decision?
20 Sales KnowHow
By Barry Siskind C = Capability How closely does this visitor fit into the profile of someone who will ultimately buy my product or service? T = Time Is there a close relationship between your selling cycle and the visitor’s buying cycle? I = Identity Have you developed a formal mechanism for recording contact information? O = Obstacles Why could or would this visitor not want to do business with me? N = Need Do they need this product or service? Acronyms are fine. They give you a structure to use so that your staff asks similar questions of each booth visitor. The trick then is to develop the questions that work for you. Ask yourself: What are the key criteria I need to understand this visitor’s perspective? How can I train my staff to ask the appropriate questions of each booth visitor? What do I need to develop to ensure that they record information that I can use for follow up? If you can not work with the ACTION questions, then hone them to fit your unique situation. One last tip. When you train your staff to ask questions, it’s important that they are comfortable with the words. Asking them to memorize a pre-set question doesn’t work. However, teaching the rationale behind each question and encouraging them to develop questions they can ask comfortably and honestly is a better bet. Uncovering visitor’s needs and perspectives is at the heart of your booth staff’s job. It is the single most important thing they do. It ensures that they have understood the booth visitor properly and can introduce benefits of your brand in a meaningful way. It leaves the visitor with the right impression and a positive experience which is what your brand is all about. © Copyright 2012 Barry Siskind Barry Siskind is author of Powerful Exhibit marketing. He is also President of International Training and Management Company who offers a number of services to exhibitors including the creation and implementation of a mystery-shopping program. Contact Barry at email@example.com for more information. For More Articles by Barry Siskind Click Here
webinars Barry Siskind’s trade show training webinars are now available on demand. This is a great opportunity to offer your staff an in-house training session. By ordering one of the webinars listed below, you will have access to the webinar for 30 days. I encourage you to order one of the on demand webinars by clicking this link. From here you can either read the descriptions of the webinars, order an on-demand webinar or read one of the many articles posted by Barry Siskind The webinar topics currently available are: How to Use Entertainment to Drive Trade Show Booth Traffic Create and Experience For All Three Generations Who Walk The Trade Show Floor Create a Trade Show Booth That Attendees Cannot Ignore Get Real Value From Your Trade Show Giveaways Developing Powerful Booth Staff Create a Simple, Smart and Strategic Exhibit Budget Plan Turn Your Tradeshow Booth into an Experiential Environment Measuring the Value of Your Trade Show Program Drive Trade Show Crowds from the Aisles into Your Booth Selecting the Right Show Turn Trade Show Leads Into Sales To bring these webinars in-house or to have a customized webinar delivered contact Barbara Siskind at 1-800-358-6079 or Barbara@siskindtraining.com to discuss your requirements. To order Barry Siskind’s best-seller Powerful Exhibit Marketing call 1-800-358-6079.
Sales KnowHow 21
The Impact of
ColoUr in Your Exhibitions The success or failure of your exhibition plans can sometimes be linked to something as simple as colour. Colour appears everywhere from your web-site homepage to your brochure but at a show the place colour makes its greatest impact is in your display. Yet without some forethought a small miscalculation in choosing the right colour can spell disaster. It used to be so simple. The discussion of colour came down to cool or warm colours. Cool colours being blues, greens and whites, the warm colours, red, orange and yellow. But, there is so much more to the discussion. Which Colour Should Dominate Colour ties your display to your product. When it is well done, colour creates a visual image that sparks the imagination of the visitor. Your ultimate goal is to focus attention on your product with the display as background. While this is the general rule, some products in themselves are rather uninspiring visually and need the help that the display can offer. If your products fall into this category—for example, products such as small automotive parts, some hardware items, software, certain packaged goods, etc.—then you must create a display that compensates visually for what your product lacks. For these examples, a strong colour for the display will draw attention to the product, yet not overshadow it. You can select contrasting colours on the colour wheel. If, however, your product easily lends itself to colour—such as giftware, linens, clothing, etc.—then highlight the colour in the product and let the display blend into the background with subtle tones. Another scenario is where the product colour and display colour work in harmony. For example, an upscale line of clothing might be well displayed in an exhibit that has colours that reflect the quality of the product. Corporate (Brand) Colours Part of your brand is colour. But in an increasingly competitive world there are few brands (and their colours) that are powerful enough to achieve universal recognition. If you have strong, identifiable corporate colours, use them
22 Sales KnowHow
By ByBarry BarrySiskind Siskind
in your display; think about Starbucks’ green, Coca-Cola’s red and DeWalt Power Tool’s yellow. Every brand, large and small, is attempting to build a level of awareness. These recognized colours become a crucial part of your display. Consumers get familiar with the logo and colour. If they attend a show and don’t see corporate images, they might simply walk-by the display without recognizing the exhibitor. Colour and Culture Various cultures have their unique interpretation of colours. For example, in Japan the colour yellow represents grace; in the United States it represents caution and in China the imperial colour is yellow. In France red represents aristocracy, while in Britain it is purple. White is the predominant colour in North American bridal shows yet in Japan it’s the colour of mourning. In China red symbolizes good luck and in South Africa red is the colour of mourning. If you are creating a display for a particular culture, it’s important to pay attention to its colour sensitivities. However, if you are creating a display for a global, multicultural audience, then consider using an array of colours found in nature. If you conduct a Google search for “colour and culture,” you will find information that focuses on cultural interpretation of colour. When you are developing your display it is well-worth having a discussion with your display builder about colour. The discussion should include, in addition to a description of your product and brand, a detailed list of the countries where you plan to exhibit. But what if your trade show plans are limited to a domestic market; does the discussion of culture become irrelevant? The simple answer is that it is highly unlikely that a domestic marketplace is one homogeneous mass of people; Populations are a mixture of cultures and ethnic backgrounds. If you have identified your customer profile properly it will give you strong clues that need to be incorporated into your exhibition plans. Colour can make or break an exhibit…so plan carefully. © Copyright 2012 Barry Siskind For More Articles by Barry Siskind Click Here
Your trade show presentation should be all about individuals. When visitors attend a show or conference the last thing they want is to be grouped into a homogeneous mass and treated identically. You have undoubtedly gone to great expense to develop a brand message that accurately reflects your values as a corporation. One that clearly represents the experience your customers will enjoy doing business with you. But, all that hard work is in jeopardy if the front-line people, your staff who meets customers at a trade show, can’t walk the talk. The answer of course is to ensure that each of your frontline staff understands your brand and is trained to ensure that the right messages are passed along. The first task they face is to understand the visitor who has approached the trade show booth. If this person is approached and then inundated with all sorts of product information that may or may not apply to them they instantly feel pressured and reluctant to move forward. However, when your booth staff takes the time to uncover the unique perspectives of each visitor prior to providing information it ensures that the interaction has meaning for both parties. For years I have been suggesting that booth staff develop a list of questions in advance. The six questions I use form an easy to remember acronym – ACTION. The ACTION questions are as follows: A = Authority Does this visitor have the buying authority or can they influence the buying decision? C = Capability How closely does this visitor fit into the profile of someone who will ultimately buy my product or service? T = Time Is there a close relationship between your selling cycle and the visitor’s buying cycle?
Sales KnowHow 23
24 Sales KnowHow
By Laura Stack
Personal Productivity as a Habit B
y this point in your career, you’ve most likely figured out the basic requirements for achieving workplace productivity. No doubt you have a good idea of how to manage your time, set goals, break big tasks into smaller ones, prioritize your task list, keep your email inbox empty, shake off procrastination, and dodge perfectionism. In other words, you’ve learned the principles of high performance. But knowing what to do doesn’t matter if you don’t do it: day in and day out, in all circumstances, even when you don’t feel like it. Fortunately, human nature serves you well here. Once used to a task, you can generally shift into a semi-automatic mode that allows you to perform the task efficiently, without having to constantly remind yourself about what comes next. Having a routine saves you time, effort, confusion, and (at some level) conscious thought. For example, think back to when you learned to drive (my first car was a Ford Pinto, yikes!). When you first got behind the wheel, you probably felt anxious and hyperaware of your environment at all times. You had to think about every little thing you did—turn on your blinker, look in the mirror, park without hitting anything. You essentially followed a “recipe” in order to accomplish your task. But after a while, it became routine. Now you automatically slip your seatbelt on, quickly glance in the mirrors, and make your adjustments before you turn the key—all more or less without thinking. Even after you get on the road, you remain fairly relaxed. You keep an eye on your environment almost subconsciously—while you’re actively thinking about other things—and sometimes doing other things (you know who you are). This process easily translates to the workplace. Now,
I’m not telling you to just turn off your brain while at the office, and I certainly don’t mean you should ever stop looking for more efficient ways to do your work. But at the risk of wearing yourself into a rut, habits can help you achieve a consistent level of productivity. Mind you, this falls into the “easier said than done” category, because the overall productivity habit consists of a lot of smaller, self-reinforcing habits that come together to maximize efficiency. Formulating a Plan When you get right down to it, most of your actions stem from established habits. Indeed, according to some philosophers, one’s behavior represents little more than the sum total of one’s personal customs and traditions. I find this attitude simplistic, but I do agree that the engine of routine, properly harnessed, can be very powerful. The problem is that individual habits can often work against each other. To use an analogy, if you hitch up a wagon with four strong horses pulling in four different directions, you probably won’t make much progress toward anything. Ah, but when you get the horses yoked together properly and going in the same direction, off you go at a good pace. If things seem to go every which way in your work life, or grind along with little direction, then you may be dealing with old ingrained habits working against one another. You can’t easily fix this on the fly; any life-changing activity requires careful thought and planning. So arrange some time when you can brainstorm, and sit down with pen, paper, and your most important productivity resources: your brain, experience, and imagination. Examine your routine, and ask yourself what each Q2 2012
Sales KnowHow 25
of your existing habits does for you. If necessary, document every piece of your typical day from the time you arrive at the office to the minute you leave work. You may discover that some of your habits actually work against productivity. For example, if you regularly arrive late or take a smoke break on the hour every hour, then you can safely say you’re shooting yourself in the foot from a productivity standpoint. Even necessary workplace tasks can hinder productivity if you approach them the wrong way. Email serves as a classic example; keeping your email open all day and checking it repeatedly diverts your attention and destroys focus. Unless your job requires otherwise, a better habit would be to handle your email just a few times a day. In this case, you’ll need to erase the old habit and replace it with the new one. Again, easier said than done. But habit is all about making gradual changes to your behavior, until you break out of the old grooves and develop new ones. As Mark Twain once pointed out, “Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.” Making and Breaking So as you embark on your voyage of self-improvement, don’t get in a hurry. Accept that developing a new routine takes time. Leo Babauta, the author of the influential Zen Habits blog, recommends setting yourself a 30-day challenge for changing each habit. Furthermore, work on one habit at a time (though you can simultaneously break an old one and replace it with another). As with productivity in general, multitasking is self-defeating here; instead, “single-task” fiercely, focusing on slotting the new habit into place and making it a solid part of your life before moving on to the next thing you want to change. Trying to do it all at once can overwhelm you and lead to massive failure. But if you keep climbing steadily along what Leo calls “the spiral of successful habits,” you’ll soon find it happening faster and coming more easily. Choose the first habit you want to modify or establish,
26 Sales KnowHow
and make it your top priority. Treat it like any other task. If necessary, create a plan for setting or breaking the habit and lay it out in writing, with suitable milestones to mark your progress. You may find it easier to form a new habit by making yourself publically accountable for it: i.e., by telling people you intend to change, so their expectations keep you on the straight and narrow. You can also join forces with a buddy trying to change the same habit. Dieters do this all the time, as do people trying to stop smoking. Either way, the support you receive can push you farther toward achieving your productive ends. List, Frogs, and MITS You’ve probably learned the value of a to-do list for maximizing your limited time, so don’t hesitate to leverage yours in your quest to mortar your new habit into place. Of course, you can’t easily pin down some habits in this manner, but schedule them when you can. For the rest, change your thought patterns. This in itself may require a new habit. While you need not put “Think about my new habit” at the top of your to-do list, it can’t hurt to write yourself a little reminder on a sticky note and put it where you’ll often see it. After a few days, it’ll become second nature, and you won’t need the reminder anymore. For example, my colleague Brian Tracy calls unattractive but unavoidable tasks “frogs” in his book Eat That Frog. He suggests you make a habit of jumping on your frogs and “eating them” first thing in the morning, because that’s the worst thing that can possibly happen. After all, most of us have fewer distractions, greater focus, and more energy earlier in the day. Your sticky note (or electronic reminder) might say something as simple as “Frogs first.” Keeping At It As you work toward setting a new habit (or ridding yourself of an old one), do your best to avoid falling back into your previous way of doing things. Don’t pretend the temptation doesn’t exist; know it does, and when you get the urge to act in the old unproductive manner, deliberately do something else until the urge passes. Don’t fall prey to rationalizations like, “Just this once won’t hurt.” In
truth, “just this once” can sabotage the entire effort; ask anyone who has tried to quit smoking. Missing one day might not derail you, but missing two could. If you don’t persistently exercise the behavior you want to ingrain, then how can it possibly become a habit? Now, that said, as a mere human you can’t possibly achieve perfection all the time (and Heaven forbid you should try). Even though you try hard, you may backslide a bit before you get your new habit on track. If it happens, don’t ignore the failure, but don’t fret too much about it; just get right back on the horse. Even if you only perform the habit in a small way on a particular day, try to do it. Five minutes spent formulating and implementing your new habit is better than no time spent at all, even if you meant to spend an hour at it. If you just can’t seem to get going on the habit no matter what you do, stop for a while and try to figure out why. You may discover that at some level, you simply dislike the new habit. If this proves the case, investigate the reasons. Do you subconsciously find it distasteful? Does it seem like too much work? Does it simply not fit into your working style? Once you’ve pinned that down, decide whether you truly want to pursue the habit. For example, let’s say you’ve decided to start drinking a little more coffee in the morning to sharpen you up and get your brain in gear. If this truly helps and you don’t get too jittery, then fine; keep at it. If the drawbacks seem to outweigh the productive benefits, then you may want to rethink whether you should develop the habit at all. If the habit does seem worthwhile, then determine which obstacles you need to overcome in order to get from here to there, and start eliminating those obstacles. Get serious about incorporating the habit into your routine. Needless to say, you’ll find it much easier to do so if you actually enjoy the task. This can prove superbly difficult if the task is annoying, unpleasant, or simply unrewarding. But if you can profit from the habit, then do your best to learn to enjoy it—or at least some facet
of it. You’ve heard the term “fake it until you make it.” This really can work if you try hard enough, especially if you sweeten the pot with some sort of reward for putting your head down, focusing, and pushing on through. If you can subconsciously associate the difficult task with something enjoyable, you’ll have less of a problem making it a habit. The Bottom Line When properly applied, consistency is incredibly productive. Once you establish a good set of workplace productivity habits and practice them so often they become more or less automatic, you can conquer the world. Take care here: don’t switch your brain off as you work through your cycle of routine, because that can lead to unproductive ruts and “good-enough” behavior. But do take advantage of this powerful aspect of human nature to boost your workplace effectiveness and make productivity a glorious habit. If you’d like further details on how to construct and maintain an effective workflow process that allows you to get everything done and still have a life outside of work, be sure to grab a copy of my new book, What To Do When There’s Too Much To Do, when it hits bookstores in 2012.
Make it a productive day! (TM)
© 2012 Laura Stack. Laura Stack is America’s premier expert in personal productivity. Since 1992, she has presented keynotes and seminars on improving output, lowering stress, and saving time in today’s workplaces. She is the bestselling author of four books, including SuperCompetent. To have Laura speak at your next event or to sign up for her free monthly newsletter, www.theproductivitypro.com. For More Articles by Laura Stack Click Here
Sales KnowHow 27
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