Monthly Archives: August 2010

Sorry! I’m Really Swamped!

So your spouse asks you on Monday morning if you can pick up the dry cleaning today. You say you will do it the next day as you are “really swamped and just don’t have the time.”


As you’re packing up your stuff to leave, you scan your email Inbox and notice a promo piece from a big electronics store with the subject line Selected Laptops 30% Off – Today Only.  You have been needing a new laptop for a while so you click the link in the email to see if there’s a suitable model.  You find one.  The normal price is $699 – on sale today only for $489.

You somehow manage to Read the rest of this entry

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Like an ocean cruise except there’s no boat, no water and you don’t actually go anywhere

One of my pet peeves is when sales or marketing type people fall into a syndrome that I call “Why use one word when you can use ten?”

It seems to be a pretty rampant tendency to ignore the fact that a prospect is not likely to evaluate a product based on the cleverness of the slogan or sales verbiage.  In fact, a long, cutesy explanation of something can often miss the target because it doesn’t simply let your audience know what it is your product does.  It can even appear somewhat deceptive.

The best example of this that I’ve ever seen is a scene from one of favorite movies of all time – The Muppets Take Manhattan. As they say on the  talk shows “let me set up the clip Read the rest of this entry

Don’t Make Stuff Up

I was having a discussion recently with a friend.  We were the trying to figure out where the tipping point is regarding statistics in a business presentation.  When it does become overkill?   He said to me at one point “Quoting statistics is pointless anyway. Everyone knows that 95% of statistics that people quote are fabricated – made up on the spot”.

When we both stopped laughing at the paradoxical ludicrousness of his statement we moved on to deciding when we should meet for lunch.

Later on, it hit me that a lot of people make all kinds of stuff up in order to support their position.

Now if you want to do that in your personal life, that’s your prerogative but if you do it when you are trying to make a sale it can be very costly to in the long run.

HOW SO, JEDI MASTER? Read the rest of this entry

“Bolt-On” Social Media

I was having coffee the other day with my friends, Heather Flournoy and Chris Roberts. To be more accurate I was actually drinking bottled water which, although she is far too nice to say anything, I suspect was noticed by Heather. Heather is the founder and driving force behind KATONAH GREEN, a very well-known sustainable living community organization and  blog.  Anyway – I digress.

Somewhere in the conversation we got to talking about how some mature businesses have, in the last year or so, tiptoed into the Social Media waters.

The thing is that more than a few of these organizations have added FB biz pages and Twitter accounts primarily because everyone says it’s the new,  Read the rest of this entry

MAKE MORE MONEY BY INVERTING YOUR PHONE CALLS

I know the title may sound a little odd but it means exactly what it says.   The way most of us tend to make business calls is completely backwards in terms of productivity. This applies as much to other business calls – not just sales but I am specifically addressing sales calls here.  It will create happier clients which ultimately will earn you more money.


The good news is that it’s an easy fix.

When we first meet a client we put a great deal of effort into building a relationship which includes getting to know them as people – not just clients.  This is a good thing.  We learn things about each other such as hobbies, family and a host of other things.  They don’t necessarily become close friends but they do become more than strangers.

So in addition to business stuff our phone calls usually include some kind of non business chit-chat. You know, asking how they enjoyed their recent holiday trip – or they ask us about ours.

There’s nothing wrong with doing that. It helps Read the rest of this entry

LEAD MANAGEMENT PROJECT: Step #1 – Gather

I wrote earlier that you should have ZERO TOLERANCE for not having a documented “next step” for EACH AND EVERY name in your database.

This is the first in a series of posts on how to get there and what to do next.  When you’ve completed all the actions in this series you should have a crystal clear picture of how to begin using the vast amount of information you already have to increase your sales.  Read the rest of this entry

ZERO TOLERANCE FOR INACTION

This is a pretty simple concept that is often missed.

100% of the names in your database must have a NEXT ACTION assigned to them.

The action may be to reach out to them once a year – if you don’t record that plan in your system you will forget about them.

It doesn’t matter if they’re a strong, high probability prospect or a weak “never likely to buy” lead, the fact is that you will never sell to them if you never contact them again.

If you truly believe that there is absolutely no value in every reaching out to them again – throw their name away! If you keep it, plan your next action.

Got it?

COLD CALLING IS NOT PART OF A SALES REP’S JOB

This is neither an endorsement nor a condemnation of cold calling.  In some models, it makes sense, in some it doesn’t.

This post isn’t just about cold calling – it is about all lead generation activities.  Lead Generation is a marketing function.

I draw a distinct line between marketing and selling.

  • Marketing: Reaching out to potential buyers with the goal of having them raise their hand and say “I’m interested in discussing your product.”
  • Sales: Working with those folks who raised their hand with the goal of closing a sale.

Once you embrace this concept, you’ll see that the time spent on lead gen (or any marketing activity) means that the individual working these activities is NOT working on sales activities.

Sales activity is the part where revenue is generated.

That’s all fine and good but what if you are a small organization Read the rest of this entry

WHATCHOO BUYING THAT THING FOR?

There are two ways of increasing the size of a particular order.

  1. INCREASING QUANTITIES (this is usually based on volume discounts)
  2. SELLING ADDITIONAL ITEMS

The second item is much easier than it seems  but a lot of folks do it wrong which results in the impression that it’s difficult.  This is human nature. If you try something and it doesn’t achieve the desired results, it must be an ineffective strategy.

In addition to being more effective, doing this right way demonstrates to the customer that you really are interested in him.  Remember the core principle of selling organically is to care about the customer.

Below are two scenarios – the first represents the most common Read the rest of this entry