Blog Archives

My Ship Came In While I Was At The Airport

This is a subject that I talk and write about a lot, because it’s one of the most important ways to maintain and grow your sales revenue.

I was recently cleaning out some old clothes (at the behest of my lovely wife) and a came across a T-Shirt that I bought about 20 years ago. I got it in a gift shop at LAX. The phrase was “My ship finally came in but unfortunately I was at the airport.” (I shortened it a little for the title of this article.)

I was on my way to speak at a convention of Photo Retailers.  My topic was how small retail Read the rest of this entry

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Why B2B Sales People Should Be Working on Days Surrounding Holidays

If you’re a B2B sales person with even a modicum of experience you’ve learned that if you have a prospect or client that is tough to reach, a proven technique is to give them a call during off-hours.  Calling them early before their day hits full throttle or calling them after the end of the work day when they are less likely to be embroiled in the middle of a meeting or project give you greater odds of having a meaningful conversation.

If you do reach your contact, he will likely be impressed with your diligent follow up, which raises your credibility in the universe of sales people who are after him. If you don’t reach him – leave a voice mail.  He will still be impressed with your diligence.  You can’t really lose.

Same rule applies to the days just before and just after a holiday.This is one of the most successful sales techniques, in my experience.

While you may not reach your contact when you do this, you certainly won’t reach him if don’t.  As above, the odds are that he will make note of the fact that you are working when most people are not.

If you want to take it to the next level, just make a round of calls to your existing clients – just to wish them a happy holiday.

Some great times to reach out:

  • Mid-afternoon on the day before Thanksgiving
  • Late morning on the day after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Eve
  • December 26
  • New Year’s Eve
  • January 2

I’m not advocating that you give up all your personal time and work 24/7.  I am far from being a workaholic.  I think it is counterproductive. Having a balanced life makes you much more successful at your job.  What I’m suggesting actually takes very little time.  The fact is that you won’t reach most of the people you call – but if you do, the contact may actually have the time to talk with you with fewer distractions.

So if you spend an hour on Black Friday making a few calls – go in an hour late on Monday.

This is about differentiation.  I doubt that your competitors are doing this.

Top 5 Cold Call Openings to Alienate Prospects

If you’re a regular reader, you know my thoughts on cold calling. For those of you who are new the neighborhood let me lay it out.

  • Cold Calling is a function of marketing – not sales.
  • It is not the most productive use of your time.
  • If you find that getting in the “cold call zone” works for you – knock yourself out.

If you do choose to prospect in this fashion, it’s pretty easy to alienate the prospect in about 3 seconds.  The commonality of these technique is that they from the the assumption that you can fool someone in talking with you before they learn you are a sales person. Trying to trick someone is akin to saying that you are smarter than they are – not the best way to begin a positive relationship.

Here are some surefire methods to alienate prospects instantly.


Number 5: Hi, my name is Felix. The company I work for is looking for a  top [profession] in your area to partner with us.

Number 4: Hi John, my company is in a bit of a bind. We’ve acquired some highly qualified sales leads and don’t have anyone in your town to work them. Could you help us out by responding to these hot prospects?

Number 3: Hi John, my company is doing a survey of people in [industry] and I was wondering if you’d be interested in being a part of it.


Number 2: Hi John,  Are you making the most money you can as a [profession]?


Number 1: Are you closing your eyes to a situation you do not wish to acknowledge, or you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated by the presence of a pool table in your community!

Presentation at Networkers Anonymous Today

I’ll be at Rocco’s Restaurant in Brookfield today speaking to Networkers Anonymous, an open networking group that anyone can attend. Come by for lunch, networking and to listen to my incredibly engaging and relevant talk on Entrepreneurial Selling.

Starts at 11:30, with networking and lunch until around 1, at which point you can hang on my every word for 30 minutes.

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

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

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