Archive for June, 2006

Hamster Selling Tip

Saturday, June 17th, 2006

My brother bought a hamster. The smell was AWFUL!

But the hamster got used to it.

Getting used to something signifies moving out of your comfort zone.

Great selling comes with doing things you’re not used to, not good at.

Where in your sales life are the boundaries of your comfort zone? Do you need to make more phone calls each day, spend money on a more professional appearance, get training?

Write down three things you need to do better, and decide to do what it takes to move beyond the comfort zone of your current selling performance.

Once you’re comfortable with the results you’ll quickly get used to the smell of success.

Superman Returns – your Selling Hero

Friday, June 16th, 2006

Saw a sneak preview last night of the Superman Returns movie and I won’t be giving anything away, except to say great story and the best evil villain plot ever.

But from a sales growth perspective Superman made me wonder (and you should be wondering right now, too); who is the best, the strongest salesperson you’ve ever met?

And wouldn’t you love to be mentored by this sales superman or superwoman?

The tip for today is to go find a mentor. Just ask someone great at what they do to help you get great at it, too. You might be surprised to get a yes!

Get a mentor, shorten your learning curve to success and you’ll be just super, man.

Home Depot, Drugs and Selling Surprises

Thursday, June 15th, 2006

Large quantities of drugs were found inside merchandise from at least two Home Depot stores in Massachusetts, and authorities are investigating, police said Wednesday. CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/06/14/home.depot.drugs/index.html

So people are finding marijuana and cocaine hidden in vanities at a couple stores. Imagine how many people are now rushing out to re-design their bathrooms.

Your sales thought on this:

How do you surprise your customers? I’m not referring to giving them more than you promise – that concept is almost common practice today.

Do you follow-up after the sale, immediately and later, to show how much you appreciate them? Send notes, a gift, something to surprise them to let them hear and see and feel how grateful you are. After all, they don’t just represent money; they support your family, your lifestyle and they make a statement about your selling skills and success.

So go and surprise ’em all, today.

Translation, Please…

Wednesday, June 14th, 2006

IF ONLY THEY COULD TALK
Researchers at Nagasaki University (Japan) are developing software than can turn a baby’s crying into human speech. The Times (UK)

Your selling tip today is this: Attend closely to the words a prospect uses when they speak to you. For example, “you’re too expensive” is not a question so it doesn’t call for you to get defensive (talking about what a GREAT value your product or service is) or to get offensive (blasting them with company data, testimonials and more reasons to buy).

Your job here is to get a translation of the phrase, “you’re too expensive.”

Respond by asking for clarification or more data. “What, exactly, does that mean?” Or, “So what other prices are you seeing that contrasts so much to ours?”

Practice having the prospect interpret their own objections and you’ll perfect your verbal selling skills.

He Shot Game

Tuesday, June 13th, 2006

That might as well be the motto of the newest professional sports league: the World Hunting Association. The league, which will begin operation this fall, will award as much as $600,000 in prize money to hunters who rack up the most points shooting whitetail deer with tranquilizer darts. See the article at:

http://sports.espn.go.com/outdoors/hunting/news/story?id=2474274

Darts instead of bullets? They’re hunting, but not really hunting. It’s like practicing being the best hunter in the world. So here’s your selling thought:

How, when and where do you practice being the best?

Do you do it on the fly, when you’re in front of potential clients?

Or do you do it in a safe environment, with other salespeople, where you can bounce ideas and objection-handling language off one another?

#1 rule in preparation for the sales hunt is this:

Practice on your peers, not your prospects.

Sales Tip: Al Qaeda in Iraq leader killed

Monday, June 12th, 2006

A painstaking, weeks-long intelligence operation, acting on tips from Iraqis and his own network, led to the U.S. airstrike that killed “al Qaeda in Iraq” leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the military said today. The coalition’s most wanted man in Iraq was killed in a strike on a safe house near Baquba, according to U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Bill Caldwell (CNN.com).

Quick question – who is your biggest enemy in selling?

Answers might range from a top competitor or a weak product/service or yourself.

How do you eliminate it, whatever “it” is?

Define how you differentiate yourself from other companies.

Improve your product or service offering by improving it or adding value.

Stop competing with yourself. Get out of your way by doing some sales training and getting better to get more money.

Find and attack your biggest sales opponent.

THREE-RING-CIRCUS SELLING

Friday, June 9th, 2006

It was a hot August day and they were about forty-five minutes early to demonstrate their data technology services. Scott and his partner decided to get a cold drink at the closest convenience store. He bought a super-large frozen cherry drink, and his partner got a lime-flavored one.

They drove back to the prospect’s building and sat in the visitor’s spot, mentally preparing while they finished their frozen drinks. When they were ready to go, Scott looked over, and his partner’s mouth, lips, teeth, and tongue were bright green – really bright, like a clown’s.

He grabbed the rearview mirror and flipped it toward his face. Scott’s features were glowing red.

They couldn’t wipe it off. An oily rag under my seat was equally useless and their corporate brochures refused to absorb the dramatic colors.

circus selling.jpg

It was time for the appointment so the two guys walked to the entrance. People in the lobby actually burst out laughing at these two sales bozos. They sat down with the president, but were so rattled about how silly they looked; they gave the most uninspiring presentation one could imagine. The reps were asked never to come back.

POSTMORTEM: Obviously, thinking more carefully about one’s actions just before a sales call is important. However, the psychological reason a call like this fails is that you can’t gain rapport with a prospect if he or she is uncomfortable being sold to by circus clowns. That is unless you happen to be calling on another circus clown, or the Ringmaster, or minimally, the guy with the shovel who follows behind the elephant. There’s no hope for a rep who makes an unprofessional first impression on a prospect. I told this tale while speaking to the worldwide conference of the Sales & Marketing
Executives International, and received a smart suggestion for Scott: Bring some frozen drinks for the prospect, too – it might just save the sale.

© 2006 Sales Autopsy by Dan Seidman, Kaplan Publishing, coming in October 2006.

My Garbage Guy Hurt his Back

Thursday, June 8th, 2006

This guy is older and has that weathered look. He smokes and he’s a tough, hard, hard worker.

Garbage Truck.jpeg

His company, Waste Management, needed volunteers to go to the Gulf Coast and help with Hurricane Katrina cleanup. Who better to help with a disaster than a guy who cleans up for a living? Off he went.

So hard worker, soft heart.

Then he hurt his back. And kept working. His comment about keeping at his job?

“I’m just not like these young kids who hurt a finger and go on long term disability.”

This faithful attitude is missing from today’s marketplace. And it doesn’t matter where the trouble lies – company side of the equation or lack of loyalty on the part of employees – each of us should feel responsible to give 100% to any task or job they have right now.

When you sell, are you working every possible moment to maximize your earnings?

Or do you slow down, take shorcuts and turn into a tourist from your profession?

Give everything, every day. You might be surprised how much more money you can make.

Take my garbage truck driver’s route. You just might find more prospects will dump more gold into your lap.

And wouldn’t that smell sweet?

Sudoku Puzzles and Sales Pros

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

Sudokus! They’re the craze of the puzzle solving set. Plain old crossword puzzle creators are losing their jobs by the score. Despondent, these jobless writers are using their last bottles of ink to play hangman, then putting themselves in the noose and ending their puzzling careers.

Basically, sudoku puzzles are composed of a 9×9 grid filled with numbers and blank spaces. You must use numbers 1-9 in each row and 3×3 section, without duplicating any number in a row. There are literally tens of millions of puzzle possibilities.

Sudoku Puzzle

How has this unique, new format from Japan taken the world by storm?

First of all, if you like evidence, Sudoku puzzle books have constantly been on International Best Seller Lists for the past couple years.

From a selling standpoint there are three lessons here…

1) There are different levels from easy to evil. So anyone can play.

2) More people play these than crossword puzzles (which require tremendous knowledge to complete)

3) The solutions, whether easy or evil, all follow a system. Learn the system, solve the puzzle.

Connect these three facts to three questions about how well you sell.

Do you customize your conversations for each prospect, some who are easy to sell to, some who are evil? Sales Pros don’t treat everyone the same.

Do you have multiple marketing strategies to reach out to the largest potential audience? Sales Pros have more people in their pipeline and therefore make more money.

Do you follow a selling system? Bad and mediocre reps are puzzled by what happens when they don’t close a sale. Sales Pros know exactly where they’re at when they sell because they’re following a system – be it Miller Heiman, Sandler Sales Institute, Spin Selling or a corporate methodology.

So take it from Sudoku – customize conversation, attack the broadest possible market and systematically sell everyone you meet.

And that’s the solution to selling smart.

Cold Wind, Cops & a Car

Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

Welcome to winter John thought as he stood inside the Quebec airport terminal. Outside the snow was sideways from a furious wind.

John and his partner had flown in for a sales call – from the sunny south – Alabama, USA. The French gal at the Hertz counter pegged them immediately and began speaking in beautifully accented English.

John gestured over his shoulder to the weather. “Do we have to walk to the shuttle, walk to the Hertz lot, then walk outside again to our car?”

She smiled and shook her head. “Sir, we will deliver your auto right outside that door. It’s a blue Ford Crown Victoria.”

Five minutes later, a big blue Ford pulled up and a man jumped out and ran into the terminal. The two men looked at him and the guy nodded as he walked by. John glanced at his partner who said “let’s go!” and they dashed into the snow.

Thank goodness the car was running and warm. They drove out of the airport and John told his colleague to pull the map out of the glove compartment where the counter woman had said it awaited them.

The door was popped open. Paper trash and other garbage spilled onto his lap.

“This car is a dump!” John couldn’t believe Hertz would give them a vehicle without cleaning it first. And then that little light went off overhead. They looked at each other and said together,

“It’s not our car.”

A glance into the rear view mirror and the men realized that someone else had come to the same conclusion. Another light was going off, a flashing light from a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) vehicle.

Well, of course they had taken that poor guy’s car who nodded to them, thinking he was giving the “go ahead and get in” signal while he rushed in from the cold.

The RCMP were very professional throughout, doing their best to suppress their grins at their stupid mistake. And Hertz apologized for the confusion, telling the two of them that they wouldn’t be charged for driving the car that Hertz intended they use – once they finally got it.

John said his lesson was that impatience can have lots of unexpected consequences.

POSTMORTEM: John, a wanted man north of the border! He’s right, though. Life is getting too fast. We’re always in a hurry. We cram cell phone conversations into our down time during the day. We can’t even relax and enjoy television commercials anymore. Our clients and prospects want us to get quickly to the point as well. We rush to sell and this is when mistakes happen. BUT, if you learn to slow down and calm down – it will increase your energy when you need it most. Be wise about managing your time, take time for yourself. You body, your mind and most importantly, your family will love you for those times you choose to simply slow down.

© 2006 Sales Autopsy by Dan Seidman, Kaplan Publishing, coming in October 2006.