Archive for November, 2007

Try Before You Buy Creativity

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

Bahadur Chand Gupta bought an old Airbus 300 and now offers weekly sessions in Delhi in which any of the 1 billion Indians who have never flown before can sit on a genuine (though disabled) airliner, listen to pilot announcements (“We are about to begin our descent into Delhi”), and be served by flight attendants. Said one customer (who paid the equivalent of about $4), “I see planes passing all day long over my roof. I had to try out the experience.” [The Times (London), 9-30-07]

There are a couple ways this “try before you buy” approach works in sales.

One is the old school “puppy dog” close. Take the dog home from the pet store. Let the kids play with it for a week. If they don’t like it, bring it back. The pet is never returned.

The car business used to use this, too. Take the vehicle home for a few days, try it out. After the prospect shows his friends, family and neighbors, his new ride, how likely will it be that he or she returns the vehicle?

Find ways to let your buyer have a temporary experience with your product or service. You can get them hooked on a permanent relationship that way.

Another way this tactic is useful is cracking large corporate accounts with baby buys. Get the potential client to nibble at a small, but solid sale. It turns you from being an outsider knocking on the door (or phone) into a existing vendor. That’s super smart selling. Jim Holden reveals some details on how to pull this off in his great book, Power Base Selling. You should own it.

Now you have a couple ways to get prospect to fly with you. When will you use them?

Post-Thanksgiving Thoughts

Monday, November 26th, 2007

A common theme that continues to run through my writing and speaking is to be grateful.

So this was the weekend to focus on family and friends. I called a lot of friends who live far away, just to leave a message that I’m blessed by our relationship.

It’s not too late, it’s never to late to do this anyway, any day.

Who helped you get where you are today? Thank ’em.

Who is supporting you now toward success? Thank ’em.

Who is assisting you to be a better person, family member, friend? Thank ’em.

Make a list. By investing energy on those who build you up, you’ll forget about the turkeys that slow you down.

That makes for a great Thanksgiving.

Spider Web Lead Gen Strategy…

Monday, November 19th, 2007

In August, entomologists found a spider web in a state park about 45 miles east of Dallas, covering trees, shrubs and the ground along a 200-yard stretch. The originally white web had turned brownish because “millions” of mosquitoes had been trapped in it. [Dallas Morning News-AP, 8-30-07]

Spectacular spider web

200 yards! That’s a concentrated collection of rewards for someone on the hunt.

How well do you focus, do you key in on your exact target audience?

We are so often distracted by prospects everywhere (the grass is greener syndrome). When, in fact, staying close to home is a cheaper and easier way to build your business.

Cast a wide web in your own backyard and you’ll gather perfect prospects that will feed you well.

Kidnapped Songbirds and Selling

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Nov. 6, 2007 — Tiny songbirds caught midway through their annual migration and shipped three thousand kilometers away could figure out which way to fly to reach their winter nesting grounds, a study released Monday found.

Researchers trapped 30 white-crowned sparrows as they made their annual migration from breeding grounds in Alaska to winter nesting sites in the southwestern United States and Mexico.

These birds were taken 2,200 miles off course and released. They got right back on track. This included mature sparrows as well as young who had never made the migration!

How well do you keep your selling on track?

How well do you know right where you are and exactly where you have to go?

Great sales pros have fantastic focus. They let nothing keep them from their ultimate destination, that trip to the bank.

So when distractions arise (and they will) and whether they are minor or major interruptions, know what your goal is and head right back, in the right direction, and you’ll land safe and sound in the nest of success.

What are you thinking…?!?

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

Coast Guard officials said they rescued Louis Pasquale, 35, near Freeport, N.Y., in September as he was towing his disabled 35-foot fishing boat back to port 20 miles away by dragging it behind an inflatable boat he was paddling against the current. (He had covered about 100 yards in three hours.) [Newsday, 9-20-07]

Perhaps the most common theme you’ll see swimming through my writing is this;

What activities are you engaging in that are detrimental to your selling health?

Ruthlessly, relentlessly, VICIOUSLY remove – from your sales day – anything which does not lead directly to closed business.

That’s smart, that’s good decision-making, that’s not rowing against the tide.

You’ll spend more time fishing and landing those elusive, big fat greenbacks.

Spying on Prospects…

Monday, November 5th, 2007

As several sightings were made around Washington, D.C., of dragonfly-looking bugs hovering in the air at political events, government agencies were denying that they had released any tiny surveillance robots, according to an October Washington Post investigation. “I look up and I’m like, ‘What the hell is that?'” asked a college student at an antiwar rally in Washington. “They looked kind of like dragonflies or little helicopters. But … those are not insects.” Several agencies and private entities admitted to the Post that they were trying to develop such devices, but no one took credit for having them in the air yet. [Washington Post, 10-9-07]

So science turns its back on fiction and flies into reality. Here’s your thought, sales pro;

What are you doing to monitor your prospects? To monitor your clients and customers as well?

You can spy on both current and future buyers by subscribing to their email newsletters. And how about just connecting with these people with a phone call. No “just checking to see how you’re doing” stuff. Have a specific reason.

I called a Southwest Airlines marketing exec to see how his sales training initiative was going (I made the short list, but was too expensive for them). My reason to call; all the airline bankruptcies. This was not a concern of Southwest’s.

The opening statement was, “So, with all the financial troubles hitting your industry, does your competition hate your guts?”

So manage existing relationships by connecting and fishing professionally for information when you can. For those cold calls, those potential buyers, subscribe to their company ezine (everyone has one now) and get the inside scoop on where they’re growing and what they might be struggling with.

I (and you should also) have several web-based email addresses where I can anonymously subscribe to potential buyers’ information AS WELL AS MY COMPETITORS.

You can be fly unobtrusively through the lives of people who can feed your family, by being smarter than your competition. Get in the air and gather data today.