Monday, December 21, 2009

Calling During Christmas Week

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New Y...Image via Wikipedia

It's a personal choice whether or not you want to call Christmas week. It depends upon how much fire you have in your belly and how bad you want new deals.

Here's what I know from direct experience: you have easy access to high level executives Christmas week. The employees are taking time off or are at the office parties.

The CEO thinks "hmm, this is a great time to get things done. Maybe I should re-evaluate that system or do some research. If you call, you'll get them. If you have something interesting to promote, you'll get their attention."

I've signed some pretty lucrative deals on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve just because I was working.

I choose not to work those days anymore. I did for a long, long time though.

I'm going to choose to not work the rest of this week. Yes, it's a personal choice. You'll see a new post next week. If you're taking off, enjoy the Holiday.
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Friday, December 18, 2009

Thoughtful Persistence

It's important as you continue to follow up that you use thoughtful persistence. Don't call five times, leave a message to call you back and hang up. Instead try leaving thoughtful, valuable messages for them.

"John, since we met last, I further researched the feature you're looking for and confirm our product does X. Call me to discuss".

Or send an email that says, "80% of the clients that have joined us, discovered significant costs savings within the first two months."

Each time you call or leave a message, visualize that the prospect is happy to get this information and will use it in their decision making process, because they probably will.
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

An Unreturned Call or Email

Here's the scenario. You met with a prospect or made a cold call. They said they were interested. They actually said "send me some info."

You did. You sent a thoughtful email and made a follow up call and then . . . 'nothing.'

Now the demons in your head are saying:

"The competition is way better than us anyway."
"Our prices are too high"
"He was just being nice. He wasn't really interested."
"If he was interested, he would call."
"He probably wasn't impressed with what I sent."
"They'll just do it in-house."

Here's what may have really happened:

"They never got the message."
"If they did get it, it got lost in a huge To Do list and a follow up call would be much appreciated."
"They received it but didn't understand it. They are not an expert in your business."
"They took some vacation."
"They were in meetings."
"They were travelling on business."

Don't quit before you even get started. The only way you'll know what is going on is to call and ask or email again. Keep following up, in a pleasant, persistent way, until you know what is going on.

Go ahead, follow up right now. If you don't your competition will.
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Monday, December 14, 2009

Hit the Ground Running in 2010

In 2010 we have two choices, we can can continue to complain that the credit market has dried up or we can hit the ground running and create our own revenue.

Sure, it's easier for an entity to give your business money, it's harder to create it. Creating it gives you more power, more flexibility and I think it's more fun.

Review the basics of sales, commit to them and get to work.

Let's do it, OK?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"You Have to Know Someone"

This is a myth I hear people repeat when they are trying to make a sale or look for a job. It seems people feel outside of the connected inner circle where opportunities flow effortlessly.

I've never been inside that connected inner circle. It never occured to me that there was any easy street path to success in anything I did. I knew I wasn't going to get front door treatment on any opportunity. So I looked for side doors, back doors, hallways, ways to crawl through windows and dig tunnels. In doing so, I created some opportunties for myself.

I have not really experienced sales people getting deals out of sheer luck or connections. There is usually some hard work or strategy behind the win. Don't let yourself fall into the trap of believing there is some secret method you don't know about.

Stick to the Basics of Sales and you'll create your own connections and your own consistent success.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Compliment

One of my clients said "I'm drawn to you because you are refreshingly honest."

Wow! Made my day. I explained to him that people are so afraid that they need to say the right thing or do the right thing especially when a sale is involved that they can get removed from the truth. They are afraid they are going to mess it up. No reason to be afraid, if your transaction is built on a lie, it'll fall apart eventually any way.

Be refreshingly honest today. People will appreciate it.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Check This Business Out

I met a woman at a networking event The Big Ooga who has a wardrobe consulting business. I was immediately drawn in. Appropriate, distinctive dress is a passion of mine. Seems anyone starting the workforce now where casual dress is acceptable doesn't have a clue what to do or where to start if they are trying to make a professional impression.

Check out Rachel Yeomans' website out if you're baffled about what to wear and when or would like to learn more.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

An Old School Salesman

I met the most wonderful Salesman, Ted, at the Chicago Fur Outlet I was actually there to sell a shearling on consignment. I bought a really nice piece last year that just didn't work out for me.

Like any good sales people, Howard, the owner and Ted showed me around the store to make sure there wasn't a coat that I'd like to trade mine in for or use as a partial credit toward the purchase price.

As Ted, patiently watched me try on coat after coat, encouraging me to try different styles and lengths, he told me about his skill and experience as a retail salesman. He'd worked at the upscale stores in Chicagoland: Bloomingdales, Sax, Burberry's, Lord and Taylor, Marshall Field's. He told stories of selling dresses to brides, bathing suits and evening gowns to women and overcoats to men. He remembered his regular customers in detail. He has a passion for retail. He told stories of tailoring garments on the spot and making customers happy while protecting the profitability of the store. He talked about increasing sales of seldomly-purchased products at the perfume counter, how he'd help women select a fragrance that was right for them vs. the one that was currently being promoted.

It was an absolute pleasure spending an afternoon with Ted. He did find a perfect coat for me, a shearling, midlength with a shawl collar. It would be warm enough for the Chicago winters and casual enough to wear riding the El every day.

The coat is not in my budget today. I appreciate all the time and effort he took with me. When I didn't make a decision he responded "You are woman who knows what she wants and I appreciate that." I appreciated being appreciated.

As soon as the opportunity arises, I'll be back to visit with Howard and Ted because I know they will find the perfect coat for me. In addition to that, it was an enjoyable afternoon, a reprieve from the general hecticness of my days.

This type of retail experience is almost obsolete in the United States. Shopping has become an errand, people generally do not dress for work any more, stores are not willing to invest in quality sales people and customers are not loyal enough to those who do.

Unless we support businesses like Howard's and sales people like Ted, this type of shopping experience will be obsolete and we'll be resigned to running more errands . . .