Lydia Ramsey, author of Manners That Sell -- Adding Polish That Builds Profits, shares with readers at About.com the importance of making a great first impression in her article "Seal the Deal in Seven Seconds."
Ramsey says, "When you meet someone face-to-face, 93% of how you are judged is based on non-verbal data -- your appearance and your body language." Seven percent is based on what you say, Ramsey adds.
Ramsey offers advice on how to make the best first impression possible with some great practical ideas and tips to help you "Seal the Deal."
read story at About.com
September 1, 2005
Remember the 80/80 rule about spending time on your customers? Spend 80% of your time on the top 80% of your customers.
Here's another new trendy way to look at it. "Know when to fold'em" one sales book author tells readers at Industrial Distribution. In the words of Kenny Rogers, "You gotta know when to hold'em" and "You gotta know when to fold'em."
Tom Reilly, author of Value Added Selling explains the cost effects of holding on to customers who are just kicking the tires. "In business, it's important to know what you must do; it's imperative to know what you must not do," Reilly explains. "This power of discernment prevents you from wasting your most valuable resource -- your time."
read story at Industrial Distribution
Sales experts have said that you need to treat your sales "job" as if it were a "business." Indeed, if you are commission only, it really is "your business."
To excel in sales, there are five assets that salespeople need to manage like a CEO would, according Rick Farrell, vice president of Selling Dynamics, a national sales and development training company.
Time, Farrell states is the "single most important asset." Managing your time is really about learning to prioritize.
Information. "Your job is to get information, not give it;" Farrell explains. "Use the information you get from the customer to build a presentation that they are less likely to object to."
Resources. Dispense wisely and appropriately, Farrell advises.
Relationships. Spend time building the relationships that are truly valuable, Farrell says.
Self-Concept. "...having a CEO mentality involves taking risks and pushing the envelope and nothing maintains self-concept more effective than risk, change, and learning," Farrell concludes for readers at destinationCRM.com.
read story at destination CRM
August 31, 2005
Building value instead of reducing price to compete with others in your industry can help your sales efforts in two ways; first, it can help build relationships by opening up the discussion regarding how your product or service can best fit the client's needs and, secondly it helps keep a healthy bottom line in your sales totals.
Julie Thomas, president and CEO of ValueVision Associates, LLC. and contributing writer for SalesVantage.com, shares with readers her ideas of how to build value by diagnosing your client's needs and creatively resolving issues by first addressing the challenges your client's face and then explaining how your product or service can provide the solution. Thomas also offers examples of "probing questions" that can make the discussion most productive.
read story at SalesVantage
"They like me, they really like me!" If this statement is something you hear yourself saying as you're exiting from your sales meetings, then you are doing something right -- pat yourself on the back. If not, then you better rethink your sales strategy.
Add "shmoozing" to your list of sales skills and watch your pipeline grow, according to Richard Abraham, author of Mr. Shmooze: The Art and Science of Selling Through Relationships. Abraham points out that there is one thing in common of all the salespeople he interacts with, he "likes them." And this is true for most of us. We like to deal with people WE LIKE.
Abraham further discusses his study of the characteristics of those people we "like" which includes a kind of charisma that makes us feel better about ourselves and how it's important to "shmooze" with everyone, not just your clients.
Stacey Bradford shares with readers at Smartmoney.com a recent interview with Abraham in her article "The Lost Art of Shmooze."
read story at Smart Money
August 30, 2005
Much has been said lately about the importance of superior listening skills to attain success in sales. And now, there is proof in the pudding.
Seventy-four percent of 200 purchasers surveyed at companies nationwide by RainToday.com "said they would be "much more likely" to buy from a salesperson if the seller would simply listen to the prospect," according to an article written by Betsy Cummings at SalesandMarketing.com.
The article addresses the issue of equating intelligence with having a lot to say. "Executives believe that they're smart and that their expertise will win them the deal, so they talk and talk and talk," said Mike Schultz, publisher of RainToday.com. "But it's all about asking questions."
read "Listening For Deals" at Sales and Marketing
Referral business is the best kind of business. It keeps you from spending precious time on developing leads and making cold calls. It gives you an edge on the sale. And according to one marketing consultant and small business columnist, Alf Nucifora, a referral has a 50-90% chance of turning into a concrete sale. So, do you ask your customers for referrals?
Selling is relationship building. And as discussed in earlier blogs, companies value salespeople who can build engaged loyal customers more so than those who "just sell." This is because those engaged customers help do the selling for you by referring others -- maximizing your sales efforts and expanding your client base.
Nucifora lays out the groundwork for readers of the Norwich Bulletin on how to obtain more referrals and also explains why some of us just don't ask; and how to overcome that fear of rejection.
read story from the Norwich Bulletin
August 29, 2005
To build valuable repeat business from loyal customers you need to concentrate on five different aspects of sales, according to sales book author and sales and management trainer Rick Crandall, PhD.
Crandall offers the theory that "selling is far more than face-to-face communication about what you're selling." You begin by building relationships, Crandall says, and to do that you should analyze your customers needs. Follow that by getting to know your customers' industries in-depth so you can use your creativity to generate solutions and differentiate yourself from the competition.
Lastly, Crandall advises readers at SalesVantage.com that to rise above the competition you need to focus on "helping your customers succeed." And you can do this by understanding exactly what it is that your customer needs.
read story at Sales Vantage
There are numerous reasons why a person enters any particular "sales" field. Maybe it's your belief in the company's products that keeps you going; maybe you like being a solutions consultant. You might sincerely enjoy helping other people achieve the results they need -- to do a job better, to help rearrange their finances, to secure their future with investment services or life insurance.
Genuine customer interest. This is an essential philosophy -- top sales performers will tell you -- that is responsible for creating sales success. Hopefully it has a place in your sales plan as well.
Sales expert and author Jeffrey Gitomer shares with readers at Bizjournals.com the framework of developing a personal "sales mission statement" and how it can help you stay focused on your main goal -- sales success.
read story from Biz Journals
For example, the authors say that effectively handling a customer complaint can boost customer loyalty better than an "error-free" transaction. Validating a customer's concern and effectively correcting the problem can have more influence on a valued customer than a perfectly arranged sale.
Getting others to sell for you sounds like a multi-level networking scheme, but it can work for you. When you develop loyal customers with your great service, excellent products, and genuine care and interest you are creating a new branch of sales. One "engaged" customer could refer another, who refers another, who refers another.
Just how do you create these kinds of customers? Tony Rutigliano and Benson Smith have taken research gathered by the Gallup Organization and documented how to develop "engaged" customers in their book, Discover Your Sales Strengths: How The World's Greatest Salespeople Develop Winning Careers as reviewed on MortgageDaily.com.
Remember, we are all capable of making mistakes, it's how we rectify them that shows our true intentions.
read Paula's book review at MortgageDaily.com