Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Ask for help...

A company I was working with needed to sell off a considerable amount of inventory and raise money for their year end P & L statement. It was a large company with sales people covering the entire country. The normal procedure would be to call all the sales people and tell them to call their customers and get the job done. If you have ever been on the selling end of this kind of situation you know how difficult something like this is.

The sales manager took a different approach. Instead of telling each regional manager to get out and sell the extra inventory, he called each one of them and asked for their help.

He explained that the company had over produced certain product lines and they needed to get the inventory down for the end of the year. He suggested to the sales people that they select some of their better customers and ask them to help us out.

The result from using this approach was outstanding. It turned out to be the best month the company had in its' entire history. When you ask for help you are giving them a compliment by putting them in a position of power. It is within their power to help you and this makes them feel important.

Try asking your customers for help on something and see what happens. Nine times out of ten they will bend over backwards to help you. And the other benefit of asking for help is you are building a closer relationship with your customer.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Why 2 out of 3 sales people fail

A study conducted on the failure of sales people discovered an amazing fact.

Out of 2,347 sales people employed by leading concerns in twenty-seven lines of business during a one year period, 1,482 of them failed before the year ended.

The fact that 63 per cent of the total number failed means that nearly two sales people failed for every one who was successful.

The reasons for this high rate of failure?

97% Lack of industry
37% Discouragement
12% Failure to follow instructions
8% Lack of product knowledge
4% Dishonesty 2% Poor health.

Think about it! 97% of the people who failed simply didn't do the work! And the work is making calls.

Show me a person of average ability who diligently gets out of the door early every morning, makes contact with 10 to 15 customers or potential customers every day and I will show you a person who is destined to succeed.

If you worked as hard on selling as warehouse employees, delivery drivers or meat cutters work at their jobs, your sales would double.

Don't get me wrong. There are plenty of folks who know how to put in a good days work. You are most likely one of them. There are plenty of top sales people who know they paid a price for all the business they have.

I know several sales people who are in the five to ten million dollar a year arena. Ask any of them how they are able to sell so much and they will tell you the same thing. They work their tail off! They are hungry and ambitious.

How did we get so soft? When did we start thinking that it wasn't necessary to call on more customers? I think it started when someone came up with what they thought was a satisfactory number of customers or prospects to call on. There is no satisfactory number. You have to call on however many it takes to move x number of cases out of the warehouse or to sell x number of products.

I know a sales rep in Las Vegas who has 6 accounts and sells thirty million dollars a year! He calls on each account twice a day. I know another rep in Alabama who has 80 accounts and sells six million a year.

Make the calls, see the people, and success is guaranteed.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

All my competitors are selling on price

"All my competitors are selling on price and I have to meet their prices or lose the business.”

What if your competitor was giving their product away FREE? What if there was very little quality difference between your product and the “free” product? What if their method of distribution was much more efficient than yours? Could you sell against that kind of competition?

Someone was given a sales challenge to sell against that kind of market condition. And they are very successful. The product is bottled water. How do they do it? Do they lower their price and try to compete with tap water? Do they badmouth the water company and tell their customers “yea, it may be free, but look at what you get!”

Is bottled water really any better? I gave it the ultimate taste test. I put two bowls of water in front of my dog – one from a bottle that I paid over a dollar for – the other from the sink faucet. My dog tried both of them. Which one do you think she preferred? The tap water! Did I switch to tap water? No. I still pay an outrageous price for a bottle of water.

Why? Somehow the perceived value of water in a bottle is a strong enough benefit for me to fork over my hard earned cash.

Every item you sell has within it a huge perceived value for the customer or you wouldn’t be selling it. All you have to do is find it and present it to your prospects.

What is your perceived value? What does a customer experience when he or she is interacting with you and your company? For example quick resolution of problems, achievement of a desired outcome, fulfillment of a need through a purchase; a feeling of confidence following the purchase; or satisfaction with post-purchase service.

It's not just the price; it's this perceived value that goes along with the product or service that makes a customer choose one vendor over another.

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