Daniel Tardy: License To Sell

Stand out. Use some ink.

Posted in Business, Selling by elephanthunters on June 30, 2009

“Text me”

“Shoot me an email”

“Facebook me”

“Twitter me”

“I’ll forward you the link”

“Just Google my address and it will show up”

“You have a new E-Card”

“You’ve received an E-Vite”

In a digital world the pen has lost it’s value.  Or has it?  I would suggest that the pen has increased in value.  No one writes letters anymore and rarely even quick hand written notes.  What if you did?

What if you took 5 minutes to send somebody a hand written note and mailed it to them stamp and all?  What if you wrote your spouse or a co-worker a written note?  What if the prospect you just got off the phone with received a nice written note thanking them for their time and considering your business before your next follow up call?

Here’s my guarantee: 99 times out of 100 it will be the ONLY one they get all week.  Probably all month. Maybe even all year.

Go down to your office supply store and invest in some pens (yes they still sell them) and a stack of simple stationary.  Leave them on your desk or in your car as a reminder of your new goal to write no less than 2 notes a week.  Try it for a month.  People will actually thank you for the note next time they see you.  When was the last time someone thanked you for an email or text you sent them?

Always open it up more

Posted in Selling by elephanthunters on June 30, 2009

Too many sales people are guilty of asking closed questions. Closed questions are too easy to answer with a one word response and this kills the dialogue every time.  And it’s extremely awkward to get it flowing again.

Don’t ask ‘Have you had a good day so far?’, instead say ‘Tell me about how your day is going’.  Don’t ask ‘Do you enjoy working for your company?’, instead ask ‘What’s something your company does that you’re proud of?’.  Don’t ask ‘Does this product interest you?’ ask ‘What are some of the benefits you’re seeing in this product for your company?’

Open it up.  Get them talking.  Have a conversation.  If you ask closed questions then you have to talk most of the time and that is one of the worst things a sales person can do.

How much is a new customer worth?

Posted in Business, Selling by elephanthunters on June 29, 2009

We often spend too much or too little on prospecting, canvasing and lead generating because we lack confidence in exactly how much a new customer is worth.  When loading up for a big fishing trip how much do you spend on bait?

If we know the monetary value of a new customer then anything spent less than that amount on ‘bait’ yields a return.

There’s not a perfect way to determine this but you can get close with this formula:

Year X Net Profit – Year Y Net Profit  (Where Y = X – 1 Year) / # of new accounts opened between Year Y and X = Value of new account.

This assumes your business model has a residual customer base.  If your customers are single transactions only then the math is much easier.  Just divide annual net sales by annual transactions.

How to sound confident.

Posted in Selling by elephanthunters on June 29, 2009

Do you want to come across more confidently when you’re talking to your prospects?

Here’s the secret. Tell the truth. Always. Don’t even exaggerate.

No one is a good enough liar to sound more believable than someone telling the truth. If you don’t know the answer to a question just say ‘I don’t know’.  Then follow up with ‘Here’s what I do know…’ and keep going with something great about your product.

If your product sucks.  Don’t act like it doesn’t.  Find a new product to sell.  If that means getting a different job then do it today.  You will never be successful in sales if you don’t believe in what you’re selling.  You can’t fake it.

Ironically if you act like you have all the answers you become less believable.  Sales do not get closed unless there is a high level of trust.  The only way to build trust is to tell the truth and sometimes this means ‘losing a sale’ by telling someone that your product is not a good fit for them right now.

Sound too extreme?  Just ask Bernie Madoff.  He has lots of time to discuss it with you.

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Why I took the survey.

Posted in Business by elephanthunters on June 29, 2009

Event organizers and business owners always want you to evaluate their event or service by asking you to fill out surveys or evaluation forms.

I never fill these out.  If I’ve paid you my money and you gave me a service then I don’t care if you know what I think about it unless I feel like letting you know my opinion will benefit me directly.  If it’s just going to benefit someone else so they can pay the same price that I did to receive better service than I did then I’m just not that interested.

I participated in an event this weekend and I plan to attend another event with the same organization in a few weeks but I’m not registered yet.  Today I received an email that said if I fill out a survey on this weekend’s event I would receive a significant discount on the next event that I’m considering attending.

I filled out the survey. I’m about to register for the next event, too.  Why?  Because it had monetary value to me.

Apparently this information is valuable to this organization.  They understand the value enough to offer an incentive in exchange for my time and opinion. Since they paid a price for the information you can bet someone on their staff will actually read and evaluate the data carefully instead of just glancing at it.

If my opinion matters to you then put your money where your mouth is and give me a reason to care about taking the time to share it with you.  This is the only way to get accurate & meaningful feedback from people who don’t usually take surveys.

Do they know your song?

Posted in Business, Selling by elephanthunters on June 29, 2009

Have you ever had one of those times when you’re riding in the car with some friends and the song on the radio is one that no one really knows, at least until the chorus comes on, and then everyone seems to know it and starts to sing along?

Why does everyone know the chorus but not the verses?

It’s because the chorus repeats several times in the song, and people remember what is repeated.

What is your chorus?  What do you want to be known for?

Whatever you say over and over clearly is what you will be known for.  But more importantly you will not be known for anything that you do not say over and over and over.  Too often we are guilty of mentioning something one time hoping that a prospect will latch on to it and run with it.  If we don’t drill it into their mind with several applications and several stories and/or statistics.  They will not hear you.

Take a lesson from someone in marketing and learn how to repeat yourself.  Learn how to do it in a way that is exciting and doesn’t sound redundant.

Why small businesses survive

Posted in Business by elephanthunters on June 26, 2009

They have the ability to flex and to do it quickly.  Companies like GM get in trouble largely because when the market changes they are not agile enough to adapt.  The rate of change is too fast today for major corporations that lack a clear vision and LOTS of communication.

Large corporations are like the Titanic.  By the time they do see the iceberg it’s too late to turn the ship.

Small businesses are jet skis and can turn on a dime if the leadership is proactive.

Selling for a small business requires overcoming a lack of brand recognition but what is lost there is gained in the companies ability to super serve a new client with customized product delivery and support.

If you have the choice, ride the jet ski.

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Carry a yellow pad…

Posted in Selling by elephanthunters on June 26, 2009

Often walking through the office it is easy for a salesperson to get pinned down by someone who assumes you don’t have anything better to do than to talk to them about nonsensical matters.  Your time is money but since you don’t want to be rude you end up engaging in the conversation at the expense of bogging down YOUR productivity.  A little conversation here and there is not a big deal but these can add up throughout the day and become a nuisance.

If you carry a yellow pad everywhere you go (even if it’s just going to the restroom) you have the appearance of getting something done or going to a meeting.

This nonverbal cue will stave of about 80% of the random distracting conversations from other people who have too much time on their hands.

I rarely write anything on my yellow pad but I make it a goal to carry it around with me all the time.

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People buy when you don’t care.

Posted in Selling by elephanthunters on June 24, 2009

The easiest time to make a sell is immediately after you just made one.  This is when armature sales people blow it!  They close a big deal so they’re excited and they blow off the rest of the day in a spirit of celebration.  They miss the easiest harvesting season they will ever have.

Working hard to close a deal is exhausting and there is a rare opportunity that only occurs after a deal has been closed.  It’s the window of the ‘I don’t care’.

The largest obstacle to overcome as a sales person is coming off as unbelievably natural and relaxed.  If you’re nervous, pushy or uncomfortable in the slightest your prospect will smell it and back off.  Why?  Because these mannerisms signal a response in the buyers mind that you are untrustworthy.

The window of the ‘I don’t care’ is a sweet spot for any sales person.  If you close a big deal you’re no longer worried about hitting a quota or breaking through your draw or covering this months bills with your commission.  You don’t care any more…so call the next prospect and let them know you don’t care.  Let them feel it in your tone.  Let them wonder how you can be so relaxed and less than needy for their business.  You can call 10 prospects in a row and not care if they all cuss you out and hang up on you because you just closed a huge deal.

But this won’t happen.  Those 10 calls will result in the highest closing ratios you’ll ever have because you don’t care.  This translates as relaxed confidence and puts your prospect at ease.

When you close a big deal pour it on a little longer before you go celebrate.  What do you have to loose?

For more about this principle I recommend Herb Cohen’s book Negotiate This by caring but not T-H-A-T much.

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