Sunday, January 20, 2013

What do Marriage, Families, Sales and Account Management have in common?

Exceptional Sales Performance

Monday Motivational Minute

What do Marriage, Families, Sales and Account Management have in common?


January 21st 2013

By Gregory Ferrett
Subscribe to this blog by entering your mail on the right .....;

Welcome to Monday



Studies at Michigan State University show there is a happiness boost that occurs when couples marry. This boost lasts about two years, after which people revert to their former levels of happiness or unhappiness.
DuelingCouple

Infatuation and passion have an even shorter lifespan, and must evolve into companionate love, composed of deep affection, connection and liking according to Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside.

In her recent book happily married couples average five positive verbal and emotional expressions towards one another for every negative expression. For a very unhappy couple this ratio is less than one to one.

This got me thinking about relationships in general, and in particular with our work colleagues and customers.

Ken Blanchard, in his book 'The One Minute Manager' talks about the importance of the one minute praising.  He suggests you praise people for what they do right immediately and very specifically. Include in the praising message how good you feel about what they did and how it helps you, the organisation or the family. Pause a moment to let then 'feel' how good it is, encourage them to do the same and provide positive support for their role in the organisation or family.

Blanchard goes on to also introduce the concept of the one minute reprimand. Once again, be specific and deliver it immediately following up with a reminder of their value to you and the organisation or family. The key to the reprimand is realising when it is over.


What does this have to do with sales or account management?


In sales I find it easy to be positive when chasing a new opportunity. I can give out positive verbal expressions regularly and overlook bad customer behaviour just to win a deal. When overdone this behaviour is seen by customers as sleazy sales behaviour often characterised by images of used car sales people or real estate agents.

This is dangerous behaviour if you are trying to win long term business. Just like a marriage, you can become infatuated with winning a new customer and miss the signals which may lead to trouble.

The pain of losing a long term customer, a spouse or relationship in a family can all be linked to similar behaviour patterns. Sonja's research tells us we need to be catching our customers doing things right;

"Emily, I really appreciated the quick payment on the account. It has helped us keep our contractors happy and deliver a better service. Working with people like you is a real pleasure."

"George, having the samples arrive a day earlier allowed us to get the tests slotted into this week's batch rather than next week. It made me feel much more comfortable knowing the results before commencing on the next phase."

Catching people doing the right thing is simple. The hard thing is taking the time to say something about it. As we get comfortable in the relationship we have with our customers it is easier to look for things going wrong and criticise. Before you know it the ratio of positive to negative expressions drops to less than one and you get that phone call saying "We have decided to change suppliers".

Yes, marriage, family and selling are all about relationships - and they all need the same attention to maintain the happiness everyone felt when they entered into the relationship.


Today's question and Actions

Examine your most important customer relationships and ask yourself "Am I happy with the relationship, or is it creating stress?". Here are three things you can do to help bring the relationship with the account back into sync.
  1. Look for things your customer is doing well and start praising the individuals who are doing it. Don't make things up and put on a sleazy salespersons coat. Make it a genuine praising in the way Blanchard puts it.
  2. Keep the negative stuff out of your everyday conversation. It is easy to criticise, however, in an important relationship, going over old ground can be devastating. If something needs to be addressed do so immediately and move on.
  3. Take time to enjoy the relationship you have with your customer. This does not mean you have to be friends, just do things you enjoy together once in awhile.
You will be astounded at how many new opportunities will come your way when you have a customer who is 'in love' with you. Of course you will be enjoying do things for them just as much.

Have a great week!

Exceptional Sales Performance

Reprint permission
Permission is granted to reprint this article with the condition it is republished unedited and in full with full attribution to the author and the authors bio. Please provide a link to the reprint to the following email; greg.ferrett@exceptionalsales.com.au




Selling to the Seven Emotional Buying Styles
Discover how to link your product to buyers emotion. In this very practical book you will learn everyday tools to take advantage of proven scientific evidence linking emotion to every decision. You will meet;
  • the Hustler
  • the Artist
  • the Normal
  • the Engineer
  • the Politician
  • the Mover, and
  • the Double Checker
This is one book you will refer to time and again to help you plan sales calls and to close sales.

Buy your Kindle or Hard Copy version here

Sunday, January 13, 2013

You may be talking but what you are saying may be very different to what the other person is hearing

Exceptional Sales Performance

Monday Motivational Minute

You may be talking but what you are saying may be very different to what the other person is hearing.


January 14th 2013

By Gregory Ferrett
Subscribe to this blog by entering your mail on the right .....;

Welcome to Monday


What the other person hears is what you said
In physics there are a number of basic laws that can never be broken. One of these laws is Newtons Third Law of Motion “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

What does this mean?


A good example is billiards. If you strike the cue ball in the same spot with the same force and it strikes the coloured ball in the same spot it will always respond in the same way.  If you want to change the outcome you need to change the way you play the shot. A bit to one side, a bit of spin, strike the ball with more force and the balls will always respond in an orderly and predictable manner.


In the world of physics if you take one action there is always a predictable opposing action. Unless you understand and apply the laws of physics playing billiards will be a challenge.


This is the same in communication.


There are basic laws of communication which, when understood and applied, will help you understand, influence and motivate others.

We were in the yard playing a game of backyard cricket with some friends. My son, about six at the time, was getting impatient waiting for his turn to bat. We could not get the batsman out. To everyone’s surprise he grabbed the ball and threw it over the fence into the next paddock. As you can imagine my natural reaction, and all the other ‘adults’ playing, was to chastise him. He broke into tears and ran into the house.


My wife came out shortly and asked “What is the rule about the batter being ‘out’ if the ball goes over the fence?”


Well - it appears my son had taken this rule literally “If the ball goes over the fence the batter is out” (or more commonly the '6 and out' rule) and could not understand why we had yelled at him. He just wanted a turn at batting. 


What Your Customer Hears is What You Said

The number one rule in communication is "What the other person hears is what you said".
I was trying to close an order for bespoke software development for a small direct mail company. I really wanted to close the deal that day so I opened my mouth and used words like “don’t worry about payment straight away, lets just get started”.


The deal was closed and the project started. I was surprised, however, when my financial controller called me into his office and informed me the account was 90 days overdue. He asked me "Did you say to this client they would not have to pay until the project was completed?"


What I had meant was payment would be in our normal terms, however, if he were to agree that day to proceed with the project we would not require a deposit with the order. What the client had heard was he would not have to pay until the project was completed. Fortunately this story had a happy ending.


When pressure and stress influence what you want to say it is tempting to try and shortcut a conversation without considering what the other person may be hearing. Being prepared for these conversations is important and will reduce the stress levels for the person you are trying to influence as well as your own. The more important a conversation the more preparation is required to ensure the message you deliver is understood.

Today’s question and action

What you say and the words you use, in every part of your life, can have a big impact on others. Take time to think your conversations through and ask the following questions;
  • Do you prepare for important conversations or just let them happen?
  • What is it your customers might be hearing you say?
  • Do you have a few relevant questions ready to check the message you have tried to communicate has been received?
When you have something important to communicate take time to think about what you are saying so when you hit the cue ball the coloured balls go in the pockets.

Have a great week!



Exceptional Sales Performance

Reprint permission
Permission is granted to reprint this article with the condition it is republished unedited and in full with full attribution to the author and the authors bio. Please provide a link to the reprint to the following email; greg.ferrett@exceptionalsales.com.au




Selling to the Seven Emotional Buying Styles
Discover how to link your product to buyers emotion. In this very practical book you will learn everyday tools to take advantage of proven scientific evidence linking emotion to every decision. You will meet;
  • the Hustler
  • the Artist
  • the Normal
  • the Engineer
  • the Politician
  • the Mover, and
  • the Double Checker
This is one book you will refer to time and again to help you plan sales calls and to close sales.

Buy your Kindle or Hard Copy version here



Sunday, January 6, 2013

How do laughing, kissing and closing a sale differ?

Exceptional Sales Performance

Monday Motivational Minute

How do laughing, kissing and closing a sale differ?


January 7th 2013
 


By Gregory Ferrett

Subscribe to this blog by entering your mail on the right .....;

Welcome to Monday


While watching the film “She’s the Man” one line stood out to me. Viola, dressed as a man, is coaching Duke on how to get a woman to like him. She says “If you can get a girl to laugh she will fall in love with you...?
Laughing breaks down barriers

This made me think ... what is it about laughing which changes a persons mind? And how relevant is this to influence in other life activities?


Laughter is one of the few activities which can change the chemistry of the whole body. A hearty well developed laugh provides input into three areas of the body;


Energy

Laughter is the simplest and best way to quickly recharge energy reserves. (You can read more about the energy in the article ‘What can you do when you hit the wall and nothing seems to be working’)

Chemical

When you laugh, you generate a wealth of healing biochemical compounds. Deepak Chopra says “...your body can produce any drug you can buy from your chemist or drug store...” and one short burst of laughter can produce the life saving chemicals which drug companies sell for thousands of dollars. When you laugh your cortisol and catecholamine levels reduce and the left and right side of your brain come back into electrical balance.

Physical

Laughter helps circulate lymph fluid and helps your organs by removing waste products, increasing your body’s ability to fight infection. Laughter also increases oxygen supply allowing your body to generate more energy. Higher levels of oxygen produce a natural ‘high’. Laughter, especially outrageous laughter, can give your body a real workout.

What about kissing and closing a sale?

There are a few high stress activities in life. Two of the items right up there are making a decision to buy something (especially something expensive) and closing in on that first kiss with someone you really like

As it turns out laughter affects the brain and body in much the same way to reduce stress for these activities.

One side of the brain is saying “You can do better than this”; or “Lets look at more options before we make a decision”.


The other side of the brain is saying “I like the way the colour will look in the living room”, or “I wish he would just kiss me”.


As the brain considers the statements each side of the brain produces a small electrical charge, one side (+) positive and the other (-) negative, not unlike a battle in the brain, creating stress.  By helping a person laugh this barrier is reduced by discharging the two sides.
 

Viola was right. If Duke could get the girl to laugh her barriers came down. Even if these barriers were raised by months of bad behaviour, a single session of laughter will bring all the barriers down.

The same thing happens in a sale. If a salesperson or business owner can reduce the stress being experienced by the buyer using laughter all the barriers are gone. It is then just a matter of handling the real objections to getting a decision finalised.


Today’s question and action

Laughter is a serious matter. Here are some things you can do to help.
  • Be prepared with a series of really funny stories. Like I say to my mother “Never let the facts get in the way of a good yarn”.  Practice them and use them appropriately – you will find people start to respond to you better as you develop your library of humorous stories.
  • Join a laughter club. A simple Google search will bring up your local club. Even a few meetings can change your life.
  • Examine the blockages some of your sales. You may be surprised to see there is a minor point creating tension or stress.  Make it into a point of laughter, with the joke being on yourself, and the watch the process move ahead.
The more you allow fun into your life you will be surprised at how more people will listen and be influenced by you.


Have a great week!



Exceptional Sales Performance

Reprint permission
Permission is granted to reprint this article with the condition it is republished unedited and in full with full attribution to the author and the authors bio. Please provide a link to the reprint to the following email; greg.ferrett@exceptionalsales.com.au


Selling to the Seven Emotional Buying Styles
Discover how to link your product to buyers emotion. In this very practical book you will learn everyday tools to take advantage of proven scientific evidence linking emotion to every decision. You will meet;
  • the Hustler
  • the Artist
  • the Normal
  • the Engineer
  • the Politician
  • the Mover, and
  • the Double Checker
This is one book you will refer to time and again to help you plan sales calls and to close sales.

Buy your Kindle or Hard Copy version here

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The 5 Biggest Dangers of Christmas Networking



Exceptional Sales Performance

Monday Motivational Minute

The 5 Biggest Dangers of Christmas Networking?






December 17th 2012

By Gregory Ferrett

Subscribe to this blog by entering your mail on the right .....;

Welcome to Monday

I have attended many end of year fuctions and observed some unusual behaviour. It is at these functions where the best and worst of a persopns character can be on display.

Faye Hollands, an accomplished career coach and director of Outshine Consulting, says it doesn’t matter whether you’re at your work Christmas party where you know lots of people, or at a networking event where you know very few, being on top of your game and setting the right impression upfront is paramount when you meet someone new.  As they say, first impressions count.  All of the usual networking rules apply, but here are Faye's 5 pitfalls that the silly season seems to amplify: -

Too Much Booze

A couple of drinks are often great for dutch courage, giving you the confidence to approach someone you’ve wanted to introduce yourself to for a long time.  But be mindful that slurring, spitting, and general drunken behavior probably isn’t going to set the kind of impression you were hoping for!

There’s nothing worse than having ‘the fear’ the following day when you think you’ve embarrassed yourself, especially when it’s in front of someone new and important.  So you have two options – either restrain yourself and go for the quality introductions OR have a blast but avoid staggering up to the CEO for that ‘all important’ talk about how you want to be promoted.  Don’t mix the two!

Over-Talking

In the throws of a Christmas event, when everyone’s excited and having fun, it’s easy to talk over people.  However, we all know how frustrating it is when it’s impossible to finish a sentence without being interrupted.  Hold yourself back, let people have their moment, and then you can have yours too.

Not Listening

You might find yourself in a situation where there’s a lot going on around you which can be quite distracting.  But there’s nothing worse than talking to someone new, and realising that their focus is on everyone else in the room apart from you.  So if you’re going to make the time and effort to meet new people, make sure you properly listen to them and give them your undivided attention during your conversation.  Don’t be remembered as rude!
Being Inappropriate

I don’t know what it is about Christmas events, but I’ve seen too many people use them as a license to be inappropriate.  Just because Santa’s about to make an appearance doesn’t mean that what’s normally off-limits becomes OK now.  If you want to avoid the cringe-factor, make sure you apply the same rules you would at any other regular networking event or party.


Being Loose-Lipped

It great to find common ground with people as it helps build rapport, but being loose-lipped and talking about people or subjects that should remain confidential is a big no-no!  Being seen as a gossip, or an employee that can’t be trusted, won’t help your career at all.  It’s better to say nothing than to spill the beans and find they come back to bite you later!

So now those pitfalls are out of the way, it’s time to go and have some fun!  If you use Christmas events wisely, you can really come out of the silly season on top, with some great connections to follow-up with in the new year and a new network that will help you get ahead professionally.

Questions and this weeks activities




Before you attend that end of year fuction be prepared and have a few conversational starters ready. Remember others like to talk about themselves, so working the room is about letting others do the talking.
  1. Take time to memorise the names of the people you are likely to meet - greeting people by their first name gets things moving quickly
  2. Have two or three questions you can use with everyone to get the conversation started. This is easier at an office party as the questions are more obvious.
  3. Move around the room and have lots of short conversations. If someone seems like an interesting person to follow-up suggest a catch-up in the new year (or some specific time)
The end of year networking event is about meeting people and enjoying their company. Make a good impression and you will be off to a great new year.
  
Have a great week

Greg Ferrett



Exceptional Sales Performance




 
Faye Holland - Director of Outshine Consulting. Faye is an accomplished career coach and productivity specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve professional success.

Reprint permission
Permission is granted to reprint this article with the condition it is republished unedited and in full with full attribution to the author and the authors bio. Please provide a link to the reprint to the following email; greg.ferrett@exceptionalsales.com.au


 



Selling to the Seven Emotional Buying Styles

Discover how to link your product to buyers emotion. In this very practical book you will learn everyday tools to take advantage of proven scientific evidence linking emotion to every decision. You will meet;
  • the Hustler
  • the Artist
  • the Normal
  • the Engineer
  • the Politician
  • the Mover, and
  • the Double Checker
This is one book you will refer to time and again to help you plan sales calls and to close sales.

Buy your Kindle or Hard Copy version here
 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Can procrastination save you, your career and you life from being unproductive?


Exceptional Sales Performance

Monday Motivational Minute

Can procrastination save you, your career and your  life from being unproductive?



December 10th 2012
By Gregory Ferrett

Subscribe to this blog by entering your mail on the right .....>

Procrastination is the art or putting off or delaying important actions to a later time. This is a close relation to, and often at odds with, the emotional need to have something useful to do and be engaged in life.



Can procrastination be a good thing?

Can a little procrastination be a good thing?
I have an important project I am trying to get under way (more on this another time) and every time I sit down to action my to-do list I find something else to do, which seems important, and gets in the way. I called up my business coach and we had a heated debate on procrastination.

He pointed me to a great article by Erin Falconer, editor of Pick the Brain. According to this article procrastination comes in two categories – structured and unstructured – and there are beneficial aspects to each. This is what Dr Piers Steel of Psychology Today calls ‘Beneficial Procrastination’. Here is my take on the items in this list.

Structured Procrastination

Getting organised – avoiding tasks by using the excuse your workplace needs to be better organised. You feel good as your workplace is neat and tidy

Networking – you have a list of contacts you really should touch base with but don’t have the time. Procrastination is an opportunity to stay in touch. Of course you feel good as there will be a long term dividend.

Planing ahead – The only thing better than actually doing something is thinking or talking about doing it. Take time to identify, record, and schedule all your tasks. Leave the best and most important for last so you can savour the victory.

Errands – How about that dentist appointment? Or car service? These important tasks become appealing to the best of procrastinators. Of course your car and health will be much better by doing these today.

Get up to date – go back to all those emails with red flags and read the reports and memos you should have read. They are definitely a lot more interesting today and you will be ready for questions at the office party

Assist others – If you are not going to do your own work, you can at least deliver on the help you promised your colleague last week.

Unstructured Procrastination

Structured procrastination is a great way to keep busy, but sometimes that doesn’t cut it. When you’d rather not do anything work related, unstructured procrastination is the way to go. It might seem like laziness, but what’s wrong with that?

Unstructured procrastination is essential for recharging creative energy and allowing the unconscious mind to work on difficult problems. These are 6 productive ways to avoid work completely.

Go to Lunch – You need to eat, might as well do it now so you can’t use it as an excuse later.

Exercise – Same as lunch, with the added benefit of increased alertness.

Take a Walk – A casual walk is a great way to unburden your mind and allow great ideas to come to you.

Relax – If you feel a strong desire to procrastinate, there’s probably a reason behind it. Relaxation is important for a healthy productive lifestyle, why not do it now when you can’t get anything else done?

Come Up With a Great Idea – This one can’t exactly be completed on demand, but studies have shown that entrepreneurs and other creative people tend to get their best ideas during down time.

Read a Good Book – If you’d rather not think for yourself, you might as well absorb the great ideas someone else took the trouble to record.

Is Procrastination a good thing?

If you put off something on purpose because you think it's a good idea to delay, you're not procrastinating. You're scheduling or prioritising, sometimes just to feel the motivational thrill of doing it all at the last moment. Procrastination is when you planned or felt that you should have done the thing earlier, and then delayed anyway. In short, it is putting off despite expecting to be worse off.

Sometimes we are lucky and the task we have been putting off doesn't need to get done after all - a truly happy moment, like when a project gets cancelled and it turns out the boss doesn't need that report you never got around to writing in the first place.


So the answer is, yes, procrastination can make life a whole lot more interesting, more rewarding and can save you from being unproductive. Just make sure you seloect the right things to procrastinate on.

Questions and this weeks activities

Procrastination can sometimes be a good thing, however, at key times of the business year, like major holidays, putting off tasks to the New Year or until you get back to work can have devastations consequences for a business. Here are some actions to help keep you focused;

  1. Every day write down your ‘six pack’. This is your list of the top six items which you must do today
  2. Write down how you will reward yourself once you complete each task and all the tasks
  3. Turn off your email, Facebook, Twitter and Cell phone until you have completed and rewarded yourself for completing the first three tasks
  4. At the end of the day make your new list for the next day.
There is no reason you can’t do other tasks as long as your have the vital things covered. Life is not one big ‘to do’ list, it is about enjoying life and allowing beneficial procrastination refresh and revitalise your life.  

Exceptional Sales Performance
 
 
 
 
 
Pick the Brain - www.pickthebrain.com
Psycholgy Today - www.psychologytoday.com

Reprint permission
Permission is granted to reprint this article with the condition it is republished unedited and in full with full attribution to the author and the authors bio. Please provide a link to the reprint to the following email; greg.ferrett@exceptionalsales.com.au


 

Selling to the Seven Emotional Buying Styles

Discover how to link your product to buyers emotion. In this very practical book you will learn everyday tools to take advantage of proven scientific evidence linking emotion to every decision. You will meet;
  • the Hustler
  • the Artist
  • the Normal
  • the Engineer
  • the Politician
  • the Mover, and
  • the Double Checker
This is one book you will refer to time and again to help you plan sales calls and to close sales.

Buy your Kindle or Hard Copy version here
 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Why do people really like you and do business with you?



Exceptional Sales Performance

Monday Motivational Minute

Why do people really like you and do business with you?


November 26th 2012
By Gregory Ferrett


Current research tells us the average person thinks about themselves, and how the world impacts them as an individual, almost every minute they are awake.  Their brain is constantly monitoring the environment alert to physical and emotional danger and opportunities. In less than a second the brain can flood the body with chemicals driving a ‘fight or flight’ or a ‘this sounds great’ response.  

As funny as it sounds, in business I continue to find people who think a person’s response to a sales pitch or a request for support will be different just because it is not a social situation. This is dangerous thinking and can lead to wasteful expenditure of money and emotional capital.


What we see is what we want to see - not what others see

My business partners and I were examining a great product developed by people with outstanding credentials and who seemed to know their target market. Despite good promotion and a strong message which brought in some early wins, it remained languishing as an ‘also ran’ product. At the same time a less developed product with fewer capabilities had grown to dominate the market.

We quizzed the developers who were consistent in their responses.
  • They had developed the most advanced product in the market – no one else could come near it technically
  • They always made a big effort to deliver a great presentation
  • They seemed to be in the right place at the right time early on – now they seemed to be always catching up in the sales process

The consistent message we noticed was our client was focusing on how good they were.


Place yourself in their mind


When you need to influence an outcome or want someone to purchase your product or service the first thing you need to do is understand their situation. The research we mentioned earlier tells us the person you are trying to influence cares very little for you or your company, only for them.  Your telephone call, email or letter is an interruption. You need a way to help the person you want to influence see your product or service making their life better. If you can do this they will start to consider what their life might be like with you or your product or service in it.

This is easier said than done as you also spend most of your time considering yourself. After all you are a human being as well. You think of yourself as someone special, with intelligence and you know what is good for your customer.

I have watched with interest advertisements for the iPad and new Intel Surface computer. Both show people in real situations with their lives enriched because of the device. While they talk about the quality of the display, the discussion is about the way your life will be if you use the device. Not the fact one has so many mega pixels. Each time the advertisment shows my whole family wants one - each one for their own reason.

There is a painfully simple yet important lesson to be learned here. When it comes to influencing people or getting them to make a buying decision it is their expectation of what you are asking them to do or buy which will make their mind up. Not what you think is right or wrong.

You can tell the story enthusiastically and with passion, using the best multi-media presentation with endorsements by the best personalities. If you do not know what the person thinks about you are, at best, putting on a show in hope someone listens.

People decide to buy on the basis of expectation – what they perceive the decision will do for them and in their life. If your product or service fits into that perception you have a sale. If not then you don’t. It is as simple as that.

The company was investing enormous amounts of time and effort into selling the inventors idea. He had come up with the idea and made a number of initial sales. Now the company was talking with people who were unfamiliar with the inventor and the concepts he presented.

By changing the perception of the company owners and the way the product and services were presented made an immediate and enormous difference.


People like you and do business with you because they can picture you and your product or service working in their life. The better you are at helping people place you in their life the more successful you will be.

Questions and this weeks activities


There is nothing mysterious about what we did. It required a few simple changes. Try these and you will see your level of influence change quickly and dramatically;

  • Engage your customer in a discussion about their business and their life using a reflective questioning style. You will be surprised what you will find simply by  being genuinely interested and scratching under the surface.

  • Once you have established some rapport ask questions like “Have you considered …?” and “What happens when…?”

  • Paint a picture using words like “Can you imagine leaving the office early confident …?” or “Can you hear your team celebrating knowing …?”
Leave your own ideas at the office – even better, in the shredder. They are great ideas if you are buying – but you are selling and you need to become a part of the buyers concept they are thinking about all the time.



Exceptional Sales Performance



Reprint permission
Permission is granted to reprint this article with the condition it is republished unedited and in full with full attribution to the author and the authors bio. Please provide a link to the reprint to the following email; greg.ferrett@exceptionalsales.com.au




Selling to the Seven Emotional Buying Styles

Discover how to link your product to buyers emotion. In this very practical book you will learn everyday tools to take advantage of proven scientific evidence linking emotion to every decision. You will meet;
  • the Hustler
  • the Artist
  • the Normal
  • the Engineer
  • the Politician
  • the Mover, and
  • the Double Checker
This is one book you will refer to time and again to help you plan sales calls and to close sales.

Buy your Kindle or Hard Copy version here
 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

How can you take a commodity and turn it into a vital requirement for your client?




Exceptional Sales Performance

Monday Motivational Minute

How can you take a commodity and turn it into a vital requirement for your client?


November 26th 2012
By Gregory Ferrett

“How can you take a commodity item and turn it into something critical to your clients' business?” is one of the most common questions I am asked.

To date I have never come across a product or service which can not be linked to something of value - even common things.It just takes a little effort and planning.

Here is an example of how disposable nappies and rubber gloves, in a mature market, turned two businesses into industry powerhouses.


Disposable Nappies / diapers


The first question territory reps of this company were always asked was "What is your best price". They were in a tight competitive aged care market where every dollar counted. The business was going nowhere fast.

With a bit of effort and market research they discovered one of the more significant costs an aged care facility has was laundry.

With a bit of smart thinking they were able to demonstrate by using their incontinence pads laundry costs were reduced significantly due to leakage reduction.

Instead of calling the purchasing manager they were now able to call the CFO and ask this question “If I could show you a way to reduce your laundry costs by 22% would that be something of interest?” The answer was always “How?” and of course the appointment was made.


Rubber Gloves

(Reported in ‘The Age’ – Monday April 15th 2002)

Ansell moved its stake in Ford’s occupational glove business form 25% to 100%, a deal that it sees as a template for future company arrangements.

The Ford contract is worth close to $20 million a year, and is an example of Ansell’s approach to large customers, in which it will enter a contract to assume responsibility for protecting the hands of it’s customer’s workers.

While Ansell has really interesting technology (knitted Kevlar gloves coated with a nitrile polymer) technology alone would never maintain a long term competitive business advantage and they would have easily been caught up by competitors.

Ford used to spend $20 million a year on gloves, however they also had medical costs of $40 million a year for hand injuries. With the use of the new gloves and a partnership with Ansell for ongoing development in the first full six months there was a 50% reduction in injuries.

Ansell were able to link a commodity produuct to a critical business issue and demonstrate the value of working with them alone.

Today's Questions and Actions


Here are some questions and actions to help you uncover how important your product or service might be to your client.
  1. Ask yourself ,and others involved with your clients business, what the challenges they face? List the top few and keep going until you have twenty or more. Be creative and think about the issues their competitors face as well as they are likely to have the same challenges.
  2. What is the press saying about their industry?
  3. What are the opportunities opening up?
For each item list two or three ways your product or service makes it easier to deal with the challenge. From this list you should have at least one, if not more, compelling reasons why a client should talk to you and not just ask for a price.
Have a great week.

Exceptional Sales Performance



Reprint permission
Permission is granted to reprint this article with the condition it is republished unedited and in full with full attribution to the author and the authors bio. Please provide a link to the reprint to the following email; greg.ferrett@exceptionalsales.com.au




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