How One Smart Manager Inspired His Sales Team

seminar-attendees-tnIt is exciting to see a sales manager doing all the right things – with great results.

This is what happened:

I was invited to teach a two-day sales training seminar and the manager decided to sit with the reps during both days.

This does not always happen, so I wasn’t sure how comfortable the sales reps would feel, with their manager being in the conference room during every part of the training.

But …

it turned out to be very successful because while actively participating in the seminar, he offered constructive criticism during role play and never failed to praise positive performances.

He specifically pointed out what worked well, focusing on situations where effective techniques had been used by certain sales reps to win over hard-to-get prospects.

At this company there is an unusually low turnover rate among sales people.

Five Reasons why This Business Keeps Good Employees

  1. They include employees in goal-setting activities and regularly communicate the company’s sales goals and objectives.
  2. They motivate reps with sales contests and a good compensation plan.
  3. This company shows they care about the company’s and employee’s success  by providing sales training on a regular basis.
  4. The sales manager has earned the respect of the sales reps by being a team player with a supportive attitude.
  5. The owner of this company understands the importance of keeping his internal customers (employees) happy.This sales team achieved an amazing 30% increase in sales during the two months following the seminar. When I complimented the sales manager on his success, he gave the credit to his “talented and hard-working sales team.”
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    That’s a smart manager – and a successful business.

 

This Follow-up Call Earned a Sale

cell-phone-woman-tnImagine how many more sales you could get if more of your prospects would actually read and think about the information you send, or brochures you leave with them during your on-site cold calls.

After talking to more than a dozen customers and sending emails or brochures with product information, how can you make it worth your time and energy?

Easy and Fast

The easiest and fastest way to get a prospect mentally involved in – and reading – the information you send, is to get them physically involved. (Not arm wrestling or anything like that.)

Unique

One sales person I bought from – when I purchased office equipment supplies for the company I worked for – had a unique way of motivating me to read the price lists she sent to me.

Here is how one follow-up phone call from this sales rep (her name was “Fern”) went:

“Hello Ann, I’m calling to follow up on the new price catalog we sent you last week.

“It has a purple cover with bright yellow printing.”

Words That Prompted Action

She went on to say:

“There has been a change in pricing on one of the products you use.

“If you have a pen handy, turn to page 14 and next to item #3, cross out the printed price and write $34.50.

“That’s your new third column price on that product and we have it in stock. How many would you like to order?”

I ordered a dozen.

Five Reasons This was Successful

  1. Fern didn’t ask me if I received the catalog (which could have ended the conversation quickly.)
  2. She immediately described the colors on the catalog, so I was able to identify it and pull it out from among all the other catalogs on my desk.
  3. She got me physically involved in the conversation by asking me to cross out the price on a specific page and write in the new price.
  4. I was then mentally involved, looking at the new price I had written and thinking about whether or not we should order this product from Fern.
  5. She ASKED for the order!
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    I ordered a dozen.
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    You can see 10 effective ways to ask for the order in this 115-page sales-building e-book at less than half price through Midnight on Wednesday.
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    Here’s wishing you a happy and cool day (cooler than the 91 degree heat we have here today!)
    .
    - Ann

 

Would This Radical Form of Marketing Work for You?

out-of-the-ordinary-tnIt was a hot, humid day on August 23rd, 2011 when suddenly the empty rocking chair in my home office began rocking back and forth.

Eerie.

Was the ghost of my grandmother visiting?  Not likely.

I turned on the TV and saw that an earthquake had struck Washington, D.C. – and Virginia Beach, where I live.

So THAT was the reason the rocking chair rocked!

Earthquakes in D.C. and Virginia Beach are rare.  I don’t remember one – ever.

We have occasional hurricanes here but not earthquakes.

What does this have to do with marketing?

Well . . .

. . . not being a frequent TV watcher, I began – after the earthquake – keeping the TV on  – on mute…just in case.

Every now and then I looked up at the TV to see if anything unusual was happening.

That was when I became aware of the quirky Duluth Trading television advertising . . .

. . . focusing on the negative stuff you can avoid if you buy their products.

At first, I smiled because of the unusual wording and graphics.

But, then I had to turn the volume up because…

did that Duluth commercial say what I thought it said?

“Crouch without the ouch.”

And

“How to fix plumber’s butt.”    What?

“Buck-naked underwear” with a “no-bull guarantee.”

The commercial that sold me was “The no-yank tank” because it is two inches longer than most women’s tanks.

You don’t have to yank it down when you’re crouching or bending over.

I bought one and liked it so much I bought two more when they were on sale.

It helps that Duluth sells high quality products that live up to its advertising.

Results

Duluth Trading has nearly doubled its sales in just two years, thanks to its quirky ads, including an animated “buck-naked” underwear guy.

I love this quote from Dan Neil of the Los Angeles Times:

“Duluth Trading practices a radical form of marketing known as honesty.” 

Could radical, quirky advertising work for your business?

Would “no-jam copiers” get attention?  I don’t know, but Duluth ads get the attention of millions and have dramatically increased sales.

A Creative Quirky Ad

The only slightly quirky ad I have seen is this creative flyer from a handy man.

A Lovable Ad 

This is one of my favorite ads ever, even though it is slightly misleading.  To really appreciate this ad, read all the way to the end.

Want to Brighten Someone’s Day?

There is an example of an award-winning funny and attention-getting voice mail message in this e-book.

 

Wonder Why No One Returns Your Phone Calls?

woman-thoughtful-tnThis is frustrating.

The client is already doing business with you. You feel you have a good relationship . . .

. . . yet your voicemail messages go unanswered. You do not get return calls.

Is that rude – or just the way business has changed in this fast-moving technological landscape?

My clients tell me they often get an email in response to their voice mail message.

But why not a return call?

Could be one of four reasons:

1.) The client is crazy busy with numerous projects.
or
2.) They are afraid a phone call will take up too much of their precious time.
or
3.) Your voice mail message is not giving the client an important enough reason to return your call.
or
4.) They feel email is more convenient that returning a phone call.

Three tips to get your calls returned:

  • Know what you want as a result of your voicemail message, in addition to a return phone call.
  • Organize your message so that you state the most important and attention-getting information first, since you may be cut off at any time.
  • Don’t leave a message lasting more than 30 seconds because most of us have very short attention spans.

A recent survey by ExactTarget.com was revealing.

From MarketingLand.com:

“ExactTarget asked almost 1,500 US online consumers (age 15 and up) about how they prefer to get permission-based marketing messages and a whopping 77 percent said email — a number that dwarfs all other options in the survey. Direct mail was second at nine percent and text messaging was third at five percent.”

You may not consider your voicemail messages to be marketing messages, yet this survey is still relevant as it applies to communicating with clients using a method they prefer.

But don’t stop using the telephone!

A telephone call and a good voicemail message still work and in my opinion have great value, even though you may not always get a call back.

You will get more calls returned when you use the tips and ideas in this e-book.

Did He Really Say That?

question-mark-word-tnEveryone in the room was shocked at the response to an objection, John – playing the part of the sales rep – used during role play.

What was even more surprising was the positive effect on the “prospect.”

It was not the normal response to an objection.

In fact, it was the opposite of what was usually taught in sales training classes.

The objection -

Prospect:  “No thanks, we buy from (John’s competitor; let’s call it the ZYX Company.)”

John’s response to this objection achieved his goal of creating trust with the prospect and not sounding “salesy.”

After all, John was being truthful – based on his research and knowledge of competitors.

He knows what his competitors can offer and cannot offer.

He also knows which items the prospect uses.  (The result of very good research.)

The response that surprised everyone

John:  “The ZYX Company is a good competitor of ours.”     (What?)

This response validated the prospect’s decision to buy from the ZYX Company and eliminated any pressure the prospect may have felt.

John continued (in a friendly tone of voice):

“However, they don’t stock the [item the prospect uses] and we do provide that and can ship it to you tomorrow.  How many do you order each month?”

I found out that John’s response to this objection results in a sale for him 95 percent of the time.

This knowledge of competitors impresses most prospects and leads to the creation of trust and more sales!

You can find out more about how to win against the competition in my new e-book  “Yes – You Can Win Against the Competition and Grow Your Business with Smart Marketing!”
(Whew – long title.)

Included in this 40-page sales-building e-book:

  • The #1 way to convince prospects your expertise & products will get the results they want!
  • How to create loyal customers who will turn first to you AND will come back to let you know if they find a lower price!
  • The top reason buyers will believe you are the first and best choice!CLICK HERE to see more info about this powerful new e-book.