Her Secret to Success

woman-at-sunset-kicking-one-legLily is not a person who would be described  as a “typical” sales person.

(What is “typical,”anyway?  Dictionary.com defines typical as “a person regarded as reflecting or typifying a certain line of work.”)

Not that there is anything wrong with being a “typical sales person” who is professional and knowledgeable.  It is a pleasure working with professional – typical – sales people. 

Lily is both professional and knowledgeable; it’s just that she doesn’t come across as what most people think of as a person who is part of the sales profession.

She isn’t overly aggressive.  She IS assertive – in a friendly way.

(In the interest of privacy, you won’t see her last name or company name here.)

Attitude Matters

Though not immediately outgoing, Lily is a happy, positive person with a genuine interest in helping people.

And because of her positive attitude, prospects are drawn to her and they listen carefully to Lily when she is presenting demonstrations of products or describing facts and benefits on the telephone.

Another important reason prospects listen to her:  She truly believes the products and services she sells are the best available.

In her sales position, Lily is at the top of the chart nearly every month.

She wins cruises to beautiful islands and trips to expensive resorts.

Congratulations, Lily!

Her Secret to Success

In unique ways, Lily is a bit different from most of her co-workers.

How is she different?

Instead of using a direct close, like “would you like to place the order today?” Lily uses an open-ended question that asks for an opinion – not a decision.  It is what is known as a “trial close.”

(Note: Lily has recognized how her strengths and talents contribute to her success and I’m proud to have been a part of the process. She is a true star.)

Why is a trial close so successful?

Because it is an attempt to start getting commitment – before the completion of the selling process.

And it takes away the stress the prospect may be feeling because they are not being asked to make a decision at this point.

Exactly what the word implies, a trial close question is a test to see how near the prospect is to buying. And it may be used any time prior to the close.

Without the risk of a final “NO,” a trial close is like a report card that tells you how the prospect is reacting to your presentation.

Three Examples

1.)  “How does that sound, so far?”

2.) “What do you think?”

3.) “How do you think that would work for you?”

Important

After using a trial close question, listen carefully to the answer and you’ll know how to proceed.

Why a Trial Close Question Works Well

  • Lets you know where you stand
  • Clarifies what the prospect doesn’t understand
  • Takes the prospect’s temperature
  • You don’t risk a “no.”
  • A trial close asks for an opinion, NOT a decision
  • An opinion is much easier to give, than a decision
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    Are you looking for creative marketing and sales ideas?  My next one-to-one 4-week e-Course begins two weeks from Wednesday and there are just five spaces still available.
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    Ann

 

The Letter that Can Change Your Day

man-writing-letter-with-pen“To write is human, to receive a letter:  Divine!”  – Susan Lendroth, author

Have you ever received a letter that changed your day?

Not an email message, but a real letter on paper inside an envelope with a postage stamp and mailed through the postal system. Yep … snail mail.

Think about it:  Your words in an actual letter have the power to change someone’s day, week or month.

And you never know what kind of impact your letter might have.

The Letter that Changed my Day, Week and Month

During my first sales job, I needed a fool-proof way to get my message in front of 150 decision makers – quickly and without making 150 cold calls.

This is what happened

I composed and printed a personalized, convincing letter directed at the needs of law firms because my company at the time had a product that would solve their problems.

Then I took a list of 150 law firms home with me one weekend, (with decision-makers’ contact names) along with 150 envelopes and 150 stamps and 150 small colorful flyers.

During the weekend at home I hand addressed all 150 envelopes with contact name, including the return address of my company, signed 150 letters, stuffed them into the envelopes with the flyer, put a stamp on each one and mailed them.

Why did I do this? 

Because a handwritten, personally-addressed letter usually goes (unopened) from the secretary directly to the decision maker. I know this because in a previous life I was a secretary.

.A Wonderful thing happened next

A few days after I mailed the letters, calls came in for ME from top people in the law firms who received my letters. Nice!

They requested an appointment with me and a demo of the product.  Result:  I made my first big sale of six units.  Woo Hoo!

I have included a version of this “letter to request an appointment” on page 11 of my 76 page e-book which also contains an attention-getting testimonial request letter along with 63 copy-and-paste business and marketing letters.

The Importance of Writing Thank-You Letters

After the sale of those first six units, I composed, wrote and mailed personalized thank-you letters to the decision makers who purchased my products. These letters resulted in referrals!

If you have thought about writing a compelling, personalized thank-you letter to one or more of your clients, you can digitally download, copy and paste nine different thank-you letters – plus 53 additional business and marketing letters – in my e-book on this page

A well-written personalized letter really can change someone’s day or change YOUR day!

Happy letter writing!

- Ann

PS- You are invited to join me in my next e-Course!
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3 Ways to Win Back Inactive Clients

happy-woman-arms-stretched-outIt happens to nearly everyone at least once.

Despite your best efforts to provide top-quality products and world-class service, you may lose a client for one reason or another.

What do you do?

What do you say to find out why the customer left and – how can you earn the business again?

How do you ask?

Not This Question

It could be tempting to call an inactive customer and ask: “Why did you stop buying from us?”

Not exactly the most tactful or effective way to ask.

Three compelling ways to ask why they stopped buying:

1.) “I’ve studied your account (or reviewed your file) and found that it’s been [length of time since they last purchased] since your company last purchased your [products they bought from you]. I’m concerned that you may be running low on [insert products]. Shall I send you a case today?”

Or:

2.) Last year we had the opportunity to supply you with your [products they purchased from you]. I’d like to ask you a couple of questions and give you some new information about benefits you may qualify for, so you can decide whether it would be worthwhile for you to take another look at what we could do for you in the way of [type of products they bought from your company]. Okay?”

If that doesn’t work, the following question should get an answer from the customer, so you will find out why they stopped buying from your company (This is the call that worked for me):

3.) “I know that not every company is perfect in every way. If there were a way you feel we could improve our products or our service, I hope you will tell me what that is. I would really like to know because I value our relationship (or: I hate losing your business.)”

VERY Important Next Step

After you say this, don’t say a word until the customer speaks.

It may be difficult to stay silent, but it is the only way you will get an answer.

Why will asking these questions win back inactive clients?

Because you have shown that you care enough to want to earn back their business.

And because customers appreciate attention after they have made a purchase.

“One of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone is the gift of attention.”- Jim Rohn, Author

What Else Works?

When a telephone call does not work, an attention-getting email or direct-mail letter – with the right components – can remind inactive customers of the benefits you offer and what they may be missing.

A well-written letter  – with a P.S. or note of enclosure beneath your signature – followed by a telephone call will let the customer know you care about their business.

Thanks for reading – here’s wishing you a happy and productive day!

Ann
PS:  The next e-Course begins on Wednesday and there are just two spaces still available. If you’re interested, Send me a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

 

An Unexpectedly Awesome Email

girl-child-happyEven though the company’s marketing is always brilliant, this email was unexpectedly awesome.

The personalized nature of the message caught my attention immediately.  Notice how many times the word “you” is used.

Here is the text, with the name of the business not included:

Subject Line: 30% Off for You, One of our Best Customers

“Of course, you’re one of our best customers so you already know that one of the best ways to clear your mind, is to live clean—that means an organic, whole foods diet, environmentally sound supplies for your home, and chemical-free skin care.

“While our blog is dedicated to education in things like healthy living and creating an eco-friendly community, our real passion is providing you with organic and wildcrafted skin care—you know you can trust our products all the way from the ethically sourced, nonGMO seed to the synthetic-free pump in the palm of your hand.

“You’ve been loyal to our line, and we want you to know it isn’t unnoticed, so we made you a 30% off coupon code that you can use for this whole month.

“It expires January 31st so you have plenty of time to use it, but we suggest using it today so that you have the chance to order again with your coupon before month’s end.”

The next day another brilliant email from the same company:

YOU’RE ONE OF OUR TOP CUSTOMERS

“Take 30% off on all full size products through January 31.

“We know for certain that we couldn’t follow our honest, wild, beautiful, path without your loyalty and dedication to your own honest, wild beauty.

“We would love to scream “Thank you, Ann!” from the rooftops but you probably wouldn’t hear us all the way in Virginia Beach so instead, we made you a 30% coupon that you can use for the entire month of January.

“Treat yourself right this year—whether it is stocking up on your old favorites or trying something new—you deserve 30% off any full size or accessory you like—just use code __________ when you’re checking out.

“We don’t offer this coupon but once a year, and only to the select few people, like you, that make our community great.

“So thanks again for a wonderful 2017, and here’s to a beautiful 2018!”

This well-written email had the effect of causing me to feel appreciated as a customer and eager to use the 30% off coupon.

An absolute success!

And… to you from me:  Happy New Year!

Ann

PS: If you have been reading my blog, you know the identity of this successful company :-)

PPS:  If you’d like to receive creative marketing tips and helpful ideas in your inbox a few times a month, feel free to sign up for my newsletter.  Thanks for visiting!

Related:

Creative Marketing Wins Skeptics

This 4-letter Word Earned the Sale

Which Works Best – Kindness or Aggression?

Use These 4 Words and Your Clients Will Love You

Three Examples of Thoughtful Marketing