Do you Go the Extra Mile or the Extra Hundred Feet?
I just wanted to share some thoughts with you on this whole idea of going out of your way to help the customer and what it can bring to the table. I tweeted this thought yesterday and it seemed to get a few people talking/tweeting!
“Do you go the extra mile, or the extra hundred feet? Why do we so easily lose faith in doing more? Surely it's the Core of Any Successful Business!”
There’s nothing new about the idea of over delivering to customers so that they keep coming back for more. The problem is that so many
sales professionals and Entrepreneurs aren’t able to do this with any level of consistency. It seems to me that a lot of us are hard-wired to
just do enough work and no more. Going beyond the normal levels of effort will often require behavioural change and so few of us are
willing to discipline ourselves enough to achieve this.
There are however those less common types of people who enjoy over delivering, and it’s no coincidence that they also just happen to be the
ones who have a constant flow of fresh leads and people knocking at their door wanting to do business with them.
I think one of the reasons why many don’t get this way of working with customers is that they don’t see an immediate return on the time
invested and therefore don’t put it high on their list of priorities. Most people in sales are far too concerned with business they can close in
the short-term to be concerned about people returning six or twelve months later. Unfortunately, this blinkered way of thinking
causes many small enterprises to fail in the long term. One of the problems with short-term thinking is the decreased customer life cycle.
As a consequence, sales people need to spend more and more of their time searching for new leads, and in this way a vicious cycle is formed.
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Here are Five Reasons Why Every Business Should go the Extra Mile
- You become the obvious choice for the customer when they need your type of products or services (Repeat Business)
- You will get more referrals (Free Advertising)
- You beat the competition (Competitive Edge)
- Better return on your investment (Customer Acquisition is Expensive)
- You will not need to drop your prices to stay in business ( You offer Real Value)
Why not start today and go from the extra hundred feet to the extra mile!
Why is Reading Blogs So Addictive?
I was writing a blog the other day and I stopped to ask myself the strangest of questions, "why do people read blogs?" Most of my friends would prefer to read a blog than to go to a standard looking website where the sole objective is to sell you something. Well, here's my take on why people like to follow blogs while surfing the net.
1. People are Curious About Other People's Lives
Yes, it's really that simple. When you write a blog it's imperative that you unleash your true personality, and not someone you would like to be. So, simply telling other people your thoughts, interests and opinions will create interest and more importantly, followers.It obviously helps if you have a special skill that you can share with the world. People tend to look up to those who know more than they do about a specific topic that interests them.
2. It's like a Running Soap Opera
Once a person starts reading a blogger's story they want to know what happens next. recently my 12 year old daughter told me about this guy on youtube who was trying to lose weight. If I'm not wrong his name is Shaytard. Thousands of people watched his videos as he embarked on this weight loss journey. Why? Well, I suppose people love to see somebody who is losing, but trying to improve their life. This gives us all hope! This is the reason why people watch soap operas (I'm not one of them) It's this idea of following someone else's life when everything is wrong. In fact, you'll notice that soap operas never tell good stories. Its' always one disaster after another.
3. Boredom is a Growing Problem, but Not for Bloggers
It's something I remember my dad used to say a few years back. "The day will come when people will die from boredom." He said you'll see someone being carried away on a stretcher to the ambulance and people with gather round to ask what happened. The ambulance driver will whisper to one of the crowd of onlookers, "She was just sitting in the chair for too long. I see it a lot these days. They just run out of interesting things to do, and die of plain boredom!"
So there is a large herd of people who look for other people to do their thinking for them. Hey, I'm doing it for you now. You're reading this blog instead of creating something yourself. Think about it, every time you watch a TV presenter or some Deejay on the radio, you are actually paying to listen to somebody talk crap. They earn lots of money to tell you their opinion. If people spent more time providing value for others, they too would get a following, and who knows they might even get paid to talk about the latest gossip.
Specify Your Goals And Organise
There are a lot of tried and true methods that are available for the exercise of identifying and organising goals. Being able to have a set plan in place is the first step to ensuring success in its highest percentage possible.
Therefore understanding and then creating a plan towards the eventual successful completion of a goal is a very important and advantageous exercise to embark upon. The following are just some recommendations to this end:
Setting out the details of the goals should be the first step to seeing its completion. When there are clear indications of all the different aspects of the exercise in place the individual is better able to organise the various exercises involved in the process.
Then there are the priority lists that should be drawn up. These would required the individual to identify and prioritise the various different aspects of the whole exercise according to its importance in relation to keeping the general flow of the endeavor smooth and on track always.
Folder management is one tool that many have found very useful when embarking on a project that requires the coordination of various connective elements.
Documenting and storing any sort of data in the relevant folders will ensure the said data is easily available and accessible to a moment’s notice. Confusion and delays can easily be avoided if this method is implemented and diligently practiced.
Keep a strict monitoring of all due dates is very important, as the efficient running of any endeavor depends on this. When due dates are not taken seriously there will be a lack of urgency to have tasks completed, which in turn will upset the general flow of the project.
Having a periodical check and balance list in place, is also another way to ensure the goals are met in a well organised way. These periodical checks will help all concerned to monitor the general overall progress and address any areas that need attention immediately.
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5 Bulletproof Email Marketing Tips,
Guaranteed To Convert More Prospects Into Customers
Tip No. 1
Fill a sheet of paper with subject lines for your email. Make sure you write down as many as you can think of. Read them later or the next day and notice which ones grab your attention more. This should increase your chances of getting a higher email opening rate.
Tip No. 2
Focus on results not products. You buy a drill to make holes with the minimum amount of effort. People don't want to hear about the technical features that make your drill so wonderful, so in this case you could talk about how it only took an hour to build your cabinet with the new drill you just bought.
Tip No. 3
When I write a marketing email I have what I call my snag list. It's basically a sheet of paper with a number of items that I need to include in every sales letter. When I've finished writing my email I draw a line through an item when I see that it's included in the letter. For example, if I see I've included a "strong call to action," I'll proceed to cross that off my list, and so forth. This is a great way of producing consistently powerful sales letters because you know that every necessary ingredient will be included in your letter.
Tip No. 4
Keep it short and relevant. People don't have time to read long emails because there are so many distractions that could lead them to something else. Make sure you include an introduction, the body, and of course the powerful close. A lot of emails are formatted to avoid being caught up in the spam folder so you may want to consider this too. A lot of marketing emails are in simple text format for this very reason.
Tip No. 5
Make sure that your email targets the right people. This is one of the problems when email marketing campaigns don't convert well. They just weren't pointed at enough of the right people. If you are offering golf clubs to golfers and you are offering value, there should be no reason why you won't convert a certain amount of leads into sales. However, if you are selling a car insurance policy to a person who only owns a motorbike, you are firing bullets in the dark.
Why is Negotiating the Sale Like an Inflated Balloon?
I know this is a strange title and you probably wonder what its' all about, but stick with me and I'll explain. I was writing an article recently on overcoming common sales objections and it suddenly dawned on me that negotiating is all about balancing control. When you talk to a customer you need to make them feel like they are in control at all times. So what can we put in our minds to remind us of the importance of balancing? Well, this is where the inflated balloon comes into play. Every time you antagonise a customer by trying force your opinion on them, they start to blow into their balloon. If you can balance by handing control back to them, they will let some air out of the balloon and you've taken some pressure out of the negotiation.
This technique is similar to those used in NLP. You imagine a situation in your mind that represents your dilemma. It helps you to stay focused and get the job done. Here are some examples of what inflates and deflates the balloon.
Inflates the Balloon (You are Losing Control)
1. Forcing your ideas on the customer - Excessive Pitching
2. Getting emotional when a customer objects
3. Not stopping to listen enough
4. Making statements rather asking questions
5. Not mirroring the customer
Deflates the Balloon ( You are in Control)
1. You talk the same language as your customer (repeat a lot of what they say)
2. You wait a couple of seconds before you respond
3. You discuss benefits not features
4. You are consciously trying to add value
5. You make the customer feel important and respected.
How To Overcome Common Sales Objections on the Phone
3 Ways To Quickly Raise Your Game in Selling
Everyone in sales goes through difficult moments, even those who are very experienced and highly skilled. The great news is that it’s much easier to get out of the negative zone and back into the positive one if you use the right methods:
- Elevate Yourself
One of the main problems of going through a bad period in sales is the change of mental state that occurs. It doesn’t matter how strong you are mentally, you will find it difficult to escape this drop in confidence. Well, the only way out is to elevate your state of belief and get yourself back into the perfect frame of mind for selling. You need to trick your subconscious mind into believing that things are going fantastically well, and the good news is that our brain is sufficiently stupid to accept it as the truth. Take a sheet of paper and start writing a series of positive affirmations about your capabilities in selling. Make sure they are always in the present! Do this for about 10 minutes, anything less will not be enough. The positive affirmations will be translated into “truth” and “reality” by your subconscious and this should get you back on track in no time.
2. Get Yourself a Mentor
I discovered this one in recent years because previously I had always thought that I could solve my own problems. This is a common mistake among sales people who love to take responsibility on their own shoulders and just ride the storm alone. Well I now realise that this is not really the smartest way of giving yourself a boost. Find someone such as a motivational coach and listen to their audio or video training. If you like this person and admire their approach, it cannot fail to influence your state. Try this one because it really works. I like Tony Robbins because he has energy levels that I could only dream of. If I can take 20 per cent of his drive, it can carry me for the rest of the day.
3. Be Grateful For What you Already Have
This is a problem that we all face in western civilisation today. People have got so much they have forgotten what it was like for our ancestors. If you sit in silence for a few minutes and think of how people in third world countries need to walk for miles to carry fresh water in heavy containers to keep their children alive. Millions of people work for less than a dollar a day and they still manage to survive. Then we look at our problems in selling. Okay a few people told you to go away and stop annoying them. This is nothing compared to the difficulties that others face in the world. Get up off your chair, take some fresh air and go back to selling and enjoy it like it’s a privilege.
The Seven Rules of Reciprocity
Any Sales person who knows their job understands the law of reciprocity in selling. It’s something that should be pretty instinctive if you want to get the best response from customers. However, if you know and practice this technique, the end result can be truly amazing. Here are my seven rules for reciprocity:
Rule 1 – People Want to Be Even.
People are generally hard wired to respond to human kindness (There will always be exceptions but let’s consider them as the absolute minority) and therefore they feel the need to return the favour. This can obviously be very useful in sales.
Rule 2 – It’s Not Necessarily About Material Value
Studies have been carried out in the past to see how people react to acts of kindness. The results were fascinating because they are not what you would expect. When people were given material objects they felt the need to respond. The amazing thing is that they were willing to give things of greater value and frequently didn’t count the cost. This is valuable knowledge for people in the business of selling. I still however believe that this should not be abused, because it could eventually come back to bite if used unethically.
Rule 3- It’s Not an Exchange or You Will Fail
Another really important consideration when using the law of reciprocity is the fact that you can’t always expect a return like some kind of exchange. The customer or prospect will not react in the same way if there is any indication that you have done them a favour and that you expect one in return. This one may seem obvious but I have seen lots of examples, more stupid than you could even imagine.
Rule 4- Make it a Daily Routine
Reciprocity starts to work when you use as part of your daily routine. Initially you may not notice much of a response and that’s why you have to stick with it. I’ve received emails from people months after I did them a small favour. It’s amazing how people remember if you treat them nicely. The more you do for others, the more you will see others wanting to do the same for you.
Rule 5 – Start Thanking People
These days people take a lot of things for granted and this can be turned into an opportunity for sales people. How many handwritten thank you notes have you received lately. At a guess I would say not many at all. People appreciate gratitude, especially when it’s personalised and not some email template that everyone gets.
Rule 6 – Start today and Monitor Results
Start helping everyone you know in little ways that will make a difference to their day. Start writing down every act that comes flying back to you like a boomerang. Make a list of reciprocators and keep helping them as much as you can. This will help you calculate who you can spend money on in terms of promotional gifts.
Rule 7 – Help Others in a Way that comes Naturally to You
This really comes down to the things that you are passionate about. It’s going to seem a lot less natural if you don’t enjoy what you are doing. This is why so many entrepreneurs say that you should do what you are passionate about. It’s so much easier to work for free if you enjoy doing something anyway.
So I now hope that you can see the power behind the law of reciprocity. I’m sure you can find creative ways of making it help you grow your sales or business. The great thing about the law of reciprocity is that it often costs you nothing to try.
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FEAR EATS THE SALE
After being told by many of my friends and colleagues that I should have a blog I've finally decided to take the plunge. I want to create something funky but useful at the same time. You know, sales training that doesn't quite feel like training, if that's really possible. Well my first contribution as you can see from the title is all about FEAR. So much of selling revolves around this terrifying word that so many of us seem to misunderstand. It's not just the customer who fears but we poor sales people really have our moments too.
Fear of Rejection
Fear of rejection is really common among sales people but it needn't be the case. Most of the rejection that sales people experience is totally impersonal. The customer is not rejecting the person, they are rejecting the offer. Despite this, there's something about the human psyche that just can't handle rejection. Even if you tell somebody that the rejection is not about them, they will still feel affected in some way. The only way to overcome this "rejection syndrome" is to rebalance the mind with positive thinking. This can be something very simple like postive affirmations to put things back on track. You must say to yourself that you understand the customer's position and that you would have done the same thing if you were in their shoes too. "If you can master your emotions you will become a master of selling!"
Fear of Closing
This is another big one, especially in those moments when things aren't going according to plan. I personally have experienced moments of doubt in my career when I thought I would never be able to close a sale again. This was really crazy because I was very successful in sales. However when I was going through a difficult patch this doubt would rise to the surface. In these moments I would just persistently move forward and weather the storm. The fact that a successful sales person can feel these emotions is an indication of just how big a problem this can be.
Fear of Job Security
Sales people just never seem to think that their job is permanent, and I suppose they have good reason to feel this way at times. I've also experienced these thoughts throughout the years but I never came near to losing my job as a result of my sales performance. When you decide to go into sales, this is part of the job you have chosen. Selling is just not entirely predictable and it never will be, the important thing in sales is to know what you are doing and to give it your best. After this your destiny is in god's hands.