Memo to All Professionals: Make Certain That the Person At Your Front Desk SMILES!

July 27, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Customer Service, sales, small business | Leave a comment

Seems pretty straightforward, huh? I mean you hired someone for your front desk and as one of their responsibilities they have to meet and greet all of the people coming into your office. Simple, yes? Even basic, like:

–Looking up when someone enters the office
–Making eye contact and smiling in a welcoming manner
–Asking if they might be able to be of assistance and asking in a pleasant and helpful tone of voice

Yes, I know—basics!

But honestly now, how many times have you entered an office (doctor, lawyer, some sort of business) and experienced just the opposite. No greeting, no smile, no eye contact. In fact you might have felt as if you were invisible.

Crazy huh. In this time of economic uncertainty and mass competition you would think that firms would pay attention and make certain that the people entering their office feel welcome and appreciated.

How does someone feel when they enter your office? Are you 100% certain that the greeting that they receive is warm, cordial and welcoming. Why not survey some of your customers and hear what they have to say. If their feedback is positive make sure to commend your staff, but if their feedback indicates that you have a problem, take immediate steps to correct the situation or you just might find yourself losing the customers you worked so hard to earn.

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Sales Tips for a Sh–ty Economy

July 12, 2010 at 7:18 am | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, sales, Sales Training, small business | 1 Comment

Okay, full disclosure. These sales tips work in just about any economy but they are especially powerful in the current economic climate.

Yes, I know. It’s supposed to be getting “better” but just ask some of my business colleagues and they all say just about the same thing and that is that they are still “struggling” and feeling very very cautious.

So here are some “quick” tactics to help you weather the storm and perhaps even thrive during these most difficult times. (I know enough already with the difficult times! But honestly, it is still tough out there!)

1) Give something for nothing. No, I don’t mean tangible products although that can also be explored if you are in the business of selling goods. Nope. I mean things that provide a value-added for your prospects and clients, such as additional consulting time, introductions to resources that might be of interest to them, invitations to events and so on. These don’t cost much yet demonstrate to your prospects and clients that they are top of mind and important to you.
2) Fill your sales funnel. In good times, more new business flows through your sales funnel and it does so faster. When times are tough people are “frozen” and even if you can engage them in a sales dialogue, they are much slower to pull the trigger. In order to have enough business coming in you have to have more prospects in the funnel so that you don’t experience a potentially disastrous dip in business.
3) Differentiate. I know that is easier said than done, but if you can differentiate in such a way that you “attract” more business by the originality and desirability of your offering, you can be assured of thriving.
4) You can’t lose what you don’t have. Many sales reps are plain scared to be persistent. They slack off with their follow-up efforts and let prospects and even clients fall off the grid. Remember that you can’t lose what you don’t have. I don’t propose that you become a stalker; rather, I suggest that you establish a strategic “touch point management program” that allows you to stay in touch and on the grid in a purposeful and customer centric manner.
5) Alter your pricing structure. I don’t necessarily mean that you need to lower your prices but if your client is going through some tough economic times and you want to get/retain their business it is probably sensible to devise a pricing or payment strategy that works for both of you. Digging in your heels and wanting/expecting everything to be the same as in good times might mean that some prospects just do not have the wherewithal to contract with you. Flexibility is key. Negotiate so that both parties win!

Will these tips help? I think so. I’ve seen companies adopt one or more of these tactics and find that business development went a bit faster and smoother. You have nothing to lose. Give it a try.

Paying to Speak is Like, Hmmm, Paying for Sex

July 9, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, entrepreneurship, public speaking, sales, Sales Training | Leave a comment

I do an extensive amount of public speaking, at business conferences, trade associations, networking groups, executive retreats and more. Some of these are paid gigs and others are unpaid and I tend to look at them as a marketing opportunity where I can present myself as an “expert”, share knowledge and build name recognition.

With me so far.

Well, what do you think about a (small) association that asks their speakers to pay them! Yup. That’s right. Pay them.

I was recently presented with this “opportunity” which I politely declined. I got mixed reactions from colleagues. Some said that by asking for payment they didn’t value me as a speaker and/or my expertise. Others said that they understood their rationale and that there was nothing wrong with it.

What do you think?

Some Things You Never Forget

July 8, 2010 at 11:10 am | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, Customer Service, Marketing, sales, Sales Training | Leave a comment

My son’s birthday is coming up this Saturday and even though he’s going to be 26 years old it seems like just yesterday that I was holding an infant.

Yup. I know it’s a cliche but there are some things that you never forget.

Hopefully most of these are good things, like holding your newborn for the first time, a special event, a wedding, Paris, the Grand Canyon…well, you get the picture.

But honestly now, aren’t there some really distasteful things that you also remember. Maybe it was a company that treated you poorly; a restaurant that fell very short of the mark, a sales rep that pushed so hard you almost had to run screaming from the presentation.

Remember them? By recognizing and perhaps remembering those negative things you can help yourself to not be that person or that company that falls short, and by doing so, is surely remembered, albeit negatively.

Nurturing Your Client. Yes, Client Management is a lot Like Being a Parent.

July 6, 2010 at 6:44 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, entrepreneurship, sales, Sales Training | Leave a comment

Much like a new baby, new clients need nurturing. Sure this seems a bit far-fetched but really, there are some distinct similarities:

* Babies like to have your attention. They don’t thrive and grow if they are ignored and under-stimulated. It’s the same with new clients. There is a serious problem if the wooing stops when the prospect turns into a client and all of a sudden, the attention and concern that are being shown are suddenly taken away or severely curtailed.

* Babies need understanding. They can try your patience and cause you dismay yet underneath it all you know that if you just wait it out and handle things appropriately the bad mood and corresponding tears will go away. It’s the same with that new client. They might seem awfully needy and yes, try your goodwill and patience more than you would like but if handled with skill and finesse, even the most difficult client can be made to be appreciative.

* Babies need to be taught and while they might come fully loaded and hard wired with their own personality, they need you to teach them, well, just about everything. Clients are truly the same. You need to teach and keep them in the loop as to what you are doing for them, why you are doing it and what is the potential outcome. Left to their own devices, clients might panic and draw the wrong conclusions. By taking the time to educate them you are, in fact, helping to develop a “better” client.

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