The Importance of Selling

September 26, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Posted in sales, Sales Training | 3 Comments
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I never thought that it would get to this.

No, I never thought that I would be propelled to write a post about the importance of selling.

After all, it’s pretty obvious, right? If you’re in business, if you have a trade or a profession you must try to win new customers and retain and grow your existing ones.

Simple.  You…sell.

Fact: you shouldn’t develop a groovy new logo, create a brochure, procure some promotional items or dive deep into social media without thinking about your ultimate goal, the acquisition of new business.

And regardless of whether you have a transactional type of business or one that is very consultative, the desired end result is the same: increased business.

So before you march into the land of marketing make certain that you have:

  • Established a well-oiled sales process
  • Created your follow-up and touch point management program (for long-term ROI on the marketing initiatives)
  • Fine-tuned your sales strategies and techniques

Marketing is great but it’s not a stand-alone. It must be tightly integrated with your sales efforts and if it isn’t, all of your marketing efforts will simply cost you time, money and momentum.

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Don’t Worry Baby

September 20, 2011 at 6:58 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Don’t Worry Baby was a pop hit released by the Beach Boys in 1964.

Don’t worry baby

Everything will turn out all right

Agh. If only the Beach Boys were spot on but the sorry truth is that everything does not always turn out all right neither in love nor in business. You know that things can fall apart, clients (lovers) go astray, projects get won and then lost in an amazingly short amount of time, your sales funnel gets constipated…well, you know the drill.

But are you a “don’t worry baby” kind of businessperson? Do you think that everything is going to be all right?

I don’t want to be typecast as some sort of business “downer” but things aren’t going to be all right unless YOU make them so. Here’s how:

1)    Don’t be a vendor. Repeat after me…don’t be a vendor. Vendors are marginalized out of existence, they can be bought and sold with little impact and there is little, if any loyalty. What do you want to be instead? Well, a business resource of course. Someone that your client cannot do without, someone that helps them in ways that would never be expected and is the go-to person when there is a question or problem.

2)    Yes, it comes back to staying on the grid. You better worry if you’ve allowed yourself to be invisible and out of contact. Staying on the radar screen is as easy as the three I’s: invitations, introductions and information. Deploy these three faithfully and you’ll see how easy it is to be visible.

3)    Make sure that your customer service is exceptional, not good, but exceptional. Conduct Voice of Customer surveys to make certain that you are getting honest and important feedback from the very people that you are looking to maintain and grow.

4)    Sales funnel got ya down? What are you doing to keep it filled? Are you actively going after new prospects at the same time as you are moving existing prospects further through the funnel and, hopefully, out the end as new business.  No matter how busy you are you can’t stop prospecting. That’s a rule.

The good news is that by doing all of the above you don’t have to worry, baby.

Is Your Business Like a Crystal Whale?

September 16, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I just read that Steuben is closing. Seems that the recession has claimed another victim and along with a change in the “wants” of folks that can actually afford to buy hugely expensive glassware Steuben just didn’t have a chance.

The news makes me kind of sad.

I did sales training for Steuben way back in the day when spending thousands of dollars for a glass bowl or a replica of an animal seemed right in line, when the store was crowded with people not just looking but buying too and when buying extravagant corporate gifts did not seem obscene.

So their time has passed. Their employees in NYC and Corning will get laid off and it’s said that their flagship store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan is already signed for by a major designer.

Things change. What are you doing to make certain that your business keeps up with the times?

Change is inevitable. Failure does not have to be its companion.

Fresh Burst Listerine and Other Such New Enhancements for Your Sales Pleasure

September 14, 2011 at 11:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I do wish that I was a consumer products marketer for it seems that with great regularity they are able to come out with product improvements and enhancements, designed I believe, to push consumers into the stores and get them to buy the new (improved) version of what they already bought.

We service providers should take a lesson from consumer marketers. We should be examining our service offerings on a regular basis and thinking about how we can enhance and improve upon what we are currently providing.  How often do we go out into the marketplace and tell clients and prospects alike about our newest, greatest, most improved version of…well, ourselves.

We should be taking a lesson from all of those packaged goods firms and consumer marketing giants that manage to keep us interested and going back to get their next best and latest version of __________.

Let’s take a lesson from Listerine, shall we?

 

 

 

 

 

Stand Clear of the Closing Doors, Please

September 13, 2011 at 7:08 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I take many subway rides each day as I navigate through the city heading to meetings, lunch appointments, networking events and the like. Uptown, downtown, the New York City subway is the fastest and most efficient way to get from one place to another.

And at each stop: “Stand clear of the closing doors please.”

Yes, over and over again at each stop, “stand clear of the closing doors please.”

And do you know what…the repetition works! The ongoing (taped) reminder seems to help us all step out of the way when the doors open thereby letting our fellow riders get on and get off at their stop. Yes indeed, stand clear of the closing doors please.

(Would we stand out of the way without the constant reminder? Mmm, not certain, but I rather think not. And anyway, why take that chance; it’s easy enough to remind us!)

Now think about your business. How often do you remind your clients and prospects of your key deliverables, repeat your value proposition and key points of differentiation and reiterate exactly how your business improves their personal or business lives?

Are you reminding them enough or do you think that because you told them once or even twice you just don’t have to say it again?

Are you leaving business on the table because your clients and prospects simply don’t “recall” exactly what you provide, or ALL of the things that you can do for them?

Stand clear of the closing doors please indeed.

Have You Abandoned Your Social Media?

September 12, 2011 at 7:58 am | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training | 2 Comments
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I truly appreciate the following blog post by Julie Levitch, of SayCurrent but I feel the need to chime in with another “must-do”.

Even WHEN you have ongoing execution of your social media campaign and have captured the eyes of readers on Facebook, Linkedin, your blog and more, you MUST have a follow-up sales program in place or you will surely not recognize the ROI that you should be getting.  Sales is a people game. The social media cocktail party tees you up but YOU have to hit the ball!

From Julie:

Social media continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Multi-national corporations, local restaurants, and retailers of all sizes are setting up Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and blogs to engage their audiences and hopefully increase their sales. This is all good stuff!

But, what we’re seeing over and over again are businesses that have gone through the efforts to start social media campaigns, only to give up after a short while. We’ve even happened upon several large-scale companies that have all but abandoned their Facebook pages and blogs. What’s going on here?

We think we have the answer. Businesses spend the time and money for the initial setup of their online marketing efforts, but don’t consider the ongoing investment in maintaining them. Social media is not a one- time project! It’s a process, and the longer you keep it going, the more successful it becomes.

Part of developing a social media plan is figuring out who is going to execute it over months and years. If you have someone in-house to do this, then consider yourself lucky, and give them the time to get the work done! If you don’t know who is going to do it, find an outsourced social media provider who can become part of your team to generate the copy and manage the flow.

Neglecting your already established social media efforts is literally akin to paying for a space at a tradeshow and not showing up. There are huge opportunities in social media for those who take the time to generate fresh content and keep their online communities engaged. So, if you haven’t updated your blog in months and have no idea who is “liking” you on Facebook, it may be time to regroup and start again!

It’s September: Do You Need A Wake-Up Call?

September 8, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training | 1 Comment
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Wake Me Up When September Ends.

With all due respect to Green Day I hope that you’re not singing this song: wake me up when September ends.

September. It’s here now.

We’re in that last push for business so that we might end 2011 in as good a position as possible.

Flaky economy be damned.

No time to sleep.

–Network more and do it in a more strategic manner.

–Connect with clients.

–Reconnect with dormant accounts.

–Invest in some refresher training.

–Start to use social media exquisitely (Don’t know how? Reach out and get some help. There are scads of resources to contact.)

–Not getting the results that you want? Think creatively and do things differently…now

–Explore strategic alliances.

–Divorce “bad” clients.

–Stop blaming the economy, your employees, your bad luck.

–Think positively.

–Get/be healthy. You can’t work hard if you don’t feel good.

Got it? Do it…Now.

Big Girls Don’t Cry

September 6, 2011 at 7:27 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Big girls don’t cry over:

• Prospects that ultimately say “no”
• Clients that decide to reduce their retainer
• Vendors that raise their fees
• Networking intros that “go south”

Nope. Big girls don’t do that.

Here’s what they do:

• They go out and assertively find more prospects using some of those time-proven techniques like phone and mail integrated with social media, PR and more

• They continually work with clients providing extra value and benefits and become a true business resource (and not a vendor)

• They ask for introductions and referrals to sources that provide the best work for the best price and insist on getting competitive bids when prices seem to be out of whack

• They understand that not all networking connections will be valuable and are prepared to not get discouraged and just move on

Are you a big girl (or boy?) Do you let any of these situations get you down, throw you off your game and ultimately put you and your business in a vulnerable position?

Remind yourself that you can move forward even when adversity hits you. Be resourceful and stay true to your goals. And, no crying (or at least not for long.)

Getting Your (Business) Groove Back

September 2, 2011 at 8:28 am | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training | Leave a comment
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Summer’s over.

OK I know the warm weather is going to (hopefully) hang around awhile longer but officially and with the Labor Day weekend upon us, it’s over.

Back to school. The start of holiday planning.

And, yes that all important 4th quarter when you will know (for sure) if you are going to be able to make your “numbers” for this year.

Are you?

It’s not too late. Shed off the slower and more relaxed pace of summer and kick it up a notch.

Network more. Prospect more. Make it a point to call  2-3 existing clients each day with the intent of taking the pulse of the business. Make it an even bigger point of reaching out and connecting with dormant accounts. Can they be reactivated? When?

And, when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. Not shopping for clothes or cars or tech toys but shopping for more new clients.

Assertive, hungry and smart. That’s how you should be starting this Fall.

Shed the tan, grab the phone and get things going.

It’s not too late to pull through a few new clients or reactivate some old ones.

What are you waiting for?

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