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27 Oct

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Sandler Sales Technique: Selling Tangible and Intangibles

October 27, 2006 | By | 2 Comments

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No Solicitors Allowed

acquired by Your Business Blogger

ca 1971 Your Business Blogger has always been a peddler. A very lazy peddler, which meant two things:

1) I had to learn shortcuts, and,

2) I was destined for management.

A hundred years ago, I started out selling vacuum cleaners cold-calling door to door.

Cold. Calling. O Joy.

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Sales shoe leather Yes, that law of large numbers worked — wearing out shoe leather knocking on hundreds of doors — but it really wasn’t much fun for me. And not much fun for the home owner either. Around 1986 or so, I sought out the smartest sales guy on the planet who had the same latitude for lazy as me.

I decided to meet with David Sandler, the founder of the Sandler Sales Institute.

After listening to him for a few minutes, I was intrigued by his system and his style, but I wanted to know more. I ventured a timid question.

He looked at me. Then he told me to get out of the room. He wasn’t smiling.

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Charmaine at the highest level of sales —

selling an idea; an intangible He was selling.

He got my attention: I come, willing to sit through his sales pitch and he tells me, me! to get lost. The program was expensive and lightweight nobodies couldn’t afford his sales program.

Those weren’t his exact words. But close.

And, of course, I couldn’t afford it.

And, of course, I had to have it.

Among The Sandler Rules,

When faced with stalls, objections, or put-offs, you must eliminate them or it’s over.

Inspect what you expect.

You can’t lose what you don’t have.

If you wait until the presentation to close the sale, you put too much pressure on the prospect and yourself.

It was the best 850 bucks I ever spent.

I learned to ask stupid questions (which comes quite naturally to me) like,

What does that mean?

Why am I here?

It doesn’t look like you’re interested?

And when all else fails,

Is it over?

That last one is my favorite. When at the end of the sales process and it doesn’t look like the sale is coming and you are about to get thrown out, ask,

Is it over?

In decades a-peddling I’ve only had two prospects say yes, it’s over, now get lost.

(Hint: Guys, don’t be asking this question when you’re dating. You will get many, many yes’s. Not that I’d know.)

Sandler’s Sales System is not for everyone — but it works even for those who don’t like it.

But I try to steer clients to Sandler because my small business owners work too hard. This is an unfortunate trend. The Boss should never work too hard.

The core concept of this sales program is of hyper-sales-qualification. Do not attempt without adult supervision. There is no better skill set to sell tangibles or intangibles. Selling things or ideas, Sandler is best.

I haven’t made a cold-call since.

My prospective clients call me.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

This is an unpaid endorsement for continuing education and the Sandler sales process.

David Sandler died in 1995. And left the world a better place.

Six Steps to Your Perfect Introduction From the Podium

September 18, 2006 | By | No Comments

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Steve Forbes

Washington Post A few years ago Your Business Blogger was privileged and honored to introduce Steve Forbes at a fundraising event with 950 of my closest friends. I was tempted to honor him with the most flattering, and shortest intro by saying, “Here’s Steve Forbes, who needs no introduction…”

But most of us will.

Need an introduction.

So when your big break comes, that magic moment arrives — how do you that know you’ll get that classy intro, with just the right touch?

You know your introduction will be perfect. Because you will write it.

History was very good to Winston Churchill because Winston Churchill wrote it himself. Here’s a brief history outline — to write your own story:

1) Short. Two minutes, 250 words.

2) Welcome. Say hello as if to a single person. Forget the other 949.

3) Bio. The current gig, then what you are best known for. Credentials and qualifications.

4) Topic. The topic.

5) So What? Review the key questions of why we are all here and why we should care

6) Clap. Join me in welcoming and start clapping…

Remember, a good introduction serves as a stepping stone, bridge, a segue to the Keynoter to begin for a smooth and exciting transition.

Not a bad introduction. The worst introduction I’ve experienced was a joke. Literally. And I didn’t like not being in on the joke — it wasn’t funny because I swallowed the bait whole.

I was working a trade show and sat in on some breakfast speechifying. The Headliner, a Hal Becker, Mr. Motivational Speaker, supplied — later, we learned — his own introductory remarks, as Your Business Blogger suggests here. However, Becker’s “background” included a series of terminal degrees from Ivy League universities and instructing at medical schools. Very, very impressive. But I should have known that a Nobel Laureate would not be speaking to this group.

This group being any group in which I was a member.

But, I settled back to enjoy the speech. I know a bit about hospitals, my wife knows a bit about academia — I thought I was going to get some learning.

Instead I got surprised. The speaker was only [gasp] an ordinary business guy. I was duped. Which is, well, nothing new.

My expectations were not managed with me not seeing the ol’ switcheroo. Everyone else thought the guy was a hoot.

I didn’t hear the speech, which I am told, was very good.

But this Keynoter Hal Becker forgot Rule One in public speaking: Only experts should use humor.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Hal Becker does have quite a resume, even with a poor sense of humor — he was the number one salesman at one time in Xerox’s 11,000 person sales force. He is well worth his $7,500 speaking fee. Just introduce him yourself.

Getting Business Done On 9.11.01

September 9, 2006 | By | No Comments

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Dad & The Dude

prepared for war

September 11, 2001

photo credit:

Charmaine Yoest, Ph.D. Just after 9am on 9.11, I was doing what all business owners were doing: selling something. I was on the phone with a client. Making a pitch to attend a series of seminars, with CNN on in the background. I was a bit distracted by the live feed of a burning building.

While making ‘the ask,’ it was clear that my customer was not aware that we had just been attacked. I wanted to say something, like, Turn on your TV and stare at real pain. It just didn’t look real. I continued instead with the conversation. Your Business Blogger is not normally so focused. In denial, perhaps. Disasters are not normally good for business.

There was work to be done. My next class was on September 19.

And I didn’t want the customer on the other end of the phone distracted until the sale was closed. Then we could go to war.

The deal done, I noticed my boy, The Dude, was concerned that the attacks would continue down to us in Charlottesville, Virginia. “We got to get ready!” he shouts and scampers around digging up my old uniform, boots, saber and his grandfather’s bayonet. (Old soldiers never die, they just file away. Apologies to MacArthur.)

The Dude spent the rest of the morning marching outside our front door. Looking out for terrorists. It must have worked.

Charlottesville was not attacked.

But we were affected. Everyone was. But I wasn’t sure that the bank was going to delay getting their money over a pesky act of war. I still had to earn a living.

How would the war affect business? Not the macro, but mine? I had a seminar and clients coming into town in little over a week and the world was on fire. Would anyone show up? Would anyone care?

We North Americans do business like we do war. We win. Donald Trump becomes Victor Davis Hanson. At 8 am on 19 September 2001, 86 professionals showed up and got down to business. A packed room.

The free lunch helped.

Even my business partner, Faisal Alam, came down from New York City to join us. He is Muslim.

The country was mourning, but on the move.

I started with a minute of silence in remembrance of those lost in the World Trade Towers.

Then we all got back to work. Each making the world a better place. Even with a war on.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

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Basil’s Blog has open trackbacks.

California Conservative has Open Post 9.11.

06 Jul

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The New Sales Cycle: Forecast Failure in 8 Easy Steps

July 6, 2006 | By | 2 Comments

Every motivational speaker uses Babe Ruth as the example to just keep swinging for the fences. Joy always comes with persistence. Keep Swinging!

This is a lie.

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Your Business Blogger

with sales baubles:

Always avoid

braggards and

blowhards

like this.

Managing salesfolks is the best job in the world.

And the worst job in the world. Your Business Blogger has had a number of sales teams full of Babe Ruths. The swings, the misses, the whining. The winning.

The pain. Even for the Babe, striking out would hurt.

But not all sales guys have Ruth’s talent.

Most fail.

And here is the script so that you, too, can see failure coming down the track. Like a whistle before the train wreck, listen for these clues.

It starts in the interview. The bragging sales guy [ tout chapeau aucun betail ]says, “Hire me…”

1) I can sell anything, (You Want Refrigerators in Antarctica? I’m Your Man) and so he begins,

2) Exaggerate the client’s interest, (They Love Us, Baby) with

3) Unfounded optimism, (The Deal is Done — Good as Booked) then

4) Excuses Galore, (The Order is Coming — Next Quarter, You Can Take That to the Bank) — here it is:

5) Disaster, (My Contact Quit, Stabbed in the Back, Poor Bugger.) followed by

6) More Optimism (We’ll get ’em Next Quarter — Guaranteed) and later

7) Finger Pointing (It’s a terrible territory; It’s not the man — it’s the land.) finally

8) Abandonment (Great concept; a little too soon…Sign this expense report.)

And he’s off to another start-up making even more money. (Not that I’d know.)

So, if your need something to sell; You Want Refrigerators in Anartica? I’m Your Man.

Meanwhile, check out my upcoming post on working with super star Bono — coming tomorrow. U 2 can be a star. (See #2 and #3 above.) “Hire me…”

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Be sure to know When to Quit.

And visit my weekly column in Anita Campbell’s Small Business Trends.

Sales: Never Give Up vs Never Going to Happen

June 21, 2006 | By | No Comments

sales_shoe_leather.jpgYour Business Blogger often advises sales guys on peddling products, programs, services. Tangibles and intangibles.

We know Winston Churchill’s 1941 quote to Never never never give up. And in 1813, Captain James Lawrence said, “Boys, Don’t give up the ship.” The American Way to Never Say Die. (Well, Churchill was half American.)

So, three options: 1. When to know when to go once more into the breach? (Shakespeare thinks like an American. Or is it the other way around?) And 2. When to pick a hill to die on, or 3. When to go home.

Most often we sales guys pick # three too soon.

And of the three, which one is best? What is needed?

Into the breach with “Persistence, Persistence, Persistence,” says Gloria Berthold, President of TargetGov

Gloria reminds us that sales reps often quit too soon. They will bail out before they get tossed out.

Persistence. I was fortunate to have a sales trainer over two decades ago who taught how to measure persistence. In the high-pressure elite cadre of medical sales. His advice:

If you’re not getting thrown out of an account once a month, you’re not working hard enough.

This is always a challenge: balancing being nice, with being good . . .and persistent.

Sorry. Being nice is over-rated. Your Business Blogger always recommends being good.

But most of us sales guys want to be nice and good and never want to quit.

So when does persistence begin to look like lunacy?

Typical sales managers will typically berate their teams to never give up! to keep pounding the pavement! overcome that objection! flog that prospect!

I know. Your Humble Business Blogger used to do the berating.

But there are times when sales reps need to spend more time hyper-qualifying a prospect before any time is wasted. No need to talk with 5 cold call strangers per day, when one warm referral will get quota.

Persist, to be sure. But Qualify, Qualify, Qualify.

And then you will never be able to quit.

Read more at Small Business Trends with Sales Persistence & Knowing When To Stop. Your Business Blogger has a weekly column that runs on Tuesdays. Do visit for the best for small businesses.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Small Business Trends is the creation of Anita Campbell.

John Wanamaker: Marketer, Post Master, Mason

May 24, 2006 | By | No Comments

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John Wanamaker

Citizen

1838 — 1922

Your Business Blogger is in the City of Brotherly Love for a trade show and clients. And for a business Hajj; traveling to the statue of John Wanamaker, patron saint of modern marketing.

And who was most concerned about the return on the investment of his marketing budget:

Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.

Wanamaker opened his first store in Philadelphia in 1861 with the revolutionary guarantee, “One price and goods returnable.”

Saint John is credited with opening the first department store — John Wanamaker & Co. also known as “The Grand Depot.”

US President Benjamin Harrison must have seen the cross over applications of Wanamaker’s marketing genius to the, the …Post Office.

(This is America!)

Wanamaker is acknowledged with producing the first commemorative stamp. Where Marketing meets government.

He also was a Presbyterian who founded the Bethany Sunday School, and was Worshipful Master of his Masonic Lodge.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Also see Benjamin Franklin’s business model combining the Post Office and blogging newspapers.

18 May

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What is the Best Marketing Tool?

May 18, 2006 | By | 2 Comments

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Sports Illustrated A good marketing campaign includes reach, frequency and awareness. A great campaign would have a branding image installed in:

100% of all businesses.

Viewed by each office worker five times a day.

Five days a week.

50 weeks per year.

What gives a business that measure of exposure? A $100K billboard? Permission-based email blast with girlie content?

Nope. You have one on your wall now.

A calendar. Low tech. Dates on a grid. Paper on a nail. Common as paper clips.

You have a PDA down in your pocket. But there’s a calendar at eye level.

Lots of them.

If you are at work in a cubicle, you have an average of 2.5 each. At home you have four calendars.

Smart marketers understand that a calendar tells a story. Like a business card. And that calendars can be a business card on a wall.

Joe Bunsness from Triumph Calendars, Norwood Promotional Products reminds us that the research is compelling:

86% of people remember what the message is on the calendar or who gave them the calendar.

83% of organizations purchase the products of the business who supplied the calendar.

70% of what is heard is forgotten, but…

80% of what is seen, is retained.

What is experienced for 30 days becomes a habit.

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The lowly calendar as

marketing vehicleSo send out 100 calendars with your logo and contact info. What happens? And how do we know?

Running the numbers down a funnel is easy. Research has also provided some predictability in what happens next:

Assume a cost of $3.00 per calendar. For every 100 calendars sent to a client:

An estimated 50% of the calendars will be hung up on the end-users’ wall.

A calendar is viewed five times per day per person.

A calendar is viewed by 1.5 persons per day.

A calendar is hung in an office open 5 days per week,

50 weeks per year.

I’ll the math, if you don’t mind.

100 X .5 X 5 X 1.5 X 5 X 50 = 93,750

If you would allow me a +/- 10% variance, the campaign could have 100,000 impressions for $300. (Marketers always round up.) Or .003 cents per impression. Cost would be a penny for three viewings. Cheap eyeballs.

At least compared to Super Bowls ad rates. $2.4 million / 86.8 million viewers. Nets to .03 cents per viewer.

So calendars are 10 times better than a Super Bowl ad. Even if you had a 7 figure ad budget.

Calendars can help your clients memorize your message. One day at a time.

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Calendars, the

perfect marketing toolWas this helpful? Do comment.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Full Disclosure: Your Business Blogger owns a calendar company and has a patent pending for a particular market segment. Unfortunately this is not a sales pitch. My calendars are not for sale to the general public. But you should still consider calendars as a marketing tool.

The Lifetime Value of a Customer, A Strategic Prospective

May 15, 2006 | By | One Comment

Business on the ball, outside the Ritz, Tyson’s Mall in Northern Virginia

This weekend Charmaine was managing logistics for a presentation at the Council for National Policy near Your Nation’s Capital. Her goal was to make her boss look good.

One of her concerns was the dependability of the hardware supporting a Powerpoint presentation.

We’ve all been there. Something always goes wrong. New surroundings. Strange equipment. In front of 1,000 critical sets of eyes.

But I told Charmaine not to worry. She’s at the Ritz.

Years ago, I sat at the feet of the General Manager of the Ritz-Carlton for at TQM presentation. (Total Quality Management — the management fads do come and go, no?)

The GM interviewed every hire in the hotel. In the hospitality business where turnover is a mess — he beat the problem by hiring the best staff. And motivating them with,

“We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen.”

When the Ritz pledges,

…to provide the finest personal service and facilities for our guests…

I believe them.

And it’s not because the Ritz group are nice guys. They are in it to make a buck. Each employee has a $2,000 authority limit, no-questions-asked refund policy for guests.

Why? Is the Ritz giving away the store?

The upscale chain has determined that the life time value of a customer is $300,000. Solving a 1,000 dollar complaint instantly, is small change for a $300K customer.

The presentation went off without a hitch.

So the boss did a flawless presentation. He was, however, interrupted twice. Not with equipment malfunctions.

With applause.

Exceeding expectations at the Ritz.

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The Penta Posse

Posing

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Thank you (foot)notes:

This was an unpaid puff piece.

Man on a Mission reports that the Ritz has the best mission statement he’s ever seen.

21 Apr

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Selling the Great Wall of China

April 21, 2006 | By | 3 Comments

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Elmer Wheeler selling

through the senses “Sell the sizzle, not the steak,” said master salesman Elmer Wheeler. His book SIZZLEMANSHIP: New Tested Selling Sentences and his others are among sales lore classics.

His original research was built around 105,000 word order combinations and tested on some 19,000,000 people, as the legend goes. Elmer then took the “Wheeler Word Laboratory” on the road consulting with major retailers. Teaching salesmen to sell more.

His research from the 1930’s still holds and sells today. Even half way around the world.

Your Business Blogger was touring the country side north of Beijing. Seeking out local thrills.

The buzz from my hosts was about a terrific luge-like ride. Nothing like Disney World. A real experience.

A ride faster and more dangerous. Not OSHA compliant with all those pesky safety restrictions.

It sounded great. All my senses were a-tingle. I jumped at the chance for danger.

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Ski lift to the top of the runOur guides mentioned some history and scenery and artifacts, along the way. With an edge. So I ride with my buddy David Wayne up to the top. And sped down to the bottom.

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A Chinese thrill rideEveryone was right! Cheap, exciting thrills! When you come to Beijing, be sure to look into the luge ride!

It sizzles.

By the way, there was another attraction in between the ski lift ride up, and the tremendous luge ride down.

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The Great Wall of China

Here’s Your Business Blogger modeling genuine Chinese Communist Red Army head wear. At the Great Wall of China.

The structure was breathtaking. A meaty experience sold with sizzle. Anticipation rewarded with a concrete experience through each of the senses.

Marketing at its best.

Elmer Wheeler lives.

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Off-vertical brick laying Your Business Blogger worked in college as a carpenter’s helper and was intrigued by the brickwork of the Great Wall. The bricks followed the terrain contours. The Wall in the Middle Kingdom doesn’t follow the vertical to earth’s center. If a mason could plumb this out for me and comment, I’ll send a blog t-shirt.

From Emperor Heaven,

The Great Wall of China is one of the great man-made landmarks on earth, an incredible feat of engineering begun some 2000 years ago. It stretches for about 6,500 km from the Korean mountains to the Gobi desert. The average height is 10 metres (originally the height of 5 men) & the width is 5 metres (originally 6 horses wide at the top, 8 horses wide at the bottom).

It was started during the Eastern Zhou Dynasty as small bits of defensive wall for three of the individual states to keep the northern nomadic barbarians away. Under the Qin Dynasty the independent bits of wall began to be joined making it the ‘great’ wall to protect the whole country from northern invasions. Over a million people eventually were sent to work on the wall during the Qin Dynasty (local people, soldiers, scholars and prisoners) and it was worked on for ten years continuously day and night using, for the most part, local construction materials. If anyone died while working, they were buried in the wall. Workers who complained or tried to run away were buried alive. During the Qin and Han Dynasties the construction was of wooden frames which were filled with earth which was then tamped tightly. The frames were removed leaving a tightly packed earthen wall. Many years later the earth was enclosed by brick and stone.

It consisted of wall interspersed with watchtowers. The soldiers lived and stored their supplies in the towers and each tower was within sight of the next. The soldiers looked out for invasions when a flag or torch was used for signaling and occasionally took part in skirmishes with the invaders. Many of the garrisons had nearby farming plots so were self-sufficient as getting supplies to the remote areas was hard.

From the Han Dynasty (200 BC) to the Ming Dynasty (17th century), it was continually extended, reconstructed and restored. It’s the remnants of the Ming wall that are mainly visible today when the brick and stone work was extended and sophisticated designs added.

Mudville Gazette has Open Post.

Russell Davies has a better picture of Wheeler. Bet on the Brits. And a better article. Blog roll him.

Men Hunt; Women Shop

April 6, 2006 | By | No Comments

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From Tom Peters! Dunkin Donuts Presentation

Men and women are different.

ALERT THE MEDIA!


Your Business Blogger was looking over Charmaine’s shoulder as she was working on her dissertation. One of her findings was about how men and women used parental leave in the academy.


Here’s what was claimed: Here’s what happened:

When women took parental leave to care for a new born baby:

Women took care of the new born baby.

When men took parental leave to care for a new born baby:

Men worked on their research.

Charmaine thought: Men, taking unfair advantage of the system!

Jack thought: Men, taking care of business.

Charmaine thought: Women, taking leave to change diapers!

Jack thought: Women change diapers, I’m taking a nap.

There’s a gap in more than how we move around in the GAP.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Full Disclosure: Your Business Blogger has changed a diaper. Or two. Alert the media.

Hat tip to Rob May at Business Pundit for blog rolling Tom Peters. Be sure to read Rob’s Relationships.

Visit Laura and her Open Trackbacks. She gets it right.