Category Archives: Sales

Don’t say sorry, apologize… then ask for forgiveness

There’s a difference between saying you’re sorry and asking someone to forgive you.

Years ago, my wife and I did the Growing Kids God’s Way curriculum. In it, the Ezzos talk about having your kids apologize when they get in trouble. Not only that, but the Ezzos recommend having your kids ask for forgiveness. According to the Ezzos, and later confirmed by me in practice, this repairs any damage done by the mistake.

Back when I selling advertising, I had an issue with a client. An agency. In fact, one of the largest agencies in town. I could’ve easily blamed the client, or found some other way to blameshift, but the responsibility was clearly mine. Instead of take the easy way out, I took the Ezzos’ advice and apologized to the client. I then asked for forgiveness. The client began trusting me more, despite my mistake.

Today’s world – with cell phones, social media, instant messaging, etc. – it’s easier than ever to be a flake. Don’t flake. You’re better than that.

Don't just say sorry

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How to get people excited about what excites you…

People get excited about what excites you.  When a keynote speaker is jacked up about a topic, it’s hard not to be jacked up as well. If your pastor is passionate about a Sunday teaching, you’re more likely to remember it and absorb that teaching.

Passion

As a marketer, small business owner, or salesperson, remember that people will listen when you’re passionate about whatever it is you do. Someone once told me, “you can’t sell it if you don’t love it.” If you truly love your product, business, website, blog, whatever, then people will be infected by your passion.

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You can’t win them all

You won’t close every deal. You won’t convert every visitor to your website. Not every person that passes your trade show booth will love your product. And that’s ok.

I’ve said this before – and it’s an idea I’ve been borrowing for some time – that every “no” gets you that much closer to a “yes.” What does that mean? It means that if your success rate is 4 out of every 10, or 40%, you’ll need at least 6 people to tell you “no” before 4 people can say “yes.”

This should encourage you. Don’t worry about every lost deal. Do what you can to learn from that interaction – was your price too high or too low, were you too aggressive or not aggressive enough, etc. and then get ready for the next potential customer.

You can’t and won’t win them all. Stay focused on the success rate, and always try to leave everyone in better shape than you found them.

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Tips for Buyers at a Trade Show

1. You don’t have to buy, but that doesn’t mean you have to be rude.

Look, I know attending a trade show as a buyer can be tough. All the exhibitors are looking for their big break, and when they see someone walking by with a buyer badge they think their ship has come in. That said, it doesn’t mean you need to be rude when someone offers to show you their product. Instead, be honest.

I’d rather a buyer tell me that they aren’t buying or that they aren’t looking for new products than have them be rude. At least I’ll know there’s no shot and I’ll move on to the next prospect.

Which leads me to my next two tips…

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Trade Show Tips and Tricks Part II

A few weeks ago I attended the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Show in Salt Lake City with a client.

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market

The show had me thinking of some more tips for attending a trade show as an exhibitor. Here they are!

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10 Trade Show Tips and Tricks

A few weeks ago, I went to the Shot Show with a client. Before I get into the tips for a successful

KH&JK@Shot2014

trade show, let me start by saying WOW! The Shot Show was by far the biggest show I’ve attended. I know that shows like CES are bigger (I’ve never been), but this was almost overwhelming.

Anyway, while I was at the Shot Show, I noticed that a lot of the vendors didn’t seem to have a clue as to how to run their booth. Based on that, I thought I’d come up with a list of tips for those who are willing to admit they can use some help.

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I Love People Who Hate Money

if-you-want-your-customers-to-love-you

Every once in awhile I chat with a client, an associate, or a friend who has a story about bad customer service. But not of the normal variety. The situations that stand out to me are when a customer is trying to do business with a company that seemingly doesn’t want the business. It’s happened to me on several occasions as well. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why a business wouldn’t want a new customer. If their workload is too heavy and they don’t need me as a customer, the least they could do is tell me, right? It comes across like they hate money. But what I really mean is, it comes across like they hate their customers.

On that note, I’ve put together a quick list of things to do if you never want to make a sale:

1. Don’t return phone calls or emails from people who WANT to buy your product/service right now.

2. In fact, don’t ever respond to any email or answer any phone call.

3. Say you’ll do something and then don’t do it.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest. Let’s talk about the positive.

Things you should do NO MATTER WHAT to sell your product/service:

1. Sometimes it’s improbable to answer every single email and respond to every single phone call in a day, and I get that. So, layout a plan for responding. It could be phone calls are responded to same day, and emails are responded to in 12 hours.

2. This next one is so simple it’s scarey. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you aren’t going to be able to do what you said you were going to do when you said you were going to do it, then say so. Honesty is awesome.

3. Which brings me to this. Be honest with your customers. It won’t hurt you, and it certainly won’t hurt them.

As you’ve probably noticed, these things have less to do with actually making money, and more to do with taking care of your customers. If you take care of your customers, I promise they’ll take care of you.

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Door-to-door Sales

before-you-go-door-to-door

I had not one, but two people from the same carpet cleaning company stop by my house the other day. They were offering a deal and they were going door-to-door to sell it. The deal was for one free room/floor rug/piece of furniture cleaning. After declining the offer, this dual encounter had me posting on my twitter account:

“If your product/service was really that awesome, would you really have to go door to door “giving” it away? #justsayin”

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Beating a Dead Horse

you-want-customers

I’ve talked about this before, and I’m talking about it again because I still see it all the time.

You can’t just start a business – a retail store, a restaurant, a consulting firm, etc. – and expect people to magically show up. Customers don’t fall off trees. It’s not “build it and they will come.” It’s build it, talk about it, advertise it, market it and hopefully they will come.

It’s tell a story. Tell a good story. Then trust that the story is so good people will start telling it for you. I can’t say it loud enough or often enough, but an open sign hanging in your window simply is not enough. If you want to succeed, you have to do more. There is no magic pill – no simple solution to becoming a success – other than hard (smart) work.

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Dating is like sales

dating

Each no gets you that much closer to a yes.

Sales isn’t so much about closing every deal. It’s about playing the odds. But you don’t have to be sleazy, cheesy or deceptive about it. Trying to build relationships is the best way to approach sales, but you’ll still have to play the numbers. Not everyone is in a position, mentally or financially, to buy.

Dating is similar. You have a product, yourself, that you’re looking for someone else to appreciate enough to purchase. Not everyone is in a position, mentally or emotionally, to buy. So you play the odds.

In either case, it’s easy to get discouraged. Just remember, each no gets you that much closer to a yes.