Posts Tagged ‘sales’



Your Brand Promise and the Importance of the Front Line

Every person in your organization is telling your story. Paid, volunteer, happy or disgruntled, everyone matters when it comes to your brand’s perception. People talk about brand management like it’s something a highly paid executive carefully orchestrates from the company’s headquarters. But more often than not, managing a brand’s perception is left to those at the front lines of contact, such as hourly sales workers or volunteers. Millions of dollars in advertisement cannot overcome a poorly trained or unhappy minimum-wage employee.A while back, I went to the Guess store looking for a shirt. The store was somewhat busy, but soon a helpful sales lady opened a dressing room for me and brought me several shirts she she wanted me to try on.  Through the course of the conversation, she asked about my jeans preference and brought me 4 or 5 pairs to try. Beth was great at her job. When…

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How to Write Marketing Copy that Works

Words are powerful. They can move people into action. They inspire, they challenge, they amuse, but words also sell. Regardless of your industry, you are in sales. We all are, especially those who are in the non-profit sector or church leadership. It’s perhaps the most important of all sales: hope for better days and the ultimate hope of eternal life. Here are some key points to consider when writing copy that’s going to be used to compel and motivate people into action. Write to a person. Unless you understand your target audience, you cannot communicate effectively. Writing to “everyone” guarantees that you reach “no one.” Have a person in mind as you craft your words. Are you writing to a 50 year-old business professional, or a 35-year old stay-at-home mom with snotty-nose kids running around the house? Understand your audience’s motivation. Forget your agenda for a minute and try to…

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4 Skills Every Good Salesperson Must Have

We are all in sales. No matter what we do for a living, we all represent ourselves, our employer, and our value system to those with whom we come in contact. The very best sales people are not those who will promise anything and harass people to close a deal. People like that don’t last long in any job. They burn too many bridges in the process of getting it done. In my experience, here are some thoughts on what makes a good salesperson: They believe in their product. Whether you’re selling pen, cars, software, or hope, you cannot be great at it without believing in your product. I’m not saying that the product has to be great, but you must believe in it in order to champion it with heart. I once bought hundreds of pen fors my company because of the infectious conversation with the lady who cold-called…

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Closing the Deal and the Audience of One

In a sales presentation, you need to know who the decision maker is. And if you’re going to succeed, you must get that right. I have been in situations where I have presented to a room filled with people but I also understood that ultimately, the decision maker would make that call by himself. In a room of 20 people the opinion of one trumped the 19. Had I not known it, I would have missed the mark on my presentation. Next time you need to make a compelling case for an idea, or a product, you must identify the decision-maker in the room. However, do not assume it’s the boss. The ultimate word sometimes comes from an influencer who might not be the highest ranking person in the meeting. I learned that as an young music director. While on paper I was “in charge” of the music program of…

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5 Communication Styles You Need to Know

I enjoy people. I’m the guy who looks forward to a party to meet someone new as oppose to dreading have to walk in a room full of strangers. Most of the time that I find myself in a new situation, I look forward to making new friends. As gregarious as I am, I have learned that not everyone communicates the same way I do–as a matter of fact there are several different “communication languages” my clients and friends use for their primary mode of communication. Much like the popular “love language” concept where some prefer words of affirmation and others touch or some gifts, these communication styles or languages are key to unlocking the potential in a sales and management relationship. If you’re in sales (I believe we are all in sales of one form or another), consulting or ministry , the sooner you figure out the best way…

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Sales Help: How to Close a Deal

Every interaction you have with a potential client is critical if you want to establish a good relationship and eventually get the account. I firmly believe that you should value your input and expertise and charge for it adequately (I have blogged about it here.) However, I also believe that with each exchange with a promising new account you should find a way to add value in a way that cements in the other person’s mind the need for your services. Here’ s how I do it. I listen to their story. No matter what field of work you are in, people do business with other people and not just faceless entities. In order to be able to offer help, you need to know what’s important to the person you’re talking to, not only what’s needed in his or her business. These are often two different things. Sometimes you have…

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This is How Traditional Retail is Going to Survive

Traditional retail is in trouble. More and more people are buying products online. It’s convenient, easy and, for the most part, cheaper than going on a shopping expedition to the local mall. Retailers have noticed that and are trying to figure out what they need to do in order to be competitive. Unless you are Walmart, the retailer behemoth, you know that you can’t compete purely on price. Not long ago while exchanging some Christmas gifts at The Buckle store at the Cool Springs Mall,  I was reminded that as far as retail is concerned there’s still no substitute for a great sales person. I went to the store to exchange of couple of items with no intention of spending any extra money. An hour and a half later, I left with three extra bags. I was thinking on my way out of the store, “what just happened?” Well, I…

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Sometimes Your Best Sales Strategy is a Party

If you have ever met me in person, you know that I’m highly relational. I’m truly blessed to work with people I like. I’m at the stage in my career that I don’t have to pursue relationships that are only financially motivated. This year, instead of paying for a booth at the Catalyst Conference (13 thousand Christians leaders meeting for 3 days in Atlanta), I opted to have a small gathering of clients, friends and even some new friends at a restaurant near the arena. Everyone seemed to have had a great time. I loved it. It was a great fit for my personality and the type of work our branding and development team does: focused, personal and relational. By the end of the evening, our friends and clients were talking unsolicited about the value we bring to them to our new friends and potential clients. I realized years ago…

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The Law of Reciprocal Attraction

Don’t worry, I have not read “The Secret,” and this is not a scientific post. This is however, an observational and experiential commentary on something I have seen happen in my own life with surprisingly positive results. I call it the law of reciprocal attraction. What am I talking about? Simply put, the law of reciprocal attraction can be summarized in the following equation: positive attitude + interest in others = goodwill The meetings  and exchanges where I have previously decided to enjoy, as in, “this is going to be a good meeting”  and have intentionally focused my attention on others in the room and away from myself, are the  most enjoyable, productive and often lucrative. I don’t have any scientific data to back up my assertion but my positive attitude combined with a genuine interest in others create a reciprocal attraction. I’m convinced that a positive attitude alone is…

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How I Sold My House in Three Days (in a sucky market)

Last week we closed on the sale of our house. We lived there for almost 11 years. Here’s what’s interesting about the sale of our house: we put the house in the market on a Thursday, had an open house on Sunday, and had a full-price offer within a week, and closed in 6 weeks. Oh, and we did it without a Realtor. I know my experience is not typical in this market, but here’s how I did. It’s Got to Look GoodFirst of all, my house was in good shape. No, it was in an amazing shape for a 25 year-old-house (that’s the kind of endorsement you want from your wife after 25 years of marriage). In the past decade, we remodeled most everything about the house. New roof, new landscaping, Bathrooms with travertine counter tops, glass bowls, multiple showerheads. Our kitchen was my favorite room. Since I love…

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