Every one l know who works as a professional salesperson finds themselves under so much external pressure from time to time that it is so easy to overlook the ‘obvious’. In fact, those ‘obvious’ things may be staring us in the face, yet we tend to either miss them, overlook them or at times even dismiss them outright. Then over the passage of time, those seemingly ‘obvious’ things that are pushed aside by us, can so easily become the ‘thorn in the side’ for even the best of the sellers around today.
When that happens there is generally no seemingly easy way to turn things around, and get things back to normality apart from ‘a wake-up call’ from the least expected quarter. Many times it will be some unexpected advice from a spouse, or family member not associated with sales. Other times it will be from an audio tape we are listening to, or an article such as this.
Over my years in sales, I have read or heard something that “sets off” my internal light bulb and forces me to give myself a reality check. It is for this reason, whenever I am aware that things aren’t working out the way they should be, I force myself to read more and listen to more from those that have “been there and done that.’ It’s the same advice I have passed on whenever I managed sales teams, or conducted seminars, or spoke in public.
Now read on. You may just experience you new personal ‘light bulb’ moment or revelation.
Make it easy for your Customers to do Business with
These days most peoples lives can be terribly complicated. Therefore it makes sense that consumers are more likely to respond to companies that make life a little easier for them. The easier you make it for the consumer, the less likely they are too work too hard to decipher what you are trying to communicate to them.
Have you noticed how hard some of the utilities are working to simplify their accounting procedures lately. The same should apply to your customers, they too should be able to see a noticeable difference in the way you trade.
Are Your Customers Business Partners?
In today’s highly competitive market, your customers want more than just somebody that supply’s them with goods and services. They want to feel secure in a relationship with someone they know, get along with and can trust, especially when they need help the most.
They would prefer to have someone they can ask advise of, get an honest answer and know that their needs are taken care of in the most professional way. But above all, they want someone on their team who’s on their side. Someone who’s loyal to them and can be taken into their confidence when and as needed.
So many Sell that “Cute” Thing
If this heading sounds as if there are those that are wanting to target on the “cute factor” and incorporate into their business in some way shape or form, you’re right. So many advertisers are trying to be ‘cute’ today. My advice is – don’t be cute – tell it as it is. Far too often someone comes up with a brilliant idea – it’s functional, targets the market exactly, tells a great story and has a wonderful hook to it, then turns it over to a “creative expert” who decides to dress it up in a ‘cute’ format.
The minute you go ‘cute’, is the minute you run the chance your advertising may not be taken as seriously as it could be. Powerful idea’s are those that ‘hit the mark’, not the ones that are ‘cute’. A small segment of the market may relate to ‘cute’ but will only relate to ideas that ‘hit the mark’ – as most people do. Some of the best known and longest surviving slogans this country has ever produced are purposely hard hitting – and definitely not ‘cute’.
These days there are literally thousands of hard hitting slogans used by number of companies as their USW (Unique Secret Weapon) and not one of these can be considered ‘cute’. They included the following: COCA COLA – ‘the real thing’, BUDGET – ‘drives your dollar further’, BEAUREPAIRS – ‘sells tyres with a capital B’, O’BRIENS – promotes “O” in the glass business, MITSUBISHI – ‘please consider, CANON – uses a “Canon” in its advertising, and COLGATE – breaks chalk in its advertising.
A few others that come to mind are BRIDGESTONE – The ‘family’ choice, GOODYEAR – if it save one accident ‘it’s a good year’, NATIONAL BANK – the bigger picture, and LISTERINE – the product that blows away your bad breath, just to name a few. These are all are hard hitting and memorable, but definitely not ‘cute’.
Don’t Bother with a Better Mouse-Trap
A few years ago one company did. They researched well and built what many called the Rolls-Royce of mouse traps. Their competitors, the retailers and the general public really admired this superb creation. Even the rodent trappers thought it was a great invention. Today that mouse trap is no longer available – the company went broke.
For years we’ve been told that all you have to do is build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. It may have applied when Waldo Emerson penned those words, but it doesn’t apply today. The fact is, there will always be someone with an inferior product that will capture a greater share of the market because of their better selling and marketing skills.
Never Waste a Prospects Time
Once upon a time people said, “Time is money”. Most no longer live by that philosophy. These days, especially to newer generations, time is no longer more valuable than money.
People now expect, look for and even demand convenience. Those that understand this ideal, go out of their way to make it easy for people to buy what they are selling – as easy as possible. They know the only way they’ll achieve this end is to do things in such a way that doesn’t waste their customers time any more than is absolutely necessary.
Another factor is, far too many retail, wholesale and general salespeople “like to have a chat” with someone they feel they are getting along with quite well. This can be a vital mistake. Even people in the country (who are renown to like a chat) feel uncomfortable when someone over does it.
And Remember – Confidence and Commitment Come Up Trumps
In a recent study of 10,000 people that determined why consumers frequent the business they do, price rated fifth, selection fourth, service third, quality second, and confidence first.
These people simply stated they would patronise the business they had confidence in. Therefore, what is the commitment you’ve made to increase your consumers confidence level in you and/or your business?
There never has been, nor ever will be, anything to match your total commitment to your business to help bolster consumer confidence. Your consistency is not only a key factor to your commitment, it is a vital factor.
Remember, if others become more assured in you, simply because they see a consistency of commitment, their confidence level will also rise, and the more confident they become in you or your business, the more likely they are to become your clients.
This Article is by Peter Collins – In a sales career spanning more than 50 years, Peter Collins has focused on helping and bringing out the best in others – whether it involves training or mentoring salespeople, managers, business consulting to SME’s. Since the 1970’s Peter has built a reputation as a Nationally and Internationally Published author, and has 65 books to his credit, but he is mainly known for one book based on the Audio Tape series of the same name, Over 50 Ways of Closing the Sale. In his personal life, Peter has been sought after as an encourager and motivator that has given of his time and talents freely despite his busy schedule. Subsequently, he has assisted churches, pastors, community and charity groups, as well as individuals through his teaching, training, development and on-going mentoring.
Peter can be contacted through his website – profitmakersales.com