7 Tactics to be Memorable but Respected in Sales Calls



In this frenetic marketplace, creating a lasting impression on your prospects and clients – so they become loyal as repeat buyers – your approach should include seven tactics.

You don’t have to take drastic steps to captivate your audience.

It might seem challenging to create a memorable impression, but the trick is simply not to take shortcuts.

ID-100224080 stockimagesHere are seven tactics:

Create an instant favorable impression

Remember you must consistently wear a “uniform.” You only have a split second to create a favorable lasting impression. Always be consistent.

If you want someone’s money, and to earn lot of it, you have to show you’re worth it. So if you want a CEO’s business, you must demonstrate you’re a peer. That means the stereotypical dressing for success; in particular for relationships with high net worth prospects.

From casually dressed CEOs, you’re likely to get instant feedback. Many small business owners will mention you’re dressed better than they are, but they will always appreciate your professional appearance.

When casually dressed clients questioned my habit of wearing dark suits, I merely replied it was my uniform to keep me on my toes to create high performance for them.

After all, that’s why they hired me; some have been for 15+ continuous years. Why? Intuitive clients know that you’re treating them as an important event.

Even if you’re not selling at the senior-executive level, a professional appearance is still the ticket to success.

A little quirkiness might help. In today’s increasingly casual society, a dark wool suit with a white shirt and silk tie qualifies in order for you to stand out and in some circles is considered to be quirky.

Years ago, as a young manager I worked with an intriguing woman who was very successful in sales. Her initial trademark was a stylish hat with her professional dress. It would still work today.

Be a catalyst for positive emotional responses

Every buying decision is based on emotions. For many clients, it means making them feel special.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,” wrote author and poet Maya Angelou.

In addition, smile and be open to opportunities to make people laugh. Especially, compliment their business or employees.

Show a personal interest

After your opening value-proposition, the best way is to start a conversation is to ask pertinent, open-ended questions.

People don’t care what you have to say until they have their say. So be an engaged listener with good eye contact, which promotes trust. Effective listening skills will improve your relationships and business performance.

What counts in communication? Listening skills for discernment and trust. Discerning people are the most successful and listening skills are important for discernment. That goes for athletes and management, alike.

Avoid marginalizing your client and the employees.

In conversations, don’t make the mistake of being preoccupied – trying to think of what to say next in the break of the discussion – only to jump in with a remark. Be attentive, periodically nodding yes, so that the person feels important and validated.

The most talkative people are often the most annoying.

Be authentic

Be blunt and honest, and perhaps controversial – with a caveat. A word of caution – be honest without being insulting or sarcastic. The Greek word for sarcasm, sarcazo, literally means to tear flesh.

Be a somewhat unusual

When you’re asked “how are you?”, reply with self-effacing humor. If someone compliments you on your branding or publicity, reply with something like “Yes, that’s just my shameless self promotion.”

Watch your posture

People notice confident posture and body language. Not only will you look great and avoid a sore back, you’ll be memorable.

Act like a confident, top-shelf entertainer. Always look up, not down.

If you make a mistake, flaunt it.

Show you’re human. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable.

In my consulting practice, I’ve made two seemingly crucial mistakes – in both cases, I forgot to do something I promised. In two critical situations, I promised additional training sessions at no charge but simply forgot about them because I failed to write them on my calendar.

So, in one case I showed up voicing an apology with pecan pies with paper plates, napkins and forks for each employee. I served each of them. The client laughed hysterically in appreciation because I demonstrated my humanness.

In another, I walked into my client’s business and walked the length of a huge lobby dusting imaginary food off my tie. My CEO client spotted me and asked: “Corbell, what the hell are you doing?”

My response: “I’ve been eating crow. I’m sorry for missing the meeting.”

Again, my client laughed heartedly and replied: “You eat crow better than anyone I’ve ever met.” (A client of nearly 20 years.)

From the Coach’s Corner, here is additional relevant reading:

Tips for Building Long-Term Client Relationships with Effective Meetings — Signs you have good client relationships: They’ll thank you regularly, pay your invoices promptly, and will respond well to your recommendations. If you don’t have all three of these, here’s what to do.

Consultants – 5 Strategies to Build Trust with Clients — The five strategies that enhance relationships between consultants and clients.

Profits: Size Doesn’t Matter but Image, Professionalism Count — Appearances and professionalism can make your small business seem huge. If you look as though you’re substantial and that you can handle anything thrown your way – your odds for success improve dramatically. That’s especially true in this economy. Clients and customers will often prefer dealing with you as a small firm – if the job doesn’t appear too big for you to handle. So it’s best to look the part.

Ad Agencies Seeking New Clients — How to Create a Marriage — Many ad agency ideas are worth millions, but agencies are taken for granted by prospective clients. Here are the solutions.

The most talkative people are often the most annoying.


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net

13 Strategies to Keep and Attract Valued Customers



Have you experienced the agony of not enjoying the fruits of your labor? That includes not having enough time for projects, not enjoying life outside of your business, and worse – losing customers and repeat business.

Customers leave 70 percent of the time because they feel taken for granted – they don’t feel valued.

ID-100295804 stockimagesConcurrently, these situations make it difficult to attract more customers.

It’s much easier to keep customers happy for a stable income than to get new business.

It also makes it easier for referrals for new customers.

So what to do?

Implement 13 strategies to avoid the typical sins of businesses to avoid a crisis with valued customers.

Firstly, it’s best to look at the big picture – your approach to business planning.

Secondly, improve your day-to-day activities.

To keep and attract valued customers, here are 13 strategies:

  1. Have a strategic plan. There are five reasons for a strategic plan, which has six key elements.
  2. Using the right data, check the plan regularly to monitor progress and make adjustments. You can avoid expensive research tools.
  3. Make sure your stakeholders – advisers and employees – are aware of your strategic plan.
  4. Devote sufficient time and energy to your strategic planning – at least a couple of days every 12 months.
  5. Express what you envision for the scale and scope of your firm for the next three to five years.
  6. Anticipate what you’ll need to do to grow your business for the long term.
  7. Make certain your one-year planning segments contribute to your long-term goals.
  8. Know why you have and haven’t attained your profit and turnover targets.
  9. Prepare and hold well organized meetings to improve your company’s performance. Prepare an agenda and make it available to attendees in advance.
  10. Maintain and nurture your current relationships. Use your energy and time to fully understand the true needs of your customers, and their industries.
  11. Be authentic with your customers. Don’t pretend to be knowledgeable when you’re not. Your sincerity will increase trust with them.
  12. Focus on being passionate about delivering exemplary service.
  13. If you make a mistake, don’t be defensive. Flaunt your mistake with a sincere apology.

Again, failure to keep customers happy, will lead to your demise. But if you keep them happy, you’ll guarantee a stable income and a source for referrals of new business.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are relevant additional sources of information:

Why Your Customer-Loyalty Program Might Not Be Profitable — Researchers are warning businesses that their customer-loyalty programs, which are designed to increase repeat business, may be causing more harm than good.

Trending Essentials to Win Millennials’ Brand Loyalty — How do Millennial consumers — ages 18 to 33 — view brands? What’s necessary win their brand loyalty? The answers to these questions are important because Millennials have $600 billion to spend. If you win them over now — depending on your goods, services and industry — you might also create customers for decades to come.

Energize Your Customer-Loyalty Program with 6 Steps – The quickest way for established businesses to optimize revenue is to have a stellar customer-loyalty program — there are six steps you can take for repeat sales and referrals. If you’re not a great steward of your current book of business, it’s futile to look for new customers.

How to Profit from Word-of-Mouth Advertising and Customer Service — When was the last time you explored options for improving your word-of-mouth opportunities? Here’s a hint: Customer service is the No. 1 key to good word-of-mouth advertising and repeat business. My firm’s research shows that consumers usually respond favorably to marketing after receiving five positive messages. Conversely, they will divorce your company if they have five or fewer unfavorable experiences.

11 Sales Strategies to Outsell Your Big Competitors – Big companies have obvious advantages over small businesses. Their brands are well-known. They can afford sales training, sales-support staff and customer-relationship management software. On the other hand, there are good reasons why Cyber Monday has become big.

Sales, Networking Strategies to Build Strong Relationships – Thank you letters matter, but it’s become a lost art in favor of e-mails and uttering the trite phrase, “Have a nice day.” Ugh. The irony is that thank you letters create a self-feeling of optimism — a key ingredient for climbing the corporate ladder or to succeed as an entrepreneur.

In sales, it’s not what you say; it’s how they perceive what you say.

-Jeffrey Gitomer 

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy of stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net


Restaurants Need to Double-Down on Customer Loyalty in Q4



Restaurants need to strategize intensely on customer loyalty if they want to avert a massive decline in revenue in Q4. Why?

Revenue for restaurants have been plummeting after Thanksgiving – as much as 45 percent, according to a 2014 study.

“With all the excitement about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s easy to assume that everyone wins during the holidays – but these can be lean times for most restaurants,” said Zach Goldstein CEO and founder of Thanx.

“In our experience, restaurants that successfully combat the downturn focus on retaining existing customers,” he added.

eventfile000213537000Retailers

Yes, the restaurant business is such a stark contrast with retailers.

Retailers can enjoy as much as a 77 percent increase in revenue after Thanksgiving says a press release from the Thanx, Inc. (www.thanx.com), the company conducting the study.

Thanx cites Q4 monthly sales increases in data about retailers from the U.S. Census Bureau:

— Furniture retailers (24 percent)

— Merchandise (47 percent)

— Electronics (67 percent)

— Clothing (72 percent)

— Sporting goods (77 percent)

In addition, retailers are capitalizing on in-store WIFI to increase customer loyalty. Another study by Earthlink, IHL Group and AirTight Networks reveals that 27.5 percent of retailers have increased  customer loyalty by using in-store customer WiFi.

Restaurants

In December, Thanx says all restaurants – fast serve, fast casual and fine dining – suffer a 27 percent decline. Restaurants can suffer a 45 percent decrease when expanded the duration by a week just after Thanksgiving.

Thanx advocates identifying VIP customers and rewarding them if they patronize a restaurant with a gift, such as a wrapped gift of pre-packaged salad dressing.

In a case study of a Thanx client, Mixt Greens, patrons loved it. They visited Mixt Greens multiple times in the otherwise slow period.

“Through Thanx, we’ve made sure customers know how much we value their business and we can stay busy during what’s traditionally a slow period,” said David Silverglide, CEO of Mixt Greens. “By saying ‘Thanx’ to our customers, we’ve seen a 34 percent increase in frequency of customer visits.”

In 2015, Mixt Greens plans a “Eat Healthy This Holiday Season.” That includes a five 50 percent discount on salads in 2015 to customers who make five purchases between Thanksgiving and December 31st.

Just like the core Thanx program, qualifying purchases register automatically when consumers pay with their preferred payment card, thus requiring no added steps at checkout.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related strategies for enhanced customer loyalty and repeat business:

Restaurants Benefit by Seasoning Their Customer Loyalty Programs – With only 33 percent of patrons who are loyal customers, restaurants need to add seasoning to their customer-loyalty programs, according to a Deloitte Consulting study.

Tips for Restaurant Owners: Keeping Good Employees, Profits – If you, as a restaurant owner, have trouble keeping talented employees, consider insights from a report on a Sacramento, California TV station. It will also help you increase profits and stay in business.

Groupon Will Give You a Migraine for Ignoring Pricing Principles – Whether you’re an investor, small-business advertiser or even a customer, daily deal sites can give you a major headache. Continually, there are red flags about Groupon.

Why Companies Are High Maintenance to Customers (but Don’t Know It) — Businesses are losing more than they know because they inconvenience customers. Such negative customer perceptions result in lost opportunities in revenue growth, tarnished branding and smaller profit margins, according to a study.

How to Profit from Word-of-Mouth Advertising and Customer Service – When was the last time you explored options for improving your word-of-mouth opportunities? Here’s a hint: Customer service is the No. 1 key to good word-of-mouth advertising and repeat business. My firm’s research shows that consumers usually respond favorably to marketing after receiving five positive messages. Conversely, they will divorce your company if they have five or fewer unfavorable experiences.

The golden rule for every business man is this: ‘Put yourself in your customer’s place.’”

-Orison Swett Marden

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Profits: How to Save on Sales Opportunity Costs



If your sales efforts aren’t leading to your desired clients, here are a couple of questions:

— How many times have you been burdened by so-called prospective customers who waste your time without buying?

— How many times has a business or government agency asked for information on projects but used your ideas without paying you?

Ouch. That’s a waste of time and other resources.

Candidly, there are four plausible reasons why people don’t buy from you:

1. You haven’t done a good enough job selling your company.

2. You’re dealing with habitual tire-kickers.

3. You’re trying to sell to customers who are too price-conscious and are not value-minded.

4. You’re dealing with parasites or thieves who will try to replicate your ideas without paying you.

The latter is infuriating, but don’t get angry. It’s usually a waste of time and energy, and often creates negative PR images.

So remember to assess your role and processes, and make the necessary improvements.

How to save on sales opportunity costs:

1. Review your branding and marketing. A strong marketing program will prevent such problems by pre-selling your products and services, and will minimize the footwork required to close sales.

Use cost-effective marketing tools for growth.

Use due diligence to get top results from from your marketing plan

2. Distribute informative sales collateral and upgrade your Web site – pique the visitors’ interest — without divulging too much information.

3. Improve your customer service and sales processes. Make sure that you and members of your team are using the techniques.

Basically, this means remembering when and how to use the following:

— empathy

— incisively qualifying and researching your prospects

— asking the right questions

— listening

— providing strong value propositions

— showing an attitude of enthusiasm coupled with gratitude

— preventing buyers’ remorse

— providing added value whenever possible

Always be prepared to engage customers with a great elevator pitch.

4. Become a better student of human nature. Remember the basic law in economics 101 – know when to cut your losses. On the other hand, understand when it’s important to persevere and not give up prematurely for higher sales.

5. Maintain your mental acuity and balance when dealing with prospects. Don’t be desperate to make a sale to a prestigious-looking customer or company.

Don’t allow them to use you or your intellectual property. Take every precaution for successful negotiations.

As a prospect deliberates, keep moving and prospecting. Don’t spend your profits before the customer buys, and remember the adage: “A sale ain’t a sale until the money is in the cash register.”

6. Be loyal to customers who are good to you. This will make you feel better and you’ll enhance your odds for repeat business, which will also cut your sales opportunity costs.

Remember the essence of productive selling and you’ll save on sales opportunity costs. It’s all about wisdom in creating a happy buying environment and developing relationships.

From the Coach’s Corner, if you’re a small company, here are the 11 sales strategies to outsell your big competitors.

“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.”

-Dale Carnegie


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy of twobee at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.