90 Seconds is our weekly tips update, send directly to your inbox every Monday morning.
2nd December 2013 » Birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, New Year and many others are all great reasons to contact people and wish them well and send them your thoughts. However, please remember that, as my Nan taught me , “its the thought that counts”. Choose your communication technique based on the sincerity of your thoughts and the desired response from your recipient. Reaching for an email or a Facebook wall post to pass on a message meant with sincerity may not gain the result intended. If in doubt – a handwritten card will always carry the message well.
25th November 2013 » Xmas time is the perfect time to stimulate impulse buys with clever strategic placement of your offers. Consider every communication or contact point with a customer and look at how you can introduce something extra for them to buy from you. Whether it is at the point of checkout, in a waiting area or even simply attached to your email signature – make it easy for people to buy more from you.
18th November 2013 » Remember that before you finish every communication, there is always an opportunity to ask for more. Be it a little extra added to the sale, a request for more information or simply scheduling the next action. Take every communication you make today and see what extra you can get from it! And on that point – I am planning to run some open training events across the US – you wouldn’t happen to know someone interested in helping me to promote them? Let me know by replying to this.
11th November 2013 » Take a moment and look at yourself and your business. What is it that makes you unique? What is it about you that makes you so special? Find that simple niche and push it to the front of your world. If you wish to stand out in your crowded market then focus on the stuff that makes you different – not the stuff that makes you the same.
5th November 2013 » Perhaps the best lesson from my Granddad is the simple message of working harder than anyone else. As a Father of 7 kids, a multi marathon runner and a man who has worked every day of his life for over 65 years – the correct work ethic can always make you stand at the front of the pack. The lesson is to be your best and you will get your best. Remember, however tough it gets, the only time you fail is when you give up.
28th October 2013 » If you are forced into leaving voicemail messages when following up your potential sales then be certain to book an appointment for your next call. Words like “Hi Its Phil calling, sorry I missed you today at 10 am, I am assuming that this is not a good time for you so I will try you tomorrow at 3 pm instead. Please drop me a call back if this time is inappropriate or if I don’t hear from you then I look forward to chatting tomorrow.”
21st October 2013 » Seriously, what do you look like? Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself if you look like the success you want to become? Check your entire work environment, every outbound piece of communication and yours and your teams’ entire image. To succeed you must look like the person and business you wish to become.
8th October 2013 » So many people waste good quality sales opportunities simply by losing control of the sales process. Be it sending a quote by post or email, letting someone go away to think about it or promising a follow up without confirming a time, these actions are significantly reducing your conversion chances. Always keep control, schedule every next action and you will always improve your chances of conversion when face to face with the person.
30th September 2013 » My travels have helped me recognise the importance of one simple gesture that spreads all cultures and every possible language. Remembering to smile helps create an abundance of opportunities and these first impressions are critical in achieving sales success. Check that your smiling yourself, check that your phones are answered with a smile, check that your team smile, check that your workplace smiles and check that every single piece of your customer facing marketing is grinning ear to ear!
16th September 2013 » Periodically you must review what you do. Take the time to look at every customer, every revenue stream and every job role in your business. What requires your attention? what would you like more of? What must you stop doing to make room for the new?
2nd September 2013 » Every day we find ourselves giving advice to others and quite often the advice we are giving out is what we need to be taking for ourselves. Keep listening to what you say to others and ensure that you are walking your talk.
19th August 2013 » – I am pretty sure that there is someone that you know that you should pick up the phone to and the call is long overdue. Perhaps it’s a potential client, a supplier you are looking from better terms from or just a friend or family member that you need to reach out to. Do yourself a huge favour and make the call today.
12th August 2013 » - Take the time to consider all the moments in your customers’ life where you could stop and take an action that would make them feel important. Imagine how you feel when people make you feel important? Then recreate those moments with your customers. Every moment you are looking to create is either a sign of gratitude or an act of recognition. Please remember, its the thought that counts.
5th August 2013 » – Make sure that you don’t give up to early and you finish the job properly. So often when closing a sale, agreeing a new piece of work or even completing a piece of work there are a few extra actions to complete to ensure that the task is truly complete. Check your own actions and ensure that you are following every step through to completion. Want some ideas on what I am talking about then please check out this video.
29th July 2013 » – This is perhaps to simple yet still to often overlooked. If you want something to happen then you simply need to talk to people. Count the conversations you are having with potential customers and then make sure that all your conversations count. You are not looking for “ready made” customers but people that could be customers where you can uncover a problem that you can help with.
8th July 2013 » – If you are in the market for some award winning ideas on how to become more innovative then take a break from your day and check out these amazing videos from my new friend Alexander Blass.
1st July 2013 » – To achieve more than what you currently are then you must do more than you currently do. Look at the things you are most afraid of and find a way to achieve them. Once you do then everything becomes easier.
24th June 2013 » – If you are looking to help people to make a change to your products or services then please remember that people are more likely to move if they feel uncomfortable where they are as opposed to potentially being more comfortable by moving.
17th June 2013 » – Working with a client the other day we won a large piece of business from a competitor. When I asked why they choose us they listed a number of reasons and also added “Well, you guys just look the part”. Have a look at yourself and everyone in your business and ask yourself if you “look the part”.
11th June 2013 » – When introducing a product, service or negotiating an outcome then please do it enthusiastically. Enthusiasm itself is a catalyst to decision and if you don’t sold excited about what you plan to deliver then don’t expect them to be excited about receiving it.
3rd June 2013 » – Working hard is a fantastic quality and often leads to success. Yet too much work can make you a very dull person. Remember that when you have earned it, take time out, give back to your loved ones and reward yourself for all you have achieved. It is that stuff that makes the hard work worthwhile!
20th May 2013 » – Being busy is not necessarily a good thing. Far too many people are really really busy doing the wrong stuff. Remember that the difference between being efficient and being effective is that being efficient is “doing the thing right” where as being effective is “doing the right thing”.
13th May 2013 » – Creating a sense of indebtedness with your potential customers is a massive way of creating leverage in your negotiations. Create scenarios where you go above and beyond the norm and really show them how you can help. This could be as simple as grabbing a pencil and paper and drawing out your thoughts to physically mocking up the solution you are looking for them to buy from you. If they can see it they may buy it and if you have worked for it then they will feel like they owe you.
7th May 2013 » – Having spent a weekend working with a client on a large consumer show it fascinates me how many businesses pay so little attention to the small things that big difference. First impressions count and if yours are not giving out the right impression then your chances of success are limited. Take a step back from your organisation, have a good look at it and make sure you at least look the part!
30th April 2013 » – The questions you are ask are the key to the success you achieve. If ever you find yourself lost for words then think about what answers you would like from them. If you know the answers you need then phrasing the questions becomes easier. Please continue to use every set of words “on purpose” and ensure every action is steering you towards your desired outcome.
22nd April 2013 » – Think about someone you would love to do business with, maybe a new customer, a new partner or perhaps just someone you would like to offer some expertise on your situation. Then simply make contact with them and ASK them the question you have been meaning to ASK. Selling really can be that simple. If you want something then ask for something.
15th April 2013 » – Most businesses suggest that they are different form their competition yet still struggle to stand out in a crowd. If you wish to be seen as different from your competitors then please make sure that you behave and act in a different way.
8th April 2013 » – This may sound a little crazy – The tip I have for you is to do absolutely nothing! This is not an everyday tip however there are so many circumstances in which taking no action at all brings the best results. Recently I have had huge success in creating winning new ideas, overcoming huge challenges and resolving challenging conflicts all from simply stopping and doing nothing.
25th March 2013 » – When faced with customer objections you must first clarify the true objection before you look to overcome it. By responding with the words “What makes you say that?” you gain the real reason they are not ready to buy and it cuts out all the guess work.
18th March 2013 » – We all have days when we feel inspired, committed to do more and motivated to take action. On these days, take out a blank sheet of paper and write how you are feeling at that time, the actions you will take and the results you will achieve. Seal the letter, address it to yourself and then give it to a friend to post to you in a few months time. It may be just the nudge you need?
11th March 2013 » – You will win more business simply by asking more people to make buying decisions. Selling is simply earning the right to make a recommendation. Keep creating situations in which you can recommend your products and services. Then just invite them to take the next step.
4th March 2013 » – If you to would love to win an award for your work then you must put yourself forward for the awards you want to win. I think the saying is… “You have to be in it to win it!”.
25th February 2013 » – If you want to be seen as an expert in your field then you must act and behave as an expert would. Experts speak on their subject, write about their subject and pass comment on their area of expertise. Take your knowledge and experience and share it in the form of books, white papers, video, audio and press comments and you will soon be gaining more customers at better fees.
18th February 2013 » – We all find ourselves making follow up calls and can commonly waste stacks of time leaving voicemails and missed calls as we fail to catch the person we are looking to speak with. Try never finishing a phone call or meeting without scheduling exactly when you are due to speak/meet again. This is the same as what the dentists and hairdressers do and that way they have far more control. You will also never have to start a call with the words “is now a good time to talk?” ever again.
11th February 2013 » – I have never met a single successful person who has achieved success all by themselves. They have all fast tracked their own success by following the footsteps, seeking the advice and learning from the mistakes of those who have achieved what they wish for. If you want to be more successful then read the books, attend the seminars, listen and take action on the knowledge they impart.
4th February 2013 » – You will rarely gain more new customers than people you invite to be customers. Here is my best advice if you would like more. ASK for more!!
21st January 2013 » – Get focussed on what you want, make a plan, take action, review your results, refine your plan, take action. Keep repeating until you have achieved all that you want. Oh I almost forgot … Never ever, ever, ever, ever , ever, ever give up!
14th January 2013 » – So many transactions don’t happen just because you are currently making it too difficult for your customer to buy from you. Whether it is letting them fill in their own form, not providing a reply paid envelope or perhaps just giving them too much to think about. Our job is to make it easy to buy from us. Make sure you have no barriers in the way.
7th January 2013 » – Taking time away from the business to relax is critical to allow you to reflect but also to give back to all those that have supported you through the year. Take a precious moment for each and every special person in your life and make sure that you recognise all the things that they do for you. Please remember that it is the thought that counts.
24th December 2012 » – Taking time away from the business to relax is critical to allow you to reflect but also to give back to all those that have supported you through the year. Take a precious moment for each and every special person in your life and make sure that you recognise all the things that they do for you. Please remember that it is the thought that counts.
17th December 2012 » – Gaining appointments with decision makers is so often a big challenge and the mistake I often see is that you are trying to sell your product or service before gaining the appointment. My simple tip when asking for appointments with powerful people is to ask for the one thing that they love to give. Simply make contact and ask for their “opinion” on something. Then get face to face to complete your request and do your best to create an opening from there.
10th December 2012 » – Most people hugely over estimate what they can achieve in a year yet massively underestimate what can be achieved in a day. Set daily goals and you may just be surprised how quickly you progress!
3rd December 2012 » – Todays tip is simple. Start doing it today. Yes that is right; the one thing that you have been thinking of doing for ages, whatever it is, you can make progress on achieving it right now. Winners take action, they make progress and they get to work. What have you been meaning to get started on? Stop ****ing about get to work!
26th November 2012 » – One of the biggest mistakes that people make when selling is that they are typically only demonstrating the “good news” of buying your product or service. People are more likely to take action to avoid the “bad news” so please ensure that they can see the consequences of not taking the desired actions as well as the upshots and you will see a huge uplift in your conversions.
19th November 2012 » – All this talk of video means that you really should pay attention to how powerful it can be for showing your potential customers what it is that makes you different. Standing out in crowd can be tough so putting yourself forward on video can be a great way of demonstrating what makes you unique. Showing people what you do is far more powerful than telling people. Here is a quick example of a question I answered for a client last week – by video
12th November 2012 » – Do what you say you are going to do. That means open when you say you will open, turn up when you say you will turn up, respond when you say you will, deliver what you said you would and be the person you keep telling yourself you want to be!
5th November 2012 » – When meeting face to face with a prospect you are there to ask questions, listen and allow them to explain their current circumstances. Great sales people are great listeners. In simple terms, if you both have a hot drink then yours should get finished and theirs should go cold. If it is the other way round you are clearly talking too much!
29th October 2012 » – If you are looking to win more appointments with key decision makers then please simply ask for the one thing that everyone loves to give: their opinion.
23rd October 2012 » – One of the biggest challenges people often present to me is finding ways to create more success in gaining appointments. The trouble is that most people are simply asking the wrong question. They offer an appointment and then ask “when is good for you?” This question is far too difficult to answer and results in indecision. By giving a choice of just 2 dates and then asking “which one suits you best?” your prospect will either chose a date or suggest an alternative. You win both ways!
15th October 2012 » – Every day is a chance to grow and our biggest growth comes when we step outside our comfort zone. Stepping out of this is a conscious decision and this decision can be challenging. Taking the choice to do something you wouldn’t normally do can so often bring massive rewards. Ask yourself what you could do today that would allow you to release more of your potential?
8th October 2012 » – Share your plans with as many people as possible. By making your plans public you create huge social accountability and your chances of realising them are greatly increased. I call this, giving yourself a fine reputation to live up to. Just imagine the feeling of exceeding that reputation.
1st October 2012 » – Many businesses are now starting to think about ordering the Christmas cards they will send to their contacts, suppliers and customers. Please just take a moment to think before you act. Sending out a generic card full of signatures may not convey the message you are looking for. Take the time to think of the result you wish to attain from sending something out; you may just choose to do something different. Please remember, It is the thought that counts…
24th September 2012 » – If it takes as much time to remember to do something as it does to get it done then save your memory space and take immediate action instead. That way your to do list has less on it, you have less to schedule in and you are automatically achieving more!
17th September 2012 » – On occasions customers can go cold and stall on a decision. If they wanted to buy from you and have then got cold feet it is probably because something has changed in their circumstances. In these scenarios it is imperative that you make contact, show empathy with their situation and work together to find a solution. You will be surprised how often your potential customer is relieved by your contact and willingness to be flexible.
9th September 2012 » – YouTube continues to grow and is currently the second largest search engine behind Google. Producing videos that educate your potential customers to how you can help them is essential in today’s marketplace and posting to YouTube simply extends your reach quickly and easily. Be it a simple video testimonial, a how to video or a entertaining video that introduces your business they will all help you win more business.
3rd September 2012 » – One of the best ways of acquiring new leads for your business is to speak to Audiences about what you do. Find opportunities at local networking events, business meetings and conferences to show people how you can help them. If you can’t speak at other people’s events then arrange your own. If you are just uncomfortable speaking in public then learn the skills, practice and watch your competence and confidence grow.
20th August 2012 » – Simply by bundling your products and services you can make significant differences to your average transaction value. Think about how you can link or package a complimentary offering that mens that people that just buy 1 item are now buying a complete suite instead. So often the perceived total value is far greater than the sum of the parts. You will no doubt be leaving money on the table by not creating bundled offers.
13th August 2012 » – One of the biggest costs to productivity is the cost of interruptions. Often we can be interrupted by colleagues or family members wanting just a moment of our time yet that moment can cost us minutes or hours in productivity as we lose momentum. My tip is to develop a simple phrase or word that upon interruptions you can quickly, efficiently and politely tell people to “sod off” and that you will be with them when you are done. The phrase I use is that “I am playing golf” because I know that if I get interrupted mid swing I will never hit the ball!
6th August 2012 » – Have you got a “to do” list full of tasks and actions that are outstanding right now? I am pretty sure you do and I am also pretty sure that your list of “to do’s” is never complete and can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. Try keeping a list of all the things that you HAVE achieved through your life. A list of successes and achievements and I am pretty sure that your “done it” list will bring a fantastic contrast to the daily list of outstanding actions.
30th July 2012 » – Never pre-judge. The scenarios I have witnessed and the stories I have heard about people taking something on face value are abundant. Experience comes in all shapes and sizes and customers do too. Just because people will judge you by your cover does not mean that you should reciprocate. Opportunity is often dressed in disguise – remember that you can often find it where you least expect it.
23rd July 2012 » – When was the last time that you just stopped for a day, took a step back from what you are doing and invested some time to plan and review. To plan and review is an essential activity for every business and too often it drops to the bottom of the list. Getting this right will allow you to track progress, celebrate successes and design your next actions.
16th July 2012 » – Bin the brochure! In this competitive market place the most important question our prospective customers are looking to answer is the question “why you?”. Brochures typically tell your prospects what you do. Replace your brochure with a valuable tips book, audio programme, white paper or video series and you can show them what you do instead.
9th July 2012 » – So often it is thought that to “sell” something to someone is a bad thing to do. If you have a range of products or services that have any benefit to their consumer, in my opinion it is a dis-service to not make those products available to your audience. If you would like more business, simply ensure that all of your customers are aware of all that you do. Selling Ice to Eskimos may be unethical but helping them do more with the ice they have is something I am sure they would be grateful for.
2nd July 2012 » – Many of us offer reduced rates to customers, products with discounts or even include parts of our offering for FREE. The trouble is, failing to illustrate the value of any reduction ensures the recipient doesn’t see the value in what you have done for them. Every time you make a reduction ensure you illustrate it. This means showing discounts on invoices, reductions or savings on any offers and if you ever provide a service at your expense still send an invoice with 100% discount. That way the customer will always understand the value in what you have done for them.
26th June 2012 » – Make a point of reviewing your customers and potential customers contact details at every relevant opportunity. We have just moved, and if you don’t update your records your communications will not reach their desired locations. Sounds basic, however you will be surprised by the number of communications you are sending to the wrong place.
18th June 2012 » – I am sure that all of you have a list of potential customers or prospects that you would like to do business with. Each week lift out of your master list just a handful of your “most wanted” new customers and list them somewhere that you and your team can see them. Then do all you can this week to step closer to success on just these few opportunities. Then refresh your most wanted list every week.
11th June 2012 » – Set daily sales targets as opposed to monthly or weekly. Setting daily targets ensures that you take daily actions to increase your revenues and you measure your results in a timely fashion. By compounding your results day by day you can then truly understand whether you are above or below the line. You will be amazed at the difference that beating your daily target makes over a month.
28th May 2012 » – To improve your conversion rates when booking appointments with busy people, suggest your appointment times at peculiar times such as ten past or quarter to the hour. To accommodate a meeting at 10.45 you would look for a 15 minute gap as opposed to a meeting at 11 am that would typically suggest 1 hour is required. Try it and see how many more appointments you win.
21st May 2012 » – Show a genuine interest in your clients, prospects and suppliers alike. Showing a genuine interest and finding commonalities will result in people feeling like they know like and trust you. People do business with people that they know like and trust and remember- it’s the thought that counts.
15th May 2012 » – Sales opportunities can arise at any time. At 11.47 pm on Saturday night I found myself in dialogue with a stranger and got on to the subject of business. 15 minutes later he asked if I had a card and passed me one of his. Fortunately I had one to return to him. This morning we have just got off the phone, before the call he visited my site and did all his background research, the result of the call was that we have just agreed some work together. My tip is simply to have cards with you at all times. You never know when you might need them.
8th May 2012 » – Many businesses talk about how different they are from their competition yet proceed to behave in a very similar way. To stand out in a crowd you must behave and act differently to others. The simple area for you to think about is the way in which you say “Thank you” to someone that deserves it. Ensure that your message is sincere, well received and that your communication method is appropriate. Please avoid sending an email to share your gratitude and remember – it is the thought that counts.
30th April 2012 » – Use today to identify at least 5 new people that you would like to make contact with this week. Add their names to your list, Plan your approach and then make contact with them. Focussing on just 5 new people a week and then going on to make contact with them, creating an opportunity will no-doubt move your business forward. Make it happen – don’t wait for it to happen.
23rd April 2012 » – Have you listened or checked your own voicemail recently? There are 2 things that should be avoided at all costs: 1. A lack of personalised messages. If people are to do business with you then they need to be confident they are speaking to the right person. Not having your own message could suggest that a) You don’t want to be contacted b) you lack confidence, both of which are off-putting. 2. Outdated messages. Specific availability messages are great providing you keep them up to date. Please make sure if someone rings you at 1:35pm they don’t get through to an answer message saying “Sorry, the office is closed, our office opening hours are 9am to 5pm…”
16th April 2012 » – Check check and check again. It amazes me how many mistakes I see time and time again, purely down to the fact things aren’t being checked. Now, nobody’s perfect, but everybody is trying to get more done in a day. The result of which is that work gets rushed and that’s where mistakes become more likely. I think the phrase a carpet fitter would use is to “measure twice and cut once”.
2nd April 2012 » – Lighten up! Forget the dreaded “recession” It’s not all doom and gloom out there; I spoke to many business owners who have had their best month yet in March and the future is bright. Add a bit of humour, be a bit different and you’ll find it not only effects the sales and customer service experience, but it will also lift the mood in your workplace, which in turn will affect your bottom line.
26th March 2012 » – I am sorry that this week’s tip may not be that easy to do, however, it is vitally important for you to understand if you are going to stand out in a crowded market. Last week I asked over 100 people in business the question “What makes you different and why should I buy from you and not someone like you?” Strangely, only 4 of the people I asked could give a compelling answer to that question. Can you and each member of your team provide a winning answer to that question?
19th March 2012 » – You can get your customers to say yes more often just by making subtle changes to your language. One word that you can change is the word ‘cost’. ‘Cost’ brings negative connotations; it’s one way traffic. If you invest’ in something, be it time or money, the word would suggest you are going to get something back, and would therefore feel more comfortable to make positive buying decision.
12th March 2012 » – To demonstrate that you are different to your competitors, a specialist in what you do and ensure you really stand out, do all you can to give your customers a fantastic experience before they start to spend with you. Instead of giving brochures then give tips booklets or FREE reports. By giving great advice you will influence more people and will far better positioned to win the business when an opportunity arises.
5th March 2012 » – If you wish to be perceived as different from your competitors then make sure that you behave in a different way. Actions speak louder than words. Perhaps not that simple in practice but it is pretty simple in theory; just step back and think about your own actions and if necessary, start changing them today.
27th February 2012 » – When attending networking events the easiest way to start a conversation with a stranger is to talk about the one thing that you definitely have in common. If you open the discussion using the common factor of the event itself you will find that conversation flows easily from there. A simple opening question may be “Where have you travelled from today?”
13th February 2012 » – Many of us look to entice new customers with the offer of a FREE product or service. Perhaps you have added things for FREE to secure an order or offered a FREE consultation? The trouble is that I have never met anyone who makes stuff for FREE and rarely do people value FREE goods or services. With that in mind, when I am adding value to secure business I know refer to FREE services as “At our expense” as a way to help demonstrate their value.
6th February 2012 » – If you continually receive a common objection from your potential customers then instead of working on overcoming it, consider asking better questions before you present your solution. Please remember that selling is earning the right to make a recommendation.
30th January 2012 » – When giving something away then please make sure that it is useful to the receiver and has a perceived value to them. Always remember to put a price on your giveaways. That way you can present them “at your expense” instead of for FREE.
22nd January 2012 » – Everywhere you go you are always presenting and networking. Even in the supermarket people will be judging your presentation of yourself, and you might just notice someone from a business you’d like to work with. With this in mind, always present yourself as you would like to be perceived- check the mirror before you go out, make sure your jacket is clean and always use a napkin after you’ve finished eating!
16th January 2012 » – People tend to do 2 things in business: the things they enjoy doing and the things they are checked up on. Making yourself accountable for your actions pushes you to do and achieve what you set out to. So, practising what I preach, I mentioned earlier that I had been working on my goals which I have added to my blog. Please see what my goals are for this year here. Hold me to them and please feel free to help out where you can.
9th January 2012 » – In every sales meeting be prepared to take notes. These help you to listen more effectively, remember key information and ensure that you cover all that you intended to in your meeting. Purely by having a pen and paper with you it indicates that you are serious and ready to take action.
19th December 2011 » – Use your Christmas opening hours as an opportunity to contact your customers and remind them of anything that they may need from you before the Christmas break.
12th December 2011 » – If you are looking to win more customers then take the time to look back through your records and list all of those who you have presented to but never went on to buy from you. Then it is time to make contact again by picking up the phone and seeing how their circumstances have changed. You will be amazed at how much new opportunity you can create.
5th December 2011 » – With Christmas looming and the year coming to an end, it is a great time to recognise your customers and top suppliers and thank them for their support. However, please remember, it is the thought that counts.
28th November 2011 » – This week’s challenges have made me think of the one thing that sets aside winners over the rest. With grit, determination and focus on the end result it is amazing what can be achieved. So the tip is to never ever give up. Have a think about who you can call today that would get you one step closer to your dream customer?
21st November 2011 » – Most of what I have learnt I have learnt by just having a go. Last week we sent you all survey and I thank each of you who took the time to reply. As a result of this survey I understand a lot more about your needs and requirements and can therefore ensure that all future correspondence is relevant for you and valuable to us. Why not send a survey to your community?
14th November 2011 » – Looking for more business locally or in a certain geographic location? If so then use the advanced search feature on LinkedIn to search by keyword, job title and postcode to identify and get in touch with some fantastic potential clients.
7th November 2011 » – Please remember that success in sales is all about control. When looking for decision from your customers you will always get the best results when face to face.
31st October 2011 » – To get past gatekeepers easily, simply identify your key decision maker using Linked-In first. Then send a personalised connection request on Linked-In and follow that with a phone call. You can then start your call by saying that you are calling about a communication that you have been having on Linked-In.
24th October 2011 » – A quick reminder this week that we all receive our best sales results when face to face with existing and potential customers. Yes the phone and email are essential tools in business but when it really matters, getting face to face always makes things happen.
17th October 2011 » – Next time you’re faced with an objection, or a reason why a customer does not choose to do business with you, please think about what questions you could have asked earlier on in your process. The right questions can avoid most objections from occurring.
10th October 2011 » – When struggling to close a sale, take the time to summarise everything you have discussed. Summarising adds clarity, helps identify and missing information and can often empower decisions. All you then need to do is to ask for the business for the second time.
3rd October 2011 » – When you want things to happen – pick up the phone. It is all too easy to hide behind email dialogue when looking to secure orders, create opportunities or win appointments. If you want something to happen then it is up to you to make it happen. Who could you ring today that will take you one step closer to the success you are looking for?
26th September 2011 » – Why not consider a very simple additional sale you can introduce to every customer this week. Shoe retailers have been doing this with protective sprays and insoles for years. What’s the one thing you can introduce to every customer that some will say yes to.
12th September 2011 » – People grow their businesses by getting stuff done. In business people do just 2 things: what they enjoy doing and what they get checked on. Consider the actions that have been on your “to do” list for far too long and take action. Businesses are built by getting stuff done!
5th September 2011 » – For me, hairdressers follow some of the best sales processes of all industries. One thing they always do is book in your next appointment before you leave. That way they are guaranteeing the next transaction. How could you schedule the next transaction for your customers each and every time?
30th August 2011 » – When planning for meetings, decide what your goal is before you embark on the meeting. Be sure to plan varying levels of success. Have a minimum goal and a utopian goal, as well as a number of staggered goals in between. This way you are always focussed with a purpose and will typically leave with at least one of your goals achieved.
22nd August 2011 » – If you can get to London on the 7th September, go and see Peter Thompson at his Product Creation Goldmine. The information he parts with is extensive, invaluable and truly inspirational. Since seeing him on Wednesday we have put together numerous different product development concepts, changed a number of simple processes and are already seeing fantastic results. I don’t recommend anybody unless they really deliver results, and seeing Peter and his team for a day is without question the best £67 I have invested this year!
15th August 2011 » – The next time you attend an event and have winning business in mind, just remember to relax and socialise. Taking the time to show interest in others will have them infinitely more interested in you. If you get a chance to study the delegate list in advance then highlight key individuals and simply look to attract them into to your network by questioning them on their interests. Only once you have built rapport can you start to look for serious opportunities.
8th August 2011 » – Remember the last time you negotiated on price? How did you feel? Pretty good I guess? Now, the trouble is that a short while on from this feeling you often wonder if you managed to negotiate the best deal. With this in mind, when people try to reduce your prices you are better to stay strong and be proud of your price. Continue through the discussion affirming your value proposition. Negotiating often leaves both parties questioning if they got the best deal.
1st August 2011 » – Encourage all of your existing customers to not only stay in touch with you but influence potential customers, by pointing them at your social media profiles. Your emails, website and all printed literature can all act as tools to drive traffic back to you. Once you have all your existing contacts and customers connected up to your social networks then you have a wealth of new ways to stay in touch with them. Staying in contact with your customers is a great way of increasing the number of times they shop with you.
25th July 2011 » – Take the time to work out your sales plans on paper. If the numbers work on paper then the only thing stopping them working in reality is the people. Plan the number of prospects, the number of contacts, the number of appointments, your conversion rates and your average transaction values. When you do enough of something, a ratio appears. When you have a ratio you can design your success and set to work on improving your ratios.
18th July 2011 » – Offer something extra at all customer opportunities. When customers say yes then have something extra that you can offer them. Fast food retailers are great at this, with offers to “Go large” and “Would you like fries with that?” If these guys can train their staff to ask these simple questions then what could you be offering to your customers that some would say yes to?
11th July 2011 » – Brand it. Whether a pen, your envelopes, your note pads, your uniforms, your carrier bags and even your vehicles. You can often produce personalised and branded products for no more than you buy unbranded versions and spreading your message can only help influence existing and future customers.
4th July 2011 » – Always start with the end in mind. One of the best ways of ensuring you reach a goal is to envisage yourself at the finish line. Whether it’s the size of organisation you’re looking to grow, that two week break in Barbados, or just securing your next sales pitch – picturing yourself there will motivate you to achieve it. You can then work backwards from that glorious moment, back to where you are now, and you’ll have a list of things that need to get done to achieve your goal.
27th June 2011 » – Don’t ever reduce your price when value is in question. Simply look at what you can add instead. Often you will have an additional product or service you can add to your offering that has a high perceived value but low actual cost. That way you keep your customers happy and protect your profit margins.
20th June 2011 » – When calling prospects or following up sales calls on the phone; be very careful when it comes to leaving answerphone messages. The minute you leave a message you can often lose control of the sales process. My advice would be to not leave messages, as by not leaving a message you leave it open to call back at other times. In leaving messages you either are left in the unknown waiting for your responses, or you border on being pushy by repeatedly leaving messages. Staying in control will win you more business.
13th June 2011 » – Instead of spending your time adding stuff to your ‘to-do list’ why not just do them? Once you have done them, add them to your ‘done-it list’ instead. It’s incredibly satisfying to see that you have always achieved more than you have left to achieve.
6th June 2011 » – Consider every objection that you ever receive in your business, whether a reason not to buy from you or a simple stall in your process and ask yourself if you have heard this before. Most objections are avoidable with great questions so simply changing the questions in your sales process can drastically improve your results.
31st May 2011 » – Ask for more. Every time you get a positive response from a customer this is the time to ask for something extra. Whether an additional sale, an introduction or referral, or perhaps just some further information; you will never get a better time to get extra value from a sale than immediately after the agreement to buy from you. Remember, if you don’t ask then you don’t get.
23rd May 2011 » – Prior to every meeting with a potential customer then it would be good practise to connect with them on the social networks. In particular connecting with them on LinkedIn will add them to your professional network and start to build rapport before the meeting. Plus you get to find out some cool stuff about them too!
16th May 2011 » – Be careful of the language you use when talking about the price of your products or services. Replace words like ‘cost’, ‘charge’ and ‘fee’ with the word ‘investment’ and you will see a drastic improvement in your results. It is paramount that you are proud of your price, as if you deliver it with anything other than confidence you are suggesting it is not great value for money.
9th May 2011 » – How often do you communicate with your existing customers? Our best source of increased sales is typically from those that we already do business with. Find ways to stay in touch with them regularly, through varied communication including written, e-mail and social media. However, for immediate returns, just try picking up the phone!
3rd May 2011 » – When trying to win business from a competitor it is essential to focus on the services that you provide that are different to theirs. It is far easier to bring a client to your business when they don’t have to break an existing relationship immediately. Once you win the first order, demonstrating excellent service levels will have you best positioned to take on all the available requirements from your client.
27th April 2011 » – We never get a second chance to make a first impression. This goes for our businesses too, and the best way I know of giving an inviting and warm first impression is quite simply to smile. In our busy lives we often find ourselves with our minds elsewhere, however, the difference of making sure that when faced with a customer or a potential customer that we are wearing our happy face might just set us aside from our competition.
18th April 2011 » – Make sure your customers are aware of your opening hours during the holiday season. Update your website and your voicemail to let customers and prospective customers aware of the service level they can expect. One step further would be to have a great special offer on your website for them and use your voicemail and email to drive traffic to your site.
11th April 2011 » – Many people send a short letter to introduce themselves or their company before following it with a call. Try making a very short phone call first and in no more than 30 seconds explain that you are dropping them something in the post that they will be interested in and then confirm that you will call back when you have more time to discuss it with them. You will get significantly better results!
4th April 2011 » – When going out into the marketplace we understand that first impressions count. In understanding that people buy people, we should really consider how we present ourselves digitally too. Your photography should portray the image you are planning to give off. This includes your images for websites, social media and print. Investing in professional photography could really set you apart from a competitor and will ensure you give the best first impression.
28th March 2011 » – Make a point of reviewing your customers and potential customers contact details at every relevant opportunity. We have just moved, and if you don’t update your records your communications will not reach their desired locations. Sounds basic, however you will be surprised by the number of communications you are sending to the wrong place.
21st March 2011 » – Don’t forget to ask for referrals at every opportunity. Each of your existing customers and contacts is your best resource for new business and please remember that if you don’t ask then you don’t get!
14th March 2011 » – Keep a list of all the prospective new customers you’ve met with but not succeeded with. I call it my “no, not today” list. These people can all be re-approached in the future where perhaps the timing is then right for them.
7th March 2011 » – Check your supplier list and see how many of them are also customers of yours. You are valuable to each of your suppliers and they should be valuable to you. Simply asking them to buy from you, or introduce you to somebody, could make a significant difference to your business.
28th February 2011 » – Don’t finish your day until it is finished on paper. Taking a few minutes at the end of each day to reflect on your successes and re-prioritise your future actions is an investment that will reward in abundance.
21st February 2011 » – Every time you make a connection and take contact details then follow through and connect virtually also. If you are not keeping your contacts close to you on LinkedIn you are missing out.