Contents

Simple advice on how to "get the peanuts." I wonder if this is the basics of sales success.

7 Ways to Stay Sharp in Sales ... or how to catch your first monkey

7 Ways to Stay Sharp in Sales ... or how to catch your first monkeyOne of my very good friends leads a top performing sales organization selling financial services out of Boise Idaho. His team is consistently rated as the top producing office in North America for his company. We are always exchanging ideas on selling, challenging each other on philosophies and suffice it to say, his past performance has always caused me to listen intently to what he has to say. I have no idea if the story he told me is true or not. He has played a practical joke or two in his day. Short of travelling to Africa, I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt. Even if there is a bit of embellishment to the story, it is a great tell with an insightful message. In Africa, as Charles tells it, the natives have a clever way to catch monkeys. They take a coconut shell, cut a small hole in one end, and hollow it out. The hole is just big enough to allow a monkey's hand to enter.Then they attach a string to the other end of the coconut shell, place some peanuts inside, put the shell in the middle of a clearing and hide themselves behind a tree until a monkey comes.The monkey smells the peanuts inside the shell ... it reaches in to grab the peanuts ... but when it does, its fist, full with peanuts, is too large to pull back through the hole.The natives start pulling on the string and reel the silly monkey in. Why, because the monkey will not let go of those peanuts to save his life. All the monkey would have to do is let go of the peanuts. He doesn't, as he has to have the peanuts.I'm thinking there may be some truth to his story. I did a Google search "catch a monkey using a coconut" and found one hit on a bladder cancer website that included an article on relaxation that references an African legend, where they do they catch monkeys using coconuts with a banana inside. Seriously!So let's assume this monkey catching technique works. Chances are if you're like me, you'll never get a chance to try it out. I don't recommend you doing this at your local zoo! So why tell the story? Do you find yourself grasping a fist full of peanuts? Do you ever get hold of something and not let go? Do you want the peanuts so badly that you fail to consider other alternatives to achieve your goal? Are you flexible and effective in your thinking? Are you prepared to try other methodologies and techniques? Do you seek out others for advice? Do you use your power of observation on those who are successful?I believe one of Charles' greatest strengths is his ability to make things simple. Once he has done this, he shares the basics for success with his team. He then walks the talk and leads by example. He believes in his people, they believe in him. He's the type of leader that wouldn't use coconuts to capture monkeys, he'd sit down with them, and using his big smile and power of persuasion, have them convinced they should simply follow him home. They probably would!Charles goes on to offer some simple advice on how to "get the peanuts." I wonder if this is the basics of sales success.1.Always be prospecting. "Everyone is an opportunity for new business or a referral."2.Keep the calendar full of appointments. "A body in motion stays in motion, a body at rest stays at rest." 3.Be proficient in your presentation skills. "Confidence sells."4.Your customers are a gold mine for future business. "Treat them right and they will take care of you."5.Set stretch goals. "Great things happen to those who make things happen."6.Hard work is just that. "Honest intelligent effort is always rewarded."7.Have fun. "Enjoy what you do and you'll be good at it." Great advice Charles, thanks for sharing. Wishing you continued success!

Leveraging the Web for Textile and Apparel Equipment Sales Leads

Leveraging the Web for Textile and Apparel Equipment Sales Leads

Ever wonder where the best place to market and sell your textile equipment is. Many manufacturers of Textile and Apparel equipment have begun looking in out of the ordinary places to try and beat the competition and gain access to those hard to find leads. With the growth of the internet as a lead generation tool in the textile industry, many manufacturers and brokers alike have shifted resources to non-traditional marketplaces such as eBay's Industrial Listings and other sites such as Alibaba.com.The question a sales person must ask themselves in the ultra competitive world of Textile and Apparel Manufacturing equipment is "Where do I sell my products?" Although many Manufacturers and brokers still choose to go the traditional route and actually sell their products through trade publications and long established lists of industry contacts, the largest marketplace for Textile equipment is on the web. At any given moment, there are thousands of Manufacturing and Industrial products for sale on eBay, Yahoo! Auctions, Alibaba.com and even Amazon.com. When marketing your own textile manufacturing products, you can't wait for customers to find you; you have to bring your product to them. Seek out those who would be interested in what you have to sell. If you're selling textile equipment with a very specific function, check out the online forums devoted to the appropriate process or finished products. (You might be surprised to find that there are hundreds of forums for every imaginable topic!) Without posting an obvious ad, which is usually not allowed, offer to send sample literature to whoever will take it. Don't worry about giving away a bit of valuable marketing material for free. Once you build a loyal customer base and industry network group these people will help you sell more by referring customers to you. I also recommend that you look of the beaten path for apparel and textile equipment marketplaces. Hundreds of sites exist for reselling all sorts of industrial equipment including textile and Apparel machinery.In closing don't be afraid to leave the beaten path when hunting for sales leads, the internet has been a revolutionary tool for a number of industries and the textile marketplace is no exception.

10 Low-Cost Sales Boosters You Don't Want To Overlook

10 Low-Cost Sales Boosters You Don

You don't have to spend a fortune to boost your sales! Take a look at these 10 quick and easy ways to send your profits to the moon without digging into you advertising budget.1. Test and EvaluateHave you ever wondered just how much of your advertising budget should go toward experimenting with the latest marketing strategies? Marketing gurus say... spend 20 percent looking for new and improved marketing methods, while the remaining 80 percent uses the "tried and true" marketing strategies to keep the profits flowing.2. Capture Attention on your WebsiteUse headlines that leap out and grab the reader's attention to moment they open your Web page. Hey, they're just like you... if their attention isn't caught immediately, they 're ready to surf on the more exciting things!3. Use the Best-Kept Marketing Secret - PostcardsPostcards are quick and easy to read, not to mention the fact that you can shave off a great deal of wasted advertising expenses by targeting your market. Hey, they're cheap and convenient for you, and they get read more than other types of advertising materials... a winner all the way around!4. Let Customers Sell YouSome things sound better coming from someone else. Yes, it's hard to brag your business up as effectively as a satisfied customer. Testimonials are evidence that you deliver what you promise. Paste them across ads, your Website, and any other sales copy you happen to distribute.5. Just AskGreat salesmen take the time to listen to the questions the customer has, identify their wants and needs, then ask for the sale. That's right, they're not afraid to just ask them to buy! Sometimes customers just need that little bit of pressure to cement the deal.6. Raise the ValueSometime value is only in they eyes of the beholder. You can raise the perceived value of your products by pointing out benefits that consumers may have overlooked. While you're at it, raise the price. Yeah, we all know that more valuable items have higher price tags! Don't be surprised if your profits skyrocket.7. Make it Easy to DecideHave you ever had a hard time deciding what to buy? Uh-huh, you don't always come to a conclusion immediately. Every time a customer walks out of the store without making a decision, you take a big chance on losing the sale. Keep the options to a minimum to maximize the sales numbers.8. Break it DownGot a big ticket item? Break the price into bite sizes for more appeal. Yeah, 90 cents a day sounds much cheaper than $325!9. Create BonusesAn unexpected bonus with a purchase makes it seem like you got a lot more for your money. Keep customers smiling when they walk away from the cash register, and they'll keep coming back for more.10. Handle Customer Complaints With a Little TLCDon't waste time getting to the bottom of the problem. Customers want to feel they are being heard, or they wouldn't take the time to complain to you. Are you afraid that you'll be losing profit, if you have to bend too far backwards to accommodate them? Think of it this way... an unhappy customer you turn into a happy customer will become a loyal customer. Yeah, it'll pay in the long run.

How to Double Your Sales Appointments in Half the Time; Part 3

How to Double Your Sales Appointments in Half the Time; Part 3

In Part 2 we discussed how to determine if a sales action is a critical sales performance competency, and we determined the following:It is an Action that is tied directly to the end result (Good or Bad)It can be individually isolated and trained to for ImprovementIt can be objectively Benchmarked and Measured Next, we identified that the act of communicating one-on-one to a Targeted prospect with the objective of setting an appointment as a KEY Core Sales Competency, because nothing happens until you get in front of someone.And the measurement of that competency was determined to be your Conversation-to-Appointment ratio which nationally averages out to somewhere between 4%-18%.And if we choose to build a Prospecting System to support a "sales performance" training objective to improve that ratio it would enable us to set more targeted Top-down appointments in less time. And achieving that would allow us to obtain additional results and make us more money. Not an unworthy mission for sure.Additionally, we listed (6) sales prospecting reasons why the national Conversation-to-Appointment ratio is only 4%-18%. Our mission for Part 3 is to isolate each of these reasons, understand why the majority of the sales population lives by the Definition of Insanity (Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result) and then develop alternative strategies to raise our Conversation-to-appointment ratio. Sales Prospecting Error #1We dont seek to first (Before we pick up the telephone) understand the Prospects internal business challenges parallel to our solutions offering, and then model our appointment communication approach around it.How many times have you received a solicitation call and listened to a stranger communicate nonspecifically about who they are and what they want. Let me say that againWho THEY are and what THEY want. Just the other day I received a telephone call (I accept them ALL because they provide a great X2 training Lead source) and the nice lady on the other end of the line started to tell me all about who she was and what her company did. I let her go on for a while and then asked her a specific, closed-ended question: Do you understand who I am and what Im trying to accomplish as it relates to what you are selling? Well, she did not. So I kindly left the door open to her if she decided to check out my website and find out (first) Who I am and what I want. Dont you think thats fair? After all, arent most business people (Business levels tied to fiscal responsibility) open to learning about ways to recover costs, improve productivity, decrease risk, increase profits or provide a measurable Return on investment as long as it gets to the point and in line with ones own Internal language not in a nonspecific marketing language of product/service and feature-benefit.Instead of Who you are and what you want, try switching to What you know specifically about Me, Myself and I; MY responsibilities, MY business objectives and how you think you can help ME meet them. The web is a great resource tool for investigating general business objectives of a company; items like business web sites, 10K reports, annual reports, investor sections, Press releases and published articles. Scanning those items prior to picking about the telephone is your first winning step in the process; Who they are.Now for the second part; What they want. Think of this in terms of title of responsibility and how your offering (if the shoe fits) can help them meet their personal business objectives or what I like to phrase Marching Orders. If you dont know, go get some Business Acumen training around the title of responsibilities you choose to call on. Because you want to be able to discuss specific business challenges as it relates to their title of responsibility.Or if you are a self-directed person, do what Ive done for years. Interview each new client and ask them what type of communication would make them sit up and take notice coming from a strangers initial business contact. Develop a stock series of questions to allow you to document what is important to them as it pertains to accepting business appointments and outsourcing solution providers. Youd be amazed at the amount of valuable data you can collect just by asking for 5 additional minutes after closing a new sale. Go to school on your new clients and earn a Masters degree in Business Title Insight.Sales Prospecting Error #2We settle for a business level of contact that has no direct fiscal authority.Your Playing Field is who you decide to call on and why. And there are basically (2) strategies in picking your Playing Field; a Bottom-up approach or a Top-down approach. The following is an example of a Bottom-up approach. A Telecommunications rep initiates a telephone call into a company and asks the question Who handles your telecommunications needs? Guess where they are sent? If you said office manager you guessed right. If you said Head Janitor you werent far off. Is there anything wrong with that? Not really; its legal and a lot of folks out there do it. But lets think through this option as a Business person would. Historically, a bottom-up approach promotes a: Lower 1st appointment to Proposal ratio Lower Closing ratio Higher Sales cycle Lower Average revenue per sale That being said, from a Business person view, if we had our choice, we would choose a Top-down approach; meeting with the highest appropriate level of contact for our product/service. And this is important. If our product/service is tied to a measurable Return on Investment, in soft or hard dollars over time, we need to be initially engaged with the correct title in our Prospect company. And thats the fiscal authority that can make a business decision in line with our business solution. Sales Prospecting Error #3We sell our product/service instead of selling the diagnostic steps in our Evaluation ProcessSo far we have decided to call on the highest appropriate level of contact for our service offering, someone that is tied to the P&L; simply, they have some Skin in the Game. And we know with a Top-down strategy we need to understand who our target Prospect is and what theyre trying to accomplish as it relates to what we are selling. And thats BEFORE we pick up the telephone, right?Imagine now we make that prospecting call and start to talk about our Widget; meaning our Products features and benefits, our excellent customer service, how many years weve been in business and our fantastic customer retention rate. Are you beginning to understand now why the average Conversation-to-appointment ratio is 4-18%? You might as well read off your Marketing Departments latest brochure. This is a major "sales prospecting" mistake because it doesnt speak first to the correlation between what your Prospects general business challenges are (By industry and title of responsibility) and how your service has helped other business people with the same titles and internal challenges.The $100,000 question is how one goes about transitioning from a Product/service specific conversation to a Business Reason to Meet conversation. My answer to this question is to communicate your companys service solution as a System. One definition of a system is a series of Components and Elements that when working in unison affects a required result. It makes things better. It lowers that Business Challenge wall.Those ultimate business results could be cost recovery, lower overhead, higher employee production, increase profit margin, more return on investment, faster time to market, etc. That depends on your particular systems solutions and what business challenges they are tied to. The Components of your system are sub-systems comprising a series of elements that deal with particular business issues. As an example, if you were a Security Solution Provider your components might be themed Loss Prevention, Business Operations and Risk Management, each again dealing with a relevant business challenge.The elements of your System are the individual products/services that you provide your clients depending on their unique business challenges and where they may have some leaks in the ship. Communicating to individual elements specifically during a prospecting sales call will take you down the Slippery slope of low sales appointment conversion ratios and low sales commissions. In-between your Components and elements you have internal Business issues. In the same Security Solution Provider example, your prospects business issues could be Fire/Life Safety, Theft, Sweet-hearting, Vandalism, Sabotage, Robbery, and Harassment just to name a few. Its your responsibility for an effective prospecting sales call to sell the Diagnostic steps in your evaluation process; to appraise if your System, with its series of Components and elements can facilitate lowering your prospects Business Challenge Wall; effectively gaining a Return on investment in a measurable way; because Business people are accountable to ROI.In Part 4; How to Double Your Sales Appointments in Half the Time, we will discuss the final 3 Sales Prospecting Errors and outline some proven solutions that will head us toward our worthy goal of spending Less time to achieve more targeted Top-down sales appointments.

10 tips to maximizing sale of your home

If you are even thinking of selling your house the priority would be to get a higher price. To achieve this you must not think like a seller but like a buyer. This will enable you to optimize conditions such that the value of the house increases substantially. The corner stone is that visibility adds value. However it must be done subtly so that it does raise the appraised value or property tax bill.Here are a few tips:1.Pay attention to the exterior first. This is what potential buyers notice. Give priority to home improvements that are visible to the naked eye. Fixing the faade will get you a better price than ensuring the foundation is solid.2.Tidy up the yard and garden. If there are signs of neglect most buyers will not even step in. what one needs to do is create a presentation. Make sure there are no tires or wood lying around and any loose shutters or storm drains and gutters are properly fixed.3. It helps to landscape. This does not mean you need to spend on redesign. Prune hedges, trees, and shrubs. Weed flower beds and paint old pots.4.Ensure that the roof is clean and sparkling. Have it power cleaned. Statistics reveal that 30% curb appeal is a sparkling roof.5.Have the interior repainted and the carpets and vinyl flooring replaced. Most buyers want to move in right away. Few would consider investing in a house where they need to get work done.6.Reduce clutter and spruce up the interiors. Sparkling windows, clean curtains, attractive upholstery, bright cushions, flowers on tables and a few paintings or photographs placed strategically make a room a home. It gives the place warmth and invites a person to take a look. 7.Pay attention to odors. What may seem fragrant to you may be repulsive to others. Invite a friend in to inspect on your behalf. Many find pet odors, smell of urine, sprays, insecticide, herbs, deodorants, incense, spices, and so on repulsive. Often if curries are cooked or egg or bacon fried the smell tends to hang around the house. 8.Spruce up the kitchen and bathrooms with friendly plants, colorful towels and inexpensive fixtures or brick-a-back.9.Have the house cleaned from top to bottom. There should be no evidence of mold, mildew, or leaks. 10.Arrange the furniture and lamps to give a warm glow. If you have too much furniture or personal belongings of sentimental value have them stored. The closer the interiors come to being out of the glossies the faster the home will sell and that to for a good price.Never overspend or make changes that are not in keeping with the neighborhood. If handled cleverly 80-90% of the costs of repair and sprucing up can be recovered. If emotions and sentiments cloud your judgment seek professional help, ask an interior designer or consultant to give you a few guidelines. The internet today is an invaluable source of information. Do some research which will clear your mind and give you direction. When in two minds seek the advice of the local real estate agent who has property values at the tips of his fingers and a licensed appraiser who would know what is best.

How to Use Psychology to Increase Sales

Have you written a great book, but have trouble finding leads? The goal is to find customers interested in your book and prompt them to purchase your book. This is a task that is no easy feat, unless you understand psychology. You can persuade potential customers through various psychological techniques.What types of psychology techniques should you use? Following are honest psychological techniques and not the work of a slick salesman. Therefore, anyone can try their hand at these techniques and maximize their leads and profits. The three techniques include: giving a gift, determining exactly what your customers want, and to present bounce back offers. Lets take a look at each technique in more detail.Psychological Tip #1: Give a potential customer a gift. Giving a gift before you encourage a customer to buy your product is highly effective. This method actually prompts your customer to buy more of your product at their own initiation. Customers respond beneficially when they feel you are giving a gift. Make sure that you are truly giving a gift such as a free report.Giving gifts can also help you build your email list. You can give away bonus reports and other free items in exchange for contact information. Giving a gift is a form of pre-selling. It allows the customer to check you and see if you are legitimate. Plus, once a customer trusts you they are likely to buy more of your products. Being available and attentive to your potential customers and regular customers will increase your sales dramatically. Psychological Tip #2: Determine what your customers want and present it to them. As an author, you should not expect to write your book and then just place it out in the market for others to find. Your book should be geared towards your customer. Therefore, you need to find customers that are interested in the niche area that matches your book topic.Psychological Tip #3: Bounce back offers are items or services that you will provide for free, or at a discount, once a customer has purchased your product. For example, you can tempt customers by giving them a 25% coupon on their next purchase. The purpose of bounce back offers is not only to prompt your customer to buy in the first place, but to continue to buy your products and services well into the future.These three techniques are just a sampling of the many ways you reach a customer and convert a lead to a sale. Successful authors and promoters incorporate these techniques in their marketing and promotion.

Summary

Simple advice on how to "get the peanuts." I wonder if this is the basics of sales success.