The Selling Newsletter
*A free monthly newsletter of ideas to help make your selling easier*
Selling is the easiest job in the world…Just ask anyone who is NOTin sales!
My mission is to help make it easier for you to sell.
Best wishes for YOUR successful selling—Maura
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Plato
As salespeople, we’re often thinking about others. That includes our customers. During the holiday season, please remember to be kind to yourself. Take some time off. Savor in your accomplishments this year. At least don’t beat yourself up for what didn’t happen this year. You can always do something different next year. Give yourself permission to slow down so you can recharge your “batteries” and be ready to be challenged and rewarded next year. If you don’t do it, no one will do it for you.
THE SELLING IDEAS FOR THIS MONTH
Gifts That Give More
Customers are to selling as heat is to coffee. And for some people, their coffee is more than just a source of liquid refreshment. They’re grateful that it gets them going and keeps them moving. Customers and their purchasing energize salespeople. And since it’s the time of year that we give gifts to show we appreciate others, here’s how some salespeople show their customers appreciation for their business and support.
Everyone wins. UPS, the largest express carrier and largest package carrier in the world, shows customers their appreciation in both big and small ways. Since UPS was an official Olympic sponsor, last year they flew in excess of 100 of their preferred customers to the Olympics held in Australia. These included the biggest and best UPS customers as well as large prospects who had expressed an interest in the Olympics. Senior UPS executives were responsible for building relationships with these strategic customers and prospects at the Olympics. To reinforce this customer appreciation, UPS had communications during the year with an Olympic theme.
If sponsoring the Olympics is beyond the scope of your budget (or you can’t wait four years), you can easily implement another UPS gesture of customer appreciation. UPS salespeople will have a Pizza Day for the people in the warehouse or they’ll bring bagels for them. Warehouse workers are not the decision makers for UPS services. They can influence the selection of UPS since every day they are hands on users of UPS services and products. UPS wants to show these workers that they are appreciated. It seems to be working. Mr. Vince Helfrey, Sales Operations Manager for UPS says, “The warehouse staff is always asking us when we are going to have Pizza Day again.”
Then there’s the gift of time. Agilent Technologies is a company providing solutions and technologies in test and measurement and other areas that revolutionize the way people live and work. Agilent is very careful about the gifts their salespeople give and the message they are sending when they give the gifts. If sporting tickets are offered, the Agilent salesperson must attend the event with the customer. Ms. Cecilia Gonzalez is the Consulting District Manager for Agilent’s Knowledge Services in the Electronic Products & Solutions Group covering the southeast United States and Latin America. She gives a gift to her customers that is more important than something you could buy. Ms. Gonzalez says, “If we can help our customers be successful in their management’s eyes, that’s the best way for us to show our appreciation. When a customer has been helpful on a project, you tell management how key they were in making the project a success.” She writes a letter since a conversation can be forgotten. A letter can help the employee when it’s put into a file. She has had her customers tell her how much they appreciated her taking the time to write the letter.
Thanks from Mother Earth. Crown Computer Supplies in Richardson, Texas sells cartridges that are environmentally responsible. To show their customers their appreciation, Crown Computer bought hundreds of ivy plants and packaged them as a gift for their customers. The card that was attached to the plant said, “The earth thanks you and so do we.” The message also described what happens with the recycling process. Their customers could then learn more about the cartridges they were buying and why these cartridges were different and better for the environment.
With focused attention on what your customers like, and what is meaningful to them, you can use many creative and unique ways to thank them. Remember to consider the people who influence purchasers of your products and services. Now is the season of giving for many. It can always be the season of giving for salespeople when you show your customers gestures of appreciation. Best wishes to you, your families, and customers this holiday season– and all through the year.
SELLING ACTION ITEM
Show your appreciation for the people who helped you this year. You could write a note, make a phone call or send a gift. When people feel appreciated they will be more likely to help you again. Showing thanks will also make you feel good.
I’m always looking for success stories and other tips from sales professionals. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with ideas that have worked for you. To thank you, you’ll receive a free subscription to The Selling E-Letter™, a bi-monthly selling newsletter. ($50 value)
Mission: [email protected] works with business and sales professionals to make THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD (selling!) easier and more effective. After all, how can you make a difference in the world if someone hasn’t bought something from you? And don’t forget about the ideas you’re selling every day.
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Maura Schreier-Fleming works with business and sales professionals to make it easier to sell more and be more productive at work. Her clients want to create long-term client relationships. They include Fujitsu, Fannie Mae and Dr Pepper/7UP. She has an M.S. in Textile Engineering from Georgia Tech and was Mobil Oil’s first female lubrication engineer in the U.S. With over 20 years of sales experience, she teaches the art and science of selling with a unique hands-on perspective and a great deal of real-life insight. She is the author of Real-World Selling for Out-of-this-World Results. Her business column ‘Selling Strategies’ appears in the Insurance Record magazine. You can contact her for seminars at company or trade association meetings at 972 380 0200 or info@BestatSelling.com
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