The Selling Newsletter
The Selling Newsletter
from [email protected]
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 NOT in sales! Best wishes for YOUR successful selling—Maura
These are this month’s newsletters sections.
1. The Selling Quote for the Month
“The first and great commandment is: Don’t let them scare you.” Elmer Davis (1890 – 1958) US radio announcer & news commentator
I recently called a prospect for my services of speaking at conferences. They sell food products both face-to-face and on the phone. I hadn’t gotten a return phone call after trying many times. I reached the gatekeeper. This time, I decided to enlist her help. I said, “Perhaps you can help me. Can you tell me how you select the speakers you work with?” She replied in a huff, “Well, we don’t work with the ones that call on the phone.” I thought to myself, “How rude. I wonder if she would want her own sales staff to get that response.” Rather than give up, I’ve enlisted my network of contacts to “recommend” me in to the company. I will persevere. Customers can sometimes be like she was. (And of course she’s wrong!) Don’t let them scare you. If you’re like me, their “missing the point” will make you focus on a better way to make contact. Best wishes to you on your journey!
Danger Signals and Warning Signs
Life is filled with danger signals and warning signs. If you pay attention you can avoid the potholes and the problems that they cause. An oil leak in your car can be fixed with a $3 gasket. If ignored, your engine could seize and you’ll pay $2000 for a replacement. Selling has its own danger signals and warning signs.
Not reading is dangerous. You need to learn about changes in business. Change is a warning signal. Any change is an opportunity for you or your competition. When staff or company needs change, salespeople need to respond quickly to ensure that their products continue to meet customer needs. Reading the newspaper is a source of knowledge about change. When you read the newspaper, you learn about changes in business that impact your customers’ businesses and then your own. How else can you easily learn about mergers, strategic focus issues, competition, growth and failure to meet business objectives? Remember sales and business books, too. Even incorporating 15 minutes a day of additional reading will have a positive impact on your business knowledge and ultimately your business.
Having difficulty making call objectives for a sales call is a sign you’re in trouble. Your job is to bring value to your customers. Another greeting by a smiling face is not a source of value. Objectives that add value to your customers’ operations involve avoiding costs, reducing costs, or simplifying an operation for your customer. Planning before the sales call should include the steps to accomplish your objective. Having difficulty establishing your call objective is a clue that you might not be giving your customers a reason to do business with you.
Not knowing key decision makers is a bad sign. All accounts have critical decision makers. The economic decision maker reaches decisions based on cost. The technical decision maker decides based on specifications. The user makes decisions based on satisfaction with using your product. If you’re only calling on one decision maker; if you’re unfamiliar with all decision makers; or if you’re unaware of each of their concerns, the red light goes on. Pay attention when your contacts move on and are replaced by others. You need to reestablish relationships with the new contact by identifying their key concerns and motivators. Forgetting to do the work to make a new contact loyal will leave you vulnerable to the past loyalties they’ve established with other suppliers.
No systematic process for prioritizing accounts is serious. Your selling time should be given to your accounts based on their probability of buying, their importance to your sales goals, and their need to see you. You need to ask and answer, “When is this account likely to buy? Is this a strategic account because of location, a particular product or volume? Is this a significant problem that warrants my time now?” In all cases the answer will determine what you should be doing and how much time you spend with each account. In all cases determine that your customer’s needs are met with your lowest cost solution. If a phone call will work, why make a sales call? All customer contacts should be made after you identify your sales priorities and determine appropriate levels of service according to those priorities.
Do you find yourself saying what you would have, should have or could have done after you fix a problem? This is a sign that you ignored a danger signal. It’s so much easier to avoid a problem than to fix it. When you hear yourself saying, “If only I had called on that new project engineer earlier I wouldn’t have lost the account” it’s time to start looking at your other business. You’re probably missing some warning signs there, too.
3. Selling Tips
1.Do an evaluation of your most important accounts. Do you notice any vulnerability? What will you do to address what you find? Doing nothing will get you nothing-as in no business.
2. Look at the value you are brining other customers. Let those sources of value guide you as you set call objectives for other customers.
3. When your selling gets tough, try to find something to smile about. How about a magnet that says: Selling is the easiest job in the world… just ask anyone who is not in sales.? They’re available on my website at https://cl.exct.net/?fe6b15717067027d7615-fe2610707066037a721174 I’ve added more items, too.I thought it would make a few salespeople smile.
4. Email is a very effective selling tool to keep in touch with prospects and customers. ExactTarget ( https://cl.exct.net/?fe6a15717067027d7616-fe2610707066037a721174 ) makes it easy to use email to sell. On Tuesday January 11, (2 PM EST) Exacttarget is hosting a Best practices webinar where you can learn more about effective e-mail marketing. To register:
4. Something to Report
I’m always looking for success stories and other tips from sales professionals. Please feel free to email me at email@example.com 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)
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*Written by Maura Schreier-Fleming, president of [email protected] . ( www.BestatSelling.com ). Maura works with business and sales professionals so they can sell more and be more productive at work. She is the author of Real-World Selling for Out-of-this-World Results.
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7. About Maura Schreier-Fleming
Maura Schreier-Fleming works with business and sales professionals to make it easier to sell more and be more productive at work. Her https://cl.extm.us/?fe781d767d6c0d7473-fe2610707066037a721174clients 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 (a book filled with ideas to make selling easier and more productive.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 mailto:info@BestatSelling.com
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8. Contact Information
Have Maura speak at your next conference or sales meeting.
1. Our Web site: https://cl.extm.us/?fe761d767d6c0d747d-fe2610707066037a721174
2. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Call: In Dallas 972 380 0200
4. Write us:
6757 Arapaho Rd., Suite 711-183
Dallas, TX 752448
(c) Copyright 2004 Maura Schreier-Fleming. All rights reserved