Sales

Incorporate the following tips into your sales strategy and success will follow!  Be sure to let us know when one of our suggestions work for you.  We love feedback!

Other categories:
Negotiation             Presentation

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How to use an iPad for a sales call

iPads for Sales CallsDo you make sales calls at coffee shops, restaurants or job sites? Chances are, you already use an iPad or other tablet to make your presentations. Tablets offer amazing visual capability, including motion and interactivity. The richness of images and high resolution offer a range of possibilities that we could not imagine just five years ago.

  • Prepare in advance: if you have a slide show and a Web demo, have the icons near each other and ready to go.
  • Customize for your client. Add an intro screen with their logo or other visual ID, name, date and topic. This step takes little time, and communicates volumes about your attention to detail, client consideration and preparation.
  • Stick to one point per slide. Keep it clean and simple.
  • Add rich visuals in a similar color palette throughout. Leverage the advantages of your iPad – add gorgeous photos, beautiful title bars and “wall to wall” color.
  • Let your client participate – can they swipe to the next slide? Demo a concept? Go through a site? By getting the client to participate in a hands on way, they will retain more of your message.
  • Keep a “pre-iPad tablet” – i.e. paper – nearby. Take notes for follow-up.
  • Offer to e-mail or post the presentation. Pre-book some extra time with yourself on your calendar immediately after any presentation so you can email any follow-ups on the spot. Instant follow-up will impress clients and clear your “to do” list.

Bonus tip: if you present the same topic repeatedly, consider hiring a communications expert, graphic designer or other professional to create a presentation. Investing a few hundred dollars, you may wind up reaping thousands of sales dollars by conveying a quality image from the start.

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How to make your message matter

Most of us deal with a variety of interactions throughout the week. How can you make your conversations memorable, in a way that matters to people you encounter? Very simple. Put yourself in the other persons shoes, and think of what matters to them. Here are two quick tips:

Tip #1: Ask what will it require of them, and how will it affect them?

Tip #2: Focus on benefits. This is the tried and true “WIIFM” = “What’s in it for me” that we all ask in our heads.

Here are some examples:

Customer: what value do you offer to them? Greater sales? Lower costs? Reliable delivery (less headaches)? What benefit will that have?
“Bill, we have a generous term policy that will allow you to stretch your cash flow by committing to six deliveries over the next quarter.”

 Team members: clarifying tasks and projects with context of how it benefits the team, and how it makes their job easier
“If we knock this test campaign out by Friday, hand it to the customer on Monday, we can beat our deadline and have two days off before the holiday weekend.”

Vision: leadership by painting clear objectives and outcomes – including how it benefits everyone involved
“By changing our focus to a lean manufacturing system, we insure that our organization has so much efficiency that we can weather the upcoming recession. This should put us in a much more stable position, and reduce the possibility of layoffs.”

The concept is as old as time. Put yourself in another’s position, and think of what matters to them. Then clarify what is required of them and how they will benefit. When you do that, people pay attention.

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5 ways adding people to your sales materials will propel customers to action

People love to watch other people. That’s what makes for great stories – seeing how other people make choices, and putting ourselves in their place.

Great movies, great presentations and great sales pitches have one thing in common: they focus on people. By showing how a character reacts in a set of circumstances, our audience can empathize with the character, and imagine how they might deal with the same circumstance. Think of the last movie or TV show you raved about. Did you cringe when the actor did something embarrassing? Cheer when they overcame adversity?

Stories help customers see themselves

In a business setting, give examples Closing the Saleof how people experience your product or service in relation to their job setting. This gives potential customers someone they can easily identify with. Testimonials, case studies and short videos are powerful tools to help your customers come to a buying decision and visualize how your product or service might help them by experiencing the process through someone else.

5 ways to include characters people identify with

Here are 5 ideas for including strong characters for your customers to identify with:

1. Include people who have similar jobs or work at similar companies as your prospect. This gives someone they can relate to.

2. Create a case study from your buyer’s point of view. Show how their purchase made daily life easier for them. This helps your buyer envision how their life becomes easier.

3. Include testimonials from customers at your prospect’s level and above. By including what “the boss might think”, you mitigate fear of making the wrong decision.

4. Use video showing emotions that one of your customers experienced before they bought your product or service, and after. If frustration with shipping delays tipped their purchase decision to your firm, show the frustration in the “before” part of the video. Counterbalance this with the relief or happiness of now receiving shipments on time.

5. If your customer uses your products with others in their company, include a “supporting cast” of people in these positions. For example, if your customer buys software solutions, you may want to include people from their marketing department or accounting department to say how their lives improved with the new software – or what a great job the purchaser did by solving a problem.

By focusing your supporting stories around people and how they experience your product offerings, you give potential customers a way to “try on” how a purchase will affect them.

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Business advantages: how “react and respond” works

In business, “react and respond” works for three main reasons:
1) Acknowledges that you heard the other person. We all like to know we’ve been heard – been listened to. By reacting to what a peer, boss or employee has just said, you’ve demonstrated that you care enough to be present and listen.
Note: Assuming of course, your reaction is respectful. : )
2) Focuses the conversation by paying attention. “React and respond” demands mindful listening skills, and keeps everyone focused on the topic at hand.
3) Requires that your response ties directly to what was just said – and not on an unrelated agenda. This keeps the meeting/work/project moving in a forward direction.

How to make this second nature: practice

Try reacting and responding throughout the day – whether ordering coffee, talking with a team mate or spouse. One way is to repeat back or paraphrase what was just said, and reacting to that in a constructive way.

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How to write the perfect ending to close your sale

Movie makers often write and film more than one ending to their movies. Try this for your sales pitch: write a different closing and rehearse it to see which one(s) flow the smoothest.

An extra advantage is this: if a sales call goes in a different direction than you anticipate, you are ready and rehearsed with an alternate close.

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Stories Sell

Everybody loves a story. Stories help us understand and identify with situations and people.

Think of all of the commercials you’ve seen recently, and which ones you remember. Chances are, the memorable ones involve a story of some type. Humorous, dramatic, or a simple vignette with a happy ending – it doesn’t matter. A story is easier to relate to and remember than a sheet of facts any day.

Using stories in advertising – known as the “slice of life” approach – is a time-tested and proven way to move more product. Think about the car commercial where the dad sends his daughter off to drive for the first time. It is a story that mirrors our own lives and we can identity with it.

Tips for creating a good story:
Have a good beginning, middle and end
Seek to tell a story that your customer can relate to
“Show, don’t tell” – think action instead of narration

Bonus tip: Add an unexpected ending if you can – the surprise catches people off guard & increases their ability to recall it.

Happy selling!

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