Ask

How much?

Why?

Why not?

Is this correct?

Will you?

What are you expecting?

And if I can?

What should I expect next?

What do you think?

Will you?

May I?

…or don’t and wonder.

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Shady Deal

After experiencing a product defect with a (not cheap) pair of sunglasses and being requested to complete a form and send the product back to them (at my expense) – I sent them the following:

My Actual Email: The finish on my T-F790 glasses is coming off and leaving black marks on my face. I understand I am supposed to fill out a form, ship them to you (my expense) and pay for you to ship a new pair back – really?

I am taking time out of my day to tell you about a quality issue you are experiencing with one of your products – isn’t this a favor to you? Won’t this help you (if you correct the problem) have a higher quality product and in turn happy clients, better profits, etc…

I’m happy to send you a picture of the problem, but you might want to reconsider your policy of putting your clients through such a hassle, when all we want is to help you and continue to advertise your product every time we wear your glasses.

Their Actual Response: (Space left blank intentionally)

When we talk about how exceptional our product or service is we have at least three opportunities to prove it.

The first is the client experience with the product or service (i.e., they make a purchase). The second is the performance of the product or service (i.e., is it as good as advertised?). The third is when we have an opportunity to back up our product or service (i.e., are we willing to really back up our promise?).

This company failed on all counts.

It’s not you, it’s me

Our client or employee gives us their reason for their discontentment – why they are leaving us. While we are disappointed to lose such a valuable client or employee, we reason, at least I know why and I can make adjustments…

So in our state of delusion, we make changes – we feel pretty good about our decisive action, we had market intelligence and we acted!

Come on, really?

How difficult is it to tell your long-time vendor that you are dropping them or for a long-time employee to “divorce” his employer. They want to let us down gently…tickle our ears and make us feel like everything is okay, it’s not your fault, it was just time for a change…

When we lose key clients or key employees it may be time to do some soul searching and dig deep. It may also be time to bring in a third party consultant that can help us truly discover what went wrong.

Put on your thickest skin, find out the real “whys,” and make real change that will help set a new and improved course for your company’s future.

 

Providence Requires Action

If you didn’t have the guts to make that contact five years ago, that first project would have never been a reality.

If you never had that first project, how would they know you can solve such complex problems?

If you never solved their problem, you wouldn’t have such an enthusiastic advocate.

If you didn’t have them as an advocate, how would your new client have found you?

If they had not found you, where would you be today?

Delay no more – make that call.

Titles That I Get

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems the more creative the title someone has, the more I’m left scratching my head about what exactly it is they do…

Senior Creative Logistics Consultant
Knowledge Transfer Consultant – South Region
Midwest Compliance Promotion Officer

Hmmm….

Plumber – they do plumbing
Sales – they sell
Accountant – they do accounting
Engineer – they engineer

Now these I “get.”

If the company has to be creative in figuring out your title, maybe you better get serious about bringing some real value to the organization or you may find yourself with a new title.

OBO

Advertisement: “$500 Or Best Offer”

Haven’t you already admitted defeat? Haven’t you already said to the potential buyers, “it’s not worth $500, offer me less”?  I think it’s safe to say you have less than lofty expectations.

What about your professional services, do you have an OBO mentality? Do you go into the transaction believing you must discount your services in order to get someone to buy? Do you assume that you have to start discounting as a sales strategy?

That’s not good.

Professional service providers work very hard and are paid for their experience, knowledge, tactics, and ability to help organizations run more efficiently and profitably.

Stop discounting yourself.

We are good. We will save you money. We will help you increase effectiveness and efficiency. Here is my fee…and that is the best offer!

Three Questions

What is it that you or your company does really well?  I’m talking about that one thing that brings forth your absolute passion and where your God-given talents are obvious.

Next question: what do you or your company need to do to get more of that work?  If this is your passion and your calling in life, then you need to focus your energy on using this talent – more!

And the final question: what is it that you or your company needs to stop doing or chasing right now?

You have a limited budget, limited hours in a day, days in a week, weeks in a year, and years in a lifetime.  Use them all wisely.

Stand Out in a Crowd

It’s crowded, very crowded. Engineers, sales professionals, attorneys, you name it – everyone is looking for ways to differentiate themselves from the crowded group of competitors.

But how can you be different, and does it really matter in the market?  Do we need to be evermore shrill and outrageous to get attention and to stand out from the crowd? Once we stand out…then what?

Rather than having a shtick that might get you a second look, maybe the tactic should be to just be really, really good…exceptionally good.

Doing excellent work, providing the best product or service that you possibly can without excuse, can sometimes be so deafening that you drown out the noise of the competition.

Be different, be exceptional.

 

Don’t hide behind your momma’s skirt

If you want to communicate with someone today – you really don’t have any excuse.  You can find people anytime and anyplace…this ease of communication is  part of the problem.

You can send written communication by email, social media, text, and even fax.

But the best way to communicate is still verbally; preferably face-to-face.  Of course this requires that you pick up your phone and call. Yikes! Call?  Yep, call…

Whoa, that’s pressure!

Of course you can continue to hide behind your momma’s skirt and send that email or memo and hope to communicate your message.  Or maybe your competitor has the courage to make that call.

How important is that client or prospect anyway?

Passion and Integrity

Are you passionate about the sale or the product?  Is your eye on the close or the customer?

I’ve attended plenty of sales classes and I get it; find the pain…close the deal.  And truthfully, I intensely dislike lingering opportunities.  So, yes close the deal with a yes or no!

My point is – believe in what you are selling…passionately.  The sales happen when that passion comes through; your fervent belief helps convert the prospect into a believer and eventually a buyer.  If the product or service isn’t a match – you lose credibility when you start using “sales techniques” to close regardless of your ability to genuinely help them.

Sell with passion.  Sell with integrity…and always remember everyone is in sales.