A Lousy Reason to Buy from You

June 28th, 2011

Dont Beg for SalesI recently received a message via social media from an acquaintance. (I won’t use the word “friend” because I    don’t actually know the person particularly well.)

It was a rather long sales letter. The message related how the person had started a new business venture, provided some details about the products and services offered, and closed with the following appeal:

I am reaching out to all of my connections and asking you, “will you please consider buying your services through me and support my business launch?” I set my personal goal to find 25 new customers by July 31st. Will you please be one of those 25 customers? I really need your support and would appreciate if you would ask your friends and family to support me as well.

Here’s a news flash: There may be a lot of good reasons to buy from you, but “supporting you” isn’t one of them.

I don’t mean to sound heartless or cruel—that’s just reality.

People don’t care about salespeople. Or companies. Or products. (See 14 Things Your Prospect Doesn’t Care About for more.) They care about themselves.

People don’t buy a product or service because they want to support the company. They buy it because of what the product or service does for the buyer—physically, emotionally or both.

Write this down and post it somewhere conspicuous:

It’s not the prospect’s job to care about you. It’s your job to care about them.

If you want to boost your sales, that caring attitude should manifest in all areas of your company’s operations: product design, staffing, customer service, guarantees and more. When you support your customers, then—and only then—will they support you.

23 Ways to Build Trust

June 21st, 2011

Build Trust to Build SalesIn my last post, I wrote about the fact that if you want to increase your sales, you need to build trust with your prospects to overcome their natural skepticism and cynicism.

Which, naturally, leads to a question: How??

Here are 23 ways:

1. Send them useful articles and blog posts.
2. Always be courteous.
3. Give them a buyer’s guide.
4. Ask good questions to truly understand their issues.
5. Listen attentively.
6. Follow up.
7. Follow up quickly.
8. Provide them with free consulting.
9. Use self-deprecating humor.
10. Respect their time and intelligence.
11. Invite them to events where they can meet people or learn things.
12. Blog.
13. Give them a free trial or sample.
14. Share case studies, third-party reviews and testimonials.
15. Empathize with them.
16. Offer a money-back guarantee.
17. Be on time.
18. Refrain from speaking badly about anyone.
19. Give them a gift that helps them do their job.
20. Make it clear you won’t rush or pressure them.
21. Deliver on your promises.
22. Invite them to connect with you on social media.
23. Show them how to save money, even if it means a smaller commission.

Keep in mind that building trust takes time. (Longer with some people than others.) Be patient. Don’t get frustrated. The more effort you invest in demonstrating you’re trustworthy, the better your sales will be.

What other ways have you built trust with your prospects? Please share them in the comments.

Whose Side Are You On?

June 15th, 2011

sales perspectivesAs salespeople, professionals and business owners, we tend to believe that we’re working in our prospect’s best interests. If we recommend a product or service to them, it’s because we think it will help them solve their problems or achieve their goals.

And yet we get resistance and pushback from them. So many salespeople have complained to me that prospects won’t even talk to them, when all the salesperson is trying to do is help.

The problem is, prospects have a completely different perception. They see salespeople as working in their own best interests. If a salesperson recommends something, it’s because the salesperson makes money on the deal. Period.

Whose perception is right?

Both.

We see ourselves one way, prospects see us another. And both points of view are valid. Because, really, what good salespeople, professionals and business owners do is find ways to make the prospect’s interests and their own interests coincide, to mutual benefit.

So if you want to boost your sales, first, you need to recognize and appreciate that prospects don’t trust you immediately, no matter how pure of heart you are. And then you need to help your prospects understand that while you are indeed working in your own best interests, you’re also working in theirs.

That means investing the time and effort to build their trust. To help them overcome their fears of being lied to and cheated. (Which very well may have happened to them in the past.) And to instill in them a measure of confidence in you.

It doesn’t happen overnight, but with patience and persistence, you can show your prospects that your interest isn’t the only one you’re working in.

Three Keys to Charging More

June 7th, 2011

keys to charging more and boosting your salesAre you losing sales to low-priced competitors?  You don’t have to lose the business! And you don’t have to drop your prices either!

Listen to my appearance on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio with Michele Price as I share three simple actions that will enable you to successfully win more business at higher prices. This eleven-minute segment will enable you to boost your sales, your commissions and your profits immediately!

To listen, just click on the link below. Or to download the segment to listen later, right-click the link and select “Save Target As…”

Three Keys to Charging More, Don Cooper on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (mp3)

To learn more about Michele Price and listen to her interview other business experts on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (which I seriously recommend), check out her web site: www.WhoIsMichelePrice.com.

How NOT to Use Photos in Your Sales Efforts

June 1st, 2011

photos in your sales effortsI recently received a marketing piece in the mail from a local car care company. It was an oversized postcard listing their services and specials. But what stood out were the two photos—for all the wrong reasons.

On the front was a large stock photo of a family standing on a porch. Huh? What does this image have to do with auto maintenance? If you’re going to use a photo in your sales and marketing efforts, make it a shot that relates to what you sell—your product, your facility, your employees, etc.

On the back was a photo of the shop’s owner. Much better, right? Except that the picture was awful. The owner wasn’t smiling, he was scowling. And whether because of bad lighting, bad camera settings or bad printing, he looked sweaty and grimy. Far from inspiring confidence, it actually made me uncomfortable. It looked more like a mug shot than a professional portrait.

Used correctly, photos can be a powerful tool for boosting your sales. Used incorrectly, they can actually work against you. Make sure your photos communicate the messages you want them to.

Want more ideas on incorporating photos into your sales and marketing efforts? Check out How to Use Photos to Boost Your Sales.