24 Ways to Make Customers Feel Special

March 26th, 2019

24 Ways to Make Customers Feel SpecialEveryone wants to feel special. It’s a basic human emotional need. And as I—and many other sales experts—have noted repeatedly, buying decisions are emotional at their core.

Which means the more you can fulfill your prospect’s emotional needs, the more likely they are to buy from you, and the more frequently they’ll buy from you.

With that in mind, here are 24 ways you can make prospects and customers feel special:

1. Compliment them
2. Praise them
3. Listen intently and empathetically
4. Give them a free sample or trial
5. Give them a bonus
6. Upgrade them
7. Offer them special pricing
8. Offer them extended financing terms
9. Provide them with priority service
10. Give them your cell phone number
11. Offer sneak previews
12. Give them first crack at new products or services
13. Send a card (for any reason other than Christmas)
14. Send a handwritten note
15. Make a non-sales-related phone call
16. Interview them for an article or podcast
17. Send articles related to their business, industry, or interests
18. Give them a gift (at any time, for any reason)
19. Give them a gift certificate or gift card (NOT a coupon!)
20. Ask about their family, pets, or hobbies
21. Buy from them
22. Send them referrals
23. Publicize them
24. Support their favorite charity

Every person and situation is different, so pick and choose which ideas are the best fit for any particular prospect or client. Just be sure to use at least one tactic with each of them, because (as I said at the beginning of this post, weren’t you paying attention?) everyone wants to feel special.

Each of these tactics requires only a small amount of time and effort, and half of them are free. But the impact they create can be tremendous.

Make your buyer feel special and you’ll be special to them.

How a Screw-Up Can Boost Your Sales

March 20th, 2019

How a Screw-Up Can Boost Your SalesWhile hanging with a friend recently, the subject of what to eat for dinner came up. After discussing some possibilities, we agreed on pizza. The next decision—where to go—turned out to be an easy one, because in her mind, there was only one option: the local outlet of Garlic Jim’s.

Curious, I asked her why. She then told me this story:

Shortly after moving to the neighborhood, she had ordered a pizza from Garlic Jim’s. It was soon delivered by a young guy. When she opened the box, however, the pie was folded over and slightly burned. She suspected it might have been dropped. It certainly didn’t look appetizing.

She called the store to complain. The store’s owner got on the phone and immediately apologized. He promised to refund her credit card, and then offered her another pizza on the house.

Shortly afterward, a woman arrived with a replacement pie. It turned out to be the owner’s wife. She apologized as well and said she wanted to make sure this pizza was perfect. She then thanked my friend for calling to give them the feedback and the opportunity to correct the problem.

The pizza turned out to be delicious. But even more impressive to my friend was the attitude of the owners and their commitment to making things right. It’s the reason she has made that Garlic Jim’s her exclusive pizza choice and regularly takes her friends and family there.

It’s also the reason the owners have seen their sales increase every year, despite the previous owner struggling stay in business.

Because the reality is that people aren’t just buying a product or service from you—they’re buying an experience. And when that experience is bad, you and your people can either make it worse or turn it around. Guess which one results in greater customer loyalty and higher sales?

Another reality is that no matter how good your company is, occasionally there will be screw-ups. When they occur, what lengths are you willing to go to in order to turn an angry customer into a thrilled one? What lengths are your people empowered to go to? And do they understand why and how to do so?

A mistake doesn’t have to result in a lost customer. It can actually be an opportunity to secure a client for life. Turn the experience around for them. Impress them with your customer care. Make them feel valued, important, and appreciated. Give them a reason to keep buying from you and they will.

So to sum up, when you screw up, and your customer pipes up, don’t let them get fed up. (Especially if they throw up.) Instead, show up, step up, make up, and follow up. Your customer will light up and your sales will go up.

Speaking of Prospecting . . .

March 12th, 2019

Speaking of Prospecting How would you like a prospecting opportunity that’s not only free, but includes a meal in the bargain? They’re occurring all around you, five days a week. Local service clubs (Lions, Rotary, Moose, Optimist, Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus, etc.) are constantly in need of speakers for their regular breakfast and lunch meetings. As a professional speaker and trainer myself, with more than two decades of speaking experience, I can tell you that speaking at these events can be a prospecting gold mine, giving you valuable exposure at absolutely no cost.

What’s that? You’re not a professional speaker? Don’t worry. You don’t need to be. But you do need to know what you’re doing. Here are some tips for making an effective presentation to a local group.

Start with the End
What do you want your audience to think once you are finished speaking? How do you want them to feel? What do you want them to do? (Besides give you a standing ovation of course.) To create your message, start with the end result you want and work backward from there.

Don’t Sell
Your topic should not be your product or service, no matter how awesome you think it is. Yes, this is a sales opportunity, but you are being invited to share information, ideas, and insights, not to sell to the audience. Nobody wants to listen to a twenty minute commercial. Instead, make your presentation practical for their lives or businesses. Give them the benefit of your professional experience and expertise.

Get Some ELP
An effective presentation combines three elements: ethos, logos, and pathos. Ethos refers to the credibility and believability of the speaker. This can be established by giving the person who introduces you a written introduction that highlights your experience and credentials. Logos means logical argument and progression. Use facts, figures, and reason. Pathos refers to emotional impact. Tell stories to create an emotional connection.

Keep it Simple
Leave your PowerPoint slides at the office. When I’m conducting a sales training seminar or delivering a keynote speech at a conference, I typically use slides; but for a small event like a service club meeting, I prefer to keep it simple. You don’t want to deal with the hassle of a projector, computer, screen, etc., unless it’s absolutely necessary. Besides, most amateur speakers just use slides as a crutch, which you don’t want to do. Right?

Be a Clock Watcher
The time allotted for guest speakers is typically ten to thirty minutes, although it can occasionally be more. Find out in advance how much time you are being given and tailor your presentation to fit. Going too long indicates to your audience a disrespect for their time and will turn them against you. Also, be prepared to cut down your presentation if the meeting goes long. Your audience, and especially your host, will greatly appreciate it.

Let Them Take You Home
No matter how good a speaker you are, people will forget you soon after you leave. A handout helps them remember you and doubles as a prospecting tool. It can be something they take notes on, an information sheet, or both. Alternatively, it can be a laminated wallet card, a bookmark, or some other small, handy item. In any case, it should be something of lasting value to give them reason to look at it repeatedly. And, of course, it should include your complete contact information.

Give Something to Get Something
Bring a prize to give away. (Ideally, your product or service.) It can be big or small. And the more, the merrier. To enter the drawing, audience members put their business cards into a container. That way, you get everybody’s contact information and you can follow up with them afterward. (Remember, the whole point of this is prospecting!)

Hone Your Skills
As I mentioned, you don’t have to be a professional speaker, but you do need to be decent in front of an audience. If your speaking skills are not as good as you would like them to be, do one of three things: Take a public speaking class through an adult education program in your area, join a Toastmasters International club, or work with a professional speech coach. Above all, practice.

Once you’ve figured out what you’re going to say (and practiced a lot), start asking people in your network what groups they’re involved with and who is responsible for finding speakers. Depending on their schedules, groups may book speakers several days or several months in advance.

On the day of the meeting, arrive early and plan to stay late. Be sure to bring plenty of business cards because you’ll have a great opportunity to network both before and after the event.

Being a guest speaker at service club meetings provides you with both visibility and credibility.
This unique combination, coupled with the fact that it’s FREE, makes it a potent sales tactic. So figure out what you’ve got to say, practice saying it, and go find an audience that needs to hear it!


19 Ways to Guarantee You’ll Fail

March 5th, 2019

19-ways-to-guarantee-youll-failSuccess is such a burden. It takes a ton of time and effort, and it frequently requires sacrifice. And for what? Everybody knows it’s lonely at the top. And then you have to do it all again, because you don’t want to be labeled a “one-hit wonder.” Then you have to deal with higher expectations, jealously from friends and co-workers, and being constantly pestered by people asking you for advice and tips.

Nope. You’re better off never achieving anything. Keep a low profile. Just get by.

Unfortunately, opportunities for success lurk around every corner, just waiting to ensnare you. They can be hard to avoid. And you can’t afford to risk even an accidental success.

So here are 19 ways you can ensure failure:

1. Don’t try
2. Avoid doing any research or preparation
3. Don’t set any goals
4. Don’t make a plan
5. Give less than your complete effort
6. Feel and act entitled
7. Make assumptions
8. Refuse to ask for help
9. Don’t focus
10. Procrastinate
11. Doubt yourself
12. Be disorganized
13. Ignore other people’s ideas, feedback, and advice
14. Don’t follow through or follow up
15. Stay in your comfort zone
16. Make excuses
17. Take people for granted (or better yet, abuse them)
18. Ignore the lessons of previous failures
19. Give up when you have a setback

Failing is so much easier than succeeding. And with these tips, you’ll be able to fail at anything, whether it be sales, business, or your personal life. Sure you’ll make fewer sales and less money, but you’ll have way more time to lounge on your sofa. (Hey, those TV shows aren’t going to watch themselves.)

Don’t listen to all those “experts” and “gurus” who preach the virtues of    success—what do they know? Incorporate these 19 items into your daily life and you need never risk success again.