Archive for November, 2010

Thanks is an interesting word. Most often when I hear expressions of Thanks it is synonymous with goodbye. When you order a burger the server’s finals words as you leave are “Thanks, Have A nice day”. Does the server really care if I have a nice day? Does he really care that I bought a burger? Not likely. Realistically, he’s probably more concerned  likely with greeting the next customer so that he’s one more customer closer to ending his shift.

Yes it’s polite to say thank you, but for crying out loud most expressions of thanks are trite, hollow and lack real sincerity.

When was the last time you truly expressed thanks? When you close business do you send a personally handwritten thank you card?  Do you call them to say thanks or have you falling into the fast food version of “Thanks, Have a nice day”?

This Thanksgiving and Christmas season do something different, take a moment to really think about how blessed you are. Think about those individuals that truly impacted your success this year.  Then take a moment to personally call each individual to express a heart felt and sincere thank you.  Yes, this this will take some thinking. Really reflect on each customer and business partner. If you do it right it will take some time – fruitful time. Focus on the relationships you’ve built. Focusing on the relationship, instead of the business one, will permit you the opportunity to hone in on the unique characteristics of your relationship. I find expressing gratitude for the relationship forges greater bonds with those whom I do business.

If you do opt to send cards, send a handwritten note  in addition to the general message.  I always appreciate personal annotations. Frankly, the sincerity of the message comes through much stronger. Also, these are the cards that get posted on my wall and are often read more thane once.

Here’s a little secret, Gratitude is a powerful unifying force. Remember, expressing thanks is one thing. Giving thanks is another. This year do both and forge relationships that will last a lifetime.


It's sold - really it's sold!

One of the more frustrating experiences as a sales professional is receiving verbal commitment from a new customer to purchase your product and then waiting for the signed proposal. You ever get the feeling it might slip away? I often tell my team, “If there isn’t ink on the paper the deal isn’t closed”.

You thought the pressure was hot before you closed the deal. Wait until you tell you Sales Manager you’ve received verbal commitment. He’ll nag you everyday asking, “Where’s the deal. I thought you said it would close this week”.  I’m sure you’ve heard that before.

Your challenge now is managing the finalization of the sale without appearing desperate.

Here are a few strategies.

  1. Don’t tell you Sales Manager you have verbal commitment
    This may seem coy but managing expectations on both ends of the sale will alleviate pressure and allow you an environment to manage your new customer. The key is you have to know the next steps.
  2. Outline the steps for delivery.
    When the customer tells you  “I’ll buy” take the time to outline the next steps to receive their product. For example, lead the conversation with,  “Now that you are committed to moving forward let’s discuss what we have to do to receive signed papers and deliver product”. 

    Note this discussion should include an inquiry of the buying process your customer has to go through to finalize paperwork. Develop a plan with your customer that aligns with their internal processes with delivery expectations and dates.

  3. Reconfirm delivery or rollout dates
    Use these dates to drive the customer to deliver signed contracts and initial payment. This is a powerful tool especially when the customer is on a time line.
  4. Always use customer goals to drive signing a deal — not yours.
    Remember the customer doesn’t care about your quota or end of month pressures from your sales manager. When driving for signed contracts ALWAYS articulate reasons that help the customer achieve his goals.

While receiving signed paper is important, how well you professionally manage the closing of the deal will instill confidence in your customer that they’ve made the right decision.

Author: Jody Sedrick
Entrepreneur, CEO, Sales, Mobility and Web 2.0 Strategies
Twitter: @jodysedrick, @zenwareinc
LinkedIn: Jody Sedrick

Do you find yourself on a down slide with performance and success waning?

Perhaps it’s time you took a more strategic approach to winning by simply showing your customer the money.

Most sales people focus on product features and benefits. Try something different, instead of selling products, sell your customer money. That’s right, sell them money – the money they will save, earn or recognize by buying your product.

Let’s take a look at GPS Navigation Systems. Where can you “Show them the money”?

  1. Improved routing reduces fuel costs – equaling money in your pocket
  2. Improved routing increases response time to your customer which means an average of one more service call a day – again more more money in your pocket.
  3. GPS bread crumb trails allow Managers to review and optimize route orders. Grouping services calls into services areas eliminates “doubling backing” saving time and fuel costs
  4. Enforcing Speed limit:  Adherence to speed limits can save an average of $.24 a gallon when services techs drive 65 MPH versus 70 MPH
  5. Enforcing Speed Limits: Tire wear almost doubles when consistently driving at speeds of 70 or above.

Showing your customer the money gives them compelling and often irrefutable data to move forward. Quit painting the picture of how great your product is. Your competitor’s product is probably just as good. If you can demonstrate real money in the pocket of your customer because of your product you will win every time.

So, in the adapted words of Jerry Maguire….

Simple Thought on Success

Posted: November 10, 2010 in Career Building, Sales, Success

“Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals.” – Jim Rohn