Archive for March, 2016

Every company is on a constant quest to find and earn new business.

There is definitely an art to winning new business. To often we and our customers think of sales as the used car salesman saying “Have I got a deal for you” or “I’ve taken the time to give you an presentation, now where’s the order?”.

Sales is so much more than taking an order. Sales is about building a relationship – a relationship of trust that is more about serving the customer than serving you.

Here are 5 simple tips you can and should do to create a better opportunity for you to win a new customer at the beginning of the sales process

  1. Dress to impress – no this doesn’t mean suiting up in a tie, unless your prospects are white collar, but it does mean looking sharp. I have the opportunity to sell in both blue collar and white collar environments dress to impress for the environment and the client.  Don’t over dress as the prospect may get the idea you don’t understand their business or environment. Pull up the pants, wear a company shirt and groom your hair. I’m amazed at some of the service sales “pros” that have come to my office or home who look like they just rolled out of bed and dug through the laundry pile to pull out a shirt.
  2. Speak well – this doesn’t mean you have to speak stuffy and proper.  It does mean speaking professionally and with respect. Lose the “umm”, “like”  and “you know”.  Lose the industry jargon speak to educate. Take time to educate and where possible demonstrate your services. As they say “a picture paints a thousand words” imagine what a demo can do.  And remember, you’ve interrupted the prospect’s time remember to say “Thank You”.
  3. Learn names and take notes – Everyone loves to hear their name. Work on learning names. Use their name in conversation. When visiting take notes about what they say and  even things in their office; is their favorite sports team on the wall, pictures of hunting, family or vacations. Taking notes will help you remember key things about your prospect and provide valuable information to build a relationship on your 2nd, 3rd and 50th visit.
  4. Build a relationship – Every visit work on building a relationship.  Don’t force it, be genuine. People see right through phony. Initially a prospect will naturally be guarded and cautious of your motive. Remember, just like you, they are busy and don’t want to be sold. Come prepared, armed with information that can help them. Be considerate of their time. As you do, you will slowly earn their trust and set the building blocks for a great relationship.
  5. Be consistent – Notice I said consistent not persistent.  Some customers are going to take longer to win.  Work to consistently be in front of them. Be respectful of their time. Don’t show up and just say “I just thought I’d stop by to say hi” – unless your bringing donuts;).  Come with a purpose. Share something that will help them.  If they already have a vendor a simple “I know you have a guy, but if you ever need me this is how I can help…”  You never know when the current vendor can’t respond, is slammed, out of stock or a relationship sours. Be consistent and when the time comes they will know who to call.

Ultimately remember the customer. I think sometimes sales professionals forget they are serving the customer which can be hard to remember when you have a pushy sales manager haunting your thoughts and driving a monthly goal. Ask your self how would I like to be sold?  Putting yourself in the customer’s shoes is an interesting and rewarding exercise. If you’d like to hear a great perspective on how a person being sold feels as vendors solicit him for sales I invite you to listen to this great podcast and interview from the PDR College “Inside the Mind of a Nissan Dealer GM: What Do They Think of PDR”. No matter your industry software, HVAC, Property Management, Auto Reconditioning, network solutions or Appliance Repair the insight provided is invaluable.

Have additional tips you’d like to share?  Send them in. We’d love to share them with everyone.

Jody Sedrick
Follow me on Twitter: @jodysedrick and @zenewareinc
LinkedIn Profile  | Zenware | RoadFS


Brian Wiley - Idaho's Money Show

Brian Wiley – Idaho’s Money Show

This past week I had the opportunity to be a guest on Idaho’s Money Show – CapEd’s Business Hour with host Brian Wiley and Action Coach Alison Dunn on KIDO.  What a fun time to sit down and talk about my company Zenware, custom software development, mobile apps and entrepreneurship. Brian and Alison are phenomenal hosts and I really enjoyed the conversation.

I think everyone loves talking about what they do, especially when they are proud of what has been accomplished. Interesting thing telling your story.

Fortunately for me, the day of our broadcast occurred on a particularly challenging day and week. Yes, I said fortunately. It was one of those days. You know the day – a day when everything is a grind,  when doubts claw at your mind to pull you away from the big picture, clouding your vision and distracting you from ultimate goal. Sometimes the minutia of the day can be overwhelming.

Don’t stay in that dark space! Take control. Refocus and get busy solving problems that will take you to your goal.

I have discovered that revisiting your story provides a personal yard stick to see how far you’ve come, what you’ve accomplished and yes, even what you could have done better.

As we were wrapping up the show Brian asked me the following question, “If you could give one word of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs what would it be?”

That’s a tough one, how do you capture 6 1/2 years of building a company in one nugget. I guess I’d have to say… Go for your dream! Don’t wait! Take the leap! Recognize there will be tough days. Be willing to work  through those days. It won’t but easy but I can promise the journey is worth it!

May you discover and capture success as you pursue your dreams.

Thank you Brian and Allison for the invitation.

Jody Sedrick
Follow me on Twitter: @jodysedrick and @zenewareinc
LinkedIn Profile  | Zenware | RoadFS