Hard questions that have one common answer: More sales.

Hard questions that have one common answer: More sales.

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at gitomer.me.


Hard questions that have one common answer: More sales.

Where are you?

Not geographically, but in business. How are you positioned? How do others perceive you?

When your best customers see your ad or promotion, what do they think? What do you want them to think? Do you get the same answer? I doubt it.

When your best customers see your ad or promotion, what do they say? What do you want them to say? Do you get the same answer? I doubt it.

When your best customers see your ad or promotion, what do they do? What do you want them to do? Do you get the same answer? I doubt it.

The best way to understand your position in your marketplace is to evaluate yourself. So ask yourself tough questions like the ones I just asked. The answers will tell you what you need to know, so when you come calling to sell, people will ask you in and buy. Better yet, people will call you in time of need.

The answers to the questions below are the keys to your position in your marketplace-how others perceive you. Here’s a quick clue: If you’re fighting price, customers don’t perceive much difference between you and the people you’re up against.

A word of caution: These questions require thought, a strategy, and hard work to implement. But the reward will be more sales than you can handle.

1. What is your “duck”? (The duck is what sets the


hotel apart from all other hotels.) What are you best at? What are you known for? Every magazine publishes a “best of” issue. What “best of” award could you win? The unfortunate answer is probably NONE. This would be a good way to become known for something other than your product and your price. Success question: What is your BEST one-of-a-kind feature? What are you known for? What would you like to be known for? What is your strategy to get known for something?

2. How electronic are you? What online services do you offer that creates a value package for your customer? What could you be doing to enhance your online presence? My e-mail magazine, Sales Caffeine, is a value-driven, content-rich, weekly newsletter sent free to more than 100,000 subscribers. They love it and tell their friends. How are you taking advantage of the Internet? Or are you hesitating because of some form of paranoia or internal squabbles about who gets what? Meanwhile, your competition is passing you by. Success question: Where is your value-packed weekly e-zine? Where is your plan to get one going?

3. How often are you seen? How often do you mingle with customers and prospects? How often do you speak in public? How do others perceive your position in the community? How often are you speaking at business events, civic events, and participating in other community activities? If you have a staff of 20, you have an opportunity for 20 people to become visible in the community and to be seen as people of value-as leaders. Don’t miss this opportunity. Success question: What is your plan to be more position active? Have you ever given a speech at a trade show or trade association meeting? How are you leadership-positioned?

4. How often do you network in front of customers? Many salespeople are out of touch with their customers. Your customers, for those of you unaware, are 100 percent of your revenue and 100 percent of your profit. Your CUSTOMERS, are in effect, your well being-your salary-and your future. You might want to get to know these people more intimately, and gear your products and services more toward fulfilling their needs. Success question: How often do you touch your top 100 customers? How often SHOULD you? What is your strategy to touch them more often than your competitors are calling on them?

5. Is management out of touch with customers? This is the single biggest cry of the salesperson. Remember, without customers, employees have no reason to come to work. No I do not advocate playing up to customers more than necessary. But neither do I advocate demeaning them or ignoring them. Success questions: Is your management team profit-driven or customer loyalty driven? When is the last time a senior exec called on a customer?

Whew! Pretty tough questions, huh? Well, this is only HALF of the list. Next week you’ll get the rest of the questions, and I’ll challenge you to take your own winning actions.

Meanwhile, start with question one and DEVELOP answers that will help you establish a leadership position.

Free GitBit: Want more “customer perspective” information to help you formulate your strategy? I have just what you need. Free! Go to www.gitomer.com — register if you’re a first time visitor — and enter the words POINT OF VIEW in the GitBit box.

Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, is now offering licensed training programs to corporations, as well as distributorships to individuals, based on his best-selling books and the TrainOne online learning series. This process is starting with his newest book The Patterson Principles of Selling. Jeffrey can be reached by phone: 704/333-1112 or e-mail: salesman@gitomer.com

c 2004 All Rights Reserved – Don’t even think about reproducing this document without written

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