Answers. Salespeople want answers. Here are a few of the answers to questions I get in the mail (fax, e, and snail). The purpose of this column is two-fold. First to give you a sampling of what people ask, and second to assure you that you’re not alone in experiencing the weirdness that everyday selling seems to breed.
Jeffrey, I read the book Enterprise One to One, by Peppers and Rodgers. This book states that different customers should be treated differently, depending on their estimated lifetime value. Do you believe that all customers should be treated the same, regardless of their potential lifetime value? If so, how does this pay off for a company, when some people are the kinds of customers you really just don’t want. Bill
Bill, Bill, Bill, Treating customers according to WORTH is dangerous — you can offer them different benefits at higher levels, but small becomes large — as my book clearly states — treat all customers alike — LIKE GOLD – animal farm rule of customer service – all the customers on the farm are GOLDEN, some are more golden than others. Bill gates and Paul Allen were once fledgling businesspeople with a prayer and an idea. How would you have rated them twenty years ago? How big of a mistake would that have been?
Dear Jeffrey: I am writing an article on Sales Insights for my Association Trade Journal, and am talking about preventing peaks and valleys in sales by prospecting every day. I said that when you are out people to sell to, you must find 10 new suspects, to find a prospect, and have 10 prospects to make the first sale. Needing about 100 suspects to make 1 sale. My staff contends that suspect is not a good word to use as it pertains to a criminal. This is what I was taught 40 years ago in my basic training. Your opinion Please, Sincerely, Thomas
Thomas, your staff is correct — suspect is a lousy (although historically correct) word how about “people needing our product” as the suspect, “people who UNDERSTAND they have a need” as the prospect, and “people we helped” as a sale This way, you can refer to potential customer around the office as “people who need” and “people who understand” — hope that helps. Best regards, Jeffrey
Jeffrey- I saw your presentation this past March. Near the end you showed some slides of professional athletes with autographs on them. It was cool. This caught my attention. I work for an Arena Football team and sell corporate sponsorships. I also sell permanent advertising at the arena they play in. Lately I’ve had trouble getting return calls from national accounts in regards to advertising inside the facility. Any advice on how to create urgency? Ed
Ed, the only way to create urgency is to create desire — the higher the desire,the greater the urgency — change your communication to include what yourfans buy, show them mock-ups of their billboard, get testimonials from otherhappy billboard users — maybe offer a few of your players to do producttestimonials and offer them as “future Kurt Warner’s” Best of success, Jeffrey
Jeffrey, How important is appearance really? Do people like doing business with those they find physically appealing? Is casual Friday important? Also, I work for a small company (9 people). The office is always a mess. With only 9 people, paperwork is always missing. Any suggestions? I want to clean up EVERYTHING. Would this be appropriate, or will others think I am pushy and nosey? Thank You. Derek
Derek, business casual friday is fine — back yard casual is not fine. Clean up the office or find a new place — if you can’t bring in customers with pride, why think your personal pride will be any different — just set the example. Jeffrey
Jeffrey, Can you please recommend a book on how a great salesman should dress in today’s business world? Preferable something more current than John T. Malloy’s “The New Dress For Success” circa 1988. Thank you very much for your response in advance. Also I really get a lot out of your articles in the Business Journal, and just recently bought your book “Knock Your Socks Off Selling” Sincerely, Christopher
Christopher, dress one notch better than your customers, or dress business casual but look like money. NOTE WELL: dot.com dress (slob minus one) is as outdated as easy venture capital. Jeffrey
Jeffrey, I sell advertising and in my area their is a lot of competition the main competitor has been in the area for 35yrs, we have only been in the area for 4yrs . Besides the $ issue how would you fight this problem?
Jason, Use testimonials instead of a media kit. NOTE TO ALL: the testimonial is the most powerful, least utilized sales weapon
Send me your sales questions, and you’ll get answers. If your question (or sales tip) is answered in print, you get a free copy of my new book Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. Go to www.gitomer.com – find: Sales Help – I need Jeffrey’s help – I have a question — and ask away.
Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org