Lost the sale and the customer by a whisker.

Lost the sale and the customer by a whisker.

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.

Lost the sale and the customer by a whisker.

I was shaving this morning in my hotel room.

I don’t shave everyday, it’s why I have a beard, I hate shaving. I don’t even use a razor. I use an electric shaver. Always have.

I thought I did a pretty good (clean shaven) job. When I finished, I happened to glance to the right of me and noticed that there was one of those close-up make-up mirrors. It even had a little light. I flipped on the light and took a look. With the magnification of the mirror I could see that I had missed at least fifty whiskers. Rats.

How could I have done that? I JUST shaved and looked in the regular mirror and it looked fine. The answer was, I didn’t look close enough.

Immediately, I thought, what else am I not looking at closely? And then at once, I rushed to the computer to challenge myself to find other whiskers and try to determine where else that I thought that I was getting a good shave but might be missing all kinds of stubbles.

Here are a few areas to think about where you may have whiskers if you look real close. And discover the chance to shave costs, and smooth out your sales presentation. The closer you look, the more opportunity for profit you will discover. The secret is to take a closer look.

1. Take a closer look at the profit in your presentation. How much profitability for your customer is in your sales presentation? Ever lose a sale by a whisker because someone underbid you? Perhaps if you had more value they would buy your profit rather than your price.
2. Take a closer look at your testimonials. How many do you use? How many should you use? What do they say? Do they overcome objections, or pat you on the head? How compelling are they? Who else should you have in your testimonial arsenal? When (how fast) can you get them?
3. Take a closer look at how often you’re in front of your present customer base or your present prospect base with something other than a sales message. Examine all of the messages that you convey to your customers and picture yourself in their shoes. Would you keep these messages or throw them away? Whatever you would do, that is what they are doing. What messages could you send that will help them?
4. Take a closer look at your reorders. Which customers are reordering from you and how often? How many customers did you lose last year? Last month? How much was that worth? How much would it cost for you to get them back? Why did you lose them? What have you done to correct why you lost them?
5. Take a closer look at the basis of your customer’s loyalty to you. Relationship or price? Are your customers loyal` because of your price or because of your great relationship with them? If your biggest competitor came at your best customers with a 10 percent lower price, how many would still be loyal? What are you doing about it?
5.5 Take a closer look at yourself. What are your doing to make yourself a better person and salesperson? What could you be doing? What is preventing you from doing it? What are three things you do to build your sales skills and relationship building skills?

Shaving can hurt, huh?

Taking a close look at your critical success points is often as painful as it is revealing. The good news is that once your discover the whiskers, you have the potential of cleaning up your act. All it takes is the vision to uncover them and the fortitude to do something about it.

The first step is discovery. Unless you see that whiskers are there, you’ll be content to roll along in some form of oblivion until one day you wake up and your customers are gone. You’ll protest that it’s not your fault. You’ll blame everybody else and their dog.

BUT, the truth is, all you had to do was look in the mirror to see the opportunities (and discover who is at fault). Once you see them, you have the best chance in the world for a smooth sale.

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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 internet training programs on selling and customer service. His free weekly ezine, “Sales Caffeine” is available at gitomer.com. He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to salesman@gitomer.com