Whenever I get a chance to see national authors or trainers I go.
It’s always a great experience. I always learn something and it never fails to inspire me in several ways. I still remember seeing Harvey Mackay and Ken Blanchard do an all day seminar in 1999.
Harvey Mackay’s Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive made it to #1 on the NY Times best seller list. The book is a classic piece of business literature written in short lesson format… easy to understand, and quickly assimilated.
Contained within the chapters is the famous Mackay 66, a questionnaire of 66 important facts you should know about your customer. It is a crucial and rarely used sales tool. It asks questions that reveal significant facts and insights about the prospect, things like significant achievements the prospect has made, names and ages of children, business background, family, education, personal interests, lifestyles, and relationship potentials.
How much do you know about your customers? How much does your main competitor know about your customers? Gaining and KEEPING the competitive edge is not just delivering a product or service; there is also a huge human factor. Getting information about your prospect/customer may be the most important part of the selling process.
Overkill? Takes too long? Not important? Consider these facts before brushing the concept aside:
- It helps you understand your prospect.
- It helps you find areas to establish initial rapport with your prospect.
- It helps you identify ways to establish a long term relationship.
- It helps solidify the sale.
- It helps ward off the competition.
It might also be worthy to note that Mackay is a multimillionaire. He must have done a few things right along the way. He cites excellent, real-world answers throughout the text that makes reading fun… and learning easy.
I intend to ask him which sales techniques have contributed most significantly to his success. I’d bet his answers are:
- asking questions,
- listening and
- the power of negative selling (taking the sale away from the prospect and make him buy it back).
Ken Blanchard’s One Minute Manager is legendary. He gives management insight in a way that has revolutionized the way managers interact with staff.
The book focuses on one minute goals, one minute praises, and one minute reprimands. Blanchard’s methods increase productivity to be sure, but more than that his philosophy enhances insight and communication. Far too many people dislike and/or disrespect their boss. These methods if studied and practiced, will bring rewards you can’t imagine.
If you’re a sales person, buy two copies. One for yourself, one for your boss. If you’re a sales manager or company president, read it and live the principals. You will not only develop and KEEP good salespeople, you will also be liked and respected.