Roy's Blog: August 2009

August 27, 2009

Sales = relationship builders NOT product floggers

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There are two options to consider when setting a sales philosophy for your organization. You can choose to generate revenue by selling stuff or you can choose to build intimate relationships with people and have them buy stuff.

Selling stuff equates to flogging products; the focus is on what is being produced rather than on the demand elements of the customer. Very few people like the flogging experience where a sales person tries to shove a product down your throat with little consideration for our needs and expectations.

At the end of a flogging experience we generally feel used, abused and violated vowing to never return.

Building deep relationships and having people buy stuff is quite a different thing and is based on the axiom that ‘you need to make a friend before you can do business’. The sales dynamics focus on getting to know the prospect and their specific wants and desires. The relationship builder actually make you compelled to buy!

The forces at play propel the prospective buyer along a course of action that requires a transaction; anything less conjures up the feeling of guilt given the time, effort and caring the builder has invested in you.

Relationship building firms understand and trust that cash flow is the result of deep customer relationships; an annuity stream is established over a longer period of time with an impressive Net Present Value as compared to the short term financial benefits of the one sale wonder.

Start the move today to developing a relationship building sales team. And introduce this element in the sales compensation plan. If you are purely a flogging organization today, ad a percentage for the relationship element and begin the journey to BE DiFFERENT Sales. Begin with compensating your sales team 20% on relationship building and increase this amount over time.

How do you measure relationship building? Create a customer report card with 6 key relationship building behaviors and ask the customer to rate the salesperson on each. Customer perception is reality and it will not be long before every salesperson is paying attention to what is required to be a builder!

Here are some relationship building behaviors to consider: show honest concern for the customer, build a profile on them, be an active listener, problem solve, be the customer advocate in your organization, relentlessly follow up on customer issues and be available 24X7.

Or better still do some customer research and build the builder behavior profile for your customers specifically. Good luck!

Cheers,
Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 8.27.09 at 11:50 am by Roy Osing
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August 6, 2009

Unforgettable marketing practice - discover customer secrets

The challenge in a world where virtually everyone has their basic needs satisfied is determining how an organization can stand out and be noticed.

How does it get tagged as remarkable and indispensable by their customers?

Today people are looking beyond their basic needs and are looking for opportunities to feed their individual wants and desires.

They are driven to a higher level to seek happiness; basic needs satisfaction may give people a lift for a period of time but the lustre soon fades (a new SUV soon becomes a used car).

As marketers, if we continue to focus on what people need we will miss the opportunities that lead to market leadership and enhanced profitability.

The source of this huge untapped potential is the secrets hidden in the deepest nooks and crannies of every individual that define who they are and how they want to express themselves.

A secret is an innermost desire that someone has: something a person craves, covets, aches for, hungers for, itches for, yearns for and longs for.

A secret has little to do with a need and tends to be experience-based.
I need food and clothing; I crave a pasta meal at Trattoria in Whistler served with a bottle of La Volte and I itch for a 3-week Maui vacation with my family at a five star resort.

Exactly how does one gather secrets?

People divulge their secrets only to others they trust, have confidence in, and have a strong relationship with.
If you are an outsider, they won’t tell you anything (other than perhaps what they need) and you won’t discover the gold that will enable you to have a profitable long-term relationship with them.

So, focus on relationship building with people you choose to serve. And don’t expect results overnight. It’s a long term investment; you can’t earn someone’s trust in a 60-minute interaction with them.

These 5 actions worked for me as a secret gatherer:

1. Commit to meeting with customers every week as a personal priority. You can’t discover secrets from your office.

2. Meet face to face and keep the process informal. Have a conversation with the person rather than a formal market research interview.

3. Don’t sell. The objective is to build the relationship by getting to know the other person better. It is not about you and the potential sales opportunity sitting across from you.

4. Avoid prying into personal matters unless it is a natural lead-in based on the conversation you are having. After the ice-breaker question, be guided by what they say. Secret gathering isn’t about encroaching in someone’s personal space. Follow their lead by what they are willing to offer.

Take notes

5. Take notes – lots of notes. Taking notes is evidence that you are interested.

The “me world” is here.

Marketers must get under people’s skin to make a difference.

Cheers,
Roy
Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Other marketing articles you might like…
Playing the price cutting game isn’t good marketing, it’s insanity
8 ways to build marketing muscle
5 simple steps to get your marketing message across
5 ways to get your customers addicted to you

  • Posted 8.6.09 at 11:21 am by Roy Osing
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