Do you “buy” yourself? The first rule of selling.

Hi folks,

I’m just off the ‘phone from a call centre for a well known domestic product here in the UK (I won’t name them but I’m really tempted to.) And you know what? All I can feel is for how much the poor guy on the other end of the telephone hated his job, hated the company he worked for, hated his product and consequently, hated his life.

Is your sales manager getting you down?

Sometimes, interacting with a call centre can be painful…

So, here’s the first rule of selling:

  • “If you wouldn’t buy it, don’t sell it”

If you want to get really good at this sales game, you won’t be able to achieve your goals if you are selling a product or service that you don’t believe in and wouldn’t be delighted to own yourself. More than that – you have to believe that to own a competitor’s product would be insanity! Even more than that – life without your product is unthinkable!!! UNIMAGINABLE!!!

You can either learn how to do this with your current product by using some NLP techniques that I’ll teach you about later, or you can go and evangelise for a product you already feel this way about. Either way, until you can get yourself in this state of passionate belief, you will never be the top salesperson in your company, far less in your industry.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about.

I worked (briefly) for a big UK telecoms company and whilst some really good things came of the experience, I hated the poor service that the company provided its customers. Like a lot of huge companies who enjoy a market dominant position, customers were treated as commodities and actually as a nuisance (!) rather than the beautiful ambassadors they should become if nurtured with care.

And the really demotivating thing?

There wasn’t a darn thing I could do about it.

The company was simply too big, their cultures too ingrained, for me to bring about a positive reversal of their negative actions, assumptions and attitudes.

So, I left!

Remember:

  • People and organisations have to deserve your services.

That’s not being arrogant or big-headed.  Companies shouldn’t even WANT

Picture of Steve Jobs

Thought Different

you to sell for them unless they believe you will passionately advocate for them and represent them brilliantly to their prospects.

 

Here’s a quote from Steve Jobs:

  •  “I don’t need smart people. I’m surrounded by smart people every day.  What I need is people who are in love with Apple”

 

So, here’s the hook. Do you “own” the product you sell – both physically and emotionally? If not, why not? And if not, should you be selling something else? Or should you invest some time in feeling differently about your product?

Only you can answer that.

©TVSM2013

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BT Broadband Ad #epicPRfail

Hi everyone,

Just as I was coming to terms with my feeling that advertising copywriting couldn’t get any worse than when Advanced Hair Studio confidently proclaimed to the world that they, “Specialise in nothing, but hair loss…” (Great job guys: A negative, a “but” and a sense of grief all in one sentence) BTs latest advertisement for their broadband offering manages to plumb new depths of epic PR failure.

Have a look at the ad and then we can talk about it together.

OK, whilst suspending my disbelief that these people are actually students and adjusting to the fact that I am smack in the middle of their target demographic, yet I know no-one like them, far less aspire to empathise with them, let’s look at how many groups of society the copywriters actually manage to offend.

Fem: “On-line dating again?”

M1: “It’s 2013 Grandma, deal with it”

That’s the way BT! Despite seniors consistently registering as high users of the internet and having the disposable income and leisure time to make them one of the most lucrative demographics to market to, BT manages to use the term “Grandma” as a derogative whilst implying a senior is stupid. Great start!

M2: He’s reeling one in…

What??? Not content with alienating older people, let’s objectify females by referring to them as fish to be caught, presumably for M1’s sexual gratification.

Who’s next up? Yep – MEN! Read on…

M1: She thinks I’m funny but she’s not sure about my photo

Fem: Yeah, it is a bit “Fun-Dad” Swap it for this one before she bails

Great job! As if men aren’t having a hard enough time finding the space they are expected to occupy in society these days, now being fun and a Dad is to be ridiculed.

M2: Just keep her smiling…

Presumably because girls are so stupid the object of M1’s desire won’t realise what a complete muppet he is if she is having her metaphorical tummy tickled.

Fem: Not the cheese joke…

We’ll just move smartly along from this one shall we?

M1: *Musing* How do I feel about Alektorophobia? Fear of chickens is rare, but…

How we laugh at this comic mix up until we realise that M1 and the online fish are typing to each other and presumably she will have typed Electrophobia.

M2: She means the band mate (good blokey bonding) tell her you’ve got tickets to see them on Friday

M1: Have I?

M2: You do now!

M1: I’ve got a date

The cast now high five and fist pump while pulling faces, presumably to illustrate the social inadequacy of M1 and to leave us feeling horrified for the poor “fish” that is going to experience the date from hell on Friday.

Good advertising copy makes the target demographic feel aspirational towards product ownership or like they are missing out by not owning the product. BT’s copywriters just reinforce in me a feeling of never wanting anything to do with their company or any of their products.

And while we’re talking about good advertising copy, here’s a free strapline for Advanced Hair Studio.

It’s your hair. Longer.

©TVSM2013

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The 2 ways you can fail to make a sale

Hi everyone,

This post will maybe be valuable to you if you sell face-to-face with a potential client, because what I’m going to do, is help you adopt the mindset of the prospect you’re in front of.

You see, once you’re in front of a potential client there is only two things they can do to prevent you making a sale.

They can:

  • Object

or they can,

  • Reject

Now, let’s look at what both of those terms mean.

handling client objections

Clients sometimes need help to buy and they do this by objecting to your initial proposal

Objection, in itself, isn’t really a problem for you. Lots of my satisfied customers initially objected to my proposals on the grounds of price or suitability or colour or any number of other minor details. An objection like this is seldom, if ever, a barrier to making a sale. Generally, it’s a request for more information or for a reassurance that they are doing the right thing. It’s like serving a meal to someone and them saying, “Oh, I’m not keen on peas.” All you have to say is, “Oh, I don’t like peas either, that’s why I always serve petite pois…”

You see? It’s just reassurance they wanted and you gave them empathy by being Just Like Them (Remember this phrase, it’s super important)

Rejection on the other hand is more serious but “no” almost never means “no, no, no, not ever, not even if you were to give me my own private island and a harem of golden voiced mermaids. NO – NO WAY – GET OUT!”

People don’t say that do they?

“No” generally means one of two things:

  • No, not like that

or,

  • No, not just now

Now, “Not like that” is easy to deal with on the day. All you need to do is get the prospect to define HOW they would like to own your product. It’s that simple. Ask the prospect to explain to you the situation and circumstances that would need to be in existence to fulfill their ownership of your product or service, Then, CREATE THEM! Easy!

(This is an example of a HOW conversation)

“Not just now” is a bit tougher to deal with on the day so be prepared to make a call-back. What we need to do here is to define the time-scale between today and a point in the future that ownership can occur and what, if anything, will need to happen between those 2 dates to make ownership inevitable. What you need to be asking is questions like, “When will the Director be back in the office?” “When would be convenient to demonstrate this to the boss” “When do you feel you will be able to consider your childs educational needs?” That sort of thing.

(This is an example of a WHEN conversation)

Really, a time rejection is just a lesson in diary management. If they say, “Oh, I can definitely do something about this in the summer” you HAVE to have a mechanism in place to actually BE THERE in the summer! Otherwise another salesperson will get the benefit of your hard work because believe me, the prospect WILL BUY FROM SOMEONE! And that someone should be YOU.

A diary with a meeting scheduled

You have to diarise the return visit in the face of a time based objection

The best salespeople I have met and worked with have always had two characteristics above any others.

They are:

  • Organisation 

and,

  • Resilience

The best salespeople NEVER get ground down by either OBJECTIONS or REJECTIONS because they know that these client states are simply natural moments on the client’s journey through the sales process.

So, stay UPBEAT! Use the information that a client gives you to make it easier and easier to address the needs of other prospects like them, and enjoy the fact that you have call-backs in your diary that are warm “pre-closed” individuals to call on in the future.

In sales, the only thing that stands in your way is yourself – NOT the prospect.

©TVSM2013

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