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Business learnings from Mo Farah’s 10,000m win

If like me you were glued to your screen for 27 minutes on Friday night as Sir Mo Farah produced what the experts have subsequently described as his greatest ever 10000m major championship win you would no doubt have been enthralled by the tactical battle and the ultimate determination to win.

The race itself and subsequent analysis from the trackside experts Steve Cram and Brendan Foster spurred me to think about what as business owners and managers we could learn from Mo’s triumph. So here are a few thoughts and ideas which I hope you will find useful:

Preparation

Cram and Foster made mention several times of the meticulous preparation Mo undertook, not only the quantity and quality of his training – note the fast 400m runs – but also the focus on race tactics including those of his competitors desperate to try and find a way of beating him. In business preparation is a vital component of success particularly when we are looking to win new business, or grow the spend of an existing client whilst being aware of what our competitors are up to and how they might react to whatever we do.

Patience

For much of the race Mo was happy to sit towards the back allowing those in the front to dictate the tactics and pace.

In business we often don’t have enough patience – we just want to ‘get the deal done’. Sometimes taking our time to build a relationship with a potential customer can prove to be the most lucrative medium / long term approach. As the prolific American business podcaster Brian Burns says ‘It is best to go slowly to a Yes than be racing to a No’

Presence

There were times during the race when Mo suddenly put on a spurt and pushed himself right to the front. According to Foster and Cram this was to remind those at the front of the race that he was around, that he was in good shape, and that their tactics to try and see him off weren’t working. In business we need presence (usually in the form of personal contact or marketing messages) to remind our existing customers of the great things we do, and to ensure potential customers are aware of us and the benefits they will enjoy by working with us.

People

On the first lap Mo was urging the crowd to get behind him knowing that their support could be the vital extra ingredient he would need on that final lap when he was going for gold. The crowd’s response was tremendous. And as soon as he crossed the line he was seeking out his family and others who had supported and encouraged him throughout his incredible journey. In business we need people to help us succeed whether they be members of our team, our family or the people we turn to when we need advice and support. Successful people usually have a great team behind them. Let’s make sure we recognise and acknowledge our teams.

Problems

Remember that moment on the last lap when Mo stumbled into the kerb and for one horrible split-second it looked as though he might fall over? Fortunately he recovered brilliantly as he had done on three previous occasions during the race when he accidentally got tangled up and could easily have fallen over. Mo dealt with those problems and didn’t allow them to prevent him from achieving his goal. In business there is rarely a smooth passage to success and those that are successful are often the ones who are best at handling the problems and issues that they face and not allowing those problems to distract them from the pursuit of their end goal.

Persistence

When Mo Farah won double Olympic gold in 2012 it was an amazing achievement. But winners like Mo don’t sit on their victories but persist in their pursuit of greater success. Being persistent in business is not always easy as you have to constantly maintain your energy, drive and enthusiasm but like with Mo being persistent will bring its rewards.

Are you making the right first impression?

It is reckoned that 70% of customer decisions about the purchasing of products or services are made before any direct contact is made either in person, on the phone, or by email with the company the potential customer is looking to purchase from.

Which means by the time they make that first contact with you there’s a good chance they’ve already decided that yours is the product or service they want to purchase and essentially they are seeking confirmation that they made the right choice in selecting your company to buy from.

So when that call, visit, email or direct message comes in you need to ensure that the first impression the potential customer receives is delivered in such a way that it confirms to them in their own mind that yours is definitely the company they want to buy from.

So if I’ve decided yours is the company I want to buy from and I phone you up and you don’t answer your phone or you don’t answer it in the way I was expecting you to answer it then there is a good chance I’ll change my mind and go elsewhere. And if that happens you may never know just how close you were to acquiring a new customer.

Which means all the time and money that you invested in your marketing activity to attract that customer in the first place is wasted, simply because the first impression you gave when it really mattered fell short.

So the fact that you didn’t answer the phone, or you didn’t answer it very well, or you didn’t return a voicemail very quickly, or the greeting that was given when someone arrived at your premises wasn’t very good, or you were slow to acknowledge and respond to the email or direct message that you received has cost you a customer, wasted your marketing investment and potentially cost you other customers as no doubt that person  will tell others ‘I was going to buy from company X but the way they handled my initial enquiry was very poor so I didn’t go there and I would recommend that you don’t either’.

So how do you ensure this doesn’t happen to your company?

It’s very simple. Assume every time the phone rings or someone you don’t recognise walks into your premises, or you receive an email or direct message from someone making an enquiry, that the person contacting you is someone who is ready to buy.

If you and all the people in your organisation adopt that attitude it could make a huge difference to the number of new customers that you end up dealing with.

And because customers can be great marketeers on your behalf, telling their connections, contacts, friends etc… how great your company was in providing the product or service that they were after, a new customer is a valuable asset. Word of mouth marketing remains one of, if not the best, form of marketing.

It is well known that it costs seven times as much time and money to attract a new customer as it does to retain an existing one, so you can clearly see how important it is not to mess up when the opportunity of a new customer arises.

So here’s a quick checklist to try and help you ensure you don’t miss an opportunity to create a great first impression and secure a new customer:

  1. Create a culture within your organisation that when the phone rings it is assumed it is a new customer who is ready to spend money with you.
  2. Make sure that attitude is not just conveyed to the sales team but everyone in the organisation, and in particular those people who take the initial call.
  3. Make sure that if someone leaves a voicemail you return it as quickly as you can.
  4. Ensure that email enquiries are dealt with within a couple of hours of them arriving in the inbox.
  5. If someone walks in the door of your business make sure they receive some sort of immediate welcoming greeting, and if everyone is fully occupied with other customers at the time you can still make eye contact, smile, and offer a brief verbal greeting.
  6. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer. How would you like to be treated and greeted?
  7. And finally consider some mystery shopping. It’s a great way of gaining feedback on how your company is dealing with that first contact.

First impressions and the customer experience are fast becoming the most important aspects of both attracting and retaining customers. No matter how great your marketing activity is if potential customers receive a poor customer experience that creates a bad first impression then your business will be wasting opportunities to grow revenues.

First impressions and the customer experience is something that all businesses should continually review and seek to enhance.

If you need help kickstarting an enhancement to your customer experience activity then please get in touch with me, Trevor Lee, on 07785 390717 or email me via trevor@trevorleemedia.co.uk.

5 top tips to help you gain sales

If you are in business you are sales, simply because without sales you have no revenue and no revenue means no business. To help you achieve more revenues here are 5 top sales tips:

1. Wetsuit or T-Shirt – how easy is it to buy your products or services?

Is it as easy as putting on a t-shirt or is it as tricky as trying to get into a wetsuit?’  To discover if you are a t-shirt or a wetsuit company try buying from your own company via all the channels your products or services are available.  You may be surprised by how many ‘barriers’ there are that will potentially prevent people buying from you. In an era where ‘selling’ is increasingly about making it easy for people to buy you need to identify those barriers quickly and find ways to remove them.

2. Be seen as an expert

If you are recognised as an expert in your field you will attract more enquiries. Promote and share your expertise through articles, posts, newsletters, video, speaking and networking.

3. Be ready to respond

It is reckoned that around 70% of buying decisions are made before any direct contact is had with the potential supplier. If your phone rings or an email arrives or you receive a direct message via social media or someone walks in through the door you need to be ready to respond quickly.

We live in a world of high expectations and that includes speed of response. Make sure you respond quickly to all inquiries – even if that means a holding response ‘Sorry I can’t take your call / answer your email but I will get back to you….’ Other top tips : Check how long your phone rings for before it jumps to your voicemail and check what your voicemail message is as well as your ‘out of office’ email message.

4. Offer Alternatives

If your proposal to a potential customer has only one option it’s very easy for them to say no to it. And where does that leave you? On the basis that your potential customers prefer to buy rather than be sold to offer them more than one option when presenting your proposal. Three alternatives offers a choice and significantly increases your chance of gaining an order. The three can be similar but with variations which could be based on a number of factors including quantities, timings, price levels, level of back up service, etc…    Try it – it does work.

5.  Know when to press the Mute button

The vast majority of us like buying but we don’t like been sold to. Therefore salespeople who just talk are the ones we are likely to be put off by. Today’s best salespeople ask really good questions, listen to the answers and then steer the customer towards the product or service best suited to their particular needs, via three alternatives within their proposal.

And then they know to press the Mute button.

They know when to shut up!

Most ‘salespeople’ find it hard not to speak and have an uncontrollable desire once a silence occurs to break it. Don’t do it!

Interrupting is also a sales preventer. Let the buyer do the talking. Then ask for the order. Then don’t speak!. Give the buyer time to think and respond. It’s not easy to do (being on mute) but it will be worth it.

Need some sales energy and momentum?

If your sales effort or sales team needs re-energising please get in touch with me, Trevor Lee, on 07785 390717 or email me via trevor@trevorleemedia.co.uk.

I will create sales momentum for your company through my highly interactive ‘Sell More’ workshops, as well as through speaking at or being involved with your sales meetings or business conferences.

Closing sales – 5 tips to help you close more sales

Closing sales is something none of us particularly like the idea of.  Particularly if we work in a small business that doesn’t have a dedicated sales team. The reality is that after all the hard work you’ve done to nuture a relationship and create an opportunity you need to gain an order for your product or service – after all without sales you don’t have a business. So here are 5 tips to help you gain more sales including :watch full movie The Invisible Guest 2017 online

Offering Alternatives

Clarifying and SummarisingTeiichi’s Country 2017 movie download

Don’t Interrupt – do listendownload movie Conni und Co 2 – Rettet die Kanincheninsel 2017

Ask for the order and then SHUT UP!

Don’t go racing to a NO

For the full article please click here :  5 tips to help you clinch more sales