Columnists Bob Janet Sales Growth Expert: Don’t operate like a Cave Man...

Sales Growth Expert: Don’t operate like a Cave Man...

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Don’t operate like a Cave Man... Don’t make it a hassle to do business with you

I thought I had been around long enough to have seen every bad (dumb) thing done to lose a sale.

I was  wrong.

I was in Las Vegas presenting a sales growth program and one evening my son, who was assisting me, and I decided to go to a show - “Defending The Cave Man”.  At the end of the show the performer announced he was selling shirts for the low price of 2 for $10 (A fantastic buy especially in Las Vegas) and the profits were to go to charity.  As I was leaving the theater I walked over to the table where they were selling the shirts.  They looked nice, with a picture of a cave man and the words, “Defending The Cave Man” on them.  I instantly decided to buy 2 dozen of them.  I figured I would use them in my sales growth programs when talking about the techniques used thousands of years ago compared to the selling techniques we need to use today.

I said to the clerk at the table.  “I would like 2 dozen shirts, 8 of each size (small, medium, large).”  She immediately replied, “May I see your ticket stub?”  I did not have my ticket stub.  My son Brian had purchased the tickets and he had them.  And he had left and went down to the casino.  I told her that my son had the stubs and was gone.  She said, “I need to see your ticket stub to sell you the shirts.”  Of course I asked why.  She just looked at me.  I repeated, “Why?”  She repeated, “I need to see your ticket stub to sell you the shirts.”  I just walked away saying out loud, “How dumb can they be?”

They sure operate with a Cave Man mentality.

Are you making it as easy as possible for your customers to buy from you?

Are you available to them when they have the time to meet you or come into your business?

I remember the days when retailers opened at 9 am and closed at 5 pm.  Except on Saturdays when they closed at noon.  I remember when I could only reach my insurance man during his business hours.  I remember that to buy an automobile you had to go to the dealership before 6 pm.

Well those days are over, except for doctors and lawyers.  Today you must be available when the customer wants to make a purchase or you lose the sale.

• Are you accepting every form of payment?

Today’s customers have choices of where to buy and how to pay for the products and services you sell.

I have seen retailers lose sales, in fact lose my business when they will not accept American Express cards for payments.  And for high ticket items a lot of buyers will walk if you do not offer long term payments.

One of my clients, Colortyme, a very successful Rent To Own chain has it figured out.  Their customers are offered multiple flexible payment options including: weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, cash, 90 days same as cash or a customized payment schedule that fits the customers schedule best.

• Are you making it easy for them to understand the benefits you provide for them?

People shop price. We, the sellers, taught them to do so with our constant sales, but they buy value.

Value in the form of the benefits our products and our services provide.  Although most people buy benefits, most sellers sell features.  A feature is the product and the components of which it is made. The benefit is what the customer gets out of the feature.  For example:  In a  washing machine with a super large tub, the super large tub is the feature.  The benefits of the super large tub is the ability to wash more clothes at once, thus saving time and money by using less detergent.

Do not assume the customer knows the benefits of your features?  When you mention a feature you must also mention the benefit.

• Are you making it easy for them to contact you?

This is an easy one, if you want it to be.  With today’s cell phones and texting there is no reason a customer cannot contact you when they need you.  They need you when they are making a buying decision or need service from you.

• Are you delivering what you promise?

A local heating and air conditioning business advertises guaranteed service by the end of the day you telephone them. But what they do not tell you in the commercial is that the guarantee only applies if you are a current customer and live within a certain distance from their business. I know, I called them.

After they explained why they did not promise me, not being a present customer, the same day service I hung up and purchased two new units from one of their competitors who delivered the same day service they promised.

To increase your sales and profits, Don’t operate like a Cave Man... Don’t make it a hassle to do business with you.

Bob Janet - Sales consultant/trainer, speaker, author of “Join The Profit Club” combines 40 plus years as owner/operator of professional, retail, manufacturing and service businesses with his unique teaching and storytelling ability to motivate, educate and inspire business professionals of all levels and all industries for increased sales & profits. Contact Bob at 704-882-6100, or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
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