08282015Fri
Last updateWed, 26 Aug 2015 10pm

Columnists

Sales Growth Expert: Are you ready to profit in 2011?

Asking for the sale and shutting up will really help you increase sales and profits

Good news.  Your prospects and customers will continue and expand their efforts to get the best deals on the products and services you sell.  Yes, they will shop price harder than ever before in 2011.  Yes, they will demand more services than ever before.  That is the good news for those of us willing to:

  1. Increase the number of services we can provide for our customer
  2. Differentiate ourselves and businesses from the competition
  3. Become more and more aggressive in:
    1. Learning and using new and different selling and marketing techniques
    2. Asking for the sale
    3. Following up after we make an offer and after the sale
    4. Delivering the service we talk about
    5. Never letting a customer walk
  4. Selling benefits - Not features, selling benefits
  5. Make it easy for the customer to buy from you

There is not one of the five that is more important than another, but I have seen over and over again that the sales professional and yes, even clerks who make it a point to ask for the sale over and over again are more successful than those who only show and talk about their products and services.

I once had a furniture salesman call on me (in my furniture store) and the only thing that differentiated him from a clerk was he asked for the sale.  He was terrible otherwise.  He never gave me one good benefit to do business with him or the companies he represented.  He never once respected my time.  He would just show up, open his display books, throw his material swatches on the counter and start asking for the sale.

He would say, “You should buy this three piece set in this fabric and this fabric and this fabric,” as he turned the pages and flipped the material swatches around. Then, without me saying a word, he wrote the three sets down on his order sheet.  Then he would move on to another style of sofa, love seat and chair and repeat the process.  He repeated it over and over again until he had completely filled out his order sheet. Again, never giving me one benefit or even telling me about the quality of his products.

When he finished he pushed the order sheet over to me and said, “Sign here!”  And you know what?  After I crossed out a few of the lines, I signed.  I knew I could buy furniture that would sell from others and buy it for less, but I was always so enamored that he asked for the sale, I always purchased from him.

When I was training a new sales professional I made sure they were there to see this clerk/sales professional in action. And at the end of the presentation all I said to my sales professional was, “When you ask for the sale as aggressively as this man, combined with showing our customers the benefits they receive when  buying from us, you will be successful.”

Another way to ask for the sale - Shut up and close the sale

Another simple way to close a sales is simply by listening for the customer to make a closing statement and then the very first thing you do is SHUT UP and write it up.  Every day I see sales professionals, good sales professionals, lose sales because they do not know when to SHUT UP.

While shopping one of the big box home store discounters for a client, I watched a perfect example of losing the sale because the sales professional did not SHUT UP.

A woman standing by the store’s bathroom toilet display asked the salesperson, “Does this toilet come in rose color?”  Immediately the salesperson replied, “It comes in rose, it comes in white, it comes in green, red, blue, almond, black, brown, gold....”  He named at least another dozen colors.  He then, without taking a breath, opened a book and began to read to her how the finish was applied and why it would never mar or discolor.  This all took less than a minute and a half.  The woman said, “thank you,” turned and left.  As she passed me I asked her, “Why didn’t you buy that toilet?”  She replied, “He would not shut up and sell it to me.”  He missed the closing statement.  As soon as she said, “Does this toilet come in rose color?”  All he had to do was SHUT UP and write it up.

Are you listening for the customers’ ‘Closing Statements?’ A ‘closing statement’ is anything the customer says that is positive about your product, service, business or you.

  • “I like  that.”
  • “That will work for me.”
  • “When can you deliver.”
  • “My wife will like that.”
  • “Just what I have been looking for.”

2011 will  be a great sales and profit year for you if you are willing to:

  • BE AGGRESSIVE
  • DARE TO BE DIFFERENT

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 email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sales Growth Expert: When the bullets are flying - How to handle the overflow of customers

I never thought of it this way, but John Slenko, service advisor for Griffin Brothers Tire, Wheels and Auto Repair, one of my sales & profit growth clients used the term “When the bullets are flying” to describe what it is like in their store when there is an overload of customers all at the same time.

Sales Growth Expert: To maximize your jewelry sales, maximize praise

The old saying goes, “You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar,” and you can maximize the help your staff members give you to gain and retain customers simply by giving them the honey in the form of praise.

Although I was in charge of hiring employees, in the fall of 1980 dad informed me that as a favor for one of his friends he had given their son a job. The boy, although 19 years old, was not physically strong enough to handle the work we had available.

Getting back to basics

This month, we want to talk about two KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) - mark-up and stock turn which combined produces your Return on Investment (ROI). This is a measure of how much you get back for every $100 invested in stock. It is a multiplier of mark-up and stock turn – in other words, how much profit you make on each item you sell, times how often you can sell it.

Sales Growth Expert: Boost your prospecting and lower your marketing cost

Finding new customers by prospecting can be costly in time and your marketing dollars unless you make it personal.

3 Aggressive Power Prospecting Techniques

Technique #1: Use the Magic Words - “Who do you know?”

Every customer you presently have knows someone who needs the products and services you sell. Your present satisfied customers have friends, family, colleagues, etc. who use your products and services and either do not know you sell those products and services or do not know the value you deliver.

All you have to do is ask them. “Who do you know?” First set up your question. Examples:

For the customer you just closed a sale with:

“Mr. James, as you know, I get most of my customers by being recommended. I know you are well respected in your community. Who do you know...”

“I know you have a lot of friends in both your business community and social community that I can also help with a great deal.”

For a long-time customer:

“Mr. Smith, we have been doing business together for over 5 years and I have always provided you with equipment and service that has helped you increase your profits (made your life easier) (increased your enjoyment of...)

After the set up just simply ask, “Who do you know I can also...?”

“Jim, we have been doing business together for over 5 years and you always tell me how satisfied you are with my products and personal service. I need your help. Who do you know I can also provide my top quality merchandise/service for?”

Or you can be more aggressive and assume your customer will help you and ask this way using choice questions.

“Jim, we have been doing business together for over 5 years and you always tell me how satisfied you are with my products and personal service. I need your help. Would it be more convenient for you to give me 4 or 5 referrals of your friends and colleagues now or shall I telephone your tomorrow for their names and contact information?”

However you decide to ask for referrals using the “Who do you know?” technique to boost your prospecting will keep your pipeline filled and increase your sales and profits.

Technique # 2: Use the Other Magic Words - “Do you know?”

We all have a list of prospects we know we can sell if only we had the opportunity to get in front of them. I have found the best way to get in front of them is to be recommended by someone they trust, like and respect. Those people are usually in the same business they are and you are selling to them now. So all you have to do is use the Other Magic Words - “Do you know....?” And when they say yes, all you do is ask them, by using a choice question, to introduce you and recommend you.

Example: “Bill, do you know Tom Jones over on the east side of town?”

Bill replies, “Yes.”

You say, “Great. As you know, most of my business comes from being referred by my satisfied customers. Which would be better for you, for us to telephone Tom Jones now so you can introduce me or telephone him tomorrow?”

Or more aggressive: “Which would you prefer, we set up a lunch meeting with Tom or we telephone him right now?”

I suggest you make a list of all the prospect you want to get in front of on the left side of a piece of paper and on the right side write down the names of your current customers you believe know them and can introduce you to them.

Technique # 3: Use the Magic Place To Market

You can spend a ton of money on all types of marketing and never receive a good return on your investment. To get a great return on your money and time investment market in the Magic Place.

The Magic Place To Market is anywhere your customers/prospects gather (hang-out). Visit and become members of their business associations, and become active in the groups. Don’t just show up for a few hours a month. Many of my clients find great success in also joining social groups to which their customers/prospects belong.

Here is a prime example:

Bob Macke, a client/friend of mine, who is a sales professional with Bobcat Enterprises of Cincinnati joined an association and attends meetings regularly. On one such occasion, while attending a seminar during one of the breaks, he went to a vending machine to buy a pack of crackers. He found himself in front of the machine fifty cents short of what he needed to buy the crackers. A man behind him in line at the machine recognized his problem and asked, “How much do you need?”

Bob replied, “Fifty cents.” The man handed Bob fifty cents.

Now for most people, even sales professionals, after saying thank you, that would have been the end of the story. But Bob Macke is an aggressive sales professional and takes advantage of every opportunity. While thanking the man Bob asked his name and asked for his business card. Turns out the man is a buyer for a company Bob has been trying to get an appointment with to sell them equipment.

The next day Bob went to the company’s offices and asked for his benefactor of the fifty cents. When asked what his business was for the visit Bob told the gate keeper he wanted to pay the man back the fifty cents. In a few minutes Bob was sitting in the buyers office handing him the fifty cents and thanking him. Then Bob said, “By the way, we have some equipment on special I think will save you a lot of money.” That was the start to a successful and profitable sale of $56,700. And since then, Bob has sold them additional equipment.

Bob would not have made these sales if he had not joined and attended the meeting his customers/prospects attend. Bob puts himself in front of his customers by using The Magic Place To Market - Where his customers/prospects are.

Give your prospecting a boost with these three Aggressive Power Prospecting Techniques

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 email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • Newsletter

  • Latest Post

  • Most Read

Columnist



Media Kit