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Last updateTue, 30 Jun 2015 12pm

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Sales Growth Expert: Unhappy Customers - How to keep them and not lose money

No matter how 100% Customer-Centered (every thing you say and do is about and for the customers.) you are, from time to time there will be problems between you and the customer. It may be a problem with your product, your service, your staff or even you. So let's get one thing straight. The old saying "the customer is always right" is 100% correct.

Sales Growth Expert A recession is a terrible thing to waste - and a very good time to sell jewelry for high profits

There are two good times to take advantage of your competition:
  1. When business is good. It is easier to make a good time better than a bad time good.
  2. During a recession is a great time to increase sales because your competition is cutting back their marketing. But the trick is to increase your marketing while decreasing your marketing costs.

In the 80s, you know when the last bad recession hit the United States, all my jewelry competitors were walking around wringing their hands asking each other when it would end. Most everyone. I was among the aggressive that stopped reading the paper and listening to the experts about how bad things were. I was among the ones who did not react to the market conditions. I acted. And I acted very, very aggressively.

A few of my aggressive actions in a recession:

  • I went to my suppliers and asked for and received much lower pricing and longer dating to pay. When the market is slow their warehouses fill up. They are willing to sacrifice price to empty them.
  • Although I cut my media advertising back, I convinced the media that it was in their best interest to lower the prices they charged me so I would do some advertising when many of their other customers, my competition, were stopping their marketing.
  • I decided marketing directly to my prospects was a good way to go and made deals with my printer to lower my cost on printed marketing materials. Although I could not get the post office to give me a discount on stamps, I still found direct marketing using postal mail along with flyers was a very economical and successful way to reach my customers and prospects.
  • When my employees were not busy I had them go door to door and hand deliver our advertising/promotional materials. But not for long, because as we became more and more aggressive in contacting our customers and our competition's customers (our prospects) our sales grew and grew.
  • I used the Magic Words - "WHO DO YOU KNOW?" Every customer on your customer list, every customer you sell to, knows someone who needs or wants the products and services you sell. All you have to do is ask them, "Who do you know that also needs or wants the products and services I sell?" It works, not all the time, but it works enough to help you survive and prosper in a recession.
  • I sent my employees to places where I knew people talked about their problems, needs and wants. Local bars. When my staff heard someone talking about their problems that one of the products/services we sold would solve, they got their names and telephone numbers and talked to them about how we could solve their problem. Then a follow up call was made the next day. Many of these contacts turned into sales.

There are still people out there buying your products and services. Not as many, but there are a lot of them. If they are not buying from you, they are buying from your competition. All you have to do is take those customers away from your competition.

First you must stop the insanity - "Doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results." Your market has changed, you must change the way you market and sell.

You must become more aggressive. More aggressive in your marketing and selling techniques. More aggressive today than you were yesterday. And more aggressive tomorrow than you were today. You must be more aggressive than your competition in contacting your customers and theirs.

Remember the old saying, "To increase demand for your products and services, you must increase the offer."

In the Houston Astrodome 100 thousand salespeople were lined up against the west wall. Directly across the dome on the east wall were lined up 100 thousand customers. Then, every ten seconds, they walked toward each other until they were half the previous distance apart. A mathematician, a physicist, and an business professional were asked, "When will the salespeople and the customers meet?"

The mathematician said: "Never."

The physicist said: "In an infinite amount of time."

The business professional said: "When the offer is good enough."

You can survive and prosper during a recession if you act, not react.

  • Work harder and longer hours.
  • You must lower your operating cost.
  • You must increase the number of advertising impressions your prospects see. You do not have to increase your marketing cost.
  • Market to your perfect prospects. Those people who you can make the most amount of money from with the least amount of costs (time and money).
  • Market to your competition's customers.
  • Use low cost advertising:
  1. It cost no more to make a thousand telephone calls than to make one.
  2. Arrange with a non-competitive business to hand out each other's marketing materials.
  3. Use your vehicles including personal ones, to advertise specials with signs.
  4. Increase your point of purchase signage.
  5. Use attractive signs outside of your business.
  6. Create and hand out circulars.
  7. Make presentations at clubs and organizations.
  8. Market to private and public organizations.

Don't forget to use one of your most valuable assets - your customer list. Always go to your customer list. If they purchased from you once they will purchase your products and services again.

The key actions needed to surviving and prospering in a recession:

  1. Take advantage of the opening your competition is giving you when they cut back their marketing and selling aggressiveness.
  2. Lower your overall operating cost.
  3. Be more aggressive in contacting your customers and prospects.Increase the offer to increase the demand for your products and services.
  4. Become more and more aggressive. More aggressive today than yesterday. More aggressive tomorrow than today. And always more aggressive than your competition.

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 800-286-1203, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sales Growth Expert: You do not drown by going under water... You drown by staying under water

When the economy is slow, customers are not walking in your front door or telephoning, you must increase your marketing, which will increase your sales and profits. And you must lower your cost.

All you have to do is use what you got.

You got people. We always say our people are our most valuable asset. So start using this valuable asset more aggressively.

  1. Hit the phones:
  2. Hit the streets
  3. Hit the direct mail (postal, e-mail, fax)

Look, there are going to be a lot of businesses go under this year and next. But remember you do not drown by going under water. You drown by staying under water.

So if you are about to go under water, or if you feel you are under now, lower your operating cost and lower your marketing cost, but increase the number of times you touch your customers and prospects. And you will come to the top, above those who sit and wait for the raging waters of recession to settle.

Aggressively hit the phones: Telephone your customers and prospects. The rule of how many times and how often you can contact customers and prospects: You can contact them as often as you want... As long as you are giving them VALUE. Information that will increase the two things we all never have enough of. Time and Money.

Hit the streets: The undisputed best way to build a relationship and increase sales is to put yourself face-to-face with your customers and prospects. But of course you do not have the time to get face-to-face with every customer and prospect. So determine your perfect prospects - the people buying what you sell that you can make the most amount of money from with the least amount of cost (money and time cost). To determine your perfect prospects make a list of all the demographics you want them to have. Examples: Level of income, location, education, number of items or different items you sell, etc. Match the demographics to your customer and prospecting list.

And get face-to-face with them. Use the telephone and direct mail (postal, e-mail, fax) to put yourself in front of the rest.

Hit the Direct Mail: Well composed letters and marketing materials, ones that get you noticed and remembered, are always great marketing tools. And do not forget you need to get your letters and marketing materials opened. Your customers and prospects are receiving more mail than ever. Be creative!

I know my competition is sending letters in #10 white envelopes or larger brown envelopes. To differentiate myself, to get noticed and remembered, I send letters in a zippered bank bag, or a tube. Many of my prospects contact a number of speakers/sales trainers at the same time asking for information. I send my materials to them by overnight mail. I get noticed and remembered. You must get noticed and remembered.

I have always found the best way to increase sales and profits in a slow economy are:

  1. Go to your customer list. If they bought from you in the past, they will buy from you now. If you have kept good records, you know what your customers have purchased from you and when. You also know what items you sell that they need and want now. If you have not kept good records, contacting your past and present customers will still give you great opportunities to sell them more of your products and services.
  2. Take customers away from your competition. In today's fiercely competitive markets your perfect prospects are customers who are already in the market for your products and services. If you do not already have them as customers they are your competitor's customers.

 

Taking these customers away from your competition is not always easy to do. For two reasons we never want to use the cutthroat, lower price tactics. First of all, we will not make the profit we need and desire, and a customer gained through low price will be easily lost when a competitor offers them a lower price.

Secondly, it is usually hard to take a customer away from the competition because of the loyalty people have to their suppliers. The longer the prospective customer has been a customer of our competition, usually the more loyalty they have to our competitor.

Taking customers away from your competition can be as easy as building a better relationship with your competition's customers than they have with them. Become more and more aggressive in contacting your competition's customers and more aggressive in providing them with solutions to their problems, needs and wants. I have 35 Aggressive Actions and 23 Sales Closing Techniques in my book "How to Take Customers Away from Your Competition" (available at www.BobJanet.com).

You do not need to be one of the businesses that stay under the water. You will not be when you become more aggressive in increasing your marketing while decreasing your costs.

 

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 800-286-1203, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

Sales Growth Expert: Open your eyes wide - PLEASE - and sell me Add-Ons

Plus how to sell Add-Ons

Do not miss the opportunities to make money on products and services that enhance my use of the things I buy from you. Items and services that make your products and service serve me better and solve my problems, needs and wants.


Saturday afternoon, about a half hour before a Penn State football game I wanted to watch, my wife Jan comes home from shopping and tells me, "I have a flat tire on the front of my car." Having been married to her for over 42 years, I know what she did not say was what I needed to do. Go get it fixed.


So out to the garage I went, found my small electric pump and put enough air in the tire to get it across the street to the Firestone store. By the way, a business I do not like to frequent. I like to buy from mom and pop businesses, but sometimes I am like most others and spend my money where it is most convenient. In this case, right across the street from my home. They informed me it would be 2 hours or so and asked if I was going to wait. I told them I would leave the car and they said they would call me when it was ready.


Four hours later and about fifteen minutes before they closed I called them, asked if my tire was fixed and they said, "Oh, yes. We forgot to call you." "No kidding," I replied and sarcastically added, "Great service."

I quickly walked over, paid them for the work and drove off. Because of the configuration of the roads around the shopping center in our neighborhood it is much easier and faster to drive back to my house by going out the far end of the shopping center. As I turned to enter the highway, I noticed the state police had a road block set up stopping every vehicle. My savings of time for going out the far end of the parking lot was now gone and I waited my turn to be addressed by the police officer, with my license and registration in hand.

I pulled up and rolled down my window. He asked to see my license and registration while informing me this was a routine block and told me to stay in my car and he would be right back. Upon his return he said, "Mr. Janet everything seems to be in order except do you know your state inspection was due last month?"

Now, it was my fault I did not have the inspection done, but I quickly turned the blame to Firestone. After all my car was in their service bay for over four hours. Why didn't they look and see that I needed the car inspected? I mean that is their business to sell me all they can. To sell me add-on service and products. Inspecting cars is one way they make a ton of money. As the officer handed me my ticket I saw I was fined $25 plus $121 court cost. A total of $146.

I now was not only blaming Firestone, I was and still am a very angry ex-customer. From now on, as far as auto service is concerned, I will not take advantage of the convenience of Firestone being right across the street.

When we used to pump gas in front of our tire business we would always check the customers oil and while under the hood we checked for cracked belts, oil leaks, the need for a new air cleaner, etc. We even got down and checked under their vehicles for leaks and checked their tail pipes and mufflers and tire wear. We made lots of loyal customers and many, many add-on sales.

Are your eyes wide open looking for the problems, needs and wants you can solve for your customers? Are your eyes wide open looking for opportunities to make sales and profits and gain and retain customers?

How to sell add-ons
Aggressive Action # 29

from "How to Take Customers Away from your Competition" by Bob Janet
Most products have related items you can sell along with them that make you extra profits. They are called add-ons because salespeople try to sell them after the products are sold. Most salespeople fail to sell add-ons because it is very difficult to sell the related items after you have closed the sale. The customer is no longer in the mind-set to continue buying. You will sell more add-on items if you stop thinking of them as add-ons after the sale. It is much easier to sell related items during the sale than to get the customer to spend more money after they have purchased the main item.

Closing Technique #16 of 23
Add-On/Related Items Close

from "How to Take Customers Away from your Competition" by Bob Janet
The Add-On Selling Close is started at the very beginning of the sale and used throughout the sale. The prospect comes to see you, or you go to see him/her, and the first thing you do is pull out a sales order sheet and write the date on it. Every time you talk about your product/service and you have an add-on item or service to sell with it, you write it down along with the product/service you are selling.


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 800-286-1203, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sales Growth Expert The # 1 most important word in Selling

For decades the most important words in marketing have been:

  1. Free
  2. Sale
  3. Guarantee
Want to get someone's attention in an advertisement? Show them the words Free or Sale. Want to increase your closing rate? Increase the value of your Guarantee.

But selling and marketing, although the successful sales professionals do both well, are different. Marketing is getting the customer/prospect into your store or getting an appointment with them at their chosen location.

Selling is closing the deal, making the sale, convincing the customer/prospect that your products and services are worth more to them than their money. The top sales producers know it is much, much more. They know that selling is ‘solving the customers problems, needs and wants.'

So the # 1 most important word in selling is SOLUTIONS.

The next time you want an appointment with a customer/prospect first find out the problems, needs and wants your products and services will solve for them. For example, if you sell forklifts it is fair to think the solutions the buyer is looking for includes the need to move materials/products around a warehouse setting in a safe, efficient cost effective manner.

The sales professional that shows the buyer how the benefits of the forklift will accomplish this, and the company's benefits will make the sale faster and usually at higher profits than the order taker who wastes the buyer's time telling him about all the features the machine has. When you show the buyer the solutions to their problems, needs and wants by selling your benefits, not features, you will also close the sale faster.

Move one step further and discover the buyer's individual problems, needs and wants and provide the solutions for them. All you have to do is ask them what they are. "Mr. Smith, what material handling problems are you looking to solve with a new forklift?" "Mr. Smith, what unique needs do you need to solve in your material handling process?"

It does not matter what product or service you sell. If you provide the SOLUTION to the customer's problems, needs and wants easier for them than your competition, you will be the one who gets the sale.

OK, now I know someone is thinking, "All my customers have the problem of not wanting to pay a fair price for my products and services." I am the first to agree price is very important, but it's an obstacle that you can overcome.

You overcome the price objection by increasing the benefits you provide the buyer. I know you have heard that time and time again. But now go one step more. Put a dollar value on your benefits. Now you are not only addressing the customer's problem (money), you are doing it with the benefits that will solve their other problems, needs and wants.

Here are 4 ways to turn your intangible benefits into a dollar amount that will show the customer/prospect you offer a better value.
  1. Examples of how others have suffered money loss when not using your benefit (horror stories).
  2. Testimonials showing the dollar value others put on your intangibles.
  3. Ask the customer what he/she feels the dollar value of your benefits are.
  4. Tell the customer the dollar value of your benefits. (You are the Expert)
The steps to selling solutions
  1. Determine the buyer's problems, needs and wants (general and specific).
  2. Determine and create benefits that will solve those problems, needs and wants.
  3. Put a dollar value on your benefits.
All you have to do is combine these steps with the closing technique(s) you like. My favorite of the 23 closing techniques in my book, "How To Take Customers Away From Your Competition" are:
  • Closing Techniques #3 - Pros & Cons Close
  • Closing Techniques #5 - The Choice Close
  • Closing Techniques #7 - Higher Price Agreement Close
Use discount code - PROFITCLUB - for 40% off my book "How To Take Customers Away From Your Competition" and all my other 4 books and audio CD's:
  • "Join The Profit Club"
  • "99 Of The Greatest Sales Tips Of All Time"
  • "Bad Business Assumptions That Cost You Sales And Profits"
  • "You're Not Lost Until You Are Out Of Gas"
Go to www.BobJanet.com, click on products or the books at the top, add books and/or CD's to your cart and use discount code - PROFITCLUB.




Invite Bob Janet to help your sales professionals and sales support staff increase sales and profits. Bob's selling and marketing skills and techniques are based on 40 plus years of "Been there, Done that" front-line experiences. His long and proven track record of success combined with his unique speaking and teaching ability makes him uniquely qualified to present selling and marketing skills and techniques to business owners, sales professionals and sales support staff. For more information contact Bob at 704-882-6100, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or www.BobJanet.com.

Sales Growth Expert: If it worked once - It usually works again

Now, I am the first one to be aggressive and try new and different marketing and sales techniques to gain new customers, retain present profitable customers and to increase my profits. But when I find something that works, I will use it over and over again - and, of course, make changes to make it work better.

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