The holiday season is upon us. Everyone is in holiday shopping mode from Black Friday, Cyber Monday and many other things. Also, everyone is thinking about going to parties. So the last thing on your customers and prospects mind is to make a year-end purchase; unless they receive a year-end tax advantage. As a sales rep, you are under pressure to close deals so you can earn that bonus. Unless your customer is in a buying mood, you are going to hear the objection “call me after the holidays”. If you have done business with this customer, you will have an easier time than if you are making a cold call.
In prior articles, I have written how to get prospects and customers to buy. However, today’s focus is getting around the customers or prospects objection “call me after the holidays”. You have to attempt to get around this objection. If your offer is time sensitive or if you can provide a break on pricing or payment through a special promotion for example no payments for 3 months; make your customer aware of them. However, at this time of the year, you will get customers and prospects who just don’t want to deal with you and your offering. As a sales rep, it is your job to be able to tell if the customer and prospect is telling you the truth. In other words, you need to qualify their objections. This means following up with every customer and prospect even when things look bleak.
Should your customers and prospects insist that call you them after the holidays, I would find out which holiday they mean. Next, I would pin them down to a specific day and time to call back. I recommend sending your customers and prospects a holiday card with a little note reminding them about the appointment; stating how you look forward to speaking with them on the specific date and time. Once this time comes, I would hold them to their promise. Deliver your presentation and ask for the business.
This is how to deal with the objection “call me after the holidays”.
When you are selling and marketing a brand x product, there are many challenges that you face. These challenges range from questions on product reliability to a lack of brand recognition.
One of the first things that I would handle is product reliability. This comes from the product development and engineering side of your business. The product has to be developed and tested to insure that it works properly. Nothing will destroy your credibility like under delivering on promises that you make about your product.
In terms of addressing questions on product reliability, I would offer a free trial of your product to both the end users and industry experts. If your product delivers on its promises you should be able to earn testimonials and endorsements. This will not only address product reliability but will also go a long way toward creating brand recognition for your product. Remember one of the most important things that a brand can cultivate in its customers is trust and advocacy. It is your job as a brand to turn your customer base into advocates.
In terms of building brand recognition, I would create a story for your product. This story should demonstrate how the product helped to solve a problem. As I said earlier, using testimonials from industry experts and end users alike will help build trust and get people to take that first step to try your product. One of the most valuable marketing tools is word of mouth. Social Media channels such as blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google, YouTube, Pinterest and others help to spread your products story to the masses. I would also have a company website that integrates all of these channels. Exhibiting at industry trade shows and conferences is also a great way to get the word out about your product.
I was an outside sales rep in the dental industry with an equipment distribution company. Many of the product lines that I carried were not name brand. In the beginning many people I called on were reluctant to try products that they did not know. They would waver and say things like “I don’t know, I have never heard of this product”. After assuring the customer that it was reliable and comparable to their name brand product; I took on the role of brand ambassador by convincing customers to try just one or two items. After these customers tried the product, they switched from a name brand product to my off brand product! I turned skeptics into believers. I was able to use these customers to tell the story about the off brand product through testimonials and referrals.
I had an impact at the distributor level. For a really big impact, all of this needs to be done by the manufacturer. Product development, engineering, Sales and Marketing teams needs to work together to make sure that the product launch and market adoption take place. If you work with distributors you need to provide them with support to help them succeed.
This is how to sell and market a brand x product.
This year I have the honor of serving as a Brand Ambassador for the Pivot Conference. Last year, at the conference we explored Social Media as it related to the Social Consumer, Marketing, engagement and Advertising. This year the conference focuses on Social Media 2.0. This year Social Consumerism is explored through the lens of commerce, customer service, product development and employee engagement. Pivot 2012 will focus on the rise of the Social Business.
If you are looking to the future of Social Media, the social consumer and the infrastructure of the Social Business, this conference is for you.
If you are a Social Media leader that gets it, this conference is for you!
The Conference is taking place on October 15-16TH in NYC which is just one week away!
Check out the Agenda.
Don’t miss out!
Attendee’s of Pivot 2012 will:
- Meet the architects who are developing Social Businesses and the agencies and industry experts who are helping them define new models for consumer engagement.
- Hear about unforeseen hurdles, how they broke through, how they secured buy-in, and how they started to bring together lines of business and functions that did not previously talk to one another.
- Engage with the most creative minds helping Social Businesses connect with connected customers to influence behavior and outcomes.
- Get inside the mind of the connected customer to learn how to influence decisions and become a trusted resource.
- Convert activities and conversations into actionable insights that guide the creation of relevant product and services and inspire creative campaigns.
- Measure the opportunities inherent in emerging and disruptive technologies to improve internal collaboration and customer engagement.
- Define the customer journey pre-, during, and post-commerce to reinforce value, cultivate loyalty and foster advocacy.
- Learn how Social Businesses are not only improving stakeholder engagement, but how marketing, sales, service, product development are adapting, improving efficiencies, and achieving business objectives through new methodologies.
- Learn from the most effective strategies to successfully start the transformation.
If you sign up I can offer you a 20 percent discount. All you have to do is to enter the code VIP20.
I hope to see you there!
Word of Mouth Marketing is one of the most powerful tools that you can use to build your business. Whether you are a Sales Rep or run a small business, what customers and prospects say about you determines the kind of success you have.
Word of Mouth Marketing or WOMM is what your customers and prospects say about you when you are not around. In other words, WOMM is your reputation in your industry and the area in which you serve customers.
(It’s your reputation!).
The best part of this is that you can control how WOMM is used in relation to your business.
How do you harness the power of WOMM?
The first thing I would do is to provide value through my product or service to all of my customers. By providing value through your product or service you can earn the right to ask for testimonials and referrals from your customers. I have done this. Prospects will believe what your customers’ say about you more than anything you say. Your customers could provide LinkedIn recommendations or video testimonials. These testimonials could be shared on your website and on social networking sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
These testimonials can also be produced per a prospects request. I called on prospects who requested a list of three current customers they could call before they would give me any business. (Make sure to get the customers permission before using their name!).
By doing everything that I suggested above, you are in the driver seat and can get positive word of mouth marketing to promote your business. If you provide poor service and no value to your customers, word of mouth marketing will destroy your business. You get to choose what customers say about your business.
Another way to provide value to your customers and to improve your online word of mouth marketing is to: create an e-zine, publish a blog and/or online newspapers. I publish several online newspapers on the topics of sales, marketing and advertising just to name a few. I also publish a blog.
Using what I have discussed, will allow you to use WOMM to get and keep customers.
Dealing with rejection in sales and business is tough. I remember my time in outside sales in New York City. I would make a lot of cold calls or try to up-sell or cross-sell products to existing customers. I remember days in the field when the answer I received was some form of no. Sometimes no matter how perfectly we execute the sales process, the answer is going to be no. Even today in the business I am building, I face a lot of rejection.
Many people would think to themselves I can’t take this rejection I should just quit. Well their right at least in the short term. After you have made five or six sales calls with no results, take a short break. Take a walk and do some deep breathing. Try to remember that it is your offering that is being turned down and not you! Unless the prospect says “I hate this guy”. This happened to me on one occasion.
You should take a short break after being rejected for the following reasons:
1 At this point in your call plan you are probably frustrated and are not thinking clearly. This will ruin any chances of making sales for the rest of the day.
2 Taking a break allows you to vent and refocus.
3 Reflect on past successes you’ve had. Remember, you made sales before and you can do it again!
After you have cooled off, try to think over the last calls that you have made. Reflect on what went well and what did not. Take this information and go on to your next calls with a positive attitude as if nothing has happened. Remember, your prospect does not care about how your day is going.
During my time in outside sales, I would have to call on certain prospects as many as 10 or 12 times before I could make a sale. In terms of cross-selling and up-selling, you have to build relationships with your customers. It is not going to happen over-night. This is true when you are selling items that require a large investment from your customers or prospects.
Some of my biggest sales successes have come during my last few calls of the day. When you feel spent, take a short break and then keep going. You never know when you are going to get a yes. If you quit then the answer is always no. Remember, always ask for the order. I was cursed at and thrown out of buildings; if I could keep going so can you!
Google Analytics is a great way to monitor your efforts online. It allows you to see how many people are visiting your site, the duration of their visit, what content they are looking at and from what network. You can also see what country they are from. Another thing you could do is to set custom goals to check for certain things. The site allows you to measure the amount of traffic that comes from social networks. To access this, just click under the social tab under traffic sources. Google Analytics also lets you track your Adwords campaigns. I use Google Analytics for my website and tumblr blog.
Today I am going to discuss how to setup Google analytics for your website and blog. The first thing that you will need to get started is a Gmail account. Now with your Gmail account, go to the Google Analytics website. You will need to click the create an account button. Next you will be asked to login to you Gmail account. You will then be asked to create a profile and add the website URL that you want to track. You can also provide your time zone. Once you provide this, the site will provide you with a tracking code. Next, you will need to copy and paste this into the html section of each page of your website or blog. If you have done this correctly, you will see that the tracking code is installed.
You will start to see statistics about your visitors within a few hours. It is important to note that WordPress.com offers Google Analytics as a paid upgrade. WordPress provides users with a set of analytics.
Now you are using Google Analytics.