Emails have become one of the most common forms of communications, especially for business people and sales professionals.
Before that, it was mostly letters. Remember the “Thank You” letter. How about the letter you sent to introduce yourself to prospects. That followup letter to your customers.
Remember how they look? You just send that information out on your companies letterhead using courier type and black ink. That’s it!
But, you wouldn’t send that information out on a plain white sheet of paper, with no logo on your envelope. This representation of you would make the prospect take off and the customer rethink their relationship with you.
But that is exactly what most business owners and sales professionals do. They send that plain looking email from their Yahoo, Gmail or Hotmail account.
But I want you to think about someting!
Imagine that email as being one of your representatives, who have been given the responsibilities of visiting your prospects and customers for the purpose of delivering various forms of information to them.
First thing, their appearance is very important! Why?
Well if you’ve ever done door to door like I have, how your appearance is can determine whether or not you get in the door.
Second, if you get in and get the opportunity to present your product or service, it better be good. You know the terms, first impression is lasting and you only get one chance.
If your appearance is shabby and your presentation is bad, you are out the door and told never to return.
Now, what does this have to do with emails?
The subject line of your email is important. It is your person going door to door for you. If that subject line is not appealing (appearance) then they won’t let you in. They won’t open the email.
And by chance if your subject line get them to let you in and, the email is unattractive, boring with scribbles of arial text and plenty of white space, they won’t let you present. They won’t read the email.
Your Email Representative need to;
3. Stand Out
4. Give Value
6. Stay In Touch
8. Build Relationship
If your email representative is not getting in the door (not opened) and, not getting any presentations ( read and click ), then you need to change email systems.
That’s what I did. It wasn’t easy to stop using my gmail and yahoo accounts to send important emails to my prospects and customers. I’ve used them for that purpose for years.
Now that I’ve changed, I think both are suffering from separation anxiety. But, I’m happy to be getting the highest email opened and click rates than I’ve ever had.
So make the change.
Your Untrained Salesperson
But, why not?
It’s an occupations that involves developing so many connections and relationships. And within those connections and relationships there is constant disappointments, betrayal, stress, euphoria, depressions, unhappiness, excitement and other emotions that I need not mention.
And don’t forget fear!
What makes this worse is that, this is compounded by the fact that this is also our livelyhood. It’s how we make our living. And salespeople are confronted with these emotional highs and lows every single day.
Who do they talk to about it? No one that I know of. They carry this with them every day.
Now back to the therapist. Being able to lay down and talk to a therapist about;
1. A sale that you lost after you’ve put so much into it
2. Prospects keep avoiding you
3. Prospects breaking appointments
4 Presentations that leads no where
5. Customers not responding to you
The list can go on.
You are probably thinking what most people would think about this. They probably need more sales training, personal development or some kind of coaching.
But that not what this is about. No matter how skilled or developed you are, the issues I mentioned above, affects everyone.
This need to be talked out! Let me give you an example.
Salesperson: I just had a bad day today
Therapist: Want to talk about it?
Salesperson: A prospect and I had set an appointment to meet at his office on a specific day and time. When I got to his office, he wasn’t in.
Therapist: How did that make you feel?
Salesperson: I was actually upset. And the more I thought about it the more upset I became.
Therapist: Why were you so upset?
Salesperson: How could a person be so inconsiderate. It ruin my whole day. I just could not function well after that.
Therapist: Did you express your feelings to the prospect.
Salesperson: Heck no! Are you crazy? I still need that sale. I just needed to get my feelings out. My wife won’t listen to me. I’ll see you next week doc.
Will a therapist help? I don’t know. But, is it good to keep all this stuff in?
Breath in, breath out.
Your Untrained Salesperson
No, I have not lost my mind. And please don’t send me any nasty replies. I like astronauts. They are important but not nearly as important as sales people. Sure they may take us into space and whirl around the universe every decade or so, but if they did not, I don’t think we will miss much.
The sales person. I know they get a bad rap and maybe in many cases its warranted. But I want you to keep one thing in mind, that if something is not sold, nothing happens. What do I mean? I’ll lay it out for you.
If a sales person does not sell a house, no one moves in.
If a sales person does not sell a car, no one drives away.
If a sales person does not sell an airplane, no one flies.
If a sales person does not sell a transport truck, nothing gets transported.
We can go on with this until there is no more space on this computer, but I won’t.
But, there is more!
You see if the house is not sold, the builders don’t have any more work. If the car is not sold, the manufacturer closes and the workers are out of work If the workers are out of work they can’t make purchases and pay taxes.
I can go on and on with this too, but again, I won’t.
You see, not much happens unless a sales person sells something.
Even the space ship that the astronaut use to travel in was sold to NASA by a sales person. And the space program itself have to be constantly sold every few years to the federal government by a sales person.
You see, we even need the help of sales people to get us to the moon.
So sales people from all over the world, start looking at your profession in a different way. Nothing would get done if it wasn’t for you. Nothing!
How about a sales person day!
The Untrained Sales Person
I don’t think so!
And if so, what kind of relationship. All the raves out there today regarding sales is to build relationships with prospects, customers and anyone else that comes into your sight.
Is that possible?
I tell you this, it is difficult at best maintaining relationships with my family and friends. It’s just too many people and not enough time. Now in sales, I have to add to that by developing and maintaining relationship with my prospects, customers and business partners.
Who in the heck are these sales people who can do this and where are they? I’ve never met one.
But have you thought about this, because I have? Do all of your customers want a relationship with you? With all of their responsibilities around their families, friends, customers and employees, can they actually have a relationship with you? And if so, what would that relationship look like?
They may not even like you. Just because they brought your product or service, doesn’t mean they want you to come to their cookout.
And on the other hand, you may not like all of your customers and don’t want a relationship with them. They like your product or service and that’s it and that’s fine.
And prospects, forget about that! There is no relationship with prospects, it’s just a chasing game and you are doing the chasing.
Now, I would have to say that if you are one of those sales people who only make two or three half million dollar sales a year, then the relationship thing might be more relevant. And that is mostly due to the fact that even after the sale in those situations, the sales person spends a lot more time with the customers.
So go about the business of selling and creating value for your customers and, let the relationship thing go where it goes, if it goes anywhere at all.
But don’t spend too much time on it! You’ll starve.
Your Untrained Sales Person
Networking events! If you are in sales, business or lonely, you have probably been to a networking event. And of course the purposes of attending networking events can range from, learning how to connect with people to getting prospects.
But our focus is going to be on networking events geared toward getting more sales and business. I’ve been to many network events and I have to admit that in most of those cases I have felt rather awkward. Don’t get me wrong, I know how to network. I communicate fairly well, I clearly know the benefit my product offers and I know my market. In other words, I know how to work a room.
My awkwardness is based on who the attendees are. You see. I and many others in sales or in business are told that networking events can be a great place to attend to get more customers and, to increase your business.
So one would expect that you are attending an event with buyers. Wrong! When you walk into a networking event, almost every person there are sales or business people looking for buyers, including you. You don’t attend a networking event looking for people who can sell you something. You attend a networking event in hopes of meeting people who can become prospects that you can convert into customers.
Now, I am well aware of the whole attending the event to connect with people and build relationships and, so on and on and on. Right!
If you make a living in sales and it’s how you eat or, you are a small business owner who’s struggling, then if you are really, really, really honest with yourself, you are there to find prospects. That’s it! Not to fall in love! You can join Match.com for that.
So what is the good? The good is that you get a chance to get out, meet people, some of them being your peers, collaborate, drink and possibly relieve the stress of selling and, running a small business. And you might get lucky and get a real prospect that connects with you. If you are lucky.
So what is the bad? Many people are not quite good at making the right connections and following up for the purpose of building relationship and, turning those relationships into real business gains. The stress of needing sales can have you starting out all wrong. Does the word desperate sounds familiar. You can do more harm than good.
Then what is the awkward? Being in the room with a group of sales people who I think should be buyers when they are not.
“Can you give me your business card so that I can see if I can sell you something” and “can you give me your business card so that I can see if I can sell you something”.
I am going to sidetrack for a second. When I attended networking events, I stop taking my business cards. When I met a person at the event, I would ask them for their business card. When they asked me for mine, I would tell them that I did not have any. If they are really interested in connecting with me later, they would take out one of their business card and ask me to put my information on the back. That’s a sign.
So what do I do? I’m not quite sure? But, if you like attending networking events then keep attending. If you don’t, then stop.
But you must be aware of the company you are keeping at a networking event. They are mostly sales people looking for customers. Are you a customer?
Your Untrained Sales Person
I recently watched a Jeffrey Gittomer video on sales and it was very interesting. He was speaking of branding and the importance of being able to have yourself described in one word. So he asked a business person this question, “when you think of copiers, what comes to mind”?
The man responded with “bad service”!. Jeffrey humorously said “I wanted one word, and you gave me two”.
So I decided to try something on my own. I called up a customer of mine who is now a friend, and asked him, “when you think of sales people, what’s the first word that comes to your mind. Although his answer was rather quick, it seemed like it was an eternity. You know that tick, tick, tick sound you get from Jeopardy.
When he said it I thought that I had lost consciousness. I must have gone blank for awhile because I heard him say “are you still there”? I said “yes “! I knew his response was going to be negative with terms like slick, fast talkers, unreliable, but liar.
We laugh about it for a minute. I asked him “why did he say that”? He said because most sales people lie. They actually lie for a living. When I got off the phone it seems like I was hit with a brick. I am a sales person and to think that even though he likes me as a friend, he sees my occupation as one consisting of a group of people that lie for a living.
Then in a moment of reflection, I asked myself, “have I’ve ever lied to a prospect or customer.
Have I’ve ever lied by permission or omission? I would have to say yes. How could I not have!
If you are in sales and work for a company that get you to lie by permission or omission, start looking for a new place to work. If you are a business owner and sales is a part of your duties and you lie by omission, then STOP!
We have enough neurosis in our personal life, we don’t need any in our sales life.
Tell The Truth!
Your Untrained Sales Person
Remember the movie, “Catch Me If You Can” about Frank
Abagnale Jr., starring Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s a funny movie. No matter what the did, they just could not catch him until the end. But remember, it’s only a movie that has to have an ending.
But as a salesperson, the ending could be nothing, notta!
Now as a sales person going after a prospect, don’t you feel sometimes that the prospect is saying “catch me if you can”! I don’t know about you but I feel that way quite a lot. All of those ignored emails, phone calls and text messages.
So what do you do? It depends!
Is your prospect saying “catch me if you can” to see how skilled or creative you might be at getting them to respond, if the phone calls, emails and text messages are ineffective. Because if that’s the case then you better throw all of that training info in the trash and try something else.
During my period in the computer business, I had a prospect that just had me going in circles. They were interested in what I had to offer but would not respond to me at all. I called and email the person a number of times and got no response.
So what did I do?
I picked up some Mexican food from this great restaurant, even though I didn’t know if he like Mexican food or not. Went to his office and told his secretary that I had brought lunch to have with Mr. Liven. His real name. He came out and said he didn’t know anything about a lunch appointment. I said that we did not have appointment, but I had brought some great Mexican food that I thought we all could enjoy. The secretary eyes lit up. I had enough for her too.
He said OK! I had some work to do but I can take a few minutes for lunch. He mentioned that he had never eaten Mexican food, but what the heck, he would try it. We ate and talked, ate and talk. We never talked about business. He ended up loving Mexican food.
We finally did business shortly after that. They brought 7 computer, 3 printers and a host of software packages, including training.
He told me later, that the reason for the delay was that they had not decided who to go with. But what he saw in me that one day made him see me as something other that a sales person, a human being.
Try taking off your sales hat and show the prospect your human side. It just might work.
So Watch For The Blog On Ideas That Can Turn The Table In Sales!
Your Untrained Sales Person
Man you put on your best show to get that appointment with that all important prospect.
You called them and said all the right things. You focused on their needs and presented to them that you had the solution to their problems, You even brought a new suit, got a haircut and washed your car. You stayed up half the night preparing for that all special presentation.
You called the prospect the day before the meeting to confirm the appointment and, the secretary confirmed it. You even sent an email confirmation the day before the meeting.
Your meeting is at 10:30 AM. You arrive 30 minutes early to get prepared. You want nothing to go wrong. But at 10:25 AM the secretary comes out and tell you that Mr. Prospect will not be in today. She asked for your business card so that she can call you for a new scheduled meeting day and time.
You politely get up and say “no problem”. I’ll wait for his call for a new meeting day and time. As you are walking away, you are not disappointed, you are moving toward a level of rage that very few witness unless they have had an experience like this.
This Is What You Are Told To Do.
Suck it up! Be a professional! These things happen in sales! So just followup for a new appointment.
Are They Serious!
No it is not all right for us to be treated that way, especially from business people who have sales people of their own.
That thought will not get you the sale, but it will make you feel better.
Uneducated Sales Person
Being a part of the sales world, I just couldn’t help from being over exposed to a term that just doesn’t make sense to me, appreciation marketing. Those two words seems at odds with each other.
Definition of Appreciation
1. Recognition of the quality, value, significance, or magnitude of people and things.
2. A judgment or opinion, especially a favorable one.
3. An expression of gratitude.
Definition of Marketing
1. the act of buying or selling in a market.
2. the total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer.
The term appreciation suggest showing gratitude and the term marketing reflect selling something.
So, how do you do appreciation marketing? How do you show gratitude when you are trying to sell somebody something. There are tons of books, videos, audios, webinars and blogs about appreciation marketing, but I still couldn’t figure it out. Well not until now.
You see, the people who are actually selling the appreciation marketing concept are marketing something themselves, without the gratitude part attached. They are selling books, tapes, training and some kind of product.
Then everybody got on the bandwagon!
I am always open to showing appreciation, but not when my ulterior motive is to get you to buy something. Market when it’s time to market and show appreciation only when it’s time to show appreciation.
Your customers and prospect aren’t stupid and they know the different. You can’t pull the wool over their eyes. Sending a customer or prospect a greeting card, an email or a box of cookies does not mean you appreciate them. It just mean that you are fattening them up for the fox.
If you are selling or marketing, then just do that! And at the end of the day you’ll be happier that you did.
There are literally thousands of books, videos, audios and webinars on how to be successful in sales. A lot of the information is important but is duplicated and repeated throughout all forms of communications. Training is obviously critical to a successful sales career, but without the proper sales tools not only will sales become more difficult you can miss your mark.
A sales person may have access to the best training and still not be as successful as they could be. Why? It takes great training and powerful sales tools to complete the circle.
Most sales people understand the importance of following up, but this can be challenging. I guess during the 1970′s the main method of following up was to dial the telephone or send a letter. Well today the telephone is still the main tool use to followup with customers and prospects.
Now lets fast forward to 2012. The term following up has been replaced with staying connected. Yes, staying connected to your prospects and customers is very important in creating and maintain a successful sales career or business. The problem is that you can’t use the telephone as the only means of staying connected. A complete turnoff!
Sometimes a sales process might evolve over a period of time and the followup may be more educational oriented. You can send information to your prospect about the benefits your product/service offers or some other information that might be helpful to them. That is where attractive emails and ezines might come in.