Friday, November 11, 2005

Guest Blogger Friday - Mike Sigers

Everyone loves Friday, and "Guest Blogger Friday" is just one more thing to enjoy about this special day. Today we have a great article from Mike Sigers. Mike is a highly effective and successful salesperson who also writes the "Simplenomics Blog". And how fitting that he is the "Guest Blogger" on Veteran's Day, as Mike is a former member of the United States Armed Services (he spent six years in the Airborne Infantry). Thank you, Mike, for this great blog post, and for your service to our country!!!

And Happy Veteran's Day to all those who have served in the US Military.

Ten Tips To Explode Your Sales
by Mike Sigers

Every one of us in the selling profession is constantly looking for some way to better their salesmanship. We're always open to suggestions, probably more than other professions, because our sales determine our income.

Although these tips seem simple, they are a combination of values that, properly planned and properly applied, will give you an advantage over your competition.

These are usually not taught to the new salesman and are often over-looked by a veteran salesman. Many people do them naturally, while others need to be reminded. Properly applied, they'll make you more successful. Without action, they're just words on paper...or your monitor.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, if you want to rise above the noise, if you want to be thought of as extraordinary, here are 10 simple tips that will take you to the top.

#1 - Do The Usual Things In An Unusual Way.

Any salesman can deliver a quote or sample. Make sure you do it differently than your competition. If they mail it, you need to have it delivered by a courier. When you lose an order, do it with "style and a smile ". When I lose one, I ask for the next one in advance.

My customers know by now I'm going to do this and sometimes have one waiting for me. It might be smaller than the one I wanted, but it's sure better than nothing. And losing with class is one sure way to grow your stock in their eyes.

You don't have or want to be extreme or offensive, just memorable, in a good way. The quality of being different is a sought after trait of successful salesmen and will pay enormous dividends.

#2 - Constantly Think About Ways To Help Your Customer.

A successful salesman never sells on intrinsic value alone. He adds a personal touch that is unique to him. He makes his product into a service, with his ideas being the extra feature that only comes from him and his company. Find new avenues for them to explore. Send them business. Talk them up at trade shows. Show them ways to make more money and spend less.

#3 - Keep In Constant Contact With The Customer.

Constant contact is essence of salesmanship. If the only time you contact your customer is when you ask for an order, you may as well not contact them. You won't be welcome there for long. I call my customers with tips, leads, technical findings and suggestions on a regular basis and do so without asking for or referring to an order. Often, this leads to an order that I never saw coming. Don't be a pest, be a member of their team.

#4 - Have An Uncommon Spirit Of Service.

Willingness to go above and beyond was instilled into me in the US Army. My years as a salesman have reinforced that ten-fold. Going to another town, 120 miles away, at night, on my time, to pick up a box of parts we left on a dock and delivering them to a jobsite a 2AM won me more orders than I could have ever gotten any other way. Whatever it is that you have to do, in your industry, to make your services more valuable than your competition, you need to do it.

#5 - Have Consideration For Coworkers.

You're only as good as your team is. They'll determine how far you go. The customer will only listen and forgive you so many times. Blaming it on your truck drivers, the shipping department, billing or manufacturing will only buy you a few buckets of forgiveness. After that, it's all on you. Don't make the mistake of thinking you can treat them poorly and get away with it. They have long memories and nothing is secret for long.

#6 - Treat Your Customers Employees With Respect.

Never treat your customer’s employees with less respect than you do them. You never know when they'll have the ear of the person with purchasing power. Whether it's a truck driver who comes to your dock, the receptionist, the accounts payable department, it doesn't matter, they deserve your respect. I always imagine they know my grandmother and that they'll tell her if I'm not as nice as I should be. In the past, I’ve gotten orders from having been nice to a customer’s truck driver, who broke down in our parking lot, as he pulled away from the dock. I let him use my cellphone to call his boss and his wife. I went to my house and got him some sandwiches and a drink and brought them back to him and then waited there for the tow truck to come get him.

#7 - Never Be Satisfied With Your Accomplishments.

No salesman who's looking toward the future is ever satisfied with what he did today. He knows he's one week of being a slacker away from being so far behind that he'll never get back to the top. There are more people out there that you didn't sell today than there are those that you did. I don't even like for my boss to show me my sales numbers from month to month. I'm afraid it will cause me to ease off. Set realistic, attainable goals and if you reach them, reset them a tad higher and forget you already exceeded them.

#8 - Have a Large Capacity For Friendship.

The ability to make friends - and keep them - is one of the greatest assets a salesman can have. The majority of business sales come from friendships. Invariably, he with the most friends is the man with the most business. The greater your capacity for making friends, the greater your capacity for making money. The two are inseparable. If you think of your customers as your friends, you'll never try to deceive them or treat them unfairly. Many who purchase will wait for their favorite salesman to visit, even when they're offered a better deal from one of those who treat their customers coldly and say, " Hey, it's just business "

#9 - You Need A Keen Understanding Of Human Nature.

If you set out to study human nature, you'll never have to worry about having learned it all. The field is ever changing, but always stays the same. The more contacts you make, the more you'll learn. The more you learn, the more you earn. As you begin to understand your customer’s inner workings, you'll see avenues for injecting your ideas and wooing him over to your way of thinking. You cannot treat all your customers the same way. If you do, you'll only attain a miniscule portion of your potential. Every person you meet has their own way, it's up to you to find their buttons, and it’s not up to them to change their ways to help you.

#10 - You Must Be A Tireless Worker.

It goes without saying that most of the better than average salesmen are hard workers. Nothing worthwhile is easily attained and sales are no exception. Properly directed effort is more valuable than education will ever be. Properly educated and directed effort is the stuff that makes dreams come true. If you will work smart and hard, in sales, the sky is the limit. Action, effort, hard work ....whatever you call it, is what it takes to succeed. Educated and directed effort will never, ever let you down.

Again, thanks to Mike Sigers for today's "Guest Blogger Friday".

If you are interested in being a "guest blogger"....please send me an email.

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

1 comment:

Glenn said...

Excellent points. I'm going to send a link to this post to my staff.