Archive Monthly Archives: May 2008

Responsibility

If you are a self employed sales person or if you are employed by a company in a sales role you have a responsibility either way.
Any representative sales role in any field normally means a great deal of self discipline. It means organizing your time in an effective way and it also means making the best possible use of that time available. Generally the more people you can get in front of means more sales.

If you are employed by a company you have a responsibility to understand their requirements from you as their representative. Remember you are the advertisement for that company and most companies would like the best possible image.

If you are self employed and your income depends on the amount of sales you make then you need to make certain your presentations and preparations of such are impeccable.

I have been doing a great amount of traveling lately and I am delighted to see many retail stores in many countries are finally getting the message about professional displays and stock presentation.

I have also received a copy of a report sent to my son from a real estate agent in New Zealand who is promoting one of my son’s properties. It is most gratifying to see at last sales people and companies involved in making major sales are making the effort to do that little bit extra.

I do believe however there are many companies out there with a long way to go yet. For instance it is still impossible to phone some organizations and speak to a live person during normal office hours. Studies in Australia showed that 35% o people hang up when confronted with a robot phone offering choices by pushing buttons.
We live in a fast age where people want answers now. If I am selling a property I expect my agent to report to me weekly in detail. As a regular property investor and developer I expect my agent or agents to keep in contact with me on a regular basis.
If they don’t I simply replace them and that is what most customers do when they are dissatisfied with service.
Therefore my tip of the day is to think seriously about your responsibility if you are a professional sales person.

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Super Sales Profile

Over the last six months Real Estate markets have been getting a pile of bad press. The USA market has been tough with lots of forced sales and the UK has taken its biggest dip for quite some time with the greatest amount of foreclosures seen in years.

However common sense is prevailing with the general public that market correction is part of a normal cycle, and life goes on.

New Zealand real estate has been the same with doom and gloom everywhere.

What happens when world markets get like this? Well “When things get tough the tough get going”.

I am pleased to announce a very special person has just been added to our super group of sales professionals.

Real Estate Sales Star PENE MILNE from Kelland’s Real Estate in New Zealand was awarded Sales Person of the Year last week, for the third year running. “A Stunning achievement”.

Along with a number of recognitions, she was also successful with the auction award and overall marketing excellence.

This is just one example of what a person is capable of in the sales profession and regardless of market conditions Pene has not given up.

This is a credit to Pene and her company.

Congratulations Pene.

Steve

Pene Milne

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Where Major Sales are made

Many people have no idea just how sophisticated Bangkok in Thailand really is. This is a city with stunning shopping centers and wealthy people. The Paragon shopping center is the latest multistory complex to open.

It is in this complex you will find people capable of making major sales. Not only can you buy the latest Porsche or Ferrari at authorized dealers but you will also find RSGB Laser vision.

This company is the brainchild of Krisda and Chalailk Chatikavanij, and they sell the very best home entertainment systems on the planet.

These charming people know how to set their organization well apart from competitors and differentiate themselves in a climate where most companies are struggling and fighting each other on price.

In the twenty something years I have known these people I am constantly surprised by the efforts they make to stay up to date with the latest trends and the endless amount of sales training and presentation skills they provide their staff.

It is a fact very few sales people or companies, have recognized how dramatically their market has changed over the last few years.

Most sales people cannot grasp how value is interpreted by their customers. There are even less sales people who have adapted to the new skills required to make major sales.

Well there is some bad news and some good news here. The bad news is that most salespeople are still operating under the old idea that just handing out information is the way to communicate value to their customers.

Unfortunately for them, this is now the path to just selling on price. The good news is that for those companies, sales forces and individual sellers just like RSGB Laser Vision who make the transition, there is a unique opportunity to capture a greater share of their market and to do so with a lower percentage of customers who make purely price driven buying decisions.

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The Price Driven Sale

How many sales calls have you attended that are not about selling “value”?

Most sales people and companies talk about offering “value added services,” “value selling” or they claim to be selling “solutions”.

However, do these sellers really understand what their customers would define as value?

How many sellers can accurately identify what kind of “value” their customers are willing to pay a premium to receive?

If value is defined as something that causes a customer to reduce their price concerns, then effective sellers should be able to answer with a list of specifics.

The unfortunate reality is, most will answer with guesses and just point out the advantages of their product or service.

Research carried out by Huthwaite Research has revealed a compelling over use of the words, “concept of value”. Their research has shown the average sales person just does not understand their customer’s real needs.

When a seller employs the correct selling tactics, three outcomes can be achieved:

Price will become less important to the customer.

In situations where the seller genuinely seeks an ongoing relationship (and is successful) with the buyer, the customer will then normally put up a barrier to the seller’s competition.

The seller should uncover areas of opportunity available to them from each customer by asking the appropriate questions and being able to identify them accurately.

This is a major topic for any organization finding itself trapped in today’s marketplace as we constantly see oversupplied with commodities.

In 2008 we can only succeed through real value creation where you can totally differentiate yourself and your product or service from your competitor.

This surely must be uncovered by you with proper questioning of your customer. In future posts I will reveal more on this most important subject.

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Making Assumptions When Selling

Most good sales people know we should always assume a sale has been made when speaking with our customers. However we can make the wrong assumptions sometimes and I sure had my eyes opened on my recent trip to Jordan.

I went there with very little understanding of the country or its people. My lack of research together with articles I had read and heard in the media had me assuming certain things.

In every single case I was 100 percent wrong and if a sales presentation depended on this knowledge it would have been a total disaster.

Look at this comparison between the country of Jordan with a population of six million people and a company we all know about “GOOGLE”. Who would have assumed otherwise? I bet we all would.

Employees of Google receive free meals whenever they please and according to a Silicon Valley insider the following calculation estimates the Companies food budget.

Google employs around 9600 employees in its American offices; it is open for 251 days of the year. Sources from within Google put the daily cost per employee to be $20. The product of these three figures amounts to $48,192,000 for the American offices alone.

That amounts to an annual average of $5020 per employee and that is only for the food they eat at work.

According to a department of statistics survey taken out in Jordan on household expenditure the average Jordanian food expenditure for an entire family is $3828.

The average Jordanian family has 5.7 members. That amounts to an average of $672 per Jordanian, therefore feeding the average Googler costs 7.5 times as much as the average Jordanian.

The moral of this story is if you have a sales presentation anywhere make sure you have all your facts and NEVER assume anything other than the sales has been made.

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The Price Issue

As I have been traveling and observing people’s selling style, I still see that selling on price is a big issue.

We do know that if you ask people to buy something one person in every four will say yes. This is the law of averages.

I just wonder how many more sales a sales person would achieve if they put price to one side for a minute. It has to be a fact that many customers do not buy on price yet many sales people think they do.

A classic example has to be “Starbucks” A bad coffee at a higher price than normal. Yet the places are crowded just as much as McDonalds. An inferior burger at once again at a high price. Surely if everyone bought on price these places would be empty.

My sales tip today is to keep asking the customer questions, before price is mentioned find out how important it is.

As a side issue you can see in the photo I have been suffering from dehydration in the Jordan Sun.

steve1.JPG

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The Treasury

Here is what I came to Jordan for. The main purpose was to visit Petra and believe me it was well worth while. The lost city is sensational and quite frankly one of the best sights I have ever seen.

This photo has been cropped and resized for the web but I used a Lumix (Panasonic) FX36 digital camera in 16×9 format.

I hope to get back to making some posts relating to making major sales soon but I am overwhelmed by the sights and scenes in Jordan at this time.

By the way, traders here are good sales people, they know how to close simple sales very easily and the tourist is an easy touch especially when these sales people are so nice. They can actually teach us a thing or two.

The Treasury in Petra

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Jordan

In two days time I will achieve another life time goal; visiting the lost city of Petra in Jordan.

I am currently in Amman and leave tomorrow for the south. Petra is regarded as one of the new wonders of the world. What has this got to do with making sales?
Well nothing really except if I had not been successful at making major sales and earning high income I would never have been able to visit this sensational country.

Hopefully in the next week or so I can post a photo or two and relate some of the sales experiences I have seen in this part of the world.

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Quote of the day

Vision is being able to see the invisible

Anon

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Responsibilty for sales

I am in Egypt on route to Jordan and today I have been observing how business is still the same worldwide despite cultural differences.

Nothing happens until someone sells something. My last eleven years has been spent selling to clients throughout Asia and this is my very first visit to the Middle East since 1971.

Salespeople all over the world seem to be basically the same. There are those who are extremely enthusiastic about their products and try to push them to anyone and everyone. There are street vendors who just hassle every person who walks past and all they can sell on is price because there are so many competitors on either side. What does all this have to do with the purpose of this website?

Well it just reinforces in my mind what a rare commodity professional sales people really are. I am absolutely convinced the majority of companies out there really have no idea how important their sales force is.

Companies manufacturing very expensive items that are very rarely sold on one client interview must take note. Where does the responsibility for sales start?

Who is responsibility for sales in a company?

Surely it must start from the top. If a company makes no sales it cannot survive, yet there are untold companies out there just shooting sales pitches wildly into oblivion hoping the law of averages will be enough to provide the results they need.

My take on this is that making major sales is a skill just like any other skill. It takes commitment and practice just as playing a musical instrument.

Companies can no longer take their sales force for granted. There is too much competition and believe me it is in every country I have ever visited.

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