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Sales Training

Thailand is one of my favourite places and here is a photo of me surrounded by a great group of sales people involved in making major sales.
These people sell high end electronics and smart home for my really great friends RSGB in the new Paragon shopping center in Bangkok. Krisda and chalailak started the business years ago and they are the leading experts in smart home technology for that country.
I have spent many happy hours with these wonderful people and they love what they do. They all have the passion for the consumer electronics industry.

 

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discount store

The Real Problem

Everywhere you look there are discounts. The consumer electronics industry is just one place where you see week after week big discounts on TV screens, DVD players and the like.

Who is responsible for these discounts? We know the retailer is giving away margin and in fact many of these retailers are going out of business very quickly. Some retail outlets advertise their prices will not be beaten. The owners of these companies always complain about lack of margin or their competitors when something goes wrong. With all of the research carried out world wide the real problem lies with the sales people. It is a known fact that people generally do not make a purchased based on price alone. There are many other factors that determine the motivation for a purchase.

However we also know there is very little sales training provided to retail sales people. Product training yes, Sales Training no. Why is this?

We believe the real reason for this is simple. The business owner really does not understand there is a serious difference in skill set between selling something simple like an audio lead and selling a sixty inch Plasma TV panel. If you are involved in retail selling big ticket items you will find many hints and tips on this blog on making major sales.

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Selling Commercial Buildings

Selling Real Estate

Selling a real estate property can be a difficult process. Determining the list price, performing repairs, staging and the listing the home are just a few of the concerns that any potential home seller will face. This article contains the key tips and tricks any real estate seller might need.

If you are selling your home, be sure to increase curb appeal by keeping the yard, walkways and drive clutter free and well-groomed. If you have already moved to your new home, check your old home from time-to-time to make sure it looks inviting. If you have moved far away, hire a service to keep things tidy.

Know the value of your home. You may want to have the value assessed professionally every few years to make sure that you have enough home owners insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding the home if it should ever be destroyed. In many cases the value of a home goes up with time so you will need to increase the coverage accordingly.

The first step in selling your house is to grab paper and pencil, and examine your home with a critical buyer’s eye. Start at the curb, and note any repairs to be made or clutter to be cleared. Walk up to the entrance, and feel the first impression a buyer may feel when approaching your house. Make notes about anything you think might catch a prospective buyer’s eye. Repeat the process with each room in your home.

While preparing your home for sale, plan some renovations. This will improve the value of your home and help make it more attractive to potential buyers. In times when construction is slow, it is easier to get a bargain on labor, as well. You can save money by renovating when the housing market is weak.

Most potential buyers see colored bathroom fixtures as outdated. Glazing the bathtub, shower, or sink in something more sleek or modern is often preferred to a color that is or soon will be old-fashioned.

When you need a home appraised, be sure to pick an appraiser who will not have a conflict of interest. You should look for an appraiser who has five or more years of experience and is either state-licensed or state-certified. You should avoid having an appraiser who is referred to you by a real estate agent.

If you have textured walls or popcorn ceilings in your home then it might be a good idea to change that before trying to sell your home. Many home buyers are turned off by these two things, so changing them will get many more people interested in your property.

Take a good look at all the furniture pieces that you have out in your room. Even though you may thing that you need all of them, try to get rid of some of them. You want to be able to create a bit of empty space in the room so that the room appears bigger.

As this article discussed previously, selling real estate can be challenging, particularly when considering the number of decisions any real estate seller will need to make. Selling a property can be much easier when you have the right knowledge and advice. Apply the tips from this article and you’ll be on your way selling your property.

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A Customer Is

Here is a classic quote, if you are serious about selling make certain you understand it.

A customer is…
The most important person ever to enter your outlet.

A customer is…
Not dependent on us, we are dependent on him.

A customer is…
Not interruption of our work, he is the purpose of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him, he is doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity of doing so.

A customer is …
Not an outsider to our business, he is part of it.

A customer is….
Not a cold statistic, he is a flesh and blood human being, with feelings and emotions like your own, and with biases and prejudices.

A customer is…
A person who brings us his wants. It is our job to handle them profitably to him, and to ourselves.

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Wholesale Selling Tips

On line selling has now become huge. This is a slight deviation from the usual theme of this site but I found this video about Wholesale Selling and thought it was worth a share.

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The Benefits of Marketing Vs. Selling

Have you taken the time to look at the Big Picture?

Too many Network Marketing business owners spend so much time getting lost in all the details that they never seem to figure out how to actually build their mlm business. Do you want to build a MLM empire? Then pay attention to the big picture, especially while working on all of the little details of your business.

What is the Big Picture?

The Big Picture is your Marketing Plan.  Selling is just one piece of the bigger picture. Selling could be actually talking to a prospect or it could be a sales letter making that communication for you. Either way it is just one of the tools that you use in your marketing toolkit.

Selling should not be your primary focus.

“What? Are you crazy, Jeff? I’m in business to make money. How am I supposed to do that without selling?”

I didn’t say not to use selling. I just said you should use selling to help you execute your marketing plan. Most MLMers think marketing and selling are the same thing. That line of thought will limit your ability to grow your business.

Let’s take a step back here and first define just what marketing is…

MARKETING is getting the right MESSAGE about your product or service to the right TARGET NICHE (or audience) through the right MEDIA.

From this definition you can begin to design your Big Picture Marketing Plan. Follow this simple definition of marketing and you will find success. Forget what marketing really means and you will your business will suffer.

Attention: Don’t get lost in the details as you drill down into this definition of marketing. The biggest place I see small business owners having trouble with this is when they start to drill down on the media piece. The Internet is a perfect example.

A lot of MLM business owners think they are in an Internet Marketing Business. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Internet is just a media to be used to reach your customers. Is it the right media? That depends on your customer base. But when you get lost in the details of the Internet, and anyone can do that, you lose sight of why you’re in business in the first place… to serve your customers.

There are so many little details involved with “doing business on the Internet” (ie, using the Internet as a media to reach you prospects or customers) that most home business owners forget what happened with the dot com bust.

Don’t remember what happened to cause the dot coms to fail? It’s because they spent way too much money on technology for technology sake. They didn’t ask the question “does this technology help us deliver our message to our target audience via the right media?” They didn’t even ask “does this technology help us serve our customers better?”

They got lost in the details of technology. They wasted money on stuff because they thought it was cool. They put the media before the Marketing Plan.

Don’t get caught making the same mistake.

So who wins? Marketing wins every time. Selling helps you with the message but selling is just one piece of the puzzle. Once you’ve figured out what your overall Marketing Plan is then get to work on all the details that will help you achieve your goal.

Never lose site of how you are going to build your Network Marketing empire…

By getting the right MESSAGE to the right TARGETED NICHE via the right MEDIA.

Follow this simple plan and I’ll see you at the top.

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Caveat Venditor: Why a Retailer Sells Goods at His Own Peril

Copyright (c) 2008 Law Offices of Jonathan Cooper

Many small business owners that I’ve encountered are surprised to learn that under New York law, anyone in a product’s chain of distribution can be held liable for injury that results from the foreseeable use of the product. This law includes a retailer, who may have just put that product on his shelf without ever opening the box, and a distributor, who merely transported the product from one destination to the other. Under this scenario, neither the retailer nor the distributor was actively at fault for the product’s defect or the plaintiff’s accident – and they can still be held liable. Does that sound scary from the retailer or distributor’s perspective? It sure is.

The Plaintiff’s Burden of Proof in a Products Liability Action

In very basic terms, in order to prevail in a products liability action, a plaintiff needs to prove two things: first, that the product is defective, i.e., the product is so likely to be harmful to persons or property that a reasonable person who had actual knowledge of its potential for producing injury would conclude that it should not have been marketed in that condition, and, second, that the defect was a substantial factor in causing plaintiff’s injuries.

The plaintiff can meet this burden of proof by demonstrating one of the following: (1) this specific product was defectively manufactured; (2) the product was defectively designed; or, (3) the safety warnings accompanying the product were inadequate.

At first blush, this law seems particularly tough on middlemen like the retailer and distributor, which presumably have little to no input in either the manufacture or design of the product, or the warnings that are placed on the product. However, it bears mention that these entities reap the financial rewards from selling the product. Consequently, the courts have opined that in the interests of assuring that a plaintiff with a legitimate defective products claim has a viable and readily available party from whom he or she can be compensated (as opposed to a foreign manufacturer with no connection to the plaintiff or place of occurrence), it is fair to hold the middlemen liable for the product’s failures.

This law does not leave retailers or distributors without recourse; to the contrary, they are still entitled to seek indemnity and/or contribution from the responsible party (generally, the manufacturer). On the other hand, clearing the technical and procedural hurdles necessary to get indemnity from the manufacturer is often far from simple, particularly where the manufacturer is foreign.

Assumption #1: The manufacturer has the requisite minimum contacts with the forum of the claim. In order to obtain personal jurisdiction over the foreign manufacturer, you must demonstrate that the manufacturer either transacts business or has some other tangible nexus with the forum state (see, e.g., New York Civil Practice Law and Rules §302).

Assumption #2: The manufacturer’s host country is a signatory to the Hague Convention’s Service of Process Rules. If Assumption #1 can be satisfied (which is uncertain at best), you will still need to assure that your legal papers are personally served on the manufacturer. This in turn requires that the manufacturer is not only readily located, but can be served under the Hague Convention’s rules.

Assumption #3: The manufacturer is a viable entity with collectible assets. It goes without saying that a paper judgment against a defunct corporation is utterly worthless.

So how can a domestic retailer or distributor protect itself against products liability claims? Here are a few suggestions:

3 Easy Steps to Protect Your Retail Business Against Defective Products Claims

Step #1: Make sure that those entities above you in the chain of distribution carry adequate products liability insurance from a domestic, well-reputed and established insurer that specifically names your company as an additional insured on the policy. Do not rely on the manufacturer’s claim that you are named on the policy; get confirmation directly from the insurer (I have seen instances where the declaration sheet provided by the other party to the agreement was a complete fabrication).

Step #2: Make sure that you have an agreement that indemnifies you against any claim of a product defect that is not of your own doing. Stated otherwise, if you are a retailer or distributor, you should be indemnified against any claims of manufacturing or design defect and/or inadequate warnings.

Step #3: Try to assure that those companies directly above you in the chain of distribution have a domestic presence, such as an office or agent for service of process.

While following these rules may cost some time and money in the short run, these safeguards are indispensable, for they may ultimately save your company from needless exposure to financial ruin.

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How to Yield Big Sales with Healthy Margins

Quick review: there are Three Levels of Management within the Student role you play during Step 1 of the Buying Process. The three levels of Management are: CEO, Core Level, and the Support Level. If you can reach and do business with the CEO, you will discuss issues of competitiveness, cost cutting and efficiencies, and you will like be holding better margins. Core Level management is interested in solving problems NOW and maximizing Key Success Factors, those areas which contribute most effectively to the organization’s overall ability to succeed function to function. We also discussed the ways to contact Core Level managers and determine which have influence and which have authority without influence. The overall recommendation was to find influential sponsors who will sell your message to the Core managers in various relevant departments. Now we look at the Support Level of Management, which is the bottom level providing support to the CEO and the Core levels. Support level reacts to the needs of upper management. It includes areas like purchasing, legal, training and accounting. If you are dealing with a purchasing type in Support you will likely find an emphasis on the most machine for the money and consequently margins begin to shrink. This is the price-driven or “Transactional Sale.” Engaging business at this level is a Win-Lose: the purchasing agent is looking for the most machine at the lowest price. He wins. You lose. To find big problems, which yield big sales with healthy margins, you need to be talking to CEO and Core level managers because these larger problems and longer view issues are their natural habitat. This is important for sales management training. How to be a Good Student: Change how you think. Forget your product. Imagine you work for the customer. Imagine you are selling for your customer. Walk two miles in his moccasins. This way you begin to focus on his goals and concerns. If your product helps him expand his business and solves problems, price is no longer the top issue. For example, a copier rep trying to sell a machine to an owner of an ice cream store. At first the reps pitches features and benefits. Customer could care less about copy quality and speed and so forth. Then the rep imagined he was selling ice cream for the man. He started asking questions. In the process he learned that the man sold ice cream to local retail outlets, but he wanted to expand and provide specialty desserts to restaurants. The rep then suggested that the man get the logos of all the restaurants he wanted to work with, and produce customized menus of ice cream products to be sold through each establishment. The man immediately loved the idea, bought the copier at retail and implemented the new marketing plan. The rep had created a solution to enhance the man’s business and that solution required the rep’s product. By imagining that you sell for your customer, you will quickly understand your customer’s business strategies, and then you will be in a position to identify innovative sales opportunities that achieve value for your customer. Use these tips for yourself, or your sales training programs.
Quick review: there are Three Levels of Management within the Student role you play during Step 1 of the Buying Process. The three levels of Management are: CEO, Core Level, and the Support Level. If you can reach and do business with the CEO, you will discuss issues of competitiveness, cost cutting and efficiencies, and you will like be holding better margins.

Core Level management is interested in solving problems NOW and maximizing Key Success Factors, those areas which contribute most effectively to the organization’s overall ability to succeed function to function. We also discussed the ways to contact Core Level managers and determine which have influence and which have authority without influence. The overall recommendation was to find influential sponsors who will sell your message to the Core managers in various relevant departments.

Now we look at the Support Level of Management, which is the bottom level providing support to the CEO and the Core levels.

Support level reacts to the needs of upper management. It includes areas like purchasing, legal, training and accounting. If you are dealing with a purchasing type in Support you will likely find an emphasis on the most machine for the money and consequently margins begin to shrink. This is the price-driven or “Transactional Sale.” Engaging business at this level is a Win-Lose: the purchasing agent is looking for the most machine at the lowest price. He wins. You lose.

To find big problems, which yield big sales with healthy margins, you need to be talking to CEO and Core level managers because these larger problems and longer view issues are their natural habitat. This is important for sales management training.

How to be a Good Student: Change how you think. Forget your product. Imagine you work for the customer. Imagine you are selling for your customer. Walk two miles in his moccasins. This way you begin to focus on his goals and concerns.

If your product helps him expand his business and solves problems, price is no longer the top issue.

For example, a copier rep trying to sell a machine to an owner of an ice cream store. At first the reps pitches features and benefits. Customer could care less about copy quality and speed and so forth.

Then the rep imagined he was selling ice cream for the man. He started asking questions. In the process he learned that the man sold ice cream to local retail outlets, but he wanted to expand and provide specialty desserts to restaurants.

The rep then suggested that the man get the logos of all the restaurants he wanted to work with, and produce customized menus of ice cream products to be sold through each establishment. The man immediately loved the idea, bought the copier at retail and implemented the new marketing plan. The rep had created a solution to enhance the man’s business and that solution required the rep’s product.

By imagining that you sell for your customer, you will quickly understand your customer’s business strategies, and then you will be in a position to identify innovative sales opportunities that achieve value for your customer. Use these tips for yourself, or your sales training programs.

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Sales Courses and Sales Training Investment and Cost

Sales courses and sales training is necessary in today’s informative and competitive environment. With every investment, there is a cost and a return. An investment in sales courses and sales training for your staff is no different. Sales training without a return on your investment may benefit your staff when they need credentials for a new job, but it won’t benefit your company. Sales courses must be chosen with an eye for return.

Investment in sales courses and sales training for your staff demonstrates that you are committed to the betterment of your company and your staff. However, if you choose sales courses and sales training programs that give little credence to your sales staff’s current knowledge and abilities, your sales training motivations will falter into resentment from your staff. Sales course content that is merely a reiteration of the staff’s current knowledge is wasted investment and will be received with deaf ears. Involving the sales team in the efforts places of sense of ownership of the sales training results, which further motivates the sales team to apply the training they have received to effectuate change. Benchmark your sales before training, and track sales for a year or two after the sales training. Training applied is ROI earned.

If you want to see a return on your investment into sales courses and sales training for your staff, involve your staff in course evaluation and selection, evaluate sales courses on their own merits and compare them to your objectives, consider long-term results of training, follow-up on the training, and consider the company’s financial expense involved with the training investment.

Determine whether individual sales training or group training offers a higher return. If the needs of your sales force members starkly contrast with one another, individual training would be more effective. If consistency is imperative, group training will be more profitable. In each scenario, be sure to evaluate salaries and any decrease in sales for the day. In many cases, an office can run more efficiently when individual training sessions are granted rather than group training sessions. Whether you are investing in sales courses and sales training for individual training sessions or group training sessions, consider the costs of location, travel, gas and lunch reimbursement.

When you choose sales courses and sales training for your team, look for value-added benefits. Sales courses may offer sales training follow-up as a value-added benefit. Many sales courses offer train-the-trainer sessions, saving your company from the expense of repeating the sales courses and sales training for new employees. If you have a fast promotional system or a high turnover, a train-the-trainer program can offer substantial savings and benefit and increase your ROI. Ensure that the sales training courses will train your sales staff with material that can be applied continuously throughout their career with your company.

Sales courses and sales training can offer a high return on your training investment if careful consideration is given to need, objective, input, selection, follow-up and expense Sales training is an avenue for continuous company improvement. Continuous company improvement is imperative in today’s fast moving business climate. Smart investing in sales force training will give your company a competitive advantage and keep your sales in the fast lane.

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A Simple Sales Strategy: Define What Selling Is!

How do you define selling? A lot of people think of selling aspersuading/convincing people to buy things they may or may notwant or need. To some, selling is all about closing a deal.Thinking of selling like this is not very empowering to you.Frankly, if you have this perspective on selling, it’s no wonderif you hate it. I would too!
So what perspective can you take about selling that will make itenjoyable, exciting and something you look forward to? Soundslike a bit of a tall order doesn’t it? Read on.
Hopefully by now, you have made the list of all the problemsthat you can solve for your target market. You’re going to besurprised how long that list grows over time. So really, if youlook at your list and you think about it, you are a masterproblem solver. What you’re really doing is helping people.Correct?
So try on this perspective about what selling is: Selling ishelping people. Selling is serving. Selling is a process ofidentifying and solving people’s problems.
See, feel and know that selling is serving. This will cause abig shift for you. With this perspective, you will really becomepassionate about wanting to help people. Find this passion andlet it shine through.
It is your purpose, your moral obligation, to have as many salesconversations with people as you can so you can help as manypeople as possible. If you’re not having these types of salesconversations, you are holding back the gift you have to offerthe world. You owe it to people to be there for them with yourexpertise and wisdom.
Next time you’re talking to a potential client, think about howyou can help them, how you can serve them. Forget about tryingto sell them something. If what you have to offer does solvetheir problems, and you facilitate the conversation using thestrategies we are covering, people will sell themselves and willsubsequently buy from you.
If you have a perspective on selling which is one of service andhelping people, how do you think the people you’re talking towill feel? Think about this: people hate to be sold. The minutethey feel they’re being sold, they often want to get away -fast. Don’t you? On the other hand, if they feel you aresincerely trying to help them solve their problems, they willrelax and open up to you.
If you have a perspective on selling which is one of service andhelping people, how do you think you will feel? Does energized,excited, relaxed, and natural come to mind?
This perspective is simple but powerful and very attract-tive toclients.
(c) 2005, Tessa Stowe, Sales Conversation. You are welcome to”reprint” this article online as long as it remains complete andunaltered (including the “about the author” info at the end) andall links are made live

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