Ask Mr. Marketing: You call this selling?

By Rob Weinberg

How can I sell more easily?

——Cliff Harris

The frustrating economy has anyone in sales working 30 percent harder to earn the same money as in 2007.

The key to success comes from my mother, who says, “It costs nothing to be nice.”

This lesson was lost on a window salesman at my home recently. As he strode across my lawn, this actual conversation happened through the screen of my front room:

ME: May I help you?

HIM: I’d like to talk to you about replacing your windows.

ME: No thank you.

HIM: They’re great windows and I’ll just take a few minutes of your time.

ME: NO! Thank you.

HIM: Let me just take a few minutes of your time.

ME: NO! THANK YOU!

HIM: Well, you don’t have to be so rude!

In truth, persistence is key to sales, but listen to what your customers say and how they say it. Sometimes “NO” REALLY means no.

Realtor Jon Shea told me about someone selling solar panels. When Jon said no, the guy asked, “Are you stupid?”

The lesson: insulting customers doesn’t close deals.

Regular readers know my mantra — people buy from those they know, like and trust. They’re not buying a product or service, but the relationship that you’re establishing with them.

Recognize that we’re all in sales today and must assume customers have no pre-existing reason to buy from us.

Meaning if you’re rude to me you’re going to lose any shot at my business.

My friend Hector learned this when his clients — unhappy with how he had treated them — disappeared en masse. Yet once he softened his customer service approach, his business once again thrived.

Assuming you’re selling the right combination of products and services, reaching the right audience, and offering competitive prices, a perception problem may be what’s holding you back.

Possible solutions? Have a friend pretend to be a customer, then report to you how he was treated. Or have a third party survey customers who didn’t buy from you. The reasons why might surprise you.

Take whatever you learn seriously. Try some new approaches, and you’ll probably discover your bottom line is much happier come December.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

Mr. Marketing has 30 years of sales success under his belt. Get his personal advice for your company at www.askmrmarketing.com.

   
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