How do you communicate in the work place? How do you speak to your clients?
Skype? email, phone? How about Facebook? Maybe Twitter, or Instagram?
Now let's say you have a young entry-level executive and they have an upcoming
face to face client meeting. No social media tools, no script, he or she just
needs to have lunch and discuss that project or proposal. How will they
handle themselves? The baby boomer generation grew up with a handshake
and working deals face to face. They knew how to effectively communicate
in the world of business as it came with the territory. Most of them in the
sales or marketing business had pretty good phone etiquetteas well overall.
However in this world today of computers, social media and communicating behind the screen, many of our 20 something college graduates are
missing the boat when it comes to face to face business negotiations. It is not
entirely their fault. They are in a different era and other than knowing to put
on a suit or business attire, they never had any practice at it. A 20
something speaking face to face to a seasoned CEO may prove to be uncomfortable.
They can text," ttyl", or" lmao" , but to sit down and speak without verbally
saying " wassup?" or even if you had to email some business
information could they do it properly reflecting your company? I am not
picking on our up and coming young people. What I am saying is social media and
our electronic media that we engage and embrace so dearly is taking away the
experience for these new breed of business professionals to communicate as they
should. Business etiquette is still essential in the workplace. While the
seasoned executive may cut some slack for a younger person knowing that
they are still learning, they do expect them to be able to properly communicate
to their clients. I encourage all management to review their business etiquette
with not only their younger staff but even the seasoned ones to make sure they
are communicating properly. Maturity in the way you handle yourself reflects on
your company and your performance. Think before you speak. "TTYL"
Many of us in this business love to network with each other and it's no secret
that talks always leads to bragging rights on who sold who what or who got that
big close last week. While we may or may not compete with each other as fellow
marketing or sales business leaders, we are open on discussing what worked or
did not work to get that sale. Helping each other to do our job better leads to a
win-win situation for all involved. We are friends and associates all in the
same business and we don't go after each other's clients. Networking helps
builds trust, generate leads for each other, and builds community spirit. I decided to
share some of those selling tips that I gathered from my fellow peers as well as
some of my own. I hope you may find some of these tips useful for yourself.
1. Call (in person or by phone) during off-peak times. ( Early in the morning or late
afternoon.) Calling any other time, you usually get a "gatekeeper" or the front
desk because the main person is busy during peak hours. It's also OK to
leave voice mails after hours as they will be checked first thing the next day.
2. Remember getting your prospects takes time. We all experience dry spells
and don't let that get you down. Do your best to keep your call list full.
3. Sending emails (not spam) to your client of subject matter related to his
or her business is a good way to keep yourself in the loop. It keeps your name
in front of them and they also may appreciate the fact that you do think of
them and their needs whether you are in a sales mode with them or not.
4. Talk benefits of your product or service to your clients. Don't use
the "I" word, or how much you sold. They don't care about what
YOU think or what you sold. They want to know what you have to offer THEM!
What does your product or service do to benefit their business.
5. This is very cliché but we all know about" following up and following through."
Another old buzz word is "under promise and over deliver." Both phrases
are important and do work. Do not be one of those "I got the sale and the check.
Now for the next guy." Your reputation as a jerk will "follow through" to you as well.
6. Ask questions to make sure you and your customer are on the same page.
Let them always lead the conversation and listen. Don't be a blabber mouth
or a Mr. or Miss know it all. Nothing turns off a customer faster than an
ego filled sales or marketing person who thinks they know everything when
in fact they know nothing about the person or the business they are engaged with.
7. Take your time lining up sales calls, doing the actual sale, and making
sure your customer is taken care of. Rushing just to get to the next deal
causes mistakes and those can be costly. Not only to you but to your company.
8. Emails are great way to communicate. What may surprise some of you is my
work associates as well as myself still like to use faxes. They get looked at
and in fact many of our customers still prefer having a fax sent to them as a
way of record. Faxing is not old school... yet.......
9. Practice your sales approach with co-workers. Yes, you can get stale and
start missing key points in your sales or marketing presentations.
I have one friend who likes that old bathroom mirror presentation.
He monitors his voice inflection, his "elevator pitch", as well as other traits
to make sure he is still on track.
10. Last point is to enjoy what you do. If you don't ,think about a career
change. That may sting a little but this job is not for everyone and it is not
as easy as it may sound. If you think "anyone" can sell or market you are
fooling yourself. Have fun and be creative but if you get down on yourself,
you already lost.
I Hope these points were helpful. Feel free to share with your co-workers or
you own networking group.
Selling to the customer has not changed much over the years. Deals believe
or not in most cases are still solidified with a handshake. True we now use
telepresence, we validate documents in the cloud, and yes, that fax machine
still gets a work-out here and there. I still like to thank my customers in
person when I can and shake their hand. It feels good to look them in the eye
and just say "Thank You!" "I appreciate earning your business." But to get to
that final stage, you need to make sure you have your sales methodology in
place. Whether you are a jr. sales account executive or a seasoned veteran of
20 years, a review of how to conduct business is always a good thing. Here are
some of my tips. I designed them to work for the small store or for a large
corporation. The basics are the same. Enjoy....
1. Exactly what does your customer want?
Go to your customer and fact find. Talking on the phone or emailing is great and true
sometimes they know they need 20 cases of widgets. But if they throw a large
order or ask for a quote for some high-end product, wouldn't it be nice to know
why and just who am I working with? Try and set up a luncheon with them
and learn about their business at the very least.
2. Think outside the box
Being able to adjust to your customer's needs is essential to a sale.
Their requests can change in an instant. You may not like
it or you may think" I sold you what you need." But they may not think like you
do. Their needs may have changed due to any variety of reasons. Be able to
adjust and go back with a smile on your face.
3. I know what you want!=Fail
Nothing turns off a customer more than a Mr. or Miss know it all. Sure, be
assertive to a point and be confident but do not tell your customer they have no
clue what they are talking about and "I been doing this for x amount of years
and I know my job!" Leave your ego at the office. Listen and learn.
4. They are not going to buy
So they did not sign on the dotted line on your first visit. Does that mean it's over?
Call back, but be nice. Follow-up with an email, ask for a second visit.
Ask if they had any questions. People do not like to be pressured no matter
how well you think you done your job. Talk again about your product and service
along with your value statement. Try using another approach but again
don't get all worked up and sound desperate or forceful.
5. Stop, Look, and Listen
No, I am not talking about a train but, your sale could be a train wreck
if you do not stop and look at your presentation before you go into the
sale. Make sure you know your stuff. Listen to your customer.
Don't talk over them, do not interrupt them, and take notes.
It shows you care about what they are saying. Be passionate about your
product or service but do not become a "holier than thou" presenter. You won't
get anything except a" Thank you and don't let the door hit you in the butt on
the way out."
I hope these 5 points have been a help to you. Drop me a line by visiting my
my last tab here on my site. Drop by my Facebook site. I like to hear
what you think or you can share your sale stories.
As if we just start to get a grasp on Instagram and Social Cam, Tumblr now
begins to grow up and out of its diapers. This social media web site has been
around for some time. (2007) As with any unique social media website, Tumblr
has been on a pathway of discovery. As I look at Tumblr even today, I think it
is still evolving to identify what it wants to do. You might call it Social Cam
on steroids. A variety of categories from A to Z can be found on Tumblr and the
subject matter even more so. The users are mostly the under 35 crowd and please
understand, I am not knocking Tumblr. I find it actually pretty cool to surf
For the purpose of my blog this week however, the question is can Tumblr work
from a business marketing perspective? My answer is "maybe". To use Tumblr for
marketing your business, it is going to take several considerations. The most
important one is time. Besides account maintenance, you must have some savvy in
web video presence. This is not social cam where you post 20 or 30 seconds of
unedited "look at me" content. There is a some thought and creativity that goes
into Tumblr productions. Like You Tube, Tumblr strives for some quality from
its users. Pictures can also be used and I would be amis not to say that
Tumblr has an excellent array of photos in various categories as well. How
does all this fit in to the business sector? Considering the age group on
Tumblr, if you have a business that is trying to reach the 35 and under crowd,
then yes, you might want to consider establishing a business account and post
lets say fashion ideas or gaming products, ect. The NFL has a category on there
mixed with individual teams supported by fans. There is even blogging on Tumblr
but I personally don't think Tumblr is the place to blog if you want exposure . I feel
Word Press gets more attention. (or my own web site here (:-)
In conclusion, Tumblr is up and coming but just how far up, I think we need
to take a few steps back and let it evolve some more. In the meantime, check it
out for yourself and surf around! Tumbler can be found at http://www.tumblr.com