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Archive for August, 2007

The Pen IS Mightier Than the Sword…In Selling

Posted By Michael Roby | Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

“The pen is mightier than the sword.”

Edward Bulwer-Lytton; 1839

Forget the pen if you are in a knife fight, but if you are selling, the pen IS a mighty tool indeed, and not just for signing the contract!

Have you ever been in a sales presentation where it was a struggle to keep your prospect on track with your presentation as you went through sales material or a proposal? If so, get out your pen.

Speakers and seminar leaders use pointers much less frequently than in the past. We are taught it is impolite to point anyway, and when we do, we use lasers. However, if you need to get a prospect back on track with your presentation, use your pen to help them “follow along.” It never ceases to amaze me that when you point at something… ANYTHING… people will look. Point at the specific part of the presentation materials you are covering at that time. Your prospect’s eyes will leap to the spot at which you point…I guarantee it.

Another word about your choice of writing instruments; you will never close a million dollar deal with a $2 pen. Use a writing instrument that shows you mean business.

Good selling!

Sales Training For Sales Assistants

Posted By Michael Roby | Sunday, August 19th, 2007

Investment Centers of America (ICA) is a broker/dealer based in Bismarck, ND. This weekend they hosted their annual Sales Assistant Conference in Minneapolis. Assistants from their branches across the country participated in workshops, heard [tag]professional speakers[/tag/, and networked with their peers to improve their skill sets. Allianz Life sponsored me as a [tag]facilitator[/tag] and [tag]keynote speaker[/tag] for two days of the three day conference.

This type of [tag]sales training[/tag] pays off for ICA. These assistants come away with new skills and procedures to improve the [tag]marketing[/tag], [tag]client service[/tag], and administration in their branches. In addition, they have VERY low turnover. What type of training do YOU provide for those who help you sell and service your customers? I suggest a two tier system that supplements your standard training program. The second tier is a “Continuing Education Account” where you help sales assistants by paying 50% of the expenses of outside training (subject to approval; the training must help them within your business.) This system gives the sales assistant a say in selecting training, but it also require that they have some skin in the game. If an assistant does not take advantage of this opportunity to broaden their knowledge and skills…well, you need to know that as well.

Attracting and retaining talent is a perpetual challenge. By providing additional training and treating your staff as the professionals they are is a great investment in your business.

Fast Food (Marketing) Wins Again!

Posted By Michael Roby | Saturday, August 11th, 2007

I’m sure this won’t come as a big shock to any of you, but kids LOVE to go to [tag]McDonalds[/tag]! They don’t have the best food, but McDonalds is a master of [tag]marketing and packaging[/tag]. In an [tag]MSNBC[/tag] Online article the headline was “[tag]McDonald’s Marketing Tricks Tots’ Taste Buds[/tag]”. They reported that “In test of identical foods, kids said even carrots labeled by chain were best.” In this study, which was published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, study author Dr. Tom Robinson of Stanford University said the kids’ perception of taste was “physically altered by the branding.”

Let me ask you two questions:

  1. When your clients think of you, do they think of a valued partner that provides great service?
  2. When they think of your product or service, do they think of YOU?

It is very important that you know the answers to these questions. If you don’t LIKE the answers, you have the ability to change them! Don’t leave it up to your clients and prospects to develop your message! Make certain YOU build your message, or your competitors will be happy to help your prospects do it for you. In addition, if your clients know your story COLD, it makes it much easier to refer others to you. Work on your packaging, your message, and your brand. Your sales will go up!

If you have a unique idea on [tag]personal branding[/tag], I would love to hear it! In working with businesses and executive sales professionals we come up with so creative ideas of our own. Don’t hesitate to call or write to learn more about my services.

Good selling!