18. How do you get people to care about what your are selling?
Sometimes you have to take a negative approach to get a positive response, sometimes you have to be creative to get someone's attention in the first place, and sometimes you have to really think outside the box to make people take notice.
I am going to give you an example that is going to blow your mind. But first, let me show you a couple of things I have in my files that really seem to work, and some that don't.
Whenever I am on an airplane or in a crowd of strangers I am asked what I do. According to the experts you should have an "elevator speech" for these occasions. You should be able to tell people what you do by the time the elevator makes it from one floor to the next.
I designed a clever 30 second speech and it really seemed to turn people off. As soon as I said I was a "sales trainer" I could see the expression on their face turn to panic. They immediately said they don't use sales trainers, or they have a company employee who does their sales training. They had a ready made objection. So by following the advice of the experts, I was turning people off in less than 30 seconds.
Back to the drawing board. I took a different approach by thinking outside the box.
I created a "shock" effect and I am now able to get people's interest and have some fun at the same time. Now, when they ask me what I do, here is what I say:
"I show people how to stay 4 steps ahead of the sheriff, would you like to know what those 4 steps are?" And they always say YES?
I give them four quick steps that would be applicable to them and ask which step would be most helpful. If they say "step 3" I give them a really good sound bite of information on step 3. I then get their business card and follow up with some more helpful information.
I am getting ready to do a 5,000 piece mailing and guess what will be on the envelope? You got it: "How to stay 4 steps ahead of the sheriff, would you like to know what the 4 steps are?"
When you are approaching a new account think of your first few words as the sales copy on the envelope. The job of the sales copy is NOT to make the sale, but to get them OPEN UP!
Here are some of the standard openers and my translation. If you are guilty you might spend a little time creating something that works for you. Be easy on yourself, everyone has used them.
"I am sorry for interrupting."
Translation: I really don't amount to much - you are much more important than I am - you see I am just a doormat waiting for someone to wipe their feet on me.
"I know you are busy."
Translation: I really don't have any respect for you or your time - you are a busy and important person and I am intruding in you day.
"I was in the neighborhood."
Translation: I am not very organized - I simply drift through my day from neighborhood to neighborhood making random calls on people and waste their time.
"Do you need anything?"
Translation. I am really not much of a sales person and I was wondering if there are any crumbs left over from a real sales person who has been here.
"I wanted to stop by and introduce myself."
Translation. I am really not ambitious enough to have done some homework about you so I guess I will tell you all about ME.
I think you get the point. Things are different out there today, so you have to be different or they eat you alive.
Today’s customers are being bombarded with an estimated 3,000 sales and marketing messages every day. How do you stand out and set yourself apart from the crowd? You have to hit them with a HUGE BENEFIT. A benefit that will have the same power as if you hit them between the eyes with a baseball bat!
How should you make your entrance into an account?
First: Attitude. You should always assume an attitude of confidence and purpose. Never apologize for making the call. Never feel like you are interrupting. Never say, "I was in the neighborhood" as if your call was not important. Never say, “I wanted to stop by and introduce myself.” Who cares?
There is a psychological law that makes the prospect react and respond to the attitude and action expressed by you the sales person. There is nothing complicated about it, except the results that come when you put this psychological law into effect. Make the call with confidence.
Second. A huge SPECIFIC BENEFIT. For example.: “I am here to show you how you can lower your operating expenses by $5,323 dollars per quarter -or- I am here to show you how increase your invoice size by 25 cents, which equates to $813 per week, let me show you how I figured it based on your current volume -or- I have a product that will cut your cleaning time by 23% resulting in a labor cost savings of $103 per week or $5,356 per year.”
I can hear you now. “But Bob, I have to call on my accounts every week!” How could I possibly come up with a new money saving or money making idea for my customers EVERY WEEK?”
My answer. How many line items do you have? 2,000? 4,000? 8,000? 10,000? Every line item you have in your inventory represents an opportunity. How many services do you have? 27? 37? 47? Or how about 57?
I can still hear you. “But Bob, all my competitors are selling on price and I have to meet their prices or lose the business.”
What if your competitor was giving their product away FREE? What if there was very little quality difference between your product and the “free” product? What if their method of distribution was much more efficient than yours? Could you sell against that kind of competition? No?
Well someone was given a sales challenge to sell against that kind of market condition. And they are very successful. The product is bottled water. How do they do it? Do they lower their price and try to compete with tap water? Do they badmouth the water company and tell their customers “yea, it may be free, but look at what you get!”
Is bottled water really any better? I gave it the ultimate taste test. I put two bowls of water in front of my dog – one from a bottle that I paid over a dollar for – the other from the sink faucet. My dog tried both of them. Which one do you think she preferred? The tap water! Did I switch to tap water? No. I still pay an outrageous price for a bottle of water.
Why? Somehow the perceived value of water in a bottle is a strong enough benefit for me to fork over my hard earned cash.
Every item in your warehouse has within it a huge benefit to the customer or it wouldn’t be in the warehouse. All you have to do is find ONE BENEFIT PER WEEK and present it to all your customers.
Lets do the math. Thirty-five accounts x one benefit per week x 52 weeks = 1,820 benefit presentations per year.
Even a blind hog can find an acorn once in a while. If you make ONE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED AND TWENTY benefit presentations per year – you will sell something – even if by accident.
The bottom line. You walk into your account. There have been 2,999 people trying to sell this person today and you are number 3,000.
Do you say – “I'm sorry for interrupting?”
Do you say – “I know you are busy?”
Do you say – “I was in the neighborhood?”
Do you say – “Do you need anything?”
Do you say – “I wanted to stop by and introduce myself?”
Only if you want the customer to say – “Who cares?”