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Steve Marr Blog

Steve Marr's contributions
Apr 24
2019

What We Should Have Known

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

A staff member, who reported to me, had messed up; and I was explaining the situation to my boss.  To lessen my responsibility, I said something like, “I didn’t know.” The immediate response from my superior was, “If you didn’t know, you should have known.” In retrospect this rebuke was spot on. In fact, I’ve stolen this response several times when I dealt with colleagues.

Apr 19
2019

The Power of Rhetorical Questions

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

There is great power in a rhetorical question. Bernie Cornfield proved it.  He pioneered the selling of mutual funds in the 1950s. He started with the question, “Do you sincerely want to be rich?” The short answer for most people was, “Yes.” He used this rhetorical question to power his organization that employed 25,000 salespeople at the height of his success.

Rhetorical questions can also be very powerful in closing sales.

Apr 15
2019

Understand the Buyer’s Cycle

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Often customers buy products on a pre-decided schedule. For example, I had the responsibility for corporate purchasing years ago where an office machine might have a three-year lease. The company holding the lease would typically come in three or four months before the expiration time to renew or sell me a new or upgraded machine, likely at a more expensive price. Other salesmen might also try to interest me in a new machine, but at the wrong time. I turned them away because I wasn’t currently in the market for another copy machine. Not one ever asked me what the renewal date was so they could schedule a call before I signed with somebody else.

I am amazed at how few real estate agents stay in touch with customers and prospects after a sale. The average homeowner moves every 5 to 7 years.  Each instance will require a real estate agent to sell a home and possibly assist with the acquisition of a new place.  Real estate sales are very competitive, and the commissions are rather substantial so investing time to keep in touch with former customers is smart.  By asking how the family is doing, if the family is growing or whether kids are leaving home; the wise agent can be first in line for an additional commission.

Amazon does a good job of sending reminders suggesting buying a product again.  While I tend to find these annoying, I believe they are effective in selling product.

Apr 09
2019

Encourage Feedback

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

 Sometimes, as business leaders, we don’t like a lot of feedback, especially when it is contrary to our decision. David, the king of Israel, didn’t want to listen to negative feedback from Joab about a census. Here’s how it went.

So the king said to Joab and the commanders of the army, “Take a census of all the tribes of Israel—from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south—so I may know how many people there are.” But Joab replied to the king, ”May the Lord your God let you live to see a hundred times as many people as there are now! But why, my lord the king, do you want to do this?” But the king insisted that they take the census, so Joab and the commanders of the army went out to count the people of Israel. (2 Samuel 24:2-4, NLT)

Later David regretted his decision. 

Apr 05
2019

The Lord’s Training

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

There is no shortage of training material, including the material on our Business Proverbs site. The training articles on this site and others are man-written.  King David wrote, “praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.” (Psalm 144:1, NIV)

 When I read business books, articles or engage in training; I ask the Lord in advance to show me important takeaways. I want to remember the parts that will advance my business and the parts that will lead to righteous business execution. Often, we think it’s the next training, seminar or book that will move our business forward.  However, David reminds us that it is the Lord who trains our hands and fingers. The Lord is the Good Teacher who will give us the insights we need better than any human can.

Ask the Lord for his guidance and training every day. You will be amazed at the what God and God alone will provide.