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Steve Marr's Blog

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Aug 06
2018

$500 Dollar Brain Surgery?

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“Keith” was explaining what a good bargainer he was and how he always got the lowest price. I asked Keith if he needed brain surgery would he would take a $500 surgery bid over a $35,000 bid from a qualified specialist.  Of course Ken would take the specialist.  Then, I asked if one specialist was $35,000 and the other $33,000, would you simply take the lower bid and move on or would you check into qualifications, patient outcomes, and patient satisfaction? Of course he would decide evaluate all factors before making a decision. The key is to determine which provider has the best value rather than just the lowest price. 

Aug 01
2018

Responding to Rejections in Sales

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When I was a teenager, I made quite a bit of extra money selling Christmas cards. After I hit up my relatives, I contacted my parents’ friends and the parents of my friends to see if I could sell Christmas cards to them. When those prospects were exhausted, I went door-to-door pulling my albums in an old American Flyer wagon.  Each time I rang the doorbell I was hopeful I'd find a great prospect that would look over my albums and place in order. However, this was not always the case. I developed a habit of thinking that my next doorbell would be more productive. After each “no,” I resolved to keep going until I found a receptive prospect that would place an order.

As I became older, I began to experience more no’s from potential customers. Some days I would become so discouraged that I just wanted go home.  However, I learned a different and better response.

First, I understood that sales are partly a numbers game. The more sales calls I made, the more likely I was to make sales. In the Christmas card business I learned that out of every seven or eight houses, I would find a customer. If I quit after the first few negative responses, I'd go home empty. However, by continuing to knock on doors; sooner or later I'd bring home an order every afternoon after school.

Jul 30
2018

Direct Customer Communication

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For over two years I belonged to a local Business Network International. This group is dedicated to helping members grow their businesses through generating referrals. I understand these networking groups are not for everyone or for every business.  However, in many instances they have significant value.

One value of them is that at each meeting members give a 60-second commercial regarding their business or another selected topic. I've noticed that some members significantly improve their commercials. One fellow would stand up and say “I build houses,” and sit down. After a number of meetings, he started talking about additions and specific construction details which could entice someone to use his services.

Jul 23
2018

Becoming a Lifelong Learner

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When I interview individuals for a job, one of my favorite interview questions is to ask them to tell me about the three biggest mistakes they made and what they learned from them. I'm not as concerned about the mistakes as I am in understanding how a potential employee grows through missteps. Scripture relates, “Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.” (Luke 2:52, NLT) We all need to emulate the example of our Lord who grew in wisdom.

Jul 14
2018

Customers Don’t Need to Know My Problems

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I received some bad news one day and had several business issues pop up at the same time that were very frustrating. Next I had a visit with a customer I knew quite well. I was tempted to share a bit of my tail of woe.  Then, I realized that I should not share my problems with my customer unless there was a direct relationship. For example, if I had production problems that would delay a shipment; it is reasonable to let a customer know about a current problem.  Otherwise I should keep my concerns to myself.