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Steve Marr Blog

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Category >> Getting and Keeping Customers
Oct 16
2019

Make Minutes Count in Your Sales Pitch

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Prospects and customers seem to have shorter attention spans every year. If a video or website doesn’t catch the user in a few seconds, they’re gone. Likewise, when a customer checks out a product or service; we need to hook them quickly.

I like going to state or county fairs. Part of the experience I enjoy, is to check out sales booths. Those that caught a person’s attention quickly tended to have customers.  However, when it took people several moments to figure out the product or service; it caused folks to pass by.

Oct 07
2019

Do Your Customers Know You?

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

In sales management 101, we learn that we have a responsibility to know our customers. A follow-up question is do our customers know us? The principle to remember is that people prefer to buy from somebody they know rather than from a stranger.

There is a difference between relational selling and processing an order.  To adopt relational selling means you take steps to make sure your customers know you and your company personally. When I work with clients with sagging sales, I help them examine why customers have left their business. Frequently, we find that it’s the regular customers who have departed. Our job is to understand why and create a strategy to keep current customers, create new customers, and reconnect with lost clients. 

Here are some ways to reconnect.

Sep 30
2019

Add a Punch to Your Sale Offer

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

I used to pick up my mail next door to a carpet store.  One day I saw the sign in the window:  Bigalow Carpet Sale. The problem was that the sign had hung in the window for years. Even if I wanted to buy carpet, the sign did nothing to motivate me to purchase from their store.  Clearly, the lower price would be available any time in the future.

When we decide to discount goods or services, our offer is more effective when we give the customer a reason to act urgently and order now. We may use words like “on sale for a limited time only.” When we give the customer a reason to act quickly, the credibility of our sale offers increase.

Retail stores will discount seasonal goods. This sends a message to customers that the store will receive no more winter coats.  It says that now is the time to purchase before they’re all gone. Another example might be, “Buy now because raw material prices will increase, and future product will reflect these higher prices”.

Aug 05
2019

You--A Key Word

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

 

When working with customers, one way to guide them to decide to purchase your product or service is to incorporate the word, you, into your pitch.  It is a pointed and personal way to help your customer put themselves into the picture.

I was working with a company selling high end backyard hardscapes such as swimming pools, outdoor kitchens and hot tubs. Part of my coaching was to encourage salespersons to incorporate the word you aggressively into their presentations. For example:  Would you like to see your kids, or grandkids, playing in this pool? Do you believe this outdoor kitchen would allow you to entertain in your backyard? Do you see yourself soaking in the hot tub after a hard day at work? 

Jul 26
2019

Should I Treat all Customer the Same?

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

We need to give every customer our full attention and respect. However, this doesn’t mean that we should treat all customers equally every day.

When I was in international trade, I had a customer with whom we had a large account.  He would call me between 8:30 and 8:45 for the sole purpose of talking about the Detroit Lions football game, which was frequently a sad conversation.  Since Mondays were typically pretty busy, I really didn’t have time for a 15 to 20-minute chat about the football game. However, because he was one of my best customers; I took time for a social chat that I would not have spent with others, especially on Monday morning.

There are circumstances when we simply may not have a moment to take extra time. Unfortunately, people generally pick up on our lack of interest. When we cut people off quickly, they become irritated because they believe we don’t care what they have to say. They can tell when we’re anxious to get off the phone or rush through a conversation.  It causes friction that we pay for later. When I face time constraints I can’t change, I may explain to the customer that I have a commitment and will call back at another time to thoroughly discuss their concern or request.