• Do you form partnerships with your best customers?

    21 Sep 2018 | 12:00 am

    Scripture states, "Do two men walk together unless they have agreed to do so?" (Amos 3:3 NIV). A key word is to agree. Too often we believe agreement means price only. A true customer partnership includes understanding the client's needs[…]

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Steve Marr Blog

Steve Marr's contributions
Aug 01
2018

Responding to Rejections in Sales

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

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

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

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

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

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

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

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.

Jul 09
2018

Keep your Talk under 20 Minutes

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

We all have sat in situations where a speaker would have practically put us to sleep except for the fact that we had four or five cups of coffee. Even then our minds wander. I've been teaching, giving seminars and involved in speaking engagements long enough to know how easy it is to speak on and on.  After all, there's always more I can share. However the reality is that I lose my audience if I speak too long, and so do most speakers.

Occasionally I watch TED talks. The goal of each one is to inspire, inform and educate.  Most of the time, they hit the mark. One of the keys to the success of the TED format is that they limit the talks to 18 minutes. The TED organization did the research and found that the longest you can hold somebody's attention is 10 to 18 minutes. The organization learned it doesn't matter how effective or how dynamic or how exciting a speaker is, 18 minutes is still the maximum amount of time listeners are able to fully focus on a talk. When a speaker goes longer, the audience reaches a point of diminishing returns were the longer a speaker talks; the less listeners grasp.

In some ways I don't like this information. I'd like to stand at a podium and go on for hours presenting my “brilliant ideas.” Of course this is my ego speaking and has nothing to do with reality.