Archives for October 2011

How QR Codes Can Create Value for You – Now!

You may be wondering “What are QR codes and how can they benefit me and my business?” More specifically, “How can they help me drive sales, and brand awareness within my existing area, for my sales team, or organization?”  These are very valid questions.

First of all lets begin by examining the ‘what’ behind a QR code. Jeff Korhan, over at the Social Media Examiner site, does a great job of explaining the details (so click here to read his short article on this ) but basically:

QR codes are two-dimensional (2D) matrix barcodes that can hold thousands of alphanumeric characters of information. Their ability to hold more information and their ease of use makes them practical for small businesses.

Let’s go to the fun part, the ‘why’ and how they can create value for You- Now! By creating your own QR code (using the methods Jeff mentions or the Google URL shortener) you can distinguish you and your offering from your competition in a matter of minutes.

QR Codes can be used in a variety of ways to drive your customer to your website:

  • The front or back of your business card
  • Brochures and other printed material
  • Name tags

A quick story…

This past week I was in Dallas attending the Solar International trade show with one of our key customers. This was the first time this organization had atended the show and so they opted for the 10X10 booth like many first timers often do. Upon entering the building we were faced with Sony, Sharp, Westinghouse, Siemens and many other well established brands, both nationally and internationally. Not to worry, their VP of Sales had done her home work. As part of her homework she had created a QR code for their website and product offerings.

As the show opened her strategy was to leverage the QR code with the booth attendees by involving them with their iPhones and Androids and the outcome wsa fantastic! As people filed by the booth they were encouraged to use their phones to scan the QR code, and when they did my customers website appeared on their screen. In an instant they went from an off-line to an on-line presence and thus fully engaging their prospect.

You can do the same. You can use QR codes to create value for You- Now!

Be Yourself: You Can Do This – You Can Sell

My team just completed training with a new group of sales recruits – I am talking fresh out of college and raring to go.

I was amazed at the level of natural skill that each individual possessed – yet with that, several seemed timid and unsure.

Hey, I felt the same way in the early 80’s and you probably have at some time too!

Perhaps you may be feeling a bit apprehensive. Here is the deal if you feel that you have what it takes to sell for a living then you can sell. Only you really know. Choosing to do so is the first step in the process. I do not say that it will be easy, but I am completely convinced that you can succeed once you choose to do so.

I realize that many who are in sales may have chosen the wrong career for a myriad of reasons and they are better suited for another career. But I am speaking to you whose natural make up, your DNA, is to sell. You can start slow and use your natural ability and authenticity to create value. This will create a solid foundation and serve as a huge confidence builder. Your natural make up may be a quiet soft spoken manner, an analytical thinker, or an extrovert that meets no stranger. Each of these styles has the ability to create trust, and people like them. Why? The answer is simple – you are authentic and genuine! The customer will smell a phony a mile away.

Not quite there? I understand. Consider this….

There is no wasted experience. Your background, previous career (or careers) may have been a flop. I promise that at some point in your career the opportunity will present itself when a customer, or colleague has a need and you can call on you previous experience to meet their need.

With time and a willingness to be a student of the game you will experience success.

– Andy

 

 

What Really Motivates You to Excel?

What motivates you to excel in your sales career? Is it your company, your boss, your staff, your sales quota, your financial commitments and obligations? How about your customer? How about the thrill of the entire sales process?

While sitting on a 6:00 a.m. return flight last week I began a conversation with the gentleman in the next seat who is a sales executive for a Fortune 1000 company. Typically at this time of the morning, my coffee (black please), my iPad or my newspaper is top priority.

In asking for a second cup of Java, I noticed this gentleman was reading a sales book by a national author that I admire. As we exchanged with what began as idle chit chat, the pace of the conversation picked up as we discovered that we were both in sales.

Out of the blue he did not pose the typical question of what do you do, for whom, how long or any other questions stemming from my resume. Instead he asked this simple question….

What Really Motivates You To Excel?

This was a question that required little or no hesitation. My simple response was “My customers”. The why behind my response is that early in my career I tried to use my quota, yet that did not work, many of my sales managers used this as a fear tactic. Instead I chose a different route. I chose to focus on the needs of my customer, and oddly enough the sales quota took care of itself as did my financial commitments and obligations. Today as a business owner the same is true. If I focus on my customers and prospects (although met with the typical challenges) the growth takes care of the rest.

You can soar well beyond your company’s and your own expectations simply by finding out what is important to your base of customers and prospects and working relentlessly in providing a solution that will meet their needs and yours as well.

To your success,

– Andy

First Diagnose Then Prescribe

How many times have you heard this piece of sage advice in your sales career? My guess is many times over.

If you are like me and many other sales professionals, regardless of your generation and industry you have used your relationships, product knowledge, skills, and charm and have done very well. But something has happened and your sales results have reached a plateau for a variety of reasons.

Sound familiar?

Imagine going to the doctor. You walk in pay your co-payment, sit and wait. Then your big moment comes and the nurse calls your name, and you are ushered through the door that many others have entered while you have waited.

The nurse’s next step is to weigh you (yuk), and check your blood pressure. Then you are escorted to a room for an extending waiting period.

Finally, the Doctor enters the room with a warm smile and her stethoscope around her neck. She sits down looks at you; checks your heart asks you to stick out your tongue and say ahhhh. THEN reaches for her script pad and fills out a script, states that any pharmacy will fill this out, and to call her if you do not feel better within the next 24 hours, and then quietly leaves the room.

Question: How would you feel? Would you take this script to the pharmacy?

In reality you make experience a kaleidoscope of emotions, and would under no circumstances execute this prescription.

Why? It’s simple. The Doctor never asked you the first question about how you feel, where it hurts, how long you have had these symptoms… nothing. They have no idea of how you feel, or which questions that you may have.

Let’s apply this to our craft: professional selling…

Your competitor does this everyday when meeting with their customers and prospects. The outcome is a sales plateau at best.

Solution:

In creating a solid diagnosis and positioning you for a consultative discussion a few questions are in order. I have found these to be very effective in speaking with an initial prospect.

  1. What are your requirements and expectations in making this type of purchase?
  2. What is your preferred buying process?
  3. What are some real issues that you deal with on a daily basis?

In posing these questions I bet your prospect will open up and identify for you what is really important to them in choosing a supplier and using the product that you have to offer. Taking this into consideration and giving it careful thought you are now in a position to prescribe a viable solution.

To your success,

Andy