|Business Management Information|
The Myth Of Relationship Selling Revealed At Last
The second you quit being the 'best deal' for your customer, he'll drop you like a hot potato. Regardless of how many lunches you've bought him or birthdays you've remembered.
Every business we've ever consulted tells us the same thing about their sales force. They say that their industry is different from all the others and the only effective way for their salespeople to sell is to build buddy-buddy relationships with their prospects and customers. We hear it from printers, bankers, jewelers, accountants, industrial equipment manufacturers, office equipment distributors...and every other industry that sells stuff.
The argument usually goes something like this: "You see, in our industry, people put a lot of thought into this type of decision. They just don't go out and buy from whoever has the prettiest advertisements. As a matter of fact, we still have many of the same customers from when my grandfather owned the business. Now their grandsons buy from us. You just can't change these things overnight."
Relationship Selling Is A Myth. Like all myths, there are some elements of truth to it. Yes, it's true that your customers should like you. Yes, it's true that you can't necessarily influence big buying decisions overnight. But get one thing perfectly clear - your customers buy from you for one reason: they believe you have "the best deal."
Now their definition of what's the best deal may be different from the next person's. But generally, it has a lot to do with a combination of things like convenience, quality, consistency, service, and price. Usually, about 80% of a given target market will have the same needs, the same problems they want solved, and the same attitudes about buying. If you can solve their problems in a cost effective way, then getting their business is just a matter of staying in front of their face long enough to let them know you have the answers they need.
Don't Manage Cherries, Manage Trees!
The cherry tree is a useful sales analogy. Like a fruit tree, sales prospects must be cultivated in a certain way if they are to bear fruit. The problem is that most salespeople spend 80% of their time managing leads and trying to build relationships...managing each cherry on the tree. If the prospect doesn't happen to be 'ripe' at the exact moment the sales rep makes the call, the prospect is forgotten. Goes rotten. At best, he gets the annoying monthly phone call from the salesperson that invariably says, "You ready to move on those widgets yet?"
In the MYM system, you spend your prospecting efforts on the entire tree. You provide the tree with light, water, and nutrients - and it bears fruit. You provide your entire target market of prospects with information, education and knowledge until it becomes self-evident to them that you are the only logical choice when it comes to your products or services.
By the time the prospect figures out that you are the best deal, he doesn't really care who YOU are. He only cares what you have to offer HIM. When you finally sit down face-to-face, it will be to discuss details of the sale - not to 'persuade' him to do anything.
Rich Harshaw is the founder of the Monopolize Your Marketplace system and CEO of Y2Marketing Business Marketing Strategies
Your Blueprint For Business Success
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Integrity is very important to me, and I try hard to 'do unto others as I would wish them do unto me'. It hasn't always worked that way for me though.There have been times in my previous career - times that I can remember vividly even now - when promises were not kept, things were borrowed, never to be returned and where I was not on the best end of wheeling and dealing that are part of corporate politics.For me, creating honourable relationships with my people has always been important. It is a two-way street. Once when my wife was very ill, my management team told me not to come in, despite it being a very busy time. I told them, thank-you, and I would come and go, in the comfort that they thought enough of me; of us; to tell me to do that.I didn't need to ask, but what they said to me at that time came from an environment of fairness, honesty and trust had grown over time. They knew that if it had been them, I would have offered the same.It was as if, as Steven Covey says, in 'The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People', I had enough credit in my 'emotional bank account' to tide me over. I'd never realised that I had that credit, but looking back, my standards and values were daily deposits. You get back what you give out.There's no better time to start than right now.
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Motivating For Higher Performance
Employee motivation is probably the most important single manageable factor for success and profitability of all the facets of specialty store retailing. It is too vital to be handled on a hit or miss basis, depending on the whim or spirit that stirs the store owner or manager from time to time.
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There is a pervasive assumption that small firms are more creative and innovative than larger firms. That is, they identify problems and generate ideas (creativity) and idea select, develop and commercialise (innovate) those ideas to a greater degree than larger firms. However, there is a large degree of untruth to this assumption:
Get Down With OCP: Evaluating DBA Job Applicants in an OCP World
Not long ago, weeding through DBA applicants with a tech interview was a straightforward process. You'd ask candidates 200 or so technical questions. If they got 100 correct answers, you knew they'd been around the block; 150 or more and you knew you were on to superior talent. But once the Oracle Certification Program (OCP) became popular in the late 90s, the traditional tech interview lost its effectiveness. These days, candidates can answer 180 questions correctly and you still won't know whether they're talking from experience or simply regurgitating what they memorized at OCP a few weeks earlier. Although it has become increasingly difficult to determine whether you've found a seasoned, highly qualified DBA or a newly minted OCP Graduate, there are ways.
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I heard this back a few years ago. The boss yelled, "Get me a good lawyer but not the one with two hands!"
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Ellen was a clerk working for a large insurance company. One day, she spotted a glaring discrepancy in a form she was typing.
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Hiring for Success
Hiring someone new to work in your business is one of the most critical decisions a business owner makes, although it is not always given the justice it deserves. If a position is vacant, or additional staff are needed, recruitment decisions are often driven by the pressure to get someone in quickly, rather than waiting for the best person to fill the job. Lack of proper and systematic recruitment process can also result in a high cost to the business.
Is this A Good Time To Sell Your Body Shop Business?
Have you ever asked yourself the question? "Is this a good time to sell my business?" That is a question every business owner asks himself, everytime he has a bad day. I once received e-mail from the editor of the Auto Body News, asking me that key question. "What is happening in the market today? Is this a good time to sell? " My quick answer was "These are very interesting times."
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There's a one-word reason most ideas never see the light of day: Resistance.
The Seven Cs: Partnership Danger Signs - The 6th C: Changing Vision
A series of articles exploring the seven critical areas that can indicate a partnership is in trouble.
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