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Idea Sellers



Everybody Sells... either their ideas or products.



Updated: 2011-12-03T17:21:46-05:00

 



Are You Missing Obvious Selling Clues?

2011-12-03T17:21:46-05:00

Despite our experience, talents and skills, there are times when we miss the obvious. These sometimes deceptively simple glitches can be costly. Recently, I had the experience of searching for a new business car. In fact, I visited several car...

Despite our experience, talents and skills, there are times when we miss the obvious. These sometimes deceptively simple glitches can be costly.

Recently, I had the experience of searching for a new business car. In fact, I visited several car lots with my fiance, who also was searching for a new car. We did our homework on the web before venturing out to see particular models at local dealerships. We spoke with the sales leader at each of the three locations, a Ford dealership, a Mazda dealership and Car-Max. 

We both were quite specific about the models we were searching for and indicated that we were willing to purchase immediately upon finding the right car. Count them: two pending sales... enough for any ravenous car salesman to see green and get excited... right? We certainly thought so. 

As it tuned out, despite being very specific about the models we wanted, indicating that we clearly had the means and intent to purchase two vehicles, despite the initial interest displayed by the salesmen, despite promises to locate the desired models and present them to us, we never heard from any of the three again! Can you believe it? 

These three salesmen all lost out on two very nice sales! Why??? They failed to realize a potential sale and failed to follow up. There is simply no excuse. 

Don't let this happen to you. Follow your instincts, immediately follow up on sales leads and call your prospects regularly. They are going to buy from someone; do you want them buying from someone else or YOU?

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Life Lessons From A Cab Ride

2011-02-13T22:07:17-05:00

Whether our encounters are a business transaction, a sales meeting, personal contact or other, we are all human beings, wanting the same things, feeling the same emotions and experiencing life's ups and downs. We are all other people! The following...Whether our encounters are a business transaction, a sales meeting, personal contact or other, we are all human beings, wanting the same things, feeling the same emotions and experiencing life's ups and downs. We are all other people! The following short story by Barry Kingsly teaches a valuable lesson from which we can all benefit. I assumed I was being sent to pick up some partiers, or someone who had just had a fight with a lover, or a worker heading to an early shift at some factory for the industrial part of town. When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, and then drive away. But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door and knocked. “Just a minute”, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened.A small woman in her 80s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knick-knacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware. “Would you carry my bag out to the car?” she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, and then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness. “It’s nothing”, I told her. “I just try to treat my passengers the way would want my mother treated”.“Oh, you’re such a good boy,” she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, and then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?” “It’s not the shortest way,” I answered quickly.“ Oh, I don’t mind,” she said. “I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.” I looked in the rearview mirror. Her eyes were glistening. “I don’t have any family left,” she continued. “The doctor says I don’t have very long.” I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.“What route would you like me to take?” I asked. For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing. As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, “I’m tired. Let’s go now.” We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.“How much do I owe you?” she asked, reaching into her purse. “Nothing,” I said. “You have to make a living,” she answered. “There are other passengers,” I responded. Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly. “You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,[...]



Prioritize Your Way to Prosperity

2011-02-10T22:56:26-05:00

How many piles of paper and open books do you have on your desk at this very moment? Do you ever wonder how and why this continues to happen? Does this scenario contribute to your overall sense of stress and...How many piles of paper and open books do you have on your desk at this very moment? Do you ever wonder how and why this continues to happen? Does this scenario contribute to your overall sense of stress and impede your sense of productivity? Most of us regularly get caught in this quagmire. At the very least, it inhibits our productivity; At worst, it stymies our effectiveness and contributes to our daily stress levels. Most would agree that there must be a better way to get things accomplished. What follows is a simple system to eliminate this problem forever.  Remember that "you can eat an elephant, one bite at a time!" Also remember that you do not ever want to handle paper more than one time if at all possible.  Here it comes... wisdom that bucks conventional thinking: Take a moment to examine your desktop. Physically separate the "mess" into three stacks and individually label them A, B and C. Put the most immediate, most important, critical items in stack A, in order of priority. Identify less critical, yet still important items and place them in Stack B. All other items can go into Stack C. Immediately file anything in Stack C that must be kept for record-keeping purposes.  Always be working on items in Stack A, only proceeding to Stack B when the items in Stack A are completed. Delegate Stack B items when necessary. Here's the twist... Every 30 days, slide Stack C off your desk and permanently "file" it into your trash bin! These items are no longer worthy of your time and attention. At this time, review all items in Stack B and if necessary, create a new Stack C, thus repeating the procedure. It's a simple, yet effective system! Throughout the month, adhere to this new "priority assignment system" and watch your productivity soar while your stress levels drop!  If you enjoyed this post, please bookmark it and subscribe! ...........................Daniel SitterAuthor Stumble It! [...]



Musikraft Understands Their Customers

2011-01-25T11:25:11-05:00

Musikraft is a specialty manufacturer, a small company of musical craftsmen dedicated to providing the very best quality guitar bodies and necks in the business. As one of many satisfied customers of Musikraft, I own three of their necks and...Musikraft is a specialty manufacturer, a small company of musical craftsmen dedicated to providing the very best quality guitar bodies and necks in the business. As one of many satisfied customers of Musikraft, I own three of their necks and have been a customer for several years. I first chose them to provide a neck for a custom 1958 replica Fender Telecaster which I was building. I initially found them on the web, discovered their incredible quality and reputation and selected them as my vendor.  After months of playing, I recently discovered a problem with a guitar neck which I had purchased early last year for another project. Like my others, this neck was specially-built with great attention to period-correct detailing. It is a beauty. After fruitless hours of tedious adjustments and frustration, I contacted Jim Jamerson at Musikraft and shared my recent experience. He listened carefully and asked me to ship him the neck for their review.  Within two days of receipt, Jim emailed me, concurred with my evaluation and informed me of their intended plan for repair. It was was fairly extensive. I agreed and authorized the procedure, waiting anxiously for the reunion of body and neck and expected musical bliss. Outside of their good communication, interest in my problem and desire to correct the problem, Jim also unexpectedly offered the repair at no-charge, despite the fact that neck was clearly past their warranty period. Wow... Talk about standing behind your product! He was clearly interested in my satisfaction.  The repaired neck arrived safely, nestled securely in bubble-wrap. It looked perfect! I immediately noticed the detailed trimming and filing of the frets which is not usually provided. They not only repaired my neck free of charge, but went the extra-mile as well. Wow... what a company! The sale is just the beginning of a successful, long-term customer relationship. As in this case, it is usually what happens after the sale which determines customer satisfaction. Am I satisfied with Musikraft? You bet. Will I buy from them again? Absolutely. Would I recommend them to others? Without hesitation. Clearly both of us won in this situation. Can you say the same concerning your customers?     If you enjoyed this post, please bookmark it and subscribe! ...........................Daniel SitterAuthor Stumble It! [...]



Customer Service Requires Communication

2011-01-20T13:54:45-05:00

Imagine a romantic relationship without communication! How would one accomplish that feat? Impossible, you say? Relationships of all kinds require effective communication at multiple levels. That generalization includes business relationships between vendors and customers. Advanced Disposal, a Florida company, recently...Imagine a romantic relationship without communication! How would one accomplish that feat? Impossible, you say? Relationships of all kinds require effective communication at multiple levels. That generalization includes business relationships between vendors and customers.  Advanced Disposal, a Florida company, recently completed their acquisition of Southland Sanitation, gaining them a greater market presence here in the southeast. The customer service at the old company was lacking, and my first experience with the new company shows me that little has changed. After a weather-related service interruption, I called the company to inquire about the pickup of recycled trash in our neighborhood. The automated operator directed me to press 0 for "customer service." As instructed, I patiently waited on hold, where finally I was connected to, you guessed it, a recorded message instructing me to leave a message. Reluctantly, I did so. After 24 hours and no response, I called again. This time, after a 6 minute wait on hold, I spoke with a representative who informed me that she would instruct their service coordinator to handle the issue later that day or first thing in the morning.  You guessed it... 24 hours later - no service pickup. I called again, waited only 3 minutes on hold and spoke with a real person again. She informed me that there would be no recycled trash pickup that week after all and service would be resumed at the normal time next cycle. There was no apology, no caring at all in her attitude. I asked for the name and email of their general manager. Without answering me, she said "you need to speak with Steve" and promptly transferred me to his number where I was put into his voice mailbox. I reluctantly left a calm message asking for a return call. You guessed it... no response. What is the point of all this? Customers want their voices heard. Customers want to know that their suppliers are listening to their concerns. Customers want to know that vendors are paying attention to their needs. Customers want their vendors to be "easy to do business with." What customers really want is to know that they are valued. A terrific means to this end is effective communication. Ask questions, then listen closely. Discover their needs and wants. Stay in touch. Return their calls promptly. Let customers know that you are interested in them and that their business is valued.  As a customer, it would have been nice to have been notified of the change of ownership and be properly introduced to the new company. They could have introduced themselves, their web site, their policies and discussed how they conduct business. They also could have been interested enough to welcome feedback and describe how best to communicate with them. An opportunity sorely missed. Don't let poor customer service and a lack of response injure your relationships with your customer base. That is a costly sales mistake that few of us can afford.   If you enjoyed this post, please bookmark it and subscribe! ...........................Daniel SitterAuthor Stumble It! [...]



Age of Conversation 3 Book is Almost Here

2010-04-17T16:18:20-04:00

Kudos to Drew McLellan and Gavin Heaton who conceived the amazingly successful Age of Conversation marketing series and have since undertaken the massive task of assembling almost two hundred authors from around the world for the third installment, Age of... Kudos to Drew McLellan and Gavin Heaton who conceived the amazingly successful Age of Conversation marketing series and have since undertaken the massive task of assembling almost two hundred authors from around the world for the third installment, Age of Conversation 3: It's Time to Get Busy, being published later this month. I am once again honored, humbled and thrilled to be among the contributors to this effort. There is something here for everyone.    Those of you familiar with the first two books know of the marketing impact and innovative perspectives presented. Leading-edge thinkers from the world over have continued the fine tradition of the earlier installments. This however, is more of a call-to-action book. Take a look at the exciting topics: At the Coalface There is much to be said for good strategy, but what happens when the strategy is done? What happens when the time for talking is over? This section is about working at the coalface of social media. It’s about the real world lessons that come hard and fast. It’s about case studies and the stories and events that are much better in the re-telling than in the moment. Conversational Branding When we talk of brands, we generally understand what it means. But what happens when a brand ventures into online conversation. What does it mean to participate in these conversations? Is this earned media? Is it paid for? Or is there an in-between space? How important is brand in the social media space? How does the conversation shape or change the brand? Influence Much is made of influence, but what does "influence" mean in social media? Who has it, and who creates it? Does influence mean different things to different people? Is it hype or can it make the cash register ring? Is influence one of the new currencies? Getting to Work They say that the best approach to social media is dive in. But getting to work with social media can be harder than it first appears. What have you done to quickly get to work? Or perhaps this section is about how you use social media to get to work — literally. Is it a viable tool for networking and job hunting? Or maybe this section is about how social media is changing the face of work. Does getting to work now mean sitting at the kitchen table in your bathrobe? Corporate Conversations There is plenty of coverage of social media when the focus is on marketing or advertising. But what is happening in other parts of your business? How is social media playing within your business and has it surprised you? Or...if you’re a consultant or agency, how do you introduce social media to the C-level at your client’s business? How do you make social media more than a fad or seem relevant to the bottom line? Measurement Can you measure social media? Many claim you can and many claim you can't. But if you can measure social media, should you? And how do you measure it? And do you measure it in terms of ROI? Or influence? Or ability to do good? What are the metrics that matter and how do you get to them? In the Boardroom Is social media a fad dreamed up by the marketing department to get the attention of the executives? What are the hard questions and firm answers that get thrown around the boardroom. And who, if anyone, is best placed to answer? What role should the C-level executives play in a company’s social media strategy? Do they just green light it? Should the CEO have a blog? Or...from a non-profit’s perspective, how does the board of directors play a role in the organization’s SM activities? Pitching Social Media The work has been done and the late nights are weighing heavily on you[...]



Is Your Prospect Trying To Buy Something?

2010-04-11T12:00:19-04:00

It seems simple enough: After reviewing their web site for the first time, a prospect contacts a supplier and wants to order something. (As all the marketers shout Halleluiah!) Before we get too excited, let's stop and examine this scenario...It seems simple enough: After reviewing their web site for the first time, a prospect contacts a supplier and wants to order something. (As all the marketers shout Halleluiah!) Before we get too excited, let's stop and examine this scenario in more detail.   The company's web site obviously did a good enough job of attracting the attention of a potential buyer, despite being difficult to find, poorly designed, confusing to navigate, loaded with superfluous hype and "fat'" and having no built-in, automatic purchasing or response mechanisms. Furthermore, the site directs prospects to exit and manually send an email to the firm if they desire to make a purchase.  Kudos to the firm for at least having a web presence, but unfortunately, that strategy is not enough. Where is their customer service, their marketing sense, their salesmanship? How in the world can they expect success from such a poorly designed web site, especially when it is their sole presence in the market? How do they expect to sell their products? To further complicate this disastrous scenario, this prospect contacted the company as directed and has yet to receive a response. Did you hear that? The prospect wants to buy yet the salesperson is not paying attention! Whether it’s a poor web site, lack of presence in the field, a lack of marketing efforts or simply not listening, salespeople (and small companies) are missing the boat and losing sales by not paying attention and responding to customers in a timely manner. Customers will certainly perceive this as a lack of interest and will surely and quickly take their business elsewhere.  Remember… A prospect is not yet a customer until she buys something! Is your customer trying to buy something from you right now? Are you listening and making it easy for her to do so? If not, what are you planning to do about it? If not right now, when? If you enjoyed this post, please bookmark it and subscribe! ...........................Daniel SitterAuthor Stumble It! [...]



Words of Encouragement Go a Long Way

2009-12-02T22:52:05-05:00

Clemson's Dabo Swinney received encouraging support for their coming ACC title effort from perhaps the most unlikely of sources, South Carolina Gamecocks' Head Coach, Steve Spurrier. The Clemson Tigers, ranked #25, face neighboring Georgia Tech, ranked #12, for the coveted...Clemson's Dabo Swinney received encouraging support for their coming ACC title effort from perhaps the most unlikely of sources, South Carolina Gamecocks' Head Coach, Steve Spurrier. The Clemson Tigers, ranked #25, face neighboring Georgia Tech, ranked #12, for the coveted ACC football title this coming weekend. Young Swinney is wrapping up a strong performance for a first year coach.   Swinney said "during post-game handshakes following last Saturday's 34-17 defeat at USC, Steve Spurrier offered that he had been in a similar situation several times while coaching at Florida. He said, 'You know what, I lost to Florida State many times, but I'd turn around and go win the conference the next week. That's what's important, and you guys can do it. Good luck to you. Go get it done." "I thought that was very nice of him, very encouraging," Swinney said. "He didn't have to say that to me, so I appreciated that encouragement." Veteran coach and Heisman Trophy winner Steve Spurrier is a class-act and recognizes the significance of an ACC conference title for all of South Carolina, despite the fact that the Tigers and USC Gamecocks are bitter rivals though playing in separate conferences. Encouragement is a easy thing to offer. It requires little effort or thought. It does not cost money and can be freely given. It only takes a few moments. It does however, require sincerity. It can make a huge difference to the receiver, often supplying the needed "extra" that people often require in tough situations. In the same manner, it also is gratifying for the encourager, knowing that he may have made a difference in someone else's life. An act of encouragement, though not an evident component in the sales process, is certainly welcomed on days where little may be going our way. A kind word from a stranger, a prospect or a customer might completely change your attitude and outlook for the remainder of the day. I suggest that we need to be sensitive to the subtle as well as the more pronounced words of encouragement that may fall on us. In the same manner, we need to be generous in our encouragement of others. Who knows, it may be that little "extra" that opens the door of opportunity for you. If you enjoyed this post, please bookmark it and subscribe! ...........................Daniel SitterAuthorStumble It! [...]