Posts Tagged ‘Sales’

Sorry for not posting the links the past two weeks.  I had my GMAT to deal w/ and last Sunday was my birthday 10/10/10.  I just didn’t have the time.

11 ways money can buy you happiness – CNN Money
What happened to hookers and cocaine?

The dim sum guide for dim sum virgins – dimsumpop.com   [infographic] [dim sum] [food]

10 things CEOs need to know about design – JESS3   [business] [design]

How to choose the right colors for your brand – Inc.   [business] [design]

Facebook brand pages pay off – AdWeek   [branding]

Top five leadership mistakes and what to do about them – Entrepreneur.com   [leadership]
This is also why Donald Trump is a shitty leader

7 things you really don’t need to take a photo of – The Oatmeal   [photography] [humor]

Persuasion tactics of effective salespeople – Harvard Business Review   [sales]
kind of common sense if you’ve been properly trained in sales

A salesperson’s seven deadly sins – Harvard Business Review   [sales]
More interesting article from the Steve W. Martin

Four things VCs look for in a star-up – Entrepreneur.com [VC] [Start-up]
The Four M’s

5 steps to better photography – Digital Photography School   [photography]

Famous skulls – artnet

Best photography iPhone Apps – Travel Gear Blog   [photography]

How to get more out of your trip – Lonely Planet Blog   [travel]
By far the best set of travel tips. except #25. Seriously, throw your guidebook away.

Five places for lovers of art deco to visit – BrilliantTrips  [travel] [art]
Mmm… Valencia

No sleep in Reykjavik – Frommers   [music] [travel]
Iceland Airwaves Fest combines two of my favorite things: music and Iceland (duh), and it’s not just Sigur Ros playing 24/7

10 seminal books for world travelers – Flavorwire   [travel]
Wow, I feel dumb. I haven’t even heard of some of these books before


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My Buying Signs

“Is there a minimum order?”

That’s a buying sign. Stop talking and close the deal.

I was meeting w/ a prospective client and this question came up.  I was happy I recognized this.  I knew it was a commitment, albeit a soft one since both parties were venturing into something new.

When people talk, there are the words they say but there’s also emotional value behind what they’re saying.  As you proceed through the sales process, at a certain point the table will turn and the prospect will start asking question, essentially to make sure he/she will not regret this decision, aka buyers remorse.  *Usually in the beginning of the conversation or meeting I’m the one asking tons of questions.

Unfortunately sometimes sales people keeps on talking… talk and talk their way out of a deal.  Look, if you were asking someone out on a date and she’s asking you what time the movie is and if you can come pick her up what would you do in that situation? You answer the questions and solidify that commitment.  “Oh yeah, I can come pick you up.  So 8pm right? Cool, see you then!”

Basically the prospect is trying to paint a picture for himself on how what you describe would become reality.  You start talking about more details instead of the big picture stuff.  Here are some more possible buying signs/signals I usually come across:

  • Have you worked with other companies in my area?
  • Can I speak to one of your current customers?
  • Are there any colors?
  • What’s your lead time?
  • How much is it?***
  • Do you offer financing?
  • What’s your quality control process?

*** This one is trickier.  Depending on the industry, sometimes you’ll want to defer this question until later.  Just say “I’ll get back to that a little later.”  Sometimes people are genuinely interested but it’s also possible they’re just looking for a quick reason to blow you off.  That’s when your professional experience comes in, where sales a little bit of art rather than science.

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My Prospects

Haven’t been writing much at all, which is actually a good thing b/c it generally means I’m too busy to blog anything.  In fact, the same applies to twitter.  You only see updates from me if it’s a slow day and I’m browsing around the web.

We’re working on two new potential accounts.  One’s in England and another one in Memphis.  I am applying some discretion when I talk about them, but should be enough info to help you get an idea.

Let’s talk England first.  We have been working on entering the European markets for a while, doing some leg works and pre-approach info digging.  When one of our U.S. customers decided they want to fill chemicals for European companies, we were pretty much all ready to go.  right now we’re just trying to make sure all the technical requirements meet and come up w/ the right price.

The second prospect is in Memphis and I actually flew to meet with them by myself.  Solo!  My dad was out of tow and they sounded like they want to move pretty quickly.  Since it was short notice Delta, even though they use Memphis as a hub, tickets were around $1,200.  I decided to fly to Nashville and save some money instead and drive 3 hours down to Memphis.  It’s not too bad.  It’s like Austin to Dallas.  Plus I have some friends in Nashville.

The prospect is in the medical field.  We’re usually in the automotive industry.  It’s a new challenge, but plastics is still just plastics.  We’re excited to see what kind of doors this might open.

There are awfully lot of IP (intellectual properties) that we’ll be dealing with.  The one sample I got has 18 patents on it!  It’s gonna take a while to do the due diligence.  Because of this issue I think they were careful in trying not to disclose too much, or at least more than necessary.  Believe me, I’ve tried to dig a little more but I didn’t want to press the issue.

I think I give myself a 7 on the sales meeting, on a scale of 1 to 10.  I think I represented myself well, asked enough questions to get the info that I need to see if it’s a good match, and answer any questions the client have to the best of my ability.  My contact was someone we had done business with at a different company but he has switched jobs since.  Along with him and another staff from purchasing I think I’ve got them on board.  The third person in the meeting was a higher up, maybe C-level executive that I couldn’t get a good read on and I can’t tell if he was totally on board or in love w/ the idea of working w/ us.

They asked me about China, and we actually manufactured out of Taiwan.  There are some distinctions from an international trade perspective.  I won’t get into the political aspect… I personally think it’s pretty silly.  It is a little cheaper to manufacture out of China, but there are also drawbacks as well.  I think I answered that objection just about perfect.

btw, if anybody asks you if there’s a minimum order, that’s a buying sign.  Close the deal.

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My Tough Customers

I came across this article on Inc.com before and marked it in my Google Reader.  I had to do a little big of digging to find it again but it’s about selling to big corporations that could be potentially tough.  Many people tries to land a contract w/ these big companies w/ deep pockets and their greed gets in the way.  Here are some of the suggestions offered by the companies interview:

  • Bring something different and offer value (Coca-Cola)
  • Be realistic and not quote too low (UPS)
  • Little things put the icing on the cake (UPS)
  • Deep expertise about a particular customer segment or technology (Intuit)
  • Having a good website gives a good first impression.  Use the Internet as a tool extensively (The Bama Companies)
  • Do more research than you think you need to (Valero)
  • Don’t be shy.  Highlight your capabilities (Northrop Grumman)
  • Show long-term strategy and vision b/c changing vendors can be very expensive (Dell)

Happy selling,


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