TED | Talks | Malcolm Gladwell: What we can learn from spaghetti sauce (video)

How do we really know what our customers’ tastes are? This is a very interesting talk about how one man changed grocery store layouts forever by challenging conventional wisdom and the common man’s taste buds!

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.ted.com posted with vodpod


Generating Crazy Amounts of PR

Tom Szaky, founder of TerraCycle, has an outstanding post on how to create your own PR. Use this link to catch his full post. But, it’s so common sense you’ll feel like someone hit you in the head. So wear a helmet. 🙂

Sales Rules (9 – 12)

  • Present options they aren’t aware of (Teach them a better way)
  • You walk the path taken by many before you
  • Your job is to build trust
  • Under promise —  Overproduce

Present options they aren’t aware of (Teach them a better way)

Here is where you learn to look beyond a knee jerk answer. When a prospect says, “I’ll never do _____” , seek to understand their statements. You might find an opportunity to teach them a better way. (See the path you walk).

You walk the path taken by many before you.

Until you demonstrate your worth to a prospect, they’ll see you as just another ________ salesperson. Take nothing for granted. People have been selling since man could walk. If you can say it, someone else has said it before. Don’t leave things to chance with broad statements, “Our enrollment is simple (said with a wide smile).” You must demonstrate, show, and backup what you say.

Your job is to build trust (earn it)

Most clients will hold their trust until you’ve delivered on what you say. Always think of little actions you can set up and complete to demonstrate your ability. Five small sales actions (calling when you say you will, delivering references when you say you will, or sending over a thank you with a paper copy of the proposal) will do more to create trust than one large action.

Tasks that may seem simple and meaningless, on their own, are in fact the quickest way to earn credibility and trust when completed as a series of separate actions. They will keep you top of mind, creating more touches for a relationship and build a controllable, repetitive record of success. One big action may be easier for you to complete, but it will do nothing to help you earn the credibility required to call someone a customer (especially one that delivers referrals).

Under promise — Overproduce

When working with a customer, the quickest way to lose trust and credibility is to blindly say what you think they want to hear and not be able to follow through. It’s much better to set certain expectations a “little” lower than your capabilities and overproduce with your actions.

Natural born salespeople???

Ever wonder what happened to that guy everyone said would be a natural born salesperson? One of two things:

  • They were trained to be mediocre in sales ( and probably quit).
  • They went with their gut and have been wildly successful!

There is such a thing as being a natural born salesperson and this post is directed at all you naturals that have been so brainwashed by sales training that you can’t find your rear without a solution to direct you! Consider this your Monday morning butt kicking — stop trying to be smart. Instead, be yourself. Get to know your customers, ask them questions for understanding, actually care about them and you will start making REAL money.

Sales is and always has been the easiest job in the world. It’s the people in the position that make sales “hard.” Think about what the job is:

  • Introduce yourself to people
  • Ask what they are doing
  • Ask what they want
  • Deliver what you say
  • Make a bunch of money!

Yep, simple. Good luck and have a great week.

Sales Rules (5 – 8)

  1. Understand your prospects’ business issues
  2. Know your prospects’ job description — beyond our service
  3. Understand your prospects’ environment
  4. Look for their buying windows – (Lighter workload, urgency, etc.)

Understand your prospects’ business issues

This doesn’t mean you must be an expert in their business. You should have a base knowledge of what it is they do and how your services relate to their industry. Many sales will be won because of you and your company’s experience working in a particular industry.

Know your prospects’ job description — beyond our service

Until you know what your prospect does everyday, you will not understand where your service rates. Most people today have many different functions (hats) to their job. Our service may be just one very small component of their work day. The sooner you find this out, the sooner you’ll know your place at the table.

Understand your prospects environment

Understand how they interact with the rest of their company. When you find this out, you can better gauge if they are the decision maker, influencer or just a time waster. (Many CEO, CFO and Presidents just rubber stamp decisions made by influential/trusted employees)

Look for their buying windows – (Lighter workload, urgency, etc.)

A buying window is the timeframe when a prospect is most likely to buy. An initial meeting might have nothing to do with a prospect’s buying window being open. Your sales call may have caught them with just enough time to begin investigating options. Prospects, just like salespeople, have a process to work through. A prospect’s buying process requires time and resources outside of their control. By asking about peak seasons and their workload, you can better identify their buying windows. When you do this you will be managing your sales, not chasing phantom deals.

Sales Rules (1 – 4)

This is the first in a series of posts on my general sales “rules” — little pieces of information I’ve learned and picked up over the years. The list is always growing and being tightened. Comments are encouraged.

  1. Always be yourself
  2. Don’t leave your personality at the door
  3. Patience, Patience, Patience
  4. View all sales opportunities from your customer’s perspective

Always be yourself:

You are who you. If you try and be something that you are not, a prospect will sense it and not trust you.

Don’t leave your personality at the door:

Others can help you improve your work habits and sales process, but your personality was created long ago. Go with it. More than likely it’s what landed you in sales.

Patience, Patience, Patience:

There is a big difference between asking for a sale and being aggressive. Patience knows when the prospect is ready to buy.

View all sales opportunities from your customer’s perspective:

When you can see things from their side of the table, you are in a better position to deliver on their vision.

Happy St. Patricks Day!

An Irish Proverb