The secret to charisma is making other people feel charismatic about themselves.
Archive for February, 2007
Here’s a quick tip for writing proposals from the crime novelist Elmore Leonard. He keeps his novels tight and riveting by keeping out the parts that people skip.
When writing your proposal, keep it taut and sharp. Move all the unnecessary bulk to the exhibit section or remove it altogether. Most buyers won’t read the extra stuff anyway, so get it out of the way between explaining their real needs and exactly how you will fulfill them.
The best salespeople talk less and listen more than their competitors. Nervous salespeople chatter and oversell. Relax, ask open ended questions (who, what, when, where, why) and listen. Your customer will love you for it.
When you are ready to go home at the end of each day, make one more sales call. It’s a great habit, and it will result in a thousand extra calls over the next few years. Make it the very last thing you do each evening even if it’s just a voice mail.
I’ve been to a thousand dinners with clients. They are one of the truly great opportunities to establish intimacy and build trust. Unless they’re boring! You know, like when the service is slow, or the conversation is dull, or the food is mediocre. My strategy is not only to eliminate these risks, but also to raise every component of the experience way beyond my client’s expectations. Here’s how I handled a recent dinner with ten people:
- I cut a deal with the carhops and had everyone’s car washed while they were at dinner. I took care of all tipping.
- I preselected the menu with the chef-choice of meat or fish. That saved about 15 minutes of ordering time.
- I ordered three spectacular seafood plates for appetizers. Everyone served themselves and each other family-style, a great icebreaking technique.
- I preordered the wine and had the wine steward give us a short explanation of how the wine matched the food and vice versa.
- Prior to dinner, I sent a letter to everyone that outlined brief points of interest about the attendees. There were a combination of tongue-in-cheek comments and real anecdotes people could follow-up on at dinner.
- About halfway through, I asked every other person to move two places to the left! That stirred things up. I made sure the waiter knew so he could order new silverware setups for everyone.
- At the end of the main course, I had everyone get up and move to the bar for a dessert tray. Again, it saved time and got everyone circulating.
- Finally, I ended the evening by presenting all my guests with a small gift. I made sure it was wrapped. My favorite gift is . . . you guessed it . . . a book.
The goal is for everyone at dinner to tell their spouses and friends what a spectacular and unusual time they had. That’s what the Mr. Shmooze experience is all about!
The most important thing a sales manager can do for his or her sales force is give them more time to sell (less paperwork, meetings, administration).
According to the best research available, optimism is more important than intelligence when it comes to long-term sales success. It’s great to be supersmart, but sales requires tremendous resilience in the face of relentless rejection.
One good referral per customer can double your business. If you are providing great service, don’t be shy about asking for referrals.
Think about developing your own website to control what people read about you when they go to search engines like Yahoo or Google. Include your picture, mission statement, clients, testimonials, phone number, address, etc. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just clear and sharp.
My number one goal on each and every sales call is to make the buyers feel better about themselves than when I showed up.
“Mr. Buyer, You obviously have a huge job! How do you find time to get anything done?”
Remember, the gift of self-esteem is the most powerful gift we can give another human being.