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Bright Lights

I see all sorts of great sales and service action when I am travelling, and my last trip was no exception.
I walked into a mid-sized office building near O’Hare. I was a little early, so I strolled over to the directory to double check the floor I needed and took a little longer to check out some other company names. I am close to 6’6” tall so when I turned around I nearly ran over a very serious looking, uniformed woman who was about 5’ tall and standing very close to me.   Read more »


On the Contrary . . .

We all know contrarians. They love to distinguish and protect themselves by taking the opposite position in a discussion or debate. Great fun at dinner parties but incredibly frustrating in the context of selling.

Psychologists actually have a clinical name for this technique . . . they call it polarity. People who process information by polarizing, sort the data by looking for the opposite of the input. It gives them a sense of power and management over what we all know is the virtual flood of ongoing information.

So how do we, as salespeople, motivate a hard core contrarian to give our product a fair hearing?
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A Lesson From TV

We have all watched those cliché advertisements on TV in which the pitchman starts adding benefits toward a conclusion . . . you know . . . “Order these kitchen knives right now and we will add a knife sharpener, plus a knife holder, etc.”

Well, as cliché as these ads can be, the people who create them are anything but stupid. Because they know that tests show that “add-ons” can increase response rate by 35%, a huge number in the context of direct sales.
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Ahead of the Curve

I have had pretty good luck traveling this past year or so but last Friday my luck ran out. I arrived at O’Hare Airport for a late flight home and the dance began. 

First, it was announced we were going to be delayed. Then we boarded. Next, the pilot announced there were some “minor” mechanical difficulties that maintenance was checking. Then we deplaned. More waiting. Finally, our plane was de-commissioned, but, they found us another plane at another gate. Re-boarded. Waited another hour for “catering.” Arrived at our destination at 3 a.m.

As I staggered in around 4 a.m., I did a last check of my emails and there was an email from the airline apologizing, and awarding me 10,000 miles. Two things came to mind:

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