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Recent Articles

30
Sep

Be Aware of Weak Links

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I recently sold some stock and wanted to put the cash into one of the best known, and highly rated banks in the country.  The amount of cash was not insignificant.
 
I called the number of the local branch in my community.  But rather than reaching someone at the branch, the number channeled me into a central call bank. 
 
Here’s what happened . . .
 
Call Center: “Can I help you?”

Me: “Yes.  I want to talk to someone about moving some money to your bank.”

Call Center: “What?”

Me: “I want to talk to someone about some of your investment vehicles.”

Call Center: “Do you mean you want to talk to a banker?”

Me: (I paused for a second.)  “That’s the general idea.”

Call Center: “Hold please.”  (30-second pause). Read more »

23
Sep

Don’t Forget Your Alma Mater

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Some of the most compelling marketing and sales techniques are now being developed in what was once the sleepy backwaters of the not-for-profit world, and leading that revolution are college and university alumni associations.
 
You have probably noticed an uptick in the frequency and quality of information you have received from your Alma Mater. You can thank technology for that dynamic as the universities deploy ever more sophisticated search and communications methods to keep track of and stimulate their alumni.
 
So here is a question for you as salespeople. Read more »

16
Sep

Objection Overruled

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A price objection is a challenge of value. Value must be proven with facts.
 
When a price objection is raised, we need a crisp, solid command of the benefits that justify our price, including indirect benefits like time saved, spill over impact, compounded impact going forward, etc.
 
A price objection is no time for puffery. Get to the facts and hit them . . . hard! 
 
And remember, a buyer will not bring up price unless he is interested enough to care, so while a bit counterintuitive, price objections should be interpreted as a positive signal that the buyer wants to be closed.

9
Sep

Turning a Problem into an Opportunity

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Have you ever had a situation when you were the customer, a problem occurred, stress was running high and the service provider stepped up and solved the problem?
 
A classic is when you show up at a hotel and they do not have your room reservation, so after a bit of conferencing they not only find you a room but upgrade you for your trouble. We tend to forget they caused the problem in the first place, and remember how they came through for us in the clutch.
 
We can learn a lot from these kinds of scenarios to apply to the sell side. Read more »

28
Aug

Selling Lessons From Election Season

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Research and experience show that at least 50% of a sale is dependent upon the buyer’s perception of the salesperson.  It may be a good product, but if presented poorly, a buyer will often turn away. 
 
Mr. Shmooze is politically neutral . . . we are just trying to help people sell better. So, keep that in mind as you read the following. Read more »

13
Aug

Focus on the Positive

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Here is a question for some of your clients:
 
“Mr. Client, what is your company doing during this downturn to increase market share?” 
 
Now, his answer is likely to be, “We are just trying to survive.”
 
Your response . . . Read more »

7
Aug

Spend More Time Selling

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Can you believe it is already August?! As everybody comes back from summer vacations and kids get back into the routine of school, I am going to challenge you to focus on one thing for the remainder of this year . . .
 
If you do not do anything else relative to your work in 2019, SPEND MORE TIME SELLING!  Read more »

30
Jul

“Gotcha” – A Dangerous Game

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I took my family on vacation last week. Vacations are great because they break up our daily patterns and expose us to all sorts of new situations and opportunities to learn and grow.
 
In this case, I picked up a pattern I want to share with my fellow business owners and salespeople. Read more »

23
Jul

Elevate Your Game

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In our book, “Mr. Shmooze,” we spend a lot of time on the concept of “elevation.” That is, taking the small details that go into our day-to-day interaction with people and “kicking them up a notch” so that we stand out from competitors who mope along without adding any spice to the lives of people around them.
 
We point out in the book that you never know when you are going to run into an “elevator,” that is, a Mr. or Ms. Shmooze. But when you do, the difference is both inspiring and profound.
 
This past week, I ran into a concierge, Robert, who makes most concierge people look stoic by comparison.
 
First of all, his personality lit up the entire lobby. He greeted everyone from the car hops to the bellman by name, and his friendly and booming voice formed the epicenter of the entire lobby area.
 
When we engaged, he was a great listener. He then began to recommend some restaurants with details about the cuisine and the wine lists that were both knowledgeable and enthusiastic.
 
Here is the kicker . . .
Read more »

16
Jul

Body Over Mind

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As a sales athlete, I am playing a little game with myself to help maintain a sense of control during these challenging times.
 
I’ve decided to get in shape. I don’t mean the garden variety shape. I mean shape like big time cardio/strength training . . . I’m going for it with everything I’ve got.
 
In fact, the more negativity I hear, the more I crank up my workouts. I figure, I’ll show ’em . . . if it comes down to survival of the fittest, they’re gonna be dealing with Rambo!
 
OK . . . I’m not going that far, but I have been going for it hard now for several months now and it’s really paying off.
 
And there are so many benefits: Read more »