What has happened to professionalism?

What has happened to professionalism? How about using an old fashioned respectful approach with an appropriate dialogue and mutual proposition benefits? We are all bombarded with endless scammers and telephone intrusions trying to do what? Sell us something? Really? Does anyone actually purchase anything from a cold caller? I have yet to meet anyone. Definitions of Professionalism –
Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition, Oxford, UK, Clarendon Press, 1989.‘The occupation which one professes to be skilled in and to follow a. A vocation in which a professed knowledge of some department of learning or science is used in its application to the affairs of others or in the practice of an art founded upon it b. in a wider sense, any calling or occupation by which a person habitually earns his living.’

Another definition: the key to quality and efficiency is professionalism

Professionalism in the practical sense B2B

  • Pre frame all meetings properly – what to expect, length of appt, and whether you
    expect a decision that day etc
  • Always be on time – call if not able
  • Dress accordingly
  • Know your products
  • Know the benefits
  • Establish real need – without which you have no sale
  • Build rapport, be respectful
  • Get testimonials
  • Always do what you say you will – more information, call next week, write a letter etc

Customer retention It costs at least 6 times more to sell to new customers than your existing ones So, to keep your customers:

  • Always follow up
  • Keep your customers informed
  • After every 90 days unless you have made contact they are no longer your customer!
  • Say thank you – send a card if appropriate
  • Be reliable
  • Be consistent
  • Remind customers how much you value them
  • Ask for referrals

Summary found on an internet forum (No name mentioned) Professionalism does not tolerate disrespect to others – the sign of true professionalism is knowing how to
handle the worst-case scenario, whether it be with a client, teacher or student, or even family or friends. Under the most extreme stress and pressure, true professionalism always shines through. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
is a good mantra for the concept of professionalism.


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Gain more sales through effective networking

Gain More Sales through Effective Networking!

Q: Firstly is networking selling? People do business with people they know, (seven touches) therefore it’s important to get a network of contacts, customers’ and prospects who know what exactly it is you do. In Summary: Before you sell anything you have to sell yourself  Secondly – people really need to know what it is you actually do

My Objective is to help you

a)    Establish what you want from your networking – and how you can make it happen

b)    Help you devise a strategy for your networking – you do need a strategy

c)    Help you understand more about your business so that you can put it across in a way that people understand – without ‘pitching’

d)    Develop your networking confidence and success to grow your business – sales!

Establish what you want from your networking ACTION PLAN: Clarify what it is you need from your networking, and the best ways for you do that. Get to know fellow networkers and what it is they do, (book a one to one) and think of how you may be able to help them. Remember to keep good records and notes to help you

Help you devise your own strategy ACTION PLAN: devise your own strategy – be clear about your networking objectives – and stick to it. Leave every networking meeting with at least 2 action points – 3 if possible for others – Can you get back to them with an article, a contact, another event, an introduction.

Understanding your own business and how to put it across in a way that people understand – without pitching Real Benefits come in three categories. Saving time or making up time, saving money or making money, or the ‘emotional’ benefit such as feel better, look younger, feel healthier, less stress, no hassle, etc

5 Easy to remember questions: Who are your customers? What problems do you solve? How do you do that? What will they then be able to do? How do they benefit? Your introduction should answer these 5 questions

Answered here within your introduction
I/we work with people/businesses………..

Who have a problem with……………….

What we do is………………

So That……………….advantage

Which means that…………………..benefit

ACTION PLAN:  Learn these five questions and understand the real benefits of what you do Then you can expand and incorporate some stories:

Explain your USP and how your offering is different/ better/ more value etc than others
If you haven’t got one – then get one. Tell a story and Use a simple case study of someone you have helped

  • Tell a story about how your customers have benefitted from working with you
  • Tell a story by describing  how you work with your customers
  • Tell a story about your biggest and smallest customers
  • Tell a story about how or why you started
  • Tell a story about what you are needing at the moment and why
  • Tell a story about any special success stories you have
  • Tell a story about the exact kind of customer that would make your business fly
  • Tell a story about why people like dealing with you

Your Benefit: Networking in this way will develop your own confidence, in a way that will attract more recommendations and reciprocal networking introductions which inevitably results in business leads REMEMBER: Maintaining your contacts and maximise information from them. Use social media/CRM whatever is right for you and your business Summary:

  1. Establish what you want from your networking
  2. Create a strategy
  3. Have one to ones
  4. Ask and answer the five great questions
  5. Explain the real benefits of what it is you do
  6. Highlight your uniqueness
  7. Tell great stories /and use testimonials
  8. Do as much as you can for others
  9. Enjoy your networking – it will pay you back in spades if done correctly
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Why do people buy?

Dale Carnegie said when dealing with people you are not dealing with logic but creatures of emotion. People will buy if the investment will help them improve their

· Reputation

· Respect

· Recognition

· Rationality

· Reliability

· Results

And in doing so

· Makes their life easier

· Save them money

· Provide additional profit

· Save them time/make up more time

· Help them in their business life

· Help them feel better – less pain, reduced weight, younger/fitter/happier etc

· Make them more successful (or at least likely to win) – prestige/pride/recognition etc Know your Customer: Understand what is important to them

Most of my prospects feel they are falling short in this area………..Most of my prospects would pick a fight to protect their belief that…..Most of my prospects have no idea how to ….Most of my prospects have the goal to …..Most of my prospects deeply value …….Most of my prospects are terrified that….

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5 Reasons to keep marketing

1. If you want to keep customers you must refresh your uniqueness. Remind
yourself then remind your customers. They will not remember why they came to
you in the first place it’s up to you to remind them or they will spend

2.Plan your ongoing marketing that suits you and your activities. No good making a
plan that you will never stick with. It doesn’t matter if you connect with your
customers weekly, monthly, bi monthly or quarterly just so long as you do

3.Cumulative marketing will bring cumulative rewards. Steady growth is far better than ‘flash in the pan’ response from a marketing campaign that fades as quickly as it was born.

4.Your competitors will still be marketing, so make sure you do

5. Level playing field for all businesses. Whatever downturn you think you have – everyone else does too. Be smarter, keep you name out there – rewards will come.


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8 things customers hate about salespeople

1. Failing to listen. How frustrating is it to be a customer when the salesperson just doesn’t listen? As a salesperson why bother to learn great questions if you don’t listen to and act upon the answers?

2. Talking at the Customer. Selling is about asking questions, not talking at the client. When the customer answers your questions then actually they should be talking more than you do. Conversational style selling allows for just that – conversation to flow each way. Remember too to tell some stories. ’Facts tell, and stories sell’ is well known in the sales arena.

3.  Making Assumptions. If a salesperson talks too much, and doesn’t listen then the danger is false assumptions are made. That’s one very quick way to lose the interest of your customer, and bury any chances of a sale forever.

4. Ignorance of product It is unacceptable for a salesperson to lack product knowledge about what they sell. Information is king. Knowing what is important is crucial. Knowing the benefits is everything. It is ok not to know things such as technical detail and say so, providing the answer is found and communicated back to the customer.

5. Unreliable. Doesn’t do what they say they will. Amazingly this still happens. If a salesperson offers to find out more information, or get back with a design, or quote within a certain time, then that is exactly what should happen. Failing to do so means that the customer is not important and actually the salesperson doesn’t deserve that sale.

Recent personal example:

I enquired about joining a particular gym/spa – I sent an email from their website, got an email reply to telephone them which I did – the person wasn’t available so I left a message with their colleague. Their contact didn’t get back to me, so I drove to the gym and had a tour around. The manager was supposed to call me the following day – again the call never came. I naturally lost interest and they lost a customer.

6.  Economical with the truth (lying.) I regularly deliver sales training and often the delegates tell me they think salespeople do lie! Lying also includes; exaggerating the benefits of their product, elaborating, and misleading the customer in a way that makes them want to buy – only to find out later that they have been oversold to…

7. Unable to understand their needs. It is said that only 20% of salespeople get this crucial element right. If no customer needs are uncovered then there is no sale. Once the needs have been discovered, then, and only then can the salesperson offer any solutions.

8. Won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Salespeople have to understand when NO truly means NO! I was taught not to give up until I had asked ten times……I think that could be classified as bullying or high pressure these days………good salespeople understand whether there is a genuine objection or if there is a definite NO.  Not everyone will buy – fact. That’s all ok too.

Happy Selling                                                 

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Ten Top Sales Tips for Successful Selling

  1. Be confident or act as if you are. If you think you can you will if you think you can’t you won’t.
  2. Target known industries where you have some knowledge or have had some experience first. Check out their internet site, their marketing, their team etc and understand as much about their business beforehand as possible. Don’t be afraid to pick up the telephone to similar organizations and ask some questions. What do they need from a company who supply the service or product that you supply? Put yourself in their shoes and try to pre-empt what might be important to them
  3. Prepare prepare prepare. Plan your approach and how you are going to conduct the appointment and know your objective.
  4. Know your products – what problem does it solve? What will your customer be able to do better/more easily etc once they have invested in your product or service?
  5. Ask good open questions – open questions. Starting with the famous Who What Where Why When and How. Selling about knowing the right questions to ask so that you can identify  a need- without which you have no sale. Open questions will do that. You must also find out which need is the most important factor for them.
  6. Always tell stories (Facts tell and stories sell) about customers you have helped, people relate to and remember stories and because they are authentic they have huge impact. You will have loads of stories so just remember how valuable they really are..
  7. Understand the real benefits of what it is you are offering. Benefits are more important to the client than anything else. People don’t buy into the features of your product they buy the benefits – put simply what will it do for me? Real benefits are usually saving time, saving money or making up time, or making more money, or ‘emotional’ such as feel better, happier, less stress, no more hassle, be more healthy, live longer, look younger, etc
  8. Sell on value not price. People don’t buy on price they buy on value.  If your prospect says “I can’t afford it” What are they really saying? If price becomes a sticking point, then the prospect really hasn’t understood the value in what you are offering. It’s the prospects way of saying ‘That’s not worth that amount’ or ‘I cannot see the value in charging that sum for that product or service.’ At this point you need to say I understand – it is a lot of money, or Yes your right it is an investment, remember that is does include this this and this, and you did say that you needed this this and this….We all have a price whereby we will pay for something – if we see the value
  9. Remember to ask for the order – learn ways of doing so
  10. Always follow up, and always get back when you say you will. Sounds obvious, but many sales negotiations fall down simply because the salesperson forgets or thinks it doesn’t matter if the quote is a day late, or thinks they won’t buy anyway so what’s the point. It may not be the sale of the century just now, but losing a prospect’s respect cannot be regained easily. Every customer is vital to the growth of your business.
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Simple Sales Success

Whatever business you are in, you are selling something. Knowing your customers and connecting with them is the best way to enhance sales, and as always the simple things are the most powerful!

Ask your self this: How often do you contact your customers? Keep in touch with your customers? Let them know that you care about them? Let them know that you are grateful for their hard earned cash?

The very same customers that have bought from you time and time again, that have enabled you to carry on being in business, and that have helped you pay your bills. Wouldn’t you WANT to keep in touch with those people?

It is said that if you don’t keep in touch with your customers every 90 days, then they are no longer your customer. How many times have you received a ‘thank you for your business card’ – from someone you do business with? Or a reminder that you are a valued customer? Or a special invitation to come and use their services again? Or even a simple ‘We are still here offering you an even better service than before?’

Sounds too easy? Check out Joe Girard, the most successful car sales person in the world. He used simple tactics and sent cards to all his customers – Regularly. Guess what? When they needed to replace their car, who was their first choice of contact? The friendly man who sent regular greeting cards and who really cares about them!  Friendly Joe Girard.

Why re-invent the wheel? Use tried and tested methods that work, see for yourself, and prepare to be amazed! The most important data you have in your business is you customers, keep it up to date, and ‘speak to them’ as often as you can.

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Just Browsing? – How to engage your prospect and keep them interested

To browse or not to browse that is the question?

Just browsing – we’ve all said it! and that’s exactly just what we want – how can we buy if we cannot browse?

Then the shop owner (alias stalker) appears with ‘Can I help you?’ and faster than the speed of light hey presto you’re off! Leaving the business owner to clear up the dust marks on the floor. This is one of the most common frustrations with retailers – how to keep the browsers in ther business – long enough to browse, feel comfortable and hopefully make a purchase!

Try (smile…….)  ’Hello welcome have you been here before? For your information we have just re arranged our stock and you will find xyz here and xzy here …….feel free to browse around’

It’s worth a try, and you may find you don’t need to sweep the floor again.

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Your Business Cupboard – what’s in it for Me?

If I had £1 for every time that someone said to me “All I need is more customers”….then I would be very rich, and if only it were true for them too! In business development this is the most common statement, and actually that statement can usually be translated to mean “If only I knew a way to run my business more easily, had another pairs of hands, more time, and of course more money to throw at the business……then all my problems would be answered”  – If only!!!

Welcome to my new world of blogging where I hope I can share some business pearls of business wisdom gathered along the way during my XXX years in business (Didn’t really think I would give that away eh?).

I shall be covering my favourite topics under the business development banner – how to create uniqueness that other people want to buy, and tips on how to increase your sales. It’s not rocket science, and it always boils down to the same sentiment.

Shania Twain got it sussed “So you’re a rocket scientist?…. that don’t impress me much, and that doesn’t keep me warm in the middle of the night”………what’s in it for me is all anyone wants to know. Win More Customers

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