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Don't Be Good; Be Different to Standout in 2010

ApplesWEB Being good makes you mundane, an also ran. Being different allows you to separate from the pack and stand out from the crowd.

In today’s world, being different is one of the few things that will get you noticed. It puts you in demand.

Being the same as all the other options will keep you fighting price wars continuously.

When it comes to sales and marketing most companies say:

"We are good."

"We offer the best service."

"We treat our customers honestly and with integrity."

They are telling the same story everyone else is sharing.

Your prospects have heard that story so many times, they are numb to it. They believed other marketers who claimed the same but ended up delivering far less.

Now they are jaded and don’t want to believe any longer.

Learn to be different by viewing your business through your clients eyes.

In your sales and marketing messages you need to talk TO your clients, about their interests and not AT them, about the services you provide.

BAD EXAMPLE: "We offer the finest customer service anywhere."

The problem? Everyone else is making the same promise.

Here’s how to create a client centric sales and marketing “story.”

Start by talking to your clients. Ask them, “What is the greatest value you have gained from doing business with me?”

Then listen and write down or record what they are saying.

Follow up with, “What is the greatest challenge my service (or product) solves for you?” Listen and take notes once again.

Once you understand the value you deliver and the problem(s) you solve develop your sales and marketing story by filling in the blanks in the statements below.

Remember to use the actual words your clients have given you.

You want _____ (what clients told you they want and have gained from your service.)

The problem is _________ (the problem that keeps your potential clients from reaching a solution.)

YOUR COMPANY has a new idea: Then tell your story about the greatest value your company provides, using the actual words your clients have given you.

Little copywriting talent is required but the impact is huge.

When you are in a selling situation, let prospects know how you have helped other clients just like them. Give real life examples of how you have helped other people with similar challenges.

You’ll suddenly notice new interest in your sales and marketing story. And of course new interest equals new sales.

What Can You Learn About Sales When Traveling

Chicago_skyline_night I was in Chicago to visit family and friends from long ago over the past few days.

My family and friends were up for trying new restaurants and fun things to do with me while I was there. The experiences for those trials dictated whether or not they would use that business again after I left.

Case in point. On the last night I was there we decided to stay at home and carry out instead of going to a restaurant again.

Everyone thought Chinese food sounded good. The problem was our favorite Chinese restaurant, that I remember fondly from living in the area, was closed on Monday.

Undaunted, my friend thought of another place she had wanted to try for a long time. So we called, ordered, picked it up and brought it home. 

Once we got it home we discovered that the chicken was more of a mystery meat than chicken and everything else was pretty much sub par. Soggy egg rolls, poorly prepared sweet and sour shrimp and even missing condiments caused us to sigh.

"I'll have to tell my friends that this is not a good place to eat," my friend said

One bad meal, one bad experience set up the restaurant to lose the business of my friend and her friends too.

She will never go back and complain. She will just never go back.

It just goes to show that when you're selling products or services, one great experience can lead to more business.

And one unsatisfactory encounter will cost your business money every time.


What to Do if Sales Bores You to Death

Bored-Business-Man Let’s face it, sales is the only way that a prospect who is interested can learn more about your offer and buy. Without sales, businesses fail. It’s just that simple.

No matter if you create sales in a direct way, through personal contact, or virtually, through a sales letter and online direct response mechanisms, an offer has to be made and a sale closed to generate revenue.

For many business owners, getting around to selling is often a challenge.

Every day events jump in front of this vital activity and before you know it, the day is gone and no sales effort has been made.

Here’s the reason your sales effort is put on the back burner.

Simply put, the business owner is bored with their sales message and offer.

They have lost the passion for what they are selling, which causes many people in business to put off prospecting  and selling until another day.

Now, if you felt a charge and denied this is the case for you, just look at your sales prospecting record.

If you’re not taking steps to make a sale every day, you probably fit into the “I’m bored” category.

If and when sales boredom occurs in your business, here’s the first step to take.

Realize it is occurring, admit it and set a reasonable amount of unmovable time aside to repair the problem. Get the advice of an outside advisor to see the big picture clearly.

After realization comes reasoning. Why are you bored?

Has selling the same thing day in and day for a number of years worn down your edge?

If this is the case, look at repackaging your marketing effort. Switch to educational based marketing. Offer to educate for free and then set meetings with people who are interested in learning more.

Do you feel in your heart that what you’re selling is not providing true value to the buyer?

If so, reevaluate your offer. Maybe repackaging is the answer or extending your product or service line to provide a more inclusive offer may help.

Look to other industries for answers and apply those ideas to your industry.

Have you lost interest in your industry or niche?

In this case, evaluate who you are approaching to buy.

Are you truly reaching the clients you really want to work with or are you settling for anyone who comes along with a check?

When your  sales effort is spotty, boredom is often the reason why.

When boredom is resolved, new energy emerges and sales becomes enjoyable and a focus of each day once again.

This raises revenues, which brings new energy to both your business and your life.