by Carol Holden*
Jeffrey Gitomer’s Sales Caffeine column is a weekly coffee break stop for me. This week’s column struck me, in particular, because it was written from the perspective of a purchaser.
Someone in purchasing, who reads his column, had contacted Jeffrey and he, in turn, had asked her for a list of the smart things that lead to a sale. She also gave him the dumb list, but I am just going to reinforce the positives below. We’ve probably heard them before, but this is a clear concise list that can never be repeated too often:
10 Smart “Things” that Lead to a Sale
- Honesty. Truth at all times and at all costs. Do not lie and think you’ll get away with it, because you won’t. If I can’t tell you’re a liar immediately. I’ll find out in a short period of time. One lie banishes you.
- Give me valuable ideas. If you can provide suggestions or ideas on how to make business better, you’ll be a hero to me and a valuable resource.
- Understand and be interested in my business. If you make an attempt to show interest and understand, I’ll spend all the time in the world to educate you, because you’ll only be better equipped to help me. Plus, it will make your job easier as well. A win for me – and a bigger win for you.
- Treat me with respect. Be courteous, on time and well mannered. If you’re not, it’s a guaranteed deal-killer.
- Be a decent human being, with some sense of ethics and morals. It makes me feel positive about doing business with you and gives me some reassurance you won’t try to screw me over.
- Know your own business cold. Know it well enough so that you can make an understandable and knowledgeable presentation and answer my questions about your product or service. Provide good supporting materials – especially testimonials.
- Be friendly and personable. It helps to establish a sense of comfort and trust.
- Remember the details. They’re small, but they can completely make my day or ruin it.
- Make good on your word. If you can’t, come to me and we’ll talk it out. If you don’t, then your credibility is damaged or even ruined (depending on how often it happens and when).
- Take responsibility. You are my link to your company. Handle what I need seamlessly, and own up to a mistake if you make one.
And the single smartest thing that leads to a sale:
- Don’t “sell” me. Let me “buy.” Make me see for myself that “buying” is the right thing to do.
What I like best about these tips is that all or mostly everything listed applies to any sales situation whether you are “selling” a story idea to a journalist, a service like BurrellesLuce, or almost any other “product.” And it’s also the backbone of a client service relationship as well. Here’s the customer laying out in front of us how to do business with them. Remember the adage, the customer’s always right?
And if you’re looking to tie this to your PR agency Jim Joseph, president Lippe Taylor Brand Communications, provides some tips on closing a sale in this video.
How will you apply these the next time you are working with a client or prospect or the media? If you already incorporate similar practices into current “selling” strategy, how have they benefited you?
Bio: I’ve been in the media business all of my adult life, first in newspapers before going full circle and joining BurrellesLuce, where I now direct the Media Measurement department. I’ve always enjoyed meeting and especially listening to the needs of our customers and others in the public relations and communications fields; I welcome sharing ideas through the Fresh Ideas blog. One of my professional passions is providing the type of service to a client that makes them respond, “atta girl” – inspiring our entire team to keep striving to be the best. Although I have been lucky enough to travel through much of Asia and most major U.S. cities for business or pleasure, my free time is now spent with my daughter, visiting family/friends, and of course the Jersey shore. Twitter: @domeasurement LinkedIn: Carol Holden Facebook: BurrellesLuce