By k | July 14, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

One of my buddies
is very wealthy.
You wouldn’t know it
if you looked at him,
however.
He wears average clothes,
average watches,
drives an average car.

Why does he do this?

Because the people
who befriend him,
who are nice to him,
when they think
he’s an average guy
are often the people
who will stick by him
if something goes wrong,
if he loses his wealth,
if his business implodes.

Those are the times
he’ll most need friends.

As business builders,
we’re in a similar situation.
Our businesses are likely
still small.
Our brands aren’t well known.
The people/companies
who do business with us
now
will likely stick by us
if (or, rather, when)
we go through tough times.

The people/companies
who will help us
when we can’t help them
are the people/companies
we should value.

Don’t forget them
as you grow.

By k | July 12, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I’ve built my romance novel readership
one reader at a time.
I’ve interacted in some way
with everyone who buys my books.

No writer wants to hear this.
They don’t want to hear
I’ve put a gazillion hours of work
into fighting for every reader.
They want the short cut,
the secret to instant readership.

It is a secret
I continue to search for.
Until I find it,
if it does exist
(which I doubt it does),
I build readership the slow way.

A loved one
is a salesman for a huge tech company.
He builds his customer base
the same way
- one call or email or meeting
at a time.
Even when he hosts events,
the customers he reaches out to
during the event
and talks to one-on-one
are the customers
who are most likely to buy from him.

There are very few short cuts
to building a customer base.
While you’re looking for them,
consider also employing
the tried and true method
- building your customer base
one person/company at a time.

By k | July 2, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

It is July,
BBQ season,
a time for many salefolks
to mix it up
in a more casual environment.

Body language
is as important
as words in these situations.

Crossing arms
is a ’stay away’ signal.
Leaving arms loose
at our sides
is more welcoming.

Kit Pang,
Founder of
BostonSpeaks,
shares

“If you face someone squarely,
with your shoulders parallel to theirs,
the two of you are most likely
having a private conversation.

If the two of you
want to open the conversation
to others,
both of you will face
slightly away from each other,
creating an opening.”

If you want others
to join your conversation,
ensure your body language
communicates this.

By k | July 1, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

We all know
why we, the sellers,
want a sale.

Why do
your prospects
want a sale?

Knowing the answer
to THAT question
might make a difference
between a sale or no sale.

Sarah Robinson,
CEO of
Fierce Loyalty,
shares

“Your reasons for
wanting a yes
aren’t interesting to anyone
but you,
so never forget
“the fastest way
to get what you want,
is to give someone
what they want.”
Discover what their reasons are
for wanting a yes, too,
and you could significantly
increase your odds
of making it happen.”

Why does your prospect
want this sale?

By k | June 25, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Every month,
I get calls
from a dozen or so
real estate agents.

The same agents
call me
again and again.

I only remember one of them.

Why do I remember him?

Because he makes me feel happy
when he calls me.
He’s always upbeat.
He’s polite.
He’s full of optimism.

He’s the only agent
I spend time
listening to,
the only person
who gets past
those first couple of sentences.

If I ever sell my house,
he’ll be the agent I list with.

People will remember
how you made them feel
long after
they forget what you’ve said.

Make prospects and customers
feel good.

By k | June 14, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Every week,
there’s a new post
on Facebook
from a Mom
upset
because no one attended
her child’s birthday party.

Usually,
what happened was
the child went to school,
handed out invites
to dozens of kids
and then,
on party day,
is distraught
when no one shows up.

Of course,
no one showed up.

1) The person who decides
whether or not
a child attends a party
isn’t the child.
It is the parent or guardian.
That parent or guardian
might not have even seen the invitation.

2) The parent or guardian
is most concerned about the safety
of her/his child.

How safe will the child be
if the adult organizer of the party
couldn’t even be bothered
to reach out to that parent/guardian?
If the invites are being given
to random people?
If there is no discussion
about allergies or supervision?
If there’s no follow up
on the invitations?

That doesn’t sound
like a safe environment to me.

What does this have to do
with building a business?

Before you ask for the sale,
are you speaking
to the decision maker
(i.e. the ‘parent’ or ‘guardian’)?

Have you convinced her
you’ve met at least
her minimum requirements
for the product/service
(i.e. it is a ’safe environment)?

If you answer ‘yes’
to these two questions,
you are more likely to seal the deal
(have a great turn out at that party).

By k | April 30, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Whenever I change something,
something like
where my books (products) are sold,
the pricing,
or
the length of the books,
I lose readers (customers).

Why?

Because they have to think
about the purchase.
There’s something new.
That causes them
to re-evaluate buying the product.

Steve Belmonte,
founder and CEO
of
AccuZIP,
shares

“People like consistency
and depending
and trusting their brand.

So that’s why
the price-lock guarantee
was hugely important
—they can depend on the fact
that their budget next year
will be the same
when it comes to this type of product.”

When you make changes,
be aware
that these changes
might cause customers
to re-evaluate their decisions.

Don’t make changes
for trivial reasons.

By k | April 16, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I knew as soon as
the missile strike
on Syria was announced,
that sales of my romance novels
for the day
and possibly the next day
would drop to zero.

External events
WILL affect sales.
We can try to mitigate this
by having different avenues of sales,
different sets of customers,
but there will be an impact.

So what do we do?

If it is a short term event,
I hunker down
and wait it out.
I get my shit together
so when impact of the event fades,
I can emerge with a bang,
selling as much as possible
as quickly as possible.

If it is a long term event,
I look for pockets of opportunities.
I might tweak the product
or my marketing or my sales approach
to better work
with the new reality.

There WILL be external events
that will affect your sales.
Know what they are
and figure out a plan
to work with them.

By k | April 5, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Some writers talk about
selling books.
That’s their focus.

My focus is building readership.

It might seem like
these two things are the same.
Readers buy books.
But they are very different.

Selling books focuses on today,
on the single transaction.
If I do X, how many units will I sell?

Building a readership
is long term.
It focuses on the relationship.
If I do X, how many units will I sell
over the next two decades?
Will my ‘forever’ readership
increase or decrease?

Unfortunately, many people
are solely focused on the sales today,
on that single transaction.

Seth Godin
shares

“The season ticket holder
bought a ticket
and got his games.
Even steven.
We owe you nothing.

The dedicated fan
sat through endless losing games.
Even steven.
Ticket purchased, game delivered.
We owe you nothing.

The problem with ‘even steven’
is that it turns trust
and connection
and emotions into nothing
but a number.
Revenue on a P&L.
It ignores the long-term
in exchange for a relentless focus
on today.
Only today.”

Are you selling a product
or building a relationship?

By k | April 4, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Amazon, as the biggest bookseller,
is my biggest ‘partner.’
They know how to sell books.
They have data
writers would dream of having.

The challenge is…
they don’t share it.

They don’t tell writers
that the best pricing is X
or the best length of pre-orders
is Y days.

However, we can guess
by what we’re allowed to do.

For example,
the average small publisher
is allowed to put a book
on pre-order
up to three months
before release.

Clearly, the ideal pre-order date
is three months or less.

A book hits the hot new release lists
for a month after release.
Clearly, Amazon customers
consider a book
less than a month old
to be a new release.

Combining this information,
I view 3 months before release
and 1 month after release
to be the best time
to promote a release.

Usually partner rules are based
on logic.
By sharing their rules,
these partners are sharing
their secrets.

Pay attention.