Say No! Yes, I mean it!! If your client or prospect (or customer) wants to buy something that is not in their best interest (it’s too small, it won’t satisfy their needs), say, “NO, I don’t want to sell that to you,” and make sure to add something like, “I’d rather you be unhappy with my competitor than with me.”
A while back I posted a question on the TSEA (Trade Show Exhibitors Association) Group on LinkedIn about the use of promotional products. There were 45 comments soon after and the discussion is still going strong. Comments ranged from those who thought promotional products were a waste of time and resources to those at the other end of the spectrum who found them very useful.
Tote bags, pens, mouse pads, lanyards, CD’s, note pads, candy, gizmo’s for your computer, stress balls, luggage tags, buttons, pins, card holders, golf tees, sweat bands, mugs… don’t you just love it? Lots of people do. Ask visitors why then attend certain shows or what they remember best and they say – “all those cool giveaways.”
Thinking back to one of the great cult films of the 1980s…Caddyshack. There is a conversation between Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) and Judge Smails (Ted Knight) in the locker room after Ty has just finished a round of golf. Judge Smails asks Ty what he shot that day and Ty responds by telling the Judge that he doesn’t keep score. Puzzled, Judge Smails says, “How do you measure yourself with other golfers?” Ty responds by saying, “By height.”
To parody the old joke, “How many customer service people does it take to handle a question?” The answer is lots. You need, at least one to find the right person to handle the call, one to transfer the caller to another extension, one to look up the most recent rules and regulations, one to hum and ha and try to think of a solution, one to say “it’s our policy.” and one to finally say, “I hope that we have answered your question today.”
Sometimes watching sales people in action is like watching a tennis match; the prospect asks something and we lob back an answer right away. Other times the prospect will make a comment, and we slam back an answer, at times with more top spin than one would ever need. While there are a number of good lessons in sports for sales people, a meeting should not look like the final match at a Grand Slam event.
If the statistics are correct, more companies can credit their success to participating in trade shows than any other marketing tool. However a word of caution, before you take the plunge, here are nine basic questions that you need answered:
While I think it is important for experts and pundits to challenge sales people to stretch and evolve, to stay on top and ahead of evolving trends and technology, it is also important to keep it real. Since the advent of technology, especially from the start of the last century on, there has been a debate about the impact of technology on selling and sellers. The recurring prediction that sales people will be replaced or diminished in importance by automation, seems a favorite among some.
When I reflect on my childhood, these words spoken by my teachers still haunt me,” He has the ability but he is not living up to his potential.” The same comment can be applied to all parts of your life from your career choice to your exhibit program. In each case you need to know if you are living up to your potential. If not, then you are wasting an incredible amount of energy, resources, hopes and talents. Living up to your potential demands that you strive to be the best you can be at all times and that is often a tall order to fill.
Let’s look at your exhibit program. Are you getting stellar results for your effort or are your results suffering from a lackluster malaise due to complacency? Do you even know the results you are getting?