Saturday, October 11, 2008

Is Two Enough?

In my first sales training class many years ago, I learned the idea of the assumptive close. Assume that the customer is interested and will buy, it is only a matter of working out the details and giving him or her a choice. Don't use it too early in a discussion though. One effective word to use when influencing people is the word "enough". It is commonly used in retail shops to up sell. You are in a shop and have just decided to buy a pair of trousers. The clerk can ask; "Sure you would want matching socks with your new trousers. Would four pairs of socks be enough?" It works. Many people will say "yes". Try it yourself some time.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Plan Before You Do

When an emergency strikes, plans must be known in advance in order to secure a successful outcome. It is said that proper planning prevents particularly poor performance. It is obvious when it comes to fire and safety plans for example. But also true for everything you do. When you follow a plan you can also use it to determine corrective actions when you are deviating from it. If circumstances change significantly and the old plan doesn't serve your purpose, make a new plan! Plan before you do and you will prevent particularly poor performance.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Expect The Best Of Your People

Psychology professor Robert Rosenthal studied and documented the "teacher-expectancy effect" referring to situations in which students perform better simply because they are expected to do so. We call this the Rosenthal effect or the Pygmalion effect (after G.B. Shaw's play Pygmalion). It requires a student to internalise the expectations of their superiors. Students with poor expectations internalise their negative label, and those with positive labels succeed accordingly. As parents, teachers and managers this is an awesome responsibility. Expect the best from your people and give them a fine reputation to live up to.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Outside Your Circle Of Influence

I have found there are actually very few things worth worrying about in times of distress. Focus your entire attention on the things you can influence. Don't worry about things you can not do anything about. The classical serenity prayer, commonly used by AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) comes to mind: "Grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

When Giving Critique

When you provide feedback always start with something positive. Tell the other person what they did well. A self depreciating comment about your own shortcomings in a similar situation also work wonders. Now they are ready to listen to the critique. I like to think of this as a hamburger; first you give them a bun, then the meat and finally another bun on top. End with a positive encouraging note to instill confidence in the other persons ability. "Come on, I know you can do it!"

Monday, October 6, 2008

No Such Thing As Over Night Success

Success is usually the result of years of training and practice. As spectators we only see the finished result and marvel at the achievement. People will say, "I would do anything to be able to do what you are doing." Not so! If they really wanted it they too would have paid the price of countless hours in study, training, practice or rehearsal but they didn't. Formula for you is to decide what you want to be great at and go to work on your training program. There is no such thing as over night success!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Where Is The Wow Factor?

Examine your points of differentiation. How can you load your offers with things that make your customers go "wow!" What could it be? Don't use price as a wow factor. Figure out how you can add value instead of subtracting price. Use contrasting messages in your advertising. Show customers their hell (problems) before you show them your heaven (solution). Chances are they will go "wow"!
About the Author

Urban Gavelin a native Swede with more than twenty five years of business experience. He has held positions as director of sales- marketing- and business development on Nordic, European and World Wide levels. Urban has lived and worked in Stockholm, London and New York, now works primarily with leadership development and sales training and is a credentialed coach. He has studied Executive Management at Lausanne Business School and Stockholm School of Economics.

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