Stories from the Mentors: Common Business Dilemmas

Addressing ‘Sticky Note’ Difficulties

At the start of Polaris’ Mastering Your Business workshop ‘More Selling Skills = More Sales’, I asked every business owner to write down the number one difficulty in their business that was related to Sales.

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In this post I reinforce key takeaways and address other difficulties that we didn’t have time to cover in the workshop.

“Price Matching”

If it is absolutely imperative that you price match, and your industry has created that expectation, then it is something you must do. However, here are very few industries where this is a requirement. My first question to you is…… Is this reality or just your perception, that you must price match? If you must, then you need to look at all the things surrounding price and do those better. Added value, superior service (both pre & after sales) build rapport, your whole customers experience. Make sure you are giving your customers many more reasons to do business with you rather than your competitors.

“Training staff for sales”

Firstly, congratulations on recognising the need for up skilling your staff. Many small business owners resist taking their staff off the “shop floor”. Our customers are our biggest assets, and without them we simply do not exist. Yet we allow poorly trained, or under skilled staff to attend to them. Would you go to a doctor or dentist that had not been trained properly? Then why let your customers have an experience that is anything less than excellence? In the words of Benjamin Franklin; “The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance” So invest in your staff, and they in-turn will invest in your bottom line.

“Closing the Deal”

“IF A CUSTOMER IS RESPECTED AS A PERSON, GIVEN ALL THE INFORMATION ACCORDING TO THEIR PERSONALITY, AND THEIR NEEDS; HAS  ALL THE GOOD FEELINGS YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE WILL PROVIDE….THEN GETTING “AGREEMENT” IS OFTEN NOT REQUIRED.  IT WILL HAPPEN AUTOMATICALLY”  BRUCE BOWEN

As we talked about in the workshop, if we are doing all the customer service things well, those 4 items that rank above price, and if we are taking the customer on our pre determined  journey, then it is often just asking the question; Can we get that organised for you?

“What information to give when writing a blog or post”

This depends on what you want to achieve with the post. If you are just giving information then make it interesting and engaging. If you are directing the reader to an end sale, or interaction, then the sales process still applies. Give content that has value, then give added value & perhaps some more value! Remember to consider their WIIFM’s, and also make their time on your blog page an enjoyable one. The reader is still wanting those “Good Feelings” we talked about (often) as if they were standing in front of you or in a shop.

“Dealing with rejection— losing a quote”

Remember the deck of cards? How many do we need to turn? How many guaranteed sales are there? When someone says “NO” or gives you an “objection” — is it personal? Of course not. So how can it be rejection? They probably don’t even know you. You just have not given them enough information yet for them to say yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep turning the cards 🙂

“People with champagne taste & a beer pocket”

This is always going to happen. I would like that dream palace on a tropical island, but can only afford where I am now. So a property salesman from the Bahamas is not going to talk to me. In the first contact with a potential customer ask the open ended questions to “funnel” them and give you the information you want. Find out where they are at in the whole buying process. If they only have enough for a beer, then very politely and tactfully let them know that. Make sure you still build rapport and do all those good customer things, because they could be tonight’s lottery winner and be back on the phone tomorrow.

“Getting staff to do sales at every point of their job”

Great question. We don’t want to ‘get staff’, or people full stop for that matter to do anything. What we want is to empower them, so they have that desire for themselves. This again comes down to training and educating your staff. If they understand your work culture, feel a part of that culture, and more importantly feel they can contribute to the culture, then job done. Now your staff will actively do all the things you are wanting as they have “ownership” of their role. Do this for them, and watch them excel beyond your expectations.

“Lack of processes to track sales funnel”

Well done for realising this is so important. Many businesses spend a lot of money on marketing to get customers through the doors, and then do nothing with them. There are plenty of good, and free options available. Some give free trials, some give a basic version hoping as you grow you will upgrade to a subscription or purchased option. Simply Google CRM (customer relationship management) and go from there. I use “Insightly”. Be careful though not to fall in the trap of treating your customers as numbers— for those who at the workshop – remember ‘Bob’

“Cold Calling”

Ask yourself what does the term “cold” mean? Let’s go back to building rapport, and the prospects WIIFM’s, their behaviour style, their problems. If you do a little home work on the person, their company, industry, problems, etc., then it is no longer a “cold call”. Now you can treat them as a living breathing person with the same emotions and issues in life that you have. Do you remember those good feelings? Do you remember Bob? Now you have turned a cold call into a warm one —— and your results will reflect that.

Bruce Bowen has over 30 years of experience as a sales professional, teacher and trainer. He is the author of the book “It Is Time For Our Sales Culture To Grow Up” and author of the training system the “3 Tiered Sales Suite”

www.BruceBowen.com.au or   Follow Bruce on Twitter – @BruceBowenAU

Fitness Power Train

Fitness Power Train, based at Para Hills, is a community based gym that has already developed a true family atmosphere after just five years of operation. The gym provides personal training, massage, group training, supplements and clothing.

“I would give anyone the Polaris Centre’s number straight away and point them in the right direction” – Fitness Power Train owner Danny Mulyono

Owner Danny Mulyono admits he was “reasonably new” to the business world when he established Fitness Power Train. “It was my first time exploring my own business and I was still pretty young,” he said. “I had worked in factories prior and contacted the Polaris Centre because I was after some guidance.”

Danny has completed the Coaching for Success program and is currently involved with a Polaris Centre mentor. He said the group format for the coaching program was invaluable, helping him to learn from others’ experiences, mistakes and achievements.

“Since then (Coaching for Success) I have expanded and moved into a bigger premise,” Danny said. “Without even realising it my business was progressing, partly because of the stuff I did and learnt at Polaris. It is an amazing program.”

“The ongoing support and dedication from the mentors has also been great. They are all extremely passionate about business, but even more so about helping others to be successful. They continue to stay in contact simply of their own will.”