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  • 1. Chapter title here 151 Quick Ideas to Get New CustomersBy Jerry R. Wilson, CSP Franklin Lakes, NJ 1
  • 2. 151 Quick Ideas to ... fill in blank Copyright  2005 by Jerry R. WilsonAll rights reserved under the Pan-American and International CopyrightConventions. This book may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, inany form or by any means electronic or mechanical, includingphotocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrievalsystem now known or hereafter invented, without written permissionfrom the publisher, The Career Press. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers Edited by Astrid deRidder Typeset by Christopher Carolei Cover design by The Visual Group Printed in the U.S.A. by Book-mart PressTo order this title, please call toll-free 1-800-CAREER-1 (NJ and Canada:201-848-0310) to order using VISA or MasterCard, or for furtherinformation on books from Career Press. The Career Press, Inc., 3 Tice Road, PO Box 687, Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataWilson, Jerry R., 1944-2005 151 quick ideas to get new customers: attract an endless flow ofbusiness at no or little cost / by Jerry R. Wilson. p. cm. Includes index. ISBN 1-56414-830-0 (paper) 1. Relationship marketing. 2. Customer loyalty. I. Title: One hun-dred fifty-one quick ideas to get new customers. II. Title. HF5415.55.W54 2006 658.812--dc22 2005050849 2
  • 3. Chapter title here ContentsForeword 9How to Use This Book 11 1. One Thing Worse Than a Rude Employee 13 2. Bribe the Significant Other 14 3. Involve the Family 15 4. Prospect With a Task Force 16 5. Use Your People 18 6. Call Them Associates 19 7. If You Want Loyalty 20 8. Make Me Feel Important 21 9. Strategic Partnerships 22 10. Sell in Bunches 24 11. People-to-People Prospecting 25 12. Birds of a Feather 26 13. Get Them on Your Own Turf 28 14. Become a Joiner 29 15. Intentional Relationships 30 16. Are You New or Recycled? 31 17. Love That Loyalty 33 18. Develop a Clear Vision of Success 34 19. Heroic Tales 35 20. Do You See What I See? 36 21. Zero Defections 37 22. Turning Off Your Prospects 38 23. Pushy Prospectors 39 3
  • 4. 151 Quick Ideas to ... fill in blank24. Don’t Let the Fish Flop Away 4025. Your Way or My Way 4126. Help, Don’t Sell 4227. The Power of Compliments 4328. Become a Yes Person 4429. Sell Your People First 4630. Fix the Problem 4731. People Are Funny 4832. Inspiring a New Hire 4933. Respect Their Time 5034. Targeting Your Prospect’s Interest 5135. All Buyers Are Liars 5336. Brag, Brag, and Brag Some More 5437. Pay Attention to Their Individual Needs 5538. My Name’s Not Bud 5639. Beware of Agitators 5740. Label What Differentiates You 5841. Do Something Different 5942. Be Creative 6143. Go In Naked 6244. Believe It or Not 6345. Try Something Different 6446. Customize, Customize, Customize 6547. Little Things with Big Payoffs 6748. Being Different 6849. Do What Others Don’t 6950. Learn From Chameleons 7051. Beware of First Appearances 7152. Prospecting Requires Being a Super-Sleuth 7353. Inspired Employees Lead to Dedicated Customers 74 4
  • 5. Chapter title here54. The C-Y-A Factor 7555. The Best Prospect Ever 7656. Connect Like Velcro 7757. Whatever It Takes 7858. Love Those Freebies 7959. Do You Qualify? 8160. Before You Open Up 8261. Tell and Sell 8362. Make Sure Prospects Can Find You 8463. Leave Your Prospects a Trail to Follow 8564. Learn from the F.B.I. 8665. Keeping Top-of-Mind-Awareness 8766. The Proof of the Pudding 8867. What About Tomorrow? 9068. Your Elevator Speech 9169. Point Out the Problem 9270. Go After Lost Customers 9371. Free Still Works 9472. Out of Sight Means Out of Mind 9573. E-mail: Friend or Foe? 9674. Keep the Lights On 9775. One Magic Word 9876. Quality Speaks Volumes 9977. Keeping up With Technology 10178. Is Your Image Working for You? 10279. Don’t Take It For Granted 10380. Beware of a Prescription Without a Diagnosis 10481. Make It Easy to Buy 10582. Make Them Feel Safe 10683. Loose Lips Sink Prospects 10884. Building Trust 109 5
  • 6. 151 Quick Ideas to ... fill in blank 85. Falling Out of the Dumb Tree 110 86. Consider Name-Dropping 111 87. Freebies Are Hard to Turn Down 112 88. Creative Advertising Can Work 113 89. Claim Those Free Dollars 114 90. One Magic Question 115 91. Prospects Must Be a M-A-N 116 92. Yes, No, and Maybe 117 93. Bigger Is Better 118 94. Networking 120 95. One Size Fits All 121 96. All’s Fair in Love and War 122 97. Do You Know What They Know? 123 98. What Gets Repeated 124 99. Traditions Should Be Sacred 125100. The Puppy Dog Lick 126101. Don’t Give Them a Reason 128102. What Is It You Sell? 129103. Everything Matters 130104. When Do You Need It? 131105. Lost Sales Mean Opportunities 132106. Let Them Decide 133107. Forget Satisfied 134108. Perceptions of Value 135109. Prospecting with Hulk and Bulk 136110. It’s All About Value 137111. How Much Does It Cost? 138112. Stack Up the Benefits 139113. What You Can Do 140114. How Much Is Your Price? 141115. The $10 Stupidity 142116. Losing Their Luster 143 6
  • 7. Chapter title here117. Tell Them What You Can Do 144118. Are You Listening? 146119. The Early Bird Gets the New Customer 147120. The Problem with Communication 148121. No Is Not the Answer 149122. Selective Hearing 150123. If Only We Had Time 151124. Anticipate Obstacles 153125. Decide Not to Sell 154126. Selling to the Senses 155127. Never Assume it Took Place 156128. Attention to Detail 157129. Use Your Design 158130. Make Smiles Zero Tolerance 159131. It’s Okay to Know You Don’t Know 160132. Don’t Be a Bungling Bob 161133. Create Your Personal Gold Mine 162134. The Insanity Principle 163135. Beware of Fatal Ruts 164136. Ask for Help 165137. Criticize, Condemn, and Complain 166138. Harness the Internet 167139. Tell the Truth 168140. How Are You Really Doing? 169141. Meet Uncle F-E-S-S 170142. Don’t Be a Drop-in Visitor 171143. Don’t Love Them and Leave Them 172144. Organize Your Prospect Efforts 174145. The Agony of Defeat 175146. It Is Not What Happens To You 176147. So You Can’t Afford To 177148. Become an Information Junkie 178 7
  • 8. 151 Quick Ideas to ... fill in blank 149. Obsessed With Reputation 179 150. Invest In Yourself 180 151. The Value of Persistence 182Index 183About the Author 189 8
  • 9. Chapter title here Foreword My company is in the insurance business, and our motto isIn Business To Write Business.Years of experience have ledme to believe that “Nothing happens until someone sells some-thing.” This must read book by Jerry Wilson provides you withthe prospecting mindset, tools, and techniques you need to suc-cessfully prospect for new customers. Today’s prospects are more cynical and skeptical than everbefore. They have heard many stories that turned out to befalse and been made promises that never came to pass. Theyhave had to become tough minded and demanding, especiallywhen considering new products and services, or selecting newsuppliers. This book helps you see the buying process throughthe eyes of the customer, which helps you become a bettersalesperson. You will enjoy reading and applying these 151 Quick Ideasto better understand a prospect’s wants and needs, and how totailor your products and services to fit them. The secret ofbeing In Business To Write Business is to convey your valueand benefits, which will help you to win new customers. With these 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers, Jerryarms you with a systematic approach to avoid the stereotypicalsales pitches that turn prospects off. You can move away frommass product-oriented marketing, intrusive sales pitches, andcold calling and towards a more efficient method of gettingnew customers. You will also learn to maintain Top of Mind Awarenesswith your prospects and customers. You will discover that “Wewouldn’t worry about what people think of us if we knew how 9
  • 10. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customersseldom they do it.” This book can be a mandate for action foryou and your staff. I recommend you start by making sure your sales and man-agement teams are prepared with this valuable book. If youare In Business To Write Business, then this book is for you.And remember, nothing happens until someone sells something!Good Prospecting!Roger Looyenga, CEOAuto-Owners Insurance Company 10
  • 11. Chapter title here How to Use This Book Every quick idea in this book has been selected to directlyor indirectly help you gain and retain customers, create rela-tionships, and build a successful business. Don’t try to implement all 151 ideas at once, because somewon’t be a good fit right now. Read through all 151 quick ideasand select only those that can really make a difference at themoment. Don’t worry, you’ll go back and review the othersperiodically. Label your ideas… Implement now. Review again in 30 days. Pass the idea along to _________. Involve your staff in selecting and implementing these ideas,and don’t forget to give credit for their success! Invest in addi-tional copies of this book and distribute them among your staff.Get everyone involved in selecting and recommending variousquick ideas. Revisit this book every 90 days. As your business changes,you will find new quick ideas that might suit you better nowthat competition is heating up. Remember, all the ideas in this book have been proven inbusinesses across the United States and around the world. Theyhave worked for others and will work for you! 11
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  • 13. 1 One Thing Worse Than a Rude Employee Not every person is cut out to help you prospect for newcustomers. You’ve been told before and you’ll hear it again,hire for attitude and train for aptitude. The people in your busi-ness who meet and greet customers have to do it with a smile.Prospecting for customers requires people with a pleasing, posi-tive, and agreeable attitude. Anyone without that mindset needsto leave your business! When an Illinois farm implement dealership confronted thefact that their parts manager was a walking encyclopedia fortractors, combines, andimplement equipment, theyalso had to admit he was the Assignmentmost cantankerous guy east A good prospectorof the Rocky Mountains. evaluates the people whoHe constantly aggravated are helping him or her tofellow employees and drove achieve his or her goals. Ifaway customers. They had you have people who are notto debate between the value willing to work to bring inof his knowledge and his new customers, you need tocontinual conflicts with cus- evaluate whether theytomers. They finally should stay in your business.reached a decision and hadto invite him to pursue otheremployment. Immediatelyafter this problem employee left, many prospects returned tothe company and became customers. It seems that he had alien-ated a great number of people over the years, and they hadbegun to avoid this dealership. Once he was gone however,things changed, and business soon picked up. 13
  • 14. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers Epilogue The only thing worse than allowing a rogue employee to destroy your attempts to get new customers is paying him or her to do it! 2 Bribe the Significant Other There’s nothing better than selling a prospect, but it doesn’thurt to include their spouse or significant other in your saleseffort. In fact, that significant other may become the key moti-vator to get your prospect to become your customer. After all,it never hurts to have more influence with your prospect. When a major distributor was planning his sales conferenceat the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn., he decided to invite the significant others of his pros- pects. His company had Assignment worked hard to build a data- Start now gaining and base with all their prospect’s building a database of your names, and a special message prospects’ and customers’ was sent to their homes. The partners, family names, and offer was to come to the con- home addresses. In the ference for an all-expense- days and years to come, paid weekend experience with this list will be as valuable hors d’oeuvres, good food, a as any you will ever have. touch of business, and some classy entertainment. Throw in a really deluxe room, a bottle of wine, a gift card to pay for 14
  • 15. Quick Ideas 2 to 3incidentals, and some free time to enjoy Opryland, and the en-tire event became a huge success. It’s conceivable that someof the spouses and significant others may have been moresold on the company than the original prospects! Regard-less, the event paid off in a big way, and the major distribu-tor earned some major new customers. Epilogue You can never have too much influence with a prospect or customer, so use whatever means are available to convince them to join your business. You can often use spouses or partners to give that last extra effort to push your prospect over the edge and become your customer. 3 Involve the Family If you truly want to build long-term name recognition andconvince prospects that you are the best choice, then mailing totheir homes can have a huge payoff. Obviously, you need to becareful what you send and make sure it’s appropriate to telland sell your story, but your creativity is endless, so use car-toons, fun newsletters, or contests to involve the family. When a Virginia-based tire company wanted to betterinvolve both their employees and their prospects in under-standing what the company was doing to grow, be successful,and serve its customers, they began mailing a high-qualitynewsletter to the homes of all prospects and customers in 15
  • 16. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers their database. Contained in Assignment that newsletter was a code Think about what you number. Each month they can do to involve your pros- would randomly call two pects’ and customers’ fami- homes, and if the person who lies. It’s a great way, at little answered the phone had or no expense, to tell and sell read the newsletter and could your story and convert those recite the number, the com- hard-headed prospects into pany would immediately big buying customers. Let send over two crisp, clean their family help you con- $100 bills. That meant for vince them to join you. $400 each month, this com- pany convinced about 1,000 prospects and customers toknow about their newsletter, look forward to its arrival, and beinvolved in the information it provided. Epilogue You can’t have too much help when it comes to convincing prospects to be your customers. Don’t be shy about reaching out to families, because it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved. 4 Prospect With a Task Force Prospecting should be a team effort in your company. Theacronym of T-E-A-M stands for Together Everyone Accom-plishes More. There’s something about the energy, synergy,excitement, enthusiasm, and creativity of getting a group ofpeople working together to win customers that can’t be achieved 16
  • 17. Quick Ideas 3 to 4any other way. For this quick idea, our recommendation is thatyou form a team and call ityour prospecting task force. Each Tuesday morning Assignmentat 7 a.m., a group of peoplefrom different departments Form a prospecting task force today and follow thesegathers at a restaurant to dotheir prospect planning for the ideas and watch what hap-week. The coordinator, their pens. Make sure you pick anational sales manager, starts diverse group of people fromthe meeting by reviewing their your company for your taskTop 10 prospects from the force and don’t be afraid to move people in and out asprevious week and the re-sults from their action plan you discover how the teamthey put together the previ- works together.ous Tuesday. Following that,they create a new Top 10 agenda. After that list of 10 is inplace, they brainstorm a few action items for the week to come,and assignments are made to various task force members tofollow-through. Their real secret is the energy and synergy thatflows out of the group. An excellent example of this comes fromRay Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s, who said “No one of us isas smart as all of us.” Epilogue Don’t wait for something to happen. If you get your task force together today, you can make it happen! 17
  • 18. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers 5 Use Your People Why do you need to get new customers? Is it becauseyour business is poorly run and you keep losing the ones youhave? Are you ready to fill the capacity of your plant, establisha new location, get more volume for economies of scale, orreplace the natural attrition that all businesses experience? Hopefully it’s because you want your business to grow. Assignment If growth is your objec- Examine your sales and tive, you might appreciate a workforce. Evaluate their reminder of the huge oppor- skills and explore educa- tunity that educating pros- tional or training opportuni- pects and customers can ties to increase their skills. produce for you. One of my Also examine current tech- favorite quotes is, “Your busi- nologies that can be har- ness must grow for people to nessed to help you sell and grow, and people must grow create relationships with for your business to grow.” customers. Think about how the explo- sion of technology can help you make education a corner-stone of your prospecting efforts. Think about another quote fromWilliam Arthur Ward: “The mediocre teacher tells, the goodteacher explains, the superior teacher demonstrates, and the greatteacher inspires.” Remember those words when developing yourown educational program. Smart associates make smart deci-sions, which can help you develop a better business. 18
  • 19. Quick Ideas 5 to 6 Epilogue Examine the finances of any major university, and you will find that their alumni are the driving force behind their success. They have harnessed the power of their former students and their educations. Never overlook the power of education for your employees if you want to enhance your business. 6 Call Them Associates One of the awkward things many business owners mustdecide is what to call their coworkers. Should they be labeledemployees, staff, crew, the workforce, or some other descrip-tive term? My choice, after careful research, is to call themassociates. If you practice servant-leadership, then you be-lieve that your goal is to create relationships with potential cus-tomers. You and yourworkers are associating to-gether to serve and to help, Assignmentwhich makes for a beneficial This idea could backfirerelationship. if your employees don’t see Sam Walton’s wife con- themselves as associates.vinced him to use associates You need to address and treatwhen the Wal-Mart empire them like associates, withwas in its early days and they respect and dignity. If you dowere starting to be success- this, they’ll soon see them-ful, both in growth and mar- selves as, and start actingket share. She believed that like, true sharing the bounty, their 19
  • 20. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customerspeople would perform and embrace the complete Wal-Martidea. Did it work? If you’ve ever been in a Wal-Mart storeearly in the morning when they have their store meeting and dothe Wal-Mart cheer, you know that their associates truly be-lieve in the values and benefits that their company promotes.Many of those associates have since become stock holders,and gone on to become quite wealthy. Epilogue Tell me, and I’ll forget; show me, and I may remember; but involve me, and I will understand. That is a perfect ex- ample of a relationship between associates. 7 If You Want Loyalty When Cindy’s boss saw a pile of new correspondence onhis desk, he knew Cindy had been hard at work. On top of thepile was a note that said “If you want loyalty, get a dog. I work for money.” In addition to smiling, it got her boss won- Assignment dering if she was sending him Your people are looking a message. When he asked for more than just a pat on Cindy about it, she laughed the back and a thank you. and said “No, I wasn’t ask- Thank them in a tangible way ing for a raise, although I do for the help they’ve given work for money. I simply you, and they’ll be quick to thought you would see it as help you again tomorrow. fun, and might enjoy it.” While he enjoyed it, it also 20
  • 21. Quick Ideas 6 to 8made an impression on him. He realized that sometimes it’simportant to do more than just say thank you. Employees al-ways appreciate tangible rewards, and loyalty can be rewardedin many different ways. If you work with one, two, 10, or 100 other people who canhelp you get new customers, then there are times when it’simportant to show them your appreciation in a tangible way. Itmight be as simple as bringing in some doughnuts for everyone,or as important as holding an annual dinner to show your co-workers and associates how much you appreciate their help.In any event, think about giving tangible rewards. You mighteven consider sharing some of that reward money! Epilogue What gets rewarded, gets repeated. 8 Make Me Feel Important Think back to the last time you had that really warm glowinside when somebody made you feel special because theysaw a sign hanging around your neck that said M-M-F-I, orMake Me Feel Important.One of the basic principles Assignmentof winning customers awayfrom your competition is to Brainstorm what youmake them feel wanted, can do to make people feelneeded, and appreciated. important. Develop a systemEvery time you see a pros- to do it every day, and withpect or customer, mentally every customer. 21
  • 22. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customershang that sign around their neck and do something to makethem feel important. Gayle is a regional vice president for a major insurancecompany. She has grasped the M-M-F-I principle and turnedit into one of her tools to gain and retain customers. Whenshe’s attempting to get a prospect to represent her insur-ance company in a particular area, or when she wants to get anexisting customer to do something special to benefit her othercustomers, one of her techniques is to put them on a pedestalby reminding them that they are the best of the best. When sheasks them to do something, she makes it clear that she selectsthe most outstanding people. Rarely does anyone say no, andthose who do work with her often develop into loyal custom-ers. Gayle has been able to convert many skeptical prospectsinto delighted customers by understanding their needs and mak-ing them feel important. Epilogue Make yourself a note, sign, or poster. Put it on your mirror at home, on your dashboard in the car, or near your phone in the office. Write out M-M-F-I, and remember it every time you contact a customer! 9 Strategic Partnerships Most companies talk about wanting a relationship with theirprospects as they turn them into customers. Unfortunately, manycompanies often exploit that relationship, taking as much asthey can get, even making sales that the customer doesn’t need. 22
  • 23. Quick Ideas 8 to 9Try to be different and see your prospect as a true partner. Youshould work together to be more profitable and productive. Mike, a silver-hairedand highly successful busi- Assignmentness owner, left prospect-ing to his sales force. They List your customers andhad the job to wine and dine prospects. Then identify whyprospects until they be- you have a good relationshiplieved a personal visit from with them, or why you don’t.the owner and boss might Work to strengthen this rela-convince the prospect to tionship until you’ve createdcome aboard as a cus- a true marriage of equals.tomer. Then, when Mikewould arrive at the prospect’s place of business, he would placea non-descript brown box on the table in the conference roomwhere the meeting would take place. Prospects would alwaysask what was in the box. He would then remove the lid andshow them he had brought a cake, forks, knives, and plates,and that his intention was that they form a partnership that dayand celebrate it by cutting the cake, kind of like a quasi-mar-riage. It was a huge success, and in almost every case thecake, and Mike’s presence, would push those prospects overthe edge. Mike created and maintained a true partnership withall of his customers. Epilogue Prospects don’t care about you until they know how much you care about them. Make sure your relationships are positive for everyone. It is important for your prospects to understand that you are not trying to take advantage of them or your relationship. 23
  • 24. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers 10 Sell in Bunches Let’s face it, prospecting is hard work, time consuming,and expensive. But it’s a necessary evil. Regardless of yourfeelings about cold calling, prospecting, and constantly lookingfor new customers, it is a necessary function. You don’t haveto like it, but you have to do it. This fall, a local ministry director will invite about 90 churchpastors to join him for a free lunch. It will be a no pressure, noselling, no embarrassment agenda on how his ministry can helpthem grow their church. It will be promoted by a series of threemailings, an e-mail, and a telephone campaign. How many people can pass-up a free lunch? After the luncheon, this Assignment savvy director will encour- Always follow the ac- age the entire audience to ronym S-A-F-E to make self-select by offering a sure people know that it’s questionnaire about how they okay to come to your might use his services. For event. S-A-F-E- stands for those who indicate one or Secure, Accepted, Free of more of the optional services Fear, and Enthusiastic. he can provide, he will im- Feeling safe is an incred- mediately call on them and ibly important part of any work to build a relationship. relationship. For those who don’t opt for his services, he will at leasthave met them in person. Now he can start working to build apersonal relationship that can eventually turn that prospect intoa mission supporter. 24
  • 25. Quick Ideas 10 to 11 Epilogue The best way to reduce your cost of prospecting and get results is to host a breakfast or lunch during business hours. Pair up a sizzling agenda and a free meal, and you’ll be sur- prised at how quickly your prospects become loyal customers. 11 People-to-People Prospecting One quick idea to encourage prospects is to assign an in-side person as their direct contact. This can allow you to trainthose insiders to know a lot about the prospect and be ready ifthat prospect calls. It gives the prospect a name and a face toconnect with, and can betremendously encouragingto get them to make that Assignmentfirst call to your company. One large car dealer- There are many sourcesship, upon learning about for photo business cards, and with today’s digital technologythis idea, made a dramaticchange in how they ap- you can send photos to themproached their prospects and have cards back fasterand customers. They be- than ever. By using digital pho-gan using business cards tography and vendors, afford-with each person’s picture able and classy cards can beprinted on them. They re- produced, changed, and keptalized they were trying to fresh at little or no cost.sell people, not cars. On 25
  • 26. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customersthe back of each card was a small story about that person, theirhistory with the company, and their commitment to customers.They also printed an 8 1/2" × 11" page with pictures of all theirinside customer service people with their names and titles andextension numbers. Now, when you want to call that dealershipgroup, you know more about the person with whom you’re deal-ing. It has been very successful for them, and it will be the samefor you. Epilogue One secret tip is to periodically have customer service representatives and prospects meet face-to-face. It helps to foster personal relationships, which will make it easier to do business together. 12 Birds of a Feather One of the most valuable, stimulating, creative, and excit-ing things you can do is network with other businesses whooperate like you, but aren’t your direct competitors. Even bet-ter is the opportunity to visit other facilities similar to yours andsee what different people have used as a business model. It isan opportunity for both parties to learn from their mutual strengthsand weaknesses and to benefit from their successes and theirfailures. A medical clinic in the Northeast has an unbelievable trackrecord of attracting patients. They have successfully used theirsystem and infrastructure for almost twenty years, but theyrealize that new ideas similar to theirs could have a huge pay-off. Through a medical association, they were able to identify a 26
  • 27. Quick Ideas 11 to 12dozen other clinics across theUnited States that are very Assignmentsimilar to theirs, but in non- Consider putting yourcompetitive locations. A own small group together.broadcast letter was sent out Get to work identifying otherto all those on the list and companies like yours andthey quickly formed a small build relationships that cangroup that meets twice a pay off for everyone in-year. They spend two days volved. There are many re-together reviewing their fa- sources that can help youcilities, talking about their op- identify these companies.erations, and generally The secret is to understandbrainstorming about what is that help is out there!working and not working foreach of them. It’s amazingthat a group of business people can come together, share theirvery best ideas, and everyone goes home with new excitementfor their business. It’s probably one of the biggest payoffs thatyou can get if you are working on a serious and ongoing pros-pecting effort. Epilogue Yogi Bear, my favorite cartoon character, always said that you can see a lot when you look. Think about how much you can accomplish if you start building relationships with people who have ideas like yours. 27
  • 28. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers 13 Get Them on Your Own Turf In developing new customers, it’s important to understandhow power influences your efforts to convince that customerto do business with you. Any time you’re in a customer’s placeof business or on their turf, you’re at a major disadvantage.They have the power and the control to guide and direct whathappens. A better idea is to get them on neutral turf, where youcan interact as equals. The ideal situation is to get them on yourturf, where you can direct the action and capture their com- plete attention. Dave is a master at forg- Assignment ing what he terms inten- Remind your sales team tional relationships with about intentional relationships. new customers. One of his Discuss techniques to get pro- strategies is to do everything spective customers away he can to get a prospect on from their office and onto neutral territory. When Dave neutral turf. Then try and ex- has a special offer or a tan- plore ideas to bring prospects talizing deal for a prospect, to your turf, where you are in he invites them to join him for the power position. breakfast, coffee, lunch, or an afternoon break so he can have their total attention.When he can, he tries to get them to visit him at his office. Thisputs Dave in the power position. What are you doing to getyour prospects on neutral territory so you can have an equalchance to get them as a new customer? 28
  • 29. Quick Ideas 13 to 14 Epilogue When you’re ready to make that great presentation, in- vite the prospect to meet you for a meal or coffee to get them out of their familiar environment, and into your sphere of influence. 14 Become a Joiner Every trade, profession, and occupation has associationsthat you can join. These trade and professional groups can be atremendous resource to keep up with changes, network withthe most successful people in your trade or profession, and seehow other people operate. There are two key secrets to beingpart of an association: (1) Look at the dues as an investmentinstead of a cost, and (2) Remember that you have to get in-volved to get value. Mae struggled with howto pay employees when some Assignmentcame to work and some didn’t Look around to see whatduring a horrendous snow- local, regional, or national as-storm. She struggled with it sociations you can benefituntil it was time to go to an from. You should handpickassociation meeting. Upon ar- a few that you want to getriving, she found that every- involved with, and contactone in her position had them about becoming an ac-anguished over the same tive member. Remember toproblem. She realized she R-A-V-E!was not alone, and when she 29
  • 30. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customersleft the association meeting that day, she had answers, as wellas a list of people she could call when she faced such indeci-sion in the future. To get value out of being a joiner, I use theacronym R-A-V-E. That stands for Read all the materials, At-tend the events, Volunteer on projects, and Enjoy the socialoutlet. There’s nothing better to help you learn more than ac-tive membership in a good association. Epilogue Success is equal parts who you know and who knows you. A good association can help you with both halves of that equation. 15 Intentional Relationships If you have a spouse, a best friend, or significant other inyour life, it is likely that you met by coincidence. But after thatfirst meeting, you made time to build on that relationship. Itbecame an intentional relationship because you created the timeand space to get to know each other. The main thing to graspfrom this quick idea is the word intentional, because it meansyou made an effort and invested in that relationship. Hopefullyall your intentional relationships will be quality investments thatpay off. One of the reasons we talk about giving exceptional ser-vice throughout this book is because it is the means to create apositive relationship. If you concentrate on building intentionalrelationships, you will be creating business, which translates toincreased profits for you. But before you can do that, you have 30
  • 31. Quick Ideas 15 to 16to do the things you promise,and demonstrate outstanding Assignmentservice. Then you can turn Make intentional partthat prospect into a customer, of your vocabulary to de-all because you developed an scribe the relationships youintentional relationship. want to have now and in the future. Epilogue Have you ever wondered how often chance or coinci- dence was actually guiding you? Chance can open many doors, but you can only walk through them with the right intentions. Intentional relationships take time and effort, but they are definitely worth it! 16 Are You New or Recycled? New customers want to be fussed over. They want to feelspecial. They want to be recognized, accepted, and appreci-ated for bringing their business to you. But new customers arenot more important than old customers, and it’s important toremember to appreciate them both. What you need is a systemto recognize both those recycled customers who have returned,as well as identifying and rewarding new people who havecome aboard for the first time. The key is to put a system inplace to make that happen every day with every customer. 31
  • 32. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers A group of California bowling alleys developed a system toserve both customers who were returning, and prospects whowere coming in for the first time. They found a very simpleway to separate the two groups to reward both of them prop-erly. They asked a simple question: “Have you bowled with usbefore?” If you said yes, a manager would stop by while you were bowling, and thank you for coming in again. He Assignment would also give you a few Design a key question to coupons good for your next ask customers to sort out the visit. If you said you were new from the returning, and there for the first time, you set up a database to track were handed a simple bro- them. Then devise a simple chure that identified a few yet effective method to con- key things you would want sistently reward both your to know about what made old and new customers. their bowling lanes different. The manager would also make sure to stop by whileyou were there, and he would thank you for coming in. Hewould even give you a coupon to get free beverages while youwere there, as well as a coupon to come back a second time.So they were recognizing and rewarding their customers, whichis the ideal situation for you. What are you doing to identifyyour new customers, while still rewarding the old? Epilogue Everyone wants to feel special, so make sure your customers know how much they mean to you. Customers will go where they feel invited, and return where they feel appreciated. 32
  • 33. Quick Ideas 16 to 17 17 Love That Loyalty Part of searching for new customers is occasionally en-countering those who hold you at arm’s length because of theirloyalty to a current supplier. Inevitably they will tell you storiesabout how their current vendors have gone the extra mile forthem. Our instinct, when attempting to get business, is to bedefensive and try to overcome that statement of loyalty. That’sexactly the wrong thing to do and will do nothing more thanalienate that prospect, which means that it’s unlikely you willever get their business. There is a better way to approach thesituation. The first thing to do when Assignmentsomeone describes his or herloyalty is to compliment them. Value that loyalty, and tellIf you really think about it, it them so. Then keep right onis a good character trait. pitching. At some point, theirWouldn’t you like all of your needs will change or theircustomers to be so loyal that current supplier will failthey throw all your competi- them. You want to be theretion out the door? Second, ex- for them when that happens.plain to them that loyalty is arare commodity, and is all too often missing in business today.That’s the commonly held perception, even though there are moreloyal people out there than we recognize. Epilogue Remember, loyalty comes from customer delight. If you do it, they’ll want it. Make sure you are ready to catch them when they fall, and you’ll have a new loyal customer. 33
  • 34. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers 18 Develop a Clear Vision of Success Several psychologists, motivational experts, and variousauthors have posited that you can become the vision thatyou have of yourself in your mind. This is often called visu- alizing, and is a tool that can help you achieve great Assignment success. Adopt the visioning prin- James Allen, the highly ciple. Create a vision for your respected author of the book company and write it down. As a Man Thinketh, says Create posters, brief every- that our mission is to develop one in the company, put it on a picture in our mind that will your answering machine or lead us to success. For ex- voice mail, and tag it to your ample, picture a prospect as letterhead. Surround yourself your customer. Picture them in your vision of success. in your mind joining you for strategy sessions and filling out big orders. Picture themgoing to lunch with you wearing your logo jacket. Picture themon the golf course playing the back nine with you. See them onyour next fishing trip. This vision of success is particularly use-ful when talking to prospects. As you develop that picture inyour mind, you will subconsciously work harder to realize yourgoals. Epilogue If you think you can, you can! Conversely, if you think you can’t, you’re absolutely correct! 34
  • 35. Quick Ideas 18 to 19 19 Heroic Tales Everyone loves stories of heroes. Heroic stories about howyou and your crew have gone above and beyond the call ofduty in serving your customers can be an awesome sales toolto convince prospects to become your customers. Collect andpractice telling your own hero stories because they carry moreweight than all the advertising and promotion you could buy. When Marie arrived to pick up a moving trailer, she wasshocked to learn the shop that was supposed to hitch the trailerto her SUV was closing for the day. Marie had rushed thereafter work and thought they were open for another hour. Butthere had been a mistake in the shops hours. The owner andone worker were still on hand when she pleaded her case thatshe was supposed to drive her son (and all his stuff) to collegeregistration the next morn-ing. Without the trailer, shecould not move all his fur- Assignmentniture and personal items he Don’t overlook thewould need for the next power to use those heroicyear. As the business owner stories for your benefit.heard Marie’s story, he told They should be happening inher to pull her SUV in and your company, so be sure tohe and his associate would look for them!stay and get the trailerwired and ready for her togo. He explained he was sorry for the misunderstanding overthe hours and his real concern was helping Marie resolve herdilemma. The business owner liked to tell Marie’s story to hisother customers, both because it made his business look good,and it reminded his staff that heroic deeds could and should bedone every day. 35
  • 36. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers When the owner isn’t around, do you think this story willremind his employees that they may want to do their own hero-ics to save and serve customers? This story could pay off forthe owner for years to come! Epilogue The power of storytelling is both underused and more powerful than most prospectors will give it credit for. You should become good at telling the tales of your own heroics. 20 Do You See What I See? When I think about my favorite cartoon character, YogiBear, I always think of his favorite saying: “You can see a lotwhen you look.” It’s time to stop and look around your com-pany to see how you’re doing. Ray Kroc and Walt Disney bothbelieved that you should never see a facility, building, vehicle,or anything their company owns that appeared to need clean-ing, fixing, or painting. They believed if you do those thingsroutinely, your customers will always see a bright and shinycompany that’s up to speed. When Sparkle Pools de- cided to do an extreme Assignment makeover, they found their Make it a habit every 30 consultant sitting on a stump days to take a walk around across the street from their your company and look at it business. When Tom, Sparkle through the eyes of your Pool’s owner, went over to in- customer. quire what he was doing, he said he was looking at the 36
  • 37. Quick Ideas 19 to 21company as customers see it when they drive in. The exterior ofthe building needed a coat of paint and one of their signs hadfaded and was hardly visible. Weeds had grown and the parkinglot needed a fresh seal coating. Overall, the business had beenallowed to deteriorate and needed to be cleaned, swept, scrubbed,and painted. Think about the message that something like a badlypainted wall, or a handrailing that wobbles, sends to your pros-pects and customers. Epilogue Adopt the philosophy of Ray Kroc and Walt Disney that people will never see your business when it needs to be cleaned, painted, scrubbed, or fixed. Remember the power of first impressions! 21 Zero Defections The best new customers are ones you already have. Whilesome customer attrition is inevitable because customers moveaway, sell out, go bankrupt, or have other situations that youcan’t control, you should never accept a lost customer. Acceptwhat you can’t change, but never accept losses that are withinyour control. George, a seasoned and highly successful national salesmanager, claims much of his track record is due to his hating tolose. When it comes to customers, his goal is to have zerodefections. He’ll never lose a customer he values and wants tokeep. When that rare event does happen, George launches hisOperation Rescue and makes an all-out effort to regain their 37
  • 38. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers business. George believes Assignment that to regain lost customers, Be a private investiga- he’s got to become a private tor and learn from your lost investigator, because he customers. Don’t just accept wants to learn why a cus- the loss! Work like crazy to tomer might leave him in the get them back. Remember, first place. Those reasons you once had a relationship become valuable lessons to with them, so go back and improve all his customer re- review what was success- lationships, even if he loses ful in the past. the customer from whom he learned the lesson. Epilogue Accepting customer attrition without trying to stem the tide can start a downward spiral. Learn to fight back, and renew those relationships! 22 Turning Off Your Prospects Like it or not, you’re really in the people business. You justhappen to offer the products and services that you do. If youcan organize, inspire, and energize a group of effective em-ployees, the world is your oyster. It is your guaranteed key tosuccess, regardless of the products and services you offer. One thing that has leaked out of our Customerology re-search is that prospects and customers hate to see changingfaces. They develop friendships, relationships, and get to know 38
  • 39. Quick Ideas 21 to 23people on whom they candepend. Personnel turn- Assignmentover, or churn, is very de- Before dismissing anmoralizing for them. employee, ask yourself whatProspects and customers impact it’s likely to have onaccept the fact that your customers. Considerpeople get moved, pro- transferring that person tomoted, or transferred, but another location and then,they hate to hear that when the time is right, exit-they quit or were fired. ing them out the door. That way your customers can accept the fact that they moved on normally. Epilogue Remember what turns prospects off. An ever-changing personnel roster can be the kiss of death. 23 Pushy Prospectors A high-impact sales training seminar started by having eachattendee place a hand up against the hand of a partner sittingnext to them. Then the instructor gave them a command topush. What happened when each person pushed against thehand of the person sitting next to them? Their opponent pushedback. No one likes to be pushed. They love someone who willhelp them buy, but they’ll really dislike someone who pushes 39
  • 40. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers them to buy, which they Assignment equate with pressure. You need to become a One prospector com- super-sleuth. Ask, ask, and pletely changed the way he ask some more, and you will approached getting new cus- find those hot buttons that tomers when he saw a quote trigger a customer’s buying that said “The secret is to cycle. get other people to do what you want done, because they want to do it.” Start todaywith the mentality of finding a need and filling it, finding a prob-lem and solving it, or finding an opportunity and taking advan-tage of it. This will help both you and your customer to go fromgood to great! Epilogue Always remember that people hate someone who tries to sell them something, but will love you if you help them buy. 24 Don’t Let the Fish Flop Away When a prospect finally requests something from you, suchas a sales catalogue or price quote, you want to put them onyour stringer before they can get back in the water. Don’t wastetime, during which buyer’s remorse can set in and the prospectchanges his or her mind, or a competitor beats you to the op-portunity. Nothing is worse than finally catching a fish, gettinghim up on the bank, and then watching him slide back down 40
  • 41. Quick Ideas 23 to 25into the water. You need to move quickly when a customersays yes. When a salesman finallygot a prospect to request in- Assignmentformation on a large wall Make certain thatcabinet full of electrical ter- when a potential customerminals, he was excited. He says yes, you put that cus-promised the prospect that he tomer at the top of your listwould be back the next week and service him or her untilwith the information, pricing, you get the sale. Focus yourand availability. When he attention on that prospectwalked in the next week, he until you make the deal.nearly had a heart attack asthere sat a big display of elec-trical terminals this prospect had purchased from another salesrep who beat him to the punch. He learned an important lesson:when a customer says yes, it’s time to seal the deal and put himon the stringer. It’s time to move fast. Epilogue When opportunity knocks, some people complain about the noise, while others spring into action. Which kind of per- son are you? 25 Your Way or My Way At one time, K-Mart was the dominant retailer in America.Before they lost their way (and ended up bankrupt and pur-chased at a sales price by Sears) they had passed Target, JCPenney, and many other retailers at being the biggest and best. 41
  • 42. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers What was their secret to get Assignment new customers? They built a system that was customer- Think about how you are friendly. adapting to serve your cus- Herb Wardlow was the tomers, not how you are architect who for more than forcing customers to adopt 10 years guided K-Mart as your system. its president. He describes his secret to getting new busi-ness as being incredibly simple. Here is the formula: “Find outwhat your customers want and give it to them...and then some.”It’s building a system to accommodate your customers’ wantsand needs, and then doing the many little extra things that will geteven more customers to come to you. If you do things their way,you are guaranteed to have delighted customers. Epilogue Find out what your customers want and arrange your store and services to suit their needs. 26 Help, Don’t Sell What is the mentality of a salesperson? To get that answer,think about telemarketers who’ve called you, particularly dur-ing the evening. What did you do? Engage them in conversa-tion, or hang up? Most people hate telemarketers because ofthe intrusion factor. Selling has a bad image. Therefore, youmust learn to be a helper, not a seller. Find out what customers’problems are and solve them, and they will see you as someone 42
  • 43. Quick Ideas 25 to 27who is truly committed tohelping them, rather than Assignmentsomeone who is desperate Make a card that saysto make a sale. Help Before You Sell. Post To say that purchasing it prominently around youragents are frustrated would office or desk as a the understatement of alifetime. Everyone whocomes through their door has one thing in mind: to get theirbusiness. If you want to be different, find out what their prob-lems are. Find out what frustrates them. Find out what theircompetitors are not doing. Be seen as a helper, not a seller, andprovide solutions. Watch what happens, and you’ll be amazedat all your new business! Epilogue Help comes before sell in what you’re doing, as well as in the dictionary! 27 The Power of Compliments When was the last time someone gave you a sincere andmeaningful compliment, something you knew was from his orher heart and that made you glow inside? If your answer is likethe hundreds of people I’ve asked that question of, all too manyof them have turned to me and said “The last compliment?What year is this?” Have you ever met someone who com-plained about getting too many compliments, or being fussedover too much? 43
  • 44. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers It was hard for people to figure out why they liked playinggolf with Harry. While he was an average golfer, there wassomething he did that drew people to him, wanting to play golf.Finally, one of his colleagues figured it out. When you hit agood golf shot, he would brag about you. He’d say “Boy, you’rereally going to like that shot. What a great shot.” When yousliced one, took a Mulligan, or heard the ball go plop in the water, he’d say “You know what? That’s what I seem Assignment to do all the time.” He could Write down 10 customer minimize your mistakes, and names, and then write down maximize your successes. In one thing you could do to a world that is waiting to compliment them. Put a criticize you, a compliment smiley-face everywhere has incredible power. You you look as a reminder that should always find a way to giving compliments makes give every prospect one people glow inside. compliment every time you talk with them. Epilogue Beware when giving compliments to make sure they are sincere. People instantly know the difference between saccha- rine and sugar. 28 Become a Yes Person Customers are in a hurry. Have you ever noticed how thepost office capitalizes on that? For an additional charge, theywill speed things up. If you want to send a large envelope in 44
  • 45. Quick Ideas 27 to 28three to five days, you’re probably going to spend about 50cents. If you need it there in two days, it will go priority mail andit will cost you around four dollars. If you just can’t wait, they’llsend it overnight, and you can expect to pay about fifteen dollars.What’s the difference? It’s the sense of urgency. Can you do thesame thing? Do you have opportunities where you could gettheir work done faster for a small additional charge? Could youstop your normal processes and do it on a special needs basis?More and more businesses are earning and justifying a prioritycharge for extra service. For example, your dry cleaner, printer,delivery service, clothing alterations shop, and caterer all havetwo price schedules, a regular and an express. One Memphis electricalmotor manufacturer solvedan urgency problem that was Assignmentconstantly interrupting his Where could you take ad-production line work by add- vantage of offering somethinging a same-day charge of 25 better, quicker, and faster forpercent extra. He quickly an additional charge? In onefound that customers didn’t manager’s office there’s a signmind paying the additional that says, “Good, fast, andcharge if they really needed cheap. Pick any two.”their item quickly, but droppedtheir demands if it wasn’t re-ally necessary. His competitors refused to offer that kind of ser-vice. By developing two service schedules, he soon resolved hisproduction line problem. In addition, it earned him a lot of newcustomers who not only came to him for their emergency work,but began going to him for their regular needs as well. Epilogue Customers want options, and even at a slightly higher cost, they will probably welcome the opportunity to get the service and delivery they really want. 45
  • 46. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers 29 Sell Your People First It is amazing how dangerous many business owners andmanagers are when they hire someone, give them little or noorientation or training, and then simply throw them out on the job.If your people aren’t sold on you, your company, and your prod-ucts or services, how are they going to translate that to yourprospects? Training your people must be your first priority if youtruly want to convince prospects to come aboard. Chicago-based Quill Assignment Corporation has a rule that new employees can’t touch Make it a rule that ev- a telephone until they have ery new person joining your been through several phases organization should go of Quill Corporation training. through a procedure to get They learn about the history them indoctrinated in the of the company. They learn values and beliefs of your about their culture, their company. Make yourself a rules, their policies, their pro- checklist of the things they cedures, and their traditions. need to know and believe They must be able to dem- before you let them interact onstrate that they are con- with prospects or custom- vinced Quill is a great ers. Create a training session operation before they ever that trains them with your go near a phone. The man- philosophies and traditions. agement at Quill quickly says that they are not aboutto let an unarmed employee pick up a phone and talk to a pros-pect or customer when they themselves don’t know about orbelieve in their company. 46
  • 47. Quick Ideas 29 to 30 Epilogue Prospects don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. If you really care, you’ll transfer that to your associates and train your employees to believe in delight- ful customer service. 30 Fix the Problem If you’ve ever called on a potential customer and un-knowingly walked into a hornet’s nest, you know how criticalit is to defuse the difficult situations. A small dose of trainingcan cure a large case of unhappiness. It can also help youavoid an argument that you will rarely, if ever, win. Fortunately, when Briangot blindsided by a mad en- Assignmentgineer, he knew how to har-monize with the complainer. Learn how to defuse anAfter Brian assessed the angry customer. The keyproblem that had upset the phrase is: What can we doengineer, he asked an impor- to fix the problem? Remem-tant question: “What can we ber that if your customer isdo to fix this problem and not satisfied with the solution,make you happy?” By avoid- you could easily lose that cus-ing a confrontation with the tomer. It’s not a pride issue,customer in which both par- so be sure to keep your egoties become defensive, he out of your responses.was able to get to the root of 47
  • 48. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customersthe problem and resolve it, and turn an unhappy complainer intoa happy customer. Epilogue You may win the argument, but you could lose the cus- tomer. Do you want to be right, or have the business? 31 People Are Funny Art Linkletter hosted a hit TV show called People AreFunny. Prospective customers are also funny, as well as preju-diced, predictable, and picky. Especially when it comes to theappearance of the people with whom they do business. Yourappearance can turn them on, turn them off, or even perma-nently shut down your chances. Before you grow a beard, Assignment get a tattoo, or let your hair grow out, take inventory of Learn how your custom- how your prospects might feel ers want you to look and and react to your appearance. dress. Develop a standard that Why start campaigning for fits with their vision, and re- new business by turning your main consistent. prospects off before you ever get a chance to establish a re- lationship with them? Is this ablinding flash of the obvious to you? Never underestimate the powerof appearance. You should do your research, and conform to theexpectations of your customers in terms of your appearance. 48
  • 49. Quick Ideas 30 to 32 Epilogue People want to do business with people who are like them. But they avoid doing business with people who are not! 32 Inspiring a New Hire When making a job offer, every applicant wants to knowabout salary. Good employers understand that in addition toanswering that question, it is inspiring to brief new hires aboutwhen they can expect future pay reviews. For example, a newdelivery driver might be told he or she would have a pay reviewin 90 days, and again at 6 months. When Chris hired new folks to help him win new customers,he knew their attitude, work ethic, and dependability were mustsin his organization. When anew worker got off to a run-ning start and Chris got out- Assignmentstanding feedback about her Make certain you setwork, he used a powerful specific pay review intervalsstrategy to inspire, and to en- for your sales force so theysure the new hire would stay know what to expect. Accel-with him. At 30 days Chris erate the raise scale for yourcalled her to say that all her most successful were braggingabout her performance.Then he reinforced the key behaviors he needed from her. “Judy,you have exceeded our expectations for a new person on theteam. Therefore, I am going to exceed your expectations by 49
  • 50. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customersgiving you your 50 cent per hour raise today instead of in 90days. Then we will be reviewing your pay again in six months.”Chris understood that while praise is nice, it doesn’t buy gro-ceries! Do you think Judy, the new hire, will do back flips forChris in the future? You can be sure of it. Epilogue An old proverb says “When you drink the water, don’t forget to take care of the people who helped you dig the well.” By recognizing your successful associates, you will inspire them to work even harder in the future. 33 Respect Their Time We live in an age where people feel incredible pressure toget things done immediately, both in their business and personallives. They are trying to accomplish more in less time, and feel-ing pressured to cram 48 hours worth of activity into a 24 hourday. You can send a huge message to prospects by consistently showing them that you and your company have a sense Assignment of urgency about meeting Identify the key areas in their needs, and that your or- your company where a sense ganization will hustle to of urgency is important, and serve them. show it to your prospects and While standing in line at customers every day. the local post office, one waiting patron commented 50
  • 51. Quick Ideas 32 to 34to another, “I’m always amazed that they only have two linesopen when they have so many customers, and both of the clerkson the counter seem to be in slow motion. Their demeanor,their body language, and the excessive time they’re taking withcustomer conversations tells me that they really don’t care.”While I’m sure the post office has some very competent andcapable employees who understand their customer’s needs, asa whole they’ve been labeled as having poor customer servicebecause all too often, that’s what they provide. Don’t allowyour company to be like the post office. Develop a sense ofurgency that reflects your customers needs. Epilogue Your prospects are watching you, and nothing can be more powerful than proving you have a sense of urgency about serving them. 34 Targeting Your Prospect’s Interests The old saying, Different strokes for different folks, iscertainly true of your prospects. Each will have their individualinterests, hobbies, or passions. Your goal is to learn what thoseare, such as fishing, hunting, golf, collecting antiques, doingwoodwork, restoring a house, or building vintage cars. The se-cret is to know what interests your prospects, so you can be-come interested in the same thing. When you know what flipsa prospect’s switch, you can become a 24-hour-a-day research 51
  • 52. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers person looking for some- Assignment thing interesting you might pass along to them on that Keep an inventory of subject. notes and a list of what in- terests your customers, and When one salesperson be looking for those items learned that her customer every day. It can be anything, had just gotten a new puppy, from an article in the news- she zoomed right in on that paper to a special television subject. She stopped by a show, from a brochure on a local pet store and found a new product to an advertise- free quarterly newspaper ment about a new service. chock-full of ideas, stories, ads, and articles on the train- ing, nutrition, and care ofpuppies. She wrote a quick note to her prospect and sent thematerials along in the mail. On the next call to that customer,they had a subject to talk about. The customer was so im-pressed that she took that kind of interest in him, that he soonbecame one of her most loyal customers. Epilogue Prospects are flattered when you recognize and share in their interests, hobbies, or passions. Capitalize on your com- mon ground, and use it to build a personal relationship. 52
  • 53. Quick Ideas 34 to 35 35 All Buyers Are Liars A group of prospects were meeting with a sales represen-tative at a Colorado steakhouse, and all were complaining thattheir steaks were overcooked. When the waiter came and askedwhether everything was okay, all the people who had just com-plained said “Sure, everything’s fine.” As the waiter walkedaway, one fellow said “I wouldn’t come back to this place againif they paid me.” How many times have you lied to a waiter orwaitress and told them everything was okay, when in fact theservice or meal wasn’t good? It’s easy to remember that thereare two kinds of objections that customers have: (1) the onesthey tell you, and (2) theirreal objections. Ben was a loyal buyer Assignmentfrom a warehouse distributor. Remember the question,One day something went “What can we do to earnwrong, and he stopped doing your business,” or “What canbusiness with them. He went we do to get your businessfrom being a customer back back?” When you put theto being a prospect. When a prospect in a situation of help-new sales rep was assigned ing rather than whining andto call on Ben, he knew that complaining, the likelihood isgetting the truth about what they will tell you the truth in-happened might be difficult. stead of putting you off.When he sat across from Benin the office, he asked onesimple question, “What will it take to win back your business?” Heput Ben in a situation where he could be positive and actuallyshare what the business needed to do to get back in his goodgraces. Instead of allowing Ben to criticize his company, the salesrep allowed Ben to help find a solution. 53
  • 54. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers Epilogue Great salespeople know it isn’t what happens to you, but how you respond to what happens to you that will make your prospecting efforts a success. 36 Brag, Brag, and Brag Some More Will Rogers said “Get someone else to blow your horn, andthe sound will carry twice as far.” If you have associates withwhom you work who are exceptional at their jobs, it can be atremendous asset when you’re trying to convince customers tojoin you. From a newspaper ad that features their picture and astory about them, to your personal tribute and stories when you’remaking sales calls, there are many ways to highlight quality peopleto help you get new customers. It’s a powerful tool. Jack wasn’t just a good machinist when it came to Assignment building high-performance Identify your top people engines, he was a great ma- and the three qualities that chinist! Many people labeled make them outstanding so him a quality fanatic or called you can tell their story in print, him obsessed with the shop’s in marketing, and in person. reputation. His reputation was awesome, and the amount of work in his shopshowed it. Think about how you could turn Jack’s reputation intoa sales tool. Think about how you could make that person in your 54
  • 55. Quick Ideas 35 to 37organization bigger than life. People want to be around success-ful people, and you can take advantage of the successful reputa-tions in your organization. Epilogue Sometimes a person’s reputation is as valuable as the person themselves. Find out who the stars are in your com- pany, and make sure to highlight their talents and skills. 37 Pay Attention to Their Individual Needs Customers are people, too! If you pay attention to theirneeds in addition to offering your products and services, youcan benefit a great deal. Like it or not, your business is prob-ably not that much different from your competitors, and youneed to recognize that. By making a concerted effort to ad-dress each prospect’s indi-vidual needs, they will be able Assignmentto find you in the crowd.Capitalize on the features Teach everyone yourthat you make you different. plan to meet the customer’s The owner of a beauty emotional needs, which cansalon was hurting in his at- be remembered with thetempt to build a customer easy formula of EN1 = Emo-following. He had many tional Needs First.competitors in the area, and 55
  • 56. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customersthe simple fact was that they offered many of the same ser-vices. He began to recognize the individual needs of his cus-tomers with a program to get each person comfortably settled.He made sure they knew what their schedule was going to beand who was going to work with them. Then they were of-fered a choice of beverages and snacks. At the end of eachvisit, he would have a small gift for the customer to take home,and he always made sure to tell his customers how importantthey were, and remind them to come back again. Epilogue It’s one thing to tell people that you care and they mat- ter. But it is 1,000 times more important to show them you care, and they really do matter. 38 My Name’s Not Bud How serious are you about attracting new customers andcultivating long-term relationships with repeat buyers? If that’syour intention, beware of the tragic blunder many companieshave made in trying to win my business. I’ve been called bud,chief, sweetie, honey, honey-pie, lover, and everything exceptmy actual name. While this may seem trivial to many, psycholo-gists say that a person’s name is, to them, the sweetest sound.Start by making sure that your associates have their name avail-able so your prospects and customers can use their name, andbegin building a relationship. Membership retailer Sam’s Club is currently running a cam-paign about using customer names. On the back of every cash 56
  • 57. Quick Ideas 37 to 39register, you will see theword C-H-A-N-T. That is a Assignmentreminder to all Sam’s em-ployees that Customers Getting and usingHave A Name, Too. In fact, people’s names is a habit.they run rewards to remind First we make our habits,employees of the impor- then our habits make us. Gettance of identifying people your associates into theby their names. Do you think habit of using proper namesyou can get better at doing instead of nicknames.that, Bud? Epilogue Getting and using customer names is a very simple tactic that your competition might overlook. Customers in survey after survey complain about being treated like a number, so make sure that your company doesn’t do that. 39 Beware of Agitators There are a lot of great, friendly, and fun people to do busi-ness with in America, but for some reason there also seems tobe a small group that delights in agitating, debating, and insti-gating trouble at every step. It seems their life goal is to pushyour buttons, belittle your company, find faults with your prod-ucts and services, and tell you that your competitors are betterthan you. The secret is not to let these people get to you. After 57
  • 58. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers all, if you don’t want them Assignment to get your goat, don’t let them know where it’s tied. Get a book about deal- ing with difficult people. Read The best time to deal it, and teach the techniques with agitators is before you to your staff. encounter them. Start by making a decision that you are not going to react instinc-tively. Instead you’re going to prepare and respond to thosedoom and gloom people. Learn to harmonize with their objec-tions, and tell them you can understand their feelings. Whenthey know how to push your buttons, they’ll just continue to doit. If they don’t know what sends you into orbit, then they’llgive up and stop agitating you and pick on someone else. Epilogue Don’t let the critical few destroy your attitude about deal- ing with the majority, of whom many are a pleasure to serve. 40 Label What Differentiates You We live in a world where every business yells and screams,“We are different. We are better. Choose us.” In reality, it’susually nothing more than old wine in new bottles. You need tocommit to truly being different with a program that prospectscan see. Then you must label what you do. The label is a dailyreminder, sending a message to prospects, customers, and em-ployees. Marketing professionals call it the value statement.You might recognize it as a tag line. 58
  • 59. Quick Ideas 39 to 41 A company called Im-age One wanted to define Assignmenttheir uniqueness, so theycame up with the rather Define your value state-clever tag line of The Image ment so that your employeesOne Way, The Only Way. can internalize what you wantThis helps their prospects them to know. Label as manyand customers identify their things as you can with it, likevalues and ideals. The com- your letterhead, pens, or post-pany now needs to educate ers. This should serve as atheir staff about their new daily reminder to capitalize ontag line, and make sure that what makes you unique!everyone understands thephilosophy it entails. Epilogue You have to name it to claim it, so decide what makes you unique and slap a label on it. A copyright can help too! 41 Do Something Different Prospects just love to be wined, dined, and solicited by po-tential suppliers, because it means they have been acceptedand are valued. Acceptance is one of the key motivating fac-tors in life, but in many areas of customer service, it’s no longerenough. You have to do something different, bold, and creativeto show your customers that they are valued and accepted.Find something unique, fun, and/or mysterious to convince your 59
  • 60. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers prospects to become your Assignment customers. Put your own creativity Vicky was an award- to work developing fun, inter- winning sales manager. esting, and unique ideas to When she identified her Top involve your prospects and 10 prospects and invited customers. Organize a team them to a very unique cus- to help come up with some tomer presentation, each good ideas for special events. prospect received a series of three mailings inviting them to join her on the dock at alocal reservoir to take a leisurely tour on her boat. Hors d’oeuvres,drinks, and a bit of fun were built into the event. The creativemailings went on to explain that ties would be cut off at theneck and anyone not wearing shorts might be thrown into thewater. At the appointed hour Vicky was amazed as all 10 pros-pects were standing on the dock and climbed onto the barge tospend the afternoon schmoozing and learning about Vicky’sproducts. Within weeks, all but two became customers. Epilogue Most business prospectors are about as exciting as a bucket of warm spit. You need to break through the usual business to convince your prospects to become your customers. 60
  • 61. Quick Ideas 41 to 42 42 Be Creative Your competition can be very predictable. They will prob-ably do what they’ve always done. Very few people are reallycreative enough to break through the clutter and get a prospect’sattention at little or no cost. Remember that nobody noticesnormal, so sometimes you have to break the rules to get throughto that prospect and build arelationship with them. If you have face to face Assignmentcontact and run a small to Get your group togethermid-sized business, then this and brainstorm some thingsis a great idea for reaching you could do, such as theout to your prospect list. On popsicle and ice cream idea.a hot afternoon, load up a There are many opportunitiescooler full of Popsicles, ice with holidays and specialcream bars, or cold lemon- events. Be creative and reachade, and go customer to cus- out to prospects. Don’t justtomer serving everybody a wait for them to come to you.treat on a hot afternoon. Idoubt anyone has done it forthem in the past and it’s unlikely anyone other than you will doit again in the future. It’s a great opportunity to hand someonesomething free and refreshing to remind them that you trulywant their business. Epilogue Most people are looking for something different. They don’t know what they want, but they’ll know it when they see it. Make sure they see you! 61
  • 62. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers 43 Go In Naked We’ve repeatedly pointed out that making cold calls anddeveloping new customers is not for the faint of heart. Coldcalling requires a tough hide, a strong spirit, and a persistencevery few people have. That’s why the failure rate in selling isso incredibly high. One of the key strategies for achieving suc-cess is to not look like a salesperson out to shove merchandise down a prospect’s throat. Sandy was an attractive, Assignment enthusiastic, and sincere Learn to go in naked and sales rep when she hit the to ask questions. That’s the road for the very first week. only way you’re going to find On Friday, she reported back the needs, problems, and op- to her sales manager that her portunities of your prospects. sales productivity that week This information will help you had been $00.00. He was go back later and make that baffled why she had no suc- presentation with your two cess, because even a dog briefcases of information. with an order form tied around his tail should occa- sionally get somebody to takeit off and fill it out. By making sales calls with her the nextweek, he identified her problem. She would go into an unknownprospect armed with two briefcases full of literature thatscreamed, “Here comes a salesperson! Here comes a sales-person!” and they would duck or avoid her like a rabbit gettingout of the way of a shotgun. She had to learn to go in naked onthose early calls and learn about the prospect long before sheever tried to sell them. 62
  • 63. Quick Ideas 43 to 44 Epilogue Most people are looking for something that separates your product or service from all the others. Find that creative approach, and dare to be different. 44 Believe It or Not Believe it or not, prospects and customers will stretch thetruth, especially when they tell you their side of an incident,mistake, or problem they hadwhile trying to do businesswith you. Before you go on Assignmenta rampage accusing yourstaff of stupidity or misman- Think like a judge andagement in handling the cus- give everyone a chance to betomer, be sure and get their heard before arriving at aside of the story first. decision. Often you will find that the customer is wrong. When Harry went tothe warehouse looking forDebbie, who had filled an order incorrectly for a customer thatmorning, he was smoking mad. They had tried and tried to getthis customer’s business for a long time and now, just whenthey closed the deal, Debbie screwed it all up. But Harry listened to Debbie’s side of the story before hewent ballistic. Not only did Debbie believe she had filled thecustomer’s order just as he wanted it, she still had his notes toback her up. Sure enough, Debbie was right and the customerwas trying to save his ego and blame Debbie. Harry learned to 63
  • 64. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customersget all sides of the story before making a judgment. Harrycomplimented Debbie and told the office to close the prospect’sline of credit. He didn’t want a new customer who had alreadyproven he would lie to cover himself. That day Debbie grew afoot taller because of her boss’ trust in her! Epilogue When your employees are right, stand by them, even if it upsets a prospect or customer. Your associates will respect you for it. After all, right is right! 45 Try Something Different E-mail is a great communication tool if you can get yourprospects to respond to you. Getting them to answer your e-mails may take creativity and humor. Often people don’t re-spond because they are busy on work overload, or simply don’t know what to say to you. Try something different to catch Assignment their attention and get them to e-mail you back. Try getting creative about e-mailing some of One sales rep experi- your more reluctant mented with different kinds prospects. But make of e-mails and found some- certain you target only thing that worked frequently prospects who will re- for prospects who had been spond favorably to this failing to respond to him. He kind of humor. would write something like this: 64
  • 65. Quick Ideas 44 to 46 Dear Mr. Jones, I’ve stopped by several times to see you and tried to getyou on the phone to share an exciting proposal. Since I’ve notheard from you, I thought maybe one of the following thingshad happened: (1)You’ve been dragged into the outback bywild dingoes and are being held hostage. (2) You won the lot-tery, and now have millions and millions, and you no longerneed to talk to me. (3) Wild women have discovered you aresingle, and you have had to go into hiding to escape the mobsthat are after your body. If you get a chance, or you come back from one of thesethree situations, please e-mail me back. Let’s plan to get to-gether to share how we can help you make some extra money. Thanks! Epilogue If you do what everybody else does, then you’ll get the same results that everybody else gets, which is generally piti- ful. Try something different. 46 Customize, Customize, Customize In a recent restaurant survey, 74 percent of people ques-tioned said the number one thing they like to have in a restau-rant is a salad bar. Why? Because they can make the saladtheir own way. They can have a little of this, a lot of that, andsome of the other. They can make the salad exactly as they 65
  • 66. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customerslike it, with the right mix of ingredients, dressing, and croutonsjust for them. In today’s world, people want a product that is truly customized, and is as individual as their personal Assignment taste. When Sue confronted Think about how you can her boss as a new employee, customize your products and she asked him, “Do you services to fit your prospect’s know what’s standard needs. People don’t want one around here?” Her boss said size fits all. “No, what is it?” And her answer was, “Nothing. Ev-ery customer wants something different. They want it theirway.” Her boss looked at her and said “You’re right. Whydon’t we do it that way?” Think about what clothing stores dowhen you buy a nice suit. The first thing they do is tailor it to fityou. They shorten the sleeves, move the buttons, take a littleout of the coat, and hem the pants or skirt. Suddenly you’ve gotthe product you want, detailed just the way you like. Epilogue The more you can fit your products and services to the needs and wants of your customers, the more likely you are to win prospects over to become long-term customers. 66
  • 67. Quick Ideas 46 to 47 47 Little Things with Big Payoffs Oftentimes potential customers comment on little things,the end result of which can be huge payoffs if you listen, change,and react to their feedback. Listening, and demonstrating thatthose changes are important, sends a huge message about howmuch you care. A local library had just completed a multimillion dollar reno-vation and addition. It was beautiful and well-done. There waseven a button to push that would automatically open the doorfor people with special needs. However, as a gentleman in awheelchair approached the door, it became obvious that thedoorway was too narrow and his power wheelchair barelyslipped through. They needed to put an automatic opener onthe second part of the doorso that both doors wouldopen to accommodate those Assignmentvisitors in wheelchairs. The Make it a rule that ev-gentleman made his way to eryone within your organiza-the desk to explain the prob- tion or company write downlem to the librarian, but she any feedback that could behad all the empathy and sym- considered important bypathy of a drill sergeant. Her management.body language, her facialexpression, and her reactionto his comments sent the message that she could not have caredless. Do you care about the little things that bring big resultsfrom your potential customers? Listening to them and makingeven minor changes and adjustments can send a huge messageabout your willingness to accommodate their needs. 67
  • 68. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers Epilogue Showing empathy and sympathy is the best way to con- vince customers that you are serious about meeting their needs. 48 Being Different Joel Weldon has often said “Figure out what everybodyelse is doing, and don’t do it.” To be recognized in the clutterof today’s market, you’ve got to figure out a better way, adifferent way, and a more affordable way, to keep telling yourstory. One of the ways to do that is to look at the changesgoing on in the marketplace. With the popularity of the internet and e-mail, there havebeen some dramatic changes in the ways people communi-cate. Some of the things left behind that can pay off for youare your fax machine, letters, postcards, and the good old telephone. Those things to- day get attention because Assignment people have almost stopped Study your competition using them. Consider how and the marketplace, then you can revise the fax, the devise new and innovative postcard, the letter, and es- approaches that your com- pecially the phone call to petitors are not using. Try keep in touch with pros- going back to snail mail to be pects and customers. Ana- different. lyze what your competition is doing, and don’t do it. 68
  • 69. Quick Ideas 47 to 49Find a different and better way to break through the clutter.The opportunities are everywhere. Epilogue If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten. You have to make changes to win customers. 49 Do What Others Don’t While some messages are ideal to be e-mailed or faxed,there are some things that should never be sent that way. It’s alltoo easy to cop out on doing what should be done for a thank you,invitation, or confidential message. By simply sending an e-mail,you are also sending a message that it’s not important enough orconfidential enough for you to send it the more traditional way. In most areas of the country, there are stores that featurepaper goods and discount greeting cards. In fact, some of themare so affordable it is almostridiculous. Our recommen-dation is that you stock up Assignmenton thank-you cards, invita- When you have the ma-tions, birthday cards, and terials on hand, from cards toblank cards with no message stamps to addresses, it’s easyinside. Get in the habit of to do something that other’srecognizing people, inviting don’t. You’ve got to system-them to special events, ize these types of mailings orthanking them for what they they won’t get, and also celebrating 69
  • 70. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customersthings like birthdays or anniversaries. By using traditional mail-ing methods, you’ll be different, because most people are sim-ply sending an e-mail. Prospects will recognize your extra effort,and they will reward you for it. Remember, you’re building arelationship. You should do personal things for people with whomyou have a relationship! Epilogue First we make our habits, then our habits make us. Get in the habit of using the more traditional ways to communi- cate that other people have abandoned, and you will stand out in the crowd. 50 Learn From Chameleons We want to do business with people who are most like us.That is where your appearance and behaviors can work for you, or against you. Learn from the chameleon, which Assignment can change the appearance What does your cus- of it’s skin to match the tomer wear for a casual color underneath or behind lunch as opposed to a for- it. It can go from green to mal dinner? What do they black to blue to suit its sur- wear for presentations or roundings. How can you meetings or celebrations? change to be more like your Study your customer, and customer? then become a chameleon. Nido is a highly success- ful banker, entrepreneur, and 70
  • 71. Quick Ideas 49 to 51professional speaker. His closet features outfits for every oc-casion, from meeting with a CEO to blending in with a group oftechnical people. You can bet he will look most like them. Howdoes Nido do it? He studies what other people do. What dothey wear? What shoes do they wear? He will even call aheadand talk to a client to get some feedback on appropriate ap-parel. There’s nothing funnier than to see someone show up ina suit and tie when everyone else is in blue jeans, or to seesomeone show up in blue jeans when everyone else is in a suitand tie. Learn from Nido, and learn to look like your customerso they will want to do business with you. Epilogue Your appearance can work for or against you. The cha- meleon teaches us to blend in for success! 51 Beware of First Appearences We all know that you never get a second chance to make afirst impression. But there’s another part to that rule that saysYou never get a second chance to judge people if you judgethem wrong in the first place. If you judge a customer’s abil-ity to buy, or their willingness to become a long-term customer,based on their appearance, their dress code, or their body lan-guage, it’s easy to make a huge mistake. You can’t tell what’son the inside by what’s on the outside, and you can’t tell theirnet worth, their ability to spend money, or their ability to borrowmoney based on their appearance. The best way is to assumethat every person could be a prospect who could buy, and then 71
  • 72. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers sort them out as you ask Assignment questions and get to know them. Learn not to make snap judgments based on appear- The owner of a small ance. Ask some key ques- high-performance auto tions to qualify a prospect shop had been having a rather than just depending on tough day when a young their appearance. customer came in and be- gan to ask prices and avail- ability on a page-long listof high-performance items. Somehow the owner managedto keep a smile on his face as he quoted price after price.However, inside he was telling himself “This is a waste oftime. This young person could never afford to buy this stuff.”After pricing many thousands of dollars of merchandise, theyoung man looked at the shop owner and said “Okay, I’lltake it.” To which the owner responded, “You’ll take what?”The customer said “Everything you just quoted.” With that,he pulled out a roll of hundred dollar bills to pay for whatwas on hand and what had to be ordered. The owner learneda great lesson that day. Never judge a person by what’s onthe outside, and never assume a prospect can’t or won’tbuy based on their appearance. Epilogue There’s no way of knowing for sure whether the person with whom you’re talking is a pauper or a millionaire. The best way is to let them qualify themselves rather than running the risk of judging them incorrectly. 72
  • 73. Quick Ideas 51 to 52 52 Prospecting Requires Being a Super-Sleuth You can never know too much about a prospect to whomyou’d like to sell. The more you learn, the more likely you areto win over that potential account. There is no excuse to beuninformed in today’s information-rich society, where you haveresources like your local li-brary and the Internet. When a consultant was Assignmentinvited to meet with Flagstar Think of yourself as aBank to consider doing pro- detective building a case. Youmotional work for them, he must convince a prospect todownloaded every page become a customer, so befrom their Website and sure to do your research first!learned everything aboutthem, from their missionstatement to their philosophy of customer service, from theirgrowth plans to their financial performance in recent years.When he walked in to meet with the Flagstar management, hewas armed and ready to discuss where they’d been, and wherethey were going. Epilogue Knowledge is power. If you don’t know enough about a prospect, the only reason is because you haven’t tried hard enough. 73
  • 74. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers 53 Inspired Employees Lead to Dedicated Customers If you haven’t purchased and read the book, 151 QuickIdeas for Inspiring Your Staff, I encourage you to run out andbuy a copy right now. Not because we want to make a sale, butbecause it will help you in growing a group of excited peoplewho are ready, willing, and able to make your company a suc-cess. Can you think of anything more important? The real se-cret to inspiring people is to get them involved and give them areputation to live up to. Show them that you have high expecta-tions of them, and then watch them follow through and proveyou right. Jerry, the owner of a Assignment mid-sized company, hired a comptroller named Mae. Analyze each of your He soon began calling her people and decide what his human computer. She unique gifts they have and was indeed a genius at or- what things they do well. ganizing and running their office, and he enjoyed working with her so much hebragged about her to everyone who would listen. Frequently,Jerry would give tours of his business to prospective customers,and he would always make a point to take them to Mae’s officeand introduce her. She became a partner in helping grow thebusiness and took great pride in her work. Give your people agreat reputation to live up to, and then get out of their way and letthem do it. It’s a successful formula that will not fail you. 74
  • 75. Quick Ideas 53 to 54 Epilogue People become what they see of themselves in their mind’s eye. When you lift them up and put them on a pedestal, they will perform to that level. 54 The C-Y-A Factor More than one sales rep knows the agony of defeat. Some-times defeat comes from failing to get permission before takingan action, which can result in anything from a small dose ofcriticism to a big dose of being fired. Adopt the rule of When inDoubt, Check it Out. Get permission before you proceed onanything that might backfire on you later! An advertising agencyrecently placed an ad forWal-Mart on the west coast Assignmentwithout running it by Wal- Make it a rule that ifMart Management first. It your gut reaction gives youwas very out of style with any concern, you will makewhat Wal-Mart would typi- time to check it out. You maycally do, and customers and even want the customer toprospects alike were in- initial or sign off on whatsulted. Ultimately the you’re about to do so you canagency was fired and lost C-Y-A (Cover Your...)a very lucrative account. Ifthey had gotten that ad cleared with Wal-Mart management,even on a local level, they probably would still have that ac-count. Unfortunately, they’re now out doing a great deal of 75
  • 76. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customersprospecting for new customers. But they’ve learned an impor-tant lesson, to always check with the appropriate authoritiesbefore making any big decisions. Epilogue Sometimes it’s easier to get forgiveness than get permis- sion, but to be safe, always use the rule of “When in doubt, check it out.” 55 The Best Prospect Ever Prospecting for new customers can be expensive, hardwork, and eat up your time like a hungry goat in your neighbor’syard. The best prospect has always been, still is, and will al-ways be the one who contacts you. You are starting with apotential customer who knows they have a need or want, is ready to buy, and is giving you a vote of confidence by Assignment reaching out to you first. As long as it’s legal and Renee, a response and ethical, we can call, poke, marketing consultant from push, pull, incentivize, moti- Florida, believes that there vate, stimulate, remind, in- are three important prospect- spire, and do anything we can ing principles to remember at to get prospects to call us. all costs: (1) Your success will be determined by the quality and quantity of yourprospect list; (2) Your prospect must hear from you a minimum 76
  • 77. Quick Ideas 54 to 56of every 30 days to maintain top-of-mind awareness; and (3)Getting prospects to call you means making them multiple offers. Epilogue When customers call you, they see themselves as a wel- come guest, but when you attempt to sell them, they see you as a necessary pest. 56 Connect Like Velcro Every person has common needs, such as the need to bewanted, needed, and accepted. When you make emotional con-nections with your prospects and get to know them as a per-son, you will go a long way to establishing rapport with them. Itis easy to forget that prospects have a life beyond the office. Ifyou can make an emotional connection with your prospect, youshould connect to them likeVelcro and never lose it! When Steve attended a Assignmentfamily reunion, he was Write yourself a note thatamazed at how quickly the people buy from people, andyears seemed to disappear learn to do inner-views andas he talked with his long- listen carefully.lost relatives. That was be-cause they had a commondiscussion about the family, and it was easy to pick up wherethey had left off years before. Your prospects are ready, will-ing, and waiting to establish a relationship with you if you cando an inner-view with them. That means getting to know what’s 77
  • 78. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customersinside of them, like where they were born, where they went toschool, their hobbies, their families, their pets, and their great-est accomplishments. Learn to establish at least one thing witheach prospect that you can continue as a dialogue each timeyou connect with them. Find common ground and they willbecome not only your customer, but also your friend. Epilogue You can make more friends in two weeks getting inter- ested in them than you can in two years trying to get them interested in you. 57 Whatever It Takes Good prospectors maximize their time and multiply theirefforts by using affordable resources to call on their custom-ers. One such way is to use your friendly U.S. Postal Servicecarrier in those well-known blue uniforms. Think about howyou can use priority mail, which is affordable, available, andcost-effective, to send a special message to your prospects.Priority mail gets attention, and it says what’s inside the pack-age is very important. Prospects pay attention to it because it isdifferent from the pile of regular mail, which is probably justbills and advertisements. Develop a philosophy of using W-I-T to gain and retainprospects and customers. W-I-T stands for Whatever It Takes.One of the best things you can do that can have a huge impacton your success is to keep top-of-mind-awareness with your 78
  • 79. Quick Ideas 56 to 58prospects, especially yourtop 10 list, by sending them Assignmenta priority mail package Go to your local post of-once in a while. They’ll be fice and get a stack of prior-impressed, and they will ity envelopes, mailers, boxes,know you are serious and labels. Determine theabout wanting their busi- postage, remembering thatness. It’s a great invest- you can access postage overment, because it works. So the internet, so you can handledo “Whatever It Takes” all this from your office. Thento maximize your pros- routinely communicate withpecting efforts and win your prospects using What-new customers. ever It Takes. Epilogue You can multiply your impact on prospects by using pri- ority mail and the thousands of hardworking postal carriers across the country. 58 Love Those Freebies If you are like most people trying to gain new customers, it islikely you will serve a diversity of businesses and occupations.For example, your prospective customers may include the butcher,the baker, the candlestick maker, and many more. One of thebest ways to learn more about your prospect’s interest is from 79
  • 80. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customerstheir trade and professional journals. Every industry and everytrade has specialty magazines and trade journals that contain atreasury of tips, tricks, trends, and other information you needto know to be able to talk to your prospective customers. When new employees come to work for Rodney, Assignment the very first thing he does Visit the kinds of busi- is get the reply cards out of nesses you’re interested in the various trade journals, learning more about. Most of and have his new employ- them get some kind of trade ees sign up to for the mail- journal and will be glad to ing list. Most trade journals share their reply cards. are absolutely free and are supported by industry ad- vertising. He encourageshis employees to make time each month to go through thesejournals and keep up with the various industries. His officecurrently gets about a dozen different trade journals, and theyare all well-used. Nothing flatters a prospective customer morethan to know that you have taken the time to learn more aboutwhat they do, what their interests are, and what challengesthey face. Epilogue If you want to know more the intricacies of any business or profession, there’s no better way to learn than from these free professional journals. 80
  • 81. Quick Ideas 58 to 59 59 Do You Qualify? One hard and fast rule in sports, and in competing for cus-tomers, is that you can never win if you’re always playing de-fense. Consider turning the selling process on its head andapproaching customers to see if they qualify to do businesswith you. By screening customers to see if they qualify, youcan create one of the great motivational principles, to build aneager want within a pro-spective customer base. One financial planner has Assignmentdeveloped a track record of To make this principlehelping his clients earn a work, you’ve got to be ablegreat return on their money. to stack up the benefits ofThe number of referrals sent what you’re him is something mostsalespeople can only fanta-size about. He’s in the enviable position of being able to tell pros-pects that his services are not for everyone, and that they needto meet to see if they are a good fit. He is actually interviewingprospects to see if he will allow them to come aboard as custom-ers. By the time the interview is over, most prospects are beg-ging him to take on their investments. Can you turn the sellingprocess on its head and qualify your customers? Epilogue It seems that the more exclusive an item is, the more people want that item. Make your prospects want to be your customers, and develop an exclusive client list. 81
  • 82. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers 60 Before You Open Up If your business attracts customers at specific openingtimes, like my favorite coffee shop hangout that opens at sixa.m., then nothing sends a stronger negative message thanwalking in the door and watching the employees scramble toget their act together. The coffee’s not made, there’s no moneyin the register, and several employees are late. That’s a poorway to start the day. Consider investing in having one or more employ- Assignment ees come in early to get ev- Make it a point to be open erything ready so that when and ready when you are sup- you open the door, you’re posed to be. That’s just meet- ready to serve customers. ing customer expectations. They should be able to de- Then go on to delight them with pend on you to serve their your products and services. needs and offer them the products they want, all with delightful customer service.It’s the professional way to run a business, and the small in-vestment in additional payroll will definitely pay off. Epilogue Being prepared gives your staff the confidence to smile at customers. It also lets them know that you’re prepared and ready to serve or help them. 82
  • 83. Quick Ideas 60 to 61 61 Tell and Sell I’m a confessed nut about prospecting at little or no cost.One important step is to have your name and contact informa-tion on everything you print, sell, make, take, or give away thatcould direct a prospect back to you. The best strategy is tohave your Website visible on everything from pens to notepads,and calendars to tape measures. If you leave these items withprospects, either purposely or accidentally, the prospect willeventually notice your contact information and either call you,or check out your Website. One prospect couldn’tremember our name and Assignmentphone number, and had un- Teach your staff thatfortunately lost our business nothing is to leave your busi-card. But luckily, he found a ness without having yourpen that I had left there sev- contact information on it. Iteral years ago, and it had our could be a Website, e-mailWebsite on it. He was able address, or phone visit our Website, and Just make certain they havereach us through our contact a way to reach you!information. Since then, hehas become a huge customer,and is likely to spend many dollars in the future. We would neverhave gotten their account had we not taken the step of beingvisible and giving people a way to contact us. You have to re-member to tell and sell to meet prospects and make customers. Epilogue A funny thing happens when you don’t promote your- self. Nothing! 83
  • 84. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers 62 Make Sure Prospects Can Find You One great and easily affordable way to reach prospects isby using e-mail. Not only is this a convenient way for custom-ers to reach you, but it can also give you the opportunity torespond in a well-thought-out method. E-mail can be done onyour own terms and your own schedule, without forcing you tobe quick on your feet. You can take the time to gather pricequotes, efficiency statistics, or other data that might come in handy when speaking with a prospect. Assignment Unfortunately, about 20 When discontinuing the percent or more of all the use of an e-mail address, con- contact links on Websites are sider keeping it up and check- broken, so when you click on ing it daily and simply providing the name or e-mail address, a link to your current address it either doesn’t connect or until you are absolutely confi- gets bounced back. Some dent that no one will attempt businesses confuse, and in- to contact your through the old directly sabotage, the ability address. Another method is to of prospects to find them by retain the domain name and frequently changing their e- have the ISP redirect e-mail mail addresses. When drop- to your new Website or e- ping established e-mail mail address. addresses, you close the door on a prospect, which could make you lose the sale of thecentury! Don’t let this happen to you. 84
  • 85. Quick Ideas 62 to 63 Epilogue Out of sight means out of mind. Make sure that pros- pects can find you whenever they need to. 63 Leave Your Prospects a Trail to Follow You’ve heard the old adage about leaving a trail of breadcrumbs to lead you back home when you go out exploring.That’s what you should be trying to do with prospects. Leave atrail that reminds them of your company and that you wanttheir business. This can be anything with your name and logoon it, from an ink pens to a baseball caps, from memo pads togolf balls. The long-term goalis to give reminders and cre- Assignmentate an outpost in yourprospect’s mind. If you leave Find a source for logobread crumbs for them, they and identity items. Buy up awill eventually find their way variety of items and getback to you. them out on the highways A busy association ex- and byways where yourecutive had entertained a prospects operate.prospective insurance pro-vider numerous times. He failed to notice that each time thisinsurance agent called on him, he also left him a small gift. Oneday he looked at the top of his desk, and he had a memo holder,a leather address book, a large desktop calendar, an ink pen 85
  • 86. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customersholder, ink pens, rulers, and more, all with the insurancecompany’s name, logo, and phone number. When his currentassociation insurance program hit a speed bump and they hadto source another vendor, it was easy to decide who to call.Their name and phone number was everywhere. Not a badinvestment for some logo identity items that were left behind. Epilogue In today’s over-communicated world, where it is nearly impossible to get your advertising message out to custom- ers, this concept is a winner that you can do with little or no hassle. 64 Learn from the F.B.I. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, better known as theF.B.I., is known coast to coast for their 10 Most Wanted list.Each week they review and update the list, removing those people who’ve been cap- tured, or adding people who Assignment warrant it. You can use the Make a Top 10 wanted same idea to focus your time, list, and develop the weekly energy, and resources on discipline to update it. Be your best prospects by hav- sure to make assignments so ing your own Top 10 Most that your staff knows who is Wanted list. responsible for each item on Terry, a very effective the list. sales manager, believed that if his salespeople were 86
  • 87. Quick Ideas 63 to 65trying to sell to just any old prospect, they would probably do apoor job and not sell anything. He learned he had to get themfocused on their best sales opportunities. Each Monday morn-ing, he required his salespeople to complete a new Top 10 listfor action that week. He also required them to write alongsideeach of those 10 the action or activities they were going to takethat week to try to turn that prospect into a customer. By hav-ing them focused, and having a copy of their Top 10 actionplan, it kept them on target to go after their best prospects. Epilogue Confucius once said “A man who chases two rabbits catches none.” Be focused and know exactly what you are trying to catch. 65 Keeping Top-of -Mind-Awareness What do other people think of you? At age 20, you worryabout what everybody’s thinking of you. At age 40, you don’tcare what people are thinking about you. And when you get toage 60, you find out they weren’t thinking of you in the firstplace. The goal with all your prospects is to keep T-O-M-A, whichmeans Top-of-Mind-Awareness. One sign in a store said “Wewouldn’t worry about what people think of us if we realizedhow seldom they do.” Keeping top-of-mind-awareness is anawesome task, but it can be accomplished. For example, on 87
  • 88. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers your next vacation, take Assignment along a set of labels or the Take every opportunity addresses of your best pros- to maintain T-O-M-A with pects. While you’re sun- your customers and pros- bathing on the beach or pects. Try something at least sitting beside the pool, send once a month. And don’t some “I wish you were ever forget them while you here” type postcards back to are on vacation. your prospects. Every tour- ist area has them available. They are affordable, andthey’re a fun way to communicate and keep T-O-M-A withyour prospects. Epilogue You need to be creative different to consistently maintain Top-of-Mind-Awareness with your prospects and customers. 66 The Proof of the Pudding The proof of the pudding is not in the tasting, but in whetherpeople return for a second helping. You can get anyone to try abite of your favorite recipe, but if they don’t care for it, gettingthem to take that second bite is going to be tough. The same istrue with prospecting for customers. Getting new customers issimply a function of your willingness to spend on promotion andadvertising, and to do cost-cutting and giveaways to bring themin the door. If you do all that, you can get the new customers. 88
  • 89. Quick Ideas 65 to 66The question however, iswhether you can get them Assignmentback again. Develop a system to While visiting a new track repeat business andchurch in our area, I was in- customer longevity. This willterested to notice that al- help you identify why cus-though this beautiful facility tomers leave, and why theyhad been there for many come back.years, there weren’t enoughparishioners for the Sundaymorning service to fill more than a few rows. Something waswrong. At the end of the service, the pastor asked us to signtheir visitor logbook. The book was filled ten inches thick, andhad hundreds of pages logging where visitors had signed in,went out the door, and never came back. The problem with thischurch was not that they weren’t getting prospects; it was thatthey weren’t converting them to customers. Keep your focus,not just on the first sale, but on the second and all future sales.If you don’t get repeat business, you’re never going to be suc-cessful as a prospector, because repeat business is the proof ofthe pudding. Epilogue Your goal is to have customers for life. Build your system to support that mission. 89
  • 90. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers 67 What About Tomorrow? The best way to ensure that a customer will return to yourcompany in the future is to make sure that your associatesunderstand the importance of delightful customer service, be-cause it’s the only way to guarantee that the customer will return. The owner of a quick Assignment lube/oil change center found Get your group to brain- a masterful way to convince storm what it will take to get his employees about the the customer back the next importance of customer ser- time. Reinforce the idea that vice. He asked each per- the next sale is just as impor- son to ask one simple tant as the current one, and question when serving a they will be sure to treat each customer: “Is what I’m do- customer with respect. ing today going to bring this customer back tomorrow?”They had the sale for today. The issue was to get them to comeback in the future. This savvy business owner realized thatfixing cars was only part of their job. Epilogue Always remember that when you fix a problem, you have to remember to fix the customer. 90
  • 91. Quick Ideas 67 to 68 68 Your Elevator Speech There’s an old saying that you never get a second chanceto make a good first impression. When someone asks who youare and what you do, how do you respond? You need to knowyour elevator speech in sixty seconds or less to be able to tellthem who you are, what you sell or what you serve, and why acustomer should do business with you. You may only get onechance to make that goodfirst impression. A business owner was Assignmentinterested in changing his lo- Script your elevatorcal zoning laws. When he speech, and make sure ev-met a member of his local erybody in your company canlegislature, they got on the recite it word for word soelevator together to go up to they’re all on the same page.the conference room. Thelegislator pushed the buttonfor the 12th floor, and when the elevator door closed, he turnedaround and said “What do you want from me and what can youdo for me? Tell me in 60 seconds or less.” Amazingly, thisbusiness owner was prepared. He had a well-defined answer,and by the time the elevator stopped on the 12th floor, the leg-islator was ready to help him, and also to get the benefit ofhaving the business owner as a promoter for the upcomingreelection campaign. Can you tell people in 60 seconds or lesswhy they should buy from you? Epilogue When someone slams the door, don’t put your foot in it. Stick your head in it so you can keep talking. 91
  • 92. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers 69 Point Out the Problem If you’ve watched a television infomercial, then you knowhow problems can be exaggerated and made bigger than theyreally are. In fact, most infomercials are for products that solve problems that most people don’t even recognize! Assignment Have you ever heard of Define the problem, and halitosis? Although the con- then work to find ways to dition of bad breath has been make the problem common around for ages, the word to knowledge. Once your pros- describe it was not well pects know that the problem known until the early part of exists, they will be eager for the 20th century. The term your solutions. halitosis was made popular by a salesman who had in- vented mouthwash. Hefound a problem, advertised and exaggerated it, and then soldthe solution and made himself a fortune. When you find a prob-lem, be sure to point it out to your prospects. Your solution willbe a breath of fresh air! Epilogue People don’t buy solutions to problems that they don’t know they have. 92
  • 93. Quick Ideas 69 to 70 70 Go After Lost Customers Sometimes the best customer to get is the one you had inthe past, the one who defected and went to the competition.They may find that they aren’t as happy as they thought they’dbe. Your continued efforts to win them back could result inregaining a good customer, perhaps an even better customer,than you had before. Oftentimes lost customers are simplywaiting for you to invite them back. The owner of a dental laboratory lost one of their big cus-tomers who represented more than 40 percent of their regularbusiness. Although he tried, the customer failed to return theowner’s phone calls. After much debate, he decided to try some-thing a little different. He bought a sympathy card and wrote apersonal note to the business owner. He explained he wasn’tsure what had happened andwhy they were unhappy, butit was a shame that they Assignmentweren’t doing business to- Keep a lost customer list,gether anymore, because he and keep track of your effortsbelieved they were good for to win them back.each other. He was offer-ing his sympathy that theywould have to do business somewhere else. He sent the cardto the business owner, and soon got a phone call. The customerwanted to sit down and talk, and soon returned as a loyal cus-tomer. Don’t give up on lost customers. Epilogue You know what a lost customer can be, and how your relationship can improve if you make the effort. 93
  • 94. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers 71 Free Still Works Of the most powerful words you can use in selling yourmarketing message, the word free is still at the top of the list. Infact, one marketing magazine noted in a recent article that freefood and drink still brings out more people than a great guestspeaker or a high-impact seminar topic. We all love to get some- thing for nothing. If you have a high-value Assignment potential customer that you’ve not been able to win Always pre-inspect the over, consider offering them place where you plan to take a free gourmet meal, and see them for a meal, and make what happens. There are arrangements for the quiet some key words to commu- corner or that table where nicate within your invitation you won’t be interrupted too that can be a big help in get- much. It’s worth the planning. ting them to take advantage of your free offer. First,make sure they understand that they are under no obligation tojoin you for that free meal. Second, they will be your guest andthat you are going to pay. Third, there will be no high pressuresales pitch while they are dining. Keeping them safe will en-courage them to say yes to your free offer. Epilogue Although many claim that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, you can prove them wrong. Offer a low-pressure event with lots of free gifts or food, and watch the customers come out of the woodwork! 94
  • 95. Quick Ideas 71 to 72 72 Out of Sight Means Out of Mind If it often feels like we spend our lives standing in line,you’re right! Of the average 70 year life span, five years arespent waiting to be waited upon. No one likes to wait in linewhen it’s not necessary, and no one likes to see employees inyour place of business do things that aren’t related to directcustomer service. Although sometimes these other tasks arenecessary to the business, you should try and get that workdone out of sight of the customer. The people standing in linewon’t become upset if they see every associate working busilyto serve their needs. The fast food industryhas gotten a black eye in Assignmentrecent years, and their cus- Teach everyone thattomer service rating has they need to stay out of theslipped in each annual sur- customer’s visibility whenvey, because you’ll often see they are not directly serv-twenty people working be- ing the customer. Perhapshind the counter, cooking, more importantly, empowerscrubbing, or cleaning, and them to decide that custom-only one person waiting on ers are more important thatcustomers. If you have situ- what they are doing, and getations where people need to them to help out with cus-work on things other than tomer service. Customersserving customers, get them just don’t understand whyout of the customer’s sight they cannot be waited they’ll be out of mind. 95
  • 96. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers Epilogue Customers don’t want to be served very soon; they want to be served now. The business that can eliminate waiting in line will be the one that wins the new customers. 73 E-mail: Friend or Foe? Electronic mail has become the most prominent method ofcommunication in our modern society. Even the post office isfeeling the effect of e-mail. The volume of letters has droppedsignificantly, while the population and the number of businessescontinue to increase. E-mail can be a great tool for prospect-ing, or it can be your worst enemy. One corporate person recently shared that she gets over200 e-mails a day, and it is about all she can do to keep up with them. What’s even worse is that she estimates Assignment 70 to 80 percent of them Collect every e-mail ad- are unnecessary. That dress of every prospect, and means that you have to be create an e-mail series so careful about using e-mail. powerful, they will look for- First, you must make sure ward to it every week or the subject line is personal month. to the person to whom it’s going. Many e-mails are simply deleted withoutbeing opened, because they scream SPAM. Second, never 96
  • 97. Quick Ideas 72 to 74send broadcast e-mails without getting the permission of thepeople you put on your list. Third, when you’ve got somethingof benefit to the receiver, don’t be afraid to send it by e-mail,but make your message short and sweet. Lastly, if in doubt,check it out. Get permission before you send an e-mail. Epilogue When used correctly, e-mail can be your greatest pros- pecting tool. But used without caution, it can become your worst nightmare. 74 Keep the Lights On It’s unlikely your business can justify offering 24-hours aday and seven-days a week service, and it’s possible your cus-tomers don’t need or want that level of help. But today thereare simple and affordable ways to show your customers theyaren’t stuck when your door is closed and the lights are out. Arriving at a major chain drugstore location, one customerwas exasperated to find them closed. Then on the door, shenoticed a sign directing her to the nearest 24-hour pharmacy.She was thrilled. What can you do during non-business hoursto help your customers? Would an emergency phone answer-ing service be of value? Would customers benefit from havinga cell phone number or beeper to call in an emergency? Woulda 24-hour help line answer their questions and hold them offuntil you open? And what can you do when the phone ringsafter hours? Rather than let them just hear it ring, you could getan answering machine, and tell them when you can serve them. 97
  • 98. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers You can always offer a Assignment variety of options, from your Find out what your com- Webpage to your telephone petitors are doing in your in- to your emergency services, dustry, and then do more than to let your customers know they are. Look at what that when the lights are out, people are doing outside your you want them to come back business, and adopt and adapt when the lights are on. their ideas and strategies. Epilogue We are no longer an 8-to-5, Monday-to-Friday country of workers. People have diverse schedules, and they’re looking for services when many traditional businesses have turned out the lights and gone home. The people who can accommodate them will win and retain their business. 75 One Magic Word When you deal with customers, the magic word is not if,but when. You are eventually going to encounter a prospect ora new customer who is unhappy with you, your products, ser-vices, or your company. Knowing how to deal with emotionalissues can turn upset customers into loyal buyers and be thepivotal point of either losing their business or winning theirhearts. When a telephone service manager encountered a cus-tomer who was upset, he listened attentively and then asked 98
  • 99. Quick Ideas 74 to 76the magic question: “Whatcan I do to make you Assignmenthappy?” The customer first Always use the wordsaid that he believed he de- happy. It is critical concept,served a $400 credit against and is understood by mosthis bill for the time their people around the world, re-phone service was down. gardless of the language inThe manager quickly agreed which it’s spoken.and said “Will that make youhappy?” The fellow then saidthat he wanted to get some service people out to his home andhave his phones fixed by four o’clock. The manager said “Myvery best people are already en route. Will you be happy if yourphones are up and running by 4:00 p.m.?” The customer saidhe wanted one more thing, an apology. With that, the telephoneexecutive apologized for the errors they had made in servinghim. He knew that the secret formula to dealing with upsetpeople is to ask the question, “What will make you happy?”and then whenever possible, settle the dispute on their terms. Epilogue Why does the happy concept work? Because you’re ne- gotiating happiness on the customer’s terms, and when you agree to what they want, they feel empowered. 76 Quality Speaks Volumes For a number of years a woman did a television commer-cial for Hanes Underwear. Her slogan was, “It doesn’t say 99
  • 100. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New CustomersHanes until I say it says Hanes” and it was a huge success inselling their undergarments. For many years quality control inAmerica deteriorated so drastically that overseas competitorsstole a large portion of the market share. Today however, we’reback and doing better than ever. But the painful lessons we learned about building a reputation for quality prod- Assignment ucts and services has been Quality is the cumulative expensive. effect of many choices. Make The late W. Edwards a decision today that you’re Deming was respected going to drive your company worldwide as a proponent with superior quality. Then of quality. He said that qual- communicate that goal to cus- ity didn’t really cost, but tomers and prospects. was in fact a profit center. Quality products result in fewer rejects, less mainte-nance, less down-time, extended performance, more enjoymentof usage, and an increase in customer loyalty. Epilogue There always will be a top-end buyer who’s willing to pay a premium price for quality products and services. 100
  • 101. Quick Ideas 76 to 77 77 Keeping up With Technology We live in an ever-changing world. By the time you buy a newcomputer or a piece of equipment, it’s already out of date becausethere’s a better one coming down the assembly line. The chal-lenge is to keep up, have the latest in technology and equipment,and maintain your position in the marketplace. The secret is tobudget a fixed amount that will allow you to keep up and remain astate-of-the-art operation. Staying on the cutting edge will giveyou an advantage when turning prospects into customers! There’s a printing shop inLas Vegas that has a policyof investigating any and ev- Assignmentery piece of new equipment Technology = productiv-that comes on the market. If ity = competitiveness = greatthey have a printing press that prospecting. Set up a reviewis only a year old and a new process for evaluating yourand better one is offered by technology against currentthe manufacturer, they inves- standards. And don’t forgettigate it to see if it’s truly a to budget for upgrades!better product. If it is, theyimmediately sell the one theyhave and buy the new that offers them the latest and greatest infeatures and benefits. Because they have the best in equipmentand people, they also attract the best customers. Most of theirprinting is for Fortune 500 companies’ annual reports and for theLas Vegas gambling casinos who want nothing but the best. Epilogue The world is moving on whether you do or not. The se- cret is to keep up with the latest technology to best serve your customers. 101
  • 102. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers 78 Is Your Image Working for You? Look around your company today, including the buildings,vehicles, offices, signage, and your trucks on the road. Whatkind of message are you sending to your prospects? How wouldyou rate yourself as you look today? Would you say it’s sad anddefinitely needs improvement? Would you say it’s average ortypical when compared to your competition? Or would you rateyourself as outstanding? It’s important to take the time andanalyze what your image is, and whether it’s working for or against your long-term goals. Assignment Mike’s Car Wash is a Take inventory of your highly successful regional company’s image and set a group of car wash facilities. goal that you will no longer The appearance of their fa- accept the average. While cilities is not typical or aver- being average may not work age, but it is definitely against you, being above av- working for them. It begins erage or outstanding will with their huge colorful work for you. You will stand signage, their manicured out in the crowd like a rose lawns, their beautiful flow- amongst the thorns. ers, and their spotlessly clean and meticulously well-kept facilities. When you swingyour car around to start through the conveyor belt, your car isgiven an extra treatment on the front and rear to steam cleanthose bugs and tar away. You are even greeted by two smilingMike’s employees in nothing less than shirt and tie. Can thisreally be a car wash? 102
  • 103. Quick Ideas 78 to 79 Epilogue Make sure your image is working for you. Because if it isn’t, it’s working against you. Why start the day by swimming uphill? 79 Don’t Take It for Granted One huge problem in getting new customers is falling intothe trap of complacency. If you go in unprepared, and the com-petition follows you with a great dog and pony show, guesswho gets the sale? You will be left asking what went wrong,and the competition will walk away with the customer. A Las Vegas sales rephad an opportunity to make Assignmenta presentation to a large or-ganization. Because they Ask yourself, am I tooknew him and he knew complacent? What do I re-them, he debated what kind ally need to do to sell thisof sales presentation to prospect?make. Finally, he called oneof his mentors who sat on that organization’s board and askedwhat kind of presentation he recommended. The wise mansaid, “If you had never met this group, what kind of presenta-tion would you make?” The sales rep responded that he wouldhave a full-blown PowerPoint presentation, a custom book withall the details, and a room set up to sell the project. That isexactly what he did, and he had a very successful presentation.Always prepare as if you had never met your customer or 103
  • 104. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customersprospect, even if you’ve done business with them before, andyou’ll be successful every time. Epilogue You will never fail by over-preparing. You’ll only fail if you take your customers, or your success, for granted. 80 Beware of a Prescription Without a Diagnosis Imagine seeing a new doctor, and without saying a word toyou, she began to write out new prescriptions for you. She wasdoing so without getting your medical history, checking yourvital signs, or even asking why you were there. Would you payher for that visit or take those medications? It’s very doubtfulthat you would feel comfortable doing so. Getting a prescrip-tion without a diagnosis is called malpractice! When a plumbing wholesaler was desperately looking toincrease sales and get new customers, he asked his will-callsales desk for suggestions to improve the business. They saidthe area needed to be spruced up, they needed a new counter,better uniforms, improved signage, and a nice place for theirplumbing customers to come in and pick up their orders. Theowner did exactly what his people recommended, but salesdidn’t go up at all. Why? Because it wasn’t important to thecustomers! So he personally went out and made calls on hisplumbing contractors and asked them what was critically im-portant to them. They explained that having the right pieces 104
  • 105. Quick Ideas 79 to 81was what they valued most.When he’s missing just one Assignmentgooseneck for a sink, the Always remember that aplumber is shut down and prescription without a diag-can’t finish the job. Filling the nosis is called malpractice.order was what they valued What is really important tomost. He decided to guaran- your customer, and how dotee every contractor that an you find out? Just ask!order would be filled 100 per-cent complete within 24hours. The program was a huge success, and his sales volumeskyrocketed. Why? Because he prescribed what his customersneeded. Epilogue What do your customers want from you? Find out what it is and give it to them. 81 Make It Easy to Buy In recent years Americans have started paying more billswith credit and debit cards, than they do with cash or checks. It’sa turning point that signals to businesses everywhere that theyshould be flexible with their accepted methods of payment. There’s a sign in a Las Vegas casino that says, “How wouldyou like to pay? We accept gold dust, gold bars, Mastercard,Visa, American Express, Carte Blanche, Discover, and Diner’s.We will take a company check, a personal check, or yourtraveler’s check... Heck, we even take bad checks. And ofcourse, we will take cash.” Everybody has a good laugh whenthey see that sign, but they remember one thing. This casino 105
  • 106. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers makes it easy to do business. Assignment How are you making it easy to conduct transactions, re- Take inventory of how quest service, or order in- customers want to pay you. ventory? Will you accept gold If you don’t have the credit dust and gold bars? Do you cards and check guarantee take all the major credit service, get them today! cards? If you make it easy This will make it easy for for the customer to buy from customers to do business you, you’ll convert prospects with you. into customers faster than ever before. Epilogue We are a plastic society, and trying to fight it won’t work. Make it easy for customers to do business. Don’t create road- blocks and sabotage yourself. 82 Make Them Feel Safe Dr. Carla Morgan has pointed out that virtually any poten-tial customer you’re going to talk to has been lied to, takenadvantage of, and probably cheated at some point in their life.They have probably heard lots of promises that never cametrue. By addressing their need for safety and security, you havea high probability of winning over a prospect. Making them feelsafe and secure when doing business with you is an importantstrategy in prospecting. 106
  • 107. Quick Ideas 81 to 82 In convincing one of his most skeptical prospects, one salesrep found that the word “no” had a big payoff. As he commu-nicated his desire to do business with them, he assured themagain and again that therewould be no risk because ofhis absolute, positive guaran- Assignmenttee. There would be no sell- Get others to help youing, because all he wanted to analyze where potential cus-do was point out how he tomers might feel risk, pres-could help. There would be sure, or obligation, andno obligation, because they design a prospecting pro-would have the right to say gram that will overcomeno with no hard feelings and their further pressure on hisend, and no embarrassment.He would never put them in a situation that would be awkwardfor them. And it worked, because he converted one of his mostskeptical prospects. Make your customers feel safe. Take awaythe risk, manage the other issues, and watch what happens. Epilogue Admit it or not, Dr. Morgan says that fear is ever- present, and making people feel safe and secure is a very basic principle to get new customers. 107
  • 108. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers 83 Loose Lips Sink Prospects It was during the Second World War that the phrase looselips sink ships was used in propaganda posters to remind theAmerican people not to divulge secrets. The same holds true indealing with potential customers who are willing to share theirconfidences with you. Just make a promise to yourself thatwhen prospects and customers share confidences with you,you will not divulge that information to anyone. When Bob called one of his key suppliers to discuss Assignment several internal problems he Remember the rule that had, he opened the conversa- the only way two people can tion by asking his supplier to keep a secret is if one of keep totally quiet about some them is dead, and don’t ever theft problems Bob had inside share confidence. his business. Together, Bob and his supplier were able to formulate a plan to help Bobdeal with the theft. More importantly, they cemented a relation-ship based on trust, which is the ultimate compliment anyone cangive you. The supplier assured Bob that no one would be toldabout what was going on. He gave his word on that. Could aprospect or customer trust you in that same situation? Epilogue Say what you’ll do and do what you say, and your predict- ability, trust, and honesty will pay off in a steady flow of new customers. 108
  • 109. Quick Ideas 83 to 84 84 Building Trust Trust is the most essential ingredient of all really great rela-tionships, both personal and professional. Unfortunately, trustmust be earned over time by consistent performance. It’s veryrare that a customer will trust you on the first day and withtheir first transaction. Retailing giant Sam Walton recognized the value of trust ashe built the Wal-Mart empire. He said, “If I could stand trust atthe register, I would be home free. The reality is you must earna customer’s trust one cus-tomer, one transaction, andone day at a time.” One thing Assignmentyou can do to gain more trustis to keep your promises and Make a rule that a prom-follow through, and then point ise made is a promise out to your prospect or cus- Remember that your word istomer. For example, you your bond.might say, “Bill, I told you Iwould have these for you to-day, and here they are.” Or you might say, “Mary, I promised Iwould call you back on Wednesday, and today is Wednesday.”When you do the right thing, make an issue of it, and wave yourflag in the air. It will help you accelerate the process of buildingtrust. Epilogue Trust is more fragile than an egg, and you need to pro- tect it every day, with every sale, and with every prospect or customer. 109
  • 110. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers 85 Falling Out of the Dumb Tree Do you believe you can build a successful long-term busi-ness that will attract new customers by lying, cheating, or de-ceiving customers? Do you believe your customers fell out ofthe dumb tree and hit every limb on the way down? That seemsto be the way many businesses approach their customers, butthey don’t last long. Customers are not as dumb as many busi-ness people think they are. Abraham Lincoln once said “Youcan fool all of the people some of the time, and some of thepeople all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” Assignment A business owner was finally able to buy a really Always tell the truth, high quality copier. He was the whole truth, and nothing excited about the many but the truth. Build your things it would do because reputation on that. they had a variety of needs in their office. One of their first projects was to runsome postcard stock for a mailing they hoped to do that day. Asthey fed the postcard stock into the machine, it jammed and re-fused to print or copy anything. It was exasperating! When thecopier service person arrived and they explained their problem,he looked at them and said “Our salesperson told you what? Hetold you this machine would run postcard stock? Sorry, but itwon’t!” How long do you think that salesman will succeed whenhe tells falsehoods? 110
  • 111. Quick Ideas 85 to 86 Epilogue The single rule for honesty in winning customers is to say what you’ll do and do what you’ll say. Only by following this rule will you succeed at getting new customers. 86 Consider Name-Dropping We see everyone from sports greats to rock stars, andmovie idols to political celebrities, attempting to sell us all sortsof items. The power of influence should never be overlooked inyour attempt to win customers. There is real power when well-known people like celebrities or sports stars try to convince usthat a specific product orservice is good for us. If you ask, many of your Assignmentexisting customers will give Ask yourself who on youryou a testimonial about how customer roster could influ-your products or services ence others to come aboard.helped them. They might Then ask for their help in de-even allow you to use their veloping testimonials.photograph along with theirquote. When Oprah featuresa book on her TV show, it isguaranteed to sell a quarter of a million copies almost immedi-ately, simply because she has so much credibility with the book-purchasing public. Think about how you could use testimonials,name-dropping, or perhaps a list of your existing customers toinfluence others to join you. But proceed with caution, and re-member When in Doubt, Check it Out. Be sure to get your 111
  • 112. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customerscustomer’s permission to use their photograph, their name, ortheir testimonial. Epilogue If you’re not convinced of the power of other people’s influence, ask yourself why a book on Oprah’s list sells millions of copies just because it has her stamp of approval. 87 Freebies Are Hard to Turn Down Getting something free is hard to resist, and regardless ofthe prospect’s loyalty to your competitor or their reluctance toconsider you and your advantages, a freebie can often breakthrough. Think about what you can do to get their patronage with offers that are almost unbelievable. Assignment When a Phoenix manu- Think of free or inexpen- facturer wanted to entice a sive things you can do that number of prospects from are within your budget. Get around the country, he your team together and come planned a very special open up with some creative ideas. house weekend at his facil- ity, including a celebration, golf, and some fun time.Each prospect was sent a package containing an engraved in-vitation, a personal letter from the CEO, an agenda that oozedwith excitement, and a certificate good for two coach round-trip air tickets to Phoenix. Everything was paid for by the host.It was a huge success, and almost all the prospects flew toPhoenix. In time, they converted many of those prospects to 112
  • 113. Quick Ideas 86 to 88loyal customers. There’s something about show-and-tell andbricks-and-mortar that pays off, but the freebie was the realcatalyst that made it work. Epilogue The word free will always be the number one motivator of people, both personally and professionally. 88 Creative Advertising Can Work If you do any radio or television advertising, then you knowit’s incredibly expensive, ineffective, and often a poor use ofyour promotional money. But it doesn’t have to be that way.You can break through the clutter, get people’s attention, andbuild name recognition by doing something a little different. Wecall it problem-solving witha dose of humor. One of the best uses of Assignmentproblem, solution, and humor Any time you’re creat-has been an ad by the Hertz ing ads, whether for print orcar rental company. A broadcast media, try to usegentleman walks up to a the formula of problem, so-shabby car rental establish- lution, and humor.ment and explains he’d liketo rent a Bronco. The shadyemployee behind the counter quickly fills out the paper, takeshis money, and the camera quickly switches to this poor guy ontop of a horse bucking, kicking, and giving him a hard time.Unfortunately, he’s been duped. Now the camera switches toHertz and how they go above and beyond to deliver a real 113
  • 114. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New CustomersBronco (manufactured by Ford) and provide customer servicelike no one else. People love to be entertained, and they love tosee a problem and solution, but when you tickle their funnybone they will remember you. Epilogue If your advertising is just like everyone else’s, you’ll prob- ably get about the same results they do. Break through the clutter with a healthy dose of creativity and humor. 89 Claim Those Free Dollars Promotion is more important than ever, and most manufac-turers and distributors have funds available to help you go afterthose prospects you so desperately need. It’s called co-op pro- motions. Some pay up to 90 percent of the actual cost! Assignment And you aren’t limited to using the radio, TV, or print Catalog every major ads alone. Creativity can get brand and customer you deal that same chunk of cash with and aggressively go af- transferred to your account ter any funds that might be to do things like mailings, available. Make yourself a trade shows, customer lun- sign that says Claim It or cheons, golf outings, a fish- Lose It, because if you don’t ing contest, or a weekend get those funds on a strate- escape. Creativity will help gic basis, someone else will! you claim those free funds. 114
  • 115. Quick Ideas 88 to 90 Harry was an aggressive retailer who loved to promote hisbusiness and go after prospects, especially with other people’smoney. He kept a log of every supplier and pushed every manu-facturer as to what spiffs, co-ops, and promotion money wasavailable. He would ask and ask and ask again. He was relent-less. He befriended many of the sales reps who called on himand learned they had discretionary dollars. By being friendlyand asking often, he got the promotional money to go out andget new customers. Epilogue Remember, if you don’t ask, you’ll never get! 90 One Magic Question Everyone who wants more customers longs for a magicformula to guarantee more business. Be sure to ask them themagic question that is virtually guaranteed to bring you morebusiness. Dan, a now-retired lifetime prospector, has successfullysold everything from oil filters to investments in oil wells. Hepioneered a three-step process that worked like magic to turnprospects into new customers. Do you want to know what theformula is? (1) Find out much as you can about your prospecton a personal level to connect and build rapport; (2) Probe, dig,and unearth what your prospect needs; and (3) When that pic-ture is clear, ask them the magic question: “If I can find a way toprovide the products and services you need, would you consider 115
  • 116. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers buying it from me?” This Assignment formula helped Dan sell Write out Dan’s 1-2-3 millions of dollars of prod- formula, and pay attention ucts and services in a vari- to the answers. Use this ety of businesses and formula when you are pros- industries. pecting for customers. Epilogue Many seasoned and successful salespeople claim you need to ask your way to success. 91 Prospects Must Be a M-A-N How many times have you thought you had a prospectready to say yes and become a first-time customer, only to beblown away by those disastrous words, “We can’t afford it,”or, “I have to get permission to buy it,” or, “Sorry, but we don’treally need it?” If you’ve encountered any of those deadly saleskillers, then you need to make sure every prospect is a M-A-N.That stands for having the Means, the Authority, and the Needto buy. Mary Anne had called on a manufacturing company’s pur-chasing agent several times, and had established a good rap-port. She was confident that by sticking with it, she would gettheir business for the industrial tools, cutting drill bits, and handtools that they needed. Only after several months did the buyer 116
  • 117. Quick Ideas 91 to 92finally explain that his wifewas also a representative of Assignmentan industrial tool company, Make sure in advanceand he just couldn’t buy from that your prospect is a fit foranyone else. doing business with you. Mary Anne had been Make sure they have thegoing down a dead-end path means (such as the moneybecause she had not quali- or the credit), the authorityfied the prospect to make (or the right to sign a purchas-sure that he had the means, ing agreement), and the needthe authority, and the need (that they truly have a use forto buy. your product or services). Epilogue Have you ever tried to sell clothing to a nudist, meat to vegetarians, Bibles to Atheists or guns to peace activists? If so, you know what it’s like to waste your time with an unquali- fied prospect. 92 Yes, No, and Maybe Nothing contributes more to the demise of salespeople andprospectors than the word “maybe.” Everyone understands yes,it’s time to go. Everyone understands no, it’s time to quit, butthe worst is when prospects string you along with the wordmaybe. It’s somewhat like fishing, when the fish keep nibblingall day long, but you don’t catch anything. At the end of the day,you have no fish, no bait, and no daylight left. You’ve spent 117
  • 118. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customersyour entire day waiting around for a maybe to become a no,which is just a waste of your time. Learn that maybe is not an acceptable answer. Assignment Andy says he under- stands yes and no, but Professional prospec- maybe is the word he’s had tors often hang on too long, to learn to deal with most wasting their resources. You often. After a reasonable need to know when to quit period of time, he will do vir- fishing and find another lake. tually anything to get the cus- tomer to move in one direction or another. He ac-tually sees it as a benefit when someone says no, because hecan take him or her off of the maybe list. Epilogue Customers will often string you along, and there is a huge benefit in getting them to say either yes or say no. Don’t be afraid to take a knockout punch to find out whether it’s worth investing your time and energy. 93 Bigger Is Better If you operate a small or mid-sized business, there are prob-ably times when your prospects need to see you as a Goliath ina land full of Davids. You need to use perception and illusion toappear bigger than you are. In many prospects’ eyes, bigger isbetter. 118
  • 119. Quick Ideas 92 to 93 Jack operates half a dozen delivery and service trucksthat feature eye-catching graphics and are kept meticulouslyclean. His graphic designer suggested a bite-size idea thathas convinced prospects he must surely be operating a largefleet of vehicles. They be-gan numbering his trucks Assignmentwith different numbers onthe right and left sides, be- Find some creativecause no one ever sees ways to make you outfitboth sides of a truck at the look more like Goliath thansame time. For example, on David. But be careful, mostthe front of the first truck it illusions are uncovered atsays Unit 6 on the left side, some point.and Unit 8 on the right side.On the next truck, it saysUnit 10 on the left and Unit 12 on the right. Then they doUnits 14 and 16, 18 and 20, 22 and 24. If you see his truckscoming or going, you would believe that they have the largestfleet in town, when in reality it’s an illusion because they onlyoperate six vehicles. How can you use the same idea to lookbigger to your prospects? Epilogue Sometimes a small idea can have big results when us- ing an illusion to build perception with your prospects. 119
  • 120. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers 94 Networking Jack had tried several times to get past the gatekeepersand reach the president of a successful restaurant chain to talkto him about his unique flat-rate maintenance program for theircommercial heating and air conditioning systems. He could of-fer the company a better service at a better price, but he couldn’t get through to the president. One Sunday morning at Assignment church, he overheard an- other parishioner mention Do your homework to that he knew the president find out who your colleagues, of the restaurant chain. coworkers, friends, and fam- Jack approached the man ily know. Almost everyone and asked him if he would knows someone who could introduce Jack and his com- be a prospect. pany to the president so he could tell him about Jack’s great service. The verynext morning, Jack got a call from his friend telling him that thepresident was expecting him to call, and would welcome set-ting up a meeting to discuss how Jack could help them getbetter service at less cost. Epilogue Who do you know who could open a door for you? 120
  • 121. Quick Ideas 94 to 95 95 One Size Fits All One size will never fit all, and you need to see every pros-pect as an individual who needs a custom tailored program fortheir needs. Great prospectors don’t have rigid policies andprocedures. Instead they empower their people by giving themflexible guidelines to follow. The more often MaryAnne called on Charlie the Assignmentmore often she realized hehad the potential to be a high Do you have rigid guide-volume customer. But so far, lines, rules, or regulations thatall she had been able to get you can’t adjust to fit yourwas an occasional sale. customer’s needs? Remem-While walking into his facil- ber that one size does not fitity one day, Mary Anne no- all. Tailor everything you doticed a piece of equipment to the individual buyer, andstuck back under a work- you’ll win a lot of customers.bench that she had sold himseveral months before.When she inquired why Charlie wasn’t using it, he explainedthat while there was nothing wrong with the equipment, it sim-ply didn’t work for the application he needed. She immediatelywent over, pulled it out from under the workbench, wiped it off,and told him she was going to take it back and give him acredit. He quickly explained it wasn’t her fault, and she reallydidn’t owe him a credit, because the sales period had run out,and it was actually his fault that he bought it and didn’t return itearlier. Because Mary Anne’s company offered her guidelinesand not hard-and-fast rules, she knew it would be smart to takethe item back and give Charlie a credit. That one gesture pushed 121
  • 122. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customershim over the edge, and he immediately became one of her highestvolume buyers and a most loyal customer. Epilogue So many people are afraid of being taken advantage of that they fail to realize 98 percent of customers just want a fair deal, and to be treated as individuals. 96 All’s Fair in Love and War Everyone has heard the old proverb “All’s fair in love andwar.” For this quick idea, we add a third description to that:“All’s fair in love, war, and competition for customers.” If youare going to compete in the marketplace, you must know whatyour competition is doing. There are three kinds of people whocompete: (1) Those who are active; (2) Those who are reac-tive; and (3) Those who are inactive. Only the active will winthe competitive wars in the days ahead. If you ask Dorothy about what is going on with Assignment her competitors, she can not Ask all your friends, only tell you, she can show employees, sales reps, col- you. She has a file on each leagues, and industry con- competitor, and she makes tacts to bring you materials a daily effort to keep up with and keep you up to date on what they are doing. She has what the competition is do- a network of informants ing. Be active! who keep her advised and bring her catalogues, price 122
  • 123. Quick Ideas 95 to 97sheets, promotional information, and the kinds of details sheneeds. There is no way you can have a good strategic programto get new customers unless you know what your competitionis doing. If you are inactive or reactive, make a decision todayto become active. Epilogue Fairness is in the eye of the beholder, and if it’s honest and morally right, you must know what your competition is doing. 97 Do You Know What They Know? In today’s high-tech world, it is impossible to know what aprospect knows without doing some research. There are somegrave dangers in making assumptions. It’s dangerous to getcaught up in the jargon of your product or service and assumethe customer knows the language, but it’s also dangerous totalk down to a client who has a great deal of industry knowl-edge. The best rule is to assume that you don’t know, and thenfind out. When a sales manager called a prospect, he began to ex-plain his products and services in what could be called Cus-tomer Basics 101. He was dealing with the most rudimentaryfacts and figures. The problem was the gentleman on the otherend was an engineering professor in the area of interest theywere discussing. The more the sales manager talked on, themore upset the prospect became. Finally the prospect endedthe call because he felt insulted and childish. A safe question isto ask is, “How familiar are you with this subject area or this 123
  • 124. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers product or service, and Assignment what would be helpful for Make a 3 × 5 card that you to know?” Let the cus- simply says Speak Their tomer tell you what they Language! and keep it vis- want to know and then ible around your workspace pick up the conversation as a constant reminder. from there. Epilogue You will rarely get in trouble when you let the customer tell you what they need to know. 98 What Gets Repeated For this quick idea, we borrow a basic principle from per-sonal influence psychology, which was pioneered by the late M.R.Kopmeyer. The key principle is What Gets Rewarded Gets Re-peated. Reinforce that action with a compliment, a comment, anote, a small gift, or anything that might stimulate them to do itagain. Build on the successes you have with each prospect. Asyou reinforce the behavior, they will do it more often. Christy was a new executive assistant to a hospital admin-istrator when he handed off a real mess. He asked her to takehis pile of papers, notes, and scraps and turn it in to an execu-tive report that he could turn in to the board of directors. Shedug in and spent a tiresome day taking his jumbled mess andturning it into a professional report. When she left it on his 124
  • 125. Quick Ideas 97 to 99desk, he came out bubblingwith excitement about what Assignmentshe had accomplished. He Make yourself a postertold her that the next day he or card to remind yourselfwas buying her lunch. What Gets Rewarded GetsChristy learned that when Repeated Build on positiveshe does well, he acknowl- behavior, and as much as pos-edges and rewards her, sible, overlook the errors, sins,which makes Christy want and omissions of your peopleto do even more. It’s a win- and watch what situation for both ofthem. Epilogue Catching people being good means overriding our natural instinct to criticize, condemn, and complain. 99 Traditions Should Be Sacred It is important in your prospecting efforts to communicatethe traditions of your company that prospects will respect andadmire. These traditions should be held sacred by you and yourassociates, because they embody the ideals and philosophiesthat your company holds. After all, everyone likes a touch ofclass. It can help build spirit and encourage prospects to seeyou and your company as one of value and substance. On a fact-finding mission to South America, one business CEOwas overwhelmed with how much the local culture respected 125
  • 126. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customerstheir temples, statues, andreligious beliefs. Very Assignmentquickly, the executive found What do you hold sa-himself being very careful cred? Decide on a few thingsabout where he stepped, that are sacred to your com-where he walked, and how pany and protect them. Tellhe handled himself. He had your prospects what theyunconsciously adopted their mean to you and what theyrespectful attitude, and should mean to them.found himself behaving simi-larly towards their culture.He realized that he could apply this to his own business. Whenhe went back to his office, he worked with his staff to create aset of traditions and values that his prospects, customers, andassociates could see and appreciate. Epilogue Caring creates caring, and by identifying traditions within your company, people will quickly come to respect the values you hold and the principles for which you stand. 100 The Puppy Dog Lick Many people become dog owners as a direct result of thelaw of unintended consequences. At some point they picked upa warm, cuddly puppy who gave them a big, loving lick acrossthe face, and they were sold. Without ever intending to own apet, they suddenly found themselves a dog-owner. That puppywent home to become a part of the family. 126
  • 127. Quick Ideas 99 to 100 When a suburban ho-meowner with several acres Assignmentof beautiful woods went out Get your prospects to tryto buy a chainsaw, he was out your product or service.really disappointed with Offer free on-sites tests ofwhat he found in most your products, free 15-daystores. The display saws trials of your services, orlooked cheap, were tied anything else you can thinkdown, and did not appear of to get them to try yourcapable of doing a tough job. company. If they try it, they’llFinally, he hit a home run most likely buy it.when he stopped in a storethat had a huge display ofchainsaws and people who could explain about each and everyone. But the puppy dog lick came when the sales rep invitedhim to go out back with the chainsaw and try it out. After cut-ting several limbs from a tree trunk they used as a testing site,he was sold. They made a sale, and everyone else lost out on aprospect that day. Epilogue All the advertising in the world can’t compare to one good personal experience. 127
  • 128. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers 101 Don’t Give Them a Reason Have you ever met someone who wouldn’t change theirmind or wouldn’t change the subject? That is the exact prin-ciple one highly successful entrepreneur used in building a num-ber of profitable businesses. His philosophy was, “Never givea customer a reason to go somewhere else.” It was just a few minutes after 6 a.m. as customers beganto enter a local bakery and espresso bar. To their great dismay,they were greeted with an announcement that the coffee andbread store had no coffee. They had run out, and therefore, customers had to drink soda or water, or go somewhere Assignment else. Many of them went out The goal is to become the the door and down the street competition, and never send to a nearby shop that had your customers elsewhere for coffee. Unbelievably, there the things you should have. was a 24-hour supermarket just a few blocks away where the store employeescould have gotten a variety of coffees and met their custom-ers’ needs. They literally forced their regular customers to goelsewhere for that first cup of coffee. This is industrial strengthstupidity. Epilogue If your customer goes somewhere else three times, they’re probably going to like them better. 128
  • 129. Quick Ideas 101 to 102 102 What Is It You Sell? When Jack Trout and Al Reis wrote the popular book,Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, they said that yourbusiness name is crucial. It should be the shortest distance be-tween you and your prospect’s mind. Review these actual busi-ness names, and try to tell me what these people sell: TuesdayMorning, A.J.’s Closet, 21st Amendment, The Sugar Plum Tree, Bounce Back, Tulip Tree, Priscilla’s, Mad Dog’s Assignment Place, Amerispec, and Juni- If you can’t change per Services. My bet is if you your business name, con- hit even one or two, it would sider working hard to de- be a miracle. Does your busi- fine the tag line below your ness name really tell who name that tells what you do you are and what you do? If and why customers should not, maybe it’s time to come to you. change. Epilogue It is time to put your ego aside and decide that the most important thing you have is the name of your business. 129
  • 130. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers 103 Everything Matters What’s important to that new customer you’ve been tryingto win over from your competitor? Everything! Getting newcustomers is about doing a few big things, and hundreds ofsmall things, better than your competition. We call it managingyour T-C-E, or the Total Customer Experience. Picture yourself in agymnastics competitionwhere at the end of a per- Assignmentformance, the judges hold up Pay attention to the de-their scorecards. You will tails, not just the major ele-see things like 9.1, 9.4, and ments of your business.9.7. But it’s the cumulativescore that will determine thefinal rank for that gymnast. It’s the same way with your com-pany. You have to be concerned with a few big things, andhundreds of little things. It’s the attention to detail that will ulti-mately win over your customers. Customers know they haveoptions and choices, and if you don’t manage your T-C-E, theymight go somewhere else. Epilogue Getting new customers is a matter of doing a better job of managing your Total Customer Experience. 130
  • 131. Quick Ideas 103 to 104 104 When Do You Need It? While giving a guided tour of his Phoenix-based promo-tional item company, Jim was explaining how deadlines havechanged, and how much faster our lives move. Just a decadeago he said an order would come in for custom printed itemslike business cards or coffee mugs, and his company would beexcited if they could complete the order and ship it back to thecustomer in ten days. Today, these orders often come in withthe first mail at 8 a.m., and are finished and headed out of theplant by 10 a.m. It’s a fast-paced world. One of the secrets tomeeting and exceeding your Assignmentdeadlines is not telling themwhen you can do something Work first to get theirfor them, but asking them ideal deadline, and then ifwhen they would like to have necessary, you can negotiateit. You have to understand on the actual deadline withtheir timeframe. Oftentimes which you both can live.their deadline may not benearly as soon or as criticalas you think. They may need something in a week, but youthought they would want it in a day. There are two main ben-efits that come from properly assessing a customer’s needs.The first is the opportunity to exceed their expectation and getit there more quickly than needed. The second is to scheduleyour work and your production to meet their needs, not yours. Epilogue In today’s fast-paced world, the ongoing practice of un- der-promise and over-deliver will win you more customers than you can possibly imagine. 131
  • 132. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers 105 Lost Sales Mean Opportunities Lost sales, special orders, and buyouts can be an opportu-nity to businesses that have the right inventories and are payingattention to what their customers want and need. When onesmall store started keeping records of special purchases anditems on which they lost sales, they quickly found one particu-lar item they had reordered five times for a customer, and itwas an item they didn’tstock. When this business Assignmentoffered to stock thecustomer’s special needs, Keep your inventory upthe customer assured them to date, and track all your or-that they would get all their ders. The goal is to alwaysbusiness. By tracking just have what you should have,one special purchase, they and never have what youended up with a profitable shouldn’t account. What are youdoing to keep track of items you don’t have, and to analyzethose special orders and lost sales? Epilogue Anyone can say, “No, we don’t have it.” But it’s the people who can say “We’ll get it,” who consistently win over the new customers. 132
  • 133. Quick Ideas 105 to 106 106 Let Them Decide There is no way to estimate a customer’s willingness tospend money on repairs, improvements, products, or servicesthey really want. Never tell a customer how they should investtheir money. Let them make the decision. Don’t throw coldwater on a possible sale when you don’t know the value of theitem or transaction they are considering. Oftentimes sentimen-tal value, emotions, and history play into a customer’s decisionto spend more than you might think makes sense. When the owner of a Assignment high-rise office building in downtown Chicago at- Value is in the eye of the tempted to sell the building, beholder. Put the customer in it had fallen into disrepair and the power position, give them was completely vacant. their options, and then let When one prospect came in, them make the decision. he began to belittle the value of the building as he talkedabout the leaky roof, the loose brick, and other major repairs.There was no way for the existing owner to know how muchor how badly this prospect wanted to own the building. Themore the prospect talked the building down, the more the exist-ing owner lowered the price. Finally they reached a deal, andunexpectedly the new owner had the building imploded andremoved from the site. He knew the value of the land, whichwas what he really wanted. The seller lost thousands of dollarsbecause he assumed the buyer wanted the building, not theland. 133
  • 134. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers Epilogue Your job is to inform prospects of their options, and their job is to decide what best fits them and their budgets, needs, and wants. 107 Forget Satisfied In years past, the goal of businesses was to satisfy theircustomers. Everyone thought that satisfy was the key word,and that it was a sure-fire formula to foster relationships, en-courage customer loyalty, and build repeat business. Now weknow that it’s not enough. Businesses must raise the bar, andstrive to go from good to great, and “delight” their customers. The University of Michi-gan monitors customer sat-isfaction, and rates business Assignmentsuccesses as it relates to Delighted customerscustomer satisfaction. Some come from service as muchresearchers credit more de- as product. Make a sign formanding and better-informed your office/service area.customers as the driving On the sign put the wordforce behind the move from Satisfied then cross it outsatisfied to delighted. What and write over it Delighted.does this mean for you? Use this poster to remindYou’ve got to rethink, re- everyone that the new stan-work, and realign your goals, dard is, procedures, andtraining. You have to find the 134
  • 135. Quick Ideas 106 to 108strategies and tactics that yield an outcome of delighted cus-tomers, and adjust your practices accordingly. Epilogue The primary reason satisfied doesn’t work anymore is because that’s what customers believe they hired you to do originally, and all you’re doing is fulfilling the agreement they made with you when they made a purchase. Delighted how- ever, goes above and beyond their expectations. 108 Perceptions of Value In prospecting today, we often throw around terminologythat does not have supporting facts and figures. Unique sellingposition, economies of scale, service philosophy, and brand prom- ise are all examples of words that require more informa- Assignment tion before they can be used Don’t operate in the effectively. It’s amazing how dark. Conduct surveys and most companies assume, get a true grasp on how your and make poorly informed customers view you and judgments, about how their perceive the value you are prospects and customers providing. Then communi- perceive value of goods and cate that value to your pros- services. pects, so they can become At Tuckman Cleaners, a loyal customers too! sign hangs from the ceiling 135
  • 136. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customersof each location that says “The Only Opinion of Value thatCounts is Our Customers’ Perception of Value.” Epilogue Regardless of the words, terms, and phrases you use, at the end of the day, customers buy value. 109 Prospecting With Hulk and Bulk Greg runs a farm equipment dealership where John Deereis their primary product line. Driving by Greg’s store in seasonis an experience. You willsee riding mowers andlawn equipment in hugestacks higher than their Assignmentbuilding. Out front you will Borrow from the hulksee dozens of tractors, trail- and bulk principle. Wheners, front-loaders, and other you advertise, show lots ofheavy equipment lined up the product. Put it by theready for delivery. Their doors, in the aisles, or at thedisplays, which use hulk checkout counter. Focus onand bulk, is one of the key two or three items that willreasons Greg’s store is one attract customers, and over-of the largest in the region. whelm them with quantity.Don’t overlook the powerof hulk and bulk to send amessage to your prospects that you are an expert, you areserious, and you can be trusted to have what they want. 136
  • 137. Quick Ideas 108 to 110 Epilogue Perhaps the greatest payoff of the hulk and bulk prin- ciple is that it establishes a visual memory connecting your company with a specific item. So when the customer needs it tomorrow, they will remember you today. 110 It’s All About Value If you want to get your coworkers to see the value of aprospect, talk to them in terms of a customer’s annual spend-ing and how much they could be worth over a lifetime. Itgives your employees and staff an entirely new perspectiveon that prospective customer. For example, one executivefound that his average member contributed $550 in gross profitto his association each year, and that the average member stayed a total of 6 1/2 years on their membership roster. Assignment That adds up to $3,575 per Teach your associates customer! The association the value of long-term cus- quickly learned they could tomers. You can delight your really invest in landing that long-term customers by do- prospect. In fact, they could ing extra little things to show afford to spend an entire your appreciation. Enhance year’s profit on recruitment the value of your business by because they would make it adding extra benefits. up in the long-term. 137
  • 138. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers Epilogue Teach your people that every prospect has the potential to be a big spender, and should be treated accordingly. 111 How Much Does It Cost? One retailer had a 300-piece tool rack, and noticed thatcustomers would spin the rack, pick items up, look them over,but then put them back and walk out the door. He believed theproblem was that there weren’t prices on the items, and peoplewere too timid, too busy, or just not interested enough to ask.So he tried an experiment. He put a price tag on all 300 items.Instantly, sales increased 40 percent. Could simply having aprice on the merchandise in-crease sales that much?There was only one way to Assignmentfind out. He went back andcarefully removed all 300 Many people are tooprice stickers and tracked timid or feel they will be obli-sales for the next 60 days. gated if they ask the price.Amazingly, sales went right Do a daily sweep of your fa-back to the previous level. cility to make sure everythingHe proved that everything has a price so customershas to be priced, or custom- won’t see it as value-less.ers will see it as value-lessand simply walk away. 138
  • 139. Quick Ideas 110 to 112 Epilogue Customers will not ask for a price because they expect it to be there. If it’s not, you are violating their expectations and they’ll probably take a hike. 112 Stack Up the Benefits When you talk about the features of your product or ser-vice, be sure to explain the benefits. Here are three good phrasesyou can use: (1) “What that means to you is...”; (2) “That isimportant to know because...”; or (3) “You will love this, be-cause it will help you....” For example, when you buy a drill, what are you reallypurchasing? The drill? The bit? Nope. You want to be able to take that drill and make a hole. Being able to make a Assignment hole is the benefit of the When you learn to be tool, and is really what you great at communicating both are purchasing from the features and benefits, your hardware store. It is so easy prospects will see that you to get caught up in talking are really selling value, and about the features of your they want to become your products that you overlook customer. the real benefits. And at the end of the day, customers want to buy benefits. 139
  • 140. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers Epilogue At the end of the day, people don’t buy what products are, they buy what that product will do. 113 What You Can Do It is so easy to see the negatives in life, and completelymiss the positives. It’s easy to see the ruts in the road insteadof the beautiful highway. As you hunt for new customers, it’sguaranteed that you will find a competitor who is bigger, better,and more established, who will present a real challenge foryou. The secret is to focus on what you can do, without over-looking what you can’t do. Herb worked in a smallcompany where they had Assignmentthree sales representatives. Keep yourself and yourHe was the author of doom sales team focused on theand gloom. If the company positive. Maintain that byasked him to work a special showing your associatesprice promotion, you can bet your own positive attitude.he would say the price was Always have three positivetoo high. If they took on a things to say to the product line, he wouldwhine and complain that itwas the wrong brand. Herb dragged the other people in thecompany down so much that management decided to invite 140
  • 141. Quick Ideas 112 to 114him to work somewhere else. Are you focused on the positivesor the negatives in your attempts to get new customers? Epilogue Remember that the glass is always half full. 114 How Much Is Your Price? If you pick up the Sunday newspaper, you will see lots offlyers and inserts promoting low prices. Or if you walk throughthe mall, look at all the signs for sales, promotions, and greatdeals. Most merchants make price their key selling issue. Youneed to be aware that when you cave in to price, you may begiving money away. While price is important, it is never at thetop of the list for most buyers. Standing your ground to sell value may have a bigger pay- off than lowering your price. Assignment There are only two types Have all your employees of buyers in the world. First write out why you are justi- is the price-based buyer, who fied in your pricing, features, is trying to get the best deal benefits, and guarantees on they for every purchase. The all your major products or second type of buyer is the services. value-based buyer. They want to know what they’re going to get for their money.If both of these buyers are smart, they will ask you about price.The price buyer is testing you to see if you will come down, and 141
  • 142. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customersthe value buyer is testing you to see if you really believe in yourprice and product. If you sell on value, one of the great re-sponses when people ask about the price is to say, “Yes, theprice is...” and give them the amount, and then tell them, “AndI’m as surprised as you are that we can afford to sell for that.May I explain to you why you’d be smart to invest your moneyin this?” These key phrases can help you overcome that pricebarrier, but the main thing is for you to stand firm and believethat what you’re selling is worth what you’re asking. If youdon’t believe in your product, you will never convince the buyerto either. Epilogue The easiest selling method in the world is to cave in and lower the price, which means you are giving away money. Are you sure that’s what you want to do? 115 The $10 Stupidity Have you noticed how many businesses run expensive ads,offer deep discounts, coupons, giveaways, and all kinds of en-ticements to get you to buy? But when it comes time to takeyour money, they can’t do it? They have lines backed up, peoplewho aren’t properly trained, or people who have no customerservice experience. An additional person or a little more train-ing could fix this problem, and make a bad experience a plea-surable one for as little as $10 an hour. 142
  • 143. Quick Ideas 114 to 116 When it comes time to Assignment getting the customer to say Human beings are yes, don’t be guilty of a $10 creatures of habit, and are stupidity. Hire that extra always going to take the staff, train your current as- path of least resistance. sociates, or invest in that Analyze your procedures extra piece of machinery and make it easy for the that will make working un- customer to buy. der pressure much simpler. Work to make it easy, en- joyable, and quick, becauseif you are not ready when the customer is finally willing to handover the cash, you’re in big trouble. Epilogue Make it a goal to have the right people, with the right training, the right attitude, and in the right quantity at the right time, and you’ll turn prospects into buying customers more than ever before. 116 Losing Their Luster Coupons, discounts, and promotions are so overused today,they are no longer an effective motivator to get new customersand boost sales. For example, almost every supermarket hasoverpriced their merchandise. To get it reduced to the priceyou should pay, you have to carry one of their frequent buyercards. Consider a different approach by using premiums, gifts, 143
  • 144. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customersand other incentives to getcustomers to do business Assignmentwith you. Get in touch with a pre- When one of my friends mium supplier who can fixbought a painfully overpriced you up with different logoluxury SUV, he nearly got items, and try them as giftsinto a fight with the sales and incentives.manager when they refusedto give him the free cap andjacket that his golfing buddies had gotten when they bought thesame car. Don’t lose sight of the fact that some of the mostunique incentives have spurred people to switch suppliers andbecome customers when coupons and discounts probably hadlittle meaning to them. Begin today to experiment with whatmotivates your customers to go the extra mile. Epilogue People make emotional decisions about what they buy and where they buy, but they like to justify their purchases with logical explanations. 117 Tell Them What You Can Do No driver likes to end up on a dead-end street, and nobusinessperson enjoys being left in a bad situation by a supplier.Develop a reputation for caring, trying, and helping. Anytimeyou have to tell a customer what you can’t do, also tell themwhat you can do. Always have the information available tooffer your customers an alternative if you are not able to meet 144
  • 145. Quick Ideas 116 to 117 their needs. Make sure that Assignment there are no dead-ends if they deal with you. Identify the top 10 times when you are forced to say In the well-known no. Develop a few poten- movie Miracle on 34th tial positive responses that Street, Santa Claus made this can be partnered with the principle work for him dur- no’s. For example, when ing the busy Christmas shop- you have to tell a prospect ping season. When a child that you can’t get their or- sat on his lap and asked for der in time, be sure to say a toy that Santa didn’t have that you can give them a 20 he directed the child’s par- percent discount. ents to a competitor in the area. The parents were so amazed with Santa’s behav-ior, they came back to his store and brought all their friends andfamily as well. Epilogue Anyone can say no, sorry, or tough luck. But you will earn the respect and business of potential customers when you help them by telling them what you can do. Balance the negative with the positive, and be sure to give the customer options. 145
  • 146. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers 118 Are You Listening? Walter, a veteran sales rep, had a legendary reputation fortalking, and a costly reputation for not listening. On one salescall alone, a manufacturer’s rep working with him picked up onthree huge buying signals from the prospect, while Walter nevereven slowed down. He kept talking, even though the customerhad heard everything he needed to hear. Because Walter didn’ttake the time to listen to his customer, they left without havingmade the sale. Great companies de-velop great people who Assignmentknow how to really listen. Talk only 1/3 of the timeThe problem is, most pros- you are with a prospect. Ifpecting conversations aren’t they don’t talk, ask ques-about talking and listening; tions. Train yourself and yourthey are about two people team to listen. After all, it’sjust waiting for the other to the customer’s needs, notstop talking. Most prospects yours, that need to be satis-will drop buying signals fied. Give them a chance towhen they’re ready to close express their needs.the deal. It’s your job tomake sure you can hearthem! Epilogue Listening requires practice, dedication, and discipline. 146
  • 147. Quick Ideas 118 to 119 119 The Early Bird Gets the New Customer Staying on the cutting edge of changes, new products, ser-vices, and new technologies is a must if you want to be per-ceived as the best resource for prospects and customers. Ittakes real work and a commitment from everyone to keep upwith all the changes in our world today. Tom operates a group of successful retail stores Assignment spread across Iowa and Wis- Make it a point to be the consin. He believes one of most informed and up to date their marketing advantages in your industry. Provide comes from making a major your staff with the tools and effort to monitor the indus- insist they use them. Make try for new information and your sales staff the people changes that are happening with the latest information in their marketplace. To keep about your industry. Your up, he and his crew receive customers and prospects will a variety of trade publica- learn that you can be de- tions each month. They are pended on to have the most always walking the aisles of up-to-date information in the trade shows and manufac- industry. turers’ exhibits, and they carefully monitor manufac- turers’ mailings to see what is new. They also invest inseveral newsletters, including a daily fax bulletin that keepsthem informed of what is going on in their market. His sales-people frequently know days, weeks, and sometimes months inadvance, long before their competition even gets wind of what 147
  • 148. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customersis going on. They are perceived as the best resource to offercustomers the information and products they need. Epilogue Our world is changing by the second, and if you don’t change with it, you’ll be listed in the book, “Who’s Through,” in your business category. 120 The Problem With Communication In prospecting for new customers, effective communica-tion can be incredible challenging. So much of what we do isverbal, and sometimes we forget that other kinds of commu-nication can be just as effective. Don’t forget that visual com-munication can play a big part in prospecting for newcustomers. Herb was a white-hairedmanager, and he called that Assignmentwhite hair his frost of wis- Create a backup systemdom. One of his favorite re- using e-mail, voice mail, orminders was how dangerous written orders to make sureverbal orders could be. In that there are no verbal or-fact, he said communication ders that are misunderstood.problems normally come Especially when they are or-from one of three areas: (1) ders from customers or re-There was no communica- quests for information fromtion in the first place; (2) We prospects!misspoke or misunderstoodthe original communication; 148
  • 149. Quick Ideas 119 to 121or (3) We assumed we had the answer, and went ahead with-out confirming the information. Herb had a bright yellow formthat he insisted everyone use. It said Avoid Verbal Orders inbig, bold letters across the top, and it said Put It In Writingalong the bottom. What are you doing to make sure you com-municate effectively within your organization and with yourprospects? Epilogue Remember that the message is always in the mind of the receiver, and by putting it in writing, you vastly increase the likelihood the message will be communicated correctly. 121 No Is Not the Answer Fear is the greatest single challenge that you must over-come if you’re going to be successful at turning prospects intocustomers. When many salespeople hear the word “no,” theygive up or give in. But if you are going to succeed in prospect-ing for customers, you can’t quit when you hear the word no.You’ve got to step back, look at the situation, and try to find anew approach to get your prospects to say “yes.” Ron was a bright, young salesperson for a company in Chi-cago. He was organized, well-groomed, and articulate, and keptgreat records about his sales prospecting. The only problemwas that he wasn’t getting new business, and no one in hiscompany could figure out why. Finally they hired a sales con-sultant who traveled with Ron and critiqued his selling style.What they found is that when a customer said no, Ron quit and 149
  • 150. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customerssimply gave up. He wasgiving in and giving up in- Assignmentstead of finding ways to Don’t quit when youovercome the no and hear the word “no.” Take achange it to a yes. Winston step back and think aboutChurchill said, “It is not what you tried, and then tryenough that we do our something different. You’vebest. Sometimes we have got to keep going until youto do what’s required.” can change a “no” into a “yes.” Epilogue You’re not defeated until you give up. The moment you say, “I quit,” you have defeated yourself. 122 Selective Hearing You need to beware of promises, claims, or even casualcomments. Customers have selective hearing and selectivememory, and you can bet they will remember in a way thatsuits them best! If you tell them you can get it in a week, they’llbe calling you in three days wanting to know where it is. If youtell them you think you can get it for free, they’ll want to knowhow much you’re going to pay them to take it. And if you sayyou can do something and then you have to renege, your chancesof getting that customer to come back to you are very slim. When Betty, a financial services representative, called ona potential broker, she told them she was pretty certain that she 150
  • 151. Quick Ideas 121 to 123 could get a promotional Assignment package for them at little or no cost. Those words came When you make state- back to haunt her. On the ments or promises that might very next prospecting call, be interpreted by a prospect the client wanted to know or customer as certain, re- where that complete promo- mind them “if it ain’t in writ- tional package was that she ing, it ain’t so.” Then, when promised to get them for you know you can make free. What she quickly such a promise, put it in writ- learned was that a casual ing for them. comment can be turned to her disadvantage. Epilogue Some people will lie, and some people truly have selec- tive hearing. Regardless, they will try to use your words against you. 123 If Only We Had Time My grandfather used to say that both meetings and ser-mons should end on the same day they began. He was a nutabout wasting time. He recognized that there are only 24 hoursin a day, so it’s important to spend those hours wisely. It’s vitalto recognize the value of a customer’s time, especially whenthey are investing that time in listening to you. The pressure onbusiness people today to get more done in less time is the big-gest complaint by business owners and associates today. 151
  • 152. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers Michael, an award-winning sales rep, follows Assignmentthe Vince Lombardi rule. Ifhe’s not 10 minutes early Make managing yourfor an appointment with a time a critical ingredient ofprospect or customer, he your prospecting, and let cus-feels like he is late. He be- tomers know what your ex-lieves a great deal of his pectations are up front.success, and his foundationfor being a salesman, is hisrespect for other people’s time. Three of his rules are: (1) Al-ways be on time or early for your commitments; (2) Always beprepared with no fumbling, excuses, or stories; and (3) Alwaysend at the time you promised, and remind a customer or pros-pect of how much you value their time. Are you always early,prepared, and respectful of other people’s time? If not, it maybe a real stumbling block to getting the new customers youwant. Epilogue The phrase “time-management” is really a misnomer. You’re not trying to manage your time, you’re actually trying to manage your life to fit into the existing and unchanging time. Ultimately, you have to respect your prospect’s time, and they will respect you. 152
  • 153. Quick Ideas 123 to 124 124 Anticipate Obstacles Author John Newborn said, “People can be divided intothree groups: those who make things happen, those who watchthings happen, and those who wonder what happened.” Thiscertainly applies to people in business, particularly on the sub-ject of gaining and retaining customers. The secret to your suc-cess is to ask yourself which group you’re in. An even better question is to ask to which group you want to belong. Assignment Prominent author and Become a goal-oriented business leader Frank manager, especially when it Basile says that when he comes to getting new cus- teaches goal-setting, he tomers. teaches to be goal oriented people. An important ingre- dient of his goal-settingtraining is to anticipate that there will be obstacles ahead thatwill have to be handled to reach those goals. He says to takethe word “try” out of your vocabulary, because it sets you upfor failure and excuses. Would you want to fly with a pilot whois going to “try” to land safely? What you need to do when youset a goal is say to yourself, “I’m going to make this happen,”and then get it done. Epilogue One seasoned sales manager said he only has two kinds of people: (1) Those who make a quota, and (2) Those who make excuses. 153
  • 154. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers 125 Decide Not to Sell Many amateur salespeople think every sales call must bean attempt to make a sale. Experienced professionals knowthat oftentimes there is a great deal of research, investigation,and diagnosis necessary before they can possibly think aboutclosing the deal. The owner of a servicecompany was really nice to Assignmentthe salesperson each time Probe, look, and listen.she stopped by. However, he Be patient. Find your com-claimed he was getting the petitive advantages beforebest price, the best delivery, trying to make the sale.and the best inventory man-agement when he boughtfrom someone else. It took her more than six months to de-velop the big picture and to learn that most of what he claimedwasn’t true. In fact, many of the suppliers were taking advan-tage of him, and he wasn’t paying enough attention. He haditems that should have been returned, he had merchandise leftover on which he would never get his money back, and he hadwarranties that should have been credited long ago. After sixmonths, this savvy salesperson finally made a case. She pre-sented it to the owner and clearly demonstrated that her totalservice package was better. He immediately went from theprospect column to the customer column. Epilogue Remember that the goal of a sale may be not to sell at all, but simply to gather critical information. 154
  • 155. Quick Ideas 125 to 126 126 Selling to the Senses People still need to see and touch before they buy. Whilethe Internet has proven to be a great tool for people to educatethemselves, it has not measured up in terms of generating busi-ness and replacing bricks-and-mortar retailers. Take a lessonfrom the Big Box stores, and let your customer see and touchyour merchandise. F.W. Woolworth made a fortune when he invented Assignment the five-and-dime store. He What do you need to put moved the merchandise out so your people can see down from the high shelves and touch to build a follow- and out from under the ing of loyal customers? Never counter to where people underestimate the value of could experience it for them- the five senses, and try to selves. He taught the prin- arrange your merchandise in ciple that you need to put it a manner that appeals to more out where people can see it, than just sight. feel it, and handle it, if you’re going to successfully sell it. Epilogue Don’t be afraid to let customers use and abuse your dis- plays and samples, because they are great tools for turning shoppers into buyers, and prospects into customers. 155
  • 156. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers 127 Never Assume It Took Place One of the most dangerous things you can do in prospect-ing for customers is to assume that true communication tookplace. We get so many magazines, letters, e-mail, direct mail,and personal mail that it’s easy for important details to slipthrough the cracks. Bullet-proof your communications by hav-ing another set of eyes test what you are doing. Elaine is an office assis-tant in a busy secretarial Assignmentgroup. She has an uncanny Always check criticalability to read and review items going out to prospectsmaterials to see if all the nec- by having a second set ofessary details are there and eyes review the identify any communica- Develop a system so thattion gaps. In her office they every item that goes out thecall it the “Elaine test.” With door is double-checked forany new creative piece, in- consistency and clarity. Thiscluding flyers, invitations, ads, type of proofing can catch aand particularly events where problem before it begins.people are invited and needto know a great deal of de-tail, the rule is “Give it to Elaine.” If after reading it, she can tellyou the details about what is happening, then it’s clear and con-cise. If Elaine can’t relate the details about what is on the agenda,then it is a clear indicator that the piece needs to be revised. Epilogue Find someone in your office or group who can function like Elaine. 156
  • 157. Quick Ideas 127 to 128 128 Attention to Detail One thing prospects quickly notice and grow to admire is arepresentative who dots the i’s and crosses the t’s. By payingattention to the big things and the little details, they will quicklysee that you are a person on whom they can depend. Don’tever let the big picture overwhelm your vision of success. The United States mili- tary is one of the most reli- Assignment able organizations in the Make yourself a card world, and they run a test with that test. Simply write on anything and everything down Who, What, When, they do. Before running any Where, Why, and How missions or engaging in any much? Pull it out anytime you activity, they always try to want to test something to see answer the following ques- if it is clear and complete. tions Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How much? These six ideas willgive you a fairly complete idea of the task at hand, and willallow you to provide the pertinent information to your pros-pects. It’s a test that you should use for every project and ev-ery assignment. You will never fail by giving too much attentionto detail. Epilogue If you learn to inspect what you expect, you will soon get what you want from the world of big business. 157
  • 158. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers 129 Use Your Design A really great prospector maintains a constantly updatedlist of great ideas to improve their prospecting efforts. One keyquestion you should always ask yourself is, “How can I multi-ply my prospecting efforts without investing in more man-power?” One answer is to work on the visibility of your vehicles,and maintain top-of-mind-awareness with your prospects. Even small and mid-sized businesses with little or Assignmentno budget can benefit from Investigate graphic de-carving out a unique image sign options and consider anfor their vehicles, whether entirly new way to identifythey have one or 100. Think your vehicles. Your goal is toabout how quickly you rec- catch people’s attention andognize a black and white po- tell who you are, what youlice car, an emergency do, and how to contact you.vehicle, or a simple but ef-fective yellow cab. If youhave a bigger budget, consider how UPS has turned thousandsand thousands of ugly brown trucks into a status symbol and aninternationally known logo. All these icons have been devel-oped as a result of intent, purpose, and design. Look at yourcompany and see what unique factors you can capitalize on toenhance your visibility. Epilogue Steal, don’t invent, your success. By seeing what success- ful people do and doing something similar to what they do, you too will be successful. 158
  • 159. Quick Ideas 129 to 130 130 Make Smiles Zero Tolerance There are only two kinds of people to work with if you’regoing to win the hearts of new customers: (1) Those who shouldwork for you; and (2) Those who should never work for you.The difference between the two is sometimes hard to identify,but I’ll give you a secret. It’s all about the smile! Across Japan, fast food menus look just like those Assignment here in the United States: Develop your own hamburgers, fries, and soft smile testing. Let people try drinks. The one major differ- the job, and watch their fa- ence is at the lower right- cial expression. It will tell hand corner, where it almost you everything you need to always says “Smiles are know about the person’s fu- Zero Yen.” The bright atti- ture with your company. tude and good customer ser- vice skills are free of charge, and are usually the reasoncustomers return to a specific restaurant when all the menusare the same. When you hire new employees, make it a goal tohire only those applicants who have a big smile. Epilogue Even the grumpiest prospect alive wants to deal with someone who has a smile. Make sure that person is from your organization. 159
  • 160. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers 131 It’s Okay to Know You Don’t Know Call it ego, pride, or vanity, but however you label it, Ameri-cans are hesitant to admit when they don’t know something.The really smart person knows it is okay not to know, and spendstheir time and effort on finding the answer. Train your employ-ees to ask for information if they don’t know the answer, ratherthan lie or dismiss a customer request. Raymond drove nearly50 miles to a computer store Assignmentbecause he needed a highlytechnical part. When When you know youRaymond asked, “Are you don’t know, admit it, andsure this will do the job,” the find someone who does.sales clerk responded, “I That should be a companythink so.” That immediately policy. Otherwise you driveset off Raymond’s built-in lie away potential customers.detector. He exited the storeand headed to a competitor,where he found a reliable answer to his question. Raymondbelieved it was okay not to know the answer, as long as theywere willing to get someone who does. Epilogue Ignorance is simply not knowing, but stupidity is claim- ing to know something when you don’t. 160
  • 161. Quick Ideas 131 to 132 132 Don’t Be a Bungling Bob Dale Carnegie taught that selling is about relationships, and15 percent is about what you know, and 85 percent is aboutwho you know. While that principle is simple, it is also problem-atic. If you don’t know the 15 percent about your products and services, it will ruin your credibility with prospects. Assignment Each month, Bob’s Make it a rule each warehouse produced a Top month to read your primary 10 list of their specials for the sales materials, bulletins, and month, and each month, promotions so you know in Bob’s customers would ask advance how to answer a him about those specials, and prospect’s questions. Also, Bob would have to go out to be sure to provide the mate- the car and search through rials to your prospects di- piles of paper to find the spe- rectly. Don’t be a Bungling cial flyers for the month. He Bob and indirectly sabotage would bring them in, rumpled your customer service. and covered with coffee stains, and sit down and read them to his prospects. Fi-nally, one of his prospects said, “Bob, I’ve given you a nick-name, Bungling Bob, because you don’t seem to care enoughto even learn about your own products and services. You alsoinsult me, because I can read those materials by myself.” Bobgot a huge dose of the truth that day, and has since tried to treathis customers with dignity and respect. He makes sure that hismaterials are neat and organized, and he’s arranged to have hisspecial flyers mailed directly to his customers. 161
  • 162. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers Epilogue When your prospects find out that you don’t know, they’ll think you don’t really care about them and they won’t deal with you. 133 Create Your Personal Gold Mine Do you know what is more worthless than yesterday’snewspaper, week-old bread, or a five-year-old phonebook? It’sa database that isn’t accurate. Your future success in winningover new customers will be determined largely by the qualityand quantity of your prospect list. Today is the best opportunityyou will ever have to make a commitment to keep that list up todate, accurate, and on target. Early on, Joanne realized Assignmenthow powerful and accurate awell-maintained, up-to-date Create a form that ev-list of prospects can be. She eryone can use to notify youmade a commitment to do when changes come about,several things to keep that and have it by their phonesdatabase accurate. First, she or desk so they can pass itdecided that any time she was along.notified of a change by peoplein her company, she would pick up the telephone and verify theinformation with the prospect. Second, she alerted coworkers inher company to pass along any information they got about changesin a prospect situation. This included people, phone numbers, oraddresses. Third, on all mailings to prospects, she put the term 162
  • 163. Quick Ideas 132 to 134“Address Correction Requested” below their return address inthe upper left-hand corner. That signals the post office to alertyou when there’s a change, and to furnish you with that infor-mation. If you’re going to keep your database accurate, it isessential to have a multi-strategic approach to gaining and main-taining good information. Epilogue If you invest in taking care of your future customer data- base, your future customer database will take care of you. 134 The Insanity Principle Albert Einstein formulated something that he called the in-sanity principle. The principle says you cannot continue to do the same thing many times over and expect to get a dif- Assignment ferent outcome. Borrow from this pro- In one year, a sales pro- fessional and record the an- fessional made over 600 cold swers to those two questions calls on 600 different busi- each time you make a cold nesses. On each call he call. Create a diary of these slowly but surely conquered responses. Then study the his fear of the unknown. On responses and try different every cold call he had two approaches based on your questions he asked himself: own observations. (1) What should have I done differently on that sales call? 163
  • 164. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customersand (2) What should I have said differently on that call? Aftereach of those events, he would write out what he wanted to doand say differently, and then reread the 10 most recent calls,and on the next cold call, he would try to tweak it and make itjust a little different until he got a better reception. Epilogue Learn completely from every experience and use that learning to improve subsequent customer calls. 135 Beware of Fatal Ruts The only difference between a rut and a grave is that a rutis a grave with the ends knocked out. It is easy to fall into a rutand take customers for granted. Any presentations you givewill come off as though you were a parrot, simply repeating itagain and again. Each timeyou give a presentation to aprospective customer, pre- Assignmenttend you are doing it for the Prepare every presen-very first time. Get involved, tation as though it were thewatch the key points, ask the first time you’ve done it.right questions and walk Sometimes it’s just a mat-them through it, because ter of putting on your gamethey are seeing it with brand- face. Prospects and cus-new, fresh eyes. Don’t tomers can tell when theycome off like a parrot. are not getting your best effort. 164
  • 165. Quick Ideas 134 to 136 Epilogue If you don’t make a presentation that sends a message that you care, your prospect will get a message that you don’t care. 136 Ask for Help There’s something magical that happens when you call oncustomers accompanied by a specialist. It’s interesting howprospects, who previously wouldn’t give you the time of day,will suddenly stop and listen to a person they see as an author-ity. Don’t be afraid to reach out and get help from manufactur-ers, distributors, and retailers who can help you win overprospects. Examine your market- Assignment place and ask yourself who could help you. Then when Make a list of all the help is available, knock on people who might be able to the doors of those prospects help you, then ask their help, who might not have given you and make some calls. You’ll the time of day in the past, be surprised how supportive introduce your specialists, your allies will be and how and see what happens. It’s effective you’ll become. something about having that second person traveling withyou that seems to open locked doors. It might be uncomfort-able or awkward, but it’s always productive. Don’t be afraid toask for help. 165
  • 166. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers Epilogue When we put pride aside and ask for help, magical things can happen. 137 Criticize, Condemn, and Complain Your attitude will be the number one ingredient in your abilityto get new customers. Have you heard this quote, “Any fool cancriticize, condemn, and complain, and most of them do?” Yoursuccess in business means you will not be allowed to pick thepersonality of the people with whom you work. It’s not who youencounter that will determine your success, but how you re-spond to the people you encounter that will make the difference. There are three thingsexperienced professionalswill tell you to do when you Assignmentencounter someone who Each day pick three posi-criticizes, condemns, or com- tive things you can talk about.plains: (1) Beware and If it’s raining, point out howmonitor your own words so that can help grow corn. Ifthat you don’t get caught up it’s cold, point out how thatin their negativity. You cre- will create jobs, becauseate a downward spiral that people might need to buycan destroy both of you; (2) coats. If the wind’s blowing,Don’t chime in and comment talk about how that will gen-on their negatives, because erate power at the new wind-you will only perpetuate mills around the country.them. Oftentimes, they’re 166
  • 167. Quick Ideas 136 to 138testing you; and (3) When appropriate, change the subject tosomething positive. Get them in an upbeat mood, and everyonewill be happier. Epilogue A real professional never chimes in when people criticize, condemn, or complain. 138 Harness the Internet There’s no better resource to keep you up-to-date on re-search, facts, figures, what competitors are doing, and what’son the horizon for your business, than learning to harness theInternet. By using the Internet to research, you can prepare towin customers to your way of business. You can find anythingfrom how to raise fishing worms to a protocol for flying theUnited States flag. Instantly available are statistics on the popu- lation in your area, and a record of births and deaths. Assignment If you’re not using the Teach everyone to use Internet, you’re not resolv- the Internet, and make do- ing the ignorance problem. ing research a must when You can outsmart and out- trying to turn prospects into pace your competition by customers. using the Internet as your re- search vehicle. 167
  • 168. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers Epilogue When you fail to do your homework and necessary research, you’re simply giving your competition an ad- vantage over you. Why would you want to do that? 139 Tell the Truth Most businesspeople know the difference between rightand wrong, and they know the difference between honesty anddeception. But there are still people who operate in shades ofgray and convince themselves that it is okay to deceive, ma-nipulate, and play with the truth to get new customers. An atti-tude of telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but thetruth will work for you in the long term. How would you feel ifyou bought gold from a com- Assignmentpany based on an ad thatread, “Analysts predict the Use this as an advertis-price of gold could double in ing test: Is this true, and willthe future.” While that pre- people believe it?diction is not illegal (althoughit probably should be) it sure smacks of an attempt to convincebuyers that gold is a sure thing, and that buying from them willgive them a great return and riches untold. But it’s deceptive.Yes, gold could double in the future, but who knows when, andwho will guarantee it? 168
  • 169. Quick Ideas 138 to 140 Epilogue You will never get in trouble trying to attract customers by telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. 140 How Are You Really Doing? One sure test of your ability to attract more customers is toask how you are doing with the customers you already have.Most businesses rarely ask, thinking that a lack of complaintsmeans everyone is happy. The reality is that you will only hearfrom two types of customers, those who love you, and thosewho are unhappy with you. The killer is the great silent major-ity who don’t whine or complain. They just quietly leave youfor a competitor. When a salesman asked Assignment Bob how his company was doing at making their deliv- You’ve got to have a eries to Bob’s mechanical system to consistently invite repair department, the sales- customers to sound off if man was flabbergasted to you’re going to know how learn that Bob thought their your services rate. That way service needed some work. you can attract and retain He said that in recent the prospects you want. months the service had de- teriorated, and he had to goto a nearby competitor when they needed something in a hurry.This salesman was smart enough to spend the remainder of theday polling his other customers in the area. He found out that 169
  • 170. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customerstheir service had deteriorated so badly that many customerswere abandoning them. A late-afternoon meeting with his keypeople determined that they had taken on some businesses inoutlying areas and it was keeping their people and trucks tied-up so they couldn’t deliver to their already-existing good cus-tomers. The end result was that they had to tell some outlyingcustomers they were sorry they couldn’t serve them, and re-build their service for the customers that were mainstay. Howare you doing with your service? What would your customersreally say if an outsider polled them at this very moment? Epilogue A lack of complaints doesn’t mean your customers are out of ammunition. It may mean they are simply reloading, and they’re going to come after you again. 141 Meet Uncle F-E-S-S You already know that getting new customers takes per-sistence, hard work, and doing your homework. If you don’tanticipate objections, roadblocks, or excuses (and have answersto them), then you’re going to be lonelier than the Maytag re-pairman. The secret is to know in advance what you’re goingto say and do when a customer presents an objection. Joe was a real pro at selling training programs and earneda six-figure income because he had answers before the objec-tions came along. He called it his Uncle F-E-S-S, or FrequentlyEncountered Sales Situations. He anticipated what buyers might 170
  • 171. Quick Ideas 140 to 142 use as an excuse not to buy, Assignment and could deal with it in ad- vance. For example, when Identify and work on one prospect said he wasn’t scripting answers to your top going to buy Joe’s training 10 F-E-S-S situations. program because some of Know in advance how his people weren’t going to you’re going to respond to use it, Joe complimented him, their questions. and told him he was abso- lutely correct. However, Joealso said research had proven that some of his salespeoplewould embrace the training program, have huge sales increases,and make him a lot of money. He was right, and the gentlemansigned the purchase order for the training materials, and Joewent to the bank, turning a prospect into a new customer. Epilogue Think like a Boy Scout and Be Prepared. Know what you’re going to say before you encounter those deadly objections. 142 Don’t Be a Drop-in Visitor Prospects want, need, and will respond to you making themfeel valued, respected, and accepted. By telling them you arecalling on them because you just happen to be in the area, tellsthem that you are an accidental tourist without planning or fore-thought, it destroys your credibility. Always make them feelspecial because you came just to see them, regardless of howmany other people you might see today, or what your plans are. 171
  • 172. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers When Bob, a seasonedinsurance company repre- Assignmentsentative, made calls on hisprospects, he made them feel Work at learning whatso valuable they felt guilty makes prospects feel valued,because they didn’t buy respected, and accepted, andfrom him. If he saw only one deliver that to them andprospect or 10 in a given day, watch your new-customerhe had the ability to make count soar.them feel like they were theonly company Bob visited. What can you do to let prospectsknow they are the most important person in the world, and thatyou’re coming to see them because you value them? Epilogue Making a prospect feel special, like a rose among the thorns, can have a huge payoff. They will welcome you back gladly. 143 Don’t Love Them and Leave Them His name was John Cash Penney, but you probably know himbetter by the retail stores he founded, JCPenney. As a retailingpioneer, John Cash Penney believed the best service you couldgive was the service after the sale. He knew that following upwith customers and backing up what you say and do is crucial,because it leads to long-term customer relationships. John Deere, maker of everything from lawn tractors to com-bines, launched a new program to sell its expensive high-quality 172
  • 173. Quick Ideas 142 to 143 lawn tractors. With each Assignment purchase, the buyer was promised that after using the Look at the products lawn tractor a few times, a and/or services you provide service technician from John your customers. Which of Deere would be out to run a them would be good as a six-point inspection; that they follow-up relationship build- would make absolutely cer- ing call? Which are most tain it was in perfect work- likely to cause problems? ing order, that everything Based on the answers to was adjusted properly, and these questions, develop a they could almost be assured service after the sale pro- that it will give many years gram to help you retain those of long-term mowing with valuable new customers. little maintenance. This gave John Deere the opportunity to catch a problem before itbecame a disaster. It was a chance to remind customers thatthey’ve invested in a high-quality lawn tractor, and it’s a greatchance to save a lot of money, because they’ll probably pre-vent some service incidents that would require emergency callslater. What can you do to offer your customers service afterthe sale so they will look to you for future purchases? Epilogue Providing service after the sale works great, because al- most nobody does it. 173
  • 174. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers 144 Organize Your Prospect Efforts If you are attempting to organize, track, and cultivate aquantity of prospects, then investing in software specificallydesigned for managing a database of potential customers maybe a great investment for you. It can help you formalize, orga-nize, and systemize your prospecting efforts and offer youreports to show how youare progressing. Many sales represen- Assignmenttatives who are drop-dead Research the optionsserious about cultivating mentioned at left, select onenew customers have been of the applications, and thenoverwhelmed by the many build your database of cus-things a database software tomers. Remember that anyprogram has done for database is only valuable ifthem. You should check it is kept up-to-date.out popular brands likeACT, Goldmine, orMicrosoft Access, or Microsoft Outlook to understand how youcan systemize your contacts. Such automated software givesyou great opportunities to do mailing, keep sales call records, aswell as the ability to e-mail, fax, and print custom letters to yourprospects. If you’re trying to manage a quantity of prospects,then a good database software program is a must. Epilogue The secret of developing new customers is to have a systemized approach to consistently go after those potential customers. 174
  • 175. Quick Ideas 144 to 145 145 The Agony of Defeat Let’s face it: sometimes the work and effort of prospectingand getting new customers is tough. You hear the word “no”again and again. You feel defeated, and everything inside ofyou wants to quit and walk away. You want to accept defeat,give up, and go home. The answer is not giving into defeat.Instead, have a plan to rebuild your energy and spirit when you feel defeated. When Ed called on us, Assignment he was always an excited, Do you have people you wound up, and ready-to-go can call on who will encour- salesman. Every one of our age you? Make a plan that people enjoyed seeing him when you feel beat up and come in, and we worked ready to quit, you’ve got hard to sell his products. somewhere to go, some- One afternoon, I asked him where to renew your energy if he ever got down, discour- and spirit. It works for Ed, aged, or defeated. His an- and it will work for you. swer shocked me. He said “Absolutely.” My next ques- tion was “What do you dowhen you’re in that defeated mode?” His answer was to callon the customers who liked him, supported him, believed inhim, and encouraged him. When I asked who those are, he said“One of them is you. When I feel defeated, I call on you and acouple others, and they get me going again. It’s my plan toovercome that feeling of defeat.” 175
  • 176. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers Epilogue The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat are human feelings. The secret is not what happens, but how you re- spond to what happens. 146 It Is Not What Happens To You When working to win new customers, it is certain you aregoing to have setbacks, disappointments, and discouragements.The reality of trying to win new customers is that at times youwill not succeed. There will be speed bumps and unexpectedchallenges. Your success in getting new customers is not aboutwhat happens to you, your success will be forged by how yourespond to what happens to you. After spending monthsworking to win a new Assignmentcustomer’s business, youknow the devastating feelings Write out Expect theand emotions associated with Unexpected and rememberhearing those fateful words it when dealing with unusual“no,” “sorry,” and “we’ve circumstance.gone with someone else.”What can you do? You canget better or bitter. It is everyone’s choice to turn stumbling blocksinto stepping-stones by improving your competitive skills. Theformula to not let obstacles get you is to expect the unexpected.To use setbacks as a reminder that “no thank you” can be yourchallenge to use those experiences as a force multiplier. You are 176
  • 177. Quick Ideas 145 to 147a survivor, so pick up the pieces, and go looking for newcustomers. Epilogue Great sales people are those who have been knocked down 1,000 times, and gotten up to go 1,001 times. 147 So You Can’t Afford To Perception is the most important word when you are tryingto bring new customers into your business list. You should in-vest in your image, especially when you are attempting to con-vince customers that you should be their preferred choice.Business cards, envelopes, brochures, and all printed materials(more than any other single factor) should reflect your valuemore than the words you use. Make a decision that you’re not going to be an Assignment amateur, but that you’re go- ing to move up to the Make a connection professional’s level. In with a graphic designer and/ today’s high-tech world of or printing facility that can desktop publishing and instant store and print your mate- printing, choose quality over rials in small quantities. quantity with everything that your customers might see. 177
  • 178. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers Epilogue When you put your best foot forward to impress a pros- pect, make sure you are wearing nice shoes. 148 Become an Information Junkie In today’s market, where information is everywhere, it isawfully easy to overlook it. One of the things you can do toendear yourself with prospects and customers is to become aresource of information that interests them. Use your associa-tion membership, trade journals, daily newspaper, and mail as aresource center to find things that customers would value. Neverassume they saw the information. Because so much comesacross their desk, there is no way any one person could keepup with it. A photocopier, a note, and a copy of some strategicinformation can tell a customer you are really sincere abouthelping them meet their needs. My friend Dick has anuncanny ability to find things Assignmentthat interest me. From a Use your associationpostcard while he’s traveling, membership, trade journals,to an article about one of my and other resources to be-hobbies, to a prediction about come an information junkie.the future, he always seems Identify those top 10 pros-to stay one step ahead of pects and the various thingsme. Opening mail from him, you could send to them.or even getting an e-mail, isalways exciting, because it 178
  • 179. Quick Ideas 147 to 149will be something that is targeted just to me. Keep top-of-mindawareness, and build an outpost in your prospect’s mind wherethey see you as someone who is truly tuned in to their needs. Ina world that doesn’t care, you will be a breath of fresh air. Epilogue There is no way to predict when that one item you send to a prospect could be the one that opens the door to all of their business. 149 Obsessed With Reputation Very few business owners and managers realize the need,the value, and the role of reputation in gaining and retaining customers. The dictionary defines reputation as “The Assignment views that are generally Do you even know what held about somebody or your reputation, or the something.” In other words, company’s reputation, is in when someone thinks about the marketplace? Find out by doing business with you, asking. Then assume that if your reputation is going to one person is unhappy, ten be a big part of whether more are unhappy but haven’t they decide to go with you told you. Become someone or with someone else. who is obsessed with protect- Take a lesson from the ing and safeguarding his or Michelin Tire Company, her reputation. which over the years has pioneered a reputation as 179
  • 180. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customershaving the highest quality tires. When their 14 cars (more thanhalf the field) pulled out of the 2005 U.S. Grand Prix in India-napolis, thousands of people were up in arms that they hadbeen cheated. Almost immediately, Michelin protected theirreputation by apologizing to the people who had bought tickets,and spending a reported $10 million to give refunds to thosewho felt they got a raw deal from Michelin. You can bet thatwas a painful event for Michelin, but in years to come, they willrecover all that money, because they did the right thing to pro-tect their reputation. Epilogue It is said that past performance is the best predictor of future performance, and that means your reputation tells a story. If it’s good, you’ll win customers. If it’s tarnished, you’re in trouble. 150 Invest In Yourself Do you take good care of your family, your spouse or sig-nificant other, and your parents? Do you support your commu-nity, civic organizations, and the important things that take placein your neighborhood? Good for you! You deserve a pat on theback. Now, how about taking care of your self? Isn’t it timeyou invested in your future and your success in dealing withpeople? Regardless of the product or service you sell, the real-ity is that you’re in the people business, and you just happen tosell the product or service you’re dealing with today. When Jimmy was 19-years-old, he had such a poor self-image that he hated to look at himself in the mirror. He hadn’t 180
  • 181. Quick Ideas 149 to 150 done well in school, was Assignment never good at sports, and was always overweight. At age If you could only take 19 he saw an ad in the paper one training program in the that said “Develop self-con- rest of your life, there are fidence.” It was an ad for an many good ones out there, inspirational seminar, and he but my vote would be to take went to listen to a Dale a Dale Carnegie course. Carnegie course. He was Check them out in your area, absolutely amazed that in just because they offer numer- a few weeks, his investment ous programs on leadership, totally turned his life in a dif- sales, interpersonal relation- ferent direction. The ships, and a variety of other Carnegie course gave him the necessary subjects. tools he needed to feel good about himself, and to feelgood about his ability to deal with other people. Isn’t it time youinvested in yourself? If you check with most top sales people,they are Dale Carnegie graduates. You should be too. Epilogue The author James Allen said, “A man is literally what he thinks.” If you think better of yourself, you’re going to be more successful. 181
  • 182. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers 151 The Value of Persistence If you ask a customer for their business once, it’s veryunlikely you’ll get a significant percentage to say yes, but asyou continue to ask the second, third, and fourth time, the per-centage increases dramatically. The fifth time you ask is al-most magic. Perhaps it’s because the customer realizes yourpersistence indicates thekind of service you wouldgive them. Assignment One way to win newcustomers is to let them Be persistent. Keep re-know that you will play sec- minding them you are thereond fiddle to their current and available and eventuallysupplier. By positioning they will bite. In the mean-yourself as the second time, do all the things wechoice, you have the oppor- have discussed that willtunity to be there when their keep you at the top of theircurrent supplier makes a mind for when the time isblunder. The secret is to be their face at the point ofneed, or when they want to make a change. That means beingpersistent. Keep asking and eventually their supplier will dropthe ball and you will get the business. How do we know that?How many times have you dropped the ball? Epilogue The phrase “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” couldn’t apply more, so be persistent to win new business. 182
  • 183. Index IndexA CAccess, Microsoft, 174 calling, cold, 24, 62, 163,ads, newspaper, 52, 54 Carnegie, Dale, 161, 181advantages, marketing, 147 cartoons, 15advertising, 35 chameleons, 70 creative, 113 C-H-A-N-T, 57agitators, 57 Churchill, Winston, 150Allen, James, 34 clinics, medical, 26, 27alumni, 19 communicationappearance effective, 148, 149 power of, 48 true, 156 first, 71 complimentsapproaches meaningful, 43 multi-strategic, 163 power of, 43 creative, 63 sincere, 43As a Man Thinketh, 34 connection, emotional, 77associates, 19, 20 contests, 15attrition, customer, 38 creative advertising, 113 creativity, 61 Customerolgy, 38B Customers Have A NameBear, Yogi, 27, 36 Too, 57beliefs, religious, 126 customersBoy Scout, 171 dedicated, 74 long-term, 66, 137business loyal, 22, 113, 155 long-term, 110 new, 79, 108, 159, 174 repeat, 89 C-Y-A factor, 75buyer(s) types of, 141 cycle, buying, 40 repeat, 56 183
  • 184. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New CstomersD groupsdatabase professional, 29 customers, 174 software, 174defeat, 175, 176 HDeming, W. Edwards,100 Hanes, 99, 100designers, graphic, 177 hearing, selective, 150Disney, Walt, 36, 37 heroes, 35distributors, 165 heroics, 36E Ieconomies of scale, 18 ignorance, 160educational opportunities, 18 Image One, 59ego, 160 influence, sphere of, 29Einstein, Albert, 163 information, 178e-mail, 96, 97, 148, 156, 178 infrastructure, 26Emotional Needs First, 55 intentional relationships, 28, 30employees intentions, right, 31 rogue, 14 Internet, 73 rude 13 harnessing, 167EN1, 55 research on, 167entrepreneur, successful, 128 JF JCPenny, 41, 172F.B.I., 86 John Deere, 172-173fairness, 123 joiner, 29, 30Federal Bureau of journals,Investigation, 86 professional, 80 trade, 80, 178Ggoals, long-term, 85, 102 KGoldmine, 174 K-Mart, 41, 42graduates, Carnegie, 181 184
  • 185. IndexKopmeyer, M.R., 124 OKroc, Ray, 17, 36, 37 151 Quick Ideas for Inspiring Your Staff, 74 opportunitiesL educational, 18 training, 18liars, buyers as, 53Lincoln, Abraham, 110 Opryland Hotel, 14, 15Linkletter, Art, 48 organizations, civic, 180listening, 146 Outlook, Microsoft, 174Lombardi, Vince, 152loyalty, 20, 21, 33 prospect, 112 P partnerships strategic, 22 true, 23M Penny, John Cash, 172Make Me Feel Important, 21 People Are Funny, 48manager, goal-oriented, 153 personnel turnover, 39Maytag, 170 planner, financial, 81McDonald’s, 17 Positioning: The Battle forMichelin Tire Company, 179 Your Mind, 129Michigan, University of, 134 PowerPoint, Microsoft, 103Miracle on 34th Street, 145 presentations, 164-165M-M-F-I, 21-22 price, clarifying, 138, 141-142model, business, 26 pride,166motivator, key, 14 principle(s) M-A-N, 116 motivational, 81N visioning, 34name-dropping, 111 problemsnames, using, 56-57 resolving, 47, 48, 90needs, individual, 55 solving, 92negativity, 166 products, customizing, 66newsletters, 15, 16, 147 professional groups, 29 profits, increased, 30 185
  • 186. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Cstomersprogram(s) Rogers, Will, 54 database software,174prospecting, people topeople, 25 Sprospects S-A-F-E, 24 pushy, 39 sales turning off your, 38, 39 sensory perception, 155publications, trade, 147 Sam’s Club, 56publishing, desktop, 177 scale, economies of, 18quality, 99 Sears, 41questions, magic, 115 Secure, Accepted, Free of Fear, Enthusiastic, 24 service, customer, 82Q situations, F-E-S-S, 171Quill Corporation, 46 smiles, customers and, 159 software, database, 174R spam, 96rapport, building, 115 sphere of influence, 29R-A-V-E, 29, 30 statement, value, 58recognition, name, 15 stock-holders, 20Reis, Al, 129 storytelling, 36relationships strategic partnerships, 22 intentional, 28, 30 success, vision of, 34 long-term, 56 synergy, 16, 17reputations, successful, 55 system, 26research, 168 Internet, 167retailers, 41 Trisk, 107 task force, 16, 17 186
  • 187. IndexT-C-E, 130 VT-E-A-M, 16 value statements, 58Together Everyone perceptions, 133,Accomplishes More, 16 vision of success, 34T-O-M-A, 77, 87, 88 visioning principle, 34top-of-mind awareness, 77-78, 87-88, 158, 179Total Customer Experience, 130 Wtrade groups, 29 Wal-Mart, 19, 20, 75, 109training Walton, Sam, 19, 109 opportunities, 18 Ward, William Arthur, 18 goal-setting, 153 Wardlow, Herb, 42Trout, Jack, 129 Webpages, 83, 98trust, building, 109 Websites, 73turnover, personnel, 39 Whatever It Takes, 78, 79 Winfrey, Oprah, 111, 112U W-I-T, 78, 79unexpected, expecting the, 176, 177university, major, 19 Y Yogi Bear, 27, 36 187
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  • 189. Chapter title here About the Author When Jerry Wilson began his professional career 25 yearsago managing a small auto parts store, it would have been hardto imagine that he would become a world-renowned expert inmarketing and develop a new marketing and customer reten-tion philosophy called Customerology. Yet that is just what happened. Jerry grew his small autoparts store into an extremely profitable retail store group thatdominated the area in which it was located. Not content withsimply increasing sales in his own business, Jerry leveraged andexpanded this experience, soon becoming well-known for hisretail store operations and sales and management consulting. Jerry was also the author of the highly acclaimed Word-of-Mouth Marketing, 138 Quick Ideas to Get More Cli-ents, and How To Grow Your Auto Parts Business, publishedin numerous languages and distributed internationally. Jerry alsoauthored more than 100 feature articles on customer retentionfor a variety of association and industry trade journals in boththe United States and Canada. As a result of his experiences, Jerry developed a new “sci-ence”—Customerology—to aid companies in gaining and re-taining satisfied customers. As a consultant, Jerry assisted suchcompanies as Firestone, Merchants Tire, Stanley Publishing,and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, helping them rethink customerphilosophies, service strategies, and practices. Jerry also servedas executive director for a large state trade association andconsulted with business leaders on a national and internationallevel. 189
  • 190. 151 Quick Ideas to Get New Customers For example, in New Zealand, Jerry worked hand-in-handwith management to overhaul Rainbow’s End Theme Park af-ter its rescue from bankruptcy. After revamping its customerrelations system in accord with Jerry’s advice, the theme parkrealized a 70,000-attendee increase from the previous year—quantifiable success as a result of the tenets of Customerology. At Merchant’s Tire, a 100 plus chain of tire and auto ser-vice stores based in Virginia, Jerry assisted management witha campaign to reduce customer complaints. After implement-ing the Customerology system, the chain saw customer com-plaints plummet more than 50 percent. These astounding successes led to numerous speaking en-gagements for Jerry Wilson. As a professional speaker, Jerryappeared before more than 1,000 groups and traveled to all 50states, as well as Canada, New Zealand, Indonesia, and SouthAmerica. His keynote presentations, seminars, and workshopsbenefited countless companies and organizations worldwide. Jerry was awarded the Certified Speaking Professional(CSP) designation by the National Speakers Association, a pres-tigious award given to only 400 speakers worldwide. He servedtwo terms as president of the Indiana chapter of the NationalSpeakers Association and also served as chair of the NSA’sCSP Certification Committee. Jerry was honored by being listed in the Who’s Who Di-rectory of the Midwest and in the World Directory of Men ofAchievement. 190