Extra Edition / Business Management

Back to the Things That Worked... Back to the Past

Bob Janet
Bob Janet
When I was growing up, and even when I was raising a family, I remember the day the Sears Holiday Wish Book (catalog) arrived in the mail. Oh, what excitement. Everyone in the family wanted to page through the catalog at once, picking out the things they wanted for the holidays. But then Sears must have listened to the so-called experts. You know, the people that tell others how to sell but never sold themselves.

I can picture it now. A bunch of well educated, “book learned” as they called them in some parts of the country, experts showing Sears reports and computer graphs, facts and figures proving that the catalog was not the modern way to market. The figures proved it. I recall my father once telling me, “Figures don’t lie, liars figure.” And so went the Holiday Wish Book. A profitable marketing tool put on the shelf to collect dust.

Then in 2007 Sears revived its Holiday Wish Book. Fourteen years after shelving its venerable catalogs, Sears brought the holiday tradition back as it struggles to attract new shoppers and revive business.

Are some of your best marketing and selling tools on the shelf collecting dust?

Is this the right time for you to go back and use the selling tools that made you money years ago? Tools like personally contacting your customers. In person.

It’s now called social networking but it is simply putting yourself in front of your customers and prospects.

Tools like following up with your customers. I think one of the top mistakes most sellers make is not following up. The top sales producers start following up even before they contact the customer. They do their homework. You have a great advantage over your competition and you will save yourself a lot of time and marketing cost if you first make sure you are marketing to your perfect prospect. Your perfect prospect is the person or business you can make the most amount of money from with the least amount of work and expense.

For business customers, find out who the real decision makers are in the business. Then learn all you can about them. Like when is the best day and time to contact them? Who are they currently buying from and why are they buying from them? What are their satisfactions and dissatisfactions with their present supplier?

Now follow up after the offer. This is the time to reinforce the offer, increase the benefits, answer any questions, add urgency and build your relationship with them. Of course, you follow up after the offer as many times as needed to make the sale.

Next follow up after the sale with your thank you telephone calls, emails, and of course the best way to say thank you is your handwritten thank you note.

Follow up after the sale to solve any problems, solve misunderstandings, sell add-on items, and continue to build the relationship.

If you sell a product or service that is not instantly delivered you must follow up during the delivery.

Continue to thank your customer, solve problems and misunderstandings, sell add-on items, build the relationship, keep them informed about the timetable of the delivery, and make your next sales appointment.

And then follow up after the delivery.

Stay in touch with them and they will stay in touch with you when a buying decision is made.

Publication date: 2/4/2013

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