How to Win in Business : in Blackpool

I delivered a sales skills seminar in my home town of Blackpool this week, 16 years after my 28 year career in sales at Coca-Cola.

We had a very diverse group of delegates ranging from hoteliers to Plumbers. All had one thing in common they were professional  business owners. What they also had in common was that they were not salesmen, yet their businesses dictated they needed to be one.

As in all seminars most believe they do everything I point out already, and it is only when they go home that they sit down and think, ok maybe I do some of the things Geoff said were invaluable.

So on Marathon Sunday, I am hiding upstairs, cup of tea by my side, and I will try and remind you of the key messages. 

Let us start with the Salesmens friend, the list.

The list refers to the need for new contacts for you to approach on a daily basis. The list starts with gimmes, family and friends. These are people that will give you a fair hearing and get you started. They can also give you additional names for your list, as friends of friends are also warm, particularly if they have been warmed up by your friends.

You will be surprised how many people you know, once you sit down to make the list!

Another easy place to get a list is via networking events. Even Friday was a networking event. Now before you attend remember you need Name, title at work, address, postcode, what they do, how many people they employ, and lastly who they get to supply them. Now you do not do this like a reporter, and simply write things down. You are supposed to be networking which is supposed to be a relaxing get to know us event. The collected business card should have the main information for your list, you simply scribble /memorise the rest. But the information is what you are there for. It is the same for them.

As above you need to ask the networker if he could suggest anyone else for your list. He will wish he thought of the initiative when he gets home, trust me.

Loads of list to get from loads of places, so get busy.

Ok we have the lists, so start writing your 60 seconds hook. Less than 60 seconds is even better. Remember you need to get out who you are, and what you can do that will benefit the target customer as friendly and succinctly as you can.

“If I could provide you with a vending machine that would not only provide a great service for your staff and customers, but would also provide an income for you, is this something that might interest you?”

I personally like collecting compliment slips of colder calls, because this done correctly allows you to start with; “I am ringing as promised when I called in on Monday”

Remember whether you are calling via phone, or making a face to face visit, you need to establish needs before you start selling.

You know what you want to sell, you know they need it, even if they don’t.

Get open questions going using your learned techniques.

How many staff, what do they do, where do they work, why do they not have refreshment facilities, when do they have breaks.

If you can establish needs and fulfil them with your offering, and potentially save them time or money, you are a winner.

Before you run out shouting yes, yes, yes. STOP. Remember you are hot now, and when you are hot, get that referral. You have made them happy who do they know that you can make happy?

Always review what worked, what did not work. Never accept no. It is probably a whole load of reasons why you did not get the sale. Sit down and analyse the pitch. In due course go back and try again. You know them now.

Ok this is a small blog with little reminders. Good luck, you know how to get in touch.

Geoff Reeves

Twitter @scubageoff

Linkedin Geoff Reeves



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