Friday, November 02, 2012

Your First Day Back...

I'm at the AAEX / SEMA tradeshows this week. If you were here, too, I hope you had a great show.

Every year at this time I write the same basic tip. Hope it serves as a reminder to not let all your hard work as an exhibitor go to waste ...

Your trade show or special event is over. Great! Time to breath a sigh of relief and catch up on things.

Whoa! Not so fast.

Consider using your first day back like it's your last day at the event.

It's easy to get so swept away catching up that you put off following up.

But what's more important? The day-to-day grind -- or reminding that hot prospect that you're the one exhibitor out of hundreds they met that they want to buy from?

Take a moment to jot a quick thank you note, send a catalog, or ship that sample you promised. Don't let your follow-up get fouled up by competing priorities. Set your priority on contacting the hottest prospects first and working your way down the list.

How do you know who's hottest? You should use a lead sheet that asks questions that will help you, like:

When do you plan to buy?

How many do you plan to buy?

Are you considering any other brands?

This is also a good day to make notes on improvements for next year's show while everything is still fresh in your mind.

But above all try to avoid calling anyone you met at the trade show the first day you're back.  After all, they'll probably be as swamped catching up that day as you'll be -- tomorrow.

BTW, If  I don't call you today please don't be offended, be inspired.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Assumptive Selling....

This morning, I called my local phone company to confirm details on my new contract. The representative assured me everything was OK. Then she jumped into a sales pitch for an add-on service. 

I stopped her mid-sentence. 

"I very busy," I said "I'm happy with my service. Don't change my mind." 

Yesterday, at the bank the commercial teller told me about their new credit card offer. 

"That's interesting..." I said, feigning interest. 

Then, instead of handing me an application, she actually began filling it out. 

"Whoa!" I said. "I said 'that's interesting,' not 'sign me up'!"

Ending a customer service interaction with a sales pitch is all too common today. But it's gone from suggestive selling to downright pushy.  And that can breed resentment. 

Remember, today's customer's are the same ones that created the firestorm for Bank of America and Netflix. Customers are demanding more of business than sales pitches: they want authenticity and integrity. 

A better approach than being pushy: hand the customer a flyer, offer to email them the information, or ask if you can mail them a brochure. 

Are you nudging customers to buy -- or shoving them?