How Fascinating Are You

Great blog post from the Influential Blogger on Sally Hogshead’s book Fascinate.

7 Ways to Fascinate, Persuade, Captivate your Audience

Take your own test to see what your {F} SCORE is. Get a copy of Sally’s book now.

Just as a reference. My score results were MYSTIQUE for my primary trigger, POWER for my secondary trigger and VICE was my dormant trigger. You will know more how to apply these once you have read the book and taken your own test.

Be fascinating today!!

Become Your Companies Chief ‘Looking Around The Corner’ Officer

Recently had the opportunity to read a manifesto that Robert Bloom wrote. It was called Looking Around The Corner and shatters some old-school thought processes of looking ahead every year. He comments that, “This fixation on an obsolete planning process guarantees that firms that use it will not keep pace with the rapid, substantive changes in our business world”.

As I plan for the new year of 2011 and develop the strategies and tactics necessary to achieve our overall objective, this doc hits home and gets the creative juices flowing on how we will go to market in a multitude of areas.

Great stuff. Get it at Change This.

What Can Be Learned from Buying a Bed

I want to share an experience that I had recently in purchasing a new mattress set and how it pertains to exceptional customer service, customer loyalty and follow up.

For the last 6 months or so my wife and I have been discussing replacing our bed as it has been quite a while that we have had our existing one. We had purchased a Simmons Beautyrest Embassy product previously and come to find out it was almost 12 years old. First reaction I had was…what a product. Quality unmatched as far as I was concerned. My second reaction was that how time flies as I was thinking we had it around 8 years. We had started looking around at all of the discount places and kind of getting an idea where costs were going to land. The last place we went to was our local Simmons Bed Center where we purchased our original product. I have known the owner, Steve, for quite some time and that was one of the main reasons that we went back to check out our options.  This is where the loyalty part of this equation kicks in. It starts with a great product and our relationship with Steve. Lesson learned: Build relationships that last. I know that this has a viral effect as I have already told several people of my experience first hand.

So we hit the store on a Saturday afternoon and start the buying process. What I found great about this purchase was some quality questions he had for us about our sleep habits, our existing bed and price range. Now you can buy a new bed anywhere from $399 to $1500 so we had a lot of choices, but, based on our needs Steve led us to just three choices and he explained the quality differences very clearly to us that separated the three styles. Lesson learned: Narrowing the options so you can unconfuse the customer.

Now the strategy that I liked was, after he explained the products, you basically get to sample the product and try out each bed. After a little bit of humor from Steve about the Three Bears scenario, he left us alone for several minutes to go from bed to bed testing the different types. Lesson learned: This allowed time for us to gather any questions and/or objections that we may have regarding this purchase. Basically from a sales standpoint, stop talking and listen to the customer.

We decide on a product, a Beautyrest Radiance Plush and start the purchase. We feel there is great value in the mattress set at $1099 and yet Steve gives us a few incentives that we didn’t even ask for.   Bonus #1. They can deliver it Monday morning at 9:15 and they take the old product and set up the new product. Bonus #2. Steve takes plenty of time with me reviewing the warranty and about care and maintenance of the mattress. Making sure that I don’t have any further questions. Bonus #3. Lesson learned: Do what you say you’re going to do and provide exceptional customer service. Be happy to provide this exceptional customer service.

Now the follow up is what got me thinking about writing this post. I submitted the warranty information online which was very simple and easy to do. I get the standard email confirming that. 

I notice on the email that they have a Facebook page and I ‘Become A Fan’ of Simmons Bedding Company and throw a quick post up on my experience. I love the fact that they replied back and another reason why the Social Media front has some impact on the business and the customer. 

Then there is the phone call from Steve on Tuesday morning just to follow up to see how our fist night of sleep on the new mattress was. I was like…WOW! This doesn’t happen often enough. Now today I get another follow up email from Simmons. 

Lesson learned: Follow up, Follow up, Follow up. That is the key to creating great customer service and continued customer loyalty. Getting the sale is sometimes easy, but, retaining the sales and having that word of mouth support isn’t always there. That should be your ultimate goal.

Sales Resolutions – Just Sell®… it’s all about sales®

What a great way to start to new year focused!!

Sales Resolutions – Just Sell®… it’s all about sales®

What’ll be different in your sales world at the end of 2010 from where you are now… beyond your increased dollars generated, units moved, and improved margins (these are your goals and targets)?

Top 5 iPhone Apps for Sales Professionals

Many sales pros are users of the popular Apple iPhone, according to Dale Hagemeyer, a research vice president who studies CRM for the market research firm Gartner. “What a phone can do in terms of memory, functionality, and computation is quite amazing compared to a phone from five years ago,” he says. With that in mind, here’s a list of five downloadable iPhone apps that, in our view, are particularly useful for sales professionals. From Selling Power Sales 2.0 Newsletter.

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs

Apple CEO Steve Jobs’s wildly popular presentations have set a new global gold standard—and now this step-by-step guide shows you exactly how to use his crowd-pleasing techniques in your own presentations. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs is as close as you’ll ever get to having the master presenter himself speak directly in your ear. Communications expert Carmine Gallo has studied and analyzed the very best of Jobs’s performances, offering point-by-point examples, tried-and-true techniques, and proven presentation secrets that work every time. With this revolutionary approach, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to sell your ideas, share your enthusiasm, and wow your audience the Steve Jobs way.

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience

Are Customers Really That Rational About Their Purchases

Very insightful article about behavioral economics surrounding your customers. Read the article below to get the details and see how you are handling customers.
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How to gain the most from customer decisions – Companies need data to truly understand how customers make choices online, or companies will end up “leaving money on the table,” John Sviokla writes. Companies must learn how customers “really act instead of how they are supposed to act,” he writes. HarvardBusiness.org/The Near Futurist blog