Nice one BMW

I experienced a new level of sales personalization today.

A friend wants to buy a BMW so went for a test drive. The sales rep followed up with a personal video voicemail embedded in an email. Now that’s something new, perhaps a sign of the future.

I saw it first with the volume turned down and was rather taken with it. I asked my friend to send it to me so I could listen to it. It proved to be a missed opportunity for the rep, because it was a standard “Hi-its-ABCRep-phoning-to-follow-up-your-interest-in-XYZ” message. This was because the rep missed the chance to reiterate the value that he knew my friend sees in the car and so clinch the deal. It moved from being a personalised video message to being a standard video voicemail sent to a person.

There was another snag. There was a second video link in the email, which invited my friend to “Get comfortable, put your feet up, and watch your own special presentation”… supposedly to watch a video about the car. Only problem – it was a duplicate of the video voice message!

BMW iDrive

So like all latest gadgets that BMW introduces – for example the iDrive – it takes a few releases to get it right. But once it does, we can be sure video voice messages and personalised presentations sent by email will hit the mainstream.

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Book review: Write to Sell by Andy Maslen

Write to Sell

What is the book about?

It’s all in the title: Andy teaches you how to write to sell. He is a copywriter on a mission: taking copywriting beyond advertising and marketing into the mainstream.

What are the top three things that I learnt by reading it?

1. Focus on the person that you are selling to, just as I suggested in my blog.

2. Keep it simple. Simple language, simple sentences, simple messages convey more.

3. Make your writing easier to read by reviewing your Readability Statistics in Microsoft Word. I now do this with all my emails and blogs, including this one, in order to make them easy to read. If you don’t know where or what these are, you can send me an email and I will explain.

What’s so special about the author?

Andy is a well-known copywriter and author. He has trained over 1,000 copywriters and marketing teams. You can find out more information on his work at The Copywriting Academy.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Andy has improved my team’s sales writing significantly in two ways: we have adopted his advice, and also have engaging discussions about how we write as well as what we write.

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I love prospecting!

I love prospecting

I love prospecting

I often hear how prospecting – also known as cold calling – is the least enjoyable part of sales. I beg to differ: I love prospecting! The thrill of searching for and striking “gold” in my territory is something I enjoy. As is the investigative work as I research into an organisation and its hierarchy.

Nowadays it’s made so easy with the Internet and the incredible amount of information at your finger-tips. And that brings a different challenge: if that information is resource for you then it’s a resource for everyone. So how do you differentiate yourself? Through speed, efficiency and excellence.

The key tools for prospecting are straightforward, timeless and captures by PLC: Plan, List, Channel:

1. Plan: You need a plan and a great script.
2. List: You need a list: either bought or researched yourself. You also need Internet to make the most of that list.
3. Channel: You need a phone and email.

I will be looking at how you can make the most of the first two over coming blogs. The third? Well, you just need to put all the excuses aside and get going!

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Six Scents

I enjoyed this article in which The Times talks about how scent is the latest in the armoury of sales. Our sense of smell is directly wired in our brain, meaning that smell requires less processing and can immediately evoke memories. Tap into the right smell and you can tap into the vivid memories.

We all know how the smell of freshly baked bread makes our mouth water. Now bakeries are spraying the smell in the middle of the day long after baking has stopped to achieve the same effect. Other shops are also using smell to good effect, so that one selling summer cloths might have a smell of the beach. And what about the London Dungeons? Well, they make the exhibits more realistic with the smell of blood and faeces.

A salesperson can tap into others’ sight, hearing and feeling senses – or representational systems – using your language and other behaviour. But what about smell? If it is so evocative, surely you should do the same? It’s all very well for a shop to spray the right smell. Not quite so easy for a salesperson!

I searched the web into aftershaves and found nothing conclusive, so am going to do a little experiment. I’ve picked those that seem to be the six most popular scents and am going to see if they have any effect on my audience, if you like creating a sixth sense! The ones that seem to get the best reaction are:

1. Issey Miyake. Lots positive and nothing negative about this one.
2. Hugo Boss Bottled.
3. That old favourite, Fahrenheit.
4. Joop, which seems the marmite of smellies. Either you love it or hate it!
5. Crave by CK.
6. Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male.

I’m going to try these over time and see what the reaction is. I expect the biggest to be from my better half, Nicola, as she as an incredible sense of smell!

Issey Miyake Pour Homme

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Y.O.U.

When Michael Bosworth coined the term “customer pain” in his book Customer Centric Selling, he probably didn’t realise just how important this would become. Salespeople around the world recognise how understanding a prospect’s pain gives you the license to explain how your product will help alleviate or solve it. Whilst Bosworth’s other words “goal” and “need” are more palatable, “pain” gets to the heart of what concerns them – right now. The more personal a pain, the more immediacy there is for your prospect to solve it.

You can link pains from top to bottom of a company easily. The major concern for CEOs is shareholder return, either in the form of growing share price, strong dividends or – preferably – both. The VP of Sales and Marketing and the CFO will in turn be concerned with increasing revenue and about controlling costs respectively, to drive shareholder return. You can cascade this “pain chain” down to the lower echelons of the company where an individual can have a “line of sight” showing how their day to day activities help solve these executive level pains. These can be uncovered by asking questions to determine what keeps them up at night, for example, “What’s important to you?” and “Why is that important to you?” It’s straightforward to put together a picture of what your prospect’s pain is by questioning them and researching what is happening in their company, to determine, for example, how it is performing financially and what projects it has won or lost.

If you can get into your prospect or customers head to understand their pain your life will become so much easier. Your understanding needn’t be perfect, because imperfection encourages your prospect to give you more information by correcting you. Once you have a reasonable idea, you can put a business case together using the template below, based on the Y.O.U. Concept:

“You”: describe what you believe your prospect’s pain to be and how it relates to the pains of their executives.

“Other”: refer to your customers that have a similar pain and which use your products or services to solve it, to give your prospect confidence that you have a solution to their pain that already works. Your success stories are key to this.

“Us”: describe how your product or service will solve their pain.

This Y.O.U. Concept is great for writing short emails after a prospecting call, summarising a meeting or putting together a business case.

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A riddle to start the new year

A Novice approached two Sensei and asked, “What is the best question to ask?”

 

One replied, “What’s important to you?”

 

The other replied, “Why is that important to you?”

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Welcome to Tsunami Sales

What’s is Tsunami Sales, you might ask?

Tsunami Sales is about building an irresitable wave for sales that keeps on going and going and going. Creating Tsunami Sales takes time, perservance and skill. The first can be granted by your organization, the second is something inate in you. Either you have these or you don’t. The third can be learnt. This website is about these skills and how to acquire them.

I will be sharing practical ideas, best practises and awesome resources so that you can create your own wave of sales.

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