Monday, April 17, 2017

The simple 42 steps to making a sale

Many companies know who their target customers are.  In many cases their targets are limited.  For example - at Danby Appliance, we might target appliance stores.  There are only so many of them.  So the key is persistence.

One suggested process:

1 - call them and introduce yourself, get an email address.

2 - follow up with snail mail with a hand written note.

3 - stop in for tea.

4 - Connect with your main contact on Linkedin (I love Linkedin).  

5 - Send Daily or every other day Linkedin updates.  Not directed at just one contact.

6 - Call them again.

7 - email a follow up.

8 - send than a link to an article that might interest them.

9 - Send them something physical - some tea, chocolates, a pen, a hat, a mug.  Always with a personal note.  Physical things get noticed since they are not very common.

10 - Connect to everyone else in their company on Linkedin that you can.

11 - repeat steps 3, 6, 8 and 9 a couple of times. 

12 - refer them a customer.  People who you help succeed will help you succeed.

13 - Visit them with a product.  Nothing like showing them real products to build excitement.

14 - Take them to a hockey game, a play, an outing.

15 - Send them a baby gift (assuming they have a baby).

16 - Repeat steps 3, 6, 8, 9, 12, and 14.

17 - Visit their store opening.

18 - Have your CEO, COO, Product people etc meet with them.

19 - Do anything you can to help them.

20 - take them to lunch (I generally do not like this one - takes too long)

21 - play golf with them (again - too long for me)

Mostly - be genuine.  Be who you are.  People buy sincerity.

And keep doing this until you sell.  Why do I say 42 steps?  Just to emphasize it takes time and persistence.  Nothing beats having a relationship and being there when someone needs what you are selling, when an existing supplier messes up, when things are changing.

I have found many sales people just give up.  They take a few steps and are rarely heard of again.  Those who persist politely win.

The sales trick I am using here is sitting on my grandson Daniel so he does not get into things.  Like all happy customers, he does not even know he is trapped.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Happiness Equation

I just finished reading - The Happiness Equation; Want Nothing+Do Anything=Have Everything by Neil Pasricha.  It is a great book.

I like that the book started saying something like take what parts you like and it is ok to not agree with everything because I do not agree with everything.

Some of the ideas I liked:

1 - He believes in exercise.

2 - He has a concept of the 20 min replay.  When something goes well - replay it in your mind.  That act is like living it again.  It locks it into memory.  Of course the converse might also be true - do not keep replaying the things you want to minimize or forget.

3 - He like random acts of kindness.

4 - He talks about flow - concept I believe in and try to get to (although find it hard to achieve)

5 - He advocates 2 minute meditations.

6 - And he believes in Gratitude.  One success habit I believe is to have a gratitude journal.

7 - There is a section on the people who live in Okinawa.  They are known for longevity.  They have ikigai - a purpose to live -  a reason to get up in the morning.  He attributes their long lives to that, combines with their very tight social groups.

8 - One section on decision making suggests efficiency can be had by removing choice.  EG - have only black socks.

Concepts I am more on the fence on.  "do it for you".  He seems to advocate selfishness.  It seems to me the greatest pleasure is doing it for others.

Some Quotes from the book:

"I don't stand back and judge - I do"
"You can't have everything - where would you put it all?"
"Wealth consists not of having great possessions but in having few wants"  Epictetus
"Start doing something - you will continue"  (The power of momentum)

Tea time

Monday, April 03, 2017

Leadership Ego

In my last post, I spoke about leadership ego.  A friend then asked me how to keep leadership ego in check:

“Leadership ego is what kills most companies.”

I hear this message a lot, and try to live by it, but I haven't had much luck finding information on how to make this value actionable, beyond things like valuing ideas over seniority, avoiding a superstar culture, and empowering the people on your team to shine more brightly, even if it means personally being in the background.  

I responded:

Random ideas that help keep leadership ego in check:

1 - keep a gratefulness log and log what you are grateful for each day.

2 - Look at those much larger and more successful than you.  EG - every time I travel to larger cities, I marvel at how large the companies are by comparison to mine.

3 - I like reading business bios of people who have had great success.

4 - Study servant leadership

5 - learn something new every day.

6 - Do something that challenges you daily.

7 - know that if you "arrive", you are starting to fail.  I always think of it like a mountain.  Get to the top and you will head down the other side.