Selling Techniques
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Selling techniques

Selling techniques you can use to create a good first impression and make your sales prospects feel more relaxed and comfortable.

First - a real quick story about a customer service experience which leads to 2 invaluable sales tips for you.

Last July, Bernadette my wife, my niece who was graduating from college and two close friends went to Rome. For my niece, Morgan, and two friends it was their first trip to Europe.

The plan was to be in Rome for five days and another seven days aboard a cruise ship in the Mediterranean.

So I went shopping for a new telephone which allowed us to make and take calls and gave us internet access while we're in Europe.

I realized there were many options - but decided to go with Cingular and upgrade two of our other telephones.

So I got the biggest zip lock bag I could find and stuffed it with our phones, auto chargers, and battery chargers.

You have to admit, the technology that comes with the newest phones is absolutely mind boggling.

Imagine being able to make calls, dictate messages to yourself, get directions, send e-mails, browse the web, take pictures plus another 97+ optional tasks.

While the technology is impressive the process of buying a phone and selecting the right plan for me at least, was nothing short of aggravating. Obviously most of the experiences were not examples of best practice selling techniques.

At the first Cingular store I visited, I was able to identify the plan and the phone I wanted. I chose a Palm Treo 680 and which included International World Traveler access.

That was the good news. The bad news was they didn't have any in stock. The sales agent checked other stores for availability and told me to come back on Monday.

During the conversation I asked the sales agent how long she'd been working at the store. She said, "six months." I asked her if she liked the work. She said, "Not really!"

Not exactly what I'd call a good selling technique.

I start thinking how would you like to have a salesperson, who doesn't like the work, selling your products? She then volunteered that this was her last day. My thought was - good for her and good for Cingular.

So Monday comes, and I go back to the store to buy my new Palm Treo. When I got to the store, I could see the sales agent, the manager, was having a difficult time explaining options to a senior citizen. She had the patience of a saint - based on what I heard.

I decided to leave the store, do some other errands, and return later. When I returned 45 minutes later, the saint was just wrapping up with the same customer.

I wasn't surprised, that the first sales agent dropped the ball and my phone hadn't been FedExed. The store manager called around and found another Cingular store with the Palm Treo in stock. Yippee!

You could say I'm not the most patient person in the world. You could also say that after three visits and still no telephone my frustration level was like a volcano ready to explode.

So I drove 20 minutes to the other Cingular store. As I walked into the store, I could see two sales agents each working with customers.

Immediately I start to think - another long wait. No sooner did I walk into the store, one of the sales agents looked up at me and said, "Something we can do for you real quick?"

My attitude immediately shifted from being disappointed that I would have to wait to being impressed by the attention I got as soon as I walked into the store.

All he said was,"Something we can do for you real quick?"

What a great selling technique - I had to write it down!

He acknowledged my presence, he offered to help me, and made me feel good - all that with only eight words.

I told him I was there to buy a Palm Treo 680 and a new telephone for my wife.

In just a few minutes, Marilyn, the other sales agent was saying goodbye to her customer and offered to help me.

It took an hour and 45 minutes to get everything set up. High-tech telephones with borderline Neanderthal set up procedures - company policy! It almost blew, an otherwise good selling technique, into smithereens.

The service of this store was excellent - I want to make that point very clear.

Anyway, when the other sales agent - Michael was available - I complimented him on his opening statement and asked, "Who taught you that?" He said no one - he developed it on his own.

I told him it was a powerful opening statement and I wanted to write about it and share it with my newsletter subscribers. I asked him for his business card. I told him I would send him a copy of the newsletter which would describe my experience in his store.

His name is Michael Degirolamo and he happens to be the District Manager for six Cingular phone stores located between Tampa and Naples Florida. He was a bucket of enthusiasm. He started describing the results he was getting, within a very short time frame, from the stores.

He wanted to know the name of my newsletter and my name. I said, "My name is Jim Meisenheimer and the newsletter is "The Start Selling More Newsletter!"

I almost fell out of my chair when he said, "Hey Jim - I'm already getting your newsletter - I read it every week."

Well - that's the story and here are two selling techniques I promised you.

Two sales tips you can begin using immediately:

1. Inject the words "Real quick" when it's appropriate during a sales call. I'm sure Michael won't mind if you borrow his exactly terminology.

2. Whenever you're talking a prospect/customer, either on the telephone or face-to-face, you can make them more agreeable to talking with you when you say this, "I'd like to ask you a real quick question." That's a sales tip I learned from Bob Burg.

It never ceases to amaze me how the right words and phrases can influence the outcome of a sales call and it's one of the best selling techniques you can learn.

When you're articulate, you'll say less and sell more.

It's also one of the fastest ways to transform a sales prospect into a lifetime customer.

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