How Certain are you Your Prospect Will Buy?

By Gregory Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

Qualifying a lead and deciding if an individual or business will make a purchasing decision goes to the heart of a strong business.

Google recently started a program where it reads your email content (and I assume other

Six Serving Men

Six Serving Men

online things about you ad well) and using this information tries to predict what you are interested in and will buy. Using this prediction it then serves up advertising based on a complex mathematical formulae.

Influencing a decision to purchase and closing a deal  is a complex interaction. Trying to predict consumer behaviour and interest based on email, online content viewed and other empirical and measurable data is at best a blunt instrument. It would be nice to think a simple formula could predict all outcomes. I suspect Google has a lot more work to do.

The dreaded question …

I had one of those amazing sales call where everything went well. I arrived back at the office and shared the news of a new opportunity. My sales manager smiled and asked “Is this opportunity qualified?”

Ouch. He had asked the one question sales people hate to hear – and it can come from many  quarters.

My project manager asks “How much time should I invest in supporting the sale?”

My CFO asks “How much money will we need to invest to win the deal and what is the chance we will get a return on investment?”

When I get home I tell my wife about the opportunity and get the same question “Is this a real opportunity?” as she knows how many late nights I will need to work to win the deal and is already planning on how to spend the commission.

Is the opportunity qualified” is probably the most important question you need to ask, yet is also the most difficult to answer.

Why Qualify the Opportunity?

Qualification is all about the close-ability of an opportunity.  You are determining if the person or company you are selling to will make a decision to buy something. Once you determine they are likely to buy something, then you determine if you or your company can deliver the product or service in a way the customer will want to buy.

Qualification, depending on what it is your are selling, will include emotional, practical, financial and logical components and you need to know where you stand in all four areas. The larger and more complex an opportunity the more effort needs to go into understanding each aspect of the opportunity.

Qualification, based on the answers to your questions, will give you an answer to the close-ability of the opportunity. This, in turn, will determine the amount of effort you will put into developing and closing.

A Reason to Call

Before I pick up the telephone to make my first call I like to have established in my mind a potential need. I can usually determine this with a bit of research and using information I glean from people in similar roles.

Recent research has shown most people make a decision who they want to buy from  after the first or second sales call. From then on most ales activity is around helping a client make a decision to buy from you.

The single reason many sales people fail is that they do not invest enough time and effort understanding their client before they pick up the telephone for the first time.

Having a valid reason to call involves giving your prospect  a reason for investing some of their valuable time in a meeting with you. While it may reinforce your reasons for making the call, it emphasizes their priorities and not yours and accomplishes two things;

  • It gives them  information they need in order to understand exactly who you are and why you wish to schedule a meeting
  • It establishes a common foundation so when you meet you will have a point to transition to questioning and understanding their business further

Qualification Questions

Now you have made the appointment and are in front of your prospect Qualification is about understanding how you and your organisation fits the opportunity and how well your client is prepared to accept help.

Rudyard Kipling said “I keep six honest serving men (They taught me all I know); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.

Using questions starting with these words you can open and keep the conversation going with your client.

What are the challenges you are facing in your business today?”

Why do you think this is?”

When did you first notice it?”

How have you tried to solve the problem so far?”

Where else do you see this problem?”

Who else experiences similar results?”

The last qualification questions are the most important. You need to determine if the person you  are dealing with has the means to make a decision and if not who else do you need to be speaking with.

Using the same words you ask questions like;

Have they shared their concerns about the cost of doing nothing with others in the organisation?”

“How have they done projects like this before?”

What steps will we need to take to more this forward?”

Who else will this project impact?”

How are they likely to pay for it? or will they finance it?”

When will be the ideal time to schedule the project to fit into their schedule? “

Today’s question and actions

Qualification is all about determining the close-ability of an opportunity.

This week, when you meet with clients, or indeed anyone you wish to influence, invest time using the six serving men and listen carefully to the answers. You will be surprised how long a person can talk about themselves and their company.  As long as you focus on them, and keep the questions open,  they will eventually tell you everything you need to know.

Using the answers to some basic questions you need never fear the question “Is it Qualified” as you will have the answer.

Have a great week!


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Does Woody Allen need a Sales Coach?

My Michael Tregonning

Welcome to Monday

There are a lot of hang-ups that hold back business owners and salespeople. The mother of all hang-ups, however, focuses in on the use of Logic and the use of Emotion.

Here is a  video clip where we observe Humphrey Bogart (the sales coach) coaching Woody Allen (our salesperson) as he tries to sell Diane Keaton (the prospect) on a relationship.

Woody’s internal conflict is between the Logic that says she (Diane Keaton) will never see him as a romantic partner and Bogart’s suggested use of the Emotive, if not corny line

I have met a lot of dames but you are really something special.”

This is where we first hear Woody Allen’s classic line “She bought it

People new to business and sales tend to focus on logic. They will talk about product, features and benefits early and not notice their prospect has gone to sleep, or if on the telephone already hung up. While product features and benefits are important it is only the features and benefits your prospect engages with which are relevant, and to find which ones are relevant you need to engage emotionally.

This is especially true with the new generation of business people who have grown-up as digital natives. Selling to young entrepreneurs takes an investment in time to plan a call. According to Harvard Business School most business people have as good an understanding of the likely products and services they need as a salesperson. If you do not engage with them straight away you are forever labelled as a ‘loser’ or worse.

To engage quickly you need to use emotion and start pushing their emotional green buttons straight away. In today’s world the successful business and salesperson consistently use emotion as a standard part of their sales patter.

Ask yourself, what is actually going on when you are in a typical sales interview. What is your first and most essential objective?

I cannot second guess you so let me tell you what I am trying to achieve. Rapport and  mutual affinity. There is absolutely no point in talking about my product or service until I am pretty sure I understand the prospect’s Buying Style and start communicating effectively.

This is why understanding the principals taught in my book “Selling to the 7 Emotional Buying Styles” and the sales app “Sales Analyzer” are so essential to developing the confidence and sales skills to engender that all important rapport and affinity you need to make a sale.

Once I understand the prospect’s Buying Style I can use specific emotive language that will motivate and engage that particular prospect or client.

Let me emphasis my point by giving you one product example and several feature benefits pertinent to each distinct Buying Style. If you establish which of the seven primary Buying Styles you are dealing with you might approach this office equipment sale targeting that specific individual’s emotive button.

  • With one style you might suggest “This is the most recognized and reliable brand machine in the market.”
  • With another you might say “Most prestige companies are paying over $40,000 for this quality machine but if we do business today, I can do better.”
  • With another “Hey, you know you get me with this machine as well.”
  • Another style might respond well to “In the last two years I have not seen one of these machine falter or break down.”
  • Equally, another style might respond to “This machine has an excellent Energy Rating and it will produce quality results, even on recycled paper.”
  • If you have established rapport you might like to say “It’s simple John. You and I both know this is the best machine in the market and you are not one to accept second best.”
  • Finally, another style would respond well to “Tell me what function is essential for you and I will walk you through it right now. Although, I bet you have already worked out how to do it.”

Some of the statements will work as a green button  with certain Buying Styles and act as a red button to others. You need to know how to recognize the difference and also understand that the use of emotive expressions are only advisable when you have developed a level of intimacy that comes from rapport and mutual affinity.

Think about it in a simplistic form. Don’t you immediately feel an affinity with someone when you find out he or she supports the same sporting team? or went to the same school?

Rapport and affinity can be achieved if you can learn how to establish the client or prospect’s Emotional Buying Style.

If Woody Allen can do it with the right coaching…so can you.

Today’s question and actions

Consider one of the customers you have done business for some time and another you may be struggling with and ask these questions;

  • What is the emotional connection I have /  do not have with them?
  • What is one thing which might work well with the struggling relationship to engage with them emotionally?

You will be surprised at the difference in a relationship once you start pushing green emotional buttons. Of course reading more about buying styles and using an app to give you more guidance could also help.

Have a great week!

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Can you know your Client or Prospect’s Green and Red Buttons & Ideal Closing Style before you go into a meeting?

By Gregory Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

I was watching over the shoulder of a ‘World of Warcraft’ player and noticed every time Sales-Analyzer-for-MMM-websitethey went around a corner, entered a room or moved into an new unexplored area they always entered with enthusiasm and guns blazing. Even when they were playing as a team every member did the same thing.

I could not help but reflect on how salespeople often go into a meeting with a prospect in the same way. They have all the samples, brochures and all the latest sales aids ready to blast the prospect off the face of the Earth, with enthusiasm of course. I am sure every one of us has done the same thing sometime in our career.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could go into the meeting with your prospect knowing, in advance, exactly what their green buttons were; what you needed to say to move the sale forward and the ideal way to close them?

And you didn’t have to have muscle ready to enter the Olympics just to carry the load?

Sales Analyzer

My good friend Michael Tregonning, winner of multiple sales awards in his lifetime; Insurance Sales champion and Emotional Intelligence expert, has developed the world’s first  Smartphone app which will allow you to do this.

I have been evaluating Michael’s Sales Analyzer app, developed in conjunction with the University of Ballarat, and it is truly amazing. Simply answer a few questions about your prospect / client and you are presented with a list of the ideal way to work with them, their emotional style and best tactics to close the deal.

Once entered their profile is saved so the next time you visit with them, or talk with them

Sales Analyzer Screen Shot

Sales Analyzer Screen Shot

on the telephone, you are reminded again of the ideal way to handle them. Check up what words to ues on that important email to be sure you are pushing their green button.

Michael and I have worked on emotional intelligence learning programs and tools for sales people since the early 1990’s developing games like ‘The Gatekeepers‘ and the book ‘Selling to the 7 Emotional Buying Styles‘.

The Sales Analyzer brings the understanding of emotional intelligence into the 22nd century. Every sales person now has a simple way of uncovering the emotional style of their prospects without the need to master psychology.

Selling with nothing

With this app a salesperson can quite comfortably go into a meeting with a prospect and take nothing but a notepad.

What!” you say, “How can I sell my product or service when I have nothing to show the prospect?”

The Sales Analyzer gets to the heart of the sale, the emotional drivers behind a decision. While a demonstration might need to be done to confirm a sale the first, and most important part of any successful sale, is all about emotional engagement. According to Michael Tregonning “…It has  absolutely nothing to do with your product. The first part of any successful sale is all about establishing a relationship.”

Michael goes on to say “The more successful you are at establishing this relationship the harder it is for your prospect to say ‘no’ because they are now saying no to you.”

Are you hiding behind your Product or Service?

Step back and look at what product focus and enthusiasm is subconsciously doing. If you lead with your product or service your prospect can easily say no as they have no emotional attachment to it. If you lead with yourself and establish emotional  engagement it is much tougher for your prospect to say ‘no’ as they are now saying no to someone they are emotionally attached to.

So if your prospect/client says “What have you got to show me?” what they are really saying is “Don’t talk to me because I might get to like you. Just show me your product so I have something I can easily say ‘no’ to.”

Today’s question and actions

Download the app today by going to and entering ‘Sales Analyzer’ (with a ‘z’) in the search box. The investment is about the same as a cup of coffee. Alternatively you could go to Michael’s website to learn more.

  • Try the app with your colleagues, family and friends to help you understand how it works and become comfortable with the uncanny accuracy it has uncovering emotional intelligence
  • Before you meet with your next client use the app to develop a few ideas to establish a relationship and tell you more about their emotional intelligence
  • Try some of the suggestions the app provides with your client / pospect

I am sure you will be as amazed as I was. If you are I am sure Michael will appreciate your  evaluation on the Google Play store.

Have a great week!

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Are your Goals Empty or Full?

By Gregory Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

My sales manager gave me and each sales team member a big yellow envelope. He then asked us to write down our goals for the year, place them in the envelop, sign and seal the envelope and pass them in.

I recall this event vividly as it was my first sales meeting ever. It was 1980 and I had just

Have You Set Your Own Goals?

Have You Set Your Own Goals?

joined an office equipment sales team. Being new to sales I did not know what to expect so I went with the flow.  I recall the feeling of empowerment as I wrote my goals down – a feeling which lasted at least until late afternoon. To this day, however,  I do not recall the goals I wrote down.

The Price Is Right

The TV game show ‘The Price is Right’ has been on air almost continuously since the late 1970’s in one form or another. Contestants are asked to “Come on down” by the host and exhibit outbursts of emotion as they are overwhelmed, with audience encouragement, as the progressive list of prizes is unveiled and then given the opportunity to win.

What would happen if the curtain was drawn back and there was nothing there and the host said “Tonight you are going to name your own Prize“.

I suspect, after the initial shock and stunned silence,  the contestant might make some suggestions for the prize pool.

I, like most people on the planet, find it is much easier to let others determine goals. We wait for the curtain to be drawn back, our goal revealed and we get excited at the prospect of a large reward.


Game shows have done well in all cultures. I can recall a few ‘winners’, however, it is more common contestants will leave with just a small prize. Often you will see a contestant who could walk away with a reasonable prize risk it all for the chance to ‘win it all’. After all, they came with nothing they may as well take the risk.

The reason this happens is the contestant has not yet taken ownership of what is already theirs. Contestants who have clearly defined outcomes, for example ‘a second car for the family’, will take a reasonable prize pool as they mentally take ownership of a well defined preset goal. Once a link is established with a goal they are totally engaged with it is easy to stop and take the prize.

Goal setting is probably the most talked about topic in business and sales. Nearly every business plan template I know includes a section on specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-framed  goals, or similar. In sales goals are set for sales volume and margin. Often specific non-monetary account and territory specific goals are also included.

Most business and sales goals, however, like New Year’s resolutions, are either abandoned within the first few weeks of them being set or, if engaged with, create limits in the mind of the person the goal has been set for. The key reason for this is the goal is not linked by the person setting out to achieve it to one of their own goals.  Even if a goal is intellectually accepted, the plan to achieve that goal needs to be emotionally set and embraced as well

Empty goals

When challenged most people are able to rattle off a few of their life goals;

  • “I will be a millionaire by the time I am 35”
  • “I will run a triathlon”

While both of these goals are great, to achieve them you need to embrace them as your own and commit to actions to make them happen.

If I was working in a sports store and my manager said “This year everyone in this company will run a triathlon this year” most people would accept it as a goal intellectually but not engage. This is like in the game show contestant opening the curtain and finding out what they are playing for. In this case it might not be so pleasant.

To embrace a goal you need to be fully engaged emotionally and intellectually.

  • “I will take my love of natural products,  identify ways to make this into a thriving business and create a lifestyle around this where I can bank one million dollars by the time I am 35”
  • “I will set daily, weekly and monthly goals for cycling, running and swimming so I can successfully complete a triathlon before I turn 30”

The sports store manager could engage everyone, and perhaps get a few others to join in, by saying “This year I will be doing a triathlon to support the Children’s hospital. If anyone wants to join me the store will support you with all the equipment you need. I would also encourage others to support this cause by supporting this important cause“. Leadership, allowing everyone to engage in a personal goal in the best way they can without feeling guilty.

The difference is the new goals are personal and easily embraced emotionally and intellectually. They allow for setbacks and mixing up of short term goals to ultimately achieve what your main goal.

From that first sales meeting I learned the power released in the process of setting goals and the importance of creating goals. It is in embracing the goal as your own, creating the daily, weekly and monthly target and measuring the small successes where he real power of goals lie.

Today’s question and actions

Who is setting your goals? Are you in charge or are those around you setting default goals? Here are two things you can do to take charge today;

  1. Identify four or five things which you are passionate about. These could be simple things like “I want my son to talk more with me about what is going on in his life” or super challenging like “I will climb Mount Everest“.  Whatever it is you need to be fully engaged with the goal and really want it to be so.
  2. Take some time to plan out what you need to do every day, week and month to make this a reality. e.g. Make at least three calls with you son each week. Walk further up the Devil’s staircase each day.

Setting goals is great. It is setting goals you are fully engaged with which will change your life.

Have a great week!

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5 Great Management Books For Small Business Owners

By Gregory Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

As a small business over, you must wear many different hats and have a wide range of knowledge. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources out there to help you acquire all of the know-how you need in order to run your business successfully. Here are five great management books for small business owners:

Small Business Management: Launching and Growing Entrepreneurial Ventures by Justin G. Longenecker et al. As the title suggests, this comprehensive text guides you through all of the practical aspects of running a small business, from startup to expansion. Keep this in your library for a handy go-to when you need some tactical guidance.

Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality by Scott Belsky. As a small business owner, you probably have a lot of great ideas for how to grow your business; however, what may not be so obvious is the path you should take to bring those ideas to fruition. This text can guide you through the process and help you turn ideas into realities.

Consider: Harnessing the Power of Reflective Thinking in Your Organization by Daniel Patrick Forrester. This text teaches you how to take a time out in pressing business situations so that you can think things through logically and come back to the table with the best possible solution. Forrester uses real world case studies to guide you through the process of reflective thinking–a process that can be of great value to you, the small business owner.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. Great management starts with you–how you manage yourself, that is. Your personal habits will inevitably trickle into your business management and you should therefore make sure you’re operating with the right habits. This book will show you what that means.

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh. Where is the best place to turn to for advice on creating business success? Well, a successful business owner, of course! Hsieh is the founder and CEO of the hugely successful online retail store Zappos, and in this book, he walks you through his own experience and shares his personal insights into what makes a great business work.

As you can see, there is no shortage of educational and inspirational texts out there to help you, the small business owner, succeed in your venture. The important thing is to approach the task of business management with an open mind so that you can see your success from many different angles. These books will help give you that perspective.

About the Author: Marion Moon is a business consultant who loves to see small business owners succeed. She recommends management classes, tools for employee scheduling from When I Work, and a wide variety of team building tools to promote growth.

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Twelve Seconds and Six Actions to Establish Rapport

By Gregory Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

Earlier this month a colleague of mine called and asked how many return calls I was First-Impressionsgetting when I sent my CV out. I had just re-written my profile and he was concerned I had missed the mark.

Being a professional sales coach and someone who prided themselves in helping others achieve I was a bit surprised. I listened to Paul with patience as he pointed out a number of important things.

Those 30 minutes with Paul gave me a whole new perspective of how others viewed me and changed the way I presented myself. It was also a timely reminder that no matter how good you might think you are, getting someone else to read your story, listen to your ideas and provide the tough questions to test your plans is still vital to ensure you are getting the right story out.

This is particularly important when you work as an independent consultant or in a small business as it is easy to lose perspective without peers to help you.

Almost every decision a person makes, from making a purchase to who they date, is made emotionally within the first minutes of your first belly-to-belly meeting. Many communication experts argue it is the first 12 seconds which are the most important. While you may have had a good, polite, discussion; when you walk out of that first meeting your prospect will have already made up their mind if they want to continue the relationship. ‘Flop’ into your first ‘belly-to-belly’ meeting unprepared and you will not get a second chance.

Here are six vital actions to help you in those important first twelve seconds…

1. People do judge a book by its cover

When you meet someone belly-to-belly for the first time 93% of how you are judged will be an emotional response based on the non-verbal data you are presenting – your appearance, verbal tone and body language. Only 7% is influenced by the words you speak.

When your initial encounter is over the phone, 70% of how you are judged will be an emotional response based on your tone of voice and enthusiasm, only 30% on your words. It’s not what you say – it’s the way that you say it.

2. Be prepared

While a mere 7% of what you say is of influence in your first belly-to-belly encounter, don’t leave them to chance. Express some form of thank you when you meet the client. Clients appreciate you when you appreciate them.

Do some research into the person you are meeting. With the mountain of information available today there is no excuse to not have a few personal and business questions ready to show they are important to you and their business is of value.

3. Use Their Name Immediately

When someone calls me by my first name I feel cared for. Nothing brings down barriers quicker than using a person’s name. When you use your client ‘s name in conversation you are sending a message that you value that person and are focused on them.

4. Pay Attention to Your Personal Appearance

I have one of those eyebrows which needs regular attention or it becomes the one thing people I meet focus on.

When you meet someone belly-to-belly for the first time they will notice your hair, eyebrows, forehead and face – in that order. If you are meeting with a female in addition to these they are likely to pay more attention to your shoes, crispness of your shirt / blouse and your nails.

While it may not be obvious, people look from your face to your feet and take in the detail subconsciously. Right or wrong they are deciding if you are a person they like and trust.

5. The first touch

The first physical touch you have with someone, business and personal, is almost always a handshake. A good business handshake is essential to make a lasting impression. When meeting someone belly-to-belly for the first time put out your hand and be prepared to provide a firm handshake. There is no need for bone crunching strength or trying to overwhelm them with vigour. Set the scene as equals and develop from there.

6. Swap cards

While a nice business card can contribute to your total image, the main purpose of a business card is to receive one in return. When you meet someone belly-to-belly for the first time offer your card and expect one in return. The details on their card indicate how they wish to be contacted.

Treat your cards with respect ensuring you only give out cards which are in pristine condition. When you receive a card treat it with the same respect.

In today’s world there is no excuse for being unprepared. Take time to prepare yourself and your mind.

Today’s question and actions

In business in particular there is a mountain of information available at your fingertips. Get to know the person you are going to meet and prepare yourself.

Here are a couple of things you can do;

    • Use LinkedIn, Face book and a companies website to learn about the person you are about to meet. Read the annual report to learn about their industry & their business challenges.
    • Check your personal grooming, your posture and mental attitude just before you meet them.
    • Learn more about emotional intelligence and how to use it to push their green buttons. (click below to download two free chapters of the
      book “Selling to the 7 Emotional Buying Styles“)

Selling to the Seven Emotional Buying Styles Sample Download

You never get a second chance at making a first impression.


Have a great week!

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Sales and marketing strategy for everyone

By Lucy of PPI reclaim

Welcome to Monday

Sales and marketing strategies are essential to take your products to the consumer.  Sales

Sales and Marketing Strategy for Everyone

Sales and Marketing Strategy for Everyone

strategy refers to a design proposed by an individual or business on how to trade products and services and increase revenues. Usually sales strategies are developed by administration department along with its advertising, marketing and sales managers. Having a perfect sales strategy is important for the success of any organisation. Well-planned sales strategies help you to target the potential consumers and communicate with them in meaningful and relevant ways. Sales representatives play important role in promoting the products or services. They should have a complete knowledge on how the services and products can meet the consumer requirements.

Active marketing starts with well-informed and considered marketing strategies.  A well-organized marketing method helps you to define your business goals , mission and vision; it also helps your organisation to frame the steps to achieve these goals. Marketing policy can influence your organisation’s growth; you need to frame a plan in consultation with your team members. A well developed and planned marketing method defines your business and its services and products. It is a simple way to recognize the marketing tactics you can use. It will also help your association to know the role and position of your services and products in the market. A well-defined method can outline your competition and customers.

Sales plans will change from industry to industry, but target market is same for any type of business. Target market is vital to take your services to the consumers and increase profits. For example, if you are selling electronic gadgets , advertising on fashion magazine will not yield any results. Target market is not only the factor to be considered before promoting your brand, but things like gender, age, location and spending habits of an organisation’s are also important. If you want to achieve the growth potential for your association, well-planned sales strategy is inevitable. It plays a key role in penetrating and targeting your products to the most profitable and promising sectors and markets. Sales strategy will help you to measure the performance of your firm, helps retain market share, customer retention, forecasting and morale. It will set out clear sales targets for your business, meet sales goals and attract repeat customers. With the help of a well-defined sales plan you can analyse the weakness and strengths of your competitors.

There are many marketing strategies like affiliate marketing, article writing, blogs, social media and joining in networking groups. Among them social media and article writing are powerful marketing strategies which are suitable for everyone.  You can promote your product and services with the help of Facebook fan pages which will get you huge brand reputation. It is the simple and easy way to reach millions of customers. Article writing is one of the best marketing strategies to increase your profits, but you need to update your website or blog with unique and latest content to attract repeated customers. Unless you  update your blog regularly, you cannot expect good returns.

If you want to achieve the marketing objectives and fill the market needs, marketing strategy work as the fundamental underpinning. Marketing strategies are broadly classified based on market dominance leader, challenger, follower and niche. A well-defined marketing strategy will help you to know the unique selling proposition of your organisation, describe the target market and benefits of your services and products.  Marketing is an investment; you have to develop a budget for your marketing plan.

Author bio:  I am Lucy from Manchester. I am a tech writer. I am into Health and finance. I have written numerous articles on PPI reclaim. You can catch me on @financeport.

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What will you accomplish this week?

By Gregory Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

I was listening in on a sales team conversation. They were setting very low expectations fordont-wait-for-your-ship-to-some-in-swim-out-to-it the month of March. Here in Victoria we have three four day weeks out of four and a lot of people seem to be on holidays.

This got me thinking about the results this team were setting themselves up for.

Sun Tzu, Buddha, Jesus, Henry Ford, Greek philosophers and many others all recognise one important human characteristic. “If you think you can do a thing, or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right”

Mental Blocks

I learned to swim on holidays at the beach while growing up in Korea. As a part of the swimming program I was required to do a series of dives. While attempting to do a backwards dive I hurt myself. In retrospect it was probably not a serious injury, however, it placed a mental block in my brain. Even today, almost 50 years later, there is no way I can do a backward dive without this incident rushing into my mind and creating fear.

While the ability to do a backwards dive is not so important, my brain continues to put up blocks for other more important activities. In fact, psychologists tell us the brain is very good at finding and remembering reasons not to do something.

Deliberate plans are required to overcome the blocks our brain puts in place.

Setting Priorities

Early in my sales career I was competing for a major ERP systems implementation and software development job.

We had moved from a long list to a short list to being one of two organisations being considered. The decision date was looming and it was obvious we were in position two – not a nice place to be with the decision being made on Friday! We knew we were not the ideal fit, however, we had proposed some innovative modifications they liked.

Gerry and I decided to make one last pitch. We got in front of the decision maker and did everything we could to budge him! His mind was made up. He was ready to sign with our competitor.

I knew the sales person from the winning company very well. I called up Bill to congratulate him. You could feel the excitement coming over the telephone line.

Are you going to get the contracts signed today?” I asked.

No,” he said, “I have made an appointment for Tuesday morning so I can get away for the long weekend“.

Those words came back to me like when I read the business section of the paper on Tuesday morning. Over the weekend a Japanese company had put in a takeover bid which the board were likely to accept.

The First Law of Professional Selling

 When there is a deal to be closed stop all other activities to finalise the deal

It never ceases to amaze me so many people just do not get it. When a deal or opportunity is there to be closed do not hesitate – close it!

If Bill had gone out that day he would have had a signed contract, a fat commission check and his company would have a big deal. He had ignored the first law of a professional sales person and lost.

What you accomplish this week is up to you. There may be some things which are genuinely out of your control. If you do not think it is possible, however, you probably will not ask, and if you don’t ask the opportunity might just go away.

Today’s question and actions

The moment you give up is the moment you let someone else win. If you’re in business or sales the very first question you must ask each morning is ‘What deals or opportunities  are there that can or need to be closed today?’

Extend this to everything you do by asking the question ‘Is this activity going to help me achieve my goals today, this week, or this month?’

The answer to these questions will help determine the priority of all other activities for the day.

Click below to download a copy of my ‘six-pack’ – the tool I use each day

Six Pack March 2013

Have a great week!

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What is one question you can ask to eliminate price as an objection and open up an opportunity?

By Gregory Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

The most commonly asked question by business owners and sales people is “How can I remove price as an objection?”Why People Listen

I was standing in the supermarket aisle last week and noticed a young man lingering in the laundry power section. Being a naturally curious person so I walked up and asked “What a range – how can you ever select the right product

I am trying to decide which of these laundry powders is the cheapest” he said. “Which one do you use?”

My brain went into overdrive. ‘What an opportunity to test my price theory’ I thought. I looked straight into his eyes and asked “If they were all the same price what would be important for you?”

My girl friend has an allergy – so I need to be sure that the powder washes out completely” he said.

I turned and pulled the most expensive item off the shelf “If you want your girlfriend to keep healthy and kissing you, you need to use this brand in warm water as it completely washes out.”

Thanks” he said and immediately placed it into his shopping trolley and wandered off.

It was amazing. He had gone from buying on price to buying the most expensive brand in just thirty seconds

Why do people buy from you?

This is the most important question you will ever ask. When I challenge people with this question almost every time they will answer without thinking with stock answers like;

    • I have a relationship with them
    • We have the best price
    • Because I am a great sales person
    • Quality of our product
    • Our service

Some even look at me like I have two heads. Why would I bother to ask this question? We all know why our clients buy?

This is dangerous thinking.  Notice all the personal pronouns – ‘I’, ‘Our’ and ‘We’. Customers crave for your attention and they can’t get the attention of someone focused on themselves.

When I started my sales training business I did what all good business people do – I looked at my strengths, weaknesses, challenges and opportunities. I quickly picked up my first client and assumed, of course, that they had purchased my program for one of the reasons I put forward.

After the last session I sat down with the director of sales and asked this simple question “John, why did you buy my program?”

I was not prepared for the answer. “Greg, when you were selling to us we were concerned that you were new to the business. What we noticed, however, was you were the only person who used the sales techniques you proposed to teach our team and these were the same techniques we wanted them to use.”

Wow – all the hot air I had come up with to sell my programs had made no impact on this sale – it was something I had not even considered.

With every sale I make now I ask ‘Why did you buy this product or service from me?’ I am continually amazed at the feedback I get and use this feedback to build stories to use in new sales campaigns.

Talk with your best clients to find out why they are really doing business with you. They will provide you with your best stories and help you develop powerful open and probing questions to ask your prospects.

 What is more important than price to your client?

Price only becomes an issue if you make it an issue. If you make a business outcome the issue then price becomes secondary. Even if two products are identical, your client will always buy on perceived outcome.

Today’s question and actions

Go to your best clients, look them straight in the eye and ask “Why do you buy from me?” You can phrase this in any way you feel comfortable, so here are a couple of variations;

    • Other than price where, specifically, do our products / services add value to your business?
    • Why do you continue to do business with us year after year?
    • Where in your business could we offer more value?
    • What is it that makes our products / services stand out?
    • What makes us different from every other company that calls on you?

Then shut up and listen. You will learn more about your sales strengths from this exercise than weeks of sitting in your office with your marketing gurus making up a story.

If price is an issue – guess who made it an issue. Stop selling price and ask great questions about business value.

Have a great week!

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What blockages are stopping the heartbeat of your business?

By Gregory Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

As in life, at the core of every business is a heart beating away providing life giving oxygen,boulder on road paying salaries, keeping production moving and supporting the families of every person involved. This heartbeat pumps something which, like our own heart pumping oxygen, can kill your business faster than any other business problem. This essential oxygen for business in paying customers.

No matter what business you are in, and this includes ‘not for profits’ and totally volunteer organisations, the life blood of every organisation is people willing to be engaged, to volunteer, to pay fees, and to buy products or services.

 Traffic Jams

I live and work in a large city. This involves travelling in and out every day. I take a keen interest in traffic reports as I know it takes just a small accident to create a major blockage on the roads. Manufacturing companies wait on deliveries to meet the demands for production; Events wait on patrons to turn up; Buildings wait on maintenance companies to fix the elevators … the list goes on.

A major blockage can bring a city to its knees.

Wait until you feel the pain

I was talking with a cardiologist and he despaired about the small number of people who proactively did something about their heart health. Even though there are well proven ways to maintain a healthy heart less than 5% of the population did anything at all about it voluntarily.

This struck a chord with me as less than 5% of people in business or sales have EVER attended a sales training program, read a sales book or listed to a sales or motivational CD by their own choice. (Brian Tracy – ‘Psychology Of Selling’)

The average person waits until they feel the symptoms until they do something about the pain of a heart problem – and if you are a male you are likely to wait until it is too late.

In business, if you wait until you feel the pain of a blocked sales pipeline of funnel, insolvency is often just around the corner.

Is Selling a ‘Black Art’ or Normal?

Selling is often termed the ‘Black Art’. Something necessary to make a business work, yet mysterious in nature. Somehow the sales wizards go out and bring in orders.

An inventor I have worked with keeps telling me “If you build it they will come“.

It is now ten years since he built his first working model and no one came. He has built three improved models and still no one came.

Selling is a very normal function and is about telling people a story. You do not need a working model, just an idea or concept which might work. It is not about building, it is about proactively listening to others and sharing your ideas. It is simple and straight forward.

At the core of your business is a heartbeat, and that heart is kept going by listening and telling others your story.

Today’s question and actions

What are you doing to keep the heartbeat of your business going? Here are a couple of things you can do;

    • Know your story. Keep it simple and do not leave things out just because you think it has all been said before. For this new person it is the first time and it is important they get the full impact. Like an actor playing the same show every day – keep the passion alive and your audience will applauded every performance.
    • Look for something new with each customer. Every person who does business with you, decides to volunteer, or become engaged with what you do does so for their own reason. Find out their reason and you will have a depth of real stories to keep you message fresh.

There is nothing difficult about selling if you know your story and can relate it to others.  Usually if there is a blockage it is because you have not maintained you own enthusiasm.

Have a great week!

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