Category Archives: Buyers

Keeping the wolves at bay

Keeping the wolves at bay…

I have had a client for a long, long time. They are a signature client and many other clients come on board with me because of THEM! They are important to my past, present, and future success.

Recently, they decided that they wanted to start looking around at other options. New, sexy, exciting, (unproven) options! They have included me in the process and are giving me the chance to stay in the game with them.

Tomorrow, I present to their team – and here’s why I’m 90% positive I am going to keep the relationship…because every chance I get, I talk to them about all the great things we’ve been able to do together over the years. We have a PARTNERSHIP. When THEY wanted to make a big, unprecedented splash in their industry, I was there. IT was awesome. When they wanted to expand their reach, I was there, we have results to show for it. When they wanted to support new markets, I was there and it made a huge difference.

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But, if I weren’t communicating these wins with them (like a walk down memory lane), then it’s easy for them to forget when something new and sparkly shows up on the scene. It’s why I am going to keep this business (they even let ME select the position I wanted in the order of presentations. I picked LAST, of course).

The principles I’m talking about are easy to apply in any industry. They go like this:

When you get a new client

Send at least a handwritten thank you note, if not a gift. AND thank the person who sent them to you. This works with selling cars, furniture, appliances, real estate, mortgages, farming equipment, office supplies … ANYTHING.

When you have had a client for awhile

Check in to see how they are using your products. Has anything changed in their life? What is coming up that you should know about?  If you are a car dealer, you will find out that a daughter is about to turn 16 and a new car is in order (probably for mom and dad, but a new car, nonetheless). If you are in furniture, you will find that a baby is on the way, or that an aging couple is moving to a smaller place and needs help with the new setting.

When you have had a client for a few “seasons”

Send tokens of appreciation and schedule a coffee, simply to “walk down memory lane”. If you are in real estate, you can reminisce about how far that couple has come from their “first home buyer” experience to upgrading to a home for babies and for helping the first child get their first home. If you are in appliances, you can chortle about the surprise new range that he bought for his wife on their fifth anniversary.

The point

The point is…if you want to have a successful book of business that builds on itself, you will keep it personal and you will remind your clients of the partnership you have developed over the years.  This may seem like a lot of work, but BELIEVE ME…the repeat business and referrals you will receive FAR OUTWEIGH the cost and effort it takes to keep getting NEW clients.

Love the partnership UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

The Big Wig is falling ASLEEP?

I’m in a meeting today at a Fortune 500 company that I’ve been selling to for about 6 months now. My key contacts have asked me in to present to all the Very Important Executives who help make the buying decision.

My contact is GREAT she’s got everyone there – the VP of This, the Head of That, and the Boss of All of Them (BOAT). Sounds like a great set-up, right?

Except my job is to make my contact look like a ROCK STAR, address all of the angles that everyone is looking from, AND keep it on time.

Still, not a problem really, but about 5 minutes in, it is clear that BOAT has other things on his mind, and he’s doing his best to not fall asleep, the dear. Oh, and the Head of That is 40 minutes late but wants to cover everything.

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It was crazy…but I decided to have some fun with it…here’s what I did

I used BOAT’s name from time to time
Instead of pretending that he wasn’t interested, I used BOAT’s name from time to time in the examples I was giving, this kept him awake, and amused, and even interested (you must do this gracefully and appropriately and not single him out.) Pretty soon HE was asking great questions. Once I even CRACKED HIM UP

I asked each person what they wanted to learn from our meeting
That way, I could keep it HIGH LEVEL and on point and everyone knew where we were going.

I graciously welcomed the Head of That when she walked in the room, but kept on point
Once BOAT even started answering her questions.

I respected everyone’s time
I stayed late with Head of That, but made sure that VP of This and BOAT had everything they needed by 5 minutes before the hour, so that they could cut out for their next thing

I made every word count
I did not give an unnecessary stories or expansions on my answers. Straight, to the point and I gave every word energy with an intent to communicate

I was flexible with my presentation
Of course, I have a way that I normally show my product, but I followed their lead. If they asked about something, I went right there and I kept it all on point. (You have to KNOW your product INSIDE OUT to do this)

I loved ’em ALL UP!
I took them all JUST THE WAY THEY WERE and made sure they all won and got to be great.

AND my contact looked like a ROCK STAR. She was so grateful.

So, if you get in a jam, SWING OUT, have some fun and

Love ’em UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

Remember, people want to be proud of their decisions!

This is an especially important message for people who sell products/services that require a lengthy contracting/procurement process.

Once your contact has said “yes” – YOUR JOB BECOMES EVEN MORE IMPORTANT.

This could apply to a person buying a fleet of construction vehicles from you all the way to a Mary Kay consultant booking a party with a hostess for two weeks in the future.

Here’s why your job becomes SO important.

Now, YOUR BUYER’S reputation and personal “brand” is on the line  –  which makes them VERY NERVOUS. In between the “yes” and the completed event (purchase, party, etc), they need to keep remembering that they made a great decision.

Throughout the entire process you want your buyer to feel GREAT about their decision.

Here are some tried and true ideas. Set up weekly calls with your buyer to give them tools that they can put in place NOW to help them hit the ground running when the contract is finally signed – or the event is happening.

Send CELEBRATION emails of victories that other clients are having by using your products/services. Send PR News Releases about your own company that put you in a positive light.

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Direct your buyer to resources on your website that they will find interesting –  possibly a blog post. Talk to them about the keynote speech that your CMO delivered at the latest conference.

Find ways to keep congratulating your buyer on making a great decision and you will have a happy ongoing relationship – fruitful with referrals, upsells, and trust.

Love ’em up!

OK… the gloves are off and you might not want to hear this

Ever heard the saying “It takes two to tango?”

It’s not JUST salespeople that need to add a dash of dignity to the art of selling. It is AlSO the buyers!

I got an emai from a procurement guy today saying that they NORMALLY ask for a “lowest and best price” from the key contenders at this point of the sale……BUT if I’m willing to give them a FIFTY PERCENT DISCOUNT on the price I quoted them, they’d be happy to ignore other vendors.


Immediately, I contacted by business owner in the company. I asked them straight up…where did this person get misinformation about our pricing structure – it was nowhere near what we had discussed.

She responded….. “this is standard operating procedure. Just reply with what your price is. We look forward to working with you! ”

DON’T do this…if you are a BUYER….DON’T do this. It EQUALLY diminishes the art of selling.

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I invite you to be a gracious and AUTHENTIC buyer. I promise you that you will get the best deals EVER imagined if you act in good faith and authentic communication.

I’m just sayin’…..procurement people, you want to be the BEST at your job, give a good listen to this, you might be surprised!

Love buyers up!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

The time-share sale

Who’s right and who’s wrong in the classic time-share sales model? You know the one I’m talking about. The time-share company invites you to come down on a “vacation” that is completely paid for – in exchange for you listening to an hour “pitch”.

So, you go.

Then you complain that you were subjected to a “high-pressure” sales pitch – maybe you even bought something – something you may even regret.

I ask you, “What did you expect?”

If you’re willing to present yourself as a prospective buyer – which you have by taking the offer of being in a one-hour sales presentation – why aren’t you willing to be responsible for your own experience of the sales pitch?

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I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please think them through before you share them. Please look from both sides.

Love the process up!

The Irreverent Sales Girl