Archive Monthly Archives: June 2008

A Note on answering the phone with a smile…

Hey guys,

Our routine for answering the phone is simple. Before you pick up the phone smile, then pick up the phone whilst standing, or at least sitting up erect.

Answer the phone in the same consistent manner every time. Simply say ‘Good Morning and Welcome to ABC, This is Tommy Tucker.’ This method is important as the smile and words provide a pleasant experience on the other end and it gets you in the right frame to speak with the person. Saying ‘This is’ followed by your full name is important as it means the person on the other end is warned you are about to give your name. This increases retention dramatically and helps you to build a relationship with the caller. By giving your full name you position yourself as someone of importance.

DO NOT add ‘speaking’ to the end as this will decrease the callers retention of your name.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood

The Power of Testimonials…

Hey guys,

Testimonials and especially ones that are on your website, your business cards, your printed matter are so essential. It will help you build your credibility.

3rd party Endorsement – When someone else speaks about us it is always treated with a greater level of believability than if we say it…
Leverage against an existing relationship – Using an existing relationship that someone has with another person transfers the trust, integrity and relationship to you. You can then use this relationship to your mutual benefit (ie leverage).
Reinforces your value to the writer – In dealing with certain people we build expectations that cause us to overlook the true value of this relationship. The process of writing a testimonial refocuses a client on the value of our products and services and relationship. Written endorsement is much more intensive / credible than verbal.
Identifies opportunities for this client – The process of writing the testimonial for you focuses the clients attention of your products and services, combine this with an effective relationship marketing system and the client will consider their needs for your products and services.
Relationship Building – The simple act of asking them to provide a testimonial on your behalf reinforces your commitment to the relationship, it makes them feel important. Remember the first time you asked your teacher in school to provide you a reference, the teacher was normally happy to do this. Your client will experience the same feeling.

3 steps to easily attaining a powerful testimonial…

Step 1 – Ask them for Permission…

Simply ask ‘Would you mind giving me a testimonial about how you’ve experienced the service I have provided?’

Step 2 – Identify the three specific things they’ve experienced you’ve done well for them…

‘What specifically are the three things that have impressed you about my service?’ or perhaps ‘What are the three things you’ve enjoyed most about my service?’

Don’t be ashamed to guide them or offer suggestions…

As they give them to you write down the answers, and when they’re finished rephrase the answers and feed them back to them so that they are clear on what they value about you.


Step 3 – Get a commitment on the date…

‘Derek, when do you think you could have that too me? Would this week or next week be better?’ They will mostly choose next week in which case you can respond with ‘That’s fine, I’ll give you a call on next Thursday to arrange picking it up. By the way would you mind putting it on letterhead?’

If there is any hesitation about commitment, offer to draft the testimonial for them. Use the three specific things they told you as the basis for the testimonial and try to use their exact words so each one you write is different. Give them a commitment on when you’ll have it to them. Once you’ve delivered it to them get their commitment on when you can pick it up.

Remember: You can never have too many testimonials… Make a habit of asking for them from every delighted client…

Points to ponder…

Get the testimonial signed on their letterhead with Name, company, position, and phone number – ideally all four things but name is enough.

Ideally the testimonial will be no longer than a few paragraphs.

Multiple Testimonials should be developed for each product, service and unique aspect of your business…

Be sure to follow them up if they have not passed the testimonial on to you. It is more likely they have gotten busy rather than they don’t want to do it. They may also not know what to say. This is a great opportunity for you to write it for them.

The best time to ask is just after the sale, around the same time as you’re asking for referrals from them… You should also ask after any significant contact…

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood

Make sure your pitch fulfills AIDA…

Hey guys,

Grab their Attention, create an Interest and build their Desire then motivate them to Action. This in a nutshell is the one and only way to effective sales. Let’s look at each stage independently; please remember that each stage does not take part independently of each other, they can happen at the same time.

Attention
The headline is the most important part of every ad… Without a headline you might as well be giving your money away to charity.

The headline is used to grab the readers attention, without this the reader will continue past your ad and onto the next page. It is critical that your headline grabs their attention. I will generally spend a lot of time getting the headline right, I will write many variations and play with it until I consider it to be just right, then I will test it and if required change it.

Interest
It is one thing to get their attention but now you must create a desire for them to act. This will generally be done through your body copy and graphics. It should contain the essence of what you are trying to say, at the same time create some perceived problem that you are able to solve through your products and services. Throughout this time you must maintain their attention.

Here is some suggestions on how to maintain people’s interested:

• Ask Question that must be answered
• Begin with a strong benefit of the product
• Articulate the news value
• Avoid generalities
• Stick to reasons why people buy. Sell people advantages not things
• Select angles with the greatest or broadest appeal
• Provide plenty of emotional appeal
• Create points of human contact, allow the reader to say ‘Yes, that is just like me’
• Avoid outrageous claims, use vivid and dramatic situations, with human content, include word pictures
• Consider using subheads
• Use present tense
• Use active words

Desire
If you are successful in getting their attention and maintaining their interest you must then create the desire to take the next step. Creating desire is achieved through your headline and body copy. A deep understanding and targeted marketing piece will create desire in the chosen target market. An untargeted piece will have less chance of creating a desire.

Action
This is your call to action. This will generally be ‘Call Brett now of xxxx-xxxx’ or would you like fries with that?, a call to action is simply asking for the sale or advance. This is essential, as without it you will have created interest and desire to buy but unless you ask the question they will go elsewhere to satisfy their ultimate need.

Too many sales people lose sales because they didn’t ask the question or respond to the call to action. Your job as a sales professional is to present the information using the process and guide the prospect through to a commitment. Do not leave the prospect hanging as they will definitely go elsewhere.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood

The art of receiving a business card…

Hey guys,

As you receive the business card look the person in the eye. This is essential.
Receive it with both hands and then look at the card.
Do not put it away until you have completed your conversation with the person. If that means keeping it for ten minutes then so be it. If you are sitting at the meeting then place the card in front of you and leave it there for the duration of the meeting. It will help you remember their name and also place a positive impression in their subconscious mind.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood