Is Educating A Sales Prospect A Bad Idea

Companies spend thousands of dollars every year building product knowledge “Universities”. They send their sales people to these product schools to learn the features and benefits of their products. They have them go through the process of becoming “product” experts, with the hope that the expertise they gain will propel them to sales success.

Unwittingly, they promote and fund a process that ends up creating “non supportive beliefs” in the minds of their sales people that can actually inhibit their success and lose them both sales revenue and profit margins. Those beliefs include the following:

Disseminating product knowledge to my prospect will build my credibility and make sales.

In order for the prospect to understand the value of my offer I must educate them.

Unfortunately, we have found this type of thinking, or “non supportive beliefs”, end up creating very difficult selling problems. Once we understand the problems these non supportive beliefs create we can begin to change both our thinking and behavior that will lead us to greater success in sales.

Although being credible to your prospect is important , we believe that having them trust you to provide a solution that will limit the risk they take in making a decision to buy from you is much more important. The way you build that trust is by demonstrating to your prospect, through a complete understanding of their problems, that you reduce the chance of making a mistake in the recommendation you make.

Logically, to gain an understanding of what your prospect needs, would require us to ask questions. Through your questions, you gain a greater understanding of their situation and thereby lower the risk of making a recommendation that is inconsistent with what they need. Asking questions about typical problems and understanding the impact they have on your prospect is much more important than giving out information.

Also, we have found that educating your prospect about your value allows them to use your information and recommendations as a way to “shop” you against the competition, frequently building RFP’s and RFQ’s around the unique value you have educated them about. This “shopping” model allows them to get competitive bids built around your recommendations that literally extinguish your value and end up creating sameness. This “free consulting” is particularly frustrating and damaging to our technology and intangible service customers.

Educating your prospect may make you feel good but it will end up being your downfall. It’s a dead end street that will force you to define your difference by a low price!

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Retail Sales Training Essential To Increase Retail Sales Performance

Retail Sales Coaching should be designed to work on behalf of each individual Salesperson who wants to succeed for them, while being part of an environment that nurtures and speeds their growth.

Retail Sales Training is for each person who cared to show up today to express themselves in a retail sales environment and who demands more of themselves. Retail Sales Training is for people who want to feel they have done their best with what they knew, today.

Retail Sales Coachings purpose is to clarify, in a realistic, truthful and meaningful way, precisely how each person can perform better. It must do this by connecting people with the objectives of the company within the framework of their own need to succeed and be recognized.
Retail Sales Training Software must work by identifying the absolute area of selling skill, the one out of five key performance indicators (KPIs), which if the Salesperson were to focus on exclusively, would become their best performance enhancer their best chance at optimum improvement.

Retail Sales Coaching Software should be about helping your company and its people become richer by revealing the truth about their performance, on an individual basis, so your Salespeople can focus on making their most significant improvements in the shortest period of time.

The result of implementing the right solution is that each Salesperson’s performance is increasing at optimum speed, so you can expect your retail store as a whole to increase sales by anywhere from ten to thirty percent.

Any Retail Sales Training system of appraisal and reporting should make sales people accountable for their time by measuring their performance according to key KPIs, against each other, and against the store average. Unless measurements are taken on a regular basis and compared with the rest of the people on the shift it would be impossible to know the area in which to train.

Today, most POS software programs generate KPIs such as average sale, items per sale, sales per hour. However, they do not allow store managers to set sales goals and divide them up proportionally between salespeople so effectively POS sales reports are useless.

While door counters are useful unless they integrate with an effective Retail Training software program they cannot generate Conversion Rate KPIs one of the fundamental KPIs used in Sales Training.

There are software programs available to compliment your POS that will do the job including breaking down slow and fast periods of the day by weightings.

Here are some things to look for in a Retail Sales Training Software Program:

Store Information Register to record specific information about the store.

Staff Information Register and Coaching Log to record specific information and availability and coaching history of each sales person.

Weekly Sales Goals Planner that automatically divides the store sales goal fairly between the salespeople on duty, including taking into account slow and fast periods of the day.

Weekly Staff Roster to allocate staff to a time and attendance schedule within the framework of the stores wage budgets, warning when over rostering and helping to improve wage to sales ratio efficiency.

Actual Performance Score Card that tracks individual actual sales performance against individual sales goals to identify areas of weakness and strength so that managers can coach behaviors.

Optimally, coaching tips should be integrated so managers can quickly get information about coaching on specific deficient selling skills.

The objectives of Retail Sales Training Software Programs are to:

Increase profits, decrease costs, motivate staff

Bring Retailers in line with industry Best Practice

Filter company sales objectives down to Individual Salespeople on the shop floor

Focus Store Managers on the two operational expenses within their control: Wages and Individual Sales Performance

Make Salespeople accountable for their time

Reduce payroll by Rostering within set wage parameters

Identify each individual Salesperson’s deficient selling skills each week

Show sales trends for each individual salesperson and store

Integrate self-based coaching to give front line store managers’ tips on demand

Motivate employees by instilling a performance based team culture

Identify best performers allowing Store Managers to roster those staff more often – yielding a higher wage to sales ratio or ROI

Reduce attrition rates, retain good staff

Introduce a system of setting standards, tracking, measuring and reporting results, identifying under performance and coaching for success

Integrate with POS to produce instant information at Salespeoples fingertips.

Retail competition is fierce and times are tough. If you want to increase retail sales performance then coaching sales people is vital to success. Successful retailers put into place best practice retail training software programs to help them immediately identify skill areas requiring coaching attention.

Without the help of retail performance metrics you may be wasting valuable training time and missing the point for each individual salesperson.

How To Structure A Sales Letter

When your livelihood is writing sales copy for online and offline businesses, it’s absolutely crucial that your copy converts, or your clients simply won’t come back! A huge proportion of my work is repeat business, and a big reason for that is because over the last 7 years or so, I’ve developed a formula that works over and over again, for any product I’m asked to sell.

So if you can’t afford to hire a sales letter copywriter like myself, then here’s my formula for writing a profit-pulling, high-converting sales letter-

STEP #1 – The Headline

Sure, it’s a pretty obvious one, but it’s arguably the most important part of any sales letter, so neglect it at your peril! The fact is, if you want your prospect to remain on your sales page once they’ve landed on it, then your headline needs to grab their attention straightaway, and keep them reading down to-

STEP #2 – The Sub-Headline

As well as the headline, it’s also a good idea to include a sub-headline, too. This allows you to expand on the main benefit of your product offer, or even include another major benefit as well. A sub-headline essentially gives you room to include powerful pulls, without making the headline waffle on too long!

STEP #3 – Address The Prospect’s Problems

At the beginning of the main body copy, you need to address the BIG PROBLEM (the reason why the prospect is on your page in the first place), and then make it crystal clear that you’ll be providing a SOLUTION to this problem very soon. A popular method of doing this is to ask a few questions, like -do you wish that you could lose 10 lbs?- (for a fat loss product), or -are you fed up with always being broke?- (for a business opportunity or make money online type of product).

STEP #4 – Talk About The Benefits Of Your Product

After you’ve addressed the prospect’s main problem(s), then you need to make it clear that YOUR product will offer the solution they’ve been looking for, and if they stick around for a little while longer, you’ll reveal precisely what it is! This is the perfect place to list some of the main benefits of the product, in order to whet their appetite a little and keep them reading.

STEP #5 – Reveal Who You Are And Why You’re Qualified To Help

Naturally, If you’re reading a piece of sales copy and thinking about buying the product in question, then you’ll want to know who the product creator is, and whether or not they’re actually qualified to help you. So at this point you need to introduce yourself to the reader, and reveal your qualifications and experience. Only by doing this will you be able to build trust and credibility in the minds of your readers – a crucial thing to consider when it comes to selling anything online.

STEP #6 – Reveal The Product!

After you’ve addressed the prospect’s problems, listed some of the main benefits of your offer, and introduced yourself, the reader should now be very keen on finding out exactly what the product is. And this is the point at which you should reveal the product, and explain exactly how it’s going to help provide a solution to their problem.

STEP #7 – Build Value

Once you introduce the product, you should then be working on building value. This can be done by splitting up the product package into individual components, and assigning a value to each one of them, which when added together, far exceed the actual price. By the time the prospect reaches the order button, your product should represent a huge bargain.

STEP #8 – Include Bonus Products

Another great way to increase perceived value is to add free bonuses to the product package, which of course, must be strongly related to the main product. Including a bonus or two is a great way to convince -fence-sitters- to take the plunge and click on the buy button!

STEP #9 – The Price

After you’ve revealed exactly what the prospect will receive with their product package, it’s time to hit them with the price! And as I said, the price you list must appear very cheap at this stage, which it will (if you’ve done a good job of adding perceived value)!

STEP #10 – Include A Money-Back Guarantee

These days, it’s absolutely crucial that you include a money-back guarantee with your product, because it demonstrates that you have absolute faith in what you’re selling. More importantly though, it reduces the risk of buying, and therefore, makes it far more likely that the customer will go ahead with the purchase.

STEP #11 – Include A Post-Script Or Three!

At the end of the sales letter, it’s vital that you add a post-script, because studies have shown that after the headline, this is the most read section of any piece of sales copy! Therefore, you need to include the main selling points and benefits of the product. In short, if a prospect were to ONLY read the post-script, it needs to be strong enough to convince them to go back and read more!

And there you have it-

My 11-point sales letter copywriting formula!

Now, of course, this isn’t the ONLY sales letter formula that you can use, but it’s certainly a good one to go with if you’re not sure how to go about writing sales copy. And hey, if you want to sidestep all of the hard work and just get a professional direct response copywriter to do it for you, then feel free to get in touch!

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Jumeirah Group Announces New Appointments For The Sales Team At Their Dubai Hotels

The Jumeirah Group has announced the appointments of several new sales team members in the city of Dubai.

The Dubai-based company specialises in operating luxury properties for travellers seeking luxurious Dubai holidays as well as hotels and resorts in major cities all over the world including London, New York, Shanghai, the Maldives and Frankfurt.

It has been revealed that Daniel Weihrauch will be joining the hotel group as the new Director of Cluster Sales in Dubai. Weihrauch has worked within the luxury holidays sector for years and previously held roles at Kempinski Hotels and Resorts in Germany and Jumeirah hotels in Dubai and New York. His most recent role was at IHG, where he worked as the Director of Sales and Marketing at InterContinental Phoenicia Beirut in Lebanon.

The Austrian national, Katja Graf, has been promoted to Director of Sales Leisure in Dubai and has 10 years of experience in the hospitality industry in Europe and the Middle East. She previously worked for the InterContinental Hotels Group in Vienna and Dubai and she was the Business Development Manager for Atlantis, The Palm Dubai.

Olinda Morais is the new Director of Sales, Groups & Events Conversion, Dubai and she has worked for Hilton in France, Brazil and Venezuela, as well as the Madinat Jumeirah The Arabian Resort.

Jan Kaspar Rienermann has worked for the Jumeirah Group since 2005 and is the new Director of Sales, Groups & Events, Dubai. The German national was the Cluster Associate Director of Sales for Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts in 2009.

Jad Doumet is now the Director of Sales, GCC & Government, Dubai and he has plenty of experience working for Dubai hotels after his time at the Armani Hotel, Dubai as the Director of Sales; Crowne Plaza Dubai as the Director of Sales in 2009; and InterContinental Dubai Festival City as the Senior Account Manager.

Jumeirah boasts a portfolio of upscale hotels, resorts and high end properties for luxury holidays in Dubai and cities across the world.

Some of the groups most famous hotels in Dubai include the Burj Al Arab with its iconic ship sail structure, fleet of Rolls Royce vehicles and 24-hour butler service; Jumeirah Emirates Towers with 400 rooms and suites, 15 bars and restaurants and private beach access; and Madinat Jumeirah the Arabian Resort with two boutique hotels and Courtyard summer houses, 44 restaurants and bars, and two kilometres of pristine private sandy beach.

Do You Have What’s Needed To Be A Successful Salesman

So you have decided to go into sales, first you need to make yourself a very important question: do I really want to do this for a living? On the answer to this question depends your future as a salesman. Know the eight key factors that will help you discover if sales really is for you.

1. Determine why you want to be a salesman. If you were in a conversation with someone and you were asked: ‘Why do you want to go into sales?’ what would you answer? A lot of people answer that money is their motivation, and quite frankly that’s not the best answer. If this is your case, be careful! If all you want is money and you’re not doing something you really like, it’ll be twice as difficult for you to get the economic rewards you want. Remember: money is only a consequence, a byproduct. If you set yourself to do something you really like, something you fell passionate about, then everything you see, read, listen to, study and do you will do it with joy, hence you’ll be very good at it and money will find its way to you.

2. Can you easily reject other professions? Don’t be distracted and focus. What would happen if in this very moment you were faced with an alternative to perform a professional activity other than sales? Would you take it? If your answer is ‘no’ then you have taken the best choice. Commit yourself to what you like to do. Don’t waste your time in other activities you’re not really interested in.

3. Know your strengths and exploit them. It’s always better to develop a person’s strengths than trying to complement his or her weaknesses. Try to identify your strengths and devote yourself to develop, grow and perfect them. If selling is your vocation, this is the most effective way to become a notable sales professional with excellent economic results.

4. Dedicate yourself to what you really like. Where there’s joy there’s success. Consider how satisfied you are with the professional activity your performing now and evaluate if this is really what you wish for. If it’s not then it might be worth it to change the path. Many times we can have what we want right under our noses, but we go out some other place looking for it. Ask yourself: what I do right now, is it really what I dream of doing?

5. Learn the secrets of great salesmen. There are four characteristics that define the best:
* Passion for selling. This is the inner strength generated by a person when he or she is motivated and commitment to his or her activity. Passion and conviction go hand in hand.
* Persistence. You must be able to achieve what you want and avoid giving up at first sight of hardship or failure.
* Ambition. A salesman who is not ambitious is not a winner. You must have the profound desire to discover, keep and broaden prospects and clients.
* Preparedness. A salesman who does not know how to sell and doesn’t know his or her product will definitely not be successful. He or she might have passion, might be persistent and ambitious but if the client asks for a comparison with a competing product and the salesman doesn’t have enough information or doesn’t possess the skills to do it then the previous traits will be of no use.

6. Recognize in yourself a successful salesman. Successful salesmen are successful because:
* They have clear, honest and ethical ambitions.
* They know the best techniques and have the necessary skills.
* They take interest in the success of all three: the client’s, the company’s and his own.
* They don’t have to be salesmen, they want to be salesmen!
The causes salesmen fail can be found in the following five:
* They are not doing what they want to do.
* They feel obligated or forced to be in sales.
* They lack interest in the well-being of his or her prospects or clients.
* They are not prepared and are not honest to themselves.
* Because they have to be and don’t want to be.

7. Are you willing to have a 24×7 workweek? If you’re willing to be ‘in touch’ with your clients 24 hours a day 7 days a week then you’re on the right path. If you’re not then you might be better off doing something else, not sales. Dare to seize every opportunity you get to contact new prospects but don’t just forget about the ones you already have. New prospects can help generate new sales, but if you are careful and build relationships with your current prospects and clients they are sure to generate sales after sales month after month.

8. The power of professional and economic rewards. Remember that when you love what you do, success, fame and fortune become natural consequences, not the objective. If this is not your case, look for you passion, your vocation and pursue self fulfillment in that field or activity, If you do then life will be more fun, more prosperous and with less visits to the doctor.