Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Guest Blogger: Lucy Ke - Do Your Employees Know What to Do?

It’s easy to tell which organizations put a premium on customer service and on their employees by how the latter responds to conflict—particularly conflict with customers.

Case in point: Last week I was somewhat irked by a drive-through bank teller who interrupted my transactions to have a lengthy chat with a customer in another lane. I understood her intentions were good (be friendly), but her chat took up my time, and later I realized she’d made a large mistake in logging a deposit amount (to my disadvantage!). When I returned the next day to have the error fixed, I pointed out this behavior to the bank manager.

Today I drove through again, and the usually friendly teller was noticeably more frosty—which I found interesting.

A well-trained employee would’ve known: (1) not to personalize the complaint; and (2) said something along the lines of, “Good morning, Ms. Ke! Listen, I talked with my manager about last week’s mistake and wanted to thank you for catching it. I’m sorry you had to come back again, but I promise it won’t happen again.” “Oh puh-lease,” you might say, “she’s human, she clearly has a right to be annoyed with you for complaining to her boss about her.”

Well, sure, but think about the messages being conveyed to the customer. By being curt, she comes off as petty, self-involved, and defensive. (Can such individuals be trusted with customer deposits?) If she’d tried option 2, she’d have radiated professionalism, warmth, and concern for the customer’s time.

I don’t like spending all my time in bank lines, so this individual had become a single point of contact for me where my bank is concerned—to me, she is the bank.

It could be a bank teller, a drycleaning clerk, a receptionist, or a parking booth attendant. When conflict comes up, do your employees know how to react so you don’t wind up alienating customers?

Lucy Ke is president of KeFactors, which provides leadership and customer service training, course development, and coaching for organizations eager to tap into their associates' talents and potential. With 30 years in design and marketing, Lucy believes in cultivating more strategic individuals for a more productive workplace. She can be reached at 404.444.0747 or

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Guest Blogger: Lucy Ke - The Technology of Listening

In the comedy “Last Holiday,” Queen Latifah’s character becomes so frustrated by her boss’s preoccupation with his cell phone, she winds up smashing it as a prelude to quitting.

Why is that funny? Why are handhelds used as symbols of arrogance? Obviously, it struck a chord because audiences cheered and laughed when Queen Latifah finally demolished her boss’ phone.

Ever worked with a bad listener? Ever worked for a bad listener who also derived a sense of personal importance from being “always on,” constantly texting and responding to cell phone calls when others are trying to speak? In her book Seven: The Number for Happiness, Love, and Success, former Reader’s Digest editor Jacqueline Leo remarks, “Our own conceit becomes one of the reasons people can’t put their machines down. They make us feel too important.”

Not being heard is frustrating and draining, and can usually mean business gets done ineffectively, with needless errors, or not at all. Relationships also suffer from the lack of courtesy.

Regardless of technological advances, being heard is a basic human need.

We’re so preoccupied by “digital traffic” we forget how important it is to listen, and to develop those skills. What’s more, we’ve forgotten the value of the listener in routine human contact. Being listened to has a transformative effect on human beings—they feel valued and revitalized—better information is exchanged, and relationships deepen and strengthen.

So bear this in mind the next time you put someone off because you’ve just got to get that text across: these devices are intended to help communication, not hinder them.

Lucy Ke is president of KeFactors, which provides leadership and customer service training, course development, and coaching for organizations eager to tap into their associates' talents and potential. With 30 years in design and marketing, Lucy believes in cultivating more strategic individuals for a more productive workplace. She can be reached at 404.444.0747 or

Monday, June 28, 2010

Guest Blogger: Lucy Ke - Right, Wrong, or Customer Service

One of the first mistakes most people make when responding to customer complaints is to get overly mired in determining right or wrong.

“Of course,” you say, “that’s a no-brainer. The customer’s always right. Everybody knows that.”

Unfortunately, not everyone does, because a great many customer grievances are not so cut and dry. How do you address a customer’s ire over your late delivery of a project when he himself was late getting essential information to you? How do you explain to her that her abrasive behaviors have been upsetting your staff?

Here’s the key: Don’t think in terms of right or wrong. First, get inside the customer’s head to comprehend how they’re perceiving the problem. Usually you’ll find it has less to do with right or wrong, more to do with other issues that have cropped up to ruin their day—the customer may be feeling new stressors at work or need help doing some incidental face-saving.

But don’t get into the trap of determining right or wrong: you’ll only earn your customer’s resentment. After all, who died and made you judge and jury?

Take the time to fully understand how your customer’s experiencing the stated problem, and you’ll be more than halfway there to solving it. Along the way, you may also gain crucial insights on your customer’s work environment.

Lucy Ke is president of KeFactors, which provides leadership and customer service training, course development, and coaching for organizations eager to tap into their associates' talents and potential. With 30 years in design and marketing, Lucy believes in cultivating more strategic individuals for a more productive workplace. She can be reached at 404.444.0747 or

Friday, June 25, 2010

Lucy Ke

Next week, Lucy Ke will be guest blogging on a variety of different subjects. Lucy is president of KeFactors, which provides leadership and customer service training, course development, and coaching for organizations eager to tap into their associates' talents and potential. With 30 years in design and marketing, Lucy believes in cultivating more strategic individuals for a more productive workplace.

Check back next week for some great tips from Lucy. Monday's post is entitled "Right, Wrong, or Customer Service."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Stop Driving Your Customers Crazy - Part 4 and 5

Crazy-Maker Number Four: You waste too much of the client’s valuable time.

In today’s world, clients don’t return calls. They refuse meetings. They won’t go to lunch. Why? Because they don’t see talking, meeting or eating with you as a good use of their time.

They’re swamped. They come in early and stay late, and when your voicemail message says, “I just wanted to call and touch base,” there is no benefit to them to them to call you back.

Every time you touch the client it is your sacred responsibility to build a stronger perception of value. To do that, every phone call, email and meeting must focus on the most important person on earth—the buyer—and how you can help them.

Talk to your client today. Ask, “What do you want to know more about?” If they care about a topic you want to discuss they’ll return calls and agree to meetings.

Crazy-Maker Number Five: You ignore complaints.

Little things drive us crazy if they happen often enough and influence buying decisions.

Major complaints get addressed, but it’s easy to ignore smaller complaints like:
  • Is your customer service person always in a bad mood? I hate to ask him for anything?
  • Why do you take so long to get an estimate? Isn’t there anything you can do?
  • I told you I need proof of shipping on every invoice. Can your accounting department get this right next time so I don’t have to keep calling?

Customers are score-keepers. You gain points for doing something right. You lose points for doing something wrong. If you ignore enough complaints you will lose the customer.

I once spoke to Elizabeth Dahlin, Vice President and CFO at Communicorp in Columbus Georgia about how people make purchasing decisions. She said, “People get married for one reason and stay married for others.”

Clients buy initially because they’re unhappy with another vendor, or they need what you sell and believe it makes sense to buy it from you.

Clients continue to buy because you keep promises, care about their satisfaction and address their complaints. If a client complains, fix it or explain why you lack the power to address the situation.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Stop Driving Your Customers Crazy - Part 3

Crazy-Maker Number Three: You don’t listen well enough.

I will admit it. More than once a client has started a sentence saying, "But I told you . . .”
When I was young and immature, those words waved a red flag in front of me and I wanted to argue their validity. As I got older and wiser I recognized that often a client tried to communicate but I missed the message.

Hearing is a physical condition. Listening is a learned skill. The easiest way to be a better listener is to stop interrupting. Do clients the courtesy of allowing them to put their complete thoughts into works and you’ll gain a better understanding of their message.

Single task when you talk to clients on the phone. Don’t read emails while they’re talking because you’re sure to miss something. Don’t type emails—they can hear the keys clicking.

And as an addendum . . . if you’re discussing something complicated take notes. Type the notes, send them to your client and insure you all have the same common understanding.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Stop Driving Your Customers Crazy - Part 2

Crazy-Maker Number Two: You send out too many proofs with problems.

More often than not, the buyer did not create the art for the job they want to print. They hired the designer for their creativity. They hired you because you’re supposed to be the expert who makes files print correctly.

Buyers hate it when proofs turn into scavenger hunts forcing them to find technical glitches, re-flowed copy, missing elements and wrong fonts.

Sending out a bad proof once in a while is not a deal killer. Sending out three bad proofs in a row sends the message that your company is incompetent and you don't care enough to fix the problem.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Stop Driving Your Customers Crazy - Part 1

Your client's world is a pressure-packed environment with multiple, and often conflicting priorities. To get everything done, clients often spend the day doing triage, deciding what must be handled now and what will survive if the task is put off. They don't have time to deal with salespeople who drive them crazy five different ways.
Crazy-Maker Number One: You whine about the small amount of business the client is now giving you.

Put yourself in the print buyer’s shoes. Budgets got cut, staff was reduced and the buyer’s boss is demanding your client find new ways to stretch every dollar spent. Buyers have bigger problems than whether or not you get enough work. Don’t complain because this is a problem they are not interested in fixing.

Wake up and smell the recession-brewed coffee. Many current customers will never buy as much print in the future as they bought in the past. Many now expect cheaper pricing and they will continue to expect it when the economy improves and the marketing budget expands.

Stop complaining and figure out what you need to do to survive and thrive in 2009, 2010 and beyond.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Are You Doing Enough to Wow Customers? - Part 6

How One Director of Marketing and Communications Raises the Bar

Emmanuel Trenche is Director of Marketing and Communications at Rex Three. Before joining Rex Three, he worked in the banking industry where the customer’s experience was treated as a brand differentiator. When attempting to entice Fortune 500 brands to tour their South Florida facility, their marketing department mails eye-catching, personalized invitations to prospects offering a ride to the plant in a Hummer during their lunchtime. They’ve even incorporated PURL campaigns to allow visitors to select their lunch preferences prior to an important lunch meeting on-site.

“You can’t make a wow experience all the time,” Emmanuel said. “However, you can create a company culture where everyone feels a duty to create a wow experience.”

One way Rex Three does it is by focusing on customer relationship management. They invested in a CRM system as part of their strategy to touch customers frequently and in meaningful ways, and took the extra step of tying it into their MIS system. “You spend a lot of money and time to acquire a new account. Once you have a customer, it’s important to manage the relationship to maintain and grow it. To do that, you have to continuously improve the customer’s experience,” Emmanuel said.

Improving the customer’s experience is often easier than we think if we focus on every day interactions. For example, a customer calls and is in the mood to chat. When you’re having a crazy-busy day it’s easy to adopt a brisk tone of voice to encourage the customer to tell you what they want and get off the phone.

Wowing the customer could be as simple giving customers the gift of your full attention because we all love it when people are interested in what we have to say. When customers want to spend time talking, be grateful they’re talking to you instead of your biggest competitor. Recognize the way you conduct on the phone is an opportunity to build stronger relationships and different yourself.

There is no better time than today to start creating more wow experience for a customer. Find a way to surprise and delight them. Deliver more than expected sets you apart from your competitors, creates a competitive advantage and stops you from losing business. Roger Staubach put it well when he said, “There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.”

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Are You Doing Enough to Wow Customers? - Part 5

The Bar Keeps Getting Raised

Once upon a time, we were thrilled to own a cell phone, even if the coverage was limited and the reception was poor. Nowadays, we would fire a phone company if they delivered that level of service.

The bar is raised on expectations time and again. Sometimes, the best way to impress a customer with a product or service that has been around for awhile is by rethinking the entire experience. Starbucks accomplished that. Whether you love their coffee or consider it over-rated and over-priced, you can learn from the company who reinvented coffee shops.

In the book The Starbucks Experience, author Joseph A. Michelli talks how Starbucks strives to "surprise and delight” customers. He points out customers like predictable experiences because they’re safe, but doing the same thing day in, day out won’t make you stand out. Small pleasant surprises ensure customers don’t get bored and seek new options.

Tomorrow thoughts from Rex Three Director of Marketing and Communications, Emmanuel Trenche, on raising the bar.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Are You Doing Enough to Wow Customers? - Part 4

Handling Problems

I buy many books on I buy from them because it's convenient, but I am not a loyal customer. In the past couple of months, a problem arose on a shipment relating to a book I ordered as a gift. For an unknown reason, the book got hung up in a post office in North Carolina. I received an e-mail from alerting me to the problem. They told me to contact the post office. The short and impersonal email contained no information as to which post office was holding the book and no person at I could call for additional information. The problem resolved itself but how the situation was handled left a sour taste in my mouth and impacted my perception of the brand.

Research has shown time and again that how problems are handled either builds customer loyalty or erodes it. When you have a problem—and it will happen—have a plan to handle it so you wow the customer.
  • During the resolution of the problem, treat the client as a partner, not an adversary.
  • If you are to blame, accept responsibility and offer apologies.
  • On major problems, fixing the problem may not be enough to satisfy the customer. You may need to offer atonement for the customer’s time and trouble.
  • Look at the problem from the customer's point of view. Even if they’re at fault, be sensitive to how the problem makes them look to their boss.

Tomorrow and Friday - how the bar keeps getting raised.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Are You Doing Enough to Wow Customers? - Part 3

We all want to be the valued supplier in scenario three. To gain that coveted position, we must wow our customers.

Eight hour workdays contain 480 minutes. Stand-out moments are significantly better or significantly worse than the rest of the day. To wow customers, we must create positive stand-out moments.
  • Wow customers by anticipating needs and meeting them before you’re asked. Doing that saves customers time, demonstrates you in tune and proactively searching for new ways to make their life easier.
  • Show genuine appreciation for the business you get. A personal note or a phone call to thank customers for an individual order does more to wow than generic emails that could have been sent by auto-responders. Phone calls out of the blue to thank people for past business also stand out.
  • Make it your priority to make customers look brilliant to their bosses. Educate them.
  • Give them new ideas to save money or generate additional revenues. Take actions to buyers earn a raise.
  • Stop customers from making mistakes—particularly when mistakes would be highly visible inside the buyer’s organization or expensive to fix.

Tomorrow - how to handle problems when it comes to wowing customers.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Are You Doing Enough to Wow Customers? - Part 2

Last week, I proposed the hypothetical the purchasing director at your largest client has set up a meeting with the marketing director and you’re not invited. Here are the different scenarios.

Scenario 1:
The marketing director replies, "Who would be allowed to bid?"
The purchasing director taps a file. "I have twenty names of potential vendors. Right now, we get three bids. Reverse auctions automate the bidding process. We post specs and suppliers submit quotes, making it easy to shop for lower prices without investing additional time.”
The marketing director says, "It works for me. Our current vendors do a good job, but I can’t say any of them has wowed me and I’d love to save money on print.”

Scenario 2:
The marketing director hears the purchasing director’s plan and says, “I would like to save money, but I’m happy with our current vendors.”
“When you look at the product in the box, does one printer stand out?” the purchasing director asks.
“Not really. All our printers meet our delivery schedules. Now we provide print-ready PDFs, so we’re making their job easier. Even so, the idea of adding new vendors makes me nervous. No matter what a printer promises, you won’t know how they’ll perform until they do a job."
The purchasing director strokes his chin, thinking. "Not every job is critical, right?" The marketing director nods to answer. "Why not try reverse auctions on jobs where quality is average and the delivery schedule is flexible? We can bring new vendors on board without risk.”
"That works for me," the marketing director says. "Let’s give it a try."

Scenario 3:
The marketing director hears the proposal. She held up her hand and says, "I don't even want to consider that. Currently we have several vendors, but one stands out. They get the bulk of our work and they’re worth every penny we pay them. Quality is fantastic. They always come through on tight turn-arounds and service is exceptional. They give me new ideas to grow our business and save money, and I can’t risk losing their services.”

We all want to be the valued supplier in scenario three. To gain that coveted position, we must wow our customers. More on the WOW tomorrow.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Are You Doing Enough to Wow Customers?

Imagine this. The purchasing director at your largest client has set up a meeting with the marketing director. You’re not invited. The purchasing director says, "We spend a significant portion of the marketing budget on printing. I’ve been looking into ways to cut costs and suggest we start using reverse auctions.”

More on this subject next week!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Ask the Magic Question

Is there a sure-fire way to generate interest from each and every B2B lead you contact? There sure is, says Neil Baron, writing at the Fast Company blog: Just ask the Magic Question.

"The Magic Question is that one question you need to ask to get the prospect to say 'please tell me more,'" Baron explains. "The trick is to generate curiosity quickly.

"A typical Magic Question, Baron says, starts with a story that takes this form:
  • "My company has developed (a new product [or service]) that has helped (a leading company in the customer's industry) achieve (the following important business benefits

It then "goes in for the (sales) kill" by asking:

  • "Would you like to learn how we did it?"

"If [the question is] phrased properly, the prospect can't help but say yes," Baron says. And that's always good news: "You have now grabbed their attention and gained their implicit permission to continue to ask more exploratory questions.

"So, how do you fill in the blanks in the MQ format to fit your business? "Developing effective Magic Questions requires close cooperation between Sales and Marketing," Baron advises. He says Marketing must provide:
  • A clear description of what you want Sales to sell

  • References that are respected by your prospect

  • Concisely stated business benefits delivered by your solution that you know will resonate with your prospects

Finally, Baron notes, Marketing must ensure that sales reps are properly educated to "drive the conversation further and accelerate the sales cycle" once the prospect is hooked by the Magic Question.

The Po!nt: Formulate it and pose it. "Over the years, I've learned that initiating the sales process by asking a single attention-grabbing, curiosity-raising question is the most effective way to accelerate revenues," Baron concludes.

Source: Fast Company. Read the full post.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Guest Blogger: Peter Richman

To wrap up the posts from earlier this week, here are Peter's final thoughts on how a "win-win" strategy is the key to closing any sale.

From Peter Richman:

Let's evaluate some numbers here:

Questions to the seller:
a. You agree the listed price should be $215K-$225K--correct? Answer - YES!

b. You also agree that the market is horrendous! Answer - YES!
c. However, you sincerely want to move? Answer - Well, if I get my price. (Sellers wife kicks husband in groin area!)

As the broker I am usually in the position where I have to talk some sense into the seller. In this instance I would say:

Knowing that your offered price , at the low end would be $215K, and you aware that there are comps lower out there, you also agree that, in your mind, even though you hope for more, you might receive an offer at 200K. While you didn't expect it and won't give it away, this offer is not far off and its from qualified purchasers. If you turn this down, you will be buying your home back for $13K-$15K. Can you honestly tell me that you could sleep at night knowing that you were not moving for $13K-$15 K in this market when you might have the opportunity to offer less on the home you wish to purchase? Also, your existing mortgage is $700/mo @ 6 months is approximately $4,500!! So now you are only $9K away! For 9K you will stay here?

At that point, the seller signs deal or the seller's wife kills her husband or the broker kills the seller, and then shoots himself!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Guest Blogger: Peter Richman

Yesterday, Peter Richman, owner of Richman Properties, said to close any sale it needs to be a win-win for both parties involved. Today he discusses what he must do as a broker when a client has a personal attachment with the home he is trying to sell.

As the broker I must:

1. Eliminate the personal touch by the seller/owner. "Mr. seller, I see and understand your blood, sweat and tears is in this home--however, the buyer will have their own touches which may go counter to yours"--does not mean you were right or wrong--once the new coat of paint is on the walls, your personal touch vanishes." What price would you pay knowing
a. the market is the worst in 50 years?
b. the comparable homes are selling for less.?

2. These buyers have perfect credit--with their credit, they can buy anywhere in this market-you should be flattered that they selected your home! Remember, every month your home is on the market, another mortgage payment is made by you. It might very well be another 6 months before a qualified purchaser walks thru the door. By then, the "newly painted, etc.," is not newly painted. Additionally, the home you wish to move into may be sold. Your asking price is $ 250K --admittedly high--you know you should have started at approx $215K.

A decent offer in a NORMAL market is 10-12% below listed price. Therefore, an offer at 200K would be in line. However, this market is the worst ever, comps are lower, purchasers know that and you know that, as well. A price of $185K-$190K for this home is certainly in line. As a matter of fact, $187K with you paying closing costs may be the best offer you may see in some time.

Check back tomorrow for final thoughts from broker Peter Richman on this particular situation.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Guest Blogger: Peter Richman - Richman Properties

Every once in a while, I thought it would be interesting to have a guest blogger in a sales role share their perspective on selling. I asked business owner and real estate broker Peter Richman "How do you effectively close a sale?"

From Peter Richman, owner of Richman Properties since 1978:

I believe that closing a sale, any sale, depends on a "win-win" strategy for each party. If the parties are sincerely interested in doing business, than one has to present the advantage to the other party to complete the sale. Ex.: The home is listed for 250K--I, the seller, remodeled this home myself, put in my blood, sweat, tears, etc., my kids were born here, etc.--the home means a lot more to me than the other home down the street.
Check back tomorrow for more on Peter's win-win strategy and what he would do in this situation as the broker.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Three Terrible Selling Habits to Break in the Second Half of 2010

Bad Habit 1: Do you let days pass, or even weeks go by without calling prospects? Break that bad habit and you’ll sell lots more.

Bad Habit 2: Are you complaining to fellow salespeople about low cost, price buyers, but never make any move to replace them? Stop wasting energy on something you can’t change. Instead, find new customers who love you, appreciate the value you bring, and will pay for it. Then, fire the cheapskates.

Bad Habit 3: Do you write long emails to customers and prospects? You’re wasting time because no one is reading these “War and Peace” communications. Aim for 50 to 75 words. Go for brevity and brilliance. Read messages out loud to catch unnecessary words and eliminate them.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ten Selling Tips to Persuade People to Buy

Sales professionals are masters of persuasion. Persuasion is a process. It requires rapport building skills, credibility, the ability to craft a logical argument and the eloquence to present it. Persuasion is not manipulation when it is based on mutual gain and ethical selling behaviors.

Use these ten tips helps to become more persuasive and convince more buyers to say, "Yes, I'll buy.”
  1. Establish credibility in the first meeting. Show buyers why they should trust and believe you.
  2. Buyers are either open to new ideas or closed to them. To persuade a buyer, they must listen with an open mind. If their mind is closed, your first challenge is to open it.
  3. Find common ground. By pointing out shared thinking and shared experiences, you demonstrate to the buyer you understand your point of view.
  4. When the buyer talks, listen past the words for strong emotions. What does the buyer care about?
  5. Ask opinion questions. We get the ammunition we need to persuade by looking below surface level facts and understand the thinking that underlies past decisions.
  6. Tell stories. Stories interest prospects and customers. Design them so listeners draw the right conclusions. Stories help you persuade because buyers will always find their own conclusions more believable than any statement you can make.
  7. Be likable. We are all more willing to accept the ideas of people we like.
  8. Look at possible arguments from both sides. If the audience brings up a negative point, nod and say, "That's an excellent point. I considered it and . . .”
  9. Provide evidence to prove benefits are real. Use testimonials, statistics and real life examples.
  10. Fear stops people from taking action. Identify concerns. Alleviate risks.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Everyone Skims

Prospects and clients skim letters, emails and proposals. Get better results by creating information with this in mind.
  • We pay more attention to beginnings than to endings. Put important stuff first.
  • A highlighter is your friend. Use it to emphasize key points.
  • Use bullets.
  • Recap and summarize.
  • Use color.
  • Bold type emphasizes.
  • Underline.
  • Change fonts.
  • Italicize.
  • Use diagrams.
  • Write for clarity. If you confuse buyers, you lose them.
  • Use short sentences—8 to 15 words. Make points quickly because short sell.
  • Needless repetition bores readers. Avoid echoing thoughts and over-explaining.

The first step to making a new sale is getting the buyer’s attention. Consciously designing information so important points jump off the page increases your odds of success.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Eight Tips to Get More Meetings with Prospects

In today's crazy busy world, “to-do” lists never seem to shrink. Sure, buyers are crazy busy, but he will still talk to you if you anticipate obstacles and plan to overcome them by using these ten tips.
  1. When you explain why you're calling, do it quickly. You only have 30 seconds before the buyer will lose patience and interest and start to tune you out.

  2. Shed unnecessary details. Leave out the boring stuff. Tell buyers the benefits of the phone. Don't explain how the phone is manufactured.

  3. Tell the buyer about a SIGNIFICANT benefit. The buyer is busy. If you're not there to talk about something important, they have better things to do.

  4. Increase the urgency factor. Why should the buyer meet with you now?

  5. What do buyers complain about? Complaints indicate pain and buyers talk to you if you can stop pain.

  6. We all want to buy from people we like. How can you sound more likable?

  7. Sound professional. That means you’re prepared and you’re direct. Know exactly what you want to say. Eliminate fluff and don’t ramble.

  8. Don’t tell prospects you know what their problem is. It’s patronizing—and annoying! Instead, outline the problem you solve and ask the buyer if it’s a concern. If they say, “No,” be prepared to respond or opportunity will die a quick death.