Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Prove Your Worth - Tip 3

Tip 3:  Clarify
Many products offer benefits the customer doesn't need or want. Find out what the customer thinks is important by asking questions about:
  • Which benefits are absolutely required?
  • Which ones are desired, but not required?
  • Which ones would be nice to have?
  • Which ones are unimportant?
Focus on benefits that matter to the customer in order to create the perception of value.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Prove Your Worth - Tip 2

Tip 2:  Communicate clearly so value is understood
Be specific. Avoid run-on sentences. When you keep sentences short and focused on one point, customers find it easier to follow your train of thought. Customer who grasp the point you're making are more likely to buy.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Prove Your Worth - Tip 1

In sales, day in and day out you must prove value. The next seven posts will provide you with seven tips to help you get the job done and sell more!

Tip 1:  Talk about benefits!
Products have benefits, features and advantages. Benefits sell. Feature explain how benefits are created. Advantages explain how and why you get the hob done better than the competition.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Your Sacred Responsibility

Something to think about....

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.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mark Potter: Self Reflection

Here's a great excerpt from a recent CANVAS Notes piece:

"Take a little time to reflect on yourself during the selling season. Ask yourself the tough questions about what you are doing and what you can improve upon. Once we take a look at ourselves, I am sure we will see areas we can do better. Then we can focus on others and start making real progress. It isn’t easy, but it is so much more fulfilling. I believe that great salespeople are as selfish as the rest. However, great salespeople operate in a selfless manner each and every day." - Mark Potter

Friday, October 19, 2012

Online To-Do: October 2012

Stop ignoring the power of Facebook's massive user base! Check out these tips on how to leverage the social network's resources for advertising, generating leads and more from one of Facebook's own.  Visit

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


There is an enormous payoff for companies who move customers from satisfied to loyal on the spectrum because you'll get more business with higher markups. Identify a list of ten satisfied customers with big potential and talk to them. Find out what you would have to do differently in order to qualify for the gift of loyalty.

Reward loyal customers for their continued support.
  • Have an event to thank them
  • Send a thank you card signed by everyone in your company
  • Send out a small appreciation gift
  • Mark significant anniversaries like the tenth year of a partnership

Monday, October 15, 2012

Account Retention - Part 3

Satisfied vs. Loyal

Most customers fall in the satisfied category. One study estimated 80% of all customers are in this range. Satisfied customers like you, but not enough to pay a higher price for your work. Usually, they don't have  strong sense of what sets you apart from the competition, and often they're buying out of habit.

The best customers are loyal customers and the best advertising for your company is their word-of-mouth. Loyal customers fit this profile.
  • They make regular repeat purchases and pay a premium for your services
  • They purchase all offerings that apply to them
  • They refer others
  • They are immune to the pull of competition
  • They tolerate an occasional lapse in quality or service without defecting

Friday, October 12, 2012

Account Retention - Part 2

Dissatisfied vs. Unhappy
There's a big pay off to salvaging shaky partnerships. First of all, rebuilding often turns out to be more profitable and easier than starting from scratch with prospects. Second, rebuilding offers valuable insights into how to create a better company for all customers. And third, a customer who feels they were heard and their complaints addressed often turns out to be an advocate for your services in the marketplace.
For customers deemed dissatisfied, when you get out ask, "What can we do better?" This will help head off dissatisfaction before it turns into unhappiness.

On Monday, I'll share the difference betweem a satisfied customer and a loyal customer.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Account Retention - Part 1

Assessing account potential naturally leads to assessing account retention. Account retention is based on customer happiness and happiness falls on a spectrum:

Unhappy --- Dissatisfied --- Satisfied --- Loyal

Unhappy customers actively shop for other options, so watch out for these warning signs.
  • Fewer quotes come in and total volume decreases
  • Access to the customer base decreases
  • The flow of information about future projects dries up, and the salesperson is unaware of the customer's long-term plans
  • The customer stops buying certain services altogether
More on account retention on Friday.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Have You Determined Account Potential?

If you have yet to determine the account potential for your customers, read Friday's post and do so today!

Check back Wednesday for information on assessing account retention!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Account Potential

Take the time to assess the potential of your accounts by doing a gap analysis.

1. What is the customer's total spending for all the services that you offer?
2. How much do they buy from you?
3. How can you get more of the total?

Some customers know their total spend and will share that number with you. Others won't know or won't share, and you'll have to make an educated guess. After you come up with a number, do a quick calculation:

Total Customer Spend - Total Spend at Your Company = Opportunity Gap

Armed with this information, start conversations. Talk to the customer. Ask how you can get more of the total and then decide on a course of action.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Organic Growth

Your account list is an asset, so utilize it! You should be working to maximize its value as account lists offer tremendous insight into customer-fit criteria, profitability issues and sales skills. The data nudges you to ask questions such as: Why is one customer loyal while another buys strictly on price? Who buys all the services you offer and who only buys one aspect? Why are sales declining with a customer who is experiencing growth in their market?

Additionally, account lists also tell you the average value of a current customer, how many new accounts were opened last year and how many customers were lost. You know who buys a large amount from your company and who buys little.

Check back Friday for more information on account lists and organic growth.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Integrated Print Forum and Print Management Conference

Will I see you there?
Integrated Print Forum, Pittsburgh, PA October 29-30, 2012
For more information, visit

Additionally, I'll be speaking at the  2012 Print Management Conference in Mashantucket, CT.
The conference is scheduled from October 20 - 23, 2012.
For more information, visit