iStock_000007920940SmallWe all have them… Our catch phrases, pitches, prognostications that help us make client feel comfortable that we know what the heck we are talking about. Can you show a customer where you give them value and a return on investment? Can prove your product or service makes feel better or makes them money and prove it? By that I mean… with proof through TESTIMONIALS or DOLLARS you will never need to sell anything because, they will have their friends and associates beating down your door for more of the same!

Today I had an interesting client request… I was asked to come and interpret a sales call. “I will pay you for your time to come and help me understand what I should do” It was uncomfortable at best but I agreed. We listened to a finely trained salesperson who could turn a question or concern into a need or opportunity they were missing by not upgrading to the super deluxe double bonus package that gets them millions of opportunities that converts to the difference between continuing to be in business or becoming extinct. Our favorite at the post recap comment was “Sure the directory is way smaller than before… that just makes your ad stand out more against your competitors!” Did he mean the extinct ones or the ones that this actually measures return on investment?

Advertising is Not Dead!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYour audience tends to cling to what they know. Don’t ignore them, just measure what they are doing and make sure that the money they are spending on advertising is providing some MEASURABLE return on investment. When my client asked why certain trackable data changed from web property to web property, the salesperson responded “That is not for you to know… just us.” If you want to protect your secret sauce I get it, but if you can’t tell your client that it’s making them money, then it’s just wrong.

This client had 20K plus Sessions to their website every month and 20k of them came from Google and Facebook. A session is a person who actually visits a website and clicks around (or maybe not). Hits can be everything from webcrawlers to forced click making stats look better. A session is a real person who is interested in your product or service. They may dig deeper into your website or leave because they did not feel the information on the homepage met their needs.

This salesman’s company worked hard to claim the 30 sessions in google analytics we could attribute to their company, but then they wanted to claim many more based on “Associations,” but had no data to support it.

Make your Tometer Customer Focused

Have you ever told a client “No I can’t help you?”. If you have congrats! If not, then you have to look deep into your business and say ” What can I do for my client and what am I REALLY interested in?””

  1. My Money vs Theirs: We all need to make a living and yes we can be dazzled by money or budgets. If you are customer focused, then you know when it’s in BOTH of your best interests. I have been entranced by the need to make money but knew when it was not a good fit and took the deal anyway. We both lost and I have done my best to learn from those experiences by making sure the projects are much more customer “WIN” focused. We both win that way!
  2. Numbers vs Numb-ers: Can what you sell or do for a client actually pay for itself three times over, or are you just trying to extract money from a prey. Sorry to sound so harsh but watching predatory sales really makes me feel for those who just don’t know when they are being taken advantage of. MAKE SURE the numbers WORK OUT in your client’s favor and you will never be disappointed!
  3. Short Term vs Long Term: Give your customers a GREAT return on investment, and they will invest in you more than you can imagine! I have been asked more than once how to beat a negative review online. The answer is simple… “Never get a bad review in the first place or push it down with dozens of positive ones!” Your best sales person is a happy customer where you exceed their expectations! Build a GREAT sales team!

Final Thoughts

I feel bad that I had to squelch a salesperson to protect my customer. He still may come back with a manager, that will convince that client that I am wrong. Heck I have been sold a lot of things that I have never used or were just wrong for me. One of the best pieces of advice that I have been ever given is be prepared to offer a 100% refund on every sale you make… if you are not comfortable with that refund… then don’t make the sale.

You thoughts and comments?