Everyone buys things… and everyone has opinions on where they like to buy, how they like to buy, and what makes them buy? Why then… do so many companies forget these experiences when they plan out their own sales strategy and pricing models?
Up-selling, despite what some people believe, is not a sneaky or dishonest sales strategy. In fact is is an essential strategy for start-ups. I do, however, understand, how many people can see it this way.
At the bagel store near my house, a bagel costs $0.49. Yet, order that bagel with $0.03 worth of butter, and the bagel is suddenly $1.69. Why does the store do this? Because its great to advertise bagels that cost only $0.49, but who comes into the store and only orders 1 bagel with nothing on it? The upsell is the critical method of driving profit into the store.
Its worth repeating my post from last December about the December Sales Problem.
December is a hard sales month for companies for several reasons: The month is really only 2.5 weeks long before your prospects shut down. Budgets are often used up. Vacations make it hard to get deals done. Prospects are more focused on their Holiday party then they are on your solution, etc. The list is long, and very intuitive why its hard to get sales done. However, as I’ve posted before, December can actually be an amazing month for sales.
Recently, I replied to a HARO request for the top 5 lessons for a new sales rep. Happily, one of my items was selected for the article. (Yes, the article is referring to an idea from me despite the fact that my name is massacred <grin> ). The resulting list that author, Brandon Mendelson, compiled is actually quite good and I’m honored to be one of the items in his list. I decided to post my entire top 5 here and provide links to my old articles that explain them in more detail:
You can draw sales lessons from everywhere in life. The reason for this is that most of sales is about the interaction of human beings with each other – about the acts of persuasion and communication. I write constantly about how everyday life teaches me valuable lessons about how to become a better salesperson and sales manager. First, I wrote about Sales Lessons in a chick flick. Then I wrote about Sales Lessons from my 7 year old. Then, sales lessons from my 2 year old. I also wrote recently about sales lessons from my colorblind brother.
I gave my “Sales 101 for entrepreneurs” lecture to the entrepreneurs at DreamIT Ventures in Philadelphia last week. If you aren’t familiar with them, its a TechStars / Y-Combinator style incubator that helps launch great companies on a shoe-string. It does so by providing a great environment and access to top notch mentors and experienced VC’s and entrepreneurs. I was honored to be one of their speakers this year.
During my presentation, one of the entreprenuers asked me a great question: What should I look for when I’m hiring a sales candidate?
Recently, I spoke to someone who had followed my advice about being completely truthful in the sales process, and was finding that he wasn’t getting as many sales from it as he thought. I started digging into his process, and instantly realized the problem.
Truthfulness does not mean “reveal everything at once” – nor does it mean that you don’t control what information you give at any time. You need truth in every step of the process, but that doesn’t mean that you have to show your entire hand from the get-go. You should be offering up information in snack-sizes and when it is required to move the process along. You should always be managing the process towards the end goal that you want – a close.
Yesterday, I met my brother at the gym early in the morning. After our workout, my brother asked me in helping him pick out the right tie for him to wear to work. (he had brought 4 to the gym with him). Why? My brother is colorblind. Not black and white only, but enough that getting himself dressed can present challenges.
I had forgotten this about my brother. I shared a VERY small bedroom with my brother for about 14 years before I left for college, and helping my brother with his clothing choices used to be a regular occurrence, but having not lived with him for so long, I forgot about it – and having him ask me about it reminded me of life in his eyes.