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Discussion in 'Business Networking' started by Sethdaddy8, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. Sethdaddy8

    Sethdaddy8 Well-Known Member

    Dec 6, 2007
    This could go in the Q&A, however this is a total business post, and I'd like to keep it in here in this professional forum. As I've mentioned before, I am a partner in 2 businesses, both tied to the transportation industry. One co. is a trucking and logistics co. The other is the luggage shipping co.

    Business has been slow, along with the rest of the world. But more than that, we do not have a "sales force". We don't even have a sales "person". And note: these are small family businesses I'm talking about. We're not the Huizenga's over here.

    We are a small company, with a huge network and tons of resources within the shipping industry. But it can be an "ugly" business. Especially when it comes to trying to dig up new business.

    I've done sales a little bit in the past, and I have gotten mixed results. I am the relaxed, non-aggressive type. I'm a believer in Dale Carnegie and winning people with sincerity and moderation. But I'm no pro.

    So I ask, are there any salespeople here? And do you have any advice or rules of thumb that could help me if I decide to go forward with this? And of course, if you are interested in either service, please pm me.

    Thank you in advance,

  2. byroan

    byroan Giggity Staff Member Administrator Luxury Box

    Nov 25, 2007
    I've been in Retail sales for only 3 years so I'm not really a pro, but I know how to deal with customers. To be a successful salesperson, you have to be able to overcome objections. Customers have to believe they need whatever it is you're selling, but at the same time you need to believe in what you're selling.

    As a salesperson, you need to have a positive attitude in your services and company.

    If no one else chimes in, feel free to PM me if you want more advice.
    Boik14 and Sethdaddy8 like this.
  3. Crappy Tipper

    Crappy Tipper AKA Hero13

    Aug 23, 2008
    1 - Know your product or service.
    2 - Know your competitors product or service just as well.
    3 - Find the angle that tells people that even if you have a higher price your XYZ more than makes up for a few dollars. Security is worth money.
    4 - A bad salesman will lose more sales than the difference in price.
    5 - Be honest & sincere. Follow up with the customer. Send out a thank you card to people that toss you a lot of business especially those that you think you can get repeat business out of.
    6 - Educate the customer.
    Boik14, padre31 and Sethdaddy8 like this.
  4. brandon27

    brandon27 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

    Dec 3, 2007
    Windsor, ON. CANADA
    I've been in sales for the last 5 years now, at an insurance company. Not your home and auto, but selling commercial insurance to businesses, both small and large. The list up here, is damn good.

    I'd also suggest using referrals. Your own customers now, are probably your best, and easiest chances for new sales/new business opportunities. They already know you, if your post sale service to them is good, they are likely to refer people to you. It's almost like free advertising. In my business anyways, its something we do all the time. Referrals are gold, they cost you nothing, and its something that alot of people probably dont do.

    Being honest, and sincere I've found is the way to go. Combine that with exceptional product knowledge, and a willingness on your part to work with your client to get them what they need, goes a long, long way. If people like you as a sales person, theyre more likely to do business with you rather than someone else, even if your price isnt the best.

    good luck. :up:
    Sethdaddy8 likes this.
  5. padre31

    padre31 Premium Member Luxury Box

    Nov 22, 2007
    inching to 100k posts

    A couple of things, don't be afraid to sell your product, there will be "no's" but most sales do not happen simply because the prospect is never asked if they want to own.

    If I could recommend a book for beginners, I'd point out "Sales Closing for Dummies" notice "Closing" not "Sales for Dummies" as that one is far to general.

    And, have fun, don't take things personally.
    Sethdaddy8 likes this.
  6. Crappy Tipper

    Crappy Tipper AKA Hero13

    Aug 23, 2008
    I agree with everything you said. A couple of other things that will do wonders for your search engine rankings is to get your customers to rate you on yahoo and google local then you will skyrocket your way to the top in most relevant searches.

    You're right, the best salesman in the world is useless if they can't close.

    I used to sell guns for a living so every time out it was a several hundred dollar sale and getting folks to part with that isn't always easy. Converting the casual lookers to buyers is where sales are fun.
    Sethdaddy8 likes this.
  7. Boik14

    Boik14 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

    Nov 28, 2007
    New York
    Ive been doing retail sales for about 4 years now and Id say this is pretty accurate.

    I think I can add a few things:

    Sales is all about selling the value of your product. Even if it costs more you position the features/advantages/benefits of your product vs your competitors and just break it down so the customer can understand the difference. When the customers understand youre not only selling but teaching they win too. This is how you gain referrals. During my time doing retail sales I have built up a clientele that follows me even when I get transferred from location to location.

    To me the pressure sale is something I have eliminated. I used to be a big believer in it but the sales didnt always stick the way they do now when I dont pressure sell.

    Give out multiple business cards to every customer. Tell them the first one is for you and your spouse, the rest are for you to give your friends. The expense of the business cards is worth it.
    Sethdaddy8 and Crappy Tipper like this.
  8. Sethdaddy8

    Sethdaddy8 Well-Known Member

    Dec 6, 2007
    great stuff guys.
  9. my 2 cents

    my 2 cents Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2007
    NC Mountains
    Everyone has good tips here and you have to find what is relevant to you and your business. I have had some degree of success in business and only offer what has worked for me and not what will work for you....so a couple things...one I would urge you to look at doing business rather than selling someone. That paradigm shift in itself will incorporate some of the ideas people have given here.

    Second I highly recommend following Covey's fifth habit...seek first to understand and then to be understood.....understand what is important to your customers and then frame your presentation to addressing their needs and not your attributes. I offer an example from my early days...I was trying to "sell" an account a chemical and had all the attributes, specs, price competitive, and operational issues addressed and "down pat"...the customer ended up buying from us because the drum color made their label stand out and they liked that. I understood my product but was ambivalent to what was important to them.

    Third, I would say always keep your integrity, be honest and make a friend. The worse case is that you met another contact and you can look at yourself in the mirror and be proud of who you are. I learned a long time ago that losing business is not the worst thing in the world if your customer respects you and trusts your integrity. Just to note personally i believe their is brutality and honesty but no such thing as brutal honesty...so for me....tell the truth, do it as nicely as you can and be proud of the character you possess.

    As for reading in this instance I personally recommend The seven habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey....an oldie but a goodie.....

    Above all find what works for you, take all of our "tricks" and apply what works for you and your business and not us and our business. After all this is just our opinions, what works for us and Sturgeons law is that "nothing is absolutely so".

    Best of luck....and BTW...PM me I use logistics and trucking companies more than I care too.................................
    Sethdaddy8 and Crappy Tipper like this.

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