Apr 272010

My 9 year old daughter loves riding and is looking for ways to save up money towards her hobby. Last week she asked me if she could sell our eggs.  I said we didn't really have enough eggs to sell as we used most of them ourselves.

After thinking about this for about 30 seconds she asked.

"Can we get some more hens then?" 

"Yes,  I suppose we could," I answered.

"When can we get them?" – came back quick as a shot. 

"Soon," I hedged.  By chance an email came in, 1 year old layers for sale from a nearby organic farm.

"Can we get those hens?"  "Yes, why not."

"Can we go now?"  "No, not now"

"Tomorrow?"  "Yes okay tomorrow."

You get the picture. So in 5 short days my 9 year old daughter turned her idea into a reality.  We lent her the money to buy the 5 hens, they've settled in and are laying already. 

The story illustrates persistence

When we are creating publicity material for our marketing, persistence pays off as it does in all areas of life.  

  • Persistence – means asking why until you have a clear, measurable objective for your publicity material.
  • Persistence – means asking who until you have pin pointed exactly who you're talking to – the target audience.
  • Persistence – means asking what until you are clear on what you need – what do you want to say and what do you want your audience to do.
  • Persistence – means asking how until you have a concrete plan for how you'll carry out your campaign.
  • Persistence – means asking where you are going to deliver the material – online, in print or both?
  • Persistence – means asking when you are going to start on this project.  Announce it and stick to your deadline.
  • Persistence means following up after you have distributed your material.
  • Persistence means measuring the results of your campaign and getting concrete figures so you can measure your Return On Investment.

All good publicity material needs to start with a clear plan.  Persistence ensures that you are picky about getting that plan down on paper and persistence helps you execute it.

So next time you are thinking about new publicity material for your marketing campaigns, adopt the persistence of a nine year old and keep asking questions until you nail your campaign objectives.

How to sell more by making conversation

 Selling  Comments Off on How to sell more by making conversation
Apr 162010

I stopped at a surf shop on the Gower Peninsular over the holidays looking for some kit for my children.  It was a tiny shop and the owner was sitting outside enjoying the Easter sun.  As I approached he smiled and asked me how I liked driving my car.

I answered, he listened and we went into his shop.  I hadn't said one word about what I wanted to buy and the owner hadn't mentioned any surf products but already I was feeling good about being there.

As we tried on boots the owner and I discovered a connection with North Devon where his parents and my husband's family had all farmed in the 1950s.  While he pulled out different sizes for my daughter to try, he talked to my son about boards for stand up surfing and soon we had a good pile of products on the counter.

I was enjoying myself and left the shop with my arms full of stuff and a smile on my face.

What just happened there?

In a relaxed and friendly way, the owner of the shop connected with me.  He put me at my ease by having a conversation with me.  In just a few minutes he found areas that interested me by looking, listening and responding to cues.  

How did he do that?

First he asked about the car- the first thing he saw.  Then when I mentioned that we live on a farm he talked of his own family background in farming.  He listened to what I said and took his cues from that to develop a conversation. 

As we chatted I felt relaxed and comfortable –  happy to take my time in his shop.  I asked his advice on wetsuits, boots and boards and consequently bought several items.  In some specialist shops you can feel like you've stumbled into some secret society and you don't have the handbook.  You can easily be intimidated if you don't know the terminology.  Here I was entirely comfortable.

Why did he do that?

The owner has been running his surf shop since the 1980s and he has learnt that taking time to engage customers increases his sales.  Customers who are relaxed and chatty tend to linger and browse and are more willing to ask for help and advice.

Next time I'm at Llangennith on The Gower near Swansea I'm bound to go back to PJ's Surf Shop, because Peter, the owner did such a good job.  His conversation skills helped make a good sale on the day, and he has set up the right conditions for a future repeat sale.  If I need anything, I know I can get good advice from him.  So thanks very much Peter.

If you want to sell more and leave your customers with a warm glow, master the art of conversation.