This past week Andy and I attended a conference entitled The Future of Web Apps" in San Francisco. We attended this conference to help us improve our follow-up and reinforcement programs and get some new ideas to bring you more and better information. We accomplished our goal but I also realized that there is selling in everything. The CEO of Techcrunch, Michael Arrington, was speaking about what companies are doing wrong. He mentioned a web browser called "Browzer" that promised a lot but did not deliver on those promises. Browzar promised that their web browser was going to be very secure, easy to use, and it was a small download. After a couple of months of use by the consumer, people started to look at the browser and it didn't do anything that had been promised. The browser forced them to use their home page, their advertising ads, it was close to an Internet Explorer shell, and most of all, it didn't work as promised. One thing I found very interesting was he mentioned that if Browzer had said up front what it "would" do, they may have been okay and they could have been a success. The Brooks Group has always taught to promise a lot and deliver even more. Here are five specific steps that you can implement immediately: 1. Be careful not to over-commit your time, support or organizational capabilities. Promise a lot, and deliver more. Doing so will require harder work, better systems and more consistency. 2. Manage your time and activities carefully. Don't get caught in the activity trap. The only inventory a salesperson has is time, so you're going to have to learn how to manage your priorities, manage yourself, and manage your time so that your activities take you to exactly what you promised you would deliver. 3. Monitor all production and delivery schedules daily. Even if you're in an environment where you turn the delivery and service over to someone else as soon as you complete the sale, it's in your best interest to manage production and delivery. In your client's mind, you are the organization - they only know your name and your face. If there's a problem, it's going to reflect badly on you, regardless of whose "fault" it really is. You have to be able to expedite things with the right people in your organization or you're going to end up looking bad to your customer. 4. Allow time for prospecting, selling, servicing and supporting customer commitments on a regular basis. Building specific time into your schedule for these activities on a regular basis will ensure that you don't "drop any balls" even when you're juggling multiple obligations. 5. Maintain emotional equilibrium in the face of demands, difficulties and changing priorities. Like buying, selling is emotional. You have to be sure that you manage your problems and your negative emotions so that they don't interfere with your ability to focus on your customers. The benefits of consistency are obvious: you get a long-term relationship with your client and opportunities to sell more. You also build an outstanding reputation with a far greater chance of getting referrals. Ultimately, you remove the distrust that leads to resistance. Without resistance, the entire process of prospecting, selling and servicing becomes faster and easier. Consistency is quality and quality sells. To be highly uccessful in sales, you only have to be 2-5% better than your competition. There's not much competition if you're predictable and consistent. Simply deliver what you promise every time.
Published on September 19, 2006