links for 2008-01-23

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  1. Marketing Sales Promotion by Chet Holmes

    The carpet cleaner client of mine sent me recordings of some of their salespeople talking to customers. I’m listening to this salesperson talk to a 78-year-old woman who uses a walker to get around. She’s calling to have her rug cleaned. They set up the appointment for the rug to be picked up and taken back to their plant for a thorough cleaning. Wall-to-wall has to be cleaned in the home. For rugs, they can take them out of the home and really get them cleaned in their plant, where they have a giant washing-machine-like structure to completely submerge, clean and expertly dry your rug. So I’m listening to the conversation with the elderly woman and it goes like this:

    Woman: Well what about the pad under the rug? It’s kind of dirty, too.

    Salesperson: How old is the pad?

    Woman: It’s about 15 years old.

    Salesperson: Oh, that’s too old. If we tried to clean it, we’d obliterate it.

    Woman: Well I guess I’ll have to go get a new pad.

    Salesperson: Oh yeah. You’re definitely going to have to replace that.

    Since I’m the consultant and I know how expensive it is to get new clients, I think, “They should sell pads. Heck, they’ve got the rug right there in the plant. They can put the rug on the padding, cut it out, roll it up and send it right back with the rug. It’s a great up-sell.”

    So I get the owner on the phone: “I have a great idea for you. You should sell pads.” He says, “We do.” I tell him, “No you don’t, actually” and I play him the recording. The owner brings the salesperson in and asks her why she didn’t offer to sell this old woman a pad. The salesperson says, “I didn’t want to seem too pushy.”

    This carpet cleaning company actually had six excellent up-sell options. The problem was getting the salespeople to offer them. In addition to carpets, they can clean your couch or your bed. The same technology of using really hot steam to clean your carpet applies to the furniture you sit on (or your dog sits on) all day. Studies show that the average living room has five million dust mites in it. Our bodies are equipped to deal with those mites, but it’s their feces and the bacteria that feed on it that can cause bacterial infection. (As you can see here, and will learn in depth in the next chapter, market data can be very motivational.) Steaming that bed or couch kills germs.

    We gathered all of the salespeople in a workshop and asked them, “What would you say is the best method for offering every client every service every time? One of the salespeople suggested we put the six services they offer right on the order form. As they’re talking to the client, they would be able to check off all six things on the order form to show they offered them. This was a great suggestion so we decided to test it and implement it as a procedure for the company. We followed ten simple steps and, after several months of pigheaded discipline and hard work, we had it so that every salesperson offered every service to every customer every time.

    Chet Holmes has worked with over 60 of the Fortune 500 companies as America’s top marketing executive, trainer, and strategic consultant. Chet is the author of the best selling book, The Ultimate Sales Machine (#1 business book on Amazon, #1 Sales and Marketing book on Amazon, and also on NY Times best seller list). Chet has identified and developed the 12 core competencies that are proven to provide the main structure of truly great companies and he has developed more than fifty proprietary methods to implement them. To learn more about how to double the sales of your company, go to http://www.howtodoublesales.com

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