Skyrocketing Sales Solutions
Edition 17, February 8, 2005
"For those Who Want to Sell, Need to Sell, or Should Sell--to Sell More" February 2005
Toddism of the month:
"Hard work is often disguised as good luck. Good luck is often disguised as where preparation and opportunity meet."
The Best Kind of Business Card
The business card.
In the world of sales, there is no more valuable tool. But if not used properly, there is no more detrimental obstacle.
Here's an easy rule to understand the impact of your business card:
"Make it easier for people to buy from you, and they will. Make it hard, and they won't."
Over the last month, I have had several occasions to see the power of the business card --and the detriment of the business card -- in full throttle.
Three scenarios jump out at me. I attended the Rose Bowl in California, participated in a workshop by Jack Canfield (the co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul), and reunited with old friends from various Tony Robbins programs.
These three events ran the gamut in their context. At least to the outsider, the Rose Bowl appeared to be a straight social gathering, the Jack Canfield event was a more informal networking program, and the Tony Robbins reunion could be considered somewhere in between.
But while different in context, each shared common elements when it came to the transaction of business cards.
From not having business cards, because "I didn't think it was that kind of event," to having unprofessional cards, to one person actually taking their card back because he ran out and it was more important another person have it than me, the missed opportunities I witnessed were mesmerizing.
Too many people fail to understand the business card represents an opportunity for two parties to meet to mutually benefit one another.
Forget the fancy colors, the cool graphics and the various textures. If your card doesn't make it easy for the customer to buy, you need to fix it. If it doesn't communicate simply and concisely who you are, what you do, and how to reach you, you are missing opportunities.
I hear stories, for instance, about other trainers who actually teach salespeople to not give out business cards. They say it is more powerful to only get cards-- that if someone has your card they won't call you anyway.
Now, there's a positive mental attitude!
I've said it before, but I'll say it again: If you worked for Publisher's Clearing House and your job was to give away $1 million, would you ever hide what you do for a living? Would you not have a business card and give it out for all to see -- in a clear, concise manner?
There is no difference in your job as a top salesperson. You are offering a valuable service. Be proud and let the world know. If you wouldn't buy from you, do you think someone else would?
There was an old joke in my photocopier days when we in-person cold called door to door in downtown Chicago that we would say a prayer before every visit. It went something like this, "Please Lord, let the copier be on fire!"
Now, if the copier really was on fire, do you think the prospect would want to know exactly how to reach a salesperson?
Here are some specific suggestions to maximize your business card:
1. No glossiness and no dark colors
It doesn't matter how "nice" you think your cards look. Gloss and dark colors prevent your prospect from taking notes on your business card. True prospects want to write what you offer, what they are interested in and why they like you-- on your card. It's a good reference tool.
Gloss and dark colors prevent this. Don't make prospects remember why they want to buy from you. Let them remind themselves.
2. Have e-mail--and your website, not just the website
Do you know what I do with cards that have just websites? I throw them away. That's right. Why should I have to go to the website to figure out how to reach you? You say if I really care, then I will go to your website to get the contact information. Well, if you really care about me as the prospect, you won't make me go there.
Also, many people nowadays have equipment where they scan the business card into their computer. No e- mail? No scanned contact information.
In my case, I send out my cards to a temporary agency and they type them into an Excel spreadsheet. Then they e-mail them to me for me to import into Outlook. Do you think I'm going to pay them to go to a website to get an e-mail address?
You may say the difference is that I am the seller, not the buyer. Says who? When I meet people, I'm not just thinking if I can train them. I'm also thinking maybe I can benefit from their services. Surprise--I want to get help and give help.
3. Have your initial benefit statement on the back of your card
The "rah-rah" slogan is good if you have room for it (I do have it myself. "Customers do not care how much you know until they know how much you care; Sell how you want to buy."), but have a portion of the statement that demonstrates the positive impact your services have on your clients on the card. On the back of my card it also says:
"TBN Sales Solutions increases commissions for salespeople and prosperity for businesses through customized training and consulting."
When I followed up with my Rose Bowl friends-who happened to be mortgage brokers (a big part of my clientele) -they remembered exactly who I was and what I did, because of my business card. The result?
Matthew Spinn, of Maverick Mortgage, in Texas, and Ryan Hunter, of Hunter Lending, in Colorado, are now TBN clients.
4. Never give more than one business card
Whoever gave the advice that giving two business cards so your prospect can give one to a friend was crazy. How do you react if someone gives you two cards?
"Hey buddy, be happy if I even hold on to your card. Who are you? You want me to refer you. Be glad if I even use you."
5. Never volunteer a card first. Ask for a card first, then reciprocate.
Whether it is the Rose Bowl, or a business event, when you ask for a card, it shows you have your new friend's interests at heart first. It means you want to get to know that person. It means you want to "seek to understand, before being sought to be understood."
After all, don't you? P.S. Oh, yes, one more thing. If someone asks you for your card, don't give it to them--and then ask for it back 20 minutes later, because you ran out. Not a good idea. Duh?
Free Eric Lofholm sales teleseminar
Come join my good friend, Eric Lofholm, owner of Eric Lofholm International, in California, when I host Eric's next teleseminar this Wednesday, Feb. 9, at 5 p.m. Pacific time, 7 p.m. Central Standard time.
In the free teleseminar, Eric will teach you valuable sales presentation skills.
His topics will include:
Trust and Rapport
Identifying Customer Needs
TBN increases client sales 15%!
"Since we have begun working with Todd, we have seen a marked improvement in both our prospecting and sales activity. In the past few months our overall sales have jumped 15% with no signs of slowing down! "
Advanced Telecommunications of Illinois chose to work with Todd because of his successful background in sales and sales management. We have an experienced team of sellers who can appreciate and respect new ideas from a sales trainer that has actually done what they do. We will continue to use Todd and his services to surpass our 2005 sales goals.
Russell Zielezinski, Vice President of Sales, Advanced Telecommunications of Illinois, www.aticit.com, Phone: (630) 505-7500