marketing

my latest sales experience…

I have a sales experience to share with you. No, I was not the person selling. I was the customer/client. Sometimes it’s in these situations I learn the best sales tidbits. I watch/listen/and take mental notes. This was an experience on how to position the cost of service to a client.

background to the story:

We have a family rate plan with AT&T for our mobile phones. Recently the plans changed to make it way more affordable to add iPhones for my husband and son, so we did. I also have my Mom’s cell phone on our family plan. She has a flip phone and uses it about 5 minutes a month. It’s strictly for emergencies.

With our new plan, it became a no brainer for us and our smart phones. However, because my Mom’s phone is NOT a smart phone, she is getting penalized. Her monthly phone bill is $30/mo as opposed to the $10/mo it was before. It’s kinda ridiculous considering how she uses her phone. And we’re stuck in a 10 month contract with her.

at the at&t store:

So today I happened to be in their store getting my new iPhone activated (my old one dived into a clean toilet at 7:30pm during a wedding reception on Saturday). I asked the customer service rep what we could do about these additional charges for my Mom. I want some options. How many of our clients ask us the same thing?

To speed this story up, the first thing she did was to not give me any options to remove the phone, but instead to make sure that I understood what a good deal I was getting for the collective four phones. She whipped out her calculator to review what the old existing plan would of cost and compared it to what we are now paying. I should be thrilled that ACTUALLY, we are paying $20 less per month on this new plan for all four phones.

I smiled. Someone’s trained her well.

You see she “marketed” to me what my monthly investment is and how I am, at this very moment, saving money. Of course, I’m thinking I’m still out an additional $20/mo ($240 a year) for my Mom’s un-smart phone, a rate that should not have increased.

How do you respond to your clients when they begin to pick apart your cost in each little category. Do you reply by focusing on the larger picture to show them the benefits that they are receiving and the value of everything they are investing with you?

When you start to focus on too much on the cost of the minutia (the price of each stem of flower or extra page in your wedding album) you lose vision of the overall investment. Besides, if someone wants to go ala carte, then it’s ALWAYS more expensive than a package deal.

how did it end?

My options were: I leave it the way it is. I can donate $98 to the AT&T church to get out of my Mom’s contract. Switch to a AT&T GoPhone Prepaid Cell phone service. Or leave them entirely and go with another carrier.

I left. I had my new phone to sync.

ps. I miss you guys.

happy selling!

uses for facebook

generic facebook

Facebook.com is an enigma. Some people get it, some people don’t. Even after all these years.

Personally, I have found it to be a wonderful tool reconnecting with long lost friends, college pals, my third grade teacher, wedding professionals, my son’s friends, local business people and more.

For my event planning business, we of course, have business fan page. Which takes more effort to add content, but it’s a good marketing medium to be all business, event photos and showcase my clients.

However, I will tell you that I personally “friend” my clients to my personal page. This works well for me. Wedding planning is a personal business. We are let into their inner family circle with all the joys and problems that may arise. Why wouldn’t I let my clients into mine?

For instance, it’s great at a consult for them to ask about my dog (Ranger Hadley) or my son. And if I post, I’m “off the grid for family time”, my clients tend to respect it and appreciate the fact I’m making time with my family. It’s personal. Transparent. Emotionally connecting.

For sales purposes, I look up potential clients on Facebook … it lets me see what they look like and see if they know some of the same people as I do.

Be careful; you can’t fib. You can’t make an excuse to a client that you had to cancel a business meeting and then you are FB posting from the bar.

Okay, so …. some people post too much information. Rest assured, while I am “myself” (always) on FB or any other social media, I do NOT post every movement I make. That’s what twitter is for, no? HA!

While I have friends on my Facebook, make no mistake that everything I do for social media has a “business-related” mindset. To be more direct: I don’t show my ass in public.

Which brings me to what Facebook should NOT BE USED for.

  • Blabbing super personal information out for everyone to see. Okay, you went the doctor. I don’t want to hear about your yeast infection.
  • Vomiting all your deep, dark problems. Why do wedding professionals want to discuss openly about their relationship problems?
  • Attacking others. Ah, the Internets makes everyone feel 10 feet tall, no? As a professional, perhaps you should pick up the phone if you have something to say to someone. Calling people out reflects poorly on you. And will get you labeled as bat sh!t crazy.
  • Not necessarily bad, but a couple of personal pet peeves:
    • Quit asking everyone and their mother to fan your business page. People who WANT to fan your page, will FAN your damn page.
    • Please use discernment when inviting all 700+ people to your luncheon that is located in Timbuktu. Take an extra second, and focus your invite list to your local demographic. Repeat offenders will get you unfriended.

Thanks for listening. Let’s remember out their in social media … the stuff you post, would you say it out loud to someone’s face if they were standing in front of you? If so, carry ‘on.

ps Anyone else want to vent about an personal pet peeves?

happy selling!

 

what does your signature say about you?

No, I’m not referring to your “signed signature”, although I have to say mine is pretty awesome. I was sure I was going to be famous one day so I spent A LOT of time at a previous incredibly boring job, perfecting my flare.

I’m talking about your email signature or siggyHave you looked at yours lately? What information do you have there?

It shocks me how many wedding professionals still have an email address like: awesomephotographer@gmail.com

Really?

It’s not that hard to get a domain name, host a website and then have a hosted email that would look like: firstname@awesomephotographer.com

Please… you want to be professional? Then look professional! Everything you do online will reflect what you are as a store front, whether you have one or not.

Then comes all the extra stuff after your name in an email. Your title, phone number, address and then the LOOK AT ME accolades. I know we all have it.

Here is mine for my event planning company:

saundra hadley
event engineer & owner for:
planning…forever events
………………………………………………..

DIGITS:  812.455.6836
HOURS: Tues-Fri 9 AM to 6 PM
Sat by appointment only
Sun-Mon CLOSED

………………………………………………..

Now I purposely don’t put my snail mail address on my email … as we schedule by appointments only and I don’t want someone to show up unexpected.

Don’t miss the opportunity to promote your website, twitter, facebook and more. Some people will click on it and some may not … doesn’t matter.

And … don’t forget how important it is to put what days you are open and your work hours. Unless you prefer being at your client’s beckon call at all hours of the day.

Be professional. It’s easy to get your domain name for your email address. I use GoDaddy but there are lots of other ISP’s to use. It’s affordable. And a must.

ps There is still time to hone your sales skills at the St. Louis Get Real Sales Workshop on Monday, December 5th. It’s affordable, fun and informative. Click on the link to find out more!

happy selling!

where’s the sizzle?

 

It’s been a minute …

I’d give excuses, but I hate excuses. Also, I like to follow Scott Stratten’s philosophy on blogging. Blog when you have something to say, not to a set schedule.

So, I’ve been thinking and listening to others in the industry. The latest buzz is delivering “the experience” to your clients. What that experience entails, is for you to define. And I AGREE, with so many options for brides and reduced budgets there has to be something more for them. They have the experience and they tell 10 friends and so on. Referrals = business.

The challenge in my mind is how to sell “the experience”. You know, telling them you will “treat them like a king and queen” or “go the extra mile” or you give “110% at your weddings” (please quit saying those cliche comments) isn’t really going to cut it.

I’ve been looking at my own wedding planning company, we excel at delivering “the beef”. We’re solid, we do a good job, we make our clients laugh, we clean up their mistakes, etc. The “sizzle”, or the “experience” is something that we need to work on.

So this is what we are going to do:

  1. We’re going to revisit at our branding to ensure that we are delivering a consistent message or our USP.
  2. We’re going to look at our processes from the first phone call or email from a prospect all the way to the Monday after the bride/groom got married. Where can we add the sizzle?
  3. Then we are going to readdress the sales consult and how we can add in more of the sizzzzzz and still keep the beef.

Are you following me? Or now, are you just hungry like I am? I am hungry. I’m hungry for business!!!! Are you?

What are your strategies, what new things have you implemented? Would love to hear from you!

Happy Selling!

let’s do some business via facebook…

Most of you are already on it, so to speak, with Facebook. Photographers really took that particular Social Media platform by storm showing off their clients photos. I’ve spoke with countless photogs that continue to sing the praises of Facebook and the fact that it drives a lot of traffic to their business.

Recently I read that 75% of brides are on FB (sorry, I can’t source, I was reading in the middle of the night off my iPad). That is an outstanding number.

The trick is to use it correctly, but make sure it works for you.

Facebook has changed the look of their Fan Pages. Again (insert: rolling eyes). But one of the great things about these new changes, in my humble opinion is this:

  1. Fan Page Notifications: I can now receive an email when someone leaves a comment. It’s hard to keep up with everything so I’m really glad that now I can get an email when someone leaves a comment on my business page. You need to respond or at least acknowledge. It’s necessary to use Social Media for business, I wrote more about it here.
  2. Brand Awareness: Now I can sign in as my Fan Page (Company Name) and make comments or “like” around FB. Praise the Lord, sing out loud! Fabulous! Because sometimes my comments should be from my business and not my personal account (although, they cross over all the time). That is a branding opportunity!

Looks like we may have to find an extra ten minutes a day to do some Social Media Branding on Facebook.

ps Would love it if you would fan me. I don’t ask often and I’m kinda behind…. http://www.facebook.com/getrealsalescoach

Happy Selling!

UA-2050331-2