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Marketing Sales

Sales – It’s how you wrap it.

melitakayaks.jpgLast Monday evening, I was walking up the trail on Melita Island to the Order of the Arrow ceremony area (what we call “the OA bowl”) for our camp’s opening campfire.

An opening campfire gives the staff a chance to show their stuff, do some skits, songs and generally be funny for the boys in the crowd. It’s a great way to show off the staff to the boys – and give the campers some ideas for their camp’s closing campfire, where each troop gets to do a skit, song, or similar.

I was near the end of the line of 250 or so people hiking single file up the trail to the bowl when a young (15-16 years old) camp staff member caught up and joined me. A few minutes later, he heard the boys in front of us talking as we hiked up the trail.

OA members know that it is our tradition to be silent on the trail to the OA bowl – but 12 year old boys excited about their first campfire on their first visit to Scout camp have no idea about these kinds of things, so they are quite naturally chatty, laughing and excited.

When we approached the first group of chatty 11-12 year olds, the staff member raised his voice and belted out “No talking on the trail!”

Naturally, the boys didn’t have a clue why he said this to them, but they complied – for about 50 yards. He started to take off and get on them again when I put my hand on his shoulder and suggested a different approach: A sales job, packaged in mystery.

We stopped for a moment as the boys walked along in front of us, talking again as you’d expect. I suggested that he walk up, bend down to their level so they are face to face, and ask something like this: “Hey, did you guys know that it’s a long time camp tradition to walk in silence on the trail to the Order of the Arrow bowl?”

With a skeptical look that only a 15 year old can serve up, he asked if I thought it would work. I said “Give it a try, it can’t hurt”, so off he ran to catch the guys in front of us.

A few minutes later, he came up to me and told me that he couldn’t believe it, but it worked. The boys were quiet the rest of the way down the trail to the OA bowl.

Sales and packaging isn’t just for toothpaste. No matter what you’re “selling”, you have to get into the head of your prospect and as Robert Collier said “Join the conversation already going on in their minds” in order to accomplish your goal – whether you’re selling a car or trying to quiet a group of 12 year olds on a campout.

By the way, our guys did the raisin bran skit at the closing campfire Friday night.

Categories
China Competition Retail Sales

Differentiating, educating and hammering

Ian over at Musings from a Catholic Bookstore did a great job of hammering the Chinese last week, in his post “Got to love the Chinese Government“.

Interesting thing was, it was a brilliant way of hammering on the Chinese while differentiating his store and educating his client̬le Рand it all happened in one post.

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Automation Entrepreneurs Marketing Sales Software The Slight Edge

Make it easy to buy

One of the things I like to pound into your head with the subtlety of a ball peen hammer tapping on your forehead the morning after your 21st birthday is making it easy to buy.

Joel just did that, finally.

One of the differences you’ll find from a company doing ok in a business and another one doing really well in that same business is how easy it is for you to buy from them.

I’m talking about things like…

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Automation Customer service Management Sales Technology

Would you send a customer home for 48 hours?

One of my suppliers does.

See, 3 of the material suppliers to my wholesale business have online ordering.

One of them, naturally the one I use the most, is the one that I had never used online.

Sooo, when I got in a pinch for some supplies a few weeks ago, I figured that ordering online would be faster. Plus, it was after their normal business hours – the perfect time to make sure my order would be in the pipeline first thing in the morning…

Think again.