Enhance your Sales skills

Keep your sales skills sharp

Monitor & Improve Your Sales Skills

Every single sales encounter will be different to one degree or another based on the following facts.

Different product, customer, and sales technique combinations.

There is no single blue print that will work on every combination. Period. Anyone who tells you that they have a “one cap fits all” sales technique is not leaving room to evolve with the market and its trends. Eventually that technique will start to wane and eventually become weak compared to newer, more evolved techniques.

As a sales person you should always be seeking to improve your sales skills. Areas of focus should include, but not limited to,

•Product knowledge.
•Customer knowledge.
•Greeting techniques.
•Presentation style.
•Closing techniques.

Product knowledge.
Be on top of your “game”. Know as many features and benefits of your products as is possible. Know how to combine them in your presentation to create customer desire. Be aware of upcoming releases and upgrades as soon as they are announced.

Customer knowledge.
Be aware of your product and businesses target consumer. Research how you can target this consumer by using your client portfolio. Learn what your customers do and do not like about your product from online forums and product reviews.

Greeting techniques.
One of your most important sales skills is your greeting. Learn how to greet a customer and get past the pre programmed “just looking” response. Learn how to read your customers demeanor and judge who is a “looker” and who is a potential “buyer”.

Presentation style.
Experiment with which features and benefits produce the most interest from customers. Tailor your style to each customer. Some people like an informal presentation, others like a formal conversation. Learn both. Be sure to get your customer involved with the product. Let them handle it and experience the features and benefits.

Closing techniques.
Learn when to attempt the close. Timing is key. Experiment with both “hard” and “soft” closes. Accept that your first refusal, is just that, your FIRST not your last.

If you take the time to develop your sales skills you will be sowing seeds that will result in sales. But your skills must evolve with the market in order to compete. In sales it really is, survival of the fittest.

If you find this topic of interest to your organization…I will be happy to discuss further

Until next time….

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Closing a sale: Tips

How to Close a sale

How to Close the Sale – Tips and Techniques

This blog applies to anyone who is selling, service, product or any other type of idea sale…

The questions that many sales professionals ask are, “When to close a sale? How to close? How not to be pushy?” I still remember my first customers – a particular client who needed a business service solution. I was so enthusiastic and spent a lot of time presenting the solution i was selling which the client liked, telling an inspirational and success stories related to the service on how it benefited others who already purchased it. The client loved it, I could tell from the reaction. The client asked a lot of questions. He talked to his clolleagues which were in the meeting about the applicatbility and the usefullness of the service. Did the client buy the services at the end? No, he did not. Why? Because I didn’t close the sale. I presented the service/product and stopped. I didn’t lead them to buy it and didn’t finish the sale. I just dropped them in the middle of the sale.

What would I do now in this situation? I would ask the simple question “Would you like to have an effective, high quality, reasonable cost service that is the only one currently on the market that is suited for your business?” I could also add, “Imagine that after 2 or 3 years you will be looking at this deal being the successful one that you were instrumental in establishing, proven by the large amount of savinngs that you will bring to your company, and the  effective service that you will be able to use anytime 24×7, this service will be your business’ competitive advantage in the future”

Does it sound like closing and pushing to buy? No way. I see myself more as a friend who gives helpful recommendation or good advise. I really care about my customers and show it to them. Yes, I am using one of my closing strategies, but they would never know it.

Closing techniques:
1. Close from the beginning.
No, it doesn’t mean you should ask, “Would you like to buy it?” from the first moment you meet the person. It means that you have to earn customer’s trust, build relationship, find out their needs, ask questions, listen to him (her).

2. Learn to recognize when a customer is ready to buy. A customer might indicate they’re ready by asking questions about the product, your service or about the buying process, or they may show their willingness to buy non-verbally.

3. Do not push or rush your customer.
Nobody likes to be pushed or hurried, especially in a situation when they are spending their own money.

4. Respect their decision not to buy.
Not every customer buys and it is OK. Do not show that you are upset or angry. “I spent so much time with you, why don’t you want to buy it?” I know one sales professional who was not only calculating her commission in her mind but also what she is going to buy with it while she was selling! Every time she didn’t make a sale she was so unhappy because she felt like she lost real money.

5. Offer free trials, specific terms, discount, and freebees.
People like to feel that they get a special treat and everyone loves free stuff. Find out from your manager what you can offer with each item/product to your customer. This has an amazing impact.

6. Ask the manager
This popular closing technique works very well in cases of discussing discounts or special offers. You could say, “I would like to give you this discount, but I need to ask my manager about it (get a special permission).” Then go and talk to your manager. Some sales professionals pretend they have this conversation. They go to the back room and come back in couple minutes with good news. If you are natural in playing it and it is working, use it. In a case of very big purchases I would recommend to bring a manger and ask him (her) about the discount in the front of a client.

Check this out…How does this technique work? You show your customer that you really want him (her) to have the desired item/service or product you are making an extra effort, you are helping and supporting them, you are “fighting” with the system to get a better deal. You will see that they respect you for it.

7. Give a customer time and space to think and talk about purchasing the product,
Especially if you are dealing with a couple. They do need private time to discuss financial aspects of the purchase.

8. Give them an opportunity to come back
This technique will work only if you already know the customer and built a good relationship with them. For example, you may see and feel that after spending considerable amount of time the customer is still not convinced to buy. In this case you can say, “I understand that this is important decision for you to make and you need some time to think about it. When would you like to come back to discuss it further?”

Offer them specific date and time, “Would like to come Tuesday or Friday? What time is the best for you?” You can also add, “The reason I am asking it because I am off on Thursday and Saturday, but I really want to help you.” Again you are offering service here and it is totally normal to discuss all possible options. If you have their phone number and have their permission to call – call and talk more on the phone. But please do not call every day. It is very irritating.

9. Let them know that now is the best time to buy
“We have this incredible 50 % off discount because of an extra stock”
“We have this deal only one time a year”
“It is a great buy because of a Christmas sale”
“The sale will only last for 1 week”
“It is the best time to buy because the prices are going up”
“Summer is coming. Would you like to get a fan (or patio furniture) now because it could be out of stock during the peak of the season”

10. Summarize the product description in just three words:
“It is better, cheaper, cleaner than… old model/competition offers/what you have”
“Faster, more modern, more reliable”
“Better build, more convenient, improved”
“Healthier, enhanced, organic”

This could be a good exercise for you. Write down 3 main words describing the product/service you are selling. They should be really meaningful and great words about this specific product. Does it remind you of the situation when an HR person asks you about your three main characteristics during a job interview? Well, it is the same process but instead of product you are “selling yourself”.

11. Act like your customer already bought the product you are selling

This technique is based on the principle of ownership. If people start thinking that they already have it, it is harder not to buy. Most of us like to be owners. It also opens an opportunity for future discussion.

Lets say you are selling furniture…”Where will you put the table?” you can ask. “I was thinking of putting it in the dinning room,” your customer may answer. He (she) is drawing a picture in their mind thinking how it will fit to the room.

“Who will use the computer – you or your children?”

There are dozens of other closing sales techniques. How and when to use them? Every situation and each customer are different. Most importantly, practice, practice, practice. Use different approaches, experiment. The more you apply techniques the more skilled sales professional you will become, the more natural the process of closing will be.

If you liked this blog, you may want to check my other blogs on the same topic

Until next time

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Customer service: Dealing with Irate client

How to deal with upset clients

Customer Service Problems – How to Handle Angry Or Irate Customers

The 10 Steps and 1 to Grow On

1. Prepare yourself
2. Let them vent their anger
3. Listen
4. Verify for understanding
5. Empathize with these customers
6. Ask what they would like done to solve the problem
7. Get agreement
8. Apologize
9. Conclude the call
10. Follow up
11. Take care of yourself

1. The Call – Prepare Yourself
The first step to take when dealing with an angry or irate customer is to prepare your self. Sit up straight, make sure your posture is good, put a smile on your face, and take a deep breath. In many cases, you’ll have to prepare yourself while the customer is on the line. Of course, don’t take that deep breath directly into the phone, but do take a deep breath, and do prepare yourself. In some cases, you’ll know you’re about to work with an irate customer momentarily. Your office mate may field the call and toss you “that look” as he or she transfers the call to you. (You know “that look”; it communicates, “Boy, do I have a customer for you!”) Before answering the call, take one or two seconds to prepare yourself. Then pick up the line and begin the call flow process we describe below.

2. Let Them Vent Their Anger
The second step is letting angry and irate customers vent their anger. You need to allow these customers to vent from beginning to end. And don’t interrupt. Unlike the typical call flow process we discussed earlier, don’t use short messages with irate customers. The odd thing about these customers is that they have a “tape recorder” in their heads. When they call, they’ve already prepared their speeches. They’ve been practicing, and you’re going to hear it-all of it. If you interrupt their speeches with short messages such as “I see” or “I understand,” angry or irate customers push stop on their “tape recorder,” hit rewind, go back to the beginning, and play the whole tape again. So you need to allow these customers to vent without any interruptions.

3. Listen
The third step in dealing with angry or irate customers is listening. In addition, we recommend you take notes. Taking notes forces you to actively listen. Plus, you’ll be able to refer back to your notes later in your conversation.

4. Verify for Understanding
The fourth step in handling angry or irate customers is verifying what they have communicated to you to ensure you understand the situation. Repeat their central messages to them-word for word. Do not paraphrase. What can happen if we paraphrase an angry or irate customer’s message, but we get it wrong?

The customer just gets madder. He or she might pound a fist on the desk and declare, “That’s not what I said! You weren’t listening!” By repeating the problem word for word, the angry customer will agree with your statement, and you will be able to verify the problem for your understanding.

There are two advantages to verifying for understanding. The first is that you have a better opportunity to correctly identify the problem. Second, repeating the problem or situation in their own words means they will agree with your description, and they will agree with you because you will be correct. One of the keys to handling angry and irate customers is getting them to agree to anything as quickly as possible. This step is your first opportunity to get these customers to agree with you.

5. Empathize with Them
Providing an empathy statement is a critical step in the call flow process when dealing with angry and irate customers. Remember, each of these steps is designed to defuse these difficult customers, and we’re guiding these customers to a point where we can provide them with both service and solutions.

6. Ask What They Would Like Done to Solve the Problem
Next in the call flow process for working with angry or irate customers, you’ll want to determine what these customers need, respond to their needs, and get their input on the action plan. Determine customers’ needs by asking open-ended and close-ended questions. Ask enough questions to get all the information you need. And be sure not to paraphrase their responses-repeat the information word for word.

Next, respond to their needs by developing a plan of action to resolve their problem. If they don’t agree with the plan you propose, find out what they would like to see as a solution. At this point, you can determine if they are unrealistic as well as angry. However, most customers are defused by this time in the conversation, and they’ll be calm and realistic.

So ask these customers what they’d like to see for a solution. If they’re still angry, their response might be, “Just fix it.” Or their response could be unrealistic. But it’s possible they have some suggestions you haven’t thought of. In fact, you might come up with more than one plausible plan for resolution. Keep in mind that customers love alternatives, and giving them options (if you can) is a real treat for them.

Getting your customers involved in the resolution process means they’ll be part owners of the solutions. When they help you determine the action plan, they’re more apt to buy into the solution. In addition, it’s difficult for them to come back to the help desk and claim you didn’t do your job if they helped arrive at the solution. So ask these customers what they would like to see as a solution, and, together, determine a plan for resolution.

7. Get Agreement
Next, you want to get agreement with angry or irate customers. You’ll want to follow the same strategy for getting agreement. Getting agreement is the step in which you and your customers jointly finalize the action plans you’ll take to solve the problem. Remember; don’t impose an action plan on customers. To achieve customer satisfaction, you need to give them the opportunity to verbally accept the action plan you propose. This step can be as brief and informal as asking, “Does this direction sound like the way to go?” And their reply: “Sounds good to me.”

8. Apologize
The next step in our call flow process for handling angry or irate customers is to apologize. Now, some customer support professionals may argue that there’s no need to apologize if you didn’t cause the problem. In addition, you may not feel comfortable making apologies to customers.

However, from a customer service standpoint, you have nothing to lose by apologizing and everything to gain-if you are sincere. Customers usually respond positively when you apologize. In fact, they may apologize to you for their behavior. This step in the call flow process can make a big difference when dealing with difficult customers-again, if you are sincere.

If you are unable to apologize using a sincere tone of voice, don’t apologize. The wrong tone of voice will come across negatively, and your customer will know your apology is not sincere. A misstep here can completely destroy everything you’ve gained up to this point.

9. Conclude the Call
The next step is to conclude the call. When dealing with angry or irate customers, in particular, be sure they are completely finished before you hang up.

10. Follow Up
You may want to follow up with angry and irate customers. Even though you have defused the situation, solved the problem, and provided good customer service, you might consider making a follow-up call to these customers. You want them to remember their positive contacts with your help desk or support center, and a follow-up call can help achieve that.

11. Finally, take care of yourself
This is an extremely important step. Handling angry and irate customers can be very stressful, and you need to be sure you have a calm, positive attitude before taking your next call or handling your next ticket. This may mean taking a few minutes away from your desk for a quick break. Just be sure to take care of yourself, so you can provide solutions and service to your next customer.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post…be sure to check my other posts as well…maybe you’ll find something as helpful as this post.

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Building your brand using social media

Social Media: Building Your Brand

Social Media, Building Your Brand – Doing It the Right Way
 Just imagine for a moment, thousands of folks all over the world commending your business and your offerings and recommending you to everyone around them – their friends, connections, followers as well as fans. This can be a dream come true, if only you can invest time to connect with consumers online and communicate with them.

Using Social Media to Build Your Brand
Every business needs to operate on social media platform; so hurry to create as many social media accounts as you can – for your business. The top social media platforms are Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The important information you must not forget to include in your profile on these social networks are your company’s logo, your real image, the name of your business as well as the tag line, your business info such as its mission statement and year established. Don’t forget to also include your blog or website link.

As soon as you get your profile completed on the social platforms, the next step is to let others be aware of your presence on those platforms and invite them to connect with you. Various ways you can achieve this include: placing the link on your social media profiles, on your marketing tools such as your business card, newsletter, blog/website. This way you start growing your list of followers, fans or connections.

Successful Brand Building Involves Effective Communication
Effective communication also means doing things the right way while on social media platform. For instance, do not reflect your personal life when posting status messages; also, avoid spamming. Thus, it would only be sensible and rewarding to post only valuable information. Doing otherwise would only work to dent your brand.

What status messages would be more appropriate?
•Tips that are related to your offerings or business niche.
•URLs to informative articles that you’ve written about your offerings; also, you can include links to valuable articles and news that others have written.
•Giveaways and Special Offers; occasionally, you can offer exclusive discount to followers or give something away for free. It is a great idea to accompany the freebies or discounts with a contest.
•In a situation where your product has worked for your customer, obtain permission from such a customer to share the testimony with your followers, fans or connections at social media platforms. Don’t forget to spell out the product that the customer purchased, and the specific benefit derived from the use of the product.
•Event publicity; it is also great to create awareness of your webinars, workshops, speaking events and others, whether online or conventional.

Keep on building your brand by replying to people’s comment on your status. If the comment is in the form of a complaint, do not respond harshly, handle it tactfully in order to win back the concerned user

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Why your business need a professional translation service

Professional Translation Services: Why your business need it?

Why your business need professional translation services?

If you are thinking about starting an international company, or you are an exisiting business and thinking of expanding your market internationally,  it is time for you to start looking for translation services. The internet has made it possible for companies to penetrate foreign markets but to do this, you need to make sure your website and your marketing collatorals is in a language that your audience can understand. Some people prefer to use software programs to translate their content but this is not a good idea because languages change with time, (if you want more details on this please check my blog titled (Translation blunders). Professional translation by certified and accredited translators is far better quality because it ensures the message is well communicated in the new language.

There are different companies that offer these services but you need to select one that meets your needs effectively. If you want the content to be translated into a particular language, it is better to use CLS Communication since the internal translators are native speakers and specialized in various field, and the certified QA process insure accurate and impactful translation.

Most of the international companies assume that all their markets understand English and they do not pay attention to translation. This means that most of them are not reaching their target audience. When an online user comes across a site that is written in a language they do not understand, they will not waste any more time on it. It is important to make sure you provide options for your target market.

When you are selecting a professional translation company, make sure its staff members are well trained and they have adequate experience when it comes to interpreting content. Quality is also an important factor to keep in mind when you are choosing one. The firm you use should have some experience in dealing with your specific industry sector.

It is also better to use translators who are based in the particular market that you are interested in or use companies liket CLS Communication who has translators in every region which saves you the pain of finding them yourself. This is important because language is usually dynamic therefore the terms and phrases that are being applied now may not be applicable after a while.

If you need to discuss this topic further please email me
Robinayoub@robinayoub.com

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Dealing with Procurement Managers

Advancing your sales process: Dealing with Purchasing managers

Selling to Muggles: How to Make the Sale When Buyers Have No Idea What You’re Talkin’ About

Note: Muggle, in the Harry Potter series of books by J. K. Rowling, refers to a person who lacks any sort of magical ability and was not born into the magical world.

Jack has been working closely with a new client for several months to try to get them to switch from their current supplier to Jack’s company. Since the particular materials they use can vary a lot from system to system, Jack has lots of questions and wants to make sure it will meet the customer’s needs. Based on Jack’s understanding of what the customer’s current vendor is providing, it’s unlikely that this competitor could meet the customer’s needs for energy and waste reduction, even though the competitor claims otherwise.

Armed with the latest research to show that if the customer would just switch, they could definitely achieve substantial cost savings in energy consumption and waste disposal, not to mention additional improvements in productivity due to reduction in maintenance-related downtime.

Jack then approached the customer’s Purchasing Manager who has a reputation for always trying to cut costs to the bone, that Jack felt like it’s almost a personal thing for her. It didn’t help things when Jack’s product, while far more superior than the current one the customer is using, is priced 50% higher per unit. Furthermore, as Jack’s product is a new innovation that had just been launched into the market. That means, the Purchasing Manager hasn’t heard or known about the benefits of such technological improvements. Although the Purchasing Manager knows a fair bit about the business, she misses some of the business, technical and user advantages of Jack’s product.

Undaunted, Jack set up the meeting with the Purchasing Manager, hoping that he can convince her with his research data. To Jack’s dismay, the Purchasing Manager was ONLY interested in price. All the research data that showed the potential cost savings did not appeal to the Purchasing Manager at all. In fact, it is precisely that Jack’s product is a new innovation that sparked the Purchasing Manager’s concerns that the new product’s delivery reliability and quality consistency might not match those provided by their current vendor.

Feeling frustrated, Jack now explores what other options he has in order to move forward with this client.

Muggles vs. Wizards
Let’s face it. None of us can be a “Wizard” in all aspects of our work. So it is normal that some of the Purchasing Managers we face can be a Wizard in managing the purchase, but is a Muggle when it comes to understanding their company’s business, technical and users needs. Based on our preliminary surveys, about 83% Purchasing Managers rank the following criteria as the most important when considering a purchase:

1. Price
2. Flexible payment terms
3. Fast and reliable delivery schedules and consistent product quality
4. Ease of maintenance
5. Reputation of the Vendor

By and large, Purchasing Managers are not familiar with “the Total Cost of Ownership” concept, and are very skeptical about how your products can help them reduce costs, improve productivity or reduce hazardous risks. They are usually Muggles when it comes to helping their companies achieve better business results.

If you are skeptical with the above findings, look around you and ask:
• How many Purchasing Managers can tell you how they can help the company achieve better cost-down, without reducing the price of their purchases?

• How many Purchasing Managers actually go down to the suppliers’ plants or warehouses to physically inspect their purchases, since reliable delivery and consistent quality is a key concern?

• How many Training Managers (who purchase training programmes) can suggest practical ways to identify training needs and improve training effectiveness?

Purchasing Managers also don’t usually initiate the sourcing of new innovations in the supply of materials and equipment. It’s usually the user’s departments that raise the need to upgrade or source for new and better supplies for production. These needs to switch to or explore new suppliers can include:

• Addressing a flaw in the current supplier’s materials or equipment;

• Sourcing for a back-up supplier in case there are outages caused by either sudden increase in production needs, or the lack of inventory of the current supplier

• Upgrading the equipment and materials to produce better quality products due to a new requirement in the customers’ market

Buyers are not necessarily confined to Purchasing Managers only, and even if the Buyer is the boss or managing director or CEO, that does not mean that he or she is automatically a Wizard or a Muggle. Sales people will have to exercise caution and sound judgment to decide if there are needs to further educate the customer.

Open vs. Closed Customer
Besides distinguishing between Muggle and Wizard customers, sales people also have to distinguish between customers who are more “Open” to discussions and the external world, as well as those who are “Closed” to discussions and exploration of future possibilities.

Hence, we can group buyers into the following 4 combination:
• Open Muggle;
• Closed Muggle;
• Closed Wizard;
• Open Wizard

If your goal is to persuade and educate the Buyer, then you are referring to the “Open Muggle“. These are the Buyers who understand there are limitations to their understanding of their buying needs, and are willing to take steps to understand more. In fact, they don’t confine their understanding of their buying needs and requirements to just the sales person. Rather, they take steps (and sometimes great pains) to communicate with their business, technical and user stakeholders so as to understand their needs as well. These are the Buyers who will appreciate the sales person’s help in educating them, and will resent those who want to take advantage of their lack of knowledge.

“Closed Muggles” are those who don’t know what they are doing, but often assume or pretend they know. They tend to focus a lot on price, block any attempt for you to talk to any of their colleagues, and refuse to learn their company’s business. Unfortunately, most Purchasing Managers belong to this category. With the “Closed Muggles” it’s either you are referred by someone who knows them well, or you may have to out-flank them and talk to someone else instead.

“Closed Wizards” tend to be authoritative figures who know what they are doing and are directive in their communication. They tend to give clear instructions to sales people, and will not accept any “if, and or but”. While “Closed Wizards” may know a great deal about their business and how to get the best deal from sales people, they are unlikely to be “Wizards” all the time, and might make judgmental errors too. When dealing with the “Closed Wizard”, sales people will have to do lots of preparation, and be prepared to answer lots of difficult questions.

Finally, there are the “Open Wizards”, and are so-called because they know their stuff and are still open to new ideas and discussions. These Buyers are the rarest in the market, and are almost undetectable. They tend to judge sales people by the questions the sales people ask to see if the sales people know their own stuff. “Open Wizards” are in no hurry to demonstrate their in-depth knowledge, and prefer to share those knowledge to sincere sales people who would like to explore better solutions that deliver better results.

Advancing Your Sale
Even when you can distinguish whether a Buyer is a Muggle or a Wizard, or is she Open or Closed, you will not know what the Buyer really is until you have met her. By then, the Buyer would have then made her opinions and judgments about you, regardless of what she is.

Hence, here are some tips on how you can create good first impressions even with the toughest of the Buyers:

• Be prepared. Don’t just rush out for the sales meeting. Do prepare for some tough questions or even objections that you may need to answer;

• Build trust. Don’t rush into selling just yet. Seek to understand your customers’ business, technical and user needs, then your customer will want to understand your solution;

• Don’t just “die” with one contact. Beware the Buyer who claims to be the Key Decision Maker when he is not. Typically, Key Decision Makers don’t claim they are Key Decision Makers, and those who claim so are usually not. Be prepared to develop networks within the customer’s organisation.

Ultimately, the sales person would have to size up the sales situation and know what kind of Buyer is she dealing with, so as to implement the most suitable sales strategy to advance the sale.

Until next time

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Uncategorized

Steps to Marketing translation companies

Is your Translation organization a commodity or a brand?

We all complained at some point about translation and professional services being bought as if they were commodity! maybe the way we are marketing these services is the problem! I believe companies who provides professional services of any kind need to create a brand and drive that point home to the market place very effectively lets start this short discussion by understanding the basics:
What is a brand?
The dictionary defines it as follows: A distinguishing symbol, mark, logo, name, word, sentence, or a combination of these items that companies use to distinguish their product from others in the market.
Further, it goes on to say once a brand has created positive sentiment among its target audience, the business is said to have built “brand equity.” Some examples of businesses with brand equity are Microsoft and Coca-Cola.

So, then, what is a commodity?
According to the dictionary it’s any bulk good traded on an exchange or in the cash market. If it’s a product or service it means it’s not distinguishable from any other product or service in its category.
Commodities are usually bought and sold based on price. Meaning if you’ve got the lowest price you get the sale and if you don’t, you don’t.

So let me ask you a question … Are you and your business a brand or a commodity?

Take this quick Brand Quiz to find out.
If you answer yes to these 5 questions, odds are you’ve got a brand.
(1) There is something unique about you or the product or service you offer.
(2) Your marketing focuses on this uniqueness.
(3) You’re known among your ideal clients for this uniqueness.
(4) All your marketing supports this uniqueness and has a definitive look and feel so it’s easily recognizable as yours.
(5) You see yourself as a leader and the last thing you want to do is follow the crowd when it comes to marketing.

If you answer yes to these 5 questions, you and your business likely fall into the commodity bucket.

(1) You know you’re good at what you do but you haven’t identified or created a unique attribute to set you apart from others in your field.
(2) You tend to market yourself using the same language and style as others in your industry.
(3) Your marketing materials are a bit of hodge- podge of looks, colors and personalities.
(4) You’ve had a tough time crafting a compelling elevator pitch.
(5) You find in competitive situations you only get the sale if your price is the lowest.

If you answered “yes” to the first 5 questions of the Brand Quiz, congratulations! You know it’s important to set yourself apart with a clearly defined brand.

If you found yourself answering yes to more of the commodity questions than the brand questions, all is not lost. As they say, the first step toward change is recognizing the need to change.

You now know you’ve got to create a brand.

And Yes, even if you’re just a solo-professional and you don’t have a big business or a lot of products. Because if you’re a coach or a consultant, you’ve got to give prospective clients a reason to hire you over all the other coaches and consultants out there.

By applying these basic principles, you will start to see your business moving away from the crowded commodity base suppliers to the higher valued professional grade business.

Unitl next time…

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