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Six Things to Say and Do if You Don’t Want to Actually Make Sales

Six Things to Say and Do if You Don’t Want to Actually Make Sales

*Warning: I ate some snark on my flight home today. Then, this happened.

1. Lead with, “What brought you out today? 

Any sales person who begins with this question pretty much deserves the lukewarm, vague or sarcastic response it begs for. Say you sell cars and you lead with this phrase. I’d just love for a potential buyer to respond with “Oh, well I wanted to go for a run…that’s why I am here in your dealership.”

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2.  In your well-meaning desire to get to know your customers quickly, start by peppering them with rapid-fire questions, interrogation-style.

And of course, don’t allow yourself a “tell me more about that” moment. Instead, like an auctioneer on a timeframe, get through those Who, What, Why and When questions like a boss! People aren’t complex and neither are their problems. All you need is a pre-formulated list of questions answered in record time and BOOM‒you’ll be hitting the top of the sales record chart in your office.

3.  Make sure the first thing you always say is, “May I Help You?”

This is, at best, an unspoken agreement between customer and salesperson to ignore each other. At worst, it is a type of passive-aggressive behavior: it puts your workload immediately onto your customer as it requires them to not only respond, but also to explain why they are there and what they specifically need. C’mon people, you don’t sell anything, you sell something! People are not in a shoe store because they need a new car. Do your customers a solid and cut to the chase a little by losing the archaic “May I help you?” line. Of course you may help them, by virtue of the fact that they are there!

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4.  Lead with, “So, did you hear the news about our sale/price reduction?”

Nothing says “I believe in my product, as should you,” like introducing yourself with a 30% off fact. First of all, that’s not an incentive; it’s a price apology. More importantly, this method offers a dual dehumanizing feature: it reduces you, as a salesperson, to numbers and it also subtly conveys to customers that you may not see them as real, live people as much as walking, talking wallets. Win-win!

5.  Try to instill panic into your customers as soon as possible.

The best way to do this is to combine fear with cost in a handy two-for-one combo. Something like: “This sale isn’t going to last so if you don’t want to be stuck paying a lot more, you’d better buy today. Nobody else is going to give you a deal like this.” For extra fun, you can tack on a critical and stress-inducing P.S. about the crummy customer service your competitors give. A little under-the-breath comment along the lines of “Good luck finding anyone who knows what they’re doing over at _______” is the perfect cherry on the cost-n-fear sunday you’ve served up for your now totally stressed out customers. And, as we all know, stress always leads to sales.

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6. At the end of your sales presentation, let the customer know that you will “wait to hear from them.”

People in need, who have just listened to what you have to offer, should of course be put in the position to then sell themselves on an actual purchase. That makes sense, right? Right?! That is in fact what “waiting to hear from you” conveys to your customer, whether that is your intention or not.

Snarkiness aside, all of these tried and not true methods need to go away forever. Deep six these six and you’ll be that much closer to changing someone’s world.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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