4 Lessons from a Time Square Street Peddler

November 26th, 2012

A street hawker may seem like an unlikely teacher, but you can use their simple techniques to increase the power of your sales efforts. They follow the basic rules of selling.

With a few small editorial changes, the credit for this post belongs to the author Matthew Swyers*, who shares in his own words.

 I was recently in New York City for business and stayed in Times Square. If you spend any amount of time there, in addition to other landmarks such as the famous ball that descends on New Year’s Eve and, of course, the Broadway marquees, you will also notice aggressive salesmen roaming the streets selling their goods and services.

They go after almost everyone, especially tourists who easily identify themselves by constantly starring skyward at the tall buildings in the city.

Some may dismiss these modern-day barkers as annoying parasites, but I always stop, from a safe distance, and marvel at the skills these street salesmen have perfected.  Although often crude and in your face you can learn a lot from these salesmen who hock everything from umbrellas to theater tickets. So what can you take away from an afternoon watching these guys?  Here’s what:

1. Engage

The No. 1 rule of thumb is to engage your prospective customer. In Times Square these street merchants will approach anyone, anytime, on any corner. That is how they engage their potential customers. For you it may be picking up your phone to speak with an inbound lead or perhaps it is methodically going through a cold-calling list. Whatever the case you cannot sell if you do not first engage. You must be unashamed and outright about it. That is what you are there to do. Do it.

2. Get Them Talking

Perhaps the most underrated skill among salespersons is the ability to get your prospective customer talking. In Times Square, for instance, if you happen to be wearing a Chicago Cubs Jersey they’ll say stuff like “Go Chicago” or “How them Cubs doing this year?” All they need is eye contact or any form of response and they have you. “Are you from Chicago?”  “Well, welcome to the Big Apple.”  “So what have you seen thus far?”

They’ve engaged you and they are getting you talking. In any sales position you must get your prospective customer talking so you can learn what they like, don’t like, and need so you can fashion your pitch and your products to fit what they need.

3. Listen and Use It

The guys in Times Square are fantastic at listening to what people have to say and using it to get to the next point and the next point until they can get to their pitch. Let’s say you offer that you’ve seen the Brooklyn Bridge and Times Square but that you just got into town. Bingo! You said the magic words.

 4. Pitch and Close

Once they identify the information that they need, those Times Square salesmen are masterful pitch men and closers. “You haven’t seen the Statue of Liberty?” “Wow, have I got a deal for you.” And here comes the pitch…all that from wearing a Chicago Cubs Jersey.

*Matthew Swyers is the founder of The Trademark Company, a Web-based law firm specializing in protecting the trademark rights of small to medium-size businesses. The company is ranked No. 138 on the 2011 Inc. 500. @TrademarkCo

Our goal is to help you become better informed; for more information on Staffing M & A or a complimentary confidential discussion, contact:

 Bob Cohen at 416-229-6462 or Sam Sacco at 910-509-0691.

We can also be reached at bob@racohenconsulting.com or sam@racohenconsulting.com.

Sam and Bob have successfully completed over 135 staffing industry transactions. Visit our website for more articles and information at:   www.racohenconsulting.com

5 Terrific Things Your Business Should Be Blogging About

November 19th, 2012

I believe that we are all living out a story. You play the hero. You have villains, allies and mentors. You face and overcome tragedy. You triumph and sometimes fall short. The poets among us have called this the “human condition”

I feel that marketing is about connecting the vision of a business with each person’s story and businesses succeed when they have won a role in that story.

I love blogging because it is the purest way for a business to audition for a role in their customer’s story. Taking the metaphor a bit further I figure that the business blog needs to “nail” 5 lines to win the part of “friend.”

Here they are:

#1 Being Vulnerable: Vulnerable businesses are captivating. It’s nice to see Apple screw up every once in a while. It’s compelling when a consultant says “I was wrong. Let’s try another way.” Every once in a while, share your businesses bloopers reel.

#2 Being Sentimental: Every business has a sappy side that celebrates little things that mean a great deal. I once worked for an agency that burned to the ground. It’s employees watched it burn from the parking lot.

The next day, employees met in houses and coffee shops determined to not miss a single deadline. The day the newly rebuilt agency opened its doors, the employees received a sweatshirt with a match on the front. I still have that sweatshirt 14 years later.

Being sentimental isn’t weak. Its special and you should blog about it.

#3 Being Heroic: Sometimes it’s difficult to dream big. Our institutions have done a great job of training heroism out of us. Every once in a while a business does something heroic. Most likely someone in the business decides to dream big and pull the rest of their colleagues along. These times are special.

When was your businesses heroic moment? Tell your customers about it.

#4 Being Selfless: When was the last time your business did something truly selfless? Google pays the spouses of employees who’ve died up to half their salary for ten years and their children get $1,000 a month until they are 19. Amazing, now I want to hear more about Google.

Your small business or large business probably does amazing selfless acts like this too. Your readers should hear about them. It makes them proud to do business with you.

#5 Being Foolish: Some things don’t make any sense.

I’m not sure why Google wants to build driverless cars. I wish I understood why Jeff Bezoes is committed to mining asteroids. Why in the heck does Richard Branson own Virgin Galactic? None of these things make sense. They seem foolish. But they do remind me that real people with crazy dreams run these businesses and I want to hear more. How about you?

There isn’t a Formula for You to Copy-Sorry.

You know I’m incredibly practical about blogging. I’m sure you were looking for a nice template to follow.

The only nugget of wisdom I can give you is this…

Pay attention to the drama playing out in your readers’ lives. Look for the drama playing out in your own business. Find ways to connect the two.  This post was written by Stanford.

About Stanford: I’m Stanford and I want to help you stoke your passion, spread your message, and help your blog get noticed and promoted. Take a look in the archives.

Our goal is to help you become better informed; for more information on Staffing M & A or a complimentary confidential discussion, contact:

Bob Cohen at 416-229-6462 or Sam Sacco at 910-509-0691.

We can also be reached at bob@racohenconsulting.com or sam@racohenconsulting.com 

Sam and Bob have successfully completed over 135 staffing industry transactions. Visit our website for more articles and information at www.racohenconsulting.com

Using LinkedIn to Grow your Business..one in a series of LinkedIn basics!

November 12th, 2012

This post was written by Prialto who gave us permission to reprint some of it here hopefully furthering our desire to keep you be better informed.

Upgraded users of LinkedIn (Premium Members) can see a full history of who has viewed their profile.

Relationship-focused sales executives invest a lot of time identifying new prospects.   While many executives browse new prospects for outreach through LinkedIn, a lesser known tactic exists to quickly and more easily identify prospects.

And whether you’re aware of this or not, these particular prospects have already engaged with you.

Identify prospects

An intriguing aspect of LinkedIn is the opportunity to see each contact that has viewed your profile.

To enable this feature, you need to allow others to know when you view them as well.  With the free version of LinkedIn, you are restricted to seeing the last five contacts–for a more comprehensive view, monitor activity frequently or upgrade to a paid account.

Fundamentally, contacts viewing your profile have indicated interest in you.  If your profile is viewed by contacts you haven’t yet engaged with, this presents you with ideal prospects.

 Research prospects

With a quick assessment of the contact’s profile, you can assess whether they would be a good match for your business.   Then, you may quickly research these prospects on publicly available databases (look for Prialto’s forthcoming guide to prospect research).

As you research these prospects, add their email, phone, and LinkedIn profile to your CRM for outreach.  Alternatively, delegate the process of monitoring and researching to an assistant as many Prialto members have done.

Outreach strategies

Once you have identified these new prospects, there are a number of effective outreach strategies Prialto has helped members develop:

  • Wait a few days, then cold call:  Since these prospects viewed your profile, they are likely aware of your company.   One effective strategy for outreach is to schedule a cold call 7-10 days after your profile has been viewed.   When you call, the prospect will often remember their interest in you and engage quickly in dialogue.
  • Send an email:  Another approach is to send a note to the prospect with an eye catching introduction such as “I don’t normally do this but I saw you viewed my profile and wanted to reach out…”  Break the ice by sharing a mutual interest, or a specific desire to know more about an aspect of their experience.
  • Leverage an introduction:  Asking for an introduction from a mutual connection with the prospect is a great way to allow others to feel generous in doing a favor for you.  This is a great way to paradoxically grow your network by using it. Similarly, include mention of your mutual connection in the email outreach approach above.
  • Engage on social media:  If the approaches above don’t fit your situation, and the prospect has listed another social media account–like twitter–you can follow them and work to engage them in a more casual dialogue.Prospect research doesn’t need to be time-consuming or stress-inducing.  By incorporating some or all of the approaches above with your LinkedIn profile views, you can create a consistent outreach pipeline of prospects to help grow your business.            http://www.prialto.com

For more information on Staffing M & A or a complimentary confidential discussion, contact:

 Bob Cohen at 416-229-6462  or  Sam Sacco at 910-509-0691.

 We can also be reached at bob@racohenconsulting.com or sam@racohenconsulting.com.

 Sam and Bob have successfully completed over 135 staffing industry transactions.

Visit our website for more articles and information at:  www.racohenconsulting.com  

 

Rejection can be a powerful learning tool… if we use it to help us grow!

November 5th, 2012

Rejection can transform failure into a powerful tool for success and help your team develop the skills needed to deal effectively with adverse situations.

Here are some more critical points to help overcome rejection.

  • Use rejection as a form of feedback for self-improvement. What when wrong? What could’ve been done to prevent it?
  • Break challenges into incremental steps so that any failure is minimized.
  • Channel anxiety into a creative force for achievement so that, when frustrated, we become more productive.
  • Most salespeople will succeed only to the extent they are willing to suffer though many disappointments.
  • Being ready for the unexpected increases our chances of succeeding.
  • Whether we experience failure or success is unimportant; what is important is the way we deal with the experience.
  • If we can’t accept failure, we will quickly lose our enthusiasm.
  • Believing we have a chance to succeed sharpens our mental vision.
  • We resolve our fears by taking risks.
  • By breaking out of our comfort zone, we expand the arena of our opportunities.
  • When we avoid failure, we’re also avoiding new challenges and opportunities.
  • Recognize that failure is the ultimate learning tool. Every disappointment teaches a positive lesson — we just have to look for it.
  • It’s in times of adversity that we usually grow the most.

Adapted from the book The Courage to Fail by Art Mortell.

For more information or a complimentary confidential discussion on any Staffing M & A subject, contact:

Bob Cohen at 416-229-6462 or Sam Sacco at 910-509-0691.

We can also be reached at bob@racohenconsulting.com or sam@racohenconsulting.com

 Sam and Bob have successfully completed over 135 staffing industry transactions.

Visit our website for more articles and information at: www.racohenconsulting.com