I once overheard my business partner, Jon Fishman, selling a coffee service on a telemarketing call and the prospect said, “There’s no way I’m changing the service, I’m very happy .”
Fishman’s response: “What if I give you the coffee for free?” Would you be interested?
The prospect said, “If it’s free, I might be interested. My partner replied, “So you have an open mind after all!” The prospect burst out laughing and gave him the appointment.
The moral of the story – it doesn’t hurt to be creative and it’s one of five New Year’s resolutions for coffee service reps – five things you need to focus on in 2022.
Resolution #1 – Be creative
Creativity can mean many things. Watch these three quick videos from my Perspective b2b channel that talk about creative selling:
- Take a side door approach: on how to use accounting to communicate with the decision maker.
- Use an unlikely source to get interesting leads: Hint – look to your suppliers.
- Take a different path to satisfy customers: This involves taking risks that can pay off.
Another way to be creative is to use content to establish yourself as a thought leader and your company as an innovator. This means posting helpful content, not content that celebrates your most recent install. Refresh your memory by reading this column from January 2021: Operators: Why do you bother posting on LinkedIn?
Resolution #2 – Be a storyteller
Storytelling is a sales technique that will set you apart as an elite professional. In case you missed it, I produced three Perspective b2b videos on storytelling last year and in one of those videos I provided two stories specifically for use in OCS sales. These videos are:
- Storytelling – For Huge Sales Success provides ground rules.
- Storytelling – Take it to another level is about the importance of relevance.
- Narration – Two stories you can use feature real life stories that have worked for me in OCS sales.
Resolution #3 – Be better prepared than ever
The sale can get hectic. Appointment booking, appointment follow-up, proposal meeting follow-up, and another series of appointments. Too often, this busy schedule leads to more meetings and less preparation. What does it mean to be prepared?
Before you even call a prospect, use LinkedIn to find out:
- Where the prospect has worked in the past. Have you ever served them?
- What the prospect’s company does. Do you serve similar businesses?
- Does the prospect have any common ties? The names you can file.
Ask your colleagues if they have a history with the prospect.
Pay close attention to what the prospect said when you set up the meeting. Did they give you any idea why they see you to begin with? What motivates them? Is it the price? Is it a service? Is it quality? If you have an idea why the prospect is opening the door to you, focus on crafting a presentation designed to satisfy that specific customer need.
There are many aspects to preparation and exceptional preparation can make the difference.
Resolution #4 – Add Two Bigger Selling Points to the “Big Three”
The three big selling points are of course price, quality and service, but not necessarily in that particular order. Last month, in this same column and on my b2b channel Perspective, I talked about the new selling point that will take center stage in 2022 – sustainability – as it resonates with Millennials and Gen Z.
There’s another selling point that’s becoming increasingly important to prospects, not to mention your existing customers. This point of sale is safety, and it appeals to all generations and has been propelled to the fore by COVID-19.
When it comes to security questions, answer these questions:
- Are your drivers and technicians vaccinated and boosted?
- Do you need regular COVID-19 testing for your employees?
- Do you take special measures to disinfect your customers’ rest rooms?
- Do you take special measures in your own establishment to promote health and safety?
- Are your employees equipped with the best masks, gloves and protective equipment?
- Is your company committed to offering contactless solutions?
Make sure your prospects and customers are aware of your company’s commitment to security and sell it.
Resolution #5 – Improve Your Skills Through Training
You may not know this, but the National Automatic Merchandising Association has spent significant sums, nearly $100,000, on an online course designed to develop elite sales professionals in the service industry. proximity. I wrote and produced the content, and a distinguished course development company was hired to make the program extremely user-friendly.
The course is called “Selling local services”. Here is a free sample.
There is a Sales Representative Edition and a Management Edition, both of which are a powerful and comprehensive resource available to NAMA members for around $300. You can order using discount code B2B10 for special savings.
My question is, if you sell convenience services, how can you avoid taking this course? We’ve seen rave reviews from those who’ve taken it. Unfortunately, and inexplicably, the orders have been minimal.
In April at the NAMA Show in Chicago, I will present a live version of the course in a special three-hour pre-conference session with panel discussions and heavy audience engagement. I hope to see you there.
About the Author
Industry consultant and contributor to VendingMarketWatch.com, Bob Tullio is a content specialist who advises convenience service industry operators on how to build a successful business from the ground up and advises vendors on how to successfully connect to carriers. Tullio’s YouTube channel, b2b Perspective, is designed to “elevate your business in two minutes.” Tullio is currently developing an online course, Leverage the power of LinkedIn to grow your business. Visit tullioB2B.com to learn more about VMW’s contributing publisher and its b2b services.