August 21st, 2011
A young retail manager was training a new employee on how to sell the reward program. When I went up to the cash register, I had my question ready:
“Why should I pay for a reward program when I should get it for free?”
The new employee tried to answer my question but basically gave up and started to ring up my purchase. The Manager said “wait a second – do you realize that with the money you save today, the reward program practically pays for itself?”
Skeptically, I asked “OK – can you explain that?” The Manager used the math of selling to convince me to buy the program:
1. If you add up the savings, it comes to $8.00 today!
2. You get the card for a mere $2.00.
3. Imagine how many times you will come into the store – 1 -2 times a month?
4. You could save $25 a month or $300 a year!
Like most sales people, I love to be sold! Yes, I signed up for the program and the new employee got a lesson at my expense. What really impressed me was that the Manager never gave up. He made another run at me after I had said ‘no’ and I bought. He was polite, informative and never pushy. The combination of enthusiasm and persuasion helped change my mind.
As I left the store, I heard the Manager say to the new employee, “never give up – try to show the savings and ask again.” I smiled and thought: “that’s advice every business person should follow!”
August 14th, 2011
The bakery shop was in a small shopping center, just up the street from my customer’s office. As most sales people know, bringing food to a meeting is a goodwill gesture. As I ordered a dozen cupcakes, a young Latino baker asked me for some tips on selling. I picked up a cupcake and asked her “can you put a logo on this cupcake?” ‘Si’ she replied.
Bakery Sales Plan:
“Pick a business in the area and put the company logo on the cupcakes:
• Drop off a box of the branded cupcakes – made especially for that company
• Tape the bakery business card to the box
• Ask to speak to a manager
• Suggest that they use you for meetings, birthday parties and other events.”
She was a little confused, so I took a cupcake and drew the logo from the business across the street – a popular soft drink distributor. Then, I pointed at the sign and said ‘logo.’ Her eyes lit up; she picked up her icing tool and made a beautiful replication of the logo. Then, she showed her husband, who spoke better English. He got very excited and I explained to him that taking samples to nearby businesses would probably lead to orders. There were several businesses nearby and I suggested that they visit all of their neighbors.
The young couple hugged and then said something that I wasn’t expecting:
• “We want to live the American dream.”
Well – I’m a softy and this almost choked me up. What I thought had been a simple errand turned out to be very inspiring to me. I had offered a little assistance to a small business, and in return, I had the American Dream reignited in my own heart. As I turned to leave, they were already at work – living the dream – one cupcake at a time!