Deliver value FIRST

One of the reasons some of us struggle in sales is that we approach the prospect with the expectation of receiving something from them (the sale) without actually having delivered value first. Now, we can split hairs and say that the sale has to close in order for us to get the chance to deliver, and while that’s true if we’re only thinking in terms of what our product or service can provide for the prospect, the truth is that we have te ability to give value before the sales process even begins. Continue reading

How to get referrals more easily

I haven’t asked for a referral in more than a decade, and I’d like to tell you why.

Most sales trainers and managers will tell you to ask for a referral as soon as you’ve gotten the sale. Some will even tell you to make a recording of yourself saying ‘I always ask for referrals,’ and play it on your CD player or MP3 in your car and other similar nonsense. Yes, I called it nonsense. While asking for the referral can work sometimes, in my opinion, it is somewhat presumptuous and can be perceived as a risk by the new client. Continue reading

Are ‘cash back’ POS deals really that good?

I met a man who was excited about the deal he got on his Merchant Services for his store. He was proud to say that he’d been given cash back, $500 for each machine installed. So he was given $1500 for getting 3 POS machines. It sure sounded like a good deal. However, let’s ask ourselves a question.

If you were buying lobster for $15 a pound and selling it for $10 a pound, would you be making money?

Obviously not, and the horrible truth about POS equipment deals with large ‘cash back’ incentives is that the Merchant Services Provider has to be getting that money from you somewhere, or they’d be out of business pretty quickly. Sure, these happy customers will swear up and down that they’re not getting any extra fees and that their rates are great, but usually this means that they haven’t read their statements, or that they don’t know how to read their statements.

I’ve yet to see a deal like this where the statement didn’t have something fishy in the fine print, or where the stated rate on the front page and the actual rates on the back of the first page were different. For one client, his MSP had listed 1.4% as his rate. With VISA charging 1.54% as their true cost, for example, there’s no way the Merchant Services Provider could afford to do this. Upon close inspection, his account was on an “interchange” plan with his true rate being closer to 1.8% after accounting for fees and markups on card company assessments.

What does this mean for his store? Versus what his cost would be with Zomaron, the company I use for Merchant Services, he’s paying about an extra $150 per month, or $1800 per year. Locked into a 5 year contract, this means his MSP will be taking about an extra $9000 from him. Now, does that $1500 cash back still look good?

If you’re doing business in Toronto, and would like to find out whether you’ve really got a great deal on your card processing, just shoot me an email, or call me at (289) 839-1905.

Why you should open with your close

Sometimes, a prospect can go through your entire sales process and still be undecided. This usually happens for two reasons. The most common reason is that you didn’t communicate the opportunity in a way that would inspire him to take action, which in turn usually means that you may not have listened well enough or asked the right questions to uncover the underlying objections that, for whatever reasons, the prospect is unwilling to disclose. However, it also frequently happens that we’ve failed to properly qualify the prospect. Continue reading

How to pitch a cost reduction product or service

It’s been said that ‘a penny saved is a penny earned,’ but that was written before income taxes existed, so in today’s world, a penny saved is in some ways more than a penny earned. For business, this is even more true. For example, a small business with a profit margin of 20% has to bring in $100 of revenue to make a profit of $20, and then taxes will take at least $5 of that. So, for the same business to pocket a $15,000 profit, $100,000 of revenue has to walk through the door, so to speak. To pitch cost reduction, having an understanding of what your prospect has to do to make a profit can make the difference between selling effectively and having to move on to the next prospect. Continue reading