Author Archive

What will inspire YOU about 2016?

So here we are, already back in the saddle for the journey which will be 2016.

How are you feeling about the ride ahead?

It’s looking a touch bumpy, with the Rand in freefall, ongoing political uncertainty, economic stagnation, price inflation, daily protests, droughts and all manner of negative news?

Well, the truth is, I choose to not give too much energy to the bad news out there. There always has and always will be the negative D’s: Distractions, dramas, danger, discord, dishonesty, disasters and discontent. They are merely one part of our complex world.

And there always has and always will be hope, optimism, joy, light, inspiration, compassion, creativity and entrepreneurship. So my strategy is to simply CHOOSE to focus on those positives and in that way create a far more pleasant reality for myself.

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Jacob Zuma is NOT the Real South Africa

We are NOT our president
We are more than that

We are not inherently corrupt, arrogant or greedy
We are more humble than that

We are not stupid enough to think we know it all
We are more intelligent than that

We are not the incompetent leaders of many of our parastatals
We are the people who keep the planes flying (pretty punctually), the electricity generating (mostly) and the taps running (usually)

We are not the government or local municipality heads
We are the hands and feet, doing the legwork

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The Technician Who Could Not Sell

Years ago, we bought an expensive photo copy machine for our business. The “Sales Rep” got us to sign the contract, made their commission and went on to find the next customer. We never saw them again. However, at least once every 3 months, a “technician” would come to our offices to service the machine. As he was a “technical person”, he never asked us any “sales” questions. He never asked if we needed paper (we were not even aware that their company sold paper.) He never asked us if we would like additional functionality, such as scanning or faxing (we never knew the machine could do that.) He never offered to upgrade us to a newer, more suitable machine (we thought ours was doing just fine!)

The company never thought to give the technician some basic sales skills, such as creative questioning techniques, to enable them to at least uncover upselling or cross- selling possibilities. Obviously, the company missed many opportunities to serve their customer better and also to make more money. (This is the ultimate win/win in sales – to serve our customer, make a bigger difference and make more money.)

I have a favourite saying on my sales training courses – “Life is a pitch and then you buy!” What this means is that, in some way or another, every one of us is involved in sales of some sort – even if sales is not our job title.

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Why do we struggle to get new customers?

A big part of successful selling is the ability to get new customers. Many of us have been taught to use the tried and trusted “Cold Calling” or “Cold Canvassing” techniques. So we dial their number and launch enthusiastically into our smooth, well planned Sales Pitch, asking for a few minutes of their time to meet and chat about what we have to offer. All too often the answer we receive is – NO. NADA. Nee Dankie. Not now. Too busy. Thanks but no thanks.

In today’s busy world, potential new customers don’t seem Continue Reading

The worst question you can ask a customer

Time is money. First impressions count. To impress our potential and existing customers, we need to make a quick and meaningful connection and leave a lasting impression.

The worst question you can ask a customer is: “So How’s Business?” Continue Reading