Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
There is a group of specialist salespeople visiting architects, designers, and government offices in the course of their work of trying to get their products specified for new buildings and refurbishing projects. But it is very difficult for them to approach these professionals due to their time constraint.
For example, if an architect would see every representative who calls on him, he would do nothing else but seeing them and not get any work done. Most company representatives may make it to the reception desk of such offices and there they are usually stopped and prevented from getting any closer to their important business contact.
But there is a technique of breaking through this barrier und meet face to face with the clients and therefore get the chance of discussing with them your company’s products. And this article passes-on this knowledge of effecting your business in a successful way!
Firstly, there is your own presentation. I strongly advise that you do not over-dress and not appear in any way ostentatious as this may arouse aversion. It is wise to show a bit of solidarity and the ‘camouflage’ should be the same appearance as the architect. Only by blending in with them will a meeting give an air of equality and, yes, solidarity. Of course, your total manners, including standard of language need to match as well in order to establish a good rapport. At any time, you need to convey an air of an equally hard-working professional, which you are!
Having taken care of this pre-condition, you finally arrived at the architect’s office. Standing before the receptionist, with all your samples in your big satchel, have a large piece under your arm, rolled-up or folded, you are being told by her. that the architects are all very busy as their project is running behind schedule or that there is a problem on the building site. And therefore, nobody can see you, you are told with a trained, regretful voice.
You smile at her, nodding understandingly and offer to merely update the catalogue of your company’s products, they have in their library as there is nothing worse, you emphasize, than specifying something that is not available any more. That would be a real big problem. And you promise not to bother anybody, just to update a few pages in the catalogue and you are on your way. This would only take a moment.
At most times, this will get you the permission to proceed into the inner sanctum. Walking through the offices, the library is mostly an array of bookshelves at the far end of the offices or it is located in a separate room. You may get superficial glances from some people as they momentarily look up from their work and it is always very conducive to reward them with a friendly smile.
Arriving at the library, you put your sample case down and ‘inadvertently’ place your large sample, being cloth, board, PVC, whatever in a position that can will be noted by anybody who comes near. A sample table which most rooms have would be a real attention-getting position.
And while you slowly pull your catalogue off the shelve and slowly page through it, pretending to be totally absorbed, you will take notice of the coming and going around you. Professionals are pulling some folders off the shelves, paging for technical data and other information.
They will notice your large sample piece, placed so ostentatiously and become inquisitive. Maybe fingering it or muttering a few words to a colleague, they try to find out more. Eventually, somebody will approach you, looking at the large sample piece or product with interest and ask: ’ Excuse me, what is that?’ And there is your chance to sell your product, finishing with your sales pitch. Some other people with come and listen to it with interest. Or somebody will shout to a colleague across the room: ‘Hey Frank, come and have a look at it! Isn’t this something that you are looking for?’
You hand out technical data and small colour charts and ask for more details about their project. And talk about buildings where this has been already successfully installed and from where references can be obtained…….
On the way out, you smile at the receptionist and assure her that you have updated your catalogue and that all samples are now current. Yes, you reassure her, everything in your company’s product catalogue is now available and nothing can go wrong when specifying something. That will reassure her that she has done the right thing, letting you into the offices ‘without seeing an architect!’
And, leaving the premises in an elated mood, you may notice another company’s representative leaving the counter in a dejected mood as he had just been told that everybody was too busy to see him!
There are, of course, variations of this technique, adjusted to a particular situation but by applying a little bit of ‘creative selling’ you have concluded a successful visit!
Friday, December 11, 2009
I have waited for you,
for many long years,
despairing and lonely,
with eyes full of tears.
You've left me and promised
your early return,
in freshest of bloom
for you I did yearn.
Your tenderly nearness
I yearned for so much,
your smile and kind eyes,
your sweet voice and touch.
Through illness and hardship,
alone and despairing,
my heart ached so much
from all my yearning.
My prayers were sent
to wish you keep well
and to wish you near me
to God I did tell.
The years have been fleeting,
I've been through them yearning,
with praying so hard
for your returning.
I have waited for you,
now I am ill and so sore
and you've come to my bedside
but I don't need you any more!
Friday, December 4, 2009
In the world of writing, there are many wonderful specialisations: Whilst some authors may concentrate on writing thrillers or love stories, a very important function is that of the historic or research writer who records almost forgotten facts and happenings - just when they are about to slide into oblivion!
One such expert is Jenny Davies who is a child of Melbourne, Australia and her first creation is a very impressive achievement indeed! Having been born with an inquisitive mind and solid respect for buildings that have been created long ago with pride, she discovered very early in her life hat they have a lot of knowledge to pass-on to present and future generations. Provided, they were found, recorded in an historic tome, augmented with photographic documentations and scientific drawings.
One such building, Jenny found, is the Melbourne Flinders Street railway station, a very large, elongated building, next to the Princess Bridge and stretches down Flinders street to the intersection with Elizabeth Street and beyond – an enormous block!
With its hundreds of rooms, most of them closed and unused for many decades, Jenny sensed that so much is there to be re-discovered about it’s past and therefore about the past people of the City of Melbourne and Australia as a country.
Her book ‘Beyond the Façade – Flinders Street, more than just a railway station’ is Jenny’s proud result of exhaustive research, collected with painstaking searches through archives and conducted with great love for Australia’s past achievements. It is supported with a profusion of historic photos and illustrations, taking the amazed reader back to times long past and the people who created this nation.
And her book’s publication coincides with the 100 year jubilee of Flinders Street railway station, with the corresponding celebrations organised by Jenny herself with the support of Metro Trains Melbourne. In this, Jenny will contribute her part with lectures, presentations and the promotion of her truly historic work ‘Beyond the Façade’. A Centenary, Limited Edition (boxed, signed and numbered) of her current book will be launched at Fed Square Book Market on Saturday 12 December at 12 noon. The Launch will be accompanied by a photographic display on the Big Screen.
An Exhibition entitled “The Station Turns 100” will be held in the Degraves Street Subway from 4 to 23 January with support from Platform Artists with works by artists Tristan Tait and John Bates. The Launch is on Friday 8 January, 6 - 8 pm. Everyone is welcome!
We all can only admire and congratulate Jenny to her outstanding achievement and wish her many more creative years of researching the Melbourne’s past and preserving history for posterity!
(Jenny Davies can be contacted on her website http://www.flindersstreetstation100.com)
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Since competition is getting increasingly more intense and sophisticated, it is paramount to maximise all advantages and improvements in one’s own sales organisation. With this concise investigation of the company’s head-offices we highlight, step-by step, the important details that make an organization stand out and being appreciated by the customers.
The first contact with our organization may be by telephone. There must be no such thing as a synthesized voice and/or recorded messages about which buttons to press and how excellent the company is in the field of customer service. After all, this is up to the caller and he may beg to differ…..
A friendly and eager voice needs to answer, starting with the correct company’s name, followed by the stating of the person’s name. This establishes a friendly connection at the start.
Should there be a state holiday in the location of the national office, provision needs to be made for an ‘emergency’ service, that is, a person still needs to answer any phone call as it may be from interstate, with the caller unaware that there is a local holiday. Otherwise the caller may think the company had gone out of business and promptly phone a competitor.
In the customer-friendly decorated offices, we now shall turn to the most important person in the building, the customer service officer.
She need to be an outgoing person, with a friendly voice, sounding relaxed and yet professional. She must have all time in the world to assist a customer and make him feel glad that he phoned this company and not a competitor.
It is always uplifting to start a conversation with a compliment. ‘Nice to hear from you again!’ or ‘Oh, you sound cheerful today – you must be very successful!
Sometimes, a superior may judge this person by the number of phone calls they manage during the day, which is utter nonsense. This customer service officer is the company’s first sales person and the customer satisfaction is the only criteria by which to measure her performance!
She must be able to converse professionally about various aspects of the trade, being chatty and a source of knowledge to the caller.
She needs to be forthright and true. When promising to ring back it must be so. ‘I would like to go to the warehouse and check the stock personally and ring you back!’ will always convey the feeling that things are being taken care of.
Or phoning a customer with the message that his goods he has been waiting for, have just arrived in the warehouse and will be delivered tomorrow, will always impress a customer.
After closing the sale and before terminating the phone call, she needs to say: ‘Thank you for the order!’ Remember, the customer does not have to place an order with your company.
Such a customer service officer should attend all sales meetings and sales conferences and, at business functions, mingle with the customers. She should qualify for educational overseas trips, if available, and also for sales training seminars.
This person is indeed part of the sales team and not merely a glorified clerk.
He or she should accompany the representative once in a while on his round of calls and observe him selling and promoting the company’s business.
When the customer personally calls at the offices, in any matter, he should be encouraged to ask for this sales coordinator for personal service.
The general attitude must be one of total sales support for the representative on the road, that is total teamwork in fitting in with the customer.
Once a day, this customer service officer should ring the representative on the road for a quick business-chat about who rang the office, who placed orders, which customer aired a grief. This total sharing of team work is necessary for positive team spirit.
We must always remember, when a customer calls on the offices, it is not an interruption of your work but an opportunity to show our appreciation of his business association with you!
Only when the field forces and the customer service officer totally integrate and closely cooperate with the customer, a superior sales organisation will be achieved and commercial success assured.