Monday, January 31, 2011

Your Best Customer

What makes a great salesman? 

Do they "turn it on" when they get into that important meeting with a "big" client?

Do they only focus on serving their important clients?

It isn't bad to prepare for important customers.  It isn't even bad to focus on how you address them.  However, I am learning that that part is easy if I have a mindset of serving everyone around me all the time.  Whether it is a customer, a fellow employee, my managers, my friends, and yes, my wife, everyone I come into contact with is an opportunity for me to enrich their life in some way.
Good business owners can smell someone who is "turning it on" a mile away.  They know if someone is approaching them to "get" something.  They can sense whether I am trying to use them to get money, or whether I am looking on their cares.  If I am not continually serving everyone I come in contact with, then it will be hard to honestly treat my customers with that integrity.

So, who is my best customer?

The person right in front of me!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Another Great video about the value of signage

Here is a link to a great video I found which shows the value of signage -

Another rainy day in the Pacific Northwest

It is another rainy day in the Pacific Northwest today

And now is when all those beautiful channel letter signs, open-face neon, and halo-lit logos stand out among the bleak highways and by-ways of the communities throughout the Puget Sound area.  I have been in the signage business for over 17 years, and I love doing what I do.  There is something so beautiful about a well-crafted sign.

If you are opening a business in the Northwest, or if you are looking to attract more attention to your current locations, take a look at some of the beautiful signs we have fabricated over the years...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The three secrets to sales

1) Listen
2) Listen
3) Listen

There you have it - in three easy steps.  So easy to say, so easy to explain, but sometimes like a blind man writing about color.  Sales is truly a profession, and listening is the craft which is learned. So what to say?

Practice, Practice, Practice.  Don't just turn on your listening skills when talking to a business client, employee, or boss.  Practice with everyone you know - your friends, spouse, children, parents, co-workers, even the barista.  Then, when it is time to hear that tiny phrase that encapsulates what the customer wants, you won't miss it.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Selling the Invisible

Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern MarketingI have been driving a lot recently; which means I have been a listening a lot to CDs.  One of my favorites is an audiobook - Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith.  This is read by Jeffrey Jones (the emporer in Amadeus and the principal in Ferris Bueller's Day Off). 

There is a simple premise - how do you sell services?  People can't fondle them, see them, hear them, listen to them - they are taking a risk and usually paying a down payment or signing a contract.   How do you calm their fears and dissolve their doubts?

Well, this book has some time-proven answers - simple, yet insightful. One of my favorite quotes is - everything is marketing from the initial phone answer, to the layout of the final invoice; every employee is involved in marketing and sales!

Types of Signage Letters

Types of Signage Letters - Here is a link to a great article on the differences between neon and LED. I pretty much agree with everything in the article. I have heard so many different sides to this argument. However, most of the claims made by one side are due to lack of experience or incomplete research. After thorough application of both neon and LEDs over years and years, they both have advantages - this article puts it very simply.