Sales tips that really work

Print Article

Whether you run your own business or work for a company in a sales-related role, you’re always looking for sales techniques that work. I’ve developed and learned many over the years from readers providing great advice.

One person advised me to ask “yes or yes” questions. He worked for Hyatt Hotels and asked himself, “What else can I do for Hyatt?” Then it hit him: “Increase the average check price.”

He said: “Restaurants are always looking to grow the average amount of money their diners spend. Usually, they do this by pushing wine and other alcoholic beverages and dessert. But those weren’t options for a place that served so much breakfast. I was going to have to be more creative.

“The impressive fresh-squeezed orange juice maker we had ... gave me an idea. I had just learned about the ‘yes or yes’ theory at a sales seminar. I put a big display of oranges outside the entrance to the restaurant, and while guests were lined up to get in, I had a waitress ask each customer if they would like coffee or juice. Little room for a ‘no’ in that question.

“As it happened, most people said, ‘Both.’ Pretty soon, the coffee or juice proposition became standard operating practice at all Hyatt coffee shops — along with the welcoming display of fresh oranges. Never ask a person a yes or no question when it could be yes or yes instead.”

My good friend Brandon Steiner, founder and owner of one of the largest memorabilia dealers in the country, Steiner Sports, has another good suggestion. And I might add, one that I’ve used quite often.

Say you’re having a tough time getting a meeting with someone — a potential client, investor or mentor. You try everything: persistent calls, emails, tweets, carrier pigeon. But nothing works.

This happened to Brandon a couple of years ago when he was trying to get a meeting with a bigwig at a bank in Midtown Manhattan. He figured since his target was a New Yorker, he might be a Yankees fan, so he called Mr. Big’s assistant. Before she could pass him to voicemail for the umpteenth time, Brandon learned that his quarry was a huge admirer of Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera. With that news, Brandon saw the light. He immediately sent Mr. Big an empty baseball case with a note attached.

It read: “I heard you love Mariano Rivera. Here’s a case for a Mariano-signed baseball. When you and I meet within the next two weeks, I’ll bring you the ball.”

Wouldn’t you know it? Mr. Big called Brandon that day, and they met the next week.

A florist celebrating its 100th year in business explained its success as staying in touch with customers. The owner “has one employee responsible for sending out reminders of who-sent-what-to-whom last year at a particular time, and many repeat orders are generated by this simple call.”

I am inspired by Elbert Hubbard, a very successful soap salesperson who retired to become a writer and publisher in 1894 in his late 30s. He lived by this credo:

“I believe in myself. I believe in the goods I sell. I believe in the firm for whom I work. I believe in my colleagues and helpers. I believe in American business methods. I believe in producers, creators, manufacturers, distributors, and in all industrial workers of the world who have a job and hold it down. I believe that truth is an asset. I believe in good cheer and good health, and I recognize the fact that the first requisite in success is not to achieve the dollar or to confer a benefit, but that the reward will come automatically and usually as a matter of course. I believe in sunshine, fresh air, spinach, applesauce, laughter, buttermilk, babies and chiffon, always remembering that the greatest word in the English language is ‘sufficiency.’ I believe that when I make a sale, I make a friend. And I believe that when I part with a person, I must do it in such a way that when they see me again, they will be glad and so will I. I believe in the hands that work, in the brains that think and in the hearts that love.”

Mackay’s Moral: Don’t just make a sale, make a friend.

Harvey Mackay is the author of the New York Times best-seller “Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive.” He can be reached through his website, www.harveymackay.com, by emailing harvey@mackay.com or by writing him at MackayMitchell Envelope Co., 2100 Elm St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414.

Print Article

Read More Business

Asian shares fall back as investors show caution over China

AP

December 11, 2017 at 9:13 pm | TOKYO (AP) — Shares were mostly lower in Asia on Tuesday as investors stepped back after several days of advances, erasing early gains. Markets are awaiting the Federal Reserve meeting on Wednesday a...

Comments

Read More

BC-USDA-Onion and Pots

AP

December 11, 2017 at 3:37 pm | IDAHO FALLS Shipping Point Prices as of 11-DEC-2017Provided by: Specialty Crops Market NewsFederal - State Market News Service, USDA.Phone: (208) 525-0166 Fax: (208) 525-5546Prices represent op...

Comments

Read More

Some glitches seen in deadline week for 'Obamacare' sign-ups

AP

December 11, 2017 at 3:27 pm | WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer advocates reported some glitches Monday in the final days for "Obamacare" sign-ups, although the Trump administration largely seemed to be keeping its promise of a smooth e...

Comments

Read More

Financial Markets Glance

AP

December 11, 2017 at 3:15 pm | Dow Jones Industrials High: 24,389.72 Low: 24,314.74 Close: 24,386.03 Change: +56.87 Other Indexes Standard&Poors 500 Index: 2659.99 +8.49 NYSE Index: 12,668.21 +2...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2017 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X