Simple Marketing from the Sign Man

"Good advertising does not just circulate information. It penetrates the public mind with desires and belief." - Leo Burnett

While driving home from a meeting in Orlando, I came off the I-75 exit at Wild Wood and was stopped at the light to make a left onto Hwy 44. As usual, there was a panhandler on the side of the road with a homemade sign begging for money. I have seen a person there a hundred times and, although it occasionally crosses my mind to make a donation, I seldom get past thinking about it before the light changes. On top of that I am a bit of a skeptic when it comes to beggars. On more than one occasion I have offered to hire a man holding a work-for-food sign, only to be turned down. This time, perhaps because it was the Christmas season, I not only stopped, but I gave and laughed as I did it. The difference was all in the man’s marketing.

As I pulled up to the light, a thin man of perhaps 50, with a stubbled beard and shaggy clothes, stood up with his cardboard sign. As he did his face lit up into a smile, which despite numerous missing teeth turned his face into the face of a man who didn’t seem to have a care in the world. As I made eye contact, he pointed at the sign and his smile grew, as his face lit up with the expectation of a child on Christmas morning. His smile and body language had already stirred my hand towards my wallet. When I read the sign it was a done deal. It said in large black letters: “Why Lie? I Need Beer!”

Want Massive Growth? Then Train Your People How To Sell!

"A minute’s success pays the failure of years." - Robert Browning

Recently I had a call from a major resort asking what one idea I could give them to instantly improve revenue. The answer was easy and would have been the same had the caller wanted to sell more cars, computers, furniture, suits, consulting, or widgets: Train your people how to sell!

Nowhere in this entire blog will you get faster results in terms of pure income than in this and the following section on how to sell. Few people in business genuinely “love” selling. Fewer still are good at it. In many ways, it’s not surprising that most people don’t like to sell. Selling not only has a bad image in many people’s minds, it often deserves it. Telemarketing calls at dinner time, pushy salespeople who won’t take no for an answer, and products and services that don’t live up to their sales claims. These have all contributed to the bad image that sales has today.

In defense of sales, almost everyone sells in their everyday lives. Teachers need to sell students on the benefits of paying attention. Spouses sell their ideas to each other. Children sell their parents on staying up for that special TV show, and so on. Practice with sales will make it more comfortable if you have the right attitude.

Increasing your sales skills by even a few increments can dramatically increase your profits. Imagine if you closed two out of ten leads instead of one—you have just doubled sales at NO cost. Even small improvements in how you answer the phone, handle objections, and close can have massive impacts on your bottom line. Yet few businesses engage in the meaningful and ongoing sales training needed for entrepreneurial success.

A good sales training system must cover the following areas:

• how to get mentally ready to sell

• how to develop instant rapport

• how to qualify prospects

• how to give quality presentations

• how to handle objections

• how to close

• how to follow up

Having a documented sales training system for your business will be the best investment you ever make.

For more great sales, marketing and business growth advice read or listen to



Before You Spend a Single Dime on Marketing, Do This First

The most important thing is not which system you use. The most important thing is you have a system! - Zig Ziglar

It amazes me that the vast majority of golf clubs, resorts, and real estate developments that I work with think that someone paid a modest salary has any clue how to sell a $25,000 membership or $500,000 villa without training—let alone memberships or real estate that are priced far higher.

Even if your product or service is cheap, allowing anyone to handle leads without formal sales training is not much better than just throwing them away.

Do NOT start ANY MARKETING campaign without a written sales system in place and the sales training to back it up. A sales system will take ONLY one sale to pay for itself and will keep on returning the favor with every employee you hire from now until you retire.

Even a small change, such as how the phone is answered or how an objection is countered, can have an astonishing effect on your sales performance and overall success.

Imagine if you closed two out of ten leads instead of one. You have just doubled sales at NO cost!

Now think of this concept for telephone inquiries, referrals, or dealing with objections. Incremental improvement at each phase of the sales process leads to ASTONISHINGLY greater results. This is why NO marketing campaign should ever be undertaken without first having a sales system and training in place.

The system should include:

• step-by-step instructions
• phone scripts
• qualifying scripts
• a presentation script
• objection scripts
• closing scripts
• a referral program

To go forward with any marketing campaign without investing in a written sales system is, quite frankly, insane. Just a 5% improvement in sales skills can easily increase your bottom line by 30% or more.

Countless millions are squandered on campaigns to generate leads, yet little to nothing is spent on the back-end sales system or follow up. Do NOT make this cardinal mistake.

Before you invest a dime in advertising or marketing of any kind, invest in a sales and training system to back up your efforts.

Don’t Forget that Your Core Business Is Where the Money Is

"My success, part of it certainly, is that I have focused in on just a few things." - Bill Gates

Do one thing and do it well. Do it better than anyone in the area. Do it better than anyone in your county. Do it better than anyone in the state, or even the nation. Most business owners make the mistake of being in too many different businesses at once, and for most of the 1990s I was one of them.

It’s amazing how easy it becomes to justify buying a $10,000 copy machine to cut down on your print-shop bills when the payments are just $89 a month. Or to expand the line of products you sell to your existing client base beyond the areas of your core business. While clients may trust you with their billing, they may not trust you with their office supplies or vice versa. Focus on being known for one concept and build your business around that core value.

How Buying Motives Are Expressed

"Success is turning knowledge into positive action." - Dorothy Leeds

Often, your prospects will not come right out and tell you their reasons for wanting your product or service. With some prospects, a few carefully worded questions will elicit the information you need.

In these cases, you will often hear their motives expressed in some of the following ways:

• I want to feel appreciated.
• I want to feel more secure.
• I want to be more confident.
• I want to have fun.

Overcoming Objections

"An objection is not a rejection; it is simply a request for more information." - Bo Bennett

Objections are a necessary part of the sales process. Learn to deal with them and you will close a much higher percentage of the prospects you meet.

Unfortunately, many salespeople take objections personally and their ability to complete the sale is adversely influenced by this negativity.

It’s not personal. They are turning down buying, not turning down you.