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Kiwi's Coaching Corner

By Paul Kiewiet

About Paul

Useful tips to help you get from where you are to where you want to go. Paul Kiewiet, MAS is an industry veteran providing business and life coaching, industry consulting and facilitation, and professional development services through BrandKiwi LLC.
 

Guest Blogs

Guest Contributor
How Can a 3D Printer Make You Money?
Oct 24, 2014

One of the most difficult parts of getting the sale is showing the customer exactly what they want when they...



Compliance Chat

Jeff Jacobs
Draw Your Attention to Drawstrings
Oct 17, 2014

I guess it has something to do with the time of year. The weather in much of the U.S. begins...



Jeff's Rant

Jeff Solomon, MAS
I Could Have Slept In But Why Should You Care?
Oct 16, 2014

Something strange has happened to me. On a recent three-day holiday weekend, I had the opportunity to sleep in. But...



Editor's Notes

Nichole Stella
The Perfect Match
Mar 5, 2013

The Super Bowl has also become the Ad Bowl, where brands duke it out to see who has the funniest,...



Selling Smarter

Rosalie Marcus
How Appreciative Are You? 5 Easy Ways to Stand Out and Say Thank You: Part One
Oct 14, 2014

In today's highly competitive promotional products business environment, you have to distinguish yourself from the competition. Here are five ways...



Million Dollar Mindset with Greg Muzzillo

Greg Muzzillo
The Dash Between Two Dates
Oct 6, 2014

Let's face it. We're all busier than ever. Most of the busyness is dashing—dashing here, dashing there. Sadly, many people's lives...



Beyond Words

Rebecca Kollmann, MAS+
Going Direct
Oct 13, 2014

I thought that would capture your eyes today because it’s a perennial hot topic in our industry. Today, we’re going...



Not So Technically Speaking

Dale Denham
Yes, We Should Be Scared About Bad USB Drives
Oct 7, 2014

Due to recent USB exploits available online (although not yet proven to cause any damage), sales of USB drives in...



Be Bold, Be Different, Be Memorable

Rick Greene, MAS
Setting Annual Sales Goals are a Waste of Time
Sep 24, 2014

How about that shocking headline? Did it grab you? Well, there is some meat behind the sensationalism. Buckle in and...



Quick Thoughts by Cliff Quicksell, MAS

Cliff Quicksell, MAS
Playing the Price Game: It’s a Choice. Choose Wisely
Sep 22, 2014

The Internet, the obvious low barrier to entry, unskilled salespeople, the economy—each of these drive price wars and ultimately erode...



Embellished

Kyle Richardson
The Best Laid Plans
Jul 11, 2014

Why it's always smart to keep a planner with your schedule and important documents, and why it's never smart to...



Promotional Fashionista

Colleen McKenna
5 Soccer Promotions for After the World Cup
Jul 1, 2014

Studies show that Americans prefer soccer to NASCAR. Here are five items to sell to soccer fans....



Mike's Blog

Michael Cornnell
Interview with Jason Black, CEO of Top Distributor Boundless Network
May 19, 2014

Ranking #19 on the Top 50 List, Black shares his thoughts on the future of the industry and what has...



The Hot Button

Mary Ellen Sokalski, MAS
"How It's Made" Can Make You More
Jun 11, 2014

The show "How Its Made" is celebrating its 22nd season on television. How can we be a hit, season after season,...



Be Dazzled

Elise Hacking Carr
Got Control Issues?
May 14, 2014

Does chaos define you? How you respond to certain situations says a lot about your character. Here are five quotes...



Big Picture Promo

Matt Kaspari, CAS
Meeting Clients Where They Are
Oct 24, 2013

Promotional marketing is at its best when it empowers a client’s brand, meets his or her objectives and fits within...



My Two Cents

Rick Brenner
For Promotional Product Sales, Protect Your Client's Brand
Jun 3, 2013

Whether you are selling to a global brand like Nike or to your local YMCA, no single asset is more...



Friday Sales-thought of the Week!

Dale Limes, MAS
Reverse Engineer Your Sales Success
Mar 18, 2013

Steven Covey reminds us that when setting goals ... "Start with the end in mind." That is to visualize the...



The Sales Challenge

Bill Farquharson
Think and Succeed
May 29, 2012

What would happen if you woke up in the morning and your first thought was, "I am never going to...



Creating More Purposeful Sales Conversations

Lisa Leitch, CSP, MAS
Under 100 Days to Achieve 2011 Goals
Oct 20, 2011

It's hard to believe, but there are fewer than 100 days left to achieve 2011 goals! Are you on track...



Tell Your Story by Answering Four Questions

 

Get more opportunities by staying focused on solving problems instead of on selling stuff. We are so "me-too" in this business and then we complain about being price shopped, not given a chance to compete, being ignored, or worst of all—not even noticed.

Your problem may not be that you don't have any value to add. Your problem is more likely that you don't tell your story in a compelling way. If you will concentrate on always answering FOUR questions in all of your marketing and selling communications, you should get more attention, more interest, more opportunities and more respect.

1. What do you do? I'd like you to answer that question without using these words—sell, product, find, price, quality or service. Can you do it? Can you get three words put together without making someone's eyes glaze over? "My promotions helps organizations improve their profits, performance, people and position in the marketplace." Boom! It's what your company does.

2. What problem do you solve? Your job is to solve problems. Period. End of discussion. Find the pain. Be the aspirin. If you don't solve problems, quit wasting other people's time. This takes research into your clients' and prospects' businesses, industries and markets; and it is a never-ending quest on your part to be more relevant. "Organizations are being asked to do more with fewer resources in a changing world. Reaching the right people with the right message at the right place and time requires new thinking and new solutions." Boo-YAH! You've identified a problem that you might be able to solve.

3. How are you different? If you want different results, you better start being different. That means speaking differently, acting differently and setting yourself apart from others who are chasing the same dollars. "Other promotion companies focus on selling you products or distracting you with the shiny object. They focus on finding cheap substitutes to tough problems. We take a different approach. We make recommendations based on what you need to accomplish and building upon successes." YES! You have just pointed out how your approach and world view differs from 20,000 other companies that are chasing an order. Don't chase the order. Chase the solution.

4. Why should I care? This is the most important answer that you must provide. Can you tell someone why what you do, why you do it and how you do it really matters to them? If you don't tell them "what's in it for them?" then you haven't told them any thing that matters. If you only have 10 seconds—make sure that you answer this question. "We create a strong return on investment and powerful results around sales, marketing and engagement challenges. We also like to make our clients look good." UH-HUH! They get it! You're going to help them add good details to their résumé!

Memorize these four question. Think about your answers to them. If you ever have the opportunity to answer one of these, answer all four of them instead. You must remember to set up the problem by going into very clear detail of the pain point. It is up to YOU to set up the problem. You are telling a story. It's a story where you are the hero. You will ride in on your white horse and solve the problem. Remember that no one has a promotional products problem. No one cares about your stuff. People care about solving their problems. Find the pain. Be the aspirin.

What I have described is classical storytelling. Introduce the problem and then reveal yourself as the conquering hero.

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