Vince DiCecco's 5 Sales Secrets for Promo Distributors
Welcome to Vegas! All week long, Promo Marketing will be reporting live from the PPAI Expo 2019 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. If you're at the show, stop by booth 3237 and say hello. If not, keep an eye on our newsletter for product information, session wrap-ups and a whole lot more, brought to you right from the show floor. Up now: We recap Vince DiCecco's education session, "Five Tried-and-True Sales Secrets."
With respect to numbers, it can prove quite easy to say "There are not enough _______ in the world," or "There are way too many _______ among us." In the former category, we would definitely put studio albums by The Beatles. And we would place "The Fast and the Furious" movies in the latter. If we were looking for we-need-more-of-these items to join The Beatles' output and other notable creations and suggestions, we would look to add sales secrets from Vince DiCecco. On Tuesday at the PPAI Expo 2019, the president and owner of Your Personal Business Trainer Inc. shared five sales secrets for promo distributors navigating the ever-evolving economy.
"You could be many things in this business, but if you are OK with having one of them be someone who settles, your stay will either be short-lived or experience a serious decline in regard among everyone who truly takes notice in this industry," he said to the afternoon crowd. "So it's pretty simple to me to believe and keep at the front of my mind that you need a definable approach to selling that involves more than just inflating your ego."
As his first means to prevent that trap from ensnaring sales professionals, DiCecco stressed the Power of Listening, forming an acronym of the skills necessary to become a commendable tender to clients' needs. Using POWER as his initial tool, he said that good listeners exhibit Patience and display great skills at Paraphrasing; they engage in Observable Body Language; they ask Who, What, Where, When, Why, along with How, How Often and How Much; they know how to convey Empathy and jump at chances to Echo what they hear; and they Record key ideas so as to see the potential behind exchanges with would-be or actual clients.
Following a well-received listening exercise in which the attendees needed to paraphrase what their activity partner had said over a minute-long exchange, DiCecco, who deemed skillful listening as a key on noticing "opportunity signals," moved to his second secret, the Adopt a Bicycle-Built-for-Two Mentality. Extending his point about how sales conversations are where fear meets fear—owing to the anxiety that each party is most likely feeling—the speaker explained how sales representatives have to be willing to play both roles in the bicycle-built-for-two scenario, namely, the pilot/captain and the stoker. If the reps are steering the conversation, they will find themselves tasked with asking mostly closed probes or what-if inquiries to gauge clients' present predicaments or thought processes. If sales folks occupy the back seat, they are to present mostly open probes so as to uncover new information.
"You will have to devote constant consideration to asking about and listening for the need behind the need," DiCecco said. "If you want to introduce features or benefits to those you're engaging in sales talks, you have to ask enough questions to have a clear, complete and mutual understanding of what's at stake."
Having that knowledge augments the third secret, Under-Promise and Over-Deliver. That two-part element tends to be where many people lose steam, as they are often guilty of doing the opposite.
"If you over-promise and underwhelm that person, client or business, you've clearly not done enough homework," DiCecco said. "Yes, it's fine to do a fine job, but that's not going to float too many boats when everyone else is doing, or trying to do, an amazing job."
Making the Sales Experience Enjoyable, Memorable and Convenient constitutes the fourth secret, with many individuals not upholding it because they are not making their efforts customer-centric enough, or at all. To secure better results, companies, according to DiCecco, must conduct Voice of the Customer surveys, through which they will easily determine 1. What they should start doing, keep doing and stop doing, 2. The top reason that someone chose to do business with said sales team and 3. The benefits of asking for referrals and testimonials.
Following a slide that encouraged attendees and their peers to "Stop wishing and start doing," DiCecco stressed the ultimate importance of finding and enhancing a unique value proposition. Given that 75 percent of sales representatives do not have a current portfolio of testimonials, having that singular proposition will help the professionals to Become an Accomplished "Intra-preneur," the final secret in his quintet.
"There are also five simple truths," DiCecco noted, informing his audience that 1. Every present customer will quit or fire a sales rep after some unknown time, 2. Most new contacts will never become customers, 3. If people don't call you, they don't need you, 4. Time is not on anyone's side and 5. Someone is only as good as his/her next scheduled appointment.
After revealing those and tying them in with his five pointers, DiCecco capped his hour-long talk by examining life in the wild, where a gazelle must run fast enough to avoid becoming food for a lion, and the lion must be able to find even the weakest gazelle to avoid starving. No matter which animal one centers on, the lesson is the same: Every morning, we have to set ourselves to running to ward off what we do not want and acquire that which we do.
"We all have some serious competition out there," DiCecco said. "Even knowing that you have to get better is not good enough anymore. You have to accelerate your growth now. Tomorrow is too late."