Last week Chris Matthews, political commentator and host of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, gave a passionate commencement speech at Temple University in Philadelphia. During his speech he cited his "5 Rules for Life." He said he learned them by observing what the most successful people did to get ahead. How does this relate to the promotional products industry? I thought what he had to say was timely, relevant and great advice, not only for recent graduates but for sales professionals as well.
Here's another tie in to our industry. The dean of Temple University had his "5 Rules for Life" printed on a wallet-size card and given to all 8,900 graduates. What a great use of a promotional product. It's targeted, useful and memorable, and will be seen for years to come. Temple University and Chris Matthews both got to promote themselves and a savvy promotional sales professional got a nice size order.
Below are Matthews' "5 Rules" and my selling smarter take on them:
My Selling Smarter Takeaway: Don't e-mail, don't phone. Get out of the office and meet with your prospects and customers face to face. Nothing beats personal contact for getting more sales.
My Selling Smarter Takeaway: After you've presented well, you've answered all their questions and you've given them great promotional ideas that address their challenges, it's time to ask for the order. A simple question such as: "Are you ready to move forward and order?" will let you know where you stand.
Take on Investors
My Selling Smarter Takeaway: Your current customers have already invested time and money with you and will be your best source of new business and referrals. They already know you, like you and trust you. Let them know who would be a good referral for you and when they give you a referral thank them with a small promotional gift.
Don't Do it Yourself
My Selling Smarter Takeaway: Expand your network, get out there and meet others. Ask friends and colleagues for help and introductions. Networking is still the most powerful way to grow your sales.
Upbeat Beats Downbeat
My Selling Smarter Takeaway: Sales can be challenging, especially in today's economy. Surround yourself with motivating people and positive influences. Read books, listen to audio downloads, stay educated. Keep a success journal of all the positive things that have happened in your sales career. Consistently work on staying positive and upbeat no matter what happens.
What's your opinion on the rules? Do they make sense in your business? Do you have sales rules you live by? Have you ever produced a wallet-size card with tips for one of your accounts? How can use this idea in your business? I would enjoy hearing from you. Leave your comments below.
Looking for more ideas to easily increase your sales? Get a free Skyrocket Your Spring Sales audio download with non-stop ideas to increase your sales, plus hundreds in supplier discounts and my new special report, "10 Big Mistakes Promotional Professionals Make and How to Avoid Them and Double Your Sales," at my website www.promobizcoach.com.