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Education resource for the group travel supplier


Wednesday, 18 September 2013 03:35

7 Travel Promotions Your Subscribers Will Remember

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When you think of traveling during the holidays, somehow the word “relaxing” doesn’t really come to mind. From stressed out families with crying children, to flight delays, TSA woes and limited food options onboard, air travel just isn’t what it used to be. As a travel marketer, there is little you can do about any of that, which begs the question, “what can I do to make sure my best customers enjoy their experience and keep coming back for more?”

Thursday, 29 August 2013 05:56

Top Techniques of a Good Salesperson

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I recently visited the Verizon store on Madison Avenue in midtown Manhattan. I was deciding between a new iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy. The style of one of the salesmen there blew me away. Here are some of the things he did. It was all very “Sales 101” technique, but in this case, it worked.

1. He approached me in the showroom, even though I’d already spoken to another sales rep about the iPhone 5. When I asked the first sales rep about the Samsung Galaxy, she’d pointed me to it, leaving me to walk solo into this other rep's realm.

2. When he began speaking he asked for my forgiveness if I felt he were delivering a salesman’s pitch, but he just wanted me to know the pure facts of the phone’s benefits. 

3. He kept likening himself to me. “I used to be a writer myself," he said, "So I liked having a phone with a physical keyboard. But I got used to not having one, and here’s why it’s better not to have a virtual keyboard.” Then he did it again. “You wear glasses like me so you’ll like a larger screen.”

4. He kept touching my arm. A bit way too much for my taste, but it was clearly one of the things he does to make clients feel he is relating to them. I give him a B+ for trying in that department.

5. He threw in a bit of personal information about himself. He was just returning to work from back surgery. He was feeling much better, though still had some slight pain, but was happy to be back in the game. I went briefly into his world, felt sympathy for him, but then he returned me promptly to the reality of the phone and its benefits.

6. What I am glad he didn’t do? He didn’t ask my name and keep dropping it into the conversation repeatedly. That sales technique should be removed from all Sales 101 manuals. Thank you.

7.  At the end of it all, when he gave me his card he acted as if it were a very special thing he was doing, as if he doesn’t give his card to everyone. “When you’re ready, call me,” he said. He may have even winked at me. I took the card and tucked it into a safe place inside my purse.

8. As I left, he artfully approached another store customer. I realized then that he was treating the showroom as his own domain, of which he was the host. He wanted to know the needs and desires of everyone who had walked through his threshold. Or so he would have us believe, and that was good enough for me.

9. When I left, I was over the moon about having decided which new phone to get. The huge weight of deciding between the Samsung and the iPhone had been lifted from my shoulders by this knowledgeable sales person. I was all but singing as I made my way up Madison Avenue. 

10. That’s when I realized the top attribute a good sales person should have. They should make you feel exhilarated about what you’ve decided to purchase even before you’ve gotten your hands on the item. You should also feel as if there is no doubt in the world that you’ve made the correct decision. No angst, no second thoughts.

Source: Ruthanne Terrero, Vice President—Content/Editorial Director at Travel Agent Central

It doesn't matter how good your product is. It doesn't matter how smart your marketing is. It doesn't matter how personable and knowledgeable you are. If you can't close the deal, your company is a waste of time and energy. The best way to learn this essential sales skill is to understand how the very best salespeople close deals, according to Linda Richardson, founder of the huge sales firm called Richardson.

Here is a four step process that anyone can follow:

1. Begin by "thinking like a closer."

According to Richardson, the "great closers" of the sales world share the three characteristics:

  1. They're prompt. When closers get a hot sales lead, they're on it immediately. If they sense the time is right, they close the deal, right then and there.
  2. They're persistent. When closers know that they've got something the customer needs, they keep working with that customer until the customer sees the need, too.
  3. They're focused. Closers are constantly improving their skills at dialog and questioning and do the extra mental work to build confidence in their own ability.

If you want to be good at closing deals, never pass up an opportunity to cultivate those personal characteristics in yourself.

2. Set an objective for every meeting.

Closers approach every customer meeting with an objective that is specific, measurable and appropriately aggressive. Examples:

 • Today, I will get a list of the key decision-makers.

 • Today, I will get a copy of the competitor's proposal.

 • Today, I will obtain a working description of the customer's problem.

 • Today, I will get first access to my customer contact's boss.

 • Today, I will ask for the customer's business.

Closers never have vague goals like "get closer to the customer" or "learn about customer needs." In business, vagueness is the enemy of success.

These specific goals help closers visualize the sales process as series of smaller closes that lead towards the final close.

3. Check to see if the customer is ready.

Closers look for feedback from prospective customers about whether it's the right time to close. This allows them to make closing a natural extension of the conversation.

At convenient points during the customer meeting, closers ask questions that reveal the customer's state of mind relative to the progress of the sale. Examples:

 • How does that sound?

 • How would that work?

 • What do you think about...?

Such questions help closers see the "green lights" that will increase the closer's confidence that asking for the next step (or for the business) is the right thing to do.

Note that the questions above are open-ended. Asking yes/no questions like "Does that make sense to you?" or "Do you agree?" just cause customers to nod along, without providing the closer any useful information.

4. Close with confidence.

If you follow the previous three rules, there's a good chance that your prospective customer will close for you and saying something like "So, when do we start?"

If this does not happen, however, you do the following:

  1. Summarize. Make a concise, powerful summary that reiterates the benefits of your offerings and its appropriateness for the prospect.
  2. Make a final check. Example: "I think we've pretty much concluded that our solution will solve your problem and save you money; how does that meet your objective?" The final check gives the customer the opportunity to surface any final objections that might interfere with the close.
  3. Ask for the business. If the final check gives a "green light," be direct and ask for the business—confidently and clearly. Example: "Will you give us the go-ahead?"

It's really that simple.

Geoffrey James writes the Sales Source column on, the world's most visited sales-oriented blog. His newly published book is Business to Business Selling: Power Words and Strategies From the World's Top Sales Experts. @Sales_Source

Ditch the sales pitch! Learn the art of quality conversation and get better results. To stay abreast of the latest in ad sales training, I often listen in on other sales coaches to learn and observe. It seems to me that there sometimes seems to be a lack of common sense in what is being taught today.

For example, the entire idea that you need the perfect pitch or you need to perfect your pitch is so misguided that I am amazed that people still try and teach this approach to selling. Pitching the product?  Huh? Ask yourself this…do you like it when a sales person pitches to YOU?  If your answer is yes…seek help.  If your answer is no (!), then you are pretty darn normal.

So consider this…how about having a good old-fashioned (now novel again) face-to-face conversation with someone? Does that seem odd? Awkward compared to the comfortable canned sales pitch? It should NOT be. Having a quality conversation can be pretty simple and bring even better ad sales results.

First step: Put away your iPad sales presentation, cell phone, and your sales brochure.  Let’s just talk. Start by asking good, thoughtful questionswhich will lead to good answers.  Answers lead to follow-up questions. You need to listen carefully and respond accordingly.

But most sales people do not really listen, they just wait to pounce. Don’t do this! Instead, weave in your product offerings as you have the conversation, when appropriate. Be genuine, be sincere, and just talk.  And what if you have a great conversation with a client and don’t close them?

Here’s my key point: When you engage in a great conversation filled with desired information and quality feedback, you ARE actually selling. You are providing a valuable service to your advertisers.

Here’s some homework…

  • Come up with ten critical questions to ask on every sales call.
  • ALWAYS do some research beforehand so you can tailor your questions to the specific client.
  • STOP pitching and start hosting some great conversations.
  • Better conversations = Better relationships with your client = Better sales

Adapted from:
Written by:  Ryan Dohrn is an award wining ad sales training coach, a nationally recognized internet sales consultant, international business speaker and is the President and founder of 360 Ad Sales Training, a boutique internet revenue consulting firm with a detailed focus on ad sales training, internet consulting and media revenue generation. Ryan teaches media sales training classes and offers detailed coaching help to business owners and media companies looking to make money online. http://www.BrainSwellMedia.com

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