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MANAGEMENT
Cover Story
When asked about approaching sales in probably won’t enjoy a big payday. wants. Do not try to unload on him the
the current economic climate, Herman other stuff you would like to sell. Let him
had this to say; “Sales are the engine that If the Customer Wants Chocolate, present his problem, and solve it for him.
drives every business, if you don’t handle Quit Trying to Sell Him Vanilla Give the customer what he wants.
your sales correctly, eventually your
company will run out of gas.” He believes
Too often, salespeople are focused
Make the Right Business Decision
that the following three Hermanisms are
on selling their product rather than
Regardless of Money
the most beneficial to small businesses
selling what the customer wants. For
when it comes to thinking about sales in
Herman, this is a recurring problem that You face big decisions every day. Do
the current environment.
hampers sales rather than increasing I really have the money to advertise?
them. According to Herman, salespeople Should I get that machine repaired when
• #21 Know Math or No Money
should promote their product for a we are already broke? Is this the time to
• #59 If the Customer Wants Chocolate,
few minutes with the client, but then buy more inventory, when we’re already
Quit Trying to Sell Him Vanilla
immediately turn the focus onto the late on our bills?
• #77 Make the Right Business Decision
client’s needs. You don’t know what the
Regardless of Money.
client wants if you aren’t listening to Herman’s suggestion is a simple one.
them. He says, “be sure to ask the client Ignore the reality of your financial
Know Math or No Money
what he wants,” by doing so, he says condition for a minute. What would
you’ll have a greater chance of selling to you do if money were no object? That
Math is the key to any business success, the client within the first 10-15 minutes, is what you should do. If you can’t run
Herman likes to emphasize. If you do which is generally when most buying your business by doing what is right,
not understand all of the financial decisions are made. So do yourself a regardless of your financial condition,
ramifications of making your products, favor, speak for about 10 minutes to then you are probably swirling near
storing your products, selling your show your personal credentials, and the drain. Spend the money and time
services, renting your space, and then spend another minute mentioning to resolve the issues. Herman says that
everything else that goes into your something that you have noticed about following this Hermanism has allowed
business, the only way you will ever his business. Then, and here’s the key, him to close more deals than he would
make real money is to be downright ask him what he wants. In the next 5 have otherwise.
lucky. minutes, if you listen attentively and he
likes you, you will get the sale. Herman acknowledges the
You have to be willing to study the counterintuitive nature of this
numbers and to know the numbers. You Forget the pitch. Forget that vanilla is Hermanism. Most businesses would tend
also need to know what buttons to push on special this month. When a customer to adopt a “hunker down” mentality,
to change the numbers if you want any tells you he wants chocolate six minutes rather than increase spending. But then
money left over at the end of the month. after you arrive, write his order for again, Herman has found great success
If you do not understand the financial chocolate and head out the door. He by following his Hermainisms and
details of what you are trying to do, you likes you and you just gave him what he breaking away from the pack.
16 ThinkBusiness
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