selling

Solving vs. Selling

Here's the thing about selling. Nobody wants to be sold to. What people do want are solutions. Need a new car? The problem is that you've outgrown your old one or worse yet, it's just gotten too expensive to maintain. Did the world change when you weren't looking? You might need help navigating that change, but you don't need to buy a bunch of stuff from a menu—you do need people, skills, talents, tools and the right relationships to help. But help really means "help me solve this"—and that means doing it together. So when you're "selling" what you're really doing is showing how well you can work together to solve the problem.

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What Color Makes the Most Green?

Could wearing a particular color influence the results obtained by a salesperson? If that salesperson is selling to a buyer of the opposite gender, the answer may be, “Yes!”

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Five Magic Days to Sell (to Women)

What if there were five days every month when your customers were unusually receptive to your product? If you market products or services that make women more attractive (apparel, cosmetics, diet programs, etc.), those magic days exist. New research shows that women’s purchasing behavior is unconsciously influenced by their hormones. Specifically, it was found that women who are ovulating buy and wear sexier clothes, and their choices are less influenced by men than by the need to outdo female competition.

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The Magic of Selling

Several weeks ago Bloomberg BusinessWeek published an article about Steve Jobs entitled, The Last Pitchman. It documented Jobs’ seemingly inexplicable ability to sell practically anything, as evidenced by his glorious pitch for the iPhone 4, a “new” product which the news media had already gotten hold of and detailed weeks before. I tore the pages out of the magazine as is my habit with content which proffer good fodder for blogposts.

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Christmas in June

Toys R Us has announced a holiday layaway plan for shoppers, and I think it's one of the smartest new ideas I've heard in a long time...even if it's an old one.

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Cut Products, Boost Sales

I’ve written about some of the research that shows that shoppers don’t always respond positively to a bigger selection of products (see More Choices, Fewer Sales) and extreme product/brand proliferation (see Mega-Branding: The Purple Oreo Problem). Now, retailers are implementing the concept of reducing selection in their stores and finding that it can indeed increase sales.

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Attractive Women Make Men Impatient

I’ve written a few times about the effects of pictures of attractive women on decision-making by men. In Bikinis, Babes, and Buying, we learned that guys who looked at pictures of bikini-clad women made impulsive decisions. In A Pretty Woman Beats a Good Loan Deal, we found that men accepted higher loan rates when the direct mail offer included a picture of an attractive woman. Do women just make men crazy? Actually, there’s a scientific explanation for these effects.

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Report from Cape May: Customers Say Donuts, Not Scones

Spending the weekend at Cape May, NJ, a seaside resort (mercifully, prior to the start of the peak summer season), was a great way to size up customer-management practices. After all, you don’t get any more commercial than the relations between resort shopowners & their visiting customers.

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Create “Choosing” (Not “Shopping”) Experiences

On a recent, gorgeous day in New York City I walked from Bergdorf Goodman at 59th Street & 5th Avenue past Cartier on 52nd street and continued down 5th Avenue for over a mile. Because I was preparing for a speech I was scheduled to deliver to the Global Retail Marketing Association, I was paying particular attention to the stores and the shopping experiences they created — from the posh ambiance of Bergdorf’s with its $4,000 blue blazers to Diesel’s inexplicable ad line: “Smart has the brains, but stupid has the balls.”

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Heat Up Sales – With Coffee!

Meeting with a sales prospect in person for the first time? Think twice before you offer her a nice, ice-cold beverage. Instead, try a steaming mug of hot coffee to make the best impression. One of my favorite researchers, John Bargh of Yale University, found that the temperature of a beverage makes a difference in how a person judges another person:

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