I Suck at Sales: A Memoir. (I took action today!)

25 replies
FACT: I can't even NOT sell anything.

I spent all day yesterday coming up with and practicing my pitch for my SMS service today. Problem is, I only practiced my opening statement. I wasn't even prepared for the rest!

"My name is Shane with Enticem Marketing, based out of BLANK, Texas, and we're currently trying to expand our business here to this town. I came in today hoping that you may have aboutttt three and a half minutes for me to tell you about the service we're looking to launch here, the extreme benefits that it would have for your benefits, and the substantial discount that I am ready to offer you if you can aid us in getting launched."
That's all I got... I guess, subconsciously, I expected them to say no, immediately, every time. That was not the case.

I started with a burger joint. I found a credit card in the parking lot so I picked it up and went inside. I stood there for ten minutes before anyone saw me. Then the manager came over and I handed him the card. It belonged to his assistant so when I pitched it to him, he said "Sure, I've got time." But from then on out it was a disaster!

As soon as I started talking I started shaking, almost lost my voice, my hands and eyes were all over the place and it was very sloppy. He happily took my flyer and told me he couldn't make that decision but he would pass it on.

After that one I was already very stressed out. I drove down the strip until I saw a bar. I went in and had the breakfast buffet and several mimosas. A little tipsy, I decided to talk to the manager/owner of the bar. I fed him my pitch, which was much less nerve racking because I shot **** with him for a moment first. He said he'd think about it. (Better than nothing!)

I crossed the street to a coffee shop/internet lounge. (Still tipsy.) I got to speak to the owner, John, who was a very nice guy. Before I even finished my pitch he said "Yeah. I'll put your flyer up by the register. That's fine." Even after calling him Jeff three times, he was still cool. I walked out of the store happy and realized I left my coffee. I went back to get it and he talked to me for a moment more. We talked like friends this time. I drunkenly apologized if my pitch was bad. I told him I can run my business like nobody's business, but when it comes to sales I'm horrible and I get very nervous.

He told me others had approached him trying to sell a monthly SMS service and he was tired of it. He flat out DOESN'T want a personal SMS list for his business. That's what I concluded, at least. I explained further the differences between that kind of service and my service.

We talked, I apologized one more time (haha), I thanked him and left.

Now I had an ego boost. Went down to a taco shop, talked to the manager but he said it's not up to him. But he did tell me that the business had been thinking about using another service that tells people of local deals using an app. It was the same concept of SMS blasts, but using an app. So not only do you have to have a cell phone, but you have to have a smart phone and stumble upon that app in order to receive deals. I told him how my service blows that away, but he still told me it was not up to him so he would pass it on.

Next was a frozen yogurt shop. Only a shift manager was in. I left my flyer and gave her an earful. By this time I felt much more comfortable. The girl said they had worked with Groupon before and I told her that Groupon is crap and my service is better, basically, haha.

After that I was done for the day. I told myself I would approach 10 businesses and walk away with at least 3 flyers a-flying in businesses. Instead I went to 5 and got 1 yes, 1 very possibly, 2 possibly, and 1 that I definitely don't think I'll hear from.



That being said, I think I'm giving up on sales. Although I got better through the day it still felt very sloppy to me and I really suck at it. I want to pursue this business, but I can't approach businesses. (4 out of 5 times I can't even NOT SELL ANYTHING. It should be easy to convince a business to host a flyer but I freaking suck at it.)

I am going to try to outsource my sales and PR for now on, haha.
#action #memoir #sales #today
  • Profile picture of the author MitchKid
    First of all, you should be proud of yourself for building up the guts to even approach people. That in of itself is an accomplishment! To me, the biggest obstacle to get over when getting rejected is not taking it personally. I know its alot easier said than done, but if you can do that you will do just fine. Im sure the next time you go out, and you should absolutely give it another shot, you will gain more confidence and get used to it.

    The other option I would suggest if you really don't want to do sales, is to hire some a salesperson on a commission basis. Get them to make phone calls, pay them per each appointment they set up (say $10 or $20), and go with them to the meeting. Have them do the pitch for the most part, but also chime in when you can. Having a "partner" there with you, especially someone that has sales experience, can be a huge confidence booster.

    hope this helps and keep doin your thing homie!
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    • Profile picture of the author rlhurst
      You know that Michael Jordan got cut from his High School basketball team right?.......

      AWESOME JOB going to that many businesses in one day!! How about offering a month or two for free to start? To show them that it will work.
      I think that will help your nerves as well.

      Again...... nice going.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    First impressions last. I understand the nerve factor but strolling around town half drunk is not going to create a very professional image for yourself. You might think you looked fine but who knows how you came across to others. You may even have had a little alcohol on the breath... who knows.

    I applaud you for having a go just not the way you went about it... but I'm sure you can see that yourself in retrospect.

    Sales isn't natural for most people. If you really aren't good at it and you have no desire to be then by all means go and find someone who is and get them to do the selling. If you can find a good salesmen they will easily pay for themselves. The difference between a good salesmen and a poor salesmen is like night and day.
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    • Profile picture of the author Neodism
      Originally Posted by DEaFeYe View Post

      Why would you try to outsource? Seems like you took the first hard step and FAILED.

      Dude, failure is a great thing, because you learn. If you never failed you'd never get better at anything.

      Also, I know I've said this on other threads, but SMS products tend to speak for themselves. Key your pitch around a demonstration and let the WOW THAT WAS COOL factor drive it.
      Yeah, but trying and failing made me realize that I can't do sales. I'm not good with people, I guess. I'm an amazing speaker and reader, no doubt about that. But I guess my self esteem gets in the way when it comes to one-on-one meetings/sales and I break down.

      Originally Posted by vanilladutch13 View Post

      First of all, you should be proud of yourself for building up the guts to even approach people. That in of itself is an accomplishment! To me, the biggest obstacle to get over when getting rejected is not taking it personally. I know its alot easier said than done, but if you can do that you will do just fine. Im sure the next time you go out, and you should absolutely give it another shot, you will gain more confidence and get used to it.

      The other option I would suggest if you really don't want to do sales, is to hire some a salesperson on a commission basis. Get them to make phone calls, pay them per each appointment they set up (say $10 or $20), and go with them to the meeting. Have them do the pitch for the most part, but also chime in when you can. Having a "partner" there with you, especially someone that has sales experience, can be a huge confidence booster.

      hope this helps and keep doin your thing homie!
      Where do you suggest I find an appointment setter? I say F Odesk.

      Originally Posted by rlhurst View Post

      You know that Michael Jordan got cut from his High School basketball team right?.......

      AWESOME JOB going to that many businesses in one day!! How about offering a month or two for free to start? To show them that it will work.
      I think that will help your nerves as well.

      Again...... nice going.
      Thank you!

      That's a great idea. I'm offering a 38% discount on my service FOR LIFE for those that help me plant my feet in the area.

      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      First impressions last. I understand the nerve factor but strolling around town half drunk is not going to create a very professional image for yourself. You might think you looked fine but who knows how you came across to others. You may even have had a little alcohol on the breath... who knows.

      I applaud you for having a go just not the way you went about it... but I'm sure you can see that yourself in retrospect.

      Sales isn't natural for most people. If you really aren't good at it and you have no desire to be then by all means go and find someone who is and get them to do the selling. If you can find a good salesmen they will easily pay for themselves. The difference between a good salesmen and a poor salesmen is like night and day.
      I know I went about it wrong. But I guess in the heat of the moment I saw it like this:

      "I'm not going to make any 'sales' so who cares if I have a couple drinks. I've really got no one to impress because no one is going to go for it anyways."


      I went about it totally wrong. But I learned what I needed to know: I suck at sales and will not try again.
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  • Profile picture of the author steve solo
    Larches

    I would try pizza shops,..we currently have over 90 pizza shop clients locally,..very easy sale and easy to promote,..hope this helps,..they are always in need of SMS marketing business,..

    Steve

    Originally Posted by Larches View Post

    FACT: I can't even NOT sell anything.

    I spent all day yesterday coming up with and practicing my pitch for my SMS service today. Problem is, I only practiced my opening statement. I wasn't even prepared for the rest!



    That's all I got... I guess, subconsciously, I expected them to say no, immediately, every time. That was not the case.

    I started with a burger joint. I found a credit card in the parking lot so I picked it up and went inside. I stood there for ten minutes before anyone saw me. Then the manager came over and I handed him the card. It belonged to his assistant so when I pitched it to him, he said "Sure, I've got time." But from then on out it was a disaster!

    As soon as I started talking I started shaking, almost lost my voice, my hands and eyes were all over the place and it was very sloppy. He happily took my flyer and told me he couldn't make that decision but he would pass it on.

    After that one I was already very stressed out. I drove down the strip until I saw a bar. I went in and had the breakfast buffet and several mimosas. A little tipsy, I decided to talk to the manager/owner of the bar. I fed him my pitch, which was much less nerve racking because I shot **** with him for a moment first. He said he'd think about it. (Better than nothing!)

    I crossed the street to a coffee shop/internet lounge. (Still tipsy.) I got to speak to the owner, John, who was a very nice guy. Before I even finished my pitch he said "Yeah. I'll put your flyer up by the register. That's fine." Even after calling him Jeff three times, he was still cool. I walked out of the store happy and realized I left my coffee. I went back to get it and he talked to me for a moment more. We talked like friends this time. I drunkenly apologized if my pitch was bad. I told him I can run my business like nobody's business, but when it comes to sales I'm horrible and I get very nervous.

    He told me others had approached him trying to sell a monthly SMS service and he was tired of it. He flat out DOESN'T want a personal SMS list for his business. That's what I concluded, at least. I explained further the differences between that kind of service and my service.

    We talked, I apologized one more time (haha), I thanked him and left.

    Now I had an ego boost. Went down to a taco shop, talked to the manager but he said it's not up to him. But he did tell me that the business had been thinking about using another service that tells people of local deals using an app. It was the same concept of SMS blasts, but using an app. So not only do you have to have a cell phone, but you have to have a smart phone and stumble upon that app in order to receive deals. I told him how my service blows that away, but he still told me it was not up to him so he would pass it on.

    Next was a frozen yogurt shop. Only a shift manager was in. I left my flyer and gave her an earful. By this time I felt much more comfortable. The girl said they had worked with Groupon before and I told her that Groupon is crap and my service is better, basically, haha.

    After that I was done for the day. I told myself I would approach 10 businesses and walk away with at least 3 flyers a-flying in businesses. Instead I went to 5 and got 1 yes, 1 very possibly, 2 possibly, and 1 that I definitely don't think I'll hear from.



    That being said, I think I'm giving up on sales. Although I got better through the day it still felt very sloppy to me and I really suck at it. I want to pursue this business, but I can't approach businesses. (4 out of 5 times I can't even NOT SELL ANYTHING. It should be easy to convince a business to host a flyer but I freaking suck at it.)

    I am going to try to outsource my sales and PR for now on, haha.
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  • Profile picture of the author herbaluss
    Great story...

    Wondering what service were you proposing to these businesses?
    Local SMS coupons for local people ?
    or Monthly SMS ? or both depending on their needs.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel LaRusso
    You've only tried one method of sales, so you can't really say you suck at sales and can't sell anything. Honestly, cold walking is one of the hardest, low probability ways to do sales. It works, though. It works very well for some people, who have a disposition for that type of selling, and works simply because of the numbers for others who aren't so good at it.

    Maybe you would be better off at networking, or doing webinars, or public speaking? Do you have any people you know who own a business? Talk to them about what you do. Do you know how to find some local business networking groups? Not the ones like BNI or Chamber of Commerce, but those under the radar informal groups, like where business owners meet every Thursday morning at Panera Bread to network and share ideas? Do you know where you can find things like Kiwanis Clubs and such that are hurting for speakers? Do you know how to do webinars? You could cold walk 50 businesses a day if all your goal is is to give them a flyer and get them interested in a weekly webinar you do on SMS. Cold walk 250 a week, maybe get 20% who actually go to the webinar, and that's 50 people a week you are presenting to as the expert. Do you think your odds of closing them, on your terms, would be better than the way you're trying?

    Oh, I don't know that you're specifically telling people that things they're doing like apps or Groupon suck and what you do is better, but doing that sort of puts people on guard. Rather than say what they're doing isn't good, talk about how great it is that they're embracing new ways to get their business in front of people, how they're so smart for checking these things out, and how you have an idea that could totally put them over the top - and you can help them do it!
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    • Profile picture of the author Neodism
      Originally Posted by steve solo View Post

      Larches

      I would try pizza shops,..we currently have over 90 pizza shop clients locally,..very easy sale and easy to promote,..hope this helps,..they are always in need of SMS marketing business,..

      Steve
      I'm not selling monthly SMS services.

      Originally Posted by herbaluss View Post

      Great story...

      Wondering what service were you proposing to these businesses?
      Local SMS coupons for local people ?
      or Monthly SMS ? or both depending on their needs.
      SMS coupons/offers.

      Originally Posted by Daniel LaRusso View Post

      You've only tried one method of sales, so you can't really say you suck at sales and can't sell anything. Honestly, cold walking is one of the hardest, low probability ways to do sales. It works, though. It works very well for some people, who have a disposition for that type of selling, and works simply because of the numbers for others who aren't so good at it.

      Maybe you would be better off at networking, or doing webinars, or public speaking? Do you have any people you know who own a business? Talk to them about what you do. Do you know how to find some local business networking groups? Not the ones like BNI or Chamber of Commerce, but those under the radar informal groups, like where business owners meet every Thursday morning at Panera Bread to network and share ideas? Do you know where you can find things like Kiwanis Clubs and such that are hurting for speakers? Do you know how to do webinars? You could cold walk 50 businesses a day if all your goal is is to give them a flyer and get them interested in a weekly webinar you do on SMS. Cold walk 250 a week, maybe get 20% who actually go to the webinar, and that's 50 people a week you are presenting to as the expert. Do you think your odds of closing them, on your terms, would be better than the way you're trying?

      Oh, I don't know that you're specifically telling people that things they're doing like apps or Groupon suck and what you do is better, but doing that sort of puts people on guard. Rather than say what they're doing isn't good, talk about how great it is that they're embracing new ways to get their business in front of people, how they're so smart for checking these things out, and how you have an idea that could totally put them over the top - and you can help them do it!
      I don't know anything about hosting a seminar or if I even have enough information to do so. There's not much to SMS marketing, lol.

      If you would be willing to give me more information on how I could do so, please shoot me an email. (In my signature.)
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  • Profile picture of the author GilNelson
    Hey Larches,

    While the drinking and business aspect of your story isn't something I'd do, I appreciate your totally honest "journal" of your experience. Seriously. Very bold.

    I've done my share of cold calling and it can be dreadfully hard, even on seasoned cold-calling professionals - so I urge you to reconsider "never doing sales again". To me, that isn't a solution. It's avoiding a pain.

    Let's look at the pain for a moment.

    Your goal was to ... what?
    Walk in and have people say, "OMG, Thank you for coming in - I've been waiting for someone like you to come in and tell me they're good at managing a texting service for me! Can I give you a few hundred to start?"

    They're not going to do that. Ever.

    They have to see the benefits to their business. It's got to be personal for them. ... and that means, you'll do better by learning about their business before you suggest any solutions... make sense?

    In essence, what I'm saying is that it's silly to make a pitch (the solution) to anyone and everyone. That will drive you crazy. You've got to qualify them. You've got to somehow determine if you can help them to achieve their goals ... then you could offer them a solution.

    One of the best ways to get comfortable with the process of helping businesses to make better use of their advertising and marketing budgets is to get into conversations with the business owners.

    One of the best places to get businesses owners to openly talk about themselves and their business goals is at Networking functions. I joined my local Chamber and try to attend as many of their networking functions as I can because these rooms are packed with businesses that want more customers... that's why they are out networking.

    I don't pitch at these events at all. I just meet people and ask them about their business and their goals. Eventually, some of these owners realize that the whole conversation has been about them, and they ask what I do

    Then, I tell them that I help businesses to make their existing advertising & marketing even better by leveraging the wide spread use of mobile phones... or something like that...

    then, I generally ask for referrals. "Do you know of anyone that might be interested in taking advantage of something like that?"

    and then I shut up.

    I get a few types of responses including:
    a) Oh - let me introduce you to Bill over there, he loves marketing.
    b) I'm interested! How can you help me?

    I make appointments for a free 30 minute consultation in the coming week.
    I do NOT pitch any services here at all.

    Rinse and Repeat... all night long.
    I try to do this 2-4 times per month.

    I think you get the point... a system is in place. ... and it takes practice.

    re: hiring sales people.
    It could be a good idea, but it could also be a nightmare for you.

    There's training & quality control (they have to understand the system and the benefits - which will all have to come from you, since your the service provider) to be considered ... and commissions, salaries, your business structure must be in place... etc. Just be careful here. Have a plan in place.

    IMO - if you've got the heart to go out and make cold calls - you do, you have already done it! - then you can now invest a little time in defining what you do.

    I help businesses to do this...

    Once you know what that is and can say it in a few sentences that are clear to whoever you're talking to, then you'll be ready to make some friends and take some appointments.

    It's a long journey, but well worth it, if you enjoy the freedom that can come with running your own business.

    I wish you well!

    Gil
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    • Profile picture of the author Neodism
      Originally Posted by GilNelson View Post

      Hey Larches,

      While the drinking and business aspect of your story isn't something I'd do, I appreciate your totally honest "journal" of your experience. Seriously. Very bold.

      I've done my share of cold calling and it can be dreadfully hard, even on seasoned cold-calling professionals - so I urge you to reconsider "never doing sales again". To me, that isn't a solution. It's avoiding a pain.

      Let's look at the pain for a moment.

      Your goal was to ... what?
      Walk in and have people say, "OMG, Thank you for coming in - I've been waiting for someone like you to come in and tell me they're good at managing a texting service for me! Can I give you a few hundred to start?"

      They're not going to do that. Ever.

      They have to see the benefits to their business. It's got to be personal for them. ... and that means, you'll do better by learning about their business before you suggest any solutions... make sense?

      In essence, what I'm saying is that it's silly to make a pitch (the solution) to anyone and everyone. That will drive you crazy. You've got to qualify them. You've got to somehow determine if you can help them to achieve their goals ... then you could offer them a solution.

      One of the best ways to get comfortable with the process of helping businesses to make better use of their advertising and marketing budgets is to get into conversations with the business owners.

      One of the best places to get businesses owners to openly talk about themselves and their business goals is at Networking functions. I joined my local Chamber and try to attend as many of their networking functions as I can because these rooms are packed with businesses that want more customers... that's why they are out networking.

      I don't pitch at these events at all. I just meet people and ask them about their business and their goals. Eventually, some of these owners realize that the whole conversation has been about them, and they ask what I do

      Then, I tell them that I help businesses to make their existing advertising & marketing even better by leveraging the wide spread use of mobile phones... or something like that...

      then, I generally ask for referrals. "Do you know of anyone that might be interested in taking advantage of something like that?"

      and then I shut up.

      I get a few types of responses including:
      a) Oh - let me introduce you to Bill over there, he loves marketing.
      b) I'm interested! How can you help me?

      I make appointments for a free 30 minute consultation in the coming week.
      I do NOT pitch any services here at all.

      Rinse and Repeat... all night long.
      I try to do this 2-4 times per month.

      I think you get the point... a system is in place. ... and it takes practice.

      re: hiring sales people.
      It could be a good idea, but it could also be a nightmare for you.

      There's training & quality control (they have to understand the system and the benefits - which will all have to come from you, since your the service provider) to be considered ... and commissions, salaries, your business structure must be in place... etc. Just be careful here. Have a plan in place.

      IMO - if you've got the heart to go out and make cold calls - you do, you have already done it! - then you can now invest a little time in defining what you do.

      I help businesses to do this...

      Once you know what that is and can say it in a few sentences that are clear to whoever you're talking to, then you'll be ready to make some friends and take some appointments.

      It's a long journey, but well worth it, if you enjoy the freedom that can come with running your own business.

      I wish you well!

      Gil
      Great reply, I thank you very much.

      I guess that would be a good idea to attend networking things that you speak of through the Chamber of Commerce. Do you know what I must do to get a schedule to find out where these will be and when?

      I can go to a group meeting type of environment and be fine. (Although, I may not do well because I wouldn't know what to say to anyone or how to get them talking to me.) I feel like something like that would be ordeal. Then, if they were interested I could easily set up an appointment to do a one-on-one seminar type thing.

      Also, since I'm not even selling yet, I'm just trying to get businesses to support me by hosting a flyer, I feel like I could do pretty well.

      Any more information, advice, suggestions?
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      • Profile picture of the author GilNelson
        Originally Posted by Larches View Post

        Great reply, I thank you very much.

        I guess that would be a good idea to attend networking things that you speak of through the Chamber of Commerce. Do you know what I must do to get a schedule to find out where these will be and when?
        Sure, glad to help.

        Look up your Local Chamber of Commerce and call them up.
        Ask the receptionist when the next "networking" meeting is and if they are open to non-members.

        Chambers call these Networking Events... lol not networking things

        You may get pitched to join the Chamber. Annual fees vary from Chamber to Chamber. In my town, the fees are $300/year for small businesses, and for home based businesses, like mine, it's only $175/year.

        Originally Posted by Larches View Post

        Also, since I'm not even selling yet, I'm just trying to get businesses to support me by hosting a flyer, I feel like I could do pretty well.

        Any more information, advice, suggestions?
        That's great! You could still go around town asking to put up flyers. Just don't engage about your solutions while doing this task. If a business is interested, then set an appointment where you will ask them about their existing marketing - in order to determine if you can help them...

        get it?

        In many cases, of course you can help them, but not all - so this method will help keep you from selling the wrong service to the wrong client.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrcouchpotato
      GilNelson has some great info in his post above. Read it a couple of times until it sinks in.

      I've done some cold calls a few weeks ago and 80% of them got me appointments. Out of those I did get some sales. And when talking to two customers, they informed me of local networking groups that they belong to. I'm going to both of them this month. My goal is not to sell them there, just to introduce myself to others and learn about their businesses. 80% of sales is listening. Eventually I'll be able to sell to them....but not until they get to know me better.

      Sales rule number 1 - People by from people. If they like you, they'll buy from you.

      As for helping you out in your situtation. If you do continue to do sales yourself, come up with a cold call strategy. Just don't walk in willy nilly.

      Get your local paper, pennysaver, or coupon flyers and see who's already advertising. You'll then know that they already have an advertising budget. Then don't tell the owner how great your service is. Tell the owner that they can increase their business by enhancing the advertising they're already doing.

      Scan in a current ad from a pizza place, coffe place or whatever and using a program like Photoshop, add a QR Code which signs people up for your SMS texting service. Then print out a bunch of those and take them to your appointments.

      You now have the visual tools to sell your service.

      After talking to the owner a bit (do a little personal chit-chat first), say to them...

      "Here's a sample of an ad that xxx is using to bring in customers. I added a QR code at the bottom that offers a free 2 liter Pepsi with their order. All someone has to do is scan the QR code with their smart phone. This will allow them to sign up to your SMS Pizza Club and receive the free 2 liter pepsi offer. Now you can continue to market to them every week or every month. Or better yet, get people to come in on your off days or non-busy hours by enticing them with a special offer. It's always been said that the money is in the list. Once you have a list of customers, you can easily reach out and touch them with your offers. Here.....let me show you how it works."

      Then either scan the QR code yourself with your smartphone...or if the business owner has one...have him/her scan it. Get them involved.

      If you don't want to use a QR code, then just explain how they can text "Pizzadeal" or whatever to your short code.

      And I agree with the others....please don't drink before you go out. But if you have to...take the business owner with you. I hear you can sell more to customers if their drunk too....lol....just kidding.

      Mike
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      • Profile picture of the author GilNelson
        Originally Posted by mrcouchpotato View Post

        GilNelson has some great info in his post above. Read it a couple of times until it sinks in.
        Thanks, Mike

        Originally Posted by mrcouchpotato View Post

        Sales rule number 1 - People by from people. If they like you, they'll buy from you.
        ... just add - provided they have a need, and they can see your service will solve that need

        re: QR codes
        I have them on printed material and give them away as bonuses on signup. QR Codes are part of the sizzle, not the steak. Yeah, they are cool, but I can't base a business around selling them.

        Originally Posted by mrcouchpotato View Post

        I hear you can sell more to customers if their drunk too....lol....just kidding.
        ROFLMAO
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        • Profile picture of the author mrcouchpotato
          Originally Posted by GilNelson View Post

          Thanks, Mike
          ... just add - provided they have a need, and they can see your service will solve that need
          That's true. But my point was even if you have the best product in the world, if they don't like you....they won't buy from you.

          When I started our video business over 20 years ago, I bought our first bunch of equipment from a local video store. The salesman and I hit it off from the beginning. To this day I still buy from him. In fact, we go golfing together a lot, our kids play together, we invite each other to our various parties, and he even helps out at some of our video gigs.

          So I'm not buying from a salesman, I'm buying from a friend.

          Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author Neodism
    I think I'm conjuring up a pretty good idea for a seminar. I am thinking about everything I will need to research and what information I need to give to my prospect clients. I even think that I may be able to rent the coffee shop out for a while on a non-busy night. (The coffee shop that I drunkenly walked into. Although it was sloppy and he may have known I was a little on the intoxicated side he still agreed to help and even shot it with me afterwords as though we were buds. I feel like he would agree to let me use the place.)

    That being said, I am going to research the costs and effectiveness of other forms of marketing including news papers, billboards, radio ads, Groupon-type systems and local search optimization. I will go at it from a non-biased view and not just drive each one down because it is inferior to SMS.

    I think I will call businesses and ask for the owner's and manager's names and then mail them personalized invites to the seminar. I will also include the URL for the page on my site that will give full details about the event. The coffee shop that I hope to be doing the seminar in isn't too big so I will probably have to have a reservation list so I don't get too many people in there.

    I may also run it as a general marketing information seminar so that it doesn't seem like I am just trying to push my own business. I will gather loads of information on all forms of marketing to give to the attendees in case they are interested in marketing other than SMS. This will give me a good standing with them because I will seem less like a salesman and more of a good Samaritan, haha.


    What do you guys think about this? Can you give me any more ideas?
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  • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
    Been following you for a while , really didnt think you would go this far, keep trying and you are sure to succeed because this product is just too HOT and POTENT to not work.

    I will say that the incentive for them to help you get it kicked off MAY work better with a free(incentivized) trial rather than a 38 percent lifetime discount or whatever. I dont know how to explain this easily but they have no idea of the value to begin with, if it works they are happy to pay full price AND you are potentially leaving lots of long term money on the table w/ such a big discount.(Assuming that you set a fair regular price and arent discount jacking from the get go-thats my term for when a company charges more just to give a phony discount)

    I know now, (since you have nothing coming in) you would be happy just to get deals, but long term everytime someone writes you a check and for every $100 that you FAIRLY earned you only get $62 of it, That is a big hit and will likely piss you off down the road.

    If you are really making them partners you will need them pitching people to sign up for the list, optin will go through the roof if employees are actually suggesting this to people vs just people looking at a flyer only. You can make the incentive based on how many people they get to optin (track w/keywords) Like a free month per 100 optins or x amt of texts per or WHATEVER you fiqure out that makes sense.

    There is nothing to be scared about YOU are the ones doing them a favor. Keep up the effort and lay off the mimosas.

    Peace.
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    • Profile picture of the author Neodism
      Originally Posted by Eddie Spangler View Post

      Been following you for a while , really didnt think you would go this far, keep trying and you are sure to succeed because this product is just too HOT and POTENT to not work.

      I will say that the incentive for them to help you get it kicked off MAY work better with a free(incentivized) trial rather than a 38 percent lifetime discount or whatever. I dont know how to explain this easily but they have no idea of the value to begin with, if it works they are happy to pay full price AND you are potentially leaving lots of long term money on the table w/ such a big discount.(Assuming that you set a fair regular price and arent discount jacking from the get go-thats my term for when a company charges more just to give a phony discount)

      I know now, (since you have nothing coming in) you would be happy just to get deals, but long term everytime someone writes you a check and for every $100 that you FAIRLY earned you only get $62 of it, That is a big hit and will likely piss you off down the road.

      If you are really making them partners you will need them pitching people to sign up for the list, optin will go through the roof if employees are actually suggesting this to people vs just people looking at a flyer only. You can make the incentive based on how many people they get to optin (track w/keywords) Like a free month per 100 optins or x amt of texts per or WHATEVER you fiqure out that makes sense.

      There is nothing to be scared about YOU are the ones doing them a favor. Keep up the effort and lay off the mimosas.

      Peace.
      Thanks for your reply. I don't know if in the beginning you meant you didn't think I'd go as far as to get semi-intoxicated and parade around promoting my service, or you didn't think I'd make it out the front door to actually put forth effort on the streets. But I'll take either one, thanks for following me!

      I guess free service is much more appealing to businesses, especially when they don't even know how valuable it is or how much it will actually cost. But then again, completely free service for multiple business for even one month after the official launch of the service is really going to put me in the whole. I've already sunk about $175 into this endeavor. I think about giving up every day, but then I come back to reality: The market is untapped, my prospect clients HAVE to spend money towards marketing for their business to succeed, and I know if I keep trying I'll get it.
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      • Profile picture of the author Pierre!
        Larches -

        You manned up and took the "BIG" step... You learned MORE than you had the previous WEEK if you asked me!

        Did you quit coding the first time Kompzer's results didn't work? When you used Kompozer's 'Publish' function? (Most start with Komposer, NVU... I took a *shot* )

        Anyway, when your first page didn't go so smooth, you dug deeper... Reviewed the code, made some changes, and tried it again!

        You are on the way - Successful people ARE because they got through the *PAINFUL* part... and you are already half way through the pain.

        Take notes from the other posters, make your new plan, and hit it again *TOMORROW* (You GOT to get back on the horse you fell off of...)

        Don't write this off - It's good stuff! You Learned! Tomorrow will be better!

        Watch your caffeine intake - It will "help" you shake, and might mess with your head...

        The hard part is over... Don't Stop

        D00D - If you can speak in public, one on one is *much* easier...

        Thanks for sharing, and tell us how tomorrow goes on this thread!

        To YOUR Success...

        Patrick
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Clough
    I follow a guy named Jeffrey Gitomer....."old sales guy" like me. He say's that sometimes it may take up to 12 "touches" before the sale is made.....

    So don't give up. Do it all.....cold call, cold foot trafficing, Chambers, groups, webinars, public speaking, email....then call, mailers.....then call, etc, etc. I have been in sales for 30 years, and it does get a lot easier....but it does take some time. Sometimes on any given day, I can't friggin' stand it, then on another day, it's like riding a bike

    Quote from John Durham (Warrior):
    I guess the fact is, it’s good to know that if you are sitting there with no business, and no money and you need some... It's either sink or swim... no magic fairy is gonna’ pay your family's rent in all likelihood...

    When you really get tired of waiting to "take Off", you can grab a phone and command a few thousand dollars to yourself...

    Just sayin
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  • Profile picture of the author HostWind
    As others said, there are other types of sales. What you are worried most about is what they think or that they will turn you down. This is inevitable, get used to it.
    I would suggest forming a quick relationship with each person first, then you learn them and become more comfortable. From then, it can be more as if you are helping a friend then pitching to a big client.
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  • Profile picture of the author Darrett
    Hey Larches, just wanted to say thanks for the honest post. My first time heading out was identical to this, minus the alcohol lol.

    I thought I would be atleast decent at going out and selling just because I'm a very social person and am a pretty likable guy, but I was horribly wrong.

    The second I walked in and saw that they knew I was offering a service to them, I got incredibly nervous. I was talking 100 miles an hour and all the great benefits and keywords I practiced didn't even come out. But I left embarassed and it's been easier since then.

    I've found what works for me now is e-mailing then cold calling and referencing the e-mail. Easiest way to start a conversation.

    Important thing is you just gotta find what works for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author bumkeun
    Originally Posted by Larches View Post

    FACT: I can't even NOT sell anything.

    I spent all day yesterday coming up with and practicing my pitch for my SMS service today. Problem is, I only practiced my opening statement. I wasn't even prepared for the rest!



    That's all I got... I guess, subconsciously, I expected them to say no, immediately, every time. That was not the case.

    I started with a burger joint. I found a credit card in the parking lot so I picked it up and went inside. I stood there for ten minutes before anyone saw me. Then the manager came over and I handed him the card. It belonged to his assistant so when I pitched it to him, he said "Sure, I've got time." But from then on out it was a disaster!

    As soon as I started talking I started shaking, almost lost my voice, my hands and eyes were all over the place and it was very sloppy. He happily took my flyer and told me he couldn't make that decision but he would pass it on.

    After that one I was already very stressed out. I drove down the strip until I saw a bar. I went in and had the breakfast buffet and several mimosas. A little tipsy, I decided to talk to the manager/owner of the bar. I fed him my pitch, which was much less nerve racking because I shot **** with him for a moment first. He said he'd think about it. (Better than nothing!)

    I crossed the street to a coffee shop/internet lounge. (Still tipsy.) I got to speak to the owner, John, who was a very nice guy. Before I even finished my pitch he said "Yeah. I'll put your flyer up by the register. That's fine." Even after calling him Jeff three times, he was still cool. I walked out of the store happy and realized I left my coffee. I went back to get it and he talked to me for a moment more. We talked like friends this time. I drunkenly apologized if my pitch was bad. I told him I can run my business like nobody's business, but when it comes to sales I'm horrible and I get very nervous.

    He told me others had approached him trying to sell a monthly SMS service and he was tired of it. He flat out DOESN'T want a personal SMS list for his business. That's what I concluded, at least. I explained further the differences between that kind of service and my service.

    We talked, I apologized one more time (haha), I thanked him and left.

    Now I had an ego boost. Went down to a taco shop, talked to the manager but he said it's not up to him. But he did tell me that the business had been thinking about using another service that tells people of local deals using an app. It was the same concept of SMS blasts, but using an app. So not only do you have to have a cell phone, but you have to have a smart phone and stumble upon that app in order to receive deals. I told him how my service blows that away, but he still told me it was not up to him so he would pass it on.

    Next was a frozen yogurt shop. Only a shift manager was in. I left my flyer and gave her an earful. By this time I felt much more comfortable. The girl said they had worked with Groupon before and I told her that Groupon is crap and my service is better, basically, haha.

    After that I was done for the day. I told myself I would approach 10 businesses and walk away with at least 3 flyers a-flying in businesses. Instead I went to 5 and got 1 yes, 1 very possibly, 2 possibly, and 1 that I definitely don't think I'll hear from.



    That being said, I think I'm giving up on sales. Although I got better through the day it still felt very sloppy to me and I really suck at it. I want to pursue this business, but I can't approach businesses. (4 out of 5 times I can't even NOT SELL ANYTHING. It should be easy to convince a business to host a flyer but I freaking suck at it.)

    I am going to try to outsource my sales and PR for now on, haha.
    Hey,

    Great post! I'm 26 and started my own SMS marketing company as well. I am not great by any means in sales but I know that no body will work as hard as me at my own company. I used to own a retail store and selling in there was a breeze. Business to business..not so much.

    My advice for you is to keep doing what you are doing. Don't hire a sales rep yet..you have to show and teach them how to sell your service. And if you can't sell it, they are not going to work hard for you.

    The best thing I can say is to keep trying and not take anything personal. It's their loss if they don't want this amazing service we have to offer!

    My close rate when I have scheduled meetings is 100%. What I do is show them a demonstration of how the service actually works. I create a keyword (I do this before the meeting) and I physically opt in in front of them. I pull out my laptop and log into my demo account and show them that my mobile number is stored in there. I also have them do it on their phone as well to get them really into it. I then send a quick blast out to both of us with a little "show this text message for a free appetizer..dine in only. Must purchase entree meal. Expires 8/31."

    I also have a professionally made sign from one of my clients that I use to show them that we also create signs like this. (It looks really nice actually) When they start asking how much is this going to cost me and how do I get the phone numbers is when you know you really have them hooked. (Buying questions)

    I do not offer a free trial with my service if I don't have to. Only rarely do I give a free month only because I don't want to have to pitch them again next month. And for the first month anyway, they have to accumulate these phone numbers.

    Another thing, maybe not sh*t on every other form of marketing tool that they do. Agree with them that what they are using is great..but yours enhances it. I also ask them if they use email marketing. Chances are yes. I ask them how it is going for them. They respond, great! (As usual) I say that is wonderful! How many email addresses do they have? One client told me 5000. I said wow!..and how many of them are opening the emails you send out? She responds 300..I say that is low..the open rate for text messages are 99%! And if these guys give you a hard time about their place is full of old people, straight up I tell them old people are going to die and you are going to be out of business. What are you going to do then?

    Another thing I am doing now is building case studies with my clients. Get them to use your service and then track exactly how many of the offers they are sending out is being redeemed.

    Other than that..keep trying! Sales isn't easy!
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    • Profile picture of the author Darrett
      bumkeun that old person line is pure gold!
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      • Profile picture of the author bumkeun
        Originally Posted by Darrett View Post

        bumkeun that old person line is pure gold!
        Hah thanks! I still need to get into the real estate field like you are! Restauranteurs are annoying.
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