Monday, May 19, 2008

Jazz Up Your Sales with the Golden Rule

The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Observing the Golden Rule will jazz up your sales. Observing the Golden Rule in business doesn't mean that you have to put all your cards on the table, reveal proprietary information to your customers, or make promises that are impossible to keep. And it doesn't mean that you have to give your product or services away at below market prices!

Early in my sales career I struggled with sales negotiations whenever I knew the profit margin levels were high. The company I worked for thought it was great! But I sometimes felt it was wrong. Was I taking advantage of someone? Here's what I learned: if you do a good enough job explaining how your product/service will benefit a client the price they pay will be secondary in their decision making process.

Here are some ways to jazz up your sales with the Golden Rule:

  • Respect people's time (biggy!), values, personal situations, family situations.
  • Honor your commitments. If you say, "I'll be there by 3:00 tomorrow," then be there!
  • Be the first to admit it if you've made a mistake. Don't wait and see if your client finds out. Be up front so your client doesn't think you were trying to sneak something by him.
  • Maintain price integrity. Know that your prices are fair and stick to them. Your clients will talk to each other - be sure they are all getting the same "deal."
  • Talk straight. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  • Do a good job. Duh!

I still remember a customer of mine named "Dub" who was negotiating a big contract with my company. Dub had done everything salespeople hate: gotten several competitive bids, told me the price was way too high, broken down the price into several elements, argued with me on delivery and schedules, etc. Finally I was worn out and ready to forget it when Dub said to me, "Zan, this has to be a good deal for both of us. Your company needs to make money on this work, too." I was shocked! From that day forward I always shot straight with Dub - and he never called my competitors again.

The adage, "He who has the gold rules" is starting to lose ground. Even Corporate America is trying to abide by the Golden Rule. Companies are going green, donating money for disaster relief, volunteering their employees' time for worthy causes, and partnering with nonprofits. I love this article about what 49 business leaders say about the Golden Rule in Business. Take the time to see how you can abide by the Golden Rule and turn it into a marketing opportunity using cause marketing.

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