Do you return messages?

I am working with a large company in Cape Town on some web development. The total value of the project is in the millions of Rands.

Recently I contacted a potential vendor to set-up a meeting to discuss how they could assist and work on the project. They never responded to my  my requests. So we are not going to be working with them, and they have lost a potential huge customer and a lot of business.

I contacted three people to fix some damp in my house. One never got back to me, another quoted over 5 times the going rate for the job, and the other is finishing off the job today. This is while businesses are complaining about the “tough economy”.

Do you return messages? How much business have you lost because you did not get around to answering an email?

Are you in the minority?

I was queuing to pay at a shop the other day when my phone rang. I took the call and quickly hung up when I got to the front so that I could pay for my shopping. The shopping assistant was surprised that I had hung up to speak to her. She told me that it was the first time that had happened, and everybody else just carried on speaking on the phone while they paid; as if she did not exist.

I thought it was just basic manners to speak to the person serving you, and not to treat them as a servant. I must be in the minority.

How do you treat those around you? Are you in the minority?

An unexpected gift

Last week, I ordered a couple of cases of wine from Getwine.co.za. When the wine arrived, Getwine alse gave me a free 100g slab of Lindt chocolate. They didn’t tell me about it when I ordered, they didn’t tell me in the delivery note, the driver didn’t mention it.

It was just tucked quietly away inside one of the boxes. That is also not the first time they have done this.

  • How do you give unexpected gifts to your customers?
  • How do you keep your customers loyal?
  • What do you do to get your customers to tell everybody about your great service?

How to Triple Your Back of the Room Book Sales Every Time You Do a Public Speaking Engagement

Guest post by Tom Antion

I’m darn good at selling at the back of the room. In fact, just this month I did three speaking engagements at multi speaker events and I outsold all the other speakers put together. What’s unique about this is the way I do it is not obnoxious and high pressure. Today I want to give you a low pressure technique that can give you way more sales than when you nervously wait till the end of your talk to suggest people buy your book.

What I want you to do is put a copy of your book on the chair of every attendee at your event. You will put a note in the book that says something like, “You don’t have to buy this book. We are just going to use it during the presentation.”
Yes, I know this is a scary thing to do. I know you’re thinking, “What if everyone just walks out the door with all my books?” Relax . . .this won’t happen. People are generally honest.

You will pick the two best parts of the book and read them from stage as you are teaching a related point. You might use the three best parts if you are speaking for several hours.

Here’s what will happen. You’ll sell three times as many books and you’ll hardly have to even mention it’s for sale. Just put a box in the back of the room at your table and mention that you’ll be at the table if anyone wants to take the book home with them it will be 20 bucks (or some round number). Also, tell them you will personalize it for them.
The idea here is that instead of just “selling” your stuff, show the value of it and you’ll sell way more than you ever have before.

Tom Antion is a professional speaker with over 2700 paid speeches to his credit. He is the founder of the largest public speaking membership site on the Internet, and the author of the best selling professional speaker course of all time “The Wake ’em up Video Professional Speaking System

10 ways to grow your business

  1. Advertise on company and community notice boards
  2. Free announcements in local/community newspapers
  3. Barter your services in exchange for free advertising
  4. Word of mouth – tell all your friends
  5. Business cards – never leave home without them
  6. Be outrageous – do something so out of the ordinary that you get free publicity
  7. Offer to write articles for local newspapers or magazines. Note that these are articles and not advertorials
  8. Make contacts with complementary businesses to provide a stronger offering that helps you both
  9. Be contactable make it easy for your customers to find you. Have a website, and respond to emails and phone calls
  10. Follow through on your leads and customer queries

What image are you projecting? 10 tips to selling yourself

  1. Be on time for meetings. If you are late, you show a lack of respect and self-organisation.
  2. Respond to messages. Even if it is just a one line to say that you received the message, let the sender know that you are onto it.
  3. Dress for the occasion. You don’t have to wear a suit and tie, but dress appropriately for the occasion. Whether you like it or not, first impressions count a lot, so make a good one.
  4. Only make commitments that you can stick to. If you cannot stick to a commitment, don’t make it. Have you ever been promised that a job will be completed by a particular date, and being annoyed that it is a week late? Have you ever overpromised. Rather under-promise and over-deliver.
  5. Smile
  6. Greet people by name. It shows an interest in others.
  7. Always have business cards with you. They should neat and presentable. Simple cards are not expensive to print, and home-made cards can look tacky. Get them professionally printed.
  8. Be positive.
  9. Listen. People like to listen to themselves. Let them, and they will think how great you are at conversation. Understand your customers’ needs before responding with a solution.
  10. Remember rule #6 – don’t take yourself so seriously (there are no other rules).