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The Sales Buzz Issue 102 - Using sales and marketing techniques from other disciplines
December 14, 2010

I'm Stephen Craine from the website

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Using Sales and Marketing Techniques from Other Sales Disciplines

This week we look at how you can use sales techniques from other sales disciplines. We are focusing on Retail Sales Businesses, and B2B and Direct Sales to the public.

For these sales disciplines we look at how you can increase sales in the quiet times when you can make use of your sales staff resources. By taking ideas from other sales disciplines you are adding to your selling opportunities and taking actions to increase sales.

So click the link below, that applies to your business, to scroll down the page to the free sales and marketing ideas that will give you some great ideas to work on...

Retail, Store, Showroom, and Forecourt Sales...

Field Sales, B2B, sales to retailers, and Direct Sales people...

Sales and Marketing Ideas for Retail Sales Businesses

What happens during a quiet sales period such as after New Year holidays or during a vacation season?

Every retail sales market has a busy time and a period when customers are just not coming into the store or onto the forecourt. You probably already know how to make the most of the busy times, but what new ideas do you have for the periods between them.

Take some ideas from the other sales disciplines and adapt them for use in retail sales.

Field sales and direct sales people prospect for potential new customers. But many retail businesses still sit back and wait for customers to walk through the door. They rely on marketing and passing footfall to attract prospects.

So if you are in retail sales, and you know a quiet period is approaching, you can start preparing to use some sales prospecting techniques from other disciplines to attract customers and increase sales in that quiet time.

The key word here is adapt

You are a retail sales expert, a forecourt car sales person, a store manager, or something similar. Your business is built on retail principles and actions. To add sales prospecting techniques from B2B and direct sales you need to adapt the techniques and make changes to your retail sales operation.

Hereís some ideas and links to get you thinking:

Build a customer data base

Has your business got a website?

If you havenít got a website you really should look at what it could do for your business. To see more open Small business websites...

Many retail sales businesses use their website just as an advertising platform. Think about using your website in conjunction with your store of shop and build up a list of customers and prospects.

Use this list to communicate with your prospects with a newsletter, special offers, and to pre-sell your products and services. To see more on contacting prospects open marketing ideas...

Telephone prospecting

Have you thought about making the most of your staff resources by making telesales or telephone appointment calls.

Could you sell your products over the phone or would it be better to arrange appointments for customers to come in and have a personal assistant waiting ready to help them.

You can add telephone prospecting to a retail business and make a massive difference to your sales at any time. Target those quiet times and keep busy all year round.

You need two things to do this successfully:

1. A list of people to contact. You can buy contact lists or use the list you have gathered from the above action.

2. A reason for the prospect to come into your showroom, store, or shop. This will be the reason for your call, and the motivator to make potential customers come in to your business and meet with you.

The reason for the prospect to come and see you can be: A free gift or trial. Something special just for them. Encourage them to bring a friend, or many friends. It can be an invite to a one on one meeting (sales appointment) with you, or a mass event for a large number of customers.

Take a look at our section on cold calling. In this part of the website anyone can learn the principles of making sales appointment calls, which is what the above idea is really doing. To find out more click around the cold calling and appointments section by opening Appointment setting...

Field sales - B2B and Direct sales

B2B and direct sales people can use retail sales techniques to increase results.

You can use your own premises, great for factory tours, or hire a room in a location suitable for your business customers and prospects.

Think about the best scenario for you or your sales team to make a sale. Are your products or services best sold on a one to one basis, or could you stage a sales presentation or product launch for groups of sales prospects.

Not all prospects will agree to a sales appointment with a new supplier or direst sales person, but many will attend an event if they feel they could gain something. A really strong technique for motivating prospects to attend a sales event is to make them feel that they could be missing out on something if they donít attend.

For B2B prospects that could be free training, information, the chance to network and make business contacts.

For direct sales to the public the benefits they could miss may be: Free offers, the chance to see something, discount prices, free surveys, safety testing of their existing appliances, or a test of their mind or body. It can be anything that is related to your products or services.

The aim is to get commitment from a prospect to a meeting with you or your sales team, in an environment that you control. Using an environment is like having your own retail base and aiming to get footfall through the door.

Here are some ideas to get you thinking:

Product launches
Free information presentations
An audit or assessment of something the prospect does or has
A test of them, their children, or their pets
A trial of a product or service that you sell
Free training on how to use what you sell
Free training on how to sell what you provide (This works really well for businesses that sell to retailers)
Product knowledge training for retailers

Thatís just a few ideas and Iím sure you can think of many more.

Using your premises, or a hired venue, gives substance to your business and builds a relationship with your B2B customers and direct sales prospects. It also give you a chance to sell to a prospect in your environment.

Breakfast networking meetings

Whenever I suggest holding a breakfast networking event to a small or medium sized business owner they always ask me how it will help to increase their sales.

The answer is: The networking meeting, an opportunity for business people to meet and mix with other people with whom you they could do business, is the motivator to get sales prospects to your event.

Once you have them there you can promote your products and services to this captive audience. You are the host, and you have paid for the breakfast, so you organise the event. That includes the format, agenda, how people will network, and who gets to promote their products.

I have seen some of these events where the business that hosted the event funded it by charging other businesses for floor space to promote their products.

Show how good you are before you start selling

Many small businesses give a great after sales service and support to their B2B and direct sales customers.

But what about showing how good you are to your customers before they become a customer. What about giving some fantastic support to sales prospects before you start selling to them.

Look at some of the really good things you do for customers and consider how you can use these ideas for your sales prospects. As an example, if you offer sales training to retailers that you supply, you could offer this training to your sales prospects. This gives you two benefits in return.

1. You get a chance to show potential customers what you will do for them when they decide to buy from you.

2. You get a chance to, meet more people from your prospectís business, gather more information, and build a relationship that could lead to sales.

Make use of your sales people

You, or your sales team, are experienced sellers, good communicators, and the right people to host events such as the ones listed above, and the new ideas you are now thinking about.

You and your sales team are also the right people to promote the event, and sell the idea to your prospects by telephone cold calling. Itís just like making sales appointment calls. The one important line you need in your calls is the reason that you are calling.

Once you have decided on what type of event you are going to stage you can then list the potential benefits that your prospects will gain from attending. You can get help building your appointment cold calls at Appointment setting...

Useful online sales training and ideas

Sales Tips for Small Business

Ideas for small businesses on increasing sales and winning more customers. How to use the strengths and advantages that small to medium businesses have. Mistakes to avoid and how to get your business seen by more prospects.

Test your cold call introduction

When you contact prospects to arrange an appointment, invite them to an event, or even just to make that first contact, you will need a really effective sales introduction. On this page you will get free sales training on how to test the effectiveness of your first lines of a cold call to a prospect.

Tell Friends & Colleagues about The Sales Buzz

Invite your friends and colleagues to get the Sales Buzz.

We've prepared an invitation for you to send. It gives your colleagues information on how to get the Sales Buzz and the 2 free eBooks that they will receive.

Open the invitation and send to as many people as you think will gain from receiving this newsletter. Open and send the Sales Buzz Invitation...

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