Tow Professional

VOL4 ISS5 2015

Tow Professional is a comprehensive publication for the towing and recovery market. It is mailed directly to more than 29,000 decision makers including owners, presidents, CEO's and principals of towing companies throughout the United States.

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Page 24 of 67

suits, the store offers other year-around g oods. Every time she made a sale, Erin was required to ask a question or make a suggestion. Every sales associate was required to get each customer to buy 2 extra items for each purchase. Erin would comment, "You know, this swimsuit would look great with these sunglasses and this cover would finish your beach ensemble." They were making sugges- tions that the customer could ignore but most didn't. I call this sales technique, UPSELLING. Open all year long, there were always customers buying some- thing in that "seasonal" store. Erin had built a wonderful rapport with her cus- tomers and they trusted her judgment. Even fast-food restaurants use the UPSELLING technique with their ques- tions that you've obviously responded to at some point. Familiar with these? "sandwich or meal?" or "want fries with that?" I personally know a towing compa- ny that towed everything for a landscape company as result of their quick conver- sation with the landscaping firm. When the landscapers realized that the towers could pick up and deliver sod to their cus- tomers fasters than they could, it was a "no-brainer" for them to adapt to this technique. The sod was placed where it needed to be and the job was done faster. That proactive tower had found yet another way to utilize their assets to their benefit. Some of us may not be a Fortune 500 company yet, but there's no reason why we can't use their Fortune 500 sales tech- niques. Consider running a Customer Reward Program where you give your customers a card to attach to their key chain. Every time they tow something, they receive more points toward spend- able dollars from the retailer. CVS uses this technique quite nicely along with retail stores, such as Carters and Kohl's. LISTEN. God knew what he was doing when He gave us 2 ears and only 1 mouth. We're supposed to do more lis- t ening than talking. Use this technique to your advantage when your next customer comes into your store. Ask questions to find out what they really need so you can give the best possible advice. This way you're perceived more as a consultant instead of a sales person because you've listened, discovered what they need and offered a suggestion on what's best to fill that need. The next technique is you're not in this alone. Your EMPLOYEES are in the business with you, so treat them right. Making them feel that they're co-workers instead of employees. They buy into your compa- ny's success because they feel more appreciated and valuable as a co-worker to the company. Having a co-worker vs. employee mentality creates a safer, more effective environment for selling product or services. Being a co-worker empowers your team to do a better job. Reward co- workers for meeting a daily or weekly goal. The prize could be leaving work early on Friday or a gift card to a favorite restaurant. Overall, the next technique is probably the MOST important technique anyone can do but it takes work. UNDER PROMISE AND OVER DELIV- ER. That's right, "Under Promise and Over Deliver." This phrase should defi- nitely be part of your daily routine. In fact, post it on a BIG SIGN in DISPATCH as a daily reminder. Customers remember when they get LESS than they expected. If you feel you can't deliver what you're promising, it is better to promise less than deliver less than promised. Be on the look out for unique ways to offer a cus- tomer more so they realize they're getting more than what was expected. Maybe it's only a matter of towing 2 vehicles at the same tine rather than one. Here's a technique I've used for years. Most businesses thank their clientele at least once a year. It's usually done at the end of the year with a New Years card. They're already expecting those cards during those holidays but not Thanksgiving. Let's surprise them by changing when we send "thank you" cards. Focus on being thankful for your customers during Thanksgiving instead of Christmas. You'll beat other companies to the punch. I started this practice many years ago and haven't changed it. The Thanksgiving cards are bought in bulk and come pre-printed with my com- pany name. I pick a nice short poem about customers. The envelopes are hand-addressed. No labels please! Hand- addressing is more personal than slap- ping a label on the envelope. Furthermore, the customer is more likely to open the envelope when it's hand- addressed because they think it's a per- sonal invitation to a party or an event. You might ask your sales consultant to add a special thank you to the cards of those customers they know personally. They should address them too. Literally hundreds of sales techniques are available at your fingertips to increase your sales volume. Be on the lookout for new suggestions. If you have a special sales technique that has helped you in the past, please share it with me. In the meantime, if you aren't using any special sales techniques such as we discussed here, try at least one. You'll be glad you did. Until next time. Volume 4 • Issue 4 | | Tow Professional 23

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