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2010-06-07 21:36:57

Rules Of Engagement – 5 Tips Will Double Your Income Overnight

If you doubt that you can double your income immediately by following these five steps, you are doing them already:

1. Never give up on anybody – before my latest ten years as an Internet advertising consultant, I spent 15 years in fleet lease and Internet sales in a large automotive dealership.  In that time, and having sold over 2000 vehicles myself  (those are just  the ones who bought!), the story and the memory that stands out as teaching me the most of any lesson in my career is this one: like Real Estate, everyone drives, buys, owns cars or trucks. Like a real estate client, an auto client is a consumer – sometimes referred to as “John. Q. Public.”   ‘John’ does not know what cars (or real estate) are worth. 

The marketplace, like real estate, is full of shysters and misinformation: John Q.  is apprehensive and does not know who to trust.  He is not very sophisticated, does not understand business or technology, and, in some cases, is not all that good at life in general.  But John Q., little as he likes it, must pick somebody to trust to buy cars and real estate, and he really does not know enough to do it well without help.  Enter the messed up, love-hate relationship our clients have with us, where they must trust our advice but they really don’t; they run everything we say by somebody less qualified to come up with unexpected ways for them to continue to doubt us even after they have signed, constantly challenging the truth we have told them.

John Q. is stressed, under pressure, difficult at best to deal with: so we must be psychologists, counselors, therapists, wizards…to maintain them?  Naw!  It is very simple: in my current business, and everything I have done in the past, I maintain an opt-in newsletter called The Rothman Letter.  It was called The Rothman Letter in the auto Business, it is called that now in IT. 

Regardless of who they are, how the transaction went, or if I like or even remember them; every contact, every business card, every past client, referral, prospect…everybody gets added to the opt-in email I send out now, instead of the manually generated direct mail I once used.  I learned this lesson because many years ago I sat in front of a past client where the original transaction went so bad years before, that I actually remembered, and tried to hide when I recognized the client on the lot. 

The client also recognized me, but not for the reason I thought, and he approached me:  “He there you are Israel, bet you didn’t expect to see me again..”  He actually had no idea how surprised, because he did not remember the deal at all: all he remembered were my quarterly newsletters, with my daughters cartoon images to make sure people would recognize me.  A side note: the client woke up and remembered half way through the deal, and bought the car anyway. 

  • ABC – In the classic sales film you should all see if you have not, Glenn Gary Glenn Ross, the famous “Coffee is for Closers’ scene includes the advice: Always Be Closing -If you think this simple and obvious think again: this is the single most important factor that defines “closers”, their mind is always on the close, they never mis a chance to close: every question, objection, remark or answer is a chance to close something, if not just the simple acknowledgement of what you have said: it is really so simple: after each statement, you trial close: this makes sense, right?  You understand this, don’t you?!  We are going to do business, aren’t we?!  You  are really liking this, aren’t you?!  Every time the client acknowledges ANYTHING that you ask them to acknowledge, emotionally you are becoming closer and they are more and more likely to follow through and buy; so simple yet so underutilized.  I have been doing this so long that it comes naturally in every conversation, without my thinking about it, IE:, I am what I do.
  • Aways tell the truth – this one is less obvious, but just as important: I remember the cartoon magazines where everyone had two faces, the one they are holding up, and the real one behind the scenes.  This is actually very realistic: they are telling you that they trust and believe you, but the rule is: they will veryify everything you say online or with somebody else; John will say you have a deal, then take everything you have told him and shop you and your reputation, and your competition overnight before you get the money he said that he sent today.  Tell the truth, know that John will verify it, tell him knowingly about things that you want him to research: and tell him that you know he will research and check and encourage him to: this presents confidence and you are taking away the need for the client to lie to you, which makes them trust you.  This will cause more closes, more referrals, and less friction later on.
  • Do not be afraid of loosing the client: this is the hardest one to learn, and one of the most important; there is such a thing as a bad client.  Like my business (website design and internet advertising) real estate creates a scenario where you are ‘joined at the hip’ or ‘married’ to a client for long periods of time, years in my business, at least months in yours.  John will buy another car, another house someday, he is a prospect for you in the future more if he just bought than if you had never met him, statistically speaking.  But you are also evaluating John.  You do not want his business, now, later, or ever if he is dishonest, is hiding something, is disloyal, tight, greedy…these are all things that will effect the outcome of your relationship, and you, the consultant or Realtor, will be blamed for results whether John listens or not.

     My advice: tell John this: tell him that you are evaluating him at the same time he evaluates you.  Start the relationship on a mutually respectful level, or don’t start it.  I am downright skittish when it comes to this: if I suspect that a client may embody any of these despised traits, I confront him or her about it; and if they do not have the right answers, I TERMINATE THE RELATIONSHIP.  THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT WORTH DOING BUSINES WITH.
  • High touch – whenever a consumer makes any major decision they will have post-sale melancholy feelings: know this, plan for it, make a follow up call when they least expect it to let them know that they still matter even though you already have a down payment   Stay in touch, call often: people need friends, not just vendors.

I sincerely hope these tips serve you as well as they have me.  This is the second resession I have survived in business, and, if not for these ‘rules of engagement’, I woudl not be here now.  What are your seasoned ‘rules of engagement’?  Will you share?

BTW, I have offered the training manual I used to build a multi-million dollar sales force when we had such a sales force (we are all virtual now); people who asked me for the  top ten objections and how to handle them from my manual were very pleased – it is free for the asking:

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