LinJen Promotions
LinJen
Linda Heyse-Highland and Jennifer Savor, Founders of LinJen Promotions
Fan Mail
"I truly appreciate how you consistently provide high quality solutions -- starting at the idea stage and extending through implementation to final delivery. And today you've done it again! On behalf of the employees who have been recognized as part of Marquette's employee appreciation events over the past couple of weeks, and our entire Human Resources department, thanks very much. You and your team do a great job."
K. Jones, Marquette Bank
It's been said ...
"The success combination in business is: Do what you do better ... and do more of what you do."
David Joseph Schwartz
Case History
Kringle helps increase sales 15%
Kringle from LinJen
Kringle is an authentic Danish pastry known for its light, tender, flaky texture and delicious fillings. Sharing Kringle is a unique food experience that opens up doors and improves communication between customers and suppliers.

A company in Indiana recently used 300 Kringle for a program designed to increase company sales.

Appointments were made with customers and the company brought Kringles to the meetings. The uniqueness of Kringle helped move the meeting discussion forward so the company learned about various product opportunities for business with its customers.

The program successfully increased sales by 15% and the company gained valuable information about each customer which strengthened their relationship.

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Are You Sales Saavy?
Whether you're a business owner, a national sales director or an in-bound customer service representative, sales is a necessary skill to perform these jobs. You must be able to sell to the client, whether you're selling a product, selling a price or selling additional services. Sales is a skill that needs to be practiced and improved upon, much like any other sport. It's not a natural skill set that you're born with or not born with. It's important that you continue to train and improve upon your sales skill throughout your career.

Here, we share 12 mistakes business people commonly make when it comes to sales.

1. Thinking product instead of customer. Mediocre sales come from thinking, "I have a product I need to sell to this customer." Superior sales come from thinking, "I have this customer and how can my product help him?"

2. Trying to convince. You may convince someone to buy something once, but you will not earn a long-term customer because people don't become long-term customers by being talked into things. High-pressure sales are one-off deals. If you want to create a loyal customer, you work to inform, not coerce.

3. Judging. I have a pal who loves to share the cautionary tale of when he used to sell phone systems. A good sale could easily be $50,000. When he called on a business once and was met by a man in overalls and a southern accent, my friend blew the guy off. That "hick" ended up giving my friend's biggest competitor a six-figure sale. He never judged like that again.

4. Thinking the customer is dumb. Thinking you are smarter than customers can be fatal to a deal. The truth is, they know their business better than you. If you take the time to listen, be humble and learn, you will be better able to serve them, and, sell them in the process.

5. Not being ready. Of course you need to know your product cold, but the more you know about to whom you are selling, the better equipped you will be to convey information, answer questions and handle objections.

6. Not qualifying a lead. You can waste a lot of time if you try to sell something to someone who really cannot afford - or does not need - what you are selling. Make sure the prospect has the money, sincere desire, ability and the authority to purchase.

7. Dealing with price before benefits. People do not know whether the price you quoted is a fair one until they know what they are getting. Stop. Reverse it. Benefits first, price second. By discussing benefits before price, you establish the value in the product and the price will make more sense.

8. Not realizing that "no" sometimes really does mean "no". Salespeople love to say that "no" really means "maybe". Well, yes, but "no" also can just mean "no" and you need to learn to decipher the difference.

9. Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em. Recently, I spent many months trying to reel in a new customer while reason after reason was given as to why they "could not commit at this time." I wanted the deal so bad, I kept on going. Six months in and they still gave no commitment. After eight months, they said no.

10. Not asking for the sale. Yes, this is Sales 101, but it bears repeating. At some point you have to ask for the sale. Sure you risk getting a "no" at that point. But you also risk getting a YES. And at least you won't waste eight months.

11. Forgetting to ask for a referral. When I became a professional speaker, one of the best tips I ever got was to have in my contract a clause that says something like, "After the event, if you are thrilled with the speech I gave, you agree to write me a letter of recommendation or will refer me to another potential client." That clause has gotten me a lot of work and referrals over the years, and it's an idea that can be used by almost anyone in any industry. Ask for referrals.

12. Failing to follow up with leads. Leads are valuable, referrals are valuable and both sure beat cold calling. Follow up, follow up, follow up.

Source: Promotional Consultant Today and Steven D. Strauss is the senior USATODAY.com small business columnist and author of 15 books. His latest is the best-selling "Small Business Bible". Strauss is also a lawyer and public speaker and speaks around the world about entrepreneurship,including a recent visit to the United Nations. He has been on CNN, CNBC, "The O'Reilly Factor," and is a regular guest on MSNBC's "Your Business." You can visit him online at www.MrAllBiz.com or follow him at www.Twitter.com/SteveStrauss.



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Linda, Jennifer and the LinJen Team
708.478.8222