Previous blockchain blogpost:
Blockchain transforms not only sectors such as security, health, and finance but also many basic tenets of marketing. However, not much discussion goes around as to how blockchain would upend the role of advertising. Nevertheless, advertising industry will be one among the first that blockchain technology would disrupt. It digitizes touch points, makes digital payments, creates meaningful value, builds trust, and decentralizes advertising concepts. Marketers who recognize this will have a lucrative opportunity in front of them and an edge over others. Hence for salespeople and marketers, it is worth spending some time to understand the changes happening in this arena.
Marketing agencies gain by accepting Bitcoin
One of the challenges every business face is cash flow, and marketing agencies are not immune to it. With most agencies getting paid on a monthly basis, shortening the payment cycle can improve cash flow. Different ways such as providing clients with a menu of payment options to changing terms can accomplish this. Most agencies opt for the former, choosing to offer the option of paying via credit card, direct bank transfer or cheque. Although these are all very convenient, there are risks and costs associated with each.
There are risks and costs associated with each payment type
Credit card transactions
For credit card transactions, merchant fees are typically around 3%, which can be high for clients on huge retainers. Moreover, credit card companies hold payments for up to three days before they transfer it.
Direct bank transfer
For direct bank transfer from one account to another using electronic methods, usually, there is a flat fee levied on each transaction, making them affordable for the sale sizes most agencies process. But while costs are less expensive, the time to process a bank-to-bank transfer is longer.
Payment using cheque
With cheques, although there is no cost to process them, there is a significant delay in getting paid. From the time it takes to mail it to the time the bank clears the payment, it can take a couple of weeks to see the amount hit the bank account.
Payment option challenges
Both direct bank transfer and credit card transactions sometimes incur disputes or chargebacks from customers. They may claim that the charge was unauthorized, false, or that the bank misappropriated the information of the account. When this happens, marketing agencies have no choice but to absorb the financial loss. Also, organizations that accept direct bank transfer or credit card payments are obligated to safeguard the payment information of the clients, and if they mishandle this, it can be a severe risk.
Bitcoin offers solutions
For marketing agencies struggling to increase cash flow and reduce risks, Bitcoin is the solution. There is no risk in accepting Bitcoins but an advantage regarding improving the cash flow. Since the emergence of Bitcoin in 2009, it has grown to become the most extensively used cryptocurrency in the world. Vendors including Amazon, Overstock.com, Dish Network, Target, Dell Computers, PayPal, eBay, Expedia, the Sacramento Kings, Home Depot, Kmart and Sears now accept it. Bitcoin payment solution also has some financial benefits and less tangible advantages.
Great financial benefits
Marketing agencies that get paid via Bitcoin can either accept actual Bitcoins or merely turn them into cash using a third-party payment processor, much like credit cards do. From a risk standpoint, the former approach is much safer because there is virtually no exchange risk when using a third-party processor. There are no processing fees unless the transactions exceed a high amount. There are no chargebacks either because Bitcoins are push transactions, meaning the buyer initiates them.
Less tangible benefits
Marketing agencies should consider accepting Bitcoins because there are non-financial benefits. Agencies get paid faster because payments are processed immediately without any delay. Also, the agencies do not need to safeguard or hold sensitive customer payment information such as bank account or credit card numbers because of the push nature of the business. Therefore, the marketing agencies are not at risk of confidential information being leaked, stolen or hacked if it experiences a data breach. And converting them into cash eliminates the risk of fraudsters taking the Bitcoins through a cyber attack.
Easy payment form
Chief amongst the reasons to accept Bitcoin, as one of the accepted forms of payment, is customer satisfaction. Marketing agencies can allow their clients to pay for the services in the way that is most convenient and easiest for them thereby offering them more options.
Capture lucrative customers
While people have not widely adopted Bitcoin the way they have done with credit cards it is prevalent amongst high-tech and dot-com firms, which can be very profitable customers for the agencies. There is a growing but small cadre of advertising and marketing agencies that are accepting Bitcoins such as Quintain Marketing, 5ivecanons in Jacksonville, Florida, and DiMassimo Goldstein in New York. Because there are so few of marketing agencies that are taking Bitcoin, those that do are enjoying a significant amount of press coverage.
Processing Bitcoin payment
Blockchain has various uses, but it becomes technical when it comes to how it works and what it is. When someone wants to pay using Bitcoins, they must initiate it using a private key. The company or person who accepts the payment can either use a third-party to convert the Bitcoins into cash or withdraw it in the form of Bitcoins. Once Bitcoin has been initiated and processed, it cannot be refunded or taken back.
Get set go
Getting started is easy and fast as there are plenty of companies helping businesses that want to get Bitcoin set up as a payment option. These companies help businesses to navigate the unfamiliar process of establishing a Bitcoin account. They will then connect the company with a third-party processor that will convert the Bitcoins into cash, which then gets deposited into the bank account. Among the most popular payment processors include Bitpay, Coinbase, and GoCoin. To help simplify the process, take some time to check out their sites, and if possible, work with a local agency. That way, there will be someone to turn to for help for quick answers to questions in this unchartered territory.
Mass adoption challenges
The most significant problem with the mass adoption of Bitcoin is that people do not have a clear understanding of how it works. They cannot even comprehend what it is. Furthermore, Bitcoins have been used to facilitate black market or illegal transactions because they are non-refundable, difficult to trace and are not regulated by any central authority. As a result, the news in the mainstream media channels surrounding Bitcoin has been negative. This bad publicity has led to the hesitation on the part of many companies to accept it as a payment form.
Coming up next
Blockchain is the new change on the horizon. It is already in the financial world. But the uses of blockchain are far more wide reaching. It is shaking digital advertising firms. It is also becoming prevalent in many other sectors in all industries including supply chain, corporate responsibility, and fashion designing. To accept Bitcoins, all the marketing firm needs is a Bitcoin button at the checkout and a digital wallet. It works like a cycle whereby the publishers and users receive tokens when they view the ads.
For the next few months, expect a series of 13 blog posts about blockchain technology and its impact in sales and marketing. Below is a synopsis of what to expect in each blog post in the order given.
- Blockchain transforms not only sectors such as security, health, and finance but also many basic tenets of marketing. It digitizes touch points, makes digital payments, creates meaningful value, builds trust, and decentralizes advertising concepts. Marketers who recognize this will have a lucrative opportunity in front of them and an edge over others. Hence for salespeople and marketers, it is worth spending some time to understand the changes happening in this arena. Already companies based on blockchain are growing exponentially.
- One of the challenges every business face is cash flow, and marketing agencies are not immune to it. Bitcoin is the solution. It has some financial benefits and less tangible advantages. The company who accepts the payment can either use a third-party to convert the Bitcoins into cash or withdraw it in the form of Bitcoins. Getting started is super easy. There are plenty of companies help businesses that want to get Bitcoin set up as a payment option.
- Blockchain is the new change on the horizon. Although it is already in the financial world, the uses of blockchain are far more wide reaching. It is shaking up many sectors along with all industries including supply chain, corporate responsibility, fashion designing, and digital advertising. To accept Bitcoins, all the company needs is a Bitcoin button at the checkout and a digital wallet. It works like a cycle whereby the publishers and users receive tokens when they view the ads.
- We are experiencing a significant shift in the real estate industry, as more and more people are engaging in property transactions using Bitcoin. Many industry experts are excited about the potential for digital money and the blockchain technology when it comes to real estate. But although digital currency transaction is the future, industry insiders say that we are not quite there as yet. Digital money analysts are less convinced that the property market would more widely adopt the cryptocurrency.
- In the real estate blockchain enables to store authentic online documents, draw digital smart contracts, and keeps the identities of the parties anonymous. While all sounds great, for everything to work seamlessly, it still needs a lot of things. As traders and investors have bid up Bitcoin’s price higher and higher, the Securities and Exchange Commission has suspended trading of some firms. Investors need to be cautious and not chase small companies that are trying to ride the wave.
- The blockchain is the system behind cryptocurrencies. A basic grasp of how it works will prove to be sufficient for now. But in the future, this knowledge would hardly be enough. The question is how to start, and the answer is first to have an understanding of the fundamentals of blockchain. With the growth of the industry, it is possible to reach mass adoption. Even if it fails, Blockchain is here to stay and is a big game changer.
- Cryptocurrency is a digital payment maintained by a network of computers that uses cryptography to authenticate transactions. Depending on how investors expect to make money and how they are structured, some cryptocurrencies may count as securities. If traders of these currencies prop up the price and go online to spread gossips, that might count as fraud. It can be hard to determine if a bubble exists. The only way to ensure that they avoid a burst is mass adoption.
- A war is over the future of Bitcoin, the first digital currency, and is already showing strain. Two of the biggest among the competitors of Bitcoin is Darkcoin and Ethereum. Many of the currencies younger then Bitcoin can be used for much more versatile purposes. Hence Bitcoin faces a threat from more nimble competitors. Digital currencies will drive new company model innovation at unprecedented levels. This revolution could be either a bubble or the onset of a financial realignment.
- Blockchain technology represents a seismic shift like that of email and web in the 90s and Facebook and Twitter a decade later. This innovative technology also makes Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies possible without centralized authority. But cryptocurrencies are just the tip of the iceberg, much bigger and more essential things lie below the surface. Blockchain technology has the potential to create countless opportunities everywhere. 21.co, a blockchain startup founded by Dr. Balaji Srinivasan, is a compelling case in point
- Some businesses and companies prefer to stick to their past, but this is not a good marketing strategy. Instead, it is essential to take a progressive approach and look out for the next big thing. That is what happens when companies begin to accept Bitcoin payment that put them in a position for greater success. Embracing the power of this new blockchain technology shows the customers and prospects of a business that it is well ahead of the curve.
- Charlie Shrem was among the pioneer public faces of cryptocurrency. He co-founded a startup company in 2011 called BitInstant that was one of the earliest cryptocurrency companies processing a third of all Bitcoin transactions. In 2015, Shrem went to prison for two years for aiding an unlicensed money transmitter acquire Bitcoins to trade in the underground marketplace, where it was used to buy drugs. It was a felony that is the first of its kind in the crypto world.
- Charlie Shrem the first Bitcoin felon went to federal prison in 2015 for 2 years. Upon his release he went about strengthening the ecosystem of blockchain. A real breakthrough came when he created a prepaid Dash debit card. He then joined Intellisys Capital and decided to raise funds in the form of initial coin offering but was mired with doubts, as he feared the intense scrutiny from the authorities and eventually backed off.
- Today, many of the blockchain assets are tokens that are distributed as initial coin offerings. It constitutes the Internet’s second business model. Associated jobs have soared as its value has risen. Candidates who understand initial coin offerings, know how to write smart contracts, and have a good understanding of Ethereum would have an extra competitive edge. Interested applicants should read up the online literature on how blockchain works and be aware of the basics before applying in the field.
Bitcoin is the earliest cryptocurrency
The topics of the series are broadly categorized as follows:
- Blockchain is defined as a distributed peer-to-peer database that is based on an open and public ledger coded by cryptography. It is intermediated, decentralized and unalterable. Blockchain is a technology to be reckoned with as it can be applied in various industries. It will disrupt many businesses including the advertising world.
- Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies or, in technological parlance, alternative coins, also known as altcoins. Although Bitcoin is the most commonly used cryptocurrency, there are many limitations to it. Its flaws and weakness have given rise to many other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Ripple, and Dash.
- The marketing industry will see phenomenal changes in the way products and services are advertised. In future, customers in the target market will have to be paid a fraction of a cent for their attention. Such micropayments is only possible with blockchain that is one of its greatest advantages. The blockchain technology called Brave will enable this.
- Big-ticket items such as mansions and real estate properties are purchased using Bitcoin. There are cases whereby houses with a Bitcoin price tag received overwhelming response and media publicity. However, the technology faces some obstacles in the real estate sector that prevents mass adoption.
- Lastly, using a real life case study we will warn you on how not to conduct business using this emerging trend. It is a case study based on the first felony committed in the crypto industry. It is also the story of a powerful transformation in the life of the felon who has now dedicated his life to help evolve the blockchain ecosystem.
After the case study, we will provide some information for those who would like to pursue a career in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. We will then wrap it up with the publication of the white paper written by an anonymous hacker who goes by the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin.
Stay tuned on www.blog.smei.org
Starbucks has almost become a synonym of coffee. Howard Schultz not only built an admirable company but also paved the ground for coffee culture inspired by timeless values. Each alphabet of the word STARBUCKS mean a great deal to Howard Schultz, the visionary entrepreneur, who built the organization from scratch. Through his Successful book “Onward” and in the Spirit of sharing Knowledge he tells us a Unique story of Coffee Brand in his own words involving Tenacity, Resilience, and Accomplishment.
S – Success
- If not checked, success has a way of covering up small failures, and when many of us at Starbucks became swept up in the company’s success, it had unintended effects. We ignored, or maybe we just failed to notice, shortcomings.
T – Tenacity
- I believed that Starbucks had an enormous potential to return to greatness, that the company had yet to be as good as it was going to be. I believed in the power of the brand, in our founding mission, and most of all, in our people.
A – Accomplishment
- I’ve come to think that I am at my best as a leader when Starbucks is being challenged or fighting for survival. I’m comfortable with, and in a way, enjoy the rugged, steep ascent. That is my nature. And while I would not want to constantly battle against the odds, the raw feeling of accomplishing something that others did not think possible, or leading people beyond where they thought they could go, is extremely gratifying.
R – Resilience
- One reason I believed that the Starbucks brand would be resilient was because our founding values still resonated, perhaps now more than ever as anxiety and distrust seeped into the popular zeitgeist, and not just in the United States. In addition to our values, Starbucks’ core product would also continue to be relevant. Coffee will never lose its romance. It will always bring people together and be part of conversations in every language, even as the conversations change. Coffee will forever connect.
B – Brand
- Our ongoing challenge is to creatively nurture coffee’s essence, keeping it personal despite our size. I do not want Starbucks to be defined solely by its thousands of stores or millions of customers. More than our scale, the brand can and should be defined by the quality of its coffee as well as its value. Community. Connection. Respect. Dignity. Humor. Humanity. Accountability. It is our mission to make sure the world sees us through those lenses.
U – Uniqueness
- Unlike other retailers that sold coffee, the equity of Starbucks’ brand was steeped in the unique experience customers have from the moment they walk into a store. The aroma. The sense of community. The familial relationships customers establish with their local baristas. And the pride they feel knowing that their purchases support our high standards and socially responsible partners. Reinvigorating the Starbucks Experience could provide the meaningful differentiation that would separate us from competitors.
C – Coffee
- Roasting coffee beans is a delicate process requiring a thoughtful, exacting balancing act of time and temperature. Any coffee producer that truly cares about quality has a toasting philosophy, and at Starbucks our philosophy is to roast every bean to its peak of flavor in a manner that extracts its maximum potential. This means Starbucks roasts beans for longer than most commercial roasters for a so-called Full City roasts that pulls out the beans’ honest richness, flavor, and acidity, or brightness. Our professional roasters are constantly refining our roasting process. Over the years, they have customized our machines and developed proprietary software to help control and replicate their techniques. We take tremendous pride in knowing that no one in the coffee business has more control over the roasting process than Starbucks. Like roasting, blending specialty coffee is also an art form, and our blenders’ culinary talents are akin to those of master chefs. Most coffee companies mix different types of beans together as a way to mask inferior coffee, but Starbucks has always used blending as an opportunity to elevate coffees from parts of the world. Sometimes, in order to capture each bean’s peak flavor, we won’t even roast different beans together; only after roasting do we combine them. And when beans from multiple regions are blended just right, they create a unique symphony of flavor that does not exist by itself.
K – Knowledge
- Entrepreneurs are builders, and the lens through which I view Starbucks and the marketplace is somewhat different from what it would be if I were a professionally schooled manager. Such a lens has, however, its strengths and weaknesses. On the plus side, founders know every brick in the foundation. We know what inspired the company and what was required to create it. That knowledge, that history brings with it a high level of passion to do whatever it takes to succeed, as well as intuition about what is right and what is wrong. But sometimes we are too close to a situation. Entrepreneurs can be blinded by emotion, by our love of what we have built, unable to see it fresh and with the eyes of a more objective outside.
S – Spirit
- If the barista only goes through the motions, if he or she does not care and produces an inferior espresso that is too weak or too bitter, then Starbucks has lost the essence of what we set out to do 40 years ago: inspire the human spirit.
To learn more about how SMEI can help you with marketing visit www.smei.org
Hiring professionals often wonder what type of people to hire or promote in the sales department. Hiring a wrong person can not only be costly for the organisation but also demotivating to some people. Well, knowing a bit of psychology may help.
In the early 1920s Carl Gustav Jung, the father of Analytical Psychology, who studied people’s personality made a distinction between introverts and extroverts. According to this broad classification, extroverts draw energy externally, and introverts extract it from within. Companies who capitalized on this theory have used concepts such as open-plan offices, recharge areas and “group work”. They cater for and increase the productivity of both personality types. Lying in between the two ends of the spectrum, extrovert and introvert, is a broad range of personality types. They are collectively called ambivert, a word coined by a psychologist named Hans Eysenck in 1947. Truth of the matter is that a vast majority of people are ambiverts who fall somewhere along this continuum. Ever since its introduction, this word has entered into the lexicon of the psychiatrists and psychologists and has gained immense popularity.
Ambiverts, the in-betweeners
An ambivert who falls smack in the middle make the most excellent salespeople. To that end, to an extent, all salespeople are ambiverts by nature. A true ambivert doesn’t incline too much in either direction. Because they are neither extrovert nor introvert, they can easily adjust their approach to different types of people depending on the circumstances, allowing them to connect most effectively. Perhaps the back-slapping salesperson in yonder years although appearing to be an extrovert may have truly been an ambivert and became successful by knowing when to lean toward which side of the personality spectrum. Superior salespeople who are serious about improving their performance consciously try to gain insights about their tendencies and preferences and match their approach to the situation.
Advantages of being ambiverts
The personality traits of those people on either end of the spectrum remain stable throughout their lives. Extroverts tend to stay extroverts with a domineering attitude and introverts are inclined to stay calm and hypersensitive for most of their lives. It is hard, if not impossible, to change their personality traits naturally. There are no absolute right or wrong personality types. But so-called born salespeople project a façade of extroversion when meeting with new clients and turn to being introverts in times of introspection. This temperament is what is known as ambiversion. It is this adaptive nature that stands in good stead with sales people.
Salespeople inherently being ambiverts have some professional advantages over extrovert or introvert types. Have a look at some of their behavioural patterns.
- More balanced, or nuanced personalities and wear many hats at work
- Move between being solitary at home or being social at work or vice versa
- Loves the stimulation that comes from teamwork as equally as private work
- Speak up and listen carefully with ease while working with people
- Have a right balance of contrasting skills making them dynamic salespeople
- Connect with a wider range of individuals because of their adaptability
- Are flexible to adapt to any social situations and formal settings
- Nimble making the right amount of hem efficient salespeople for prospecting new clients
- Find it annoying to be an introvert for too long and hence love outdoor sales
- Do get burnt out when stuck being an extrovert out of necessity
- Don’t allow their emotional side to get too carried away and tend to hide it
- Make robust salespeople who can handle rejection from clients with poise
Anyone can become a salesperson
A pure extrovert or introvert is in the minority, and a vast majority of people belong to the wider range of the spectrum, in other words, are ambiverts. That being the case almost anyone has the potential to work in sales. However, to excel in the sales career, it is important to understand one’s real personality and to assess which side of the spectrum the character traits lean. Such self-awareness can be beneficial. A good salesperson is someone who exhibits qualities of both extroversion and introversion. If one’s job is congruent with this temperament, it unleashes vast stores of energy and creates stellar sales performance. The ambiversion nature in a salesperson has enough introversion and the right amount of extroversion in them that they are comfortable in both the situations and find them both satisfying and rewarding.
Ambiverts are better at closing deals
For some reason, there is a belief that extroverts make good sales leaders. Adam Grant, the associate professor at Wharton School, has proved them wrong based on 35 separate studies. According to the studies, there was no statistical relationship between extroversion and income. In fact, ambiversion turned out to be the most proper attitude of high-performing salespeople. Interestingly A-achievers belong to this category too. Sales career requires professionals to be working with different kinds of clients under different circumstances. If a seller efficiently leverages the ambiversion temperament they can be assertive as well as empathetic enough, both at the same time in good measure, to persuade clients to close deals effectively without coming across as too pushy.
Are you an ambivert?
Many personality tests such as Jung typology, Myers-Briggs, Big 5, etc. can be utilized by hiring managers to gauge the personality of the shortlisted job candidates. Although each human being is complex more often there is a natural tendency for people to fall in one or the other types. Sales people who would like to obtain a good grasp of their selves to manage their interaction with potential clients better can also use these tests. It sure can lead to higher sales performance and brighter career prospects.
To learn more about becoming an SMEI Certified Sales Professional, please visit our website.
Objection #1: I plan to wait until fall
- I understand that you need more time to think. What are your reasons for and your reasons against buying now?
- We very rarely hear that. Why would you delay making this important decision?
- Perhaps, I can help. I am aware that this is an important decision for you. What do you think you will gain if you buy in the fall, and what are you going to lose by waiting?
- Are you saying that you wouldn’t be able to use the product right now? No. They why wait until fall? Why not start benefiting today?
- What will change then? Probably nothing. Your need might even be greater. If we can solve your problems today, why delay?
- What will change then? Probably nothing, except our prices might be higher. Why not buy today, and take advantage of the low price?
- You impress me as a very proactive businessperson. You make bigger decisions than this every day. Why are you hesitating now?
- You remind me of Mr. ____ in ____. He planned to wait several more months before buying our equipment. Unfortunately, his company didn’t have the luxury of waiting. During those months, they lost their competitive edge. The competition had new machinery and they didn’t. They lost a lot of business. I would hate to see anything like that happen to you. Why not buy today and get ahead of the competition?
- If your kid needed medical care, would you put it off? Of course, not! Well, why delay on this purchase decision? Aren’t we in a similar position? Your company needs this machinery very badly. Let’s get it in place now, so that you correct this productivity problem now.
- Are you in the habit of putting off important decisions? Isn’t it time you broke that habit?
- Do you promise me you will definitely buy in the fall? Good! I will call you in the middle of the summer so that we can set it up!
- You will buy in the fall? So, what you are telling me is that you definitely want it, right? Well, let’s fill out the paperwork today. We can arrange to have it shipped to you this fall, okay?
- You want to wait until this fall? Is it just a matter of money? If that is all it is, we can arrange to have it shipped today, and we won’t start billing you until this fall. Okay?
Objection #2 We tried something like it, but it didn’t work
- What happened? (Get specific information on the customer’s complaints about the other product. The show specifically how your product is different.)
- Our product has been on the market for five years. That other product was new and untested. You won’t have to worry about our product’s reliability. We guarantee it unconditionally!
- (Prospect’s name), have you ever eaten fast food that didn’t agree with you? One that gave you indigestion? We all have. Yet, you didn’t give up eating just because that one meal upset you. You said you’ve tried something that didn’t work. I respect your experience, but please, do not compare your five-star meal with fast food!
- I’m sorry you had a bad experience. I know how you feel. I have disappointed myself with many purchases. I can assure you that what we’re offering is as different as night and day from that other product. We guarantee it. Let me explain exactly how we are different.
- Let me show you these letters from satisfied customers. See for yourself how we go about producing and backing up what we make. Did you ever see letters of praise like this for that other product?
- Was it really the product that didn’t work or was it the service you didn’t get? We are known for having the best service in the industry. Isn’t that important to you?
- That’s unfortunate and I can understand how you feel. Do you really think that this single experience will prevent you from looking at new and better opportunities?
- We have all been hurt at some time, haven’t we? I am sure you have been hurt in love, right? Has that turned you off to all relationships? I hope not. I respect the fact that you have been hurt. I promise you that will not happen here. We take outstanding care of our customers.
- Are we comparing apples with apples or apples with oranges? Please do not compare us with that other company! We are totally different. May I show you how we differ, and the many benefits we offer you?
- Our product may look similar on the surface to ____’s product, but is only a superficial resemblance. I am sure you have heard that saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” right? Well, it is really true in this case! Can I open the book and show you the ways in which we are different and far superior?
- We are really the Rolls Royce of the industry. Is it really fair to compare us to a Hyundai? Can I tell you more about what makes us the Rolls Royce?
- How would you feel if your company’s products were compared to the worst products in your industry? Well, that is exactly the position you have just put me in. What would you do if you were in my position? May I please give you some information as to why we are far, far superior to that other company?
- When did you try it? You know, great strides have been made in our industry since then! The products we offer today are light years ahead of what you experienced back then! Why not take a new look at what is available today?
- You know, comparing our products today with what that other company offered back then is like comparing a Model T with a Ferrari! Is that really a fair comparison? Don’t you owe it to yourself to take a closer look at what is available and how it can benefit your company?
- You know, comparing our products today with what that other company offered back then is like comparing a 1990 computer with a 2017 computer. Today’s computers are much more powerful, aren’t they? And, they cost less! We are in exactly the same position! Our products are far superior to what you experienced in the past, and they cost less money! Don’t you owe it to your company to take a closer look at what today’s technology offers?
Objection #3 Your competitor’s product is better
- You’re kidding? (Act surprised.)
- Better in what way? (Have customer list features he/she likes in the other product; then show how yours has the same or better features.)
- I’d be interested in hearing your unbiased opinion on the two products.
- Obviously, you’ve had a chance to look at their product. What did you see that impressed you?
- Are you referring to quality, service, features, or the value of the product after five years of use?
- Everyone has a unique way of presenting their product. We let the product speak for itself. I’m positive that you will quickly see that there is a difference between promotional promises and actual facts. Can I tell you what some of those differences are?
- I would agree that there are some differences in design; however, what counts in the future is the quality of the service. What advantage is there in having a slightly better figure on the spec sheet when you need same-day service – and they won’t give it to you? We will guarantee you same-day service. How much is that worth to you?
- Will all the features you see in our competitor’s product, there is one they can never have: our commitment to service. We have more units in operations, more highly trained service engineers, and a better response record than anybody in the industry.
- I’m amazed that you would say that. We have a reputation as the best in the industry. What, specifically, do you think is better in my competitor’s product?
- Our competitor’s product appears to be better? Appearances can be deceiving. Let’s take a look beneath the surface to see what you are really getting. Okay?
- Who told you that? Have you talked to people who own the two products, or have you only been listening to advertising? I am sure that if you talk to owners, you will find that our product is far better respected than our competitor’s
- Some of our happiest customers are people who used to own that other company’s product! Here, let me give you some phone numbers. Call them up. Let me tell you why are product is so far superior to the competitor’s product!
- Better compared to what? All of their major design features are “borrowed” from us. That’s merely a copycat product. (State with disdain.) Our technology is two years ahead of theirs. Shouldn’t you take a closer look at what we are offering?
- It is true they may have some features we don’t have. But please look at the price difference. Their product costs much more up front and their service calls are twice as expensive as ours. Over the course of five years, you could pay twice as much for their product as compared to ours. And they both do the same job! Why not do your company a favor and same it some hard-earned money! You don’t need a gold-plated solution to this problem. Buy our product!
To learn more about earning the right to call yourself a professional, visit our website.
(Adapted from the book “Sales Scripts That Close Every Deal” by Gerhard Gschwandtner, Founder and Publisher of Selling Power)
Peter Drucker, the father of modern management, once said that when he asked employees to tell him something about their jobs they inevitably began by telling him about their boss. “If I only know how to manage the boss.” Therefore, he dedicated an entire chapter named, “Managing the Boss” in his famous academic book called “Management.”
Drucker reckons that managing the boss is both an opportunity and a responsibility and outlines seven specific strategies to success:
- Make a “boss list.”
- Asking each for his or her input, and giving each your input
- Enabling them to perform
- Playing to the manager’s strengths
- Keeping managers informed
- Protecting bosses from surprises
- Never underrating bosses
We outline here seven more:
When you accept a task, your boss expects and relies on you to get the job done. If you are serious about impressing your boss, you better get it done as if your life depended on it. Never promise anything to your boss if you are not confident of doing the job. When the boss sees you as a person who keeps promises on a consistent basis, it is much easier to be in friendly terms. And your credibility as a person would rise a few notches up.
Bosses need cooperation and honesty from their direct reports. Subordinates, on the other hand, require managers to set priorities and make critical resources available promptly to conduct the work efficiently. Smoother the operation, better the relationship between the worker and the boss. It requires the employee to understand the personality traits, communication preferences, and subtle nuances of the bosses and adapt their working style accordingly. Because, after all, success in the workplace depends on your adaptability. The boss needs you as much as you need him/her. Hence establish a working relationship that is compatible to both of you.
If the boss is not aware of certain trends in the market that could derail your plan it is better to disclose that at an early stage so that nothing comes as a surprise. Moreover, the boss may be able to put measures in place that can mitigate risks and help you get on with your assignment without any disruption. Any manager would appreciate a trend-spotter in the organization. In fact, it is an essential skill of a competent employee. It is also a commendable trait to have a conversation about the potential challenges you could face in carrying out your project due to the upcoming trends. Agree on a plan of action and provide periodic updates.
Even if you think you have the permission to be casual with your boss do not go overboard in your friendliness. Keep a professional distance that is acceptable to both of you taking into consideration the company culture and the norms of the workplace. Your professionalism will also stand you in good stead when your boss does your annual appraisal or when considering promotions within or between departments. Developing a professional relationship can earn you your boss’s respect and admiration and will also set a good example for new recruits and junior employees. If you think things are not going well, handle it in a professional manner rather than let your emotions take control.
Bosses can be under immense pressure and may falter in performing the necessary managerial roles. It can have an unintended adverse effect on your job performance. Try to find out the reasons and politely discuss this with your boss but never confront because confrontation can deteriorate the relationship. It is feasible to manage the challenges with an open discussion and debate successfully. If needed, include a trusted HR personnel or a departmental colleague who can assist you in augmenting your arguments. That way you can have an eye witness to the discussion that happened between you and your boss.
Send your messages across to the boss using the right strategies. When you have an important point to stress that can benefit the whole company and have a positive impact on the bottom line try to demonstrate the highlights using either a spreadsheet or a visual demo. Remember most people are visuals. Zero in on what matters to the boss the most. Then hone in and use your persuasive skills. It is especially useful if your ideas and concepts are innovative and novel. You may be asked to repeat the demonstration during the staff meeting for everyone to see. It is often a good sign as it shows that you have got your boss’ attention.
Leave your boss
You may reach a point where you have tried all the strategies mentioned above, and none sufficed. Well, time to quit. A vast majority of workers leave jobs because of an unmanageable boss. It is better to look for greener pastures than to be stuck in a rut. Employees spend a good portion of the waking hours at the workplace. If an unhappy boss is making the workplace toxic, you should do yourself a favor and get out of the negative atmosphere. An ideal situation would be to find another job before you leave so that you do not have to feel the pressure of mounting bills. If you have an approachable colleague, who can understand you, feel free to discuss the matter with him/her.
We have come a long way from the time Peter Drucker outlined the seven strategies on how to manage the boss. Although all of them are still relevant, the organizational dynamics and employee roles have changed slightly and required additional tactics. Moreover, the rise of technology-based jobs and the entrance of Millennials into the job market have added to the complexity of the dynamics.