March 2018
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The Business Voice - Supporting the Moose Jaw & District business community
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October 2018

Please Welcome Our Newest Members

South Central Early Childhood Intervention Program Inc - (306) 692-2616

C Froese Communications Events and Marketing - (306) 631-2995

 

CEO Message - Rob Clark

With October now arriving and on the heels of our AGM and induction of our 2018-2019 Board of Directors (check out Moose Jaw & District Chamber of Commerce Facebook page for photos and videos) we are poised to continue moving forward and staying active within the business community.  Pictured above is Greg McIntyre presenting Riley Wright the gavel as he becomes the 2018-19 President of the Moose Jaw & District Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.   

The Chamber strives to enhance the business community by providing an environment that cultivates business-to-business relationships and educational programs that benefit its members.

The Chamber also works hard to support the local business community by offering educational, leadership, networking, and other various recognition programs throughout the year. These programs help spotlight the thriving businesses within the local business community. By taking part in Chamber events and utilizing the Chamber for all of its benefits, business people can continue to grow not only their businesses but their networking communities as well.

It is my goal to meet as many members as possible and to be there to help our members get as much as they can out of their membership. Please join us by getting involved in the Chamber and look to our website, newsletters and Facebook for information on events and opportunities where you can put your membership to work for you.

Click herefor a statement from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce regarding the recent NAFTA deal

Please do not hesitate to contact me rob@mjchamber.com or (306) 692-6414, we are here to help you and your businesses.

Chamberplan.ca
9 Sales Tips from an Old Sales Rep

 

9 Sales Tips from an Old Sales Rep

People trek to Nepal and other far flung places to sit at the feet of a guru. We are happy to save you the journey and let you spend some time with a 40-year sales veteran - a guru in the art of selling - as he shares his hard-earned wisdom.

1. Ensure you are fully committed

Be committed to the sale, and what you are selling - if you have any doubts these will affect your enthusiasm (even sub-consciously). Self-doubt often appears when you face objections you cannot answer effectively.

2. Be confident and build confidence

Enthusiasm emanates from confidence and there is no better way to be confident than to possess knowledge. Knowledge is power - become knowledgeable.

3. Be enthusiastic not pushy

Genuine enthusiasm is contagious - almost irresistible. Pushiness is contagious but like a disease The difference between the two is integrity

4. Make it fun

People like to be entertained. Humour puts people at ease. Find ways to make each sales presentation interesting, funny or useful (anecdotes, useful info, trivia, etc.). Educate while you entertain and you will gain a person's confidence.

5. Remember you are on stage

Many people take their troubles to their customer. Complaining about parking, traffic, the government, the economy, the trek up the mountain, all will ruin your ability to sell. We all have troubles - leave them at home!

6. Become a chameleon

Enthusiasm means different things to different people. React to each customer's style - if they are friendly and want to chat so should you. If they want to get down to business with a minimum of small talk, you should recognize this and act accordingly.

7. Be friendly not sappy

Find something to like or respect in all people. If you really don't like someone, or don't trust them, don't sell to them - it probably won't be beneficial in the long run. Sales professionals, like gurus, get on with people of all personality styles.

8. Don't let your enthusiasm affect your honesty

When we become enthusiastic we sometimes exaggerate, it just happens. Don't let it!

9. Always make another call after a sale

Use the energy from a successful sale to make another and another!

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9 Sales Tips from an Old Sales Rep

 

REAP the Benefits of Referrals

Why don't more businesses have a plan in place to gain referrals on a regular basis? Do you?

Referrals are one of the most highly effective methods of getting new business and also one of the most underused forms of marketing. Getting referrals from satisfied clients and customers is an extremely valuable way to increase your customer base and therefore increase sales.

Some people fear that asking for referrals is pushy and will turn people off. But think about it, when you've received excellent service, don't you want to tell you friends about it? Don't you want them to benefit from the quality of service you've received? If your service is exceptional (and it is isn't it?) you should have no fear of asking your customers to allow you to give the same service to their friends and family.

However, there are a few steps you might want to take first if you are going to adopt this strategy successfully.

Reduce fear in your customers - in order to reduce your own fear of asking for referrals, work to reduce fear in your customers. Assure them that you will not be stalking their friends and family if they provide you with their names. Assure them you will be respectful of their position on whether they wish to purchase or not. If you've built a relationship with your customers based on trust and integrity, their apprehension if they have any, will likely be diminished quickly with your assurances.

Educate your customers - Tell your customers how you will use the names they provide. Will you be sending them an invitation to an open house? Will you be offering them a first-purchase discount? Will you be telephoning them and requesting a meeting? Being specific not only reduces their fear, but also allows them to come up with more qualified leads. Maybe Aunt May would love the idea of an open house, but Cousin Joe would respond better to a discount offer.

Let your customers know your motives behind your request for referrals. "We're so glad you're happy with _____, we would love to give your friends the opportunity to enjoy it too. Would you be willing to give us a referral?" Educating your customers as to why and how you will deal with the referrals they give you takes you one step closer to getting quality leads.

Ask for referrals - once you've done your homework, don't forget the important step of actually asking for the referral. Many people chicken out at this point. They work to reduce fear, educate their customers, but fall short of actually asking for the names. Be specific - how many names would you like? Can you offer something to your customer to show your appreciation for their willingness to refer you? This is sometimes a motivator for people, or can give them that added incentive to help you out.

Prove yourself to the referred - once you've got the referral, make sure you capitalize on it. You may only have one chance to make an impression, and the way you treat the referral not only affects your potential relationship with that person but may also affect your future relationship with the client who gave you the referral. If you don't wow Aunt May with your service, your customer will hear about it and may think twice before using you again. A referral is a precious commodity so treat it with care. Make sure you exceed expectations the first time.

Referrals can be an excellent and profitable way to increase your sales and expand your customer base, but taking referrals is also a huge responsibility. Take it seriously and work hard at it, and you will REAP the benefits for your business.

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9 Sales Tips from an Old Sales Rep

 

Free Mentoring and Support from Your Peers

One of the most common difficulties small business owners face is a sense of isolation. Whether you're a one-person-doing-it-all type of business, or you have people working for you, the responsibility for the success or failure of your business may weigh heavy on you. In this, you are not alone. This "it all comes down to me" syndrome is prevalent in almost every small business owner's mind to some degree or another.

So, how can you get support (that doesn't cost a fortune) so you can feel connected to something larger than your own small enterprise? By doing what many small business owners are already doing and establish your own personal Board of Advisors. Basically, establish a group of mentors that can be part of your resource system to fill all the skill gaps you may have. They can also offer encouragement, perspective and support when you need it, and act as accountability partners to keep you on track. Here is a step-by-step guide to setting one up.

Step One: Evaluate Your Needs

Make a list of all the things you feel less confident in doing. This could be keeping control of your finances, pulling contracts together, dealing with employee issues, sales, marketing - anything that is not one of your strengths.

Now look around your network for people that have those skills and experience and build a list. Your list may include friends, family, suppliers, bankers, accountants, fellow chamber of commerce members - think in and out of the box. Once you have a list of between ten and fifteen, move on to step two.

Step Two: Ask for Support

For some people, this is the hardest part, but it may surprise you how people respond to your request - many will be flattered. Start by telling them why you think they can help you and what level of commitment you are asking for and the expectations you have for the group; be specific. If they say yes, give them a definite time for a first meeting of the group. If they are not interested thank them for their consideration. Don't take no personally - some people are genuinely over stretched.

Step Three: Setting Up your Board

There are three ways you can set up your board of advisors.

The Board Meeting

This strategy brings all your advisors together for the specific purpose of guiding you in your business. You come prepared each month with problems, requests, questions or issues you'd like help on, and everyone contributes to the discussions with potential solutions. Their primary purpose is to assist or mentor you in your business based on their experience and your need. Establish action steps at the end of each meeting. Keep the meetings short and productive - once a month is usually sufficient - and do something at each meeting to show your appreciation (e.g. supply pizza or sub sandwiches). When you meet again the following month, be prepared to be accountable for the action steps you agreed to take and how they worked. The benefit of this type of group is focused attention on you and your business. This can be an enormous boost for you each month, and can help you grow your business far faster than you could on your own.

The Peer Group

This group functions in a similar way, but has a different purpose. With this type of group, everyone who is involved gets the same benefit you do. This group acts as mentors to each other. At each meeting, every participant brings one issue or problem they're facing and asks the rest of the group for their feedback and ideas. Again, action steps are established, and accountability for those steps takes place at each meeting. This type of group could meet over a lunch hour, and can be held once a month or even as often as weekly. The benefit of this type of group is that you get to network with other business people who assist you with your business, but it also allows you the opportunity to offer your skills and perspective to someone else in a more mutual exchange.

The On-Call Group

If you don't like the idea of being committed to a group on a regular basis, you could set up your advisory board in an on-call manner. You ask the folks on your list if they would be willing to be part of a group you can call on when you have specific business issues. When a legal issue arises, you take your advisory lawyer out for lunch. Or perhaps you discuss your sales forecasts with the CEO of a successful business over dinner? The key with this type of group is not to take advantage of the advice they use to make their living. Use them sparingly and only for issues that won't take hours out of their day. This type of group has the benefit of not requiring a regular commitment, but may not be as effective with regard to the accountability the other two types provide.


Choose the board format that best suits your needs. Whichever one you choose, you will soon wonder how you ever managed without them.

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Moose Jaw & District Chamber of Commerce
88 Saskatchewan St. E, Moose Jaw, SK, S6H 0V4
T: 306.692.6414 F: 306.694.6463
chamber@mjchamber.com
www.mjchamber.com

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