Selling vs. Begging

I was talking to an innkeeper this weekend and he told me that his business is off this summer. I asked what he was doing about it and he replied that traffic was off throughout the town. I asked if had called all of the people who had ever stayed at the inn. He replied that he didn’t want to beg.

OMG! WTH? Selling is begging? I like this guy! That’s what he thinks I’m all about? Finding creative ways to beg?

You know what? He’s not alone. I’ve seen business people not ask for referrals because they don’t want to beg. They want prospects to call them because they think that calling is begging. They want customers to ask to buy because if they ask, it’s begging. They’d rather starve or go out of business than beg.

If this is you or someone you you know, the fix is a two step process.

  1. The mind twist – It’s not about you! How many times do we have to hear that? It’s not about you starving; business being off; the town not being as attractive; the competition having a bigger advertising budget; etc. It’s about how happy your customer was when they used you. It’s about reminding them how happy they were. It’s about giving them the opportunity to be that happy again or telling a friend how happy they were.
  2. The how – Call everyone that you’ve ever done business with. Here’s your script. “Hi, (insert customer’s first name). Rick Roberge (insert your name) from Kurlan (insert your company name). Haven’t talked with you in a while. Everything OK?” If you’re talking to them, ask, “Where you going on vacation this year?” If you’re leaving a message, say, “Call and let me know if you want.”

This isn’t begging. This is AIDA in it’s simplest form. I can think of a gazillion other things to say or do, but just this two step process will be a start.

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One thought on “Selling vs. Begging

  1. Good morning Rick,

    Not at all surprised to see your blog this a.m., but it was I who commented on begging. I’m not above asking for referrals, but in this business I feel we are a service not a dealership. I think there are other avenues such as holiday cards, newsletters, etc. that would be appropriate and do not put folks on the spot with a phone call. As for our secondary business, we are shameless promoters and it shows. This business is up – as they say “Energy goes where the energy flows.” Just yesterday I mentioned my other business to a guest and found out his dad had been in the same business also. His mother now 84 needs to find a home for his equipment, which I immediately jumped on. So I may be getting some new supplies from around your neck of the woods. (Got extra room in your trunk)? So I do talk about both my work and my partner’s because I am truly excited about what we do and where we want to go with it. Perhaps folks are cutting back on trips, but are spending on nesting. Who knows.

    AS always we love your input.

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