Monday, November 16, 2009

What kind of sales person are you?

Sales…a difficult job no matter what the economy is like.

There are many experts out there that offer sound advice on the best practices for cold calling, setting up meetings, getting the YES in the meeting, etc.
I am not about to offer this type of advice or insight.

I have had the chance to learn first hand some of the tactics, practices and procedures that do and do not work when trying to get a sale. The other thing I have learned over the past few years is how some decision makers think.

Put yourself into the shoes of the person you are trying to sell to. How many sales calls do they get on a daily basis? How many different pitches do they get from sales people that think they are better than others. How many times do you think this decision maker hears “ This is the product/service that will help you company like no other” or something like that.

One thing I learned early on in my sales career, most decision makers don’t really care what you have to say. They are meeting with your as a courtesy, to stop the overabundance of phone calls from you. Forget about trying to WOW them with the widget, gadget or service you are trying to sell.

The best thing you can do is show them that you care. I don’t mean putting on a fa├žade to make it seem like you are concerned. You need to be genuinely concerned about what they sell, what they offer, what the company does. Many times they get taken aback when you kick things off by asking “What is it that you want your company to accomplish in the nest 12 months”

Sales in general needs to go back to wanting to help others, not sell them on things that may not be in the best interest of their company. In essence, I have lost many sales in my career because I have not been cut throat, ruthless or down right immoral. What I have gained in immeasurable in spreadsheets, sales revenue and commissions. I go home everyday knowing that I did the right thing, feeling like I represented myself and my company well and most importantly created a business relationship that can hopefully flourish in the future.

There will be plenty of times when I do not get the sale, but many of those people that may say NO to what I am offering will remember me as someone ethical, not the a-typical sales person.

How are you representing yourself when you meet for “the sale”? Are you pushing hard to get the YES or are you taking the time to listen and care?
What kind of

Thursday, November 12, 2009

3rd Annual Kurozawa Kids Christmas Wish Drive for Milwaukee Rescue Mission

Hello friends….Christmas is right around the corner!

It is time for the 3rd Annual Kurozawa Kids Christmas Wish Drive for Milwaukee Rescue Mission.

Noah (3rd grade) and Mia (5th grade) are working to collect items to make Christmas a little brighter for those at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission.

Over the last two years the response has been great from their classmates at Dixon Elementary, from our church family at Spring Creek Church and from friends. This year the need is even greater.

Here is the link to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission website (Christmas Wish List)... http://www.milmission.org/christmaswishlist.aspx
We just ask each person to donate just one item off the list...imagine the great impact we can all make!

As a family we will be collecting items whenever we can…so just email us and we will make arrangements for pickup.

All donated items will be delivered by Mia and Noah on the week before Christmas to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Pros and Cons of the 1/2 price gift certificate

Half price gift certificates, Dining Deals, super steals.
Many different names, but these programs have taken America by storm.

Radio stations all over the country have embraced this concept, a great way for them to secure “non-traditional” revenue or NTR. They offer on on-air and internet promotional package in exchange for gift certificates from area businesses. Those certificates are then sold for half price to listeners.

The idea for businesses is to draw new customers in by promoting with these kinds of program, without writing the large check for normal advertising.

As someone that ran one of these programs for 3 years, I have seen the success and the failures. Time to answer some standard questions:

Q: Do these 1/2 price gift certificate programs work?
A: Short answer…yes, but not in every case. There are a few things that determine if it works or not.
First, the type of business offering the certificates. Restaurants have traditionally been the bread and butter of the ½ price programs. Golf and hotels also work. These programs are not meant for everyone. I personally put some businesses on my program that were just wrong.

Q: Are the ½ price programs risk free for my business?
A: Absolutely not. The biggest risk is that every certificate is bought, redeemed and that you do not create return customers. Conversely worst case scenario no certificates are purchased and redeemed.

Q: As a business owner, do I maintain ultimate control over the certificates?
A: If the person implementing the program is doing their job right, then yes. Unfortunately I have personally seen many instances where the business did not get what they were promised by the radio station. For example. one business I worked with had an experience with another company that did not fulfill promises of number of certificates that were to be sold, restrictions on when they could be used; and the business owner was not allowed to proof the certificate before printing.

There are many more questions that could be addressed. If your company is interested in participating in a half price gift certificate program, there are some key things you need to contemplate before jumping in:

1. How will this benefit my company?
2. What is the best audience to reach out to? (which will be covered in another blog)
3. How can I maximize this program to increase my business.

All in all, I truly believe the Half Price gift certificate programs are beneficial for some businesses, if handled correctly and with proper preliminary investigation.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to post them in the comment area,

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The New Blog, moving forward

Welcome to the new and improved Jon Kurozawa blog.
I had contemplated doing more business on the K6 Marketing blog and keeping this one for personal use. After reading a couple of chapters of Gary Vaynerchuk’s book “Crush It” (Gary of WineLibraryTV fame) I have decided to do both in one location.

One of the biggest issues with starting a new blog is what do I write about? One singular topic, something I am passionate about, random rants? I had to think about this and I came up with one thought. What can I offer the most for that may not be offered by anyone else?

Over the past few years I have gotten a solid understanding of marketing and advertising, what is available to businesses and what some of the challenges are. I have been there on the side of trying to find the best marketing opportunities, as well as being someone pitching ideas as well (actually I am in a similar situation now)

On this blog and the videos I will be producing, I will give my honest opinions on the world of marketing and advertising…what works, what doesn’t, misconceptions and the outright lies that are told by some.

Will this information offend some? Yes (if you are in advertising most likely).
Will this information be relevant? Only if you are open minded and willing to listen to someone else’s opinion.

My goal is to offer what I have learned over my career and provide people and businesses in need with valuable information.

The first topic on Monday will be Half Price gift certificate programs; are they good and what are the pitfalls.