Sunday, 9 August 2015

Selling Value Coals to Newcastle, Ice to the Eskimos (Inuit / Yupik) and Water to Belfast folk.

In selling we need to be aware of the different aspects of value of a product or service:-

The value of something is defined as its merit, worth, usefulness, use, utility, practicality, advantage, desirability, benefit, gain, profit, good, service, help...
Perhaps because water is plentiful in the UK we don’t value it until there is a crisis. 

Most of the time we see water as the most basic of commodities yet some might think it unnecessary that it has to be "sold". The public supply of treated water is sold on its rational motivation of safety and security, on cost through the water rates and its uses from drinking, washing etc. ( utility) 

Last Friday during routine tests, United Utilities,  found traces of the parasite cryptosporidium  which can cause stomach upsets, at the Franklaw water treatment works outside Preston.

Public Health England said there was "no reason" to resort to bottled water amid reports shops were selling out. There has been some panic in the areas effected clearing supermarket shelves of bottled water.

More than 300,000 households including the towns Blackpool and Preston have been told to boil drinking water.

Chief scientific officer Martin Padley said: "The plant that's affected delivers 140 million litres of water a day and it'll take some time for all that water to flush through the system."

Specsavers, Farnham
 "Proudly Supporting the Community"
bottles of water supplied by CoolerWater

Meanwhile elsewhere in the UK, water is  given out free as a promotion. 

Specsavers the high street opticians, are running a PR campaign "Proudly supports the community". Specsavers supplier is the Traded Brand promotional water company Cooler Water.
 Paying for Drinking-water, in the UK now is as much an emotional purchase as a rational one. We buy bottled water for reasons of personal taste  and pleasure( fizzy or still), as a status symbol to show our sophistication, express our loyalty to a brand , sentiment of summer holiday spent abroad perhaps, fear that tap water has nasties in it or added fluoride etc,

In my local Sainsbury supermarket I can pay a little for mineral water whether straight / sparkling from 20 p per litre from the Sainsbury Basics range to £1.20 for the Brand names. These waters are sourced from Scotland- Highland Spring, Derbyshire- Buxton , from la belle France with brands  such as Perrier, Badoit, Volvic,  and the 'water of choice' for Wimbledon this year, Evian.

Dasani Water brand still strong in the States
Marketing water is not without its challenges .
Coca Cola’s Dasani water brand was withdrawn in UK. Memories of the episode of the classic TV comedy hit “Only Fools and horses” where likeable spiv Del Trotter launched Chateau Peckham - illegally drawing of mains water and bottling it.

Do we value water ?

The CEO of Nestlé , Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, received considerable adverse publicity for a remark a couple of years ago when he appeared to challenge the human 'right' to water. 

His remarks were allegedly  taken out of context. His initial statements have now been revised.

"I am the first one to say water is a human right. This human right is the five litres of water we need for our daily hydration and the 25 litres we need for minimum hygiene. "

"This amount of water is the primary responsibility of every government to make available to every citizen of this world, but this amount of water accounts for 1.5% of the total water which is for all human usage."

"Where I have an issue is that the 98.5% of the water we are using, which is for everything else, is not a human right and because we treat it as one, we are using it in an irresponsible manner, although it is the most precious resource we have.


 Because we don't want to give any value to this water. And we know very well that if something doesn't have a value, it's human behaviour that we use it in an irresponsible manner."

Well, a story a couple of weeks ago put a very high value on water. It may support Mr. Brabeck-Letmathe's provocative view.

The Merchant hotel, Belfast achieved considerable PR exposure on launching to its clientèle a new water menu.  Gone are the ‘old skool’ paltry  offering of still or fizzy , now the hotel are offering a list of 13 different  waters sourced from around the world.   

The prices range from £4.95 - £25+

Of course many of us might well feel that a fiver for a litre of bottled drinking water is pretty steep ! £25 might be what we are prepared to pay for a bottle of champers .

 Perhaps this water menu is being used a situational price conditioner.

When in such a restaurant and you see a local brand of premier cru water, at say £4.00 for a litre bottle we think it a bargain because the separate water menu has such a price of £4.95 as the lowest end of their range.

Adding value to water - facts , benefits and personalising

Apparently the Merchant Hotel's, “discerning consumers are also increasingly demanding a wider choice of waters.” 

The 5 star Hotel's general manager Gavin Carroll said:  “Just like wine, the location where water is produced will impact on its taste and flavour. “

“The ethos behind the new water menu is to allow our guests to have the chance and choice to curate their own bespoke food and beverage experience. 

 Few would be aware that a water menu had a 'philosophy' or an 'ethos'. Perhaps the vocabulary is hyped up but customers like a range to select from.

 Clearly you can get a free glass of water from your local Nero coffee shop but the Merchant hotel, Belfast , I would imagine is selling a 'luxury experience.'

"Our ‘water butlers’ can help customers decide on the type water that will best complement the food and wine they choose, to enable them to experience the perfect taste journey.”  I thought the ‘journey’ lingo had gone out of fashion but having a meal can still be described as a taste journey.

“The brands featured on our new menu are some of the world’s best and have been sourced from a range of global locations including glaciers, tropical islands and mountains.”

“Of course, we know these luxury waters won’t be to everyone’s taste and new menu will be offered as an additional option to our current water menu that includes local Irish brands and for those that don’t want to splash out on water, we can still offer a glass of ‘Belfast water’, free of charge.

Value from a selling perspective is much about understanding and satisfying different points of view.

A story goes that there was tour given round Slough sewage works to some visiting water engineers. The works at Slough are one of largest water treatment works in Europe. It handles thousands of  gallons of water per day for its customers. It consists of all sorts of settling tanks and chemical applications and filters etc. 
The finish of the tour consisted of the guide summarising his talk by raising a glass filled from the final filtration tank. At the close of his presentation for the tour he would raise the glass as if to toast the assembled visitors with the final lines:

“Ladies and Gentleman before I drink this glass of water, may I remind you 8 people have drunk this water from Oxford here to Slough before me. It may be all P*** and S*** to you, but it is my bread and butter!”

Good dining and drinking folks , and enjoy  going out for a nice meal over the weekend or as the Merchant Hotel Belfast might say a “chance and choice to curate your own bespoke food and beverage experience” whether in a five star hotel or restaurant chain site.

Spare a thought for the poor folk in Lancashire currently who are having to boil their water for safety reasons and those at United Utilities sorting out the problem.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Your Mobile salescoach 'Pause & Reflect' before and after each sales call

Less field accompaniment coaching is done by managers compared with a few years ago.

So today you have to coach yourself - either from your desk or out in the field.

Since Ofcom tell us today that the UK is a smart phone society where we spend 2 hours per day on the smart phone why not let your smart phone be your field coach.

Before you make that phone call to your client or visit face to face, take a PAUSE prepare for the call and then after each call REFLECT on what happened, what went well , what needs further work, what's the aim of the next call.

Here's a useful acronym "PAUSE and REFLECT "

So before you make that phone call or face to face visit gather your thoughts and PAUSE !

Plan what agreements you want 

Ask open questions to establish their needs

Use relevant benefits to match need

Select techniques best suited open and close your call

End with agreement to act

After the call reflect on what happened.

Carry out a quick Review and ask yourself , did you


Reach your objective

Establish Real Needs of your client ?

Find the relevant personalised benefits ?

Listen to your client's reaction

Eliminate Objections

Commit your client to action ?

Target your next objective?

Why not bookmark this PAUSE and Reflect post link on your smart phone right now !

Let your smart phone be your sales coach

Good Selling

Relate Links

UK now a smartphone society Ofcom

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Selling Yourself Selling #Corbyn Selling #AndyBurnham Selling #YvetteCooper Selling #LizKendall

Our world thrives on selling.
A surprising source of lessons in selling perhaps
 but read on

 Selling’s ingress is experienced in so  much of human activity whether directly or indirectly. 

The author Robert Louis Stevenson observed 

“Everyone lives by selling something, whatever be his right to it".

 However if you were to explain the word 'Selling', how would you define it? 

 1. "Old skool "

Why not right now right down on a piece of paper you definition, 
  2.  if you are on the new (school) Windows 10,

 Why not try out  your Scribble notes with your new Edge browser. I understand you can write notes with a digital pen, or scribble directly on a touchscreen  (and it kind of works with a touchpad )  I confess I am sticking with pen and paper at present !

 So write down your definition on the blank space here or on a sheet of paper. I suggest two versions. 

 Maybe first write a funny or cynical one first and get that out of your system! 

 Then set to work on a serious definition Keep it short. A tweet’s length of 140 characters max would be a good target. 

 The very first sale you need to make is to yourself. You are unlikely to be successful in selling if you don’t believe in yourself. 

A surprising source on matters "Selling" 
the Morning Star !
The next stage is then to sell ‘yourself’ to someone else. Currently we are seeing how four people are campaigning against each other for leadership election of the labour party. Each of the candidates are pitching to their Party.

 They are doing that challenging sale – Selling Yourself. 

 Their various attributes, skills and knowledge are being put to the test of opinion polls, political pundits, local party members and the general public. 

You can only sell a difference

In a letter to the left wing newspaper The Morning Star Andrew Northall of Kettering writing about the current Labour party leadership campaign looking a historic lessons of their rivals the Conservative Party. The letter argued that a drive for centrism had lost polls for Edward Heath, and how the radical Margaret Thatcher won out. The letter writer Mr Northall observed

“ .. The recipe for electoral success in the modern world seems to include setting out a clear and compelling idea of the society in which people want to live and a set of policies which both address their immediate needs and concerns but also represent clear steps towards delivering that vision
Front page pitch from The Morning Star.
("Rubbishing" the competition is fair game
 in selling newspapers, it seems)
Notice how the words which I have underlined the selling-words that resonate the objectives and action of selling.

Visionsetting objectives, research, planning and preparation

Needs- implies listening, questioning, engagement,  Networking and pressing the flesh, relating to people with charm, presenting your case to them 

Concerns –  handling and dealing with objections, resistance and complaints

Delivery-  gaining agreement, closing, ongoing development

The Labour leader election result is  some way off yet - (September 10th).  

So far as predicting how it will turn out perhaps if we return to Robert Louis Stevenson once more. Some of his book titles may presage how it might go:-

Will the result lead to a 'Treasure Island' ?, will policies get 'Kidnapped' ?, or will the next few weeks resemble 'Travels with a donkey' ? will party members tick 'The Wrong Box'?  will  what we learn from now on about the contestants resemble 'The strange case of Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde?