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Seven Sales Tips For Solo Operators

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                   SoHo NEWS & TIPS
Helping You Make the Most of Your Small Office/Home Office

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All small-business owners should be sure to check out today's 
issue. It includes several helpful sales tips from fellow 
business owners that might be useful to you. 

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- Rumor has it a senior WeatherBug official 
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- Microsoft takes further steps to beat antitrust 
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- Three executives of Samsung Electronics Co., 
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- Ciena announces it's closing its Shrewsbury, NJ, 
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Seven Sales Tips For Solo Operators 

We asked folks to send in their best sales tips 
for small-business owners. Here's a sampling of 
the responses we received:

"Shut up, and listen!" says Michael Leppo, 
president of Strategic Sales Closers, a sales-
consulting service in Lawrenceville, N.J. It's 
the sales professional's job to listen to his or 
her prospect with 100% concentration on everything 
the prospect is or is not saying, he says. 

Create a spin-off company as a sales tool, says 
Bill Clark, vice president of E.L. Smith Printing 
Co., a printing facility in Ridgefield Park, N.J. 
Mr. Clark did this with E.L. Smith and the "spin-
off" company became the lead business. As an 
example, he says, if you sell pillows, create a 
newsletter explaining the health benefits of a 
good night's sleep, and include reasons why some-
one needs your type of pillows. 

Invite in and talk with every new sales represent-
ative, because he or she may have the next great 
product idea, says Sean O'Brian, vice president of 
Blinn's Toys, a toy store in Fairfield, Conn. "The 
knowledge of sales representatives on the road far 
exceeds what you'll learn at a trade show," says 
Mr. O'Brian.

If a misperception exists about your product, sell 
and market against it. New York City comedian 
Shaun Eli Breidbart says his potential audience 
doesn't go to comedy clubs because they think the 
show will be full of vulgar comedians telling 
generic tasteless jokes. To counter such misconcept-
ions, Mr. Breidbart uses a catchy slogan for his 
Web site (www.brainchampagne.com): "Clever Comedy 
for Smart Minds." "It hints that my comedy is smart 
and sophisticated," Mr. Breidbart says. 

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Have an outstanding Web site, says Thomas Dieck, 
owner and chief designer of TRD Designs, a 
landscape-design company in Katonah, N.Y. He used 
to spend hours at clients' homes going over design 
work; now, a lot of that is done online, he says. 
Have a Web-site address that people can remember 
without writing down.

Know the value of your work, says Norma Siciliano, 
president of Cold Calling for Hot Sales, a sales-
coaching firm in New York City. 

Manage own "self-talk" to avoid psyching yourself 
out of a sale, says Donna Beccaria, owner and 
president of Corporate Learning Group, a team-
development firm in Belle Mead, N.J. 

Here are suggestions from business owners for win-
ning new customers and building client relation-

* Host receptions and reunions for clients. 
* Join professional networking groups. 
* Have the client sign off on your project design. 
  This builds anticipation. 
* Ask for references early on in a project, when 
  the client is most excited. 
* Mean what you say. People can spot a phony. 
* Run local radio and newspaper ads in the form of 
  a reward poster. 


If you plan to take orders over the phone without seeing the 
customer and getting his or her signature, you can still take 
a few steps to protect yourself. When processing a telephone 
transaction, follow these steps:

1. Get all credit card information and repeat all numbers, 
dates, and names.

2. Verify that the person making the purchase is the person 
to whom the card is issued.

3. Always get an authorization number and write it on the 
sales receipt.

4. Verify the person's billing address before he or she 
hangs up.

5. Get the person to come by to pick up the merchandise. 
Have him or her sign the sales form at that time.

So what did you think about this issue? Drop me a line and let 
me know at mandi@gophercentral.com 

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