Finding The Right Button

To be successful in business, it helps to know not only what you sell, but why you are selling it. Having this knowledge makes it possible to more easily duplicate your success.

Consider Betty, my client who loved meeting in the early mornings. I’d typically arrive at her office at 8 a.m., leaving at 9 with a request for a proposal.

Then came the morning I brought a dozen cheese Danish with me. At 9 a.m. I left with a contract in hand.

Two weeks later I appeared for an update meeting. Left the Danish, walked out with another contract.

Coincidence? I think not.
So I tested my theory and started regularly appearing with a dozen pastries under my arm. The contracts became easier to secure, and Betty’s staff started getting friendlier in anticipation of the goodies I’d bring them all.

My messages started getting through faster and little favors needed to maximize our business relationship happened unbidden.

The value of this simple sales tool was proven to me the day my 4 p.m. meeting with Betty was cancelled. “I’m postponing our meeting until 8 a.m. tomorrow,” she told me.

Message received. Appearing at the appointed hour with a dozen assorted Danish, I was greeted like a hero.

And I left with a healthy new assignment.

Were those Danish a bribe or breakfast? You decide.

All I know is they helped me open doors into two other divisions at the same company. In short order I was entering that building three times each month with Danish and I’d suddenly become very popular!

Offering the right products at a fair price is a solid place to begin the sales process. But if you really want to turn your customer into an ongoing relationship, try to find the button.

For some customers that button will be remembering their birthday. Others want to get some appreciation at the holidays.

And every once in a while you’ll find someone who enjoys a good pastry.

Finding that button isn’t necessarily easy, of course. It takes trial, error, and maybe some luck.

But if you’re paying attention, you might just find customers are telling you what will make them eager to continue working with you, and referring you business…even as they complain that your meetings are making them fat.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

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