Thursday, April 30, 2009

Guest Post: Another Rae of Insight

Steve knows a lot of stuff about business, branding and other stuff.

Since our chance meeting in April of 2006, this folksinging husband to Carolyn, and father to Kelsey and Graham, has proven he has has plenty to offer anyone serious about taking their business to another level.

Steve Rae is a veteran Wizard of Ads partner, a Troubadour for Truth in Advertising and today he makes another guest appearance on TSB. Steve, who also owns two radio stations in Ontario, is a gifted writer, facilitator and public speaker.

Today, we're delighted to share some of his latest "Raes of Insight".


Do you want to sell me something or not?

In this land of so called economic slowdown, I think one of the main culprits may be the apathy of retail salespeople.

My wife and I want to purchase a compact sized washer and dryer for our cottage. We’d love to put in a full sized set, but there isn’t the space. You’d think that we were lepers or something. We’re willing to spend whatever it takes to get the best we can find which is probably about $2000 but we can’t find anyone who is deserving to take our money.

We have been to 4 stores so far, 5 if you count the store that was a minute or two from closing time and the sales lady said to my wife “We’re closed.” When asked if she could answer a quick question the sales lady said, “What about?” “Compact washers and dryers.” “No” she said and SHOOED my wife out the door. Whenever we mention that we need a compact set, the look of abject disappointment from every sales rep is palpable. Not one of them has questioned us about why, about our requirements, the reasoning behind our motivation or anything at all.

We have been the recipients of the half-hearted point, “They’re over there.” Or when led to the machines on display, “Here they are, I don’t know much about them, I guess they work okay.” No product knowledge, no evidence of anything resembling a pulse from any sales person.

What gives?

We feel like we’ve been shutout by these salespeople but I’ll be damned if I’m going to reward some lazy ass slob with the commission on $2000. I can’t be the only person in the world who feels this.

So, if you are in the retail business and you catch yourself or one of your sales staff treating customers with the kind of apathy we’ve been treated to, slap yourself or figuratively speaking, your staff and stop complaining about how bad business is.

If you can’t shake yourself or your staff out of this funk, there may indeed be hard times ahead. Steve Clark of New School Selling writes: “During the economic boom of the nineties, business was easy and few salespeople were really “put to the test.” Because the nineties were one of the most prosperous decades in our history most salespeople that have less than ten years experience have never experienced selling in a recession.”

You have a great opportunity ahead of you. Beat your competition to the business simply by showing you care.

Steve Rae

Hmmm ... Beat your competition by showing you care.

Could it really be that simple?

Johnny was one of the few, who actually put this idea into practice. This young man knew nothing about internet attraction marketing and Web 2.0 Social Marketing but Johnny had heard someone speaking about doing something to show his customers that he cared.

What could he do?

How could he, of all people, come up with a creative way to give his customers more than they would normally expect?

"In marketing you must choose between boredom, shouting and seduction. Which do you want?" ROY H. WILLIAMS

p.s.... In late 2008, Steve and some of his Wizard of Ads Partners began to travel North America teaching 2-day marketing workshops to business owners. After sold-out crowds in Nashville and Denver, the WOA Partners are coming to Toronto on May 4th and 5th, bringing their love for the sticky impact and cost effectiveness of marketing properly in these rapidly changing times.

Topics to be covered include:

-Societal Shifts and how they are affecting today's market
-How to achieve Big results from small ad budgets
-How to build Word of Mouth
-Your website might be your least expensive marketing tool if done properly.
-12 most common causes of advertising failure

As you may know, tuition to events like these at Wizard Academy in Austin, Texas, runs well over $1000 or more, but they're only charging a $99 per person OOP fee (ounce of prevention) for the two day event. Click right here to “save me a spot”. more of the pertinent information.Direct Booking Contact - Lindsay Harwood 519-271-2450


Mike Shanks PSP said...

I heard a story from a friend. Not sure if it was a fable but I will share.

My friend worked at a boat retailer in Orillia (about an hour or so north of TO). The story goes that a rough looking gentleman came in and was milling about looking at boats. These were no cheap boats either. A salesman went up to him and started to talk to the "roughien" about boats. Most would not have wasted the time with someone that obviously could not afford what he was looking at.

When the gentleman eventually decided to purchase a boat in the 6 figure range he told his story. This was the 3rd retailer he had stopped at on his way home to Northern Ontario from Toronto. He had gone into the city to pick up his Lotto 649 winnings and had decided to pick up a boat on his way home. The other two retailers had not even given him the time of day. Prejudged and dismissed he happened into this retailer in Orillia and dropped a VERY large amount on a boat without even a blink.

Maybe Steve needs to put on the Armani and Gucci to get some service?

Glad to hear Steve has the principle to wait to find the deserving salesperson to take his money! Most would settle.


Ian Varty said...


Every SB client should watch the Johnny video, regardless of what commodity they're selling. Thanks for this post!

Gair Maxwell said...

Glad to hear the Vartarian One liked it and that Mike was able to contribute to the dialogue in true Shankswellian fashion!