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Shane Gibson Keynote Speaker | Social Selling | Sales Trainer | Social Media Strategy

Monthly Archives / July 2008

  • Jul 26 / 2008
  • 6
Blogathon 2008, Marketing and PR, Sales Articles, Sales Blog, Sales Management Blog

Selling in Tough Economic Times – Bill Gibson Guest Blogger

How to Gain market share in a tough economy

Many years ago I was a top producing local radio advertising salesperson in the Twin Cities market of Halifax and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada.

On the East Coast of Canada the harsh winters literally crippled automobile sales. In December, January and February it is not uncommon to have sub-zero temperatures and three snow storms in a month that range from a half metre to a metre and a half of snow. One early November day I called on John Gwynne-Timothy, the new owner of a small car dealership called Twin Cities Plymouth Chrysler. He told me that it did not make good sense to advertise in November, December or January because of the ferocious winters. Chrysler Canada had instructed him to put aside C$100 000 for each of the three winter months, strictly for losses. He was also told to cut back on advertising and save the money for peak season. I could understand their thinking – first you have to find the car under the snow before you can show it that time of year.

“The best time to gain market share is in a down economy” – Bill Gibson

My response to John was that with every adversity there is an opportunity and the best time to gain market share is in a down economy. I added that most of the competitive dealerships would also be cutting back on advertising and the buying of inventory during that period. The advertising noise level in the market place was far less in the winter months. This would make it easier to dominate the market with less spending. The other dealers also were not buying cars at the auctions and it would be the best time to buy.
Here was the strategy:

* He went to the automobile auctions and bought at low, low prices. (If you buy right, you can sell right).
* On Friday afternoons at 4 pm we cleaned out his huge service department and decorated it with colourful streamers, balloons and so on.
* We then brought into the service department many of the especially low-price used cars and new ones.
* On the Friday morning we hit with newspaper and radio advertising – all day Friday and all day Saturday. In the weekly and monthly magazines we advertised the Winter Sale Bonanza Friday and Saturday at Twin Cities Plymouth Chrysler.
* We had live onsite radio announcers and upbeat music playing in the service depart-ment on the weekends and we sold cars until 9 pm on Friday and Saturday.

The final result was that Gwynne-Timothy profited C$100 000 per month in December, January and February. He budgeted for a C$300 000 loss and instead made C$300 000. In actuality, he was C$600 000 ahead.

“You can gain market share in a tough economy if you take control of your own economy”

In February, the competition eventually tried to counter attack – after laughing at him for what they thought was a waste of advertising money in December and January – but it was too late. He already had momentum. This momentum carried over to peak months from March to October with astronomical sales. He had gained huge market share in the down months that positively impacted the best months.

Within a year Gwynne-Timothy sold his small dealership for a huge profit and bought the largest Ford dealership in Atlantic Canada. Today he is a multimillionaire, simply by being innovative and proactive in a down economy – in Canada during the winter months. The following graph shows that 20% of a smaller market can be larger than 10% of a big market. It is easier to gain market share in a down economy.

A few years later, as a consultant in Canada, I had another client named Terry Straker. At the top of the economy he was grossing C$200 000 a month with his bedding and bedroom furniture stores in Calgary, Alberta. The country went into a recession and competition got stiffer. Eighteen months later, at the bottom of the economy, Terry grossed over C$1 million in one month – a 400% increase.

How did he do it? He got innovative and aggressive. He knew cash was king so he negotiated hard when buying. He then increased his advertising in the right mediums that targeted his market. Through research he knew the best days and best weeks to advertise. He increased sales training to twice a week. He tied in with charities and ran innovative promotions.

Straker once ran a promotion called Mr Money, where he dressed his brother up in a Mr Money outfit, and on Friday he announced to the media that Mr Money was dropping C$5 000 from the roof of his biggest store on Saturday. The plan was to drop C$500 an hour in small bills for 10 hours. Ten thousand people showed up and he got massive publicity. He had the biggest day ever. The reason is that in a down economy people want money.

He used endless creative traffic building ideas. Among them was a promotion with Salvatore (Sal) Stallone, Sylvester Stallone’s brother. Rocky II had just opened in the theatres.

“At the bottom of the economy, Terry grossed over C$1 million in one month – a 400% increase”

Even though the economy was down, Terry increased his sales by 400%. I acknowledge that, yes, with the new credit act, increased interest rates, hikes in petrol and electricity prices and the power crisis there could be tighter times ahead for many businesses in South Africa.

The solution is to believe you can gain market share in a tough economy if you take control of your own economy and get creative, innovative and pro-active. Do not wait for others or external factors to do it for you. Take control.

About Bill Gibson

Bill Gibson lives in South Africa and is the chairperson of Knowledge Brokers International SA (Pty) Ltd. He is the author of the book Boost your business in any economy, and the writer and developer of several sales, marketing and entrepreneurial training systems.  Bill Gibson can be reached at +27 11 784 1720 or info@kbitraining.com

This is blogathon entry number 36 for the MSMF Blogathon. Visit this page to learn how you can support this cause.

  • Jul 26 / 2008
  • Comments Off on Fred Shadian Guest Blog Entry on CREATING MOMENTUM
Blogathon 2008, Leadership, Sales Articles, Sales Blog, Sales Training

Fred Shadian Guest Blog Entry on CREATING MOMENTUM

Momentum is a form of movement that is created just like the ocean wave.  You cannot force momentum.  What you can do is become part of the flow of momentum and be caught by the wave and ride it to create the momentum that you desire in any aspect of your life.  The key to creating momentum, in reality, is to recognize the extraordinary movement in your life or in your organization and take small steps every single day towards your desired outcome.  Determine where you are at and where you are going and stay focused using your time and talent until you feel totally congruent with your desire.

My favourite martial arts instructor, Sensei David Harris would always share with me the importance of daily activities toward a common goal.   If for any reason you feel that you are in a plateau, you can continue your level of progression by reading a book on the subject that you are pursuing, you can watch a video on the related subject, you can read a book or magazine, you can attend a seminar or you can even mentally rehearse your desired outcome for your success.

What is most important is to do something regardless of how small or how large.  By taking action daily you create the motion towards your desired achievement.  Another step to consider is to stay focused on the end result and be realistic with your approach by taking a step-by-step progression that leads you to your ultimate goal.  There is a Hawaiian saying: “When the surf is high, go surfing and when the water is calm, wax your board.”  Timing is of the essence when riding the wave of momentum.  If you hop on too early, you might crash.  If you hop on too late, you miss the wave.  By timing the wave correctly, you enjoy the ride all the way to the beach.

Fred Shadian

This is blogathon entry number 35 for the MSMF Blogathon. Visit this page to learn how you can support this cause.

  • Jul 26 / 2008
  • 1
Blogathon 2008, Marketing and PR, Sales Blog, Sales Training Video

Sales Professional Spotlight Ian Watt

Ian Watt is a highly energetic real estate agent here in Vancouver.  I first met Ian through Stephen Jagger and his Vancouver Real Estate Technology Meetup.  Ian has done a great job in branding and differentiating himself using video blogging. (uses the same flip Video cam that I used to shoot this video).  Here’s what the press says about Ian:

The Vancouver Sun newspaper says “Ian Watt is the star of his own business video, transforming his blog into a live show in which he tours Vancouver dispensing advice, hitting real estate hot buttons, winning over fans and enraging critics.”

Here’s an example of the type of video that Ian uses to market himself and brand himself as a Real Estate Sales Professional, what I like about this is his candid common sense approach is something a number of his peers could benefit from emulating:

This is blogathon entry number 34 for the MSMF Blogathon. Visit this page to learn how you can support this cause.

  • Jul 26 / 2008
  • Comments Off on Dr. Denis Cauvier Interview
Blogathon 2008, Leadership, Sales Articles, Sales Blog, Sales Management Blog

Dr. Denis Cauvier Interview

Following is an excerpt from a larger article on Dr. Denis Cauvier.  I asked Denis to guest blog today and he sent me some great content on human resources and hiring sales people.  Following us an excerpt from his interview in Bratislava Leaders Magazine.  After Denis learned more about the blogathon he also pledged a considerable donation! (Thanks Dr. Denis Cauvier)

How has HR changed over the past 10 years?

HR has changed dramatically over the past decade. Some of the more significant changes are: demographics changes including the aging workforce and declining birth rates in most developed nations and at the same time exploding birth rates in most developing nations; the emergence of four distinctly different age groups working at the same time; the global nature of business with massive mergers and acquisitions as well as outsourcing of labour; plus technological advances affecting the need for skills and knowledge upgrading; the proliferation of internet recruiting, flexible HR policies, employment branding; plus an unprecedented talent and skills shortage that will continue in many countries for the next two decades.

What is the key to pre-screening and selecting the right people for a team?

The quick answer is to “pre-screen for competency and select for character”. What this means is that the entire pre-screening process should focus on answering the fundamental question, “does the person possess the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to do the job?” In other words, are they competent (able) to do the job? Once you are satisfied that the applicant possesses the requisite abilities then the selection process begins. It is here that you need to “select” the best candidate in terms of best fit with the company. To do this you must focus your energies on examining the person’s character which is made up of their attitude, and personality. The most insightful part of the selection process is the face-to-face interview.

What are some of the main reasons that some sales people are successful and others are not?

Contemporary wisdom suggests that the key to successful selling lies within the sales person’s skills, knowledge and selling techniques. Although I agree that these issues are all important, I believe that the single biggest contributor to selling success is the person’s attitude. Their attitude entails many elements, such as their attitudes: towards themselves in the role of professional selling, their attitude as it relates towards the selling process; their attitude towards the company they represent, the products and services they offer their attitudes toward their customers, and their team-mates. These attitudes will ultimately determine their level of selling success.

As a respected authority on customer retainment as well, how is it possible to turn a one-time buyer into a life-time customer?

People the world over complain to me that there is no customer loyalty and that a client will change suppliers to save even a tiny bit of money. I feel this is an over-simplification of the issue. Yes, people are always seeking bargains, but at the end of the day it’s value for money that will win out. I don’t believe that a company has to be the lowest priced provider; rather they need to fully understand the needs of their clients and then exceed the customer’s expectations. This is done by investing in client relationship building, having highly skilled and knowledgeable, sales, and customer service professionals, and constantly seeking ways to improve the life and or business of your clients. By adopting this “imbedded partnership mindset” you will become the supplier of choice for your key accounts.

In your best-selling book “the ABCs of Making Money”, what are some of the strategies that ordinary people can implement to create extraordinary wealth?

Actually, the answer to this question lies within the title of my book; it’s what I refer to as the “ABCs” approach and is doable by anyone who has the desire to succeed and is prepared to put the effort in. It all starts with adopting the right attitudes. By understanding the attitudes of successful, wealthy people, and then engaging in highly effective day to day behaviours (such as living within your means, investing your money at an early age, develop critical skills in the areas of selling, communicating, negotiating and priority management; and finally applying the principles of creating money by owning your business and developing numerous sources of passive income… the idea of earning money even while I sleep is very appealing to me

This is blogathon entry number 33 for the MSMF Blogathon. Visit this page to learn how you can support this cause.

  • Jul 26 / 2008
  • Comments Off on Question From Fiona Douglas-Crampton Vancouver Board of Trade
* Sales Podcast, Blogathon 2008, iPhone Podcasts, Leadership, Sales Articles, Sales Blog, Sales Management Blog, Sales Training

Question From Fiona Douglas-Crampton Vancouver Board of Trade

This blogathon entry has been sponsored by Fiona Douglas-Crampton (604-641-1207) with the Vancouver Board of Trade.  Before I get into Fiona’s question I must personally first let my readers know that the Vancouver Board of Trade has been the single best investment I have made in my business in the past 10 years.

The Board has helped me grow my personal network, increase my personal leadership capacity and even after several years as a  member I now see an endless flow of new business coming in from referrals and opportunities at the Board.

Fiona’s question is: “What qualities of a successful leader are also shared by successful sales people?”

Answer: Due to 18 hours of typing (my hands are a bit stiff) I will be answering this in audio or podcasting format! But here’s the coles notes version:

  1. Vision
  2. Influence
  3. Networking Skills
  4. Coaching and Mentoring Skills
  5. Teaching and Training Skills

This is blogathon entry number 31 for the MSMF Blogathon. Visit this page to learn how you can support this cause.

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