Author Archives: Chuck Sink

Leave a Recall Impression

If you were once a salesperson and then become a business owner, the tables suddenly turn, and then you discover the real reasons people buy. You also find out what it’s like to get bombarded by those in your previous profession and why your past sales calls often went unanswered.

I’ve been in the same selling situation as the buying situation I’m in now. Having experience on both sides of the table offers me much deeper sales and marketing insights.

It’s a go!

Most recently I needed to procure services for a couple of client projects and had several pros in my network to call on. All have networked with me and marketed to me in similar ways, and I had no strong loyalties one way or the other. I made my selections and so far, so good.

Why did I choose whom I chose? What most influenced my decisions? In each case it was the strongest and most relevant brand impression left with me. The deciding factors were the suppliers’ focus on their relevant specialties along with my perceptions of their quality, personality and integrity.

Branding Matters!

This is why I always harp on branding. The most powerful brand elements reside in your head and mine! And when we take them to heart, we develop brand loyalty and know whom to call again and again for those needed services or products.

Brands have the power to open relationships! Your brand is only as strong as its recall impression. What does your brand stand for and why does it matter?

Need help with that? Call us and we’ll figure out the messaging that will make your potential customers realize it’s you they should call first.

Curiosity and Ideas – a Salesperson’s Best Friends

If you’re involved with business development, you know of certain places where you can find opportunities. You also know there are certain activities which have proven to bring you new business. So you go to those places and repeat those activities consistently. Over time, this may become disappointingly dull or the value of your time spent doing the same things may be questionable.

What if you could expand your opportunities by expanding your interest in what’s going on all around you? Can you bring valuable, creative energy and solutions to people unexpectedly?

Can you tell me about this?

Asking the right questions, often of perfect strangers, leads to opportunities. How many stories have you heard about a seemingly random, happenstance meeting that led to something great? I’ve heard hundreds of such firsthand experiences and have a few of my own to share. I’m sure you do too.

Many years ago, I was curious about a sign I drove past that I hadn’t noticed before. I made a u-turn and pulled up to the building. I inquired about what the company did (thinking at first it was a bakery) and learned it was an industrial manufacturer of niche papermaking equipment. I got the President’s card from the receptionist and never made direct contact. I put his email address into my newsletter list and that was that. A full nine years later, I got a call out of the blue from the guy, and his company became one of my best clients for several years.

Did You Know…?

One day I was drinking a certain brand of tea in the office, and it dawned on me to call the brand’s headquarters in Connecticut. I got the VP of Marketing on the phone and told him about qualitative market research which he happened to be interested in. That serendipitous phone call led to millions in revenue for the company I worked at. I duplicated this tactic and landed business with a major coffee maker brand – Keurig – when it was first entering the commercial market. I have similar stories.

The big secret is that you can create chance meetings and opportune moments intentionally. Make it your intent to bring value to people by learning what they need and pointing them in the right direction to obtain it. This is done by asking questions, but you need to find the people to ask. Where are they? Everywhere – grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, churches, chambers of commerce, construction sites, town offices, BNI groups, coffee shops, hotel lobbies… you get the idea. Just go to these places armed with curiosity, approachability and ideas.

Creative Solutions Nuke Objections

There’s tremendous value in expanding your local presence beyond your traditional home turf. I did this early in my career by making a tiny mom & pop print shop in the North Country a significant competitor in Southern NH and Northern MA. This was unheard of at the time. Due to high demand, logistics and shipping costs, most commercial printers only competed regionally. But I found a way to do business successfully from a long distance. I became the territory rep of my small, faraway company and confidently dispatched objections about distance, turnaround time and logistics.

We didn’t have our own trucks and couriers like other printers, but we had a bus route passing near our shop. Most bus companies gladly accept parcel and freight business, and they run most routes several times a day. Did you know that? We did, and Concord Trailways became my local service equalizer for years! As a result, I more than tripled the company’s revenue by bringing business from the populated south to the rural and sleepy White Mountains region where we had our presses.

Value Driven Field Work

It’s easy enough to show up at places where opportunities may be found but simply asking questions of strangers can be awkward. However, if you have a valuable idea to offer, it’s just you trying to help with whatever situation you observe someone in.

Whatever your expertise, if you make a “cold call” in person or inquire from a stranger about a potential opportunity, be prepared to offer real, expert advice, and be objective about it. If you get back to the person with something of additional value, you’ll likely form a relationship. Create, build and maintain those relationships and more referrals will come your way.

 

 

Networking in Motion May 3rd – Manchester

Discourse & Ropes Course at Thrive Outdoors

Have a blast making new business connections!

It’s what Networking in Motion is all about!

Join us for lunch, networking and a fun activity on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at Thrive Outdoors in Manchester, NH. It’s free!

Event Details

Date & Time:  Tuesday, May 3, 2022, 12:00 noon – 1:30 PM

Location:  Thrive Outdoors – 190 Elm St, Manchester, NH 03101

  • Complimentary lunch and beverages served
  • Open networking and round robin business introductions
  • Fun team-building exercise on indoor low ropes course – a blast!

Registration is required! Contact us online or call 603-345-7223.

You can also register by contacting Jake or Melanie at Thrive Outdoors – (603) 625-6600

Quality Promotes!

In my early career, I’ll never forget Richard! He was the senior member of a 5-man sales team at a printing company I once worked for. His sales were huge, and they just seemed to pour in without him doing any prospecting, cold calling, or appointment setting, etc. How unfair!

Then there was poor me. I worked my tail off to get new business and produced enough to be valued. I cold called like mad, set appointments and made pitches day after day. It was a constant struggle to sustain business growth as it ebbed and flowed in spite of my mighty selling efforts. But Richard just sat there on the phone discussing business and taking big, fat orders. Either that or he would meet his clients at the plant and entertain them as they brought him more projects.

Richard’s cup runneth over while mine was either half full or half empty, depending on my attitude.

The real kicker about Richard was this. Most of the new business inquiries calling in would ask for him even though he didn’t spend time prospecting. What did he have that the rest of us didn’t?

 

Never Compromise Quality

Richard understood quality and he never cut corners. While I was trying to figure out ways to lower costs or match competitive price quotes to “win” an order, Richard could smoothly negotiate price increases making sure to add value to the total package.

The primary value that Richard added was quality-assurance. Richard’s clients knew that if they worked with him, they would get the best quality products available. No shortcuts, no surprises; just predictable high quality at a fair, negotiated price.

I assumed price meant everything and I was wrong.

When Richard sensed cheapness or price challenge from a new business prospect, he would usually refer them to competing manufacturers whom he knew would cut profits to keep their machines running. Better they get the difficult clients.

Quality Fuels Word of Mouth

If you’re looking for more qualified sales leads, focus more on delivering premium quality to all your customers every single time you do business. Word of mouth referrals are the best inbound leads. Quality reputations can only be earned, and if you’ve earned yours, then go ahead and promote it!

Promote the one thing that separates your quality from the rest. If a prospect happens to see your company promotion and call you after also getting a referral, the sale is yours! And that was Richard’s secret to easygoing sales success. He promoted quality assurance and all his customers backed him up.

Best-in-class quality is the goal. Your marketing and sales efforts will work better as the quality seekers in your market find what they’re looking for in your brand.

Integrity is Everything. Pride is nothing.

“Three weeks to flatten the curve.”

This may start out sounding pessimistic and defeatist but please hang on for the hope…

Trust in major institutions including news media has fallen to pitiful levels.

Big tech has taken over and ruined the marketing experiences of consumers like me. How? By lying about our privacy and then bombarding us with notifications we don’t want, even after opt-outs and changing device settings. They also take money from and then censor their own clients’ and users’ messages. And it gets worse from there on a global scale.

Brand Dysfunction

Big brands – Corporations – have decided to overtly insult large pluralities if not majorities of their customers by shifting resources into ideological, agenda-driven activism instead of improving their products and services. Then they cheapen and reduce the sizes of their packages thinking consumers won’t notice much.

It’s as if the managers are carefully calculating numbers of consumers who will accept less for the same price and just buy more packages. Are they devising formulas to show the right short-term profit numbers instead of leveling with the consuming public about cost increases and why they’re happening?

But even more insidious for the business world is the chilling mob mentality gripping corporate boardrooms and the fallacy-based groupthink flowing out of them!

Now, if you disagree with me personally about how dysfunctional Corporate America has become, read a liberated woman’s story.

Take It from a Teacher

The education establishment in general has lost its priorities of teaching our kids skills and developing their talents in exchange for promoting statist social engineering, arrogantly defying the wishes of most parents.

All of the federal government including the military “brass” is facing a leadership and accountability crisis. Bringing this to light cost the career of a highly decorated Marine Corps enlisted officer who chose honesty over job security.

The overreaction and mishandling of Covid 19 by world governments has been staggering! The economic and social devastation was needless as we now know but harmful restrictions stubbornly remain in too many places.

It’s time to invite integrity back into the psychic fabric of humanity. There’s no more blaming anyone! Integrity starts with a commitment to complete honesty, especially individual self-honesty and humble reflection.

Pride – Misunderstood and Overrated

Human pride is the enemy. This is the pride of self that blocks us from seeing our own negative contributions in the world, and if you will, our sins. Pride tricks you into believing that you are somehow better than someone else. Pride is what tries to protect you or cover up when you screw up.

Why does pride lead the “7 deadly sins?” Because it is at the root of all the rest: greed, lust, anger, gluttony, envy and sloth. The opposite of pride, humility, cannot coexist with any of those dangerous derelictions, but pride will invite them in to disturb and disrupt your peace of mind.

Imagine if you will…

Imagine if every politician and community leader could accept full responsibility for their mistakes with no imperative to dodge, deflect and countercharge critics. How about if all of us could admit it whenever we’re wrong with a willingness to accept consequences without fear of unjust treatment.

Imagine a culture of forgiveness and a universal longing for goodwill and unity among diverse people.

Imagine if we all were willing to lose something in support of the truth and only the truth.

If those things were to happen…

I imagine that trust in our institutions would return, and our society could again be built upon a foundation of integrity and mutual respect.

SnowMotion Networking

Woohoo! Another Networking in Motion Event – March 4th!

In Beautiful Sunapee, New Hampshire!

Open Networking with light lunch, hot beverages and spring water provided.

Take the conversation on the trail and enjoy a scenic short winter hike with other businesspeople!

Date & Time:  NEW DATE: March 4, 2022, Noon – 2:30 PM

Location:  3 Timmothy Road, Sunapee, NH 03782

  • Dress for winter weather.
  • Bring rugged winter snow boots or snowshoes for the hike!

Registration is required by contacting us online or calling 603-345-7223.

Lunch with a Punch – Networking in Motion Event

December 2, 2021 – Noon to 1:30 PM at The Training Station

200 Elm Street | Manchester, NH 03101

Enjoy a fun and lively Business Networking Event in this 8,000 square foot fitness and training studio in the heart of Manchester, NH.

  • Open Business Networking
  • Lite Bites & Beverages Served
  • Learn a fun and easy self-defense move!
  • Meet top area trainers and other great people!

This event is invitation only and registration is required.

To register, email chuck@chucksink.com or call 603-345-7223.

You can also register by contacting Christina Dow at The Training Station – (603) 505-0048

Who Follows You and Why?

Having “followers” in business is a good thing. And what are followers, exactly? Think of having fans interested in what you do, what you think and what you have to say. They would say positive things about and recommend your brand in a heartbeat. And they literally choose to “follow” you on social media because they value your insights.

Celebrity or Influencer?

Celebrity status is by degrees. There are local, national and worldwide celebrities. We can all be celebrities of sorts when we’re doing the kinds of things people celebrate as praiseworthy or valuable. If you’ve been in the same profession for 5 years or more and have a successful track record, the people who know this about you will value your thoughts and opinions about your industry. If you write about it publicly, you’ll attract a following of curious and likeminded people, and you’ll begin to influence their thinking. This is known as your “tribe” in business vernacular. To these folks, you’re known as an influencer which is akin to being a celebrity among that select group.

Can you attract people to an event or influence them to share your message? We all have a circle of influence which can wax and wane depending on our commitment to proactively offer value in every business situation. The more you engage people with value, the wider your influence grows in the market. That influence can fade quickly the moment you ease up and back off from proactive market engagement. I’ve seen this happen in my own business life repeatedly over the years which is why I keep writing blogs, columns and newsletters as well as attending events in my market, even creating them.

Innovation Gets Attention!

Last year I started a new local event series called “Networking in Motion” which keeps my brand and others’ in front of people like you. Having recruited a couple of influencers in my network – people who have their own tribe, we easily attract a dozen or more people to fun and “kinetic” business networking events. We build relationships and expand referral partnerships which you know are super valuable! So far, 3 successful events with another one coming up in early December! Stay tuned for details.

Would You Follow Yourself?

Whether you’re a buyer, seller, connector or just an observer, the amount you engage other businesspeople in meaningful conversations is usually in direct proportion to your current business success.

If people respect what you say, they are likely to follow you in the market, in your industry, at events, and it extends online. The key is to publish content and make sure it passes the value test! Do people get value and are they entertained when reading or listening, watching?

Proactive Market Engagement

Consider the ways in which you engage with people for the purpose of growing your business.

  • How many networking events per month do you attend?
  • Are you considered a “regular” in the groups you belong to?
  • Do you sponsor or host events that bring businesspeople together?
  • Do you lead workshops, seminars and educational events?
  • Do you have an email list you regularly send newsletters and updates to your followers?
  • Do you join boards and committees so you can contribute to and influence the groups you belong to?
  • Do you invest time to build individual relationships with key players and influencers in your market?
  • Well, do ya, punk? (See Dirty Harry)

Answer “yes” to as many of these questions as possible and you will develop followers who will help you succeed by advocating for your business success.

Real Followers do more than like and click!

Mere clicks on your links and likes or comments on your social pages indicate that some people are noticing your messages. It’s better to have engagement than not but how far does the engagement go? For some in your audience, it’s no more than a like, click or comment hoping they will get noticed on your profile.

Your real followers will take more actions on your behalf. They’ll make direct business referrals, share your posts to their networks, hire you for services and show up to your events, and they will invite their friends!

If you want real followers in the market, get out there and lead. Reread the section under Proactive Market Engagement and make plans to answer “yes” to the questions. If I can do it, so can you!