Have your customers got the CBA – The Correct Buying Attitude…?

I’m sure many of us have heard of having the CMA – the Correct Mental Attitude – when it comes to getting the right approach to achieving success.

And achieving success in sales is exactly the same! But it is also important that your customers have the correct mental attitude towards you!

As I’ve talked about many times before in my various blogs, Tweets, articles and my book (Zero Sell Sale: Sales tips for people who hate sales!) sales is less about you and all about the results you deliver for your customers.

In order for you customers to start thinking about the results you can deliver for them, you have to make sure they have the CBA – the Correct Buying Attitude!

Wouldn’t it be great if we could simply walk into a meeting with our customers, tell them what we do, so that they quickly and easily see the benefits of what we do, and then they buy from us?

IF ONLY!!!!!

It rarely (if ever) works that way. But why is that?

Well, the biggest reason is because most customers have to have the Correct Buying Attitude to buy – and the good news is you can do a lot towards getting them that way!

Now there are a couple of things you can’t control (like an argument with their partner, or no budget to buy however much they want you) but on the whole you can do a lot towards getting them in the right frame of mind, or the CBA.

For instance, when you are talking about what you do, put it into a context that shows the results they will get – because that is what they are really interested in hearing about, whether they realise it or not.

For example, take this sentence…

“Mr Customer, we can train all your staff on the effective use of social media.”

I’m not sure that sentence would get your customer in the CBA as much as…

 “Mr Customer, we could help you increase your sales by training your staff on the effective use of social media.”

By saying the latter sentence you are planting the seed of how your customer’s world is potentially going to be a better place (increased sales) as a result of buying from you – this is a sure-fire way of shifting your customer towards the CBA – Correct Buying Attitude!

Try it! It works – not every time (because they may have just had an argument with their partner or genuinely just don’t have the budget) but it will definitely increase your chances of increasing your sales!


How to be a headline-maker with your customers…


What makes you read a newspaper or magazine article? I know I usually find myself attracted to the headline – if it catches my eye and it’s something that I think is going to be interesting then I’ll read it. And by reading it I’m giving it my attention, therefore the headline has worked – it got my attention and made me want to read it.

I was recently asked by a client of mine to take a look over a sales presentation they had put together in order to pitch to a potential new customer. Not surprisingly they were keen to make a good impression and wanted the slide presentation to help them do that.

Well, we’ve all heard of the saying “you only get one chance to make a good impression”, and in sales that is commonly in the first minute or so of your pitch. This is because this is when your audience is at their most receptive to what you do and say – in other words, their interest level is at its highest and will quickly fall off unless you grab them…and you have to grab them fast!

If you’ve been lucky enough to be invited to deliver a sales pitch, your opening statement is crucial in achieving this. If you’re using slides, this means your first slide.

Amazingly, many people waste this golden opportunity to make a great early impression by making their opening slide as dull as they can!

Why? Because they think the first slide is there to tell the audience what is about to follow. For instance, take my client’s opening slide – it simply said “Presentation for ABC Ltd 20th March 2012”.

Would that get you out of your seat? Would that headline make you grab the newspaper and start reading? I seriously doubt it, so start turning yourself into a headline-maker.

Your opening slide/statement is there to tell your customer how their world is going to be a better place as a result of using your services/products.

I asked my client how he thought he could help his potential new customer – he said he could save them £thousands in costs!

Brilliant – what a great result and what an engaging statement to make early in a sales pitch when you’re trying to grab their attention.

So we changed the words on the opening slide to “How XYZ Co. can help ABC Ltd save £thousands in costs”.

If you were my client’s customer, which presentation would you most likely look forward to hearing, and more importantly stay interested in for longer?

“Presentation for ABC Ltd 20th March 2012”


“How XYZ Co. can help ABC Ltd save £thousands in costs”   

Take a look at your proposals/quotes or your sales presentations and see if you’re making the most of your opening headline – it can make all the difference when trying to win business!


Avoid tunnel-vision thinking with your customers…

Many years ago, when I worked in insurance, I used to have to make appointments for my manager to come and see customers with me. When I told certain customers I would be bringing my manager with me, they used to say something like “Oh no, don’t bring him – he’s always trying to sell us something!”

They felt uncomfortable because they thought they were going to be sold to. But they were right to feel that way, because that was exactly what my manager was thinking – “What can I sell them?”

The question is, when you talk to your customers do you do the same as my old manager?


If you do, then you are looking at your customer through the wrong eyes – you are looking at them with tunnel vision. In other words, you are only seeing the potential of the immediate sale and little else!

If you’re just thinking about the sale, the chances are you will find yourself talking too much about your products and services – in fact you will find yourself just talking too much!

This “tunnel vision” thinking will hamper your opportunity to build a more fruitful business relationship.

Sure, you might succeed in securing a quick, low-value sale. But will they be buying from you for the right reasons? Will it be because they are certain you can help them get the long-term results they want for their business or themselves, or will it be to just get you off their radar?

And if they are simply buying from you to get you off their radar, do you really think they want to buy from you again in a hurry?

It is important to be more wide-screen with your approach. Don’t think what can I sell to them?

Instead, think how can I help them get the results they want?

Ask more questions about their overall business/personal goals (wide-screen) and talk less about your services/products (tunnel-vision)

For example…

“What aims do you have for growing your business over the next year?” (wide-screen)

“We do the full package of brochure design, re-branding, and web-sites.” (tunnel-vision)

So, when you next talk with your customers, make sure you’re seeing them in glorious wide-screen, and not limiting yourself to tunnel-vision!

Looking at your customers through the right eyes will help you grow your business for now and the future.

Spring clean your old business leads…

I’m sure you’ve all noticed the nights and mornings getting lighter – Spring is a great time of year, with everything to look forward to, and the long winter nights starting to fade away.

Also, Spring is a great time to clean-up your old business leads! If you are anything like me, throughout the year I meet many people, either through networking or referrals. The aim is obviously to make these people customers as soon as possible. However, inevitably for a variety of reasons, some don’t lead to business straight away. This could be because they don’t have a budget, or it isn’t an immediate priority, or other business needs get in the way.

Whatever the reason, these leads go cold. You might make promises to contact them in 6 months’ time and you might make a note to call them in your diary. But sometimes they drop completely off your business radar and you forget about them while they gather cobwebs.

This is why you need to Spring-clean these half-forgotten opportunities. I call them opportunities because even though they didn’t buy from you originally, their situation could have now changed so that they are potentially in a position to buy from you

So, wherever you keep your details of old leads, take the opportunity to dig them out and re-connect with them.

I recently did this, and simply dropped them an email titled “How are things going with you?” with a couple of short paragraphs asking them how things were going in their world/business as I hadn’t spoken to them for nearly a year. Within a couple of hours they had returned the email, said things were going really well and that they had been rushed off their feet for months. They also mentioned they would be interested in me doing some training for their new employees!

Fantastic – all from just taking the time to drop someone a “How are things with?” you email.

Make sure you Spring-clean your old business leads – you never know what might turn up under the cobwebs and dust!

Make it easier for your contacts to refer you…

Do you ever wonder why you don’t get more new business enquiries?

If you give a great service or supply a brilliant product, then your customers will want to sing your praises from the rooftops – so why is it then that this singing doesn’t get you more business enquiries?

Let’s look at the equation – great service + happy customers = more business leads. Yes? Well, you would thing so but something somewhere must go wrong, because few businesses get the new enquiries they deserve from their hard work…and this is why!

I was recently at a networking meeting, where everyone around the table was asking for their ideal referrals – for instance, one guy said “I’m looking for introductions into graphic-designers”.

A perfectly reasonable request, you might think. So why might the other people around the table struggle to get him the introductions he wants?

Because he missed out a vital part of the referral request – he didn’t tell them what to say to the graphic-designers in order for the graphic-designer to want to see him. Without knowing the right things to say, most people will either say the wrong things and not get any interest, or even worse, not say anything at all!

So give your referrers the right words to say to the person you want an introduction to. To know the right words, first consider this – why would anyone want to give up their time to see you?

It’s a great question, and one you should ask yourself.

Can you save them money? Can you increase their sales? Can you get them more customers? Can you save them time?

Be clear on the key result you can help with, and include that in the words you want your referrer to say.

For instance, “I’m looking for introductions into graphic-designers. If you know a graphic-designer can you say to them “I know someone who can help you win more sales, would you like a chat with them?”

What you have now done is given your referrer all the right things to say to the people you want introductions to. This will make it easier for them to refer you, and increase the chances of you getting the leads you want and deserve.