Saturday, May 13, 2006

Is There a "Dress Code" for Public Relations?

The following is from an e-mail from Margie Fisher. Good stuff!

It has been said that "you never get a second chance to make a first impression."

And first impressions are made, in part, based on how people look. Thus, an important factor is your personal dress code. What you wear is a part of your public relations, because your dress code communicates messages to the world -- and, in particular, the business people you meet with on a daily basis.

For instance, I know a (male) printing salesman who dresses in a nice shirt, tie, slacks and great shoes. I know he cares about how he looks, and that translates into the care he takes in his printing jobs.

I also work with lots of "creative" types who wear jeans and sweats while they're in their own work environment but wear suits or nice shirts and pants when meeting with clients. While they want to have freedom of self-_expression while doing creative work, they also realize they must have, as Marketing guru Dan Kennedy says, a "selling wardrobe."

This dress code issue is a very personal one to me. Now that my husband, David, is about to join the business full-time, we've been talking about his wardrobe. Coming from an industry where he wore khakis and polos every day, he obviously has wardrobe gaps. Living in Florida and dealing with 90+ degree heat doesn't help, either.

So we're going shopping soon. And if any of this makes you think about your own wardrobe, be aware of this: people prefer to deal with successful people. Your wardrobe (and my husband's) should reflect the fact that you are a successful person with whom others want to do business.

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Friday, May 12, 2006

More great tips on converting customers from competitors

Converting customers from competitors is a fact of life for salespeople. Customers become dissatisfied and switch. Your market share will increase if they come to you. Here's how you entice prospects to switch.

1. Think long term. Don't give up when you hear, "I'm satisfied." Satisfaction may be temporary. Your prospect's needs may change, or you may provide a good reason for switching.

2. Develop a relationship. Establish rapport with a prospect, sale or no sale. By developing a friendship, you will be able to revisit the issue at a later time.

3. Study needs. Take your time, do research, and ask a lot of nonthreatening questions so you can find out your prospect's needs and how well they are being satisfied. The key is to find a need gap and offer a solution.

4. Sell yourself. Personal chemistry is important, but so is the knowledge that you are an enthusiastic, earnest, professional, ethical, caring expert who would be nothing but an asset to know and do business with. Come up with new ideas for your prospects. Show them that you are on their team, sale or no sale.

5. Add value. So many products and services are commodities that differentiation may be difficult. That is why you sell yourself. That is also why you have to differentiate your product with added value such as service and performance guarantees, superior services, better delivery schedules -- whatever it takes to be better.

6. Ask for a no-risk trial order. Many customers are loyal to their suppliers, but will grant you a trial order if you ask for it. Make it a no-risk proposition. Ensure your prospect's satisfaction with some kind of guarantee, and bend over backward to make sure the trial order makes a very positive impression.

7. Ask for a portion of their business. Converting a competitor's customer may not be an all-or-nothing deal. You may have to do it bit by bit, proving yourself slowly as you go along. Ask for a small percentage of the prospect's business and you may find that percentage will grow.

8. Be persistent. Nothing succeeds more than persistence. All things being equal, the persistent salesperson will win the account every time. Keep in touch with prospects, think long term, be a consultant and ally, and you will plant drought-resistant seeds.

Source: Dartnell's e-Tips for Sales Professionals (May, 2006)

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006


More responsabilites, More Opportunities. This week it was announced that I was being promoted to Station Manager of WXKE, MIKE-FM. If you are unfamilar with this format, check out our website This involves mostly the sales side however it includes working hand in hand with our Director of Programming who handles all 6 of our stations. This is going to be fun! (and a lot of hard work too)

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