The Sales Dating Guy

Another reason why Cold Calling is getting less effective in Canada

This was posted on today on CBC news today.

Telemarketers face ‘do-not-call’ axe on Sept. 30

Canadians will be able to give telemarketers the slip as of Sept. 30 when the national do-not-call-list officially begins operating.

CBC News

Under the new rules, announced Wednesday by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, telemarketers will not be allowed to call anyone who registers either by phone with Bell Canada Inc., which is administering the list on behalf of the CRTC, or online.

Telemarketers will have a grace period of 31 days to contact people who have registered, but after that will be eligible for fines of $1,500 in the case of an individual or $15,000 for corporations should a registrant complain.

Bell will forward complaints to the CRTC, which decided to use a middle man in order to lighten its workload.

“We tried to delegate as much as possible,” CRTC spokesman Denis Carmel said.

Registration will last three years, after which individuals will have to re-enter their information. Canadians can register landlines, cellphones and fax numbers.

However, many organizations will be exempted under the rules.

Charities, political parties, polling firms, newspapers and companies that have done business with an individual over the past 18 months can continue to make unsolicited phone calls. Canadians who do not wish to receive such calls can ask at the time of a call to be removed from the organization’s list, or contact them ahead of time and request the same.

The CRTC’s list has been criticized for allowing too many exceptions.

In March, an internet law professor at the University of Ottawa set up a website, iOptOut, that allows users to proactively prevent calls from organizations on the exception list. The site has a database that allows users to choose from the hundreds of excepted organizations and send them an automated e-mail removal request.

How to Upset Your Customers for 2 Cents or Less

As I walked away stunned. I remember feeling frustrated by what I had just experienced.

We had been looking forward to this day for a while. For our birthdays, my Mom gave my son Jacob and I tickets to today’s baseball game between The Toronto Blue Jays (our favorite team) and the Seattle Mariners at the Rogers Centre Toronto.

What frustrated me was not the 90 minute drive to the park or the $6.00 hot dogs or $4.25 that I spent for a bottle of diet coke. No what upset me was what happened after the game.

A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of working on a major nationwide research study of customer retention and rejection behaviours for one of the big three automotive manufactures. And after studying the mountains of data (65 pages in 8 point font) that we collected from our mystery shoppers our #1 conclusion was that it takes a lot of little things to produce a satisfied customer, but only one thing (which we informally called piss-off factors) to frustrate that customer and prevent them from making a purchase.

Our experience at the ball park was for the most part a positive one.

For instance: we were treated to a pretty entertaining game (although our Jays lost 5-1) and we had fun doing the wave, almost catching a foul ball.

And my son watched in amazement as he handed his money (O.K. it was my money) over to a complete stranger and watch as it was passed from one stranger to another down our row and then our pop and the exact change came back through to us. (This only happens at ball parks)

So for the most part the day was a big hit. We had fun, we enjoyed each others company and spent a wonderful day in the sunshine.

That was until we stopped at a souvenir stand on the way out.

My son pulled looked in the display case and decided that he wanted to spend some of his birthday money on a mini wooden baseball bat. We got the clerks attention, she got his bat out of the display case and rang up his purchase. She then told him how much it was and he dug into his little black leather change pouch to get her the money. He paid her and he was to receive 22 cents back in change. However, the clerk said to him, “Your change is 22 cents, however I am all out of pennies so I can only give you 20 cents back.”

Jacob, who was so focused on getting his new bat, took the money and then waited for me to complete my purchase. I watched this and thought, “That was strange, usually when someone can’t make the right change they would err in the favour of the customer by giving more change (ie. 25 cents back instead of 20).”

But instead of saying anything, I thought I would give her one more chance to make it right, by deliberately giving exact change for my purchase (including 4 pennies). This way she would have the opportunity to take two of those pennies and give them back to their rightful owner (my son).

Now what do you think she did?

What would you do?

Would you do what I hoped she would do and give him the 2 cents back (he was standing right there with me and it was obvious that we were together), or would you do as she did, which was to do nothing.

And I know what you may be thinking. It was only 2 cents. But that is not the point.

The point is that we all have a service expectation (receiving the right change) when we make a purchase and when that expectation is not met, we become frustrated.

So in the words of my pastor Dave Ralph

“Frustration happens when expectations don’t meet reality.”

A couple other examples of this principle could be:

  • when the waiter asks you if you want change when you go to pay the bill (which in my book automatically cancels any tip they were going to receive), or
  • when an automotive sales consultant doesn’t set the expectation in your mind of how long it will take to pick up your new vehicle.

Remember every point of contact with a customer serves as a moment of truth.

Every point of contact is an opportunity to delight, serve or frustrate your customer.

And that is why every point of contact should be taken seriously.

Because 2 cents (or less) is not worth (pissing off) and losing a customer over.

Hey, I wonder what the folks in Marketing, who spend many hours (and thousands of dollars) trying to figure our how to get me into the ball park would think of this experience.

How to maximize the effectiveness of your daily commute or drive time

Carl Melville who is the Chief Communicator at Enact Marketing asked the following question on LinkedIn:

How do you maximize the effectiveness of your daily commute or drive time?

Here was my response:

Hi Carl,

How do I maximize the effectiveness of my daily commute?

1. Reading: I listen to audio-books (I am an audio-book junkie). This allows me to utilize what my friend Jim Estill calls The Power of While, which means doing one thing while you are doing something else. This is the main reason I can read over 110 business books a year.

2. Creative thinking: I always carry a notebook with me and I find that my most productive creative thinking time is while I am listening to an audio-book in my car. I just jot down a few messy notes or create a rough mind map and re-write it later when I am not driving.

3. Exercising: I have created a mini work out that I can do while driving.
This work-out includes:

  • Stomach crunches (just suck in your gut using your stomach muscles),
  • Butt squeezes (squeeze your butt cheeks together and release),
  • Arm Curls (make a fist and tighten your muscles to add tension) (be careful not do do this while you are slowly passing someone or stopped beside another car, otherwise they may think you are flipping them off),
  • Arm cross overs ( touch your left shoulder with your right hand, while holding the steering wheel with your left hand and then the next sequence touch your right shoulder with your left hand, while you hold onto the steering wheel with your right hand).
    Doing these in groups of 100 will not only allow you to make good use of your drive time, but it will also get your juices flowing for the rest of the day.

I hope this gives you some ideas on how to maximize your drive time.

Making a difference,

Richard Elmes CSP, The Sales Dating Guy

How to get your customers to buy your business cards

Imagine having thousands of your happy customers proudly putting their good money down to buy your business cards.

What do you think all those raving fans marketing your business would do for your business?

Hi, it’s Richard again, and the reason that I haven’t blogged in over a week is that my family and I just returned home from our vacation at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

We went for the fun, excitement and memories. Which we received many.

But I also came back with an arm-full of great business tips that I learned on my vacation. I know according to my Merriam-Webster Dictionary, vacation means, “a period of rest from work”, but in my line of work I find it very difficult to shut it down (my observation and curiosity radar). Especially when I was experiencing some fantastic examples of how to “Wow” customers. 

So here is the first one:

In the beginning of this blog I started talking about having thousands of your raving fan customers buying your business cards. Well that is exactly what happens every day at Walt Disney World. In fact, when their “Guests” (Disney’s term for customers) purchase T-shirts, Sweatshirts, Shorts, Towels, Golf Shirts, Jackets, Hats, Ears (Mickey Mouse or others), Jewelery, stuffed characters, cookware, key chains, etc. with one or more of the Disney characters or logos on it, you are indeed purchasing one of their business cards.

And not only did  purchase them for ourselves, but we also decided to buy gift “business cards” for our friends and family that couldn’t join us on our adventure.

And since we had such a fantastic time with lots of stories to tell about our experience, we have become good will ambassadors for Disney (which is another way of saying unpaid salespeople).

Imagine what this kind of marketing would do for your business?

Now I am not saying that you have to stop what you are doing and get into the theme park business (which is only part of the Walt Disney Company’s business), in order to get people to buy your business cards.

What I am saying is that in order for you to develop Raving Fans, you need to:

1) Develop an exceptional customer experience: This way they will want to share their story with others.

2) Create vehicle for them to use in order tell their story: One of Disney’s vehicles for this is through merchandise, yours could be through corporate videos, books, referral programs or packaging of your products to name a few ideas.

But make sure you can deliver on #1 before you set up #2, otherwise the story your customers will be telling will not be the story you want them to tell.

So, there you have it the first business tip that I witnessed in my trip to Walt Disney World. (Hey does this mean that I can now write off the cost of this vacation as a business trip?) Stay tuned because I have a lot more to come.

How our “Date with Disney” can improve your next Presentation

We can hardly contain our excitement. Tomorrow my family leaves for a week long trip to Disney World.

We have been preparing for this moment for years. We have saved up the money, booked and planned our trip extensively. We searched websites for tips on how to get the most out of our money, time and energy (The 3 currencies that we all have available to us). We have planned how we were going to get there (Southwest Airlines, where we are going to stay , what theme parks we are going to visit, and even which restaurants we are going to eat in.(Because you have to book 180 days in advance to get reservations to some restaurants).

In fact, we have spent almost as much energy planning for this trip as we did for our wedding (17 years ago). And you may be asking yourself why have we spent so much time and energy into planning for this trip?

The reason we have invested so much into the planning of this experience is that we want to have the best time. We have tried to plan for and eliminate all of the things that could possibly go wrong, in order for us to have a fantastic (and memorable) experience.

So all this planning got me thinking.

Why don’t we put the same effort into delivering a killer sales presentation or a speech?

The truth is that the pros do.

They invest time / energy / money into preparing in order to eliminate all the things that could possibly go wrong.

According to David Peoples, in his awesome book Presentations Plus,

“95% of how well your presentation is going to go will be determined before you even begin.”

And I say that, “Increased Preparation leads to Increased Confidence and Increased Confidence leads to Increased Success.”

So think about how you are going to prepare for your next presentation.

Think about how you are going to Prepare your Material.

Think about how you are going to Prepare the Environment.

And think about how you are going to Prepare for the Moment.

I will go into more detail on these topics (and lessons learned from Disney World) in future blogs.

As for now, my family and I have a date with Mickey Mouse and we are prepared to have an awesome experience. So as Tigger says, “TTFN (Tah, tah for now)

Ending your speech with a Bang: How to effectively close your presentation

In my previous post I talked about how important the close of your presentation is.

In this post we will talk about how to create a memorable close that will end your presentation on a high note.

In order to end you presentation / training / speech on a high note you need to consider these key elements:

Summarize: The classic speech structure that I learned at Toastmasters says that you tell your audience what you are going to talk about in your introduction, then you tell them in the body of your presentation, and finally you tell them what you just told them in your conclusion.

The reasoning behind this formula is that the repetition will enhance retention, in other words what your audience will remember from your presentation.

Stories: I love stories!!! I believe that stories are like peanut butter for the brain, because stories are memorable (they help the message stick in your audience’s brain), when you attach the main point to the story you will not only remember the story, but the main point as well.

One of my favorite ways to use a story in a speech is to tell a two-part story. Open your presentation with part one of the story, then at a key point, switch into the lesson which is the body of the story, then finish the speech with, as famous radio annoucer Paul Harvey used to say, “the rest of the story”. This is a great way to tie your presentation together.

One other thing about stories is that you want your final story should be uplifting or inspiration (not depressing or with dark tones in it) in order to leave your audience with a good feeling.

Quotes: Quotes are those golden nuggets that can say so much with very few words. Using the right quote at the end of you presentation can leave your audience with a very powerful “ah-ha” moment.

Tip off your ending: The reason you want to tip off your ending is that it will perk up your audience and help them listen closely for your final words of wisdom. Now there are many ways to tip off your ending, the most overused way is to say, “In conclusion”. However if you want to make more of an impact use, “I want to leave you with this final thought.”

Timing: Probably the most important thing that I have learned from not only my years on the platform, but from some of the other experts that I have worked with, (specifically Jim Clemmer and Warren Evans ) is that your audience will forget everything you have told them if you run late. I believe that when they realize that you have run over the time that you have been alloted and they realize it, magically their brain opens up and all the knowledge you have given them escapes and your audience leaves frustrated. Ending on time is that important.

Here are a couple of tricks that I picked up on how to end on time.

The first trick that I have picked up from another excellent speaker, Donald Cooper, at a CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Speakers conference a few years ago,  is to carry a small digital clock that will be facing you (and away from the audience) and right below the time put a piece of masking tape with the time you need to finish on it. And as Donald says, “When the time on the clock matches the time on the tape… shut up. ”

The second trick I learned at Toastmasters ( is to have an alternate close. Arm yourself with at least two different closings. One with a story and one with a quote. This way if you see that you are getting pressed for time, just switch to the quote that makes the same point as the story and finish your presentation on time. And the cool thing is that you audience will never know that you made the switch.

Use these suggestions and not only will your audiences love you for it, but it will make you more memorable and it will even increase your odds of selling them and getting repeat business (whether it is another speech, your products or services). Now that is what I call finishing with a bang!!!

Lessons learned from Canada Day Celebrations and how they can impact your next presentation

Their was a hush through the crowd as they waited in anticipation. They moment they waited for has finally arrived. 

My family has a tradition every Canada Day (July 1st). Our local Rotary Club puts on a big show at Riverside Park (in Guelph, Ontario, Canada) that seems to attract the entire city. They do a fantastic job or organizing many events during the day. Events from pony rides and ring toss, from train rides (on the miniture train that goes around the park) to the midway. They arrange for the food vendors to be there (including Tim Hortons) and even a petting zoo for the kids (of all ages).

But the one thing which is the big draw of the day, the one thing that is the highlight of the day is always the fireworks display. This is usually the last event of the evening (that people stay for anyway) and the thing that people remember the most.

If you want to see part of last years fireworks display click here:

And you know this is the same principle that holds true in your presentation. The most important part, the part that your audience is going to walk away with and remember the most is your finale.

Ending your speech with a big bang will make more of a positive impact on how your audience feels about the experience than if your ending just fizzles out.

In my next post I will outline a few key strategies for ending your speech with a bang that will have them talking about you and your presentation well into the future.

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