Happy Halloween!

October 30, 2007 | Leave a Comment

If You are Going to "Me Too" – Me Too Bigger & Better

Happy Halloween everyone! It’s Hallow’s Eve and what a fun time to look at marketing Halloween-style.

My family and I love to be silly and dress up for Halloween. For years, we’ve thrown a big party for the kiddoes, perhaps that’s why we are keenly aware of the Halloween retailers in our area.

Each year, Spirit Halloween, the largest Halloween retailer in the area, rents out locations that have been sitting unleased for months and moves in a spirited collection of all things Halloween for just a month. After October 31st Halloweens gone, and so is the store. I always thoughts this was the ultimate in creative retailing! Most of the locations they’ve chosen to lease have been sitting vacant for months – what a win-win!

The Spirit stores have largely dominated our market (I believe they are a national operation). Until last year, I did not see ANY ‘me too’ competitors (this is my concocted term for competitors that basically take someone else’s concept and implement almost exactly like the original). Last year, another store did almost the exact same thing – leased a space, threw up a banner, stocked the store. Big deal. What makes me want to go to your store over the one I’ve shopped at for YEARS?

By the way, I don’t know if you know this, but Halloween is BIG business. Some stores report that they do more than 50 percent of their annual sales during Halloween and it has grown into a multi-billion dollar holiday!

Imagine my surprise (and delight) when I saw Cow Halloween this year! Another “me too” concept store; however, with a definite twist! First, Cow Halloween makes a statement with its Cows and big orange dinosaur out in front. Right off the bat, they are bigger (and better) looking than the original. But, then they got clever in a lot of other ways, too.

They leased a restaurant space in a PRIME location. Most Spirit stores take over locations that are off the beaten path or in less desirable locations. Not Cow Halloween. These guys set up shop right between TWO of the hottest shopping spots in our town – Target and Wal Mart – in the ‘fru fru’ area – West Plano!

Hmmm, let’s see here. You think being in a location where the average median household is over $150,000 might boost sales? Bingo!

The store also has not one (like Spirit), but THREE industrial spotlights so that there is NO WAY to miss this store at night. If one is good, is three better? J

Last Saturday, Cow Halloween was so jammed packed we couldn’t even get a parking space. My curiosity MADE me drop by Spirit to see how they were doing. And, the foot traffic was NO comparison.

Five things you can learn from Cow Halloween:

  1. The ‘me too’ game can work for you too – find a model, tweak it and make it yours (and better).
  2. Don’t expect the *best* customers to come to you – go to them – if you are doing a seminar, hold it near your target prospects, for example.
  3. Be yourself and be bold! Dare to have some fun! What does a dinosaur have to do with Halloween? Or a cow? I don’t know, but it sure got my attention.
  4. Make a statement. This location is across from the ritziest mall in the area, a Hummer dealership, and in between two of the busiest stores in the area. It is also right around the corner from Porsche, Ferrari and Audi. Does it match? No. Does it matter? No.
  5. Don’t let your good ideas get away! So many times I hear people say, “Oh, someone else did it already.” I’ve even thought it myself. Next time that happens, think of Cow and Spirit Halloween!

Where would you shop?

Good Advice From Robin Williams

October 23, 2007 | Leave a Comment

Carpe Diem! Sieze the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.

-Robin Williams, movie – Dead Poet’s Society

What was Popeye’s strength?

October 15, 2007 | Leave a Comment

Salespeople spend their time thinking about what they aren’t good at and how they can get better. We are taught to learn from our mistakes as we are growing up. Today there is a “strengths” movement afoot that suggests that what we learn from our mistakes is the characteristics of mistakes. If we could shift our thinking to learning from our successes then we need to study successes.Look at what you are good at….your strengths:

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If you could strengthen your strengths would you be able to overcome your weaknesses or would your weaknesses become irrelevant?

If your strength in sales is closing deals then you should have others around you who are great at identifying opportunities, setting appointments, creating presentations. You do not have to be great at everything.

For years in my sales career I sold technology products. I always felt like I should go back to school and get a degree in engineering so I could talk more technically about what I was selling. In the process, I dismissed the fact that what I was excellent at was listening and connecting people. My customers never expected me to be able to “design” the semiconductors and printed circuit boards I was selling. They did need me to listen to them and understand what they said and connect them to those who had the products they needed.

Below are some books that I used to help me identify my strengths:

1. Relator 2. Adaptability 3. Maximizer 4. Responsibility 5. Individualization

Study your strengths and focus on how you can make them stronger to grow your sales and your success well, with more ease and efficiency. Let your weaknesses be someone else’s strength and partner with them for your combined success in selling!

What was Popeye’s strength? I promise you it wasn’t the spinach!

Happy Selling!
Sales Coach

Recommended reading on the subject of Strengths:Now, Discover Your Strengths – Don Clifton and Marcus BuckinghamDiscover Your Sales Strengths – Benson Smith and Tony RutiglianoStrengthfinder 2.0 – Tom Rath

GO Put Your Strengths To Work – Marcus Buckingham

Also, you might want to check out a friend of The Sales Company – Candace Fitzpatrick at www.CoreClarity.net to see the work she has been doing with STRENGTHS!

When Is the Book Going To Be Finished?

October 5, 2007 | Leave a Comment

Many of you are asking, WHEN IS YOUR BOOK GOING TO BE HERE????. I promise it is within weeks now!!:) We are still aiming for September…it may be midnight September 30th but we are rolling forward….WOW what an adventure this has been…I needed a field guide to create my FIELD GUIDE TO SALES!:)I would love it if you would drop me an email and let me know which one of our LAUNCH EVENTS you would like to join us for:

BAGELS AT DAWN…yes, 6:30 AM for all those fun people and clients that usually meet with me at my favorite bagel shop, Einsteins!

SERENE SPA SIGNING……….we are going to reserve time at a beautiful spa to come and sit back and relax…I love you each dearly but you will have to pay for your own spa whatever – massage, facial, seaweed wrap……..:) but we will ALL take a break….you may not have just finished writing a book but I am certain you have just finished SOMETHING and you deserve a break too!:)

NICE PARTY………all the nice and wonderful people who want to get their hands on a copy of the book….those who always support everything I do……and whoever you would like to bring along…… are going to come and meet at THE SALES COMPANY WORLD HEADQUARTERS and we are going to read the book together…….JUST KIDDING!:) We are going to celebrate and twirl around and be happy that you have been part of this great adventure!

….exact dates will be COMING SOON!:)