Could it be that ‘No’ Does Not Mean ‘No!’ (at least in sales)? – Armand Morin

It takes some time to digest what you learn in a three-day seminar. Day Two of The Guerrilla Marketing Summit influenced my thinking in subtle ways. After the Freakin’ Awesome Nancy Matthews of Women’s Prosperity Network (WPN) taught her “The One” concept (and, by the way, I can never hear that talk enough) Armand Morin took the stage.  He talked for 60 minutes on Behavioral Marketing. And I couldn’t type fast enough … so I could share it with you all.

Right out of the gate he asked us/me what we/I want … who knows that answer? I want to print books so that I can live the life I want, with the people I want, living as an example of wonderful possibilities. I want to take my skills (public speaking, teaching, coaching, role-modeling, sales, publishing, business etiquette) and have people say “YES!” they want to “Do Business,” “Spend Time” with ME, Marcia Meskiel-Macy, M3, M23PWR.

Now I’ve learned that I need to turn my ‘wants’ into ‘needs’ – into burning, driving NEED!  (Let me put that in my favorite color – my burning NEED!)  And when I answer my need so do others. 

Applied to yearbook sales or yearbook ad sales or your book sales or your book ad sales – what does this mean? It means that we operate from the carrot instead of the stick.

Incentivize selling! If you do this, you can have that. Easy-peasy! It’s that Happiness Advantage again.  If you sell $X of advertising for your yearbook or your Fine book, you can make enough extra to not only pay for the book’s printing, but you can set up a fund for fire fighters to access when they are injured. That’s exactly what West Palm Beach Fire Department is doing right now.

If you sell more yearbooks, you can purchase that new camera outfit you need AND you can give three staffers full scholarships to Florida Yearbook Seminar in June in Orlando.

If you wave that carrot around enough, if you act excited about those possibilities, the people involved in the project will get ‘juiced’ (turns out that this is a big buzz word around marketing these days) and make it happen.

“But” says your staffer “they said ‘no’ they don’t want to buy a book or an ad”  Ah, you explain, that doesn’t mean what they said. It really means something else. Maybe

  • I don’t want to buy today,
  • I’m too busy to think about that now,
  • I just finished a big project and this feels like another one,
  • who knows what they’re thinking?

A quick role play sets the student or the staffer up to understand that making sure this is a good time to talk comes first. It’s a process:

  • Asking permission to explain the project (as in ‘This book tells the story of our year or your community and you’re part of this story),
  • making an appointment to talk even if merely on the phone,
  • including the purchaser IN the discussion, all lead to a sale and often to a repeat sale. First they buy the book and then they buy the ad, for example. Or last year they bought this size ad, do they want the same or larger this year?

The best part is that this doesn’t take much time out of your class period or your book committee meeting. You can explain it once in full, a reminder explanation at the next meeting, then an ongoing score-card keeps up the momentum. A thermometer poster on the wall, a daily Facebook post, quick announcements of who has sold what each day … keep the ball rolling. As the final days of the project count down, so does the campaign.

Making a BIG deal about this consistently makes it a BIG deal for your project financially. You get to produce the book you want, the staff and/or your community benefits from the story you tell, everyone got to play a part in the story. It’s all Win-Win-Win!

In his November 7th blog Seth Godin (the Key Note speaker at The Guerrilla Marketing Summit) listed in detail the different flavors of ‘STUPID’ –  “Rush to judgment is a particularly challenging variation. Our unwillingness to sit with ambiguity causes us to decide before we should.”

He goes on to write “Stupidity doesn’t have to be incurable.” Amen to that.

Now, because you now know that in sales ‘No’ does not mean what it says, you can avoid that Rush to Judgment style of stupidity and cure that Stinkin’ Thinkin’ (Zig Ziglar).

same old thinking   Have that Monday morning coffee, rethink your lesson plans for yearbook or newspaper class, or your agenda for your meeting this week, and avoid the pitfall of taking people at their exact word.

Who knew? Now we do!

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