Determination of value
Good sales people know how to start a conversation in the fifty one weeks of the year when the Hong Kong Sevens are not being played.
The next phase is where the traditional sales approach kicks in. From the buying process view it is the determination of value. From the sales approach it is the demonstration of value. Customers who have developed trust in the sales person will place an unconscious premium on the relationship when it comes to considering perceived price versus perceived value.
Unfortunately, in many cases, no trust is developed and the determination of value is a straight out contest of wills over price rather than a trust building buying experience. This may be good for egos but not for repeat purchases or reputation.
Retailers and sales people need to think of themselves as assisting buyers rather than pushing sales and build their skills accordingly.
Feel like an interrogation
The next phase of the buying process involves the sales person directly. Customers seek people they can trust. Trust is enabled by the presence of one or more of three elements.
The first is a third party reference, a friend or relative who has had a good experience.
The second is through the presence of strong brands, which may be the retail outlet brand or the brands they stock.
The third is the ambience of the store which comes from the merchandising of the store and the apparent attitude of the sales person.
If trust is not developed at this stage, then a sale is unlikely, unless prices are reduced.
Trust can be developed or broken with the opening line. The opening line how can I help you is so lame that a best selling sales book carries the usual response phrase no thanks, I'm just looking as its title.
However when a major sporting event is on next week, a simple reference to a player, the fate of the team, the rights and wrongs about the appointment of the coach, posed as a question, will more often than not start a conversation. Conversations engender trust and allow sales people to ask questions. Asking open questions which cannot be answered with a yes or no engenders trust. The opposite, closed questions, when strangers first meet, sound like and feel like an interrogation.
Be too close to your own business
Milk the Local Angle Try to send your release to a specific person working on a specific beat at each media outlet, at least locally. This will require some research but will ensure that a warm body actually gets your announcement. And keep in mind, the media love a 'local boy/girl makes good' story so really target your hometown newspapers, magazines and TV/radio stations and work that angle! Get a Second Opinion If you're having a hard time finding any angle at all, ask a friend or a business associate to lend a fresh perspective.
You may be too close to your own business to see the forest for the preprocessed paper products. An objective bystander's insights might surprise and inspire you!
Finally, proofread your finished product meticulously for errors. Then get your friend to do so as well. Two heads are better than one. Ten proofreads are better than two.
In conclusion, give the media something they can sink their teeth into. Dig hard, think laterally, navel gaze until you find the one thing about your company that the public (and therefore the media) would be interested in.
By handing reporters a ready-made story on a silver platter, you're sewing the seeds of some serious buzz!
Heather Reimer writes action-provoking e-zine and web content, news releases, sales letters, ads and articles. Get a free content analysis report when you request an estimate.
Get to the point quickly
It's a small, fairly new company with no money to commission a professional media release. Still, Celina wanted to get the word out so she asked me for some tips on how to write her own release.
Make Believe You're a Journalist
First, put yourself in the reporter's shoes. Try to imagine what kinds of stories would interest her and how you can make her job easier by dropping a good story right in her lap. Ask yourself:
What sets your gizmo or your company apart from the competition Have you recently launched a new product or service
Personnel changes, awards, events, surveys, poll results and joint ventures can all be spun into news stories. Oh, the Humanity!
Did you have to overcome some great challenge or difficulty to arrive at where you are now Or maybe one of your clients had a special, urgent need that was filled by your product/service
Bottom line - human interest sells. For example, big lottery jackpots would never make the news if they blatantly promoted the lottery corporation itself. But notice how the media flacks writing the releases always focus on some aspect of the winner's life... an ailing grandmother in need of expensive treatments, a house that recently burned down and now can be rebuilt, etc. In other words, the human angle that newspapers, radio and TV just gobble up!
The Inverted Pyramid Write an enticing subject line, headline and first paragraph.
Get to the point quickly. Believe it or not, most news writers and editors only take five seconds to decide if they'll act on your announcement or not. News reporters themselves have been trained to write using the 'inverted pyramid', putting the most important information -- who, what, where, when, why and how -- at the top. And that's what they expect to see in your media release. Unfortunately, most releases wind up in the garbage/delete folder because they start weak, take too long to get to the point, or are full of hype and puffery. Just the Facts, Ma'am Keep the self-promotion to a minimum but do include all your contact information -- e-mail and snail mail, URL, phone and fax numbers -- plus a brief explanation of what your company does. Emphasis on brief! In fact, keep the entire release to under a page if possible. The exception to the rule is complex subjects, like for example an economic forecast, aimed at a niche market not a general audience. One Photo = a Thousand Words If a photo is available and helps tell your story, by all means include it. This could make your release jump out and demand attention from a busy editor who sees nothing but black and white type all day.
An ideal location
The world of online retailers has truly exploded in recent years and with it has come a ton of excellent opportunities for consumers interested in saving huge on their purchases. One great example of this comes during this busy holiday shopping season in preparation of the upcoming Christmas holiday. There have been scores of people heading online to take advantage of the incredible discounts being offered on all of the latest fashion trends through many of the online retailers and wholesalers. A popular outlet for everything from Abercrombie and Fitch to Ralph Lauren Polo shirts.
This great outlet has proven to be an ideal location for those in search of the latest fashion trends at discount prices that you will never find in traditional, conventional retail stores.
With so many people rushing out to the malls and brick and mortar retail stores to get a jump on their Christmas shopping, there are also many staying at home and opting for a more online approach. The fact of the matter is that the benefits commonly associated with shopping online far outweigh the traditional shopping experience. Perhaps the most notable benefit is the ability to get access to so many great deals that you simply wont find offline. For example, lately many people have sent us emails talking about the excellent deals being provided by popular online retailer who are currently having a sale on a massive selection of Ralph Lauren Polo shirts.
The West Yorkshire Playhouse
The Victoria Quarter. This upscale centre is a destination in itself as well as Yorkshire's premiere shopping experience. Longchamp
, Hugo Boss and more than eighty other stores sit underneath a breathtaking Brian Clarke stained glass ceiling.
Headrow Shopping Centre. Headrow shopping street has managed to retain much of its original architecture while incorporating some of the best shopping in the country. The centre itself boasts the largest sporting goods store in England as well as Yorkshire's biggest music shop.
The West Yorkshire Playhouse. This young but internationally respected theatre sees more than 250,000 patrons annually. It has two theatres, a restaurant, and a bar in the real ale tradition and rehearsal facilities.
Northern Ballet Theatre. This distinguished company was founded in 1969 and has experienced a consistent growth in reputation and repertoire.
From a friendly pub to world class restaurants and trendy celebrity clubs, Leeds has it all. A traveller looking for a quiet beer, a family friendly nosh or a fine dining experience will find it in Leeds.
Tetley's Brewery Wharf. Tetley's has been brewing beer in the UK since 1822. Not actually a drinking establishment a tour of its visitor centre built at a cost of nearly 10 million American dollars will give insight into the art of brewing before heading off to a true pub.
Whitelocks. Licensed since 1715 this small pub offers ambience and prize winning brew.
The most obvious benefits
The selection that is available online is also a huge aspect of why so many of these online retailers have been able to grow in popularity so much in recent years. The fact of the matter is that the traditional retailers commonly only carry a limited number of items at any given time. On the other hand, many of the online retailers and wholesalers have a huge catalogue of items sometimes even dating back to last year' lines which provides customers with great opportunities to save a ton of money.
Another one of the most obvious benefits when it comes to doing your shopping online during the holidays is the convenience factor. Without ever having to leave the comfort of your home, you can browse the latest fashion trends, select the items you want, and have them delivered right to your doorstep. This is of course an added benefit on top of being able to save so much money in the process.
There will definitely be many more people than last year heading online to take advantages of all of these notable benefits of doing so. For those of you interested in getting your hands on the latest fashion pieces before its too late, one online retailer that you are definitely going to want to check out which has gained a reputation as a great supplier of some of the industries top brands including Abercrombie and Fitch, Marc Jacobs Marc by Marc Jacobs outlet
, and Ralph Lauren Polo shirts.
Rugby, Football, Cricket. Leeds is an enthusiastic nucleus of professional sports. Two rugby teams, Rhinos and Tykes, are based in Leeds. Football devotees will enjoy a rousing Leeds United Football Club match. Cricket fans should stop by the Yorkshire County Cricket Club where the game has been played since 1890.
Golf. Several excellent courses pepper the Leeds countryside with Alwoodley Golf Club being among the best. Designed by Dr. Alister Mackenzie, who would later configure Augusta National and Royal Melbourne, it is one of Leeds' best kept secrets.
Millennium Square. As the name suggests, this 12 million American dollar multi-use facility was built to mark the year 2000. During the winter season it hosts the Ice Cube skating rink and notables from entertainers to politicians throughout the year.
Roundhay Park. Situated on 700 acres, Roundhay welcomes sporting events, concerts and fireworks to Roundhay Park Arena. This natural venue has seen crowds of up to 100,000 for artists including the Rolling Stones and Madonna. In addition to the amphitheatre, Roundhay encompasses parks, lakes, woods and gardens and plays host to skaters, bikers, tennis players and golfers. Fishermen troll; it's Waterloo Lake.
Anyone making holiday plans should not dismiss spending a few days in Leeds. A true Yorkshire treasure, it has activities for all ages and interests. For an entertaining, educational and relaxing holiday, visit surprising Leeds.