Pilot Pens V Super Color Marker

Filed Under (New Products) by Don on 23-03-2009

Tagged Under : , , ,

Pilot V Super Color Marker

Pilot V Super Color Marker

Pilot pen has added to their BeGreen line-up a refillable chisel point marker called the “V Super Color Marker” available in black (43904), red (43906) and blue (43905).  Pilot claims the product is made from 92% recycled products.  I was given a sample of this product last week for evaluation.  Including the cap the marker measures approximately 5″ in length and uses a liquid ink refillable cartridge.  In my opinion the earth friendly component is a good selling point but as we all know the liquid filled markers and highlighter perform well but are subject to drying out much faster than their counterparts when the cap is left off for a period of time.

With a M.S.R.P. of  $22.68 per dozen this product is an expensive alternative to more economical markers.  The average street price of $17.99 per dozen and the refills selling for around $0.89 each makes this marker much more expensive.  This product, in my opinion, is not very cost effective when you consider the Avery Marker No.08888 sells for less than $10 a dozen and some house brands such as Universal sell for less that $7 per dozen.  For the savy purchasing agent looking for good deals in our depressed economy I don’t expect the Pilot V Super Color Marker will be receiving many new product placements.  While the marker performs well as I would expect from a quality manufacturer as Pilot Pen I would not purchase this product for my use nor would I recommend it to my customers.

Those in the Know, Know This

Filed Under (OP Sales Training, The Competition) by Don on 18-03-2009

Tagged Under : , , ,

Key To Success

In this economy, or any other, there are basic things a good rep must know.

Know your product.

Know your customer.

Know your target market.

Know yourself.

In the current economy the relationship is King and price  is Queen.  What will get you the business is what makes you different than all the rest.  Any idiot (no offense intended to all the idiots) can give the product away at overly discounted prices.  That doesn’t take intelligence.  In tough times being differentiated is a key success factor.  Customers and prospects don’t want fluff  they want genuine value and a relationship with someone they can trust who will look out for their interests and help identify areas where they can save the customer money and be different than the competitors. 

Using my ‘King & Queen” analogy you need to realize that you are living in a castle owned by the customer.  Without the customer you have no place to live so it makes sense to take care of that which puts a proverbial roof over your head!  Customers will ask for deeper discounts and you will have to make a decision on what to do.  However, customers also understand that you have to make a profit so be careful how deeply you discount your wares.  Offer greater overall value and differentiate yourself from your competitors and you will not be forced to unnecessarily discount your prices so heavily that your profits dwindle and your business suffers.  Recessions are tough for everyone and businesses are looking for bargains.  Buy smart, sell smart and position yourself as a provider of value and trust and your customers will remember you long after the recession is over.

The last word: “The hopeful man see success where others see failure, sunshine where others see shadows and storms.” -Orison Swett Marden

Are You An Order Taker or an Order Maker?

Filed Under (OP Sales Training) by Don on 11-03-2009

Tagged Under :

It’s been two weeks since you last visited the customer whose office you are about to enter.  If I were to ask you, “Why are you here?” you will most likely answer “because I’m here and it’s been two weeks.”  Huh?  So you’re telling me you really have no purpose being there except to perhaps get an order?  Most likely it’s because you’re comfortable seeing this person(s) and you have developed a habit of merely visiting every two weeks, or however often you normally just “drop by”.

That is just pitiful.  You have just squandered your most valuable asset – time.  Your Sales Time is the portion of your week when you interact with your customers and prospects.  There are no do-overs in selling time!  Selling time only accounts for about 25% of your work week.  The rest of this time is spent traveling, preparing reports, researching and preparing for the end results of your work week.  How you invest your time is one of the most important decisions that a sales person makes.

Who do you see and what should you do?  Don’t let your good customer relationship be a crutch for the excuse of just visiting in the hopes of getting an order.  Only a medicore saleperson will use this rationale for this behavior.  The purpose of every sales call is to show value and a reason for being there.  Your selling time is valuable and your customers time should be respected. Think about why you are voing to see your customer and ask yourself questions like:

Is this the best use of my time?

Should I be seeing these people this frequently?

What specifically will I present to this customer to justify my time and theirs and will it demonstrate value and build trust?

Who should I see, what should I do?

I had a sales rep once who used to visit some customers every week and others every two weeks.  When I asked him why, he said it was because he was in the area and he was sure that was what they wanted.  For the next several weeks I made him ask every customer how often they wanted him to physically come to their office and much to his surprise the answer was once every four to six weeks.  With all these newly identified free time what is a rep to do!? 

Order makers will actively use all their selling skills and product knowledge to seek out new product placements and increase customer awareness of products and services.  They will identify new business potential, vertical market penetration and continue to increase their knowledge and skills to best serve their customers and prospects.  Make a wise decision as to how you will invest your sales time and quit being an order taker and become and Order Maker!

The last word: “There is a very real relationship, both quantitatively and qualitatively, between what you contribute and what you get out of this world.” -Oscar Hammerstein