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Tip Sheet

Using the M.I.T. Approach to Getting the Right Things Done and More Tips for August

Like maintaining a customer’s sense of urgency and really figuring out your blindspots.





SALESProlong Sunglass Sales Season

Autumn is around the corner but that’s no reason to stop promoting sunglasses. Indeed, says Amie Robinson, optical manager at Spring Hill Eyecare in Spring Hill, TN, “a brown polarized lens and fall foliage make for spectacular viewing,” she notes.

SALESAlways Add “Which Means…”

To boost the impact of your sales presentations and really, really ensure your prospective customer understands the benefits of what you’re selling, always add “which means…” after every feature you name, says Wizard Of Ads author Roy H. Williams. “You can add these words verbally, or you can add them silently, but this habit will bridge you into language the customer can see in their mind,” he writes in his weekly Monday Morning Memo. Williams provides the following example: “This blade is made of Maxamet steel, which means you’ll never have to sharpen it.”



Ask people for feedback and they sometimes tell you what you want to hear. Ask them about your blind spots, and they’re more likely to tell you what you need to hear. So says organizational psychologist Adam Grant in his new book Think Again: The Power Of Knowing What You Don’t Know. “Gains in self-awareness often begin with the question: What do other people know about me that I might not realize?” he writes.

MARKETINGChange the Story

“When times are good, buying things is a sport… When things aren’t so good, we need a new story to tell ourselves,” marketer Seth Godin writes on his blog. Business owners have to figure out how to change the story their customers can tell themselves, he says, citing the example of how a $4 cup of premium coffee can go from being a trivial indulgence in good times to a reward for a financial sacrifice. “It all adds up to a perception.”

BUYINGTake a Pool Day

Going to Vegas for Vision Expo West? Stay an extra day to simply unwind by the pool. Yes, we know you’re keen to get back to your practice but the benefits of giving yourself a breather to allow all that you’ve taken on board in the last few days to sink in will make it a worthy investment of time. Trust us. We’re trade show vets.

MEETINGSStart a Book Club

Looking for a way to shake up sales meetings? Hold a meeting of your store “book club” instead. Each month, assign sales staff a customer-service-oriented business book to read and then meet to discuss the finer points.


The idea of scarcity is central to economics … and retailing. “Don’t display multiple of the same items. Only put one on display at a time; keep the ‘Urgency to buy it before it’s gone’ feeling,” says sales pro John Nicolosi.



M.I.T. Nope, it’s not the fancy college in Massachusetts. It stands for “Most Important Task.” At the start of the workday determine the most important task that you have to do and, this is key, do it first. Don’t clear out your email, don’t check Twitter, do your M.I.T. “Get it out of the way and the rest of the day is gravy,” says Leo Babauta, founder of the Zen Habits blog.

SALESPick One You Love

Sales trainer Dave Richardson says a great way to lift sales is to ask every associate to pick one “absolutely favorite” frame and commit to showing it twice a day. Why? “Because it’s easy and also fun to talk about a piece you really love,” he says. “You may not sell it, but there’s a good chance you’ll sell something,” plus it gives them a way to handle “just looking” customers.

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