Episode 21 Transcript

You're listening to the business in Morocco
podcast the podcast that discusses all
things business and all things Morocco my
name is Ryan Maimone I'm here with my
co-host Ryan Kirk and our goal is to
share our knowledge and experience with you in order to help you gain wisdom skills
and habits that can help you succeed in
business and in life you can learn more
about us by going to our website
moroccopodcast.com alright let's get
started with today's episode it's gonna
be a lovely day
all right this is episode 21 today we're
gonna be talking about sales and sales
techniques it is the first week of July
we're finished with the second quarter
starting the third quarter Ryan how you
doing what's new I'm good
summers here but it doesn't feel like it
I took my daughter to the second to last
day of school and it felt like I was in
San Diego in December cloudy cool and
coming from Washington DC it's a big
difference yeah it was very nice I
actually liked it a lot as far as work
goes I'm continuing to focus on finding
an office and I have a few ideas in mind
and a few partners that are interested
in finding working space so I'm looking
at a variety of locations and types of
offices and I am narrowing it down I've
determined what neighborhood I want to
locate in and now it's just a matter of
finding the right space it can be very
hard to find space to work in in Casablanca
just because the properties are
controlled by so many different people
and agents and simsars control properties and sometimes it's
hard to see a location a lot of what's
posted online is old or it's not true or
when you call the phone number nobody
answers or nobody calls you back so it
can be challenging and frustrating to
find office space here in Casablanca
and the last thing is I personally feel
like the rents are pretty high when you
look at the amount of vacancy in the
city today I was riding around with an
agent and we were driving all through
the city and there are stores where the
rideau they're all closed - it's the middle
of the day and they should be open
and doing business and they're closed
and I asked the agent why are all of
these properties vacant and
she told me it's because the owners want
too much rent and they don't
understand that in order for a business
to succeed the rent has to make sense in
the business model you can expect a
certain amount of revenue from a cafe or
from a restaurant or a store or a salon
or a retail establishment and you have
certain expenses that go along with that
if the rent is too high then the
business model just doesn't work right
and we were in a neighborhood where I
lived last year we were there today and
there are quite a few businesses that I
remember were open last year and now
they're closed they're gone I think
one of the best ways that Casablanca
can improve is if the owners of property
come down to market prices because it
will improve the situation for everyone
there'll be more services more products
more jobs and when you have an entire
block of empty real estate nobody wants
to go there but if you were to
bring the rents down bringing more
businesses than suddenly it would be a
place that people wanted to be so yeah
I think of the ripple effects of that it
will affect traffic patterns you know if
you have more businesses available right
at your doorstep you don't have to
travel as far to get your needs met
so that's gonna reduce traffic and as
foot traffic increases businesses will
earn more revenue and will be able to
afford higher rent so over time you
could you could raise the rents as a
neighborhood grows in its popularity it
also reduces crime rates when you have
these empty shops it makes streets where
there's not a lot of activity not a lot
of people and that's where you can have
a criminal kind of hiding out on a
doorstep waiting for some unsuspecting
person and snatch their phone there's a
lot of reasons why it would make a huge
difference I met with an entrepreneur
this week that told me that 9 out of 10
properties in Morocco are owned outright
meaning there's no mortgage on them
there's no loan on them and my theory is
that the financial markets in Morocco are very undeveloped
there's not a lot of things to invest in
so a lot of families store their wealth
in real estate and in property and
you've said this to me before for many
of them it's just like buying gold or
buying silver you're not renting it out
you're not earning any income on it it's
simply a storage mechanism for your
wealth that you're gonna you know it's
gonna grow slowly over time or you're
gonna pass it on to your children but
it's not something you're looking to run
as a business and so a lot of property
owners don't view their real estate as a
small business it's just simply a wealth
storage mechanism and it's unfortunate
because it makes all these vacancies and
and it lowers the value of neighborhoods
yeah that is the irony of the situation
if you don't view your real estate as a
business or if the culture does not view
real estate as a business it makes it
harder to sell that property for
everyone it makes it less liquid I
walk all over the city and everywhere I
go for sale for sale a vendre, a vendre
magasin after magasin after apartment after office space all for sale
and if you think you're going to hold
onto property and one day when you want
to sell it you're going to be able to
sell it you're gonna have a lot of
competition and every day a villa
is being torn down in the city and an
apartment is going up in its place and
guess what's gonna be on the rez des
chausse - magasins magasins stores and somewhere in that
building there'll be office space as well
and so as we transition into the topic
of the day which is how to sell, one of
the things I'm going to do when I
eventually find a space that I want to
rent is I'm gonna have to sell the owner
on coming down to market prices
because a lot of the places that I want
to rent are not viable for my business
model but I also need to sell the owner
on the idea that it's better to take me
as a
tenant at a discounted rent than to
leave it empty for another two three
four five years yeah this was a business
I strongly considered when I first moved
to Morocco simply after looking for a
place to live with my family I was
amazed at the vacancies and all the real
estate that had clearly been empty for
years and I was shocked at the condition
of some of these properties and the
philosophy of the land owners because
they are they're showing me their
property and it's in horrible condition
and their thought was well if you want
to rent it then I'll fix it up but it's
hard to see past all the cockroaches and
the peeling paint and blood splatter I
mean we saw it all I was thinking wow if
if someone came along and could convince
these landlords I will make you profit
if you let me run this property as a
small business for you and I'm gonna
take some profit myself but you will
make money if you let me take over
there's a serious opportunity there if
you can convince landowners to do this
you just have to build trust with them
and convince them that it's possible
they don't have to do any of the work
there's enough room to make money there
where you can run a business and be paid
and they will make a lot more money than
they're making currently yeah you know
there's a problem when companies like
Jumia are closing down some of their locations
or BIM, B.I.M. those are large companies
that have established business models
and when they're moving out of locations
you know that there's something wrong
with the economics of the revenue and
the expenses and the rent and I
completely agree there's a huge business
opportunity out there for someone who
can convince property owners to treat
their properties like businesses and
bring the rents down to market prices
this woman who owns a piece of property
that I'm looking at it has clearly been
vacant for several years but if
she had brought down the rent three
years ago
it would have had a tenant for three
years
which is 36 months of rent in a
place like this at the rent she could
get for it that's all she would need for
retirement in a place like Marrakesh
but instead it's been empty the whole
time and if she sticks to the rent she's
asking for it's gonna stay empty
because the basic economics of the
property do not support the rent that
she wants and that's the case for a lot
of different places in Casablanca
yeah it's true
I have properties that I rent to
individuals in Canada and that's a
temptation where you want to squeeze
every dollar you want to have the rent
be as high as possible but let's say I'm
renting a property for $1,500 a month
and I think I can probably get 1550 and
so I'm going for you know I want to make
every dollar I can but if I have the
rent high enough that it discourages
potential tenants from taking it they
find another place for 1,500 and decide
to go with that the amount of time it
would take me to recoup that one month's
rent that $1,500 for squeezing that
extra 50 is 30 months it's two and a
half years so I'm crazy if I try to do
that
I'm much better to put the rent down to
about 90 to 95% of market rents and then
I have an over demand and then I get to
pick and choose from a pool of people
that want my property because my place
is a little bit below market value I
have an abundance of choices and I get
to choose the best possible tenant
that's the much better strategy in the
long run sounds like you need to do some
consulting for some real estate
companies here in Casablanca yeah it's
true all right
let's dive into the topic of the day
which is how to sell Ryan we are both
involved in selling if you're involved
in business you are involved in selling
in one way or another everybody needs customers some
people would say that everyone in the
world is involved in sales in some form
because you're convincing your children
of some sort of idea you're trying to
sell your teacher on giving you an
extension or giving you a higher grade
even with your friends you're trying to
sell a movie or the cafe of your choice
we're constantly convincing one another
persuading each other and it's
sales now our focus for today is on
businesses and actual transactions that
take place but there's an aspect of
selling in all of our lives the art
of persuasion or the art of influence
and I think the reason that sales is a
hot topic is because often it's the art
of persuasion or influence with people
you don't know very well so how do you
convince someone that you just met to
engage in business with you and for them
to give you money that's always the key
a sale is not a sale until the check is
cashed right I think we'll start out
with some basic principles for sales one
is know your customer and Ryan you've
talked about this before know yourself
know your customer what can you tell us
about this Yeah, you've actually told a
story where you didn't feel like you
could serve your customer well based on
your skills and the expertise that you
were offering you didn't feel like your
customer was a good fit for you so even
though they might have been willing to
give you money you knew that in the long
run you weren't gonna be able to satisfy
the needs that they had for their
business and so it would hurt your
reputation and hurt other relationships
and your business's brand really I
see it as you're trying to decide if you
are a good fit the business has a need
and they're willing to pay for that need
but just because you can get the money
doesn't mean you should take that
business unless you feel like you can
deliver value to the customer to meet
the needs that they have so when I'm
meeting a director and looking into the
option of offering training to them I
want to make sure that the training that
I can deliver the area
that I have expertise in are the ones
that they need because if they're
looking for something that I can't
deliver then I'm gonna turn it down and
I'll recommend somebody else who has
expertise in that area just a few months
ago I met with a director and it was a
good opportunity for me I knew this was
gonna be a large contract it was gonna
be really significant for my business
but I wasn't willing to take it on
unless I knew I could deliver and so I
was asking a lot of questions about the
company about the type of training that
they do, about the type of training
that they needed to make sure that I was
the right man for the job to make sure
that I was a good fit and after I was
asking all these questions I said do you
have any questions for me you know is
there anything you want to know from
your side and the director said nope you
ask the right questions and what that
showed me was that she was impressed
that I was wanting to serve their needs
not just sell them what I could do but
make sure what I could do lined up with
what they needed and that's what got me
the contract and it's been really
significant for my business this episode
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now back to the show yes it's key
to make sure that the
product or service that you offer is a
good match with the customer especially
if your relationship is a service
relationship that will be ongoing a
monthly retainer fee a monthly service
fee for example if you sign the wrong
client and you work for them for a few
months and it ends up being a bad
relationship then it will end and you
wasted time on that short-term client
when you should have been finding the
right client that would be a long-term
client you will be able to service for
many years into the future for example I
have one client right now who has turned
into my ideal and likely buyer she's a
doctor she has a practice here in
Casablanca I did a lot of work for her
in the beginning but what I do perfectly
matches what she needs so I've gotten to
the point now where I only spend a few
hours a month working on her account but
she gets exactly what she wants out of
the relationship
so it's mutually beneficial she's
getting exactly what she wants she's
paying and I'm not having to spend a lot
of time working on the account
I just maintain it and that is my
ideal and likely buyer so I have a customer
profile now that I'm developing that
looks more like her and less like other
folks that would require me to do a lot
of work every month and they would not
get the results that they're seeking
yeah so slowly but surely I am refining
this customer profile and I will be
discriminating from the beginning when
it comes to the initial talk yeah so one
of the things you mentioned was be
prepared going into a sales conversation
Ryan how do you prepare yourself for a
sales meeting well I think you want to
be ready to answer likely questions so
you can predict what some of the
issues might be, what some of the needs might be of the
company or some of their concerns some
of their hesitations so you want to be
prepared and ready to answer those well
but related to asking questions you want
to make sure that you're highlighting
the benefits of your product or service
that will meet their needs if I go in
and I'm talking all about how the
cost is excellent and the speed
of my service is excellent that may not
be their issue money may not be a
problem they might be willing to pay any
price if I can just address this one
issue so I might be highlighting all
these features and benefits that are not
even what they're focused on the
reason why they're gonna purchase is
because they have a problem they have
some sort of pain point and I need to
know what that pain point is so that I
can speak to the features that they are
wanting to address so I can solve the
problem that they're wanting to fix
which makes asking questions such a
great tactic yeah because you're going
to go into any sales meeting with
preconceived notions with your ideas
about what they need or what they want
but what you want to do in a sales
meeting is you want to ask questions
that give you the answers that reveals
their problem so that you can shape your
product or service offering to meet
those specific needs or wants instead of
starting the conversation by talking
about your product or service where
you're sort of shooting in the dark so
to speak yeah you can explain the
benefits and the features of your
product to specifically address what
they said and since they were the one
that said it already
it makes the sale much easier because
they already articulated what their
problem was right and I mentioned this
in a previous podcast regarding this
retailer here in Morocco that wanted to
focus on renewable products on
eco-friendly products on Fairtrade on
locally sourced products here in Morocco
and I asked questions for 30 or 45
minutes to uncover all of these details
right before I even spoke at all about
my client and our products now it
just so happens that it's a good match
it is a good match in fact I didn't have
to lie or embellish but I did know what
to say and what to highlight exactly and
that makes the selling process that much
easier yeah another thing that's really
important I think when it comes to sales
is social validation people like to
buy things from people they like and
trust yes and one of the ways that you
build trust with someone is they either
get a recommendation or they see that
you have positive reviews from people
like them companies like them in
industries that they are in and I was
reading a study in the United States and
it said that many people value online
reviews almost as much as a personal
recommendation from a friend it is
important that you have a public profile
that promotes this social validation
idea asking satisfied customers for
recommendations for ratings for reviews
and putting them on your public profile
whether it's a Facebook page a LinkedIn
page or a website this is another very
subtle but important part of selling
because most people will do homework
they will do research before they meet
with a potential supplier yeah it's true
in the last contract that I signed they
asked for recommendations and so I
actually just pasted some of the reviews
I have on LinkedIn from other people
that I've done training and consulting
with and it made me think wow I need to
be soliciting this I need to be asking
for this more often so that I have an
ongoing influx of new reviews
for more recent training times because
some of them are now from 2017 they're
becoming outdated so I need to ask for
feedback and ask for people that have
been my customers to take the time to
review me on LinkedIn in case a future
person is either doing their homework or
outright asks me for them another very
important aspect of sales is not being
afraid you cannot be afraid to ask for a
sales meeting you cannot be afraid to
ask for a referral and you cannot be
discouraged if the first answer is no or
silence one of the things that separates
the best salespeople from the average is
that they don't settle for silence
they follow up forever
meaning if you had a positive
interaction with a potential customer or
potential client and they expressed some
interest in you or your product or
service they gave you their contact
information you should follow up with
them until you get a yes or a No and I
know a lot of salespeople will follow up
maybe once if they're very brave maybe
twice and then they'll just stop
but we all know we're all busy and we
are not the most important person in the
world to this potential customer
it is okay to expect from a potential
customer a yes or a no and don't be
afraid to follow up forever because
there may be some reason that they
haven't been replying and your
persistence may actually in the end
result with a sale yeah a perfect
example is what we were talking about
at the beginning the episode I'm looking
for office space one thing is for sure
the agent who does not follow up with me
is not going to get the sale whoever
actually takes the time to follow up
with me and call they had the
opportunity to get a sale and I've been
doing this for two weeks and not a
single agent that I've
worked with has actually called me again
to say hey how's it going have you
found what you're looking for
have you thought about the property that
I showed you not a single person
has done that yeah this is not
difficult these are not incredibly
complicated tactics overcome your fear
make the call
follow-up do your preparation and your
research ask good questions know
yourself and your product or your
service and be able to articulate it and
have social validation another point
about sales is that the gatekeepers are
crucial so important decision makers
often have barriers between you and them
and that could be secretaries that could
be assistants it could be lower level
managers and so there's almost a
filtering process where you need to get
through these different levels before
the information ever reaches their desk
and even though they're the ones who
make the final decision you may not be
meeting directly with them and so in a
way you need to convince this
gatekeeper this assistant or the
secretary or this manager to be your
sales rep to be your ambassador because
sometimes you don't get the opportunity
to sell directly to the decision-maker
now that's the ideal as much as I can I
try to push through those lower levels
to get to the person otherwise I might
be doing a fantastic job selling but
it's like taking a tea bag and just
dipping it into a bunch of different
cups over time the potency is diluted it's diminished the flavor and
the color is lost but don't
underestimate the power of those
gatekeepers if you treat them as lower
than you and you don't make a good
impression with them your emails and
your messages just may not be passed on
or they may be slipped in at a really non-deal time a lot of Directors put a lot
of trust into their gatekeepers to help
them filter the important opportunities
that come their way
and so you really want to treat those
people well make a good impression it's
a smile make them have a better day and
you'll see more favor granted to those
that are making the decisions in sales
gatekeepers are often unavoidable and
they often make decisions using
different criteria than their superiors
and their bosses it's important to
understand these differences the sales
method can be different for example a
gatekeeper is probably more concerned
about how this product or service is
going to make them look is it going to
improve their standing is it going to
impress their boss is it going to make
their own job easier their first
priority may not be is this really good
for the business so you need to
sell them and motivate them to push you
to the next level and this may involve
incentivizing the gatekeeper in certain
ways by highlighting either aspects of
the overall business relationship or
aspects of the product or service that
truly will benefit them because if they
really are the gatekeeper they need to
be motivated to buy the product or
service and then once you get to the
actual decision maker that may be a
different conversation you've been
listening to the business in Morocco
podcast my name is Ryan Kirk here with
my co-host Ryan Maimone if you enjoyed
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theme music is lovely day by Bill
Withers used under Creative Commons and we hope
you'll have a lovely day doing business
in Morocco we'll see you next time

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