Continue To Ask Questions

bosswithquestions-fbRepeat the information you have gleaned through your questioning, and ask if there is anything else that would affect her interest in purchasing the product. Take care not to push for an immediate sale. Save your close until you are sure you have all the information and then offer a 10 percent discount, free delivery or some other reason that would cause her to transact business.

The above is an excerpt adapted from the article, “How to Know What a Customer Needs & Wants.” For more information, please visit

Ask for feedback


and eliminate the products that the customer feels do not meet his needs. In this way you can guide him to the best product without confrontation, which has the potential for alienating the customer and losing the sale.

The above is an excerpt adapted from the article, “How to Know What a Customer Needs & Wants.” For more information, please


Give the customer a choice

ThinkstockPhotos-128935398Give the customer a choice by presenting different products for comparison. Explain the features, benefits and drawbacks of each product without making a decision for the customer. Your goal is to assist the customer to make the decision for herself.

The above is an excerpt adapted from the article, “How to Know What a Customer Needs & Wants.” For more information, please visit

Ask the customer questions


Customer being ask questions by an employee

Ask the customer questions designed to elicit information. Ask the price range he is considering, the features he is looking for and whether he is just beginning to shop for the product or intends to make a purchase. It is also helpful to ask what he has seen at competing establishments. Let the customer do the talking.


The above is an excerpt adapted from the article, “How to Know What a Customer Needs & Wants.” For more information, please visit

Good Customer Service: Listen to what the customer says.

customer-listen-fb-ThinkstockPhotos-122578149.jpgWhat a customer wants and what he needs are often two different things. The task of a sales professional is to determine which is more important. Marshall Field was famous for running his department stores under the motto “The customer is always right.” Even if the customer wants the wrong item for his needs, according to this philosophy, it is better to keep him happy by giving him what he wants. When a customer has no preference, it is up to the sales professional to gently discover the customer’s true needs and demonstrate how the correct item satisfies those needs.

Listen to what the customer says. The customer will tell you whether she is looking to fulfill a want or a need by the way she approaches the purchase. If she immediately states what she wants, that is what she intends to buy. If she appears indecisive, that is when you ask about the intended use, which helps you to determine what she needs. Build a relationship, however short, with the customer.

The above is an excerpt adapted from the article, “How to Know What a Customer Needs & Wants.” For more information, please visit

Spotting The Signs of a B2B Scam

scam-money-fb-shutterstock_229693492A small business or nonprofit gets what appears to be an invoice for a listing in an online yellow pages directory. On the face of it, it looks legit. It includes the name of an employee at the office, a copy of what the listing looks like, the “walking fingers” symbol associated with directories – and a demand for the $486.95 the business or nonprofit supposedly owes for the listing. What’s really going on? As an FTC case against Canadian scammers suggests, chances are it’s a fraud targeting small businesses, doctors’ offices, retirement homes, churches, etc. And your company or community group could be at risk.

Earlier this year, the FTC sued Ivan Chernev, German Lebedev, American Yellow Corporation, and a host of Montreal-based entities for pulling a fast one on smaller offices. It was bad enough that they billed the businesses and nonprofits for unauthorized listings. But when the companies that got the phony invoices dared to fight back, the FTC says the defendants turned up the heat. Recipients who ignored the bogus bills were sent collection warnings demanding payment of more than $2,000. When they refused to knuckle under, the defendants masqueraded as third-party debt collectors. In March 2015, the court halted the operation and froze the defendants’ assets pending litigation. The defendants didn’t respond, so the court entered a default judgment. That order requires the defendants to pay more than $1.2 million and bans them for life from the directory business.

In an unrelated action, the FTC obtained a contempt ruling against defendants who used similar tactics against small businesses, religious schools, and other small offices – and then violated a court order to stop. In 2014, the FTC charged Robert Ray Law and his company with using bogus invoices to trick offices into paying for unordered online business directory listings. Among other things, the final order in that case banned them from the business. According to the FTC, Law created a new company to run a similar scam, this time faxing fake invoices to nearly 150,000 small businesses seeking payment for online computer support and consulting. The modified order in that case imposes a judgment for the full amount of money taken from businesses.

The FTC works with a united front of state, federal, and international fraud fighters to curtail this kind of con. What can you do to help protect your company and your community?

Educate yourself about how these oufits work.  Small Business Scams is a free publication that gives you the inside story about frauds perpetrated against smaller offices. For example, theDirectory Listing Scam, the Supply Swindle, and the URL Hustle all involve bogus “pay now” invoices for unordered products or services. In a variation on those schemes, con artists call an office and ask the person who answers the phone to “confirm” an “existing” order. Of course, there is no order, but now the scammers have an unsuspecting employee on tape saying “yes.”

Take five minutes to educate your staff.  Fraudsters tend to target busy offices that don’t have central purchasing systems or full-time receptionists – so think big. Alert your employees at a staff meeting. (Play this video to explain how scammers operate.) Include a warning in an email or newsletter to volunteers. Post a caution in your break room. Put a note near the phone where your central number rings. Even if your office isn’t big enough for a formal procurement process, assign one staffer as the go-to person for periodic purchases like directory listings or office supplies. Calls asking to “confirm an existing order” should go to them, too. In addition to foiling fraudsters, it just might help keep your expenses in check.

Offer a word of warning to potential targets.  Step #1: Order free copies of Small Business Scams from the FTC’s bulk order site. Step #2:

  • Distribute them at your next industry event.
  • Leave a copy in the office at your place of worship or community center.
  • Bring one along next time you have a doctor’s or dentist’s appointment.
  • Visiting a relative at a nursing home or retirement community? Give a copy to a staff member.
  • Spread the word on your website, through your social networks, and through industry and community newsletters and listservs.

Suspicious about a possible small business scam? Report it to the FTC.  If you’re getting pressured to pony up for an unauthorized purchase, don’t pay, but do let us know about it by filing a complaint with the FTC.

The above is an excerpt adapted from the article, “Spotting The Signs of a B2B Scam.” For more information, please visit

Kids and Medicine: Protect Your Family from Accidental Poisonings


Be Prepared

  • Put the poison help number, 1-800-222-1222, on or near every home telephone and save it on your cell phone. The line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Be Smart about Storage

    • Store all medicines and household products up and away and out of sight in a cabinet where a child cannot reach them.
    • When you are taking or giving medicines or are using household products:
      • Do not put your next dose on the counter or table where children can reach them—it only takes seconds for a child to get them.
      • If you have to do something else while taking medicine, such as answer the phone, take any young children with you.
      • Secure the child safety cap completely every time you use a medicine.
      • After using them, do not leave medicines or household products out.  As soon as you are done with them,  put them away and out of sight in a cabinet where a child cannot reach them.
      • Be aware of any legal or illegal drugs that guests may bring into your home. Ask guests to store drugs where children cannot find them.  Children can easily get into pillboxes, purses, backpacks, or coat pockets.

Proper Disposal

For more information on proper disposal, please see the FDA’s web site, Disposal of Unused Medicines: What You Should KnowExternal Web Site Icon.

Other Tips

      • Do not call medicine “candy.”

What To Do If A Poisoning Occurs

    • Remain calm.
    • Call 911 if you have a poison emergency and the victim has collapsed or is not breathing. If the victim is awake and alert, dial 1-800-222-1222. Try to have this information ready:
      • the victim’s age and weight
      • the container or bottle of the poison if available
      • the time of the poison exposure
      • the address where the poisoning occurred
    • Stay on the phone and follow the instructions from the emergency operator or poison control center.
The above is an excerpt adapted from the article, “Tips to Prevent Poisonings.” For more information, please visit