INFLUENCE

March 13th, 2015

As a leader, influence is one of the most important factors you can instill. Most leaders feel their position is the infuence they need and people should follow them because of their title. Due to this, these people find that when great ideas are brought to the table, they try to instigate the idea and it’s like pulling teeth to get others to join in – yet they all thought it was a great idea. So then the next phase for these leaders begins – the DEMAND phase. “You will follow me or else.” Have you ever been around that one person that doesn’t say a whole lot but when they do people take notice? Have you ever met the person that just has that aura that makes you want to follow them and your not sure why? These are the people of influence. Examine their behavior, attitude and personality. Find for yourself what you like in the way they lead and put those factors to use for yourself. Look for the traits of a great influencer – they are always honest and truthful, they look for solutions rather than fault, they mentor others, they find value in others, they let people know what value they bring to the table, they find a way to bring value to others they work with, they don’t look to get reccognition – they give it. Look to yourself as to what type leader you are. Start each day by telling a colleague what value you have in them. Even if it hurts, always be honest and truthful. Recognize others that are doing well even if it was your idea. Watch what happens to your INFLUENCE.

Three Words to Live By

March 9th, 2014

Your success rate, in any kind of sale or conversation, is determined by your attitude toward the person, and company, that is sitting across the table from you. Sometimes our minds get twisted around and all we think about is making the sale. In these cases we stop listening correctly and our agenda is all around what WE want to sell them – not what is right for their business. Therefore, we have a solution for you. Keep these three words in your head at all times and you will find dramatic changes in your sales.

PURPOSE: This was discussed in the previous Tidbit, but is worth going over again in association with the other two words. Everything you do or present to the client must have a purpose that fits the client’s means of business. Most clients that do not buy relate their decision back to the product and the presentation NOT having a definative purpose for their business and where they are taking their company. It is not that they don’t see value in you or your product, it just isn’t fitting the company at this time.

APPROPRIATE: Along with Purpose, Appropriate is another word that can make or break sales. Keeping in mind who the client is (personality wise) and finding out the culture of the business and where it is heading will lead you to designing a presentation that is appropriate for your client. Have all the parts in your presentation that are important to your client and make sure the timing of your product and what it can do fits your client.

EXPECTATIONS: This is the third word to keep in your head. If you develop a program and presentation that has purpose for your client, appropriate for where their business is today and meets or exeeds their expectations, then it is hit.

The only way to make sure you have these three words covered before doing a presentation is to Fact Find sufficiently before developing a presentation. Therefore, your Fact Finding questions and conversation should be build around these three words. When you present the product(s), let the client know vicariously how the product(s) fit these three areas. That is how sales are made. In personal visits to sales organizations (on-site training) we have the ability and time to get very deep into these three words and develop methods for you to follow to ensure greater success.

What is the Purpose?

February 5th, 2013

I have performed hundreds of ride-a-longs with outside Sales Associates and one of the most common items I see is a lack of purpose in the things they do. Even in their introduction, there is a lack of purpose for their appearence in the client’s place of business. Recently, I was working with a Telephone Sales crew and all the reps performed the exact same way – go over the information they have about the client (varify the information) then ask the client if they had ever or would ever consider buying their product. Take a wild guess as to  what the answer was from the client; every client! Here is the big question – If doing what you are doing does not elicit the results you are seeking, then WHY KEEP DOING THE SAME THING!? The solution was actually quite simple. In order for people of today’s markets to purchase, there must be a PURPOSE for them to buy:  an enhancement to their company, help in reaching a goal, help in actualizing a dream, attracting different customers, etc. The Sales Associates that made the effort to create purpose, made sales – go figure.

In working with outside sales reps, I see the same thing – they put very little purpose in the purchase of their product. With renewal clients, the reps want the client to do more (buy more) and after making sure they will at least get the renewal dollars back, suggest doing more with the client. How do you think that suggestion is received? Exactly the same way it was received with the Telephone Sales Associates. If a sales person you have purchased a product from comes to you to make sure you renew your order then suggests you do more – just for the sake of spending more money – would you do it? What will this extra purchase do for the client? What kind of posture does it hold for them against their competiton? How does it help them reach a new fininacial goal for their company? What would it mean to the client personally? Is there a vision that can be realized with the added purchase?

Just food for thought.

The Power of Questions

October 10th, 2012

Every one of our clients who have been through the training have commented that the one thing that has made a significant difference in their sales has been the idea of asking more questions. Having said that, be aware that not all questions are created equal. There are just as many dangerous questions as there are great questions. So how can you tell the difference?

The old adage is that there are closed questions (yes or no answers) and open questions (answers requiring a response other than yes or no). For the most part, open questions reign over closed questions unless you are in a closing situation then it reverses. The key to good questions is making sure the questions are thought provoking. To ask thought provoking questions you must understand the following.

Thought provoking questions come from the person you’re asking questions to. In other words, listening is the key to asking questions. Listening is not just hearing the words, it is taking mental note on the importance and meaning of the  statement just made by the client. From the statement, ask a question based on something relevant from the statement. This will show the client you are listening. The best part is, when you listen and ask relevant, thought provoking questions, you get relevant thought provoked answers. These answers are the key to any sale. In today’s markets the narcissism of your customer is at an all time high. They do not want to hear your dog and pony show about how great your product is and why YOU think they buy it. What they want is for you to listen to the reasons they are in business, the means by which they keep their image high and the plans they have to move forward – AND THEN – see how your product fits their plan.

Questions to avoid: “Wouldn’t you agree …?”, “I am sure you are aware ….?”,  “Couldn’t you see …?”, “How did our product work for you?” All of these type of questions lead the control of the sale into the hands of the client. They immediately give the client reason and cause to start negotiating on the spot. For example, if you were to ask a sharp business person any question that starts with “wouldn’t you agree…..?” the sharp business person would immediately not agree (whether they wanted to or not) just to put you on edge and start the negotiating process. They now have control. Oops, you lose.

The questions that we have developed are designed with strict psychological cause and meaning and are simply there to have the client express the way they do business and to let you know what they want from you to see if you can provide it. This is the most simplistic method of sales in today’s world. Use the questions, be smart with the questions, stop trying to sell them on your product, listen to why they need your product.

 

WHY?

December 14th, 2011

Do you really want to improve your sales ability?  Then why do you keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results. Yes, this is the definition of insanity. Understanding the root psychology of sales will improve your ability to sell – no matter what strategies you use.  The most prolific sales people in the world ask themselves “WHY” on a constant basis.  However, the question runs layers and layers deep.  For example, a call doesn’t go the way you expected it to go.  You go back to the car, ask yourself why and answer with “well, that particular potential client was a real jerk” and then you drive off to the next one. The question of “why” must be taken layers deep.  Why did you do what you did with that client? How did they respond? Why did they respond that way? What question did you ask? Why did you ask that question? What prompted you to ask that question or make that statement? What were you thinking at the time? What do you think the client was thinking? THE BIG QUESTION OF THE DAY “COULD YOU HAVE SOLD YOURSELF? This is the biggest question you can ask yourself.  The problem for most sales people is that we have a tendency to lie to ourselves dramatically to help make us feel better about ourselves.  You must honest with yourself if you expect to gain improvement.  Working with media sales reps that have renewals to call on, we asked them if this sounded familiar -

Rep – “Mr. Jones, it is that time again to take a look at your program and renew it for the next issue”                                      Client – “alright, so what did I do last year?”

Rep – “Well, let’s take a look. Here is your program for the last issue”

Client – “How much did I spend?”

Rep – “You spent $_______”

Client -”How much will it be this year?”

Rep-”It will $_____ more, but you still have plenty of discount working for you with this amount.”

Client – “Well then, I am going to have to cut it all or at least cut it down. Times are tough!”

For some reason this has been extremely familiar with media reps. If it is that familiar, then why in the heck do you do it??? If you are not getting the results you want, then change the approach.  When a person from  retail store comes up to you and asks “may I help you?”, what is your response?  We all know it is “no, just looking.”  Since we all know the answer, then why – if you are a retailer – would you ever ask that question.  There are solutions to these and other situations, but the main road to success is asking yourself “why” in everything you do.  Feel free to contact us if you would like some ideas on how to change your approach.

WHY DO YOU KEEP WHINING?

June 6th, 2011

It is still amazing how many sales people are are continually whining.  “Gas costs too much – I get all of the bad leads – why do I have to travel so much – maybe admin should learn that they work for us – the owner hates sales people – the manager shows favoritism” – and the list goes on-and-on.  What we seem to forget, at times, is that we are in sales for several key reasons.

One: If we want a raise, we go sell more.  What a great way to live.  We do not have to do anything but sell more to get a reaise.  Our raise is not determined by how many people we sucked up to and how well I perform in office politics.  You want more money? Go get it TODAY!

Two: FREEDOM!  What other job could you have that allows you to have the freedom to take care life things so easily while being employed.  We do not need to wait until lunch to make a deposit at the bank – when do you have your hair cut? The soccer game is at three – I’ll be there.  The problem for most sales people is handling the freedom in an appropriate manner.  Even though we have a alot  of freedom, you still need to map your day out – each and every day – in a way that maximizes your productivity – even if you are going to the soccer game.  Take the job and freedom very, very seriously.

Three – MONEY!  This is similar to getting a raise, but the overall availability and the opportunity to make a very good living comes with sales.  Not everyone can sell.  Therefore, they get to make $10, $20 or $30 per hour.  We can make much more every hour of every day if we put our minds to it – there is no one there to stop us.  The only reason some sales people do not make six figures a year is because of their attitude toward making that kind of money and their attitude toward sales.  These are the whiners.  Whiners do not consistantly make well into the six figures a year.  Stop whining and start making money.  If you are not a whiner and not making that kind of money, then you need ot start reading.  There are hundreds of sources out there that can help you to set goals and teach you how to achieve them. Get them, read them, and do what they say.  The people making over $200,000 really do not complain about gas prices.  Make the money it takes to stop your whining – you are the only one holding you back.

Be happy – feel fortunate – find the appreciation for being a sales person and let the people who hired you know how much you appreciate them and the opportunity they put in front of you.

Slump? What Slump?

May 4th, 2010

It happens to all of us. We are going along great, meeting good clients, making nice sales – then it happens. Sales start slipping, renewal clients are going backward, and it seems almost impossible to get someone new to sign a contract. Then the unthinkable. We start questioning our own abilities and skills. You are in good company because I don’t know anyone who has not found themselves in a slump.

The key is what you decide to do about it!

I think back on what my wife said to me – “I,…I,… I just can’t stand to look at your face.” Granted, I had a slump in my eating and exercise habits, but this certainly seemed to be a wake-up call. She was actually referring to the food left on my face after eating, but the comment still reminded me that I was in a health slump. So, what do you do?

The number one thing to do is go back to basics. Basics are what gave you success in the beginning and they can give the same success later down the road. Most slumps begin by sales people over thinking and overanalyzing their approach to sales. Unfortunately, we become so smart about what we do, that we forget what we are doing.

Try this:

First, wipe your mind clean. Clear out all the cobwebs, all the lame thoughts, all the thoughts about you having bad leads, bad management, bad skills – everything negative. WIPE IT OUT! Some people get so caught up in the littlest of irritants, that have been there all long, but only come out when sales are down. Therefore, the main cure is to clean up your act and get your ATTITUDE and head on straight.

Second, find a manager, trainer, colleague or mentor (or all of them) and let them know you feel like you are in a slump. Role play with them, let them go on sales calls with you and brainstorm with them. All it takes is to have the humility to let someone know you would like their help. You may just find some new and exciting ways to sell and overcome objections.

Third, go back to basics. Remember to keep everything you do and say – focused on the client. This will take the bulk of the stress off you and keep the focus where it should be – on the client. This will also keep your mind open and ready to move in directions based on the clients actions and words. Once you focus on the client, your focus on yourself goes away. This will help you ease your mind from being in a slump and the client will help you walk them through the sale.

Fourth, find all the training material you can that will help you to adjust your ATTITUDE and get back to basics. Listen to discs by Bob Moab (Edge Learning Institute) or Tony Robbins. Use any and all means you can think of to regain mental control.

Slumps are all in the mind. Let your mind fix them.

Dealing with the Internet

March 2nd, 2010

We have all heard a lot of talk about the Internet taking over Yellow Pages (YP) as strong marketing tool and how the Internet will make YP obsolete. We have all dealt with clients that deliver the objection of “I am doing all my marketing through the Internet” – or some version of that objection.

To help yourself deal with this objection, you first need to create the proper mind set for yourself. It is not a factor of either – or when it comes to this marketing strategy. There is no need to feel like you have to find a way to fight the internet. Just like you do when dealing with the objection about other forms of media (radio, television, newspaper, etc) YP is an enhancement for any marketing your clients are doing. YP is still the number one means of marketing an Internet site. Adjust your mindset and use some of the following strategies to help your client maximize their YP and Internet marketing.

  • Start re-designing your ads to reflect a larger pull to the client’s web address. This way the client is marketing their website to the YP users as well as receiving the dramatic effect of increased business from their YP program.
  • Use the ADP Myth Buster sales tool that shows the largest increase in YP users is the demographic ages 24-35. This demographic is using the YP as a local search to find websites of local businesses. They go to the book, find a website and log on. Or they use the Internet as a research source and then go to the YP to find the local businesses to contact.
  • Ask the question “Mr. Jones, what are you doing right now to promote and market your website?” This question will open up a discussion on how YP is a key strategy to draw people to their website as well as to their business directly.
  • Ask the question “If your Internet marketing was just 10% more effective, how would that affect your business?”
  • Check your directory under the heading of Internet Marketing and then ask your client “If YP is going by the way side, then why would Internet Marketing companies advertise in the YP?”

These are just some ideas in order for you to deal with the Internet objection when it comes to YP advertising. Feel free to use these in the field (they have been well tested with great results) or use these ideas to create your own versions by twisting and turning them and then test them in the field. Bring these ideas to your sales meetings and brain storm with your colleagues to find new and innovative ideas to help each other out.

How To Get The Most Out Of Sales Training Discs And Books

November 28th, 2009

There are three things you can do to get the most out of listening to sales training CDs or reading sales training books.

  1. Listen or read for key ideas: Every person listens or reads training material to find the key ideas that mean the most to them – the ideas that will help them sharpen their skills. When listening to a training CD, write down the key idea as well as what disc, track, and time on the CD that the idea appeared. If reading, simply highlight the key ideas. Put the book or CD away for three days.
  2. Explanation: After three days, come back to the CD or book and go straight to the key ideas. For each key idea, write down “why” it is a key idea – in other words, explain to yourself why that idea caught your eye. Explain why you think this is a key idea at this time in the sales process. Write the explanation down. The purpose of doing this is for you to find reasons why these key ideas make sense to you. Put the CD or book away for three days.
  3. Improvement: After finding a key idea and understanding why it is a key idea, then write down all the ways you can think of to make the key idea better, more improved or more effective.

By following these three simple steps, you will improve your overall sales skills as well as your confidence and have a definite increase in productivity.