Blog Archives

Are you selling behind a boring company mission?

Does your company have a mission/vision statement?

How's this for inspiration?

Does your company have a customer service credo?

Does your company have stated values?

These are the principles that your company has set in place to act as guideposts for employees and customers. Every good company has them and most I’ve found are just boring. Same points you see everywhere..”to be a leader in our industry”…”provide exceptional customer service”..blah blah blah. I’m not suggesting it’s not important and I agree that you have to start somewhere, but I see very little originality.

So my question is this.. What’s YOUR Personal Mission Statement?

Customers are faced with many products and services that are all vying to be numero uno. Set yourself apart, be original, go out on a limb and tell your customer what they can expect from you..personally. One of the most challenging and thought-provoking exercises that I completed early in my sales career was my personal mission statement. I later adapted this into a customer promise that I share with many potential clients. I challenge you to complete one for yourself. Set yourself apart from the pack.

This will take time. Here is a great tool to help you along and to help generate ideas: Personal Mission Statement Builder

Be sure to subscribe for updates on new post or you can follow me on Twitter.

Advertisements

Find your Pony to Blow Past your Goals!

I was asked to present a few points to our sales team recently. Here is what I shared below. Hope you find some tips you can apply and use to immediately drive results.

Find your Pony to Blow Past your Goals!

Pretty Awesome Pony!

Pretty Awesome Pony!

Two little twin girls, named Pessimist & Optimist where having a birthday soon. Pessimist told her mom and dad that she wanted a new bicycle. Not just any would do!  A red bicycle with pink tassels and a sweet banana seat was what was in demand.

Little Ms. Optimist told her parents “whatever you get me I’m sure I’ll love!”

The birthday arrived and every friend was in attendance. Little Ms. Pessimist was given her new bike; however it wasn’t as she demanded. This new bike wasn’t red but in fact was orange; the tassels were not pink but were green. “This is the worst birthday ever!” she lamented.

Cute little Ms. Optimist was presented with a large box manure. Her eyes filled with excitement as she began to grab this manure by the handful throwing it in the air. Handful after handful digging in anticipation, she finally looked up at mom and dad and exclaimed:

“With this much manure there has got to be a pony in here somewhere!”

You may feel like your digging through your own manure right now; customers not calling back, manufacturing issues, competing priorities, stress, etc. There can be a Pony in most situations. You just have to keep digging.

How can you find excitement in the day to day?

  • Take stock in what you DO have. It’s easy to take things for granted when you live in the sales trenches daily.
  • Challenge yourself to expand into new areas. Writing is a new area for me that has challenged me beyond belief, but has proven to be extremely rewarding. What areas can you expand into in your professional life?
  • Think short term to build momentum for the long term. I read a great quote earlier this month by Tom Peter that said “Excellence is not an aspiration; Excellence is the next 5 minutes.” Go do big things.. 5 minutes at a time!

Be objective about your business!

In the minutia of day to day it’s easy to let your emotions hang and carry from activity to activity. One bump in the road and you start saying “I told you so” to yourself. Driving your business solely on emotions can lead to cynicism when things don’t go your way. Cynicism is the kiss of death in sales.

Remember this: Killing objectivity in your business is not murder, its suicide!

Know your numbers and the ones you can impact: How many leads do you need? How many conversations do you need to blow past your goals? What is your closing %? Etc.

Take note of the numbers that you CAN impact not the ones that you can’t. If you can’t control the number of leads that marketing provides, measure how many referrals you collect. You can’t control the leads that answer the phone, but measure the number that do and how you convert. Find your Pony in the numbers!

Twitter-ize your sales process

I’ve had a love affair with Twitter as of late. Twitter has challenged me to write short valuable messages. Twitter allows only 140 characters. Trust me; it’s a challenge to get your point across in 140 characters.

I’m sure there are areas in your sales process that are unnecessarily long, drawn out, time intensive. Find ways to cut it down and become more efficient in your sales activities. Don’t take 1 hour to do a 30-minute task. Compress the time it takes to hit your goals. You may just find that you blow past them…

Click on the Subscribe button to get updates on new post. Connect with me on Twitter or LinkedIn. I repsond to all feedback, questions, and posts.

Sales Bit: 8 Closing Guidelines to get sales this week!

8 Closing Guidelines to get sales this week!

 

Closing  is one aspect in sales that separates those who will enjoy a long prosperous career and those who end up making excuses for lack of results. My experience in complex selling situations and face to face consumer sales have taught  me that regardless of what type of selling you are doing there are closing guidelines that are universal. Closing doesn’t have to be difficult for you or your customers, but often that’s exactly how we make it. Here are 8 guidelines to getting agreement…

Closing isn’t slick, it’s not something that you do TO someone, but rather WITH someone.

Closing starts from the minute that you say hello with making a connection with the customer..not when you begin your service or product presentation. Some would argue it even starts before hello in pre-call planning.

If you’re not a product expert or an expert on your competitors you’ll never have the success you really want in closing. (what does your competition offer in service, reputation, product quality, how are you better?)

It’s always been helpful for me to view objections as questions.  Rephrase them in your mind and they are much easier to handle. For example: “Your price is too high”..I hear it as “Help me understand the value for me? You can go through many of the common objections that you hear and rephrase them. Write them down and train your brain!

Always position your response to the best interest of the customer. If you can’t, you’re selling for you not the customer. Customers pick up on this.  Put yourself in a position to make a professional recommendation, “Based on what you’ve shared to be important, here is what I recommend.”

Ask questions! You will not know what is important to the customer if you’re not asking. (be more creative than just asking, “what’s important to you?”, too obvious!)  I’ve seen sales professionals present too early and way too often in areas the customer has no interest. In these situations solutions are rarely built around needs, but rather just thrown out to see what sticks.

Ask for the sale! Sales professionals who aren’t confident closers rely on their product knowledge and presentation expecting customers to just say “yes”.

 

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable in closing situations. That means being prepared to ask tough questions to know exactly where you and your customer are in the process. Challenge a stall by asking “What hesitations do you have?”, or “What risks do you foresee with moving forward?”

There are volumes of material that has been written on closing techniques. I encourage you to continually study and improve on this area of your sales game. Send me an email for a list of books that have helped me gain the right closing mindset

Click on the Subscribe button to get updates on new post. I look forward to connecting with you on Twitter or LinkedIn. Please share your selling experiences.  I appreciate any and all feedback on post.

Sales Bit on W.I.N.’ing

W.I.N’ing

 

How often do you spend time in tasks not related to sales or selling activities. Organizing your desk, reading reports, fooling yourself into thinking that you are doing pertinent pre-call planning etc… Yes, I hear ya…you can’t work with a messy desk. Get over it!

The bottom line is that its easy to get caught up in non-essential tasks that end up to be just busy work. Winners in sales have a “What’s Important Now” mindset, or W.I.N.

When you feel that you’re not focused just ask yourself “What’s Important Now”

There are people who: Watch things happen, Make things happen, or Wonder what happened..

Which one are you?

 


Thanks for stopping by! Subscribe by email so that you get updates on new posts. Or you can follow me on twitter. I appreciate and welcome any comments.

Sales Bit on Confidence

Sales Bit on Confidence

 

In my experience coaching sales reps, building confidence is a topic that comes up time and time again. Sales can be tough and with the amount of rejection sales professionals hear confidence often dips. The ability to maintain confidence will make or break any sales professional. You develop confidence in yourself by taking risk and pushing through. Build confidence in your product by becoming a product or service knowledge expert. Talk to past customers and ask them about their experiences. Build a list of testimonials to cement the confidence you build in your product. Surround yourself with confident people.

By developing a process of maintaining and building your level of confidence you will have a much greater influence on your customers and the people surrounding you. People like and gravitate towards a confident decisive person.

Success breeds confidence, but which comes first? That is the trick. We’ve all heard the “fake it till you make it” cliche. Sometimes confidence can be faked, but more often than not you can see right through it in selling situations. Focus on building lasting confidence.

Here are some tips to conveying confidence :

  • Maintain Eye Contact
  • Facial Expression and reaction- Acknowledgement
  • Tone of voice and pace- be strong, upbeat, don’t talk too fast
  • Be a product knowledge expert
  • No wimp words- Ask well thought out questions

Look for situations around you to practice building confidence in your presentation and conversations. The reel tape that you play in your head should revolve around successful scenarios not potential failures. Often times sales professionals lose the sale in their heads long before they arrive at the customer.  Starting off I’ve found  that it’s helpful to focus on being process oriented rather than goal oriented. For example, in building rapport use a simple process that has worked for me:

F.O.R.M.

F. amily (the customer, where they are from, etc)

O. ccupation (how long in position, etc)

R. ecreation (similar hobbies, do for fun)

M. e (transition to you or your message)

To build good rapport you must have good FORM. It’s easy to remember..

Confidence will come with practice, but don’t let any lack of confidence prevent you from starting. Jump right in and begin your process to confidence.

 

Make sure you subscribe or follow me on twitter to receive updates on new post!

%d bloggers like this: