- The next time you have an awkward moment during a sales call, ask yourself quietly why things feel like they are going in the wrong direction. You will probably discover that you are doing all the talking. It is a sign that you have not adequately involved your client in the conversation. The next time this happens, pause to slow the sales process. Then ask your client a question to get the meeting focused back on your client’s favorite subject…which is the client! You will discover that sales results come easily when you allow the client to tell their own story.
Meet a new prospect today!
- I believe that you can’t argue either side of an issue unless you can argue both sides of the issue. Every salesperson can make a case for a client to buy, but few can argue for their client’s position.
- Make a case for your client in your mind. It will help you craft a better discussion when you advocate for a sale. It will also help you open your mind and your heart to the client perspective. This mindset will prove to be invaluable because your client will sense your objectivity. Your credibility will soar.
- The economic downturn has created fear and anxiety for thousands of salespeople. Don’t be one of them. Recognize that you have abundant opportunities, even if they seem limited. If you work for a highly successful organization, you might be selling 20% of the market. Invest your energy shaking hands with the other 80%! The market has shrunk and is limited…but it is also abundant with opportunities!
- Turn off the TV and turn on your mind. A professional athlete won’t succeed on a fat and sugar diet of Twinkies and Cupcakes. Your brain can’t succeed on a junk food diet of negative news, reality television and bad talk radio. Read good books; listen to inspirational music and words. Professional athletes train their body every day and you should train your mind every day.
- A setback is not a setback if you gain a lesson from it. Look for the learning moment even when you don’t get the results you wanted.
- What others say about you and your services is infinitely more powerful than what you say. Leverage client testimonials to grow your credibility.
- Speed is the enemy of profit. Learn to slow the sales process by professionally involving your clients.
- Be careful. Sometimes the answer you hear is not “no”. It’s “not now.”
- The next time you want to open a client’s Mind to hear about your products and services, first open their Heart. Break the ice by telling them you are anxious to hear about them. That will get your relationship off on the right foot!
- The price objection is a symptom, not the disease. By the time the price objection rears its ugly head, it is often a sign of flaws in the sales process. Just like dirty water at the mouth of a river is created by pollution upstream, the price objection is usually a sign that something went wrong long before the final negotiation.
- Your title on your business card does not give you credibility. Credibility is earned with trust, knowledge and the willingness to help other people grow. Be the type of person who shares knowledge to help other people achieve greatness. Your credibility as a leader will soar!
- The biggest presentation mistake by salespeople and executives is to tell what they know. Master the facts and then tell people how you feel. Your passion will inspire very real changes and get the results you want in other people. Tell them how you feel and their heart will follow yours.
- Out of sight is not out of mind. Your clients and prospects may have very positive thoughts about you and your services even when you are not talking to them. Don’t push out of fear. Give your clients space to appreciate you.
- It’s never too late! You may think you dropped the ball and missed an opportunity. Be gentle with yourself and call that prospect even though you think the opportunity has passed. You may discover that your timing is perfect!
- There is an old saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” In business, it’s not who you know; it’s who knows YOU! Be credible, professional and memorable. Give people reasons to remember you so that you are the first one called when they need an expert.
- During negotiations, rather than lower your price, try to give some additional value that is low-cost to you but high-value to your client. If you must lower your price, then do the opposite. Get a commitment from your client that is low cost to him, but high value to you.
- One year of experience repeated twenty times is not as valuable as twenty years of growth. Real Leaders strive to learn something new every day.
- Prospecting cures all! Prospecting creates an abundance that gives you the opportunity to walk away from negotiations, create positive perceptions about the future and is the most simplistic way to grow your business.
- Silence is golden. Try and practice silence every day for a few moments. Listen to the sounds of life. If you discover that five minutes feels like two hours, it is a sure sign that you need to spend more time alone in silence. Brief meditation will make the rest of your day better.
- In honor of my mom on her Ground Hog Day birthday, I am quoting her. She warns “The easiest thing to do in life is to tell other people how they should run their lives. You can’t do it unless you have walked in their shoes.” Be less judgmental of others.
- Sometimes guilt is a good thing! If you take time to provide a proposal or price estimate for a prospect, you deserve time to be heard. Tell them they don’t have to buy, but they at least owe you five minutes of their time for the time you invested in helping them to be successful.
- Heroes are not made when life is easy. Anybody can be courageous when things go well. Real leaders embrace difficult times as an opportunity to prove their mettle.
- Three bad things can happen when you lower your price to get a sale. You lose profits, credibility, and establish a new expectation. Your client wonders why you didn’t offer the best price in the first place. Your client assumes that all future pricing is merely a starting point. Most importantly, that 1% is not merely a point, but is 20-50% of the profit.
- The next time someone expresses road rage toward you, remember that their anger has nothing to do with you. Don’t escalate the argument. Send a silent prayer and hope that the person finds a solution to the anger.
- When the news shares a story about problems around the world, it’s fashionable to offer your heartfelt compassion. Consider that you would not want to live in Haiti, most of Africa and other third world countries on their best days. Place compassion in your heart for underprivileged people at all times and count your blessings.
- When I speak with some business folks about the books they like, too many tell me that they only read business books. Don’t forget to read something today just because it is fun or nourishes your soul. My recommendation these days is The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
- Stop right now. I mean it!
No excuses. If you have time to read this then you have two minutes. Stop…relax…
Breathe in and out ten times and smile. Tell yourself you love yourself. Send out love to your family, friends, associates, neighbors and the 6 billion people on planet earth. Breathe in through your nose and slowly out through your mouth and just sit still and relax. Ten times… at least. Feel better? Have a great weekend! The world is evolving exactly as it should.
- I overheard a man at the airport end a phone call with the well-rehearsed phrase, “I love you.” So I asked him with a smile, “Important customer?”
Express love from the heart. It feels different to the person who hears it. Happy Valentine’s Day!
- Present in the power of three. This means that you should take all of the benefits you provide your clients and narrow them into three categories such as risk management, profit enhancement, marketing resources, and the like. Then craft a presentation that focuses on the big three ways in which you can help clients. The benefits are that you will have more clarity of thought and people will understand your message better.
- When things go wrong, it might be because you didn’t manage expectations early in the relationship. Take extra time to clarify the reality of your capabilities before it’s too late.
- Your opinion is best heard when it is asked for. (No! This is not a fortune cookie. Just my own thought for the day.)
- Checkmarks can be very gratifying. Start each day with a to-do list. Checkmark each item after it is complete. If you finish a task that wasn’t on your list, write it down and checkmark that one too. It’s fun!
- Great Sales Leaders have the chameleon-like skills to adapt their communication style to other people. Building Rapport is not an event that takes place when only you meet someone; it is a communication skill that permeates the entire relationship. Stay tuned this week for four great ways to make this happen!
- You will best influence Analytical people with value facts, testimonials and validation of past results. You will recognize analytical people by their calm demeanor, steady facial expressions and reticence to speak to freely.
- You will best influence Extroverts with flash, excitement and innovation. They want to keep up with and even ahead of the Joneses. In business, give them ideas that will help them outperform the competition for the long-term. You will recognize Extroverts as gregarious, smiling and very open communicators.
- You will best influence Drivers with promise of instant results and direct, fast communication. At times you should hold your ground when opposition arises as this personality type thrives on debate. You will recognize Drivers as direct communicators, serious and uninterested in small talk until business issues are resolved.
- You will best influence Sensitive types with calming reassurance and trust. These types are usually not holders of high level business positions. In business-to-consumer sales, be careful with this type as they are slow to make decisions and require a lot of attention. You will recognize Sensitive types as kind people who require close personal dialogue and validation.
- Prospect fast! If you get 10% of your prospects and you want 5 new customers, the only question left is how long it will take you to get to your next 50 prospects. The faster you get them into your pipeline, the sooner you will succeed.
- Not all presentations are the same. The “Positioning” Presentation is your statement of value that should inspire prospects to take notice of your offering. Prepare this before the heat of battle to gain instant sales momentum when opportunity rises.
- Not all presentations are the same. “Transactional” Presentations should be customized comments and proposals that identify how you can uniquely help your customer succeed. These should be delivered after you have properly understood your client’s challenges
- Not all presentations are the same. “Closing” Presentations are statements of advice. Don’t “ask for the order”. Instead advise your client of the next step in the process and why they should move forward.
- Not all presentations are the same. “Validation” Presentations are statements that should help your client justify decisions after the sale has been made. These presentations should additionally include information about warranties, maintenance, care and how to achieve value in your products and services.
- The #1 key to sales success is calendar management. Fill your calendar with solid appointments, meaningful phone calls and productive tasks. The results will come.
- Success is never owned. It is rented and payment is due every day.
I am not sure where I heard this one…but I like it a lot!
- Sometimes the way to work smarter is to work harder. If it feels like you have to work twice as hard today to achieve the same success you did yesterday, then get to work! Winners in these challenging times are the people who put in longer hours every week.
- Treat your clients as prospects. Remember that they deserve the honeymoon treatment they got on the very day you started doing business. A client is just a prospect waiting to happen.
- Treat your prospects as clients. Build strong business relationships before the transactions begin by offering your expertise in ways that make you a valuable resource to business associates.
- It seems everywhere I go people want to know how to deal with the economic downturn. My answer is: don’t! You can’t change the world today. Keep focused on your future goals and today will feel brighter.
It’s true! When you think about future opportunities, positive thoughts cause neurons to fire in the frontal cortex of your brain and you’ll feel better…
- Get better at what you do by becoming defenseless. If you cannot take constructive feedback from the man in the mirror, then who will you listen to? Open your mind to ways that you can improve your performance every day.
- In honor of my wife, Meg, on our 15th wedding anniversary… “It’s never too late,” she always reminds me. It’s never too late to … return a phone call, follow up on a proposal, touch base with a friend or express love to a family member. Be gentle on yourself when things fall through the cracks and then take action. It’s never too late.
- In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I wish you the luck O’ the Irish. It’s been said many times in many ways…the Harder You Work, the Luckier You Get. Work harder and success will be yours.
- The weather never holds. You must always adapt by changing clothing, accessories and expectations. If you don’t like the economy, stick around and it will eventually get better. In the meantime, grab an umbrella and cope.
- Ever wonder why Forrest Gump accomplished so much? It’s because he never stopped to consider his limitations in life.
- Product knowledge is your responsibility. Amazingly, very few salespeople take time to study the literature of the products they represent. Read product literature…and after you read it, study it. Your credibility will soar.
- Never denigrate your competitors. It’s an insult to them and the client who is satisfied with your competitor’s service. The only person who looks bad is you.
- In business to business sales, the client chooses a new supplier when dissatisfied with an existing supplier. If you try to force a change when the timing is wrong, it will cost you money. Position yourself as the “First Runner Up” and you will discover sales come easier. Prospects will become loyal clients on favorable terms.
- I think it’s possible that the anger felt in the world can often be associated with the singular problem of overcrowding. That’s why people in rural areas think city folks are so rude. The people aren’t different; the conditions are. Don’t let the crowd take away your humanness. Share the limited space we have…
- The difference between top performers and the average is commitment. Average performers work fixed hours while top performers work until every task is accomplished and every prospect is pursued.
- I meet too many managers who complain about the performance of their staff members. If your employees don’t get it, it’s your fault. Fix the performers or fire them. But stop whining
- Cost and price are very different. The cause of price objections is the salesperson’s focus on price. Shift the conversation to the total cost of doing business along with the return on investment that you provide.
- Example: I figure it costs a builder $1000 per hour to build a home. Six weeks to build a $240,000 home equals $40,000 per week. For each 15 minutes you can save, you increase profits to your client by $250 and vice versa for every mistake your competition makes. Discuss total cost…not price.
- One of the books I’ve been recommending lately is Permission Marketing by Seth Godin. For one hundred years, we have been subjected to “interruption marketing” from TV commercials, radio ads, billboards and the like. Gain the attention of your clients by offering them services before they start buying. If you provide free resources of value, prospects will listen to the offers you make and become willing to invest in additional services that you can provide.
- 68% percent of all statistics are made up on the spot. HA! April Fools!!
- Have you noticed how many politicians quote some obscure statistic without citing a source? If you plan to share statistics, back them up with a source. (…and no! The “Internet” is not a source…except on April Fools Day.)
- The only person who can make you love your job…is you! Make the decision today to ignore the negativity around you and focus on ways you can help people while you work.
- You have never failed if you learn something from experience. Learn to detach your emotions from failures in order to improve your future performance.
- Accept the limits of your company capability. Your customers can plan around bad news, but cannot abide unwelcome surprises at crunch time.
- The most secure people can laugh at themselves. It is an endearing trait worth developing.
“Old age is when you bend over to tie your shoes and ask yourself what else you can do while your down there.” __ George Burns
- Accept the world as it is because it’s infinitely easier to adapt to the forces of the Universe than it is to change them.
- Anger is not a result of the circumstances you face in life, but is rather the reaction you have to them. Anger is a choice. Try choosing courage instead of anger.
- Interesting people are interested. Be more interested in ideas, theories, events, other people and the world around you to become more interesting and attract positive energy.
- In honor of my sister’s birthday which she shares with the great American Thomas Jefferson, I offer a quote from this legendary wordsmith. “A government of the uninformed and free is to expect what never was and never will be.”
- Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.” I believe it is time to challenge this paradigm. Insanity is expecting nothing to change in a world in which everything constantly changes. The world is full of examples of people who failed because they did not adapt to change. Always be open to change and willing to do things differently.
- I meet a lot of people that criticize themselves too harshly. If you are one of them, look in the mirror in the morning and say, “I love you,” to that person. You’ll feel better and become a better contributor to people around you. Have a great weekend!
- Every day is game day in the sales profession. Pump yourself to start every day by striving to make every moment count.
- Society’s expectations will restrict your open mindedness. Avoid setting artificial goals such as the 40-hour work week, 65 year old retirement age and expectations of entitlement programs. Allow yourself to achieve more than the average person by pushing beyond artificial limits.
- Hear the frustrations of others. Don’t forget that other people are nervous about today’s economic challenges. Even if you are feeling pressure, keep that knowledge to yourself while you allow people to tell their stories. You’ll be regarded as a wise leader who helps people cope with problems.
- Remember your manners. Thank busboys when they refill your water. Hold the door open for the elderly. Let another driver in. Be nice and the world will become happier.
- Do not take for granted the privilege of living in North America. We live in a land of abundance and opportunity. Enjoy the weekend and remember to be generous.
- There are three kinds of employees in an organization – Vacationers, Contributors and Prisoners. Don’t wait for others to finish the job, fix a problem or clean up aisle five. Be one of the contributors that makes the workplace fun and creates great customer experiences.
- Don’t ever tell your clients that product lead time is “three to five weeks.” They’ll give you two while you really want six! Tell them when it is time to place the order to help avoid delays and to get the product when it is needed.
- Every day is game day! The difference between winners and losers is that winners keep shooting at the target even after a series of misses. Work until the very end of the day. Make your last sales call as enthusiastically as the first even when you’ve been rejected on every previous call. Your percentages will increase in the long run.
- Get involved with social networking. Remember that 20 years ago you probably didn’t even have an e-mail address and now couldn’t survive in business without one. Sign up for Linked In, Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Even if you think it doesn’t matter today…it will soon.
- Yesterday I advocated for social media. Today I remind you to communicate in the most personal way possible. Give people hand written thank you notes with hand written addresses on the envelopes. It’s the nice thing to do.
- A lot of people have noted (or complained) that I haven’t sent Tips for the Day yet this week. The truth is that I’ve been traveling and overwhelmed by a video shoot that took place from 9PM to 7AM four nights in a row…and thus I couldn’t think of anything worth saying.
So my tip is: If you don’t have anything interesting to say…don’t say anything.
- The economic boom enabled the bad habit of putting out fires created by irrational customer demands. In today’s market, time must be prioritized effectively. Focus on important tasks that produce better long term results such as prospecting, training and attention to details that prevents fires.
- It’s more powerful to achieve average results on purpose than excellent results by accident.
Here is a quote I recently heard. I think this one says it all!
- “You will achieve the greatest results in business and career if you drop the word achievement from your vocabulary and replace it with contribution.” -Peter Drucker
- I always think about the sage advice I received as a youth to “Pay Yourself First…into your investment savings account” if you want to accumulate enough wealth to retire securely and look back with no regrets.
Along the same lines, I say, “Prospect First!” You must find the time to prospect so that you will not look back months and years from now and wish you had more business opportunities in your sales pipeline.
- The man who sees the obstacles has taken his eye off the goal.
Keep focused on your long term goals and ignore the speed bumps along the way.
- Facts tell. Stories sell.
Your customers’ experiences with your services are more credible than your promises. Tell success stories to validate your offer to clients.
- Empower your employees to create a better customer experience.
Two days ago I rented a car and was given the good will gesture of a free upgrade without paperwork, hassle or negotiation by a rental agent with more authority than some vice presidents and salespeople I’ve met.
No cost decisions producing customer elation and loyalty should always be encouraged.
- Be sure to sell the value of special favors and “extras” that you give customers.
I suggested this past Friday that people should be empowered to make good no-cost-high-customer-satisfaction decisions. At the same time remind your customers that you are giving them an extra that might not always be available.
- I think it’s amazing that bamboo takes three years to get out of the ground, but when it finally emerges grows two feet per day!
Prospecting in the selling profession is kind of the same. You think nothing is happening and then…BOOM!
Keep prospecting today for the long term results that will rapidly emerge tomorrow.
- If you can’t walk into your clients’ offices with a purpose and reason to help them, then you need to pause and think of one before you start the meeting.
- Every employee has to ask, “Would I hire me if I were the owner? Would I pay me more?” If you are not sure, then try to think more like the owner of a business. Keep costs low and customers satisfaction high. Your company wins and you do too. If you don’t make more money in the short run, you’ll be worth more in the long run!
- The next time you judge an anonymous stranger or treat one rudely, remember you are dealing with somebody’s sister or brother or father or mother. Treat people the way you want your loved ones to be treated.
- Earth is a beautiful place. Have a great weekend!
- Every salesman wants the “last look”. This is a salesman’s final desperate attempt to see a prospect’s research and then close the deal. The last look by definition goes to the salesperson who gets the sale because a client no longer needs to shop.
Instead of asking for the “last look”, be the salesperson that earns the credibility which enables clients to make you their “first choice”.
- Calendar management begins with “no”. It is easy to react to irrational customer demands and allow your calendar to be controlled by others. Great sales leaders manage crisis by prioritizing the “fires” within a schedule that allows for effective territory management.
- Maximize your efficiency by minimizing windshield time. In the old days, this was simple territory management. In todays environment, it means using text, e-mail & phone to communicate effectively and limit windshield time.
- Calendar management means building your day around appointments. You don’t like when sales people “pop-in” on you, so don’t do it to your customers.
- Tune into WIFT. (What’s In It For Them?) Most salespeople are tuned into WIFM. (What’s In it For Me?) Instead, make every aspect of the selling process helpful to your customers, then you will get more for yourself.
- A great presentation should play like a piece of musical art. A great artist practices constantly for peak performance moments.
Ask yourself the last time you really worked hard to craft a perfect presentation.
- It is easy to feel stressed out about tedious tasks needing to be completed every day. Worse yet, it is easy to take for granted the honor that comes from having responsibilities to others.
Relish responsibility, it is a real privilege in the changing fortunes of time.
- Today’s tip of the day came from a bumper sticker…
Those who don’t pay attention to history are destined to repeat the past.
- Having trouble getting appointments? Instead of telling customers and prospects that you have information about your products, tell them you have information that will give them a competitive edge. Of course you better actually have an idea! Need one? Drop me a line!
- Stop buying into the false belief that your competition is infinitely competent. If you have not prospected more than a fraction of your market, then your competition probably has not. Outsell your competitors by “out-prospecting” them.
- If a competitor prices so low that you believe they lose money on a sale, then recognize your opportunity! Keep in touch with that prospect. You may lose the short term sales battle, but will win the long term relationship battle when your competitor’s inevitable price increases destroy his credibility.
- Credibility is based on trust and knowledge. Sometimes the best presentation is a simple statement of fact. If I have told you once, I’ve told you a billion times: Don’t exaggerate!
- Start each meeting with the intention of listening first. Remember that listening is not waiting to talk. Really listen.
- If you often feel worried, remember that the joy you receive is directly proportionate to the contributions you make. Turn worry into joy by helping other people achieve happiness. Have a great weekend.
- If you give the price before you establish value, it’s too late. Check out my blog for this week to see an example.