Monday, April 2, 2018

March Newsletter

Beware the "expert."

The expansion of the Internet has given rise to a multitude of people who present themselves as experts. Many aren’t, and doing business with them can be very costly.

No matter how slick their marketing or how cool their website is, I strongly suggest that you request a half-dozen referrals. Take the time to contact these referrals and ask questions about their experience with the company. Ask questions about price, delivery, and the quality of the work performed.

I once made the mistake of not doing my homework on a company offering expert website development. We discussed all the elements and functionality required for the website. I was assured that it was a "piece of cake" to get me everything I needed. I was told the job would take about three weeks.

After many phone calls and meetings which seemed pointless, it slowly dawned on me that I was not dealing with experts, but rather a company that held itself out as expert.

After eight weeks, I called the CEO and held his feet to the fire. He promised to complete the site within 10 days. It was completed; however, it took an additional three weeks, and the site never did function correctly. I had to spend more money troubleshooting and correcting the problems.

The company’s initial low price was not a bargain, considering the lost time and what I had to do to get the site up and running.

I later learned that the delays were caused because the company was sending the work offshore, and it was having difficulty managing the relationship with the foreign company.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

February Newsletter

Learn to read people.

Body language is a very powerful tool. We had body language before we had speech, and apparently, 80 percent of what you understand in a conversation is read through the body, not the words. - Deborah Bull, English entertainer

Police detectives, professional poker players, and successful deal makers have one thing in common: they all know how to read people.

At least 80 percent of human communication is nonverbal. Eye movement, posture, arm positioning, hand gestures, facial expressions, voice inflection, and other subtle and unintentionally sent messages can be read and interpreted. Plenty of learning resources on this subject exist. Take advantage of them. Your ability to read people pays big dividends in your professional and personal life.

Beyond business, there are dozens of life situations in which knowledge of body language pays off. Whether you’re making a major purchase, interviewing, dealing with coworkers or even with those at the dinner table, it is a very useful skill.

Are you being lied to?

I’m certainly not an expert on reading body language, but I have made it a point to learn the basic signs that tell me I am being lied to. Here are a few things I look for:

If a person doesn’t use contractions in his or her speech, it’s an indication of lying. When you hear, "I did not do it;" instead of, "I didn’t do it," chances are that person is fibbing.

Also people offering a theory that removes them from suspicion such as, "I would not take the chocolates. I do not even like chocolate," and then offers an alternative theory, such as, "Maybe the cleaning crew took them," is probably lying.

A change in the tone of voice often also indicates deception. Tugging at one’s collar and crossing one’s arms are other indicators.

None of these behaviors viewed separately means much, but, you can rest assured that, if three or more are displayed, it’s a pretty safe bet that you are being lied to.

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Monday, February 5, 2018

January Newsletter

If you keep telling the same sad small story, you will keep living the same sad small life. - Jean Houston, American author

You are who you think you are.

I once had a poor self-image. I didn’t have a college education. I didn’t have money or prospects. Back then, the concept of a self-image wasn’t even familiar to me. It wasn’t how people thought.

As luck would have it, I landed a job on a small ranch owned by a very wealthy man. He took a liking to me. Over the next year he showed me a different world. He and his wife sometimes invited me to their home for dinner.

He lent me books that we would later discuss.

Sometimes he would take me for a flight in his small private airplane.

Most important, he treated me with respect. My view of myself began to slowly change.

One day he asked me what my life plans were. I told him that I really didn’t know. I explained that not having a college degree would limit my options. He looked at me as if I were crazy and said, "You are far more capable than 95 percent of people with degrees."

My self-image went up a notch again that day. I soon enrolled in night school, and my belief in myself continued to grow as I saw new possibilities for my life.

It wasn’t until I was looking back, many years later, that I fully understood the profound influence his friendship and kindness had on my destiny. I realized what a powerful force self-image is and what an important role it plays in defining our lives.

Start looking at your potential. Redefine yourself, and you will change. You will start to see your true capabilities, and that knowledge will lead to a new you.

I’m sure my boss knew exactly what he was doing to help me. I have tried to pass his gift to me along to others.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

December - Green Sales Sheet

Mood follows form.

To create well I have to be in a good mood, happy and cool. —Marc Newson, Entrepreneur

When you feel in winning form, you smile, stand up straight, and walk with confidence. On a gloomy, depressing day, try this: smile, stretch, and strut. Your mood will begin to lighten as your physical actions mimic those of a winner. The same applies to your phone personality. If you sit up straight and smile, you begin to feel self-confident and purposeful. Your voice reflects those qualities, and you will enjoy more successful business conversations.

Expand your vocabulary.

One forgets words as one forgets names. One’s vocabulary needs constant fertilizing or it will die. - Evelyn Waugh, Author

There is a proven relationship between vocabulary and income. Most successful people have good vocabularies and can express their ideas clearly. Less successful people tend to rely on a limited vocabulary augmented with clich├ęs to get their ideas across. You are taken far more seriously when you can express yourself articulately. Clear and precise language gains you respect and credibility.

Don’t bother to learn words that are never used in everyday conversation. The fact that you know the meaning of popinjay is not of any value. However, learning one new word a day is money in the bank.

My book makes a great Christmas gift for any business professional. Excerpted from Rules of the Hunt. Available at Amazon.

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November - Green Sales Sheet


Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the
only thing. - Albert Schweitzer

You set an example by looking, acting, and thinking like a leader. Work as
hard, or harder, than your team members. You set a powerful example by
occasionally rolling your sleeves up and getting your hands dirty. Staying
at the rear of the battle is not inspiring and sets a bad example. Leading
the charge says in the most dramatic way, "I’m your leader. Follow me."

Keep your cool. Respond calmly to those big challenges that are
sure to come your way. While you can’t know what specific problem will
come knocking, you can anticipate how you react to it. A calm response
is a strong example of your leadership skills, which will not be lost
on others.

Develop first-rate communication skills. Never sugarcoat a problem
or deliver an unclear directive. Tell it like it is. People are not afraid of the
truth and will readily follow a leader who is direct. When you are honest,
realistic and plain spoken, you’ll avoid misunderstandings and mistakes.
A straightforward communication style is the hallmark of good leadership.
Clarify, prioritize, and lead.

My book makes a great Christmas gift for any business professional. Excerpted from Rules of the Hunt. Available at Amazon.

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The Holidays Are Here…Should I Continue Prospecting?

Every year during the 4th quarter, I am hit with the question by sales teams and clients that outsource their prospecting to us: “should we continue to prospect as we approach the holiday season?” Their perception is to shut down all sales activity as the holidays approach because they believe that no one will be in the office doing business and everyone is busy preparing for Thanksgiving and doing their holiday shopping so what is the point of prospecting? My answer each year is "yes, you should absolutely continue your prospecting efforts as we approach the holiday season" and here are a few reasons why:
  • Business is conducted all year round. There will always be an excuse to not prospect. There are holidays all throughout the year and the summertime is another popular time of the year that people like to take off as well. However, there will never be a time when everyone is out of the office at the same time. All business does not shut down because of the holidays. Of course, you want to plan your prospecting time around an actual holiday. I don’t suggest calling anyone on Thanksgiving or Christmas day, but the weeks leading up to the holiday and the remaining days after the holiday has passed certainly can lead to opportunities.
  • As we approach the end of the year, especially during the holiday season, things start to slow down with many businesses. Therefore, a lot of hard to reach contacts that have typically been out of the office traveling throughout the year tend to be in the office during this period.
  • In this day and time, we are armed with technology. Therefore, many prospects can start planning for the new year as well as the current one that we are in. Your goal should be to connect with your prospect during the current year. However, those that are not able to connect with you as we close out the year, certainly can plan for January which will put you ahead of the game at the start of the new year.
  • Many businesses, including your competitors, put the brakes on prospecting during this time of year which will open more doors of opportunity for you.
Thinking differently than the masses during this time of the year will certainly benefit you and help you finish off your year on a good note and will provide you an excellent head start for 2018. So, pick up that phone, send that email, attend that networking function and holiday party, don’t slow your prospecting down due to the holidays and the close of the year. Continue your momentum and you will continue to find sales opportunities.

Leslie Wells, the owner of L. Wells & Associates, Inc. is passionate about entrepreneurship. Her motto is "nothing happens until a sale takes place." To learn more her engaging sales training tips and upcoming webinars, visit www.lwellsassociates.com.

Monday, October 23, 2017

October - Green Sales Sheet

Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you make. — William Bernbach, American advertising executive

As unlikely as it may seem, research shows that a first impression is made within the first three seconds. That initial impression is confirmed or changed within the next fifteen seconds of a conversation.

There are a lot of factors you should consider in order to make a million dollar first impression. Facial expression, posture, dress, tone of voice, and handshake are significant factors in creating that impression.

I can’t resist relating one of the worst first impressions I’ve ever witnessed. I was running a community newspaper serving a small beach community. I had an appointment with a job applicant for a sales position. Fifteen minutes after the appointed time, the receptionist buzzed me and said, "You’re nine o’clock is here." I detected a strained hysteria in her voice.

The applicant entered my office with a parrot on his shoulder. He was barefoot and had a long red beard down to his waist and was eating an apple which he was sharing with the parrot.

The first words out of my mouth were "Who put you up to this?"

He looked at me blankly and said, "What are you talking about?"

I explained, "I can’t imagine you representing our newspaper to the business community." To which he responded, "Well I’ve done a lot of selling."

I asked him what kind of selling had he done, and he said, "Tending bar and that’s selling, man."

As you can imagine, it was a short interview.

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