Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Worst Way to Open a Sales Presentation

It seems easy enough to assume that you should open a presentation by talking about your company - after all, that's how you open an interview, which is just another form of a presentation. Right? Wrong! Sales trainer Kelley Robertson explains the detriments this tactic makes to your presentation.

Contrary to popular belief, telling your prospect about your company is NOT an effective way to open your conversation or presentation. In fact, it the worst way to start a sales call or presentation. Here's why.

Your prospect doesn't care about you or your company.

The only thing they want to know is how you can help them. Talking about your company simply does not accomplish this.

Look at it this way...

Have you ever met someone at a networking function who talked and talked and talked? Okay, maybe they only talked for a few minutes but if that conversation was focused on them, chances are you tuned them out real quick.

The same principle rings true for your prospects.

You have very little time to capture a decision maker's attention. That means you should open your presentation with something that demonstrates your knowledge or understanding of your prospect's situation, their business, or a potential problem they may be facing.

Many sales reps have been instructed by someone in their company to open their sales meetings and presentations with an overview of their company. In some cases, this amounts to a five-slide presentation that takes 2-8 minutes to deliver.

As President of The Robertson Training Group, Kelley has helped thousands of professionals improve their business results with his engaging approach to sales training and speaking. Learn more at www.robertsontraininggroup.com

Monday, November 29, 2010

Quote of the Week

"The key is not to prioritize what is on the schedule, but to schedule your priorities." -- Stephen Covey, Author and Speaker

With the holiday season in full swing, your schedule is sure to be packed. Meetings, prospecting, gifts and notes, and 2011 planning are sure to keep you busy. So what can you do to get it all done? Follow author Stephen Covey's advice and schedule your priorities first. Don't let the little things crowd out the important things!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Give Thanks

Tomorrow is the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. - a time when we reflect on all we have in our lives and give thanks for it. I thought this article from business expert Andrea Nierenberg was a perfect accompaniment.

Giving a heartfelt thank you is one of the kindest and greatest gifts we can give someone. Now as the holidays approach – it is very much a tradition to do so, yet what about giving those warm thank you's throughout the year.

We have this opportunity to do so everyday and I go back to my ‘5 penny tradition’ — each day put five pennies in your pocket and as you go throughout your day — give at least five special thank you’s to the people who touch your life in any way.

Think about who you might be thanking as the season officially begins:

T — Tell a friend, client, connection specifically what they mean to you and how they have helped you. Specifically let them know how you have grown or changed based on a comment or a piece of advice they gave you.

H — Have some humor — and make it heartfelt. Maybe you remind someone of something funny that you shared or a joke — anything to bring a mutual smile to your faces and it is very healthy to laugh every day! Yet-people are different, so perhaps it is very heartfelt and poignant.

A — Make sure to have an attitude of gratitude.We all know that attitude is our choice. Show appreciation as often as you can — never wait on these Opportunities.

N — Nurture every relationship that you work so hard to develop and grow. Stay in touch —be on their radar and constantly find ways to surprise and delight the people in your life. I enjoy learning things about people and strive to learn something new with every encounter — which gives another opportunity to take note and remember something special about them. Just last week, I learned that a new client enjoys ballroom dancing and found a book to send her on the subject which she did not have!

K — Kindness as my wonderful father, Paul would say –‘is a daily practice’. Find opportunities to commit random acts of kindness for others. My favorite line by Mother Theresa is : “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” Everyday find a way to show kindness — or as my father would also say — ‘give everyone you meet a smile and a handshake’ — I think of him everyday as I do so.

Y — Focus on the other YOU –the people who cross your path daily. Learn from everyone as we all have a lesson to share.

O — Opportunities are everywhere — seize them! — be Observant — I try to learn from everyone. Sometimes it might be ‘what not to do’.

U — Think about what makes you unique — and keep a growing list. It may be simple — yet done with consistency and sincerity — it will soon also be your tipping point. Find the special and unique qualities about the people in your life and compliment them on that and it also a way of saying ‘thank you’ to them for being who they are.

Andrea Nierenberg is the president of The Nierenberg Group, a business communications company with a total process for educating, motivating and connecting people. Learn more at www.nierenberggroup.com

The SalesDog blog will be quiet tomorrow and Friday as we take a few days off to relax with our families and give thanks. We'll see you back here on Monday!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Perils of Discounting

The Whetstone Group has a great newsletter where they dispense advice in a fun problem/analysis/prescription format. It makes things clear and easy to understand. Their advice in this article is especially clear - think twice before discounting! It can have unforseen results.

Problem: The CFO was worried. For the past six months the company's margins had been dropping and now they were at the point where something had to be done. Finance had researched the situation thoroughly and the finger was pointing directly at sales.

Analysis: Ron, the new sales manager, was brought in from outside the company to build sales volume. Aggressive and optimistic, he was determined to make a name for himself quickly. In his eagerness to increase sales, he began to approve his reps' requests for discounts to close deals quicker. He believed shaving a few points off the selling price wouldn't hurt anything, and they'd quickly make it up with increased volume. Pretty soon, as his reps discovered that discounts were easy to get approved, they began offering them more frequently and they became dependent on discounting as their default closing tactic. Sales were increasing, but Ron wasn't paying attention to the bigger picture.

Prescription: Ron didn't realize that if a company's net profit before tax is 10%, for example, a seemingly insignificant 5% reduction in selling price amounts to a 50% hit on the bottom line. Look at the numbers. If you have a sale for $10,000 and the net profit before tax is 10%, that's $1,000. If the salesperson gives up 5% ($500) to close the deal, that's half the company's profit on the sale. It's real money, not funny money. On a personal basis, it's just like you and I giving up half the money we put into our retirement plan.

Discounting seems so innocent; just a few pennies on the dollar, but it can be disastrous. What seems like a minor concession to a customer in order to close a deal often has serious consequences for a company. If the company is publicly traded the analysts will downgrade their opinions of the company and the stock will decline, hurting shareholders and employees alike.

Instead of discounting, learn to create value for your client so they don't feel like they have to ask for discounts. After all, your willingness to give a discount may send a message that you don't think the value is there. But if you must discount, get something of equal or greater value in return; perhaps a larger order, an accelerated payment schedule or some other concession.

Whetstone Group is a sales process improvement company that focuses on helping companies implement a proven sales process that will increase sales, shorten the selling cycle, increase closing rates, and improve margins. Learn more at www.whetstonegroup.com

Monday, November 22, 2010

Quote of the Week

"Nothing in life is more important than the ability to communicate effectively." -- Gerald R. Ford, 38th President of the United States

Nothing could be more true than this quote - especially in sales! Although email prospecting can get you pretty far, at some point you have to pick up the phone or meet that client face-to-face. If you feel uncomfortable with this aspect of sales, then practice, practice, practice! The more comfortable you are, the better your communication.

Friday, November 19, 2010

You Know Your Sales Process is Outdated When...

Take a cue from sales trainer Colleen Stanley and remove the following things from your sales processes immediately!

Fashions change, seasons change and so do customer needs. So when is the last time your company looked at your sales process to determine it was keeping up to date with the times? The information age has dramatically changed how businesses compete. Small businesses look and act big. New ideas are copied quickly and lead to service and products looking like everyone else. Customers have more options than ever before with access to the internet. The market has changed...has your sales approach?

To quote late night host, David Letterman, "You know it's time to update your sales process when..."

Your sales process includes overcoming objections. Think about this archaic, distasteful selling technique that has been taught to salespeople for years. It sounds like this. "The first objection is never the real one. Overcome the prospects objection three to seven times. Keep overcoming the objections until you get to a yes." It's truly amazing that more salespeople have not been physically thrown out of prospect's offices! Put yourself in the prospect's shoes. Does sitting in front of a salesperson who is "overcoming your objections" really encourage you to tell the truth? Does this type of interface build trust and relationships? If you and your company desire a reputation built on integrity and non-game playing, seek the truth on the sales calls versus the answer you want. For example, if your service is one that a prospect could possibly administer with their in-house staff, bring up that possibility as a discussion point. The so called unspoken objection is on the table and a well trained salesperson can facilitate a meaningful conversation of pro's and con's. A sales conversation that examines all sides of the argument is smart, real and results in the right solution for the prospect and your company.

Leading Questions. "If we could, would you want to hit your deadlines? If we could help you make more money, would you want to engage us?" Now, what kind of a question is that? Of course, your prospects want to hit their deadlines and make more money! Can you imagine an attorney saying the following to a potential client? "If we can prevent your spouse from going to jail, would you want us to do that?" Today's prospects identify leading questions and know the salesperson is trying to lead them to your answer, not their answer. The walls go up and "sales dodge ball" begins. Prospects start holding their cards close to the chest and information gathering gets tighter and tighter. The result is a superficial conversation with no depth. Better questions to ask are, "Let's fast forward. What does it look like if your company continues to miss deadlines? Tell me your view on the profit situation if you keep doing what you are doing. Is the problem going to stay the same, get bigger or go away?" Your job as a sales professional is to gather data, not force and create data.

Selling features, advantages and benefits. The prospect asks the salesperson, "What makes you different?" Outdated answers sound very generic. "We increase productivity, save you money, have good quality and service." This is about the time your prospect goes into "sleep mode" since the last three salespeople answered the question the exact, same way. There is a well known phrase in sales: prospects don't care about what you do, they care about the problems you solve. The new global economy requires salespeople to be critical thinkers and well versed in consultative selling skills. The salesperson trained in consultative sales skills knows how to introduce compelling talking points when setting up the agenda for the sales meeting. "We typically work with companies who are taking too long to get product to market and as a result are losing market share. We work with companies who are tired of spending all their time in company voice mail trees trying to resolve customer service issues." Focus on the prospects issues, not your product and services.

Overly cheerful and enthusiastic. In the good „ole days, salespeople were taught to be enthusiastic and upbeat. Walk into the appointment and be high energy. Question: are your salespeople calling on introverts or extroverts. Probably a combination of both and the poor introverts are often bowled over by fast talk, energetic handshakes and overused expressions like, "how are you today?" The astute salesperson takes her authentic self to the sales call. A question to ask your sales team: "Are you at the appointment to impress or influence?" The impressive salesperson looks good; the influential salesperson makes the prospect look and feel good by adapting to their behavior and communication style. They pay attention to something besides themselves.

You know it's time to update your sales process when you are doing one or all of the above.

Colleen Stanley, is president of SalesLeadership, Inc., a business development consulting firm specializing in sales and sales management training. The company provides programs in prospecting, referral strategies, consultative sales training, sales management training, and hiring/selection. Reach Colleen at 303.708.1128 or cstanley@salesleadershipdevelopment.com. http://www.salesleadershipdevelopment.com

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Don't Make Claims You Can't Back Up

I think this is a great tip from sales expert Art Sobczak - and a quick change you can make in your approach to get more sales!

For years now I have been shaking my head in astonishment that CNN still--delusionally--runs the claim in their ads, "The Most Trusted Name in News."

Huh? The most trusted? By whom?

Without getting into a political rant, let's direct this to a sales point: Unsubstantiated puffed up claims can be easily challenged. Why even take the chance in sales situations?

I always bristle when I hear or see things such as,

"We're the most respected ...?"

How do you measure THAT?

What to do? Easy. If it's true, give the evidence.

"In an industry study, our delivery rates were number one among all companies studied."

"Our order fill-rate is 99.8%. That's the highest of any company that submitted results to Widget News in their recent survey."

We live in an age of cynics and skeptics, unfortunately. It's difficult enough to get
people to believe in us. So, show evidence whenever possible. Why risk creating an objection?

Art Sobczak helps sales pros use the phone to prospect, service and sell more effectively, while eliminating morale-killing rejection. To get FREE weekly emailed TelE-Sales Tips visit: www.BusinessByPhone.com

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Create Powerful presentations

Sales and business expert Diane Helbig's book, Lemonade Stand Selling, is a great, easy-to-understand resource for everything you need to know about growing your sales. Today we share an excerpt, and her expert advice to go along with it!

"When you think about what you hope to accomplish - the sale - your presentation must be created in a way that works toward that goal." excerpt from Lemonade Stand Selling

There is a structure to presentations that are powerful. They are short and to the point. They speak to what the prospect told you during the discovery process. They should begin with a recap of the prospect's goals and needs as you heard them.

Then you can introduce your product or service and provide bullet points about the benefits - once again based upon the goals you heard. You always want to be responding to what the prospect said.

In this way you let them know that you heard them and that you have a solution to their specific situation. Throughout the presentation you can ask for confirmation so you know you are going in the right direction. In reality, the check in makes sure that you did, indeed, hear them correctly.

Remember that sales is all about the prospect's needs. It is not about the bells and whistles of your product or service. As a matter of fact, you may never have an opportunity to share those bells and whistles. That's okay! Only talk about what is relevant to the prospect. THAT is how you win the business.

Diane Helbig is a Professional Coach, and President of Seize This Day Coaching. She works one-on-one and in groups with business owners, entrepreneurs, and salespeople. Visit her website at www.seizethisdaycoaching.com

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Too Shy to Network?

Networking can be intimidating, even for the most outgoing person. That's why I loved finding this article from sales trainer Adrian Miller about how to handle networking if you're a naturally shy person. Read on for her advice!

I know how intimidating networking can be and how downright uncomfortable it can make you feel. I've had participants in my training classes tell me that they'd rather do just about anything else than attend a networking function.

That's sad because business networking is a necessary activity, or some would say a necessary "evil". Effective networking helps you to make the contacts and connections that will (potentially) lead to new business opportunities. Steering clear of networking means that it is much more difficult to get the introductions and leads that turn into clients.

So, if networking causes you great stress, here are some tips that are sure to make it easier, and maybe even, pleasurable.

-When attending networking events, go early! By showing up early you will be one of the first people in the room and everyone that arrives afterward will naturally gravitate towards you. Additionally by arriving early you have the opportunity to meet the event organizers and even the speaker, should there be one. It is highly uncomfortable to get to an event late. It seems as if everyone knows each other and is engaged in meaningful conversation. The antidote-get there early.

-Be prepared. Take the time to research the group holding the event. Learn about their members and gather some background information that will help you in conversation when at the event. You may even be able to speak with the event organizer and learn information about the expected attendees. The more you know, the more comfortable you will feel.

-Have a plan and then execute it. Do you want to meet 5 new people? Reconnect with some past contacts? Knowing what you want to accomplish helps you to actually do so. If you enter the room and are aimless, you will probably not get the maximum ROT (return on time).

Most importantly, remember that everyone is there for the same reason and probably, some of them are shy as well.

Take a moment to gather your thoughts and then walk over to some folks and say hello. Ask them about their business or perhaps how they came to be at that particular event or even if they are members of the group. You'll be surprised at how fast the conversational ball gets rolling and before too long, you won't remember that you are shy at all.

Adrian Miller is the President of Adrian Miller Sales Training, a training and business consulting firm delivering sales-level performance training and executive-level business development consulting. A nationally recognized lecturer, she is also author of "The Blatant Truth: 50 Ways to Sales Success".

Monday, November 15, 2010

Quote of the Week

"The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it." -- Moliere, Playwright

I love the simplicity of this quote. Even if you think you'll never get that big client, or get a meeting with that CEO, keep trying. The satisfaction in achieving that goal will only propel you on to more hard work and success!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Prospecting Rules!

We all know the importance of prospecting for our business...but this article from sales trainer Wendy Weiss really shows you the importance of consistent prospecting. There's a big difference between the two!

There's a well known rule in sales (and in business) called Pareto's law. It's also known as the 80/20 rule. This is the way it works:

·You will get 80% of your sales revenue from 20% of your customers
·20% of your sales team will bring in 80% of your sales revenue
·80% of your sales team will bring in the remaining 20% of the sales revenue

The rule is true in business as well:
·80% of productivity will come from 20% of the employees
·80% of problems will come from 20% of customers
·And so on...

Pareto's law applies to prospecting as well. If you are brand new to sales and needing to build your pipeline, why then, you should be spending 80% of your time prospecting. Once you have a full sales funnel (and if you've done this consistently for 3-6 months, you should) then the equation flips. After that you need to be spending 20% of your time prospecting.

The problem is, of course, that most new sales people or business owners don't spend that 80% of time up front to build their sales funnel. And then they don't spend that 20% of time consistently ensuring their funnel stays full. That is why so many sales professionals, entrepreneurs and business owners struggle. That's why so many experience that 'boom & bust' cycle. They have no business in the pipeline so they panic and frantically start prospecting. They get a few new customers, feel safe again and stop. Then those projects are done and there's nothing in the pipeline...so guess what? They panic and start frantically prospecting again.

The key to never, ever having to experience 'boom and bust' is to prospect consistently, every day, no matter what.

There are many ways to build a sales funnel. While the world certainly knows that I am a great advocate of cold calling, networking, referral selling, and social media are also excellent tools to build a pipeline. (I do, however, feel compelled to point out that where ever one finds a lead, whether through networking, or referrals or social media, at some point one will need to speak with that prospect on the telephone.)

The important point is that no matter what else is going on with you or in your business you take the time to look for new business every single day.

Learn more from cold calling expert Wendy Weiss at www.wendyweiss.com or email her at wendy@wendyweiss.com

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Assume At Your Own Risk

Getting your point across clearly in meetings can sometimes be an art form - that's why I think this advice from communication expert Dianna Booher is so great.

People tend to walk away from a conversation, thinking they've made their point perfectly clear. Otherwise, they would have stated things differently.

Raise your virtual hand here: How many times have you walked out of a nonproductive meeting and heard other attendees mumble, "So what did we decide? Are we or are we not going to do X?" Only the subject changes.

Here are some other tell-tale signs related to the sin of assumption:

--Managers who look puzzled when their admin returns to them a spreadsheet representing a week's work when all they expected was a three-paragraph email
--Upset customers calling with "Where's my order?" when the service agent promised delivery "within a few days"
--Colleagues finger-pointing over project details that "fell through the cracks"

To make sure people walk away with the same message you intended to convey, verify by getting them to react to it in some fashion. These statements might be helpful to verify that they heard what you intended to communicate:

--"How do you think this policy will affect your staff?"
--"What objections do you think people in your area might have?"
--"What are some of the first steps you'd suggest to make this change reality?"
--"How easy (or hard) do you think this will be?"
--"What questions do you think we'll hear in the first 90 days as we roll out this program?"
--"Will delivery by June 15 work for you?"

Questions like these generate the comments that verify people really do understand your point. From there, you know whether to circle back with more elaboration or press on with your mission.

Author of 42 books, Dianna Booher, CSP, CPAE, delivers keynotes, breakout sessions, and training on communication and life-balance issues. Her latest books: Speak with Confidence, Your Signature Life, Your Signature Work, E-Writing, and Communicate with Confidence. www.Dianna-Booher.com

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

SalesDog Quick Tip

Cold calling is one of the most difficult ways to sell, so I'm always on the look-out for interesting tips that I think will help you to sell more and feel more comfortable with the entire process. This quick tip from sales trainer Sam Manfer is a quick change you can make in the way you present your offerings - that could make a big difference!

Cost Reduction Is a Low Excitement Benefit

Revenue generation is a more exciting benefit. People want more money, more business and more customers to grow or just survive. If you can show them how your services can get them more sales or more customers, it is about four times more effective than cost reduction.

Many salespeople assume that the mere mention of cost reduction will get a prospect's attention. Prospects hear about cost reduction all the time, and unless they specifically tell you they have a cost problem, avoid it or use it as a low priority expose and entice.

Sam Manfer delivers keynote speeches and in-depth selling workshops for those anxious to increase sales. His hands-on coaching turns individuals and sales organizations into selling whirlwinds. Follow Sam's C-Level Selling Blog for more insights.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Why You Resist Selling...And How You Can Lose That Resistance

Sometimes it is hard to be a salesperson - and some of that difficulty could stem from internal resistance to selling. This article from sales trainer Tessa Stowe will help you get inspired again to get out and sell!

Are you having fun selling? Are you enjoying it - or do you dread or resist it? If you aren't having fun selling, then I have a hunch that you think selling is all about persuading and convincing people to buy something they may or may not want or need.

If that is what you think selling is about, then it will automatically and naturally create huge resistance and tension on your side as it is simply not in one's nature to try to persuade or convince people. You don't want people to think of you as someone who acts in this way as it makes you feel like a phony. You feel you can't act with integrity using this type of sales approach. So it's fairly easy to convince yourself not to sell at all - or if you do, then you only do it half heartedly.

If you think selling is about persuading and convincing, you'll be asking yourself "How can I do that?" You'll be thinking that there is a lot to learn. You'll believe that you have to master a lot of techniques like how to overcome objections and how to "close." You'll be thinking that you better put off selling until you've practiced all these techniques. But actually you don't really want to use these techniques - as you don't want to be a phony persuader or a convincer - so you put off learning these techniques as well.

If you think selling is about persuading and convincing, you'll also be expecting (and getting) a lot of rejection experience. You really don't like rejection, so it's much easier to simply avoid or minimize doing the thing that is causing it. Therefore, you minimize and avoid selling - problem solved!

So what is the solution? How can you easily and quickly go from resisting selling to actually enjoying it, and as a consequence, make a lot more profitable sales? The solution is quick and easy. Ready? Simply change your definition of selling. Instead of persuading and convincing, define selling as helping people get what they want.

If you believe selling is about helping people get what they want, there will be no resistance on your side as you enjoy that. You like it when people think of you as someone that will help them get what they want. When you are helping people like this, you are acting with integrity as the "real you", and it makes you feel good.

If you think selling is about helping people get what they want, then you'll naturally know how to do that. You'll know that first, you need to find out what they want. If you can help them, then you show them how you can help them. Finally you give them the choice of whether they would like your help or not. Some will and some won't. All of this can be the result of a normal comfortable conversation - which you know how to have.

If you think selling is about helping people get what they want, then you know that not everyone will want your help at this point in time. Maybe in the future they will. Even if they need your help now, it is their choice to decide if they want you to help them. Your role is to simply help them make the best possible decision for them. With this view, there is no rejection because it's not about you. It's simply about them making a decision that is best for them.

Can you feel your resistance to selling go away when you think about selling as helping people get what they want? There is a great sense of fulfillment when you can help someone else get what they want. You'll enjoy sales more with this approach and you'll also make a lot more profitable sales!

Tessa Stowe teaches small business owners and recovering salespeople simple steps to turn conversations into clients without being sales-y or pushy. Her FREE monthly Sales Conversation newsletter is full of tips on how to sell your services by just being yourself. Sign up now at www.salesconversation.com.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Call Me Back, Please!

Today sales expert Kelley Robertson shares some great advice for getting prospects to call you back!

Are you finding that your prospects seldom return phone calls?

Getting someone to return your call is challenging at the best of times. Think about your own situation for a moment. How many calls do YOU return? I receive many calls from people trying to sell me a product or service but I rarely call these people back.

Decision makers are inundated with people calling trying to sell their product or service. A typical executive in corporate America receives dozens of calls everyday. Most of them get 150 emails in their in-box every day. Plus, they spend the bulk of their 12-14 hour days in meetings.

Try this tactic.

Make sure your message focuses on a specific problem they may be experiencing and allude to a way they can resolve it. For example:

"Mr. Prospect, Kelley Robertson calling. I read in today's newspaper that you are merging with XYZ Corporation. Our research has shown that employee sick days increase by as much as 38% during a merger; however, one of our clients was able to reduce this to just 9%. Call me at 905-633-7750 if you want to discuss how they did this."

Most voice mail messages focus on the seller's product or solution. But this doesn't show your prospect how you can actually help them solve a problem. Change your approach and improve your call back ratio.

As President of The Robertson Training Group, Kelley has helped thousands of professionals improve their business results with his engaging approach to sales training and speaking. Learn more at www.robertsontraininggroup.com

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dealing With Slacker Prospects Without Sounding Like a Pathetic, Needy Salesperson

We've talked a lot on this blog about how to deal with prospects that never call you back. One thing we haven't talked about? How to do that without sounding like a pathetic, needy salesperson. Yikes, that is definitely something I want to avoid! Thankfully, today sales expert Jill Konrath shares how you can deal with slacker prospects without the neediness.

Ever had an interested prospect who really liked your stuff, but then never followed through? That's exactly why Jerry wrote me this email.

The logical next step is for us to review parts for the prospect to see if we're a possible fit. My problem is many of them tell me that they'll send over the specs for us to review but then never do it.

I'd like to either call or email them back after a week or two to remind them. However, I don't want to sound like I'm begging.

Any suggestions on how best to handle this type of situation to keep things moving forward with the client AND avoid my sounding like a pathetic, needy salesperson?

Here are some of my thoughts...

After they agree to send the drawings, say something like this: "Great. I look forward to getting them. And, based on my experience working with other crazy-busy people like you, after we hang up the phone one of two things will happen ....

1. You'll go get the drawings right away so you don't forget ... or
2. You'll immediately get back to work on another project and totally forget. Am I right?

(Pause ... he will laugh and agree.)

Then say, "So how do you want me to handle this situation. You know I'm going to keep bugging you till I get them."

When you call back 2 weeks later AND 3 weeks later, you can say, "Hey. Me again calling to bug you about those drawings. We can't get you the pricing without them. And, as I mentioned in our earlier conversations, we've helped other firms reduce their costs by 23.6%."

Have fun with it. Tell him what you're going to do and enjoy it. Pretend it's your brother (or other relative) who was supposed to do something for you but keeps forgetting. And don't worry about sounding pathetic.

Now that's just one approach. What would you suggest?

Want to learn more about these fresh strategies for selling to crazy-busy prospects? To get four FREE sales-accelerating tools and download two chapters of SNAP Selling, visit www.SnapSelling.com or email jill@snapselling.com

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ideas Mean Nothing...Until...

Yesterday our quote of the week was about bettering yourself. One excellent way to do that? Take those ideas you're always thinking of, but never acting on, and get started! Mark Hunter explains.

Do you know that ideas mean nothing until you turn them into action? Sounds basic enough, but so many people become paralyzed at the "idea stage." And what happens when you get stuck in "idea stage"? Your sales and your sales motivation start to suffer.

The "idea stage" is where too much thinking goes on and not nearly enough "get out and do it." It’s a common problem and we all have it. We all love to think up great ideas, and then in the next instance, we turn the idea into a goal that we somehow begin to think we can accomplish it.

There is nothing wrong with all of this except for one simple thing – it remains just an idea upon which you never actually work, let alone accomplish. I’m a firm believer in setting goals and for that matter big goals. I like to think my motto is something close to "If you're going to think big, you might as well think very big." Think big, but then do something about it. More importantly, do something about it right away. Sure, the idea you've come up might be huge and require a long period of time to achieve it, but that does not forgo the need to start working on the idea immediately.

The reason most ideas never turn into anything is people don't get working on them. Take the idea you've been thinking about lately and do something today to move it forward! If you're challenged by the size of the idea, then start by doing the next best thing and break the idea down into a number of smaller ideas. Then take one of the smaller ideas and start working on it.

In the end, your thinking is not the problem. The problem is in the action (or shall we say, the lack of action). What's your idea, what's your goal and what are you doing today to help accomplish it? Get to moving. Your sales motivation depends on it.

Mark Hunter, "The Sales Hunter", is a sales expert who speaks to thousands each year on how to increase their sales profitability. For more information, to receive a free weekly email sales tip, or to read his Sales Motivation Blog, visit www.TheSalesHunter.com

Monday, November 1, 2010

Quote of the Week

"Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself." -- William Faulkner, Author

It's very easy to compare yourself with others - that person made more sales, has a nicer car, has a bigger house, etc. We all do it, even though we know it gets us no where. I love the idea proposed in this week's quote - that instead of trying to be better than the people around you, try to be better than yourself. Now that's an achieve-able goal! After all, there will always be someone out there with more, so it's useless to compete with anyone else.

Try to make yourself better each day, and you'll see results!