Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Quote of the Week

"Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true." -- Leon Suenens, Clergyman

Every dream requires dedication and hard work. If you're willing to do what it takes to achieve your dreams, then get started today! You'll be energized by your progress and motivated to continue until you reach it. Knowing this work is part of reaching your dream will make it seem more manageable and attainable.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Bad Way to Use Your Smart Phone

Technology is an essential part of selling these days, but today sales trainer Mark Hunter cautions against using your smart phone in one specific place - a meeting! Read on, and let us know if you agree!

While sitting in a meeting, never take notes directly on your Blackberry, iPhone, Droid or other smart phone.

This applies for all professionals, but especially salespeople. You might be the most amazing tech user the world has ever seen. You might have the ability to type 40 words per minute on your iPhone — but that doesn't mean you should do it.

The reason is simple — the vast majority of people will assume you're bored and checking messages. Older salespeople understand that this assumption exists, but I'm amazed at how many salespeople under the age of 30 don't get it.

It doesn't matter who you're meeting with. Do yourself a favor and use a pen to take notes.

A general rule for any meeting is keep your iPhone, Blackberry or other smart phone on silent and put away. There is nothing more frustrating than to watch another person's iPhone vibrate with a new message while it’s sitting on the table in front of everyone.

I don't care how big your ego is. Put it away.

There is an appropriate time to take it out, such as to check dates for the follow-up sales call or to verify another date.

A few tips on taking notes:

First, make sure you jot down notes on whatever the customer has to say. Nothing will show them more about how much you value what they're saying than by taking notes.

Second, taking notes allows you to be the one to recap the meeting. If you can be the one to send out the follow-up email immediately after the meeting with your notes, you have the ability to influence the outcomes.

Third, it will help you stay focused. When we take notes, we naturally have to concentrate more on what is being said. This prevents us from losing focus or spending our time solely focused on what we want to say next.

What about an iPad?

Some of you reading this may be wondering how an iPad or other tablet plays into the process. My answer is that taking notes on an iPad is OK, as long as you can meet the following three criteria:

First, you have to keep it visible so people can see you’re typing directly on a tablet.

Second, everyone else in the meeting must be at least technically comfortable. By this I mean they have to see the value of technology and use it in their jobs. If a person is leery of technology, the last thing you want to do is to whip out an iPad just as the meeting starts.

Third, make sure that as you use the tablet for notes, you do not page over to check email, etc.

Finally, make sure all alert features have been disengaged to prevent the nagging buzz or beep at the inopportune time.

Contact Mark Hunter, The Sales Hunter for your next Conference or Sales Meeting. To see and hear Mark Hunter now visit www.TheSalesHunter.com

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Importance of Up-Selling

How big of a priority is up-selling when you're making sales calls?

There are not too many entrepreneurs and salespeople who can boast a sales increase of 25+ % this year.

So you would think everybody is doing everything imaginable to increase his sales.

If I had to guess, I'd estimate 85% of all entrepreneurs and salespeople leave money on the table every single selling day.

And the reason why is plain and simple. They make no attempt at up-selling at every opportunity.

"Would you like fries with that?"

Go to any McDonald's restaurant and order a burger. There's a very good chance the order taker will respond with, "Would you like fries with that?"

I remember ordering a tall coffee of the day at Starbucks recently. The order taker responded with, "Would you like a scone or a chocolate chip cookie to go with that?" I guess it worked, because I ordered a blueberry scone.

So - this is what is commonly called an up-sell. An up-sell is simply a way to get your customers to spend more money with you.

Nothing wrong with that, is there?

Well, you might be wondering how effective are up-sells? Of course that depends on your products and services and it also depends on how well your up-sell is communicated.

You might be surprised to learn that between 25-40% of your customers will choose to buy your up-sell.

And the reason is quite simple. They've already committed to buying your product and they don't want to miss out on the opportunity to get something special with a high perceived value.

Here's a fact to remember. The more you can add to a purchase the happier your customer will be and you'll also benefit with better selling results. That's a classic Win-Win!

Here are a few up-sell examples which might ignite your enthusiasm to try in your business.

Imagine being a server at a restaurant. Your customer orders the Veal Piccata entrée. You then ask, "Would you like to add a soup or a salad to you entrée? Today's home made soup is Lobster Bisque."

Please don't think this up-selling won't work in your business - because it can work in every business.

Just because you're not doing it, doesn't mean your competitors aren't going to the bank with the money you're leaving on the table.

Here's another example that assumes you just made a sale.

If a part of your product line includes selling supplies you can end every sales call by saying something like this. "Before I leave, what low inventory supplies can I help you restock while I'm here?"

It sure beats saying, "Before I go, are there any other problems I can help you with?" Duh!

Here's what I recommend for the best results. Prepare in writing your complete up-sell. Then practice it a few times before you try it on your customers.

Here's even more advice. After you prepare and practice your up-sell, test it 100 times before you judge whether or not you can make it work in your business.

The more up-selling you do, the more your sales will GO UP.

Jim Meisenheimer shows sales managers and their salespeople how to increase sales, using his No-Brainer Selling Skills process. Salespeople get better selling results when they subscribe to his newsletter, take his on-line Webinars, and by attending his Sales Training Boot Camps. Jim also does in-house Sales Training Programs for companies like Allstate, Cessna, Fisher Scientific, and Hewlett-Packard. Learn more at www.startsellingmore.com

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

4 Steps for Closing Phone Inquiries

Today's article from sales trainer Sam Manfer shares how to close on incoming inquiry calls. In these cases, the prospect is making a huge step in showing interest - with these tips you'll be able to close them in no time!

Interest and credibility are the keys to successfully leading incoming callers to buy your products or services. When someone calls into your business, be it your, receptionist, multi-person phone bank or home office with an inquiry, obviously interest is high. However, you have to keep that interest burning while developing credibility and avoiding frustration. So how you answer and your next few statements are critical to moving this opportunity forward.

Step 1 – Create Rapport with Your Greeting
Rapport starts with friendliness, respect, and being polite. For example, Ring! Ring! "Hello, thank you for calling Sales Mastery. My name is Sam. May I ask what your first name is?" Notice, "Thank you for calling," (polite); offering up your first name, (friendly); "May I ask your first name?" (respect). You can also ask for his/her phone number just in case you get disconnected or need to call back for any reason (thoughtful and helpful).

Step 2 – Build Trust by Getting the Prospect to Take over the Conversation
Getting the prospect to explain, while you listen with an ear to understand is what builds trust and keeps interest high. Once s/he has outlined the challenges or problems s/he is having, keep asking "What else?" This gets her to open up more which will build her trust in you while you build an arsenal of information you can use later in your presentation. Additionally, the prospect will now know, you understand her situation because s/he told it to you. If you really want to enhance credibility, feedback your interpretation of what s/he said and then say, "Is this correct?" Nothing builds rapport and trust more than this simple confirmation technique.

Step 3 -- Show Them Your Expertise
You're probably already very good at telling prospects how you can solve their problems. However to differentiate and show expertise be as specific as possible, using numbers names and details. Numbers names and details create a vivid picture, and showcase your competence. Ambiguities leave the prospect with doubt and concerns.

Step 4 -- Ask the Prospect for His or Her Feelings
Use these exact words after your presentation. "How do you feel about what I just explained to you?" This is the most important sales question for a salesperson. It indicates position with this prospect. If the prospects says s/he feels great/good, go directly to closing.

If the prospect gives the indication s/he doesn't feel great, she has some issues that you have to pull them out of her. Once s/he starts telling you, listen, and don't argue or try to address them. Then you can address them. Then ask her again how she feels.

Call-ins should close 70% of the times or higher. Follow the steps above and you'll see how easy and rewarding converting incoming calls into sales can be.

Since 1995 Sam Manfer has been speaking, consulting, writing and leading seminars in sales and personal development. As a keynote speaker and seminar leader Sam has addressed thousands of new and experienced sales people and managers all over the world in all types of businesses and industries. Learn more at www.sammanfer.com

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

6 Ways to Increase Your Sales Now

Today sales trainer Rochelle Togo-Figa shares six ways you can start increasing your sales - starting now! Sounds good to me!

The old way of doing business has changed forever. Now is the time to become a "smart" entrepreneur about your business by "thinking outside the box." Think of innovative sales and marketing ways to attract more clients. Instead of pulling back, beat out your competitors by finding new ways to stay visible.

An economic slowdown can be a problem for your business if you allow it to be. Or, it can be an opportunity to gain new clients and boost your sales if you know and have mastered the marketing and sales methods that work best during these times.

Right now, many successful entrepreneurs are rubbing their hands together in eager anticipation of new opportunities because they know many of their competitors are pulling back. With less competition, it makes it easy for them to go after business.

Consider that although people may be more cautious in spending money, they do still need services. The person they'll do business with will be the one who provides the best value and finds creative ways to stay in front of them.

Here are 6 sales and marketing strategies to maintain and even increase sales, no matter what's going on around you.

1.Follow Up. I'm amazed to hear entrepreneurs say they only follow up one or two times and sometimes never at all. People may not be ready today to buy from you but if they expressed interest, they'll probably be ready to buy in the next several months. They say it can take 7-10 or more touches to move the client to making a buying decision. You want to come up with creative ways to stay in touch, so when they're ready to buy they'll remember you.

2.Reactivate dormant accounts. Reaching out to past clients can make customers for life. Let them know you're there for them and be generous by offering some ideas to help them in their business. One phone call can make a huge difference. Think about it. When was the last time a past vendor called you with some ideas for your business? When you go the extra mile and show them you're there to help them, they'll appreciate you and remember that when they're ready to do business.

3.Make special offers. Offer a product or service at a special low fee for a limited time. Give catchy names to these special offers. Some examples are: Close-out Sale, Scratch and Dent Sale, Half Price Sale, Birthday Sale, My Dog Maxx's Birthday Sale, Xmas Sale, Coupon Sale, Free 30-Day Trial. You'll need to put a time limit on the offer to encourage people to buy now and not later. Also, it helps to explain why you're having the sale, so they know you don't just drop prices whenever you feel like it.

4.Up sell to generate additional revenue. When a client purchases your product, you can offer other services at a nominal fee that will compliment the product they've just purchased. This is done in many places. For example, at many hotels they now charge you a 'resort fee' of $20 a day. And for that fee, they list a series of amenities you receive. Although this is a small fee, with the volume of customers, this fee adds up.

5.Add value to your existing service. During times when your customers may be concerned about pricing, another way to win them over is offering the best value for their dollar. You can do this by enhancing your service with "extras." An extra might be faster delivery than your competitors, a larger selection, easier payment options, or a better guarantee.

6.Be positive. I'm a big believer in staying positive. Now is the time to surround yourself with positive people, say positive affirmations daily, read books that make you feel good, listen to people who share their secrets for achieving success, take time to nurture yourself, and most of all believe in yourself and stay in action!

Rochelle Togo-Figa, The Sales Breakthrough Strategist, is the creator of the Inner Game of Sales, a proven step-by-step sales process that will help you close more sales, sign on more clients and make more money with ease and velocity. To sign up for her free sales articles and teleclasses on closing more sales, visit www.SalesBreakthroughs.com.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Quote of the Week

"No great performance ever came from holding back." -- Don Greene, performance coach

Put everything you have into every day! There's no point in even going to work if you're going to give limited effort. When you give everything you have each day, you'll see results.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Change Yes/No Issues to Multiple Choice

Communication expert Dianna Booher always gives great ideas for communicating with prospects in a way that is positive and productive. I especially like today's tip!

Don't make accepting or rejecting your idea an all-or-nothing proposition. If you agree that some action is better than no action, take care to help your listeners see other choices. If they can't purchase equipment now to do the printing, are they willing to let you contract with freelancers to get the work done? If they can't give you two operators for the week, can they contribute funds to help you pay for a temporary from outside? If management insists they can't affort to fly their people to the West Coast for a seminar, would they consider conducting a class locally?

Persuasion doesn't always result in a winner and a loser. When the possible answers change from yes and no, you just might come up with options that work for all sides.

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

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mr. Spock's Tele-Prospecting Follow Up Call Guide

You don't have to like Star Trek to get something from today's article - but of course, it doesn't hurt if you do!

Spock's tele-prospecting follow up guide is really nothing more than a job aid that you can use with each and every follow up call. It provides you with a 7-step process for organizing and planning your call.

1. Background Information and Assessment

The first step to a Spock-like call begins with a review of your last call to the prospect. What was the key motivator that you uncovered? What were the hot buttons? Was there any personal information you can use to build rapport? Note these items in the space provided on your guide.

Of course, all this really does is force you to pause and ponder. It gets you to think before you dial. It takes only seconds but it will give you insights on how to proceed.

2. Objectives of the Call

It would not be logical for Spock to pick up the phone without having clearly defined objectives. Objectives force you to precisely determine what you want to achieve on the call. Spock's call guide forces you to prepare at least three objectives.

The prime objective (#1) is the ultimate goal for that particular call. In a perfect world, this is THE NUMBER ONE thing you want to achieve. In many cases, that objective is a sale but depending on the nature of the transaction, it might be something that moves the sale further through the cycle. Either way, it is definitively established.

But Spock's approach goes two steps further by getting you to establishat least two additional back up objectives. These are goals you would like to achieve in addition to the primary objective. Or they might goals you'd like to achieve if the primary goal is NOT met. In other words, it is a means of salvaging the call should a sale or an advance not occur.

3. Opening Statement

Spock would never speak to the prospect without having prepared his opening statement because he would know that this is the most critical component toa follow up call. It is here, at this precise moment, that the prospect's interest must be re-kindled and nurtured. Prospects are busy. They either forget what prompted them to agree to your follow up or, over time, the sense of urgency has diminished.

Whatever the case may be, it is vital that you quickly bring the prospect up to speed to capture and keep their interest. Prepare your opener word for word and don't wing it.

After introducing yourself and your company, take the prospect back to the prime motivator that was uncovered in the initial cold call AND the benefit that you could provide. This gets the client engaged and actively listening! Secondly, provide an agenda of what you'd like to accomplish in the call. This primes the client for the remainder of the call. It creates focus and efficiency. For example:

"Hi Carson, It's Mr. Spock calling from Trek Training.

Carson ,when we last spoke on Monday you indicated that the average value of your sales were down and this was impacting your bottom line. At that time I promised to send you some ideas on how add on selling training could help improve the average value of a sale by as much as 25%. I sent that on Tuesday.

What I'd like to do is explore your situation a little further, review the proposal I sent and, if it makes sense, determine the next steps, if any, relative to training..."

4. Key Question, Key Points, Potential Objections

Bearing in mind your objectives, prepare three other elements to your follow up call.

First, prepare a few 'killer' questions to gather more information and 'build your case' for a sale. Killer questions are those that get the prospect to THINK. For instance, questions that get the prospect to quantify the 'pain' they're experiencing . In turn, this magnifies the need for your solution.

Second, prepare a list of 1-3 key selling points that support the solution that you're offering. Jotting these points down will act as a prompt when you present.. It ensures you don't forget!

Finally, Vulcans know all about contingency planning. Objections can derail your call in a New York minute. Listing the typical objections that the prospect might toss helps ensure you're not caught off guard. It takes only seconds but it gets your mind oiled and greased.

5. Notes

Spock probably doesn't need to take notes because he has a mind like a steel trap. But unless you have that Vulcan-like quality taking notes is a heck of a way to stay focused and to remember key points, objections or issues. Don't argue. Just do it.

6. Actions Plans

Spock's guide also provides space for you to list any actions that might ensue as a result of your call. Of course, a sale would be great but sometimes you need to take a few additional steps to move the cycle forward. Whatever the case, note it.

7. Voice Mail Strategy

If Spock called and the prospect was not there at the appointed time, he'd have his voice mail prepared and ready to go. He would not stutter and stumble and ramble about. Do the same thing.

Spock's call guide is not complex. In fact, it is common sense. Vulcans have common sense in abundance. Humans sales reps often don't. Ultimately, the call guide creates a discipline process that trains your mind to thinking in a logical, step-by-step process. All it takes is a couple of minutes to complete. Peanuts. Use this guide to provide structure, direction and focus. When you do, you'll get better results.

Sell well and prosper!

By Jim Domanski of Teleconcepts Consulting. Please visit Jim's web site at www.teleconceptsconsulting.com for additional articles and resources for tele-sales professionals.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Head Trash Sets Salespeople Up For Failure

Sometimes it's all in your head! Today's article from The Whetstone Group explains:

Problem: Being a good qualifier is the most important skill for a salesperson to possess in a relationship based sale. Yet despite hours of training, most salespeople are mediocre qualifiers at best. Digging down to uncover the real problems, openly discussing money issues and getting in front of the real decision makers are very challenging for most of us. As a result we experience long selling cycles, low closing rates and frequently feel the need to offer discounts or other concessions to motivate reluctant buyers. This can be a tough business! But it may not entirely be our fault.

Diagnosis: When it comes to selling, Mom and Dad may have been our worst enemies. Clearly their well-meaning advice is contradictory to the realities of selling. Look at some of the head trash they unwittingly saddled us with.

They said, "Don't talk to strangers," and now we have to initiate contact with strangers by making cold calls.
They said, "Don't bother important people," and we have to call high up in the organization to get to the decision makers.
They said, "Don't ask so many questions," but we need to ask questions to be a good qualifier.
And they said, "It's impolite to talk about money," but we need to initiate a discussion about money to find out what their budgets are.
No wonder it's tough. If you heard those admonitions frequently growing up, they're still in your head creating all sorts of conflict and hesitation when you're in front of a prospect.

But let's not blame this on Mom and Dad. They meant well. (And they weren't worried how this might impact our ability to sell because they didn't want us to go into sales in the first place.)

Prescription: Beliefs drive actions, actions cause results and results reinforce beliefs. The first step is to acknowledge the problem exists. Next make a list of the negative consequences the problem has for you. (For example, believing that you shouldn't bother important people will inhibit you from calling at the top, thus forcing you into a position where you are making presentations to people who can't say yes. This slows down the sales process, lowers your closing rate and reduces your sales.)

Commit yourself to overcoming the problem. Re-write the non-supportive belief. ("I must call at the top in order to be successful.") Tell it to yourself over and over until your subconscious now has a new belief. Your new belief will cause you to act differently. No longer will you consider it acceptable to present to non-decision makers and you'll find your sales cycle shortened and you’ll close a higher percentage of your proposals.

First things first. You have to change your beliefs if you want to change your results.

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

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

SalesDog Quick Tip

Follow Up with Old Prospects

It can be easy to lose track of potential clients who almost bought. Their circumstances may change within the next few months, so put a note in your CRM to call again within 6 months. You stand a greater chance of making the sale than you would if you were starting from scratch.

Today's quick tip comes from Kendra Lee, a top IT Seller, Prospect Attraction Expert and author of the award winning book "Selling Against the Goal" and president of KLA Group. Ms. Lee is a frequent speaker at national sales meetings and association events. To find out more about the author, read her latest articles, or to subscribe to her newsletter visit www.klagroup.com or call +1 303.741.6636.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Quote of the Week

"Every man, however wise, needs the advice of some sagacious friend in the affairs of life." -- Plautus, Playwright

No matter what your situation, getting a little advice from a friend is never a bad thing! In fact, discussing a situation with someone else can lead you to see it differently, and discover a solution you might never have found otherwise! There is power in talking with others and looking at things from their viewpoint.

If you're stuck today with how to handle a new client, or an old, difficult client, try talking to someone about it. You just might find the answer to your problem.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Celebrate the Impact of Your Value-Added Selling

Today's article comes from sales trainer Tom Reilly. It's about the importance of reminding your customer of your value. Very interesting!

A standout difference of Value-Added Selling is the emphasis we place on defensive selling—the retention and growth of your existing base of business. We know from our research that top-achieving salespeople invest most of their selling time in this mode.

One defensive selling strategy is value reinforcement—the sale after the sale. It involves documentation and value reminding. The objective is to remind the customer of the value that you deliver. No one gets the credit that he deserves; he only gets the credit that he asks for. As most people are unaware of the air that they breathe, most customers are unaware of the value that they receive. This is why you must remind the customer of all the great things that you do for them.

Positive bragging is an important part of this value-reminding strategy. There is a gracious way to do this and a less gracious way to do this. Let's begin with the latter: "Mr. Customer, look at all the great stuff we have done for you this past year." Some salespeople shy away from this because they feel it is too braggadocios, too seller focused. Another and more tasteful way is to remind the customer of the success that they have experienced because of your value. Brag about the customer's success: "Mr. Customer, it is great to see how you have increased productivity since installing our system. We're thrilled to play a role in your success." It is more subtle, but the customer will get the point, and you will get the credit.

Tom Reilly is the president of Tom Reilly Training. He is an authority on value-added selling, and speaks to thousands of salespeople and managers annually on increasing their value to their company and customers.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Lost Art of Reference Selling

I love this article from sales trainer Skip Miller - it reminds us of one of the hidden benefits of reference, or referral, selling.

People buy from people they like and they trust. If this statement is true, what are you doing during your prospecting efforts to make sure you turn those cold calls into warm calls so you get a better response rate?

I find it fascinating that sales people are all over Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and all the other social media tools, but have a tough time asking for a referral.

We constantly hear from sales people that reference selling is a great way to prospect and overcome cold call rejection, but ask a sales person to ask their customers for a referral, and they will look at you like you are asking them to request "the biggest favor in the world" from their best and most important friend.

Think like a customer. Customers, especially executives, love giving worthwhile referrals out, since, if the person who they refer you to actually buys and uses what you are selling, they probably:

Got rid of a problem
Reduced their cost
Increased their revenue
Which is the only reason they would buy from you.

Say you ask a good customer, Barney, for a referral. He gives you a referral, say Fred. You help Fred solve a problem, make money, or whatever. He's happy. He calls Barney up and says thanks. OK, so Barney knows that Fred owes him one. This 'owes me one mentality' has been around for a long time. The Romans used to call this a chit, which is like a favor marker, good for one favor.

Executives are always looking to collect chits, so you, by asking for a referral, are really helping your customer collect chits.

Bottom line, ask for referrals and help turn that cold calling chore into a networking juggernaut.

A recognized authority on the psychology of sales performance, Skip Miller has helped countless companies, already at the height of success in their respective fields, achieve an even greater level of sales productivity and success. Learn more at www.m3learning.com

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Creating Change - In An Instant!

I'm a procrastinator through and through. Writing papers at 2am in college was like an art form to me. While I had the energy to do that in college, I don't exactly have the energy or time to do that now! It's a habit I'd like to work on...with this advice from business coach Tom Kelly!

Is there something about you that you would like to change? Perhaps a bad habit? Would you like to be able to overcome your fears and take action on something you have been procrastinating on? As a coach, many of my clients have issues or things that they want to change. If there is something that you want to change or take action on, here is a process that you can follow that will allow you to change whatever it is you want to - in an instant!

Identify Exactly What You Want to Change

The first step in the process is to identify exactly what it is you want to change. Once you know what you want to change, you need to decide what you want to change it to. For example, if you are a salesperson and want to change your bad phoning habits, you need to identify exactly what you want to change it to - perhaps making 30 phone calls a day.

Get Leverage Over Yourself

People do things to either avoid pain or to gain pleasure. So, the next step is to get some leverage over yourself, so that you have some "incentive" to change your behavior. You can do this by linking massive pain to the behavior you want to change, and pleasure to the behavior you want to move towards. For example, if you want to break your bad phoning habits, you could write your boss a check for say $500 and tell him that if you don't do your phoning daily, he gets to keep the money. When you do your phoning, you can give yourself a little treat each time to reinforce the behavior.

Make a Committment to at Least 3 Other People

Once you have decided what you are going to do and have some leverage over yourself, you need to tell at least 3 other people what you are doing, and ask them to check in with you and hold you accountable to what you are doing. They will constantly challenge you and make sure that you are following through, or give you hell if you don't! If you follow these 3 simple steps, you can change any behavior you want - in an instant! Once you learn how to do this, you will be able to make rapid changes in your life, and remove the barriers to your success. Good luck!

Tom Kelly is a Profession Business Coach that specializes in working with small business owners, entrepreneurs, and salespeople. He can be reached at (773) 907-0921 or at www.potentialinmotion.com.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Quote of the Week

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." -- Carlos Castaneda, author

Some days you just aren't in the mood for work. I get that - I've been there! But the thing is, you are at work. Why not make the day productive? Why not sharpen your selling skills?

Even on those days when you just aren't feeling it, try to look at the work day as a chance to strengthen yourself and your business. After all, you're spending the time there - may as not be miserable if you can help it!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Does THIS Objection Make You Squirm?

Sales trainer Kim Duke has a fun, unconventional style that makes her articles both informative and fun to read. I really enjoyed this recent article that reminded me prospects can always find the money - if you find out what they really want!

My oldest cutie-pie niece recently got her driver's license. We're so proud of her!

Her euphoria of having the freedom to drive a car has been clashing with the gas she now has to buy. She has a part-time job after school but school work is a priority and so is saving money.

The money that used to burn a hole in her pocket on the way to the mall is now being thought of MUCH DIFFERENTLY.

She wiggled her nose as she looked at me.

"Auntie - I REALLY want these cute, new pair of $80 jeans. AND I really want to save money. AND I really want to drive to school every day instead of taking the "cheese wagon" (her word for school bus).

Then she squirmed in her chair and proclaimed: "But I hate paying for gas for my car! I don't have enough money."

Now - a whole LOT of stuff was just packed in her conversation! New jeans, gas for her "new car", saving money and then the assumption - "I don't have enough money."

After a few minutes with the calculator, asking her questions that made her think about what she wanted and HOW she could get it - we did THE MONEY SHUFFLE.

Cutie-pie niece saw that by being creative - she could save money, drive her car AND still buy the new pair of $80 jeans. Big smile.

As I was helping her walk through this - of course I thought of you!

Do You Squirm When Customers Say They Have NO MONEY?

You love your product or service. And if you don't love it - you probably like it quite a lot.

So when a potential customer listens eagerly to all the benefits of what you sell and then....

...they wrinkle their brow...and say...

"This sounds interesting but I don't have the money for this right now"

Do You:

1.Feel a little offended.
2.Say "Oh."
3.Dive in and say "This is really something you should consider."
4.Say "I hear what you're saying. When would you like me to touch base with you?"
5.All of the above
6.None of the above.

Every day, millions of entrepreneurs and sales people hear these dreaded words:

"It's not in the budget."
"We don't have the money."

And they put their tail between their legs and sneak away.

Sorry! Only 2% of people/companies don't REALLY have the money.

The other 98% HAVE money but they blew you off as they aren't convinced about you.

When you really want something - I KNOW YOU FIND THE BUDGET. You change your mind about something else, you buy the cheaper toilet paper so you can have Devon cream with scones, you get by with the old vacuum cleaner when you want the new shoes...you get the pic.

You're doing the MONEY SHUFFLE and your potential customers do it TOO.

If you bring something of value to your prospects - they'll think about it.
They'll stew about it.
They'll do some money-shuffling to make it happen.

But, if you're getting a lot of "No money, honey" comments - it is back to the drawing board for you.

You need to find out what's COMPELLING about your product/service that would make a potential customer start the MONEY SHUFFLE.

So quit squirming. And get working on why YOU'RE THE BEST CHOICE.

Kim Duke is an unconventional, sassy and savvy sales expert who shows women small biz owners and entrepreneurs sizzling sales tips on how to increase sales in a fun, easy, stress-free way! Learn more and sign up for her free e-zine at www.salesdivas.com

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Specifics - Or Just Semantics?

Communication expert Dianna Booher never fails to get me thinking with her communication tips newsletter. Today she discusses a common phrase and how it can lead to confusion in your sales process - very interesting!

How many times have you heard this comment interjected in a heated discussion: "Well, I think it's just a matter of semantics." Of course it is!

Words have meanings, and those meanings are not just a simple matter of semantics. Brushing them aside with, "I think we're really saying the same thing; it's just a matter of semantics," creates a dangerous intersection if people intend to arrive at agreement somewhere down the road.

Words carry a conversation. Selection is central to understanding and agreement. In fact, many customer complaints can be traced to this one root cause--vague words with a different meaning to the service agent and customer. The salesperson says, "We should be able to work out a substantial discount if you want to take the floor model." (The salesperson has in mind a 20 percent discount; the customer is thinking a 50 percent discount.)

Neither do we fare much better with different interpretations of internal communication. For example, the sales manager tells you that the company has had a significant increase in the number of leads generated by a new marketing campaign. What kind of increase comes to mind? 7? 70? 700?

When semantics enters the conversation, the conversation is no longer about semantics. Choose the precise word. Nail down the specifics.

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

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Stop Using the "Yellow Pages" Approach to Sell

Today sales trainer Mark Hunter shares how to avoid selling like the yellow pages! It's an interesting read that gets you thinking about which information you can cut from your presentation!

Are you just giving your customers information?! This is the dreaded "yellow pages" approach to selling.

You're better than that. Start giving your customer solutions rather than just information.

Recently I was sitting in a meeting listening to salespeople discuss all of the information they routinely share with their customers. As they're going through their long list, I was struck by both how basic the information was and how everything they felt they needed to share was already on the web.

I'm smart enough to know just because something is on the web does not mean your customer has read it. But they could if they wanted to, and that's my point. If all we're doing is giving our customers information they can find elsewhere, then we're no better than the Yellow Pages. Remember the Yellow Pages? They used to be relevant and an important part of our life. Now they're obsolete because we can access the information much faster and more effectively through the web.

The point I'm making is our customers already have access to information. Our job in sales is to bring to our customers solutions, and that means going way beyond just sharing information.

We must help them understand things they didn't think possible and to see outcomes they had not considered. We do that by dialoguing with our customers, engaging with them, and allowing them to share their concerns with us. When we do this, we ensure our value as a salesperson. If, on the other hand, all we want to do is bring our customers information, then our worth will become dated and we'll fade away like the Yellow Pages.

Challenge yourself to bring your customers questions and ideas that will get them thinking. Use the information you have not to start a conversation but to stimulate a discussion that leads to new opportunities. There isn't much of a demand for the Yellow Pages anymore!

Contact Mark Hunter, The Sales Hunter for your next Conference or Sales Meeting. To see and hear Mark Hunter now visit www.TheSalesHunter.com

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Stop Pitching, Start Talking

Sales presentations can be very tricky - that's why I love this article from sales trainer Kelley Robertson. It contains stratgies to help you deliver great presentations, every time!

Here are 7 strategies that will help you deliver a killer sales presentation, every time.

1. Start with a brief summary. Open a sales presentation with an outline of your understanding of your prospect's key issues and immediately capture their attention.

2. Keep it brief. If you have been allotted 60 minutes set a goal of finishing in less than forty-five. No prospect is EVER going to complain that you didn't use up your allotted time.

3. Focus on "must-have" information. Contrary to popular believe most prospects don't want to know everything about your solution; they only want to know what's relevant to their situation.

4. Use stories, cases studies and examples. Weave stories into your presentations that demonstrate how people have benefited from your offering. Use case studies and example that are relevant to each prospect's business.

5. Create a two-way dialogue. Instead of spending your allotted time talking, ask your prospect questions, opinions and perspectives.

6. Conclude with a specific call to action. Don't end with something like, "If you have questions, feel free to give me a call." Tell the decision maker exactly what you want them to do.

7. Practice. The more important the sales opportunity, the more critical it is to verbally rehearse your presentation.

Now, go and modify the next sales presentation you have scheduled and start making more sales!

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, May 2, 2011

Quote of the Week

"To be prepared is half the victory." -- Miguel de Cervantes

As someone who can be a tad obsessive about preparing, this is certainly something that rings true with me! A sales call is full of unknowns - will there be extra people at the meeting? Did your prospect not tell you the full story? Are they having a bad day?

All of those things are not under your control - but they can have a huge effect on the outcome of your meeting! That is why it is so important that you prepare everything that you possibly can. That way, when an unknown comes your way, you'll be able to deal with it calmly, knowing you have everything else under control!