MICHELLE MAZUR on seven habits that can make you a stellar sales presenter p.36
on how sales presentations can change the world p.40
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Founder of SOLDLAB.com and SOLD Magazine John Von Achen Editor-in-Chief Helen Bereschinova Copy Editor Oleg Vetoshnikov Designer: Lubov Karmanova Antonina Nesterova Cover stories: Michelle Mazur, Phil Waknell Contributors: Peter Barron Stark, Mike Brooks, Matt Heinz, Andrea Nierenberg, John Chapin, Harlan Goerger, Kevin Davis, Kelley Robertson, Paul McCord, Jill Konrath, Zhecho Dobrev, Annette Franz (Gleneicki) COLUMNISTS: Jason Forrest, Maura L. Schreier-Fleming, Michael Goldberg, John Brubaker, David Newman, Peter Temple, Dan Waldschmidt, Greg Williams, Rick Roberge, Shep Hyken Owned and Operated by CENTE MEDIA, LLC. 1800 Pembrook Dr Ste 300 Orlando, Florida 32810
Be the wizard of WOW Think of this issue of SOLD as a book of magic formulas to help you enchant your prospects and customers with WOW sales presentations. Phil Waknell’s article, “Presentation 2.0: Change Customers and Change the World,” will show you how to enter the minds of your customers to understand what they truly know, think and feel. Their primary problem or obstacle will be revealed to you, so you’re able to use your wizardly skills to coax them gently to take the action that leads to a sale.
WOW doesn’t just appear from thin air Sales presentations are only successful because you’ve Worked On WOW. It takes preparation and practice to guide your audience to the decision to buy (and buy often). With the ideas in Michelle Mazur’s cover story, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Sales Presentations,” you’ll be able to “work on your WOW” by acquiring the habits that will give you an advantage over your competitors. Maybe, the most important of these is creating value…and not only for your product, but also for you. When you’re able to contribute something valuable to a customer’s business, he or she is more likely to buy from you.
More WOW at SOLDPS.com and SOLDSM.com Your sales presentations as well as all your selling skills deserve constant attention to improve your performance and maximize the outcome, which is why we introduced SOLDLAB Professional Selling, or SOLDPS.com, last month. The companion site, SOLDLAB Sales Management, or SOLDSM.com, is also new and specifically focuses on the informational needs of sales executives. Whether your goal is better sales presentations, self-motivation, professional development or any others, both SOLDPS.com and SOLDSM.com are always there 24/7, and always mobile and social via our Facebook page and Twitter feed.
Keep on Closing!
CONTENTS 06 6 Things Not to Do When Your Boss is a Jerk 9
I Agree with Jeffrey Gitomer about These Two Things
11 10 Reasons why Salespeople Fail 13 Creating Urgency for Sales Success. Turning Prospects into Buyers
16 Networking to Grow Anytime in Your Life and if You Are Introverted â”€ Great! 20 Seven Keys to Filling Your Pipeline with Tons of Qualified Prospects 22 Ringside with Michael. 7 Ways to Be More Extroverted 24 SOLD Q&A. Ask the Sales Pro
26 How not to Sell 30 Increasing Sales by Helping Customers Become Better Buyers 31 The Coach Approach. Channel Your Inner-Aristotle for Sales Success 33 Market Smarter, Sell More. Tighten Up Your Lead Management for a 10X Boost in Your Sales Process
JULY 2013 36 The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Sales Presentations 40 Change Your Customers and Change the World 44 Selling on the Edge. Why Buyers Hate Your Sales Presentation 45 Visually Speaking. How Visuals Impact Our Main Message (Sometimes)
48 48 32 Fatal Negotiating Mistakes that Cost Sales People Money 52 Help! I Can’t Close Sales: 5 Ideas to Increase Your Close Ratio 53 Handling the Price Question and Building Trust – They’re Not Incompatible 55 Advice from the Master Negotiator. Negotiation & Body Language Strategies that Improve Sales Processes
58 58 5 Must-Doʹs in Designing an Emotionally Engaging Experience 62 How Do You Treat Your Referrals? 64 Create Customer Amazement TM. Five Steps to Managing Complaints on Social Media 65 Sales Anecdotes and Their Antidotes Low Hanging Fruit
Not to Do When Your Boss is a Jerk 6|
ad bosses. Chances are good that at least once in each of our careers we are challenged with working for a bad boss. These bosses are bad for our careers, our health and our work-life balance. Unfortunately, bad bosses are just part of the real world and we have to find a way to make it work. The question is: how? Several times each year, we are hired to be an Executive Coach to leaders who identify their boss as the main cause of their problems at work. More specifically, if their boss was a better leader who did what they felt needed to be done, they themselves would be a better manager or leader. Specific examples we have heard are that their boss: Is a micro-manager Is not trustworthy or doesn’t keep promises Gave a poor rating on the employee’s performance review Gave no raise, or not enough of a raise Does not stand behind decisions made by employees Is moody Is a “know it all” and does not listen Has questionable ethics Is disrespectful
What if you work with a boss that does one of these bad behaviors? Worse, what if you work with a boss who does all these behaviors… a real jerk? For those who know us, what we are about to write is going to seem contrarian, or at the minimum, controversial. So let us start off by reminding you of the mission of our company and everything we do. Our passion, here at Peter Barron Stark Companies, is to create an environment where employees love coming to work and customers love doing business. With that said, here it goes: when it comes to bad bosses, sometimes you just have to deal with it and learn how to make it work. Unfortunately in life we are not given the divine right to have a good or great boss. Obviously, if a manager is practicing the behaviors listed above, that is not in alignment with creating an ideal work environment and more than likely will create an environment where the employee mantra becomes… I don’t get paid enough to put up with this. So
the big question becomes… if you are an employee who works for this boss, what should you do… and more importantly what should you not do? First, what does not work? It has been our experience that the employees who exhibit the behaviors listed below tend to be fired or managed out of the organization. If that is your goal, here is your prescription for success: Go head-to-head with your boss in defiance of your boss’ directives and goals. Unless your boss is weak and has zero clout in the organization, this is not a healthy choice for long-term job security. Bypass your boss and go directly to your boss’ boss or Human Resources with your concerns. It is almost always better to go to your boss first and honestly share your concerns. Speak negatively about your boss to co-workers or other leaders in the organization. Post nasty things about your boss in an email, your Facebook profile or some other electronic form of communication. Repeatedly complain to your boss about topics you feel they have not addressed: your workload; specific projects; other team members; your wages; your lack of a promotion. Tell your boss they are a micro-manager or some other piece of non-descript feedback conveying your displeasure with their leadership skills. Each of these behaviors provide a fast-track for employees being fired or managed out of the organization. Indirectly or directly, in each of the above six examples, the employee thinks they are smarter or better than their boss. Although it may be true, the truth may actually lead you further away from your own goal. Recently, my twenty-year-old son, Barron, called me and told me he was going to drop his English class. When I asked him why, he told me that he had an awful professor. I responded, “Barron, the reason they give you bad professors in college is to help prepare for bad bosses when you get a job.” At work, you do not get to pick your boss. It becomes your job to learn to deal with all types of leaders in all types of organizations. Wouldn’t it be great if one of your God given rights was to be given a GREAT leader? Instead of feeling as if you are at the mercy of defective leadership, take charge and use tactics that will help your situation.
3 4 5 6
In life we are not given the divine right to have a good or great boss
So, what does work when you have a bad boss? Address this question: Is it just possible that it might be me who is the problem? Unfortunately, when you blame others about a situation you are in, it deflects all responsibility away from you to take ownership to personally change. A few things to remember: your boss is most likely smarter than you think; your boss was smart enough to hire you; plus someone higher up in the organization thinks your boss adds value. Provide honest, constructive feedback. If you have concerns about your boss, share it with him/her in a format where you can tell your boss what you really like about him/her and your job, and provide really specific feedback about what you would like to see changed. Some tough bosses actually appreciate honest feedback. Be patient. If the boss is really that bad, most likely someone else in the organization is going to notice and/or speak up. You know them… there is always someone who can’t keep their mouth shut. Better them than you. Exercise your choices. If your boss is that bad, it would be our recommendation
that you move to another area of your organization or to another company. If you are ever going to move, it is better when it is your choice. Produce Great Results. You maximize your options and opportunities when you build a personal reputation in the organization of someone who produces great work and is an awesome team member. Do you deserve a great boss? When you don’t get one… figure out how to make it successfully work or build a strategy with one of the above options because most people who decide to go toe-to-toe with the boss… LOSE!
by Peter Barron Stark Peter Barron Stark is a consultant, executive coach, speaker, author and President of Peter Barron Stark Companies. For twenty-two years, Peter has crafted customized negotiation programs for business negotiation professionals in companies such as the Boston Red Sox, Coca-Cola, Jack-in-the-Box, the NFL , Wells Fargo Bank and over 200 other leading organizations. To learn more about Peter’s programs, visit www.peterstark.com.
I Agree with Jeffrey Gitomer about These Two Things N
ow, let me just say for the record that I agree with a lot more than just these two things that Jeffrey says, but these are things I've known for many, many years. I hope they resonate with you, too. So here's the scene: Large corporate sales convention in the company's training center, over 250 sales reps flown in from all over the country; Sales directors, V.P.s, sales managers all running around stressing over the schedule, quotas, current sales, etc. I'm speaking to the entire group (owners, board
members in the audience, too), and after the training portion of my presentation, I ask the question that gets the managers and directors to shift uneasily in their seats: "What are the two most important determining factors in making sales and exceeding quotas?" The reps raise their hands and start firing away, "Leads," "The economy," "The price of the product," "Territory," they yell out. The managers and directors are now sweating, and the owners and board members look irritated and even a little angry. "While those things all play a part, the problem with them is that you have no control over
Only YOU can permanently stop you them. So for that reason alone, they don't qualify as being the most important things." I tell them. "There are only two things you CAN control and those happen to be the most important factors affecting your success. And they always will be," I say. And what are those two things? Your attitude and your actions. Everything else flows from those two things. And the good news is that both of those things are directly under your control and when you learn to develop and maintain an expectant and enthusiastic attitude, and you take smart, consistent actions, you will always get the results you plan for." After I delivered this (and the rest of my talk), the managers and directors, V.P.'s and owners were all smiles. And so were the Top 20%, because they know the truth. Ask any top performer this question, and you will get the same answer, albeit, in a different way. Some will say it's how hard they work; others will say it's their mental preparation, and still others will at-
tribute their success to visualizing a win. But it all comes down to the same thing. A winner will always take 100% responsibility for their results, while the other 80% will blame it on things outside their control. And that's why winners will always eventually win, and the rest of the players will lose and make excuses. It's like my friend Jeffrey Gitomer once said, "Your boss can't stop you; your co-workers can't stop you; your territory can't stop you; the economy can't stop you. Only YOU can permanently stop you." (I'm paraphrasing, but that's the gist of it.) In today's business environment of social media, product reviews, so many Internet options to buy, etc., it's crucially important that you develop, feed, and maintain a positive, expectant attitude of success. No matter what you’re going through right now, circumstances will change, and they WILL get better. The question is, what extra actions are you taking right now to ensure your success? Are you working harder AND smarter? Are you coming in early and leaving late? Are you going that extra mile every day including Fridays? Are you visualizing your success? The bottom line is that if you focus on and take care of the two things you can control – your attitude and your actions – then nothing will stop you from reaching your goals. That was a message all 250 sales reps in needed to hear, and I know that 20% of them already knew it and were already practicing it. How about you? by Mike Brooks
Mike Brooks, is founder and principle of Mr. Inside Sales, a Los Angeles based inside sales consulting and training firm. Mike has been voted one of the most Influential Inside Sales Professionals three out of the past 4 years by The American Association of Inside Sales Professionals, and he is THE recognized authority in the industry. Mike is hired by business owners to develop and implement proven sales processes that help them immediately scale and grow Multi-Million Dollar Inside Sales Teams. He also offers customized sales training programs, works as a virtual V.P. of Sales and offers Executive Coaching programs to business owners around the world. For more information, visit his website: www.mrinsidesales.com
10 Reasons why Salespeople Fail I have yet to meet a sales professional who doesn’t want to succeed, who doesn’t want to exceed quota and make more money. But the reality is, salespeople still fail. Sometimes it’s a temporary slump, sometimes (unfortunately) it’s a career-long trend. In the work we’ve done with sales organizations, managers and individual reps, these are the 10 most common reasons why salespeople fail.
Honestly, this is a bit of a false crutch & excuse. If you have the right drive and make-up, you can succeed with zero previous sales experience. I’ve seen it happen countless times. Of course, a raw, unexperienced new sales professional can’t succeed without the proper support, training and management to help them accelerate through the learning curve.
If you come to work every morning waiting for the good leads, you’re going to fail. If you’re waiting for the phone to ring, reacting to what comes into your email inbox, that’s not exactly a recipe for success. And yet, many salespeople work without a plan – reactively and opportunistically going through the month or quarter without a strategy. Just because you have a plan, doesn’t mean you’ll always follow it. But if you don’t have a roadmap, how do you expect to get where you want to go?
Sales is incredibly difficult. Oftentimes, it’s not even fun. The daily grind, the never-ending activities required to get through the “no” answers and find the ready-to-buy prospects, that not only takes a ton of work but requires daily discipline to stay focused and actively on the path to success. Look at the
most successful reps and you’ll find men and women who get up early, power through their calls, and do what it takes – every day – to make their number.
This is more than just product training, which is critical. Every rep should know the details of their product or service, but that’s table stakes. They also need to understand the market into which they’re selling, as well as who their target prospect is – what they care about, what their problems are, and what they’re trying to achieve independent of your product or service. And this training needs to happen far more often than the annual sales kick-off meeting too. For world-class sales organizations, training and reinforcement is a regular, ongoing habit.
To be successful, sales professionals need tools to help them work smarter. They need sales support and operations resources to provide the infrastructure, tools, processes and other execution best practices so they can spend more of their time in front of customers. And they need a proactively supportive management team, including managers who know that coaching requires more than just reinforcing process, but also proactively helping reps solve unique sales problems.
This is another place where many sales professionals find a perfect excuse for why they’re not hitting the number. In some sales organizations, reps are given leads for follow-up. Some leads are qualified, some are not. But even when reps aren’t handed leads, they’re responsible for finding their own. Yes, this can be a pain-staking, inefficient process. Yes, this can directly impact an individual reps ability to close more business. But you have two choices when face with no leads – get some yourself, or go somewhere else.
Motivation can come in a variety of formats, of course. It can be material, such as a new boat or stereo system or exotic vacation. It can be fundamental, like putting your kids through school. But
whatever it is, motivation to succeed drives performance and ensures consistent execution for reps who don’t let failure take hold.
No customer insight
The way you were taught to sell 20 years ago might not be as effective today. The tools you used, the approach that once worked, might fall flat today. If you aren’t able to adapt to the changing market, the changing customer – you’re likely to see declining results. Successful sales professionals constantly adapt their strategy and execution to what’s changing and working around them.
Gone are the days of one-sided selling (if they ever existed in the first place). Gone too are the days when the prospect allowed you to ask them questions to which they already knew the answer. Reps today fail in part because they don’t take the time to understand their customer before making an approach. This is far more than just having a solid introduction or insights to break the ice. This is about getting to the root needs your customers has, and differentiating yourself as someone who isn’t there just to sell, but to teach and enable the outcomes the prospect needs and/or has envisioned in the first place.
10 No focus
There are so many things that can distract you during the day. Things that feel important, maybe even feel urgent, but are neither. It’s incredibly difficult to stay focused on what’s important, what will truly push your results forward. But that’s why so many reps fail, and so few consistently hit their number. by Matt Heinz Matt Heinz is a national speaker and author, and his most recent book is Successful Selling. He is President of Heinz Marketing Inc, a Seattle area Marketing Agency focusing on Sales Acceleration. Matt's career has focused on delivering measurable results for his employers and clients in the way of greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.
Creating Urgency for Sales Success
Turning Prospects Into Buyers by Jason Forrest One of my clients recently told me a story about a time he walked into a sales office and was completely avoided by the salesperson. Not only was he qualified, he was way overqualified and could have walked out with any contract he chose. When he told the salesperson he wanted to see her options, she said, “Okay, have a look. Please take your time.” After about 20 minutes of considering all the products by himself, my client came back to the sales office and gave the salesperson another chance to lead the process. But she didn’t. My client left with a brochure...and a lot questions. He told me that, while he was eager to buy a new home, she just didn’t engage with him. What a shame. The salesperson expected her prospect to lead the conversation and show interest before she started selling. This is a common mistake. So my very first piece of advice is to see each person as a “real” buyer. Whether they’re friendly or distant, quiet or chatty, always engage them! Remember, it’s not the buyer’s job to come in with urgency – you are there to help build it. This will put you in position to succeed. Once everyone is a “real” buyer in your eyes, identifying your top prospects and focusing on moving them forward in the sale can help you turn more prospects into buyers. Below is a process for turning prospects into buyers.
and make sure you have accomplished each phase for all decision-makers involved. Remember, mutual accomplishment means that the customer believes and has agreed. When you’ve established a solid case for each phase, add up how many of the seven phases you have accomplished with each prospect and which one needs to be accomplished next. Strategize the next steps you’ll take in order to accomplish the next phase with each prospect. Always ask yourself, “What is the next step to get this prospect closer to buying?” Once you accomplish that step, then focus on the next. Do this until all of the steps are accomplished and the sale has been made.
Successful people are the ones who debrief, realign, and try again
Top Ten List: First, identify your top ten most promising prospects. For our purposes here, each of these prospects must be able to financially qualify for the purchase.
Phases of Emotional Urgency: Next, go through the phases of emotional urgency to see if each particular one has been mutually accomplished. Write out specific details next to each phase, showing how it was mutually accomplished
Execution: If you need to spend a little time practicing the next conversation you’ll have with your buyer, you may recruit your spouse, supervisor, or peer to role-play. Start with the first person on your list. This is the one part that is hardest to do and the one part that CAN’T be skipped.
Debrief and Realign: My friends’ four-year-old daughter demonstrated a great life lesson for me. I watched Matti fall on the tile floor and search frantically for her father, who was soon kneeling in front of her, brushing her knees off. He said gently, “Dust yourself off and keep on going.” Matti got up, dusted her knees just like her daddy had said, and trotted off without one tear shed. Matti is being taught at a very young age that failure is going to happen, so you might as well embrace it and move on. Whether it’s from fear, intimidation or insecurity, I don’t know. But most people give up when they fail one time. You have taken a huge step by making those calls, so why stop now? Successful people are the ones who debrief, realign, and try again. To debrief, share your follow-up experiences with
Creating Urgency for Sales Success your coach and/or peers. Discuss whether you got in touch or left a message, what the prospect said, and whether you succeeded at moving them through the next phase. Use this time to learn from others’ experience. Practicing the techniques of those who have already achieved success ensures you can have success too. Make sure you pay special attention to what worked and what didn’t work for others and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Once you’ve shared your experiences and received feedback, it’s time to realign. Decide if you are going to adopt a different approach that might be more effective than your last one. Then try again. Be like Matti. Whatever you face, dust yourself off and keep on going. Once you’ve completed your follow-up with your first set of prospects, start over by choosing three more buyers. Your goal in this process is not to close them on a contract over the phone. Your goal is to just accomplish the next urgency phase. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Just focus on the next step. Once you have accomplished that step, then go to the next step. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. If you are committed to this process, your skills will im-
prove and you’ll have the potential to move customers through the process quicker. You are the catalyst for a customer’s decision-making process. If you are strategic about moving customers through the sales process, you will no longer have to depend upon the market for your success. Remember: People buy in every market. The only question is who they buy from? They will buy from the sales pros who separate themselves from the rest by believing, thinking, feeling, acting and executing their sales process with discipline and excellence. One of Training magazine's Top Young Trainers of 2012,
Jason Forrest is an expert at creating high-performance sales cultures through complete training programs. He incorporates experiential learning to increase sales, implement cultural accountability, and transform companies into sales organizations. Forrest is a sales trainer, management coach, regularly featured speaker at national conferences and professional association events, member of the National Speakers Association’s Million Dollar Speakers Group, and a published author. His newest book, Leadership Sales Coaching, is now available. www.forrestpg.com
Networking to Grow Anytime in Your Life and if You Are Introverted
any executives have discovered that networking is an important business tool, resulting in new customers and continued customer loyalty. To ensure their companies’ success, employees have been taught networking techniques to help maintain strong client relationships. However, managers may have had difficulty in helping their introverted employees become better networkers, since networking is considered a skill more thought to be geared towards extroverted employees. Not true. The idea that networking is for people with outgoing personalities is really false, because introverts have strengths that they can use with strategies that blend well with their personalities. Laura and Carol work at the same company and have different approaches to interacting with others. Laura has no problem walking into a room full of strangers and having conversations with many people in the course of an evening, while Carol is content to meet just one or two people and to stay put for the whole evening. Because of their different personalities, Laura assumes that she is a great networker because she can interact with several people, and she thinks that Carol is weak in that area because she cannot. Yet she has to look at Carol’s strengths; one simply networks differently than the other. She has also built relationships where she helps people who also help her. Her clients believe in and trust her. People need to realize that there are different ways to network; it involves more than just talking to people at a function and collecting cards. At a meeting, while Laura “works the room,” Carol is engrossed in conversation with a new contact, or a colleague. However, when they walk out of the meeting, they both have contacts, referrals, and leads. The differences in Laura and Carol’s approaches to networking are a result of their different personality traits. Extroverts can get “wound up” and excited after a party or a meeting, and their minds race with new ideas and new possibilities that they cannot wait to put into action. On the other hand, introverts may become exhausted after such events and want to re-
fresh and energize themselves with a solitary walk or “downtime” by themselves so they can assimilate new ideas.
Characteristics of Introverts and Extroverts: Introverts
Recharged by being alone
Energized by contact with others
Thoughtful and reflective
May be mistaken as aloof
Seen as friendly and outgoing
Speaking means they are ready to act
Want to speak anytime
Need time and space for themselves
Like to surround themselves with others
Keep thoughts to themselves
Talking is “thinking out loud”
Introverts Can Use Their Best Qualities to Their Advantage in Networking Many introverts are good networkers because they know how to use their introverted nature to their advantage. For example, Carol is a good listener; she notices details and remembers important facts. Because she lets others do the talking, they think she is a brilliant conservationist. She is also a thoughtful person, always the first to give a compliment, to remember a special event, and, of course, to say thank you. A thoughtful person is a remembered person. Because of these positive traits, people trust Carol and are willing to help her when she needs a favor. Introverts have to understand their best qualities and learn how to use them to their advantage in networking.
Thoughtful Listener Listening carefully to others is a skill most extroverts need to work on. It comes easier to introverts who naturally absorb and use what they hear. Introverts generally spend more time listening, and less time talking. One of the best communicators I know is Alice. Every time she meets someone, she mentions something that she remembers about that person from a prior conversation. Not long ago, she and I were meeting about a project when she began the conversation with, “How is your sister Meredith, and her new horse?” I was impressed — not only did she remember my sister’s name but also remembered something that was important to her. Like Carol, Alice is also one of the best listeners because she remembers details, and uses this skill to network effectively. For example, she remembered a friend of mine who was looking for a new job, and gave me a contact that she thought might be useful for my friend’s job search. Later, when I found out that Alice’s company was going through some tough times, I told her about a job opening that I thought would be a perfect for her skills. After I gave her a contact name, she applied for the job, and is now happily employed. I not only received a lovely thank you note, but also a referral for a speaking engagement with her new company. The referral came with detailed information about the person I was to contact as well as useful information on what materials to send. Alice is someone who epitomizes what I call a good networker — she listens, she takes in all sorts of information, and when the time is right, she will put different people and projects together where she thinks there is a good fit. Like Alice, introverts can take advantage of their listening skills to build sound relationships, which is at the heart of being a good networker.
Listening carefully to others is a skill most extroverts need to work on cause she is one of the best networkers, even though she is a self-proclaimed introvert. Her strength is her helpfulness. One day when an associate needed a certain resource, he called her, and she knew just the right person to call. Within an hour, he had what he needed. Because others know and trust her, they want to refer her and her company, which has resulted in more business. Introverts network well in situations where they can use their skill to help others.
Passionate While many introverts cringe at the idea of walking up to a stranger and starting a conversation, their shyness magically disappears when they discuss a topic about which they are passionate. When people can focus on an aspect of their industry or talk about a product that they care about, they will naturally speak with enthusiasm and conviction. An account executive, Richard, said that he became so nervous before meeting with a prospective client, that he even felt nauseated. Yet as soon as he started speaking about his product and its benefits, he felt comfortable and at ease because he was talking about something in which he truly believed. Introverts need a focus and a genuine reason to make a contact.
Caring and Helpful
Make networking work for introverted employees
The strengths of the introvert include depth of concentration, comfort with the world of ideas and thoughts, and a caring and helpful attitude towards others. Introverts may not consider themselves as particularly social people, yet they may have many loyal contacts who would help them out whenever he needed at favor. Margie is a successful businesswoman be-
Remind them to be: Prepared and focused Good listeners Passionate about their work Approachable Interested in others and what they have to say People who others trust
Networking Techniques for the Quiet Networker Under certain circumstances most people feel shy, reticent, or introverted. Half feel shy all the time, and others 50% of the time. We’ve all felt stuck in the doorway thinking, “Shall I walk into that crowded room or back to my own hotel room?” Yet the one key component of successful networking is visibility. Networking is about making connections, building relationships, and developing advocates — people who know us and know what we do so that they can become our marketers. Here are some tips on how your employees can put this into action, even when they are feeling introverted:
Have a goal.
Set goals for opportunities your employees have to expand or nurture their network. When attending a networking event, they can set a goal to meet and follow-up with at least two people. At a company function, have them set a goal to sit next to someone new. They can think of three questions to the other person about his or her profession, interests, and family. Every day, they can send an e-mail to someone they have not contacted recently. Once a week, have them call three people just to say “hello.” Once a month, they can have lunch with a friend, colleague, or client.
Take “baby steps.”
Networking goals are easier to attain when they are broken into smaller pieces. For instance, a networking event may intimidate an introvert, so it is best to take it step-by-step. When they meet someone new, they can start with a hello and a smile, then establish eye contact and repeat the person’s name. Next, they should ask an open-ended question and listen to the person’s response. When they see that they have made a connection with someone else through simple conversation, interacting with others will not seem as scary.
a client on a product innovation, promotion, or positive company developments that they read about in a trade publication. Starting a dialogue in this way is easy, and everyone likes to get a compliment.
Use a “script.”
If calling to follow up with a new contact makes your employees a bit nervous, developing a short script is helpful for developing confidence. First they can write down key points and rehearse them until they can say them naturally. They can also refer to notes about the people they are calling. After they do this a few times, they may be able to get by with just their notes. They can even develop a type of “script” for meetings and events. Have them create a list of conversation starters or prepare three “small talk” topics – current events, new movies or books, or industry news. Most introverted people are well prepared and thorough, so your employees can use this characteristic to their advantage in planning for networking encounters. Networking is about creating long lasting relationships that are mutually beneficial. It is important to remember that everybody can do it, and there is no one “correct way” to network. By encouraging your introverted staff to build upon their strengths, they will become effective networkers, and they can develop and follow a process that fits their personality and comfort level which will lead to success. Here is something that introverts can post on their bulletin boards as a constant reminder: P – Create a Plan that fits your Personality O – Do it in an Organized fashion S – Stick to your own System T – Remember it takes Time to build relationships by Andrea Nierenberg
Andrea Nierenberg is a business development authority who demonstrates how to balance today's high-speed communications with the people skills that transcend time and technology. She is
Begin with a compliment.
This is a wonderful way to start a conversation. Quiet people can start conversations by saying something complimentary about others. They could compliment
also the author of 6 books on Networking and Sales. Her consulting firm focuses on seminars, workshops and executive coaching and recruitment. More at www.nierenberggroup.com
Seven Keys to Filling Your Pipeline with Tons of Qualified Prospects
hile a lack of sales can be caused by something other than not having enough prospects, generally speaking, most salespeople who miss their numbers do so because they have far too few selling opportunities which is usually caused by having far too few qualified prospects. Following are some ideas to ensure you never have this problem again.
Seven ideas to get all the prospects you’ll ever need
Spend at least four hours a day prospecting.
Yes, four hours, that’s not a misprint. In order to get a sufficient number of leads, you need to spend a significant amount of time prospecting. For most salespeople spending far too little time prospecting is their primary issue. If you’re wondering where you’ll find four hours in a day, the answer is simple: First, stop wasting time on unqualified prospects you’ll
never convert. You know who these people are, you’ve been calling them for months, maybe even years. Either get rid of them immediately, or give them one final call and tell them this is the last time you can contact them, it’s do business now or never. Second, stop over contacting and irritating the qualified leads. The reason salespeople tend to keep unqualified prospects in their funnel and harass and over-contact the qualified leads is because they have no one else to call. Spending a lot of time prospecting will give you an abundance of prospects and solve both these issues. Third, cut out all the busy work you do to avoid the hard work of prospecting. Most of us are very creative at coming up with ways to avoid hard work from cleaning up our desks and doing paperwork in the middle of the day, to scheduling doctor appointments and other personal items during prime calling times. Stop it! Finally, schedule your prospecting time and stick to the schedule. For example, block off 8 a.m. to
You have to know where you’re effective and not effective and spend your time on the right activities 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. for prospecting and don’t allow anything to infringe on that time. I realize that if you are doing little or no prospecting, four hours is a big jump, so start with an hour or two and build from there. For 95% of you, following this one tip alone will give you all the prospects you’ll ever need.
A big problem I see with prospecting is a lack of consistency. A salesperson does a ton of prospecting until he or she has enough business or appointments, then they stop prospecting. When business and appointments drop, they go back to doing a ton of prospecting again. In order to be good and stay good at prospecting and have a steady stream of prospects, you have to be consistent. Sure, there may be times when you’re out of balance, but even when you have plenty of business and appointments, block off some time to prospect.
Choose Active Rather than Passive Prospecting Activities.
Phone calls, knocking on doors, asking for and calling referrals, and networking are all examples of active prospecting because you control the contact. Mailers, social media, the internet, radio and television ads, and other similar marketing techniques are all passive because you have to rely on someone to contact you. When it comes to prospecting you want to be in control of the numbers and the only way to do that is through active prospecting. While it’s good to have aspects of both active and passive marketing in your prospecting plan, far too many salespeople put most of their effort into passive methods because they are easier and more comfortable. On the flip side, they are also far less effective than active prospecting.
Get Better at Prospecting.
Do Whatever You Have to in Order to Get the Prospects You Need.
Of course you always want to be getting better in each area of the sales process and prospecting is no exception. When you get better at prospecting, you can make fewer calls and work less, while at the same time getting better, more qualified prospects. Read books and articles, listen to and watch programs of prospecting, and perhaps most important, find people who are highly successful at getting lots of good, qualified prospects, find out what they do, and then take the same actions.
You need to be committed to getting the number of prospects you have to get in order to be successful. If it takes six hours of cold calling and making calls on the weekend, that’s what you do. The bottom line is: you must be willing to make tons of phone calls, knock on tons of doors, and talk to tons of people in order to get the prospects you need.
Keep Track of Numbers and Results.
Prospecting is a Numbers Game.
If you go to a networking event for four hours and talk to one or two average prospects, that is not a good use of prospecting time. If you get on the phone for four hours and get ten qualified prospects, that is a good use of prospecting time. You have to know where you’re effective and not effective and spend your time on the right activities.
The more people you talk to, the more prospects you will get. If you talk to enough people during the day, you will eventually bump into someone who says, “I need what you have”, or “I know someone who needs what you have.” If you’re going to get an abundance of prospects, you need to talk to an abundance of people. by John Chapin
John Chapin’s specialty is helping companies double sales revenue in one year. He is a number one sales rep in three industries and is author of the largest sales book on the planet: Sales Encyclopedia. An award winning speaker, trainer, and coach, John has over 24 years sales and sales management experience and has sold in some of the toughest markets and economies. www.completeselling.com
Ringside with Michael
7 Ways to Be More Extroverted by Michael Goldberg Colin Cowherd is currently the host of The Herd with Colin Cowherd on ESPN radio. Yes, ESPN, so he covers sports. But often enough, he’ll rant about entertainment, politics, unions, and even religion. Earlier this week at the beginning of his show (which airs nationally from 10AM – 1PM ET Monday – Friday) he spoke about the benefits of being an extrovert. Cowherd mentioned that he probably wouldn’t have the job he has if he didn’t have the natural inclination to talk to the people around him – cab drivers, people in the elevator, those he met at airports, or in sports stadiums. He rattled off statistics about how many more people succeed in their lives simply because they’re extroverted. If you have the ability and confidence to talk to people serendipitously, good things happen. I think he’s right. Think of all the times you were just going about your business and you could have struck up a conversation with someone influential (or anyone really) and there was a chance to create an opportunity. Of course, if you never strike up that conversation, there’s absolutely no chance for that opportunity. As in zero chance! An opportunity to land a job. Earn some business. Refer business. Give some advice. Get some advice. Learn something. Have fun. Or just to help a brother out. Here are 7 opportunities to become more extroverted as you go about your day to day.
At the Supermarket. Or at the bank, dry cleaners, deli, Starbuck’s, barber, dentist, auto service center, or wherever life happens to take you as you run your daily or weekly errands. As you’re standing on line or sitting in the waiting room, instead of texting, tweeting, or playing Angry Birds, look for someone nearby that has “smiley eyes” (a term I learned from a media coach) and say hello. Strike up a conversation. Ask a few questions about them, comment about what they’re reading, and ask what they’re having done to their car or whatever. If the conversation feels right, it will continue, if not simply go back to doing what you’re doing.
On an Airplane. Since I do a lot of business travel, I’m on airplanes all the time. Typically, there’s a fellow business traveler
seated next to me and I can’t help but to say hello. Travel is a lonely business so it’s not such a stretch to greet someone sitting only six inches away from me. Besides, we’ll be six inches apart for 2,000 miles and 35,000 feet so why not introduce myself? Nobody has ever changed their seat to escape me (that I know of). And I’m sensitive to keep the talk light, appropriate to the tone, and to allow for the solitude that a good book or a nap might bring.
In the Airport. I’ve watched more playoff baseball games in airports than anywhere else. It seems whenever my flights have been delayed, it’s Game 2 of the American League Division Series. That means a crowded bar at the airport with a lot of frustrated travelers all too happy to talk baseball. Of course, other questions I might ask include, ‘How long is your flight delayed? Where are you headed? Do you travel often? What type of work do you do? Who do you work for?’ Then I just go from there!
At the Kid’s Game. In my case, it’s the kid’s cheerleading events, competitions, or cheering at the football game. But the same applies whether your kid plays football, soccer, baseball, or whatever. If you happen to be one of the coaches, you have an opportunity to get to know the other volunteer coaches. If you’re a parent that stays on the sideline or in the stands with your hot chocolate, introduce yourself to the people you probably see every week. ‘You know I see you here every week. I’m Michael! Which child is yours? Nice to meet you. What type of work do you do when you’re not spending 5 hours at cheerleading?’ And so on!
Your Extracurricular Activities. I spend time meeting and getting to know people at my gym, while boxing (my other hobby and not always fun!), and in my softball league. I think Fantasy Football leagues qualify. Some of the players in my softball league are accountants, financial advisors, attorneys, various sales reps, business owners, mortgage brokers, and realtors. In fact, one of my boxing sparring partners is an international equity trader. Over the years,
Remember, if you don’t ask the question, the answer is always No
I’ve become a client to those I got to know through my softball league. I’ve also landed clients through my friends in the league. And I’ve helped enough of the players with their resumes and job search. My activities have led to many friendships and a great community.
With Your Clients, Referral Sources, and Advocates. Why not look to create more opportunities to spend time with those you do business with? Make it a point to set one day a month on the calendar to grab lunch, dinner, a drink, a ball game, jazz, or whatever your thing is with a client, referral source, advocate, or even a ‘true’ prospect. Every quarter, I have lunch with one of my favorite clients. It’s a standing date that involves sushi, conversations about our favorite television shows (we have a lot in common here), and other events in our lives. It’s a lot of fun. Not by design, we talk about business for about five minutes and then we’re back to Game of Thrones.
When the Spirit Moves You. There might be other times that you’re going along your merry way and you have the opportunity to start a dialogue, “weigh in” on someone else’s conversation, or offer to help somebody out. Remember, if you don’t ask the question, the answer is always no. So always ask and be on the lookout for opportunities that may fall in your lap. Please keep in mind that you don’t have to be a small talker, have the gift of gab, or be an extrovert to talk to strangers. (By the way, Cowherd mentions mom’s advice about not talking to strangers is great advice until you turn about 15.) And you don’t have to be an extrovert (or a Colin Cowherd fan) to be more extroverted. But like with anything, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Start practicing now. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Don’t save your small talk for the elevator. You could end up on the radio.
Michael Goldberg has helped thousands of sales associates, consultants, agents, reps, brokers, and producers generate hundreds of thousands of dollars to their bottom line. His expertise is in the areas of networking, referrals, recruiting – and believe it or not – amateur boxing! Clients include Guardian, MetLife, Jackson National, Thrivent Financial, Chubb & Son, and Prudential. Michael has been a featured speaker at numerous industry conferences and referenced in the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal. When he’s not speaking at conferences or sales meetings, Michael is an award winning adjunct instructor at Rutgers University and donates time to speak at networking groups focused on job search. Michael runs a popular group coaching program called Training Camp that helps sales reps drastically generate more leads and referrals. His book Knock-Out Networking! is available now! Weigh in at www.MichaelNetworks.com!
Ask the Sales Pro
Maura Schreier-Fleming, sales strategist and consultant answers your sales questions. What sales issue are you facing that you want some direction? Ask Maura.
by Maura Schreier-Fleming
What are the biggest pain points for sales people?
I'm going to answer this question based on my strategic selling work with sales professionals. The biggest mistake I see salespeople make and what causes them pain is that they have a flawed questioning strategy. The pain they experience is when the customer says, "I'll think about it." In reality, that means the customer is going to do nothing. WHat is happening is that salespeople ask the wrong questions to uncover customer needs, wants or problems. The sales professional thinks he hears a problem and then presents too soon in the sales process. When there's no compelling need to buy a product or service, the customer doesn't. It's hard to tell a salesman that so the customer simply says, "I'll think about it." To alleviate this pain, a sales professional has to get a customer to tell him the consequences of the pain he is experiencing. That comes from asking the right strategic questions. Then the sales professional should quantify the consequences. Imagine a customer telling you that his downtime is costing him $100,000. If you sell a product for $10,000 that he believes will reduce his downtime, do you see how your customer is compelled to buy from you?
In sales, what is the difference between a lead and an opportunity?
The best ways of selling are always the same. The customer feels listened to and understands there's a reason to buy what the salesman has to offer. The situation where I've worked with great salespeople and bought well haven't always been ones where I initiated the sale. Think about the times you've gone to the store for one item and bought something else. With a good salesman, you learned that what you thought you needed wasn't the best fit for you. In all cases, the best buying situations I've been in have been ones where the salesman first asked questions to learn about my specific situation. The salesman demonstrated good listening skills which showed me that I was being heard. He confirmed what he heard to make sure he was on the right track. He didn't minimize my requests for more information and answered my questions thoroughly. He offered information that would educate me so I could make the best buying decision. It's not too difficult to do the things necessary to be a great salesman. It does require preparation and patience, but that is the best way to sell.
Maura Schreier-Fleming is an international speaker and sales consultant. She works with business and sales professionals on their persuasion and communication skills. Her books include Real-World Selling for Out-of-this-World Results and Monday Morning Sales Tips. She writes the women in business blog for Allbusiness.com and is a sales coach for them. She's been quoted in the New York Times, Selling Power and Entrepreneur. Clients include UPS, Fujitsu, Capital One, Ebby, the Houston Texans, and Conoco. She was Mobil Oil's first female lubrication engineer in the U.S. and sold $9 million of industrial lubricants when hydraulic oil was under $2.50/gallon. Website: www.Bestatselling.com
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hree Frustrating Salespeople that Lost Sales
I’ve been told I maybe over critical of salespeople when I’m in the buyers’ seat, and it may be true. As a sales trainer I do have expectations when I spend my money. I had been considering buying another motorcycle for some time and early in June decided to get serious about it. I had a pretty good idea of the type and style I wanted and was not tied to any particular brand. A V-twin cruiser style fit the profile as did custom chopper type units. Yes, I did finally buy a unit, but I was not SOLD a unit even though several salespeople had the opportunity. Here is the story, determine for yourself if I am over critical! Here are some of the details of the adventure: In all but one stop I was wearing $80 slacks, dress shirt and tie with polished shoes. Cost was not really an issue, I had the funds to pay cash, but had a number I wanted to try and stay with. I use to race Moto Cross and Snowmobiles professionally. I built custom choppers for several years in my past life. I’ve owned several motorcycles in the past. I’m short, 5’6″ with a 28″ inseam, manufactures do not consider me in their marketing and design.
Here is what I experienced, how does your operation match up? Lack of Engagement: As I talked to the first custom shop they certainly were “bike guys”, yet a total lack of engagement. There were no questions about me, what I wanted or why I wanted it. They had a really nice new custom Harley that fit what I wanted. A bit more $$ than my target, but affordable. “I like the bike, but my feet are not flat on the ground and that
is an absolute for me.” A different seat was offered that might help or getting higher boots with heels might solve it, but otherwise it was complete silence as I looked at the bike and they tossed a few product points at me. There was no qualifying or probing about me, how I was to use the bike or why. Next was the Victory dealer and a guy in his 40′s. “I see you had some used cruisers on your site.” Into the back we went and showed me 4 bikes and a story of each. Once more there were no questions about me, use or criteria. I asked a few questions about each bike as I tried them and indicated the problem of being too high and I’m on my toes with each bike. (Ever try to balance 1000 pounds while on your toes?) This did cause him to show me the Vegas and try a hold over unit that was closer, yet still the height issue. His blah blah included warranty, bargain price etc. As I was leaving I gave him my card and he finally knew my name and what I did. On to the Indian and Triumph dealer. I had to ask for a salesperson and a young man from behind the counter said sure. Indicating a cruiser type bike, he took me to the Triumphs V-twin models. Nice units with the right look, but again the standing on my toes issue. “This is an absolute, my feet must be flat on the ground or no deal.” This backed him up like I’ve never seen before, no response. Again no questions, only blah blah about warranty, bargain price etc. We looked at some used models in the back that interested me, again no questions about me, use or absolutes! As I was leaving I gave my card and he finally knew my name and what I did. I would think when someone is looking at $15,000 to $5,000 machines you would at least get their name, engage them in conversation about their riding experiences and what they knew about cruiser motorcycles! Not at these dealers! No Qualifying of Any Kind: At no time was a single qualifying question asked! Yes, I was dressed in expensive clothes and one might assume money was not an issue, but I could have also been in shorts
or jeans and a T-shirt. Not only did they not qualify me on pay-ability, they insulted me by talking about minimum payment plans and financing. (I paid cash for the bike I finally did buy) There was no qualifying about experience in motorcycle riding! Did I even have a motorcycle license! Youâ€™re putting me on an 800 pound machine with 100 horsepower, do I even know how to ride? What is important to me, power, comfort, long rides, short rides, additional passengers? Not one asked about any of these! I had to infer these issues in my questions to them! Now each of the 3 encounters above I spent close to an hour of my and their time, yet no qualifying questions were asked in any form! As a sales manager I would have been livid about wasting time with tire kickers and not qualifying first. A simple conversation about me would have given them great insight into my qualifications without direct questions. Nothing is a worse waste of time then selling a mo-
Nothing is a worse waste of time then selling a motorcycle to someone that should not have it torcycle to someone that should not have it. They take it, roll it, get hurt and bring it back to you threatening to a law suit! Yes it happens, now who pays for all the time, paper work and legal, not to mention the customer relations and image damage that has been done! No Problem Solving: Now some would call these objections and try to address them with some fancy prepared response. But the absolutes I had were not objections, they were requirements for my buying decision.
The biggest absolute I had was the height issue and getting my feet flat on the ground in dress shoes. (Yes I ride to business appointments.) Yet none of the above dealers had or even tried to address the issue! It was not an objection, it was a solution that would have gotten them a cash sale! Never Asked for the Order: Not a single one of the above dealers asked for the order in any way. They all indicted they would be glad to help me out if and when I decided to buy? How about asking me to buy? At least help me through the decision process by qualifying, discussing my wants and desires and address my concerns in some way? Never happened! Epilog: Each of the above dealers had a unit I would have bought, but because of the 4 keys above I had no trust in them. Their ability to help me through the decision process was pathetic at best. Back to the Internet and Craig’s List. A new listing from a boat dealer 40 miles away caught my eye. A quick phone call got me some info on the bike and they would be around Saturday to help me out, also they would accept a check. My daughter came with that morning and we walked up to the bike. A friendly salesman said, “That’s a great bike and bargain, are you the one that called on it?” (I’m in jeans and a T-shirt) Alas, again no real engagement or qualifying by the salesperson! They did address the height issue by making a call to another Victory dealer (they are a boat dealer, not a motorcycle dealer) and going on to EBay. They found both a lowering kit, pedal set back kit and set back handlebars for me. This maybe took them 15 minutes. The unit was a hold over from last fall on a boat trade so they wanted to move it, had reduced the price several times already, so it was a good value. Ultimately I bought the 2006 Victory Vegas 8 Ball for $7,000 and rode it home. The purchase was not the results of great salesmanship, rather because of the lack of it. The hours spent looking, talking, phone calling trying to find someone to sell me what I wanted went for 40 days! A good salesman at the first custom shop would have cut that down to 10 days!
My advice to you and to these dealers:
Learn how to Engage People, at least get their name and something about them!
Qualify! How can you invest time with tire kickers who will never buy and how do you sort them from the real buyers? Discover! Help the buyer uncover what they really want and need! Often times the buyer needs help, education and guidance. Are your asking the questions that help them and you?
Assist in the Decision Process! Trust comes from expertise, help buyers through the decision process, through the issues they have to address or solve. Ask them questions about those issues and how they could solve them. ASK FOR THE ORDER: This is sales 101, asking for a decision is the responsibility of the salesperson and if people are walking out the door without buying, it’s the salespersons fault!
Since then the lowering kit, pedal set back and set back handle bars have made the bike a perfect fit. It’s a blast to ride and performs great as the 2000 miles in 2 weeks attests to. End of my rant, but really, organizations driven by sales and these are the skill sets exhibited! Please, observe your salespeople and your own sales approach, are you one of these 3? by Harlan Goerger
Harlan is a results oriented, high creative that is driven by obtaining positive outcomes. Having been in sales of some sort since the age of 10, he understands the challenges of sales and business. After successfully growing a family Agricultural operation by 300% and operating several other business ventures with growth in the 400% area. Harlan began a 20 year career with Dale Carnegie Associates of New York. As a regional manager he successfully trained a team of sales people and develop many successful trainers for the organization. Learn more about Harlan Goerger at www: askhg.com
Increasing Sales by Helping Customers Become Better Buyers
Given all the information available to buyers on the web, many customers think they understand their own needs, but most of them don’t. They scan the web, reach a quick conclusion about potential vendors, and try to rush to a purchasing decision. But just because your customer is moving fast, that doesn’t mean that you should, too. In fact, you can take advantage of mistakes that customers are making by moving too fast by helping them slow down and become better buyers. Pam, a sales manager for a leading office technology solutions provider, used this strategy to great advantage. Her company received an RFP for an opportunity to sell 600 monitors to a healthcare facility with 20 locations. The customer was shopping price, and the sales rep working the opportunity had prepared a response to the RFP that included a 3% mark-up for Pam’s company. Having worked with many situations like this, Pam realized that the customer was overlooking some important considerations. So rather than submit the RFP response, she scheduled a
meeting with the customer. During the meeting, Pam asked questions like: I understand that you’re planning to have your engineering staff install these new monitors. How much time will it take them, and how much will you pay them in salary and overtime to get this job done? What tasks will these personnel not be able to do while they’re installing the monitors? What is your plan to dispose of the old monitors, and is that disposal plan eco-friendly? Who will be accountable for ensuring all of these monitors are installed properly? Where will you store your new monitors before you install them, and how much must you pay for storage, picking, packing and shipping? The customer quickly realized that many of the issues Pam was raising hadn’t been previously considered. Here they were, awaiting the arrival of 6 or 7 bids from various vendors, shopping price on what they thought of as a commodity product –
The Coach Approach a monitor. Then Pam comes in and gets them to completely re-think and re-evaluate their needs. Pam was successful in something rarely accomplished: getting the customer to move backwards in their buying process! They thought they were ready to make a decision, but realized they had more analysis to do. And thanks to the questions that Pam asked, they were going to be looking at factors where Pam’s company had unique capabilities (such as a local storage location, a knowledgeable staff to install, transportation services, and an eco-friendly recycling program). Notice that Pam didn’t simply just blurt out a spiel about her company’s unique capabilities in that first meeting. Instead, because she understood the buying process and was truly focused on helping the customer make the best possible buying decision, she was able to take the customer by the hand and walk them back to an earlier phase in their buying process. She helped her customer to clarify and expand their criteria for a solution — while also designing a customer-focused solution that included her company’s technology products and services. In the end, Pam won the sale at an 8% margin, almost 3X what her sales rep was prepared to offer. And the customer made a better decision. The next time you receive an RFP or a call from a customer who just wants a price quote, think about slowing down the customer’s buying process. Not all customers will be willing to go backwards in their buying process. But if you can plant some seeds of doubt about whether they’ve thought through all the critical questions associated with the purchase, you may open the door a crack and gain an opportunity that will help both you and the customer. by Kevin Davis
Kevin Davis is president of Topline Leadership, Inc., a leading provider of sales training and sales manager development programs. Kevin is the author of two books, including “Slow Down, Sell Faster!”. Contact Kevin at email@example.com
Channel Your Inner-Aristotle for Sales Success by John Brubaker I recently keynoted a national conference for sales people (a different kind of sales person – recruiters) in Charlotte, North Carolina. I shared some of the lessons from my new book Seeds of Success: A Leader, His Legacy, and The Lessons Learned. With that in mind, I want to share with you one of the biggest lessons in the book which the protégé Jack Burton learns from Pastor Rich, one of the people Coach Morgan Randall affectionately calls “The Three Wise Men”. It’s something I have an advanced degree in; plus I’ve taught, coached and consulted on it for the past 15 years – I’m referring to effective interpersonal communication. It’s a problem that plagues every individual and organization; I mean have you ever heard someone say “You know her problem is that she communicates too well and way too much”? Yeah, me neither. In my consulting work, I coach clients that as a general leadership rule, when in doubt, error on the side of over-communicating. More importantly, I coach them on three key strategies to communication excellence: Ethos, Pathos, Logos. Its timeless wisdom, literally, Aristotle identified these as the three keys to communication excellence several thousand years ago. Ethos is credibility, Pathos is making an emotional connection, and logos is appealing to someone’s sense of reason (aka logic). Credibility (ethos) speaks to why people should believe what you tell them. Have you earned the right to speak on the subject? I don’t mean simply by your title within the organization (CEO, President, V.P., sales manager, etc.) I mean have you demonstrated a compelling reason for people to “buy what you’re selling”. I shared with you a piece of my credibility in the last sentence of the first paragraph (If you need more convincing, I’ve also written 3 books in the past 3 years and have hosted my own television and radio shows since 2004)) Credibility is best developed through your actions; do your daily actions scream credibility? Trust and integrity are at the foundation of credibility. Think of your credibility like a bank account, you want to be making daily deposits so when the time comes one day to make a withdrawal you have “sufficient funds”. An emotional connection (pathos) in a nutshell is all
The Coach Approach about giving people a reason to think what you’re telling them actually matters to them. Believing it is one thing, believing it actually matters to them is another. Everyone’s #1 question before you open your mouth (about anything) is WIIFM or “What’s In It For Me?” The best way to make an emotional connection is to be present in the moment with the person you’re speaking to. Bill Belichick calls it speaking in sound bites; I call it being zoned in. He will not communicate with his players for more than 30 seconds at a clip, because that’s about how long anyone can sustain completely undivided attention. It creates an emotional bond. Can you turn off your phone or computer, stand up straight, and maintain constant eye contact to demonstrate that you take an enthusiastic, active interest in the other person? *CAUTION: ONLY USE THIS TECHNIQUE IF YOU WANT GOOD RESULTS. THIS
HAS BEEN PROVEN TO WORK 100% OF THE TIME! Think of ethos, pathos and logos as the three legs of a stool. Just like a stool with only two legs is unstable, ethos and pathos are great but they are also very unstable without logos. Think about it, if you have authority and an emotional connection with the prospect but they have no clue what you’re talking about all that authority and connection won’t get you where you want. Communication is a vehicle, with that in mind ethos is the engine, pathos the chassis and logos the steering wheel. Without all three the vehicle just doesn’t work. Sharing facts appeals to people’s logic, but presenting them through a story makes them clear and compelling. Remember the old expression, facts tell, stories sell. It might sound trite but it is also tried and true. You’re now armed with ethos, pathos and logos, now go channel your inner-Aristotle for sales success!
John Brubaker is a nationally renowned performance consultant, speaker and award-winning author. Using a multidisciplinary approach, Brubaker helps organizations and individuals develop their competitive edge. Brubaker is the author of the award winning book, The Coach Approach: Success Strategies From The Locker Room To The Board Room. He has also recently authored Seeds of Success: A Leader, His Legacy, and The Lessons Learned as well as co-authored of the book Leadership: Helping Others To Succeed. John is also the host of Maximum Success: The Coach Bru Show on NBC Sports Radio Boston. He is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and he also earned a master’s degree in personnel psychology from FDU. Brubaker has completed his doctoral coursework in Sport Psychology at Temple University. www.coachbru.com
Market Smarter, Sell More
Tighten Up Your Lead Management for a 10X Boost in Your Sales Process by David Newman If you want to start increasing your percentage of closed sales, one simple way to start would be to increase your awareness of sales lead management - the tightly-linked sequence of steps that your own particular sales process involves.
Use a well-linked sales process Here is an example of what a well-linked sales lead management process might look like: 1. Research industry, company, decision-makers, and current business situation. 2. Send relevant article /tip sheet/ newsletter. 3. Send introductory letter and 2nd info item of value. Mention intention to call. 4. Call to set appointment. 5. First appointment - listen, share, verify and apply research from Step 1. 6. Mention follow-up and next step (another appointment, a free trial, assessment, phone call, etc) and set specific date. 7. Send follow-up item addressing specific issues from appointment learnings/ discoveries or needs assessment. Set meeting to discuss and customize. 8. Compile and send needs assessment findings. 9. Second appointment. Address questions, issues and ask for go/no-go decision. 10. Submit proposal with three options. 11. Third appointment to discuss proposal details, options, pricing, timing 12. Implementation decisions: payment terms, delivery schedule, etc. The overall idea is to never move off the current step in your process without agreement on the next specific step. Make sure YOU remain in charge of the process; this is proactive selling. Get agreement and follow up with a reminder of the agreed-upon steps, meetings, dates, etc. The linkage of “agreement to agreement” also gets the prospect in the mindset of saying YES to you, which
during the final agreement [closing] will be important. Use broad (and thus comfortable, non-confrontational) checkpoint questions such as “Does this make sense?” or “Would this make a difference to your situation?” or simply “What would you like me to do next?” Set up a clearly defined, well-linked sales process, and then use lead management systems to automate, track, distribute, and report on the results. But using sales systems without an underlying consistent sales process is just sloppy selling.
Taking a lead from lukewarm to likely Many sales professionals don't know how to convert lukewarm prospects to high-probability leads. First, let's define what a "lukewarm prospect" is. A prospect can be considered lukewarm if: they've at least heard of your company name and product/service offering. they've expressed interest on a superficial level - stopped by your trade show booth and entered a drawing, clicked through to your website on an email blast, returned a postcard to request a free report. Here are some strategies to move them from interest to action: Send them something additional of value - a white paper, a report, a checklist, or a "how to select the best vendor" guide (which, of course, lists smart things to look for in ANY vendor they might choose... using criteria that your company also happens to score 100% on!)
Once they've responded to information, add an element of urgency which will convert the information "sale" to a product or service "sale." Send a time sensitive offer, throw in extra services, special discounts, or use bundling and supersizing to offer extra value. Reference their earlier interest, and communicate a clear deadline for the added value offer.
Market Smarter, Sell More Get personal. Use web conferencing, audio teleseminars, or even audio CD's to add a personal dimension to the sales process. Sending out a 60-minute audio CD can be much more effective than sending another brochure, catalog, or sales letter. The personal connection of hearing a voice and the added intimacy of 1-on-1 communication can enhance a feeling of familiarity, trust, and connection that leads lukewarm prospects from casual interest to a sale!
Specific leads for specific needs No matter what methods you use to generate leads (direct mail, email, website inquiries, trade shows, telephone inquiries, etc.) you need to keep in mind that you can't CONVINCE anyone to buy anything. All your efforts should go toward FILTERING and SORTING. Make the lead generation process itself interactive. ASK people what their specific needs are, what their timeframes are, and even whether or not they are currently looking for solutions such as yours. If they're not in the market - and they TELL you so - you can't force them to buy! Focus on discovering a prospect's REAL wants and needs. How do you do that? In your lead generation process, make sure you:
Get a conversation going. Look for what's under the surface. On the phone, for example, you could use phrases like 'Tell me more about that' or 'Why is that so?' Look for the problem behind the problem!
Ask direct questions. Ask your prospects what's most important to their businesses right now. On an email survey, for example, you could ask your list 'What types of issues are you looking to solve in the next 6 months?' Include a variety of choices, some that relate to your offerings, and some that don't.
on your first communication. Lay out a value-rich process in which they can learn more, try a free sample, come to a briefing, or access some other low-risk method of getting to know your company's offerings (e-news subscription, free white paper, information kit, etc.) This is a great strategy, because THESE leads are prequalified as interested and after getting several 'samples' of your value, they are pre-sold and ready to do business!
Target specialized markets. These days, specialized publications, e-zines, websites, online forums, professional associations, events, and conferences have mushroomed up everywhere! These all appeal to specific, targeted audiences, which increases your exposure to higher quality leads. Occupation-specific, special interest, or industry-specific channels can greatly increase the effectiveness of your lead generation activities. Want to reach pizza restaurant owners? Read Pizza Today! How about chicken farmers with over 100,000 birds? Read Poultry Tribune! Think of these specialized venues as a Geiger counter that will help you to find hot – no, radioactive – leads. Once you’ve done all this – you’re now ready to ring the cash register! .
David Newman is a marketing expert, professional speaker and founder
Follow up in writing. Send prospects letters or e-mails that highlight their major concerns, such as the three things they said were most important to them. This SPECIFIC kind of follow-up can make the difference between a sale and a lost opportunity.
of Do It! Marketing, a marketing strategy firm dedicated to making thought-leading entrepreneurs and executives more successful. David’s book, Do It! Marketing: 77 Instant-Action Ideas to Boost Sales, Maximize Profits, and Crush Your Competition is available
Use multi-step marketing. Just like you're unlikely to get married on your first visit to a singles bar, your prospect is unlikely to buy from you
All your efforts should go toward FILTERING and SORTING is unreliable
wherever books are sold. Free resources are available online at www.doitmarketing.com. Contact David directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (610) 716-5984.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Sales Presentations 36 |
Ever wonder what makes some speakers super successful? Have you ever sat in an audience in awe of a speaker and pondered, "How did she do that?" The answer is, through a lot of work. There are some freaks (meant lovingly, of course) out there who are naturally gifted at speaking, but most of us have to work really hard at it.
ublic speaking is an art, and like any art form – it takes years of practice to get really good at it. However, there are some habits that you can get into right now that will elevate your speaking and sales presentation skills.
Habit #1: Know the Audience Every presentation you’ll ever do begins and ends with the audience. It is your job to get to know them intimately before creating one word of your speech. In a sales presentation, you must answer these three questions to be a success. 1. What does your audience believe? Find out as much as you can about their demographics, but what’s more important is understanding their attitudes and beliefs. With this knowledge in hand, assess how far or close what your selling aligns with the audience’s beliefs. Are there a lot of obstacles for you to overcome before getting to a yes? Or are you on the same page? Knowing the answer to this question helps with Habit #3. 2. What problems do they face? You’re showing up for a reason. Do the research on what problems the organization or individuals face. What is keeping them up at night? Don’t just understand the facts; uncover the emotions that underlie the problem. 3. Who is the decision maker? It always boils down to the one person who ultimately signs the contract to buy from you. You need to know who that person is. Ask the person who brought you in for the pitch who that person is, then find out everything you can about them. There’s no shame in a little Internet stalking using Google or LinkedIn. The more you know, the more you can help.
Knowing your audience is key to creating sales success.
Habit #2: Always be Creating Value Alec Baldwin famously said in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, “Always be closing.” In today’s world of content marketing, a sales pitch is not about closing; it’s about creative value for your audience. The new mantra: Always be creating value. Sales presentations are not about you. It’s about your audience. The entire focus needs to be on them. Your product is terrific, or they really should hire you, but if they didn’t hire you? How will you be memorable in their minds? When they do finally decide to hire or buy, what will make you be the first person they call? Helping solving their problem and creating value as a direct result of your presentation. Yes, I’m talking about 100%-free information that helps regardless if they buy. This might sound counterintuitive because, after all, your audience needs you so they should shout an enthusiastic “Yes!” But what if they don’t realize that in the moment? When they have the aha moment that they need more help to solve their problem, you’ll be the first person whom they call. You are the trusted resource, not just the sales guy or gal. A no in the moment could be a YES in the future if you provide your audience value beyond the sales pitch!
Habit #3: Begin with the End in Mind Since the headline of this post blatantly rips off Stephen Covey, one of the most effective habits of presentations is to "begin with the end in mind.” If you don’t know where you are going, how do you expect to take your audience on the journey with you?
ommends storyboarding your speech on Post-it notes. Brainstorm your points and subpoints. Write them on Post-its. Put those on a wall, then you can easily reorganize your speech or crumple and toss into the recycle bin points that don't fit with your Big Idea statement. Remember, speech preparation is an iterative process. You need time to craft a thoughtful message that creates value for your audience.
Habit #5: Tell a Story. Make them Feel
Always be creating value Before you power up the laptop or if you’re old school, set pen to paper. Think about your audience. What is the one thing you want them to do as a direct result of hearing your presentation? If your answer is, “Buy my product” or “hire me,” that’s your goal, not the audience’s goal. It all goes back to Habit #2, always be creating value. If you understand what the audience can do with the information you gave them, you also understand the next problem or issue it might create for them. The bottom line is that you need a clear goal for your presentation--one goal for what you want your audience to know, feel, or do immediately after the presentation. Here's a tip: Summarize your goal in one declarative sentence. If you've got a run-on sentence going on, it's time to revise. The BIG idea statement needs to be less than 10 words.
Habit #4: Prepare Early. Prepare Often Once you’ve researched the audience and know what value you want to create, it’s time to start preparing. Do not procrastinate. The longer you put off creating your presentation, the less time you’ll have to implement Habit #6. If preparation means opening PowerPoint or Word, think again. Nancy Duarte, author of Slideology, rec-
Audiences LOVE stories. Stories spice up bland, boring, data-driven presentations. Stories engage an audience and help them relate the content to their own life. Stories engage our brains and make people feel. Most people buy emotion. They buy into you and your successful vision of them. Successful salespeople are always looking for stories and know that stories don't have to be extraordinary. The best stories come from an ordinary experience. Gather your stunning results stories of how clients benefited from your services. Tell your own turning-point story of why you are selling what you love. People don’t buy until they know your ‘why.’ Weave a great story to capture their hearts and make them fall in love with what you are selling.
Habit #6: Practice, Practice, Practice, and Practice Some More You hear every speech coach, presentation trainer, or public speaking teacher say this, that you need to practice your presentation. You do, but let’s face it, practicing is weird. The thought of standing up in your hotel room or in your office, talking to yourself for an hour straight, may make you feel like a crazy person. Who has time for that anyway? You don’t have to practice like that! There is a better way. Simply chunk your presentation into bite-sized, 10-minute pieces. Now, you can practice any time you’ve got 10 minutes to spare. Waiting for that next meeting? Practice. Waiting for water to boil? Practice. Taking a shower? Get clean while practicing your speech. Before the big day, do practice your pitch all the way through. This insures that you are fluent and polished.
Habit #7: Create a Killer Call to Action You’re in sales. The most important part of a sales presentation is your call to action. Here’s an example of a crappy call to action: "We've seen the importance of
not feeding gremlins after midnight. We can sign the petition or visit the website or donate money. But we must stop the gremlin problem soon." The problem with that call to action: It does not address one person – remember, “we” is the tiny word that murders persuasion and sales. A “we” does not buy or sign, but a “you” sure does. It gives more than one action to take. Tell them exactly what you want them to do. One thing only. Giving them three options is a surefire way to guarantee analysis paralysis. There's no sense of urgency. Soon? How soon is soon? Do we need to take action now or three months from now? Calls to action need to include the magical word "you." Give ONE clear action to take, and create a sense of now or never. The most important thing to remember: Don't end with a pitch - leave them with a tip (going back to Habit #2) Ending with your pitch reminds your audience that you are a salesperson, not someone they trust. According to cognitive psychology, Primacy/Recency
theory, audiences remember best what they hear last. If you end with buy, buy, buy, you’re the sales guy. If you end with a memorable tip, they’ll remember how much you helped them. This tip can be a quote, encouragement, or something they will value. It should also be related and reinforce your BIG IDEA statement. The memorable tip is a remarkable way to close your presentation. Before your next sales presentation, implement these seven habits to elevate your speaking skills, close more business, and give highly effective sales presentations. by Michelle Mazur Speech Coach and Presentation Skills Trainer
Dr. Michelle Mazur guides driven-to-succeed business professionals and independent business owners to ignite the smoldering fire within to speak up, speak out and make their impact – one compelling presentation at a time. Clients get noticed, promoted and paid more by overcoming their reluctance and learning to speak with authenticity and confidence, no matter how big or small their audience. To learn her proven approach to get ready for opportunity now – visit www.drmichellemazur.com
Change Your Customers and Change the World
The only reason to give a presentation,” said Dr Nick Morgan, “is to change the world.” The only reason to give a sales presentation is to change your customer. Whenever we give a presentation, we are changing our audience in some way, and by doing that, we are changing the world, through them and their actions afterwards. The astute salesperson will keep this in mind when planning a sales meeting, a presentation, or in fact any kind of marketing activity. Your aim is to transform your audience from prospects into customers, and then from customers into loyal customers, and from loyal customers into advocates and fans. Imagine, in fact, that they are on one side of a river, the ‘before’ side, and your aim in your sales presentation or meeting is to take them to the other side, the ‘after’ side.
You are not going to simply stand on the ‘after’ side and shout “Hey, look at my great product – come over here!” Unless your product is truly fantastic, they’re not going to swim across to find you. You are not going to bring them across by building a bridge. That would take too much time and effort, and the sales presentation equivalent is ‘death by stuffing’ – where you tell them absolutely everything, taking ages to do so, and finding that instead of remembering more, they actually remember less. Scientists call that ‘cognitive overload’. Your aim is not to tell your customer everything, because they’ll forget most of what they hear. It doesn’t matter at all how much they hear: it matters what they remember afterwards. So focus less on stuffing and more on digestion: how can you get them to swallow a few key messages? Back to our river example, a better way to take them
across would be to go over to their side – i.e. work out where they are – and then take them across with you in the small boat of your presentation. That would work well.
Instead, though, I am going to use the analogy of stepping stones. You need to get across to their side, and then take them across using the smallest possible number of stepping stones, in the right order, and you put the stepping stones in the river by putting the few things you need to say in the right order. To prepare your stepping stones, you first need to answer some questions about your audience. What do they know, think, feel and do in relation to your company/products/services BEFORE your presentation? And what do you want them to know, think, feel and do AFTERWARDS? Let’s take a quick look at each of these.
What do they know?
Many years ago, as a student, I sold wine from small growers via telesales – and we weren’t a big company fielding calls: we were a small unknown firm, cold-calling people who had expressed an interest in wine. Not a straightforward task. Our wines were often ‘Vins de Pays’ (VdP), a less prestigious label than the ‘Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée’ (AOC) label which many buyers cling to as a gauge of quality. I figured that my qualified prospects would know about these two labels, but perhaps would not know what they really represent. I also expected that they would not know about the wines I had to sell because they were from small, independent growers.
Clearly, nobody is going to buy an unknown wine of perceived lower quality, from a company they had never heard of, especially if they cannot even see the bottle. So I knew that to change my audience, I would need to change some things they know.
What do they think?
What do they feel?
What do they do?
Using the same example, I presumed that many of my prospects would think that an AOC wine is automatically of higher quality than a VdP wine. They don’t know it for a fact, because they don’t actually know so much about what each label represents, but they think that AOC is a badge of quality whereas VdP is not. They are wrong, but that doesn’t stop them from thinking that. A customer’s perception is reality as far as they are concerned, and if we are to change that somehow, we first have to understand what they think and why they think it. You can’t get from A to B without starting from A. So again, I had to change something they thought.
One of the main things I perceived recipients of cold-calls would feel is uneasiness about buying unknown wines via telephone from an unknown and unsolicited caller. To make a sale, I knew I would need to take away that uneasiness and make them feel confident that they were making a smart choice. Again, something had to change.
What these prospects mostly did was to buy wine from supermarkets based on availability, price and a nice-looking label with an AOC mark. They didn’t buy via phone, and in particular, they didn’t buy from me. That had to change. These four ‘before’ questions work well for any presentation, but in a sales presentation they work particularly well, and the ‘what do they do’ question will often be answered by ‘they buy from someone else’. But let’s take a quick look at another sales example: the contract renewal. Imagine that your customer had a 3-year services contract with you, and that contract will be expiring in a few months. What do they know? They know your company’s strengths and weaknesses, and what is in the current contract. They perhaps don’t know what new services
you could be offering to them in a new contract. What do they think? They think that by renewing the contract, they’re just going to get three years of ‘more of the same’, with all the usual positive points but also all the usual difficulties. What do they feel? They perhaps feel like they want a change. And what do they do? Most likely, they are preparing an RFP to choose the next supplier, giving your competitors a chance to take your customer away. Once we’ve got a clear idea of what they know, think, feel and do before your presentation, we then have to work out what needs to change. What do you want them to know, think, feel and do AFTER your presentation? In a sales situation, it’s usually easiest to answer these in reverse order. Let’s first do this with our contract renewal example. What we want them to do is to forget about the RFP, and instead sign a new contract with us. Before they felt like they needed a change. We need them to feel happy about renewing our contract, and perhaps to achieve that we need to offer them something different, something new, something enhanced, which makes them feel like they are getting a very good deal and improving what they get. Remember that most customers who make buying decisions also have internal customers that they need to satisfy too. Before, they thought that a renewal would be just ‘more of the same’. After our presentation, then, we need them to think that a new contract will be different, offering more value for money than before. And to change that, we also need to change what they know, so after our presentation they will need to know that we’ve developed new services and capabilities since they signed with us three years ago. Now we have a clear ‘before’ and ‘after’ state for each of these four points. We know what change we need to create in our customers. Now we need to plot how to make that change. I usually recommend drawing a table on a flip-chart or whiteboard, with three columns and the four rows of ‘know, think, feel, do’. The left column is ‘before’, the right column is ‘after’. The middle column, then, is where we use sticky notes to put all the ideas we have for ‘how’ to change each part. What do we need to tell them? How do we need to make them feel? So in this contract renewal example, we’re going to need to tell them about our new services, make it clear that you are going to make them an offer which is
going to take advantage of these to give them better value for money than before, make them feel that they are going to get something fresh and new even without changing suppliers, and to get them to sign a renewal with you, you need to give them something to sign and ask them to sign it, while also giving them good reasons not to run with an RFP – e.g. “we’re offering you better service at 20% less than before, if you renew early” which gives the buyer ammunition to convince her internal customers that she’s negotiated a better deal, with less work. Clearly you cannot understate the importance of what the buyer feels, though. Even if you make a fantastic offer, if he or she doesn’t really want to keep working with you personally, they might see an RFP as a chance to find a nicer vendor to work with, knowing that if they don’t find one, you’ll probably make an even better offer with an RFP anyway. You have to ensure that the customer always wants to work with you, and then they will find rational reasons to do so. (By the way, this means that you don’t just show up at contract renewal time after neglecting the client for three years – buyers hate salespeople who don’t take care of them except when they’re taking care of their own commission.) So once you’ve filled your middle column with sticky notes with ideas on how you can change what they know, think, feel and do, you can then take these sticky notes and put them into a logical order, like stepping stones, making sure not to include anything superfluous, and that will give you the structure of your presentation. Let’s now look back at our wine-selling example. We already worked out what they knew, thought, felt and did before my call. So what did they need to know, think, feel and do in order to buy from me? Again, let’s handle them in reverse order – it’s like a ‘U’ shape, going down the ‘before’ column and then up the ‘after’ column. So clearly what I wanted them to do afterwards was to buy wine not from a supermarket but from me, by phone. Before they felt uneasy about buying wine by phone, so I had to make them feel confident and comfortable. This meant I had to sound solid and trustworthy, and also knowledgeable about wine, and make a good personal connection with the customer, for example by checking their tastes in wine, complimenting them and finding some shared tastes. It would also involve telling them about our money-back guarantee, at our shipping cost. (That is making them know something new, but
What do they...
...feel? ...do? the aim is particularly to make them feel something different, so we put that in the ‘feel’ row.) Before, they thought that VdP wines were of lower quality than AOC wines. I needed them to think that in fact, VdP wines can offer better value for money, and allow them to impress their friends with original, hardto-find and tasty wines. To do this, I needed to tell them that the AOC label merely meant that the winemakers had followed all the required local guidelines to get the label. Many VdP wines deviate from these strict rules, e.g. by using ‘unauthorized’ grape varieties, in order to improve their wines. So despite the less prestigious label and consequently lower price, many VdP wines taste better than neighboring AOC wines. And once all those points were properly achieved, I could then tell them some things about our wines, which they had never heard of because they were from small growers. If that’s all I had done, I would never have sold a single bottle. But that’s all many salespeople think about doing. Presentations are all about changing your audience. This four-point technique works for any sales situation. What do your customers know, think, feel and do today? And what do you need them to know, think, feel and do differently tomorrow? By working out exactly how you need to transform your audience, and focusing on those four areas, you’ll not only change your customers: you’ll dramatically change your results too. by Phil Waknell As Partner at Ideas on Stage, the leading presentation design and training firm,
Phil Waknell trains executives, entrepreneurs, celebrities and salespeople to create and deliver memorable presentations, and speaks regularly at corporations and business schools about the need for a new way of presenting. He also shares ideas on his popular blog www.philpresents.com.
Selling on the Edge
Why Buyers Hate Your Sales Presentation by Dan Waldschmidt Somewhere between the evolution of the cave man and the invention of the Model T assembly line, the sales presentation became the mode of pitching somewhat interested buyers on the possibilities of spending their hardearned dollars on our products. You’ve seen the drawings in your history book, 20,000 years ago spear makers were enticing local “long beards”with their newandimproved stone tipped killing machines. It’s right there on the side of the cave. You’ve seen the stickpictures. A brave hunter ventures deep into the wood with only his spear, looking for roaming Caribou to feed his hungry family. And as he stalks his prey, he fails to realize that he too is being hunted – by a killer sabretooth tiger. Out of the corner of a pocket of trees, the snarling tiger lunges, eager to bring down the hunter. But the hunter springs to action. Taking two short steps to his left, he falls to his knees and thrusts his spear deep into the lunging tiger. The stonetip of the spear rips into the heavy muscles that protect the tiger’s heart. Instantly, the tiger collapses. Dead.
What’s the message? It’s actually quite simple. Buy a better spear and stay alive a little longer. Skimp on a cheaper wooden spear and you’ll find yourself “tiger dinner”. That message works. Our brains understand it. But then we decided to change things. Somehow we’ve gotten too smart. We’ve made facts and figures the premise of our meetings. When was the last presentation you heard that was this exciting? Seriously? Most of the time it’s a crappy PowerPoint Presentation with 8 point font and 47 bullet points on each slide and an accompanying Excel spreadsheet with mindless formulas and resulting 3D bar charts. And we’re so proud of our silliness. In fact, we put our foot down and refuse to talk to customers unless we have this presentation ready ahead of time. God forbid we show up and down have the spreadsheets ready to hand out. What ever will we say? And that’s why buyers hate our presentations. Because they don’t want facts and figures. They want hunters and spears and sabretooth tigers. It’s how their (and your) brain was made.
Buy a better spear and stay alive a little longer
Visually Speaking Along the way we’ve mutated into blase pitchdeck pushing, conference room jockeys. And it’s killing our ability to generate business. After hundreds of years of hypothesis on how our brains work, advanced technology like FMRI scans reaffirm how very primitive our brains still are. There are three main ways that our brain handles any information that it receives:
If it’s boring or expected, the brain ignores it.
If it’s too complex, the brain dramatically summarizes it.
If it’s threatening, the brain makes us fight or run.
How Visuals Impact Our Main Message (Sometimes) by Peter Temple
Achieve Outrageous Success.
Last month, I told the story of how dogs in pantyhose made me memorable for all the wrong reasons! It was a “teachable moment”: Make sure your visuals are focused like a laser beam on your main point. If they’re at all “seductive” (controversial, or “out of the norm”), you may end up being remembered for the wrong reason! Unnecessary visuals become distractions. Distractions in presentations are one of the most common reasons persuasive presenters fail. Research backs it up. If you go even a little bit off topic, or introduce information that’s not critical to your main point, you risk failure — simple as that. Dr. Richard Mayer, in his book, “Multimedia Learning,” completed a series of studies using a variety of media. He defined “multimedia” simply — presentations consisting of coordinated verbal and pictorial messages. In one study, he worked with two groups of students, presenting words and pictures that explained how lightning storms develop. One group was given a very focused and succinct lesson consisting of words and visuals. The other group was given exactly the same information in the same manner. However, they were also provided with short stories on how a high school football player was struck by lightning during practice, what happens when lightning strikes a swimming pool (along with fun visuals of people portrayed as “sitting ducks”), and other short stories that were certainly interesting, but didn’t support the main objective. After the lesson, the students who received just the pertinent information were far more able to explain how lightning storms are formed. The irrelevant material ended up confusing the second group, making their learning far less effective. Often as presenters, we think that an emotional atmosphere will help learning. After all, most of us have heard that a fun atmosphere increases our ability to learn.
That hasn’t changed since the beginning of time. The brain doesn’t care about featuresandfunctions. Heck, even most benefits are too boring to get the attention of the brain. They’re just ignored. And your hard close is so threatening that the brain immediately becomes defensive, skeptical, and distrusting. So we can rule that out as an option. Numbers and complex engineering discussion is so complicated that the brain leaves out most of the details and creates a gutimpression that it stores as a memory. Probably not a good one. Buyers end up confused, frustrated, and wondering why they decided to listen to your pitch in the first place. Which is rather ironic because they probably could use the spears you are selling. You just need to stop with the rest of the nonsense. It’s time to get back to caveman days.
Dan Waldschmidt is an international business strategist, speaker, author, and extreme athlete. His consulting firm solves complex marketing and business strategy problems for savvy companies all over the world. Dow Jones calls his Edgy Conversations blog one of the top sales sites on the internet. He’s been profiled in Business Week, INC Magazine, BBC, Fox News, The Today Show, and Business Insider, has been the featured guest on dozens of radio programs, and has published hundreds of articles on progressive business strategy. He is author of the soon to be released Edgy Conversations: How Ordinary People Can
Visually Speaking As a result, we find ways to add “seductive” or interesting material that doesn’t support the key point we’re trying to make. Dr. Mayer’s work tells us that this is a mistake. It clutters the core information and makes retention less likely. In fact, the study shows that when students can make sense out of a lesson, they enjoy the lesson. Clarity makes learning easier — a point to remember! So… all you who think you need to add everything but the kitchen sink to your presentations, or create slides that are overly cluttered, take heed! You’re making your presentations less effective. Here’s the key rule: We learn better when interesting but unneeded material is left out. Tests prove that information that doesn’t support your key point reduces your presentation’s effectiveness. It creates processing overload. Less is more! This isn’t the only thing that resulted from Richard Mayer’s work. He also studied how the use of media in presentations relates to their effectiveness overall. Here are some of the “rules” — the results from Richard Mayer’s work.
Rule Number One:
We learn better with words and pictures than with words alone. Using hearing and vision to transfer information results in much better recall that lasts much longer… often years longer.
We learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented at the same time or next to each other on the same screen. And Rule Number Three… we’re attracted by movement. Animation with narration is the most powerful means of transferring information. Demonstrating something on the screen while you explain it aloud is an extremely powerful learning experience. This is a case FOR visual support but AGAINST text. Pictures rule! However, visuals and words must be coordinated and chosen carefully to reinforce each other and support your central message. Animation must be used in support of the point you’re making — it must be “motivated” by the material. Flying text that’s there for no apparent reason is the worst of distractions. Stay away from it. Learning and information recall are some of the key
desired results associated with most presentations. So… focus on Mayer’s principles and you’ll have a far more powerful presentation. Better learning; better and longer retention.
The Ultimate Screen
This leads to the question of “Well then, what is “The Ultimate Screen” (a screen that’s designed to most effectively further learning and retention)? Another book that cites studies on the most effective use of visuals and other media in presentations is “Brain Rules” by John Medina. It’s full of lots of facts as to how we learn, particularly through live presentations. Here’s the bottom line: We learn and remember best through pictures, not through written or spoken words. If we say something important in a presentation, 72 hours later, people will remember 10%. That number goes up to 65% if we add a picture. Both Dr. Mayer and Mr. Medina have come to the same conclusion: A picture and a phrase on the screen that we say at the same time is the most powerful use of speaker support. That’s the ultimate screen. And then say the phrase out loud. Chances are, your audience will remember it. This is the key to being effective with visuals in your presentations. But even more important is the structure of your presentation. It must be “to-the-point” and free of distractions. Cut out all those nice-to-know bits of information that add spice to your presentation unless they support your key point. Make sure your stories illustrate and enhance your main theme. That’s the way to be memorable. That’s the way to make a difference.
Peter Temple is a business presentation strategist. He helps executives craft focused and compelling messages that win business, influence behavior, or positively affect business outcomes in difficult or sensitive situations. He has been international award winning corporate television writer/director/producer for over 35 years. He brings the finely honed skills of communicating through electronic media to the executive level, in both live and on-camera situations. Across his career, he’s worked with international film stars, well-known Canadian politicians, and highly successful, international business leaders. www.presentationsforbusiness.com
Most sales people are required to negotiate with their prospects and customers. But let’s face it, today’s consumer and corporate buyer is much more aggressive when negotiating the terms of a sale.
nfortunately, after conducting sales training programs that focus on negotiating, I have found that many sales people lack the same level of sophistication when negotiating with savvy purchasers. This means that they make mistakes that cost them money and prevent them from increasing their sales. Here are thirty-two fatal mistakes that sales people often make when they negotiate.
Believing that price is the primary reason why people make a buying decision. Although price is a factor in every sale, it is seldom the motivating factor behind a person’s final decision.
Not asking enough high-value questions. I’m still amazed how few sales people take the time to ask great questions during the sales process which makes it more difficult for them to effectively position their offering.
Not gathering the RIGHT information. While it is essential to ask questions, it is equally important to ask the right questions so you can negotiate more effectively.
Falling prey to the myth that ALL of your competitors are always cheaper. Someone, somewhere will always be able to sell a similar product for less. However, unless you are the absolute highest priced vendor in your marketplace, not all of your competitors will be cheaper.
Failing to establish the value of their product, service or solution. Value is in the eyes of the beholder so you need to determine what is important to each buyer or customer. Then, position your product or offering accordingly.
Allowing their ego to get in the way. Negotiating is part of business but I have seen people walk away from a good deal because their ego got in the way and clouded their judgment.
Failing to remain objective during the sales and negotiating process. During a negotiating activity in one of my sales training workshops, people watched with fascination as one individual lost his objectivity and the sale…even though at one point he had negotiated exactly what he wanted.
Another mistake is to reveal any deadlines you working with. A tight deadline puts you under time pressure and a savvy person will use this grind out a better deal for themselves.
Neglecting to negotiate with limited authority. Don’t hesitate to tell a prospect that you need to check with your boss before you agree to a concession. This gives you wiggle room and allows you to appear that you are working on behalf of your customer.
Failing to plan. Failure to plan means planning to fail. Invest the time to plan your approach, the tactics you will use, the concessions you are prepared to make, and what information you still need to negotiate the best possible outcome.
Failing to determine a walkaway point. If you don’t know when to walk away from a sale, you could end up losing money. Participants in my sales training courses often find this difficult to do and my advice is to keep your pipeline full so you don’t feel undue
pressure to close a sale that doesn’t make good business sense.
Unable to walk away. Too many sales people find themselves in the position of accepting an offer only to discover later that the deal actually cost them money. If the sale doesn’t make good business sense be prepared to walk away from it, regardless of the time you have invested.
Get your ego out of the picture
Not taking a time out to think. Important decisions are sometimes made without proper thought; often in the heat of the moment or in order to get the deal done. Taking the time to think about the implications can save you money and add critical profit dollars to your bottom line.
Failing to get a different perspective. I often talk to my business partner before making a final negotiating decision. This gives me a different perspective, and often, new ideas and strategies. Use your time out to review the deal with someone who is not attached to the outcome.
Negotiating with the wrong person or people. If you’re not talking to someone who can make a final buying decision then you are dealing with the wrong person.
Talking too much. I have watched dozens of sales people negotiate with themselves because they talked too much. The best negotiators listen more than they talk and they usually generate better results and higher sales.
Not using silence as a negotiating strategy. I saw this in action when my wife spoke to a client on the telephone. Instead of immediately responding to the person’s request, she paused and remained silent. A few moments later, the client made a concession that added more money to the deal.
Making too many assumptions. You may have heard the expression, “Assuming makes an ASS of U and ME.” Enough said.
Not properly using written testimonials and endorsements. Assuming you have testimonials in place, I suggest arranging them into different categories so you can use the right testimonial at the right time.
Giving in too soon. People appreciate what they have to work for. If you give in too soon, people will think that something is wrong with the product or that you
are desperate for the sale. Giving in too soon will always prevent you from maximizing the deal and improving your sales.
Not listening carefully enough. Instead of waiting for your turn to speak listen intently to other person. It sounds simple but it takes effort, energy and patience.
Fear of losing the sale. Remember, there will always be someone else to sell to. This fear is more prominent when a sales person’s pipeline is running on empty so avoid it by constantly adding new prospects to your pipeline.
Immediately offering a discount to close the deal. Remember, price is seldom the primary reason people make buying decision. Avoid the temptation to drop your price unless you have considered all the other options.
Making too many concessions without getting something in return. If the other person refuses to make concession, you are simply negotiating against yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for something in return for offering a concession.
Failing to pay close attention for clues and underlying messages. Watch the other person’s behaviour and body language. If they look down when asking for a discount, it indicates that they may be uncomfortable making that request.
Making concessions too quickly. When you make people wait before you concede to something, you increase the value of that concession and you subconsciously tell them that if they keep asking for concessions, the negotiating process will take longer.
Lack of confidence. This is usually a result of lack of negotiating skills which is why it is important to practise negotiating as often as possible. It can also be
caused when negotiating with someone who is perceived to have more power than you.
Being overconfident when entering the negotiations. Get your ego out of the picture. I have seen some sales go sideways because the seller was overconfident in their approach.
Failing to practise. Great negotiators use every available opportunity to practise their skills. When I conduct a sales training program on this topic I always allot a time for practise because the more people negotiate the better they get.
Believing that the buyer or customer has all the power. While I accept the fact that buyers have more leverage in today’s business climate, it is essential to realize that you can walk away from a deal if the other person get too aggressive or makes unrealistic demands.
Not using a variety of tactics and strategies. Great negotiators are well versed and they know how and when to use specific tactics such as the Flinch, Trade-off Principle, Nibble, etc.
Trying to rush the negotiating process. Effective negotiators have the patience of Job. They can wait out delays and they never show anxiety when the process doesn’t move as quickly as they would like it to. There you have it. Thirty-two mistakes, blunders and gaffes that sales people make when negotiating. Avoiding these errors will help you increase your topline sales and your bottom-line profits. by Kelley Robertson
Kelley Robertson, author of The Secrets of Power Selling helps people master their sales conversations so they can win more business. Kelley conducts sales training workshops and speaks regularly at sales meetings and conferences. Contact him at 905-633-7750 or Kelley@Fearless-Selling.ca.
Help! I Can’t Close Sales: 5 Ideas to Increase Your Close Ratio Recently I got an email from Ahmed that said, "Do you have anything on how to close sales? Getting into an account isn't a problem for me. But I get stuck after submitting a proposal. "By this time, I've already sent them all our marketing materials and given them a demo. They seem interested. Then, after they get my proposal, nothing. What am I missing?" I can't tell you how many times salespeople have asked me to help them get better at closing. However, despite what you think, it's not the real problem. Your inability to close is a symptom. What it really means is that your prospect does not think it's worth making a change right now. In short, it's nice to know about your offering, but not necessary. Five things you can do to get better at closing sales. 1. Know your impact. Make sure you're clearly able to articulate the business value of your offering. You should ensure that you're talking about key business drivers such as reduced operating costs, increase sales conversation rates or improved efficient. Adding metrics makes your message even more impactful. 2. Be a storyteller. Share examples of how you've helped other customer improve. Be able to explain how they were doing things before, the challenges they faced, and the results they've achieved since working with you. 3. Slow down. Based on what you said, you may be moving things along much too fast. You're showing your stuff, sending collateral and giving pricing. It's highly likely that they don't feel like you're focused on their success. Take time to build the relationship so that they truly feel that you're a credible resource, not a self-serving sales guy.
gage your prospect in a discussion. This helps you/them determine if your offering makes sense for them. Here are some good ones to start with: How are you currently handling your needs in this area? What are your objectives relevant to the business drivers this product/ service addresses? What initiatives do you already have in place to get there? If you achieved results similar to our other customers, what would this mean for your organization? See where I'm going with this? If your prospects aren't making the connections between what you sell and the value they could get from it, it's because you're leaving it to happenstance. Don't let that happen. Plan your questions ahead of time. They are your greatest tools in getting to a yes. 5. Stop trying to close. Instead, focus on helping your prospect determine if it makes good business sense to change. If it does, they'll say yes. If not, they'll stay with what they've got. Today's prospects are too savvy to fall prey to any closing techniques. The more you try to do it, the less they want to do business with you. Instead, put your emphasis on the front end of the sales cycle. Before you know it, your prospects will be saying, "How soon can we get going on this?" by Jill Konrath
Jill Konrath’s career is defined by her relentless search for fresh sales strategies that actually work in today’s business environment. She’s the author of two bestselling sales books and is a popular speaker who helps sellers crack into new accounts, speed up sales cycles and win more business.
4. Connect the dots. It's imperative to en-
Learn more at www.jillkonrath.com
Handling the Price Question and Building Trust – They’re Not Incompatible
o, how much will it cost?” “What would something like this run me?” “We have a very limited budget. I don’t want to waste my time. What’s your fee?” “Sounds to me like you’re talking about a lot of money. Before we go any farther I need to know what kind of money we’re looking at.” We’ve all heard these questions and a million variations of them. They always seem to come well before we’re prepared to discuss dollars, most often before we have had the opportunity to figure out what specific issues we’re dealing with, and always at an inopportune time. The fact is that no matter what you’re selling, the price of your goods and services is always a primary concern to your prospects. Whether you like it or not, price is top of mind with the majority, if not all, of your prospects. If it isn’t, you might need to question just how serious your prospect is since price is always an important part of the equation when contemplating a purchase.
The fact that prospects are concerned about price isn’t a surprise and it really shouldn’t be a big deal — except it so often comes up before you’ve had any opportunity to establish the value you bring to the table for the prospect — and price without value equals a no sale. The price question presents you with a serious dilemma: how do you honestly answer the question of price, yet at the same time save a detailed conversation about price until you have had the opportunity to discover needs and issues and to build the value in your product and service that justifies its price? The early introduction of the price question seems to put you in a position of having to choose between two rules of selling that appear to be antithetical to one another at this point: 1) always answer your prospect’s questions honestly and directly, and 2) never discuss price until you’ve built value in your product or service. Fortunately, you can honor both rules. The key to addressing
The key to addressing the price question is understanding why the question is asked in the first place
the price question is understanding why the question is asked in the first place. Many salespeople see the price question as an objection; it usually isn’t. It’s an honest question by the prospect who is trying to determine their interest level in your product or service. Just as you are trying to qualify your prospect, they’re trying to qualify your product or service, as well as qualifying you, and one of the major qualification questions they have is price. They’re simply asking the question too early, before they have sufficient information to determine whether your product or service justifies the investment. The easiest way to handle the question is to give the prospect a direct answer and then bridge back to your investigation of their wants and needs to build value. Depending upon the product or service you’re selling, your answer to price may be specific: “This truck is twenty five six fifty four”; or general: “depending upon your specific needs we find when we do the needs analysis, the complete instillation of the software and training can range from a few thousand dollars on up into the low to mid five figures,” or, “Frankly, Jack, at this point I really don’t know because I don’t know what needs to be done, if anything, but I can tell you that the investment can range from just a few thousand dollars on up. But it depends upon the scope of the work to be done and that’s still to be determined.” Your statement then needs to be immediately followed up with a question to bridge back to investigating their needs to help you build value. In the truck example above you might then ask, “Will you be pulling a trailer often, or just on occasion?” In this example your full statement would be, “This truck is twenty five six fifty four. By the way, will you be pulling a trailer often or just on occasion?” You’ve answered your prospect’s question, but you then lead them back into a discussion of their needs, which will help you determine what vehicle will best meet their needs, give you information to highlight the features of the truck that will meet those needs, and the benefits of those features that will give value to the price of the truck. In the software example, the full statement might be something like: “Well, Nancy, depending upon your specific needs we find when we do the needs analysis and the modules you need, the complete instillation and training of the software can be any-
where from a few thousand dollars on up to the low to mid five figures; by the way, what other applications do you run that our software will have to be integrated with?” Again, you’ve given an honest answer to the price question since at this point you don’t know what the package will cost. Instead of trying to answer an impossible question, you’ve given the typical cost range and then followed with a question that will put the conversation back on track of investigating your prospect’s needs, allowing you to gather the information you need to build value in your product before you get into a serious price discussion. In the third, the consulting example, the full statement might be: “Frankly, Jack, at this point I really don’t know because I don’t know what needs to be done, if anything, but I can tell you that the investment can range from just a few thousand dollars on up. But it depends on the scope of the work to be done and we’ve still to determine that. What do you think has been the cost of the shipping department’s logjam that has extended shipping time by almost two days?” Price questions need not create problems for you or for your prospect. Price is a natural concern for the prospect, but knowing a price without understanding the real value of the product or service is meaningless. Your job is to answer your prospect’s question honestly and return the conversation to a point where you can build value for your prospect, so they can appreciate the price in context of value. If you refuse to answer the price question you run the risk of insulting or angering your prospect–not to mention the damage you do to your credibility and trustworthiness. But if you begin a serious discussion of price before you’ve had the opportunity to build value, you ask your prospect to make an investment without having a basis to determine whether the investment is justified. by Paul McCord
Paul McCord author, speaker, trainer, consultant, and one of the country’s leading authorities on prospecting, referral generation, and personal marketing, Paul McCord has hatd a distinguished career in teaching, sales, sales training, and sales management. Visit his website: www.mccordandassociates.com
Advice from the Master Negotiator
Negotiation & Body Language Strategies that Improve Sales Processes by Greg Williams When you seek to improve your sales process and presentations, do you consider the role negotiation strategies play in that procedure? Do you take into account the function body language will have in your attempts to sway your client or prospects? If you wish them to perceive the value of your offerings, you should. These are very important questions to address before entering into a presentation and/ or sales process, because they lend credence to the enhancement of your potential success. To increase your presentation skills and improve your sales process, observe the following steps.
in your offering before you can tout the strongest points of value contained in it. Once you know the source of her motivation, sell from that perspective combined with how youâ€™ve positioned your services.
Prior to making your initial call on a prospect, your product or service should be positioned such that your prospect realizes thereâ€™s value in your offering and one that can genuinely enhance her environment. There are many ways to enhance her perception, but you need to know what motivates her to invest
Fear plays a major role in a negotiation and a sales presentation www.soldlab.com
Advice from the Master Negotiator
In a negotiation and a sales presentation, the questions you ask determine the degree of information you receive 2
Consider what your product or service really addresses:
When you consider what problems your product or service solves, give that thought process serious consideration. The reason being, if you position your product or service inaccurately, based on the needs of your prospect, you’ll be positioning your product against a background that’s not appropriate for that prospect. As an example, if a cellular company only positioned itself as a company that offers its subscribers a means to make phone calls, it could possibly miss increasing its sales by offering texting services. If instead it positioned itself as a communications company, texting would be a logical extension of its product offerings.
Fear plays a major role in a negotiation and a sales presentation. Thus, to utilize this strategy, consider the role that fear will have in your presentation. There’s a fear of loss, a fear of missing an opportunity, and a fear of making the wrong decision. All of these fear factors should be taken into consideration when using fear to motivate prospects. Explain how your prospect or client might be road kill in a global economy, if they don’t use your product or service. Also understand that some people are more motivated to move towards achieving a goal (positive motivation) compared to those that want to move away from something (negative or fear motivation). If you apply the appropriate stimulus at the appropriate time, you’ll
have a greater chance of motivating your prospect or client to move in the direction you suggest.
The image you project during a sales presentation and the way you’re perceived is conveyed via your body language. Therefore, the way you’re perceived is conveyed even more than the words you use to express your thoughts. As such, in order to be perceived in the most positive light by your prospect or client, match the image that best suits their perspective of what a successful person looks like, related to your offering. You can accomplish this from two aspects. To establish and enhance rapport, dress, walk, talk (paralanguage), and reflect (imitate) the appearance and actions of the person with whom you’re speaking. To create the impression that rapport may be declining (i.e. a strategy used during a negotiation to send a subtle message that you’re not as enamored with the current position as you’d been previously), shift from the style of dress, speech patterns, and pace you used previously. By doing so, you’ll send a subliminal message indicating you and the other person are out of sync with one another. This strategy works best with someone that wants everything to be in harmony and someone that wants to be led.
As a subset of body language, always consider the manner in which people process information. To a great degree, they do so based on the way certain words are pronounced and the words used to make such pronouncements. The way words are spoken, pace tonality pitch, can alter the meaning of a word; this can cause the listener to perceive or misperceive your intent correctly or wrongly. Suffice it to say, what’s more important is what’s heard versus what’s said. Pronounce your sentiments in the way the listener wants to hear them and you stand a greater chance of influencing them.
Assumptive questions are questions that give the impression to the listener that you may know
and/or contain more information than reality dictates. In a negotiation and a sales presentation, the questions you ask determine the degree of information you receive. Likewise, as indicated in the section on Paralanguage, the phraseology, pace, and tone used during your presentation has a profound effect on how well your presentation is received. Hence, you should use assumptive questions strategically and only when such positioning is beneficial to your overall goal (i.e. at points when the questions you ask discloses the greatest potential for what you might know and net the maximum return). One example of an assumptive question might be, I understand that you’ve purchased services like ours at $2,000 per hour in the past, correct? Then you’d wait to see and hear what response you receive. To gain the most usage from this strategy, you should observe the body language that accompanied the response (e.g. no, we never paid that much – accompanied with a passionate shaking of the head versus sheepishly stating, I’m not sure). By observing such body language, you gain additional insight from the words used and are bet-
ter positioned to determine to what degree such words have validity. In either case, you will have gleaned additional information about the prospect’s environment and what they’ve been accustom to in the past. By adding the above suggestions to your sales and presentation processes, you’ll become more dynamic when making presentations and you will close more sales… and everything will be right with the world. Remember, you’re always negotiating!
Greg Williams is known as “The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert”. He’s a Fox TV News Contributor that comments on the body language and Negotiation Tactics and Strategies used by politicians and others that are in the news. He also speaks at seminars and conducts trainings in corporate environments in which he enlightens his audiences as to how they can increase their perspective of someone’s demeanor, by reading that person’s body language and employing negotiation strategies that give them an edge. www.TheMasterNegotiator.com
The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert wants to know …
Would you like to be more successful in life? Do you want to earn more money, gain more respect, and be perceived as someone with prestige? Are you someone that wants to achieve Lee B. Salz is a leading sales man-
If you answered yes to any of the questions above … YOU need to become a better negotiator and discover how to read body language.
agement strategist specializing in helping companies build scalable, high-perfor-
Uncover how you can use negotiation tactics and strategies to get more out of every negotiation, while reading body language to enhance the process. For a Free negotiation assessment and insight into how you can become a better negotiator, contact… Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert at … www.TheMasterNegotiator.com (609) 369-2100 Scan with Smart Phone to watch – “Seven Steps To Negotiating Successfully”
mance sales organizations through hiring the right sales people, effectively
onboarding them, and aligning their sales activities with business objectives through process, metrics and compensation. He is the Founder and CEO of Sales Architects, Business Expert Webinars and The Revenue Accelerator. Lee has authored several books including the
award-winning book Soar Despite Your Dodo Sales http://tiny.cc/qwqn4
5 Must-Do聞s in Designing an Emotionally Engaging Experience
hink of how many times you had an impulse to buy a more expensive brand and later convinced yourself that you did it because the quality is much better. Truth is that in most cases you did it because you trust the brand more or you feel a sort of sympathy towards that brand and want a product that will make you feel good and boost your confidence etc. Human beings are powered by emotion, not by reason. As Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio found, emotions are prime candidates for turning a thinking being into an actor. He spent a decade studying people who had received brain injuries, in which only the part where emotions were generated was impaired. He found that they could logically describe what they should be doing but in practice they found it very difficult to make decisions about where to live, what to eat, etc. As professor Raj Raghunathan from the University of Texas puts it “we are ruled by our emotions first, and then we build justifications for our response. We want to be considered scientific and rational, so we come up with reasons after the fact to justify our choice”. We at Beyond Philosophy know that at least 50% of the experience is emotional and often happens at a subconscious level (i.e. beneath the water level) thus we are often not aware of the true drivers of our behavior. If you want to truly connect with your customers you need to design an emotionally engaging experience. Here is what you need to do to achieve it following some best practices:
Focus on emotions associated with the purpose of your organization.
Having worked and measured the emotional engagement of several dozens of Fortune 500 companies we looked back at our data to see which organizations have the highest scores on our emotional index so we can draw best practices from them. The two organizations with the highest scores on most positive emotions were Tui Travel and Brit-
ish Council. The common platform for success in achieving an emotional bond with their customers for both proved to be that they aligned the targeted emotional experience with the raison d’être of their organization. This is really important as firms usually make decisions based on individual goals and objectives, a handful of hard metrics, and by finding compromises across conflicting executive agendas. What’s worse is that often decisions aren’t coordinated at all. By establishing a clear guiding light you’ll ensure more consistency and work towards a common goal and will require less control mechanisms. For Tui, as a travel & leisure company, sending millions of people abroad, the most important thing is to bring the people safely back home, and the second most important thing is that their customers have a relaxed and happy holidays so they remain their customers. The emotions to focus on steaming from this definition are “safe”, “happy”, “pleased” and “unhurried”. British Council defines its purpose as to enhance the British cultural relations through some of Britain’s best assents – the English Language, the Education and Arts etc. So in order to deliver on its purpose, they felt they should first earn the people’s trust, inspire them and ease the cultural relationships and transfers (for example study English, do an exam, fill paperwork for admission in a UK university, etc.). Trust, Inspiration and Ease (or as they are referred to internally TIE) are their strategic focus and are built into everything they do. Whilst “Inspiration” is overarching strategic imperative on the tactical side in the actual experience it translates to: people being focused, stimulated, energized and interested in their studies and interactions.
Design the experience outside in, starting with the customer expectations in mind.
I know that this sounds like a no brainer but in our work we still see so many organizations that have organized their experience around partners, channels etc. The primarily driver for the way things are set is what’s easier for them and how they are
organized internally as opposed to how the customer would like things to be set. Tui has designed experiences specific to families and couples. First Choice is their subsidiary brand designed for families and they focus on all inclusive stays in holiday villages, whereas Thomson Couples focuses on premium stays with no kids around at all. British Council on the other side has ensured that their B2B departments abide by the same principles as the more customer oriented part to ensure the nurturing of a consistent culture and habits in the organization. Thus we were really surprised when we saw the emotional profile of the people dealing with their contracts and purchasing department to be very similar to that of the people taking an exam at British Council.
Build emotional cues into the experience.
Once you’ve defined what you want to stand up for and the impressions and feelings you want to leave your customers with you are into experience design. The experience design has become as much a business art as product and process design. Undoubtedly you have the basics in place so you should focus on building cues that support the impressions and feelings you want to leave your customers with. These don’t have to be big and costly things. Often-
The experience design has become as much a business art as product and process design times companies spend millions on big costly items (e.g. new CRM, renovation, new machines etc.) but neglect to design the actual experience around those (e.g. think of a new smart self-service coffee machine, ticketing machine or an elevator with no buttons that you are left on your own to figure it out). A good approach to the experience design is the use of Journey Mapping where you also display customers’ feelings at each journey step. For example Tui starts to plug the message of safety with the send out of the e-ticket (e.g. “your ticket is safe for you in your My First Choice area”). As the e-mail continues customers even see a dedicated “health and safety” tab. Other safety cues in the pre-travel stage include giving the home embassy address and phone numbers in the foreign country etc. There are also verbal cues throughout the journey e.g. “our team will be there to meet
you”, “first and foremost for your safety” during boarding and on board the plane / ferry, emphasizing the safety aspects during the hotel tour etc. It is important that all cues are consistent. Therefore the subtle safety message cues are also given consideration during recruitment as Tui strives for its reps to portray maturity and shines away from the usual 18 year old reps for the industry. For British Council, making people feel focused, stimulated and energized by their studies wasn’t enough to accomplish their mission. To encourage the cultural transfers they needed to focus on one more emotion – “exploring options”. The cues built for that included displays with materials in house about various opportunities to study in UK, go on an exchange program, do arts etc. as well as organize networking opportunities to facilitate the transfer.
Ensure the delivery of your promises e.g. all parts should add up together.
Here comes the tough part. It is even more important these cues are not just a marketing trick and the company keeps its promises. Many companies say “trust” is important to us, or we want our customers to feel at home with us and yet they give negative cues such as pens on chains or hangers locked to the wardrobe rail in hotel rooms. In one of my blog posts I outlined what to do to avoid the experience betraying the words. To ensure the safety cues don’t end up with marketing, Tui operates a “Text & Mobile” service, 24/7 helpline and should there be an accident they will find a doctor, provide support and help with the paperwork. Similarly, British Council has embedded TIE (Trust, Inspiration & Ease) into their recruitment & selection, induction and training materials, internal communications to staff, appraisals of not just have people done what was expected from them but how did they do it and coaching.
Aim low and leave room for trial and error.
Here are the good news. You should aim lower. A new research by Stanford and Harvard Business
School found that when you give someone a smaller and more concrete and realistic task (e.g make someone smile) vs a more nebulous one (e.g. make someone happy) they are more likely to succeed and thus boost their own happiness. “This effect was driven by the size of the gap between expectations and reality. The efforts of those assigned to make someone happy fell short of expectations– leading to less personal happiness–whereas the efforts of those assigned to make someone smile more accurately matched expectations–increasing their happiness”. The research also showed that people can be taught this fact to help them maximize their wellbeing. Simply reminding yourself that small acts of kindness have big impacts on yourself and others can help you recalibrate your thinking to aim for more concrete and effective goals, which in turn make you happier. As customers’ expectations change rapidly driven not just from you, or what happens in your industry but also by other companies they deal with who lead the way (e.g. Amazon, Apple, Starbucks etc.) you need to constantly innovate. There are fewer innovations when people are afraid to do errors. We have recently gathered former clients from different parts of the world that had a success with their customer experience programs and one thing was common that led to their success – the room for trial and error they had. Eliminating all errors makes it hard to compete in the trial-and-error process that’s required for a company to adjust, because there are no trials without errors. Or you might be in danger of death by efficiency! For more on the topic read the HBR paper by J. Pine and J Gilmore, Welcome to the experience economy, C. Duhigg’s book, “The Power of Habit” or listen to our webinar. by Zhecho Dobrev
Zhecho Dobrev is a consultant and project manager for Beyond Philosophy. He has worked with a wide array of large corporate companies. Zhecho’s expertise includes customer behaviour analytics, customer loyalty, complaints management and journey mapping. He holds an MBA and Master’s degree in International Relations.
How Do You Treat Your Referrals? H
ow do you treat customers that came in through referrals? There's all this talk about word of mouth, referrals, recommendations, promoters... to-may-toes, to-mah-toes. But have you ever given much thought to how important that referral really is, like at the personal level, not just at the "hey, my business is growing" level? Think about this. You're asking your customers: "How likely are you to recommend my business?" They tell you they're very likely, they will, they have, etc. But what happens when you don't deliver for the person who received the referral. Satisfied customers who will spread word of mouth are the most powerful assets you have. -Andy Sernovitz I've got an example I'd like to share. I'm in the midst of getting quotes for a bathroom remodel. A friend of mine, who also happens to be in the process of getting quotes for his bathroom remodel, got a referral for a general contractor and passed the contractor's name on to me. My favorite part about the
recommendation was that this guy is always on time, even early. I called the contractor, got his voicemail, and left a message; he called me back the same day. I let him know that a friend he did work for referred him through
Satisfied customers who will spread word of mouth are the most powerful assets you have. ~ Andy Sernovitz another friend. We set a time (on a Monday afternoon) for him to come by to talk about the work I wanted done. When he arrived, he told me I was his ninth stop of the day. (Hmmm.) He was super friendly, very knowledgeable, and I appreciated his suggestions. As he was leaving, he told me he'd have the quote for me on Wednesday. Expectation set. Wednesday came and went, and the week rolled into a busy weekend. No email; no quote. I called
him Monday morning and left him a voicemail. He never returned my call, but I got an email with the quote the next afternoon, along with a note saying that I should call him with questions. Of course I had questions, so I called him the next day (Wednesday). I didn't get a return call; instead, I got an email Friday afternoon with an apology, an explanation, and a note asking if he could call me Saturday afternoon. I responded and let him know I'd be available all day Saturday. No call on Saturday. He called me Monday (earlier this week); I wasn't available. I haven't called him back. So my question is: If you know a customer was referred by someone you've previously done work for or done business with, should you treat that customer differently? I don't necessarily think that you need to treat the person differently; after all, you earned a recommendation because of the way you do business (great product, great service, etc.) Be yourself. The problem arises when you don't adhere to the tenet of the consistent experience. I do think that if someone has taken that extra step to recommend you for your products or services, then you should: Thank the individual who gave you the referral Find out why you earned the referral (VOC, feedback) Acknowledge that the individual (new customer) is a referral Not mess it up (Obviously, this won't apply to every situation/industry.) This contractor has to know that friends talk. In the end, he's not going to get my business or my friend's because neither of us care for that type of service. What happens if we hire him and there's a problem or a change if he can't get it right during the quote phase. Not only does this highlight the need for a consistent experience for all customers but also a consistent experience at the various touchpoints across the stages of the lifecycle. Contrast that with another contractor, one that I found on Angie's List. (Have you used Angie's List yet? It's awesome.) His reviews were phenomenal, and it wasn't difficult to select him from the myriad of contractors that popped up for me. I called him, and he actually answered the phone! (Unlike the other contractors I called.) We arranged a time (this past Sunday) for him to come to my house; the night be-
Happy and engaged customers have a mouth, and they are not afraid to use it fore, he texted me and confirmed the time and the address. Wow. He showed up on time, and he spent almost 90 minutes discussing my needs, making suggestions, talking about pros and cons of some of my ideas, etc. It was so refreshing. As he was leaving, he set my expectations: he does paperwork on Sundays, so he'd send the quote on Sunday at the latest, sooner if he could get to it. I'm writing this on Thursday night, and just a few minutes ago I saw an email come in from him with the quote. Expectations exceeded. Anna Papachristos said in a recent article on 1to1 media: "Word of mouth â€“ Happy and engaged customers have a mouth, and they are not afraid to use it. Through positive word-of-mouth recommendations, companies will gain net new customers." I'd like to add the opposing view that, "Through negative word of mouth, companies will lose current and potential customers." Word of mouth is a good thing... but it can also be a bad thing. What do you think? by Annette Franz (Gleneicki)
Annette Franz (Gleneicki) Annette is a Client Services executive who has run Services departments/teams for Allegiance, Medallia, CustomerSat, and BizRate/Shopzilla, all companies focused on improving both customer and employee experiences by utilizing their software tools to facilitate listening to and operationalizing the voice of the customer. Annette started her career in that space as a VOC consultant at J.D. Power and Associates in the early '90s, which means she's been working with clients to transform their cultures and experiences for more than 20 years. She is currently Director, Customer Experience Management Strategy at Confirmit. Learn more at: http://cxjourney.blogspot.ru/
Create Customer Amazement TM
Five Steps to Managing Complaints on Social Media by Shep Hyken Social media is a customer service tool that has great potential beyond what most companies are currently using. Outlets such as Facebook and Twitter offer the opportunity for companies to enhance the customer service experience by posting value-added content. Often, however, their only involvement is to monitor what customers are saying about them on social media. Don’t get me wrong, it is very important to know what your customers are putting out there for the world to read – especially the unhappy customer with a grievance to air. Customers of today often turn to social media channels instead of contacting a company with a complaint – or worse, after finding a company unresponsive or unwilling to take responsibility for a problem. Customer complaints on social media channels can be viewed as an opportunity. The customer is usually waiting and watching for a response – and their friends or followers are as well. Handled properly, a company can show the customer, and everyone else, that they do care and want to correct the problem. On the other hand, of course, not addressing the problem will give a negative impression, and could even lead to a PR nightmare. The goal is to take advantage of this opportunity – while the world is watching – to prove that you stand behind your products and offer amazing customer service.
Do NOT post a canned answer. Respond to the customer in a conversational way, with a personal, customized response.
Even if the customer’s post on Facebook or Twitter is full of anger, resist the urge to become defensive. You are not here to argue, but to apologize for the issue and then take control of the situation by offering to help and to correct the problem.
Ask the customer to send you a direct message with his or her phone number or email address so you can properly discuss the issue – in private, away from the social media site.
Do what is necessary to offer amazing customer service and resolve the problem, then return to the original social media channel to follow up. Thank the customer for bringing the issue to your attention and allowing you to correct it. Leave a positive impression. Social media is a fact of life today, and companies must remember that if they don’t deliver on their customer service promise the whole world will know. Embrace social media and use it to your advantage.
Shep Hyken is a professional speaker and New York Times and Wall Street
There is a five-step process that you can follow to address a customer complaint on social media:
works with companies who want to develop loyal relationships with their customers
Time is of the essence – respond to the complaint as quickly as possible. Set a goal to always respond within a day, or an hour … or consider this: 1-800-Flowers aims to respond within five minutes. Now that’s amazing service.
Journal bestselling business author who
and employees. For information on Shep’s speaking programs, books, and learning programs please contact (314) 692-2200. Web: www.hyken.com – Click here for information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs (www.TheCustomerFocus.com).
Sales Anecdotes and Their Antidotes
Low Hanging Fruit by Rick Roberge
As usual, we’ll start with a true story. This is an excerpt from a blog post that I wrote in May of 2006. “About 30 years ago, I had a mentor named Bob Jiguere. He taught me a lot of important things, but on this one day, I learned something that he wasn’t really intending to teach. I was in a classroom with several other salespeople and he started by writing the numbers “1” through “10” down the left side of the blackboard. Then he put a check mark by the number “1” and said, “1 out of 10 people will buy anything from anybody.” Then he put a check mark by the number “10″ and said, “1 out of 10 people won’t buy anything from anybody.” Then he made a big bracket from #2 to #9 and said, “How many of the eight in between you get will depend on how good a salesperson you are.” Then he proceeded to teach the rest of the people in the class how to be a better salesperson. Everybody but me. I had already learned my lesson and was off in my mind figuring out how to do it. This is what happened in my head. “If 1 out of 10 people will buy anything from anybody, I’m gonna get good at finding them.” I’ve spent the
rest of my life looking for easy sales….“Low hanging fruit”.” (You can read the entire post at www://therainmakermaker.com/2006/05/29/success-secret-3/) Now there’s one caveat. I needed a lot of leads. So, I got really good at getting referrals, networking, asking for introductions. Occasionally I ran out of good stuff, so I had to work some sort of list, but I didn’t change my methodology. Regardless of how I got their name, I went through a process of ‘disqualification’. Why is this relevant in the 21st Century? Because the internet has changed the way consumers, B2B as well as B2C, shop and buy. Think about it. When was the last time that you used the yellow pages to find a solution to a problem? Traditional advertising is being replaced by on line search and many marketers are turning to inbound marketing as a way to attract visitors and potential customers to their on line presence. This isn’t really a treatise on inbound marketing, but I do need to set a stage to show that my decades old “Low Hanging Fruit” mentality is exactly the right approach to working inbound leads.
Sales Anecdotes and Their Antidotes Let me share an example of a real exchange that I might have when I’m making my first contact with someone that’s been referred to me.
Baby steps always assuming the worst So, think about true inbound marketing. Wikipedia suggests that inbound marketing earns the attention of the customers by producing interesting content. This doesn’t mean visually appealing advertising or tricky PPC ads. It means that the customer searches for something of interest and finds your content in the search results. However, this does not mean that they are a prospect for you. How do you know whether they are trying to figure out how to ‘do it themselves’, or they’re looking for someone to do it for them? How do you know whether they’ve been searching for several months, or this was their very first search? You could ask all these questions in the form that they complete to get your information, but there’s a very real possibility that you will scare them away.
Me: I dial the phone and they answer. Them: Hello. XYZ Company. Me: Hi, who’s this? Them: This is Mary. Who’s this? Me: Hi, Mary. I was looking for John Smith. He’s not in? Mary: Oh no, he’s here. Who’s this? Me: Great. Would you let him know that Rick Roberge is calling? John: This is John Smith. Me: Hi, John. Rick Roberge. John: Who? Me: Uh Oh! John: What? Me: I’m sorry. Is this the John Smith that’s friends with Paul Jones? John: I know Paul Jones. Who are you? Me: Rick Roberge. Paul didn’t tell you that he suggested that I call and talk with you about growing sales? John: No. He didn’t. What are you talking about? Growing sales? Me: I don’t know what to do now. I get the feeling that Paul’s suggestion may have been inappropriate. Think about how long we’ve been talking. Less than a minute? Where are we? What are the possibilities for his next response? He could say, “I don’t need help growing sales and I couldn’t handle more business if it fell in my lap.” In which case, I could feel reasonably comfortable that he wasn’t a prospect. Or, he might ask, “How do you know Paul?” or “How do you help companies grow sales?”, which is his way of saying, “Maybe I have something that you can help me with.” Notice that I didn’t try to qualify him, but gently disqualify him by suggesting that the referral was inappropriate. Notice that it’s personal, not about companies and it’s real and it’s definitely not sale-sy. OK! Let’s get back to the 21st Century. First of all, you often won’t have a phone number, but if you do, you can have an exchange similar to the one above by substituting Google for Paul Jones and searched for referred. Something like this: “I’m sorry. Isn’t this the John Smith that went to Google and did a search for ‘growing sales’ which lead
you to me where you downloaded, ‘10 Must Do’s for Growing Sales Now!’?” Now, real life is that you may have a name, email address and nothing else, but you can still engage and disqualify them. Here are the rules.
Be brief! Less is more. Prospects are too busy to read 100 words from a stranger, let alone 1,000 from a salesperson or a marketer.
2 3 4
Don’t assume that they want more of your free stuff!
page. Did “Sales & Marketing Alignment” not help? I see that you visited our website 17 times in the past 45 days. Is there something wrong with it? Are you not finding what you are looking for? It’s not unusual that 3-4 one/two line emails leads to disqualification (send to lead nurturing for now) or a real life conversation about issues that you can fix and they want fixed. I realize that I’ve only scratched the surface. So, if you have questions, send me an email. We can do it for real!
Rick Roberge is a sales consultant and coach. It’s not unusual to see him
Baby steps always assuming the worst.
Every email needs to be customized to their last action, but here are a few examples. I noticed that you downloaded our e-book, but did not get the spreadsheet. Did it not download properly? Thanks for downloading “Sales & Marketing Alignment”. I don’t see that you used the profile
working side by side with his clients making calls, at a trade show or handling a 'situation'. Today he works only with salespeople that want to be 21st Century Sales Rock Stars that want to attract new customers and convert them into evangelists using social media, sales skills and superb customer service. Rick writes regularly for Sales Rock Stars & RainMakers at RickRoberge.com and Sales Anecdotes and Their Antidotes in Sold Magazine.
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