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Rethinking Sales Magazine January 2011


Rethinking Sales Magazine January 2011

00 In This Issue

:-) Marco Giunta Thoughts This is my first letter and my issue to readers as editor of this magazine.

01 Why Sales People Fail Effective selling doesn't come easy. It requires hard work and perseverance, and even then success is no guarantee.

Is This A Sales Meeting Or A 12-Step Program?


Rethinking Sales Magazine January 2011

:-) Marco Giunta &Thoughts

Happy New Year! This is my first letter and issue to my readers as editor of this magazine. I'm proud to offer this new magazine to you, and proud of my true CEO (my wife Terri) for having the faith in me, and my foresight, all of which has enabled me to embrace this venue. Rethinking Sales will be a publication that doesn't just report on what is happening in business and business development; but rather, will provide vital information as to what the future trends are in the business world, as well. I embrace the idea that business serves a wider relevance in our world and our lives that goes beyond dollars and cents, and that a responsible company can be a channel for progress without conflict with the quest for personal gain, as well. On the contrary, I am convinced that salespeople who encompass and represent these true core values will be seen as the trusted advisors that they really are. In the mean time, we will deliver the ideals that building sales one relationship at a time will bring.... Marco


Rethinking Sales Magazine January 2011

01 Why Salespeople Fail

Sales people love to blame everybody but themselves for failure. It's a bad product, they say. I'm getting bad leads, they say. The top sellers know that it's up to them to succeed and they know and avoid these roads to sales failure. Effective selling doesn't come easy. It requires hard work and perseverance, and even then, success is no guarantee. But the most effective salespeople understand that to succeed, they first need to know how to fail. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of reasons why salespeople fail. The sales process is fraught with speed bumps, any one of which can deep six a positive customer response. By identifying the pitfalls ahead of time, you can avoid them and start closing sales like the big guys. Here are five of the most common mistakes salespeople make, and how to avoid them.


Rethinking Sales Magazine January 2011

01

Bad Prospecting To sell effectively you have to prospect effectively. Salespeople who fall short of their monthly and quarterly goals are frequently either not talking to enough customers, or they are talking to the wrong ones. Following a consistent prospecting routine provides a steady flow of potential customers who are likely to be interested in purchasing your products.

Price vs. Value Price is a significant factor in closing a sale, but it's not the only factor. Other considerations - like value - also play an important role. Selling products based on price alone is a big mistake, because sooner or later the competition is going to beat your price, leaving you high and dry. Instead, get in the habit of selling your product on a value basis, even if you are the least expensive option in the marketplace.

Misidentified Objections Customers don't buy based on your ability to overcome the objections you think they have. They buy based on your ability to identify their actual concerns and address them in a satisfactory manner. Many salespeople will ask some initial questions, but fail to continue fact gathering throughout the sales process. That's a mistake because it hinders your ability to identify new objections when they arise. A better approach is to continuously gauge your prospect's interest through questions and clarifications.

Shortcuts If you're taking a cross-country trip, a shortcut is a good thing. But when it comes to selling, shortcuts are an invitation for rejection. Resist the urge to skip essential elements in the selling process, even if your prospect feels like a sure thing. Sure thing or not, prospects need to know that they are not being taken for granted and that their business is important to you. Although you might get away with cutting corners every


Rethinking Sales Magazine January 2011

01

once in a while, it will ultimately come back to bite you, especially in a market where the competition is fierce.

Negative Attitude A negative attitude is the most effective way to blow a big sale. If you go into the process believing that you are not going to close the sale, guess what? You won't. However, if you go into the process believing in the quality of your product and your ability to effectively represent it to your prospect, selling it becomes a snap.

The Rethinking Sales Book How can you be that salesperson who stands out among the rest? How can you break through the typical "sales stereotypes" and improve client relationships? How can you take all of the information you already have about sales, and apply it to the current selling environment? Salespeople all over the world have one thing in common - the desire to make money. The Rethinking Sales Book covers topics, such as social networking, brand building, effective marketing, becoming an expert in your niche, as well as selling in other cultures. Available at


Rethinking Sales Magazine January 2011

02 My Sales Meeting Feels More Like Group Therapy!

How many of you have found yourselves sitting through a meeting that very much felt more like some sort of group therapy? I would be greatly surprised to hear anyone answer “no” to that question. So, hereʼs the scenario: The manager or CEO begins the meeting by asking his sales team about what deals are on the board, why arenʼt certain deals closing, etc. It then goes from person to person around the table, the same way it did when working in a group in grade school. So, I sit there thinking to myself: “Why do I need to sit here and listen to everyone elseʼs problems, when I could be more productive addressing my customerʼs needs at this moment?” Are those meetings really relevant? Of course, the team does need to connect with and share information on a basic level. But each meeting should be a quick recap of whatʼs going on, and then back to business. The following issues are the ones that should be addressed at these meetings, keeping them short, sweet and to the point.


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What are you closing right now? What occurred that prevented you from closing your deal? What are you working on completing in the near future? What support do you need from the Company? To keep your meeting on track, practice the following: Know who should and should not attend. As many of us also know, there are some people who speak just to hear themselves talk, or they are so busy covering their own behinds, that they fail to stick to the agenda at hand. And, it seems fitting that not all of the sales team be involved in every meeting that takes place. Therefore, the determination should be made as to who really should and needs to be in attendance. Some meetings might just be a recap, while others may involve a deeper level of brainstorming, and will move along more effectively if it involves only those key players that truly need to be there. Stick to an agenda. Always start with the most pressing issues or problems, and go from there. There should be someone at the meeting who ensures that time limits are in effect to keep the meeting on schedule. Keep Questions For the End - Nothing interrupts the flow of a meeting as much as too many questions throughout. Therefore, allow a set period of time at the end of the meeting for your team to air any concerns, issues or questions that they may have. You can call it your “feedback” time, which letʼs the team know that their voice will be heard before the meeting is over.


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Following the above will help to ensure that no oneʼs time will be wasted. Smaller meetings can always be called and set forth as the need arises, so adjust your strategy as you go through the process. And, since most of us would much rather spend our time selling and making money, any detail that allows us to better utilize our time management is a huge step in the right direction. To conclude, here are some basic criteria that we would hope that those who are leading any type of business meeting would follow: Stay on topic. Say your peace, and move on. Donʼt rehash the same material over and over. We get it the first time. Next. Submit the agenda for the meeting to the participants as soon as you have it available. This will give each participant adequate time to prepare for the meeting. For those who do speak during the meeting, make sure that it is necessary and/or something that will allow us to progress or further our knowledge base, in general. Hearing about things that didnʼt work or stories about clients are not going to help anyone sell better. Get feedback. No matter what people do in their business or personal lives, knowing what others are thinking and addressing needs or problems as they are going on is critical in keeping things moving forward. Communication is the key to business success, so always allow room to hear what others are saying. To summarize, meetings are an essential management tool if used effectively. Meetings can improve communications, promote morale, and help to get a job done. Ineffective meetings waste valuable time and resources and can be a morale downer, as well. In preparing for a meeting, the chairman should ensure that the agenda focuses on accomplishment of specific objectives. For a meeting to be successful, it must be supported within the organization and itʼs weaknesses should be overcome. Most importantly, the leader of a meeting must have the right attitude; a well-conceived plan; and the ability to direct (focus), control, motivate, interpret, and moderate the meeting. He must recognize that reaching initial or revised objectives of the meeting, as well as following-up after the meeting, are essential to its success.


Rethinking Sales Magazine January 2011

03 Time Management: Do You Have Time Left For What Matters Most to YOU?

"I wish I'd spent more time at the office or at work." Iʼm pretty sure that these are not the words you would hear if they were the last words spoken in someoneʼs life, and Iʼm sure that they never will be. Sure, you may be getting things done effectively and efficiently. The question is, are you getting the things done that matter to you most? How can you make time work for you? It seems to be increasingly evident that the idea that time can be “managed” is a myth. And, no matter what you do, you canʼt change the amount of time you have. The only thing that you can do is to manage yourself and the choices you make in regard to how you will manage your time. So where do you start? You need to improve on the time “habits” that you have right now. Think to yourself as you go through the day, “Is this the best use of my time right now?” If the answer is “no”, then stop what you are doing, and come up with a better solution. One of the biggest road blocks in time management is procrastination. All of us do it at some point and to some degree. Therefore, be conscious of it, and replace these moments of procrastinating with alternatives that will keep you productive by


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sticking to schedules and aiming to get better and better at it, as time goes by.

Identify Your Time Vampires I talk about these “vampiresʼ in my book. These are the people who manage to interrupt your day in ways that are not necessary; whether itʼs a phone call, someone stopping by your office, a coworker going on and on about the intricate details of their weekend, or having to sift through dozens (maybe even hundreds) of emails. Put your foot down and make it a point going forward not to let these “time vampires” eat up valuable minutes in your day. Keep track of how you are losing time over the next week or so, and who or what is responsible for this loss of time, and then strategize ways to limit these “interruptions so that you can keep your time management functioning at peak performance. Think about the bigger picture: wouldnʼt you rather spend that hour or two at home with your friends and family, instead of playing catch-up working from home to finish the things you couldnʼt during the day?

Always remember what matters most to YOU both at work and in your personal life. Both parts matter and are equally important, so work to maintain that balance. By managing your day, knowing that each day will not run perfectly, you will ultimately be freeing yourself up to do the things that are important OUTSIDE OF WORK, AS WELL. Be sure to schedule personal commitments, as well as work commitments, as we tend to put more of a priority on the latter, with our personal lives often taking a back seat to our professional obligations. This is a choice that we make, so start choosing and prioritizing what matters most to you today.


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We all know that success is not just handed to us. Rather, it comes from hard work. Period!  But most of us do not want to work 18 hour days, and would like the chance to enjoy our lives. The key is to find the balance that works for you. Ask 100 different people how they spend their days and you will get 100 different answers. In the book The Four-Hour Work Week, it basically advocates working less and enjoying life more, stating that life is too short to work and work until you die.  The book Crush It, for example, is the opposite extreme, and basically says that you need to do whatever it takes and put in as many hours as it takes to crush your competition and reach your goals - no matter what else is going on in your life. The point is that each one of us has to decide what success looks like for ourselves.  Everyone is different, but you have to define what success looks like for you.  Sure, I love working hard, but I also love my wife and son and daughter, and at this stage in my life, unlike when I was 20, working my entire day away no longer has the appeal that it once did. I am still a hard-working go getter, but my priorities have changed, and so too has my time management. So I now work to find a healthy balance between doing what I love and committing to making time in my life in order to spend it with the ones I love the most. Itʼs not always an easy task, but well worth the effort when you wake up one day and realize that both sides are working harmonious with the other. And even if itʼs just for one day every so often, enjoy these moments as they come. Every day brings new challenges and struggles. Just make sure that you know your own priorities, and schedule your time according to what matters most to YOU.   


Rethinking Sales Magazine January 2011

04 How To Think Like A CEO

Exercise Self Control - Any time that you communicate with someone, you are leaving them with an impression that will stay with them always. Make sure the impression you leave, is the one that you meant for them to have. Be “Hungry” - Staying hungry is about not giving up when everybody else says you should." Be Inquisitive - Never stop reading up on and learning about the latest trends in your field. If you donʼt, you will quickly be left behind. Always Be Ethical and Respectful -Leaders must carry themselves with integrity and honesty. You are developing and maintaining your brand with every word that you speak, and every action that you take. Never forget this.


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Be Original - CEOʼs are allowed to be inventive, different, imaginative. Donʼt be afraid to think this way, as well. Conduct Yourself Professionally in Public Situations - Always be sure that the way people see you, even outside of the office, is professional and respectable. Be a Risk Taker - Itʼs ok to be gutsy and take risks, but at the same time you must be modest and in control. Use Humor - Humor cuts across boundary lines of culture, rank, etc. Just be sure to interject it at the right moments. Pay Attention to Detail - The higher you go up the proverbial “ladder”, you may feel less in touch with the smaller details. Every detail matters. Lead With Confidence - Some say leaders are born, some say you can learn to lead. Either way you must be driven and willing to do it. Be Willing to Admit Your Mistakes - Acknowledge your mistakes, learn from them and move forward. Be Straightforward - CEOs have no patience for people who are not direct with their message. Treat others as you Want to be Treated: What goes around comes around. Enough said. Maintain a Competitive Edge - Thereʼs nothing wrong with a little healthy competition to keep you pushing forward. Be Flexible - Flexibility is showing a customer or potential client that you will work with them in finding a mutually acceptable middle ground that both side will be happy with. Inflexibility will quickly be a turn-off to many in the business field. Use Stories in Conversations - Incorporate your own life experiences into conversations that show your “human” side. Life gives us all the material we need. All you need to do is use it at the right time.


Rethinking Sales Magazine January 2011

05 Sales skills for success

So what skills are really needed to be a successful salesperson? In my personal experience, I am convinced that sales methods and techniques can be learned by anyone who wants to put the time in further grow and perfect their skills. Sure, there are some who may have “natural” or “instinctual” abilities that are somewhat second nature. But whether you are born with them are not, the following skills are necessary to make it at all in sales.

Effective Communicator Communication covers a lot of territory. I am not talking about superb orator skills here, but the ability to speak clearly and in a manner that is easy to understand. Sales is all about talking to people and getting them to understand what you are trying to communicate.


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Great Listening Skills A great salesperson knows when to stop talking and listen. A great salesperson also knows that if they are talking more than the client, they are doing something wrong. Pause in a conversation, allow time for reflection on what始s been said, and then add to the conversation as you see fit.

Are Inquisitive Salespeople know the importance of asking their clients and customers questions to further understand fully what their needs are, and how you will meet them.

Desire To Solve Problems Great salespeople are always solving problems. In fact, much of a salesperson始s job involves coming up with ways to make it work for the client - reworking the sale until it is acceptable for both sides.

Self-Motivation A successful sales person does not rely on others for their drive and success - rather, they are disciplined in their resolve to reach their goals. They are also very persistent, and giving up is not part of their vocabulary.

Positive Self Image Having the mind-set that you can achieve whatever you set out to do is a common practice among successful salespeople. Of course, you cannot allow your ego to become too inflated, but you do need to possess the idea and confidence that you can get the job done, and get the job done well.

Respectful and Courteous The best sales people tend to be very well-mannered. People are attracted to those that respect them. A mutual level of respect is the foundation in the building of any long lasting relationship.


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Naturally Persuasive Another very common inherent skill with great salespeople is that they are very persuasive or know how to get what they want.

Person of Integrity A salesperson without integrity will quickly find out that people will not tolerate it. Honesty in sales is so important to your success, because basically, before you sell your product or service, you are selling yourself. This skill cannot be taught. When interviewing someone for a sales position, for example, look for any signs that portray them as a person of integrity or are not. Be as analytical as possible on the evaluation of this skill.

Thank you for reading For More information: Call Us at +1(201) 305 3303 Visit RethinkingSales Email Magazine Group

EBOOK THE TOP LINE ENTREPRENEUR Sales....The world of sales offers infinite possibilities as to how fast you can grow your business, and how much money you can make in the process. But you need to plan for success. Without a plan, more specifically, without a plan of how you will generate money for your “top line”, nothing else will matter.   Everything you do in your business life involves sales and selling. Without sales, you are just someoneʼs employee. Yes, I know most people say that as long as you work in a company you are in sales, but unless you are willing to have your compensation tied to your performance, then you are only peripherally in the sales game. Be sure to check out our FREE WEBINAR on the Top Line Entrepreneur On January 12th, 2011.

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