6 things salespeople should NEVER do

6 things salespeople should never do-01
The other day I was interviewed about what I believed were the 6 things salespeople should never do.
As soon as I heard this question, the following guidelines popped into my head so I thought I’d share with you.

1) NEVER argue with the customer – salespeople should follow what I call the ‘alongside’ rule. For me, this rule means that if a confrontational situation occurs during a sale, you should imagine yourself standing shoulder-to-shoulder with your prospect, heading in THEIR direction and figure out a way to help them achieve their goals in a way that is suitable to you. You can always disarm someone through agreement, then add your point once they see that you’re LITERALLY on their side. Remember there can be times where you break rapport, but in general, agree, then lead, never disagree and then try to change someone’s mind!

2) NEVER see failure as a negative – Failures are gifts of experience in disguise! Each time you come up against a tough customer, you get experience, much like in a boxing match. The more punches are thrown in the face, the more low blows you receive, the more prepared and the more likely you are to be battle-hardened and come out on top, the victor the next time! So in sales, be happy when the phone or door is slammed in your face, just make sure you analyse the situation, write down what you think you could have done differently, and move on with a grin… QUICKLY!

3) NEVER enter a sales situation / deal without at least an idea of your intended OUTCOME – So often we’ve heard the sayings, “If you don’t know where you’re headed, how on earth do you think you’ll get there?” or something along similar lines with nautical themes. Why? Because if you don’t know what you want, the chances are you won’t get it… Sales is about mutual benefit. You customer sure will know what they want – A GREAT DEAL and to get as much for as little money as possible – they’ll ask all the right questions and keep pushing towards achieving what THEY want. However, you? YOU need to do the same, and like a monumental battle of rope-pull, you need to put your back into it and shift the momentum in your direction to achieve a great outcome. Do yourself a favour and go in with a plan of action; what your ideal outcome is, what you can offer as an incentive that isn’t going to break the bank, how you will overcome the key objections, and most importantly, how you intend to move toward closing the deal.

4) NEVER stop listening. This one’s pretty simple. Salespeople should never stop listening for buying signals. They should never stop listening out for what the prospect NEEDS and DESIRES. They should pay attention to their LIKES and DISLIKES, what team do they support? Who do they mention a lot in their conversations with you – their wife? Try and make a note of all the things you think will help build a picture of this person in your mind. When you have a great picture of how someone thinks, and what attracts them, then you can design your sales pitch around them using this customised MAP you have created! More details on this in the TTS ebook.

5) NEVER waste time on email if you don’t have to – Calling is ALWAYS preferable except when initially contacting warm leads to assess interest. If you can, call or talk in person face-to-face. The rich tapestry of information that can be gleaned from a sales telephone call or during a direct meeting is far and above that of an email. I’ve know the nicest people, who, when they write an email, seem angry or very off-hand just because of their style of writing – it sends a confusing signal to the salesperson. Not only that, but talking is easy, writing is hard, and you cannot hear the nuances of HOW things are said or hear/see reactions; all of which help make you efficient at deciding whether you should chase a lead for 1 day or 1 month! Calling is a big time-saver AND gives a big clue about how to handle your sales pipeline.

6) The final one – NEVER stop building your pipeline. What is a pipeline? It’s the imaginary pipe that delivers new prospects to you. If you get lots of new leads, you’re filling your pipeline. If you deal with just OLD customers or don’t generate any NEW ENQUIRIES then your pipleline is running dry. NEVER let your pipeline go dry – this is a big mistake. Each day you should aim to bring on board AT LEAST 1 more customer into your sales pipeline. Trust me, it will make ALL THE DIFFERENCE to your monthly target and I don’t want to hear excuses about having too much ADMIN. Admin can wait! Sales can’t.

OK, so that’s 6 things salespeople should NEVER do – I hope you enjoyed it.
Apply these lessons and I guarantee, you’ll be yet another SALARY STEP forward to earning more than you did last week. Happy selling.

Posted in Sales articles, Sales tips, Top lists, Uncategorized Tagged with: , ,

Sales – Why does the customer care?

Sales why does the customer care

When customers come to you, they want to know what’s in it for them. Plain. Simple.

When selling anything to customers, the first sales thought that should jump into your mind screaming is not about how to make money with what you’re doing, no, it’s to answer the question, “Why does the customer care?” By answering this question, you present the customer with an image to cling to. This image that you give them is a positive solution to their problems. The image is the end goal, the way out, the drive and the magnet that attracts them. The image answers the question they have, “why do I want this” .

To answer why the customer cares, you have to have done 2 things:

  1. Know who your customer is
  2. Know how what you sell can help your customers with a problem they experience, or improve their lives.

To know who your customer is, you need to think like them, you need to be just like them. You need to embody them and think about their day, their concerns, how they travel, who they live with, whether they are refined and after the best things in life, or if they will accept a lower quality item in exchange for a discount.

Second, you decide what products or services match your target customers – those customers you want to be purchasing from you and/or historically have purchased from you in the past – be it young mums, or high-flying single entrepreneurs.  For the former, a lower priced item of reasonable quality and baby-safe would likely be more suitable. For the latter, an expensive, tailor-made product that saves time and looks unique, reinforcing their high-end personal brand, would likely be more appropriate.

Now, once you decide what products match your customers. Speak to them.

Why does the young mum care about your moisturising cream product for instance? Well, perhaps it’s hypo-allergenic – so it’s safe for the home, and can even be used on babies. Perhaps it’s small – maybe it could even be carried in their purse – so it’s easy for them to throw in their bag and take with them to the nursery or to the local coffee shop along with all the toys? You get the idea.

What is necessary is to make the benefit, to your particular target customer, very clear.

When the customer sees your benefit, the imagery of this product pops into their head, they think “AHA!” and see their problem being solved. This imagery delights them, they see the positive in it and are DRIVEN to make a purchase. You are communicating the WHY to your customer and YOU are answering the only question in sales that matters – “Why does the customer care?”

 

 

Posted in How to sell, Sales articles, Sales tips

Interviews – selling yourself

Interviews (selling yourself)

 

Ever wanted to know how to ace an interview?

There is a long contested debate about how to best approach the interview process.

Most part of this debate hangs on minute details – on small occurrences such as ‘if’ the interview asks what your greatest weakness is…. or how you should shake his/her hand…

Contrastingly, rather than being helpful, or even memorable, such debate and conjecture just makes the person about to attend the interview even more nervous.

So what, then, are the few overriding factor(s) that decide whether or not you ace an interview?

1. The degree to which you can convey certainty about your life choices.

How much certainty you convey about yourself, your accomplishments, and the belief you transmit to the interviewer about your competence is THE most important skill to work on. If you can’t convince yourself that you are a worthy employee, you have no hope of convincing someone else! It is recommended that you spend time each day leading up to your interview, getting your CV/resume up to date, and practise going through it with someone, positively describing the steps and choice you have made in your life that have brought you to the interview room. You want to go into detail about how sure you were when you decided to transfer to that new job because you knew it was the right career decision and you would learn and develop faster by taking that decision.

Don’t just be certain about your timeline, be certain about your skills – even if you don’t know right now how to do something, you sure as heck can study up the nights/days before once you have landed the job! So forget about the consequences, because your job at the interview isn’t to THINK, it isn’t to decide whether you are good enough, it is to sell yourself in the best possible light and then, if you don’t think you can manage later, then and only then, once you have the job offer, should you check with yourself to decide if are or aren’t willing to put in the hours to learn what you don’t yet know.

2. How memorable you are

Employers and Human Resource managers don’t have time to read hundreds of applications, they skim and search for keywords. It’s a bit hasty sometimes, and you may be skipped over for something you would be perfect at, but that’s just unlucky – so what can you do to shine in your interview? BE MEMORABLE. Out of the hundreds of applications (CVs / resumes) out there, what makes you different? How can you add the keywords in the job description to your application? What can you put in your cover letter to make it more personable, to paint a picture so that when someone picks it up they pause to think, “Hey, this is kinda interesting! Look at this…’ I’ll leave that part to you – just keep fairly in tune with the company or recruitment agency you are sending your documents to.

After you have been selected for interview, try to stand out again. Wear something that looks quality – because you’re quality. Hand over another copy of you CV / resume, why? Because you think ahead and, what’s that? It’s printed on 300gsm paper – so it feels weighty and thick (i.e. QUALITY) in the interviewer’s hands.

During the interview tell your background in a positive tone and let the interviewer know more about you as a person and maybe even throw in a story that shows you off to have had good character in the past or shown some great qualities such as leadership? It can only help tremendously.

A great way to be memorable is to be referred by an existing employee of the company or through a mutual friend. Out of all the ways to get a job, this is by far the best – instantly you won’t be another sheet of A4 paper piled on a desk and starting from scratch. Instead, you with be ‘so and so in the Marketing department’s University friend from such and such a place’! You have an instant conversations starter, you will also be remembered for the less conventional route to the interview room, and so have a massive advantage over the other candidates. Go you! One suggestion is to try building up your network through friends via LinkedIn or other social media / in-person local networking groups to get these opportunities. This tactic really helps if there is a particular company you dream of working for.

3. Whether you will mesh with the existing team

The company wants its existing employees to get on well with any new hires, it stops conflicts, it maintains the dynamic and prevents any strange vibes from destroying worker morale. If you put someone in a team who immediately hates being there, this attitude will infect everyone else, and the existing team will desert the ‘rotten’ ship in their droves. No employer wants this. So your aim is to find a moment in the interview to direct the interviewer’s thoughts to an image of you working perfectly with the current team. A way to do this is to ask as a question, how the interviewer, with what you have said so far, thinks you will fit into the team.

If he is unsure, you can say how you have fitted into teams really well in the past, and have even managed to boost efficiency or moral on several occasions – in fact you pride yourself on being positive in the workplace. Remember, it’s up to you how you convey the above points. You should speak with assuredness and really try and get that image of you as a well-functioning team member into your prospective employer’s mind.

Posted in Sales articles, Sales tips Tagged with: , , , ,

Afternoon success checklist

Afternoon success checklist

Here is a FREE and clear afternoon success checklist that works.

For all the lovely people passing by TTS, just click and download, courtesy of yours truly.

It really works so print it + stick it somewhere. it’ll remind you of the key elements of success which are:

1. SETTING GOALS

2. PLANNING SPECIFIC ACTIONS

3. PRIORITISING what matters most

4. MENTAL REHARSAL / HABIT CONDITIONING

… and CONSISTENCY (no.5)!

 

If you prefer something awesome and blue for your computer devices (in addition to the afternoon success checklist) then download the FREE ‘learn to sell’ wallpaper especially for you. Who says I’m not generous huh?!

Posted in Sales Freebies! Tagged with: ,

Sales wallpaper

sales wallpaper

Let’s get real here – we all need sales wallpaper!

Sometimes you have remember to keep learning, to BECOME BETTER.

Sometimes you just need to DO IT, even for a minute a day to keep improving.

Especially if YOU WANT to EARN MORE.

What better way than have that reminder to continue to LEARN and EARN right there on your screen?!

So, for those of you trying to hit targets, make more money, get a promotion, or run your own business better, I present you with a free, simple, optimized wallpaper for your devices to remind you to

LEARN TO SELL.*

*AS IN, TODAY.

 

Laptop/Desktop: download

Tablet: download

Mobile: download

 

P.S. Let us know if the download works well with your device. We’ll aim to make you a new one it not.

Posted in Sales Freebies!

What apples teach us about sales

6 lessons apples sales

Picture the scene. With no cash, nothing to show but sunburn, you work all hours for coin. You’re a jaded young fruit picker, called ‘Al’ (or ‘Alina’); it’s another hot Monday with the harsh sun beating down on you in the apple fields. Today you’re sticky and bothered, but hey, half your day is done and you have just 4hrs to go…  your mind drifts to yesterday’s fiasco. Yesterday you were in trouble – you picked 1000 apples when the big, cider-guzzling orchard owner said you should have picked 2000 apples. Darn.

You realise that you’re doing better today (Well done Al!) you’ve already counted 650 apples! Soon you’ll be apple-picker of the year!
You’ve been pushing hard today but still, you are spending a lot of time thinking about which apples are ripe before actually picking them – you don’t have experience, you don’t have a quick test yet. If only… if only you knew a way to test the apples quickly, by scanning them for tell-tale signs… hmmm. You finish the day with 1220 apples.

That night you knock back a few with an ol’ pro-picker named Tuck. At midnight Tuck lets you in on a secret, “Naaaaa! It’s not always about the colour – they can be any colour, it’s the situation of the apple”. Huh? Whaaaa? “Apples ripen inside out… um… er… I mean on the tree. Outside apples ripen waaaaay faster, ‘specially those exposed in the sun. Those ones nearer the centre ripen later!”

You smack yourself on the forehead and hit the orchard hard the next morning with a newfound zest.

You zip through the orchard on Tuesday only grabbing the outermost fruit, you save time analysing those apples that will never be ‘ripe’ today, and finish the day on 1672 apples! Whoa – and you didn’t even try harder – it was easier! The orchard owner winces at you past his bulbous nostrils and grunts, “Better, I won’t sack ya yet… you jus’ bought yourself another couple o’ days.” Whoop! You think to yourself.

AHA! ONE – In a sea of apples… I mean customers… you need a quick way of testing their value. Scan the leads by allocating just a few minutes to each one by sending a basic email template with minimal personalisation OR make a quick call OR a social media connection. You’re bobbing, bobbing for apples – you’re effectively going to get your teeth into those apples that require less effort and provide more value – they’re ripe.

It’s Wednesday. You’re feeling gen’d up and you still can’t fathom the dimensions of this never-ending apple field. But what’s this? You end the day with 15% of your apples being rejected – you picked them too early. Oops. To put it mildly the boss ain’t best pleased… You just wasted him a few hundred notes. Luckily he’s down on staff tomorrow and needs you. You go back to Tuck and with a whiny look on your face plead him to tell you where you went wrong. Fortunately Tuck takes pity on you a sits you down to give some sage advice. He says, “Look, Al… or Alina – seriously I can’t tell if you’re a boy or girl ma’am. But I digress… Sometimes, SOMETIMES some of the apples break the rules. You have to look for more clues. A ‘picker’ trick is to dissect a sample apple once in a while; you cut it horizontally and look at the seeds. Usually, the seeds become brown when the fruit is ripe.” You thank Tuck to his face, then walk off quietly cursing him for not bestowing this knowledge upon you yesterday the pr*ck – You could seriously have been sacked!

You head out with vigour – It’s Thurs-YAY today. You zip around like a surgeon, scalpel in hand, dissecting apples looking for brown seeds inside. These seeds tell you everything you need to know about the ripeness of orchard trees in various sections of the field. And you get to eat some too! Bonus. You get a taste for ripe apples – soon you get a sixth sense for ripeness and notice the soil is drier in the parts of the orchard with the sour ones. You realise…

AHA! TWO – Once you know which apples have potential (I.e. those on the outside); sometimes you have to really delve deeper inside the apple (customer) to classify it as valuable or not. By asking the right questions and ‘digging deeper’, you find the tell-tale signs you’re looking for to judge apple value. Furthermore, you start to group the ‘ripes’ and the ‘sours’ into broad categories by noticing other factors that consistently determine their type. You segment the audience. Each segment requires a different approach. Under the right circumstances – if given more time, attention and effort – the ‘sours’ will too become ‘ripes’.

’tis Friday my androgynous friend and YOU are learning fast. You pick more apples and have a lower defect rate at only 2% – YOWZER!! That’s earned you a place on the coveted ‘orchard employee of the hour’ whiteboard! You dream of stardom, the lights, yep – the big time. Even one of the young milk-churning maids, and intriguingly, the cross-eyed village hermit try to catch your eye. You blush and wail at them your new slogan, “Just Keep Pickin’!” Smiling to yourself you trudge home and nurse your feet – you’ve been abusing them with all this productivity!

AHA! THREE – Being more efficient is integral to improving your stats! Spending less time on ‘sour’ apples, more time on ‘ripe-uns’ means you whizz through apple after apple and you get a far better return for it. The boss is proud (his investment in you is paying off), your peers are impressed (you’re smashing the target), and you have accomplished a lot (feeling pretty smart huh?!) – productivity has just skyrocketed. Your mum calls you to tell you you’re her favourite boy-girl and that just tops off the day. You reward yourself and watch the news while ironing your fave skirt.

It’s the weekend. It’s Saturday now, you roll out of bed and for a split-second you ponder over a lie-in. I mean, you’re too important around town now to work on weekends, right? BUT NO! Hell no; it’s Pickin’ Season and you’re an icon now – SOMEONE need to set an example for others. That’s you. You drive over to the orchard in your limo, the chauffer double knots the shoelaces of your new Italian leather shoes that promise ‘We walk with you the extra mile’. You’re dressed to tramp and mean business.

People are in awe as you pick at LIGHTSPEED. Apple after apple is launched into your wicker basket. All apples are scanned, tested, categorised and dealt with with BORG-like efficiency. “Tuck will be crying in the bar tonight when he sees I beat his record of 2160 apples!” You think to yourself. The boss runs out screaming at you to take it easy. But why? In your haste to process apples, you’re bruising perfectly good ones. You need to pay more attention to your apples OTHERWISE you won’t get to deal with them anymore. You’re losing revenue for the orchard with your cavalier attitude. Why didn’t you see this before?

AHA! FOUR – Once picked, don’t throw the apples (customers) into the baskets (end-zone), place them in gently, or they will bruise and go bad more quickly. If they get a bruised ego or feel mistreated, they won’t produce the value you imagined, and they won’t be available for you to pick again in the future. No repeat business will come your way and that’s a sure path to failure in the fruit picking trade. Word of mouth will spread and no orchard owner will recommend you.

My Al(ina) – you’re having a time of it aren’t you?

Tuck clacks on over in his cowboy boots as you’re forcing your way through a few bruised apple segments as ordered by the boss-man. He comments on your ‘fancy shoes’ and gives you some apple-munching advice: “Don’t wash apples until just before to prevent spoilage.” It’s a bit random but you’ll take it – Tuck has been pretty spot on with his advice, shame it comes as often as Hale Bopp.

AHA! FIVE – Your mind scrambles trying to figure out the deep meaning of Tucks words. He’s a cryptic fellow. Then it hits you like Isaac Newton. Apples are ready to be eaten when they’re clean, not before; if you clean them before it allows outside entities to infect them, to influence them, make them go bad. So what he means is, if I try and close the deal too early, before I have taken care of the customer properly, he’ll go off and other competitors will pounce on him. BINGO.

You’re little mind boggles at the depth of this guy. Respect.

…but wait! There’s more… can it be, Tuck is going to blow my mind with a (golden) delicious proverb? “Keep apples cool after picking to increase shelf-life”

AHA! SIX – Yes. To have repeat customers – to increase their shelf-life – you need to keep customers cool. Keep your apples in the fridge – where you can check on them every so often, see how they’re doing, make sure they’re taken care of. Don’t neglect your apples or they really will go off!

You have just reached a whole new dimension of enlightenment. You can sense the apple sauce in the pantry of the orchard bar and you start to experience synaesthesia – everything sounds like cinnamon.

The phone rings at the back of the bar and everybody looks quizzical. You pick up tentatively and say, “Hello?”

An old man with a smooth as apple-sauce voice projects down the blower – “Sonny?” he nose-whistles, “Sonny, I hear good things about you but I’m worried eh. Let me… Let me tell you one thing I learned through my years…”

OK old man, spit it out. “If there’s one thing, JUST ONE that you should remember, it’s this…” he continued.

“Every apple, EVERY apple, is high in antioxidants.”

???

“Aaaaand… That means that be it a honeycrisp; a Jonagold; Ginger Gold; a Woolbrook Russet or even a Bramley variety…”

“…a regular or cooking apple”

…there’s good in EACH apple.” – Beeeeeeeeeeeeep.

Mr Kipling never called again.

 

***PLEASE SHARE***

by Nick
Copyrighted material 2014 – sharing of this webpage permitted with direct attribution and linkback but no reproduction allowed.

Posted in How to sell, Metaphors, Sales observations, Sales tips Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Are you aiming high enough?

 are you aiming high enough sales

Aiming high?

How much are you personally worth? How much do you value your skills? The answer for many of us is not much. This applies to our working life, our career and our relationships. But why? Why do we set the bar so low? Who taught us to restrict our ambitions before we even get going? And what can we do about it?!

Aiming low is a personality trait and an ingrained habit pure and simple, and it can be changed. If you can quit a habit like drinking or smoking, then you can quit aiming low.

Why don’t we?

First, lets acknowledge what the root causes are. Did you ever hear the story of the flea circus? It was one of my most memorable childhood stories. It begins with a man who keeps a set of tiny black fleas in a tiny glass box, he keeps these fleas in this box day and night. They jump and jump but can never get any height, and over time these fleas learn that they can only jump so high. No matter how hard they try, the flea cannot go higher, so it learns not to try anymore. Now the flea keeper; he is a part of the circus, and he has a special but tiny act – his fleas! He lifts off the tiny glass box’s lid to show off his fleas. To the audiences amazement they hop up and down but never out of their home – not because the can’t – because they have the ability to jump right out from their box and escape – but because they just don’t believe it is possible; instead they just hop up and down the same height, time after time, acting in their circus, never escaping, never trying, but comfortable in doing what they already do best.

Aiming high or selling yourself short?

You too are trained in just this way. As you grow you are also restricted, restricted from reality. You live inside a box, too, but this box is called your beliefs. People around you shape your beliefs for better or worse. In childhood most of us are on the receiving end of the ‘worse’ but why? Normally it’s for our own good! We’re told we can’t climb on the window (for fear of injury), we can’t play until we’ve done our homework (good in one sense), but we can’t have what we want until we have followed the rules – we learn the habit of delaying our dreams. In terms of ambition, we think, as adults, that we have to qualify for a job role before we apply. We think we’re not good enough until we have taken another qualification. But is this right?

Reality

Our beliefs about what is possible quickly become our beliefs about what isn’t. Sadly, what we ‘cannot’ combines with ‘not yet being ready’ and also a sense of familiar comfort that comes from not ‘going too far’ just in case something bad happens. It is these, these learned restrictions, which box us in the most. We may be free, but our minds are locked. But is there a key? Can they be freed too?

Aiming high for the sky

Worthy goals, in both your life and career should always be set beyond the boundaries of your current thinking. They should seem scary, if not rather unrealistic to you, so much so that only a much better, more qualified, ambitious you could EVER hope to achieve such goals. If you are not striving for better – for better pay, better life conditions, better health and better relationships, then you’ll just stay stuck where you are. You will stay in your ‘box’, hitting your head on the imaginary ceiling which you have set yourself, and never knowing that there’s a whole world out there – a world much more amazing and full of possibilities – available to you, should you only have the courage to become your potential.

Action

So the question remains, what can we do about it?

Well it’s simple… Aiming high is not about trying something new, it’s fundamentally about believing something new.

It’s about recalibrating what you think is possible – and how you do this is up to you, but it comes from raising your standards. It comes from doing things that aren’t you but ARE the new you until you start to believe in yourself MORE and KNOW that you are capable of more.

Mostly though, it’s about jumping straight into the deep end, under prepared and overwhelmed – with you mind-set being, “It’s better to experience life OUTSIDE of this box, than to regret never (B)leaving it.”

Next time you want a new job, to change tack or even work for yourself, don’t let qualifications, fear, or limiting beliefs hold you down. Drag yourself back up and break out of your box by becoming someone who sees life as an adventure, not a repetition. Do something different… TODAY.

Aim high, and Sell well 🙂

Posted in Mindset, Sales tips Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Pursuit of Happiness: Sales Analysis

The iconic film, Pursuit of happiness provides a sneak peek of some core sales fundamentals. I have outlined some of the sales learnings available to us during Will Smith’s cold calling mission. Remember, just because it’s a popular film doesn’t mean the content is not factually correct. Many times advisors are brought in to add realism to the motion-picture.

So what can the Pursuit of Happiness teach us on how to improve our sales? Watch the YouTube video:

OK, so you saw the clip? Great, now lets look at the content:

1- Have a plan

As the narration shows, Will Smith’s character had a plan he had already worked out what was required of him to achieve his goal. He knew that people who brought in the ‘most money after 6 months’ were hired. So now he has his outcome and that gives him a direction for his efforts. Not only did he know to make money, but make the most money out of his colleagues, and make the most in a 6 month time frame.

2- Know what is expected of you

He had to work his way up the call-sheets he’d been given, from bottom to top, and sign as many clients as possible. So to do what was expected of him, he needed to understand the resources he had at his disposal, and decide if, with his current situation, he had a chance of making more than anyone else…unfortunately for him, this ‘stock-take’ gave him the realisation he needed to amend the plan he was given.

3 – Know your maths

Due to the demands place on him for looking after his son, Will’s character had to ‘do in 6 hours what they do in 9’ so he had to optimise his time and figure how to fit the same tasks into a shorter day. It was hard but he economized by not hanging up the phone between calls to save 8 minutes a day. Now 8 minutes a day, to my mind, would not be sufficient-enough a time-saving to warrant the added stress, nor the lack of mental clarity in call preparation before speaking to someone new. If you have a large rejection, even seasoned salespeople may still be feeling the effect for 30 seconds – emotions are easily controllable, but they don’t just flick off. Instead, they subside.

4 – No water… so time is not wasted in the bathroom?

NOT recommended. Studies show that you should take a break every 45minutes (as this article from HuffPost explains) – for just a few minutes – to maintain mental fitness, attention, and retention – all these factors would slowly start to affect the quality of his conversations late in the day and he would come across less positively. Furthermore, the lack of hydration would create at least some mental fatigue, exacerbating the situation

5 – Checked his progress

After 2 months of this crazy schedule, unsurprisingly he was still not anywhere near the top of the call-sheet. He was nowhere near calling CEOs where the big money was… and not surprisingly! But he did review his progress and this is something that will keep a salesperson / junior broker on track. Ideally though, this should be done as part of a weekly morning meeting.

6 – Take initiative

Here our hero throws out the rule book and skips to top of list (CEO Zone) where ‘Mr Ribbon’ agrees to a quick meeting before a sporting event. So what does that tell us? Sometimes to get ahead you have to do what everybody else isn’t. Sometimes, you have to take some risks and go out an take what you’ve earned.

 

For some real-life sales tips, check out this post.

 

Until next time, Sell Well 🙂

 

Posted in Sales observations, Sales tips, Sales video analysis Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Ultimate sales tip guide for making more money

 

16 ultimate sales tipsFollowing is an ultimate list of the top 16 sales tips and techniques. Use one, or use them all; each is proven to work.

Sales tip 1: Focus on the outcome

Before ever starting to sell you must know where you’re headed. How many times have you heard before that you’ll never get where you want to be unless you have direction? Forget sales tip no.1 at your peril.

Sales tip 2: Spend more time on the phone

Yes, you heard it right. Ask yourself this simple question, “How long does it take me to type up a carefully worded email?” and then ask, “How long does it take to pick up the phone and talk?” Now add to that the fact that you get feedback from that same prospective customer from the phone in real time and the choice is clear. Phone wins every time.

Sales tip 3: Have self-esteem

Self-belief is a large part of selling. Without belief in your abilities, your sales presentation or pitch will come across poorly and lack energy. Being able to communicate effectively and transmit your message is one of the top skills you need in your sales arsenal. Believe in yourself and project that belief with sureness to give strength to your message.

Sales tip 4: Believe in your product / service

Convincing a person of something is never simple, so don’t make it harder by introducing doubts about your offering! Lack of belief in your product comes across through your voice and through your body language. The person you are selling to can easily pick this up, they will themselves start to feel uneasy. They will feel lack of congruence (conflict) between your words and the message you are actually presenting.

Sales tip 5: Call when you say you will

What is more annoying than realising at the end of a day that you have another 12 people you should have called? Perhaps you could call them now, but no, they are on holiday for a week or their phone isn’t picking up. If you arrange a time to call someone, call them at this time and leave a message if you have to. A big productivity killer is letting leads mount up – who knows – maybe by tomorrow they will have closed the deal with someone more reliable?

Sales tip 6: Listen to learn

How many times have I seen salespeople talk over their clients? It’s bad practise. Sometimes it is necessary, but the idea should be to learn as much from a prospect at the start of the sales process. Understand them as a person, what are their interests, ideas, hopes, dreams of the future and most importantly what type of things to they choose to do, want, like, prefer that somehow relate to your offering? By hearing their thoughts of past experiences and their reactions, you quickly build a picture of the most efficient way to communicate to the person. The presentation will be more relevant, and better converting than by talking nonsense in the hope that some of it ‘flys’.

Sales tip 7: Keep a steady-flow in your ‘pipeline’

OK, so for me, this is a really big deal. Nothing, and I really do mean nothing will make you more money than this one tip alone. It’s called being productive. If at any point, you are spending your entire day talking to existing customers or taking care of administration STOP! Realise that in a day or a few days, suddenly you will have no leads and will be sitting on your thumbs, whistling, or perhaps making your 10th cup of coffee. Moreover, you will bring in virtually zero commission. That’s the sting.  Remember, to always take in new leads each and EVERY day to keep your cash-flow high.

Sales tip 8: Be thoughtful

Increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can lead to an incredible increase of 25 – 95% in profits (Bain & Co. ’78). So obviously taking care of your existing customers for a portion of your day is a great way to ensure excellent profits. The time taken to ‘service’ an existing customer need only be a few minutes. Alternatively, time spent in convincing a new customer to purchase is greater. A simple way to be thoughtful is to ‘touch base’ with your existing customers as you would on a social network like facebook. Share a fun story or message related to their interests which you got through listening well right?!

Sales tip 9: Record your calls

Learning comes from feedback, and learning is integrated through repetition and physical practise. What better way is there to improve than to record your performance? If you have the stomach for it, regular call-recording should be part of your sales development. Ideally you have a supervisor or colleague who can listen it to a few calls once a week and critique your performance positively. Did you miss any buying signals? Did you hear the prospect’s voice wavering when they said they had a competitor quote? How could you have responded better? WHAT?? You didn’t try and close the deal! It’s hard to notice some blindingly obvious issues during the heat of the sale.

Sales tip 10: Be relaxed and funny

Smile! Nothing is harder to do than sell to a human brick fortress. You absolutely have to open up the person you are talking to for the sale to succeed. The best way? Break the ice with a joke. This can be situational – maybe there’s a dog barking in the background? Say, “Is that your dog barking back there? Remind me to put on my steel pants if I ever enter your house!” Or anything you think works; just don’t be uptight. Ever called one of those car hire companies? They have set phrases to say and they come across like robots with no personality. People don’t open up to people they don’t know how to react to, so it’s your job to lead the way!

Sales tip 11: Give something for free

Imagine you have a back pocket from where you can magically pull out great free inclusions. In the online world this is a free report or a free eBook or even a newsletter that gives insightful information or acts as a resource. Otherwise, you need to have an extended guarantee, a free accessory, or an extra bit of land / night at a spa / tickets to a concert; this type of free bonus. You hold these back from your initial sales presentation and bring them out as deal-winners to push you that inch ahead of the competition.

Sales tip 12: Sell ‘benefits’ rather than just features

This can only be done successfully if you have taken the time to understand your prospective customer. Once you know them, you comment on how your product / service benefits them in particular. Perhaps if enquiring about a honeymoon trip, they tell you they like to relax, have comfortable journeys and to explore? If so you may tell them about the lie-flat beds available in business class offering the height of comfort and letting them feel rested and relaxed – ready to wander one of the 2 city destinations you have chosen because they offer excellent sightseeing and day excursions to explore combined with luxurious landscapes and culture.

Sales tip 13: Reciprocate, don’t supplicate

Is your product not valuable? Is your price high for a reason? If so, when your customer asks for discounts, for extra services, for better payment options, it is your duty to educate your customer about reciprocity. This is the mutual exchange of privileges (defined by Merriam-Webster) that is fair in negotiations and in sales. If your customer gets something, you should also get something in return. Let’s say you are asked for a discount; this discount should only be given if they pay in full and they pay now. What happens if you don’t stipulate this? The prospect goes away, tells another company that you offer a 10% discount, they match this but they educate your customer! They close the deal and you just wasted a substantial amount of time because you didn’t remember this important sale tip.

Sales tip 14: Build your knowledge daily

Along with the previous sales tip on recording your calls, you should never stop learning – this means product knowledge and sales knowledge. Product knowledge is gained through taking time to learn about your offering from the customer’s point of view; if you were them, what would you want to know and what would convince you? What materials can teach you more about the range of products and the key differences between them? You should be able to reel off product knowledge quickly to show expertise. For sales knowledge, read sales books or look at blogs on the subject – often the most effective method is the most convenient one. Try downloading a sales eBook to your Kindle device or similar – these are surprisingly often top ideas that have already been distilled from authors who have previously read and researched the subject – you end up with distilled and pertinent information.

Sales tip 15: Push value over price

When all things are equal, what extra value can you give your customers? Better customer service, more friendly service, safer transport, 24hr support, a trusted brand – these are all important. Despite what many think, it is the value you offer, not just the price that attracts your customers. Low price could mean ‘will break’ or ‘dodgy suppliers’ or even ‘a call back once you have paid to take more money’ (the case when assumed extras are NOT included). Tell your customers why you are worth more and you never know, they may just listen.

Sales tip 16: Visualise your monthly goal object

All this talk about the customer is nice, but what about you?! Why don’t you get something? Recognition – its great. Be the best – yes it’s motivation. But can you see that in your mind? I find that the best way to motivate yourself on a Tuesday or Wednesday at the start of the week is to have a solid, and physical goal OBJECT. Yes. Choose something; if you’re a girl, you may have a dress or handbag that you fancy, or a new tech gadget like an iPad. If you’re a guy then perhaps you want a fancy watch. Whatever you want, get a picture of it and stick it on your desk. When you’re feeling low – remember that if you keep plugging away – you’ll get there.

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Posted in How to sell, Sales tips, Top lists Tagged with: , , ,

How to sell a product

How McDonalds make you buy using this little trick

Recently, while wandering through a shopping mall in Salvador, Brazil, I came across a hamburger meal offer by McDonalds. Wow! I thought to myself, “now that’s a burger.” It got me thinking about how to sell a product.

In big bright colours, and the size of a bulging city skyscraper, and dripping with perfectly proportioned plump goodness was this ideal and totally unhealthy burger of burgers. The name? MEGAMAC.

WHATS GREETED ME WAS NOT THIS BURGER… but it did taste fantastically good – so no complaint here.

How to sell a product

So what happened? McDonalds pride themselves on speed of delivery and consistent quality in each of their restaurants. Yet, when delivering the ‘real deal’, reality is usually a stern smack to the customers face.

I knew already that the burger would never live up to the picture. In fact, marketing teaches us the first lesson on how to sell a product.

How to sell a product Lesson 1: Show your best side

You heard it right; simply by highlighting the best possible version of your product. you will get more buyers. By creating an image that is so clear and vivid that your customer literally salivates thinking about it – THAT is how to win them over. I can go on about the intricacies but that’s the subject of another post!

How to sell a product Lesson 2: Create an emotional response from your customers

Remember the salivation? Yep. OK well that’s not normal if you’re talking to me about maths, but if i’m hungry, you’d better bet that that’s the response McDonalds aimed for with their picture. How to sell a product? Get the customer to feel something.

How to sell a product Lesson 3: Have simple benefits

Ok the burger was a ‘big mac’. Now add 1 real (Brazilian currency) and you get an extra bit of meat (sorry vegans!). Now add that same 1 real after 6pm and you get 2 extra slabs of processed meat. UNBEATABLE. So you get to choose what burger you desire, and McDonalds can shift more Big Macs with no losses, faster turnover of stock, and delighted customers. Its a big win for everyone.

Any further lessons here would dilute this post, so that’s it for this one – more details are in the ebook.
How to sell a product? Push the positives, make your customers feel, and have clear benefits.

🙂 Sell well!

Posted in How to sell, Sales tips

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