You are never too old for a story!

story

After you called someone who was referred to you or gave you permission to contact them through social media (steer away from cold calls please), you describe what your company does and offer proof to your claims. One of the best and easiest ways to do this is through telling a story of how your company helped someone in a similar business to the person you called.  You want powerful results you can report.

What do you say? How do you organize it?  Keith Eades in The New Solution Selling  suggests telling a brief story describing the issue you tackled for a company like theirs, what was needed (which you provide) and the result obtained.

You want your prospect to admit pain. People buy more and faster due to pain than pleasure. You can pursue pleasure but solving pain is something acted upon immediately if framed in the correct way.  From here, write up for yourself ways to respond to the various common problems admitted by the prospect.  If you are prepared and wrote something powerful you can utilize when speaking, you have a chance at another phone call or in-person meeting.

Remember you must be interested in them and their company. It is often said that we do business with people we like, trust and respect”. Be that to your prospects and develop a relationship where they will stay with you long term.

Please write your comments below and what worked for you to get that initial appointment.

Is it OK to fail forward?

failure quote 2

Should you look at your staff’s shortcomings or assets?

Researchers found by focusing on the positive, talent and creativity as well as better relationships are fostered. The researchers’ book, “Positive Organizational Scholarships” explores ways a company and staff excel, per Kim Cameron from the research team and professor at the University of Michigan Business School. She felt these companies were more profitable, increased productivity and had better ideas as well as improved ability to keep customers and staff longer than most companies.

They talk about centering in on successes and positive things employees contributed. Make certain staff members are aware of your feelings as well as upper management.  Cameron stated “…the highest performing senior-level teams use five times as many positive comments as negative comments, whereas low-performing teams use three times as many critical or negative comments.”

Be certain to applaud a job well done.  Encourage the traits you are looking for, such as, integrity and trust.

Be fine with some errors as long as they “fail forward” – learn from this new experience.

What do you find helpful in growing your staff? I would appreciate hearing your thoughts below.

 

 

What are the 5 parts to the sales process?

 

growth graph
According to Keith Eades in The New Solution Selling, they are:
1) Define the prospects’ buying process.
Knowing how your prospect buys – not what you sell. You need to adapt your sales process to align with the prospects’ buying process.

2) Define and align your selling with the buyers’ buying steps.
This is vital or you could lose the sale. If you take action and don’t know why or what is the result they want is, your failure rate can exceed 50%.

3) Be aware of the outcomes at each step in the process so the salesperson knows if he/she are on the right track.
Have a measurement such as mailing a letter to the prospect noting they agreed to discuss the offering.

4) Job aids/tools are needed.
Examples could be to script the ROI (return on investment) and ways to answer objections.

5) A system from management that measures the process and makes adjustments if needed to increase the possibility of success.

Certainly, this is an outline of what needs to be done. Fill in the blanks for your business. Let me know below what questions you have and if this or another path works better for you.

Has this been helpful for you?  What sales process do you find useful? Let’s have a conversation below.

Have you found business success at the top? What’s holding you back?

success reach the top

Procrastination is one of the primary causes of poor results. One way to get past it is to have a schedule you really stick to and not welcome interruptions.  It is said, plan your day, work your plan.  Put aside blocks of time for certain activities. Combine those you can chunk together, for example, schedule a specific time to make phone calls. If they are prospecting calls, it’s usually best to make them on Wednesday and Thursday (far from one end of the weekend or the other end so people are not playing catch up and have time to speak with you).  If you want to reach the CEO of the company, calling around 8:00 AM or 5:30 PM is advisable. Often the office staff are gone and you can get through to your ideal client.

Chet Holmes, the author of the NY Times bestseller, The Ultimate Sales Machine, discussed reducing interruptions rather than welcoming them. You increase your ability to be more organized and less reactive (and take less – if any – work home to complete at night) if you use what he called, “got-a-minute meetings”.  Send a memo to your staff and inform them not to show up at your door asking if you “got a minute”. The answer will always be “no”. Instead you hold weekly meeting to address questions that can wait (write them down on a pad to bring up at that time) and do workshops in your company (described in a blog post below).  If your question cannot wait for the meeting, write your name on a paper posted on his front door. He takes quick 10-minute meetings to discuss vital, cannot wait issues.  You should come prepared to discuss how you would solve the problem – get empowered.

When you are not interrupted by these “gotta-minute meeting throughout the day, you will be amazed at all you can get done. People honor your time and each other’s as well. Additional staff members can post the same time request sheet on their door. When you are more productive, you can feel like you accomplished something at day’s end, reduce fear and procrastination and say “hello” to being proactive, focused and productive.

Try this out.  What are your thoughts about this strategy? What else worked for you? I will respond to your post.

What business strategy should be implemented next to grow your business?

listening

Is it difficult to know what business strategy to utilize next? Listen to your prospects for cues.

When you have an initial discussion, hear what is said/not said. How do you do the latter? Hear hesitations, pauses and vocal changes. They are clues to what lies beneath what is verbalized.

Step in to their world. See things from their perspective. More importantly, ask insightful questions which show you are listening. Once rapport is established, ask what is their biggest business challenge? Find out what was done to solve this challenge? See if it is something you can address. If you are not the appropriate person to work on the challenge, refer them to a trusted source and/or ask what other challenges are holding them back from getting where they want to go?

When you have a good understanding, find out what it is costing them professionally and personally to not address this issue. Keep checking on your understanding of what was said to make certain you are on the same page.

Discover what it will take to solve the problem. Ask if you can offer a few ideas (don’t spell it out too much just label it – for example, need a referral program). Put a dollar amount on what the resolution of this business challenge will realize monetarily (and personally) for them.

This is the outline for a discussion. More in-depth questions are needed. Contact me to see if what you need and my capabilities would be helpful for you. Fill out the contact form at my website –http://www.leapsandboundscoaching.com . It could be the most important note you write this year.

Until then, please leave your thoughts/comments here. I will respond.

How do you generate interest in your presentations?

people at presentation

How do you increase interest and attentiveness during your presentations? One way to do this is by telling stories.  No, just any story won’t do. It needs to be related to your audiences’ needs and desires. You would know this by who is sitting in front of you or attending your webinar. They should be invited based on their challenges for which you will have a solution.

So how do you choose a story?  Your audience should be looking to you as an expert in a specific field. Often, people think they cannot be like you. You want them to relate to you.  You might have heard the expression, “people do business with someone they like, trust and respect”. That’s right on!  But you are on that stage and have expertise they might feel is beyond their reach. By telling a story in this manner, you build a connection and a feeling they can achieve this level of success too.

Start your story out with a few sentences about the high point in your career that is something they are interested in (example: “I now have a 6 figure business. I take vacations and enjoy time with my family. I work hard and play hard. (Then add the following sentence…) But it wasn’t always like that” (you then go into a few sentences about your struggle so they connect with you). Then end with a few sentences about the success you are currently experiencing stating you can do this as well. This is coming from the thought you did it and I’m where you were so I can achieve this level of success as well.

Often a story such as this is what people remember as time passes so make it memorable and attainable.  The bulk of your discussion might have faded.  Give this method a try. Let me know how it works for you or what you do that produces good results.

What are 5 ways to increase the probability of reaching the boss on the phone?

man on phone

Do you want to reach a potential client more successfully?

1-Call immediately when interest is indicated. People “cool off” and your chance of getting them later and keeping their interest diminishes.

2-The average sales person calls a lead about twice before giving up. Research shows that is takes 6-7 contacts to make a conversation happen. Most reps stop much too soon. Afraid you will “bother” them? Not if you continue to develop their interest, curiosity and give value with each message left. A lot of money is left on the table when you don’t follow-up persistently.

3-Franklin Covey found calling between 3:30 and 4PM is helpful. I also learned the boss will often answer the phone if you call between 8-9AM (check their time zone) or after 5PM when office staff is not available and they pick up their own phone.

4- Calling on a Wednesday or Thursday is considered best. The beginning of the work week is too hectic and Friday people are in a weekend frame of mine.

5-Use a local number –people have caller ID and are more likely to pick up the phone when local numbers are used. There are many companies that offer this type of phone service.

As you move forward reaching more of your leads, it’s important to have sales scripts ready with the responses to FAQ’s. That is your next step. I help my clients develop powerful sales scripts that have been tested and are successful. Some ideas are noted on my blog entries.

Please write your comments/thoughts below on what you found helpful in reaching prospects. Try the ones above and let me know your results. I will respond.