11. December 2013 07:43
After watching the two
political conventions over the last few weeks I naturally asked people what
they thought. “Oh I am definitely voting for Obama” I heard a lot yet several
people I talked to said Romney was their man. I am so intrigued by how people
make decisions. Maybe not all people mind you, but surely the majority of
people make their decisions differently then you would probably think.
The interesting part came after that question because my next
question is always why do you like Obama
or Why is Romney your man?, and the answers were so telling. “I really like
Obama, he seems like he is a great guy. He’d be a good leader.” Or Mitt Romney
has experience and seems to love our country. “I really love Paul Ryan, she is really down
to earth, and smart”. What really floored me was when I asked about their
platform I got lots of blank stares. No one really knew what they stood for in
particular and really didn’t seem to be concerned with it either.
I am not here to say that either candidate is better or
worse then the other, nor do I profess to know politics better then anyone else,
but I am amazed at the way the average person makes their decisions. Years ago
in Florida there was an amendment that would, if passed, allow one particular
industry to decrease taxes for themselves. Their industry only. Do you know
they actually had an ad campaign that said “if we pass this amendment, we will
have lower taxes”. The only ones getting lower taxes were them but the public
bought it and the amendment passed! Crazy but true.
Now let’s look at selling and how this becomes relevant.
Since you are typically selling to the average American, it is important to
keep in mind that people make their decisions on things different then what you
may think. If you believe your “platform” (features and benefits) are what is
important you will often share them when a prospect asks about how you are
different, often sharing one and two things in particular that you believe are
most important again, to you.
Keep in mind, no one cares what you think, only what they themselves
think and to uncover what they think is all that matters. We are all so caught
up in telling people the important things about our product or service we forget
to actually check to see if they think that is important to the person
potentially looking to buy. You know what they say about assuming…
So do you think our politicians will heed this advise? It
probably doesn’t matter much as long as Obama keeps asking for more time while smiling
that gleaming smile and Romney keeps touting his morality.
Greta Schulz is president of Schulz Business SELLutions in
West Palm Beach, Florida. She is the best selling author of "To Sell is
Not to Sell". Greta does corporate training for fortune 1000 companies and
she has an on-line training course for entrepreneurs. For more tips go to:
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4. December 2013 07:51
sales person wants to shorten his or her sales cycle. Any good sales training
system will tell you not to just send literature (or they should). Here’s how to set the expectations for a one-call
strongest and best sales superstars close a new prospect in one visit. Why not?
Any time you have to make a second, third or fourth meeting it costs you
and your prospects money. You lose by
wasting time. They lose because you
delay their advertising results and you waste their time.
in one call? How? It’s simple, but not
key is in properly setting expectations. Steven Covey writes in Seven Habits
of Highly Effective People to “Begin with the End in Mind.” Apply this principle in sales by negotiating
the outcome in advance of your sales calls.
setting the appointment on your prospecting call, here’s an example of proper
expectation setting. You must pre-qualify your call.
before we agree to meet, can we discuss expectations for our meeting?
May I tell you
how I work, and you can tell me if you’re comfortable? Our’s is a two step process. This phone call is step 1. Step 2 is our meeting. Typically this meeting lasts two to ]four
hours. I’d like to begin our meeting by
asking you enough questions to understand your business. Then I’d like you assemble the right people
in the room to ask me enough questions so that at the end of the meeting, you
can be comfortable enough making a Yes or No decision. ‘No’ means you decided you don’t need or want
what I have, or you cannot find the budget, or just cannot decide right
now. I’m okay with a No. I’m
also okay with a ‘Yes’. ‘Yes’ means you
want our help and you’re ready to make a commitment to solve these business
challenges you described.
comfortable with that? (If no,
negotiate issues up front. Don’t wait
until the end of the meeting to decide next steps. The secret to closing in one call is to let
your prospect know how things will end before you start.)
Good. I appreciate you being open, honest and up
front with me. Let’s avoid one thing at
the end of the meeting. That’s telling
me you’re not sure, or that you want to think about it. If you have any doubts, I’ll take any thing
other than a Yes as a No, OK?
approach allows you to avoid the biggest sales nightmare: Indecision.
By allowing your prospect the option of saying no, you take the pressure
off them. As a result, they’ll be more
comfortable. Plus, they’ll pay attention. (Wouldn’t you if you knew you had to make a
1. Start with the
end in mind. Negotiate the outcome for a
decision (No or Yes) when you set the appointment.
2. Decision makers
are decisive. Meet them, not
subordinates. Don’t waste time taking No’s
from people who cannot say Yes.
Establish time contracts. Sales stars set time agreements for 2 to 4
hours for the meeting. By telling people
up front what’s going to happen on your sales call, they’ll appreciate knowing
and will pay attention.
4. Give your
prospects permission to say No, instead of pushing for Yes’s. It makes people comfortable, and
differentiates you from pushy salespeople.
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3. December 2013 08:07
There is a glass sitting on a table with water filled
halfway up the glass. Some see the glass half full, some half empty. Which is
correct? Neither. Both. This old saying
is a terrific illustration of seeing things through your own filter. Most
things in life are subjective, merely subjective. When you hear a salesperson
say, “I had a great meeting and this guy is very interested. I feel like it’s
95% closed”. You analyze the account
yourself and realize it really wasn’t qualified properly, your
salesperson didn’t discuss the dollars it would take to get the job done and
most importantly, he isn’t truly the decision maker. You would put a 50/50
chance on this at best.
The salesperson was bonding with the guy. They talked
baseball for 25 minutes of the meeting, then laughed about their toddlers and
how into the team they are already. This convinced him that he would buy. On
the other hand, You feel since the proper questions weren’t asked and the
proper presentation wasn’t done, it is bound for failure or luck, alone. Who is
right, who is wrong? No one really knows which makes forecasting pretty
difficult and illustrates the point that we see things the way we see them.
Why do they see this sales call so differently? Mostly it is
because of those glasses. The sales guy sees the bonding as a huge buying sign
because that is what he looks for when he buys. The sales manager sees the
technique of the call and without the proper steps it can‘t work except for
luck. He is a guy that doesn’t believe in luck, he believes in fact and
process. All of the tees need to be crossed and the I’s dotted then and only
they will buy.
So who is correct? Not that there is necessarily a right
answer besides the fact that everyone sees things very different. How important
is that to know? Well let’s take this from a few angles. First, as a sales
manager. Do you see how an enthusiastic salesperson can paint a picture so
rosey that you have it practically booked and it isn’t even close? Or a
salesperson says the prospect doesn’t like her, but really she is calling on a
quiet, deep-thinker type and he was just going through the questions he felt
were important, quietly and consciously. Actually he had all intentions in
buying the product but the glasses she sees through is, “he doesn’t like me”
which to her means, no sale.
As a salesperson, we do this most often in the presentation
stage. We give all of the “features and benefits” of the product as we see them
or worse as someone in corporate decided the benefits should be.
This reminds me of a car sales encounter I had years ago. I
was looking for an SUV. After looking at several of the “this car reminds me of
something that totes a small village” type, I looked at a smaller version. I
began telling this salesmen a little about my situation. He obviously had some
training because he did ask me a few questions. “Is anyone in your family
tall?” No, no one’s tall” I curiously answered while walking toward the car. I
got in the car to drive and he proudly started telling me about the 12 extra
inches of headroom that this car had as opposed to the other I had been looking
He asked me the question, but didn’t truly listen to the
answer because someone in “Marketing felt this was an important feature”.
Back to our rose colored glasses, apparently his were made
at the big and tall shop.
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13. November 2013 07:52
It seems that lately we are hearing some promising, yet limiting, news about the state of our economy. Whether there is truth to what we hear or not, we must position ourselves to move forward. We can use this opportunity to evolve and do things differently. Look at your business model. Are there things that need to change? Are you still selling and prospecting the same?Something’s got to give. The opportunity you have should be looked at as an exciting time to implement change for the good. Don’t let your fear for change get in the way of the new normal. Here are five steps I have laid out to help you evolve your business with the changing economic state:Look inside first: Focus on what you have. Look at your customer base. See if you can add more value to the professional relationships that exist. Not in terms of discounts or giveaways, but instead help them out in ways outside your relationship. For example, if they are looking for a new bookkeeper, keep that in mind. If an opportunity arises to help them find one, bring it up. Even set up a meeting or lunch with the three of you. Things outside of the normal business exchange are what we all need to increase business. Reach out and keep those you are in relationships with in mind by offering added value. Chances are they will do the same with you.Analyze your expenses: I think so many of us lack real understanding here. I find most businesspeople/entrepreneurs are either focused on business development or cost cutting. To be successful, both need to be tended to all of the time. Yes, a business development plan is crucial in building and maintaining business, but we don’t want money coming in the front door and sneaking out the back because we aren’t looking.Get creative in your marketing: Always be looking for new ways to market your business. If traditional means of advertising are tough on your budget, meet with your account manager and get creative. I always worry about those who pull their ads all together. What kind of message does that send? And yes, the Internet is a wonderful tool, but not only do you need to be creative there, too, but you need to know what to focus on.Network: I’m a big fan of networking through your local organizations. You always have at least two things: money and time. If money is short, you have time, so use that. Get out there and network. Use your local chamber of commerce, BNI group or even business-run charity events to meet potential strategic alliances.Build strategic alliances: Look at businesses associated with yours. For example, if you’re a financial adviser, look at local CPAs or attorneys who do estate planning. Make plans to get together and discuss what both of you are looking for, and see if there are ways you can help each other out. These relationships prove especially fruitful when looking for referrals, so remember to give as much as you receive.Turn your business inside out and get to know all aspects of it. What can you do to streamline? To build? Who really are your best customers? Are you concentrating on them as much as finding new business? Now is the time to set these processes in place so future growth can happen the right way.Greta Schulz is a sales consultant for businesses and entrepreneurs. For more sales training tips and tools, or to ask her a question, go towww.schulzbusiness.com or email email@example.com.
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1. November 2013 02:47
When I go anywhere -- a lunch, a networking event, a fundraiser -- people are constantly giving me business cards, sometimes even before they say "hello." We put so much emphasis on these 2-by-3 cards -- and for what? Do you think it's going to sell for you? Have you experienced the people who hand out so many cards that you want to know where they get them printed so you can buy stock?We also get this question from lots of our clients: "What title should we put on our salespersons' business cards? If we want them to be consultants, we should say consultant. Or how about account manager?" I shake my head. They don't get it. Who cares? It's how you act, not what you say on your card, that makes you a salesperson or a consultant.While we're on the subject, let's address business cards in general. I don't think the format has been changed in 100 years. Ask yourself, when you look for a business card, what are you looking for 90 percent of the time? You know, so just say it: It's the phone number.Let's start from the top. First and foremost, you should have a logo or name of your company on the card. Top left corner or across the top is fine. No need to scream across the card what your company name is. Don't worry, we can see it.Second, your name. Let's make it legible and large enough to read. This is one of the most important things on your card. Let's remember that.Third, the phone number. Why we put the most important thing on the card in 6-point type that even with my granny glasses (no snickering) I still can't see is beyond me. Make it easy to see. Big, bold, green ... something.Finally, the fax number. When was the last time you pulled out a business card to fax something? You didn't. You spoke to the person on the phone and they asked you to fax something, at which point you asked for their fax number. So leave it out.Business cards are what we hand out after we have a conversation with someone, not before, so force yourself to engage in conversation with someone first. Ask about their business, what they do, how long they've been doing it, etc. Don't just hand out a card. Build relationships first by asking good questions.Try this: Pretend your business card is worth $100. If it were, you would make sure you didn't just give it out like food samples in the grocery store. You would first see if there's value. This mindset will force you to engage in conversation with people and begin to form a relationship with them through learning about them, not "telling" them about you, especially through the use of a business card. Isn't this what you are really looking for anyway?
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