The paperclips didn't need a sales pitch. Neither do your clients.


Motivated Employees?

by Admin 9. November 2011 20:23


I often get questions about motivating employees. My overall belief is, “you can’t motivate anyone to do anything, just give them an opportunity to motive themselves”. That being said what do you do to give them an opportunity to motivate themselves?

As a business owner, you don't want employees who are only motivated to perform well so they can win a ‘prize”. You want employees who are motivated to perform well every day, no matter what carrot you're dangling in front of them. What you really need is a team of employees who are emotionally invested in your company. A feeling of ownership. To cultivate that, you need family support.

No amount of job awards can out-influence the home front. You can offer praise and gifts left and right, but you won't see much improvement in your employees performance if she goes home to a partner who says, "How much longer are you going to work there if you’re not happy?"

Please don’t mis-understand, I'm not suggesting that your employees need to have a love affair at work. It's just that the men and women your employees go home to at night that have the power to motivate (or de-motivate) far better and faster than you could.

Here's the key to winning over an employee's family: Start from day one. The first thing your newly hired staff member will likely hear from a significant other when he gets home is, "How was your first day?" If he spent it mostly filling out a three-foot stack of forms, ordering his own business cards and eating lunch alone, he might rightfully answer: "Lousy." His better half will quickly get down on your company, too, and hardly encourage the top-notch performance you want to see.

There's a fool-proof way to get employees—and their loved ones at home—excited about working for your company from day one. First, really make them feel welcome. We want to be liked and accepted. Start a new employee program at your company. Have all employees (depending on the size of your organization) make a point through out that first day to stop and say hello to the new employee and welcome them. I also really like the idea of a sign at the front door that says, “welcome Jane Smith We are glad you are here”. Additionally a welcome cake at lunch for all to stop by and enjoy is a great idea as well.

So, what happens if your new recruit comes home with a great story about his amazing first day? His better half will realize the opportunity he has—and she'll become the ultimate motivator, rather than detractor.

Keep in mind, there are many definitions of family. Your new employee may be single (or soon to be). It's your mission to find out who makes up his or her support system and give accordingly—perhaps a gift card for a night out with pals or a matinee with Mom.

When your employees hear daily words of encouragement from their closest confidantes like, "I can't believe how lucky you are to be working for that guy!" their motivation rises to levels you've never tapped before. It's worked for me in all of my companies. And even if you can't afford more than a home-baked cake or thank-you card, giving your new employees a best first day ever is the key to keeping them motivated for years to come.

There are so many statistics about when your employees feel good about working for you, the better and more productive employees they are. We spend lots of money to recruit, and hire a new team member. Lets not forget their value after they are hired.


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The Secret to Hiring a Sales Powerhouse

by GSchulz 20. April 2011 22:52

The secret to hiring a sales powerhouses hi is to radically reengineer your hiring process, which concludes with a powerful 20 minute interview.

Step 1. Define the ideal candidate. Describe your selling environment which identifies the perfect salesperson. For example: “Our ideal candidate has successfully cold called CEOs, presidents and owners of medium size companies and can close sales for conceptual services prospects will help their business but is not a necessity. Our ideal candidate is successful at finding budgets when there are none, and can close for $50,000 long term contracts in two calls or less. The candidate must have had prior earnings of at least $80,000 per year. Be very specific. Not about what you sell, that’s secondary, about the environment that you sell in.

Step 2. Search. Write compelling advertising copy which describes the ideal candidate so they read and say, “That’s me”, while differentiating your organization from any other. Look outside of your industry so you don’t get stuck with industry re-treads with below average selling skills. If they are leaving their organization, there is usually a reason. Plus, someone from the outside can ask the question, “why can?t we do that” and someone inside has a pre-conceived notion of why.

Step 3. Qualify: In a five minute telephone screen, read your pre-determined key criteria and ask the candidate to prove they can meet them.

Step 4. Test: Use a proven test to separate those that will sell from those that can sell.

Step 5. Conduct the interview. DO NOT tell them all about your company and why they would enjoy it. Make them sell to you why you should hire them.

To separate the “real candidate” from their “interview face”, you must run the interview dramatically different from most employment interviews. In 20 minutes you must get the candidate to reveal how they would act in a tough selling situation. How?

You have to act like the toughest prospect they’ll encounter. Yes, you need to be tough. Like the toughest experience you’ve ever had in front of a prospect.

Begin the interview without the normal pleasantries. You are not there to make them comfortable, you are there to test there abilities. Start with, “Are you my two o?clock?” “Go in the conference room, I’ll be there in 10 minutes.” Make them wait. Don’t smile. Don’t be nice. After 10 minutes, walk in, then say, “We’ve only got 20 minutes for this interview to cover an hour of information. Ready?”.

This is the first test. You want someone who’ll push back to get control. At the very least you want someone who’ll try to break the ice and bond with you. If they roll over and act like a compliant puppy dog, (by answering,”yes” or “sure”) you know they’ll wimp out in front of tough prospects. Ask “prove it to me kinds of questions”. “We’re looking for a strong closer who can handle themselves well in front of presidents and CEOs. Prove to me that’s you.

Keep the pressure on. Look for signs of discomfort or emotional involvement, such as rapid eye movement, giggling, staring at the ceiling or out the window, movement in the chair and changes in voice pitch or volume.

Here’s a strong move to determine if they’ll really make cold calls. “If we get beyond this interview to the next step, (remember to keep the pressure on!), you?ll be required to find $250,000 in new business. Once you?ve identified whom to call, how would you get appointments?”

The answer you are looking for is some form of cold calling AND referrals. In a new position they will need to cold call. If they say that it’s the only way they know how to start in a new position, you know they will. If they cave in and start talking about research, letter campaigns and marketing… you know you don’t have a hunter in front of you.

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A Few of Greta Schulz's Favorite Questions to Ask Prospects

by GSchulz 5. April 2011 17:59
My favorite questions*;

"What do you find as your biggest challenges when it comes to______?

"If you could create a new way of doing ______ with no restrictions what would you do and why?"

"Today is April 6, 2011, if it was April 6 2012 and you said it has been a great your, what would have to have happened for you to say that?

*Depending upon what you sell and to whom are;

**Remember the best questions are the ones that create thought in the other person and are about what it is that they think about, not about how they might use your product or service. Click here to share this post.

Why Fishing and Sales are Similar

by GSchulz 30. March 2011 23:47

Being the fun-loving Floridian that I am, I absolutely love to fish! A couple weekends ago, my husband and I were out in the boat with a friend of his that happened to be a novice fisherman. Peter and I were determined to teach him the ropes.

After watching him fish for the first half of the day, I figured out what he was doing wrong. Every time he saw that he was getting a nibble, he immediately jerked the line to attempt to catch the fish. What he didn’t realize was that when he jerked the line, he was yanking the bait out of the fish’s mouth. Every real fisherman knows that when you see you’re getting a nibble, you have to let the line out a little bit in order to really allow the fish to get a hold of the bait. Then when the next nibble comes, let the line out even more to really let him grab on. Finally, when you get a really big bite, you can jerk the line, hook the fish, and reel him in.

As I was explaining all of this to Peter’s friend, I couldn’t help but to see the similarities between fishing and sales. Think about it…in fishing, the first nibble isn’t the time to reel the fish in. In sales, the first time you speak with a prospect and he shows a little interest, you can’t expect you’re going to close the deal right then and there. Just like in fishing, you have to tease your prospect a tiny bit by “letting the line out” slowly. And when the prospect bites hard, you reel in the deal.

To better understand this concept, let’s look at an example. Sue with ABC Company is meeting with James of XYZ Company to discuss potential business. When Sue begins to recommend which of her products would be best for James, he retorts with a quick “you know, I think what you’re saying might be great, but I think the company that I’m with now has a product that better fits me.”

Instead of assuming that James is 100% happy with his current company and has no interest in making a change, Sue should let the proverbial line out a little bit and reply “You know, maybe you’re right. If they have a product that better suits you, maybe you should stay with them.”

“Well, I do like the complementary products you offer, but I’m just not sure,” James says.

“We do have some great complementary products, but do you really think that if you’re not happy with the primary product that we offer, you’d be happy with us in the long run? Maybe it would be better for you to just stick with the company you’re with.”

Finally, James replies, “No. You know what, I really admire your honesty and I feel like your company is the better fit for me. How do we get started?”

The moral of the story Sue didn’t immediately give her entire “we’re great, we’re wonderful, switch to us” spiel when James showed his first bit of interest. Instead, she continued to go negative and push James away, helping him self-realize that ABC Company was the better fit for him. People don’t believe what we tell them, they believe what we ask them. If Sue were to come straight out and tell James that her products and company were the better fit for him, do you think he’d believe her? No! Sue had to help James realize for himself that ABC Company was the better fit.

So the next time your prospect starts to go negative by saying they’re not sure your company is right for them, go MORE negative. GO FISH! Let your line out! Once you get a big enough bite, hook that prospect and reel in a client!

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Setting Sales Goals - No More Excuses!

by GSchulz 22. March 2011 22:51

Since it is the start of the spring and our business and sales goals are in place and progressing nicdely, we can now begin to working on the next level of them…  Boy it’s great starting out with a clear and concise plan, right?  What… you don’t have a plan? You mean all of the goals you set for your first quarter and first few months this year were met purely by chance? You say you didn't meet all of your goals for last year? Say it isn’t so!

Why is it that we start out with the best of intentions on January 1st, and by March 1st we are back to our old routine? The routine of procrastination, excuse making and just accepting mediocrity.

There are several reasons.

1. We’re lazy. Yep it often is as simple as that. It is just easier to justify all of the reasons why we can’t do it instead of finding reasons why we can! Some people are happy living with mediocrity. It’s OK, you can admit it.

2. Here’s one of my very favorites: “I’m too busy!” And who isn’t? Typically when we hear I’m “too busy” you can replace that with “I have no real idea how to prioritize.” We fill our schedule with things that are not activities directly related to identifying business but the other “stuff” that is often easier to do. (There’s a reason why they call it busy work).

3. We set goals monetarily instead of through our activities and behaviors. When we set a goal by a dollar amount to be achieved, and not daily, weekly, and monthly activities, we set ourselves up for failure. Why? Because we can’t control who buys, but we can control what activities we are involved in.

I’d like to address number 3. Often the other 2 get caught up in the misinterpretation of dollars (or sales) being goals and they are purely the RESULT of your goal. When we set dollar volume goals only, we often don’t reach them and give up quickly. How can you set a goal of something you cannot control? You can’t. That’s called a wish. Wishes are wonderful for your children on Christmas but no way to run a business.

Now am I saying you should ignore dollar amounts for yourself and your sales people? No. But these are not goals, they are merely the result you expect from the goals. But this is a good place to begin.

Let’s say that you would like the results to be $120,000 for each representative for 2011. (By the way, past earnings and beliefs of your sales organization has an awful lot to do with being able to accomplish this. We can talk about that in a later article)

First of all, you will need to identify what this means monthly. In this case, about $10,000.00.

Second, what is an average sale for you? If it were $2500.00 then you would need 4 sales per month.

Third, How many prospects do you need to meet with to close one deal? This will take some review of your past closing ratio. *Remember, a prospect is someone with whom you have identified a need, that they have a budget and you have identified their process for decision-making. Let’s say it’s 3. Then to meet your goal you will need to meet with 12 prospects per month.

Fourth, and this will take some estimating, how many suspects do you need to meet with to get to 1 qualified prospect? * A suspect is someone you could be meeting with for a variety of reasons; exchanging referrals, a past client, a strategic partner, someone who has expressed interest in your business etc. Let’s say it’s 5. Then your monthly goal is to meet with 60 suspects. Now you have set a goal for yourself of approximately 15 per week.

The most important thing here is to track these numbers for a total of 30-60-90 days. This will not only tell you if these numbers are correct but where are most of your referrals of business coming from.

Too complicated? Then go back to the old theory, “if you get in front of enough people eventually some will close”. This is exactly how you fall into the, “I am too busy” category… And how’s that workin’ for ya?

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