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

SELLutions

Decision Making in Business

by GSchulz 15. June 2015 11:50
Interesting…making decisions in business.   Get in the that restaurant, get a table, order your food, eat and get out?  Same in business?  That easy eh? Decision making is very different.  Yes, it can be quick but there is a reason why it may happen fast. I am under the impression the values are a big part of our decision making process.   When your behaviors and decisions are consistent with your values you show integrity and you feel good about your decisions.   When you do things that are inconsistent with your values you become uncomfortable and uneasy with your choices.   Having an understanding of your values is critical because it will help you understand what is important to you.   This is why we react when we perceive someone’s decision as odd, it’s because we don’t understand their value system.   We are all different. In sales we may be pitching a product that we perceive will help a prospect tremendously but they’re not buying.  It may say the prospect time and money and we are scratching our heads because they won’t decide.   We may be at an impasse because we have not aligned the benefits of the decision with a prospects values. Here is a quick example…. Auto sales, every day people walk in dealerships with the financial wherewithal to buy any car on a lot.  The sales rep that is able to assess this prospects values will be able to find that person a car more quickly.  A top performer will lock in on values very quickly by asking some very simple questions and steering them in a positive direction.  Here are a few questions that might be asked to help find values.  What are you currently driving? What drew you to that model when you purchased it?  What made you consider taking a look at this car company today?  Did it require much maintenance?  If you had a chance to put any feature on your last car that you did not have what would it be?  All these questions will help evoke responses that will help you detect a value system.  Find a vehicle that makes him align with his value system the more interested the buyer and ultimately the happiest.   In the end it is uncovered, that the prospect feels that a (2) door Porsche is for the guy trying to be noticed and he perceives that guy to be very flamboyant.  Instead he wants to a 4 door sedan in black because it is understated and does not say, “hey, look at me”.   All this has to do with a value system.   Values come up in every decision we make and the better we are at understanding each prospects values they consider important the better the outcome. Thanks for your videos, they help me stay on my game! 
-Ron Hilo, Independent Golf Representative Click here to share this post.

Everything You Need To Know About Social Media Etiquette For Business

by GSchulz 12. October 2014 17:46

Over the last few years, social media has evolved into a powerful tool for businesses. Not only does it help businesses build a strong reputation online, but it can also help businesses reach more customers and increase engagement.

However, before you can dive into social media, there are a few rules you need to know first. Although it might seem like social media is a simple marketing tool, there are some important factors to help in mind:

1. Always respond to customers.

Whether it’s a good or bad comment from a customer, always respond to their feedback. It’s also crucial to respond to their questions within in 30 minutes to an hour. This rule applies primarily to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

2. Carefully use hashtags.

Hashtags are a powerful communication tool for your brand, however they can become very tricky, too.

When using hashtags to boost engagement, use hashtags that relate to your brand and industry. Especially if you’re sharing content on Twitter and Instagram, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the right hashtag to connect with your audience.

3. Publish engaging content.

If you want to build relationships with your customers through social media, then you need to create engaging content.

Post videos, photos, and interactive media to your Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts. Visual content is key to building relationships, so make sure your strategy follows this rule.

4. Be human.

When customers engage with a brand on social media, they want to feel like they’re talking to a person. As you post content and respond to customers, use a friendly and genuine voice. This will improve your brand’s reputation and build stronger relationships with your audience.

If you follow these rules, you’ll greatly improve your business’ social media strategy. To learn more of the rules regarding social media etiquette, check out the infographic below:

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Is No Leading You To a Yes?

by GSchulz 2. September 2014 20:36
As salespeople or business development specialists, we’ve often been taught things like “never take ‘no’ for an answer” or “ask enough questions to get the prospect to keep saying ‘yes,’ then ask for the order.”

This is not only classic selling; it is trickery, which is ridiculous and has no place in business development today. “Success” is often built on a reflexive habit of saying, “yes” to opportunities that come our way. We’re hungry for any chance to prove ourselves, and when we’re presented with one, we take it, even – or especially – if it seems daunting.

In a recent Harvard Business Review article, “Learning to Say ‘No’ is Part of Success,” Ed Batista says: “A critical step is training ourselves to resist the initial reflexive response; I often describe this to clients and students as ‘becoming more comfortable with discomfort.’ “We get so uncomfortable with the idea of being rejected, which is often interpreted by hearing the word “no,” that we fill in with quickly explaining how we can help the company become successful by sharing what used to be called features and benefits, selling and giving a list of the things we can help them with and how. Slow down the pace in the interaction to make sure you’re making the right choices.

We often work long and hard to get an opportunity with a potential prospect, only to ruin the opportunity by talking too much and too fast. Today it is about truly being a consultant when selling. If you are rushing though a script or trying to ask questions that lead prospects into a corner, this is not consultative selling. The faster you go, the more stalls you will get – not sales. Let the prospect know you will have a few questions for them, if that’s OK, and by the end of this conversation, you may learn that there is no fit between you – which is OK, since what you do isn’t for everyone. If you let the person know that a “no” is alright, a few good things happen: The pressure that the prospect feels with a salesperson is off, so they are more likely to open up and share with you.

Trust is beginning to be established. Without it, no sale will happen. The conversation is now a true conversation, not a pitch. Be honest about your recommendations after learning about their needs, even if it’s that it just isn’t a fit for your product or service. Sounds crazy, right? Actually, if you work from the place of helping everyone you meet with, you will not only build strong alliances and sell more effectively, but you will also gain respect and a whole lot more referrals.

Success is a long-term goal that takes planning and doing things right. It is not a quick-fix, “sell, sell, sell” environment. We need to get out of the mentality of the liquid diet society we have created and put together a long-term plan for success. Isn’t that what successful people keep telling us?   Click here to share this post.

Is No Leading You To a Yes?

by GSchulz 2. September 2014 20:36
As salespeople or business development specialists, we've often been taught things like “never take ‘no’ for an answer” or “ask enough questions to get the prospect to keep saying ‘yes,’ then ask for the order.” This is not only classic selling; it is trickery, which is ridiculous and has no place in business development today. “Success” is often built on a reflexive habit of saying, “yes” to opportunities that come our way.

We’re hungry for any chance to prove ourselves, and when we’re presented with one, we take it, even – or especially – if it seems daunting. In a recent Harvard Business Review article, “Learning to Say ‘No’ is Part of Success,” Ed Batista says: “A critical step is training ourselves to resist the initial reflexive response; I often describe this to clients and students as ‘becoming more comfortable with discomfort.’ “We get so uncomfortable with the idea of being rejected, which is often interpreted by hearing the word “no,” that we fill in with quickly explaining how we can help the company become successful by sharing what used to be called features and benefits, selling and giving a list of the things we can help them with and how. Slow down the pace in the interaction to make sure you’re making the right choices.

We often work long and hard to get an opportunity with a potential prospect, only to ruin the opportunity by talking too much and too fast. Today it is about truly being a consultant when selling. If you are rushing though a script or trying to ask questions that lead prospects into a corner, this is not consultative selling. The faster you go, the more stalls you will get – not sales. Let the prospect know you will have a few questions for them, if that’s OK, and by the end of this conversation, you may learn that there is no fit between you – which is OK, since what you do isn’t for everyone. If you let the person know that a “no” is alright, a few good things happen: The pressure that the prospect feels with a salesperson is off, so they are more likely to open up and share with you. Trust is beginning to be established.

Without it, no sale will happen. The conversation is now a true conversation, not a pitch. Be honest about your recommendations after learning about their needs, even if it’s that it just isn’t a fit for your product or service. Sounds crazy, right? Actually, if you work from the place of helping everyone you meet with, you will not only build strong alliances and sell more effectively, but you will also gain respect and a whole lot more referrals.

Success is a long-term goal that takes planning and doing things right. It is not a quick-fix, “sell, sell, sell” environment. We need to get out of the mentality of the liquid diet society we have created and put together a long-term plan for success. Isn’t that what successful people keep telling us?   Click here to share this post.

It’s about the process

by GSchulz 20. March 2014 14:57

    Ryan, a software sales rep, had been having a rough day. He’d been bombarded with questions from several customers and gotten behind on work he needed to finish before the end of the day. Then, he got a call from Wayne, a prospect who introduced himself by saying: “I’ve heard great things about your engineering software package. I saw a demo about a year ago, and was not in a position to purchase it at the time. But since then, it’s become very apparent that I need to integrate it into my system.” “Wow,” Ryan thought. “This will be easy. It’s about time something went right today.” Then, Wayne said: “I need to know about the cost, the tech support and how soon it can be installed.” Ryan immediately went into his pitch.

He discussed tech support in detail, covered availability and other options, and explained that the price was $12,000, with 30-day terms. Wayne’s response was unexpected. He said that $12,000 was quite a hefty price tag and he needed a couple of days to think about all of this more carefully. He’d call Ryan back next week. Ryan did a double take. “What just happened?” he thought. “This sale was in the bag, a sure thing. He really needs it and now he’s thinking it over? He said he needed the software right away.” And that was the end of the call. So, what happened? Ryan got lazy, plain and simple. He thought Wayne was sold. All he had to do was give him the information he needed, then write it up. He got fooled into assuming the sale without doing the work. He never got Wayne to talk about why he was looking now, with what seemed to be a real priority about buying the software. The entire transaction was conducted at the intellectual level, without any real understanding of the true need. So, what happened? Ryan was lured into taking shortcuts. He mistakenly thought the prospect’s enthusiasm was as sure as a sale. No matter. You need the time to qualify the prospect and make sure he’s real before giving out information or making your presentation.

In Ryan’s case, a couple of questions would have made a world of difference. He might have said: “Before we discuss pricing, help me understand why this software is so important. I want to make sure the application is correct for you. Would you mind if I ask you a couple of questions?” Of course, you’re digging in to find out what is really going on. It is so important to gather this information before you discuss price so you can truly have an understanding of not only why they want the software, but the consequence of not installing it. Once you give away your information – whether on the phone, in a presentation or in the form of a proposal – you have given up any form of control and are literally at the mercy of the prospect. Remember: It’s not about the sale; it’s about the process.   Greta Schulz is a sales consultant for businesses and entrepreneurs. For more sales training tips and tools, or to ask her a question, go to www.schulzbusiness.com or email greta@schulzbusiness.com. Click here to share this post.

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