What’s the best part of the day for you? Be honest!
Some answer that question with ‘the call where I get an expected yes!’ or ‘the time where I have the time to catch up on important things’.
Others will say ‘the time when I pack up and go home to the people who are most important to me’ and that is, for many, the real reason why they do what they do.
Whatever the answer, you have to believe you made the right decision to come into sales in the first place and your clients have better businesses and greater profits, plus clearer futures simply because you are there.
Attitudes are key to how well you perform in sales. You don’t need me to reiterate that fact. And our attitude can be affected very much by our state of mind. So let me ask you…How do you feel at the end of the day when it’s time to think about packing up and finishing? Do you have the energy to do just one more call? Make one more contact? See one more prospect?
The reason why I ask this is, if you decide to do just one more, and you treat it in a relaxed but confident way, it can prove to be the best part of the day for you.
You know you’ll be finished after this conversation, so it will help you relax and be yourself. It also opens up an opportunity for you to be on the same wavelength as the prospect. It can actually make it easier for you to make contact and plan for the next appointment.
It can go something like this. “Oh, hi, Mr Prospect, I know it’s late in the day and we’re probably both getting ready to wrap up, but I have something of real value that I really wanted to share with you. I know your company are looking to expand soon, so can I send something across to you that will help in that regard? Thanks! The information will be in your inbox when you get in tomorrow, and I’ll give you a call to discuss it further.”
This enables you to get hold of the client, quickly build value and get permission to contact them again.
Remember, if you did this every working day, that’s 20 more calls every month, over 200 in a year.
Imagine if you had this relaxed attitude for each of those 200 calls! What results could you muster?
Make the last call of the day the one you really look forward to. Make it a call the client remembers too, and you’ll have a good journey home, a great evening and a new opportunity you might have otherwise missed out on.
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We know that clarity brings results. It helps us focus on what we desire and so attracts the right results our way. But how do we establish that clarity? What can we do to ensure we have our goals with a client visible at all times?
Here’s an acronym that should help you achieve that clarity at all times. I’ll keep it simple and use the word ‘CLEAR”.
C) This reminds us to Communicate effectively with the client. This means we need to ensure the information we obtain is precise, concise and meaningful. Quality communication makes things clear and unambiguous. It ensures correct understanding with little chance of misinterpretation.
Assess your communication skills and ensure they are as effective as they can be.
L) Listening is a fundamental skill that should be practiced every day. Frustrated clients should be allowed to vent, as it lowers the emotional connection to a situation and lets you hear exactly what the meaning is behind a particular stance they may be taking. This creates rapport between you when they realise that someone is taking a real interest in what they are saying.
Take the opportunity to practice your listening skills whenever you can, outside of a sales situation. That way, you will learn a lot and be able to show this necessary skill in the clutch moments when you might be emotionally charged.
E) Showing Empathy might not always be top of your list of priorities when with a client, but you’d be surprised how effective it might be.
A 1999 experiment entitled ‘Can 40 seconds of empathy reduce patient anxiety?’ researchers found that giving just 40 seconds of uninterrupted compassion and empathy to a patient actually reduced their visible anxiety levels. Just 40 seconds. Imagine if you were to show empathy for a client’s current situation for that amount of time, and the rapport was built up between you. You would then be able to make suggestions that would be in the client’s interests and probably receive a listening ear!
A) It may seem obvious, but taking Action is often the most neglected part of a salesperson’s day. Picking up that phone to make a difficult call may not be top of your list of likes for the day, but when the action is taken and the results achieved, you feel so much better about yourself and the day starts to seem just that bit better, as you are carrying out promises to yourself and feeling more confident.
Actions are the end result of effective planning and organisation. Without proper planning, you will find yourself doing for the sake of doing, and it will never achieve what it could have done if you had been ‘up for it’.
R) The end results of proper communication, good listening, showing empathy and taking action are the Rewards you achieve. Whatever you carry out or don’t carry out, you will end up with outcomes. As the saying goes, whichever road you take will take you somewhere so you might as well choose which direction you will go, or someone else will choose for you.
You can choose the rewards you want by committing to achieving the goals you set for yourself. Apply the CLEAR motto on every occasion and you’ll soon find yourself benefiting from the outcomes.
Before I sign off, here are some more tips on becoming a great sales person:
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In today’s era of the modern and educated buyer, many sales people wonder if the idea of a planned sales interaction is best, or if you should essentially throw mud against the wall.
The thought is that today’s buyer is too sophisticated to deal with the old style “pitch” and therefore it is best to just know everything there is to know about what you sell, and then just “wing it;” maintaining the flexibility to adapt to the buyer’s direction and responses.
The problem is that there is still some confusion about the difference between a PLANNED SALES INTERACTION and an old fashioned PITCH. So first allow me to explain.
The old fashioned sales pitch is one in where the sales person follows a rigid, rehearsed, near word-for-word script that is the same for every prospect. The sales person rattles off the script often without much thought, listening or interaction. The entire sales presentation is “CANNED.”
A Planned Sales Interaction
A planned sales interaction, on the other hand, is simply a “strategy.” While a planned presentation may have a few words or phrases that you might use verbatim, it is not a “canned script.” A planned sales interaction is more of a methodical process that has the flexibility to adapt to any situation, but has the controls for the sales person to steer the process.
A Plan vs. Mud Against The Wall
With the above definition in place, I will say that I believe that in most selling situations today, you should use a well-planned and structured sales presentation. In such, you should define every “stage” of the sales interaction and have clear goals to accomplish at each step.
You can keep your sales interaction feeling impromptu, but you must have a way to control the direction and outcomes. You should have a step-by-step process that leads to a successful conclusion. In such, you can maintain the flexibility to adapt to responses, yet keep the process on track towards your objective.
Throwing the proverbial mud at the wall may appear to actually work for a time, but you are losing money. In dealing with today’s sophisticated and educated buyer, now more than ever, you need to have a well thought out plan.
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Let me give you a rather quick, short and sweet answer to a common question. However, in the answer, I want you to really understand the concept; the idea that I am trying to make. Understand this and you will help solve more problems and close more sales as you answer this all too popular question.
Tell Me About Your Company
This question can come in many different forms and times during the sales process. Often it is one you get at a trade show or some other less planned introduction. Nonetheless, when it comes, you need to be prepared to knock this one out of the proverbial ball park.
We Do This and That…
The typical answer from the average sales person is an explanation of a plethora of products and services for which the company sells. The sales person goes into a litany of things, most of which have absolutely no relevance to the person asking the question. Much like a talking brochure, the sales person tries not to leave out anything that the company does in an effort to land on an item that may spark the person’s interest. Instead of reciting a long list of potentially irrelevant products or services, try the following approach.
Turn The Beat Around
First, give the prospect a broad idea of your overall company vision and overview. Then let the prospect know that in reaching the goals, there are many different aspects in which you HELP customers. Finally, ask the prospect to explain how and where they may fit into this ideology so that you can really explain what it is exactly that you do. Confused? Let me give you an example.
At a trade show…
ABC Computer Consultants? Yeah, I think I’ve heard of you. Tell me about your company.
Well, we are one of the largest technology training companies in the world and with that, we deal in dozens of different areas from desktop applications to the most sophisticated hacker intrusion detection. Actually, how we help different companies is almost unique in every case. Let me ask you a couple of quick questions and then I will be able to give you a very clear picture of exactly what we do. Ok?
What does your company do?
We are a cellular phone manufacture and my plant deals primarily with applications development.
Great. So, your developers have to be up to speed on the latest in writing virtual code and mobile app technology?
Oh, of course.
Well one of the ways we would help your company is to not only ensure that your technicians were up to date, but help with certification, training, testing and even hiring…
You get the idea?
Unearth Problems And Create Opportunity
First give a broad idea of what you do. But then let the prospect know that to fully explain what you do, you need to understand what THEY do; what their potential needs are. Get the prospect to talk, to explain their problems and you have opened the door!
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So many sales people and organisations still talk about their pitch or making their pitch or pitching the prospect. But if you just think about this for a minute, I think you will also see that pitching is not what a professional sales person does.
In every aspect the word pitch (the verb) means in some way to throw something at someone, as in to pitch a ball. Or, to set something up to be used, as in to pitch a tent. In both cases, a sales person should not ever pitch. The bottom line is that to pitch is to conduct a one-way conversation in the hopes to get it past the prospect who cannot hit it back.
To pitch, no matter how you look at it, is to PUSH. However, as professional sales people of the modern era, we need to PULL!
A Win-Lose Situation
When a sales person pitches a product, in a sense they throw a rehearsed set of words at the prospect in an attempt to get past them. The objective is to strike the prospect out. The prospect uses objections as a bat, swinging at the sales pitch. If the sales person (or pitchman) is able to get enough pitches by the prospect, then the sales person wins. If however, the prospect is able to hit the pitch with some of those objections, the prospect wins. Someone has to win and someone has to lose.
You hear sales people talk about “losing” the sale, or “winning” the sale. The pitch mentally says that the sales process is essentially a war, a battle in which someone wins and someone loses. The pitchman’s objective is to win or beat the prospect.
Win – Win
However, in professional sales, there is no such thing as a win-lose situation. If you make the sale, you helped the prospect and you both win. If you fail to close the sale, then you failed to help the prospect get something that would benefit them and therefore, you both lose.
Understand that you and the prospect are on the same side, you want the same thing. Help the prospect get what they need and understand that if you fail to close the sale, the prospect did not win. When you do not close the sale, the prospect and you both lost and you failed the prospect.
Let’s rid the word pitch and the pitch mentally from the modern era of professional selling.
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