As a small business owner, you have a lot of things to worry about. One of the most important things is sales. Sales is the lifeblood of any organization. You have to bring in revenue to grow the organization, keep the doors open, pay people and put some change in your pocket. Without sales, your business will fail.
So why is it that most businesses have a hard time with the most vital part of their organization? Many times it’s because they don’t know what they’re doing. Oftentimes, they have never received formal sales training. Typically, the entrepreneur is the one who started the organization. She may have had a really cool idea and saw some initial success, but when it came to selling, she wasn’t able to do it. So she hired someone to come in.
This new salesperson had a great personality. The salesperson may have been a cousin or a friend, a son or daughter, a niece or nephew, or maybe it was her hairdresser’s brother. Whoever it was, they too were inexperienced when it comes to sales and simply works off the cuff. Take it from someone who was that friend hired because of an “outgoing personality.” It doesn’t work!
Here are three of the most common reasons why selling suffers in small businesses
1. They don’t know who to go after.
As a small business, many times the entrepreneur or salespeople takes whatever they can get. I saw this in a particular company I worked for. Many times the customer wasn’t our ideal customer. But since we needed the money, we bent over backward and said, “Yup, we can do that.” We were chasing the dollar as opposed to chasing and developing solutions for our ideal customers. Because of that, the company never grew. We remained stagnant and, eventually, the salespeople left.
A lot of people were fired and horrible things happened. I saw another company actually shut down because of that problem. As entrepreneurs, you’ve got to make sure your business is focused ONLY on your ideal customers. But how do you find the ideal customer to go after? If you’ve made one sale to that ideal customer, then maybe you can go ahead and evaluate them. Question them. Do an interview with them. Take them to lunch.
Really understand their business and why they elected to go with your company. The other thing you can do, if you don’t have a customer, is to look at your competitor’s customers. Learn why they chose your competitor. Why did they have a need in the first place? How much do they earn in revenue annually? How many employees do they have? Start developing a customer persona.
The more you can understand, the better you will be at crafting your ideal customer and making a message to approach them. Make sure you understand how they make money and how your product or service helps them to do so.
2. The fear of rejection holds them back.
The fear of rejection holds a lot of salespeople back in small to mid-sized companies. It’s just the fact that they have never done this before. They’re afraid that people are going to say no. They are worried the product is not going to be effective. They are concerned that maybe they’re not the greatest seller in the world. All of this holds them back.
The other thing that you need to understand about fear is that it is not real. Fear is usually something that we put in our minds that has never occurred. But because we tell ourselves about this fear so much, that it’s so true, we paint this picture in our minds and we start to believe it. We then start to act upon it. The fact is if you think people are going to reject you when you prospect, then that fear is going to cripple you. So our solution is to role play — to practice.
Get rid of the idea of fear. Get rid of the false ideas in your mind by actually doing it. Go out and get someone who you can practice with, somebody you can practice selling with. A colleague, your spouse, brother, sister, whoever. Just sit down with that person and do a role play of the situation you fear the most. Role playing is a fantastic way to increase confidence. The more you can practice, the less fear is going to be there.
3. They don’t have a process to convert sales.
The third reason small businesses sales suffer is because they don’t have an effective sales process. They don’t have a way of converting prospects into paying customers. They don’t have a way of finding people. As I mentioned earlier, many entrepreneurs find an outgoing person and say, “Hey, come be a salesperson for my organization.” That person comes in and, since the business has no process or real training, does whatever he thinks is best. Again this does NOT work. However, here is a breakdown of an effective process that can help your organization:
This is a very simple process and may sound too elementary. However, if you don’t follow it, you’re going to waste a lot of time and money. A typical salesperson will just go out and show a product. They demonstrate it. They don’t qualify the customer. And in the end, they have nothing to show for it. They will lose a lot of business. The key is to create an effective process.
As a small-business owner, sales are important to you. You can’t dodge that fact, or your business will not become successful. If you have someone else selling for you, do your best to make sure they succeed. Take time to make sure you and your salesperson develop an ideal customer, learn to overcome your fear, and develop a simple, effective process.
If you do this you will see success. I’ve worked with small businesses. I’ve been on management teams. I’ve been the “typical” salesperson. I’ve learned the things that make small businesses effective. I know how to make them become a lean, mean selling machine.
If you’d like to sit down and have a 30-minute session and bounce some ideas off of me, feel free to reach out to me. I’d love to chat with you and assist in any way I’m able. You can reach me at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you. As always, I want you to go out and DO BIG THINGS!!
In our private Facebook group, The Sales Evangelizers, I asked about why individuals went into sales. Although there were varying responses, they all came back to one thing. People came into sales because of the potential for the financial gains. Amen?
But is it really all about the money?
Well, yes of course you want the money, who doesn’t? However, you can’t get sloppy to a point where the money comes first over the VALUE that you offer.
What most people want is for you to listen to them and care for them. If you are able to provide that care for an individual and satisfy their needs that much, money is going to be a natural byproduct of your success.
Here are some important points that I want to stress on:
That value will come back so many times over. You will be richly compensated.
Look for opportunities to help other people. Again, what most people want is for you to show them that you LISTEN and that you CARE for them.
Know your mission and live by it. Know your drive. If it’s to generate more money, then follow it up by bringing value to folks through what you’re going to do.
Value first, then your money follows.
Our awesome guest today is “The Sales Whisperer,” Wes Schaeffer. Where did that term come from? You probably guessed it right. He was watching the “Dog Whisperer” and saw Cesar saying that he rehabilitates dogs and trains the owners. Well, rehabilitating and training are definitely a part of Wes’ expertise. He rehabilitates salespeople and trains the owners/managers.
Having an extensive background in sales, Wes is a sales trainer and a sales motivational speaker where he goes around and helps organizations from beginning to end. Wes is the author of the book The Definitive Guide to Infusionsoft: How Mortals Increase Traffic, Leads, Prospects, Sales, Testimonials, Online Orders & Referrals With the World’s Most Powerful Sales & Marketing Automation Software. Wes also has expertise in sales training & marketing and software implementation to help with automation.
Today, Wes shares with us what you should focus on as a salesperson, how to effectively qualify your prospects, the power of an effective sales script, plus some sales strategies for you to better perform and hit your sales goals. Bam!
Here are the highlights of the conversation with Wes:
The benefits of automating marketing and sales:
Main challenges of small and mid-sized companies when it comes to sales:
Should you focus your time and energy on the close?
How to effectively qualify your prospects:
Who can benefit from what you sell?
“Batch” your work. Do not answer phone calls from clients at this moment. Call in to one neighborhood or industry or one key list. Bang that out and stick with it until you’re done.
Talk to people and set appointments and ask good and tough questions to get the opportunity to sell.
More sales strategies for you to better perform:
How many phone calls do you have to make to set up an appointment?
Start at the top and work down to what you have to do every hour to stay on task and hit your goals. What do you need to do on an hourly basis?
Prepare it in advance. Rehearse it. Internalize it. Make it believable. (That’s what Tom Cruise does folks! And he’s making more money than the rest of us.) So have a template prepared in advance. Learn your script. Learn your process. Learn what you need to do to deliver the value.
Professionals are willing to rehearse. Execute it right, day in and day out. Do the exact same thing. Stick with what works!
“What works” becomes your control group. Try new strategies to beat it. If it doesn’t work, go back to what works.
Why companies have a tough time generating leads online:
If you’re new in business, you must promote your business 10x than what you think. And if you’re already in business, then at least double or triple the amount of what you do. Market, market, market!
What you need to do to grow your biz:
He who has the biggest list wins. Always work on attracting new prospects and people who have the ability, desire, need, and pain to buy from you.
Figure out how to automate things. Try to carve seconds or minutes out of your hours because those add up.
“Time kills deals and a confused mind says no.” – Wes Schaeffer
Create podcast, videos, free reports, email sequences, blog posts, books, etc. This will build their trust.
Your job is to increase the bottom line.
Current projects Wes is working on:
Working on his next book
Make Every Sale: Wes’ sales training program
The Five: Wes’ mastermind group for 4D/3N retreats bringing in 5 motivated entrepreneurs
Know more about Wes on www.thesaleswhisperer.com
Wes’ website www.thesaleswhisperer.com
Wes’ sales training program www.makeeverysale.com
Wes’ mastermind group www.thefive.us
Wes’ major takeaway:
Selling is a calling, serving is its purpose, questioning is the process, and the sale may be the solution. You can’t help everybody and everybody is not a prospect. Go and seek to help and understand. Ask good questions until you’re sure you understand their situation.
Sales people always have a difficult time getting past the gate keeper and speaking with the decision maker. Many times they don’t know that they sound like to everyone else and as such, come off as a “salesperson”…Someone who is interrupting the potential customer’s day, trying to sell some thing they don’t need.
Obviously as a seller, we know that’s not exactly the case, however, its the perception that the “potential buyer” has! That perception to them is reality and thus will always be a hindrance to a seller’s success unless they can prove to the gatekeeper of the decision maker aka “potential customer” otherwise.
For this episode I brought on my wife, Cristina Kelly, to share some of her thoughts on what sellers should and should NOT do as they are prospecting. She has the opportunity to work closely with executives in her company and as such, get’s plenty of requests, soliciting opportunities to speak with the decision maker. Listen to some of her thoughts.
If you have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to comment and share them in our private Facebook Group “The Sales Evangelizers”…Come join the discussion, click here.
When you’re creating the script:
Benefits of using a sales script:
Change your script:
Do I have a sales funnel that sells? Or better yet, do I even have a sales funnel?
Don’t fret. Check out this episode and learn from today’s awesome guest.
Alan McKenna has extensive experience in the personal transformation space and business conscience space. He helps people build everything from front-end funnels to high-profit, back-end sales funnels as well as six and seven-figure funnels.
Listen in as we discuss the process of sales funnels and how you can be more effective at it.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Alan:
What is a sales funnel?
Knowing a defined audience and bringing them into a system that will help nurture and move them along the relationship towards the sale.
Factors that keep somebody in the non-buying pool:
Trust is key. You need to nurture the relationship. You need to provide value and build that relationship. It’s about serving people first. How can you serve people best?
This happens when a customer has one problem but your solution applies to a different problem. To solve this, do a survey that allows you to understand their needs and then cater to their needs.
Why a survey works:
When people click on a link in the email, you’re able to tag those people and you will know what their biggest problem is. This allows you to do a discovery session and if something is a fit, you can make an invite to take the product/service.
Strategies for creating an effective sales funnel:
See what else you can do to serve those clients that will help them get further along.
Drive them into a condensation and take them through a strategy session to advance them to whatever product or service that will help them get to where they want to go. Segmenting the list will allow you to convert people from non-buyers to buyers.
We tend to be too busy looking for new leads when there are so many overlooked opportunities within an existing client base.
What’s your next level product that can make your client’s life simpler, easier, and get the results faster, and remove the pain quicker?
The biggest mistakes people make when creating a funnel:
You can’t be everything to everybody.
Dial into the biggest problem your audience needs to overcome and how do you communicate that?
Alan’s Major Takeaway:
Nurture the leads and clients you already have because there’s gold in what you already have.
So this week I wanted to try something different. I wanted to do this for a long time now, but finally did it today. You must be thinking what did Donald do? Well, I went out and actually spoke with consumers. People who are like those you connect with on a daily basis as you try to make a sale. If any of you are familiar with Florida, I went down to Boca Raton. Boca is a very business friendly area and some very well to do organizations. If you want to know what B2B/B2C customers or prospects are thinking, this is the place.
In total, I spoke with five individuals who all gave great insights. From listening to being passionate. There were three men and two ladies interviewed for this episode. The overall feedback I received was to make sure you are listening to the prospect. Make sure that you show them that you care about their needs over your own. The funny thing is, that this is something that is important in any great relationship.
If we are focused on the well-being of our loved ones and truly care for them and do all we can to help them, the relationships tend to be stronger and enriching. Issues begin to emerge when we become selfish and concerned about ourselves. In sales, it is the same way. People buy from those they know, like, and trust. They need to have a good relationship with you!
So as you go out and prospect, make sure you keep that in mind. It’s not about you, it’s about your prospects and how you can assist them to make their lives better. You will only become successful when you master that and seek to LISTEN to them. As always, go out and do BIG THINGS!
Should you use a sales script or not? So many times sales professionals battle whether they should use a script or not. Many sellers feel that they are experienced enough to do without a script when they get on the phone. I was one of those individuals until I came to a better understanding of the errors of my ways and became a convert to sales scripts.
But before you get all rowelled up, let me explain what I mean by a script. I’m not a talking about reading and sounding like a robot, I’m talking about having something to follow to make each call purposeful and effective. It’s being able to have a guide so that a seller sounds more articulate, professional and as a expert in their field. Scripts allow the seller to gain more confidence from their prospects and helps them develop more confidence in themselves.
During this two part series episode I explain more about why you should consider using a script and how to create one. Here are some of the major points from part one:
Obviously, there are many other benefits that one can see from using a script, but these are the most important factors I’ve come across. Stay tuned for part two as I dissect “how” to prepare a script, what you should have and what you may not need. Until then, do BIG THINGS!
Marc is the coach of coaches. He works with coaches, helping them build stronger businesses, get more clients, and have more fun doing the business. He is also the genius behind Natural Born Coaches, a podcast dedicated to the coaching business.
Marc not only has an entrepreneurial side but a sales background as well, having worked as a sales representative in the real estate industry.
In this episode, Marc talks about how to keep you motivated in sales and the power of visualization! Marc firmly believes that life is sales and if you can’t sell, then you’re screwed.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Marc:
What makes the best coach: Sales + client support
Top strategies to get you motivated:
Whether it’s cranking up the music or meditating, do what you need to do to get yourself pumped up for the day.
Take time to read. Keep a journal and write down your goals everyday and track your progress. Write down your affirmations. Or write a new “word for the day.”
Mentally prepare yourself for the sales call weeks before you actually do it. Do some role playing in your mind. Visualization is very powerful!
Marc’s Major Takeaway:
Be fearless. Sales is not as hard as you think. You’re not selling to a person, you’re helping them. Substitute the world SELL for HELP.
Current projects Marc is working on:
Connect with Marc on www.naturalborncoaches.com
Today’s Sales From the Street guest is Luis Ugalde and he shares with us the need for mental toughness and commitment to achieve your goals as a salesman.
Holding a degree in biochemistry, Luis initially pursued a career running a research lab at the University of Miami. Obviously, finances is not where he thought he would be.
Luis realized that you need to be uncomfortable in order to be comfortable so he finally took a leap of faith, quit his job, and decided to go full time developing his own brokerage business where they teach families how to reach their financial goals.
“Salespeople put their own objections into their clients heads without even thinking because you assume what they’re thinking.” – Luis Ugalde
Word of the day: Commitment
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Luis:
His greatest sales challenges:
Strategies you can apply which Luis used to overcome those challenges:
Luis read books including John Maxwell’s Developing the Leaders Within You, Developing the Leaders Around You, etc.
Before getting into what he can do for his clients Luis asks for a commitment from them to brag about him to 7-10 people.
Take a leap of faith. Do what you need to do to succeed even if it means quitting your daytime job.
Luis made double or triple the amount he made in his daytime job which was a total confidence boost.
Luis’ Major Takeaway:
Better think again…
I was on a mini-speaking tour this past week attending the Podcast Movement, a discussion at a San Diego college, and finally another keynote speaking event in Cal Poly where I got to speak with approximately a hundred amazing, first-generation college students who basically come from “rough” backgrounds and who are the first in their immediate family to go to college.
You might want to get some inspiration from and be motivated by these first-generation college kids (in the same way they’ve motivated me and renewed my spirit) and learn how to apply that walk-on mentality to your business, to your sales, and to your life.
How to keep the walk-on mentality:
[Tweet “”The way you think has greater influence over your results than any other factor.” – Kim Ades”@]
Kim Ades is the owner of a coaching company called Frame of Mind Coaching, which consists of a team of 18 coaches helping people who are highly driven and determined to live an extraordinary life but find themselves stuck with something.
Kim views sales as a game which is not something that you dissuade from when you experience anything negative but see it as a fun, enthusiastic experience. In this episode, Kim shares with us tons of fun, creative ideas to get the sales that you want (even if it means singing a Louis Armstrong song to your client!) and more importantly, learn about how critical your way of thinking is in driving great results.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Kim:
What they do at Frame of Mind Coaching:
How can a salesperson break through the mental barriers?
Skill sets are important but skill follows thought. Your level of confidence determines how you show up.
Here’s a journaling assignment for you:
Write down your answers to these questions:
When you’re scared of cold calling…
Change the word “sales” and replace it with “coaching”
“Coaching is sales and sales is coaching. The common thread is conviction.” – Kim Ades
The power of storytelling in sales…
It works as a connector. Creates a picture that the buyer can imagine.
What do you do if your client calls you the most annoying salesperson in the world?
Kim’s Major Takeaway:
If you want dramatically different results, whether in sales or any other place in your life, the way you think will determine what you can achieve. When something is not working, examine how you’re thinking about it that’s causing you a problem. If you’re still stuck, get help.
Current projects Kim is working on:
Speaking for the Project Management Institute (women in the titanium industry)
Connect with Kim on www.frameofmindcoaching.com and get a taste of their coaching experience by writing an assessment on their site where you get to journal and get a coaching call based on your journaling.
Katie is a proud TSE evangelist! Listen in as she shares with us a great message for today’s episode on Sales From the Street. Check out how Katie overcame a big challenge in sales by applying some important bits and pieces that she has learned from The Sales Evangelist podcast.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Katie:
Katie’s biggest challenge of closing and how she overcame it as a seller:
Katie took pieces from what she learned from previous TSE episodes. Katie used the lines: “I’m on your side. You tell me, I tell you. If I found out that this is not going to work, can I walk and do we have that agreement?”
She followed up and the client moved the meeting to some days later. So Katie went in and asked: “Is there anything that I can do for you so you can evaluate it and we can work it out by tomorrow?”
Fret not. Let’s tackle this confidence issue one more time…
One of the main reasons why people leave companies is that lack of confidence.
Confidence is the belief you have about yourself which is tied to the way you think, perceive, believe or feel for something. However, sometimes, people leave companies and it all boils down to one thing – Do you have confidence in any of these areas?
Be confident in your ability to deliver value and to go out there, sell, and let them hear you roar! Your are important. You are key. You can deliver value.
If you lose confidence in your company or your managers.
If you don’t believe in your product, you can’t sell it.
Try out this confidence test:
Do you have confidence in your ability to sell?
Do you have confidence in the product?
Do you have confidence and belief in your leadership?
If you see any weakness in any of these areas…
Get yourself a tune up and sharpen your sword or your tool and look for other opportunities that allow you to build up that confidence.
If you have confidence in what you’re saying…
They feel it and know it.
People can’t take away someone’s personal testimony of something!
So help them feel that.
Things you can do to build your own confidence:
Live your product and apply it. Go read your company’s mission statement. Ask your superiors what their vision is.
You have something of worth and you need to share it. You have something the world needs to learn about and you need to share it.
The more you’re prepared, the more confident you’re going to be.