April 2018 - The Sales Evangelist

Archive Monthly Archives: April 2018

Moral, Values, Ethical, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 822: Selling Basic 101…Establish Your Own Set of Values

Moral, Values, Ethical, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

It can be very tempting for sellers to compromise their core values in pursuit of sales and money.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’re discussing how to stay on the high road and still make plenty of money.

Determine core values

Your core values are the principles you live by. Think of them as your North Star, keeping you on the right path.

A father and son were navigating trails in the woods when the father told the son to keep his eyes on a fixed point to avoid getting lost. Instead of following his father’s directions, the son got distracted by a rabbit that ran across his trail. He followed the rabbit and couldn’t find his way back to the trail.

When we establish values that won’t change, it helps you navigate the tricky waters of trying to accomplish your goals without sacrificing your relationship with your prospects.

Be honest. Treat people the way they’d like to be treated.

Be respectful, ethical, patient, and give them what they want.

Keep long-term goals in mind

The book Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen  advises sellers to do what they say they’ll do.

If you schedule an appointment and then realize you can’t make it, let the prospect know and reschedule.

Otherwise, the prospect will assume that, if you couldn’t keep that commitment, how will you keep other, more important commitments?

Be straightforward with your prospects when you aren’t the best fit for them, and they will respect you and your honesty. They will look for ways to do business with you because you were honest.

Sometimes as sellers we focus on the short-term gain because we want to get the deal. When that happens, we may land a small deal for ourselves.

Very often, though, if we keep the long-term in mind, we may land a bigger deal with a prospect who refers us to other people because we provided value and we built trust.

The prospect doesn’t know you yet, and they don’t have an understanding of who you are. Create a good impression.

Episode resources

We’re big fans of the book Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen by our friends at Wiley. The authors compiled research from customers that will help you become a leader instead of an order-taker. The information will help you bring value to your customers.  Read an excerpt of the book here.

If you haven’t already subscribed to this podcast, subscribe today and tell a friend or colleague about it as well. Consider leaving us a rating wherever you consume this content to help other people discover our message.

To learn more about our newly-launched Sales Podcast Network designed to provide specialized sales content for sellers of all levels and all industries, email us at SPN for more information.

Check out the Video Jungle Podcast, part of SPN, to hear best practices for video and film production and to learn the art of selling your product with video.

We want you to find more customers, build more value, close more deals, and do big things every day.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

Bob Burg, Donald Kelly, The Go-Giver Influencer

TSE 821: The Go-Giver: Influence

Bob Burg, Donald Kelly, The Go-Giver InfluencerInfluence is the ability to move someone toward a desired action, but there’s much more to it. It’s the ability to draw people toward something instead of pushing them toward it.

For sales professionals, influence attempts to gain commitment because it’s in the client’s best interest rather than to gain compliance.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Bob Burg helps us understand the role of influence in sales, and where we’re going wrong in our dealings with customers.

Understand why they buy.

No one will buy from you because you really need the money, or because you’re great, or because you have a quota to meet. They buy because it’s in their best interest.

The goal of selling is to discover what the other person needs and wants and to help him get that.

If you are at a place in your sales career where you “really need the money,” suspend your desperation.

Master your emotions.

When you are in control of your own emotions, you are more likely to turn a negative situation into a win for everyone involved.  When you allow yourself to become frustrated, helpless, or angry, you become part of the problem.

This doesn’t require ignoring your emotions, but rather controlling them instead of allowing them to control you.

Step into the other person’s shoes.

This sounds easy enough, but the reality is that we have different sized feet. We don’t understand the other person’s belief system or world view, which originates from his upbringing, his schooling and his experiences.

We tend to assume everyone else’s worldview is the same as ours, but it isn’t the case. Our beliefs are frequently in conflict with someone else. We should always be aware of these differences.

Set the proper frame.

A frame provides context. When a toddler falls down, he often looks to his parents to determine how he should respond. If they demonstrate alarm, he will too.

Setting a productive frame creates an environment in which people know how to operate. In the case of sales, it means saying something like, “We simply can’t know if this is right for you without exploring further. This conversation is a chance for both of us to make sure it’s a good fit.”

You’ve set a frame of discovering together which removes the pressure for the customer.

The law of the out says that the bigger back door you give someone to take, the less likely they are to take it.

The frame is the context of the situation, and it’s more important even than the content.

Communicate with tact and empathy.

Tact is the language of strength. It allows us to help people see things in a different way without feeling criticized.

Empathy is identifying with another person’s feelings. Recognize, though, that empathy doesn’t necessarily mean understanding how he feels; rather it ‘s an acknowledgement that he is feeling something distressing or confusing.

Choose your words in a way that won’t make the other person feel defensive or bad.

Let go of having to be right.

This doesn’t mean you don’t care about being right. It means you keep an open mind, and realize that you won’t always be right.

Hear the other person’s perspective. Challenge your own premise. Don’t be so attached to being right that you miss what the other person is saying.

When you give up the attachment to being right, the other person tends to drop his defenses because they don’t have the sense that you are trying to win.

Your product or service doesn’t have to be perfect. Its benefits simply have to outweigh its liabilities.

Episode resources

“You can have everything in life you want if you help enough other people get what they want.” ~Zig Ziglar

Connect with Bob at www.thegogiver.com where you can find the book series The Go-Giver.

Check out The Sales Evangelizers on Facebook to connect with sellers of all levels and all industries. Learn what they are doing, share ideas, and compare notes with sellers from all over the world.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

Short emails, Email Outreach, Prospecting, Conversational

TSE 820: TSE Hustler’s League-“Shorter Emails”

Short emails, Email Outreach, Prospecting, ConversationalWhen you’re trying to capture your prospect’s attention through email, how do you know what to include? Many sellers in the early stages of their careers trying to accomplish too much in one email instead of writing shorter emails.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’re discussing how to make our emails valuable, and we’re addressing the biggest issues that plague our emails.

Figure out what you’re trying to accomplish.

What is your goal in emailing this prospect? Are you trying to convince him to buy?

Ultimately, it may be your goal to get him to buy, but that shouldn’t be the purpose of your first email.

Your first email must let your prospect know that you’re here. He knows about your company, but he isn’t aware of the value you provide. First, let him know that you’re here.

Imagine your prospect is a small business owner with a sales team of 3. She has $3 million in revenue, and she wants to grow, but the company has been stagnant for 4 years.

You must build awareness that you’re available, and you can begin with social media.

Connect on LinkedIn or Twitter. Then find something about her or her company that you can use to connect. Comment on something she posted or something you read about her.

Hi, we’re Animus

Don’t skip steps.

Once the prospect knows you exist and she views you as a friend, let her know how you can help her.

Keep your emails simple. Grab the prospect’s attention. Write shorter emails. Force her to reply, and the likelihood of continued conversation increases.

Let her know how you’ve helped someone else who was just like her. Until you’ve demonstrated value to the prospect, she won’t likely think of you as a trusted advisor.

Episode Resources

I was giving a demo once, and the prospect told me exactly what to include in the presentation so his boss would respond well: he told me his boss’ likes and dislikes.

Stop Selling & Start Leading does the same thing for sales professionals. It provides intel about what decision-makers like and what they don’t like, based upon survey information.

It will allow you to lead the conversation instead of being a subservient seller. It’s like a cheat sheet for sellers, and you can find an excerpt of the book here.

The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League is an online group coaching program for individual sales leaders and sales professionals. Whether you’re already fairly successful or you’re brand new to sales, we want to help you improve.

Each week we do a training session based upon the semester theme. We’d be honored to have you join us.

Check out the Video Jungle podcast, your source for marketing and selling your brand using video. Plan, create, and share your way to better content and strategy.

The podcast is part of our newly-launched Sales Podcast Network, designed to provide specialized sales content for sellers of all levels and all industries.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

David Burkus, Friend of a Friend, Donald Kelly, Best Sales Podcast

TSE 819: Sales From the Street-“Networking Done Right”

David Burkus, Friend of a Friend, Donald Kelly, Best Sales Podcast

Most of the networking advice we hear is doomed to fail because it’s a story of one person in one situation. When we try to put their ideas into practice, it feels inauthentic.

Instead of copying someone else, we need to redefine what it means to network on our way to discovering what “networking done right” looks like. On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, David Burkus helps us change our mindset about what networking is so we can better take advantage of our existing networks.

You don’t have a network. You’re in a network.

We spend so much time trying to figure out how to connect with a stranger in a span of 7 seconds that we neglect the network we’re already in.

The biggest mindset shift is this: you don’t have a network, you exist inside a network.

If we redefine our thinking about networks, we can invest our time in learning how to navigate the network we’re already in instead of trying to figure out how to bring strangers into it.

David defines a network as a three-dimensional entity that you’re the center of. It includes your close connections as well as your weak or dormant connections.

Your goal should be to pay attention to the fringes of your network: those people who are one introduction away from being closer to the center of your network.

He calls it transitivity, and it’s an awareness that A knows B, and B knows C, so perhaps A and C can be connected.

Networking isn’t limited to events.

There is ample research to suggest that unstructured networking events such as Chamber of Commerce and other gatherings aren’t beneficial.

Realistically, most of us might try to make a few connections, but we spend the bulk of our time with people we already know who are similar to us. Instead, we should look at the totality of the network we’re already in.

Most people should begin by identifying their weak and dormant ties. Weak ties are those that you don’t know well. Dormant ties are people you know who were once stronger connections but who fell by the wayside. None of them are strong connections.

Begin by asking them who they know in the sector that is relevant to you. It’s less assertive than asking them who might be interested in your product, and you’ll get a larger list because it’s less specific.

If you ask a variety of people and the same few names keep cropping up, those are your referrals. There’s a strong likelihood you’ll click.

Identify hidden networks.

Begin with an accurate map of your entire network, and include everyone.

We tend to put people in buckets based upon our connection to them: those we work with and those we know socially for starters. Realistically, though, many of our connections have more than one tie.

If, for example, you work with a person, that’s a uniplex tie. If you work together, have kids in the same school, and work out at the same gym, that’s multiplicity. You have multiple connections.

As you’re identifying your connections, then, don’t ignore someone just because your only shared interest is college football. As you’re building a map of your entire network, you never know who is in his network.

Find structural holes.

People tend to gather in clusters around similarities like industry, work history, or ideology.

Historically, the greatest value in our network exists when we can connect two of those clusters.

If you can reach out to another cluster and bridge the gap between two groups, you can create value.

Make it a habit to reach out to your weak and dormant ties. Pay attention to people you aren’t as close to.

Don’t trust your networking to fate. Most of us already have a route to meet everyone we want to meet within our existing networks.

Episode Resources

Check out David’s book, Friend of a Friend: Understanding the Hidden Networks That Can Transform Your Life and Your Career.

Learn more about growing your network, becoming a better leader, and developing creativity at his website, www.davidburkus.com.

Check out the Video Jungle Podcast to hear best practices for video and film production and to learn the art of selling your product with video. The podcast is part of our newly-launched Sales Podcast Network, designed to provide specialized sales content for sellers of all levels and all industries.

Email us at SPN for more information.

Pick up your copy of Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen from our sponsors at Wiley.

Check out a free excerpt of the book, Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen, and discover why some of the things you’ve been taught to do in sales may be the very things your prospect hates.

Audio providede by Free SFX.

John Barrows, Donald Kelly, Best Sales Podcast

TSE 818: 10 Effective Qualifying Questions Salespeople Should Ask Each Prospect

John Barrows, Donald Kelly, Best Sales Podcast

Qualifying represents a vital piece of the sales process. Qualifying is perhaps the most underserved part of the process, and most of us are doing it wrong.

Truth is, it doesn’t matter how well you close if you don’t have a good pipeline.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’ll talk to John Barrows about the important questions you should be asking during qualification, and why being direct with your prospects will save you time.

Quality

Everyone in sales understands that quality is important. We don’t spam. We don’t make generic phone calls. Still, though, we have daily numbers we have to reach like 50 phone calls or 100 emails.

Those are competing agendas.

We want quality, but time is our challenge. Many of us sprinkle phone calls and emails throughout the day, but doing so is a complete waste of time.

Instead, tier your accounts. Organize them by industry and call similar accounts in a single day. Doing so allows you to craft a message specific to that group, find a case study you can refer to if necessary, and prepare a few questions that are relevant to those prospects.

It streamlines the calls and allows you to be more targeted and relevant in your communication.

Realistically, not all of our leads deserve the same amount of our time.

Qualifying Questions

To help sellers, John has identified questions they should ask during the qualification process. (The full list is available in the show notes.)

1.  What are the details of the decision-making process?

Without understanding the full buying process, you won’t know how to proceed.

Ask how these decisions have historically been made, or ask about the next steps in the process.

If you find yourself meeting with someone who isn’t the decision-maker, research to find out who will make the decision. Then matter-of-factly ask, “When does Sarah need to be involved in this process?”

2. Are you ok telling me no? 

Most people are very uncomfortable saying no.

Say something to your prospect like, “As we go through this process, if it’s pretty obvious to you that we aren’t a good fit and I somehow don’t pick up on it, are you ok telling me no?”

Allow silence while you wait for an answer.

If your prospect suddenly goes dark later on, you can remind him in a voicemail or email that he said he was comfortable telling you no, which will usually bring him back to the table.

3. Do you have your calendar in front of you?

This question works well when a prospect asks you to send him information.

Very often, that’s a blow-off move, but you can follow up by asking what information they’d like to see. If your prospect is legitimately interested, the questions will be easy to answer.

Then, ask when he would like to schedule the follow-up call. If he says something general like, “Next week,” you can follow up with, “Great! Do you have your calendar in front of you?”

Again, allow the silence that will likely happen.

Psychology of being direct

There’s a huge difference between being direct and being rude.

Being direct gets you to “no” faster if that’s where you’re ultimately headed anyway. The more direct you are, the more quickly you’ll get them in or out.

It’s a matter of setting expectations and then being accountable to them.

Note, too, that the Rule of Reciprocity says that if we have just spent time on the phone providing value to a prospect, there’s a fleeting moment in which he will feel obligated to do something in return.

Take advantage of that moment.

Episode resources

Here’s John’s full list of 10 Sales Qualification Questions To Always Ask Your Prospect.

  1. What are the details of the decision making process and who is involved?
  2. How have decisions like this been made in the past?
  3. What are your top business priorities for the upcoming year?
  4. What are your top priorities when making this decision?
  5. Are you okay with telling me no?
  6. What’s the best way to communicate with you moving forward?
  7. Will you be my Champion?
  8. What happens if this decision doesn’t get made?
  9. Do you have your calendar in front of you?
  10. Based on today’s conversation, do you think our solution would add value to your business?

Connect with John at his website, where you can find links to his social media as well as his LinkedIn.

Share this podcast with others who want to learn more about qualifying leads. Leave us a review wherever you consume the content, and subscribe if you haven’t already.

Check out The Sales Evangelizers on Facebook to connect with sellers of all levels in a variety of industries.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

Stop Selling, Start Leading, Sales Podcast Network, Credibility

TSE 817: Selling Basic 101…Doing This Will Destroy Your Credibility!

Stop Selling, Start Leading, Sales Podcast Network, CredibilityIf a buyer doesn’t believe you’re credible, he won’t do business with you. Credibility takes time to craft, and it’s incredibly delicate and easy to lose. You must do everything you can to avoid destroying your credibility.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we continue our sales basic series with a discussion about how we can change our image from sales professional to trusted advisor.

Your prospect isn’t just an appointment.

When you operate within a system of quotas or appointments, it’s incredibly easy to lose sight of the people behind those appointments.

If you allow yourself to focus primarily on scheduling appointments and you forget about the human beings you’re interacting with, you’re undermining your own credibility.

Likewise, if you promise your prospect a solution to a problem, but during the scheduled phone call you mention handing him off to someone else for the solution, you’ll undermine your credibility.

He’ll have the sense that you lied just to get him on the phone, and he won’t want to work with you.

Communicate to your prospect that you care about what he cares about, and prove yourself trustworthy.

Broken promises destroy your credibility.

Sales professionals understandably get annoyed when people miss their scheduled appointments. If you’re doing the same to your prospect, and you’re missing scheduled appointments, you’re disrespecting his time.

You’ll inconvenience him, and you’ll diminish your own credibility in the process.

Instead, prove yourself trustworthy. Keep your prospect’s priorities in mind.

When you do break his trust, apologize.

I can think of countless times in my career when I could have easily blamed other people for things that broke down in my customer’s process. Instead, I apologized and fell on my sword.

If you acknowledge your mistake, recognize the consequences, and apologize, you’ll re-establish your credibility with your customer.

Enthusiasm doesn’t equal credibility.

We often rely on excitement about our product or service to communicate our intention to the customer.

We believe that if we’re excited enough, we can accomplish our goals.

While enthusiasm is important, it isn’t enough. We must demonstrate to our customers and establish ourselves as trusted advisors.

We aren’t required to know everything, but we must know their business and their problems.

Know how he makes his money and understand why he’s losing money.

It takes a while to establish credibility but it makes a world of difference.

Episode Resources

We’re excited about the book Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen brought to you by our sponsors at Wiley. It’s a blueprint for what buyers want and the things they hate based upon survey information.

Check out the Video Jungle Podcast to hear best practices for video and film production and to learn the art of selling your product with video. The podcast is part of our newly-launched Sales Podcast Network, designed to provide specialized sales content for sellers of all levels and all industries.

Email us at SPN for more information.

We want to help you find more prospects, build stronger value, close more deals, and do big things.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

David Hooker, Prezi, Story Telling, The Sales Evangelist Podcas

TSE 816: Don’t Bore Your Prospects to Death!

David Hooker, Prezi, Story Telling, The Sales Evangelist Podcas

The battle for your audience’s attention is fierce, so you must ensure you don’t bore your prospects. Storytelling is the key to interesting presentations. The good news is that you’re already a storyteller.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, David Hooker of Prezi explains how to keep your prospects interested and provide the information they need to make decisions.

8 seconds

Some suggest that our attention spans are only 8 seconds at best, but it simply isn’t true. Ever binge watch an entire season of a show in one sitting?

More accurately, there is more competition for our attention. The immediacy and availability of information gives us a subconscious desire to never be bored. People can check Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, or any other platform at will.

Storytelling prevents boredom during your presentations.

The truth is that your prospects know what you’re coming to tell them. They’ve looked you up. They’ve read about your product. They know 85 percent of what they need to know to make a decision.

The good news is that they’ve invited you in, which should be encouraging. The bad news is that you don’t know where the gaps in their knowledge are.

Conversations, not pitches

You’re selling a product your competitor sells. You might have a slight advantage at some point, but it likely won’t last long.

People buy things because of relationships. They’ll decide that “Vendor B was attentive, courteous, punctual. If something doesn’t work right, Vendor B will likely be there for me.”

Conversations help you built those relationships. Storytelling helps you keep your prospect engaged.

You can practice your storytelling skills every day when your family asks about your day. Talk about your day in a way that engages their attention.

Check their facial expressions:

  • Are they engaged?
  • Am I talking too much?
  • What is their body language telling me?

The great thing about practicing on your family is that they’ll tend to be honest.

When it comes to sales, you’ll end up telling the same story again and again, so you can workshop it.

  • If I add a detail does it get a laugh?
  • Does this fact help my customer understand better?

Always work on developing your story so you don’t bore your prospect.

Visuals complement

If you ask your prospect to list the appliances in his kitchen, he won’t visualize a list of appliances written with bullet points in Comic Sans. He’ll visualize his kitchen in order to list them.

Prezi allows you to arrange your content in a way that makes sense. It allows you to navigate the way you need to.

If you have a prospect who only needs information about pricing, Prezi allows you to segment your content so that you can go straight to the content you need. Your prospect will appreciate that you skipped the information that wasn’t relevant to him.

Prezi requires a little bit more time than other presentation programs, but it will help you keep your audience engaged so you don’t bore your prospects.

Episode resources

You can connect with David on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Find Prezi at www.prezi.com, and get to know Prezi’s YouTube channel for tutorials that will help you make the most of Prezi.

Finally, check out The Narrative, a podcast dedicated to helping professionals craft better business stories.

If you’ve enjoyed this content, subscribe to The Sales Evangelist so you don’t miss a single episode. Tell your colleagues about the podcast, and consider leaving a review for us wherever you consume the content so that other sales professionals can find us as well.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

TSE Hustler's League, LinkedIn, Prospecting, Prospecting

TSE 815: TSE Hustler’s League-“Beef Up LinkedIn”

TSE Hustler's League, use LinkedIn for outreachYour LinkedIn profile is free real estate. It’s your opportunity to communicate with your prospects, share your message, and provide value to your customers. Today on The Sales Evangelist, we’re discussing how to make yourself stand out on LinkedIn, and how to use LinkedIn for outreach.

About your customer

Your LinkedIn profile must be about you, but it must also be about your customer. If a prospect lands on my profile page, what things will he know about me immediately?

Will your prospect know how you can help him succeed and what problems you can help him solve?

Keywords

Have you ever noticed that when you Google a topic, sometimes LinkedIn profiles appear in your results? Those profile owners understand how to use LinkedIn for outreach.

When you effectively use keywords on your profile, you help prospects find you.

Begin by brainstorming five words that your prospect might use when he’s searching for your services on the Internet.

Use those five words in your LinkedIn bio. Use them throughout your profile, in your description and in your subheading.

Utilize long tail keywords like “Arizona landscape services” to make your services stand out against all the others.

Also include keywords in your specialties as well.

Action steps

On my own LinkedIn profile, I included information about a listener who used one of my techniques to reach an executive he hadn’t previously been able to reach. Along with that testimonial, I offered visitors a chance to message me with the subject line “simple step” if they wanted details for themselves.

It provided an actionable step for prospects and it proved my effectiveness as a sales trainer.

Messaging

Constantly tweak your messaging. As your customers evolve and their needs evolve, change your messaging to communicate value to them.

Tell them how you can help them solve problems.

Episode resources

Pick up a copy of Stop Selling & Start Leading for information about how you can lead your customers to do business with you instead of simply selling to them.

If this excerpt from The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League was beneficial to you, check out our online group coaching program to discover how we can help you build more value.

We’ll discuss how to convince customers to do business with you once they know you exist.

Tell other people about this podcast, especially the people you know whose profiles aren’t popping like they should be. Leave us a review wherever you listen to this content, and subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

Ericka Eller, Stress, Salesperson, Health

TSE 814: Sales From The Street-“Stress Can Affect Sales”

Ericka Eller, Stress, Salesperson, HealthSales professionals engage in a constant hustle and grind to achieve their numbers and meet their goals. What they may not understand is that the prolonged stress can affect sales.

On today’s episode of Sales From The Street, Ericka Eller emphasizes the need for sales professionals to use their time intentionally and the practical ways they can do it.

Eller works as a business development strategist and a certified wellness coach, and she works with high-achieving people who want to boost their success by managing their health.

Personal struggle

It was her own struggle with stress that led her to understand the importance of focusing on health.

She realized that it’s difficult to burn the candle at both ends and still perform at the level you’re trying to maintain. As the leader of a sales team, a coach, a mom, a wife, and an active church member, she found herself constantly thinking of work and responsibilities.

The pressure caused internal and external stress which led to lethargy and a heaviness she couldn’t escape.

Her family suffered the most because there aren’t expectations and deadlines there. Families demand no deliverables.

She became irritable and found herself missing family events. Her family didn’t recognize her, and she didn’t recognize herself.

Combatting stress

She realized she had to step back from the pressure to allow her body to recuperate.

The answer to her problem was scheduling and planning.

She plans her food prep so she can create healthy meals for her family, and she schedules her workouts. She bought a package at a local studio and writes her workouts into her calendar.

Finally, she enlisted help from health professionals to make sure her body was functioning as it should.

Where to start

Create a plan to deal with your stress. Vague plans won’t work because they don’t help you control your activities.

Instead, develop a specific plan. What does your day look like? What things must you prioritize?

Planning your day allows you to avoid the feeling of overwhelm and to find the energy to accomplish your goals. When you know that stress can affect sales, you can control your stress to increase your productivity.

Clarity returns. Ideas return. Energy returns.

Episode resources

Ericka recently blogged for us at The Sales Evangelist about the steps you can take to prevent stress from crippling you.

You may not realize you have some of the symptoms or their effect in your work and home life.

If you want to connect with her, find her at erickaeller.com, where she has a special opt-in available.

For those sellers who aren’t sure how to balance your sales schedule, The Sales Evangelizers group on Facebook is a great place to interact with sales professionals from many regions and many industries.

Our group online coaching program, The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, also provides an opportunity to interact with other sellers, and also provides weekly coaching sessions for sellers of all levels.

Our next group begins April 26, and we’d be honored to have you join us.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

use your wardrobe to fake confidence, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 813: How To Use Your Wardrobe To Fake Confidence If You’re New To Sales

Wardrobe, Sales, Confidence, The Sales Evangelist

If you’re new to sales, you may already lack confidence simply because you lack experience. On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, personal stylist Rayne Parvis teaches how to use your wardrobe to fake confidence if you’re new to sales.

First impression

If you’re not hitting your style or looking your best, your client may make assumptions about you.

Especially for new sales professionals, dressing the part helps you lean into your new profession. When you’re dressed well, you won’t be preoccupied with worries about your appearance so you can focus more on what you want to communicate or what you bring to the table.

Your wardrobe will inspire confidence which will allow you to focus on communicating with your clients.

Three easy steps

1.  Pay attention to color. Choose colors that complement your hair, eyes, and skin. Avoid black, which can be off-putting.

Blue is a great color for business because it communicates trust, dependability, and commitment.

Studies have shown that even when you’re selling over the phone, you’ll communicate more effectively if you’re dressed for business.

2. Dress one step above your target market. Dressing one step above your audience suggests that you’re relatable.

If you dress too far above your audience, you’ll seem unrelatable and unattainable. They won’t be able to connect with you.

3. Add something to your style that is uniquely you. Maybe it’s a certain color, or cufflinks, or a watch that you love.

Find the balance between “fake it ’til you make it” and authenticity.

Identify one step you can take and apply it immediately.

Dressing well doesn’t have to be expensive, but it will help you feel more confident.

Episode resources

Check out Rayne’s book, Ultimate Guide to Style: From Drab to Fab!, for more information about empowering yourself through your wardrobe.

You can also connect with Rayne on Instagram or at her website, www.stylebyrayne.com.

Check out Stop Selling & Start Leading for information about how to lead your prospect instead of selling to him. You can also read a snippet of the book, Leadership-Is-Everyones-Business.doc, here.

Our Sales Podcast Network community of podcasters is almost here. Keep watching here for information about the network of podcasts, all tied directly to the sales world.

In the meantime, leave us a review wherever you’re listening to our podcast to improve our visibility to others who can benefit from this content. Share the podcast with friends and colleagues, and subscribe so you don’t miss any content.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

Stop Selling and Start Leading, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Leaving Voicemail

TSE 812: Selling Basic 101…”How Come They’re Not Calling Back?”

Stop Selling and Start Leading, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Leaving VoicemailIt’s frustrating to contact decision-makers and discover that they’re not calling back. You’ve got a great product, and you provide great service, but you’re not getting access to them.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we discuss some little-known secrets about decision-makers. We’ll address why you must distinguish yourself from the pack in order to escape “voicemail jail.”

Trading commodities

Early in our history, people traded commodities like milk and grain.

When manufacturing entered the picture, sellers were forced to distinguish themselves and their products from others in the marketplace.

We’re in a different era now. Everyone expects quality products on a timely basis. If you can’t provide those things to your buyer, they’ll get them from Amazon.

The question, then, is what can you do for your prospect that stands out from the crowd? How can you distinguish yourself beyond quality and timeliness?

Creative contact

Imagine Congress passed a law tomorrow outlawing sales calls to businesses.

Sales professionals would find ways to be creative. We’d use LinkedIn or social selling, but we’d find a way to contact our prospects.

As it is, the phone can be a crutch.

Which emails and voicemails do you imagine they delete first? Why do you suppose they’re not calling back?

Each of these people has something on their radar that is their main focus. If you can offer me something that addresses that part of the job, you’ll make their life easier, and you’ll more likely get their attention.

Specific challenges

What is the CEO or CFO of the company most concerned about? What is the business driver?

Have you read the website to identify the company’s vision or goal for the quarter or the year? Are they expanding? Planning to sell?

Investigate. Find the problem the company needs to solve. Bring something to the table that demonstrates your interest in the company.

Imagine your research revealed that the company is losing $10K a month in processing fees. Your email subject line might say “$10K is going down the drain each month, Donald.”

In the body of the email, I’ll indicate that I’ve spoken to Pam in the organization, and I have a solution to the $10K problem.

You could even send a fake $10K bill to the company with a note about the problem attached.

Offering specifics provides value to the company and demonstrates your interest in helping solve problems.

Dream 100

If that seems like a lot of work, consider that I encourage people to target their Dream 100 prospects.

Create a list of the dream clients you’d most like to reach and work personally toward earning their business.

Episode resources

We create this content because we want to help you create value, make a deeper impact, build experience, and get out of voicemail jail.

Check out Stop Selling & Start Leading for a blueprint on buyers, and how you can increase your sales.

Join The Sales Evangelizers on Facebook to interact with sellers of all levels, from all regions, in all industries.

Sound provided by Free SFX.

Handle Objections, Jim Jacobus, The Best Sales Podcast, objections

TSE 811: How Do I Handle Objections?

Handle Objections, Jim Jacobus, The Best Sales Podcast, objectionsYour success as a sales professional depends largely on your ability to handle objections.

Give up too quickly and you’ll miss an opportunity to dispel your client’s concerns. If you view the objection as a buying signal, you’ll create an opportunity to collaborate with the customer.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Jim Jacobus shares his experience with objections and explains why sales professionals must learn to handle “no” if they want to succeed.

Objections create opportunity

Customers often object to price without realizing their concerns might actually lie elsewhere.

Objections give us an opportunity to ask questions and identify what their true objections are. Is the payment too high? Is it outside of their budget? Is it truly too expensive?

Objections create dialogue which provides clarity.

Objections require education

Most sales people give up too quickly because they have never been taught to handle objections.

Inexperienced salespeople will address objections by immediately discounting the price. Very often, though, the price wasn’t the true problem.

Honor the objection, clarify it, and then respond to it.

When the client presents an objection, you have to respond as quickly and unemotionally as you would if he asked your birthday.

Don’t flinch. Get good at responding to objections.

Objections help you prioritize

Three possibilities exist in any transaction: great price, great quality and great service. You can have two, but you can’t have all three.

Objections determine which two are most important to your customer. If your customer is less concerned with service, you’ll adjust your presentation to focus on quality and price.

When sellers and buyers are on the same page, the relationship becomes collaborative instead of subservient.

Each party gets to decide today whether to do business with the other.

Resiliency counteracts “no”

“No’s” are part of sales.

If you can handle objections, you’ll develop the ability to bounce back at the highest level when the stakes are high.

If someone says no to listing a house with you, and it keeps you out of the game for two weeks, the agent that bounced back the same day will be more productive than you are. She’ll sell more.

If you can’t learn to handle  adversity and objections, you don’t belong in sales.

If you learn to handle objections, the second part of the process is turning “no” to “yes.”

Handling objections is your greatest opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and your competence.

Episode resources

Understanding how to overcome objections enables you to provide tremendous value to the customer.

It is possible to learn to address, overcome, and even prevent objections.

The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League is an online coaching program for sellers of all levels and all industries, and we can coach you through objections. We can teach you what to look for and how to avoid getting stuck.

Our spring semester begins this month, and we’d be honored to have you join us.

If you enjoyed this podcast, subscribe to it so you won’t miss a single episode, and then tell others about it.

Consider leaving us a review wherever you consume the content so others will have a better chance to find us.

To connect with Jim, find him on Facebook, or email him at jim@jjacobus.com. You can also connect with him on The Sales Evangelizers Facebook page by tagging him in a question or comment.

Additionally, Jim recently launched a podcast called The “Man Up” Project 2020 aimed at helping men navigate their lives as husbands, fathers, businessmen, and leaders. If you love it, subscribe, and share the message with others.

Check out the The “Man Up” Project 2020 Facebook page, engage with the content, and share it with others who might benefit from it.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

 

TSE Hustler's League, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Rapport, connect with prospects

TSE 810: TSE Hustler’s League-“You’re Not Like Us”

TSE Hustler's League, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Rapport, connect with prospectsWe do business with people we know, like, and trust. When we connect with prospects, we increase the odds that they’ll feel that way about us.

Often, though, as sales professionals, we skip the connection step and go straight for the sale.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, we discuss ways we can connect with prospects so they begin to see us as someone who is like them.

Create value to connect with prospects.

Whether we’re beginning with cold outreach or warm leads, we must address unconsidered needs: something the prospect hadn’t thought of before.

If I can share something the prospect doesn’t already know, he’ll consider that valuable, and it will build connection.

Craft a message to connect with prospects.

A member of a political party may overlook their dislike for the party candidate because he believes strongly in the party’s message.

Sellers who craft a message prospects can believe in will more readily convert them to customers.

Use more than words to connect with prospects.

We communicate 7 percent of our message through words. The other 93 percent is through vocal tones, volume, and body language.

Without personality, our message won’t translate.

A salesperson called me on behalf of a company that I’m providing coaching for, and she read a script to me. It was monotone and uninteresting, and if I hadn’t known the company, I would have hung up.

Words weren’t enough. I couldn’t relate to her.

Use nonverbal skills to connect with prospects.

Match the pace of your speech to the person you’re speaking to. If he’s from Texas, slow down a bit. From New York? Pick up the pace. If he talks quietly, you do the same.

If the prospect is sitting with crossed arms, use mirroring to try to persuade him to open up his posture. Change your own posture to something open and your prospect may do the same.

Episode resources

We share these messages with you because we want you to build value, be happy, and close more deals.

Most importantly, we want you to go out every day and do big things.

Our group coaching program, The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, offers sellers of all experience levels and all industries a chance to learn from one another, share experiences, and benefit from weekly online coaching sessions.

Our next session begins April 26, and it will focus on building value in an effort to close more deals. To see if you qualify, visit The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League.

Sound provided by Free SFX.

Donald Kelly, Lazy Selling, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, sales basics

TSE 809: Sales From The Street-“My Creative Lazy Ideas”

Sometimes the sales basics feel mundane.

Sometimes we burn ourselves out making phone calls and sending emails, and we feel like we’re spinning our wheels. Without regard for how effective it is, we want to try something different.

On today’s episode of Sales From The Street, I share my own experience with burnout and the hard lessons I learned from it. I was looking for an easy way out and avoiding the things I knew I needed to do.

Don’t abandon sales basics.

In college, I worked in an IT training company that offered training classes. I was tired of making phone calls and sending emails and I wanted to try something new like guerrilla marketing.

I assumed the marketing department was the problem, and I figured there was a better way to get our company name out there.

After doing lots of research, I launched ideas for computers at bus stations, as well as A-frame signs and banners; and I got very few leads.

It turns out the problem wasn’t the phone calls themselves. The problem was that my phone calls weren’t effective.

I didn’t speak the language of the decision-makers I was contacting. I didn’t understand my ideal customer, and I didn’t know how to differentiate.

When I finally sat down with the technicians to understand what the clients liked about the training and the problems they were trying to solve, I had a better understanding.

Be consistent, AND creative.

I would never suggest that you shouldn’t try new things. Do research in your off-time to discover what others in your industry are doing. Put your own spin on it and tweak it until you get it right.

When you’re consistent at something and you improve and tweak it, you’ll see results.

Make sure you budget your time effectively. Call your prospects when they are most likely to be available. I was calling home phone numbers in the middle of the day when most people were likely to be gone.

Over time, I learned what worked and I gained decent clients and I acquired good experience.

Try unique things that tie to your industry. Understand how to help your prospects and recognize them as humans.

Episode resources

People often tell us to fail quickly and then move on, but what if we don’t have to fail at all? What if you could get a jumpstart by learning from other people’s challenges?

Doesn’t it make sense to figure out where other people went wrong so you can avoid repeating their mistakes?

The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League is a group coaching program that offers training sessions every week, and a chance to hear from sales professionals from other industries. We offer group accountability and an exchange of ideas.

We’d love for you to check it out, and we’d be honored to have you join us.

The April semester will focus on building value so you can see better results and close more deals.

We’d also love for you to subscribe to the podcast, and if you haven’t already, leave us a review wherever you’re listening.

Evangelize for us by telling other people about the podcast.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

Repeatable sales process, Big Sales Wins, Chris Rothstein, Groove

TSE 808: How To Gain Big Sales Wins Through Specific Repeatable Actions

Chris Rothstein, The Sales EvangelistBig sales wins are virtually impossible when marketing and sales departments don’t work together. When the two entities align to use repeatable action steps, the result is big sales wins.

Today on The Sales Evangelist podcast, we talk with Chris Rothstein about the ways to align your sales efforts, and the success that results when you do.

Two developments demand the need for greater alignment: improved tracking capability and increased specialization within companies. Because companies used specialized departments to accomplish specific tasks, many handoffs occur throughout the sales process.

Speak the same language.

When different teams operate according to different criteria, the result is often finger-pointing rather than collaboration.

If, for example, a marketing department gathers 1,000 business cards in a fishbowl, those may not actually be qualified leads. The marketing department may perceive that it achieved its goal, while the sales team may believe otherwise.

When everyone within a company speaks the same language, the company becomes more effective.

To achieve that goal, Rothstein’s company Groove tracks all forms of communication and collects data from it. The company syncs all emails and calendars, and classifies every meeting that takes place.

Armed with that information, they can determine where in the sales process deals are dying and where the sales reps need help. They record sales calls and provide follow-on, specialized coaching.

Finally, they collaborate to identify the companies they’ll pursue in their sales process so that they are all focused on the same targets.

Narrow your focus.

Many organizations cast too wide a net.

They undertake a huge list of prospects with a goal to connect with a small number of them. Because the list is so large, it’s tough for sales people to achieve any depth in the relationship.

If, on the other hand, companies will restrict the number of prospects they target, they’ll achieve better results because they can focus better.

In an account-based approach, each person has a unique role, and the customer will experience a unified process.

Earn big sales wins.

The sales cadence model will vary according to your industry. In every industry, though, a successful cadence will require multiple touches.

Email boasts a big impact in the software industry, for example, but not in the restaurant industry. Each industry in your company’s profile will demand unique touches and processes.

Evaluate how long your process should be, and make it longer than you think it should be. Then stick with it.

Episode resources

You’ve heard me talk about The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, our online group coaching program for sellers of all levels. We understand the importance of cadence and repeatable action steps. We help participants understand the concepts and then apply what they’ve learned.

The easiest step you can take is to apply for The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League to see if you qualify for the program. Our next semester begins April 26 and will focus on building more value. We’d be honored to have you join us.

You can connect with Chris at Groove or find him on Twitter.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

Sales Basics, Sales Fundamentals, Donald Kelly

TSE 807: Selling Basic 101…They Are People Too!

Sales Basics, Sales Fundamentals, Donald KellyBefore you do anything else, you must remember that your leads are people, too.

Before you make any attempt to respond to a lead, or to qualify a lead, or certainly to sell something, you must remember that he is a person just like you.

Who is he? Where did he come from? What challenge is he struggling with right now? What’s going on in his personal life?

People, not prospects

Sales professionals must not think of the people around them as simply prospects or leads or people who have money.

If we approach them as humans, we can either persuade them to make a decision or help them persuade themselves to make a decision.

We can do that by personalizing outreach and personalizing each contact we have with them so that we’re providing value and helping them to solve problems.

Connecting with people

I recently reached out to a lead and we connected to determine whether The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League might be a good option. We spent some time getting to know each other. I learned that she had left sales to raise a family and was returning now that her children were grown.

Ultimately we determined that this semester of Hustler’s League might not be a possibility for her.

A couple of days later, she emailed me to tell me a story about how our conversation impacted her family. Her son, who has generalized anxiety disorder, suffered his worst-ever panic attack, and my friend and her husband had to go meet him to drive him home.

On the ride home, she told him about our conversation. He pointed out that I had made her feel involved in The Sales Evangelist even though she hadn’t joined. It prompted her son to consider contacting the people who operate a podcast that he enjoys.

She pointed out that our interaction gave him hope.

I share this, not to toot my own horn, but to illustrate that the people we’re dealing with have sons, daughters, dogs, cousins, and challenges.

Episode resources

If you aren’t as successful as you’d like to be at closing deals, you may be struggling to build value. Check out The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League to connect with other sellers of all levels. You’ll have a chance to learn and grow, and be more successful.

If you like the content here, subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review wherever you consume our content. Tell others about it so they can benefit from it as well.

We want you to be happy, to find more prospects, to build stronger value, to close more deals, and to do big things.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

Douglas Vigliotti, Paradox, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 806: The Salesperson Paradox

douglas-vigliotti, Donald Kelly, The Salesperson ParadoxThe Salesperson Paradox requires sales professionals to shift their focus from selling something to the customer to helping the customer solve a problem.

Today on The Sales Evangelist, Douglas Vigliotti helps us understand how sales fundamentals can help us grow our business.

As a strategic selling partner for small business owners, Vigliotti understands that businesses without processes don’t progress or grow.

Salesperson Paradox

The most important question a salesperson can ask himself is this: Am I selling products and services or am I helping to solve a problem?

Sales professionals have been conditioned to sell by their bosses, their investors, and a host of other people. What drives the process, though, is helping someone solve a problem. When the customer gets what he wants, the sales professional gets what she wants.

People innately think of themselves first.

Imagine you’re at a party with a group of friends and someone takes a picture. When you look at the picture, who do you look to first? We look at ourselves first, of course. If we don’t like how we look, we may stipulate that the picture can’t be posted.

Rock-solid strategy

Tactics are interchangeable.

One day the focus might be Facebook, and another day it’s Google.

Your sales focus must be on strategy rather than tactics because without a rock-solid strategy, you’ll never reproduce your success.

The key to business relationships lies in positioning the deal so that both parties win. Reducing the social, emotional and financial risk makes it easier for the customer to say yes.

When you make it easy for the customer to come on board, you increase the likelihood that they’ll choose you repeatedly.

Simplicity

Never confuse simplicity and ease.

Simplicity is the key to reproducibility. If you strive for clarity about your process, you’ll be able to reproduce it.

The number one skillset for entrepreneurs is problem-solving, and Vigliotti offers a framework for creating solutions. He calls them CRINGE solutions: they’re so good that customers would cringe at the idea of saying no.

Customer first: Does my customer feel like he has won?

Real problem:  Am I solving the customer’s true problem or a problem I perceive he has?

Immense value: Can I provide value, either real or intangible, that increases the value of my customer?

Non-negotiable: Am I communicating my belief that you’re better off with me than you would be without me?

Good timing: We can do everything right, but if the timing is off you won’t win the deal. Optimize timing by improving the speed of delivery.

Easy to say yes: The most powerful acquisition strategy is making it easier for the customer to say yes.

Episode resources:

In order to solve problems for our customers, we must know how to solve problems and provide value. If you aren’t sure how to do that, help is available.

The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League is an online group training program that will help you learn processes that you can apply immediately in order to see results.

It’s a weekly live training session that will help you become more influential and be more successful. We’ll help you find more leads, build more value, close more deals and do big things.

If you enjoy our podcast, leave us a review wherever you consume this content. Share it with someone else who can benefit from it.

Check out Douglas Vigliotti’s book The Salesperson Paradox, or find him on LinkedIn.

Sound in this episode provided by Free SFX.

Empathy, Donald Kelly, Selling to Prospect

TSE 805: TSE Hustler’s League-“Empathy”

Empathy, Donald Kelly, Selling to ProspectSales professionals often overlook empathy. Because we’re focused on selling a product and closing a deal, we often neglect to understand our customers.

In today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we discuss the role of empathy in the sales process, and why sales professionals must understand their prospects in order to build value.

What do they need?

If we don’t truly understand what our prospects need, we may be trying to sell them the wrong thing. Perhaps there’s something they need more than the thing I’m selling.

When we seek to understand, it shifts our focus from what we’re trying to accomplish to what our prospects need from us.

When you present yourself as someone who offers value, you set yourself apart from the many other sales professionals your customer encounters. Begin with empathy.

How do they use your product?

You may be surprised to find that your customers don’t use your product the way you think they do. They may not even use it the way it was designed to be used.

When I sold software, I discovered that our customers were using it for things it was never built to do.

Because I took the time to interview my customers and discover how they were using the product, I was able to articulate the value of the software to new prospects.

Begin by defining your product or service from your customer’s point of view. Are you able to define it that way?

How are you making them feel?

When you engage in cold outreach, are you providing value to your prospects? Are you sending them email with content that might be useful to them, or are you simply asking them for the sale?

If you haven’t already discovered it, imbedding video in your emails can set you apart from other sales professionals.

I recently connected with someone to provide value, and ultimately she became a prospect, and potentially a client.

Shift your paradigm to ask your prospect how you can help.

Episode resources

If you want to build stronger value and demonstrate your ability to solve problems for your prospects, check out The Sales Evangelist’s Hustler’s League. It’s an online group coaching program that brings together sellers of all abilities to share solutions and ideas.

If you’d like more information about our upcoming podcast, Sold, email me. We’ll interview decision-makers about the things they like and the things they don’t like in the sales process so we can learn from the people who make up our audience. You’ll be among the first to hear the details of our newest venture.

Check out BombBomb or Soapbox to make your emails stand out among all those your prospects will see today.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou

Audio provided by Free SFX.

Marion MCGovern, Gig Economy, Side Hustle

TSE 804: Sales From The Street-“The Gig Economy”

marion-mcgovern, The Sales EvangelistThe gig economy continues to grow as more people discover the freedom  and control it provides.

Gigs vary in duration and kind, and statistics suggest that more than 40 million people are involved in the gig economy on some level.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Marion McGovern shares her years of experience in the gig economy and the changes she has seen in the space over the years.

Marion’s newest book, Thriving in the Gig Economy, addresses the changing nature of the gig economy and helps readers make sense of the gig marketplace. Additionally, she addresses many of the challenges of this kind of work.

Misunderstanding gig economy

People often assume that workers opt for the gig economy because they are unable to get a “real job” but the truth is that 70 percent of those people choose to work that way most choose to be there.

The majority of workers actively choose it because it provides more control over the type of work they do.

Furthermore, while it originated as a money-saving effort for companies, it now means that companies can find the very best talent for their projects. Many Baby Boomers are retiring and joining the gig economy.

Errors in pricing

Marion maintains that there is an art to pricing your work.

If, for example, you’re offered a marketing project that you could do in your sleep, you might charge accordingly. If there’s a project that offers you a new experience and a chance to add a new skillset to your credentials, perhaps you charge less to make sure you get the deal.

Projects that require a distinct urgency might allow you to charge more.

Kinds of “no”

Working in the gig economy requires you to face rejection occasionally. No one hits a homer in every at-bat.

Rejection tends to be harder for creatives because the “no” feels more personal. Instead of interpreting that you don’t like my approach, we assume they don’t like our work.

Additionally, you also have to prepare to say “no” to clients. If a client offers you follow-on work that you don’t really care to do, you have to decide whether it’s worth the money to accept the work.

Multiple platforms

Countless platforms exist to connect talented people with projects. Start at the larger platforms and get involved. Rather than simply posting your info, interact on the site.

Go where your clients will be. Network. Join an industry group.

Don’t buy into the lie that you don’t have to market. Stay connected to your industry and the people within it.

Episode resources

Connect with Marion at her website, marionmcgovern.com or find her on LinkedIn or Twitter.

If you’d like to connect with sales professionals of all levels in many different industries, check out The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League. Our online group coaching program connects sales professionals who want to exchange ideas, learn and build accountability for themselves.

Our April semester is all about building value, and we’d be honored for you to join us.

Episode audio provided by Free SFX.

Marty Wilson, Rapport, Negotiate

TSE 803: Can Being Funny Improve Your Rapport Building Skills & Negotiation?

Sales professionals rarely use humor to improve rapport and improve negotiations. For some reason, when we walk through the doors at work, we’re all business.

Research shows, though, that people who incorporate humor into their business are more successful. We gravitate toward people who seem more like us, and humor helps accomplish that.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’re talking with Marty Wilson, a pharmacist-turned-stand-up-comic who understands the power of humor in sales transactions.

Our brains naturally separate people into “us” and “them,” a throwback to the tribal days of humans. Each of us considers a small group of people part of the “us” group; the rest are “them.”

Humor builds rapport and helps people identify us as part of their group, so we’re no longer part of the “them” group.

Use humor to improve rapport

We’re all sales-savvy because we’ve been sold to so often. When we perceive someone selling something to us, red flags go up.

Sales professionals must convince people to “know, like and trust.”   You can’t afford to be boring. The market is overcrowded, and you must somehow make yourself memorable.

Accomplish that by building rapport. Humans trust people who can smile when everyone else is stressed. It suggests psychological stability, and we gravitate toward it.

Funny makes ideas stick. We remember funny commercials and funny jokes because funny implants in our brains more easily than facts.

People listen to your message after you build rapport.

Don’t take yourself too seriously

There are three things you can always laugh at:

  • common enemies
  • shared frustrations
  • yourself

When you can laugh at things happening behind the scenes, customers believe that you understand the industry. If you tell funny stories about the things your customer laughs about behind closed doors, you become an “us” instead of a “them.”

Car salesmen, for example, might joke about the price of oil or government regulation in the car industry.

Take what you do seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously. When you can laugh at yourself, or even at the difficulty of the negotiation process, it suggests an inner peace.

Acknowledge the obvious

Acknowledge the fact that negotiations are the most difficult part of the sales process. Make a good-natured joke about your sales competitors.

If you can prompt even 10 percent of the people in the audience to laugh, you’ll increase your likability, even among the people who didn’t laugh. Using gentle humor to acknowledge the stress in the process will make you truthful and trustworthy.

Episode resources

Marty Wilson has a new book out called More Funny, More Money plus a free Masterclass about using humor to increase revenue. You’ll also find information about private coaching, video courses, and Marty’s TED Talks.

Connect with Marty at martinwilson.com for keynote speaking engagements and a collection of informational videos.

If your sales results aren’t a laughing matter, consider joining The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, an online coaching program focused on building value and closing more deals.

Our new semester begins April 26, and we have a few seats available. We’d be honored if you’d join us.

If you enjoy this podcast, be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any episodes. Then, leave us a review wherever you consume this content, and most importantly share it with other people who can benefit from the lessons we share.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Sales Champion

TSE 802: I’m Not Your Champion, Sis!

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Sales ChampionYou need a sales champion.

You need someone on the inside of the prospective organization who can help you gain influence; someone who understands your goals and believes in your cause.

Find the right sales champion

Not everyone qualifies as a champion.

If your connection won’t benefit from whatever it is that you’re selling, she might not be the right person. Worse yet, if your product could potentially put her out of a job, she’s probably not the right person to champion your cause.

Pursuing the wrong champion will derail your deal.

Arm your sales champion

There’s a story of warring factions who were fighting for control of a city. The bad guys took the city, and the good guys were trapped outside trying to find a way in.

They found defectors inside the city who were sympathetic to their cause and provided wine to get them drunk. Once the defectors were drunk, the good guys snuck over the wall, gave weapons to the sympathizers, and reclaimed the city.

Your sales champion must know the ropes inside the organization. He must also have the tools required to influence the decision-makers.

You must sell your champion on your product so he can sell it to the organization. Equip him with enough information to coordinate a presentation, but don’t rely on him to close the deal.

Arm him with enough benefits to convince the team that they should hear from you.

Benefit the sales champion

Don’t focus on your own benefits. Figure out how your product or service will benefit your champion.

Does it save his department time or money? If so, the company can reallocate those resources elsewhere, which will help him impress his superiors.

Episode resources

The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League is an online coaching program that brings together sellers of all levels. Our next semester begins this month, and we’ll be discussing how to build strong value to increase your close rates.

We still have a few seats left and we’d be honored if you’d join us.

Audio in this episode was provided by Free SFX.