PAIN Archives - The Sales Evangelist

Category Archives for PAIN

Donald Kelly, Sell Me A Pen

TSE 1112: Sell Me This Pen!

Donald Kelly, Sell Me A Pen
You’ve likely heard the scenario before where an interviewer asks a seller to “Sell me this pen,” but how much value does this approach offer??
This scenario will likely throw your prospective sellers into a nervous panic because you’re asking them to sell something they know nothing about. So how much will it really tell you about your seller?

Features and benefits

Sellers who don’t know much about the product they are selling or the audience they are selling to usually revert to features and benefits. They sell the aspects of the product that they can see.
“It’s comfortable.” “It has a good grip.” “It has a clicky thing and even a laser pointer. That’s great for folks who do presentations.”
“It writes smoothly and it isn’t too expensive. In fact, it’s cheaper than many of the pens on the market. And if you buy it today, I can throw in a notepad and a pocket protector.”
Why would people even do this test in the first place?

Quick thinking

People often conduct this test to see how well you think on your feet and how you perform under pressure. And though I can understand those motivations, this test won’t truly work unless you’re selling something that might be a consumer sale.
Typically, sellers aren’t selling simple products like pens. Rather they are selling something like a software solution that is much more expensive and has a much longer sales cycle. In those cases, it won’t matter as much how good you are with your words. You won’t be able to persuade someone within one minute to buy your expensive product.
If you’re selling inexpensive trinkets on the side of the road, it might just work. But if you’re selling something with a significant price value, it won’t.

Reviews

This idea to “Sell me this pen,” might have provided a good judge of a seller’s abilities in the 80s and 90s, but today’s buyers rely on reviews.
So as a sales leader, what if you stopped using this unrealistic test and offered a better one? What if you gave your sellers a scenario and ask them to prepare for it?
Test your sellers to see whether they can find true problems or interesting facts, figures, or statistics that will help you win the deal. Determine whether the sellers will try to “wing it” instead of coming prepared.

Sales scenario

You want a sales rep who is prepared, so use your interview opportunity to determine their ability to prepare. Ask your receptionist to send a scenario to the interviewees. Let them know they will be asked to role play a selling scenario like this.
Present a scenario in which a particular business owner has a certain set of challenges. He is already working with a particular vendor. The sellers’ job is to show up prepared to understand the product and services and have a meaningful conversation selling this service to the business owner.
If the sales rep shows up with information about the company in-hand and prepared to have a meaningful discussion, you’ve likely found a good seller. If the seller shows up with the intention to “wing it,” you’ll know what you’re up against.

Selling pens

The secret to successful selling lies with asking appropriate questions, even in the case of selling a pen. If you do use the pen test, expect your sellers to begin by finding out whether the buyer even needs a pen.It doesn’t matter how much ink it will hold or how great the cap is if the seller doesn’t need it.
Instead of spending the time pressuring the buyer to spend money on a pen, expect your sellers to begin by asking questions.
Meaningful questions about the buyer’s situation will either qualify or disqualify the buyer. It will also communicate that the seller understands the buyer’s actual situation. The seller will demonstrate a desire to identify the pain point and solve the problem.
Maybe the customer needs a computer more than a pen. Don’t waste your time pitching a product the customer doesn’t need.

Consultants

Seek sellers who will serve as consultants rather than those who will try to trick the customers. Help the buyer feel like he is making a buying decision rather than being sold to.
Jeffrey Gitomer said that people love to buy but they hate to be sold to. Help your customers understand the true pain that exists and then help them solve it. If you do this, they’ll evangelize about you and ultimately help you get more business.
Empower your sales reps to sell on their own. Teach them to become consultants who ask meaningful questions to identify challenges that the buyers may not even realize they have.
He’ll be successful and he’ll have great clients who love him.
If you create a meaningful scenario for your interviews, you’ll have more meaningful discussions and dialogues and both parties will enjoy the process more.
Besides, we probably already have enough pens.

“Sell me this pen” episode resources

If you haven’t connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I’m sharing there.

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Ideal Customer, Dr. Frances Richards, Black Podcast

TSE 1099: Sales From The Street – “My Ideal Customer”

Ideal Customer, Dr. Frances Richards, Black Podcast

 

Business owners and sales reps who try to sell to everyone will struggle to succeed until they decide to focus their efforts on the ideal customer.

Today, Dr. Frances Richards, whose company helps people reclaim their wealth by transforming their health, talks about the journey of finding her ideal customer.

Sales From The Street allows us to connect with a sales professional and hear about the biggest professional struggles that person faced. Dr. Frances is the host of a podcast called Black Entrepreneur Experience, where she interviews CEOs, innovative thinkers, thought leaders, and black entrepreneurs across the globe.

Finding a tribe

Her biggest struggle was finding her ideal customer, and connecting with the people that her message would resonate with. When you’re building an internet business, there are so many different ways to connect with people that it can sometimes be overwhelming for businesses that are trying to find their tribe.

She points to the fact that there are plenty of people telling you what you should do to connect with your ideal client, so it’s tough to know what to do. She said that people told her, “It’s all in the email list,” or “It’s all in social media,” or “It’s all in Facebook advertising,” or “It’s all in the messaging.”

Changing landscape

The hardest part, she said, is trying to determine what’s really relevant. And with the internet constantly changing things, the way you build a company in 2019 is different than the steps you might have taken in 2014.

The steps to find your ideal customer have changed. And when you talk about sales, certain steps are appropriate whether you’re online or offline. Building rapport, and building quality relationships, matters in every situation.

Authenticity

Dr. Frances said that in order to find her ideal customer, she had to block out all the noise and focus on authenticity. She started by deprogramming herself from the idea of working for someone else.

She said she had to adjust to the idea of working for herself and to lose all of the things she was accustomed to, like listening to the bosses tell her what she needed to do. Because she had done many different kinds of sales, she was able to change her mindset from employee mode to employer mode. Then she had to be true to who she really wanted to serve.

When she was an employee, she had to serve anyone. Once she started to define who to serve, then she started to attract her ideal customer as opposed to just doing cold calling.

To-do lists

She had an extensive to-do list of doing 10 posts a day, doing a Facebook live, doing a Periscope, posting on LinkedIn, and all of those other things. She was busy working on the business instead of in the business, which actually brings in income.

Once she prioritized how she would get sales and how she would bring value, she got out of the mode of being desperate. She was listening to her clients’ pain points and she set out to serve them. She went into the mode of serving and helping her clients, her fan base, her tribe.

Dr. Frances has turned down consulting contracts because she wanted to make it a win-win for all parties involved. She operates from a position of making sure both parties are a good fit.

Qualified clients

The shift to serving her clients resulted in more qualified clients. Previously she connected with clients who really couldn’t afford her service so it would have been a disservice to try to work together.

She started asking her prospects what they hoped to accomplish and if someone said, “I want to lose 50 pounds in 5 days,” she wouldn’t even try to convince the person to work with her since the goals were unrealistic.

She has found that when she gets qualified, bonafide clients, the two enjoy working together. The clients are getting results and she is building testimonies.

Ideal client

Just serve the people who really need what you have to offer. Be who you authentically are. There will be plenty of voices telling you what you should do.

Instead of following them, dig deep into yourself and discover what you’re really passionate about. What makes you sing? What makes you get out of bed every morning? That’s half the battle because your attitude dictates your altitude.

If you love what you do, you’ll do what you love. Dr. Frances uses the acronym DANCE to remind her to be authentic: Determine Action Now Creates Energy.

Dancers dance because they want to, not because someone forces them to. Instead of doing things you don’t like, do the things you authentically enjoy. Find your passion.

“Ideal Customer” episode resources

You can connect with Frances at drfrancesrichards.com and you can find her on Facebook and Instagram as Dr. Frances Richards. You can also find her podcast at Black Entrepreneur Experience.

If you haven’t connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I’m sharing there.

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Joe Sweeney, Donald Kelly, Understanding People

TSE 1074: Sales From The Street – “Understanding What Makes People Tick”

Joe Sweeney, Donald Kelly, Understanding People

Human behavior plays a huge role in sales and understanding what makes people tick is one of the most important concepts sellers in all industries should seek to learn.

Joe Sweeney has worn a variety of different hats over the course of his career, but he loves human behavior and he says it’s the key to success in sales.

Buyers

You must understand why someone would buy your product. Joe’s philosophy, as described in his book Networking Is A Contact Sportis that networking, business, and sales are about giving and serving rather than getting something.

People ask about the number one mistake that salespeople make, and it’s believing that the process is about us. We think it’s about our product. It’s not.

Joe gives talks all the time and he starts by saying, “You don’t sell anything. What we do is help people get what they want.”

Instead, sellers tend to take the opposite approach and we talk about ourselves and our product. But your buyer doesn’t care about that. All he cares about is whether your product can solve his needs and relieve some of his pain points.

Criticism

Joe said he spent a portion of his life criticizing other people because he represented a lot of high-net-worth people who did stupid things.

When, for example, he encountered a woman outside a hospital dying from emphysema and smoking a cigarette, he made the connection. The pleasure she got from nicotine was greater than the pain she experienced from emphysema.

The takeaway is to get good at understanding what makes people tick without criticizing them. All human behavior makes sense, even when we don’t.

  • Don’t be critical of their actions.
  • Understand people’s needs and wants.

Keep everything simple.

3 Common Needs

Although we could all likely point to hundreds of needs, we really have three basic, common needs.

  1. We need to belong to something bigger than ourselves.
  2. We need to love and to be loved.
  3. Finally, we all want to know that our life has meaning and that we’ve made a difference.

The greatest sales companies in the world have understood that.

Perhaps our greatest need is the first one: the need to belong to something bigger. It’s counter-intuitive today because with all the social media we falsely believe we’re all connected but the truth is that we’re less connected than we’ve ever been.

Stated another way, we’re more isolated now than ever.

Need to belong

The company that really understands this concept is Harley Davidson. Its number one competitor is BMW which far surpasses Harley, but Harley outsells everyone.

The Harley Ownership Group, or HOG, makes its owners part of something bigger. It’s about belonging.

Remember the old TV show Cheers? Its tagline captures this desire. Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name.

In this technology world, we pretend that we’re connected to a massive network but we aren’t.

Need to be loved

Coca Cola marketed to this need with the ad about teaching the world to sing. It was kind of a kumbaya moment with people holding hands singing together.

They portrayed the feeling that if you drink Coca Cola, you’d feel all this love. Coca Cola understood the Maya Angelou quote: People will forget what you say. People will forget what you do. People will never forget the way you make them feel. 

Joe asks his groups, “What are you doing to answer the needs of these people? The belonging needs and the love needs.”

Need to make a difference

We all want to know that our lives have meaning, and Mastercard captured that with the ad campaign that assigned prices to different products.

Fishing poles, $29. Worms, $3.25. An afternoon fishing with your teenagers, Priceless.

Most of us approach the sales process with the sense that we have to tell people about our benefits. Instead, we should take two steps back and work to understand what makes people tick.

Understand needs

Work to understand your buyers’ needs. The greatest companies do it and I recommend that your listeners do the same.

If you’re going to be really good in sales, you should wow people.

If you sell office furniture, what would differentiate you from the competition?

Find something personal, and then do something memorable. Little things in sales mean everything. #BeMemorable

Imagine that you have a customer who likes Egyptian art. At the close of your interaction with the customer, hand him a piece of Egyptian art that you printed out. It cost you nothing, but none of the other competitors will have done that.

Making money

Joe suggests that sales isn’t about making money. Although that’s a by-product of sales, it’s really about creating an environment where we can service people. You can do the same thing in education and in government.

Morph your sales job into a servant leadership role.

Joe’s sister-in-law told him that she always assumed that business was a bunch of greedy people trying to make money. There was a negative energy around sales.

Joe reframed it as a positive thing and created a forum where people can serve each other and get what they want in life.

Daniel Pink wrote a book called To Sell Is Human all about humanizing sales. I needed that as a young seller when I was guilty of seeing CEOs as something other than human beings. I didn’t see a woman who runs a business and has two kids in middle school.

Sales development

Joe said he hates networking and what it represents. We tend to think of an alpha male chasing someone down with a business card. It’s about understanding pain points and needs and then responding to them.

Many salespeople are too aggressive and competitive because we feel the pressure. Instead, we have to reframe networking and sales.

It’s not about us, but that’s a tough concept in this narcissistic culture.

Joe suggested using a 5-10-15 process in which he holds a minimum of 5 meetings, 10 pieces of written correspondence, and a minimum of 15 phone calls.

It’s less about the numbers and more about the system. Your listeners could start with a 2-4-6 system. Make a plan that keeps you accountable to yourself.

We’re basically all independent contractors and this kind of system will create internal accountability.

“Understanding What Makes People Tick” episode resources

You can connect with Joe at joesweeney.com/networking where you can access inexpensive online training programs. They can help your listeners move the needle in their business and sales lives but also in their personal lives.

You can also grab a copy of his book, Networking Is A Contact Sport.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump.

If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Phil Sweeney, Selling to Everyone, New Customer

TSE 1024: Sales From The Street: “Selling To Everyone”

Phillip Sweeney,Selling a product or service that expands across multiple industries is possible when we realize that selling to everyone takes a team effort.

Phil Sweeney worked in sales while in college because he enjoyed talking with people and problem-solving. Now, just two years after graduating, Phil is still working for Negotiatus, a fast-growing tech start-up business he first joined while in school.

There were only a handful of employees when Phil first signed on. Now they are at 60 employees and Phil is loving every minute of it.

Selling to everyone

It was exciting, as a salesperson, to have totally green fields ahead in terms of being able to work with, and sell to, any company. Phil had to quickly learn how not overextend himself.

He had to learn how to hone in on the ideal customer profile. He had to understand who had the biggest need for the platforms he offers.

When Phil first joined the sales team in its infancy, the company really could sell to everyone. It was a huge undertaking. They were also faced with the challenge of being a new company with little success to promote.

They were shooting from all cylinders to determine where the biggest impact was in terms of the types of companies that they were attracting. From there, they were able to focus more and more on those types of clients.

Phil dedicated blocks of time to the task. For 2-3 hours each day, he would not take any calls, schedule meetings, or go anywhere.

Ideally, using blocks of time outside of selling hours, Phil would focus solely on who he was going to call the next day. He used many of the brilliant resources now available such as Sales Navigator, to find the people he needed to find and to learn more about them prior to the call.

Sharing the ideal customer profile

Now that he is part of a larger sales team, he is having conversations not only within sales but also with success teams and operating teams to understand, in their opinion, which clients have been the most successful and easiest to work with.

When selling to everyone is possible, it is easy to find yourself going nowhere fast. It is hard to know the correct verbiage for each industry. Selling in the medical industry, for example, is much different than selling in the automotive industry.

It can be hard to land a good appointment until you narrow your focus to the industries that work best for your company.

Divide and conquer

Success begins when the teams can focus and then specialize across multiple industries. Phil believes it is important to identify as an expert in whichever field or department you are selling to.

Only then can you hone in on the pain points in order to solve those problems.

Phil is closing sales now within 1-2 weeks of his first meetings because he has established himself as the expert in the field with the ideal solution/product. The need for his product is real and he is positioned to offer the main solution to satisfy that need.

First and foremost, Phil recommends setting goals and dedicating time to the task. Most salespeople work in teams, so use that to your advantage. In Phil’s team, they announce the number of new contacts, for example, that they hope to reach in the next two hours; it is written on a whiteboard for all to see – and then they get to it.

At the end of the time period, they check in on each other. Did they get it done? Or do they need to work longer? They hold each other accountable.

Get familiar with the industry. Share tips and resources. Google Alerts, for example, is an excellent tool to stay on top of specific topics in a particular industry which can help you at every stage of your pipeline.

Put in the time at the top of the funnel and it will pay off when it comes time to close the deal.

In this manner, Phil’s sales team is leading the pack with a 115-150% quota attainment on a month-to-month basis. As a company, they have seen month-to-month revenue growth between 15-30%.

Stay hungry, stay humble

Everything is measured by the week or the month; even the hourly way of team progress is measured. It all resets to zero at the end of each period, so don’t hang your hat on a certain closed deal or a really good day of selling; stay humble.

You’ve got to start each day mentally fresh and hungry again.

“Selling to Everyone” episode resources

Reach out to Phil via email at PSweeney37@gmail.com, or give him a call at 631-901-2685.  He is also active on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn as PhillipSweeney.

Additionally, Phil is part of The Sales Evangelist Facebook group and would love to connect with you there.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals.

The next semester begins in March.

This episode is brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

 

 

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Kati Whitledge, Sales Podcast

TSE 374: Sales From The Street-“Help Them Open Up To You With Their PAIN”

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Kati Whitledge, Sales Podcast

Today’s episode on Sales from the Street features Kati Whitledge. This is Kati’s second time on the podcast and once again, she’s dropping a bomb of tremendous information where she’s giving us key insights and things we can apply to our business to help us become more successful.

Being an entrepreneur, podcaster, speaker, and author, Kati is a real hustler, captaining her own ship so to speak. Listen in as she talks about a major challenge she faced in her business and how she handled this to maneuver her ship in the right direction.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Kati:

Kati’s major challenge:

Selling the features and benefits (and thinking that alone is enough!)

What Kati did to fix this problem:

  1. Identify the customer’s pain point first.

Then you know exactly what to sell to. Dive deeper into those pain points to discover why it’s happening. You can’t provide a solution to a problem until you know what the problem is.

  1. Quantify the pain.

Find out what the pain does to the client everyday? What kind of time are they investing in it? How is it affecting their bottom line and culture of their organization? Quantifying pain is not on financials but also involves time and energy. Unless you’re able to quantify their pain, you won’t be able identify the value.

  1. Practice, practice, practice.

Find someone else who’s in sales in a non-competing environment who’s willing to get together with you for coffee and practice talking to each other about these things including some verbiage, getting to those pain points, and how you respond and quantify the pain points.

Results Kati had from correcting her course:

More in control of things for having a process

Time-saving

Psychological wellness

Building real, lasting relationships with clients

About Kati’s Meet Your Stylist:

  • An online marketing tool for hair salon owners
  • A client fills out a unique survey where they will be matched with the top three stylists at your salon that will be the best fit for them.
  • A way to make sure your client retention improves (Quick fact: Only 3 out of 10 new clients that walk through the salon’s door is going back for a second time)

Episode Resources:

Visit Kati’s website www.katiwhitledge.com or connect with Kati Whitledge on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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