Category Archives for Planning

Planning, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1132: My New Planning Tool

Planning, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

Sellers must work to effectively plan their activities in order to accomplish the important tasks in their days, and since I’ve struggled with the same challenges, I’ve developed a new planning tool to help with that effort. 

For most of us, it isn’t unreasonable to find that we have more tasks due in a day than we can possibly accomplish, and we can end up feeling like we’ve failed when we come up short. Unless we change how we do things, our days will feel like Groundhog Day, and we’ll repeat the same ineffective patterns every day. 

Falling short

If we fail to complete our to-do list every single day, we’ll end the day feeling like we’ve failed. Worse yet, our list will grow every day because it will include tasks from the previous day that we didn’t finish. Eventually, we’ll feel emotionally drained by our ineffectiveness. 

Now, while you’re trying to find new leads, get new deals, and close new opportunities, you’ll likely be preoccupied with your looming to-do list. 

You’ll never completely escape the stressful moments and days in sales, but if you learn to effectively manage the time you have, you’ll better manage that stress. Whether you’re selling cars or selling services, you’re at risk of being frustrated by the to-do list. 

Identifying the process

I discovered in my own process of organizing tasks I was spending as much time planning the tasks as I did accomplishing them. The result was that I was going in circles. I had read a book by Kevin Cruz called 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management that prompted me to take control of my schedule. (I recommend you read it, too. It’s available on Audible.)

I started by writing down all the tasks I needed to do each day, keeping in mind that I function best when I keep my days broken up. Kevin recommended breaking your day into 15-minute increments, which was a great idea, but honestly 30-minute increments worked best for me. I planned my entire day, including tasks like reading a sales book, listening to a podcast, prospecting, LinkedIn outreach, follow-up with clients, or proposal preparation. 

Creating a planner

I decided to create my own planner that specifically addresses my unique tasks. One side of the planner allows me to list all the different tasks I do and divide them into different categories. In my case, as a business owner, I have certain categories that other sellers may not have. 

The top of each page has my KPIs which will help me generate sales and move the needle. They include new prospects, new opportunities, deals, progress. I list my top three goals or priorities for the day and things that I know I must get done. Some of them will be sales-related and some will be beyond sales. 

For example, Mondays are podcast interview days. Other tasks on other days might include working with a team member to accomplish an internal task or meeting with a bookkeeper. Some days I’m writing a guest blog post for Hubspot or some other publication or creating content for social media. I also include personal tasks like appointments. 

At the bottom of the page, because I’m also a consultant, I track my clients and the consultations I have with them. 

Devoting time

On the second side of the page, I allocate time for each of the different tasks, in either 15- or 30-minute increments. I order the tasks according to importance because I have them divided by category. 

Over time, I can track the categories and tasks that are taking a lot of my time. In some cases, I can push some of those tasks to other team members to free time in my own schedule. 

As an example, I realized I was spending a lot of time handling emails and I wasn’t able to efficiently get back to people when I needed to. I trained my executive assistant to help manage my email account and invested a couple of days into helping her establish a process. Now she helps me distinguish between junk emails and those that require an answer. As a result, my admin tasks have diminished a bit. 

If you’re thinking you don’t have the luxury of an executive assistant, it’s possible to find trustworthy people on platforms like Upwork.

Maximizing time

Some tasks can be shared by other team members through the use of templates. If I need a presentation created, I can use a template from PandaDoc to have someone else create it for me. This frees up my time to focus on things that matter the most. 

At the end of the day, I can note my actual accomplishments for the day and how much I was able to achieve. Based on those numbers, I can judge how efficient I was. Did I get to 70 percent? Strive to get A’s, but know that B’s are ok. C’s are no good. 

I’m going to create a video to share on LinkedIn that will show you how you can build a planner of your own, and ultimately we’ll create a new planning tool for sellers, though our current one targets entrepreneurs.

“New Planning Tool” episode resources

Connect with me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com.

Try the first module of the TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free.

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. 

Tools for sellers

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.

 

 

Henry Kaminski, The Brand Doctor, Sales and Branding, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1008: Plan, Prepare and Refuse To Give Up

 

Today we’re talking about how to Plan, Prepare and Refuse to Give Up with podcast host, branding expert, and author Henry Kaminski, Jr.

Henry is the founder of Unique Designz, a full-service design, branding and digital marketing agency dedicated to helping authority brands; coaches, consultants, influencers, speakers and authors to scale their expertise and personal brands into profitable business models.

Henry started twelve years ago as a freelance graphic designer, eventually growing his business into a mature, boutique brand development agency.  His average client is typically worth $50-100K over a calendar year.

But Henry remembers not so long ago when he was working for Fiverr. As sales reps, we know how it feels to want to get to the top as quickly as possible. We think it will be easy but then it is not long before we hit the hiccups.

Plan and prepare

Henry says it all comes down to preparation. He credits himself with once being the worst salesman on the planet.

These days, Henry follows a very specific, tried and true script that he practices on a weekly basis. He does not deviate from that script and, as such, he is closing more and more sales.

People perceive our value based on the questions we ask so planning ahead of time what to say is key. As Henry says “asking stupid questions only gets you stupid answers.” You will be perceived as an amateur.

As a brand strategist and brand developer, Henry wants to position his clients to become subject matter experts.  He wants people to be on the edge of their seats whenever one of his clients is speaking. It is all about positioning and that comes with preparation.

This is a lesson Henry learned the hard way.

You have to know the answers to the questions but you will want to challenge the person that you are speaking to. There is no value in telling the client what they already know.

Let your client know that you may ask them some tough questions – questions they maybe haven’t about thought before. Be sure they understand that your intent is not to pry but to get to the root of the issues in order to be the most helpful.

Be intentional

Henry became intentional with his desire to start his own business after Hurricane Sandy blew through New Jersey and wiped out two of his biggest clients. Henry tried to continue living the lifestyle to which he had become accustomed but with a revenue loss of a quarter of a million dollars, it just wasn’t possible.

At the same time, Fiverr entered the design world and disrupted the entire industry. Henry couldn’t beat them so he joined them. But it wasn’t a sustainable position.

He remembers a $120 paycheck for over 90 hours of work and he remembers earning $5 for six hours of revisions on a business card.

And he remembers telling his wife that they needed to make a change.

She got out the laptop and said, “Let’s get to work.”

Henry started working with a mentor, Russell Brunson. He couldn’t afford to pay for the coaching program but he couldn’t afford not to, either. So he maxed out his credit card and got on the phone with Russell.

At the end of the one-hour call, they were both crying hysterically as Henry was hired on the spot to help with Russell’s first book launch.

That gave Henry the confidence boost he needed. It was the biggest sale he ever made and it led to another job with Russell a few months later.

More importantly, Henry received the most important tidbit of insight from Russell. Despite all his fancy websites and great designs, Henry himself was nowhere to be found on any of it.

His big personality was hiding behind the logo.

That has all changed now and Henry doesn’t regret it for a minute. He has found his lane. Content creation and working one-on-one with the clients is where he wants to stay.

Get seen

As a podcast host, myself, I can relate. People came to my webpage and listened to my podcast, but if they wanted to see me, they couldn’t. It was all stock photographs. I had to put myself out there. I had to make myself available for my audience.

We shouldn’t diminish ourselves. We need to put ourselves first and refuse to give up. I used to be intimidated and afraid that maybe I didn’t look good on camera or that seeing my brand was better than seeing the real me.

Rather, your personal brand is just an offset of your business. If you are shy and timid, it will show in your messaging. Don’t be afraid of yourself.

Even the bigger brands, according to Henry, are coming out of their shells. The only difference between you and everybody else is you! You have to invest in your personal brand. It’s critical.

Refuse to give up

Henry credits his unwillingness to give up to his parents who tried for 16 years to become pregnant with Henry. His Mom would call him her ‘miracle baby.’ Henry believes that hearing that story while growing up – that his parents refused to give up for over 16 years – is what fuels his drive now.

There are so many times when we try something once or twice and quit when it doesn’t go our way. His parent relentlessly pursued their goal for 16 years.

If you are feeling uncertain or hesitant when looking forward because of past difficulties, Henry recommends you remember that it is all a numbers game. He once went three months without one single sale. He kept looking back and beating himself up over what he might have done differently.

His mentor reminded him that a rearview window is smaller than a windshield for a reason – because you are not going that way.

Any setback is temporary. It’s like a storm passing through town. It might be a struggle but it will pass.

Have confidence in your preparations and see them through.

“Plan, Prepare and Refuse to Give Up” episode resources

Henry is very active on Instagram and can be found at thebranddr and on his website Unique Designz.

Grab a copy of his book Refuse to Give Up and connect with him at Brand Doctor’s podcast.

This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.

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.

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, and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Donald Kelly, Start the day off right, Exercise,

TSE 999: Sales From The Street-“Start The Day Off Right”

Donald Kelly, Start the day off right, Exercise,Your morning routine has the power to start the day off right, which makes it crucial for you to make sure yours is effective.

Whether you’re listening to music, educating yourself with podcasts, exercising, or engaging in spiritual activity, you’ll find that you accomplish more when you engage in a regular routine.

Brainpower

Scientific research suggests that our brains work best in late morning. If we lay in bed scrolling through social media, we’re missing crucial time in our day. [04:29]

We should take advantage of that time to engage in productive activity.

Take charge

Instead of starting your day focused on the negatives in the day, take charge of your perspective. Because you know what will happen in the first hour of the day, you’re in charge of your day. [05:23]

By acting instead of being acted upon, you’re taking charge.

If you get an email from your boss who suddenly wants a report by noon, you may find yourself stressed and short-tempered. On the other hand, when you’re in control, you’ll respond better and be less likely to get stressed out.

You won’t do anything in your day until you’re ready to do it.

Own your morning

There’s no limit to the ways you can take control of your morning.

Besides reading, journaling, and exercising, you can also work on a side hustle. When I was still working for a software company, I did my podcasting in the morning. [06:23]

It was something I enjoyed, so I didn’t mind doing the work.

Now that podcasting is my work, I use my mornings to write my book.

I’ve discovered that by taking control of my morning, I find clarity on things I’ve been thinking about and answers to problems I’ve been trying to solve.

Accountability

Test the idea for a week. Begin by adding tasks to your calendar. [08:43]

If you’re planning to exercise or read, write those activities on your daily calendar. Then, find an accountability partner who will follow up with you.

Ask your mentors and others to follow up with you.

At the end of the week, you can measure your results to see how effective they are. If a week isn’t long enough, test it for a month.

“Start The Day Off Right” episode resources

This episode is brought to you in part by Maximizer CRM, personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. To get a demonstration of maximizer, go to the sales evangelists.com/maximizer.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one.

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.

They are offering a 14-day free trial, and half off your subscription when you use the code Donald at checkout.

This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.

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, and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Shane Spiers, Donald Kelly, Strategic Planning, Sales Training

TSE 995: TSE Certified Sales Training Program- “Strategic Planning”

 

Shane Spiers, Donald Kelly, Strategic Planning, Sales TrainingStrategic planning isn’t only for entrepreneurs: Shane Spiers says sales reps must know where they are headed and what the team’s common purpose is.

Strategic planning helps sales reps work better as part of a team and achieve more.

Originally from New Zealand, Shane now calls the UK home. It is where his career has grown to what it is today. His record is dominated by leading and scaling 7, 8 and 9-figure rapid growth companies, mostly in real estate, construction, and service-based businesses.

Shane created Summit Leader to help 7-figure entrepreneurs scale with an 8-figure growth model. His focus is helping businesses scale from entrepreneurial to managed growth. [00:29]

Approximately 96% of businesses earn less than $1 million in revenue. Of the 4% that make it past a million, only 10% make it to $10 million.

With only .4% of businesses reaching the $10 million mark, Shane hopes to have an impact by producing more 8-figure businesses. [01:20]

A common goal

As a business moves from entrepreneurial to managed growth, the management, leadership, and logistical challenges become quite different.

The startup ways of working can hinder a business rather than advance it.

Shane has been down the path many times before. He understands the importance of including sales reps in the process of strategic planning to grow a company.

Whether you are a business owner, team leader, or part of a team, it is important to understand what the company stands for and what it believes in.

It is important to know the common goal and your purpose in achieving it.

A team without priorities, or with different views, cannot work well together. [02:23]

Strategic thinking and execution

Before you can plan where you will be in the long term, you must make decisions about who you are and what you stand for. Decide how you will differentiate yourself from the competition. In the sales world, particularly, be very clear about who comprises your target market.

Know who your ideal customers are, where they are, and what is important to them.

It starts with upfront thinking.

Know where you want to go and make a plan to get there.

Establish your guiding principles first. Build your core. When businesses fail to clearly define their values, it trickles down into the sales force. [03:35]

Think about your core as the provider of stability, power, and control that will support growth. Without a strong core, you risk instability from cultural challenges, loss of focus, disengagement, and a lack of heart.

An organization or team that is weak will struggle.

The core values are what you will do – and won’t do – to get what you want. They are the timeless, fundamental principles that define a company’s culture.

It is the first step in strategic planning because it sets your purpose. It is the root of your business.

Once you are clear about the Why of your company, you can work on the How. Where do you want to be in two, three or even ten years? What you do want to achieve? [05:50]

A part of the whole

No matter how large or small your role, you are contributing to the larger story.

Consider the time when President Kennedy visited NASA and struck up a conversation with one of the janitors. When asked what he was doing, the janitor replied that he was helping to put a man on the moon. And he certainly was.

[08:26]

Strategy follows when you direct your attention and decisions to how you will differentiate yourself from the competition.

Shane believes that decisions about how to best plan and strategize come easier to companies that establish their core principles first.

It is easier to make a decision when you know what you stand for. [09:41]

One common problem among fast-growing organizations is that they simply have too many priorities. In an attempt to cover all their bases, they lose focus.

A long list of objectives combined with a scarcity of time, energy, and resources results in mediocre accomplishments. There is a failure to accomplish what matters most.

If everything is important then nothing is.

Growth and scaling are about taking one significant step at a time, checking the data and adjusting accordingly. [10:40]

Establish a rhythm

Once your core is established and you are clear about your long-term focus, it is time to prioritize. Break the ten-year plan out into a three-year plan, into a one-year plan, a 90-day plan, etc.

Create routine, focus, and discipline. Don’t become overwhelmed by the monumental task of the long-term goal. Set bite-sized goals instead.

Focus on the 3-5 things that will move you forward as a team. Get into the habit of celebrating success every 90 days.

To build and maintain momentum, plan for more meetings or a daily check-in. Discuss administrative and tactical issues, provide updates, and take advantage of unforeseen opportunities. Review progress on a weekly basis.

Use the collective brainpower of your teams to tackle issues before they become problems.

Routines can set you free. Revolve your business around 90-day goals and life becomes more manageable. Take the time to do it properly. [12:41]

When the fundamental beliefs of your company are clear, they will drive your company forward.

The right people will be attracted to your teams.

“Strategic Planning” episode resources

You can reach Shane and check out his many free resources at www.summitleader.com. He also hosts a live webinar every month at www.summitwebinar.com.

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.

This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.

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, and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Tracking Sales, Planning, Performance, Prospecting

TSE 992: If You Are Not Tracking Your Performance You Are Losing!

Tracking Sales, Planning, Performance, ProspectingTracking your performance and setting measurable goals will help you perform better as a sales rep. We can optimize our performance if we calculate our daily output to help us fine-tune our work.

Sales professionals are competitive creatures by nature, whether we’re competing against others or against ourselves.

When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of performance accelerates.  

Potential

I participated in a leadership retreat in college and the speaker asked me to participate in a demonstration by jumping as far as I could. She then measured the distance and asked me to jump again to see if I could beat my original effort.

Turns out I did, because I had a measurable goal.

If I hadn’t measured my first attempt, I wouldn’t have known whether my second attempt was better. As a sales professional, you’ll benefit if you measure your activity on a daily basis.

Optimization

You’re probably already planning some of your work: prospecting, phone calls, LinkedIn contacts, and those efforts are all great. But in order to optimize, now you must measure those efforts.

If you’re making phone calls, what are you measuring?

  • Are you measuring the number of calls?
  • Are you measuring the number of appointments you’re setting based upon phone calls?

Start writing down and measuring your key indicators.

If you’re measuring LinkedIn activity, what are you measuring?

  • Are you measuring the number of connections you can make?
  • Are you measuring the people who replay to your conversations?

Develop key indicators or key performance metrics that you can measure on a daily basis.

Trends

When you measure those numbers, you’ll begin to notice trends.

You might notice that you set more appointments on Wednesday and Thursday than on Monday and Friday. You may discover that you successfully connect with more people on LinkedIn on Tuesdays.

This effort may sound like a lot of work, and some of you may think you can’t possibly find the time. Realize that top performers in every industry are measuring and optimizing their efforts. That’s how they improve.

Coaching

That’s also where coaching comes into play.

Now imagine you’re measuring these numbers and your performances while you’re being coached. You’re going to quickly discover that you’re improving quickly.

The problem is that we often get comfortable with our performance level. We settle for an acceptable amount of production and we accept it as our best.

You may recognize this mindset as, “This is how I’ve prospected for years, so I’m going to stick with this format.”

Challenge that thinking. Perhaps you’ll work with a manager or a sales leader or even the CEO. Accountability will make you even more effective.

Strategy

When I’m collaborating or sharing with someone else, I may discover different strategies that are working for other sellers.

The danger is in thinking that you can’t learn from others or believing that you already have all the answers. You won’t increase or improve or progress.

When I started writing down day-to-day performance, I wasn’t competing against my team. I was competing against my previous performance.

I started closing more deals because I listened to my podcast guests and got beyond my weaknesses. Then, I read books and got better insights. Really, though, I improved simply because I was conscious of my efforts.

This year was our best ever, and we haven’t even fully optimized our tracking and measuring.

Tracking your performance makes a huge difference.

Planning

Send me an email if you’d like to see what I’m doing and how I’m scheduling my day.

I use a planner and a Gmail calendar. I list tasks and color code them to differentiate different activities. If you’re wondering, I use green for money-generating activities.

I use a different color for admin tasks so I can visually see how my day looks.

At the end of the day I ask myself four questions:

  • Did I meet my goals today?
  • What could I have done differently?
  • What was my biggest win today?
  • How will tomorrow look?

I’m no genius, but it’s working for me, and I want to challenge you to do it as well.

“Tracking Your Performance” episode resources

This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries.

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.

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, and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Daily Planning, Weekly Planning, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 987: I Don’t Have Time For Daily Planning

Daily Planning, Weekly Planning, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistOn today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we discuss time management and how daily planning can help you be more effective in your role as a seller.

It seems like there is never enough time in the day to get things done. We need an extra day in the week or at least an extra hour a day.  I was always so busy that it felt like I didn’t even have time to sit down to read a book. Even knowing how important personal development was, I always managed to put it off.

Then, I took a vacation.

It is amazing how much you can do when you are in the air for five hours with limited distraction.

So what changed? What happened? The amount of time I had certainly didn’t change. My focus did.

The concept of daily planning

How many times have you been told to try daily planning? Now, how many times have you actually done it?  [02:04]

If you are the modern seller that I know you are, you are distracted. Reading proposals, talking to customers, going to meetings, checking email … These are all distractions. Every time an email pings your phone, you are pulled in a different direction.

Everyone – from internal teams to clients to prospects to friends – is vying for your time and attention. As a result, important things fall through the cracks. You finish at the end of each day and find yourself wondering if you accomplished anything at all.

It all goes back to the very powerful principle of being acted upon as opposed to acting. [02:59]

Essentialism

Thinking back to a previous episode when we spoke to Greg McKeown about his book Essentialism, I’m reminded that we can’t have priorities.  The plural of the word ‘priority’ shouldn’t even exist. There can only be one priority.

Essentialism means to focus on the essentials. As a seller, your most important task is to bring in new customers and close deals. So, what activities will lead you to that result?

Until you understand what you need to do as a seller, you will not be able to stay focused. You will always be acted upon. Sure, there will always be important distractions but oftentimes they are not the activities that you need to do to accomplish your goal. [04:46]

To help you stay focused and have the time to do the things that matter the most, I want you to think about these three questions:

  1. Will the activity move me toward my essential goal of helping people make a decision and close a deal?
  2. Do I have to do it? Is this a task that no one else can do?
  3. Does it have to be done right now?

If the activity doesn’t tie into your goal or responsibility, don’t do it.

Set your focus

Let’s suppose you’ve set a goal to prospect for 30 minutes a day. It is certainly a step towards achieving your goal, so it needs to be done. But do you have to do it yourself? Or could you pass some of it off to an internal sales team? Or to someone on Fiverr.com?

Suppose you get a call from your boss and she needs a report. Does she need it right now? Is there someone on your team that can take care of it for you? If you are the only one who can do it, can you move it to the end of the day so as not to take away from your prime working time?

When you focus on the essential things, the distractions fall away. The things that used to pull you away move out of focus. [05:41]

I recommend taking an hour each week to plan for the upcoming week. Be sure you are fully vetted and ready so that you can avoid those distractions. What are the important tasks ahead? Schedule everything out. Set time for social media, time for prospecting, time for appointments … You can even set time to receive emails using Boomerang, or Google, so that you aren’t pinged throughout the entire day.  [08:46]

You are acting rather than being acted upon.

Once you have the weekly focus set, spend a few minutes at the end of each day to make any necessary adjustments. You will already know what you will do the next day as soon as you arrive at the office. This makes life so much more productive!

Plan your day

Taking the time to plan your day will save you time. Forget about your friends’ Instagram posts. Focus instead on the things that will help you grow your business, grow your pipeline and have a killer year. [11:45]

Make the effort.

If it sounds like too much work, then by all means – go back to winging it. But if you do, promise me that you will compare your results to the person who is not winging it.

How much more productive are they? Are they hitting their goals? Are they working with less stress, fewer headaches, and less frustration? Probably.

I share this with you because I’ve been there. I know it works and I’ve seen the huge difference it can make. Try it. Give it a month. I don’t think you will regret it.

“Daily Planning” episode resources

If you have additional questions or want more insight, email me at donald@thesalesevangelist.com. I may not answer it right away (because I’m scheduling my time) but I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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 automated outreach that will help you schedule your contacts and it can help keep you from getting distracted.

This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach and it allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

We’ll use prospect.io in the upcoming semester of TSE Hustler’s League to focus on prospecting. We’ll give you insights and tools that will help you gain new customers. In addition, we’ll provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

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, and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Meridith Elliott Powell, Planning, 4th Quarter, Donald Kelly

TSE 986: Driving Sales in the 4th Quarter

Driving Sales in the 4th QuarterToday we talk to Meridith Powell about driving sales in the 4th quarter and how organizations can drive success from the selling side as well as the leadership side.

Meridith was voted one of the top 15 business growth experts to watch, largely because she is passionate about helping clients learn strategies to succeed in any economy.

4th quarter complications

Meridith calls the 4th quarter of the year her favorite because typically organizations have relaxed a bit and let their guards down. That presents an opportunity for other organizations to put on what she calls a full-court press while everyone else has relaxed.

Everyone takes their foot off the gas at the end of the year. They’ve been working hard all year, and they have achieved decent numbers, so they aren’t worried about driving sales in the 4th quarter.

They are tired, and when Thanksgiving rolls around, it’s followed soon after by Christmas. The cold weather makes it an easy time to be a bit lazier. She calls it the perfect storm of sales laziness.

You must keep selling during the 4th quarter to keep that quarter strong. Additionally, though, sales has a lag time. The sales you make in the 4th quarter will determine how well your 1st quarter goes. If you don’t invest energy into 4th quarter sales, you’ll establish a self-fulfilling prophecy for the 1st quarter and you’ll be behind all year long.

Begin in October

It’s never too late to salvage the 4th quarter.

Proceed carefully, though. There’s a lot happening in the 4th quarter and your clients and prospects have to-do lists of their own.

Establish a plan, and identify a sales leader who will focus on driving sales in the 4th quarter. Even if you don’t have one, determine who you need to connect with during the 4th quarter. List your top clients, your best prospects, and those who could be doing more business with you.

Once you have that list, design the touches. Focus on thanking them for an amazing year and let them know you’ll get in touch with them at the first of the year to establish a plan for the next year.

Plan for sales in January

If you want your January to be productive, you must lay the groundwork in December by booking appointments.

By connecting with people at the end of the year and again in January, you keep yourself visible with your most important customers. As a bonus, you’re likely to find organizations that need to dump money before the end of the year to avoid paying taxes.

For those customers who haven’t yet committed, you’ve taken one more step to move forward at a time when everyone else is resting.

4th quarter trouble

If you haven’t hit your numbers by the start of the 4th quarter, you’re likely in trouble. Desperation sets in and you make decisions you wouldn’t otherwise make.

Meridith said that when she consults teams, she often finds that 4th quarter is their greatest struggle. She insists that buyers can smell desperation and they aren’t interested in working with desperate sellers.

When your 4th quarter strategy focuses on thanking them for their business and coordinating for the 1st quarter of the following year, you lose the smell of desperation and you end up making deals.

You’re also setting yourself up strong for the new year so that next year’s 4th quarter won’t end badly.

Give up the day

If you’re listening to this episode and you haven’t hit your numbers for the year, let it go. Think of it as cheating on a diet and realize that you’ll do better next time.

If you push hard to make your numbers now, you may get there, but you’ll likely drive your customers away. Instead, focus on staying visible and starting 2019 really strong.

You’ll maintain your credibility and you’ll keep your focus on the buyer instead of focusing on yourself. You can’t play basketball by focusing entirely on the scoreboard.

You have to look at the ball. You must keep your focus on the prospect.

Take responsibility

The reality for sales leaders is the same for sellers. If your team hasn’t hit its goal by the 4th quarter, you don’t want to give up the lifetime cycle of a client in an effort to make last-minute sales.

Take responsibility for the fact that your team didn’t hit the goals. As a leader, you have total responsibility for those goals. You must give them the strategy, the plan, and the accountability to achieve their numbers in the next year.

Begin with an autopsy of the things that prevented you from hitting your numbers. Resolve to learn from your mistakes, and do it as a team.

Determine the things you did really well, and try to identify where you lost deals.

Meridith calls it seeds, weeds, and needs.

Seeds are those things we need to keep doing in order to drive growth. Weeds are the things that weigh us down and get in our way. Needs are the things we need to be doing that we aren’t currently doing.

Make sure to include a plan for how you’ll measure your success and how you’ll stay accountable. Learn from each other.

Make it safe to fail

If someone on your team loses a deal to a competitor, make it safe for your team to evaluate what happened with the deal and to coach each other toward success in the future.

If you have discipline issues, keep those separate from the coaching environment.

You must make it safe for your team to share what is working and what isn’t working. Help your team develop those skill sets to succeed.

Fill a dry pipeline fast

If you find yourself in the 4th quarter without the numbers you need, Meridith has a few ideas to help you fill a dry pipeline fast.

Before you try them, commit to keep yourself out of this situation in the future, but use these for emergency situations.

Make a list of your 10 best customers and do a holiday check-in. During the call, ask about their goals moving forward.

You can find the rest of the ideas in Meridith’s blog here, but use these sparingly, and refuse to put yourself in this situation again next year.

Fourth quarter is a major opportunity. Don’t treat it as a time to take your foot off the gas.

“Driving Sales in the 4th Quarter” episode resources

You can find Meridith’s blog at valuespeaker.com, where you can also access free tools and resources. Find Meridith on the social networking sites, but most often on LinkedIn.

This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach and it allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

We’ll use prospect.io in the upcoming semester of TSE Hustler’s League to focus on prospecting. We’ll give you insights and tools that will help you gain new customers. In addition, we’ll provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

Check out our new semester of The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League. We’re taking applications for the semester beginning in January, and we can only take a limited number of people.

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.

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, and share with your friends!

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Knuckle Dragging Sales, John Crowley, Donald Kelly, Sales Rep, Medical Sales, Sales Coaching

TSE 969: Sales From The Street: “Knuckle Dragging Sales”

 

John Crowley, The Sales Evangelist, Knuckle Dragging SalesOn today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we talk to John Crowley, author of Knuckle Dragging Salesabout the difficulty of sales and a return to simple ideas about selling.

John helps sales professionals build a personal brand so they can increase their visibility and their earnings.

Knuckle dragging

John said he has gotten a lot of feedback about the title of his book, both from people who love it and those who hate it.

Although the phrase has a negative connotation, for him it refers to a much simpler time when people hunted and gathered or they starved and died. In sales today, you either persist and win or you quit and fail.

That doesn’t mean that you bash your buyers over the head using brute force sales tactics that result in cease-and-desist letters.

He says the de-evolution revolution will bring us back to simple techniques that work.

Choosing sales

Many people mistakenly assume that if you have an outgoing personality, you can succeed in sales. Many of them are lured by the possibility of earning six or seven figures, but they fail to realize that very few sales professionals will successfully reach that level.

John acknowledges that he initially chose sales because of the money, but a long-time mentor who had been in sales for a long time told him that sales had evolved.

After 20 years, he no longer chases after the money. Instead, he focuses on giving back to people who are trying to pursue the same ultimate goal that was initially pursuing.

Helping people

John schedules free mentoring sessions every Monday and Friday to advise young or struggling salespeople. He spends the entire day talking to people who lost their previous job or who are seeking a new one.

John does it to give something back to the industry that has given him so much, and it fills his own bucket to help other people.

He intentionally bookends his week with those sessions because they are as encouraging to him as they are to the people he’s talking to.

When you see someone’s life or business change as a result of something you were able to help them with, that’s the payoff.

The path to one sale

Every seller knows that you have to endure a lot of “no’s” and punches in the face before you land that one sale. When you land it, though, it’s like a drug for the seller. She wants more of it.

John said the most successful sales reps he has ever crossed paths with weren’t those who had to bat a thousand all the time; they were content with less. But they love the feeling of those successes and they love the selling process.

Most companies have a formal sales processes in place, but John has found that the confusion emerges when new sales processes get layered on top of existing sales processes.

As a result, he intentionally didn’t create a formal sales process because what he’s actually advocating for is basic human behavior.

Knuckle Dragging Sales

The book begins with a reflection encouraging readers to evaluate why they chose sales in the first place.

It focuses on mindset and asks the question, What are your goals?

The second half addresses execution and outlines specific tactics that will differentiate sellers from their competition. It also shares ways to add real value for customers.

Salespeople love the fact that they can plug these different tactics into their company’s existing sales processes, allowing them to try new approaches without confusing their existing processes.

John said he has heard from countless sellers who read great books and then tried to implement the new ideas into their existing processes. When they did, they ran into trouble trying to combine the two.

His book seeks to help them add tactics without confusing the existing process.

Importance of planning

Planning isn’t only important for sellers: it’s the key to most of our success in life.

Without a plan, you don’t know what you can expect. When you go into a sales call, there are 99 different routes the process could take, and developing a plan or framework helps you have the resources to successfully navigate the path.

Many sellers get into trouble when they try to force the buyer into a specific sales process rather than adjusting the sales process to the buyer’s journey. That’s why you need a plan.

A fluid plan can move with the buyer and help her mentally get where she needs to be, but it helps the seller always identify what the next steps are in the process.

Platinum rule

The golden rule tells us that we should treat others the way we want to be treated. The platinum rule tells us to treat them the way they want to be treated.

Corporate America is brutal and the politics are exhausting. Sales results in frequent rejection, which is grueling for anyone.

Sales is truly the hardest profession on the planet, and eventually, the corporate sales grind will affect you. Your mindset truly dictates your success.

John said helping others succeed, and asking nothing in return, has been the best way to personally stay positive.

The move toward positivity will be different for each person.

Different is better than better

Companies often try to create a mold. They want the same type of person with the same personality who can give a canned talk. To a certain extent, that’s valuable in learning your job and becoming a product expert.

But those sales leaders who stop copying the leader and find a way to be comfortable being different are the ones who are authentic and successful.

Whether you choose to stand out because of how you dress, how you talk, the sales aids that you choose, or how you follow up with your leads, you want to find opportunities daily to stand out.

Learn the business

Remember one thing: your product isn’t for everyone.

If you learn your customer’s business, the dollars will follow. If you learn how your customer makes money and loses money, you become a real asset to them.

John said it took him two years to figure out how his customers made money, but once he did, he didn’t have to continue cold calls anymore.

The easiest way to accomplish that, he said, is to ask your customers if you can simply observe their businesses. He spent hours following them around and asking really good questions to understand how their industry operated.

It requires a lot of time, and you won’t actually be selling anything, but the rewards at the end will be worth it.

“Knuckle Dragging Sales” episode resources

Grab a copy of John’s book, Knuckle Dragging Salesto gain more insight about the basics of sales. He put up a page just for our listeners where you can get a free ebook PowerPoint template.

You can also connect with John from that page as well.

This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach and it allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

We’ll use prospect.io in the upcoming semester of TSE Hustler’s League to focus on prospecting. We’ll give you insights and tools that will help you gain new customers. In addition, we’ll provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

The Hustler’s League

Check out our new semester of The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League. We’re taking applications for the semester beginning in January, and we can only take a limited number of people.

This episode is also brought to you in part by Maximizer CRM, personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. To get a demonstration of maximizer, go to the sales evangelists.com/maximizer.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one.

Leave us a review 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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

The Sales Evangelist, Sales Goals, Planing, Cold Calling, Donald Kelly

TSE 845: TSE Hustler’s League-“Three Things”

The Sales Evangelist, Sales Goals, Planing, Cold Calling, Donald Kelly

 

 

 

When your pipeline is empty at the end of the month despite phone calls, emails, and appointments, you may find yourself wondering how you missed quota. You can, however, prepare for next month to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

On today’s episode of TSE Hustler’s League, we talk about the fundamentals that will help you achieve your goals and three things that can help you have a healthy pipeline.

Planning

For many sales professionals, planning is non-existent. You show up at work on Monday and do the same things you’ve always done: make some calls, answer some emails, connect on social media.

You expect that those activities will produce connections, but perhaps you’ve lost sight of the fact that your buyers aren’t sitting in their offices waiting for you to call.

You must plan.

Too many sales professionals rely on “voodoo selling,” which is based on guessing and hope other than planning and strategies. They leave the office at 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon to party with co-workers instead of working until 5 and pursuing last-minute connections before the weekend.

Create sacred time. Devote one hour a day on social media efforts. Strategically focus on prospecting and dedicate time to it every day. Do not, however, be so rigid that you refuse to schedule a demo during that time. If that’s the one time the prospect is available, you’d be crazy to miss it.

Schedule some calls in the morning, some in the afternoon, and others in the evening.

Focus on your strategic list of prospects — your Dream 100 — and pursue those customers during your outreach time.

Reserve time at the end of each day to research companies for the next day.

Outworking

Sales professionals who want to be successful have to take control of their lives and their careers.

Look for opportunities all the time, and don’t stop working simply because the workday ended.

You should strive to be seen as the industry professional to everyone you interact with; to be the professional who brings value to your industry.

You don’t have to be on your phone 24/7 but be willing to pursue after-hours communication.

Don’t coast, and don’t avoid challenges. Create a blog post after your kids go to bed. Outwork what you did yesterday.

Referrals

Many of us have clients we’ve worked with for years, but we’ve lost our sense that they can help us grow our businesses.

Research your current clients to see who they are connected to on LinkedIn.

Don’t sleep on your referrals.

“Three Things” resources

The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League is an online coaching program designed to help sellers of all levels and all industries improve. It’s an opportunity to share ideas and interact with other sellers from around the world.

Also check out The Sales Evangelizers on Facebook, where a community of people shares their struggles and their experiences with selling.

I’ve spent a lot of time talking about the book Stop Selling & Start Leading because I believe so strongly in the message it has to share. It’s a blueprint for sellers based upon years of research about the things buyers hate.

We’re so convinced that you’ll love the book that we’re providing a free excerpt to our listeners here.

Finally, check out the newest podcast in the Sales Podcast Network, Video Jungle Podcast. The podcast will help you learn how to use video to sell your product and how to differentiate yourself from the competition using video.

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.

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, New Year Sales Goals

TSE 472: How to Prepare for 2017

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, New Year Sales GoalsNow we’re prepping for 2017 and doing our final touches to bring out the new year, bring in the hustle, and start implementing the things we need to do to bring the whole sales team to a whole another level.

Today, I’m going to share with you some thoughts and insights into how you can implement some of the great principles you’ve learned from 2016.

  1. Learn from the successes and challenges you encountered.

What are the challenges that you’ve encountered in 2016? Or what are some things you will do in 2017 to continue to implement the successes you attained in 2016?

  1. Focus on your ideal customers.

Look at your ideal 100 customers. Hone down on certain industries that you can become master at and not just be a jack of all trades. Name the top 5 industries that buy your product. Go to those industries that make up 30% – 50% of your clients.

Look back and think about what can you tweak from those ideal customers. Which industries did you sell to the most and what did you learn about them? Their likes, their dislikes, the content they consume from you, etc. Identify the roadblocks which you can eliminate in 2017.

“Take some time to reflect and prep.” Reflect on 2016 and prep for 2017!

  1. Start with the end in mind.

Start with the end in mind and work backwards from that. What do you need to do to hit quota? Identify your first step and then work backwards and keep working backwards until you get to the starting point.

Episode Resources:

15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management by Kevin Kruse

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

Do you like about our podcast? Kindly leave us some rating and/or review on iTunes. This would mean so much to me.