One of the scariest questions to ask in this field is, “are you firing me?” You might have asked this yourself, out loud or in silence, but regardless of how, it’s nerve-wracking just the same.
Andy Racic has been in professional sales for nine years and most of those years were spent serving HR professionals. These days, Andy is with a software company called Tango Health. They offer B2B software and outsourcing solutions to help professionals across the country.
While Andy was living in Houston, he was working for an agency recruitment firm called Michael Page. The agency recruitment space is 100% sales: that is 90% sales and 10% consulting. They were in the business of the oil and gas market and despite the difficult times in the business, their agency was able to establish a good relationship with their clients. Out of the blue, one of their clients asked him to help find a recruiter.
That was an alarming thing to hear because to him it sounded very much like looking for their replacement. It was a source of concern because the market was going downhill so their company was looking for ways to keep their clients and continue serving them.
Andy ran that client inquiry to his manager and they dug into it. They discovered that the company was having a big project that would involve a lot of hiring for them. The company was looking at 30-50% growth and they were looking for more people. Andy and his manager went back to the drawing board and built an entire recruitment process outsourcing model for that company.
They then made the call and presented the model for them and convinced them to trust them a little bit more instead of hiring another recruitment agency that they hadn’t worked with before.
There were doubts about whether what they did would work. The market was changing and the client could have gone in a different direction instead of working with them. Still, Andy and his team did what they could.
Andy’s team did a thorough briefing on the situation with their client’s internal stakeholders and presented a team that would help in the recruitment process. He gave them the background of each individual along with their track record and the reasons why they’re a good fit.
They won their trust and worked with the company, so to speak. Andy’s agency found a lot of people for them and delivered good results for them.
When a problem arises, salespeople can always go back to the traditional process of evaluating the problem and going deeper to understand that challenge. You need not have that “Are you firing me?” moment when you learn to take measured steps and prevent such a situation to arise.
A good salesperson needs an open mind whenever he hears information because the snippets of information may make or break your business or the deal. Be on the lookout for what’s going on and dig in until the third level questions to ensure that there are no assumptions on your side. Make sure that you make the best out of any situation.
When you’re talking to a client, listen intently to pick up something especially when things go south. Stay present when the client is speaking rather than making them repeat what they said because that’s how you win a deal.
Are you firing me? Listen more to what Andy has to say about that. Get in touch with Andy Racic via his LinkedIn profile. Make sure to customize your messages for a more positive response from Andy. You can also connect with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
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Vicki Antonio is a business consultant and a life coach who helps small business owners think like a large company CEO. This is a result of her journey of knowing what her purpose in life is. She started working when she was 13 years old and she found herself having a pattern of working with startups. Her experience made her realize that startups have a pattern of growing pains.
She used that when she got into real estate because she wanted to be that mom who goes to PTA meetings and football games for her kids. The knowledge gave her a deeper understanding of the entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen as a whole.
With the fallout of the market, she learned some hard lessons. She then went into upper management in real estate and after that, she became a business developer for a global real estate franchise. Vicki oversaw about 30 of their shops and her role was to get them developed, get them brand-compliant, and partner with brokers and owners to keep the business profitable. She was a coach for the company’s business needs, whatever those needs might be, on a day-to-day basis.
Most business owners scale their businesses to a certain place and then they’d have a business blindspot. Very few people see the blindspot and see the capacity that they can get to at the beginning.
It’s similar to taking a vacation where you know where you’re going but you can’t see it from the place that you start. The closer you get to it, however, the clearer it gets. If you’re not familiar with the geographical location of the area, then you might have some detours that cause apprehensions. It may cause you to stop and get lost a little bit.
This is where Vicki comes in. She is the guide and she helps the companies see their direction in a clearer perspective.
Fear is the first problem that small businesses face. Sometimes, they become fearful and they build only up to where they know, and then they get stagnant. The fear comes in because they’ve got to relinquish what they know.
It’s very much like taking your child to daycare for the first time. There’s apprehension and doubt about whether they can take care of your kid. The same is true for your business because you have an emotional attachment to it. You develop apprehension about handing it over. But it is important to allow someone else to come in, and then to trust that they will do their job. Trust and fear come hand-in-hand.
The fear of somebody else taking the business to the next level or the fear of engaging with another system are reasons why small businesses fail to progress.
Clarity is also difficult for business owners, especially the entrepreneurs who are self-employed salespeople. These people do a lot to get to a certain place. There’s a lot of things that go into play to get them to the end. Often, they don’t have clarity about what those things are because they either don’t have enough components to see the end or they have too many components that they no longer see the end. When you’re in that slump, you need an analysis of the things you do to see the cause of the stagnation.
Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan had coaches to give them the bird’s eye view, the area where they themselves could not see. The coaches help them and critique them. They also help them analyze what they are doing and how they can change it to make their play better. The same is true in sales.
Salespeople are good at what they do but there are still things that they just can’t see. Sometimes, salespeople get in their own way and do things because it felt right for years. Like Woods, even when his form is okay, his coach can be there with him and tell him things like, ‘
If you just turn the club a little bit then you’d see a better performance.’
As salespeople, you need a coach to analyze your system and your tools to make sure that you’re using them correctly. It is equally important that you trust their input and that the information you’re getting is helpful.
It is important for salespeople and business owners to trust the process.
Fear is false evidence appearing real. A lot of times, we think too much because we don’t have clarity about the direction that we take. We are also concerned about whether we’re doing things the proper way. This makes us fear the unknown, so we stay where we are instead of moving.
It’s not saying that you’re doing something wrong. It’s more like you’ve known how difficult the climb has been and you want to take things to the next level, or to the next pinnacle. Overcoming fear differs from one person to another because everybody’s risk factor is different. For the risk-takers, there’s a great reward but there’s a big gap there. It’s different for people who are not risk-takers because they calculate their risk to the point of comfortability and the rest is pain.
Your business is like your baby and you’ve put all your effort into it and invested much into it. You have the responsibility of making sure that it’s sustainable, it’s growing, it’s healthy, and it’s cared for.
Then somebody comes in and says to do the same things you’ve promised but it’s difficult to trust that person.
This fear can be overcome using a trust list. It’s helpful to create a list of people who have the same core values that you have and people who have track records of having done it already. There’s a good possibility that you can rest for a bit when you work with these people, do business with them, party with them, or engage with them.
The pattern of sales is changing now where relationships are being developed in the sales process. In the past, it has been a case of meeting a stranger, doing the transaction, and then never seeing them again. This time it’s different.
As a salesperson, you build a relationship with them and vet them to know who they are and you also see their track records.
When you think like a large company CEO, establishing proof of credibility is also important. When you’re mentioned in the local newspaper or on a TV interview or magazine, third-party validation builds credibility. Donald Miller’s book, Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen talked extensively about this.
Client testimonials and LinkedIn also build credibility. You can use the platform to give recommendations and also get recommendations from clients. People who will check in on your page will see you and the things you’ve done getting that quick validation.
You have to do your homework and leave your footprints, especially now that everybody is using platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for marketing. They have great graphic artists and do amazing things. Sometimes, high profile companies do not excel in that area but they’re doing great in testimonials.
Social media is usually the first place that people go and not having great track records in that platform will rob you of opportunities. Social media, LinkedIn, and testimonial platforms are things that you can improve on.
Clarity is two-fold. Be clear about who you’re working with and what they’ve attained. Second, know who you are as a business. The second aspect is about knowing your niche, your market, your strong suits, and the things you can highlight about yourself.
Once you know yourself, then you’ll know how to work with others and how to bring somebody to engage to work with you.
It’s like the trip mentioned earlier, If you hop in a car without mapping out your destination, you won’t know the streets to take and you’ll end up lost. Startups are like that, too. Many startups think that they can be all things to all people but in truth, that’s not possible.
Vicki started out in real estate with a global and luxurious company. The properties can be worth millions. She has seen salespeople who wanted to get into that price point but because of the lack of experience, they hesitated. They had to first learn that in order to get to the high price point, they first need to stop taking the lower sales.
It’s important to let go of the old mindset and get into a new mindset by being clear about where you want to be and then knitting yourself to that thing.
Becoming a jack of all trades is good because salespeople and see opportunities but sometimes doing that means turning down an opportunity to do something. For example, if somebody wants their house painted and you’re a salesperson in real estate, if you decide to paint the house, you’re wasting an opportunity of making calls doing things that will potentially help you land your next $25,000 client.
You are impeding your progress because you can only spend money and time once.
Your time has more value than the actual money you’re making.
The scripture says that you can do all those with Christ and that’s true but you can’t do it all at the same time.
You’re going to go through seasons, through phases, and through stages. If you learn the season and the stage that you’re in, then you understand the capacity for that time frame.
You need to understand the season that you’re in, the same way that you’re not going to sport a bathing suit when you’re headed to someplace cold. You’re not going to wear an overcoat when you’re headed to the beach.
This is the thing about clarity. It’s when you understand that you’re headed to the beach and you’re not going to feel offended or feel like you’re missing out on something when somebody steps in your elevator wearing an overcoat. You know that you are going in a different direction and it’s okay.
If at some point you want to change your direction or change course, then it’s okay. The most important thing is that you understand very clearly where you’re going when you’re making the change so that you don’t impede good opportunities in the season that you’re in.
It is important to trust the process. Trust is huge because this is the area where you have to have some faith. There will be blindspots in the trust factor but if you’ve made your part then it will be easier. It’s best to prepare, carve out of clarity, train, and sharpen your tools and learn how to use them.
You’ve got to trust that when you take the leap, you’re gonna land in the right place.
Remember this: trust that when you take the leap, you’re gonna land in the right place.
Stay in touch with Vicki to learn more about her services by calling her at 561-774-1333. You can also visit her website at victoriousu.com and victorious’s lifestyle strategies. She’s also on Facebook, so check her out there, too.
If you’re a sales rep looking to hone your craft and learn from the top 1% of sellers, make plans to attend the Sales Success Summit in Austin, Tx, October 14-15. Scheduled on a Monday and Tuesday to limit the impact to the sales week, the Sales Success Summit connects sellers with top-level performers who have appeared on the podcast. Visit Top1Summit.com to learn more and register!
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Every person in every industry can improve a little bit every day by focusing on self-improvement and developing respected leadership traits. Whether you’re a seller, a sales leader, or someone who isn’t even involved in sales, you’ll likely find yourself responsible for guiding people and helping them succeed.
Luis Weger works with a startup focused on changing the medical construction industry and serves as an offer in the Army Reserves. He recently launched a company called “Self: Reinvented” designed to help others discover their purpose and passion and enhance their resiliency.
He believes that anyone can develop their leadership skills, even those who seem to be natural-born leaders.
He developed a phrase to help people remember the important aspects of leadership. Leaders must remember 2 ACT. Each letter in the acronym represents two concepts.
A = Aware and Accountable
C = Competent and Confident
T = Trusting and Trustworthy.
From his experience leading people, training people, and working with clients, leaders must have these six attributes in order to lead well. It’s especially true in the sales profession.
Every military leader learns situational awareness because it’s vital in foreign countries. You cannot operate in enemy territory without knowing what’s going on around you.
In business, this refers to knowing what’s going on around you. It also refers to emotional awareness.
Industries change constantly, from rules and regulations to policies and procedures. You must stay aware of the changes that are taking place.
Leaders who live under a rock won’t be leaders very long. You cannot ignore the realities in which you operate because if no one’s following you, you aren’t truly a leader.
Luis was recently invited to change military units, and he discovered just prior to the transition that there was only one other officer in the unit. That meant that he and the commander were responsible for all 50 soldiers. No one told him that ahead of time, but because he was aware, he picked up on the situation and made an informed decision.
Accountability is also vitally important in the sales industry.
Being a sales leader means taking accountability for the performance of your team. Don’t pass the blame. Share the credit wherever you can and take ownership of mistakes.
Leaders guide and protect their team members. They sit down behind-the-scenes with their team members and acknowledge the things that went wrong. Then they help them correct those problems.
Luis points to the book The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey as one of his favorites. When you’re in the sales profession, your clients look to you as an expert. You represent the perfect solution to your client’s problem.
If you have ever sat across the table from a person who doesn’t truly understand the industry he is selling in, you recognize the importance of competence. No one expects you to be an expert in everything. In fact, companies recruit fresh blood all the time. It’s one thing to bring a new perspective in the form of someone who is learning and quite another thing to recruit someone who is incompetent.
In the military, lieutenants who come right out of college outrank noncommissioned officers who have been in the military for 20 years. They don’t really know much about the military because they are fresh out of school. How do you lead people who have 20 years more experience than you do?
You don’t have the same knowledge and skills they do, so how do you reflect competence? You reflect a desire to become competent. Like CEOs, you don’t have to be the smartest person in the room; you simply surround yourself with smart people.
Build a network. Demonstrate humility. Show people around you that you aren’t the greatest but that you’re seeking help to get better.
Then demonstrate that you’re comfortable leading. Luis knows leaders who are in charge by title but they don’t want to be there. Confidence doesn’t mean feeling 100 percent all the time. It simply demands that you have the right frame of mind.
Luis developed a technique he calls “so what?”
The point isn’t to minimize consequences. We’re reminding ourselves that it’s ok to be human and to be imperfect. When you get beyond the discomfort that comes from the fear of failure, that’s true confidence. It’s about managing fear and putting fear in its proper perspective. People will be more attracted to you because they’ll see you as a real person.
Luis recalls hearing a CEO talk about the need to be trusting and trustworthy. You must trust in the skills and training of those who lead as well as those you are leading. If you try to micromanage everyone around you, you’ll burn out.
Ask yourself whether those people have developed the skills, knowledge, and training to allow you to trust them. You don’t have to trust them right out of the gate because you don’t know what they’re bringing to the table. So what do you have to do to get to the point where you can trust them? Invest in them. Make sure they are trained, led, and managed in a healthy way. If you find that you can’t trust them, ask yourself why. What is it about that person that makes it difficult to trust him?
Fix the issue if you can. If you can’t, you may have to consider how to move forward.
Perhaps more importantly, be trustworthy. Be a man or woman of your word. Even the smallest failures to do what you said you’d do cause your trustworthiness to be depleted.
Lack of trust undermines any other attribute you bring to the table.
If no one is following you as a leader, consider whether you’re truly leading. You may hold the title of leader, but are people willing to follow you into battle.
As a sales professional, you’re a mentor and trainer and you have capabilities and competencies, but are people willing to follow your advice? Will they do what you ask?
Be humble and be human. Move beyond the perfect image. Everyone brings something to the table, and you can learn from everyone around you.
You can connect with Luis at selfreinvented.com. He enjoys helping people succeed and sharing his own leadership experiences.
You can also connect with me at email@example.com or try our first module of TSE Certified Sales Training Program or free. This episode has been made possible with the help of TSE Certified Sales Training Program, a training course designed to help sellers in improving their performance.
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Larry Levine has spent 30-something years in the trenches of B2B work, and he recognized some glaring weaknesses in sales teams he worked with. He values authenticity and he points to it as a big disconnect for many sellers.
But it isn’t just sellers. Think about how many times you’ve run into a friend you haven’t seen in a while, and you toss out the phrase, “we should do lunch.” It doesn’t usually mean anything other than “I’ll see you when I see you.”
Sellers must pay attention to their words.
The words genuine, authentic, value, and trusted advisor prompt the follow-on question: “What does that mean?”
Start by leading an authentic lifestyle. Think about this: When you say you’re a salesperson or an SDR, you’re already behind the 8-ball already in the minds of your clients and prospects.
For every great sales professional, there are 10 that give the sales world a bad name.
When you deal with the people in your personal life, are you genuine and true to who you really are? Most likely you are. So why can’t we play that same role when we’re dealing with our clients and prospects.
Many sellers maintain a certain amount of distance in their relationships with their clients. In his book, Slow Down, Sell Faster, Kevin Davis asked how it’s possible to sell something to someone if you don’t spend time figuring out who they are?
Sellers try to move their prospects through the sales funnel as quickly as possible instead of investing the time to understand. Listen with intent and help them do their jobs. You’ll be surprised to find that things actually speed up.
If you don’t build a relationship throughout multiple steps and influencers, it will be difficult to sell anything. People will buy from people they know, like, and trust.
People are beginning to understand that it’s ok to bring your heart to the sales world. It’s ok to be genuine and real. But in order to do that, you have to be vulnerable, which goes against what we believe about sellers.
If you asked your prospects what they truly desire in a seller, what do you think they’ll say? Maybe someone who is honest and who can solve their problems. At some point, you’ll hear them say “I want them to be sincere and show up after the sale.”
Have a conversation like you would with your friends.
Memorizing scripts may make you sound too robotic. It isn’t that scripts are bad, but we must make the verbiage in the script our own. If you can’t align to it, you’ll struggle with it.
Imagine if you understood the person you were reaching out to. What are the issues and challenges they are facing.
If you’re calling a VP of sales to set up a demo for software, find out the issues that VPs of sales struggle with. Offer three issues that are most common for sales teams. Ask your prospects which of those three topics he can most closely align with.
The truth is that even tenured sales reps are going about this the wrong way. Instead of the phone call being focused on setting a meeting, focus the call on starting a conversation.
Time and patience matter. Your organization wasn’t built in a day. You took a series of small successful steps to get where you are.
The same is true for your sales process, but no one has time or patience for it. No one wants to slow down.
Larry recalls deciding one day to focus on quality over quantity. He focused on opening at least two new conversations with two people he didn’t know every single day. His phone skills improved and his mindset did, too.
Sellers who are allowed to focus on quality over quantity may find that they enjoy their roles a bit more because they are connecting with people.
Larry’s first mentor freed him from the pressure of memorizing his prospecting script word-for-word, and instead encouraged him to understand the foundation of the script. Once you’ve done that, make it your own.
Get back to humanizing what we’ve previously dehumanized in the sales world. There’s a time and place for technology, but human-to-human matters. Technology can’t replace every human aspect.
Larry warns against being an “empty suit with commission breath.”
Once leadership realizes that there’s a human on the other end of the sale rather than just a bunch of dollars and they set out to solve problems, watch what happens to the level of your relationships and referrals and profits.
In a crowded field, in order to rise above the sea of sameness and be seen in a different light and stand out from the sales wolfpack, the differentiating moment goes back to the human aspect.
People smell sincerity immediately. Instead of juggling personalities, be authentic.
Understand that credibility and clarity sell in a world of insincerity.
Create a transformational experience by having a conversation. As you transform your relationships, you’ll stick out like a sore thumb in a world of transactional conversations.
Grab a copy of Larry’s book, Selling From the Heart: How Your Authentic Self Sells You. His website also offers an accompanying self-reflection journal.
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.
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Sometimes as sales professionals, we unintentionally erode the trust we have with our clients. The way we pose a question or the way we treat our clients can prevent us from closing a deal. Sometimes the questions you ask are not building trust.
On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we continue our month-long discussion about closing, and how the questions you ask are not building trust. Many of us make common mistakes that keep us from closing.
Trust is truly valuable. If you don’t have trust as a sales professional, your clients will never buy from you.
People do business with people they know, like, and trust. You’ve probably also heard that it’s not what you know, but who you know.
The truth is that closing begins early in the sales process.
We have to realize that the questions we ask our prospects will determine whether they trust us moving forward. When we don’t ask them well, they’ll cause our prospects to see us as superior or misleading.
They’ll perceive that we have an agenda and that you’re using your questions to frame your plan. If, for example, we ask questions that we already know the answer to, it erodes your trust because it’s not genuine.
Asking a question isn’t bad unless you’re asking a question in an attempt to get your prospect to give you a specific answer.
Imagine your prospect runs a print shop and has a printer that is down.
“What do you think will happen if you don’t get it fixed?”
Clearly, the salesperson knows the answer to this question. If the printer doesn’t work then the company won’t make money.
Asking that question will likely make everyone involved feel stupid because both parties already know the answer to it. Instead, I’ll ask something more specific that helps me learn more about your situation.
“Clearly it’s not good for business that your printer is down, but how much would you say you guys do on a day-to-day basis?”
If you’re talking to a prospect about changing from a current supplier and the prospect insists on staying with the current provider, you can safely bet that fear is the driver.
They’re probably afraid of your price. It’s possible that they’re afraid of changing to a new company. They may fear setting up a new process or going through the process of canceling services.
Instead of asking if they think it’s a good idea to stay with the current provider, ask if you can share your own observations. Your prospect usually won’t say no, and if you’ve built a good rapport, they’ll usually be willing to hear what you have to say.
When the prospect sees that you have no hidden agenda and that you’re being authentic, it builds trust.
We had a client in a similar circumstance who didn’t want to switch from his current vendor because he had been with the vendor for 10 years. Although there were problems with the vendor, it was easier to stay than it was to change.
The decision to stay cost them a lot of money, and eventually the prospect changed to our company. Because he knew that we cared about his business and we were trying to guide him, he trusted us.
They need you to help them make a good decision, and when you ask for permission to share your knowledge, they’ll give it to you.
We can become top-performing sellers if we use questions and psychology to make our buyers feel comfortable. We can help them recognize their true challenges and guide them toward the decisions that is best for them.
The Sales Evangelist is building a new course this month and we’d love to have you take part in it. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Check out the video of Jean being set up by his girlfriend.
You can read the article by Dr. Rom Brafman here.
Even if you don’t buy my course, if you don’t engage with our business, we’re glad you’re here listening to the podcast. You’re taking advice and you’re applying it to your own situations. That’s what we care about the most.
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For sales leaders, improving your team’s numbers isn’t always enough. If you can help your team innovate, engage, build trust, and be purposeful, you’ll lift your team up and improve their lives. Lifter leadership will change your sales team and change your company.
On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Paresh Shah, author of the upcoming book Lifters, talks about why his methodology is important for sales efficacy, and how Lifter leaders help companies address disruption and innovation.
Paresh helps governments, large companies, small companies, and entrepreneurs solve their biggest problems. His company, the Non-Obvious Company, is named that because he said that obvious thinking won’t solve big problems.
Statistics suggest that customers only trust 55 percent of companies today, so the first obstacle companies have to overcome is distrust among its customers.
Lifters are the new leaders of the world.
These leaders help their customers and their coworkers find a better way of being. They lift their coworkers and other people around them by creating a better work environment, characterized by positivity, integrity, authenticity, value, and creative expression.
Lifters lift their companies, and as a result, they drive more revenue and more loyalty while they lower costs and innovate. They lift their world and their companies at the same time.
Lifters see beyond transactional relationships.
As Paresh became more mindful throughout his career, he discovered that humans are fundamentally changing the way they connect with one another.
As part of that, the model for how to transact, sell, and run and build a business was fundamentally being reset.
That led him to the Lifter paradigm, where he realized that the sales process wasn’t really about hunting for customers, targeting them, capturing them, segmenting them, and analyzing them.
Paresh realized that model no longer works. Lifters understand that it’s about helping customers, inspiring them, serving them, and lifting them. It’s a whole different model.
As a result of his shift, he’s happier, he’s making more money, his customers are his friends, and everything is working better.
1. The hunt is over. The days of hunting for your customer are behind you. It’s about serving, inspiring and lifting now.
2. Truth or consequences. We must be authentic and have integrity in everything we do as leaders.
3. “Yes and” people. They are multitaskers. They bring great value to the people they manage and to their customers because they are good at a variety of things.
4. Lifters take Invictus action. In the movie with Matt Damon, victory wasn’t winning. It was bringing people together under a common purpose. Lifters attract customers and inspire them.
We do have to take action, but we don’t do it with a poverty mindset. We shift into a generosity mindset and ask how we can help.
Start with “What do you love?” and “How can I help?”
Paresh teaches that we are all energy. We are not separate people.
Lifter leadership shifts into a mindset of compassion, caring, creativity, and interconnectedness of everyone. We’ve shifted to a higher consciousness, and people, the younger generation especially, can feel inauthenticity.
People will quickly call us out for lack of authenticity. If, for example, we’re building wells for people in Africa, but we’re polluting a river with the byproducts of our products, people will call us out for it.
Lifter leadership turns the whole model upside down.
How do you show up in the moment? Are you seeing the interconnectedness of all the people you interact with?
If you don’t become a Lifter leader, you will be left in the cold.
Paresh quotes a Harvard Business Review article that reported that companies that operate with conscious purposeful principles like Lifter leadership perform 10.5 times better.
In the early days of farming, families engage in subsistence farming in which they worked together all day every day to raise enough food to support their own needs.
At some point, non-obvious innovators had a different idea: to rotate the crops instead of planting the same crop in the same place every time. They used massive scale agriculture to change the world, and these farmers were the rock stars of innovation.
It freed up labor and people started moving to the cities.
Eventually, the Industrial Revolution began. If you were someone who could automate work processes or create a non-obvious idea for how to streamline a factory, you were a rock star.
New rock stars who understood automation and other concepts like steam and mass manufacturing eventually launched mega-companies like Rockefeller and Carnegie.
The next group of rock stars created the companies that run the world right now, like Google and Apple and Microsoft. They created a whole new world with the Internet, information, and software.
Initially, those people were nerds and geeks, and they were outcasts. They were on the fringe of society until someone realized we needed to pay attention to them.
These people understood something other people didn’t, and the companies that embraced and nurtured them became rock stars. The companies that didn’t embrace them were obliterated.
Lifter leadership isn’t just about sales. Lifter leaders have workers that are engaged who will walk on fire for you. Seven out of 10 workers are disengaged because we aren’t giving them Lifter leadership.
Connect with Paresh Shah at his website where he has a diagnostic for our listeners to help them determine their Lifter capability. Visit www.iamalifter.com/salesevan.
Also, check out his TEDx video about Lifters.
If all of this sounds great to you but you still aren’t sure how to start, check out The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, an online group coaching program that brings sellers of all levels and all industries together to share insights.
You can also join our Facebook group, The Sales Evangelizers to connect with sales professionals from all walks of life.
Today’s episode is brought to you by Maximizer CRM, a personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. Get rid of the boring CRMs and customize to your team’s selling abilities.
Check out the Video Jungle podcast, which teaches you how to utilize video to stand out from your competition. Plan, create and share your way to better content and strategy. You are a brand, and video can help you set yourself apart.
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Sales professionals sometimes forget that people buy you. We get so caught up pushing our products or services that we lose sight of the importance of networking.
Today on The Sales Evangelist, Jordan Harbinger, host of The Jordan Harbinger Show podcast, explains that networking isn’t just about interacting with famous or popular people, but rather about finding those who are a good fit. Networking is a little like finding the needle in the haystack.
When Jordan was in high school, he took advantage of the fact that he was the smart kid; but when he got to college, everyone was smart. He still had a leg up because while they were drinking and partying, he outworked them.
When he got to Wall Street, his competitive advantage was gone because everyone was smart and hard-working.
Jordan started his career believing that networks just happened. He got hired by a firm where the partner was rarely in the office, but Jordan didn’t realize he was out generating business for the firm.
He discovered then that he needed to figure out how to be liked, known, and trusted if he was going to get to the top of the law game.
Jordan dedicated himself to learning how to create and maintain authentic relationships that would result in opportunities later on. He discovered that it demands a set of soft skills and habits, as well as personality.
It’s not an optional skillset: it’s the foundation of everything else.
Many people decide that in a sea of to-do’s, once the platform is built, they’ll focus on networking, but it’s far too important to skip.
If you skip networking as you’re building your business, you’re not immune to the consequences. You’re being willfully ignorant of the secret game being played around you.
People buy you, so you must work to make sure they know who you are.
Networking events that are open to the public will generally be a waste of your time (with the exception being Chamber of Commerce meeting where most people are business owners.)
If you’re in a room with whoever wants to show up, you’re likely in a room with newbies and people who want something from you. And if you decide to go anyway in an attempt to add value, you’ll give to those takers and they won’t likely reciprocate.
If you aren’t getting invited to curated events, begin networking online to try to generate those invitations. If they still don’t come, create your own curated event and invite people that you think should know each other.
If you’re looking to Always Be Closing, you’re also fishing for a needle in a haystack. As a graphic designer, for example, that means you’re looking for people who need graphics so you can close a deal with them.
Instead, choose to Always Be Giving, so you can help even those people who don’t need your goods and services. You’ll have the opportunity to create relationships with people who can help you down the road.
You’ll generate social capital because you’ll help them solve a problem without expecting anything in return.
The biggest mistake sales professionals make is trying to turn every relationship into a quid pro quo. If you turn every interaction into a sale, people will stop interacting because they know there’s a pitch coming.
Dig the well before you’re thirsty. Build relationships now so you’ll have them when you need them. Waiting until you need them is like putting a spare tire in your trunk when your tire is already flat.
If you got laid off tomorrow, who are the 10 you’d reach out to?
You can connect with Jordan on his podcast, The Jordan Harbinger Show. Jordan taps into wisdom from the most successful people on earth to understand their perspectives and gain insight into their lives.
Jordan’s first podcast, The Art of Charm, will help you learn how to initiate a conversation with anyone.
Jordan also offers training that will transform your network at his website jordanharbinger.com/course.
Our friends at Wiley have provided a free excerpt of the book Stop Selling & Start Leading. Based on research and interviews with buyers, the book provides a blueprint for sales professionals. Read an excerpt of the book here.
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. You are a brand, and video can help you set yourself apart.
Leave us a review wherever you consume this content, and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. If you haven’t already done so, subscribe so you won’t miss a single episode.
Sometimes as new sales professionals, we see other people’s successes and we assume they are natural sellers. While we struggle to “hunt and kill” so we can eat, they seem to generate reciprocal, repeatable business. We don’t initially understand that every part of our business that is repeatable should be part of a sales process.
Today on The Sales Evangelist, we welcome back Jimmy Burgess, a 20-year veteran of sales, for a discussion about the 3-step sales process, and how it can help you create repeat business instead of constantly starting over.
Jimmy recalls as a new seller studying successful people and discovering that he was dealing in transactions while others were building relationships. Success is built on systems; if you don’t have your own, you should find someone that’s successfully using systems and duplicate theirs.
He discovered the truth that people do business with people they know, like, and trust.
Sales professionals must set up systematic approaches to build relationships with the people they meet. Whether you meet them via email, through cold calls, or on social media, you must have a process for putting prospects into a funnel and moving them to a place where they are comfortable with you.
Jimmy believes that until they “know you,” your prospects will “no you.” Until they know you well, they will likely say no to doing business.
In many cases, that kind of familiarity requires 7-9 contacts, which is difficult given the amount of information people are taking in every day.
Video offers an easy way to distinguish yourself from the crowd. It gives prospects a chance to see your personality and connect with you on a personal level.
When Jimmy leaves meetings, he sits in his car outside the meeting place and records a selfie video thanking his prospects for the opportunity to earn their business. He immediately sends all his contact information in a format that can be readily saved to a cell phone. Finally, he includes a message reminding prospects that he is available any time they need him.
Helping your prospects like you requires more than a sales pitch. You must help them know you in ways that extend beyond the sales arena.
Connect with your prospects on social media, but make sure your profile represents you in a professional way. Connect on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter.
As part of his CRM, Jimmy shares a video about being 16 and setting his mom’s new car on fire with fireworks. Although the story has nothing to do with sales, it offers a his prospects a chance to laugh with him, and to get a glimpse of who he is outside of sales.
Sharing a bit of your character and helping them see who you truly are will help you get to yes or no a lot quicker.
Trust takes time, and it’s built on things you do rather than things you say.
Personal testimonies are a great way to build trust because they demonstrate a proven track record, and an existing relationship of trust with other people.
Include testimonials in your drip campaign.
Become an expert in your field and write for large publications.
Create day-in-the-life videos of you conducting business, interacting with people, and hustling.
Ultimately, every sales professional strives to move from having customers to having clients, friends, and referral partners, because when people are willing to refer you to other people, you’ve achieved maximum trust.
Most new sellers make the mistake of focusing on the transaction and forgetting about the relationship.
Instead of becoming frustrated by where you are in the process, you’ve got to start somewhere. When you’re adding people to your database and creating touches for your existing prospects, you’re consistently growing your business.
At some point in the future, you’ll wake up to discover you’re not simply a salesperson; you’ve created a business.
The first step, Jimmy says, is to be willing to try something new. Instead of continuing to do what you’ve always done, try something that scares you a little bit.
When you do, you’ll be like the little girl who clung tightly to a pair of fake pearl earrings because she loved them so much. When her dad asks her twice to give them up, she can’t bring herself to do it. The third time, when she finally musters the courage to hand them over, her dad exchanges them for a beautiful real pearl necklace.
Be willing to let go of what’s good in order to get to what’s great. Re-evaluate the things you’re doing and be willing to try something new.
Connect with Jimmy on Facebook and on Twitter, and grab a copy of his book What Just Happened? How to Bounce Back in Life So You Can Do More, Have More and Be More.
BombBomb is a subscription service that allows you to imbed videos directly into your email communications as a way of personalizing your connections to your customers. Loom is a free app with similar capabilities.
Jimmy was part of The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League some time back, and he credits it with helping him understand the importance of systems. Check out our online coaching program that joins sellers of all levels and industries to share ideas and struggles. Our next semester begins this fall.
There’s a reason I continue suggesting the book, Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happenfrom our sponsors at Wiley. It’s a fantastic blueprint of all the things buyers say they expect from sellers and want from sellers.
I’m so convinced of its message that I’m offering a free excerpt of the book so you can check it out.
Leave us a review wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode.
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If 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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