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Devin Reed, Closing Revenue

TSE 1219: 5 Counter-intuitive Mistakes Preventing You From Closing Revenue

Devin Reed, Closing RevenueThere are times salespeople don’t make the best decisions that would lead to closing deals. These mistakes can cause a fall. Let’s take a look at the 5 counterintuitive mistakes preventing you from closing revenue

Devin Reed is a content strategy manager at Gong. He handles all the content marketing strategy courses and responsible for presentations. He also goes to roadshows, such as Sales Live Miami. 

At this roadshow, Devin talked about  5 Counterintuitive Mistakes Preventing You From Closing Revenue. It’s about the five things salespeople think are good practices, and are trained to believe are good habits when in fact, they’re doing the opposite. These five mistakes hurt their deals and sales conversations. What Devin is sharing is backed up by data. 

Devin works for a company that has millions of sales conversations. They’ve looked and analyzed these conversations to see patterns that help them get an idea of the things salespeople talk about the most. Here are the 5 counterintuitive mistakes preventing you from closing revenue. 

  • Using the ROI to seal the deal
  • Focusing on quantity when it comes to discovery questions
  • Answering objections quickly and thoroughly
  • Using  large enterprise clients
  • Using cold call opening line

Don’t use ROI to seal the deal

People make the mistake of using the ROI to close. Finding a way to bring ROI into the conversation is one of the basic strategies taught to beginning sales reps.  This strategy is proving to be counterintuitive. 

ROI isn’t bad in itself, but it becomes an ineffective tool when it is used for persuasion. Presenting your ROI to the client doesn’t work because the information doesn’t go to the right part of their brain. 

The human brain has two parts – the emotional and rational. More often than not, the right part processes information later than the emotional part. If you want to get the attention of your prospects, you need to tap into the emotional side of their brains first. You do this by giving them a before and after story.

“Hey, I was in a podcast and not to brag or anything but that podcast did so well. They were doing this and that. I came on and I did this thing and two weeks later, they saw an X increase in their ROI.” This is an example of a “before and after”, then diving into the ROI. 

When you are able to provide the identifiers with the before and after stories, the emotional pull comes in. Make it a goal to tap into their curiosity instead of just desperately presenting the numbers. A good salesperson always to starts with emotion and understands people need to feel before they will give you their ear and show interest. After you’ve piqued their interest, then you can get to the boss to present the ROI. You show them what you can do for them is not only a great idea but also makes fiscal sense. 

Another reason why presenting the ROI often doesn’t work is because it’s naively done. Junior sales reps usually speak to CFOs who have years of experience. Their newness in the industry and lack of confidence make their calculations look phony. CFOs don’t find the numbers trustworthy. 

Focusing on quantity when it comes to discovery questions

Most salespeople have a discovery playbook with 15 to 30 questions. New sales reps believe it’s necessary to ask them all because they have the mindset the more questions mean more information and eventually, the more chances of closing the deal. While asking questions isn’t a bad thing per se,  on the other hand, it gives buyers discovery fatigue. It feels more like an interrogation than a valuable business conversation. 

Based on the data, 11 – 14 targeted questions is the sweet spot for the number of questions a salesperson should ask. The article by Chris Orlob entitled Why You Can’t Sell to C-suite Executives shares how salespeople only have four questions to ask C-suite executives. 

Tips when asking targeted questions: 

  • Use open-ended questions Using open-ended questions allows you to get more information. Ask one question that prompts a stream of answers. 
  • Get someone to think instead of reciting information  Ask questions that will make them think about their answer. For example, “How is that tech stack preventing you from closing revenue?” This question causes them to take a moment before giving an answer. 
  • Ask connected questions  Don’t just throw out random questions. Ask them in a way that paints a bigger picture. 

Answering objections quickly and thoroughly 

Answering directly shows how ready salespeople are to handle objections but the downside to that is the risk of actually answering the wrong objections. Instead, pause and wait. The benefits go both ways. For the salesperson, pausing creates room to time to think and for the prospect, the pause makes them feel heard. 

By the middle of the discussion, the prospect has already decided if they want to actually meet with the salesperson.  It’s the salesperson’s responsibility to make sure the conversation is good throughout the meeting so prospects see the value and have a good time. The prospect of enjoying the conversation is the most important goal. 

Using the enterprise logo when selling

Data shows that salespeople using social proof has actually a lesser success rate. Salespeople may think dropping names of big companies they’ve worked with is compelling information but prospects don’t share the same perspective. Instead of building trust with the prospect, what it does is alienate them.

The right approach is to use tribal identifiers. This means building a tribe based on shared characteristics. The best salespeople will have three to six tribal identifiers to make the connection more appealing and compelling. For small startup businesses with fewer clients, salespeople can make a hyper-specific process. This would mean not focusing on the same geography, for example, but instead, targeting companies with the same struggles and goals. 

Salespeople need to show their clients they are more than just someone on LinkedIn. They need to invest time upfront if they want to be heard. #SalesFacts

Cold call opening line

Many believe if you want to catch your prospect’s attention, give them an opportunity to first say no. The assumption is that using an opening line that allows them an opportunity to say no gives the prospect the power they want to feel in the conversation. Philosophically, you want them to feel comfortable in letting their guard down. 

This strategy doesn’t work. Data says there’s a 6.6X increase when, instead of trying to get them to say no, you ask instead, “How have you been doing?”

The potential client answers in the same vein and it causes a pattern interrupt. Your opening line isn’t something that the receiver is expecting. 

An opening question like, “Hey, this is Devin. Did I catch you at a good time?” is a telltale sign that it’s a cold call and immediately the guard goes up. From that point on, it’s an uphill battle.  

Always remember the before and after story because that’s how trust is built. People may not remember you but they will remember your story. You don’t have to be a great salesperson to share a story, you just have to share stories of value. 

“5 Counterintuitive Mistakes Preventing You From Closing Revenue” episode resources

Catch Devin’s podcast, Reveal the Revenue Intelligence, where they interview industry leaders who understand how they use their revenue intelligence to win the market. They have a pretty impressive line-up of key interviews. Connect with Devin Reed in his LinkedIn profile

You can also reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for any sales concerns. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

This podcast is also brought to you in part by Reveal the Revenue Intelligence podcast. It’s about utilizing data to make business decisions instead of just guessing your way through major sales decisions. Visit gong.io for their podcast. 

We’d love for you to join us for our next episodes so tune in on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

You can also read more about sales or listen to audiobooks on Audible and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

 

TSE 1203: One Major Closing Question Youre Neglecting to ask

TSE 1203: One Major Closing Question You’re Neglecting To Ask 

 

There are times when the sale is almost a done deal but at the end of the day, it’s not pushing through because there’s that one major closing question you’re neglecting to ask. This can happen to everyone, not just for the new sales reps. 

That one closing question you’re neglecting to ask

Let’s take Dave as an example. Dave is a seller who is wrapping up things with Bob in a phone call. Dave gave an amazing demonstration but Bob is being wishy-washy in his response and told Dave that he is still going to analyze internally first before moving on with Dave’s deal. Now, Dave is upset, furious, and blurted out some things. 

Dave could have done things differently by asking follow-up questions. Seeing it from Dave’s perspective, his outburst was understandable. He’s been working the deal for three months and he thought that he already got everything right. He already told his manager about it and he’s pretty excited for it to officially close. He needed this sale to achieve his quota. 

If he remembered to ask the closing question that many neglects to ask, the result would have been different. 

“Would I make  this purchase based on the same information I know if I were the buyer?” 

Based on the things you’ve shared with the buyer, would you have made the decision to make the investment? Many take this for granted because oftentimes, salespeople are shortsighted. 

Focusing on your pipeline 

Having focus is a great characteristic, however, focusing on the wrong thing isn’t. As salespeople, we need to shift the focus from ourselves and our pipeline, rather, we need to focus on our clients and our prospective clients. 

Going back on Dave, he was too focused on himself and the need for impressing his manager. He is a rising star in the company and the deal would be 25% of his quota. Everything was about Dave. Sometimes, a similar thing happens to us. 

We tend to focus on ourselves and fail to show empathy toward the clients. Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People states that the fifth habit of becoming effective is to seek first to understand then to be understood. 

The outcome would have been different if Dave asked himself the closing question mentioned above. Dave was in a difficult situation. He just got promoted and he’s now in the big boy’s league, this means that he’s afraid. The thing is that all these situations that Dave is facing don’t help his potential client solve his problems. Bob has nothing in him to consider shifting to Dave’s offer. If you were Dave, you would have gone a different path. Instead of looking at your fears, you instead looked at what Bob’s company needs. 

Perhaps you’d look at some studies and do some homework about Bob’s industry in relation to the software that you’re selling. 

Reality in sales 

Not every deal is going to close, that’s a universal fact in sales. But when you try to ask the closing question mentioned earlier, you won’t get in an awkward situation. Take for example the close rates, it’s the sales rep’s number of prospects to the number of deals converted. A 25% close rate means closing 10 deals out of your 40 prospects. The average close rate is between 15%-23%. Some people have higher close rates and others have a lower close rate. 

The close rate would increase if we work a little more in asking the tough questions. Salespeople must analyze the situation from the buyer’s standpoint. You can start the conversion process after every call, ask the buyer the same closing question, “Based on what you know, do you feel comfortable moving forward with us to a demonstration?” “Based on what you know, do you feel comfortable moving forward with us toa proposal?” Do this in every step of the process. 

The closing question you’re neglecting to ask should be given priority now. Ask yourself and the buyer that question. Find more of your ideal customers and have more meaningful conversations with them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. 

“One Major Closing Question You’re Neglecting To Ask” episode resources

Go ahead and hit me up for concerns and questions about sales. You can also reach out to me via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Use these practical sales tips and let me know how it works for you. 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

The episode is also brought to you by Sales Live Miami. It’s an event put on by a group of friends and it’s designed to help sellers and sales leaders improve their sales game. It’s going to be this November 4-5, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Come and join us. You can find more about this event on The Sales Evangelist website. 

We want you to join us for our next episodes so tune in to our podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Ludovic Vuillier, Accidental Seller, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1202: The Accidental Seller Series 1 – “Ludovic Vuillier”

Ludovic Vuillier, Accidental Seller, The Sales Evangelist

Hubspot’s stats showed that 46% of salespeople did not intend to go into sales. That means a massive 4.14 million individuals are now an example of an accidental seller. Perhaps they were working different jobs and suddenly they decided to go into sales or the circumstances prompted them to go into sales. This series will be about the people who have become an accidental seller by hook or by choice. 

Ludovic Vuillier is an entrepreneur who runs the Good Life Manifesto. It is a tool to help you live a good life. It is a guide that’s related to health, business, finance, and relationship. 

Ludovic started his career in sales 20 years ago. He sold for myriads of companies and consulting organizations. He also helped these organizations to find success in their sales. 

But before he went into sales, he wanted to become a doctor because of his interest in the human body. The downside to that is one has to spend over 12 years in school before becoming a doctor, which is something he cannot do. That made him ditch the college path. 

The deciding path 

His father died when he was young and he inherited some money but didn’t have a clue what to do with it. The amount wasn’t big but it was enough to offer comfort. He spent a year and a half traveling. He saw places and learned about many cultures. The experience taught him to be comfortable outside his comfort zone. After that, he fell into sales. 

He started selling mobile phones door to door. His lack of social skills became an advantage because he was able to absorb and pick up the things that work and that don’t. Ludovic also ventured into telemarketing and sold cosmetics over the phone. 

It takes many things to become a salesperson. One has to have a strong will and desire, persistence, and a greater purpose. 

Ludovic started to take on different types of sales jobs including doing sales over the phone, face-to-face sales, one-on-one, one-to-many, and others. He learned how he can influence peoples’ thoughts, emotions, and actions to be effective in the sales industry. 

The challenge that was the sale 

It wasn’t just the money and the people that prompted him to go into sales, it was the challenge in sales. He was hooked with the idea that people have patterns and salespeople can study what makes them tick and influence that. Unlike other new sales reps who are afraid of rejection, Ludovic was just fearless and kept pushing head-on. 

One of the challenges in the sale is the need of doing it repeatedly, like a cycle. He gets bored easily and the thought of doing the same thing over and over again for a long period of time was a huge challenge. Ludovic was able to fight against the boredom by just keeping on. He made the decision of not quitting. 

He was one of the sales reps who didn’t make sales consistently but his perseverance reaped good results as he started to make a sale after another. 

Closing a deal

Closing a deal is exciting, elating, and motivating. He closed his first deal and kept closing deals. His career began to expand and his sales experience continued to grow. Ludovic started to use his talent to help call center companies. 

This, again, came by accident. 

His friend opened up a sales office and he tapped him for help to train his friend’s salespeople. The gig wasn’t going to last for more than a few months and Ludovic knew that. He went there and helped. Within three months, he was able to help the team grow their average revenue to five times more, totaling to $500,000 a month. After leaving his friend’s company, with his friend’s encouragement, he decided to make it a business. 

He then cold-called a few telemarketing companies and set up appointments. He observed sales offices and based his price on the noise he hears in the company. A telemarketing company that makes a lot of noise earns well while a company that doesn’t make a lot of noise means something bad is going on. When it’s quiet, it means he is needed. 

Looking back 

In Tim Ferris’ podcast, he always has this question to ask his guest: “If you could give your younger self a piece of advice, what would it be?” Ludovic said that he would do nothing. Where he is right now was because of the decisions he made along the way. Being the accidental seller that he was, he was able to use all the things he’s learned and picked up while being a seller. 

Learn as much as you can. Life doesn’t happen based on what things are supposed to be. 

“The Accidental Seller Series 1 – “Ludovic Vuillier” episode resources

Find Ludovic Vuillier in any social media. He’s also got two websites, one is a personal travel blog and the other one is the goodlifemanifesto.com

Take some of the principles shared here and remember to not give up. Instead, make things happen. Reach out to Donald for any sales concerns on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. We want you to join us for our next episodes so tune in to our podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and ratings to every episode you listen to. The Sales Evangelist wants every salesperson to be able to build stronger value and close more deals. Our TSE Certified Sales Training Program will help you be that. 

Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

TSE 1200: How To Elevate Your Sales Game 

Value, Closing, The Sales Evangelist,As a salesperson, you might have asked yourself the ways to elevate your sales game. 

Dug McGuirk is a national trainer with Tony Robbins. He is a peak performance strategist to help people get a clearer picture of where they are right now in their sales organization including the results they’re experiencing as an individual salesperson or as a team leader. 

He and Tony help individuals see their role in the organization. 

Salespeople can’t change the market, the economy, the way the organization works, and the standard of practice. Tony and Dug want salespeople to see the clear picture and help them realize their true potential. 

Elevate your sales game 

Salespeople are always looking for ways to elevate their sales. The first step to do that is to analyze the things that might be holding back the sales. Sales reps must look at the pattern when they’re stuck. Do not have the tendency of beating yourself up and taking the fall when things go wrong or when you’re stuck. 

Assess the activities that have been holding you back as a salesperson and be aware of them. Look at the pattern of thought, the pattern of activity, and the pattern of focus. These may be small things that you’ve stopped doing like making your bed in the morning, praying, meditating, exercising, and whatnot. 

Most of us are running away from the pain but in order to succeed, we need to go through the pain.  

The best time to get a sale is right after you just made a sale. Listen to the power of momentum. You sell one and own it. Do not doubt your ability to sell, just get on with the selling and be carried by the momentum. 

Believe in yourself

That belief in yourself is so vital in sales. It doesn’t matter that you’re shut down several times or that your presentation is put to a stop. You just have to keep going. 

Sell yourself first and have that confidence before you go off selling to other people. Salespeople have a moral obligation to help others even when they’ve said no for the first few times. You need to get over that objection in order to deliver the message. 

A great salesperson needs to get into that state of gratitude before going into the next steps in sales. You need to be truly present and get clear visualizations of your goals. You also need to believe in your product and the services you sell. 

In sales, your network is your net worth. 

Nothing replaces a full-on immersion and meeting people. The prospects are everywhere so you need to be always selling and offering. Look for strategic partners and find the opportunities and the people who are willing to invest their finances and their energy. Salespeople have skills and it’s up to having the right training to be able to unleash those skills. 

Challenges in sales 

We live in a fast-paced society and everyone wants to speed up the process. Many are caught up in technique hopping when things go wrong. There are three pillars of extraordinary results to address this issue. The first is the strategies and the second is the action plan such as making phone calls, using technology and digging into LinkedIn, Instagram, and other social platforms. All these strategies are not going to work if they’re not implemented and acted upon. 

What most people do is they take action but they do it half-heartedly. This compromises the third pillar which is the mindset. They spend thousands on a strategy and then they move on to the next strategy. They move from one strategy to another and then if it still doesn’t work, they blame the system. 

Don’t do it with the belief that the strategy isn’t going to work in the first place. 

When you do your pitch, don’t do it half-heartedly. When you mail prospects, don’t send a blanketed e-mail because they’ll know that you didn’t put any effort into it. Make a personal email that shows them you care. 

Be willing to get vulnerable 

Salespeople who are crushing it on their sales are the ones who are willing to be vulnerable. They are the ones who are willing to be authentic and putting themselves at risk on a personal level. This is how they connect with potential clients. 

As a salesperson, you need to understand the value that you offer and come from a place of service rather than expecting. 

You learn things as a sales rep when you push through the pain. Look at challenges in new perspectives and work your way around them. Master your ability to perceive what’s going on and change your relationship with the situation at hand. Push yourself ahead with every No you get.

When you’re facing a slump and you’re wondering how to elevate your sales game, you need to evaluate your mindset and be present. Realize how valuable you are and use that to connect with clients on a deeper level. 

There will be more on this at the “Unleash the Power Within” event that’s going to happen at the American Airlines Arena on November 7-10. 

  • Day 1: Turn fear into power.

What stops people from referrals? FEAR. 

What stops people from prospecting? FEAR. 

What stops people from door-knocking? FEAR. 

Turn fear into power and work the muscle of state management. The first day is all about building your confidence as a salesperson. 

  • Day 2: The power of influence 
  • Day 3: The conversation

“How To Elevate Your Sales Game” episode resources

If you’re interested in going, reach out to Dug via his email dug.mcguirk@tonyrobbbins.com or call him on his phone number (646)523-8230. You can also send the word D-U-G to 64600, and you’ll get a link to all his contact information. 

For other sales concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a program designed to help sales reps get from where you are now to where you can be in the future. This course is an aid for salespeople to become better in asking the right questions, presenting solutions, and closing deals. 

Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

If you like this episode, do give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce high-quality podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

New Products, Dan Cockerell, Donald C. Kelly

TSE 1195: Creating Great Customer Experiences To Close More Deals

New Products, Dan Cockerell, Donald C. KellyCreating great customer experiences to close more deals is often a neglected sales strategy by many. That shouldn’t be the case. 

Dan Cockerell grew up in the hospitality industry. He went to Boston University and worked at Disney World for a summer. He officially joined the Walt Disney Company as a parking attendant in 1991 after finishing college. After 26 years and 19 jobs at Walt Disney, he decided to leave to start his own consulting company. 

Most of the employees in Disney who are working as executives in the operation started in the frontline roles to understand the customer experiences at the ground level. Disney isn’t sales but the structure that is used in its marketing is similar to sales. 

Translating it to our language, salespeople are bound to creating customer experiences to close more deals

The beginning of Disneyland

Walt Disney was ahead of his time. He was an animator and he wanted to create a 3D world where people could escape reality and step into movies. He wanted to create happiness together as a family. This was his original thought for building Disneyland in 1955. He kept the business clean, he was nice to people, and he valued them. People kept coming back because of the Midwestern values set by the company. 

Dan understood then that people are looking for experiences. Even millennials these days are looking for experiences rather than buying objects that lose their value over time. Experience, on the other hand, gains value over time. Disney had a great business model: to make emotional connections with people and have a great product and service to offer them simultaneously. 

The immense popularity of Disney parks stems from its ability to create experiences. 

Creating great customer experiences to close more deals

Disney did a lot of research and measurements to help the company improve. They have round table discussions, group discussions, and surveys. They pulled out a group one year and made a survey on what makes them different and why people keep coming back to Disney World. The Disney team had their expected answers, including the fireworks, the hotels, the attractions, the food, the characters, and others. 

There are four things, however, that Disney and salespeople have in common. 

Disney makes people feel special

They translated that to the cast members and they had a common purpose which is to create happiness for guests. Their team always looks for ways to make their guests feel special every day. It’s challenging when you have 50 million guests coming to the park every year. 

The same is true in sales, salespeople need to make their potential clients and existing clients feel special. Often times, it’s the simple things like sending them notes on their birthdays or when there’s something big to celebrate in their company. You have to invest in time with them. 

Disney treats people as individuals

Connect with people individually and make exceptions depending on one’s situation. As salespeople, you also need to treat people as individuals. Don’t quote them because the policy won’t work for some of them. Figure out a way to make exceptions according to their needs to make them feel like individuals. 

Creating great customer experiences to close more deals doesn’t have to be expensive. It takes attention to detail in order to connect with people. You just have to hire people who are keen on taking interest in people.

 A team needs a good leader or role model. Show your people that you are approachable and you want to help them with their sales problems as much as possible. Talk to them and be with them. Seeing their role model in action motivates them to do better in creating great customer experience to close more deals. 

Get down with the best practices you can as an organization no matter how small these gestures are to make your potential and existing clients feel special. Think of the ways you can give your clients great experiences. 

Disney respects everyone 

Respect is basic. People who come to Walt Disney are treated equally regardless of where they are staying. Guests who pay $99 a night and guests who pay $1,200 a night are given the same amount of respect. Disney isn’t looking at the color of the skin, the language people speak, and where they came from. Everyone must feel welcome without prejudice. 

Salespeople must show respect to all clients regardless of color, language, or policy they are going to get. Even when, as a leader, you aren’t particularly fond of the organization you are in, you still have to take personal pride in your profession. 

When you treat your team professionally, they’ll also respond professionally. 

When the clients’ experience fails, it isn’t the fault of the sales rep but that of the leader. You might have hired them in an environment they shouldn’t be in, you might not have trained them, you might have failed to give them feedback, and/or acknowledged them enough. 

Leaders create the environment for their people then their people go and operate in that environment. #SalesQuote

Be knowledgeable 

Salespeople need to know the product inside out and really believe in it. It’s a lot easier to sell to clients when they hear the excitement in your voice. A good salesperson also needs to bring the product to the next level by implementing it to the needs of the clients’ company. Explain how your product or services would cater to the needs of their company. 

We don’t know the answer to every question so when the client asks you something that you have zero idea what the answer is, be honest. Dial-up a person who has the answer or read more. Don’t just give them bad information to save face. 

Close more deals

Four things are laid out in creating great customer experiences to close more deals. 

  • Make people feel special
  • Treat people as individuals
  • Respect everyone
  • Be knowledgeable

Pick one from these four ways and start doing it to change your sales game. Do this one bite at a time. 

“Creating Great Customer Experiences To Close More Deals” episode resources

Connect with Dan by visiting his website, DanCockerell.com. He has his email there and his phone number. 

If you have sales questions, concerns, and great stories to share, don’t hesitate to connect with Donald via LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

This episode is brought to you in-part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a program designed to help sales rep get from where you are now to where you can be in the future. Every seller should be making six- figures and this can be achieved with our rigorous training schedule and group coaching. Join us for a new semester beginning each quarter. 

Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can also call us at (561) 570-5077. 

Read more about sales or listen to audiobooks at Audible as well and explore this huge online library. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

If you like this episode, do give us a thumbs up and rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify. We produce high-quality podcasts weekly so make sure to subscribe to get more of these sales talks that matter! Share this with your friends and teach them how to subscribe as well. 

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Retail, Sales From The Street, Sales Reps

TSE 1170: Sales From The Street: “Teach Them How To Educate”

Retail, Sales From The Street, Sales Reps

Derek Badala frequently travels with sales reps to teach them how to educate the customer in an effort to solve problems. As the director of sales at Synthax, he is always on the road traveling with sales reps and training them to become another version of himself — a skilled sales leader, influencer, and consultant. 

Technology and education

Being in the audiovisual industry, it could be said that technology and education are their biggest challenges. Making a sale is difficult, especially with new products. You must understand everything about the product and its application. Everybody is trying to get a sale and trying to close deals fast without asking all the necessary questions. With the competition in the market, there’s not enough time to learn about the new product and how it can be applied to the prospects’ problems.

Derek focuses on educating the sales reps and covering all the ways that the products can be used, and less on the features and benefits. He’s working to find ways that his products can make the clients’ lives easier. 

Sales reps must not skip this educating stage and must learn the product and its application to the lives of the client. Too much excitement over a deal that hasn’t happened yet may cause the deal to fall apart. 

Skipping steps

Derek had a client who was excited about getting a product from Digigram that would provide background music to stores. Neither the client nor the sales reps understood all the things about the product and its services. They got ahead of themselves and weren’t able to prepare the details that the client needed. Instead, the company should have better studied the client’s needs to know exactly how the products fit. 

When reps skip steps, it can cause deals to fall apart, which can negatively affect your pipeline. #SalesPipeline

Their company also sells widgets that clients can buy in retail stores. It’s difficult to educate salespeople in retail stores about the product because they have their personal favorites and they immediately suggest those products. It’s a challenge to tell them about your product and make them answer the customers’ questions.

When customers aren’t given enough information about a product, they often buy something that they’re not happy with. They are boxed into thinking about this particular product that salespeople in the retail store like. This is always a challenge. 

Trade shows 

Derek’s company does a lot of trade shows where he teaches classes on audio networking, and how to do audio over IP net. He also teaches classes on how to choose the right audio interface for musicians so that they won’t be sold products they don’t need.

The company’s goal is to educate the market and the customers through webcasts, webinars, and a whole lot more. 

Lunch and Learn 

The company also does a lot of lunch and learn while traveling. While the internet is an efficient tool in disseminating information, there’s still nothing more effective than getting in front of people and teaching them. Buying them lunch and then educating them about your products in a graceful way is very effective. 

Derek travels with many sales reps and while traveling, he continues to teach them how to educate others as well. They attend sessions and they learn from him by example. Instead of telling them a litany of features and benefits of certain products, Derek tells them a story. 

It is important to have success stories to tell about the products. Share little nuggets about the product to catch the clients’ attention. 

Competition 

The industry is growing and with it, competition grows as well. With every product line added, there’s new revenue being added into the business. Even when a company experiences growth, it’s still hard to miss that others are growing as well. 

There are competitors out there who are as good as, if not better than you. Regardless of the competition, we’re now seeing more resellers who are interested in knowing more about the products they sell. 

Derek’s company has grown since he joined in 2017 and he has seen a lot of improvements. They’re now seeing great improvements in the Ferrofish brand as it’s now being used for Broadway shows, the Superbowl, and for broadcast.

It’s always a battle to be on the top line funnel. You always plant sales and cultivate the leads to turn them into closed deals. 

Be the best listener 

In sales, it is important to be the best listener. One of the biggest mistakes in sales is owning the talk. You want to know more about the customers to be able to present solutions to their problems. You need to listen to them and see how you can help. 

After listening, you need to ask questions and listen to their responses. These steps are more important than presenting your clients with the features and benefits of the product. 

“Teach Them How To Educate” episode resources

Stay connected with Derek via his LinkedIn account. You can also visit the company website, RME-USA.com.

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! 

This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Training Sales Program. It is a helpful guide for sales reps and sales leaders to become better in doing their pitches and presentations. It has 12 courses to help you find the right customers, ask the right questions, and close great deals. You can get the first two modules for free! 

Or you can also check out Audible as well and explore this huge online library with thousands of books. Register now to get a free book and a 30-day free trial. 

Thank you for tuning in and if you liked this episode, do give a rating and review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify

TSE 1138: How To Close A Deal With A Prospect Who Goes With Your Competitor

If I’m working with a prospect who unexpectedly decides to hire a different company, it might sound impossible, but it’s possible to close a deal with a prospect who goes with your competitor. 

David Adley is an outbound sales manager at Bonfire, a digital platform for selling custom apparel. Bonfire works with nonprofits, influencers, and anyone who wants an easy solution to selling an awesome shirt online. 

Sales journey

David started selling knives door-to-door during college and he discovered he had a passion for it. When you’re succeeding, you’re having fun. 

He worked as a sales rep for a music company, and because he was a music major in college, he assumed it would be the perfect marriage of two things he loved. He was playing in a band at the time, and he had to make a decision about his priorities, so he picked music over sales. 

For almost four years he gigged with a band before taking the job at Bonfire as a customer success rep. He was basically making ends meet while doing the rock star thing.

David grew into his role. Because the CEO knew he had sold knives in college, he invited David to take a shot at growing the sales team. He took the leap, and that’s where his journey began.

Fund-raising

Bonfire operates in cause-based fundraising as well as the influencer space. Early in David’s career, he worked with a big client named Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund. He’s a big deal in the animal influencer game and he has hilarious content. 

He’s also the big fish in David’s story, which is about learning empathy, timing, and persistence, three things that sellers need if they are looking to up their game. The company was still small then and he didn’t want to mess up the opportunity. 

He asked the CEO for help, and together they conducted discovery together. The CEO, Brian Marks, shared wisdom with him, and they discovered that Crusoe wasn’t actually a great fit for the platform at the time. They weren’t equipped to give him everything he needed to have a successful apparel campaign. 

The company was geared to fund-raising at the time and wasn’t really built for influencers. 

Surprise advice

Brian advised David to provide pro bono graphic design work to Crusoe and then told David to recommend that Crusoe sell his designs on a competitor’s platform. Typically custom graphics take about three days, but they turned this one around same-day because it was such a great opportunity even though they couldn’t work with him.

David said he couldn’t imagine sending a potential VIP seller to a competitor, but this is where he really started to learn persistence. After they sent Crusoe away, it was still his responsibility to keep Bonfire top-of-mind for him. He did that by actively checking in during opportune moments, like when he won an award for best animal content creator. 

David congratulated them and checked in with his manager frequently. 

Great rapport

They developed a great rapport despite the fact that they never sold anything on Bonfire’s site to this point. Eventually, when Bonfire relaunched its site with more accommodating features for influencer clientele, the timing was perfect. 

Crusoe’s manager got back to them during a periodic check-in and was anxious to give the company a shot. The new website was officially about three days old at this point, so David was still a little nervous about bandwidth at this point. 

Eventually, the account was the highest-selling campaign on the site up to that point, and it pushed the company to its brink in those early days. He calls it a thrilling experience for everyone involved. 

Nurture the relationship

Almost two years passed between the time when David sent Crusoe to his competitors and then welcomed him to Bonfire as a customer. He did it by nurturing the relationship and staying in contact with his managers. He let them know about the changes at the company, and eventually, it made sense for them to work with Bonfire. 

Crusoe never forgot how the company hooked him up in the early days. As a young rep, David had been so focused on closing that he couldn’t fathom making this kind of decision. The CEO, on the other hand, was looking out for Crusoe’s best interests, and he did what a good sales rep should do: he empathized.

He wasn’t so hungry for a deal that he tried to close something that wasn’t a good fit. He put himself in the client’s shoes and did what was right for the client. Then the client paid it forward. He never forgot the solid favor the company did. 

It was a long, remarkable lesson that resulted in a relationship that still exists today. 

Building value

When sellers build value, loyalty results as a natural by-product. Very often we get shortsighted because, in the sales space, we tend to focus on what we need right now. We don’t allow ourselves to think about the future. The result is that we often think only of ourselves. Many new reps especially get so quota-driven that we lose sight of our customer’s needs.

David said he’s thankful he was able to learn the lesson early in his career because it allows him to detach himself from deals and to teach his reps to do the same. 

Bonfire measures success as a campaign that sells more than 200 apparel items. The Crusoe campaign sold more than 3,000 items, which is about 15 times more than the typical revenue. 

Scaling sales

David’s realization that you can’t simply scale a team by taking your own personal success and applying it to everyone was his biggest challenge as a sales leader. He isn’t data-driven by nature but operates more by the seat of his pants. He uses a throw-it-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach. Then he repeats what succeeds. And while that worked for him in a young startup environment where there wasn’t a blueprint, it doesn’t work to scale. 

He had to develop a data-driven approach because not everyone can sell like he can. He had to overcome the notion that everyone should do what worked for him. The truth, as he discovered, is that there are lots of awesome personalities and skill sets that can sell effectively. Diving into the data to discover why those personalities could sell effectively was huge.  

Tracking data

They started by establishing a baseline metric for success. Once you’ve determined what your team is doing every day, you can hone those skills to arrive at the place where you’re closing more deals or launching more campaigns. 

David once operated according to a gut-feel to determine how many messages to send out, but they couldn’t rely on that. They needed to establish a number of new outreach messages a day. In this case, it was 25 new outreach messages a day, with the intention to convert 35 percent of those into demos. If 10 percent of those convert to launch campaigns, a BDR can launch three a week and be set up for long-term success. 

The key was drilling down those numbers to figure out what needed to happen at each stage of the pipeline. Telling new reps what they need to do in order to be successful makes a big difference. If they hit those benchmarks, they can feel really good about their trajectory. 

David said he wouldn’t have learned the lessons about empathy, timing, and persistence if he hadn’t been willing to ask for help. Many new reps want to put their heads down and prove themselves. He said that the best reps ask tons of questions and aren’t afraid to fail. Success occurs when you put yourself out there, ask for help, and then apply the lessons you learn effectively. 

How To Close A Deal With A Prospect Who Goes With Your Competitor” episode resources

You can connect with David via email at David@bonfire.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn and check out Bonfire.com. Find his music at Griff’s Room Band. You can also connect with his mom, who is a professional storyteller, at Characters By Kim.  

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.

 

Enterprise Seller, Trong Nguyen

TSE 1126: How to Handle Major Challenges When Selling

Enterprise Seller, Trong Nguyen

The sales landscape is always changing but by gathering insights from other sellers we can determine how to handle major challenges when selling

Brandon Bruce is co-founder of Cirrus Insight and he’s going to address how to we can get out of our own zone, where we focus exclusively on ourselves and our companies and seek opportunities to interact with other people. 

Today’s episode is a reboot of episode 736, with great information about long-term strategy, providing value, and email outreach.

Evolving sales

The world of sales is constantly evolving. One of the challenges Brandon sees with sales right now is an unspoken push that exists. Because there are a bunch of companies at the growth stage, and a bunch of companies just starting out, there’s a tremendous amount of energy in the sales industry. 

There’s a premium on hitting numbers. Everyone is hustling and trying to find a way to build a better mousetrap. On the negative side, sellers might be hyperfocused on closing deals so that they forget to prioritize the personal connection. Because connections take time, and sales reps get antsy, we sometimes try to speed things along. 

We don’t want to close a deal next month; we want to close it this month. 

Brandon believes there’s a happy medium to be found. We must work to focus on building sustainable relationships even while we focus on making our numbers. 

Long-term success

Companies that focus too narrowly on numbers will likely struggle to achieve long-term customer success. The customers won’t stay as long because the deals were one-time kinds of relationships. It’s easier for customers to walk away when the customer doesn’t know us well. 

Brandon remembers buying a countertop, a one-time purchase, from a company that worked to develop a relationship with him. They were struggling to find exactly what he wanted until they discovered an unused countertop in a storage area. It was exactly what he needed, and it was something a previous customer decided against using. And the company sold it to him for 50 percent off. 

He calls it a great selling experience because they listened to his needs and they thought about how they could best help him. And even when they had a chance to make more money off the deal, they sold it to him at a great price. 

Even though he won’t be in the market for a countertop anytime soon, they created an evangelist in him. If anyone should ask where to buy a countertop, he’ll absolutely recommend that company. 

They closed a deal, they moved product, and they build a sustainable relationship. 

Evangelizing

We should probably remind ourselves to focus on doing the right thing, and sometimes allowing ourselves to take the easy option. We’re tempted to feel like we should push a little harder, but sometimes we can take the easy deal that leaves the customer feeling satisfied. 

Your customer will become an evangelist for your company. You might have missed a chance to get a little more from them, but because you gave them more, you’ll have the opportunity to earn more from them. 

Building customer relationships benefits your long-run philosophy. 

Raving fan

I joined an organization that gave its sellers to the book, Raving Fans, as part of its onboarding process. It helped us understand the value of customers who bought our solution and then stayed with us to upgrade and buy more later. 

It’s valuable to have a customer who likes your product and who will promote you on social media and leave you reviews. A raving fan might take you to their next three jobs, or mention you on their podcast. 

It has less to do with building a predictable sales machine and more to do with building a fan base who is passionate and who might do unpredictable things. 

Reaching out to prospects

It’s getting harder and harder to reach prospects, and sellers use a variety of tactics to do it. 

E-commerce has gotten huge, and statistics show that buyers have done a tremendous amount of research before they engage in the sales process. Despite that, there’s still room for a lot of outreach and prospecting. But how can we bridge that gap if we have buyers who are already doing a lot of the work themselves?

Begin by making it really easy for your customers to have a conversation. Brandon’s company puts its calendars on the website so that customers who want to schedule time with them can immediately see what is available. Once they schedule a time, it will automatically appear on the company’s calendar. It’s buyer-driven versus seller-driven.

Prospects come to them more often now asking for a demo. Meeting them part-way helps to bridge that gap. 

Another option they use is the ability to place bulky slides in a web portal and then provide a link to it instead of putting the slide in an email. It’s useful because they can click on it and view it online. They don’t have to worry about malware or about a bulky attachment loading too slowly. 

They also get real-time analytics about their slide deck: they know which slide people are most interested in, and where they abandon the slides. The team can then offer to follow up with a demo.

Meeting halfway

Brandon calls the process meeting halfway, which he said is how the best sales always happen. It’s a buyer saying, “I’m ready to buy,” and a seller saying, “We’re pretty interested in selling to you.” It creates a partnership where everyone brings something to the table. 

Persuade by sharing insights. Many people have a distaste for sales because they perceive it as a seller trying to trick a buyer in buying something he doesn’t need. But that’s not selling. That’s trickery. 

Sales is an art and not a science. It can’t be reduced to an algorithm, at least not yet, because it involves nuanced decisions as part of the relationship. In his own case, the company was looking to make a purchase, but the VP of marketing was skittish because the company wasn’t pushing for the sale at all. It left her with the sense that they don’t really want their business. 

The art results from trying to find the right amount of positive pressure to get the deal closed. It’s figuring out what your buyer needs and wants to hear, telling them, and moving the conversation forward. 

Email outreach

Email outreach is difficult and it has gotten harder over the lifetime of Brandon’s company. As with any trend in technology, as more and more people come on board with automation, there’s simply more volume. Those on the receiving end are overwhelmed by it, and it’s hard to overcome the spam filters. It’s difficult to break through. 

Short emails work the best; perhaps two or three lines long with single sentence paragraphs. It must be super easy to read at a glance because people don’t tend to read deep content. 

Clearly state what you do and provide a link or two. Make it very easy for the user to click and say, “I want to learn more.” They’re much simpler than the newsletter-type emails that are rich in image and video. Google and other filters often knock those out. It’s a simple, text-based email with an intriguing subject. 

Recognize that vanity metrics might get you a 100-percent open rate, but they don’t drive conversations, and conversations drive sales. 

Consider asking other people in your industry for feedback. Brandon likes to send ideas to other tech founders and ask if his ideas seem insane or totally off-base. Because it’s a very giving community, people often write back to offer thoughts and ideas. 

Keep the excitement

Sales will always be a hustle. It won’t ever be easy. It’s a nice idea to think that you can create some kind of machine that will keep the money rolling in, but it isn’t realistic. We must keep putting our heads down, hustling, and meeting the customers halfway. Make deals that are easy to say yes to and that leave your customers feeling confident about the decision. 

Let your audience know that doing business with you is easy. 

“How to Handle Major Challenges When Selling” episode resources

If you’d like to connect with Brandon, you can email him at brandon@cirrusinsight.com, or you can find him on LinkedIn

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.

 

 

 

Todd Coponi, Transparency Sale, Sales Podcast

TSE 1109: Leading With Your Flaws

Power Reviews

It seems counterintuitive in sales, but leading with your flaws can shorten the sales cycle and disarm your customers, ultimately leading you to better metrics.

Todd Caponi was the chief revenue officer for a company called Power Reviews which helps retailers and brands collect and display ratings and reviews on their website. His time there caused him to rethink the way he leads sales organizations because he discovered that consumers were more likely to buy a product that had a 4.2 to 4.5 rating than a 5-star rating.

Statistics show that 95 percent of consumers in the B2C world are looking at reviews before they buy. Of those, 82 percent are looking for negative reviews before buying. Todd wondered what might happen if the same notion could be applied to the B2B world.

Pros and cons

Todd embraced the idea of embracing the pros and cons and leading with them. He discovered that his first deal, which previously had a sales cycle of 6 months, closed within 4 weeks.

They discovered that when you lead with your flaws, your sales cycle speeds up dramatically. You’ll qualify deals faster and eliminate those deals that you probably weren’t going to win anyway.

Todd was in New York when his VP of sales called him to say the company had an inbound lead from an apparel brand that wanted to initiate an evaluation. The brand happened to be headquartered in NY, so Todd scheduled coffee with the senior vice president of e-commerce. The coffee meeting became a presentation instead, and the SVP got right to the point.

Competitor is better

He said that his company had been talking to Todd’s competitor, and he wanted to know why Todd’s company was better than the competitor. Todd figured he had nothing to lose, so he asked an unexpected question.

“Do you mind if I tell you why the competitor is better?”

He explained that the competitor had offerings that his own company didn’t, so if he wasn’t going to be able to meet their needs, he wanted to determine that quickly so both parties could move on. The room deflated. The guy clearly thought Todd was crazy, but he agreed to the idea.

Todd talked about an add-on that the other company had but explained that his own company was focused on certain core beliefs. The SVP acknowledged that the add-on the competitor was offering wasn’t a necessity for his company, so they moved on.

Transparency

Within 20 minutes, the SVP kicked everyone else out of the meeting and grabbed a folder that includes the company’s budget for ratings and review software. He pointed to a number inside and asked Todd if he could hit that figure.

The two engaged in a collaborative process that culminated in a deal a few weeks later. The company didn’t initiate an evaluation. It simply chose Todd’s company. He recounted that he had called Todd’s competitor, who quickly went on a rant about the add-on that distinguished the two companies.

Every time they led with their flaws, it completely disarmed their prospects. The company built its sales cycle on a foundation of trust and all of its metrics moved in a dramatically positive direction.

Wired to resist

Todd said that we’re all wired to resist being sold to. As a buyer, he simply wants to be able to predict what his experience with a certain product will be like, and then to get the best deal he can. He said that a salesperson will demonstrate within the first five minutes whether he will be a great resource or push toward a sale even if it isn’t what the buyer wants.

People believe in authenticity and honesty. Many of them believe that there’s a trade-off required so that in order to have authenticity and honesty, you will sacrifice results. But the data suggests otherwise. The data says that when you provide authenticity and honesty to your customers, you’ll maximize your sales results.

Truthfully, the era of hiding your flaws from your prospects is over. The proliferation of ratings and reviews has moved into the B2B area and it has become the way of the world.

B2B buying behavior

A company called Trust Radius just published a study of B2B buying behavior. The data demonstrated that B2B buyers are using reviews 56 percent of the time and analyst ratings only 24 percent of the time.

Every year, reviews are climbing and independent studies are going down. Marketing is becoming less trustworthy and reviews are becoming the core that brings buyers to the table. Sellers must embrace that.

It’s counter-intuitive to most people to show weakness. Many sellers will listen to this and wonder why this works. Todd dug into the neuroscience of this and discovered that buyers make decisions using feeling and then back them up with logic. Logic is the justifying mechanism to emotional decisions.

We are also wired to disbelieve anything that looks perfect. We are taught to seek the negative. A recent study reported that buyers in a typical purchase cycle spend 39 percent of their time talking to sellers and 61 percent of their time doing other homework. This includes research, reviews, and back-channel information.

Utilizing levers

In his book, Transparency Sale, Todd tells the story of a rep who was selling something to an oil company. He explained the concept of levers, which he has become famous for.

If you search Google for tips on negotiating, you’ll find countless pointers that destroy trust. It’s like a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament.

But if you want to build trust through the goal line, you lead with what is important to you as an organization. You create buyers who are actually able to negotiate their own deals.

In the case of the oil company, Todd was pulled into a last-minute negotiation with a group of procurement people. Before they even started, he asked for permission to write four things on the board. He listed four levers on the whiteboard.

  • Volume, or how much they buy
  • Timing of cash, or how fast they pay
  • Length of commitment, or how long they commit
  • Timing of deal, or when they signed

Discount

The people in the meeting immediately asked for 30 percent off. Instead of offering to do 15 percent and initiating that song and dance, he acknowledged that it might be doable and then suggested using the four concepts on the board. These concepts represent four things Todd’s company was willing to pay for in the form of a discount.

The notion immediately disarmed the people in the meeting.

“Commit to more technology and because that’s valuable to us, we’ll pay you in the form of a discount.”

“Since we have a three-year commitment, pay us for years two and three and we’ll pay you in the form of a discount.”

“Extend your deal to five years and we’ll discount an extra 5 percent for years four and five.”

Todd’s company got something in return for every dollar they gave away, and the oil company loved Todd’s company at the end. Remember that you aren’t negotiating hostages. You’re negotiating agreements with products.

Be upfront

Commit to being as transparent as possible. Every person simply wants to feel that they’ve been heard and that they’ve gotten a good deal.

Get rid of one-sidedness. You’ll bring humanity back to the conversation. You’ll have the confidence of interacting with people as human beings. So few companies have a framework for the way they negotiate.

You could implement this concept right now. It doesn’t require a three-day class.

“Leading With Your Flaws” episode resources

You can connect with Todd on LinkedIn or at his website, transparencysale.com. Grab a copy of his book, Transparency Sale. If you haven’t connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I’m sharing there.

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

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

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

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

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

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.      

Sales Material, Donald Kelly

TSE 1097: “Fatal Mistake – You’re Not Leaving Anything Behind”

 

Sales Material, Donald KellyIf you find that your deals are falling through the cracks or you’re losing your prospects to your competition, perhaps the problem is that you’re not leaving anything behind

You might be thinking of brochures and other leave-behinds, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. Instead, we’re talking about the things you should be leaving behind any why these things are so critical to moving your deal forward. 

Research phase

Unless you’re dealing with a referral, when you’re dealing with a prospect, that person is probably considering other people as well. Even if the prospect reached out to you and seems completely interested, that person is ultimately looking for the best deal. 

You must stay top of mind. Ensure that you stay relevant and always present without being annoying. You must give the prospect something valuable. 

Content

Consider leaving content behind that ties directly to what you’ve already discussed. Or leave content that helps the prospect prepare for the next scheduled meeting. 

Once you’ve done this a time or two, you’ll understand why it’s so important. 

Imagine IT companies in this situation that are evaluating service companies. You won’t be the only company they are considering, but you want them to forget those other companies and focus on yours. 

One option is to determine which other companies the prospect is considering.

Create landmines

Create landmines for the competitor. 

For instance, when I sold document management services, I had a competitor whose services were only good for one department. The competitor served that department very well, but the other departments hated their services. 

I planted the idea in our prospects’ minds that a tool that only benefits one department isn’t really a valuable tool for the entire company. My leave-behind was the idea that the competitor would only benefit a small portion of the company.

If it wasn’t a good fit, certain departments wouldn’t use it, which would result in wasted money because no one used the software. 

I suggested to the prospect that a solution that benefits everyone would be a better fit.

Format

In the past, that kind of content might have appeared in the form of a white paper. Now, however, your prospects are busy and many things are grabbing at their attention.

Instead, consider a LinkedIn post or article, or a podcast, or a video addressing the issue. Identify the top things that make your company a favorable choice. Highlight the challenges that your company can solve better than the competition. 

Educate your buyer before you return for the next meeting or demonstration. That way, when the prospect meets with the competition, they’ll know what issues to ask questions about. 

If you’re not leaving anything behind, the prospect may simply respond to the flashy, cool presentation. 

Notifications

Make this tool even more powerful by using tools that notify you when the prospect opens the message or clicks on the video. 

Consider, for example, that you send a video for your prospect to watch prior to the next meeting. Maybe it answers questions that frequently occur during the second meeting. 

If you send it with BombBomb, you’ll know when the prospect watched it, and whether they watched the entire video. It helps you know when and how the prospect is engaging with your content. 

Do something different

Everyone is leaving a business card, so you must do something that helps you stand out from the crowd. Make your company the obvious choice.

Position yourself as the trusted advisor and the one who is helping the prospect understand all the important considerations before making a decision. 

If you’re not leaving anything behind, your promising deal may disappear. 

“You’re Not Leaving Anything Behind” episode resources

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

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

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

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

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

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

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Oscar Trimboli, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Prospects

TSE 1096: How Do You Listen To What The Prospect Isn’t Saying?

Sometimes we lose out on promising deals because our prospects are giving us indications that all is not well but we’re failing to listen to what the prospect isn’t saying.

Oscar Trimboli is a deep listening expert who is on a quest to create 100 million deep listeners in the world, and he starts by helping us understand what we should be listening for when we interact with our prospects.

Taught to speak

We all learned to speak, to do math, and to study literature, but none of us can remember our listening teacher. As sales reps, we spend a minimum of 55 percent of our day listening, but only about 2 percent of us have been taught how to listen.

Remember these two bits of statistics as you listen to the information in today’s podcast.

  1. The 125/400 rule. I can speak 125 words per minute, but you can listen at 400 words per minute. You’re programmed to be distracted and filling in 300 words. You’re contemplating what to have for dinner or what to do over the weekend when you realize you have to get back into the conversations.
  2. The 125/900 rule. Your prospect can speak at 125 words per minute but you can think at 900 words per minute. The likelihood that the first thing your prospect says is actually the thing he means is about 1 in 9 or 11 percent. If you had 11 percent chance of a successful surgery, you probably wouldn’t proceed without a second opinion.

Most likely, your prospect is well-rehearsed and is speaking like a well-oiled machine. The most powerful thing we can do is explore the other 800 words per minute that are stuck in their heads.

Unblocking pipeline

When we grab on to those unspoken words, we can unblock pipeline and begin to understand our prospects.

We must be mindful to ask our prospects what they are thinking and to listen for the things the prospects aren’t saying. Oscar spends his days teaching people to be obsessed about the cost of not listening.

We often don’t do this because we assume our competition is those people we normally compete against. Many of us are listening for code words that a prospect might say that would link to a product or benefit.

The really skillful sales reps focus on the customer’s customer’s problem. Instead of thinking about the person in front of you, think about the customer that this person must go speak to.

The pipeline becomes shorter and more qualified, and you avoid unexpected surprises.

Change the question

We should consider the power of asking the question, “How does a business case like this get approved in your organization?” We’re good at asking who approves deals without asking how they get approved. Once we ask how it gets approved we will understand who else we’re being compared against.

Many large organizations have a project management office that filters the funding for all new projects. If you don’t know when that group meets or who participates or what other projects you’re being evaluated against, you may find your deal slipping away.

  1. Understand the 125/900 rule.
  2. Help the prospect sell the business case rather than what you’re actually selling.
  3. Help your prospect orient on the customer rather than on your offering.

If you do these things, your pipeline will look very different.

Help your team

Build some muscle around listening for what isn’t said.

Find the organization’s website and determine what matters to them. Use the words the company uses in your selling process. Don’t use your language rather than their language.

If the CFO can’t read and understand the first page of your proposal, you’ve failed.

Help your reps become fixated on their customers’ customers’ problems. It’s the difference between good and great.

Teach in a way that can’t be misunderstood and figure out how your clients make money.

Listen in color

Many of us listen in black and white. Oscar is trying to teach the world to listen in color. How do we notice the energy of the person across from us?

Oscar also asks his client, “If this organization was a movie or an actor or a book, which one would it be?” Many people listening might call it Titanic.

The question gives them a permission slip to tell the truth in a different way. Use a metaphor to figure out what the prospect is thinking in a different way.

You can carry the metaphor forward and discover who the villain of the movie is.

If we talk in this colorful metaphorical language we can quickly get much more from our prospects. Listen to what your prospect isn’t saying.

Get to the truth

Your prospects will tell you as many lies as you think they will. They aren’t doing it intentionally. It’s just that your questioning isn’t helping them get to the truth.

You can help them bring their truth to life using these techniques. Make it as conversational as possible.

If the person you’re talking to is a jock, ask which sporting team the organization would be. If he’s a nerd, ask him what character on The Big Bang Theory the company would be. They won’t suspect where you’re headed with that question.

The art of selling is your ability to be in the moment.

Ping pong questions

Don’t go into the room asking, “What keeps you awake at night?” Oscar calls it a disrespectful question and says that if you ask it, you haven’t even earned the right to be in the room.

Try to ask more how- and what-based questions rather than why-based questions. People may perceive your why-based questions as judgemental. People often feel more defensive with why-based questions.

Instead of “Why is this project being funded,” mention that you’re curious how projects like this are funded. Just by changing the language, you make it more comfortable for them to explain.

How-based questions

How-based questions move conversations along more quickly. This truth emerged with suicide counselors who discovered that why-based questions slow a conversation down and buy them time with people who are in danger of making poor decisions.

Hostage negotiators also stick to when, how, and what-based questions.

Listen for what’s unsaid and remember the difference between how quickly the prospect can think and how quickly he can speak.

Help them explore their thinking rather than helping them explore what you’re selling. You’ll become a trusted advisor.

“Listen To What The Prospect Isn’t Saying” episode resources

Connect with Oscar at his website, and if you visit oscartrimboli.com/listeningmyths, you can find a hack sheet with five tips that explore the things we’ve discussed here. It will help you listen beyond the words.

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. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

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.

greatness in the face of adversity, Weldon Long, objections, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1093: How to Achieve Personal and Professional Greatness in the Face of Adversity

 

greatness in the face of adversity, Weldon Long, objections, The Sales Evangelist

Even if we have the right process or the best mindset, every seller is going to encounter difficulties, so we must figure out how we’ll stick to our mission and achieve greatness in the face of adversity.

Weldon Long has plenty of personal experience dealing with adversity in the form of 13 years in the penitentiary, homelessness, and dropping out of high school. He had what he calls a dysfunctional life, but he learned the ability to thrive in the face of difficulty.

Difficulties are coming

The truth is that difficulties are coming. It’s easy in personal life or in sales life to feel overwhelmed and tempted to wave the white flag of surrender.

Weldon was in federal prison when his dad died. He got a note to call home from one of the prison guards. He remembers realizing that his dad died with him in prison again.

He had a three-year-old son that he fathered while he was out on parole. He realized that he wasn’t being a very good father or son.

He made the decision to change the course of his life but he had no idea where to start. He still had seven years left in prison, so he started reading.

Copy successful people

His master plan was to figure out what successful people were doing and copy that. Seven years later, he walked out of prison and lived in a homeless shelter at 39 years old.

He learned how to sell reading books and he started knocking on doors looking for a sales job. It took about six months to find a job because he was a convicted felon living in a homeless shelter.

He got a job selling air conditioners and had a great first year. The next year, he used his earnings to open his own air conditioning company. Though he knew nothing about air conditioning, he knew how to sell air conditioners.

He hired the operations people and grew the company to $20 million in five years. In 2009, his company was selected as one of America’s fastest growing privately held companies.

His life has been a study in overcoming adversity, and the lessons are useful for anyone because everyone will eventually face challenges. Learning to face them is the key to achieving greatness in the face of adversity.

Sales process

Weldon points to the sales process as the secret to building a successful business.

The prospects are 100 percent in control of the result. They get to decide whether they will write us a check or not. The sellers are 100 percent in control of the process. Far too many sales professionals focus on the outcome rather than focusing on what they actually control, which is the process.

Weldon quickly learned all the difficulties of selling and he said he was amazed by the number of honest people who would promise to call him to follow up but who never did.

Buyers will say one thing and do something else, perhaps largely because they fear getting ripped off or misled. They put a lot of protective mechanisms in place.

Sales hallway

In his book Consistency Selling, Weldon introduces a concept he calls the sales hallway. He and the prospect are at the beginning of the hallway together. At the other end of the hallway is the door he’s hoping to get the prospect through.

As they walk together, the prospects have a lot of questions about products, services, and guarantees. Most importantly, prospects have questions about price.

When they have all the information, they tend to want to postpone the decision. They try to leave little trap doors or escape routes along the hallway.

  • “I’ll think about it.” 
  • “I’ll call you next Tuesday.”
  • “You’re too expensive.”

When Weldon learned to address those obstacles before they came up, it was the turning point in his sales career.

Influence and persuasion

Weldon read an article by Robert Cialdini, author of the book Influence. It was all about the consistency principle, which says that public declarations dictate future actions. The idea is that if you can get someone to make a public declaration, he becomes more likely to take actions that are consistent with that statement.

He determined which objections he was facing most often, and he structured his conversation so that the prospect didn’t struggle with those fears. When he did that, he found way less resistance at the end of the sales process.

When he started selling, it was “kitchen-table selling.” It was residential air conditioning to families who were mad that they were having to spend the money. He was on their turf and they had other bids that were half his price. Weldon learned to prosper in that situation.

Price objection

How do I deal with price objection?

The problem is that most people don’t bring up price until the prospect does at the end of the process. Once the prospect brings it up, he’s in a super defensive posture. They know you’re going to try to sell them on why you’re worth the extra price.

The heartbeat of his whole process is addressing those concerns. When he helped Farmer’s Insurance address the price objection, he recommended looking on the Internet for considerations when purchasing insurance. He found a thousand different articles that all said that price isn’t the most important consideration.

Now when he’s sitting with a prospect, he’ll address the fact that price is a valuable consideration when purchasing insurance. But then he’ll ask the prospect whether he agrees or disagrees with the fact that there are other considerations that are equally as important as price.

Public declaration

Weldon shared the example of a company that canvassed a neighborhood by telephone to find out whether residents believed it was important to fund research for childhood disabilities. The following week, when the canvassers came to actually collect money, the donations doubled because the people had previously made a public declaration that it was important.

Weldon realized that if he could get his customers to acknowledge that price isn’t the most important, and if he could get his customers to declare publicly that they would call him tonight with an answer, he was less likely to struggle against those objections.

Sellers tend to focus on the door at the end of the hallway and they try to close. The key is to prepare yourself as you’re moving through the hallway.

The way to help the prospect get back into resonance is to take action consistent with the words you said earlier.

Improving numbers

There are those who will point out that this approach won’t work every time, and that’s true.

But if you’re closing four out of 10, my job is to show you how to get one or two out of the six you’re losing. You’re already getting the four. I’m going to help you get better margins.

Everyone loves the idea of making twice as much money but no one wants to work twice as many hours. The key is to increase your productivity with your raw materials. Your raw materials are time and leads. How do you produce more output with the materials you have?

Anticipate the objections

If you’re selling air conditioners, it shouldn’t surprise you to hear that your price is too high. You should anticipate that objection. Lay the groundwork so you can have the right conversation.

By the time you get to close, the time for debate and argument is over. Your only hope is to remind them what they said earlier about price.

If I say the price isn’t the most important consideration, I’m a salesman. If they say it, it must be true.

Create the prosperity mindset to prosper before you face adversity. Get clear on what you want so you can achieve greatness in the face of adversity.

Remember the FEAR acronym.

  • Focus
  • Emotional commitment
  • Action
  • Responsibility

Build a plan that anticipates objections and create a sales process that addresses those objections.

“Greatness In the Face of Adversity” episode resources

If you text the word “Videos” to 96000, you’ll receive free content about how to create the prosperity mindset and how to deal with objections in the sales hallway.

Grab copies of Weldon’s books:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Social Selling, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, LinkedIn

TSE 1087: Social Selling Your Customers Want!

Social Selling, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, LinkedIn

Sellers who interact with and provide value to prospects using social media must understand the characteristics that turn this into the kind of social selling your customers want.

We’re tackling this topic all month, and even if you aren’t a big social media person, we’re providing an actionable plan to help you get in front of your prospects.

It isn’t enough to “set it and forget it” or generate large amounts of content in hopes that people will click through to find you. It’s thoughtful preparation that gives buyers what they want and need right now.

Trying to close

I discovered the idea of using social media to sell when I was in college. I was seeking an internship with people who were in Chicago and our college professor told us that we needed a LinkedIn profile. He told us that we had to maintain that profile because that’s where business professionals interacted.

I thought it was a great idea because I was suddenly connected to millions of other professionals. I also thought it was great that I could pitch to all of those people.

My professor knew a woman in Chicago so he introduced us with the intention that I would seek insights from her. In my mind, though, she was going to provide me with an internship or connect me with someone who had one.

Instead of approaching it as an information-gathering phase, I was trying to close the deal. I think many of us make that mistake with social media.

Instant access

Sellers are often like kids in a candy store because social media gives them instant access to millions of potential customers. Why in the heck wouldn’t we go ahead and pitch them all? Let’s tell every single person what we’re doing.

And then social media turns into a pitch-fest.

Because we can copy and share messages with groups of people quickly, we have access to millions of new prospects at our fingertips. Very quickly, though, prospects recognize that every seller is engaging in the same kind of social selling.

Prospects are overwhelmed with the same messages from multiple sellers, so we have quickly realized that we can’t continue using the same methods.

Liking content

In response, we settled on thoughtful interactions with people. We settled on the idea of liking everything they posted on social media and commenting on their content, sometimes arbitrarily.

We didn’t necessarily have a growth plan or a strategy. We just assumed that if we liked a bunch of their stuff now, when we eventually sent them a message, they would instantly want to work with us.

The idea might have worked well initially, but again, sellers adopted the same strategy across the board and failed to stand out from one another.

Curating content

Next, we moved to curating content. That meant sharing content that others were sharing, so if I found a good blog post about technology, I would share it with my prospects who were interested in that industry.

Our strategy was to be top-of-mind because of our content. We engaged with different platforms and pumped content everywhere, which ultimately became a bunch of junk floating around on the Internet. Again, every competitor was doing the same.

The platforms realized that the content was taking their users away to other sites and they took steps to prevent people from being diverted away.

Algorithms

Social media platforms don’t want you to send their users to other sites. As a result, you must adjust your social selling efforts so that you’re linking to content on that same platform.

LinkedIn wants its users to see the ads that its customers are paying to promote. If its users leave LinkedIn, they won’t see the ads. The algorithm will penalize you for sharing content outside of LinkedIn.

Sellers responded with LinkedIn articles, long-form posts, and videos. We moved to original content in our next iteration of social selling, and within the next year, we’ll likely move to something different.

Human interaction

Despite all this change, there is one takeaway. Be a person. Be human and care about other people.

The definition we shared from Hubspot is this: Social selling is when salespeople use social media to interact directly with their prospects. Salespeople will provide value by answering the prospect’s questions and offering thoughtful content until the prospect is ready to buy.

Do things in moderation. Use direct messages. Set a goal to connect with five new prospects each day on LinkedIn. Try something like this:

Donald, 

It’s always great to learn from sales leaders in the industry. Permission to connect?

Once we’re connected, they’ll see the content I’ve curated over time.

Aligned content

An article on PostFunnel reported that marketers who align their content with specific points in the buyer’s journey yielded 73 percent higher conversion rates. Think about that. If you’re able to produce content based on where your buyers are in that particular phase, it will be relevant to them.

Your buyers want posts that showcase your new products or services and they want to learn something along the way. Use social selling your customers want in order to help them throughout their journey.

Speak to the three stages of the buyer’s journey:

  1. Awareness: when buyers don’t know about you and you want to raise their awareness.
  2. Consideration: when buyers are evaluating and going deeper in their research.
  3. Conversion: when buyers finalize decisions and make a purchase.

Sprout Social suggests weaving awareness- and consideration-stage content together. Those two stages are usually where people rely on social media.

Multiple approaches

This is one of the most effective ways to prospect. When you combine this with your other techniques like cold calling or emails or regular mail, you’ll see great success.

Apply this today. Identify five people to connect with in your industry. If you do that every day for a week, you’ll have 25 new connections by the end of the week.

Strive to create the social selling your customers want to increase your effectiveness and improve your outcomes.

“Social Selling Your Customers Want” episode resources

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

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

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

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

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

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

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Customer

TSE 1077: Which Type Of Customers Are The Best?

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Customer

 

 

A sudden influx of new leads seems like a dream come true, but you often have to determine which type of customers are the best in order to assess whether it’s really a good thing.

If you haven’t yet grabbed a copy of The Transparency Sale: How Unexpected Honest and Understanding the Buying Brain Can Transform Your Results by Todd Caponi, get it before he joins us on the podcast in the near future.

In the book, he discusses the three types of buyers.

The active buyer

The active buyer is looking for a solution. He understands the problem and he wants to solve it. These are your inbound leads.

They understand their problem well enough to initiate research to try to find a solution to the problem. They may seek a quote for your product or service, and they are proof that your marketing is working.

These buyers are finding your website.

These buyers are also more than likely going to commoditize you. They are likely considering three to five different vendors and because they don’t have all the details about your company, they are going to try to differentiate you based on price as well as features.

Although they know they have issues that they must solve, they don’t care about the intricacies of your company. They simply need to solve a problem and get the best deal possible.

The passive buyer

The passive buyers recognize that a problem likely exists but they aren’t prioritizing it.

In his book, Todd compares it to the small problems at your house that need to be addressed eventually but that aren’t a priority right now. Maybe the handle on your door is broken or the blinds need to be repaired. It isn’t the end of the world if you fail to complete them.

Passive buyers will eventually get around to solving the problem.

The status quo buyers

These status quo buyers are happy with things as they are. They aren’t thinking about the future; they’ve learned to operate just fine the way things are. Imagine the guy who has a flip phone and doesn’t see the need for a smartphone.

He doesn’t want to change, perhaps because he doesn’t recognize that better options exist. Or maybe he’s worried that the smartphone will be too complicated and he won’t be able to learn it well. Change feels too complex, so he decides to stay with the status quo.

But what if someone could educate him and teach him to use the cell phone?

Challenging buyers

In my own experience, many of my most challenging leads were the active buyers. You might be thinking that these are the kinds of buyers we’d most like to have, and that would be the case if they were always perfectly ready to buy.

If my company was always the front-runner, that would be a great situation for us. But we’re not always the front-runner, and sometimes we’re simply an after-thought.

The buyer is likely considering several companies before making a decision because that’s how the buying department has structured its purchases.

The question becomes can we persuade them to buy once we’re having a conversation?

Best customers

From my coaching and training experience, and based upon Todd’s recommendations, we’ve discovered that the status quo buyers are often the best ones.

Your job is to teach them and help them to recognize unconsidered need.

Consider the book The Challenger Sale. When we can open the prospect’s mind to something he doesn’t know about, we can create the possibility of change. If you can reveal the problem, you can be the front-runner.

Also check out the book Three Value Conversations to help you understand the education process that sellers must adopt.

Managing customers

You’ll ultimately discover that you have all three kinds of customers in your pipeline and you must learn to manage them. The perfect buyers that are the perfect size who reach out to you? Those are the unicorns.

You must prepare for all three kinds of buyers. You may even find that you’re better equipped to interact with one kind of customer over another.

I’d love to hear your insights about each of these kinds of customers and which you like best.

“Which Type Of Customers Are The Best” episode resources

Grab a copy of The Transparency Sale: How Unexpected Honest and Understanding the Buying Brain Can Transform Your Results.

Also grab a copy of the book The Challenger Sale and the book Three Value Conversations

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

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

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

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

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

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Ned Leutz, Zoominfo, Sales Script

TSE 1073: Throw Away Your Sales Script And Do More Creative, Engaging Selling

Ned Leutz, Zoominfo, Sales ScriptSales scripts put sellers inside a box and lock them into selling a certain way, but when you throw away your sales script and do more creative, engaging selling, you’ll increase your conversion.

Ned Leutz runs two teams for ZoomInfo, a business data and technology company that helps salespeople get in touch faster and drive more meetings and more sales. He’ll talk today about throwing away the script in your sales efforts to increase your flexibility and your success.

Fast answers

People are accustomed to getting fast answers without ever having to engage with a person. By the time the prospect makes contact, the salesperson with a script may prove to be less flexible than the Internet. When that’s the case, there’s really no need for a salesperson.

Ned believes that giving a salesperson a script is the “kiss of death” and that scripts don’t drive conversion or sales.

Salespeople who are limited by scripts will often fail to connect with the prospect’s problem. If the goal is to find mutual challenges that you can solve together, the script will be extremely inefficient.

Instead of operating from a script, Ned suggests providing a map to sales reps. He believes in setting an agenda with the main goal of finding a point of mutual connection.

Solving problems

Ned’s team starts with the question, “Why did you decide to take my call?” He says that most people don’t take a call with a salesperson unless they have a suspicion that the salesperson can solve a need.

About 90 percent of the time, the prospect faces a challenge that he needs help with. The other 10 percent might be a case of someone taking your call because you’re just a nice person. In those cases, you’ll have to work to qualify the prospect before moving forward.

The question seeks to discover what caught the prospect’s attention and prompted him to accept the phone call. It eliminates half of the guessing.

Start with the end

Begin from a point of mutual agreement. Either there’s a problem that you can solve or there isn’t. Once you’ve set that agenda, you’ve established an expectation for the conversation. You’ve earned the right to discover whether or not there’s a problem you can solve.

You can ask the key questions of your customer to identify the challenge.

The alternative is to play a sales version of whack-a-mole in which you’re constantly asking, “Is this it?” “Is this it?” You’ll bore the client who will much prefer to research on his own since he’ll likely perceive that you aren’t listening or guiding him.

Nobody is taking your B2B sales call without looking at your website first and deciding whether there is something there that catches their attention. You can assume that the prospect has done some research before accepting your call.

Cold calling

Ned wants sellers to throw away the script in cold calling because there’s enough information readily available to sellers that they should have a pretty good story for why they are calling each prospect. When you call a prospect, it’s a suspicion rather than a script. you’ve got a reason for calling.

Your customer will have the sense that he isn’t just a number on the list.

Ned points out that data companies can’t fix a broken sales process or a bad product. A data company can give your sellers the information they need at their fingertips to have a 90% story as to why they might be able to help a particular company.

Verifiable outcomes

Ned asks his managers to focus on verifiable outcomes. They’ll know that a rep had a really good discovery call if they understand that the client feels some sort of pain, they understand that the client is in a current state that he’d like to get out of, and he can answer the question, “What would you be able to do tomorrow that you can’t do today if you could solve this problem?”

One of the worst sales questions we ask is, “If you solved this problem, how much money would you make?” Most people have no idea.

Instead, ask, “If you solve this problem, how would you quantify the impact of that on your organization? Who else would be affected?”

It’s not important that the prospect be able to quantify it immediately. It’s important that the prospect understand the impact your solution will make.

That thinking will help them decide whether it’s worth making an investment.

Business case

Ned believes that if you can get cooperative collaboration on building a business case, you know that you have a good chance of closing the deal. He points to ineffective activity as the reason many sales teams struggle.

Scripts often result in ineffective cold calling, and data can hurt as well. If you spend your day calling switchboard numbers all day but you can’t get a single gate-keeper on the phone, you’ll have a hard time moving forward.

Ned’s company engages in proof of concept in which they inject direct phone numbers into an organization’s system and then ask the reps to engage in the same activity they always do. They know the conversations will convert at a much higher rate simply because they’re going to talk to more people live.

They’ll set up an experiment in which sellers make 10,000 phone calls across an SDR group without data and then 10,000 with the data and then evaluate the number of live connections and ultimately the number of meetings.

The outcome typically results in 10 more meetings a week, which is 520 more meetings a year.

Empower prospects

Help your prospects arrive at conclusions on their own. Rather than give them answers, allow them to discover the answers themselves.

“It sounds like you see value in this. Your team doesn’t have the right data and we can provide them the right data. If you had to build a business case, where would you start?”

About 90 percent of the time the customer will say, “That’s a great question. How do your customers usually start?”

At that moment, you’ve earned permission to share. You’ll earn your customers’ trust very quickly this way.

Framework

Scripts won’t get you where you need to be. Instead, give your team a framework under which they work to identify the client’s business case and then evaluate whether the expectations are reasonable.

If a customer expects to close 20 deals with a product that isn’t transactional and has a long sales process, that isn’t a very reasonable expectation. The sales rep must negotiate that expectation to something more reasonable.

It’s tempting to rely on scripts, especially when things aren’t going well. It’s also tempting to wrestle control away from your reps.

Instead, invest your energy into building a map and providing constant reminders around asking good questions.

You will close deals with a script, but you’ll close them at a lower dollar amount at a much slower frequency.

Instead of measuring the number of calls you made, measure the number of outcomes. If your number of calls falls, but the number of meetings increases, forget about the number of calls.

“Throw away your sales script” episode resources

You can connect with Ned Leutz on LinkedIn or email him at Ned.Leutz@zoominfo.com.

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

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

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

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

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

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Closing

TSE 1065: TSE Certified Sales Training Program – “Don’t Make The Closing an Event”

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, ClosingSellers are understandably focused on the closing of any deal but it’s important that we keep things in perspective and don’t make the closing an event.

The truth is that every transaction has a beginning, a middle, and an end, but we often get so focused on the closing that we unnecessarily freak ourselves out.

This conversation comes from our TSE Certified Sales Training Program, our sales coaching program that helps sellers maximize their effectiveness.

Sales process

The sales process naturally builds toward a close where the client signs the deal and then everyone celebrates. Our challenge as sellers is to avoid the temptation to make the closing the entire focus of the sale.

Focus throughout the sale on building value. Initiate conversations that address your prospects’ challenges and difficulties. Realize that you’ll never get to the closing if you don’t effectively address the buyers’ objections.

Help the buyer feel confident in this deal by sharing stories that provide value and dispel your customers’ objections. Instead of waiting for your customer to offer his objections, bring them up on your own terms as a way of building trust.

Red flags won’t go away simply because you ignore them. They don’t typically diffuse themselves, and your decision to wait until the end of the process to address them could cost you your deal.

Growing problems

Like many other relationships in life, struggles between buyer and seller don’t naturally disappear over time. In fact, problems often get bigger and worse as we fail to address them.

A single demo for your client won’t magically offset all his concerns, so don’t wait until then to address his objections. If he has concerns about your product or service, it won’t likely matter how good your demo is: you won’t overcome his hesitation until you address the problems.

Addressing fears

Whether you’re selling water, computers, or houses, your buyer doesn’t want to part with his hard-earned cash until you’ve addressed his fears.

He may want a new house. He may even need a new house. But he has fears of his own:

  • What if he can’t afford this house?
  • What if an unforeseen issue comes up?
  • How much will hurricane insurance cost?

Help him minimize those risks and fears throughout the process. That way, when he gets to the end of the transaction, those fears won’t be an issue.

Prospecting

Hubspot reported recently that as many as 40 percent of salespeople don’t like prospecting and about 30 percent struggle with closings. As a result, we tend to make closings a big deal in our own heads because we’ve worked so hard to find a prospect and get to this point.

Instead of viewing it as a huge event, we should think of it as a natural byproduct of the sales process, and we should move the buyer smoothly through to conversion.

Conversion begins the moment I start building value for my prospect. If I focus on blind-side challenges and identifying key problems, I can address objections early and minimize the risk that my deal will fall apart.

My goal is to eliminate any reasonable doubt about whether I’m the right vendor for the prospect.

Pitching yourself

If you’re able to identify the companies your prospect is currently working with, you’ll be better able to pitch your own strengths against theirs. You can identify the competition’s weaknesses and use those to make your case.

Share stories about past clients who have left that company to work with you and explain why they made that choice.

Build one-on-one conversations into your process as often as possible so you can clarify any questions as they develop. Once you understand the big issues that will likely sabotage your deal, you can help everyone get to the same page.

Follow your demonstrations with an email outreach offering to address any new questions the prospect has.

Avoid pushing objections to the end of the process. Make objections and questions a constant part of your dialogue so that you minimize any risk toward the end of the deal.

Strive to create a smooth experience for your customer.

“Don’t Make The Closing an Event” episode resources

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

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

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

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

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

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Hiring, Liam Martin, Donald Kelly, Remote Sales Team

TSE 1059: Sales From The Street – “Building A Remote Sales Team”

Hiring, Liam Martin, Donald Kelly, Remote Sales Team

For business owners looking to scale their efforts, there are important factors involved in building a remote sales team, and implementing them can mean the difference between success and failure.

Liam Martin runs three companies related to managing remote workers: TimeDoctor.com, Staff.com, and his passion project, which is a conference on building and scaling remote teams. His organization helps companies monitor their remote employees’ productivity and efficiency.

He points to the fact that, early in his career, he waited too late to build a sales team, which is the meat-and-potatoes of his business.

Create solutions

Founders of a company have an understanding of the product or service that most sales reps won’t have. Founders may recognize as many as 10 different problems that you could tailor your product around or have meaningful conversations around.

Sales reps won’t necessarily recognize that many problems, so they may not have access to as many meaningful conversations.

The key, then, is hiring a proper sales manager. Sometimes the founder’s ego causes him to believe that he can effectively run a sales team, and he doesn’t recognize his shortcomings.

You must take a hard look at yourself and determine whether you’re truly a good sales leader. When Liam recognized that he wasn’t a good sales manager, he fired himself and hired a proper sales manager.

Be honest enough to determine what you can best do for your organization and then do that.

 Hiring process

Liam’s company has three different stages of hiring remotely. He suggests that many remote teams aren’t as effective as the leadership believes they are.

Liam points to the bullpen, or the area where junior employees are grouped together in a single workspace. The idea is that the employees will train and work together and benefit from one another’s experiences.

Remote employees don’t have a bullpen so it’s impossible to pick up nonverbal selling techniques that some employees are successfully using. Everyone is disconnected, so very often these sales teams won’t hit quota despite their training. As a result, they leave the company.

To solve the problem, Liam’s company works with remote salespeople for about a month. During that time, he has to either close an inbound deal or generate some kind of outbound activity. Based on that success, the company decides whether to invest more into the employee.

He says that although it’s an expensive system, building a remote sales team is ROI positive.

Self-motivated activity

Successful remote employees must be self-motivated. Once the company hires a new remote employee and decides to invest in him, the company flies him to the sales manager in Canada where he will train in the office for three months.

The employee will either hit quota by the end of three months and will have a job, or he will not hit quota by the end of that time, and he will go home without a job.

From that point, the system rewards good salespeople financially. Successful sellers will earn more with this company than they will at other companies. At the same time, the pay structure is such that unsuccessful sellers won’t be able to survive.

The first three months, then, are critical to the seller’s success. Creating the bullpen experience has helped the company’s remote sellers be more successful.

Additionally, the company allows any employee to jump in on any Zoom call to ask for help or guidance.

Massive investment

Liam points to a need to identify those sellers who can talk the talk but can’t walk the walk. Because the company is making a massive investment into its new hires, it must be able to quickly determine which employees are likely to be successful and which ones are not.

On average, his company has found that it can take anywhere from three to six months to determine whether an employee will be successful. Its goal is to shorten that period when possible.

The company would prefer a clear “yes” or “no” to a “maybe.” The more time it spends dealing with an employee who is a “maybe,” the more money it invests without fully knowing whether it will get anything in return.

“Building a Remote Sales Team” episode resource

If you want to learn more about building or scaling a remote team, visit runningremote.com. It’s a conference being held in Bali, and if you’ve never been to Bali, it’s another great reason to go.

If you’d like to get in touch with Liam, he’s excited about his interactions on YouTube right now, and you can find him at youtube.com/runningremote. After consuming the content, feel free to ask questions in the comments and he’ll be happy to respond.

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

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

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

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

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Donald Kelly, Chala Dincoy, Closing The Deal, EMSDC,

TSE 1056: 5 Closing Mistakes That Prolong the Selling Cycle

Many small business owners and sales reps face challenges with closing, and there are five closing mistakes that will prolong your selling cycle.

I met Chala Dincoy at the Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council ROAR Conference, and today she’ll talk to us about the mistakes that can delay or prolong your selling cycle.

Chala is an elevator pitch coach who helps people get into the room. Then, once they’ve landed a sales meeting, she helps them close it faster.

The greatest challenge, she said, is getting the appointment because people don’t stand out. About 86 percent of buyers think you’re the same as your competition. Now she teaches reps how to get through the noise and stand out.

Interestingly, she pointed out that many companies don’t use titles like “sales rep” on their business cards anymore because it puts people off to see that someone is in sales.

Thought leadership

That’s the first closing mistake.

The second is you haven’t specifically addressed the customers’ pain points. So now you’re in the wrong room and the wrong people are in the room with you.

You end up talking to lower level managers who pass you off over and over. As a result, you’re never able to get to the influencers that you need to reach.

The real trick, then, is to change your marketing so that you’re in front of decision makers all the time.

Since Chala’s sweet spot is diversity businesses, she works to get in front of conferences where those people are gathered. She has their business cards and they are talking to her at conferences.

This is the kind of marketing you should do, via speaking, networking, blogging, and any other kind of thought leadership.

Branding

Your branding is one of the tools that gets you into the room. Sheryl Sandberg is a celebrity in the business world, and you can do the same thing in the world of your target.

Chala recalls being at a recent conference where five people hugged her as she got off of an elevator. Though she didn’t know them, she says it’s a sign that you’re becoming known in your industry.

Once they know who you are, it’s really easy to land an appointment. It’s easy to invite them to an executive round table and for them to say yes.

Realize, too, that though everyone might be able to benefit from what you’re selling, not everyone needs it. We all sit in chairs, for example, but I may not need the kind of chair you’re selling.

Pain

Seventy percent of humans purchase based upon pain, so if they have a problem, they buy. The flip side is that only 30 percent of people will buy if you’re selling based on improving something.

Chala is fond of the saying, “No pain, no sale.” The third mistake is trying to sell something without addressing pain.

Stories have to be about the pain. When you’re in a presentation, offer case studies of pain. Your elevator pitch has to be based on pain. And all of it has to be the same pain.

We must niche down and focus.

Stop talking about yourself. No one cares how many offices you have or how many awards you’ve won.

Your prospects only care about the pain.

The purse

You must have both the budget and the authority in the room with you. Failure to do so is mistake number four.

We often call it the purse and the pain. If the pain doesn’t have the purse, no decision can be made, and vice versa.

As an extension of that, lower level managers may talk about a different kind of pain that company leadership will. If you base your entire presentation around one person’s pain, especially if that person isn’t the decision maker, your presentation will miss its mark.

You must have both people in the room.

Finally, avoid leaving without a next appointment. You must establish a next step with your prospects.

If they tell you they can’t commit to a date because there are other stakeholders involved and they don’t know all the schedules, then set a date to get a date. In other words, schedule a day that you’ll call to set up the next appointment.

If they aren’t willing to give you a date, it’s a really strong indicator that they aren’t going to buy.

Stop talking about yourself and connect with their pain points.

“Closing Mistakes” episode resources

You can connect with Chala at LinkedIn or at repositioner.com and you can take a quiz to determine how good your elevator pitch is.

We are currently in the Beta portion of our new TSE Certified Sales Training Program. The first section is about prospecting, the second is all about building value, and the third is about closing.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. If 2018 wasn’t the best year for you, check out TSE Certified Sales Training Program. We can help you out of your slump.

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

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

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

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

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

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Key Stakeholder, Donald Kelly, Decision Maker

TSE 1055: TSE Certified Sales Training Program – “Key Stakeholders”

As you move closer to the end of a deal, you’ll likely encounter more objections, and identifying key stakeholders is the secret to overcoming those challenges.

As you move into deeper conversation with the prospect, you may not realize that there are other people involved in the process, even if you aren’t directly interacting with them. Your job as seller is to find out who they are.

Today we’ll help you understand who those key stakeholders are, how you should work with them, and how you can prepare for the process.

Initial interest

Imagine you have an initial conversation with someone who is interested in your lawn care business. You generated some interest and they expressed a desire to know more. You’ll naturally address how you’ve helped other people in the past and take other steps to build value.

At this point, you’ll want to find out who else will be involved in this conversation. Typically, though, sellers neglect to ask that question.

Ideally, you should find out whether the prospect has made a decision like this before. If so, has it been a long time?

You do this kind of work on a day-to-day basis, but the prospect doesn’t. He needs guidance, and you can help him move forward.

Identifying stakeholders

Avoid making him feel as though he isn’t competent to make the decision. Instead of asking him who should be involved in the next call, ask it this way: “At this point in the conversation, my clients typically invite other people into the conversation.”

Instead of asking whether he’d like to invite others in, I would simply ask him who he would like to invite into the conversation. He might identify the CFO or the decision maker.

Next, I would point out that, in order to make sure the next meeting is as valuable as possible, I’d like to know whether I can connect with some of those stakeholders to find out what they’d like to hear.

If he has an objection, reframe the request so that he’s the one making the contact with his stakeholders on your behalf. Keep him involved in the process so he feels comfortable.

Cast of characters

The first stakeholder is your decision maker. He tends to be the person that sellers most often keep their eyes on because he’s the one that will do the final sign-off.

But he may not get involved until later in the process. The decision maker may expect the influencer and the champion to do all of the hard work.

Second is your influencer or the person who has the ear of your decision maker. She may be the right-hand person of your decision maker, or she may just be someone who has a connection with him.

In some companies, this may be an administrative assistant, and sales reps must be mindful not to overlook these people. These executive assistants often wield much influence with the leadership.

My wife worked in a similar position once, and her recommendation often depended on how the sellers treated her when they called into the office.

End users are the people who will use the product or service you’re offering, and they’re the ones you’ll likely interact with the most. We must make sure that they understand us and that we understand them.

The buyer will sign the check to close the deal. If he doesn’t like the deal, he will likely have key influence in it.

The champion is the person who likes you and who brought you into the fold. She invited your team to consider the possibility of hiring you.

The champion

We recently did an entire episode about the importance of the champion. The discussion centered around the fact that sellers often focus so intently on the decision maker that they neglect the champion.

In actuality, though, the champion is the one that you’ll interact with the most, and he’ll be the one that has the most interaction with his team.

He’s the one that wrangles the group through the decision-making process. He’s the quarterback, but he must have your support in order to succeed. If he doesn’t have it, he may lose the desire to champion your cause.

The knights

The dark night doesn’t necessarily have interest in your product or service. He’s usually the member of the organization who is a little bit apprehensive, and it’s in your best interest to discover who he is and why he is a dark knight.

The champion, of course, is your white knight. He will tell the company why it should hire you. He believes so strongly in what you have to offer that he’ll work to sell you internally.

The white knight will likely recognize the dark knight, so you can ask him who it is and what his concerns are. Gather as much intel as you can about the dark knight so you’ll know how to address his potential objections.

Handling the dark knight

Make sure you have a conversation with the dark knight prior to the meeting. Present information to Doug that addresses those concerns and ask him during that conversation whether there is anything specific he’d like to see in the presentation.

In some cases, the dark knight will be the person who made the previous decision and whose decision is potentially being undone by your company. Make him part of the process and compliment the work he has done.

Add on to the value and break down the existing barriers.

When you give the demonstration, you’ll be more effective because you took the time to identify these characters.

“Key Stakeholders” episode resources

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

The next semester begins in April.

If you’re not familiar with the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, it’s a program designed to help brand new sales reps, as well as those who have been selling forever. The 12-week module offers videos you can watch at your own pace, as well as the option to join a group discussion. We address three topics: finding, building value, and closing. It’s amazing and it’s fun!

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

The episode is also brought to you by prospect.io, a sales automation platform that allows you to send cold emails in a personalized manner. To find out more about how it can help you automate your sales process, go to prospect.io/tse. Your prospecting will never be the same.

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

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Peter Chun, Lucidchart, Salesforce, Sales Podcast

TSE 1053: How To Effectively Map And Create Multithreaded Relationships In Enterprise Deals

Peter Chun,

Sales constantly evolves and sellers who want to be successful must effectively map and create multithreaded relationships in order to close more deals. Peter Chun talks today about the importance of multithreaded relationships and the challenge for reps who must establish them.

Peter fell in love with the convergence of sales and data and has found a personal passion for it. He loves strategizing about how to close deals and about how to help your company scale and grow.

Evolving sales

The biggest obstacle for B2B sellers right now is the evolving face of sales. Buyers are more sophisticated, and they have more information at their fingertips. They do a lot of research before they even engage with a salesperson.

Additionally, the number of stakeholders within B2B deals is increasing, with research indicating that complex deals often include 6 to 10 stakeholders.

The big challenge, then, is finding and creating multithreaded relationships because too often they are single threaded. Many reps, either because of laziness or lack of awareness, fail to establish more than one relationship within a deal. They rely on a single relationship to get the deal done.

Multithreaded relationships

Being multithreaded doesn’t simply refer to your customers. It’s important that sellers create multithreaded relationships within their own companies as well.

Who else, besides your prospect, needs to be part of the conversation you’re having? Who else on your team has relationships that can be leveraged to build a solid foundation?

One of Peter’s reps teaches his reps to always do discovery because it keeps them aware of the details of the deal and helps them to stay relevant.

If you’re multithreaded, you have other contacts that can help you move a deal forward.

Unnecessary risk

Even when you believe that you have the juice to close a deal, you leave yourself open to risk if you fail to be multithreaded. You may, in fact, be connected to the right person, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t others who can help move the deal forward as well.

Many reps simply haven’t been coached to do this well. Sales leaders must coach them well and teach them how to have a multithreaded perspective.

In the case of a complex account, there may be hundreds of employees. There may be years of history between you and your prospect making it difficult to know where to even start.

Peter says that visually mapping the process will help you keep track of your efforts.

  • Who are you talking to?
  • Where does each employee sit?
  • Who does each employee report to?
  • What are the relationships within that organization?

Becoming multithreaded

In order to establish a multithreaded perspective, begin by figuring out all the people you already know. Start with who you’ve met or spoken to in the organization.

Step two is to identify all your targets or the people you’d like to talk to.

Third, add the executive team. Include the CEO and any executive leadership that you think is relevant to the conversation.

You can then figure out who reports to whom and who is pursuing specific initiatives. The goal is to drive consensus across the organization, so I must identify the leaders who can move this initiative forward.

Recognizing your prospects’ initiatives demonstrates an interest and it suggests that you’re more than an order-taker; you’re paying attention to the details.

Common mistakes

Some managers get so focused on their numbers that they fail to develop a real strategy. As soon as organizations allow their sellers to be a little more strategic, they’ll find that their activities are much more scalable.

Account mapping has been around for a long time, but now we have the technology to use a more systemized approach to it and tie it into our CRM.

Young sales leaders simply haven’t been exposed to enough deals to think that way. But great sales leaders think that way naturally.

Help your less tenured sellers learn to think that way.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with this idea but begin with your top account. Implement the three steps with that account, will help you begin really moving your deals.

Build the discipline within yourself and your team to be multithreaded. Even if you’re certain it will close, you can still consider who else you have access to.

When you’re multithreaded, you have more options when your contacts go dark. Remember to focus on internal and external connections.

“Create Multithreaded Relationships” episode resources

You can connect with Peter on LinkedIn and you can sign up for LucidChart and check out their sales templates.

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

The next semester begins in April.

If you’re not familiar with the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, it’s a program designed to help brand new sales reps, as well as those who have been selling forever. The 12-week module offers videos you can watch at your own pace, as well as the option to join a group discussion. It’s broken into three sections: finding, building value, and closing. It’s amazing and it’s fun!

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

The episode is also brought to you by prospect.io, a sales automation platform that allows you to send cold emails in a personalized manner. To find out more about how it can help you automate your sales process, go to prospect.io/tse. Your prospecting will never be the same.

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

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Garrett Mehrguth, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1046: You Need to Worry More About Your Champion Than Your Decision Maker

Garrett Mehrguth, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistSometimes sales professionals get it backward, and they fail to understand the need to worry more about your champion than your decision maker.

Today Garrett Mehrguth talks to us about the importance of your champion in your sales deals, and why we shouldn’t lose sight of his importance.

Sometimes there’s great value in changing the defaults we learn as salespeople. We tend to become so obsessed with the decision makers that we overlook the champions, who are arguably the most important person in the whole scenario.

How decisions are made

Salespeople sometimes focus so greatly on getting a close that we neglect the fundamental truths involved in selling. In fact, we alienate people and we become our own worst enemy.

It isn’t price; it’s me. Most often, we are the reason that deals don’t close. It’s a direct result of who we speak to, who we don’t speak to, the way we end a conversation, the way we treat people, how well we prepare.

We must have transparency and honesty to admit that often we’re the reason we don’t close a deal.

Salespeople are quick to take credit for successes and slow to take responsibility for failures. #SalesTruth

Garrett believes that if we would build our resources and our marketing toward decision makers, we would drastically improve our conversion rates.

How deals emerge

Once a decision-maker recognizes he has a need, he might send a subordinate to a conference to talk to vendors. He might instruct the person to get three quotes and then bring his two favorites to the decision-maker. Once that’s done, the two will make a decision together.

He might suggest filling out 10 forms on the way to finding three good options. The pair will whittle those to two good options before making a decision.

The problem is that if you speak over the champion or speak through the champion or speak around the champion, you alienate your greatest ally.

Why you need the champion

The champion is your greatest asset while you’re not in the room, so if you alienate that person, you’re losing an important ally. You alienate the person who could potentially go to bat for you once you hang up the phone.

Good decision-makers make decisions by asking the champion whether or not he could work with that agency. So who truly puts their butt on the line?

It isn’t the decision-maker, because he has a fall guy.

The champion is the one who needs the information, the emotional support, and the resources to make a good decision. If you honor the champion with amazing intro calls, lots of sales resources, and well-prepared meetings, you give him the ammo to pitch you internally.

Why the decision-maker shouldn’t be your focus

In five years of working with marketing teams, Garrett has never heard anyone mention targeting the champion. Instead, we treat decision-makers as though they have some kind of supernatural power.

The decision-maker is never the point of contact. If he isn’t the point of contact, and he isn’t the one who will be working with the agency you choose, he isn’t the one to target.

Remember that everyone is selling to the decision-maker, including the champion. The decision-maker’s job is to discern the best fit for his champion. So even if he likes a certain agency better, if that agency can’t work with his champion, it won’t matter.

Deal retention is far more important than closing deals. Even if you manage to close a deal, if you don’t treat the champion well, you won’t renew it. You won’t get referrals from it.

In Garrett’s mind, there isn’t a single aspect of the process where the decision-maker is more important than the champion.

Avoiding absolutes

He acknowledges, too, that absolutes are dangerous. It’s certainly not true that the decision-maker should never, ever be considered.

Instead, let’s work to change the fundamental hypothesis that we as marketers and sales reps enter relationships with.

If we spend more time building rapport with the point of contact, you will drastically improve your close rate because you are building confidence and comfort with the most important voice in the room.

You need a champion who will give you a voice during moments when you aren’t in the room because that’s often when deals are decided. You won’t close $150,000 contracts while you’re in the room. It happens behind closed doors, and you won’t likely be there when it does.

Shifting focus to champions

Give your champions resources to bolster their confidence. Make that your primary goal.

Your champion is likely scared to death of going to his boss with a recommendation. His discernment and character will be judged by the referral he makes. Anytime you give a referral to someone, your own judgment is on the line.

Challenge things that other people won’t do. Put your neck on the line by offering evidence and claims that protect the champion when he goes to his boss. You take the risk so your champion doesn’t have to.

It will give him the confidence to recommend your agency and it will differentiate you from the competition.

In order to be successful, do the opposite of what everyone else is doing.

Building confidence

Garrett’s company operates on annual contracts, and they give the point of contact room to act if he doesn’t feel completely comfortable in the relationship. By backing up their claims, it gives the champion room to cover himself if he makes a bad choice in hiring them.

If you create alignment with the champion, you’ll create alignment with the decision-maker. At the end of the day, the decision-makers just have to make more money than you’re charging them.

The champion has to have a day-to-day relationship with you. You can’t neglect that relationship.

It’s why you must develop resources that speak directly to your champion.

Even when it’s time to renew, the champion will get to decide whether to continue working with your agency. Regardless of the data, if the relationship isn’t there, the deal won’t renew.

Change your perspective to focus on champions, and your volume will drastically improve. There are far more champions looking for vendors than there are decision-makers.

You’ll also increase your deal retention and reduce churn.

Change your prospecting and marketing to focus on the champions, you’ll increase your at-bats and your close rate.

“You Need to Worry More About Your Champion Than Your Decision Maker” episode resources

You can connect with Garrett on LinkedIn @garrettmehrguth, email him at gmehrguth@directiveconsulting.com, or connect with him on Twitter @gmehrguth.

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

Mailtag.io 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.

This episode is also brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. If 2018 wasn’t the best year for you, check out TSE Certified Sales Training Program. We 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.

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.

Tamara Thompson, Donald Kelly, Convincing, Closing

TSE 1033: How To Turn A No To A Maybe To A YES!

Tamara Thompson, Donald Kelly, Convincing, ClosingAs sales reps, we all want to know how to turn a ‘No,’ to a ‘Maybe,’ to a ‘Yes!’

Tamara Thompson is the owner of a creative video production company that brings compelling stories and brands to life; from events to influencers to business owners. It is for those who need marketing assistance or who seek to broadcast their authority across different social media platforms.

Video is her forte’. She is very passionate about it and has directed several documentaries.

Tamara started using a video camera at the age of 7 and followed her dream into film school before launching her own business, Serious Take Productions, in 2012.

She is now focused on building her sub-brand, Broadcast your Authority, to help empower more female business owners – from taking the stage, to gaining media exposure, to implementing video that will attract and keep attention.

Tamara knows full well that receiving a ‘No’ in sales is inevitable. She used to take it personally until she read The Four Agreements, a book which she credits with changing her life.

Moving beyond ‘No’

Now, she views ‘no’ with a different mindset. That ‘no’ can turn into a ‘maybe’ and then into a ‘yes’ when you have the mentality and are able to think abundantly in order to handle rejection. Taking rejection personally only allows it to spiral out of control into negative feelings about one’s abilities.

The more positivity flows around you, however, the more you are able to deal with objections. To handle the conversation, you have to be able to listen to why they are saying ‘no.’

It is a preemptive process. It is the preemptive way of thinking when entering into any conversation: don’t expect a ‘no,’ but recognize that it may happen and be prepared.

When facing ‘no’ as an answer, it is time to discover why the hesitation exists. In this way, you can provide a different solution that caters better to the needs of your clients.

As the owner of a professional video company, Tamara knows she has the one-up in many situations simply because, in order to build a relationship with her clients, she needs to know exactly what entices them most and what they need most.

As an example, Tamara recalls hosting a ‘sale from the stage event.’ It’s a selling opportunity to a massive amount of people who are then invited to ask questions and to sign up for video retreats.

One woman, in particular, had many questions about her unique situation. Tamara was able to zero in on the specific hesitations of the prospect and cater to her needs as a result.

Relating to the prospect and fully trying to understand the reasons behind any hesitation is how Tamara is able to turn a ‘no’ into a ‘yes.’

Listening

She doesn’t view ‘no’ as a rejection or a lack of interest but rather as a call for more information. A weak seller might give up but a great seller will try to be helpful, to relate, and to listen.

When you truly care about the people you are working with and for and want to build a relationship with them, it is easier to steer conversations toward ‘yes.’ Once you understand the struggles and objections, it is easier to respond properly.

Tamara is passionate about her business. She is confident that listening and empathy can go a long way in helping sales reps close deals even if they are not particularly passionate about their product.

New sellers sometimes don’t know what to listen for.

Tamara recommends doing research on any person you hope to speak with. Take time to learn their lifestyle and interests and what their brand and business look like. Then tailor your questions accordingly.

The right questions – the right amount of interest in what the prospect is already doing – can open them up to tell you more.

Find out why they do what they do and where they want to go.

Most prospects are passionate about their business and when they are hesitant to make a change, you can hear it in their voice. Once you understand their goals, you can help them past the hesitation.

Being persistent

If a hesitant ‘no’ is still the answer, Tamara recommends follow-up.

Aim for a ‘maybe’ even if it means following-up multiple times, or several months later, because people are busy and can’t always respond the first time.

Once the prospect realizes that the sales rep is attempting to provide a solution and to help versus just trying to make a sale, it opens doors.

Persistence and the ability to listen to the real concerns of any prospect are Tamara’s key pieces of advice.

The more they can see the value in what you offer, the more ‘no’ moves to ‘yes.’

“How to turn a ‘No,’ to a ‘Maybe,’ to a ‘Yes!’” episode resources

Check out Tamara’s video content and learn about upcoming events on the Director Tamara Thompson Facebook page. You can learn more about compelling videos, event videos, and influencer and speaker trailers produced by Serious Take Productions at www.serioustakeproductions.com.

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

The next semester begins in April.

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.

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.

 

 

 

Dr. Zvi Guterman, Sales Presentation, Donald Kelly, Giving Prospects Hands-On Control During Presentations and Leave Behind

TSE 1021: The Value of Giving Prospects Hands-on Control During Presentations and Leave-Behind

What is the value of giving prospects hands-on control during presentations and leave behinds?

Zvi Guterman, founder and CEO of CloudShare, is here today to tell us. CloudShare is a cloud company providing IT labs as a service mainly for IT training, IT sales enablement, and sandboxing, all in the cloud.

Like most entrepreneurs, Zvi got the idea for CloudShare when faced with a problem that needed a solution. In previous positions, there was always a point in the sales process when Zvi needed to build a demo or training talk.

When he realized how much time and work he was spending to build that infrastructure, as opposed to actually doing the demo and closing the deal, he knew there had to be a better way.

He looked but couldn’t find a service to create labs for him, so he decided to create that service.

Ten years and $30 million later, Zvi has seen a lot.

Hands-on control during presentations

Zvi learned from working with his customers and users that, once a prospect is given a hands-on experience, the level of commitment from those prospects increases.

It is no longer some vague idea that you are selling but rather a tangible product.

When the clients understand how the software works, for example, it is easier for them to imagine using it. They are more committed and less worried because their questions are answered. It also allows sales to collaborate with the prospects on how best to utilize the product.

A hands-on experience allows sales to move control of the demonstration to the prospect. It increases the prospect’s understanding of the product and allows them the opportunity to ask questions they may not even know they had.

Onboarding then becomes super enjoyable.

Begin by answering simple questions and explaining terminology. Then, proceed together to determine other areas to test, what type of specific functionality to add, or which performance issues need to be addressed. It also enables sales to personalize a timeline and success criteria for each prospect.

Other benefits of the hands-on approach 

Client engagement increases retention. The hands-on process increases usage and reduces the risk of the prospects buying but never deploying the product simply because they don’t have the time to install or set it up.

Cases will still arise where the product is not a good match for your prospect. But looking at the big picture, you want to see the No’s. Hands-on presentations shorten the time spent on irrelevant leads because the prospects will see right away whether the product is a match for their needs.

Most times, salespeople focus on leads or clients that are not going to progress. Engaging the customer with hands-on opportunities saves times and energy for everyone.

Zvi insists that the demonstration parameters be the same parameters the prospects can expect when the product is deployed to their data centers. They do not optimize or otherwise tweak the demonstration. This provides true value to the customers.

It also allows everyone the opportunity to enjoy the move toward deployment. The transition is smoother and the actual deployment is faster.

The duality of the hands-on process

The prospects are happy with the duality of the hands-on process. On one hand, they have control of the environment. No one will interfere or touch their data.

At the same time, sales is available to answer any questions and to collaborate.

An in-house test lab is probably the most common scenario in many organizations but scheduling use of the lab is both cumbersome and expensive.

CloudShare simplifies and reduces that cost by reducing the amount of lab time.  Hands-on demonstrations are more efficient, more powerful, and less expensive.

Providing hands-on demonstrations and a trial in the cloud also allows for more and more advanced scenarios. Zvi sees people utilizing all the available tools together and becoming more efficient.

People are now using the data available in CloudShare to calculate the probability of engagement. They can also determine where to concentrate their efforts and to learn about new directions to take.

It allows people to collaborate and get the best results.

For example, if a sales rep on the east coast notices better results from a demo being used on the west coast, he can quickly learn more about it and how best to apply it. With CloudShare, team members can share improvements implement them on a global scale.

Organizations become more efficient as a result.

“Giving Prospects Hands-on Control during Presentations and Leave-Behinds” episode resources

The best way to reach Zvi is via email at Zvi@Cloudshare.com.

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!

 

Brian Manning, Donald Kelly, PatientPing, hitting your quarterly number

TSE 1016: How to Deal With The Pressure of Hitting Your Quarterly Number

Brian Manning, Donald Kelly, PatientPing, hitting your quarterly numberWe’ve all experienced that sinking feeling in sales as we near the end of another month … so how do you deal with the pressure of hitting your quarterly number? It’s not easy, especially without the proper guidance.

Brian Manning, SVP & Head of Growth at PatientPing, works to help startups grow their ideas and he is here today to share insight on how to deal with the pressure of hitting your quarterly numbers.

PatientPing is a care coordination platform that helps healthcare providers collaborate with one another on shared platforms. Brian has been with PatientPing for three years now. He oversees their sales, marketing, government affairs, and partnerships.

From a sales leader standpoint, Brian thinks of quarterly numbers in terms of the Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) for each layer of the business: the overall company ARR, the sales team ARR and the individual sales rep ARR.

Will, Should, Could

Sales reps often feel the pressure to perform and, as a leader, Brian likes to have his reps 3x their pipeline as they enter the quarter. As the quarter goes on, however, and things become more sophisticated, Brian moves on to the ‘Will, Should, Could’ method.

This method involves marking each deal throughout the quarter as Will Close, Should Close and Could Close.  Wills usually equal about 95%, while Should is at 70% and Could is closer to 50%. The Sales Operation Team does this for each week for each rep to provide a projection for the quarter.

In this way, at any given week, the reps have a pretty good sense of where they stand in relation to their targets. Brian has found that the projections are smart and reliable.

The detective mindset

When sales reps feel pressure to hit their quarterly numbers, it is usually a result of a failure somewhere in the sales funnel. There might not be enough leads, the presentations may not convert into proposals, or the deals may be stuck in contract too long.

It is usually one specific thing that slows them down. It almost takes a detective mindset to figure it out sometimes, but it can be done.

A key factor in reducing the pressure of hitting your quarterly numbers begins with the numbers that are expected of the sales rep.

The rep needs to be comfortable with those numbers.

If they do not see a path toward achieving the goal set in front of them, they need to alert their manager right away – before the quarter even starts.

It should not be viewed as a sign of weakness, nor should a rep fail to come forward because of pride.  

As a manager, Brian knows it is important to listen to his team. The territory could be bad, the ramp might be too quick, or the training may need to be improved.

He does, however, require an intelligent and well-thought-out conversation rather than simple excuses.

You never want to send a rep out to achieve a quota he doesn’t feel he can meet. It’s not healthy for anyone.

With their detective hats on, the manager and the rep can then work together to specifically analyze the territory, the opportunity, and the various stages that the deals are in.

It has the benefit of making the sales rep more effective which, in turn, increases the likelihood of hitting the numbers in subsequent quarters.

Empathy

When the pressure is high or the number is high, it is especially important to take care of your health. Brian believes that nothing is insurmountable when you are feeling healthy and well.

A seller under too much pressure – one with any type of resentment towards the product or the company  – will not be a seller who gives his best. It will translate into his performance and affect the clients and the sales.

When a salesperson puts his energy into dealing with the things that he can’t control – an imperfect product or lack of marketing team support, for example – the salesperson will always lose.

In Brian’s experience, the number one difference between a great seller and a not-so-great seller is that the energy of the great seller goes to the areas where he has control. Don’t waste energy on things that will not help you reach your numbers, or succeed.

Your energy, as a salesperson, needs to go into selling under the conditions you are in. This does not mean, however, that you should hesitate to flag issues. If there is something wrong with the product or the process, it should certainly be brought to the attention of management.

There will always be that one guy who wants to complain regardless of the situation. But those reps that can focus and channel their energy into doing what is best for their client are the reps that will succeed.

Transparency

There is a seesaw to transparency. When a rep is doing really well and is on track to reach his quota, his manager will see it and will know the rep is doing fine. There is no reason to stress.

But if the rep isn’t doing well or the numbers are low, transparency needs to increase. Brian suggests something as simple as a weekly email to management to address what is working and what is not working. Being really honest and vulnerable in this way provides management with the information, and the opportunity, to improve the system. It helps everyone in the long run.

Many of us don’t like to admit when we are having trouble but it is always easier to address a problem when it is small rather than waiting until it is too big to handle.

Brian has found that, generally speaking, most sales reps that want to work for a start-up are self-starters. They are the ones who read sales books and listen to podcasts to further their own learning.

Horizontal learning

Over time, as a company grows, Brian will bring in sales trainers to coach and shadow. Until a solid infrastructure is up and running, however, Brian has created a system where his sales team sends out a weekly ‘Wins and Learning’ email to each other.

He also stresses that a good learning experience is more valuable than a big win. His team has become competitive to send out the best learning which scales across the team.

  • Be analytical
  • If you are doing well, document how you do it.
  • If you are not doing well, document why not. Be honest and lead the charge into fixing it.

“Hitting your Quarterly Numbers” episode resources

Brian has maintained a blog for the past ten years at Briancmanning.com. He is also on Twitter.

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

This episode is brought to you in part by 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.

Prospect.io is offering three months at half-price.

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.

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

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

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Tom Libelt, Salespeople, Uncertainty, Sales Deal

TSE 1013: How to Deal With Uncertainty as a Salesperson

Tom Libelt, The Sales Evangelist, Uncertainty as a SalespersonHow do you deal with uncertainty as a salesperson? It’s definitely a tough thing that can wipe some people out.

Tom Libelt has been a salesman for almost 20 years; inside sales, outside sales, retail, large corporations – you name it. He has a couple of his own companies as well and is currently focused on the marketing of online courses.

Tom credits just getting up every morning and going to work as the secret to his success. And, he never leaves anything half-finished.

You don’t have to accomplish ten million things in one day – aim for two or three. It is amazing how much you can achieve in a year if you just check two or three items off each day. You could record an album, get a degree, open a store …

In this way, Tom has been able to 5x his company in just three months.

Plan ahead

He says the trick is to plan ahead the night before so as not to lose your focus, momentum, and energy trying to figure it all out the next morning.

When Tom is in the middle of a really fun project, he sometimes will let it set overnight just so he can enjoy it again for another day. Leaving something overnight, however, also just bugs him the whole night; he can’t stop thinking about it.

He wakes up looking forward to finishing it. In his experience, completing a great project first thing in the morning establishes the work flow for the rest of the day.

You will already be in the mindset to get things done.

Dealing with uncertainty

Dealing with uncertainty is especially difficult as a salesperson. We hear ‘No’ more than anyone else in any profession.

It can be a real roller coaster ride: Got a sale! … No sale…. Almost got a sale …hot lead! … nothing.

It is especially hard when there is a target to hit. The ride can last two or three weeks before it lands on a sale. It’s a grind sometimes and it can chip away at your confidence – and increase your uncertainty – if you don’t have the experience to handle it.

As a salesperson, Tom defines uncertainty as a feeling that nothing is working. It is that moment when the negative thoughts start to take over and you begin to worry. It is when the confidence and experience you need to know you will be okay are not there.

Those moments are fueled by fear and the worst decisions are often made as a result.

Imagine trying to close a deal and being terrified of what might happen if you fail. The client can sense that fear and you will not close that deal despite all your abilities. The wrong value and emotions are transferred to the client. Clients don’t buy when they are scared.

You wouldn’t want a hesitant doctor – you want a confident doctor.  It is the same with sales.

Project confidence

We have to project competence, confidence, and professionalism. Tom isn’t concerned whether or not his clients like him but he does want them to trust and respect him.

Tom is of the belief that although having a strong opinion may not always earn you friends, it will earn you respect. Clients don’t want someone who is trying to cater to everyone; they want someone who is confident and able to fix their problem.

Tom and his no-nonsense approach have closed many sales. He doesn’t tell his clients what they want to hear. He tells them what they need to hear.

Sometimes the respect comes automatically because you are working for a well-established brand name but only you, as a salesperson, can earn trust and confidence.

If you are dealing with uncertainty, if you had a poor showing in 2018 for example, Tom believes that 99% of the time it stems from a lack of prospecting.

You have to prospect to fill the sales funnel. Sitting around waiting for the phone to ring is a recipe for uncertainty.

The fundamentals

If you follow the fundamentals, you can succeed. You have to make a start and you have to put in the work. Just because someone hung up on you one time doesn’t mean it will happen every time.

Don’t let uncertainty keep you from continuing to try.

I especially like working with novices because they aren’t afraid. It is the flip side of experience – they haven’t failed enough times to be afraid to try again.

Tom also believes that, as a whole, we have become soft. Instead of cold calling or going door-to-door, we now have technology that allows us to stay at our desk. We no longer have to deal with brutal weather or slamming doors.

Stop asking for permission.

Instead of asking your manager how to best handle a call, or what you should do next, Tom says to just do it! The worst thing that could happen is that the client will say ‘No.’

If that happens, and it will sometimes, just move on and try again. You never know what will happen unless you do it, unless you keep trying. You can’t score unless you step up to the plate and swing the bat.

Sales needs momentum.

Tom realizes that, in the past, he wasn’t always the most successful salesperson. He knows there were times when he slacked off on prospecting, especially after a having a good week. He was forced to restart the process over and over again as a result.

As long as you do what it takes, good things will happen.

Do prospect. Do fill that sales funnel. Stop the amateur nonsense. Leave the outrage and softness at the door.

“Uncertainty as a Salesperson” episode resources

Tom can be reached via smartbrandmarketing.com.

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!

 

 

Online Sales Course, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 1010: TSE Certified Sales Training Program – “BETA”

Online Sales Course, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

Sales professionals who lose track of the fundamental tasks involved in selling don’t perform as well, so we’ve created the TSE Certified Sales Training Program to help sellers stay focused on what’s important.

Sales includes many tedious tasks that, done together, help sellers be successful. The TSE Certified Sales Training Program focuses on fundamentals because we want to help you be proficient at selling.

Golf game

Golf demands precision. Small adjustments to your club or your stance can completely change your swing and where the ball lands.

It’s a tedious game, and the professionals who play it every day practice the same shots over and over to become proficient at it. If they don’t practice it repeatedly, they won’t perform well on the course. [03:19]
TSE’s Certified Sales Training Program intends to do the same thing for sellers. Our goal is to help sellers focus on the small, fundamental tasks on their way to becoming proficient.

I spoke to a VP of a major organization about fundamentals and why we miss them sometimes; things like prospecting, asking the right questions, building rapport, listening, building value, and closing.

Experienced sellers

I’ve come across many people who are experienced sellers that suddenly clam up and struggle to do things like prospecting. Fear paralyzes them and their pipelines dry up as a result. [04:02]

I typically discover that they never truly understood the fundamentals, so when they started to struggle, it wrecked their confidence.

The TSE Certified Sales Training Program is different than anything we’ve offered in the past. It’s 12-weeks long, and it’s broken up by month. Each month, we tackle the core struggles sellers face.

The first month addresses prospecting. The second deals with building value. The third area is conversion or closing.

Each month includes four modules and each module includes 30 minutes worth of video. After you watch the videos, you can engage with the coaching groups to address what you learned.

At the end of the week, you apply the principles you learned, and test the results. We include role-playing and shared experiences.

At the end of the entire course, you’re certified. Now you can go and share what you’ve learned with others in your organization.

We’re launching a Beta test of the program and we’re inviting about 20-25 people to participate with us. They’ll help us work out the kinks before we publicly launch the program.

Role play

If you’re looking to improve your own fundamentals, role play is an important tool. Even if you’ve been selling for a long time, role-playing helps you improve your interactions with customers.

A recent guest on the podcast shared that his company shares information among all the team members, tests new ideas, and then evaluates to see how successful it was.

When they stumble upon a successful idea, they apply the new concept to their own process. They role play and practice it because they realize that you can always improve and you can always learn. [07:50]

Study

Listening to this podcast is a great way to continue to learn about sales. In addition, you should engage in personal sales study of your own.

In the case of TSE, we can’t always discuss concepts in depth because we have a limited amount of time. Consider listening to audiobooks as a way to expand your knowledge base. If you don’t already have Audible, take advantage of the 30-day free offer available to the TSE audience to listen to books while you do other things.

If you prefer, you can use Overdrive in conjunction with the public library to get access to free audiobooks.

Either way, invest 30 minutes each day to increase your knowledge and capabilities on your way to being a more effective seller. [09:05]

Practice

Practice what you learn.

Try all the things you role played and read about and then be intentional to implement new ideas into your process. Practice them to see what kind of results you get.

We’re excited to share the new program with you, and we’d love to talk to you if you or your team are interested in joining us.

“TSE Certified Sales Training Program” episode resources

Check out Audible and Overdrive to help you maximize your growth by learning more about sales.

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

This episode is brought to you in part by 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.

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.

Sales Process, Dealpoint, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 976: How To Not Make Your New Sales Process JUST Another Flavor of The Week

 

Sales is one of the hardest jobs in any organization. Sometimes optimism keeps sellers from recognizing the truth of the situation because they are focused on commission.

On today’s episode, we’ll talk to Tom Williams, CEO of DealPoint, about getting buyers and sellers on the same page as part of a new sales process. When organizations put buyer-centric processes in place, prospects feel heard and deals close faster.

Misalignment

Tom’s journey with DealPoint started when he was a sales manager overseeing a team of sellers. [1:07] He discovered that there was a misalignment between how his sellers perceived the process was going and how the buyers perceived it.

He spent a lot of time thinking about how he could use processes to bring the two sides together.

Perhaps the biggest issue is that the seller has happy ears because he wants the sale to happen. In many cases, sellers are naturally optimistic people, so they view situations differently.

The other big issue is that the buyer himself doesn’t understand where he is in the sales process. [2:44] Especially in the case of large organizations, the buyer may not understand all the steps required for approval, so he may not anticipate the roadblocks.

It’s important to understand both processes: the buyer’s process and what the seller is hearing about the buyer’s process.

Flavor of the week

Many companies change their sales process frequently because they are trying to address problems with the existing one. [3:48]

There’s a statistic that says you can spend as much as you want to put a sales process in place, and it might survive for 6 weeks, or even as long as 90 days. Eventually, though, your team will likely return to the old way of doing things, largely for two reasons:

  1. They don’t think the managers are putting a lot of effort into it, so it’s rep-driven.
  2. The managers aren’t seeing success because they didn’t implement the correct kind of process for their organization.

If it’s option 2, you should absolutely change the process so that you aren’t harming your sales team. If it’s option 1, there are things you can do to make sure your sales team is on board with the process so that everyone makes more money.

Building processes

Begin by looking at how your team implements your existing process. In Tom’s case, he discovered that his team saw the existing sales process as an extra job; little more than paper-pushing. [5:19]

At one point, he was withholding commissions until his team filled in SalesForce. He had tried all kinds of incentives and nothing was working.

Even then, they were filling in the SalesForce fields but doing the bare minimum.

The buyer and the seller have to be getting some value out of the process as well.

Make sure the process is flexible enough to support different types of sellers. Although you’ll always have a scripted component for your sellers, you’ll be holding your top sellers back if you insist that they use a script.

When you sell it to the reps, clearly outline the benefits. [7:05] Make them understand how the sales process will help everyone involved. Provide statistics that quantify the improvement you’ve seen as a result of a sales process, and they’ll be happy to follow it.

Help them understand that it’s in their best interest to adopt the new sales process.

Help the buyer

Your new sales process should include a mutual action component so that buyer and seller are negotiating. [10:56] Neither party wants to invest a lot of time in a deal only to see it fall away.

Once the champion has acknowledged that this product or service will definitely solve her problem, buyer and seller must decide how they are going to make this plan happen.

As you build the mutual action plan, the buyer, seller, and sales manager can verify that the plan is on track and that triple reinforcement can make sure the process is embedded into the funnel.

If there’s a step you aren’t aware of, it can cause a late-stage failure, which can damage your deal as well as your reputation.

Sales coaching

Management must be on board with the new sales process in order to keep it from feeling like the flavor of the week. [14:09] If the managers aren’t fully on board, the reps will immediately sniff that out and they’ll perceive the process as a waste of time.

Some teams use leaderboards to motivate their sellers, but if it’s used in a negative way, it doesn’t bring all the boats up. If, on the other hand, you’re sharing successes and challenges, it can help your team understand why the leaders are succeeding and how they’ve overcome their challenges.

Embed your sales process into the daily routine. [17:46] Fight against your team’s tendency to wait to input all their information on Friday afternoon when it isn’t as fresh in their minds.

Collaboration between buyer and seller brings the process into the forefront. For example, have the buyer fill in a form that provides the data you need so that you get more accurate data.

DealPoint

The idea of DealPoint is to get sellers and buyers on the same page. [20:09]

A long sales-cycle-gone-bad wastes time for both buyer and seller, often resulting from miscommunication or errors in the process.

Very rarely do circumstances change in the 10th month of the process that wreck the deal. Usually, it’s a problem that could have been sniffed-out in month two to save everyone a lot of time.

Doing so also builds up the seller’s credibility, because if the seller identifies quickly that the deal isn’t working out, the buyer will respect his handling of it and he’ll be willing to come back to him later with a new challenge. [20:47]

DealPoint gets the buyer and the seller on the same page. It brings both teams together with a visual timeline and conferencing and file-sharing capabilities that they can access at any time.

They can view milestones and post things like meeting notes, and it keeps everyone on track.

The question of “what is the next step?” drives a lot of business and it causes a lot of deals to crash because there wasn’t a clear next step. [22:08]

DealPoint is that single location where buyers and sellers can understand the next steps and keep the decision moving forward.

“New Sales Process” episode resources

You can connect with Tom and learn more about DealPoint at dealpoint.io or Tom@dealpoint.io. He enjoys talking about sales processes and he’d love to geek out with you for 20 minutes to talk about your process. He’s also active on LinkedIn.

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 salesevangelists.com/maximizer.

Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. Maximizer is intuitive, simple, and personable. Maximizer integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one. It works throughout the whole organization and it’s customizable to the way you sell.

This episode is also 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.

TSE Hustler’s League

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. You can implement our training and strategies today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

Check out TSE Hustler’s League and apply to see if it’s a good fit.

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, and share it with someone else you think might benefit.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Sales Process

TSE 972: How To Get Salespeople Not To Skip Steps In The Sales Process

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Sales ProcessOn today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we discuss the value of following every step in the sales process, and how you can prevent your sales team from skipping steps in the process.

Sales processes aren’t intended to add burdens to your role as a sales leader, but should actually free you and your team to be even more successful in your roles.

Detail

In the context of military operations and aircraft safety, it’s easy to understand why details matter. It’s easy to understand why the people involved have to prioritize safety by following checklists and double-checking equipment.

It’s not as easy to understand why every single step in a sales process matters, but it’s absolutely true that the small details can impact our outcomes. Although skipping steps in the sales process won’t kill us, it will absolutely affect our success.

If we find that we’re struggling to close deals, it may be because we aren’t following a detailed cadence process.

Our decisions to skip steps can stem from overconfidence or pressure to close a deal from those in authority over us, but skipping steps will eventually impact our sales process.

Diluting the process

Just as it does for the military, a decision to overlook small details can impact the team’s ability to accomplish the larger mission.

Imagine a sales manager who oversees 10 deals that are scheduled for demonstration. She has statistics that show that about 60 percent of the deals will close, so she forecasts that.

Of those 10 deals, though, not all of them are weighted the same.

Five went through the complete sales process, and five of them didn’t, maybe because they were repeat customers or they came to the sales rep as a warm lead. The sales reps might have assumed it was ok to skip qualification.

In other cases, if the sales process feels cumbersome, they may be tempted to skip steps that they deem unnecessary.

Avoiding skipping steps

Make sure your sales reps understand why the steps in the sales process are important. Review the sales process with them in a one-on-one setting to make sure they are accurately following the process.

Ask appropriate questions:

  • How many deals are you working right now that will close?
  • Of those deals, how many of them have followed every single step?
  • Ask sales reps who are successfully using the sales process to share some of the things they have learned throughout the sales process.

If one member of your team is having great success with demonstrations, ask him to share how he is successfully converting effective leads into clients.

Ask another team member who successfully moves people from leads into prospects to share how she does it.

Allow your team to benefit from the experience of their peers and give everyone on the team an opportunity to participate.

Use graphs

I saw a suggestion on Hubspot recently that helped me when I was a software sales rep working with complex sales scenarios.

Use graphs to outline each stage of the sales process and what must happen along the way. It provides a visual map that your team members can follow when a new prospect appears.

Graphs provide a repeatable process to look at throughout the process. Knowing how to move the deal forward will help your team successfully interact with the buyers.

Following every step will ensure that, by the time you get to the presentation, you’ll have all the information you need to successfully address your prospect’s challenges and struggles.

Your system will work best if people actually use it.

Roleplay

Have your team roleplay scenarios, and include scenarios in which someone is trying to pressure your team members into skipping steps. Address how they would make sure to follow every step in the process.

Your team members may worry that they will lose deals if they insist on following every step, but those people who refuse to follow your process won’t likely close anyway. They may be just looking for quick info.

Those people who want to make a great decision will appreciate your attention to detail and they’ll view you as professional if you stick to the process.

Sell them on the idea that you’re doing this to help them make sure they make the very best decision.

“Steps In The Sales Process” 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. Maximizer is intuitive, simple, and personable. Maximizer integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one. It works throughout the whole organization and it’s customizable to the way you sell.

This episode is also 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. You can implement our training and strategies today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.

Check out TSE Hustler’s League and apply to see if it’s a good fit.

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, and share it with someone else you think might benefit.

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.

 

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, TSE Hustler's League

TSE 945: TSE Hustler’s League-“Overselling”

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, TSE Hustler's LeagueYou cannot oversell to your prospects. We’ve been talking all month about closing, and about what you can do in your closing efforts to give your clients exactly what they want.

On today’s episode of TSE Hustler’s League, we’ll discuss how to improve closings and how to avoid overselling.

The TSE Hustler’s League is an online group coaching program designed to help sales reps like you and me learn how to improve our skills. Each semester has a different focus, and for 12 weeks, we conduct trainings and discussions related to that topic.

Jargon

I met with a manager once who was on board with my product and we were scheduled to do a presentation.

“No matter what you do, Donald, my boss doesn’t like jargon,” the manager told me. “We don’t care about the marketing stuff. We only want to see the software and the problems it can solve for us.”

It turns out this manager had given the same warning to another sales rep in a different company before me. The rep promptly ignored the guidance and gave the same pitch he always gives, and the executive promptly left the meeting.

Based on the guidance he gave me, I gutted my presentation. I knew they didn’t want to waste time on company history and I wanted to honor their time I wanted them to view me as a trusted advisor.

I wanted to help them recognize a problem and help them solve it. Most sellers don’t do that, mainly because they don’t know how.

I focused exactly on what the prospect said wanted. I didn’t oversell and I didn’t undersell. Because I quickly addressed the problems I could help him solve, we were able to get to “yes” quickly.

Overselling

Once you have an interested prospect, it’s tempting to keep trying to sell him more. You likely have so much more that you’d like to show him, but you must give him exactly what he wants.

If he’s already convinced, skip over the junk and figure out the next step. Go to the part of your process where he can sign up.

Obviously, you’re going to have some steps that you can’t skip, like making sure the proper people understand and approve the buying process.

Interacting

The buyer will likely want to interact with your presentation. He’ll want to ask questions, hear testimonials, and share stories.

If you prepared well and you understood exactly what he was looking for when you arrived for the presentation, you’ll be able to provide the exact information the prospect needs to make a decision.

Overdoing a presentation can ruin a great opportunity just like overcooking a steak can ruin a great cut of meat.

Evaluation

Consider whether your presentation provides enough opportunity for your prospects to engage in discussion.

Know your content and your industry. Understand the customer and the difficulties he typically faces. Then build your presentation around that knowledge.

Don’t risk losing a deal because you oversold.

My goal is to help you find more ideal customers and build value. I want to help you close more deals. I want to challenge you every single day to do big things.

“Overselling” episode resources

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

Check out TSE Hustler’s League and apply to see if it’s a good fit.

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 also 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.

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.

Buyers Journey, Martyn R. Lewis, Donald Kelly

TSE 938: How Today’s Buying Journey Has Drastically Changed And Why It Matters To You!

Martyn Lewis, The Sales Evangelist, Buyer's JourneyThe buying journey has changed, and sellers must change with it. Sellers must address the gap between how people buy and how people sell. We must uncover why it matters that today’s buying journey has changed.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we talk to Martyn Lewis, founder of Market Partners, about how today’s buying journey has drastically changed and why it matters to you.

Martyn is a seasoned veteran of the sales industry, and he founded Market Partners when he discovered that many sellers were selling their products and services according to the way buyers used to buy.

He’s an entrepreneur, and authority on business strategy. We’re talking about closing this month, and the buyer’s journey is an important part of that process.

Changing the buyers’ journey

Selling was much easier prior to the 1940s. People sold to each other and they had limited choices. Buyers knew what they wanted and they knew where to get it. Purchases were local.

Beginning in the 1940s, people had more choices. More people were involved in buying and more were involved in selling.

Communication, radio, television, fax changed the face of selling. They made the world smaller.

Buyers had the freedom to find sellers outside of their buying market. They could go to the next town or city or country to find something they needed.

Large companies saw the change coming and they introduced sales process.

Three generations

Today, in the third generation of sales since then, buyers have an abundance of choice. They can Google and find all sorts of things.

They have countless alternatives and no shortage of things they can do, and probably too much information.

That means you’re not the only one who’s selling. You’re not the only one competing for your buyer’s attention.

Today’s buyers are very busy. Technology has caused a huge disruption for buyers.

Previous buying stages

Every buyer’s market is different but the macro journey looks like this:

  • awareness
  • interest
  • commitments
  • acquisition
  • adoption

In the first stages, buyers had to really connect with the companies they buy from. They sought information from salespeople and brochures and phone calls.

Today, though, buyers can find their information on the Internet. The first two stages of that buyer’s journey can now be done without talking to a salesperson.

Data suggests, too, that more than 50 percent of the buyer’s journey happens before the buyer ever talks to a salesperson.

Prepared clients

Sellers have to go well beyond being a conduit of information for the buyers.

We have to discover what is on the buyer’s mind. We’ve got to manage the entire buying journey. So the role of the salesperson now isn’t to position and promote the product.

What does it take for an organization to commit to your product or service once they are truly interested?

Are they looking to test the equipment or are they simply window-shopping? They might worry about how to implement your product or service. Perhaps they’ll worry about training their people to use your goods.

Salespeople must manage that journey. Who all will be involved? What are their concerns and how do I handle them?

You’ve got to reduce that friction.

Falling short

The days of the single decision-maker are over. Today’s buying journey has changed so that networks of dynamic people make buying decisions today.

Very often the buyers themselves aren’t even sure after the fact who made the decision to go with a certain product.

Sellers must always look at everyone who is involved in the process and manage all the key players. Don’t ever assume a champion will do all the work for you.

Recognize the difference between interest and commitment. Never think because you’ve got someone who is sincerely interested in your offering that they will automatically buy it.

Think outside in. Start with the customer and their world.

How many things are on the customer’s mind? Always start with their world?

“Today’s Buying Journey Has Changed” episode resources

Grab a copy of Martyn’s book, How Customers Buy and Why They Don’t.

Email Lewis at mlewis@market-partners.com. He loves hearing from people about the work they are doing and the projects they are working on.

This episode is also 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. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

This episode is also brought to you by Maximizer CRM. If you aren’t sure you have the right CRM, Maximizer CRM is 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.

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.

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.

 

Closing, Sales, Donald Kelly, Sales Podcast

TSE 932: How Do I Close The Deal?

Closing, Sales, Donald Kelly, Sales PodcastMost sales professionals understand the importance of closing. They also understand that the more prospects they interact with, the greater their odds of closing will be. But sometimes challenging situations arise, which leave us asking, “How do I close the deal?”

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’ll talk about closing more deals and increasing our win rate by answering the question, “How do I close the deal?”

Talk to the right people

Many salespeople speak to the wrong person when they try to close a deal.

The person you’re connecting with may want the product or service you’re selling, but if he doesn’t have the buying decision, it won’t be enough to close the deal.

It’s tempting, of course, to focus your efforts on the prospect who wants to buy your product. That’s easier than interacting with people who may not yet be convinced.

If you truly want to close, you have to identify the key decisions makers or stakeholders who are actually able to say yes.

Understand the true problem

If you’re addressing a problem that isn’t actually the true problem, you’re not likely to close a deal.

Ask deeper, next-level questions.

It’s not enough to know that they have a problem with emails. Do they need an easier way to send them or do they need better quality emails?

Make sure you understand the problem they are trying to solve.

Identify timeframe

Understand the timeframe your prospect is working within, and how it will impact the buying decision.

The prospect may be excited about your product, but you can move the process along by gathering facts instead of making assumptions.

Is there a big event driving this purchase? What are the negative consequences if the prospect doesn’t make a purchase decision?

Make sure you understand the timeframe.

Recognize common challenges

Eventually, you’ll begin to identify the common challenges that arise when you’re trying to close. Figure out a way to address those challenges before they become a major issue.

Identify the top five objections you hear most often, and tackle them before your prospects have a chance to mention them.

Address it in discovery, or through a testimonial.

Share stories of customers who were similar to your prospect and how you helped them overcome their similar set of challenges.

If you diffuse their objections before they have a chance to mention them you take some of the impacts from them.

Mitigate risk

If your prospect has never worked with you, she may be apprehensive about jumping into a large recurring contract. If things don’t work out with your contract, it can reflect poorly on her.

Help her address that fear by reworking the contract when possible.

If, for example, you sell software, can you cut back the number of licenses and shorten the length of the contract, you can mitigate the risk for your clients. That allows your prospect to verify that your company is a good fit before committing to a lengthy, expensive contract.

Include an invitation

Sales professionals have to be bold without being overbearing. We have to ask prospects to commit to change.

Be prepared at every step with an invitation that moves the prospect to the next step.

Paint a picture of what life will be like when they buy your product or service.

“Close The Deal” episode resources

This episode is also 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. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

This episode is also brought to you byMaximizer CRM. If you aren’t sure you have the right CRM, Maximizer CRM is 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.

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.

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.

 

Dave Cook, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Closing

TSE 933: Closing Strategies That Can Be Used By People at Any Level In Any Industry

Dave Cook, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, ClosingNo one wants to discover at the end of a sales process that the prospect isn’t planning to buy. So how can you improve the odds that your prospect follows through? What closing strategies will improve your odds?

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, David Cook, author of How to Be a Great Salesperson… By Monday Morning!, discusses closing strategies that any seller can use in any industry to close more deals.

Closing

When we do our jobs properly, our prospects can’t help but buy our products and services.

Even though we’re all constantly using computers, sellers have to humanize the process. When people call your organization with questions, they want to talk to someone who is more than a robot with a heartbeat.

David begins with a cough. It sounds strange, but he explains to his prospects that he picked up a cough while he was walking his dog over the weekend.

Now your prospect knows you have a dog, and if he has a dog, there’s common ground. The prospect is no longer talking to a robot.

People are dying for the human touch. They crave it, so give it to them.

Urgency

Make sure to say your customer’s name over and over. Every time you do, you’re breaking down barriers. If you’re making a really strong point, make sure to use the prospect’s name.

Also, urgency separates the stars from the superstars. If you don’t create a need for the prospect to act now, why would they?

The first moment they hear about your product is the hottest they’ll ever be. They’ll get involved in other projects as time goes by, and they’ll cool to your product.

But how do you create urgency without being pushy?

Talk about the company as an outside entity.

“They’re allowing me to offer you x if you act by this date.” It isn’t you making the rules; the company is making the rules.

Position yourself as an advocate for your prospect.

Confidence

You must expect the sale. You must stay positive.

In the example of real estate, when you’re showing a home to a prospect, refer to it as their living room, their swimming pool, and their kitchenThe more times you refer to it as theirs, the more likely the customer will subconsciously start to think of the house as theirs.

If you build a burning desire within your customer to acquire your products and services, there’s no dollar amount in the world that’s too much.

Humor

Make your customer laugh.

Within a first few seconds of talking to you, they’ll decide whether or not they are going to buy from you. Get them laughing immediately.

If you make them laugh, they are on your side because their brains release endorphins that make them feel good.

Happy people buy and unhappy people do not.

Believe

You have to believe in your heart that your customer is lucky to be talking to you. You must believe in your product.

If you don’t think they’re lucky to be talking to you about your product or service that will make their lives easier or help them impress their bosses, then why should they believe they are lucky to be talking to you?

Your customer will pick up on it if you don’t absolutely believe in your product.

Believe that you have a moral obligation to share good things with your prospects.

“Closing Strategies” episode resources

You can connect with David at his website, salestrainingonthego.com. You can also grab a copy of his book, How to Be a Great Salesperson… By Monday Morning!

This episode is also 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. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.

This episode is also brought to you byMaximizer CRM. If you aren’t sure you have the right CRM, Maximizer CRM is 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.

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.

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.

Carl Allen, Buy Your Competition, Sales Growth, Sales Leader

TSE 909: Sales From The Street:”Buy Your Competition”


Carl Allen, Buy Your Competition, Sales Growth, Sales Leader
There’s a difference between having a lifestyle business and having a business that’s truly scaling and growing. In order to grow, you have to have customers. The secret is to buy your competition.

On today’s episode of Sales From the Street, Carl Allen talks about how to massively grow your sales by acquiring another business. He’ll explain why he believes the key to overcoming your challenges might be to buy your competition.

If you’re new to the podcast, our Sales From the Street episodes feature stories of people who have faced challenges and overcome them.

Carl decided he was tired of working for other people and he wanted to do his own thing. He only had one skill set, which was to buy and sell businesses, so he decided to do it using other people’s money.

Selling businesses

Carl has been selling businesses for more than 25 years.

When he got the call during an overseas trip saying that his pregnant wife was in the hospital, he had to jump on a plane to get back home. In the moments after his son was born, he realized that he needed to do something else.

Carl decided that, instead of doing it in a corporate setting, he wanted to buy and sell his own small businesses. He knew that his tools and experience could be applied to small businesses.

He found that lots of people were asking him to coach and mentor them and teach them how to buy and sell businesses, so he built a global system to teach entrepreneurs how to do it.

Carl teaches entrepreneurs who work for other people as well as those who want to own their own businesses. He teaches them to find deals, negotiate them, and to do it all without investing their own money.

He also teaches small business owners how to double their sales by buying competing businesses or complementary businesses.

1 + 1 = 3

It’s getting harder and harder to organically grow sales because of the tremendous amount of competition.

Carl advises small business owners to stop chasing customers and trying to sell them more stuff. Instead, consider buying a competitor or someone in your supply chain that has some synergy and that can double or triple your sales.

The first business Carl bought was generating about $2 million a year, and his competitor was doing $2 million a year as well. They had a conversation, and Carl acquired the business, literally doubling his sales overnight. Organically, the same growth would have likely taken about 10 years.

Sometimes, instead of buying a competitor, you can buy a business in a complementary sector and cross-sell.

Carl, for example, owns a software company, and he’s about to acquire an IT company to sit alongside it. He’ll sell software to the IT services customers, and sell IT services to his software customers.

When the businesses combine, there will be opportunities for cost consolidation and synergy between the two.

He calls it the 1 + 1 = 3 model. In the end, he’ll have software revenues, services revenues, and the two together.

Acquisition myth

When Carl started in 2008, Facebook wasn’t prevalent and people weren’t marketing on LinkedIn. Growing his business would have included local advertising, trade show events, and good old-fashioned cold calling, referrals, and networking.

There’s a huge myth about acquisition and it’s this: if a business is worth a $1 million, you must have $1 million to acquire it.

The truth is that you can buy a small business without spending your own money. The big private equity guys on Wall Street do it all the time. Carl applies those same principles and tactics.

If you’ve never bought a business before, there’s clearly a learning process, which is why Carl built his academy.

He teaches:

  • How to do dealer regeneration
  • How to find deals that fit your requirements
  • How to have effective meetings
  • How to negotiate and structure a deal
  • How to raise financing
  • How to get the deal transacted

In his dealings, 99 out of 100 business owners don’t know how the process works.

He built his academy to empower business owners to scale their businesses differently.

Psychology of the deal

When you decide that you’re interested in acquiring a business, the best way to start is by approaching your competitors with a cleverly written letter which builds rapport, trust, and credibility.

Most likely, someone in my network will know you or will know someone who knows you, and I’ll get to you that way.

The key is in the psychology. You’re looking for the distressed owner whose business is stable. You need a seller with a strong motivation to come out of the business.

They might be ready to retire, or they might be bored, or they might be sick, or they might have run out of ideas. In fact, the biggest pocket of opportunity in North America right now is retiring baby boomers.

The Wall Street Journal published last year that 10,000 baby boomers retire every day, and 19 of those own a small business. Previously, one of their children might have taken over the business, but those tendencies have changed massively.

Their kids want to go to college now, and they don’t want to take over the family business.

These boomers don’t have an exit strategy.

Only 1 in 13 small business that tried to sell actually do.

If you have good business history, and good employees, and good customers, then you don’t want to close the business.

You’ve got to understand why the business owner wants to sell. Ultimately, it’s the best way to understand the pain they are feeling right now.

You’ve also got to find out how they do their marketing. Very often, we find that they aren’t even marketing. They are relying on word-of-mouth.

That means when I do employ marketing, we’re going to see growth.

Leveraged buyout model

We’re solving that problem with the leveraged buyout model.

You might ask yourself why a business owner would allow you to buy the business without spending your own money. In many cases, it’s their only option. They either sell to you, or they turn out the lights, close the doors, walk away, and let everyone down.

Instead, a safe, trusted pair of hands take the business to the next level and give it a new lease on life.

The first step for anyone interested in this model is to check out Carl’s 90-minute training webinar. He has a proprietary 10-step model that he has honed over 25 years, and he has created a sort of masterclass training for people who are interested in the model.

If you’re an entrepreneur and your dream is to start a business, don’t. Don’t start a brand new business, because 99 percent of them fail. Instead, buy an existing business that’s already doing what you’re looking to do, and use the company’s own resources in cash to acquire it.

If you’re an existing business owner and you’re struggling to grow your business organically and your marketing isn’t working effectively, scale your business by acquiring a complementary business.

Buying businesses solves everyone’s problems, and it’s a buyer’s market.

“Buy Your Competition” episode resources

Connect with Carl at Facebook.com/ninjaacquisitions, and find his evergreen, automated training, at www.ninjaacquisitions.com/free. It’s a webinar-style training with lots of tools and downloads users can access.

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. It’s powerful and intuitive.

Get rid of the boring CRMs and customize to your team’s selling abilities. Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you.

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.

Leave us a review 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.

 

 

 

 

Dave Costa, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 889: Sales From The Street-“Talent vs. Performance”

Dave Costa, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, LinkedInWorking with a talented group of people doesn’t guarantee success, because talent and performance are altogether separate. Sometimes sales leaders find themselves leading a team whose performance doesn’t equal its talent. When potential is left on the table, how do you teach your team the value of talent vs. performance?

On today’s Sales From The Street, Dave Costa shares how he encourages his team to improve every day, and why — in the battle of talent vs. performance — talent alone isn’t enough.

Dave works in software sales in the human capital management space, and he defines success for his team as improving every single day.

Talent isn’t enough

Talent can only care you a certain distance. It’s true in sales just like it’s true in sports.

Number-one draft picks falter more often than not because they don’t understand the need to create opportunities that help them continually improve.

Dave calls it mental management. He says that when you deal with extremely talented people, the skillset isn’t the problem. Although there is always room to improve, the challenge is motivating them to make an extra call or set an extra appointment.

He refers to it as mental warfare, and he said many reps fail because they get out-worked or out-hustled. Sales leaders, then, must master the art of discovering what drives your sales reps to push through; it’s the art of hitting that nerve that drives them.

At the end of the day, no one regrets doing one more set at the gym. People who push themselves are always glad they did.

Funnels aren’t sexy

Many reps get so caught up in trying to close what’s currently in their pipeline that they lose sight of the top of the funnel.

Dave calls prospecting a decision you make every single day to achieve a result. He stresses focusing on whether you’ve achieved the result you needed rather than sticking to metrics only. Did you get the result you needed to push yourself farther and hit your goals? 

Your prospecting controls everything:

  • How much is in my pipeline?
  • Can I close more deals?
  • How stressed will I be?
  • What will my results look like?

Performance matters

The mental warfare becomes a factor when sales professionals hear “no” before they hear “yes.” Without the right mental game, you’ll be overtaken by the highs and lows. You’ll collapse under the stress.

There will be days when others succeed while you struggle, but you must rise above your circumstances. No one else will do this for you, so you must make it happen.

For Dave’s team, the move to change its mindset has impacted its overall growth. The team’s averages have increased by 2 meetings per rep per week. For an entire team, that’s 16 adds per month, and those numbers can pay huge dividends.

When we push ourselves to set one more meeting or make one more dial, that deal could be the one that changes your year, or even your career.

In sales, we’re often in a position to make life-changing money or to do things that change our situations. If you take the mindset of constantly improving every single day, overall success will come.

Push yourself to be impressive in everything you do. If you’re not, what’s the point of doing it?

“Talent vs. Performance” episode resources

Dave would love to continue this conversation with our listeners on LinkedIn.

You can connect with us at The Sales Evangelizers on Facebook, where a community of people shares their struggles and their experiences with selling.

The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League is an online group coaching program designed to help sellers of all levels. Whether you’ve been selling for 15 years or 3 days, we’ll give you all the coaching and guidance you need to perform well.

The course is only $167 a month for three months, and it will connect you with sellers in all regions and industries who can share their struggles as you share your own.

This episode was brought to you by our friends at Wiley, publishers of the book Stop Selling & Start Leading. It’s a blueprint for sellers based upon years of research about the things buyers hate.

Grab your free excerpt of the book here, and view the SlideShare that explains many of the leadership principles you need to stop being subservient to your customers. If you prefer, download the SlideShare so you can refer back to it.

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.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Mike Adams, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Sales Stories

TSE 888: Seven Stories Every Salesperson Must Tell

Mike AdamsStories validate the work you’re doing. They build value. And really good salespeople never stop telling stories. Mike Adams, author of the book Seven Stories Every Salesperson Must Tell, explains that stories forge connections between people who don’t know each other and they help to establish rapport.

Today on The Sales Evangelist, Mike Adams outlines the seven stories every salesperson must tell, and how to tell the right story at the right time.

Mike’s journey originated in his desire to help salespeople learn to say the right thing, and his desire to understand what it’s like to sell in different industries.

He discovered that salespeople needed to know how to tell stories, and they needed to practice them before they got in front of the client. Finally, they needed to understand when to use each kind of story.

Hook the customer

These stories help your client understand who you are, and they position you as an authority who can be trusted.

1. Your personal story explains why you do what you do, how you became an authority in your industry, and why the buyer should like you. Tell a 1-2 minute story about yourself and then invite your client to do the same.

This story won’t be used for the first phone conversation. Instead, save it for the first meeting. Avoid bragging, but emphasize that you have experience and you know what you’re doing.

2. The key staff story introduces people in your organization who are critical to the sales process. Who are the people your client will need to know and trust as he goes through this process?

If, for example, you frequently pair with a tech expert to explain your product, tell a narrative story about how she got her experience. This creates a connection.

3. Tell the company story to help your client understand what sets your company apart. Most companies focus entirely on facts and accomplishments, but this should be a narrative.

You don’t know what your client knows about your company or division. This is your chance to influence what he knows.

Fight to win

You’ve hooked the customer with your connection stories, but now the fight begins to keep him on board. Why should he choose your company instead of someone else’s?

4. The success story tells about a client who overcame a big problem. It’s the classic marketing case study: a client found himself in a bad situation, our company offered a plan to address the bad situation, and the client overcame the bad situation and succeeded.

Your client will identify with the story if it’s about someone like him. Tell the story of the hero’s journey.

5. The insight story can be tricky because you’re suggesting that you know something about the client’s business that she doesn’t know, and that can sound arrogant. Instead of telling your client what you know, share the story of how you discovered your insight.

Presenting insight as fact that you know invites pushback.

Land the deal

These stories help you finalize the decision process by reassuring your customer why your company is the best choice.

6. Your value stories explain to the customer how your company will behave in a variety of situations. Tell stories of a time when something went wrong, and how your company addressed the challenge.

These stories will be based upon your company’s specific abilities. Hotels, for example, might tell the story of an employee who drove to the airport to deliver a customer’s wallet to her.

7. Teaching stories help you when your client sponsor is in a hole. You must teach your sponsors to be persuasive so that when the decision meeting isn’t going well, they’ll know how to proceed.

You must teach your clients how to buy by teaching them what to value about your services. Then you must teach your clients how to sell in order to get the deal done.

Stories help clients understand and trust us but we must not abuse that power. Stories are meant to be shared, so make sure you hear the client’s stories in addition to telling your own.

“Seven Stories Every Salesperson Must Tell” episode resources

Grab a copy of Mike’s book, full of links to online training about storytelling.

This episode was brought to you by our friends at Wiley, publishers of the book Stop Selling & Start Leading. 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. We also have a free SlideShare available to help you become a sales leader rather than a subservient seller.

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

The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League is an online group coaching program designed to help sellers of all levels. Whether you’ve been selling for 15 years or 3 days, we’ll give you all the coaching and guidance you need to perform well.

The course is only $167 a month for three months, and it will connect you with sellers in all regions and industries who can share their struggles as you share your own.

We have a new semester beginning in the fall and we’d be honored for you to join us.

Also 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.

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Sales Coaching, Group Sales Coaching, Customers Service, Unhappy Customer

TSE 865: TSE Hustler’s League-“Prevent The Cancel”

Sales Coaching, Group Sales Coaching, Customers Service, Unhappy CustomerOn last week’s episode of The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, we heard from a member who was caught off-guard when a customer he thought was happy canceled their contract. We sought ways to help him identify what went wrong and to prevent the cancel from happening again.

As you know, on each episode of The Hustler’s League, we devote the first 15 minutes to a Mastermind. One of our members’ lands in the hot seat to discuss a problem he needs help.

In this case, we sought to help him determine what went wrong. We also reminded him that sometimes things are outside of your control.

We also tried to answer what sellers can do when the problem is within their control.

Ask for a conversation.

Following the cancellation, our Hustler’s League member hadn’t had a conversation with his client. He was frankly dreading the idea, but he wanted to resolve the situation and put it behind him.

One of the recommendations our group offered was to get the client on the phone to address any fears she might be having or any concerns that had developed.

Because she’s a realtor who recently had a baby, perhaps she didn’t have the cash flow to pay for those services.

If you can get the client on the phone, in many cases you can walk her off the ledge. Sometimes clients feel uneasy and our reassurance can help.

It’s easier to keep an existing customer than to find a new one.

Set rules before you play.

My friends and I who play flag football learned this the hard way.

When this client hired someone to do her marketing, she may have had unreasonable expectations. She may have assumed she would get emails and listings immediately.

Never send over the agreement or proposal without first reviewing it with the client. I use PandaDoc and the screen share function to make sure there are no hiccups.

At the point in the process where we’re prepared to enter the contract, I ask for 5 minutes so we can review it. If they have expectations you aren’t aware of, you can identify them quickly. You’ll eliminate a lot of confusion.

Learn from the situation.

If the situation isn’t recoverable, use it to develop your business. Ask the client whether she has five minutes for a phone call. Offer to buy her a cup of coffee.

Tell her you’re always seeking to improve and ask for her feedback about your work together.

Consider other options moving forward:

  • Does it make sense to narrow the industries you work with? If you’re losing money because of the time you’re investing to learn each new industry, perhaps you should limit the ones you work with.
  • Should you choose larger clients? Rather than individual realtors, consider working with brokers who have multiple agents.

In this case, our member recalled that he had always reviewed documents with clients in his last position. He had not thought to do that in his own company.

We share these things with you because we want you to be successful. To find more ideal customers. We want you to build stronger value and close more deals. Most importantly, we want you to do big things.

“Prevent The Cancel” episode resources

Salespeople can be leaders instead of being subservient. Our friends at Wiley have provided a free excerpt of the book Stop Selling & Start Leading which provides a blueprint to help sales professionals lead in the way that customers prefer. 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.

Tell others you know about our podcast, and subscribe if you haven’t already. Tell them about The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League as well, 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.

Leave us a review wherever you consume this content so it will be easier for others to find us as well.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

Samantha Alverez, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 853: The Biggest Roadblock To Learning Soul-Centered Sales

Samantha Alverez, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

 

 

The sales industry has gotten a bad rap. Many people buy into the idea that the sales industry is bad or manipulative. They have a hard time selling authentically because they haven’t completely invested themselves in sales. But what if you could learn soul-centered sales?

Today on The Sales Evangelist, Samantha Alvarez explains why you should view sales as a service, and the important role persuasion plays in all aspects of life.

Sam coaches entrepreneurs who have a hard time selling themselves, and helps people discover the service side of sales. Prior to her time in sales, she was a nurse practitioner, one of the most trusted occupations in the country. Moving from that to sales, often considered the least trusted occupation, created an identity crisis for her, but it moved her to discover how her coaching could help people achieve their vision.

Now she focuses on removing the roadblocks to learning soul-centered sales.

Fear

Sam realized early on that sales involved persuading people to buy, and that felt wrong. She felt like she had moved from an industry of giving to people to an industry of taking from people.

The jolt was so profound that she spent the first six months of her sales career speaking in a fake accent, because she didn’t want to take on the salesperson identity. She was afraid of who she would become.

Along the way, though, she realized that she didn’t have to use her skills to hurt people.

In fact, she discovered that the same persuasion required of sales professionals was the skill that empowered medical professionals to convince people to care for themselves. Most of the people she saw in her practice were relatively healthy, but she had to persuade them to make healthy choices for themselves.

The sales industry helps people dream, and it creates a new reality for people as they learn to do it well. Sam envisioned herself as someone who was helping entrepreneurs create magic, and she learned to accept herself in a sales role.

Uncertainty

Although she loved her job as a nurse practitioner, she was burned out. She needed to leave but she wasn’t sure where to go. She accidentally fell into sales for medical research, but she didn’t expect to like it.

It was a perfect fit, because it enlisted her 10 years of medical experience helping to find subjects to participate in expensive medical studies with extremely stringent criteria.

She realized that sales improved things for people, and the more confident she got, the more she recognized her ability to help people create new realities for themselves.

Prejudice

Early on, Sam believed that sales was a zero-sum game: salespeople win, and buyers lose. She bought into the negative connotation, so she just wanted to make her commission and move forward.

Slowly she realized that she was working with people who were doing cool things,  and she was helping them accomplish those things.

She recognized that sales was simply persuasion, and persuasion exists in many different industries. When she accepted sales as an opportunity to persuade people to do things that moved them forward, she started having fun.

When you help people change the way they think and feel about themselves, people get excited.

“Soul-Centered Sales” episode resources

You can connect with Sam and find out more about her coaching practice at www.samalvarez.com.

The book Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen keeps salespeople from having to shoot in the dark. It prevents them from guessing how to build value because buyers are telling us to stop selling and start leading.

There’s a reason I continue suggesting the book, Stop Selling & Start Leading from 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.

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

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

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.

Audio provided by Free SFX.

TSE Huslter's League, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Closing

TSE 650: TSE Hustler’s League-“Early Stage Deal Closing”

TSE Huslter's League, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, ClosingClosing is one of the most important aspects of a sales process. But it has to be a natural progression in converting prospects into buyers.

Today’s snippet taken from one of our sessions over at the TSE Hustler’s League is about a concept I highly recommend which is about early stage deal closing. It doesn’t mean you close the deal right away. But these are principles you can put in place in your sales process to help you start converting more customers.

Strategies for Early Stage Closing

1. Identifying the challenges

  • Oftentimes, the salesperson doesn’t recognize there are issues or objections the prospect is going to bring up.
  • Figure out what objections you might get that will prevent you from helping the client move towards that goal. Then come up with the best known replies towards those objections.
  • The problem is we don’t have any ammo so once these objections come out, we aren’t able to provide the best answers.
  • Identify the objections early for that part of the sales process. Ask the client the top three challenges they have in the organization.
  • Figure out an “considered need” they might have then offer them compelling reasons why they should look at doing it.

2. Qualification

  • Figure out the things needed for the client to be qualified for the next level. What are the objections others might bring up in their organization be it in the budget phase or the closing phase?
  • Follow the 6 why’s and let the client answer those so you get to the bottom of the challenge. And try to uncover it in each stage of the process.
  • Do not skip stages in your sales process. Don’t just wing it. Go as deep as you cant. Do your upfront work in the beginning.
  • Don’t set appointments with people who are not qualified otherwise you get bad results eventually.

3. Commitment

  • Create a demonstration qualification document which includes all the qualifications needed at this point.

Episode Resources:

The Experience Economy by Jason Pine II and James H. Gilmore

Join the  TSE Hustler’s League.

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.

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

 

Skip Miller, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 631: How To Engage Executives In Meaningful Conversations That Will Close The Deal

Skip Miller, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist PodcastSo you’ve gone through your customer discovery phase, now what?

Today’s guest is William “Skip” Miller. Skip was previously here on the show back in Episode 639. If you haven’t yet, listen to it as he talked about effective discovery. Today’s episode is Phase II where he talks about value below and above the line, creating transfer of ownership, and being intentional and directional in your sales calls.

But first, I’d like to announce that our new semester of the TSE Hustler’s League is coming up on September 21, 2017. We will be having two courses –  one for foundational selling and the other for more advanced sales training focused on building value and increasing your close rate.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Skip:

  1. Honor the split.

There are two value propositions in the buying process:

  • “Below the line” buyer is the technical buyer, the person responsible for using what you sell.They want to know about us, our features, benefits and who we are, etc.
  • “Above the line” buyer doesn’t care what they’re buying but they just want ROI, save time, and mitigate risks. These are usually the executives.

However, we go below the line, walk through the sales process and as we get near the end, we then talk to the “above the line” executive. So we end up giving them a review of what we’ve done to the “below the line” buyer which they could care less about.

  1. Go after both value propositions as early as possible.

This means speaking the right language to the right people at the right time. Capture both. Don’t do demos and trials until you can capture “below the line” and “above the line.”

How to talk the language of executives:

* Find out what concerns executives.

Google “what keeps executives awake at night.” You’d be surprised how much literature is out there relative to what keeps a top executive in the industry as well as their top initiatives for the year as they look into the following year.

* Do an immersion program.

Go out and talk to somebody’s people. Every salesperson has a customer base and every customer base has some high level executives. Just do an informational interview. Don’t sell them anything. Just ask about their agenda for the next six months. Just listen to what’s important to them. Do not relate it to how you can sell. Read stuff so you have something to give on top of just your features and benefits.

An interesting fact:

47% of salespeople on sales calls listen for a keyword and then jump!

  1. Proactively induce the transfer of ownership.
  • Make sure the buyer goes from “I get it.” to “I get it.”
  • Transport people into the future..Make them travel through time by asking them what could be the scenario six months from now. Make them imagine your potential impact in the future.
  • Let them tell you how they’re going to use it rather than you tell them. (Above the line buyers don’t like to be told too much.)

Destroying the Term “Decision-Maker”

It’s “below the line” and “above the line.” You have to win both value flags in the middle of the process. Don’t think one value prop is better than the other. They are both important.

  1. Be intentional and directional.

The Next, Next Tool

In the middle, make sure you’re in control of the process. Provide the next step and then follow up with another next step in a set period of time. This shows you’re being intentional and directional.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Skip through email at skip@m3learning.com or visit his website on www.m3learning.com.

Skip’s books:

Proactive Selling

Selling Above and Below the Line

TSE 539: Interview with Skip about “This Is How You Discover”

Maximum Influence by Kurt Mortensen

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

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.

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

 

Jeff Lee II, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist

TSE 624: Sales From The Street-“I Didn’t Like Following Up”

Jeff Lee II, Donald Kelly, The Sales EvangelistToo scared to follow up? In today’s episode on Sales from the Street, fellow Floridian Jeff Lee II shares with us how he overcame his biggest challenge of following up.

Jeff and I initially connected on LinkedIn. He is currently the Teams Sales Director at a startup called Cybrary, an open-source cyber security and IT training platform. With four-year experience in sales now, Jeff previously worked for companies including Dell, Oracle, and Latista.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Jeff:

Jeff’s major challenges:

  • Picking up the phone and calling strangers all day long
  • The follow up process which involves continual rapport-building

Strategies Jeff did to overcome the problem:

  1. Build rapport after the call

Continue to make follow-up schedules. Let the prospect know when you’re going to call back for followup. Even if they reschedule, keep sending something in their face to have their attention.

  1. Create a follow-up schedule.

The idea here is to be highly visible to your clients. Jeff calls this as “increasing the deal velocity” where the speed to close will increase as long as you’re able to keep them in the loop of what’s going on.

  1. Set reminders for yourself to follow-up.

Create tasks in whatever CRM you’re using. Just stick to the schedule and tell yourself to stay on top of that.

Results Jeff saw after implementing these strategies:

  • More businesses closed and people coming back
  • Jeff is talking not to prospects anymore but friends now and people who enjoy his company and how he sells himself as a person.

Jeff gives away this bonus strategy when you’re making a demo:

Make sure you’re telling a story. Storytelling is very important for them to understand why you’re here, where you come from, what you provide, and why it will make them better today after they purchase.

Jeff’s Major Takeaway:

Fundamentals are key. Make sure you’re on point and your messaging is clear.

Episode Resources:

Check out their website at www.cybrary.it and reach out to Jeff through email at jeff@cybrary.it or connect with him on LinkedIn.

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

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.

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

 

Sell the way prospects buy, buyer-centric, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 615: TSE Hustler’s League -“Sell The Way Your Prospects Buy”

Sell the way prospects buy, buyer-centric, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

The way most businesses are set up is that the company or seller pushes something on the buyer. And that’s not cool. Totally not cool! By doing this, your prospects will feel they’re being tricked into something. You don’t want people to feel like that. You have to build trust with your prospects.

Today’s snippet taken from one of our past sessions over at the TSE Hustler’s League is about selling the way your buyers would like to buy.

When you focus on the buyers and give them the things  they want, you will stand out from the crowd and have a greater chance of winning the opportunity.

The Platinum Rule

Treat others the way that they would like to be treated. And the way people like to be treated is they like to be individualized.

Why do you feel your clients buy from you?

  1. People love doing business with other individuals.

It’s very difficult whenever they feel like you’re just one of “them” where you’re just like an entity and not an individual. Be honest with your prospects. They just want to feel special.

  1. It’s the human connection.

It when people feel a connection with you that they buy from you. Even if you’re selling to a big corporation, it’s an individual who’s making that decision so figure out to make that human connection.

How to Sell the Way Your Buyers Buy:

  1. Outreach or problem recognition

The bottom half is your process and the top part is your customer. Figure out what the buying process of your customer is. Then write this out. The prospect does not know about the problem yet so they don’t realize it. Some of us have warm leads where someone calls in and they may have recognized a problem they think they have.

  1. Try to qualify them to see if they’re going to fit into what you’re capable of doing.
  1. Evaluation or deeper discussion

This is the part where you have a deeper conversation with them or the members in their team.

  1. Demonstrate your product or your service.

Demonstrate your solution to the prospect then talk about the budget and you close. They purchase.

The Incremental Closes

The actual closing really starts at the very beginning. Your job as a seller is to have commitments the buyers make throughout that process. There are different things based on the industry that you can offer that makes that buyer commit to each of the phases.

The 6 Why’s the Prospects Must Answer

  1. Why do I need to change?
  2. Why now?
  3. Why your industry solution?
  4. Why you and your company?
  5. Why your product or solution?
  6. Why spend the money?

*They have to answer each of these questions and these could be the incremental commitments that you offer.

Why change and why now?

Help them recognize the problem. Dig dip and help your customers truly understand that.

Do not skip a step!

The biggest issue why deals don’t close is because many sales reps skip the step and they quickly start to move on to the next phase. They try to share the features and benefits and sell on the price. But the consumers are still in the research phase.

The Unconsidered Need

If it’s a warm lead, what do they not know that they think they may know? If it’s a cold lead, they may not even recognize they need it. How can you share something that they truly don’t understand yet.

The 5 Why’s

Why do people buy your product or service? Dig deeper into each answer trying to ask why every after each answer until you get to the core issue or problem of your customer. Why do people buy your product or service? What are the symptoms they have? How is this affecting their business?

Learn more about the TSE Hustler’s League. Join our 12-week program. This semester is focused on how to become more buyer-centric and increase your win rates.

Episode Resources:

Join the TSE Hustler’s League.

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Closing Deal, Building Value, Mark Cox, Donald Kelly

TSE 566: Why You Will Probably Lose Your Next Big Deal (And How To Avoid It)”

Closing Deal, Building Value, Mark Cox, Donald KellyNo one in the right mind would like to lose a sales opportunity. My guest today, Mark Cox, is going to teach you specifically why you will probably lose your next big deal and how you can avoid that. The goal is to take a pause to get some quiet time and think about the strategy for moving that deal from left to right.

Mark Cox is a Managing Partner at In The Funnel Sales Consulting. He is a sales coach and a sales consultant working with a lot of small and mid-sized businesses to help them improve their sales. 

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Mark:

6 Reasons You Might Lose Your Next Deal

  1. You don’t have a compelling problem you’re solving for the customer.

You don’t tie to their desired business outcome. People love their technology so much that they’re presentations are so focused on what the technology does without really communicating well what problem your technology is going to solve for the customer.

Everything a business owner does rolls ups to one of these three things:

  • Increased revenue
  • Reduced expense
  • Reduced risks

Therefore, you want to be clear that your solution is going to help them get to one of those three desired business outcomes. Make sure everybody in your team is very clear on what problem do you solve for the customer. Being able to articulate the value proposition is the responsibility of sales leadership and management.

  1. There is no compelling event forcing you to make a change.

No decision is actually the reason most deals don’t get done and that means the customer simply does nothing. Hence, there has to be a compelling event to have a greater likelihood that a decision is going to be made. Work with the customer to figure out if there’s something compelling them to make a decision. If there isn’t, oftentimes it gets a little bit too easy to delay.

How do you create a compelling event?

Tie in your solution to return of investment or help them run their business better and drive revenue instead of inducing the customer to make the decision. If you think that the customer didn’t get it, it’s because you weren’t able to communicate it well.

  1. You don’t know the real economic buyer.

You’re dealing with someone but you’re not actually engaging the person who makes that real decision face-to-face.

Companies make decisions by a group in a company. But at the end of the day, there is somebody with more influence than the next person and with more ownership of the decision and usually the person who owns the budget. This is the economic buyer.

If you’re not able to influence this person directly and engage that person, one of the other people we’re working with is going to sell our solution on our behalf and they’re not as good as we are.

Engage the folks you know and get their coaching on how to progress forward to get in front of the economic buyer. Then you have to add value when you interact with that senior level person and you have to engage them.

 

  1. You don’t have somebody on the deal team on their side who’s a champion for you.

You will realize that you’ve won most of the deals over time because somebody on the customer side was really rooting for you and you know that because they told you. The champion within an account tells you they want you to win.

When you’ve earned the right to this kind of conversation, ask them if it’s the right thing for their company to move forward with your solution. If yes, great. If no, ask why and talk through it so you have a deeper understanding of the barrier to getting the deal done. Again, you have to be able to articulate and tie in your solution to their desired business outcome.

  1. They don’t actually understand that the process by which the prospect/company they’re working with actually makes a decision to buy their product or service.

The more you understand about how they go through the process on their side, the better off they’re going to be in terms of being able to support them as they go through their decision process.

Keep in mind that your customers go through their decision and buying process and not through your sales process. You need to understand what that is so you can navigate it properly.

Once you’ve done some digging into their challenges, their business and industry, where they’re at, and their options to accomplish this goal, ask your customer what their process is for assessing the options available to them. And if they don’t have a process, this would encourage them to develop a process.

The more you know what process the company has, the better positioned you’re going to be in navigating it.

  1. They don’t understand the criteria by which they make that decision.

Another way of saying this is asking what’s important to them. Use open-ended questions and nice, casual language to get somebody talking. Then ask them to expound on that. Usually, they’re not thinking about it and it just dawns on them when they hear it come out of their own mouth. So you need to use your ears and mouth in proportion. Listen for more than you talk and that will differentiate you from company coming right in behind,

Mark’s Major Takeaway:

Plan for your next sales calls longer than you travel to it. There’s a little too much adrenalin in sales these days and not enough quiet, thoughtful planning. So think about what you want to do in that next sales meeting and you will have a better outcome.

Episode Resources:

Visit Mark’s site on www.ITFAcademy.com/TSE and fill out their qualification checklist to find out whether you will win your next big deal.

Join our Facebook group, The Sales Evangelizers

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Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Best Sales Podcast

TSE 565: TSE Hustler’s League-“Demonstrating ROI”

 

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Best Sales PodcastToday, I am going to share another snippet from one of our past training sessions over at the TSE Hustler’s League where we specifically talked about how to establish ROI.

Think from a prospect’s perspective, not yours.

Oftentimes, you sell the way that you buy. This is one situation or mindset you need to get out of.

Make decisions quicker.

What’s the worst thing that can happen? The way we buy is reflective of the way we sell. Whether you’re picking food off the menu or buying a television, try to make decisions quicker. As you start practicing this, you will notice a difference in the way you sell too.

Ask for a higher ticket.

Not everyone’s income is the same as ours in terms of what they’re willing to invest. So think about their standpoint and not necessarily from your standpoint.

Recognize the value you bring to the table.

Customers are going to weigh it out and think of ways to balance out the cost making sure it works for them. But if they really want something, they will figure out a way to make it happen. Work on letting them realize the ROI but it has to start by having confidence in the value you bring to the table.

Episode Resources:

Join us at the TSE Hustler’s League. We’re starting a new session in May! And we would love for you to engage with us.

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.

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

Emotions, Video, Donald Kelly, Steve Heimerman

TSE 469: How to Drive Results with Emotion

Emotions, Video, Donald Kelly, Steve HeimermanPeople buy based on emotions. But how can you tap into the emotions of your clients in a way that helps them make an informed buying decision?

Today’s guest on Sales From the Street is master storyteller, Steve Heimerman, who shares with us some insights into how you can utilize video to drive results through emotions. Steve is the Founder of Tilt Motion, a video production company that tells stories of video engagement.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Steve:

Steve’s coolest sales experience when he was the customer at a car dealership

Why emotions are powerful when tapping into your buyers:

  • Engagement is king and videos are the best way to engage audiences.
  • By 2017, videos are going to account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic.

How to tap into people’s emotions when creating videos:

  1. Do a creative brief.

Figure out your main message. What kind of video do you want to create? Learn more about the actual story.

  1. Listen to their struggles.

Be a good listener and figure out what they’re struggling with. And that struggle is a story. Learn more about the person as an individual and develop that relationship.

  1. Be strategic in how you’re using those emotions.

Be wide open in going through the process. You can use any kind of emotion but figure out the clever way to tell your story.

Steve’s Major Takeaway:

Video is the future. Have a video strategy or you’re falling behind. 64% of consumers are more likely to buy a product after watching related videos. Videos are highly effective and easy to share. It’s all about the storytelling.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Steve Heimerman on www.tiltmotion.com. Download their ebook on Why Video Matters and How to Use It to Create a Winning Marketing Strategy by going to www.tiltmotion.com/salesevan.

David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

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.

 

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Negotiation, New Clients

TSE 462: If You Give, You Should Get

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Negotiation, New ClientsDo you really appreciate the things you get for free? Not often, I don’t think so. Personally, I have wasted so many great things because I got them for free. There was no value tied to them. Is your prospect doing this same thing with you?

Today, we’re talking about VALUE and why you should not give away everything for free. I’m also going to share with you some things about negotiation and how you can make sure you can effectively negotiate with your prospects.

As sellers, sometimes we become to afraid to lose our prospects that we tend to give away everything for free. Unfortunately, people are not going to value those things that you give for free. Now, the relationship has a bad start. So here are a couple of principles to help you get a good head start.

  1. If I do this, you will do this…

Ex. If I were to give you a free license, you will have to give us a referral.

  1. If you give away stuff for free, make sure you have a strategy behind it in the end.

Ex. McDonald’s sells us burgers at almost no profit but they are making a huge increase on their fries and soda so they consistently have people coming back over and over again.

Now let’s bring this back to you…

Do you have an after sales process?

This means having something on the back-end to recuperate that loss or cost. For example, sell your product at a cheaper rate to get into one department of a company and as they grow, they would purchase more from you.

Today’s Major Takeaway:

Make sure that there is value attached to anything you give away for free. Do not just give it all away.

Episode Resources:

Double Your Customer Referrals This Week!

This 3 part video training will teach you step-by-step how to DOUBLE the amount of customers referrals you receive this week!

privacy We value your privacy and would never spam you

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.

Donald C Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Closing The Deal

TSE 327: How To Close The Deal

Donald C Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Closing The DealA lot of people are having a difficult time closing deals and we tend to put so much emphasis on the close that we actually start to miss. You start to think ahead and that could mess you up. Now if you would relate that with playing football, you basically take off before you actually catch the ball so you missed the catch. Because you were so focused on the next step, you practically missed what you were currently doing.

As a seller, we put so much emphasis on the close. Now what if you treated it just like anything else? Just like walking where it becomes a natural part of you?

Don’t put so much mental emphasis on the close that you trip and mess up. Don’t just swing without hitting anything. Simply think of it in a natural way.

The best way to close a deal is to never skip the process you’re in right from the very beginning. Here are some strategies to help you close the deal for real:

  1. The person must have a challenge that you can solve.

You need to be able to come across as an expert so you can move the problem from being status quo to finding a solution.

  1. Make sure they have the money.

They can’t do anything unless they have the money.

  1. You have to talk to somebody who can say yes.

Early on, make sure they understand that the challenge that’s causing them pain must be alleviated. Emphasize they’re losing something if they’re not doing this.

  1. Get the time frame.

Find out when the deal or project needs to get in place. What are they anticipating? What are they looking to do?

  1. You have to set the rules before you play the game.

Before meeting with the prospect, give them the opportunity to say no. If you get them to say no, then that’s awesome so you can focus more on people who are going to say yes.

  1. Just move naturally into the closing.

Again, don’t put too much emphasis on closing or else you might just fumble in the end. Once you’ve done all the things early on in the sales process, finding out their real challenges and they know they need to move, and you’ve demonstrated how you can help solve their problem then it would be easier for you to naturally close it. Assumptive close works well. Make it as natural as possible.

Episode Resources:

Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions by Keith Rosen

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.

The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly

Following Up, Connecting With Prospects, Closing Deals, New Clients

TSE 320: TSE Hustler’s League-“Why & How To Follow Up!”

Following Up, Connecting With Prospects, Closing Deals, New ClientsIn this episode, I’m sharing with you a piece of our training at TSE Hustler’s League, a group coaching session that I have every Wednesday night. We talked about following up, why it’s so important, and how to do it more effectively.

TSE Hustler’s League is a one-hour group training with accountability as well as a separate groups that we do every week. Since I can’t play the entire hour here, I’m getting some snippets of the training and sharing them with you so you can better understand how following up is crucial to your sales and we’re sharing some ideas to do it effectively.

Here are the highlights of this episode:

What is following up?

  • The act of communicating with your prospects

Reason many salespeople fail to follow up?

  • Fear of becoming the “stalker”

Importance of Following Up:

  • It shows trust and gives you the credibility to your clients
  • Trust eventually leads to success in sales
  • People do business with those they know, like, and trust.

When do you follow up?

  • Whenever you say you’re going to.

Strategies in following up:

  1. Have a clear next step.
  1. Have a deeper analysis of their current sales process.
  1. Set the rules before you play the game.

Put it out at the very beginning of the meeting that if they realize you’re not a good fit, then they should speak up, in the same manner that they tell you if you’re a good fit.

  1. Find out from them what their clear, next step is.

By the end of the meeting, you both know there is a clear, next step.

What to do when they’re not ready yet?

More effective strategies you can do:

Set up a calendar invitation. Tag them in it. Put their email address or a notification.

Major Takeaway:

Don’t talk to prospects and get them all excited and not do anything about it. You have to close it and keep them going in the right direction. Set the next steps and help them to go forward.

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.

Join Today! Following Up, Connecting With Prospects, Closing Deals, New Clients

The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly