Daily Effort In The Right Direction

What would happen if every activity that you did was first questioned with “How will doing ___________ help me move forward toward success?”

Can you imagine spending every day putting effort in, that moves you in the right direction? I can!

I’m not saying that every day for the rest of your life before you do anything at all, you must ask yourself

“How will doing ___________ help me move forward toward success?”

That would lead to paralysis by analysis as one of my mentors Pete Morrissey would say. Instead for one week play with that question and:

  • stop doing things that aren’t helping
  • do more of the activities that move you forward
  • modify the ones that COULD help if (insert the “if” here)

Many times our days are filled with activity that doesn’t actually move us forward – get off that treadmill (or gerbil wheel if you prefer) and make sure your actions move you in the right direction.

Believe You’re Extraordinary

You may be tired of me saying “the only two things you control in sales are how you spend your time AND your attitude!” Well today I’m going to add to that with something that involves BOTH.

Believe You’re Extraordinary

Extra Ordinary – a bonus beyond the ordinary, that is who you are and what you give to the people you interact with every day.

Out there somewhere is a person saying “well if everyone is extraordinary… doesn’t that become ordinary?”

Here is the crazy part; what makes each of us extraordinary is different – in fact, I would  dare say what OTHERS think makes us extraordinary are the things that we do without any thought at all. They the pieces that make up who we are.

Here is your mission for this week – if you choose to accept it. Write up your personal manifesto, what makes you who you are.  Need an example? Here is mine :-)

I practice random acts of kindness

I try to treat people the way I want to be treated
•    with respect
•    with dignity
•    with humor
•    with love

It is important that my friends and family know I love them and that I remember to tell them often, not taking for granted that they know

I am someone who makes people think of the words
•    fair
•    capable
•    funny
•    and just a little bit off

I want to be the person who gets phone calls from friends and family when wonderful things happen and when there is a need for a shoulder to cry on

I try to be brave in bad situations, and hope that if I can’t be brave I can at least fake it until it is over

I am learning that it is ok not to be perfect

I always remember that I could be better in the roles my life puts before me

I keep a kite in my car, just in case

I am NOT spontaneous, but I am willing to take risks

I love to read, love to learn, and love to love

Have a great week!

Issue 24: Top o’ The Morning Edition

Our last issue of A Chip off the Block ended with

Success comes from Good Judgment
Good Judgment comes from Experience
Experience comes from Bad Judgment

That quote got me thinking about how I know I’m at the top of my game. Here is my personal short list:

    #1. having real conversations w/new contacts
    #2. turning suspects into a prospects
    #3. finding new sales opportunities
    #4. earning a someone’s business
    #5. making my numbers

Notice that the sales result is only ONE of the top o’ the game indicators, in sales too often we only look to our “numbers” for validation we’re extrodinary at what we do.

Want more? Check out the whole article at A Chip off the Block Issue 24: Top o’ The Morning Edition

Have you defined what a JERK Prospect looks like?

In his 111 Ridiculously Obvious Thoughts On Selling, Tom Peters lists #36 as “Don’t waste your time on jerks—it’ll rarely work out in the mid- to long-term.”

Early this year I had a virtual conversation with a fabulous saleswoman I know, Nicole Walter, here are a few things we came up with:

  1. Many times your gut will define what a JERK prospect is.
  2. Do they JERK you around, saying one thing and doing another?
  3. Most companies are not JERKS. They just have one or two who work there.

Here are a few vocabulary words that don’t truly indicate someone will JERK you around:

  • cantankerous
  • crabby
  • cranky
  • curmudgeonly
  • grumpy
  • ornery
  • prickly

That tells you about their personality not their value system. Some people (ok, me) like grumpy (I even have a baseball hat that says “I love Grumpy Guys”), it is important not to write off a prospect because of their demeanor.

What neither Nicole or I will tolerate in prospects or customers is JERKs.

I think it bears pondering what actions someone could take that will culminate in you writing them off as a JERK. Here are my top 3:

#3 – agreeing to a conference call (or other use of corporate resources) and being a no-show

#2 – stating what their next step will be and then disappearing (leaving me in voicemail jail)

#1 –  indicating at minimum they will tell me what their decision is (with why) to my proposal, then never calling back

What are YOUR top three actions that have you walking away from a prospect or customer? I have to agree with Tom Peters and Nicole Walter; you’ll make more money calling someone else rather than chasing a JERK.

March Method vs. Madness

Here is a post that was originally seen as my contribution to the Sales Bloggers Union March Madness discussion.

If you are smiling & dialing your way through March – it is time to take a step back and use some points brought up in Leanne Hoagland-Smith’s article March Madness Marketing Mayhem.

Ideal Customer Profile
Ideal & Minimum criteria are NOT the same thing, but time after time when I work with salespeople they are looking for someone anyone who qualifies to buy what they sell.

It doesn’t matter if you sell to consumers or businesses – many of us go from deal to deal; saying yes because we need the revenue. Looking at ideal customers as a “some day – wish list” type of thing.

Take a deep breath – yes we are talking about making your prospecting pool smaller. Before you freak out: What would your business look like IF all of your customers met your ideal customer profile?

Would you:

  • Make more money?
  • Have more fun?
  • Worry less?

The crazy thing is that most people answer YES, YES, and YES – yet haven’t taken the time to figure out what that ideal customer profile looks like.

If we don’t know what our ideal customer looks like, how will we ever know when we find them?

To me there is nothing worse than the thought that my ideal customer might be on the other end of the prospecting call and I will not even recognize them!

I would like you to change your perspective and begin to think about prospecting for your ideal customer. Every single time you pick up the phone to look for new customers OR new business with existing customers; have your ideal customer profile right in front of you, check off what you know and don’t know – then have conversations to gather the answers you need.

Almost Ideal?
Don’t get me wrong, if you come up with 9 characteristics (both measurable & subjective) – don’t hang up if someone doesn’t meet all nine!

If they have 7 of 9 (*sigh* couldn’t help myself) don’t kick them to the curb; you will probably be able to have a nice business relationship.

On the contrary, if they only meet 3 of your 9 characteristics – run, run away NOW! Even if you earn their trust and business (doubtful) long term they will cost you more energy and effort than the money you will earn.

What Makes A Customer Ideal?
Step 1 – Look at your Top 5 Customers.

  1. Do you like doing business with them?
  2. Would you be thrilled if every single customer was like them?

Step 2 – If you answer YES to both questions; describe the company. Here is a short list of characteristics to consider and define for your ideal customer profile:

  • How big are they?
  • How much money do they have?
  • What does their buying process look like?
  • Who makes the final decision?
  • Who has authority to buy?
  • What do the people look like?
  • How often do they buy what you sell?

After my short list – is there “stuff” about what you sell or doing business with your company for you to add?

Step 3 – Begin to look for those types of companies when you’re calling.

An additional bonus is; when people ask you who you do business with – clearly define it for them, it is much easier to get referrals to people you WANT to work with!

Now add in your own emotional intelligence (need help? check out Leanne’s ps offer) – it takes all the madness out and leaves pure clean sales method.

Mapquest To Success?

I wish mapquest could really give you a plan for life, with little arrows, or a nice speaking voice, to revert to the original path when you stray too far no, I really don’t, but it’s a nice thought ~ Jennifer Aicher

Interesting idea and wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to read sign posts that direct us forward?

Although some days I agree with Jen, others I think the journey is really the fun part. I do believe Bob Bitchin was right when he said

“The difference between adventure and ordeal is attitude”

Which means as individuals we create our own adventure by choosing the right attitude for us, every day.

What does this have to do with sales? EVERYTHING!

Today & Every Day….

Prospects and customers can hear your choice of attitudes ever time you call – they know what type of day you are having. Be honest with yourself; you know they would rather talk to a salesperson who is in a good mood vs. bad.

Plus because attitude is a choice – you can turn it around when ever you want.

I didn’t say that was going to be easy! Make sure you have a few tricks up your sleeve:

  1. a trusted confidant who will support you
  2. a place to walk away to when you’re frustrated
  3. someone positive in your life you can call for a smile
  4. perhaps a secret chocolate stash in your top desk drawer
  5. a quote, book, or magazine that reminds you of what is important
  6. make yourself smile (even if it takes a stupid youtube video to do it)

and 7. last but not least – TAKE A REALLY DEEP BREATH (then let it out slowly)

Control your day, your career, your attitude – that is what will bring you down the road to sales success. Leave mapquest to give you directions to that next appointment!