Today’s Tip – read other people’s stuff

Here is an important sales tip – read other people’s stuff!

Not only other experts writings in your area BUT also other, seemingly random perhaps, places you might find ideas. For me many times that is more important than sales books or articles – gaining new insight comes from the oddest places.

Need a couple examples? Here are a couple places I visit enough to have on my iGoogle page:

and bookmarked to go RIGHT to it:

Where do you visit for inspiration, new ideas, and creative thoughts? Share with me I love to learn NEW sources.

How will YOU know you’re on your way?

This photograph is by Mark Kurtz, a local photographer, who’s work always inspires me and makes me smile. This image was chosen as the National Geographic photo of the day back in September.

That got me thinking too – how will I know I’m on my way to success?

I feel that in some ways I’m there now. In other areas there is still effort to be put in and work to be done. How about you?

Have you:

  • defined what success looks like?
  • set up markers along the way to know you’re moving forward?
  • figured out what skills you need to build?
  • created a network of people who are there to help?
  • celebrated the micro-successes that show progress?

Like an unexpected photo of fireworks in a snow storm – make sure you ooooh and ahhhh over what you’re creating in your career.

Top 10 Business Excuses……. NOT to call customers

Check out the list of Top 10 Business Excuses salespeople use to NOT call customers. The important question is…. Which one do you use?

10 – I’ll get to that as soon as I finish insert task here.
9 – I have a team meeting.
8 – You scheduled me for training.
7 – My forecast is due.
6 – I’ve got to talk to insert your internal resource here before I call.
5 – My cube mate asked for help.
4 – I’m researching who to call.
3 – Let me read these notes first.
2 – Oh look an email.
and the #1 excuse for NOT using Money Hours for Customer Contact Time is…. but they asked me to doooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo something when I talked with them just now!

Stop making excuses and start holding yourself accountable! Push yourself to make an effort for customer contact when you’re at your best AND you have the most luck reaching people.

The results will astound you.

Responsiveness – as a key buying point

Who gets to decide what ‘responsive’ means?

I’ll admit that isn’t how I ask the question in training classes BUT I would like you to start to think about this: Do I EVER ask my prospects or customers the WHEN behind their request?

Don’t get me wrong, one of the key buying points in telesales many times = responsiveness!

Responsiveness to:

  • requests for information
  • order processing
  • product delivery
  • etc.

I’m all about delivering value the prospect and customer needs; where I think telesalespeople miss the mark is NOT asking what level of responsiveness is needed every single time!

Here is my story of WHY that’s true:

Long long ago, in a sales land far far away…. a young salesperson (let’s call her Lynn) got a request from a prospect and because she didn’t have many customers yet, DROPPED everything and took care of their request immediately!

Then a horrible event occurred – Lynn won the deal AND got the order 2 days later.

Why is that a horrible event? Well it solidified in Lynn’s belief system that dropping everything is what made her successful. Because it was true… that one time.

As we move through time, Lynn kept earning business by dropping everything. Her customer’s praised her efforts on their behalf and she became VERY successful.

The problem became, now she had many customers and the timing began to slip. Some people were still very happy with her… others expressed dissatisfaction.. and some even expressed it by NOT being her customers anymore.

One day that customer from the beginning of the story called, of course Lynn dropped everything. GASP – 2 days later she didn’t have an order, a week went by and the customer wasn’t even returning her messages. Finally 4 weeks later she was able to talk with them – devastated because she believed she had lost their business even though she had dropped everything. Let’s listen in… 

  • Lynn: Hi, I guess you decided to go with another vendor on this one…..
  • Customer: What are you talking about?
  • Lynn: We’ll I hadn’t heard from you, so I figure you decided that someone else was a better fit on this project…..
  • Customer: Um, no…
  • Lynn: Then what’s up?
  • Customer: The board meets the 1st Tuesday of the month, so I can’t do anything until after they vote on it. I called you right after the last meeting to work on their latest request. Today is the day after their next meeting and I’m calling to tell you they approved it.

What is needed in 5 minutes today (for a meeting or to satisfy a boss’s curiosity) – might be able to wait until tomorrow or another day. In the case of our story, the request could have waited WEEKS until the customer needed it for the next board meeting.

Understanding a prospect or customer’s responsiveness need is going to help you better manage your priorities – time – efforts. Plus you can make sure you exceed their expectations IF you know what they are.

ask… THEN make sure you deliver!