“In Addition to That . . .” by Bob Burg

Hello the following is a post I saw over the weekend by Bob Burg and it is a great addition to this month’s objection handling theme. Enjoy!

In Addition to That . . .

April 14th, 2009 by Bob Burg

Often, in the selling process, we encounter an objection that, while it may be very legitimate, is not the true reason for the prospect’s hesitation. This might happen because the prospect is too polite to share their real reason and doesn’t want to hurt our feelings (even though we’d rather they did) or, he or she simply might not be aware of what their true reason is.

When you suspect either of the above, you must be able to isolate their true objection, otherwise you won’t make the sale, and your prospect won’t get to enjoy the benefits your product or service can provide them. And, just as importantly, you must be able to do this tactfully and non-manipulatively so as not to cause their feeling defensive.

In this instance, simply ask the following question: “Mr./Ms. Prospect, in addition to {their stated objection} is there anything else that would keep you from going ahead and taking ownership?”

Upon thinking about it, they might say “No, that’s it.” If that’s the case, then, if you can answer their objection to their satisfaction and alleviate their concern, you’ll have the sale.

What they’ll probably say is, “Well, I’m also concerned with the fact that . . . {their true objection}. Now, very gently determine if “that” is their true objection. When they say “Yes” now you’re in a position to answer it, make the sale, and have everyone come out a winner.

SALES!Blip – Who Is In Your Family?

This story is one of my all time favorites from Debbie Mrazek.

Business people and salespersons across the United States call her a sales coach. Her clients call her a Godsend. Debbie Mrazek is a doer and dynamo who delivers a sales prescription that really works. Whether you’re a novice or knowledge expert in selling products or services, Mrazek’s sales mantra and methods resonate a clear, complete picture for certain success.

Mrazek is founder and president of The Sales Company, a firm that is helping hundreds of entrepreneurs, individuals and large corporations better assess, understand and engage in practical, purposeful selling.

With “Mrazek Energy” (believed to be from another world since it is a constant flow of happiness and enthusiasm), she teaches the tools, techniques and talents every individual possesses, and how to transform those into s-a-l-e-s. Mrazek has counseled, constructed and completed sales programs, workshops, and individual and team coaching across the nation. She’s also a consultant, author and conference facilitator.

When she’s not out helping the world improve their sales, Mrazek enjoys life’s adventures with husband, Tommy, son, daughter – Jason and Jennifer, two beagles Happy and Hailey Mary and wonderfully lazy calico cat, Season.

Now Here it is….

Who Is In Your Family?

A few years ago one of my clients was going home for Thanksgiving to his Grandmother’s house.  To hear him talk he was headed off to something awful!

If you saw him the rest of the time in our business community you would have seen him as someone very professional, engaging, well-mannered and terrific to be around.

How could someone so terrific be from people who are so awful??

This discussion about him going home to his “awful” family went on for four years.

I was just tired of hearing him talk about them in this way and said, “You know, Grandma isn’t going to live forever and I just can’t believe you can be so terrific and they are so awful. This year when you go home why don’t you treat them like the strangers you meet at a business luncheon you go to all year??”

Needless to say he was not thrilled with me as his Sales Coach or friend at that moment.

Fast forward to the Monday after Thanksgiving…

I had a voice mail. What I heard was not someone talking loud but someone SCREAMING on my voice mail.

At first I could not discern the voice and when I did I just started laughing and hit replay on the message.

YES! It was that terrific person who went to the awful family Thanksgiving dinner.:)

What he was SCREAMING was, “MRAZEK, I HATE YOUR GUTS…CALL ME!”

When I called there was no hello, how are you, nothing!:) It was…

“Mrazek who is the #1 COMPANY I have been trying to get into for FOUR YEARS??????”

That was easy…I said, “General Electric!”

He said, “Guess who my Uncle is???”

I could hardly wait…I said, “Who?”

He said, “The PRESIDENT of one of the divisions of GENERAL ELECTRIC!!:)”

I could not hardly contain my laughter but did have to ask just one more question, “How LONG has he been your Uncle?”:)

His response, “FORTY-FIVE YEARS!”

At that moment we both were laughing so hard!!!!!!!!:)

WHO IS IN YOUR FAMILY!!!???:)

Every day you want to grow your business, increase sales, meet companies that you would like to do business with. You search far and wide…who knows, maybe they are going to be seated at YOUR Thanksgiving table…and have been there for YEARS!!:)

When you go to be with your family and friends this week instead of fussing about that they always talk about the same things or just watch football or whatever…why don’t you treat them like you do all the new people that come into your business life all year…like interesting strangers!:)

Ask them questions about what they do, what’s happening in their community, what do they do the other 364 days a year they are not at the Thanksgiving family dinner.

Call me on Monday and let me know who you met!!:)…no screaming please!:)

Wishing each and every one of you a very blessed and Happy Thanksgiving! We continue to be humbled and honored to know each of you and share this journey!

With deepest gratitude!
Debbie:)

Are Your Prospects Suffering from Frazzled Customer Syndrome?

By Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

Many of the people you’re calling on today suffer from a severe case of Frazzled Customer Syndrome. This debilitating condition is brought on by excessive workloads, 24/7 availability, information overload, lack of sleep, and job-related stress.

You likely encounter these individuals on a daily basis. They’re good people who are doing their best to survive in a crazy-busy workplace.

Their calendars are overflowing and they’re constantly falling behind, but they feel powerless to stop the unrelenting, escalating demands on their time.

Their frantic pace is both exhausting and exhilarating. They can barely focus on important tasks because their days are filled with interruptions, distractions, and constantly changing activities.

One minute they’re working on a document. The next, they’re checking e-mail, text-messaging, responding to a customer, or doing research online. This frenetic multitasking fools them into thinking they’re accomplishing a lot, but in reality they’re doing very little.

The result? More work, unmet obligations, unfinished projects, and chronic feelings of underachievement.

To make matters worse, they don’t see an end in sight. Instead, they deal with constant downsizings and reorganizations and rapidly move from job to job, never really mastering their current one—all the while wondering if they’re next on the chopping block.

Their personal life is just as frenetic, as they juggle work commitments, family, and personal time until they crash in front of the TV every evening. It’s no wonder they don’t have time for you.

Recognizing the Symptoms

How do you know when you’re dealing with customers who suffer from Frazzled Customer Syndrome? Typically they:

  • Have a “net it out” mentality. These impatient, time-starved people want you to get to the bottom line right away. If you don’t, they’re immediately dismissive.
  • Get easily distracted. Even when they’re interested in what you have to say, their attention spans are short. They feel compelled to multitask whenever humanly possible.
  • Forget quickly. Because of their excessive flitting from task to task, much of what they commit to never makes it into their long-term memory.
  • Demand a lot. They expect you to jump through hoops to fulfill their requests, yet when it’s time for them to take action, they move like molasses.
  • Suffer from “analysis paralysis.” Faced with lots of change, multiple acceptable options, and the lack of time for thorough research, they appear overwhelmed, and nothing makes sense to them.
  • Withdraw from contact. When they’re buried under other priorities, they don’t have any news to report or they have bad news—or go silent altogether.

Frazzled Customer Syndrome makes your job so much harder. Dealing with overwhelmed people is completely different from working with calm, rational people who have time to analyze their situation and study multiple options before moving ahead. But those people are no longer the norm.

To make matters worse, using traditional sales strategies actually creates insurmountable obstacles that can derail your sales efforts.

Your hot prospects fizzle or flame out. They politely (or sometimes not so politely) tell you that their priorities have changed, the budget has dried up or they have too much on their plate right now.

In most cases, your attempts to get them back on track are futile. They tell you to call back next month, but before long that becomes “next quarter,” and then, “next year.”

They just want to get rid of you. It’s not personal. They just can’t handle even one more item on their to-do list.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. By mastering the SNAP Rules, you can change how your prospects react to you.

Remember to: (1) Keep it Simple; (2) Be iNvaluable; (3) Always Align and (4) Raise Priorities. When you do that, frazzled prospects will want to work with you. And, they’ll rely on your guidance and advice when they make decisions.

Want to learn more about these fresh strategies for selling to crazy-busy prospects? To get four FREE sales-accelerating tools and download two chapters of SNAP Selling, visit www.SnapSelling.com or email jill@snapselling.com

*Excerpted from SNAP Selling by Jill Konrath (Portfolio 2010)

Who Will You Be When The Pilgrimage Is Over?

Rose Niekrewicz-Winters is a friend of mine, I met when we were both on a bus trip with a band in Ireland…. ‘nuf said. Instead of telling you, I’ve asked Rose to share her pilgrimage and thoughts about it:

/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

It’s been quite a long pilgrimage.  I’ve traveled through the past year and a half searching for a job.  Not just any job, but “the” job.  I know, I know – in this economy many would say I’m a fool to NOT just take any job.  What those people don’t realize is that if I just take any old job and then if it doesn’t work out and they lay me off, it could jeopardize my future unemployment status.  The bottom line is that I’m picky. 


/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

Who

Some may say it’s all about who you know.  I’ve found that sometimes that just doesn’t matter.  I have over 600 friends on Facebook, over 200 members in the motorcycle club, I’m in, thousands of hits to my blog, piles of former clients….  The list goes on and on.  Nobody seems to know anyone who is hiring.  I keep my ear to the ground because all it takes is 1 “right person” to drop your name at the right time.

 

Who I will be at the end of the journey is hopefully someone gainfully employed and happy at my job.  Push that angle aside and I’ll also be a person who took the time to get to know hundreds of people in the process and did good things for others along the way.

/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

What

What did I do to keep my sanity?  I helped others.  I spent time working on a charity poker run for a girl with optic nerve cancer.  I helped some friends whose house burned down rebuild their lives.  I volunteered to help do work to open up the Double H “Hole in the Woods” Ranch in Lake Luzerne, NY.  I helped out a friend who was in a motorcycle accident. I supported a friend whose daughter has leukemia and tried to help her spread the word about a fundraiser for her.  I tell friends that I may have an empty bank account and can’t financially contribute to everything I’d like, but I do have time and a bank full of good karma!  😉

/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

When

When did I find the time?  Being out of work many people assume you’ve got all the time in the world to run around and help them with their errands.  There is nothing further from the truth.  I look at my schedule lately and wonder “when will I find the time to work when I get that new job?”  When you get extra time in your life, life decides to throw things at you to fill the time!

 

Where

Where do you meet the people?  Anywhere and Everywhere!  I talk to people every chance I get.  I make friends at a local coffee shop, on vacation, at concerts, at networking events, online, through other friends….  I keep saying it only takes talking to the one right person to land that perfect job….

 

How

How I’ve dealt with being out of work so long is a common question.  The answer is by keeping a positive attitude.  I always keep in mind that nobody wants to hire a complainer who’s crying in their beer all the time.  So I’ve been careful not to be that person. At the end of the How Far Are You Willing to Travel article in the A Chip Off the Block newsletter some questions were asked.

 

How would you like it to be instead?

Obviously I’d like to be employed.  I’d love it to be with a solid company that’s willing to recognize and pay for a quality employee.  Those $10/hour job calls just frustrate me to the point of asking “Did you even read my resume??”

 

How open to new, sometimes crazy sounding ideas are you?

I started my job search very focused on a sales job.  Later I reflected on my career and realized I was selling myself short.  True I’ve held many sales positions as of late, but I also have done marketing, data processing, management, etc.  So pigeon holing myself was a horrible thing to do!  I later realized that opening myself up to other markets and other professions was a great idea and now I tell people that I’m keeping my options open and I’d love to hear their ideas, no matter how crazy they may sound. 

 

Just last night a good friend told me that another mutual friend counts on me for my ideas.  Apparently I’m her “think tank” and I never knew it.  I’m analytical and try to think three steps ahead and my friend doesn’t normally think past the first step.  She let’s things unfold as they happen.  I’ve learned in life to think about the future because your actions today can make or break things.

 

How much effort will you put in?

I work hard so I can play hard.  Everyone likes to make money.  They’d be lying if they said otherwise.  I like to do a job in the most efficient way and get it out of the way.  I put in the effort to get a job done right the first time so it doesn’t have to be revised 4 times therefore wasting valuable “play time.”

/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

How does this fit into your goals?

This all fits into my goals.  My goals are to work hard so I can afford to play hard.  I love to travel (in fact that’s how Lynn of Up Your Telesales and I met and became friends), ride motorcycles, attend concerts, etc.  All of that is tough to do when you’re unemployed.  So I’m hoping my positive attitude and outgoing personality I’m putting out there will pay off with the job of my dreams!

/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

How will you keep going when it gets tough?

That’s a loaded question if I ever saw one!  Things have gotten tough.  Life is tough.  The question is will you choose to have a “Whoa is me” attitude or a positive attitude?  Attitude is half the battle!  Times get tough and somehow it motivates me to work harder and put in even more effort than I had prior.

 

In closing the How Far Are You Willing To Travel article said:  “It’s your pilgrimage so there are no right or wrong answers – plus if you’re happy with the path you’re on, continue!”

 

I may not always be happy with the path I’m on, but I’m always aware of the next crossroad and am very aware that my life can be very different based on the choices I make.  All events shape the outcome of future events.  Just like Marty and Doc discussed in Back to the Future It’s all about the “Space Time Continuum”. Make every moment count.

 

 

Five Strategies To Minimize Risk

Here is an article by Tesa Stowe which resonated so much with me and my philosophies on why people are AND aren’t buying today that I wanted you to have the opportunity to read it as well.

Lynn’s Philosophy? Today prospects and customers are asking themselves:

Is the risk of doing something (anything) greater than the risk of doing nothing

 


/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

©Tessa Stowe, Sales Conversation, 2009

Is it risky to buy from you? This is the question your prospects will be asking themselves before they buy from you.

They want to know that you are capable of delivering the results they want and that you will actually deliver them. No matter how good your product is, if you are perceived as risky, your prospect will not buy from you.

Conversely, people will knowingly buy inferior products if they perceive the risk is less and that there is more of a guarantee they will get the outcome they are looking for.

Risk is a huge deciding factor, so how do you convey that you are the lowest-risk solution? Here are five strategies:

Strategy #1: Brainstorm all the reasons why you are the lowest-risk solution for your prospect.

Why are your prospects assured of getting the outcomes they want from your solution? What specific features of your product assure them they will get that outcome? What support do you offer that ensures they will get that outcome? Why should they feel assured you will be around next year to support them? You must be crystal-clear in your own mind about why you are the lowest-risk solution before you can explain it to your prospect.

Strategy #2: Brainstorm all the reasons why your prospects might perceive you as a risky solution.

Put yourself in their shoes. Be honest with yourself. If you were your competition, what would you say about the risk of your solution?

Now reframe that risk so it is not a risk. Turn it completely around to something positive. De-risk the risk!

In 2002 I was selling a billing solution to a telecommunications company. We were perceived by the prospect as high-risk as we had no references and we were using new, very advanced, technology.

I reframed that risk and told my prospect that we were actually the lowest-risk solution because we had the advanced technology that no one else had implemented. I went on to explain that, because this new technology would help them get ahead of their competition, it represented the lowest risk because it minimized the risk of competition in the future. They saw my point, and this was a major reason for their decision to buy the solution . . . for several million dollars, I might add.

You must name the elephant in the room, so to speak. Turn the perceived risk around to your advantage.

Strategy #3: Be prepared with customer testimonials and case studies that talk about specific results.

The more customer testimonials and case studies you have, the more comfortable your prospect will feel and the less risky you will be perceived. Even if you have only one or two, they can be powerful risk- minimizers.

Strategy #4: Make sure your true intent is to help your prospects get what they want, not to sell them something.

Always – and I mean always – act in alignment with this intent. If you do, your prospects will trust you. When your prospects trust you, they will perceive you as less risky.

Strategy #5: Have a very open conversation with your prospect and tell them you are the lowest- risk solution and why.

Tell your prospects all the reasons why you are the lowest-risk solution, including those risks you have turned around in Strategy #2.

Go into as much detail and depth on each point as you need to in order to make them feel comfortable. Ask them if they are confident in the reasons you have mentioned or if they still have questions. If you have built rapport and trust, they will tell you in what areas they still perceive you are risky. This conversation can be a very revealing – and rewarding – one.

Implement these five strategies and your prospects will see you as the lowest-risk solution- and maybe even the no-risk solution. More sales are sure to follow.

Tessa Stowe teaches small business owners and recovering salespeople simple steps to turn conversations into clients without being sales-y or pushy. Her FREE monthly Sales Conversation newsletter is full of tips on how to sell your services by just being yourself. Sign up now at www.salesconversation.com.

How to Motivate Your Prospects to Buy Now


/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} Hello, I read this article by Tessa Stowe of Sales Conversations this week and thought it easily translated into inside sales.  What I think is most critical is her idea near the very bottom:

Even if you think you know the consequences…. don’t tell your prospect

It is so much more powerful to be in a conversation, ask questions, and have the prospect tell you why it is critical for them to take action now! Enjoy the article, Lynn

In these trying economic times, sales have slowed down considerably – people just do not want to spend any money.The future is so uncertain right now that both consumers and businesses want to hold on to their money, just in case they need it for an emergency or even for survival. Right now, most people are in fear of loss, and this fear leads to inaction. In today’s market, even if you have been showing your prospect that it makes total financial sense to buy your solution right now, and that there is a clear ROI (Return on Investment), you are probably finding that they are still not motivated to buy right now. You see, in this economy, it’s unlikely that something as simple as a great ROI will motivate your prospect to buy. Actually even using the words ‘Return on Investment’ probably sends shudders down your prospects’ spines! We all know what has happened to a lot of “investments” lately. So, if having a great ROI will not motivate your prospect to buy now, what will?

As I mentioned above, people are holding on to their money in case they need it for emergencies or for survival. So, if you can link the purchase of your solution to an emergency or survival, you might just get your prospect’s attention, and they will be motivated to buy now.

How do you make that link?

You make the link by focusing on consequences. If your prospect does not take action and buy your solution now, there are going to be consequences as a result. What are these consequences? What will those consequences be to his/her revenue, costs, competitiveness, or viability in three months, six months, and 12 months? What sort of pain or emergency will these consequences create? How will these consequences impact their ability to survive in an evolving economy?

Remember, only BIG consequences motivate people to buy now. So, starting now, if you want to motivate people to buy now, think about and find BIG consequences.

For each and every prospect for your solution, determine the specific consequences he/she might incur if they don’t take action right now. How? You find out these specific consequences by asking lots of questions.

Even if you think you know the consequences if your prospect takes no action, don’t tell your prospect the consequences. First, you don’t know their business well enough to list their specific consequences. Second, if you tell your prospect the consequences, he or she will probably decide that such consequences do not apply to them.

Provided it is clear your intention is to help your prospect – versus to sell them your solution – with careful questioning, your prospect will tell you the consequences of his indecision to purchase your solution right now. In fact, with careful questioning, you will probably find that this is the first time that he/she has really thought through the consequences of inaction if they don’t solve this particular problem. They will probably be grateful to you for taking the time to help them get this clarity!

Provided you have uncovered BIG consequences – consequences that will create an emergency or that will impact survival – your prospect will be motivated to take action now, even in today’s economic conditions.

Start today – focus on uncovering BIG consequences, and you will motivate your prospects to buy from you now.

Tessa Stowe teaches small business owners and recovering salespeople simple steps to turn conversations into clients without being sales-y or pushy. Her FREE monthly Sales Conversation newsletter is full of tips on how to sell your services by just being yourself. Sign up now at www.salesconversation.com.

Your Value is Like a Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie

This is a great article by Kendra Lee of the KLA Group! If you ever have a chance to attend one of her presentations – take it. Her down to earth style and actionable ideas are well worth it, check it out:

Selling is a lot like baking. I love to bake. Every Sunday I make 3 batches of chocolate chip cookies for my family of three growing boys. Friends who stop by know the cookie jar will be full and ask to dip in. No kid or adult is immune and they can never stop at just one.

Yum! These are good. Do you use real butter?

What kind of chocolate chips do you use?

How do you get them so soft?

I shouldn’t have another, but may I? Can I please have another?

Even though my homemade chocolate chip cookies are definitely not low fat, people eat two, three and four at a time – more than they ever intended, but what the heck? Their senses take over as the cookie melts away in their mouth. And their hesitation goes out the door.

Your clients are the same way. If they love, love, love your consultative recommendations, advice, and observations they’ll buy more and more. Make their job easier. Check in on them even if you aren’t working a current opportunity. Bring them new ideas and make recommendations you believe will best fit their businesses. Always be willing to listen and brainstorm. Help them financially justify their investment while only selling solutions that will benefit their businesses.

Sell your value. Show your clients the value of working with you. No doubt you hear these phrases every day. But when clients are pressuring you for a price break, it isn’t always as easy as it sounds.

Will clients really pay more to buy your stuff? Yes! They buy Starbucks and Krispy Kreme donuts instead of generic because they value the taste. They’ll buy your value, too, if you appeal to their senses.

While your clients’ budgets may say they should shop around, or they shouldn’t buy that extra service level, they will buy – and buy from you. They’ll do it because they feel confident in decisions you help them make. They can taste the success you’re helping them achieve melting in their mouth.

The memory of that success lingers, just like the memory of a homemade chocolate chip cookie.

In my opinion, if you’re going to take the time to make homemade cookies, you shouldn’t skimp on the ingredients to save calories or money. If you skimp, they’re no better than the packages or tubes you can buy at the store – and definitely not worth the effort to make or eat. Adults don’t see any reason to eat them. Kids will pass them by; and they certainly aren’t going to recommend them to their friends.

The fact that I perfected my recipe over years, and don’t skimp on the ingredients or the time to make them, has my family not just satisfied but bragging. Friends are coming back for more. New friends are coming out of the woodwork.

Your value will linger, too.

Your client will not only pay for your value, but tell everyone they know about how pleased they are! Before you know it, you’ll have a great testimonial for proposals, an eager reference, and referrals flowing your way.

I was speaking with a client this week who actually apologized for spreading our name “all over the place!” He said he probably should have told me so I could prepare our team, but he’d been so busy he hadn’t had a moment. He’d sent some referrals to look at our website and listen in on some audio conferences we were running. He hoped that was okay with me.

Okay? That’s value as good as a homemade chocolate chip cookie!

Kendra Lee is author of “Selling Against the Goal” and president of KLA Group. Specializing in the IT industry, KLA Group helps companies rapidly penetrate new markets, break into new accounts and shorten time to revenue with new products in the Small & Midmarket Business (SMB) segment. Ms. Lee is a frequent speaker at national sales meetings and association events. For more information, contact the company at +1 303.741.6636 or info@klagroup.com or visit www.klagroup.com.