Winging It….

If you’re not a bird, you can’t be successful winging it!

I recently recorded a show on Questioning for Better Communication for my Sales Coaching over Coffee radio show (it will air in March), where I talk about the 5 Ps of good questioning.

  1. Plan
  2. Prepare
  3. Practice
  4. Ponder
  5. Patience

Although I’m not going to go into, that whole concept here (stay tuned for the show). What I would like you to notice are the FIRST THREE Ps…. plan – no wings here, prepare – still not winging it, and practice – certainly not winging it.

To be successful in sales we have to have objectives for our calls and a plan of how we are going to achieve our objective. This doesn’t have to be unique for each call – rather many calls we make will have a shared objective and plan.

Need an example?

  • My Cold Call Objective – determine how what I do would fit into their existing sales training program.
  • Prospect Objective (this is my objective for what action I want the prospect to take) – they and one other person on their team to listen to a 15 minutes quick tip teleclass and have a conversation with me about it.
  • Opening Statement – ___________, Most people I speak with are trying to increase their sales numbers YET don’t have time to spend with the people who are already good salespeople WHO with focused attention could be fantastic.
  • 1st Question – May I steal 3 minutes of your life so we can both decide if having a conversation about sales improvement for this segment of your team makes sense?
  •  Crafted Qualifying Questions – I’m not going to share these here but rest assured I have them!

My questions in the conversation might never change, what makes it interesting is the prospects side!

This doesn’t mean I don’t tailor my objective with Trigger Events (thanks Craig Elias) or insert info I know about the company into my questions. It does mean I don’t spend hours figuring out my objective, prospect objective, opening statement, and first question for each cold call I make!

Make sure you’re ready to have a great conversation every time someone answers the phone…. or you are kicked to their voicemail. The only one’s who can soar through winging it are the birds.

what does BELIEF have to do w/sales?

If you haven’t seen this month’s issue of A Chip Off the Block, this will be new (at least from me) – if you have this is actually a NEW topic… keep reading!

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z is represented as:1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26. 

    • then…
      H-A-R-D-W-O-R-K
      8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%
    • and…
      K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E
      11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%
    • but….
      A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E
      1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%
    • AND…..
      D-I-S-C-I-P-L-I-N-E
      4+9+19+3+9+16+12+9+14+5=100%

This is something I saw (that made me wonder who has the time to figure this stuff out) and started thinking What is most important to your sales success? Hence this month’s issue of A Chip Off the Block. One of my customers responded “BUT what about belief – no way is that only 34%!

So today, let’s talk about belief & sales success.

I admit that the alphabet math was something that struck me – not what I completely believe is true in and of itself. Mike’s right – belief is a huge piece of sales success, let’s break it down:

  • Belief in YOURSELF

Hands down, this is the #1 factor in sales success.

I probably shouldn’t stop there, the reason Belief in YOURSELF is #1 is that is where all belief begins for sales success. Inside your mind, your heart knowing that there is value in you as a person. All the things that make you YOU are what are important.

Let’s face it the first sale you make is not your company, product, service, or solution – those come after a prospecting buying into you.

  • Belief in your company

Of course that doesn’t mean you don’t need to believe that the company you’re working for (regardless if you own it or not) is a good choice. Your belief in your company doing what they say they’ll do will come across in each and every thing you say. Plus your credibility is what is on the line (again they buy you first) when you make a promise or commitment to the prospect.

  • Belief in your product/service/solution

As you move into selling ‘stuff’ – you know your product, service, solution – there has to be a belief that it is the right thing for that particular prospect.

If you’re not sure…. they will not be sure either. Ask insightful questions to learn what the prospect want and needs (because those are NOT the same thing) to figure out how your ‘stuff’ will fill them both. If you can’t perhaps it’s time to walk away from this particular business opportunity.

Maybe no one can do it all and you can figure out how to help them believe you are the best option. You can’t get there if you don’t believe it yourself.

  • Belief in the business case

Here is a crazy idea – if you believe in yourself, your company, your stuff…. you still  have to believe there is a good business case to achieve sales success.

I’ll share that I had a conversation where what I did filled a want and need my prospect had BUT there wasn’t enough ROI to actually justify doing anything. The cost of my ‘stuff’ to fill their want and need, didn’t give them a value either of us could monetize.

No finance person in the world will sign off on something UNLESS you don’t just believe but can prove the value to the company cost of the stuff = positive #

  • Belief in your ability to deliver

To some, this might seem like a duplication of either ‘company’ or ‘product/service/solution’ – I would disagree. There are times when you know you’re the right choice but your prospect’s expectations aren’t going to be met from a when perspective.

This is the perfect time to have an expectation conversation with the prospect – it will put you forward as trustworthy, not just a salesperson who will say or do anything to win a deal. Let’s face it – the worst would be to win THEN disappoint them.

I guess there is a lesson about belief itself after all…. share what you believe, if they believe you that is when you know the prospect will become your customer.