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.

Do you still get giddy?

One of the tenets of my life is JOYFULNESS it’s ok you can laugh (my husband always does). This week I was reminded of the importance, to me, of keeping sales – joyful.

It happened while I was making cold calls… no kidding! Joyfulness and cold calls aren’t necessarily things I think of together either.

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The moment came while “doing my thing” I asked a question that made the prospect THINK and our conversation opened up.

That is when I got giddy – I realized that I was in control and you can be too:

  • by asking insightful questions…..
  • questions the prospect hadn’t had time to consider before we talked….
  • questions that change you from a salesperson into a human being…..

each of us is in control of our own joyfulness in sales.

Today take a look at the questions you ask your prospects and customers then ask yourself

  • Will this question make the prospect THINK (or do they have a canned answer prepared)?
  • Does the prospect care about the answer to this question?
  • Am I bored when I ask this?

If your answer is no – no – no OR even if there is only one no… reword the question until your answer is yes – yes – yes. Get giddy, be joyful, by having better conversations.

Oh and if you ‘wing it’ never mind, wait… that will be next week’s post

Sales Tools – to increase your pipeline

“Whether you want to create more opportunities, close more deals or maximize revenue, there is a prize to get the job done.” comes to us from Nancy Nardin Founder & Editor at Smart Selling Tools

First comes a product or a service. Then you need people to sell and people to buy. And everything that’s done in the service of selling from that point on is considered sales pipeline activity.

A sales pipeline starts with creating opportunities, and ends with closing deals and everything in between is aimed at maximizing revenue.

The right sales tools can impact your sales team’s ability to maximize revenue. CRM systems are usually the first tool employed to optimize sales pipeline activity. But it shouldn’t be the only tool you use.

Prospecting tools, proposal tools, electronic signature tools, sales motivation tools, and sales reporting tools are a few other tools you should consider.

And now is the perfect time. Smart Selling Tools with the support of six leading sales software providers are giving away more than $100,000 dollars in sales productivity tools.

The promotion is going on now and will last through the end of March (no purchase is necessary). Click here to register

ImageNow is your chance to win one of 3 prizes to help you meet your revenue goals in 2012. Click here to register

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.

Sales Coaching over Coffee – Internet Radio Show

Join me, Lynn Hidy, TeleSales Specialist, Coach, & Trainer, here to take you from being good to fantastic in sales! on Sales Coaching over Coffee every Thursday at 1:00 eastern time on Amazing Women of Power internet radio network powered by Raven International!

Your first sip when you tune in will be our quote of the day, followed by Lynn’s off-kilter style to improve a target sales topic. It’s all about being able to take ACTION for improvement when you’re done, so we’ll give you a TeleSales Twist on the subject and final gulp with a book recommendation. Don’t be surprised if there is a special guest on to allow you to hear the topic from the sales expert who owns it.

What do we talk about? Well here is our upcoming schedule! PLUS you can check us out on facebook UpYourTeleSales.com or twitter @upyourtelesales too.

  • January 12th – Habit of Celebration

Create a way to motivate yourself to keep moving forward – your own habit of celebration!

Join me for the 7 steps to create your own habit of celebration to help you increase your chances for continuous sales success. Along with my thoughts on stopping the activity… for activities sake!

  • January 19th – Interview with Craig Elias of Shift Selling

Craig Elias is the creator of Trigger Event Selling™, author of the Bronze Medal winner of the Top Sales Books of 2010 “SHiFT! Harness The Trigger Events That TURN PROSPECTS INTO CUSTOMERS” and contributing author to the #1 Selling Book on both Amazon and The Wall Street Journal “Masters of Sales”.

His knowledge of Trigger Events has resulted in a 20 year track record as a top sales performer, winning a $1,000,000 prize in a billion dollar idea competition and coverage on NBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal.

  • January 26th – Fast Track Your Prospecting

Are you looking for ways to decrease the time it takes to turn prospects into customers? This edition of our show is for you!

1st – is the idea from our first sip; to turn prospects into customers we need to build trust

2nd – what to talk about once we’re calling them (and it’s not your STUFF – product or service)

3rd – where to find information on WHO to call

Last (but not least) – I’m going to get on my soapbox & talk about  my ‘the decision maker’ pet peeve

  • February 2nd – Interview w/Andrea Waltz of Go for No! on Increasing NOs to Increase Yeses

The word “NO” has the power to keep many salespeople and managers from reaching their goals. In fact, for many, the failure and rejection that comes from hearing “no” from clients and prospects often spells the difference between success and failure. But what if you and your team could make a simple but radical change in thought; achieving every quota and income goal by simply hearing NO more often?

Well, you can!

Andrea Waltz is owner of Courage Crafters, Inc. and the co-author of Go for No! Through her book “Go for No!” and speaking engagements, she – along with her co-author, makes it their mission to spread the “power of no” to sales teams in a wide variety of businesses and industries.  Andrea is also the producer of a 98 minute personal development video documentary (Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There) that featured top achievers including Jack Canfield, Bob Burg, “Rudy” Ruettiger, and many others. She has been published in Success Magazine and hundreds of other in print and online publications.

2012 – what are you going to achieve?

I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions but I do believe in magic and setting goals. Maybe that should be ‘the magic of setting goals‘.

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Every year I make a pledge to myself on how much money I’ll bring in. Inside a sales organization I always sent it to my boss & the director of sales to really hold me accountable! Now I have some accountability partners that I share it with.

I’m not telling you that is what you should do BUT will share that I made my pledge for 2011 and when I logged in (after being on vacation since before the holiday) I saw I exceeded it by $4,606. I believe that this is a direct result of not only figuring out a stretch goal for myself BUT also sharing it with other people.

Today, take a moment and decide what you want to accomplish for yourself next year. Then take an even bigger step and leap into the world of accountability:

Of course the next step (and another blog post) will be to figure out how to accomplish that goal!

Wishing you a joyful & profitable 2012.

Cheers,
Lynn