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.

Image

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

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.

Stumbling doesn’t matter

Picking yourself back up is what counts!

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  ~ Thomas Edison

It sounds so easy when Tomas Edison says it, but today – in our own lives – sometimes it isn’t so fun to think about. Being an avid skier I can’t help but use a few fun winter time metaphors. In a Go Big or Go Home way I’m  starting with one that most people would call an epic fail not a stumble:

Yard Sale
On the mountain this is when you fall so hard you lose all your equipment – polls, skis, goggles… your hat (if you’re not wearing a helmet). I’ll share that there are actually home movies of me somewhere (from the early ‘70s) going from graceful to yard sale in seconds!

© Alexander Ishchenko

In sales this can happen quickly too, regardless of how skilled we are.

  • Not addressing the prospects needs and concerns in your presentation.
  • Sending out a letter that you didn’t change the ‘dear’ salutation to the right name (yes I actually saw that recently).
  • Giving a verbal quote instead of a ballparking number and losing the deal.

Crash
These hurt! It is when you are going fast enough that the impact of your fall knocks the wind out of you. Although you haven’t scattered your equipment all over the mountain, you can’t get up and people you don’t know stop to check on you with genuine concern.

© Rares Pulbere

In sales, crashes equate to the times that:

  • You fail to meet a critical customer deadline
  • The first order is a total screw up
  • Something (it feels like everything) you do seems to make the prospect angry

Fall
These are a little easier to take, you fall down & go boom – no one feels the need to stop and make sure you’re ok. You pick yourself up, brush off the snow, and keep going.

© Monner

You might recognize a couple of these sales falls:

  • Having to say “I’m sorry I missed that” on the phone
  • Not meeting one of those little commitments that leads to trust
  • Messing up on a quote, but getting a chance to fix it.

Stumble
Well in skiing I’ve never heard someone call it a stumble, because if you’re not down on the ground it doesn’t count. BUT when you’re skiing under a lift with everyone watching you – looking uncoordinated and like a fool isn’t much fun even if you catch yourself before you fall.

© Brenda Villarreal

As a salesperson this might be:

  • Blowing a voicemail completely and not having a delete option
  • Calling without a good reason (from the prospect/customer perspective)
  • Asking a question, that the customer already answered – and they say that

Whether you stumble, fall, crash, or have a yard sale; the important thing is to not lay there in the snow. Eventually you have to pick yourself up, so don’t lay there getting cold GET UP. Plus when you’re skiing, you have to at least make it to the bottom of the mountain so you can go home.

If we translate that into goals – instead of

  • Deciding to NEVER call an account again, because you feel stupid.
  • Not calling anyone for the rest of the day because the phone weighs 10,000lbs.
  • Calling YOURSELF mean names in the car on the way home.

Take a moment to remember that stumbling, falling, crashing, and yard sales don’t mean you will NEVER achieve your goal…. unless you give up. What matters is learning a lesson so you don’t make the same mistake again,  continuing on, and having fun – it’s your day on the mountain!

How To Achieve Your Goals

Don’t worry this isn’t a rehashing of SMART Goals – for goodness sake if you want more about that do a Google search (I got “About 6,130,000 results” in 0.24 seconds). I’m going to make an assumption that if you’re reading this you know how to set a goal; what you want to know is how to achieve it!

Here are my 3 simple steps to achieving your goals.

  1. Figure out what the FIRST small step you need to take to get momentum is
  2. Do it
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2: over & over & over again…. until you reach your goal

Remember though “just because it’s simple doesn’t make it easy” ~ Lynn Hidy (don’t you hate when people quote themselves).

Now for all the stuff I think is more important to think about:

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

That is on a piece of steal that sits on my desk, right below my monitor. Why? I need the reminder to be fearless when I start to move forward toward my goals. It is so easy to stop MYSELF by:

  • playing the “what if” game
  • expend energy on worry (the most useless activity in the universe – my opinion only of course)
  • prefer to do nothing than do the wrong thing (ok so for me that isn’t the issue, but it is for some of my clients)

Action Item #1 = figure out what your stumbling blocks are and work on overcoming them

Do one new thing each day; by the end of a year you’ll be a true innovator!

That is a quote by Nancy A Shenker of TheOnSwitch.com that is on the WomensAdvantage.biz calendar for January 1st. I can’t think of a better quote to start off the year. For inside sales that may not be as difficult as you think!

  • Ask a new question
  • Talk with prospects & customers about products you don’t typically sell
  • Call on a job title that you typically wouldn’t

I could probably get through the whole year with just those three over and over again…

Action Item #2 = do something new every single day

To grow fast, fail fast. Failure is an opportunity to get things right the next time.

That quote is from January 2nd of the same calendar, from Rigdha Acharya of GetYourSuccessNow.com. I know it seems like the reverse of my ‘What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?’ mantra but it is actually completely unrelated to me.

What it makes me think about are all the lessons that can be learned by NOT winning deals:

  • What is really important to the prospect organization
  • Questions I didn’t think to ask that I need to incorporate moving forward
  • Was I chasing business that wasn’t in my core competencies

Action Item #3 = make sure that every failure is evaluated for the lesson

Now you have BOTH my simple 3 step process along with 3 more complicated action items to make it work for you. That way when you finish out the year you can look back at your goals – see achievement – celebrate your success!

Action and Expertise combine to create Success – on Success

Action & Expertise combine to create Success… be sure you’re taking one, building the second, and defining the third for yourself! @upyourtelesales

Yesterday was all about Expertise – today lets talk about Success.

  • and defining the third for yourself

Success is an interesting thing; if you are judging your own success by looking at other people you are doing yourself a disservice. Yup – when you measure success in your career and life vs. other people you’ve got it all wrong.

What I’m telling you to do is look at your life ONLY and decide what will indicate success to you! Then go for it.

Is that a foreign concept? Well here are some examples, in no particular order, of answers some clients have given me when we are working on this:

  1. freedom
  2. financial security
  3. comfort for my family
  4. lack of worry

Why did I pick those four to share? It is because they don’t look like typical ‘salesperson success factors’. Most people expect some of the other answers I do hear:

  1. hit my goal for the year
  2. increase my paycheck
  3. earn insert award here
  4. be in the top 10

What may interest you is that when I hear the traditional answers, I ask What will that do for YOU? Which is when I get the answers from the first list, and yes – the answers match up 1 to 1, 2 to 2, 3 to 3, 4 to 4 between the two lists.

Yes that’s right; the answers are from the same salesperson!

When you’re deciding what success is, go past the surface and figure out the deeper result you are looking for in your life!

Action and Expertise combine to create Success – on Action

This was a tweet I posted September 14th that keeps coming back into my head:

Action & Expertise combine to create Success… be sure you’re taking one, building the second, and defining the third for yourself! @upyourtelesales

Action

  • be sure you’re taking one,

Currently I’m annoyed every time someone says “Work Smarter, not Harder.”

Why? because I truly believe the phrase was made for people who were already working hard! Today though it seems to be an excuse not to put in effort and take action.

I was doing a sales training program at a company and heard a salesperson say that who had been wandering around, getting coffee, chatting away with co-workers. BLECH – what that person needed to do was sit back down in their chair and dial the phone. Although I guess that is certainly smarter than what they were doing.

To misquote David Sandler, or perhaps Pete Morrissey the guy who taught me to sell to begin with – successful salespeople do the things unsuccessful salespeople fail to do.

The most basic of those things in telesales is to dial the phone – it is the foundation of everything else we do. Don’t confuse this idea with brute force (expertise is the next section after all) but without dialing the phone how will you talk to a human?

If you don’t talk to a human – how will you have a conversation? Perhaps even about business, their industry, or your product (crazy).

Which of course is how we find business opportunity – then talk some more to define it and qualify if we’re the best choice.

When we are the best choice… we sell stuff! To channel my inner soccer fan “S-C-O-R-Ehorns blowing, flags waving.

So sit down in your chair and dial that phone! Come back tomorrow for: Expertise