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Head on over to my sales blog at SalesTactics.org!
That’s where all my new content is being posted.
We’re looking at everything to do with sales & marketing.
See you at SalesTactics.org.
You attach YOUR EGO to SHORT TERM RESULTS. I was attaching my ego to something I couldn’t control!
OH and to re-iterate the big lesson : DON’T ATTACH YOUR EGO TO SHORT TERM, UNCONTROLLABLE RESULTS. So you made a few extra sales? DONT GET COMPLACENT! So your sales fell through? DON’T WHINE, OR CRY ABOUT IT, GET BACK ON THE PHONE!
Hope this helped someone out there. I wish I had taken my own advice back then, would have avoided wasting alot of time!
Yes. You make a sale? Don’t get excited. You don’t make a sale? Don’t get excited. Keep putting prospects into your sales funnel, so that if you do lose 3 prospects in a week, who cares? You have 17 others.
You can’t control very much at all in selling.
You can’t control what happened at your prospect’s place of business just before you called (argument, fire, flood, whatever).
You can’t control whether they pick up the phone or not.
You can’t control whether they can talk to you or not.
You can’t control whether they’re interested in what you have to offer or not. (Yes, you can run a consistent sales process and see what comes out the other side, but you cannot control their interest level.)
You can’t control whether they buy or not. (Same as above: you can run a consistent sales process, but you can’t force them to buy.)
So take all that incorrect need to control, and throw it aside. Concentrate on the two things you CAN control:
Do I make the calls?
How do I make them (do I follow a consistent sales process, or wing it?).
Yep. This is it. My 1,000th post on the Warrior Forum.
Year-end is here, and it’s a great time to reflect and plan for 2013.
There’s so much “advice” in the forum. I was on a phone interview when I originally wrote this in February, and the interviewer pointed out how it seemed that just about every newbie here seemed totally lost. I agreed. The problem wasn’t because newbies couldn’t get info, though; actually, it’s because there are TOO MANY options that people get confused.
So I want to share some tips that will apply to everybody. Let’s stay out of the “should I call, or should I do email or direct mail?” debate, shall we? Just be aware:
* if you want to get clients quickly, you’ll have to make calls, go to networking events, talk to people
* if you can afford to wait, and have some money to burn, email, direct mail and other inbound marketing campaigns should eventually bring you leads, and you might not have to talk to anybody.
Regardless of which way you choose to go, here’s what applies to everybody:
It’s not good enough to simply build a better mousetrap or jump into offering a product or service.
You must have a sales plan.
How are you going to generate leads, make sales and bring in revenue?
Sounds obvious? Look at the posts made every day in this subforum by people who are suddenly now a “web designer” or “SEO expert” or other techie and have made the startling realization that they have no idea how to find prospects and turn some into clients.
So whether you call or use a more passive method to generate your leads, you will need some kind of Lead Generation System.
Don’t expect someone to give this to you for free.
If you need to learn how to call effectively, it’s not going to be free.
If you need to learn how to set up an effective email campaign, it’s not going to be free.
This expertise is valuable…lots of people want it…and not many people have figured out how to do these things well.
You may get pieces of the puzzle from your friendly neighborhood trainer or marketer or copywriter, but you will not get the full meal deal. Why should they give it to you? After all, they had to take the bumps and bruises and the hard knocks to figure it out or afford to buy it themselves.
But the important thing is that you know you need some kind of Lead Generation System.
The next piece of the puzzle, no matter what you’re doing, is a Qualification System. How will you turn your leads into qualified prospects…by which I mean, how will you learn whether they need and can afford what you offer? How will you determine whether they can work with you, or will be a terror of a client if you let them become one?
Following that, you will need a Closing System. Somehow, you’re going to have to turn some prospects into clients.
These, then, are the three pieces of the Sales Plan puzzle:
Without these, each in place, understood and doing their job morning, noon and night, your business is doomed to failure or to remain an inconsistent hobby.
Whether you’re using cold calls or an inbound marketing method does not matter. These three components must be built into your sales plan. When you learn how to call from a pro, you discover the way to generate leads, qualify prospects and close some into becoming clients. When you use inbound marketing methods, perhaps you have a lead generation video…followed by an opt-in page where your now-partially qualified prospect gives you their email…and then they receive an autoresponder sequence to qualify them further…at the end of which is an offer to buy that is your closing system.
Make sense? Any questions on this?
Earlier this week, David Walter of localincomelab.com interviewed me, Jason Kanigan (gotta say that for the seo), on selling.
It was a fun half-hour!
The audio is here.
Wow, I’ve been so busy training 100+ people how to be great consultative salespeople on 1-on-1 calls that I plum forgot!
I promised to share my interview with Dave Kurlan. Dave is a Boston area-based sales force development expert: he helps companies get the right people and right systems in place for sales success.
It’s about 45 minutes. Chock-full of information. Very exciting! Click here for the download.
I’ve been following Dave Kurlan for over a year now. His blog www.omghub.com is one of the best resources on consultative sales training. His OMG Assessment for hiring salespeople is a much-needed tool to be the step between resume review and interview in the hiring process. He is a thought leader in sales force development and has contributed in print with the likes of Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, and Zig Ziglar.
Today I was searching through his blog and found an incredibly eye-opening and useful series of articles. If you’re in sales, you’ll want to read these. They are the Kurlan 10 Sales Competencies: what you need to be doing and why.
Check them out here. You’ll be glad you did!
Later this month I’ll be doing a phone interview with Dave about consultative selling. I’m really excited about this, and grateful that he’s donating his time (after all, he could be off making hundreds or thousands of dollars for that billable hour)! I’ll be sharing that interview with you, so stay tuned!
Seth Godin’s blog post today is incredibly valuable for anyone who is out of work and would like to return to earning. He gives three suggestions of high-value, attention-getting expertise you can provide:
You may have to do one or more of these (I do all three–sales trainer & prospecting subcontractor, copywriter & scriptwriter) as a freelancer, especially starting out, but the work is interesting, you’re making contacts, developing a reputation, and not sitting on the couch worrying.
This week I had a skype conversation with a friend across the pond. He said something that stopped me cold, and made me re-evaluate right then what I thought about Sales.
He pointed out that Sales is probably the only profession in which most of the work you do is going to end in ‘failure.’
Woah! Now I’m no pie-in-the-sky idealist, far from it, but I’ve never thought about Sales that way before! There’s some truth in the statement: accountants, engineers, software programmers, grocery store baggers, lawn mower guys…everyone else I can think of can say that the work they do will achieve a successful result almost all the time. Things will get created, fixed, tended to. Only in Sales does it seem to be that the odds of success are very low: say 20-30% for pretty good face-to-face selling, 1-2% for direct mail, and so on.
Here’s the real flabbergaster, for me anyway: are most salespeople thinking like this? Thinking about this? That their efforts are pretty much going to result in failure all the time? Jeez. Going around thinking that everything you do is a waste of time.
I’ve never thought this way, and I’m not going to start. Success, to me, is getting feedback. Yes or No, but not I’ll Think It Over. This thing works, this other thing does not. Failure in selling is not doing the activities.
How do you think about Sales?
Seth Godin reminds us this morning that not all sellers are created equal. His article really stands out to me because so many of us are in the “talent” or “artist” category. We aren’t in the game just to sell. We’re not motivated purely by money. When we’re working with someone, and they upset us, we react strongly. I don’t care how much you’re paying me: if you deeply upset me, my commitment and interest level in helping you is going to drop off sharply just like he says.
Of course, that’s hard to do. I don’t get miffed at the drop of a hat. I want to work things out. However, I can remember a couple of occasions where a client did something terribly wrong–and I simply didn’t want to help them anymore. It may not be politically correct to say, but “talent” almost always remains aware that it has the power to choose whether to do the work or not! We have that power. We can keep our dignity in uncomfortable situations.
Do you remember a time when a customer did something that really upset you, and you responded by saying, “Fine, I’m taking my talent away from you”?
Keep this division of sellers, talent versus vendors, in mind when you use the services of other people. If the talent likes you, their effort on your behalf is going to be much greater.
My wife turned on Christian radio this morning while we were driving my younger sisters-in-law to school. I cringed, expecting “Come To The Lord, Hallelujah, Amen!”–but we got something totally different.
As a sales trainer, I’m always on the lookout for new-to-me perspectives on communication, relationships and understanding others. This morning we were lucky enough to hear the authors of Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti, discussing how the hard-wiring of the male and female brains can make communication so difficult. In short, men compartmentalize different things (like squares in the waffle), and women consider them all to be connected (like noodles touching and winding over one another). This comes up in how conversations go (men: to the point, solve the problem / women: move quickly from subject to connected subject, don’t need to resolve anything necessarily), and the contrast can drive the other sex nuts.
Thinking what they had to say over as I drove, I discovered a common source of annoyance: I’ll be bustling in my “work box”, and my wife will bounce over and start “downloading” about a whole bunch of things, jumping from one topic to the next because in her mind they’re all connected. Because there’s no introduction so I can shift gears and move to the “listening box”, I’m neither prepared for this or considering the topics she’s talking about as a whole. Result: frustration on both sides. Now that we know what’s going on, we can do something about it.