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Syndication

Sometimes as sales reps we don’t bring enough value to the table and there are 3 crucial signs you need to add more value so you won’t be judged only on price.

Dion Travagliante runs Madison One Consulting, a consulting practice where he solves problems for SAS businesses. He said he loves the fact that sellers have latitude in their careers and he loves the chase of finding the potential customer and then uncovering the issue and working to solve it.

People have a preconceived notion that sales is just talking with no science, rhyme, or reason behind it, but he calls it a challenging world that you can train yourself to succeed in.

COMMODITY

Sellers often struggle to stand out against other competitors and they struggle against being viewed as simply a commodity. The key is to become the winner of the account.

Dion defines value as improvement in a client or prospect’s individual situation. That centers on solving problems. Any company that is selling something originated around the idea of solving someone else’s problem.

That means as a sales rep, you’re a steward of your company’s solution in the marketplace. That should free you to talk to anyone about the challenges they are facing.

Flip the script. There will always be people who perceive salespeople as slick operators who try to jam products down people’s throats. No one wants to have that persona.

Instead, approach every customer as someone with a pain point whose problem you’d like to solve. If you do, you’ll be better than 95 percent of the sellers out there because you’ll be thinking about someone else.

 

Watch for these 3 crucial signs you need to add more value.

1. NEGOTIATING PRICE

When you’re talking with a prospect and they start negotiating price during the sales cycle. Do not go down the rabbit hole of arguing price.

The worst position you can be in as a sales rep is negotiating against yourself. If the prospect wants to lower the price, it becomes a game of limbo: how low can you go? Instead of just acquiescing, you want to push back on that. They are telling you that they don’t see the inherent value in the price you’ve determined for your product.

You can never negotiate against your own price, but you can flip the script.

If, for example, a single client averages $60,000 and your product costs $20,000, the purchase pays for itself three times over. If your product can speed up the process, the relevant issue is how much money they’ll derive from using your solution.

If the person you’re dealing with is an intermediary and they insist on dropping the price, what they are saying is that they don’t feel confident taking this solution at this price point to the decision makers.

The quicker path is to lower the price. Instead, arm them with more things so they look like the hero when they show up to present it.

2. SEEKING REFERRALS

When your prospect asks you for a referral, what he’s really saying is that he’s interested in what you’re selling and he wants to continue down the path, but he wants external validation.

Mike Brooks, who calls himself Mr. Inside Sales, wrote a book called The Ultimate Book of Phone Scripts where he shares 500 scripts that you can use to address objections. He suggests acknowledging that you’d be happy to connect the customer with a host of satisfied customers but then asking what sticking points still exist.

They want someone else to verify that they should buy this because we’re all somewhat tribal in nature. Get out in front of it.

Your own self-limiting beliefs can prompt you to negotiate with a client instead of seeking to provide enough value to get them across the finish line.

Practice saying that phrase so that it becomes second-nature. Because 90 percent of decisions are made with the subconscious mind, you should train your mind to respond this way automatically.

Courage isn’t the absence of anxiety or fear; it’s acting in spite of it. The people who improve are those that put themselves in uncomfortable scenarios. Human beings learn by pain.

3. STATUS QUO

When you’ve done the discovery call and you’re in the demo and the prospect says, “You know, I think we’re going to stay with our current solution,” that’s an indicator that you haven’t provided enough value. The prospect is telling you that it seems like a lot of work to transition to your option, so they are going to stay where they are.

They are telling you that you haven’t exhibited enough value to drive them to switch. Sales decisions are made emotionally and then justified logically.

Todd Caponi, in his book The Transparency Sale, talks about the psychology of sales and the fact that if your customer’s logic is preventing them from closing the deal, you need to stoke some emotional flames.

You must provide enough value to make switching worthwhile.

BEST SALES REPS

The best sales reps try new things. They put themselves into difficult scenarios that allow them to learn. They also end up selling more.

Always think about the prospects and their solutions. Get out of your own way and help your prospect solve a problem and better his solution.

Ask pointed questions. Figure out the plight. You’ll come off as more genuine than if you toss around buzzwords.

“3 CRUCIAL SIGNS YOU NEED TO ADD MORE VALUE” EPISODE RESOURCES

You can connect with Dion at madisononeinc.com and you can email him at dion@madisononeinc.com.

Grab a copy of the two books Dion recommended: The Ultimate Book of Phone Scripts by Mike Brooks and The Transparency Sale by Todd Caponi.

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester in April.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple PodcastGoogle PodcastStitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1083.mp3
Category:Value -- posted at: 12:38pm EDT

When your prospects find 100 new email messages waiting for them on Monday morning, if your emails give no value, your prospects will never open them.

If there's nothing in the subject line or the first sentence of the message to grab their attention, your prospects will probably never even open the message. Sellers must give thought to what their first sentence is saying to uncover how their emails are performing.

Preview

Consider your own email inbox.

You're busy. You don't have time to read every single email that arrives in your inbox. If you've got 100 new messages waiting, you're not going to read them all. You'll travel the path of least resistance by eliminating as many as possible.

Email content

The subject line is crucial, so your goal is to minimize it as much as possible. Get to the point quickly with as few words as possible.

Make sure the first sentence of your email relates to the subject line and make sure it has nothing to do with you. Avoid statements like "I have something I want to share with you," or "My company helps clients who..."

Avoid including sentences that, when you think about them, simply aren't helpful. "I hope this message finds you doing well." "I hope your quarter is going great." These are both fillers and they won't compel anyone to open the email.

If you're using the same content and the same statements as other sellers, your emails give no value, and no one will open them.

Truth

One of the worst mistakes you can make is using a subject line that has nothing to do with the email content itself.

If you bait your reader in with one idea and then switch ideas within the email, you'll probably get black-listed. At best, you'll get sent to the spam folder so you're toast forever.

Do something totally different. Personalize your message and don't include a huge pitch in your first email.

Think about it from your buyer's standpoint. He has countless sellers reaching out to sell him something, and many of them are sharing similar messages. What if your first sentence offered something to help him?

Consider this example from Todd.

He got an email from a seller who recognized that he was a CEO who had to create and give presentations. The seller provided a PowerPoint template he could use to present metrics and then another template he could use to create a sales handbook.

The sender gave no information about himself or his company. The only reference was information in the signature block that Todd could access if he was interested.

Value

Buyers aren't stupid. If you send a helpful, beneficial email, I'll like go to your site. Even if I don't need your product right now, I'll know where to go in the future.

Give something of value. Provide some education. Think of it from the buyer's standpoint. Give him something that will help him be more effective and efficient in his role.

When you give value, provide something that will address a problem that your ideal customer struggles with. It doesn't even have to be something you're an expert in, and in fact, that sometimes makes it more genuine.

Imagine I sell HR software to HR directors. If you send a document titled 5 Things HR Directors Should Consider When Selecting A Software, he'll smell the bias from 10 miles away. If I provide something beneficial that isn't in my wheelhouse, they'll recognize that I'm not trying to sell something.

The goal is to build interaction by getting him to respond and open a dialog.

Dialog

If the thing you're sharing will benefit him even if he doesn't buy your product, go ahead and share that with your prospect. Just don't make it gimmicky.

Give something that has value and then connect other places like on LinkedIn or over the phone. Many of us are stuck in the mindset that a single email will open the door to a deal.

Focus on the content you're sharing. Focus on the type of content and how it applies to him as an individual. Then focus on how you can make his life easier.

Create emails that prospects will want to open so you can build meaningful conversations and then ask effective questions. #ColdOutreach

"Your Emails Give No Value" episode resources

Grab a copy of the book The Transparency Sale: How Unexpected Honesty and Understanding the Buying Brain Can Transform Your Results by Todd Caponi.

Try the first module of the TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump.

If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It's super easy, it's helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You'll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven't already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won't miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1082.mp3
Category:Email -- posted at: 7:11pm EDT

When you interact with your prospects, your goal should be to provide such great value that you leave people better off whether they buy from you or not.

We've been talking about value all month, and today hypnotist Jason Linett talks about how people can change their thinking to grow their business. Growth isn't just about your platform but it's largely about how you tell the story to your audience.

We often miss the power of a story and its impact on our potential customers.

Help prospects win

In almost every category, there are others out there who do the same work you do. Storytelling is the one thing that truly sets you apart from the competition so that you're no longer just a commodity. Your customers can go find another business coach or web designer, and even another hypnotist.

Jason points out that he didn't get married by approaching a pretty girl at school and announcing that they were going to have children together. Instead, they built a relationship through the natural progression that occurs when people get to know each other.

Look at the relationship building aspect of it. You know that you want to help people, so look for something that will help the customer. Find things you can set in motion that will help your prospects win.

Suddenly, there's a collection of people out there who didn't need your entire service but they are in the raving fan category. Some of those that you helped will move forward in the funnel in order to see how you can help them even more.

Ditching fear

Most people don't seize this concept because they fear giving away too much. They believe that if they give away too much, people won't buy from them.

Jason said that he has given away more than most people in his industry. He has also earned more than most of the people in his industry. He believes the two naturally go together.

Think of it as a difference of show versus tell. I can tell you what methods may be helpful and you can research them and dig into them in order to determine whether they might truly work, or I can get together with you and actually help you do it.

[Tweet "Be willing to give away your best content to your customers sometimes. Give away an abridged version that helps them along on the journey and prompts them to consider what more you might have to offer. #BuildValue"]

Many people want to try an at-home version before they commit to the live "being in the room" version.

Convince people to care

How do we get people to care before we ever really ask them to listen?

We need to think differently. It's about listening to the audience and responding to their requests.

Jason calls hit pitch "The Hollywood Effect." It's based on the tendency of movies to launch you directly into some piece of the action, get you swept up into it, and then rewind to tell you the back-story.

He launches into a story about murder, and about a new mother who moved into a hotel after seeing a bug in her home. By the end of her first meeting with him, she killed a housefly with her bare hand.

Draw in the entire room. Get them to put down their food and listen to what you have to say.

Value-first mindset

Do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. If everyone else is doing things one way, let that be your cue to do it differently.

As you decide how to move forward, pick the option you are most comfortable with. That's your first entry point and you should flesh that out completely and make it exactly what you want it to be.

Once that piece has become a machine that's running itself, you can branch off to some other thing.

Finding the time

Jason suggests that there's no such thing as "finding the time." It's a game we invented to trick ourselves into not doing things we're absolutely capable of. Instead, we should use the mechanism of making time.

Consider putting everything on a scheduling platform. Make use of color-coding. Choose one color for the events that cannot be changed.

The number one tip is to listen. So often we catch ourselves trying to mind-read our audience instead of starting with the ask and discovering the customer's greatest need.

Sometimes what they want is different than what they need. You're selling what they want, so you'll deliver what they want, but along the way, you can overdeliver by providing what they need.

"Leave people better off whether they buy from you or not" episode resources

You can connect with Jason at jasonlinett.com or on social media as Jason Linett.

You can also grab a copy of his book, Work Smart Business: Lessons Learned From Hypnotizing 250,000 People and Building a Million-Dollar Brand. Head to worksmartbusiness.com for a freebie called the Positive Influence Power Pack that will teach you specific strategies to influence yourself and others.

You've heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we're offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester in April.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we'd love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You'll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1081.mp3
Category:Networking -- posted at: 12:16pm EDT

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Donald Kelly, Sales Coaching, Sales Training

Building value is a critical part of any sales process, and the discovery meeting is an important step in that process.

How much should you prepare for the discovery meeting beforehand? What should you know? What should you do?

The insights I'll share come from the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, designed to help sales reps perform to the best of their ability, find more ideal customers, build strong value, and close more deals.

What is discovery?

The discovery meeting is an opportunity to learn about the challenge your prospect is facing. It's a chance to go a little more in-depth.

It's not necessarily a chance to get all the information about the company or about its history. That's boring for the client who doesn't want to have to educate you. The client is likely meeting with other sellers and they aren't interested in working to educate all of them.

Do your research beforehand so your discovery meeting can focus solely on understanding the prospect's true problem and understanding how you can bring value and help them learn more about what you have to offer.

Research

You can easily find information about the company and its history on the Internet or the company's website. If you show up to discovery seeking this kind of information the prospects will likely think less of you.

I've said it before, but you also have the option to call into the company and ask the receptionist for more information. The organization may be able to share an information page or other company literature. The PR department may be able to provide the information you're seeking as well.

This information is vital to the discovery meeting because it will help you have a meaningful discussion when you meet with the prospect.

Understand the industry

Make sure you also understand recent developments related to the industry and the company's role within the industry.

If the company is in the housing industry and I discover that the housing industry is booming in states like Arizona, California, and Florida, then that will impact my presentation.

If I'm selling marketing services to companies in the housing market it will be important to know that the market is growing. I'll also need to know the top challenges that companies within the housing market are facing.

Then, determine how those trends will correlate to your product or service.

Case studies

If you have a previous or existing client that is similar to your prospect, consider sharing that information. Has one of your clients faced the challenges of growing in a high-growth market? Have you helped a client tackle some of the issues inherent in that situation?

Is there a business case study I can share that helps my prospects understand the challenge they are facing?

I did an episode some time back about case studies and the folks over at Gong outlined four main steps that should exist within every business case study.

  1. Identify the problem. What is preventing the client from growing? What challenges are hindering the company from accomplishing its goals?
  2. Develop a measurement. How can you measure the challenges the company is facing? How can you quantify the issue the company is facing?
  3. Determine the consequences of the company losing those deals or opportunities. Did they have to let people go or close their doors? Make a dramatic point without going over-the-top.
  4. What transformation did your product or service cause in this company?

[Tweet "Case studies help companies see what you have done in the past and what you can do for prospective customers. #CaseStudies"]

Prepare questions

What things did the company try previously that didn't work?

The more questions you ask the more you'll learn about them. Go deep. Ask them to tell you more.

You may discover that they are currently working with a company that isn't providing the kind of results they need. Why don't they like the current company? Incorporate those facts into your own presentation so you can address their challenges.

Find out who will be making the decision and how they will decide. Find out what their budget will be and when they are hoping to make the change.

Is there an unconsidered need they aren't aware of?

TSE Certified Sales Training Program

This stuff works. We teach it in TSE Certified Sales Training Program and we're seeing fantastic results.

If you or your team want to check out the program, we'll let you try the first module risk-free. If you love it, we'd love to have you join the TSE Certified Sales Training Program to improve your selling skills.

I share this because I want to help you find more ideal customers, have more meaningful conversations, build stronger value, close more deals, and I want to challenge you each and every day to do big things.

“Discovery Meetings” episode resources

Try the first module of the TSE Certified Sales Training Program for free.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump.

If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It's super easy, it's helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You'll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven't already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won't miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound

Direct download: TSE_1080.mp3
Category:Discovery Questions -- posted at: 11:19am EDT

Many sellers understand the challenge of using emails to reach out to prospects, but Chad Sanderson tells us that using brief, compelling stories in sales emails can leave a memorable impression on a prospect who is inundated with noise.

Chad has worked as a marketer, seller, sales leader, and entrepreneur, so he understands the perspective of everyone listening to this podcast.

Email issues

Chad points out that most emails suck. We're all connected to our devices and we're constantly inundated with impressions through Facebook messages, videos, emails, LinkedIn requests, and even WhatsApp or Snapchat messages.

That doesn't even include impressions you get while watching television.

The only way to effectively break through the noise is to put yourself in the other person's shoes. Everything is moving at a ridiculously fast pace, so if you never slow down enough to truly consider the other person, you'll probably fail to truly connect.

You must connect with people in a way that's valuable from their perspective.

[Tweet "People still buy from people, so if they don't know and trust you, you must build rapport before you earn the right to talk about yourself. #BuildRapport"]

Onslaught

As if the crowded inboxes aren't enough, it's also true that many of the emails people send are just drudgery. Chad points to one company that has been pursuing him for several months, and as he mapped the cadence of the messages, he noted that the messages never included anything from his perspective until about email 14. The messages were always about the company.

He said it happens all the time because sellers don't realize that approach doesn't work.

And though he tries to be kind because he works in this world too, he sometimes has to unsubscribe because the messages aren't valuable.

To make the idea simpler to understand, think about this in the context of your friends. Everybody has at least one friend that will not stop talking about themselves.

Even in a social setting, people will eventually move away from that person. It's true in sales, too.

People business

We seem to assume that the rules are different in sales. We forget that we're in the people business and that relationships matter in sales just as they do outside of work.

Sales has always been a discipline. It has always been tough. It has gotten tougher because now everyone can get to everyone else and everyone believes they have something important to say.

Slow down and take a deep breath. Think about your general target audience. Instead of thinking about Donald or Chad, think about reaching out to podcast hosts who focus on B2B revenue generation.

Then you'll have a little bit of context. You still won't know those people, but you'll have a good place to start. But you have to be able to reach out to prospects at scale.

Personalization

Chad read a report last week about a company that ran a test of 7,000 emails, personalizing half of the emails to the challenges the person would face based upon their role. Think industry/company personalization rather than individual personalization.

They found that the open rates were four to five points higher on cold emails that were crafted to highlight challenges the receiver was facing.

Some people argue that isn't personalization, but what we really need to do is understand the conext these people are working in and then show them something that will tap into their curiosity circuit.

The next level of personalization involves those who responded to the first round of communication.Instead of researching 100 people I only have to research the 10 who indicated interest in my product or service.

Stick to the rule of thumb that you'll do 15 minutes of research on an industry, 10 minutes of research on a company, and 5 minutes of research on an individual. If you can stick to that and not be distracted by dog videos or Tiger winning the Masters, you'll be able to effectively personalize your messaging.

Make them curious so that they'll be waiting for the next email.

Telling stories

Chad related the story of a friend who went into a Men's Warehouse to get a tux. Then he used the experience to reach out to the CEO of the company to highlight how his company could help fill in some of the organization's gaps.

Using his own individual experience, he crafted an email that was still only six or seven sentences long so that it fit on a mobile screen.

In a B2C environment, share how that brand made you feel or how an individual made you feel. In a B2B environment, tell a story about how you've helped someone whose situation was similar to the person you're targeting. Explain how you were able to help him turn his situation around and tell him about the results you were able to produce.

Tell him about the person who is like him.

Although you don't know him yet, you know someone who is like him, so tell him that story.

If you want to understand story structure better, grab a copy of Creativity, Inc, a book about how Pixar creates stories for its movies.

Be human

Very few people can write an email the very first time that communicates well and fits neatly on one mobile screen. You'll likely need multiple drafts to get it right.

Communicate to your audience that you're paying attention to them and what they are dealing with. Acknowledge awards they won and acknowledge articles you've read about that address a problem they might be having.

Consider Barb Giamanco, who reached out to female chief marketing officers to recruit help with a project. She emailed each of them by acknowledging an award each had received.  Then she asked for their perspective on a project she was working on.

The emails indicated that she was paying attention to the CMOs' careers. It acknowledged a problem that the CMOs might be having and a desire to address it. It wasn't until the very end of the email that she even mentioned her own intentions.

Be authentic and genuine.

Realize, too, that once you get an email dialogue started, you have to have the skill set to keep it going.

Think about your prospects as human beings. Slow down and think about your target.

"Brief Compelling Stories In Sales Emails" episode resources

Check out Chad's podcast B2B Revenue Executive Experience and you can find him on LinkedIn, but you must send a note with your connection request.

You've heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we're offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester in April.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we'd love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You'll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1079.mp3
Category:Email -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

A sudden influx of new leads seems like a dream come true, but you often have to determine which type of customers are the best in order to assess whether it's really a good thing.

If you haven't yet grabbed a copy of The Transparency Sale: How Unexpected Honest and Understanding the Buying Brain Can Transform Your Results by Todd Caponi, get it before he joins us on the podcast in the near future.

In the book, he discusses the three types of buyers.

The active buyer

The active buyer is looking for a solution. He understands the problem and he wants to solve it. These are your inbound leads.

They understand their problem well enough to initiate research to try to find a solution to the problem. They may seek a quote for your product or service, and they are proof that your marketing is working.

These buyers are finding your website.

These buyers are also more than likely going to commoditize you. They are likely considering three to five different vendors and because they don't have all the details about your company, they are going to try to differentiate you based on price as well as features.

Although they know they have issues that they must solve, they don't care about the intricacies of your company. They simply need to solve a problem and get the best deal possible.

The passive buyer

The passive buyers recognize that a problem likely exists but they aren't prioritizing it.

In his book, Todd compares it to the small problems at your house that need to be addressed eventually but that aren't a priority right now. Maybe the handle on your door is broken or the blinds need to be repaired. It isn't the end of the world if you fail to complete them.

Passive buyers will eventually get around to solving the problem.

The status quo buyers

These status quo buyers are happy with things as they are. They aren't thinking about the future; they've learned to operate just fine the way things are. Imagine the guy who has a flip phone and doesn't see the need for a smartphone.

He doesn't want to change, perhaps because he doesn't recognize that better options exist. Or maybe he's worried that the smartphone will be too complicated and he won't be able to learn it well. Change feels too complex, so he decides to stay with the status quo.

But what if someone could educate him and teach him to use the cell phone?

Challenging buyers

In my own experience, many of my most challenging leads were the active buyers. You might be thinking that these are the kinds of buyers we'd most like to have, and that would be the case if they were always perfectly ready to buy.

If my company was always the front-runner, that would be a great situation for us. But we're not always the front-runner, and sometimes we're simply an after-thought.

The buyer is likely considering several companies before making a decision because that's how the buying department has structured its purchases.

The question becomes can we persuade them to buy once we're having a conversation?

Best customers

From my coaching and training experience, and based upon Todd's recommendations, we've discovered that the status quo buyers are often the best ones.

[Tweet "The customers who don't know that better options exist are ripe for you to educate them. #EducateCustomers"]

Your job is to teach them and help them to recognize unconsidered need.

Consider the book The Challenger Sale. When we can open the prospect's mind to something he doesn't know about, we can create the possibility of change. If you can reveal the problem, you can be the front-runner.

Also check out the book Three Value Conversations to help you understand the education process that sellers must adopt.

Managing customers

You'll ultimately discover that you have all three kinds of customers in your pipeline and you must learn to manage them. The perfect buyers that are the perfect size who reach out to you? Those are the unicorns.

You must prepare for all three kinds of buyers. You may even find that you're better equipped to interact with one kind of customer over another.

I'd love to hear your insights about each of these kinds of customers and which you like best.

"Which Type Of Customers Are The Best" episode resources

Grab a copy of The Transparency Sale: How Unexpected Honest and Understanding the Buying Brain Can Transform Your Results.

Also grab a copy of the book The Challenger Sale and the book Three Value Conversations

You've heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we're offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester in April.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we'd love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You'll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1077.mp3
Category:Ideal Customer -- posted at: 9:49am EDT

Sellers can guide prospective customers through the purchasing journey by holding prescriptive conversations with buyers. 

Tom Pisello launched into the topic of prescriptives because he was a product manager who was launching products in the marketplace, with a sales force that had never engaged these particular customers.

In an attempt to help buyers make decisions, he created prescriptive tools that would help customers analyze their existing situation and compare it to the new product.

Buyer frustration

The B2B purchase decision is more challenging than ever for buyers because there are six to 10 decision makers in every decision. Buyers spend incredible amounts of time on their own gathering, processing, and deconflicting information.

And 94 percent of buyers have participated in a buying cycle that just evaporated. Buyers are frustrated. About 84 percent report that the buyers' journey is taking longer than they expected.

There's a big opportunity for sellers as well as a challenge for them to overcome: to help buyers through a journey that has become much tougher and longer than ever before.

The problem is that most sellers show up to meetings talking about themselves: about the company, the product, the services, themselves, and the customers they are working with. Then when the competition shows up for their meeting, they do the same thing.

They all sound exactly the same, so the buying process becomes a shootout.

Flip it around

Instead of talking about the typical things, talk about the challenges the prospect might be having. Then, use that to do some teaching about the challenges you're seeing at other companies.

Then, pivot to a Socratic approach. Ask probing, diagnosing questions to identify whether your prospects see themselves in the other customers you described. Do a little bit of cooperative discovery.

If you sell office furniture, start by sharing current research about what makes a good office setup. Is open office the way to go? What about standup desks? Instead of pitching yourself or your product, share information about productive office environments.

Talk about the challenges of collaboration and flexible work environments. Mention health and engagement. Talk provocatively about these challenges and how they affect your prospect.

The book The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson tackles this approach well.

Share examples

This leads naturally into you sharing stories and examples about how you've helped other customers with their office furniture needs and about how successful they've been as a result. From there you'll use the Socratic method to dig deep.

Be careful how much of a challenge you present early on because it's possible that you haven't earned the right to do that. Start with something provocative, but then pivot away from the research to your questions.

The goal is to move into a collaboration with the customer.

Guide the customer

Buyers prefer this process because you're solving a problem and uncovering problems they didn't even realize they had. But even for issues they knew they had, you're putting some numbers to them. You're clarifying how their employees will be impacted by the purchase of office furniture.

That's why pivoting from research to personal is important. You're putting it into a perspective your customer can understand and telling the customer exactly what the problem is costing and how you can help solve it.

You're helping them to prioritize all of these challenges and becoming a prescriptive consultant to them.

As a seller, it's your moral obligation to act as a guide to the customer.

Because the buyer's journey has gotten complicated, you need to provide a map of sorts so the customer knows what to expect. Then be prepared to proactively provide information to the buyer along the way.

If you know the company will ask for a business case, proactively provide it. Don't wait for the customer to ask.

[Tweet "Be an evolved seller who is ready for requests that occur during the buyer's journey. Inspire the customer to buy and then provide the right content at the right time. #EvolvedSeller"]

Proactive sellers

The buyer's journey is hard. As you're proactively providing content, you can also use smart sales enablement systems to track whether the content is being consumed. If they aren't consuming the information, they may not be as far along in the process as you think they are.

You've got to anticipate every step so that you'll have the visibility to know whether you're progressing or not.

Bring up your buyer's objections before they become objections. Realize that your prospects spend two-thirds of their time gathering, processing, and deep conflicting. Streamline that for them when you can.

Inspiring content

Marketing plays a vital role in putting together inspirational content.

We must identify the content that will inspire our customers. We're not talking about content that is only about the products or services. It must be shorter, based on the challenges they are facing.

Then we need to enable sales to use the Socratic questioning.

Look back to your last presentation to determine whether you led with information about the product or service or whether you addressed challenges.

"Prescriptive Conversations With Buyers" episode resources

You can connect with Tom at tpisello@mediafly.com. Check out his blog Evolving Sellers From Pitch to Purpose or grab a copy of his book The Frugalnomics Survival Guide. Keep an eye out for his newest book Evolved Selling™: Optimizing Sales Enablement in the Age of FRUGALNOMICS.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump.

If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It's super easy, it's helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You'll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven't already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won't miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Direct download: TSE_1076.mp3
Category:Value -- posted at: 4:21pm EDT

Talking About Price, Selling, Donald Kelly

The trend in sales now is to provide value to your customers, but there must be some kind of exchange in the transaction, so you may find yourself asking, "When should I talk about price?"

How do you bring it up? What exactly will you say when it's time to talk about it?

Today we're going to share ideas that will help you provide tremendous value and ensure an effective, value-rich conversation for both parties.

This is a segment from our TSE Certified Sales Training Program and we're going to share a snippet from one of our training programs and then offer some ideas based upon what you hear. It will let you learn something about selling and offer you an experiment that you can test for yourself.

You'll hear the challenges that other sales reps are facing and share with you what has worked for the group members.

Taboo

We've been taught that it's taboo to talk about money, so many of us shy away from it. New sellers face the biggest challenge, usually because of limiting beliefs.

In the past when I was selling software training classes, I didn't understand that it was worth $10,000 for customers to earn their certification over a weekend. I didn't think anyone would be willing to pay it.

I didn't understand that for their $10,000 expenditure, they were going to see a $20,000 to $30,000 increase in their earnings over the course of a year.

All I knew was that $10,000 was a lot of money. My self-limiting beliefs made me apprehensive, and this is a common problem for new sellers.

You must believe in the product or service you're offering and the value it provides to your prospects. When you do that, you'll develop more confidence in your messages, and it won't matter what the course costs.

Bring up the money

Once you've identified a product you believe in, when do you bring up the money? That depends largely on the product or service that you're selling. If it's software that costs $30 a month and they won't commit, they probably weren't the right fit anyway.

Let them go.

If you're selling a software solution that you have to customize for the organization, you're going to need more time. You'll have to gather more information in order to give them effective pricing.

If the customer can see the prices on your website, they can weed themselves out at the beginning. People who really want to learn more and have more value-rich conversations will engage. In the later conversations, we can discuss what they'll get for their investment.

Addressing price

We'll tap into emotion by addressing how our product or service will help them.

  • What will happen if the client doesn't get coaching?
  • Why do I need coaching right now?
  • What results will I see if I get coaching?

Because people make emotional decisions and then justify those decisions logically, if we build value well, the $1,500 price tag for coaching won't seem like a big deal. The return on their investment, the ability to provide well for their family, and the possibility that they will advance in their careers will justify the cost.

In the case of a more complex solution, when the customer asks about price, be honest when you tell them that you can't predict exact numbers right now. If you can't yet determine all the variables and if you can't determine the exact infrastructure, explain that to the customer.

Then invest the time to understand the setup and the infrastructure. Find out what challenges the prospect is facing.

Be intentional

It's possible that the customer is simply fishing, or in other cases that he is simply looking for a ballpark figure. In the latter case, perhaps try giving him a range for other similar clients.

Don't give the customer your lowest number if you provide a range. If the cheapest you've done is $5,000 and the most expensive is $20,000, don't offer the $5,000 number. Go a little higher.

Instead, offer a higher number, like $8,000 or $10,000. Once they have a number in their minds, you'll determine whether they are truly serious about moving forward.

Content

In this situation, effective blog posts that describe the return on investment will help your customers gather information. Especially if yours is a complex solution, you'll help them understand the components involved and what they should be looking for in a vendor.

In the case of sales training, perhaps you'd have different blog posts that describe the different levels of training and the different types of service that you offer.

The prospect can determine what courses are available and what his options are for in-person training, group training, or workshops.

Consider, too, outlining entry-level solutions, mid-tier solutions, and a higher tier. Each solution, based upon the complexity, can solve specific problems.

Research

The prospect can do some research ahead of time and find answers to some of their basic questions. Because this will be an enterprise solution, he'll have to come to the table prepared to invest money.

At this point, it's appropriate to talk about budget because you don't want to begin building presentations or demonstrations if the product or service isn't a fit. Get an understanding of what kind of investment the prospect is looking to make.

Be up front. Acknowledge that you'd like to know as soon as possible if the prospect determines this isn't a good fit. Promise to do the same for your prospect.

Ask if the company has already earmarked a budget for this project. Find out if they are planning the project for this year.

Pain

Once you've discovered the pain, use that to see if you can move them toward the project right now. Anticipate that they may not be able to do the whole thing right now, but they might do half this quarter and half the next quarter.

Once we have an understanding we can move forward. If you built rapport with this prospect and created communication, it will be easy to discuss finances.

Terminology

New sellers might ask about the proper words to use. Rather than budget or payment, I use the word investment. That's a given, right?

They are investing in sales training to solve a problem. They are expecting to see a return on the money they spend.

If it's a new seller who wants to become the best in the company or a female business owner in a male-dominated industry, they are expecting to show some results from their investment. The word payment sounds too transactional.

As you're having these conversations, understand that you should wait to mention the money after the buyer has a sense of the value you're offering.

They must see the value before they can comprehend the investment.

"When Should I Talk About Price?" episode resources

Connect with me on LinkedIn or on Instagram and let me know how this worked out for you.

You've heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we're offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester in April.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we'd love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You'll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1075.mp3
Category:Money -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Joe Sweeney, Donald Kelly, Understanding People

Human behavior plays a huge role in sales and understanding what makes people tick is one of the most important concepts sellers in all industries should seek to learn.

Joe Sweeney has worn a variety of different hats over the course of his career, but he loves human behavior and he says it's the key to success in sales.

Buyers

You must understand why someone would buy your product. Joe's philosophy, as described in his book Networking Is A Contact Sportis that networking, business, and sales are about giving and serving rather than getting something.

People ask about the number one mistake that salespeople make, and it's believing that the process is about us. We think it's about our product. It's not.

Joe gives talks all the time and he starts by saying, "You don't sell anything. What we do is help people get what they want."

Instead, sellers tend to take the opposite approach and we talk about ourselves and our product. But your buyer doesn't care about that. All he cares about is whether your product can solve his needs and relieve some of his pain points.

Criticism

Joe said he spent a portion of his life criticizing other people because he represented a lot of high-net-worth people who did stupid things.

When, for example, he encountered a woman outside a hospital dying from emphysema and smoking a cigarette, he made the connection. The pleasure she got from nicotine was greater than the pain she experienced from emphysema.

The takeaway is to get good at understanding what makes people tick without criticizing them. All human behavior makes sense, even when we don't.

  • Don't be critical of their actions.
  • Understand people's needs and wants.

Keep everything simple.

3 Common Needs

Although we could all likely point to hundreds of needs, we really have three basic, common needs.

  1. We need to belong to something bigger than ourselves.
  2. We need to love and to be loved.
  3. Finally, we all want to know that our life has meaning and that we've made a difference.

The greatest sales companies in the world have understood that.

Perhaps our greatest need is the first one: the need to belong to something bigger. It's counter-intuitive today because with all the social media we falsely believe we're all connected but the truth is that we're less connected than we've ever been.

Stated another way, we're more isolated now than ever.

Need to belong

The company that really understands this concept is Harley Davidson. Its number one competitor is BMW which far surpasses Harley, but Harley outsells everyone.

The Harley Ownership Group, or HOG, makes its owners part of something bigger. It's about belonging.

Remember the old TV show Cheers? Its tagline captures this desire. Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name.

In this technology world, we pretend that we're connected to a massive network but we aren't.

Need to be loved

Coca Cola marketed to this need with the ad about teaching the world to sing. It was kind of a kumbaya moment with people holding hands singing together.

They portrayed the feeling that if you drink Coca Cola, you'd feel all this love. Coca Cola understood the Maya Angelou quote: People will forget what you say. People will forget what you do. People will never forget the way you make them feel. 

Joe asks his groups, "What are you doing to answer the needs of these people? The belonging needs and the love needs."

Need to make a difference

We all want to know that our lives have meaning, and Mastercard captured that with the ad campaign that assigned prices to different products.

Fishing poles, $29. Worms, $3.25. An afternoon fishing with your teenagers, Priceless.

Most of us approach the sales process with the sense that we have to tell people about our benefits. Instead, we should take two steps back and work to understand what makes people tick.

Understand needs

Work to understand your buyers' needs. The greatest companies do it and I recommend that your listeners do the same.

If you're going to be really good in sales, you should wow people.

If you sell office furniture, what would differentiate you from the competition?

Find something personal, and then do something memorable. Little things in sales mean everything. #BeMemorable

Imagine that you have a customer who likes Egyptian art. At the close of your interaction with the customer, hand him a piece of Egyptian art that you printed out. It cost you nothing, but none of the other competitors will have done that.

Making money

Joe suggests that sales isn't about making money. Although that's a by-product of sales, it's really about creating an environment where we can service people. You can do the same thing in education and in government.

Morph your sales job into a servant leadership role.

Joe's sister-in-law told him that she always assumed that business was a bunch of greedy people trying to make money. There was a negative energy around sales.

Joe reframed it as a positive thing and created a forum where people can serve each other and get what they want in life.

Daniel Pink wrote a book called To Sell Is Human all about humanizing sales. I needed that as a young seller when I was guilty of seeing CEOs as something other than human beings. I didn't see a woman who runs a business and has two kids in middle school.

Sales development

Joe said he hates networking and what it represents. We tend to think of an alpha male chasing someone down with a business card. It's about understanding pain points and needs and then responding to them.

Many salespeople are too aggressive and competitive because we feel the pressure. Instead, we have to reframe networking and sales.

It's not about us, but that's a tough concept in this narcissistic culture.

Joe suggested using a 5-10-15 process in which he holds a minimum of 5 meetings, 10 pieces of written correspondence, and a minimum of 15 phone calls.

It's less about the numbers and more about the system. Your listeners could start with a 2-4-6 system. Make a plan that keeps you accountable to yourself.

We're basically all independent contractors and this kind of system will create internal accountability.

"Understanding What Makes People Tick" episode resources

You can connect with Joe at joesweeney.com/networking where you can access inexpensive online training programs. They can help your listeners move the needle in their business and sales lives but also in their personal lives.

You can also grab a copy of his book, Networking Is A Contact Sport.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump.

If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It's super easy, it's helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You'll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven't already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won't miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Direct download: TSE_1074.mp3
Category:Value -- posted at: 11:01am EDT

Ned Leutz, Zoominfo, Sales ScriptSales scripts put sellers inside a box and lock them into selling a certain way, but when you throw away your sales script and do more creative, engaging selling, you'll increase your conversion.

Ned Leutz runs two teams for ZoomInfo, a business data and technology company that helps salespeople get in touch faster and drive more meetings and more sales. He'll talk today about throwing away the script in your sales efforts to increase your flexibility and your success.

Fast answers

People are accustomed to getting fast answers without ever having to engage with a person. By the time the prospect makes contact, the salesperson with a script may prove to be less flexible than the Internet. When that's the case, there's really no need for a salesperson.

Ned believes that giving a salesperson a script is the "kiss of death" and that scripts don't drive conversion or sales.

Salespeople who are limited by scripts will often fail to connect with the prospect's problem. If the goal is to find mutual challenges that you can solve together, the script will be extremely inefficient.

Instead of operating from a script, Ned suggests providing a map to sales reps. He believes in setting an agenda with the main goal of finding a point of mutual connection.

Solving problems

Ned's team starts with the question, "Why did you decide to take my call?" He says that most people don't take a call with a salesperson unless they have a suspicion that the salesperson can solve a need.

About 90 percent of the time, the prospect faces a challenge that he needs help with. The other 10 percent might be a case of someone taking your call because you're just a nice person. In those cases, you'll have to work to qualify the prospect before moving forward.

The question seeks to discover what caught the prospect's attention and prompted him to accept the phone call. It eliminates half of the guessing.

Start with the end

Begin from a point of mutual agreement. Either there's a problem that you can solve or there isn't. Once you've set that agenda, you've established an expectation for the conversation. You've earned the right to discover whether or not there's a problem you can solve.

You can ask the key questions of your customer to identify the challenge.

The alternative is to play a sales version of whack-a-mole in which you're constantly asking, "Is this it?" "Is this it?" You'll bore the client who will much prefer to research on his own since he'll likely perceive that you aren't listening or guiding him.

Nobody is taking your B2B sales call without looking at your website first and deciding whether there is something there that catches their attention. You can assume that the prospect has done some research before accepting your call.

Cold calling

Ned wants sellers to throw away the script in cold calling because there's enough information readily available to sellers that they should have a pretty good story for why they are calling each prospect. When you call a prospect, it's a suspicion rather than a script. you've got a reason for calling.

Your customer will have the sense that he isn't just a number on the list.

Ned points out that data companies can't fix a broken sales process or a bad product. A data company can give your sellers the information they need at their fingertips to have a 90% story as to why they might be able to help a particular company.

Verifiable outcomes

Ned asks his managers to focus on verifiable outcomes. They'll know that a rep had a really good discovery call if they understand that the client feels some sort of pain, they understand that the client is in a current state that he'd like to get out of, and he can answer the question, "What would you be able to do tomorrow that you can't do today if you could solve this problem?"

One of the worst sales questions we ask is, "If you solved this problem, how much money would you make?" Most people have no idea.

Instead, ask, "If you solve this problem, how would you quantify the impact of that on your organization? Who else would be affected?"

It's not important that the prospect be able to quantify it immediately. It's important that the prospect understand the impact your solution will make.

That thinking will help them decide whether it's worth making an investment.

Business case

Ned believes that if you can get cooperative collaboration on building a business case, you know that you have a good chance of closing the deal. He points to ineffective activity as the reason many sales teams struggle.

Scripts often result in ineffective cold calling, and data can hurt as well. If you spend your day calling switchboard numbers all day but you can't get a single gate-keeper on the phone, you'll have a hard time moving forward.

Ned's company engages in proof of concept in which they inject direct phone numbers into an organization's system and then ask the reps to engage in the same activity they always do. They know the conversations will convert at a much higher rate simply because they're going to talk to more people live.

They'll set up an experiment in which sellers make 10,000 phone calls across an SDR group without data and then 10,000 with the data and then evaluate the number of live connections and ultimately the number of meetings.

The outcome typically results in 10 more meetings a week, which is 520 more meetings a year.

Empower prospects

Help your prospects arrive at conclusions on their own. Rather than give them answers, allow them to discover the answers themselves.

"It sounds like you see value in this. Your team doesn't have the right data and we can provide them the right data. If you had to build a business case, where would you start?"

About 90 percent of the time the customer will say, "That's a great question. How do your customers usually start?"

At that moment, you've earned permission to share. You'll earn your customers' trust very quickly this way.

Framework

Scripts won't get you where you need to be. Instead, give your team a framework under which they work to identify the client's business case and then evaluate whether the expectations are reasonable.

If a customer expects to close 20 deals with a product that isn't transactional and has a long sales process, that isn't a very reasonable expectation. The sales rep must negotiate that expectation to something more reasonable.

It's tempting to rely on scripts, especially when things aren't going well. It's also tempting to wrestle control away from your reps.

Instead, invest your energy into building a map and providing constant reminders around asking good questions.

[Tweet "Build your sales map around a mutual discovery process which allows the seller and the prospect to determine whether the relationship will be a good fit. Then provide your buyers room to convince themselves that your product is the right one. #DiscoveryProcess"]

You will close deals with a script, but you'll close them at a lower dollar amount at a much slower frequency.

Instead of measuring the number of calls you made, measure the number of outcomes. If your number of calls falls, but the number of meetings increases, forget about the number of calls.

episode resources

You can connect with Ned Leutz on LinkedIn or email him at Ned.Leutz@zoominfo.com.

You've heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we're offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester in April.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we'd love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You'll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1073.mp3
Category:Script -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Sales Pitch, Sales Pitch, The Sales EvangelistMany sellers discover that their perfect pitch is not working because, as they work to build value, they are appealing to logic rather than emotion.

We're devoting the whole month to a discussion about building value, and some of today's information comes from the book The Transparency Sale written by Todd Caponey. Todd will visit with us on the podcast in the near future, but today we'll talk about the decision-making process and the role our brains play.

Brain power

Every day, we engage in activities every day that are so routine that we don't even think about them. When we drive to work, we put a seatbelt on without even thinking about it. When we back the car up, we put our arms over the seat beside us and then look backward.

You're able to listen to this podcast while you're driving because you don't even have to think about driving.

Todd talks about three levels of the brain, which you may have heard of before. The reptilian part, the limbic part, and the neocortex.

The reptilian portion is the core or center, and it's the oldest part of the brain. It prompts us to do things without thinking. It drives our instincts. It's the part that prompts us to react to pain without thinking, and it's part of our survival.

The limbic portion is more intricate and it helps deals with feelings and emotions. It helps us make decisions and motivates our behaviors.

The neo- or frontal cortex is the newest part of our brain and it's associated with information and logic. It's the largest part of the brain and it ties with math and reasoning and justification.

[Tweet "We make decisions emotionally and justify them logically, and it's our brain that makes it possible. #brainpower"]

Sales standpoint

We typically show up to our prospect meetings with PowerPoint presentations, charts, spreadsheets, and graphs of all the amazing things our product or service can do. We show up prepared to sell to the customer's neocortex -- the logical part.

Remember, though, that the logic part of our brain isn't where decisions are made. Decisions form in the middle portion of the brain, where our feelings and emotions reside.

You must help people make a decision emotionally, and then justify it logically. You can build value as a sales rep by using stories to tap into the emotion or pain that the prospect is experiencing.

Unless there is some kind of pain, your customer won't make a decision.

Status quo

The reptilian part of our brain wants us to stay where we are. If nothing is harming us, why would we move? Leave things as they are.

Until someone points out the reason we need to make a change and appeals to our emotion, we'll never see a need to move. If a seller use emotion to prompt the customer to move and then help him justify the move logically, he'll be much more likely to make a change.

Tie the emotion and the logic together to help your prospects understand the need to make a change.

Making it work

I recently met a guy who sells water filtration systems in Florida. He begins by asking people whether people drink water, and many people say no because it tastes bad and it's unclean and unhealthy.

He points out that taking a shower in the same water can be just as unhealthy because your skin is your body's largest organ, which presents a pain point for his prospects.

The seller never mentions price or facts about his product. He focuses on the emotion of wanting to be healthy.

Do it with stories or by asking the buyer questions that tap into emotion.

Defining sales

I define sales as helping people persuade themselves to make a change. If we try to persuade them, their guard immediately goes up.

Great sellers leave the buyer in charge of the decision. If your demos are flopping or your presentations aren't working, you're probably focusing too much on logic. Don't sell to the logical part of the brain. Sell to the emotional part.

"Perfect Pitch Is Not Working" episode resources

Grab a copy of the book The Transparency Sale written by Todd Caponey for more information about the role our brains play in the buying process.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump.

If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It's super easy, it's helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You'll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven't already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won't miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Direct download: TSE_1072.mp3
Category:Sales Pitch -- posted at: 2:41pm EDT

Social Selling, Personal Brand, Andy Storch, The Sales EvangelistSmart sellers can make social media work for them by building a personal brand, giving value, connecting with others, and growing their business.

Andy Storch is a consultant and coach who is always learning new things about sales and who loves the freedom that selling provides. Though he says he still has a lot to learn, he has an advantage over many others because he's always trying new things.

Because he has the confidence to experiment and discover what works and what doesn't, he has a leg up on a lot of other people.

Personal branding

Whether you're selling services or products, there are very few things that absolutely distinguish your offerings from other people's. In fact, customers can always find an alternative.

In B2B especially, they are buying you. They want to do business with you.

Relationships are so important for sellers which is why it's more important than ever to develop a personal brand. You must let people know who you are and create authority.

To that end, Andy uses social media to let people know who he is, to create authority, to share knowledge, and to build authority.

Attracting people

As sellers, we initially think we want to get on a call with everybody, but there are a lot of people we just won't gel with. Social media attracts people who want to work with us and deflects others.

In an era where everyone is creating content of some kind, we have to put our own content out there in order to build our authority.

Given the amount of content that already exists, it's tempting to wonder why yours matters. Even if you're regurgitating information you learned from someone else, put your own spin on it.

For some, it's blogging. Others use podcasting or YouTube. It depends on your style and where your clients are.

Andy points to podcaster Chris Ducker and his business Youpreneur. In his book Rise of the Youpreneur, Chris says that if you build a personal brand, it's the last brand business you'll ever need to build because you can take it with you and evolve it into any kind of business.

Five years from now, you may do completely different work, but if you've built a brand and a following, people will go with you.

Building a brand

Your personal brand is what you're known for. Having your own website and your own colors is the advanced part of it.

Are you known for being knowledgeable, trustworthy, and someone that people want to learn from? Andy posts on social media with the goal of helping his friends discover the things that have previously worked for him.

They tell him that he inspires them, and he has created a personal brand as someone who is an achiever, who helps and inspires other people.

You want to be known as someone knowledgeable and trustworthy at the end of the day.

People who need it

Think of your content as giving information to a friend. You are putting it out there for those people who need it and want it at that time, not for people who don't.

Don't worry about the judgment from people that your content isn't for. Most people are rooting for you. Even if the content isn't for them, they'll just scroll on by.

Action steps

Andy's primary business is B2B so he spends most of his time on LinkedIn. When he moved to this business 18 months ago he committed to posting every weekday. Over time he has gained some traction there, though it's a tough platform to engage on. Until you have a really good following of people, it's tough to get likes and comments.

Start by finding an engagement group where people are in a group together commenting on each other's stuff. Be careful with this, though, because if you join multiple groups it can be tough to keep up.

If you find one, it will help you build your following and gain exposure. It doesn't directly turn into sales, but it keeps him top of mind for people.

You don't know who's on there and who's seeing your content. Don't put content out just for the sake of doing so, but find ways to be valuable to the people who follow you.

Don't assume you'll start generating sales right away. You're serving people, you're building a brand, and long-term it will work out for you.

Logistics

The best practice is to schedule content, but Andy calls himself a live-in-the-moment kind of guy who decides each day what to post. He alternates between providing content that targets his ideal clients and general content that would be helpful for larger numbers of people.

His target clients are less than 10 percent of his overall network, so sometimes he wants to speak directly to them, but sometimes he wants to engage a larger group.

Share experiences

Think back to your own experiences and knowledge. Can you turn those into posts or stories that you can tell Would you rather write or speak?

You've got to put it out there are hit publish. You won't get much response in the beginning but you've got to keep doing it.

When you have a fear of judgment or criticism, it grows as you let it fester. The more you take action, just like with cold calling, you build more experience so it becomes less scary.

Podcasting

Andy has two podcasts: The Andy Storch Show and The Talent Development Hotseat. He uses the latter to land meetings with target clients who otherwise wouldn't meet with him, and it's working beautifully.

Everyone loves to tell their own story and they love attention. Many people don't know how to do that because they aren't going to start their own podcasts. Andy gives them a way to share their stories and experiences.

The same people who failed to accept sales meetings with Andy suddenly accepted the offer to appear on his podcast. He's working to develop personal relationships with these people.

These people didn't see a compelling reason to interact with him before they discovered his platform.

The added benefit is that he's growing his authority and building relationships.

Serve don't sell

Resist the temptation to include lots of calls-to-action and links. Provide value. They want to know that you're trustworthy and that you have interesting things to say.

[Tweet "People don't pay for information anymore. They pay for execution, so give information away. Serve, don't sell. #ServeCustomers"]

"Building a Personal Brand" episode resources

You can connect with Andy at his website, www.andystorch.com, and on LinkedIn. You can also check out his two podcasts: The Andy Storch Show and The Talent Development Hotseat.

You've heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we're offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester in April.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we'd love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You'll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1071.mp3
Category:LinkedIn -- posted at: 11:19am EDT

Even if you’ve been selling for years, it’s possible that you’ve overlooked some ideas that will help you perform better, like working to shorten the sales process with video. 

Today we’ll discuss some ideas that will help you shorten your sales cycle and some ways to use video to accomplish it. I’ll also share a real-life example from one of my clients to demonstrate how effective it can be.

POWER OF VIDEO

Video is so simple and so powerful that it’s hard to imagine that some people aren’t taking advantage of it. We’ve talked about it on The Sales Evangelist for months because it’s a powerful tool that’s available to every seller.

I recently read a study that showed that 7 out of 10 B2B buyers watch a video somewhere in their buying process. So 70 percent of buyers are watching videos that are usually generated by the marketing department.

But why aren’t we in sales using it as well? It’s simpler for the buyer to consume, and it isn’t difficult for us to make them.

PREVALENCE OF VIDEO

Videos are everywhere and we engage with them daily on Netflix, YouTube, and other places. Stories are part of our lives.

We can use them in our prospecting, in our closings, and to build value throughout the entire sales process. Use video to follow up with a client or share a testimonial. Create a video overview of your product.

CREATIVE USES

Chaz works in the 3D printing industry, which for some of us is still rather unfamiliar. Because his product is cutting-edge, it can be difficult for him to explain what he’s doing to his customers.

The emails can get long and confusing. His customers have lots of technical questions. Chaz realized that it would be very time-consuming to answer all of those questions each time they arise. When he tried to get his customers to hop on a call so he could answer the questions, they often went dark on him.

He decided to use video to answer questions for his customers. It shortens the process because it’s quicker than email, and it helps him build trust with his customers.

Chaz said that he can shorten the sales process with video by up to a week.

If you could shave time off of each of your deals, how much more could you process? How many more clients could you obtain? Could you close more deals or earn more commission?

PROBLEM-SOLVING

Imagine your current customers running into trouble with the product you sold them. Instead of asking them to ship it back to you so you can troubleshoot the problem, why not use video to help them identify the glitch.

You can walk them through the process and provide guidance that will help them improve the outcome the next time.

Chaz uses the video to carry the customer through the process and it freed up more time in his day because he was able to help his customer quickly and efficiently so he could move on to other things.

VIDEO TOOLS

We’ve told you about a number of different video tools like BombBomb, Loom, Wistia, and Soapbox. There’s another called Vineyard, and probably many more that I haven’t named.

Video humanizes you for your customer, and research has proven that people do business with those that they know, like, and trust. When your customer can see and hear you, you’ll be able to build trust much more quickly in addition to helping your customer.

You can use video in your prospecting by following up with your prospects. Try using it in your outreach process to see what kind of results you get. We’re testing it ourselves and seeing amazing results.

“SHORTEN THE SALES PROCESS WITH VIDEO” EPISODE RESOURCES

Chaz is part of our TSE Certified Sales Training Program beta group, which wraps up in a couple of weeks. You can connect with him on LinkedIn, and you can watch the videos I mentioned earlier in the podcast here and here.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump.

If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple PodcastGoogle PodcastStitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1070.mp3
Category:Video -- posted at: 6:56am EDT

Steven Griffith, Time Management, Donald KellyMany sellers elongate the sales process without even realizing it, and Steven Griffith is here to talk about how to take control of your time and to explain that your time management ideas are wrong.

Steven is a performance coach and the author of the book, The Time Cleanse: A Proven System to Eliminate Wasted Time, Realize Your Full Potential, and Reinvest In What Matters Most. He explains how to close the performance gap and get hours back in your day.

Performance research

Steven discovered about five years ago that all of his performance clients were pointing to the same roadblock to their success: they didn't have enough time. He even discovered that he was feeling the same way.

Technology has created more distractions and it prompts us to multi-task all the time. Our lives are moving at an incredible pace and we're all over-stimulated by toxins that steal and hijack our time.

Old time management strategies worked when the phone was connected to the wall by a cord. We live by the notion that time is scarce so we're working to cram as much into each hour as we can.

"If time allows"

Most people have an adverse relationship to time, so Steven teaches his clients to establish a positive relationship with time so that time becomes abundant. It's a matter of viewing time as an ally rather than a foe, and working with it instead of fighting against it.

Consider the phrase "if time allows." Steven routinely asks people whose time they are referring to when they use this phrase.

We've conditioned ourselves to believe that time has the power to allow us to accomplish things. We buy into the idea that time is an outside thing that we're working against when, in fact, we are time.

Compressing the sales cycle

Steven talks about compressing a sales cycle to fit one year's worth of sales into one month.

He tells the story of a real estate professional who sells luxury real estate in L.A. He had health issues in the third quarter and he was really underwater.

They worked together to do a time cleanse that would help him compress his time.

Steven said we all have a built-in belief system about how long a sale takes. We're conditioned by our industries to believe in ideas like slow seasons and high seasons.

Our mental framework keeps us in that mindset, so we get stuck. We might go up or down by 10 percent but we'll always come back to our conditioned thermostat.

Steven asked the agent if it was possible to complete a year's worth of sales in 10 months' time. Without worrying about how to do it, he simply wanted to know if it could be done.

Could it be done in 8 months? Or 6?

Steven worked to break apart his self-limiting beliefs about how long the sales cycle takes. By the time they got down to 8 weeks, he admitted that he didn't know how he would do it.

They started building a new framework in which it was possible to do a year's worth of sales production in 8 weeks.

Mandatory activities

They started by identifying the activities that the agent absolutely had to do. Steven calls these ROT activities or high return-on-time activities.

His biggest business-generating sales activities were his 10x10, (10 contacts by 10 a.m.) and researching the market for pre-qualified buyers.

His time cleanse involved identifying different categories like technology, people, places, and others and categorizing their time. Once they had written everything down, they considered whether each activity was contributing to or contaminating his time.

They identified his time there as a contaminant because his visits often turned into two-hour stays. Instead, they sent his assistant to get his coffee each day.

By the end of the activity, they reclaimed 25 hours a week, 8 of which was the coffee shop. The time cleanse gives you the opportunity to evaluate whether you're doing the right things at the right times.

He redistributed his time and assigned his non-revenue-generating activities to his assistant as well.

Timefulness

Next, Steven showed his client how to set his day up to perform. He calls the concept timefulness, which is an advancement of mindfulness.

It's being present in the moment so that we stop multitasking. We maintain a single focus which can 2 or 3x our results on its own.

The client put everything on his calendar, and he created a reset strategy. He set an alarm on his phone to go off every hour, and when it did, he would check to make sure that he was being mindful. If he wasn't following the plan at that point, the alarm was his cue to return to it.

Sales increased

After about two or three weeks, he couldn't believe how quickly the sales started coming. Like many people, he said, "I can't believe this is happening so fast." Steven cautions people to avoid that mindset because that doubt will keep things from happening quickly.

The client got laser-focused on his activities that generated revenue and he developed a relationship with time that supported those activities. He didn't feel like he was fighting the clock anymore.

Be aware as a seller that if you're stressed out, people will sense it and they likely won't want to be around you.

At the end of 8 weeks, the client had done the most he had ever done in a quarter, and he went on to hit his all-time career record that year.

Believe

We must overcome what Steven calls our "always way of being," which is our belief that certain activities take a certain amount of time. We've been conditioned to believe that work must be hard and that we must grind to achieve the things we want.

Although it's true that you must have time in order to conduct sales, it's possible for sales to happen instantly. Begin by asking yourself how you can compress time. If you don't ask the question, you'll never get the answer.

Don't use the phrase time management. We don't manage our family members, but rather we want to be connected to them and work in unison with them. The same is true of time.

How to start

If you find yourself wanting to try Steven's concepts, begin by shattering the neurological connections in your mind that say this isn't possible. Then, do your own cleanse. Determine what is contaminating your time. Anything that is holding you back from accelerating your goals and dreams is a contaminant.

Write down every single interaction and ask yourself whether your activities are contributing.

It could be Facebook, negative people, or any other thing that takes up your time.

Most people get back a minimum of 10 hours, but most get back 20 or more.

Many people resist the idea of compressing time because they use time as an excuse for not doing, being, and having. They frame themselves as victims of time. #CompressTime

If we say things like "Time doesn't allow," it lets us off the hook because we aren't in charge. Instead, go on a time-excuse diet where you stop using time as a justification for not accomplishing things.

High-performance hours

As an entrepreneur and sales professional, the word no is as powerful as the word yes. Realize what you're saying yes to, what you're saying no to, and where your high-performance hours are.

Steven dedicates an entire section of the book to setting up their day to perform. In fact, many people are doing the right activities at the wrong time. We must determine when we have our best energy and then cluster those similar activities together. Our brains work more efficiently and we'll get better results.

If you are time, and you're 100 percent accountable and responsible for it without letting anything steal it, you take 100 percent control of your life and the results you get.

"Your Time Management Ideas Are Wrong" episode resources

If you'd like to connect with Steven, go to stevengriffith.com/salesevangelist for a free download of his top 10 performance tips to help you perform better with time. You can also pre-order a copy of his book, The Time Cleanse: A Proven System to Eliminate Wasted Time, Realize Your Full Potential, and Reinvest In What Matters Most. When you do, you'll get free access to his master class that walks you step-by-step through the cleanse process.

You've heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we're offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester in April.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we'd love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You'll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1069.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:40am EDT

Harry Maziar, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Story Selling

Selling is honorable, and we should be proud of the work we do because nothing happens until somebody sells something.

Today Harry Mazier talks to us about the importance of selling and how every organization must practice the fundamentals of selling in order to do it well.  It begins by understanding the importance of being a sales professional.

Relationships

The short attention span of today's buyers means that there will always be room for relationships in selling.

[Tweet "There's an adage that says that when all things are equal, people want to buy from their friends. And when all things aren't equal, people still want to buy from their friends. So make friends. #RelationshipSelling"]

It's perhaps the best sales lesson you'll ever hear.

Necessity

It sounds basic to say that nothing happens until someone sells something, but it's true that if we don't sell, we won't eat.

Sales is the lubricant of our economy.

It doesn't matter how good your manufacturing is, how precise your accounting is, how deep your R&D is, everything begins when someone convinces a prospect to say, "Yes, I'll take some."

When the deal closes, the gears begin moving and everything takes off from that point of agreement.

Failure

Fear of failure prevents people from selling. You might drive past a prospect's business 12 times and always find a reason not to stop: no parking places, it's too early, or it's too late.

To get past that reluctance, you must suck it up and knock on the doors. Then, once you get in front of that customer, you must know what you're talking about.

Emerson said that nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm. You must be enthusiastic and excited. If you're not excited about what you're doing, do something else.

Be smart. Don't tell them how much you know. Tell them how much they need to know to get where you want them to get. Selling is convincing someone else to agree with your opinion.

But don't overstay your welcome by speaking too much.

There's a story that Samson slew 1,000 Philistines with the jawbone of an ass, but twice that many sales are killed every day with the same implement.

Resource

Your role is to provide the necessary information and be convincing. The best salespeople don't sell, they help people buy.

Selling is instructional and informational. Be a friend and a resource to your customer. Sales is an honorable profession that has taken a lot of hits -- many of them self-inflicted.

Salespeople are a resource to our economy and they really are helpful to customers. People choose sales for a variety of reasons like interactions with people and independence. Of course, income opportunities are part of it as well.

Negative view

For a long time, sales was perceived as little more than one person taking unfair advantage of another. Salespeople have lived through that era and have established themselves as a resource rather than an impediment.

Avoid being self-deprecating. Don't refer to yourself as "just a salesman." Sell with integrity every day so you can improve and help your customers.

Don't put artificial limits on your own success or settle for good enough instead of good.

Stories

Relevant stories can help sellers sell. Rudyard Kipling said that if history was taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.

People love stories, so rather than giving facts, features, and benefits, incorporate a story into your sales presentation. Do it consistently and do it as well as you can.

Read and listen and stay attuned to the people around you. Harry recorded countless anecdotes in preparation for writing his book, Story Selling: Sage Advice and Common Sense About Sales and Success.

If you don't use a story to provide proof, selling will be more difficult. But the story won't stand on its own. You must give your very best effort.

Stories aren't the answer alone. You must support it with your work and effort. Do the best you can every day.

Remember the 10 powerful 2-letter words: "If it is to be, it is up to me." You can find excuses and blame, but ultimately it depends on you.

Sellers

Don't think you're not in sales. Everyone is in sales from the moment they get out of bed in the morning. You are persuading or influences, negotiating or communicating.

Don't run from it. Embrace it and learn to be better. Grow by failing.

It's not how often you get knocked down; it's how many times you get back up. Get back up and learn what's effective and learn to communicate.

Be true to yourself and embrace the opportunities you have as a salesperson.

"Selling From The Heart" episode resources

You can connect with Harry at harrymazier@gmail.com or at (404) 853-1063.

Grab a copy of his book, Story Selling: Sage Advice and Common Sense About Sales and Success

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump.

If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It's super easy, it's helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You'll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven't already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won't miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1068.mp3
Category:Selling -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Donald Kelly, Building Value, Selling

If you're giving your customers things that you value instead of focusing on things that your customer needs or wants, you should be aware of the 5 things you get wrong when it comes to building value.

We're dedicating the month of April to a discussion of building value, and we're starting with the fundamentals of building value.

1.  We fail to solve the problem.

People will only change if they see a distinct need for it, and sometimes our customers don't even recognize that they have a problem. Or, in other instances, they may have found a solution or a band-aid to the problem that seems to be working.

People don't fix things that seem to be working.

Your job as a seller is to ask the right questions to help them consider or see the importance of addressing their challenge. Once you're able to help them identify the problem, we must provide a clear solution to help them address it.

Donald Miller has a wonderful three-step process that lays out exactly how you can move through the process.

If the buyer doesn't have confidence in your ability to guide him through the solution, you're likely going to lose the deal like I did when it happened to me.

2.  We focus on what we like. 

I've taught this principle over and over again as the platinum rule: treat others the way they would like to be treated. It's a step up from treating people the way that you'd like to be treated.

Don't focus on features or benefits that you like. Focus on things that the buyers like.

Buyers may choose to work with you for a variety of reasons, but not all of your product's features will be important to the buyer. Not all of your service's benefits will matter to him.

Once you've identified the problem that the buyer needs to address, and you've given the buyer a clear plan, avoid the urge to give the buyer things he doesn't need. Give him the things that are important and necessary for him and nothing more.

You may have 100 features, but the buyer likely has one problem that is costing him a lot of money. He needs the feature that will solve that problem. Yes, he'll get much more than that with your product or service, but focus on his main problem to start.

Over time you can educate him about additional features.

3.  We don't listen to the customer.

This ties closely to number 1 because we often continue talking even after the buyer has agreed to buy.

Our conversations and discovery meetings are intended to help us discover things about our prospects. It's not intended to be a lecture.

Sometimes sellers believe that if we're talking, we're winning, and that simply isn't true. Think of it like dating: you want the other person to perceive that you're interested.

Studies indicated that you shouldn't talk more than 30 percent of the time, and that will only happen if you come prepared with meaningful questions. That will help the buyer express himself and his challenges.

Once you've listened, you can pitch to the one thing he needs the most.

4.  We think we must have the lowest price.

This issue emerges frequently with sellers who think that value means having the lowest price, but it simply isn't true. I've lost deals before to companies that were bigger and more expensive than my own product or service.

When I looked back, they didn't care that we were cheaper. They were concerned that I didn't focus on their problem and show them a clear path to solve it. They didn't have the conviction that I was the one who could best help them.

If you've done a fantastic job of identifying their problem and you've helped them find a solution, they'll see the value in what you're offering. If, for example, their problem is costing them $50,000 a year but your solution will cost them $5,000 a year, that's a good saving for them.

[Tweet "Lowering your price doesn't necessarily build value. Solving a problem builds value. #BuildValue"]

Show me that you understand my problem and that you have a solution. Then show me that you've solved this kind of problem before. That will give me, as a buyer, confidence in you as a seller.

5.  We believe that more is better.

We often mistakenly believe that offering our customer more is better because it's a way to increase value.

You might be giving away so many add-ons that your company loses money. In the future, your customer will likely expect the same kind of discounts and bonuses. If the customer stays with you for only a year, you will have lost the client before you could recoup your losses.

Resist the urge to give away everything for free. Enjoy the silence in your conversation. Don't jump out and start talking too quickly.

They may not be looking for more value but rather just contemplating the purchase.

Keep things simple for your buyers and remember that less is often more. We know a lot more than our buyers about our product, and they don't need to know everything that we do.

Avoid these mistakes and you'll have much better success building value.

"Building Value" episode resources

You've heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we're offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester in April.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we'd love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You'll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Direct download: TSE_1067.mp3
Category:Value -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Sellers have a bad reputation as people who are artificial and only concerned about themselves, but in order to succeed, you must focus on selling from the heart.

Larry Levine has spent 30-something years in the trenches of B2B work, and he recognized some glaring weaknesses in sales teams he worked with. He values authenticity and he points to it as a big disconnect for many sellers.

But it isn't just sellers. Think about how many times you've run into a friend you haven't seen in a while, and you toss out the phrase, "we should do lunch." It doesn't usually mean anything other than "I'll see you when I see you."

Sellers must pay attention to their words.

Use your words

The words genuine, authentic, value, and trusted advisor prompt the follow-on question: "What does that mean?"

Start by leading an authentic lifestyle. Think about this: When you say you're a salesperson or an SDR, you're already behind the 8-ball already in the minds of your clients and prospects.

For every great sales professional, there are 10 that give the sales world a bad name.

When you deal with the people in your personal life, are you genuine and true to who you really are? Most likely you are. So why can't we play that same role when we're dealing with our clients and prospects.

[Tweet "Address the misalignment that exists between who you are at work and who you are after 5 p.m. Be genuine and authentic with the people in your business just like you are in your personal life. #AuthenticSelling"]

Building relationships

Many sellers maintain a certain amount of distance in their relationships with their clients. In his book, Slow Down, Sell Faster, Kevin Davis asked how it's possible to sell something to someone if you don't spend time figuring out who they are?

  • What makes that person tick?
  • What do they care about?

Sellers try to move their prospects through the sales funnel as quickly as possible instead of investing the time to understand. Listen with intent and help them do their jobs. You'll be surprised to find that things actually speed up.

Vulnerability

If you don't build a relationship throughout multiple steps and influencers, it will be difficult to sell anything. People will buy from people they know, like, and trust.

People are beginning to understand that it's ok to bring your heart to the sales world. It's ok to be genuine and real. But in order to do that, you have to be vulnerable, which goes against what we believe about sellers.

If you asked your prospects what they truly desire in a seller, what do you think they'll say? Maybe someone who is honest and who can solve their problems. At some point, you'll hear them say "I want them to be sincere and show up after the sale."

Conversations

Have a conversation like you would with your friends.

Memorizing scripts may make you sound too robotic. It isn't that scripts are bad, but we must make the verbiage in the script our own. If you can't align to it, you'll struggle with it.

Imagine if you understood the person you were reaching out to. What are the issues and challenges they are facing.

If you're calling a VP of sales to set up a demo for software, find out the issues that VPs of sales struggle with. Offer three issues that are most common for sales teams. Ask your prospects which of those three topics he can most closely align with.

The truth is that even tenured sales reps are going about this the wrong way. Instead of the phone call being focused on setting a meeting, focus the call on starting a conversation.

Sales leaders

Time and patience matter. Your organization wasn't built in a day. You took a series of small successful steps to get where you are.

The same is true for your sales process, but no one has time or patience for it. No one wants to slow down.

Larry recalls deciding one day to focus on quality over quantity. He focused on opening at least two new conversations with two people he didn't know every single day. His phone skills improved and his mindset did, too.

Sellers who are allowed to focus on quality over quantity may find that they enjoy their roles a bit more because they are connecting with people.

Foundations

Larry's first mentor freed him from the pressure of memorizing his prospecting script word-for-word, and instead encouraged him to understand the foundation of the script. Once you've done that, make it your own.

Get back to humanizing what we've previously dehumanized in the sales world. There's a time and place for technology, but human-to-human matters. Technology can't replace every human aspect.

Larry warns against being an "empty suit with commission breath."

Once leadership realizes that there's a human on the other end of the sale rather than just a bunch of dollars and they set out to solve problems, watch what happens to the level of your relationships and referrals and profits.

Avoiding sameness

In a crowded field, in order to rise above the sea of sameness and be seen in a different light and stand out from the sales wolfpack, the differentiating moment goes back to the human aspect.

People smell sincerity immediately. Instead of juggling personalities, be authentic.

Understand that credibility and clarity sell in a world of insincerity.

[Tweet "In a commoditized market, if you open conversations in a transactional way, expect a transactional relationship. You'll be replaced by another transactional relationship along the way. #SalesConversations"]

Create a transformational experience by having a conversation. As you transform your relationships, you'll stick out like a sore thumb in a world of transactional conversations.

"Selling From The Heart" episode resources

Find Larry on LinkedIn @larrylevine1992 or on his Selling From The Heart podcast at sellingfromtheheart.net.

Grab a copy of Larry's book, Selling From the Heart: How Your Authentic Self Sells YouHis website also offers an accompanying self-reflection journal.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump.

If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It's super easy, it's helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You'll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven't already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won't miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1066.mp3
Category:Value Conversation -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Sellers are understandably focused on the closing of any deal but it’s important that we keep things in perspective and don’t make the closing an event.

The truth is that every transaction has a beginning, a middle, and an end, but we often get so focused on the closing that we unnecessarily freak ourselves out.

This conversation comes from our TSE Certified Sales Training Program, our sales coaching program that helps sellers maximize their effectiveness.

SALES PROCESS

The sales process naturally builds toward a close where the client signs the deal and then everyone celebrates. Our challenge as sellers is to avoid the temptation to make the closing the entire focus of the sale.

Focus throughout the sale on building value. Initiate conversations that address your prospects’ challenges and difficulties. Realize that you’ll never get to the closing if you don’t effectively address the buyers’ objections.

Help the buyer feel confident in this deal by sharing stories that provide value and dispel your customers’ objections. Instead of waiting for your customer to offer his objections, bring them up on your own terms as a way of building trust.

Red flags won’t go away simply because you ignore them. They don’t typically diffuse themselves, and your decision to wait until the end of the process to address them could cost you your deal.

GROWING PROBLEMS

Like many other relationships in life, struggles between buyer and seller don’t naturally disappear over time. In fact, problems often get bigger and worse as we fail to address them.

A single demo for your client won’t magically offset all his concerns, so don’t wait until then to address his objections. If he has concerns about your product or service, it won’t likely matter how good your demo is: you won’t overcome his hesitation until you address the problems.

 

ADDRESSING FEARS

Whether you’re selling water, computers, or houses, your buyer doesn’t want to part with his hard-earned cash until you’ve addressed his fears.

He may want a new house. He may even need a new house. But he has fears of his own:

  • What if he can’t afford this house?
  • What if an unforeseen issue comes up?
  • How much will hurricane insurance cost?

Help him minimize those risks and fears throughout the process. That way, when he gets to the end of the transaction, those fears won’t be an issue.

PROSPECTING

Hubspot reported recently that as many as 40 percent of salespeople don’t like prospecting and about 30 percent struggle with closings. As a result, we tend to make closings a big deal in our own heads because we’ve worked so hard to find a prospect and get to this point.

Instead of viewing it as a huge event, we should think of it as a natural byproduct of the sales process, and we should move the buyer smoothly through to conversion.

Conversion begins the moment I start building value for my prospect. If I focus on blind-side challenges and identifying key problems, I can address objections early and minimize the risk that my deal will fall apart.

My goal is to eliminate any reasonable doubt about whether I’m the right vendor for the prospect.

PITCHING YOURSELF

If you’re able to identify the companies your prospect is currently working with, you’ll be better able to pitch your own strengths against theirs. You can identify the competition’s weaknesses and use those to make your case.

Share stories about past clients who have left that company to work with you and explain why they made that choice.

Build one-on-one conversations into your process as often as possible so you can clarify any questions as they develop. Once you understand the big issues that will likely sabotage your deal, you can help everyone get to the same page.

Follow your demonstrations with an email outreach offering to address any new questions the prospect has.

Avoid pushing objections to the end of the process. Make objections and questions a constant part of your dialogue so that you minimize any risk toward the end of the deal.

Strive to create a smooth experience for your customer.

“DON’T MAKE THE CLOSING AN EVENT” EPISODE RESOURCES

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester in April.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561)578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple PodcastGoogle PodcastStitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1065.mp3
Category:Closing -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

One of the most important questions you’ll answer is “Why should I do business with you?” and it’s vital that you get it right when you do.

When the question comes, you’ll be tempted to point out how long your company has existed, how great your product is, and how great your customer service is, but those answers won’t likely work.

Sales From the Street tackles actual problems that sellers are facing and allows a sales rep just like you to provide an answer that worked for him.

LOADED QUESTION

People frequently get on Reddit seeking advice about how to answer this question. I love checking in there because it gives me a great opportunity to connect with sellers and share my own insights and expertise.

They frequently listen to the podcast after our interaction and it presents a great opportunity to grow my business. If you haven’t checked Reddit for a page related to your own industry, you definitely should.

“Why should I do business with you” is a loaded question, and I’m going to answer it in two different ways.

When I was a young seller, I was quick to point out the features of my product and to preach about why we were the best company, but it never addressed the client’s true issue.

INITIAL CONVERSATION

Your answer to the question will largely depend on whether this is the first time you’ve spoken to this person. Do you have a relationship already, or this your very first contact?

If you’re speaking to the customer for the very first time, he may be testing you to see how you’ll respond. You could play a seller’s version of whack-a-mole and blindly try to guess the right answer, but as a sales professional, that’s not how you want to operate.

Instead, take control of the situation. Your first priority should be to find out why she is asking this question in the first place.

You can respond with a listicle or with a question of your own. Or, consider this:

“You know, David, when people ask that question it’s usually one of three things.

  1. To see if we have the proper expertise
  2. Testing whether I’m quick on my feet. 
  3. To determine whether we can solve their problem.

Which one of those are we dealing with David?”

His answer to your question will help you understand how to proceed.

TAKE CONTROL

 

Ask questions about the sales process that will help you determine what the customer is seeking. Take charge of the sales process by controlling the conversation.

If the prospect is wasting your time and has no intention of hiring you, you’ll determine that more quickly rather than wasting time on a deal that will never close.

If the prospect is interested, he’ll answer the question and you can continue from there. Pose a question in response to his question.

Ask him why he’s inclined to ask that. If he indicates that his company has encountered other sellers who couldn’t solve its problems, then you’ll know how to respond.

ADDRESS THE CONCERNS

“I don’t ever want to do business with you if I can’t solve your problem. We want to make sure we’re a fit. I don’t want to waste your time or mine.”

“If you are open to it, I’d love to see what you’re doing now to see if we can help you just like we’ve helped many other companies in the past.” 

You can even mention at some point that you’d love to be honest enough to acknowledge if the two of you aren’t a good fit. That will keep you on the same page.

Your customer expects you to rattle off a list of features and benefits. They expect you to be a submissive seller.

They may not realize that as a professional seller, you’ve helped a lot of people, and you’re an expert at doing so. You’re going to stay calm and confident.

SURPRISE THE CUSTOMER

If, on the other hand, this is a customer that you’ve worked with for some time, he may be truly trying to determine whether he should work with you. Your goal is to communicate to him that you’re the best at solving his particular problem.

You’ve done it for thousands of other clients, you’ve run the protocols, and you know you’re the best. You can turn the tables on the customer at that point.

“Why should you not do business with me?”

Be confident. Make sure you understand why the customer is asking the question.

“WHY SHOULD WE DO BUSINESS WITH YOU?” EPISODE RESOURCES

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump.

If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple PodcastGoogle PodcastStitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1064.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

The marketplace is crowded, so if you understand how to instantly increase the perceived value of your offer, you'll be better able to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

Bob Britton got his start in business as an auto mechanic and he had an opportunity to buy an existing business. He figured owning a business couldn't be that hard, so he jumped in, assuming he could do a better job than the people he had been working for.

He endured a season of failure but eventually started to improve as he learned the sales game. He realized that auto repair involves selling something that no one wants to buy, that no one is prepared to buy, and that no one ever has the money to buy.

He grew the business from a one-man show to a multi-million dollar business and then went on to other things.

Communicating value

If you can't clearly communicate your value and what sets you apart from everyone else, you're competing constantly on price. It's the only way people know how to measure. But if you're a value proposition, people will focus less on price and more on what they're getting. It's up to business owners to figure out what those value propositions are.

Begin by understanding what value really is. What you think is valuable is probably 27th on your prospect's list of what's valuable.

[Tweet "The thing we get wrong over and over again is that we don't take time to think our way through all the different things that our customers could consider valuable. #SellingValue"]

Consider even the smallest thing that might be considered valuable. Look beyond the obvious things like saving time or money because everyone claims to offer those.

Starting point

Understand that perception is everything. When you're creating your value proposition, if your prospect believes it's important, it is. Perception is everything.

That determines how we start. Begin by looking at the business drivers which are often saving money and making money. But drill down deeper.

  • Why would a customer use your offer?
  • What does the customer really care about?

Think of things like operating cost, downtime, uptime, labor cost, customer retention, market share, productivity, profitability, time to market, lifetime customer value, and any number of other concerns.

Asking good questions

Too many salespeople "wing it" when it comes to this process. They don't think about the questions they ask and they rely on general ones instead of working to be specific.

People will give us a limited amount of time and effort. Ask specific questions that move people in a distinct direction.

Many sellers will ask about concerns, but that's too general. Limit the question instead. What is your number one concern? Being specific will give you a lot better information from the customer because they'll talk about the thing that is top of mind.

Then, flip that around. Ask your prospect the one thing that he hates about your industry. It takes some guts to ask this, but the information you get back will be the most valuable feedback you've ever gotten.

Bob asked people the number one thing they hated about auto repair on his way to building a million-dollar company. He used all that feedback to differentiate himself from his competition.

Digging deep

Your clients can give you information that will help you tweak your business and increase your revenue. You won't have to push harder. Your clients will give you a to-do list that will help you improve.

Be willing to ask what your current clients dislike about working with your business. It will feel intimidating but they won't crucify you. They'll help you identify the things that are keeping them from buying more.

You may not need to dump more money into your business. You may not need to increase your leads but rather to just improve your close rate.

Next steps

Once you've identified the business drivers, identify some sort of movement. People won't change unless your offering is significantly better than the status quo. People don't buy offers; they buy new things.

What's your movement? Increase, improve, accelerate, reduce, enhance, balance, free up, eliminate, minimize, revitalize, shrink, maximize. What kind of movement can you offer your clients?

Then add metrics to your value proposal to make it stronger and more believable.

Avoid using round numbers which sound less credible. When Bob was running the auto repair business, while everyone else was charging $87 an hour, he charged $98.68 an hour. When people asked how he came up with that number, he said that he figured out with his accountant the exact minimum he could charge to deliver the best service.

It's a psychological effort that will surprise your customers and shift their thinking. It will position you as different than everyone else.

Do your homework. Don't wing it because it won't give you the results you desire.

Prepare

People may throw little tests out at you to see how you'll respond. If you aren't prepared, you'll end up losing credibility because you don't answer well.

Business drivers, movement, and metrics are the three things that create a tremendous amount of value for your business.

Do your homework. Position yourself as different, new, unique, and special.

Be creative. The competition has never been greater and the market is shifting. More people are becoming salespeople so you have to do everything you can to differentiate yourself.

"Increase the Perceived Value of Your Offer" episode resources

You can connect with Bob at his website, marketingautomationgroup.com and opt-in for a free 7-day course. He constantly produces new content designed to help you increase your perceived value.

You've heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we're offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester in April.

You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group. The program includes 65 videos altogether, and we just completed a beta group that helped us improve the program and maximize the information in it.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You'll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

 

Direct download: TSE_1063.mp3
Category:Value -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Sales leaders who neglect their own workload in an effort to help their sellers solve problems will find themselves falling behind, so it’s vital that sales leaders stop falling for the reactive trap.

You hired your sellers to handle their assigned responsibilities and to solve problems. When your sellers distract you with problems, you’ll have less time to focus on sales plans or strategies. You won’t have time to conduct meetings or create reports because you’re trying to keep deals from falling apart.

DISTRACTED LEADERS

In his book, The Sales Manager’s Guide To Greatness, Kevin Davis talks about all the ways that sellers can distract their sales managers from their own workload. The problem with this kind of distraction is that the sales leader’s responsibilities are to grow the department or the business.

The business will suffer if sales leaders aren’t freed to do their own work.

Additionally, you’re teaching your sellers bad habits and cheating them of the opportunity to learn to solve their own problems.

This is why many leaders feel stretched too thin.

LIMITED GROWTH

Sellers who never learn to solve their own problems will limit their teams’ productivity. Your team will never have extraordinary growth because you’ll always be limited by your own ability to solve everyone else’s problems.

The sellers will never learn to solve problems, and they won’t learn to focus on solving problems for their customers. Instead, they’ll focus on features and benefits.

Additionally, they won’t be able to function as well in your absence, which means they will struggle any time you aren’t available. So what will happen if you decide to take vacation?

IMPROVING SELLERS

Sellers will only improve if they learn to solve their own problems and handle their own accounts. As each rep learns to handle his assigned responsibilities, you’ll be freed to focus on other things that will improve the team as a whole.

You may be tempted to think that you’re helping your sellers accomplish more, but the truth is that they’ll never learn to manage their own schedules and their own time if you consistently help them manage it.

Kevin points out that your involvement won’t likely encourage them to use their time for other tasks. Realistically, your sellers will simply be freed to do things like check social media or email.

Forty percent of sellers don’t like prospecting, so they won’t likely do it if they don’t have to. They are likely bringing you problems they don’t want to handle themselves.

TEACH PROBLEM-SOLVING

Kevin suggests asking two questions of your sellers:

  1. What have you done to solve the problem so far?
  2. What do you think ought to be done?

Your sellers likely have basic problem-solving skills; otherwise, you wouldn’t have hired them. If this isn’t the case, you might have to start by making sure you have the right people on the bus.

Perhaps we’ll discover that the rep didn’t really qualify the prospect in the first place. Maybe the rep isn’t talking to the decision-maker.

Assuming those things aren’t true and that the buyer suddenly backed out of the deal, you must discover what caused the problem.

ROOT CAUSE

Coach the rep to ask questions that get to the root cause of the change. Teach your rep to use the 5 whys to figure out why the prospect changed her mind.

It’s tempting for sales leaders to try to “save the day” and be the hero. Instead, you need to teach your seller to act as a guide to the prospect and teach your seller how to frame the customer as the hero of the situation.

Consider identifying team leads who can help your sellers when they encounter problems. Maybe a senior sales rep can help answer questions or coach your sellers in weekly sales meetings.

Schedule coaching sessions where you can teach your team members how to use these techniques to identify why their deals are disintegrating. Help them identify the common objections so they’ll be prepared when they encounter them.

 

BUILD REPLACEMENTS

No doubt you hope to be promoted someday and you’ll need someone to take over your role so you can advance.

Allow them to be part of the dialogue when you’re addressing issues in your area. Provide reassurance that it’s ok to try things and make mistakes.

If you have a hard time saying “no” to your sellers, make yourself unavailable to them. Insist that they begin working on the problems themselves. If they make a mistake, you can still step in if you must, but give them a chance to try solving the problems.

Take the time to coach your sellers. Make sure you give commands, give guidance, and give them room to run on their own.

Whether you’re a sales rep, a sales leader, or a business owner, use these concepts to improve your efficiency and your output.

“STOP FALLING FOR THE REACTIVE TRAP” EPISODE RESOURCES

Grab a copy of Kevin Davis’ book, The Sales Manager’s Guide To GreatnessYou’ll be glad you did.

This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.

TSE Certified Sales Training Program can help you out of your slump.

If you gave a lot of great presentations and did a lot of hard work, only to watch your prospects choose to work with your competitors, we can help you fix that. The new semester of TSE Certified Sales Training Program begins in April and it would be an absolute honor to have you join us.

This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

Mailtag.io allows you to see around the corners. You can see when people open your email, or when they click on the link you sent. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out.

I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple PodcastGoogle PodcastStitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility.

If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more.

Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.

Direct download: TSE_1062.mp3
Category:Sales Leader -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

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