Sales Has Changed | Stop Being Boring | Snap Selling

Photo Apr 19, 09 38 44 (1)Sales has CHANGED… If you don’t think this… then you’re crazy. Seriously though. The old school mentality of ‘always be closing’ is no longer applicable.

“In the new sales climate, focusing on your FABs (features-advantages-benefits) creates insurmountable obstacles. Using clever objection-handling techniques insults your prospect’s intelligence. And employing ‘always be closing’ tactics is the surest way to prematurely end potentially fruitful relationships.”1

It’s black and white… Read it again and internalize it. You and your company do the exact same thing as the company down the street. Literally…

Look at me. Technically, I sell HCM and payroll software. But what’s the difference between me and the other behemoth in the industry? I will out work them, I will out deliver them, I will out communicate them, anyday. It’s because I CARE about the people I sell to. I’m more worried about the success of the organization I’m speaking with than the actual sale.

If it can help your business, I want to help. If it doesn’t help your business, I’ll let you know. The greater good of your organization honestly matters to me. The more I learn about your company… the more help I can offer.

“Once you know your buyer inside and out, you can easily start applying what you’ve learned to create customer-enticing value propositions, messaging, presentations, and proposals. Plus, this knowledge of your customer will be at the heart of all your best, most fruitful conversations.”2

You’ve got to personalize your approach. You have to learn about the people you’re selling to. Nobody wants to be sold to… but to get in front of them, you have to do something so you can get a better understanding of their issues. Nobody really knows their issue until you show them. Then, once you’ve created that partnership, those people will be the best salespeople for you.

When you’ve got a happy client… they’ll bend over backwards to help you… Don’t forget though… It’s okay to ask them for referrals.

“The only chance to truly differentiate yourself today lies in the value you can personally bring to the relationship. And you can bet that your prospects are constantly assessing whether you’re work it. They truly want to work with smart, savvy people who bring them ideas, insights, and information they deem beneficial.”

Being a boring ass sales person doesn’t cut it anymore. You’ve got to give the prospect something and that something has to directly affect them. If you’re not educated in your industry, how can you differentiate yourself? Whatever you sell, if you don’t know what directly affects your market, you’ve already lost.

Look at your current customers for feedback! If you’re helping people do their current job and they love you… you need to figure out what exactly they love.

“Nothing, I repeat, nothing is more important than your customer knowledge. Without understanding your customers’ business environment, challenges, and marketplaces, you won’t get selling right.”3

If you can’t connect with your customer’s needs, you can’t sell anything. You need to understand the people you’re selling to. Does that make sense? Try and put yourself in their shoes! Sales people SUCK at doing this.

Ya… your product is awesome but why should anyone else care. We’re getting bombarded with information all day. We don’t know what’s good or what’s crap.

“Your prospects are busily going about their lives and their work with an already overloaded calendar. They’re not waiting for your call. They’re just trying to get done the things that have to be done.4

Nobody likes being interrupted, so why should someone give you their time? Time is the most important commodity these days. If you’re going to try to sell someone on your product, you need to spark their curiosity and provide value. It’s really easy for prospects to ignore you… so you need to find a way to get their interest!

 

There’s more to come from me about:

Snap Selling | Jill Konrath

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Suck it up and get over it. Nobody cares! | Personalize your approach

Something that I’ve been sharing lately, with regards to social selling is the fact that personalization is huge… it goes a long ways and people feel like you care. It’s even better when you can show them you care!

“One-to-one marketing takes time but the ROI is tremendous because so few businesses are actually doing it. I finally figured out that’s why my results are so often the exception instead of the rule. When you’re listening and other people aren’t, you look like a star.”1

I’ll be the first to admit that personalized/one-to-one marketing is difficult and time consuming. You don’t see the ROI right away. But once you get in the groove and things start to click, you truly look like a star. You’ll be able to set yourself apart from the competition within the industry.

Gary jumps back and forth within the chapters to different Ah-Ha Moments. There are so many good takeaways that it’s hard not to want to comment on all of them. As humans, we complain… that’s a fact.

“Problems happen. Life isn’t fair or perfect. Complaining fixes nothing. Only taking action does.”2

Depending on when you’re reading this, you could agree or disagree. Is it 8am in the morning and you’re fired up and ready to go? Or is it 4pm and you’ve been shut down 20 times on the phone today? I’m writing this after being shut down on the phone today… and it honestly sucks because I want to complain so badly!

I can literally hear Gary Vee saying, “Suck it up and get over it. Nobody cares!” That right there is motivation enough to over the want to complain. I suggest you watch some of his most recent posts on Facebook or YouTube. They’ll motivate the heck out of you.

I’ve strived to be nice my entire life! I want people to know I care and that I’m a nice guy.

“Being nice is a choice, and how you choose to speak to people even when you’re pressed for time will reveal who you really are.”3

Man, ain’t that the truth? The more important you become, the less time you’ll have to give to other people. It’s harder to ‘look’ nice when you’re always under the microscope because you’re so busy.

Such an important thing to execute is in type of relationship whether it be work, personal or partnerships is communication.

“Communicate with your team. Communicate with your partners. Communicate with your clients. Communicate, communicate, communicate.”4

Maybe it’s just me, but I see a lot of miscommunication going on within every industry and with a lot of organizations. Communication is what keeps clients happy, doors opens, partners willing and coworkers excited. It’s the difference between doing incredibly well and just okay. It’s not hard to communicate with people… although we worry that if it’s bad news, someone is going to be pissed.

Keep the communication open and make sure you’re happy/excited to be doing it. GaryVee has ALWAYS talked about ‘doing what you absolutely love.’ Why do something that you hate?

“Self-esteem is the ultimate drug of our society. When you have it you give yourself the audacity to dream big, and when you do that, the little things stop mattering and anxiety cannot cripple you.”5

That’s the perfect way to say it. Stay high, stay confident and keep hustling. Nobody can stop you when you hustle.

I went from business to business this morning to meet local businesses. (I wrote the top half of this yesterday) Guess what! I got half my foot in the door at this one company and they said they were in a meeting and that I needed to leave. (They weren’t in a meeting). I smiled, handed them some information and left with 10 times for motivation than when I entered. It was pretty spectacular to feel that.

GaryVee wrote an incredible book and I hope you read it! It’s so worth it. He hits on so many other points too which I didn’t talk about. Do yourself a favor and like him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.

You can thank me later!

 

Connect with Gary on Twitter: @garyvee

Connect with me on Twitter: @Barta57

#AskGaryVee | Gary Vaynerchuk

Get “#AskGaryVee” on Amazon

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The Sales Development Playbook | Trish Bertuzzi | Part 4

I had a manager tell me at a previous job that I should be going to lunch with different people within the company. “Meet someone in the elevator… see if they want to join you for lunch”. It gives you the opportunity to learn about them and what they do for the organization. Sooner or later, I was able to have conversations will all sorts of people because I took the initiative to learn about them.

Phill Keene (@phillkeene) gives me an Ah-Ha Moment that echos my previous managers comment!

“… I also take a ton of coffee meetings with reps that want career advice. This allows me to recognize the best talent out there and be top of mind when they’re thinking about making a career change.”1

I’m looking at this quote from the view of me being developed. I’m going to take the best rep out for coffee so that I can learn from them. People that have been selling longer than me are usually happy to share their success and sometimes their failures. Also, who doesn’t love talking about themselves? Regardless of what your job title is, try and make it a habit of taking someone out for coffee once in awhile. You could learn something cool about them! It’s a small world and somehow you may need each other in the future.

If you engage with your people, regardless the job you have, the more supported you’ll feel. The more supported you feel, the happier you’ll be. Bertuzzi has some incredible stats in here about retention.

“It’s time to gear up for what can feel like another fulltime job: engaging, developing, and motivating reps. The fourth element for accelerating revenue growth with sales development is retention.”2

Retention is hard! I see great people leave their companies everyday. Heck, I was one of those people in December of 2015. Obviously, you can never predict when people are going to leave your organization, but if you’re engaged, you should see the red flags. Good culture, good compensation, continuous learning and planned out career path is what’s going to help you keep people. If people are showing up to work everyday not knowing what their future holds, they may look else where.

“Today, reps expect a learning culture, they expect to grow professionally, and they expect you to deliver in those areas.”3

The day you stop learning is the day you stop growing. If you’re striving to be the best you possibly can, you need to keep learning and keep pushing people to teach you. There are so many websites out there that offer free courses. If you’re the boss and you’re not teaching your people… you may see them looking elsewhere.

We’re in the information age… and we’re getting hit up on LinkedIn weekly about new jobs. It’s exciting to feel wanted by a different company. Richard Bronson said, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” Your people should know that you care about their success!

“… What about hitting my number? … hitting your number is important. But I believe two things to be true. One, if you build up your people, they will overachieve. Two, hitting goals for any fiscal year is a marker of a job well done. But changing the career trajectory for dozens and dozens of people is the measure of a professional life well lived.”4

It doesn’t get any more selfless than that. If you really care about the success of your people and strive to make them better everyday, their numbers will come. Don’t forget; people are all at different walks in their careers. Can you think back to a manager that changes your career? Take a second and think about it! Where are they now? Maybe send them a thank you email!

“Making sales coaching a priority is a business decision. Coaching improves retention and performance.”5

What better outcome can you ask for? Retention and performance is huge! You’re not losing your people and your people are performing well. #Boom

 

There’s more to come from me about:

The Sales Development Playbook | Trish Bertuzzi

Get “The Sales Development Playbook” on Amazon.

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Everyone Communicates, Few Connect | John C. Maxwell | Part 8

I always find it ironic that while I’m reading these books, I come across life examples the day after I write a post. And then, I’ll continue reading and I’ll come across something else that happened the day before! It freaking blows my mind.

“In the end, people are persuaded not by what we say, but by what they understand.”1

If you can speak clearly and simply and validate that they understand, you’re more likely to connect with them. I followed up with a prospect shortly after having a great conversation with them. I thought the conversation went great… them on the other hand… they were confused. I was talking in the terminology I talk with my coworkers. Of course the prospect wasn’t going to understand me. Shame on me!

“The bottom line when it comes to holding people’s interest and connecting with others is that you should try to be the kind of communicator you would like to hear.”2

Who comes to mind right away for you? Simon Sinek (@simonsinek) is my favorite communicator and speaker. The way he can connect with his audience is absolutely amazing. I’ve only seen him talk in videos! The passion, excitement and his ability to connect with the audience is how he separates himself from other speakers.

“Connecting has a lot to do with letting who you are influence everything you do.” – Brad Cork3

I’m sure that I’m interpreting this quote differently than you. I think it means; use your character to influence everything you do. You, as a person, are going to be the sole driving factor behind connecting with people in whichever way you please. People can tell you to do things… but until you want it and feel it, you’re not going to put everything into it. Where’s the passion? Brand yourself and allow your brand to speak for you. Better make sure you’ve got a kick ass brand!!

“People need to feel your gratitude for them”4

If you take some of their time, make sure they know how thankful you are. I’m getting in the habit of always thanking my listeners for their time. Not only thanking them for their time prior to me speaking, but also thanking them when I’m all done. Also, if they’re inspired and walk away with some new knowledge… thank them again! As you continue to inspire people, you’re going to build credibility. People trust people that are credible.

“When a person is credible, the longer the time, the better it gets. For someone who lacks credibility, the longer the time, the worse it gets. Credibility is currency for leaders and communicators.”5

And just like that, you know what you need to be doing. Establish credibility! You can fake credibility… but it’s a guarantee that it’s going to bite you in the butt later. Have you ever spoken with someone that you thought was really credible? And then you found out a few days later that they’re just full of shit? It sucks when that happens, but it happens all the time.

“Credibility is all about trust.”6

While you’re speaking with someone that is credible, you worry less. You take their word for what it is and follow in their footsteps. If you don’t trust them… you’ll probably fact check them or Google the answer you’re looking for. Credibility and trust is a huge driving factor in our jobs, in sales, communicating and connecting. If you aren’t building your brand, becoming a credible resource and gaining the trust of others, you’re going in the wrong direction.

Another incredible point Maxwell makes as we talk about credibility:

“Credibility is not perfection but a willingness to admit imperfection.” – Roger7

Yes… We all want to be perfect… But we all know that’s impossible. It’s okay to screw up. Take accountability, say you’re sorry and strive to be better. When someone asks you a question that you don’t have the answer to… don’t lie and give them some silly answer. Tell them you’ll figure it out and get back to them. They’ll appreciate the honesty and the ability to get it answered. Being honest makes you vulnerable and that makes people feel uncomfortable. Get comfortable being uncomfortable because if you aren’t pushing your boundaries, I don’t think you’re growing.

It’s your turn! Go out there, connect, establish credibility, engage with your network, provide value, and thank them. Show your gratitude!

 

Connect with me on Twitter @Barta57

Connect with John on Twitter @JohnCMaxwell

 

Get “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect” on Amazon.

Everyone Communicates, Few Connect | John C. Maxwell

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Everyone Communicates, Few Connect | John C. Maxwell | Part 7

Assumptions… I’m sure you’ve assumed something before and were completely wrong. It happens all the time. We assume stuff before we know the facts. It’s never a good thing and we always get ourselves in trouble because of it.

“All miscommunications are the result of differing assumptions”. – Jerry Ballard1

It’s as simple as that. Everybody has different feelings, thought processes and perspectives. Assuming things about people won’t get you very far. That goes for generalizations too. We’re all guilty of it! We judge people based on their looks all the time. You’re shooting yourself in the foot even before attempting to make contact with that person.

Then, when you try to connect with that person, the assumptions you have about them block your ability to see them for who they really are. You can’t find a common ground with someone when you’ve already decided who they are… but you have no idea.

This next part gave me an Ah-Ha moment that will stick in my brain forever! It makes so much sense because I’ve lived it first hand with multiple jobs…. and I’m sure you have too. When employees feel like information is being hidden from them at work they feel like outsiders. They’re being alienated… and they know it.

“We the uninformed, working for the inaccessible, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful!” – Jim Lundy2

It’s so true! When things are hidden from you, or there’s always gossip at the water cooler, you feel left out. Managers, keep your people in the loop. Let them know what’s going on. Just because you’re a boss, it doesn’t mean you should isolate yourself from the lower level employees. You can’t connect with your people when you’re alienating them. How are they supposed to feel appreciated?

If possible, get their feedback. Include them in the decision making process. You’d be amazed at the motivation you can give people when you include them on things.

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. People like people who like them.”3

It’s pretty true if you think about it. Nobody wants to be sold to. Nobody wants to be looked at as a means to an end. People want to feel like you understand them. They want to feel appreciated. If you can do that, you can connect with anybody. Show people that you care and that you’re willing to help them, and they will return the favor.

“Adapt to them – don’t expect them to adapt to you.”4

Ask people ‘why?’ Get to know them. Be intrigued. Take the initiative to get off your agenda and onto theirs. It’s what Maxwell has been talking about throughout the entire book!

When making the attempt to connect with people, talk with people and sell to people, I think of the acronym K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid. Being simple is hard… you have to convey a message worth listening to.

“It takes great effort to make any kind of communication concise, precise and impacting.”5

That’s exactly what I’m trying to accomplish here, with this blog. Simple, short, and to the point. Providing value to my readers. Make your point, make it good and provide value!

 

Get “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect” on Amazon.

There’s more to come from me about:

Everyone Communicates, Few Connect | John C. Maxwell

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