Everybody Likes Truth-Tellers and Transparency

Photo Apr 19, 09 38 44 (1)It’s crazy… the more experience I gain working with different organizations, different industries and people with different experiences, the more ideas I can take out of this book and use in my personal sales life… Maybe that isn’t crazy for you, but it sure is crazy for me. On top of that, the other 6 salespeople I work with, I can give them examples from the book when they explain their situation.

Creating value for buyers has always been the focal point in the past few books I’ve read. It’s less about the features and more about what you can bring to the table.

“You could create value for crazy-busy buyers by showing them how to reduce the overall cost of the program while maintaining its effectiveness and integrity. You could share relevant information regarding “best practices” and what your company has learned from work with similar organizations.”1

Becoming a business improvement specialist can go a long ways. Once you’ve gotten experience in your role, you can use those personal experiences to help future customers. I’m currently talking with a company that is looking at purchasing the competition… Once I got in front of the prospect and shared with them that I’m switching over a company from that competitor, they wanted to know why.

That’s just one example of how I can lend some recently acquired knowledge to my prospect.

“They [customer’s] lack the knowledge, evidence, experience, trust and confidence necessary to invest and commit. More than anything, they are seeking reliable guidance that will give them the confidence to move successfully forward. No one likes change, of course. But no one likes standing still – and being left behind – either.” – Britton Manasco2

Your prospects want all of the juicy details. They want to know what you know. That’s why they’re talking to you. They are coming to you for help because you specialize in something they need. They want to feel like they’re in the most competent hands out there. It’s time for you to grab the bull by the horns and lead an organization to the finish line.

Once the prospect knows that you’ve done ‘this’ before, the light bulb will click on and they’ll be happy they brought you in. This next part hit home…

“When you’re late to the party

Before you get caught up in the seduction of the low-hanging fruit, slow down, catch your breath and gather your wits about you. Just because you have an interested prospect does not mean that a sale is imminent. In fact, depending on your product or service, it may be months before you have a signed contract.”3

You’ve got to live this one before you can truly appreciate this Ah-Ha Moment. I was so freaking late to the party… but I was there and I was excited. Got in, did my due-diligence, showed them the product, showed pricing… like clockwork all within a week. #Boom – crash and burn. I was just so excited that I wanted to compete against anybody and they’d already been evaluating the competition for a few months. I would have been better off taking my time or not competing at all.

Luckily though, for me, this prospect is extremely responsive and I sent tidbits of information every few weeks. It’s just a matter of time before I get back in there. I should have been honest, and let the prospect know that I didn’t have enough time to fully evaluate the situation.

“Today’s prospects want to know the truth, so don’t shade it. In this social media age, where customers freely voice their opinions online, you can be assured that any issue about your offering, customer service, and financial stability can easily be uncovered.”4

Wan evidence? Go on Twitter, Facebook or Google and look up your company’s name and add customer service, hack, experience at the end of it. You’re going to get a handful of websites where customers complain about your company or product. It’s just the nature of the beast being in the information age. It happens… so if a prospect brings it up, DO NOT lie about it. It’ll definitely come back to bite you in the ass.

Nobody likes being lied to… so if you’re transparent, the communication should be completely open.

“Your prospects like truth-tellers. Don’t be afraid to speak up. But make sure they understand the context of what you’re sharing. You care. You want them to succeed. That’s why you’re talking.”5

Pretty simple, right? I think, often, sales people try to be too salesy. They want to appeal to all of the must-haves an organization it looking for. They want to bend over backwards for their prospect and they’re willing to drop their pants to earn their business. In some sense, it happens. I think the sales people that rise up, provide value, take the opportunity by the horns and lead the prospect down the path of success will end up winning.

Telling them ‘no’ or ‘we can’t do that’, might be a deal killer. But when the competition says they can do it and then they don’t… guess who the prospect is going to come running back to. I get to see this on a weekly basis. The competition says they can do something and then the customer gets screwed. The salesperson is nowhere to be seen since they already closed the deal.

 

There’s more to come from me about:

Snap Selling | Jill Konrath

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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

Get “Snap Selling” on Amazon.

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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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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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