Posts Tagged ‘selling’

Are You Putting All Your Eggs in one Basket?

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When you or your sales people are making outbound calls or going to sell outside of the center, how many different types groups are you contacting? Are you putting all your eggs in one basket and just focusing on one group of schools, daycares or large businesses?

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

As people, we do not like to step out of our comfort zone.  I know that I excel at marketing, social media, and training, but I don’t think I am great at selling. So like many of us, we typically just stick to what we know we are great at, but to be the best, we must work on the areas that are not our strengths. For me, I try to practice selling anytime I can. Whether it is trying to sell my husband on something I want, role playing with colleagues or clients, or really, just practicing selling to anyone who will just listen to me. But the key is that I step out of my comfort zone, I don’t put all my skills in one basket, I get out there and sell, and as Nike says I “Just Do It.”

We see so many times that sales teams that put all their eggs in one basket and sell to just schools, or daycares, or big businesses. It’s normal for people to stick to what they know and what is comfortable to them but how much more successful could sales teams be if they spread their base and get out of their comfort zone?

Planning for the Future

Think of it this way, when we are planning for our financial future, we typically split up our investment. If we are smart,  will invest most of our money in areas that are safe but may not have a high return. Then we put a little bit in an area that may be risky, but it gives us a higher return on our investment. The point is no financial advisor would ever tell you to put all your money in one area, and sales should be the same way. It’s time to think out of the box when it comes to sales and who we are reaching out to. If you have just focused your time and effort on schools and daycares, think about reaching out to companies for summer picnics, team building events, meetings or company parties. If you spend most of your time on companies, think about reaching out to sports teams, daycares, or get a jump on schools.

The point is not to place your sales eggs in one basket.  If you continue to do so, you are at a high risk of losing over time. Spread your time in different markets and find that balance of selling to those that are in our safety net and those that might be a higher risk to book. The place you haven’t been selling just might be the place you get the biggest return!

Listen…3 Best Sales Tips

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Are you listening when you sell? Or are you just caught up in your sales process?

Shhhh-I’m not listening, You can’t hear me, I don’t want to listen to you…

You know I’m a salesperson.  I deal with other sales people every day just like you.  At the heart of things I believe we are all trying to sell each other something all the time.  Your husband is selling you on why it’s better to watch Monday Night football then to go to Bible Study, your teenager feels entitled to take the family car, an employee wants every Friday and Saturday night off.  We all have agendas and often times we are so wrapped in what we want that we forget what our original intent really was.

Here’s a great example of what I mean.  A salesman called me on Thursday.  He represents a product that could potentially drive traffic to our booth at a show we are attending in the late fall.  Initially his approach was centered around helping me.  I believe great selling is about helping other people.  I was in a hurry and did not have much time for the call.  He told me enough about the product that I understood that it was a touch screen mapping kiosk that would help people understand where our booth is and that the potential client could print a map to get to our booth.  There are also some additional “pay for” features that he wanted to show me which was honestly the reason for the call.  These additional features required that I set an appointment so that I could take the time to look at their value.  I appreciated his approach.

In the interest of time and out of respect for the sales process, I said to the guy, “My schedule is completely packed next week.  I’m on the road every day.  Let me give you my sales manager’s contact information and he can help us decide if we need this tool.”  I did not feel like I had the time to spend the 20-30 minutes with him.  He continued to press for my time with an on-line meeting.  I then asked him, in the interest of time, to simply lay out the features and the benefits of the product.  I gave him the best sales opportunity possible and requested information regarding other times they had used the product so that I could best understand what I could expect in way of results.  And then after he walked me through those features and benefits, I’d like to know the price.

I then got the lecture about needing to SEE what the product had to offer rather than just getting the price.   Now I’m mad.  Click here to find out the 3 best sales tips in the world!

I had already coached him about how to best sell me.  I share with him at this point that I am a salesperson; and reminded him that I wanted to understand what the product would do for me, what my expected return on investment would be, and then I’d like to know the price.  Any of you that know me, know that I KNOW that price last is the way to go.  I set him up to sell me in the way that I know sales works and he argued with me.

Correctly identifying that I was probably the decision maker for the company, he offered another date beyond next week.  I told him I was available the following Monday and he placed the date at the 5th.  That is not the following Monday.  Now we are really NOT communicating.  He has not listened to me.  He is wrapped up in his sales process and now I’m pissed.  I can’t think of a better word to aptly describe where I was in the conversation.

Selling is about doing something for someone and not to them.  If this salesman really listens to me rather than calculating his next thought then he hears that initially I’m interested but I’m busy, I’m not at my desk, I want to give someone else in my organization the responsibility of looking at this opportunity, I’m really angry, he’s pushed too far, and now I don’t care about him or his product.  This progression or digression of the relationship happened really fast.

In light of this interaction I felt like one of the best things I could do this week is to give you 3 key sales relationship tips.  So here they are:

  1. Listen more than you talk-This one is especially hard for me and most sales people.  We’re chatty by nature which can be a good thing gone bad when we don’t get the subtle shut-up cues that our customers often give us.  I believe we talk too much for a couple of reasons.  Number one, we get nervous and fearful that the customer might reject us.  Number two, were excited and passionate and our hope and belief that everyone should have our stuff overruns the ability to listen to the pieces that our potential client is really wanting to buy.  There’s not a single salesperson in the world that hasn’t had the experience of having someone sold and then unsold the situation because they wouldn’t quit talking…look how I’m rambling on here!  Let’s move on to number 2…
  2. Be more interested in helping the customer have what they need rather than selling your stuff! If your product can make a big difference for your customer then you genuinely need to find out what that customer needs and sell them that.  If your approach is all about you and you getting the features and benefits of your product in front of a potential customer so that they will buy your stuff, then you have your priorities in the wrong order.  Ask your customer the right questions that will help you identify whether or not your product makes a difference in their life.  If it doesn’t then you aren’t speaking to the right buyer.  Remember, great selling is helping others-you do something for people and not to them!
  3. Express gratitude-always.  Whether you sell something or not, every contact you make builds a firm foundation for what to do next.  You are going to get something out of every sales call you make, no matter what.  You have experience that you can file away for the next lead.  You learn why people don’t buy your stuff.  You find out what works better and what you could have done to improve on the last situation.  When you go into a cold call or even work a warm lead with a pre-determined attitude of gratefulness, you’ll always come out a winner.  No matter what happens, thank others for their time and understand the beauty of learning something with every interaction.

Sell Like Your Life Depends On It?

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charles-sleicher-the-juarez-flea-market-juarez-mercado-mazatlan-mexicoWhat if you needed to have the mindset that each day when you showed up to work, the majority of the income you receive would be based SOLELY on what you could sell that day?

What would you do different today than you did yesterday? How would you present yourself? Would you change your approach? Do you think it is possible that you might see opportunity where none existed the day before?

If you read the newsletter last week you know that I had the pleasure to go on a cruise to Mexico.  We stopped at Progresso and Cozumel. In Cozumel, we took a cab ride with another couple around the island. During our tour we had 3 great beach stops. We also had wonderful conversation with the driver.

The couple we traveled with was sweet and elderly. The lady kept shouting interesting questions from the back. I don’t know if she thought that the louder and slower she spoke the more Miguel would understand her. Miguel spoke perfectly good English!

Her best question of the day was, “WHAT – IS – THE – MINIMUM – WAGE”?  (see what I mean?) Anyway, the question required a little interpretation, not because of the language but because of the concept. I don’t think they have a minimum wage the way we think of it here in the United States.  I was stunned at the answer which made me think of the title for newsletter this week. Miguel shared that a “good” average wage in Cozumel was about $24 per 8-10 hour day.

No wonder EVERY shop owner reaches out and says, “hey lady, come see my jewelry, or pottery, or whatever they were selling.” And truthfully, it was more about me having something nice for me or for someone at home. I love the fact that no one ever seemed to pass up an opportunity to sell. AND no one was shouting out prices. It made me think about the fact that we think that a good promotion has to be price driven. NO ONE said 50% off. I will admit though that if it looked like I wasn’t going to buy, they were quick to “make me a deal.”

I’m reminded every time I go to Mexico that “closing” is an absolute art in this country. And now I understand the motivation. Think about it, if $24 per day is your base and you have the best job in the city, then you have to be excellent. There’s no room for failure.

I bet, (and I’m a betting woman) that if you were uncomfortable “closing”yesterday and today you found out that you could ONLY make your normal salary when you closed 5 birthday parties then you would be much sharper than the day before.

We have this GREAT closing question in our birthday scripts, and it goes something like this… (once you’ve connected with the guest, then qualified the details of the party, and finally described the products) we ask you to say, “of these 3 packages which do you think Timmy and his friends would like the most?” This is typically a difficult question in the beginning. People worry about being pushy.

BUT if your life (livelihood) depends on it, then it becomes your favorite question. This is the difference between “selling” a party and just telling about your packages.

Well I’m preaching now. I just get so excited when I see the genuine enthusiasm of those that are selling their wares. I admire their tenacity. They are usually very kind and fun. YES I bought some souvenirs! YES I probably paid too much. AND some of those folks made a little more than $24 on the day I passed through Cozumel!

If you need help learning to “sell like your life depends on it” I hope you’ll call us today.  817.886.4840.