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10 Sales Tips to Help You Leave 2020 in the Dust

2020 has been an absolutely c-r-a-z-y year, one we’ll never forget. But now it’s time to jump into 2021 and ramp up for a MUCH better year—a year that’s filled with some crazy success!

The question is, what are we going to do to dive into 2021 with a fervor? And how can we do more with less? (Because I’m sure we’re all being tasked to do just that.)

So I’m going to share with you some ideas that can help all of us drive toward serious success in 2021. When it comes down to it, these are fundamental things that we need to do consistently every year—in sales, in marketing, and in business—to truly become and to stay exceedingly successful.

These suggestions go way beyond the standard New Year’s resolutions people make. Because did you know that 75% of people just like you and me fail on those resolutions by January 28? They don’t even keep those resolutions alive more than 28 days!

Why? It’s because they don’t do these 10 things to set themselves up for success—success that lasts all year long and takes them into the next.

No 1: Set keystone habits first.

Most people go straight to goal setting, when they really need to set keystone habits first. What are they? They are far more important than the big sales goals you will set for 2021.

But what is a keystone? If you look at an arch in a doorway, picture an old castle if you will, there’s a prominent stone right in the center that looks like a wedge. And without that stone, called the “keystone,” the arch would fall. The strength of that arch comes from the keystone right in the center. It’s that foundational piece of an arch that’s going to last hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

What are keystone habits for you and me? Simple things, like getting plenty of sleep. Drinking plenty of water. Reducing stress by getting out and exercising. Things like that.

Think about it this way. Is weight loss a keystone habit? The answer is probably not. But a keystone habit to help you reach that larger goal might be, when you’re at the grocery store, to only shop from the outside aisles of the store, and not in the middle where the less healthy stuff is. Right?

Keystone habits are fundamental. What do they look like for you? The biggest one for me is sleep—making sure I get at least eight hours each night. And it’s tough, because I love to binge watch Netflix after a long day of work.

So think about your keystone habits … they’re going to be different from your big goals, but they’re going to set you up for success so you can reach the big ones.

No. 2: As you’re setting goals, identify the “why” in the goal.

Before you think about how you’ll get to your sales goals you’ve got to  think about why. The why is fundamentally important to your success in goal setting in 2021.

Going back to the weight loss example, what would the “why” look like? Why are you trying to lose weight? To be healthier. But why? To live longer. But really, why? So that you don’t die! And you can actually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

So idea no. 2 gets down to the heart of the matter—and making sure you identify the “why” in every goal that you set. Not just the what, not just the how, but the why.

No. 3: Set mini goals to get to your bigger goals.

See, a lot of times the reason you fail on the big goals is because the mini goals have not been set or achieved. And there’s typically three mini goals below each main goal. And when you actually achieve your mini goals, that allows you to get to your big goal.

So let’s say, for example, that your big goal is to exceed your sales numbers in 2021. Excellent. Now what are the mini goals to get you there?

One mini goal might be to establish an active pipeline that you’re working every three days. And perhaps that could start with even another mini goal—like learning how to work your CRM really effectively.

Another mini goal in trying to get to the bigger goal could be that you’re going to learn your sales math, your call-to-close ratios, and then improve upon them.

To sum up: mini goals … set them to get to your bigger goals. And before that? Establish your keystone habits, and then sit down and identify the “why” in your bigger goals.

No. 4: Become a time management master. 

Heading into 2021, we’re all being tasked to do more with less. So, being a time management master comes down, in my sales experience, to time blocking. You’ve absolutely got to learn to time block.

Let’s say one of your mini goals is, “I need to call 25 people each and every day.” How will you reach this? Time blocking. Put it on your calendar and make it repeat each day.

Time blocking is fundamentally one of the greatest things I’ve ever done that’s made the most impact on my sales life, my marketing life … even my personal life.

No. 5: Plan to adjust your plan.

Planning to adjust your plan is part and parcel to your success, because a lot of times we fail at goals simply because the train came off the tracks as we were trying to get to the goal. And when that happened, we simply didn’t know what to do.

So, plan to adjust your plan. Just plan to fail. “WHAT?” you’re saying. The gurus (be careful about self-proclaimed gurus) always say, “You’ve got to visualize winning. Visualize reaching your goals.”

But here’s what I tell people to think about in my sales training. Plan to fail so that you have a plan for when the train comes off the tracks—so you can get back on the tracks again, really fast. Planning to adjust your plan is really about understanding that the vast majority of people are going to fail on their way to getting to the big goal. So because of that, you want to plan to adjust your plan.

When the mini goal train goes off the tracks, how do you see that it’s going off the tracks and how do you get it back on? A lot of it, quite honestly, is simply paying attention.

No. 6: Oftentimes, you will need an accountability buddy.

Think about it. When do you lose the most weight? When you have a buddy. When do you gain the most muscle mass—on your own or with a trainer? Usually with a trainer. You probably need some kind of an accountability buddy.

Now, if you don’t have one, you can use your calendar, your phone, an app to constantly remind you. Whatever you use, an accountability buddy is vitally important in your sales life, your marketing life, and in your business life.

How do you find one? Maybe you pay for a coach. And that’s okay—I have a coach, and I think I’m pretty good at what I do, but I have a coach. And that coach is always asking me, “How are you doing on this? How are you doing on that?”

Having an accountability buddy, in whatever form that takes for you, is very, very important.

No. 7: Know your deal count.

In the sales business, if you’re going to achieve your sales goals, you’ve got to know your deal counts. You’ve got to know your call-to-close ratios.

It’s so difficult to go into a month of selling if you don’t know how many calls you need to make to get a meeting. And then, how many meetings do you need to have to close a deal? And how many deals do you need to get to goal?

To be successful in the sales business, you’ve got to know your numbers so you know what it takes for you to close a deal. I stress this over and over in my sales training.

Here’s an example. I know that if I call 10 people and I work them every three days, out of those 10 people I’m going to get a couple of meetings. Then, out of those meetings, usually about half of them, I’m going to get a proposal in front of that person. And from there, about 30% of the time I’m going to close.

So, when I get to 10 meetings, I close about three in 10. And I think that’s very, very successful.

But I was talking to a guy the other day and he said, “Ryan, I close 80% of meetings I go on. So I need help closing that last 20%.” And I’m like, “Dude, you need to write a book, because nobody closes 80% (without discounting).”

So, know your deal count. I truly believe that if you’re closing 30-40%, you’re doing well out there in COVID land.

No. 8: Recognize randomness when it occurs, and get rid of it.

Randomness kills your day. Randomness kills your goals. Randomness will kill your love life. Randomness will kill your personal life.

Randomness does not help you win.

 

So how do you recognize it and how do you get rid of it? First, it’s very simple. Look for things that work and repeat them. And then look for things that don’t work, and don’t repeat them.

I know it sounds so simple, but people just don’t pay attention. Recognize things that work and repeat those things. Recognize things that are not working and stop doing them.

It’s amazing to me the number of people that do the wrong thing in the sales business, in the marketing business, and in business in general. And they just keep doing it. I believe they think to themselves, “If I just work harder it’s going to work out.”

And I know where this comes from. It comes from having really great parents, grandparents, or somebody who raised you say, “If you work hard enough, you can achieve anything.”

Well, there’s some truth in that. I’m not trying to diminish what your parents or grandma said to you, but recognize, friends: When things aren’t working, stop doing the things that don’t work.

Conversely, when things are working, repeat the things that do work. Pay attention to them. Because these are the things that will make you successful.

No. 9: Set rewards for yourself if you need them.

Maybe your rewards look something like this, “I’m going to do this, and then if this is the end result I get a spa day for myself,” or, maybe for you it’s an expensive bottle of bourbon. Whatever that looks like for you, set rewards for yourself if you need them.

No. 10: Work your plan.

In my sales training, I encourage people to have a whiteboard in their offices. And I encourage them to write down their mini goals and their goals, and then to track themselves. The reason is, you’ve got to work your plan.

What’s your plan? Work it. If you’re not working your plan, nobody else is going to work it for you.

To recap, the 10 strategies I’ve outlined here start with setting keystone habits first. These habits are foundational and vitally important. No. 2, identify the “why” in your goal: why are you setting this goal? Why is it important to you, to your family, to your business? No 3, set mini goals—you’ve got to set at least three mini goals, on average, to get to the bigger goal. No. 4, become a time management master by time blocking your day. In sales, every day we need to prospect, retain, and propose. So block out time for it. No. 5, you’re going to fail, so plan for it. And plan to adjust your plan. The train is going to come off the tracks and you’ll need to recognize it when it does, and then have a plan to get it back on the tracks quickly. No. 6, you may need an accountability buddy. If you don’t need one, maybe your calendar is enough. But you’re probably going to be more successful with a buddy. No 7, you’ve got to know your deal count. You have to know how much it takes for you to get to a meeting. How much it takes for you to close deals. Work that sales math to your advantage. No. 8, recognize randomness and get rid of it in your life. Be deliberate. No. 9, set rewards for yourself. If you need them, set them for yourself. Then, no. 10, you’ve got to work your plan.

There you have it. This is my roadmap for sales success. It’s not the proposal template. It’s not the email templates. It’s recognizing why I’m doing things, how I’m doing things, and setting goals for myself. And here’s the thing, friends. You can do it, too. And then we’ll both see the kind of success in 2021 that we want to see.

Remember, if sales was easy everybody would be doing it, and they’re not. So we’re either crazy or we’ve found a career that will feed our families for a lifetime.

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10 Ways to Close More Sales Deals—Faster

What a crazy year—it seems like it was March just yesterday! But we’re moving into that time of year when we need to close out 2020 in as strong a way as possible. And we also need to be looking at 2021 and Q1, Q2.

So what are we going to do in the remainder of 2020 to close more sales deals as we roll into the New Year, and close them faster?  Our goal as a corporate sales training company is to help you win!

Here are 10 time-tested ideas that work for me.

1-Present Options and Recommendations in the First Sales Meeting

I’ve said this before in the past, but I want to reinforce this simple fact: the conversion rate is 70% higher when you recommend a product. A full sixty percent of people make decisions based on FOMO, that fear of missing out.

So why it is that so many sales people go on a discovery meeting and then leave that meeting to create a customized solution and proposal?

In some instances, I get it—this specialization that you’re trying to bring in front of your customers. But it’s hard enough to get meetings as it is, much less have to schedule a meeting, go to discovery, leave the meeting to create a proposal, come back and track the person down to present the proposal. Then after all that they’ve got to think about it. And then you’ve got to track them down again.

You might say, “My process is a lot more streamlined.” But I doubt it. I’m here to be real with you.

So when I’m on a sales call, I’m ready to present options in that very first meeting. And I am ready to make recommendations and proposals on the spot.

2-Use Research to Your Advantage

If you want to move from the transactional selling that has been necessary during COVID to relational selling, you’ve got to use research to connect more deeply with customers.

As I share in my sales training, I use tools to do this. LinkedIn is one obvious example. And some of us have LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and it’s a really great tool. I’m also using a Chrome extension with a website called Crystal Knows (www.crystalknows.com). And the shortcut is that Crystal does virtual personality profiling. The extension syncs with LinkedIn when you’re in Chrome to pull up personality profiles and traits of the people that you’re looking at. This tool is not free, but it’s not expensive, either. And I use it all the time.

So, I’m using research to connect more deeply with sales clients. It’s called “building quick trust.” And “quick trust” must be built within 5-10 seconds. You’re going to do that most effectively by having more information on the customer, their company, etc. So dig in on LinkedIn and make sure you’re prepared for all your calls.

I realize this is kind of 101, but are you actually doing it?

3-Ask Better Questions

Your questions simply have to be better. One of your main questions that makes me nuts and that I hear when I’m doing sales training is this: “Tell me more about your business.” C’mon, you’re better than that.

Or “What keeps you up at night?” Okay, c’mon, you’re better than that one, too. And then, “What’s your budget?” You can do better than that.

Those are three questions we do need to ask, but maybe ask them in a more vibrant kind of way so that we don’t sound like every other salesperson that’s calling on that customer.

Here are four that I really like to ask: 1.) “When you agreed to meet with me, what business challenge or problem were you hoping that I could help you solve?” That is one of my absolute favorites.

The next one is similar, but it’s more of a storytelling kind of approach. 2.) “If I could give you a magic wand that you wave, what would you want to see happen as far as our relationship goes—what’s your buy-in from me?” Or “If I could wave a magic wand for you, what business challenge could I help you resolve?”

The next question I like to ask is, 3.) “When you think about competing here in our community and against others in your industry, do you want to be seen as having some sort of a presence out there? Do you want to be competitive? Or do you want to be dominant?”

And the reason this works for me is because, sure, I can ask them their budget for buying whatever product I’m selling. But they’re going to give me a number based on their reality.

Let me stress it again, when I ask this question and give them those three options, that’s going to lead me towards a budget number that’s based more in actual reality–rather than simply their reality.

The other question I like to ask on a regular basis is, 4.) “If everything went perfectly, if our relationship was perfect, you buy the product I’m selling, and then … what do you want the end result to be? What would the perfect end result be for you?”

Or, more simply, you could say, “If I’m going to keep you for a lifetime as a customer, what do I need to do?”

I think those are just better questions than, “What keeps you up at night?”

4-Prepare Yourself to Talk About COVID Delays

Delays are happening right now. People are delaying Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4. Be prepared to talk about it.

Jot down the most common objections you’re going to get on one side of a piece of paper. And on the other side jot down what your answers are going to be. And be prepared for delays.

5-Revamp Your Proposal

You’ve got to think about revamping your sales proposal based upon the research that I hit on before. Let me give you two tidbits that might help motivate you to do this.

From our Sales Training World research, we’ve found that when we looked at 1,200 pages of 100 different proposals that 79% of our test users simply scanned the proposal, and only 16% actually read it. So I think we sales pros need to remove about 50% of the text from our proposals.

Another telling find in our research is that nearly all of the most successful businesses we looked at had proposals that presented three pricing options.

And then, the last finding was that these successful businesses used proposals that were full of pictures and a wealth of examples.

So, be thinking of the research out there and revamping your slide decks, your capabilities decks, and these kinds of sales tools. And again, remember that only about 16% of people actually read what it is you’re putting in front of them.

6-Give More Than One Pricing Option

Why do I love three pricing options? I love three pricing options and I stress them in my sales training because if you give somebody one choice, it’s sort of a yes or a no. If you give them two choices, now you’re starting to get them thinking. But if you give them three choices, they will typically buy the middle option.

So you create your pricing and your proposals around the middle option.

To reiterate, present three pricing options. I want to see a good, better, best in almost every situation. Or a presence, competitive, dominant—or a gold, silver, bronze.  However you word it, present three pricing options if you want to sell more.

7-Set a Very Specific After-Proposal Follow Up Plan

So you’re on the meeting (remember, I suggest you go there with a proposal), and you’ve gone there ready to sell them something—ask great questions, share testimonials, and show them what you’ve got.

Then when the client says, “I need to think about it,” you’ll be ready for that too, and you’ll be ready to implement three steps, which are No. 1, tell them “Let me back up and in 48 hours check in.”

Then No. 2, if they need more time and 48 hours isn’t enough, ask them, “If you need more time, what are we going to do?”

And finally, No. 3, ask “What if we miss each other?” which is how I psychologically try to program my customers. “If you stand me up for this date, then what?”

It’s also worth noting that we need to be prepared for when their answer is “no.” I’m not going to beat them up about it. But I might say, “I’d rather get a ‘yes,’ but if it’s going to be no just tell me ‘no.’” Or, “If the timing isn’t right, tell me ‘no’ so I can quit bothering you.”

A very specific follow up plan that I stress in my sales training is: after I get finished with my sales call, I check back in 48 hours. So, consider these follow-up statements: “If you need more time, let’s text about it.” “If we miss each other, then what?” “What do you need?” And then, “If the answer is no, tell me ‘no,’ I’m not going to beat you up about it.”

8-Talk About the Love You Have for Your Customers

A lot of times salespeople feel like they don’t want to talk about their clients. But you have to.

In the land of COVID, stranger danger is real. People are more likely to buy from you if you’ve helped other people be successful. That’s why I’m always open to share and talk freely about my other clients.

Yet, in nearly every slide deck I see, in just about every proposal that I see, there’s no mention of anybody else that we work with—our clients. Why is that?

“Well, you know, we really can’t talk about other people,” many say. But stop. We’re not talking about being unethical. I’m talking about singing from the mountaintops.

Don’t be afraid. Tell them how much you love your customers and how much they love you, and that they’re going to love working with you, as well.

Go ahead and sing that love from the mountaintops.

9-Get Clear on the Path to Making a Decision

Some people will tell you to step It up in advance. I don’t think it’s the appropriate thing to do. For example, “Okay, what’s your timeline here?” “Do you have the authority to make this decision?” That reminds me of how we used to do things in the ‘80s. And most buyers don’t respond to that.

But if I get to the end of the sales call, and they’re showing excitement, they’re giving me buying signals, I ask them, “So what does your path to making this decision look like? “You seem like you love this idea. Do you love it?” And if they say, “I love it,” then great. I’ll say, “So what’s your path to getting this approved?” and “What do you need from me?”

And then I’ll ask, “What do you think is going to be the biggest roadblock that you’re going to run across? What can I give you—video, can I reformat this slide deck for you, could I record the sales deck using a tool like Loom or Soapbox and give it to you to show your boss?”

A lot of sales trainers out there would say, “Never meet with anyone who’s not the decision maker.” Well, that’s easy to say if you’re not really responsible for selling anything.

I think we have to meet with people that are in the chain of command.

So remember to ask, “What do you need from me?” Get really clear on this with your clients and prospects.

10-Deal with It if Somebody’s Answer is “No”

If you’re going to close more sales deals, you’re going to need to rock through them. If a customer’s answer is no, I’m not going to beat them up about it.

A lot of times people will say, “Never give them the opportunity to say ‘no.’” Okay, that’s a copyright 1996.

You have to recognize that in today’s world we’re having to resell people all the time. So if you really make them angry because you jump back down their throat when you’re in full-press sales mode … if the answer is “no” or “not now,” your answer should be something like, “We’ll get together and we’ll work together at some point in the future.”

Some people will say, “Well, you never get a second chance to sell them.” I just don’t agree with that. I feel like we have to resell these people over and over again.

If the answer is “no,” that just means “not right now.” And actually, that’s alright.

Rock through those deals.

In closing, remember—I say it all the time—if sales was easy, everybody would be doing it. And they’re not. So we’re either crazy or we’ve found careers that will feed our families for a lifetime.

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7 Work From Home Strategies for Success

Let your calendar, not your inbox, drive your day.   Don’t fall victim to the idea of answering an email real quick.  We talk about this in every corporate sales training workshop.  A 30-second interruption can take you 2-minutes to reengage.  Most people thrive when a structure is in place. Randomly working on random projects at random times is not a recipe for success.  Block out time on your calendar for tasks and be dedicated when the time block pops up.  Set the task to repeat daily if needed.

Create mini-goals.   When working remotely, it is smart to set small goals that are very short term. For example, setting a goal to finish a proposal before you take a coffee break. It’s important to set little goals all throughout your day. A big win at the end of the day is normally comprised of small wins throughout the day.

Switch it up. When things aren’t rolling forward to your satisfaction, you might just need to change the routine.  If you used to have great success prospecting for new business at 4 PM and it’s not yielding the result for you that you desire, move the time block to 3 PM. Sometimes switching it up can mean rearranging your office.   All too often people stay the course when things are not working. There can be some great benefits from changing the direction if you’re not getting the results you desire.

Don’t be a web camera zombie. Creating human interaction by sharing your webcam can be extremely beneficial in team environments. All too often, a poor set up in your home office or remote location can make you look like a webcam zombie or a person in witness protection. This is sort of a joke but, it is a reality for a lot of people that work remotely.  Many people say to me, “does sharing your webcam really matter? “  Yes!  Experts tell us that 65% of important cues in conversations are visual.

Set time limits. Here have you ever looked down at your clock and realized that 90 minutes had gone by and you hadn’t even come up for air? It happens to us all. Setting time limits for everything that you do is critical to your success. Experts from various fields have reported increases in productivity from 75% to 150% by simply setting up a timer next to your desk and using it to keep you on task.

Fight the urge to multi-task. According to Neuroscientists at the Mayo Clinic, our brains aren’t built to do more than one thing at a time. And when we try to multitask, we damage our brains in ways that negatively affect our well-being, mental performance, and productivity.  Reduce stress and get more done.  Stop trying to multi-task.

Celebrate wins.   No matter the size or scope of the victory, always celebrate wins, especially if your team is working remotely. Working remotely can be an out of sight out of mind type of scenario. Create encouraging interactions by celebrating wins and uniting your team around common victories.

If there’s one thing that this health crisis has helped us understand is that we truly can survive without being in an office every single day. I truly believe that another thing has been defined, without live social interaction we are just not as happy as a team or as people. So, will we figure out how to work remotely forever? I hope not.

 

 

 

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10 Reasons to Open Your Sales Ears and Listen

Listen more to sell more. It’s a premise that sounds so simple. And most salespeople will tell you they’re really good listeners. But I’ve sat in on a great number of calls in my sales training, and I know that’s not actually the case.

So let me walk you through the sales call–and show you how to listen more to sell more. Here are 10 key ideas and tips to help you listen better and get strong sales results.

1-Experts report that 80% of critical sales information is heard, not spoken.

Keep this in mind. If you want to be a great listener, be mindful not to talk 80% of the time in a conversation with your prospect or client. The real opportunity lies in listening.

2-Active listening is extremely helpful in building rapport.

Active listening is about paying attention. It’s about taking notes and repeating things that make sense back to people so they know you’re listening.

You would be surprised at the number of times I hear people say, “Ryan, I don’t like to take notes because it’s distracting.” Okay, so take note of the major things, and then occasionally stop to think back, after listening actively, and summarize with the important things that were said.

For example, you might say, “Mr. Jones, as I’m taking a few notes here, I want to make sure I don’t miss out on some things you say that are really important.” Then you can say, “What I’ve heard you say is 1, 2, 3. I’ve got some great ways to help you with that.”

3-To prove you’re listening, repeat back—but paraphrase.

Active listening involves repeating back to people what you’ve heard, but it’s important to paraphrase it. Don’t just read it back to them word for word, because that’s annoying. Paraphrase it.

4-Listen for adjectives that your client is using, and then use them yourself.

When I sit down with a sales client who’s saying, “I’m looking for wise ideas,” or “I’m trying to be very marketing-savvy,” or “I’m looking for things that are really unique,” I write down the words “wise,” “savvy” and “unique.”

So whether I’m talking back to the person on the phone, in person or on Zoom, I use words that resonate with them, like “savvy” and “wise.” So I might say back to them, “I think this will be a very wise solution, Mr. Jones,” and “I think this will be a savvy solution for you.”

The idea is to listen for the adjectives that are meaningful to your prospects and then use those adjectives back.

One word of caution, though: Be careful to steer clear of words that get over-used, like “awesome.”

5-Listen for tempo and mimic it.

Listen for the tempo of your client, and then mimic that tempo. So if you’re a person who talks fast, like me, and you’re dealing with somebody that talks quite slowly, make sure you’re listening for their tempo—and then mirror that tempo to the best of your ability.

6- Listen for volume and mimic it.

If your client is a quiet talker, you need to mirror their volume, as well. If they’re a loud talker, mirror that. But keep in mind that there’s nothing harder than listening to a person who’s talking really fast and then they’re at volume 10.

So as a listener, consider the tempo and volume that are comfortable to hear.

Now, what if you’re a person who talks slowly and speaks softly, and they talk loudly and quickly? Just pay attention, listen to them, and mimic their speed and volume within reason.

A quick word of caution here, though: If you’re talking to someone who has an accent, don’t mimic that—just tempo and volume.

7-Clarify your understanding by asking for specifics.

You can increase your comprehension all throughout the sales call by listening and asking for specifics. For example, “Mr. Jones, can you give me some specifics on that?” Or, “Mr. Jones, can you give me a few more specifics on A, B and C.”

Ask for specifics.

8- Listen for clues to close the deal.

Phrases like the following signal that your prospect is ready to close the deal: “I need to do this really soon.” “My boss is upset, and I need to get something figured out.” “We’ve got a challenge that we’ve got to figure out in the next 30 days.”

So, be listening for clues—some people call them “buying signals.”

In my sales training, when I listen to clients’ calls, though, I’m not always hearing them listen for these clues. For example, a salesperson I’ll call “Roman” sent me a call to listen through, and his prospect actually said, “Roman, I’m ready to go. This is great. Let’s close this deal.” And Roman was so caught up in his slide deck that he just kept going on.

I wish I’d been there so I could’ve stomped on his toe and said, “Hey, Roman, pay attention. He wants to buy now. You don’t need to sell him anymore.”

9-Don’t interrupt.

There’s almost nothing more annoying that someone who interrupts.

So, as a listening skill, if you have an answer ready to give to a client, don’t be sitting on the edge of your seat. Don’t be sitting there with your mouth open, ready to go. Don’t interrupt.

Now if you do need to interject something, wait for the appropriate time. You might raise your finger when it’s time to jump in. Signify that you have something to say.

But don’t interrupt. Interrupting is irritating on so many levels.

10-Ask questions, but smart ones.

Ask questions that have a real purpose. Don’t ask questions just to ask questions.

Make sure they’re good questions, though, and be careful to avoid open-ended questions that are trite and overused. Here’s an example of what not to do: “So Bill, what keeps you up at night?” That’s not a good question—and it sounds kind of creepy.

Also avoid, “Tell me what’s working for you right now?” Because here you’re inviting your prospect or client to either say, “Nothing,” or to talk about your nearest competitor and what they’re doing for them.

Here are some great questions you can consider instead: “What would one new customer mean to you?” Or, “What can I do to save you money this month?”

Or this one: “When you took this meeting with me, was there a problem you were hoping that I could potentially solve?”

___

To sum up, listening is a skill that every salesperson says they’re good at. Yet when I evaluate sales strategy, most of the time I find that salespeople are preaching.

Remember this: When you’re preaching, you’re not listening—and when you’re not listening, you’re not selling.

Listen more to sell more.

Remember, if sales was easy, everyone would be doing it!

Your coach, Ryan.

 

About this blogger:   

 

Ryan Dohrn is an award winning sales coach and offers sales training to thousands of sales executives each year.  He is also an international motivational speaker and the author of the best-selling sales book, Selling Backwards.  Ryan is the President and founder of Brain Swell Media, a boutique sales training and sales coaching firm with a detailed focus on sales training and sales coaching for companies in 17 unique industry sectors from media to tech to aviation.  He is also the owner and Publisher of SalesTrainingWorld.com an online portal for sales training success.

 

Contact information:

Ryan R. Dohrn

President/Founder, Brain Swell Media LLC

Publisher, SalesTrainingWorld.com

Ryan@BrainSwellMedia.com

 

http://www.BrainSwellMedia.com

http://RyanDohrn.com

http://360adsales.com

http://sellingbackwards.com

http://SalesTrainingWorld.com

 

Follow him on Twitter.com/ryandohrn for daily tips and advice.

http://www.linkedin.com/in/ryandohrn           

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6 Simple Ideas to Achieve Your Sales Goals

Idea #1:  Set goals that are realistic.  All too often the goal is just too large to accomplish in the period of time that you have allocated.  This seems so simple, yet it is the number one offense of New Year goal setting.  As a sales training coach, I very often cut my clients goals by as much as 35-50%.  Trust me… be realistic.  Push.  Stretch.  Grow.  But, be realistic if you want to succeed this year.   

Idea #2:  Set focus points.  After you make a list of your goals you need to set a path to achieve the goals.  These are the things that you will need to do in order to reach the goal.  For example… I want to grow my sales revenue by 75%.  Ok, great.  What is that number?  Say it is $100k.  What are the three things you will need to do to accomplish that?  Perhaps, clean up your CRM?  Maybe get to work at 7am every day?  Perhaps you will need to get some sales training?  Without focus points, goals are dreams at best.   Get specific.

Looking for anther perspective on setting sales goals?  Click here. 

Idea #3:  Eliminate random patterns in your life.  Each day should not be a new day in “sales land”.  Identify patterns in your life that are random.  If they are important to your sales process then turn them into time blocks and commit to them daily.  Use your calendar to keep you on track.  If they are not important to your sales life, eliminate them.  If you do not know if they are important, ask your sales coach.

Idea #4:  Identify repeatable patterns of success.  Last year there were things that went right.  Identify those things and repeat them.  Identify things that did not go right and do not repeat them.  Seems simple right?  Then, when do so many salespeople repeat things that do not work and hope for a different result?  Because from birth you have been taught that if you work really really hard you can achieve anything.  This is not true.  Sorry.   Working hard at the wrong things will get you no-where.  Not sure where you’re off in your sales process?  Get some help. 

Idea #5:  Understand that sales is a numbers game.  Break down your numbers into bite-sized pieces.  Rather than stare at a $200,000 goal, break that down.  Then create a plan to attack the smaller pieces.  Once you have the number broken into manageable pieces, then back your self into your numbers.  For example, if your goal is $200k and your product sells for $10k, then you will need to close 20 deals.  If you close 50% of the clients that you meet with, then you need to prospect 40 potential clients.  As a sales coach, I would advise you to prospect 50.  You need a buffer to stay on track.               

Idea #6:   Get some help.  I must warn you that goal setting is easy.  Reaching those goals is not only hard… it is near impossible without some help and guidance.  Think about this… when do you lose the most weight?  By yourself or with a partner?  When do you gain the most muscle mass? By yourself or with a trainer?  This blog is not about me as a sales coach or sales trainer.  This blog is about you.  What do you need to be a success?  Tiger Woods has a swing coach and he is one of the best golfers in the world.  Behind every great team is a great coach. 

Ryan

About this blogger:    

Ryan Dohrn is an award-winning sales coach and sales trainer.  He is also an international motivational keynote speaker and the author of the best selling sales book, Selling Backwards.  Ryan is the President and founder of Brain Swell Media, a boutique sales training and sales coaching firm with a detailed focus on sales training and coaching for media and technology companies.

Contact information:

Ryan R. Dohrn

President/Founder

Brain Swell Media LLC

803-634-3886

Ryan@BrainSwellMedia.com

http://www.BrainSwellMedia.com

http://RyanDohrn.com

http://360adsales.com

http://sellingbackwards.com

Follow him on Twitter.com/ryandohrn for daily tips and advice.

http://www.linkedin.com/in/ryandohrn