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Professional Development
How do you climb out of a sales slump?
There seems to come a time in every performer’s career where they have a “slump.” Baseball players have them, golfers, and yes, sales pros too – even the best ones. So how do you handle a slump, slow streak, or sales drought? I thought back to my own days as an account executive and new...
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Clear the Path to more selling time - productivity-procrastination-excuses-distraction-discipline
The question I ask sellers and business owners most often is, “What’s the biggest obstacle to where you are now and achieving your sales goals?” What does your gut tell you is the most popular response? What would YOU say? Here they are in descending order: 3rd most common response – “Better pricing/lower costs would...
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At a friend’s recommendation, this weekend I read a short but poignant book by Jon Gordon: Training Camp, A Fable About Excellence. You may recognize his name from one of his many other books, such as The Energy Bus, The Carpenter, and The Positive Dog. Jon has a gift to take business and life wisdom...
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back to school for business, Ted Talks, Growth, Communication, Listen, Persistence, Innovation, Productivity
As we wind down summer activities, the nation gets ready to send our children “back to school” which euphemistically means, back to learning, studying, and progressing. I’ve found that this time of year is an excellent time to ramp up my own learning and focus on business growth – both to finish the year with...
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Learn Harder - Insights from 2016 Sales Machine Summit by Salesforce.com and Sales Hacker
Traveling to NYC this past week, I had the opportunity to get chatty with many of my fellow travelers. “Going places” is pretty much a universal language and helps create instant bonds when you’re “all in this together” on a plane, or in a terminal. So, unless you give the international sign of “don’t bother...
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Lessons from the salamander, Sheila C. Johnson's Four Keys to Business Success
Last week, amid the hustle and bustle of clients and travel plans, I made time to attend the FedEx Executive Women’s Day out at TPC Southwind, at the invitation of my friend and financial planner. I have to admit, I was in the weeds last week and I didn’t do my own due diligence to...
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LinkedIn Fool with a tool, social media isn't working for my business
“A Fool with a tool is still a Fool.” So says the outspoken social selling evangelist, Jill Rowley. Jill was one of the first 100 employees at Salesforce.com and has pioneered social selling, challenging the modern sales pro to keep pace with the modern buyer. I completely agree with her. A fool with a tool...
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Why should I listen to you? Even Sales Pros get this wrong
This past week, I’ve been evaluating some options for a client to pair the outside sales team we’re building with an inside sales team to do heavy prospecting and lead generation for one of the product areas that has a very large prospect base. If you’ve been on the internet lately and wanted to explore...
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rock your resolutions for the new year - what's your business plan?
The fresh, exciting NEW-ness of a shiny year is here. Our annual tradition is to make one or several Resolutions—a commitment to do, change, stop or achieve something in this New Year. Making resolutions is the fun, exciting part of visualizing our business (or personal and professional) future and success. However, I don’t want to...
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Every sales person I talk to asks me the same thing, “How do I get buyers to listen to me? I can’t seem to get their attention, a call back or response.” My response is a question back to them . . . “What are you doing differently than the other 37 sales reps knocking on their door or blowing up their inbox every single day?” Chances are, you’re not getting responses or movement from your buyers if you’re stuck in the “sea of sameness” as are most sellers. Same approach, same emails, same phone calls, same networking events, same presentations . . . same, same, same . . . equals, Ignore, Ignore, Ignore. If you’re having difficulty producing leads or moving business forward, it could be because you’re working at the wrong end of the buyer journey, trying to influence their decision to buy you by interrupting or disrupting them after they’ve already done their research and formed their decision making criteria. As sellers, we tend to look everywhere or at everyone as a potential prospect however, not everyone needs you. Of those that do, buyers fall in to two categories: those looking for solutions or those looking for NEW solutions. This means as a seller, you have an uphill battle to either overthrow the status quo or upseat the incumbent vendor/provider. Your buyer will live with the status quo as long as possible and if they are thinking of making a change or investing in something new, they are starting their research and road to buying LONG before you know it. So, how do you overcome these obstacles and battle the status quo? You’ve got to stand out from the crowd by being BETTER than the crowd. Getting attention and response from time deprived buyers in a sea of competition requires Leveling Up your sales game by investing in your personal professional development. This isn’t about Marketing handing off more leads or creating better brochures or slick emails – this is about you amplifying your personal brand and projecting your professional value to buyers that DO need you. Your Keys to Standing Out From The Crowd: Authenticity – be you. When you come across first and foremost as “Jim” or “Sarah” instead of a fabricated professional sales persona, your genuine self is easier to relate to and helps build the foundation for trust. We all have an internal BS meter and can detect when someone isn’t being genuine or has an agenda. Be you, not a robotic sales version of you. Confidence – be confident. Be confident that you have value and that you CAN help your buyers. Confidence is attractive and paired with your authentic self, you have CHARISMA which is like creating your own gravitational pull. Buyers need professionals that sound, act and demonstrate confidence in their product and ability to provide answers and solutions. If you sound unsure and can’t demonstrate your belief in what you have to sell, it shows up in your voice, your body and all your communication. Your confidence helps your buyers feel more confident in you. Expertise – gain it. Read, read, read . . . learn, learn, learn and have your pulse on what’s happening in your industry, your customers’ industry and your market. Most sellers have done due diligence to know their own product and probably what their competitors offer, but how much do they know about their industry. Or how in depth are they versed in the industry and competitive drivers of their customers’ industry or how their customers compete in their markets? Demonstrating expertise that is deeper than your competitors is an excellent way to stand apart and put you in a category of one. Having this profound level of knowledge changes the conversation from only what you offer to what really MATTERS to your customers. Knowing you offer insights and context to their circumstances is a trust trigger that can get you calls back or responses from those busy buyers. Voice – use yours. In a sea of the same, a fresh, authentic and confident voice cuts through the crowd clearly. Most of your contemporaries are still grinding away at the sales with the same techniques and generic messages. Your voice has more value if you’re using it, not as the company mouthpiece, but to share what YOU know and why YOU believe. Plant your flag on your expertise and knowledge and wave it for everyone to see. Use key platforms to share your voice so your buyers understand who you are and why they should work with you. We’re not just talking about having a LinkedIn profile and I’m certainly not talking about promoting your product on social media channels. Using your voice is about bringing insights and opinions to your buyers’ journey so they can make the best decisions possible. Engage – your network. This is where you truly stand out from the crowd. Pull together your authentic personality and confident voice and start engaging in conversations with your buyers BEFORE they do all their research. You have the opportunity here to influence your buyers’ journey, instead of trying to reach them at the far end of their journey when they have already made most of their decision. Find where your buyers learn. Be where your buyers are engaged. Connect with them there and contribute to their professional network. Share your insights and opinions. Offer up resources and endorsements for those you work and collaborate with. Buyers are looking for connected and engaged resources to help them make their purchasing decisions. Having engaged with your buyer in their network before you call them makes for a warm conversation versus a cold call. If you could ask your customers or future buyers, they’d tell you that they’re pulling their hair out from having too many decisions to make, not enough time and they’re under ever increasing pressure to get more done on a daily basis with fewer resources. If you could step in to their shoes you’d understand why most of them are performing their own research on their own time frame and shutting out any seller that isn’t finding a way to add more value to their time or give them time back. Sharpen your skills and level up your sales game to be BETTER than your competition and better serve your customers. Until next time, stop hoping, start SELLING! PS – Here is an insightful “Letter from your customer” penned by sales guru, Jill Konrath. She nails what your customer is thinking! PPS – If you are struggling with how to get attention, have your calls answered or your emails read . . . you need a different strategy. Learn how to tap in to your best assets to be BETTER than the average seller who is still plugging away with the same tired tricks and tactics. Start your new year with new tools and the keys to Selling Yourself and standing out from the crowd. Stellar Sellars Workshop: January 8th, 9am – 12 noon
Most every sales person I talk to asks me the same thing, “How do I get buyers to listen to me? I can’t seem to get their attention, a call back or response.” My response is a question back to them . . . “What are you doing differently than the other 37 sales reps...
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