Tag

confidence
11How 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...
Read More
11Well Rounded sellers have charisma
What does it mean to be great at SELLING? What makes a Super Sales Person? There’s a remarkable amount of time, energy, and money wrapped up in building an effective salesforce – rightly so. Sales teams are the revenue drivers for the organization so we’ve got to invest in the vehicle, right! Like most things...
Read More
11Winging It in Sales is Expensive and Risky
Whether I’m working with a fresh-faced new seller or a seasoned pro, one thing that almost every seller does is “underprepare” for meetings and calls. Even when they know I’m going to join them, listen in, or attend the meeting with them, they grab a blank notepad and dial or walk into a meeting. I’ve...
Read More
11packing self sabotage, buyers don't need your baggage
Last week I was working with a business owner on her sales process. She had engaged a prospective new client and we were discussing the next steps to close this large opportunity. She was nervous, understandably, and she really wanted and needed this account and all the working capital and credibility it would bring. In...
Read More
11Taking notes on “Selling” from Cooking Competitions If you’ve had young children, you’ll feel my lament over those awful cartoons with the characters and theme songs that take root in your adult head like uninvited weeds in your brain garden. From the mouse to the purple dinosaur to the little girl who yells everything and carries a backpack – there are dozens of children’s cartoons that contribute to the world’s adult beverage consumption. Thankfully, my children have graduated from most of those cartoons. The occasional obnoxious Spongebob Squarepants and TMNT (that’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to you) still show up from time to time but for the most part, my Jr. Associates have fallen in love with cooking and baking competition shows. They love the idea of challenges and all the tricks and turns, sabotages, and the pressure cooker that all the contestants are in. As we watched our favorites this weekend, I listened to my children talk about what they would do differently, other strategies they would take, or how they would explain their dishes another way. After the 3rd or 4th episode of Cutthroat Cupcake Chopped Academy (a mash up of all the shows), I started to think about the similarities of the pitfalls in cooking competitions to where we see mistakes in sales and selling. Strangely, though no surprise to those of you that know me, in this relaxing down time, I couldn’t help but build some sales coaching analogies from these entertaining battles. Today, I have made for you . . . Four Ways Sellers Can Avoid Ending Up In Hot Water - Listen to what’s important. Many a sale and a challenge have been lost by not listening to what’s TRULY important to those making the decisions. When cooking contestants don’t build their strategy around satisfying the criteria they will be judged against, their success is compromised from the start. Going through the discovery process is critical with your customers to understand not only what they want, but how they will be making decisions, what their success metrics look like, and ultimately, how they want to go through the buying journey. Miss this key component and you could quickly be eliminated as a potential provider. Don’t serve the status quo. Just as cooking shows challenge the skills and creativity of contestants, buyers want sellers that bring them different and creative solutions to their problems. Stand out from the competitors by highlighting what makes you different and focus not on your capabilities, but your competencies, and results that you’ve proven for similar clients. True contenders don’t show up with the easiest dish or the most common ideas. Challenge yourself to serve your clients something different. Don’t die for your perfect plan. Sometimes, in cooking, as in selling, we’re thrown a curveball. A mystery ingredient in a baking challenge might be the equivalent to a potential customer asking you to work with a smaller budget or a shorter time frame. I’ve seen this blow a hole in many a sales pro’s “perfect plan” and they never quite recover because they’re not able to be flexible or go outside the box for resources or solutions. Listen to your customers, consult your team, play to your strengths, and adjust and adapt to the circumstances so you can meet your client’s needs. You may not be able to solve all their challenges on your own but you can track down other resources or collaborate with your customers to customize the opportunity just for them. Don’t tank your presentation. Part of the pleasure of these pressure cooker contests is the moment of judgment for competitors where their efforts are weighed and measured against the expectations of the judges. We’re rooting for the contestants, for we know all they’ve been through and how they fought to get their final product ready for presentation. And this moment, many battles are won or lost by how the contender steps up and presents. Confidence or lack thereof is the first place to lose. Fear of rejection or fear of walking away empty handed can be off putting to customers. It detracts focus from discussion and emphasizes desperation. Some contestants lost the judges when they start inventing fancy names or try to distract from their presentation’s potential flaws. Buyers, just like judges, see straight through those tricks. Calling any dish “deconstructed” means you are missing ingredients or couldn’t pull it together in the end. Glossing over incompatibilities or dodging objections annoys customers and discredits your trust and credibility. Be transparent with your solutions and present your offers confidently. Next time you’re up to bat with a prospective new client, think about the pressure cooker of one of these cooking or baking competitions. Keep your eye on the prize by truly listening to what problems your customers are asking you to solve and confidently adapt to their needs and delight them by serving them their own unique solution customized just to their tastes. Until next time, stop hoping, start cooking SELLING! -sks PS - Jumping from the kitchen to the office – if you feel like you’re losing your battles at any one of these points, contact us. We can help you understand your customers, deeply differentiate your offers and profoundly connect with your audience to earn trust and sales quicker.
If you’ve had young children, you’ll feel my lament over those awful cartoons with the characters and theme songs that take root in your adult head like uninvited weeds in your brain garden. From the mouse to the purple dinosaur to the little girl who yells everything and carries a backpack – there are dozens...
Read More
11Are you making the best first impressions? You need talk tracks
A while back, we participated in a great business expo hosted by the local chamber. At The Selling Agency booth, we asked people to “Give us their best pitch” about their business. And . . . we offered to record it for them and email them the sound bites. There was a specific point to asking...
Read More
11Seller, C-Level, Meetings, Opportunities, Top Line Sales, Lisa Magnuson
In the first of the Sales Fails series, our sales pro gave the advice to “Stop Hiding Behind Email” in order to build relationships, earn trust and close deals faster. This week’s expert advice comes from the founder of Top Lines Sales, Lisa Magnuson, Top Line Deal Coach. Lisa’s advice is a great recommendation for...
Read More
11Every 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...
Read More
11Presenting is not selling, salesfails, people earn business, sales pros
Many times I have seen a sales person spend hours laboring over a presentation, packing it full of details, statistics, examples, graphs and graphics, pictures and hope. Yes, lots of hope, that the presentation will be so outstanding and cover every conceivable variable or objection that the customer will fall in love with the product...
Read More
11Entrepreneurs must be relevant and compelling to their audience to have a winning pitch.
Last week I attended a fantastic entrepreneur conference in Nashville, 3686South, hosted by Launch Tennessee. The conference was full of innovative, bright, and energetic entrepreneurs, tech incubator talent, sponsors, and investors. Let me just give you a brief rundown of what made this 2+ day event so special—because you’re going to want to be there...
Read More
1 2
The Pipeline

Recent Posts

Categories