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Monday, February 28, 2011

Find Your Centres of Influence

Now that we’ve finished editing the book I’ll keep giving snippets to help you in your business. This one’s from Chapter 10: Sales Relationships and helps you identify and cultivate your centres of influence.

I first heard the phrase centres of influence from my accountant, David Groat at ZM Partners. He told me how he and his business partner Maurizio identified this early on in their business. They lost business when quite a few of their larger clients started leaving, seemingly for no reason. They analysed what all these businesses had in common to see what the reason might be. It turned out that one client – a relatively low-key one who didn’t spend much with them – had left first. That client had introduced all the others to the business in the first place. Through this departure, they discovered she was a powerful centre of influence. They sat down to identify other centres of influence in their business and made sure that they were looked after well.

David encouraged me very early on to identify, nurture, and cultivate centres of influence. As a result, I analysed where the recurring income had come from over the lifecycle of my previous business in the events market.

In traditional marketing terms, this is your marketing maven: the person who likes to be ahead of the pack. As we saw in chapter 6 when we looked at clearance sales, these people are connectors. Much of their social currency lies in connecting people they might want to impress or a group they want to belong to. They truly enjoy feeling connected, might not be our biggest spenders, and are fiercely loyal. Pay good attention to all your clients, but be especially on the lookout for red-flag moments with your centres of influence. Keep in contact with them and keep them happy.

Centres of influence show how important it is to be aware of where your work is coming from and to have systems in place to track that work. One way to do this is to source your leads, which simply means to ask every new client how they found out about you. Apart from having this on your enquiry form on your website, get into the habit of asking people in your meetings and have your team ask new clients too.

Once you know who your centres of influence are, strongly consider adding them to your A-list of clients. Treat your centres of influence well and make it easy for them to recommend you.

Oh, and if you’re in Australia and looking for an excellent accountant visit http://www.zmp.com.au/

To your sales success
Michael Neaylon
michael@mcme.com.au

Author of the forthcoming book, 'True Brand Toolkit: How to Bring in Big Money for Your Small Business.'

Friday, February 25, 2011

Build Rapport With Your Body Language

Body language is a sure-fire shortcut to building rapport. Keep your body language open and relaxed, and be aware of their personal space. There’s a lot out there about consciously mirroring body language. Personally I don’t consciously mirror people. If it happens organically, great, but if it’s overly conscious, it reads as false – like the real estate agent who wanted me to sell my apartment and mirrored every movement I made. I thought we were in a hall of mirrors in an amusement park.

But if you keep your body language open and approachable, then you don’t need to worry about trying to manipulate with your movements. Simply be physically available, open, and approachable.

You can, however, help people out. If someone looks anxious, give them more space. Often the tendency is to move in to help them. But you’re better to give them their space. For people who display confidence, display it back, matching their energy but matching it your way. If they’re aggressive in their confidence, you can be assured and friendly in yours. Always find your own way to respond.

Also get to know whether what you think you’re doing matches what the other person is seeing. Ask people when they see you at your most confident, and what that looks like. Also ask them if there are any habits you have that are disconcerting to them. Ask for specifics. You’ll also find that by adjusting your habits you become more attentive. There’s a saying a teacher once taught me: ‘When the body feels, the soul responds.’ It’s true. It does. The added bonus is that you build rapport by being more attentive and focused on your client, who in turn feels more valued and respected.

To your sales success
Michael Neaylon
michael@mcme.com.au

Author of the forthcoming book, 'True Brand Toolkit: How to Bring in Big Money For Your Small Business.'

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rapport Builders Remember Names

Earlier this week we looked at raport builders. Now it's time to unpack some of those.

First impressions count, so start a face-to-face meeting with friendly, confident eye contact and remember people’s names.  If I’m on a call, I write down the name of every person I speak to on the way to reaching the decision maker.  I generally only use their name twice.  Once at the beginning and again at the end of the conversation.  I now ask people to repeat their name if I don’t hear it properly.  I used to be afraid to do this, but then it dawned on me that most people would prefer you knew their name, especially if you ask as a friend.  You can hear people’s sense of being acknowledged in their voice when you do.  You can also use their name to build rapport with the next person you speak to.  For instance, you can say, ‘Yes, Jenny mentioned that when we were talking.’  Say it as a friend and again you show you’ve listened and you’re engaged.  You can also write people’s names down in a meeting, drawing a discrete diagram of where they’re sitting.  As you practice this, even just writing the names helps you remember them.

People love to be remembered and feel valued. The more you do this from the outset of the relationship the better. It will take your conversations further, faster. You'll also talk to the decision maker sooner.


To your sales success
Michael Neaylon
michael@mcme.com.au

Author of the forthcoming book, 'True Brand Toolkit: How to Bring in Big Money For Your Small Business.'

Monday, February 21, 2011

Rapport Builders

This week we focus on how to create connections to make the most of your sales relationships, starting with building rapport.

Building rapport is the foundation of any sales relationship.  One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to assume you know your client before you do.  The other is to be too distant or too formal.  The balance is to avoid being overly familiar, but to find common ground: somewhere to meet as equals.  You know your product and your service, and now it’s time to find out about your prospects and get to know them. 

Even if you do have the opportunity to research your client before a sales visit (which I hope you do) listen for the language they use and speak to them, not at them.  Make them feel valued through your actions.

Here’s a list of rapport builders we started with at the top of the chapter. If there are some you do instinctively, keep doing them. Look at three you don’t do, but can start on now.

• make confident eye contact without staring them down
• remember their name and say it at the beginning and end of the conversation
• keep your body language open and relaxed
• stay present and alert, both mentally and physically
• give your prospect their own space
• show a genuine interest in them from the moment you meet
• be approachable
• think of this person as a new friend
• match their energy
• use the words ‘we’ and ‘you’ more than ‘I’
• subtly adjust your language to the situation

If you have any doubts about which ones you can improve upon, ask a colleague or friend. Commit to doing those actions to build rapport now.

1. _______________________

2. _______________________

3. _______________________

Remember to use social situations to practice these skills. Often it’s the best way to practice, when the stakes are lower. Then take that confidence and ease into all your business conversations too.

What about you? Do you have rapport builders that work for you?

To your sales success
Michael Neaylon
michael@mcme.com.au

Author of the forthcoming book, 'True Brand Toolkit: How to Bring in BIG Money for Your Small Business.'

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Power of Association

If you're not already in an assocation, I urge you to join one.

You’ll get many benefits from taking an active part in a respected industry association, including formal and informal mentoring and guidance, tapping into industry trends, and being a voice for your profession.

Another benefit of being involved with an association is the mindset. You’re associating with people who are where you want to be. You become the company you keep. A small business owner often faces isolation, but you needn’t be an island. You needn’t go the distance alone.

I’ve just become the Marketing and Membership Manager for the New South Wales Chapter of the National Speakers’ Association of Australia. Apart from being a long title, it’s an important one for me: I’m investing in an association of likeminded business owners with the opportunity to contribute to a profession I value. I joined the committee to develop two areas of professional development: leadership and delegation. I’ve also gained an engagement.

Look out for your local industry associations, and see if they’re good for you. They often have an introductory night, or visit casually before signing up. Be clear on why you’re joining the association and what you want from it, but also be prepared to give. It’s an opportunity to both display and hone your expertise, but you need to treat it professionally, just as you would any position.

Be clear on why you’re there, what you’ve got to offer and what you want to learn, and use the power of the association to broaden your network. I read recently that freelancers need lots of friends. As a business owner or freelancer an association is a great way to gain more friends and business contacts with similar goals, challenges and desired outcomes.

To your success
Michael Neaylon
michael@mcme.com.au

Authour of the forthcoming book, 'True Brand Toolkit: How to Bring in Big Money For Your Small Business.'




Thursday, February 17, 2011

Your Sales Fitness

Do you find much of your sales activities are an energy game? The post is to help keep you fit for sales.

Warming Up: Most warm ups only need to be brief. Whether it’s the Monday morning meeting or choosing the list you’re going to work with, you only need to get warm. You don’t need to do the whole workout before you actually work out. Why? You’ll lose too much energy in analyzing that could actually be spent on doing. I’m not saying that strategy isn’t important. Far from it. But don’t get bogged down in how to play the game. I often find strategy is a review process. Try something. Get momentum up. Check to see whether it’s working, Identify what is, what isn’t and then keep moving.

Sales Strength: The key to building a muscle is repetition. You often need to do at least 4 sets to concentrate on that particular muscle to attack it. You might keep a particular routine for a certain period of time and then change your entire routine. It’s a paradox: just when the muscle is built through repetition, and your body has found a way to cheat (we don’t go out of our way to cheat, we just find little tricks and shortcuts), you purposely attack the muscle differently. You shock the muscle out of comfortable and stretch it in new ways. The same goes for sales campaigns. Just when you’ve found an approach that works, one that you’re comfortable repeating and you hit a peak it’s time to try a new strategy. This will keep you fresh in your sales approach.

Keep Up Your Cardio: Part of overall fitness is being physically fast and adept. This keeps you reflexive and responsive- great for new or challenging campaigns. It will also help with the only constant in sales: change. Just any good trainer will encourage you to mix up your cardio to keep interest, mix up your sales routine. Give it some variety, make it fun. Without losing focus, give your sales routine variety. Plus, a tactic or approach you discover in a meeting on one campaign you might be able to transfer to a phone call on another. Another tip from a trainer; my personal trainer told me after we’d been working on perfecting my pushups for a while to just do as many as I possibly could simply to stretch myself. Some days I do the same with phone calls or meetings. I just dive in and do as many as possible. I keep doing this because the results are always such a good return on energy, and it always increases my sales fitness. When’s the best time to do this? On the days you least feel like it. (I didn’t say it was easy).

Stretch Between Sets: This is one of the biggest sanity savers. I find people either fall into 2 camps. The constant doer or the person who works best in short, sharp bursts. Neither is better than the other in my mind. Both work. Sometimes the same sales person will go through periods of both ways of working. However, you’ll generally fall into one pattern or the other. Either way, pace yourself, and give yourself downtime between sets. Whether it’s the long marathons of travel or back to back meetings, give yourself time to recover, breathe and stretch wherever you can. You’ll have renewed energy and vigor for the next sale.

Recovery: One of the best lessons personal training has taught me is that we can often bounce back much faster than we think. Much, much faster. In sales we can bounce back from rejections, disappointments, time wasted on fruitless leads and any other of the mistakes made in strategy or execution. The key is in reminding ourselves that we can. I found abs challenging for quite some time until my trainer told me that abs are highly resilient if exercised properly. You might feel like you hit the point of exhaustion. That’s when it’s good to dig deep. You’ll be surprised how much you have in reserve. Perhaps you, like me, will find that the last call of the day, the one you had to force yourself to do, is in fact the most fruitful.

Cool Down and Stretch Some More: This is longer than the rest between sets, this is the relaxation part. If you’ve done a good work out (telesales campaign, trade fair, series of sales meetings), then you owe it to yourself to relax, take stock, reflect on what worked, what didn’t and why. This way you give yourself – and your team if you manage one – the chance to reenergize and refocus. And as with any good strength building program, the muscle will actually be built during the rest and repair time.

To your sales success
Michael Neaylon
michael@mcme.com.au

Author of the fortchoming book, 'True Brand Toolkit: How to Bring in Big Dollars For Your Small Business.'

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Testimonials

Gaining good testimonials is a vital marketing habit. The beauty is that a testimonial doesn’t only work for you, it also works well for your client. Testimonials can help you build your reputation, position yourself through promotion, and promote your business without overselling yourself.

If your client is happy with what you’ve provided, then the chances are that they’ll be more than happy either to refer you to others or to be aligned with you. This can make them look good, especially if you continue to rise to the occasion with your offering.

It can also be good for their Google ranking if you add the testimonial to your site. The more times someone’s name appears on the web, the more likely they are to increase their Google ranking. That means you’re assisting your satisfied client in their search engine optimization.

As someone who has given testimonials, I’m more inclined to do so if I have been truly impressed with a business and believe I’m keeping good company by endorsing them. Most people feel similarly. This is yet another reason to always provide the best possible service and products to the best possible clients.

Sometimes you might receive a glowing email from someone, in which case simply ask them if you can use the relevant words on your website or marketing material. Often, though, it’s worth asking and guiding them to get the best testimonial possible. This way you position both you and your client in the best possible light. This is my preferred method:

• Ask as soon as possible, while your offering is fresh in your client’s heart and mind – particularly if you know your offering has been well received.

• Ask nicely, remembering that you’re also offering your client the opportunity to broaden their own and their brand’s profile.

• Ask for specifics: why has your product or service been valuable to your client? How has it helped them?

• If you want to promote a particular offering to a certain group or market, let the client know who the target market is.

• Always thank them for taking the time and effort to put their testimony into words.

Here are some of the ways you can use testimonials:

• a testimonial page on your site (personally, I prefer to scatter them throughout the site, matching the service to the appropriate testimonial)

• brochures and e-flyers

• newsletters

• manuals

• edited grabs – as long as you’re not skewing the sense of someone else’s words, it’s useful to edit the testimonial for some formats

• packaging on products or books

• point of sale

• video testimonials on your site or YouTube channel

Use the same strategies that you would with all your sales and marketing: mix up your online and offline mediums, and check to see that you’re using the most appropriate testimonials for the most relevant offerings and market.

This is an excerpt from my upcoming book, 'True Brand Toolkit: How to Bring in Big Money for Your Small Business.'

To your success

Michael Neaylon\
michael@mcme.com.au

Monday, February 14, 2011

True Brand Toolkit


Getting down to the final stages of the book I've been writing since March last year brings many challenges as we head toward the finish line to getting published. But I thought I'd give you the book's last words. They're still to be edited by my marvellous editor Megan Kerr. If ever you write a book, get her involved and pay her well. She's gold.

Here are those last words from the (newly retitled) book.

The market demands authenticity. That's true for any environment, whether it's online, face to face, product based or service driven. Even if you're selling a product it still needs to be delivered with, and backed by good service.


There will always be challenges in getting your brand to market. There will be unforeseen circumstances, plans that have to change and be revisited. But you need to have the plans in the first place, otherwise all the good intentions and passion in the world will not make the sales you need for your business to survive, let alone thrive.

Once you have the plans, take action. Keep taking it. Keep reviewing your actions too, so that you know which ones are effective, and which ones aren't. As for those that are working, look for opportunities to make them work even more. Let people know how well they're working. Sell your success. Sell the success of your clients too. Sell how well they've done. Be genuinely invested in making their business and lives better, and let everyone know how well it worked out, not just for you, but for them.

Every step within this book has more steps that you can take, and then more again. Without exception, all the case studies in this book have mentioned to me personally at one stage or another, the need to be persistent, to keep taking action, and learn. Even those that have been in their own business twenty years have said how important that is. I find that invigorating, and I admit, at times a little daunting, but mostly invigorating. Learning happens in many ways: planning, taking action, reviewing the plan, changing the strategy, taking lessons from mistakes and moving boldly ahead.

I sincerely hope that reading this book and working through the plans, templates, worksheets, reports and resources help you define and distinguish your true brand, take it consistently and persistently to market, making lasting connections with them as you sell with confidence, and make a lot of money in the process.

To your sales and marekting success
Michael Neaylon
 
Author of the forthcoming book, 'True Brand Toolkit: How to Bring In Big Money For Your Small Business.'

Friday, February 11, 2011

Selling Your Services

Following on from yesterday's cold calling tips, this is closer to conversations I have when selling my coaching services...

Hello, my name’s Michael Neaylon, I’m calling from MCME. We’re a training and marketing company. Can I please speak to the person in charge of your sales training? I don’t say owner or manager, as it could be the PA who’s answered the phone, and I don’t want to get him offside.

If I was selling our services to an event agency I’d include speakers and performers and leave out marketing. Speakers and performers are irrelevant to most small business owners and I’d only confuse them with our offerings. They’ll see that when they get to our website.

If Stephen the PA tells me that I can speak to the person in charge, then I speak to that person. If he tells me I can’t and it’s best that I send an email through, I don’t object and simply take the email address. If the email address doesn’t have the person’s name in it, I’ll ask him who that person is so that I know who to address in the email. Sometimes I’m not given the name, more times than not I am. I will then call back and ask for the person by name a week or two later. I always prefer to speak to people before I email them cold.

If I do get put through directly to the person I give a similar introduction to the one I gave at the beginning of the call. I ask the person about their business, and their sales training requirements. If there are objections to price or the service, then I always look to handle them professionally. In the early days of the business I had one prospect object that I was only working with people who sold products. I reminded her that I was selling a service in the call, my service. I felt confident at this stage, because she had been amazed that someone could cold call, and it worked. I said that the fact I sold our services made me very familiar with the medium. That person became a client.

I ask as many questions as I can to see whether we’d be a good fit for each other. I look to see if there are any gaps in their business that we could fill. I also let them know that there’s a tangible dollar value on the service.

If they ask what it costs, I let them know that I can’t give costs until I have clearer idea of their business and their needs. This is not be cagey. It’s simply because people will brush you off on price too easily. I believe it’s doing them a disservice. Plus, depeding on the training they require, I could do them out of a service of value and us out of work. I ask them as many questions about their goals and requirements as possible, and start giving them pictures of the solutions. That is, I address their concerns without giving them the entire solution. I give the what, but not the how. I’ve learnt just how important that is to do, otherwise you’re giving away too many free consultations.

I also look for opportunities to let them know how much they’ll gain or save by working with us, and how quickly they can expect to get their money back in sales by working with us. For instance, I give most small businesses a low-cost face to face half day session to assess their needs and current situation. In that half day alone, people could double or triple the month’s sales if they take action on the advice.

If someone doesn’t want to talk, I don’t pressure them into a conversation. It doesn’t do either of us any good.

The keys to selling service are acting as if you’ve already been contracted by your ideal client, you’re finding out information about their business that you can help them with, giving them a clear picture of what you’re offering, and the money they’ll save or gain by working with you. In addition, you’ll also want to give them the timeframe they can expect to receive those gains or savings in.

Let me know if you have any questions.

To your sales success
Michael Neaylon
michael@mcme.com.au
Author of the forthcoming book, 'Marketing Makeovers: How to Bring in Big Money For Your Small Business.'
 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Inside the Cold Call

Following on from yesterday's post, many people ask about how to structure a sales call for themselves.
Here's one for a product from the book. I'll add another on services tomorrow.
Hello, my name is Mandy and I’m calling from Smart Designs. We’re an emerging label with a fresh range of sophisticated evening wear. Can you please direct me to your buyer?

They answer with yes, no or they’re busy now.

If yes, great, you speak to them.

If no, you ask their name and when would be a good time to call them.

If they won’t give their name, you ask to leave your contact details.

If they do give their name, simply ask for the best time to contact them. You won’t always get this, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Now, let’s say they put you through to the person, excellent. Mission accomplished…so far.

You now introduce yourself again, just as you did with the first point of contact. You then ask this person, let’s call her Julie, you talk Julie about her business. You can talk about her business, because you will have looked at her website or visited her store if you can. You will have recognised three real, specific reasons why you like her store, and why you see your product as a genuine compliment to her store.

Julie tells you she’s appreciative, but she’s not buying right now, so you say to her, ‘That’s fine, Perhaps I could just send you some images and see what you think,’ If Julie agrees, great, send the images.’ If not, gracefully bow out and thank her for time, but ask if you can call in a couple of month’s time. Make sure you ask, don’t tell. This is gaining permission. This way Julie has the chance to agree, and give you that permission.

If - and this has happened to me – Julie says, ‘what’s your website?’ the chances are she’s looking it up as you speak. Let her know the address, get ready to fly into action and give her a guided tour anywhere she wants to go on your site.

If she sounds even the slightest bit interested in what your site offers, then see if you can drop by with some samples, saying your visiting her area next week, because now you most definitely are. You, my friend, have a very warm lead.

Not all your sales calls will be this smooth or easy, especially if you sell your own services. We'll look at those tomorrow?

Hope this helps.
 
Michael Neaylon
michael@mcme.com.au
 
Author of the forcthcoming book, 'True Brand Toolkit: How to Bring in BIG Money For Your Small Business.'

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Make Cold Calling Warmer

Quite a few people ask for tips on cold calling so I thought it helpful to add a section from the book on how to approach cold calls.

Few people like cold calling, but it does bring in business. Some of my clients have bought sales coaching simply because they’ve been amazed that someone will pick up the phone and call them. There are also skills that come into play, and one of those skills is building rapport by showing genuine enthusiasm and interest in them and their business.

Sometimes you’ll need to speak to a gatekeeper before you reach the decision maker. Creating rapport with the gatekeeper is an art in itself, so concentrate on those first few moments. Never patronise a PA – they get that all day. Listen out for cues. If they’re direct and abrupt, match that your own way. For example, be direct, have authority and remain friendly. If they say their name and you don’t hear it properly, ask them to repeat it, showing that you genuinely want to know their name. This is important for two reasons. First, we’re all individuals and deserve to be treated as such. Second, you want an ally. Remembering people’s names is one of the best practices you can cultivate. If you’re on the phone, write down the name of the person you’re talking with and the name of the person they’ve referred you onto. You’ll find all your dealings much easier.

Be warned, though. As with all sales it’s a delicate balance. Avoid saying someone’s name over and over in a sales conversation. Then it just starts feeling odd and sounding false. This is something I generally find in greener salespeople, and I don’t think they even know they’re doing it. Either that or they’ve picked it up somewhere and they’re diligently following instructions. I encountered it recently buying a gym membership: I nearly didn’t buy simply because the manager used my name ten times in rapid succession in our first conversation. I was so alarmed that he kept trying to charm me by knowing my name that I began to doubt the service. People are on the lookout for a way to exit the sale. They’re looking for the evidence against the case. Our job is to give them evidence to the contrary.

Questions? Ideas? Feedback?
Email me: michael@mcme.com.au

To your sales success
Michael Neaylon

Author of the forthcoming book, 'Marketing Makreovers: How to Bring in Big Money For Your Small Business.'

Monday, February 7, 2011

ABC of Sales

This is a simple, effective way to separate and prioritise your active clients (paying customers). There are some that will buy from you often or in big amounts. Ideally both. These are your top 20% and they’re your VIPS. Keep in touch with these people asoften as you can as soon as you recognise who they are. Give them rewards for buying from you so that they have no reason to look elsewhere, or if they do, they’ll know they won’t get the same attention they get from you.

Then there are your B clients. These people are good buyers too, they’re you’re next 30 to 40%, only they don’t buy as often or in the same quantities. If you’re calling or visiting your A clients every month, then you’ll call on these people every six weeks to two months. (I don’t prescribe a specific timeframe but the ones here are I recommend as minimum.)

Your C clients might not buy very often and they’ll amount for your final 40 to 50% of sales, obviously being the lowest in volume and frequency. You might be in touch with these people by phone only, every two to three months. Time is your greatest resource in sales, and even more so if you’re the business owner. Treat all people with respect, but be mindful of spending time on people who are willing and able to buy what you have to offer. These clients should all be on your database as another way of staying in constant contact.

This is an excerpt from my forthcoming book, 'Marketing Makeovers: How to Bring in Big Money for Your Small Business.'
 
Want more? Visit MCME for the fortnightly newsletter and the first chapter On Brand, plus 3 free ebooks.
 
To Your Sales Success
Michael Neaylon
 
michael@mcme.com.au

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Know Your Role


As in life, people play roles in sales. There are two aspects to roles. One is the role people see you in. Then there are those roles you play, made all the more powerful by choosing them consciously.

The first aspect is one that people won’t even know they’re doing, so it’s up to you to be aware of it when it happens. People will tell you that you’re doing something or being someone that you’re not. That’s their truth. Don’t buy into it. Check to see if it’s true for you, and be open to modifying your behaviour, but don’t allow yourself to play a role someone else casts you in. This is one of the benefits of self improvement, and that’s why many salespeople and business owners keep working on their personal development; to gain increased awareness.

To give you an example of resisting the role someone once tried to put me in, I was once called a few names because I wouldn’t go below a set value on a minimum order. If I’d reacted to the person the way I felt tempted to I’d have played the role she cast me in. You can’t change other people. You can, however, choose how you respond to them. You choose who you’re being, and who you’re being is a reflection of your brand.

Consciously choose the roles you play. In the act of sales you’re part detective, part lover, part actor, and part lawyer. The detective looks for clues, the lover leaves them. The actor gives cues and takes them. The lawyer takes what the others have given her and presents the case.

The detective asks questions, seeking information and evidence of how they can best support the client. They need to know what the client’s needs are, tapping into their dreams and what motivates them. The lover seduces the client, giving clues of how the dream can be fulfilled and the pains taken away. They give the optimistic air of possibility that exists at the beginning of falling in love. The actor gives cues, allowing the client to give even more information, shifting and adapting but supporting the other personas (especially the enthusiastic lover) to keep things real. The lawyer builds the case, the reasons why this product is perfect for them. Lawyers aren’t afraid of long pauses. Nor are they afraid to ask the tough questions. They’re not afraid to be direct.

You might not use all these personas for every sale and you might use some more than others. You might use one persona for one call, then another for a follow up-call. For instance, selling consultancy services are about creating relationships first and foremost. This falls into the category of B2B sales (business to business). Instead of calling and selling to these people, use the detective: try making a call that’s simply for research. Find out as much as you can about them and their business. You can also look at their website, see if there are any article they’ve written by doing a Google search or looking at their profile on LinkedIn. Then you can hand over to the lawyer to build a case or the actor to build a relationship on another call.

The key is to be aware that you’re playing these roles and play each one completely. Immerse yourself in each of these roles. Not only will it give focus to the activity or interaction, it will also stretch you, and be more fun.

This is an excerpt from the forthcoming book, 'Marketing Makeovers: How to Bring in Big Money for Your Small Business.'
 
Want to know more? Send me an email or leave a comment.
 
To Your Sales Success
Michael Neaylon
 
michael@mcme.com.au

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

People Buy Your Why

Here's the lastes from the sales section of the book:

Start with why


People buy your why. They also buy you and how you do what you do. Then they buy your what. But they buy the why first.

Let’s say you’re selling a fridge. Why is this fridge so good? Is it because it’s powered by state-of-the-art technology, with doors that can be changed to suit any d├ęcor? Or is it a stand-out for its excellent value for money, reliability, and extended warranty? If you know why your product is a stand-out, then you can highlight its features and benefits for the buyer.

Remember: features are the specific things that differentiate your product or service (eg airbags in your car); benefits are what’s in it for the customer (eg safety and peace of mind). If you give the customer the features (the what) without giving them the benefits (the why), then you’re not giving them good reasons to buy from you.

You might also be in danger of doing a features dump. Have you ever listened to a salesperson dump a whole list of ‘these are the great things about our product’ on you, and then just expect you to buy? Frustrating, isn’t it? I often feel that they haven’t taken me, the buyer, into account. They don’t seem to be interested in a) whether I need it, or b) why I might need it. However, someone else could ask me questions about my needs, find out what my pains or dreams are, and then tell me why the product might be good for me: how it could solve my problems. This person successfully sells me the product or service. They’re not afraid to take me straight to my pain. They let me see what I’m missing by not having this, and then give me the freedom and space to choose. That doesn’t need to be manipulative. In fact, it’s often better if it’s direct.It’s also a good time to be quiet, to pause and let them decide for themselves.

Different products, different services, and different industries all require different approaches. Each industry has its own language and sales is essentially communicating a purpose – to arrange a deal. The better you understand an industry’s intricacies through its language, the more articulate you can be and the more credibility you have with your prospect. That makes it much easier to build rapport. When you explain your expertise simply, you don’t have to work so hard to convince them. You also have more energy to listen to your prospective clients. Heightened awareness and listening are both essential in sales, and they take energy – highly focused energy. Quite apart from all the other areas that encompass sales, it’s basically an energy game: she who has the most energy wins.

To your sales success
Michael Neaylon
 
Auother of the book, 'Marketing Makeovers: How to Bring in Big Money for Your Small Business.'
 
michael@mcme.com.au

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sales Motivator

Here's a sales motivator from the book. It's a goal setting worksheet for you to increase your sales and keep you on track to consistently achieve those sales.

How much revenue would you like to make per month? ______________


1. What are your monthly running costs? _________________________

2. Subtract your running costs: how much is left? ___________________

3. Does that leave you enough per month? Y / N

4. Now, adjust your answer to question 1, adding in what you honestly need each month, including running costs. This is now your monthly target. Please, write that here.

Monthly target: _________________

5. Now that you have this, which three things will your monthly target give you that you didn’t have before? Write as much as you want here. Please be specific.

1. ____________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

2. ____________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

3. ____________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

6. Why do each of those things matter to you? Write them here. Again, be specific, writing as much as you want.

1. ____________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

2. ____________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

3. ____________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

7. What might you need to give up to achieve these sales?

8. Brainstorm these. For example – the need to be liked, drinking during the week to give you a clear head, late nights, your fear of cold calling, your fear of meetings, underpricing your services, undervaluing what you do. It might also be fear of speaking in public or giving presentations, making on-road sales calls, or attending networking events. It’s essential to find these roadblocks. They’re the hidden obstacles that get in our way, blocking us from what we truly want. Write everything you believe might be getting in your way.

9. Now look at a time when you’ve overcome those roadblocks. Was there a compelling reason or goal that you had in mind? Was it a new car, more time to yourself, or a holiday with your family? Describe the goal you had, why it was important, and how you overcame the obstacle to achieve your desire.

____________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________

10. What did you feel just before you did it?

____________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________

In peak performance terms this feeling is aA moment of preparation. A state of restful alertness, like a cat just before it pounces. Focused. Energized. Economical. A moment of peak performance, of going within to reach beyond your current limits. It’s the ready in “Ready, set, go.” You’ll also see top speakers and athletes do this. No doubt you’ve experienced it yourself.

By consciously practicing this, you create confidence, knowing deep inside yourself, ‘I’ve been here before. I can do this.’ And I honestly believe we can all do this – that is, find our innate salesperson.

Now think of a current sales challenge. Perhaps it’s speaking in public or making phone calls to line up appointments. What approach have you taken before that you could adapt to this situation? How could you use the principles, energy, commitment, or drive (it will be something you’ve felt before) to conquer this challenge?

11. How can you use that feeling to fix this situation and make more sales? What can you think, feel, and do to create the sale?

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________



12. What can you do before that?

________________________________________________________

13. And before that?

________________________________________________________

Keep looking at the befores to gain confidence, not to stall the doing. Stalling the doing is spending a day creating a newsletter instead of two hours on that and three hours researching leads to get a pipeline of people you’ll call for the next week and touching base with clients you haven’t seen in a while. Avoid avoidance.

Looking at the befores also reinforces the habit of breaking your sales down into achievable steps. We often overestimate what we can do in a day and underestimate what we can do in a year. We can all get into being busy, busy, busy without actually doing business. I’ve done it too. Use the power of less to achieve more by remaining true to your priorities. In this instance, our biggest priority is making more sales.

Now that you have your biggest, immediate sales challenge and some concrete actions to achieve that goal, give it a date. Write that goal here, along with the actions that will logically and inevitably take you to that goal. Write as many actions as you think you need, no matter how small they are, and commit to taking the first action right here, right now.

14. My biggest, immediate sales goal is:

Action 1: ______________________________ Date: _______________

Action 2: ______________________________ Date: _______________

Action 3: ______________________________ Date: _______________

Action 4: ______________________________ Date: _______________

Action 5: ______________________________ Date: _______________

Action 6: ______________________________ Date: _______________

Action 7: ______________________________ Date: _______________

My goal will be complete when I have: ____________________________

_____________________________________Date: ________________

Hold yourself accountable to these actions. The entire challenge might only need three. It could take 20. You might need support to finish one of the actions. Write that in there too. Alternately, you might find that you achieve all the actions in one day with one big leap. That’s excellent.

But make the plan and keep it simple. Follow the actions and if the plan’s not working, change one of the actions or remove it. Keep your eye on the goal and adjust the course to achieve it. Try the next action and see if that moves you closer to your goal. Once you’ve successfully completed one action, give it a nice big tick and confidently move onto the next. When you reach your goal, write at the bottom of your completed action list these words: I did it.

Does this help? Like more?
Email me michael@mcme.com.au
 
To your success
Michael Neaylon
 
Author of the forthcoming book,'Marketing Makeovers: How to Bring in Big Money for Your Small Business.'