Sales Training Manual 2
We are in the home stretch of 2012, there are just on 76 days left until the yet another year is over. Look back over your successes to date. Are you satisfied with your performance this year? Have finally turned that corner and this year will have proved to be the one where everything has started to come together? Or are you still spinning your wheels and feeling trapped in a cycle of apparent busyness and limited effectiveness. Now that we are entering that last crucial portion of the year, it is time to begin finalising the outcomes you want to achieve this year or a perfect time to start setting the foundation for a great 2013.
Stop investing so much time into admiring and studying your favourite sports team and knowing every statistic about every player in the team and to focus your energy on growing and becoming. Commit to shift your focus from knowing and admiring the exploits of others and begin to focus more energy on getting to know and to grow yourself. Imagine how much you will grow and how much more you will become, if you make these few small but crucial shifts.
- Reading the sports page and memorising every statistic about every player – you read a self-improvement book and discover one new success habit that you can apply in your life.
- Listening to the news, sport and music in your car – you listen to an educational or inspirational cd.
- Spending your weekends glued to the sports channel – You watch an instructional DVD or attend a seminar.
- Spending hours discussing sports scores and player statistics – You discuss your goals and dreams and the path you are taking to achieve them
- Vegetating into front of the TV every night – you take one hour to read a book or meditate.
- Reading sports or gossip magazines – you read success magazine or something similar.
- Gossiping about other people – you spoke about your life lessons and plans for personal growth
You Attract Success by the Person You Become
You attract success by the person you become, so how do you think those positive shifts, away from entertainment toward education and personal growth, would affect your own life scores and statistics?
Change Your EVE Ratio
I am not saying that you must completely reboot your life and stop all entertainment in your life. I am saying that, if you committed to make a few small shifts and you began to change your current entertainment ratio of about 500 hours of entertainment, to every one hour of education and you began to change this to a ratio of 50 hours of entertainment, to every one hour of education. You would see amazing results begin to manifest in your life.
Choose to Succeed
As this year closes and the New Year dawns, commit to finally make the choice to succeed and stop spinning your wheels. As long as you keep entertaining yourself to death and you never make time for your personal growth, you will see another year fly by in a blur of dissatisfaction. Introduce these few positive changes into your life and begin the process of expanding and become the type of person, who deserves the type of success you desire.
Stop the Pursuit and Start Becoming
Stop pursuing success, as anything you pursue will elude you and start attracting success, by becoming the type of person, who deserves the success that you desire. As you create better balance between the amounts of time you spend entertaining yourself and the time you spend growing yourself, you will finally have everything in place to start to realise all your dreams. Invest as much time into practicing, training, growing and developing your own skills, knowledge and abilities as the people that you watch at your favourite sporting events do. Imagine how that will completely transform your life?
Do you Know your Limits?
If I asked you the maximum number of push-ups you could do? You would probably answer a low number like 5, as push-ups are not there on your scale of important things to do. What about if you did your maximum of five and I said that you could rest for a while. Could you do another five after you had rested for a short while? Of course you could. If you kept doing five push-ups twice a day for a week, could you do 10 push-ups, by the end of the week? Yes of course you could, but hold on a second, I thought you said that the maximum number of push-ups you could do was five? If you now kept doing 10 push-ups, twice a day for another week, could you now do 20 push-ups? I am sure that you are getting the picture. Five is not your maximum; it is only your maximum for now.
There are no Limits to what we can achieve
Start looking at everything in your life this same way. Stop looking at your current abilities and level of skill and then using this as the barometer to determine the size and scope of your dreams and expectations. Allow your mind to see that your current level of skill and ability is only a barometer of your potential right now; it is by no means a measure of the maximum that you are capable of achieving.
Is It Common Practice?
I know this sounds like common sense, but if you want to attract more success into your life, you cannot attract it with your current level of skill and ability. You must first open your mind and explore possibility, not from a position of your current abilities and capability, but rather from a position of what you are capable of becoming, in the future. Once you create a clear picture of what you want to see in your future, based on what you can become. You immediately change your approach from one in which you pursue something, which is beyond your grasp and your current ability, to looking for ways to grow your knowledge, skill and ability to a level where you can begin to become the kind of person you need to be to attract the type of success you have visualised in your future.
Make this small shift and two things will happen:
- You will be able to stretch yourself and see possibility, which would have seemed beyond the realm of possibility before, when viewed from your current position. You would now begin to see your world open up and all possibility would open up to you. “NO-THING” is impossible any longer. All you need to do to attract any level of success into your experience is map a path to become the type of person who deserves the level of success you desire.
- You will stop pursuing success, as anything you pursue will elude you. You take the daily action necessary to grow into the type of person you need to be to attract the exact resources, people and circumstances you need to effortlessly enjoy the success that you desire.
Break Free and Live your Potential
The reason most people stay trapped in lives that are unsatisfying and unfulfilling, is because they, keep looking at their future possibility from their current position. It is impossible to see all you are capable of achieving, if you do not step out of your current limited place and view the future through a set of eyes, which is not limited by who you currently are. See the future from a position of who you can become.
When you limit visualising possibility from a position of what is, instead of what can be, you view your potential from a very limited perspective. This narrow perspective will keep you trapped in your self-imposed comfort zone, which has been constructed around your current ability. Open your mind today and see that your current ability is by no means your maximum ability. You are capable of achieving incredible things, if you are willing to look at the future, through a pair of eyes that first sees what you are capable of becoming and then using this as a barometer of possibility, to help you see what you are capable of achieving.
Have Huge Expectations
Set you mind free and allow yourself to once again have huge expectations and dream about all you are capable of achieving. Then go about the business of investing time every day to grow yourself into the exact type of person you need to be, to attract exactly that level of success into your life. Shift your mind away from having and pursuing and start to focus your energy and resources on becoming. This small shift will allow you to attract what will feel like almost effortless success into your life.
Some Practical Ideas to Turn your Learning in Value
As you know it is highly recommended that you invest as much as possible into your growth and development. As I have said many times before, as you become more you will inevitably attract more. So once you make this commitment, how do you tell if all the effort, time and resources, you are putting in to improve yourself, is working and making real and tangible difference in your life? Well this is easily quantified, by the improved or better results you will start enjoying as a result of all your efforts.
Remember you attract success by the person you become, as you become more, you most certainly attract more. If you are investing a vast amount of time, energy and resources into your self-development and you are feeling frustrated, because you seem to remain trapped in the same place, then you may very well be spinning your wheels, covering a mass of material and learning very little. The most important thing about personal development is not to haphazardly cover as much material as possible. This random strategy is not very effective at all, as you dilute your efforts. If you are to succeed with any growth plan, the same principles that apply when you want to achieve any goal apply here. You must first have clarity of purpose, a vision of what you want to achieve and a definite plan to achieve the improvements you desire.
Stop Spinning your Self-development Wheels
There are people that attend every seminar possible, they read all the books and listen to audio recordings at every turn, yet they never seem to enjoy improved results in their lives. This is simply because they are only circulating a vast amount of knowledge through their heads and never applying or using any of it. If success was just about knowledge or information, everyone with an internet connection, would be able to have thin thighs in 30 days, earn millions of dollars, spending only two hours a day on the internet or build any success they wanted after paying only three installments of only $ 39.95. As you know the reality is quite different, sustainable success is never about knowledge. It is about finding the right knowledge and then turning that new-found knowledge into skill, application and new success habits.
Take Action and Apply the Knowledge
There is a massive difference between knowing everything (common Knowledge) and knowing what you should do and actually taking inspired action (common practice), applying the right knowledge and doing what you know. The difference is found in the way that you turn all the information or knowledge into meaningful learning and improvement.
Learning will only equal better earning, when you have a vision or reason for undertaking the seminar, reading the book or listening to the audio program. This clarity of purpose and focus allows you to gain real and lasting benefit from your investment into self-improvement. The reason you invest time, energy and resources into improving, is to allow you to get better results.
To help you to get better results from all your self-improvement activities, I offer you a summary of my method below:
- Explore your goals and choose an area that needs improving (e.g. Improve presentation skills, time management, marketing skills etc.)
- The one area you choose will be the focus of your self-improvement efforts for the next 90 days. You will not dilute your efforts by reading any material, which is not related to this one specific area.
- Buy 3 books, 5 Audio books and sign up to do at min, one seminar, related to your area of focus (e.g. improve presentation skills)
- Set aside 30 minutes – 1 hour a day, to consume the three books over the next 90 days.
- Read, re-read, underline, highlight, put notes in margins and at the end of chapters, until you have absorbed and understood the book, cover to cover.
- Extract the three most important concepts from the book.
- Build a plan to include at least one of these concepts into your daily routines over the next 90 days. They must be included into your weekly and daily planning and action lists.
- Review your progress and see how well you are integrating these into your life, daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly.
- Listen to only those five audio books over those same 90 days. I find I get the most benefit from each program, if I listen to each audio book at least 5 times before proceeding to the next one.
- Extract the three best ideas from each audio program. Commit to introduce the most valuable concept into your routine. It must be added into your weekly planning schedule and actioned daily.
- When you attend the seminar, I listen intently, making notes only when you hear something new or valuable. Record the proceedings on a recording pen and listen to this in your car over and over again.
- Once again extract the three most useful ideas and introduce these into your schedule.
My experience has shown me that although I am reading three books, listening to five audio books and attending a seminar, in the field of my focused area of growth, every 90 days. There always seems to be a common theme that emerges from all of these and I manage to find only about three new ideas to implement and introduce into my life.
The secret to make this work for you is to:
- Choose one area to focus on every 90 days
- Choose the best three ideas from all the material and implement these into your schedule. Use willpower to take action and introduce them into your life, until they become part of your new habit set.
- Measure and review your progress daily, weekly and monthly and ensure that you are actually applying the new ideas in your life.
- Constantly strive to stay focused on only one area at a time and commit to keep improving.
The World Has Changed, it is Time to accept this and to Take Advantage of it
I often hear about people sitting back, waiting for things to get better, asking questions like, “When are things going to get back to normal”? I am afraid to say that this is the new normal. The market has changed forever and the sooner you accept this and get off your butt and begin making the most of all the opportunities all around you. The sooner you will invite unlimited sales success into your experience.
Life will always go on
People are born every day, they need to eat, have a roof over their heads, clothe themselves, move around, communicate and live. These fundamentals have not changed. Yes people are not eating in restaurants as often, they are choosing to keep their cars for a little longer and buying their clothes from budget stores, because of the credit crunch, but fundamentally there are still massive opportunities available for those entrepreneurs, who are willing to search a little harder, innovate and use their creative minds to see all the great potential, which exists all around us.
Willing Buyer and Willing Seller
In our world, there is always someone, who needs to buy something and someone willing to sell it to them. Look around the room you are sitting in right now, everything, which is filling your space right now is something that you bought to satisfy a need, at some point in your life. The company or rather the individual, who influenced and persuaded you back then, has a trophy to illustrate their sales victory filling your space right now. They won the battle, to get you to trade your hard earned cash for their product. How are you intending to innovate, get off your butt and get a few of your own trophies into the lives and businesses of your new prospects?
Our Needs never go Away, they Merely Change Over Time
People still have and always will have needs; they are still buying things and always will, to satisfy these needs. As a sales professional I am certain that you still want to succeed and build a thriving business, which will help you to achieve your vision for the future and your sales targets. I am sure that I do not need to remind you that as a sales professional, you need to really believe in what you have to sell and to see your portion of the business, as your own business, even if you are not the legal owner of the business.
Getting the right people to choose you and your product or service:
The challenge you face is ensuring that your business is the one that will have its products or services chosen, to satisfy the needs of your clients and prospects? How do you ensure that it is your trophies of success, which will be displayed in these people lives and businesses in the future?
Innovate, Research and Understand your Markets and Customers needs
Once you have identified a need within your target market or at your target client, which can best be satisfied by your products or services. The next obvious step is to get your target prospect to choose your product or service over anyone else’s. This is where the ability to connect with people on a level where they can get to know, like and trust you and your products and services becomes crucial. It is far easier to persuade someone that your market offering or value proposition is the best possible solution, if you have developed connection with them and they know like and trust what you have to offer. It has never been more important to know and understand exactly what you have to sell, which markets and customers need exactly that and then to build a strategic plan to build connection with the right people in the right place and to show them the value you bring.
There is no Shortage of Business for Creative Sales Professionals
We know that there is most certainly still business out there and that we have products, which can readily meet the needs of our prospective clients. We know that people are still buying. So all that is left for you to do is to connect with the right people, build a mutually beneficial relationship with them and show them the value you and your product and/or service offer. The question now is, how do I get my message out there amongst all the noise and clutter, which surrounds me, so that I can convince the right people to see the great value I offer?
The challenge faced by all businesses is that there are legions of businesses and individuals all around, who are attempting to influence people’s decisions every day. We are surrounded by Radio and TV commercials all day, our phones ring incessantly with people trying to sell us something, there are billboards and bus shelters, screaming messages at us all the time, our email is filled with so much junk we are overwhelmed. There are solicitations going on all around us all the time. So how do I get my business to stand out above the clutter and noise that incessantly invades my world?
Become a Champion of Influence
If you want your products and services to stand out from the crowd, you must invest sufficient time and energy into becoming a champion of influence. This is the only way to begin and sustain the journey through the sea of noise and to become positively influential and persuasive yourself. The secret to success is not found by trying to shout louder than everyone else out there. The secret is to move away from the crowd and the noise and to begin the process of building connection with the right people, in the right place at the right time.
This is a case of going back to basics and instead of trying to spray your message out into the world and sitting back and praying that someone will hear it and miraculously get to know like and trust what you have to offer. You must clearly define who your target clients are, find out where you can connect with them and then build a sales plan on how to do it. This makes it really easy to build meaningful connection with the right people, show them the value you have to offer and then to form mutually beneficial relationships with them. The more time you invest into targeting the right clients, who need what you have to sell, the better you will be equipped to use your available time more effectively and the easier it will be to connect with these people.
Take a Step Back
These changing times, where we have so much going on around us all the time, has forced us to take a step back and to change the way we market and sell our products and services. People have not changed, they still choose to buy from people in businesses they know, like and trust and can offer them the best opportunity to get maximum value. It is time to stop shouting a message in the wrong place to people who don’t want to hear it. Stop wasting energy; commit to begin the process of communicating, connecting and influencing the right targeted people, so that they can easily see that what you have to offer is exactly what they need.
Sales Tips to help you Secure Long Lasting Sales Relationships
The first step towards developing long term relationships with people who you have qualified as perfect prospects for your product or service, is to think long term. Do not try to make a sale, focusing on a single transaction. Take a long term view of the value proposition you offer and work to show the long term value you and your product and/or service bring to the table. When one of these prospects says they are satisfied, that does not mean that the satisfaction they feel is permanent. Their needs may change and once they fully understand your value proposition, they will see a good reason for switching to you.
Know your Value Proposition
The challenge that most sales people have at this point, is that they give up on their perfect prospect because they do not see how they can proceed. They do not completely understand their own value proposition and so cannot see how they can add real meaningful value to the prospect.
Action Idea: Explore your product and/or service and completely know and believe in the value it offers to your partners and prospects. Once you are clear and you believe in all the benefits you and your product or services offer. It is really simple to show your prospect how they will better satisfy a need or eliminate a challenge if they utilise you as a supplier.
Research and Qualify Prospects
Remember that I am referring to qualified prospects here. These are people within the perfect businesses, who need exactly what you have on offer. You are certain what you have to offer will serve them as well or better than their current supplier.
Action Idea: As you are absolutely clear on the value you and your product and/or service offers, you can carefully research your markets and identify your perfect target business and the individual within that business to approach with your value proposition.
Develop a Long Term, Mutually Beneficial Relationships
Approach your prospects in a non-threatening way, with a real mind-set of “How Can I Help You” and try to develop rapport with them. Your objective is to build a positive relationship with them, sale or no sale. Your prospect will very quickly see through you if you are inauthentic and are only there with your own self-interest to try to make a sale at all costs. When you show a genuine interest in helping them solve any challenges or better satisfy any need they may have, they will warm to you and want to build a mutually beneficial relationship with you.
Study and Completely Understand needs
Take a long term view when building the relationship and always put the prospects needs ahead of your own need to sell to them. Your objective must always be to find innovative ways to support and help them. Take your time whilst building rapport and a long term relationship with your new prospects. Ask a lot of non-threatening questions so that you can completely understand their needs and how your value proposition can best help them. The key during this phase is to establish a needs gap and then to utilise your extensive knowledge of your own value proposition to offer a solution, which will help them to eliminate a challenge or better satisfy a need.
Remember that people buy from people. Businesses do not buy from businesses. Personal chemistry is important when building the relationship, where you are working to get the prospect to know like and trust you. The prospect will respond to your knowledge, enthusiasm, professionalism and caring, ethical approach and will want to do business with someone who displays all those attributes. You will be an asset to them and their business. Always have your prospects best interests at heart and show them that you are on their team, sale or no sale. Try to come up with new ideas for your prospects, even if they do not relate to your product or service. Show them that you really care. When you help people to get what they want, they will most certainly help you to get what you want.
Add Real Value
It is often difficult to differentiate your product or service if you are selling a commodity. This is when the differentiation must come from you as the sales professional and any other value add, such as service and performance guarantees, better delivery schedules, and superior customer service. Be innovative and find as many ways as possible to be better.
A perfect example of how you can differentiate yourself and utilise this to sell your products or services, is shown by the example I want to offer you. I conducted sales training for an office furniture company in Cape Town a few weeks ago. One of the sales professionals there was one of the most unassuming people you could ever meet.
He had spent eight years building mutually beneficial relationships with his perfect clients. He started with a new company and went to an exhibition to sell his new companies office furniture. He was alone in a 3 square metre booth with only a brochure. He sold four times more office furniture as his large competitor, who had a 66 square metre cubicle containing furniture. They had eight sales people in their stand. He made the sales based purely on who he was and the relationships he had built with his partners.
Offer a No-Risk trail Order
Many prospective clients are loyal to their current suppliers. This is however not a major challenge if you can show the value you offer. Virtually every prospect will give you the opportunity to run a trial order with them. This must be a no-risk proposition, which can easily be facilitated, by offering a satisfaction guarantee. I offer any new client who works with me a 100 % money back guarantee, if they are not satisfied with my work in any way. This make them feel very comfortable to utilise my services to train their sales staff. It is crucial that you bend over backwards to ensure that the trial order makes a very positive impression.
Persistence wins the Day
There is no better sales skill than persistence. With all things being equal, the persistent sales person, who clearly understands their value proposition and believes completely in what they have to sell will win the account every time. The secret is to stay in contact with prospects, constantly think long term, always be consistent and become a valuable consultant and ally to them. Keep soughing positive seeds and you will eventually reap great rewards.
Stop trying to Shout Louder than everyone else to make the sale
The secret to sustainable sales success is not found by trying to shout louder than everyone else out there. The secret is to move away from the crowd and the noise and to begin the process of building connection with the right people, in the right place at the right time. This is a case of going back to basics and instead of trying to spray your message out into the world and sitting back and praying that someone will hear it and miraculously get to know like and trust what you have to offer. You must clearly define who your target clients are, find out where you can connect with them so that you can begin to build connection and trust with them.
These changing times, where we have so much going on around us all the time, has forced us to take a step back and to change the way we market our businesses. People have not changed, they still choose to buy from businesses they know, like and trust and can offer them the best opportunity to get maximum value. It is time to stop shouting a message that people don’t want to hear, in places where your prospective clients aren’t listening as this is totally ineffectual and just a waste of energy. Commit to begin the process of communicating, connecting and influencing the right people, so that they can easily see that what you have to offer is exactly what they need.
Connect with the right people
Once you have invested the time to identify the right clients, in the right markets and you have found out how to connect with them. You have built connection with them over time and now want to show them the value you offer, use the concept below as an effective way to guide them towards accepting your value proposition as an ideal fit for their needs or challenges.
Learning the art of effective persuasion and influence is best understood by revisiting some ancient wisdom that was given by Aristotle, many centuries ago. He suggested that there are three levels of persuasion, namely Logos, Pathos and Ethos.
Describing your Value Proposition
The first step in the process of influencing others to see the value you offer and that it is perfectly suited to meet their needs, is to appeal to them on a basic, logical level. This is a process in which you communicate a logical message to your prospective client showing them that your market offering is the most obvious choice. This is a process in which you are persuading people that what you have is exactly what they want and need.
This is best illustrated by an example:
Appealing to your prospects logic, is a process in which you ask them a few questions, in which you highlight your unique selling proposition and the incredible benefits your product has to offer. If you are attempting to persuade someone to use your services, as a time management consultant, then you would use the following questions to show them that, what you offer is the only logical solution to their current circumstances.
- Do you agree that if you focused on improving your team’s effectiveness and discovered the right actions to take every day, so that they would stop spinning their wheels, you would significantly improve your results over the next twelve months?
- Is it true that you arrive home from work every day exhausted, yet you feel that you have not accomplished much at all?
- So you want better results, but you feel like you don’t have sufficient time, is that right.
- So what if making this small investment will allow you to identify the exact actions that you need to take every day and then give you a set of tools and techniques, which would improve your efficiency so dramatically, that it would feel like you gained a couple of hours each day, Would you be interested? Would that give you a huge advantage over your competition? Would it help you to make far more money?
This method of persuading people that what you have to offer is exactly what they need is perfect, for communicating your message to people on a one to one basis or when speaking to small groups of people.
Persuade, but never manipulate
The challenge that we all face when attempting to influence people is that there is a very fine line between persuasion and manipulation. You can never build a successful business by manipulating people; they will eventually see right through you and will no longer trust anything that you have to say.
The way I define the difference between influence and manipulation is:
When someone is trying to manipulate someone, they have a negative intent and are selfishly looking at the interaction from their own selfish perspective only. This is a one sided transaction, where there is only one winner.
On the other hand when you influence someone the intent is always one of offering a mutually beneficial solution to satisfy a need. Persuasion always results in a mutually beneficial outcome, where both parties feel like they have received fair exchange. The best way to persuade someone, that what you have to offer is exactly what they need, is to always ask yourself these few questions
- Why should this person want what I am offering?
- What is in it for them?
- Is it the best option for them, will this transaction be a fair exchange?
When you ensure that what you are attempting to persuade people to buy, is aligned with their needs and that there is always a fair exchange, where everyone wins, you have created the foundation for great sales success.
Embrace Rejection and become a Sales Superstar
I do not believe that rejection exists at all. Before you approach a prospect to offer them a solution, which will allow them to alleviate a challenge or satisfy a need they may have. You do not have a sale. If they do not see the value in what you are offering and decline your offer, you still do not have a sale. Nothing has changed. Things only change once you have adequately built up a value proposition, which your prospect or client finds desirable, and they decide to purchase your product or service. Only once they actually see the value you and your product or service offer and they decide to purchase from you, now things have changed, you have acquired a new customer. Until then things remained exactly the same.
We Really Fear Rejection – What can we do about it?
I know it sounds really great to say there is no such thing as rejection. When in reality we all know that we take it really personally when someone refuses to buy from us. We all have a really ingrained fear of rejection. I have tried to provide you with all the best tools and techniques in this article, which I have learned through trial and error, over the past twenty five years as a sales person myself. I hope these ideas will help you to increase your sales and to manage and mitigate the effects of rejection.
The best way to not feel the angst of rejection is to avoid being rejected altogether. So how do you, avoid being rejected, conquer that fear and become the sales giants you want to be?
Please read through the few ideas below, which I have discovered, as I have travelled my own path to sales success. I am sure that if you follow these few basic principles, you will avoid almost all rejection in the future and if you are unable to avoid having a prospect reject your value proposition, you will more easily be able to manage or mitigate the negative emotions, traditionally associated with rejection.
- Believe in what you have to sell and approach each prospect or client with confidence.
- Know exactly what the value proposition is of your product or service and how this can help your prospects or clients. Once you know what benefits your product or service offers, it is far easier to identify the right people or businesses that need what you have to offer.
- Know and understand all the benefits your product offers and how you can show this to your prospect.
- Never ever try to sell anything ever again. Always approach your clients or prospects from a position where you authentically want to help them.
- Research your prospects and clients, really well, so that you can get to know their needs and challenges. Once you understand their needs, it is far easier to approach them with a value proposition that they will find desirable.
- Target your clients carefully. When you select your clients really carefully, so that their needs and challenges match up to the value your product or service offers, it is far less likely that they will not reject your offer.
- Get referrals from satisfied clients. This gives you a strong foot through the door and makes showing your prospect your value proposition really easy.
- Find Creative ways of building mutually beneficial relationships with your prospects and clients.
- Map out a plan to build connection with the right decision makers.
10. Get your prospects to know like and trust you before you approach them to show them the value both you and your product and service offer.
Conquer your fear of Rejection
Even when you follow the guidelines above, there will still be people, who do not want what you have to offer. So how do you manage these situations?
Learn to handle the word no in a constructive way. When someone turns you down they are not rejecting you, they simply cannot see the value in the same way you do. They are just saying no, I cannot see why I should purchase your product or service right now. This is an opportunity for you to sit back and re-examine your approach and to see if you have really done your homework properly. Remember that it is very seldom that someone will make a purchase on the first contact. It can take between 5 and as much as 12 contacts, to get your prospect to know like and trust you and your product or service enough to buy from you. Patience and perseverance are key to sales success.
Explore these few questions below to discover how to proceed, after a prospect has “REJECTED” you value proposition.
- Has your approach adequately shown the value proposition you offer?
- Is there something you have missed?
- Could you explain your value proposition differently to clarify things with your prospect?
- Does your prospect need to know more about you and your product or service before they will see the value you offer?
- How can you show them this value?
- Is this the right decision maker?
- Does this person really need what you have to offer?
- Have they got a really great relationship with their current supplier and will not change under any circumstances?
Explore your answers and see if your approach needs to be modified or whether the prospect is worth any further effort on your part. Your sales success is dependent on you utilising your time as effectively as possible. So try to discover the prospects that are a never going to see your value proposition, as soon as possible and focus all your energy on the prospects, who need what you have to offer, as they see your solution set, as a perfect fit, to meet their needs.
Love what you sell
Learn to really love what you have to sell. I see my consulting and speaking services as a real gift to everyone I work with. Try to see your product or service like a nutritious desert offered for sale in a restaurant. Imagine if the waitress in an upmarket restaurant offered their special strawberry parfait to the patrons in their restaurant and two out of five people did not want to have any of their special dessert.
They would obviously not go to the restaurant manager, every time someone said no, throw their hands up in the air stating that they were a failure. They would simply go about the business of providing great service to the patrons in the restaurant and simply think that the people, who had refused dessert, had missed out on a great opportunity. You should operate in exactly the same way when you offer your really special product or service to anyone and they do not want it. All you should see is that they are missing out on a really great opportunity for your product or service to have helped them, and then go on about your business.
Treat Your Product or Service as a gift
When you truly love the product or service that you sell, your prospects and clients will feel your enthusiasm and passion, towards the value that you offer. Try to see your products and services as more nutritious and beneficial than even the best fruit desert possible. Know that your prospect is “REJECTING” the presentation and never the presenter. Separate your self-esteem from your presentation and instead of feeling a personal affront when someone says no. See the value they have missed and look for ways of finding someone else who can benefit from what you offer.
Overcoming any Negative Feelings
If you are struggling with any negative emotions after experiencing any “REJECTION”, then invest some extra time networking with mentors and role models, who can give you some guidance and help you see that you are OK. Try listening to inspirational CD’s or uplifting music or re-read this article to help you see that it is not you that was rejected. Spend time around winners and optimists as often as possible, they will help feed your positive attitude.
Believe in Yourself
Once you have learned to believe in yourself and you see the real value, you and your product or service offer. You will no longer feel rejected, you will start to feel disappointed on behalf of the prospect and you will know that they are worse off for not seeing the value you bring.
Some of my Selling Secrets, Learned from 25 Years of Helping my Partners
I have been involved in sales in my various businesses, for more than 25 years now. During this time I have seen dramatic changes in the approach towards almost every aspect of selling. Cold calls are no longer an option, old hard core selling is a distant memory and viewing your customers as buyers of your products and services from a purely transactional perspective, is as effective as using a bucket to try to empty the ocean.
Selling has changed more in the past 25 years than it did in the past 100 years before that. The sales person is no longer the bearer of news from the outside world, that information is now readily available on every desktop. The new generation of salesperson, who wants to survive and thrive, in the current environment, must be a problem solver and solution provider. They must connect with their “partners”, forming mutually beneficial relationships with them, where they strive to consistently add real value to them.
What needs to Change?
Operating as a vendor of products or services is no longer an option. The old school aggressive approach to sales is pointless. Selling is now an art form, where it is crucial to have a clear understanding of your client’s situation, needs and a good understanding of their environment. Selling is all about connecting with your clients (“partners”) and providing them with a value proposition, which helps them to solve a problem or satisfy a need.
Long term sustainable sales success is dependent on building long term mutually beneficial relationships with your clients (partners). Look past the short sighted option of making a quick buck or a quick sale to any prospects or client. Always have your partners (clients) best interests at heart and engage with them to map out the best option for them to help them satisfy their needs or solve any challenges.
Your commission must always be a distant and very secondary objective and not even a consideration, when dealing with your partners. When you put their needs above yours, they will get to know like and trust you. They will really appreciate the fact that you always place their interest before your own selfish interests. This will cement the relationship and make them very confident to purchase your goods or services.
Help your Partners Map the best Route to Solve their Challenges
Find ways to integrate into your clients businesses. When you help them to map a route to save costs, improve productivity or solve any challenges, they will begin to rely on you as a crucial business partner. Purchasing your products or services will never be a grudge purchase, but a very necessary part of their business success. Show your clients you are there for the long run and will be right next to them all the way to the finish line.
Show your partners that you are not in the transaction business. Show them you and your products and services are all about value and solutions. This approach will turn them into raving fans and help them to become one of your best marketing and selling tools. They will no longer be clients; they will be partners, who will refer you to other people, hailing all the value you bring.
Sales is a People Thing
The psychology behind selling actually is actually quite simple. Yes of course the people, who buy either your product or service, must have a utility or need for either or both. In reality any prospect first needs to buy you as a person, connect with you and get to know like and trust you, before they will even explore your product or service to see of it is what they need.
So using this knowledge as a starting point for helping (selling), it is thus crucial to build connection and a great relationship with all your carefully targeted prospects, before you even try to sell to them or show them the value proposition you offer. You are never in the transaction based business, where making each sale is important. You are in the business of building connection and long term mutually beneficial relationships with all your clients and prospects. This is the best way to become and remain successful in sales (helping) today. As long as there is always a great relationship between you and your partners, in which a modality of fair exchange exists, you will be successful and everyone wins.
Sales Success is driven by Activity
As you know sales or any success for that matter is driven by activity. The more committed you are and the more targeted activity you perform every day, the greater will be your sales success. So if you really enjoy what you do as a sales person, where you truly love your product or service and you completely believe in the value it adds to your partner’s lives and/or businesses. You will not feel the long hours you will devote towards your sales success, as it will not feel like work; you will be doing what you love.
When you are completely dedicated to your sales success and you carry out sufficient targeted sales activity daily, you will succeed and become the sales giant you deserve to be. The activity I am referring to is seldom the stuff you would think of in the traditional sense of selling at all. I am referring to the crucial act of staying in contact with your clients and prospects, doing things for them that they would not expect, such as sending them articles on interests they may have or a really thoughtful gift relating to a personal need they may have revealed, during a conversation, etc.
Stay committed to your partners and keep finding new innovative ways to connect with and build a mutually beneficial relationship with them. Put in sufficient daily effort in this regard and the sales will take care of themselves. People always buy using their emotions, so the more you connect with people on an emotional level, the easier it becomes to help (sell to) them.
Technology has made people far savvier
In the past old school selling techniques worked because there was always a transactional element to sales, where people needed the sales person to inform them about features. This is no longer the case as people are able to research this all online and in almost every case they are very well informed before they even meet with any sales person. Any sales person, who competes like this for any piece of the business, will be competing on price alone, as there is no other way to differentiate their product or service.
Making a consultative sale
This is the way for sales people strive to add real value to their partners by offering helpful, useful advice and by creating and adding real value to them by solving problems and becoming a valuable contributing asset to their clients businesses. When developing this sort of relationship with your partners, they do not want to hear about just your mousetrap, which you have for sale. They want you to actually show them, where to put it, what bait to use and how this will benefit them and their business. They are looking for a value creator and never a value communicator.
Selling is no longer a process of persuasion, it is now all about connection, problem solving and value creation. To do this successfully the new sales person needs three crucial skills.
- They must be honest and always look for the best value for the client. Their commission can never be an issue
- They must be competent and understand the needs of their partners or prospective partners and completely understand their own value proposition.
- They must put the concerns and needs of their partners ahead of their own. They must look at every sale from their partners’ perspectives and never be in a modality of just wanting to unload their product or service on an unsuspecting client.
Always put your partners interests ahead of your own, build connection with the right people, know what your value proposition is, research your clients and their needs properly, carry out sufficient targeted connection and relationship building activity and you will become very successful at sales.
Basic Selling Techniques to turn you into a Sales Super Star
Plan your Day the Night Before
To this day I always plan my day the night before. My head does not hit the pillow at night, before I have arranged all my appointments for the next day. I chart every move I will make the next day, detailing who I plan to meet face to face, who I will call, who I will communicate with electronically.
My plan includes the reason for the contact, any pertinent detail from any previous meetings, which may serve me in the meeting the next day. I also include all the contact details I may need, telephone numbers, email addresses or a map and directions to visit each customer. I do not waste even a second the next day, during my productive selling time searching for any information I may need.
I do not start my engine before I know the exact route I plan to take. This route is carefully charted when I am planning my calls each day. I ensure that I arrange all my calls in one area each day. I never chase across town, unless it is an emergency.
Building Real Meaningful Connection with your new Partners
As you know there are always a number of people, who influence decisions within any sales relationship, but there is always one person whose job is ultimately on the line if they use your product and/or service and there is a royal mess-up. Your role as sales professionals is to ensure that the ultimate decision maker realises that you are in it for the long run and that you are an asset to their team.
I am a great believer in always asking for feedback from my clients. I believe that the quality of any sales relationship is directly proportional to the quality and quantity of meaningful questions that you ask and how you respond to the feedback you receive.
Many years ago I asked a client “From your perspective is my product and service working for you”? Her answer concerned me, when I first heard it as she said “You are not like any salesperson I have dealt with in the past”. I immediately felt I had let her down, until she said “I feel that your office is right next to mine that you are really interested in my business”. Since then I have always used that relationship as a benchmark and tried to build similar connection with all my partners. I try to help all my partners not only get the best solution for their needs, but I also like to help them to be successful in their careers.
Offer your Magnificent 50 clients real white glove treatment
It is impossible to focus all your attention on hundreds of clients at one time. Carefully select what I like to call my “magnificent 50” and focus your energy on only these clients. If you can build a loyal following of 50 regular clients, who regularly buy from you, that is obviously first prize. I realise that this is not always possible and that there are certain sales people, who make sales to clients and then need to be prospecting to new clients all the time as their clients only make purchases periodically. In this case your “magnificent 50” will be the clients you are finalising deals with and a list of qualified prospects you keep adding to the list as you complete each deal.
The secret to make this work for you is to really roll out the red carpet for only these select few clients. Really give them the white glove treatment in every possible way. This is where you need to innovate, be observant and research your “magnificent 50”. The more you can blow their socks off with real meaningful caring and always going the extra mile, the more they will grow to depend on you and see you as their indispensable ally.
It is often difficult to differentiate your product or service for that of your competitors. The easiest way to really make a difference and to stand out from the crowd is to differentiate yourself, as an asset to their business. Focus on your clients’ needs and build your value proposition around a solution set, which includes you as a valuable asset and consultant to your new partners businesses. Research and understand your partners businesses and provide them with really insightful solutions to their needs and challenges.
Learn to analyse the person responsible for making the final buying decision. Learn to read the person you are talking to and always try to put yourself in their shoes. When you can completely understand their real needs and their agenda, you are far better equipped to integrate into their business and become a true ally. Remember sales decisions are always made emotionally, by people, so the better you become at reading and understanding people the easier it will become to help them.
Make the Shift Today – Manage the Right Activities Within Your Available Time
We can easily earn more money, if we are willing to apply ourselves, develop meaningful relationships at any time during our lives or acquire abundant possessions, trinkets and treasures. There is an endless supply of these available to us, at all times. Time, energy and health on the other hand, are the fundamental raw materials of life, which you can choose to use wisely, waste or even kill. As the supply of these is limited in the context that we use them, treat your time, energy and health, as your most valuable possessions and invest them very wisely.
Take control of how you use your time
Action Idea: Make the conscious decision today, to finally take control, of how you apply your available time Believe that you can change your current poor time management habits, with far better activity management routines to get the most from your available time. Embrace the key disciplines of effectively managing your energy and activities within your available time, and you will gradually overcome your ingrained bad time management habits.
Expect and Prepare for Opportunity
Time and energy invested into preparing for opportunity is well spent, as preparation is fundamental to developing self-confidence and a resolute belief you need to have in your abilities, before you can start to travel the path towards sustainable long term success you desire. Success is achieved, when preparation meets opportunity. So invest time into growing, expanding and becoming the type of person you need to be to attract the success you desire, so that when opportunity finally crosses your path, and it will. You will be prepared to take advantage it. This is one investment, which can only grow exponentially and is free from the ravages of negative sentiment.
Taking advantage of Opportunity
When opportunity does come your way and it always does. Make sure that you have invested sufficient time to equip yourself with all the skills, knowledge and ability; you need, so that you can take advantage it. When taking advantage of any opportunity, make certain that you build a strategic plan. The more specific and detailed your plan, the easier it will be to make the most of every opportunity.
The amount of effort you put into your preparation before you attempt anything, is directly proportional to the level of success that you will enjoy and is the best way to maximize your results. Use the time other people are using to fill their lives with entertainment and escapism; to study, develop and practice the skills needed for excellence. Visualize everything in your head exactly the way you want it to happen and success will rise to meet you.
Using your Time Effectively
No matter how specific, focused, or perfect your plans may be, to deliver on your dreams.. Nothing meaningful can happen, until you develop and consistently apply an effective activity management routine in your life. Something amazing will happen, until you commit to take inspired action daily – NOTHING. A daily routine, which is built around positive success habits and disciplines, will equip you to effortlessly discover your brilliance and live your excellence.
Get off your Butt
Make a determined decision today to stop dawdling, avoiding taking the actions you know are necessary to succeed. Accept responsibility for success in your life. Make a start right NOW! Begin taking consistent small steps every day and you will eventually achieve the results you want.
Feed on your Successes
As you begin to see results, you will begin to absorb confidence and the positive feelings about your potential will grow. This will encourage you to take even more focused daily actions. Rewarding yourself for your successes, may at first feel a little uncomfortable, but this is one of the most crucial shifts you need to make to help you remain inspired. Learn to use your past successes to feed your inspiration and drive your willpower.
Making it work for you
Focus on prime projects during the prime time of your day and devote uninterrupted time slots to this endeavour. To achieve real and lasting success, you must create a schedule that includes large uninterrupted periods, for working on your most important projects. Your best work is done and your full potential achieved, when you perform during uninterrupted time frames.
Build a System for success
Action Idea: Review all your important thoughts, goals, projects and To-Do’s and record them into a highly organised and efficient system, which will allow you to detach from issues that you are unable to handle right now, yet allow you to have laser focus on tasks, commitments and projects that need to be completed right now. The highest levels of productivity and decision making ability occurs when we have a completely focused mind.
When you learn to leverage time to your advantage and you commit to carry out small focused meaningful tasks at predetermined times every day. You are setting yourself up to succeed at anything you desire. When you schedule your daily actions in time slots that I call “MEETINGS WITH YOUR FUTURE” you position time to become your ally and it will support your efforts to unlock your potential.