Fear, the very word itself causes people to become uncomfortable. Fear can be crippling. Fear can overwhelm you and it can ruin your success...
...or, fear can be an asset and help drive your success.
Most people succumb to fear, not because they're weak or for lack of will, but rather from lack of preparation, skills and focus. When fear rears its ugly head, your response had better be calculated, practiced and receive all of your energy.
Do you fear making cold calls? Do you fear a difficult conversation? Do you fear asking out the partner of your dreams? Any of these, all of these and anything else fearful in your life is the result of a skill deficiency that hasn't been practiced and conditioned.
So how do you make fear your friend? Follow these 5 steps:
8 Sales Myths and Their Realities
As a salesperson, sales trainer and entrepreneur, I tend to be surrounded by other salespeople. Some of the good, some of them not so good, and some of them outstanding. Whether they are terrible or outstanding, each of them subscribes and preaches certain sales myths.
Some of these myths are true, and some are very misguided and will harm you. Here are 8 sales myths and their true realities.
Stop hiding behind technology
At a recent client engagement, I witnessed an interaction between two salespeople that absolutely shocked me. They were both in training, and both communicating in training, but it was as if they were forced to actually talk.
When the opportunity presented itself to discuss a project further, one salesman said to the other, “email me the details and I’ll get back to you.” The response killed me. “sounds like a plan."
No it doesn’t sound like a plan. They were right next to each other, and preferred not to actually talk. Here’s another prime example:
- I call a prospect and it goes to voicemail, so I leave a message. 3 minutes later the prospect emails me and apologizes for missing my call. I immediately call back, only to go straight to voicemail. Then I get a text apologizing for him being unavailable.
How about this, instead of taking the time to email and text, why not just answering the damn phone. It would’ve been faster.
Have we really gotten to the point where face-to-face communication or phone calls are too difficult? Has technology allowed us to avoid all real communication?
Maybe this is a rant more than anything, but for the love of God, stop hiding behind technology. Better yet, learn to communicate.
Yes email, twitter, and texting are all wonderful tools. That doesn’t mean, and were not meant to, eliminate actual conversation.
So much, and such enormous parts of communication, are actually missed electronically. You can’t interpret emotions, in fact more often than not, emotions and intent are misinterpreted through digital communication. Deals don’t happen through email. Deals happen if I like you, and I don’t like you if you won’t actually talk to me.
Stop hiding behind technology and learn to talk to people. Human interaction is actually wonderful and enjoyable and leads to great outcomes. Digital communication is great for confirmation and passing details. Deals though, are done between people actually talking.
Who's in your sales power base?
Are you just starting out in sales? Are you having trouble meeting quota, or are you a seasoned sales veteran who's numbers aren't quite up to your expected KPI's? Then you need to look at your sales power base.
Your power base is anyone and everyone you know, are related too, have worked with or for, engaged with and/or connected with on a personal level. Yes I mean your friends and family. They are not excluded.
In fact, those that make up your power base are your sales turnaround whether they buy from you or refer you. This is a brilliant and rich network you likely haven't tapped. Let me rephrase that - you're terrified to approach!
How dare you impose? What if they say "no"? What of you offend them? What if, what if, what if? You can play that game all day long. Here's a reality check; what if you're sales don't increase? Will you go broke and get fired?
I'm fairly confident that's worse than the remote possibility that you might piss off a few acquaintances. Here's the real two-fold reality; first, tapping your power base for business or referrals will be emotionally 10x's more difficult on you emotionally then them. Second, they want you to succeed and know you have the best intentions.
My advice, get out of your head and start approaching your sales power base network for business. Who knows, you might just turn your sales around and help improve a whole bunch of lives with your products or services. Now that's a winning combination for anyone.
Isn't sales challenging enough just getting past the gatekeeper? Now you have a new gatekeeper, the obnoxiously crazy too-busy-for-you prospect.
Getting in front of the too-busy prospect presents a new world of sales challenges for you, but guess what - it also impacts your prospects success in a huge way. You provide zero value and zero help until they buy from you. So how do you get in front of them?
To get a meeting with them you must first understand five truths about the crazy, too-busy-for-you prospect.
If you understand these five truths you will also recognize they also give you the answers how to get in front of your crazy busy prospects. Specifically, here are five counter strategies you can use to lock down a meeting with your too-busy prospect.
Your a Business, Man!
Multi-platinum selling recording artist, producer and business mogul Jay-Z is regarded as an incredibly successful businessman. He doesn't view himself this way though. He said, "I'm not a businessman. I'm a business... man."
Some may argue the semantics of the words, when in reality this separation and differing view is the right view. Jay-Z, you, me, we are a business. It doesn't matter if you work for someone or not. Stop kidding yourself. You are running your own business.
You are the CEO of you. Do you pay bills? Yes, then you're a business. Do you give instructions and delegate? Yes, then you are a business. So what's the point.
If you don't view yourself as a business and you don't run your life as a business, then you will go out of business. Whether that's getting fired, going bankrupt, losing a relationship, or raising your children inappropriately.
Make no mistake, you are a business so you must start making business savvy decisions. For example, how are you marketing yourself? Forget outside sales, how are you constantly and consistently marketing yourself to your company? No offense, but unless you're #1 in your field you must keep selling yourself. Otherwise, a better marketer will take you down.
How are you managing your finances? Do you have a budget? What are you doing about your health? Take care of your health today or your finances you're planning for tomorrow will not be enough.
All of these types of decisions and conversations are intertwined. It's your duty and responsibility to have the discussions and planning sessions with your advisors. You do have advisors don't you? A real business is supported by advisors whether it's lawyers and accountants or a successful aunt, brother, parent or friend.
Jay-Z is dead right. You are a business, and the sooner you start acting and running your life like a business the more success will come your way. I'm a business... man - Are you?
Clichés and Your Success
It’s a paradigm shift, strategic innovation, win-win, let’s circle back, where the rubber meets the road, synergies, at the end of the day, blah, blah, blah.
Cliché are everywhere, and by their very nature over-used. There’s actually a bigger problem with clichés in business though. Let me preface this problem by stating that the truth I’m about to give you is both mean and completely truthful.
Those who use these types of business clichés are all talk, no action, full of crap and completely worthless to your team. In fact, they are damaging your success.
Clichés are an easy way to sound like you know what you are talking about. They give the appearance of professionalism, but that’s all it really is - an appearance. The truth is, using clichés is an easy way to cover up lack of preparation, lack of understanding and lack of action.
Clichés are similar to using industry jargon. They serve no purpose accept to fill in communication blanks. Using them does not make you sound intelligent. Quite the contrary. If you have people on your team using them, you must demand clarification.
Ask them to explain further. If they give another set of clichés, then you know for certain they don’t know what they are talking about and certainly not taking action. You must keep drilling down until you get the specifics you’re after. When you get them, then very definitively tell them those are the specifics you expect and to drop the superfluous language.
The most successful people you meet do not speak in clichés. They drill everything down to its simplest form and convey those messages. They don’t deal with ambiguities and neither should you. Raise your communication expectations. Your team will either become immediately more effective communicators and action takers, or they’ll help you weed them out.
Using clichés does not make you sound competent and proactive. They make you sound unproductive, and though you are a poor communicator. Those traits serve no one.
Stop Trading Your Hours for Dollars
Are you an entrepreneur, a business owner, a salesperson, or simply someone who just wants to get ahead? The only way you’re going to be successful, the only way you’re going to be wealthy, and the only way you’re going to truly get ahead of where you are now is if maximize your billable hours,
To do this, you must stop trading hours for dollars!
Right now, you and most people, trade your roughly 2000 billable hours per year for wages of some sort. The challenge is there’s a limited amount of hours you actually can work (roughly 2000), and there’s a limited amount (dollars) people are willing to pay for those hours. So your dilemma becomes how do you increase either your hours, your rate or both.
The single biggest challenge with entrepreneurs and small businesses is the fail to act like big businesses. They are unwilling to give up a little (money) up front to get help growing and expanding their reach. The successful understand that paying others to expand their reach is exactly how to increase their capacity. So what must you do?
The answer is to leverage your billable resources. You can do any or all of these, whether or not you own your own business, if you can prove the ROI. To create more time to bill you must:
There’s lots of other ways to accomplish increase your billable hours, and I want you to succeed. Start with any of these 6 and watch what happens. It will require you giving up emotional control. You must accept that you don’t have to do everything and there are plenty of perfectly capable people willing to work for you.
Assistants are very prevalent, very affordable and very underutilized. Spend a little less on junk, invest in an assistant and soon enough you will understand the true meaning of not trading hours for dollars. You will start reaping the benefits, i.e. more money, of maximizing your billable potential. Please stop trading your hours for dollars.
Unless you're the next Google, Tesla or facebook, odds are you're not going to disrupt the market with some revolutionary innovation. So let's be perfectly honest, business revolution doesn't come along very often.
What does that mean for your untold and unearned millions to come? Simple, it's about evolution not revolution. Yeah don't need to disrupt your industry or the market. What you do need is to become a master and execute on all the little things your competitors won't do.
I started my career average, got rich, lost it all, suferred, repeated this(unfortunately I'm a slow learner) and then finally became wealthy sustainably. How? Certainly there's more involved than what's presented here, and as I look back there are some commonalities.
One of the big commonalities employed by all successful people, is they know that success comes from making small shifts consistently. You can even call them baby steps in a new and different direction. When done consistently, they will put you and your success in a very different zip code in short order.
The key is to make small shifts in areas you've hesitated prior. These areas tend to involve things, tasks and actions you don't like to do, yet they contain the keys to your true success. I guarantee your competition feels exactly the same way, so the person who actually takes the action will reap the rewards.
What can you do to evolve? Can you start setting and reviewing goals, can you create and execute a to-do list, can you exercise consistently, can you make one more(or one for that matter) cold call, can you meet a prospect for coffee everyday instead of going by yourself, etc.?
Nothing I'm suggesting is a major life shift. I am suggesting they will all cause a major success shift if you actually do them. It's not about revolution, it's about evolution. What baby steps will you take?
Is price an issue for you?
Is price an issue for you? Is price an issue for a member of your team? Reality check, Price is a problem for most every salesperson.
Why? Because they don’t understand what beats price every time. They don’t understand value or how to sell value. The real truth is this - When value is missing price becomes the only differentiator. You, your team and your company can feature-puke all you want, but that’s just bragging about the same stuff your competitors brag about.
Make no mistake, no matter how much better you think you are, your competitors are making the exact same arguments. You, they, sound exactly the same to your prospects. That’s a huge plus for you, because if you’re willing to understand value and sell value you can be completely different immediately from all the competition.
What is value? Value is a perception of something received. Value is not something you can quantify. It kills me when I hear sales reps and companies talk about their added value or value-ad that they qualify with a bunch of features.
Here’s a serious question to those people - if I don’t care about your features, how is it added value to me? Value is a heartfelt benefit that someone receives. It’s a perception, a feeling, that they are getting something more based on a need they’ve expressed.
Value is easy to sell. It’s actually quite simple. What’s hard is determining what is of value to your prospect. Start by asking them what they want, why they want it, what they will get out of it, what they care about and why and what needs they want fulfilled. Then, SHUT UP and listen. The prospect will tell you what is important to them.
Sell what’s important to them and nothing else. Don’t talk about anything else. Stop talking about every other damn feature you offer. They don’t care! Here’s the reality - Price no longer is an issue when value is perceived. In other words, no more price objection. People buy from you.
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