Archive for April, 2008

Photography, Cooking and Sales

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

An amateur photographer was invited to a dinner and brought a few photographs.

The host looked at them and commented “These are very good – you must have an excellent camera.”

Later in the evening, as the photographer was leaving, he turned to the host and said, “That was a delicious meal. You must have some excellent pots.”

So, who gets credit for your performance?

It might be you – your skills, behavior and persuasiveness. But there’s probably more;

It’s your training,

And your mentors,

And your products,

And your company,

And the books you’ve read, audios you’ve heard, conferences you’ve attended,

And more – much, much more.

Did you notice anything on this list that has been missing from your selling career? Let’s go get it added right away, and find out how high and how far you can go.

Just imagine a photograph of your success – perhaps a picture of you and friends and family eating at the finest restaurant you can afford. All because you realized how many things must come together to achieve excellence in performance.

(Thanks to my good friend and selling brother, Gregory Ferrett from the “Land down Under” for this joke – www.exceptionalsales.com.au).

Earthquake!

Friday, April 18th, 2008

Well, Illinois manufactured it’s own 5.4 Richter quake this morning at 4:36am central time. They felt it in Chicago, St. Louis, MO; Louisville, KY; Des Moines, IA and Janesville, WI.

The New Madrid Seismic System Fault wasn’t dormant today.

Woke my wife up, but I’ve been in so many BIG ones, growing up in California, that I slept through it.

I recall one morning waking up to my bedroom window bending in and out!

Got out from beneath it quickly, in time to hear all our glassware and plates flying out of cupboards in the kitchen. So at least we got to buy new things.

Sales pros! What does it take to wake you up?

I’m shaking your brain right now to get into behaviors that make you money and to sleep through behaviors that distract you from doing so.

Shakin’ up and wakin’ up – life is short. Keep your focus on activities that make you cash.

If you don’t make any more money, it’s not New Madrid’s Fault.

Koala Bears & Great Questions…

Monday, April 14th, 2008

I’m in Brisbane, Australia where we’ve just won the Gold Medal for basketball in the World Masters Games. The Games are basically Olympic sports for athletes 35 years and older. I still play on the US team.

So it’s our day off before heading home and I (the 2 guard) am with my point guard, Chuck. We’re visiting Lone Pine, the biggest Koala bear sanctuary in the world.

A woman is giving a presentation on the plight of the koala. Poor, beautiful (and stinky!) animal was almost hunted to extinction until 1910. The last month hunting was allowed, 600,000 pelts were taken. A picture pops on the screen and the crowd gasps as this old tin-type photo shows two guys with rifles and a huge mound of bearskins, maybe 30 feet high behind them.

“Help save these animals,” the woman pleads. “They are now in danger again, losing their food source to real estate development.”

She finishes this emotional tug on our hearts with, “Does anyone have any questions?”

My hand shoots up and dozens of heads turn to me as I ask,

“WHAT DOES THEIR MEAT TASTE LIKE?”

Half the crowd explodes with laughter, as half gasp in horror. The woman stutters a response about not knowing and you don’t eat them…

So one of my life missions is accomplished – make people laugh. And there’s a wonderful selling lesson here, too.

GREAT questions distinguish great sales pros from medicore.

Do you ask questions that make buyers stop and think? Questions that show them the inevitable consequences of their decision-making? Questions that speak thoughts they haven’t yet landed on?

Try on some of these, for example;

What if you didn’t buy a solution for another six months, would it make a difference?

What have you tried before and why didn’t it work?

Have you ever quantified the impact of this concern to the company?

Ask GREAT questions and you can guarantee your sales career, unlike the Koala, will never get near the brink of extinction.

Homer Simpson & Selling

Monday, April 7th, 2008

“Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It’s what separates us from animals… except the weasel.” – Sales Guru Homer Simpson

This post will be using guilt to motivate you to action. So be prepared to hear your mother’s voice as you read along.

Is there that ONE THING you should be doing to improve performance, and you’re not doing it?

It might be making X number of contacts each day, and you’re falling short.

It might be getting help handling those objections that eat away at closed business.

It might even be that you’re chasing too many poor prospects and need a method for exterminating these bad buyers.

Stop weaseling out of work. Don’t be a stinking sales varmit! Pick a specific time to get your task completed and imagine how awesome you’ll feel when it’s behind you.

And ahead of you is income, more sales, and a future that’s brighter than it was before you were playing the part of the professional selling weasel.

Your mom’s voice has faded away, now get to work.

April Fools at the Schools

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

I’ve sent my twin girls off to 2nd grade today where they will switch classes on their teachers.

My son will be leaving a carton of orange juice on his teacher’s desk. When she picks it up, hundreds of Skittles candies will pour out of the big hole at the bottom to the delight of his classmates. He will also be placing a rubber snake beneath her desk – because she’ll be getting down there to pick up candy.

See, the best practical jokes (and I could write a book about tormenting students and professors through 4 years of college) anticipate the reaction of the person being pranked. By knowing their response you can take the joke to another level.

How well do you anticipate responses when you sell?

Nobody in our business should ever be surprised by a prospect’s behavior. NOT EVER.

We’ve heard all the objections, so why haven’t we created fantastic and potent responses to each one?

I have. I got sick of hearing the same old things, so I went out and got smart about dealing with the behavior of potential clients.

Take your top six objections, then ask around to determine how others who sell well react to them. Or look ’em up online.

No more surprises in selling.

Let the only fools be reps who don’t attend to their careers as professionally as you do.

Have a great April 1st. Go do something funny to someone you care about.