One of the fellows who inspired my book, “Mr Shmooze,” likes to tell his salespeople:
“If you know a customer’s passion, and pay attention to it, you can find the key to any client’s heart.”
And do you want to know what is so great about people, which presents aware salespeople like us endless relationship growing opportunities?
The almost infinite amount of passions our clients have! All we have to do is ask.
To prove this point, at the end of my workshops, I like to ask people to describe their passions. Here is a sample from some of my notes:
- Dirt biking
- Classic cars
- Running marathons
- Fantasy football
- Special Olympics
- Children’s hospital
- School boards
- Stamp collecting
- Watching Netflix
The list goes on and on. People are absolutely fascinating . . . they are so diverse and they are always passionate about something.
One of our jobs as salespeople, is to find out what our clients are passionate about and to join them, whenever possible, at that special place in their hearts. Nothing but good can come from connecting with our clients relative to their passions.
This week, review your client and prospect list and see if you can name each person’s passion.
And a great way to find out is to ask the following question:
Client, you obviously have an intense position here. What do you do in your spare time to recharge your battery?
Once you find out, feed those passions with books, articles, bulletins, events and by introducing them to like-minded people over lunch or via common emails.
The power of this type of outreach is incredible!
We know from research that generating an interactive dialogue is a much more effective means of selling than simply presenting a “show and tell” monologue.
A great way to set the tone for an interactive meeting is to open the meeting with a provocative question.Read more
Coronavirus! Stock market dive! The world is ending!
Not really, but as the stress levels go up people do begin to behave differently, and that can be good news for salespeople.
Suddenly, prospects are more alert, more worried, more interested in news and better solutions. They put an invisible sign up that says, “HELP!” and if you can help them, they may be more willing to listen.
Using an analogy, it is kind of like a property owner who won’t take a pitch on a water vacuum until they have a flood.
When things are cruising along, it is very hard to get prospects to listen to new ideas. But when the going gets tough, they often open up their minds to innovation, solutions and emotional relief.
It is therefore an excellent time for you to make the rounds while emotions are running high and find any way you can to help people with their material needs and soothe them a bit emotionally.
People may be divided these days politically, but we are all in this together when the chips are really down.
There is a ton of research that shows that people fear pain more than they enjoy reward. Put another way, they will work harder to avoid potential loss than they will to achieve potential gain.
So how can we use this information to improve our performance as salespeople?
A couple of things come to mind.Read more
I do a lot of individual sales coaching. Every client is different and has different goals and needs, but the number one challenge I run into almost every time is time management.
A salesperson starts out the week with a plan, but it quickly deteriorates into a mish mash of new business development, old business follow ups, administration, and . . . let’s be honest . . . screwing around with all sorts of distractions that come up.
When I hold them accountable for the time they actually spend on what I like to call “Pure Production,” it is shockingly low. Then, they wonder why their performance has flat lined.
There is only one path out of this quicksand and into the clear, and that is to set up our top priorities for the week and then commit to nailing them no matter what else comes up.
I like to imagine a life and death scenario – either I fulfill this commitment or I will die.
I know that sounds dramatic but it is not that far from the truth. As salespeople we have to sell to live, to feed our families, to send our kids through college. All the rest of the stuff we are doing with our business day is an excuse for not actually producing for ourselves and our families.
I like to take an hour or so on Sunday night and map out my week. I name:
- My top priorities
- The calls I am going to make
- The people I am going to contact
- The outcomes I am looking for
That is my gold standard for the week. I then march through those priorities like Patton’s Fifth Army through Germany. Total focus! No excuses!
When I do this, I ALWAYS have a very productive week. When I don’t . . . when I get distracted and start to slop around . . . I inevitably wind up right where I started, and that is the definition of insanity.
There is a highly respected consultant who demands that his clients start out the week by making fifty calls to prospects and clients on Monday mornings before doing anything else. 50! Now that is a lot, but his point is, watch what happens to your business when you make fifty calls every week before you do ANYTHING else. Of course, it depends upon your business but you get the idea.
Get at those top priorities first. Trust me . . . you will find time for all that other stuff later.
People often ask me, of all the different tips and advice I have written and spoken about over the years, do I have a favorite that stands out above all the others?
Of course, communication and selling through relationships are complex topics and a lot of things need to come together for success therein, but I do have an answer that, if we do this over and over through the course of our selling and personal lifetimes, will generate an astonishing bank account of goodwill and benefits.
Each time you encounter someone, when you finish the encounter, step back and ask yourself the following question:Read more
Most of us have experienced the humor of Monty Python over the years via their movies and TV shows. I am a big fan, so when I saw that one of the group’s preeminent members, John Cleese, was coming to town for a one man show, I jumped on the opportunity. I am glad I did, because he reminded me of some very important lessons on presenting and selling.
The stage was empty except for a stool. The lights dimmed, a voice announced Cleese and he walked out to the center of the stage. He let the applause die down and then he said . . .Read more
We are going to take the rest of December to refresh. But first, we’d like to take the opportunity to thank each of you for your support of our mission . . . providing insight and information to the most dynamic and interesting set of people in the business world . . . salespeople.
I make this next statement with complete conviction and sincerity.
Salespeople are the last pure capitalists. You wake up each morning unemployed and you have to get up, put the helmet on and produce. Nobody “gives” salespeople anything. You are lean and mean. You live by your wits and you eat what you kill. You are the tigers of the business rainforest.
I know that some who read this blog may not be strictly salespeople, you may be managers or professionals who also pursue a craft beyond selling, but you read our blog because you know that, at some level, we must all sell our ideas, and that we must all sell ourselves, in order to accomplish our objectives. To you I say, “Congratulations,” because you have decided to rise above your less ambitious peers, and your less energetic competitors, to enter that most rare of all realms, the realm of “rainmaker.”
To me, the selling life is the greatest life in the world. It combines curiosity with problem solving, human interaction with personal passion. It generates competitive fire and the ultimate sense of fulfillment when a transaction is achieved and each party is delighted with the result.
And sales, at its best, provides us with a daily opportunity to help people, to lift their spirits, to generate fellowship and build lifelong relationships.
So, remember, you are a very, very important person. The very life of your company depends upon how you and your fellow salespeople perform. Would you have it any other way?
We want to wish each of you a great holiday season and a healthy and happy 2020!