Eleven Cardinal Sins of a Sales Representative.

Eleven Cardinal Sins of a Sales Representative.

If you are in sales or wonder why your sales are suffering, ask yourself if you are hurting yourself by:

  1. Being desperate. If you are desperate, do not let the prospect see it. It will chase them away faster that junk yard dog.
  2. Being artificial. People are looking for authenticity in their relationships, especially a sales relationship. People want to know you can be trusted.  You do not want your prospects thinking of you as Jerry Springer.
  3. Being unprepared. There is no excuse for not being prepared. With the internet you can find most everything you need to know before the sales call. You can bet the prospect did his homework on you. You are not John Wayne. Don’t try to wing it.
  4. Not planning your sales call. Walking into meeting without an agenda is inexcusable. I was in a meeting where the sales rep did not have an agenda and he did not confirm what he thought was the agenda, and the prospect was not happy.
  5. Being late. Most prospects take being last as a sign of disrespect: of his time. This is a great way to start off on the wrong foot.
  6. Taking longer than you said. If you asked for 30 minutes don’t take a minute longer. Ask for permission to continue if you must or schedule a second meeting.
  7. Not focusing on solving the problem. Most business owners are busy and they do not care to create a relationship with you unless they have a reason. Talking about your hunting trip may be fun for you but your prospect is not particularly interested. Focus on him and his problem.
  8. Talking too much. If you are talking you cannot be listening to the prospect and his problems. A great sales rep is an excellent listener. They listen with purpose: to understand.   Watch Dr. Phil if you want to see how it is done.
  9. Being a liar. Be honest. If you cannot help them tell them. They will respect that and listen the next time you request a meeting. Jim Carey you’re not (I hope)!
  10. Being a liar again. Don’t lie and tell them your product does something it can’t. It takes a short time to destroy your reputation you took a life time to build.
  11. Not be respectful. Do what you say you will do when you say you will do it. Many times a prospect needs something from you to do his work. Deliver what you said you would when you said you would do it.

 

Need help with growing sales, increasing revenues and shortening the sales process? Give me a call for a free not obligation discussion of your most pressing sales issues.

 

Ron Finklestein
Business Growth Experience
www.aboutbusinesssuccess.com

330-990-0788 / ron@businessgrowthexperience.com

 

A Year in Review for a Great 2012 A Year in Review for a Great 2012

I am a co-host on Small Business Talk radio with Dale Stefancic. Dale wrote an article for a local newspaper that I wanted to share. It does a great job of helping you get ready to have a great year. If you would like to contact Dale, you can reach him at dale@dalestefancic.com. We invite you to listen to our radio program at welw.com, Be sure to press the listen now button. We are on air every Wednesday from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM EST.

A Year in Review for a Great 2012

 

For many small business owners 2011 was more of a game of survival. Many challenges still face us and the economy as we try to press forward and identify opportunity and how we can take full advantage of it.

We discussed many items and topics this past year in my effort to try and make you better in your business and create some awareness of what needs to be accomplished to move forward and be more profitable.

So what I wanted to do being the end of 2011 and as we think and decide what 2012 may bring is a review that I hope renews some fresh ideas and thinking of how to win the challenges ahead of all of us.

LEADERSHIP:

People identify with leaders. They are well respected and have a strong voice with accomplishments in their field of expertise. As a business owner, you must constantly strive to be the leader in what you do. Some of the points of leadership to keep in mind are:  Leaders should know and understand that people are the core building blocks of their team and/or organization.  To be an effective leader, you need to understand the core building block of your people and their respective values.  Leadership begins from within.  Identify core roles, prioritize them and plan on development and then acting on them.  Any relationship begins with you.  Leadership begins with you.  To be effective, it is dependent on your ability to communicate effectively.

 

NETWORKING:

 

This is a great time of the year. The holidays are here and the thoughts of 2012 and what we might expect in the new year with business.

Many of us will be at social and business events meeting  many new people as well as many friends.

For these reasons the topic of networking is very timely.

Today  if you are networking correctly, it’s more than meet and greet with an exchange of business cards and contact information.

You have to network with the intent of turning contacts into connections and eventually business allies or customers.

As you attend your events you need to have a specific game plan in mind.

Make your connections, and then build relationships with these individuals.

The relationships can range from identifying some of the needs of your business or relationships that will bring more business to your company.

The key here is to develop your network with great people and cement those relationships to be a resource for you.

You cannot do it alone. All great businesses have very successful networks in place.

Also keep in mind the relationship is a two way street. Don’t just talk or think about what’s in it for you but lead with a value proposition that will make the person you are connecting with have a reason to develop the relationship further.

Over deliver and your investments of time, money and energy will be repaid ten fold.

TIME AND PRODUCTIVITY:

Time relates to productivity more than you might realize. Time can be as big a loss of profits for your company as almost anything else. When you better manage time you will be more productive. When you are more productive you will make more profit.

Here are some SMART things to think about. S.M.A.R.T. being an acronym for:

S- SPECIFIC- Being as specific as you can with bringing the reality in site of your goal.

M-MEASURABLE- You must be able to measure your results.  You can only measure your results if you are tracking all your activity that pertains to your business.

A-ATTAINABLE- Is your goal one that is reachable and in the time that you have allotted?

R-RELEVANT- Is the goal relevant to the purpose of your business or

your  personal life?  Is the goal you set bringing you closer to that purpose?

T-TIME SENSITIVE- Does your goal have a deadline?  With a deadline in front of you, your mind realizes it has to accomplish certain tasks within a certain time.

So to be productive, be S.M.A.R.T.

I think as business owners, we all realize what it takes as well as what we need to do.  But, how we measure, track and evaluate the activities we do, will help in becoming better, more profitable and leaves  us with more time to do the things we enjoy.

 

SELLING:

We may not like it but we have to constantly adjust and adapt to the process and fully understand the needs of the market and the consumer. Here are some points to keep in your selling mindset.  First, people in your target market will first buy you. Also making sure you know your market and the needs and what your market is looking for will be key in this step.

If your prospect has not bought into you, I doubt if you have any shot at a sale even if you are the cheapest price in town.

I’m sure you have heard the phrase that attitude is everything, well if you are in sales, it’s a really big key to your success in sales.

People will pay more for an agreeable, enjoyable experience with a great product than just one based on it’s the cheapest.

The individual that combines a great product with a great attitude can be unstoppable.

Today, many  companies are basing lost sales because of price. Granted some people do just shop price, but in most categories on products and services, price is only a factor in 14%-20% statistically.

Secondly, you need to think more in line with the buyer’s thinking. While your buyer may be objecting to price, here’s what is swimming around in his or her mind.

1.)Is there a better product? 2.) Is the proposal right? 3.) Will this really solve my problems? 4.) Will we use it? 5.) What will others think if I buy this? 6.) Will the company really service me and honor the guarantee?

With this partial list of objections, you need to be going through your prospects thought process and be prepared to present in a more thorough manner making the buying decision safe for you prospects instead of just driving the price factor home.

Too many businesses today are leading there marketing and advertising campaigns with price and not with value, experience, quality, strong guarantee’s and taking the risk out of the buying process.

Many times the sales person is just not totally prepared or has not taken the time to identify the needs of the prospect, as well as what the prospect is truly looking for.

Today as consumers become more savvy and aren’t as willing just to throw their money around without thinking about after the sale, don’t be afraid to lead with the value, expertise, quality and guarantee of what you are selling.

Communicate to your buyer that your service after the sale will be unmatched as you take the risk out of the purchase and make buying a pleasure for your prospect.

If you are leading with price and doing comparisons, good luck. Trying to be successful on the cheapest price is a tough place to live in.

 

Thirdly, sales for the most part always has the numbers factor.  You can make the numbers work in your favor.

With the correct and precise market analysis, knowing the needs and wants of your market, and taking massive action, you can make the numbers work more in your favor.

In sales, massive action is one surefire way to increase your response and success rate. Take enough action and you will achieve more.

Fourth, know where your prospects are in the sales funnel. Deliver your commitments on time and over deliver. Your prospects may be evaluating you every step of the way. Make sure you have addressed all their needs and have provided the best solution.

Fifth, don’t be afraid and come out and ask for the sale. Lead your prospect with a series of yes answers to what you have delivered in the sales presentation that makes good sense for the prospect to buy.

Enhancing Your Life so You Can Enhance the Live of Others

Ron Finklestein
www.businessgrowthexperience.com
www.akris.net
330-990-0788
ron@akris.net

 

Can you be Successful at Sales?

Anyone can be successful at sales provided you have the right behaviors and mind-set.

In 2003, Tim Connor published a book called Soft Selling.   In it, he compared how poor salespeople and successful salespeople managed their selling time differently.   He allocated the salesperson’s time into six major categories:

·   Prospecting

·   Sales Presentation

·   Service

·   Administration

·   Travel

·   Self-Improvement

 

He found that when it came to time management, poor salespeople allocated their time as follows:

·   10% on prospecting,

·   23% on sales presentation,

·   15% on service to others,

·   30% on administration,

·   20% on travel,

·   and a meager 2% on self-improvement.

 

These numbers are stunning at first glance if you believe and take Connor’s numbers seriously.

Note that only 10% of a salesperson’s time was being spent on prospecting and a whopping 30% of their time was being spent on administrative duties.    In other words, the salespeople who failed were spending more time managing their paperwork and administrative duties than managing or growing their sales pipeline.

 

10% of a poor salesperson’s time was being spent on prospecting.  It’s no wonder their sales were falling short of their expectations and their sales pipeline remained empty. They were spending more time on paperwork and presentations when they should have been out looking for new suspects to qualify. Contrast these numbers with how well successful people managed their time when it came to selling.  Connor found that good salespeople spent their time as follows:

·   45% on prospecting for new business,

·   10% on their sales presentation,

·   20% on service to others,

·   5% on administration,

·   10% on travel,

·   And 10% on self-improvement.

If you want to learn how to get better at sales and be seen as a partner to your customers check out Collaborative Selling. To learn more go to www.akris.net 

 

Sincerely,

Ron Finklestein
Business Growth Facilitator
www.businessgrowthexperience.com  

 

 

Why Relationship Skills Matter

Why Relationship Skills Matter.

We all belong to the human race. It is a simple sentence and a statement of fact. There are many assumptions made in that statement. One of the primary assumptions is we belong to the human race. Because of our membership in this august society, we know how to build safe, effective, successful and lasting personal and business relationships that allow all parties involved to grow, prosper and get results.

I am not sure this is a valid assumption.

Why? Though we have much in common, many of us have not been taught know how to build rapport, connect with others, understand the best way to support others and know how to ask them to support us. This is evident by the divorce rate; as many as 50% of marriages end in a divorce (Source divorcerate.org.) What is interesting to me is that the divorce rate drops the older we get. For example the divorce rate is 38.8% for American males age 20-24 versus 6.5% for American males age 35-39. It would seem the old men get the more they understand relationship strategies.

The question is how can we shorten that learning curve?

In business, according to Grant Thornton, 97% of all business owners want to strengthen the customer relationship.

SCORE suggests that 64% of all small businesses fail because they do not know how nor do they understand the value of marketing. Marketing is nothing more than a process through which companies build strong customer relationships. Can you imagine how simple life can become when you understand this and implement relationship strategies in your business?

I could go on but you get my drift.

To address this problem, I teamed up with Dr. Tony Alessandra, one of the world’s foremost relationships strategies experts, to create a web site that teaches you how to build safe, effective, successful and lasting personal and business relationships. The web site is called People Smarts. In this site we address relationship strategy issues, presentations skills, collaborative selling skills, marketing, personal growth and development, how to treat people the way they want to be treated and a host of other important and powerful topics that, when applied, will help you create more effective relationships to get the results you want and need. The site contains a full array of videos, eBooks, PDFs and MP3 to support you in your personal, sales, business and leadership development needs.

We invite you to explore and try out this site. In lesson one (which you have access) you will learn the different between the Golden Rule vs. Platinum Rule and experience the overview of all functions of relationship strategies. In addition, you will receive an introduction of the two dimensions of behavior. In this lesson, you will be presented with a very simple model that has been validated with hundreds of thousands of people.  It is a powerful guide you can use to improve communication and morale, build better work groups, and develop better relationships with co-workers, supervisors, customers, vendors and others.

I invite you to give People Smarts a try. To learn more go to www.akris.net. If you have questions please feel free to call Ron Finklestein at 330-990-0788 or email him at ron@akris.net. This powerful tool can also be used in you place of business for all your employees. If you would like more details about this opportunity ask Ron and he will provide the details.

Ron Finklestein

www.peoplesmarts.ws
admin@peoplesmarts.ws

330-990-0788

How do we communicate our message?

How do we communicate our message?
Most people think it is through the spoken word. That is partly true. There are three components to effective communication. The words we use only account for 7 % of any message. For an effective communication to take place, of course, we need all three parts of the message and they must be congruent and consistent with each other. If there isn’t any congruency, the receiver will be confused and will have a tendency to accept the predominant form of communication rather than the literal meaning or words.
The second part of the message where meaning is implied is the emphasis and tone of our voice. This is 36% of the meaning of our communications. The emphasis and tone have the power to completely change the message that is being communicated. Often, you will say something to a person and they may become offended. When you express that the words you used were intended to be inoffensive, the other person will tell you that it was your tone of voice that was the issue.
The last component of our message is our body language. A whopping 57% of the meaning is convey through body language. You can dramatically increase the effect of your communication by leaning toward the speaker or shifting your weight forward onto the balls of your feet. If you can face the person directly and give them direct eye contact, combined with fully focused attention, you double the impact of what you’re saying.
If you want to learn more about effective communication please check out http://www.akris.net. Here we teach effective communication strategies to help you build better relationships, increase sales, become better leaders and help you grow personally and professionally.
To Creating Better Relationships
Ron Finklestein,
330-990-0788
ron@businessgrowthexperience

Making the Most of Your Networking Time

Making the Most of Your Networking Time.

I was facilitating a Business Growth Experience group today and we were discussing the value (or lack of) different networking events.

Assuming the networking event is the right networking event for you, here is how you can make the most of any networking event you attend:

  1. Treat it as a job. Be serious. You are not there to eat or drink, you are there to meet people.
  2. Set a goal for the event. How many A contacts do you want to meet?
  3. When you receive someone’s business card determine if and when a follow-up is required. I do this by writing a A, B, or C on the back of the card. A means immediate follow-up for immediate opportunity, B means follow in the next few days, possible opportunity, and C means I send them a “nice to meet you” email and file the card.
  4. After you meet your goal, eat, drink and be merry.
  5. Next day do your follow-up.

Ron Finklestein
Business Growth Facilitator
Need high quality, low-cost business training? If so check out http://www.aboutbusinesssuccess.com.

 

The Speed of Trust

I received this from a friend of mine, Brian Doud. I thought it interesting. Pay close attention to Stephen Covey as he discusses the Speed of Trust and how quickly things get done when trust exists.

Chris: You talk a lot about the speed of trust. Can you explain, a little bit more in detail, what you mean by that?

Stephen (Covey) Well, here’s an illustration. Warren Buffett, who’s the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, always writes a management letter every year with his annual report and his management letters are studied widely in business schools and elsewhere in the country and
around the world. A year ago, in his management letter, he talked about the big acquisition that his company, Berkshire Hathaway, did of a $23 billion company that they bought from Wal-Mart. This company was McLane Distribution Company, $23 billion in revenue.

Now, Berkshire Hathaway is public. Wal-Mart is public. So these are two public companies. They have all the requirements of the public marketplace; all the scrutiny, et cetera. But to make this deal happen, it took place in a total of a two-hour meeting, and then 29 days later, Wal-Mart had their money from Berkshire Hathaway for a $23 billion transaction. Berkshire Hathaway did no due diligence, and Warren Buffett said, “I trusted Wal-Mart, I trusted the people I worked with. I knew everything would be in exactly the order that they said it would be, and it was.” He said, “We did no due diligence,” and in 29 days they did this deal.

In most mergers of this size, we’re talking several months, if not six, eight, ten, twelve months to close a deal like this, with armies and teams of accountants, CPAs, attorneys, et cetera, that come in and do all kinds of due diligence to verify, to validate, and it takes a lot of cost and it takes a lot of time. But the idea of the speed of trust is literally, both speed in terms of actual time that you can do things in, and also speed as a metaphor, to mean benefits, results, dividends that are abundant; and the fruits of high trust and the speed at which you can move are close to miraculous.”

What are you doing to create trust with the people you work with?

 

Ron Finklestein
Business Training at a great price: Http://www.aboutbusinesssuccess.com  

Are You a Leader?

A good friend of mine wrote this article for a local magazine. The article received great reviews and because of that I ask him if I could post it here. The author’s name is Dale Stefancic.  To find out more about Dale, email him at dale@dalestefancic.com or visit www.EntrepreneursOnCall.com

LEADERSHIP

 

Leadership is a powerful word.  With it, there is an amazing amount of responsibility,  should you decide to assume the role of a Leader.  Often the question of are leaders born or are they made is frequently debated.  I believe both situations exist;  just as someone is born with a gift to be an artist, pro athlete, talented musician, actor or actress.  You can be born with the gifts to be a leader.  Can you become a leader?  I believe you can.

Leadership is reserved for those individuals that have vision, passion, compassion, drive, desire and unending will to attend to a higher level.  It may be as simple as having the leadership for your family.  To have them take the safe path, keeping them out of harms way, demonstrating through actions the correct and best way to get things accomplished.  Leadership is not attained by a title such as supervisor or business owner.

Leadership is a constant demonstration of one’s ability to lead through action with passion and purpose to illustrate the intended result.

While working in the business world, I have seen too many times  management just delegate responsibility or tasks without knowing first hand what it takes for the desired outcome  they look for.

Leaders are respected and listened to because they have demonstrated time and time again they have done what it takes to overcome and are willing to demonstrate to others through action and gain the respect needed to be valued and listened to.

The majority of leaders should know and understand that people are the core building blocks of their team and/or organization.  To be an effective leader, you need to understand the core building block of your people and their respective values.

Many organizations just look at their people in a professional capacity. This short sighting will miss the mark.  To ensure your leadership fits and attracts the right people, doing the right things take into account all the roles each person comes to work with, within and outside their team or organization.  You may have to address their personal roles outside of work such as parent, little league coach or volunteer.

Many times a person’s role shows up at work.  A leader is no different and you must understand and be aware of it.  The right leader will identify their own growth and development and prioritize them.

Keep in mind, you get the people you deserve.  It is our decision.  For you to attract and lead better people, you need to become the leader that those people need and deserve.  That means you first need to invest in yourself.  Keep improving one of your strengths and make your weaknesses strong.

Leadership begins from within.  Identify core roles, prioritize them and plan on development and then acting on them.  Any relationship begins with you.  Leadership begins with you.  To be effective, it is dependent on your ability to communicate well.

All communication begins with a thought before it is translated into words and messages. How many of us have allowed ourselves to speak first and think later?  What was the result?  In many circumstances, it created some unwelcome ripples in our life and in our leadership.  With sound leadership, our internal and external communication must be open, honest, clear and timely and at times radical.    When our thoughts line up with our words, our actions will follow in alignment.  You are congruent.  You walk the talk.  When you do that, people do what people see.

Be creditable.  This is who you are.  A creditable leader has quality of relationships and has earned the right to lead, versus it being a granted position.  Leaders are authentic, trustworthy, and compelling.

Be competent in what you do.  Leaders are expected to get it correct, which means problems need a proactive approach.  Usually problems will stem from three areas-people, strategy and execution. Your problem will most likely always fall into one of the three categories.  Identify which one and solve it.

Lastly, I want to mention consequences.  How do you do things and what was the consequence of your action?  How did you make your decision?  How did you choose to communicate your decisions and what was the impact on others?

Decide if you are a leader or if you need to work on yourself in some capacity to become a leader!

Dale Stefancic

 

To Your Success,

Ron Finklestein
330-990-0788

www.aboutbusinesssuccess.com

Aboutbusinesssuccess.com is a web site devoted to your personal and business growth. It contains marketing articles, personal growth videos and relationship building strategies.