Sales Tip 11 – Hey, What’s up

Hey, what’s up?

Someone who bills themselves as a social media & LinkedIn expert (her words not mine) asked to connect with me on LinkedIn. I accepted this request.

The email I received from her had only this question, “Hey, what’s up?”

Maybe I am showing my age but I have no clue how to answer this question. Is she asking about work, my family, what I am doing right now, what I do, or who I do it with? It left me feeling confused and wondering if she thought she was on Facebook (I perceived Facebook communication to more informal.)

I replied, “I do not know how to answer this question,” trying to gain some clarity in what she was asking.

I get the reply, “what do you do?” This made we wonder if she read my profile since it clearly states I help companies grow sales and increase revenues. I replied, “I help companies grow sales and increase revenues with sales training, coaching and consulting.”

Her reply, “do you have a web site?” Again, if she read my profile she would know that. I replied, “I have several of them.”

This whole process could have been shortened if she did a little homework (such as read my LinkedIn profile.)

If you want to engage me in a dialog please be clear. Tell me what you do and why I need your service. Don’t send me an email and ask “what’s up?” I do not know you. Tell me why I should invest in a relationship with you.

If you think you can help tell me why. You could say something like, “I looked at your web site and here is where we can help.” Please specify which site you are referring to as I have several. If you do not mention the site I will assume you did not look or you would be specific. This is important because this is where the sales process begins.

Finally, don’t make me work at understanding what you do or why I should care. If you don’t know your business well enough to answer that question, get some help. Especially if you are selling social media marketing services. If you can’t market yourself how would I expect you to market my services?

We are all busy people and we want and need help that will take up closer to our goals. I think we appreciate being approached with a meaningful well thought out message.

LinkedIn is a powerful marketing tool. Use it with the respect and responsibility the members deserve.

With that being said, I invite you to go to <a href=”http://www.businessgrowthexperience.com”>www.businessgrowthexperience.com</a> and download my free report on the Six Questions Prospects want Answered BEFORE They Buy. It will help you answer my questions above.

If you would like a free sale assessment please fill out the form below:

Ron Finklestein

330-990-0788
ron@businessgrowthexperience.com

Sales Tip # 10 – Perception is Reality

Perception is Reality!

In this short video (57 seconds),  you will see the impact perception has on another person’s reality. If you are dressing, speaking, or doing things that are not congruent with other’s expectations of you (in your job), you can be perceived at not trustworthy and loose opportunities.

Leave me a comment if you have experienced this problem. Share your experience below.

Sales Tip # 9 – Stop Thinking

Sales Tip # 9 – Stop Thinking

Stop Thinking

Just stop thinking.

You did the analytics. You did the risk analysis. You know what can go wrong. You know you need to take action but you can’t stop thinking about what can go wrong, about what you may have missed.

You know you need to make that cold call but all you can focus on is the rejection. You cannot stop thinking about all the ways someone can reject you.

You want to call your accountant (financial advisor, friend, business associate) and ask for the referral. You can’t stop thinking about how asking makes you feel weak or what they might think of you for asking.

I could go on but you get the message.

There are things we want to do, we have to do, to get the results we want. Yet we don’t take action. We are afraid. We are afraid of what others might think, what they might do, or a whole host of others fears that are unlikely to happen.

Stop thinking and just do!

When I think about doing cold call I starting thinking of every reason someone won’t talk to me and I make every excuse to not pick up the phone. When I stop thinking about calling and just do it I have no problem picking up the phone.

When you see that beautiful girl, don’t think about it – just ask her out.

When you go to a networking event, don’t think about it – just introduce yourself to someone and find out how easy it is.

Here are some thoughts and beliefs I use to help and you might find them useful:

  1. If I am uncomfortable about something I assume there is a special gift on the other side so I just do it. Be reasonable. I am not talking about jumping out of a plane without a parachute.
  2. If I feel this way others do too. I am not alone. Others have overcome their fears and I can overcome mine.
  3. I surround myself with others who support reasonable risk taking.
  4. I ask for feedback and question the reason for the fear with my coach and advisor.
  5. I try to do something daily that makes me uncomfortable. I take action and when I am successful I wonder what it was that I was afraid of.
  6. I look for reasons it can and will work.

I was recently at a networking event and I received a great testimonial from one of my clients. Shortly thereafter I received a call from a business associate who wanted to know how much it was to join my program. I did not answer the question. Since I know him I asked him this question: You like to think. If you are willing to stop thinking and take action you will do well in my program. Are you willing to stop thinking?

His response was, “That will be hard for me.”

I love his honesty. He is joining and he knows what he has to do.

Can you be that honest?

Stop thinking and answer the question! No excuses!

To your success,

Ron Finklestein
Contact me now for your free sales assessment: ron@businessgrowthexperience.com
330-990-0788

 

 

Sale Tip # 8 – Why are you different?

Sale Tip # 8 – Why are you different?

I received a call from my nephew and he asked me this question, “Why are you different?” What is was really asking is, “Why are you different from your brother?”

As I answered the question I realized he was asking a fundamental question about sales and marketing as well.

Each prospect wants to know, “Why are you different than your competitors?” and “Why is that difference important to me?”

Why are you “different” than your competitors?

Most people talk about how good they are and they do not tell the prospect why this is important.

For example, I am a sale trainer and coach. People ask me how I am different than my competitors. I explain to them how everything we do is research based, market tested and results oriented. I then ask them if they want to work with someone who read the book or the person who wrote the book (since I have written six books.) Having written six books on business growth is a powerful differentiator. All my material is in the public domain allowing them to check it out to see if it resonates with them. It also allows them to explore my depth of knowledge.

This makes is easy for the prospect to understand my uniqueness in helping him solve his sales issues.
The next part is just as important because here is what they really want to know: Why is your differentiator important to me?
They are really asking if you will create more value, make them more money, save them money, save them time, make them more productive, make them money or reduce their risk. That is what most business owners want. Can you position your product or service in a way the prospect can understand and act upon?

Let me give you an example.

We help companies (what we do) increase revenues, grow sales and shorten the sales process (why it is important) putting you back in control of the revenue generation portion of your business. (We are different) than our competitors because our program is research based (our books), market tested (proven by existing clients) and results oriented (grow revenues/increase sales) and what we teach will not only help you grow sales and you will use it to improve nearly every type of relationship you are involved in.
We need to stop marking our prospects think so hard about what we do and why that is important to them. In a book called Achieving Sales Excellence the author researched 8,000 business owners and the owners said the most important part of the sales process (39%) is the ability of the sales rep to effectively communicate the impact your product or service will have on the company and help move the prospect through the sales process.

How successful you are in sales is dependent on many things but these are important:
1. How effective you are in communicating your value in a way the prospect understands
2. How effective you are in helping the prospect through the buying process
3. How easy you make it for the prospect to understand why your unique value proposition is important to them.

Be sure to check out the other sales tips at http://www.ronfinklestein.com

To Your Success!
Ron Finklestein
330-990-0788

 

 

Sales Tip # 7 – Be Honest!

Sales Tip # 7 – Be Honest!

People need to trust you before they buy from you.

I am planning a big event for September and I was shopping hotels ball room. I found one I like and the price was right and I asked them to give me a formal proposal.

I was floored when I saw the document and was more than flummoxed when I heard their response.

EVERYTHING was 30% higher than what they told me!

The projection screen – a 22% service charge – for pressing a button to lower the screen.

The room – a 22% service charge – not sure for what. I was already quoted a substantial room fee. Was this 22% to turn on the lights?

The food, already 20% higher than the competition – a 22% service charge. Was the 22% to carry it from the kitchen to the room?

I could go on. The 22% service charges was on everything. Why didn’t they give me a price and add 22% to the total price? Why not address it up front?

The other 8% was taxes. I get that. But telling me one price and then delivering a quote 22% higher. Naturally I looked at everything closely because I did not feel they were honest.

Was this good business? Must have been for them since they felt they could do this.

When I asked about this they simply said (my perception) take it or leave it. In addition to the 22%, they were arrogant in how they handled it. I walked away feeling lied to and mistreated.

I felt ES (their initials) was not honest, less than ethical and not forthright.

If marking everything up 22% is an industry standard – they should have told me. It this markup is standard, why not include it in the price? Why spring it on me as an afterthought?

I am a big boy. If I don’t like a prices I will go elsewhere. But why try to hide it? Did they think I would not notice a 30% difference in price?

The only thing we have is our reputation. It we soil our reputation, this damage can stay with us for years.

I should really thank ES for this learning opportunity. I need a topic to write about this week. Thanks ES for providing it.

Be honest. It is far easier than dealing with the consequences of lying.

Ron Finklestein

ron@akris.net

ps. Check out my new site Make a Difference (I call is MAD for short) and learn how to make a difference selling, in leadership and personal development.

Sales Tip # 6 – Are you Likeable?

Sales Tip # 6 – Are you Likeable?

We all know people buy from others they know, like and trust.

If that is true, and I believe it is – are you likeable?

If you are likeable what do you do to be likeable?

Recently, I was meeting with a seasoned business pro. It was our first meeting. He was semi-retired and we were talking how his assessments would help his clients make great hiring decisions. He wanted to see if I was someone he could introduce to others when the need for sales training was identified. We had a very good discussion. I listened as ho told me about his assessment and the positive impact they have when used.

When the time came he asked me how he could help me.

I pulled out my one page document that outlines what problems we solve and who we want to meet and showed it to him. He pushed it back and said, “It is too detailed.”

I pushed it back and said, “I get a lot of business using this document!”

He said, “It is not the document that gets you business.”

Trying to be open-minded I asked, “Why do I get the business?”

He only said “you’re likeable.”

I paused – what do you say to that?

We finished our meeting and on the way home I asked myself, ‘what did I do to be likable?”

I listened. I was interested. I asked questions for clarity. I really wanted to learn what he did.

I was not satisfied with what I was thinking.

I decided to ask a group of well-respected and accomplished business associates how one is “liked” – from their perspective. They are from all walks of life, of different ages (24 – 61) and they all sell into different markets. They included Mike Lemmeyer (home improvement) from K Guard, Tim Plonski (Financial Services) from JK Investments, Dave Kuhner (Marketing) from Team Kuhner, Bob Powers (Financial Services) from Primerica, Paul Stefunek (Retained Search) from Paul Lawrence & Associates and Ron Finklestein (Sales Training/Consulting) from Business Growth Experience.

After a very interesting discussion here is what we came up with:

  1. Smile – Smiling indicates a high-level of trustworthiness.
  2. Listen – Don’t listen to prepare for the next thing you are planning to say but listening to understand.
  3. Eye contact – Making eye contact indicates you are present in the discussion.
  4. Look the part – You must dress as one in your industry would dress. For example, plumber in a tuxedo would raise a red flag whereas a plumber dressed a plumber makes sense.
  5. Communicate effectively – Don’t make others guess at the meaning you are trying to communicate.

It seems so simply and I understand how difficult it is to be effective in all five areas. Please let me know your thought and the actions you take to be likeable so others may learn.

To your likeability,

Ron Finklestein
If you like this article, check out my newest website: Make a Difference. Here we focus on growing sales, leadership and personal development.

 

 

 

Sales Tip # 5 – Don’t be Stupid

Sales Tip # 5  – Don’t be stupid!

Sometimes in our haste we do something stupid.

I received this email, “If you are still in business call me?” That was all there was to the email (I withheld the signature and company name – I will tell you he sold merchant services.)

No greeting.

No first name or introduction.

He did not tell what problem he was trying to solve for me. Was he trying to help me grow sales, increase revenues or reduce my expenses?

He did not tell me who he was or what he did.

No – this is how we can help you – just “are you still in business?”

Was he lazy or just stupid? I really don’t know but the impression he made was less than stellar.

If he wanted to talk to me why didn’t he ask me for a good time to call or the best phone number to reach me or ask me if I to talk to him?

My opinion of this email is that it was the most arrogant email I have ever received.

I, like most business owners, work hard. We have bills to pay, our family to feed and house payments to make. AM I STILL IN BUSINESS???? He did not research on me or my company. He had no idea of the industry I was in or if I even needed his services.

Do you think I called him back? NO!

Do you think I responded in any way? NO! (I did respond to tell him that his email as arrogant.)

Did I think he was either desperate or lazy? YES!

Did I think he had my best interest in mind? NO!

Sometimes we get careless or forgetful of proper email protocol. Sometimes we take shortcuts. Mistakes happen. I get that. But…

In today’s world of social media I could put his name and company name all over the internet as an example of what not to do. Instead I write a blog post.

We need to slow down and remember that sales is about the relationship (as short as it may be.) Basic courtesy is still necessary: Respect is still necessary and people skills are important. When the relationship is there people will buy-it all starts with respect.

When doing email marketing keep it short and to the point. Create an eye-catching subject line. Tell me what you want and WHY I SHOULD TALK TO YOU! Get me a link to learn more if I am interested.

It is about staying focused on the end results. There is only four things business owners like me want from you when you market to me: 1. How to increase revenues. 2. How to reduce expenses. 3. How to increase my productivity. 4. How to add more value to my clients. If your email does not address at least one of those issues – save time and do not sent the email.

To Your Success,

Ron Finklestein
330-990-0788
ron@ronfinklestein.com
p.s. We are launching a new web site that provide high quality training and a very low price. Check it out. WWW.MADPPV.com. We focus on sales growth, personal growth and leadership on this web site. BTW, MAD means Makie a Difference.

Tip # 4 to Grow Sales – Buy on Price – Buy Twice

Buy on price – pay twice!

Many years ago, while I was remodeling a house, I needed a specific tool to finish the job. It was a fairly expensive tool, $99 on the low-end up to $400 at the top end. Naturally I chose the $99 tool and finished the job.

After several uses I realized I purchased the wrong tool – it didn’t do everything I needed it to do. I bought the tool because of the price. Since then I have spent a lot more time and money trying to use the tool for things it was not designed to be used for and decided to buy a higher quality tool more suited to my needs. I purchased the second time, not on price, but on value.

I bought on price and I paid twice.

How do you help your prospect buy your value and not your price?

It starts with a well-defined sales process. Each step in the process is designed to add value to the prospect. Here is the process I use:
1. Rapport strategy
2. Define problem
3. Explore impact of the problems
4. Collaborate with the prospect and jointly create the solution
5. Get the order
6. Ask for a referral
7. Conduct a review of the call to determine what worked and what did not work and make the necessary changes

The rapport strategy is designed to help them like and trust you.

Defining the problem helps you understand the symptoms and cause of the problem.

The exploring step help both you and the prospect understand the impact of the problem and what happens if the prospect does nothing.

The collaboration step allow both you and the prospect to build the solution together. It is very hard for the prospect to reject a solution they helped build.

The outcome of a well-designed process is the order, concerns, or a “no.” It is a natural outcome of the process. Each can be dealt with since each party now knows the issues.

After the order is signed the next step is to ask for a referral. The more specific you can be the better the opportunity to get the referral.
Finally, review the sales transaction and change what did not work and continue doing what did work.

Sales is not an art, sales is a process. When the sales process is both well designed and executed even people who do not perceive themselves as sales representatives can do quite well at sales.

DefinitiveSalesFinal032513You can learn more from our book, The Definitive Sales Play Book: How to Grow Sales and Create Lifetime Customers – available at Amazon.com

Ron Finklestein

330-990-0788

Email me at ron@businessgrowthexperience.com to schedule your free assessment sales assessments.

How to Grow Sales – Tip # 3 – Will they pay for a sales call?

Sales is changing and will continue to change for the foreseeable future.

It has swung back to personal relationships – if the prospect has a reason to meet with you.

All prospects have access to all the information they need on the Internet. If your business is being commoditized they have no reason to meet with you. Just submit your proposal through the web portal or email it to the primary contact. There are no assurances it will be read.

If you add value they will not only want to see you but they will pay for your advice.

So how do you add value?

You add value through your experience.

You add value through your knowledge.

You add value through your contacts.

You add value through your relationships.

Sales used to be an art. Now sales is a process.

The sales rep had all the power because they had the product knowledge.

Now the customer has the power because they have most everything they need because of the Internet. They don’t need the sales representative anymore unless you bring value.

How do you know you are adding value? If the prospect is willing to pay for your visit – you are adding value.

I recently was invited into an account. After one meeting they put their plans on hold and invited me in to do a barrier buster process. They saw the experience come through by the questions I asked. The questions alone provided significant value.

How would you add more value to the sales process so they pay for your advice and support?

Ron Finklestein
info@BusinessGrowthExperience.com

You can start thinking about your value by downloading the free report: Six Questions Your Prospects Want Answered Before They Buy. You can find it at www.businessgrowthexperience.com

How to Grow Sales – Tip 2 of 30

For the sales professional, when managing time, only one thing matters.

BGE time managment

Ron Finklestein

330-990-0788

Ron@ronfinklestein.com

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How to Grow Sales – Tip 1 of 30

How to Grow Sales – Tip 1 of 30

This is the first of 30 tips on how to grow sales and increase revenues. We will do one a week for the next 30 weeks.

The first tip is to understand the six questions your prospects want answered before they buy. These questions were developed and tested as a result of a sales call I had several years ago where I asked the sales representative these three questions:

1. Why do people buy from you?

2. What outcomes do they experience when they buy from you?

3. Who is your ideal client?

He could not answer any of these questions and after the call I realized I could not answer the questions as effectively as I thought I should. I developed the six questions to answer the questions above and to effectively communicate with the prospect the message that is important to them. I then tested these questions for several years with my client. I knew I was on to something as I watched businesses change; some almost overnight.

Included in this post is both the video and a handout that was used while doing a live training program. Please understand that my clients pay a lot of money to go through this process. This is real training; not a marketing message.

The link below is the handout for you to use as you watch the video. It is best to right-click (to download) on the link below and print this out as you watch the training. Please fill out the worksheet as you watch the video and see how your thinking changes about your product, your service and how you communicate with your prospects. This document does require a PDF reader. You can use Adobe or any other reader that opens PDF files.

Here is your handout: six questions audience handout

Below is a 52 minute video of live training program on the Six Questions and how to answer them. At some places the audio is less than perfect but still very understandable.

For those of you who like to read  (versus watching videos) you can go to the Business Growth Experience and download the Six Questions eBook. All you need do is enter your email address and the Six Question report will be emailed to you. It is not a transcript of the video. It has more content about why the Six Questions are important and a process on how to answer the questions.

If this is of value to you I would encourage you to share this post. You business associates and friends will appreciate you for sharing knowledge with them.

They, like you, will grow sales and increase revenues.

How to Grow Sales – Six Questions To Answer

Six Question Your Prospects Wants Answered Before They Buy from You, or stated another way, “Why Won’t People Buy From Me?”

Please share your thoughts.

To Your Success,

Ron Finklestein
info@businessgrowthexperience.com
330-990-0788

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