Saying Yes May Come with a Hefty Price Tag

Working in any organizations does require saying yes.  However all those yes responses may come with a potential hefty price tag.

I just read of a noted TV commentary who is now saying yes to whatever the new boss wants. Part of this ongoing agreement is to “humanize” this particular individual.  Yet at the previous organization, she was quite successful without any additional “humanizing” activities.

Her acquiescing to her new employer reminded me that when we say yes all the time to the boss, we are consciously and even subconsciously agreeing to all the core values (business ethics) within that organization. This does not present a problem provided our own positive core values are in alignment with the organization that currently employs us.

We hear about entrepreneurs to even salespeople about saying No and the benefits of saying No. Yet rarely do we hear about employees saying No.  This is probably because the employees want to keep their jobs and may not have the opportunity to go elsewhere for a variety of reasons.

Over at LinkedIn, I made this update to see how others felt about always saying yes and the ramifications of saying yes all the time. Here is that update and you can click here to make your own comments.

“When you say “YES” to everything from the boss, remember you are also saying “YES” to that organization’s core values. This begs the following questions: #1 – Do you know the organization’s core values?; #2 – Are you in agreement with 100% of them?; #3 – If the answer is No, Are you seeking another position?”

These questions are truly important to consider.  Additionally if executive leadership has not reinforced their positive core values (business ethics), the overall sales culture  can literally run amok.

The bottom line two questions are:

“By always saying yes, are you saying NO to your own personal ethics, positive core values.” If so, what long term damage is such behavior costing you? 

And that second answer is the price tag you are paying for always saying yes.

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Are Your Sales Results Suffering Because of this Confusion?

“I have plenty of lists, daily, weekly and monthly” said an acquaintance.  My next question was “How are your sales results?”  The not so surprising response was “they could be better.”

This acquaintance and many of my sales coaching clients share this confusion about list making and goal setting.

List making is very much like a simple mini action plan.  Each item on the list is an action based upon an objective to be achieved.  In some instances, having lists works on the smaller actions and usually fails on the bigger ones.

A goal is a predetermined objective to be undertaken with the desired end to be a positive result.  Sometimes especially if the goal is to increase sales, the goal must be thoroughly “thought out” or what I call “flushed out.”  This thinking or flushing requires some additional time.  Critical thinking skills such as integrative ability must be applied along with:

Lists work with goals, but lists alone will not achieve the desired sales results.

Consistent goal achievers are excellent critical thinkers.  They identify what they want to achieve and then look to the what is limiting them from achieving their goal.  These limitations may be also considered as challenges or obstacles.

The confusion between list making and goal setting may also explain why there are misguided decisions that create misdirection.  If the item on the list is more complex or must work with another action that has not been clearly articulated, then the ability to achieve the goal especially if the goal is to increase sales is severely limited.

Another tell tale sign of this confusion is the answer to this question:

Have you invested the time to create a strategic thinking plan with specific written daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual goals?

Again, the answer over 95% of the time is NO! What this answer tells any sales coach or business coach is there is considerable misalignment happening which helps to explain miss guided decisions creating miss directed actions.

Yes, lists are great, but written goals aligned to an overall strategic thinking plan will consistently increase sales and far better sales results than lists alone.

Schedule some time to talk with Leanne by CLICKING HERE to improve your sales results.  Yes it could be as simple as just embracing a proven goal setting and goal achievement process.

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Leverage Your Mindset to Increase Sales

If you want to increase sales, right now momentarily forget about your sales training, all the books you read on sales, your CRM, your To Do List, your sales funnel, your outstanding proposals, your appointments today, your sales leads, the calls you must make to whatever else is cluttering your brain.  Now think about your mindset, how are you going to approach all those tasks?

Far too often we allow all the clutter to keep us from seeing what is actually keeping us from our desires, our goals.  This clutter is in many instances negative as in “I gotta call so and so.”

Sales Coaching Tip:  I “gotta” is negative.  I “want” to is positive.

The Reality of Mindset

William James who is considered by many to be the father of American psychology said:

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.”

More Than Attitudes to Increase Sales

Our attitudes evolve from our belief system.  Many of our beliefs are subconscious, hidden in the far recesses of our mind. Depending upon the research and if we count our sleeping hours, the total number of daily subconscious thoughts range from 10,000 to 600,000. Here is were our deepest beliefs lie.

Attitudes reflect our beliefs both conscious and subconscious.

Negativity First

We are conditioned as children to negativity.  Parents tell us:

  • “Don’t touch the stove”
  • “Don’t talk to strangers”
  • “Don’t go to where you are not invited”

Sales Coaching Tip:  The last two bullets explain much of the fear of cold calling.

Our parents in their efforts to keep us safe from harm have started our brains on a negative path.  Unfortunately, they failed later to counter balance all that negative conditioning.

Then as we grow, we internalize these don’ts and place negative consequences on them.  Our DO NOTS have now turned into CANNOTS!

A New Mindset

If you wish to increase sales, there is a way to discover where you have gaps (clarity) and how to close those gaps (execution).

Here is the formula for a positive mindset regardless of your role:

(b) • {A+S+K} + mmG = PBC = IP ∴ IR

If you wish to learn this formula, have under 30 minutes and truly want to increase sales or improve your results, schedule a time to talk by CLICKING HERE.

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The Spray and Pray Tsunami of Social Selling

Social selling appears to have taken the spray and pray sales approach to tsunami proportions. Clueless or lazy salespeople now drown people with emails to postings with sales pitches.

These salespeople and probably some are marketing people spray these sales pitches all over the place through social selling and then pray something will eventually stick. The idea of actually knowing your ideal customer, your target market to the sales leads never enters the minds of these individuals.

For example, this morning I received an email from a complete stranger wanting me to sign up for a one day seminar on time management for the unbelievable price of $700.  My early bird price was $445.

Training and Development Coaching Tip:  A one day workshop delivers less than 10% cognitive retention after 14 days.

This person did not know the following:

  • I deliver time management training and development
  • I live in NW AZ no where near Nebraska, Indiana or Texas (these were the locations for the workshops)

The Power of Social Selling

Social selling is a tremendous and powerful platform especially for SMBs.  The investment is nominal and the reach can be exponential. However if done in error, the results can be harmful to the organization’s credibility as well as the person engaged in social selling.

Spraying and praying when it comes to sales is not new.  Salespeople have been doing this for years.  Buy a list, send out direct mail pieces and reap the rewards.  Of course the research suggests if the business receives a 2-3% response that is good.

Then there are those salespeople who at B2B networking events tell everyone their ideal customer is anyone with a pulse.  Messages like this are smaller examples of spray and pray marketing.

If you want to increase sales, gain clarity as to who your ideal customer is.  Knowing about the industry trends as well as the marketplace would also be beneficial.  Taking these small and predetermined steps will move you far close to your goal of increase sales than the continued spray and pray behaviors of others.

P.S. Time management is an oxymoron.  Schedule a time to speak with me by clicking here to learn why.

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Lazy Salespeople and LinkedIn

A colleague, David Brock, made an update posting on LinkedIn  sharing his frustration about people using company profiles wanting to connect with him. Then if he did accept, the next action would be a sales pitch. Beyond being a violation of LinkedIn policy, this action demonstrated how many lazy salespeople still exist. (Note:  Only a person not a company can send a LinkedIn invitation.)

Lazy Salespeople and LinkedIn Invitations

Then there are those template LinkedIn invitations from people.  I have been tracking mine recently and in the last week all 20 plus invitations used the general, template invitation. Not one person took the time to personalize the LinkedIn invitation. Several did send me a sales pitch after the invitation was accepted and I immediately disconnected from them.

Imagine how refreshing it would be to actually receive a personalized LinkedIn invitation.  The invite would educate you, the recipient, as to what prompted the invite.  Then you don’t have to rack your brains or do your research to figure out who in the heck this person is or how in the heck do I know him or her.

LinkedIn Coaching Tip Courtesy of Viveka von Rosen:  If you are using the mobile app, there are 3 little dots on the top right and by clicking on these dots you can see the option to personalize the invitation.

LinkedIn Messages and Sales Pitches

How about those LinkedIn email messages and their sales pitches? Many if not most of these LinkedIn members never truly read the profile of the person they are pitching.  Again, their desire to pitch demonstrates their laziness.

LinkedIn is an excellent social media platform to locate sales leads and then to begin to build a relationship.  Making a sales pitch right out of the gate is beyond ridiculous. This sales strategy and tactic will not increase sales.

LinkedIn Profiles and Lazy Salespeople

Possibly the most obvious laziness is in LinkedIn profiles. Beyond having a headline that looks like all the other headlines for a particular industry, the summary is usually a regurgitation of the person’s resume. Many even lack a professional photography.  The attitude is throw up anything and it will stick while the reality is throw up anything and it will probably suck.

If your goal is to increase sales, then revisit your LinkedIn profile and your marketing strategy. Yes LinkedIn can increase sales and quickly demonstrate to others if you are one of those lazy salespeople.

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Why Are So Many Salespeople Hungry for the One Size Fits All Solution?

Right now I cannot count the number of articles, books to sales training workshops that promise to deliver what I call the one size fits all sales solutions.  From the top five closing questions to a proven sales process, each of these sales solutions fail to recognize these three critical buying axioms and one selling axiom.

#1 – People Buy From People They Know and Trust

The fallacy of these one size fits all selling solutions presume the salesperson has established a sound relationship with the buyer and every relationship is the same.  Building rapport in sales (I truly dislike that designation because most people can build rapport with a dog) takes time, a lot of time. Sales research continues to suggest very few people can earn the sale on the first contact.

#2 – People Buy First on Emotions, Justified by Logic

More and more sales research is being complied about the importance of emotions and how those emotions (emotional intelligence) are connected to the brain (neuro science).  Books like Sales EQ by Jeb Blount help salespeople to understand the power of emotions for both the buyer and the seller.

#3 – People Buy on Value UNIQUE to Them

Since each of us are unique individuals, what we value is unique to us. One of my dearest friends will only buy white or silver cars as her current house is white.  She has shared with me numerous times how car salespeople try to sell her a red car and ignore her desire (think value) for a white or silver one.

#4 – Most Salespeople Do Not Know Their Talents; Thereby Fail to Leverage These Talents

After working with hundreds of salespeople, I can honestly say the super majority, well over 90%, do not know their talents.  The one size fits all solution works against not with the talents of these individuals.

Yes I know salespeople are hungry to increase sales. However, when that hunger ignores these three buying axioms and one selling axiom, the goal to increase sales will not be achieved or it will be much harder to achieve.

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Bad Customer Service Should Not Be a Sales Objection

Selling in today’s world has many challenges.  Bad customer service should not be one of them.

Top sales performers know how to overcome a sales objection. Yet when that sales objection is something beyond their control such as customer service, delivery by another vendor to invoicing, earning the sale becomes even more difficult.

Real Time Bad Customer Service

Recent events on social media have shown the impact of real time customer experience.  A colleague, Carole Mahoney said “The customer experience is just a viral tweet away.” And she is quite correct.

Not only do current customers know of the less than desirable customer experience and how it was handled by management, but other sales leads or sales prospects are now witness to that same experience in real time.

Imagine for a moment you are just about to “close the sale” when a viral tweet reveals bad customer service.  How do you handle this sales objection?  And the better question is why should you if everyone in the organization has the same clarity of purpose?

When the smallest to the largest organizations have an engaged sales culture where everyone knows his or her actions can have a positive or negative impact on current and future growth, they are probably less likely to deliver bad customer service.

Excellent customer service supports the organizational and the salespeople goal to increase sales. The salespeople no longer have to fear “what happens after the order is placed.”  Yes, they know they must stay in communication with the customer, but they also know their in house team has their back.

Executive Leadership Must Lead

Failure to address the bad customer experience correctly is the responsibility of leadership as noted in this posting: Tone Deaf Executive Leadership Ignores What Customers Value. When executive leadership fails to listen to the customers, their tone deafness just adds to the sales objections.

With all the resources including books, podcasts, webinars, seminars, training and development available, no organization should deliver bad customer service. Salespeople should not have to overcome this sales objection.  If it is happening, then executive leadership must get off their rear ends and start leading in the right direction.

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Tone Deaf Executive Leadership Ignores What Customers Value

Once again corporate executive leadership demonstrates how truly tone deaf it really is.  The recent Tweet war between Delta Airlines and Ann Coulter reveals that Delta leadership does not know what their customers value.  Hint for those in leadership roles – It is not the money.

When customer pay for something, they expect what they pay for.  Pretty simple.  In the case of Ms. Coulter she expected to receive additional leg room given she pre-booked and paid for a seat to give her that extra comfort.  Given her financial status, I am sure she would have paid more, but $30 was the going rate.

Tone Deaf Executive Leadership Thinks Only About the Money

Someone in an executive leadership role who offered her the $30 as a refund and then went on to defend the removal of her from her paid and pre-booked seat was beyond tone deaf.  I do not know the reason for her removal outside of the presumed fact she was not creating a problems with her fellow passengers.

Today, social media sites such as Twitter allow individual customers to have the power of the ink without any cost.  Possibly they have forgotten this quote attributed to Mark Twain as well as to Former Congressman Charles Brownson, Indianapolis Republican:

“I never quarrel with a man who buys ink by the barrel.”

When executive leadership or even management believes customer service is all about the dollars and they forget customer loyalty is about how they treat people. To say Delta’s customer service was horrendous is an understatement. 

Being tone deaf now has disrupted customer loyalty. Loyal customers may think twice about the obvious disconnect between what they value and what Delta believes they value.

Sales and Leadership Coaching Tip:

Value is unique to each buyer (customer).

The tone deafness demonstrated by Delta Airlines executive leadership also reveals the total lack of emotional intelligence.  These leaders failed to recognize and understand a paid customer’s emotions, but only recognized their own emotions.  This is why they failed to manage both.

Want to know how your own emotional intelligence?  Schedule a short free call with Leanne by CLICKING HERE.

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Are You Forgetting Sales Leadership Is Situational?

How many times have we read or heard about leadership being situational?  If any type of leadership is truly situational, it is sales leadership.

Leadership is first about leading yourself or self-leadership.  From your own leadership efforts you secure your desired results.

Peter Drucker said “Leadership is all about results.”

In sales, results do matter.  For without the ability to increase sales, those in sales would be quickly unemployed.

When top sales performers meet with new sales leads, the nuances of their sales conversation will adapt to the situation.  They understand people communicate differently.  In many instances, top salespeople know and leverage their knowledge of DISC to further the sales conversation and ultimately the relationship.

CLICK HERE to Schedule a call with Leanne to learn more about DISC and how it impacts your sales leadership and sales results.

Those new to sales or who have just returned from the “latest and greatest sales training” event in many instances wear blinders.  Their inexperience or recent learning conditioning has them so focused to follow a per-determined path they lose:

  • The relationship
  • Sales opportunity

Understanding how sales leadership is situational is incredibly important.  Knowing what to say and when to say what to say always returns to the situation.  Being present in the moment supports those strong leadership qualities from active listening to caring to respect.

Situational leadership happens from experience.  For those new to sales, securing a mentor or even a sales coach may support further sales leadership growth.

Additionally, those who understand situational leadership in sales as well as in business know the importance of leaving one’s ego at the door.  These leaders recognize each meeting (think situation) is potentially different because the other person is different from the last person they met.

Each person is unique and what he or she values is unique. 

If you want to increase sales, then start reflecting upon your own sales leadership. Find an accountability partner to review with you your recent sales meetings. And remember, your success is determined by your own willingness to recognize what you don’t know.

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To Increase Sales Is Both a Want and a Need

Desires are strong emotions.  The want to increase sales is a desire.

increase-salesAdditionally, needs can be emotional as well as logical.  I need to increase sales because my job supports myself, my family, pays my rent or mortgage, etc.

What happens is in many instances salespeople and sales managers fail to leverage both of these motivating factors.  There is one psychometric or talent assessment that looks to “the want and the need.” This instrument is based upon the work of Dr. Spanger and Allport and measures six or seven motivating factors (depending upon publisher) such as:

Publisher: Innermetrix

Motivational Driver Defined Publisher: TTI
Aesthetic Balance, harmony and form Aesthetic
Economic Economic or practical returns Utilitarian/Economic
Individualistic Stand out as independent or unique Individualistic
Political Be in control or have influence (See above combined)
Altruist Humanitarian efforts to help others Social
Regulator Establish order, routine and structure Traditional/Regulatory
Theoretical Knowledge, learning and understanding Theoretical

When we look at these motivational drivers to increase sales, research has discovered when the Economic or Utilitarian/Economic motivator is in the top 50% of all motivators, the person has a greater success in achieving the goal to increase sales.

Also when we use the filters of want or need, these drivers can be separated as follows:

Motivational Driver Want – More Emotional Need – More Logical
Aesthetic Want
Economic Want Need
Individualistic Want
Political Need
Altruist Want
Regulator Need
Theoretical Want Need

Additionally, through the 3 innate motivational drivers of Mastery, Autonomy and Purpose (relates to people) as identified in the 1970’s work of the Theory of Self-Determination by Deci and Ryan, these motivational drivers can be categorized by through these more basic drivers.

Motivational Driver Mastery Autonomy Purpose as Related to People
Aesthetic
Economic
Individualistic
Political
Altruist
Regulator
Theoretical

Note: Economic probably can be shared by all three motivational drivers.

When SMB owners, sales managers and even salespeople understand what drives them to increase sales, they gain much greater clarity and then can make better decisions and have far less missed opportunities.

If you wish to discuss how this talent assessment can help you gain clarity as to your own motivational drivers to increase sales, CLICK HERE to schedule a time to speak with me, Leanne Hoagland-Smith.

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