Archive for May, 2017

Want to Achieve More Success? Unite Inspiration, Perspiration and Clarity

How many people want to achieve more success and yet fall short? They seek inspiration from Ted Talks to attending seminars to reading books.  Then some actually go out and start applying through perspiration what has inspired them. Yet with all their efforts they still are not where they want to be.  Something is missing and that something is probably, most likely clarity.

Blaise Pascal wrote:

“Clarity of the mind means clarity of passion”

When we have clarity around our passion which is directly connected to our purpose, our vision and our values, we can unite what we find inspiring and then start perspiring to achieve what we want or need to achieve.

Father Theodore Hesburgh believed “No one can follow can uncertain trumpet.”  Even though those words are about being a leader of others, I believe it is also a quote about being a leader of ones self.

If you have uncertainty, which is a lack of clarity, then how can you follow your passion?  What is your passion? More so, what is your purpose?  Why are you here right at this moment?  Our purposes change as we age.

Successful people are self-leaders with clarity of purpose.  The greater the clarity, the greater their success is.

Sometime to make that jump from being somewhat successful to really successful also suggests defining what success means to you.  Again clarity should be present in that internal dialogue you have with yourself.

Working with executive coaching clients who have worked with other executive coaches and without the success they wanted, I have learned this missing word of clarity is so vital.  Finding clarity, crystal clear clarity is not easy as it takes time and sometimes even trial and error.

What I do know is when people know their talents, their strengths, they have an advantage in finding that clarity much sooner  because they have been hampered by looking to improve their weaknesses. Maybe now is the time for you to begin to find your own clarity if you are not satisfied with your perspiration from all the inspiration you have received.

Reach out to Leanne to schedule a time to speak with her about finding your clarity. Click HERE

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Sales Commitment Attitude Starts with You

Funny many salespeople believe they have a sales commitment attitude and consequently behavior.  However if this was true why do so many in sales fail to achieve their sales numbers as well as dislike marketing or prospecting such as cold calling.

Years ago I read something written by Zig Ziglar who stated “attitudes are habits of thought.”  I agree with Zig and would add the following “enmeshed in a plethora of feelings.”

Zig also defined sales as the transference of feelings.  To transfer feelings one must have feelings and be aware with crystal clarity of those feelings.

Additionally a sales commitment attitude can be traced directly back to someone’s personal core values (ethics and beliefs).

  • Do you say you will do what you said you would do?
  • How committed are you to honoring your word?
  • Are you willing and ready to do what you need to do no matter the difficulty?
  • Is what you do the right thing or the quick fix because you don’t have time to do it right?
  • Do you find yourself making excuses for not doing something you promised or you know you should do?

When I wrote Be the Red Jacket, the second chapter was devoted to creating a personal values statement.  By investing the time to write this statement, ensures the salesperson is truly committed to her or his own values.

People buy from people they know and trust. Those salespeople with an authentic sales commitment attitude are easily distinguished from others who lack such authenticity.

In the book From Values to Action, the author shared each night he invested  5-10 minutes to reflect on what happened during the previous 16 hours.  This was his way of ensuring his leadership commitment attitude.  I believe it would work equally well for those in sales.

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Are You Missing this “A” in Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing has truly been a blessing for 97.7% of all U.S. businesses with under 20 employees. These SMBs with limited resources (people, time and dollars) can now take advantage of grabbing the attention of their sales leads and beginning to build a relationship.

Content marketing further allows these sales hungry professionals to further educate and differentiate their businesses from their competitors.  Yet, these same forward thinking sales leaders are forgetting this essential “A” in their 21st century social media marketing.

So what is that “A?”

Amplification

The plethora of social media channels allows for one message to be shared (think amplified) and this amplification costs nothing. Unfortunately, the super majority of SMB owners and sales professionals fail to build amplification communities.

Imagine for a moment you have 1,000 twitter followers.  The average number of followers is 707. Then consider the impact of building an amplification community of 10 other liked minded professionals who have at least 1,000 followers. Your message has now been amplified 10 fold.

LinkedIn allows people to follow you and becomes a potentially “de facto” amplification. Here other professionals can share your updates to your LinkedIn articles.  Sometimes you may need to encourage others to share your postings through a direct request on an article or through internal LinkedIn emails.

Facebook and Google Plus also allow for your postings to be shared.  The challenge is how to get others to share your marketing message. The answer is to build your own amplification community.  You may have several different communities depending upon your target audience and your solutions.

There are other tools to help with your amplification such as Hootsuite or Hubspot. These sites provide the opportunity to make multiple postings of the same content marketing message.

Remember, there are thousands of SMBs seeking to grab attention.  By understanding how to amplify your social media marketing messages will increase sales.

 

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“I’ve Been In Sales My Entire Career”

So how long have you been in sales?  Is your tenure a few years or decades?

This statement was recently made in an email to me:

“I’ve been in sales my entire career.”

For many this statement is very true because everyone is in sales if we believe Zig Ziglar’s definition of sales to be the “transference of feelings.”

As to actual time as a salesperson,  this individual’s selling career spanned a total of seven (7) years.  Given I have been selling for over 50 years, seven years is a good start, but there is still a long way to go.

When I read “my entire career,” my thoughts jumped to a minimum of 15-20 years. Our experiences do create our reality.

In today’s ever so written word world, we must be careful with the words we use.  For those words have different meanings and may unintentionally create mistrust instead of trust.

Sales Coaching Tip:  People buy from people they know and trust.

Possibly for this individual who knew the intended recipient of this message was far more experienced the message could have been better nuanced such as “my entire young career.”

Now some folks have years of selling experience and are still clueless while others have only a few years and have valued insight. Yet I believe experience does matter.

As I can only speak for myself, I tend to listen to those who have at least 15 to 20 years of experience as salespeople. However if I had only one or two years of selling experience, I may listen to someone who had seven years.

P.S. Also remember always to give attribution to the words or creative efforts of others when you incorporate them into your blog, your speeches and your everyday conversations.  By taking that action, you appear to be just a tad more credible as well as ethical leader.

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Uncovering Buying Criteria Takes Times

Wouldn’t it be great if all your sales leads had the following buying criteria checklist somewhere on their bodies?

  • Decision maker
  • Want or need
  • Allocated budget
  • Urgency
  • Commitment

Boy you could really increase sales by focusing on those sales leads that had all five.  Yet reality is each criterion is probably uncovered as the buyer-seller relationship develops unless of course the sales lead shared all five with you during the first sales conversation.

Since most buying decisions happen between the fourth and 12th contact, then during the first three to four contacts is probably when the first three buying criteria surface.  As the sales conversations continue, you as the salesperson can sense or develop a further sense of urgency to take action.  Possibly you may actually spur the sales lead to become more committed as you continue to develop the case to take action.

When salespeople rush the sales process (marketing, selling and keeping), they also may trip over or ignore these five buying criteria.  Sales leads in many instances will not share information with people they don’t know or trust.  Getting to know you and to trust you as a person takes time.

What is so sad is much of the sales training or sales coaching hype looks to the quick fix and ignores these fundamentals that have been true for decades. 

Download this Free:

Buying-Criteria-Check-List

Sometimes in sales as well as in life, we fail to take the small steps. Remember we learn to walk first before we learn to run. When we invest the time to walk by following the sales process, we can learn to avoid tire kickers and those not in a position to buy.  This doesn’t mean that at sometime in the future they cannot become buyers, but at this moment in time they are not ready to buy.

Want to speak with Leanne?  Click HERE to schedule your 30 minute telephone call.

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The Continuing Sales Leads Dilemma – Quantity or Quality

Sales leads are the life blood for any person selling.  For without those potential buyers, there would be no one to sell one’s solutions.  And we all know without sales we remain pocket poor.

With the recent emphasis on social selling, there appears to be a presumption that quantity is now more important than quality.  This belief is put enough sales leads into your sales funnel and eventually gravity will pull at least a few of them through. We can see this belief is real time when we hear this questions being asked:

  • How many followers do you have on the social media networks?
  • How many contacts do you have on LinkedIn?
  • How many social media sites do you actively engage in to reach more potential sales leads?

My personal sales philosophy has always been quality over quantity.  Since I believe sales is 100% first about relationships, developing key authentic relationships is essential for me to increase sales.

Additionally the quantity tactic is more than likely to catch a lot of unqualified sales leads (tire kickers) and it does take time to sort through all those leads. Being a people and process clarity strategist, I cannot afford to waste time sorting through all those tire kickers.

Imagine for a moment if you took all those business cards you have accumulated and started calling three to five people each day.  Then you could begin to sort them based upon some buying criteria including:

  • Decision maker
  • Want or need

Further contacts with each person may allow you to further sort them into:

  • Allocated budget
  • Urgency

Finally between the fourth and 12th contact, you may secure this final buying criteria: Commitment

When you have completed this process, you will probably see your pile of qualified sales leads is much smaller.  Possibly by redefining your sales prospecting process, you could have avoided a lot of those calls and redirected your limited time to quality sales leads instead of quantity ones.

Schedule your time, by CLICKING HERE, to speak with Leanne if you wish to increase sales.

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What Makes You Truly Amazing?

makes-you-amazingHave you ever asked yourself this simple question of “What Makes You Truly Amazing?” Probably not.  Yet it is a truly an essential question to be answered.

Recently I was having a conversation with Dan Waldschmidt (who is amazing).  He shared a conversation he had with a young woman who wanted to be like him. She wanted to speak and share her story. She was writing a book.  Dan simply asked her “What makes you truly amazing?” 

For Dan knew many people had stories to share, many had written books and many never reached that level of personal and professional success.  Until this young lady knew what truly made her and consequently her story different, she would not realize her dreams of success.

Each of us in our own way is already amazing. 

We just don’t know it.

Possibly some of that reason is we truly do not know ourselves.  We work against our existing talents and strengths.  We look to improve our weaknesses at the expense of those talents. We do not know what motivates us beyond mastery, autonomy and purpose.

Then we fall into the trap that this woman had fallen into.  She believed speaking, writing and sharing her story would be her success path.  Yes it could be, but more than likely it would be the success path of those selling speaking and writing services to even executive coaching services.

When we answer the question of “What makes you truly amazing,” we are taking a deeper dive into our own reality and not the realities of others.  We learn to appreciate who we are and what makes each of us truly unique beyond our DNA.

For some the answer may begin with discovering one’s purpose.  Why are you here at this moment in time?  Purpose is the North Star to each of us.  Knowing our purpose keeps us moving forward in the best direction.

So as you move forward this week, begin to answer this question.  Remember you are amazing as the person you are right now.  Your challenge is to be able to gain crystal clarity as to what makes you truly amazing.

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The Real Problem with Social Selling

Let’s stop with the Naked Emperor and speak the truth about social selling.  It isn’t selling. I repeat it isn’t selling. Now for some this is considered heresy.

social-selling

Credit www.gratisography.com

Social selling or social media selling whatever you want to call it is marketing using social media channels to deliver the message. This entire get on the band wagon for social whatever is sales quick sales fix for some and a quick opportunity to make fast bucks for others.

I will return to Peter Drucker who believe and said a business has essentially two functions:

  • Marketing
  • Innovation

He also said when marketing is done well, selling becomes almost effortless. (paraphrasing)

Yesterday I saw a social media post about “how to develop a social media strategy.” None of the answers went to the heart of the problem.  No one asked “Do you have a strategic plan?”  If so, then it is from that document you derive your marketing strategy.

Short cutting the strategic planning process is a proven recipe for failure.

This individual was confusing strategy with tactics as many do.  The strategy comes from a comprehensive strategic plan that looks at both internal and external strengths, limitations, opportunities and threats.  From this data another result is the completion of the ideal customer profile or profiles.

Whatever social media channels are selected (tactic) is based upon where the company can find their ideal customer.  Of course with all the data about the traffic and deliverables about social media, no wonder people can get easily confused.

The best analogy is fishing. Those who successfully fish go to where the fish they want to catch are not vice versa.  One doesn’t go to the ocean expecting to catch a walleye pike or one doesn’t fish a mountain stream looking for red snapper. Also one doesn’t use a fly to catch a sunfish.  The bait is your message.

Fish Where The Fish (Sales Leads) You Want Are

Use the Right Bait (Message)

I understand all the hype about social selling.  I also know a lot of SMBs have spent lots of profit dollars with little results.  Yet they are “sold” this lie that social selling will increase sales.  No good marketing will increase sales provided you have the right message and use the most effective channels.

P.S. There are no quick fixes in sales, leadership or success.

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Dust Covered Strategic Plans Reveal Failed Leadership

The thick dust on most strategic plans is quite common.  Even though strategic plans are a valuable tool for SMB owners, executives and even salespeople, they continue to be filed on shelves collecting dust. Then executive leadership appears to be suddenly confused because results are not being achieved.

Now many SMBs don’t have these forward thinking documents and retreat to some isolated bogus marketing plan which usually ends up creating more misguided decisions resulting in more misdirection. Their excuse is usually “I don’t have time” or “I don’t need one.”

What these leaders fail to realize is the wisdom in the words of President Eisenhower “Plans are worthless, planning is everything.”  The act of planning through intensive thinking provides a competitive advantage because the majority of the competition has also refused to engage in this important act of strategic planning.

What also happens is executive leadership looks for the quick fix to have some outside consulting firm do a survey or a “town hall” meeting. Having this input is part strategic planning process, but should not be the first step.

The first step in creating strategic plans is looking at the goals or results achieved.  Then internal assessments are undertaken. After the values and the vision statements are constructed, the mission statement is created along with the critical success factors or critical goal categories.  Unfortunately some in leadership roles jump to critical success factors that only create more misaligned actions and become an abdication excuse for leadership when results do not materialize.

Dust covered strategic plans reflect a lack of commitment to make real change, to reach higher and achieve what is necessary to stay a viable and thriving businesses. As one of my coaches David Herdlinger said:

“If you don’t have the time to do it right,

when will you have the time to do it over?”

Schedule a time to speak with Leanne about how strategic planning can help your SMB achieve its desired results by CLICKING HERE.

 

 

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Blaming an Auto Responder for a Bad Email Speaks Volumes

President Truman said “The buck stops here.” I guess that does not apply when receiving a bad email.

Yesterday I wrote about how a poorly written email headline may send the wrong message as well as giving my brief analysis about the marketing message. I responded to this email and then received an answer from the person who allegedly sent the email.

“Hi, Leanne, Your first line cracked me up. I like the rapid reply, although this email was automatically generated, not a (insert person’s name) original sadly.”

Well that is a new one.  Blame an auto responder for bad email marketing.

Maybe AI (artificial intelligence) wrote the message and then applied this person’s name? 

My return email was “Then I would rethink my auto message responses. Thanks for the fodder for my blog today.”

Here is my quick response to the first email message I received yesterday.

Your subject line FYI is a 100% turn off unless you are advertising for dates.

Please remove this email from your database.

Regardless if the message was automatically generated, your name is on the message. I could care less how it was generated.  Your name, your role and your contact information is what shows not “auto-responder” or “AI Robot 010.”

So if this was automatically generated, who would I really speak to, you or the AI Robot?

Give me a break.  Blaming the auto responder is beyond sad and lazy and speaks to the lack of integrity within the organization and potentially within the person who allegedly sent it.

Taking responsibility for a bad email shows integrity and personal accountability.  Had this person accepted the responsibility, I might have entertained a telephone call with her or him.

As it stands the response shows this is not a company I want to know to want to trust.  Yes people buy first on emotion justified by logic.  The reverse is also true, people don’t buy on emotion and justified that no buy decision with logic.

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