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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Your Commitment to Your Professional Growth Is?

Yesterday, I made this short update at LinkedIn about professional growth for executive coaches, business coaches or sales coaches:

If you are not continually expanding your knowledge, testing your own boundaries, how can you ask your coaching clients to do the same?

Even though I referenced those in professional coaching roles, this question can be asked of any professional in any role including sales, executive leadership, management and even customer service.

With over 97% of all U.S. businesses being fewer than 20 employees, professional growth many times falls on the financial shoulders of each individual.  These investments toward continuing professional development may range from buying books, joining organizations to even hiring an executive coach.

Some recent research by RandstadUSA suggests that millennials expect their employers to pay for their professional development. This may be true if the firms are large enough in revenue to fund those expectations.

The question to be asked is why aren’t you investing in your own professional growth?  Possibly the fear of it might not work?  I can attest even when I purchase a book or attend a seminar that I discover is not up to my expectations, I still walk away with one tidbit of knowledge.  My growth is not dramatic, but there is growth.

FEAR is for the most part False Evidence Appearing Real. 

Right now write down your goals for your own personal and professional growth.  For example, read one recently published book per month on sales or leadership. Did you know that 23% of 18-49 year olds have not read a book in the last 12 months. This number increases to 29% for adults 50 years old and older.  (Source: Pew Research)

P.S. Remember, this old saying “The chicken was involved; the pig was committed.”

If you are unsure of how to construct a good goal statement or lack your own action plan for professional growth, then CLICK HERE. If you wish to speak with me, Leanne, then click here for a free strategy session or call 219.508.2859 MST.

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The Real Reason for Failed Mission Statements

Yesterday I heard another sales and marketing expert misspeak about mission statements.  His webinar probably drew thousands and hence now thousand more salespeople, SMB owners and entrepreneurs potentially will fail in their quest to increase sales and grow their businesses.

What this expert did as many other so called experts have done is confuse mission with vision. 

For example, “I want to be the best (fill in the blank)” is a vision.  It is the future desire of the individual.

A mission statement is simply the execution of the vision and potentially includes the measurement of HOW the vision will be achieved within a specific time frame of WHEN. In other words, the mission is a broad goal statement.

Probably the best way example of a mission is the old television series “Mission Impossible.” Mr. Phelps was given a mission usually to take down a bad guy and how much time he had to complete the mission. His mission was never to “be the best.”

One of the best ways to determine if your mission statement is producing results is to ask your people or yourself the following question:

What did you do today to achieve the mission? 

A vision statement of “be the best” is so broad that most firms will have people running in different directions.  Responses will be vague and again wide ranging. And failed execution is the end result.

Now take the following example and ask the same question.

“Within the next 12 months, XYZ firm will double its efforts to increase customer loyalty and retain 100% of all new customers by providing timely and quality solutions.”

The responses will be far more succinct and direct because people know what needs to be done as well as the time frame to get it done. Execution will improve and now there is a simpler way to discover the gaps for failed execution.

A 3 to 5 year Vision Statement may have 3 to even 10 Mission Statements depending upon the marketplace, the industry, the economy, etc. Remember, your mission statement is a measurable step toward achieving your overall vision.

If you are having trouble achieving increase sales or business growth, schedule a free strategy session with Leanne by CLICKING HERE to discuss your strategic planning.

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Realtors Who Want to Increase Sales Are on LinkedIn

Over the years I am continually surprised by the realtors who fail to leverage LinkedIn to increase sales. This is especially true for those selling higher value residential real estate to professional executives.

Now many realtors will tout the marketing advantage of Facebook to increase sales. Yet when it comes to sending traffic to your home page, LinkedIn substantially outperforms Facebook and Twitter.

Marketing Fact: LinkedIn sends nearly 4 times more people than Facebook or Twitter to your home page (Source: iQ Investis)

Specific marketing demographics on LinkedIn provide additional insight (source: LinkedIn):

  • One out of every three executives are on LinkedIn
  • 56% of members are male
  • 44% of members are female
  • 13% of LinkedIn users don’t have a Facebook account
  • 59% of LinkedIn users don’t visit Twitter
  • 13% of millennials use LinkedIn
  • 41% of users visit LinkedIn via mobile
  • LinkedIn users spend 26% of their time on LinkedIn using the mobile app

Of course, these marketing demographics mean nothing if you lack an Ideal Customer Profile.  This profile is the result of a thorough and complete strategic plan.  Unfortunately, many realtors and other small business owners engage in the role of Captain Wing It by spraying their marketing messages all over the wall and then praying something will stick. This spray and pray approach will not increase sales, but rather drains limited resources of time, energy, money and emotions.

Industry insights is the most in demand content by six out of 10 LinkedIn users. (Source: LinkedIn)  What this means for realtors is executives who are buying higher value residential real estate want to know what is happening within the industry or industries of where they are seeking real estate to purchase.  Writing articles or just posting updates  (content marketing) about school performance, taxes, community activities, etc. all provide insight these potential high value buyers are seeking.

One Quick Tip to Improve Visits to Your LinkedIn Profile

Beyond having a headline that goes beyond “realtor” but provides some insight as to why you are different, having a photo secures 21 times more profile views.  Also those LinkedIn Profiles with photos get 36 times for LinkedIn messages.

If you are a realtor and want to increase sales for those higher value residential real estate, then it may make sense to invest some time on LinkedIn just by using the free account.

Want to speak with Leanne to learn more about how to increase sales? Just CLICK HERE to schedule a FREE 30 minute strategy session.

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Your Abundance Is Far Greater Than You Realize

Isn’t it funny that we fail to recognize the abundance within our lives?  We have so much and yet many feel they have so little.

I was watching a video about a young person who was born with limited height,  with no arms, with no fingers, abandoned at birth and in spite of this scarcity she learned to play the piano with her toes and use her voice to sing.  Click Here for Video

Here was a person who had every reason to protest and complain about not having abundance; about life not being fair.  However she with the help of a kind and giving adopted Mother learned about the abundance she did have.

We see young to older people protesting about what they don’t have.  Yet they have two arms, 10 fingers, two legs and for the most part of average or above average height.   They most likely had one parent who did not abandon them.

Their abundance potentially allows them to do so much more yet the scarcity of their thinking restricts them from achieving any more. For them, abundance is held by others and not by themselves.  This mindset keeps them fueled with negative emotions.

William James, an American Philosopher, said:

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

When we alter our attitude of scarcity to one of abundance, we can indeed change our lives.  Now we can see the world through a different filter and potentially even with greater clarity.

Embracing an attitude of scarcity only leads to frustration, fear, resentment and even hate.  These negative emotions begin to drive all behaviors.  Life is now perceived as having no value because value is held by all those other people.

Right now count your fingers, your toes, your arms, your eyes, your ears and your legs.  Think of all the abundance you have and what will you do with that incredible wealth to make positive change in the world.

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In Sales, the Problem with the Word “Help”

How many times in the course of a sales day, do you read or hear “I help…?” In reviewing visitors to my LinkedIn profile, I can say over 50% of the headlines use this common verb of help.

The problem with this word is it does not differentiate you or your business from all the other people and businesses helping other people and businesses. With the very crowded marketplace and where 97.7% of all businesses have under 20 employees, differentiation is key to growing any SMB.

Sales Coaching Tip: Differentiation is essential to attracting sales leads

When any word is used too frequently, people become immune to the word.  It does not take hold in their minds and in some instances creates a negative, emotional reaction. Your sales goal should Be the Red Jacket in the Sea of Gray Suits.

There are a plethora of verbs that can be substituted for this word of help such as:

  • Facilitate
  • Build
  • Expand
  • Connect
  • Strengthen
  • Work
  • Align

Additionally a goal statement could be equally effective as in “Our Goal” is to:

  • Connect you with the right decision makers to increase sales
  • Strengthen your internal customers to reduce high, costly turnover
  • Align your people and processes to ensure efficiency, effectiveness while increasing profits

The goal statement demonstrates not only what you do, but the desired end results of your solutions. How many salespeople fail to include the results in their messaging be it their 30 second infomercial, their positioning statement or their value proposition statement?

Sales Coaching Tip: Potential customers want the end results of your solutions.

Sometimes we must rethink what we say and how what we say is received by our intended audience (think ideal customer). Words do matter and even more importantly the impact of those words really matter.

So if you are determined to use the word help, then connect it to the results of your solution.

Reach out and schedule a call with Leanne by CLICKING HERE.

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How to Increase Sales with this Question Framework

Most sales people want to increase sales.  This is why open ended questions are so popular.  Yet there is a  question framework that when executed flawlessly can accomplish this professional and organizational goal.

Homework Required

However before asking this specific question, the salesperson must do his or her homework.  Knowledge about the sales lead and the organization is essential.  Possibly this is why more than three contacts are necessary to convert the sales lead into a customer.

Homework begins with gleaming information from sales conversations with the prospect.  This basic information could be annual sales, number of employees to the demographics of organization.

Then further time must be devoted to learning and understanding the psychographics behind the buying decision.  This information focuses on the motivation to buy such as a personal promotion to even more personal information such as overall temperament and attitudes.

The Framing of This Sales Question

So when the salesperson is ready to give her or his sales presentation, she or he now can insert this question between statements from past due diligence.

“From what you have shared with me, 50% of your current sales team has failed to achieve sales quotas. You have also shared your sales cycle time is six months and the average sales is (insert figure).  If you could convert 10% of that 50% to achieve sales quotes, then that impact would be (insert calculation of dollar impact).  By increasing your sales by 20%, our solution can quickly demonstrate a (insert percentage) return on investment within six months.”

By using this sales question framework, the salesperson can begin with the end in mind to increase his or her own sales results.

  • What does the sales lead want?
  • What is the impact of that want?
  • What is an acceptable time frame?
  • How can the solution generate a positive return on investment?

The If, Then Sales Question can increase sales provided it is embedded between these two statements.

Want to schedule a time to speak with Leanne, then CLICK HERE.

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Automated Marketing Creates An Automated Response

Yesterday I received an automated marketing message via Twitter and it read as follows:

“We think it’s wicked awesome that you’re following us and hope you’re getting value from our perspective on leadership. If we can help you with your self, professional, or team leadership we would love to lend a hand. Not sure what leadership and management skills to improve? This download with 27 areas will help you decide (link removed).”

People in business receive daily automated marketing messages via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and email. For most their automated response is:

“Ignore” or “Delete.”

If the purpose of marketing is to attraction attention, hopefully positive attention, the action of ignore or delete is not the desired result.

Of course SMB people have limited resources including time and money. The solution of an automated marketing appears to be doable.

This leads to the question of “How do I reach my ideal customers with these limitations and still use the benefit of today’s Internet automated marketing technology?”

Possibly instead of making a sales pitch, maybe a better response would be to ask to verbally talk with the individual. The use of a calendar scheduling technology provides an opportunity for the other person to verbally connect with you.

LinkedIn provides a canned automated marketing invite, but you can personalize it (at least from the desktop). The personalization should indicate why you extended the LinkedIn invitation.

When you accept an invitation, send a personalized message asking what prompted the outreach.  If the individual appears to be a potential sales lead to a center of influence, ask if a phone meeting is possible and provide some dates.

Remember…

People buy from people they know and trust.  Just because people followed you or your SMB via a social media channel does not mean they know and trust you. Knowing and trusting takes time.  The last action you want a sales lead to take is to ignore or delete your marketing message.

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The “Everyone Wants” Sales Mistake

Have you ever heard or made a similar statement “everyone wants” fill in the blank?  This statement is repeated in many sales presentations or just general sales conversations.  However using this statement may create you a sales mistake.

When blanket statement such as “everyone wants” or “everyone knows” are used, there often is a negative, emotional subconscious if not conscious reaction such as:

  • No, I don’t want
  • No, I am not like everyone else
  • No, I don’t know

With every sales lead or prospect, there is an opportunity in making a sales mistake because each of those new sales leads are unique individuals with unique experiences. In sales, one size does not fit all.

Recently I had a conversation with someone who took offense during a meeting when another person said “everyone wants quality.” This individual emotionally felt insulted because he did not want what the other person stated.

During our brief conversation, I restated what I had heard and asked him “If for the same dollars, your desire for safety excellence could be maintained while improving overall quality would you be agreeable?”  His response was “Yes.”

Read this sales coaching post about the importance of feelings in sales and marketing.

This sales mistake often happens during times of contention.  The person selling an idea, a solution attempts to secure agreement with “everyone wants.”  Unfortunately with people’s emotional receptors already subconsciously turned to the negative dial, this attempt at agreement fails miserably.

Possibly the reason for this sales mistake is much of the sales training truly looks to “asking proven questions” or “demonstrating proven sales techniques.”  Securing agreement is one of those proven sales techniques. In years gone by, this was called “mini-closes.” The caveat to the success of this sales technique resides in how the technique is employed.

Words do matter and many a sale mistake has been the direct result of selecting the wrong words.  This is why speaking less is far better than speaking more.

P.S. If you wish to discuss how sales coaching can increase your sales results in the next 2 months, schedule a FREE strategy coaching session by clicking here.

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In Sales and Marketing Feelings Count More than Logic

Sales and marketing research can be interesting and provide some insight as what not to do. The CMO Council and Dow Jones surveyed over 2,000 consumers from North America and the United Kingdom which revealed the importance of feelings in sales and marketing messages.

Of course, the word feelings does not appear in the research yet when discussing reactions to what bothers consumers most respective to brand advertising feelings are behind all of these responses such as:

  • False, misleading or phony advertising
  • Stupid or irritating TV commercials/videos
  • Store personnel who don’t know the product

If something is false or phony, is our first reaction one of intellectual reasoning or a “gut” feeling?

When something is stupid or irritating, is our first reaction again one of logic or a negative feeling?

If we encounter store personnel who don’t know the product, is our intellect in charge or our feelings?

Words such as irritating, annoying or obnoxious reflect feelings and not to our logic or intellect. People buy first on feelings. Then they justify their buying decision with logic.

For example, I am looking for a small storage cabinet for our dining area.  I want something different that provoked some aesthetic feeling.

My first goal was to find an antique dry sink, but to no avail.  Then I went to my local small business favorite furniture store and saw a doable solution with my budget. The owner of the store showed me a more expensive cabinet that was even more different. My first emoti9onal reaction was it was 20% higher.

I came home and did my Internet research (logic).  The price was fair on either cabinet given both pieces at the furniture store were 100% solid wood while other pieces on the Internet were wood products (glue and wood, particle board). So I will be going back in the next few weeks and buying that very unique and more expensive cabinet.

The challenge in sales and marketing is not to create negative feelings, but rather awareness and then positive ones. This is why most people dislike sales pitches because they only reinforce past negative feelings.

Your Sales Coaching Tip: If you wish to increase sales, consider how to bring more positive feelings into your sales and marketing actions.  Watch for  emotional reactions. Avoid those words or tactics that awaken negative feelings.

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