Posts Tagged ‘increase sales’

The 12 Days of Increase Sales Leadership Questions – Day 4

A small change can make a big difference especially  when looking to increase sales leadership. Today’s question is a simple, but not necessarily easy one:

If you could change just one (1) aspect of what you are currently doing,

what would that one aspect be?

This question requires both reflection and internal honesty.  Now is not the time to fudge the truth or ignore something you do not want to face.

Usually this aspect for many begins with one behavior, one action that is not delivering the desired increase sales leadership results. However, the behavior is usually a result of an attitude.  Upon further reflection, there is probably a hidden, subconscious, belief that gave birth to that attitude.

Additionally how much do you really want to change that one aspect of what you are currently doing? We can see annually all the failed New Year Eve’s resolution as to the lack of desire for really changing our behaviors.

This increase sales leadership question is very much like a ball of yarn.  You begin pulling out the thread (the one behavior you wish to change) and the color of the yarn changes as you pull out more of the thread. Suddenly you realize this question is far more introspective than it was at first glance.

Changing behavior is not easy as it requires continued internal reinforcement.  Unknown or unexpected obstacles suddenly appear making it more difficult to stay the course of change. This is why it is critical to have key performance indicators as well as mechanisms to measure the results of change. Sometimes we go off course and not even realize we are off course until it is too late.

If you have not read the first three increase sales leadership questions, here they are for your review:

Share on Facebook

The 12 Days of Increase Sales Leadership Questions – Day 3

To increase sales leadership requires knowing not only the results of what you were doing differently as asked in Day 2 of these sales leadership questions, but if those results were positive, negative or neutral.  This analysis suggests you know your past results and can quickly make those determinations.

Again, this question further assists in you understanding if you are confusing motion with progress and activity with results. Thanks to Doug Brown of Paradigm Associates for this great increase sales leadership question.

Sometimes even if results are positive, these results may be all about motion such as increase sales leads or first time meeting appointments.  Yet the activity to increase sales results is just that activity without results.

Then if the sales leadership behaviors are negative, possibly it is time to rethink how you do what you do. For example you are working your LinkedIn account or email list and sending our email blasts.  Yet, this activity is not generating any results and you are learning you are potentially upsetting people by cluttering up their inbox.

Possibly some results are neither positive or negative. This may be because enough time has not passed to make any determination.  Here is where you must have understanding as to your sales cycle time.

The ability to increase sales leadership is both simple and complex, The simplicity is sales is all about the transference of feelings. The complexity is exactly how do you transfer those feelings in a positive manner to the right qualified sales leads that result in increase sales.

With so much emphasis on external behaviors from asking the right open ended sales questions to being able to turn stalls into actual sales objections, there appears to be far less emphasis on the internal behaviors which in many instances are the real obstacles to sales success.

If you missed day one of this series of 12 questions to increase sales leadership, you can click here.

Share on Facebook

The 12 Days of Increase Sales Leadership Questions – Day 1

To increase sales leadership results begins not on the outside by attending some sales seminar or reading some sales or business book but on the inside.  During the next couple of weeks, I will be posting 12 questions you can ask yourself.  These are questions of self reflection where you probably won’t find the answer in a book or a motivational speech.

Let’s start with probably one of the easiest questions I ask my sales coaching clients and build up to the hardest question that being #12:

What are you doing differently yesterday, the past week or past month that you were not doing in the past week, month or six months?

Think about this question and then schedule some time to write down EVERYTHING you have been doing differently from actual actions to actual thoughts.

Possibly start a journal and begin to documents what you are doing differently.  Writing these thoughts down brings greater clarity and focus to your ability to increase sales leadership as well as overall personal results.

  • Could you being to improve your overall sales results and reduce your stress levels by engaging in this question on a regular basis? 
  • What do you believe would happen if you did this internal check in daily, weekly or monthly?

If you are fearful of the answer, then attending more sales seminars, sales training or reading more sales books probably won’t help you to increase sales.

Your ability to successful in sales or any endeavor lies deep within you.  You can always find the knowledge and develop the skills necessary for sales success. However if you lack the proper attitudes and habits all the knowledge and the skills won’t transfer to your desired sales results.

These questions will be similar to eating the elephant one bite at a time. Please feel free to leave your comments below.

Share on Facebook

Buzz Words Don’t Sell

Believe it or not, some believe that adopting the most current buzz words will dramatically their increase sales.

Right now the most popular buzz word is sales enablement.  Before that we had trusted advisor, consultative sales,  development specialist, relationship expert, you get the drift.

In many instances, buzz words tell others how you do what you do and not what you do.

In sales, what sells are the results outside of the relationship.

What your sales leads want to know is results do you, your products or services deliver?

The Fallacy of Buzz Words

When a particular buzz word is adopted, sometimes the salesperson believes others know what that word or words actually mean as in sales enablement. Additionally there is a presumption by using a particular flavor of the month moniker, it will reveal the salesperson is ahead of all those other salespeople.

Possibly in selling to much larger organizations (500 employees or more) which represent less than .5% of all U.S. business (source U.S. Census Bureau), their decision makers may know and may embrace these words.  However, at the end of the day, regardless of business size or industry, results are what matter.

Results usually show up in the value proposition, but not always.  Again, many in sales lose sales leads by going into the reeds along the bank.  They stir up a lot of mud and any initial clarity regarding their value proposition is lost.

If you want to adopt any current buzz word, go ahead.  Just remember, buzz words do not sell.  People buy you first. Next they buy on emotions justified by logic.  Finally they buy on value that is unique to them.

Share on Facebook

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.

Share on Facebook

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.

Share on Facebook

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.

Share on Facebook

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.

Share on Facebook

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.

Share on Facebook

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.

Share on Facebook
RSS Subscribe!
Coaching Tip

People buy results or rather people buy the feelings the results deliver.

What’s Happening?

Internal Results interviews
Leanne Hoagland-Smith
. Some of her answers may surprise you.

Check out this podcast on value creation between David Brock and Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Listen to Leanne Hoagland-Smith at Sales Scenario podcasts

Another list of top sales bloggers

Pre-order this great book How to Get a Meeting with Anyone. You may recognize a familiar name.

Top 100 Most Innovative Sales Bloggers Honored this blog is included in this impressive list.

Best Sales Blogger Award for 2014 Third place awarded to Leanne Hoagland-Smith.

NWI SBDC awarded Small Business Journalist of 2014 to Leanne Hoagland-Smith. Awards.

Expand Your Business Horizons
Sign up to receive monthly newsletter devoted to small businesses and busy sales professionals Beyond the Black
Be the Red Jacket
Seeking an easy and practical book on marketing, selling and sales? Read the reviews at Amazon and then order your hard copy or eBook.
Sustainability Expert
The Institute for Sustainability
Ezine Expert
Blogroll – Leadership, OD
Contact Coach Lee

Leanne Hoagland-Smith
219.759.5601 Main Office CDT
219.508.2859 Mobile CDT

Office located near Chicago, IL

www.processspecialist.com Main Website

Sales Corner

Tracking by The Sales Corner
Blog Rankings
Business Blogs - Blog Rankings
Blog Top Sites
Plazoo
RSS Search
Blog Log