Posts Tagged ‘sales results’

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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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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Sales Success Goes Beyond Determination

Many sales experts including sales coaches share quotes about sales success or success in general. These words of wisdom sometimes include the word determination.  Yet determination is almost a smoke screen hiding the one of the essential characteristics for sales success.

What Is Hiding?

Years ago I learned this definition of success from Resource Associates Corporation and discovered what was hiding within many definitions of success:

“Success is the continual achievement of your predetermined goals stabilized by balance and purified by belief.”

Your actions must be predetermined.  Determined spraying and praying your actions will not yield the success you want.

Later I amended this great definition of success by adding these two clauses:

“Success is the continual achievement of your predetermined goals stabilized by balance, purified by belief, aligned to your purpose and fueled by your passion.”

I believe misalignment of purpose happens with determined actions.  As a colleague said “People confuse motion with progress and activity with results.” Our passion is what keeps us going after those too frequent not interested to all those voice mails that are never returned.

Sales success begins and ends with predetermined actions. President and General Dwight Eisenhower said “Plans are worthless; planning is everything.” Determined actions are the plans while predetermined actions are the planning.

Predetermination beginning actions include making lists such as what I suggested in yesterday’s blog. Reflection is a companion to predetermination actions because you are thinking about what specifically needs to be done before you take determined action.

Reflection upon what has happened during the day is the end of daily predetermination actions.

  • How did the day go?
  • What went well?
  • What didn’t go as well as planned?
  • Whom did you fail?
  • Who helped you?
  • What actions will you take tomorrow?

Sales Coaching Tip:  This is an exceptional book, From Values to Actions,  about predetermined action and success in sales, in leadership and in life.

As you embrace each day, write down what actions are necessary to move you forward to achieve your desired sales results. Then predetermined actions will become an attitude, a habit of thought, and propel you toward the sale success finish line.

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Too Many Impersonal Sales Questions May Limit Your Sales Results

Funny thing about humans beings, we back off from personal questions and yet we want people to know us.  Many sales questions are logical, impersonal and just may unintentionally limit or restrict sales results.

If sales is the transference of feelings (Zig Ziglar) and I believe this is true, then results driven salespeople have the capacity to frame impersonal questions into personal ones without violating the sales prospect’s personal space. Training and then developing this capacity is missing in many sales training programs and even with some sales coaching solutions.

For example, there are still sales training programs asking this couched prospecting sales question:

What keeps you up at night?

The desired end result of this question is to find the “pain” of the sales lead.  Yet, there are a plethora of different sales questions that can deliver far better results and better yet differentiate you from all those other numskulls.

Imagine asking this question:

If you could wave a magic wand, what would the three things you would like to see different in your business (substitute with your people, your process, your sales, your results)?

Asking proactive questions that fringe on being impersonal without being too personal can deliver the facts you are seeking to present your case.

There are other questions, but if I gave them all to you, why would you continue to read this blog or even reach out to speak with me?

Sales is still very simple, though not necessarily easy.  The level of difficulty increases with more complex sales that require more decision makers.  For most SMB owners and sales professionals, they probably do not engage in complex sales with the frequency of much larger firms with 100 or more employees.

People buy from people they know and trust.  Your sales questions must showcase you are knowledgeable and trustworthy.  Sounding like all the other salespeople with their antiquated and too personal questions will not increase sales.

Schedule a time to speak with Leanne Hoagland-Smith by CLICKING HERE.

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Seeking a Question to Boost Your Negotiations and Sales Results?

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was just one question that could boost your negotiations and sales results? No longer would you have to remember all those other opened ended sales questions that have you so focused on remembering what to say next, you lose sight of the desired end result – successfully negotiating or closing the sale.

sales-resultsIn a conversation with one of my colleagues, Viveka von Rosen, she shared how this article, Women Make 87 Cents on the Dollar! Seriously? at LinkedIn was creating a plethora of private messages from women seeking a negotiation specialist. Many of these women recognized they were not as successful as they thought they could be in negotiating and closing sales.

Nearly 20 years ago I learned one powerful question that has continued to increase my negotiations and sales results.   I wish I could say it was my creation, but is wasn’t. My continued thanks to Tammy Kohl who is now President of Resource Associates Corp for sharing this simple question.

The reason this question is so powerful is in its simplicity as well as how it subtly changes the dynamics of the sales conversation.   Additionally, this question is quite emotionally intelligent in that it is incredibly authentic by being sensitive to the sales prospect’s thinking process.

This question does presume you have asked the right questions up to this point.  The question also presumes you have done your research and your questions showcase you as the Red Jacket not all the other gray suits who have asked those common open ended sales questions that potentially reveal their sales training program.

Of course, there is one behavior that must accompany this question or the question will fall flat on its face and leave you pocket poor.

Can you be silent? 

I mean can you remain totally silent for 5, 10 to even 20 minutes after you ask the question because the next person to talk must be your sales prospect.  Silence in this instance is very green.

So the question to boost your negotiations and sales results is simply:

Where do we go from here?

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3 Simple Actions to Take Today to Change Your Sales Results Tomorrow

sales-resultsOver the course of nearly 40 plus years in business, I have been fortunate to meet many much smarter people than myself. One of those individuals is Ray Overdorff who recently shared three (3) simple actions to change one’s sales results.

#1 – Commitment to be a Better Communicator

Sales regardless of all the hype by so called experts is 100% about people buying from other people.  To buy from you, you must talk to your sales prospect.  Communication both verbally and written is the key in making that happen unless of course you are telepathic.

What this means is no sales pitches during the first to even third conversations. People must buy you first, before they can buy your company and your solution.

#2 – Look for Ways to Get People More Involved

Remember the old adage, “no one wants to be sold but everyone wants to buy.”  Getting people involved in your sales process is a significant key to improved sales results.  To be more involved returns to the #1 action, being a better communicator.

Getting more people involved is also the essence of a high performance sales culture.  It is not just the salespeople responsibility to increase sales.  Everyone in your SMB must be 100% committed to both external customers (paying customers) and internal ones (other employees).  If your salespeople cannot secure the involvement of the order department to the delivery department, then the external customer ultimately suffers.

#3 – Get a Coach (Results Driven, Ethical)

When salespeople get a good coach who is results driven and highly ethical, then they will see improved sales results.  Depending upon the industry and the limitations facing the salesperson, these results may materialize as quickly as 24-48 hours or may take longer.

Not all sales coaches, executive coaches or business coaches are cut from the same cloth.  One suggestion is to ask about how the coach, coaches, his or her process.  Read the reviews and if possible talk to one or two of the coach’s clients.

Yes just by taking these three (3) simple actions, you can change your sales results.

P.S. Always remember to give credit to whom it is due.

If you are considering hiring a sales coach, schedule a complimentary session with Leanne Hoagland-Smith by clicking here.

 

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Sales Coaching Tip: 3 Words to Change Your Sales Results

What would happen to your ability to increase sales results if you just remembered three (3) words in all your interactions with sales prospects, sales leads, colleagues and clients?  Do you possibly think you could change your sales results?

sales-results

Credit – www.pixabay.com

 

Sales Coaching Tip:  Feel

When you meet with someone because people buy from people they know and trust, what do you what them to feel because trust begins with an emotion, a feeling.  Trust does not begin from a point of logic. Knowledge, facts or logic support the building of trust.

People are human beings who are emotional creatures first and foremost.  Our feelings are innate within us. People buy on emotion first, justified by logic.  So why wouldn’t you think about this word “feel.”  What do you want others to feel about you?

Sales Coaching Tip: Know

Once the feelings are in place, then what do you want the other person to know about you, your company and if you have enough time your solution. This “knowing” continues to build the relationship that came from the feelings. Remember your first to third meetings may just expand your buyer knowing about you and continuing those positive feelings of trust.

Sales Coaching Tip: Do

Finally before you conclude the sales conversation, what do you want the person to do? A call to action from a simple “Let’s get together for coffee” or “Let’s connect on LinkedIn” allows you to continue making contact with the individual.  Given most sales are earned after 4 contacts, then possibly the reason your sales results are languishing is because you aren’t making enough contacts?

Remember these three words are not just about your sales leads, your prospects, but are equally about you.

What do  you feel when meeting a new person?

What do you know about yourself and know about that person?

What do you want to do regarding this sales conversation or sales appointment?

Yes Feel, Know and Do are three action verbs that can truly improve your sales results.

If I asked what what do you do well, what would you tell me.  Here are 78-core-talents-self-eval-dl.  Identify your first one and then take this special opportunity to confirm your own beliefs. What I have learned is over 98% of the salespeople and executives I have assessed, do not know what they do well. Then two questions are:

“How many sales opportunities have you lost?”

Can you continue to lose sales opportunities?

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How One Word Can Change Your SMB Sales Results

Sometimes those in sales look for complex solutions to improve sales results. I realized this recently when listening to a Sunday homily and my pastor referred to the Lord’s Prayer as our Father’s Prayer.

sales-resultsBy changing the word Lord to Father gives the receiver an entirely different perspective.  The focus changes from one person to another.

In sales, there are a plethora of words that can be changed to improve sales results. What would happen if we changed the following words?

Need to consider – The word need implies judgment. This word conveys negative emotions. However, the word consider is not only more emotionally intelligent it also works with the Theory of Self-Determination.  Now the listener has the opportunity to make a choice where the word “need” removes all choice.

Sell to buy – No one likes to be sold, but everyone loves to buy so we are continually reminded.  With decision makers being more educated, by redirecting the focus to the buyer changes the dynamics of the relationship.

Think to sense – Again, the word think may imply judgment as well as authority.  When exchanging the word think with the word sense creates completely different dynamics.  Now the salesperson is working with emotional intelligence instead of working against emotional intelligence.

Have to Great – Do you tell people to have a great day?  What would happen if you said “Make it a great day?”  By changing this one word again, you have changed the behaviors from inactive to proactive.

Words do have a powerful impact within our SMB sales conversations as well as our internal thoughts. Additionally people become inoculated to certain words and ignore them.  How many times do we hear the word “help” as people share their 30 second introductions or value proposition statements? Do you mentally turn out when you hear the word “help?”

Of course to change your words require you to actively listen wit your ears, your eyes and your heart. Did a certain word create a positive or negative reaction? What word would have made your communication more effective?

When salespeople understand how to change just one word, they will be surprised by the results.  Years ago I adopted this personal mantra:

Change your words; improve your results 

Today this is so very true especially if you want improved sales results.

Click HERE to schedule a complimentary sales conversation with Leanne if you truly want to increase sales and improve your SMB sales results.

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Time to Drink from the Glass of Sales Optimism

2017 appears to be one of optimism if we believe a recent poll by Morning Consult. Consumers have expressed the strongest confidence at 113.7 since August of 2001. All these positive indicators should also spur drinking from the glass of sales optimism.

sales-optimism

Credit www.pixabay.com

Of course, if you as a salesperson are not feeling confident all the good news, positive indicators will not change your sales optimism. Maybe you are a half empty drinker?

Some Reflection Questions

Possibly it may make sense to ask yourself, what sales behaviors are you expressing as you meet with people?

Are sales leads feeling your optimism?

Are prospects seeing your energy?

Are colleagues sensing your excitement?

If your business growth or sales results in 2016 were not where you wanted them to be, what changes can you make to ensure different results in 2017?

Vision – Values – Mission

Here are some additional questions to ask yourself to change your sales results.

Where do I want to be by the end of 2017?  This is your vision for just the current year.

How will I behave to achieve those desired outcomes. This is your values, your business ethics.

What will I do each month or quarter to execute the necessary behaviors (actions). These are the action steps within your mission for 2017.

Words of Wisdom

Sales optimism always return to your own mind.  In the words of Henry Ford “Whether you think you can or you think you cannot, either way you are right.”

You have the choice to move forward, to preserve or to stay where you are potentially hunkered down in some corner with the mental hope things will get better.

Thomas Jefferson recognized that inaction is an action when he said “Action will delineate and define you.”

“Action is the foundational key to all success” and Pablo Picasso is right.

Possibly the beginning to sales optimism is within these words of Zig Ziglar

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

So get going, invest some time to plan each day, track your activity and your sales results.

If you require some assistance, please use what I call the 4 Points to Sales Success (see below) along with the guidelines.  This is a tool I created from my father’s old paper tracking of his daily sales activity results.

Download four-points-to-sales-success (Active Excel File)

Download Guidelines 4-pts-success-sales-tool-guidelines (PDF File)

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2017 New Sales Behaviors Replace Create with Connect

The last couple of years in the word of sales training there has been a focus on sales behaviors specific to how salespeople create value.  I find this word “create” to be misleading and very much ego centered (All about me!).  What I suggest to my sales coaching clients is to replace “create” with this more emotionally intelligent word of connect.

sales-behaviorsNow I must admit to my own negative bias. I believe no one in sales can create value because value is unique to each decision maker, each buyer.  Why does one person like blue and another like red? If salespeople could create value, then the person would be sold to like red.  And most of us know no one wants to be sold. We could literally live in a world where everyone drove a Yugo, ate at McDonald’s and shopped at Walmart.

When we think, speak and write the word connect, we are actually engaged in more authentic sales behaviors.  As salespeople we are looking how to bridge the gap between the buyer’s position and our position.

Another advantage of the word connect is it implies a more level relationship where a good ego is present.  Create is a word that suggests a very strong ego and strong egos are not necessarily beneficial when it comes to the ability to increase sales.

Finally, the word connect works with the sales buying rule people buy from people they know and trust.  When salespeople work to connect with the other sales prospects, they are actively engaged in employing those essential soft skills as well as emotional intelligence.

The last several days this leadership and sales blog has focused on changing sales behaviors by replacing existing words with different words to enhance the sales relationship.  If you missed any of these postings, you may find them below:

2017 New Sales Behaviors: Replace Plan with Campaign

2017 New Sales Behaviors Replace Help with Facilitate

2017 New Sales Behaviors Replace Obstacle with Limitation 

My own personal mantra is “Change your words; improve your results.”  Please let me know if you have changed your words and if your new sales behaviors have improved your sales results.

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