Posts Tagged ‘sales success’

The 12 Days of Increase Sales Leadership Questions – Day 8

How often when we look to increase sales leadership, we sometimes fail to focus on what we can control?

Today’s question is all about focusing on what you can control?

How much time do you invest working on your strengths or talents in comparison to the time spent improving your weaknesses or non-talents?

By the way did you notice I changed verbs in this question?  Invest suggests a positive result while spent indicates a negative or non-investment result.

Each year I plan for my own professional development with a far greater emphasis on my talents than my non-talents.  Some of this professional development is mandated through various state requirements and I have little control over those mandates. What I have control over is how I can connect and apply those mandates to my talents.

Of course, if you don’t know what you do well, you could be wasting a lot of time, energy, money and emotions focusing on the wrong solutions that inhibit your ability to increase sales leadership. Yesterday’s question discussed the need for absolute crystal clarity as to your own individual talents.

I am not saying to ignore weaknesses. What I am saying is by devoting more time to improving your talents, you will have better sales results and consequently more sales success.

Human behavior from years of earlier conditioning works against us. All those “red pen” marks to those less than satisfactory grades have us conditioned to look to our weaknesses.  We ignore the plethora of opportunities hidden within our own talents and strengths. What an incredible waste of human potential.

We read about turning potential into performance from a variety of sales training courses to sales experts to even sales leadership coaches. Yet, for this to actually happen starts with our own existing talents and strengths.

Remember:

Winning sales people and sales teams  win because of their talents not because of their weaknesses.

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The 12 Days of Increase Sales Leadership Questions – Day 7

Many believe to increase sales leadership begins with sales training, learning more stuff to improve existing known weaknesses, but in actuality the foundation for sales success lies within the strengths of each salesperson, not their weaknesses, This leads to question number 7:

If people succeed because of their strengths, then do you know with absolute crystal clarity what are your strengths?

During the last 10 years, what I have learned is the super majority of people do not know their strengths as well as they know their weaknesses.  Does this make sense? Think about it for a moment.

Would a legendary coach such as Vince Lombardi hire a quarterback with the weakest throwing arm?  Of course, not! He would seek the individual with the strongest and most accurate throwing arm.

Many psychometric assessments with the goal to increase sales leadership fail to identify the talents of the individual.  The variety of talents reaffirms the variety of salespeople and reveals how they are successful. Human beings are unique and salespeople being human beings are therefore also unique. One talent for one salesperson may not be equally shared by another.  However both can be very successful by leveraging their own strengths. This explains the diversity within any sales team.

Additionally, as Jay Niblick, President of Innermetrix said:

“People tend to turn non-talents into weaknesses.”

Again, the focus from years of negative conditioning is to look at weaknesses or talents ranked lower instead of focusing on those strengths or talents ranked higher.  To increase sales leadership must begin with knowing one’s talents not one’s weaknesses.

There are a plethora of assessments suggesting how to increase sales leadership. For years I did not include assessments within my executive leadership coaching and sales coaching practice because of the poor validity and reliability scores.  However, once I discovered the Attribute Index based upon the works of Dr. Hartman through Axiology, I quickly embraced this talent assessment.

To improve your sales results in 2018 and to achieve sales success, consider the earlier question and ask yourself do you know with absolute crystal clarity your strengths?

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Do These Limitations Unknowingly Restrict Your Sales Success?

In sales, there are many limitations to sustainable sales success. What I have discovered through years of experience reinforced by actual data from the Attribute Index, there are four somewhat hidden limitations that restrict sales success as well as in life in general.

Sales Success Limitations

Self Esteem (Self-Acceptance) – How do you appreciate your own unique self worth? Additionally one bases these feelings on “internal factors, as opposed to external ones.  This internal feeling of value allows them to appreciate themselves based not on what they do, what role they occupy or what success they attain, but rather how they judge themselves based on who they know themselves to be inside.” (Source: Innermetrix)

Remember Sally Field when accepting the Academy Award said “you really like me.”  She was revealing her own self-esteem with those four words.

Role AwarenessHow aware are you of your role in the world? Each role has specific expectations.  If someone does not understand those expectations, they may have further lack of clarity as to what he or she should be doing.

Self Direction How well are you excelling in your chosen career path? People who set personal goals, operate with a passion in this endeavors, be open to change and have a strong sense of duty to their own ideals and goals do not experience this limitation.

Possibly you have heard the statement “realizing your potential?”  When there is a lack of clarity with self-direction, potential is not realized.

Internal Temperament What is your degree of optimism or pessimism?  Our internal temperament is how we tend to view our lives either overly positive or overly negative through our biases.  Some individuals have no biases and are neutral.  I have come to call this potential limitation our “internal passion indicator.” 

Until we have absolute, clear, crystal clarity, we will continue to face our own internal limitations.  Now is not the time to meet the enemy and discover the enemy, the one keeping you from sustainable sales success is you.

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Improve Your Sales Soft Skills

Soft skills are absolutely necessary and critical to be successful in sales. You can ask all the open ended questions, work through the sales process flawlessly and if you lack the ability to connect with your sales leads, all your efforts will be for naught.

salesMuch of the sales training and sales development including some sales coaching focuses on the technical skills.  However years ago one of my coaches, David Herdlinger, crafted a simple quadrant.

He asked what causes failure?  Is it knowledge (K) and skills (S) or attitudes (A) and habits (H)?

Most agree it is attitudes and habits.  Some call this mindset.

Mindset is supported by soft skills or people skills.

So what skills would you rate and how would you rate them?

During the last 20 years, I have recognized these five skills as critical to sales success. Below is a quick chart for you to assess yourself.  Then determine based upon the results of rating each of these skills, prioritize them to chart your own personal development.

Skill Rate 1 for low; 10 for high Priority
Communication especially active listening
Delegation (follow-up)
Decision Making respective to type of sales leads; sales conversations, etc.
Leadership (including personal accountability, self starting ability, persistence, goal setting/goal achievement)
Time Management

If people buy from people they know and trust, doesn’t it make sense that people skills should be equal in importance to technical sales skills?

For SMB owners and salespeople, marketing is the first step in demonstrating those soft skills.  Peter Drucker believed a business had two basic functions, marketing and innovation. He also contended if marketing is done well, then selling is effortless.

People must buy you first before they can buy your solutions.  My father shared this hierarchy respective to sales obstacles:

  1. You
  2. Your business
  3. Your solution
  4. Your price
  5. Your delivery

If you want less sales objections, make sure your sales leads buy you first. By taking the time to rate your soft skills, might be the next step to moving you closer to sales success.

Consider reaching out to Leanne and schedule a quick phone call 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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Great Salespeople Make Selling Look Easy

Ever wonder why so many people are venturing into being solo entrepreneurs or SMB owners?  Beyond the obvious advantage of being your own boss, my sense is these folks have witnessed great salespeople who make selling look easy.

great-salespeopleJust hop over to LinkedIn and scan a few profile summaries.  Immediately you will see a difference between those who understand sales and those who think they understand sales.

Sales is simple.  Someone called a buyer has a want or need and someone else called a seller has a product or service to fit that want or need. Pretty easy, well not so much so.

Social selling has only reinforced this notion that selling is easy.  Sure you can buy Twitter followers or make a zillion posts on Facebook and when you measure the results, what do you discover?

People buy from people they know and trust. To create that knowing and trusting persona takes time, energy, money and emotions. Great salespeople are willing to make those investments.

Just as in leadership, great sales people are made not born. They develop over time.  These forward thinking sales leaders are self directed toward continuous improvement themselves by honing their knowledge, talents and sales skills.

Through the years I have had the opportunity to meet truly great salespeople who understood “sales is the transference of feelings.” (Zig Ziglar). From them I learned what to do and what not to do.

My sense of selling is authentic, laid back and I have crystal clarity as to who my ideal target market is.  Yes some of my clients do not fit my ideal customer profile, however over time more often than not they do grow into that role.

If you want to have sales success, then look to follow, listen and learn from those who have sales success. Be willing to accept their is no quick fix for sales success and you will be nearly half way to your own success.

 

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Great Salespeople Truly Never Give Up

Once again, we witnessed how the underdog, the team, the individual never gave up. This “never give up” attitude is also embedded within great salespeople.

great-salespeople

Credit www.gratisography.com

2016 was and 2017 appears to be years where the can do attitude, never give up attitude will triumph over the can’t do one. Henry Ford is quoted as saying:

“Whether you think you can or you think you cannot, either way you will be right.” 

How many times do we allow our own inner voices and sometimes the outside voices of others defeat us when we are so close to winning, to success?  Thomas Edison realized this when he said:

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Great salespeople persevere especially when the going gets tough. They keep moving forward even when defeats happen.  F. Scott Fitzgerald also recognized the essence of perseverance when he wrote:

“Never ever confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.”

American Author, William Feather echoed Fitzgerald’s words through a different bullhorn.

“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.”

There will always be naysayers who will be quick to shout your defeat.  Great salespeople shake these words off like dogs who shake their coats after after running through the rain or snow.

Years ago I read something about “if you give you, you never truly wanted it.”  For sales success,  you must want success beyond the dollars and cents.  Money as a motivator is necessary, but not truly sustainable.

As my husband, a now retired entrepreneur said:

“It is not a question of do I know it, but rather one of do I want to do it?”

His words reflect an internal desire to want to win that goes beyond the external rewards of money, status and recognition.   The want to is how his and our  own self-confidence, self esteem and self worth are reaffirmed.

Great salespeople know how to overcome the limitations preventing them from sales success. Many live by these words of General Hannibal:

“We will either find a way or make one.”

Do You Want to be Among the Great Salespeople?

Learn what motivates you to never give up!

Take advantage of this special offer by CLICKING HERE.

 

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Sales Leadership Requires You Know What You Do Well

Over the last 10 years, I have discovered this startling fact among those in sales leadership roles:

98.7% do not know what they truly do well!

The irony, if you want to call it that, is 95.4% of these same salespeople know what they don’t do well.

Sales Leadership Question

Why do winning sales teams win?

  • Answer A) Because of the weaknesses of their salespeople
  • Answer B) Because of the strengths or talents of their salespeople
sales-leadership

Credit www.pixabay.com

Most sales managers, SMB owners and salespeople respond with “B, of course.” So if that is true, then why do so few salespeople know what they truly do well?

Through one if not the most accurate psychometric assessments in the marketplace, the Attribute Index, salespeople and other professionals learn how they make decisions externally and internally along with 78 core talents that can be separated into:

  • Interpersonal – talents used when making external decisions
  • Intrapersonal – talents used when making internal decisions

Some of the intrapersonal talents begin with this word of “self” as in self confidence, self direction, self esteem, self management or self starting ability. The interpersonal talents include accountability for others, realistic goal setting for others and relating to others.

When people do not know what they do well and focus their efforts on what they think they do well, numerous opportunities are missed.

What is even worse, people through conditioned behavior continue to prioritize fixing their weaknesses even though knowing full well sales success comes through one’s strengths.

Isn’t it time for those in sales leadership roles to truly know by having crystal, clear clarity what they do well?

Benjamin Franklin understood the power in having clarity around our strengths, our talents when he said:

“Wasted strengths are like sundials in the shade.”

Can you afford not to know what you do well? Learn what you do well along with what motivates you and how you communicate through this SPECIAL OFFER. (until 2/28/2017)

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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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Sustainable Sales Success – Tip #20 – Empathy

People buy from people.  This is a fact. Since people buy from people, then to develop those people relationships is very dependent upon the salesperson’s capacity for empathy.  This may help to explain the sales success for many top performing salespeople.

sales-success

Credit www.pixabay.com

Years ago I heard the difference between empathy and sympathy.  Both of these terms recognized the emotions and situations of others.  The difference was this one word – agreement.

  • When we are sympathetic we are in agreement with the other person.
  • When we are empathetic we acknowledge the other person’s situation, but do not necessarily agree with it.

Sales success is built upon understanding the emotional wants and needs of the sales prospect.  How we share that understanding is very much about our empathy and its foundation of emotional intelligence because we:

  • Recognize and understand the emotions of others
  • Recognize and understand our own emotions
  • Manage both of these emotions

Back in February of 2013, I wrote this:

When sales people have the capacity to perceive and understand the feelings of others, this bodes well for their ability to build authentic relationships.  This sales leadership talent of empathetic outlook does involve being consciously aware of the impact of your actions on others.  Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Empathetic outlook is all about interpersonal intelligence within the realm of emotional intelligence.

Today some sales training experts continue to focus on sales skills, technical tools and yet fail to truly acknowledge the importance of empathy specific to building relationships.  For example, a sales prospect does not call when he or she promised. The salesperson begins to first focus only on his or her emotions of disappointment to discouragement.  When the salesperson and the sales prospect finally reconnect, those emotions may surface or are still submerged.  The prospect may sense those emotions and this may have a negative impact on the interaction.

Empathy is a necessary behavior for sales success. To ignore this talent, this capacity, may harm future business and individual growth.

Learn about these 78-core-talents-self-eval-dl and consider the special offer.

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