There are lots of different ways to tackle the issue of time management — you can download apps, adjust your sleep time, create lists, etc. But if you don’t fully understand why it’s important for you to better manage your time, those apps and lists aren’t going to help you. If you don’t have the motivation to use them, you won’t.
You have to first look at the big picture. Get a handle on why managing your time effectively is important, and what you stand to gain from it. You can get started by downloading the FREE Guide Below:
How do you define selling? A lot of people think of selling as persuading/convincing people to buy things they may or may not want or need. To some, selling is all about closing a deal. Thinking of selling like this is not very empowering to you. Frankly, if you have this perspective on selling, it’s no wonder if you hate it. I would too!
So what perspective can you take about selling that will make it enjoyable, exciting and something you look forward to? Sounds like a bit of a tall order doesn’t it? Read on.
Hopefully by now, you have made the list of all the problems that you can solve for your target market. You’re going to be surprised how long that list grows over time. So really, if you look at your list and you think about it, you are a master problem solver. What you’re really doing is helping people. Correct?
So, try on this perspective about what selling is: Selling is helping people. Selling is serving. Selling is a process of identifying and solving people’s problems.
See, feel and know that selling is serving. This will cause a big shift for you. With this perspective, you will really become passionate about wanting to help people. Find this passion and let it shine through.
It is your purpose, your moral obligation, to have as many sales conversations with people as you can so you can help as many people as possible. If you’re not having these types of sales conversations, you are holding back the gift you have to offer the world. You owe it to people to be there for them with your expertise and wisdom.
Next time you’re talking to a potential client, think about how you can help them, how you can serve them. Forget about trying to sell them something. If what you have to offer does solve their problems, and you facilitate the conversation using the strategies we are covering, people will sell themselves and will subsequently buy from you.
If you have a perspective on selling which is one of service and helping people, how do you think the people you’re talking to will feel? Think about this: people hate to be sold. The minute they feel they’re being sold, they often want to get away – fast. Don’t you? On the other hand, if they feel you are sincerely trying to help them solve their problems, they will relax and open up to you.
If you have a perspective on selling which is one of service and helping people, how do you think you will feel? Does energized, excited, relaxed, and natural come to mind?
This perspective is simple but powerful and very attractive to clients.
Fear of rejection. The sheer negative force of anticipating rejection makes people turn to e-mail to generate new prospect relationships because it hurts less to not get a reply than to hear that verbal “no.”
Getting blocked by gatekeepers and voicemail. When salespeople don’t know how to break through the barriers of gatekeepers and voicemail, they start thinking, “Forget it — it’s not worth the aggravation, and it takes too much energy. I’ll just e-mail instead.”
However, when you try to use e-mail to offer your product or service to someone who doesn’t know you, you can’t possibly establish the natural dialogue between two people that allows the trust level to reach the level necessary for a healthy, long-term relationship.
We all know how much everyone hates e-mail spam, but even so, many salespeople are still sending introductory e-mails to decisionmakers. They feel that, because they’re from a credible organization, they won’t be associated with the negative image of a spam solicitor.
However, these introductory e-mails typically contain the traditional three-part sales pitch — the introduction, a mini-presentation about the products and services being offered, and a call to action — and this traditional selling approach instantly tells the recipient of the e-mail that your only goal is to sell your product or service, so you can attain your goals, and not theirs.
If you’re still using email to sell, watch out for these 7 pitfalls:
- Avoid sales pitches. If you feel you must use e-mail to start a new relationship, make your message about issues and problems that you believe your prospects are having, but don’t say anything to indicate that you’re assuming that both of you are a match.
- Stop thinking that e-mail is the best way to get to decision makers. Traditional selling has become so ineffective that salespeople have run out of options for creating conversation, both over the phone and in person. However, it’s best to view e-mail as a backup option only, not as a way to create new relationships. Try to use it primarily for sending information and documents after you’ve developed a relationship with a prospect.
- Remove your company name from the subject line. Whenever you put your company and solution first, you create the impression that you can’t wait to give a presentation about your product and services. Your subject line should be a humble reference to issues that you may be able to help prospects solve.
- Stop conditioning your prospects to hide behind e-mail. When you e-mail prospects, it’s easy for them to avoid you by not responding. Also, they get used to never picking up the phone and having a conversation with you — and they may want to avoid you because they’re afraid that, if they show interest in what you have to offer, you’ll try to close them. This creates sales pressure — the root of all selling woes. This avoidance becomes a vicious circle. If you learn to create pressure-free conversations, you’ll find that you’ll start getting phone calls from prospects who aren’t afraid to call you.
- Avoid using e-mail as a crutch for hand ling sticky sales situations. Are prospects not calling you back? Many salespeople who call me for coaching ask how they can get themselves out of sticky situations with prospects — but the e-mails they’ve sent have already triggered those prospects to retreat. It’s tricky to come up with the correct softening language in an e-mail that will re-open a conversation with a prospect who has decided to close off communication — direct, person-to-person phone calls or meetings are much easier and more human.
- Avoid using “I” and “we.” When you start an introductory e-mail with “I” or “we,” you immediately give the impression that you care only about selling your solution, rather than being open to a conversation that may or may not lead to a mutually beneficial match between what you have to offer and the issues your prospect may be trying to solve. If you can change your sales language to a natural conversation, your prospect will be less likely to stereotype your message as a spam solicitation.
- If you can, stop using e-mail selling altogether. There is a way to renew your confidence and eliminate your reluctance to picking up the phone and have pleasant conversations with potential prospects. Learn a completely new way of working with gatekeepers that will get you past voicemail and to your decisionmakers without the rejection and frustration that are inevitable with traditional selling approaches.
For all these reasons, you should think of e-mail as your last resort. If you can learn to pick up the phone without fear, start a trusting conversation with a gatekeeper, learn how to go beyond voice mail and find your decision makers, you’ll join the many who have made their own personal selling breakthrough.
What I want to discuss in this article is the basic idea of honesty. The internet is a wonderful place to do business, but with the continuous flood of spyware, malware, and spam, it can be a horrible and very frustrating for the average user.
I am amazed, but not surprised, by the unethical practice of businesses using popups and spam to sell a product. It isn’t surprising because the fact is that those business practices work. Any of us that have worked in this field for a while know that traffic is king.
My experience has been one of honest return for honesty when dealing with customers. Maybe it’s not a quick buck, but I can look at myself in the mirror in the morning and know I did the right thing. I would rather have a customer for life than a fly by night sale to a customer that I tricked into buying my product.
It isn’t always about the bottom line of making cash. It should be about service and product value.
The one major challenge with doing business online is that we don’t always get to be face to face with our customers. Even so, there are ways around this that will bring value to your customer and value in repeat business. It doesn’t cost that much to call and thank someone for their business.
It doesn’t cost much to send out a thank you card. I think at times we forget that email isn’t the only way to communicate. With the prevalence of spam, it isn’t always the best way to communicate either. The internet can be a very impersonal place.
It is ethically challenging to all of us who try to sell a product or business online. Is there a chance of giving away too much with little return? That is always a chance we take when we offer advice or tips to a customer. I can guarantee that over time, the word gets around, and your business will develop a core group of customers who value your service and will tell others.
Being a small business is a challenge in the fast-paced retail world of chain stores. We can’t offer the huge discounts the major chain stores can, but we can offer service value for the product. I challenge anyone in small business to take that little bit of extra time to teach users the do’s and don’ts of customer service. It will benefit your business and benefit the customer as well.
“The world we’ve made, as a result of the level of thinking we have done thus far, creates problems we cannot solve at the same level of thinking” – Albert Einstein
Runaway success is never based on incremental improvement. I know this is a very bold statement, but bold statements and even bolder results are what breakthroughs are all about. What about in your company – what would constitute a breakthrough? Would you like to increase overall productivity by 40%? Of course, you would! But would you commit to it? What about expanding sales by 50% – in one quarter! Or cultivating a completely new distribution channel – in two months! Sound impossible? Breakthrough results always “seem” impossible at the time you commit to them. If they seemed reasonable, they wouldn’t qualify as breakthroughs.
Breakthroughs share the following characteristics:
1) The results are not predictable based on your past performance. If you routinely increase revenues a handsome 20% per year, a 50% increase would be a breakthrough. Developing a new product or service in 3 months would be a breakthrough if it normally takes you six.
2) You commit to the results, in advance, without knowing how to accomplish them, and without a plan. This is the exact opposite of “let’s study this” syndrome.
3) And finally, they define outcomes which are concrete and measurable, and lead to a new level of performance. By virtue of its accomplishment, a breakthrough will stretch and grow the capabilities of your company.
Critical Success Tip
The “secret” to producing breakthrough results is putting the cart before the horse. Standard organizational decision making says “What do we need, what are we capable of, and how can we use our capabilities to produce what we need?” Breakthrough thinking says “What are we committed to, we believe in the possibility of that commitment, and what can we do next?”
Think for a moment about creating a breakthrough in how you respond to client requests. Instead of “going back and thinking about it”, breakthroughs require you to first commit to your client, then figure it out and take action. This may seem distasteful, even weird – our culture holds strong taboos against making promises we can’t keep. And if you couple this with a common fear of failure…you will resist making bold promises and you will not produce breakthroughs.
Critical Success Tip
Try anything and fail faster! Don’t worry about whether it’s going to work or not. If it seems like it can work, if it might produce the results you want, do it! In fact, the more things you implement, the more unworkable approaches you discover and get out of the way, the quicker you are likely to find a solution which yields the breakthrough. Also, a willingness to implement wild, even crazy, nontraditional approaches can produce results in record time. Remember, we are not talking about problems which need incremental solutions – you already know how to do these. Take the things you do that work, and make them better, or do more of them. But, as the author Rita Mae Brown wrote, “Insanity is when you keep doing the same things expecting different results”. By definition, you don’t know how to produce a breakthrough, so get busy and fail faster.
Bold Promises and Action
There are four steps to creating breakthroughs.
1) Ask yourself the question: “What important “thing” – which I currently think is impossible – would I commit to, right now, if I actually believed it would be possible to accomplish?”
2) Make a bold promise which commits you to the accomplishment of that “thing”. Make sure your promise (your commitment) is specific, measurable, and has a completion date. Also – this is critical – go public with your commitment. Tell concerned people, like your entire organization, your investors, or your customers.
3) Invent ways to deliver on your commitment, and spring into action.
4) Keep going until you’re done…a major breakthrough is just inches away.
Critical Success Tip
The magic to using the breakthrough technology is this: Make bold promises, publicly. Then, stay in action…do the next thing…find out if it worked…then do the next thing…find out if that worked, and so on. These steps are all driven by that crazy, breakthrough commitment you made.