December 2013 | Click links (>>) below to read articles
  • Rules Of Selling by Bill Lee >>
  • Selling Your Invisibles by Jim Meisenheimer >>
  • Are Your Sales Messages Insulting? by Art Sobczak >>


Rules Of Selling
by Bill Lee

All things being equal, people want to do business with their friends. All things NOT being equal, most people still want to do business with their friends. Politicians call this the "Good Old Boy Network." But anyone who has ever been a professional salesperson knows that the "Good Old Boy Network" exists not just in politics, but in the business world, as well.

The fact is -- pure and simple -- the relationship between the prospect you wish were your customer and the salesperson that prospect is currently buying from is stronger than your relationship with that prospect.

If you believe this statement and if you wish to become more effective at taking prospects away from their existing suppliers, you must develop an effective process to make sure your prospects love, like and respect you more than they love, like and respect your competitors.

Problem: Most salespeople are too impatient. They quote a prospect while he is still little more than an acquaintance. Remember one of my favorite sayings: "Quoting is not selling." Quoting is a task; anyone can quote. But a major part of the selling process is figuring out ways to make your prospect love, like and respect you enough to think seriously about doing business with you and your company.

There are a lot of characteristics necessary to be a really high-volume salesperson. One of them I believe that you need is to be -- not outwardly, but inwardly -- just a little bit cocky. You must believe down deep inside that you can sell anybody, all you need is enough time to "earn" his or her business.

Football teams use the word "swagger" to describe this internal feeling of confidence. It's a difficult to explain the gut feeling you have that when the there's no time left on the game clock, you and your team take home the trophy.

This is where drive and determination come in. If you want something badly enough, odds are you are going to achieve it; that is, if your goals are at all realistic. Really great salespeople are "hungry." They are innovative at coming with ways to get close to people.

My personal favorite technique for pulling this off is to help my prospects solve their most pressing business problems or to help them put more money on the bottom line BEFORE I ever think about asking for an order.

You may use other techniques, but regardless of the methods you have chosen to use, you still have to convince your prospects that they are better off buying from you than they are when they buy from one of your competitors.

One of the reasons you hear so much about enthusiasm in sales seminars is because enthusiastic salespeople are such a rare commodity. Builders will find themselves responding favorably to salespeople who seem to be highly enthusiastic about not just what they are selling, but their industry and their profession, as well.

Three things have to happen to make a sale to top prospects who are happy with an existing supplier:

1. You have to believe in our heart that you work for the greatest company in town.

2. You have to believe in your heart that your company provides the greatest service in town.

3. You have to believe in your heart that you can make a positive difference in the profitability of your prospect's business.

Try this: List ten benefits your prospects will receive when they do business with you and your company that they don't receive when doing business with the competition.

If you can't come up with ten benefits your prospects will receive when they begin buying from you and your company, you need to sit down with your owner or general manager and begin working on a plan of action.

Call Bill about presenting a Sales Seminar for your sales team. For more information, contact Bill at 864-303-8366 or email Bill at BLEE3PARIS@AOL.COM

About The Author:

BILL LEE is a business expert. Starting out in 1965 as a field sales representative and then a sales manager with New York City-based GAF Corporation, he soon became a part owner of one of the fastest growing start-up companies in the US — Builder Marts of America, Inc. (BMA)

Bill and his partners grew BMA from a startup to sales of $640 million in just under 20 years. Bill served as a corporate officer at BMA with general management responsibility for the company’s largest division.

Today, Bill is a sought-after seminar leader and business consultant who works extensively throughout the US and Canada.

He is author of Gross Margin: 26 Factors Affecting Your Bottom Line, now in its third printing.

His most recent book, 30 Ways Managers Shoot Themselves in the Foot was released in October 2005.

Thousands of owners, managers and salespeople read Bill’s award winning ezines and magazine articles on sales and gross margin improvement and best management practices.

Bill is president of Lee Resources, Inc., a Greenville, SC-based consulting, training and publishing organization.


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Selling Your Invisibles
by Jim Meisenheimer

You've heard this before. People buy from people they like. And why shouldn't they?

Don't ever think your product is so good that it needs little or no salesmanship because your product is quite capable of selling itself.

Throughout the day when you're talking with new sales prospects and even with your existing customers there are lots of little things that are either helping your sales effort or in some cases might be hurting your sales effort.

These little things are mostly invisible. But you can bet the ranch they are tagging along with you on every sales call.

During my speaking engagements and corporate sales training programs I can't help but envy salespeople who always seem to be smiling. For them smiling comes naturally. Not so for me because I have a serious side and so I have to make an extra effort to crank up a genuine smile.

Just because you can't see these things, don't ever underestimate their value, especially during your sales calls.

I encourage you to embrace these invisibles and do what you can to make them work for you.

The smile factor. In sales, nothing beats a smile and I mean nothing. Your smile can light up entire room or if you're not careful blow out all the candles in this room.

If you've been a subscriber to this newsletter for any length of time, you know that I'm originally from New York City. The only people New Yorkers talk to are the people they know. Saying hello to strangers is about as common as ordering cold slices of pizza. It just doesn't happen.

Try doing this the next time you're visiting New York City. Smile at everybody you encounter, on sidewalks, in the hotel lobby and even in hotel elevators. Guess what happens? When you smile the other person automatically smiles back at you.

There's no reason to stop smiling during a sales call. If your sales prospect gets upset with you because he says, "Your price is too high." Wait a moment and put a big smile on your face and say, "I was expecting you to say that."

Your smile will warm-up the coldest room so don't forget to use it. If the people you're with aren't smiling that's a pretty good indication that you aren't either. If you're in sales, you should smile first.

The likability factor. How likable are you? Do you attract people to you or do you push them away because of your personality and behaviors? I used to go to neighborhood parties and there's one neighbor who just could not stop talking. Surprisingly he was in sales. Got to the point where no one asked him any questions because he could take an hour to answer your question. It was pretty sad.

Don't treat people the way you want to be treated, treat people the way they want to be treated because that's one of the secret keys to becoming more likable. And the more they like you, the more they'll buy from you.

The power of positive thinking. Why be negative when you can be positive? Being positive increases your self-confidence. Being positive enables you to stand out from a mostly negative crowd. Always expect every sales call to be your best sales call. Always expect the outcomes of your sales calls to be the best they can be.

Here's one more reason for you to choose positive thinking over negative thinking. Look at the faces belonging to people who are positive thinkers and look at the faces of people who are mostly negative thinkers.

Enough said? Looking good has an awful lot to do with your invisible attitude. Cicero once said, "After 40, your face is your own fault." Ya know - he was right.

Exuding passion for your work. Do you love your work? Have you ever really thought about this? Why would you spend any part of your life working in a job that you're not passionate about?

Some people believe, and count me as one of them, that if you love your work, it's not really work. Ask somebody who has a job that they don't seem to be passionate about how long do they have until they retire. Without thinking or blinking they'll tell you exactly how many years until they retire.

On the other hand ask the same question to anyone who seems really passionate about their work, and they probably will not be able to answer that question. When you love what you're doing, what would motivate you to stop doing it?

The gratitude factor. Living your life is a little like traveling on the highway. It's seldom a straight road. Oftentimes you face unexpected twists and turns. Sometimes we're so busy, we don't take time to appreciate everything we have.

Don't let a day go by without saying "Thank you" to someone who has made your day a little brighter or a little easier.

The more you work with your "Invisibles" the more visible they become.

Start selling your invisibles today and every day and watch your sales take-off.

About The Author:

Make sure you check out Jim's Sales Trailblazer program:

Jim is a Sales Strategist and is the creator of No-Brainer Selling Skills. He shows salespeople and entrepreneurs how to increase sales, earn more money, have more fun, and how to do it all in less time. His focus is on practical ideas that get immediate results. He offers Advanced Sales Management Workshops, Sales Coaching, Consulting, In-house Sales Training Programs, and a wide variety of Learning Tools i.e. books, special reports, sales manuals, and CDs.Jim Meisenheimer is a member of The National Speakers Association, where he earned the C.S.P. designation, Certified Speaking Professional. He has authored five books including, "The 12 Best Questions To Ask Customers," and the recently published “57 Ways To Take Control Of Your Time And Your Life”.


Are Your Sales Messages Insulting?
by Art Sobczak

In my Smart Calling training programs with clients and sales reps we invest a lot of time ensuring that our messaging is laser-focused on the recipient and his/her world.
That is the only way to carve through the ever-growing glut of noise we are bombarded with by the minute.
And that’s probably why I am more sensitive to the lousy messages I receive via email, voice mail, snail mail, and live when I pick up the phone (Yes I do answer my own phone and the calls are not screened.)
Not only are many just flat-out bad and lacking of any shred of possible value, some are insulting.
It’s bad enough to send an off-target message with nothing of value, it’s compounded with assumptions and statements that are wrong and piss off the receiver.
Just yesterday I received an email with the subject line
“Letting down your fans is one of the worst feelings in the world.”
First, let me explain that I use SpamArrest, which means that for an unsolicited prospecting email to get to my inbox a human must physically reply to an automated message after they send their initial email.
Also, to note, when you have 50,000 subscribers, and have written millions of words over the years, it’s not unusual to receive all kinds of messages, some flattering, others not so much. Some have been from crazy people. Really. I have stories.
Anyway, I wasn’t sure what to make of that subject line, so I opened it. I thought someone wasn’t happy with me. Again.
It quickly became clear that it was a prospecting email from a CD duplication company.
To the guy’s credit, it was a fairly well-written, brief email that told a story, talking about popular performers whom their audiences loved but they had no CD’s, therefore disappointing their fans who wanted more.
He compared them to speakers and trainers who had no CD’s. Fair point.
Except that I found it insulting.
Because the message suggested I, personally, had no CD’s and therefore was disappointing my fans.
I do have, and have had hundreds of CD’s--and before that cassette tapes--for 30 years. It’s not that tough to discover that on my site or with a quick search.  
Now you might cut the guy some slack and say that he was just doing marketing and doesn’t have the time to go to everyone’s site before he sends his mass email.
Perhaps. Except, remember that someone had to physically reply to the response email before his could reach me.
And, another thing… here was the PS at the end of his email:
“P.S. I do my best to only send very targeted emails to people who I think will benefit from them…”
Please. What does “very targeted” mean?

Let me preempt anyone who feels compelled to write and tell me to chill, that it’s not that big of a deal and I shouldn’t get all worked up about it. (Yeah, I get those responses too. Ironic that some people get so worked up about that themselves enough to send a message.) Chill yourself. I’m actually glad I received it… it gave me great material to write about. And after deleting it, had I not written about it, I never would have thought about it again.
And that’s my point for you.
If in your opening communications, in attempts to get attention and interest, and hopefully a conversation, you even border on insulting someone by having a message that is not only blatantly off-target and devoid of value, but also insinuates something that is patently wrong, you expedite the banishment of your message, and any chance of ever having a conversation with your prospect.

This includes:
-Making declarative blanket statements:  “We WILL get you to the first page on Google.”
What if we are already there for the keywords that are most important?

-Making obvious, inane salesy statements or claims
: “Of course if you could find a way to make another five hundred dollars per day you would want that.”
Not if it costs me more than that, by whatever means I use to figure cost.
-And, like this guy, making a false statement that shows ignorance… a lack of knowledge about the prospect: “You are losing money every day on your credit card processing. “
Really?  You don’t know that. What if I am an expert in that area and very carefully selected my vendor?
Want to get through to more decision makers?
Want your emails and voice mails to stand out from the crap?
Want to get people to view you as someone who might have something worth hearing?
Here’s the secret. Ready?
Do your research.
Put what YOU want, and think about regarding your product/service aside.
Focus your message on one person.
Make it all about them, what’s going on in their world, and the results they might get.
That’s some high-level, advanced high-tech advice, isn’t it.
Just common sense advice that works.

Continue having your best week ever!

About the Author:
Art Sobczak, President of Business By Phone Inc., specializes in one area only: working with business-to-business salespeople--both inside and outside--designing and delivering content-rich programs that participants begin showing results from the very next time they get on the phone. Audiences love his "down-to-earth,"entertaining style, and low-pressure, easy-to-use, customer oriented ideas and techniques. He works with thousands of sales reps each year helping them get more businesses by phone. Art provides real world, how-to ideas and techniques that help salespeople use the phone more effectively to prospect, sell, and service, without morale-killing "rejection." Using the phone in sales is only difficult for people who use outdated, salesy, manipulative tactics, or for those who aren't quite sure what to do, or aren't confident in their abilities. Art's audiences always comment how he simplifies the telesales process, making it easily adaptable for anyone with the right attitude.

Contact Info
Art Sobczak
Business By Phone Inc.
13254 Stevens St.
Omaha, NE, 68137





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