Category Archives: Sales

Do you hear the footsteps?

Earlier this week I saw an interview of Carson Daly (host of The Voice) on the Piers Morgan late night show. I must admit, that in the past, my opinion of Carson was not very high and I still think of him as a cheesy MTV DJ. No longer.

What I enjoyed most about the interview was to learn how grounded Carson is. When asked by Piers what Carson sees as the next step in his career he had no answer. According to Carson he doesn’t think that far ahead. Partially because he is enjoying the success of The Voice, and partially because he feels God will put him where he needs to be.

My favorite part of the interview was a story Carson told about his step-father. Apparently his mother remarried and the gentleman was/is a successful entrepreneur. Carson told about how he would hear his step-father’s footsteps walking down their hallway at five o’clock in the morning to go to work. It seems that work ethic made a huge impression on Carson, and he utilizes a rise early approach to this day.

What footsteps did you hear this morning? Your own rising early to get after it or your competition’s?

Developing relationships, connecting resources, growing businesses

What can 11.4% do for you?

I had the fortune of hearing Mark Kelly, Captain of the last Endeavor space flight and husband to Congress-woman Gabriel Gifford, speak today at a national conference. Watching his opening video was inspirational to say the least.

The biggest item I took away from Captain Kelly’s speech was how life can change in an instance, and how it is the smallest of adjustments to our plans that can make all the difference.

Captain Kelly shared story after story of the risks his career holds. From having missiles fired at his Navy bomber to piloting a spacecraft with 7.5 million pounds of thrust behind it, risk has been part of his life. He talked at length how he had decided early on that he and his NASA team would avoid making small mistakes. It was his opinion that it is the small mistakes and the “unknown unknowns” that could be the most costly.

An example he gave was based around re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. As many of you know, spaceship Columbia disintegrated during it’s re-entry attempt in 2003. According to Captain Kelly it was a small mistake that caused this. At any given time a shuttle will be traveling at around 17,500 mph. When re-entering the atmosphere they slow the shuttle down to 17,300 mph. This is a 11.4% reduction in speed. Any variation off this and your shuttle doesn’t make it.

Many professionals focus on the big items that can cost their companies. Usually we know what they are. Things like losing our largest client or failing to fulfill a contract and thus being sued can have a tremendous impact on our success. Follow Captain Kelly’s advice, and become an expert at anticipating the “unknown unknowns”.

Build relationships, increase your business, do it over lunch!

To sell…you have to know

In a recent client meeting the topic of sales was being discussed. In the past few months this client has been evaluating sell-through ratios for one of their products that has been lagging. Industry standard is around 40% and this client has at best seen 20%.

After many previous meetings the client has found what they consider to be a breakthrough. By analyzing individual salesperson results with the product, and asking detailed questions from the more successful ones in the group, the client uncovered a common thread.

The most successful salesmen were those that knew their product’s features and benefits the best. Or put another way, to sell they had to know.

Business networking is no different. In order to identify and then connect with other professionals it is important to understand who they are looking to connect with in the first place. Know what it is they want, and then sell them on why you fit that description.

In order to have a high degree of success in developing reciprocal, mutually profitable referral relationships you have to know and understand the other professional. Understand their expectations for your relationship, what each of you brings to the table, and what types of prospects they are looking.

Build your network, increase your business, do it over lunch!

How can I exceed your expectations?

I love to learn from other people. Whether it’s from books, CDs, DVDs, or in person. Knowledge and the process of becoming more skilled at a subject is exciting to me.

When it comes to having a sales process I pride myself on having my system down. But today I learned a new phrase that I plan to incorporate into my “pitch”.

“How can I exceed your expectations?”

What I love about this phrase is that it helps accomplish multiple things. First, it helps you uncover what the prospect’s objectives are. If your prospect’s answer is price, then you know where you have to win in order to get the sale. Secondly, it is a great jumping off point for doing what I call “getting all the cards on the table”. If the answer is something unreasonable, then you at least have the ability to stop the conversation right then and there. Lastly, it shows that you are committed to great service (you best uphold that end).

Build your network, increase your business, do it over lunch!

How I grew my company by $16,000,000 in one year #fb #in

Today I was asked why I created GoGrabLunch.com. My reasoning was that I believed so strongly that networking, done correctly, can have a profound impact on the success of your career and business. So, I wanted people to have the opportunity to meet other professionals that could help them grow, both personally and professionally.

In fact, I can undoubtedly say that I would not be where I am today in the finance industry if it were not for my networking skills. Not only have I personally benefited, but so has the financial institution I work for.

Before I get going, let me say that our recent success is not because of me. I am just a cog in the wheel, and the real praise goes to the rest of the staff. However, our growth in 2011 can be partially attributed to some of things I brought to the table.

When I tell other professionals that our financial institution grew by 16MM in one year, they usually want to know how we did it. Sadly, there is no secret formula. It was more of a philosophical change in the way we thought. I believe that senior management was able to show a vision of where we were going to the rest of the staff, and then keep that momentum going by keeping the important things top of mind.

So, what does this have to do with networking? Well, within one particular department that I am responsible for we had tremendous growth compared to past years. What did we do differently? We got out in front of the community. We networked.

The beauty of our growth is that it almost exclusively can from referrals. I was so tied up for the better part of the year learning my new responsibilities and working with my team to “re-organize” a few items, that I didn’t have time to prospect. The good news is that I didn’t have to. My contacts keep me busy.

What’s your problem then? Business to slow for your liking? Stop hiding behind your computer and get in your prospect’s face!.

Build your network, increase your business, do it over lunch!