A sales manager’s job is not to grow sales! It is a sales manager’s job to consistently grow salespeople. The purpose of a sales meeting is to work on the minds, the hearts, and the bellies of our salespeople. Let’s take a look at that.
The Top Sales Pros are a special breed of cat. They engage in decidedly different activities on a regular basis. Although they walk and talk the same, at first glance, they do very unique things every day that in and of themselves are not overly special. But combined, these things create a vortex of success that attracts the best customers, the most referrals, the strongest relationships and the highest commissions!
When times get a little tough in selling, we often hear of some people (myself included) stating that they “refuse to participate in a recession.” As a matter of fact, this has been said so often that it is becoming a bit cliche.
However, we do need to REFUSE some of the things that hold us back during tougher economic times. We do need to REFUSE to suffer mediocrity from ourselves or our people. We do need to REFUSE to drop our prices but instead raise the bar on our value. We need to REFUSE to let our customers get a better experience buying from a competitor. We need to REFUSE to lose! It is in this vein that I thought I would lay it out, as I often do, in an acronym that I designed for a recent keynote address in Phoenix.
A day in the life of Gerry Layo gives several examples of good habits that will enrich your life. Read the rest of the article to find out which habits you could apply in your own life to increase the quality of each and every day.
Each of us has a justification as to why we lose a customer. In fact, many times, we own or work for a company that chooses to be a higher priced company with a higher priced product in the marketplace. In doing so they/we have made a choice to bring MORE to the table than our competitorsÑto add more value! We cannot simply MAKE more money, we must do things to EARN that additional margin and thus EARN that raise!
The word on the street is that we are in the middle of a tough economy. Some even say that we are involved in a recession and that sales are tougher to come by now than they have been in many years. With fuel prices soaring, commodity pricing all over the board, the financial markets in upheaval, and the real estate markets still reeling, many companies, in a lot of different industries, are trying to recover from slumping sales.
If your sales organization is trying to “right the ship” and get sales production back on track, here are FIVE key areas on which to turn your attention.
“One of the main areas that I have found myself coaching salespeople the past few months is IMPACT. I contend that, although it is important to be the best that you absolutely can be in every interaction with a prospect, customer, or client, you do not have to be the best that they have ever seen. You don’t have to be the smoothest talker. You don’t have to be the silver-tongued devil that has an answer for every question. You do, however, need to make an IMPACT! What does that mean?”
“Every time I run a session, whether with sales managers and CEOs or with salespeople, I ask the question: What do people buy…benefits or features? Without exception, there is a pause and then the word benefits sneaks out. (Like they are not sure) YES! Benefits are what people buy! I don’t want your product! I don’t care to own your service! I simply want the benefit of what owning it does for me!”
“Be careful what you assume. Pre-conceived notions ring the death bell more than anything for a sales career. In today’s marketplace where there is more access to information, more knowledge about pricing and competition, and quite frankly, more choices for your prospects, customers, and clients, salespeople need to make all the right moves…ALL THE TIME! Here at Sales Coach International, we are carrying around the banner that says ‘Assume Nothing’. In order to illustrate the importance of this, here are the top ten assumptions that salespeople can make that can often kill their career:”
“For many people in the profession of sales today, the job of prospecting to set up a meeting is about as exciting as a trip to the dentist. (And more painful too!) Although the art of prospecting into accounts is imperative to the success of so many salespeople, it is the number three skill that most say that they need help with right behind closing and time management! As salespeople, we face a myriad of screens and gatekeepers that make our jobs much more difficult than we would like.”
“Have you ever noticed that your ears don’t shut but your mouth does? The former CEO of GM, John Smith, once said, “We listened to what our customers wanted and acted on what they said. Good things happen when you pay attention.” Often salespeople attend seminars and read books about how to give professional presentations; how to get your point across; using power phrases that sell etc. etc. It seems that as sales professionals we are constantly working on better ways to say what we want to say. Although all of this is important, what I notice getting lost on most salespeople of today is the tried and true art of listening.”