Archive - January 2018

Your 100 Dollar Business Card

Whenever I go anywhere — a lunch, a networking event, a fundraiser people are

constantly giving me business cards, sometimes often before they say ”hello”. We

put so much emphasis on these 2-by- 3 cards and for what? Do you think it’s

going to sell for you? Have you experienced the people who hand out so many

cards that you want to know where they get them printed so you can buy

stock? We also get this question from lots of our clients ”What title should we

put on our salespersons’ business cards? If we want them to be consultants, we

should say consultant. Or how about account manager?” I shake my head. They

don’t get it. Who cares? Its how you act, not what you say on your card, that

makes you a salesperson or a consultant. While we’re on the subject, let’s

address business cards in general. I don’t think the format has been changed in

100 years. Ask yourself, when you look for a business card, what are you looking

for 90 percent of the time? You know, so just say it: It’s the phone number. Lets start from the top. First and foremost, you should have a logo or name of your

company on the card. Top left corner or across the top is fine. No need to

scream across the card what your company name is. Don’t worry, we can see

it second to your name. Make it legible and large enough to read. This is one

of the most important things on your card. Third, the phone number. Why do we put the most important thing on the card in 6-point type that even with my granny glasses (no snickering) I still can’t see is beyond me. Make it easy to see. Big, bold, green … something. Finally, the fax number. When was the last time you pulled out a business card to fax something? You didn’t. You spoke to the person on the phone and they asked you to fax something, at which point you asked for their fax number. So leave it out. Business cards are what we hand out after we have a conversation with someone, not before, so force yourself to engage in conversation with someone first. Ask about their business, what they do, how long they’ve been doing it, etc. Don’t just hand out a card. Build relationships first by asking good questions. Try this: Pretend your business card is worth $100. If it were, you would make sure you didn’t just give it out like food samples in the grocery store. You would first see if there’s value. This mindset will force you to engage in conversation with people and begin to form a relationship with them through learning about them, not “telling” them about you, especially through the use of a business card. Isn’t this what you are

really looking for anyway?

Don’t ask to get married before courting your prospect!

Well it’s the love season! Valentines day is around the corner and love is in the air.
What would you say to a friend who said he met a great girl and after 2 dates he
was going to ask her to marry him. Though I don’t actually know your answer I
am guessing most of you reading this would say, “are you crazy?” you don’t
know enough about her, you think you are a good match but how do you really
Additionally, if you are going to ask someone to marry you, isn’t it expected that
they will say yes since there is a courting period? If there were red flags you
could pick them up early and either address them or get out before it’s too late.
Makes sense right?
Of course it does. Then why in sales, are we getting to know very little about our
prospect and asked them to marry us so soon? Somehow we think in business
courting is not necessary. Well it is! A prospect needs to understand you, your
organization, get questions answered and you need to truly understand what
their real needs are, not just the ones they tell you upfront they want or need.
You need to know the whys. They whys help you customize a true
recommendation for them that reflects all of them, not just what they initially told
you wan the issue they were trying to resolve.
The courting period is the time where you really get to know the prospects issues
and how they are affecting them and their organization. I don’t mean taking them
to lunch and to play golf. That is fine but its not what building relationships are
truly about. The idea of courting should help your prospect self-discover that
he/she wants to do business with you. Yews you can tell them why early on my
giving them your ‘dog and pony’ show of all of your features and benefits of how
you can help them or worse, how you have helped ‘others just like them’.
Imaging using that line on a date….
Here are some tip in being successful in sales and frankly in dating….
1) Slow down. The courting part takes time. It is also if done well, some true
discovery is done and will help really come up with the best plan in the

2) Ask great questions to get your prospect talking. I’m not talking about
questions like, “wouldn’t be helpful if you had a solution that would print
your widgets faster and for less money?: That is a leading question and a
very silly one. Do you really think they can’t see through that? No. Ask
open-ended thought-provoking neutral questions. Think of these questions
like this, if you didn’t have an ulterior motive to sell this person, what would
you ask them to try to help them with their issue? Those are the right

questions. They show that you care about the entire picture and not only
what revolves around your particular solution.
3) You must truly understand what the Clear Next Step will be at the end of
the meeting or phone conversation. Not just “Ill call you next week with the
proposal” or “Ill send a proposal to you on Tuesday”. NO! You must get a
clear date and time that you both agree to and have it on the calendar!
Your responsibility is to get the agreement of that next step, not suggest it
to them. There must be skin in the game, and this is how to test
that…BEFORE you propose anything!
4) Make sure that you have a full understanding of what they will do if you
decide to get them some recommendations based on what they need and
how working with you will solve those issues. In other words, don’t buy
the ring until you know she’ll say yes.
So is sales really like dating, yes and no. I will tell you it is more like it then
you think. Understanding people, TRULY understanding people is the key to
a successful career in sales…..Unless you have enough money to buy lots of
engagement rings.

5 Things Every CEO Needs to Know

5 Things every CEO Needs to know

Today CEO’s are in a quagmire. They are finding themselves running their business’s,
making CEO decisions yet having to either manage a sales department or wear the sales
hat themselves. What’s a CEO to do today?
There are 5 things I think are imperative to do if you would like to make it through this
crazy time. Interestingly enough, these things should also be done when things aren’t
so crazy.
1) Scale down your existing sales staff. Decide who are the cream of the crop and
get rid of the rest. How do you decide? By the 3 A’s. The first is Attitude. Do they
have a positive attitude. A belief that if they can’t do it the way they always have
they are willing to look at their sales situations as true opportunities and use every
minute to look at things differently. The second is Activities. Activities are the
actual pro-activities that they do to prospect every day, every week every month.
It could be a combination of cold-calling, networking, cross-selling to existing
clients, strategic alliance meetings etc. Activities are different for everyone but
the ability to commit to whatever they are and stick to it day in and day out is
imperative. The third is approach. The approach is what your sales rep says and
does in front of and on the phone with a prospect. The other two can not really be
taught, this one can.
2) Teach your best people to sell in this environment with a specific process. None
have ever sold in a volatile, fear-filled time like this before. Selling is something
that needs to be taught always but certainly today to attempt to be successful
without it is laced with potential failure. A process to sell doesn’t mean a
memorized script. What it means is an agenda of how they will approach each
prospect, what questions they will ask, what they will do with the answers, how
will they uncover the available budget and what will the next steps look like.
3) Train your existing non-sales staff to be your marketing arm. Sales training can
not only be used to train the sales organization but the non-sales people as well.
Often we have non-salespeople in our organization that have contacts with our
clients and potential prospects on a regular basis. Are they asking for referrals?
Do they know how? The connections that exist with this segment of your
organization are often overlooked and so important to utilize today.
4) Learn to manage a sales team through the 3 “A’s”. As previously discussed, the
three A’s are the basis of success. Additionally it is the easiest and most effective
way to manage your team. Keep an eye and ear out for a positive attitude. If you
see or hear a negative one, which is easily identified through excuse making, it
will become a cancer so cut it out immediately. Use salespeople’s individual
activities to help them track their success through the activities they carry out. A
specific approach, will allow you to have a real post-appointment discussion on

what went right and wrong as opposed to the typical discussion which of ten
includes a conversation like,’ so how did it go?”, “pretty good, pretty good”
which tells you nothing.
5) Build your business on referrals and networking with no cash. Today networking
is the way to build a business. Don’t get me wrong there is obviously a place for
advertising and other strategic marketing but to help get you through some of
these tough times, help secure your brand by being out there in the community.
Networking is again something that should be done also through a process and if
you read my articles regularly, you know that. Additionally we are not getting as
many referrals as we should from existing clients and there are two reasons for
that, 1) we don’t ask, 2) we don’t ask properly. Properly means you must be
specific when asking for referrals. Either a specific person from a particular
organization, a position of a person in a type of business or an alliance of
someone connected in the community that you haven’t met.
As we all work with the skeleton crew that we are left with, let’s work harder and
better to make a success of our business. Getting back to basics, is it ever smart to get
far away from that?

Don’t forget to follow us on TWITTER FACEBOOK and subscribe to our FREE PODCAST.

Website Development by: