Friday Faves – 10.31.14

injured tuTemporarily on the sidelines, but back in the game now.

Here are some engaging posts I read this week.

OUTLOOK – Important, basic truths to always keep in mind.

Your Greatest Investment Is the One You Make In Yourself – Numerous studies have shown that training has the highest ROI for employee retention.  Just think what kind of ROI you get from self-directed learning?

So Listen – So many salespeople think what they say is what matters most.

Separate Yourself From The Rest! – My Dad taught me, “First they buy YOU!”

Pick Up The Pen! – Legacy media in a mix is multimedia, too.

Friday Faves – 10.10.14

101014Slow week on PTO, but good to catch up on blogs.

Listen for Their “Lean In” Statements to Learn EXACTLY What they Want – Sheryl Sandberg’s book applied to a sales call.  Take the next step and develop questions which will elicit responses like these.

Selling on Top of the World – A good checklist to (honestly) self-evaluate.  You cannot change what you don’t know.

Choosing To Compete for Transactions or Relationships – Disagree.  I don’t believe these are mutually exclusive.  You can build relationships selling a transactional product/service. What do you think?

WHAT YOUR CUSTOMERS DON’T KNOW — THAT’S COSTING YOU SALES – Disagree again.  If you go into the call knowing all that can be known, you may uncover problems or at least avenues to probe.  Probing well will yield the information you need.

Do Your PowerPoint Sales Presentation Suck? – Video – I started sellling by showing physical samples, later a presentation book, then a portfolio.  Now the powerpoint is a staple for most of us.  I never can get enough ideas on improving mine.

 

 

 

Friday Faves on Monday – 10.6.14

100614Not having a Vice President to take over while I was temporarily incapacitated Thursday/Friday, here’s a catch-up post.

Luck Loves a Hustler – Luck is made, earned, or just happens?

The sophistication of truth – Reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw “Eschew Obfuscation!”

Composed But Not Scripted – Always taught reps to begin with a script, but master the concepts and move to your words as quickly as possible.  The magic happens when YOU talk with clients, not at them.

Always Be Closing – No, it’s NOT a dirty word.  It’s what we’re paid to do.

 

Friday Faves – 9.26.14

fall2Busy time as the quarter ends.  Hope yours was great and you’ve already started on Q4.

Some ideas here may help you crush it.

Your Why Do List – An interesting take on personal productivity.

Biggest Sales Meeting Mistakes – I’ve been on the receiving and (I confess) giving end of some of these.

Producers and consumers – A different view of “controlling the sale.”

Common Sales Objections: Interpreted and Translated – Honest – do you recognize these?

 6 Ways to Beat Lower-Priced Competitors – Yes, differentiate to create value.

Friday Faves – 9.19.14

091914Does Summer end or Fall begin Monday?  Depends on how you look at it, right?

As we change seasons, here are some posts worth reading.

The most important thing – For some, deciding what is most important is the challenge.

Dear Client. You Are Wrong. – Interesting thoughts on how to say this, once you’ve earned the right to say it.

Read This before You Talk about ROI – Good, basic discussion to give you a foundation.

Friday Faves – 9.12.14

3Quick read this week.  Three posts I really liked and hope you do too.

Your Unique Sales DNA – A more learned version of a management practice of mine – understanding each seller’s strengths and weaknesses.  Remdiate the weaknesses you can and try to keep them working from their strengths.

Do You Know How You Won? – I’ve frequently said that sometimes we learn more from our failures than our successes.  Even posted Learning from Failure,  But it’s way more fun to learn from your victories.

Is Sales a Numbers Game? (#video) – Takes a while, but the conclusion is rock solid.  Ignore your metrics and you won’t make your number.

Framing

framingPresenting new or complicated concepts to a person or group can be challenging.  Some people have a natural fear of the unknown (something new) and others have varying degrees of familiarity and knowledge on the topic (something complicated).  These create barriers to understanding, let alone acceptance or adoption. You NEED to move the idea forward, but you must break down the barriers first.

Framing is one excellent technique to help migrate people to new concepts.  You are simply placing your new concept in the context of what they already know and understand.  Simple concept, but execution not so.

  1. BASELINE – Establish what the group’s baseline understanding or comfort level is.  You do this by asking quesitons, even polling the group.  “How many are VERY familiar with content marketing?” “Somewhat familiar?”  “Have heard of it?”  “Never heard of it? Depending upon the results of the poll, you will begin at the lowest baseline understanding and and then gradually get the entire group to the same level – the Baseline.
  2. PROBLEM/BENEFIT – Describe the problem your concept will try to solve or the benefit the organization will derive from it.  The more universal to the group, the better.  Like an Initial Benefit Statement, putting the pain/gain up front and getting buy in from the group (if you don’t see nodding heads, ASK for confirmation) creates a WANT.  Now, you have moved the group from “Why am I here? through “What the hell is s/he talking about?” to  “I really want to hear what this thing is about.”
  3. FRAME THE CONCEPT – As you present your concept, regularly reference similarities to concepts in the baseline understanding consensus and the problem/benefit consensus. Move slowly, ask clarifying questions to preempt objections due to lack of understanding (“Did I explain that clearly?  Would anyone like another example?”) and follow with consensus-building questions (“Can everyone see how this will help us reach new customers?”  “Do you all see how this can eliminate the process bottleneck?”)

Though rather simple, this will take practice and the more diverse the group, the more difficult framing is.  But it is a proven, solid technique to introduce new ideas to a group with the goal of fostering a broader understanding or adoption.

Liken it to making physical changes, like losing weight or getting into better shape.  You don’t wake up 40 pounds lighter than when you went to bed.  Weight loss happens gradually, over time, with careful planning and discipline.  Minds, prejudices, preconceived ideas don’t change instantly either.  But you can make that change happen and framing can help.