I made this comment while speaking at a Rainmakers event and I got some raised eyebrows from some very tired salespeople. I said that selling involves three simple steps, and I believe that to be true. Here are the three steps.
First, meet more people. By meet, I don’t mean LinkedIn or Facebook friends. I mean meet more people face to face. When you are growing a business, you are the brand whether you are the owner or a salesperson. You are the face and your face needs to be everywhere. The more people you meet, the more people will know you and your company, and the more people who will be prospects for your offering.
Second, meet with more people. By meet with, I mean face to face, one on one, in a location where you can have a serious discussion without interruptions. You cannot have the type of discussions you need to grow your business in a room full of people, or over the telephone, and definitely not via email. Get out of your office—and your comfort zone—and have sales appointments. Sales is a contact sport so get make contact with your prospects.
Third, have simple conversations with the people you meet. Too many business owners and sales people talk about their business using techno-jargon that doesn’t mean anything to the prospect. Forget terms that mean something only to an expert like you. You must be able to break your business down to a simple result statement. “We help our clients become filthy, stinking, rich.” It doesn’t get much simpler than that! Ask simple questions and use examples that any high school graduate should be able to understand. “What about your computer bothers you the most?” I can’t tell you about DRAM and registry errors but I can sure tell you that taking five minutes to boot up is a real pain in my day. Build your credibility by asking questions that only an expert would know to ask, and by providing answers in a way that anyone can understand.
Selling today is simpler than ever. Let your competitors focus on being part of the noise. You need to take the path they have forgotten—meet people, meet with people, and have simple conversations.
Business development is often a nice term for a job that involves finding new customers from lots of prospecting and cold calling. Without a doubt, business development involves sales.
Business development also has bigger and more important definition. Business development is the process of creating a successful and profitable entity that has value for the owner which goes beyond the income that is made from sweating it out year after year. Business development requires many successful activities beyond just sales.
To successfully develop your business, you must capitalize on your strengths and find a way to work with your weaknesses, and build a business model that can work without you there 24/7 or even 12/6. Too many people spend too much time working on their weaknesses. The problem is the time and energy it takes for small improvement on a weakness is better spent on making your strengths even stronger.
When we work on activities that use our weaknesses, we end up emotionally and mentally drained and our business suffers. Your best approach is to outsource your weakness or hire someone who has that skill or task as a strength. For example, if you are chronically bad at accounting and it drags on you, don’t ruin your day and put yourself in the wrong attitude for other critical activities. If marketing is time consuming, hire a marketing expert—they are available from free to very expensive and can make your life easier and more profitable.
Clients pay for A+ performance. If you have a strength in the B range, practice, take classes or find coaching to get to an A or better level where you can command more money and higher margins. Business development is finding where you can maximize your profit per hour.
Over the next months, we are going to profile company owners and successful professionals who figured out what they were good at and how they built their day and business around it, while dumping what they were bad at to someone else. If you read enough of the stories, you’ll probably find someone who describes themselves yesterday like you are today. Feel free to steal their strategy and call me. I’m always looking for good stories for next month.
Converting Phone Time to Profit Time
If you are calling people who are not waiting by the phone for you to call, then you need to attend. This workshop is for you!
Cold calling is nothing more than calling someone who is not waiting by the phone for your call. Ever call a referral or someone you met last week and they have no idea who you are? Not a great way to start the call! This workshop is for you!
Warm calling is calling when you think you have a referral, but find out that the referral is not as strong as you thought. Not a cold call, but darn near. This workshop is for you!
“Jeff helped me with some great phrases to improve my telemarketing skills.” Beth in Staffing
- How often do you call?
- When do you call?
- What do you say if they answer?
- Do you leave a message if they don’t?
We’ll also cover gatekeepers (a.k.a., the first decision maker), call reluctance (a.k.a., I’m not hitting my numbers and this isn’t working), working through blocks and obstacles (a.k.a., asking the wrong person for an appointment at the time), reading personality type from voice mail (a.k.a., why I prefer to reach your voicemail), and how to get appointments when you want them (a.k.a., your time is as valuable as theirs).
Basically, if you use the phone to contact prospects to get the sales appointments you need to book more business, this workshop is for you!
You will walk out with ideas, action plans, approaches, responses, and new ways to convert phone time to profit time.
September 2, 2009 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm
“Jeff is an excellent speaker and coach. His seminar on telephones has greatly boosted my confidence and has made me better prepared.” Angela in Office Furniture
Registration is FREE, but please RSVP so we can reserve a space for you as our seminars fill up quickly!
RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org