What’s Your Brand?

February 27, 2008 at 9:52 pm | Posted in Branding, small business | Leave a comment

Mercedes…luxury
“W” Hotels…cool
Costco…value

Many of the small businesses that I work with see branding as something that exists only for global companies; hence, they haven’t taken the time or made the effort to develop a consistent brand platform that can carry them through as they grow.

What’s your brand?

What’s mine?

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What Our Parents Taught Us

February 27, 2008 at 10:07 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Don’t forget to say thank you.”

“Did you tell Mrs. Jones thank you for the cookie?”

“Send Aunt Joan a thank you note and tell her how much you apprecaited the birthday gift.”

What’s happening people? Have we all forgotten the basic courtesies that we learned back in grade school and even earlier.

Fast forward to adulthood and the world of networking and business referrals.

How many times have you given someone a name, lead or connection and just like that, they disappeared into the black hole?

Any recognition that you reached out to help them. Nope.

And I’m not talking about a big show of appreciation like a gift or anything like that.

A mere phone call or even a quick email message can suffice. Take it one step further and a handwritten note just about makes you a rock star in the courtesy camp.

I’m especially annoyed at a few of my “contacts” these days because there has been no thank you for leads that turned into booked business. What’s that about?

End result, their name has fallen to the very bottom of that referral list and there they will stay. In today’s highly comeptitive world, there are other people and companies that can do the work just as well and take their place.

Motto……remember what your mom said—-say thank you!

Sell More/Speak Powerfully

February 21, 2008 at 10:30 pm | Posted in sales, Sales Training, small business, teleclass | Leave a comment

It seems to me that teleclasses can be a useful tool. They’re convenient, inexpensive and when conducted well, extremely effective. Diane Diresta and I are conducting a teleclass on 3/28. Here’s the information and I hope that you’ll sign-up. I’m pretty certain that it’s going to be awesome.

So, here’s what’s up:

To grow your business or promote your career, it takes exquisite presentation skills and high impact, results-oriented sales techniques. And anyone can learn them.

In this fast-paced live audio teleconference experts Diane DiResta (author of Knockout Presentations) and Adrian Miller (author of The Blatant Truth: 50 Ways to Sales Success) will lead you through powerful techniques to increase your confidence and grow your business.

The agenda for this extremely energetic hour will include:

TOP 6 SALES TECHNIQUES TO RATCHET UP SALES IN 2008, INCLUDING:

–The good, the bad and the ugly on cross-selling and cross-telling

–How “provocative” questions can open the door to new and better business

–Staying on the grid or how touch point management can power your sales funnel

–Who are you and how your personal brand can be your point of differentiation in a crowded marketplace

TOP SPEAKING TECHNIQUES TO RATCHET UP SALES IN 2008, INCLUDING:

–How to use speaking as the new competitive weapon

–Learn the Science of Speaking – the look, sound, and language of confidence

–How to create a compelling message

–Make your point in less time

–How to quickly recover from presentation mistakes

–Create instant rapport with any audience

DATE:
March 28, 2008

TIME:
EST: 1PM – 2PM
CST: 12 noon -1PM
MST: 11AM – 12 noon
PST: 10AM – 11AM

WHO SHOULD ATTEND:
Business Owners
Consultants
Internal Sales Professionals
Professional Services Firms

INVESTMENT:
Only $39. But wait there’s more!

After the call, you’ll receive:
A handout with information from the call
TWO Free tip sheets –
Top Public Speaking Myths
The Blatant Truth About Selling
A free audiocourse – 7 Deadly Mistakes Speakers Make and How to Avoid Them for Maximum Success
FOR THE FIRST TEN TO REGISTER: A copy of Conversations on Success – the anthology of Successful Speakers including motivator, Les Brown.

REGISTER NOW:

http://www.evite.com/pages/invite/viewInvite.jsp?inviteId=NNGCJJIVOJONSWZAQMYI

Any problems, connect with me!

Are You Leaving Business On The Table?

February 19, 2008 at 9:16 pm | Posted in Networking, sales, Sales & Technology, Sales Training, small business | 1 Comment

Undoubtedly, you work your tail off everyday to be the most professional, productive, and successful salesperson that you can be. But, is it possible that you are leaving business on the table? The answer is probably yes! If you are not consistently presenting all of your offerings to your customers, or you are not probing them on a regular basis about their needs and potential opportunities, you are simply handing business to your competitors.

I’m not suggesting that you take a hard-sell approach. Rather, it’s about selling smarter. Using a high touch, low pressure strategy where you are cross-selling and cross-telling your prospects and customers about your products and services is not only highly effective, it’s essential to your success.

It’s your obligation to make certain that your customers are familiar with everything that you can provide. In fact, you’re doing them a disservice if you’re making assumptions about their needs and not keeping them up-to-date on your offerings.

Once you’ve opened your customers’ eyes to everything that you can offer, keep reminding them. Making certain that your customers are familiar with everything that you can provide should be something that you do on a consistent basis. Let’s face it. Your customers are inundated every day with sales reps trying to sell them things and often what is told or sold just weeks before is forgotten.

You don’t want your customers forgetting the plethora of what you have to offer. You must make a point of proactively talking with them on a regular basis to make certain that they are knowledgeable about what you provide. Keep them up-to-date with all of the tools you have: newsletters, marketing material, and even your sig line.

Business is also frequently left on the table because sales reps don’t take the time to truly probe their customers about both their short and long-term needs. Insightful, consistent probing is another key component to winning more business from existing accounts and a smart way to position yourself as a problem-solver, instead of just a vendor. Even if there is another supplier involved, reach out to be the primary source for your customers.

Finally, take the time to record all of the information that you gather from your customers so that you can anticipate future, as well as current needs. This is where a CRM system can really come in handy.

It’s tough out there. Make certain to exploit ALL of the opportunities that you have.

You’re a Good Networker if:

February 13, 2008 at 9:20 pm | Posted in Networking, small business | 1 Comment

I’ve been networking for what seems like a million years. And I’m good at it. I know I am and since I find it such an easy thing to do it totally amazes me that so many people that are actively involved in what they “think” is networking are really so ineffective at doing it.

Are you a good networker?

Do you do the following:

1. You think about making “connections” for people and do not wait for a “hot” lead to appear. These connections might not be to the end-user / decision-maker; rather, they can be to influencers and other individuals that help with the buying process.

2. You truly understand that even though there is no “scorecard” you must be a giver as well as a taker, even if it means getting creative with your introductions (see point 1).

3. You keep the person that makes the introduction in the loop (so they don’t feel like an idiot when their contact says “hey, I met with ______”).

4. You respond to introductions in a timely manner, even if your response indicates that you are busy and cannot meet or chat for a few weeks.

5. You ALWAYS thank the person that has made an introduction to you.

Keeping these points in mind, are you a good networker?

How to Beat a Sales Slump

February 4, 2008 at 7:46 am | Posted in sales, Sales Training, small business | 1 Comment

Have you ever experienced the dreaded downward curve or slump in your sales? Most of us certainly have. If you’ve been through it, you probably have a clear recollection of that lump in your throat, adrenaline-pumping moment when you realize that you need to scramble if you’re going to make your sales goal or quota. The feeling can be overwhelming and can set even the most seasoned salesperson into panic mode.

Of course, the best advice that I can give is to not let your sales dip in the first place. But, I’m not here to lecture. Instead, I have some good news about digging yourself out of a sales slump. Yes, it can be done, and usually faster than you think. You need an action plan, a positive attitude, and the drive to get things done. Maybe the following tips are only a refresher of what you already know, or perhaps they’ll give you a few new ideas. Regardless, these ideas work, and if you’re heading down the path of a slump, you’ll want to start here:

Go After the Low Hanging Fruit
Make a list of prospects who are attainable in the short-term. This isn’t the time to throw the “Hail Mary” for a long shot sale. Set your sights on those who can generate you some real sales now and work your charm on them sooner, rather than later.

Get Critiqued
When you’re in a sales slump, you need an honest evaluation of your abilities from someone who is objective. No, don’t ask your lunch buddy in the next cubicle. Ask your manager or someone you respect within the organization to evaluate your sales performance and presentation. Then, pick his or her brain for ways to improve.

Read Up
A sales slump should inspire your desire to hone your skills. Obviously, once you pull yourself out of this funk, you’ll never want to go back. Read sales books, articles, newsletters, and websites. Attend a seminar or a webinar. Explore new techniques, pick up innovative tips, and uncover fresh ways to sell to your prospects.

Stop the Blame Game
It’s natural to start looking for answers as to why you’re experiencing a slump. However, this isn’t the time to start blaming others or yourself. It doesn’t matter who or what is to blame. Your time and energy is better focused on developing strategies to improve your situation.

Try Something New
The truth is that you’ll always achieve the same outcome if you’re always doing things the same way. Branch out. Explore new techniques, strategies, methods. Who knows – you might just uncover a better, more successful way that will lead to better results.

The truth is that everyone experiences a bad run at some point in their careers. It’s how you react to adversity that sets the true professionals (and survivors!) apart.

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