Make Your Own Friggin’ Luck

April 28, 2009 at 7:58 am | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, Branding, Marketing, Networking, sales, Sales Training, small business | Leave a comment

Some people have an inexplicable amount of good luck. Even during tough times, they’re successful in their careers, finances, and their personal lives without seemingly having to overcome the adversities that plague most of us. They don’t appear to be smarter or more talented, but they do seem to be blessed with some force of nature that consistently produces good fortune.

There are some obvious measures of luck such as winning a lottery or being born into royalty, but for most lucky individuals, good fortune is not a random occurrence. It truly has to do with having the mindset that encourages and allows lucky events to occur.

Do lucky people act differently? Some recent studies have shown that they tend to have certain personality traits in common that play a pivotal role in producing luck. These so-called “lucky” individuals have been shown to be more extroverted, positive and open-minded, and less anxious than their less fortunate counterparts.

While having a winning personality certainly helps. There is one additional factor that can determine one’s ability to be lucky. It’s opportunity. Lucky people tend to create more opportunities for themselves to connect with others and socially interact. Anyone can improve their luck by welcoming new opportunities in their lives. These four strategies can help:

Open Up to Receive Opportunities
Opportunities can happen at anytime, anywhere. The more you make yourself available to receive them, the more likely they will come your way. How can you accelerate your opportunities? Network, take up a new hobby, join a group, reconnect with old colleagues, and even talk to the guy behind you in the grocery store line. Being friendly, relaxed, and interested in others will open yourself to many new opportunities.

Reacquaint Yourself with Your Inner-You
You have an intuition and gut feelings for a reason. They’re your internal compass to guide you on your life’s path. With the hectic pace of life, it can be hard to hear your inner-you. Take time out of each and every day to clear your mind, unwind, and even meditate to be able to effectively make the necessary decisions that will encourage luck to come your way.

Have Confidence in the Future
Lucky people are inherently optimistic. They expect good things to happen to them. Both negative and positive expectations can be self-fulfilling prophecies. So, doesn’t it just make sense to stay positive, and through your consistently upbeat thoughts, you’ll create your own luck in the coming days, months, and years.

Make Lemonade
Even lucky individuals are dealt lemons from time to time. It’s what you do with them that will make all the difference. Develop techniques to cope with the negative aspects of life and don’t ruminate over past problems. Move forward and stay positive.

While you can’t will yourself to win the lottery, you can control your mindset. So-called unlucky individuals can transform themselves if they have the desire and drive to do so. It takes conscious effort to be positive and make the best of a situation. It takes an open mind to be accepting of new ideas. It takes a smile and the desire to connect with others to welcome new opportunities.


Prepare for Objections

April 19, 2009 at 3:14 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, entrepreneurship, sales, Sales Training, small business | 1 Comment

It’s not difficult to figure out the top five, most commonly used objections customers will give. Novice salespeople usually hear them in the first weeks on the job. To be successful, particularly in a challenging economy, you have to be able to anticipate resistance and have the tactics in place to overcome it.

Surprisingly, many of us are blindsided by common objections and answer each one as if it was the first time it was ever used. The reality is that most are recycled, regurgitated, and reused over and over. Successful sales depends on developing the expertise to prevent and battle objections, and the more you’re prepared to answer them, the more successful you will be.

The Five Most Common Objections
“We’re happy with whom we are currently using”
Prospects will commonly say that they are “happy with their current supplier,” even when they aren’t necessarily. Do you cross him or her off your prospect list and move on when you here this? You’re making a mistake if you do. This quick brush-off needs to be examined. How do you know if they are 100% happy with their provider? Is their loyalty undying, or is there room for negotiation? Do they need a backup supplier? Are they being lazy in shopping for better vendors? These are the questions that you should be pondering when you here this objection.

“Not Now/Maybe Later”
The “not now/maybe later” statement is another common objection that frequently terminates sales efforts. Instead, it should be viewed as a positive statement of interest. When you hear this, the immediate reaction should be to pin the prospect down to a definite “when.” Once you have a time, you can focus sales efforts for then, and you can continue to make contact with them until they have made a buying decision.

No Money
You have a prospect who is interested in what you have to offer but says there is no budget for it. This is often considered the most difficult objection to rebut. But, probing for more information after being told this objection can uncover some key information that might result in you making the sale. Develop strategies to politely ask about budget limitations, future spending, and who within the organization can make budget decisions. The answers will help you confirm whether the “no money” objection is real or if there is something else preventing the sale.

Your Price is Too High
This classic objection often sets rookie salespeople off running on with a list of benefits and reasons why the higher price is justifiable. This often doesn’t accomplish a thing. Rather, turn the tables and ask questions to find out what is lurking below the surface of your prospect’s resistance. Start by asking the prospect with what they were hoping to pay. Work from there, and keep the questions open-ended so that they have to engage in a conversation. You’ll learn more about your prospect and will be able to figure out whether or not price is truly at the root of the objection.

No Need
Frequently, prospects who say they have no need for your products or services are just using this objection as a stock answer for anyone and everyone who approaches them. Consider turning this objection into a reason for buying. Find ways to point out why there is a need for your product or service. If you can make it difficult for the client to use this objection, it can very well turn into the reason for buying.

Don’t Drop the Networking Ball

April 9, 2009 at 12:17 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, entrepreneurship, Networking | Leave a comment

Dropping the ball in the game of networking is akin to not catching a fly ball in baseball. Others are counting on you to successfully execute the play and keep the game going. Let the ball drop too many times, and you’ll be booted off of the team.
Networking is entirely about follow through. Just like in baseball, a networking introduction is like a spectacular ball that is heading right for you. You need to keep your eye on it and reach out if you’re going to make the most of the opportunity.

Too often, individuals get busy and forget to make contact with leads that were given to them or don’t follow up with the individuals who facilitated the introductions. Both slip ups are grievous errors in the realm of networking and can really tick off those who have put time and energy into helping you. If you’re guilty of lack of networking follow up and follow through, don’t be surprised if you’re given the “three strikes and you’re out” treatment from your colleagues and acquaintances. No one is going to continue to help someone who isn’t appreciative.

Don’t let yourself be demoted to the minor leagues of networking. Follow these tips and stay in the game:

Say Thank You
As soon as you obtain a lead from someone who has facilitated an introduction, thank them! Don’t wait for a week to go by, and don’t blow it off as something of little importance. A networking lead is a gift, so be gracious even if you don’t think it’s going to amount to a new business opportunity. Write a hand-written note or offer to take them to lunch. Don’t just send a lame, half-hearted thank you email. Remember, no one is going to go out of their way for you if you’re not enthusiastic in your response!

Keep Organized
Use a system for keeping track of your leads and who has provided them to you. Don’t let the information get buried in your email or on your desk.

Follow Up Promptly with the Lead
Develop a rule for yourself for the maximum amount of time you will take to contact a new lead. Ideally, it shouldn’t take you longer than 24 hours to make that first contact.

Follow Up Promptly with the Facilitator
Your work is not done once you’ve had that initial conversation. Now, you need to contact the person who facilitated the lead and give them an update. This step is frequently forgotten but vitally important to maintaining good networking relationships.

Networking is not just about you receiving new contacts. It’s also about you reciprocating the favors bestowed upon you. Be generous about helping others, making introductions, and offering assistance whenever you have the chance.

Networking is a Contact Sport

April 7, 2009 at 5:11 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, entrepreneurship, Marketing, Networking, sales, Sales Training, small business | Leave a comment

As with so many aspects of life, networking requires action and effort if you’re going to reap its benefits. You can attend countless in-person and online events and register for every networking group under the sun, but you’ll get nowhere if you’re not actively taking the time to connect with the people you are meeting.

Networking is akin to someone opening a door just a bit. It’s your choice to push the door open to enter into the world of others. If you’re not putting your time in to follow up and form relationships, you’re merely peeking in the “networking” door and closing it in the face of potential opportunity.

Networking is truly a contact sport that requires you to be proactive if you’re going to win. Are you guilty of taking a defensive networking strategy; waiting for others to contact you? If so, the following tips are well worth reading and following if you want to achieve any level of success from your efforts.

Ask How They Want to Be Contacted

Much of the reason why so many of us don’t follow up after a networking event is that we simply don’t know the best way to take that next step. Do you email, write a hand-written note, or give them a call? It can certainly be confusing, but there is an easy solution to this. At your next networking event, ask the individuals that you’d like to connect with again what the best method is to reach them. If they are vague, they probably don’t want to pursue anything further. If they do tell you their preferred contact method, you can be confident about how to follow up, and most likely they’ll be anticipating it, too!

Be Timely

Ok, you now have a stack of business cards, and the thought of contacting everyone can be overwhelming. But, you have to do it, so develop a plan of action. Separate your contacts into two groups – the group of individuals that you want to contact for a specific purpose and those who you simply met but have no specific reason to call. Call back the first group as soon as possible. Then, send a note or email to the others saying how pleased you were to meet them and that you are looking forward to seeing them again soon. Don’t forget to add everyone’s contact information into your database for future reference.

Be a Sleuth

Thanks to the Internet many of your contacts will have an online presence. Google their name and see what comes up. Then, befriend them on LinkedIn or Facebook. If they have a blog, write a comment and let them know that you enjoyed meeting them.

Focus On Giving

Instead of hoping that someone will contact you with a potential opportunity, make a list of who you met and how you can help them. Do you have a recommendation or a contact for someone? Great! Follow up with the information. If not, consider sending an article of interest, an invitation to an industry event, or even just a note or email that you’ll keep your eyes open for possible opportunities.

Help: Lost in WordPress Hell

April 7, 2009 at 11:48 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sending this post at a remote work station. Cannot get into WordPress from my office. As soon as the glitch is fixed, I will post some info.

In the meantime, anyone have any ideas on how to fix this?

How to Convert More New Business

April 1, 2009 at 7:50 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, entrepreneurship, Marketing, Networking, sales | Leave a comment

As a salesperson, it’s always helpful to have a long list of prospects. However, if you don’t have a well thought out plan for converting them into customers, you are simply setting yourself up for failure. A low conversion rate is a common problem for salespeople, but one that is correctable with understanding the steps to take through the entire sales process. These steps are easily implemented with little or no cost and can make a tremendous difference in converting a higher percentage of prospects into customers.


Pick Suspects with Care

Not all prospects are created equal, and it’s best to think of them as suspects until they are screened and qualified. This is a fact that seems obvious, but is often forgotten. The reality is that it’s very easy to jump into selling mode, and mistakenly waste time dealing with someone who will never become a customer. Without a process for assessing the potential of a prospect, you are rolling the dice. You might get a customer, but more likely you’re going to get someone who will take your time and not offer anything in return.


Categorize Prospects

When you have multiple prospects, it can be a challenge to keep tabs on where each one is in the selling process. A touch point management strategy is a must. From sales quoting to billing and beyond, companies of all sizes need to make sure that these vital touch points are handled on time and effectively. Without them, the relationship will most likely come to a screeching halt. Sensitivity to what a prospect or a customer is experiencing is crucial and knowing that the proper handling of the most basic of interactions can be what is required to ensure long-term, fruitful relationships.


Improve Your Prospect’s Situation

You can have the most wonderful product or service in the universe, but if it does nothing to benefit your prospect’s situation, they’re not going to buy it. Take the time to understand their situation, their needs and wants, and then show them how you can help them. Never assume that what you’re selling just sells itself. In the vast majority of cases, it won’t. It’s your job to sell.


Move the Process along the Sales Pipeline

Often the sales process heat up early on, and then fades before anything is closed. If you’ve done your homework and know that you have a qualified lead and a potential sale, don’t let the momentum die. Follow through, keep asking questions, and offer your assistance. Don’t let a sale slip through your hands due to a lack of follow through, and by all means, don’t expect your prospects to do move the sales process along themselves.


Close New Business

It comes natural to discuss the features and benefits of what you have to offer, but it can be unnerving to take that final step of closing new business. This is often because many of us associate closing a sale as hard selling. Rather, it’s not a cutthroat maneuver; it’s just a necessary part of the sales process. If you’ve taken the right steps throughout the sales process and recognize that your prospect is ready to buy, they will appreciate the honest, mutually respectful discussion towards the sale.




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