What I Learned From Watching “The Boss”

November 25, 2009 at 8:43 am | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, sales, Sales & Technology, Sales Training, small business | 3 Comments
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No, this isn’t another article about observing your management team. It’s about what you can learn from the “BossBruce Springsteen. Yep, that’s right. There are a handful of extremely helpful takeaways that all of us business people can learn from this veteran rock and roller.

Connect with Your Audience in a BIG Way

A Bruce Springsteen concert is never a quiet, low-key show. He works the crowd and plays his band like an orchestra. You can’t help but feel as if he’s singing straight to you, even in a sold-out stadium. Bruce gets it. Without his legions of devoted fans, he’d be just another guy from New Jersey.

In business, it’s just as important to make the connection with those around you. To grow long-term success, you, too, need devotees that truly believe that you’re working just for them. Build your fan base just like Bruce.

Be Real, Not Superficial

Even though Bruce probably has more money than some small nations, he still successfully projects an image of blue-collar, straightforwardness that you rarely see in other rock stars.

You just can’t envision him lip-synching a song on stage, nor wearing a sequined, glam get-up. Because he’s so good at what he does, there’s no need for distracting background dancers, dizzying light displays, or overly-synthesized songs. That’s just not Bruce. He writes and performs real music that’s straight from the heart. He wears jeans and a t-shirt and plays his guitar. No muss, no fuss!

 

Being down-to-earth is a good strategy for business, too. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to spot the salesperson who is better at show-boating than really selling or the marketing director who has a knack for making a sub-standard product look very appealing in a presentation. Instead, the best approach is always honest and real. Having a reputation as someone who isn’t full of B.S. will always work to your benefit in the long run.

Work Hard

Anyone who has ever been to a Bruce Springsteen concert knows that they can be long. While most performers tire and quit after an hour and a half, Bruce can go on for hours and hours. During one tour in the early 80s, his band consistently played nearly 40 songs over four hours each night. His tireless work ethic has definitely added to his popularity and mystique. When you buy a ticket to one of his concerts, you know you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.

Bruce has found success through hard work, and so can you. By putting your hours in, you’ll not only improve your skills, you’ll establish yourself as a roll-your-sleeves-up type who is willing to do what’s necessary to get a job done.

Be a Perfectionist

Like all rock and roll stars with staying power, Bruce Springsteen makes performing look easy. He just picks up a guitar and plays, right? Not hardly! His “E Street Band” has up to nine performers on stage that all must work in synch to create the incredible music that they’re known for. This requires tremendous amounts of time rehearsing, practicing, and fine-tuning. Want to be a business rock star? Perfect what you do and then make it look easy.

Over Deliver

At the core of every performance is Bruce’s desire to do anything and everything to make his crowd happy. Even now at 60 years old, he works the stage and makes his way into the audience just as he has done for decades. He takes audience requests for songs and belts out each tune with the enthusiasm and vigor of someone half his age. Of course, he rarely ends any show with less than a five song encore. Why do many fans almost consider his concerts “pilgrimages” that they couldn’t dare miss? It’s because he consistently over delivers, always leaving them feeling like they’re truly appreciated.

Are you going over and above the call of duty and providing more than expected with your prospects, clients, and colleagues? Take it from “The Boss”, if you’re really “Born to Run”, you’ll make it your passion to over deliver, too!

 

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Will You Love Me In The Morning?

November 24, 2009 at 10:08 am | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, entrepreneurship, Networking, sales, Sales Training, small business | Leave a comment

We’ve all had those sales presentations where everything went right. You captivated the audience with your words, and they nodded in agreement. You left the room feeling like a rock star, confident that you’d soon have a sale. Then, the romance quickly ended when you tried to close the deal. They fell off your grid, wouldn’t take your calls, and basically disappeared without even an explanation. Hmmmm!  And, you thought they loved you?

Yes, it sounds more like a one-night stand than a sales presentation, but too often seemingly productive sales presentations end up going nowhere fast. Why? Well, there are four primary reasons why your once captive audience is not really into you anymore. Here they are:

Oops! You Romanced the Wrong People

Often times, the people who seem like they are sure bets during a sales presentation are just those who don’t have any buying authority. It’s easy to get positive response from individuals who aren’t authorizing the checks, but you’re spinning your wheels by focusing on them. Do your homework ahead of your meeting and make sure that the decision-makers will be listening to what you have to say.

You Didn’t Probe For Information

You’ve memorized the features and benefits of what you’re selling and can probably even recite them in your sleep. But, no one is sold by a running monologue. To captivate them enough to get them to buy, you better be finding out how you can help them. Without this information, you have no ability to offer them an improvement of their current situation. This translates into them having no reason to return your call.

You Didn’t Present Enough Value

You could have the flashiest, most innovative product or service on the market, but if you can’t communicate its value to your prospect, they’re not going to buy it. Sure, they’ll ooh and aah over the fantastic things that you’re showing them, but if you’re not explaining why they need to have it, you might as well pack up and go home.

You Didn’t Ask Enough Questions

Besides determining their specific needs, you still need to find out much more before you have the sale. Do they have the budget for what you’re selling? What’s their timeline? How does the purchasing process work? How best to follow up? What else can you do to help them?

Like going on a first date, you need to play it smart if you’ll continue on towards a relationship. Find the right people, ask them the right questions, and you’ll go a long way to preventing being jilted again.

Are You Touching Base or Checking In? Ya Better Not Be!

November 20, 2009 at 8:02 am | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, Marketing, Networking, sales, Sales Training, small business, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I am solidly against sales reps making reconnect calls to “touch base” or “check in.”  The prospects are busy, they absolutely KNOW why you are calling and the call is just a pure waste of their time. It’s simply self-serving and useless.

I’ve expanded on this idea many times and most recently in a post called “The I’s Have It.”

If you connect to prospects (and clients as well) with information, invitations and introductions, well then, you’re golden. Your contacts are welcomed, you can stay on the radar screen in a meaningful way and you have a much better chance of getting the business.

 

Blatantly Autocratic Sales

November 10, 2009 at 3:44 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, entrepreneurship, Networking, sales, Sales Training, small business | Leave a comment

A healthy ego is certainly a good thing to have if you want to be a successful salesperson. Yet, some of us are simply off the chart when it comes to self importance. You might know who you are, and the rest of us can certainly spot you from a mile away. But, if you’re not quite sure if you’re the poster child of the blatantly autocratic sales approach, answer the following questions and find out for yourself.

Do you frequently catch yourself saying or thinking “It’s my way or the highway”?

Sure, you may or may not be able to use this tactic with your kids who are living under your roof. However, if you’re not giving your customers options and choices, and don’t bother to negotiate or work to meet others’ needs or wants, you’re guilty!

Guess what? This lack of flexibility translates into you being deemed “difficult” and a “jackass”. Sure, you can stick to your guns, but the people who you’re trying to sell to aren’t going to feel the need to put up with your attitude.

 

Do you demand that they sit through your presentation or else?

You’ve diligently developed your PowerPoint presentation, honed your speech, and have memorized every benefit and feature of what you’re selling. Of course, your audience is going to listen intently from start to finish without interruption. You don’t need to accommodate their pesky time constraints or questions. Right?

It’s time for a wake up call. Maybe you have a busy schedule, but so do those you’re selling to. Most likely, they have lots of salespeople who want them to sit through presentations just like yours. Unfortunately, there’s probably much more to their day than just listening to their vendors. Hey, give them a break. Make your presentations short and sweet, and do your best to work with their schedules.

 

Do You Not Really Care All That Much about What Your Customers Want?

It’s all about your needs. You have a commission, a quota, or a boss breathing down your neck. You just don’t have time to focus on what your customers want.

Whether you once cared about your customers needs and have just become jaded over time, or you’re just naturally a selfish, rude salesperson, this attitude is a surefire way to lose customers very quickly.

Sometimes, it’s hard to take a self-assessment and find out that you’ve become the jerk that everyone loves to hate. However, in these tough economic times, can you really afford to take this approach with your clients? Don’t think for a moment that your customers don’t recognize these behaviors.

The good news is that you can change for the better. The best salespeople really do care about their customers and want to do their job well by being helpful, informative, and professional. You can, too! Take the ego down a notch and roll your sleeves up to start working with them not just for yourself. You’ll be glad that you did!

 

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