Hey Sales Reps: Is Your Closure Complex Being Compromised?

January 28, 2011 at 10:09 am | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, entrepreneurship, New York Sales Trainer, sales, Sales Training, small business, The Blatant Truth: 50 Ways to Sales Success | Leave a comment

Yes, despite the fact that the economic downturn seems to be slowly turning around, companies are still gun-shy and seem slow to pull the trigger and say “yes” on proposed projects.

As salespeople we all know that we want, no need, to close new business. Anything less and we’re not happy.

So with that in mind, there are things that can be done to help lessen your prospect’s fear of closure.

1) Baby steps: Sometimes we ask our prospects to bite off more than they are comfortable with. We ask for full commitment before they are ready to commit. The solution to this is to “stage” your project and instead of asking the prospect to say “yes” to a very large and sometimes financially burdensome endeavor, you can start with just a small piece. Let them see you in action and get comfortable with what you can deliver. When they see your competencies and are comfortable with the deliverables, then you can close them on the larger program.
2) Money back guarantee: Okay, so I don’t really mean “all” of their money back but why not make them feel less exposed and offer them some sort of satisfaction clause. It doesn’t have to be money back, it could be additional hours or work put against their project. Whatever it is, it will make them feel more comfortable about saying yes.
3) The give-away: Yes, take the high road and give something for nothing. Can you provide a few extra hours of your time to ensure that your prospect will succeed with what are proposing? Can you offer an add-on or item that might cost you little yet has a high perceived value? Think creatively. Don’t we all appreciate “something for nothing”.

By taking a good look at some of these tactics you might be able to improve your close rate and have fewer prospects “stuck” in the sales pipeline. Give it a try.


I Know There is Business to be Done But STILL, Stop & Smell the Roses

January 27, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, New York Sales Trainer, sales, small business, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I don’t know about you but for me 2011 has started with a bang.

Lots of companies have recently woken up and have seen that they are still in business despite the economic horrors of the previous few years. Sure business might still be down but the doors well, they’re open, and work is getting done.

And with the revelation that they were able to withstand the rough times, there seems to be a renewed interest in improving sales competencies, revising sales strategies and in general, coming out from under the covers and investing in the growth of the company.

And that means business for me.

So it’s busy. Very busy and that’s a great thing and after the last few lean years the inquiries and new projects are most certainly welcome.

Couple the “doing the work” along with the never-ending networking and business development that must ALWAYS go on and this entrepreneur has one very busy schedule.

7 days a week; 15 hours a day busy.

And while it is more than okay for right now, it isn’t sustainable for the long haul.

There are just too many other things that should be done. Exercise, taking time for friends and family, indulging in a hobby or personal interest…these all matter to me.

And here’s the point, I’ve learned that it is okay to stop and yes, smell the roses and indulge in these other activities.

But in order to stop and not recognize a huge fall-off in business opportunities, we all need to take some things into consideration. For instance:

1. Are you recognizing results from all of your business development and networking initiatives? Which ones haven’t been so productive? Perhaps you should eliminate doing some of these less successful activities as they are taking away precious time and energy (which can then be put into other, more rewarding efforts and activities!) You’ll find yourself gaining some valuable time.

2. Do you have to do EVERYTHING or can some of your work be assigned to a virtual assistant or intern thereby freeing you up for other pursuits.

3. Cast a very critical eye as to how you are spending your time. Recognize that time management might not be one of your strengths and perhaps engage a time management or organizational consultant to help you find those extra hours in your day. Rest assured, they’re probably there but just hidden away somewhere.

The bottom-line is that taking the time to grow as a person can only help you in your business.

So take the time, smell the roses and you and your clients will be better off.

Don’t Be Like the Jets: A Case of Too Little, Too Late

January 24, 2011 at 8:21 am | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, Networking, New York Sales Trainer, sales, Sales Training, small business, The Blatant Truth: 50 Ways to Sales Success | Leave a comment

I watched the Jets last night. I’m not really a big football fan but I am a huge fan of New York and so my interest was drawn to the game.

It wasn’t real fun to watch with the first half being pretty dismal and the second half, well, a case of too little, too late.

Sad really. So much work, so much anticipation.

Too little, too late.

Watching the game I started to reflect upon some of my clients and the situation they found themselves in when they called on me for help.

They were gung ho and pumped to get moving. Sales reps were hitting the phones, hitting the streets, networking their hearts out.

But ya know that, in some cases, it was just too little, too late.

Starting to get back in the game when the competition has your back to the wall is not the very best time to take action.

The game has to be played right from the very beginning in order to have some reasonable assurance that you’re going to be able to win.

Now I know that the Jets staged some fairly miraculous comebacks this year, pulling out a win when everyone thought that they had lost.

And business people can do that as well.

But really, isn’t it better to start playing your hardest and smartest right from the get go?

For the Jets there’s always next year.

But for many businesses there isn’t another year to be had. Employees get laid off, profits disappear, businesses close.

So take a good look right now, here at the very beginning of the New Year. Are you playing your hardest and playing smart?

Can you do something differently to ensure a win for this year?

Can You Have Your Very Own Restauarant Week:

January 12, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, New York Sales Trainer, sales, Sales Training, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Restaurant Week in NYC is coming up soon and it’s always a hugely popular event.
I got online as soon as I could and found out that many of the most popular restaurants were already booked for the most desirable time slots.

Whew. Let’s face it. You have to move fast to take advantage of the opportunity to dine at some of New York’s most fabulous and well-reviewed restaurants and to do so at an extremely attractive cost.

So, can you have your very own Restaurant Week in which you make an offer, or provide a discount, for which people will see tremendous value?

Think about it? Drive interest, draw attention and by having the opportunity to introduce your product or services, win new potential long-term business.

Some easy ground rules:

• Make certain that the time line is clear and not ambiguous
• There must be a specific beginning and end to the offer
• Prepare for voluminous responses and have a plan on how to handle them
• Make certain that you deliver on what you are offering. Don’t even think about the old “bait and switch”

As for me, I’m about to make a couple of additional reservations. These deals are just too good to pass up.

Hello. Is Anyone Home?

January 9, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, New York Sales Trainer, sales, Sales Training, small business, The Blatant Truth: 50 Ways to Sales Success | Leave a comment

Hello. Is Anyone Home?

So you’re in the city or business district in your community. Look around you. How many offices are in your immediate vicinity? 5,10,20 or more. If you’re like me and in NYC, at any given time and on any given street, you might see buildings soaring 50 stories or more and well, there are a vast quantity of low rise buildings as well.

So what’s up? With all these offices and purportedly all of the people that work in these offices, where, oh where, are the prospects?

You know what I mean. You call and reach voice mail. You call again and the same thing occurs. And again. And then again. What’s going on? Well, nada.

No one is home. Or is there. You don’t know do you?

There are no pat solutions to this problem but there ARE a few things that you can do to help improve your “reach rate”. Here are just a few:

1) Place your calls early in the morning, after “traditional” office hours or even at lunch. You may have a better chance of having the prospect pick up their phone at these “odd” times. During the busy part of the day that now seems to stretch from 9-5 with few exceptions, getting to someone before his or her day has started or after it has ended is often successful.
2) Deploy email after the 2nd or 3rd attempt. Mention that you’ve tried to reach them by phone to no avail and that you would like to schedule a phone appointment. Give them specific dates and times and make it easy for them to hit “reply” and give their okay.
3) Send “snail mail” and time your phone call to follow the mail by just a day or two. And, try to make your mail interesting and unique. This is where dimensional mail or a specialty item might come in useful. (Of course you will have somehow already screened and qualified these prospects. You don’t want to spend money on expensive items without being somewhat certain that the prospect has a degree of sales worthiness.
4) Make sure that you leave an excellent voice mail that may even prompt a prospect to call you back. Callbacks are rare even when the message is good but it doesn’t hurt to give it your best shot. And, when given the opportunity by the phone system, take a moment to listen to your message. How do you sound? Is your tone professional and energetic? Do you like the words that you are saying? This might be just the time to tweak your message.

It’s expensive and inefficient to attempt to do in-person cold calls and here in Manhattan, you can’t get past security anyway.

And really, since no one is “home” isn’t it more efficient to fine-tune and perfect your telephone prospecting skills. Try some of these tips and see if you are able to “connect”. Good luck.

Born to Run…Errrr, Sell

January 3, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, entrepreneurship, New York Sales Trainer, sales, Sales Training, small business, The Blatant Truth: 50 Ways to Sales Success | Leave a comment

Yes, some people were born to sell. Naturally extroverted, intrinsically good listeners, blessed with what is commonly referred to as a “thick skin”, these folks often gravitate towards sales and more often than not, they excel in the position.

But what if you share little if anything with these “natural born” sales superstars? Are you doomed if you find yourself in some sort of sales position and, after all, who isn’t selling these days?!

The answer is a resounding “no”. Do not start running for the hills if tasked with sales. Help is on the way. Here are some tips and techniques that can help put you on top of the sales game.

1. Don’t ever underestimate the importance of practice. Say it again—P R A C T I C E!
The more prepared that you are the more confident and comfortable you will be, and confidence is fundamental to successful sales endeavors. Practice your telephone pitch, practice your in-person presentation, it might even help to practice what you say / do at networking events.

2. Know your “stuff”! Nothing helps to build your confidence like being in control of the information that you need to present. Even an experienced sales rep can get tripped up when faced with a question to which they don’t know the answer. Become a master of the facts!

3. Relax. You are speaking to another human being made of the very same flesh and blood as you. Take a deep breathe and remember to control your rate of speech, tone, manner and inflection. Your tone of voice can contradict what you are saying. Make certain that they are in sync.

And lastly:

Don’t take negative responses personally. A prospective client might not be interested in what you have to offer and they might not be polite and courteous when expressing their feelings. Still, they are negatively disposed towards your product or service, not towards “you” and there is a vast difference.

These tips can be learned, embraced and when they become habit you will be a better salesperson.

Any questions on how, check out “The Blatant Truth: 50 Ways to Sales Success”. (Yep, I wrote it!)

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