3 Ways to Make Certain Your Clients Love You Tomorrow

April 25, 2011 at 7:14 am | Posted in Customer Service, sales, Sales Training | 14 Comments

Listen up. You don’t want to be a one-project stand. You have to take certain steps to make sure that your clients will love you tomorrow. Really. You can’t take this for granted so pay attention and put these to work now:

Go over and beyond what they expect.
Meeting client expectations is really a big so-what. Maybe that was good enough once upon a time and maybe it is still good enough if you have absolutely no competition (and who occupies that rarified space) but for the rest of us, exceeding client expectations is the best way to ensure that you will retain your client’s business for the long haul.

Don’t nickel and dime them to death.
I don’t know about you but I loathe getting invoices that have all sorts of add-ons tacked on almost as an afterthought. You know what; it’s better to take the high road and perhaps absorb some of those fees, or perhaps add them into the base price or hourly rate, rather than risk leaving a very nasty impression.

Be proactive.
We keep hearing that clients are no longer loyal, that they’ll change “vendors” to save miniscule amounts of money. The solution? Don’t be a vendor! Vendors can be easily disposed of but business resources, well, not so easily. And what make a business resource valuable? Well, being proactive, being ahead of the situation, the challenge, the problem and being ready with a solution or options. Yep. Business resources are not so disposable.

So there you have it. Simple ways for you to avoid being part of a bad break-up. Will you still love me tomorrow?

Your Personal Sales Prospecting System and the Importance of Routine

April 15, 2011 at 10:48 am | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, sales, Sales Training | Leave a comment
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Most of us have routines. We get up at the same time each workday, follow a regular pattern of shower, coffee, morning news and then our commute, with little deviation day by day.

How about at the gym? We work through a series of exercises and maybe machines, methodically working each muscle group. There’s very little in the way of thought process; we just “know” what comes next.

And while being routinized 24/7 can be mind-numbing, there’s something to be said with knowing what you have to do, when you have to do it and how to execute it in order to experience the desired outcomes.

And that’s the way it should be with sales prospecting as well. You shouldn’t be in the position of “reinventing the wheel” every time you engage in prospecting. I’ll go one step further – prospecting should be part and parcel of your “ongoing” business development efforts, not just a stop-gap measure to implement when sales dip down.

Yes, make sales prospecting part of your routine. It doesn’t have to be a daily endeavor but you do have to know the following:

–How many contacts do you need in your sales pipeline in order to win the volume of business that you need/want? (What is your “close” rate?)
–What is your sales cycle (average length of time from the start of the sales dialogue to booking the business)?
–How will you prospect (by phone, in-person canvassing, email, direct mail)? The mode will determine timing, follow-up, etc.

If you know these statistics you’ll be better able to plan (routinize) the scope of prospecting effort that is required to meet your sales revenue goals.

So take the time to develop your plan and then make it a routine, something that you don’t need to think about and reflect on.

Get into a “just do it” mindset and just like exercising and showering it will become part of your “regular” activities.

3 Easy Tips to Jumpstart Your Business

April 14, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, entrepreneurship, Networking, New York Sales Trainer, Sales Training, small business | Leave a comment

We all know that business development is a process whereby you plant seeds and nurture them and, at some point, you will start to see something blossom and recognize ROI on your business development efforts.

Some strategies take a long time to execute; others can be done much faster, and so for the impatient among you, here are 3 things that you can start to do immediately:

1. Start to prospect now. Be proactive. Don’t depend on the phone ringing and don’t expect that referrals will keep your pipeline as full as it needs to be. (Another good reason to prospect is that it helps you to keep your sales skills fine-tuned and sharp. Sorry, but living on referrals tends to make you a somewhat lazy business developer.)

2. Get “seriously” involved with social media and develop a social media plan of attack. (I don’t mean updating your Facebook and Linkedin status once per day.) I do mean learning how to use these tools to their best advantage, initiate and engage in conversations, utilize the “search” capabilities, showcase your firm and it’s capabilities, etc.

3. Reconnect with dormant accounts, follow-up consistently on all proposals and quotes and reach out to small, marginal accounts to cross-tell your other products and services. Sounds like common sense, right? It is but the sad truth is that many companies do not mine the gold in their existing account base. This should be started immediately.

There you go. The good news is that if you don’t have the resources to execute any of these 3 efforts there are resources out there that can do them for you.

You don’t have any excuse. Just do it.

Business and My Mom

April 13, 2011 at 7:39 am | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, sales | Leave a comment

My mom wasn’t exactly a business woman. Sure, she worked as a bookkeeper for a number of years. Yet, I’m not certain that she ever considered it a career. And, I can’t say that I thought of her a role model as I carved out the beginnings of my company.

Still, as I reflect upon her now, I realize that there were several characteristics that she embodied that I see in myself. And, these very same characteristics are those that I include in much of my consulting and training. Here’s what I learned from Mom:

Sweat the Small Stuff
My mom was always a stickler for details, and she was sometimes a real pain in the butt as she nagged to get things done correctly. Now, I preach to folks that sometimes the dollars are in the details. Whether it’s how you follow up, or your attention to returning calls and emails, these seemingly small things can make all of the difference.

Work Hard
Energy was my mom’s middle name. Up early, she multi-tasked her way through each and every day, tending to the myriad of details that tend to fall into a working woman’s universe. And although she didn’t view her “job” as a career, she was dedicated to getting everything done that had to get done even if it meant working harder or staying later. While I never consciously thought about my mom’s energy and diligence, it sure as heck rubbed off on me evidenced each day by the amazing amount of things that I somehow get done.

First Impressions Count
My mom was hyper-vigilant about how she looked. Her makeup was always applied correctly and never a hair out of place. I used to consider these superficial concerns.

Yes, she was on me constantly about grooming, and, for a while, I rebelled and provided pushback by concertedly not embracing her values. However, once I started my public speaking and training career and spending my days in front of an audience that was gazing at me for hours at a time, I realized just how critical my appearance actually was.

Don’t get me wrong, I was never a total slob. But, that first impression when you stand in front of a room is a hard one to dispel if you don’t nail it right from the beginning. And lately when I get dressed for a speaking engagement, I think back to my mother paying such very strict attention to every aspect of her clothes and makeup.

Mom is elderly now, and she’s not as able to demonstrate these qualities herself. However, when I go to visit her, she’s still on me about my appearance, and she’ll always ask about what I’m doing and how it’s going. And, I take it as a compliment that she even tells me to slow down a bit.

So, thanks Mom for all that you have taught me through the years. I never told you when I was younger, and I thought it was time to tell you now.

Help, My Networking Isn’t Working

April 5, 2011 at 10:03 am | Posted in Adrian's Network, Networking | 4 Comments

I believe that networking can play a critical role in most people’s business building efforts, so much so that I have even launched my own networking community

Curiouser and Curiouser

April 4, 2011 at 8:35 am | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Marketing, sales, Sales & Technology, Sales Training, small business, The Blatant Truth: 50 Ways to Sales Success | Leave a comment

Curiouser and curiouser. So said Alice when she started to change shape. Yes, strange things can happen when you least expect them. But is that how you want to ensure your success…getting business when you least expect it?

One of the big issues these days seems to be the overall uncertainty about the flow of new business. Peaks and valleys can seriously impact work flow and profitability and sales reps must be mindful of the following action steps to minimize the situation.

1. Make certain that you are doing enough prospecting and that your sales pipeline is as full “as it needs to be”. Everyone has a different “close rate” and depending on what you project will come through as new business helps you to determine just how many prospects need to be in your pipeline at the same time.

2. Ask questions. Be curious! If you ask the right questions prospects will tell you what they want, when they want it and what they will pay for it. Don’t be afraid to initiate a dialogue. Uncovering exactly what a prospect WANTS can help you to close the sale.

3. If you’re not opening new accounts be certain to ask yourself if you are fishing for prospects in the correct / best pond. Do your prospects perceive your offer to be of value? Is your product or service priced appropriately?

And finally, are you patient, persistent and persuasive? If you can’t answer “yes” to each one of these qualities then you are probably leaving business behind.

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