I’m No Lady Gaga, But___

June 27, 2011 at 11:18 am | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, New York Sales Trainer, sales | 2 Comments
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I’m honest enough to admit that I was late to the Lady Gaga party. When Gaga hit the scene I scoffed that she was nothing but a Madonna wanna-be (Mmmm, the Lady Gaga of “my” generation) and hadn’t we seen this all before (cue music, sigh, roll eyes). But as the months rolled by and I heard more, saw more and read more, I gained a new found respect for this young woman that seems to call her own shots, define her territory and create an immediately recognizable brand, all the while capturing and retaining the adoration of her Little Monsters.

Now I would never (never!) be so presumptuous as to do any sort of Gaga and Adrian comparison. That would be really nuts, right? But for amusement’s sake, let’s play this out a step or two.

You see (like Lady Gaga) I also aim to gain the dedication and loyalty of my clients, contacts, referral sources and prospects extending myself at all times and in all ways by being a trusted ally and friend ready, able and willing (most of all willing) to lend a hand when needed.

The “buzz” around my personal brand has indicated that I’ve been successful in demonstrating my commitment, and it is something that I think about and attempt to improve each and every day.

What about you? Are you like Lady Gaga? How are you growing your base of fans and most of all, do your fans know how much you care? How do you demonstrate your appreciation and respect for their business and / or friendship?

Most of us don’t do a good enough job of this so before you cast aside any thoughts that Lady Gaga can’t possibly be a business role model, think again.


How to Make the Sale After Your Fling With Social Media

June 23, 2011 at 7:29 am | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Marketing, New York Sales Trainer, sales, Sales Training, social media | 1 Comment
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We are all aware that social media plays a huge role in our current sales and marketing landscape. Creating visibility, softening the market, starting and/or maintaining a dialogue with customers and prospects alike, well, I think we can all agree that’s it’s a pretty terrific tool.

But…and this is a VERY big but, if you have anything other than an internet based business you had better become reacquainted with the importance of old-fashioned sales skills, the kind that existed well before Mark Zuckerberg made his mark or Linkedin became the darling of business prospectors.

Yes for most businesses it is people that woo, wow and win clients and if you forget that fact and get lost in the land of facebook, linkedin and twitter, you might find yourself with less business that you might have had if only you had deployed sales best practices.

–Make sure that you know the value and improvements that your business provides to customers so that you can present these benefits concisely and coherently when engaged in your business prospecting efforts.  To that end, embrace your points of differentiation but be sure that what makes you different is truly what your prospects “want” and need.

–Understand the critical importance of effective probing and seek to uncover everything that you possibly can about your prospects and clients. Asking questions helps to gain rapport and is always more insightful than simply checking their status update.

–Be prepared for pushback and hesitancies. This is always true but especially so during our current economic situation. People are nervous and conservative and it takes extra sales ability to help them to pull the trigger and say “yes”.

–While ABC (always be closing) is a cliché, it is certainly important to be proactive when leading your prospect to a “next step” for that is what closing is, simply a next steps scenario of which both you and your prospects are aware

–Don’t lean on technology instead of the “personal” touch.  Make it a point to reach out and call your prospects and customers on a regular basis. Too overwhelmed and busy to make the calls? Break them up into very small allotments. You CAN make 1-3 calls per day, can’t you?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to underestimate the power of social media. As the owner of a small business, I thrill at the fact that, to a certain extent, it has leveled the marketing playing field. But people do business with people and when companies forget that fact, all the social media in the world won’t save the day.

Do You Ever Stumble?

June 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, sales, Sales Training | Leave a comment
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Sales is most definitely a process. Sure you can throw a bunch of names against that proverbial wall and emerge with, well maybe something, but quite probably all of your effort will be for naught.

Yep, sales is a process. You start with some due diligence to identify your best suspects, develop the most effective marketing materials designed to woo and wow those prospects, schedule sales presentations to help seal the deal and then, of course, deploy exquisite follow-up and follow-through (aka touch point management) to make certain you can carry that new prospect all the way to closure.

Throw in some tracking and measurement and you have a peek at a very simplified sales process. (Yes there are lots of additional steps but you get the point, right?:) )

Ignore any of the requisite steps and you run the risk of failure because all of them—that’s all of them—are critically important to your ultimate sales success.

So take a look at what you’re currently doing.

  1. Are you sure that your marketing materials and web site communicate your brand and message?
  1. Have you constructed a well-integrated sales and marketing campaign?  Marketing may crack open doors and create awareness but it must be solidly tied to sales competencies, processes and follow-up.
  1. Have you identified your best prospects?
  1. Are you utilizing well-crafted touch point initiatives?
  1. Have you instituted a CRM program in order to track your prospect and client activities?

Yes? No?

Don’t stumble. Put this into action now.

Don’t Sweat it This Summer But Don’t Sit On Your A__ Either

June 9, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, sales, Sales Training | Leave a comment
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It’s hot in the summer. Time for the beach, vacations, margaritas and the like.

It’s also a good time to reconnect with inactive clients, get closer to existing accounts and even prospect for new business.

(Altogether now repeat after me: Not EVERYONE goes MIA in the summer!)

Yep, it’s a great time to do some business because well, some other sales people have determined that nothing gets done in the summer. That means there’s less folks out there trying to get those appointments and win the business.

Look at it another way, even if there seems to be less activity, it is a fantastic time to plant seeds for Fall. We all know that we have to hit the ground running in September and isn’ it better to get some traction now rather than try to zoom into action after Labor Day.

So don’t miss out on those margaritas. And certainly take a vacation and do the beach thing too.

But don’t back off from business development or you just might find that your sales pipeline and business revenue stream are pretty skimpy come Fall.

Keeping the Faith—OR—Do Something To Make Certain Those Dormant Accounts Find Their Way Back To You

June 6, 2011 at 7:26 am | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, New York Sales Trainer, sales, Sales Training, small business, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Faith is a wonderful thing and yet having it, in great quantity or not, will do little to help you regain business from dormant accounts.

You know the situation.

The project is completed and there is nothing left to do. You did a good job and the client is more than satisfied but you heard me, there is nothing more for you to do.  (And yes, you’ve explored ALL of the tangential projects as well.)

Yes. It’s over and time to move on to other projects and clients however although you are moving on, must you really get “divorced” from your previous, and now, dormant account?

The answer is a resounding no. Separation perhaps, but not divorce, because there is always the potential of a renewed relationship on yet another project further down the line.

But just how will you get that next project / renew the relationship?

Might it be by “keeping the faith”?  Definitely…NOT!

While faith is fab it does little to renew business relationships. You have to continue to add value to the business relationship even when that relationship is in a hiatus period. You want to maintain a connection but you must do it in a way that provides a benefit. That means sharing information and invitations. Extending worthwhile introductions. It doesn’t mean “checking in” or “touching base” and other overtures that will waste your (inactive) client’s time.

Yes, maintaining the relationship in such a manner that your reach-outs are desired.

So feel free to keep the faith but make certain to deploy sound sales and marketing tactics too. Then, and only then, might you see that client again.

Sales Reps: NY, NY—If You Can Make It Here You Can Make It Anywhere

June 2, 2011 at 7:44 am | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, entrepreneurship, Networking, New York Sales Trainer, sales, Sales Training, small business | Leave a comment
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I’ve lived in NY for most of my adult (working) life but have had the opportunity to do my “thing” (sales consulting and training) nationwide.

Here’s what I know: NY provides exceptional opportunities with a robust and vast business population across most every industry segment. NY also has some of the best and the brightest and a rigorous competitive environment, and the people with whom you are trying to connect are inundated by messages and outreach from these very same talented people.

What’s a sales rep to do?

Well, assuming that you don’t intend to pack your bags and move to a small town in the mid-west there’s some clear and simple steps that are mandatory to making it here in NY:

1) Make certain that you are visible and occupy a spot on the playing field. Don’t allow your competitors to take over. Utilize the tools available to you (social media, email marketing, telemarketing, direct mail, PR, advertising, trade shows, networking, etc.) and obtain / maintain mind share.

2) Become an exquisite networker. The more people with whom you connect and the more people that you connect to EACH OTHER, the more influential you’ll become. Having “great networker” as part of your personal brand will win you recognition and ultimately, new contacts and business opportunities.

3) Make time management your best friend. People work hard in NY and the hours are long. You know that if you make a prospecting call at 6 or 7PM you have a good chance of finding that person in their office. We start early, end late and you must figure out your own time management scheme or you run the very real risk of burn-out.

Now, for the refrain…if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.

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