FAILED Sales – Lip Service to Relationship Marketing (Building)

3 05 2013
Building Sales Relationship

Sales and Marketing

May is ON, now the targets are set for you to hit the ground and set the sales rocking..!! Consider that you’re a new hire, 2nd month on the go. Or you could be a ‘traditional’ salesman and a long timer employee but nothing yet on the road of accomplishment coming your way. The run of the mill is again the same. New month but same old, deafening and boring ‘sales’ routine. You hate it, so does your boss..!! You’re NOT fired yet, as you have gained the experience which is expensive to replace in your place.

So now, you’re pitching clients. But wait, do you really know what your client is..? What the priorities are for your client..? What is the work environment of your client..? What is the background of your prospective client..?

Perhaps that client met you on the road and you exchanged cards, if you really did before started to pitch your product or company, people don’t want to hear anymore about companies or products, they’re already living in a tight consumer’s world where water could be scarce but advertising campaigns of splashing are not.

RECIPE OF CERTAIN DEATH – Start pitching even without noticing or knowing what the other client’s wearing. That was a pun but understanding, researching a client requires a deeper level of understanding which breeds greater trust. TRUST brings down the defenses, that is only possible if you invest enough time in building relationship not the SALES CHART first.

So how do you build a relation..? Introduce, exchange cards, FULL STOP..!! Start listening from here – what do they do, what is their organisation, invite your prospect to sell you before you sell to them, understand their work culture, the challenges, the drawbacks, the benefits, the growth standards, aspirations, inspirations. When you listen, a couple of defense line is broken and brought down, but the TRUST is not yet affixed in you, you’re just a spectator yet and no player listens to the spectators, they keep their play on.

Now, you start asking intelligent questions – this builds the channel which brings them to your company’s doorsteps and your products. Ask like what if there was a solution that would help them generate more productivity, more growth, what their (prospect’s) interest is, what is still lacking, what kind of avenues they seek to grow and prosper, financial growth. Start analyzing and suggesting what they should do – here you being their mind programming. With suggestions and advises, they start listening to you now, more defenses GONE..!! Trust replaces.

FAILED Sales - Lip Service To RelationshipsOnce you know they are eager, keep your ears and eyes open to changes – the psychological change is necessary which is not possible when thick bricked walls of FEAR, ill-trust are higher than your anticipation. Know the pain, which is not possible if you’re not emotionally intelligent to unlock it.

Sales is like a date – the perfect one is not the first one or the last one. You invest in everyone of them to get the perfect results.

So start building relationships by asking questions and suggesting help to them to improve. People love sociable people who are occasional salesman. See then your sales rocketing.

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Your Child’s Story and Passionate Sales – Connecting People..?

18 04 2013

Selling to the Emotionally Connected Customer

More often, I have to confront first time parents or experienced parents with good kids or quite a lot of kids. Yeah. Lot of kids is a good thing, so much to see, so much to laugh around and record for the good and better years ahead.

But have you ever noticed, how parents are passionate about the first child? They love to talk about their first child’s sweet mischiefs and the tantrums sound like the sparrow’s morning song for them – the passion is quite evident and shines in the eyes. 

But, the problem is, I really really dislike the stories and character eulogy of anyone’s child – even I avoid telling high stories and avoid eulogising my own child. The child and his tantrums are sweet and passionately for parents to be told – but I don’t see that passion connecting me to that child who is not my own. How can I relate to what cannot be my own? How can I just connect to your child even if he has descended with super-natural powers? Even if he’s the Michael Jackson, I will not buy the Pepsi he will show in Ads. As I just don’t connect and match the frequency.

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Connecting Emotions

So the parent’s passion doesn’t connect me, it puts me off to a point, where I try to divert the topic to something more, uh, apolitical and generalised. Though I believe, great minds discuss ideas, but parents discuss children. Your child isn’t a politician or a scientist yet for me to pause and listen.

Does this situation and predicament sound familiar – are you explaining your great and exclusive product who is not yet connected emotionally to your product, service and solution – no matter how martian version your product is with utopian technology, your customer is simply not ready to associate. Is this a common situation you’re facing? Well that happens. 

So what interests your customers? What problem are they facing? What solutions are they looking for? Are you supplying printers, while the customer is asking for a photocopier? 

Research what customers like – build bridges, don’t sing songs of your company – your customer doesn’t buy your company or your product, they buy the emotions connected with your product, your attitude, the emotions you uncover for the value of the product.

Connect emotionally, identify the needs, connect needs to emotions, plus add relationship to give more depth – release your customer from the defences.

Happy selling but let your child be free and out of sight..!! 





Sales Prospecting and Karachi Earthquake

16 04 2013
Earthquake and Sales Prospecting

How Earthquake and Sales Prospecting Relate

Well that were some strong jolts felt here in Karachi. The earthquake jolt originated from Iran – Pakistan border.

What was noticed, when earthquake hits, people throw in the frantic and people do notice and register the influence of the panic – which is negative. People then start rushing and gushing and blushing, whatever is possible. Journalists get an incident to report and people get to phone to inform their acquaintances of their safety.

Point is, how does this related to sales discussion – well here is the proposition – when and during earthquake, people cause the panic, they just don’t think twice of the reaction of the people around them, they just have one focus, safety for one and for all.

So what are we doing while Sales prospecting – do we have the focus..? If we don’t, we don’t cause the stir to initiate the sales discussion. Sales prospecting is all about confident attitude projection – most sales guys, not experts friends, the sales guys hesitate. Reason? The focus is not there, start revising your visions and dream goals. Plus, don’t just sit there and care what would people say, get out there and start talking with passion. Passion comes with powerful dreams..!!

Selling requires you to create JoltSo cause the frantic, get noticed, get your company the sales records hitting the roof and blowing through it.

Start talking without FEAR..!! FEAR is the call to take action in the path of FEAR. FEAR is invitation. Go and meet it head-on. 

Create the JOLT FACTORY Sales deserve..!!





Sales Closing, and so it begins..

10 04 2013

Selling, Sales, Sale skills, Selling SkillsThe hardest part – closing? But what about the previous process? If the initial homework is setup gingerly, the prospecting, the selection mode before prospecting, the calculation of the project / sales plan before all this. The perfecting of the sales pitch, the preparation, the attire, the appointments, the voice pitch – all just matters in selling.

Once need analysis is caricatured, the features are blended with the needs – customers are only selfish about their need satiation folks, nothing more, with added passion, the ride to the closing is just an easy ball game. But not that easy. Hang on.

Here are some handy tips to take care of before you even venture out there to combat the competing vultures – 

  • Have the ultimate goal of the meeting – Sales have to be committed by both the sides.
  • Have a complete knowledge of the concerns of your prospects – needs, demands, change analysis, improvement and so much so on.
  • Scrutinise your proposal before your prospect does – be the devil’s advocate and slam hard your proposal on the wall – survival to salvation is a logical game, never to be left to luck and charms. Miracles only happen with angels.
  • Storytell your sales and achievements – get the prospects’ frequency toned up or down to your level – play the game the way you want to with storytelling.
  • Have an explanation ready for recommendations for your solution and product.
  • Have a Plan – B ready – if this doesn’t go ahead, the other plan and artillery will work.
  • If presentation starts to sound boring, the feeling is automatic for the sales expert, be quick to find out the leakages in the interest of the person.

After all the embellishments above achieved and embedded within the proposal – go straight, like a patriotic countrymen and start the closing. Straightforward and confident questioning in closing will create a space for the other person to manoeuvre around and give either of the signals – the affirmation or rejection, which is totally natural in sales call.

Closing the Sales – some useful tips

  • Start thinking like a ‘Closer’ – Able and expert closers have three qualities – Prompt, Persistent and Focused – upgrading skills at questioning and dialogue engagement.
  • Setting clear objective of the meeting – vagueness doesn’t support success, at any level, vague information is good for college statistics but in Sales you have to get and grow like a professional.
  • Check whether the customer is ready – ask questions, directly, openly but not being pushy, never push in a sale closing. Never. Questions like – ‘How would this work for you’ or ‘How do you see yourself in this program / project?’ or ‘Do you agree?’ or ‘Does any of this make sense to you?’
  • Close confidently – Summarise what you’re offering but lightly. Then initiate a final check to make sure the prospect has understood the proposal and surfaces the objections withheld still.
  • Close and ask for the business – upon sensing the green signals – ask for the business directly, E.g.: ‘Shall we start today / now?’ or ‘Are you giving us a go-ahead now?’

Let me know what I’ve missed. Share your thoughts. Follow me at Twitter with kaptainmirza

Write up inspired from – 

The Most Important Sales Skill of All by Geoffrey James (@Sales_Source) and 

8 Tips for a Tough Sell by Sally Hogshead





Closing Sales – the Hard part?

18 01 2013

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So once you’re done with presenting the benefits and values of your business proposition to your prospect, who is still qualified and has established the trust – what comes next sends jitters down the spine for many sales professionals.

If you’re one of those, who seem to take forever in closing a sale – this one is just for you. Keep on reading.

Now, once the presentation is done – what are the next steps to lead the prospect to close the sale. How to do it? (The Million Dollar question)

Firstly, keep in mind, the prospect will have a clear picture, or seemingly clear picture of the whole ideas and is expecting the deal going to the next phase. So be straightforward and treat the closing of sales as a whole process where mental and verbal contribution of the prospect is a must. Now the sales guy has to begin the process – with questions, objection handling and sales-specific questions?

Questions like – what part of the project do you think you can exceptionally excel?

Questions like – what product would you want to go for first? (Give options) This one or that one?

Questions like – why does this product fascinates you..? (Get the prospect involved)

Questions like – is there anything you think will not work in this project, if we work together?

Questions like – (ask straight) When do you want to start? (Give options again), this week or that week?

Questions like – How would you want to pay for this product – credit card or cash?

Questions like – How will project help you in realising your purpose? (Getting the prospect involved emotionally)

BUT NEVER EVER PUSH for Sales in the end? Don’t sound pushy but be persuasive!! Period. Keep asking the right questions, giving options, giving alternate solutions. Pushy parents are not welcome and have to face 9-1-1 someday. So DON’T PUSH. Period.

Keep the control in your hand – if the prospect says he wants to start later, suggest that the slot might not be available with you and if you want to maximize, let’s start off now.

Questions like – if everything is okay with you, shall we start now?

Now, more on persuasion – Sales people can proceed the sales-closing process in various way – some innovated, some tried, some traditional and some more – idea is to get the prospect involved.

Hard Close (Commanding) – (Time-based Tip) – This might be the last time we extend the offer and we will need your answer NOW..!! *

Medium Close (Foreground Suggestion) – My superior told me the discount offer price expires this 31st at midnight. *

Soft Close (Background Suggestion) – Think over it and I’ll give you a call at 10 o’Clock tomorrow morning. *

Always maintain the control. Listen to the responses of the prospect. Give options, don’t let the other person loose in the open, there are many scavengers out there who might outsmart you.

Be confident once you’re finished with the business talk – the prospect is mentally under your control. Know that, the prospect IS..!!

[*] – Extracted from heavyhittersales.typepad.com





Sales – Like a Salesman or Like a Sales-Director..?

5 01 2013
#sellorelse

Sell or Else

 

So, sales is difficult. For those who take the ride up the hill. But has anyone taken the ride down the hill..? How will that feel..? Exhilarating..? More exciting?

Indeed, why walk upstairs when you have the option to run down the hill with breeze of success brushing through your suave hair..?

Sales from the top comes from pure attitude, skills and passion. Miss any of these and Sales starts becoming cumbersome. The profession is quite underrated in many parts of the world, especially the Middle East including UAE where Salesman are not respected, not given the space. Yet Sales people settle for a low-paying job without researching what is best to work out with them.

Acquire the skillset, research the industry of passion – fire up the engines and you’re good to go.

So how do you sell – like a salesman? Or like a Sales Director or like Tiger Woods, who sells his golf career and brand for Nike – now that is intelligent outsourcing..!!

From Salesman perspective – chances are grim and low. Nothing is easy in this domain. Salaries will be low, like Dhs.2000 for a start in the UAE. Plus quite a many targets, which are non-achievable. Yet companies only and only thrive on this master trade of SELLING.

Salesman attitude is a sure shot way of killing oneself and shooting in the foot. Survival and penniless has no point. Oblivious life is not exciting at all. Yet Middle East bosses makes profits out of oblivious and exhausted and ran-over sales guys. They fall for the peanuts while missing the big picture.

Now from Sales Director perspective – what makes the picture different is the attitude towards the profession – bringing it from the top will make valuable, almost evangelic and that is where the real value gets the respect. Offer the solutions instead of begging to close the sales. What’s different about your offering? What makes you different? What’s in it for the customer?

Sales Director know where and how to hit.

Every company sells. Microsoft, DELL, Nike, FIFA, even Tiger Woods too. They all sell something and everything and every time.

So what attitude are you carrying today – the one of a salesman or that of a Sales PRO..? You decide and be dignified.





Dreams – How to Dream

16 12 2012
Cryogenic-Dreams 
Since we are in a big business mode, a business which has a potential to set you FINANCIALLY FREE for the rest of your life – businesses are always done for a PURPOSE..!! The purpose of the person who is doing the business..
 
This purpose – are the collection of small / BIG DREAMS and Visions he / she seeks to accomplish in life.
 
These DREAMS will be short term / long term goals which you shall achieve with this business along the way, IN Shaa Allah..
 
REQUIRED – 20 Dreams (Big and Small) to be written down in a paper ,1 Dream per page – share it with me in 2-3 days MAX..
 
Purpose of DREAMS listing – everyone wishes to achieve but never achieve it as wishing never goes very far – similarly this business is NOT a wishing business, its a business of ACTION and BIG ACTION..
 
Fact 2 – Just like any business, our business also comes with lots of challenges, failures, disappointments, drawbacks, setbacks and so on – what will help you to jump back are you BIGGER DREAMS..those which are so big that failures will seem very tiny.
 
How to Dream – Sit down with yourself, give yourself the mental space and peace to understand why you have been created – when planning your dreams, always think from the heart – as that is the homeground for the dreams to prosper. This business is also done by the heart and NOT mind.
 
Sit down and think hard – as you shall be doing it for the first time – so dreams will not come easy, illusions will erupt first, just like rusted water out of a tap opened after many days – here we haven’t dreamt for centuries. So it will take time..
 
Once you’re deep down inside, exploring yourself – dreams will come about – it takes around 8 rounds of asking yourself – WHAT EXACTLY DO I WANT TO ACHIEVE IN LIFE..???
 
Each round, but, will have to take considerable time – by the time you reach the 8th round of asking yourself – you will have the answer – but each round will be done justice by thinking hard on just and just DREAMS – no distractions ALLOWED..!!!
Examples of DREAMS:
  • Financial Freedom..
  • Parallel Source of Income..
  • Time Freedom..
  • Own Business..
  • Personal Development..
  • Helping People..
  • Leaving a Legacy..
These categories – will help in defining the specific dreams you have – those will be materialistic and non-materialistic..
 
But DREAMS will be those that you cannot live without and you consider life uneasy, incomplete without them..
 
All great people had a Dream (Vision)..!!

 








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