Wonder why you’re not in the zone?

“Why is your life so hard?” Shirley MacLaine asks her granddaughter in the movie Carolina. “Makes me think you’re living somebody else’s instead.”

Made me think of you.    

Are you in the zone in your life, your business, your sales?

Does it all seem like a great, big struggle?

I invite you to look.

Are you living somebody else’s dream? Somebody else’s version of what a salesperson should look like? Somebody else’s idea of what your life should look like?

Try going off-script for a day or two. It takes a bit more thinking, and maybe even uncomfortable choices, but it’s the fastest way to the zone and to the success you know you deserve.

Love your bad self UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

Wide Open Spaces – and other things you might not know about being a top producer

Didja ever notice how your best ideas come to you in the shower? Or while you’re at the gym? Or on a really long hike?

Didja ever notice how awesome it feels when you look at your day’s schedule tomorrow and there is NOTHING there?

Didja ever notice that time management experts don’t really talk about that stuff?

Wide Open Spaces Release Natural Genius

I have been a top performer and producer for many, many years and I have had the profound privilege to know some of the most innovative and important people of our time. These are CEOs of Fortune 1000 companies, world-renowned experts in their fields of science and math and marketing, business leaders who change the way people live their lives with the products and services they bring to market.

And they all have one thing in common. They work hard. There is no doubt about that. And they are very, very focused on mastery of their craft. To be sure.

But, they also have another very important thing in common.

They have wide open spaces in their schedules.

Wide open spaces that allow their natural genius to fly free. To lead them to the right answers, to explore the book in front of them,  or meet the person on the plane next to them.

I believe that our brains do not work in a linear fashion. I believe there is no such thing as control and we fool ourselves when we try to exert control as a way to get where we want to go.

I believe we are all blessed with natural genius and it is a joy when it is let loose upon the world.

Look at the greats! Every one of them had some part of their schedule that they gave over to wide open spaces. Edison with his “lights out, doors closed” quiet time. Churchill with his morning “constitutionals”. Leaders who schedule themselves three weeks non-stop on the road and one week completely off!

The list goes on and on.

As an example, one of my friends – ex-CEO of one of the most successful tech firms ever – told me that when he has a really tricky problem to solve or  a big deal to land – he goes to the ski slopes for the day.

Can you break the addiction of control and linear thinking to allow your true greatness to shine through?

Love your natural genius UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

I’ll have some Tortoise with my Hare please! (On the side).

We all know that slow and steady wins the race, right? That tortoise story is ingrained in our psyche. The Hare LOOKS like he’s hot stuff, but it’s the Tortoise who crosses the finish line and leaves the Hare looking like a big fat blow-hard fool.

That is all well and good.

Unless you’re the Hare. 

How about adding some Tortoise to your Hare?

What if you are the one who makes big things happen from time-to-time? Like breakthrough things? Things that open new markets? Things that make people say Ooooh and Aaaaah? Where does that leave you?

Or, what if you are more like the Tortoise when it comes to delivering your service, but you are more like the Hare when it comes to selling your service (as many small business owners are) – on again and off again as the mood strikes?

Maybe, just maybe, you can have both! I am discovering that you absolutely can. And it requires just one little magical thing…

Consistency

I’m not so sure WHY it works, but I am finding that it absolutely DOES WORK. And, I’m learning over-and-over that it doesn’t just work for me. I am hearing that putting this magical power to use is the key to many professionals’ success.

The Paradox of Consistency

The crazy thing about consistency is that quantity plays almost no role in it and quality plays less of a role than you would think.

In other words, if I want to reach a particular sales goal or business goal or financial goal, putting even a small, consistent practice in place makes a surprising amount of difference.

Continue reading I’ll have some Tortoise with my Hare please! (On the side).

They won’t tell … and you won’t sell!

I just found a great new sales tool and can’t wait to tell you about it.

But, let me first set the stage…

The Feedback You Will Never Receive

Great salespeople are greedy for feedback! We record ourselves selling, we videotape ourselves giving presentations, we roleplay and invite coaching. We work to get better and better.

But, there is a silent killer and it is especially dangerous because you don’t even know to look for it!

This killer is greedily devouring the top of your sales funnel. Effectively blocking entrants who could be your best prospects.

But You Will Never Know Because They Will Never Tell You

This beast is right now lurking in your email account.

“What is this terrifying killer?” you are compelled to ask.

IT IS YOUR VERY OWN WRITING STYLE!

You are very likely clueless as to how readers perceive your messages.  You may have insight into which prospects are opening your emails, but you have no idea why they immediately hit the delete button or sighed in disgust and passed right on by!

As a salesperson, you are defined by the messages you leave behind. Your voice messages, text messages, emails, InMails, and social posts are your go-to moves. So, they had better be good.

Ninja good.

Continue reading They won’t tell … and you won’t sell!

Use this word to slay your fiercest competitor – The Status Quo!

This word will leave the Status Quo shaking in it’s boots!

I have been selling for about a million years. Day in and day out. I have read nearly everything I can get my hands on and I have heard many of the super pros speak.

And yet, I had never heard this one.

The pure and simple question that unlocks doors and allows you full access.

WHY?

Three little letters.

My good friend, President of Dialogue Consulting, revealed this secret to me and I was amazed! She is notorious for turning unprofitable businesses to profitable! And it’s no wonder. She is phenomenal. And this is one of her most powerful tools in her tool kit. The question…

Continue reading Use this word to slay your fiercest competitor – The Status Quo!

If you’re anything like me…you will LOVE this secret sales weapon!

I have a secret sales weapon.Secret-weapon

It is a sure fire way to get on the same side of the table as your prospect. Especially those who are resisting a sales conversation with you.

The secret weapon? A few simple words.

“If you are anything like…”

This is one of the most dis-arming comments you can make in a tense sales conversation. It immediately makes your conversation personable.  Here’s how it works:

Continue reading If you’re anything like me…you will LOVE this secret sales weapon!

One More Call

I was reading Jeb Blount’s book last week. Fanatical One More CallProspecting.

And, if you know anything about me, you KNOW that I abhor most business books.

But, this one grabbed me. It made me think…HEY! I had NO idea I could do this stuff. I have never even thought this way. NO WONDER this guy’s a millionaire!

Seriously.

That’s what I thought.

Then I got excited. I have always KNOWN I could do better, I just didn’t know where to look to find the flaws in my performance (yes, *sigh*, even The Irreverent Sales Girl has flaws in her performance – until NOW *grin*).

One of the challenges Jeb puts to you is to make just ONE MORE CALL. So, it was Friday afternoon and I was cold calling my list. Yep, successful people still cold call. And I was tired, but I challenged myself to observe Jeb’s rule. Make ONE MORE CALL.

Guess what happened? Continue reading One More Call

Stop, Drop, And Roll – Dealing with an Objection

I was listening to this OUTRAGEOUSLY AWESOME webinar replayStopDropRoll with Jeb Blount (Sales Gravy) and Nancy Bleeke (Sales Pro Insider) today and I had to stop the action to come write this article.

Because it WILL make you BETTER and FAST!

WHAT TO DO WITH AN OBJECTION (hint: you learned it in kindergarten – when you are on fire).

STOP DROP AND ROLL

STOP: Talking. When you run into an objection. LISTEN.

DROP: Drop your assumptions and your ego. Become unattached to your own agenda. Get interested in THEIRS.

ROLL: (Keep control of the conversation).
Acknowledge their input. It can look like this: “My understanding of what you just said is this:…..” or ask for more information, “Oh. Let’s stop the conversation for a minute…that is very interesting…can you tell me more about that…” The idea is: Keep it interactive.

But, as Eddie Murphy said…Don’t go home and try to tell my jokes. They aren’t funny coming from you.

I encourage you to invest the time and learn from Nancy herself: https://www.fanaticalprospecting.com/book-launch/

Go out and…

Love ’em UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

Vampires Can’t – Neither Can You. Get Invited In.

VampireI was recently talking with a friend of mine who does phone sales and she told me that her company says they are NOT ALLOWED to ask the prospect on the other end of the line if it is a good time to talk.

CAN YOU IMAGINE?

She tells me her team is getting clobbered and is truly underperforming and that the job is demoralizing (I think she’ll be leaving soon), but her management INSISTS that they should never ask this question.

So, it’s time for the Vampire article.

VAMPIRES AND SALES? WHAT?
Yes. Indeed.

In the time-honored tradition of Vampire-lore, it is well-known that Vampires cannot cross the threshold into your home, until they get invited in. The barrier is considered “sacred” and “holy”.

It is the SAME THING with your prospect’s time! You MUST be invited in before you are allowed to start selling – or you will be left bleeding out of your eyes (the sales equivalent is BEING SHUT DOWN and demoralized).

What does this look like?

Continue reading Vampires Can’t – Neither Can You. Get Invited In.

A Sales Gig Primer: Accelerate Onboarding and Ramp Up Part 5 of 5

Onboarding and Ramp UpA Sales Gig Primer: Three Critical Items for Accelerating Onboarding and Ramp Up Part 5 of 5

POKE: Did you register yet for this event: Your Job Search Goes Social with Sima Dahl? I am attending and I want you to consider it, too. Sima is even offering the event FREE to people who are unemployed – on the honor system. She is clearly about making a difference!

Accelerate your Onboarding and Ramp Up

Now that you have honed in on the short list of companies you would like to sell for, here are the 3 T’s I want you to find out to make sure you are landing in your right next home. YOU want successes quickly. Make sure that your Onboarding and Ramp Up Time are maximized.

The Three T’s: Training, Tools, and Time

TRAINING
It is a mistake to think that the only thing you will need to learn are the company’s products and presentation materials. You must know what to expect about how you will be trained on the systems they use – like CRM’s and Expense Report and other Reporting Tools that you will be required to use.

How will you be trained to navigate the company to get the resources you need? Where do you get what? How do issues get resolved?

How will you be trained on prospecting processes and territories (include questions about social selling training in this section)? You want to make sure you are clear and comfortable with how the company uses social media, if appropriate, to gain prospects and any compliance issues you may need to be aware of.

Can you expect good coaching from your sales manager? What do they offer to keep you sharp and state-of-the-art?

  • I like to hear it when a company says they will bring you to headquarters for a week or two to get you fully immersed.
  • Even better when you are going to be assigned a mentor (make sure you meet them first).
  • Awesome when they have ongoing training events or allow you a budget to invest in your own development.

If they promise “ride-alongs” or “sit-ins” with other salespeople, make sure you know how many to expect , how they get set up , and that they are with a performing salesperson (the last thing you need is to ride-along with an underperformer).

TOOLS
Selling tools are absolutely CRITICAL for your success. The better suited the tools are for your work, the more likely you are to perform.

Tools will include things like sales collateral and presentations.

They also include your CRM, Contact Information Finders, Outreach Templates, Social Media Tools, Lead Generators, and Drip Marketing Systems.

I recommend that you REALLY dig in on what to expect here. I have heard horror stories about people who go to work for cheap companies who expect them to sell into the C-Suite or SVP level of a company, but provide absolutely NO assistance like LinkedIn Premium services and something as simple as Avention (OneSource) or a similar Contact Information Database.

In horrifying companies, highly skilled salespeople are spending 45 minutes tracking down an email address or phone number AFTER they have spent who-knows-how-much-time locating the person with the right title. This is the WORST kind of way to spend your time. It is exhausting and demoralizing. Make sure this company is smart enough to spend a few dollars to get you what you need instead of thinking that it is a good use of your time to do these things. Can you IMAGINE?

I also really want you to understand how your organization wants you to use the CRM.

Is it for YOU or is it for THEM?

I have seen so many managers make their salespeople use the CRM in such convoluted and twisted ways that it is clear that you are only helping them micromanage or run inconsequential reports – information that never leads to a sale, but sucks your time and happiness.

Learn how the CRM system helps you stay on track with your hot prospects, measures your effectiveness at prospecting and conversion, and gives you quick access to the right prospects when a Trigger Event occurs. Anything else is standing in the way of your performance.

TIME
For your sanity, and the sanity of the people in your life who rely on you for an income, I strongly recommend that you dig into what to REALLY expect as a ramp up time until you are earning your On Target Earnings.

I want you to ask about Sales Cycle Lengths. And I want you to be clear when they talk about the sales cycle – how do they know that? Is it from Cold to Close? Or from the time you present to the decision-maker to close? (A BIG DIFF).

Ask what the average sales person’s ramp up time is to On Target Earnings. OF COURSE, you are going to be the star and blow it out of the water, but do not let them tell you the experience of the top performer, you want to know what to really expect.

And, how much time do they expect you to spend on certain activities? What have they identified as their Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s)? (In other words, what activities have they seen are most likely to produce results?) Are these the things you want to spend your day doing?

Finally, make sure you know what their tolerance is for you getting up-to-speed. What are the signs that you are on track at 1 month, 90-days, 180 days? If they cannot articulate these milestones, BE WARY. Also, how do they correct performance that isn’t on track? How much time do you have to show results? How do they document and evaluate your progress? These are CRITICAL things to know before you start. Too many companies are churn-and-burn and I want to make sure you are not caught in the cycle.

Remember, my lovelies! Your life is to be enjoyed, not endured (Cowboy Mouth). If you ask all the right questions, you can be pretty darn sure that you will have a job that you ENJOY, not ENDURE. And, believe me, YOU DESERVE IT!

Love yourself UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

 

 

 

Bringing a Dash of Dignity to the Art of Selling