Category Archives: Dear Irreverent Sales Girl

WWISGD about Prospects Who Waste My Time?

rsz_meeting-1019995Dear Irreverent Sales Girl,

I enjoy your blog posts, and have a question I hope you can help with.

Forgive the long intro, but I want to put the question into context:

Two weeks ago, I was introduced to a prospective client by a mutual business friend. Let’s call him “Bob.” Bob wanted to meet face-to-face. I tried to schedule the meeting at a half-way point for us.

His response? “I’m so busy I wouldn’t be able to vacate the office unless we have billable work to discuss.”

Again… this was a “meet and greet.”

So I hustle out to their office on a Thursday, which is 35 minutes away. I also discover that Bob’s ‘office’ is actually within another company’s office. The owner of that company (“Tom”) was also in the meeting and seemed to be the driver of the meeting, not Bob.

We had a good meeting. Tom tells me he was impressed with my communication. And when I left, he told me he’d be out of the office on Friday but he’d get back to me on Monday.

I followed up the following Friday. Then I followed up again the next week on Wednesday.

No response.

I followed up again today with a more pointed question:

Hot or Not?

Was the project they discussed with me still hot or was it put on the back burner? I clarified that I didn’t want to be a pest but I do follow up. I said I would respond accordingly to the status.

So, Irreverent Sales Girl, my question: do you have any suggestions on how to handle one-on-one meetings for the ‘solopreneur?’ I am seriously considering not meeting in person anymore unless a consulting fee is paid.

I’m looking for action-takers not time-wasters. Any input from you would be appreciated!

Thank you,

Signed,

What to Do in Columbus!

Continue reading WWISGD about Prospects Who Waste My Time?

The 4 Laws of Sane Competitive Selling

 

Dear Irreverent Sales Girl, Winning Team Mountain Climbing

I need some help!

I am starting a new sales job and really want to be successful. I am starting with a company who has an exciting product, a primed marketplace, and a culture of team-play.  Tons of management support and excellent compensation models.

Sounds good so far, but here’s the problem.

I’m a competitive person. I’m an ambitious person. I like to win. I like the thrill of the hunt and I like to be acclaimed for my victories.

Which can be great – for me – when I’m winning.

Not so great for the people around me – I’m a bit arrogant when I’m #1.

And terrible for everyone when I’m NOT winning. (And by winning, I mean blowing my quota out of the water and being #1 in the company – no matter what!)

I tend to be a front-runner. I’m fired up when I’m number one, but easily discouraged when I fall to second place or below.

I sabotage my sales managers when I’m not winning – they can’t figure out what is going on – I was doing so well. It is frustrating for them and I don’t clue them in on what I need. I stop working at full-speed-ahead. I get resigned.

What can I do to ensure that I set myself up for a long and happy run with this company, while honoring the “we’re a team” culture, and feeling like I am succeeding?

Sincerely,

Ready to Grow UP!

 

Dear Ready to Grow Up,

Continue reading The 4 Laws of Sane Competitive Selling

When you just get stuck

It will happen!Are you stuck?

Even if you are the best in the biz…

Every now and then, you WILL lose your passion and you will lose your way.

The deals you used to be reliable for will not close.

You will worry that you’ve “lost it”.

WHAT TO DO?

You’re not going to like the next idea, but it is CRUCIAL..

GET IN COMMUNICATION!

If you feel stuck, one of four things has probably happened:

1) You have had a major life event (like a death in the family) that has taken you off your game

2)  You have exhausted your “reliable” leads and you are focusing only on them

3)  You have recently lost a deal you were sure would close and you have lost your confidence

4)  You can’t see the pathway to closing the deals you need to close to make your number

 

The answer is simple, but most people don’t do it!

Get in touch with your favorite salespseron and ask THEM what they would do!

KEEP SELLING!

 A deal WILL come through and it will re-ignite you.

NEVER STOP!

You’ve got what it takes…and you KNOW it. (Or else you wouldn’t have read so far!)

PLEASE get in touch with me if you are stuck. I will do whatever it takes to get you un-stuck!

Try me!

Love being a salesperson UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

Dear Irreverent Sales Girl – Ready to GET STARTED!

Dear Irreverent Sales Girl - Ready to GET STARTED! I got this question today from someone just finishing their insurance exams – ready to rock the world! While *some* of it applies to Insurance, specifically, most of it is spot on for ANYONE who wants to be a great salesperson in any industry.

Thanks for the questions! Keep ’em coming! I will make YOU famous, next!

“Dear Irreverent Sales Girl,

I am just finishing up my insurance exams and I am READY TO GET GOING! Just wanted to learn what you know about selling insurance and getting going quickly!

– Ready to GET STARTED!”

 
Dear Ready to GET STARTED!

Congratulations on finishing your exams!

Here are my thoughts on being successful in the Insurance Industry (and most others, too, BTW!)

First: Seek to understand
Second: Recreate what your customer told you so you make sure you have it right
Then: Ask permission to share your ideas.

WARNING: Insurance is powerful. You can certainly help people with it, but you can also seriously HURT people.

If you learn your products all-the-way-through and sell them to people who TRULY benefit, you will be blessed.

(HINT: You will be taught a lot of ways to sell the wrong products for people’s needs. Be careful of this. FIRST look to see where the product is a BAD answer and find the place where the model breaks down – THEN determine if it does work. This requires using your brain, which I imagine you have, since you asked the question!)

I also know that the going can be VERY tough at the beginning.

Network well with estate planning attorneys, accountants, and financial advisors. Show THEM that you know how to use products in their clients’ best interests. Nurture these relationships and refer people to them as often as you can. Look for opportunities to refer people to them. Eventually, ask them what it would take for them to refer to you.

As you build your clientele, focus on designing systems to keep in touch with your clients often. Over-communicate. Check in to make sure that their insurance portfolio is serving their current (and changing) needs. Even if you simply send a mailing once a month with one of your favorite inspirational quotes or pictures, you will be touching their lives with your personal signature brand.

FUN FACT:  82% of insurance salespeople with the top companies quit.

It takes something amazing to be one of the top 18% (earning on average $65,000/year) and something EXTRAORDINARY to be the top 5%, which is where the real wealth happens.

FINALLY, (and it should probably be first). Always be on time. Always send a hand-written thank you note. No one can beat you if you keep this at the heart and soul of what you do.

Insurance can be a beautiful career, because clients who stay with you will pay their premiums over-and-over and your influence and resources will grow. Take care to build a solid foundation and the rest will take care of itself over time.

AVOID ROOKIE MISTAKE NUMBER FIVE…Never spend your commissions until your client is outside of their right-to-rescind period (30 days?). If they rescind, you owe the money back!

Love it UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

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Dear Irreverent Sales Girl – What is the most rewarding aspect of the sales profession?

Dear Irreverent Sales Girl - What is the most rewarding aspect of the sales profession? I got this question today from a dear and generous Jesse:

Dear Irreverent Sales Girl:

“What is the most rewarding aspect of the sales profession for you, Irreverent Sales Girl?”

Dear Jesse,

I laughed out loud for quite some time when I read your question. I will make this an article on my blog.

The most rewarding aspect? Just one?

First, you should know that I hate sales! (hee hee) It’s got a bad rap. Imagine the cocktail party…”What do you do?” …”I am a salesperson”…Watch them shift uncomfortably, look for the door, and get the *Blank* out of there!

Yet, it is MUCH more honest than “I am an Entrepreneur”, which sounds good, but makes me want to throw up on people.

So, more than one answer:

1)      Sales requires ALL of you. Every aspect. You can never all-the-way win – so you never stop growing. Terribly uncomfortable. Terribly rewarding.

2)      Unlimited income potential.

3)      Autonomy.

4)      I like being accountable for my company’s success, without having to run a company.

5)      When it works, I connect with amazing people.

6)      I am only as good as my last sale. The re-set button happens as soon as the deal is closed. GAME ON!

7)      Finding out how good and how terrible I am – all at the same time.

8)      Finding out how selfish and how generous I am – all at the same time.

9)      It is always a new day.

10)   It feeds my mental illness – I MUST BE THE BEST – UGH!

 

What about you? What  is the most rewarding aspect of the sales profession for you, Jesse?  (Comments welcome – not ONLY from Jesse!)

Love it ALL UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

Dear Irreverent Sales Girl – from “Call Me in Six Months”

I received a question today from a reader (please send me YOUR questions, they will likely be published and you will become famous!)The 3 Simple Ways to Set Yourself Up For A Sale In The Future

Here is what this entrepreneur asked:

QUESTION:

“Dear Irreverent Sales Girl,

I have developed a software product that is designed for sole-practitioner-business-coaches. It is so popular that 2-3 times a month I get approached by organizations who really like it but need a more enterprise-wide solution (i.e. teams of coaches).

 

I have plans for expanding my product to offer an enterprise version, but it’s still months off and it would be irresponsible to make any solid promises regarding specific timelines. I explain as much during phone calls, and my candor regarding how I don’t have anything to sell them right now is always appreciated.  We always end on a sort of “Great, we’ll be back in touch” or “keep us posted” note.

 

I can’t help but think I could be doing things a lot better for cultivating a connection for a sale down the road, when I DO have a product ready for them

 

.
What can I do to make the best of genuine interest now for an offering I will have later?

 

~ Call Me in Six Months”

Brilliant Question!

ANSWER:

Dear Call Me in Six Months:

First, let me commend you on a few things that you have done very, very right!

* You have created a product that is useful to your marketplace. Kudos!

* You are discovering a new niche (and possibly one with more money to spend!)

* You are telling the TRUTH and gaining credibility

* You are taking the time to develop what will WORK, rather than trying to kluge (yes, that is a word) a product just to sell it now – when you know it will not live up to your standards or theirs.

What is funny is that you gave yourself your own answer – in your sign-off … I will end with that revelation in answer #3. Let’s talk through the 3 simple ways to set yourself up for a sale in the future.

The 3 Simple Ways To Set Yourself Up For A Sale In The Future

#1:  Schedule an hour with the person to do an informational call. You have a crazy advantage here. You have NOTHING to sell , so there will be no pressure. Make sure this is a call that is SEPARATE from the one in which you have gained their trust by telling them you don’t have what they need … right now. If they are serious, they will commit the time.

On this call, get the answers to the following questions:

* What, specifically interests YOU about the software?

* What challenges are you dealing with that you think the software will solve?

* How are you addressing those challenges now?

* What goals do you have currently that you think the software can help you achieve?

* When you see our enterprise solution … and you like it … who else helps decide if you will buy it?

* Are you familiar with how your company buys a product like this and how does that process go?

* What other solutions are you considering right now?

* Do you have budget for this kind of solution, or would it help you to start getting the costs associated with the software, so that you can build it into your budget for the future?

* Schedule a call for six months from now – see #3 below

#2: Set up a reminder for yourself to contact that person once-every-three-weeks. Keep yourself top-of-mind, but not pesty!

The customer will remember that you care. Each contact should be to either:

* Celebrate advances in the development of your enterprise solution

* Ask them how they are doing against the goals you discussed in the first conversation

* Both of the above

#3: Ask them to schedule a call with you for six months from now (see how you answered your own question!). This will accomplish the following:

* It will push you to be ready with an enterprise-wide solution

* It will demonstrate that the customer is truly interested (if they won’t commit to a conversation in the future, they are only vaguely interested)

* It will (in many circumstances) save you from trying to track them down again when you are “ready” (remember, priorities change, but when people put something on the calendar – it makes them think differently about their relationship with you – they are more invested.)

If you are TRULY ambitious…

Create an “Under Construction” newsletter – or some such thing – that you send out to tell people about you, your company, your successes, and what is coming next!

Most of all, of course, keep a database of these marvelous people with detailed notes about your interactions.

SO, “Call Me in Six Months”, I am delighted you asked.

Let’s ask other readers: What do you think “Call Me in Six Months” should do? I can’t wait to hear your answers!

Love ’em UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

 

 

Dear Irreverent Sales Girl – The Big Fish in the Small Pond is Killing Me!

The Big Fish in the Small Pond is Killing MeI got this note today:

“Dear Irreverent Sales Girl,

I am selling to a BIG fish in a SMALL pond. They are asking for the  world – pushing our every limit.

I’d really like to sell this deal, but I’m getting exhausted and starting to worry about every call and every email they send. They just want MORE and MORE and MORE, but are unwilling to commit to the sale and seem ungrateful for the concessions we have made on their behalf.

How should I continue with them?

~ Tired of fishing”

Dear Tired of Fishing,

Congratulations for reaching out and getting help! That’s an excellent step to ensuring that many great deals will come your way, possibly even this one.

BUT, beware the pitfall of three important things:

1) When chasing a big fish, we tend to obsess and forget all else (remember Moby Dick?) – keep working ALL of your activity. This is only one deal.

2) If you compromise the way you do business for this one fish – you will set the tone for your entire relationship – and it will always be this way. Remember that YOU have something that THEY want, too. Go only as far now as you’re willing to go forever.

3) Keep giving love to the deals that are closing who LOVE what you offer NOW. If you focus on the one that is difficult, you are compromising your mental attitude and confidence. Keep working your plan and have this deal be one of many. This one will cut itself loose if it’s not a good fit. Close the ones who will LOVE you forever.

Love your sales UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

P.S. I WELCOME questions like this. If you have a question about your sales or building your business, stop suffering. Email me at salesgirl@irreverentsalesgirl.com. You might even appear here and on our popular Facebook page!