Category Archives: Dignity

Bringing a dash of dignity to selling

#TBT – OWN UP! How Vulnerability Makes the Sale

rsz_sad-316424This is an article that got a lot of love back in 2012. I still hate reading it, but it worked so well, I just have to share! Love it UP!

“Ever had that one client, that one boss, that one family member that EVERYTHING you do with them doesn’t work? No matter what they need, you screw it up?

I had a presentation with THAT customer today! 

Today I had a presentation in the last stages of a competitive bid for an important contract.

EVERYBODY was on the phone.

The Executives, the decision-makers, the business unit people, the purchasers. EVERYBODY.

This presentation went the way all of my other interactions have gone with this customer. Wild technical difficulties to start. Fumbling my words. Stilted maneuvering through the product I was demonstrating. It’s been like this since the beginning…

A fun history

It’s been a train wreck the whole way through.

My first meeting with them I had to cancel because I was driving to see them mid-winter and I couldn’t get out of my neighborhood, the roads were so bad.

In my first presentation with them, they were ALL ice cold. I could not get meaningful eye contact with any of them.

Submitting my proposal – well, that went OK.

The technical call with my Senior Vice President of Product Development and their whole team – I was a FULL eleven minutes late to the call (unprecedented).

This last presentation – just BARELY ran at all and BARELY got it done in the time allotted.

OY! 

I was disenheartened after this call. It was my last opportunity to make a good impression. But, here’s the thing. We really do have a GREAT solution for what this customer needs.

What’s a girl to do?

My first inclination was to let it ride

I had done what I had done. It was over. RIGHT?

Then, the scary move

I wrote to the icy-est (is that a word?) business analyst. I wrote (paraphrase):

“Have you ever had that ONE client, that ONE boss, that ONE family member that you could never get it quite right with?

“For some odd reason your company seems to be that for me. I apologize for the technical difficulties I put you through. My presentation was stilted and I hope I didn’t put everyone to sleep. In nine years, I have never had this experience of everything going wrong. I hope that people can let the great products and services shine through, in spite of my bumbling. Is there anything else you need from me?”

I HATED looking this ridiculous, but you know what happened? 

This Icy person sent me a warm email. She said “The technical difficulties didn’t bother any of us – it was a simple thing to manage. I have passed your email to the head of purchasing.”

Two birds with one stone!

Pretty cool! Not only had I been a “human” with the business analyst, but she gave me the opportunity to be a “human” with the purchasing person, too.

We might just win this thing! 

We might not. But at least I can rest knowing that I have put the best possible foot forward for my company with products and services that deserve to win the contract.

MORAL OF THE STORY

Do not be afraid to let people know that YOU know that you could have done better and that you care that you didn’t do your best. People are amazing.

Love your vulnerability UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl”

#TBT – EVER JUST CALLED SOMEONE TO SEE HOW IT’S GOING?

This post dates back to May of 2014 and got a great response back then. I still love it! People are the most important part of your business. Find ways to Love ‘em UP!

If you believe that sales are founded on great relationships. (And, most of us still do.) Especially in this world of complex sales.

Ever thought of calling your decision-maker up – just to see how their life is going?

It will test your ability to GET OVER IN THEIR WORLD.

What if your customers viewed you as someone who called them because you were interested in what THEY were dealing with. Not just what you could sell them to help them. You won’t always have the answers.

Can you see how much more FUN you would have calling on people?

You have fun. They have fun.

You will find out things about their children, their marriages, their pressing concerns.

You do it because you “getting the deal” isn’t the most important thing to them. But, their life IS important to them.

Do you know that salespeople don’t do this?

Stand out. Demonstrate that you are truly out for THEM.

Love ’em UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

Are you ready to be in sales? Find out with my (very fun) QUIZ.

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?

Would Someone Please Just Say It Like It Is?

photodune-3721815-female-speaking--xsIs anyone else out there tired of listening to business people use big words and phrases to make their topic sound more important than it really is? Or maybe make themselves look smarter and sexier than they really are?

Do you ever find yourself wishing that they would just say it like it really is?

I do!

So, I’ve put together my very own totally Irreverent, mostly accurate, and thankfully abridged glossary for your edification (and amusement) about what commonly used business and sales terms actually mean. Not in alphabetical order because, well, you’ll see…

CAUTION: This one is a teensy bit snarkier than my typical post. It may not be suitable for all audiences – especially those who use these terms regularly.

Enjoy!

Continue reading Would Someone Please Just Say It Like It Is?

When cold calls SIMMER!

When cold calls SIMMER!

This article is nearly 3 years old, but it is an all-time favorite!

Enjoy!

Wow! Did I have SOME FUN this week! 

I was doing my cold calls. (Ugh, you think, COLD CALLS – So do I, by the way!)

But, I am always looking for creative ways to make my cold calls instantly WARM (like throwing them in the Microwave for thirty seconds – DING!)

I sort of surprised myself with this one.

Before I made one of my calls, I checked my contact out on LinkedIn.

Guess what! 

My key prospect contact is directly related to one of my rabid fans!

So, what did I do? 

I reached out to my rabid fan BY PHONE – (PLEASE stop hiding behind emails. It SO doesn’t work –  it makes you feel like you’ve actually done something. You haven’t.)

I told her — “Carol, I am reaching out to ABC Company and I see you are directly related to Amanda who I’d really like to talk with.”

Carol called me right back!

She was so excited! She said “Yes! Amanda SHOULD be talking with you. In fact, her boss is even better. I am going to call them and make an introduction personally.”

Then, came the surprise – Carol went one better

Carol went on to tell me all about what the company was dealing with and why they needed to talk with me so badly.

Then, she said, “After you talk with them, call me right back. I will follow up and make sure they know why they should buy. Besides, you should be talking with Amanda’s boss – who happens to love me.”

Here’s something EVEN cooler. 

Carol is a prospect!

She hasn’t even bought our product yet. But, she was so tickled to get my request for her help that she told me that she had committed to buy and mapped out her own company’s budgeting process.

Carol and I are now partners! 

What a win!

If you could have ALL of your cold calls simmer like this, wouldn’t you LOVE doing them?

Tell me about YOUR awesome-sauce strategies. I want to hear. Perhaps I will feature you in my cold-calling boot camps!

Love your life UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

Lighten up, Francis! (And do more business, too!)

Ever notice how SERIOUS you are about your business?

Ever notice how much you LOVE to do business with people who are fun?

Have some fun and STAND OUT!

I got this Out Of Office message today and just HAD to share it with you:

“Hello!
Is it me you’re looking for?
’cause I wonder where you are
And I wonder what you do

Yes, Lionel Richie said it best.

I am on the road until the 11th and will have limited access to email. I will reply  you as soon as possible. And remember to have fun.”

Now, THAT is a guy I want to do business with!

How can you add more fun, personality, and plain old STAND-OUTNESS to your work?

It will make you look like a rock star and have people want to play with you. Which turns into money and friends. Both of which are good things.

Go out and…

Love ’em UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

Being Two-Headed In Sales – You Must Win Both Games

If you’re going to be truly great in sales, you are going to have to master the fine art of being two-headed about your work.

Let’s pause for a moment to let the 15-year-old boy in each of us have a good snicker – “She said two-headed, dude!”

Being Two-Headed In Sales

Back to our regular programming.

The thing about great salespeople is they have their head completely in the game.

But, they are playing two games simultaneously – each at 100%. 

GAME #1
Truly great salespeople are in it to win it! They are ambitious and strive to be #1 – no matter what. They are going to crack the code, find the secret sauce.

Continue reading Being Two-Headed In Sales – You Must Win Both Games

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall. Who’s the greatest of them all?

An all-time favorite tip to being wildly successful in sales – on the phone – is “Sell to the Mirror”. 

Be the greatest YOU in the mirror!

When you are selling to a mirror, you sound like an actual human being – because you are relating to the person in the mirror as another human being.

You can see when you’re smiling – which comes through on the phone.

You can see when you’re sitting or standing (prefer standing) in a confident manner – which comes through on the phone.

You can relax and be yourself – instead of all stiff and weird – and that comes through on the phone!

I urge you to get a full-length mirror (if you have an office set up for that) – or at least a small one on your desk. You will see gi-normous results!

And, if you happen to be in a setting where you are selling on an open floor – and this just doesn’t work for your office environment – print out the article below and take it to your manager!

http://blog.bridgegroupinc.com/sit-your-team-up-for-success

When you sell into the mirror, it is much easier to Love ’em ALL UP! (Which comes through on the phone).

Now you can be the greatest salesperson of them all!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

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.