Category Archives: Education

The Part of Sales That is Better Than … Well, Almost Anything!

Today we are going to wrap up our exploration of learning from the true greats.

This one has a special place in my heart. In one of my favorite sales gigs, I somehow got nicknamed – “The Closer”!

It was my absolute favorite part of the sales process and it still thrills me to take a deal across the finish line.

Like it’s better than almost anything else I know.

Now, I don’t know about you – or how much you’ve read about closing. There’s tons out there and, frankly, I’m NOT a fan. There is the assumptive close, the trial close, the sharp angle close, the Ben Franklin, The Porcupine… SERIOUSLY?

I have no idea what these horrible techniques are or where they came from. I truly cringe when I come across them (I found these ones on Google).

Most closes you will learn have nothing to do with creating a great customer experience. They are more about getting the deal done no matter what.

Not true with James Muir. I can attest that this guy is the real deal and brings MORE than a dash of dignity to the art of selling!

Want to be a true pro and create a great reputation for yourself with your clients? Want to get the deal done in the most professional and effective manner?

You must get this book. Plus, James’ style of writing makes this an easy and fun read (when did you last hear THAT about a business book?)

The truth is – you can have the best sales processes and the best prospecting techniques, but if you can’t close the deal – you’ve got nothin’!

Do not pass go, do not collect $200, go directly to Amazon and pick up this book for you and another for someone you care about.

James Muir’s The Perfect Close:  http://amzn.to/2dMIFav

(Do NOT send this to your competition! Send them to the Porcupine close instead – you can Google it!)

Invest in yourself and don’t forget to…

Love CLOSING your deals UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

Should you be a salesperson? Take the 100% Reliable Mostly Fool-Proof “Should I Be A Salesperson?” QUIZ here: http://bit.ly/TheISGQuiz

Who Loves Prospecting? Can I hear a “NOT ME!”?

I promised this week would be about some of the best in the biz to learn from! Great salespeople are not born – they learned how to be that way!

Thank Goodness, because I am anything BUT a natural.

But, I was committed. I learned, and I learned, and I learned. And I got really good!

But only because I was learning from the greats!

Today, I want you to check out Mark Hunter’s new book – High Profit Prospecting!

It’s a little like the great tips you need for making the most of your workout at the gym.

I mean – who wants to go to the gym and work really hard, just to find that they exercises they are doing are getting them nowhere near to their goal?

Same thing with prospecting. Nobody thinks it is easy or comfortable, but your success as a salesperson depends SOLELY on your ability to prospect and have plenty of the right people to call on!

This book takes you there fast!

Here’s Mark talking about the book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtaurUelIqQ

And, here’s how to get the book! http://amzn.to/2d901gv

Make an investment in yourself and …

Love your prospecting UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

Psssst….want to get the really good stuff? The stuff you can only get in my Totally Irreverent Tuesday newsletter? Sign up here: http://bit.ly/IrreverentTuesday

The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need

I have made a solid career in selling – Not because I was born a great salesperson.

In fact, my first forays into selling were an absolute disaster!

I mean what little girl can actually go door-to-door with fundraisers for school selling Christmas cards or wrapping paper or GIRL SCOUT COOKIES, for Pete’s sake, and FAIL.

I could. That’s who.

But, I was determined. I read every sales book I could get my hands on (even the terrible ones). I listened to tapes of the greats. I made sure I was in the room whenever I could get to a live training.

I learned, learned, learned, learned, learned.

From David Sandler, Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar. And I got better. I had coaches, and mentors, and people who would give me a chance with hands-on training.

And I became one of the best! It turns out that selling IS a learned skill. Thank the heavens!

Today, I learn from the greats and this week I’m going to highlight three of them. If you read these guys’ stuff and apply their teaching, it will elevate your sales game in ways you’ve never imagined!

We’re going to kick off the week with Anthony Iannarino. The guy who gave me one of my first boosts as The Irreverent Sales Girl.

His book, The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need, will of course be terribly mis-named when I finally write my Guide To Wild Success! But, in the meantime, I put my full weight of recommendation behind this book.

Here’s a video about Anthony – you’ll see how exciting he is! (Watch the part about David Coverdale).

http://thesalesblog.com/speaking/

Here’s how to check out his book! http://amzn.to/2dmVwSw

Want to learn from the best. Here’s my first suggestion – read Anthony’s book and …

Love your sales career UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

P.S. Should YOU be a salesperson? Take the 100% Reliable Mostly Fool Proof “Should I Be A Salesperson?” QUIZ here: http://TheISGQuiz

What college degree is best for a career in sales?

rsz_laptop-943558I was skimming through Quora today – as I am wont to do from time-to-time. You can find the most interesting questions there, like “What is it like to be dead?” (Reading the answers to that question took up half of my afternoon one day. Fascinating stuff out there.)

But, I digress.

I stumbled upon this question: What college degree is best for a career in sales? And, I thought, hmmmm…. I would really like to weigh in on that one!

You are right now thinking to yourself one of three things:

1)  I am in sales. I wonder if I got the “right” college degree! (67% are thinking this)

2)  I want to be in sales. There is no way I am going back to school. Wonder if what I majored in is the “right” degree? (32.9999% are thinking this)

OR

3)  I’m in high school and I know for sure that I want a sales career, so I would like to hear more about the right degree for me (Exactly 1 person reading this article is thinking that right now).

The truth is that many of us find ourselves in situations that require us to sell to do a good job.

Either we:

  • own our own business,
  • or ,we are interested in climbing the ladder at our current company and we need to learn to sell ourselves internally
  • or, if we want to earn a leadership position in our firm, we need to get better at bringing business in the door
  • or, we plain old landed a sales job and we want to be the best we can be.

My message for all of you is…

ANYONE can learn to do sales and do it well.

For the 1 reader who is looking for the right college degree, get ahold of my dear friend Dawn Deeter who heads up the National Strategic Selling Institute and she can help! @DawnDeeter

Micheline Anstey, Associate Professor at Southern New Hampshire University, recently told me that if you are a marketing major, you are most likely to have a sales job at some point in your career. While that’s probably true, is THAT the major that sets you best up for success in selling? I’m not so positive.

Some of the smartest and most successful people I know, who have a natural sales style about them, didn’t go to college!

They were out in the real world doing real things learning hands-on what it took to put dinner on the table for themselves and their family instead. And, they self-educated.

If you want a strong, and highly entertaining, opinion about this topic, Google Gary Vaynerchuk’s rant on college. I was going to include the link here…the message is great, but the language just isn’t a good fit for this blog. So, you’re on your own! (You know how to use Google, right? *wink*)

Here are the

THREE MOST CRITICAL THINGS YOU MUST LEARN TO BE GREAT IN SALES

– and where you learn them is entirely up to you.

1) The ability to THINK CRITICALLY

If college offers you ONE thing that is most likely to make you a successful sales person, it is learning the ability to THINK CRITICALLY and become exposed to more WAYS OF THINKING.

The best degrees to learn that skill are more likely to be in Literature, Philosophy, the Sciences, Mathematics, Political Science, Economics, and the like. At SOME point, you are going to have to learn business skills. It will be important that you understand cash flow and profit margins and the business things that your customers are dealing with – but learning to THINK is the most important step.

However, do you really need a college degree to learn that? In today’s world of Information Accessibility, all you need is a device that connects to the Internet and a healthy dose of Curiosity to get an extraordinary education in any skill. And that includes sales.

2)  SELF DISCIPLINE

In sales, there are no Participation Awards. You must learn a “whatever-it-takes” attitude and apply it daily.

If you take your college degree seriously, and use it to become masterful in a subject, then the structure of college may help you develop the critical quality of SELF DISCIPLINE.

If you party the whole time and do what it takes to “get by” in the academic world, you have set yourself waaaaaaaaay back. You may get a degree, but you are going to have to unlearn a whole slew of bad habits to become great in sales.

Throughout your successful career in sales, you will:

  • need to do what other people will NOT do to get the business
  • need to make time to learn, and learn, and learn – in a myriad of topics
  • need to make that last sales call even when you are exhausted
  • need to grapple with your self-doubt and come out on top
  • need to look at the mountain of IMPOSSIBLE and do whatever it takes to climb it
  • need to fail and be grateful for your failures
  • need to wake up before the others do and go to bed after they do.

My favorite teacher on the topic of SELF DISCIPLINE is Dan Waldschmidt. Check him out: @DanWaldo http://danwaldschmidt.com/

3) EMPATHY

This is not a touchy-feely topic, empathy. It is the ability to demonstrate that you can get over in someone else’s world and identify with the way life ACTUALLY occurs to them. (Today, some people are calling this quality Emotional Intelligence or EQ.)

Here’s what I mean. We mostly walk around thinking that our view of the world is the way it really is. When you understand that this it true about you, you have an amazing insight into your customer. Because THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE DOING, TOO!
THEY are walking around thinking that the way they view the world is the way that it really is!

When you can let go of your own view and really speculate about what that person’s world looks like to them, you can now sell!

A college degree will help you with Empathy – especially if you have a degree in things like Philosophy, Literature, History – subjects that force you to think from another person’s world. Perhaps even in a different time or a very different world circumstance.

However, just being a well-read person can do this for you. Pick up books that DO interest you and books that DON’T interest you.

  • Read, read, read, read, read.
  • Watch, watch, watch, watch, watch.
  • Listen, listen, listen, listen, listen.
  • Research like crazy.

Get good at EXPERIENCING what it is like to be in someone else’s situation and see that how they behave makes PERFECT sense, given their unique point of view.

What is the right answer to “What do I need to be a success in sales?”

The answer has nothing to do with a college degree or any other formula. The answer is always and purely…

The never-ending, “never-give-up” commitment to be a success in sales and never stop.

Love your sales journey UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

For some REAL fun, subscribe to my Totally Irreverent Tuesday Newsletter here: http://bit.ly/IrreverentTuesday

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

Hidden Mysteries Week – The Formula for Wealth Part IV

Hidden Mysteries Week - via Dan Brown and The Lost SymbolThis week, we are exploring Dan Brown’s hidden formula for wealth (as interpreted by me) in his Best Selling book The Lost Symbol (you can read this week’s post to get caught up).

First, we explored the progression we uncovered that says: P→P→P→W

Then, we thought about the equation P+P+P=W

 

 

 

Today, is the most fun! And the most difficult to imagine mastering.

Today, we are considering that the real hidden formula for Wealth is:  P3 = W 

Yep! It’s geometric and exponential and takes into account multiple expressions of each of the three P’s. Of course it would!

Wealth is a complex thing – otherwise, everybody would have it!

The First “P” and its many forms – Productivity

  • The internal life: It is rare for us to examine what is going on internally when we talk about productivity. Mostly, we look at the actions we are taking and the results we are getting and we call that productivity.

However, in this complicated formula, one that few ever crack,is the most important place to look first: What is going on in your head?

Are you saying productive things to yourself?  Or are you doubting your every move and criticizing yourself mercilessly?

You will need to do the hardest thing possible, MANAGE YOUR MIND. (Consider reading the book What to Say When You Talk To Yourself.)

If you can’t be a productive thinker, you can’t be truly productive.

  • The external life: The next most important piece to being productive is PLANNING. Most of us have a weak muscle for planning and we fool ourselves into thinking that we can be productive without it. Planning requires hard mental work. It requires focus, imagination, curiosity, and study.

Hidden Mysteries Week - via Dan Brown and The Lost SymbolPopular culture says it like this: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” (Ick! Warmed over porridge, I think).

More my favorite is The Art of War quote: “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”.

Start slowly or you will be discouraged. Mastery of planning will increase your productivity exponentially.

Then, comes DISCIPLINE. Once you have planned well, you must now execute. And you must do it without cutting corners and by doing every job completely, all-the-way-through. Period.

Imagine the person building a bridge from perfect plans with substandard materials and measurements and execution. I wouldn’t drive my Mack truck over that one!

Of course, prioritization, time management, and great delegation go into productivity, but the most compelling and almost always missed is MANAGING YOUR ENERGY.

Hidden Mysteries Week - via Dan Brown and The Lost SymbolMy coach used to say: “If you owned a million-dollar race horse, how would you treat it? What would you feed it? Who would you let handle it? How would you exercise it?” A critical part of productivity is Self-Care. This is a hard one to face, but it is inescapable!

 

  • The public life: When what you create in life helps OTHERS be more productive (think Edison and the light bulb, Guttenberg and the press, the list goes on and on), you are certainly on your way to great wealth.

Onto the Next “P” –  Prosperity – the fun one!

  • The internal life: If you are committed to mastering the formula for wealth, I invite you to spend time and actions for the three P’s. Surprisingly, the P in Prosperity can happen in many cool ways. We are starting with the internal life. In other words, the things you are feeding your brain.

Hidden Mysteries Week - via Dan Brown and The Lost SymbolWhen you are learning cool new stuff, reading a great book, laughing at a funny joke, having an imaginative conversation, solving a puzzle, meditating, watching an informative TV program (NOT Hardcore Pawn, for example), visualizing, praying – then your mind is enjoying Prosperity. (Read this great joke – you have now been Prosperous!)

 

  • The external life: When you are earning great money for your work, when you are investing in assets (stocks, bonds, passive-income-generators), you are experiencing and expressing prosperity. It also happens when you buy that rockin’ car or house that you are clear you CAN afford. It happens when you are living debt-free.

Other ways to express prosperity are taking naps, going on vacation, enjoying an extra hour of sleep on Saturday morning, sipping a great glass of wine.

It is important to your mental and psychic health to experience Prosperity.

  • The public life: When you give OTHERS access to prosperity, you give them access to their own prosperity. All around you become prosperous.

This includes having sumptuous parties on your yacht and inviting ALL of your friends. It includes putting a Profit Sharing Plan in place at work. It includes sending your sales assistant a luxurious gift or a gift card for their hard work. When you make sure those around you experience Prosperity, you amplify your own access to Wealth!

And the final “P” – Philanthropy – the most satisfying of all

I also like to call this one Contribution (but it messes up my “P” thing)Hidden Mysteries - via Dan Brown and The Lost Symbol

  • The internal life: When we do things that contribute to others and to society, we actually experience mental health benefits. We feel great about ourselves, rejuvenated, IMPORTANT. Contribution, making a difference, and giving back are scientifically proven to increase our fulfillment and happiness.

Try it! You’ll like it!

  • The external life: It is often said that you can’t give what you don’t have. I can’t give a dollar to a another person if I don’t have it myself.

Getting involved in a cause bigger than yourself is an outward expression of Philanthropy. You and those around you benefit.

The dog you adopt, the child you sponsor, the student you tutor…all of these express that you are wealthy and contribute to your life experience of Wealth. Remember, that even one small difference you make – even if no one ever knows – is the Starfish story.

  • The public life: The public life is most likely the most obvious expression of Philanthropy. Bill and Melinda Gates are an excellent example of giving back. And it makes a difference for everyone they touch.Hidden Mysteries Week - via Dan Brown and The Lost Symbol

But, which came first, the chicken or the egg? Which came first, the desire and ability and act of giving back, or the wealth to do it? Things that make you go … Hmmmmmm!

When you do the work to make your communities stronger, you grow better friends, more expensive neighborhoods (which raises the value of your home), healthier employees, smarter children, and more affluent customers.

It is often said that what you give away will come back to you ten-fold. Of course, the more you have to give away (based on Productivity and Prosperity) will bring you even more Wealth.

Can you see how the formula builds and builds and builds on itself?

The more productive I am internally, makes me more productive externally, which makes me more productive in society!

The more prosperous I am internally, makes me more prosperous externally, which makes me more prosperous in society.

The more philanthropic I am internally, makes me more philanthropic externally, which makes a more philanthropic society – which turns around to benefit me.Hidden Mysteries Week - via Dan Brown and The Lost Symbol

So, P3=W is the most powerful Hidden Mystery for Wealth in the Dan Brown novel The Lost SymbolAnd Peter Solomon said it in only one sentence:  “The aim is that you use this money to build a life of productivity, prosperity, and philanthropy.”

This Dan Brown guy is quite a marvel!

Love your life UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

Hidden Mysteries Week – The Formula for Wealth Part III

Hidden Mysteries Week - via Dan Brown and The Lost SymbolThis week, we are exploring Dan Brown’s hidden formula for wealth (as interpreted by me) in his Best Selling book The Lost Symbol (you can read yesterday’s post to get caught up).

Yesterday, we explored the progression we uncovered that says: P→P→P→W

Today we’ll consider that the hidden formula is actually closer to P+P+P=W

Although, I think the real fun comes tomorrow!

Instead of the very linear, and obvious progression that we could glean from Peter Solomon’s wise words to his son, Zachary, as he passes along the family fortune – let’s look into something a little deeper. Something that resembles the concept of SYNERGY – when the outcome is greater than the sum of its parts.

So, in this formula, when I combine Productivity, Prosperity, and Philanthropy, they become Wealth – greater than the sum of its parts. Each one inextricable from the equation.

A tad ho-hum? Perhaps. But, we’ll finish with the punch line tomorrow. Can you see it?

In the meantime, I’m going to go work on the Productivity part of the equation. What IS it about summertime?

Love your life UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

Hidden Mysteries Week – The Formula for Wealth

I’m just finishing Dan Brown’s book The Lost Symbol. What a page turner!Hidden Mysteries Week - via Dan Brown and The Lost Symbol

As expected, this tale includes Dan’s crazy and potent method of story-telling: Page Turning Thrilling Events, Secret Societies, Government Conspiracies, Near Death Impossible Situations, Symbology, to name a few.

And, as always, Hidden Secrets in Plain Sight

I am not sure that Dan meant to hide the secret of true wealth in plain sight in this book, but I think he did a phenomenal job.

We are privy to a compelling scene; one where a wealthy and powerful man, Peter Solomon, is passing a substantial portion of the family fortune to his newly-minted eighteen-year-son. The family passes inheritances at the BEGINNING of life since they intend the gift to be a seed…a seed for the young person “to nurture, make grow, and use to help nourish mankind”.

As he hands his son his “birthright”, he worries – [paraphrase] – “Wealth in the hands of a wise man will be a blessing to the world. Wealth in the hands of a foolish man will destroy him.” (This is NOT the secret, we ALL know that).

Then, Peter passes along the formula for TRUE WEALTH

Peter then speaks the true legacy of his extraordinary family to his son, Zachary. As he passes the portfolio he clarifies:  “The aim is that you use this money to build a life of productivity, prosperity, and philanthropy.”

This phrase struck a longing inside of me

“Gee, I wish I had that kind of wealth.” And then it occurred to me. Maybe Peter has laid out a FORMULA by which you obtain extraordinary wealth!?

WHAT IF?

So, I started mapping it out

This week, we will be exploring the pathway to success that becomes illuminated by this hidden formula, which we will explore in three ways:

First, we will explore the progression P →P→P→W

Then, we will discuss P + P + P = W

And finally, we will consider that, really, P3 = W

Any ideas where this conversation is going? What do YOU see?

More tomorrow!

Love your life UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

HELP! How do YOU manage business travel?

HELP! How do YOU manage business travel?

I just got back to my office from a week of business travel.

Some of the meetings I had were VERY worth it – but there was a lot of “wasted” time.

In all of the years of selling, I have never figured out how to keep all of the balls in the air. Getting home, I am a teensy bit overwhelmed.

So, I want to hear. How do YOU keep the routines moving and catch up when you are back?

Please, go to http://on.fb.me/salesgirl and log your advice.

 

Love the challenges UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

May I have my algorithm, now, please?

May I have my algorithm, please? Remember when dating sites first came out? I don’t know if they still do this, but they used to promote this thing they “did”.

Finding your perfect mate…mathematically! 

Here’s how it works. You enter answers to a survey. Do you smoke? What is your age? What was your GPA during college? What is your profession? Are you an outdoors person? Do you like to drink pickle juice in the middle of the night, watching TV in your swimsuit?

You know, the usual.

And then, they would run all of this data using an algorithm against all other data – and POW! Your perfect match! We did the math and here he is!

It was always a little hard for me to buy

I found myself deeply suspicious that anyone’s algorithm could take all of this “perfectly” correlated data and find me the right guy.

Unfortunately, this is how most “Sales Training” works

We are trained that if we can capture a bulk of the circumstances; the level of the decision-maker, the industry, the economy, the average length of a sales cycle, the ferocity of the competition, and the number of pixels on our marketing pieces (as a sample set) – and we can put this all into a formula and POW! – we will have the right approach to CLOSE THE DEAL!

To that I say ‘hooey’

Each sales transaction, every one, is a complex and delicate social and psychological transaction. Whether you’re selling your three-year-old on eating his peas, or selling an airplane contract to Boeing. Procurement departments are put in place to keep this complexity out – but that just adds one more element to the mix.

How to use sales training

Here’s what I’ve found to be VERY useful. When I hear something that makes sense, I give it a try. See if it works FOR ME. If it does, I keep it. If it doesn’t, I tweak it or toss it. I don’t spend a lot of time trying to figure out what is wrong with me that it does not work.

When I hear something that makes me sick to my stomach, I ask WHY I am being trained that way. There “might” be a good reason. If there isn’t, I scrap it!

When I have worked for a company who insists on a certain way, I found my self-expression in it – or moved on.

There is NO exact formula or mathematical algorithm to sales. It is a constant dance and an unending opportunity for refinement and education. It challenges and fascinates me. And I love it. I have found my voice in it.

I wish the same for you and am willing to help in any way I can (and willing to learn EVEN more than I now know!)

So, let’s keep this community going! It is a beautiful art we pursue! 

Love ’em UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl