Category Archives: Performance

How to perform – reliably

Five Ways We Fool Ourselves Into Failure

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Didja ever notice how some people are reliable to produce results while others simply can’t seem to get what they want?

I see it all the time in sales. MY sales.

I have DEVOTED myself to studying and learning to be reliable to produce results. And, it’s not by lowering the bar. It is by being on a MISSION to find the ways that I have fooled myself into failure. Hopefully, you can just learn these from me and you don’t have to make all these mistakes yourself.

#1 Way We Fool Ourselves Into Failure:

Thinking that email is the same as having a conversation or making a real request.

Email is an excellent vehicle for transmitting data, getting information, and exchanging ideas. Sometimes you can get people to agree to act through email, especially if it is a personal email.

But, if you think that you are going to fill your seminar, or get a babysitter for your children, or set a meeting with a prospect simply by sending out a blanket email, you are fooling yourself.

When the stakes are high, you’ve got to make SURE that you reach the other person, get their buy-in, and that they are willing and able to act on your request.

Many salespeople think that because they sent out 500 emails that they have accomplished something.

Not until someone responds to you with the favorable outcome you were hoping for have you achieved anything. Counting that email as a true sales activity is fooling yourself into failure.

 #2 Way We Fool Ourselves Into Failure:

Continue reading Five Ways We Fool Ourselves Into Failure

How The Dog Collar Mechanism Makes You Better in Sales

dog-987936Most of you probably already know that I LOVE dogs!

I’ve learned a lot about life and love from my own dogs – as many of us have.

A couple of years ago, though, I also learned an incredibly successful sales tool from my dogs. If you’ve ever been around ‘em yourself, I bet you’ll see what I mean.

So, I’m training my 12-week-old lab. Well, actually, my trainer is training ME to get him to cooperate. Which is a little bit crazy with a goofy, needle-sharp teeth, highly distractible, getting-stronger-by-the-day puppy.

She laid a nugget of wisdom on me. She told me about the dog-collar-mechanism. Which, in its most fundamental form, says – “If you pull on your dog’s collar – the dog will immediately pull in the opposite direction”. Huh!

Didja ever notice how that’s true in sales, too?

You make an assertion. And the first thing they do is tell you why you’re wrong.

How do you fix this problem with a sale? Same way you fix the problem with the dog.

Reduce the tension. Make where you want him to go more appealing than where he is now. Have HIM think he came up with the idea of going where you wanted him to go.

With dogs we use cues like treats, or distracting activity, or intriguing noises.

In sales, we use language!

Here are a few of my favorite approaches to working with a prospective client to get his buy-in. Instead of acting like I know everything to solve his problem, I will use phrases like:

“You know your business far better than I do, but it seems to me that….” (Whether they agree with you or they tell you it’s different for them, they are now talking and giving you valuable information!)

OR, I’ll say…

“This probably isn’t true for you, but I find that most of my clients seem to be dealing with this kind of trouble…”(Again, if it is true for them, they are in the same boat with other similar professionals. If it isn’t true, you’ve made them look smart and they will tell you how you can help them solve their unique business need).

OR, I’ll say…

“I doubt this has ever happened in your business, but one of my clients hired me to fix this situation…” (You are probing for information, and you are reducing the tension!)

The hilarious thing about my dogs…I take mine to the beach all the time to chase sticks and balls in the waves. People tell me how well-behaved they are. When, in reality, 99% of the time I am only asking them to do things that I know they are going to want to do anyway!

Remember the dog collar mechanism in your sales conversations and be sure to…

Love ‘em ALL UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

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#TBT – GEEZ, OH PEET! WHAT A PANIC!

I wrote this article over three years ago, but I still remember this epiphany! Hopefully, it will be good for you, too!

“ I had a GREAT BIG call today with one of the Elephants I am tracking.

We seem to be getting so close, yet we are HEAD-TO-HEAD with a fierce and competent competitor.

It’s all I’ve been able to think about lately.

I’ve been getting ATTACHED. 

I realized this during my workout today. Here I am enjoying a nice peaceful morning on the Elliptical and all I can think about is this PANIC I am having about landing this elephant.

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Ridiculous.

And then, I thought, “What Would the Irreverent Sales Girl Do?”

And, it came to me. She would

Continue reading #TBT – GEEZ, OH PEET! WHAT A PANIC!

One magical question that gives you control of the sales meeting!

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I was reading Whale Hunting by the brilliant Dr. Barbara Weaver-Smith and when I ran across this paragraph, I whooped – YES!

I have actually used this idea one time in my career. The meeting was critical to me. The company I was presenting to had already decided to work with my competitor. They had the (unsigned) contract sitting on the decision-maker’s desk.

It was my Hail Mary meeting!

Each person in the room had a different reason to use my product. I’d never met any of them before. They were busy people. And, as I mentioned, they’d already decided to work with someone else. By sheer determination, I had been able to plant enough doubt about their decision in my customer’s mind – so much that they called me in. The whole gang was there.

And I’d better be good!

Continue reading One magical question that gives you control of the sales meeting!

You’ll get more “YESes” When You Listen for the “No”

Ever thought something was going to turn out?

You were going to meet your quota this quarter?

You were going to have a full event?

You were going to have a signed contract on your desk by Friday?

But, then it didn’t.

Want to know why?

It’s not personal. Everybody has this disease.

We all listen for WHAT WE WANT TO HEAR. But, that doesn’t mean that the result is actually going to come in.

So, when it really counts, when it really matters, I invite you to do something new.

Start listening for the “no” hiding behind the “yes” you are hearing.

If someone says they are going to show up to your volunteer event, ask them politely, “Is there anything that would get in the way of you being able to make it? Do you have children you need to have looked after? Is there anything else in your calendar?”

Or, if you’re inviting someone to an event. Find out why they are going and what they want to come away with. If it’s really important to you, ask if it would be helpful for you to pick them up. Then, call a couple days in advance to confirm details.

If they are going to get a contract signed for you, ask them: “Who signs? Are they going to be on vacation or do you expect them to be around this week? Is the timing important to them, too? “

Have them walk through for you how the result they are saying “yes” to is actually going to happen, in reality.

When you need it to happen, you must inspect – dig deeper.

Don’t be worried about asking.

You are supporting the person to do what they already told you that they wanted to do. Done well, it demonstrates your leadership.

Too often, when someone is trying to tell us “no” – we don’t listen and find out more. Sometimes we even leave the conversation thinking that now they are going to figure out a way to make it work.

But, that’s not how people are. They are uncomfortable telling you that they are not going to act on your newest suggestion. They just aren’t going to do it.

It should be a true and rare surprise to you if you are expecting someone to act and then they don’t.

If you are masterful at listening, you will hear the “no” instead of hearing what you want to. When you hear the “no” – you have a shot at turning it into a real “yes”! And that is power!

Love ‘em UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

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#TBT – More of Whatever It Takes

This Throw-Back-Thursday article published in May of 2012 and it just seems like the perfect post to come next. If you’ve been reading my articles this week and you got my Totally Irreverent Tuesday newsletter, you will see exactly what I mean!

“Are you willing to live a Do Whatever It Takes Life for your dreams?

Careful of your answer – there WILL be a test! *GRIN*

Every single one of us has it in us to do whatever it takes for something. We think we’ll be too tired if we REALLY go for it, or that we’ll miss out on something else that life has to offer.

Not true! The more you give to your dreams the ABSOLUTELY more they’ll give to you. But you gotta be willing to do WHATEVER it takes!!! The miracles that come along with this kind of life will TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY!!

Love it up!

The Irreverent Sales Girl”

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You Have a “Do-Whatever-It-Takes” Attitude and Here’s How I Know

I run into people who positively suffer in their jobs, or with their health, or with certain relationships. Perhaps you can relate to that yourself.

I want you to think about one of those parts of YOUR life right now.

Do you have it?

I’m about to tell you something you are not going to like, but stick with me –  it will make sense and give you new freedom. I promise!

Imagine that it really IS OK with you that this part of your life is exactly the way it is – RIGHT NOW.

WHAT?

I bet you a million dollars that the reason you are upset about this part of your life is because someone else, at some point, made you feel that it SHOULD be a different way. And so now you’re stuck with the suffering because it is not as it SHOULD be.

Perhaps you just really really really wish YOUR body was the perfect type, or YOUR work style was the perfect way to achieve success, or YOUR opinion about your family members was the socially acceptable one. So, you could love it the way it is now.

It wasn’t YOU that really wanted it to be different.

Here’s how I know this is true.

There are things in your life that you have taken a “DO WHATEVER IT TAKES” attitude and it has worked.

For me, when I was a child, I was DETERMINED to be the person who could stand on hot asphalt in the summer in bare feet longer than anyone else. And I did WHATEVER IT TOOK to earn that distinction. (I know, a crazy goal, but there you go.)

When I grew up, I was DETERMINED to get a job in marketing after school even though all of my professors said that NEVER happened right out of undergrad and especially with my grades (I had failed out of my freshman year). But, I did WHATEVER IT TOOK to make sure I got that job. So, while most of my high-grade-getting college friends were waiting tables, I held a marketing position with a major brand.

Today, I am DETERMINED to have a magical, intimate, juicy, relationship with my husband and I do WHATEVER IT TAKES to make sure we do! (BONUS: He does too.)

But, it’s not like that in every area for me.

Is my house as clean as it should be? No.

Am I as successful in my business as I know I can be? No.

Does my body look exactly the way I think it could? No.

But, I have to get STRAIGHT with myself that I am simply not brining ALL of myself to these areas.

You have done this, too.

If you have children, I promise you have at some point had a “DO WHATEVER IT TAKES” attitude about something that concerns them. Either, they are picked up on time from school. Or they are going to get in to see THAT doctor. Or, they are going to have 3 square meals every day.

And, I bet you’ve been like this at a number of things.

So, now, go back and look at that area where you are suffering.

Are you bringing a “DO WHATEVER IT TAKES” attitude to it?

Can you live with it the way that it is? Even learn to embrace it?

If, yes. Then, congratulations, you can now focus on the things that are TRULY important to you and give up the suffering.

If, no. If it really IS important that this area be different. If it is unacceptable for the way it is to be the end of the story in that area, then let’s GET CRACKIN’ and dust off your WHATEVER IT TAKES attitude in that area.

Either way, you no longer get to complain. Because now you know that you could make it different!

You are amazing.

Love your life UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

BONUS OPPORTUNITY: Post a comment that tells me what you are NOW going to do in that area!

SUPER BONUS: Sign up for my Totally Irreverent Tuesday newsletter here. It’s where I publish the really entertaining stuff that I never publish anywhere else: http://bit.ly/IrreverentTuesday

Slow is Smooth and Smooth is Fast! Sales Lessons from Modern Family

One of my favorite sit-coms is Modern Family. And one of my favorite things is when Phil Dunphy reminds his family the best way to deal with a crisis situation: “Slow is Smooth and Smooth is Fast”.

Love it! It’s true, too.

When you take this wise advice and apply it to your sales technique, it will SPEED UP YOUR SALES!

Here are some examples of good times to go SLOW to SPEED IT UP!

Continue reading Slow is Smooth and Smooth is Fast! Sales Lessons from Modern Family

#TBT – WHO’S DRIVING THE TRAIN ANYWAY?

rsz_train-tracks-925984This post is a classic from September of 2013. Let them talk. They will sell YOU! Then, pick up the pen and make the sale. Hope you love this one as much as I do.

“Just because you are not the one talking, does not mean you are not guiding the sale!

In fact, it is USUALLY just the OPPOSITE!

Today a magical and truly wonderful thing happened!

I was in a meeting with an SVP of a Fortune 100 company…and MAN was HE talking. He was so enthusiastic about his company… he was so proud of the work they were doing a new opportunities on the horizon. He loves the brand. He told me everything from the way the founders started out in the Depression…all the way up to the new (and – shall we say – controversial?) CEO they have.

He talked. And he talked. And he talked.

And I ATE IT UP!

I listened to every word as if it were gold — which it turns out — every word was.

When he finally got around to asking me details about what I do and what my company offers, I had everything I needed to know to tell him how we could help. And he had said everything he needed to say, so there wasn’t anything in the background distracting him.

I told (short) stories back about how our companies’ philosophies and directions were aligned.

And HE ATE IT UP!

Know what he said next?

“Send me the contract. We need to get this going right away.”

Guess what I did! I STOPPED SELLING!

I said, “GREAT! Will you be signing it?”

– yes –

Then, I thanked him for his business. Asked him if there was anything else he needed. Said our pleasantries and ske-daddled.

He did the talking. I drove the train. I won the business.  FUN!

Love the talkers UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl”

Worried about being aggressive? The opposite is just as bad!

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I was talking with a business owner friend, Bob, the other day. He’d recently made the decision to NOT do business with a company he was considering.

That’s not so uncommon.

What was interesting was the REASON Bob wasn’t going to become a client.

Here’s how it played out:

This company had something Bob needed.

Bob attended a webinar to learn more and kick the tires. He really liked what he saw.

Next, a salesperson called to follow up and see if he’d gotten value from the webinar. He had!

Then, the salesperson said he would send Bob some more information and if he ever needed anything, he should just call them up!

And, then they hung up.

And, Bob was left hanging…  Continue reading Worried about being aggressive? The opposite is just as bad!