Category Archives: Top Ten Principles of Selling

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

Has this ever happened to you? The Bizarre Nature of Sales

customer-magnet-1019871You’re a smart person and I seem to see this phenomenon all over the place, but I haven’t yet been able to explain it. Got any ideas?

So, I’ve been working with a really great guy the last few weeks. His name is Scott Rabinowitz and he runs an absolutely phenomenal business.

He is the consummate pro and a huge value to his customers.

Business is good, but he’s interested in growing it 10x the size it is now.

So, he got in touch with me to see if I could help. He knew he should be prospecting more, but wanted some ideas about professional approaches to reaching out for new customers.

Together, we brainstormed (actually, don’t tell him, but he did most of the hard work) and came up with an outreach approach that he could really get behind.

After one week of trying his new approach, I phoned him up to see how it was going.

He said, “Well, it was going fine, but then I got behind on my prospecting activities because the most BIZARRE thing started to happen.”

“Oh,” said I. “Do tell.”

Continue reading Has this ever happened to you? The Bizarre Nature of Sales

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 – 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”

Didja ever think about THIS referral source?

I was at a CEB conference in June geared toward Small Medium Businesses and I heard a most provocative idea. Since data is CEB’s “THING”, I found it especially compelling!

They talked about how important it is to ask for referrals when you are growing your business. Nothing new here.

They talked about how much more effective we are when we’re selling to someone who was referred to us – rather than us reaching out to them cold – Yep!

They talked about how to go about the business of asking your clients for referrals. Need help with this? Google is your friend. “How to ask a customer for a referral”.

But, then they said something that really got my attention!

They showed that your absolute best referrals come from sources you might not be thinking about. In fact, these people are the best influencers in your marketplace:

  • Supplier Reps
  • Other Business Owners

Huh!

Continue reading Didja ever think about THIS referral source?

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

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!

Check your Confidence Quotient FIRST this year!

Welcome to 2014!Check your Confidence Quotient

Before we get started together this year, I recommend we look at one CRITICAL thing.

How is your MIND SPACE?

THE NUMBER ONE indicator of your success this year, is the level of self-confidence you have going in!

SO, let’s take a look.

On a scale of 1 – 10, how confident are you that you will meet your goals this year?

If you are anywhere below a TEN, let’s take a look at what might be happening and churn up some ideas to whip your confidence RIGHT UP THE SCALE!

First, let’s take the advice of Jack Canfield. Instead of asking ourselves how we are going to move from a 5 to a 10, we are going to ask ourselves – “Hmmmmmmmm…..why so high? Why am I as high as a 5?”

(You will find some interesting things about what you DO feel good about).

Next, we are going to continue to take the advice of Jack Canfield again and ask “What would it take to move me up to a 6?” No need to jump all the way to the 10. This answer will be much more informative and much more actionable.

Now, look to see what might still be an open, gaping wound from the previous year (or even previous years).

If you’ve lost your swagger, you probably got a good swing (or two or three) to the face with a (hypothetical) two-by-four. Perhaps you missed your quota last year. Perhaps you came in at number 3 when you were sure you were headed for number one. Perhaps you lost that DEAL YOU HAD COUNTED ON to a competitor at the last minute.

Take that two-by-four moment and confront it. Can you see clearly WHAT happened and WHY it happened?

Often, when you look straight at the problem, you can see where YOU had a hand in the negative outcome. Find out if you can forgive yourself . The good news is that if you are the one who caused the negative result, you are also the one who can get the positive result in the future. Huzzah!

Some things you CAN’T control. It is possible that something knocked you off your game and you had nothing to do with it. Take a moment and call a trusted mentor (or even a therapist) to get this sorted out – and sorted out all the way. Until you are completely restored to your brilliance and natural FANTASTIC-NESS!

Restored to FANTASTIC-NESS

Finally, play a game with some friends. 

I was chatting with a couple of my closest girl friends yesterday. We all three realized that we were lacking a bit in the area of self-confidence around our goals this year. SO, here’s what we’re doing:

1) Writing down our top 10 qualities that take us to success

2) Writing down the top 10 qualities of the OTHER two of us – that WE know helps them to success

3) Writing down our top 5 accomplishments from last year –  and identifying how WE made those happen

4) Writing down our top 5 disappointments from last year – and identifying how WE made those happen

5) Getting together again for a chat next week to share what we found with each other

So, what are YOU going to do to make sure you go screaming and proud and confident into your 2014 – armed with all the swagger and pomp you can manage? I would love to hear! 

Love your confidence UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl