Tag Archives: Dignity

3 Things You MUST Know About the “Gatekeepers”

As many of you know, I despise using the word Gatekeeper when it comes to calling on the assistants of the people I am hoping to reach. Why use language that puts you at war from the start?

But, many of you have asked for more insights about how to deal with this role in your sales efforts, so I will share with you what I have learned and the approaches that have been successful for me.

Here are the top three things I think about when calling on executives who have assistants.

#1 Thing to Know about The Executive Assistant – They have an enormous amount of power!

They are in tune with the entire company and they wield an incredible amount of power. When it comes to knowing what their boss does and doesn’t care about, they are the expert. When it comes to navigating the company, there is no one better. Often, a request from the executive assistant is taken as if the executive made the request themselves!

Continue reading 3 Things You MUST Know About the “Gatekeepers”

My Three Favorite Articles (So Far) About Sales Gatekeepers

Dear Tom Tenseth (@smgamesafari)

This week’s for you!

A couple of weeks ago – you asked for more information in dealing with Gatekeepers – you said it is your biggest challenge and struggle.

While I have a lot of opinions about working with gatekeepers – which I will share in Wednesday and Thursday’s blog articles, I thought I’d do a bit of research before I weighed in.

DISCLAIMER: If you’re familiar with my stuff, you know I hate the word “gatekeeper”! Why put yourself in an adversarial position from the get-go? That said, I promised a week of articles related to the topic, so here we go!

In my research, I found some articles I really liked:

  1. Interview with a Gatekeeper

This interview with “Alice the Gatekeeper” is quite informative. She is brutally honest about what she does and doesn’t like about dealing with salespeople on the phone. My favorite observations include:

“I like helping people, I really do.”  and “…I am a warm soul-filled person. Let’s have a real conversation and then be done.”

Want to get into the “gatekeepers” head? Read this one.

http://www.cobizmag.com/Articles/An-interview-with-Alice-the-gatekeeper/

Continue reading My Three Favorite Articles (So Far) About Sales Gatekeepers

#TBT – Can We Revisit This Know, Like, and Trust Thing?

I wrote this back in 2013. I love it because it reminds us that we are doing business with HUMANS after all, and it makes us so successful when we remember that!

Here’s the article:

I hear ALL THE TIME…”People do business with people they Know, Like & Trust” from sales trainers and sales experts.

Here’s what I wanna know…

WHY IS THIS A REVELATION?

People go to prom with people they know, like & trust.
People travel great distances at great expense to visit people they know, like & trust.
People like to give gifts to people they know, like & trust.
Let’s face it, people like to hang out with DOGS they know, like & trust.

It’s pretty common sense, isn’t it?

SO I CHALLENGE YOU…

If it is some kind of revelation to you that people do business with people they know, like & trust, WHERE ELSE are you not bringing common sense to your sales?

Things like:

People do business with people who deliver excellent service
People do business with people who have a sterling reputation
People do business with people they hold on a pedastal
People do business with people who do what they say they are going to do
People do business with people who have similar values
People do business with people who ….. I mean, we could keep going here, couldn’t we?

BUT THE BIGGER QUESTION IS: 

If learning that “People do Business with People they Know, Like & Trust” is a revelation to you, then what is going on with your sales? 

Do you not believe in what you sell?
Do you not believe that your customer needs what you sell?
Are your goals different from that of your customer?
Are you trying to meet quotas instead of make a difference with people?

And here is my favorite…

~DO YOU THINK DOING BUSINESS IS DIFFERENT THAN DOING LIFE? ~

This week, I want you to bring common sense to your business. (Sorry, this will require actual THINKING)

FIRST:
Are you doing the work that you know you should do to connect with the people who need what you sell?

If yes (and be honest with yourself about that one),

THEN:
Who are the people that “should” be doing business with you?
Why?
Do they know about you?
Do they agree that they need something that you offer?

Reach out to THEM. Be clear, simple, concise. Offer them something yummy!

Go be a great human being. Period. THEN, see what shows up!

Love ’em UP! (And the rest will follow)

The Irreverent Sales Girl

Want the REALLY good stuff? The stuff I only share in my newsletter and never anywhere else (unless I end up writing a book). Get my Totally Irreverent Tuesday Newsletter: http://bit.ly/IrreverentTuesday.

What I learned about Gatekeepers from Clint Eastwood

clint-eastwood-394536Last week, I was watching the Katie Couric interview with Tom Hanks, Clint Eastwood, and Aaron Eckhart about the making of the movie Sully.

Start watching at the 9 minute mark: https://socialfeed.info/watch-katie-couric-chat-with-clint-eastwood-tom-hanks-and-aaron-eckhart-3971287

Notice something very interesting…

Continue reading What I learned about Gatekeepers from Clint Eastwood

Buyers are 65% of the Way to a Sale Before They Talk To You – And What To Do About It

photodune-1328178-business-woman-with-phone-and-laptop-xsI hear this statistic thrown around a lot. Maybe it’s even true.

In fact, on a recent sales call, the guy on the other end of the line said, “I’m your typical Millenial buyer. I’ve already pretty much decided what I’m going to buy before I talk to a salesperson.”

Now, being the salesperson on the end of that call, it’s pretty good news for me, right?

But, what about those people you are calling on who should REALLY consider working with you because you can make their lives SO much better? But, they don’t know about you yet?

You’re kind of in a pickle with them, right?

Here’s what I’ve found really works in those circumstances…

When people consider it so important to be 65% of the way to a buying decision before they talk to me –  but I want a shot at a deal, I have found that it’s all in the language I use when I am first talking with my prospect. There are five approaches that I find can really turn a situation around and to my advantage.

Continue reading Buyers are 65% of the Way to a Sale Before They Talk To You – And What To Do About It

#TBT – If you want to make sure your prospect is listening…

rsz_communication-1015376This short, but sweet, and truly powerful post ran in March of 2014. It’s so good I had to share again.

“If you want to make sure you have your prospect’s 100% attention, let THEM talk!”

~ Alice Heiman

Brilliant!

Love ’em UP and let THEM talk!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

Want to get the really good stuff? Sign up for my Totally Irreverent Tuesday newsletter where I share the stuff I never publish anywhere else! http://IrreverentTuesday.

#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.

rsz_eyes-937972

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!

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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#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”