The pure and simple question that unlocks doors and allows you full access.
Three little letters.
My good friend, President of Dialogue Consulting, revealed this secret to me and I was amazed! She is notorious for turning unprofitable businesses to profitable! And it’s no wonder. She is phenomenal. And this is one of her most powerful tools in her tool kit. The question…
Then I got excited. I have always KNOWN I could do better, I just didn’t know where to look to find the flaws in my performance (yes, *sigh*, even The Irreverent Sales Girl has flaws in her performance – until NOW *grin*).
One of the challenges Jeb puts to you is to make just ONE MORE CALL. So, it was Friday afternoon and I was cold calling my list. Yep, successful people still cold call. And I was tired, but I challenged myself to observe Jeb’s rule. Make ONE MORE CALL.
Three months after the crossing, I will tell you what I saw and what made the difference in my sales.
They fall into FOUR categories:
Balance (HA! You THINK you know what I am going to say, but you don’t…I promise) Faith Glory Superstition (Surprise!)
Balance: Let us start with this CRAZY idea that our lives need balance. What does that mean, anyway?
I mean, OF COURSE, Nik needs balance. (Tight-rope, right?)
Nik only gets extraordinary balance because he is extraordinarily IMMERSED. His work, his family, his faith, his eating, his sleeping, his friendships – they all live on the wire with him.
We ideologize things like Work-Life Balance.
Seems to me, that TRULY successful people make work a magical part of their lives. Think of Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie, Madonna, the Barefoot Contessa.
Now, if your next statement is, “BUT, how is their family life?” Well, we don’t know…
Here is what I learned from Nik Wallenda.
Faith and Work and Family and Eating and Sleeping are all-encompassed in his daily activities. (Along with all the other areas of life.) He has FOCUS first! FOCUS that it all works!
The difference it made in my sales: I became ALL IN! Doing EVERYTHING it takes to make my sales goals!
This was a HUGE realization for me. If you have viewed the video, you cannot miss that Nik Wallenda was actively and vocally praying to his Lord the entire time. Here is a guy who is a super-star accomplishing an amazing feat – the whole time reminding himself and his Lord that this was NOT about him. It was all inside of his Creator’s will for his life.
No matter what you believe about God or religion or anything else, you simply could NOT miss that Nik was accomplishing something never-done-before and that he was giving himself over in Faith – to whatever is truest in his heart.
As salespeople, we give ourselves OVER to create something extraordinary every day. We are often scared, worried, and under-the-gun to produce results. When I give myself over to my Faith that I am destined to live a great life because “someone out there” wants the best for me, my whole work changes.
Would it be more fun to say to people, “Hey, look at me. I am Chuck Norris. I never lose. I did this myself!”?
YES. That would be more fun, but the second I do that, I fall off of the tightwire to my death. Period!
HERE IS WHAT IS INTERESTING!
Nik Wallenda could NOT have crossed that wire without extraordinary discipline, training, and support. But, somehow HE knows that – even with all of the mastery – he still needs FAITH in something outside of him.
An uncomfortable thing to discuss, but something I want to look at and deal with.
The difference it made in my sales: I trust that I am doing my job in honor of something more. My sales means something to me!
Glory: This one shook me to the bone. Nik Wallenda lives his life in glory of something.
What I realized was that, mostly I wake up every day and do my life because I did not die overnight.
When I saw what Nik was willing to do by giving vocal GLORY to his God with his incredible feats…
Do you EVEN comprehend how vulnerable and crazy that is?
Almost as vulnerable and crazy as walking across the Grand Canyon on a two-inch wire.
I struggle with this one. Perhaps you struggle with something similar.
I do know that when I live my life for the Glory of God, things go helluva-better. Scary and beautiful (and scary!)
The difference it made in my sales: Everything I do is for the Glory of something bigger than me! I am lit up by my work.
Superstition: This was my FAVORITE! (If you have made it this far).
Nik Wallenda was in an interview with a reporter who said something like: “I don’t want to jinx anything, but…”
Nik’s response was, “You can’t jinx anything. I am not superstitious. I can’t afford to be superstitious.”
In other words, Nik can ONLY deal with what is so. He knows that if he wears the same socks twice in a row, it does not impact wind patterns. He prepares himself for as many wind patterns as possible and learns deeply in his cells how he will respond.
He knows that the shoes he wears have the traction he needs, so he wears them. He does not wear the “lucky” shoes.
This has MASSIVELY changed my sales life.
I notice SO many superstitions in my sales. “I will call this person a ‘future client’ and not a ‘prospect’.” “I will say ‘when’ I win this deal instead of ‘if’ I win this deal.”
The difference this made in my sales: I look at the numbers. What did I ACTUALLY do today to move my sales forward? What actually happened? What actually needs to happen next?
AND THE BEST THING!
The best thing I learned from Nik Wallenda is that his MENTAL STATE is everything!
1) They will tell you that they AREN’T doing it now, but they would really like to.
This will give you the chance to commiserate with them. “Yes, that WOULD be great. Unfortunately, we don’t do that now. Why is that important to YOU? Have you heard of anyone else who does that, because I haven’t.”: (NOTICE: Now you are on THEIR side of the table and you can gain valuable information about any competitors who might be in the mix.)
2) They will tell you the painful way they are handling that now.
This will give you the chance to commiserate with them. Then, you can talk about OTHER possible solutions to their problem that you CAN help with. You can use examples of other clients who have had similar issues and have solved them with YOU!
3) They will tell you the way they are working around the problem.
This will give you the chance to encourage them to continue to use their workaround and YOUR solution. Then, you can launch into how YOUR solution is going to solve so many of their other problems that this workaround might be less painful.
4) They will tell you that your competitor DOES offer a solution.
This will give you the chance to find out what your customer’s TOP priorities are. Is the competition able to deliver the more important solutions that YOU can deliver? Then, ask them if they would be open to you sharing the solution your competitor offers with your manager so that your company can possibly start working on a baked-in solution for your service.
5) They will tell you that they currently have a good solution to that particular problem or that your competitor offers a good solution for them.
This will give you the chance to find out if the solution you DON’T have is a deal-breaker. If it is, bow out gracefully and thank them for considering doing business with you. (You will STILL look like a ROCKSTAR, by the way, you just won’t be closing the business. Funny thing is, sometimes when you bow out on the “deal-breaker”, you find it wasn’t a deal-breaker after all and they appreciate your honesty – AND THEY BUY!)
So, when you get into a jam. And you customer wants something you can’t help with. Be calm. And confidently ask, “Hmmmmm….What Are You Doing About That NOW?”
Tomorrow, I am presenting my sales territory plan to my team.
I do this every year.
It is a PowerPoint presentation (Ugh).
EVEN I was bored writing this thing, UNTIL – I thought – “You Know, we have a lot of new competition in the market this year, we are recovering from a tough year, the economy is uncertain…it is time for me to instill CONFIDENCE!”
So, I brought in the FIREWORKS!
For 2013, I added in my sales-quota-killiing techniques…completely illustrated (with soundtrack?)
I introduce the Pipeline techniques (The Elephant Tracks, The Bread & Butter, and the SMB).
I lay out the “Apple Pitch”, the “Leapfrog”, and the “Opera Tickets” – all plans that I will execute (I will teach these in a short – and cheap – call in February – don’t miss ’em). All designed to INSPIRE my team to get on the same page and CRUSH the year.
I have taken a TIRED presentation of numbers and charts to a REVOLUTION – one that my entire company can get behind. In fact, I invited my CEO to attend my presentation and I think he will actually be there! SCORE!
If you are going to CRUSH it, do it with some PIZAZZ!