Ultimate Selling Solutions Blog
30Dec/13Off

Win Big in 2014, Start Now!

If you want to win big in 2014, you need to make sure you do two things consistently and do them well!

1st. Have activity goals on a daily/weekly basis that you can control and ones that will take you where you want to go. How many calls, dials, face to face appointments, proposals, etc.  do you need to succeed?

As in football, the field goal that wins the game with 2 seconds left is the result of much preparation and practice. Are your practicing for sales or are you sitting on the bench? Standing on the sidelines? If so, get in the game and mix it up so you have a chance to win. I guarantee you can’t do any worse then losing while on the bench!

2nd. pursue real sales opportunities, like in qualified prospect! Not suspects and prospects. How can you differentiate between qualified prospects and suspects?

The game has to be real, not imaginary- in your head. Is the opportunity real or are you kidding yourself, not to mention others? And for the game to be real, you must know 4 critical things:

  1. that they have a need and want for your product or service
  2. have the money or means to acquire it
  3. have a decision making process in place with a timeline
  4. a date that your product or service is required

And if they don't have #4, they really don't have a real timeline to buy, and that means no need to make a decision!

So, set some behavior goals and then make sure you do a deep dive on qualifying. That means they and you have identified compelling reasons they should buy, you’re positioned as the preferred provider and their reasons have greater value than the investment you’ll ask then to make. Will they:

  • benefit financially?
  • Increase market share?
  • solve existing problem?
  • mitigate customer satisfaction issues?
  • What else?

Do these things and 2014 will be your best year ever!


12Nov/13Off

Using the Ultimate Selling Series eBook for Sales Team Development How To…

Based on the assumption your sales team has downloaded the latest e-book “How to Prepare for a B2B Sales Call” If not, maybe these ideas will inspire you to do it now!

How you chose to implement is up to you, but here are a few ideas to help get you started!

Idea 1: Ask each salesperson,  “How do you use B2B call preparation for a competitive advantage?”

Idea 2: Pick a Chapter, view and listen as a group followed by a group discussion on how best to apply to your sales process.

Idea 3: Select a salesperson and assign an action item for your next sales meeting. Your objective here is to share a success story (1-3 minutes) on how preparation made a difference in an actual sale.

Idea 4: Conduct a group discussion (have a fixed time limit) on why its important to prepare!

Idea 5: Conduct a group discussion on “Lessons Learned” using the eBook and how and what they apply in their sales opportunities.

Idea 6: Again, a group discussion on how this helped them determine if they had a legitimate prospect versus a suspect!

 

BUY NOW

Tip! 

Make your assignments based on individual needs for skill development in a particular area.  Assess your sales team and determine what areas you want to work on as a group  and pre assign activities related to the topic. Take it a step further and use this as a goal-setting exercise for your team.

 

1Oct/13Off

Are You Forward Thinking In Your Sales Training?

It’s time you start using Interactive eBooks for cost effective, real-time training and learning that’s:

Interactive eBooks appeal to today's learners who use technology naturally to communicate and learn. They prefer mobile technology and information which is delivered in bite size chunks  of just enough information, just in time, and wherever the learner may be located.

Interactive eBooks can incorporate text, photos, video, audio, and multimedia elements to provide an engaging learning and training experience.

One of the understated benefits, selling time is maximized” There’s no classroom training, no seminars to attend, and no webinars to sit thru. Just an engaging learning experience at your command, 7/24/365. And the added BONUS of no travel and lodging expense. Readily available at your fingertips, you can make that airport or appointment waiting time productive!

Each individual has their own personalized copy which provides a record of learning, complete with notes, checklists and plans. Interactive eBooks features include:

Memory Aids - quick reference summaries of all material covered in the content to refresh your memory just before that critical Coaching session, Sales call, Presentation or Meeting.

Action planning forms and tools you can fill in, save and printto review current skills, set goals, plan development ,monitor progress and help you stay on the right track when trying out new ideas.

Assessment checklists - designed to help apply critical thinking and make assessments before taking key decisions

The primary delivery platform is the Apple iPAD. While their are tens of millions of iPads currently in use, Apple recently announced that all MAC’s, iPhones and iPods would have the capability to acquire and use thru the Apple iBookstore.

And the good news! Ultimate Selling has embraced and adopted the technology and has created and launched the “Ultimate Selling Series”, Interactive eBooks where you can laser in on specific B2B sales topics.

Learn more about the Ultimate Selling Series eBooks Today, Click here for more information!

 

 

3Sep/13Off

Sourcing Clients and Customers

In an ideal world, your marketing department has figured out a way to source a predictable number of leads required to maximize your selling time and sales outcomes. But what if they don’t? Are you willing to assume some personal accountability? Or, will you accept that your sales goals will be compromised?

I’m always amazed at how often salespeople talk about calling this list or using that list or making cold calls. Rarely do I hear them talk about using their greatest asset, their existing customers or centers of influence.

The fact that you are reading this blog tells me that you are accountable and prepared to do the work it takes to maximize your outcomes. Congratulations!

If you then follow the 4 Steps below, you’ll quickly get that pipeline back in operation with some warm leads.

Step 1. Refer to your master list of customers

Step 2. Block calendar time to call your list. (Break into manageable blocks)

Tuesday, 9 - 9:30 AM

Thursday, 8 - 9 AM

Step 3. Start calling. Start alphabetically and work from A-Z or Z-A

       Step 4. When you connect, ask for their help in one of three ways:

a. Referral

b. Introductions (He will advise of your call and to tell them to take it)

            1. Personal Introductions (Joint phone or face to face call)

Whatever works best for them!

Before you know it you will be busy again and off to making more sales. And next time, start calling where you left off from this call effort as you rarely can get thru your list before you‘re too busy to finish making the calls.

Most importantly, don’t forget to thank them via a call, email or personal note/postcard for the referral. Better yet, let them know the outcome. They will be pleased to know they helped you and the referred person. Ultimately, they will look forward to the next opportunity to help.

23Jul/13Off

Change The Paradigm of Summer Selling; A 3 Step Process!

The DOGMA of Summer Sales! Have you bought into the Dogma about selling in the summer months or are you going to be a paradigm changer?

What is Dogma? It’s a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true: And, it serves as part of the primary basis of an ideology or belief system, and it cannot be changed or discarded without affecting the very system's paradigm or ideology itself.

So, JOB ONE for selling in the summer months is to “Change the Paradigm” Both yours and your prospects. After all, if you can’t change yours, why should they change theirs?

Below is a Three Step Process to help you create your new reality, or Dogma!

Step 1: Make a list of all the reasons you should make a buying decision now. Keep asking yourself why it’s a good time to buy and write it down. For example:

  • Current rate of capital money!
  • Installation of capital equipment or system during slow period!
  • Increased allocation of your resources will reduce implementation timelines and impact on their personnel
  • Your pricing reflects a ___% of savings vs. fall installation and implementation!
  • Do it now and free up their resources for other priorities in balance of year.
  • Capture financial gains for a longer period in current year for increased profitability or maximum financial gain if new fiscal year

What are yours?

Step 2:  Make a list of all the reasons you should not make a buying decision now. Again, keep asking yourself why it’s not a good time to buy and write them down. For example:

  • Reduced staffing due to employee vacations! (Offset by your increased resources!)
  • Procrastination and delaying the benefits and ROI!
  • Not sold on benefits to be gained or losses to be avoided!  *

* This problem began when you failed to qualify the opportunity

Step 3: Compare your two lists.

I hope your SHOULD list heavily outweighs your SHOULD NOT List.

Read it often and make it part of your selling strategy and tactic to change your prospects paradigm. If not, I have two suggestions:

First, Take the Summer off as you don't plan on selling anything anyway.

Two, reach out to the Ultimate Seller to help get you back into the great game of selling!

 

25Jun/13Off

It’s Summer, Are You Winning Or Losing At Sales?

It’s that time again when people start to relax, take vacations and spend more time on R&R than work. As a result, you expect sales to slow down.

While there is definitely some validity to the slow down, the bigger question you need to ask yourself is what can and will I do to affect change to this paradigm?. After all, business doesn’t stop in the summer.If you want to write new business and uncover opportunities for after Labor Day and the last quarter, you need to be in the game NOW, not on the bench waiting to play.

So, be proactive and you will write new business in the summer and deal with less competition. Why? Because they are on the bench waiting for a call.

1st, map out your plan of activities focusing on the things you can control. Things like:

  • Increasing your prospecting efforts
  • Ramp up your networking activities and events
  • Conduct awareness and education sessions with prospects now,-you will shorten the sales cycle after September.

Then, ask yourself, what else can I do?

2nd, eliminate any distractions and be fully engaged when executing those activities. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish in less time when you have laser focus.

3rd, start reaping the benefits of your efforts with summer sales and just as importantly, if not more important; you will identify and qualify opportunities to aggressively pursue for September and last quarter sales pursuits.

After all, isn’t that better than waiting till summer ends, starting in September and hoping for a good year?

It’s your decision, what will you do?

14May/130

Are You Listening?

 

When you’re in a sales call or presentation do you do most of the talking? Unfortunately, most sales people talk way to much and as a result, fail to interact and engage the prospect in a more compelling way. And compelling is how you build trust and a relationship!

As the saying goes, you can’t be listening if you’re talking and that’s the first indicator that you’re a push through salesperson. You know, waiting for the first objection so you can handle it and close! Or, creating a question to which you can follow up with a close.

Speaking of closing, ask yourself this question...

Do you liked to be Closed or would your prefer Connecting with someone?

I hope its Connecting and the way to connect is by following some simple points:

  • Apply active listening to your interactions
  • Understand your prospects needs and wants on an emotional level.
  • Challenge them in a kind way on their assumptions and pending actions
  • Have candid dialog about your solutions, is there a real fit to their needs?
  • Conduct your interactions with mutual respect.

In Ultimate Selling, it’s all about Connecting. And in the 21st Century of sales, buyers want to connect; not be closed. And when you connect, it’s a seamless and comfortable transition to formalizing the sale. It’s time for a paradigm shift from the “Always be Closing” days of Glengarry Glen Ross to the Ultimate Selling, ABC’s  “Always be Connecting

Change it and you will begin to experience more connections and quality sales vs. closings and less than satisfied buyers.  Listening will ensure you engage in meaningful interactions, followed by great insight as to how to provide great value to your prospect, and in doing so you’ll make great connections.

 

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16Apr/130

Are Face to Face Sales a Relic of the Past?

Are more sales taking place on the Web in lieu of face to face sales calls? In many cases I say yes, but in many, I say not!  According to this article from Bloomberg Businessweek, "economics is pushing sales online".    The author, Jeff Green says, “Inside selling, which keeps pitchmen off the road, is growing far faster than in-person sales—and by some estimates it’s 10 times cheaper.” While that may be true, if you take the on line route and don't make as many sales, what is your true sales cost?

In order for on-line sales, with or without a sales interface to be successful, I believe the following has already been established by the company or market for it to be successful. They are:

  • 1st-Credibility is established and their brand is well known and accepted.  (Marketing)
  • 2nd-The product or service is viewed as a commodity, so they can look for best price, fulfillment and or services (great sales skills not needed here)
  • 3rd-They require little, if any business acumen and/or problem solving skills. Not that they don't count, just not as much.

And, marketing has played the most significant role in achieving these objectives, not sales. So, depending on what you sell and your definition of what a salesperson is or how they sell, some are and some are NOT!

Complex and/or large investment sales will always require face to face selling time. While technology tools can do much for intelligence gathering, front end sales work, and streamlining/shortening the sales cycle for a qualified prospect, the sales pro must possess a high degree of business acumen, problem solving and professional selling skills. Only true face to face interaction will solidify the relationship of preferred provider.

The critical point here is to know what is required to sell your company product and service and don't chase the on-line route as a panacea till you know!

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28Feb/130

Is my Prospect Qualified? Or just another Suspect?

Welcome to the 21st century, Buyer Advantage, Seller’s Beware!

Think about it, can you afford to invest a lot of time and sales resources only to discover later in the sales process that you’ve been pursuing a suspect? Even worse, discover you’re investing resources in a suspect and not in a qualified prospect since you only had so much time or bandwidth and could not discern which was which!.

I doubt it! Let’s be honest, the pressure on profits and the rising cost of a sales calls dictate otherwise. And the most important action you can take to mitigate these is to maximize your investment of sale resources.

What does a qualified prospect look like?

1st, they have genuine INTEREST!

There is a definite need/requirement for your product or service and you can articulate how it will benefit them, be it reduce cost, increased market share, solve existing problem, vendor replacement, solve a customer problem for them, personal, others?

2nd, they have the MONEY!

Whether it’s self funding or 3rd parties, they have both the ability and more important, the will to invest.

3rd, they will make a buying DECISION!

There is a process in place, with timelines and defined decision makers to make a Yes or No decision.

In Ultimate Selling, we add some additional questions that are very straightforward and easy to ask early in the sales process and they provide additional insight as to what they will or will not do. It sounds something like this:

What is the actual date you require delivery or operation of our product and service?

Trust me, if they can’t articulate firm dates and reasons, it’s your trigger to did deeper into the sales process. Is the problem that you are...?

Not dealing with the decision makers?

Using you for price checking?

Others.....

Ultimate Selling INSIGHT:  If they don’t have firm dates, they never have to make a decision and all too often, they won’t. You know, it’s thee sales opportunities that keep moving out in your sales forecast!

Ultimate Selling INSIGHT:  It may take multiple calls to qualify and that’s OK. But don’t start the formal phase with presentation/proposal, until they are qualified. Educate, build relationships, discover more about them, etc.. And save your compelling sales story until they have a formal process for making a decision.  Go here to review exactly what you should be asking in the discovery process.

If you would like have more in depth knowledge about these critical sales steps, and many others, go to Ultimate Selling Solutions to  purchase a hard copy book or download the  book, Ultimate Selling, The Art and Science of Sales Success.

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6Feb/130

How To Know if Your Winning in 2013: This Month, This Quarter, This Year!

Whats Your Winning Formula? Do you have one? If not, why not? Okay, January is now over- how do you stand?  Did you:

  • Get off to a quick start in 2013?
  • Meet your sales quota/goal
  • Meet your income objectives?  (Earnings, Commissions, Bonuses)
  • Something else?

It’s time to get real and apply the KIS method. “Keep it Simple ” to your formula: It’s just not that complicated!

Ultimate Selling Insight #1:  You must have enough sales opportunities that are making their final buying decision within the specified time, be it your 30, 60 or 90 day sales forecast . YES, SALES FORECAST, not your pipeline!

Ultimate Selling Insight #2: The only security you have as a salesperson is knowing you have enough decisions being made each month to ensure your success. If not, you will know by the first of the month that you will fail at the end of the month.  Therefore you can be proactive NOW to affect the outcomes. Or, leave it to chance or pray for a Blue Bird to fall out of the sky!

WHAT DOES A WINNING FORMULA LOOK LIKE?

Let’s figure the math out together...

  • What is the amount of your average sale? (20 ,000)
  • How many average sales do you need monthly to achieve your quota/goals?                    (5 = 100,000)
  • What is your success rate or closing average? (50%)
  • Number of monthly sales ÷ success rate = (5 ÷.50 = 10)
  • Number of decisions being made this month? (10 = 5 sales)

Apply your numbers and you will know early and often, where you stand

Here’s an example of  %  (Average sale of $20K, monthly quota of $100K)

20% Closing Average requires 25 sales decisions per month
50% Closing Average requires 10 sales decisions per month
100% Closing Average requires 5 sales decisions per month

There you have it, work extra hard and have lots of opportunities or improve your sales skills, work smart and achieve success with  fewer opportunities.

It’s early in the year so get started on becoming an Ultimate Seller 2013!

Need Help? Call me at 800-659-5984

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