Tuesday, November 30, 2010

In or Out?

Finding Leads - The Inside/Outside Approach

The Inside Approach

• Go through your current prospect list and call everyone on it.
• Organize a prospect swap with fellow salespeople to shake things up.
• Ask your boss to assign you inactive accounts.
• Search within your own clients. Are you calling on every person and every department that buys?

The Outside Approach
• Set aside 4 weekend hours and search the Internet for leads. Websites like Spoke.com
and Manta.com are great tools and membership is free.
• Spend five minutes checking local business news every morning, either by reading the paper or going on-line.
• Profile your ideal customer, and then buy a list of similar companies.
• Ask clients, friends, and family for referrals.
• Network.

Monday, November 29, 2010

10 x 10

Thought Transformation 10 x 10 Rule

More success comes when you start with these assumptions:

10 Calls = 9 Voice Mails + 1 Conversation

10 Conversations = 1 Appointment

10 x 10 = 100 dials to get 1 appointment

Try it out and let me know how it goes.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Big 5 - 0

Yesterday, we starting calculating how many leads you would need to reach your sales goals. You should have determined how many new accounts you would need to meet you goals.

Today, take the number of new accounts you would need to meet your goals and multiply the number by 50.

Why Use a Multiplier of 50?

If you work 50 leads, the odds are good that at least one lead will turn into a customer. You are however welcome to modify the multiplier based on personal experience.

Now you know exactly how many leads you need in order to reach your goal. Good selling!! (And good Turkey Day!!) I'll be back on Monday with the Thought Transformation 10 x 10 Rule.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How Many Leads Do I Need?

The answer comes from simple analysis.

• Determine your sales goal.
• Calculate value of a new account in the first year.
• Use these numbers to determine the number of leads needed to reach the goal.

Set a Goal

Are you trying to grow new account sales by $10,000 or $1,000,000?

Challenging goals require you to sift through more leads.

Calculate the Value of a New Account

Step 1: Determine the number of new accounts you opened last calendar year.

Step 2: Determine the total sales dollars that came from all new accounts during that year.

Step 3: Calculate to find average value.

Total Sales from New Accts ÷ No. of New Accts = Avg. Value

Example: Last year you opened 3 new accounts. All together the 3 accounts generated $75,000 in sales.
$75,000 ÷ 3 = $25,000
$25,000 is the average value of a new acct.

How many leads do I need?

Divide your goal by the average value of a new account toBold find the number of new accounts needed.

Goal ÷ Avg. Value of a New Acct. = No. of New Accts. Needed

Example: Let’s say you set a goal of $100,000 in new account sales. You calculated the average new account brings $25,000 in sales during the first year.

$100,000 ÷ $25,000 = 4 new accounts needed to reach goal

More tomorrow on what to do with the number of new accounts needed to reach your goal.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Leads, Leads, Leads

Over the next two weeks, I will be sharing important information on leads.

I believe great salespeople always look for leads. The reasons they do this is because:

• They want to grow their business.

• They want to replace lost business.

• They want to eliminate marginal clients and replace them with better ones.

Any other reasons why salespeople look for leads?? More tomorrow on the number of leads you will need to reach your goal.

Friday, November 19, 2010

KeFactors Friday: When your brand sucks (and when it doesn’t)

Would you ever do this?

You buy an expensive car and outfit it with luxurious upholstery and fittings.
Experts tell you it’s imminently road-worthy and could take you far.

Then you hand the keys over to a randomly selected group of strangers. You
don’t explain anything about the condition in which this car should be maintained, figuring “common sense” will guide that. You look away when it’s clear some of these drivers aren’t fit to drive, either from inexperience or irresponsible behavior. When wrecks occur, you expend a great deal of money to repair the car and appease the other injured party, but do little more than a perfunctory rehabilitation of the driver behind the wheel.

Asking the question again: would you ever say this?

“I believe in XYZ for my cell phone and wifi needs. Sure, they’re more expensive
than anyone else and they never return my calls, but I figure it’s worth it because of their name. They’re often late for service calls and sometimes they get my bill wrong. When I ask for customer service I’m treated with indifference, sometimes rudeness, but what the heck, they’re a big name.”

Organizations spend huge dollars to create brand identity, but let’s face it: human
beings are not loyal to brands but to people. Behind every brand are touchpoints who enliven your identity as an organization. If you, as a leader, are not specific and concrete in your vision of what the brand means, and how the customer should experience it, then you’re bound to sabotage your own vision.

I drive past three competing groceries to shop at my local Publix. Their brand is
based on friendly service and reasonable pricing, but their credo — “where shopping is a pleasure” — is spelled out in actionable terms for the employee. If a customer asks you where to find a certain product, stop what you’re doing and don’t just point them to the aisle. Escort them there, and show it to them. Even if you can’t spell out every touchpoint, having enough in hand sets the bar to which employees can respond to customer needs. Final question: What is your customer’s experience of your particular brand, and do your employees know how to make that experience come alive in a positive way?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gobble, Gobble

It's hard to believe, but Thanksgiving is just one week away. Spend today getting organized for a short work week starting Monday and take this opportunity to call clients you are hoping to finalize a sale with as they might not be in the office next week at all. Good selling!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Communication Styles - Part 2

Here's a wrap-up on direct versus indirect communication.

When selling, pay attention to communication styles. Is the buyer speaking to you directly, providing useful information so you can do business together? Or are they smiling while they skirt the issue?

When prospects and customers tell you exactly what you need to know to sell them, it’s a buying signal stating, “I want to work with you.”

Indirect communication lets you know there is still work to be done before you
make the sale.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Communication Styles - Part 1

Last month, I posted a basic description of direct versus indirect communication. Over the next two days, I will posting a little more information on the difference.

Direct communication gets right to the point. Speakers state what they are thinking without embellishment. They speak with a specific goal in mind because they want the listener to understand their position.

“Bob, if you can drop your price by $400, I will give you this order.”
“I can do that.”
“Great. You have the order.”

Indirect communication drops hints and beats around the bush. We use indirect communication when we aren’t sure about the desired outcome or the person we are communicating with, and want wiggle room.

“Bob, your price is a little high.”
“How high?”
“I don’t remember exactly.”
“If I match the lower price, will you give me the order?”
“I’m not sure I want to do that. Why don’t you give me your best price and I’ll

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tip 1 - How to Gauge Interest

This week, I will be sharing a few useful tips when it comes to sales. Today's tip deals with house to gauge a customer's interest. Look for these signs of engagement and interest:
  • Eye Contact
  • Mouth open as if to speak (Please let them interrupt!! It's a sign you've touched a nerve.)
  • Nodding
  • Smiling
  • Hand gestures accompanying words

Friday, November 12, 2010

KeFactors Friday: The value of story

Human beings love stories, and we’re natural storytellers as well.

And one of the first things a fiction writer learns is “Show, don’t tell.”
Instead of saying “Harry was a busy, impatient man,” it’s more evocative to say “As his wife described her day, Harry drummed the table with his fingers until she glared at him.” That says a lot about Harry, his wife, and the possible state of their marriage.

And here’s how stories fit in with work life.

• Don’t sell the product or service; tell a story. Instead of praising the new
capabilities you’ve just invested in, tell the prospect a story about a client who had a particular problem and how your team and this new capability solved the problem.
• Praise in detail, not generalities of business-speak. Got a great employee?
Don’t just say “Susan consistently demonstrates professional skill” but “Susan returns client calls within 24 hours, tries to regularly meet with each and every customer, and endeavors to keep them informed of new trends and technology.”
• Customers tell stories too. That’s the power of word-of-mouth: free advertising! The best stories anyone could ever tell about your company arises from complaint resolution: “This vendor made a small mistake on our project but when we pointed it out to them, they didn’t get defensive. They thanked us for catching it, made the improvements, and took care of us immediately. I’d recommend them without hesitation. Heck, everyone makes mistakes.” (What could’ve happened: “Oh my God, we caught a mistake they’d made and you would not believe the hassle we experienced trying to get this little error resolved. First, they got huffy and hinted we’d caused the problem. Next they apologized, which somehow didn’t make it better because by then we were desperate to just get it done on time. Hire them with caution!”)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Show Your Pearly Whites

When you meet new people, look at them long enough to see the color of their eyes. Smile and repeat their name. Walk into every appointment glad for the chance to meet someone new.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Webinar: Repair Ruptured Relationships, Reawaken Dead Accounts

Have you signed up for the November webinar? This month's topic is, "Repair Ruptured Relationships, Reawaken Dead Accounts." We will provide you with the insights you need to turn unhappy customers around and start them buying again.

: This Friday, November 8th from 1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Cost: $35

Registration Information:
Click here

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Here's something to ask yourself...

Where do my customers have to go to succeed in the marketplace, and how can I be a partner in helping them get there??

Monday, November 8, 2010

Reawaken Dead Accounts

For many years, one of Mike’s best customers was a large bank.
He loved them and thought they loved him, too.

Then, sales began to slip. The bank didn’t call quite as often as they once had. Mike still got orders, but they weren’t as frequent or as large. He noticed, but didn’t react.

He didn’t ask what was going on, or why the situation had changed. No one complained about quality or price, so Mike assumed the situation would turn around.

One day he woke up realizing it had been a very long time since he talked to anyone at the bank. A queasy feeling gripped him as he counted backwards and realized how many months had gone by without a single order. His blinders fell away. For the first time, Mike recognized this customer was dead.

Worse yet, he had probably killed them with neglect and indifference.
This story has a happy ending. Mike worked hard and resurrected his dead client. He continued to do business with them for the next decade.

Everyone has dead customers and resurrecting them can be the shortest route to new sales. Dead customers represent qualified leads. You already know they buy what you sell. Often enough, they will buy it from you a second time if you go out and re-sell them.

Learn from Mike’s mistake. Sign up for this month's webinar, "Repair Ruptured Relationships, Reawaken Dead Accounts," which is part of the
2010 Webcast Series: Relationship-Building Strategies. For more information, e-mail me at LindaBishop@thoughttransformation.com.

Friday, November 5, 2010

KeFactors Friday: Survival of the fittest - Good Samaritans

A friend of mine had me laughing until I was hoarse about a “who’s on first?” encounter he had with an elderly man and a flat tire. My friend stepped up to help him change the tire and the old man kept repeating, “I gotta go to the bank and cash a check, to pay you for your kindness.”

“I gave him three outs,” my friend recounted. “I suggested he pay it forward by donating money to a church, telling someone he was helped by an alumnus from this school [he was wearing a college shirt at the time], or just give some money to the local children’s hospital. If there was a karmic debt, I didn’t have to be the one to receive the payment.”

The news is filled with stories of cruelty, not just the usual “if it bleeds, it leads” type of crimes, but ones in which insensitivity reigned supreme.

More than ever this year, I’ve been asked to speak on workplace civility: these are minor, banal cruelties — speaking loudly on cell phones while colleagues are trying to work, not helping one’s team when workloads grow heavy, not returning phone calls or emails, indulging in verbal abuse of subordinates, stealing someone else’s food from the breakroom fridge.

In short, putting one’s own needs and interests above another’s.
How do you convince someone else to be kind, to empathize with others? You can’t. But consider these things:

• Unless your life has been an abysmal horror, most of us have benefited at one time or another from an act of compassion. If you thought about it, you could probably build a quite a list.
• People forget names, dates, maybe even faces, but they never forget how they were treated—with cruelty, or with kindness. Survivor stories inevitably include accounts of kindness that border on the heroic.

• Everyone has a lousy day, or month, or week. The best way to overcome that agitated feeling is to be kind to someone else in need, even if it’s opening a door.

And, as my friend said, if there is a karmic debt to be paid, you can suggest repayment—but it doesn’t have to come to you. That’s the real gift of kindness.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Getting Past Voice Mail

To get past voice mail, apply intelligent persistence.

  • Initiate contact multiple ways - phone, e-mail and mail. Often it takes 10 to 12 contacts before you get a response.
  • Leave relevant messages that address pain points.
  • Make sure you speak slowly and clearly, so the buyer can understand your name and number and write them down as you speak.
  • Your voice is a tool. Be sure you sound friendly and upbeat, even if on the seventh message.
  • Buyers will call back when they need what you're selling and they need it now.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Apply the Rule of 3

You achieve great success if you're willing to try new selling behaviors at least three times before passing judgement on the behavior's effectiveness.

Try No. 1 gives you the benefit of a new experience.

Try No. 2 allows you to apply what you learned and do it better.

Ditto for Try No. 3, but by now a deeper understanding of actions and outcomes allows you the benefit of wisdom and insight.

Apply the Rule of 3 to learning and sell more.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Law Of Value

Something to think about...No one pays more for a product or service than they think it's worth.

Monday, November 1, 2010

How Long Do Tough Times Last?

With just two months left in 2010, I wonder how sales people throughout the country are doing despite the economic crisis our country has been forced to deal with. The question most people ask is, "How long do tough times last?"

Following the Great Depression, in which output dropped by 30 percent and over 25 percent of the nation's work force was unemployed, a decade passed before the economy fully recovered. Fortunately for us in sales, no other downturn lasted anywhere near this long and the majority of downturns in the late 20th century lasted less than a year.

Good times always last longer than bad times, and bad times always get better!