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  • Category Archives Emmie Brown


    Free-Call-Southwestern-ConsultingSouthwestern Consulting™ invites you to be on our free monthly conference call – tonight’s topic:

    “Conviction Matters – Growing Your Belief in

    What You Do”

    Here from our own Top Producing Sales Professionals including, New York Times Bestselling Author, Rory Vaden, Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) and Business Consultant, Ron Marks and Senior Partner and Sales Trainer, Emmie Brown.

    This call is FREE and you won’t want to miss out on this opportunity to be inspired by true top producing practitioners in the art of sales.

    Dial in: 712.432.0404 

    Code: 555575#

    7PM CST

  • Benefits Sell!

    We have all met salespeople who data dump a lot of information, a lot of facts, and a lot of details that don’t really resonate with us.  We have also met those salespeople who oversell, who go on and on about advantages of buying a product or service that don’t really mean anything to us. 

    To create a presentation that really resonates – a presentation that really means something to each particular client, we must first know the difference between features, advantages, and benefits.

    1. Features — what products have
    2. Advantages — what features do
    3. Benefits — what those features mean

    Imagine a continuum, on one side are features, in the middle are advantages, and on the other side are benefits.  If you want a presentation that really rocks, move away from features.  Sell advantages, but even more importantly, sell benefits.

    Let’s talk in detail about the differences between the three:

    1.  What is a feature?  A feature is a distinguishing characteristic of your product or service.  It is usually physical or tangible. 

    Example:  CAR – this vehicle is equipped with anti-lock brakes and heated seats

                         HOUSE – pool, in the Sherman Oaks school district

    Everyone has had a negative experience with a salesperson that data dumps.  Just to demonstrate how ineffective this could be, I’m going to share with you some features of a copier.  Just think about how hearing these features make you feel:

    • approximately 3W of energy used
    • Up to 50-sheet DADF (Duplex Automatic Document Feeder1)
    • 500-sheet cassette and 50-sheet multipurpose tray
    • PCL 5e/6 language support
    • 33.6 Kbps Super G3 fax
    • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed3
    • Single Cartridge System 

    I don’t know what any of that does for me.  I don’t know what these are.  They mean nothing to me.  The problem with selling features is that we don’t care about features.  We care about what those features do for us. 

    “People don’t want to buy a quarter-​​inch drill, they want a quarter-​​inch hole.”  Theodore Levitt  American economist and professor at Harvard Business School.

    2. What is an advantage?  An advantage is what that feature does. 

    Example: The anti-lock brake system is designed to bring you to a complete and straight stop without allowing the wheels to skid. This prevents loss of control and avoids sliding off the highway or into oncoming traffic.

    Example:  The 50-sheet Duplex Automatic Document Feeder (DADF) will allow you to copy or color scan from one or two-sided originals and produce two-sided output with ease.

    3.  What is a benefit?  A benefit is what that feature means to your prospect.

    Example: What it means is that the 50-sheet Duplex Automatic Document Feeder (DADF) allows you to cut your paper usage as much as half and that you can save money if you are printing at a high volume.

    Example: Door-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags  to keep everyone in the car safe in the event of a side-impact crash. A dual headrest mounted DVD player screens might mean a lot to you if you have children.  It could mean that your children stay safe.  It could mean keeping your kids happy and keeping yourself sane on long road trips.

    But, if you don’t have kids these things don’t matter to you.  Right now in my life I am more interested in having a wooden steering wheel, so that I can tap my nails on it.  That is actually a feature that is important to me.

    Just as ineffective as the salesperson who data-dumps is the salesperson who sells benefits that don’t really matter to us. 

    Our job before we get to the presentation stage of the sales process is to ask the right questions to identify someone’s needs, so that we can present the advantages that are important to our to them.

    If you would like to really have a stronger presentation, here is an exercise that you can do:

    Take a look at your product or services

    1. Make a list of all of the top features
    2. List the advantages – describe what all of those features might do for your customers
    3. List the benefits
    4. Craft questions that would elicit your prospect to admit that they have a need for that benefit


    If you can fully explain what each of the features does and what that really means to your prospect, you have an advantage over your competition.  You have a double advantage if you are smart enough to figure out how to sell the benefits that really matter to them.

    Remember: Features tell – benefits sell!


    Emmie Young



  • The Introduction: Turning Objections into Selling Points

    The introduction is one of the least talked about parts of the sales cycle; but it is the most important part.  It is in this part of the sales process in which you:

    1. Build rapport

    2. Create a need for your prospect to buy your product or service

    3. Cover objections in advance 

    4. Create a buying atmosphere. 


    Today, I’m not going to share any basic ideas on how to do a good Introduction.  Whenever, I share something that is particularly high-level, I like to say, “Get ready. This stuff is some serious Jedi, ninja sales material.”  So, here is some serious Jedi, ninja sales material.  Today, I am going to talk to you about how to take all of the objections that you already know you are going to get and turn them into the reason WHY your prospect will buy from you.

    Step 1You already know all of the objections that you are going to get.  It’s not like every 5 or 10 years all the buyers of the world get together and decide that they are going to come up with some new objections to stump all the sales people of the world.  Every objection out there is a version of an objection that has been around for hundreds of years.  Make a list of all of the legitimate objections that you expect to get.  Not the objections that are really excuses or the ones that you should be able to prevent if you do your homework correctly; but the ones that are really frustrating to you right now. 

    Step 2Plan into your introduction how to bring up the objection first:  The Concept: Whoever brings up the objection first wins.  I might get laughed at big time for sharing this example, but it is a good one.  In the final rap battle in the movie, Eight Mile, Eminem’s character is battling against Papa Doc.  In his rap he brings up every ‘dis’ that Papa Doc can make on him first.  He says, “I am white, I am a bum, I do live in a trailer with my mum.  I did get jumped by all 6 of you guys, etc. etc.”  When he passes the mic back, he says, “Here tell these people something they don’t know about me.”  When Papa Doc comes up he has nothing to say, so he loses the final rap battle and the championship.  We need to do the same thing in sales.  Sometimes if there is an issue, we try to hide it.  We don’t bring it up, and then the prospect does in the form of an objection at the end.  They win.  You bring it up first.  You win.

    Step 3Turn the objection into the REASON why your prospect will and should buy from you.  Learn to look at your obstacles as the opportunity, and present it to your prospect that way. For example, you can use a reason why many people have been procrastinating as a reason they should act now.  “So many people are price cautious right now.  I can promise you that our rates are good.  In fact, last week I had a client that got a quote for us, and then put I don’t know how many hours into trying to find a better rate, just to find out that our rates were just as good, and our service was hands down better.” 

    In summary, if you have guts enough to face your objections head on at the beginning of a sales cycle, often times it can become the selling point that actually causes someone to buy from you.  Make a list of those objections, plan how you will bring them up first, and look for the opportunity in that obstacle and you will find it.

    Your Partner in Success,

    Emmie Young

    Professional Sales Trainer

    Southwestern Consulting


    How many of you would like to be successful, financially independent by retirement? Out of 100 people, studies show that by age 65:

    20% are dead

    50% are broke

    25% are financially dependent

      3% are financially independent

      2% are wealthy


    1.     DON’T SET GOALS

    People spend more time planning their vacations than they do planning their lives. How many of you have 5-year goals, three-year goals, 1-year goals, goals for 6 months?

    Only 2% of Americans have goals written down. WRITE THEM DOWN AND REVIEW THEM DAILY.

    2.     DON’T HAVE A PLAN

    Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

    Alice:              “Where do all these roads lead?”
    Ches. Cat:      “Where do you want them to go?”
    Alice:              “I don’t know.”
    Ches. Cat:      “Then it doesn’t matter which road you take. You’ll eventually arrive  somewhere.”

    Many of us just float along.


    The major questions you need to answer: What are you going to live your life for?


    The problem with the economic bubble that we were in just a few years ago is that it allowed many sales people to  develop the wrong habits.  For a while, so many of us could  just be order takers, never learning how to be disciplined prospectors.  Now, those people are struggling because in this economy it is more of a numbers game than it has been in a long time.  We all have to actively prospect many potential clients to find the ones that are a fit for our product or service.  So, if you want to guarantee failure, do not see  enough prospects.     


    Another bad habit that many have is their attitude.  If you catch yourself complaining about the lack of qualified buyers, or about regulations, or about how you have to work harder now for the same or less money-then you are focused on the things that you cannot control.  Continue to do that and you will succeed in making your life measurably worse by attracting more of what you don’t want into your life.


    The Bible says, “As ye sow so shall ye reap.” You can’t plant corn then harvest wheat. You can’t manipulate, crush, abandon people on the climb to the top. You’ve got to surround yourself and help as many people get what they want and you’ll be sure to get what you want.
                        No one goes his way alone.

    Get involved with something bigger than yourself: Volunteer at a homeless shelter, take a rookie in your office under your wing, get involved in your church. Self-absorption is deadly. Again, you will get what you want out of life; if you help others get what they want.


     Unfortunately, being average is easy. I once heard if you want to be average, find an average person … do what they do (especially in their spare time) and you’re guaranteed to be average.

    Am I willing to discipline myself to excel? Or, am I content to be average?

    Unemployment is at 9.8% right now. Are you thankful that you are employed?  Are you making the most of it every day?

    8.     EXPECT TO FAIL

    Are you expecting to fail or succeed? What do you picture? Example: In golf, using your bad ball when you approach a hole with a huge water hazard – you just know you won’t get it over.

    Has your manager ever set a contest and you made up your mind from the beginning that there was no way that you would win?  Do you ever walk into an appointment knowing that you are not going to make the sale?  Do you think your prospect is not going to be able to afford what you have to offer?

    The problem is that too many sales people decide ahead of time for their prospect that they are not going to buy, and then they get frustrated because they didn’t.


    Apply the Common Denominator of Success: Successful people form the habit of doing things failures don’t like to do.

    So many people in this world say, “Someday I will, or I really ought to, or I’m going to.“

    Look at your behavior and look at your goals. Does your current behavior match your goals?  If your answer is “no,” you either need to change your behavior or lower your goals. 

    I’ll close with this question, “What are you doing NOW to create your own Success?”

    To your success,




    Emmie Young

  • 10 Tips for More Appointments

    1. Have set times that you phone for appointments every day—call reluctance prevents us from doing it
    2. Replenish your prospect list daily—business journal, lead lists, door knocking, internet searches, referrals.  Rule of thumb:  for every reach, add a new market record.
    3. Have written positive affirmations that we refer to daily–Restores your confidence.
    4. Use 3rd-party testimonials in your approach—people would rather here from someone else about your service.
    5. Go where you have momentum- industry, location, product-line.
    6. Connect with people on LinkedIn.
    7. Have your vision board where you can see it.
    8. Have a daily goal. If you don’t know where you are going, you won’t get there.
    9. Have written answers to objections at your reach.
    10. Make it fun:  word for the day, prize if you hit your goal, 2/3 on the tough days.

    Your Partner in Success,

    Emmie Young

  • Tailored Closes & Appointment Setting for the Insurance Industry

    You need to get in front of your clients more in order to retain their business and create some new business.  Whenever you have a review with a client, it is a total win-win.  You have an opportunity to cross-sell, and worst case scenario, you build a relationship.  A relationship is like a bank account. 

    In the case of your relationship with your clients, you have to constantly be putting in deposits because every time they have someone tell them they could be saving money elsewhere, when they see a silly, cheesy commercial advertising lower prices, or they have some negative experience of any kind, withdrawals are being made.  You have to have a sufficient “balance.”   If the “withdrawal” is too large and the account goes in the red, your client will leave you.

    Closing questions are designed to naturally funnel your client into choosing to set an appointment.  Instead of asking an open-ended question, ask a series of “Choice of 2 Positive Questions.”   

    1. When would work better for you to come in, this week or next week? (give them a choice of two weeks)
    2. I am super booked every morning, but I do have a spot either on Tuesday or Thursday afternoon? (give them a choice of two days)
    3. I have 2pm or 4pm open.  Which one works best for you? (give them a choice of two times)

     After the appointment is set, solidify it.  Ask, “So, does ___ at ____pm definitely work for you?”  And ask them to get their calendar and write it in there with a little smiley face because getting together with you will be fun.  Remember, missed appointments cost you time, which is money.

    If they give you any kind of objection during the close for an appointment, here are a couple of recloses you can use:

    The Crystal Ball:
    “If we were to possibly save you money, would you be happy that you met with me?” or “If we were to find that you didn’t have the right coverage, and you were able to fix that, would you be happy that you met with me?”

    A Tie-down:
    “Having the right kind of coverage is important to you, isn’t it?”

    The goal is to get them to say “yes” here.  As soon as they say “yes,” go right back into the “choice of two positive questions” that lead into the appointment.

    Your Partner in Success,

    Emmie Young
    Professional Sales Trainer
    Southwestern Consulting

  • Vision and Goals

    Activity is where it all starts.  Nothing works unless you do.  Once your habits are in place, then you can start working on the technical details.  You have to be getting on the phone before you can begin work on how to get better on the phone.  You have to be running more appointments before you can work on how to really sell and get referrals from those appointments. 

    An important factor for holding yourself accountable is to keep track of what we at SWC call, Critical Success Factors.  Our coaching clients use this tool to enter their daily, weekly or monthly stats and goals.  These are personalized for every one of our coaching clients and it not only gives us a tool to monitor your successes, but it helps to hold you accountable to the activity that is going to bring you the results that you want. 

    Set some short-term goals for yourself first.  An insurance agent may set the short-term goal of selling 40 Life Policies by Dec 1 to be the #1 Life Producer in the District, and to pay off $20,000 in debt by April 15, 2011.  Think of your own, be very specific, and then write them down.  Once they are in writing, they will seem real to you.

    Then, get excited about your long-term goals  Start to think about exactly how much you want to earn, decide specifically how much money you want to save and in what timeframes, exactly how much time you want to be able to take off, how often, and what you will do during that time.  You can create a dream board for these long-term goals.  Write them on the board, cut out pictures, hang photos, or whatever you can find to give you a visual reminder of what you are working towards.

    Have a great week and enjoy the time that you have to figure out your goals.  That is special quality time with yourself and you deserve it!




    Emmie Young
    Professional Sales Trainer & Speaker