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  • Sales Tips: 10 Creative Ways to Get People to Return Your Calls

    From: Gary Michels

    Man pleads for the phone to ring

    If you want to get people to talk with you, wouldn’t you improve your odds if they knew you were a fun person to talk with? Here are ten proven tips that really work. They are quick. They are easy. And they are a lot of fun.

    1)       Cheese Technique:

    I heard about this technique from one of my students I was training at one of our events. She explained to me that she was having a lot of success getting people to take and return her calls.

    She handed me a copy of Spencer Johnson’s book, “Who Moved My Cheese”. She said her company would buy hundreds of these books from the publisher and send them to the prospects they most wanted to meet. She would pen a note inside the book cover telling the prospect the book is about CHANGE and it only takes an hour to read it. She then would say, “I’ll call you next week to see what you think.” She got hundreds of appointments using this technique.

    I have used this technique recently sending my book out about growing your sales through new techniques and ideas. Saying sometimes CHANGE and trying new things works out for the best. I am having quite a bit of success.

    What literature can you send (article, brochure about your company, etc.) that you can write a note on and follow up the next week with?

    2)      Stalker Technique:

    There is definitely a fine line between being persistent and being a stalker. It is OK to be persistent and it is not OK to be a stalker. A stalker is someone who never gives up. They never take no for an answer. You can tell them no until you are blue in the face and they will still come after you. But someone who is persistent just wants an answer to close the deal. They are OK with a no. In fact, they will practically beg for a no so everyone can move on with their lives.

    If I keep getting someone’s voicemail, or they keep asking me to call back, I’ll finally make a statement like this, “I would really like to have your business… and I am the most persistent, not pushy sales person you will ever meet J; but I do not want to wear out my welcome. I will leave that up to you. Would you like for me to keep on calling you or should I move on?” (Give example of a personal client that took a long time before they finally worked with you).

    3)      Lotto Technique:

    This technique is fun and you can make it really funny also. What I do is send the prospect 3 Lotto tickets with a note that reads, “With a little luck, maybe we can get together. However, if these are the winning numbers – PLEASE do not call me back and tell me you won!”

    When you call back you can always start the conversation with some humor…. “Good. I see you still have your day job J, I was worried that you might have won the lotto since I never heard back from you.”

    4)      Baseball Card Technique:

    This works well for an elusive prospect that always seems to slip away without you being able to contact them. It especially works well if you know they are into sports. Send a pack of baseball cards (or a single card). Then include a note that says, “Just wanted to TOUCH BASE with you and see if you are still IN THE GAME, J. I would love to get a chance for a conference at the MOUND (or your office) and share what has been happening in …”

    5)      Free Ad Technique:

    If you or your company has a newsletter or blog, try this: If you keep getting your customer’s voicemail, leave a message telling them that if they would agree to a 15-20 minute appointment with you, you would like to give a free ad in your newsletter or on your blog. Being willing to give away what costs you practically nothing is a great tool to get people to move to action. People love things that are free or greatly discounted.

    6)      The Unimportant Call Technique:

    If I know the person has a sense of humor, I will leave a voicemail saying, “It is extremely UNimportant that you call me back.” It adds some levity to the situation and lets them know that my feelings haven’t been hurt. This also takes away some embarrassment they might have since they haven’t called me back as promised.

    7)      The “Just So You Know” Technique:

    This technique starts commitment and consistency and creates social responsibility. This is really a deal closer.

    A gentleman I read about was interviewing for a job at a coffee shop somewhere in the heart of Dallas Texas.  After about 30 minutes or so, he slid out of the booth and said, “Just so you know, I’m very interested in working with you, your company and doing this job…Are you interested in me?” Basically he was trying to close the deal right there.

    The owner had a twinkle in his eye, smiled, nodded and said yes. A few years later the man asked the owner why he got the job and the owner said you were the only one that attempted to close me. I know you could sell at that moment and that was what I was looking for.

    “Just so you know” can be used often…. Today I told a sales manager of a large furniture supply company … “Just so you know, I can already tell we would partner well together and if we were able to put this together I think we would really rock it.  How do you feel?”

    This technique could be used over the phone as well and that is why it made this list!

    8)      Skeletons in the Closet Technique:

    I have given many presentations over the years where the potential prospect never called me back. I am sure you all have also. I found rubber skeletons at a party supply store around the Halloween holiday. I bought as many as they had and then bought small boxes to put them in at Michael’s art supply store. Inside the box with the skeleton, I enclosed a note that said, “This is ME waiting for YOU to call me back” I have seen a few skeletons in people offices hanging on when I go to do the appointment.

    9)      Foot in the Door Technique:

    I have always said that if you are willing to go the extra mile to prospect for the business, it subtly shows you will go the extra mile once you have the business.

    Go to Walmart, Sears, the Flea market, Target or anywhere you can get dozens of infant shoes for cheap or even adult shoes for bargain prices. The send the shoe in some sort of box, preferably clear. Enclose a note that says, “I just would like to get my foot in the door.

    One of my recent clients that works for Aflac just tried this with of his “Elephant” sized prospects and told me of the 5 he sent out he set 3 appointments so far. One is looking good, one he still needs to go on the appointment to see what happens. The third one became a sale and is worth over $2000 commission to him.

    10)   I Tried Yours Technique:

    If the person you are calling on has a product that you can potentially buy for not a lot of $….. Buy some and try it out. For example if you wanted to sell your product to a winery…. But a bottle of wine and then send back the empty bottle of wine and say, “I tried your product … will you please try mine.

    So when you want people to take and return your calls? Lighten up. When you keep your requests for return calls fun, but get your point across, you show others that you might be the right kind of person they want to work with. You do not come across as desperate. You would like to have their business, but you are not going to die if you don’t get it.

    So go ahead and schedule your phone time each day and get excited about it!


  • Sales Tips: Characteristics of a Great Closer

    From: Gary Michels

    Gary MichelsAll great sales closers have a few things in common. They are:

    1. Great closers have a burning desire to close the sale. They know that closing one additional sale per day, per week, or even per month will greatly increase their income. As I have traveled around the country with great closers, I have noticed that they often have a score sheet on the wall or in their car and they can’t wait to fill in the numbers after closing the sale.
    1. Great closers really believe that their prospect is going to buy. Believing the customer will buy and selling with conviction greatly increases your chance of making the sale. Great closers expect success. They don’t think it was just “their lucky day.” In the car on the way to the presentation, they do a lot of positive self-talk, assuming the person is definitely going to buy. They say things like: “I am now pulling into the parking lot of my next big client!”, “I know that I have the best product and the best price for this customer, at this time. Now I will prove it to be true!”
    1. Great closers are sincere. People can tell when you are not sincere. Sincerity will always sell more than anything you do, and your lack of sincerity will almost always kill the deal. Look people directly in their eyes and tell them how it really is. Listen and really care about what they are trying to accomplish.
    1. Great closers talk low and slow. When you are calm and talk low and slow, your prospect will listen and believe you. If you talk too fast in a high pitched voice, you come across as pushy and tend to sound like someone they cannot trust.
    1. Great closers keep the close simple. Your prospect must fully understand what you are talking about.
    1. Great closers ask a lot of questions that will elicit a positive response. The more you get prospects saying “yes” during your presentation, the more likely they are to say “yes” during the close.
    1. Great closers realize the importance of names and examples. They will “name drop” appropriately throughout the closing process. Once again, remember that the close is supposed to be a natural ending to your presentation that makes people feel comfortable to move forward. By using names of other people whom they know, you subtly make them feel comfortable because they feel they are not taking such a huge risk. After all, others they know have done well with your product or service, and so should they.
    1. Great closers never argue with their prospects. They agree with objections and continue closing the sale. Whenever they must disagree with a prospect, they do it in a light, agreeable way. The rule of thumb that I like to follow is: “If I win the argument, I lose the sale!”
    1. Great closers never lose their cool. They let customers upset them occasionally, but they never show it. They always keep their voice low and a friendly expression on their face. If you get the reputation as a friendly sales rep, you can more easily build a large client base. Remember, more often than not, if people like you, they will overlook some of the bad points of your product or service.
    1. Great closers are politely persistent. They are not overbearing, yet they give prospects a number of chances to buy before judging whether or not the sale will actually happen. The key here is to walk the fine line of trying a little harder to get the sale without the prospect feeling any pressure from you.
    1. Great closers leave people happy. They make sure their prospects are in a good frame of mind before they leave. They want to brighten people’s day. They are also aware that their reputation precedes them in the community. Additionally, they know that by leaving prospects happy, they, too, will be happier, thus increasing their chance of making a sale at the next appointment. When I walk out the door of a prospect or client, I always say to myself: “I hope he or she thinks I am a cool guy!” If the prospect thinks that, I will likely get to work with that person at some point in the future.

    To learn more about Gary Michels visit his website here.


  • 5 WAYS TO GAIN CONTROL RIGHT NOW!

    Control the Moment

    My life has been a series of wonderful experiences.

    It is a pity I wasn’t there for most of them.

    ~Parta Nelson (actress 1920-2001)

    Wherever you are, be there!

    Right now is all you’ve got. If you miss a moment, it’s gone. The good news is that there is always another “right now” around the corner. The bad news is that it’s easy to miss that one, too. In fact, it’s easy to arrive at the end of your life having spent very little time in “right now”. That’s because it’s easy to obsess about the past or the future (two places that do not even exist if you think about it). Recognize this, you have never been in the past and you will never be in the future. You will only forever be “right now”.

    Try this:

    1. Think of an area at work or in your personal life where things are not working.
    2. Consider that you are probably stuck thinking about the past or future where that issue is concerned.
    3. Jot down what you CAN control right now.
    4. Get creative and passionate about what you CAN control right now.
    5. Do SOMETHING right now!!!!

    Always remember this: When today is over, there is one more yesterday and one less tomorrow . . . that you can never change.

    Have an incredible day!

    Gary Michels


  • 10 TIPS TO EARN TRUST FROM BUYERS

     Building Major Confidence In You

     It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.  ~Author Unknown

     Building Trust

    The other day I was thinking about what makes a customer or prospect have confidence in the person who is selling to them. So I thought I’d write about how to ensure the confidence of your customers and potential clients.

    First of all, you must believe yourself that you are absolutely their best choice. I always tell myself I am the best salesperson, working for the best company, with the best products and services, for this person, at this time. Psyche yourself up with this kind of self-talk and you’ll be well on your way to successful selling.

    In addition to your self-talk about your ability to sell, here is my top 10 list of things you can do to establish confidence in the folks to whom you sell:

    1. Write an article or story about your company or yourself, what you are doing to help others and what results/benefits those people received.
    2. Get prospects to help you in your presentation. Maybe pass out materials or ask for directions on how to get to the appointment.
    3. Be as prepared as possible. Don’t be fumbling with papers, tripping over your verbiage, or moving with a tentative step.
    4. Tell a story about how you helped another client or possibly even film one of your workshops that you feel real good about. Then you can take some of the video highlights and show or email short clips to a possible prospect.
    5. Carry a printed list of people who have worked with you in the past. You may be able to reference someone from it.
    6. Be a name dropper, but be careful not to come across as bragging, but rather, sharing to build a trust base in you and the company.
    7. Have “Champion Letters” on hand. These are testimonials from some of your most loyal customers. Try to have one letter that addresses each of the objections you may get during the sales process.
    8. Get a referral and then ask the person who gave you the referral to personally introduce you or call ahead and put in a good word before you make the first contact.
    9. Let your clients know you are not a fly-by-night company and that you make a point of making regular contact with customers.
    10. Lastly, make people feel as though you really do care about them. No need for “commission breath”. Come across as really wanting to help them achieve what they want.

    If they trust you, they will probably eventually buy from you. It is all about that confidence that they MUST have in you that will determine your success.

    Take one of the items on the list and put it into action today, then continue using it bit by bit until it starts becoming second nature. Next, move to another item, and so on…

    Make it a great day,

    Gary Michels

    gmichels@southwesternconsulting.com


  • 10 DAILY POINTS LEADS TO SALES SUCCESS

    Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier. ~Colin Powell

    Success Tips

    I always have a sheet on or near my desk with my Critical Success Points. Of course, the points have changed over the years depending on the different careers I’ve had (real estate, fundraising, network marketing, training sales, etc). Your points will change based on where you are in life and what career and projects you are working on.

    The list of 10 Points below is used daily at our company, Southwestern Consulting™.  When you work on these points on a consistent basis, you put yourself at a higher level than the average producer. You can use these 10 points as a skeleton to create your own that are critical to your success. I suggest you write out the 10 Points and post them where you can review them regularly.

    Turn It Up a Notch Daily with These 10 Points

    • How many calls and appointments made before 8 AM? How many messages left?
    • How are my phone appointment skills?
    • Am I closing word-for-word for the appointment?
    • Am I trial closing?
    • Am I using 3rd party selling?
    • How many appointments ahead am I? 10-15 appointments ahead at all times.
    • Progress report on how much potential business set up, signed, and still needed to hit goals every week. (Daily attention – Friday Summarize)
    • What did I do sales-wise that was productive between 4-6 PM?
    • How am I doing in my Daily Point game? Am I 2 strong EVERY DAY?
      (Each appointment = 1 point; Demonstration/Workshop = 1 point)
    • Am I spending at least 15 minutes putting positive thoughts into my mind? 10/10 Affirmations?
    • Am I spending at least 20% of my time going after LARGE groups that can produce LARGE results?
    • Am I asking EVERYONE I meet for a REFERRAL?

    Give this a try for 4 weeks and share with us your successes!
    Gary Michels, Co-founder Southwestern Consulting™

    gmichels@southwesternconsulting.com


  • How to be a Top Producer

    The MINDSET to Top Producers:

    1.  On both good and bad days we have to remember that the results we get are from the thoughts we keep holding on to.

    • To accomplish anything in life, we have to have a dream and want it so bad we cannot live without it.

    2.  We have to see ourselves as entrepreneurs and not independent contractors or employees.

    • We have to have a love affair with the business of selling…we have to be passionate about it every day…don’t focus on the parts of the job we don’t like.

    3.  We have to remember the major reason for financial failure is working on something you don’t like for a long period of time.

    • We have to remember in life and business; it is never easy or fair.

    4.  There is not security in this business…there are only opportunities and with opportunities there is massive failure…get used to it, it is part of becoming successful and winning.

    5.  We have to develop the ability to bounce back from setbacks and failures quickly.

    • We can never let our dream out of our minds, even for a moment.  When the dream comes out of your mind it gives the negative a chance to come in.
    • Spend time with the right people…who are the right people and are you spending time with them now?

    6.  Don’t be impressed with your success and your intelligence, because there are smarter and brighter people than us in the world.

    7.  We have to quickly get out of fantasy land and get into reality to build our business.

    8.  We have to be mentally prepared for the cycles, because success is never one long upward trend.

    • Work 8 hours a day if you want to be good and you want to get paid…work a lot more if you want to be great and rich

    9.  We can find all the answers if we are willing to keep looking.  Lets become solution driven, not problem driven.

    10.  You have to become the eternal optimist

    • We have to work every day on speed and urgency.
    • Make GREAT service your obsession.

    11.  Develop the mindset that honesty is the best policy with everyone.

    12.  Work to keep your mind clear.

    • Focus on making decisions quickly instead of worrying about being right or wrong…just get it done.
    • Decide in advance you are never going to have a bad day. 
    • Do what you are supposed to do, when you are supposed to do it…whether you like it or not.

    13.  Remember emotions and drama don’t strengthen the mindset.

     

    Go make it a great day,

    Gary Michels

    www.turnitupanotch.com

     


  • How to Keep Your Schedule on Track and See Results – Day 3

    The Schedule Slinky

    Here is how the negative slinky happens:

    An event occurs, you get off track, and your SCHEDULE SUFFERS.

    Once you get behind you become consumed with catching up and your THOUGHTS SCATTER.

    As your thoughts become scattered, you lose focus, it becomes easy to get overwhelmed and your ATTITUDE FALTERS.

    As your attitude starts to fall apart, your PRODUCTION SLOWS.

    Finally, because over time you’ve had great results and now you don’t, your SELF-ESTEEM CRASHES.

    The solution is to REFOCUS yourself and put your self-esteem into your work habits and not your production. A schedule is being where you’re supposed to be, doing what you’re supposed to be doing and doing the little things right. It doesn’t have anything to do with producing or not.

    Here is the positive slinky effect:

    First you convince yourself that as long as you are on schedule then you are doing a good job and immediately you gain confidence and your SELF-ESTEEM INCREASES.

    Now you are feeling better and purely focused on doing what you said you would do when you said you would do it and you get back ON SCHEDULE.

    Once you are back in the right places at the right times, it becomes easier to perform and your THOUGHTS REFOCUS.

    Now that you have control of your previously wandering thoughts, your ATTITUDE IMPROVES.

    Because you have a great attitude, the numbers game takes effect and often the next thing to happen is your PRODUCTION INCREASES.

    That is why SCHEDULE IS YOUR LIFELINE.


  • Achieve Your Dreams

    Achieve Your Dreams

    It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. ~ Joanne Kathleen Rowling

    As I talk to people around the world, I have heard many say more than once that “my perfect dream would be….” or something to that effect. So, I thought I would talk a bit about this today.

    The key to achieving your dreams is simply making a choice to do just that – go for it. The most common difference between those who have an AWESOME life and those who don’t is simply the choices they make every day. It is not their circumstances, the way they were raised, or even their education as most people think. Most people who don’t accomplish their dreams simply choose not to. They just are not willing to do what is necessary to have a life that good.

    Think about your life for a minute . . .

    What do you want and what will it take to get it? What do you really want in all the areas of your life? So why haven’t you been doing what it will take to get there? I imagine, of course, you are doing some of the things, but why not all of them or most of them?

    Before you start with the excuses, ask yourself if you really had to, could you? Let me make it a little clearer how this is a choice. I don’t like to think these thoughts, but it will help you understand that you can do it if you want it bad enough.

    If the person or persons you care most about in life depended on you living your dream, could you absolutely 100% do it?

    We both know the answer… of course you could and you would.

    Once again, life is a series of choices.  I like to call them the Y’s in the road.

    In most cases, if you take the easy path, the one most people take, you will experience short-term gain (it’s easier to live a life that is ¼ of ½ or what you actually want) and long-term pain (the regret of never going for what you want).

    Let’s look at it this way:

    Choosing the ½ life nets you short-term gain, long-term pain.

    Choosing to really go for what you want nets you short-term pain (e.g. major adjustments need to be made to move in this direction, which could result in changing jobs, moving house, ending relationships, any number of what may be considered big stressors) and the long-term gain (once you’re firmly set on the path, the personal and professional joy and satisfaction will far outweigh the initial upset).

    I WANT YOU TO REALLY THINK ABOUT THIS LAST THOUGHT. How can some of your choices change for long-term gain by taking the short-term pain?

    Start “Turning It Up A Notch” by making the choice every day to FEEL GOOD…Because when you FEEL GOOD, you are ATTRACTIVE… when you are ATTRACTIVE, you have AMAZING PRODUCTIVITY… when you have AMAZING PRODUCTIVITY, you have EXTRAORDINARY RESULTS… and when you have EXTRAORDINARY RESULTS, you feel even better!  This is what I call the CIRCLE OF SUCCESS! And when does success start? Success Starts Now!™. That’s right, baby!

    So make the choice to live a life of pure magic. Pay the price of short-term pain, receive the long-term gain and kick up your heels and dance – life is for LIVING!

    What one thing can you do today to move yourself toward your dream? Doesn’t matter how small, even just leafing through a magazine about people doing the things you want to do is not insignificant…it starts your mind believing what you want it attainable.

    Make it an incredibly successful week.

     

    Gary Michels

    Co-Founder Southwestern Consulting™
    408-888-4848
    www.southwesternconsulting.com

    www.turnitupanotch.com
     

                           

     

     

     

     

     


  • Characteristics of a Great Closer

    All great sales closers have a few things in common.

    1. Great closers have a burning desire to close the sale. They know that closing one additional sale per day, per week, or even per month will greatly increase their income. As I have traveled around the country with great closers, I have noticed that they often have a score sheet on the wall or in their car, and they can’t wait to fill in the numbers after closing the sale.

    2. Great closers really believe that their prospect is going to buy. Believing the customer will buy and selling with conviction greatly increases your chance of making the sale. Great closers expect success. They don’t think it was just “their lucky day.” In the car on the way to the presentation, they do a lot of positive self-talk, assuming the person is definitely going to buy. They say things like: “I am now pulling into the parking lot of my next big client!” “I know that I have the best product and the best price for this customer, at this time. Now I will prove it to be true!”

    3. Great closers are sincere. People can tell when you are not sincere. Sincerity will always sell more than anything else you do, and your lack of sincerity will almost always kill the deal. Look people directly in their eyes and tell them the truth. Listen and really care about what they are trying to accomplish.

    4. Great closers talk low and slow. When you are calm and talk low and slow, your prospect will listen and believe you. If you talk too fast in a high-pitched voice, you come across as pushy and tend to sound like someone they cannot trust.

    5. Great closers keep the close simple. Your prospect must fully understand what you are talking about, so be straightforward.

    6. Great closers ask a lot of questions that will elicit a positive response. The more you get prospects saying “yes” during your presentation, the more likely they are to say “yes” during the close.

    7.. Great closers realize the importance of names and examples. They will “name drop” appropriately throughout the closing process. Once again, remember that the close is supposed to be a natural ending to your presentation that makes people feel comfortable enough to move forward. By using names of other people whom they know, you subtly make them feel comfortable because they feel they are not taking such a huge risk. After all, others they know have done well with your product or service, and so should they.

    8. Great closers never argue with their prospects. They agree with objections and continue closing the sale. Whenever they must disagree with a prospect, they do it in a light, agreeable way. The rule of thumb that I like to follow is: “If I win the argument, I lose the sale!” One way to disagree in an agreeable way is to say, “I totally understand how you feel. Let’s move on to the next point.” If the disagreement occurs on a major point that could derail the sale, you could say, “If we were to work together, what would it take for us to move forward on this point?”

    9. Great closers never lose their cool. If customers upset them occasionally, they never show it. They always keep their voice low and have a friendly expression on their face. If you get the reputation of being a friendly sales rep, you can more easily build a large client base. Remember, more often than not if people like you, they will overlook some of the negative points of your product or service.

    10. Great closers are politely persistent. They are not overbearing, yet they give prospects a number of chances to buy before judging whether or not the sale will actually happen. The key here is to walk the fine line of trying a little harder to get the sale without the prospect feeling any pressure from you.

    11. Great closers leave people happy. They make sure their prospects are in a good frame of mind before they leave. They want to brighten people’s days. They are also aware that their reputation precedes them in the community. Additionally, they know that by leaving prospects happy, they too will be happier, thus increasing their chance of making a sale at the next appointment. When I walk out the door of a prospect or client, I always say to myself: “I hope he or she thinks I am a cool guy!” If the prospect thinks that, I will likely get to work with that person at some point in the future.

    Gary Michels
    CoFounder Southwestern Consulting™
    Author/Professional Speaker

    CONNECT WITH GARY ON LINKEDIN


  • Accountability is Huge

    It is now almost March and I have noticed something interesting about the parking lots of the gym I go to in San Jose and the gym  I have been going to in Texas. It seems to me the number of cars and people in the gym was way larger a few weeks ago and even more so right after the new year. Each week the numbers of people has gone down a bit.   I asked the employees working the front desk if there was any truth to this observation. They told me this happens ever year and by March 1st all of those that had made “New Years Resolutions” had all but abandoned them and the only folks still coming were the regulars.

    So I ask you, what is happening? Why can’t people keep resolutions up? Whether it is going to the gym, spending more time with family and friends, being more productive at work, etc. What is it we can do to keep these resolutions and make them changes for a lifetime… not just a few weeks. It is good old discipline to your ACCOUNTABILITY. If you are truly committed to having a better life, tell everybody you know about your resolutions and goals and ask them to help you by holding you accountable. If you are truly committed to “Turn It Up A Notch” in your life, then you must embrace the concept of accountability.

    I like the saying “you should burn the boat and not give yourself a way back to the old you who hits the snooze bar.” Because if you burn the boat, there is no going back when the going gets tough. You cannot go back to your old habits ….NO MATTER WHAT.

    I want to recommend to you all one of the most compelling books I have ever read. It is called QBQ, The Question Behind The Question by John Miller. It is an easy read and really digs into the whole idea of accountability.

    Make it a great week.

    Gary Michels

    Co-founder Southwestern Consulting™

    www.turnitupanotch.com