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  • How Important Is Your Tone and Posture?

    Guest Post By Emmie Brown

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    As a coach, we begin every call with our coaching clients following up on actions items from the previous week. On a call with one of my clients, Josh, I asked him about using the cell phone technique. I was fully expecting to hear some enthusiasm and excitement from his experience. He wasn’t excited. Instead, Josh said he hated it! He said it was so awkward, he didn’t get referrals, and he didn’t like the technique at all.

    I was slightly shocked! The cell phone technique works, and it’s a good one! So, I asked him to role play with me. I wanted to find out just how he used the technique and how he was going about interacting with his prospects. He had the right words down. He is meticulous and always pays attention, so I knew something little was off.

    I proceeded to ask him how he was sitting in his chair. Was he leaning forward or backward? He said forward. This was a red flag indicator. I advised him to use the exact same wording, but lean back. Relax and allow the other person across from him to feel comfortable, and not overpowered by his presence. Guess what, two weeks later when he had tried that and I asked him again, he got more referrals! Welcome them!

    Our voice and our posture will make such a big difference in the sales process.

    In a study done by General Electric, body language makes up for 58% of our communication, 37% of communication is our tone of voice, and only 5% of our communication are the words we use. In sales, we spend so much time focusing on learning the right words, but we don’t really focus on how to deliver those words.

    In the sales process, there’s always initial contact, then after that initial contact, there’s always a part of the process where we are asking questions to identify our customers’ needs. We find out how we can serve them.

    After that, we present a solution to those needs. In this part, we want to find a need for a product of service. We need to show that we are actively listening. We don’t need to be too comfortable leaning back, or too assertive and excited where we are leaning forward. We just sit up straight in our chair. Our tone and speed of voice should be slow and low as we are really listening with sincerity.

    In the next part of the presentation, this is where we want to increase the enthusiasm, show them how excited we are about our product. We want to sell the sizzle! Our voice needs to speed up and get louder, convey the interest, and lean forward as we are talking about all the benefits of our product and what it can do for our prospect.

    Finally, we close for a decision and answer objections to get them moving forward. Here we switch gears again. We will lean back, and speak low and slow with our prospect.

    We need to change our tone and speed of voice and posture as we move through the sales process.  Our voice and body language changes as we try to get a point across.

    As a sales trainer, when I go into someone’s office, I want them to see me as someone who is confident and enthusiast. I want to bring the heat! I have to walk in the room like that! My tone of voice needs to be loud and fast and I need to be assertive. I will have body language that is forward and reaching out toward them. Unlike when asking for referrals. I need to lean into that conversation because that shows enthusiasm.

    When I sold educational books door-to-door, I needed to get something totally different across. I needed to appear none threatening. To do that, I would turn sideways as I waited for them to open the door so they would see my whole profile, and not think I was threatening as someone head on would be. My voice was low and slow for this presentation.

    To become better at sales, we shouldn’t just focus on the words we use, rather pay attention to our voice tone and speed, as well as our posture. These simple tips can make a world of difference in your presentation and interactions with the people you are doing business with.

    Emmie Brown is an executive level coach and an expert in the Psychology of Scripting. Emmie started her career with The Southwestern Company as a student intern at the University of North Carolina. She continued to work with Southwestern over the next 10 years as a top producing sales manager until joining Southwestern Consulting in 2009. Emmie has spent the last 4 years traveling the country as a professional sales trainer, executive coach and business consultant with Southwestern Consulting and the Success Starts Now! conference series. She is also the author of the audio series Talk Less, Sell More and a breakout presenter at the Success Starts Now! sales training conference.


  • The Secret of Being Enthusiastic

    Guest Post By: Dave Brown

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    In 6th grade I did my first ever speech competition. I did it because of Mrs. Bridges. She signed me up, without me knowing, and said, “Dave, you’re going to be phenomenal at it.”

    The speech I was doing was titled, “How The Camel Got It’s Hump.” I remember it was my first year in middle school down in Texas and I was competing with 7th and 8th graders who had already done this. I was scared! But Mrs. Bridges told me I had a “secret.” She was sure I was going to beat them with that secret.  She was going to teach me how to have enthusiasm.

    She knew that if I showed the energy and my enthusiastic nature I would catch the judges and win first place. So, that is what I will talk to you about today, because I still use that each day!

    Enthusiasm is contagious. It makes the improbable, probable. Do you think I won that speech competition?!

    WELL OF COURSE I DID!!! I took a first place win as a 6th grader, and the first one at that age level to do so!

    I used what Mrs. Bridges taught me from there and it stuck with me. I got into sports and every chance I had, I was getting my team powered up! I had better experiences and let that carry throughout my college career as an athlete. It’s so important!

    It’s also so important in the sales environment. People pick up on it! Whenever you have enthusiasm in place, you can do anything!

    Here is something I keep on me from Frank Bettger’s book, “How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling.”

    “Force yourself to act enthusiastic, and you will become enthusiastic. Make a high and holy resolve that you will double the amount of enthusiasm you have put out in your life and in your work. If you carry out that resolve you will probably double your income and double your happiness.”

    Your prospects will catch your enthusiasm! Show it, put it out there! Tell me about your scenarios and how you’ve seen a difference in your work and life by using this secret. Tweet me @davebrown_swc, comment here, or connect on LinkedIn.

    GO OUT THERE AND BE AWESOME YA’LL … (in my most enthusiastic voice!)

    Dave Brown is a senior partner and executive level coach at Southwestern Consulting and author of the upcoming book Painless Prospecting. Dave was a record breaking salesman for Southwestern Advantage, knocking on over 50,000 doors before the age of 25. He has spoken and trained over 100,000 sales professionals across the globe with Southwestern Consulting.


  • Keys to Successful First Impressions 

    Guest Post By: Amanda Johns Vaden

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    The Harvard Study of Communications said that it only takes seven seconds for you to make a first impression on another human being, only seven seconds. I think that study is so fascinating because of this one little thing. How many words do you really say in seven seconds?

    Do a seven-second countdown in your head right now.

    I bet you got out something like I did which was “Hi, it’s so nice to meet you. My name’s Amanda.” That took about 4 seconds

    What else could we possibly say in the next three seconds that’s going to make some overwhelmingly positive first impression?  The truth is probably not a whole lot.

    In fact, one of the parts of this study actually says that 38% of what makes up a first impression is how you sound. Only 7% of a first impression are the words you say. So all together, only 45% of a first impression has anything to do with the words coming out of your mouth.  That leaves 55% of a first impression to visual. It’s how you look, it’s how you dress. It’s how you stand, it’s how you shake a hand. It’s if you make solid eye contact. It’s your personal appearance.

    So many times, we focus on what to say to make a first impression. Well, studies show it’s not as much what you say, and again only 7% of the first impression had anything to do with the words that you say.

    Pay attention, very acutely, to how you spend those first seven seconds that will visually capture your prospect or customer.

    Do you stand up to greet them? Do you make eye contact with them? Do you immediately smile at them? How are you dressed? How are you standing? Do you stand up straight and confident? Do you remain seated? Do you shake their hand, or do you hug them? Do you light up with excitement? Or is it just an expected, “Hey, how are you?”

    You may be thinking those little things don’t make a difference, but they do. Don’t let your first impression be you texting someone else, and those first seven seconds are gone in a glimmer. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Be prepared that when they come in, that they have a visual first impression of you that’s going to last.

    Make your first impression count.

     

    Amanda Johns Vaden is a founding partner, executive coach and senior consultant at Southwestern Consulting. She has worked with over 400 sales offices nationwide.  Amanda is the author of the upcoming books Unspoken: Redefining Expectations Between  Men and Women in the World of Work and 4-Dimensional Follow up: Increasing Client Retention and Customer Loyalty Through Follow-Up.


  • Is Your Non-Verbal Communication Killing Your Sales?

    Guest Post By: Jay Jones

    So you have the perfect sales script, you know it really well and you are still struggling in your sales process. Have you ever stopped and taken the time to pay attention to how you are saying what you are saying? This seems to be the elephant in the room with many salespeople. Quite honestly, after years of coaching many salespeople, I have found that this is one of the least developed skills in a large number of people across all industries. People often fail to realize the power of their non-verbal communications.

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    Albert Mehrabian is well known as one of the leading pioneers in the understanding of communication. Mehrabian’s research showed the following:

    7% of communication is in the words that are spoken
    38% of communication is in the way that the words are said (tone, volume, timing, etc.)
    55% of communication is in the facial expressions and body language (which often changes the tone, volume, etc.)

    It is important to note that Mehrabian’s findings specifically applies to the communication of feelings and attitudes. So the questions that I have for you are: What is your attitude and your feelings that are being projected onto the prospect when you are in the sales process? Do you have a strong conviction about the value that you bring? Are you confident in who you are and your ability to deliver an amazing product or service? Are you excited about your product and services? Are you selling with a servant’s heart or can your prospect smell your commission breathe through the phone?
    It is often important for sales people to do a gut check to determine where they stand internally. Sales is a transference of emotion. If our beliefs are creating emotions that are not in alignment with what we are saying, the prospect will know. People buy from people that they like and trust. If you were on the receiving end of your sales communication, would you like and trust you?
    Here are a few suggestions that can improve your non-verbal communication:
    1. Audio record or video record yourself prospecting over the phone or giving your sales presentation. Often we can watch and listen to ourselves and immediately hear or see the areas in which we need to improve the way we sound or look when selling.
    2. Hang up a mirror for phone prospecting. This is an old technique, but still a really good one. When watching our own facial expressions while on the phone, we often start to smile and project our voice better.
    3. Role play with someone that will give you “honest” feedback about how you sound and look when selling.
    4. Work on your self-talk. You need to work diligently every day on what you believe about yourself, your company and your product and services. If you don’t have conviction, enthusiasm and confidence in what you are selling, how can you expect your prospect to be confident and enthusiastic to buy.
    5. Do vocal exercises. Even though you may not plan on trying out for American Idol, it will be helpful to have a pleasant tone and quality about your voice, especially when phone prospecting.
    6. Either own your accent or work to minimize it. If you are someone that has a thick accent, you must learn to articulate your words clearly. Especially on the phone, people get frustrated often times when they cannot understand what you are saying.
    7. Get clear on the self-image that you are trying to project. If you want to come across as a dynamic salesperson, then work to project that self-image though the way you sound and look while on the phone and in person.

     

    Jay Jones is an expert in lead generation and business development. He has worked extensively in the mortgage, real estate, insurance, telecommunications, healthcare and financial services industries. Jay is a dynamic speaker and regularly speaks for company and industry events.