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  • Transcending Call Reluctance by Living On Purpose 

    Guest Post By: Steve Reiner

    Your heart starts beating faster; you’re sweating; you can actually feel your blood pressure rising. If somebody was observing you, they might think you’re about to start your first day of Navy Seal BUD/S Training by the way you’re acting. But for a lot of us it’s much worse than that. No it doesn’t entail dodging bullets and jumping into a freezing cold ocean. Rather, it involves picking up the phone and dialing up prospective clients. Some people refer to it as prospecting. Others call it the phone approach. Most agree it’s the most stressful part of their job. But why is that? Why do so many sales professionals grapple daily with call reluctance?

    It’s the fear of rejection; the fear of failure; the fear of not being perfect; the fear of not being successful. Whichever fear you can relate to the most, it can become a very emotional experience which can literally stop you in your tracks from doing the very thing you need to do make you successful. So what are you going to do about?

    Motivational speakers will tell you not to let your emotions determine your actions but rather make your actions dictate your emotions. So we hear things like, “Act enthusiastic and become enthusiastic; let your motion create your emotion; fake it until you make it; do it scared and face your fears.” So you force your way onto the phone, praying the person on the other end does not recognize your anxiety, hoping that you experience some level of success so that you can get the momentum going, making dialing easier and less painful. But there’s a problem.

    The next morning you’re back to square one having to do it all over again. The momentum you picked up yesterday doesn’t necessarily carry over to today and once again you find yourself having to push through the resistance, face your fears and act enthusiastic in order to become enthusiastic. Pretty soon you start waking up to the question, “Is all this stress really worth it?” You’re tired of being on the rollercoaster; the mental effort is exhausting; the progress seems short lived and not sustainable; your effort doesn’t feel authentic and everything feels forced. But it doesn’t have to be and the good news is it’s not about acting differently – it’s about thinking differently.

    It’s about operating out of your purpose rather than your emotion. When you operate out of your emotion, you’re condemned to a rollercoaster life of highs and lows, depending on how you feel about a situation in the given moment. Your feelings come from your thoughts and if you’re thinking about how unpleasant it’s going to be to get on the phone than naturally you’re going to feel scared, anxious and stressed and your actions are going to follow suit. However when you learn to operate out of your purpose, everything changes. Now your actions become seamless and sustainable; with your purpose triggering your actions, as you become inspired, your actions become elevated; as you become fearless, your actions become energized. When our actions come out of our purpose, we’re no longer having to survive our circumstances but we’re able to thrive through them. Rather than having to deal with adversity, we’re able to embrace it. Rather than having to get through it, we’re able to transcend it. But how is this possible and what exactly does it mean to operate out of our purpose?

    Your purpose is the cause for how you live your life. It’s the belief for why you do everything. Unfortunately most people have never taken the time to truly identify their purpose and therefore they often feel like they’re running on a treadmill; just doing everything they can to keep their head above water. However when we have a compelling purpose for why we exist, now all of a sudden we have an extra bounce in our step; we become inspired to work towards a cause the fuels us, that empowers us, that equips us to keep our perspective, no matter what the circumstances.

     

    PurposeEquation

    Now if you listen to different trainers you’ll hear some say there is no right or wrong purpose; it’s whatever inspires you for how you desire to live your life. After being a producing coach for over 25 years, however, and experiencing what truly inspires people to live with great energy, passion and significance, I’ve come to conclude that if your purpose is not about serving others, then it’s a weak and shallow purpose that in the end will not truly empower you with the tools and motivation to live out an inspired life. Of course that’s just my humble opinion. So what does this life of purpose look like?

    My purpose is to equip people to be fearless, calling out greatness in everybody I meet. The reason this purpose means so much to me is because I used to live in fear for the first 21 years of my life afraid to ever step out of my comfort zone and do anything to really stretch me and as a result, I felt like I was just treading water, stagnant, scared, depressed, anxious and very unfulfilled. Thank God I met somebody in college who saw something in me that I did not see in myself. It was the first time somebody saw me not for who I was but for who I could become. It was the first time I ever had anybody who really believed in me. He helped me get on a trajectory in which I was pushing through my comfort zone, transcending my fears and accomplishing things I never dreamed possible. It was through this experience where I developed the purpose to equip people to be fearless, calling out greatness in everybody I meet. The reason this purpose means so much to me is because I think about where my life would be now if I had not had that role model. Without my purpose as my GPS for how to live my life, it would be very easy to revert back to my old ways: scared, depressed, anxious and unfulfilled. Instead, my purpose causes me to step up my game, to be the man I desire to be, to live out a cause that’s bigger than myself. So how does one’s purpose help to transcend call reluctance?

    When your purpose, for example, is to be a positive difference maker, you’re no longer thinking, “I hope I don’t get rejected; I hope I don’t fail; I hope I make this sale.” These thoughts come out of a self-centered focus in which it’s no wonder you’re fearful to get on the phone because you’re drawing your identify from a scary place – what people think about you; you’re trying to gain your confidence from your production – something you have no control over. When your emotions are driving your behavior and you’re focused on yourself and trying to control something you have no control over, it’s no wonder why we have call reluctance. However, when your purpose is to build others, instead of saying, “I hope I don’t get rejected,” you’re saying, “I can’t wait to positively impact this next person.” Rather than saying, “I hope I make this sale,” you’re saying, “I can’t wait to provide value to him.” Instead of saying, “I hope I don’t fail, you’re saying, “I can’t wait to bring the thunder and make a difference in his life!” With your purpose guiding you, rather than your emotions, instead of saying “I’m nervous to get on the phone” which causes you to avoid it like the plague, you’re instead saying, “I’m fearless on the phone because of the service I provide” which triggers you to dive on the phone with passion, energy and excitement. But is this too good to be true?

    After coaching hundreds of clients over the years, I’ve witnessed people who let their emotions drive their behavior and dread prospecting transform into people who became inspired with a compelling purpose who learned to actually enjoy prospecting. But even beyond that, I’ve experienced clients who lived out of their emotions who were plagued by stress and knee-jerk reactions who, once armed with a great purpose, began to not only work with more passion but to live with more passion as they focused on a cause bigger than themselves.

     

    Steve Reiner, a partner at Southwestern Consulting and 2013 Coach of the year, is a Peak Performance Coach with over 24 years as a producing sales leader.  He is an expert at helping people remove the emotional hurdles that prevent them from excelling in business and in life.


  • 3 Voicemails that Work to Get Prospects to Return Your Call

    Today, nobody seems to be around to answer their phones. You spend time calling, and all you get are voice-mail messages. You know people don’t bother calling back if they think it’s a sales call. Here are a few messages that get call backs.

     

    Voicemail #1 (The Mystery Message) :

    “Hey Bill, this is Steve Reiner. The reason I’m calling you specifically is I was told you can answer a question of mine. My phone number is… and again my name is Steve Reiner. It would be great if we can connect sometime today. Thank you.”

    I encourage you to not leave the name of your company on the first message. You do that and you’ll be shouting, “I’m selling something.” As proud as we are about the value we provide our clients, the reality is, people avoid salespeople and you’ll find the mystery message will be a greater enticer to receive a call back.

     

    Voicemail #2: (The Mystery Message Part 2):

    “Hey Bill, this is Steve Reiner. I’m not sure if you got my message from last week or if you’ve been on vacation but again, the reason I’m calling you specifically is I was told you can answer a question of mine. My phone number is… and again my name is Steve Reiner. I look forward to hopefully connecting today sometime. Thank you.”

     

    Voicemail #3: (The Call to Action Voicemail to Set up your Warm Cold Call):

    After you’ve left 1-2 unreturned voicemails, leave this message:

    “Hi Bill, this is Steve Reiner. You are a tough person to get hold but I consider that a good thing. It tells me you’re working hard and making things happen and you’re the  type of person I like to work with. So here’s my plan. I will be driving out to your office next Friday to meet you in person between 10-10:30. Please do me this favor: I’ll be driving 45 minutes out to your place so if that time does not work for you then please call back and suggest a time that works better. Otherwise if I don’t hear back then I will assume this is a good time to meet in person and I will plan on being at your office next Friday between 10-10:30. My number is xxx-xxx-xxxx.”

    This will either cause your prospect to call you back which is great or when you show up you can let the front desk know that Byron should be expecting you. The strategy here is rather than driving out 45 minutes to one prospect who may not even be there, now you are setting up an entire day of these warm in person calls. You should see your effectiveness sky-rocket. It requires a bit of planning on the front end but well worth the effort in the long-run!

     

    Remember, the #1 way to avoid call reluctance is to Take Action! It’s easier to act your way into proper thinking than to think you’re way into proper acting.

     

    To your success,

    Steve Reiner

    Professional Sales Coach

    Southwestern Consulting™


  • 3 Success Tips of Top Producers: Plan & Execute Day 6

    Some of the biggest obstacles we face in sticking to our schedule are:

    1. Too much socializing at the office.

    2. Starting your calls, but getting sidetracked.

    3.  Starting your day without a clear plan.

    Top Producers have a plan and execute it. Here are some solutions to keep your focus on completing tasks and staying on schedule.

    1.  Going to the office and socializing or screwing around. To head this off, you need to go straight to your office or desk and put up “Do Not Disturb – Golden Hours in Progress” sign outside your door as well as a sign on the inside of your door that says, “The pain of discipline weighs far less than the pain of regret.” Remember, the discipline of staying on schedule for prospecting is no different from the discipline of lifting weights. As you know, when you start lifting weights for the first time it can be uncomfortable and even painful the next day. However after getting on a good schedule and getting in the gym consistently, over time you begin building muscle and enjoy the process. The same is true with prospecting. Initially it can be a little uncomfortable and even painful. However after getting on a good schedule and going after it day in and day out, you’ll begin to set more appointments and will actually start enjoying the phone.

    2.  Starting calls but getting sidetracked. To head this off, think of yourself as a thermostat versus a thermometer. While a thermometer reflects its environment, a thermostat sets it. In the same way, you’re being a thermometer when you let your emotions determine your actions. People who are thermometers are activity oriented. If they don’t like the activity they don’t do it. If they experience a rude prospect, they stop making calls. Just like a thermometer, they are allowing their emotions and circumstances to determine their actions. People who are thermostats are results oriented. If they don’t like the activity, they do it anyway because they understand it will produce the desired results. If they experience a rude prospect, they become more determined because rather than basing their decisions on emotions, they base their decisions on values, principles and a predetermined plan. People who are thermostats are successful because rather than allowing themselves to be controlled by their environment, they simply set their own temperature and go after it!

    3.  Showing up to work without a clear plan. To head this off, you will make sure to take time the night before to plan out your next day in detail. This will include when you’re prospecting and who you will call. You will print out a predetermined list of prospects to call on the night before and lay it on your desk. Rather than wondering what you’re going to do and who you’re going to call, you’ll simply execute on your predetermined plan. It will take all the emotion out of the equation. It’s simply a matter of planning & executing. In fact your new affirmation should be, “I’m a top producer because I plan and execute. I blow out quota each month because I always take time the night before to plan my next day.”

    Please comment below on what tips work for your, or how these tips worked for you after 1 week.

     

     

     

     

     

    To your success,

    Steve Reiner

    Professional Sales Coach

    Southwestern Consulting™


  • How to Get What You Want in Life – Day 5

    There are 3 reactions to adversity:

    (1) Those who become paralyzed by it

    (2) those who struggle through it

    (3) those who adapt to it and become stronger as a result.

    The difference between the 3 has everything to do with one’s vision or lack of it. Person #1 has no vision. When he hits the wall, this is all he sees. Compare that to person #3 who when he smacks into the wall, he’s barely acknowledging it because his vision is so crystalized, he’s already looking for ways under, over, around or right through the obstacle in order to achieve his vision.

    Your endurance is tied directly to the clarity of your vision!

    With this in mind, I encourage you to create a vision binder which includes your  BE/DO/HAVE. So many people jump to the HAVE part of the equation without realizing that their “have’s” are a direct result of  the qualities, habits, and intellect they possess which allowed them to get there. The equation for success is a BE/DO/HAVE concept. What that means is that you must first decide what type of person you want to BE. What attributes, as a person, you see as being necessary to your success. This includes both personal and professional characteristics; such as a being a Christ centered, supportive husband & father. A man of honesty, integrity, hard work, discipline, focus, action, . . .etc. If you can imagine being at your own funeral, what would you like people to be saying about you?

    Once you decide what characteristics you see as being crucial to your overall success, you need to decide what you see as necessary for you to DO to achieve this success. Habits, activities, goals and so on.

    And only then do you have the ability to acquire what you want to HAVE. Monetary and material goals are only valuable as they pertain to the perceived impact they will have on your sense of fulfillment. The reality is that the journey is what gives people the happiness they want. The material stuff is just the icing on the cake. When you learn to enjoy the ride, the destination will be that much better. I enjoy the saying, “I don’t achieve to be happy. I happily achieve.”

    BE/ DO/ HAVE: Remember, when you achieve your financial goal this year, what will be so impactful will not be the money you earn but rather the habits you form along the way, which will form your character, which will shape your destiny, which will enable you to have the lifestyle you desire for the rest of your life. This is what will truly be most meaningful.

    Your vision binder can include anything that gets you fired up to work towards. It should include words and pictures. The mistake people make is when they start the process by looking through magazines to find interesting pictures that catch their eye and conclude, “This should be in my vision binder.” IE they let the magazine define their vision. The more effective way to approach your vision binder is to begin with the process of identifying the kind of life you desire to lead and then finding pictures to reinforce the vision. Remember, your vision is that picture of what things will look like when you’ve achieved your goals. What makes it powerful is when you create a picture of the life you desire to lead, you’ll begin to live into that picture as if it was already true. The power of a vision binder is such that, by reviewing it often, it will help you perform activities that you might not like to do, in order to achieve your long-term vision. Planning your days, for example, can be time consuming and tedious. However, if becoming an organized person is part of your vision, you’ll be that much more excited to plan your days because you’ll connect how this activity will lead you towards that vision. As we’ve talked about, most people only think in the short-term and only perform those activities they enjoy.

    Peak performers, however, think in the long-term, and are willing to do activities they don’t always enjoy, in order to achieve their long-term vision. Having a vision binder will remind you of this. Once you lock onto an exciting vision for your life, you will do whatever it takes to achieve it, mowing down any obstacles that get in your way!

    Steve Reiner

    Professional Sales Coach


  • How to Schedule Your Golden Hours for Maximum Results – Day 4

    Once you have your weekly schedule created, each evening, you’ll want to convert your next day’s schedule into a well-planned, detailed format. You’ll do that by having a set appointment with yourself each evening before going home, to plan out your next day in detail.

    For example, you’ll take prospecting time from your weekly schedule and make a list of 20+ prospects you can call on the next day. That way you don’t have to waste time the next day trying to dig up names to call on. Instead you’ll be able to show up and simply execute. This is a habit that less than 10% of professionals have. Mediocre salespeople don’t take the time to plan. Instead they just take each day as it comes, reacting to circumstances as they pop up. They end partaking in “creative avoidance.” This takes place when you avoid doing what you know you should be doing. In its place you do more pleasurable activities such as organizing your desk, checking emails, surfing the net, etc. At the end of the day you’re frustrated that you didn’t accomplish more. This makes it difficult to be in the moment with your family because you’re thinking about everything you didn’t get done at work. Keeping your ideal schedule, on the other hand, will prevent you from wasting time during the day on non-income producing activities, equipping you to head off interruptions to your schedule which are not as critical. Learning to set boundaries will enable you to work more effectively.

     

    Your schedule is your roadmap to get you to your goals. I encourage you to look at your schedule like it is your lifeline. You break it and the likelihood of hitting your goals dies. So let’s say we were to calculate your hourly rate to be $50, so every time that you are doing something other than what you should be doing, you are wasting $50. With this in mind, the majority of your day should be invested in either setting up appointments or going on appointments. Everything else should be delegated to assistants if possible. Your prospecting time is what we call your Golden Hours. Here are the steps for creating consistent momentum during The Golden Hours:

     

    *Schedule “The Golden Hours” in your calendar as if it’s the most important appointment you have in your day.  Do not do ANYTHING else during that time but prospect!

    *Don’t waste a second during your “Golden Hours”.

    *Have your top 20 prospects listed out and in a queue ready to call.

    *Stand up during your Golden Hours.

    *Eliminate all possible distractions.

    -Put a sign on your door saying “Golden Hours in process. Currently increasing my net worth or I am in the process of winning a trip to the Mediterranean. Interrupt at your own peril!”

    -Turn you outlook email notice button off!

    *Do not check email!

    *Don’t answer questions.

    *Don’t take personal calls.

    *Don’t answer any call that is not someone calling to set a new appointment.

    *Use the restroom before your “Golden Hours”.

    *Make as many dials as humanly possible during your “Golden Hours”.

    *Think about prospecting like a sport, setting up a contest with yourself or others. For example, treat yourself to an ice cream after you’ve put in the work and kept to your schedule.

    *Repeat the affirmation, “My job is to make a list and then cross people off that list. It can be a yes or no. I need both to have a great day. Who’s next? Who’s next?”

     

    High performance salespeople create a plan; they execute on that plan within a given time line and they have somebody hold them accountable to that plan.

    Planning, executing and accountability.

    It’s a great feeling waking up in the morning with a plan. It takes all of the emotion and guesswork out of your day. You simply execute on your predetermined plan. Once you form this habit, you’ll find yourself getting more done in less time. It’s easy to procrastinate putting this schedule together and keeping it. Remember, however, the key to overcoming procrastination is forming the habit of doing things that you don’t like to do. As you’re tweaking your ideal schedule, keep track of all your activities throughout the day to determine the income producing activities versus the time wasters. The goal is to get to the point where your days are on task and highly productive. Get excited about you leading your day versus letting other people and circumstances do it for you!

    Your partner in success,

    Steve Reiner

    Professional Certified Coach

     

     

    www.southwesternconsulting.com

    sreiner@southwesternconsulting.com

    (513) 600-2976 Cell

    (303) 774-6559 Office


  • THE BEST WAYS TO HANDLE OBJECTIONS

    Cover them up front

    For example, if you’re having a tough time getting in front of the ultimate decision maker because your champion is wanting to present it without you, then plant the seed during your first meeting that you’re always part of the sales process:

    “Bill, what I enjoy about my job is I see my role as a trusted advisor so with that in mind, here’s what you can expect from me: I’ll take some time to ask you questions to really understand your situation. From there I’ll put together a solution specific to your goals and we’ll set a date for me to demo the right widget for you. From there, I’ll put together a proposal based on your goals and the results of the demo and we’ll set a time to do a proposal review, to walk through it together. This is important because the proposal will be a working proposal. IE it will be a first draft to make sure that it’s spot on and in reviewing it together we might determine if there are any gaps that we need to fill to make sure it’s exactly what you’re looking for. Does that make sense?”

    (Yes)

    “And when I review the proposal, I like to make sure I’m presenting it to everybody who’s part of the decision-making process. With that in mind, who else will be part of making that decision? (My boss, Joe Smith.) “Great, it’ll be important that Joe’s involved in the process because as you know, widgets can be pretty technical with all of their unique features and it’s next to impossible for somebody to explain it well having limited exposure to it compared to somebody like myself who’s been doing this for over 24 years. Does that make sense?”

    By planting the seeds early, you’re covering those objections you tend to get later on like, “No need to review the proposal together. Why don’t you just send it to me and I’ll call you.” Because you addressed this earlier, you will often head off this objection from ever coming up and if does you can remind him of what the two of you agreed to earlier. By explaining at the beginning that you always present the product to all of the decision makers, you’re covering the objection in advance, “No need for you to present it to Joe. I can do that myself.”

     

    In addition to planting the seed early on how you always present to the decision maker, and additional strategy to answer the objection upfront is to send an introduction email to the ultimate decision maker right after your first meeting with your champion. The outline for the email might look like this:

     

    Subjection Line: “Per Meeting with Bill Jones”

    “Hi Joe. I just wanted to introduce myself to you real quick in case you haven’t heard of me yet. I’m with Widgets USA and had the pleasure of sitting down with Bill Jones today to discuss some of our newer widgets. After being in the industry for 24+ years, I wanted to let you know how impressed I was with your operation and Bill Jones in particular. After working with hundreds of people in his position it was a breath of fresh air to sit down with Bill. He’s an expert in his field and represents your company exceptionally well and wanted you to know that. As Bill and I continue to move down the field together, I wanted to make sure that I introduced myself so that when Bill mentions my name it will not catch you off guard. I look forward to making your acquaintance!”

     

    This introduction email serves multiple purposes. (1) Your champion appreciates the kudos you gave him to his boss. (2) The decision maker appreciates you saying nice things about his company and is impressed with you keeping him in the loop. (3) It heads off the objection, “You don’t need to present this to Joe – I can handle it.”

     

    Selling is a lot like playing pool in the sense that you want to set yourself up for success. Amateur pool players only take it one shot at a time. Professionals, however, plan the entire game in advance, setting themselves up for future shots. In the same sense, professional salespeople consider the objections they might get down the stretch and cover them in advance.

     

    Please feel free to share your best objection handling techniques below. Be a part of our mission: Liberating Sales Potential Worldwide!

     

    Action Items:

    ·  Review and role-play the above method for answering objections.

    ·  Write a list of common objections and come up with a strategy for covering them in advance.

     

    Your Partner in Success,

    Steve Reiner

    Professional Certified Coach

     

     

    www.southwesternconsulting.com

    sreiner@southwesternconsulting.com