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  • An Easy Fix To Help You Close More Sales

    Guest Post By: Kitty Barrow

    One of my coaching clients (we’ll call him Bob), was completely frustrated with his closing percentage. He was doing his 5-step Introduction as we had scripted it out. He was building trust and rapport a lot quicker. He was able to modify how he presented based on why they said they would buy in the Introduction.  Yet his closing percentage hadn’t increased much and he couldn’t figure out why.k1

     

    Because Bob is a great student of his game, he recorded his presentation for us to review. As we listened together, within 10 minutes we were able to figure out where he was losing the sale.

    Does this ever happen to you? Do you ever sit down with a prospect. You know they need your product/service. They say that they need your product/service. You still aren’t able to get them to move forward at the end of your conversation? Do they end it with things like, ‘let me think about it’ or ‘call me in 6 months’? When this happens, does it drive you nuts?!?

     

    Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 8.53.25 PMWhat we discovered when listening to Bob’s recording was that he was making one of the most COMMON mistakes of all sales people.

    What is that?

    When asking them about what they needed to ‘alter or change’ about their current situation, often they would speak of their pain. Then Bob responded like most sales people. He said, ‘Ok’ and moved on to the next question. ALL HE SAID was ‘Ok’ and moved on!!  Bob didn’t dig deeper into the pain of their current situation. Bob admitted that since they spoke of their pain, then he thought they understood their pain. Plus, he is a sales person and like most sales people, Bob wants people to like him.  He thought that if he got them to speak of their pain, then they wouldn’t like him.

     

    Here are 2 important rules that you MUST understand when asking your prospect about their pain:

    1. You must get them to talk more about how this pain is negatively affecting their life until they have some emotion tied to it.  They will NOT change their situation without the emotion.
    2. You did not cause their pain! You did not cause their pain so why would you think that digging into a pain that they have would cause them to not like you?!? If anything, once you help them realize how much it is costing them to stay in that situation and you offer a solution, you are going to be their savior. Think of it like being a ‘doctor of selling’. If you go in the doctor’s office and they ask, ‘where does it hurt?’, are you upset with the doctor that they want to know all about the pain and where and when and how? Of course you aren’t!

     

    The good news is that Bob was able to start digging into the pain revealed by his prospects and his closing percentage soared! Bob was making more money in LESS time. This is just one of the cool ways that we are able to help our Top Producers Edge Coaching Clients with their Time Management.

     

    k4

     

    A couple of questions that you can try the next time your prospect shares what they would like to alter/change with their current situation:

    • Mmmmmmm….. (just respond with a deep ‘mmmmmm’ letting them know that you feel their pain and they will often keep elaborating more)
    • Tell me more….
    • Is that frustrating?…..
    • Wow, what is the cost of that?….
    • How is that affecting you?….

    STAY HERE with your prospect until you are sure that they FEEL the frustration of their current situation before offering the remedy. And OF COURSE, the remedy is your product/service!

    After trying this out, please email or comment below with your results!

    Kitty Barrow is a Senior Partner and Executive Sales and Leadership Coach of Southwestern Consulting. She specializes in creating successful systems that are easily duplicated. Her motto is “Keep Things Simple for Stress-less Selling.” Kitty has trained thousands of sales professionals in companies such as Wells Fargo, MassMutual, New York Life, Xerox Global and Allstate


  • Closing is a Series of Stoplights

    Guest Post By: Emmie Brown

    Does this frustrating situation sound familiar? You get to the end of your presentation and ask, “What do you think?” Or, “Do you want to move forward?” Then, your prospect responds with “Sounds good, but I’ll need to think about it.”

    You did not get the prospect to move forward because you did not create enough momentum to get your prospect over the proverbial fence. Your prospect is left on the fence and you are left without a signed agreement in hand and nothing in your pocket.

    • To create the momentum that you need, one technique that works is the yes-momentum close. It is a series of questions designed to create momentum. The first question in the series is often a general yes question. This is a question to which you know the answer is going to be “yes.” And, you got it- the point is to build momentum.
    • The second question that you ask may be an alternative choice question. When you give people a choice of two positives, whatever they pick is fine with you. It is a question of how they will move forward rather than if they will move forward.
    • Next, you can ask a tie-down question. A tie-down question is a selling statement with a little hook on it, to get you to agree with the selling statement. The “hook” may sound like: “wouldn’t you agree,” “isn’t it,” “don’t you,” “right,” “aren’t you,” etc.
    • Last, you might ask a boomerang question. A boomerang question is when you respond to a question with another question. For example, at the end of the of the presentation, if your prospect is over the buying line and you have started to take them down this closing funnel, and they then ask you “how much is it,” you may answer with a question, “as long as it fits in the budget does this sound like something you would like to move forward with?” If they say “yes,” they have essentially said yes to working with you.

    Now, all you need to do is use an assumptive close and say, “Well, to get started, I just need to get your okeedokee right here.” If you take your prospect down this closing funnel, they are agreeing on minor points along the way to make the major point of working with you a foregone conclusion.

    Closing is never just one question that you ask at the end of the presentation. Closing is a series of incrementally more committal questions that funnels someone logically to a point of agreement. Think of it like a series of stoplights. If you get a green light you go to the next question. If you get a red light then they are a “no,” and you can stop. If you get a yellow light, then you have an objection to answer. Take someone through a series of questions rather than just asking one scary big “do you want to do this” kind of a question. Make closing feel smooth an natural by using yes momentum.

     

    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.


  • Modify: Fighter (Pt. 2)

    Guest Post By: Dustin Hillis

    Navigate: Selling the Way People Like to Buy consists of 3 sections:

    • Solidification on the behaviors of the 4 buying styles
    • Identification of the 4 buying styles
    • Modification of your natural selling style

    Modification is the most important part of how to sell the way people like to buy.  The goal is to modify and adapt one’s own natural selling style to someone else’s buying style.

    The Fighter

    How do you modify your natural selling style in your approach, presentation and close to a Fighter’s buying behavior style?

    Fighters are straight to the point, don’t-waste-my-time, “let’s go!” type of people.  When presenting a Fighter, there is a very simple technique that you can apply to help win them over.

     

    Presenting to a Fighter

    When you’re presenting to a Fighter, you need to remember this one thing:  They need to know what’s in it for them. They don’t care about all the details, nor do they want to hear about your amazing product or service. All they care about is the bottom line and how this effects them personally.

    You need to literally use the words “what’s in it for you is…”.

    –> Click here to continue reading


  • 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.


  • Building a Strong Company Culture – JOIN US THURSDAY 5/10 ON OUR MONTHLY CONFERENCE CALL

    JOIN US FOR OUR MONTHLY SALES TRAINING
    TELESEMINAR THURSDAY, MAY 10

    TOPIC: Building A Strong Company Culture

    Featuring Sales Experts:
    Gary Michels, Amanda Johns, Kitty Barrow

    The Southwestern Consulting’s Top Producers share tips that will give you the edge over your competitors – The TOP PRODUCER’S EDGE!  Take control of your own success.  Develop super sales skills.


    DIAL IN:  712-432-0404 (code 555575#)

    Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 8:00 PM EST
    (7:00 PM CST, 6:00 PM MST, 5:00 PM PST)

    LIVE Q&A DURING CALL ON FACEBOOK FANPAGE

    Gary Michels – Building a Clear V.I.S.I.O.N in Your Business
    Amanda Johns – Creating Loyalty by Creating Opportunity
    Kitty Barrow – Beginning With the End in Mind

    For more information on our Sales Experts, Click Here.

    ALSO join us on our Facebook Fan page for LIVE Q & A during the call at www.facebook.com/southwesternconsulting

    The dial in phone number is 712-432-0404 (enter code 555575#)

    Limited to the first 100 callers!


  • FREE Sales Training TONIGHT!

    Do you have difficulty remembering customer’s names?

    Do you have the perfect answer for an objection, but can’t remember it?

    HELP IS HERE – Tips to improve your ability to remember the names of your customers, people you meet and general techniques to creating a “steel-trap” memory.

    Our ASK THE SALES EXPERTS teleseminar TONIGHT – THURSDAY, December 8th at 7:00PM CT.

    Amanda Johns – The Importance of Visual Images

    Gary Michels – The Stellar 6 Ideas to Memorize & Use the Things You’ve Learned

    Rory Vaden – The 7 “tions” of Remembering People’s Names

    Ron Marks – Super Charge Your Memory Through Proper Nutrition

    Dustin Hillis – Maximizing Technology to Help You Remember

    Emmie Young – Memorizing Scripts in Your Natural Learning Style

     

    THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8 AT 7:00PM CT

    CALL IN: 712-432-0404  access code: 555575#

    Live Chat on our Facebook Page  at 7:00pm CT – Join us for LIVE Q & A during teleseminar


  • Top Producer’s Tips Navigating Buying Behaviors

    Does your sales style work well for Prospect A, but bombs with Prospect B? Our Top Producer Training Professionals will share tips on how to NAVIGATE BUYING BEHAVIORS of the 4 different types of buyers.

    Our ASK THE SALES EXPERTS teleseminar THURSDAY, November 10th at 7:00PM CST, will help guide you through the various buying styles.


    NAVIGATE: SELLING THE WAY PEOPLE LIKE TO BUY

    THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10TH AT 7:00PM CST

    CALL IN: 712-432-0404  access code: 555575#

    Live Chat on our Facebook Page  at 7:00pm CST – Join us for LIVE Q & A during teleseminar

     

    Gary Michels – How to Identify Behavioral Styles and Quickly Adapt
    Ron Marks – Managing More Effectively Through the Behavioral Styles
    Dustin Hillis  – Navigate Appointments: Modifying Your Sales Approach to Match Your Prospects Buying Behavior Style
    Emmie Young – Why Navigate? The Reasons You Don’t Sell to Everyone the Same Way
    Rory Vaden – 6 Keys to R.E.V.E.A.L. the Potential in the 4 Types of People Around You 
    Amanda Johns – Identifying the Different Sales Behavioral Styles Over the Phone

     

            ONE FULL HOUR OF PURE CONTENT   

                                        


  • 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


  • Top Producer’s Tips for Successful Cash Collections

    You worked so hard to close the sale – are you now having difficulty collecting the payment?

    Our ASK THE SALES EXPERTS teleseminar THURSDAY, AUGUST 11TH at 7:00PM CDT, will help guide you through some successful and new techniques to collections.

    Rory Vaden – Square Up: Next Generation Credit Card Processing

    Amanda Johns – The Mindset Behind the Money

    Gary Michels – Handling Payment Concerns Before & After the Sale with Ease

    Emmie Young – The World Renowned CREW Method to Retain Clients

    Ron Marks – Developing Your Closing Instinct

    Dustin Hillis – How to Create a compelling Price Comparison in an Emotional Close

    THURSDAY, AUGUST 11TH AT 7:00PM CDT

    CALL IN: 712-432-0404  access code: 555575#

    Live Chat on our Facebook Page  at 7:00pm CDT – Join us for LIVE Q & A during teleseminar


  • 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

    eyoung@southwesternconsulting.com