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  • THREE REASONS WHY YOU DON’T GET REFERRALS AND WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT

    Guest Post By: Emmie Brown

    Anyone reading this would agree that referrals are a good thing. Referrals that trickle in because someone heard about you from one of your clients don’t come often enough.

    There are 3 reasons why you don’t get enough referrals:

    1. You don’t ask
    2. You ask passively
    3. You ask incorrectly

    Here is a list of common reasons given for why you didn’t ask for referrals:

    “I shouldn’t have to ask. If I do a good job, people will refer me.”

    “I don’t want to come across as pushy or salesy.”

    “I ran out of time before my next appointment.”

    “I’ll ask later. I need to earn their trust first.”

    “If I ask, I will look like I need the business. I want to look successful.”

    They are all rationalizations- rational sounding lies believed to be true. The truth is professionals make time to ask for referrals and they do it in a way that the client actually gets excited to help them.

    YOU MUST ASK FOR REFERRALS!

    Some people ask but are fearful. Fear causes you to ask passively or ask with trepidation: “I really appreciate referrals. If you think of anyone who would benefit from what I do, please connect them to me.” You mention that you like referrals. You don’t ask for them directly. You don’t get them.

    YOU MUST EXPECT TO ACTUALLY COLLECT REFERRALS WHEN YOU ASK!

    Others don’t ask for referrals correctly. You ask, “Do you know of anyone who. . .” You actually set yourself up to get “I can’t think of anyone right now, but I will let you know if I do.”

    Other objections you get when they ask poorly include:

    • I need to think about it.” “Can you call me next week?” “I’ll get back to you.”
    • The “Hermit” objection: “I don’t know anyone.”
    •  “Sure you can call him, but just don’t use my name.” “Let me talk to  him first.” “I’ll have him call you.”
    • “I don’t give referrals.”

    Referral

    YOU HAVE TO ASK FOR REFERRALS THE RIGHT WAY!

    Here are just a few tips that we teach at Southwestern Consulting:

    • Always ask “who do you know who . . . “ instead of  “do you know anyone who. . . ” or “is there anyone who. . .?”
    • Pause after you ask to allow them time to think. Break eye contact. And, look down at your paper ready to write.
    • Use memory joggers. For example, there are certain life events that trigger people to think about insurance. Anyone who is getting married, buying a new house, buying a new car, having a kid, retiring, or changing jobs is a great prospect. Ask who they know in each of these categories.

    The number one way to get referrals is to give someone any opportunity to give them to you. If you are not asking, start there. Then, work on your attitude. You must expect to collect names and numbers. Next, use the above techniques. You will be amazed by how many referrals you get!

     

    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.


  • Do Your Words Really Matter?

    I AM....Guest Post By: Amanda Johns Vaden

    Do you talk to yourself? I already know the answer to this, YES, you do!  We all do.

    But have you ever thought about if the things you say to yourself really make a difference in how you think, act or react?

    Do your words encourage you or discourage you?

    Do they give you confidence or do they make you self-conscious?

    Do they make you want to keep going or do they make you want to get back in bed?

    What you say when you talk to yourself is one of the most untrained on parts of being a sales professional, but one of the most important. It’s what we at Southwestern Consulting call “the power of positive self-talk.”

    Learning how to talk to yourself is a really powerful element of building confidence on the inside so it shows on the outside. If you don’t believe in yourself very few will believe in what you are selling.

    Positive self-talk is talking about yourself in present tense, which starts to create the vision of who you want to become.  Watching your words must be an intentional act of discipline to constantly reassure yourself that you can do this, you can learn this and it’s all possible.

    The benefit of positive affirmations can be life changing. It can change your personal life, your work life, your confidence, it can change everything about you.

    So here’s what I want you to do: make a list of all the things you want in your life.

    What are the things that you want to have?

    What are the things that you want to be and how do you want the world to see you ?

    Do you want the world to see you as a loving father/mother? A loyal husband/wife? A hard worker? How do you want to be seen?

    Writing positive affirmations allow you to physically see what you want written out giving you something real to look at and work towards

    Long before I was any good at sales, my affirmations said things like, “I’m a million dollar producer, I’m a great speaker, I’m the top sales person in our company, I am a top leader.”

    I may not of be all those things right now, but I want to be them. So I’m going to talk to myself like I am that person today.

    My husband is a great example of this. He’s such an inspiration to me in this very specific area, because when he puts his dreams on paper, his affirmations, what he believes about himself, it always seems to come true. Not always today and not always tomorrow but eventually everything that he puts on paper, he finds a way to make it happen.

    Years ago, my husband wrote down on his affirmations list “I am a New York Times best selling author.” He didn’t have a title, pages, or a topic of what he wanted to write. But he knew that’s what he wanted to be.

    Five years ago, I wrote, “I’m a million dollar producer” down on my affirmations list. And I was very far away from being a million dollar producer. In fact, my best year at the time was probably just over $300,000 in personal revenue. In 2012 the same year that my husband became a New York Time Best-Selling Author, I sold over a million dollars in revenue for our company.

    I believed it before it happened. I talked to myself as if it were already true, so when it came true it wasn’t that much of a shock. I’d been preparing myself all along to be the person I wanted to become. I spoke it out loud every single day.

    So, here’s what you need to do right now. You need to write down 10 affirmations of who you want to be, present tense. I am a marathon runner, I am a million dollar producer, I am a loyal and devoted wife, I am in fantastic physical shape, I am the best friend anyone could have.

    “I am . . . ” are the statements that you want to use. Present tense, to tell yourself that you are the person that, one day, you want to be.

     

    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


  • Leadership Isn’t Logical

    Rory_Vaden

    Sometimes the things that co-workers are doing just don’t make any sense.

    It frustrates me to the point of anger to have someone on the team who has so much potential but just never seems to perform anywhere near their capabilities.

    I am sometimes baffled and confused when another person who has been a top performer on our team for years suddenly starts spending more time complaining and whining, instead of working and creating.

    And how is it that the one person who used to be the “steady-Eddie” on our team now hardly ever shows up on time, goes home early and squanders much of the day surfing online?

    It’s exhausting and disheartening to know that these people aren’t doing what they are supposed to, and none of if it ever made sense to me — until I realized something:

    Leadership isn’t logical. Leadership is emotional, because humans are emotional.

    Finish reading this article in the Tennessean here…


  • 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

     


  • 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   

                                        


  • 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™