Expandmenu Shrunk


  • Category Archives Ask the Sales Experts
  • Under the Bus You Go

    Guest Post By: Kitty Barrow

    As a sales manager, we’ve all been there, haven’t we? We have all had team members who weren’t performing as they should. Then we hire a new team member, and we fear that the new team member will think the others are role models to follow. So, without really thinking of the consequences, we throw our current team members under the bus by telling the new person to not watch the others because their activity or results aren’t acceptable.

    Wow. How did that help?

    Imagine how confused you would be if you were hired to perform at a higher level than others while other people are left to do as little as they pleased. How would that be fair?

    In working with many sales managers and business owners, we have seen this pattern repeated often. Why? Typically it is because our client is trying to turn around their sales by bringing in new talent, but they aren’t in a place where they can let the other lower-performing team members find success elsewhere.

    This practice is wrong on many levels:

    First, it sends an immediate signal to the new team member that you (their new leader) can’t be trusted to have their back.

    Second, it lets the new team member know that “gossip” is accepted here.

    Third, it sows the seeds of distrust among team members. Any one of these is a problem. All three of these can be fatal for your organization.

    So what is a manager to do?

    Step 1:     Let everyone know the vision of your company. Where do you see everyone going and what do you see them achieving together? Present this to your team early and often. Get everyone excited about the part they play in the success of the team as a whole.

    Step 2:     Before bringing in new sales team members, sit down with your current team individually to discuss their personal and professional goals. Also, apologize if you haven’t been clear in your activity expectations in the past or you haven’t been doing your job as a leader to hold them accountable to doing the things that will help them reach their goals. Let them know that you plan to be a better leader for them because their personal success is important. Set out a reasonable plan for sales activity (referrals, dials, reaches, appointments set, appointments held) and begin tracking them (preferably using our CSF system that will do the math for you with quick and easy reports). Set up weekly one-on-one Personal Conferences (PCs) where you will review their numbers and help them improve in the areas where they need help to achieve their goals.

    Step 3:     Hire your new team member and repeat Step 2 (sans apology). No comparison needs to be made with the current team members. Everyone should be held to their own activity levels, which should be consistent for everyone.

    Step 4:     Prepare for the best and the worst. Best case scenario is that you continue to meet with all team members and work with them to perfect the skills they need in order to hit their activity numbers. You stay consistent with your help and accountability, and they continue to get better at achieving more than they had before. Worst case scenario is that your team members don’t step up to the plate. If they aren’t willing to work toward what is expected of them, then you will need to think about putting them on a Performance Recovery Program (PRP) —or Performance Improvement Program (PIP)—which includes a training program. If they aren’t successful on the PRP, then you will need to be prepared to help them find success with another division of your company or with another company.

    Step 5:     Stay consistent. The best sales leaders are consistently keeping the company vision in front of their team members while also connecting sales and activity numbers to t achieving personal and professional goals. Consistency in casting vision, accountability, and helping them to develop the skills they need to be successful will keep you from ever feeling the need to throw any of your team members under the bus. Instead, you will be lifting them high in recognition for how much they are achieving.

     

    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


  • How Your Prospect is Really Saying “Be More Creative”

    Guest Post By: Dave Brown

    creative

    Giving up is sometimes the easiest thing to do. Most often it is never the best thing to do.

    You miss out on changing people’s lives.

    One thing you have to do though, NEVER GIVE UP. If you are down on your luck with your prospecting, I’d like you to learn to talk through the tone! What is the tone?

    That silence on the other end of the phone. You know that tone! You have to talk through it, fight for your prospects, and show how your belief can outweigh anything. Any doubt and hesitation will be diminished when you show just how important your product or service can be for them. Be persistent and truly care.

    When people tell me no over and over again, all they are really saying is, “Dave, how can you be more creative? I need something more creative from you.” That’s all they mean with that no.

    What can you do? Use another name. Share another example or a piece of the puzzle you can solve. Move to the next point. If they say they are going to hang up on you, well done! You are doing your job right and doing your best to get your product in their life.

    The more people you reach, the more lives you can change and make better. That is what we are here to do! You cannot give up. Find your power and find your stride. Talk through the tone.

    You will be amazed by what you can come up with when learning to talk through the tone.

    When prospecting, put yourself in situations where the chances of victory and accomplishment are made for building. You have to crank it, and keep growing!

     

    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.


  • Activity

    Guest Post By: Brent Widman

    phone

    Activity is the root of what drives our business. Without activity in the sales world, we don’t have a business. What this truly comes down to is making phone calls. Making those dials that you don’t always want to make, but you know you have to. This isn’t busy being busy. This is being planned, prepped and prepared about who you are going to talk to.

    1. Stop calling the same people over and over again. Don’t hold onto this false sense of hope that someone might do business with you.
    2. You build your business through new people. Where do those new people come from? Referrals, Linked In, Past Clients, Current Clients, etc, etc.
    3. Set up a plan. Know the first 5, 10 or 20+ people you know you are going to call. Have it done the night before or in the morning. It will get you in the right mind set.
    4. Practice. It takes 2 minutes. Practice in the car, working out, in the morning, at night, take a walk, whatever it takes. Take that little bit of time to know what you are going to say. It will get you past the call reluctance
    5. It’s just one call, to them. To you, it’s 10, 20, 30 or 100 calls. But to them, it’s just one call. Don’t overthink it.
    6. If you are truly trying to help people you won’t think about getting rejected. They might say yes, they might say no, so what. You are helping them either way. It’s hard to be nervous when your heart is on service.
    7. Have fun. Phoning and activity does not have to be hard. Stand up, sit down, dance, laugh, say something off the wall. It doesn’t always have to be straight to the point and serious.
    8. The people on the other end of the phone are people just like you. You aren’t going to close everyone, but you can still have a conversation. That will go a long way to calling them in the future.
    9. In most cases, no means “not right now.” Set them out a year, two years or even three. That’s okay, keep them in your system and in your pipeline for the future.
    10. Get after it. When you do the activity it will breed results. When you make excuses it will not. You can’t get mad at the results if you aren’t putting in the activity.

    I hear so many people feel that they are above calling. They get away from what makes them successful. I was coaching a Managing Director the other day and he flat out said, “These are all the things I know I should be doing but I’m not, it’s like I’m a new rep again.” All that means… we can’t get away from what got us there in the first place. It doesn’t have to be the 50 dials a day, maybe for

    All that means is that we can’t get away from what got us there in the first place. It doesn’t have to be the 50 dials a day, maybe for you, it’s 10. It will get you the results you are looking for.

    Stay true to your activity. It only makes you better.

     

    Brent Widman has over 10 years experience in all aspects of sales. He is a professional sales coach at Southwestern Consulting. Brent has expertise in lead generation, prospecting, selling to top execs and the art of follow up. He has worked with numerous individuals to improve their sales processes, day to day interaction and ultimately them as a person. He is a former division director, sales director and district manager for distinguished sales teams in the recruiting, fitness and communications world.


  • How Bad Do You Want It?

    Guest Post By: Jay Wang

    Some want it badly, whatever “it” may be for them, success, a goal or a win. Some don’t. Others say they do but can’t seem to make things happen.

    Why is it that some people do and some people don’t? I do know, it just seems to work that way. A better question, however, might be what does it look like to want it more?

    Here’s some insight. My good friend, mentor and role model Rick Takahashi is constantly asking me and those he mentors “How Bad Do You Want It?” Rick and I first connected through our Surf Ministry called Water at The Rock Church in San Diego, CA. As the leader of our Men’s Group, I could go on and on about his character, heart for people and humility, but I will go with humility to introduce him. You see Rick has some credibility to lead a group of surfers because he is a USA Surf Team Rider. Yup, Rick’ is a humble guy, so I will brag on him a bit. In 2012, he had a perfect season, winning every contest in NSSA, including Westerns and Nationals. In 2016, he won 1st place in 10 National Finals! He is also sponsored by a slew of companies like Rusty Surf Board, Oakley and Dakine, just to name a few. All this to say, he is the best surfer I know and a Top Level Competitor!

    rusty_team_rick_takahashi

    Rick told me, “Jay, I just want it more than the next guy. I push for that extra mile in training and I do more! There are a lot of surfers that are more talented than me, but I know I just have to be better than the next guy for a few critical moments.”

    As a sales coach with Southwestern Consulting, I love to see the parallels one can draw from professional sports like Surfing to things like business success and sales.

    Three Keys I learned from Rick:

    Be Disciplined and Keep Good Focus! – Have specific goals and create a solid routine around that. Know that there will need to be a sacrifice! And if you can see the prize you will pay the price. Know what it takes to win! What are you going to give up to reach your goal? So many people want to do well, yet they are not willing to give up their free time. They still want to sleep in or just be comfortable. Many times you only have to sacrifice for a specific amount of time, like a season. Know when to push, because it pays to win.

    Hustle! – Train/study harder than the next guy! Have a healthy sense of competition because it’s real. In anything you do, if you’re not going to get after it, someone else is! Don’t compare yourself, but be a competitor. Note- it’s not just winning but how you win. Be Dominant!!

    The big one…

    USE YOUR BRAIN! – Hustle with your mind, not just your body. This is what it really means to be a student of the game. Don’t just study to study. Learn and study to have a competitive advantage. Have a winning strategy. Know how to play the game, know the rules and find out the best ways to win!

    Using your brain helps to take some of the emotion out of the equation. Don’t just react to the situation or event that is occurring. Slow down and think…what can I do better here? What can I control? What did I learn? What can I do differently?

    How many times do we go around in circles wanting to win or do better or overcome a challenge but never seem to gain any ground? Rick said so many surfers just do the same thing, they use the same board every time and they get the same results. He said, “I am constantly thinking… What is the best board to use? Why? Can I surf that spot ahead of time? What do I need to look for in the conditions? What tweaks do I need to make to have a competitive advantage? Etc.”

    Let me encourage all of you, use your most powerful advantage… Your Brain!!

     

    Jay Wang started selling with The Southwestern Company while in college. He was in the top 1% of sales producers and was able to sell, recruit and manage teams in order to pay his own way though school. After graduating with a degree in Business Management, he transitioned to managing multi-million dollar commercial real estate properties, achieving record-breaking occupancies. Since 2011, Jay has been traveling the country as a professional sales trainer and Partner with Southwestern Consulting.


  • FREE TRAINING: Mastering Your First Impression Conversation

    conference_call_xsmall3

    Just in case you missed last month’s sales training conference call, we are making it available to you here!  Each month Southwestern Consulting™ brings together our finest Top Producers to train on today’s most relevant sales topics.  These calls are free and you don’t want to miss out on these opportunities to learn from the absolute best.  Some of our past topics include closing, referrals, prospecting with LinkedIn, follow-up and selling with social media.

    Listen to last month’s call on Mastering Your First Impression Conversation When Selling:


  • Sales Tip of the Day – DAY 1

    Leaving messages and not getting calls back? Here is a script for those folks who are not returning your voicemails:

    “Hi Mary, this is Shelly Blume over at BBI. I’ve got to tell you, you are a tough person to get hold of, but you know what? I consider that a good thing. It tells me you’re working hard and you’re making things happen and you’re the type of person I like to work with. So I’ve got an idea since the phone is not working so well. I’ll plan on coming out to your house on Friday between 3 and 3:30 to drop off the guide. Now if you can do me a favor, it’s about a 40 minute drive out there, if that time does not work for you, please give me a call and suggest a better time that works for you, that would be great. Otherwise if I don’t hear back from you I will assume that Friday between 3 and 3:30 works for you and I will plan on introducing myself to you then. Again, this is Shelly from BBI and my number is xxx-xxx-xxxx. I look forward to meeting you on Friday!”

     

    If you are wondering if this really works . . . here is how it worked for a current SWC coaching client:

    Just wanted to drop you a note regarding using this script.   It is fabulous.  I’ve used it on four calls and I’m thrilled with the results.  It definitely was a shot in the arm that I needed.  The first couple was today at 2:00 p.m. and they didn’t call to cancel but were at home waiting for me.   This was a couple I had been calling since April and never got anywhere with them.  The second call was for an appt on Friday, she did call and cancel but asked me to call her back with another day and time.  The next was an appt for next week and he called to confirm.  And the last one I haven’t heard from.

    Thanks again for your sharing this script.   Can’t wait to get going with our first meeting.

    Kathy Kemper, Community Service Counselor
    Olinger Crown Hill Mortuary & Cemetery

     

    Looking forward to your results – please comment below


  • LINKEDIN is Now #2 Social Networking Site

    Are you even using LinkedIn?

    Can you be found on the internet by prospects?

    Are you using social media and other technology to increase your sales?

    Our ASK THE SALES EXPERTS teleseminar THURSDAY, JULY 14TH at 7:00PM CDT, will help guide you through some of the tools to use on your social media sites and other tools to increase your sales, your presence and your success!

    Technological Tips for Increasing Efficiency & Improving Sales Performance

    Dustin Hillis  – The Smart Phone is Everything You Need

    Emmie Young – Using Technology to Save Time and Maximize Every Second of Your Day

    Amanda Johns – The Best LinkedIn Strategies of Our Time

    Gary Michels – Effectively Using Power Points, Testimonial Letters and Videos

    Rory Vaden – Organizing Your Friends for Fabulous Follow Up

    THURSDAY, JULY 14TH AT 7:00PM

    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

     


  • Getting Your Prospect’s Attention Over the Phone

    Considering your focus is an outbound call with the intent to schedule an appointment, the scripting I am suggesting would be used whether the call was answered live or if you leave a voicemail. It would be the same opening statement. The call objective is to schedule an appointment.

    The first thing you want to do is create a “headline” opening statement. You want to create something that is catchy and grabs the attention through proposing benefit to the prospect.

    Three major components of your effective opening monologue:

    1. Pleasantry

    Capture their attention with their full name.

    Use a pleasantry different from, “How are you, today?”

    Don’t use your company name in the opening statement?

    2. Benefit focused statement

    Who is your “Decision Maker” and why should they choose to do business with you?

    Think and speak “Benefits”!

    – Specific

                – Measurable

                – Time Phased

    – Results-oriented

    Hit the “bull’s eye” to get the interest of the caller. The ultimate objective is to get the person to listen to you by connecting at the highest level. The key is to get closer to the bulls eye which is referral specific.

                –  Generalized

                – “Companies in your city…”

                 – “Other groups in your industry…”

                   – Referral Specific

    – “ABC Insurance has increased sales activity and suggested I contact you…”

     – “Mary James was able to improve first time closing ratio by 23% through our unique method…”

    3. Transitional Question

    Require a minor “yes” decision to help move the dialogue forward.

    Deliver further benefits, and then end with a question that asks for an appointment.

    Use the take away technique.

     

    Review of the Outline of Your Effective Opening Statement:

    Step One: Use their full name

    Step Two: Pleasantry. Don’t ask “How are you today” because it telegraphs you are a salesperson. Simply say “Thanks for taking my call”, pause for a brief second and move on. Do not ask if you have caught them at a good time, because there never s a good time. If you have caught them at a bad time, they can tell you.

    Step Three: Bridge (links communication to become conversational)     

    “Last week…”

    “Recently…”

    Step Four: Benefit focused Statement

    Step Five: Transitional Question

    Here is an example of how this may work for either the initial call or the voicemail message:

    Voicemail

    “Hi, my name is _________from Scottsdale, Arizona. Thanks for taking my call. I trust I have not caught you at a bad time (slight pause) the purpose of my call and I will be brief, I have been talking to a number of sales managers in your area and they seem to be challenged with getting their sales people to do all the necessary activity to meet their sales goals. I am sure that is something that frustrates you as well. We have a unique solution; I am not sure if it would work for you, but if we can invest a few seconds I am sure you could tell if it would work. Recently Joe Smith of ABC Insurance was able to increase sales activity by nearly 30% with our solution within 30 days of implementing it. I can not really tell you right, or show you wrong. Please call me at 800-486-7586 and we can take a quick look. My name again is_____________800-486-7586

     Opening statement on initial call

    “Hi, my name is _________from Scottsdale, Arizona. Thanks for taking my call. I trust I have not caught you at a bad time (slight pause) the purpose of my call and I will be brief, I have been talking to a number of sales managers in your area and they seem to be challenged with getting their sales people to do all the necessary activity to meet their sales goals. Is that something that frustrates you as well? We have a unique solution; I am not sure if it would work for you, but if we can invest a few seconds I am sure you could tell if it would work. Recently Joe Smith of ABC Insurance was able to increase sales activity by nearly 30%with our solution within 30 days of implementing it. I can not really tell you right, or show you wrong. How many sales people do you have on your team?

     Ron Marks


  • FREE Teleseminar Tonight at 7pm CT

    CLOSING TECHNIQUES OF TOP PRODUCERS

                        

    Not closing all of the sales you want to?

    Is it getting harder and harder to close the deal?

     

    WE INVITE YOU TO JOIN IN OUR FREE TELESEMINAR TONIGHT FOR CLOSING TIPS

     FREE MONTHLY SALES TRAINING

    Closing Techniques of Top Producers

    TELESEMINAR TODAY THURS. AUGUST 26

    7:00pm CT (8:00pm ET, 6:00pm MT,5:00pm PT)

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

    “Ask the Sales Experts” Presents: 

    CLOSING Techniques of Top Producers

    The Southwestern ConsultingTM Team really brings the heat with exceptional, usable value for all our listeners.  We will be sharing our field-tested best tips & processes.

    Emmie Young – Listening Your Way to Commitment

    Ron Marks – How to Develop Your Closing Instinct

    Dustin Hillis – Navigate Closing “How to Close the 4 Buying Behavioral Styles”

    Amanda John – Asking the Right Questions Up Front to Set up Your Closing Questions for the End

    Rory Vaden – Closing on the Minor for the Major

    For more information on the Sales Experts, Click Here

    To submit questions for the upcoming conference call, please send an email to [email protected]

    The dial in phone number is 712-432-0404 (enter code 555575#) Limited to the first 100 callers!