Move Up The Corporate Ladder

Having worked in Corporate America for the last 15 years, you see it all the time. A newbie comes in and makes noise by selling more than the other sales reps and a month later they pull you aside and ask what does it take to get promoted? Normally, management will give a vague idea of what needs to be done which is normally keep selling, learn the business and get some experience under your belt and we will revisit this conversation at a later time. Sound familiar?

I have been in sales for a little over 20 years and luckily I have learned the ropes fairly quickly and have put myself in the position of getting noticed and moving up in the companies I have worked for. Is this the norm? Not at all. Why is this and what does a sales rep have to do if they have plans of getting promoted into a senior sales level or into leadership? I’m here to break it down for you and hopefully give you a blueprint on what needs to be done to move up the corporate ladder.

Work As You Owned the Company

If you owned the company you work for as a sales rep how would you handle the responsibilities of the company? How would you provide top of the line service to your clients and customers? How would you handle the day to day operations? You need to work as if you owned the company and you were a one man show. Management, Operations and Sales is ran by you. You wouldn’t be working a 9 to 5 and you wouldn’t settle for half ass results. Everything you do would be looked at in a business standpoint so at the end of the day, you would make it a priority to bring business in. That means no zero business days. How profitable are you as an investment and are you looking at the long term relationship with your clients and what each client is worth. Are you going to drop prices repeatedly just to get the sale? Look at things from a different perspective and people will look at you differently as well.

Go Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

Initiative. Show and take initiative but remember it’s not only how you hold yourself as a sales professional, it’s all about actions. Every organization wants to know who there players are and who to invest their time and resources into. It’s not about doing your job or being #1 in sales every quarter or even how many President’s Achievement trips you have won. Do you ever take on the leadership role that you desire? Are you standing out from the crowd by not only showing you know how to do the job but you are willing to share your secrets to success as well as train on it. The best sign of a leader is someone who can take something that may seem complicated to others and simplify it. How about creating systems or recommending systems that will improve results for the office or strengthen the culture in the office. Take on a leadership role not because you have to but because you want to and finally it’s all about higher learning…become a master in your craft by investing in yourself. What was the last book you read or the last training seminar you attended? Invest in yourself and others will invest in you!

So, take the advice and create your opportunity. Companies need innovative career minded sales professionals that can transition into leadership roles. Take off your rep hat and put on your leadership cap. Work two levels up at all times and promote yourself and then you might turn the heads of those executives.

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Increase Your Website’s Conversion

I’ve been in marketing and advertising for over 15 years and the one question I get more than others from business owners is how can I convert more traffic that lands on my website? Is there a strategy to this? Yes! Aren’t all websites created equal?  No! The truth about websites is a website should be the center of your marketing universe and it is the cornerstone to your online business. If you have a website and you are not happy with the results then pay attention to these points I’m going to share with you.

First and foremost know what you’re dealing with in regards to traffic.

The 8 Seconds Rule

The 8 seconds rule states that 50% of the traffic that will visit your website will leave your website within the first 8 seconds. It’s true! Break out your phone and set your timer for 8 seconds…this is how quick you are losing potential clients and money. Why are potential clients leaving in the first 8 seconds? The first reason is that online consumers have a very short attention span so they expect to find information quickly and easily. They don’t want to thumb through pages of content looking for a solution to their problem. The other reason why people leave your site within 8 seconds is because you. Yes I said it…you as the business owner don’t think like an online consumer. If you are trying to attract an online consumer than you need to think, act and search like an online consumer. If you don’t get this down…you will always lose money in the online space.

4 Website Requirements

There are 4 website requirements that are key to increasing your website’s conversion by influencing a online consumers behavior which ultimately will lead into business. 

Call to Action Statements

Call to Action statements of the past is not what I’m talking about such as “call us now”, “call us today”, “call us for a free quote”; etc. These may have been effective 15-20 years ago but as we’ve been exposed to these sayings day in and day out in all forms of media, we hear it on the radio and see it on TV, we see it on flyers and mailers and even online. So, what can you do today to capture important information from potential clients? Most online traffic that lands on your website will not make a purchase or call on the first visit so what can you do to ensure you create a stickiness with them? It’s called “permission based selling.” Permission Based Selling is you asking an online consumer for information such as name, email address and cell phone number. Keep the information that you are asking for, short and to the point. What’s the reason for this? Now, you have “lead” information to follow up with whether you are sending out a newsletter, video, offer or marketing piece.  Automatic pipeline and your website is doing the work!

Landing Pages built to Convert

Only 2-3 pages of your website needs to be used for informational purposes only such as your home page, about us and contact us page. Every other page needs to be focused on your “profit centers.” Your profit centers are your highest profit services or products you offer that need to highlight. Each page needs to be built with marketing rich content. It’s not about throwing content and photos on a page. You need to put careful thought and make sure that the content on your site is answering the questions of your potential clients. The aesthetics and content on the front of your website plays a part in converting but the back of your website needs to be built and formatted correctly for Google to crawl your webpage. Where most business owners go wrong is not knowing if the back of their site has the proper title tags and meta description. Title tags is like a chapter of a book so it will let Google know what to expect on that page. Title tags should be who you are, what you do and your geographic area.

Video Increases Customer Engagement

Video is a powerful tool to increase customer engagement which is important. E-Marketer says that online consumers spend an average of an hour and 18 minutes watching video each day. In 2015, video accounted for 64% of all consumer internet traffic and it’s expected to rise in 2017 to 69%. Online consumers are influenced by what we see and hear and video is the perfect tool to get your message out to your ideal client in the short amount of time you have to turn a browser into a buyer and get someone from the beginning of a buying cycle closer to the end of a buying cycle. Video increases your dwell time to 2 minutes so if you are looking to increase your conversion…lights..camera…action!

Mobile Compatible Website

We all know the importance of having a mobile compatible site, it may just be more important than your desktop version. Last year in April, Google released their mobile algorithm that focused on boosting mobile sites in their mobile search results. What this means is if you don’t have a mobile compatible site, then you are not relevant. Also, Google has made it a priority to tag mobile friendly sites to tell online consumers the choices they are highlighting will create a greater user experience for the end user which means not having to pinch and pull, trying to call the number on the site by memorizing it or looking at squint print. Life is so much easier when you can scroll a mobile friendly site and hit a click to call button, send an email or get directions with the swipe of your thumb.
Knowing that Google is making these changes, shouldn’t you follow suit as a small business? Of course you should!

I hope you got value from this article. The online space is quickly evolving and if you don’t evolve with it, unfortunately you will be left behind. For more articles follow my blog and much success in 2016!

Killing Time Wasters

Sales professionals in multiple industries ask me all the time about what they can do to avoid time wasters. If you could find more time to increase prime time selling hours, wouldn’t you make more money and increase your job joy? The biggest struggle for most sales people is the “chase” and constant follow up. Follow up is important but following up with your right audience is time well spent yet the others should never have been included in your pipeline.

There is a big difference between pipeline and pipe dream!

Here is the biggest time waster which you have complete control over.

Qualifying prospects

This is a hot topic for me and so many others that train sales professionals. If you qualified clients before you invested all your time into a potential client like the Mortgage Industry and Automobile Industry, you would know if the time you are going to invest into that client will be well spent. You wouldn’t sell a $2.5 million dollar home to a single man or woman who makes $30k a year, right? or you wouldn’t extend credit to someone with a FICO of 500 or someone who has a history of late payments, right? Selling in today’s market is all about identifying your target audience whether you are running ads on Google, Facebook; etc. or even if you are generating leads the traditional way of cold calling over the phone or in person. Sometimes as sales professionals we are just fishing for anyone to take the bait and bite, we spend all that time reeling the big catch in and then after fighting tooth and nail to pull it in, they bite the line and escape. If you ever gone fishing and have been through this experience, it’s one of the worse. Ask me about my fight with a 20lb. rainbow that took me an hour to reel in just to watch it swim away 3 ft. from my hands. Qualify like your life depended on it and you’ll see first hand, you’ll increase your selling time and prevent the headaches and heartbreaks.

Follow Up or Fall Out

Now that you qualified your potential clients, the ones that have not bought your products or service fall into your follow up file. What is your game plan when following up with prospects? Do you have a timeline goal to close these deals? What plan do you have in place for each follow-up call? Each follow up call should progress to the close not an attempt to close each time you follow up. The client who doesn’t buy on the initial call needs to be courted through different touch points. Have a strategy put into place and execute with precision. Maybe your first follow-up touch point will be an email or text with a link to  your strongest testimonial, video or newsletter or maybe it will be an exclusive offer. The whole concept of follow up or fall out is you either get them closer to the close or you push them out of your priority list. 

Implement these two steps and you will notice a difference in the amount of selling time you now have to generate more leads, more business and more commissions. 

Stop, Drop and Roll

You are a master of closing, sell with a silk tongue and you are Mr. Personality. You know how to close but for some reason you’re hitting a wall lately or maybe you are just getting into the sales profession and you are searching for that Platinum process that will guarantee you sales and graduate you into the rankings of a Proven Closer. The sales call is catching fire and you are stuck right in the middle of a burning inferno with walls collapsing, beams falling and the smoke is building all around you. It’s getting really hot, really quick so what should you do?

 

Just as you were taught as a kid in elementary school…you need to stop, drop and roll. You might be asking yourself what is this technique? I’ve been in sales for decades and I have never heard about this. Well, I’m going to shed some light on this technique so you can start applying it right away.

 

STOP! 

The first rule of thumb in sales is the client should be doing majority of the talking. How can you sell a client on a product or service you offer if you don’t know what the client needs. This subject is a little controversial but the rule is 80/20. The sales associate should only be doing 20% of the talking and 80% listening. If you find yourself talking too much, the odds are greatly stacked against you because first off, you will come across as someone who is in it just for the sale and also you may come across desperate. I understand, you as a sales professional you’re objective is to close the sale and when you walk in the door, the client knows your a sales person but that doesn’t mean you’ll close the deal. Keep in mind, people don’t care what you know, until they know how much you care! Everybody wants to buy a product or service from a desperate sales person, right? Never! No! Incorrect! Clients can smell desperation off your collar. No one wants to deal with a thirsty sales rep so quench that thirst before going in.

DROP.

Once you gained your composure and you stopped screaming “fire” it’s time to drop. Drop what? Drop some of the most thought provoking questions that your client needs to answer that will lead to the close. I’ve been in sales over 20 years and I have learned that the better and more structured the questions are in regards to their business, the greater odds are in your favor. Asking the right questions about what’s important to them is key in probing and needs based selling. 

Here are some examples of questions I’ve used in my Industry:

  • If you could put together the ideal marketing program together for your business, what would it look like and what would you’re expectations be?
  • What keeps you up at night?
  • What have you done in the past and what were the results?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with your current marketing efforts?
  • Would you rather be relevant, competitive or dominant in your market?

By asking the right questions, you now set yourself up for the final piece of this technique!

 

ROLL!

Now it’s time to roll your clients directly into the close. You stopped throwing up on your client, you gained your composure and starting asking thought provoking questions so it only makes sense to provide the best solution for your client and their needs. This is where you as the sales rep let the client know, “based off of what you said earlier about how you wanted to X and Y, you also said one of the most important focuses of your business is Z, this is what the best recommendation would be. 

 

Sometimes, even the best sales professionals lose their way. Stop, Drop and Roll your way to the close! Happy selling and much success!

 

 

Feel, Felt, Found Technique

Objections are a given on any sales call in any sales profession but it’s how you overcome them that matters the most. Which technique do you use to get the client to give you the okay to move forward and close them? One of the oldest techniques taught by all the sales coaches and trainers is the FEEL, FELT, FOUND technique. This technique has been used by millions of sales professionals across the globe and even though it’s a classic by putting a modern spin on this technique, not only will it flow better but business owners won’t pick up on it as a sales technique.

OBJECTION

“It sounds good and all but I really can’t justify spending $2000 on your product. Money is tight right now and I have to be wise where my budget is spent.”

FEEL

John, I totally get where you’re coming from. Being a small business it’s crucial to make good business decisions…

FELT

It’s a common concern from business owners I speak to on a daily basis. Just a few days ago, I was talking to Carl from ABC company. I had recommended one of our larger programs that start at a $3500 investment and he was a bit taken back by the investment because he had a few other priorities that he needed to think about…

FOUND

But, after going over his potential ROI and sharing some of our client testimonials, he realized that the product we are offering to businesses like his and yours which is similar, he would easily make his investment back with only 2 jobs! He moved forward with our larger program and now he’s glad he did. 

Many sales people deliver the feel, felt, found technique as it is rather than using it as a foundation to build on. The next time you are on a sales call and you encounter those objections, try it out.