Three Key Changes That Drive Sales Success

Hi Readers,

During my roles in solutions sales B2B businesses, I was often asked by my team members about my mantra for success.

My answer , based on my analysis, was the following- make 3 critical changes in the way you engage with your clients, internalise these changes, and you will have been served well .

These 3 changes that I mention are-

  • CHANGE #1: Describe what you’re selling as a “verb” rather than a “noun.” For example, suppose you’re selling for an industrial glue manufacturer. If you think that your job is to sell “glue” (a noun), you’ll talk to the customer about product features.  If you think your job is to sell “gluing” (a verb), you will tend to uncover your customer’s gluing needs.  Then you can show your offering can fulfill that need.

Another example that I can give here is when I was selling packaging solutions- I would never go and tell my client that I am selling packaging, BUT that I was selling his brand , profitably. This sort of had “shock value” in a market, where all my competitors, were selling packaging, and I was the only exception, selling my client’s brand and that too with a profit- therefore the engagement became more of a solution as opposed to a me-too, product, competing on price. Needless to say that my rate of client conversion was way higher than that of my competitors! Now think of applying that to chemicals industry…that’s another story folks!

 

  • CHANGE #2: Think about selling as helping the customer rather than making a sale. To do this, you simply expunge from your mental vocabulary the standard ways of describing sales process, like “convincing,” “persuading,” and “overcoming.”  Instead, you reframe the selling process of visualizing, with the customer, how (if they had your product) their problems might be solved and their goals achieved.

Guys, if you want to stand out from the crowd of other sales reps in the market, you seriously need to develop superior, communication skills to begin with, and slowly easing into story telling skills, using both visual as well as non visual formats to tell your story to your client- this follows from the change # 1 that I spoke of earlier. First use the change#1, and then follow up by using story telling skills to make a lasting impact.

 

  • CHANGE #3. Consider a sales call successful even when you don’t make a sale. Many salespeople get so caught up in “winning” that they foist unwanted products onto the customer. Rather than adopting a dogged determination to make the sale, make it clear — first in your own head and then directly to the customer –  that you’re more than willing to leave if you can’t actually help the customer.

This comes from having a  high EQ. Simple.

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How to Train Your Brain To Succeed at Sales!

Hi readers,

I have been blogging at length on the subject of sales management, selling skills, sales attitude AND also the struggle of the best of us in a global economy in the throes of recession…

It is very easy to become despondent in this scenario and to let the situation get the better of you…how ever if you have sales smarts, and above average EQ (Emotional Quotient) then you can certainly train yourself in these trying times to succeed!

Here are the five quickest way to get your brain in shape for a motivated attitude:

  1. Avoid negative thought patterns. Stop thinking in terms of “I can’t,” “It’s impossible,” or “This won’t work.” Negative thought patterns programs you for negative results. Instead think in terms of what you can accomplish and what will work.
  2. Emphatically express positive emotion. Never pass up an opportunity to express a positive feeling. For example, if someone asks “How are You?” respond enthusiastically with “Terrific!” or “Fabulous!” And then decide to feel that way.
  3. Don’t waste your mental energy. Worrying about things over which you have no control is the most useless of all human endeavors. Most news stories deal with issues that don’t affect your daily life. So spend your driving time listening to music or inspirational speeches.
  4. Stop griping about problems. What good does complaining about things do? It just depresses you and everyone else in the process. Focusing on what’s lousy about the economy, your company and your customers just sets you up for failure.
  5. Substitute neutral words to calm wayward emotions. For example, if you’re angry, rather than saying to yourself “I’m enraged!” say “I’m a bit annoyed…” or (better yet) “I’ve got a challenge here…”

Over time, using these techniques train your brain to reject the thoughts that keep you from being successful and strengthen the thoughts that make you motivated.

How to beat a personal sales slump in a down economy

Hi guys,

The down economy affects even the best of us sales super stars; face it , thats the harsh bitter truth.

Economy in a slump, investment sentiments in the pits, consumer sentiments even worse, inferior goods and brands on the up, what can a sales super star do!!!

Well there is hope even in adversity folks.

First and foremost, as the old saying goes, WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH GET GOING,,….so time for those of us looking for taking on a challenge head on and coming out winners from this apparently hopeless situation, first things first.

Get cracking on your EQ!! Yes emotional quotient and loads of it will separate the men from the boys…I say this from first hand experience, having managed several sales roles over the last 18 years- you name it, have done it; B2C, B2B, direct sales, Industrial sales, Institutional sales, solutions sales etc etc etc…

so some pearls of wisdom to you fellow sales men and women out there in cyber lala land…

Step 1. Don’t Panic. Your work-related problems feel overwhelming not because of work, per se, but because of your personal life. You’re getting married, which is a huge, life-altering change. When you’re making a big life change in one area of your life, it’s easy for other parts of your life to take on an exaggerated importance. That’s what’s happened here.

Step 2. Get Some Perspective. Try to remember that as a sales pro, you’ll probably have a dozen or more jobs in your life. This is just one of them. Chances are you’ll come out of the slump, probably after you get back from the honeymoon. Worst case, you’ll find another job, but that’s no big deal. You how to sell so, by definition, you’re more hireable than 99% of the people in business today.

Step 3. Give yourself some credit. Even though you’ve got all this emotion bouncing around in your brain, you’ve still managed to drag yourself to work and do whatever you could in order to make your quota. That kind of courage is nothing to sneeze at. A lesser man might have given up in the face of a two month slump. You didn’t, and that means that you’ve got what it takes to survive.

Step 4. Reframe the Situation. The slump seems like a big problem, but is actually a big opportunity. Once you handle this situation, you’ll know that you’ve been “tested in the fire.” Conquer this slump, and you’ll know that you have what it takes to keep control of your emotions and nothing will ever stop you again. An opportunity like this comes along but seldom. Use it to your advantage.

Step 5. Create a New Pattern. When you’ve got some alone time, sit quietly, close your eyes, and remember the times that you’ve made some big sales. Imagine, as strongly as you can, how you felt, what you were saying to yourself, what you did to celebrate. Make the memory as vivid as possible. Right when you’re feeling at the top of your game, say something the reaffirms your confidence while doing a dramatic physical gesture that locks the feeling into your body. (Example: clench both fists and say “I DID IT!!”)

Step 6. Break your Old Pattern. The reason that you’re in a slump is that your panicky feeling has become habitual. Here’s where we break the habit. Whenever you start feeling that feeling of dread, stand up (immediately), shake yourself, and then run the new pattern that you created in Step 5. (Clenched fists! “I DID IT!!”). Constantly interrupting your habitual fear scrambles your brain so that it won’t be able to get into the old pattern as easily. It also makes the beginning of the panic trigger a positive emotion, rather than a continuation of the panic.

Step 7. Work your Sales Cycle. Now comes the easy part. Focus on the mechanics of selling. Make the cold calls. Do the follow-ups. Make the customer calls. Don’t think about the outcome, or your quota, or anything else other than the sales cycle. Work the numbers. Do your job. Every time you feel that fear coming back, break the pattern and re-establish your confidence. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your sales performance will improve.