It’s early in the new year…you might have your bright and shiny goals in front of you, enthusiastic to achieve them and passionate about what you are out to create for yourself, your company, your family. Good for you!!! Now, ask yourself:
“Am I organized enough, with a system that is sufficient for the results I am committed to achieve?”
Take a moment and REALLY sit with that question and the elements it included. For creatives, organization seems boring and uninspiring. Spontaneity is revered, structure is resisted. However, actions planned and taken at the best time to produce the desired result takes scheduling…and it really doesn’t take anything away from right brain impulsiveness. It just makes you/us less at the mercy of knee jerk actions and distractions and more in control of the actions we take that support what we are out to accomplish.
Take a look at your structures and your calendar…and take a look from the perspective of the second floor. What do you notice? Does your system and your actions support the success you desire?
In keeping with the lifelong practice of asking questions is my lifelong practice of talking about them. Imagine a conversation where YOU really drive the exchange by completing EVERY response you have with a question. Think about it. Even if you answer a question posed by the other person, you keep the volley going with a question of your own. You: “Lobster is my favorite food…what’s yours?”
One of the more challenging types of questions is Commitment Questions – asking for a commitment from the other person so that occurs as a benefit to them.
Jim Grady was a partner and collaborator of mine for years and he was/is a terrific salesperson. Early in his career, he had the good fortune of working with a top real estate agent. Jim asked him what made him so successful and the response was “I always ask for a commitment”. When he would show a property, he would ask the prospect “Do you like this?” And if they said yes, he would ask “Do you want to make an offer?” Then he would manage their response.
Look at your selling strategy. Are you intending to ask for a commitment from the prospect – either the sale today or an appointment to make a sale tomorrow? Do you really know where the prospect is in their buying process and what they are ABLE to do now? Do you need to ask more Discovery Questions?
It’s all research and practice. Keep asking questions…all kinds of questions. And if you need help, ask for it.
As you might be doing at the start of the new year, I am scouring my expenses looking at what is nice versus necessary and can be cut. As an avid reader, my news subscriptions started to add up and I considered how much I read of each publication and I decided to cancel my digital subscriptions to both The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. The latter could be done via their website and it was a simple process to execute, followed by a confirming email from them within minutes asking why I was leaving – which I answered, and another email within 24 hours, saying they were sorry to see me go.
The former made the cancellation process more difficult for me, the customer. In order to cancel WSJ, I had to call a phone number and speak to someone who wanted to know why I was leaving. I said I didn’t read the publication enough to warrant a subscription. He asked “What does enough mean?” to which I responded, “Hardly ever”. He then asked if he cut the subscription cost in half, would it approximate how much I read it? I said yes, and he said, “Let’s do that then”. He proceeded to cancel my most recent payment and to start another subscription at 50% of what I was paying.
What a difference. At first, I was bugged by WSJ who didn’t make it easy for me to take action…but the experience was not problematic. And, while they lost 50% revenue, they kept a customer…something that the Post didn’t do.
It raises the question…where are you losing customers with a policy that intends the best but may not deliver it?
Now, go sell something.
For sales managers everywhere
We have all heard about how pressure creates diamonds as inspiration to be able to learn to withstand it. The ability to deal with pressure effectively is a learned trait, and sometimes the only benefit of adversity and challenge. Pressure shows what is underneath and who we are.
The Dalai Lama said “How we do anything is how we do everything” and that goes for pressure, too. If we cave and implode, get confused and flaky, get demanding and impatient and angry, those are our defaults under pressure. My quote is: “When we squeeze a tomato, we don’t get orange juice.”
When I work with an organization and get push back from employees, I know that I am providing pressure and revealing how that person will behave under pressure.
Training shows you how your salespeople learn and comprehend, take risks and try new things, and how they perform under pressure. How they behave with the pressure I provide shows you how they will behave with a prospect or customer who doesn’t do what they want them to do. So when they show me resistance or indifference, consider that is the same behavior they will show your customer when they say “I’m just browsing” or “I want to think about it.