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Work Hard Now – Relax Later

In my day to day job, I interact with fellow employees who complain about the woes of lack of money. They complain about the company, about the manager, about their volume of business. I used to try to offer advice to these people, but advice offered to someone who doesn’t ask for it, often falls on deaf ears.

In my day to day job, I find that the average salespeople , who represent most of our work force, actually try to shame those who work much harder. “Brandon, you’re working too hard, you’re not enjoying life.”” Do you think you’re better than everyone else?” “What do you have to prove? ”

Here are my truths:

Because I work hard, I am happier. I make better money, I increase my marketability and my reputation. I become an influencer and a trusted advisor. I gain invaluable experience in negotiation. For every 1 negotiation they take part in, I take part in 20. If we extrapolate that over 10 years, who gains more experience?

The more we give of ourselves today with average returns, the less we have to give tomorrow, with above average returns. Establish your foundation, and work tirelessly, and you will be rewarded. Don’t listen to average.

 

 

 

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Boundaries in Business

As a salesperson, business owner, or marketer, we want to go above and beyond to please our customer. We answer the late calls, we show up when most anyone else wouldn’t. We take care of the small details that sets us apart from our competition. Sometimes we lose site of our value, and allow our customers to dictate all terms, at the expense of ourselves, and our time.

In business, you have to have respect for yourself. You have to stand up for yourself when the terms are lopsided. Do you find yourself in deals that are noticeably lopsided, in your customers favor? Do you realize that you set the expectation moving forward that every deal will be just as lopsided? You will lose money, you will lose precious time, and for most sales people, its because they want to be liked.

Drawing strong boundaries is important to building strong business relationships. People see you as someone who’s efficient and professional, and not as a disposable.

3 Keys to Keeping Boundaries:

1) Learn to be tactful and precise with your words 

I see plenty of people fall in the trap of thinking that they need have an answer to a question as soon as it pops out of their customers mouth. Sales people jump the gun and begin to promise things that they can’t deliver on, Before you answer, pause, and think!!!! Your customer won’t have any less respect for you if you are calculated about your responses. In fact, wouldn’t you feel more comfortable if your client took the time to think about your questions, and return a measured and exact response?

2) Learn to say no –

THE DREADED WORD NO.  You will hear plenty of sales coaches tell you never to use this word. They say it puts your customer in a bad place. It hurts their feelings. I say use it whenever you’d like. No is an important word because it clearly defines expectations. It allows you to move forward in a conversation without all of the fluff, and it delivers you to your end result more quickly. No also puts you in a position of being respected. When you tell someone no, they are flabbergasted and stunned and look at you in a different light. Always follow up no with a reasonable explanation and don’t be disrespectful.

3) Learn to be okay with not having the answer right away – 

If you don’t know the right answer – tell your customer that you will check on that question, and follow up. Make sure that your ship is water tight. All information that leaves your mouth is 100% correct and can leave no room for question.

 

If you implement the above advice into your sales routine, you will immediately find a sense of relief as you build stronger relationships, and create strong deals. Drawing boundaries for yourself  is liberating!

 

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Sell to people who want to buy your product

One thing that has come across my mind lately is selling to people who want to buy your product. This may seem pretty obvious, but many sales people hustle, and grind and get nowhere. Sometimes they are trying to sell a product, to a demographic that wont purchase the product. Are you going to sell Duck Dynasty T-shirts on Fashion Boulevard in Paris? Probably not! Are you going to try to sell pork chops to a vegan community? Probably not!

Think about whether or not your product is suitable for your demographic. Think about the financial aspect, think about the practical and business aspects, think about all avenues and angles before you try to sell a product to someone who doesn’t want to purchase it.

How do we maximize our sales with the people who are interested in purchasing our products?

  1. Don’t pitch – Sales pitches are for the birds. People are so inundated with sales pitches that the second your start reciting your line, red flags shoot up everywhere! Be real with these people. That all they want. Listen to their concerns, ask questions, and pair needs with solutions.
  2. Don’t talk about yourself – Don’t talk about yourself unless the customer asks you questions. Keep the focus on the customer. Ask them questions! When you force your customer to talk, they more quickly get comfortable with the situation. questions are ice breakers, and serve to make your customer’s guard come down more quickly.
  3. Don’t bring up your product – Sounds funny right? Don’t bring up your product? If your customer knows who you are, and why you’re there, your purpose for the visit will come up eventually, but let it come from their mouth and not yours. It’s a difficult skill for a sales person to learn. Guiding the customer to ask the right questions, instead of your forcing the questions, makes things feel much more genuine on the customers end. Something as simple as having a product out on your desk in a retail environment, with plenty of information displayed. You don’t have to bring up the product, but the customer will ask

Summary:

BE YOURSELF! Look to actually start a relationship with your customer, and don’t be quick to sell. The sales part is a biproduct of the relationship part.

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Networking Events: They matter

Part of the “wing it” mentality in sales is being able to generate business off of your personality alone. The wing it mentality doesn’t work, hate to break it to you. If we haven’t said it enough before, some of the most important aspects of sales is networking and relationship building. Fellowship with other businesses and like minded people is very important!

Lets go over some of the top reasons why we go to networking events:

1) Opportunity: Guess what? In order to take advantage of opportunity, you must put yourself in the right place, and the right time for opportunity to find you! Going to networking events opens up avenues of partnership, business leads, strong business relationships, speaking opportunities, and money! At some level, we live in a world of not WHAT you know, but WHO you know. This holds true for business!

2) Multiply yourself: Allow your connections to pitch your products for you! In order to be successful, you’ve got to have some organic advertising. People are typically loyal to brands, and if can harness the power of networking events, to pitch your products, when you’re present, you are way ahead of the game!

3) Create Higher Social status and Reputation: Let people see your face, let people get to know your product. If you have a track record of treating people right, and creating strong relationships, your status amongst your peers will increase! This can only lead to more sales, and more deals!

 

4) Public Speaking: Most of the events that I have attended require its attendees to regularly present to the group, or speak publicly. What a great opportunity to build confidence in yourself! This is like college, but free (pay for the gas money)! If you aren’t too comfortable in front of crowds, take this as an opportunity to build your confidence.

5) Practice being professional: What does being professional look like? Sound like? Feel like? Get in front of people who encompass qualities of true professionals. I promise, it will rub off on you. It’s always good to learn from other people who have been doing things longer than you have.

Let us know your thoughts below or reply talk to us at brandon@permissiongrantednow.com.

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The 3 F’s: The core elements of successful sales people

Do a quick google search of how to be successful in sales and this is what you find:

KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT AND YOUR EARS OPEN

SELL WITH QUESTIONS, NOT ANSWERS

PRETEND YOURE ON A FIRST DATE WITH YOUR PROSPECT

PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO WHAT YOUR PROSPECT INST SAING

IF YOURE ASKED A QUESTION, ANSWER IT BRIFELY AND THEN MOVE ON

REFRAIN FROM DELIVERING A THREE HOUR PRODUCT SEMINAR

INVITE YOUR PROSPECT TO TAKE SOME KIND OF ACTION

USE YOUR TIME WELL

USE YOUR BORN CREATIVITY TO HELP YOUR SALES

The advice goes on, and on, and on……..

Folks,

I’m here to tell you that there are only 3 things that need to be done, to be successful in sales. Everything else is cool, and may accelerate the process, but these three things will get you where you want to be. The 3 F’s:

1) Follow Truth – If you don;t know the answer, don’t BS the customer. If the customer wants to know the price of the product/service, tell them the price, don’t lie.  Do whats best for the customer at all times! Be honest at all times! This is your only filter. Doing whats best for the customer sets you apart from your counterparts because they mostly like to do whats best for them instead.

2) Follow Through – If your customer wants to meet you somewhere, at a specific time, then meet them there! Don’t be flaky! If you say you’re going to do something, then do it!

3) Follow up – (the most important) In the world we live in today, people can go ANYWHERE for their products/services. They can go online. They can go to a sea of competitors. They can do things themselves. Selling someone something is the beginning of the relationship. FOLLOW UP IF YOU WANT TO RETAIN THEIR BUSINESS. I repeat. FOLLOW UP IF YOU WANT TO RETAIN THEIR BUSINESS. Your goal is to touch them once every 3 to 6 months. There are so many benefits to building your funnel by means of following up.

As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to us at Brandon@permissiongrantednow.com

Increase your sales IQ: Click HERE

 

 

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Retail Sales – Impressions Matter

Think about the past couple times you walked into a retail sales setting. Did you see people feverishly folding clothes with headsets on not paying attention to the fact that you entered their store? Did you see a cluster of sales people cracking jokes or watching youtube videos on their phones? Were you greeted? Were you asked questions?

In retail sales, first impressions are paramount! As a retail salesperson, you don’t have much time gain the trust of your customer, so everything that you do has to lend itself to being perceived as professional, and trustworthy.

Let’s go over some ways that a retail sales person can immediately impact the way their customer perceives them.

1) Immediately greet the customer with a handshake. Folks, this is basic stuff, but 9 out of 10 sales reps wont shake their customers hand when greeting them. Use a firm hand shake.

2) Make eye contact when talking to the customer. When making eye contact, it gives the customer the impression that you care about what they’re saying, and it gives the impression that you are confident and engaged

3) High Grooming standards. Fellas, control your beard, don’t let it control you. Even if you have a beard down to your chest, please make sure it’s groomed properly. We don’t need a birds nest. Also, make sure your hair is cut squared away. Don’t go too heavy on the cologne. Make sure your attire isn’t wrinkled. make sure your shoes don’t look old and used. Present yourself as the product that a customer is purchasing. Would you want to buy a beat up pinto for $80,000? Probably not, and neither would your customer.

5) Let the customer talk! Too many sales people get in the habit of talking during 90% of the sales process. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT THE CUSTOMER WANTS, so ask questions!  Ask them the who, the what, the where, they why, the when! Uncover their reasons, and let them talk. They will feel more comfortable around you, and have a higher propensity to purchase from you.

6) Follow up! As we said before, there isn’t a tremendous opportunity to make a lasting impression on a customer. We can do this by following up with your customer! This can be as simple as scheduling a follow up text, or following up with an email or phone call. Creating a friendship outside of the business sale, can mean loyal customers for life.

If you immediately implement the 6 bullets listed above, you will undoubtedly place yourself in the “above average” category when it comes to retail sales people. Reply below, and let me know your thoughts!

Brandon@permissiongrantednow.com

Click HERE to increase your sales IQ

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Mistakes with Existing Customers

Are humans by nature lazy? I wouldn’t go that far. After-all, laziness isn’t responsible for the world we live in today. A better word to use is consistent. Sometimes our effectiveness isn’t consistent in the sales process. How can we fix consistency? How does lack of consistency affect our existing customer base?

Think about yourself as a product. You are a product that your clients purchase over and over again. They expect the experience to be the same or better each time, the same way you expect your favorite Starbucks beverage or cellphone brand to deliver consistent desirable outcomes. Gentlemen, have you ever received your haircut at the barbershop that employees three different barbers? The first time you go, the barber does a fantastic job. Fades your hair right, the lines are perfect, etc. The second time you go, you get a different person, and your experience is horrible. The third time you go, you get an average haircut. Even though you had an outstanding experience the first time, the two times afterwards left much to be desired. What happens? You search for a more consistent product. You had nothing against the barbers, but the product wasn’t consistent.

What happens when you go above and beyond for an existing customer, and they come back for the next sale, and their experience isn’t the same? You lose consistency points! Your customer’s loyalty for you (the product) diminishes. You have to PROTECT YOUR HOUSE and provide the same level of service and care each time! Otherwise, people find a better product (sales person).

How do we fix levels of consistency?

Most sales people “wing it”. They’ve got no plan, and they’ve got no system. Every interaction with a customer depends on the mood they’re in that day. Sure, they have the same smile, and the same cheesy jokes, but their heart/emotions aren’t into the sale on a consistent level each time. Which means their results aren’t consistent.It’s an emotion based sales process. For many people, this garners average results.

Look around at your fellow sales people. You’ve always got that one guy or gal who’s customers either hate them, or love them. On a scale of 1 to 10, they only have ones, and tens, but nothing in-between. This is a good indication of an emotion based system. Their success depends on whether they are in a good mood, or a bad mood that day.

A systems based sales process aims to create nearly identical results with each and every client, regardless of mood or emotion:

  1. Call the customer to set the appointment
  2. Send a follow up email confirming the appointment.
  3. Send an agenda via email 24 hours before the appointment
  4. Go to the appointment
  5. Meet and greet customer – keep it short, keep it business.
  6. Reiterate the agenda that was sent the day before.
  7. Ask no less than 10 questions about their current needs and the state of their business.
  8. Thank them for their time and request a second appointment for your proposal

This was just a short example of what the system might look like. The same system is executed each time, with each customer, even returning customers! The system ensures that you have covered everything, every time. There is no “winging it”. What does your system look like? Comment below, and let me know your thoughts!

 

 

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Sales Focus

Sales associates tend to be out-going instead of introverted. I’ve found that sales associates use this outgoing personality to get themselves into a variety of activities that don’t involve sales. Of course, this is fine! It’s important to be well rounded as an individual, however, one thing that I’ve been observing lately is the propensity for sales people to spread their focus too thin.

It’s wildly important to use your time, and your energy with purpose. Far too many people spread themselves too thin and find that their business suffers because of it. Top reasons why business suffers:

1) Putting off until tomorrow, what could be done today. What activities are taking priority over your business, that shouldn’t be?

2) Focus in your off time. Make good decisions with your time when you’re not working. I.E too many drinks the night before tends to hinder your ability to perform at your highest level. Or, lack of sleep can really add up and have an effect on execution. Make good decisions today, so you can cultivate good business tomorrow.

3) Don’t get suckered into going towards the path of least resistance. In sales, you must realize that it’s a long journey to get to where you need to go. It’s difficult to be very successful in sales! Too many people give up, and make excuses for their lack of performance. Eventually, you see them settle for less, simply because it’s easier. See it through! Realize where you want to be, and take actions every day to get where you want to be. Don’t take the path of least resistance!

4) Not going all in. Go all in on your goals! Burn the bridge behind you so that there’s no escape or retreat from you reaching your destination. Laser focus in all that you do. Be determined, be persistent, be strong willed, and be tireless!

 

Don’t get suckered into spreading your focus. Work on following through with whats directly in front of you. Execute with a long term strategy in mind.

Brandon@permissiongrantednow.com

Click Here for more sales tips and advice

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Day 1 in Sales

So its your first day on the job, and you’ve never had a sales position before. What types of things do we focus on? What can we expect? What do we need to plan for?

Your sales job isn’t just a regular 9-5. You’re probably commissioned, which means you’re playing a different game than most people. You have the decision to play the game smart, or play the game dumb. You can take each customer that comes to you, sell them something, and hope that they return at some point in the future. Or, you can take each customer, give them a great experience, and follow up!  Imagine that you’re in a retail sales environment, and over the course of one year, you sell something to 500 customers. Those 500 customers net you $50,000 in annual income. Now, what if you could recapture just 25% of those customers. That’s an additional $12,500 in your pocket! The best sales reps work to create an evergreen stream of revenue by building relationships!

In a sales job, if you’re playing the game right, you’re working hard in the beginning to reap the fruits of your labor in the future. You will be harassed for working hard from other sales reps who are average. You will be told that your hard work is pointless. You will be told to “relax”, “take a break”, “don’t burn yourself out”. If you hear these things, then you’re probably doing something right! In combination with working hard, you are working smart too! You are building relationships, and following up. You are growing the bonds that will give you a solid foundation of influence and revenue in the future.

Think in terms of years, and not weeks. Realize that Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you have a long term strategy, you will outlast, and outshine anyone else around you. The next blog post will outline techniques to retain customers. What are your thoughts? Click here to join our sales family!

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Five Attributes of Average Sales People

Take a look around you wherever you go. You’ll see sales people everywhere! Sales people at restaurants. Sales people at department stores. Sales people on the phone. Sales people online. Sales people selling other sales people 😉

With so many sales people you’d think that enough information would shared to ensure every sales person would be wildly successful! The truth is, knowledge alone isn’t the crux of what makes an effective sales person. Below, we have listed five attributes of average. Do these apply to you?

  1. Lukewarm honesty – Most of the time you’re honest, but not all of the time. If you can tweak a word here or there, to get your customer to committ, you’re happy, and can live with your conscience. News flash, honesty is the ABSOLUTE cornerstone of your business. Trust is what brings people back. If you aren’t completely honesty, people will find out, and you WILL lose business
  2. Lack of commitment and routine – Read any self improvement book and at least one chapter will touch on routine. Routine is the key to effectiveness. Deliberately setting aside time for tasks maps out your day, and allows you to significantly increase planning and execution. Commit to a routine, and watch your numbers increase! Your confidence is contrived in your ability to execute!
  3. Short term thinking – Average sales people want the quick money. They are impatient, and greedy. If they took a step back, they would realize that time is on their side, and the ability to make money from returning customers is limitless. Don’t burn a bridge in the shorterm, to lose your career in the long term. Go the extra mile to help your customer out. They will greatly appreciate the help, and become a raving fan of yours! Think in periods of years, not months!
  4. Keeping monopolies on information – Sales departments work together as teams. Unfortunately, not everyone wants to be a team player. Average sales people keep information to themselves as a form of job security. Share your best practices, and help your fellow sales person. They can be your biggest advocate, or your biggest enemy, but the choice is yours!
  5. Patience and resilience – Being in sales can be very emotionally disturbing, but it doesn’t have to be if expectations are set correctly from the start. Give yourself time to develop relationships and business. Be resilient when deals don’t go your way, or things are slower than you’d expect. Keep fighting and persevering, and you will find success! People who give up, will never find success 100% of the time.

 

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Brandon@permissiongrantednow.com