Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Chapter 4: Be Punctual

For those of you who transferred here from my Go paragraph, we are going to start from there:
A salesperson must be punctual. Period. When a prospect blocks out time to meet with you, you have to move heaven and earth to make the meeting happen at the time you've committed to-and that usually means planning on making your way into the office fiver or ten minutes before the appointed time.
Treat your own time, and the time of your prospect, with respect. You can do this by:

*Scheduling "hard" appointments ("Yes, I'll meet you at 10 on Tuesday) around nearby "soft" appointments ("I think we can meet ata 1, but you'll have to call me to confirm the meeting in the morning.") That way if our soft appointment falls through, you haven't made a trip for no reason.

*Use your off time (say 5;30-6pm) to compose thank you letters

*On those rare occasions when you can't make a scheduled meeting as the result of a dire emergency, call ahead and explain the problem-or try to arrange for a manger or colleague to stand in for you.

*Buy yourself a Day Timer or other personal scheduling aid and use it each and every day.

*Never overbook yourself. If you can't make a certain date and time, say so up front and schedule your appointment for a date that's not as full.

*Remember who's in charge. If your client needs a few extra minutes to resolve an office crisis before sitting down to meet with you, don't stew about itin the waiting room! Your frustration will show, and will negatively affect the emotional atmosphere of the meeting.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Walton Group Inc

I started working at The Walton Group Inc. on Tuesday, August 29 2006. On my first day, I had to install some Microsoft programs onto my archaic computer, which took most of the day. In between downloading and installing said software, I went with Dan Davis, my direct manager, to AF downtown, to discuss the Holloween plans for DAF. But before we went, Linda Walton, the owner of the walton group, bought lunch for the three of us, and we enjoyed some nice conversation. I am learning that Dan really likes the difference between civilian life and work life, and that Linda likes to blend the two, she is much more fun. I will get paid $1,000 for the semester, working 10 hours a week. My duties today included reading the internship responsibility page, which had some typos on it, and getting my picture taken for the news release about new interns that Dan is going to send out to Deseret News. And now I am spending the last 10 minutes of my day blogging about my first day on the job, and hope that someone notices. The next chapter in the 25 sales strategies book will soon be coming.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

BY ADAM-Interviews

I enjoy a good solid interview, the kind where you can sit down, have a REAL conversation with your employer, and shoot the breeze for a little bit. I have had two interviews in the last month, and they were completely different from each other in all aspects. I interviewed at Richter 7. First of all, their office is located on the second floor of a very nice building in downtown SLC, and there was not much parking. I was early, so it was no big deal. But even though i was there early, I sat in the reception room waiting for my interviewer for 10 minutes before I even got contacted by him, Jim was his name. I sat down in a little room with glass walls, so everyone could see me in there, and I felt uneasy having people walk by and look at me. I was there by myself for a good 10 minutes, filling out this questionairre about my work ethic, and what I thought people thought about my work ethic. It was pretty impressive when I got the results back. Pretty spot on. But I still haven't been anywhere near interviewed by this point. Then Jim comes in, he's a tall guy, and he's sitting across from me, and starts asking about my work experience. I start telling him some things, and it just feels like I'm talking to a wall, to me at least. Then he says why do I want this job, I gave him some lame answer, since I didn't really want it. He could tell. The best part of that interview was when I was talking to the current intern about his responsibilities. It sounded kind of fun. But the commute was too long, and the pay wasn't worth it. So I never got called back. Then Today, I had the great opportunity of being interviewed by Linda Walton, owner of The Walton Group Inc. in Provo. She is a very down to earth, on task, fun lady. I have a feeling I am going to get the job, we'll see by tomorrow. She asked about my work experience, and I felt like she really wanted to know, so I elaborated on it. I kind of used the approach that this was my chance to shine, so I better tell things truthfully, and show my personality a little by telling some sarcastic anecdotes and getting a few laughs. I felt very comfortable in the office. It was serene, and professional. And we were just sitting on some lounge furniture in the front room, listening to the soothing sounds of trickling water. It was totally great

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Chapter 3, Seizing the Opportunity.

Many salespeople See opportunity. Few sales people seize opportunity. Seizing the opportunity means employing all the techniques possible. It means doing things most other salespeople don’t do. Superior salespeople identify opportunities quickly and effectively, and then they use all their resources to turn potential success into sales dollars. What does seizing opportunities look like in action? Let’s look at a couple of examples. Consider prospecting, for instance. Most salespeople loathe the process because they don’t understand that it’s the engine that drives the entire sales process.
There are a number of ways in which you can prospect. One of the most effective is simply by using word of mouth. I make word of mouth work for me by telling every single person I meet what I do for a living. If you were to meet me face to face, I’d tell you that I’m president of D.E.I. Management Group, and that we’re a nationwide sales training company with offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Dallas. I’d tell you that I have about forty reps working for us, and I’d tell you some of the companies we work for. Whether we met in a business context or not, you’d get all that information about me and my company when we met.
I'm out to tell everybody what I do because I realize the truth about prospecting: Every single person I meet knows an additional 250 people. And it's a pretty good bet that at least one of those 250 people will be interested in talkin to me about sales training at some point. Understand: I'm not aiming to get you to sign a contract with me when I tell you all about my company. I simply want you to recognize what I do and perhaps tell somebody else about it.
I know that every time I tell somebody what I do for a living, I'm probably going to get a lead somewhere down the line as a result of having had that conversation. the best salespeople I've encountered tell everybody in their own circle what they do for a living, and enlighten each new acquaintance, as well. My advice to beginning salespeople is simple: contact all your friends, relatives, and acquaintances and tell them about your business. Don't try to sell to these people-that will turn them off. (My experience is that salespeople who make friends and relatives their primary prospects are not successful. ) Simply let these people know what you're doing and describe the way you work.
Other great prospecting tools include cold calling ( see my book "cold calling techniques that really work!"),giving public speeches (perhaps initially to groups of fifteen or twenty people through a local service organization), or talking to your own accountant of life insurance agent about possible leads you can pursue.
But seizing the opportunity is more than just taking the initiative to track down leads, or even calling several contacts within an organization before you cross it off your prospecting lists. Seizing the opportunity means taking full advantage of each new situation as it presents itself. And, paradoxically enough, seizing the opportunity means being able to keep from getting distracted with the idea of closing the sale.
Successful salespeople realize that the phrase "closing a sale" is something of a misnomer. what you're really after is to get people to buy from you- that is , to use your products. Therefore, you have to develop a plan, which we call a proposal, that in fact will show the prospect why he or she should use your product or service. But here's the tricky par: that proposal has to be customized.
The most effective salespeople I know don't use boilerplate proposals. they seize the opportunity to improve the relationship by getting the prospect to develop the proposal with them, step by step, based on the information they've gathered during the interview.
Let the prospect "write" the proposal for you. Ask questions like, "What are you trying to get accomplished in X area?" Then write down everything-and I mean everything-you hear in response. Use your notes to develop a preliminary proposal, one the prospect can sign off on before you make your formal proposal. that's a great way to seize opportunity.
don't wait for the sale to fall into your lap. Don't assume you know the answers. Don't assume that what worked for the last prospect will work for this prospect. Ask the questions. Write down the answers.
suppose the proposal doesn't go well, despite your best efforts. Seize the opportunity: use your manager. Have your manager call up and apologize for any problems that might have arisen. (who knows you may have said something wrong.)My managers and I have used this technique quite effectively over the years. We'll call up and say, "I understand Jim was out your way recently, and if there was a problem, I really want to apologize." Nine times out of ten the person will say to us, "no, no, no, Jim did nothing wrong. It was just that I was too busy, and I didn't get a chance to talk to my people." And we simply say, "Oh, okay. I'm just curious-what do you do out there?" And suddenly there's a conversation that, more often than you might think, results in new information- and new appointment for the rep who initially called on the account.
Almost as effective is siezing the opportunity by personally apologizing for any problems or mistakes in a presentation that didn't result in a sale. In the vast majority of cases, you'll hear, "no, shari, it wasn't you-we've ust got a problem with ..." all of a sudden you know more about this prospect than you did before, and you're in a better position to act on what you know.
The point is not simply stare at your call sheet or datebook, not to do what every one else is doing, but to find creative ways to develop new openings for yourself and gather information about the prospect that you didn't have before. Use all resources at your disposal! That's what seizing opportunity is all about.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Strategy 2: Take Quiet Time To Think

I made a video of this chapter, in two parts, I will do better next time, when I get the timing down a little better, but the link to watch them is Chapter 2

Friday, August 11, 2006


Do you want to increase your effectiveness in sales? I bought a book, called "The 25 Sales Strategies that will boost your sales today". I am going to give it to you chapter by chapter, all typed out, every week, on Fridays. I may start podcasting it, and put it in my feedplayer, which has some good podcasts right now. The newest installment of Duck Tape Marketing is about worm poop. Check it out. I am also trying to find more podcasts to add, so if you have suggestions, let me know. I like anything that has to do with marketing, the environment, sales, and Public Relations.

Not long ago, I was talking with a salesperson about a meeting shed' just conducted witha prospect, a meeting that had gone quite well. I said, "well, that's excellent. Did you write him a letter, thanking him for the time he spent with you?" She said, "no. There's no reason to write him a letter to thank him, because I'm going to follow up with him by telephone on Friday."
It was a TUesday afternoon. What, the salesperson argued, was the point of writing a letter? Her prospect probably wouldn't get it anyway. I told her she was making a mistake: there was a very good chance that she would not get through to her contact on Friday-and that whether she did or not, the thank you letter would reinforce her good work during the first meeting. "I'd get that letter our immediately", I told her.
Maybe she meant to do as I'd suggested, but the truth is she never sent that letter. The two did not connect on Fridday. In fact, another whole week went by before she was able to speak with the prospect again. Her sale had stalled; she'd lost momentum. And why? Because she'd decided to "wait to see what he thought of the presentation".
Salespeople must learn to act on what happens immediately. Successful salespeople are constantly asking themselves: "What can I do now to move the sales cycle forward?" Too many salespeople count on things unfolding just as the timetable the prospect lays out suggests. I say I'll call you Friday; therefore, I'm probably going to call you Friday. But the reality is, things don't always work that way.
The sad truth is that, early on in our relationship with a prospect, we're not the highest thing on his or her priority list. The information we get is better and the commitments we receive are more meaningful as the relationship progresses and deepens. But at the outset of our business relationship, we don't really know what the other person has in mind. We don't know whether that person will get to talk to the other people in the organization who must sign off on our ideas. We don't know whether the prospect will even read our proposal. We need every advantage we can get. Most salespeopleare not quick enough to act o what I consider to be the basic responsibility of good sales work: committing oneself to move the process forward, and not relying on others to do so.
In selling, you need to be fast. You need to take reponsibility for sizing up the best ways to move the sales cycle forward, and you need to act quickly.
I got a telephone call a number of years ago from a woman who wante to buy ten of my "cold calling techniques that really work" book. It happened to be 10:30 at night on a Friday when she called; Iwas in the offic, working late, so I answered thephone. When I heard that she wanted to order the ten books, I asked myself, " What can I do to move this relationship forward right now?"
So I asked, "What is it you're trying to accomplish? How are you planning to use the books?" To which she said, " I work for a major oil company here in Virginia, and what we're trying to do is get our ten distributors to make more phone calls, and if we do that, we're going to be more effective in our sales."I said to her, "I've got an idea. I'll be in Virginia this coming Tuesday. Why don't we get together? She said "you'll come here? I said absolutely!

The fact of the matter is my quick action to move the relationship forward led to a $250,000 sale! All this because I chose to take immediate action to find out more about the person, to deepen the relationsip, to move the process forward then and there.
Most salespeople don't do that. In fact, most sales people are busy trying to figure out how they can avoid having ot go on an appointment. They figure maybe they can cut a few corners. My philosophy- and the philosophy of the superior salespeole I've worked with over the years- is very different. Take action, and do it now. Get an answer-positive or negative-quickly, and then move on. Reinforce a good meeting now, not next week. follow up a promising lead now, not "someday" .
For example, recently one of my sales managers ripped out an ad in Business Week for a credit corporation and passed it on to a salesperson. the rep made no call on that ad for three weeks. My sales manager, slightly peeved, 'repossessed' the ad and called the next day. He got an appointment instantly. We eventually got the business from that ad- but we could have gotten it three weeks earlier than we did. (and that salesperon could have earned a commission!)
Successful salespeople are always thinking about how they can move things forward. They realize that in order to change the status quo, it's usually necessary to actu quickly.
Don' overanalyze a situation. Act immediately. Go when the prospect says to go. But also be realistic about what you're going there for- and don't be shy about follwoing up immediately after your appointment, either on papaer or by phone. when in doubt, do something that moves the relationship forward!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Tour of Utah Volunteers

I was at the very start of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah Stage 1, Monday August 7th. I was supposed to be at the Media tent, and sign in the press and give them info and assign them to vans to be riding in. Didn't happen. I showed up, and right away I could tell no one knew what was going on except the guys with the headsets, and they looked like they didn't want to be talked to. So I followed directions from an official looking guy, named Tom Murphy. He looked strung out and excited all at the same time. He asked me if I wanted to drive a car during the race. I have never driven a car in a bike race, and when I started asking for keys, some guy told me that he was driving it, so I just gave up on that and went back to my media tent. A couple of other guys had shown up since I had been dragged away for driving duty, so my job there was gone. So I took some pictures and video, and then took off.


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