September Productivity Newsletter 2019
Sales Tip: Sandler Rule #19
Never Help The Prospect End The Interview
When a conversation with a prospect is uncomfortable for any reason, DON’T BAIL! You may think the plane is on fire, or out of fuel, or just going down, but DON’T BAIL! This is our natural human tendency, but you must fight against this urge. Sales requires you to do what is unnatural in order to succeed. Knowing this gives you power and confidence to embrace the discomfort and keep moving forward.
When an awkward situation arises, find out what’s really going on. See Rule 17 from last month and ask a Dummy Question. If it’s you, own it, apologize sincerely, and make it right. If it’s not you, breathe a sigh of relief.
Now the air is cleared and you and your prospect can move forward. The plane wasn’t really on fire, it wasn’t out of fuel, in fact it wasn’t going down at all. If you hadn’t stuck it out and pushed through the discomfort, probabilities of recovering the relationship at a later point are highly unlikely. Stay the course, push through, embrace the awkwardness and find your way to clarity and deeper relationship with your prospect.
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Sales Tip: Sandler Rule #20
The Bottom Line of Professional Selling Is Going To The Bank
What matters in the Sales Arena is THE SCORE – Dollars Sold $$$$
I can’t tell you how many people I work with – owners and sales professionals alike – who do not keep this objective top of mind. Many people I work with say things like,
- I’m focused on doing the best work I can
- I’m focused on developing relationships
- I don’t want to be pushy
Heard any of those? Said any of those yourself? You’re not alone.
Now I’ve got to share something with you, you might not like to hear. And I just don’t know how to tell you. So if it’s alright with you, I’m going to be direct and tell it to you straight.
Those activities will not get you to the bank. Yes, they are important. Yes, they absolutely matter. But, at the end of the day, none of those actions will CLOSE THE SALE.
Ever heard these:
- I think that if people like me enough, I’ll get work from them
- If I can keep providing perks to key lead sources, I know I’ll get their work
Those actions don’t lead to sales either. No matter how much charisma my neighbor (who is a car salesman) has, I am not going to buy a new car from him because I’m not in the market for a car. And even if I was, I would first consider the vehicle I want, price shop, and purchase accordingly. Sure I’d like to help my neighbor out, but at the end of the day, I’m looking out for my best interest first. Your lead sources are the same way!
Or perhaps my financial planner provides me with tickets to my favorite baseball game, or vacation days at his timeshare, or invites me golfing one day. That’s great and those are nice things. But I don’t like the feeling of being “bought” to recommend my friends and family to his services. That’s a moral gray area for me. So accept the gifts I will, but my recommendation will come solely on my satisfaction of his financial services to me. Again, your lead sources are the same.
So whatever you do, ask yourself, how is the Sales Activity that I’m doing moving me closer to CLOSING THE SALE – AKA Going to the Bank! Spend time on activities that take you to the bank efficiently and effectively.
Not sure what those activities are? Check out the link below.
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Culture Tip: Carnegie Principle #10
The Only Way To Get The Best Of An Argument Is To Avoid It
Arguing NEVER gets you anywhere in leading people. Never. The quicker you can learn to avoid arguments as a team leader, the more successful you will be.
That may seem a contradiction. You might be thinking, “But Gerry, our team thrives on controversy and differing opinions.” And to this, I completely agree with you. When you are in a specified brainstorming or planning session, controversy is key to pushing each other and making each other better. It causes us to think beyond our own opinion, to look beyond our own perspective. They best ideas arise this way.
What I’m talking about is outside of this designated space, in the day-to-day operations. Arguing arises when two people have opposing views and refuse to bend or see the situation from the other’s perspective. This creates friction. Because both people believe they are right, no one relents. Now resentment and anger fester. Sometimes the negative emotions build up so much that they explode out. Seen this before haven’t you?
In the day-to-day, when you are met with opposition that might turn into an argument, nip it in the bud. These phrases are direct, but effective:
- I understand we may see this differently. Now is not the time to discuss it. Right now, I need your help. Please (insert the action you need them to take).
- I get the sense we’re headed for an argument. Our customers are too important to allow an argument to derail us. Can we agree to set this aside for now?
- I value your perspective. I do want to hear what you have to say. Right now this is my call and our team needs us to (insert the action needed). Will you help me with this?
Notice each of those examples acknowledges the differing opinions, redirects main focus (to team or customers), and sets the expectation that you will listen to their viewpoint when the time is right.
This is key, you must schedule a time in a 24 hour window to meet with this person 1:1 to LISTEN to their perspective. Oftentimes, people just need to be heard. When you take the time to create a space for your employees, to invite them to share openly with you their differing perspective, you give them the feeling of importance and validate them as a human being.
When they share with you, don’t argue. Don’t engage emotionally. Listen. Truly seek to understand and see it from their side. Thank them for sharing with you. If you determine their perspective was right, tell them and work to implement the change in the future.
If you determine their perspective was not in the right, thank them for sharing, tell them at this time it will not result in a change in procedure and ask them if that is a deal breaker for them. Remind them that it’s your call, even if they think it’s the wrong one. And ask them if they can be a team player despite the disagreement.
Doing this with your people will elevate your business to the next level. And remember, leadership is hard. It’s the hardest thing you will ever do. But it’s also one of the greatest things you will ever do.
The Sandler Rules, David Mattson
How To Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie