How leaders get the most out of their folks

Our brokenness

Crying eye

“It is in our brokenness, that our greatest opportunities are revealed.”                                 Dan B. Allender Ph.D, Christian therapist, Author, Professor, and Speaker

How to stand out from the Crowd

The longer I live the longer I come to this conclusion on how you can stand out from the crowd and differentiate yourself from your competitors. Whether in your business or personal life.

what-makes-your-company-unique2

And it amazes me how simple this concept is.

It is something that everyone can do.

It is something that doesn’t add anything to your expenses.

It isn’t even something that requires a ton of intelligence.

But yet, the number of people who are doing it is surprisingly low.

So what is it?

Do what you say you are going to do when you said you were going to do it!!!

Sounds like an easy concept to grasp. But it is not often practiced.

Think of it this way, when someone promises to do something and fails to follow through on that promise we get frustrated.

Why is this?

I believe Paster Dave Ralph (Lakeside Church) said it best when he said,

“Frustration happens when we have a gap between expectations and reality.”

Let me explain; When you promise to do something, you set an expectation in the other person’s mind (whether it is your prospect, your customer, your spouse, your kids, your boss or even yourself).

When you don’t live up to that promise and come up short, you have let that person down. They will trust you a little less and you have damaged the relationship.

But when you live up to your promise, you built that trust and enhance your relationship.

“When you exceed your customers expectations your customer will be delighted.”

– Jim Clemmer, Author, Speaker, Leadership Guru

The reason for this is that they can now count on you and when they can count on you, you become less of a risk. The cool thing is that most of the time you get to choose.

Choose wisely and stand out from the crowd, enhance your relationships and increase your sales.

How to set your new Sales Rep up for failure

Imagine you are a new salesperson and on your first day after a brief orientation, your Sales Manager gives you a little pep talk that goes something like this:

“The customers are out there… all you need to do is go out and find them.”

Then after he loads you up with product literature and business cards, he finishes his pep talk with,

“Go get ’em tiger.”

Getting your new Sales Rep ready for battle

Sounds silly doesn’t it.

Unfortunately, many companies orientation program for new sales reps is not much different.

Sure they may spend a little time on product knowledge training. And maybe a little on how to write up and enter an order into the company’s computer system. But for many companies a formal sales training program designed to help their sales professionals succeed is not existent.

Or worse, it is so old and boring that nobody uses it.

The number one concern organizations have when investing in sales training is the cost. They think that developing a new program or revamping an existing one is going to be expensive.

What they don’t consider is the cost of having an untrained salesperson in the field.

  • The high cost of the negative marketing: The negative impression that the customer has of not only the sales representative, but your company. Untrained sales person tends to make a lot of mistakes and often a fool of them self, because they don’t know what they are doing or talking about.
  • The high cost of turnover: Salespeople will only struggle so long, getting rejected over and over again, before they will seek out easier challenges. Turnover costs can range anywhere from 30-150% of an employees annual compensation.
  • The high cost of loss sales: The difference between winning and losing in business (especially sales) can be extremely small, but the compensation is significant. An untrained sales person will lose out to the trained professional more often than not. This can be the difference between sales growth or sales decline. Between having a positive cash flow or going into debt. Between having a to expand, or laying off employees.

Effective sales training can be help your organization bridge that gap by:

  • Improving Credibility with your customer base: Customers love to work with professionals who are trying to help them succeed, not amateurs who are looking at them as a car payment.
  • Reducing Turnover of staff: Long-term employees have the opportunity to build a relationship and get to know what they need. This is attractive to customers who like to buy from people they trust.

Trust = Credibility  and Credibility = Sales

  • Improving Sales: Increasing the credibility of your sales professionals (and your company) will open the door for more opportunities, which will lead to more sales, which will lead to more revenue.

Just think of difference it would make to a new sales professional, when they enter the field confident that they know what they are doing, what they are talking about and how they can help their customers.

Armed with this knowledge and skills skill you will be motivated and prepared for success.

Then you really will be able to; “Go get’em tiger.”

How Communication is like Football

With the Super Bowl 50 coming up this weekend, I thought I would explore how throwing a football (sorry American football to soccer fans outside of North America), is like the communication process. Enjoy.

You may be the smartest salesperson in your industry. You may have a great product, and your product knowledge may be outstanding, but if you can’t communicate this to your customers in an easily digestible manner, you won’t be very successful.

“The thinking human being, not able to express himself, stands at the same level as those who cannot think.” Pericles

Communication is vital!

Denver Broncos vs Carolina+Panthers

One way to think about the process of effectively communicating with someone, is to think about Football.

So how are Football and Communications alike?

  • The quarterback is the sender of the message
  • The football is the message
  • The pass is the medium (or delivery mechanism) of the message
  • The defence, the crowd noise, the cute cheerleaders,  the sun (or stadium lights) in the receiver’s eyes are the barriers that get in the way of the message being delivered
  • The Wide Receiver receives the message.
  • What the Wide Receiver does after catching the ball provides feedback

In football, you can have a quarterback (Peyton Manning / Cam Newton) who can throw the ball 60 yards down the field, but if the receiver doesn’t catch the ball, the team doesn’t advance.

While communicating, if the message is delivered, but not received as intended, communication breaks down and the relationship doesn’t advance.

“The only way he could have said less would have been to talk longer.” Charles Jarvis

Seven key ways to improve your communication with your customers are:

  1. Reduce technical jargon
  2. Unless you are 100% sure they know what the acronyms mean, use the long forms (i.e. C.P.S.A – Canadian Professional Sales Association , N.S.A -National Speakers Association or N.F.L – National Football League)
  3. Get to the point quicker
  4. Tell a (short) story that makes your point
  5. Try to reduce distractions (i.e. noise in a crowded room)
  6. Check for understanding
  7. Use analogies that they are likely to understand (i.e. Communication is like Football)

So next time you are want to communicate think of football because it can help you score with your customers or anyone you want to connect with.

 

 

Mike Babcock’s Perspective on Winning

HKN Bruins Leafs 20130513

Frustrated Leaf fan after loss

“I’m not happy,  because I like winning! That’s how I measure my enjoyment.” -Mike Babcock, Head Coach, Toronto Maple Leafs hockey club (after a loss)