Dating and Sales – It’s not that different

I think we have another convert to the Sales Dating philosophy.

Here is an article by Greta Schulz.    http://www.b2bsalesplaybook.com/clubportal/ClubStatic.cfm?clubID=2173&pubmenuoptID=24674  Greta Schulz is the President of Proactive Training.

Dating and Sales – It’s Not That Different

Remember when you were dating, and you went out with someone for the first time? For example, let’s say you’re female (though the principle applies to both). You really felt from your first meeting with a gentleman that he was charming, romantic, seemed to love kids … you know, different from other guys.

Then you go out on a date. He takes you to a nice dinner at a beautiful restaurant. After you order the meal, he starts the conversation and it sounds something like this:  

“You know, I’m really glad we had an opportunity to get together. I’m so busy with my career that I don’t really date a lot. It’s a shame because I’m really a romantic person and would love to share that side of me more often. I can’t wait until the day when I can settle down and have a family. I would love to have kids and spend all of my time with them. I really want to be a great dad …”  

At this point in the date, if you have half of a brain in your head, you’re ready to bail. Why? These are all of the things you want in someone, right? Right. But this guy is probably none of them. He just told you he is all of these things and more, so why don’t you believe it?  

Because when someone tells you how wonderful he is, especially right up front, do you believe it? Of course not. Besides, if these things were true, he wouldn’t say them. He would demonstrate them. And a wonderful way to do that is to ask about you. He needs to find out what you like, get you talking and stop telling you about him.  

Selling works the same way. Until we start selling to robots, we’re dealing with humans. Human nature is the same, whether it’s personal or business.

“People often make decisions and assumptions from the things we don’t say, not the things we do.” – Greta Schulz  

Am I suggesting you just sit there without talking? Actually, yes. At the beginning, you need to ask and not tell. No one believes how wonderful and terrific you and your product are until they trust you and your word. You have to build credibility.  

Credibility isn’t something you establish by telling someone how great you are or how great your company is. Most of you are saying right now, “Greta, I don’t do that.” Really? Let me demonstrate.  

“So John, why should we go with your product when we have been using ABC’s product for so long and it has worked fine?”  

“Well, Mr. Jones, one of the reasons we stand out is the blah blah blah, and we also have superior customer service and blah blah blah …” Sound familiar? So many of you do this. This is exactly what I’m talking about. You gain credibility by listening. So shut up and listen! Ask some good, solid questions and listen to the answers. Listen for some things that you may be able to help with, then when it’s your turn, use the answers your prospect gave after your questions to compare back.  

Let’s go back to our dating example. What if you went out with this same guy (in this case), and, after dinner, he asked you a few questions.  

“So, you said you’re an attorney. Do you enjoy practicing law? How long have you lived here? Do you have family here? Yes, mine is up north, too. I love it here, but I do miss them sometimes. How about you? I hope to have my own family some day.  

You say: “Really, do you think you’ll be a good dad?”  

“I don’t know, but I hope so.”  

Sound better? Yes, of course. Did you learn something? Sure did. Do you want to learn more? Ask and listen, don’t tell. This is for both on a date and in a sales call. Remember, it’s just about people. Relax, learn, ask and stop selling!

 

Motivational Quote: What makes a leader

“A leader is a person wih a magnet in his(her) heart and a compass in his(her) head.” – Robert Townsend

The 7+ Habits of Highly Effective Husbands – Habit #10: Think T.I.M.S. before buying her a gift

Although giving your wife a gift is a great way to show your love, especially if it’s in her favourite currency, if you’re not careful it can still blow up in your face.

Like the time when we were dating I gave my wife April a beautiful red lace rose, not knowing that when you took the plastic off, the head of the rose was really a little pair (and I mean little) of skimpy underwear.

That wouldn’t have been so bad, except that I gave it to her at her birthday party… at my parents’ house.

And that summer when she started talking to me again… (her birthday is in December), she suggested that I needed help.

 And that is when I decided to study and learn the science behind effective gift giving.

A science that has been a mystery to husbands (and sales reps) for years… until now!

 What I discovered were thes 4 elements of effective gift giving that I call the T.I.M.S. factor.

The 1st element it Timing:

A gift that is a surprise is more powerful that one she expects.

You still need to give her a gift on special occassions, like Christmas, her Birthday or your Anniversary, but you may find that she will be just as delighted if you bring her flowers after work on Friday.

But, don’t do it every Friday… because then she’ll expect it which will not only make it less powerful, but if you forget one week she will be disappointed. This is certainly not the emotion you want to generate.

 The 2nd element is your Investment:

And by investment, I don’t just mean the money you spend but also the time and effort you take in thinking about, finding and picking out just the right gift for her.

The more time and effort you invest, the more powerful the gift will be.

Trust me, women know which gifts are bought on December 24th.

 The 3rd element is your Motive:

My research shows that there are 4 different types of gifts.

The “Just because I love you (or was thinking about you)” gift, which is the most powerful.

The “Thank you” gift, which is the next most powerful.

The “Negotiation” gift, which is less powerful, because if you receive something in return it is not really a gift.

And the “Please don’t make me sleep on the couch again tonight, honey” or the “suck-up” gift, which is abviously the least powerful.

 The 4th element of the T.I.M.S. model of effective gift giving is the Sensation that she feels when she gets your gift.

If your gift leaves her happy… you’re golden.

If you have to go out and buy her a “Please don’t make me sleep on the couch again tonight, honey” gift to make up for your original one… not so much.

So remember Habit #10 and think T.I.M.S. before buying her a gift.

Next time, in Habit #11 we will explore how to learn from hundreds of years of wisdom in order improve your marriage.

The High Cost of Waiting

I just sat there stunned. The phone call had ended a minute ago, but I was still holding the phone.

I was stunned, because my brother-in-law just told me that my Mom was being rushed to the hospital and they believe she may be having a stroke. http://www.heartandstroke.com/site/c.ikIQLcMWJtE/b.2796497/k.F922/Heart_Disease_Stroke_and_Healthy_Living.htm

Apparently, she was watching TV last night and she suddenly felt pain in the right side of her head and she couldn’t see anything on the right side of her head. Also, the right side of her arms and legs felt tingly and started to go numb.  http://www.flash-med.com/Stroke_Symptoms.asp

She called up to my sister-in-law, who lives with her and my sister-in-law (who doesn’t drive) stayed with her and quickly called my Sister (who lives 4 blocks away and who drives).

My sister arrived quickly, but it took the two of them almost 30 minutes to convince my Mom to go to the hospital. (She was also disoriented and very scared) I live 30 minutes away and I almost arrived there before them.

They arrived at the Emergency Room at the St. Mary’s General Hospital http://www.smgh.ca/ where they were quickly ushered in and looked at right away.

The doctors and nurse quickly went to work diagnosing her situation and one of the key questions that they needed to find out was what time this occured. Aparently, the treatment is different, depending on how long it has been since the stroke began. They have a small window of opportunity to administer a certain drug, so receiving this information was critical.

It turns out that that treatment was not available, not because of the time window, but because of another complication that we originally forgot to tell the doctors about. And if that information was not provided, the complications from the treatment could have made the situation worse. Much worse.

The doctors and nurses provided another treatment and the symptoms started to subside. Her headache was gone, the right side of her body was going back to normal and she started to regain some of her right side vision.

As the situation was stablizing, she was even able to get some rest.

At the time of writing this she has improved even more and has been transferred to Grand River Hospital http://www.grandriverhospital.on.ca/, which apparently has a specialized Stroke Team that will assess her and take over her care.

From this experience, I take away several different life and business lessons.

  1. When there is trouble, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes we need to seek out professional help and advice. If we have a business challenge and we don’t seek answers outside of ourself, we can end up doing more damage.
  2. When assessing needs, full disclosure can be critical, because it may alter the decision that is made. Although you may risk losing that sale, your customer will appreciate your candor and you will greatly increase your odds of gaining a customer for life.
  3. Timing can be critical. If you find out that you can’t deliver on what you have promised and don’t tell your customer right away, you risk losing the sales (and your reputation). However, if you let them know right away, they may still be able to make alternate plans and still get their needs met. They still will not be happy that you couldn’t deliver this time, but they will know that you are working in their best interest and they may give you a second chance in the future.

Because the high cost of waiting can cost you a sale, just like the high cost of waiting could have cost my Mom her life.

But thankfully, it didn’t. Now she is not out of the woods yet, but she is doing much better than she was 12 short hours ago.

One other thing… the reason that I dropped everything and rushed to the hospital was to:

Support her at her time of need, make sure she was O.K. and to tell her that I love her. The last one was critical, because I needed her to know that in case this situation turned fatal.

Why did I tell you this?

I told you this because I have a 2 favours to ask.

  1. Please include my Mom in your prayers today.
  2. Take the opportunity to tell the people in your life that are important to you that you love them. Pick up the phone, write them a note, or whatever, but do it today. Don’t wait, because if you don’t, you may find that the cost of waiting is just too high.

How to stand out from your competition? Become an Expert!

Customers don’t want to be sold anything. But they love to be helped by experts.

By positioning yourself as an expert in your industry, you can enter that promise land where instead of approaching your prospects, they will approach you. Already pre-qualified with:

  1. a need
  2. and the thought in their head that you are uniquely qualified to satisfy that need.

Instead of you trying to sell them on your solution, they will be selling you on providing that solution.

So, how do you become an expert?

Check out my next post to find out.

Why most Companies have it all Wrong

You have seen it in the movies and the same scene is played out in companies all over the world. You know the one that I am talking about. The scene where some Sales Manager is screaming at their Sales Rep, saying something like;

“I need that report on their desk before they get in the next morning and they don’t care if you have to stay all night to finish it.” or,

“You need to get out there and pound the pavement and don’t come back until you have an order in your hand.”

I often shake my head and wonder if these managers realize that they don’t have a clue.

They don’t realize that by putting too much pressure on their Sales Rep they will hinder their performance.

They don’t realize that they are negatively effecting their own earning potential.

And they also don’t realize that the real boss in any organization is its customers.

“The closer you are to those customers the more important you are to the organization.” – Richard Elmes

Sales professionals and Customer Service reps are the ones that are out connecting with prospects and bringing in the business that, in reality, is paying the bills for everyone else in the organization.

Which makes me wonder, why are so many people in organizations running around, trying to please their bosses (supervisors) when they should be trying to please the real boss (their customers).

Good leaders realize that everyone job in the organization is to support the people who connect with the customers. 

And great leaders realize that in order to maximize the effectiveness of their frontline staff their job is to remove the barriers that prevent them from doing their job.

In essence, close the Sales Prevention department in their organization.  You know the department that effects everyone, but doesn’t make it onto the org chart.

And speaking of the organization chart, great companies should flip them around and include the real boss (the customer on the top) and the person who supports the most people (the CEO) on the bottom.

Or how about enlarging a copy of a paycheque that is signed “The Customer” and displaying it where everyone can see it.

What kind of message do you think these suggestions would send throughout your organization? (Try them for yourself)

I believe it would send the message that the customer is king/queen and we are all in the business of serving him/her (And not some self-important manager).