Wednesday, December 12, 2007

C P R for Sales In December

O.K. so it's December, the holidays are upon us, folks have too much to do, and you clients or customers want to wait till the new year to meet with you. Ouch! You last two paychecks have been less than needed. You're kids want something for Christmas that you just found out about - and as the old saying goes...the older the boy the more expensive the toy (that also applies to girls) - and you sure could use a bonus!

I need help fast. What can I do? My sales need help.

The prescription for a slump in sales - C P R!

C = Calls

When sales are down and yet the need remains the same and the customer base is stable - there is only one solution (and probably one that you won't want to hear) - but the solution is MAKE MORE CALLS.

The only way to make sales is to make contact with prospective buyers. Regardless of how you make the still comes back to make the calls. Across the board, when sales are down there is one primary reason - we didn't make as many calls as are needed. Especially during holiday periods one must make more calls and do more in order to maintain acceptable levels of sales results.

P = Prospecting

Now, I started off talking about calls. Calls are a first step, but the calls need to be to folks who have a reasonable chance of buying in the time frame you need. Your prospecting must be focused. I could make calls to people who may be buyers out in the future - say next spring. Sure enough I would be making calls, but they would be ineffective if I needed the sale now. Therefore, my PROSPECTING needs to be centered around people who "should" buy now.

R = Results

Gary O'Sullivan (quoted in this blog) has said, "Every day you don't prospect, the next day you must settle for a lesser degree of performance." Gary is 100% on target. Making calls to effective prospects will always yield results.

When the patient is dying and CPR is administered there are two things that are always present: (1) intensity and (2) frequency. If we are to survive the holidays with sales in tact we must increase our intensity and frequency with CP=R.

Happy selling to you.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Finding the Heart of Sales Success - A Simple Secret

A great friend of mine, professional speaker and author, Gary O'Sullivan, in his book, "Principle Power For Sales Success," shares a fundamental secret for those who achieve Sales Success consistently.

Gary writes:

A clearly defined purpose is essential in helping you achieve your
goals. Anything you set out to accomplish in the sales process will
require you to deal with failures, disappointments and setbacks. Being
able to overcome these challenges requires a clearly defined purpose.
It is your "why!"

Whether it is your service to others or the things you are trying to achieve
in your personal life, knowing "why" you are doing it give your the power to

Years back, I recall my mentor in sales - David Whitener - visiting at my location. I was the Sales Director and he the VP of Sales. Some of our team members were struggling as we approached the holidays. Sales were lagging and the holidays became the excuse of the day for poor performance.

David, with his commanding presence, calmly addressed our group - speaking as if all was well with the world. He looked at one young man and asked, "What do you suppose the problem is?"

The new sales representative began his litany of excuses. David listened patiently. I, on the other hand, could hardly stay in my seat. Not only had we had declining sales, but here this guy was whinning. I couldn't believe my ears.

David's next questions set the tone for the turn that was to take place and take place quickly. "Why did you come to work for our company?" The answer was one of the pat answers that most people learn from the interviewing skill section of or some other "how to get the job you want" skill program on the internet.

But David, not happy with his response, probed further. Asking the question in a different way...and then again, in a way other than that, David finally found this young man's "why." In that meeting David went on to share with the group a story about his most successful sales person - a middle aged female who outsold everyone else on her team and, in fact, the region. The secret to her success? She clearly knew her "Why!"

As you read this take two actions before you retire tonight:

  1. Answer for yourself, "Why" do you do what you do? Put another way, what is your personal motivation for working? And, in do this simple task, do yourself a favor - don't give yourself some "pat" answer, like you might give me. Be real with yourself and dig deep to find out what your "WHY" is.

  2. Ask yourself as you review your efforts today, "have I done all I could do to achieve the reasons I work?"

When you tap into the real reason you do what you do - you'll find that you will have renewed energy to push on toward success. We all have a "why" - the difference between those who are highly successful and those who keep struggling seems to be that the Sales Successful know their "why" and tap into their personal power to succeed.

What's your why...drop me a comment. Perhaps those comments might help inspire others.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A Styrofoam Cup and 25 Pennies

"What can I do," the sales counselor asked in exhasberation. "I can't seem to stay focused on getting my calls made. There are just so many interruptions!"

FAST FACT: In his book, "The Age of Speed" speaker and author Vince Poscente said that on average a person gets interrupted 11 minutes after starting a task. It generally takes 30 minutes to get started again and sometimes one never restarts.

No wonder staying focused on the one thing that you need to focus on is so important and so difficult.

SALES TIP: I'm no different than anyone else in sales. I like to do what I like to do and avoid doing those things that don't "turn me on" - like making calls - especially cold calls. Yet, if I am to succeed in sales, we all would agree that making those prospecting calls is critical. So here's a practical idea that worked for me, and I've seen work for others.

Step 1: Take a simple styrofoam cup (doesn't have to be large) and write you name on the outside - claiming it as yours.

Step 2: Place 25 pennies in the cup. (Why pennies? Well, the represent ONE. And, no one will take them cause you can't use them in a vending machine - just a helpful tidbit)

Step 3: Each morning when you get to your workstation, empty the pennies out in an obvious place somewhere on your workstation.

Step 4: (The last step)! Commit to yourself, for your success and personal benefit, that you will call 25 "true" prospects today, before you leave. Each time you reach a "true" prospect (answering machines and kids don't count), place a penny back in the cup. When you've placed all the pennies back in the cup. YOU'RE FINISHED PROSPECTING!

Sound easy. It is! The only thing it requires is doing it!

What I found is that those people who had a visual reminder of the task at hand were more apt to complete the task. The pennies are kinda like a visual to do list. Further, having something tangible - something you can touch makes the experience more real.

Unless you just love cold calling (and I've only met a few people that are turned on by that activity), you need to commit to something that will prompt, help, encourage, push (whatever), you to achieve your sales goals.

I am quite sure that there are sales professionals far better than I, but by using this simple technique when I was in direct sales, I became the #1 performer for the region I was assigned to. I can assure you it was solely a function of my prospecting focus and placing 25 pennies in a cup every day.

CHALLENGE: Try this for one month and then report back. If you're presentation opportunities don't increase dramatically...I'd be shocked.

Let me know the results!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Baby Boomer Facts! Lessons for Marketing

Who's buying our products today? The average age for purchasers of our products is well over 50. Baby Boomers. In fact, we, as sellers, are them. We're selling to our peers for the most part. So here are some facts to consider:

  • According to the U. S. Census Bureau there are over 78,000,000 people in this country who qualify as Baby Boomers
  • They, the Baby Boomers, were born between 1946 and 1964
  • Baby Boomers don't all act alike. Consider the following people would qualify as Baby Boomers - George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Cher.
  • After studies have been completed, Baby Boomers typically are a bit more conservative in their voting patterns than Americans 60 and older.
  • Baby Boomers will inherit the largest transfer of wealth this nation has ever seen

Since we as professionals in the sales arena are them...perhaps its time we observe our buying habits and expectations and adjust our sales practices accordingly.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Holiday Shopping Secret...

The day after Thanksgiving and the mall is can't find a parking spot. People are scouring the paper for deals...and on-line vendors are working hard to capture their share of shoppers as well. Why all this frenzy and what lessons can we learn.

Look past the sales, past the advertisements, past all the hoopla and understand the fundamentals that could transform you career in sales.

The secret: People love to buy - most hate to be sold!

Yea...O.K. I've heard that so what's the big deal?

Think about your approach to your potential customers and ask yourself this question - am I meeting their desire to buy? There are only five true buying motives and all are based on an emotional response. There's a key here - emotional response.

The secret of holiday shopping is that sellers tap into the strong emotion of the holidays to garner substantial sales. Find the emotional trigger in your product and structure your approach to tap into that emotion and you'll create customers who want to buy.

Summary key points:

  • Find the emotional benefit of your product
  • Structure your prospecting to emphasize the emotional benefit the customer might satisfy
  • Allow the customer the time to want to buy
Enjoy the holidays and observe those companies that have Soaring Sales Success and you'll see companies that know how to tap into the emotion of buying.

Happy Sales To You!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Self Management - Agree?

Eloise Owens, at our fourth quarter meeting, asked this question: What is the single most important factor in Sales Success?

We heard a variety of answers from our group: commitment, persistence, caring, loving our families, prospecting, etc. The answers were great, but the one answer was missing. The answer: Self-Management!

When Elosie first shared this with me, I was amazed that after all the years in sales management, the obvious answer that stared me in the face daily I missed. But, it was clear that she was 100% right!

There are many people who have been highly successful that I've had the privilege to work with over the years. In review, in every case, the highly successful manage themselves. In fact, they resist micro-management and don't need it - cause they are master self-managers.

Perhaps, we should take a moment and reflect on what we've done this year - 2007 - and ask ourselves if we have been true masters of self-management. If we have, then my guess is, as you approach the end of the calendar year, you'll have had a great year. If the year is less than you expected - look in the mirror and focus your attention for the remainder of the year moving into 2008 on effective Self-Management. It will make the difference!

What do you think about the program we just experienced? Share comments on this blog about folks you know who have mastered self-management.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Friends, Family and Fellowship - Our Team!

We've just finished our fourth quarter meeting and I must admit I was thrilled with the energy around our Sales team family. Your children and grandchildren were precious. I was fortunate to capture some on video and hope that a compiliation of that video footage will turn out well.

We have many reasons to be thankful and many reasons to do what we do, but tonight my heart was warmed by the love and support that was shown from you and your family. So, knowing that, for many the reason we make the sacrifices we make are to provide love and support for our family - let me commit to you the support to make your sales and business success real.

Soaring Sales Success isn't just a slogan. Rather, my goal for this next year is to help you in your career have the best 2008 ever. Enjoying what you do and earning more are two tangible and intangible ways I can help. Hopefully, you'll use this forum to encourage each other and together make our sales family stronger and better.

So as I wind up writing these first posts for this Thanksgiving safe...and know that together we can achieve great things.

Here's to Soaring Sales Success!

Soaring Sales Success - How To Achieve Greatness

Welcome to the beginning of a new year! This is not only a new year for our sales team, but it could be a new year in our thoughts about sales and our thoughts about our successes.

So what's the "blog" thing about? Well to put it quite simply, it's a way to move us out of the dark ages of communication and to create a sales community that is interactive - a sales team that moves far beyond what we think we can do and takes us, through our collective effort, to a new level of personal and professional performance.

On a regular basis (daily in most cases), you will see postings from either myself as moderator or our Area Sales Execs...Doug, Scott or Andy. Together we will keep you informed, keep you on track and share in our overall successes. But this isn't about's really about you - our professional team and the outstanding accomplishments that you bring to our customers, our company and share from yourselves.

From time to time we'll share video posts, much like the ones that you see to your right of this post. In this case, I selected some of the posts that were recently posted on "YouTube" from the Chamber of Commerce meeting that Laurel Land Fort Worth participated in. Most of the best ideas that become part of this meeting place will come from our best sources - YOU!

Likewise, to the right on this page you'll see places where you can participate in sales related polls. You're the ones out in the field if we need information, you'll be our best source. Feel free to vote. We will appreciate your input!

Each week we'll have a Sales Thougth for you to start with I've posted a thought from Anthony Parinello. Where will the thoughts come from? Sales leaders in our industry and around the country will be featured in this area. These should be thought provoking. Cause here's a reality check - if you want to be a top performer and achieve sales greatness - you have to think and act what better way for us to help than to provide great SALES THOUGHTS!

Lastly, this is a forum. We want your comments. If you feel that you have something to add, by all means do so. There are some rules however: (1) don't post the name of customers or clients (any such posts will not be approved); (2) keep your comments to the topic at hand. One of the greatest benefits to a medium such as this is the ability to share ideas (especially those that you find work for you); and (3) respect the privacy of our company. We will not discuss issues that violate our company's Code of Business Conduct.

This forum is a general sales forum and as such will become a useful tool for us to grow as sales professionals. The best way for us to achieve Soaring Sales Success if to do what must be done, when it must be done - everyday!

Share your thoughts... We look forward to your input!