Monthly Archives: May 2011

Mike Brooks, Mr. Inside Sales Receives AA-ISP’s TOP 25 Most Influential Inside Sales Professionals in 2010 Award

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (15 May 2011) — MrInsideSales announced today that AA-ISP recognized Mike Brooks as part of American Association of Inside Sales Professionals Leadership Summit 2011 at an awards banquet held on May 11th at the Hilton Hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Mike started his career in the financial and securities industry as an investment broker, and quickly became the top producer out of 5 branch offices in Southern California.  Promoted to Executive Vice President of Sales, he developed a Top 20% Inside Sales Training program that doubled corporate sales of private placements from 27 million a year to over 58 million in 1988, and then more than doubled that again in 1989 – to total revenue of over 112 million.

“It is an honor to recognize Mike as this year’s recipient of The TOP 25 Most Influential Inside Sales Professional Awards. Mike has proven their dedication to growing the professionalism and performance of the inside sales industry, which is the mission of the AA-ISP,” stated Bob Perkins, Founder and CEO.  “We are confident that he  will continue to have an impact on this fast growing and exciting industry in the future.”

A complete list of companies and individuals recognized by the AA-ISP will be published on the AA-ISP website, go to www.aa-isp.org.

About MrInsideSales

Mike is the founder and principle of Mr. Inside Sales, a Los Angeles based inside sales consulting and training firm.  Mike is the best-selling author of, “The Real Secrets of the Top 20%” a book on how to double your income selling over the phone, and also publishes an internationally acclaimed weekly Ezine called, “Secrets of the Top 20%”. Mike works as an Executive Coach and sales trainer teaching the skills, techniques and habits of Top 20% sales performance.  He specializes in working with business owners who have under-performing outbound or inbound inside sales teams either business-to-business or business to consumer.

About AA-ISP

The AA-ISP is the only association in America formed and dedicated to advancing the profession of Inside Sales. It does this through promoting inside sales best practices and inside sales tips for business practitioners. It also promotes inside sales careers in what is already becoming the fastest growing segment of sales and marketing. For more information please visit: http://www.aa-isp.org.

The 5 Secrets of Great Vacations

Have you scheduled your vacations for this year? I have, and boy am I excited!!

After I did, I remembered an article I published years ago, and I thought about all the positive feedback I had on it. So I decided to reprint it here.

If you follow the advice I give, I assure you you’ll enjoy your work more and you’ll be more successful at it!

Here it is:

At a company I consulted with a few years ago, there was a manager, Brad, who would never think of taking a full week away from the office. "Much too much to do, and I don’t really need it anyway." He told me.

"When was the last time you did take off on a real vacation?" I asked.

"Heck, I can’t tell you. Got to be over six years." He said.

"Aren’t you burned-out?" I asked.

"Naw. I take three-day weekends occasionally, and there are holidays. I get by I guess." He answered.

On the other hand, a woman I’d been coaching at the same company, Mirna, who is now a Top 20% closer, had just returned back from her first trip to Hawaii. She took her three kids and her husband, and when she came back to the office, she looked like a new woman.

She was tanned, relaxed, excited and she was energized! She talked about the fun her kids had, about how incredible Hawaii was, and about how she couldn’t wait to go on her next trip!

Vacations are the key to staying energized, focused, rested and motivated. And when you are energized and motivated, you perform better on your job and are happier overall. All work and no play make Jack, well, you know the story.

But just like in sales, there are guidelines and "best practices" to ensure that you get the most out of your vacation. After years of perfecting the vacation, I offer, "The 5 Secrets to Taking Great Vacations" — enjoy!

Secret #1 — Schedule and pay for your trips at least six months or more in advance.

Don’t wait till the last month to take a trip because it will never happen. You will always be too busy. By planning, scheduling and paying for your trips far in advance, you’re almost certain to actually take them.

July or November or March will always come and if you’ve already paid for a trip — you’re going!

Benefit: When you plan that far in advance, you get to look forward to it for months! It’s a great motivator.

Secret #2 — Go somewhere special.

Make a list right now of the six places you and your family would love to go to. Then enlist their help! It’s a great family activity.

Next, pick one special or exotic place this year and — that’s right — book it now. Go ahead, buy the airfare, book the hotel and car and pay for it. And then, have everyone mark it on his or her calendar.

Benefit: Watch the attitude of your family change — for the better. Suddenly there’s something bright, fun and enjoyable you are all looking forward to. Gee, the kids sure are nice to be around again!

Secret #3 — Don’t return to work until Tuesday!

Even though you get back Saturday or Sunday, don’t go right back to the office. Give yourself time to readjust, run errands, and settle back in. Nothing ruins of good vacation more than going back to work the very next day. Vacation? What vacation?

Benefit: Taking Monday off is like getting another "bonus" vacation.

Secret #4 — Take at least one mini vacation per quarter.

Besides your large vacation, plan to take at least one extended weekend, holiday or other three or four day break per quarter. Hitch a Friday and Tuesday onto a Memorial Day weekend, and voila! — you’ve got a bona fide vacation using just two personal days.

Try to go somewhere on at least one of these, and spend the others around the house getting things done or just relaxing.

But all the previous rules apply: plan, schedule, and pay for it in advance!

Benefit: Even more to look forward to!

Secret #5 — Don’t work while on vacation.

Your vacation is exactly that — a vacation! Leave your laptop, blackberry, and paperwork at the office. Resist the temptation to check in with your office. This is your and your family’s time.

Train your sales manager, VP of sales, or assistant to handle all business while away. They will do fine without you, and it will all be there when you return.

Benefit: You will actually feel like you’re on vacation and you’ll enjoy it even more!

So there you have it — the 5 Secrets to Great Vacations. I guarantee that if you follow these rules, you will not only enjoy your life more, but you’ll be more productive at work as well.

Imagine that — more successful and happier!

When is your next vacation?

If you found this article helpful, then you’ll love Mike’s NEW book of phone scripts, ?The Ultimate Book of Phone Scripts."  Buy now and get over $500 worth of free bonuses from top sales trainers like Tom Hopkins, SalesDog, Stan Billue and many others by taking advantage of this Special Offer: http://mrinsidesales.com/booklaunch.htm  Find out why Brian Tracy calls this the best book on inside sales available today!

Do you have an underperforming inside sales team?  Talk to Mike to see how he can help you and your team reach your revenue goals.  To learn more about Mike, visit his website: http://www.MrInsideSales.com

The Biggest Mistake Sales Managers Make

If I were to ask you what the most important thing a sales manager can do to drive business, what would your answer be?  Hire the right reps to begin with?  Properly train them? Keep them motivated?  Help them close deals?  I’m sure you thought of these and many others, but I wonder if you thought about the one activity I’m going to share with you today.

That activity is to monitor and ensure adherence to best practice selling techniques.  You see, in  a nutshell, a sales manager’s job is to give his/her team the most effective core selling skills or best practice techniques, and then monitor to make sure their team is using them on each and every call.

It’s like a professional sports coach.  What do they do?  They design the best plays and then coach each athlete to use the best techniques and skill sets on every play.  That’s why they study and break down game film so much.

It’s the same with recording calls.  As sales managers your most important job is listening to (monitoring) your sales reps during the sales process to make sure they are using the most effective skills.  The bottom line is that if they aren’t making their numbers, it’s almost always because they are delivering poor presentations to unqualified leads.  And that is a direct result of not using best practice core selling skills.

So…the biggest mistake sales managers make is monitoring and measuring the results (the revenue numbers) rather than the sales process itself (the actual skills used to drive those results).

If you want to improve the sales performance of your sales team, then you need to stay focused on and monitor what is driving those results – what your reps are saying and doing during their qualifying and closing presentations. 

And here’s how you do that:

Start scoring adherence to your scripts (or outlines or presentations, etc.).  Break down each script into sections and assign a number value to them that add up to 100.  Then listen to the recordings of your reps and score their adherence to following the script.  Anything under a 90% adherence and you’ve got work to do. 

Bottom line – by staying focused on the most important part of the sale – adherence to best practices – you?ll avoid the biggest mistake most sales managers make, and in turn you’ll become one of the few managers whose team actually make their revenue numbers. 

How great would that be?

If you found this article helpful, then you’ll love Mike’s NEW book of phone scripts, "The Ultimate Book of Phone Scripts."  Buy now and get over $500 worth of free bonuses from top sales trainers like Tom Hopkins, SalesDog, Stan Billue and many others by taking advantage of this Special Offer: http://mrinsidesales.com/booklaunch.htm  Find out why Brian Tracy calls this the best book on inside sales available today!

Do you have an underperforming inside sales team?  Talk to Mike to see how he can help you and your team reach your revenue goals.  To learn more about Mike, visit his website: http://www.MrInsideSales.com

How to Overcome the Brush Off When Cold Calling

Almost everybody I know hates cold calling. And who can blame them? Everyone they call hates it, too. Receptionists hate getting sales call, prospects hate taking calls so it?s no wonder that sales reps hate it, too. In fact the sales industry as a whole hates it so much that it invented an entirely new way of making contacts called Sales 2.0. The problem with that though is that eventually you still have to pick up the phone and make a call.

So we’re back to the beginning, aren’t we? The only real solution is to learn how to make cold (or warm) calls effectively, and once you learn that, you’ll finally learn the secret of Top 20% performance. You see, the Top 20% don?t mind making cold calls. In fact, many of them (myself included) actually enjoy connecting with potential prospects and uncovering buying opportunities. And you can do this too if you learn to be prepared for the common brush offs and blow offs you get over and over again.

Here are three proven scripts you can use the next time you get any of the following initial brush off objections. Work with these and adjust them to fit your personality, your product or service. And once you do, begin using them on each and every call. I’ll tell you now, once you know how to handle these common brush offs, and once you begin actually connecting with potential buyers, you?ll not only make more sales, but you’ll actually enjoy making those calls.

How great will that be?

"Just send/fax/email the information (and I?ll keep it on file/have a look at it, etc.)"

"I’ll be happy to get this out to you in the next hour, but while I have you on the phone, let’s first see if this can actually help you and if there?s a real need on your end for this. How are you currently doing (Ask about a process related to your product or service). And if I could show you how to (Ask about how your benefit would help them), would you seriously be willing to consider using our solution to help you?"

"We’re already taken care of"

"I understand _________. And isn’t it true that if you could get the same or even better results for less than you’re spending right now, it’d be silly not to at least listen to how that might happen? You see, many of the clients I work with now told me the same thing but were happy they found out about our (introductory package, new client special, side by side comparison, etc.)"

We just don’t have the budget/money/etc.

"Where do you usually get budget from when you find something that you absolutely must have?"

While these rebuttals won’t help you handle all the selling situations you get when cold calling, they will help you overcome some of the most common ones. If you’d like over 100 effective scripts to handle the rest, and over a 100 closing scripts as well, then invest in my new book: The Ultimate Book of Phone Scripts.

People like Jeffrey Gitomer, Tom Hopkins and others are recommending it and giving away a special gift if you get it now. See it here: http://www.mrinsidesales.com/booklaunch.htm