Monthly Archives: August 2012

Three Words to Close More Sales

Any Top Closer will tell you that the secret to closing sales is in getting your prospect to disclose to you whether or not they are going to be a sale and getting them to tell you what you must do or say to close the deal. The reason this is key is because only your prospect knows what it will take for them to buy your product or solution, or even if they have the authority, budget, or if they are in the mood, if they like you, if they need it enough, and many other reasons. Again, only they know what it will take for you to get their business. This is the great secret all Top Closers know.

Unfortunately, 80 to 90% of sales reps don’t understand this. Because of this, they continue to pitch at prospects, push their material onto them and then hound and beg them to do business with them. This is why most sales reps hate sales and why most prospects hate sales reps. If you find yourself (or the majority of your sales team) in this position, then I’m going to share three words with you that will get your prospect to reveal their true buying motives (and why they might not be buying from you as well.)

Because the key to closing sales is to get your prospect to disclose what it’s going to take to close the deal, you’ve obviously got to find ways to get them to open up and start talking. I’ve written many scripts and techniques to show you how to do this, but today I’m going to share with you three simple words you can use to get and keep your prospects talking.

Here it is: Whenever your prospect begins stalling or any other excuse for not acting today, you simply reply: “What happens next?”

Now before 80% of you dismiss this – while the other 20% nod your head with wisdom – try it and hit your mute button. I guarantee that you’ll learn more in what they say next than you would if you just kept talking and pitching…

Here are some other things to say to follow up on what they might disclose to you:

“How does that process work?”

“How involved in that are you?”

“What would you like to see happen here?”

“When does a decision on this need to be made?”

“If you had to move on something today, what would you do?”

“Out of everything you’ve seen from other companies, what do you think?”

“What’s the biggest thing you can see that is standing in the way?”

I guarantee that if you ask all of the above questions to a prospect – and truly listen to what they tell you – you’ll know whether or not they are going to be a deal.

There are lots of other techniques you can use, and if you haven’t invested in my Best Selling book: “The Ultimate Book of Phone Scripts” then you should do so now. You’ll get over 220 other proven tips, scripts and techniques just like this to turn you into a Top Closer as well.

I encourage you to use some of the techniques above to get your prospect talking (and to get you to shut up and listen). If you get good at this you’ll be amazed by how much more successful you’ll be.

Summer Sales Slow? 5 Things to do NOW!

I don’t know about you, but in the middle of July business slowed down and after that it nearly stopped… We do have business, of course – very much like you – but the pace of business, the new leads and especially the urgency of the first half of the year seem gone…

What happened??

Summer happened, that’s what. As I speak to clients and colleagues (those who aren’t on their family vacations that is) they tell me the same thing – many of their bosses, co-workers, suppliers or business partners are either on vacation, just coming back from a vacation, or just about to take a vacation.

In fact, many people I know are taking as much as three to four weeks off! (I just spoke with a potential coaching client, and when I asked him when he was thinking of starting our coaching relationship, he told me it would be after his month long vacation in August). He and his wife will be back right before Labor Day.

So there you have it. Business is seasonal. Kids get out of school and the weather changes. Heck, I can’t even reach half my Canadian clients until mid way through September! People have worked hard and are now ready to take some time off. Business changes, people relax, and they won’t start thinking about their initiatives until right before the fourth quarter.

Does this mean companies aren’t buying or planning for the fall? Of course not. It just means that they are going to begin doing things on their time table right now, not yours.

So here are 5 things you can do to not only make sales right now, but also to set yourself up for the strongest end of the year you’ve ever had:

1) Don’t let up. Keep working hard – if not harder. Make more calls. Send more emails, stay later and come in earlier. The time you put in now may not seem to pay off right away, but in the fall you’ll see the fruits of this labor.

It reminds me of the “dog days of summer” in NFL training camps. I still remember what Bill Parcells told his players in late December when they were about to begin a drive that would determine whether they got into the playoffs or not. He looked at his exhausted linemen and said: “This is why you lift all those damn weights!”

The effort you put in now will make the difference at the end of this year…

2) Connect with established clients. This is the perfect time to send a card, to make a call, and to talk with clients about things other than business. For example, where are they going for summer vacation?

Face it – if things are slow for you, they are probably slow in their business as well. How about asking what they are doing to deal with this period and what they are doing to get ready for the fall. And how about asking what you can do to help them?

3) Work on improving your sales skill set, or work on a new product development or other part of your business that will make a difference in the second half of the year. If any of you have thought about developing a greeting card campaign to stay in front of your customers and prospects, this is the perfect time to do it!

Some of you know that I use sendoutcards.com to keep in front of my clients and prospects, and did you know that you can now use that same system without a sign up fee? Click Here to find out how. Just use this number to try this system out for free: 83661

Why not design a card with a picture of yourself and family on YOUR vacation and send it to all your clients and prospects. That’ll give you something to talk about when you call in September.

4) Make goals for September through December and develop a plan of action to accomplish them. Develop an affirmation card and goal sheet of what you’re going to earn, what it’s going to feel like over the holidays to have accomplished it and begin smiling each day as you feel the feelings of having done it.

Remember, “Fear Pushes, and Vision Pulls.” Use this time to create a compelling vision of the rest of the year for yourself and let that vision pull you through the summer. If you would like some help with Goal Setting, Click Here.

5) Feed your mind a positive daily diet. This is the time to feed your mind every single day (and many times during the day as well). My favorite book to re-read during each summer is: “Beyond Positive Thinking” by Dr. Robert Anthony. You can get it on Amazon.com

I’ll bet you have your own list of positive reading material you’d like to finally read. Pick one book tonight, put it on your desk and commit to reading it before next holiday. That alone will make a huge difference for you.

The most important thing to remember during the summer is that “This too shall pass.” If business has slowed down, that will change. And if you take advantage of any of the five suggestions above, you’ll be more prepared than your competition to prosper when it does…

The 5 Secrets of Great Vacations

Have you scheduled the rest of 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?