Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Sales Tips From Jonathan London

Mindful Selling

Posted on Tue, Oct 14, 2014

businessperson-meditating-sml

Tomorrow at 12PM EST, I will be conducting an experimental webinar on "Mindful Selling". The URL to register is  http://barbaragiamanco.enterthemeeting.com/m/FFGPGUT3

The agenda for which is:
  • What is Selling
  • What is Mindful Selling
  • How Does it Improve Your Sales Ability
  • Ohter Benefits of Mindfulness
  • 3o Second Experiments
  • An Application of Mindful Selling
  • Q&A

I hope you can make it.

Tags: Sales Advice

Are You Aligned and Have Agreement for Sales Success

Posted on Tue, Jul 15, 2014

alignment resized 600

As many of you know, S.M.A.R.T. Goals are a foundation of success for any individual or organization. I define S.M.A.R.T as:

  • Specific – I will make $100,000
  • Measurable – I will measure every month how much I have made and also measure the activities needed to make the money
  • ALIGNED/AGREED – I am ALIGNED and AGREEMENT with others who are critical to my success
  • Realistic – it is an achievable goal
  • Timed – I will make the $100,000 by the end of 2014

I was with a client this week that understood this and demonstrates the importance of the ALIGNMENT/AGREED step, which is the most difficult and most important.

My client is a very successful high tech company who is #3 in their market, but whose growth has been stagnant for the last 6 quarters. Recently, they dramatically realigned their entire sales organization, from the inside out. Many people’s responsbibilities were changed, or minimized, and they had grave concerns. They were distracted and demotivated.

The people who are in front of the customer and make the most money are the outside people. The people who make the least (they are still well paid) and touch the customer least are the inside sales people. HOWEVER, the key to the outside teams success is the leads the inside team can qualify and generate.

So what did my client and I do? We started with training the inside people and we ALIGNED/GAINED AGREEMENT that there role was critical. My client shared the executive level view and insights with the team, and allowed them to question and challenge them.

They were aligned and had agreement from top to bottom, from executive to salesperson and most of the concern and distraction were removed.

We then were able to develop and train them on the new skills and knowledge they needed to be successful as individuals and as a company.

Moral to the story: spend more time than you are, or think you need to, in order to make sure people understand and agree to (as much as possible) the changes and direction you are taking.

Don’t think if it is said, or just because you say it, will make it happen.

Tags: Sales Skills, Sales, Sales Advice, Sales Training, Sales Strategies, Sales Tips, Sales Effectiveness, Coaching, Sales Productivity, Sales Process

The 3's of Selling More

Posted on Thu, Jun 19, 2014

describe the image

The Rule of 3 according to Wikipedia is: a writing principle that suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things. (citation needed).

The reader or audience of this form of text is also more likely to consume information if it is written in groups of threes. From slogans ("Go, fight, win!") to films, many things are structured in threes. Examples include The Three StoogesThree Musketeers and others.

Here are some 3’s for selling:

  1. focus on 3 verticals, applications or a mix of and don't waste your time elsewhere
  2. always try to give 3 benefits or reasons someone should do what you are asking
  3. have a minimum of 3:1 ratio of pipeline to target/quota
  4. 3 isn't a crowd – bring others to big meetings with you
  5. if you have 3 minutes, make a prospecting call or follow up those you have already made
  6. saving 3 minutes a day gives you another hour a week to prospect – imagine 30 minutes a day
  7. meditate for 3 minutes in between appointments or before a big presentation. You will be much clearer and present
  8. count to 3 before handling an objection
  9. take 3 deep breaths and exhale slowly to relax in a tense environment
  10. take 3 email breaks a day so you can do something more productive
  11. don't sit on stool unless it has at least 3 legs
  12. on average, if you have 3 meetings a day (for all stages of a sales process) you will make more money than other salespeople
  13. choose the 3 people (personal, boss, peer) who will hold you accountable for what you said you will do wen you created your S.M.A.R.T. Goals
  14. solutions should consist of at least 3 elements – product benefits, something about your company (history, philosophy, finances, etc) and services
  15. always be at an appt at least 3 minutes early if not 5 or 10 (too early is too eager)
  16. you can give a prospect 3 options to choose from, good- better- best. Either way they buy from you
  17. your company’s or own marketing should consist of 3’s like the example on top
  18. a great team can beat 3 superstars
What other 3's do you have?

Tags: Sales Skills, Sales Advice, b2b Sales, Coaching, Sales Productivity

Top 10 Things People in Sales Worry About

Posted on Thu, May 15, 2014

describe the image

I am in the throes of a white paper discussing, and addressing the "Top 10 Things Salespeople and Managers Worry About" inside and outside of work.

Here is my list. I would love your thoughts and what additions you might make to this list.

  1. Dealing with Pressure
  2. Making Quota
  3. Differentiating Themselves and Their Offer
  4. Work/Life Balance
  5. Making Money
  6. Being Noticed
  7. Dealing with Rampant Change
  8. Doing More with Less Resource
  9. Job Security
  10. Getting to the Decision Maker

What do you think? What would you add to this list? Email me at JLondon@ipgtraining.com.

Tags: Sales, Sales Advice, b2bSales

Thinking is Overrated for Salespeople

Posted on Tue, Apr 22, 2014

brain resized 600

Thinking is Overrated

If you think about it (pun intended) we think WAY TOO MUCH. We use our thinking brain for almost everything. That is like the old adage of thinking every problem is a like a nail, so the only tool we need is a hammer (or something like that).

 What we don't use enough, or at all, is awareness or mindfulness, which in many instances is more important and relevant than thinking. Or at a minimum should be as present as thinking is. How can we define thinking vs. awareness? A simple comparison is:

 “Thinking” is when your mind creates thoughts about the situation you are in which are almost always based on past experiences, preconceived notions and our preferences around that situation.

 “Awareness” is being in the present moment with as little or few filters as possible, including thoughts. It is a more direct interaction with what is happening since you are experiencing it more directly. It is like having someone tell you about an experience vs experiencing it yourself.

 Awareness or mindfulness is as important, if not more so than thinking. Why:

  • thinking doesn’t allow us to see situations as clearly as possible since they are always filtered by the past and what we want or don't want
  • thinking limits us to the limits of our knowledge, experience and intelligence
  • thinking is one dimensional (the brain thinking) where awareness or mindfulness can be multi-dimensional

So, lets apply this to some basic sales situations:

  • you meet somebody with a preconceived notion so you ask and hear things based on that vs. what a person is actually saying or experiencing
  • With an overdependence on thinking, or “thinking on your feet” (which is an important skill) you may not be seeing or hearing things that are being said non-verbally (feelings, reactions, etc.)
  • You are thinking one or two steps ahead, anticipating what might happen (again an important skill) vs. what actually is happening and reacting to that, or worse, not seeing or hearing what is actually being said because your brain has taken you somewhere else
  • You are trying to “figure out” where an objection is coming from vs. being present and aware and tuning in to a person’s feelings around what is being said, which is much more important than the words

I hope you can see the importance of being more aware when you sell or being aware and thinking are better together.

Let me know what you think. And/or, if you agree spread the word by tweeting or facebooking, linking this in, carrier pidgeon, smoke signals, etc. You know, the basics.

Thanks.

Tags: Objection Handling, Sales Advice, b2b Sales, Sales Tips, Sales Productivity, Presentations, b2bSales

Keeping Your Cool During Sales Negotiations

Posted on Mon, Feb 03, 2014

Buddha

I am involved in a fairly emotional, complicated, expensive sales negotiation with several (8 others) intelligent and very successful people. These people are all over the world so we have to do this over the phone (otherwise I would always do this in person).

The issues are starting to become contentious, and for those of you who know me, or have seen me, you know I can get emotional/angry at times :-)

 I did not want to have my anger get the best of me so I thought of some simple techniques (keep phone on mute, write things down, count to 10 , etc) so I could present myself in a mild, objective manner and be heard, vs. having them react and shutdown.

 As some of you know, I have been meditating quite regularly for the last 6 months and have been wanting to integrate this more into my sales approach. So I meditated a few minutes before the call, but more importantly I said the following to myself so help me be calm:

 First I said:

 May I be Safe

May I Be Happy

May I be Strong

May I be free from suffering and the roots of suffering

May I be filled with loving kindness and compassion

 

Then I said (imaging the people on the call):

 May YOU be Safe

May YOU Be Happy

May YOU be Strong

May YOU be free from suffering and the roots of suffering

May YOU be filled with loving kindness and compassion

 

Can’t tell you that this is the only reason the call went so well, but it did.

 

Let me know if you want to know more?

Tags: Objection Handling, Sales Advice, Sales Strategies, b2b Sales, Negotiations

Professional Courtesy For Salespeople- "Nuff Said"

Posted on Wed, Jan 29, 2014

describe the image

Last week, I sent out emails to 3 Owners or VP’s of Sales, people who I have spoken to, worked with and/or met separately.

In all 3 instances I have not heard back. If only to say they are unsure of the status of things we are communicating about, (including not being interested in moving forward), were busy or whatever.

To me this is the greatest of paradoxes, that people in the sales or sales training profession don’t have the courtesy to get back to others in their same line of work. It could also be a reflection of these individual’s perception or attitude towards me, and is something I have to examine, whether I am respected and bring value to them. If not, I should cut bait. If I do, I need to decide if I want to work with people who don't respect the trade.

As salespeople, we are all dealing with this from our customers but shouldn't we show, and be shown more respect from our prospects or customers? Are you getting the respect you deserve? Are you holding on to cuystomers or opportunities that don't honor you and your value? You might say that is part of the game, and I did, and still do. But less so every day and hopefully soon, not at all. As Bob Dylan says "you gotta serve somebody" and i dont mind that. I actually like it. But with respect and dignity!

What do you think? Let me know.

Tags: Sales, Sales Advice, b2b Sales

PERSONAS SHMERSONAS FOR SALESPEOPLE

Posted on Mon, Jan 20, 2014

people picture for blog resized 600 

Personas Shmersonas

Every industry has to come up with something new, or seemingly new to keep itself going and maintain it’s viability. For example, in fashion it is color or cut of a garment. One of these things in the marketing, sales and sales training industry is buyer personas.

 What is a buying persona? According to Hubspot, a company I use and admire A buyer persona is:

“Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers. They are based on real data about customer demographics and online behavior, along with educated speculation about their personal histories, motivations, and concerns.”

 This breakdown of a potential buyer and his or her “persona” along the way of a sales process or decision is good for marketing since the right message can try to be sent at the right time.

BUT I SAY ENOUGH WITH BUYING PERSONAS FOR SALESPEOPLE!

Why:

-       they can be highly inaccurate

-       they pigeon hole people/prospects and thus pigeon hole salespeople

-       they restrict what  prospect might want or a salesperson might ask

-       it is difficult and awkward to be mindful of smoothly integrate them into a sales approach

-       they are difficult to use for a salesperson who has multiple assignments, accounts and/or sell to many different people and industries (this is less so for people have a much more finite focus or responsibility)

-       salespeople can become dependent on or falsely led to believe that these personas are sacrosanct and all they have to do is what they are told and the sale will happen. HOGWASH I SAY!

Here is what I think is more important:

-       relating to people and being more empathetic and intelligent about their world

-       understanding a prospect’s or buyers UNIQUE responsibilities, priorities and needs which a persona does address to some degree

-       salespeople having the skill set to interact with an individual/S to see exactly what these are for them and their organization

-       giving salespeople an intelligent and flexible structure (such as the S.PRI.N.G. Dialogue) that they can use in multiple scenarios with much greater impact

That’s all I have to say on the subject for now. What do you think?

Tags: Sales Advice, b2b Sales, Sales Tips, S.PRI.N.G. Dialogue

Salespeople - 23 Selling Tips for 2014

Posted on Fri, Jan 10, 2014

describe the image

If you haven’t started already, now is a good time to start planning for 2014. Here are some of the ways to do it and questions to ask yourself:

 

  1. Do I know where my success came from last year? What did I do to make things happen and be a successful salesperson?
  2. Do I know where I want to put my efforts into this year? Are they the same as last year or different?  Have I created smart goals for myself?
  3. Which of my offerings has real advantages that I should take advantage of?
  4. Are there particular vertical markets or segments that I want to focus on?
  5. What people, sales technology and resources will I surround myself with so I can get help when I need it?
  6. What will I:
    • Continue doing or do more of that is working
    • Stop doing that is in the way of my success
    • Start doing that is needed because of market conditions or opportunities
    1. Who, at work or home do I need to help me stay disciplined enough to the things that are most important?
    2. What have I been putting off that needs to be done?
    3. Have I targeted the accounts I want to sell?
    4. Do I know the one or two that would really put me over the top?
    5. Am I using social media, LinkedIn, blogs, etc. to keep me in touch with the people and events that are critical to my success?
    6. Am I using free services like Google Alerts to do the same?
    7. What support mechanisms do I have to keep balanced?
    8. What is my quick start program so I have a great quarter and make the rest of the year a “little” easier?
    9. Are my manager and I on the same page so he/she supports me vs. interferes?
    10. Can you tell yourself what you are or are not willing to do so you are happy and successful?
    11. Can you identify what motivates you, or like most about your job so you can spend as much time and do it as often as possible?
    12. If your compensation plan is here, do you know how you will make the most money from it?
    13. Do you know your offering inside and out so you can present it in more ways, with more effect than your competition or co-workers?
    14. Can you be more organized and/or effective by being more focused and wasting less time in a day?
    15. Can you identify the 3 or 4 most important priorities for your success?
    16. Can you create an image for yourself of what short and long term success looks and feels like to keep yourself motivated, positive?
    17. What technology will I learn to help me sell more?

       

      Please let me know if you would like to talk or I can help in any way. I wish you the best, healthiest, most fulfilling 2014.

      Tags: Time Management, Sales, Sales Advice, Sales Tips, Sales Productivity, lead generation, Social Media

      Prospect Can You Feel Me (sing to the song Tommy from The Who)

      Posted on Mon, Dec 02, 2013

      buddha

      I was going on my first sales call as Regional Director with one of my sales reps, Karen. We were meeting with Warren, at a division of one of the worlds largest healthcare companies. According to Karen who had met with him several time, Warren was not a nice person. A real mean S.O.B.  From what I was told, we were two diametrically opposed forces in suits; Good and Evil (Karen and I were the good ones of course). 

      I had just gotten back from a week’s meditation retreat and was in a very mellow and peaceful space. You can call it relaxed, I would call it calm, present and happy, very content with myself and being where ever I was. I was not worried and afraid about not being successful (which is why I went away on the retreat). I was very aware that I was a Regional Manager who was responsible to help my people sell, but not feeling as pressured by it or more importantly, as defined by it. Nor was I as fearful of Warren. I felt confident in this space.

      What happened at our meeting was quite remarkable. Karen and I sat in front of Warren’s big macho desk. Karen introduced me and I just began to talk to Warren about him, his position, what was important to him, what he wanted to have happen, what he wanted to avoid, etc. Then suddenly, Warren let down his guard and his defenses and was the nicest, most open person. It was as if his desk disappeared. He actually came out from behind his desk to sit with Karen and me. Why? Because he was responding to my manner, how I was feeling vs. the words and he felt safe. It was an incredible meeting and we got the deal 30 days later.

      So what is the moral  of the story? People can feel where you are coming from. It you are coming from a place of safety, generosity, wholeness, curiosity and kindness, people will feel that. If you are not, people will feel that as well.

      Who would you rather buy from?

      Tags: Sales, Sales Advice, b2b Sales