Posted by: Jim McLellan | May 2, 2012

Shut Up and sell more!

Shut your mouth and sell more

 

The most difficult decision for sales people is the art of shutting up.  When do you speak and when do you shut up? 

Most sales people understand benefits VS features.  And if you don’t please click away to another blog.  The biggest failure of most sales people is they don’t understand the real benefits and the features. 

So how do you figure that out?  Well first and most important is to understand what you sell.  I mean really understanding what it does.   Did you know more than 38% of sales people are uncertain what their clients do? 

An example can be mobile phones. You don’t need to know how a mobile phone uses radio technology to communicate between towers to the phone you are calling.  But you do need to know, some basics of the technology. 

However you MUST know why does your customer needs a mobile phone?  Dumb question but you need to ask it.  WHY because then you will know how what you are offering helps them.  That is a benefit, not that it has the largest screen or best camera those are features, unless the client needs to see pictures in great detail and take them to send out.  THEN it is a benefit but how do you know if you don’t ask.  

More often than not the customer does not truly understand what he may need.  So you need to be Sherlock Homes and Watson at the same time.  What does he currently do with the phone, and why does he do this?  Once you understand his needs you can bring up your solutions. 

So back to shutting up.  Or more often said as “audible pause” Your first appointment will be discovery asking the questions to find problems and benefits that you can solve. 

Now go away,  shut up let him know you will find some answers for him.  Why because unless your selling Slurpee’s in 7-11 not many sales close on the first meeting.  Why because the customer does not trust you and you have not brought value to him…..yet.   The really hard part of this is trusting in yourself and product even if you have the perfect solution for the client, don’t tell him yet.  SHUT UP and go away. 

Now if you don’t know all the answers to his questions and your questions to him research, research, research.  Using your current clients, colleagues and the cool new invention the World Wide Web…

Using current clients to help answer does two things it makes them feel good, and continues to build your relationship with them.  

Using your colleagues does the same, perhaps they have encountered but what it does again allows the flow of information to run free.  This will build and culture of success and make your office more successful. 

What we are trying to accomplish is value.  And bringing that to your client.  So they don’t ignore your calls, or cancel your meetings.  

On your next meeting make sure you sum up the previous meeting this will get his head nodding.  He is starting to say YES before you ask the question.

Now present your solution in a question format. 

“So Mr. Customer I understand that your service people often take photographs of issues in the field, would a larger screen and better camera help the speed in diagnostics?”  

Again you will get a head nod.  Again he is buying without knowing, because you understand and are bringing value.  SHUT UP let him think about this.  It’s his turn to talk.  Wait it out, he will talk.  And then you will get some truth from him.  Maybe he thought this was important or maybe he found something else that is important.  But you have answered his question, brought him value. You will now close this sale. 

But the key is not dumping your benefits because they are your benefits.  You asked important information gathering questions.  You found answers.  Now wait it out.  He will buy but you can’t over load him with more benefits.  

If you sell a complex solution, don’t give him all the information at once, you will need a reason to “follow up” Complex sales require even more shutting up.  

Your next follow up should be of value! Not the tired old “ calling to see if you have made a decision?”  What kind of question is that?  A Stupid one.   It is a fine line between giving to much information and giving to little.  I would error on the side of too little.  Since this gives you a reason for follow up giving value instead of meaningless questions.  Like when do you think you will have budget for this.  He has budget if your solution makes him money! 

 

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Posted by: Jim McLellan | May 2, 2012

Shut Up and sell more!

Shut your mouth and sell more

 

The most difficult decision for sales people is the art of shutting up.  When do you speak and when do you shut up? 

Most sales people understand benefits VS features.  And if you don’t please click away to another blog.  The biggest failure of most sales people is they don’t understand the real benefits and the features. 

So how do you figure that out?  Well first and most important is to understand what you sell.  I mean really understanding what it does.   Did you know more than 38% of sales people are uncertain what their clients do? 

An example can be mobile phones. You don’t need to know how a mobile phone uses radio technology to communicate between towers to the phone you are calling.  But you do need to know, some basics of the technology. 

However you MUST know why does your customer needs a mobile phone?  Dumb question but you need to ask it.  WHY because then you will know how what you are offering helps them.  That is a benefit, not that it has the largest screen or best camera those are features, unless the client needs to see pictures in great detail and take them to send out.  THEN it is a benefit but how do you know if you don’t ask.  

More often than not the customer does not truly understand what he may need.  So you need to be Sherlock Homes and Watson at the same time.  What does he currently do with the phone, and why does he do this?  Once you understand his needs you can bring up your solutions. 

So back to shutting up.  Or more often said as “audible pause” Your first appointment will be discovery asking the questions to find problems and benefits that you can solve. 

Now go away,  shut up let him know you will find some answers for him.  Why because unless your selling Slurpee’s in 7-11 not many sales close on the first meeting.  Why because the customer does not trust you and you have not brought value to him…..yet.   The really hard part of this is trusting in yourself and product even if you have the perfect solution for the client, don’t tell him yet.  SHUT UP and go away. 

Now if you don’t know all the answers to his questions and your questions to him research, research, research.  Using your current clients, colleagues and the cool new invention the World Wide Web…

Using current clients to help answer does two things it makes them feel good, and continues to build your relationship with them.  

Using your colleagues does the same, perhaps they have encountered but what it does again allows the flow of information to run free.  This will build and culture of success and make your office more successful. 

What we are trying to accomplish is value.  And bringing that to your client.  So they don’t ignore your calls, or cancel your meetings.  

On your next meeting make sure you sum up the previous meeting this will get his head nodding.  He is starting to say YES before you ask the question.

Now present your solution in a question format. 

“So Mr. Customer I understand that your service people often take photographs of issues in the field, would a larger screen and better camera help the speed in diagnostics?”  

Again you will get a head nod.  Again he is buying without knowing, because you understand and are bringing value.  SHUT UP let him think about this.  It’s his turn to talk.  Wait it out, he will talk.  And then you will get some truth from him.  Maybe he thought this was important or maybe he found something else that is important.  But you have answered his question, brought him value. You will now close this sale. 

But the key is not dumping your benefits because they are your benefits.  You asked important information gathering questions.  You found answers.  Now wait it out.  He will buy but you can’t over load him with more benefits.  

If you sell a complex solution, don’t give him all the information at once, you will need a reason to “follow up” Complex sales require even more shutting up.  

Your next follow up should be of value! Not the tired old “ calling to see if you have made a decision?”  What kind of question is that?  A Stupid one.   It is a fine line between giving to much information and giving to little.  I would error on the side of too little.  Since this gives you a reason for follow up giving value instead of meaningless questions.  Like when do you think you will have budget for this.  He has budget if your solution makes him money! 

 

Posted by: Jim McLellan | April 17, 2012

Why don’t they call me back?

Why don’t they call back

 

So your customer is not returning your call? Or cancels your cold call appointment you worked so hard to get.

 

WHY?

 

I’ve spoken about this before and am always amazed at the answers I get from “sales people”

 

  • Our price was too high
  • Customer is not ready to buy
  • Happy with current provider
  • Too busy this month
  • No budget

 

So what really happened?  Why did they want a quote or want to have an appointment?  Why changed their mind?

 

YOU did, by not following up quick enough, or more importantly followed up without anything to say but “ so have you made a decision?”

 

People want to buy… they don’t want to be sold.  So did you shoot your entire clip on the first appointment?  Did you not ask enough powerful questions so that the client had to think?  Did you not follow up with value to that powerful question?

 

Was the price really to high? Or did you feature dump as apposed to what your product does that makes the clients life better, and saves TIME and or MONEY, so price really is not a question?

 

If he was happy with current vendor why did he take your appointment, and then not buy?  Did you have the nerve to ask him why?  Or did you just thank him for the chance to quote?

 

Show value on your appointments, save a bullet for the follow up.  Answer the powerful questions you asked him. 

 

You don’t always close!  But you should always understand why?  And if not then take a long look in the mirror and ask two powerful questions to yourself.

 

What could I have done better? 

What did I learn, and will I keep that lesson in mind 

Posted by: Jim McLellan | April 14, 2012

Fun = Productivity

Fun = Productivity 

Not Long ago most companies thought to get the most of people you had to grind at them like Scrooge did to Bob Crachit.  The work place has come along way since then, but have you? 

The first question I ask potential new sales people is tell me about yourself?  Normally I have to stop them from the usual BS people say in interviews….so boring and such crap.  I want to know who you are!  Do you read to the blind during the weekend, or play the violin?  Who are you?  What do you like to do, would you be fun to hang out with?  For anyone who works with people you better be interesting and fun or you won’t make it.  

Bringing fun into yourself will make you a happier person and happy people sell more!  But how do you bring fun to your workplace and show your clients your fun? 

The most import thing you need to remember about Fun is it’s hard work!  You need to plan it, it rarely happens without forethought. Image

Most of us have seen the images of the polar bear and husky.  For more pictures and great thoughts on play please go to http://www.nifplay.org/index.html  I think that Stuart Brown really nails this.

 

So my I challenge you, Find some fun, plan an afternoon or even better day, but plan it.

  • What are you going to do
  • Where is it
  • What’s for lunch
  • How much time is needed

 

See its work, but think of the fun will have, now plan some fun in the office.  During the dot.com bubble days in the mid 90’s software companies and internet start ups were famous for their work environments the fun things the did and encourage their employee’s to do.  Some had slides and bunk beds for afternoon naps.  Now I’m not suggesting this but why not a Slurpee break on Friday afternoon in the summer? 

 

Keep in mind Causal Friday’s start during this time period in California, and ever office I know they look forward to being less formal on Friday’s.

 

So what are you planning to do for fun this week?

Posted by: Jim McLellan | March 29, 2012

Are you listening?

Listen don’t talk 

Great sales people know the first thing they sell is themselves, and they do this by being relevant on what is current, and knowing how to listen to the client. 

I always try to keep in mind what my Grandmother said to me as typical 5 year old with a million stories.  “Two ears and one mouth, use them in this ratio” What I did not understand then and do now is that every statement made to a customer needs to be relevant.  

They need to be information statements and questions, followed by another question to understand their answer.  If you don’t understand what the client needs, how can you understand what to sell them?

How do you establish rapport?  By asking them how business is? By asking how their day is?  If so please hit the back button on your browser, you’re wasting your time and ruining my chi. 

Ask relevant questions, about him/ his business!  Ask then double click his answer, then sum it up so he understands your listening…. 

Posted by: Jim McLellan | March 28, 2012

So your customer wants to switched based on price

So your customer wants to switched based on price

So lets be honest price is important, not the most important but important.  Ok now that’s out of the way.  My first question is did you SELL on PRICE or VAULUE?  I ask because if you only sold on price you most likely have no chance to keep this client.  Why? Because no matter what the value of you or your company is, they don’t see it.  These customers were sold on price and will buy on price.  Go sell someone else on price and quite reading this….. 

Still here good, as we all know price is important, but how often have you calculated what your value is to your client?  How much will they loose on going with the cheapest price? Too many sales people don’t take a moment to “show off” what value you bring them?  The last favour, or time you went out of the way for them, did you mention it?  Or are they just taking that as part of what you do?  I don’t mean using pressure and guilt trips but do they know the extra you put in?

Is your relationship with the client strong enough to have them call you when approached by the competitor?  If not again quite reading now, and go find the next one.  What do you know about your client, apart from job tittle?  Married, kids,  hobbies, are a start.  What can you do to help them in the day to day?  Not just delivering product, but have you told him about services you offer that he is not buying?  Or are you lazy and just selling day to day?  Do you follow the company on social media?  When is the company picnic, or party that you can help out with product or services?  

Client wont change on price if your value is worth more, change means pain, and costs.  More than most buyers want to deal with.  If you get to that moment when they discusses this, make sure you bring value not drop your price.  If you drop your price you decrease your value. And set yourself up for more work and less margin.  

To sell value over price you need to bring value.  What value have your brought today?  

Objection

 ob·jec·tion  uhb-jek-shuhn] noun

1. a reason or argument offered in disagreement, opposition, refusal, or disapproval

 

 

How do you overcome the objection?  Do you use feel, felt, found?  Do you sell harder then?  Do you go into your scripted response to the foreseen objection?

 

WRONG WRONG and WRONG again. 

 

The question is have you established a relationship? And do you lack sincerity.  The first objection is probably not even the real objection.  So your scripted response won’t work.  Selling harder scares people.  Scripted objection overcomer’s are tired and the client see’s them coming from miles away.

 

Have you established your relationship, product or service first?  Do they even need it? 

 

The only way to over come objections is to ask powerful questions about your client.  Questions that will make them think, and ones they have not heard a thousand times before. Understanding their needs, and business issues is the key.  Then they will give you the REAL objection. 

 

What questions did you ask to uncover their needs?  Did you even bother? 

 

And perhaps most important do you really understand your product or service?  And understand what your client can use it for?  If not then keep calling and continue being insincere and keep being average. 

Posted by: Jim McLellan | February 21, 2012

RIM Playbook 2.0 ! Overview

I wonder and hope it’s not too late… RIM is still a very strong company, but some questionable choices of late. Personally can’t wait to install on my Playbook.

Product Overview

The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet with BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 gives you the BlackBerry® communications experience you love in a tablet. With built-in email, calendar, contacts, and video chat, the BlackBerry PlayBook is designed to help you seize the moment and share it with the power of BlackBerry.
Product Features

Built-in Email
Built-in email lets you quickly manage your personal and work accounts with a unified inbox. Plus new features for creating, editing and formatting messages offer an advanced email experience making your BlackBerry PlayBook a powerful communication tool.

Built-in Calendar
Now you can better prepare for more effective meetings with new features like a People View of your day and newsreel that give you up to the minute information about the people and companies on your calendar.

Built-in Contacts
The new built-in contacts app serves as a social hub offering information gathered from social networks like Facebook®, Twitter®, and LinkedIn® to help you create a complete profile of your contacts including recent status updates and mutual contacts.

Facebook
Facebook® for BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet is an optimized application that delivers a highly engaging experience by integrating popular features and functionality of Facebook®. With version 2.2, users can view Facebook screens in portrait orientation mode, take advantage of Facebook’s new Messages feature that displays the full conversation history of their messages and chats, delete Wall posts and view Mutual Friends. Discover all the great ways you can stay on top of your social life with Facebook for BlackBerry Playbook.

Video Chat
Because nothing beats face to face collaboration, your BlackBerry PlayBook is equipped with two HD video cameras and stereo speakers for video chatting between BlackBerry PlayBook tablets.

Documents To Go
Documents To Go® is a powerful mobile office suite that lets you view and edit Microsoft® Word, Excel® and PowerPoint® files and attachments. Plug your BlackBerry PlayBook in to a projector or TV using an HDMI connection to deliver impactful presentations while referencing speakers notes on the tablet’s display with presenter mode. All this without ever having to boot up your laptop.

Print To Go
Print To Go eliminates the hassle of mountains of paper files by wirelessly printing from your laptop or PC directly to your BlackBerry PlayBook. You can view, sort, and manage digital files like documents, memos, or lists as though they were physical sheets of paper.

Highly Secure and Reliable
The BlackBerry PlayBook offers trusted BlackBerry security that’s designed to keep personal and work data safe and protected. Advanced technology from QNX also makes the operating system ultra-reliable, so you can feel confident that your BlackBerry PlayBook is always ready to work.

BlackBerry App World
Your BlackBerry PlayBook has all your favorite apps and thousands more. Games like Angry Birds and Cut The Rope, magazines like Time and Sports Illustrated, social networking sites like Facebook, and even your favorite books from Kobo and Kindle – the apps you want are here for you to discover in the BlackBerry AppWorld™ storefront.

An outstanding web experience
BlackBerry PlayBook puts the power of the real internet at your fingertips with a blazing fast Webkit engine supporting HTML5 and Adobe® Flash®. Plus the new browser reading view is designed to make websites easier to enjoy by eliminating page clutter at the touch of a button. What’s left is a cleaner format that lets you read the web like you would an eBook.

BlackBerry Bridge Technology
Get more out of your BlackBerry devices by allowing them to work together. New BlackBerry® Bridge™ features let your BlackBerry smartphone act as a keyboard and mouse for your BlackBerry PlayBook giving you wireless remote control of your tablet.

Real Multitasking
Not all multitasking is created equal. Multitasking on BlackBerry PlayBook allows you to run apps simultaneously, rather than just switch between them. So you can be downloading music while you read a book or video chatting while you review a presentation. Why settle for anything less?

Performance Powerhouse
The BlackBerry PlayBook is intuitive and easy to use with simple gestures that make buttons a thing of a past. Beneath its polished surface BlackBerry PlayBook packs a blazing fast dual core processor, two HD 1080p video cameras, and 1GB of RAM for a high performance experience.

Posted by: Jim McLellan | February 2, 2012

Groundhog Day? Who is Balzac Billy? And did he see his shadow.

Balzac Billy

Believe it or not but this is a North American Holiday only! Dating back to the spring of 1841 in Pennsylvania.

Traditionally if the groundhog comes out of his burro and see’s his shadow then we have six more weeks of winter. I wonder if Alex Burrows see’s his shadow does that mean we will have 6 weeks of until we wrap up the divisional title again? Opps how did that slip in?

Groundhog day maybe be related to ancient pagan celebrations regarding the end of winter. But they were looking for a Bear to see his shadow. Perhaps not a good idea getting that close to a bear coming out of hibernation, maybe that’s why the pagans are not around anymore.

Well onto Balzac Billy Alberta’s groundhog. Billy saw his shadow today and we are in for 6 more weeks of winter. But most Calgarians would tell you winter has not really started this year! Mild and very little snow so far.

Balzac is a small town just outside of Calgary! And no I’m not making this up!

Posted by: Jim McLellan | January 26, 2012

The two most things most sales people forget.

The two most things most sales people forget.

1. Two ears one mouth.
2. Ask WHY

The most important lesson I learn as a sales person and I learn it when I was five from my Grandmother. TWO EARS ONE MOUTH us them in proportion. Too many sales people over sell their products. If you can relax be confident and ask more questions than pitching your products you will close much easier and have much less buyer regret.

Why does the client need what you’re selling? Don’t tell him ask him. Then use an audible pause and wait for the answer. Now listen, wait he will tell you. Confirm what he said, and then show Benefits not Features of what you are presenting. Notice the word present not PITCH.

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