• Listen to me!

    After collecting my car from the garage after another very expensive repair I thought it may be about time I bought a car that I could trust would end the journey without the help of a low loader.

    So I went to a local dealer of quality second hand vehicles very excited about the prospect of a new toy.

    The second hand car dealer came up to me he was, smiling (great teeth), had a firm hand shake, and a hint of snake oil fragrance.

    In order to shorten the sales cycle I carefully (I thought) explained that my needs are simple, and in priority order: Automatic, Bluetooth hands free and cruise control ( I can’t afford another speeding fine). Everything else was negotiable.

    He was clearly unshaken by my simple requirements and took me over to the latest (and most expensive) car he had for sale.

    Apparently, it was a thing of beauty, shiny, a head turner, it would look great with me in it and on my drive. I suspected some of that may be correct.

    It was also manual gear change, didn’t have Bluetooth or cruise control.

    I re-explained my needs but clearly my needs didn’t match what he had, so he suggested we go out on a test drive, then I would realise ‘we should be together’ (me and the car, not snake oil boy). So I clambered into the car which exactly addressed all the needs I didn’t have.

    After an hour driving around the country side, feeling the handling, hearing the exhaust and all the other stuff the (sic) salesman thought was important, we arrived back at his premises. I’d missed a call from my wife (no Bluetooth), my dodgy hip was aching from crushing the clutch and I might have broken a speed limit or two (again).

    I didn’t buy the car (see needs above), the salesman was annoyed I’d wasted a quarter of his top selling day. But I got to have fun in a great sports car for an hour which would normally cost a lot of money.

    What happened?

    The car dealer didn’t carefully listen to the prospect, he didn’t question the prospect to confirm the impact of not having their needs met (although not being contactable by my wife did appeal to me) and he gave free consultancy on things that wasn’t needed in addition to wasting a lot of time.

    That’s a lot of bad habits. In the end he thought it was my fault. Stupid prospect.

    There were many basic Sandler rules broken here which culminated in an expensive, non-productive time for the dealer. From the prospects point of view, I learned lots of stuff I didn’t know, had some fun and a great story to tell.

    I guess you haven’t ever wasted time, chasing someone who was never a real prospect and got annoyed about not getting an order for your efforts. But, if you recognise some of this, talk to your local Sandler trainer. They’ll listen and teach you some good habits.

    I’m now going to call the garage as my car is sitting by the side of a road near here quietly steaming, just like our heroic car dealer.

    Roy Johnson

    Roy Johnson

    For twenty seven years Roy Johnson worked globally where he held leadership positions in market leading industrial automation and communications companies. Having left corporate life in 2014 he started his own sales training and management consultancy. Typically, his clients include entrepreneurs, CEOs, start-ups, Sales Directors, MDs, Senior Partners and business owners. These are often people who went into business to follow their passion with a requirement to build a client base to make it successful. They are either looking to put a sales system with coherence and clarity in place and/or take the business to the next level. Roy helps them to develop a successful sales culture so that they can make tough sales decisions based on real data rather than instinct. Mob +44 (0)7867525868 Tel +44 (0)1782 518040

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  • Are you prospecting daily?

    When businesses start, it is often for the passion and skill of producing an end product or service that makes the clients life better.

    That skill is often built by years of training, practice and experience. That’s where a business five a day comes into play. Everything we do to promote our business is an action that we are monitoring for a result. There are broadly five activities we must regularly work on to promote our business.

    If we think of a fishing analogy, our five a day would typically look like:

    1. Marketing, putting your boat where the fish is.
    2. Advertising, A big sign on the boat, saying, “we have bait here!”
    3. The internet, Painting on the bottom of the boat, pictures of bait, with an invite, to interact on the subject.
    4. Networking, Meeting people who may be able to give you a fish, but you should be able to give them one too.
    5. Putting the bait on a hook and actually fishing.

    Marketing, Advertising and Internet, we often hand over to professionals and we aggressively wait for the phone to ring or our inbox to light up.

    Networking is building relationships and hoping that someone understands enough about your business to be able to occasionally throw you a bone while they go about their own business.

    Prospecting is where the serious work starts. Even Steve Jobs had to work the phone at the beginning. While all steps are part of a good business balance, the prospecting part is often used as the last resort to developing your business. I think a lot of it comes down to confidence. Are we doing the right thing? What happens if we get it wrong? What if the prospect rejects our advances? How will we feel when we are rejected? I know this is the case as these are the questions I asked myself. The phone that was easy to pick up to speak to people we know now becomes elephant in the room that is impossible to pick up to speak to strangers.

    However, if you understand that you are doing the right things. You can accept that failure during prospecting is just part of the journey to success. You then have the confidence to continue without feeling crushed.

    We at Sandler Training give you the tools to prospect in the right way, we help you to maintain a good attitude while doing it and then the skills to get a premium price for your premium service. I hold regular masterclasses to show you how to prospect, disqualify time wasters and tyre kickers and close deals at a higher profit than ever before.

    Let’s talk!

    Roy Johnson

    Roy Johnson

    For twenty seven years Roy Johnson worked globally where he held leadership positions in market leading industrial automation and communications companies. Having left corporate life in 2014 he started his own sales training and management consultancy. Typically, his clients include entrepreneurs, CEOs, start-ups, Sales Directors, MDs, Senior Partners and business owners. These are often people who went into business to follow their passion with a requirement to build a client base to make it successful. They are either looking to put a sales system with coherence and clarity in place and/or take the business to the next level. Roy helps them to develop a successful sales culture so that they can make tough sales decisions based on real data rather than instinct. Mob +44 (0)7867525868 Tel +44 (0)1782 518040

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  • The power of the 30 second commercial

    I was chatting to an old client from my last company about how his business was getting on.

    He was happy with it so far but felt that many of his potential prospects didn’t understand his company no matter how much he told them about what they did.

    This reminded me of a quote I read in the Sandler book “You can’t teach a kid to ride a bike in a seminar”.

    The book quoted George Bernard Shaw and said:

    “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place”.

    So I asked about his thirty second commercial.

    This stopped him dead in his tracks. “I have 2000 product lines; I can’t get that in a thirty second commercial! We need to sit down for 3 hours so that I can tell you about them”.

    Clearly, if he wanted to list all his offerings in that time, thirty seconds was a tough ask.

    Conversely, I wasn’t that hungry to listen to his product list for the time it takes me to drive from Manchester to London.

    But is it effective and does he really needs to spit out a product list in a first call or interaction?

    This is why a readily prepared thirty-second commercial can be so useful in shortening a sales process.

    However, a common misconception of the “Thirty-second commercial” or the “elevator pitch” is that you have to talk about what you have, Features, Advantages, Benefit’s.

    This might feel great for the “elevator pitcher” but often fails to meet the needs of the “elevator pitchee” and rarely can be achieved in thirty seconds. The result can often be confusion and discomfort. This can make both people in the conversation be “not OK”.

    A thirty-second commercial can give enough of an indication to anyone, to understand if there was at least a future conversation to be had on this subject.

    The listener has to understand that by engaging with this company, which pains may be taken away from them, leaving them with a clear vision of how the future could look.

    You don’t have to mention in detail products or services, you just have to help them to understand how they typically will feel after a successful implementation of the product or service.

    Focus on the pains that your product or service can eliminate. Help them imagine how their world can look without those pains. Then you can both see if there is a real business reason for you to spend any more time together.

     

    Roy Johnson

    Roy Johnson

    For twenty seven years Roy Johnson worked globally where he held leadership positions in market leading industrial automation and communications companies. Having left corporate life in 2014 he started his own sales training and management consultancy. Typically, his clients include entrepreneurs, CEOs, start-ups, Sales Directors, MDs, Senior Partners and business owners. These are often people who went into business to follow their passion with a requirement to build a client base to make it successful. They are either looking to put a sales system with coherence and clarity in place and/or take the business to the next level. Roy helps them to develop a successful sales culture so that they can make tough sales decisions based on real data rather than instinct. Mob +44 (0)7867525868 Tel +44 (0)1782 518040

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