• Will you pick up the hoe and go for the no?

    I’m not green fingered by any stretch of the imagination – but I’ve been guilty in the past of trying to cultivate prospects that were in effect weeds in my veg patch.

    As opposed to wasting time thinking we can nurture these ‘wild plants’ in the hope that they flower into fabulous future clients and customers, why don’t we pull them up by the root, toss them in the recycle bin and turn our attention to crops that have a high yield potential and need our attention?

    We call this ‘going for the no’ – which is completely counter intuitive and goes against everything I’ve been taught to do historically. “Ask open ended questions; get the client to say yes, yes, yes! ……”

    It’s like forcing rhubarb – keep prospects in near darkness and force them to strain to the candlelight until they give in and grow. Unlike rhubarb which will ripen and be ready for eating, forcing prospects to do business leaves a sour taste – and even if they add to your harvest short term, it’s unlikely you’ll reap long term business.

    The thought of disqualifying prospects makes sense intellectually (i.e. wouldn’t my time be better spent growing my current clients and working with those prospects who want, need and are willing to pay for what I have to offer) – but sometimes we’re comforted emotionally by the fact that we have lots of ‘prospects’ in our pipeline. The truth of the matter is that spending time trying to force those who in reality have no need, interest or desire to work with us is like starving our entire garden of nutrients – whilst the weeds will continue to dominate, our precious prospects wither and die.

    Anyway, I’m off into the garden – anyone else picking up their hoe and clearing away those weeds and dead wood?

    Blog Editor

    Blog Editor

    Lisette Howlett edits the Sandler UK blog. If you have any questions or would like to submit a blog please contact her. Tel: 020 7484 5556 Email: Lisette.howlett@sandler.com

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  • The Real ABC of Sales

    Who remembers Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross? No, not “Coffee is for closers” but “ABC – Always Be Closing!” That stuff works in films and boiler rooms but in the real world, people sometimes buy, but in spite of you pulling those stunts, not because of it.

    In Sandler we teach that you close at the beginning. We call it an Up Front Contract. It’s the single most important part of the sales process. It’s where you agree at the beginning what will happen at the end.

    Why do you always want to establish an up front contract at the start and end of every conversation or call?

    1. The contract IS the CLOSE. Close at the start when they are not expecting it or resisting it.
    2. The contract ensures you and your prospect start and end every interaction in an Adult to Adult. Without it, only about 15% of interactions start in Adult to Adult ego states.
    3. The contract protects both sides.
    4. The contract creates the right conditions for parity since you are never less than your prospect’s equal, even on your worst day.
    5. You never suffer from mutual mystification, so neither side is ever confused nor are expectations ever carelessly mismatched.

    For an upfront contract to be effective the following conditions must exist.

    1. No wishy washy up front contract terms ever.
    2. Up front contract terms MUST BE:
    • Clear
    • Specific
    • Certain
    1. The contract must be MUTUALLY:
    • Agreed
    • Accepted
    • Understood
    1. YOU must be willing to enforce the contract terms to achieve a Win-Win or No Deal.

    Without you making the effort to fulfil all 8 of these conditions, your contract will not hold water. Doing this requires you to be tough enough to plant your feet, to be ready to walk if you can’t reach an agreement that serves you both. Failing to meet these conditions means the prospect can drive a coach and horses through your contract and wriggle out, leaving you grasping at straws.

    A simple up front contract follows the ANOT model.

    • Actually
    • Naturally
    • Obviously
    • Typically

    “Actually Helen, can we agree some ground rules and and agenda before we get into the detail to make sure that we are working towards an outcome we are both happy and means our time together is well spent?”

    “OK. That makes sense.”

    “Naturally, you will have a lot of questions for me about who we are, what we do, what we are good at and not so good at, how much we charge, how we work, who we’ve worked for and our results? Is that a fair assumption?”

    “Yes.”

    “And I have a few questions for you so that I can see your business through my eyes and we can both decide if it makes any sense to continue our conversation based on the answers we both give. Are you OK with that Helen?”

    “Yes, that seems reasonable.”

    “Obviously we aren’t for everyone, and not everyone is right for us, so can we agree that if either side isn’t comfortable or the answers we give to one another’s questions suggest there isn’t a good fit, that we can both walk away form this without any hard feelings and no pressure to continue? Are you comfortable telling me “no thanks” if you don’t see a fit?”

    “Yes, I’d prefer we were direct.”

    “Good, that’s a relief. Me too. And you’d be OK if I told you “Helen, I don’t think we can help you” or “Helen, we aren’t the right company to do what you are asking”? You wouldn’t be upset if I told you that?”

    “No. Of course not. I’d rather you were up front about whether you can help so we don’t waste our time.”

    “Excellent. I agree. I hate wasting other people’s time or having my time wasted too. Typically if you haven’t said “no thanks” to us and we haven’t said “we aren’t right” to you, it makes sense to agree a clear next step at the end to make sure we keep moving the conversation forwards and don’t end up wasting each other’s. Have you ever met someone, hit it off, seen a fit and because you haven’t put a clear next step in place you realise that 6 months have gone by and you did nothing so the time you had together was completely wasted?”

    “Sadly yes.”

    “Can we agree we won’t ever do that to each other Helen? We won’t waste each other’s time and we’ll put 10 minutes aside at the end to map out who does what by when to keep the dialogue moving forwards, or we agree to part as friends and end the relationship cleanly without any wated time?”

    “That makes perfect sense to me. Let’s do that.”

    Take a moment to dissect this conversation. Both sides have reached mutual agreement, acceptance and understanding. The terms are clear, specific and certain. And the salesperson is in a position to enforce the contract at the end in the event that Helen suggests she wants to “think it over”.

    “I’m sorry Helen. I don’t understand. Has something changed?”

    “Huh? What do you mean?”

    “Do you remember at the start of our conversation ….?”

    Alec Baldwin got it wrong. ABC means always be contracting.

  • Venting. The Success Killer

    Do you know a “venter”? They tell you their industry is in a lull, their market isn’t a good place right now, and management can’t get their stuff together so it makes it impossible to do their job. They unload all of their issues on you time and again, simply to get it off their chest. Do you ever feel the need to vent? Why?

    Some people feel they need to ‘talk things out’ in order to understand how to deal with things. Do we ever trick ourselves into thinking venting is productive? How can we tell whether or not we are addressing a situation with an analytical eye or just complaining about it? If you assessed what you’ve gained from venting your frustrations, what would you be left with? Most people would admit: nothing.

    How do we have a productive conversation about our issues instead of simply being negative?

    Try these four steps:

    1. 1. Assess the facts of the situation free of emotion. Look at only the reality of the situation, and focus only on the things that you can control. No: “but she does this” or “he never does that”. Avoid placing blame, instead look for areas where you can take self-responsibility.
    2. 2. Brainstorm your ideal situation. What would the scenario look like if you were happy and comfortable with it? Explore the positive potential of the issue.
    3. 3. Identify the gaps. What are you responsible for in your current reality that is keeping you from your ideal situation? What are the things that need to change in order to remove roadblocks from getting there?
    4. 4. Use your understanding of the gaps and make a plan. How can you take action to move out of your current situation and into the ideal situation? How can you affect positive change in the environment?

    Above all: execute the plan. We can’t move forward venting about the same problems over and over again. Sometimes we have to go above and beyond the call of duty to make positive changes. If you are waiting around for other people to change, you may be waiting a long time. Sandler always said: “You must be a willing participant in your own rescue”.

    When you find yourself needing to vent or unload a negative situation on someone – stop. Assess analytically, and act. Addressing the reality of a situation doesn’t have to be a negative conversation. That’s a choice you have to make.

    By Anneli Thomson, MD of Sandler in Oxford.  Anneli is an expert in sales force development and hiring sales A players.  In her spare time, she is also a keen champagne drinker and extreme sports fan.

    Anneli Thomson

    Anneli Thomson

    Anneli is an expert in sales culture and talent management. She is a keen champagne drinker and triathlon enthusiast. The UK Franchisee of the Year 2014.

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  • Have you accidentally killed your own team?

    chris davies blog picRemember those early days managing your first team? Perhaps supervising one or two people? Maybe winning a hard fought promotion over a department? A small percentage of us will have been provided with formal training, others gently eased into the role supported either by management or the outgoing leader. Sweet!

    For the rest of us mortals, introduction to the task at hand was delivered with the beauty, skill and grace similar to that seen in a Tom & Jerry cartoon when the Frying Pan makes its first entrance….and the hits kept coming!

    It was about ‘month 4’ for me when I thought “Why the hell did I fight to get this job??” A few years later and things tend to settle down for the majority moving from knowing to owning the role.

    In my Leadership workshop this week, the room was filled with experienced 1st line managers from a variety of functions and companies. Interestingly they had in common an element in their team who didn’t seem to take any initiative, reluctant (if at all) to accept accountability, people who seemed to have the term ‘dead cat bounce’ written just for them.

    In discussions, it was clear everything had been thrown at the cause to make change! However on this occasion we had the benefit of the analysis available from the latest iteration of the unique platform we use in Sandler. Using these results we could replay the words used by one manager (I will call him ‘Bob’ (it’s always a ‘Bob’ isn’t it!)) as heard by the employee.

    Behaviors ‘Bob’ used when making decisions sounded great to him, used the same for many years but the analysis showed the following was being perceived:

    “He’s very careful with his decisions. He does not want to plunge into the unknown; he usually makes good, very restrained and traditional decisions. In insecure surroundings, he is not a neither good nor brave decision maker.

    • Helps rather than makes decisions
    • Makes sure of all possible outcomes first
    • Delays as long as possible

    No need to call for ‘Sherlock’, rigor mortis had already set in! Have you heard the term “Analysis Paralysis?” Without analysis, Bob’s management style would continue for years. The report identified way too much focus in his decision-making style on:

    • Providing very detailed instructions
    • Correcting own decisions until they are perfect
    • Providing very detailed instructions on how to follow the existing processes

    And

    • ZERO on Inspiring others to overcome their fears and become excited

    In Bob’s case, here are just three initiatives to help bring out the best in his team:

    • Try to talk about opportunities without talking about threats at the same time
    • Don’t dwell on small problems if the larger goals will be achieved
    • Be careful not to interfere with every detail – otherwise you cannot control the big picture

    Our own leadership styles often create more http://healthlibr.com work and problems within our reports. For example a fearless, gung-ho style can also create the same performance shortfalls but require a very different fix.

    Speak to your Sandler agent about the analysis available. not expensive, very quick to implement and might save years of hammering square pegs into round holes.

    Chris Davies

    Chris Davies

    Chris Davies has spent over 35 years in both sales and leadership environments with companies such as Sony, Toshiba, IBM and others. Observing first-hand the declining effects of traditional, much copied selling methodologies. Typically, Chris works with business leaders, partners and top producers who are ready to work smarter and commit their time, money and energy to attract new clients, sell more products or services and generate more profits with integrity. Tel: 01525 280777 Mobile: 07891 055925

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  • Leaping Forwards

    I often ask myself: “why does business growth never follow a straight line curve on the graph?” Do you remember the (sometimes somewhat theoretical or idealised) business plan you wrote when you first set out on your business venture.  Perhaps the growth was modest, or perhaps wildly ambition, or perhaps something in but most probably in a straight line? And yet it never is in real life.

    For some, month to month sales look more like the chaotic line of a stock market. A roller coaster of sales success followed by sales drought.

    For other’s it looks more like “steps”. We seem to make “jumps” and then plateau a bit until the next “jump”.

    I don’t suppose these sound familiar?

    What cause those jumps or blips? Is it a big new client perhaps, new opportunities, new processes?  Possibly – More likely that jump was caused by something prior to the actual upward move. Your attitude or your beliefs.

    Self-limiting beliefs created downwards slides (to self-correct, since after all, I might be good, but not that good) and plateaus.  Moving off a plateau requires a belief that it is possible.  Sometimes the ‘rest’ gives you time for your attitude to catch up and then you are ready for the next step forward.

    Given this, it follows that if you want to smooth out the line and achieve consistent growth you need to focus on your attitude.

    Let’s test that theory. Given your current belief about yourself, your business or product or price and your market, can you succeed in your endeavour?

    Have you worked out why you do what you do? Do you know your real purpose?

    How will your life look like in 5 years’ time? Work, family, social, personal?

    Why cannot you have that life now? What stops you? What beliefs are holding you back?

    Now you can plan for the quantum jump.

    • Where do you need to be in business terms in say 3 years?
    • What do you need to change or do to hit that?
    • What are the markers along the way?
    • What do you need to do right now to start that journey now?

    Let your local Sandler trainer know if/when you made that jump. Or ask them for help to do so if you are still getting ready.

    Paul Glynn

    Paul Glynn

    Paul’s experience spans over twenty years of selling, sales management and training. He has worked in the financial services sector including accountancy and has been responsible for the commercial success of sales departments at director level in advertising. His clients report up to 300% increase in turnover by working with him. He is dedicated to helping businesses grow through assessments, training, coaching and mentoring. Tel: 01784 390623 Mobile: 07866 518848

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  • Networking – Passive or Active?

    A lot of people belong to a formal networking group – one that meets regularly, weekly or monthly, with the same attendees (plus guests) with one of its stated goals being sharing introductions and referrals.

    Networking is a prospecting activity.  At its heart, it is all about finding new clients, and growing our business.  Do not get me wrong, this does not meant that we should be pushy and salesy when we network.  Nor should be anticipate or behave as if we anticipate direct selling to the room.

    Let’s first define prospecting in the context of networking.  A prospect is a potential customer, client or purchaser or sales lead which has been qualified as fitting certain criteria.  Prospecting is therefore the search for and qualification of potential customers, clients and purchasers.  Prospecting is the act of finding prospects.

    We talk about cold, cool, warm and hot prospects.  At its simplest this defines both their degree of qualification and also the degree to which you have moved along the continuum from untrusted stranger to trusted adviser.

    The goal of networking is to increase our leads and convert them to prospects and ultimately to sales.  One of the reasons networking is such a preferred form of prospecting is that for the majority of participants it does not feel salesy.  It feels much ‘warmer’.  First we get to know people and build trust, then we share our contacts.  By definition, an introduction to a prospect via a networking contact has already begun the journey along the continuum of untrusted stranger to known and trusted adviser.

    The problem people have when using networking as a prospecting vehicle lies in its very attraction, namely that it can be a social activity and not a sales activity.  This can be for a number of reasons but they divide into conceptual and technical.  Technical is that people do not know how to effectively network; conceptual is that they are uncomfortable with selling so avoid it and over play the social side of networking.

    The result is that networking does not deliver the anticipated benefits.  Additionally people can have overly high expectations of results from networking, especially in terms of the timescales and when they do not appear they blame the network rather than look at how realistic the expectations were or what they could be doing to improve results. The challenge – and blessing – of networking is that it is the way we network that impacts on its effectiveness and this is pretty much within our control.

    At Sandler we use the idea of passive and active prospecting.  When applied to networking here are the results:

    Passive networking looks like this:

    • You attend most of the meetings but if something comes up you are not too worried
    • If you need a Sub you are happy (potentially even expect) someone to find them for you
    • You give your sub your “60 seconds pitch” but do not speak to them in advance
    • You are polite and if asked to do a to one to one you accept; you are not diligent in timekeeping so are sometimes a bit late for them
    • You do not actively follow up with people
    • If someone helps you, you thank them at the meeting but you do not spend time in advance of each meeting thinking about how you can help people

    Active networking looks something like:

    • Attending every meeting unless totally impossible
    • If you have to send a Sub, ensuring you find one yourself (perhaps using someone who has used your services or knows you well and can therefore combine your 60-seconds with a bit of a personal testimonial). Even putting together a short list (2-3) of contacts who you have talked to in advance who would be willing to Sub for you at short notice
    • Taking the time to talk to your Sub before and after the meeting
    • Preparing in advance of each meeting (your 60-seconds, your testimonials, your referrals)
    • Researching other attendees and working out things that you can say to each of them which will demonstrate your credibility and position you as someone worth knowing
    • Setting and following a schedule of one to ones (or group one to ones)
    • Working hard on making introductions and nurturing them through to business and tracking this
    • Bringing visitors and starting to get known for someone who is well connected
    • Tracking your time and results from your networking activities

    You cannot control whether or not someone needs your services or product but you can absolutely control whether or not you are someone that people want to do business with.

    Lisette Howlett

    For twenty years Lisette Howlett lived and worked in Europe, Asia and the USA where she held senior positions running global programmes in some of the world’s leading companies. Since leaving corporate life Lisette has been successfully running her own consultancy for 8 years. Typically her sales training clients include entrepreneurs, CEOs, start-ups, Sales Directors, MDs, Senior Partners and business owners – often these are people who don’t consider themselves as traditional sales people but are committed to growing their businesses and thus recognise the need to sell more effectively and more authentically. Visit her Huffington Post Blog Tel: 020 7484 5556

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  • Successful People

    Thinking about the attributes and qualities of successful people provides a great benchmark for us to audit our own ‘success factor’.  Look at the list below of 8 attributes of successful people that I have pulled together.  Augment the list if you think there is something missing – and let us know so we can build up a super list.

    Or you could take the list and using it as a benchmark rate yourself –

    1. Successful People Embrace change. Unsuccessful People Fear change.

    Change is always going to occur around us, indeed the only thing that will not change is the fact that change is inevitable.  Given this you have a choice.  Either you choose to adapt and flourish or slowly fail.  Some changes are incremental so unless you are vigilant you might not even notice things changing around you.  In some ways this is the most dangerous since those less attuned and focused on changing and growing (as a person, as a business) will, possibly without even realising it, decline.  Abrupt changes, whilst potentially more frightening, at least jolt us into action, albeit often late and less effective than if the change is anticipated and managed.  To be successful you need to set your own change agenda and work on this.

    1. Successful people want others to succeed. Unsuccessful people secretly hope others fail.

    Spending all your time hoping someone fails not only attracts bad energy, it’s simply a waste of time. All those times thinking about the demise of others is time that can be spent doing things to help you become more successful.  It is having the attitude of plentifulness versus the attitude of scarcity.  The attitude of plentifulness means that you do not need to worry about others, indeed you can see endless possibilities if the people around you succeed.  The attitude of scarcity means that you work on the premise the only one person can succeed so the more that fail the better your chances.  The problem with this latter position is that it creates failure.  If you believe success if scarce, it become scare and you suffer from this.

    1. Successful people accept responsibly for their failures. Unsuccessful blame others for their failures.

    Being a true leader takes one who will be honest when they screw up. It puts you in a position of solving the problem instead of complaining about it. This is the difference between taking responsibility and having the mindset “I am responsible for everything that happens to me” as opposed to one where you defend and justify.  If you are late it is the fault of the traffic rather than the fact that you choose to not get up 30 minutes earlier ‘just in case the traffic is bad’.  This choice may not have been a bad choice in itself (indeed over time it probably saves you a considerable amount of down time; the key is that it was your choice.

    1. Successful people talk about ideas. Unsuccessful people talk about other people’s failures.

    Talking about other people’s failure or faults is a waste of time. However, it can become very addictive.  It is an example of externalising responsibility. Thinking more positively and focusing on ideas and possibilities will have an uplifting effect on everything that you do.  Think about how much time you currently spend taking about other people in a negative way.  Imagine the benefits if all that time is spent on brainstorming the next big idea that changes the world, or even your world.

    1. Successful people give people all the credit for their victories. Unsuccessful people take all the credit from others.

    No matter who you are, it takes an amazing team of talented people to help you attain success. Spending time making sure the people you work with are appreciated will not only help attract the best talents to you, but help ensure everyone is giving their best efforts to complete the end-goal.  Taking the time to thank people who have helped you achieve each success is integral to how successful people operate.

    1. Successful people operate from a transformational perspective. Unsuccessful people operate from a transactional perspective.

    True leaders focus on growth and ways to make him/herself and the people around them better. It’s not always about just getting as much out of people as possible. This is not only short term thinking, but doesn’t set you up as a person people would want to be around with.  Taking the longer term view might take a bit more time in the short term but pays dividends longer term.  In response to a request for help ‘Here, let me do it, it will be quicker’ vs ‘let’s take the time to run through it together and then you have a go so you can do it next time’.

    1. Successful people forgive others. Unsuccessful People hold grudges.

    Successful people are always forward thinking and know that holding grudges can hold them back. Take Steve Jobs for example, even with his bouts with Bill Gates, it was ultimately Gates who took part in investing his own dollars to help save Apple. You can’t do stuff like that when you hold grudges with people.

    1. Successful people have gratitude. Unsuccessful people don’t appreciate others and the world around them.

    Being appreciative of the things around you keeps you grounded and makes you realise the beauty of the world. You can’t change the world if you hate it.  Successful people appreciate others and are comfortable complimenting, or even challenging them.  Unsuccessful people tend to do little more than criticise.

    Lisette Howlett

    For twenty years Lisette Howlett lived and worked in Europe, Asia and the USA where she held senior positions running global programmes in some of the world’s leading companies. Since leaving corporate life Lisette has been successfully running her own consultancy for 8 years. Typically her sales training clients include entrepreneurs, CEOs, start-ups, Sales Directors, MDs, Senior Partners and business owners – often these are people who don’t consider themselves as traditional sales people but are committed to growing their businesses and thus recognise the need to sell more effectively and more authentically. Visit her Huffington Post Blog Tel: 020 7484 5556

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  • Why accurate sales forecasting is so difficult

    Two Sales Directors were talking to each other. “How’s it going?” asks the first. “Great” responds the second. “We are having a fantastic week. The trade show was a big success. We got loads of positive feedback on our new product. We have been nominated for an industry award. Our new website is getting double the traffic, and we have hired a super guy from one of our competitors”

    “Same here” says the first, “we didn’t sell anything either!”

    Imagine you asked your Production Director whether the company was going to achieve it’s production targets and she replied “Well, I have a pretty good feeling that we might” or the quality director said “things are looking pretty good so far, but this quality thing ……it’s really just a numbers game”

    So, why do we take this sort of response from our Sales Department?

    Typically, it’s for one of three reasons.

    1. It’s conceptual. We don’t believe that the job of the sales department is to focus on building systems and processes that give a reliable, predictable, boring outcome. Instead, we get sucked into conversations about the outcomes themselves, about “exciting opportunities”, and “hopefully this deal will close before the end of the month”.
    1. It’s technical. We fail to take the time to build an ideal “sales template” and break the sales process down into discrete events. Or we break it down into discrete events but we fail to develop the appropriate skillset to ensure that a binary decision is made at the end of every event. Is this opportunity staying in my pipeline and moving to the next stage in the process, or are they disqualified? Instead, we get emotionally attached to every opportunity treating each differently.
    1. It’s personal. We hire the wrong people for Sales roles! Sure they have great CV’s. And of course they interview well. They can even sell! But will they?  Will they build a reliable, repeatable sales process that will get consistent results over time? We fail to ask the right interview questions like “ What’s your process for ensuring accuracy of your sales forecasting? “What are the criteria you use for keeping an opportunity in your pipeline?” “Describe your current sales process”.

    Sales need not be different to manufacturing.  Build a process, commit to the actions, fine-tune, and you can forecast the outcome.

    Nigel Dunand

    Nigel Dunand

    Nigel Dunand runs Sandler Training in the Midlands based at the Innovation Centre in Longbridge.

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  • 5 steps to start 2015 with good business relationships

    So it’s the start of a new year. You took time to look back and reflect. Maybe you have your plans for the year, your daily, weekly and monthly action plans, your goals and your vision board to spur you on to greater success. So here’s are the hard questions. Did you ask your clients? Do you know what your clients really think of your services & products? What changes they’d like? And have you evaluated them?

    I know this is simple, common sense. But how many of us really do this type of account management behaviour regularly and routinely to protect our business? It’s devastating to lose a client when you could have retained them and annoying to lose out on selling additional goods and services just because they didn’t know you offered them. So call your best clients to set up Client Review Meetings in the next 4 weeks.

    Here are the 5 steps to holding effective RECON Client Review Meetings:

    • R = Remember
      Revisit and relive the original reasons, issues, problems or objectives that led your client to buy your products and services.
    • E = Evaluate
      Evaluate your relationship. What’s worked? What hasn’t? What do you need to do differently? Grade yours and the client’s performances in the partnership.
    • C = Changes
      What’s changed? What’s changed in their business? And in yours? Any other changes that will improve performance?
    • O= Opportunities
      Where are the opportunities for the client? For your business? Any you can pursue together? Any other issues, problems or objectives the client currently has that you can address?
    • N = Next Steps
      What happens next? Make a clear, specific, certain up front contract so that you both know what will always happen next by when. Contract with your client for the next call or meeting, for the next piece of work, for the next phase of a project, for the next RECON review and for referrals & introductions within and outside their organisation.

    Maybe ask your client to note down their thoughts in advance of the meeting. It won’t matter if your client doesn’t follow through on their prep as the RECON meeting be very productive and effective because you have a clear agenda and have set the expectations for the discussion.

    By you being proactive, they’ll share bad news and maybe bring small issues to the table before they become critical. Because you are being proactive in your efforts to make changes and improve performance, even if they perceive the value of working with you has not lived up to expectations, they’ll continue buying from you. If you are not proactive with this kind of activity, your best clients are your competition’s best prospects. You will also reduce the risk of your clients buying goods and services from someone else because they didn’t know you offered them.

    So call your best clients this week. Thank them for their business – and get that review date in the diary for your RECON meeting. That way you’ll start 2015 with a strong platform in place to grow your business with them this year.

    Ermine Amies

    Ermine Amies

    Ermine Amies runs Sandler Training in East Anglia with monthly Master Classes in Norwich

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  • Can a daily schedule help me achieve my goals in 2015?

    “A person’s burning desire to achieve something must come from within.”

    schedule 2015 blog

    You’ve set lofty goals for 2015 but have you also built the plan to achieve them?

    Often we fall into the trap of setting goals without ‘building a plan’ to achieve them. If you decide to make one change this year – ‘build the plan and then implement it’.

    We often have clients tell us they want to earn a certain amount of money this year. The first questions we always ask are, “what are you going to do with the money?” or “let’s pretend I’ve just handed you the amount of money you want to earn – what are you going to do with it?” What we find when we ask that question is that most people don’t know what they’d do with the money. When we ask how they came up with the number, they shrug and tell us they’ve just pulled it out of the air. Is that your way of deciding how much money you want to earn in 2015 or do you really know why you want to earn a particular amount?  If you have not thought through carefully the amount you need or want to make, and more importantly, what it will mean for you when you make that amount, your ambition will not have sufficient substance to drive your behaviour.  And if you do not do the behaviours required to make the amount, you won’t make it.

    Also if your goals for 2015 are too narrow they will not carry you forward.

    The first step in the process of building the plan to achieve your goals is to determine what your personal goals are and why they are important to you. Take the time to look at all aspects of your life and set goals in the following areas:

    1. Social
    2. Physical
    3. Spiritual
    4. Financial
    5. Mental (educational)
    6. Professional
    7. Familial
    8. Personal

    Sometimes we get so caught up in the financial goals or targets the company we work for has either set for us or asked us to achieve (or indeed the company we own and run), that we lose focus on how these targets impact our personal lives and dreams. Your incentive to achieve the ‘what may seem unrealistic’ goals will be put into perspective when your desire to achieve them is because of what you want to do personally. So when you’re not feeling motivated or when you’ve had one too many rejections during your prospecting calls, think about what goals you’re working towards for motivation.

    How to get started with this process:

    1. Decide what you want. Spend some time really thinking about what’s important to you and why you want a particular amount of money, vacation, new home, etc.
    2. Build a plan. How are you going to achieve it? What is required to have it come to fruition? The key in this process is establishing S.M.A.R.T. goals:
    • Specific (you need to know exactly what you will achieve)
    • Measurable (you need to know when you have achieved it)
    • Attainable (or Agreed if you are setting them for someone or being set them by someone)
    • Realistic (It need to stretch you but also be possible)
    • Time-bound (You must put a specific date by which you will reach it)
    • Energising (The thought of achieving it must fill you with excitement and energy)
    • Rewarded (You should identify the reward you will give yourself when you achieve it)
    1. Break down the plan. Take that plan and organise it into monthly, weekly and daily tasks so you’ll know what’s required at all times to achieve your goals.

    Just saying in January that you have 12 months to achieve what you set out to do isn’t going to get you where you want to go. The plan has to be built so that every day, every week and every month you know what is required. I can hear the groans from some of you reading this right now, however I ask you to look back over the years and review if you achieved your goals consistently without building a plan.

    What are you waiting for? Are you prepared to make a big change in 2015?  If so, decide what you want and build a plan. And the days you get discouraged, you’ll remember why you need to do what you’re doing.

    If you need help with getting started contact your local Sandler Training office and ask for some guidance.

    Blog Editor

    Blog Editor

    Lisette Howlett edits the Sandler UK blog. If you have any questions or would like to submit a blog please contact her. Tel: 020 7484 5556 Email: Lisette.howlett@sandler.com

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