• Have your 2017 resolutions hit the rocks already? It’s not too late!

    I confess, sometimes I’ve been asked “How’s the ‘XYZ’ resolution going?” (fads include Clear Inbox or Bed by 10 etc.) and I’m forced to implement the “I’m OK” smile, declaring everything was going supremely well, easy, fantastic results already.

    Reality was that my resolve had gone down faster than Eeyore’s balloon in a firing range. Work crushed any semblance of control, change was consigned to history.

    Why is changing habits the traditional way so HARD?

    Let’s take a common example: “No more Chocolate”. This desire for change will be driven by some form of motivation e.g. “I want to look thinner”.

    This time we’re going to stick with it, excited about alternatives our motivation is high. We’re driven by pleasure (fitting new Christmas clobber) or pain (dentist, health) however ‘motivation’ gets exhausted over time.

    When motivation runs out, determined folk resort to willpower. But that’s a resource that gets used up too. Uni. of Albany research shows resisting repeated temptations is mentally draining. Like a muscle exhausted from overuse.

    Our brain is a high consumer of glucose. Tests found lower glucose levels in people who had to repeatedly exert self-control, sapping their willpower. Like a car stops with an empty tank.

    A day filled with things we don’t want to do drains our limited reserve of willpower, it’s genuinely hard work, tiring, underlined by survey results (Uni. of Scranton) showing just 8% of people setting habit changing goals achieve them.

    Rewire the brain to get good ideas back on track

    Everyone has a bad habit or two. Is it easy to stop them? For the more embedded habits the answer is ‘NO’! Wouldn’t it be rewarding to have that resilience applied to great habits instead?

    We mustn’t make it hard for ourselves by fighting entrenched habits. Form new habits by comforting our brains that little change is taking place. Try these tips:

    • Little StepsStart with boring goals. Our subconscious hates big change (Fear, Flight, Fight) creating resistance. Make 10 New Business Calls as your early target not 100.
    • Commit – Believe in your goals, don’t set any to please others
    • ‘Triggers’ – Any smoker will tell you how powerful Triggers are! After breakfast, 20 mins on LinkedIn? Visual triggers e.g. Car Keys next to Business Cards?
    • Preparation – Create call lists the day before. Fuel in car? Correct tools for the job?
    • Convenience – Clear clutter, ability to make noise if required.
    • Have Fun – Decrease resistance by increasing pleasure! Consequence or Reward with a partner?
    • Don’t break sequence – Visually keep goals In View. Mark daily achievements with a big cross, number in a box etc.

    Do something often enough, it becomes a habit. Probably how our bad habits started in the first place and look how robust they are!

    Change is hard, taking 66 days on average to develop a new habit

    The good news is, it may not too late to revisit the ‘wobbly’ ones!

  • Use your 30 second commercial in your LinkedIn Profile

    30 sec commercial linkedInThe main thing to remember about LinkedIn is this: It is a huge, never-ending, virtual networking event, and you have to be ready with the right response to “What do you do?” Your 30–second commercial is the answer to that question, as told from the point of view of a PROSPECT IN PAIN who eventually turned into your happy customer.

    Why not include it on your LinkedIn profile page?

    So for instance: “We specialize in custom-designed inventory management systems for manufacturing and distribution operations. We’ve been particularly successful with companies in the X, Y, and Z industries that are concerned about the costs associated with inaccurate inventory counts, unhappy with frequent paperwork bottlenecks that slow down the fulfilment process, or disappointed by the amount of time it takes to reconcile purchasing, invoicing, and shipping records. We’ve been able to create hand-in-glove inventory management systems that help our customers save time, attention, and money.”

    If something like this isn’t on your LinkedIn profile, you’re at a competitive disadvantage.
    For the complete list of WAYS YOU CAN USE LINKEDIN TO PROSPECT MORE EFFECTIVELY, click here.

    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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  • Add a little drama

    You’re meeting with a prospect. You’ve asked all the appropriate questions to uncover the prospect’s problem, concerns, desires, goals, and expectations. After fully analysing the situation, you announce with no hesitation whatsoever, “No problem. I have exactly what you need.”Add a little drama

    Does the prospect gasp a sigh of relief, utter under his breath, “Thank goodness,” and pull a purchase order from the drawer? Perhaps in Grimm’s version of the story, but not in the real world.

    Why?

    Prospects are sceptical of salespeople whose products or services are “exactly” what they need, especially if the salespeople are too quick to make the proclamation.

    At some level, prospects want to believe that their problems, concerns, and goals are not run of the mill, but rather, somewhat unique requiring solutions that are also somewhat unique.

    So, even if your product or service is exactly what the prospect needs, don’t be so quick to make the announcement. Tell the prospect that you have addressed similar situations and with the proper focus, and fine-tuning (perhaps with his help), you can provide him with a competent solution. You still get your point across—that you have a solution. And, you acknowledge the uniqueness of his situation which will require more than a cookie-cutter solution.

    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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  • Who Is Wrecking Your Business Now?

    Who is wrecking your business now

    Recently, you probably invested a lot of time and energy putting together a presentation of your product or service. You crafted your presentation, dotted all the “i”s, crossed all the “t”s, covered all the bases, and answered all of the prospect’s questions. But, instead of a buying decision, you only received a stall, a put-off, or a request for some concession. At whom do you point the finger of blame?

    You could blame the prospect for being indecisive or dragging his or her feet. You could surmise that a competitor made an eleventh-hour concession that undercut your offering. You might even suspect that the prospect used you to gather current information to use as leverage with his or her existing supplier.

    Any one of those situations might have occurred. But, isn’t that what buyers are supposed to do…negotiate or hold out for what they believe to be the best deal?

    Rather than assigning blame, take responsibility for determining exactly what the prospect needs to see or hear to be comfortable to give you the business before you even begin to work on your presentation. Get the prospect to paint a picture of the “best” deal. Then get a commitment as to exactly what will happen when you come back with a presentation that exactly matches the picture. If the prospect is unwilling to commit to a buying decision, then it’s most likely not in your best interest to pursue the opportunity.

     

    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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  • Earn Compound Interest on Every Call

    Earn compound interest on every callEveryone knows someone. Actually, everyone knows several someone’s. Your customers – as well as the prospects you call on – have some contact with, or at the very least know of, people who can benefit from your product or service. Unfortunately, they are not programmed to automatically disclose the names of those people to you. That doesn’t mean that they won’t; you must initiate the action.

    Salespeople typically “forget” to ask for referrals. Why? Some reasons are technical: it’s not part of their selling process. There is not a logical connection from one element of the process to the act of asking for referrals. And, they don’t have a strategy for asking. Other reasons are more conceptual in nature: they don’t want to appear “needy.” They relate the request to begging. Whatever the reason, they are missing out on potential business and making their jobs more difficult.

    So, to make sure you don’t “forget” to ask for referrals, make it the last step of any sales call with a prospect or customer. Imagine your sales manager standing nearby ready to ask, “Did you ask for a referral?”

    Your referral requests should be simple and to the point. To a prospect, regardless of the outcome of your meeting: “Now that you know more about what we do for our clients, I suspect that you know of a business colleague or contact who could benefit from our service. Who might that be?”

    To a customer with whom you have a good track record: “George, you’ve always been pleased with the level of service we’ve provided. I’m wondering which one of your business colleagues or contacts would also appreciate the same level of service.”

    When customers or prospects provide you with a referral, call them after you’ve made contact with the referred person to again thank them and let them know what happened. Not only is this polite, but it’s an opportunity to obtain another name.

     

    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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  • So you think you know Sandler?

    My new colleague gasped “But you are all so different!” She was talking about a group of Sandler trainers. That difference reflects in the flavour of Sandler our clients receive. All the same stuff, all professionally delivered, but everything from quiet nurturing to very challenging and all in between. So if you were not so keen on the last Sandler trainer you met networking, do not think all is over. There are over 20 centres for Sandler in the UK, hundreds worldwide. We might have the right trainer for you.

    Having met with us you might think you know what we do. After all, our famous counter-intuitive techniques, epitomised by the Submarine, is the arguably the last word on sales tactics.

    However, does your business imply long sales cycles, complex buying decisions, cross-functional teams, careful planning and constant re-appraisal of client relationships? In other words, does your business need a strategic approach to client acquisition as much as tactics? No system seems to attack both ends strategy and tactics, you have to choose one or the other. This is no longer the case, because Sandler Enterprise Selling is launching in the UK.

    Or perhaps your business is a less complex affair and you would be delighted with something a whole lot simpler than the reinforcement training Sandler insists on. Perhaps your people just cannot seem to close, are giving away profit margins, do not know how to convert a face to face presentation into business, or refuse to get on the phone as they should, hiding behind emails.  A short course on Negotiation and Closing, Presentation, Prospecting, even some tips on Beliefs and business attitude would be excellent right now.  We offer all those. Be warned; we will want to help you further than just that when the time is right.

    Then again, it’s not your salespeople’s fault. Who hired them? Who is responsible for training, motivating and developing them into the powerhouse you need? Do you need help getting the managers empowered to take your team to where you need to go? We are known as much for our Management Solutions as we are for our Presidents’ Club .

    So you thought you knew Sandler? Perhaps 2015 is the right time to look again. If you have the courage to do what it takes to take your business, large or small, to where it could go, we have the tools, the support and the dedication to take you there.

    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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  • No Pain… No Sale.

    In Sandler, we have a rule: No pain…No sale. It means that unless you can find an actual pain a prospect is experiencing that you can solve, you won’t be able to sell them anything. Pain is the reason someone does business with you.

    If someone has pain, you have to figure out a way to have an interaction to solve it as quickly as possible. If you don’t, it may not hurt enough tomorrow.

    One of the best analogies to think about is waking up with a toothache. If you’ve ever woken up with a really bad toothache, you were probably ready to pay anything to get into the dentist that same day. Then you may have called the dentist, and heard over the phone, “Oh, we can’t get to you for two weeks.” In two weeks, there’s a decent chance it didn’t hurt nearly as bad, and you may not have even bothered going.

    Everyone’s world has those types of situations.

    A plumbing client of mine recognised that and made a change to his schedule. He tightened things up a bit in order to shorten his sales cycle, and so that he could fit emergencies in last-minute when needed. In a ten day period that client sold seven boiler repairs, two boiler replacements, and three maintenance contracts. Some plumbers don’t even do that well through the winter months!

    In your world, you probably have something like that too, it’s just not about teeth or plumbing. There is tremendous business to be had out there if you’re proactive. Don’t sell like a dentist, but set yourself up so that you can handle extreme pain quickly.

    Peter Jones

    Peter Jones

    Peter Jones is Managing Director of Sandler Training in the East Midlands. Peter works with business owners and MD’s who want to increase their return on investment made in their sales team and business owners who need to improve their business development skills.

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  • Asking Great Questions

    Learning to ask great questions is better than learning to say great things. Initially the prospect should be doing 70% of the talking. How else will you get to know about them, their business or if they have problems you can help with?

    Unfortunately, many times this is not the case and many feel the mark of a dynamic salesperson is their ability to thoroughly answer a prospect’s questions (even the unasked questions), demonstrate knowledge and expertise and provide detailed information about their product or service.

    In the situation where you’re unloading everything you have, but you’re not getting qualified information from the prospect, who’s in control? After they have all your information, what happens next? Any chance they’ll decide they can fix the problem themselves with the information you’ve provided? Would they take your information and shop it around or use it to keep their current supplier ‘honest?’

    Here are three reasons why asking great questions is important:

    1. Great questions focus on the buyer’s concerns, not features and benefits. Is it more likely they’ll buy for their reasons or yours?
    2. Questions help uncover the prospect’s PAIN and how critical it is to them, both from a business perspective and personally.
    3. The highest form of respect is listening. When you ask a question and they respond, ask another question to show you not only listened but are interested in knowing more. They just may give you more.

    The more time you spend talking, the greater risk of doing a lot of ‘unpaid consulting’. You’re not in business to be an ‘unpaid consultant’ and you can’t help solve prospect problems with features and benefits that don’t fit.

    Ask great questions. Discover and understand the problems. Only then is it time for the features and benefits that fit.

    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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  • Qualify Hard, Close Easy

    Pushy Salesman

    Traditional selling systems tend to push the envelope. Maybe that’s why the perception of salespeople, and the hard sell, has left the sales profession with labels like “aggressive”, “greedy” and “sleezy”. Often when someone is approached by a salesperson their initial instinct is to run in the other direction. Immediately their guard is up and they go on the defensive, trying to protect their budget and their dignity.

    We know that we’re different. How do we break out of that traditional reputation and prove we are a business person in sales? Traditional salespeople are going to qualify easy and close hard. David Sandler always said, “If your competition is doing it, stop doing it right away.”

    When you’re working with a prospect – qualify, qualify, qualify. Traditional salespeople simply want to know “do you need a widget?” They are satisfied to uncover only the surface reasons. To qualify hard and close easy, we need to dig deeper than that. We need examples of why the prospect needs the widget, and how long their problem has existed. Have they propecia msd order tried different widgets in the past to try and fix the problem?

    Professionals want to know more. How much has the problem cost the prospect? How does the problem affect them personally? How they feel about the situation?

    In depth information from the prospect will ultimately will give you the slight edge over your competition. If you don’t want to look, act, and sound like a traditional salesperson, instead conduct yourself like a business person in sales. We need to bring down the prospect’s defenses asking questions that allow the prospect to come to the self-discovery our widget is a fit for their problem. By qualifying hard and closing easy, we gain their trust, and the sale.

    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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  • Networking Works!

    by Abby Donnelly

     

    Networking_SB1

    Attending a networking event? WHY??

    That may seem like a strange question, but time is one of our most limited resources! Taking a few minutes to evaluate why you should attend THIS particular networking event may save you hours of unproductive time and energy. Often, sales professionals tell me that they make their decision to attend an event based on the location of the event and their calendar availability.  Instead, base your decision to attend an event based on:

    1. Will your ideal target market likely be there? If not,

    2. Will people who know your ideal target market be there?

    If the answer is no to both of these questions, attending the event probably isn’t a good use of your time. You may meet some great people, you may have some interesting conversations, but you will probably not build the kind of business relationships that will deliver an ongoing stream of qualified referrals. Instead, find a networking event that is a better fit, or invest that time 1-1, building important relationships with key prospects, or with people who know your key prospects.

    If you can’t bear to skip the event, at least go into the event with a specific goal. Maybe you set a goal to meet 3 new people. Maybe you set a goal to reconnect with 5 people you already know. Maybe you set a goal to connect 2 people who need to know each other. If you are going to spend your time attending an event, make it count! The additional benefit of setting a goal in advance is that once you achieve it, you are free to leave—you have already had a successful event!

    Abby Donnelly is a partner and Executive Coach with Training and Development services, a Sandler Training franchise.

    Illustration by Rob Green

    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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