The Most Interesting Sales Rep In The World

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The Most Interesting Sales Rep in The World

His commissions are greater than the GNP of Denmark and Finland combined.

His typical sales contest is winning first, second and 3rd prize.

He’s made The President’s Circle so often he may just run in 2016.

His Sales Manager cries softly just looking at him.

He has his own instance of Salesforce .com

He throws live objections into his sales pitches just for fun.

His business card simply says “You’re Welcome”

He is, the most interesting Sales Rep in the world.

*****

Let’s put aside the hyperbole and fun for a moment and think about what this sales person really looks like because you know he or she must exist somewhere!.  My guess is the following is true about the best sales person in the world.

She gets cold calls from prospects asking her what they need to worry about in their industry and if there’s any way she can help them.  And why shouldn’t she? She’s known for not solving problems buyers already know about but rather the one’s they don’t.

She hasn’t prospected since Thanksgiving; her customers flood her email with friends they want her to call on.  And why would she? If you are truly the best, your raving fans do so much of the prospecting for you.

She often tells clients to hold off signing an agreement because she wants to see the right infrastructure in place first to ensure the product will deliver.  And why shouldn’t she? She knows in today’s competitive global marketplace that selling often really begins after the sale.

She’s got a killer professional social media presence that is seen as a credible resource for evolving solutions and industry trends and dynamics.  Of course she does.  She gets that buyers are researching well ahead and she’ll not wait for the phone to ring or the email or lead come in.  She’s there right from the beginning.

I may not always post a blog inspired by a beer commercial but when I do, it makes you think, no?  Stay thirsty my friends.

Till next time,

Grow The Business.

Mark

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Big Whoop

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big whoop

Big Whoop

 

  • You have a new dry cleaning store that also provides a unique pick up service?  Big Whoop.
  • You have a new service that writes blog posts for your business so you don’t have to?  Big Whoop.
  • You have  loan acquisition product for my bank that is cheaper than my current partner?  Big Whoop.
  • You have all in one online and offline marketing product suite?  Big Whoop.
  • You have an online fraud prevention product that is tablet friendly?  Big Whoop.

*****

  • Big Whoop cuz’ I wash and iron my own dress shirts.
  • Big Whoop cuz’ I don’t blog on my business website.
  • Big Whoop cuz’  the pain of switching to you blinds me just thinking about it.
  • Big Whoop cuz’ I don’t care what you have my business is small.
  • Big Whoop cuz’ I am very careful.

We spend a lot of time focused on why clients and prospects should choose us.  So much time.  So much time it is often sickening.

We need to spend more time on why clients and prospects should even choose at all.

Big Whoop is what you never hear your client say but what they often think.  Let’s be honest, most businesses and consumers are getting it done today, somehow or some way.

Your job is to get them to think change, to want to change, to inspire or scare them into change.  Get them to think differently.  Get them off the status quo.   

Status quo is ten times the enemy your competitor ever will be.  Go focus on that. 

 

Till next time,

Grow The Business.

Mark

 

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Inherently Suspenseful

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golf

Inherently Suspenseful

The Wall Street Journal published an article touting the growth of golf on play-by-play on radio.  “So what” you say? Well, hear me out – there’s a lesson for us.

It’s true that golf on radio is growing – but that wasn’t what struck me as the most interesting point of the article.  The article touted how popular golf is on TV and  I admit I’m a huge fan.  I’ve always told people that I like to watch TV golf because it’s relaxing and frankly, being from New England, the weather is always better there than out my window.

That’s why I think I like TV golf.  But I know now that’s not the reason.

The writer of the article (John Paul Newport) said this about golf on TV,  “Television discovered that watching the little ball sail through the air for several long seconds, to land who-knows-where, was inherently suspenseful.”

Brilliant insight.

So that’s why I watch it.  It is inherently suspenseful.   And sure I like the physics and geometry of it all; playing angles and surfaces and the wind which by the way, adds to the suspense of where that little white ball is going to land.

And I got to thinking about those fleeting moments every day that are inherently suspenseful for us;  getting the mail ( what’s there?), getting an email ( what is this about?) , a comment, a poke, an update or a post ( I wonder what this is?).  And what about the scratch cards, the monopoly tickets, even the daily specials – we are suckers for this stuff.  We love small things that are inherently suspenseful.

Add up a bunch of those inherently suspenseful moments and maybe you get to be like golf on TV with some eyes watching you.  How good would that be for business?

Each Apple IOS release is inherently suspenseful ( what new features and benefits to me are there?).  Each TED series talk is inherently suspenseful (where will this go?).  These days even the smaller businesses are getting in the suspense game;  will the pizza place write out a joke inside the box cover?  Trade shows are inherently suspenseful ( what will be in the booth? What’s new?) and of course social media tools done right deliver suspense ( FourSquare, Facebook and YouTube).

Inherently suspenseful is attractive.  There’s surely a ton of great ways people are doing it today you can discover, but keep your head down and that left arm straight and look for those moments in your personal interactions with clients or in your business’s interactions and string some fleeting moments of suspense together.

Till next time,

Grow The Business.

Mark

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Tangibly Speaking

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Blue Sun

Tangibly Speaking

How timely. 

The Cool factor for this ad? A 10.  And psychologically smart too. 

Kudos to the Blue Sun.  

As it happens, later today I’m presenting six effective ways to teach and coach to selling products and services that are less tangible than others.  The audience is a group of motivated sales leaders.  One of those six ways was one I didn’t expect to see in seat 19B yesterday.

As my flight was descending into Minneapolis yesterday afternoon, I was forced to shut down (ok – hide) all electronics –so I picked up the Sky Magazine to read.  I flipped through the ads for the best plastic surgeon(s?) in the world and the many lunch dating services (I would definitely need the former before I could take advantage of the latter – and um..of course, er.. not be married.), but then I fell upon on page 58.  Oh Joy! 

Here it was!  An “in print” example of working around what many sales and service people face who try and create interest in, or sell, intangible products – It was a wonderful means to get people to actually just “try it”!

The TechnoMarine ad copy says “Lift here to experience Blue Sun on your wrist”.   And there gloriously lay, a perforated cut out you could lift out and place on your wrist.   

I know what the makers of Blue Sun are thinking- that it’s one thing to read about the watch and see nice pictures but to “see” the watch on your wrist? – now, that is something.

I know a “watch” is not intangible or abstract like my training focus later today but TechnoMarine knows that selling a watch in a magazine is for all intents and purposes an “abstract” timepiece trapped in a two dimensional pixilated prison.  And what I know about selling abstract products and services also applies here in that you have to often  “try it” or “experience it” before you make a decision or even move the sales process forward. 

Pretend you are selling a financial management dashboard or a social media business portal – you have to get your clients hands on the keyboard and immersed in her screen and that dashboard a bit first –like the ubiquitous test drive.  It’s akin to having that faux paper watch wrapped around your wrist to see how it fits

What I love about the watch ad is how quickly you can experience it. Boom!  Lift it and wrap it around your wrist.  Easy Peasy.  And there is a QR code on the back and you can learn more about it.  The Blue Sun ad is like the steroid version of the “scratch and sniff” print ads.- one swipe and you’ve got the experience – but in this case you can really wear it. 

The broader point is simple too.   “Try it” opportunities that allow you to test drive products – even when those products aren’t super abstract or intangible like a watch or a new car, (pardon the pun) are key.  They always were and they always are.   In the crazy world today where we have less and less time to get our prospects attention – it’s important especially when your product or service is not crystal clear immediately, to create those opportunities when a client can “wear” it.  

Keep creating those free trial apps, the Freemiums, the virtual realities and the test drives for abstract and intangible products and services.  And if you ever get a chance to put a perforated cut out of your product in an airline magazine – do that too. 

Till next time,

Grow The Business.

Mark

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It’s Better Read Than Said

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It’s Better Read than Said

How many of you like pulling VM from friends or colleagues on your smart phones, home phones or work phones these days? 

That many. 

I thought so.

So cumbersome, this voice thing:  So much time wasted listening to the slog of a human voice blathering dozens of extra words around the likely simple intent of the message  added to the process of accessing, listening and remembering what was said ( or worse –lunging for a post it note to scribble it on).

It’s getting harder and harder to find the time out there to listen to the human voice share information.

Why?  Because it’s getting so much easier, faster and efficient to read it.  And type it.  And text it.   And Like it.  And Follow it.   And also to Learn and Share and Refer and Recommend.

We are information hogs, all of us now.  We can’t get enough.   We want information in huge amounts,   And we want it in a way we can save it, retrieve it and share it.    We want so much so fast, that it becomes easier to accept the inefficiency of the human voice and not want to use it or as we more increasingly feel, hear it.  

You need to understand the change here on a couple of levels.

You as a person and an employee should know:

  • When you do talk or leave a voicemail, it better be good and meaningful and compellingly vital because if it’s not- it should have just been an email or post and eyes will roll.
  • Human nature yearns for the sharing of “one to many”.   Everything you might have wanted to say to some one you can say to hundreds or thousands at the same time but without the fear of Public speaking.  That is outrageously attractive to people.  And that’s a powerful thing for your self and your career if you embrace it well.

You as a business owner should know:

  • This is Word of Mouth now.  This is where your clients rave or rage about you.  You must make it easy for your customers to pass along good things about you and your business.  One to one still works but people would much rather “tell 10 friends” except this time they can do it for real in seconds.  
  • You have to be smarter and cooler and more valuable than your website.  If talking with you takes 5 times longer than what the prospect could have gotten in 3 clicks on your website then you are not adding value where you should.  Think hard about what your voice brings to your business.  Think brand.  Think feel.  Think purpose.   Then plan and speak accordingly. 

 

Till next time,

Grow The Business.

Mark

 

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If You’re Confused, What The Heck Do You Think Your Prospect Is?

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confusion

If You’re Confused, What The Heck Do You Think Your Prospect Is?

I spend a lot of time looking at, and experiencing training these days.     And sometimes it’s clear that the things we train our own employees, like some of the products and services we sell,  can be …well …..confusing.  Not every service or product as everyone well knows,  is tangible or simple.  Some,  like financial products or online marketing products can feel particularly abstract and complex.

And if it’s confusing to my Trainers when they first start to learn the products and then later for the Sales and Service people who then have to present in front of customers, do ya think it might be that much more confusing for prospects and clients when they are first are approached or exposed to these things? 

And if you’ve ever read anything in this blog before, you already know that confusion kills sales.

Here are 3 ways to alleviate that confusion when you represent a complex product or service:

  • Teach your Sales people to teach.  Get past the idea that sales of complex or non tangible products / services begins with the pitch.  It doesn’t.  It begins with the teach.  It’s OK to build teaching into your sales cycle despite the fear of lengthening the sales cycles.  You aren’t lengthening the sales cycle – you are starting earlier – you have to.    It’s OK to get all your sales people to a level where they become experts with online webinars under their belts, with  killer LinkedIn pages and Twitter followers who look to them for as much insight as they do for what’s on sale. 
  •  3’s:  Everything in 3’s:   The mind is not wired to remember more than 5 numbers, let alone 5 points.   If you have a service for example that manages your online marketing spend then even if it has 12 steps to get started, it should sound like “…Only 3 key steps to getting you started.  In the first step we’ll interview you around 3 important areas like…….  Then after that, we get to tackling 3 areas of your current website like…..” You get it.  “3” sounds simple.  Simple eases tension and sales can keep on moving.
  •  Analogies:   Nothing simplifies better.  Are you a marketing consultant? Nope, you’re a marketing GPS that gets the business to the destination of 25% more customers.  Are you a website developer?  Nope; you are building an automated employee that works 24 hours a day taking orders and that never sleeps.    Think hard about what you sell or service and find that perfect analogy that makes it click and stick. 

This blog is not complex but I kept it to 3 points.  More than that and it gets confusing who the heck wants to read that?

Till next time,

Grow The Business.

Mark

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No Fear in 2013

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No Fear in 2013

This is the year to quit being afraid.   Let’s start with these 7. 

  • Don’t fear having to memorize all your product specs and prices.  What matters is you remember how the darn thing helps them do what they really want to do.
  • Don’t fear social media.  Embrace it.  More people, customers and employees talking to each other is way better than silence.
  • Don’t fear the so called demise of the offline marketing world.  I don’t know any business that is moving totally away from it.  Blend is always the key.  In fact, that integrated offline/online mix might get a little more attention than it used to these days.
  • Don’t fear the board game.  It’s OK to make eye contact with your kids now and then. 
  • Don’t Fear the Reaper.  Classic tune.  Have a Listen.  I heard they played at my High School way back in the early 70’s.  Yup they did.   
  • Don’t fear going back to school.  In fact, everybody should be in school.  If you are not dedicating to  learning something new at least an hour a day at least (and I don’t mean watching or reading “news”, timelines or posts) you are behind your competitors tomorrow.
  • Don’t fear Neuroscience and Neuromarketing.  Get into it.  How you think, why you think the way you do.  Why your clients and team react to things the way they do is important to know .  As someone once said… “Just because it is your brain, doesn’t mean you know what it is doing”. 

Till next time,

Grow The Business.

Mark

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