Know When To Stop Prospecting

Mar 01, 2021

Getting out of sync with a relatively new habit is easy. Getting back into the flow with that new habit is exceptionally hard. 

 

Two habits I have started, stopped and restarted several times are daily writing and prospecting. So today, I’m going to write about prospecting… I’m not sure that counts as actual prospecting, but it’s a start. Who knows… maybe I’ll inspire myself. 

 

After two decades of working with sales professionals and sales teams across a wide variety of industries, there are two types of strategies regarding prospecting.

  1. A salesperson hunts for their own prospects and does all the follow up work.
  2. Someone else supplies the leads and a salesperson follows up.

 

In my career, I’ve always been in that first category, as have most of my clients. If someone is giving you a spreadsheet full of leads, you can stop reading here and go pick up the phone while I silently curse about wishing I had...

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Take a New Look

Feb 22, 2021

For the past few weeks on The Smarter Sales Show, our conversations have been on the topic of Sales Differentiation. What makes you different, not just what you offer, but how you conduct yourself through the entire sales process and what prospect’s experience that stands out about doing business with you.

 

It is a timely topic because so much of what we do and how we go about it has been different in the past year. It’s time to take a new look.

 

One year ago today it was business as usual. You complained about being crazy busy running from one prospect meeting to the next, hopping on flights, hoping for no delays because one little slip up in the schedule could wreck the entire week. You had coffee meetings, lunches, dinners and entertained clients in the evening. You shook hands. You hugged. (I know, seems so crazy now right?!)

 

And then on March 12, 2020 the NBA cancelled the season and suddenly you realize things were different. 

 

Every...

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What Makes You Different?

Feb 08, 2021

Don’t you just love when prospects ask you that question? If you recognize the question as the true trap that it is, and you know how to deal with it, then you love it. If you don’t treat that question as the trap that it is, you’re toast. 

For example…

Prospect: What makes you different?

Salesperson: Well, we really care about partnering with our clients and making sure we address the real issues.

 

Humm… could your competitor say that? 

 

How about this one…

Prospect: What makes you different?

Salesperson: We offer a variety of pricing structures.

 

Or this one… 

Prospect: What makes you different?

Salesperson: We offer service plans that are rated best in the industry.

 

And my favorite…

Prospect: What makes you different?

Salesperson: You get me!

 

Oh please. 

 

If you think for one second your competition isn’t out there saying the exact same thing let me virtually smack...

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If All You Have Is a Hammer...

Jan 25, 2021

Meet your clients where they are... then move them to where they want to be. 

No clue where along my professional journey I picked up that little gem, but it has served me and my clients well over the past two decades. 

Back in the days when I was selling radio advertising (and even before that, now that I think about it) I was taught to promote a particular product or service to a prospect. It felt a bit like, if all you have is a hammer, everything is a nail. 

In fact, the entire sales call was designed to get a prospect thinking that the pre-packaged solution I happened to be pitching was exactly what the doctor ordered. Except it left me wondering what might have served them best had I asked more questions, better questions, questions focused on getting the full picture of where they are… not the partial picture of where they are in relation to what I want to sell them.

I’m pretty sure I was one of those salespeople who gave salespeople a bad rap.

...

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You Set a Goal To Have Your Best Year Yet... Now What?

Jan 19, 2021

We are three weeks into the new year... how's that "best year yet" plan coming along? If you are like most people you've already skipped a workout, eaten a donut, postponed that important call for another time, let your mom's call go to voicemail and stayed up too late watching mindless TV.

All in spite of the fact that THIS YEAR you would eat clean, exercise daily, take care of all your priorities first thing in the morning, get more sleep and be nicer to your mom.

Oh wait, maybe that's just me... and maybe I accidentally had three donuts. Sorry mom. 

Oh well, I mean it is the 18th of January... you can't be expected to be perfect with all your new habits for a full 18 days can you???

Relax. This is not a blog post intended to shame you. It is a blog post to let you off the hook for another round of "be all you can be" stuff in lieu of being what you most need to be for a defined period of time.

What the heck does that mean?

So much for my resolution to be more clear.

I'll...

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Happy New Year: Get Set Up For Big Sales in 2021

Jan 04, 2021

Every year we attempt to convince ourselves that this year we will be different, better, stronger, richer, faster, more productive, fitter, more caring, more generous… we’ll get more sleep, more business, more sex. We’ll eat less and save more. We’ll wake up earlier and fall asleep easier.

Gimme a break.

Oh, and this new year, everything was supposed to be remarkably better as soon as 2020 was done. Puh-leeze. 

Hate to be the bad guy, but the only thing that can change miraculously is not the page on the calendar, it’s the energy we bring to the intentions we set for the coming year. 

Sure you want to make more money, but do you believe that’s possible as a starting point? And if you do believe it, have you set up the structure and systems to make that possible? Do you have the skills you need to accomplish that? Are you on track to acquire those skills? In the meantime, can you get support in terms of people who can help you learn or...

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Too Much Empathy Will Not Help Your Prospects

Apr 03, 2020

It has always been an important quality of top performing sales professionals to empathize with their clients and prospects challenges and pains. However, you can overdo it on the empathy for others. If you are paralyzed from asserting your problem solving solutions, your empathy does not help the people you have empathy for. 

In other words, you feel their pain, but you feel it so deeply that you buy into their belief that things are really bad. And if you let them suck you into their “poor me… things are really bad” mindset then you can’t pull them out of it. 

When prospects and customers are hurting, a top performing sales professional’s best chance of being truly of service to them is to help them open up to another possibility.

But there’s a problem. If you listen with empathy and turn too quickly to offering solutions, they might be the best solutions in the whole wide world, but they won’t be heard. They won’t be...

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Sales Makeover: How a Smart Business Owner Shifted Her Message and Made an Appropriate Offer

Mar 19, 2020

Monday afternoon I had a phone call with a client. She decided to stop all sales and marketing efforts until the Coronavirus situation changes because "nobody is going to buy what I sell." 

For some people, with certain offers, that is the right thing to do.

Except, Cynthia Stadd is a Psychology Professional with expertise in healthy eating and relationships with food.  Anyone else craving sugary comfort foods and in close proximity to their kitchen while working from home all day?

We talked about what problems people have now that they didn't have two weeks ago in terms of their relationship with food and potential comfort food cravings. 

  • People are not used to working from home and all the temptations in their kitchen
  • They are concerned about protecting their health so eating healthy is even more important
  • They are potentially more sedentary so afraid of gaining weight

And for some people, they are seeing this as a real opportunity to begin healthier habits....

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Should I Sell Or Should I Go Now

Mar 17, 2020

There are two schools of thought regarding sales and marketing right now and if you are a business owner, entrepreneur or sales professional, it's mission critical that you understand where you and your offers fit into the pandemic puzzle.

First, let's distinguish between sales and marketing.

Marketing is everything you do to generate conversations. Once you are in a conversation with a prospect, you are now engaged in sales. 

Now that we've sorted that out, let's look at should you sell or should you go now (anyone else hearing The Clash song in their head?).

If, for example, you sell only to restaurants, bars, sporting venues... you either need to go away for a while or reimagine how your offers can be valuable to other channels of business. 

If you sell online courses, business consulting services, software that facilitates virtual communication... you need to double down on your marketing and make sure people who need you now more than ever know how you can help them ...

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Productivity During Pandemic

Mar 16, 2020

I'm not a productivity expert, but I have worked with sales professionals, entrepreneurs and business leaders for more than two decades. These are people who need to get things done no matter what is hitting the fan around them. 

Today, there are a whole bunch of Americans working from home for the very first time. With no clue what to do. That's not a criticism, it's just what is so.

Having worked in an office and, since 1998, having run my business entirely from a home office, here is what you need to know to make your work-from-home experience productive during this pandemic.

1. Set aside up to 1-hour to clear a space for your home office. Ideally a room with a door, away from anyone else working from home and a space with natural light. You're not building the Taj Mahal, so decorating is not the focus here. Think practical, tactical work space. Desk, chair, light, computer, phone, power strip, phone charger, microphone, virtual platform like Zoom for video meetings,...

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