I talk with clients a lot about effective questioning as part of the sales process. (Notice I said “effective questioning”)
Dan Pink gives the reason that questioning is so powerful in his book “To Sell is Human.” It’s a study of the psychology of moving people aka: Sales. (I do this type of studying so you don’t have to if you don’t want!)
The significance lies in the core of how questions operate. Let’s contrast this first with a statement.
When you make a statement, it can be received passively. This is what happens when you “pitch.” And why a pitch so often falls on deaf ears. Telling is not selling. It’s certainly not helping a prospect buy from you.
When you ask a question, the receiver is compelled to respond, either aloud if the question is direct, or silently if it is rhetorical.
That requires at least a bit of effort on the part of your prospect or as researchers say ”more intensive processing of message content.” That’s the key! Continue reading
Here are 3 basic beliefs when it comes to business. They are particularly relevant at this time of the year.
1. The best way to predict your future is to create it.
2. The greatest form of abuse in this world is neglect.
3. If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.
How this applies to your future is important for the simple reason that if you don’t invest the time to think through and design your business plan for 2015 and beyond, you’ll be guilty of neglect…and you will by default, compromise your future.
Pause for just a minute and give that statement the consideration it deserves.
It is possible to create the future you want on your terms. The planning model below is simple to understand but not simplistic. It should take about 4-6 hours to work through. It is easy to implement but without focus and accountability, you can easily get off course. It has all the components that are necessary for you to have a plan which is actionable.
Get started on your future today and as Henry David Thoreau has so beautifully stated, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve always imagined.”
2015 Business Planning Model Continue reading
Following is a methodology which was applied at GE to get things done on time and on budget; when someone was betting their career path, not a ham sandwich. It was shared by one of my colleagues who worked there for years as an executive.
If you want to increase your level of clarity, use this process. The result is everybody knowing EXACTLY what needs to happen and when.
First, define ‘what does “done” look like’? What results and outcomes (vs pure activity) are you looking to achieve?
“…at some stage ‘entrepreneurship’ is not sufficient and the nature of the organization must change, together with the people who run it.” Eric Flamholtz
How well do you simultaneously cope with the endless day to day problems in your business AND keep an eye on it’s future direction?. If you need to be better here, all you need are the right tools; the Tools of Professional Management.
Following are the tools we recommend every organization use regardless of size. My challenge to you is to review them and ask “How well is this being put to use in my organization?” If you are not satisfied with the answer, commit to doing something about it!
Strategic Planning– This process is a critical resource for managing growth and development. It defines the company’s future direction and provides a focus for everyone’s efforts. At the very least planning should include goals, objectives, and action steps to achieve goals. Strategic planning helps employees start to understand the direction the company is taking and their role in its development. Continue reading
Excellent technical skills are a must for any business. Outstanding verbal skills are also, as they influence customer service, sales, team effectiveness, efficiency, and turnover. If you say the wrong thing, or say something the wrong way, you risk losing customers and prospect opportunities. You jeopardize effective communication with everybody.
It doesn’t matter what type of business you are in, you are also in the business of interacting with people. This requires developing and managing both new and ongoing relationships. You must have a good understanding of persuasion and influence. In other words, you need to know how to get the outcomes you really want by using the power of your words.
There is a very thin line in any dialogue between being tactful and persuasive and not being understood or being confrontational. Which do you think leads to positive outcomes?
I have listed a few things to be aware of saying or not saying. I have also explained the “why” for you.
With a few small changes you will find yourself getting much better results! Continue reading
I can’t even count how many people have told me they have time management problems. But time management problems are not really time management problems. They are GOAL CLARIFICATION problems. When you are clear on your goals, you know how you should be spending your time.
Michael Gerber (author of The E Myth) talks about the difference between thinking of time with a small “t” as opposed to Time with a capital “T”.
“Time” is simply another word for your life” he says. You can spend your Time any way that you like.
Many people haven’t thought through how they really want to spend their though. In other words, they have no clearly defined written personal or professional goals. Continue reading
Do you remember the physics definition of “Work”? Basically, it’s moving ‘X’ pounds ‘Y’ distance.
This definition alone won’t create change. Neither will the next definition but they are important to know and understand.
Managerial Talent can be defined as the behavior exhibited by a manager which increases the amount of productive, results-oriented, and profitable behavior on the part of others in the organization on a daily basis.
This definition assumes that the productive behavior is known. Let’s tie these together…
If you pushed on one of the walls of your office for a whole work day and it didn’t move, did you work? Of course not! Energy expended doesn’t matter. The question is: what did I accomplish?
If I was responsible for delivering newspapers and I drove around all day but didn’t deliver a single one, was I productive? I was busy! But not productive, right? The productive behavior is the delivery of the newspapers.
A key takeaway is never confuse motion with progress and activity with results. Continue reading
Now is your chance…Don’t blow it!
The sales process has been building up until now for this opportunity to gain a new client! Here is a concept which will increase your chances of getting the sale more often.
Presenting is not just presenting! So what is it?
This is about keeping the probable purchaser engaged, talking, asking, and answering questions.
Continue questioning around confirming and clarifying your probable purchasers needs and wants and you will continue to build rapport and credibility. You will also be helping your client buy from you.
Questioning here will help your probable purchasers create urgency and value for themselves by focusing on the personal impact of their wants and needs and what they stand to gain or lose. By doing this, you will be far more likely to get a positive decision. Continue reading
When professional sellers tell me they have lost sales to price, it’s like hearing nails raking down a chalkboard. Especially if it has happened over and over.
Some people only buy on price. That’s reality. It is possible to minimize the number of people just buying on price though. Here is what to do…
Price is a part of every buying decision. It can be less of a factor though, if the goals of the first three steps of the selling process are met: Continue reading
These are the very first words I found when opening Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. I have never seen a book promise that much less be able to deliver. Yet it managed to deliver on that promise.
This book is filled with easy to apply principles of human relations which, from experience, will improve your communication skills, increase your ability to persuade others, give you more harmonious interactions, help you get what you want, and overall will change your life. Applying these principles will certainly give you an edge if you are in customer service, sales, management, or leadership.
If you have never read this book, you should do so immediately. If you have read it before and it’s been a while, read it again. I’m on my 15th time (give or take…I actually lost count!) I look at it as an owner’s manual on human relations and life in general.
You can start to see how you can gain an edge just by looking at the section headers of the book:
- Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
- Six Ways to Make People Like You
- How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
- Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment
If you don’t want to improve in these areas, you need an immediate injection of empathy in your thyroid.
Carnegie sums up the lesson of each chapter “In a Nutshell.” To whet your whistle, I’ve listed the lessons below. Continue reading