Nobody notices a good toupee. Only a bad one.

The same goes for salespeople. Bad salespeople are easy to spot.

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You know when you’re at a networking event and everyone is asked to give their 30-second introduction?

And you know those people who get all windy and drone on for what feels like forever?

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Before moving to New York, I made regular trips to visit my sister here.

First, I was a tourist. Then progressed to being a visitor.  And now I’m a resident.

Check out how this relates to sales in your business…

On the first couple of trips, it was all about the sight seeing… the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, MOMA, eating out every meal…

I would whirl around, check it out and move onto the next tourist site.

After awhile, I felt less obliged to spend all of my time exploring the tourist sites and became, what I would consider, a “visitor”.

Between going to shows and museums, we started to poke around neighborhood street fairs, run errands and order takeout. I slowed down just a bit.

Now that I’m a resident, I’m connecting with other New Yorkers and making friends.

I’m working in my garden, walking to the grocery store and going for long bike rides.

Even though I have always lived life at a pretty fast pace… I’m being more conscious of building a relationship with my new neighborhood and actually slowing down to get to know the city better.

What does this have to do with sales, you ask?

Think about the sales conversations you have and identify which of those three would describe your prospect…

A tourist is a quick in & out, onto the next “site”.

In your biz, they’re the people who are currently on the sidelines and not quite ready to invest more than their time… so they take in all of the free content they can get.

Like watching this blog for tips and taking free teleclasses.

A visitor is still curious like a tourist, but slows down a bit to get to know a different side of things because she’s looking for growth and new experiences.

In business, these are people who are beginning to invest in themselves with low to mid-level programs that provide some direct interaction for short periods of time…like my SELL Event or Bootcamp.

A resident makes a higher investment in herself, because she’s made a longer-term commitment to really “move in” to her business and the programs that support her fully embracing that mindset.

In my business, these are the entrepreneurs who have more access to me on a more intimate, focused basis. Like my VIP clients or the folks in my invitation-only “Sales Confidence” mentorship progam.

So think about the sales conversations you’re having and identify which of those three would describe your prospect based on your different levels of programs.

And which of those three would describe YOU based on what sort of investments you’re making in your own biz?

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Many new business owners I speak with resist “limiting” the definition of who their ideal client is because they don’t want to “pigeonhole” themselves…thinking it’ll limit their opportunities.

Quite the opposite is true…

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Seth Godin brought up a great point in his blog this week about knowing whether your prospect is “hungry or guarded”.

Do YOU know who you’re selling to?

Join the first session of Biztruth Bootcamp to learn what your ideal client REALLY wants so you can communicate with them in a way that resonates with them.  Register for no charge at http://thebiztruth.com/btbcsession1.

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I love this article…not because she calls me brilliant…but because she finds a way to describe how she’s found a way to make sales work for her.  Thanks, Bryn!
Guest post written by Bryn Johnson, Business Strategist brynjohnson.com
  • Do you currently set aside time on your calendar to talk to prospects?
  • Do you have a connection strategy that includes a sales process?
  • Do you avoid this time on your calendar at all costs?

As the brilliant Sales Mentor, Carolyn Herfurth says, “If you’re in business, you’re in sales”.  It cannot be avoided. Or you will be out of business before you start.

But KNOWING this intellectually and taking actions that allow you to ACT on it are two very different things.  Blocking time on your calendar to make those calls or have that cup of coffee with a prospective client is critical.

During this series, we will definitely be taking time to discuss the strategy behind networking time on your calendar and the time management secrets behind connect with people. But what we are talking about here is different.

Time blocked on your calendar for SALES should be used to make calls, follow up with people you met at events, conducting renewal conversations with your current clients, asking for referrals and introductions, talking about your business and ASKING people to work with you. You heard me… ASKING people to work with you.

I stumbled here when I first started…. I was not asking people to work with me. I was not giving them an option to move forward and allow me to help them. It was pretty darn selfish of me. But even more importantly, it kept me perpetuating a circle of: “reach out” ==> “have great conversation”  ==> “agree what a fabulous conversation this is”  ==> “good bye/until we speak again” ==> “hmmm I need clients” ==> “reach out to another person” and the this went on and on. I was connecting. I was talking to so many people. But it was not sales.

When I made two shifts in calendar – everything started to change in this area of my business.

  1. I put a sign in my office space that said “How many people have you asked to work with you today?” My answer- 6 days a week- must never be ZERO! And then placed a reminder in my calendar each day to determine the answer to this question.
  2. Easiest way I found to achieve an answer I love to the question above is to block time on my calendar EACH DAY (for me, I focus on 6 days a week but sometimes it is 7). The time on my calendar says SALES. Not connecting, not follow up, not networking, not calling people. It says SALES time. There is something about using that word that focuses me. Different from the very important networking time. This is a time that I am focused on finding people I can help and asking if I can help them.

Now I am not a sales expert in ANY way. This is simply from my own experience stemming from my personal madness with this issue and the challenges my clients have faced.  Having the time blocked on my calendar each day to make calls and reach out to people motivates me and more importantly, focuses me on what I planned to use that block of time for…. Talking about my business and engaging potential clients.

And remember when you blocked off Client Time on our calendars and you probably had some extra time set aside for the clients you want but do not have yet? Use that time to pick up the phone and speak to people. Use that time for SALES until you have a strong pipeline and a full practice/client base.

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Do you ever find you’ve got so many things to do that you never have time for selling?  And because you don’t have time to sell you don’t have enough clients or the level of revenues you need to keep your lights on.

Today is a repeat…and it’s WORTH repeating.  In fact, anyone of my clients who has incorporated this practice into their business will sing from the roof tops about how it has changed their business drastically.

Remember, if you don’t focus on pay time, you won’t get paid.

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It’s easy to get caught up working on the many projects you’ve got between clients and not get out of the office. I know that can happen to me. There are all sorts of excuses not to get out and mingle with people in your community.

The question is… Are your BUTS bigger than your business?

 

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Just like improv, there are no scripts in life. Or business. Or selling.

If you want more “yesses” from your prospects, you need to have a “yes, and…” attitude.

“Yes, and…” is an improv fundamental that’s about taking what’s given to you…accepting it, building on it, moving it forward and making it work.

Rather than trying to defend or convince a potential client who’s throwing objections and “no’s” at you…imagine how much easier and more fun a sales conversation would be by maintaining a “yes, and…” perspective.

To learn how to incorporate this into a sales strategy that is proven to gaining more “yesses” from your prospects, register for the SELL event being held in Austin, TX on February 25, 2011.  Simply visit http://thesellevent.com.

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How far will you go to succeed in your business?

What are you saying ‘yes’ to? What are you saying ‘no’ to?

Who are you saying ‘no’ to?    (Hint:  If you think it’s anyone other than yourself, reconsider the way you’re viewing it.)

(Sorry for the noise!  It’s an airport, after all…)

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