One of my mentors, David Neagle speaks frequently about overcoming the terror barrier. You either back down from the barrier and end up a few steps behind…or you take a breath and bust through those bad boys to achieve bigger and better things in life.

I know from experience that sales poses a terror barrier for many entrepreneurs. It was for me… and I had a sales background! But it was very different when I started my first business and I was trying to sell myself.

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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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We’re a quarter of the way through 2011.
  • Did you meet your financial goals these first three months?
  • Are you at 25% of your goal for the year or do you have to make up some ground?
  • What investments will you make NOW to go “faster forward”?

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If you're in business, you're in sales.

If you want to make money in your business, you must treat it as a business.

If you don't have a handle on your numbers, it's time to  sharpen your pencil.

If you think marketing alone will make your sales for you,  think again.

If you can't ask, you'll never get.

If you think it's about you, you're wrong

If you don't focus on pay time, you won't get paid.

If you don't invest in yourself, nobody else will either

If you have a Plan B, don't expect Plan A to succeed.

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One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is going into a pitch about how wonderful their programs are without really taking the time to figure out if it’s even relevant to their prospect. And then you wonder why you’re not getting clients.

Today we cover a few pointers about what you need to know about communicating the value you bring to the lucky folks who work with you.

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There’s a saying that “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”.

If that’s the case, what can you do to prepare so YOU can get lucky when opportunity knocks?

There are two primary steps to take.  I’ll cover the first one today and the second one next week.

Take the opportunity to let us know who your ideal client is by posting in the Comments section below!

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Through conversation, knowledge is shared.

When it comes to a sales conversation, what’s your modus operandi?

To engage in a two-way, back and forth, question and answer?

Or do you find that you’re more prone to just focus on directly sharing your knowledge and presenting your solution?

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Your prospects all have an imaginary fence built around them. A fence is a barrier…an obstacle. And whenever they’re faced with a decision, they’ll do one of three things (keep in mind you do this too).

Watch today’s video to learn what to do when they’re on the fence and set more of your prospects free (in a good way…not in a “runaway way”.)

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Does your heart skip a beat when asked, “If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?”  I’ve never liked that question because I like options. And balance. And variety, darn it. The full meal deal, as it were.

Well, Carrie Wilkerson of Barefoot Executive fame, basically asked me the sales version of that question in this week’s video. And my heart sunk. It’s hard to narrow it down. But I did it anyway.

So if you had to know just one thing about sales, it’s this….

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If you find yourself talking too much in your sales conversations, I want you to STOP!  Really.

Stop and turn that statement into a question. Find a way for your prospect to say they want it (assuming they do) rather than you trying to convince them that they want it.  That’s far more powerful than running off at the mouth like a rabid dog. (You know you do it!)

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