Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #987

Reconnecting produces better than expected results

Your personal life many times reflects the better way to conduct business to experience far better results.  Last night was no exception.  Another couple, with whom we always enjoy speaking with at neighborhood events, was short on reciprocity, yet always very friendly.  Recognizing time was short given the anticipated move, we were finally asked to dinner.  The hospitality was unprecedented, and the gentleman could be a 5 star chef in the beloved California wine country.  We stayed late as the four of us were deep into conversation and sharing of fun stories.

Last night's experience mirrors the winning sales techniques:

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1.  It's never too late to pick up the phone to call

You might offer an apology for not have connecting sooner, or, simply say, "I was thinking of you".  Either way people are forgiving, and they certainly like to know they were on your mind.

2.  Upon entering an office, ask what is new in the person's life

This holds true, too, for going on job interviews.  Everyone likes to talk about themselves and the latest in their lives.  As far as business and career meetings go, it provides additional insight as to how to move forward with the business portion of the meeting.

3.  Be in the moment

Instead of merely concentrating on getting the job or the sale, concentrate on the words spoken and interest shown.  Pick up the conversation where they finish in order to have a thorough dialogue.

4.  Be authentically appreciative and complementary

Always find something nice to say, and be very appreciative for the time you spent together.  In the case of securing a job or a sale, before you walk out the door, specifically ask for a return conversation. And if keen interest was shown, ask when they would like to begin the association with you.

5.  Thank you

Always send an old-fashioned thank you note for in-person meetings with your phone number at the bottom.  These are so rare today, that the notes sit on their desk.  It becomes a motivator to pick up the phone to say either you are HIRED! or Sold!

Following these tips will lead you to the Smooth Sale

Read Addtional Strategies and Techniques:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On InterviewsCareer Press

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #986

Relationship selling trumps egocentric sales every time

So many factors depend upon your doing right by the clientele and those with whom you come into contact, that even if you lose the sale, you still have much to gain.  A solid reputation is key for thriving in any arena. 

On the other side of the coin, when prospective hiring companies or clientele are approached from your own perspective, you talk more than listen, and do not appear to be genuinely interested in what they have to say, you make a terrible first impression that creates a mark against your personal brand.

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Relationships may be built even during a disagreement.  This is the perfect time to have an open discussion about the two very different perspectives.  Not everyone is willing to pursue this type of discussion.  You will soon know it is a good match or not, and whether to move on to save precious time.  But when you find those willing to listen to your ideas and reconsider, and you do the same, then you both have much to gain.  

An excellent example of what may occur when one takes the egocentric approach occurred.  A professional salesman posted an insightful article yesterday.  As with anything, it's always possible to poke a hole.  To  continue with potentially building relationships online, a good approach when disagreement appears, is to either privately message the person, or, politely add in the comment section, "…and you might also consider…"  

Unfortunately, someone chose to bully the author of the article.  It was ugly, unprofessional, and uncalled for.  In the rant, he called the information completely out of style for this century, and that the man should retire, using demeaning vocabulary.  

My response back was that one element will never go out of style and that is proper Etiquette.  Colleagues chose to support the person being attacked by also posting insightful comments.  On occasion, most people will receive a negative comment in one form or another.  Belonging to a collaborative group helps enormously.  

The important lesson is no matter what, stick to your priorities and values while not letting bullies get to you.  When you authentically work to build the relationship, trust builds to your benefit.  

Sound relationships and genuine caring to do right by the hiring company or client will lead you, far more frequently, to the Smooth Sale

 

Read Addtional Strategies and Techniques:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On InterviewsCareer Press

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #985

Conference strategy builds trust and business

The Dreamforce Conference that took place this week, has grown almost exponentially in size.  Admirably, it was so well strategized, that it, too, became another rousing success. 

From a sales perspective, the larger vision is broken down by setting milestones to be achieved along with smaller goals, and minute details.  It is attention to the detail that makes the difference.  

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Attention to the details for attending events of this stature also holds true for attendees, whether job seekers or entrepreneurs, and executives of large companies.  Some companies that attend conferences of this size, for the first time, became overly-zealous, not thinking their strategy through.  The prospective clientele is seen as enormous, so they rush to schedule appointments to show off their latest services.  And those seeking a career change will rush to approach interesting vendors about potential job openings. These are not best-serving strategies.

Companies new to an event of this size, will do best to assign goals to the team designated to attend. Given several buildings were occupied and keynotes delivered throughout each day, advance thought should be given as to where time will be best spent.  Prospective clients and potential alliances should head the list.  The better time to invite the best-matched prospects for a demo or ask for a meeting is after the event.  By exchanging stories with one another about the experience, you simultaneously build relationships along with potential business.

Likewise, job seekers should prioritize the types of companies they wish to approach.  Stick to the plan and collect the needed contact information  of those to contact afterward.  It is an opportunity to speak with a vendor to connect personally, and ask a couple of pertinent questions (given others are waiting in line behind you) to qualify the better match.  

As the team reconvenes back at the office, you will hear of incidents to be avoided and strategies that worked extremely well.  This prepares you well for the next event so that you may perform at your best, as well as consider hosting an event with familiarity now behind you.  

Those who found "the perfect company" with whom to interview, do your research of the company and industry first.  Then pick up the phone to connect with the right person.  Begin by saying how much you enjoyed meeting the people at the conference booth.  

Building confidence, presence, and relationships develops an attractive personal brand leading to the Smooth Sale

Read Addtional Strategies and Techniques:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On InterviewsCareer Press

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #984

Entrepreneurs and Employees: Make Sure You Don't Forget to Save for Retirement

Guest Post by Andrew Lisa

If you're an entrepreneur, you're focused on the here and now. Your startup business is your baby, and it needs all of your attention. You should know that one of the greatest risks about going into business for yourself is that you don't have an employer-based retirement plan like a 401(k). It's up to you and you alone to save for your retirement.  It is equally important for employees to be up to date on the benefits as well.


Entrepreneurs have to build their own nest eggs.

How Much to Save

There is no set number that's right for everyone when it comes to how much you should save. The only sure thing that applies to everyone is that the younger you start saving, the better. In the article "How Much Should You Save for Retirement? Financial Gurus Answer," one financial expert recommends saving 15 percent of every paycheck. This is a good rule of thumb to follow.

Open an IRA

There are two types of Individual Retirement Accounts, or IRAs – traditional and Roth IRAs. Both are like 401(k)s in that they aren't investment funds. They are just baskets that hold all of your investments. Like 401(k)s, they are designed to help you save for retirement. They both are sheltered from taxes, but they differ in when those tax benefits are realized and when you can withdraw your money. Talk to a financial advisor before you decide.

Retirement vs. Savings

Understand that a savings account is different from a retirement account. You can not touch the money in your IRA until you reach a certain age. The government allows contributions that are exempt from taxes, but only on the condition that it won't be touched until retirement. Stiff penalties come with early withdrawal. Keep a second savings account for emergencies and anything else that might come up regarding your startup business.


IRAs are like 401(k)s that come from you, not your employer.

It's great to be an entrepreneur – you're in business for yourself! But you're also responsible for yourself, and no one is going to save for you. Open an IRA. Have an emergency fund, and know that no matter how old you are, the best time to start saving is right now.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance personal finance writer. He covers retirement planning and investing.

Note:  Being of the mindset to monitor savings, investments and your bottomline, will allow for peace of mind.  Then you are prepared to have quality conversations while building relationships with your prospective clientele.  This leads to the Smooth Sale!

Read Addtional Strategies and Techniques:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On InterviewsCareer Press

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #983

Sales process exists for improved results

There are certain practices when developing the sale for business or career that are essential in order to build trust, likeability and ultimately, the end goal you have in mind.  When you implement pieces of the overall strategy, out of order, you upset the cart and thereby diminish the trust and any chance for securing the sale.  

Upon reviewing a questionnaire meant to become familiar with personal history, I was appalled by the sales-ey questions asked as well as the prematurity of the ask.  What rings loud and clear in this instance is that the sale is more important to the provider than the prospective client on the other end.

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Steps for the Process and Making the Sale:

1.  Become well acquainted on the first meeting

By asking, "What caught your interest to meet with me today?" you get to the heart of the matter which opens up a meaningful dialogue.  Allowing the prospective client or hiring manager to talk first, you capture ideas of which questions will be most appropriate.  

NOTE:  Everyone has a unique DNA, so even if everyone appears to have the same problem, the approach needs to be customized for them. This step begins to build the trust.

2.  Discuss all the associated problems

Without offering your services just yet, and by drilling down on all of the problems first, you build a case for more of the services you have to offer.  Without offering your opinion, simply ask "Have you thought about…?"  Get the reaction verbally and visually to have a fruitful discussion.

3.  Ask a few more questions

In your continued dialogue find the person's preferences for solutions by sharing the possibilities of what you have to offer for rectifying their problems.  

4.  Time and Money

The motivating factors are whether you can save enough time and money for the other person / company, by providing your services.  When the answer is “yes”, the other party will be far more inclined to either purchase from you or hire you.

5.  Open the Door!

Rather than "close", ask when would you like to get started, or which day would you like me to start?  This puts the ball in the other person’s court, and an answer will be forthcoming.  Sit tight with lip buttoned until you hear the answer.  Most often it will be the right one!

Following the orderly process as well as building the rerlationship and trust will lead you to the Smooth Sale

Read Addtional Strategies and Techniques:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On InterviewsCareer Press

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #982

The "ask" creates unlimited opportunity

The shy or demure person, who may be as equally talented as the more outgoing, will not be as likely to get as far ahead in business or career.  That's why a "friendly ask" is the best tool for business and career development that most everyone can handle.

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Ask Questions to build the relationship

In any type of meeting, ask both business and related personal questions.  Should you be meeting for the first time, ask what drove the person to choose their field.  Ask about goals and expectations.  When you take a genuine interest in other people, they begin to reciprocate in an attempt to know you better, too.  This becomes an outstanding business development strategy.

Ask Questions for the business

Most people refer to asking for the sale as "the close".  The problem with the term is, it implies "closing doors".  It's far better to open doors to the future.  An improved question would be, "When would you like to start?"  And for job seekers on interviews, the question may be adapted to, "When would you like me to start?"  In either case, the question puts the ball in the other person's court, and an honest answer usually comes forth.

Ask Questions upon building the relationship and securing the sale

Checking in with management and clientele to determine if expectations were met, and possibly exceeded, is a very wise idea.  Assumptions, however, should be avoided, and may be eliminated by asking additional questions.  Ask how often you are to check in to make certain everything is on track.  Also ask which communication method they prefer.  Make note of the preference and adhere to it on their schedule.  Doing so demonstrates you truly care, and influences further decisions in your favor.

Ask for referrals and testimonials – thoughtfully

Most people are so busy with their own work, they don't think of offering referrals and testimonials.  This is another question that should be posed but in a soft manner.  Upon your first check-up after the sale, and hearing praise, ask if the client might know of anyone else with a similar need.  Also ask if you may use their words as a written testimonial.  

Striving to always build the relationships and deliver excellence in customer service / employee service, leads you directly to the Smooth Sale

Read Addtional Strategies and Techniques:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On InterviewsCareer Press

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #981

Worlds apart negotiate unified results

Entrepreneurs and those in the corporate arena, who are motivated to succeed, operate in a distinct fashion.  At times, they ignore the world around them in order to focus on what they believe truly matters.  Good friends and successful peers may suggest "improvements" but these are ignored.  Instead, the motivated are each in their distinct world pursuing what they believe to be best for them and business.

Larger companies have rules and regulations in place to protect employees.  Common agreement is sought in team meetings, but behind the scenes, a small percentage of folks will operate in their own style.  This may appear as a huge risk to take, but there are ways in which to give it a happy ending for all those involved.

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Methodology consistent with brand

Consistency in how you work defines your personal brand, and it also further defines the company brand.  When we work with others, we need to incorporate their ideas, but to our own style for the way in which we work in order for it to work best.

For example, traditional sales training taught to mention price as the last item on the meeting agenda.  But working to be completely transparent and open, I always mentioned pricing first, to be certain the other company wasn't taken by surprise at the conclusion of a lengthy meeting.  

While I was reprimanded for doing so, I continued on the same route because it worked well for me.  The end goal for both the company was for me to achieve quota, but my goal was to over-achieve.  The transparency worked almost every time. 

Open discussion

Whether you are a solopreneur or working with a team, open and honest dialogue advising others of all the possibilities available to help them achieve their goals is usually the winning ticket.  Objections will arise, but by calmly hearing them thought through out-loud, you will create the best solution for all concerned.  

Fairness

Adhering to the age-old proverb, “Treat others as you wish to be treated” will always hold true.  You may need to walk away from some meetings knowing it is not a match.  But when all parties continue to look at the largest picture imaginable, that is when those being worlds apart will negotiate unified results.  

Best of all, this practice most often leads to the Smooth Sal

Read Addtional Strategies and Techniques:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On InterviewsCareer Press

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #980

Use These Tips When Setting Up Your Office to Save Your Mind (and Body!)

By Andrew Lisa

If you're an entrepreneur or on a job, you spend a lot of time thinking about sales techniques, your budget, your social media strategy and your bills. But have you given enough consideration to the most immediate – and perhaps the most consequential – factor in your entire business: your physical comfort? Consider the following when designing your office.


It's your business – run it comfortably!

Get the Right Chair!

One of the drawbacks of being an entrepreneur is that you have to work a lot – and a whole lot of that work is done sitting down. The right choice of ergonomic chair can mean the single biggest difference between a comfortable, energized work day and a slow, steady slide toward chronic pain and reduced capacity. A good chair doesn't have to cost a lot of money, but it has to fit your back as much as it does your budget.

You Type – Like, a Lot

Consider how many words, how many characters you type in any given day. Your keyboard is the gatekeeper between the work you need to do and the functionality of your wrist, hands and fingers. Filled with small joints that are prone to malfunction, the hands and wrists are prime candidates for early failure due to ailments such as carpal tunnel syndrome. An ergonomic keyboard is a necessity for a healthy workspace.

Check Your Head

We learned a generation ago that resting a phone between your head and shoulder can quickly lead to irreversible damage and pain. The modern solution has been the headset. But headsets themselves can be uncomfortable and taxing to wear. Get one from a company that values ergonomics such as The Ergonomic Store.


A few key investments in comfort will pay dividends down the road in your health, well-being and ability to work hard every day.

If it physically hurts to work, your sales techniques and marketing strategies don't mean a thing. In order to succeed as an entrepreneur, you have to spend countless hours working. If those hours are spent enduring cramps, kinks and discomfort, debilitating chronic fatigue may not be far off. Your business needs your body to be in tip-top shape – plan your office accordingly!

Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer who covers small business management. 

Following Lisa's advice will lead you to the Smooth Sale

Read Addtional Strategies and Techniques:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets ResultsSourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews, Career Press

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #979

Time consuming to effective productivity

Businesspeople, salespeople, and those wishing to advance their careers, are all on a highly motivated path to get as much done in a day as possible.  But sometimes circumstances get in the way.  Consider the following steps that may increase the efficiencies and productivity for business and everyone associated with your effort.

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New Tech

Today's business environment is producing new technology at a rapid rate.  Continually keep an eye on what may enhance your business environment.  Hold weekly meetings with peers or employees to exchange ideas on what is working best.   In-depth conversation will shed light on the why that is true.  But be certain to implement the best according to your budget and what you perceive to be “best” for you.

Mobile Flexibility

We have all read about using the mobile phones as business development tools and effectively communicating with clientele, but how much of it have you truly implemented?  Do you literally have everything at your fingertips that you need to meet with clients and potentially make the sale?  It may be time to research what will improve your effort.

Database

Some applications for a highly productive and sales-oriented database leave a lot to be desired.  In particular, companies that installed cheaper versions have wasted thousands of hours among their widely distributed salesforce, due to components not functioning as they should.  

Training

As a solopreneur, getting up to speed on new technology is essential to remain ahead of the curve.  Larger organizations will experience a smart investment by training part-time and full-time help because employee loyalty generally increases with training.  Another aspect of training is to invite ideas from those involved with your business or colleagues in other industries.  Allowing for input will keep you ahead of the curve.

Social Media Branding

While you wouldn't want to reveal your trade secrets, it is a smart idea to share the changes your industry and company are seeing.  Craft smart advice for others to use in a variety of formats.  Everyone learns differently, and so the wider the variety of communication platforms used, the wider will be your followings and sales potential.  

Goal Tracking

At a minimum, set a year-long goal that would normally take 15 months to achieve. Challenge yourself to achieve it in 12 months.  Set quarterly milestones to be achieved but with flexibility in place in case of a wrench thrown into the works.  Maintain a running checklist of tasks, and have a safety net in place to get everything done should an emergency arise.  Always maintain vision of your 12-month goal.  

Following these guidelines will lead you to the Smooth Sale

Read Addtional Strategies and Techniques:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results, Sourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews, Career Press

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #978

Weak links recreate strong bottom-line

Most of us have experienced despair when our prized project deflates, leaving us wondering what happened.  For some, hitting the ground running again will never happen.  Others may take months or years to build up the courage, while a small percentage will brush themselves off, and stand up to begin all over again.  For those serious about advancing their career or business, the latter stance is what it takes to move forward.

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When it comes to business and career, weak links may be found in many varieties but today we will focus on two:

1.  Non-producing projects

Once you recognize that a project did not perform up to expectations, it's time to have a serious meeting with yourself and possibly your colleagues.  There are many questions to ponder including:

- Was it truly in alignment with your brand and everything else offered?

- Does your prospective clientele truly need and want the service, or is there something better on the market?

- What new ideas are on your mind that will complement all else you do, and would be a great replacement for the non-producing service?

As you come to terms with what might work better, and refine the idea over time, you will have a solution to the problem.  Next, action is required along with a timeline that includes the milestones to be completed, in order to achieve the vision.  Monitoring the performance and tweaking some more will produce far better results.

2.  Team effort among peers and colleagues

Invariable someone on a team will not have the endurance to keep learning and implementing.  It's possible they just don't have the right skill set or dedication to achieve new goals.  This behavior becomes a drag on the rest of the team as it begins to decrease morale.  This is when team effort usually caves.  

Instead, this becomes the perfect time to give that person the support and encouragement they need to succeed.  By boosting the weakest link on the team, you boost the entire team effort that becomes more successful than was initially foreseen.  The improved team environment could very well lead to new ideas for creating additional services.

Team effort goes back to the geometric philosophy that "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts".  This is due to any number of players may combine forces for creating new possibility.  In this case, possibility becomes exponential.  From a sales standpoint, when prospective clients see you working in unison, and on the customer's behalf, they are increasingly motivated to buy from you.

Paying keen attention to your weakest links and converting them into top producing efforts, will increase your bottom-line and lead you to the Smooth Sale

Read Addtional Strategies and Techniques:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results, Sourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews, Career Press

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