Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #992

Last Quarter moves to Front Sales Champion

Invariably, the majority of business (including hiring) is conducted the last three months of the year.  Several reasons exist for why this is the case. 

Typically, larger companies are conservative throughout the year as they monitor expenditures vs. income.  By year-end, however, many budgets must be spent or available monies will be lost.  This is the primary reason for hearty expenditures at the end of the year. 

As for entrepreneurs, they too, see a need for making purchases to enhance the following year’s productivity.  In alignment, they keep a watchful eye on the newest technology to purchase that will help them maintain their competitive edge.

Another reason last quarter is so busy, is that gifts are to be purchased for loyal clients, collaborative peers, and good friends.  Holiday parties hosted by employers sometimes require a gift exchange and social parties have you bringing a gift as well.

This brings up the subject of networking at holiday parties.  Some people get so caught up with the “have-to-attend” events, that they forget the niceties that just might land them new clients.  Even at social parties fruitful conversations have been known to produce new clients.  Here are a few sales tips to consider:

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  1. Greet the host of the party with a smile and a thank you for the invitation.  If they have a few seconds to chat do so.  Then take directions from the host for your next steps – literally.
     
  2. Just as with official networking events, find the friendly faces to have a breezy chat.  Should you not anything in common, move on to the next guest.  Ask how they know the host, if they work, and what they do or hobbies that catch their interest. , Actively listen as this is how new clients are born.
  3. Collect contact information of those you most enjoy, and follow up.
     
  4. Offer assistance to the host if you see some might be needed.
     
  5. Thank the host once again on your way you.  Indicate you had a wonderful time.
     
  6. Follow up  with both the interesting guest,(s) and the host.

By concentrating on conversations, with those guests who hold your interest and having an intelligent conversation, you will be headed toward the Smooth Sale!

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #991

Should You Get a Standing Desk? And Other Random Questions

by Andrew Lisa

If you're an entrepreneur, you're always on a mission to increase productivity and decrease spending. You've branched out on your own, you've perfected your sales techniques and you're working on building your brand. You might think you've got all the bases covered, but ask yourself the following questions to double check that you're not missing opportunities to enhance productivity even further. (Extra credit to employees who ask themselves these questions, too!)

Att
A standing desk can reduce the problems associated with sitting in front of a computer all day.

Should I Get a Standing Desk?

For many people, the idea of standing while working is borderline crazy when there is an option to sit. But check out the following article: "Making Time Stand Still: How Standing Prevents Aging." The author presents some very strong evidence that standing slows the aging process. It is widely agreed upon by the scientific and health communities that a sedentary lifestyle is horrible for your health. Entrepreneurs and many salespeople and other employees are doomed to work long hours. A standing desk could be a good place to start.

Should I Get a VoIP System?

If you communicate over the phone and use multimedia like teleconferencing or video chat, do yourself a favor and consider voice over Internet protocol. VoIP technology uses the Internet for phone calls, chat, messages, video and just about every other form of communication. Because it doesn't rely on the traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN), there is no expensive hardware to set up or maintain. VoIP-to-VoIP calling is free. It comes with a whole menu of features that would otherwise cost extra, and the pay structure is for one flat rate, not arbitrary and expensive long-distance and international charges.

Should I Take a Course in Social Media?

A successful marketing campaign has to contain a social media element. Business marketing on social media requires a strategy based on targeted research. You're not just posting to Facebook when you have something to say, like you do for your personal account. Social media marketing is a skill – a learned skill. Consider taking a course. You don't have to work toward a degree; just a few classes (which can be found for free online) can take your online presence to a level that matches the professionalism of your sales techniques.

Should I Get a Hybrid Computer?

Although still new enough to be considered novelties among many consumers, hybrids are on the cutting edge of computer technology – and as an entrepreneur, you must be also. Hybrids were playthings for people with more than one computer until very recently. But now the higher-end version of these laptop/tablet combos, like the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, are promising to be the only computer you need, comparable to even top-of-the line laptops – only with removable tablets and touchscreen capabilities.


A VoIP phone network could save you money and increase productivity.

As an entrepreneur, you can never stop improving. Ask yourself if you're doing everything you can to get ahead – physically, technologically and strategically.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance business writer. He covers small business management and digital marketing.

Asking and answer the questions outlined above will help 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 #990

Differentiate yourself to rise above the crowd

Success depends on the authentic you commonly known as "your personal brand".  Differentiating yourself by understanding how those in your field deliver similar services, and all that's associated, will make a big difference for your impending success.  This is true for business development and sales, as well as for success with interviews to be the one hired.

It's still difficult to get one very poor experience out of my mind, due to sales techniques that were both inappropriately used, and several that were obnoxious.  In particular, scare tactics don't cut it with me and hopefully not with you either.  

An example of a scare tactic is, “If you choose to delay or ignore my service, the following will happen…”   This could come across as a sincere threat.  In the case of the above, the threat proved to simply be untrue upon being passed by another person who is experienced in the field.

The good news is, I recognized how to turn that bad karma into a positive result:  Volunteer Help and work to the benefit of the prospective clientele

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"Bill" has just begun in the field.  He is a super nice guy, a friend, highly talented, and I want to see him succeed.  Therefore, I made an offer to share my sales insights, free of charge, should he ever desire the help. At the same time, I let him know what went wrong with his "competitor" in order to help him avoid doing the same.   

Effective sales producers keep a sharp eye on their perceived competitors.  By so doing, they are able to verbalize the differences and similarities, and why their delivery is advantageous.  Doing so holds keen attention by the prospective clientele.  As long as what you convey is truthful, and includes the full picture of what you can and cannot offer, this becomes the competitive edge that wins more sales.

As you build your business and career, be of the mindset to take time to offer help to individuals and communities.  It's highly rewarding to help others succeed.  Several side benefits come about from helping others freely:

  1. Service puts you in a leadership position and creates a stronger personal brand.    
  2. ?New ideas come about by working with others due to determining further need.
  3. With new products and services in the mix, you enjoy increased sales, clientele, and further opportunity presented to you.

My mantra has become, "when we all reach out to help others come up from behind, we may positively impact society".

This is key for 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 #989

Recognizing limits increases productivity

The above title may sound a bit contradictory.  However, the recognition of what your capacity is will prevent you from over-committing.  Requests will frequently arrive but not all may be attended to given the goals we have set for ourselves along with the must-do task list.  

How you handle rejection and acceptance of requests is paramount for maintaining a favorable personal and business brand.

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1.  Prioritize 

As with everything else, prioritization of the must-do's comes first.  If you forsake a must-do for a favor, or a "let's see what happens", you may possibly set your business back a step or two.  As requests for promotion, collaboration, and doing favors, come into your in-box, decide which ones align with your vision and principles for conducting business.  

Next, decide which requests sound as if they may further enhance your business development and achievement of your vision. Consistency in all you do is essential for maintaining your brand identity.  

The more difficult requests are those of friends. Do your best to honor those relationships but within your own reasonable timeframe.  If you are in a time crunch with your own work, or extenuating circumstances exist, be honest and say so.  Negotiate a target date satisfactory for all so that you both may continue to move forward on a friendly basis.  

2.  Q&A

Sometimes requests are ambiguous.  You aren't quite certain about all the elements required or of the benefits all parties are slated to receive.  Sometimes the benefits are just one-sided; be aware of these.  You need to do some digging before you provide an answer, or potentially, you might be sorry.  

Question and Answer is the better strategy for this scenario. By being inquisitive, you generally avoid being less than diplomatic.  On the other hand, you are able to clarify the situation and get all of the details prior to making a definitive decision of "no" or "yes".  While you might turn an individual down, as they see the professional manner in which you operate, the conversation at the very least will be concluded on a positive note.  Later on, a new project may develop which they recognize as a better fit, and they will contact you once again.

3.  Enjoyment

I'm a proponent of believing work CAN be fun.  Which of the requests will enhance your enjoyment in doing the work?  Understand, if you agree to undertake a project that is a drag on your time and mental outlook, you will not put out your best.  This will be worse than declining the "opportunity".

The end goal should always be to deliver your best for friends, clients, management, and in customer service care.    

When you find the enjoyment in your work and strive to always deliver your best, those are the elements that attracts others to provide repeat business and testimonials – the secret ingredient for 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 #988

Apologies make the sun shine

My apology was made seconds ago.  I had to take steps to correct something erroneously posted on my behalf before it became visible to many.  Time management dictates taking the direct path to get something done, and I took it.  But, that wasn't protocol, and I was reprimanded.  

The first words communicated, by me, were, "my sincere apology".  Next, I provided a brief explanation of where I was coming from, known as “the justification”.  By briefly offering this, at least there is some understanding of why the direct path was taken.  I concluded by saying, “it won’t happen again.”  I’m confident this will take care of any misunderstanding, and we will continue on solid footing.

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Sometimes on the job or with a client, misunderstandings will happen.  That's why, as a salesperson, it's best to continually ask questions.  Actually, we are all in sales, if we wish to excel at what we do.  The questions eliminate erroneous assumptions and allow for deeper connections.  This style also allows for personal insight to be revealed as well.  It is the personal coupled with the business connection that develops into strong relationships.

When a mishap does occur with a client, the first words should be a genuine, "I’m sorry".  The next step is to ask, from their viewpoint, how the issue may be resolved.  On rare occasion, the request may not be reasonable.  Honesty is always the best policy.  The best approach to the unreasonable request is to say you are unable to resolve the problem in that manner.  Next, quickly offer a couple of ideas for how you are able to implement a solution.  Most of the time, clients will be thrilled you are working on their behalf to resolve the issue.

Being of the mindset to work in a clam and friendly manner produces the better results. and favorably builds your personal brand. Finding resolution is another form of negotiation.  In the end, working to find a solid solution to any mishap or misunderstanding, will further build the friendship as well as business relationship between you and your clientele.  The end result is you are likely to have developed a long-term client appreciative of all of your help.  And when it comes to mending fences with superiors at work, they too are usually very appreciative of your authentic approach to making things right.

Adhering to Shakespeare's line, "All is Well That Ends Well" becomes the path to the Smooth Sal

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

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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

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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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