Increase sales, improve profit margins and grow your business with the TopSecrets.com podcast, with business growth expert David Blaise.
Are You Tracking Your Wins?
It’s easy to get distracted in the blizzard of activities that we have going on all around us every single day. But unless those activities include a significant number of wins, you’ll never achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself. And if you don’t pay attention to your wins, it’s easy to become discouraged. So, are you winning today? And if so, are you tracking those wins?
David: Hi and welcome to the podcast! Today co-host Chris Templeton and I will be talking about your daily wins. Do you have any, do you know what they are, and are you tracking them? Welcome Chris.
Chris: Hi David. Thanks for doing this. This is a really, really important subject. It seems to me that every business owner or salesperson must accomplish wins on a regular basis or they wouldn’t be successful in what they do; but isn’t a win different for everybody? And why do you say it’s necessary to keep track of them?
David: Okay, well, two questions there. Is it different for everyone? The answer there is yes. Certainly, depending on your job, a win could be something different. If I’m in accounts receivable than a win for me is collecting money, right? If I’m in sales than a win for me could be getting in front of a new prospect, finding a new market that I want to target, fine tuning my message to engage more people, initiating a new client outreach. There are lots of different things that could count as wins for me depending on my position within the organization, but from the standpoint of getting customers – as a business owner or as a salesperson, as any sort of professional who needs customers – then it’s really about looking at those types of activities. Things like meeting a new prospect at a networking function, or reactivating a previous client who hasn’t bought from you in a while, or getting a new prospect to close for the first time. So there are very specific things that during the course of the day are probably happening and if they’re not, then you want to make sure that you start getting more of those types of things going on.
Chris: A big piece of this is really taking the time to recognize where you’re having successes because that really does fuel your performance as a salesperson, doesn’t it?
David: Yes. And when you take the time to do it and getting through the second part of your question, why is it necessary to track them? It allows you to realize what’s going on. So very often on a day to day basis, we are just dealing with, you know, the whole whirlwind of events that’s going on and it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that we are moving forward in some areas and there are some days where we’re not, let’s be frank about it. There are some days where we’re not, we’re just putting out fires and we’re not really moving the needle on anything. But when we take the time to track the wins and to recognize, okay, I want to get at least let’s say three wins going today, what are three things that I could count as a win? Today, I can say I recorded a podcast that’s going out to lots of people. For me, that’s a win, right? I had a chance to talk to Chris today. That’s a win, right? It’s two wins in one activity, but you can look at the different things that you’re involved in and say, okay, what worked? I mean this morning I had several conversations with a couple of prospective clients, so that’s two or three wins, right? Because I had those conversations. So you look at the activities you’re engaged in and you say, okay, which of them count as wins? And which of them sort of just count as time-wasters or placeholders because it’s a lot easier sometimes to track placeholders tha
Don’t Blame Social Media for Poor Results
Social media doesn’t work. Cold calling doesn’t work. Print advertising doesn’t work. Email is dead! Whenever an advertiser is unable to make a particular marketing vehicle work, they often blame the delivery mechanism and declare it either dead or ineffective. But what if the problem isn’t the marketing vehicle? What if it’s just the way you’re using it?
David: Hi and welcome to the podcast. Today co-host Chris Templeton and I will be talking about marketing vehicles, which ones work, and which ones don’t. Welcome Chris!
Chris: Hi David! In a previous podcast we talked about the MVP of marketing and sales. What’s the marketing message we’re communicating? Which combination of marketing vehicles will we use to communicate the message? And which people or prospects do we plan to reach? But today we’re going to take a closer look at the marketing vehicles and try to figure out why so many people tend to blame the marketing vehicle when things go wrong. What’s up with that?
David: Yeah, what is up with that? Well, it’s easier than taking responsibility for the failure of any campaign. Because really what we’re talking about here in terms of any sort of communication is the MVPs. You know, what’s the message I’m conveying? Which combination of marketing vehicles will I use to communicate the message? And who are the people or prospects that I want to reach? So if I post a bunch of social media messages and no one responds… if no one likes it, nobody looks at it, it’s far easier for me to blame the media than to ask if what I’m posting is compelling enough. If I run a paid ad somewhere and no one responds to it, it’s easier for me to blame the delivery mechanism than it is to think that my well-crafted, beautiful offer is somehow inadequate or unappealing. It forces me to blame myself instead of the medium. And in a lot of cases it’s just easier to blame the marketing vehicle or the medium that we’re using.
Chris: But that doesn’t serve us much, does it though?
David: No, because when a particular marketing vehicle isn’t working for us, it doesn’t mean the entire vehicle itself is flawed. It might just be the way that we’re using it and when we understand that we’re going to be on the path to be able to start to fix these things rather than just become a victim of them.
Chris: Again, it goes back to the whole piece that we did on who’s the buyer and looking at this and saying, what are the things that I need to look out for myself? It’s so easy to blame the vehicle, but there’s so many things that we can do to improve how we perform on any of those vehicles, including consistency. But let’s start with cold calling. Lots of people are not big fans of it. It can be intrusive. It’s usually unwelcome and it often disrupts a person’s day. But is it effective?
Is Cold Calling Effective?
David: Well, it can be and cold calling is not my favorite form of first contact, but it doesn’t really matter that it’s not my favorite form of first contact because for some people it works very well. I mean, I personally don’t like it from a positioning standpoint, but some people are great at it and they swear by it and they’re able to generate customers with it. So from that standpoint, for them it is absolutely effective. That’s where I think we run into trouble is just because cold calling is not my preferred method of initiating contact with a new prospect doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work. So if I say something like, “Oh, cold calling stinks, that doesn’t work.” It’s just not true. It’s not
Are You Clear on Your Basic Messaging?
Until you get crystal clear on your basic messaging, who you serve and how you serve them, you’ll find yourself attracting either no clients at all or the wrong clients, and your customer acquisition efforts will take a whole lot longer.
David: Hi, and welcome to the podcast. Today co-host Chris Templeton, and I will be talking about the idea of getting clear on your basic messaging. Welcome back, Chris. That’s my basic message.
Chris: I like that basic message. You’d think that most business owners and salespeople would already be clear on at least their basic messaging, but that is not always the case, is it?
David: No, it’s surprising how often it’s not the case. Very often people think in terms of just their products and services instead of the needs they fill and the problems they solve. And as we discussed in a previous podcast, there’s a big difference between product buyers and solution buyers.
David: And there are always a lot more people who are willing to pay for solutions. So the better we get at crafting our messaging so that it’s directed to the things they really want and need in their lives and in their businesses, the better off they’re going to be in terms of getting what they need and the better off we’re going to be in terms of being able to provide the solutions they need.
Chris: What do you think the biggest problems are in terms of people developing what their messaging is going to be?
David: I think a really big problem is that much of it is “me focused.” It’s all about me and my business and what I do and how I do things, and it’s not enough about them. It’s not enough about the prospects and clients that we’re actually trying to appeal to. So if I had to rank them in order, I would say that’s first too much me-centric communication.
David: A second thing I would say is that it’s product focused instead of solutions focused, which is what we were just talking about a moment ago. When we’re talking about the product itself or the service itself, then we’re not focused on what it is that they’re trying to accomplish. And before we can ever get to the solution, we need to sort of stir up the problem side of it a bit. So when we’re talking to them about what they’re looking to accomplish and what it means in their business or what it means in their life to accomplish this, that’s what really gets them focused on the idea that they need it. And so when we leave out this component; talking to them about the issues they’re facing before we recommend our solution, then we’re missing out because they’re thinking of it in terms of something that might be okay to have, but they’re not thinking of it in terms of something that they really desperately need. And once again, that comes from focusing too much on our product and not enough on them and what they’re looking for.
Chris: Give people an example of what that looks like and a little more detail in terms of stirring up that need.
David: Well, it’s depending on what it is that’s being sold. If I start talking to you about sales training, for example, “Hey, we sell sales training, we help train salespeople and we’re really good at sales training.” People think I don’t necessarily need that. Why do I need that? But if we’re talking to them about, “Hey, listen, how much are your salespeople costing you when they’re out in the field and they’re not doing the job that you’ve paid them to do? Have
Getting to the Decision Maker
If you’ve ever had a conversation with someone who had zero power to make a decision, you understand how frustrating it can be. So today we’ll talk about how to get to the decision makers.
David: Hi and welcome to the podcast! Today co-host Chris Templeton and I will be talking about decision makers. Who are they, where are they and how do we get to them? Welcome Chris.
Chris: Hi David. Well, it seems that most sales people understand the importance of getting to a decision maker, but many really haven’t ever been trained to, have they?
David: It seems that way. Yeah.
Chris: Where do they start? Because it really is something that I think a lot of people don’t get. As obvious as it is, like how do I actually do it? It’s a whole different thing.
David: Right. Well I think a lot of it starts with identifying who the decision maker is to the best of their ability. A lot of times we think just because someone’s agreed to an appointment or just because we’ve gotten someone on the phone that they are in fact the decision maker and that is not always the case. So we want to start out by doing whatever we can to only make presentations to decision makers, which means we need to find out upfront as well as we can as much as possible whether or not the person that we’re talking to has the ability to make the decision.
Chris: Talk a little bit about how you have that conversation, because my sense is that one of the biggest issues a sales person has with getting to a decision maker is their fear of asking. What do you suggest that they say to somebody who they’re not sure if they’re the decision maker?
David: Okay. Well first thing I would say is never assume that the person that you’re talking to is the decision maker. It’s really easy to do this but don’t! Because we feel like I’ve got a live wire on the phone or I’ve got a live wire that I’m talking to and it’s sometimes more fun to just sort of plow ahead and see what happens. But you could be shooting yourself in the foot if you do that. So the best way to do it is simply to ask and to get comfortable with the idea, you know, “Will you be making the decision on this or is anyone else involved?” It’s really pretty straightforward. Now before you even get to a question like that, you want to determine whether or not they have any sort of interest. You want to get clear on what it is that you do and all that sort of thing. But once they’ve expressed interest in what you’re talking about, it’s a good question to get answered upfront.
Chris: And I think that typically you’ve got to that place where they seem to be expressing interest. And now as a sales guy, I’m really excited to keep this movement.
Chris: And then to kind of throw a wrench in the works and ask if they’re, the decision maker is tough, but the payoff is huge, isn’t it? In other words, in terms of not having wasted time and also being sure that I’m getting to the right person who can make the decision.
David: Exactly. Because the biggest wrench you can really throw into it, is making a beautiful presentation to someone who has absolutely no ability to buy from you. It’s a much bigger wrench than simply asking the person if they are in fact the decision maker or if there are other people involved.
Chris: Let’s say that I’ve gone through the process of having the call, this person’s ex
The Difference Between Product Buyers and Solution Buyers
It’s great when people just want to buy our products and services, but that group is only ever a small part of the entire market. So how do we get to all the others who could be good prospects for us but don’t even know that they need our solutions?
David: Hi and welcome to the podcast today co-host Chris Templeton and I will be discussing the difference between product buyers and solution buyers. Welcome Chris.
Chris: Hi David. This is a great topic and really interesting when we look at the difference between a product buyer and a solution buyer, is there really a big difference or is it not that big of a deal?
David: Good question. I mean, if somebody just wants to come and buy our product, then that’s great, right? We don’t really care too much beyond that, but maybe we should. And here’s what I mean by that. Somebody comes to us out of the blue, let’s say completely unsolicited and they want to buy what it is that we have to offer. Okay, well we can just sell it to them and we can be happy because we made a sale and they can be happy because they got what they wanted. But if we think back to what we talked about in a previous podcast, the idea of creating customers as opposed to just making sales, then we recognize that this is not exactly a great recipe for doing that. And so if we want to really be able to service people on an ongoing basis and turn them into ongoing clients, raving fans, the types of things that we want, then we probably want to move beyond the idea of just getting them what they want and trading products and services for cash and getting to the point where we’re really helping them to solve the problems that they have.
Chris: And when you get to work with a solution buyer, it’s a whole different ballgame, and from my standpoint, a whole lot more enjoyable and rewarding.
David: Yeah. Because when you’re able to help people with their problems, their issues, the things that are really driving them crazy, it is very rewarding. You feel like you’re actually helping someone while earning a good living doing it. So, it’s sort of the best of all worlds.
Chris: And that’s the fact for the buyer. They’re feeling like you have taken this to a place that’s beyond just, “Hey, here it is, and this is the price”. And it really is how a lot of people work and don’t understand how much more fun and how much more enjoyable what they’re doing could be if they were solution providers as opposed to just a product provider. Right?
David: Right. And if people are struggling with this issue, the thing they need to keep in mind is that every product you sell, every service you sell solves a problem. Because if it didn’t, no one would want to buy it. And I mean you say, okay, well what about selling a pack of chewing gum at the grocery store? It solves a problem. That person has a need that they need to fill, I need to chew, and they’re going to buy this pack of chewing gum. Right? So it may be a minor need, it may be a major need, but there is an issue. There’s something they’re looking for. There’s something that person craves that they don’t have, that they’re willing to trade their money for. And as business people, this is one of the main things that we have to look at. What are the things that we can provide that will help people to get what they’re looking for?
Chris: So are we clear with the audience that really focusing on solution buyers is a much better approach in business?
David: Yeah, I think so. But also just the idea that ne
Selling & Earning More in Less Time
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. It’s fixed. It’s inflexible, so earning more in less time is less about managing time, and more about managing ourselves.
David: Hi and welcome to the podcast today co-host Chris Templeton and I will be talking about a subject that is near and dear to many of our hearts, how to earn more money in less time. Welcome Chris.
Chris: Hi David. In the interest of time, I suppose we should get right down to it. It seems to me that most people struggle with how to get it all done in the time they have available. How do you recommend our listeners get around this really big issue, and common issue frankly?
David: Yes, many people do struggle with how to get it all done in the time they have available, and so one of the first things we need to look at is what exactly is it that we’re doing? What are the activities that we are engaged in on a daily basis and how many of them really need to happen? How many of them are absolutely critical to our mission, to our success, to everything that we’re doing on a day to day basis. Because if you examine the activities you’re engaged in, what you will very likely find is that there are things you’re doing right now that simply don’t move the needle. And so by identifying those things up front as quickly as possible, you can start to adapt and change the things that you’re doing so that you’re going to be able to better monetize the hours that you’re putting into your work week.
Chris: So, when you look at this and identifying your time, what you’re doing with it, I think it’s a tough one for people to see. What are the solutions? Is it just getting a to do list together to start to understand that? What do you recommend?
David: Well, a lot of people use to do lists and you’re far better off having one than not having one. But if you’re like most people with to do lists, you’ve got way too many things to do and not enough time to do them all.
David: Which goes back to what we were talking about a moment ago, which is identifying which of the things on the to do list actually need to get done. Because if there are things on there that are simply taking up time and taking up space and that aren’t going to accomplish what it is that you’re looking to have happen, then you’re better off not having them on there. So, what I would say is if you’ve got a to do list, probably one of the first things that will help you is if you’re able to begin to turn your to do list into calendar items. So, I’m moving it from something that maybe should be done at some future point in time to something that I’m actually going to be working on today. And so if I identify the top two or three or at most five things, that I really feel like I need to accomplish today and I turn them into calendar items, then those five items out of the thirty, fifty or a hundred that are on my to do list all of a sudden become actionable. They become a lot more valuable to me because I’ve chosen them out of all the others to take action on today.
Chris: That’s a great approach and it really gets you to lock yourself in because you’ve got a little reminder that says, “Hey, it’s time to do this project and let’s get going.” And if you follow that, you really are kind of prioritizing and focusing on what’s the most important thing I can be doing today.
David: Right. Priorities are always more important than activities.
Chris: Well talk about that
Customer ReviewsSee All
Change is good
Thank you for adding a second voice/perspective to your podcast. I love the mini q&a and that some of the questions I have are asked and answered.
Listen and you will get some great ideas for selling promotional products. Theses short messages help me to stay on track.