Increase sales, improve profit margins and grow your business with the TopSecrets.com podcast, with business growth expert David Blaise.
5 Elements of an Effective Sales Procedure
If you were to examine the best sales presentations you’ve ever done, (that is, the ones that created the best results for both you and your client), it is very likely that there were five elements present. In this episode, we'll examine them.
8 Success Procedures You Need in Business
When I'm consulting clients, I frequently quote the line "failure is not an option" from the movie Apollo 13. It's a mindset worth adopting. In this podcast we'll discuss the importance of procedures in sales and how they lead from failure to success.
Goal Setting vs. Goal Achievement
Some people have trouble achieving because they’ve never really outlined their goals and when you fail to define what you want, it’s nearly impossible to get it. But maybe you have outlined your goals, you know exactly what you want, you’ve written it down like a good goal setter and you review it regularly. If you’re still not achieving, then it’s likely you’ve fallen into the gap between goal setting and goal achievement.
David: Hi and welcome to the podcast. Today, co-host Chris Templeton and I will discuss how to make the pivot from goal setting to goal achievement. Welcome Chris!
Chris: Hi David. You seem to be approaching this topic as if it’s a given, but some people, I’m sure there’s a lot of them get through life without setting any formal goals. What makes you think this is important?
David: Well, that’s a valid question. Not everyone does set goals, but I would venture to say that if you’re a business owner or a sales person, the type of person likely to listen to this podcast, then you’re probably setting some goals. And some people, even if they don’t realize they’re setting goals are actually setting goals, so you might not formally say, “I am setting a goal to accomplish this by this date”, but you may think, “Hmm, I’d really love to have a car like that, or I’d really love to earn X amount of dollars per year, or I’d really love to have a house like that, or I’d really love to be able to pay my bills.” Things like that where essentially they may just form a thought or an idea, but they actually are goals. It’s things that we want and what is a goal other than something we want?
Chris: It seems like what you’re talking about is traditional goal setting. It’s the Field of Dreams approach. Boy, that’d be nice to have and then maybe that’ll come as a result of that thought. It works out in the movies, but how do you see that playing out in real life?
David: Yeah, it does work in the movies. In real life, I think it’s rarely a good idea – I mean, if it’s something that you really want. There are aspects of life that we can just allow to unfold, things are going to happen and we’re going to take advantage of them or we’re not going to take advantage of them. Whatever’s going to happen is going to happen. A lot of life is simply living it and seeing what happens and making decisions in the moment, and I’m not saying that all of life is going to be about setting and achieving goals, but when we think in terms of the things that we really want in the six areas that we had talked about in our podcast; I don’t know, months ago, mental and physical and spiritual and social and financial and family. If we want to make things happen in those areas, then it really does boil down to deciding – what do we want to have happen and then what are we going to do to make it happen? When you think in terms of that field of dreams approach, you know “if you build it, they will come,” it really is sort of wishful thinking. And so if you want those types of things to happen, you’re far better off making them happen instead of just waiting for things to happen. And I would point out that the guy in the movie, he actually built that ball field, so he did do something to make it happen. It wasn’t like he just waited for the universe to take care of it for him.
Chris: There a whole lot of effort there wasn’t there? Whether it was convincing the poet Laureate to go with him. Ah, such a great movie! But a lot of what we’re seeing in the last, I don’t know, five or 10 years, is things like The Secret and Law of Attraction.
Driving the Snakes Out on St. Patrick’s Day
Happy St.Patrick’s Day!
This morning, I woke up, jumped on the treadmill and thought about the story of how St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland. And it made me think, “what are the snakes in your life?”
What are the snakes in your business? What are the mental snakes? The physical snakes and the emotional snakes? And what can we do to drive them out as quickly as possible?
So our topic today is dealing with snakes!
Let’s start with the mental snakes. Anxiety, fear, doubt, concerns over things over which we have no control. Worrying about people. Worrying about things. Worrying about circumstances, finances, health, family.
Worrying about things that could go wrong in our businesses. Worrying about how to keep things going right. Worrying about our own happiness, and other people’s happiness. Fighting feelings that we can’t keep all the balls in the air. Ever been there?
We can’t keep everyone happy. We can’t even keep the train of our own lives on track and moving in the right direction most of the time.
It’s a lot of stuff to be concerned about. But we have to realize that all that anxiety, all that fear, all that worry… it’s all internal.
It’s not actually about what’s going on in the outside world. It’s about how we’re processing it internally.
That’s not to say we don’t have to deal with real issues. We do. Every single day.
But, if you want to start driving out snakes, it’s often a good idea to start with the snakes in your own mind.
Recognize that our fears don’t make things better. Our worries don’t make things better. Our anxieties certainly don’t make things better.
In fact, they almost inevitably makes things a lot worse. And not just for ourselves, but often for those around us.
So step one is to identify the snakes that need to be purged from our brains. Write them down and put together a plan for addressing that.
So we started with the mental snakes within us. Now let’s talk about the snakes on the outside.
If I were to say to you, “what are the most obvious snakes?” What are the things around you that help to trigger or cause the fears, anxieties, worries or the stresses you feel — what are they? Who are they? And are they really on the outside? Or is it an internal snake that I’ve failed to fully process?
What I mean is, is it the person, the place, or the circumstance? Or is it the way we think about and respond to those people, places, and circumstances?
Really think that through.
Many people complain a lot about all the external circumstances that are making their lives frustrating, bad, miserable, or even intolerable.
But is it really those outside factors? Or is it the way we internalize and process our thoughts about them?
I don’t know the answer to that question, and I am in no way qualified to answer it for you, which is why I’m asking YOU the question.
Because I think that this is something ONLY you can determine for yourself.
Is this one of those snakes that can be driven out by simply driving out the way you process it in your own brain?
Or is this actually an external snake that needs to be physically driven out of your life?
That’s a big decision. Because sometimes those snakes, whether they’re mental or physical, can take the form of friends, family, bosses, coworkers, or loved ones.
And if the relationship is important or necessary to you, then the focus has to be driving out the snakes, instead of driving out the people, changing the places or altering the circumstances. And the reality of the situation is that it might require quite a bit of each.
So take out a sheet of paper, and draw two lines down the page to break it up into three vertical columns.
In the left column.
How are You at Selling Remotely?
How are you at selling remotely? Are you okay with the idea of selling less in person and selling more via phone, email, and text? And if not, what’s that likely to do to your income?
David: Hi and welcome to the podcast today cohost Chris Templeton and I will be talking about using phone, email, and text to replace in-person selling. Welcome Chris.
Chris: Hi David. You know, to me, selling on the phone doesn’t seem all that different from selling in person. And as a matter of fact, that’s been my primary way of sales over the last, well almost 20 years. But I know not everybody agrees. How critical do you think remote selling is going to be going forward?
David: I think it’s going to be really critical going forward. I mean, obviously over the course of the past months, the world has demonstrated how if you want to sell something, and you can’t do it remotely, you’re going to have a lot of trouble. So yeah, going forward, I think it’s going to be just as important if not more important.
As restrictions continue to be lifted, a lot of people are going to be tempted to think, “okay, we’re going to be able to move back to business as usual.” And maybe we will and maybe we won’t. We just don’t know.
But in the meantime, I know there are a lot of people who started working from home who said, “you know what? This isn’t too bad!” And there are businesses who are looking at the expense of having an office and saying, “maybe I don’t need that. Maybe we can do more simply by working at home.”
As things like that start to happen, a lot of people are going to be in the situation where they’re going to have to start adapting. And even if they don’t, if you’re able to sell both in person and remotely on the phone or whatever, it just increases your horizons. It allows you to reach more people more quickly.
It allows you to identify the targets you want to go after and be able to go after them without having to physically be in front of them. So I think regardless, it’s just a good skill to have and now is the perfect time to make sure that you’re developing and honing that skill.
Chris: And I think it’s really important to just say straight up, you know what? We may get back to business as usual someday. But I think that if what you’re doing as a business person is pinning your hopes on that, you’re going to be waiting a long time, number one.
And number two, once you begin to practice with some of these online tools, having online meetings, it becomes not an issue at all.
And I would encourage people to really think about what it is that they’re telling themselves. If they think that this is a negative way to do business, look at your story about why and really think about, “gee, what if I were good at this? How would I feel about it then?” And I think that we’ve got to really bridge that gap in our own minds to begin with, don’t you?
David: I do. You mentioned the fact that you’ve done a lot of selling on the phone and online over a long period of time. I’m in exactly the same situation. So to that extent, because we both have that experience we’re, to whatever extent, if not jaded then at least biased in our opinion because we know how well it can work.
But I recognize that there are people listening to this podcast who are not in that situation. They’ve done face to face for the bulk of their lives and that’s what they’re used to, and they may have trouble adapting.
The purpose of this podcast is to do two things.
One is to say to people who have not sold successfully remotely, “Hey look, you can probably do this and we’re happy to help you to try to figure out how to make that happen.”
How to Penetrate Large Accounts
Recently, a long-time client asked me a question about penetrating large accounts.
He was talking about how they’re currently working with one location, trying to penetrate a second and then realizing that there are actually many more locations. So the question is “what’s the best way to penetrate a large account?”
Many of us sell to companies that have more than one person who can buy our products. Some of those people might be in the same department as our client. Some might be in different departments. Some might even be in different divisions, locations or related companies.
In all of these cases, I’d like to make a recommendation that I would encourage you to follow with every contact you do business with. It’s very simple and very powerful, and it’s entirely based on internal referrals.
Ask each of your existing contacts who they know 1.) in their own department, 2.) in other departments in their own location, then 3.) in other locations, who either buy or influence the buying decision. Then ask for an introduction to that person.
When I say it like this, it sounds like you’re asking too much, but don’t worry, you can do it a little at a time.
Of course, if you already know you’re dealing with a business that has just one location, you can leave out the “other location” reference, but still ask about other people in their own department and other departments.
Let me give you a simple example of how this works.
Years ago, I was dealing with the marketing director at a local bank. It was a good account, and I was doing a decent volume of business with them. One afternoon, I was visiting my contact and noticed she essentially worked in a “cubicle farm.”
There were lots of other people in her department who appeared to be doing all sorts of different things. So I asked her, “who else in your department buys promotional products?”
I got lucky. She mentioned the name of her manager and offered to introduce me to her. Of course, if she hadn’t offered, I would have asked, but this made it much easier.
On the way out, my contact introduced me to her manager, who was willing to take a few moments to talk with me. I’m sure this only happened because of the way we were introduced. It’s not like she would have met with me if I had just shown up on her doorstep.
During the conversation, I asked her, “who else in your department buys promotional products,” and she told me about a third person who also did some buying. Theoretically, my initial contact could have told me about this person, but maybe she didn’t know. In any event, this simple question tripled the number of people I was in touch with in just that department.
I’m a slow learner, so when it occurred to me, weeks later, that this was just one department, I started asking my contacts who else they knew in other departments. This lead to some new contacts and additional business in the executive division.
Since that experience, I made it a point to repeat that process with every contact I came in touch with. Who else in your department buys? Who do you know in other departments who buy? And, can you introduce me to them?
Oh, it’s also important you never assume you know the answer to this. I’ve been in small companies where I’ve asked the question and they laughed at me. “No, we’re a small company. I’m the only buyer.” I’ve been in other small companies where they’ve said, “oh yeah, Tricia buys too. Hey Tricia, come over here.”
The most critical part of this process, is to repeat it with each person you come in contact with.
It’s a terrible analogy, but the goal is to spread yourself throughout the organization like a virus.
Viruses spread from cell to cell,
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.