Scaling 1 to 1

As a  business owner and salesperson I require time to myself to think, rest and connect with people, however their are always others that want my attention.  I have had to resort to locking myself in my office and forcing myself to focus at the expense of the world around me.  However this alienates people and can be very lonely.  The following is a list of my ideas about how to scale 1 to 1.  I decided to put my ideas into a blog post because I want to share my ideas about how to scale 1 to 1.

A Chauffeur to the Virtual World: It is important that you and your employees are always carrying business cards because they are the easiest way to chauffeur realtime face to face interactions to non-time sensitive virtual interactions.  This allows you to spread out interactions so that you eliminate bottlenecks.  It is important to ask for the other person’s business card to make sure they know that you actually want to connect.  Explain that as much as you want to jump into the relationship right now, you want to reconnect at a later time so that you can give your full attention.

Transition Meetings: In order to scale 1 to 1 it is essential to move interactions from the physical to virtual. I resisted moving my meetings from physical to virtual.  However, over the last year I have moved almost all of my meeting to the virtual world.  I was sick of spending hours driving back and forth, and showing up late to meetings because of traffic, exhaustion and bad planning.  The key to moving meeting to the virtual world is to properly set up your virtual meeting room.  At first my virtual meetings felt awkward and where full of technical difficulties, and thus it was difficult to establish rapport with the people I was meeting.  After investing in a camera, professional grade studio microphone, a professional physical space, and a wired internet connection, I was able to establish the same rapport with my clients as my physical meetings.  I think the key was that I was comfortable, especially since I didn’t have to hold a microphone.  On the software side of virtual meetings I highly recommend using Skype and  They are very simple systems that load very quickly.
A Lobby Full of Ideas: Developing a lobby allows you to add value to people that you have just met and also your current clients when you are not around. CAN’s lobby is composed of a set of standard emails that are well thought out with content specific to different types of people we meet in different circumstances.  For example we have a list of our favorite things that we send to people we have just met introduce them to a few of our favorite things, our products and our company.  The goal of our lobby is to enhance the CAN customer experience by introducing potential customer to CAN and our products so that we can spend our face-to-face time engaged in learning about our customers and not telling them about CAN.  CAN is currently working on a series of emails specifically for people we have just met, people interested in our 5 products, and clients of our 5 products.
Scale Conversations: You can use your blog to scale 1 to 1 by writing about frequent conversations that you have, and then inviting people you engage with to add their thoughts.  This moves your realtime face-to-face interactions to a non-time sensitive virtual interaction, and you can network your new connections with other people that are having a similar conversation.

Stop Persuading and Start Selling: How to Qualify Your Clients

Their are a lot of salespeople that are confused about their roles as salespeople.  Salespeople do not exist to persuade, manipulate or pressure us to purchase things that we don’t need.  Their job is to connect people to the resources (people, services, and products) that they need to do our jobs and enjoy their lives.
It is relatively easy to get people to sign on the line that is dotted, however it takes a true salesperson and a lot of work to get the right people to sign.  This requires that management holds salespeople responsible for the clients they sell, salespeople have to have a simple way to qualify prospects, and marketing to develop products people want.  This doesn’t mean that salespeople aren’t responsible to meet or exceed their quota each month, but that they need to fulfill their quote by closing people that have the need, willingness and resources to purchase.
If you qualify your clients to make sure they have the need, willingness and resources to purchase your products and services you will cultivate a loyal, profitable and active client base, have an appreciative operations team, and a more sustainable business.  The following are questions salespeople can use to make sure they are selling to the right prospects:

  1. Define the Problem and Solution: What problem does my prospect need to solve? What product or service (not necessarily mine) will be the best solution to my prospects problem?  If you can clearly define your prospects problem, and your product or service is the best solution then proceed with the sale.  If their is better solution that you don’t sell, provide them with an introduction to someone that can help them.  While you will forfeit the immediate sale you will help establish yourself as a trusted advisor, and the prospect and their connections will come to you first when they have a problem.  This will provide you with a steady stream of potential clients that will trust your advice when your product/service is the best solution to their problem.
  2. Priced to Deliver: Does my prospect have the resource to purchase my solution at a price I can afford to deliver an exceptional final product? While offering a discount might help you close the deal quicker, you never want to discount your price to a point where it becomes difficult to deliver an exceptional final product because you don’t have enough time, resources or you have to spend your time selling instead of producing.  In my experience people typically stop caring about the price once they have signed, and then they only care about the final deliverable, so it is essential to price your products or services so you can deliver an exceptional final product.
  3. Willingness to Close: Is my prospect willing to invest the required time to understand my solution, get the right people in the room, work to implement my solution, and make the necessary political and financial concessions?  Willingness goes beyond just acknowledging that they have a problem and you have the solution, and having them be willing to sign a contract.  Real willingness is a commitment to implement your solution and extract full value from your solution, and this requires willingness to promote your solution internally to get adoption, get the decision makers to buy in, and put financial and political capital on the line.


Improve your Sales Calls by a Meeting Contract for Each Call

One of the easiest ways that I have found to improve my sales calls is by establishing a “Meeting Contract” at the start of each call  that states the purpose of the meeting, what each participant is looking for out of the meeting, and how much time the meeting will take.

Using a Meeting Contract has helped me:

  • Improve the customer experience, because within the first minutes of meeting me my clients know that I respect their time by asking them how much time they have and what they hope to accomplish from the call.
  • Gain the complete focus of my customers, because the Meeting Contract clearly states that I have their focus for the agreed upon time. You and your prospective client know exactly when you both can get back to work, email, phone calls etc.
  • Focus my presentation, because I know the client is interested in improving their marketing and they want to know about our past work and next steps.

How to Succeed at Cold Calling

Most people think that cold calling is a waste of time, but you can learn how to succeed at cold calling. Instead of hoping that someone purchases or provides you with a referral, cold calling allows you to take control of your sales process, expand your network, and close more deals. Click here to learn how we can help you select the right prospects.
Cold calling allows you to focus your sales efforts on your ideal customers that are ready to purchase, and you are able to control their entire customer experience. Referrals are great, but they often provide you with less than ideal clients who already have preconceived notions about what your company can do for them.
The first key to successful cold calling to research your leads before you make first contact.  You want to look for indicators of need, willingness and resources.  Using this information you want to outline your contact strategy, sales pitch and closing strategy.  Your goal should to be to build relationships, and this means that you won’t be able to work a list of hundreds of names.  Instead, I recommend cold calling between 10 and 25 people a month.  This will give you time to research them, quality them and make several attempts to contact to request a meeting.
The second key to a successful cold call is making first contact. No matter how targeted the list or how much you know about a person, picking up the phone to someone you don’t know is nerve racking for even the most polished salesperson.  You have to just pick up the phone and confidently take the plunge.
On the first contact your only goal is simply to get a face-to-face meeting. This can be in person or virtually such as over Skype. The most important thing is that you end the call with a clear next step. At the end of the first contact you should either have a meeting rescheduled, a request for a follow-up call or take the lead out of your sales pipe.
Getting a face-to-face meeting before you try to sell the lead is important because a large amount of human communication is visual. This means that your sales pitch will be most effective face-to-face, and you don’t want to waste your sales pitch over the phone talking to a complete stranger. Also, most sales people are very comfortable talking to new acquaintances in person instead of over the phone, so in person your sales presentation will come across much more confidently.
Confidence is essential because people buy confidence, so your voice can’t quiver, break or shake. You need to appear confident. To help you convey confidence, you need to be very well prepared with what you are going to say. Many of the best sales people have a large repertoire of stories that they use everyday with almost everyone they meet. Your preparation should focus on developing your main points and using them to respond to questions. Focusing on your main points instead of writing out a word-by-word script will help your presentation flow smoothly.  I would also recommend role-playing with a peer by having them ask you questions.

At CAN, we use predictive mathematics to find people that have the need, willingness and resources to make B2B purchases over $20k. While CAN provides the leads as well as all the research needed to develop an effective sales strategy, actually making the first contact is left up to the individual sales person. If you are not used to making cold colds, making first contact can be challenging. One of our clients developed an interesting solution. They developed Most Wanted posters of their leads, and sent them to business connections and friends. On the posters they included the persons name, photo, company and most importantly an explanation of why they believed the person would appreciate an introduction.

12 Best Practices for Salespeople

We use mathematics to help people sell smart. The following are 12 of the best practices for salespeople our team sell has learned from working with our clients.

1. Invest in Prospecting

The foundation of being an effective sales person is to only sell to people that have the need, willingness, and resources to purchase what you are selling. This means that you will spend the majority of your time scanning the environment for the right people, and relatively little time selling to them. Learn how we can help you find the right prospects.

2. Coach don’t Sell

Once you have identified the right prospect, your role switches from prospecting to coaching them through the decision. People are often reluctant to make decisions, but if they have the need, willingness, and resources for your solution it is your responsibility to coach them through the buying process. However, if they don’t have the need for your solution, help them find the solution that is right for them, don’t push your solution just to get a commission.

3. Sell don’t procrastinate

People are talking to you because they want to purchase what you have to sell. Do not delay the sale by continuing to offer facts about your product, if someone wants to purchase you need to close as quickly as possible. In this situation, you don’t need to hard sell, you have to make purchasing enjoyable — the people sitting across from you want to buy something.

4. Rehearse, Present, Adjust

Your sales presentation is a very complex performance, and you need to know it well enough to quickly adjust depending on who you are presenting to. The best salespeople treat their sales presentation similar to a theatrical performance. They write down their best lines and stories, they remember how people react to each line and story, and then they practice over and over. They practice until they are able to present and spend their energy reading and listening to their audience.

5. Get the Meeting

The key to effective cold calling is to get the meeting.  Do not try to sell someone over the phone, just get them to commit to a face-to-face meeting either in person or over video. Once you are face-to-face it will no longer be a cold call!

6. Read and React

Read and match your clients faces and body language. This helps set the tone of the meeting and build confidence. If your client is really analytical, you don’t want to sell with too much emotion. And know when to end the call — if they look bored, uninterested or turned off — change your message or end your presentation.

7. Confidence and Enthusiasm

First if you aren’t confident and enthused by what you are selling then you might want to think about why you are selling that product. People will match your level of confidence and enthusiasm one level below you. In order for people to be confident and excited about your product, you need to be more confident and excited about your product.

8. Know what you are selling

Knowing what you are selling helps clients trust you as the expert, helps you make promises you can keep, and helps speed up the sales process. Truly great salespeople are masters of the sales process and what they are selling.

9. Follow a System

You need to develop a sales system. There are a variety of different systems available such as, Sandler Training, but the key is to have a system. By developing and using a system you will be able to rely on your system, instead of your emotions, charisma, mojo, or social connections. You reap what you sow: The relationships that you build today will pay off in several months or years.

10. Always Carry Business Cards

Always carry your business card, because you never know when or where you will meet someone. When you meet someone for the first time, your business card allows you to immediately establish your brand, and your ability to build a relationship with that person. Once you have given someone your card, always ask for theirs in return.  It shows genuine interest and it puts you —the most likely to follow-up — in charge of following up.

11. Don’t Assume a Sales Lag

Most salespeople talk about their “sales lag” as something they have no control over. However, great sales people do not assume a sales lag. Instead they see it as a result of not having the right mix of marketing, pricing, sales-process, and leads; and they are continually adjusting this mix to reduce their sales lag.

12. Silence is the Best Close

The best salespeople know that being silent after asking for a decision is the best close, and they aren’t afraid of waiting for the client to make a decision. It can be uncomfortable for the salesperson, but it provides the client time to think through the decision.
Contact us to learn more about how we can help solve your business problems.

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