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.
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