Many years working IN and FOR SALES in varied competitive conditions for multiplicity of successful firms are the solid basement from which we continue to COMPETE today projecting towards even more SUCCESSFUL future. Want to partner us for this higher success?: WE KNOW, YOU GROW 🙂
HOW TO RAISE OUR SALES?
Wild salesperson? Enthusiastic one? Strategist? Begging style? Shark one? Flexible one? Patient one? Whatever style you feel comfortable with can prove useful if well framed (your reality and needs), and well driven (towards your goals) …always based on them! (clients’ needs, goals and preferences).
The ancient Art of Sales is about aiming towards Success with common sense (using your best), empathetic spirit (looking for our clients’ satisfaction) and wild competitive will to move forward confidently in unlimited way. We gladly boost your potential to your highest achievements. WE TEACH, YOU REACH 🙂
Counting on huge Academic background in Universities, Business Schools, and Powerful Firms, we created lot of education stuff in order to evolve Knowledge in the Business world. On the other hand, we worked hard in real-life practice, inside the Business ‘kitchen’ by bringing support to Managers, Supervisors and highly-skilled Sales strategists. Count on us! WE’RE IN→ YOU WIN 🙂
HOW TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS?
In lot of cases, Success has been achieved the scientific way: ‘trial and error’ until verifying the best ways, procedures, and practices. On one hand it’s an evidence that the more we advance, the better known these positive key factors are …on the other hand, the wild rhythm of change and dramatic evolution of mankind (and the Business world) brings the need of evolving ourselves. Who keep’s still, goes back.
We love science as an unstoppable source of light for success in Business, and in fact we’re deeply linked to it in many ways: functioning of human brain and mind, conscious and subconscious ways of behavior (including how people buys, negotiates, etc.). Seriously engaged in solid ways of backing your growth in ‘Business Planet’: WE SEED, YOU SUCCEED 🙂
Capacity of ADAPTATION is, according to Charles Darwin, what makes the human species a superior one on Earth …and following this line (evolving, if you prefer) we discover that FLEXIBILITY, VERSATILITY and OPENNESS come to prove so Beneficial in Negotiation: WE PUT THE LIGHT, YOU WIN THE FIGHT 🙂
HOW TO PERSUADE THEM ABOUT ‘THIS’ BRILLIANT DEAL?
Techniques, Tactics, Strategies, Styles of Negotiation are there in the Business universe ready to become Negotiators’ winning factors. True CAPACITY to link to others’ comes normally first, and depending on HOW we LINK everything else tends to accommodate, including their softer acceptance of our proposals.
We love to work on enhancing people to concrete their true potential, to put in practice the best way their talents and resources and (finally yes) to know and take advantage of myriad of techniques, tactics and etcetera in order to close the most fantastic deals for win-win profit: WE PROPOSE, YOU CLOSE 🙂
SYNERGY, THAT CONCEPTUAL ANTONYM OF LIMITING EGOISM
At Harvard, doctors Beth Hennesey and Teresa Ammabile complain a lot about the waste of energy, time and money that means scientific research on Creativity carried out in the same way in more than one place at the same time (being Harvard, precisely, one of the most advanced ones in this subject at the moment).
Is it just my impression, or identical phenomenon happens with the new space race that aims to launch the conquest of Mars, the reconquest of the Moon and many others?
Jeff Bézos (‘Blue Origin’), Elon Musk (‘SpaceX’) and the US government. (NASA) can have a lot of money, ‘tons’ of it. However, logic indicates anyway that the fact they are traveling separated paths that could have been collaborative ones grants ‘throwing’ a lot of that abundant money.
And I will risk assuming that behind many similar cases at all levels, ‘ego’ is hidden there influencing the respective key decisions.
True, NASA recently called on “whoever joining” its current lines of investment and research. True too, only if they line up behind their ‘logical’ leadership and accepting their criteria + lines of action until the achievement of objectives. (Impartial comment at all! I’ve trained people having developed at NASA the brightest part of their whole careers, and speaking marvels about this institution)
Historically, there have been gross errors also produced by isolation (one of the usual consequences of the oversized or mismanaged ‘ego’), as was the case with the ‘perception of movement’ by the human being: for decades after the discovery of a French scientist on the third phase (different nerve stimulations of the respective neuronal nodes) as the real cause of this conscious perception, continued to be taught in universities and study centers that the cause was ‘retinal persistence’ (second phase, chemical, differently from the nervous character that defines the neuronal perceptual impulse). Decades of inertia in error!
What about the communicating vessels that should provide real-time strategic information among research and development ‘colleagues’, desirably (in addition) from a differentiated work organization that would have assigned each part of the system a different responsibility in the final joint achievement ?
‘Landing’ in the daily reality of companies, for example, a similar blunder may be undermining the possibilities of successful full realization of a generally huge and valuable potential, which is wasted without remedy in the recesses of unnecessary wild competition among equals that could compete more intelligently by diversifying tasks and dedicating themselves to the one for which they have greater vocation and more talent. Multiple experiences in this regard in my many years of contact with the reality of companies of varied size and importance confirm this sad panorama with unusual frequency.
I love the example of ‘BrainStorming’ (Alex Faickney Osborne, c. 1953), which from the complementarity of processes (divergent first, convergent later) takes advantage of the complementarity of intellectual, creative and logical production of various subjects (Team or Project-mates, perhaps?) in order to find the best possible solution for a given need. Obviously it is about optimizing: achieving the best by spending less … just like in the current space race! (Sorry for the irony 😊)
It is a matter of successful Leadership in most cases: an organizer-motivator (Leader) capable of detecting the different talents, resources, capacities and strengths of the members of their Team, and then organizing them synergistically in evolutionarily-complementary tasks until achieving the biggest goals. Of course, internal ‘healthy’ competition is usually a stimulus that pushes forward! The task of the intelligent leader will be to maintain this competition in the Motivation scale instead of the destructive confrontation between peers.
To know them, scan them, detect their strengths, value them, encourage them to use respective strengths at their peak, designate tasks in which they can do so, recognize their achievements, aim to the next goal of evolution. Easy! (Sorry for the irony 😊)
If it was that easy, everyone would be Jeff Bézos or Elon Musk (hell! One irony within another!). To clarify a bit: both are surely brilliant and exemplary in numerous key points in the world of science and business. Both could be even better, perhaps minimizing ‘ego errors’ and maximizing ‘potential for synergy’ in their own environments and opening up to others with whom they compete healthily, although I ignore if wisely… and I have reasonable doubts about this last point.
Frontline salespeople are also hyper-successful … and yet (or precisely because of that) many times ‘want more’, they know that their potential is always greater than their achievement. Andy Bounds, one of my favorite “gurus” in Sales, always opens his sessions with big sellers emphasizing this, and letting his audience describe this fact clearly by answering two consecutive questions: a) Do you think you are good at your stuff? (all hands raised in the room) … b) Do you think you achieve EVERYTHING you could with your potential, talent, ability, etc.? (many hands go down, and only the proudest or the least reflective are often still-up 🙂
The best synergy is achieved when each member of the Team knows their fellows, has identified own way of improving strengths and overcoming weaknesses, and travels (in addition) complementing own path to the ones of their peers, who obviously have other strengths and weaknesses, so necessarily other development itineraries. ‘All ways lead to Rome’ (Success), of course, from respecting each other’s difference (key factor in the generation of successful SYNERGY!) and taking advantage of all the differences in pursuit of a goal product of the strategic combination of all of them. Rome is there; Success too, waiting for the synergistic walkers.
Happy Success for all Companies sufficiently capable of taking full advantage of their people Potential, bringing it to Concretion 😊
Until next time!
HOW TO GROW OUR BUSINESS?
Well, first question should be how NOT to limit them!
This curious text from Stephen Covey clearly speaks about an example of Self-limitation that affects us humans in every side of our lives, Business included.
First, the example, then, the explanation:
I organize this afternoon a Tupperware meeting at home, and invite five people to it. I’m convinced of being so clever, ‘cause having invited five good prospects, all of them wealthy enough to pay for my stuff (plastic food containers, mainly), and with certain degree of confidence, even friendship in some case, with myself. I suppose that the reciprocity effect will push them to buy from me, at least as a proof of kindness 😊
So, an inner voice is telling me: ‘You’ll be a true crack this afternoon if being capable of selling five whole Tupperware sets’. Noooooo!!!
Previous one has been a typical example of Self-limitation coming from automatisms in our brain (way of functioning of our mind, then) that prefers to simplify situations in order to leave more energy for the unexpected, or some sudden creative need of overcoming a barrier, etc. This good intention ends lot of times in prejudice to us, instead.
Daniel Kahnemann calls these type of processes ‘heuristics’, and explains them as a kind of ‘invasion’ to our rational, evolved cerebral stage from the previous evolution stages (emotions or instincts, e.g.).
Let’s come back to our example, to see how this works:
Five people→ Five sets is the quick simplifying automatism (‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’, from Kahnemann, describes the instinctive process we’re speaking about so good and with great detail) that will clearly limit our potential closures this afternoon.
If we ‘think slow’ instead, we’ll prefer to go step-by-step in a ‘scanning’ way in order to frame as accurately as possible our chances of victory today, and Questions (for instance) are always a fantastic scanning tool, so:,
‘- Hi Martha, what would you like to find today here?’ ‘- Oh, perhaps some plastic containers where to keep the food I do sometimes, twice a month, as a hobby mainly…’
‘- And you, John?’ ‘- Well, I’d like to improve the way we keep our production in the chain of restaurants where I work’ (¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) Bell ringing in our Sales Brain!
Evidently, if I play well my cards this afternoon, John alone can mean several Tupperware sets, as he works in a chain of Restaurants! If, by the contrary, I remained dreaming of the subconscious message about ‘five sets’ being my maximum possible score, we see how much I could arrive to lose.
Then, in whatever aspect of our Business, let’s remember: ‘Sky is the limit’ 😊
SYSTEMIC CLIENTS’ GENERATION
According to recent research, big majority of new firms falling down quickly are comitting a big ‘sin’: praying for Clients to ring their bell instead of organizing and executing a solid plan to constantly generate these possibilities. Let’s be clear on this: nobody will come to your living-room begging for your product or service.
If we want Clients, we have to go for them! So, some advice could be:
Re-visit ‘old’ Clients to renew your offer with added value now, attend social events or forums where to know key people and get interested in them and their potential references, insert good-practical content in your web-site or blog and care about its conversion into sales opportunities, think of some strategically segmented advertising action in social media (e.g.), offer some ‘taste’ of what you offer for free or reduced price to foster their interest by experience, contact your prospects Directly (email, phone, face-to-face), optimize your web for searchers to rank it higher and people to find you earlier, etc.
DISCARDING THE TIME-WASTERS
The serious need of whoever wanting to hire our services, makes us sometimes fall into the trap of the typical time-wasters: people, companies, institutions, that take a lot of our time and energy explaining them benefits, offering alternatives, etc., while showing from the beginning some signs of poor concretion possibilities. Let’s develop the ‘filtering’ ability to be selective with our searching interactions. Some from them pay the effort, some others are just making us waste energy+time that we can invest in better things or prospects.
‘ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST’
This 3rd agreement (from ‘The Four Agreements’ book) that master Miguel Ruiz puts on the table coming from his huge wisdom and experience, remembers us about the fantastic power of a well-done job.
Up-selling or Cross-selling will only happen if the ‘just-Selling’ thing works for them and leaves them with ‘will of more’.
So, every opportunity to deliver our product or service to our Clients is an opportunity to leave them ‘wowed’ 😊 …being the consequences a new call from them when needing ourselves, or positive recommendation to their contacts. Always good news!
And in the meanwhile? ‘Kick your own ass’ (Jeffrey Gittomer), what means work like a mad to constantly improve yourself and your stuff …competitors are probably doing this Now.
THE COMMUNICATION J😊KER
We influence reality through how we exist, and as we use communication to do so (‘We cannot not-communicate’ – Paul Watzlawick) better if we use it in ‘winner’ way, what means in Business:
Give always the impression of high confidence and empathetic warmth, show your interest in others and their situation + needs, tune ‘positivity’ in your interaction channel (smile, laugh, use positive terminology, etc.), adapt as much as possible to them and their ‘style’ (type of personality, rhythm, mood, main communication characteristics, etc.), listen a lot and use what you perceived to better persuade them. And a million etceteras! 😊
Who said it was easy? What it is, indeed, is EFFECTIVE, if the game well played.
Open always your mind to the Sky (avoid any type of limitation in your goals).
Generate new Clients consistently, constantly, in strategic way.
Select the prospects into whom to invest your time + energy.
Improve constantly your performance to ‘wow’ them: will be a seed for more future work.
Communicate in positive, warm, confident, inspiring way: leave a mark on them!
‘Til the next one,
SALES COACHING …A STEP FORWARD
‘90% of Sales is Emotion’. Well known saying that expresses how much this side of humans counts when exchanging money for value (products or service) = Sale.
From the strategic architecture that considers Training, Mentoring and Coaching as key elements for Success in Business (Sales included), Coaching seems to carry on the highest responsibility in the final result. Why? Simple: it’s about the emotional side.
In fact, Coaching takes care of Attitude and Motivation at work, being both seriously linked to emotional states in the end.
Sales are, at their turn, a human fact happening between humans, what should make Sales people reflect about all the endless list of possibilities that this means. A human is too much 😊
We manage emotions, so Sales should be ‘emotional’ in the best of ways.
We reason and reflect, so Sales should be ‘rational’ in the best of ways.
We need to be creative for simple survival, so Sales should be ‘creative’ too, in the best of ways.
And so on…
How can a Sales person master all of the many keys from the ‘success keybord’ to play the best song? …the one the Client will be getting in love with?
BEING A SALES COACH…
…means to be ‘the one’ in charge of verifying all of the previous points being understood and applied by the Sales force in our company.
So, how to develop this task in the best of ways?
FIRST, THE PERSON
A Coach, basically: 1) Is at the Worker’s service. 2) Connects deeply and warmly with them. 3) ‘Scans’ them to discover their strengths & weaknesses + to determine a superation goal to achieve. 4) Motivates them permanently. 5) Fosters their professional (and sometimes personal) growth through evolving company and support. That’s it!
THEN, THE SALE
A Sales Coach, basically: 1) Knows the essence of the managed product or service. 2) Has identified the Sales key sides and points from them. 3) Knows the achievable goals needed (or wanted) by the company or Project. 4) Knows the market and its characteristics + fluctuations. 5) Knows the target (prospects, or potential Clients) and its needs + preferences. That’s it?
Well, we take for granted that, before this, a Sales Coach knows a lot about Sales 😊 Needs/Benefits dynamic game, Persuasion + Objections’ Handling + Closing techniques, etc.
NOW, THE STRUCTURE
Finally, a Coaching Program should exist in order to:
a) ‘Pro-Act’: to advance as much strategic preparation as possible in order for the Sales Team/individuals to Succeed (‘Previous Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance’).
b) ‘Act’: to analyze in real-time the Team/individuals’ performance, in order to detect always improvable sides of it. Real-time recognition and praise on good achievements always count!
c) ‘Post-Act’: to apply action-plans from Coaching for Team/Individuals’ improvement, in order to raise their achievements in the future.
The firs point (a) on previous list is usually ignored, or poorly developed/executed by majority of actors in current business. A true pity. Preventive Coaching counts a lot in Sales!
Now, even if Coaching is about Persons more than Actions (←normally the Mentoring field), in Sales we can be needing a ‘mix’, so while coaching a Sales person we can be assessing and advicing on key aspects of the involved sales sides (as f.e. greeting, handling gate-keepers, exposition of benefits, creation of rapport, advancement of closure, etc.) at the same time.
For this purpose, a TEMPLATE with LIST of KEY POINTS to follow can prove useful. A suggested, extremely simplified example could be:
Just in case, this Template will be created by the Sales Coach on the true key points to be evaluated in their people, always depending on the type of activity they’ll play to achieve the specific goals of the Team or Project.
Some recommendable things to put focus on could be:
SALES KNOWLEDGE (RATIONAL SIDE):
ELEMENTS: Product/Service Knowledge, Knowledge of the Client, Rhythm, Synchronization, Communication Skills (i.e. Attentive Listening), etc.
CYCLE: Planning/Preparation, Initial Contact, Needs Analysis, Presentation (of Product/Service), Objections’ Handling, Negotiation, Closing, Consolidation/Follow-up…
CORPORATE: Correct Greeting/Farewell, Firm’s Policies, Use of Set-Phrases, Corporate/Product Training…
SALES SPIRIT (EMOTIONAL SIDE):
CONTROL: First Impression, Sense of Opportunity, Applied Psychology, Persuasion Skills, Questionning! …
CUSTOMIZATION: Tailored (Adapted) Style, Emphasis in Benefits, Empathetic Skills (Rapport), Focus on Specifics (Needs→Problems to Solve)…
‘ART’: Creativity, Emotions Management, Entonation, Subliminal stuff…
ARE YOU A COACHING SALES-MANAGER?
Then we could add some necessary focus on:
Bringing them from ‘average’ to Excellent professionals,
Changing Numbers-reporting into Numbers-improving and boosting their Capacity to Achieve desired Numbers,
Establishing Talent-Development as key side of the thing,
Having clearly in mind the difference between Sales-goals and Business-outcomes,
Changing ‘Telling’ (teaching) by ‘Asking’ (coaching),
Sales Behaviors better than Sales actions,
Changing from Numbers review discussions to Pipeline review discussions,
Inspiring them (example) more than Boosting them (exigence) 😊
‘Til the Next one!
HAP·PY TRICK: HOW TO TELL BAD NEWS TO OUR CLIENT
Is our professional or business life happy? …until something happening on the other direction, for example: us seriously failing to our so-important Client (ooooops!).
Instead of a nightmare, this can prove a good opportunity to reinforce mutual confidence and strengthen the relationship …despite the disaster 😊
The HAP formula can lead us to solve the situation with certain dignity:
H for HONESTY: be sure of contacting your Client a.s.a.p. after the failure, accidental mistake, or unexpected bad surprise. While doing so, be Honest and thell them the bad news. If you let Them discover the thing, they’ll have the control in the moment of addressing to you (probably through distant or even rough manners).
A for ANALYSIS: together with the news, tell them how you have already worked in the respective Analysis, finding clear explanation for whatever having happened, what will demonstrate that you have the reigns despite the failure. You’re in control now.
P for PROACTIVITY: as a consequence of the previous, grant them that you have already fixed everything (preventing protocoles, fixing strategies, etc.) in order to avoid this happening again. Better if this is true 😊
This way, they’ll be first surprised by your call or direct communication (H) of the news, first in bad way (because of bad news), then perhaps in bit better mood, as they see you’re being seriously honest and respectfully keeping them up with the thing.
Then, they’ll probably appreciate your professional capacity to overcome bad situations (A).
Finally, you’ll clearly show the appearance of somebody capable of making strength from weakness (P) what in the end is kind of a beneficial activation of the ‘boomerang’ technique, that takes advantage from an apparent negative fact.
Be sure that their reaction in the short and long term can vary from deception+will of kick you out of their business to (hopefully) deception+this-guy-deserves-renewed-trust 😊
HAPpy Bad News!
ABOUT ORGANICITY BUILDING SUCCESS…
What can Isaac Newton, or Charles Darwin say about Business? A lot!!!
In fact, they worked in systems’ dynamics (every firm, as well as their environment, are systems) and organisms (organis-ation, what almost every firm is, justifies etymologically the conceptual link too).
How many times we’ve listened about ‘head’quarters? There is where the ‘head’ of the organism (organization) is physically based. We understand usually for ‘head’ the CEO and Managing Board, as they are at the top of the hierarchy (like our head is at the top of the body) and, in addition, they take the control, decide, and keep movement towards the goals to be achieved. The analogy works perfectly.
And the feet, arms, lungs, etc.? Well, we could imagine justifiable analogies also for every organic part of the organism and their ‘metabolic’ functions:
Breath could be the dynamism (‘homeostatic mechanism’ in Organicity) of Input (inhalation) – Output (exhalation) that usually brings people, materials, knowledge, etc. inside the firm which, at its turn, sends out renewed/refined knowledge, added value, innovative solutions, etc.
Blood is, evidently, inner Communication, that reaches every member and part of the organization body, bringing ‘life’ to the whole of it through transmission of impulse to go forward.
Arms will be workers in action, and everything else supporting this action (as well as our biological arms are usually in charge of taking huge majority of our actions as existing beings: we use them to eat, to type, to greet, etc.).
The feet are what allow us to firmly stand and walk on the ground: a healthy way to do so in the world of business relies on firms’ capacity to economically base in solid way while contacting environment realistically + dynamically for advancing towards the goal(s) to achieve.
And of course you can play your own imagination game to improve the previous metaphoric approach a lot. What is evident remains mankind historic way to use subjective centering in order to build perception of reality: we organisms perceive in organic way the rest of the universe, business included.
Going a bit forward with the fantasy, a company counts (like humans) on their rational and emotional sides: strategic planning is, evidently, part of the first one; general attitude + motivation would be, instead, on the side of the latter.
‘The language of Emotions is important for the well-being of the human race’ Darwin said, and all of us know how important is to business organizations to have their people emotionally safe and strong, better if happy and motivated.
As we are normally ‘mind+body’ together (Humanistic Psychology contribution by 1950), to take care of our combined health is a ‘must’. Giorgio Barbonari speaks about the emotional problems in a firm, highly linked to stress, and their undoubtful effect on general lower performance by: lower production, absenteeism, job instability and dissatisfaction, higher percentage of work accidents, etc.
The effective implementation of internal Coaching can act as healthy antidote against such infections.
On the other hand, the physical coordination able to grant best results (to sprinters, e.g.) can mean into a firm the existence of a synergic connection between members, departments, etc. in order to act fast and properly while addressing towards goal-achievement.
Blood (Communication in our metaphor) reaches every part of the body to grant their health. Exactly the same in a successful company, where both vertical and horizontal communication are fluid, confident, enough frequent, mature, evolving.
Relationships (a usual sublimation of Communication) are played there in many ways: to subordinates (we call this Leadership), to superiors (Adaptability, should be), and to peers (Team·work), being the sum of them crucial to the final result: the ‘healthier’ (worthy, respectful, effective), the better.
Relationship with the environment is another perspective of approach to living organisms. In fact, ‘behavior’ is, according to John Watson and his followers, the organisms’ process of adaption to their environments. Literally.
This adaption process integrates companies, firms, organizations systemically inside their respective environments. Organicity can help understand a bit this symbiotic co-existence:
On one hand we know that every organism tends to evolve (to grow in complexity, in other terms), what can be perfectly applied to business companies in general.
This complexity can be more or less organized, or chaotic, now introducing the need of speaking about Entropy (tendency of every system to reach their most probable state: chaos, disorganization that tends to eliminate the differences that make it identifiable) and Neguentropy (necessary energy required by the organicity principle in order to develop itself, thus overcoming the previously described tendency to chaos).
Isn’t your firm constantly fluctuating between these two states? Sometimes it seems that a bit of healthy chaos can bring seeds of creativity to spark innovations …or to spoil the organized effectivity of our work! Other times, opportune structuring actions return things to their known channel, their predictable way of achieving success.
Anyway, if we can Feel and Experience our work, Vibrate with every beating side of it, we’ll easily understand this article’s subject: ALIVE Business will be always more exciting than the binary succession of zeros and ones in an automated existence of moving because ‘we have to’ (like gears, e.g.) …better to insufflate blood and energy to body parts that, differently from gears, can vary their action always looking for the best way of achieving success.
If life is that much based on emotional stuff (Darwin dixit), same thing has to work for firms and organizations in general, where the best emotional state (high motivation, positivity, Self-confidence, evolving attitude, will of growth) in their people will push the whole body forward in the healthiest of ways. Success will be logically easier then.
‘Til the next one!
HOW TO REDUCE THE TALK-TIME IN BUSINESS/ COMMERCIAL INTERACTIONS
If ‘time is money’ in inverse proportion, so the least time the most money 😊 …and in many professional business companies the thing can work this way.
Then, how to reduce the path towards full success through shorter interaction? Here, some ideas, just in case…
- PROACTIVITY: to ADVANCE as much as possible the info about WHAT BENEFIT WE’LL PROVIDE THEM (avoiding anything out of our possibilities→ if they ask for the ‘impossible’, let’s just PERSIST in WHAT WE CAN/WILL DO FOR THEM if they agree).
‘- Thanks for coming/calling! …best way to benefit from today’s fantastic discount!’
- WE CAN INTERRUPT! The key point is ‘HOW’: always CONFIRMING OUR INTEREST/APPROVAL TO WHAT THEY ARE SAYING (even if irrelevant), and at the same time ADVANCING TOWARDS CONCLUSION by means of an EFFECTIVE QUESTION or useful comment.
(Them)→ BlaBlaBla… Bla… (Us/Interrupting) ‘- Unbelievable! And you surely can do even better with our half-priced product! 100€ is a ‘gift’ for such a marvel!’
- ASSUMPTIVE PRINCIPLE: sometimes we can ACT AS IF THEY HAVE SAID ‘YES’ ALREADY regarding our proposal, suggestion, offer, etc. in order to CLOSE EARLIER.
‘- OK Sir, then we’ll let this unbelievable product go with you for today (😊) …d’you prefer it in red or green?’
- COMPARE! (3rd Party Referent): to COMPARE THE INTERLOCUTOR WITH A PROPER REFERENT (another Client, ourselves, their competitor, ‘everybody in their situation’, ‘the last person I’ve talked to this morning’, etc.) normally EASIES THEIR ACCEPTANCE by following this INFLUENCE.
‘- All Clients are getting mad today with our offer, what explains only last two (products) on the shelf 😊’
- REASSURING TONE/MOOD: a CALM, KIND AND SECURE VOICE-TONE (smailing if possible) TRANSMITS CERTAINTY, what usually shortens their affirmative decision by disolving doubts.
As great Marshall McLuhan said many times: the ‘HOW’ is much more relevant than the ‘what’, so …LET’S TRUST OURSELVES A LOT AND PRACTICE THESE TIPS to raise our success!
‘Til the next one,
POWER·TIP: THE ‘B’ QUICK TRICK
HOW PERSUASION WORKS WHEN TELLING THEM WHY
‘This is Good for You BECAUSE…’ is the well known ‘mantra’ from best Sales persons, and aims to half of modern persuasion formula: the BENEFITS (with ‘B’, like Because).
By telling them WHY they should say ‘Yes’ to our proposal, suggestion, offer, etc., they’ll need less evaluation time, and if this ‘why’ matches their Needs (as Benefits are usually the solution to Needs), then Bingo! They’ll accept.
We can make this become a reason of ‘style’ in our daily communication, thus achieving much more success from our enhanced persuasion abilities: let’s always say WHY they should say YES!
‘- To invite your best friend this afternoon, would you please put your room in order, Johnny?’ (Mome to her primary school Son)
‘- For finding you in our bases and solving your case quicker, can you please tell me your data?’ (A Customer-Care professional at the phone to the Client)
‘- Would you like to save time+money with this simpler, newer version of the device?’→ ‘with’ means here, obviously, ‘by buying’ (A Sales person to the Prospect)
‘- To raise your Bonus, what if advancing the offer to an initial stage of the interaction with them?’ (A Sales Coach -or Leader- to the Sales Professional)
First the BENEFIT (in green, in the previous examples), then the ACTION (in blue) can work well, even if you can try also the other way around, letting the BENEFIT get emphasis as a conclusion of your statement. Freedom is free 😊
Let’s give a ‘B’ try!
‘Til the next one,
SALES MANTRA: ‘BE YOURSELF’ 🙂
Is the first advice every Sales ‘guru’ gives when asked by newcomers in this field: ‘- Be Yourself!’ First evident advantage: Self-certainty (better to play your own ‘role’ than to permanently imitate somebody else).
It can happen that we truly admire a colleague and develop inside us the wild will of ‘being like them’. The consequent advice by the same ‘guru’ would then be: ‘- Adapt!’ (never ‘copy’).
Adaptation of this characteristic that we like (and want for us) to our own personality pattern and usual ‘way of’. This way, it’ll be more an improvement of our previous ‘version’ than a fake modification towards something we feel as ‘alien’.
Attached to this key matter, then, an obvious consequence:
THE BEST SALES STYLE IS …YOURS! 🙂
Let’s take into account that a Wharton Institute survey in the British Islands on ‘what kind of Salesperson would you accept or like?’ got as a reply four main points, being one: ‘A genuine, credible Salesperson’ (being themselves in natural way, as they are with their friends and enemies).
Then, after the necessary task of ‘knowing ourselves’ it comes the consequent one of ‘building our style’, based on the previous information.
I confess without any kind of shame that I entered my first serious Sales Team by being the worst one …by far! They hired me because of my previous experience as educator in universities, high schools, academies and so, what was precisely their normal target (they were selling education services and products on behalf of a Dutch brand).
Thanks to proper Coaching (Sales Coaching is one of our next articles 🙂) the leader of this Team helped me beat own barriers impeding me to concrete my potential (i.e. the terrible inner thought about ‘I’m not a Salesperson, hence the bad results’ or ‘I interrupt and disturb them in their professional lives to get money from them …they’ll hate me!’ Etc.
As a result, after having discussed why this brand was the best one in its kind and how much our stuff could help these professionals grow and succeed much more (true, I never saw things this way ‘til the Coaching experience) I received the best advice:
‘- Instead of fearing or worrying, BE YOURSELF from the beginning, scan them, find the opportunity to prove helpful and, if it’s the case, go like a bull and CONVINCE them.’
And being myself was including to use all of my previous experience, research on subtle ways of persuasion and communication, and everything else that I was hiding behind my inner barriers as a waste of talent, resources, and possibilities. Afterwards, I gradually begun to raise conversion rates until winning some months the ‘Top Seller’ prize 🙂 …and please remember that I begun by being the last poor one!
I love Coaching since this moment, and I can share what my favorite Selling factors were:
3rd PARTY REFERENT
I duplicated first, then triplicated my Sales by just using this concept strategically. What is 3rd Party Referent about?
It’s an ‘inspiring model’ for the prospect. Someone to follow or imitate (subconsciously, almost always) when having to decide what to do with a purchase (i.e.).
Let’s compare these two ways of offering something:
a) ‘- Would you like to try it? It’s really wonderful!’ (average good if well emitted 🙂).
b) ‘- All of your colleagues bought it in grey or black …which color d’you prefer?’ (hehe, now we’re having better possibilities of closure 🙂🙂).
‘All of your colleagues’ is the model we plant as a seed in their mind before telling them about the offer (that the other ones have already accepted). As the prospect feels linked to the exposed model (colleagues) and, in addition, is distracted with the stimulus of a choice of color, their ‘defensive shield’ normally lowers, and they tend to follow the (model) path.
This principle is rooted in our early childhood, when pushed by Mome in our trolley we tended to fear any human appearance close to ourselves, until she suddenly kissing them with a ‘- Hey, Kathy, nice to see you my dear friend!’ We then sighed with relief by thinking (‘Phew …Friendly’).
‘Mome’ is nowadays (in our adult age) society, colleagues, similar. If everybody buys this brand of sneakers, it has to be fantastic! (‘…Friendly’).
Hence, the power of referring. To invite somebody to act like the mentioned referent(s).
Last part of the previous example with grey or black stuff. ‘- Which color d’you prefer?’ is advancing the thing until last, decision-making phase …even if the prospect was not saying ‘yes’ yet!
We assume they did this, and act as if. This is the true spirit of this trick. Lot of times the other one feels bit embarrassed to say ‘hey, I didn’t say yes yet’, and they follow your direction 🙂.
Key side of the eventual success here is our attitude. Highest Self-confidence and natural behavior (accompanied by a winning smile when possible) is normally an unbeatable recipe.
‘STOP’N GO CONVERSATIONAL HYPNOSIS TECHNIQUE’
Generically explained in the ‘COMMUNI·TIPS’ page of this site, the technique itself is a distortion from the original conversational hypnosis combination of Fascination (to distract them by making their conscious attention concentrate on something –that can be completely irrelevant, like a pendulum in the classic stereotyped image of circus hypnotists) and Suggestion (to insert a subconscious message in the back of their minds by slightly altering –during its emission- our normal patterns, as i.e. tone, speed, etc.).
I saw that in my case the thing functioned much better by altering the order, and begun to use the technique this way, frequently combined with the previous elements (3rd Party Ref. and Assumptive Principle) or others, and always inserting first the suggestion to suddenly then distract them with something punctual, thus leaving the suggestive message ‘bouncing in the back of their minds’ until the end, lot of times pushing them to say ‘yes’ easier 🙂
‘- What all of your colleagues buying from us now are saying is that this CD format is fantastic to update from internet and storage purposes too, even if I understand you probably prefer the print version, hehe …the ink smell and the paper surface are still strong persuaders.’
In blue: the suggestion (by slightly lowering voice tone and raising speed).
In green: the fascination (with enough emphasis for them to pay whole attention).
Again, the ‘how’ is here so important: natural path, effective rhythm, huge Self-confidence and smile, etc.
3rd Party Ref + Assumptive Ppl + Stop’N Go …only IN MY CASE!
YOURS is what matters for your success, of course, and it’s worth a nice Self-knowing + Reflective time in order to adopt with frequency the techniques that better suit ‘your way’.
Triple F? (Objections’ Handling), SPIN? (Customer Implication), AIDA? (Opportune Moment), 1-2-3? (Closure). There’s myriad of techniques out there, completely sterile by themselves until you choosing them WITH SENSE and to reach an OBJECTIVE in STRATEGIC way …always ADAPTED to your characteristics and true potential.
…and, of course, the last, ‘fine tuning’ decision will come after having scanned them! Are they doubtful? …almost decided? …skeptical? …emotional? …calmly analytical? …impulsive? …nervous? …closed? Like in every communication exercise (and Sales is one of them), ‘the most important thing of all is always→ the other one’.
‘Till the next one!
(ADVANCED TEAM·BUILDING FOR EXPERTS)
In Business, like in every other human field, the ‘human factor’ is the key one, obviously. Hence the importance of caring about how humans connect and interact in order to advance together.
TEAM·BUILDING activities(1) usually seek effective accomplishment of the initial integration phases of a Team or Project, in order to make people come from ‘group of individuals’ to true Team.
Trust, Communication, Accountability, Responsibility, and Vision of the Common Goals are 5 pillars to work (better if in this order) for the emerging Team to grow solidly during the first periods of coexistence.
Anyway, and back to the point, TEAM·BUILDING activities are then for NEWCOMERS normally, and bring support in order to know each other, to begin to establish mechanisms of effective actions in common, etc., what can take time and patience in the very beginning.
As the involved members are yet to be trained and taught in their respective responsibilities, as they’re still ‘landing’ in a new reality, this time can be perfectly assigned. It’s so much needed, and on the other hand they can’t do anything else until knowing really what their work will be about, what follows after.
We arrived to be involved in 4-Days Team·Building processes, full of dynamic activities and initial reflections on the meaning of working together for better success …and the results were outstanding! Years of solid coexistence inside the Team with almost no turn-over, together with frequent memories on the initial, funny Team·Building days demonstrated how much this invested time (and money, of course) worked positively for consistent, permanent growth.
Like watering a seed that becomes then a healthy plant, full of fruits.
TEAM·BONDING© is a bit different story:
It’s for EXPERIENCED workers of an ON·GOING Team that can arrive to have worked together for months or years. (Photo: Guy’s Hospital Rugby Team, 1843, oldest one in this sport)
Why can this be necessary if they know each other and all of the inner mechanisms of success, then?
We created this specific kind of module (and named it this way) some years ago, when having to cope with a ‘veteran’ Team in which frictions and emerging conflicts were threatening their goal-achievement time despite the long coexistence of this people together.
A couple can bring years together and, besides having known each other to the limit in order to define roles, tune specific expectations, etc., normal human frictions came through time also. It’s expectable. In the worst cases, before the divorce, some couples give a try with a specialist (normally with psychological background) for support on re-gaining part of the initial spark that brought them together.
Exactly the same with ‘veteran’ Teams. Throughout time (again: months or years) the coexistence mechanisms take the risk of being influenced by egos, boredom, huge pressure together with consequent stress, envies, frustration, etc.
Perhaps a TEAM·BONDING© session is needed in order to re-establish synergic mechanisms that will come from the new dynamics of integration of every talent and best will (contributed by each individual) for maximum profit of all of this potential in terms of results.
We created this module (to be clear) as a kind of ‘fire extinguisher’ or last attempt in cases of problem, worrying situation or directly huge crisis. Different from the virgin, curious and enthusiastic spirit normally floating around a new Team or Project (typical ‘Building scenario).
Re-establishing synergy (‘Bonding) instead of planting the seed to create it (‘Building).
Experienced people instead of newcomers, what means lot of money invested in every minute they’ll be out of their job place for the TEAM·BONDING© thing, thus:
Now we have to reach our Training + Motivation goals in a rush. Differently from the newcoming rookies that could dedicate all of the necessary time to Build a Team, the veteran, solid professionals involved in ‘Bonding mean a lot for their company in productivity terms, and so: every minute of their presence in the TEAM·BONDING© counts.
Normally 2 hours of length can prove useful for the key purposes, even if a bit more can be needed, always depending on the overall situation that required this type of support.
The ‘mechanics’ of a ‘Bonding is in itself so similar to the ‘Building one anyway. What changes is the ‘script’ (adapted to the different situation, reality, and needs).
The whole thing is about a clear, impact opener with goals exposed, and following dynamic, practical challenges to be solved in organized groups or by the Team together, always profited after through strategic, deep reflection on what was felt, discovered, achieved through each activity, and what from this can be brought or applied in real life, at work.
This kind of intense, short (sometimes ‘shocking’ also) experiences act normally as a trigger that will generate better work ambience and higher effectiveness afterwards.
During this few hours people frequently re-discover Self and the fellows by the way in which everybody gets involved in the different challenges, what is at the same time so valuable information for the leaders also present there (and of course, involved in the same tasks and activities as active members). Better organization, role-assignment, and enhancement of inner mechanisms can be part of the TEAM·BONDING© benefits.
From our professional experience since the first created ‘Bonding module, big majority of Teams having done the experience improve a lot later (feedback from Managers and leaders in general), so we seriously advice to think of such an experience when things are changing for bad in a normally successful Team.
We know plenty of ‘groups’ of impressively talented individuals (true geniuses some of them) that fell down anyway, because of struggling in acting together.
Full Success, Good Business and ‘Til the Next One!
NEGOTIATION FOR BEGINNERS: FROM THE GROUNDFLOOR
First thing is the own capacity to negotiate, from our personality, mood, communication skills, emotional intelligence, Self-awareness and control, linking abilities, diplomatic flair, quick situational adaption, openness + flexibility, real-time analysis capabilities, technical and professional knowledge on negotiation, etc.
Who said it was easy? 🙂
Yes, how we ARE normally conditions how we lead, sell, NEGOTIATE.
Of course we can count on outstanding acting abilities to hide our true ‘identikit’ from others, at least during a certain time, and of course this can include the ‘poker face’ ability, so well known to keep our ‘ace up on our sleeve’ alive until the key moment.
Even though, better to be truly OPEN and FLEXIBLE with solid STRATEGIC capacity (i.e.) instead of just pretending, what in the end can lead towards wrong outcomes.
Children make it easy 🙂 In fact, one of the most common negotiation techniques (the ‘ASK FOR MORE’ one) comes from them:
‘- Dad, can you bring me to Disneyland Orlando for a week to know Mickey, Donald and friends?’
‘- Impossible, son, you know how economy is going at home, and I have to work every day…’
‘- Oooooh (sigh) …well, at least can we go to the cinema to watch Avatar 3, and then for some ice-creams?’
‘- OK son (relieved), on this you can count for next weekend’
(And what the little one really wanted was Avatar 3 + Ice-creams, despite ‘Dad’ being normally hard to say ‘yes’ 🙂)
Let’s copy them!
If somebody wants a raise in their salary, and they ask for 1% more, after the boss rapid acceptance doubts will come immediately to their head (‘Ooops, too easy, perhaps I’ve had to ask for more’). Too late. The following reply could perfectly be: ‘- Hey, exigent one, stop …you asked, I gave you, now run to do your work’ 🙁
Better if things presented differently, as i.e. ‘Dear boss, every colleague with my talent and productivity is earning doble salary …I’ll be glad if you raise mine 50% given our confident relationship and how much I love this company’
‘- Oh, I was casually wanting to ask you for an important extension of your working time to some weekends, as we need your talent and responsible engagement during these key days for our business’
Oooops! What’s happening here? The boss is playing the ‘ADD ELEMENTS’ negotiation technique, so useful in terms of better achieving ‘WIN-WIN’ agreements, as:
If the discussed point is only one, most probable result will be ‘Win-Lose’ (you win, the other one loses), or ‘Lose-Win’ (you lose, the other one wins). Bad in both cases, as if you win, the loser will hardly come to negotiate again with you (so you’re losing part of the market possibilities, a piece of the cake in other words) and if you are the loser, no need to add anything.
Hence the clear advantage of adding elements to the negotiation table: then, the involved parties can reflect, prioritize, select some elements as ‘most wanted/needed’ and some others as ‘secondary’ ones (thus able to be conceded to the other party if necessary).
A ‘WIN-WIN’ is more probable inside this frame of situation. Or either both parties can win everything (rarely), what means they partner actions until the end …or one winning means the other one losing, what makes them compete by facing each other in frank duel …ore both parties can partly win by flexible consideration of own priorities and possibilities of agreeing with the counterpart when highest own interests are achieved.
TIME and POWER are typical inhabitants of a Negotiation process.
Linked to time, ‘strategic patience’ by knowing that 80% of important decisions are normally taken in the last 20% of the process time. The so named ‘Paretto’s rule’ (80/20 facts so common in human life) applied to negotiation timing.
Linked to power, ability to be aware of it, and to use it properly with sense of opportunity: in the professional field, power can come from higher position or experience, higher knowledge on some key matter, stronger character, huge persuasion skills, etc. Let’s scan ourselves to detect where are our strengths, in order to use them when it comes.
‘Reward and Punishment’ also count as power factors. I.e. when a government hires a construction company for a public work, can play with extra-incentives if the work is finished before the agreed term, or reductions in the payment that will be proportional to the eventual delay. Just to combine power and time in the example 🙂
KNOWLEDGE of the other part’s situation, will, goals, interests, position in the market, etc. will prove extremely useful to define our strategy before and throughout the negotiation time.
A usual advice from good ones is ‘to make the other one FEEL THEY WON in the end’ even if is not strictly what happened. This way they’ll come again in the future to negotiate another time, what means another opportunity of benefiting from good agreements.
And of course we should consider the possibility of being in the ‘weak’ side of a negotiation table, in which case we should aim to ONLY CLOSING IF LIKING THE AGREEMENT. Forced hand-shakes because of huge pressure (or whatever other reason) can lead to future disappointment, when it’s too late.
Even though, the weaker party is always still a party, and can play a good game if knowing how to use the (inferior) proportion of power at its side, the right way in the right moment.
‘Til the next one!
BUSINESS: STRATEGIC EMPATHY
(THE ADVANTAGE OF KNOWING THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN)
‘The more you know your enemy, the better you can beat them’ (Sun Tzu)
‘The stupid man tells me about his reasons …the wise one convinces me with mine’ (Aristotle)
‘The most important thing in communication is …the other one’ (Me 🙂)
To be really EMPATHETIC (ability to stand in their shoes) is good for the empathetic one first, because of lot of reasons: sooner useful knowledge of the interlocutor (mood, attitude, probable goals and intentions, etc.), understanding of others’ eventual causes for treating us badly (thus avoiding to take this personally, what means to protect our health in the end), etc.
Then, the interlocutor gets also benefitted through this clear, deep understanding of their state, situation and needs, what will bring in consequence a tailored reply, based on these unique, personal circumstances.
EMPATHY is knowledge of the ‘2 SIDES’ situation and PROJECTION towards THE OTHER one.
STRATEGY is about taking decisions planned to achieve GOALs. WIN-WIN way if empathetically.
HOW TO CLOSE THE BEST AGREEMENTS IN BUSINESS?
We need to KNOW the OTHER ONE’s reality, goals, needs, style, strengths, weaknesses, ALL. Then we’ll PERSUADE them better from THEIR VISION on the thing (familiar to them) instead of OURS (alien to them, in comparison).
Paul McGee chose a genial metaphor to explain this: the ‘Beach Ball Principle’. If you like your friend’s beach ball (both of you like it, in fact) but you see from your side the red, blue, and yellow segments of the ball, and to your friend’s side the shown segments are the orange, green, and violet …what a chaos! Even if sharing same feeling on same object, the two of you perceive different realities, thus probably struggling to understand each other when speaking about the beloved object.
Someone (from you two) should better jump towards the other side to share the interlocutor’s vision, thus easing the task of ‘speaking the same language’ in order to agree. Of course this one will lead the thing from this point on thanks to the expanded knowledge on the situation: two sides instead of one.
Joan Garriga said once that ‘Personal growth is less me and more you’, what in the end confirms the advantage of gaining interest on the other one. We grow, we lead, we WIN.
Sales people adore the mention of prospects’ BENEFITS in buying their product or service. They clearly know that, again, this is about 2 SIDES of the same coin: on the other side of benefits we find NEEDS, the key to open up ways to convince someone about a brilliant purchase.
Only after having discovered needs we can speak about the benefits as solutions for these needs.
Then, of course, comes the moment to check the Salesperson power of PERSUASION, and here we come again:
Persuasion is supposed to be the sum of BENEFITS plus CREDIBILITY, thus being necessary a projection to the other side for needs’ discovery (to convert them into benefits) besides a genuine way of showing ourselves as TRUSTworthy people deserving credibility.
Trust on this side of the coin, benefits on the other one. 2 SIDES.
Leadership is usually key aspect in Business. How to lead a negotiation process, if we can? How to lead a winning team, project or company in order to grow benefits and productivity?
By telling the other one what they WIN if accepting our suggestion, offer, indication, etc. In other words: jumping to the OTHER SIDE for knowing what they need→ so we know what BENEFITS to highlight.
And so on…
The worst salespersons are the egoistic ones, only centered in themselves and their ‘impressively fantastic’ stuff 🙁
By the contrary, good ones know they have to PERCEIVE (listen, observe, feel, detect) first in order to PERSUADE (convince, advice, reassure, grant) afterwards. 2 successive phases. 2 SIDES.
Once the EMPATHY point is solved, and we have carefully ‘scanned’ the other one (‘sponge-bobbed’ them, as I like to say 🙂), then the STRATEGY will complete the task, and it can vary depending on circumstances:
Aristotelian way (philosophical reasons that aim to their rational side), Garriga way (warmth to stimulate their emotional behavior), or Sun Tzu one (let’s kill them now, tomorrow’s another day 🙂), even if the best option is always every individual’s one.
In the end, business can be as funny as a beach ball game, and in the best of cases even better when we achieve the surprising result of both parties winning.
‘Til the next one!
SALES: THE ANIMAL CONNECTION
Between 5½ and 7 million years of human evolution from our chimpanzee state is a long time, and we Sales people share all of it in common with our prospects!
Words, instead, were invented ‘just’ 50.000 years ago (as kind of a team-building activity), what is telling us something important:
LESS WORDS, MORE NON-VERBALITY …to connect with them.
Curious, as the ‘identikit’ of a Sales person seems to be the extremely talkative one that can arrive to overwhelm somebody’s perception systems by throwing words until exhaustion.
FROM OLD, NEW
We are living history of our evolution, with every single part of our body and mind having been shaped throughout ages in order to count nowadays on plenty of key, non-verbal sides as i.e.:
FACE GESTURES AND EXPRESSIONS, SIGHT, BODY-LANGUAGE, VOICE TONE + VOLUME + SPEED, EXTERNAL MOOD, PERCEIVABLE ATTITUDE, EVIDENT EMOTIONS …NON-VERBALITY!
So, we bet on renewing our traditional approach through this huge side of ourselves to achieve the necessary CONNECTION every Sales person looks for in order to partner their prospects until the closure. In other words: the HOW over the WHAT, that will come later, of course.
PACING & LEADING: THE NEUROLINGÜISTIC WAY
‘Pacing and Leading’, powerful NLP technique, is at its more generic level a matter of being accepted by an interlocutor through ‘emitting in a similar wavelength respect to theirs’ (in other words, approaching them by a similar style of behavior that will make them feel we are ‘one of them’).
Afterwards, and counting already on their acceptance ‘by similitude’, we can begin slightly and slowly to bring them where we want them to be, in Sales agreement terms for example.
SCANNING FIRST, LINKING AFTER
A rapid study of their external mood and non-verbal aspects will allow us to accommodate in consequence, by adapting the LOOK of our SIGHT, the TEMPERATURE of our VOICE, the EXPRESSION of our FACE, the STYLE of our MOVEMENTS and GESTURES, the RHYTHM and PACE of our PITCH, etc. Always to the level of our possibilities (some of us are far from being Al Pacino 🙂).
It’s about physically ‘telling’ them about our wish of true partnership, what from an ethics point of view will be demonstrated afterwards by searching the best possible solution to their true detected needs. The ‘WHAT’ (words) are normally Sales people ‘dominion’, so we give for granted this stage is solved once the ‘animal link’ leaves room for BENEFITS and other typical pitch hooks.
Ready to give a try?
‘Til the next one!