10 Commandments of SalesFu – How to be a #Sales Ninja

Do you have all the information and knowledge about your product but still can’t close the deal? Do you have a fear of selling because you aren’t sure what to do? Do you not want to be “That Guy” or “That Girl” that’s always trying to sell and is annoying as heck? Are you constantly being told “No”, or worse yet, “Maybe”? If you or anyone you know needs to grow into a better salesperson share, like, re-post or whatever you need to do to get this info into their hands. Kicktras

You MUST learn the 10 Commandments of SalesFu.

You need to be a Sales Ninja in today’s world to not only compete, but to dominate.

I’ll go into detail on each. Here they are-

The Sales Ninja

10 Commandments of SalesFu

  1. Be Agreeable
  2. Power of One   (More, Step, Goal)
  3. P.O.P – Power of Please
  4. Don’t Bite the Hand
  5. Be Honest
  6. Over Communicate
  7. No Excuses
  8. Put it in Writing
  9. Treat Others the Way THEY Want to be Treated.
  10. Ask for the Business

 

#1 Always Agree.  Just do it. Record your conversations and see how often you disagree with a customer. SalesFu is all about taking that negative energy and redirecting to service a positive purpose, like closing the deal. If the customer throws you a verbal right hook, you don’t take a verbal swing back and start an argument. You simply step out of the way or duck, then give a gentle nudge to the customer and use their own momentum to keep them moving in the direction they wanted. Never argue with a customer, in a worse case scenario at least agree to disagree.

#2 Power of One. One More, One Step, One Goal. I’m a huge fan of the Number One. I want to be #1. The Number One also means Unity. It means all forces moving in the same direction. People ask how I’m doing all the time. I always tell them, “I’m doing great! I’m saving the world 1 Sale at a time.” and I believe it. People who are extraordinary did very ordinary things, they just did them more often and in a specific order under circumstances when most people would have quit. Make a phone call isn’t hard or extraordinary, but making that phone call after you’ve already made 199 that day takes commitment. After you throw in the towel, always do one more. Define the small steps you need to take in order to achieve a large goal. Focus on the step needed, but never forget about your long term Goal.

#3 P.O.P. – Power of Please. People a little POP in your Sales. People forget to be polite these days, I’m not sure why. Being polite has never killed a deal for me, but I’ve seen plenty of deals crushed because of someone being rude, or being misinterpreted as being rude. Be Self Aware. We don’t about this a lot in Sales, but being Self Aware of how you are viewed and interpreted is crucial to success. It makes absolutely no difference if you meant to say something in jest, but it was taken as a biting comment. I once saw an Old Girlfriend after about 4 years and it was a very hot day. She was wearing an all black outfit and probably wasn’t keen on being seen trudging on a college campus with a heavy backpack in the hot Hawaiian humidity. I’m not sure why, but I told her she looked hot. I meant it, she looked like she needed a cold glass of water or a dip in the ocean. I don’t think she took it that way. On a side note though because of the power of reciprocity she struggled but eventually said a few nice things about me. I was polite and unintentionally said something nice about her and so she was nice and said some nice things back. This goes for sales too, try to anticipate how the words you are saying will be interpreted and always be polite. People want to buy from people they like.

#4 Don’t Bite the Hand. I hate it when I hears sales people complaining about customers. It’s a sign of personal weakness. It’s a sign that you aren’t a true sales professional and a sign that you want to place blame instead of accepting responsibility. I’ve fired salespeople for speaking poorly of the people that pay the bills. Never ever bite the hand that feeds you. Whether or not a customer buys from you is irrelevant, that person may buy the product or service in the future and it’s entirely your fault that you didn’t get the deal. Getting a Win isn’t that difficult. Even if a customer CAN NOT take advantage of your product or service, you are selling hair cuts and you find out the customer is wearing a wig due to Cancer. Can they buy your product? After that customer leaves your store you can complain about why the hell a bald lady was in a hair salon on a busy Saturday, buy you should look inside and find an answer. Why was that customer in your store? Was she looking for a friend? Can she be a referral source? Was she looking to find partners to help support a program to make new wigs and get donated hair? Was she looking for a job? Was she just missing her hair and wanted to see the different styles? There was still a way to leave on good terms and there was a opportunity there that you missed. Success is your fault.

#5 Be Honest. Don’t over promise and under deliver. Even though that customer got on board with you if it’s a bad experience it will hurt your business in the long run. Be Honest with yourself about your product and your service. You have to believe in whatever you do 100% and you can’t do that unless you are authentic and honest.

#6 Over Communicate. People love status updates in today’s world. We all have short attention spans heck, I have a pizza tracker. It tells me when my pizza is in the oven, when it’s being boxed and when it’s on the car for delivery. Thank you Dominoes. Did I need that info? Nope,  for years I’ve waited patiently for the 35 minutes to pass in order to get my pizza and it’s always gotten there. Update you customers more than you think you need to, it breeds confidence and familiarity. If someone doesn’t want that much communication they can delete the email or send you to voicemail. It’s better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it. Over Communication will save your deals.

#7 No Excuses. When you do something wrong, fess up and make it right. You must take responsibility for every single facet of the experience, nothing is excluded. A 3rd party provider drops the ball and the service is interrupted or late. Is that your fault? What if the 3rd party service was selected by your customer because they had a previous business relationship? Is it still your fault? The short answer is YES. You picked the 3rd party vendor and by affiliating yourself you MUST take responsibility for their actions, get another provider if you need to. Even if the customer chose their own provider, let’s say they wanted their own mechanic to install your product, or you are a mortgage broker and your customer chose their own title agent, it is still your responsibility to make sure that the product is installed or the money is there.

#8 Put it in Writing. My mother once told me to “Trust, but Verify.” and still holds true today. People want to trust what you say, but they get peace of mind when you put it in writing. I also can’t tell you how often something got lost in translation or a trick of the brain and what was agreed to meant something completely different to each party. I once agreed to start a project within 5 days, the customer thought I’d be done in 5 days. Put it in writing and save yourself the trouble. You have testimonials or a great rating in some magazine? Get it in writing and send it to your customer, have it framed and put on the wall. Seeing it in black and white means something completely different than talking about it to most people.

#9 Treat Others the Way THEY Want to be Treated.   I take a lot of heat for this from some sales professionals. I’m a huge advocate of communication and being self aware of how that communication is interpreted. I think that the majority of Sales Skills come from proper communication skills. I’m talking about how your message is perceived. I encourage you to mirror your clients, slow down your pace or change the vocabulary you use to talk about a feature. A business man may want to talk about the ROI of a product while the lay person might just need you to say that the product pays for itself. I want to be guided through the process and I pay extra for convenience, that doesn’t mean that I don’t respect the buyer who does all their own research and wants me to be hands off. I sell and communicate in a way that is comfortable for our buyer, and doesn’t impact the authenticity or the facts about my product or service. It just makes it more palatable.

#10 Ask for the Business.  Come on, you’ve gone through all the trouble already to get someone interested. Too often sales people just keep selling until the customer says something like, “So what do we do next?” until they close. They consider that a buying sign and so they will talk about the contract and then put the contract on the table eventually. That isn’t selling though. That’s like asking a girl out after she says that if you ask her she will say yes. It’s not the same thing. You have to be willing to put the customer in a position to tell you No. You want to get a Yes or a No so you can move on to the next prospect and make a living for yourself. You have invested the energy to learn your craft and get the customer to agree with you and buy into who you are. Use all that sales capital that you’ve been building up, and Ask for the Business in a very direct and clear cut manner. “Listen Friend, we could probably spend a few more hours swapping stories and me telling you how great our product is, but you probably want to find out for yourself and I’d like to have a reason to come out and visit more often. Let’s place an order, (seal the deal, lock in the terms, put down a credit card, sign the contract), so that you can see first hand what I’ve been talking about. Are we in Business?”

 

There you go. Use these to be great. If you or anyone you know needs to grow into a better salesperson share, like, re-post or whatever you need to do to get this info into their hands.  www.salesfumaster.com    @salesfumaster

 

 

 

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #1 “Selling 101″ – Zig Ziglar

As part of my New Years Promises this year I promised that I’d read at least a book a week for the entire year. To help me keepSelling101ZigZiglarCover that promise I’ll post a quick review of each book here on this SalesFu Blog. I’m don’t have one of those fancy Amazon affiliate accounts, but I should probably look into that and see if i can link it up.

The first book we are going to talk about this year is short and sweet- Zig Ziglar’s Selling 101.

To be honest I had no idea what I was buying. I didn’t realize that this was more of a Pocket Version than a full fledged book on it’s own, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. You should be aware that this book is indeed small, it fits into my inside jacket pocket and into my Levi’s back pocket. That being said, it’s like the Mighty Mouse of sales books, it packs a decent sized punch and can save the day if you give it a chance, plus it’s kind of nostalgic.

I’m in my 40’s and I’ve been reading Ziglar’s stuff for my entire adult life and it still rings true. This book will do 1 of 2 things for you, it will either remind you of all the basics that you already knew or it will open your eyes to how much more there is to this business than just offering a product. I’m OK with either outcome actually. The principals that Zig outlines in this book are just the tip of the ice berg, it’s like the CliffsNotes version of all of his other works. The title says it all actually, this is indeed Selling 101, a basic foundation to build upon.

There are many people in the Sales Industry that got there by accident. These are the people that just lucked out, maybe weren’t the best students and maybe haven’t read a book in years. This is a good little book because it’s not intimidating, you can get through it in a couple of lunch hours and pull some useful info out of it. The best part is that even though Zig passed away a few years ago, he is still selling. This book is designed to Motivate you to better yourself, and with that desire you’ll want to go further on the journey with Zig. Luckily his legacy is carried on by his family and you can buy all of his other books, his certifications and classes online. This book makes me want to buy more from him, and it’s a win-win.

In the mean time I’m going to listen more, sell with integrity and proceed with a couple of simple plans.

 

SALES MO

Sales Momentum, what I call the SALES MO, is just like physical momentum.  It’s easier to keep it going than it is to start frKicktrasom scratch.  When I was 17 years old I went away to college, my family wasn’t particularly well off but I had a scholarship and a part time job.  My father bought me an old 1984 Chevy Luv pickup truck and that little truck got me back and forth to more than a few places.  I was not particularly mechanically inclined though and had no idea how to fix it when things went wrong.  For the better part of a year the battery was dead and I just dealt with it.  The truck was a manual stick shift, so I would just “POP” the clutch to get the motor running.

If you aren’t familiar with the concept of “Popping” the clutch, it basically entails you getting the vehicle moving fast enough to slam the vehicle into 2nd gear and the engine would magically start running.  The truck made a few noises when it ran, (we named the truck Gabby because she talked a lot), but it basically got my friends and I where we needed to go.  I learned to park the truck on a hill backed into a spot.  This way when it was time to go I’d just put it in neutral, release the parking break and wait until I had some speed before putting it into gear to start her up.  More than a few times though I’d let a friend borrow Gabby and this friend would find a much “better” spot right in front of our building and would manage to parallel park Gabby.

Now I ask you, have you ever tried to move a truck that won’t start-up out of a parallel parking spot?  Can you imagine having to push a truck 6 inches forward, stop it completely then crank the wheel and push it 6 inches backwards?  Not only is it hard to push a truck when the wheels are cranked, but it’s almost as hard to stop it once it’s going!  In those days bumpers were still for bumping,  at least that’s what I told myself and the body builder guy who drove that little white Geo Storm.

My point is this- Don’t parallel park your prospects.  If you block them in with nowhere to go it’s awfully hard to get your Sales Mo moving again and there is bound to be a few bumps and scratches along the way.  Harness the Sales Mo and you won’t have to worry about stalling out or getting run over.  Always say YES before you say NO.  Keep the conversation positive. No matter what a customer says, objects to or implies just start the next sentence with something spectacular like “GREAT!”, “PERFECT!”, “I LIKE IT!”, “EXCELLENT!” and keep the conversation moving forward.  If you try to correct the customer’s preconceived notions or convince them that their request is wrong you’ll be setting your self up for disaster.  Sales isn’t about getting into a verbal boxing match and seeing who the winner is, it’s not a debate or a competition. You don’t get paid to win the argument or to be “right”. You get paid to close deals, whatever you are selling needs to get sold. You do that by keeping the forward momentum, if a customer wants a blue suit give him a blue suit. Keep the SALES MO going!

Defusing vs Overcoming Objections

Defusing vs Overcoming Objections

Defuse the Objection

Defuse the Objection

“Closing” sometimes has a negative connotation, primarily because no one likes to be “Sold” except for sales people. The rest of us don’t want to be “Sold” something, we just want to “Buy” a product or service worth having. Sales professionals who consistently find themselves having to use Hard Sell techniques and aggressive closing tactics often have to do so because they have missed the subtle art of building a relationship and actually finding out what would be the best option for this customer. Customers only say “No” when we haven’t given them enough reasons to say “Yes.”  Luckily, it’s actually fairly easy to avoid objections when it comes time to ask for the business. I’ve heard this general practice called Objection Mining, Objection Avoidance, I like Objection Defusing, but mostly it’s just called Good Service and actually getting to know someone. It’s called Being Helpful and here is how you do it-

 

#1 Accept Responsibility

  • Why do good sales people always appear to have the lay down deals? – Hint, It’s probably because they are good and make it look easy!!
  • Great sales people defuse the situation, everyone else loses control and places blame. – In 20 years of sales I’ve heard all the excuses. The product is bad, the price is off, the leads are horrible, the time shift or region is terrible, my assistant ate my homework, by dog booked the appointments after lunch, you name it. What I’ve never heard is a Salesperson who said, “You know what, that customer wants to wait and it’s 100% my fault.”  I get it, it’s a defense mechanism, as people we want to deflect failure and pretend that it’s outside of our control. It’s easier that way. No one said Sales was an easy profession though, it’s like living off the land, we only eat what we kill. Accept that you and your family need and rely on you to make a good living and that you alone are in control of your success.
  • I read a book about 5 years ago that really nailed this reality and opened my eyes – Larry Winget’s “Success is Your Own Damn Fault” , check it out.

#2 Setup for Success

  • Ask Questions to uncover the objections before they happen. – Ask about the decision making process, ask about how they have made decisions in the past, ask what criteria is important, ask why, ask, ask ask and uncover the “Why”. There is an Art to asking questions, the first answer to a “Sales” type question is always the social nicety or what they think they should say, something like “I’m fine, just looking. I don’t need any help.” The second question is typically answered with what they think they should be shopping for, something about a budget, rate, cost, or some feature. The problem is that now we’ve asked a couple of questions and have absolutely no idea what this customer wants or needs, the third question typically needs to find out why these features would help. The best way to understand the “Why” is to check out the Golden Circle Ted Talk by Simon Sinek. Just search for it, it’s a great way to spend 20 minutes.
  • Listen More – Ask your questions and then shut up. The problem with sales people is that we love the sound of our voice. Who wouldn’t? We have great things to say and we are very persuasive right? The problem is that we aren’t comfortable with silence and we tend to dominate the conversations instead of letting our customers get comfortable in the conversation. Listen twice as much as talking and you customers will  like you twice as much as long as you are asking the right questions.
  • Non-Business Relationships – NBR – CLICK with your Customers, use personality types to bond, read about How to Win Friends and Influence People, study social graces. I don’t know a successful sales person that isn’t likable, but I do know a couple of arrogant sales people who are diligent $30,000aires. You know the type, the sales guy or gal that has no business driving that car or wearing that watch. I’m all for looking the part and those things represent success for many in our business, but if you aren’t humble and likable, it will always be a show. Those guys lease the car, you want to own it free and clear.
  • Uncover Need – Throughout your conversation keep notes of what the “Need” is. This person doesn’t need to save money, this person needs you to change their life in some way. How can you help?
  • Gather up Benefits – As you are gathering up the information you’ll have an idea of what the objections will be to making a purchase now. Make note and stack up reasons why they should move forward anyway. Those reasons are called Benefits.

#3 Defuse the objection

  • Don’t be caught off guard. – If you get surprised with an objection you failed in the first part of the call.
  • Anticipate the Objection and Frame your Benefit statements to address it. – If you anticipate a Cost Objection heavily outline the recoup cost and the cost of doing nothing if that’s applicable. Talk about the savings. Talk about the long term savings, talk about the value of time.
  • Use “The Agreement” – Confirm that your solution addressed the concern in question. “That solves the problem of paying for the program right?”
  • Do this properly and you wont have to overcome objections, the customer will overcome the objections themselves and choose to move forward.

 

2 BONUS TIPS –

 

                BONUS TIP #1  – Defusing and Uncovering Objections is NOT the same thing as CREATING Objections. If you suspect that you are going to get a Spousal Objection, don’t say “Hey, so earlier in our conversation you mentioned your spouse wasn’t here to help with the decision, maybe you should go home and talk to them and come back next week. I wouldn’t want to make a decision  like this without my spouse”. Defusing the Objection is about addressing this concern so that the customer CAN move forward today. Remind the customer that there is a guarantee or that they would be accomplishing exactly what their spouse asked them to.

BONUS TIP #2 – We still overcome objections.  Don’t kid yourself, even if we do a good job of addressing the issues and framing the benefits, sometimes we still need to ask for the business multiple times. Don’t use this technique as a way to opt out of asking for the business a couple of times if that’s the right thing to do. Sometimes we have to make it so uncomfortable for a customer to say NO, that they say YES. Often those customers are the ones that call me back and thank me for forcing them to make a decision, they were just too scared for their own good.