Not everyone can make a sale, but everyone can lose one

How many times have you heard a team member say that they have nothing to do with sales? How many times have you heard people say that they are not sales people?

If you own or run a small business, you will be only too aware of the importance of every

Couple buying car at dealership and negotiating price with salesman

sale to your business. You will be equally aware of the importance of holding on to each customer and nurturing more business from them.

Because every business depends on their customers to repeat, it is highly likely that more people than the sales person will deal with the customer throughout the relationship and therefore, they too become responsible for ongoing sales success.

We all know that repeat business is more profitable than new business.

So why then do we allow team members to deal with customers? Especially when these same team members do not understand the importance of excellent customer relations and excellent service, when they do not understand that an adverse interaction with a customer can cost the business money. And its not just the money in that transaction, but the future money that your business could have earned from this same customer.

Winning new customers can be difficult, keeping them does not need to be at all.

The key to the continued success of your business is the education of your team on the importance of consistent, professional, common sense service with good commercial acumen.

This can be taught and it can be measured. This is your responsibility. This is where we work with clients on a daily basis and we can do this in your business as well.

If you are keen to grow your business profits by double digits in 2016, we probably need to schedule a call. Email me today to schedule a call.

 

Getting Ready for Selling

If you are involved in field sales, here are some guidelines when preparing your day, your week, your month and your year.

Remember – Its How Hard You Work, How Smart You Work, You Dedicated You are, Combined with your Self Belief that will determine your ultimate success.

When approaching a customer for the first time:

Do research on the customer, on their business, on their competitors business and on the customers they serve – What problem can you solve for them, what value will you bring to their business, why will they want to do business with you and why will they want to meet you again?

If you are researching the company and you cannot find the person you are visiting on any directory, on linkedin, on the company website – do you think you are really meeting a key decision maker. Will they have the authority to make a decision? It is important to meet with the decision maker – if you fail to do this, your destiny will be other peoples hands. Its not easy but equally it is not impossible – That’s where your creativity comes in.

Remember, if you are in sales, your biggest competition can often be apathy – thats right – the customer cannot be bothered to change even though your price is better and your product (in your eyes) is better. If you find that this is the case – take a good look in the mirror – Your customer is selling you on a no and you are taking that to the bank – where you cannot lodge it.

If your competition is apathy, you have not given them a compelling enough reason to switch and this is your responsibility?

How well did you prepare your questions, did you uncover any reason why they should move, did you monetise this reason. You can prepare your questions by doing a very thorough research – no a quick browse on the internet.

Preparing for sales is something that is not taught in school (oh – actually it is – its often a reflection on how well you did your homework)

Maybe you need to revisit this area of your sales profession and get to work on your proper preparation. Your wealth depends on it.

Sales professionals often forget about the lifetime value of a customer. While the initial sale may not amount to a huge value, the ongoing sales will build as the relationship builds and trust is developed. Too many sales people forget this and they only associate the initial sales value to the prospective customer and prepare accordingly – think lifetime value when planning your sales.

 

 

How to conduct a job interview properly

Most people have very few interviews throughout their lives and therefore can find them quite daunting. Equally, many Small Business Owners have not conducted many interviews either and they can also find them very difficult.

If your company needs to hire someone new, then you should have some process or structure to follow. Here are some simple guidelines to get you started.

1. Write a clear description of the type of person you want before the interview. Detail about skills, attitude, qualifications, work experience all need to be written down and agreed by all on the interview panel.

2. You dont have to selecet on of the candidates that you interview – if they do not fit your profile, then select other to interview. Remember, that in a small business, each team member can play a huge role – therefore, selecting them should also be a big decision.

3. Ask someone who does not work in your compnay but whom you respect as a business owner or leader to sit in on the interviews. This adds a different perspective.

4. Prepare some questions in advance of the interview. We find the best questions to be situation based questions as follows:

  • Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer? How did you deal with it, what was the outcome and what did you learn from the experience.
  • Tell me about a time when you were under time pressure and felt like you simply had too much to to. How did you handle it, what would you do differently?
  • Tell me about a time when you had a problem with a fellow team member – how did you handle it.

There are lots of similar questions designed to elicit real life examples to test and see if the candidate has actually experienced these. You need to establish if they have been in pressure situations, if they have ever been responsible in previous roles, if they have the ability to solve problems on their own.

In addition to the interview, we also recommend some form of profiling which agains makes the whole process fairer and less reliant on a single interview.

It is important to rate the candidates based on your predefined criteria and be as objective as possible.

We also suggest an intense trial period which is good for the candidate as well as the employer.

If you feel you need to grow your team or to change some of the personnel on your team and need some help, then call Derek on 087 222 0720 today of fill out the form below for a free consultation…

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Whose job is it to motivate the team?

Can a manager actually motivate a team member by having a chat with them about where the business is headed – the vision and mission of the business?

How long would that “motivation” really last in the mind of the employee?

How many times has it been heard that the team members are not motivated and that the management brought in someone from the outside to motivate the team.

Well, even Tony Robbins does not call himself a motivational speaker. Probably because he knows that the majority of the motivation that anyone needs must come from within. And yet few few people have ever taken the time to look at themselves, to discover their true motivations and desires.

When working with business owners who struggle to get the best from the team, our objective is to help them to understand the team member at a deeper level, to understand their true motivation, to understand what really drives them. What they need to do then is to link the vision and mission and objectives of the company to the employees true motivations.

Sometimes there is no connection and thats where the employee needs to be challenged, especially if occupying a role where being highly motivated matters to the success of the company.

In small business today, there is no room for team members who just want to exist and do the bare minimum. Yet, they do exist because owners and managers do not equip themselves with the learning and tools necessary to lead an manage people properly.

Too many people (owners and managers) stop at the simple skills level when it comes to motivation. They need to learn about the level called beliefs, the level called values, the level called identity and then look at the overall environment within which they exist. To get to beliefs, values and identity takes time and effort and to change these areas also takes time and effort. This is time well spent because the changes are far more permanent than an ad in a paper or a promotion that runs for a week.

Given that such a high percentage of every small business’s turnover goes in wages, it is so worth while investing your time to get the most from the team. Getting the most from the team, while helping them to get the most for themselves is also hugely rewarding and where you truly become a leader of people.

Call me on 087 222 0720 if you would like to start in the journey to being a super successful business owner.

 

How to Increase Your Sales in 2012

If you need to increase your sales in 2012, make a commitment now to doing 2 things:
1. Measure your conversion from enquiry to sale
2. Spend more time getting in front of prospective customers.

Most business owners and team spend so little time actually marketing or selling their business, it is amazing that they survive at all. Very little real time is given to sales and marketing on a consistent basis and many people will avoid it at all costs. Yet they will complain if they are quiet and they will attend functions and rallies to speak about the economy.

Participate in your own rescue. Meet people who can purchase your product or service and understand how best to position your product or service with them.

People also overestimate how good they are at Sales and they claim that they have very high success rates. In fact the real success rates are much lower. Solution: Measure your rates of conversion, establish 3 or 4 ways to improve your conversion and then train your team.

Both of these suggestions cost little or nothing to implement but they will increase your profits. Call me on 087 222 0720 for a FREE consultation about your business today.

If you have poor team members – what do you do?

So you’ve got a team member that you wish you did not have. One of the following has  happened:

1. Your hiring system did not pick out the flaws in the character of the individual

2. You did not provide sufficient training for the individual

3. You did not provide the correct leadership for the individual

or it could be a combination of all three. Either way, its your problem and you have to deal with it.

Before you hire your next team member, decide exactly what it is you are looking for, decide on specific goals for them and decide who will manage them. To manage a person properly, you should first understand your own management style. There is no point getting a team member in who like a lot of coaxing and encouragement if you are the type of manager who just wants to issue the instruction and get the response. Its not fair on you or them.

When a new team member starts, they have to be shown the ropes properly and you have to take the time to induct them properly. Otherwise, they will make up their own rules and they will become troublesome. Not their problem but yours!

Most people who for for an employer or manager do so because they want to be a follower rather than a leader. Thats your job and if you are not a natural leader, learn as much as you can about becoming one. Most of the leadership strategies can be learnt, but most people invest little or noting developing the skill. If you are a good leader, giving your team members, clear objectives and guidelines and proceed to hold them accountable, your team will react. They will either react positively or leave quickly – either way you win.

If you want to find out more about building a winning team call Derek on 087 222 0720 today. By the way – there is an old saying “You get the team you deserve” How true is that for you?