Professional Business Coaches

Professional Business Coaches

Sales

12 Principles for an Effective Sales Process

From believing in your product to creating a win-win relationship with your prospects, discover the secrets of a successful sales process.

Is your sales process more like a hockey game or more like ballet?

Hi, my name is Bernie Heine, and I want to talk about 12 intriguing principles around selling.

Client Builder Selling Process

So what do I mean about hockey and ballet? Well, you know in a hockey game, while fundamentals are important and people learn to do all the different moves, the game itself is very random. The puck can go in any second in any different direction. People are always moving, manipulating, trying to trying to get the process under control and make it work for them, and there’s just quick seconds where it works and then it’s over again and they’re trying to regroup. Ballet is a scripted, choreographed, flowing movements organized people. So when your sales process, is it more like a hockey game or is it more like ballet? And we think they it makes more sense to be focused on the ballet version, to be organized with a process where you know and your prospect knows where you are at all times.

The worst thing that happens in the sales process is when the prospect and the sales person are completely out of sync. This mutual mystification where we think it’s pretty much closed and the prospect doesn’t ever want to talk to you again, and this happens time and again. So having a process that you fall back on where you know where you are is very helpful.

So I use the client builder selling process, which is what I teach to my clients, and I don’t want to talk about the individual steps of the process today, but I want to talk about these principles that underlie the process.

Believe in What You Sell

So principle number one is you must believe in what you sell. Your prospects will never be as convinced about your products as you are. You have to really believe that what you sell is a good product and that as a sales person, it’s your duty to the world to bring out these products to be able to help other people.

Keep the Focus on Your Prospects

Principle number two is to keep the focus on your prospects at all times. This is not a show about you and how brilliant you are, and how much interesting information you can deliver in a short period of time. It’s about the prospect. You get there by asking questions and showing genuine interest in who they are as a person and what the concerns are of their business, and the mindset we have is “I’m financially independent and I don’t need the business.” People can sense when you’re desperate and you’re trying to push your stuff on people. Take the other road which is “I’m happy to do business with you if you want me, but I don’t I need the business.” It’s not being arrogant, it’s being thoughtful of who they are and where they’re coming from.

Better Prospecting, Better Selling

Principle number three is the better you are at prospecting, the better you will be at selling. Prospecting is that connection between marketing, which gets people to be interested in your products and know about your products and sales, which is closing the deal and making the business happen.

Prospecting is a connecting piece. So the better you are reaching out to people, understanding people’s needs, analyzing the marketplace, all those factors will make you much better at selling.

Seek to be Trusted, Not Liked

Principle number four is it seek to be trusted and not liked. Often times, you hear people talk about know, like, and trust. Well first I have to get to know you, and then I will like you, and then eventually I’ll trust you, and then we can do business. Well the liking is actually only important for a certain sector of the population, so I use a disk model and those would be the eyes. they really need to like you so they’re extroverted and they’re people people. They need to like you in order to do business. But for the rest of the population, it’s not that important. What’s really important is that they trust you. People will do business with people that they trust, but that they might not want to have them as friends. They might not like them in particular, but they trust them. They know this person gets it done. This company does what they say they’re going to do. This organization follows up. That’s trust and that’s what we need to seek, not just being friends with people.

Collaboration, Not Competition

Principle number five is collaboration, not competition is the best mindset. I want to collaborate with my prospects. I want to create a business relationship that works both ways, a win-win. If I’m competing against my client looking for a win/lose. I win, you lose. I get lots of money, you get a little tiny product. That’s not the right mindset for selling. I have to think it’s cooperation. I want to get a win/win. I want you to be very happy with your products, and I want to get paid for that, and we want to work together to get there and not fighting each other for air time.

People Buy Emotionally

Principle number six is people buy emotionally and then they rationalize intellectually. So we make decisions with the center of our brain. It’s the part doesn’t even understand language. We need to be emotionally connected in order to make a decision. And often times, you’ll hear people talk about a gut feeling: “Well I just didn’t really feel good about that.” Well no matter what the numbers say, if we don’t have a mutual feeling of trust, we’re not going to close the deal. You’re not going to buy from me if you don’t you trust me, and that’s not a rational thing, that’s an emotional thing, You have to feel emotionally good about this is where we’re going.

People Only Buy When They Have Pain

Principle number seven is very related to that. People only buy when they have pain. People have to have pain or there’s no sale. We as salespeople have to tease out what are those pain points. What are the things they’re really bothering people that our solutions can alleviate.

You Need a System for Prospecting and Selling

And principle number 8 is we need to use a system for selling and prospecting. You can’t just randomly walk in and change it each time. How can you ever get better if you don’t have a process? We need a process, we need a system, we need to have something that we’re following we can also share with out prospects so that we stay on the same page at the same time.

You Can’t Convince Anyone of Anything

And principle number nine is we can’t convince anybody of anything. People have to convince themselves your solutions are the right ones for them. When we force people to do stuff against their sort of better judgment and we tricked them into some sale, it’s not a lasting relationship. Sure, maybe you’ll close one deal, but you’re not going to build a pipeline of valuable customers and prospects if that’s your mindset. So they have to convince themselves. They have to know “yes, this is the right thing. Let me buy your product.”

Sales is a Process of Disqualification

Principle number 10 goes very much along with that, which is sales is a process of disqualification. We start with a wide set of potential prospects, suspects, people that might be interested and we narrow it and narrow it and narrow it. We need to constantly be looking for ways to make the list smaller so that we can focus a lot of our energy on the high quality leads. We shouldn’t worry when people are not immediately interested in buying because we can’t sell everybody. We have to narrow the focus, so we can do a really good job with ones that really need our products.

Give Prospects the Freedom to Say “No”

And along with that, principle number 11 is “give your prospects the freedom to say ‘no.’” Show them the exit doors. Don’t force them to stay in. That’s what they want to hear. Prospects are often afraid but the salesperson won’t give up. They’re going to have rehearsed stalls and objections, and they’re going to know what to say. When I say this, they’ll say that. When I go here, they’ll go there and try to force me into a corner, so that’s why they often say “oh, I have to think it over.” No, I don’t like to end and a discussion with “we have to think things over.” I want clear plans. If it’s a ‘no,’ tell me right now in my face. I can handle it. Don’t give me that “no, I need to think this over” when really you mean “I never want to do business with you ever again.” That’s fine. Tell me so we don’t let this stumble along and we’re talking around each other. We need to be on the same page.

Give Yourself Permission to Fail

And finally principal 12 is give yourself permission to fail. You’ll make mistakes. It’s fine. We learn from our mistakes and we move forward. Maybe you’ll say some of the wrong things in and you’ll lose a sale. Well that happens in life. We don’t close every single thing we start, so give yourself permission to fail so you’re giving yourself permission to experiment and try new things. And I encourage you to try on these 12 principles of selling.

Call us at PBC for a free consultation and discover the secrets of a successful sales process.

 

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This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.
 
 
 

How to Be More Effective at Networking

You are your brand! From having the right mindset to following up, learn how to make contacts and represent your business.

So is networking an important part of your marketing strategy?

Hi, my name is Bernie Heine, and today I want to talk about 10 networking tips that will help you be more effective at networking.

Your business is your brand. You are your brand. You’re representing your business every time you go out and meet with other people and talk about your company, your abilities, products you sell, and your business is total reflection of how you present yourself in those circumstances. So I have a short list of items here that I want to talk about today the might help you become more effective whenever you’re out networking

Develop a Networking Mindset

So tip number one is develop a networking mindset. So what do I mean by that? So networking is about creating networks. It’s about connecting individuals. So when you’re in a networking meeting, you’re out meeting different people we want to have that mine said they were there for the principal purpose of making connections, not just my connections with many people, but think about making connections overall in the group.

Develop and Practice Your Elevator Pitch

Number two this develop and practice your elevator pitch.Now what’s the elevator pitch? It’s that really quick introduction you use when you meet somebody: “hi my name is Bernie, and I’m a business coach.” Now how does that leave people? Well, how about if I said “Hi my name is Bernie Heine, and I help executives earn more and work less.” How does that sit with you?

So thinking about the elevator pitch is often best when we talk about how what you do benefits other people and not specifically what you do. We want to avoid the back and forth boring kind of interaction that people often have with each other because they assume what they really need to say is “hi, I’m an insurance salesman or I’m an investment banker or I’m a business coach or I’m am executive coach or I’m a a trainer.” Those are all interesting things, but they don’t encourage much dialogue. It doesn’t encourage people ask more questions. When you focus on the benefits you bring to your clients, you have a much bigger impact in the message. It will encourage some dialogue to take place.

Only Choose Events Relevant to You

So tip number three, choose only the events that are relevant to you. Networking is not just going out partying, it’s work. We want to meet people that help us in our business and our careers and getting ahead. So take a look at the speakers list and the guest list and make sure that the event you’re going to is one is really relevant to you and really important.

Create Some Goals, Who Do You Want to Meet?

So tip number four is once you’ve identified the events you want to go to is create a strategy. Create goals about who is it in particular that you want to meet. What are you going to say to those people when you meet them? Have a clear idea what the outcome should be of attending that particular event.

In Every Interaction, You’re Going Through Various Stages

Tip number five is note that in every interaction, you’re going through a series of stages. When you first meet somebody, and then then you enter into questions and dialogue back and forth and you establish certain connections and the idea that you know different people, you’ve been in the same industry, you’ve had a similar job. You’re pulling together connections and then you’re looking to move to next steps. And next steps might be “this isn’t really working, this is not the right person for me, I don’t see any opportunities here, let me pass this person on the someone else, or we want to set up an appointment so that we are looking to close the conversation and say “great, I’ll give you a call tomorrow, or we’ll meet next Tuesday for lunch,” whatever you agree to.

What you want to have is a clear closing. You want to think about every interaction in the networking event as going through that similar process and moving towards a definitive endpoint you both agree makes the most sense.

Work The Event

Number six is make sure you work the event. Have a set of goals laid out. What do I want to accomplish?

Now some of you might be extraverted and you probably love going to events and you just can’t get enough of meeting people and talking to people and engaging with them. A downside of that might be that you end up spending too much time with too few people and it might be very interesting conversation but is it getting you toward your goals? Now if you set goals in advance that you want to meet six or seven people or you want to get three business cards, or you want to set two appointments, whatever that you might be having those in the back of your mind during your conversations might help you move along and not just spend too much time with one individual that you really along with and love to talk to.

But let’s say you’re more on the introverted side. Going to these networking events might be a very painful experience. Well having a set of goals can help you know when you’re done. So I had a conversation about this recently with a client about just setting up three appointments was his goal. So therefore once he got to that point, he knew he could disengage from the event and not have to be out there the whole time. He knew sort of his endpoint and he knew what he was up for.

Be Interested, Not Interesting

The seventh tip is to be interested, not interesting. Be interested in what you’re hearing from people and not focused on your performance. You’re not on stage delivering a monologue to a crowd, you’re at a networking event and you want to learn about other people. You want to understand where they’re coming from. The best salespeople listen much more than they talk. In networking you’re a salesperson and you need to listen to understand what other people’s needs and wants are, so that you can then come with a good strategy for how to best help them. So be interested in other people and not worried about being interesting.

Networking is Not Selling

The eighth tip is networking is not selling. Selling is something we do afterwards when we’ve set up an appointment with somebody. This is not a time to be hawking your wares, and people that do that and there are plenty of people you’ll meet at networking events that feel this is a big sales opportunity, they often get shunned by the group.

They’re the people nobody wants to talk to anymore because they’re in your face trying to sell you something right now, trying to get you to buy whatever it is they have right now in this minute. The only thing we’re trying to accomplish in a networking event is to gain connections, help other people get connected, and for us to have appointments set afterwards. There’s plenty of time to be selling your products after the event.

Bring a Colleague Along with You

So the ninth tip, and this goes for really large events, you might want to consider double teaming. Take a colleague along and split up the group. Split up the list of names of people you want to talk to.

A key thing to pay attention to is don’t find yourself each talking to the same individual. If you’re there with two people, spread out. If you see that your colleague is engaged in a conversation with someone, avoid also entering into the same conversation because you’re there to accomplish your goals which is to meet all the people you have on your list. Two of you at the same time with one person might be fun but that’s not really the purpose of why we’re there.

Follow Up

And number 10, the final tip, is follow up. In business, most things is to build trust, and following up is a great way to show our level of trust. We talk to a lot of people, we said a lot of things, and now we have to do the things we said. If we said “I’m going to call you tomorrow,” call them. If we say we’re going to follow up with an email, follow up with that email. But in every case we need to follow up and meet the commitments of our promises.

 

So good luck with networking. Get out there and be yourself, set goals, and develop your businesses and develop your brand.

Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn how to represent your business.

 

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This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.
 
 
 

Sales Prospecting: The Vital Connection Between Marketing and Sales

Most people don't like prospecting but it is crucial to your sales and marketing efforts.
Bernie explains why and how to make the most of this step.

The better we are at prospecting, the better we are at selling.

Hi my name is Bernie Heine, and I'd like to take a few minutes to talk about prospecting and what that means for our sales process. Most people love to do marketing — getting out there, bragging about what an amazing company they are, all the great things we can do for our clients. It's fun to do marketing. It's also really fun to do the selling. When you're in front of a qualified lead and you've got a great discussion going, you know that this is somebody that needs what you have – you have the right solutions, you can solve their pains, you can sell them a great product. But how do we make the connection?

Improving Your Prospecting Technique

Prospecting is the hard part, that's the part that most people avoid doing at all costs. It's the prospecting. It's making the cold call, it's getting out there and proactively creating leads for your business. So marketing is good at getting some buzz and getting people to maybe call your company, selling is all about closing the sale, but the prospecting brings the two together. So we have to get out there and work with the leads that are coming in, we have to create new leads, maybe through networking, maybe through cold calling, maybe through cold walking when you just walk in to companies and ask if they can use your services, how can you help them, how can you be of service. So avoid not paying attention to this part, this is the part that makes the difference. It's the part that we can measure the most activity on – how often are we making calls, how often are we getting out there in front of the prospects that are really going to be our clients going forward, our customers going forward. So don't avoid the prospecting, do the prospecting. It's the magic piece that brings marketing into sales.

 

For more on sales prospecting, you may consider to read these blogs:‎‎

Read the blog - Use a System For Selling - Do you have a consistent sales process or are you just winging it?

 

Read the blog - 12 Innovative and Intriguing Selling Principles

 

 

 

 

 

We have been using and teaching the importance of Client Builder Sales system, a proven, practical sales and marketing method for small business growth. Please read this complimentary white paper:

Download the white paper - The Power of a Process for Increasing Sales

 

 

 

Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn more about how to gain trust from your potential prospect by carefully establishing strategy for both prospecting and selling.

 

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This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.
 
 
 

A Great Sales Process Makes a Great Salesperson

Having a clear sales process can drastically boost your organization. Bernie Heine explains why and shows you how to create one.

Salespeople are born, not made. You just have some people who are naturally born salespeople right?

Hey this is Bernie Heine, and I’m going to talk today a little bit about the power of having a process to drive sales.

So most companies just assume that people know how to sell, we all know how to sell – people ran lemonade stands when they were kids and did a good job right? So you’ve got your natural born sellers and then some people that just aren’t that good. But in actual fact, we can train people to have a process in sales. We use processes for every part other part of the business – we have processes in finance, we have processes in manufacturing – but so often, people don’t think to have a good sales process. And having the process means we can know where we are at any point in time, we can adjust our strategies, and we can repeat the things that work well and avoid doing the things that don’t work well. We have to understand what the clients’ needs are, so we do a diagnosis.

Identify the Decision Maker

Once we understand where their pain points are and what’s really bothering them, then we move to how much money they do they have, what can they really invest in the solutions that we might offer. Then we want to know how they make decisions in their company – is it just the person you’re talking to or is there a Board of Directors that you have to get in front of in order to get your sale.

At this point I want to know from them a commitment. Are they willing to even hear my proposal? And when they say yes I want to hear your proposal that is the time when I actually for the first time introduce what I can do for them.

Close the Deal

After all this, closing the sale is easy. Most companies start the other way around – the first thing that the salesperson does is show up with a brochure or catalog or all these pictures saying ‘look at all the great stuff we can do’ and they try to sell you everything in the book, versus starting with ‘what do you need? maybe I’m not even the right person for you’. The most important thing in sales is you can’t spend your time in front of non-qualified leads. You have to know right away; if you’re in the right place you’re in charge of the process.

In between each one of those steps of the process it’s also very important for us to set advanced agreements. I need to know that I’m moving lockstep through the process with my prospect. Because the worst situation I can be in is when I’m ahead or behind where they are, or I leave the meeting thinking that the sale is closed but the client thinks I’m so glad he left and never wants to hear from me again. We need to know that we’re in the same place at the same time, so we set and keep agreements all along the way to confirm that we’re in the same place. It’s about having a process, keeping to the process, setting agreements, and then really doing the work of sales which is managing the numbers.

Manage your Input Numbers

What most people don’t realize is you can’t manage the end result. The end result happens because you’re managing the inputs to the process. The real input is how many people am I talking to on a day-to-day basis, how many people are moving through my funnel, are moving through the process that I’ve developed and managed in a disciplined way. That’s the part that we manage, that’s the part that I manage personally, and if I’m a sales manager that’s the part I’m managing for my team. Everybody’s got a number, we have to know what that number is, we have to know where we stand on a daily basis against that number.

 

Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn how to implement a practical sales process that brings results.

 

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This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at BusinessTown.com.

 

 
 

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