Jeff Shore - Sales Keynote Speaker & Author.+Add.Feed Info1000FOLLOWERS
Jeff Shore, an in-demand sales keynote speaker, author and consultant for over three decades, Jeff has a unique ability to connect with audiences on a personal level and transform the way they look at what they do, inspiring meaningful and lasting change. This blog provides practical, real-world sales strategies, sales techniques and sales tips to help you win the sale.
When I was in new home sales management, I had a theory that our sales team was not following up with past traffic effectively…or maybe even not at all. I won’t get into why I thought this (low conversion, not reporting accurate traffic, etc.), but I had to find out if that was true.
As I was out visiting sales offices across the Phoenix valley one day, I noticed a pattern with the leads. In every office I visited, there was a stack of registration cards sitting in a drawer just waiting for someone to call them. When I say “a stack” of leads, I mean around 300 leads.
But were those people being contacted? There was only one way to find out.
Without the onsite sales person knowing, I slipped a crisp $100 bill roughly 7 – 10 cards deep. My plan was to come back a week later and see if the $100 was found. If the money was gone, that meant they were calling those leads. If not, then I had some serious work to do.
I did this in several sales offices…and you know what? I am sad to report that not one of the several $100 bills I placed was found.
As I worked with the team on following up, the core message was that there is money hiding in those leads.
Just because people don’t buy the first time you meet them doesn’t disqualify them from purchasing at a later date. In fact, the psychology of a buying decision actually suggests that they will eventually buy.
Let me explain.
What drives people to look for a solution (via your product or service) is a current problem, or as we call it at Shore Consulting, a Current Dissatisfaction. I wouldn’t shop for car tires unless there was a problem with my existing tires. There’s no way I am shopping for a mattress unless there is an issue with my current one. Get it?
Here’s the deal. You can rate a customer’s level of dissatisfaction on a 1-10 scale. A “1” would mean there is almost no dissatisfaction at all. A “10” would mean they have to make a change!
Not every prospect is at a level 10. They might be at a “5”. But here’s the secret…
Dissatisfaction grows over time.
That means that when a prospect doesn’t make a purchase, they go back to their current dissatisfaction. In other words, they still are dealing with their problem. So what happens with a car that starts having problems? It has more problems. What happens to you when you are sleeping on a bad mattress? You get more pain and back problems. In fact, they get worse.
This is why follow-up is so important. You must be at the top of your prospect’s mind when their level of dissatisfaction gets to a point where they have to make a change.
In This Episode of The Buyer’s Mind with Jeff Shore:
Jay Baer and Jeff discuss Jay’s book – Hug Your Haters. As sales professionals, the world of social media makes it impossible to escape the stinging words of our critics. So what can you do? In this episode of The Buyer’s Mind, Jay and Jeff offer some real world solutions to facing our critics and by doing so, we can improve our service to all of our clients.
[12:58] Shifts in customer care in light of social media
[17:52] Customer satisfaction rates
[24:09] The Uberization of everything
[28:34] Advice for handling social media for the “little guy”
[36:18] Motivational Summary
More about our guest Jay Baer:
Jay Baer helps businesses clone their customers. He has created five multi-million dollar companies, and is a 7th-generation entrepreneur. He is the President of Convince & Convert, a consulting firm that helps the world’s most iconic brands like The United Nations, Nike, 3M, and Oracle use technology to win new customers, and keep the customers they’ve already earned. A New York Times best-selling author of five books, Jay is the host of the award-winning Social Pros podcast. He’s also an avid tequila collector, and a certified barbecue judge.
Ever heard the phrases ‘start strong, finish strong’ or ‘start where you want to end up’? Both speak to the idea that the power of your beginning determines your success rate at the end. Nowhere is this truer than in your sales presentation.
Far too often sales people become overwhelmed with perfecting every second of their sales presentation. My advice? Practice, prepare and perfect the first five minutes of your sales presentation before mastering anything else.
If you get the first five minutes right, everything else tends to fall into place. Get the first five minutes wrong and good luck recovering – you’re probably already done!
To keep your opening strong and strategic, zero in on these three main goals that you want to accomplish in your first five minutes with a buyer:
1. Be Coffee Worthy
How fast do people decide whether or not they like you? No, really, what do you think? How long?
Would you believe that research out of Princeton University shows that we decide whether or not we like someone in the blink of an eye or one-tenth of a second? Crazy, right?
But think about what we are able to process in just one-tenth of a second. We can take in a person’s nonverbals, energy level and appearance, and these are the primary tools we use to decide if we like someone.
At Shore Consulting, we use the term ‘coffee-worthy’ to describe an approachable, likeable sales person. Think about the traits and attributes of a person who you would want to sit down and have a cup of coffee with.
What would those traits and attributes be? Those are the qualities you want to portray when meeting a buyer for the first time. Your goal is to be coffee-worthy, quickly!
2. Ask Permission to Question
Only after becoming coffee worthy do you want to jump into your discovery questions. And even then, there is a mini-step between being coffee worthy and asking discovery questions that you want to implement to increase the quality of answers you get from your buyer during discovery.
Using a “permission to question” is a short, simple technique that lets the buyer know what you are doing and why you are doing it when you start asking them questions. It sounds something like this: “Do you mind if I ask you just a few quick questions to best help you today?”
“Permission to questions” gives the buyer a sense of control, it’s respectful and it lets them know this won’t take very long and that these questions are in their best interest. Once they’ve said yes, now they’re committed and the law of commitment kicks in. This means that they will be inclined to give you deeper and more honest answers – win, win!
3. Gain Clarity About the Buyer’s Motivation
Now you’re set up to find out why they are interested in purchasing your goods or service. What has motivated them to pursue a buying decision? What has changed in their life or in their company that has prompted them to seek you out?
Once we have a deep, true understanding of their motivation, then and only then are we able to help them achieve their goals through our solutions. The sale should never be about the solution (or what you have to sell) until we understand the buyer’s motivation.
I guarantee that if you have strategic focus on these three main goals in the first five minutes, you will radically change your interactions with your buyers. And you will be miles ahead of any other sales person who is still stuck on the same, tired opening questions they’ve always used.
Remember, start strong, end strong.
If you are looking for more ways to develop your strategic focus and win more sales, then you need to be a part of The 4:2 Formula Academy. This 12-week learning cycle will enable you to achieve true mastery of the principles and skills involved in sales.
During those 12 weeks you will participate in a live three-day Academy, led by Jeff, to participate in group discussions and activities, personal coaching, and action planning to ensure optimum results. Receive more information and register here.
In my recent webinar I asked, why are people paying a lot more to see Hamilton vs. community theater? Why do people pay to go to Disneyland and The Four Seasons when they could play in their backyard or go to a Motel 6? It’s simple, people pay for great experiences.
So how do you set yourself apart from your competitors? Focus on your customer experience.
How does your customer feel while you are showing them your product? Can they picture themselves sitting in that kitchen, around their table, eating with their family? Can they see themselves playing catch in the backyard with their children?
How does your customer feel when they envision themselves using your product? Customer’s simulate their future and then decide if they want to purchase or not based on how they feel in that future. The term for this is prospective psychology.
Learn more about prospective psychology and the five different perceptions that a customer has in my webinar replay AND get an instant download of my brand-new whitepaper 5 Attention Grabbing Strategies to Make You the Customer’s #1 Choice by clicking here.
In This Episode of The Buyer’s Mind with Jeff Shore:
Dr. Marc Schoen and Jeff look at fear in today’s episode. The fear we have as sales professionals and the fear our customer experiences when trying to make a purchase. What’s keeping you from asking for the sale? Could it be your own discomfort? If so, how do you get past that and the fear that we so often experience? You’ll find out in today’s episode of The Buyer’s Mind.
[16:28] How does perceived fear affect decision-making?
[22:48] How does labeling a fear help alleviate it?
[32:09] Motivational Summary
More about our guest Dr. Marc Schoen:
Dr. Marc Schoen has specialized in Mind-Body Medicine for over 25 years. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor at UCLA’s Geffen School of Medicine where he specializes in Boosting Performance and Decision Making Under Pressure and Mind-Body Medicine. He works extensively with elite athletes, professional and college, as well as, executives and UCLA medical students in strengthening their ability to thrive under pressure, and in competitive and uncomfortable conditions. His method of Discomfort Training and Pilates for the Brain builds hardiness and resilience, by rewiring the fear region of the brain which is responsible for Performance Under Pressure.
In 2014 and 2015, Dr. Schoen’s Discomfort Training and fear-busting techniques helped catapult UCLA Men’s Water Polo team to two consecutive NCAA national championships. He also trained the UCLA Womens Basketball team, who for the first time in 17 years, reached the NCAA sweet 16 playoffs 2016.
He is the author of Your Survival Instinct Is Killing You which was released in 2013, and a second time in 2014, by Hudson Street Press, a division of Penguin/Random House. This pioneering and highly reviewed book delves into how our most basic instinct, which was at the heart of survival in earlier times, is now placing us in harm’s way.
Dr. Schoen is also the author of When-Relaxation-Hazardous-Your-Health, the groundbreaking book on Post-Stress Illness or why we manage to remain healthy during periods of stress only to become sick once the stress is over, such as on vacations, weekends, or the completion of a project.
When I was in ninth grade I met a girl named Rachel. The idea of asking her out terrified me. I feared rejection big time! After all, she was stunning and I was a short red-haired freshman who had never asked a girl on a date.
One day after fourth period English class, I decided I couldn’t handle it anymore. I had to ask. One major challenge; I didn’t know what to say. No one had ever taught me how to ask a girl out. (Thanks Dad and older brother!) So what did I do? I winged it.
Back in the day people defined a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship by telling people, “We go together.” With that backdrop, when the moment came to ask Rachel out, I said extremely sheepishly, “Hey…um….would you go with me?”
Rachel looked at me with the same look you give someone who hasn’t showered for a couple of weeks and said, “Go where?” Obviously she had no idea what I was asking so I said, “Never mind” and we never went out.
Some would say I lost the sale due to poor communication skills. I would agree. I know you don’t ever want to lose a sale for the same reason so here are a few communication tips to help you with your customers.
1. Take total responsibility
Great communicators take responsibility for both sides of the communication. In other words, don’t blame your customer for them not understanding you. On the flip side, don’t blame them when you don’t understand them.
Being clear is your job, as is asking for clarity. And guess what? That is great news because you are now empowered to change every interaction going forward.
2. Speak the language of whom you are communicating with
If you were to visit a foreign country, you would do well to study the language. Your customers are like foreign countries. Some of them are more direct, some analytical, playful or emotional.
Learn how to communicate with each of them so you are not a barrier in the communication. One caveat here… I am not suggesting that you “mirror and match” your customer. That falls into the category of manipulation.
3. Be insanely curious
Great communicators are curious. They dig deep. Their favorite word is “Why?” Being insanely curious makes your customer feel important.
In addition, you learn more when you aren’t talking. This is why great communicators have multiple conversation starters at the ready and genuinely want to know about the person they are speaking to.
4. Use the questions only technique
As mentioned above, great communicators are always asking questions. To get on the path of becoming a great communicator, engage in “Questions only” conversations.
Spend five minutes a day with someone only asking questions. This is a great way to train yourself to be insanely curious!
5. Look for the words of which you don’t know the customer’s definition
Words have meaning. The challenge is sometimes you don’t know the other person’s meaning of a specific word. Let me give you a small list of words you probably don’t know the other person’s meaning when they say them.
Whenever I converse with someone I look for the words I do not know their definition of. When I hear one of those words, that is where I ask them to give me more detail.
For example, in response to the list above, I ask the following question to gain clarity.
a. “Small how?”
b. “When you say ‘challenge’ what was the issue?”
c. “How has it been a problem?”
d. “Nicer than…?”
e. “When you say ‘upset’, can you give me more detail?”
f. “What does more look like to you?”
Sales is about communicating how your product or service helps your customers to improve their lives. What other communication tips have you learned in order to help your customers? Please share them with me here.
In This Episode of The Buyer’s Mind with Jeff Shore:
Steve McKee, author of Power Branding, and Jeff discuss how branding is more about what your customer thinks of your brand than what you think of as your brand. How do some companies get it right while others get it so wrong? Could it be that as a sales professional, you’ve forgotten the core of your company? Are you consulting the manual for answers or can you give the answer that represents your brand? It makes all the difference in how your customer perceives your organization.
[12:00] Brands that are carrying it through the consumer experience
[16:46] Consumers are rationally irrational
[20:22] The effect of discounting on brand perception
[26:12] Advice to frontline salespeople and their managers
[30:03] Motivational Summary
More about our guest Steve McKee:
When he’s not sitting in his not-so-oval office looking official, he’s busy consulting clients, making speeches and writing award-winning books. Check out When Growth Stalls and Power Branding. He has more than three decades of experience as a leading brand strategist, is the inventor of ADBOWL® and is the pioneer of MWC’s noted Charrette® planning process. He writes a monthly column for SmartBrief on Leadership and is the co-founder of Passare, a Bay-Area spinoff of MWC which is redefining an entire industry. Steve has been published or quoted in The New York Times, USA Today, Advertising Age, Adweek, Investor’s Business Daily and The Los Angeles Times (among others), and has appeared on CNBC, ESPN2, CNNfn, Bloomberg television and radio, and network TV affiliates across America. He’s also a popular speaker for a long list (see below) of corporate and association events, from convention keynotes to in‐depth seminars. Give him a shout—you might like what he has to say.
About six months ago, I was traveling for work and, after a long day, I walked through the door of a higher-end hotel that I stay at once a quarter. I was counting down the minutes until I could get to my room, change into comfy clothes, order some well-deserved room service, and fire up Netflix, when an unwelcome surprise caught me completely off guard.
The hotel was booked!
Okay,“that’s no problem,“ I explained. “I have a reservation.” Whew! That was a close one.
“No ma’am,” she told me, “Your reservation has been given away.”
Wait?! What? No, that’s not possible right?
“Not to worry,” she said. “We have taken the liberty of rebooking you at our sister hotel.”
“Oh, really,” I said. “And where is that?”
“Forty five minutes away,” she managed to choke out.
Okay. Stop. Now I went from being highly annoyed to down right furious!
“Unacceptable,” I replied.
“I’m so sorry ma’am. We have a karate convention in town and all the hotel rooms across the city are taken.”
“I understand,” I said. Then (I admit) I got a little sarcastic, “hmmm, I wonder what might have been helpful in this situation? Oh yes, a reservation. WHICH I HAVE!”
The friendly (and she truly was being as friendly and professional as possible during this very difficult situation) hotel check-in representative just kept apologizing. Saying she understood and that there was nothing she could do.
I dug my heels in. “I’m not leaving,” I said.
She wasn’t quite sure what to do with that. “We are oversold, ma’am. There are no rooms.”
“Is the hotel 100% checked in?,” I asked.
The is where she wavered, “well, no”.
“Great, problem solved!” I practically shouted.
“No ma’am. Those rooms are for our preferred guests with a higher status than yours.”
That’s when I really lost it. “So, not only are you not going to honor my reservation, but now my status isn’t high enough either? You are kidding me. I want one of those rooms. I’m here. They are not. End of story.”
She nodded, starting typing on her computer and produced two room keys for me.
Was I behaving like an entitled customer? Yes! But you know what, I’m okay with it. I think I (as well as all buyers) deserve certain entitlements.
I believe that all buyers are entitled to our respect and our professionalism. All buyers are entitled to delivery of what they were promised. And, all buyers are entitled to equal and fair treatment.
Entitled buyers get a bad wrap. We label them as “difficult,” “rude,” or “mean” when really they are often just fighting for the basic entitlements that all buyers deserve.
So the next time you start complaining about your “entitled” buyer, take a step back. Put yourself in their shoes. Would you like to receive the treatment they are being given or would you become an “entitled” buyer too if you were them?