I was thinking about how I was effective in using collateral to help promote sales. I understand for most sales reps they generally have to pay for these things. Those that don’t pay for this material should take advantage and be grateful. For those that have to pay for this material, I understand printing from home can be expensive purchasing ink and quality paper. If you don’t have a design and don’t have the artistic skills to make a digital copy can also add an extra cost. It is generally more cost effective to have your collateral printed at your local print shop.
Mailers, Magnets, and Calendars
This first simple tip is something I used when I first started my sales career in Real Estate. You can use this if your marketing consists of sending out mailers frequently. The idea is to develop a database of contacts. The best way to start is to get all your friends and family members address and email address. I would assume you already have their cell phone number. Once you at least have 100 contacts in your database I would send them a flyer with local property listings. The flyer should include your contact info. A magnet calendar would be great if you are in the end of the year or the first month of the year. The idea is that they see your info and are reminded whenever anything related to your business comes up. The idea is for them to either use you for business or at least refer you to someone who might need your services. A magnet that they can put on their refrigerator or possibly a key chain with your info if they will use it. This will give you more bang for your buck instead of a flyer or brochure that most likely will get through away in the trash.
Door hangers are most effective for those that canvass or knock doors. If you are going to use door hangers you should have at least 100 door hangers with you to be effective. 100 should be enough if you are putting them on each door at the same time of selling. If you are just placing door hangers then you will probably need more. The most effective way to use door hangers is to place them while you knocking doors with intentions of selling or acquiring leads. I find it best to use door hangers as markers. So if you knock on a door and there is no answer then you place a door hanger. If you knock a door and are able to pitch the resident then you most likely won’t have to leave one. Ideally when door knocking it is a best practice to go around at least three times to increase your contact percentage. Now on your 2nd or 3rd time around if you notice that a door hanger has been removed from where you placed one, this is a sign that the resident probably came home and you will have an opportunity to pitch that resident. Use the door hanger as a marker so you won’t waste time knocking on doors where no one is home. Door hangers are also a good conversation piece
Collateral for events
When you have events, fairs, or just a random booth somewhere you should have your regular flyers and brochures but a good practice is to get some type of trinkets that maybe a child can play with. This is important because if your customer is parent these trinkets can keep the child occupied. These trinkets can also draw children to your set up which in turn will draw in your potential new customer. Some ideas I have used in the past are little stress balls that children can throw around and enjoy themselves. This just gives you an opportunity to pitch your customer without distractions. Another idea is having a color book or color pages with crayons which is always a hit with families.
Probably the one piece of marketing that every salesperson needs. Business cards give you credibility plus a personal advertisement. When I was working in Real Estate I would have a profile picture of myself. I would also have my traditional contact information but now I see a lot of people placing QR codes where someone with a smartphone can just scan your content information. This works efficient and easy for someone to contact you a little easier. Since they will not have to dial your number the just scan the QR code and call. Generally speaking, the more quality of the business card that you have the less likely someone will throw it away. If your business cards are poorly made with low-quality paper people tend to not pay attention to the card and it most likely will end up in the trash. So put a little money into your business cards. I would stay away from getting to outrageous but keep it very professional.
Conclusion: Marketing Collateral Strategy
I listed a few best practices that will help you be more effective with your marketing collateral. Keep in my you have to be consistent you to have success. If you use your collateral correctly it will help you save money if you are paying for collateral yourself. If you use your material effectively this can lead you to more customers for your business.You can get the most bang for your buck with the strategies that I have listed. I will be having a tool that you can design your marketing material up in the next few days. You can be on the lookout for this tool via my site. I am going to try and provide as much of this tool free for everyone. I am looking at a tool that you can design flyers, brochures, trinkets, and possibly business cards. Is there anything that you have used to make your collateral more effective?
This Salesman speech is going to be focused on recruiting. In the sales office I came out of we use to call these type of meetings opportunity meetings but in essence, we would just recruit as many people as possible that we’re looking for a job and instead of interviewing each recruit we hold opportunity meetings. This became more efficient in recruiting the right people and weeding out the people that were not a fit for what we offered.
The Ice Breaker
There are plenty of icebreakers you can get just by using Google. Icebreakers can relieve any tension and get know more about these fresh faces. The Ice Breaker I would like to use is called “Two truths and One lie”
The Ice Breaker is played like this. You ask everyone to write down two true statements about themselves and one believable lie.
I spent one cold winter in Wisconsin
One of my favorite snacks is peanut butter and jelly sandwich
I have done underwater welding
Which is the lie?
I don’t like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. As a matter of fact, I hate peanut butter. I went and to live with my uncle in Wisconsin from January 1st to the end of March in 1994. I worked with the U.S Navy Seabees doing underwater welding.
Before each person gets up I like for them to introduce themselves with their name and city the live in.
This ice breaker helps loosen up the crowd and get to know people a little better. You can expect a few laughs with this exercise
The Right Vehicle Analogy
Before we get into the steak and lobster there are a few things you must do.
You must be prepared with what you are going to say.
You must be excited.
The right vehicle analogy consists of explaining to everyone about the big race. The race in life. Now, everyone, we are all in the race of life. The question is what vehicle are you using to succeed in this race. Are some of you just walking looking at everyone pass you up? Maybe your high school friends are going to college or started a career somewhere. Everyone is just passing you up. There is another vehicle that you can jump on which is a big bus. Now there is nothing wrong with this bus. Many people take the bus. You will eventually get to your destination on this bus but you have to pick up people on the way. Some people want to get off on the way. This bus may seem reliable but that is about the only thing it has good going for itself. One thing about this bus is you are not in complete control. The bus driver might have neglected the maintenance and can possibly break down. Who knows but you do not have complete control of this bus. This bus is kind of similar to a regular job working 9-5. The only way to move up in this J-O-B is when someone retires or dies. Now this J-O-B might seem reliable but you never know what the manager’s bosses or leaders in the job might do. They may run the business to the ground they may sell the business. You never know.
Now you have another option. You have an option to get in a vehicle that a high-performance vehicle. I prefer the Hennessey Venom F5. One of if not the fastest cars around. You have full control of how fast you want to drive this vehicle. First, before you get in this car you are going to have to learn how to drive it properly which the makers of the car will definitely help you. I mean they better since you are paying 1.6 million dollars right. Driving this car on your journey to success will more likely give you attention by people like yourself success minded who are on the same journey. So depending on how fast you want to drive it the faster you might get to achieve the things you want.
Breaking Down The Opportunity
With that powerful analogy, I will start to get into the opportunity that I am offering. I will basically focus on 4 key aspects of the business that conform around just about anyone’s needs.
No Cap On Income
Fun and Energetic Work Environment
So let me get back into the first person narrative. Now we have 3 vehicles. Actually, we have two and one paths are just walking. Now there is nothing wrong with any of these paths. Not everyone is the same. Not everyone considers success the same way. Some people enjoy the slow-paced walk and watching everyone pass them by. Some people enjoy the bus. The bus may not be the fastest but it is in competition as the maybe the most reliable if the bus driver doesn’t flip out an drive off a bridge. It is reliable enough to possibly get you too long term success as long as the people in management die or retire. Now our opportunity that is like the Hennessey Venom. let me explain why. We promote and help with personal development. What I mean is we provide sales and leadership training. We direct you to the right material to personally develop yourself. So you can get better at your craft. 2nd is we have possibilities for any of our sales reps to move up and become a manager. Depending on your skill set can depend on fast you can move up. If you are an excellent recruiter, trainer and perform at a high level in your personal sales you can become a manager quickly. There is no cap on the income you make here. We do sales and the more sales you make the more money you make. If you become a manager you can make personal sales and an income of the team that you manage. One thing for sure is no one will tell you to stop making sales. No one will tell you “okay that is enough sales for today” That is one thing you will never hear anyone say. Lastly, as you can see we believe in having a fun and energetic environment. I promote a culture of having fun and being excited. My goal is to have you wake up every morning not saying damn I don’t want to get up and go to work but to jump out of bed and excited to work because you know you are coming to work to have fun and make money.
You should have everyone excited about the opportunity. Then I will get into closing the recruits.
Like I said the other two vehicles are respectable and honest. You have your chevro- legs and you are walking to success or the old reliable bus that will eventually get you to your destination. There is nothing wrong with those options but it sounds like this oppotunity will not be for you and you can take this time to go get that bus or get walking and excuse yourself at this time. I would like to speak to those that have the success mindset and are willing to achieve success in life based on their own efforts.
In Conclusion: The Salesman Speech
This salesman speech is focused on an effective and efficient way to recruit a huge team quickly. When delivering a speech like this just remember that anyone can get a job but it is your job to sell a dream. The dream that anyone that wants to work hard put some time and dedication can achieve.
Probing questions are like the traffic signs that point you in the direction from your introduction and presentation to your close. The most important part is learning what type of questions to ask and what relevant questions to ask.
Open-Ended Questions (The Blabbering Questions)
I call open-ended questions the Blabbering question because these are the type of questions that you use to get your prospect to blab and be open. This type of question begs for an answer to be creative long-winded and informative. When you use open-ended questions you must pay attention to every word along with their body language. Most prospects will give what is called a Freudian slip and drop clues that you can use in your close. A Freudian slip is like a subconscious line that they most likely didn’t intentionally want to say but it just slipped out. These slips are generally something they might be holding back behind their buyer resistance since most people don’t want to be sold they want to be bought. Overall open-ended questions require a long explanation and are a great way to show you are interested in the actual person you are talking to. Never answer for the prospect or make suggestions when you ask open-ended questions. Examples of Open-Ended Question: What do you think of the President of the United States? How do you feel about your new job?
Loaded Questions (Tell me what I want to hear Question)
Loaded question are questions that you ask that lead your customer to answer in a certain way. These type of questions are used to force a judgment on something. Depending on the person but in my opinion I stay away from the negative type of loaded questions but I have seen people be effective using loaded question with a negative tone. Loaded questions cause your customer to think in the tone you put the question in. For instance, if you ask “What are some of the bad experiences you had while using your current service? Although it causes your prospect to think in a negative way about their current service which can lead them to choose your service I personally don’t like to bring up any type of negativity on my own. Examples Of loaded Questions: How are you getting on with your new services? Did you have a good day today?
Recall Questions (Wake Up And Think Questions)
I like these type of questions since it gets your prospect to snap out of complacency and think a little. So if you ever feel like you are losing your customer and you need to bring them back into the conversation ask a recall question and get their brain off idle. Make sure you ask a relevant question because a question that is irrelevant might have them answer with a nonsense answer. So A recall question is having someone to stop and think of the answer that is coming from their memory. It can be easy as asking what is the spelling of their last name or it can be more thought-provoking as How did you handle the responsibility of becoming an adult?
Rhetorical Questions (Thought Provoking Question)
I know everyone has heard of rhetorical questions but they are mainly used to provoke thought in someone’s mind but not requiring an answer. Most of the time this question doesn’t require an answer since it is probably answered that has been established and would probably seem silly to answer. This question is just made to place an idea in your prospects head. These are used often while public speaking but can be used in a more personal setting a just triggering a nod of the head. Examples of Rhetorical Questions You are going to have to drive your car home right? Could you imagine that your family will be so happy when you bring this new car home?
Close-Ended Questions (Tie Down Questions)
These questions are restrictive questions that only require a word or possibly a phrase. Generally, the answer is in the form of a “Yes” or “No”. These questions are my favorite because they get your customer to agree with you when asked in the form of having a “Yes” response. These questions can create a “Yes” momentum. Which it is said the more “Yes’s” you get your customer to say the more likely will get a “Yes” response when you ask for the sale. These are great and should be used all the time throughout your entire presentation. Examples of Close-Ended Questions You are a homeowner correct? Do you agree that green is your favorite color?
Funneling Questions (Leading Down The Rabbit Hole Questions)
These are a set of questions that are becoming more restricted after each question leading the customer to a direction you want to go. It also can be used the opposite way starting closed-ended and working up to an open-ended question. When starting with a close-ended question and working your way up can be generally used when you first meet someone. This form of questioning tends to relax the customer upon your initial meet. When the questioning goes from open to restricting is generally used to close or tie down your customer. Examples of funneling Questions Tell me about your current cable service provider? What are your favorite cable channels? Do you usually watch your cable in the evening or afternoon? Would it be beneficial to get all of your favorite channels plus the ones you want but don’t have for a lower price than you are paying now?
Alternate Choice Questions (Either-Or Questions)
Alternate choice questions are leading questions when you give you customer two options. These are generally used during the close of a sale. You are giving the option between a positive and a positive. Meaning you are not asking if they want your product in the form of getting a “Yes” or “No” answer. You are asking a question in the form of getting a “Yes” or “Yes” Never create an alternate choice question that will lead to a “No”. Examples of alternate choice questions Would you want to get this shirt in red or would you prefer black? When will it be best for us to come tomorrow mornings or afternoons?
In Conclusion: Probing Questions
These 6 types of probing questions are used to extract information so you can get a better idea of what your prospect wants or needs. so you as a professional can give a valued recommendation. Structure your presentation accordingly so that you are not wasting your prospects time and asking random questions but you are asking questions that will lead to helping your customer get exactly what will make them happy. Has any of these questions led you to achieve more sales? If so, How?
The Assumptive close is a way of structuring everything you do and say as if your customer has made the decision to buy from you already. This technique is a way to ease the pressure off the buyer and lowering buyers resistance. When a salesperson masters this technique it will be natural and used in every conversation besides sales conversations. It is positive thinking in its real form. This is a technique that you can actually watch as the outcome manifest in front of you.
It Is A Mindset, A Way Of Life
I was once told when you assume something you make an “ass” out of “u” and “me”. In sales, it is really the opposite since by assuming the sale you are manifesting it into reality. You put the idea into your customer’s minds like they are already enjoying your service or product without having to deal with any buyer anxiety. You act like it is done and it will be done. Positive thinking is a mindset that most sales reps cannot be without. Assume everything like it is said and done.
Do you know when martial artist break blocks of ice or wooden planks with their fist they picture their fist breaking the barrier before they actually do it? Well, this is the same thing the difference is if you fail you won’t be walking away with a broken hand. So picture as if your customer has already bought from you.
Speak It Onto Existence
When you notice your customer is genuinely interested in what you offer. You want to ease their minds as if they are enjoying your product or service. Or have them think of what you offer as a status symbol that they are showing off to the neighbors, friends or family. This embeds ownership of your product like it is theirs all ready to enjoy. You are tapping into the pleasure endorphins of owning what you are offering. Always ask how are you going to feel if …. Never say what do you think it is going to be like… Salespeople sell on emotion so ask “how will you feel?”
Pen and Paper Method
The pen and paper close is another form of an Assumptive close. This can also be referred to “The Order Form Close” If you are using order forms to take a sales order. Whip out an order form and write the customers name on top big and bold. If they interject and say “wait wait I have not decided to get anything yet.” Then you just casually say Mr. or Mrs. prospect don’t worry about this I want to make sure I get everything down, I have a horrible memory and I just want to make sure I don’t forget every detail you need. When we are done, I will just tear this up and toss it away when I am done. So as you are going with your pitch you are checking off boxes writing out details as if you are taking the order. Have them point out to which box if possible by saying “was it this one or that one you wanted?” Then they are starting to take ownership with your order form easing any buyer anxiety. Then you go into your assumptive talking having them agree to their availability with dates and times. Then say great sounds like we have everything as you specified and to move forward I just need your name written by this X. Pass them the pen and paper. Then use the art of the silence close. Don’t say anything. Whoever speaks first loses. If they sign then great. Or if you like you can ask them by looking into their eye “so what is the spelling of your last name or what is your billing address?” once you completed your question break eye contact like you are about to start writing. This puts the prospect in an awkward position by feeling like they have to give you the info requested. Once they give it to you then that is the sign that they are wanting to move forward with you.
It Is Art More Than Science
It is always helpful to close when you assume the sale. Make sure you are using this technique casually like it is normal. No one likes a scripted sales style that makes you look fake and unprofessional. The best salespeople are always casually assuming the sale. if it is not natural the customer can perceive this as pushy or not being sensitive to their needs. Learn how to be reactive to the customer’s body language. Their body language can tell you everything they are thinking without saying a word to you. When a customer feels comfortable with you they will let you led them in any direction you want to take the sale. That truly means they trust you. On the other hand, if they seem argumentative or closed then you have not won their trust. They might answer every question short without details. They might have their arms closed like they are saying this is where its stop you are not coming closer.
Conclusion: Assumptive Closes
This close is a must have for all salespeople to have in their arsenal. Without it can cause some sales to slide right past you. It is key to have a few different closes that you have mastered since every prospect is not all the same. Every sales call is not the same. Learn how to adapt to different types of people. learn how to adjust to different environments. Zig Ziglar once said “You can’t sell everyone unless you are a con artist” but what we can do is learn many techniques and equip ourselves so we can close as many sales call as possible.
Assume the sales as if they had bought from you before
Speak with assumptive language
Use the paper and pen close
Pay attention to body language
Assume the sale use the silence close
Ask for their spelling in their name and break eye contact
Door to door sales and the legal issues are a major concern for generally new sales reps who probably get a lot of heat out in the field. They probably are pay attention to a lot of negativity. The most common question I hear “Is door to door sales illegal?” or “Is soliciting illegal?”. I understand how maybe someone new to this business might think it is against the law. To answer this first we should thank the Johovah Witnesses for taking this issue all the way to the supreme court since various towns tried to impose regulation to make it difficult for people going door to door. The Justices upheld our right to solicit based on the first amendment which is “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” There is some provision that we should all know the first is know that solicitor cannot just knock on doors at any time. The earliest you can visit home is 9:00 am until the latest is 9:00 pm.
Local Cities and Ordinances
It is a great idea to check the towns and cities you plan on working in since they are all different. Some areas enforce permits and are really strict while some towns may have other priorities they focus their resources on. The towns that don’t enforce permits might have each individual homeowner decide what they will allow by enforcing a residence “No Soliciting” sign. Strict towns generally will require to register with the City Hall and require the following:
While registering some towns may require
Drivers License or other legal Identification Card
Provide home address and cell phone number
Disclose company if any you are representing
Disclose any convictions of any criminal offenses whether felony or misdemenor
Possession or proof of any license or permit
Statement of the nature of business you will be conducting
This process to work in a town may seem like a big hassle but after you have completed registration it does help to improve your team confidence by having a sense of being legit with not a right to work without any problems
My “No Soliciting” Story
I understand that many companies try and coach ways to approach homes with “No Soliciting” signs but keep in mind some local towns legally enforce homeowners with these signs. I don’t endorse ignoring these signs but it does remind me of a time when we use to not pay attention to them I remember a time when we were working out in a town in Southern California. Another rep and I were leapfrogging and knocking this block. We were experiencing low contact and my partner came across a home that had a “No Soliciting” sign. My patner was a veteran sales rep and had door knocked for years but he was new to our team and new to California. He had knocked across the country but he was originally from Alabama. He had that deep drawed out southern accent. His sounded a little like the comedian Jeff Foxworthy. He called me over and asked me if we knocked those homes in California. I told him it was completely up to you and since we had not had to much contact he decided to knock the door. He knocked the door and a tall white man answered the door looking a little iratated and said “what do you want” My partner started to get into his pitch when the prospect cut him off imediately and pointed to the sign and shouted out ” Did you see that” “Can’t you read” My partner with his southern Jeff Foxworthy accent answered “Well sir, I figured….if you bought some stupid st like that” with accent sounding real drawn out “You would end up buying some stupid st from me” The guy giggled a little and just closed the door. When we got away from the home I just couldn’t stop laughing and only someone with a southern accent like his would have been able to pull that off. The best part of this story was while we were still working the block we were coming back to that same home but this time the resident was outside and of course we were friendly and waved to him but he called my partner over and asked what were we selling? With that buying question you can pretty much tell how the conversation ended. I would not recommend doing that with any home that has a “No Soliciting” sign. I think only his accent and his personality would have been able to pull that off.
Conclusion: Door To Door Sales legal Issues
Again we should thank the Jehovah Witnesses for fighting the good fight to go door to door. As a reminder, The Supreme Court decided that we have the right to knock doors in the United States. Although you must follow the local laws and Ordinances. Each town and city is different and would require different thing or nothing at all. If a town requires you to register and you do complete their registration only help you and your team being legal with the town and it provides some credibility with the residents in that town.
Telemarketing secrets sometimes might seem to be hidden from everyone. What I mean is sometimes you see others being successful in telemarketing sales while others may not be in on the secrets to be successful. Well, let me let you in on the secrets you may not have heard of.
Develop A Script
You should always have a script. Decide what is your goal? what do you plan to achieve when making you call? If your objective is to get an appointment then script your call to get that appointment. If your objective is to get a sale via the telephone then focus your script around getting the sale. Let’s break this down for getting a sale via the phone. This is an outline for your script
Introduction should have a polite greeting. I recommend never to ask “How are you doing?” Or if you use that phrase or something similar don’t wait for an answer because asking that question can lead to a negative response.
The next part should contain who are you? and who are you with?
This should be why are you calling? also with a hook to break pre-occupation for example ….I am not calling to waste your time so I won’t take to much of it. All I want to do show you how many homeowners just like you have been able to reduce their monthly mortgage by 20%. I am not going to try to sell you anything you make the decision and you tell me which one of these packages would work best for your situation. Okay, fair?
Pre-planned close should be prepared and said once you have laid out the entire presentation Never make any calls without a script. A script is there to keep you on track since in real life situations there are always distractions. A script will keep you on topic and in place whenever a distraction occurs. Generally, a script will lead to common objections and if you receive the same type of objections you can learn how to overcome them quicker
What Gets Measured Gets Improved
Write down your goals to work off. For example, if you plan on working 8 hours. How many calls are you going to do within each hour? if you do 20 calls in an hour that means you will do 160 calls in a day. How many sales do you plan to make? What are the averages for your business? Whatever your numbers stick to those numbers. If your goal is to make 160 in a day, plan to do whatever it takes to hit that number. If you average 6 closes per 160 calls you can estimate your commissions and have a clear idea what your income will be. Once you start getting solid data on your activity to figure out the hours that you are most productive. Put most of your effort during those hours. If you come to find out there is a particular hour that you don’t have any production you might want to adjust your schedule but moving that work hour to another hour that you have might have better results. So, in essence, you want to maximize your efforts to work the most productive hours.
Stay Positive and Focused
Every day might not be good but there is something good in every day. Stay positive and focused on your goals is key to being successful in this business. The only time when people fail is when they quit. If you don’t quit then you don’t fail. If you get a couple hours of consistent “No’s” don’t take it personally. Play the averages. If you flip a coin the law of averages states you will flip heads 50% of the time and tails 50% of the time. Sometimes you might get tails for 50 straight flips. The Law of averages will sooner or later come into play and you might flip the next 50 times heads. So if you are doing all the right things you are bound to get some “Yes’s” back to back sooner or later. It is true when they say every “No” you get makes you closer to getting a “Yes”. Speak positive and proclaim positive affirmations. It might sound funny but speak out loud and tell yourself ” I like myself” “I like Myself”. That will have a positive effect on yourself. Also, tell yourself “I am good at what I do” many times and eventually your subconscious will listen to you and put you I the direct path to really be good at what you do. Your subconscious will not let you lie to yourself.
You are either consistent or non-existent. The only way people master anything they do is by doing what you do over and over again. Reflecting on what you say and do for each call. Look for areas of opportunity for improvement. maybe there is a word you can change or maybe eliminate. Or maybe you need to adjust your rebuttal to an objection that you can not overcome. Being consistent will help you recognize these little details that you might need to adjust. Consistency will eventually lead to reaping all the benefits you sow. All the effort you put in you will eventually benefit from it.
Sales Secrets In Conclusion
These are some secrets that many successful people in telemarketing might be reluctant to let you in on. If you take advantage of these secrets I let you in on and if you do all the right things you will get the right results. Hard work and determination is not really that big of a secret but the people who actually implement these tips don’t like to let people in on what exactly they are doing. They generally want you to figure it out on your own. So take advantage of these. Let me know if you have any telemarketing secrets that you would like to share.
It amazes me sometimes that I see companies or salespeople use guesswork when it comes to top-down pricing. If you throw out a number and hope it sticks to the wall is a little unprofessional. This way of doing things is a great way to leave money on the table and even lose a client. Research to give a proper quote is the most professional solution to this issue. Being prepared reminds me of a saying “Proper Preparation Prevents P Poor Performance”
Proper research on what exactly your competition is charging. Not only looking at the price but make sure you know what exactly what the product entails. Is there something extra or something missing for what you are offering. If you offer more benefits and features then your competitor this is a possible reason why you can have a higher price than whatever your competitor is offering. One thing that is important to understand is the more flexibility that you have with your product the more flexibility you can have in your pricing. Also the more add-ons or extras you offer allows you to increase your price higher than the competition that might not have extras. This helps you be more unique and separates you from the competition.
A big part of the research has to be how much are you potential customers willing to pay for your product. This is probably one of the most important metrics to obtain data. Of course, it is self-explanatory but whatever your customers think your product is valued at there is not too much to you can do besides adding extras. What are the drivers that influence your customers to purchase your product? Drivers can be something that separates you from your competition. Why would they choose your product from the rest? Once you obtain this data look at what price that will cast a wide net what price will capture the biggest market share
Put It All Together
Once you have gathered as much data as possible you should have a better idea how to price out your product with the best opportunity to make the highest profit without alienated some potential buyers by what I call is “price offending” them. This research will allow you to have an aggressive price that allows your sales team to pitch with confidence. The key is also figuring out ways to increase pricing with extras services or add-ons to enhance the likeability of your product or service. Does your pricing allow for upsells or cross-selling that includes other products you might offer? Does it wipe out certain products that are not really necessary when releasing your price? For the sales reps perspective, it is always best to keep options simple. Never complicate the decision part of the sale. Since of course leads to customers wanting to think more about buying what you are offering.
In Conclusion: Top Down Pricing
Top Down Pricing is something taken lightly or just pushed to the side but if done correctly this eliminates any wasted time by trial and error. CRM’s and AI systems can help you obtain, manage, and decipher the data from your research. These are great tools but if you can figure out the best pricing for your product doing this manually. Sometimes your price may be significantly higher than your competitors. As long as you have value and can show how your product can benefit the customer more than any other product there should not be a problem. Remember what is expensive to you may not be expensive to someone else. The opinion of something being expensive is subjective.
I am interested in how has top-down pricing influenced your business? Please leave some feedback in the comment section.
How to build a superstar commissioned based sales team is a question that if you strategically take on this challange. If you put in all your time and effort in other words be “all in” you have an opportunity to create something that you can be proud of and create an internal satisfaction just as in engineer or archietect feels after building a high rise skyscapper or an artist feels after finishing a painting. This simple model I am about to share I learned from a Psycologist named Bruce Tuckman. This simple model is one of the quickest ways to help a new team become highly effective. This model has originally been broken down they 4 stages but later added the fifth stage Adjouning. This model can be better described as stages the team goes through from the beginning
No Ceiling Income
First off when discussing commissions should be discussed in a positive tone. Explaining the potential of income a rep can receive. Show sales reps what an average sales reps will be making. Help sales reps develop a budgeting plan where they will not be living paycheck to paycheck. Show them the training and support they can receive.
The Forming stage is the beginning stage where most team members have not shown their true colors. They tend to be polite and positive. Some can be a little nervous since they are unaware of exactly the work the will do. The stage you want to show your leadership abilities, play a dominant role and clearly explain each team members responsibilities and roles. You may have to sometimes drill this into your team until they are fully aware of what the must do while on your team. Depending on many things this stage can take time before entering the next stage. Once everyone is working as a team and they are bonding relationships is a sign that you are moving into the next stage.
When your team moves into this stage people feel a little more comfortable with everyone. They start testing the waters or the limits that were set in place during the previous stage. Team members can also test each other and possibly cause friction between each other. If not managed properly teams can fall apart at this stage. Just remember people work in different styles and they might not always complement each other. This can lead to frustration and friction between the team During this stage team members can feel comfortable in their role they might even challenge your authority. Some may question the direction you are taking the team. Just stick to the clear objectives that you should have explained in the previous stage. Just be careful at this stage since there may be many problems and issues within the team but just keep in mind that is common during this stage.
Slowing as heated problems sizzle down you start to move into this stage. Team members start to get along and help each other out. The start to respect your leadership and the direction you are taking the team. This is about the time when your team has bought into your vision. They have made a stronger commitment. Teams start to excel at this stage. They are in a way, finding their groove. Just be cautious because any changes or new job task can just throw your team back into the storming stage.
As your team reaches this stage it usually is the time when you feel some momentum and are seen small wins for your team. All the hard work you have done up until this time is starting to show with results. The team is acheiveing goals. At this stage it seems like your team is working on its own with very little help from you. This is the time you want to start delegating tasks to team members and start using your time to develop your top reps. This a time of enjoyment when you have momentum. Your team is making money hitting goals and it almost seems like nothing can stop you.
This stage reminds me of the saying “The only thing that is consistent is change” This stage is when your team might go through restructuring maybe some promotions or maybe new opportunities. Whatever it is sales reps that are accustomed to a routine or reps that have established bonds with each other can have a rough time in this stage. They might view this time as uncertainty
Conclusion: How To Build A Commissioned Based Sales Team
At the end of it all you can use this method to build any type of sales teams but when focusing on developing a commissioned sales teams it is critical to get your sales reps to make sales and an income as quickly as possible. Since technically your sales rep can work for a long period of time without making any money. This could bad for moral and this can lead to a negative perception of your business by saying things like “They feel like they are working for free”
Forming– Direct the team and establish clear objectives both for the team as a whole and for Individual team members
Establish processes and structures
Build trust and good Relationships between team members
Resolve conflicts swiftly if they occur, provide support, especially to those team members who are less secure
Remain positive and firm in the face of challenges to your leadership or the team’s goals
Explain the “forming, storming, norming, and performing” ideas, so that people understand why problems are occurring, and so that they see that things will get better in the future. Coach team members in assertiveness and conflict resolution skills where this is necessary
Use psychometric indicators Myers-Briggs and Margerison-McCann Team Management Profile to help people team about different work styles and strengths.
Norming- Step back and help team members take responsibility for progress towards the goal. (This is a good time to arrange a team building event)
Performing- Delegate tasks and projects as far as you can. Once the team is achieving well, you should aim to have as tight a touch as possible. You will now be able to start focusing on other goals and areas of work.
Adjourning- Take the time to celebrate the team’s achievements – you may work with some of your people again and this will be much easier if people view past experiences positively.
Sales team performance I strongly believe rises and falls on the leaders and managers of the sales organization. Like the saying says “The Kingdom” takes on the characteristics of the king. So you as a leader must lead by example in the workplace and outside the workplace. You need to set in stone clearly defined objectives and goals. In essence, you must set a strong foundation. If you have a shaky foundation it might not get noticed for a long time but when it does what you eventually build will all come crashing down.
Creating a Winning Culture
When you begin hiring a sales team you must develop a culture that you can be proud of. Where there are processes in place but the sales reps are treated with respect and they get the sense that you care. If you show reps that you care more about them and their well being they will be more inclined to stay with you and the company for a long time. If you can create a culture where your sales reps feel like they are a part of a team working together but every individual’s concern matters, that will bring a solid team working together that can accomplish many challenges.
When it comes to accountability makes sure you express to your sales team that you pushing them to hit sales targets is for their benefit and they are not just a number making money for the company.
A winning culture has sales reps thinking as they are students to the sales craft and they are always learning to improve their skills. Self-education is one of the most effective ways to improve sales and therefore increase reps income.
Sell To Stay Alive, and Recruit To Retire
When I was a sales manager that was directly over the sales team in the company hierarchy I would be out with my team in the field selling right by there side. Now I will get into this a little bit later but you should have a mindset of selling to make today’s money and always recruiting for future money. This might be the same for you or at least similar but when I was a sales manager and I ran a 100% commission sales team. My income depended on my sales teams production and my personal sales. For me, this worked out extremely well now that I see the big picture. Don’t get me wrong during this time I had thought I should have got paid more and shouldn’t have to get sales for an increase in income. Now I see the byproduct of this commission structure. It pushed me to work out in the field with my team and also push me to recruit all the time. In essence, the bigger team I had would lead to more sales, therefore, increasing my income.
This whole concept influenced me to do the right activities without having my immediate supervisors above me micro-managing me. Which empowered me to lead my team the way I thought was the best. This made me take ownership of my team so when the team was winning out in the field I was winning and of course, if they encountered tough issues I did also.
Attracting Top Notch Sales Reps
On the surface level, most people seeking employment are generally looking for the highest compensation structures. If you are a new company or just don’t have a budget to be the highest compensation in your specific sales industry how can you still attract high caliber sales reps. First and foremost in my strong opinion, it is always best to recruit and hire people that are first-time job seekers since they don’t have any preconceived notions about sales. Seasoned or Veteran Sales reps can sometimes have an attitude like they know everything or someone who has never been in sales but has worked various jobs may have a negative perception about sales. Not to say those people will not work but like they say “it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks” because they might be stuck in their ways.
If you do decide to hire seasoned recruits a good idea is to make sure that they have a student mindset and they are willing to submit to adapt and learn your sales culture that you established.
What these type of people are generally looking for is a company they have a good reputation in the industry. That might consist of what do those in the industry say about your company, how do your clients perceive your company, or maybe what do previous employees say about their tenure while working with your organization.
What you can do is approach this head on and get in front of every recruit as soon as possible. So they hear anything about your organization it comes from you or whatever they have previously heard you can endorse or discredit it.
To attract top-notch recruits your culture must show recruits that you promote the idea of everyone is helping each other to become successful by teaching training and providing a platform to address issues or concerns.
Leading From The Front
I did mention this a little bit earlier but I do believe if you are the sales manager that the direct leader over the sales team you must be leading by example. You must show you are in the trenches with them. This concept helps out in so many ways. When your reps see you working out in the field with them it gives them a sense of belonging to a team and respect for you the leader. You being in the field eliminates many excuses from the poor performing reps because you are out there experiencing everything they are experiencing. If you can do it so that leaves little excuse to why they shouldn’t be able to do it.
There are 2 of my favorite leaders in history that lead from the front and were highly respected. We can learn a thing or 2 from them The first was was Julius Ceasar who fought right alongside his military. What he would do was wear a red cape in battle so he would stand out while he was fighting. He led a military consisting of hundreds of thousandths of soldiers and each soldier seen him in battle fighting which was extremely beneficial for moral. So we can learn from Julius Ceasar and make sure your team sees you out in the field leading from the front. You don’t need a red cape but you can still stand out in front of your reps.
The second leader we can learn from was my favorite General George S. Patton who was always leading his people from the front. He was so far in front he got shot in the leg during WWI. He was a true 360-degree leader since those that followed him loved him and would do anything for him. General Patton’s’ leadership above him respected him so much the appointed him to help plan out the French African Invasion during WWII. He wrote the Army doctrine for militarized armored vehicles or tanks. The upper leadership trusted his decision making.
Everyone makes mistakes. No one is perfect even Patton made a public blunder while visiting a military hospital he slapped a soldier that was in the hospital getting treated for shell shock or today we might call it PTSD. Not only did Patton hit him but he ordered him to the front of the battle line.
The public heard of this and had got really upset that Patton did this. They were calling for his resignation but he was admired by his leadership and the people he led. So that would never happen.
So Patton leading from the front help him become a respected powerful man in the Military. Leading from the front helped him move up the ranks quickly from working border patrol duty defending against Pancho Villas raids to eventually leading the 3rd Army during WWII which consisted of 6 corp and 42 divisions.
Developing Leaders Around You
It is always best to have new leaders training and getting ready for the opportunity to call on them. Developing leaders and making sure they are ready for the next step. Having a mentor program by having your future leaders develop their leadership skills by reading success and leadership books. Getting them involved in seminars based on leadership or anything related to your specific industry. If you are the sales manager and you are looking to move up within your company. This is a great practice and to be known as a person who develops up and coming leaders is a great way to accelerate your position up in the company.
Conclusion: Taking Your Sales Performance From The Bottom To The Top
In conclusion, there are many ways to score a touchdown in a football game. Meaning there are many ways to lead your team to success. You as a leader must find what works best for you and your team. Some of these best practices I have provided have helped myself and others establish and maintain top performing sales teams. Remember a smart person will learn from their own experiences but a wise person will learn from other people experiences. What best practices have you used to improve your sales team performance?
Artificial Intelligence will impact the sales Industry along with the entire workforce. There are many questions about AI and I can understand why. There is a lot of uncertainty from many people. Some are predicting a lot of doom and gloom and we will all end up bowing down to our AI masters. Well others say there is nothning to worry about AI and it will be our greatest tool to help us out. I think that the more likely scenario would be AI will increase our productivity and help us be more efficient. If AI is looking like it is going down the doom and gloom path I would hope that these geniuses that are creating AI would include a kill switch our atleast easy access to pull the power cord.
How Has AI Impacted Us Now?
The biggest Impact has been the use of Chatbots. We all have interacted will chatbots in some form or another. If you have talked to SIRI or Cortana that is a Chatbot that uses NLP technology which is considered machine learning technology. NLP (Neuro-Language Program) is a program that gives the machine a list of options to respond and it responds with the best option. That is probably the easiest way to explain this complex algorithm. Chatbots are widely used doing simple tasks in customer service roles by provide information, or directing people to the right departments when customers are in need of help. The most intriguing role Chatbots have been involved in is when they interpret overwhelming amounts of data in seconds. Two industries that this has impacted the most is the medical and law field. The medical field has been using Chatbots to diagnose patients. It reads a patient medical chart and millions of medical cases that have been documented and it provides a diagnosis. Which makes doctors and other medical personnel more efficient. This gives them more time to see more patients in need. The law field has been impacted with Chatbots by using chatbots to go through billions of cases to provide a solution to any legal problems. They are able to help fill out legal documents. Eliminating these tasks has help lawyers tremendously.
How Can AI Increase Productivity In Sales?
AI has produced some minor changes with CRM’s. AI embedded CRM’s has made data analysis more efficient. Let’s face it most sales reps didn’t get hired to analyze data and most likely part of the business they don’t enjoy. Lead data and prospect data getting analyzed by AI leads to more time working with prospects solidifying and closing sales. In essence, AI analyzes all your lead data and gives you a recommendation to which leads would be best to work. It will analyze your prospect data to give you a valued recommendation. Salesforce, ZOHO and many other CRM’s have already embedded AI to their platforms. AI has already discovered customer personas that can determine which customers should be upsold or cross-sold which many sales reps either skip over or waste time by trying to upsell every customer. AI can give you the prediction or recommendation on what to base your pitch on. So getting as specific to each individual customer as close as the data allows. AI has been a huge help in forecasting sales projections. By analyzing market trends and previous sales history AI can predict accurately your business which of course can help the management team apply resources more accurately. AI predictions minimize the risk of unseen issues that no human without guessing can imagine.
How Can You Optimize Your Sales Team?
Without data AI is worthless. So you need to capture accurate data. The ideal way would be to eliminate the human touch as much as possible. I know in the industry I was involved in would have been almost impossible. One thing you can do is have a system to capture each prospect’s disposition with a drop-down menu so the rep can put the option that fits best. This should be done in real time to record time frames. Ideally if making calls to prospects there are systems you can set up phones to that capture flawless data by recording the customer that are called whether they answer or not and the time each phone call takes. If you have an email outbound campaign you can set up templates. Capturing the data from email template will be able to tell which email template customers respond to. You can do the same sort of thing for recruiting. If you or posting recruiting ads. Have each ad with a different number to call. You can a phone system record all incoming calls. You can determine which ad works best for each individual candidate. I will just reiterate but the main idea is to capture data that is untainted by human error so that AI can interpt to see paterns that we can’ t normally see. Each individual business is different so figure out innovative ways to capture data to improve your business.
The future Is Near
Virtual Assistants – VA’s are currently used today with chatbots. Once more equipped to handle more complex functions they can and will be used to take inbound calls and inquiries from prospects. This area is rapidly growing with many websites using virtual assistants to handle minimal customer service duties. They are currently processing refunds and returns for businesses which have helped relieve cost for this dreadful part of the business.
Deep Learning Platforms – DLP’s are enabling AI to mimic the human brain by deciphering patterns, making complex decisions which one day can be helpful in determining customer needs. These are currently being used with large dataset makes it unfeasible for use now in the sales industry but will eventually progress in the future.
Biometrics – This is a really interesting field. Biometrics will allow people to interact with AI more naturally. This includes touching, imagining, and voice and body recognition. Which when this progresses you can only imagine the possibilities this will have for our industry and many other industries.
In Conclusion: How Will AI Affect The Sales Industry?
As you have read AI is already making an impact in the sales industry. It also is looking like to have a greater impact in the future. One thing that AI is great at is figuring out patterns in data that we can not see. They are able to go through huge amounts of data which in turn help us become more efficient. If you are doing those mundane tasks it is probably a good idea to start increasing your skill set because those jobs will most likely be a thing of the past. What type of person is needed is those sales rep who can make use of the recommendations that AI gives out. In the people business nothing is ever perfect since humans are fallible but if you are able to improve productivity with this information shows you are capable of evolving your business to adapt with AI. AI is not going away and many businesses are implementing strategies around AI. Your capabilities to work with AI and your understanding of AI will determine your need in the workplace. So stay current, stay relevant, and keep informed on new changes in your business. So tell me has AI affected your business? How do you see AI affecting your business in the future?