The Ultimate Sales Machine – Page 1
THE ULTIMATE SALES MACHINE
Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies
CHET HOLMES is a corporate trainer and business strategist. He has consulted with more than a thousand companies and sixty Fortune 500 companies including NBC, Pacific Bell, Citibank, Warner Bros. and Merrill Lynch. Mr. Holmes at one time ran nine divisions of a company for Charlie Munger, Warren Buffet’s partner. He managed to double the sales volume of each division assigned to him, often within twelve to eighteen months. Mr. Holmes has designed advertising and sales systems for companies in hundreds of industries and has developed 65 training products which sell in more than 20 countries. The Web site for this book is at www.chetholmes.com.
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The Ultimate Sales Machine – Page 1
MAIN IDEA To turn your business into the “Ultimate Sales Machine”, you actually don’t have to do 4,000 different things. Instead, you have to do 12 basic things or core competencies 4,000 times. Put another way, success comes from doing the right things with pigheaded determination and persistence. The twelve building blocks which you must have in place if your company is to succeed long term are: 1. Teach everyone how to manage their time. 2. Have training happening on a consistent basis. 3. Get everyone to use meetings effectively. 4. Have good strategies and great tactics. 5. Accelerate growth by hiring superstars. 6. Instead of trying to sell everyone, be selective. 7. Harness the seven must do’s of marketing. 8. Integrate compelling visuals into your processes. 9. Make a concerted effort to get the best buyers. 10. Develop a highly polished sales process. 11. Keep your clients forever to boost profits. 12. Set ongoing goals and measure your progress. Instead of bouncing from one new management fad to another, focus on doing each of these twelve things progressively better over time. Work at it until every aspect of your business runs with machine like precision. Make certain everyone in your organization has access to the tools, the training and the resources they will require to master these twelve core competencies. “You can profoundly improve your company or department if you absolutely commit to one hour per week in which you do nothing else but work on making the business much more effective. The key is learning and practicing the pigheaded discipline and determination you need to constantly address and readdress the 12 areas outlined.” – Chet Holmes “The Ultimate Sales Machine is all about working smarter, not harder. Doesn’t it seem smarter to take 12 proven strategies and perfect them, than to scramble about using hundreds of different ideas without any real traction on any of them?” – Chet Holmes 1
The twelve core competencies of highly successful companies Time Management 2 Regular Training 3 Effective Meetings
There are six simple things you can do to ensure everyone is using their time as efficiently as possible. Master these basics and have everyone in your company do the same on a regular basis to make impressive performance gains. Page 2 4 Brilliant Strategies
If you run ongoing regular training sessions, you can m ake your organization run better, smarter and faster. The key here is consistency rather than stop/start efforts. Train regularly with enthusiasm or be prepared to feel the pain. Page 2 5 Hire Superstars
Use workshop training to help everyone learn what to do when face-to-face with a customer. Train together so you can work in sync to improve every aspect of your company’s operations. Pay attention to planning, procedures and policy. Page 3 6 Best Buyers
Learn how to think and plan like a strategist but implement like a great tactician. If you can do this, you can get more bang for your buck and more impact from every move you try and make. Strategies get you to the door and tactics get you in. Page 3 7 Great Marketing
If you can inject high-octane talent at every level of your business, you can’t help but accelerate your growth. Be perfectly willing to pay for superior performance and you’ll be amazed at what top producers are able to generate for you. Page 4 8 Superior Visuals
Instead of trying to sell to everyone, identify who the best buyers are for your products and target them intensively. This will always be cheaper than mass marketing and it will generate or produce superior results. Page 4 9 Dream 100
There are only seven marketing vehicles great companies use to attract ongoing and sustainable levels of business. Learn how to use and maximize each for your specific requirements and then get as many as possible into action. Page 5 10 Sales Skills
Do whatever you can to incorporate a visual component into your sales and marketing processes. Not only will this make you appear more professional but it will nearly triple your communication impact as well. People remember what they see. Page 6 11 Client Bonding
Make a consistent and constant effort to secure the business of your top 100 ideal customers. Get down to the nitty-gritty details of actually making this happen rather than leave it to chance. Look at this as a process, not as a single event. Page 6 12 Set Goals
Instead of leaving the sales process up to your individual salespeople, you need to develop a highly polished sales process. You then need to teach this process to everyone and get them using it consistently well. This is what all great companies do. Page 7
It’s always harder to attract new clients than it is to do more business with the clients you already have. Therefore, work at bonding with your clients. Fine new and creative ways to build your relationship to a deeper, more profitable level. Page 7
Goal setting is the 12th skill because it soups up and enhances all eleven other skills. Setting goals is not simply about writing your objectives. It’s also about achieving things faster and more automatically than you ever thought feasible. Page 8
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12 Core Competencies
There are six simple things you can do to ensure everyone is using their time as efficiently as possible. Master these basics and have everyone in your company do the same on a regular basis to make impressive performance gains. To manage your time more efficiently, put six simple steps into practice every day: 1. Take action on everything you touch – so don’t touch anything unless you’re prepared and ready to deal with it right here and now. This applies to physical items as well as e-mail. Have everyone provide a detailed subject line for all internal e-mail so you know what it is before you open it. Don’t open an e-mail or pick up a piece of paper unless you’re prepared to take action on it immediately. 2. Make a new list every day of the six most important tasks you need to accomplish – and then move heaven and earth to get those six things completed every day. Keep other longer lists if required but always get through your daily list. 3. Every morning, plan how much time you will allocate to each task on your daily list – so you can be sure you have realistic expectations. As a rule of thumb, your six most important tasks should require six hours or less. Any more and you’ll have problems. 4. Plan your day – which essentially means assigning time slots when you will accomplish each task on your list. You also need to allocate time for e-mail and other routine tasks. The challenge then becomes sticking to your plan, no matter what. 5. Prioritize – focus on your most difficult tasks first and do the more mundane stuff later when your energy levels are lower. 6. Always ask: “Will it hurt me to throw this away?” – and if the answer is No, throw it away. It’s amazing how much junk people keep simply because they never throw away obsolete stuff. Avoid that. If you master these six simple steps, you won’t believe how much more you can get done. Implement these steps companywide and before you know it, your firm will be operating at maximum productivity.
Even when you’ve followed these six steps, things will still change in your day. Unplanned emergencies will crop up and your schedule will get disrupted. As long as you’ve scheduled in some flexible time, you still should be able to stay on track. The key is to deal with whatever crops up and then get back to your list. Most people never get around to finding their way back. “In my experience, most businesspeople don’t take the time to plan and take action because all their time is consumed by reacting to the business they’ve already built. To build your business into the Ultimate Sales Machine, you need to be in a primarily proactive mode. Time management is critical.” – Chet Holmes 12 Core Competencies 2 Regular Training
To run a good training session: 1. Tell everyone in advance – what will be covered, how the information will be conveyed and what specific skill or competency will be enhanced. This allows people to get mentally prepared. 2. Decide on the optimum training format for the topic or material at hand – which will usually be a mix of • Formal lectures. • Group question-and-answer sessions. • Group discussions in which everyone participates. • Product or technical demonstrations. • Role plays or hot seats. • Analysis of specific case studies. • Formal tests or spot quizzes. • Workshops offering hands-on experience. 3. Integrate y our session into an ongoing organizational training plan – so everyone knows what gets covered won’t be mentioned once and then forgotten. People need to know what they’re learning is relevant and will be followed up on before they will give it their full attention. Make sure there is sufficient feedback provided. 4. Make your training session open and fun – so people enjoy the experience rather than dread it. Remember, you aren’t r unning a m ilitary organization so you have to win people’s interest. Make what you offer interesting, stimulating and at least thought provoking if not downright memorable. Get people involved in learning exercises which are immersive and appealing to all the senses. “With consistent training every week in every area of your company, you can put higher and higher standards into place and raise the bar of performance for your entire staff. If you really want to become the Ultimate Sales Machine, training is an absolute must at every level, no matter how large or small.” – Chet Holmes “Training is proactive. It keeps your company healthy and prepared no matter what crisis arises. If you don’t train, you force everyone to be reactive, so your chances for survival decrease dramatically. The companies that conduct the best training will own the future, so train constantly and train with enthusiasm.” – Chet Holmes
If you run ongoing regular training sessions, you can make your organization run better, smarter and faster. The key here is consistency rather than stop / start efforts. Train regularly with enthusiasm or be prepared to feel the pain. If you have a consistent ongoing training program in place for your organization:
You’ll be able to get new hires up to speed quickly and efficiently. You’ll have regular opportunities to upgrade the skills and knowledge of your people. You’ll be able to provide continuous ongoing professional development. You’ll be well placed to solve any and all problems which confront your organization.
In spite of all these obvious advantages, many companies never get around to running meetings where people can sharpen their skills and improve their knowledge. If you plan on building a finely tuned business machine, regular training meetings will be an essential building block. Good quality training is important because it helps everyone sharpen their skills and set higher standards. Repetition is vital because you need to keep your core material fresh and at the front of your mind rather than buried behind loads of other issues.
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12 Core Competencies
Use workshop training to help everyone learn what to do when face-to-face with a customer. Train together so you can work in sync to improve every aspect of your company’s operations. Pay attention to planning, procedures and policy. If you want to build a successful company and keep it running smoothly, you have to hold regular ongoing training meetings which keep on improving every aspect of your business. At these meetings, you need to pay constant attention to the three Ps:
8. Hold a follow-up workshop where everyone is invited to suggest ways to tweak and further improve the new procedure. 9. Monitor the new procedure directly and check whether it does what it’s supposed to do. 10. Once you’ve measured, reward your team for the outcome they have generated. A $100 bill and the recognition of the CEO can be highly motivational. “The three Ps are magical in your operation because they create the conditions for every aspect of your company to operate with subconscious competence. Every person on your staff knows what to do without having to think about it.” – Chet Holmes 12 Core Competencies 4 Brilliant Strategies
You then offer to educate people about how to solve the problem – whether they buy your product or not. Teach them something of value – like: “The Five Ways You May Be Wasting Money in Your Current Operations and Administration”. This will position you advantageously as an expert in your field so if they do buy in the future, they will think of your first. In addition to teaching people good and useful ideas, you can also integrate an offer for what you have to sell right into your message. If people appreciate the quality information you provide them, they will be favorably inclined towards doing business with you either right now or in the future.
Planning in specifics how to improve one part of your business. Developing and drafting written procedures which you can then test and keep improving. Creating company policies which get everyone on the same page and doing the most productive things.
Once you realize the strategy of teaching people worthwhile information works, you’ll then find there are a large number of ways this kind of information can be delivered. For example:
Workshops are a good format for these training meetings because they encourage active participation. If you keep minutes of each workshop and put those minutes into a procedures binder, that can then become your training manual for new people. You can also use these notes to draft your formal written company policies. To implement any new policy generally takes ten steps: 1. Get everyone to define the problem the same way and feel the pain. 2. Hold a workshop where you generate some potential solutions. 3. Select one idea to work on and develop whatever procedures will be required to make that happen. 4. Have the CEO or business unit leader personally test and perfect the procedure. 5. Set a deadline for testing the new procedure and if no results are forthcoming by that time, look for other options to field test. 6. Document whatever scripts or activities are required to get consistent results. 7. Have a show-and-tell session where everyone gets hands-on experience using the procedure.
Learn how to think and plan like a strategist but implement like a great tactician. If you can do this, you can get more bang for your buck and more impact from every move you try and make. Strategies get you to the door and tactics get you in. A strategy is your detailed plan for achieving a long-term goal. Tactics are the short-term methods you’re using to achieve your immediate goals. Sending out direct mail, having a display at a trade show and running an ad are tactics, not strategies. Most businesspeople tend to be so immersed in the tactics of what they’re doing that they lose the big picture strategic perspective. This is unfortunate because if you get your strategy right to start with, your tactics will often be more successful by a very large multiple. So how do you make this happen?
You can offer an in-house seminar at their place of business. You can run some “lunch-and-learn” sessions at a local restaurant for small groups. You can run Web-based seminars people attend from their own offices.
If you can wrap all of this up into a core story or stadium pitch which encapsulates what you have to offer and why it’s important in a few sentences, you will then be ready to really get into action. Education-based marketing is effective because it makes it easier to get appointments. By establishing your people as knowledgeable experts in their field rather than high-pressure sales types, they have much more credibility. You can also create an impressive amount of brand loyalty this way. “One of the most strategic things you can do is to find market data that makes your product or service more important. I don’t care if you sell shaving cream or overnight delivery services – there is market data that will make your product more vital.” – Chet Holmes “If you want to build the Ultimate Sales Machine, you need to think and plan like a strategist and implement like a great tactician.” – Chet Holmes
At any one time, there are probably only a small number of people who are actively buying what you have to offer. Therefore, if you charge right ahead with trying to sell, most people will have no problems rejecting your offer. A better approach is to back up and find some actual market data or circumstances which makes your product or service seem far more essential and vital. Instead of selling what you have, you can then make people aware of this situation.
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12 Core Competencies
Relax – be friendly and a great listener. Ask them to write down questions they want to be asked. Probe – explain you’re looking at their personality rather than their direct background and then gauge how well they empathize with you. Get their permission to ask questions about their childhood and try to understand what events early in life have shaped their current career trajectory. Attack their credentials – and see whether they fold up their tent and steal away in the night or stand their ground. Superstars know they’re good and will stand their ground. They have tremendous levels of self belief and self confidence.
If you can inject high-octane talent at every level of your business, you can’t help but accelerate your growth. Be perfectly willing to pay for superior performance and you’ll be amazed at what top producers are able to generate for you. The average bad hire can cost a company $60,000 or more and yet many hiring decisions are made on the basis of an interview which takes an hour or less. This is almost a guaranteed way to fail. If you can instead turn that around and hire top performers, you can reshape your entire company almost overnight. In particular, if you can hire superstars and then pay them out of the additional business they generate, it’s a win-win situation all around. Attracting superstars is, however, tricky because you’ve got to appeal directly to their egos. A good way to do this is to run an ad along these lines: “Sales Superstars Wanted $50K to $300K. Don’t even call unless you are an overachiever and have a track record to prove it. Come build an empire with us in the XYZ industry. We hire top producers. If you’re average, you’ll earn $50K with us. If you are a star, you’ll earn $300K +. Young or old. Contact us at...”. When people reply to the ad, you then interview them like this: YOU: OK, let’s start by asking why you think we should interview you. THEM: Well, can you tell me more about the job. YOU: Sure, but that’s a much longer conversation. I’m happy to do that once we determine you’re someone we want to interview. So let’s cut to the chase, why should we speak with you? Almost without fail, superstars will respond positively to having their egos challenged in this way and will open up about their track record with some pride. If they don’t have a genuinely impressive track record, they will try and beat around the bush and you’ll know you can safely terminate the interview right there and then without the danger of passing on someone solid. As you talk to potential star performers for all parts of your business, keep in mind three general concepts:
Identify people who are already marketing to your Dream 100 or have an established relationship and affiliate with them. Share the rewards for generating business this way generously with your affiliate and they will be keen to work with you again in the future. Understand the lifetime value of a new client and provide them with incentives to do business with you which will make them feel special. Have a systematic way you can generate referrals from people who are happy with what you provide. Approach your Dream 100 potential clients in as many different formats as possible – letters, direct mail, phone calls, personal approaches, whatever. Do everything conceivable to get them into the fold.
One final point. Superstars always want little or no base pay and huge performance payments. Work in with them and make that happen. 12 Core Competencies 6 Best Buyers
Instead of trying to sell to everyone, identify who the best buyers are for your products and target them intensively. This will always be cheaper than mass marketing and it will generate or produce superior results. If you’re serious about increasing sales, you need to sit down and come up with a list of your 100 dream buyers – your ideal clients for what you have to offer. Once you have your list, you should then proceed to do everything feasible to get your ideal buyers to become your customers. This will always be more effective than trying to get anyone and everyone to buy. To build your own Dream 100 program:
Regardless of how you do it, narrow your focus to grow your business. Don’t try and sell to the masses but pay very close attention to your dream buyers list. Do whatever it takes to get these people or companies buying from you and it’s not unreasonable that you’ll be able to double your sales the first year you do this. Keep at it with determination and you’ll often be able to keep doubling your sales the year after as well. Capture the interest of your best buyers, focus on serving them extremely well and then maintain that focus with determination and discipline. Keep doing this month-in and month-out and you can’t help but be noticed. “The fastest way to grow any company is to focus a special and dedicated effort on your dream clients.” – Chet Holmes “The Dream 100 strategy has doubled the sales of many of my clients and it can work for you. You just have to have the pigheaded discipline and determination to build a great Dream 100 program and stick to it like white on rice.” – Chet Holmes “It may take you some time but there is no market in the world that you can’t penetrate if you’re committed and willing to do something on a regular and consistent basis. Remember that you should be willing to do more than you’d do for everyday buyers. Give something away; make a lot of attractive offers to get them in the door.” – Chet Holmes
Sit down and develop some information programs they will jump at. For a business, you might offer a mini-seminar on: “The Five Most Dangerous Trends Facing Your Business Today”. Call the managing directors of your Dream 100 list, explain you’re giving this seminar to all of their competitors and offer to keep them in the loop as well. They may jump at it. Try to create top-of-mind awareness with your best buyers so if they do decide to buy what you offer, they will automatically think of you. You can only do this if you make them multiple offers. Be pleasantly persistent and they will respect that, even if they don’t respond immediately.
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12 Core Competencies
There are only seven marketing vehicles great companies use to attract ongoing and sustainable levels of business. Learn how to use and maximize each for your specific requirements and then get as many as possible into action. The seven key marketing weapons are: 1. Advertising – which works exceptionally well if you have the budget for it. Great ads which generate the best response rates: • Are distinctive enough to attract attention. • Have a headline which reaches out and grabs. • Contain enough meat to keep people reading. • Specify precisely why you should act now. 2. Direct Mail – which is excellent for education-based marketing. Direct mail can be used as a standalone tactic or in parallel with advertising for enhanced results. 3. Corporate Literature – brochures, promotional pieces, white papers, reports and so forth. This kind of literature can be very effective when it ties in with the core story or stadium pitch you’re trying to push. All of these materials should highlight different parts of your core story. 4. Public Relations – trade show parties, press releases and affiliations with various trade associations and community groups. The essence of this marketing weapon is to do newsworthy things which attracts the attention of media who cover what you do as news rather than as paid advertising. A cohesive and well coordinated public relations effort can create loads of awareness of your company and what you have to offer. 5. Personal Contacts – actually getting on the phone and talking with decision makers. This is a potent form of marketing because it allows you the opportunity to ask questions, answer their questions, change your proposal on the fly to meet their specific requirements and more. Admittedly, your time is limited but meeting with people one-on-one either in person or on the phone is an excellent marketing weapon.
6. Trade Shows and Other Market Education – opportunities to create mass awareness of your company. To make this work, there are three rules: • Do whatever it takes to stand out and get noticed. • Give people a reason to come see you. • Capture leads from everyone who comes to you. 7. The Internet – which allows companies to rise to prominence in their industries very rapidly. There are loads of ways to use the Internet in marketing but in essence these methods can all be boiled down to five simple steps: • Capture leads. • Build a relationship with those who visit you. • Keep interacting with them as much as possible. • Offer a Web based seminar on something topical. • Convert your Web site traffic into sales.
In and of themselves, any one of these marketing weapons used well can generate extraordinary amounts of business but when you harness all seven together in a coordinated manner, the results can be impressive. For example, when your in-person marketing as well as all your advertising drives people to articles available at your Web site which then lead to referrals your marketing people follow up on in person, a multiplier effect comes into play. “Before you can obtain the Ultimate Sales Machine, every aspect of your business must run with razor-sharp precision, and that includes your marketing. Every company that wants to be number one in its industry or profession must deploy the seven musts of marketing.” – Chet Holmes
Seven key marketing weapons 1 Your core story Information 2 Data 3 Corporate Literature Ideas 4 Concepts Your stadium pitch 5 Approaches 6 Clues 7 The Internet Trade Shows Personal Contacts Public Relations Coordinated Results Direct Mail Advertising
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12 Core Competencies
û û û û
Don’t keep your hands in your pockets when presenting – it makes you look like a slacker. Don’t make a presentation sitting down – when you stand, you have more presence and authority. Don’t lose control by breaking your presentation to answer an irrelevant question. Don’t be upstaged by your visuals – because you still have to make the sale. Visuals are an aid, not the main event. Don’t act like you’re at a funeral – but inject appropriate humor and jokes. Don’t fail to practice your presentation beforehand – because that’s just asking for trouble. Don’t be unprepared for what comes next in your presentation – but know your material inside and out. 9 Dream 100
Do whatever you can to incorporate a visual component into your sales and marketing processes. Not only will this make you appear more professional but it will nearly triple your communication impact as well. People remember what they see. A full 85-percent of all the information taken into the brain enters through the eyes. If you fail to incorporate a visual component in your sales and marketing message, you’re imposing a handicap which does not need to be there. Have presentations which are visually rich and vibrant so you keep prospective customers engaged and fully participative. The do’s and don’ts of great visuals are:
3. Create a letter you send your Dream 100 with the gifts – which ties what you offer to your gift in some creative way. For example, if you send a stopwatch, your letter might state: “For every second you do not get our free executive briefing on the Five Most Critical Insights in the Banking Industry Today, you are losing money”. Keep your letter brief and draw a direct connection between what you send them and what you want them to do. 4. Create your Dream 100 Marketing Calendar – which schedules which of the seven marketing tools you will use with your Dream 100 list and when. Make a firm commitment to be doing something every month to try and attract the business of everyone in your Dream 100. 5. Follow up with a phone call after every gift or mailing – with the objective of scheduling an appointment to give them your core story in person. To get around gatekeepers, explain you’re following up on correspondence with that person and maintain a tone of authority. 6. Present an executive briefing of your core story – which is full of educational material rather than self-promotion. To really make this sizzle: • Use market data, not your product data. • Hit all the anticipated pain points. • Educate first, sell later. • Establish some buying criteria in your favor. • Position your firm advantageously. If you’re smart, you can put your presentation on the Web and have your prospective customer view it at their own pace and in their own office. You might also find if you provide a worksheet with some fill-in gaps this will help keep their attention. “An education-based Dream 100 strategy has worked again and again to help many companies penetrate impenetrable accounts or to attract those best buyers in the best neighborhoods. The biggest weakness I notice when I see companies utilize this strategy is that either they are too inconsistent or they give up too quickly. Remember that getting the best buyers is a process – not a single event. It’s a campaign to stay in their face forever. To build the Ultimate Sales Machine, devote machinelike precision to chase those dream prospects.” – Chet Holmes
û û û
ü Keep it simple – make your graphics easy to follow
12 Core Competencies
ü Keep ü Use
it fast paced – about two to three visuals a minute is ideal. facts and statistics which will generate an immediate “Wow!” response. love stories and will remember them forever.
ü Build in opportunities for stories – because people ü Let your presentation be curiosity driven – which will
happen if you unfold your story in a way that piques curiosity. Keep referring to what will come in the rest of your presentation.
Make a consistent and constant effort to secure the business of your top 100 ideal customers. Get down to the nitty-gritty details of actually making this happen rather than leave it to chance. Look at this as a process, not as a single event. Imagine for a moment you lived in a perfect world. Who would be the 100 clients you’d love to have? These are your “Dream 100”, except instead of just dreaming of having them as clients, you need to get out there and secure their business. To actually do that instead of merely thinking about it: 1. Choose your Dream 100 – in vivid detail. Make very clear your criteria and why each person on your list qualifies. Create a database where you can store the information you collect on each person on your list and continue to learn more and more about them. 2. Choose small and inexpensive gifts you can send your Dream 100 every two weeks or so – something novel which will get noticed but not something expensive which will come across like a bribe. Ideally, this should be something which elicits a few smiles and might get taken home as a gift for a child.
each headline as valuable real estate – summarize the most important point of each visual and make your headline attract attention. the listener will relate.
ü Be confident but not overbearing or obnoxious – so ü Focus on the listener’s needs – and how you will meet
them in a way which provides tangible benefits for you and for them.
Don’t thank people for their time – because that suggests they could be doing something more valuable. Provide so much valuable information that people thank you for your time, not the other way around.
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12 Core Competencies
Instead of leaving the sales process up to your individual salespeople, you need to develop a highly polished sales process. You then need to teach this process to everyone and get them using it consistently well. This is what all great companies do. Sales is actually a science rather than something which is personality driven. There are seven steps involved in making a sale, each of which can be taught and optimized. These steps are: 1. Establish rapport – which shouldn’t be hard. If you have a genuinely good product, buyers will become your friends. Encourage everyone to be knowledgeable so they can provide customers with ideas which help them get done what they want to do. And have some fun with your clients. 2. Always qualify your buyers – which means finding their needs. Once you know that, you then know which factors will influence them to buy, and how to reset your prospect’s buying criteria in your favor. Develop a series of questions which you ask so you gain an accurate idea of their background needs and requirements. 3. Begin to build value around your product or service – by providing an executive briefing of some interesting market data which just happens to reinforce the need for what you offer. A good approach is: “Whether you do business with us or not, we’ve gathered some interesting data on what it takes to be successful in your markets.” 4. Create desire – by leading up to killer data which will motivate your prospect to take immediate action. Enhance their awareness of how inadequate their current situation is and the value of the solution you can offer right away. 5. Overcome their objections – ask what is stopping them from making an immediate decision, isolate that objection by clarifying they have no other concerns and then work hard to show not moving ahead will cost them more in the long run. Become highly adept at working through the most common objections people will raise with you.
6. Close the sale – ask for a decision. By all means provide them with everything they need to move forward but invite them to be decisive. If you’re selling something which will be good for them, make them feel a little bit of pressure. 7. Follow through – and make certain your company delivers everything that was promised. “Smart companies build tools, policies and procedures that support these seven steps. The more standards you set, the higher the performance you can expect from every level of talent. Only constant practice and repetition will create master-level salespeople.” – Chet Holmes 12 Core Competencies 11 Client Bonding
4. Throw a party – and invite them along. Or perhaps you may share a meal on your tab. Tell them you did some research and have some ideas to run past them while you eat. 5. Send them another fax/e-mail/letter/card – something short and interesting. Be personal and complimentary. 6. Plan and do something fun – something your client and his or her entire family will enjoy. The possibilities are endless – boating, tennis, hot air ballooning or scuba diving to name just a few. Come up with something memorable and cool. Buy blocks of tickets to a local sporting event or concert. 7. Offer them something which will help their business free-of-charge – because great companies work hard at helping their clients succeed. Perhaps you can come up with some ideas that will help your client grow. Become a resource of fresh ideas they trust and appreciate. 8. Keep sending out faxes/e-mails/letters/cards – so your clients get used to hearing from you on a regular basis. Don’t just drop off their radar screens but become a friend. Be genuine in your desire to help. 9. Keep offering them additional things – perhaps you can give a seminar at their place of business for their own clients. Or help them with some training on some topic you know they struggle with. The more you can do this, the more likely it becomes they will view you as a business asset that happens to be on someone else’s payroll rather than their own. 10. Invite them to your home – which in effect signifies they are part of your personal circle of friends, not just another client. “Bonding is everything. Your ultimate goal is that all of your biggest clients also become your best friends. Become involved in their lives and in the success of their businesses. Make it your personal mission to help them succeed. The bottom line is that you need to do follow-up or you will be mediocre. With a fantastic, structured follow-up, you will propel yourself so far above your competitors that they won’t be able to touch you or your clients.” – Chet Homes
It’s always harder to attract new clients than it is to do more business with the clients you already have. Therefore, work at bonding with your clients. Fine new and creative ways to build your relationship to a deeper, more profitable level. You should do everything you can to follow-up on sales intensively. New clients are ideal prospects for add-ons, upgrades and all kinds of profit generating embellishments. Never make a sale and then ignore your customers. Instead, follow these follow-up suggestions: 1. Send them a follow-up letter after they have purchased – which provides something personal from one of your meetings or some piece of information you promised to send them. Include some compliments in your note. 2. Make a follow-up phone call – to check everything went smoothly or simply to pass on a great idea which came to you after meeting them. Offer some more education or some expert user tips. 3. Drop them a note with something amusing or something that appeals to their personal interests – which again will have the effect of building personal rapport. Even if you do nothing more than make them smile, that keeps building the bond and reminds them you haven’t forgotten.
The Ultimate Sales Machine – Page 8
12 Core Competencies
Goal setting is the 12th skill because it soups up and enhances all eleven other skills. Setting goals is not simply about writing your objectives. It’s also about achieving things faster and more automatically than you ever thought feasible. It’s impossible to master all of the twelve skills instantly. Instead, you have to set periodic goals to upgrade your performance in these areas and then keep revisiting them over and over. As you set and then achieve goals, you’ll also find your subconscious mind will assist by working on these things in the background while you do other things and even while you sleep. Goal setting should be simple if it is to be effective. Therefore, you should work on the cycle shown at right. This can be repeated over and over until you eventually drive your organization to the top of your industry. “Mastering anything is not about doing 4,000 new things, but doing 12 things 4,000 times. To master your business, you will no doubt go through each of the competencies again and again, each time seeing more and more improvement and growth in your business. You can’t be a master of all of these skills instantly, but setting periodic goals will speed the process.” – Chet Holmes “Look at any area in your life where you have a great achievement – you know you worked at it. Perhaps you are a great golfer. Perhaps you’re good at tennis. Perhaps you play piano. Any area of achievement in your life required you to stick with the basics until you became great. And yet so many businesses don’t do that. There are basics that you can do over and over again until every aspect runs like a machine. In the near future, you can have every person in every department know how to handle any circumstance that arises. What will it take to get you there? One thing: pigheaded discipline and determination.” – Chet Holmes
1 Once a week, set aside an hour where you regularly cycle through each of the twelve skills. Focus this session on finding specific solutions and coming up with precise ideas on how to improve and grow your business with the twelve skills as a framework. 5 Use organizational contests to enhance your goal setting. Analyze what your top performers are doing and reward those who raise their performance by solid margins. Provide people with exceptional incentives and then get out of their way and let them go to work.
2 For each skill, develop some positive affirmations which people can use to program their subconscious minds. T hese affirmations should be written and repeated as often as possible. The more you state them, the more your brain works on them.
Goal setting as on ongoing performance driver and amplifier
4 Measure your effectiveness in achieving your goals every step of the way. Develop measurement tools which track your performance in detail and have everyone record their activities. By doing this, you should be able t o s ee improvements when they happen.
3 Set written goals for how you will improve performance in each skill area. Write down three specific things you will do as an organization to improve your performance in this skill. Place this list somewhere where you will see it a number of times every day.
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