(c) Teleconcepts Consulting 2003 http://www.teleconceptsconsulting.com There are only 4 outcomes to any sales situation: a sale, no sale, a continuance and an advance. The first two outcomes are easy to comprehend. But the line between continuance and advance is the line between mediocre reps and immensely successful reps. If you’re interested in reducing the sales cycle, working on better qualified leads and generating more sales, pay attention. Cntinuance Unfortunately, the vast majority of reps are superb at “continuing” a sale. A continuance is where it appears that the sale cycle is being closed but in reality, it is only being extended. This is sometimes a tough concept for reps to understand. Here are some examples to illustrate what I mean: * I’ll send you some product brochures in the mail * I will give you a call sometime next week to discuss the proposal * Give the sample a try and we’ll review it latter on * I’ll fax you the material and we’ll go over it * Let’s meet sometime next month and we’ll assess your need then On the surface, these statements would suggest that the sale is moving forward. Not so. Did you notice the two common denominators? 1. There is no firm commitment on behalf of the prospect or customer to take specific action. 2. There is no firm follow up date. Some sales will, of course, occur but if you are interested in getting more sales in less time, and if you would like to disqualify those clients who are not actually interested in your product or service, then you must learn to “advance” the sale. The Advance The advance differs from a continuance in that it gets the client to take a specific action within a given timeframe. Here’s how the above examples would look/sound like with an advance: * I’ll send you a product brochure on Nite-White in the mail and what I would like to recommend is that we review these together next Thursday. How does 10:15 look to you? * I’ll give you a call next week to discuss the MEA proposal. Suppose we schedule Wednesday at 2:20? * I’ll be glad to provide you with an Atrium sample. Specifically when will you use it? What is the criteria for evaluation? What I would like to recommend is that we set up an appointment for Friday, at 8:30 a.m. to review your evaluation. How does that sound? * I’ll fax over the material right now. Can you review them so that we go over documents together in about 45 minutes? * Let’s set up an appointment for next month, say the 15th, at 2:45. At that time we can reassess your situation. Is that date okay with you? Do you see the difference? Each example suggests a specific action that must or should be taken by the client. This creates active participation from the client which moves the sale further through the cycle. Next, each example has a specific time frame for the accomplishment of the action which creates commitment. This is a powerful one-two sales punch. If… If the client will NOT commit to any action or follow up, it suggests that perhaps their interest is not particularly strong at this point in time. If the client will NOT commit to the action, then withdraw the advance. For example, “Ms. Finn, I get the impression that perhaps now is not the best time to send the literature. If it is not possible to set up a review date, perhaps it would be best if we waited and I call you at a later date.” It takes guts to do this but what it really does is allow you focus only on genuine sales opportunities. You don’t waste time “watering dead plants.” This is an extremely powerful technique. Use it and advance the sale!

John Edwards, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee has been getting quite a bit of attention recently. Particularly his background as a personal injury trial attorney. His skills helped juries award hundreds of millions of dollars to his clients, and made him a very wealthy man. Other attorneys often would visit his courtroom just to observe him in action. Say what you will about attorneys in general, and putting aside Edwards’ politics, let’s look at the parallels between trial lawyers and sales reps as it relates to the strategies and techniques used. There’s no substitute for preparation Lawyers are implored not to ask questions unless they know the answer, lest it could blow up on them. I’ve read countless stories of attorneys cross-examining with questions where they didn’t know the answers, and then having the opposition win, largely on account of the effect of the bombshell answer. And who could forget O.J. Simpson trying on the gloves that apparently didn’t fit, and the prosecutor not being prepared for the situation. Your own questioning plan should look like a computer programmer’s flow chart .. . a decision tree, with your subsequent responses dependent upon their statements and answers. The smoother and easier someone makes an activity look or sound is usually in inverse proportion to the amount of work and preparation they put forth before the performance. The Pin-Drop Effect In “The Art of Questioning, Thirty Maxims of Cross-Examination,” Peter Brown suggests that when an opposition witness has been coaxed into making a material admission that is important to your case, it’s often effective to stop asking questions for a moment and let the response sink in with the jury. Even though we don’t have a jury on the phone, the same results occur with the prospects. I’ve suggested this technique many, many times here. I simply refer to it as pausing. Finish on a high note Brown suggests that during a peak in cross-examination, (where the attorney had just scored major points in the questioning) terminate and sit down. This is akin to finishing your questioning on a peak where you’ve just gotten the prospect or customer to explain and relive a major problem or pain, and then you move quickly to the presentation phase while the wound is still fresh. Closed-ended questions are OK! What? We’ve always believed in sales that you should only use open-ended questions. That’s true when you want lots of information, and also desire them to pour out their feelings regarding problems or needs. Attorneys are instructed to use open-ended questions when they have friendly witnesses. If you ever catch a Senate hearing on C-SPAN on some issue, notice how the questioners lob softball open-ended queries to people of similar views. The intent, of course, is to let the speakers expound on their self-serving beliefs. However, if you have opposing views, getting yes or no answers are better. For example, “You’re probably experiencing downtime, now, right?” Creating artificial situations In the book “Current Issues and Enduring Questions: Methods and Models of Argument,” Sylvan Barnet and Hugo Dedau discuss creating artificial scenarios to illustrate a point. Let me summarize what they took about 10 pages to say: use metaphors, analogies, and stories to make a point. For example, recall several years how Newt Gingrich was characterized because of his proposals on changing Medicare and Social Security. It was suggested by one opponent that senior citizens would be “living under bridges in cardboard boxes and eating cat food.” Powerful visual and emotional images to be sure. Great telesales pros use stories, analogies and metaphors to create images of problems, or solutions to tweak the emotions of listeners. For example, “Ann, you mentioned earlier how the chairs you’re using now are difficult to push around, kind of like dragging a king-sized mattress up a flight of stairs. With these new models, it’s almost as effortless as rolling on a sheet of ice, but with total control.” Hypothetical Questions Expert witnesses are often asked contrived questions in order to get their opinions about something supposedly based upon facts. You can ask hypotheticals to get prospects and customers to consider what they would do in certain situations: “Jane, how would you handle it if your supplier was not able to deliver because they were backordered on something you needed overnight?” Create your own hypotheticals designed to get them to react to very real problems they might encounter … ones you can solve. Refuting Hypotheticals Conversely, when hit with a hypothetical that is unrealistic, attorneys are taught to pick apart the question rather than answer it. In “The Art of Cross-Examination,” written by Francis Wellman in 1905, he said, hpotheticals are perhaps “the most abominable form of evidence that was ever allowed to choke the mind of a juror or throttle his intelligence.” Wellman suggests that cross-examiners ask witnesses to repeat and rephrase the hypothetical question in substance. This typically exposes the fallacy of the question. So, if a prospect objects with something totally off the wall, simply say, “I’m not sure I understand. Could you rephrase that?” Or, “Could you give me an example of a situation where that would apply?” ———————————————————————— About the Author Art Sobczak, President of Business By Phone Inc., specializes in one area only: working with business-to-business salespeople–both inside and outside–designing and delivering content-rich programs that participants begin showing results from the very next time they get on the phone. This article was reprinted with permission from Art Sobczak’s “TelE-Sales Hot Tips of the Week .” To subscribe, free, visit his website. You can reach Art by phone at (402)895-9399.

I learned the value and power of thank you notes early in life. When I was a young child, my parents occasionally went out with friends for dinner. Invariably, when my parents returned from an evening out, I saw my mother sit down at her little desk in the hallway as soon as she got home and begin to write. One night I asked her what she was doing. Her answer came straight out of Emily Post: “We had such a wonderful time with our dear friends this evening that I want to jot them a note to thank them for their friendship and the wonderful dinner.” My mother’s simple act of gratitude, expressed to people who already knew that she and my father appreciated and enjoyed their friendship, helped to keep my parents’ friendships strong for their entire lifetimes. Because I understood that building relationships is what selling is all about, I began early in my career to send thank you notes to people. I set a goal to send ten thank you notes every day. That goal meant that I had to meet and get the names of at least ten people every day. I sent thank you notes to people I met briefly, people I showed properties to, people I talked with on the telephone, and people I actually helped to own new homes. I became a thank you note fool. And guess what happened? By the end of my third year in sales, my business was 100% referrals! The people I had expressed gratitude to were happy to send me new clients as a reward for making them feel appreciated and important. I understand that you may not be comfortable at first with starting the Thank You note habit so I took the time to write out ten situations in which sending a Thank You note is appropriate. Then, to help you even more, I’ve drafted the notes for you. 1. Telephone contact Thank you for talking with me on the telephone. In today’s business world, time is precious. You can rest assured that I will always be respectful of the time you invest as we discuss the possibility of a mutually beneficial business relationship. 2. In Person Contact Thank you. It was a pleasure meeting you, and my thank you is for the time we shared. We have been fortunate to serve many happy clients, and it is my wish to some day be able to serve you. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call. 3. After Demonstration or Presentation Thank you for giving me the opportunity to discuss with you our association for the mutual benefit of our firms. We believe that quality, blended with excellent service, is the foundation for a successful business. 4. After Purchase Thank you for giving me the opportunity to offer you our finest service. We are confident that you will be happy with this investment towards future growth. My goal is now to offer excellent follow-up service so you will have no reservations about referring others to me who have similar needs as yours. 5. For a Referral Thank you for your kind referral. You may rest assured that anyone you refer to me will receive the highest degree of professional service possible. 6. After Final Refusal Thank you for taking your time to consider letting me serve you. It is with sincere regrets that your immediate plans do not include making the investment at this time. However, if you need further information or have any questions, please feel free to call. I will keep you posted on new developments and changes that may benefit you. 7. After They Buy From Someone Else Thank you for taking your time to analyze my services. I regret being unable, at this time, to prove to you the benefits we have to offer. We keep constantly informed of new developments and changes, so I will keep in touch with the hope that in the years ahead we will be able to do business. 8. After They Buy From Someone Else, But Offer to Give You Referrals Thank you for your gracious offer of giving me referrals. As we discussed, I am enclosing three of my business cards. I thank you in advance for placing them in the hands of three of your friends, acquaintances, or relatives that I might serve. I will keep in touch and be willing to render my services as needed. 9. To Anyone Who Gives You Service Thank you. It is gratifying to meet someone dedicated to doing a good job. Your efforts are sincerely appreciated. If my company or I can serve you in any way, please don’t hesitate to call. 10. Anniversary Thank You Thank you. It is with warm regards that I send this note to say hello and again, thanks for your past patronage. We are continually changing and improving our products and services. If you would like an update on our latest advancements, please give me a call. The power of expressed gratitude is immense. Put this tool to work for you today! ———————————————————————— About the Author Copyright 2003 Reprinted with permission of Tom Hopkins International, Inc. Tom Hopkins is world-renowned as THE BUILDER OF SALES CHAMPIONS. Let him help you improve your skills and make more sales! For more information contact us at info@tomhopkins.com. Receive free sales content, tips and closes by subscribing to Tom’s selling skills e-newsletter at http://www.tomhopkins.com.

After six phone calls, the salesperson finally reached his client. The newly assigned salesperson was relieved to finally get an appointment to meet the client. For the past six months, this client had spent $90,000/month with his company. Within five minutes of arriving at the meeting, the salesperson learned that one of the three products his company provided to the client, the one that made up most of the client’s $90,000 a month budget, was not fully performing. Moreover, he learned a top competitor had gotten in to see his client and was offering an alternative solution. A proposal from the competitor would be in the client’s hands later that day! The salesperson took lots of notes and ended the meeting by agreeing to do analysis and bring a recommendation to the client the next day. On the positive side, the salesperson was persistent and managed to reach and get to see the client. When he got there he identified the problem and uncovered the competitive risk. But, what he didn’t do during the appointment phone call was ask an Agenda Question. An Agenda Question is the question to ask once you secure a date and time to meet with a prospect. Because the salesperson hadn’t asked an Agenda Question, he got blindsided by a serious problem. He was not prepared to begin to address it. This miss gave his competitor a time advantage. Once you get agreement from a prospect to meet, while it is important not to let the phone call go so far as to substitute for the meeting (i.e., don’t talk yourself out of the meeting), it is very important to ask an Agenda Question so you can prepare and maximize the meeting. For example by asking, “So I can be as prepared as possible, what topics would you like me to focus on?” or “What are the priorities that you would like me to think about in advance of our meeting?”, you can maximize any meeting – especially a first one! Once the client identifies a topic (and many will), often you can take another few seconds to ask a few questions to gain a bit more focus so you can prepare more fully. And then always check once again, “That’s great I … Is there anything else?” At best, without the Agenda Question, many hard-earned first calls (and other calls) become “I’ll get back to you” meetings vs. calls that keep the momentum going. During a first meeting, of course you must ask lots of questions, but if you don’t begin to show you can add value, you may not get a second call. Agenda Questions help you to accelerate the sales process. I think of the Agenda Question as a magic question. Place a post-it with “Agenda Question” on your phone for one week and see how much more focused and productive first and other client meetings are. Test You have reached your client by phone. You positioned your goal to meet with him/her regarding your new product because you think there is a fit. The client has agreed but because he/she is busy, the client limits the meeting to 30 minutes. What would you do regarding the Agenda Question? A. Ask an Agenda Question. B. Not ask the Agenda Question, since you only have 30 minutes and you want to keep the focus on your new product. C. Not ask the Agenda Question, but go over your files to be sure you are prepared for any issues that may come up. Best Choice A. – Ask the Agenda Question to show client focus and to maximize your client’s and your time. Not Best Choices B. – “Client first” is always the best attitude and usually buys you more time. Don’t try to sell another product until you are sure the client is satisfied with what he/she has already purchased (unless the additional product is an upgrade or enhancement) and you know you have the client’s attention. If there is another issue, it will come up; so be ready for it! C. – While it is essential to do your homework, don’t assume new issues have not developed. Richardson is a leading global sales training and consulting firm. We are unique in the depth and breadth of our comprehensive blended sales training curriculum. For 25 years we have delivered training, coaching, and consulting to our clients to build world-class teams. We provide our clients with the skills, processes, and tools they need to win. Visit our website www.richardson.com The Agenda Question (c) 2004 L. Richardson.

Sales is a contact sport and prospecting for new business is the name of the game! You will never meet a salesperson that failed because they had too many prospects to talk to. For the majority of salespeople, finding new customers is without a doubt the most difficult and stressful aspect of the profession. Prospecting should be viewed more as a mindset rather than merely as an activity. It is something you need to be constantly aware of because you never know where your next prospect will be coming from. It really doesn’t matter how competent you are or how well you know your product line, if you don’t have a qualified prospect in front of you, you don’t have a sale.

1. Prospecting for new business is similar to working out. You know it is good for you and it will produce positive results if you do it routinely.Professional salespeople prospect daily. It is important to block-off specific time on your calendar for prospecting activities such as phone calling and emailing. Treat your prospecting time with the same respect as you would any other important appointment, otherwise, there is a tendency that it will slip through the cracks. This is not the time to check your emails, play solitaire on the computer, make a personal phone call or chat with your associates. Stay focused and take your prospecting seriously. Set the tone by closing your office door and have your incoming calls held unless it is a call from a client or a prospect.

2. Be prepared, get organized and take good notes. It is critical to have a computerized contact system to record remarks and suspense future contacts or appointments.

3. Use a script – don’t shoot from the hip. There is only one thing worse than listening to a salesperson read a script over the phone and that is to listen to a salesperson without a script. Obviously, it is important to not only have a script but to practice it until it sounds smooth and natural. Set aside time to role-play with an associate over the phone. By taking turns presenting and critiquing you will gain confidence, polish your script and be more effective. When prospecting, avoid the temptation to sell over the phone. Your objective is to gather information and make the appointment.

4. Strike while the iron is hot! When working with a new prospect, it is important to make contact quickly. Prospects are perishable. No matter how interested a prospect may appear, don’t wait for them to call you. You are only one of many competing interests for your prospect’s time and money.

5. Keep the high ground and avoid the temptation to badmouth your competition. While it is fair to make head-to-head comparisons, you should avoid personal attacks. Attacking your competition makes you look unprofessional and petty. Emphasize the benefits of your product or service by guiding your prospect through a comparison of quality and price. Play to your strengths and not the weakness of your competition. Let your prospect draw their own conclusions from a well-presented comparison.

6. Rejection is a natural aspect of the sales process so don’t take it personally. Learn from rejection, use it as a feedback mechanism and look for ways to improve your presentation. Salespeople who take rejection personally lack perseverance and seldom make the sale. Sales is a numbers game pure and simple. As a professional baseball player, if you can average four hits out of ten times at bat you are heading for the Hall of Fame. Research indicates that in sales you can expect your prospect to say no five times before they buy. With this in mind, realize that with every sales rejection you receive, you are one step closer to making the sale!

John Boe, based in Monterey, CA, is recognized as one of the nation’s top sales trainers and motivational speakers. He helps companies recruit, train, and motivate salespeople to achieve peak performance. John is a leading authority on body language and temperament styles. To view his online Video Demo or to have John Boe speak at your next event, visit http://www.johnboe.com or call (831)375-3668. Subscribe to John’s FREE monthly newsletter, The Prospector: http://www.johnboe.com/newsletter.html.

The word “coaching” is starting to be used so often these days that it is truly losing it’s meaning and effectiveness. Too many mangers/leaders are using the word in an attempt to separate themselves. Words and phrases, however, do nothing to separate those who can and do from everyone else. ACTION is the thing that does that! Below are several actions that you as a business leader can do to stop talking it and to start walking it-Become a Coach to your people and they will be your people for long, long time: Always be Looking for and Drafting Top Talent As a coach, you want to give your team the right staff of players so that they can consistently win in the marketplace. The best coaches realize that they must always be looking for and recruiting new stars to their teams.

New players keep the team fresh and on their toes. New players to the team may replace existing non-productive players or may help to drive those existing players to new levels of productivity. A coach never grows his team just for the sake of growing it. It doesn’t always take more players to win-just more of the right players. A coach is always looking for the key players to add to his team to help bring it to the next level. A good coach also realizes that players do leave and go to other teams. It is not a matter of if they do-many times it is just when. It is because of this that the coach always has a list of potential new recruits that he has had communication with. These recruits are already playing the game on another team and are typically proven stars. They are in a process (whether they know it or not) of being courted and recruited to our coach’s team.

There are always new stars in the recruiting basket of the coach. He is always looking for talent. He realizes that recruiting is a process, not an event. Set Expectations Up Front The coach brings every member onto his team with open eyes. He works very hard to set mutual expectations up front with his new players. He makes sure that his players know that he will expect big things from them-that they will work harder on his team than they ever have anywhere else in the past-that they will be measured and held accountable to always be improving and bettering themselves-that they will be held to the highest standards of professionalism-that they are the most important people in the company and should regard what it is they do as such-that FUN is not a four letter word-and that Attitude + Skills + Activity will be the formula that they will grow by on this team.

The coach also sets the expectations that his players have of him and the company right up front as well. He allows the players to “hold his feet to the fire” on issues such as attitude, communication, measurement, training, field coaching, etc. All new players know very clearly what their plans are and what they can expect upon completion of all assigned tasks. The team knows that the coach will be held accountable to help them reach their goals. The coach will not let down any of his players when it comes to making sure that they do the things necessary to reach their own individual goals. The key to this is making sure that all expectations are set in advance of beginning the relationship so that there is mutual accountability to winning! The best players in this world respect solid discipline and accountability from their coach. Getting to hear this up front only helps attract the winners and scare away those who won’t fit on the team. Always Have a Clear Plan for Every Player The best coaches always make sure that every player on their team has a very clear and defined game plan to success. They realize that “focus precedes success” and if they can keep their players focused on their key roles in the outcome for the team, that each player would have a much better chance of winning.

The teams that consistently win do so because they have a very clear plan that is broken into individual responsibilities. A coach will make sure that his players know what to do from the time that they come into the office in the morning until the time they leave at night. Additional thought from a player only leads to distraction from his game plan. A good coach goes the extra mile in explaining each individual game plan to his players. For example, a great sales coach makes sure that his people know what time they are expected to be in, what the sales meeting will encompass, what materials to have for the meeting, what time the meeting will end, what time they will begin their sales prospecting for the day, where their leads will come from, what they will say on the phones, how to overcome the objections they may hear, what the goal of every call is, how many calls they are responsible for making, how many appointments they should attend during the day, what the goal of those appointments are, what they are measured on etc. etc. etc. A good coach leaves nothing to chance. A good coach works with his people individually on their game plans so that he can improve his players’ skills as well as their need for personal expertise. A good coach realizes that a player without a plan has no way to mark his/her successes as they come. Always be Training, Teaching, Guiding, Coaching The essence of a coach should be in being a teacher, a mentor, a leader. The best coaches are the ones who are on the field with their players every day working with them on their skills.

The best coaches schedule time every day for training of their people. The skills necessary for success must be taught and practiced regularly. People do not learn these things intuitively. Coaches realize that most players, given the choice, would rather not practice their skills. This is not to say that they do not want to succeed. They merely will take the past of least resistance most times. (It is human nature.) It is important for salespeople to do what it is that their coach wants them to do-but even more important that his people WANT to do what he wants them to do. Therefore, it is equally important that, as coaches, we work hard on showing those on our teams that it is part of the entire culture to train, practice and perform every day. The best teams in history did not stop practicing because they started winning-they did not stop practicing because they got some good players. Solid coaching requires a discipline towards constant improvement and the catalyst for that is the coach. Constantly Building and Strengthening Relationships Even the best players do not respond if there is no trust. A good coach realizes that it may take months-even years to build a solid foundation of trust but only moments to destroy it. Coaching sometimes requires tough choices. Good coaches always make sure that the choices they make do not compromise the trust that they have built.

Good coaches realize that it isn’t always about being the nice guy-but is about being fair and honest with the entire team. Solid relationships are built on communication. Good coaches recognize when there may be challenges in advance and work hard to communicate their way into overcoming them. If there is not a solid culture based upon communication, it is very difficult to even recognize the challenges, and thus, almost impossible to cure the problem. Taking the time to forge solid relationships with his people is one of the things that a great coach does best. People will walk through fire for a leader they believe in. People tend to trust and believe in those who trust and believe in them. This goes beyond words. Again, it comes down to the actions that the coach takes part in. What of the above things do you think that you need to work on MOST as a leader of your team? Take action NOW and start coaching!

About the Author: Gerry Layo is one of the nation’s most dynamic and sought after speakers offering world-class keynote addresses, seminars, and workshops throughout North America. Gerry offers his audiences 20 years of street-tested, no-nonsense business experience. Gerry can be reached at 1-888-298-6868 or gerry@professionalsalescoach.net.

Everyone reading this article can remember the two dimensional stick figures you drew when you were a kid? They were simple; you drew one line and then another line until you had drawn what resembled a person. You smiled at your creation, your mom praised you for your newly discovered talent and your drawing was proudly displayed on the refrigerator door. To distinguish your stick figure as a man you drew a hat, and for a woman you drew a triangle as a skirt with curly lines sprouting from her head as hair. I dare say none of these artistic renditions would win any awards other than the praise from your parent or your pre-school teacher. Now that we’re all grown up… why are you (and your team) still selling in 2D? 97% of all sales models are teaching 2D selling. 2D selling models are antiquated, predicable and unimaginative. When a sales professional sells in 2D they’ve been taught to focus on uncovering a prospects problems by asking them specific questions.

These questions orient the prospect to a problem that can only be solved by the product being sold. By asking “pain” questions, the person using the 2D selling model hopes to create so much pain for the prospect that they cannot possibly live without the product they’re selling by linking the (severe) consequences of not having your product. Nearly every sales model in existence works like this, from the simplest to the most advanced consultative sales model taught. NEWS FLASH! Buyers from the oil field to the boardroom understand the manipulative nature of the pain/consequence tactics derived in 2D selling better than your pre-school teacher understands the real value of a stick person. 2D selling models fail in modern day selling because they do not take into account the most important part of sales, the third dimension…

What’s the 3rd dimension? Only the most successful people on the planet know how to leverage the third dimension to become the trusted advisor with-in their market. The third dimension evolves around trust. Trust the prospect has that you will meet or exceed your promise to your prospect. Trust does not come from using outdated selling tactics (i.e. 2D) on your prospect it flows from the confidence you have to do what ever it takes to help a future client. Trust emerges from your personal confidence, and the confidence your prospect has for you. You and your prospect must believe in each other, establishing a promise with the other. Confidence is the conduit that provides surety to your prospect, linking your natural abilities to serve your prospect wants (and needs). Lack of confidence in my opinion is the primary reason why many sales people fail. When someone lacks confidence, they falter building trust in themselves and that wavering of confidence is recognized by their market. This “lack of confidence” causes the sales professional to fall back on obsolete 2D selling techniques. However, the confidence chasm is a lot smaller that many people realize. I’ve discovered personally with my clients that the chasm between my personal self assessment and the perception of experience needed to succeed are easily bridged within an area of expertise. A personal example of this is that I can teach anyone how to make more sales; I cannot teach you how to audit a tax return. I have a specialized knowledge when it comes to generating revenue, not accounting. I recognize my expertise, and more importantly, my market recognizes it. One of my mentors, William Bailey, an Horatio Alger Award Recipient shared a real gem a few years ago. Bill told me that he could tell anyone how to become a millionaire the way he had become a millionaire, however he could not give someone a map to a trail that he had never been down. And, he’s absolutely right!

I’ve observed many successful people who have made money in one area, and jump into another area trying to tell others how to be successful when they don’t have a clue. I do believe success principles are universal, yet the map does vary from one area of specialization to another. Even selling has its specific nuances. An example of this is the difference between selling to a large corporation and selling to an individual. There are common denominators for success in each as well as differences. Once again, I believe the most important factor to success is your confidence to perform that lays the underpinnings that build trust with the prospect. Trust is the business enabler for your prospect. Confidence is one of the most critical components in building trust. Moreover, trust is the #1 reason people do business with us. So what is confidence? My definition of confidence is the complete mastery of your abilities to achieve success for yourself and others. The power of the individual is the 3rd dimension in selling. Ok, let’s wrap this up. I know it seems like I jumped off into a tangent about personal confidence. However, personal confidence is directly correlated to trust and that’s the power of 3D selling. I believe that a professional’s ability to work in the third (trust) dimension will continue to broaden the gap between the hypersuccessful and all the rest of the people on the planet. 2D selling in the past has always depended on the value of the product being offered, however this is quickly becoming secondary. I’m not saying that the value of your product isn’t important, I am saying that an individual’s unique ability to earn the trust of their market is the most important part of the success equation.

Today YOU are the MOST critical part of the value proposition. That’s right, YOU are the third dimension. The burden of building value in your offering falls on YOU. Value does not rest on your product, company or its brand. YOU are the last and most critical piece of the sales puzzle. What can you do to build the trust in your market? Look inwards and have confidence in your natural abilities to perform for your prospect. What should you take away from this article? Remember, today’s buying society places more importance on trusting the individual delivering the product than on the product itself. The prospect judges the value of the product based on their trust for YOU. 3D selling builds the “trust” bridge between you and your market. 3D ensures confidence by your market and is the only way to win the revenue game in the 21st Century! To learn more on 3D and how the 7 ways to build trust in your market contact “The Sales Samurai” at 1.888.5HELLER. Want to hear more about this important topic or ask some additional questions? Fax a note on your letterhead to 281.749.8106 or send an E-mail to joe@joeheller.com and Joe will send you an invitation to discuss the topic on a conference call. © 2002 2003 Heller Research International, All rights reserved Worldwide.

The question of whether or not to hire part-time salespeople is one that often comes up for many sales managers and it’s a good question. Mind you, some sales managers feel their full-time salespeople only work part-time but that’s a problem and an article for another time! Part-Timers are an Attractive Proposition The lure of hiring part-timers is strong, particularly if they are on a commission basis. After all, as part-time employees, they’re mostly out of your hair (if, as a sales manager, you have any hair left). And being on commission means they won’t cost you anything if they don’t make any sales. But wait.

The idea of having salespeople, part-time or otherwise, is to get sales isn’t it? It’s not to hire a bunch of sales gypsies who wander from place to place trying to find the occasional sale. Of course these people get a sale now and then but, remember, even a blind squirrel will find the occasional nut! Selling shouldn’t be more chance or luck than skill. What you want are people out in the field beating the bushes for opportunities that they can turn into closed sales. Can part-timers do that? They can, but they rarely do. Why? Because they’re part-time. Let me explain. Three Reasons Part-Timers May Not Work Out First off, while there are many reasons for taking a part-time job, not needing the income from a full-time one is high on the list.

Another reason is not really needing a job but wanting to be employed. Put another way, these are people who want to be employed but who don’t want to work. You may already have a few of those people now! Of course, there are those people who take part-time work to augment their income from their main job. While I admire their intentions, I also realize that holding two jobs can be physically and emotionally tiring and tired people don’t sell well. Basically, they’re often too pooped to sell. Selling is Difficult You’ll probably agree that selling isn’t particularly easy. It’s more than just going around and talking to people all day long. If you’re in retail sales where more customers make a buy than are sold to, you’ve got it relatively easy. (There are those who would consider the term “retail sales” an oxymoron!) Outbound salespeople have to go out and find people who want their products and services. That’s a completely different and much more difficult situation for many salespeople and especially for part-timers. Just trying to find folks who want or need what you’re selling can be a real challenge. Then, when you do find them, you need to get them to listen to your story. If you get that far without getting rejected, you have to overcome their objections in your attempt to help them make an informed buying decision. If you survive all that, you’re exhausted!

I know that selling shouldn’t be this problematic but it is for those part-timers who are untrained and don’t know how to take control of the selling/buying process. After hearing a litany of, “I’m not interested”, “I don’t need any”, “Your price is too high”, “Not today”, “Call back another time”, etc., a person can get downright depressed and start having extended coffee breaks at Tim Horton’s with all the other depressed part- (and full-) time salespeople. It’s not that these people are slackers, although some might be. It’s that selling is difficult and requires a commitment of time and energy – ingredients that part-timers may not have a lot of. So while they’re doing little or nothing, you’re pulling out what’s left of your hair managing them. Actually, you’re not really managing them. You’re spending time trying to find out what they are and are not doing. This is time that you could be spending on more profitable activities like coaching the salesperson who wants or needs your assistance and has made the commitment to selling. Commission-Only Isn’t the Answer I’m sure there’s someone out there who is thinking, “No sweat. I just put them on commission-only, turn them loose, and let them sink or swim, so I’m not losing any time or money on non-performers.” Not necessarily true. Sure you didn’t pay them for the sales they didn’t get, but how much business did you not get because of them? You hire salespeople, full or part-time, to get sales. If someone can’t or won’t get sales for you, help the person move on to a job that’s better suited for his or her talents or lack thereof. Are all part-timers losers? Not by any means. But, as a general rule, they don’t usually work out for some of the reasons I’ve mentioned above and several more that I haven’t covered.

Hire with Caution If you’re going to use part-timers, hire with caution. Make sure you know why they want part-time work. Make sure they know that selling is a challenging profession that needs a commitment on their part if they are to succeed. Set performance standards such as the number of calls or sales they are expected to make in a day, week, or month. Monitor their performance. Help them be successful. Part-timers can work out well and can be winners if you hire smart and manage creatively.

Good luck!

Brian Jeffrey SalesForce Training & Consulting Inc 1451 Donald Munro Dr Carp ON Canada K0A 1L0 613-839-7355 1-800-461-7355 Brian@SalesForceTraining.com www.SalesForceTraining.com

Quite often these days, I hear in my mind the words of the man I guess you’d have to say was my first manager: my Dad. “Even when you’re right, it never hurts to cut the other guy a break,” was one that reverberates in my mind twenty years after his death. The thing is, my Dad was a very quiet guy. He didn’t tell me what to do very often, so when he did speak I found him worth listening to. At his funeral, a dozen people— former customers, Kiwanis buddies, colleagues from his volunteer work—came up to me with tales of how his quiet wisdom was an inspiration that helped them figure out how to act in their own lives.

My first manager in the software business was a man named Lewis Jackson. Lewis really didn’t have a lot of time to actually manage me. In those days, managers also sold in half a territory, and Lewis was going through a painful and time-consuming divorce at the time. But I learned a lot just by watching him. I observed his work habits, how he dressed and carried himself, and mostly how he treated people. I still feel grateful, twenty-five years later, for the kindness he showed my then-girlfriend and me when he came to visit in Boston. He gave me what he felt was most valuable given his time constraints, an example, and it paid off. His region was number one in the country and within two years two of us on his team were promoted to be his colleagues in management. Why bring up these stories? I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about what isn’t working in the current business climate, and I’ve come to the conclusion there is one major thing holding us back: hyperactive management. It started in the boom, believe it or not, when everyone became squeezed for time, when flattening company structures left most managers without a lot of support staff, and when venture capital-populated boards began to demand weekly—- even daily—-revenue updates.

Hyperactive management is an excessive focus on receiving goal updates at the expense of fostering creativity, enabling high morale, and exhibiting leadership. And it’s killing us! What people really want from their managers is a show of belief and trust so they can use their own brains and talent to help take the organization to new heights. But it is hard to inspire them if you’re too busy trying to control things. And as managers today, we’re not always given the choice. Even in companies where hyperactive management doesn’t occur, managers are forced to obsessively focus on the revenue stream and cutting costs. It’s healthy for managers to focus on revenue—especially in sales—but it’s still the wrong end of the telescope. If all your consciousness is on what you’re going to get, it can’t be on what you’ve got to give. And giving is what customers respond to.

The vicious cycle begins and perpetuates itself. There is an operational component to management, to be sure. One has to keep a handle on things and be able to track progress toward results. But our responsibility as managers is to be almost ecological about it. We need to put systems in place that tread lightly on our human resources and understand that it is our job to renew these resources, not deplete them. Not easy in an atmosphere in which we are expected, as managers, to do the impossible in an equally impossible short period of time. So how do we inspire our staff to run the race with us and help us win? Here are a few tips: Bad Stuff Doesn’t Have to Flow Downhill. Despite what the old cliché says, it is actually our job as managers to shield our staff from much of the craziness that comes from the C-level suite. Just because your manager stormed into a meeting with a tirade on what needs to be fixed, that doesn’t mean you have to race off and make everyone around you nervous. Why is it that many of us instinctively understand this in raising our children but we often forget it when managing people at work? Don’t Judge; Be Generous. Sure, on some level we will have to evaluate our people at intervals along the way. But in between times you have to love them unconditionally. Yes, with all their sloppy work habits, their bad syntax and grammar, their failures to be the models of perfection you were when you were doing their jobs. You may laugh, but the lack of that kind of faith and trust coming from managers these days is the main thing holding us back. It’s Your Karma, Baby.

Anyone who feels that what goes around doesn’t necessarily come around simply hasn’t been around long enough. Your staff is like water: squeeze them and flail around trying to grasp control and they will drown you. Lean on them in a positive way and they will help you float. When it comes to management, less is truly more. As it says in the Tao: “Understanding and being open to all things, Are you able to do nothing? Giving birth and nourishing, Bearing yet not possessing, Working yet not taking credit, Leading yet not dominating, This is the Primal Virtue.” Remember, the kindness you show and the faith you put in others will be remembered long after your current job ends, perhaps even long after your death. The rest— as we love to say in business— is overhead. See you on the path!

About the Author:  Jim Schaffer helps salespeople and management teams stay focused, get results and keep high morale— regardless of what may be going on around them. He is available to speak on this topic. For more information visit www.jimschaffer.com or call 617-332-9105.

Mac-based writers and designers can spend a lot of time searching for a word processor that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, yet has all the features they need. The answer may have arrived in Mariner Write 3.6.4.

There are many options when it comes to word processing. Most newspapers fall into one of two groups. The first uses Microsoft Word, which allows them to open most text files sent to them and gives them the ability to create text files that can be placed in most pagination applications. Word also allows these users to create files in Rich Text format (RTF) which can be imported into almost any program. The second group uses a dedicated application, created to work within a specific pagination workflow, such as Adobe InCopy or NewsEditPro.

Mariner Software recently released the latest version of its word processor, Mariner Write 3.6.4. If you’ve been looking for a quick, powerful word processing application, Mariner Write may be just what you’ve been waiting for. And at $69, the price is very attractive when compared to other word processors.

Initially, I agreed to spend some time with Write when I learned that it would open and edit Microsoft Word documents. Upon review, I’ve found that Word text documents open flawlessly, allowing me to edit and save in one of several formats including Rich Text, which can be opened in Microsoft Word. The lone problem was in opening Word documents with embedded graphics. Fortunately, most newspapers don’t create Word files with graphics embedded.

Mariner Write has a nice spell check that, like other features of Write, worked seemlessly within the application. The keyboard shortcuts are user-definable, meaning you can create shortcuts to work the way you want them to. Version 3.6.4 requires OS 10.2 or higher. Mariner also offers version 3.5.1, which works with OS 9 and 10.1.

Mariner Write is available in a boxed version ($79 US/$99 CAN/$119 AUS) and as a download for ten dollars less. Owners of previous versions can upgrade for $25 US/$32 CAN/$35 AUS). A fully functional 30-day free demo version is available for download www.marinersoftware.com.

Kevin Slimp is a favorite speaker and trainer in the newspaper industry. He can be reached at kevin@kevinslimp.com.

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