The Sales Blog https://thesalesblog.com Anthony Iannarino Mon, 11 Dec 2017 13:00:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 If you want to learn the most current and powerful sales techniques and mindsets from the top professionals in the business, In The Arena is the place to find them. Host Anthony Iannarino is himself a successful and consummate sales professional with the know-how and experience to coach you on your way. But more than that he interviews the top authors, salesmen, sales managers, and experts in the fields of B2B and B2C sales to give you the edge you need to move your numbers and profit to the next level. In the Arena is for you. Find out more at http://TheSalesBlog.com Anthony Iannarino | Sales coach, Business coach, Sales professional, Author clean Anthony Iannarino | Sales coach, Business coach, Sales professional, Author iannarino@gmail.com iannarino@gmail.com (Anthony Iannarino | Sales coach, Business coach, Sales professional, Author) 2015 Anthony Iannarino Sales | Marketing | Sales Management | Success | Profits | Revenue from leading experts in the sales arena The Sales Blog http://thesalesblog.com/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/In_the_Arena_Logo.png https://thesalesblog.com If you want to learn the most current and powerful sales techniques and mindsets from the top professionals in the business, In The Arena is the place to find them. Host Anthony Iannarino is himself a successful and consummate sales professional with the know-how and experience to coach you on your way. But more than that he interviews the top authors, salesmen, sales managers, and experts in the fields of B2B and B2C sales to give you the edge you need to move your numbers and profit to the next level. In the Arena is for you. Find out more at http://TheSalesBlog.com Westerville, Ohio Weekly If You Asked Over Email, You Did Not Ask https://thesalesblog.com/2017/12/11/if-you-asked-over-email-you-did-not-ask/ Mon, 11 Dec 2017 13:00:11 +0000 https://thesalesblog.com/?p=57252 A reader of this blog wrote to me to ask how he could increase the number of appointments he was acquiring through his prospecting efforts. He is struggling, and he is intent on improving his results, and he is looking for ways to do so. This is smart. If what you are doing isn’t working, […]

The post If You Asked Over Email, You Did Not Ask appeared first on The Sales Blog.

]]>
A reader of this blog wrote to me to ask how he could increase the number of appointments he was acquiring through his prospecting efforts. He is struggling, and he is intent on improving his results, and he is looking for ways to do so. This is smart. If what you are doing isn’t working, you need to make adjustments.

To gain some context, I asked this reader how many asks he has made to date. He told me that he has asked for a meeting 17 times, and then he added that all of these requests were made by email.

No Ask

It is unfair to suggest that the content of your ask over email isn’t right or that it won’t produce a meeting. That is expecting something of the medium that the medium isn’t capable of producing (with rare exceptions). Email gives conflict-adverse people with sales titles hope that they can succeed without having to interrupt people, and it is often their preferred form of rejection because then they do not have to hear it verbalized.

An email request for a meeting is the same as not having asked for a meeting at all unless you know the person and you are following up on a call and a voicemail.

You are a stranger. Your dream client doesn’t know you. Your message requesting an appointment is not very different from spam, a message from a stranger to ask for something. Because the “growth hacker” types have decided to automate prospecting, the choice of email to ask for an appointment is diminished further now that everyone realizes these emails have been completely automated. Your email is suspect, if it is not deleted with extreme prejudice.

In a world where everyone is zagging, you should zig. In a world where human interactions are being automated, being human creates a competitive mismatch and asymmetry that creates an advantage.

You Ask for a Meeting

If you are going to ask for a meeting, then you do the asking. You are not your dream client’s pen pal. Get out from behind the screen and pick up the phone and call the person you are asking for a meeting and ask them. When you hear “no,” resolve that person’s concern, promise to trade more in value than the time you are requesting, and ask again for the meeting.

If you don’t hear the “no” response with your own ears, then you did not make an ask. Unless you can hear your email being deleted.

The post If You Asked Over Email, You Did Not Ask appeared first on The Sales Blog.

]]>
Why It Matters That You Are Likable https://thesalesblog.com/2017/12/10/why-it-matters-that-you-are-likable/ Sun, 10 Dec 2017 17:13:43 +0000 https://thesalesblog.com/?p=57246 I know that there are still voices suggesting that sales has changed, that relationships don’t matter, that you are being measured only by the value you create as measured by economic outcomes. There are some who suggest that you need not be likable to win deals, you need only create greater value. This is largely […]

The post Why It Matters That You Are Likable appeared first on The Sales Blog.

]]>
I know that there are still voices suggesting that sales has changed, that relationships don’t matter, that you are being measured only by the value you create as measured by economic outcomes. There are some who suggest that you need not be likable to win deals, you need only create greater value.

This is largely incorrect, as it leaves out the fact that you are now a very large part of the value proposition, as well as eliminating the high probability that there are others who create equal or greater value without being unlikable. But before you decide whether or not it matters that you are likable, let’s look at what might make you unlikable.

You are self-oriented: Here is the biggest thing you might do that makes you unlikable: you are selfish. You project that what is important to you is you, that you are not other-oriented. The more you make people believe that any deal is about you before it is about them, these same people will look elsewhere for a solution. Human beings are not rational; they rationalize.

You are not a good listener: The very best way to make sure people know that you don’t care about them is to refuse to listen. It’s tough for people to like people who won’t listen and who have to dominate a conversation. There are people who are exceptionally good at listening, and they generate strong feelings in others because they give them the gift of their attention.

You are a challenging personality: There is no value in being a person that is difficult to get along with. A person who chooses conflict over collaboration because they lack skillful abilities to dialog opens the door to a competitor who is easier to get along with. Those who deal with difficult conversations don’t create additional friction unnecessarily.

Your values are misaligned: Fit is a big deal. Are you one of us? Do you share our values? Can you operate in line with what we believe to be good and right and true? When you don’t fit, you don’t fit. Who you are matters more than what you know and what you do.

You don’t value other people’s opinions: One reason people will have trouble liking you is that your opinions are so strong—and expressed as if they are a final truth—that you leave no room for anyone else’s thoughts, ideas, or opinions. Being arrogant and making other people feel bad about themselves makes one unlikable. If you have to be the smartest person in the room, if you need to be right, then you are not going to be liked, and others who are better at valuing others will easily flank you.

You are no fun to be around: To work with you, I have to imagine what that will be like throughout our interactions. Then I have to project myself into the future and determine what that experience is going to be like once I buy from you. If I don’t like working with you now, I am going to have a tough time committing to a long-term relationship where I have to deal with you over a long period of time. Least of all, I will not want to be contractually obligated to do so.

No matter how much value you create, if your prospective client is going to have to work with you for a period of time, they are going to make the decision to buy from you in part on how willing they are to work with you.

Whenever you read anything that suggests one thing is more important than some other thing, recognize that you are being provided with a false dichotomy, a mutually-exclusive choice. Most decisions are multi-factorial, and that means that a lot of things are important, and many variations may be acceptable or unacceptable. More still, you may create great value and be unlikeable while a competitor creates equal value and is someone that people want to do business with.

The post Why It Matters That You Are Likable appeared first on The Sales Blog.

]]>
How I Know Your Deal Is Going to Push https://thesalesblog.com/2017/12/09/how-i-know-your-deal-is-going-to-push/ Sat, 09 Dec 2017 13:00:56 +0000 https://thesalesblog.com/?p=57240 Inevitably, some of your deals are going to push. Blame it on the non-linearity of the sales process in practice (as opposed to the theoretical sales process that moves smoothly from target to execution without so much as a pause or a backward step). Place the blame where you like, here is how I know […]

The post How I Know Your Deal Is Going to Push appeared first on The Sales Blog.

]]>
Inevitably, some of your deals are going to push. Blame it on the non-linearity of the sales process in practice (as opposed to the theoretical sales process that moves smoothly from target to execution without so much as a pause or a backward step). Place the blame where you like, here is how I know your deal is going to push.

It’s Not the Client’s Date: Here it is in the very first spot. Your client did not provide you with a date by which they would like to begin executing your solution. You chose the date, or more accurately, entered some random sequence of numbers into your CRM. If I were to call your client now and tell them you intend to show up with a contract next Tuesday, as per your entry, would they be surprised? Would you be concerned about me making that call? Where there is no commitment to a start date, your deal is going to push.

No Commitment to Change: If there is one of the ten commitments in The Lost Art of Closing (my second book), it is the Commitment to Change. You can have a whole bunch of meetings that feel just like the meetings you would have if you were pursuing a deal with-out there being a deal. People will have a meeting with you, explore change, and review your proposal and pricing without ever having made the commitment to change. If you haven’t asked them if they are committed to changing, your deal is going to push (or more likely, it will die).

A Pattern of Unkept Commitments: If you want to know if your client intends to keep their commitments, look at their track record. Have they kept all of the commitments that they have made up until this point? Or have they made commitments without keeping them and instead caused you to give chase over voicemail and email? If they haven’t kept commitments up until now, why would they start with the Commitment to Decide?

You Don’t Know Who Is Deciding: If you don’t know who is actually making the decision, then your deal is extremely likely to push. If your contact is going to present to their leadership team on your behalf, a leadership team that has never met you, look for the push. If you don’t know who can say yes, it’s a push.

You Missed Commitments: There are 10 commitments you need in a sale, especially a B2B sale. You can find them all here, and if you want a deeper dive, you can pick up the book at www.thelostartofclosing.com. For example, if you skipped building consensus or resolving concerns, you left major openings for bad things to happen, the kind of things that end in a deal being pushed.

There are so many factors outside of your control that could cause your deal to push, you need to make sure that you do everything that is in your control to ensure that it doesn’t.

The post How I Know Your Deal Is Going to Push appeared first on The Sales Blog.

]]>
Focus on Your Priorities and Eliminate Distractions – Episode 228 https://thesalesblog.com/2017/12/08/focus-on-your-priorities-and-eliminate-distractions-episode-228/ Fri, 08 Dec 2017 17:52:32 +0000 https://thesalesblog.com/2017/12/08/focus-on-your-priorities-and-eliminate-distractions-episode-228/ The most important thing you can do to improve you do to improve your results now is to focus on your few real priorities and eliminate distractions.

The post Focus on Your Priorities and Eliminate Distractions – Episode 228 appeared first on The Sales Blog.

]]>
The most important thing you can do to improve you do to improve your results now is to focus on your few real priorities and eliminate distractions.

The post Focus on Your Priorities and Eliminate Distractions – Episode 228 appeared first on The Sales Blog.

]]>
Eliminating Your Minimally Acceptable Personal Standards https://thesalesblog.com/2017/12/08/eliminating-your-minimally-acceptable-personal-standards/ Fri, 08 Dec 2017 13:00:48 +0000 https://thesalesblog.com/?p=57226 There is a certain quality and quantity of work that is minimally acceptable. Let’s equate this to a grade of C in school. Even though you pass the class, your grade suggests that you are doing just enough to get by, nothing more, nothing less. It’s a grade that suggests a lack of commitment, dispassion, […]

The post Eliminating Your Minimally Acceptable Personal Standards appeared first on The Sales Blog.

]]>
There is a certain quality and quantity of work that is minimally acceptable. Let’s equate this to a grade of C in school. Even though you pass the class, your grade suggests that you are doing just enough to get by, nothing more, nothing less. It’s a grade that suggests a lack of commitment, dispassion, and lack of direction.

Minimally acceptable is mediocrity. There is no growth available to those who choose to just scrape by, those who sit in the parking lot waiting until precisely 8:00 AM to start working, unwilling to put in an extra few minutes of work. Minimally acceptable is a withholding of value, the kind that would make a difference in results—even if it would require more effort, more energy, and more commitment on your part.

Even though you may be doing just enough, what is minimally acceptable to other people should not be minimally acceptable to you. There is no benefit, outside of comfort, for lowering your own personal standard to something less than what you are truly capable of. There is no reward for being mediocre, for trying to stay smack in the middle of the Gaussian distribution curve (what we know as a bell curve).

There is this popular idea right now that your company is supposed to supply you with purposeful, meaningful work. This idea is no doubt something far greater than “increase shareholder value.” But it is only half correct, and it requires the other half to make a whole. The other half is that your work has purpose and meaning only when you invest those things in your work. When your personal standard is excellence when the minimally acceptable is no longer acceptable to you, then your work becomes something different than your job, your profession becomes something different than your job title.

The rewards in all their forms accrue to those who give themselves over to something, insisting that their personal standard is the bar, refusing to withhold value, and refusing to do what is minimally acceptable.

The post Eliminating Your Minimally Acceptable Personal Standards appeared first on The Sales Blog.

]]>
Activity Cures Activity Problems – Episode 227 https://thesalesblog.com/2017/12/07/activity-cures-activity-problems-episode-227/ Thu, 07 Dec 2017 18:57:41 +0000 https://thesalesblog.com/?p=57224 Results in sales, or any other endeavor for that matter, are made up of activity and effectiveness. For many people, there effectiveness is just fine, it’s the activity that needs to improve. This is a little tough love for those of you that need it.

The post Activity Cures Activity Problems – Episode 227 appeared first on The Sales Blog.

]]>
Results in sales, or any other endeavor for that matter, are made up of activity and effectiveness. For many people, there effectiveness is just fine, it’s the activity that needs to improve. This is a little tough love for those of you that need it.

The post Activity Cures Activity Problems – Episode 227 appeared first on The Sales Blog.

]]>
Your Effort Exactly Matches Your Real Goals https://thesalesblog.com/2017/12/07/your-effort-exactly-matches-your-real-goals/ Thu, 07 Dec 2017 13:00:56 +0000 https://thesalesblog.com/?p=57218 There is a difference between wanting things and having goals that you are pursuing. For example, everyone wants more money. A small percentage are motivated enough by the idea to take action to produce more income. Everyone wants to be in excellent physical condition, but few are willing to invest their time and energy to […]

The post Your Effort Exactly Matches Your Real Goals appeared first on The Sales Blog.

]]>
There is a difference between wanting things and having goals that you are pursuing. For example, everyone wants more money. A small percentage are motivated enough by the idea to take action to produce more income. Everyone wants to be in excellent physical condition, but few are willing to invest their time and energy to do the work that produces that outcome.

When you look at the results that you are producing right now, your current level of effort is what is producing those results. If you put even less effort into the results you want, you will produce even less of them, true? And, naturally, if you put more effort into what you want, you will progress towards those things.

Your effort matches up precisely to your real goals.

The effort you put forth to have something is indication as to how badly you want it. Even if you say that you really, really, really want something, your effort exposes the truth. You are motivated enough to have exactly the result you have now, and you are comfortable.

More effort might make you uncomfortable, and you may have to give up what you know and believe to gain something different. You might have to double the time and energy, something that might also make you uncomfortable. Becoming the person that comes after the person you are not might be a scary thought, making you wonder if you will lose membership in your tribe.

When you want your goal badly enough to put forth the effort to achieve it, you will almost certainly attain that goal. Given enough time and a consistent application of effort, obstacles eventually give way. Those obstacles are what prevent all who merely “want” things from having them, and they are the proving grounds for those who achieve their goals.

Your effort tells the truth about your real goals. It’s okay if comfort is one of them, but where is the fun in that?

The post Your Effort Exactly Matches Your Real Goals appeared first on The Sales Blog.

]]>
You Know What You Need to Do – Episode 227 https://thesalesblog.com/2017/12/06/you-know-what-you-need-to-do-episode-227/ Wed, 06 Dec 2017 19:34:04 +0000 https://thesalesblog.com/?p=57216 You know enough right now to produce the results you want. If you aren’t producing those results, it’s your willingeness to execute.

The post You Know What You Need to Do – Episode 227 appeared first on The Sales Blog.

]]>
You know enough right now to produce the results you want. If you aren’t producing those results, it’s your willingeness to execute.

The post You Know What You Need to Do – Episode 227 appeared first on The Sales Blog.

]]>
Are You Deploying Your Resources Appropriately? https://thesalesblog.com/2017/12/06/deploying-resources-appropriately/ Wed, 06 Dec 2017 12:25:50 +0000 https://thesalesblog.com/?p=57212 Imagine a military commander. He has a strategy to win. He has decided what the missions that result in a positive outcome look. The targets have been determined, and he gives orders to the people in his charge. And then he allows them to spend their time on things that are not aligned with what […]

The post Are You Deploying Your Resources Appropriately? appeared first on The Sales Blog.

]]>
Imagine a military commander. He has a strategy to win. He has decided what the missions that result in a positive outcome look. The targets have been determined, and he gives orders to the people in his charge. And then he allows them to spend their time on things that are not aligned with what needs to be done.

Maybe you hate military analogies. Too violent.  A less violent analogy is sports, let’s say, football. You are the coach. You have designed the plays your offense needs to run to score points and win games. The team knows what they need to do, and you call the play. Then the team runs a play that looks nothing like what you designed.

Still too aggressive. I get it. You are a choreographer. You are leading a world-class group of dancers, all of whom are highly capable and competent. You design a show that will be unlike anything anyone has ever seen. Everyone knows their part going into opening night, and then they decide to do something so different from what you designed to make it unrecognizable.

As a sales leader, you must deploy your resources appropriately. You must choose the targets, and you have to decide the strategy to pursue those targets. You must ensure that your goals are communicated, that everyone knows their part, and that they are trained and capable of executing your strategy. This is how you win.

As far as we know, no battle has yet been lost because the soldiers were busy responding to their email. No football game has been lost because the team was busy responding to their teammates request for a meeting to be brought up to speed on some issue that, while being important, isn’t most important. You no doubt take my meaning here.

If the time, the effort, and the resources that belong to you are not being deployed appropriately, you are responsible for changing that. If you lack opportunity creation, it is because you are allowing this to be the case.

The post Are You Deploying Your Resources Appropriately? appeared first on The Sales Blog.

]]>
5 Activities for Rookie Sales Reps – Episode 226 https://thesalesblog.com/2017/12/05/5-activities-for-rookie-sales-reps-episode-226/ Tue, 05 Dec 2017 17:18:56 +0000 https://thesalesblog.com/?p=57206 E.S. writes to ask me what are the top 5 activities for rookie salespeople who want to produce results. The answer here.

The post 5 Activities for Rookie Sales Reps – Episode 226 appeared first on The Sales Blog.

]]>
E.S. writes to ask me what are the top 5 activities for rookie salespeople who want to produce results. The answer here.

The post 5 Activities for Rookie Sales Reps – Episode 226 appeared first on The Sales Blog.

]]>