Posts Tagged : reputation

The Sales Perception
Firstly, welcome! Thank you for getting this far. I genuinely hope you find our content interesting. I am not a natural writer, and being introverted you could imagine how many times I read, read and read again this blog to make it seem less insular. I truly wanted to put my own thoughts into a format to get people’s attention and interest.

The Sales Perception

Why is it when people talk about a sales person, your immediate thought is a car sales person or an insurance sales person or even a cold calling sales person?

Did your mind instantly flash to someone who looks like Del Boy, or one of the lads from Phonejacker? Yes? Unfortunately most people do….

It is no wonder that in a recent Gallup’s survey on honesty and ethical conduct of business professionals, the poll highlighted that insurance sales people and car sales people ranked at the bottom of the list (at least we came ahead of politicians, who in fact are just glorified sales people anyway). As a professional sales person, it is a real shame that sales people in general seem to be tarred with the same “car-sales-person” brush.

Whilst I am positive there are sales people out there that do look as cheesy as Del Boy, honestly, once you made the brave decision to say, buy a car or a few steak knives, did you end up actually finding Del Boy? Not many of you? Can’t remember, Nor me.

So with our reputation starting to mend, with our image beginning to change, what is next for the lowly sales person? My biggest concern due to the rise in laziness, is that instead of Del Boy, you now find sales people or the customer facing people chatting between themselves, totally oblivious to your presence. Even more frustratingly, sometimes in a totally different language. The only thing that I have encountered that topped these two fundamental sales flaws was a local shop on King Street, with no colleagues to chat too, they just stood just blankly staring at me wondering why I entered into their domain of solitude?

Result = high-tailed out of there? You bet…

When I am then brought in to rejuvenate, motivate and teach sales etiquette within these businesses, I find that staff either genuinely do not understand how truly vital the customer is to them keeping a job or they have no pride in the brand they are selling for.

I have often found that at the beating heart of the shop/store/outlet, unfortunately, the business owners are either too busy to focus, have lost their passion, can not relay their vision or just totally blind to the fact they are portraying a greater detrimental image to their customers than someone a little overzealous and eager to claim the sale.

At least a pushy salesperson often lands a sale.

Stay tuned, more to come in further posts…

5 Tips to Becoming a Sales Star
The following tips are in no particular order. They are 5 things that I have always found to be significant in my own progress as a successful portfolio manager within varying industries. 

 #1 Sales Stars will learn to recognise risk and reward within their portfolios.

Some businesses may require more work and finesse but will bring a higher return.  Other sales leads may require minimal work and may yield a large number of small sales but the low investment required will still justify the smaller revenues generated or the lower margins.

“In some cases, a well-organised sales portfolio may show that certain companies and clients require more work and yet they rarely yield returns that justify the amount of investment required to nurture, develop and manage them. “Warren Buffet

The Sales Star, with the guidance of senior level management should carefully evaluate all activities within their sales portfolio’s to determine where to invest time and resources to generate the highest returns (revenues and profits). You won’t succeed in sales if you can’t do this effectively!

Great salespeople have an intuitive ability to understand this risk reward relationship regarding their pipeline.

They will manage their sales pipeline intelligently. View the pipeline as more of a sales portfolio, and are not afraid to integrate successful strategies from other industries into their own sales techniques to try and “test” to see which ones work, and which ones don’t.

 #2 The close of the sale begins right at the start.

The sales star by having a plan in place, will know the outcome long before they get to the end of this routine process, and they do it by ensuring that; they have a well qualified prospect, they know the prospect’s dominant buying motives, they have identified all of their potential objections before they are even expressed, they have carefully observed the various buying signals from the prospect and they have given an effective and interactive presentation.

They know long before they ask their closing question what the answer will be.

How?

By being effective at people reading, by asking intelligent, effective and appropriate probing qualifying questions, by being good listeners and by asking a variety of trial closing questions throughout the sales process. They don’t try and force a fit. They discover the prospects sense of urgency or they create it.

They are in the prospect’s presence to sell not educate. They are there to do business or develop business. From their opening remark to their final closing statement their attitude is I am here to sell or set up future sales opportunities. This does not mean that they are applying pressure or hard-selling. It means they are serious about helping the prospect solve their problems or take advantage of opportunities.

#3 Focus on one sale at a time and you’ll make a living. Build a trusting relationship and you can make a fortune.

Some salespeople focus on just closing the sale. Successful salespeople focus on closing the sale and building a relationship.

Selling is not about only closing the current prospect on a particular product or service that solves one of their pressing problems.  It is about building a trusting relationship with them. By becoming a trusted resource, we help in solving their on-going problems, or satisfying their continuing and evolving needs and desires.

Sales stars know that the lifetime value of a client is far more than the value of one sale or transaction.  They take along view of the relationship. It is not just about this sale but future sales, referrals and building customer trust and loyalty.

#4 They will work as hard to keep the business as they did to get it in the first place.

A key concept to keep in mind while selling is that the close of the sale is not the end of the sales process, but the beginning of the sales relationship.

After-sales service is the key to keeping sales closed and keeping customers satisfied and buying again. It can often be a subtle test to see if you can really deliver.

The key is to promise a lot and deliver more. In other words, exceed customer expectations – wow them with service. Poor salespeople continuously promise a lot and deliver less, or promise a little and deliver next to nothing.

Sales superstars know that to ensure repeat business, customer loyalty, positive references and qualified referrals that their after sales service must be one of their strengths.

#5 There is no better investment than investment in yourself.

Over the years, one common denominator in sales super stars is their willingness to invest in the continued improvement of their skills, attitudes and philosophy.

Life is an interesting relationship between paying the price of investment and looking to gain a return on the time and money spent. Interestingly this is the same relationship you are trying to sell to your prospects.

There are hundreds of books to read, audio CD’s to listen to and seminars to attend. It is never to late to start. The important factor is passion and dedication.

Sales stars don’t wait for their businesses to invest in them and their future value. They take full responsibility for the quality of their life and learning. They are pro-active in seeking out learning opportunities. They use professional coaches, have mentors and belong to mastermind groups.

They are constantly taking advantage of networking opportunities looking for all types of people who can help them improve.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post, we would love to hear from you. Contact me directly on daniel@yoursalesexperience.com or comment below.

Have a fantastic day!

Never forget “the experience delivered today, will generate the income for tomorrow”.

Yours in Sales & Service,

Dan

 

What makes a good leader?

I was speaking today about this (quote) with an ex colleague of mine from one of the big 4 banks, on how much a difference a good leader makes to your day to day working life.

I thought this quote summed it up perfectly.

If you haven’t read Simon Sineks work yet, I would highly recommend picking it up.

Truly inspirational words.

Has there even been a leader that truly stood out in your eyes?

That made working enjoyable?

Made you feel like an important part of the team?

I would love to hear what your thoughts are on the perfect leader.

Yours in Sales & Service

The OSE Team

Fitness as a Sport?

Fifteen years ago, 2 fitness entrepreneurs, Lauren Jenai and Greg Glassman introduced a new sport to the world – they called it CrossFit.

CrossFit has since revolutionised the way many professional or aspiring (and even non-athletes), think of fitness. It is a sport that aims to improve an athlete’s general physical preparedness, with this being achieved through the development of ten skills

  • cardiovascular & Stamina
  •  strength & flexibility
  • power & speed
  • coordination & agility
  • balance & accuracy

The sport incorporates elements from other sports and training regimes including Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics, plyometrics, calisthenics, as well as the more familiar disciplines of swimming and running.

In 2005, there were 13 CrossFit -affiliated gyms in the U.S. and now 10 years on there are over 10,000 CrossFit affiliates around the world. Whilst over half of these are in the US, CrossFit also has a presence in Asia, Latin America, Australia, Europe and in May, the launch of the new CrossFit gym in Jersey.

“CrossFit does a phenomenal job of making itself very accessible to all types of people. All of the weights can be adjusted, and movements modified to allow any individual to take part. Because of this, physical disabilities generally do not limit individuals in their potential for participation. McGill Kinesiology Patrick Vellner

When looking at why the CrossFit Fitness model has boomed, the key factor, in article after article, blog after blog, YouTube after YouTube clip was the word Community. If you have ever belonged to a gym or a dojo, a church or a charity organisation, a tight-knit business or a club, then you have felt the allure and power of community, and experienced the stories that accompany it.

To facilitate its global reach, CrossFit makes use of a virtual community Internet model (Wikipedia 2015), using technology to its benefit and localising the success of this worldwide brand in a way that no other fitness offering has done in the past. Proud members posting daily how amazing there ‘WOD’ was or how close they are to their best ever ‘Fran’ – a language that only a committed CrossFit member would understand.

This ethos is continued locally at the ‘Box’ which is owned and run by CrossFit Accredited Trainers Joe Murphy & Grant Hogan, whose mantra is very much replicating the localisation of the CrossFit brand with a Jersey ‘family’ that radiates the word community.

“We train incredibly hard; harder than most thought they were capable of. Everyday our members break down barriers and set new standards for themselves.
Our training is intense (relative to each individual) and it creates a bond among our members that can’t be manufactured.
The community aspect of Jersey CrossFit is our greatest strength. There are no egos, and no room for bad attitudes. Those type of people just don’t fit here. We are fun and supportive, we are competitive, we are strong, we are humble”.

The ultimate aspiration is to compete in CrossFit’s annual event, the Open, where any CrossFit members worldwide do a series of five workouts. There are a variety of categories, including such as those based on age, where teenagers’ between the ages 14 and 17 years old as well as the ‘Masters’ for those older than the age of 40.

The Jersey Box have 8 team members competing in this years Open, and will also be representing the island at the British Championships held later this year.

However, the foundation of CrossFit is about preparing people for any physical goal, not simply for competition, and the key is for a realistic and achievable target meaning people can feel comfortable knowing they are still part of the community but working towards achieving their individual goal – another attraction that has seen the popularity of the CrossFit brand grow.

Maslows ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ theory states that the top three motivations for any human endeavour are;

  • self-actualisation
  • esteem
  • love/belonging

Given the goal driven approach, the physical and mental success rate results and the competitive community it has created, CrossFit founders Glass & Jenai has managed to incorporate the top three of Maslow’s Hierarchy key motivators as part of their culture. Whether or not Maslow’s Heirachy was discussed or outlined in the original Business Plan, Glass & Jenai got it spot on.

Find out more on Jersey’s Crossfit and see for yourself why CrossFit promotes, #FitnessAsASport .

Alternatively, contact Jersey Box owner Joe Murphy at joe@jerseycrossfit.je for more information as well as the chance to get your hands on a limited number of free day passes when the new gym opens its doors in May.

Have you tried CrossFit? What are your thoughts?

Yours in Health

Dan Ireland

Excuse my ignorance…

Today I learned that fifteen years ago, world leaders committed to eight goals to drive global action, ranging from halving extreme poverty rates to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education. These goals were called the Millennium Development Goals.

For those as unaware as I was, these millennium development goals (MDGs) expire in December and a new action plan is to be adopted at the 70th UN general assembly held in New York this year.

The MDGs attracted plenty of criticism over the years, a key argument being that they placed too much emphasis on human development issues, such as education and health, and underplayed the importance of investments in energy and infrastructure that support economic growth and job creation.

Importantly for me, a target driven Business Development professional, critics aside, the question had to be; Were the goals achieved?

“The eight easy-to-understand goals generated incredible global traction, focusing attention and mobilising resources to where they were needed most.”

As I eagerly trawled the internet, I managed to find one interesting article, published by the Guardian that showed, as one world, how successful we actually were. And, well, in my view, I think given the enormity of the goals, I would be pretty comfortable with the results.

Given the pretty significant targets, such as halving the proportion of the people living in extreme poverty and halting and reversing the spread of HIV/Aids, achievement of any of these globally significant goals should of been all through the global media headlines, in newspapers worldwide on a regular basis, front page news…..

Maybe it was, maybe I missed it… Did anyone else see it?

I know, as we all do, that the media prefer the more important stories of death, violence and terror. President Obama’s recent interview summed it up perfectly; If it bleeds, it leads. Looking back on the amount of wasted time I have thrown at these media outlets peddling violence and propaganda, I feel slightly embarrassed that it has taken 15 years for this amazing news story about global unity and success to reach me.

Absurdly I can pretty much name every single terror group known to man, but I could not, before today give you one of these Global UN millennium goals.

Refocusing back to the the MDGs, now I appreciate; even with global economic growth, and the rise of global economies like China which must have impacted the statistics in a positive way, surely this has to be the greatest global anti-poverty push in history?

With 189 countries signing up to the declaration, committing their countries to a set of time-bound and quantified goals and targets, I can fully understand why Philanthropist, Bill Gates was quoted as saying that the MDGs are “the best idea for focusing the world on fighting global poverty that I have ever seen”.

Even without the global media support they should have received, the MDGs have became a global rallying point for the humanitarian cause and galvanised efforts to help the world’s neediest people.

“The Millennium Development Goals focused international aid efforts and galvanised people into action.” Matt Wade, SMH

With the new action plan to be launched in 2016, covering sustainable development goals (SDGs), which are more ambitious and cover a wider range of issues, including a greater focus on climate change, human rights, migration and employment. Some have argued that 17 is too many, and that the SDGs risk becoming unwieldy and overly bureaucratic. Others have argued the goals offer a much more comprehensive set than those that came before them and are therefore more likely to succeed.It would be great to hear your thoughts on:

1) Any interesting articles you have read on these goals;

2) Whether the proposed SDG’s have set the bar to high? Do you think 17 goals are unachievable, or;

3) Do you feel that aiming high, even if it ends in failure, will actually end in a better global state?

Yours in Sales and Service.

A more enlightened human.

Dan

Group BDM Total Solutions Group MD Our Sales Experience

Small Business Lending Tips – The Non-Judgemental Toolbox

Helping put a financial story across in a non-judgemental financial world

The Non-Judgemental Toolbox

Helping new businesses get a proactive head start when approaching a financial institution;

What do you need?

Most small businesses I meet believe that an extensive Business Plan will help in getting financial support.

Whilst this in some ways is true, probably 90% of the information you have collated is defunct with a financial business that is purely centred on mitigating risks.

Most new business lending is centred purely on whether or not you can provide any information at all rather than the length of the plan you have put together.

The Small Business Manager will very rarely have the authority to make any form of judgemental decision on the business banking account, but will more than likely need to submit documents to their credit control team to reinforce the non-judgemental decision that the system has made.

What I have attached below, will speed up the process of a decision, simplifying your bank managers role as all the information he needs to submit is neatly gathered together, which, given that they are extremely busy people,  will give your lending proposal more chance of getting completed (and submitted) over any other lending requests they have received.

For any business lending between £1k – £30k I would recommend putting together:

The 2 Page Proposal

    1. Business Background

      • What is your business, what sector are you trading in, and what is your unique selling point/competitive advantage
      • If you have a website, include the link.
    2. How will you make it successful?

      • Who you are and what is your experience – Highlight similar business management experience, or previous successful business experience.
    3. How much debt do you need?

      • Iterate how this will be spent down to the final £
      • Do not include your wage or utilities. This is purely to come out of the business expenses when functioning.
      • If it is for an asset, put down that you want asset backed finance (HP/Lease etc)
    4. How will you repay the debt?

      • Where will the income come from?
      • Is it from sales expected?
      • How can you prove that?
    5. Include a personal Asset & Liability Statement if you can:

      • Asset = car, cash, shares, boat, house etc
      • Liabilities = Debts outstanding
      • Personal Income = current monthly income – bills
    6. How much is your stake?

      • Generally any financial provider does not want to take on all the risk. Most banks like 50/50 split.
      • Most finance house want to see a decent deposit (30%)
      • Most private financiers also like to see that your family and friends are backing you on this too.
    7. Cash Flow forecast

      • They are not expecting you to put it to the pence, but if they ask you a question about your figures, you need to know how you came to it. And saying that you just guessed what it will be is not really enough.
      • Worst case scenario is great, but this does not mean making your business hugely unprofitable, as why would anyone want to lend to a business that couldn’t afford to pay you back.
    8. Any Other Important points

      • Attach a summarised form of the last 2 years trading accounts if you have them
      • Other important points you feel may make a difference to the decision, ie long standing personal customer

If you need any assistance in putting this piece together please do not hesitate to contact us directly via email daniel@oursalesexperience.com, via the website at www.oursalesexperience.com or via mobile on 07797787389.

Have a fantastic day!

Never forget “the experience delivered today, will generate the income for tomorrow”.

Yours in Sales, Service & any other Small Business Help.

Dan