Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
When a client tells me they're not bringing in the sales they want, one of the first questions I ask is "Are you asking for the business?" Their response is either "No, I don't know what to say" or "What if I ask and they're not interested"? Well, if you don't ask, you'll never know where you stand with your prospect.
The close is a crucial moment of decision in the sales process when the prospect decides whether to enter into a business relationship with you or not. For many people this is such a painful time, that 50% of all sales calls end without asking for some sort of commitment to the next steps.
Let me share a story with you. Jim and Ron were friends for more than 25 years and golf buddies for nearly the same amount of time. They had grown up together, were as close as brothers celebrating each other's personal and professional business successes over the years. One day while they're teeing off, Jim turned to Ron and said "Ron, how come after all the years we've known each other, you've never given me any business?" Ron turned to Jim and simply said "You never asked". This response may sound surprising but it's true. The most common reason business owners don't get the business is they don't ask for it. It's as simple as that. If you want the business, you must ask for it.
Let's take a look at 7 key steps to asking for the business.
1. Prepare Yourself for the Close
There are a number of questions to answer before you ask for the business. Once you answer "yes" to these questions, you're ready to ask the closing questions. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
Does the customer want what I'm selling?
Does the customer believe in me and my company?
Can the customer afford my product?
Does the customer fully understand what my product is?
Have I prepared and practiced my closing techniques?
Am I prepared to remain silent after asking the closing question?
2. Trial Closes
Throughout the sales meeting, look for opportunities to get agreement from the prospect. Repeat back to the prospect what they told you is important to them and tie it back to the benefits. Here's an example: "Don't you agree, it's going to give you the financial security you said earlier is so important to you?"
Checking in with them throughout the meeting and getting agreement allows you to use the information as you prepare for the close. If your prospect agrees, you can bring them back to that at the end.
3. Assumptive Close
From the moment you walk in and sit down with the prospect, assume the prospect wants to buy your product. If they are willing to meet with you, they must have some interest in what you're selling. If you continually assume the sale over and over in your own mind, you'll project that confidence in your speaking when meeting with the project. Here's several assumptive statements you can make before the prospects buys:
"You'll be happy you decided to buy it."
You're going to love how it looks in your home."
4. Ask Pressure-Free Closing Questions
As the prospect gets closer to making a decision to do business with you or not, their level of anxiety increases. This is an uncertain time for the prospect in the decision-making process, and the sale can go either way. The way to keep the sales door open and lead the prospect to doing business with you, is asking pressure-free questions. The magic word to use when asking a pressure-free question is "if". The word "if", removes all risk and pressure from the question. The prospect will respond freely as there is no commitment to be made at this time. Here's a couple of examples:
If you were to go ahead with... when would you...?
If you were to decide to... how many would you...?
5. Ask Closing Questions
There is no need to break your momentum now. Here are a few questions you can ask potential clients in order to reach an agreement.
"Are you ready to get started?"
"Shall I draw up a contract?"
"Do we have a deal?"
"Let's take a few minutes now so I can walk you through the agreement."
"Let's set up our next meeting and I can go over the plan with you then."
"Shall I finalize the details?"
6. Be Quiet! Let Them Respond First
The biggest flaw leading to failing to close the sale is the inability to know when and how to ask for it and then be quiet. After you've made your recommendation and asked all your closing questions, remain silent. The prospect has listened to your presentation and needs a couple of moments to absorb the information and make the buying decision. Take a deep breath, be quiet and wait for the prospect to speak first.
7. Decide on the Next Steps
Whether or not you have closed the sale, be absolutely certain that both you and the prospect know what happens next. Before you end your meeting with the prospect, take out your calendar and set up the next meeting, or the next call. Never leave a meeting without knowing the next steps.
** To comment on this article or to read comments about this article, go here.
About the Author:
Rochelle Togo-Figa, The Sales Breakthrough Expert, is the creator of the Sales Breakthrough System™, a proven step-by-step sales process that will help you close more sales, sign on more clients and make more money with ease and velocity. To sign up for her free sales articles and teleclasses on closing more sales, visit http://www.SalesBreakthroughs.com .
Little Things Mean A Lot
One of the greatest success principles of all is called the Law of Accumulation. This law says that everything great and worthwhile in human life is an accumulation of hundreds and sometimes thousands of tiny efforts and sacrifices that nobody ever sees or appreciates. It says that everything accumulates over time. That you have to put in many, many, many tiny efforts that nobody sees or appreciates before you achieve anything worthwhile. It's like a snowball. A snowball starts very small, but it grows as it adds millions and millions of tiny snowflakes and continues to grow as it gathers momentum.
Learn What You Need To Learn
There are three areas where the law of accumulation is important. The first is in the area of knowledge. Your body of knowledge is a result of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of small pieces of information.
Any person with a large knowledge base has spent thousands of hours building that knowledge base one piece at a time. And what you see when you meet the individual is an expert in his or her field, with that high level of knowledge that makes him very valuable in the marketplace.
Save Your Money
The second area where the Law of accumulation works is with regard to money. Every large fortune is an accumulation of hundreds and thousands of small amounts of money, and the place to start is to take any amount of money that you can right now and begin to save it. When you begin to save money, it sets up a force field of energy and it triggers the law of attraction. As a result you begin to attract to you even more bits of money to add to your savings.
"Learn and Remember Faster and Easier Than Ever Before"In the 21st Century, the only skill that won't become obsolete is the ability to learn. Nowadays, your ability to learn new processes can drastically improve your earning potential. Learning is a lot like exercising: it's an activity that must be done often to attain maximum results.
Learn more here >>
Attract Riches Into Your Life
And I've spoken to many, many successful people and they've told me the same story. That as soon as you start to put savings aside, it starts to attract into your life and into your work all the money that you need to achieve your goals. The reason why most people retire poor is they never put the initial savings aside to start with.
Get The Experience You Need
The third area where the law of accumulation applies is in the area of experience. You'll find that successful people in any field are those who have far more experience in that field than the average. And there is nothing that replaces experience. Whether it's in business or entrepreneurship or management or parenting or selling or anything else. Many people do not take the risks that are necessary to move out of their comfort zone because they're afraid it won't work out.
But the fact is that until you move out of the comfort zone and get the experience from making the mistakes, it's not possible for you to grow and become capable of earning the kind of money that you desire. Now here's the key to the law of accumulation. It says that everything counts. Everything that you do counts. The biggest mistake that people make is they think that only what they want to count, counts. That when you read a book, when you listen to an audio program, when you go to a course, when you go to bed early and you get up early and you work, it all counts. And it's all going on the plus side of your ledger.
Use Your Time Well
But when you watch television, waste time, hang out, fool around and so on, all of that counts, as well, and it's going on the negative side. A person who has a great life, by the law of accumulation, is a person who's accumulated far more credits on the credit side than debits on the debit side. And here's an important point. If what you are doing is not moving you towards your goals, then it's moving you away from your goals. Nothing is neutral. Everything that you're doing is either moving you toward the things that you want to accomplish in life, the person you want to be, the wealth you want to accumulate, or it's moving you away. Everything counts. The law of accumulation says that everything counts.
First, begin today to build your knowledge base in the subject that can be most helpful to you in achieving financial independence. Whether it takes a week, a month or a year to become thoroughly knowledgeable, it doesn't matter. Just get started today.
Second, get as much experience as you can in your chosen field. Start a little earlier, work a little harder and stay a little later. Take risks and try every different way you can think of to achieve your goal. This experience is invaluable and it accumulates over time.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
by Jack Canfield
The North Wind boasted of great strength. The Sun argued that there was great power in gentleness.
“We shall have a contest,” said the Sun.
Far below, a man traveled a winding road. He was wearing a warm winter coat.
“As a test of strength,” said the Sun, “Let us see which of us can take the coat off of that man.”
“It will be quite simple for me to force him to remove his coat,” bragged the Wind.
The Wind blew so hard, the birds clung to the trees. The world was filled with dust and leaves. But the harder the wind blew down the road, the tighter the shivering man clung to his coat.
Then, the Sun came out from behind a cloud. Sun warmed the air and the frosty ground. The man on the road unbuttoned his coat.
The sun grew slowly brighter and brighter.
Soon the man felt so hot, he took off his coat and sat down in a shady spot.
“How did you do that?” said the Wind.
“It was easy,” said the Sun, “I lit the day. Through gentleness I got my way.”
# # #
Today’s featured article was an easy one for me. In this world of increased stress, financial pressures, pink slips, traffic jams and cancelled flights, it pays to know how to stay centered and calm—how to interact like the sun and not the wind.
Believe it or not, it's a critical success strategy.
Pamela Bruner is one of my students. She is a graduate of my seven-day Breakthrough to Success Summer Training (this year August 8-14), a participant in my year-long Train the Trainer Mentorship Program, and a member of my Platinum Inner Circle Master Mind Group.
Pamela is a master practitioner of the success principles I teach, and is currently working on a book with me applying the principles and techniques of the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) to removing the emotional blocks and limiting beliefs that confront people when they attempt to apply the 64 success principles that I teach in my book The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.
She sent me and an e-mail earlier this month that shows just how valuable it is to stay calm, expect the best, believe it’s possible to get what you want no matter what is happening around you, and to take action to produce the desired result.
Here is Pamela’s e-mail. I hope it will uplift and inspire you as much as it did me.
More importantly I hope it will serve as a valuable lesson for what to do if you find yourself in a similar situation—trying to get from where you are to where you want to be…when all the flights to where you want to be are being cancelled!
# # #
I was flying to West Palm Beach to film a TV spot for my husband Dave’s company, Heartland Harps. My plane was supposed to arrive at 8pm, and we needed to be in the studio at 7:30 am the next morning. The film crew would be there, waiting. My flight was delayed, and then delayed 3 more times. At 9:50pm, they announced that they were waiting for a call from the higher ups as to whether the flight would be cancelled.
Many people were angry, and were yelling at the two USAir representatives behind the counter. I went over and said to one of the reps, “The flight might still go, is that right?”
She replied, “I really think that they’ll cancel it at this point.”
I said, “I really need to be in Boca Raton tomorrow morning at 7:30am. I’m not upset, but I’ve got a film crew waiting for me. Is there any way you can help me?”
She went around the corner, and a few minutes later she beckoned me over. “There’s a flight leaving for Ft. Lauderdale at 10:15. It’s oversold, but I might be able to get you on it. I think they’ll lose a few people.”
I said, “It’s 9:55 now. Can I make it?”
She replied, “It’s been delayed also. Go now!” As I grabbed the new boarding pass she’d printed for me, I thanked her profusely, and as I ran away, she said, “It pays to be nice…and quiet!”
I ran to the other terminal, exchanged my new boarding pass for one with an actual seat assignment (hurray!) and waited. The plane didn’t leave until midnight, and I got in at 2am. All around me I heard people grumbling about the delays, the service, etc. All I was thinking was how grateful I was to have made it before my 7:30am deadline.
I did see a few people from my West Palm Beach flight come over to the Ft. Lauderdale flight, but no one else got on. I was the only one who made it that night!
Thank you Spirit!!
The Success Principles employed:
—#4: Believe It’s Possible and You Get What You Expect
—#55: Be a Class Act, and
—#17: Ask, Ask, Ask!
# # #
This is a great example of how applying the principles can literally get you from where you are to want to be…when everyone else is being left behind. Try a little kindness and be a class act.
As Pamela’s story illustrates, warm sunshine works a lot better than a harsh wind.
© 2010 Jack Canfield