Step 3 to Success in Sales

You’ve got your ideal getaway on your vision board, you know where you want to get to and what you will be doing, seeing and experiencing that makes this the event of all events; that makes this so incredible that the effort it took to make it a reality is negligible in comparison

If you’ve been following the journey of Steps to Success in Sales you will now have worked through (if not here they are)

Step 1 Have inspiring aspirations

Step 2 Figure out what success looks like

You are now at the part in your journey where you are ready to apply Step 3 Create your plan

A vision without action is just a dream, action without a plan is a painful and unnecessary journey

In this phase you take the elements of success (step 2) and break them down into manageable chunks. This has two advantages

  1. It makes it more realistic and far more motivational to follow

Think about it – If I told you that in order to achieve your dream aspiration in twelve months from now,  that you would need £12,000 there is a 95% chance (there are the 5% that think differently) that you would look at the sum and think “I don’t have that! I’ve never seen that kind of money and have definitely never earned that kind of money! I can’t do that!” 

Now imagine we take that sum and break it down over 12 months = £ 1,200.00 per month

Still not convinced?

Lets break it down even further to a weekly goal (4 weeks) = £300 per week

And if still not convinced, down to a daily goal (based on 20 working days) = £60 per day

How do you feel about the ability to create £60 per day? If you’re like me when I started sales even this seemed too much so I took it one step further and broke it down to hours (12 hour working day – start of my sales career) = £5.00 p/hour

“You mean all I have to do is focus on generating £5.00 every hour? That’s easy how do I get started?!”

I took this principle from one of my most valued mentors, John Maxwell, when he shared a story regarding the need to cut down a massive Oak Tree that had died in the back yard with a small hand axe. To summarise – when you look at the tree and you look at the tool you have you start off by thinking “its going to take forever, I just can’t do this!” but if through research you knew that with this axe, it would take on average 1200 strokes to cut clean through and that this equated to 5 chops a day for the next 12 months (which is the time you have given yourself to accomplish this task) then it would seem very achievable and are therefore willing to take action

2. It enables you to create the plan

A Plan

A detailed outline of actions, time frames, tools, and resources following a structured path resulting in the achievement of a pre-determined goal

When you start creating your plan remember to design it following the SMART framework

S – Specific

Each aspect of the plan must be clearly and expressly detailed

Not S – I will make sales calls

Definitely S

“Every day starting at 8am, I will call my pre-identified list of prospects until I have managed to have five (5) quality conversations. A quality conversation at this point means a) speaking to the decision maker b) being able to do my introduction c) the person agreeing to speak with me. I will do this every day Monday to Friday till I have achieved success of a quality conversation as laid out above, at which point I will adapt my measure of a quality conversation to the next level”

“My pre-qualified call list will have been generated the day before through the search process I have decided on, and will at all times contain a minimum of 50 names (this is made up of people I did not manage to get hold of, people who said to call back, references and referrals I have picked up along the way) and will contain their name, surname, job title, mobile number and/or office number and one piece of interesting information I may use to start my conversation with”

Note – there is a lot more that can go into this however I feel you have the gist

How do you know its specific enough?

Is it measurable? Do you have numbers – factual, tangible data which you can use to measure against?

Is it achievable? At the outset this may not always be easy to answer until we have given it a go. That being said, there are very few activities we under take now a days which somebody else has not already done and an easy way to ascertain this is to ask somebody that is succeeding in what you do; somebody who is a few months ahead of you, what there experience is and whether they see this as achievable. Important Tip! You want to ensure you are set up for success and therefore I recommend starting with an easy to achieve plan which gives you confidence and which allows you to then build up from. If you are not achieving, you will quickly become disheartened.

Is it relevant and realistic? Do the activities you have planned to take a) have purpose b) contribute to the realisation of your goals

Is it timed? Have you set time lines and dates to every activity and goal?

 

Those are the fundamentals of Step 3 Sales to Success. In step 4 we will look at further things you would want to be aware of in order to make step 3 as accurate as possible

 

Have a truly prosperous day

Steps to success in sales

In this post we look at Step 2 of Success in Sales – Figure out what success looks like

A quick recap on Step 1. Have inspiring aspirations

This is where you started your journey to success in sales, the step which in my opinion is the most important part: Your W.I.F.M (what’s in it for me).

At the heart of it, everything we do is driven by our W.I.F.M (we all are very different and our WIFM’s will differ even more so) and our W.I.F.M is the anchor that helps sustain the work ethic, discipline and resilience required to achieve success in sales.

With your aspirations in place, you are now in a position to create Step 2

How do I go about what success looks like?

Start by defining what success means to you. Here are two ways I look at it

a. Success is achievement of the goal, objectives and aspirations I have put in place

b. Success is the doing not the achieving

What is your definition of success?

Reason for defining success is that this starts to  convert aspirational W.I.F.M’s them into tangible facts of specific value.

Example

One of my W.I.F.M’s aspiration is to enjoy three yearly 7-14 day holidays at various destinations around the world. In this example I would identify an exact vacation (where, what (accommodation, travel, entertainment, etc), how etc), have pictures of it (vision board) and would have a date when I planned to leave for this holiday.

In step 2 I take this vision and I convert it into a value

Example

The total experience would cost £3000.00 and because I plan to leave for this holiday on the 7 March 2020 I would have 16 months in which to create the funds necessary to achieve this motivational aspiration

With this information in my line of site I am now ready to move to Step 3.

 

Steps to success in Sales

1. Have inspiring aspirations

These are the things you do the work for; the reward for your effort. The things that you want to have, be or do which – with that sales, with that new client, with that commission you can achieve and have.

It’s helpfull to have a huge/longer term aspiration (high value) and critical to have smaller lower value one’s for the day, week and month

How do you know its an inspirational aspiration?

High value – Its something you will not be able to achieve without sacrifice. You have to earn more (over and above your wage) and/or need to give something else up /go without in order to save for it. When you think about being/having/doing this you get butterflies of excitement

Lower value – When you think about being/having/doing this you get butterflies of excitement. These could be things like going to a movie; having a sleep in morning; going for a massage. Not necessarily high cost but of emotional value to you

“To sustain the effort required in sales, it is essential we reward ourselves regularly and purposefully”

(give thanks to that part of you which is resenting the work)

How to use your inspiring aspirations to sustain momentum?

Identify them

Write them out using as much graphic description as possible and putting it into SMART as a frame work (makes it concrete)

Find pictures/videos etc of each and study these (picture yourself in the moment – what are you experiencing, doing) every morning upon waking up and every evening before going to sleep (builds the desire)

Reward yourself as promised. This is especially important for the small daily inspiring aspirations. The more the resentful self gets rewarded the more it comes on board

Have an amazing/prosperous day

Negotiating with Influence: Irrefutable Law Eight

What is the difference between Persuasion (Influence) and Manipulation? This is the question I ask at the start of each of my Influence and Persuasion Workshop –

A question which sits at the very crux of being a person who negotiates with influence.

A question worth serious consideration and contemplation for any individual who wants to have more influence over others.

The difference? Strangely enough my research and observation of countless interactions in business and life has found that it in fact has very little to do with the persuasion/influencing technique used and everything to do with the observation and perception of the person on the receiving end of your ‘persuasion’

Pause a moment and think back over the past to a time where you were on the receiving end of somebody asking something of you. A time where although you said yes, you still sat there after the fact with a sense that you had been hoodwinked/taken advantage of. There was nothing sinister about the request, it was all above board however you just knew that you had been ‘manipulated’

This is why Irrefutable Law Eight came into being.

Irrefutable Law Eight – You need to HAVE Influence

Over the past two weeks I have shared with you my first Seven Irrefutable Laws of Negotiating with Influence. Seven Laws which I know (from my own application as well as testimonials of others) when applied with focus and positive intention result in: More Yes’s; Better, stronger more committed relationships and ultimately improved outcomes for yourself and the important people in your life.

This is where I need to share a cautionary tale – As I started applying the first Seven Laws  I still wasn’t getting the results I really wanted. At first I couldn’t figure out where the problem lay until I came across a book (which I share in the tips section) and all became clear. Unfortunately I realised the fundamental problem was that because I didn’t have influence, the application of influence resulted more often than not came across as manipulation

I realise at this point (from watching audiences who I spoken to and shared this message with) that as you read this you are probably scratching your head in confusion thinking “He says I need to influence but because I don’t have influence my influence will risk coming across as manipulation?!”

Write the following down and commit yourself to understanding this

“Being Persuasive is good, but having Influence is magic!”

Whats the key difference? Lets take a look at dictionary definitions of the following words

Persuade/Influence: (verb) The act of causing a person/people to believe or do something

Influence: (Adjective) A power (especially one that operates without any direct or apparent effort) which affects a person to do something

In other words to truly be able to negotiate with influence, you need to also have influence. You will be glad to know that we all are born with influence! Not only that but we all have the ability to develop our influence (refer to Irrefutable Law’s Three and Six for guidance on how this occurs)

Lets take a look at a few tips on how to become a person of influence

  • Tip One – Read the book ‘Becoming a person of influence‘ by John Maxwell and the late Jim Dornan. This is one of my core development tools which I read and continuously work on developing every year. In it you will find the blue print on how to truly become a person of influence
  • Tip Two – Start developing your ‘expert’ influence! ‘Expert’ influence is achieved through becoming an expert in your chosen field. This includes a journey and plan of continuous development (formal and/or informal) focusing on the advancement of learning and application of knowledge and skills help me develop my Expert Influence
  • Tip Three – Become a value adder! If you look back to Irrefutable Law Three – Add value you will come across a quote which read “You are not paid for your time, but for the value you bring” To truly be a person of influence do everything in your power to add value to the relationships you seek to build. This could include but is not limited to volunteering on projects and under promising/over delivering

With the application of these and may other tips I have slowly but surely started becoming a person of influence and along with the application of the first seven laws am continuously improving as a negotiator with influence

Tomorrow Negotiating with Influence – Irrefutable Law Nine

 

 

Negotiating with influence: The Ten Irrefutable Laws

If you have been following my posts for a while, you may have picked up (or not) that my passion and purpose is in helping people achieve their goals and dreams. I love being able to share lessons from my own life which help others move onward and upward in their career, business and even life.

Confession – One of my big life ambitions is to earn my living as a Motivational Teacher 😉 and I had my first opportunity a few weeks back to start this trajectory formally when I was invited by a friend to speak at their company quarterly meeting. I have to state right off the bat that this was an incredible honor for me, and at the same time quite stretching as this required a 45 minute talk (my longest to date has been 15 min) in front of a crowd of complete strangers (most of my talks have been to in-house training groups and or members of my church’s congregation)

The day came. I was prepared! I knew what I needed/wanted to say and I was excited to share with this amazing group. I got to the event prior to the start so that I could get a feel for the room and meet a few of the attendees – My talk was at the end of the day and followed a presentation by one of the senior leaders, lunch, a few more presentations (all which I love because once again these events gave me time to take in the atmosphere, learn more about the audience and get into the zone. Then my turn came up enter stage left, lights come up and I was on and all of a sudden my mouth was full of cotton balls, my mind kept having blank moments and I thought “Floor please swallow me up now”

Over the course of last week I shared four of the ten Irrefutable Laws of Negotiating with Influence. As a reminder

I know through experience that when you apply these four laws consistently the chances of you getting more Yes’s, and building stronger value adding relationships are increased  significantly.

The challenge in all of this unfortunately is that the mind is a devious thing and because there is a high chance you haven’t applied Irrefutable Law Five that the first four laws don’t happen or if they do are not done as should be.

This is what brings me to today’s post and the picture below

Picture3

The figure in the picture is one of the great Chinese general, military strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu who lived between 544 BC and 496 BC (the Chinese Spring and Autumn). The Sun Tzu that wrote (in my opinion) one of the greatest war and business strategy books of all time The ART of War. The quote in grey is from the book – I took the liberty of adding the “or lost” bit as I felt that this was the piece to be very aware of.

Let me explain – YOUR MIND (and specifically your subconscious mind) is the deal breaker. What you are thinking and believing about yourself and the moment is what becomes your reality – Take my opening story as a point: I started off really strong and then mid way through my opening I had a thought that I had missed a few of my traditional opening statements and that this was bad (cotton ball moment number one). Luckily I know how to work through this and continued albeit a little shakier than my start. Then I noticed that there were a few people looking down and my mind immediately went to “Oh no, I am not engaging them, I must be speaking badly) and from there the cotton mouth seemed to get worse and worse.

For more insight into these internal dialogues we have with ourselves I highly recommend reading The Chimp Paradox by Prof Steven Peters which I mentioned in one of the earlier posts. Prof Peters has explained the way our mind works in an easily understandable and highly entertaining manner.

The power of the mind and the impact of self fulfilling prophesies is very real. Let me share some research I came across in the daily blog I subscribe to Program on Negotiation (PoN) from Harvard Business. Three Professors – Kristina A. Diekmann (University of Utah), Ann E. Tenbrunsel (Notre Dame University), and Adam Galinsky (Columbia Business School) in research they conducted on self-fulfilling prophecies in negotiation found that negotiators who expected their competitors to be more competitive (even if not a reality) tended to reduce their own demands resulting in worse outcomes. That’s only half  the bad news. They also found that because of this behaviour the competitor (because of the win) started to believe they WERE more competitive and therefore started to claim more value.

Adapted from the PoN Daily Blog: Power in Negotiation and self-fulfilling Prophesies (link above)

Further research I came across once again thanks to the Program on Negotiation Daily Blog – has shown that if we do not manage our minds, our minds will manage us and in negotiation this translates into the propensity to take damaging actions like

  • making a first initial offer/request
  • Responding quickly to what ever the counter is
  • Making steep concessions
  • Exit negotiation early

So how do we manage our minds and ensure we are in a space to apply Laws One to Four effectively and consistently?

Join me tomorrow when I share Irrefutable Law Five

 

Have a great evening

 

Negotiating with Influence: Irrefutable Law Three

In yesterdays post on Negotiating with influence: Irrefutable Law Two – Sell it, don’t tell it I shared my first formal attempt at asking for a raise. Quick recap

  • I asked for it – Good 🙂
  • Used the ‘Tell it, don’t sell it approach’ – Not so good 😦

With the result being a resounding “No!” again not so good 😦

I also went onto share a few tips on how to sell it rather than telling it and explained that in every communication the other person is typically thinking “Whats in it for me?” and “Whats is this going to cost me?” which brings us onto Irrefutable Law Three

Irrefutable Law Three : Add Value!

This is worth writing down

“You are not paid [recognised/praised/admired/etc)] for the time you put in,but for the value you bring!”

I first came across this quote whilst listening to a talk by the legendary Jim Rohn, Entrepreneur, Author and Motivational Speaker. Let me write that in case you missed it the first time “You are not paid (regocnised/praised/admired/etc] for the time you put in, bit for the value you bring”

This statement rang true on so many levels and really helped me put another piece into the puzzle of ‘how to sell’ (Law Two). For those of you not in sales when you are putting forward a proposal the art of this proposal is to match it to a persons needs and the needs in essence are the value they want or desire. Note – In this instance the value I am referring to is not the economic value i.e. the difference on price between cost and sales (although this could and often does play a part) but the persons perception of value ad.

The value you need to add is what I call ‘Expected Value’. In essence “Expected Value’ is a combination of the Perceived Value which the economic times defines as the value an individual would pay (or exchange goods and services) for what you are offering plus the level of the need (which is not as obvious to either parties). These core needs at a very high level come down to

  • Certainty
  • Uncertainty
  • Significance
  • Connection
  • Growth
  • Contribution

And although not obvious – because in the most cases they are subconcious drivers – these are where the magic happens if they can be identified and drawn out

Let me share an example

Mr wants extra holiday as his holiday allowance has run out. Miss – Mr boss – needs to authorise this. Because Mr has been reading up on Negotiating with Influence: The Ten Irrefutable Laws he knows that A) He needs to communicate what he wants using the Tips shared, and B) he knows he needs to ensure that he sells his request rather than telling his request.

In his research prior to the meeting with Miss he finds out that there are already three other people on the team who have taken holiday over the same time that he wants to do so and that budget has been restricted for overtime etc. At this point you might be thinking that this is a hard sell? This is where uncovering the real drivers comes in.

In the meeting Mr asks Miss a few needs identification questions and out of this comes the realisation that Miss is pushing hard for a promotion (the extra money will enable her to start her MBA which has always been her dream) and that failure to complete the project on time in budget will severely hamper her goals. Miss’s core need is about growth and certainty. Mr also knows that he has the space to work extra hours and does not need to get paid overtime for this – his holiday time is more valuable than his overtime and personal time at this point

An here’s how Mr adds value to ensure he negotiates with influence

  • Tip 1 –  Use needs based questioning and empathetic listening skills to uncover the other persons needs
  • Tip 2 –  Go into every communication/conflict with the mindset of ‘Whats in it for them’
  • Tip 3 – Do your home work and be clear around what is going on for you, for them and the greater context
  • Tip 4 – Use a phenomenal persuasion technique as shared by Dr Roberto Cialdini, Author, Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University, in his seminal book Influence – the Psychology of Persuasion

Picture3

Be-aware when using this! Most people when attempting this influencing technique do it like this “if you do this…, then I will do this”

The right way to gain proper influence with this technique is to do it like this

“If I do this…, will you do this?”

And there you have it Irrefutable Law Three of Negotiating with influence: Add value

Tomorrow Irrefutable Law Four

Have an amazing evening

 

Negotiating with Influence: Irrefutable Law Two

I was on the receiving end of one of the best introductions to a sales call I have had in while this morning. Typically telesales calls are shocking! Why? Because when I answer the phone the introduction goes like this

Hi, can I speak to Mr Weber please?

What really grabs my goat about this start to a call is that I know it’s a sales call and immediately I am on the defensive with my automatic internal response being “Who are you? What company are you representing? What are you trying to convince me into buying?” with an immediate block to any message from there on out. What comes out of my mouth “Who is this please?” and typically ends one short minute later

What made this morning’s call special? The caller started with who they were, where they were calling from and why before they asked to speak to Mr Weber, and the clincher – it was an organisation I had recently interacted with and was interested in. My response “It is Mr Weber with a warmth to my voice” conversation continues

The reason that I share this little story is that yesterday in my post Negotiating with Influence – The Ten Irrefutable Laws, I shared Irrefutable Law One – You have to communicate what you want. A quick recap being

a) If you want anything you need to ask

b) There can be no negotiation without setting out your stall

c) People don’t ask/communicate with one major fear being they are scared of damaging the relationship (other fears being: coming across as incompetent; not getting what you want)

Which leads us beautifully into Irrefutable Law Two and the reason for my opening gambit.

Irrefutable Law Two: Sell it, Don’t tell it

That’s right! As important as it is to communicate what you want, it is equally as important to ensure that you communicate it in the right way and this means selling it, not telling it.

Let me put this into context. I have never been very good at communicating what I want mainly because I had an unhealthy and unrealistic fear of damaging the relationship and a host of other things I am working on. Thankfully I am working on this and proud to say that I’m getting better ;0) My first memorable ask was my first attempt at negotiating a raise in my first sales job. Picture this – End of a long day, my boss and I are having a few post work beers and out of the blue I blurt out “I feel I deserve a raise!

Firstly koodos to me! I asked, which was a personal best for me, unfortunately courage to ask isn’t quite enough and the answer was a resounding “No!”. I unfortunately was not very good at applying Irrefutable Law Four  at this point so that ended that conversation.

What I subsequently learned over the years was that in order to get a Yes, it is not enough to tell people what you want – although if you do only this consistently utilising the tips shared the odds are you will and do ultimately get more yes’s (at its base its all about the numbers) – what is needed to increase the chance of yes to an even greater level is to put it in such a way that shows value for what you are asking. I.E. You have to sell it.

Here are a few very valid rationals for this

  1. In every communication there are four messages being conveyed and received! In my leadership and sales training I have long delivered the message that “You cannot NOT communicate”. I always knew this to be true due to the impact of our mind on our actions/behaviours but had never seen any specific research science on this until yesterday (surprees!!) In my daily development I came across a piece called The Communication Model by Schultz Von Thun Psychologist and expert in interpersonal and intrapersonal communication – Click on the link and go check him and his communication model out – its fascinating. The essence being that everything being said is being judged and validated and therefore if what you are communicating doesn’t mesh with what the person is using to validate and judge what you are saying your communication will not be received in the way you wished (and breathe…)
  2. Whenever you are asking somebody for something they are always (consciously or subconsciously evaluating “Whats in it for me?”
  3. They are also thinking “What will it cost me?” as well as “What have you done to deserve this”

Hence the need to sell and not just tell.

  • Tip 1. Seek to understand before putting together your pitch – There is often a misconception that selling is all about the giving of information when in fact it only plays a small part of the whole ‘sell’ the key to ‘selling’ is to gather as many facts as possible both  about the ‘person on the receiving end’ as well as what you are offering before you make your pitch. The reason for this is that facts properly lead to needs which in turn are what you are putting your request towards.
  • Tip 2 – Make sure you prepare for your pitch using The Communication Square I shared in the previous post
  • Tip 3 – Communicate using the format Simon Sinek shares in his phenomenal Ted Talk ‘How Great Leaders Inspire Action’ click on the picture below.

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I cant remember how long sales training taught the framework What – Why – How. Simon put this on its head and shows why it is crucial when selling any idea that you start with WHY? then WHAT then HOW

In summary then in order to hope to Negotiate with Influence it is essential that Not only must you apply Irrefutable Law One – You need to ask/communicate what you want but that when you do so as set out in Irrefutable Law Two – Sell it, Don’t tell

Tomorrow Irrefutable Law Three

Have an amazing end of day.

Stephan