Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Are You Aware Of The Tricks Your Salespeople Use To Close More Deals?

How do they close deals?
One topic which frequently comes up during meetings with my consulting customers or when I engage in professional discussions is referred to the fact many entrepreneurs believe they need to have sales departments which work on autopilot, meaning they require the least supervision possible but continue to generate their best results.

I have even heard many entrepreneurs say building business opportunities and bringing in more money is the sole responsibility of the salespeople because they should know if “they don’t sell, they’ll get immediately fired and replaced by somebody else".

And it’s understandable an entrepreneur wants its sales department to operate autonomously, independently and requiring as little attention as possible on its part.

It’s normal: the sales area of any company can become a very complicated one, especially when achieved results are not as expected or, even worse, when it’s required to develop the sales area from scratch and nobody has an idea on how to make it happen.

A salesman without supervision is a double-edged sword for your company, and a very dangerous one.

And this same desire to have a self-sufficient and independent sales department is most probably the reason why we can see many sales representatives on the road by their own, trying to sell their products all over the world, without rhyme or reason, headless, without any sort of plan and, the most worrisome thing, using any kind of trick to close any deal they come across with.

When the cat's not in duty, mice go out to have fun.

Some time ago I wrote an article on this blog entitled "Business Reputation and The Sales Rep Responsibility" (you’ll find the corresponding link at the end of this post, as always) and I tried to showcase how important the sales representative performance is to developing a solid reputation for your business.

However, day after day I get to know about more and more cases of companies leaving their reputation in the hands of sales professionals whose practices, rather than adding value to the relationship with customers, do quite the opposite, compromising reputation of the business they’re supposed to be representing.

It’s not the same thing to say "I’m an independent sales rep" than "I do whatever I have to do to close more deals."

The saddest thing is that, by sticking to the policy of having "independent and autonomous sales departments" in most cases the company doesn’t even get to know how their representatives are approaching new customers, not to say all the arguments, tricks and strategies they are using to convince prospects about making a buying decision favorable to products or services offered by the company.

As always, every time I make this kind of statements, I like to do it backed up by recent situations I’ve experienced firsthand.

Here is the story.

When your sales guy’s persistence gets the door shut down for your business.

A few weeks ago I received a phone call from a commercial agent from Mexico, who wanted to offer me their financial advisory and investment services. I kindly attended him, spent the time required to listen to what it was all about and what their working conditions were.

When I realized he was trying to convince me to make a decision immediately and over the phone, I asked him to put everything on writing and email it to me, so that I could go over it at my own pace. He agreed on that, promised to send me all requested information and to call me back the next day to follow up.

I did receive the information without any problem, read it calmly and when I realized they required a strong initial deposit to start operating with them, my decision to not doing business with them was made. I then emailed him back, thanking him for his time and attention and indicated him I was not interested on their services.

Without replying to my email, the guy called me back the next day as if I hadn’t written anything. I remarked over the phone my decision not to sign up for their services and asked to keep the contact open just in case things could change along the road and an opportunity could arise.

And I think either he didn’t hear what I said, or didn’t understand me, or simply didn’t want to understand what I said, but the fact is that, the day after our second conversation, he called me back again, this time to ask me if I had already cleared things up and changed my mind.

The difference between being persistent and being stubborn, can only be recognized by a true professional.

I told him I wasn’t going to change my mind, neither doing business with them and thanked him again for his kindness on following up with me.

From that day on, I blocked his phone number on my mobile and made a firm decision not to speak to him again. Just imagine the experience has been so negative and disappointing that I can’t even remember the name of the company he was working for and not even his own name.

Is this the way you want your salespeople to close deals for your business? Is this the way you want your customers to be treated?

More importantly: Is this the reputation you want to develop for your business? One that is blocked on the phone and put aside?

That’s why my advice will always be to take charge of your sales department, no matter how many people work in it, supervise it properly and, above all, make sure you give proper training to every single person doing sales for your business, just to make sure on the way they are approaching your prospects and representing your business’ brand.

Picture credit: poosan | See portfolio

Following you'll find links to the posts I mentioned above which you'd like to read:
Corporate reputation and sales reps’ responsibility.
How to Effectively Supervise Your Sales Team

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Do You Know Which Can Be Your Best Investment Of All? Put Time Into Learning New Things.

Your Best Investment Ever: Learning.
How fast time really goes by. It's been a little over a month since I last sat down to write a post for my beloved blog.

It just happens that I like to write only when I have already digested the ideas I want to share with you, and also when I have been able to run all mental revisions I feel convenient just to make sure only valuable information is delivered to you, information which might be relevant to your business and, why not, to your own life, but so far I haven’t had the time to be so thorough with my writing.

In addition to that, I've also been pretty busy with the professional projects I'm managing now along with my two kids who have been on Easter vacation for the last two weeks. I guess now you can understand I just haven’t found the time.

That’s until now.

And I say so far because today I want to tell you about a story I have lived in first person over the last two months which surely will invite you to look at things on a different way.

Once again "I refuse to say that is just the way things are, and with all the things happening around us"

This was the title of an article I wrote in this blog about 4 years ago. And it was so badly real at that time as it is today. Yes, I know things out there in the world are looking pretty bad, and that the world’s largest economies are ulso hurt and moving slowly, and that politicians, and fifty more stories that can come to our minds simply to justify an environment of pessimism and distrust.

However, I refuse to give up to that trend. And even though, like it’s for you and for every human being in the world, I also have my downs and ups, I always try by all possible means to maintain a good mood and positivism, at all times.

No person with a negative attitude has ever been able to build any positive thing.

And it is just that everything that happens to us in our lives can be seen in many different ways. I'll tell you about the stories of two very dear friends of mine.

Roberto, is a colombian guy who is about 30 years old. He lived with his partner for many years but, as with many things in life, their relationship deteriorated and ended up on a somehow traumatic divorce.

The relationship with his ex-partner has been really tough for a long time, he’s barely allowed to see his 5 years old daughter, well ... one of this sad situations we’re all familiar with.

However, despite everything I'm telling you, a couple of years ago Roberto decided to do something with his life, and today he’s professionally established in the telecommunications area, starting to work on his own as an independent contractor and moving forward with his life.

I forgot to mention that my friend Roberto is bipolar, so his situation becomes much more complicated than yours or mine.

If it's raining lemons, you better learn to make some delicious lemonade.

If that one story is not enough for you, let me share with you another one: Elizabeth is a friend of mine who should be around her twenty-some years old as well, perhaps closer to her thirties. A couple of years ago she had a steady job and was living a happily-ever-after-kind-of-relationship with her fiancé, as she herself told me.

One day, everything turned into a nightmare for her: she broke up with her loverboy, and a few months later she got fired from her job and found herself without either one of the things that built up her entire happiness. Alone and deeply depressed, she was feeling devastated to the point of needing medication.

Similarly, Elizabeth today has a new job, is very excited about it and it is all going much better for her. She also got into a new relationship, got pregnant and now has a beautiful baby girl who should be one year old or so. She’s having a blast.

What have Roberto and Elizabeth in common? That one day, after many lamentations, tears and many days simply justifying their pitiful lives, they both decided to leave aside negativism, they mustered up courage and took charge of their lives to make them better.

They also refused to keep on saying "it’s just the way things are" or "nobody can move forward on such a difficult environment", and decided to play starring roles in their own lives.

They both dared to dream and discover their full potential.

This is also the title of a post I wrote on this blog a few years ago. It contained a link to an spectacular video on YouTube, which I truly recommend you to watch and keep as one of your favorites, getting back to it whenever you need.

Not just simply refusing pessimistic conversations will make it, but also putting yourself at work, moving forward to go somewhere.

Not because you wake up early, the sun is going to rise sooner.

My friends Robert and Elizabeth did it: They dared to dream. Roberto got back to the books and got a degree in the ​​telecommunications area, and Elizabeth did the same in nursing and elderly people care.

Yes, each of them had their own stories and multiple reasons to be swayed by negativism. However they chose to trust and believe that a better world is possible for us, and that living a better life was within the reach of their hands, as it is for all of us if we dare to take the necessary steps.

Kind of the same thing happened to me in recent weeks: I found a possible opportunity to generate additional income for the family and for me, and since it’s an area with which I am not (or should I say, was not?) familiar with at all, I decided to do what must be done on these situations: seek for specialized training and education to build a deeper knowledge on the subject and begin to feel comfortable with.

You know I'm a man of faith, and my faith helps me to trust God has always wanted a better world for all of us and has put in our hands every possible tool and power to make it real, go for it and make all decisions we’ve got to make.

That is why I strongly believe the time you invest in receiving professional training in an area of your choice,  will always be the best investment you can ever make in your life and for your future.

Look at my friends Robert and Elizabeth, live testimonies of what I’m saying: they demonstrate that, even from the worst circumstances, it is always possible to stand up again and move forward.

So now what do you think? Is it going to be a great week or what?

Picture credit: Voyagerix | Ver portfolio

Below you will links I recommended throughout this post:
You Need To Update Your Own Personal Processor: From Being A Spectator to Taking A Main Role In Your Play