The X Factor in selling … is this the most brilliant strategy ever?

Welcome to Monday

Look at these two young girls and ask yourself…What do you see?transform-through-conversations-photo

Do you see a sharing of common interests? Do you see shared secrets? Do you see an absence of guile? Do you see a sense of fun? Do you see genuine affection? Do you see honesty?

Now here is my next question ……Wouldn’t you be more than pleased if this photo was actually an accurate mirror of a typical interaction between you and your prospect?

Imagine recapturing that innocence of youth. Imagine your prospect showing genuine interest in you (Let’s just forget about your product for a minute) Imagine your prospect sharing secret concerns with you. Imagine your prospect relaxed and displaying non-threatened body language.

I am about to give away what I believe to be the X Factor for success in sales. This factor comes after more years than I care to admit to in sales and sales management.

At this point, I have to warn you, if you are a selling coward there is no point in you reading any further. This X Factor for successful selling requires courage.

OK, so let’s assume the selling cowards have now left the room. Those of you who have the courage, draw near. Yes you are right in part, yes the X Factor does involve Honesty but not just the Honesty you would have imagined.

All of us understand the importance and need to be honest about facts

I fully endorse the need to be honest about facts. It has always been easy for me to be honest about facts because I still go red if I tell an untruth.

I can hear you saying “Tell me something I don’t already know” OK let’s look at and focus on the actual X Factor for success in selling …..


Remember how we talked earlier about how we would like our prospect to behave. Well why should they behave honestly, why should they tell us honestly what they really think.

Think about how stupid we are when we clearly want the prospect to be honest about their feelings while we sit there all professional and wonderful and completely dishonest about how we feel.

If you have the courage and you want to deliver the perfect sales presentation, stop presenting and start talking with the prospect. Start by being honest about your feelings.

As a sales manager I have often begun a debrief with a salesperson after they missed a sales by asking this simple question, ”What do you know about the client?”  Typically, the salesperson will start telling me what position the prospect holds in the company, how he is looking to update the current model etc. At this point, I usually stop the salesperson and qualify my original question “What is their family situation, what are their interests and even more importantly what do you think their buying style is?

99% of failed sales can be put down to our failure to really get to know the prospect. It is all about being honest about facts and feelings.


You have just shaken hands with the prospect and they ask you how you are today?  Your reality is that you have been caught in a traffic jam and you are a bit hassled. Instead of saying I’m fine thank you why not say “Boy oh boy, I am feeling a bit hassled after spending the last twenty minutes trying to get through one set of traffic lights”

It might take the prospect back somewhat but you can bet the prospect is now saying to themselves. “Thank goodness, this person is not one of those over the top super salesmen who are tediously positive about everything. I might be able to actually relate to them


Sales presentations don’t always go well. There often comes a time in your presentation when you sense that your prospect is just not buying. You could keep prattling on or you could pause and make an honest comment such as ….

Bill/Sally I really don’t think I have done a very good job today. It is clear to me that you are not getting excited about this proposal. I think you are going to have to help me here. What is the main issue in your mind?”

Remember, if you are going to close a sale, you are going to have to determine the real objection

If you have been honest about the mood of this encounter and you have established a real relationship you can afford to bust the whole thing open with an honest question such as that stated above.

Of course, when you are ‘putting on’ honesty, especially honesty about feelings and emotions, your body language is likely to expose your true feelings and the disconnect result in loss of rapport.

Today’s question and actions

Consider the last sale you lost. Take time to go through it honestly, step by step, in your mind. As you do take a note of how many times you could have been more honest about different twists and turns in your interaction with the prospect.

  • Did you notice your prospect changing their posture or facial expression?
  • Did you notice your voice change in tone, speed or inflection?
  • Did the level of rapport change on your side

You may not realise the hidden messages you send when you are being less than honest about facts and feelings.

You may have to think about how to say it but I can tell you one thing for sure, you need to start saying it.

Have a great week!

Reprint permission

Permission is granted to reprint this article with the condition it is republished unedited and in full with full attribution to the author and the authors bio. Please provide a link to the reprint to the following email;

Posted in Monday Motivational Minute | Leave a comment

What is the balance in your ‘I can trust you’ Bank Account?

By Gregory Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

In Australia we live in what I call a ‘high trust’ society. We tend to take people at their word.

What Words Are You Using To Build Trust?


You are at a social gathering where you do not know anyone. Someone asks you “What do you do for a living?”

You could say “I am an airline pilot with Virgin Australia” and most people will accept what you say immediately. In fact you could make almost anything up!

This model will, of course, fail immediately if the person you are talking with says “I am too, which route do you fly?” or if they know someone in the room who is also a pilot.

The lesson here is, in Australia and many ‘Western’ countries people tend to trust first and ask questions later. In most of the world, however, business is transacted in a low trust environment where trust must be earned, sometimes with every call you make.

We work with those we trust to solve our problems

If I want someone to make a buying decision with me I need them to trust that what I say will happen when they buy my product or service. The bigger the decision the larger the level of trust required.

Trust comes in three stages

This is a good person (stage 1)

I was talking with an older person just listening to their stories. After awhile, out of the blue, she said “Greg, you are a good boy”. I was so surprised I said “Why don’t you put that in writing”, which she did.  I now have a signed piece of paper which I treasure stating ‘Greg is a good boy’.

Getting to the point where someone thinks you are a good person is just a matter of listening and asking open, reflecting and probing questions. The fact you take the time to listen tells the other person you are someone they can trust.

This person has good ideas (stage 2)

A fellow business coach asked for a minute of time to discuss a client of theirs they were having trouble with. At the end of this discussion she said “Greg, you always have great ideas. Do you mind if I use you on an ongoing basis?” All I had done was listen to the problem and reflected ideas back in the same format as she stated them.


The person I am coaching has achieved all the goals we set out to achieve. I do not know where to go from here” she said.

Have you reset the goals in light of the way the person has developed?” I asked.

What I did was reflect back her words in a new way. While this was not rocket science, it did give her an ‘ah-ha moment’ and cemented in her mind that I have good ideas and moved me to the next level of trust.

This person can do what they say they can do (stage 3)

You can change all that COBOL into JAVA using an automated tool?” one incredulous programmer asked me. I could see this multimillion dollar project was going nowhere despite the level of trust we had developed. I asked,  “John, if I can show you this working will you authorise a pilot program?”.

What John wanted was evidence for himself and others of his team I was a trustworthy person. We setup the demonstration and won the pilot program. They believed because we showed we could do what we promised on a small scale, then a large scale.

Trust Bank Account

When you meet someone for the first time you automatically open a ‘trust bank account’ with a small, but positive, balance.

    • Every time you promise to deliver a result (to get more, to save more, to look good, to feel good, to eliminate pain, or to be loved) and you do it, you add to your trust bank account.
    • Every time you fail you make a withdrawal.

Can you be trusted before you can prove it? Yes, in most situations people will take you at face value. When it comes to decision that will impact their business or life you can be sure it will only be made when you trust bank balance is substantial.

Today’s question and actions

This week, when you meet with your clients ask this simple question; “How could purchasing this product or service change the way you do business?” you may be surprised by the answer.   What are you doing to make deposits into you trust bank account?

    • Every time you make a promise, no matter how small, if you do not deliver it counts as a withdrawal.
    • Send an unexpected handwritten card or thank-you note and you add to your trust account.
    • Do you listen attentively?
    • Do you share ideas?

Nothing will establish trust and increase sales better than becoming an expert in asking the right questions, following up with ideas and showing how these ideas work with other organisations Email me to setup a time to talk about opening a trust account with your team.

Have a great week!

Reprint permission

Permission is granted to reprint this article with the condition it is republished unedited and in full with full attribution to the author and the authors bio. Please provide a link to the reprint to the following email;

Posted in Monday Motivational Minute | Leave a comment

What is your sales pace? Four critical things the tortoise can teach us.

By Gregory Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

I was doing my regular run pacing myself to my music at 142 beats a minute. All of a tortise vs haresudden this young man, well young compared to me, rushed by making me feel like I was barely moving.

I had to remind myself I was in this for the exercise and duration training – not to show off. If he wanted to rush on at full pace that was his prerogative.

I rounded the next corner and there he was. Obviously he had been running too fast and run into the young lady he was exchanging phone numbers with. I wondered which insurance companies covered crashes of runners in the park.

Telling the whole story

I have gone back to my roots and doing  a bit of ‘one on one’ selling these last couple of months. As a part of the sales process I have a standard pitch I make and if I do the job well I close most of the opportunities.

I have pitched the same product over a hundred time this month. The discipline of listening to the same questions, patiently answering them, telling the whole story beginning to end is one I have to work at all the time.  The most common reason I miss a sale is if I do not listen to questions patiently, respond  properly, rush through the presentation or leave things out thinking they are not so important.

Your product is brand new every time you present it

I recall the first time I presented the product. I was enthusiastic, excited to be presenting a really interesting environmentally friendly idea with a compelling financial story. The prospect purchased the product, had a good financial win and I banked a good commission. It was a good day.

Today when I tell the same story I remind myself of that first day. I recall the feeling of enthusiasm and the love of helping people take advantage of a compelling financial story. You see, no matter how many times I tell the story, and how bored or uninteresting I think it may be, it is the first time for my customer and they deserve the full treatment. By speeding through the presentation there is every chance I will end up crashing and burning.

There are four things which are critical to every sale pitch

1. Enthusiasm

You need to totally believe in your product or service. When you ooze confidence and belief in your company or person you represent this rubs off on your prospect who will naturally believe you have the answer to their needs. This could be a belief your Barista makes the best cappuccino or your project team will deliver a $500M IT solution.

2. Listening

Even the most mundane and boring questions you have heard a thousand times are critical. Questions mean your customer is interested. Taking the time to carefully listen to questions and answering them fully, no matter how dumb you think they are, builds rapport and establishes you as an expert.

3. Information sharing

Telling your story reflecting the needs of your customer and the questions they have raised. Your story is an enthusiastic telling of the critical elements of your product or service focusing on the areas which make you unique.

4. Asking for the order

This may be as simple as saying something like “Brenda, what we normally do now is take a 25% deposit with the balance due when we install the new system. How would you prefer to handle that?” Depending on the situation you can develop your own method. Even in large sales I have the habit of asking for the order using questions like “Peter, if you were making the decision on your own would you be ready to make a commitment?” or “Based on our discussion today do you think you are closer to making a decision

Today’s question and actions

The story of the Hare and tortoise teaches us the importance of belief,  persistence and finishing.  Here are a couple of things you can do;

  • Recall your first few days on the job and your first sales calls. Bring back the enthusiasm and joy you experienced relating your story.
  • The next time someone asks you a ‘dumb’ question pause and silently say ‘thank-you’ as you have a prospect who is interested.
  • Prepare a few strong closing questions. Even if they say ‘no’ now be prepared with something like “What can I do so you can make a decision?” to move forward.

Your product might be the same. For this prospect it is a whole new story. Tell it with enthusiasm beginning to end and you will be surprised how your close rate goes up.

Have a great week!

Posted in Monday Motivational Minute | Leave a comment

A mask may disguise, but what a person says is a real give away

Welcome to Monday

I could feel the energy draining from my body as I listened to the woes of my prospect. The more I listened and focused on building rapport the worse I felt. I had to do something.

I dragged up all the positive energy I had and asked “Sharlene, what is it about your company which works well?”

I could see the colour in her face change almost instantly and over the next few minutes I managed to resuscitate the sales call into positive territory.

I find it easy to reflect the mood of people I meet with. The mood, however, is usually a Mask reflecting things which have been going on in their life and at work in the immediate past. It is easy to assume the mask is a true indication of the character and state of mind of the prospect/client.

The risk is you reflect the mask they are wearing and not the person. You do this assuming rapport is being built and merrily go on to present your product or service. I know I have done this, particularly when I was a rookie sales person, and was totally dumbfounded when my prospect/client dismissed my proposal or offer out of hand.

A professional  salesperson takes note of the mask people wear. They also seek to test the initial impression the mask portrays with thoughtful questions. Actually, it doesn’t really matter what the question is, what is more important is the tone and manner that the prospect/client uses to answer the questions.

We all want to see behind the mask. It is the words a person uses which gives away what is really going on behind the mask.  Even more specifically its… they say it.

The success of a sales presentation or attempt to influence is dependent on these critical early interchanges.

Let’s look at some examples, how they respond to your question and how a professional might best deal with them.

Example #1 – Mr Peters

THE MASK:      Stern and somewhat forbidding

ANSWER:        Mr Peters answers your question in a self assured and somewhat masks-meanopinionated manner

RESPONSE:     The professional knows immediately that they need to use strong eye contact and respond in a firm and confident manner.  They know that if they slip back into a more obliging posture, this Mr Peters will chew them up and spit them out.

This is an easy example as the Mask that Mr Peters wears is usually  consistent with the manner in which they answer your question.

Now lets contrast Mr Peters with the next example

Example #2 – Ms Noble

THE MASK:      Stern and somewhat forbidding

ANSWER:         Ms Noble answers your question in a very formal manner and she offers a masks-meanrational and considered response

RESPONSE:      Although the professional saw the same Mask on Ms Noble, her answers denote a less aggressive style of person who will respond to a more intimate but business like approach.

Mr Peters will respect the more intense “I’m not to be toyed with” approach whereas our Ms Noble would expect and respond better to a formal yet more engaging approach.

Same MASK different ANSWER, different RESPONSE

Now lets look at another example with an entirely different Mask

Example #3 – Mr Harper

THE MASK:      Affable and friendly

ANSWER:         Mr Harper answers your question with some enthusiasm but somehow turns your question into a question for you

RESPONSE:      The professional quickly realizes that Mr Harper’s Mask seeks to presentmasks-happy-jpeg an affable image but in reality he is actually sizing you up and trying to ascertain whether and how this encounter is going be to Mr Harper’s advantage.  The professional will quickly adapt to the situation and start highlighting what is in this for Mr Harper (The WIIFM)

The professional is also aware that if he is not calm, careful and alert he/she will end up being sold by Mr Harper on why Mr Harper is not buying today.

The mask is often an unconsciously acquired form of sales resistance.  A mask does exactly what one would expect. It conveys to all and sundry an image that suits the wearer not necessarily where they are at or what they are actually thinking…..But the answer is the real give away.

Today’s question and actions

What Masks have you observed? Even the most crusted on Masks can be seen through with good questions.

  • Have a few really positive questions up your sleeve like “What is working well” or “Where can you see something like this adding value?”
  • Use the ‘sharp angle’ if you feel yourself drowning in negative territory. “That is exactly why I called …can you see why?”
  • Sometimes you can just ask them to remove the mask “Jason, is that how you really feel? or is that just where you are today?”

Some masks are easier to spot that others.  Of course you can read more about the Masks people wear in the book “Selling to the 7 Emotional Buying Styles or downloading the Sales Analyzer app (see link on the right)

Take a magnifying glass and zoom in on the Buying Style of your prospect.

Have a great week!

Reprint permission

Permission is granted to reprint this article with the condition it is republished unedited and in full with full attribution to the author and the authors bio. Please provide a link to the reprint to the following email;

Posted in Monday Motivational Minute | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Six core sales and business principals. How sharp are your skills?

By Greg Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

Like many weekend handymen I have a shed full of tools I use only occasionally. This saw-blade-sharpeningweekend I pulled out my power saw and expected a perfect cut in the expensive piece of timber I had just purchased. You can imagine my surprise, and the expletives I muttered under my breath, when the timber split along the cut.

I took the old blade with me to the hardware store to make sure I replaced it with a compatible blade. The first thing the salesperson asked was if I wanted to have the blade sharpened as it was perfectly good, just dull from exposure, wear and tear.

I was reminded of an important lesson from the Seven Habits taught by the late Stephen Covey. I had not used the Power Saw for a few years and I had expected it to perform to the same specification as the day I purchased it.

Last week I was talking with a business owner who was lamenting the poor quality of people applying for sales roles. If he offered a big guarantee he would get hundreds of applicants. If the sales person had to rely on their own skill set to earn commissions he might get one or two applicants.  He made the bold claim there were only about 500 professional sales people in Australia who earned more than $250,000 and most never made more than their base salary.

Brian Tracy, in his program ‘The Psychology of Selling’, relates a recent study which outlines the sad fact less than 5% of full time sales people have ever attended a sales training course, read a book about selling, or listened to a tape or CD by their own choice.

Selling, the powerhouse of every business, is the most profitable and rewarding career. In fact, there is so much money to be made in a selling career failure to believe high achievement is possible is often the most significant limiting factor in a sales career.

The basic laws of business and selling are simple, well known and the foundation of all excellent training programs – it is just that so few people follow them! Here I have taken six core principals. If you can focus on just ONE and improve in that area you can dramatically improve your results

The more your client talks, the more they like you

I regularly hear comments like ‘He must be a good sales person – he can talk the leg off an iron stove’ or ‘John is a great sales person – but he just talks too much’.

I have never heard ‘Jill is such a nice person – but she just listens too much’.

People want to be heard and understood before hearing about us. To build a business and sales you need to be listening all the time. Developing your skills of asking the right questions at the right times is fundamental to listening – and listening is the foundation of success.

Professional sales people never make a sales call

Professional sales people make calls to be of service to their client. When you make calls for any other reason the client will know immediately and treat you like a sales person rather than the ‘consultant’ or ‘business advisor’ you may have built your reputation on.

If you’re making a sales call to meet quota, earn bigger commissions, move the “special of the month” or any other reason not arising from your clients needs you need to check your integrity.

One of the main reasons selling has a negative public perception is too many sales people sell for their own reasons, not their customers’ reasons.

A qualified prospect has the need, receives the value, has authority and power to buy.

Sales Professionals are born the same way as Doctors, Lawyers and other Professionals

Brian Tracy tells us that the average sales person lasts less than 90 days in this profession. As with every profession, highly skilled sales professionals have studied and learned their trade.

Top sales professionals pay for and attend training sessions every year. They read regularly and research their profession to be the very best all the time. Research reveals that regardless of age, race, gender or experience, a novice salesman with effective sales training can become as successful as his veteran counterpart.

The number one question is ‘What will it do for me?’

Before you pick up the telephone to talk to your client ask yourself the question ‘If I was the person I am calling what is it that the service or product being sold will impact on my world?’ If the definition of selling could be boiled down to a single sentence or question, this would be it.

Constantly put yourself in your prospects shoes by asking this question. It will help you focus on their needs and the appropriate corresponding benefits.

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Your client must believe that you will do everything possible that’s in his or her interest. Without this trust, all the facts, figures and discounts don’t mean anything.

Once you gain the prospect’s trust, however, you become much more than a supplier — you become a trusted business advisor, strategic partner not easily replaced, despite your competitors’ lower price, supposed faster delivery and so on.

People buy emotionally then justify logically

Contrary to what many salespeople believe, this reality actually works in your favour if you’ve done a thorough job of helping your prospect buy.

Your prospect, once they have engaged with you emotionally, find it hard to say ‘no’ as they are saying ‘no’ to someone they like and care for. Once engaged emotionally they will work hard to justify a purchase.

Discuss benefits related to your prospect ONLY

There are more than 1 million 8mm drill bits sold annually, but people don’t want 8mm drill bits. They want 8mm holes. Show your prospects the benefits of your product or service.  If they want am 8mm hole discuss 8mm holes, not the speed of the drill.

Sell value, not price

I was shopping for clothes for my next sales training trip. I commented to my wife that there were a lot of very ugly clothes around. This got me thinking. At some stage these clothes will go on special and at some point, when the price has been reduced enough, someone will buy them. This is a Loose-Loose situation as there is no margin for the store and the buyer will wear the item only once.

Selling the value of your services or product to address business issues will win all the time.

Today’s question and actions

When was the last time you did anything about developing your business or sales skills? Here are two things you can do immediately to start sharpening your saw.

  • Load up motivational, business and sales training audio files on you iPhone or in-car CD player. Listen to these every time you jump into the car – even if it is for just a few minutes.
  • Plan to attend business building or sales skills programs on a regular basis. There are many good one or two hour skill based programs run by training companies which cost nothing more than a few minutes listening to their sales pitch
  • When you find a good program take the plunge and make the investment in yourself

Selling and business building skills, the backbone of the economy, need to be learned, honed and sharpened just like any other professional skill. You are a valuable and important  person and you deserve the best chance of success.

Have a great week!

Reprint permission

Permission is granted to reprint this article with the condition it is republished unedited and in full with full attribution to the author and the authors bio. Please provide a link to the reprint to the following email;

Posted in Monday Motivational Minute | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

If only everyone wore a ‘tell all’ Tee Shirt

tell-all-t-shirtWouldn’t it be great if everyone wore a tee shirt that told us what they think and even better still, how they want your product or service presented to them.

Well, in a lot of ways that is exactly what people do whether they are aware of it or not. Prospects and clients are telling us who they are and what turns them on. They express themselves uniquely by the way.

  • They dress
  • What they talk about
  • How they make comments about other people
  • How they express their opinions

All business people and salespeople have to do is….

  • Ask the right questions
  • Listen
  • Observe

To explore this theme further, lets look at the commonly used expression:  “Been there – Done Thattee-shirt-got the tee shirt

This expression first started to appear in the 1970’s and by the 1980’s Australians with their typical laconic sense of humor extended the saying to “Been There – Done That – Got the Tee Shirt”

So if everyone wore that TELL ALL Tee Shirt it would help us recognize the seven (7) primary Emotional Buying Styles. Lets have a quick look at each of them.


tee-shirt-I could have done such a better jobThis FIRST style is not just happy to wear the Tee Shirt, he/she also wants to know how it was made what materials were used and how can it be made better.



tee-shirt-and I won this tee shirtThis SECOND style wants to tell you how terrific he/she is…..all the time Persistent perseverance will be required here.



This THIRD style cares very deeply about a lot of different issues so tread carefully or youtee-shirt-how much I care will alienate them with a clumsy or insensitive remark.



tee-shirt-safety colourThis FOURTH Buying Style spends their life anticipating problems. They worry far to much and would not like to admit that worry is experiencing the physical affect of something that hasn’t actually happened. If your product or service implies any form of risk they will retreat very quickly and just not buy.


The FIFTH Style buys early, buys quickly then they stop listening. If you want to keep their tee-shirt-one forall my friendsbusiness be aware of this and persevere until you are convinced they are buying for good substantial reasons. Otherwise, expect to find a cancellation on your desk the next day.


You need to be on the ball with Style number SIX or you will end tee-shirt-two for oneup with a Tee Shirt that you didn’t know you wanted.



Style number SEVEN is most likely prepared to give you a hearing but if you suggest any tee-shirt-Been There Done Thattype of one-off special deal or the product is cheap (inexpensive) you will have them suggesting that you should leave. But they will do it all so politely.


As professionals, we need to be able to Listen and Observe and know what we are listening and looking for.

Read more about the styles in the book “Selling to the 7 Emotional Buying Styles” and download the Sales Analyzer app from the Google Play Store or Amazon – see links on the right.


Posted in Monday Motivational Minute | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Is there life after CALL RELUCTANCE?

By Michael Tregonning

Years ago I realized that I love making a sale but I hate the process I have to go through to call reluctanceget there. I would look at my sales colleagues picking up the phone with the same relish and excitement that Homer Simpson eats a doughnut.

I had to ask myself the question….”What is wrong with me?”

My Sales Manager kept threatening me, my bank account was shrinking and I started to wonder if I could get my old job back. I would look at the phone, shuffle papers, look out the window and suddenly remember that I needed to go to the toilet….again. This was a crisis and I definitely needed some well-informed advice. I needed to talk to someone who knew what they were doing so I knew there was no point in talking to my sales manager.

I asked the most experienced salesperson in the place for some advice. I explained to him how I felt about the sales, the fact that I liked the sale but hated making cold calls. At that point he stopped me and said something that I would be reminded of throughout my career.

Some people are good at making cold calls because they love to meet people and they love to talk. Don’t be too despondent though Michael because most of them can’t close a sale even if their life depended on it.

The difference here is that you can close sales because you love to win, you love the buzz that comes from getting the deal.

 A Simple But Effective Tool

Then he sat me down at my desk, pulled up a chair and proceeded to change my whole approach to Cold Calls.

He drew twenty little boxes on a piece of paper and said “Michael, forget the idea of making a call to get an appointment. That is no longer your priority. From now on you only have one goal each day. That is, be able to tick these twenty boxes.”20-calls1

If you make a call and the person at the other end is rude and nasty you can say “Thank you Sir, I get to tick another box

This veteran salesperson also made the point that if an opportunity arose during the call that could result in an appointment, I would recognize it and jump on it like a cat on a mouse. The important thing to keep in mind is that you have made the call.

There are several observations I could make to clarify your understanding of whether you are suited to sales and how best to approach the sales process.

What this veteran sales person was saying became clear to me. I am not a natural salesperson. In fact, in the course of my career I have found that it is very rare to meet a natural born salesperson. Most people who succeed are those that find the tools and methodology that works for them.

This piece of paper with twenty little boxes worked for me. It was a way of fooling myself or more specifically changing my perspective about cold calling. I wasn’t making a cold call anymore I was just earning the right to tick one more box.

Of course, if you are after another effective tool that will equip you even more try the Sales Analyzer App – Download it from the Google Play Store or Amazon by clicking the box on the right.

Posted in Monday Motivational Minute | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What are you doing to keep yourself on track?

By Greg Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

I find Monday morning the most challenging time of the week. It is in the first few hours of Monday my mind drags up all my fears & doubts, reminds me of things left undone and mouse with hard hatnew deadlines looming.

Garfield, from the comic strip of the same name, identifies Monday with disasters. It seems anything that can go wrong will go wrong on Monday. Garfield’s advice is to stay in bed until Tuesday.

Awhile ago I worked with a professor in the business school at RMIT University. Stas would never meet, however, on Monday mornings or Friday the 13th and refused to get out of bed until the danger time had passed.

I find it easy to come up with excuses when I find myself going off track, and using external influences as the scapegoat is the simplest outlet.

I strive hard to eliminate excuses from my life. In C.S Lewis’s ‘The Screwtape Letters’ the devil writes to Wormwood who is despairing of people who are perfect and says something like ‘…positively encourage people to think they are perfect, for then they become full of pride and boastful. It is then we can claim their soul

I agree. It is the very moment I feel I know it all I fail. Is there a time when this is more likely?

Is there a right time to win or fail?

A lot of science has gone into researching accidents and failures.

Probably the most costly mistake occurred in 1999 when NASA engineers failed to convert imperial measurements to metric.  The error was only discovered years later as the spaceship approached the Martian atmosphere.  This was a serious ‘ouch’ moment with lots of finger pointing and a serious accusation of sloppy work on one particular Monday morning.

The outcome of the inquiry, however, showed there was a systematic series of errors which led up to the final result.

Despite hundreds of scientific  studies, no one has been able to say with any certainty that Monday is dangerous just because it is Monday, or Friday the 13th is dangerous just because it is Friday the 13th.

What has been discovered, however, is three things;

  • Poor decisions are made when people are tired
  • Accidents happen when procedures are not followed
  • When things go wrong people look for excuses

So what can you do to become a consistent performer doing something you love?

Have you set realistic goals and time-frames?

Setting big hairy audacious goals (BHAG) is a fine exercise. This style of goal is great if you are trying to move an audience, win an election or change the public perception of your company. It does not help on Monday morning when you realise your goal is a long way off.

Break down the goal into daily, weekly and monthly targets. The more you can break down the BHAG into a personal daily target the more you can use the goal to keep yourself motivated.

Know your excuses?

I know my weaknesses. One of them is getting myself going in the morning. Even after years of getting up early if I allow myself to sleep in just one day I can quickly fall into old habits.  If I am not earful I can hit the snooze button so often I miss my first appointment.

Prospecting and networking has always been a big challenge for me. I set myself a goal very early in my business and sales career to talk with someone I have never talked to before every day,  even weekends. I do this despite the displeasure of my wife and daughter who find my outburst of conversation with strangers  embarrassing. This outburst of embarrassment, however, has kept my sales pipeline full.

Have you shared your goals?

Sharing your goals with trusted colleagues will give you strong incentives to achieve. If you have a goal you really want to achieve there is nothing better than having a strong advocate on your side. If all the energy to keep going is internal you will eventually run out of fuel.

In my quest to get myself fit this year I shared my goals with my family. As I started to falter towards the end they almost pushed me out the door to finish my running program. In all your big goals having someone to push you on will give you the extra burst of energy to cross the finishing line.

How will you reward yourself?

What are you doing to reward yourself for each minor achievement? It is great you will get a big fat commission check or shareholding in the company, but what is keeping you going every day? I reward myself with short breaks in the park; reading; playing music. Whatever works for you make it a reward for effort.

Today’s question and actions

What are your excuses? Do you have low energy times of the day? or week? Here are a few things you can do;

  • Take notice of your low energy periods. Most errors or mistakes occur in these times. If you need to make a decision when you are run down or tired check in with the people you have shared your goals with.
  • Setup a list of simple things you can do to reward yourself for achieving even small goals
  • Know what your excuses are. Celebrate every win

Have a great week!

Posted in Monday Motivational Minute | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Roadworks of Business and Life

Gregory Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

I had been making good time traveling to an appointment, however, as I came around a

What are the road works in your life?

What are the road works in your life?

corner I was confronted with road works.  I had planned my trip based on everything going well and road works were definitely not in his plan. Worse still, these were serious road works with workmen holding stop signs and traffic was banking up.

As many of you know I took the challenge earlier this year to run 5km and decided to use the Smartphone app “couch to 5K”. Being a positive person I expected to just follow the program exactly and magically achieve my goal. I was not prepared for the struggle at the 3K mark and seemed to hit the wall.

I find no matter what I do in life, in business or sales, challenges occur. It may be as simple as road works or hitting the wall in a running program. Sometimes it is a prospect saying “no” and sometimes it is something life threatening. It is not the fact a challenge happens which determines success, it is how you deal with the challenge.

The challenges

OK, so the road works meant I was going to be late. I had a choice;

  • I could take a risk and speed. Of course the risk was I could still be late, be pulled over by the police and loose my licence, arrive in a grumpy mood or, worse,  have an accident and not arrive at all.
  • I could also accept the fact I was going to be late.

Of course I took the later. In fact I stopped, knowing I would be even later, and called my prospect explaining the situation. Much to my surprise they were human and understood. In that moment, stopped at the side of the road, I established rapport with my prospect and when I finally arrived closed the opportunity.

I approached the 3K mark and I could feel the chemistry of my body telling me “There is no way to go past this point“. In this situation I had a choice;

  • I could stop, like I had the previous three days, and accept this was my limit or
  • Push that little bit more.

Of course I took the latter. Over the next few days I increased just 100 meters more each time. Yesterday I ran my first full 5K with a bit in reserve.

So your client says “no” – what next?

I have found my prospects are more likely to say no when I have become too sure of myself and I have not taken the time to build rapport. When someone says “no” it is for one of two reasons;

  • They are not convinced the product or service you are offering will deliver the required results, or
  • If they are convinced they need the product or service you offer, they are not convinced you are the right person to buy from.

No” is like road works or hitting the wall when running. It stands in the way of a decision to buy from you.

I like to ask a simple question something like “Sharon, I understand what you are saying. Many others have made the same decision only to buy from me later with outstanding results. What about the proposal needs more clarification so we can discuss this further?” to test the situation. (This is a ‘sharp angle’ close so be sure to make this very specific for your situation)

Of course, if I have tried to shortcut the sale without building rapport, it is usually obvious by their body language and cold words.

Today’s question and actions

Road works and blockages are an everyday part of life. Here are two things you can do to help keep moving a decision forward;

  • People are human so invest time in building rapport each and every time you meet them. It is easy to assume rapport, especially with someone you know well, or your husband or wife. To influence them or make a sale they will only buy or agree with you once in rapport this particular time.
  • Accept there are road works and blockages in everything you do. It is how you deal with these which will determine your ongoing success.

Make every step, even the ones you find difficult, count. When you hit the wall it is a matter of just taking then next step and before you know it the “No” turns into a sale or a positive decision.

Have a great week.

Reprint permission

Permission is granted to reprint this article with the condition it is republished unedited and in full with full attribution to the author and the authors bio. Please provide a link to the reprint to the following email;

Posted in Monday Motivational Minute | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Are Prospects Really From Another Planet?

By Gregory Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

Well, it often feels that way when we are out in the field.

I could not raise even a raised eyebrow from Paul, a Telstra business manager. No matter

Are your prospects really Aliens in disguise?

Are your prospects really Aliens in disguise?

what I said or did to try and move the sale forward he would just take it in and give out one of those ‘I’m not giving anything away’ smiles.

Another customer of mine was a bit of a firestorm. It seemed we were talking with raised voices more often then not, even though we managed to continue to do business.

Salespeople I work with tell me it seems that everything they have been trained to do and say just provokes heightened degrees of hostility with many of their prospects.

The initial mood set by a salesperson in an encounter is critical if they want to create an environment that might lead to a sale. This is where salespeople often make strategic mistakes and those mistakes come about because they have not necessarily come to understand the reality that the Prospect may be dealing with.

Let’s begin by looking at what might be going on in the Prospect’s head that may prompt aggressive or irritated behavior in that first encounter.

  • I’m too busy for this
  • I have some serious problems at the moment and this is an irritating distraction.
  • Boy o boy, how many times have I heard that opening line.
  • I know I should be nicer about this but I have found that the only thing that gets rid of pushy salespeople is to be a bit rude.
  • It’s obvious you don’t care about me or my troubles, you just care about making a sale.

We could go on with this list but I think the point is made.

We have, in fact landed on their planet and we are immediately trying to impose our values and agenda on them.

This is just not that smart, we know nothing about their culture, current state of mind or experiences. The sales training manual tells us to start by ask qualifying questions. Well I disagree. We have to be smarter than that and take a far more sophisticated and professional approach.

Our initial role as an ambassador to this new planet is to ask questions that are about their concerns….

  • Their attitude or state of mind at the moment.
  • What their business or interests are and how they are coping in this market

If we are going to establish an embassy in this new planet we must first put the locals at ease, give them reason to believe that we are not a threat. I have always liked the saying ….

It’s not me and your problems verses you. It’s hopefully you and me verses your problems.

It is also a saying I have been quite happy to actually use in a sales presentation. It works well because it encapsulates your intent and it pacifies the Prospect’s negative concerns.

So, my point is that we need to be mindful of the fact that aggressive or irritable behavior is often the only way a Prospect knows how to deal with an approach by a Salesperson.

We need to mindful of this and not intimated into blurting out our product features when we have not established an atmosphere that is in any way conducive to a sale.

Start the first encounter by trying to ask questions pertinent to the person, their business and what you are seeing right in front of you. Once you have established rapport and the prospect begins to display a more relaxed demeanor you might then begin to ask qualifying questions.

If you invest some time into the prospect but you do not establish rapport you need to do one of two things

  1. Try for an appointment that will allow your Prospect to concentrate
  2. Make a polite retreat offering to make contact (touch base) again in three months. (Time lapse depends on what you have decided is your prospecting cycle)

If you just press on with your SALES PITCH you will further alienate the Prospect and they will give you even more reason to falsely believe that…..PROSPECTS ARE FROM ANOTHER PLANET

If you want to communicate more effectively with these Aliens, you will want to consider downloading the Sales Analyzer APP

Posted in Monday Motivational Minute | Leave a comment