You are going to do time…properly
Sales crimes are insidious. They sneak up on you, infiltrate the way you do business and quite possibly keep you from closing the sale. They are not illegal, just nonproductive. Examine your sales practices and see if you are committing sales crimes.
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Ever have someone stop by at your office without an agenda just to shoot the breeze? It can also be an incoming phone call from a vendor that has no substance or purpose. The biggest crime in sales is time wasting activities. If someone imposes these innocuous activities upon your day, stop them in their tracks! Use your voice mail effectively by changing it to reflect your schedule for the day. Let callers know when you will be returning calls. Answer emails only at specific times. Stop being reactive to the onslaught of electronic demands and take back control of your day.
If your sales position requires you to regularly stop at offices, then show up prepared and with a purpose in mind. You will be well received if you show up with something pertinent to offer. Sales calls should be to the point and not just a time wasting obligatory stop on a list. Make the sales calls specific, offer something of value and move on. Your clients will appreciate it.
Don’t assume there isn’t any business….
Business can be anywhere. Builders and building projects are often overlooked because it is assumed that there is already an established relationship with a lender. The question, how do you know if the relationship is strong? What if their current lender just made a huge blunder and you happen to walk in the sales office at just the right time. Times have changed and business can come from anywhere. Think outside the box, and expand your horizons. A connection today may not mean immediate business….but tomorrow? You never know…. Keep checking back, provide important information, look at each new contact as a possibility. Never assume any situation is final.
Selling not Serving
Today’s customers do not like being sold to, they want to be served. If you don’t have a servant’s heart, you better get one and fast. In Tim Sanders’ book, “Love is the Killer App”, Tim suggests that you have better knowledge than the next person you’re competing against. However; if you are not willing to share it with as many people as you can, then you’re not going to do well with today’s consumer. For Real Estate Professionals, Mike Ferry, an “old dog” in the real estate community had a cassette series titled “Buy Now or Get Out of My Car”. This demanding attitude is no longer a valid sales technique. The internet has changed how sales are transacted. The world has changed, and the servant will always out sell the seller who is only trying to make a buck.
Accepting No as Never
When you get the answer “No”, do you typically stop calling on the client? Remember the admonishment about assumptions? Consider the suspect/prospect as a “C” client and put them on your email distribution list. Send periodic valuable information to them. In one case a Realtor® said that he had a relationship for 20 years and was not looking for another lender to send his business. When asked if the lender could send the Realtor® information that would be beneficial to his business, he agreed. After a year and a half, the lender received a call from the Realtor® and asked if they could go to lunch. The lender has now been doing business with this Realtor® for the past 12 years. No is just no for the time being. Considering the answer “No” as “Never” will never give you the opportunity to prove yourself in obtaining future business from the prospect.
Lack of Reconnaissance
Be proactive…..before making any call or going into an appointment, “Google” and see what you can learn about the individual. The world has become small thanks to the internet. Social and business networking sites like Face Book and Linkedin can offer a lot of information about your prospect. Review who they are linked up with who you may know in common.
Are you reading sales books, watching tele-seminars, webinars and going to sales training seminars? If the answer is yes, great! They can be a wealth of information and offer new innovative ideas. In fact, you should be keeping abreast of new ideas. Are you putting any of the ideas in place? If the answer is no, then the crime is, you are wasting your time. Don’t spend a lot of time and money unless you are willing to implement at least some of what you learn.
Ask probing questions that will provide you with the “pain” that the client is going through. Find the challenges that clients are facing and close the gaps in their situation. Making those connections will help you establish a successful sales call.
There is a full library of information at your disposal to improve your position as sales professionals. If your company offers regular training, take advantage of it. However, a company’s offerings are not the end all to sales. It is another tool in the tool box. Utilize the internet for research, read hard copy and internet magazines; join networking groups that can provide lead generation and a consistent flow of useful sales information. Develop a consistent plan of office time management. The more proactive you are, the more successful you will become.
Tom Ninness is Vice President/Regional Production Manager for Cherry Creek Mortgage in Denver, CO. Ninness is also the President of Summit Champions, Inc. and creator of the “The 90 Day Journey to Your Sales Success”, a powerful 90 day action plan for the sales professional. To learn more about The Journey and Summit Champions, go to www.summitchampions.com
or contact Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org Office: 720-221-4396.