Sales tips for the aspiring rock star!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Play #7.5 Bird Proofing In A Down Economy

Here is a quick list of things we can do in 2009 to "bird" proof our sales efforts. In order for you to truly understand and become "one with the bird" you must read my previous post Play # 7.

  1. Understand that all businesses want more sales, more profit, happy customers, happy shareholders, happy employees, more market share, a better image, streamlined process, quicker to market turn times, employee retention, greater productivity etc. They crave more of this stuff when times are tough. Once you understand it (and I mean really understand it) leverage the hell out of #4.
  2. Understand the things that keep your customers and prospects up at night with regard to vendor relationships.
  3. Confucius say "You wanna become rock star, help you customer become rock star"
  4. Get better at your questioning skills. The quality of our relationships depend on the quality of our communication. If you want quality communication . . . Ask a better question!
  5. Pay attention to your personal brand. Ask yourself a quick question "What do my customers say about me behind my back?" Ask the following people what they think about when they think of you: Coworkers, your boss, their boss and most importantly your customer. That in its simplest form is your brand!
  6. Embrace social networking sites such as linked in and twitter. Its not who you know . . . Its who knows you.
  7. Give value first! Offering value added services implies giving value after someone gives you a check. Give them value upfront. How? Be a matchmaker and introduce them to someone who can also help them. Give them an article, a book, invite them to an event, do something for them for free without giving away the proverbial store.
  8. Get back to school. Study your craft and dedicate yourself to continual learning. Business is moving at the speed of light and we need to be in the know.
  9. Get better at negotiation. As sales professionals we hate to deal with customers beating us up on price. When you get better at negotiation it becomes a different game and one where you have a fighting chance!
  10. Get better at objection avoidance. Objection avoidance is when you set yourself up for an objection resistant meeting by doing meticulous research, you ask thought provoking and pain inducing questions, you get in rapport quickly and stay there, you position yourself as a valuable resource who can help them attain rock star status with their business. You project the right degree of confidence without being arrogant or cocky.
  11. Get something good into your head everyday as quickly as you can! Listen to something that makes you laugh, some music that makes you want to rip bumpers off of cars, read an inspirational story. This is the body armor you must put on BEFORE you go out each day.
  12. Give yourself a pep talk. You've done it before you will do it again!
  13. Be grateful for something. Can't think of something? Well, each day where we are not 6 feet under is pretty cool in my playbook.
  14. Give something to someone. The best way for you to feel wealthy is to give something.
  15. Work harder! Don't get so hung up on working smarter that you forget to put in some extra time.
  16. Take one more "no" each day. The "no's" we take put us closer to the big yes. The big YES enables us to administer one free bird of our own to those who didn't believe in us!
  17. Keep a journal and jot down all the cool, new distinctions you will make this year. Rip everyone off that you can. If you hear someone use a great phrase, a great line jot it down. Who knows, history has a way of repeating itself and you can always go back to your journal to see how you handled yourself during this economy!
  18. Do something that scares the hell out of you each day. This is the only way we grow. It's also the best way for you to build your confidence.
  19. Utilize a sales mix and stop relying on "smiling and dialing" cold calling approaches. Don't abandon your calling strategy; just add other approaches to it such as creative things, networking, social networking, snail mail, email, handwritten notes and cards, something funny, events based marketing etc.
  20. When you feel like giving up . . . Unleash your inner bird and give yourself a swift kick in the ass! You're better than that and you know damn well that the best chapters of your success story are ahead of you not behind you!
To be a champion you must believe you are the best. If you're not, pretend you are!
Muhammad Ali

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Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics (CGX) one of North America’s leading general commercial printing companies. Paul has over 25 years of sales and sales leadership experience. He has trained, mentored and coached over 3,000 sales and sales leadership professionals. An accomplished public speaker, Paul has delivered numerous key note addresses. He has authored numerous training manuals, articles, blog posts and is currently working on his first book for release in 2011. Feel free to email Paul This has been a paid announcement by the friends of Paul Castain!

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Paul Castain's Sales Play Book is blog dedicated to strengthening our sales game, supporting rock star development and developing jedi like skills. All that is required is a willingness to learn and a sick sense of humor!

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