Help Your Prospects Feel At Ease

Help Your Prospects Feel At Ease

 

If you’re in sales, you spend a lot of time talking to strangers, building quick relationships and (hopefully) an easy rapport. If you can help people feel more at ease when you start talking to them, you’re going to have a much easier time of it. Here are a few tricks to help you with that.

 

“I’ve only got a minute.”

If people think you’ve only got a limited time to talk to them, they’ll relax because they don’t feel trapped. Even if they’re not initially interested in what you have to say, giving you a minute of their time doesn’t seem like a big deal.

 

Is now a good time?

Just asking people if it’s a good time will increase the chances they’ll listen to you. Studies have shown that people are more likely to give you their time if you ask about their availability and wait for a response rather than just push ahead with what you have to say. It helps them feel in control of the situation.

 

Keep your body on the same page as your words

Saying all the right things won’t help if your body language is contradicting your words. Sometimes we’re so intent on what we’re saying we forget to notice what our bodies, starting with our faces are doing. A smiling face is the beginning.

 

When trying to get our point across we’ll often point our chin at the person we’re talking to in our earnestness. What we don’t realize is, from the other person’s perspective it looks like we’re pointing our nose down at them, so make a point of lowering your chin just a little.

 

Now that your chin is down, have a look at your hands. What are you palms doing? Keeping your palms up while you’re talking conveys the message that you’re interested in the other person, in hearing what they have to say and open to their ideas.

 

Nodding your head up and down as the other person speaks, raising your eyebrows are both non-verbal cues that you are open to them and at ease. Anything squashed down, like eyebrows or pursed lips conveys stress and a closed off attitude.

 

Dump the judgments and preconceptions

Approach every person with a completely open mind. Regardless of what they look like, what you expect they might say or think, give them your full, non-judgmental focus. Talk to the person, not the potential sale.

30 Days To Consistency

 

Everybody knows the key to accomplishing anything is consistency. It’s easy to talk about goals and it’s just as easy to set them. The real work comes along when you decide to follow through.

 

Everyone starts with the greatest of intentions and many get off to a great start but then the enthusiasm wanes. “I’m not inspired today,” they tell themselves. “I’ll wait until tomorrow when I’m inspired again.” What people don’t realize is that every day they don’t get back to work makes getting back to work harder and harder.

 

Consistent effort creates inspiration. It creates enthusiasm.

 

Inspired consistency

To help people create consistency in their efforts, writer and artist Austin Kleon has created a 30-day challenge, “an easy, low-fi way to keep track of your progress.”

 

Decide on your goal. Promise to work on it in some capacity every day, create a reward to inspire you to keep going, then print this 30-day challenge calendar. Austin Kleon’s 30-Day Challenge PDF

 

Every day that you follow through on your commitment you get to put a big X in the box. By the end of 30 days you’ll have tangible verifiable evidence of your efforts. You’ll be in the consistent groove and a personally chosen reward.

 

I’m going to choose singing lessons, so I can sing about my success!

 

 

Iceberg Career Advice – Motivation Monday

Iceberg Career Advice - Motivation Monday

 

What you may wonder, do icebergs have to do with career advice? Well it’s all about that whole faking it to you’re making it thing.

 

No one can see what’s going on below the surface

As an iceberg, the only thing anyone can see of you is the tiniest tip at the top. No one can read your mind, no one saw how flustered you were on the bus this morning. All they see is you right now in the moment you are interacting with them.

 

Show your best face

So don’t worry about how you spilled coffee on your shirt when you were running late this morning. Change the shirt and act like you woke up with plenty of time to spare and you’re having a great morning when you get to work.

 

Don’t worry if you’re having a meltdown internally. It doesn’t matter if you want to cry bitterly into your desk because you’re so stressed out. So long as you are not actually crying bitterly into your desk, you are successfully faking and making it.

 

Ask questions when you need help and anytime you’re feeling overwhelmed, or under-qualified, take a deep breath, and remember you are an iceberg and all anyone can see is that kickass professional tip and none of the insecure beginner stuff underneath.

 

You’ll be great.

Sales Pitches That Deliver

SALES PITCHES THAT DELIVER

 

The term sales pitch is sort of misleading because it assumes the action is entirely dependent on the salesperson. Like the salesperson has a stock of pitches, the fastball, the curveball, the grounder and he or she chooses the one that best suits the circumstances and throws.

 

With baseball, where the pitcher’s intention is to strike out, that might work, but with sales where you’re looking for the hits, each pitch is going to have to be customized for the person you’re talking to. A strong pitch isn’t something thrown at a customer, it’s part of a conversation, a relationship you’re building where two people talk to each other, discuss benefits and questions and how the product being discussed could be a solution.

 

Pre-pitch homework

Of course to get into that conversation you’re going to have to do your homework. Knowing everything about your product is only the beginning. Equally important is knowing how it can benefit different people with different lifestyles and sensibilities. You will discuss the benefits differently when you’re talking to a busy professional than you will if you’re talking to a stay at home parent. You need to know exactly how to appeal to the person you’re talking to, exactly how this product is going to impact them. Discuss specific features about the product that will address their situation.

 

Targeted, specific questions

By asking lots of specific questions to determine the life circumstances and sensibilities of the person you’re speaking to, you’ll be able to tailor the rest of your pitch accordingly. With the right questions you’ll be able to figure out if the person is a good fit for the product and what you can say to make it more attractive to them. Remember, questions are no good if you’re not paying close attention to the answers, so listen carefully to what the person is saying and respond accordingly. A strong sales pitch is a conversation between two people about the product at hand, not a one-way list of benefits and features.

 

BANT

In a perfect world, a dialogue about a product is a smooth direct line from introduction to interest to sale. In the real world there will be objections. If you’re a strong salesperson who’s done your homework those objections can work to your advantage as you overturn them and make the product even more appealing in the process. That means you need to have figured out every objection in advance and have the response appropriate to the person you’re speaking with ready.

 

Sales professionals at IBM realized that most objections fall into four categories, Budget, Authority, Needs, Time or BANT 

 

Budget: Can they afford your product? Will this product save them time or money in the long run or improve their life in some way that makes the expenditure worthwhile?

 

Authority: Can this person make the buying decision? Do they need to speak with anyone else first?

 

Need: Will this product improve their life in some way?

 

Time: If they’re in a hurry to get somewhere else they won’t be able to pay attention to you or your product. Do they have the time to listen to what you have to say?

 

The final push

Your conversation has come to an end. You’ve answered all the questions and have an interested, invested person in front of you. Encourage them into action while they’re still excited and motivated. If you are the point of sale, great. If they need to follow through at the cash register, explain what they need to do. If they need to follow through with someone else and get back to you then set a time for that.

 

By making yourself an expert salespitcher you can turn your strike-outs into homeruns!

 

Are you a visual learner? Here’s a detailed explanation of How To Deliver a Good Sales Pitch from wikiHow – with pictures!

Motivating Millennials

Motivating Millennials

 

Up until ten or fifteen years ago, corporate work structure hadn’t changed much. People came in, moved through the ranks, got promoted based on seniority, communicated through hierarchical structures. However millennials are not like the workers that came before them. They’re a generation who’ve grown up in a world of instant access to everything. They share information and tips, ideas and thoughts. They’re about crowd sourcing and putting themselves out there on You Tube or Instagram and making a name for themselves based on their own initiative.

 

They’re inspired and creative and hungry to make their mark. How do you entice them to make their mark with you?

 

Encourage communication

Millennials come in with fresh eyes and fresh perspectives. They’re eager and motivated. By having an open communication policy where ideas are welcome regardless of how long someone has been part of the organization or how much responsibility they may have, millennials will feel heard and appreciated. They’ll be more likely to give you their full attention and enthusiasm.

 

Provide opportunities for professional growth

Because millennials are so determined to make their mark without having to go through an arbitrary twenty years in the system, give them opportunities to expand themselves. Offer workshops, training sessions, conference calls with people who can help and inspire them. The more you give them, the more they’ll give you back.

 

Fulfillment through side projects

There’s nothing like the pride of accomplishing something from start to finish to motivate someone. That something doesn’t have to be huge, but trusting someone with a side project they can make their own, giving them recognition for their efforts, privately and publicly is just the sort of boost that will encourage millennials to strive even harder.

 

Millennials may not be willing to follow in the footsteps of those who came before them, but with the right kind of encouragement, oh the places they’ll go!

 

The Happiness of Gratitude

The Happiness of Gratitude

 

Sometimes we’ll see someone who looks like they have everything; enough money in the bank, people who love and admire them, a certain joie de vivre and on top of everything else they’re modest and grateful. They’re courteous and appreciative of so much. You might think they’re grateful because they’re happy, but it might just be the other way around. There’s a really good chance they’re happy because they’re grateful.

 

Remember there are all kinds of people who have everything a person could wish for and are still devastatingly unhappy and there are others who’ve suffered through misfortune and setbacks and still manage to find deep, abiding happiness.

 

Gratitude is a byproduct of recognizing the potential of every new moment, of focusing your attention on the positives, not dwelling on the negatives and recognizing that every new moment is a new opportunity to try again.

 

In the Ted Talk, Want To Be Happy? Be Grateful, David Steindle-Rast provides three simple steps towards achieving a gratitude leaning life. Stop. Look. Go.

 

By rushing through life we miss the opportunities being presented to us. By not pausing to look around, we take things that so many others could consider a luxury like clean water and electricity at the flick of a switch for granted.

 

Stop and Look at the abundance that’s around you, then Go. See what each moment is presenting. Either enjoy the moment for what it is or take the moment up on what it’s offering and do something. The best part about taking the time to notice what each moment is offering is, it helps you realize that even if you don’t take full advantage of that moment, another moment is coming up right behind it full of its own opportunities. If the thing being presented in a particular moment is an opportunity to help someone else there’s probably little that will make you happier.

 

Working from a perspective of gratefulness you’re less likely to be fearful of taking chances, you’re more likely to take the time to really appreciate what the people around you can offer. There are a multitude of benefits to being grateful. Here are a few:

 

Helps strengthen relationships

When someone says thank you and acknowledges what you’ve done for them, you like them and you will probably want to do more with them. It’s a no brainer. You like the person you are in their eyes and you like them for bringing that person out. Turn that around. If you want to foster strong relationships don’t forget to let the people around you know how grateful you are for their thoughts and contributions.

 

Improved physical and psychological health

Focusing on positives rather than negatives improves physical and psychological heath. According to Boost Your Health With a Dose of Gratitude from WebMD, Focusing on the positives rather than the negatives helps us better manage stress – which is linked to heart disease and cancer. Plus, people who are grateful are also generally more optimistic, which it turns out is an immune booster.

 

By focusing on the positives you’re giving less attention and thought to the negatives so gratitude takes precedence over envy, regret and anger. Happiness levels increase and levels of depression decrease.

 

Better sleep

Holding an attitude of gratitude during they day will continue to stay with you into the night and can actually help you sleep better. In the article How Gratitude Helps You Sleep at Night from Psychology Today they explain:

 

“When you cultivate gratitude throughout the day, you’re more likely to have positive thoughts as you’re drifting off to sleep. Rather than ruminating over the friend who forgot to call, you’re thinking of the coworker who stayed late to help you. Instead of obsessing over bills, you’re thinking of the new client you just landed. With positive thoughts as a lullaby, you’re more likely to drift off into peaceful slumber.”

 

Increased feeling of self worth

When you stop comparing yourself to others, feeling envious of their accomplishments, like life’s runner up, and start feeling grateful for what you have accomplished, your self-esteem rises accordingly.  Gratitude is an emotion that builds on itself. The more grateful you are, the more you find to be grateful for. You stop taking opportunities and other people for granted. You appreciate what you have and notice potential when its there in front of you. You feel better about yourself and your situation. Suddenly you realize you’re not grateful because you’re happy. You’re happy because you’re grateful.

Are You An Entrepreneur?

Are You An Entrepreneur?

 

Entrepreneurs are the changers of society. The ones who see a different or better way to doing things and aren’t afraid to put their lives or careers on the line to see their vision through. What makes entrepreneurs different?

Unafraid to challenge the status Quo

Most people are just content to follow along with what everyone else is doing, to agree with the majority opinion, to participate in the same activities. An entrepreneur on the other hand is more likely to be the one to choose a new direction, a brand new way of seeing things regardless of the opposition of others.

 

Follow their own compass

People don’t like it when someone veers off the beaten path because it makes them afraid. They’re afraid the trailblazer might fail and they’re also afraid that trailblazer might succeed – reflecting negatively on their own choices. Most people aren’t willing to take chances so it makes them feel better when no one around them takes chances either.

 

There’s a quote by Mahatma Ghandi entrepreneurs can take to heart when pushing against the warnings and advice of others who don’t share their vision:

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

 

They have a chip on their shoulder

Entrepreneurial types are often the type with a chip on their shoulder. They’re not satisfied with the way things are and want to change it. They become obsessed with changing it. That obsession becomes a chip on their shoulder, a constant, grating reminder that things won’t just change on their own so it’s up to them to bring about the change. That chip motivates them to go that extra mile. Some people who have a chip on their shoulder use it as an excuse to explain why things are rotten. Others use it to make sure things change.

 

Make like Velcro

Despite endless planning and preparation there will always be setbacks and roadblocks and detours while navigating the creation of any new venture. Entrepreneurs stick to their vision. It doesn’t mean they keep on heading in a direction that’s proving to be a dead end. It means they find alternate routes and they keep going. They keep their goal in mind and keep stick to it like Velcro.

Three Easy Steps To Increased Productivity

Three Easy Steps To Increased Productivity

 

Sometimes in the middle of trying to do all the things you need to attend to, it feels like all you’re doing is treading water while the to-do list floats all around you. We’ve got three small tips to help you get more daily tasks to shore.

 

Take control of your emails

Emails are like tiny time suckers. If you take the time to respond to every single one that floats into your inbox the second it floats in, you lose focus on what you’re doing, and then you have to take the time to yourself back into the swim of it things and the day gets away from you in small beeping chunks.

 

If you decide to respond later and then forget about the waiting emails, then that becomes a problem too.

 

The best thing to do is take control of the emails. Don’t stop what you’re doing every time one comes through, but do respond to them – at a time convenient to you.

 

Unless an email is absolutely urgent, deal with them in bunches at allotted times. That way instead of breaking your concentration every ten minutes, you’re dedicating 15 minutes chunks to emails throughout the day, and dedicating longer uninterrupted chunks to everything else.

 

Make the most of your commute

If you’re someone who has a long train or bus commute to work, that’s a great time to get through small chunks of work. Your commute is a great time to tackle a few emails. You answer them there and then  and save yourself all that time later.

 

No matter what task you tackle on the train, it will be a more productive hour than mindlessly trolling Facebook.

 

Determine your most productive hours

Different people are at their peak efficiency at different times of the day. Some are most productive after lunch when they’re full and happy. Others are most focused first thing in the morning. While others hit their peak efficiency after they’ve settled in and have been at work for an hour or two.

 

Figure out your optimum work time, and set yourself goals of doing larger or more demanding projects at that specific time.

 

Working according to your body’s natural rhythms is useful for getting things finished. Give yourself small easy tasks when you know your brain is on autopilot, and save the more complex things for when you’re at your mental best.