The Ask

The Ask

The Ask

How often is ‘asking’ simply the thing missing from your sales and post sales follow-up?

Let’s start with a simple story for an analogy 

I have a favorite restaurant that I go frequently, let’s call it ‘Lund’s Steakhouse’ for simplicity. I typically go with others in smaller groups of 4 or less. Recently, I decided to use them to cater in food for a larger group, a party of eight.  

Lund’s Steakhouse provided great service and treated us like regulars. When we had our meal, however, it was different. Something about a few of the dishes just weren’t our style and weren’t what we were used to eating at their restaurant 

The steakhouse called us three days later and asked:  

  • Ask: How was your meal?  
  • Ask: What did you like and what could we improve on?  
  • Ask: Are you planning on ordering larger meals from us again?  

My response, “You know, we really liked the meal but out of the eight different dishes, there were two that just weren’t our style and we didn’t like them.”  

Now, the food wasn’t extremely upsetting and they provided good service. Naturally, I would have never complained about this because they didn’t do anything wrong. Some of the dishes they served just weren’t ones that we liked. But, if they never asked, they would never have known this information. 

By asking and receiving this feedback, Lund’s Steakhouse can innovate and improve to better meet their customers’ likes and desires.

 

  • They can make adjustments to their meal prep.
  • They can make adjustments to their menu.
  • They can make adjustments to what’s available for dining vs carry-out.
Which brings me to the main point I want to make: How often are you making the ask to your customers for feedback?
Do you ask what things you should start doing or stop doing? Of your top current customers and prospects, what things matter most to them?  

If you ask your top 10 or 15 customers, “What should we start doing, stop doing, and continue doing. Not only will you improve your business for your best customers, but you will have a far better understanding of how to target your best prospects.  

Make sure you’re taking the time to ask your clients what’s important to them and how you can improve. Get authentic feedback owner to owner, VP to VP, and CFO to CFO 

Make the ask. It’ll make a difference

Click here to learn more and get connected with an executive sales coach.

Is Your Sales Team Engaged?

Is Your Sales Team Engaged?

Is Your Sales Team Engaged?

Because most of us have been forced to #stayhome: your clients have closed their offices and your sales team remotely works for home. Under normal circumstances, your sales team would be in the office, competitions would be brewing, wins and losses would be shared, and team members would be there to console, inspire and challenge each other.

Currently, the ability to have these meaningful interactions on a daily basis is difficult, if not impossible. The novelty of the “Zoom Happy Hour” has already faded. By nature, salespeople are extroverted and extremely social beings. Sales people NEED people. People in sales like being around others, communicating, helping solve problems and come up with solutions.  They like to compete… on everything!

What Are You Doing?

Now that everyone is working remote, how are you, ensuring that your team is engaged? Have you considered how the lack of competition can affect productivity?  Has isolation impacted their drive? How is their spirit holding up? How about the team dynamic?

Some Ideas:

The new way of life certainly has had a ripple effect. You still need to challenge your team, but now you have to to modify and adjust. As a leader, you need to find solutions to keep the fire within the team. You need to keep them inspired and challenged.  And somehow, you need to maintain the camaraderie.

A few ideas: a short game, funny story sharing through a chat, a message board for bragging about wins, team lunches where you focus on something away from work, or handwritten notes to your team. 

You should also engage them with opportunities to learn.  Now is a great time to conduct internal training, take an online class, learn new software features and present it to the team. 

These are obviously just a few ideas. In this environment, what are you doing to keep your team engaged?  Respond in the comments!

 

Are You Missing the Signs?

Are You Missing the Signs?

Are you missing the signs?

What is the hardest part of a sale: Is it getting the initial meeting or closing the deal? This is a running debate in our office. Some days we say one and some days we say the other. Sometimes it depends on the person and sometimes it’s all situational. More often than not, in actuality, there are usually missed signs that lose a sale.

The sales people that are truly good in sales, natural born, the most challenging part is getting the initial meeting. If someone is skilled, informed and understands the buyer, they will close more deals than they lose. Cold calls, emails, text messages, dinners (not so much right now) are excellent ways to get a foot in the door. Sometimes those techniques just don’t work. Then what?

On the other hand, once the door is open, is the opportunity to close the deal truly there? Or, did the sales rep completely miss the buying sign from the potential client and walk out empty handed?

Tricks of the trade:

Do not be so focused on telling the prospect every detail about your product or service. 

  • Ask good questions that highlight the value of your product.
  • Allow the prospect to speak to you.
  • Take time to listen.
  • And if there is silence, embrace the moment. There is a chance they’ve heard all they need to make the decision.

The Buying Signs:

Be on the lookout for these buying signs:  if the prospect asks for open dates on your calendar or timelines for implementation, inquires about pricing or payment options/terms, if they want to know about post sale account management, asking for references, looking for next steps, or asking for the product details on multiple occasions. These are all GOOD signs!

Many times, customers are waiting to be closed.  Don’t miss an opportunity to close the sale and provide help to a potential customer.

Keeping the Team Chemistry

Keeping the Team Chemistry

Keeping the Team Chemistry

Do you remember your first day of work? You walked into the office, palms a little sweaty, butterflies in the stomach and you looked like the new kid in town. You worked in sales before, but you felt like a total newbie.

After a few weeks, you started feeling the rhythm and got into a groove. Not only did you figure out your selling approach and techniques, but you found your place in the office. You discovered the people you wanted to emulate, your mentors and your friends.  

Obviously, each office and team member is different. And, these differences are the reasons we enjoy going to work so much. Typically, we thrive on the rhythm, pace, and camaraderie of an office environment. We push each other to do better. We strive to hit goals and feed off of each other’s energy.

Zoom Life:

 With the new way of life, the “team” dynamic has changed quite a bit. The camaraderie on a Zoom call is a little different than the face-to-face interactions we are accustomed to. Ideally, we eventually find our way back to our offices, but that may not happen for a while. Realistically, it may never go back to what we are used to. Regardless, you want to keep your team dynamic. You need to.

Embracing the times:

Embracing the current situation, with our simple APQ assessment tool, MYB2BCOACH can help bring insights into each team member and recommendations based on those insights to get the camaraderie, the rhythm and the pace back on track in the virtual environment. Your team is still your team and you want to keep it that way. Whether it is virtual or in-person, the encouragement, drive, ambition and cohesiveness needs to be there. The goal is still the same.

Reach out for a quick conversation to see our APQ assessment is a fit for your team. We are here to help.

Reaching Out

Reaching Out

Reaching out

Remember when you would just “pop-in” to see one of your favorite vendors or schedule a lunch meeting with a client? Do you recall heading out to a tradeshow to launch a new product or service and you had appointments booked one after another? Those moments weren’t that long ago, yet they almost seem foreign to us now. This is a new way of life and it may not be temporary. Whether it’s in sales or any other aspect of life, it’s all about a new approach.

These days, instead of waking-in, it is time to reach out. Life has changed. Although change can be difficult, it is important to keep moving forward. The key right now is to be PROACTIVE! Don’t just sit around and wait for life to return to normal. What will normal even be again? We really don’t know… What can you do RIGHT NOW?

Right now, you can schedule all of your meetings or host a webinar on Zoom. You can even transition your tradeshow to a virtual tradeshow. However, there is a difference with in-person vs. online skills. MYB2BCOACH is leveraging a 45-day AI Practice Program to ramp your salespeople so they have the skills for reaching out, not just walking-in.

People typically have a certain persona or demeaner when they are face-to-face. When selling through a screen, the game changes. The person on the other end could put you on mute, turn the video off, walk away or even disconnect. Through our 45-day program, learn how to effectively and efficiently reach your potential customers. With this rapid training, knowledge, and skill development program, you will confidently walk away being able to REACH OUT!

Contact us! This is a program you will not regret. Times have changed and now the selling techniques need to change as well.

Living in the Gray

Living in the Gray

Living in the gray

Changing to a virtual sales force when you’ve been accustomed to an in-office environment is not only challenging for the sales team, but for the leaders as well. As a leader, it is difficult to be empathetic to your team while holding them to a certain standard. No doubt, this is a difficult time for everyone and in different ways.

The team, along with you, is adjusting to a new way of doing business. Personally and professionally we are all facing many issues: stress, anxiety, economic challenges, depression, loneliness, trauma and fear. As a result, many are trying to handle all of these, perform well at work, all while having children at home, sharing workspace with a spouse, finding Wi-Fi quality sporadic and many more…

In the leader role, you need to handle all of these stresses and manage your team. How are you reacting as a leader?  Have you set your expectations with your team? Are you understanding or drawing a hard line? Or are you trying to live in a “gray” area?

Live in the Gray:

To be totally honest, NOW is the time to live in the “gray”. This is not the time to set team meetings at 8 am and 4:30 each day. Nor is it time to use every micromanagement tool available to you. These unprecedented times call for some leniency and understanding.

Room for Sucess:

Without the need for daily oversight, now is the time to see who will succeed.  Some team members may surprise you!  Be understanding if someone needs to step out of a meeting for 5 minutes to help their child get on a Zoom call with their teacher (as I have had to do) or get them a snack.  Wi-fi has been challenging with the increase of usage.  Allow someone to meet with their camera off, if it is affecting the quality of the discussion.  This is the time to ask:  How are you doing?  How can I help you?

This can be accomplished while holding to a certain standard, however.  Anticipate professional environment (proper background/lighting) for calls.  Expect your team to set meetings, move business forward, and bring in revenue in the new selling environment. Even though we are navigating a new environment, there are ways to make it work for everyone.

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