Planning and Organization

Planning and OrganizationAs we begin a new year, it’s good to analyze what did and didn’t work well for us last year. One of the hot topics is planning and organization. How can we do what we do more effectively, efficiently, and successfully? While it’s not wise to plan every minute of your time–because we can’t control traffic, weather, or other people–we can plan with flexibility built in to our days.

While you should always allow part of your day to work with people, support your co-workers, or help the company problem-solve, it is also important that you allow for some solo time. This is time that is for whatever you need to do. This can be your time for emotional and physical health in your private life, or your most productive work time.

During your solo work time, if someone says, “Do you have a minute?” Simply answer, “Not right now. Can it wait until eleven?” By that time, most people will have solved their issues themselves.

Some tips for handling interruptions:
  1. Rearrange your office so your desk is out of the line of sight from people walking by.
  2. Remove extra chairs from your office if possible. Position any necessary chairs as far away from your desk as you can. When people need to make an effort to pull up a chair, they’re more likely to stand (and deliver) and stay a shorter amount of time. NOTE: If they’re standing, you stand up, too. There’s a different energy to the conversation.
  3. Place a large clock where you and your visitor can clearly see it. Make a point of glancing at it when interrupted as if you’ve just started a countdown clock as to how much time you will give them.
  4. When someone walks into your office, don’t look up right away. This can be challenging to do at first, but if you stay focused on finishing an email, reading a page, or something else similar, and if the other person’s issue is nothing serious, most people will simply walk away. This may sound a bit cold, but if you can’t get your work done, it’s going to cause your clients to receive less service and you to receive a lower income. Beware, there are people in every company who just like to walk around and visit.

To get started on minimizing this challenge, keep an Interruption Log for a couple of days. In it write:

  1. Who is interrupting you?
  2. What time they came and left.
  3. How much time was wasted.
  4. What you will do about it the next time.

If someone is a habitual interrupter, have a heart-to-heart conversation with them about your work schedule. Rather than risk offending them, ask that they make a list of what they need to discuss with you and schedule brief meetings on a regular basis.

Handling Crises

When an occasional crisis comes up that throws your schedule off , deal with it quickly and then go back to your schedule immediately. I’m not suggesting that you become anti-social, but I am saying that you may be surprised at how much more efficient you can be when you begin to take back those stolen minutes. I’ve heard of a salesperson who had a sign made for the back of his chair that said, “If you’re not a buyer, schedule a time to meet with me.” He only let buyers interrupt his schedule.

If you’re still struggling with getting your goals for 2018 set and in writing, invest 27 minutes of your time with me on my goal setting webinar by clicking here. I’ll help you plan your days to achieve those goals!

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

Planning Time Planning

Yes, I meant to title this post “Planning Time Planning.” For many, planning their time is a task that “sort of happens” throughout the day. As things come up, they get added to the calendar. That is called “scheduling.” Creating time in your daily routine to plan your time is something different.

Make Time to Plan Time

A common complaint from salespeople who do not practice effective time-management is that they do not have time to plan their time. You often hear, “How can I take that time out of my busy day to plan, when I never have a spare moment?”

I’m here to tell you if you don’t make time for planning and self-improvement, you might as well plan to earn the same income you earn today for the rest of your life. Is that what you really want?  I don’t think so.

It is a proven fact that by taking the time to plan, you will save 20-30 times the time expended in the planning process. Let me illustrate what I mean. A study was done on how managers planned their time. They found that managers who invested only 5 minutes planning a specif­ic task, would spend 55 minutes to complete it. Those managers who invested 15 minutes on the planning process, spent only 30 minutes completing it. Look at the time saved! I would say that the time invested planning was well worth it, wouldn’t you? When you make a committed effort to allow time for planning each day, the week, the month, and the year, you will achieve much more than if you just plan one day at a time… and you’ll live a more rewarding life.

When you begin each month reviewing your commitments to loved ones, those commitments will be top of mind when there are options for when to conduct business. When you have your personal, family, and career goals mapped out for 20 years, 10 years, 5 years, and this year, it’s much easier to decide how to invest your time this month, this week, and tomorrow.

 

Types of Activities to Consider

I like to keep things simple. I like charts and graphs and lists. They make my life so much easier to manage. When planning, I break my activities down into categories as follows:

Immediate Activities – These are only those things that MUST be completed today–by you. When you prioritize what’s really important, it’s easier to stay focused. How do you know which things are immediate activities, and which ones can be put aside? Ask yourself these questions:

  1. If I could achieve only two or three of these activities today, which ones would they be?
  2. Which activities will yield the highest pay-off or reward?
  3. Which of these activities would complicate my tomorrow if they were not achieved today?
  4. Which of  these  activities could be delegated to someone else, thereby, leaving me more time to generate more business or enhance my personal relationships?
  5. Which activities, if postponed, would damage my relationship with loved ones, clients, or business associates?

Have your immediate activities in front of you at all times. If you can’t see what needs to be accomplished today because you have buried yourself under other less important work, it could get lost in the shuffle, and so could your business.

Secondary Activities – It is usually a little easier to determine this group of activities. They are important and will bring a sense of accomplishment. They are likely to become immediate activities in the near future, but aren’t today. If, after completing your immediate tasks, you have extra time, it’s wise to give these activities some attention (aka getting a jump on tomorrow). It’s important that you place information for these secondary items in their designated locations. By that I mean not on the top of your desk where they can distract you. Don’t allow yourself to become preoccupied with piles of paperwork. This will only cause you stress and confuse you as to what needs immediate attention.

Relatively Unimportant Activities – You will be surprised how hard this list of activities is to determine at first. We tend to think everything needs our attention, or it wouldn’t come our way. This is simply not true. There are many unimportant activities that others pass to you or ones that will have a way of working themselves out if given a little time. By putting them in your relatively unimportant category, you may never have to spend time on these things when you should be investing time on your immediate activities. Or, they may be something you can accomplish during a break in the action of your Immediate or Secondary activities.

When we don’t plan time planning, we allow the daily demands of our lives to take over and run us. That’s not the way things are supposed to be.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

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Sales Process or Results? What’s more important?

Sales Process or Results?

Weldon “Wally” Long

 

Sales Process or Results? What’s more important? This is a guest post by Weldon “Wally” Long whom I greatly admire. Heed his words well!

In sales you have two things: The sales process and the sales result. The sales process is everything you do (build a relationship, identify problems, solve problems and ask for the order) and the sales result is every thing the prospect does (buy or not buy).

While the necessity for consistent sales results is inarguable, it is the process that delivers the results.

You have 100% control over how well you do your job and you have 0% control over how well the prospect does their job. Yes, you can influence your prospect (the better you do your job the more likely a prospect is to say “yes” to you) but at the end of day the prospect makes the ultimate decision about whether or not they are going to give you their money in exchange for your solutions.

I strongly recommend that you stay focused on how well you do your job. In other words, you have 100% control over how awesome you are. You have 100% control over how well prepared and skilled and confident you are on a sales call. So it makes sense to stay focused on those areas over which you have control.

Stay focused on what you can control.

Winners obsess on improving on what they control (the process) and whiners obsess on what they can’t control (the result). Be a winner – not a whiner.

Following a sales process is critically important to generate consistently great sales results. Let’s face it; during a sales call things can happen to knock you off your beam. An important call comes in that the prospect has to take. The prospect’s assistant comes in with some urgent matter. An important meeting has suddenly been called. There is no end to the obstacles that come up.

We need a process to keep us on track.

Once I was closing a training opportunity worth about a hundred grand when the prospect got a call during the presentation announcing that the sales training budget was suspended for the current quarter. Imagine handling that objection. Talk about a mood killer. Yet I simply stayed focused on my process, offered the client an option to do the training now and bill them the following quarter. Bingo! So much for that smoke screen, right?

People will come up with a million reasons to say “No.” Our job is to move beyond that and find just one reason for them to say, “Yes!” A process can help us get that done.

The distractions are even more frequent and bizarre if you are selling on someone else’s turf. Whether it’s windows, siding, life insurance, health insurance, mortgages, air conditioners, furnaces, carpet, remodeling, groceries, roofing, vacuum cleaners, or text books, selling on someone else’s turf takes a special breed of human being.

Things happen on a prospect’s turf that do not happen in our office where we control the environment. Sometimes the prospect’s wife will announce, “Dinner is ready!” just as you are entering your closing sequence. Sometimes the kids need homework help from daddy or mom at a crucial point in the sales process. Sometimes little Johnny needs daddy’s attention. Sometimes a dog relieves himself on your shoe.

Whatever the distraction it’s critical to have a process to follow to make sure you stay on track.

Obviously, sales results are an important component to your business and your income. But the sales results are a product of your sales skills and the process you deploy to leverage those skills. So stay focused on your process and execute on a consistent basis. The results will take care of themselves.

______

After learning Tom’s sales strategies from books while sitting in prison, Weldon Long became a lifelong fan and student of Tom Hopkins.

As result of following Tom’s teachings, Weldon is now a successful entrepreneur, speaker, and author of the NY Times Bestseller,  The Power of Consistency – Prosperity Mindset Training for Sales and Business Professionals.  Weldon has had the privilege of speaking alongside Tom more than a dozen times. For more information visit www.WeldonLong.com

Tom Hopkins Special Sales Academy News

Tom Hopkins Sales Academy

Sales Academy Testimonial: “It has been unbelievable since our team stopped using the nasty words. All our people are on fire because of what we learned at Sales Academy Las Vegas. I am looking to bring an even larger team with us the next time.” 

Sergio Alvarez 
AllStar Plumbing

Tom Hopkins Next Sales Academy is Confirmed!

UN-PUBLICIZED SPECIAL VETERAN TUITION RATE 
Sales Academy New Jersey 2018
Marriott Renaissance Newark Airport
May 18 & 19, 2018 
9AM to 4PM each day

We have set aside a block of tickets at only $495
just for past graduates of Tom’s multi-day training events.
When you act quickly, you’ll save $300 off the regular individual tuition.
This block is filling up quickly.

Because of international and corporate commitments this is 
Tom’s only public event scheduled for Northeast United States in 2018
Register Now for Sales Academy Dallas, TX

Nearly 4,000 sales professionals have attended Tom Hopkins’ 2-Day Sales Academy since Tom started offering it just a few years ago. Past attendees of Tom’s multi-day events have gone on to increase their closing ratios by 200%, 300% and more while increasing their incomes dramatically. Tom is the only trainer at this event. Seating is limited to ensure you get all of your questions answered. A comprehensive manual is provided.

You will learn:

  • Definitions for Success in Selling
  • 7 Fundamentals of Selling
  • 7 Ways to Re-Think No
  • The Most Common Concerns and How to Address Them
  • Where to Find New Business
  • Presentation Skills
  • Addressing Concerns
  • Powerful Closes of a Champion
  • Negotiating Your Way to Success
  • 21-Day Follow Up Program to Greatness
  • Plus Much More

We also invite you to enjoy coffee and tea service each morning. We will provide iced tea and lemonade during the afternoons.

Travel and hotel accommodations are not included in tuition.

Continuing education credits are available through this program to members of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS), the CFP Board and FPSC (Canada).

 

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How to Guarantee You’ll Never Meet Your Quota

Beat your quotaLet me show you how to guarantee you’ll never meet your quota. It’s really easy. When you organize yourself to just meet it, you’re not very likely to achieve it. By operating that way you’re setting yourself up to generate less revenue for your company and fewer dollars for yourself. It’s actually why so many people never meet quota. All they do is set their sights on meeting it.

How’s that again?

What I’m saying is this: If all you try to do is meet the quota, you’ll never do it.

Why not?

Because you’ll organize your activity to hit the mark—which means barely meeting it–usually on the last day of the month. In the normal course of business, something will almost always go wrong with part of your plan, resulting in at least a small shortfall. Don’t be the salesperson who ends the month saying, “Had it in the bag. Then Jasper Jones fell apart on me. If it wasn’t for that, I’d have hit the mark.” That’s what happens when you aim to be average. In order to meet your quota every month, quarter, or year, you need a different strategy.

Begin by organizing your activity so you can double your quota. What will it take to make that happen? It’s easy to figure out. Just do the math. You must know what it takes to hit the mark. Double it to picture what has to happen to go beyond. Then, plan your activity as if this doubled amount is your actual quota. This way, when Sara asks for different terms, Kyle cancels an order, and your big client committee delays a decision, you’ll still do well with the other sales you’ve closed. When you do start hitting 200% of quota because of your increased activity, bump your goal to 300%. It can and has been done by students of my training. They implemented different strategies. They detailed out their activity plans. Those past graduates of my training followed through…and doubled and tripled their incomes.

Don’t meet any quota that’s set for ordinary people. Change your mindset and demolish it!

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

Excerpted from my book, The Official Guide to Success.

Believing in Yourself as a Sales Professional

Believing in yourself, being confidentBelieving in yourself is the first step to success in sales. A lack of self-confidence will be evident to others and cause them to hesitate doing business with you.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being “outstanding”), how strongly do you believe in your abilities as a sales professional? I’m going to assume you believe in your product. If you don’t, stop reading and start researching a product that you can believe in. Your own experience with and conviction in the value of your product will impact your sales as much as — if not more than — any selling strategy I can teach you.

Now, back to the original question, do you believe in yourself? Do you believe in your abilities, your competence as a sales professional? Really think about this. You probably aren’t equally good in all areas of the sales process. Few are. If you believe yourself to be great at prospecting, yet less-than-great at qualifying, you may be doubling your presentation time (presenting once to the non-decision-maker and again to the real decision-maker). If you’re great at presenting, but hesitant about asking people for their money, your ratios will show it. Any of those things can negatively impact your belief in your ability to succeed.

Ask yourself, and honestly answer these questions:

  • Do I start my day feeling physically and mentally at the top of my game?
  • Is my day well-planned, allowing for emergencies, or will I figure out my schedule when I get to work?
  • Is my hair well-cut and styled? Are my nails manicured (even if they’re self-manicured)?
  • Does my clothing fit well and comfortably? Is it pressed and clean (no spots or stains)?
  • Is my mode of transportation in good repair and clean?
  • Are my presentation materials so well organized that I could give a sound presentation should I meet a qualified client while I’m out and about?
  • Am I generally prepared to be all I can be as a true sales professional?

Each of the areas listed above impact your belief about how your day will unfold. If you’re wondering in the back of your mind if the client will notice your scuffed shoes, you’re not at your best in the “front of your mind” where effective selling occurs. If you notice you’re running low on gas on the way to a client meeting, you’ve just upped your stress level. If your desk or computer screen has multiple projects going at once, how much of an impact do you think you’ll be able to make with each one?

True sales professionals understand how important their beliefs, attitudes, and self-discipline skills are to their careers. They take care of themselves physically and mentally to be at the top of their games when in the selling arena. They pay attention to their grooming. They invest in quality clothing. They take advantage of organizational skills, strategies to help them focus, and preparation time. All of these things enhance their ability to believe in themselves as professionals thus doing the best job possible for the people they serve.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

Learn more about how to professionally serve your clients through my training here>> http://www.tomhopkins.com/training.shtml

Tom Hopkins Sales Academy 2-Day Training event

Thank you for your interest in Sales Academy with Tom Hopkins

Our Sales Academy seminar in Dallas TX was a tremendous success.  To get details about our next life-changing program visit www.tomhopkins.com/salesacademy.

“It has been unbelievable since our team stopped using the nasty words. All our people are on fire because of what we learned at Sales Academy Las Vegas. I am looking to bring an even larger team with us the next time.”

Sergio Alvarez
AllStar Plumbing

Save Your Seat Today:Register Now for Tom Hopkins Sales Academy Dallas TX, September 2017

Because Tom wants the best student experience during Sales Academy, seating will be limited. This relatively intimate setting allows for a better experience, including the opportunity to network with other attendees and to have questions answered directly by Tom Hopkins. Early registration is highly recommended.

Included with your Tom Hopkins Sales Academy tuition

  • You get 2 days of training with master sales trainer, Tom Hopkins.
  • A comprehensive, student manual with all of the strategies and tactics you will learn at the program.
  • Opportunities to talk with Tom Hopkins about your sales career.
  • Opportunities to network with fellow students

Know someone in your network that can benefit from Tom Hopkins Sales Academy Training?
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Our Goal is Your Success,

Tom Hopkins

When “No” Really Means No Sale

There will be times when “no” really means there’s no sale to be made. It’s just part of selling. As a sales champion, it’s important to recognize a true “non-selling” situation as early as possible during interactions with others. That’s so you don’t waste their time or yours attempting to move forward in the sales process.

On those occasions when the “no” you hear is truly a final one, you still have a sale to make. This new sale is to win the opportunity to stay in touch with these folks. Their circumstances or needs may change in the future. Your goal, now that you’ve connected with them, is to stay top of mind if and when they need your particular product.

To get their permission to say in touch say something like this: “Sue, I understand that now is not the time for you to consider a product like mine. Should things change in the future, though, I’d like to be the one to serve your needs. May I have your permission to stay in touch with you every now and then? I promise not to be a pest. I’d just like to keep you informed of new developments that might be of interest to you.” Your goal, once again, is to keep the opportunity for the sale moving forward. Getting a commitment to revisit a potential client whose “no” means “not now” does just that.

Even in situations where a potential buyer is not going ahead but has interest, ask for referrals. Just because he or she aren’t in a position to purchase your product doesn’t mean they don’t know someone else who is. If people really do like what you’re selling, they’ll be open to suggesting it to others who might be more likely to make a purchase now. It happens all the time, but only when you ask.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc. Let me help you and your sales team improve the results you’re getting. Share this post with others you know who are in sales. To learn more on this topic, read my book titled, When Buyers Say No.

Podcast Interview

Real estate investingI did a podcast interview with Rod Khleif of Lifetime Cash Flow through Real Estate Investing. Rod has graciously agreed to allow me to post the link to the interview here. I hope you enjoy listening in.

Listen in here>> https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ep-98-tom-hopkins-returns-tom-is-recognized-as-worlds/id1097449598?i=1000381280696&mt=2

Here’s some of what you will learn:

  • First and most important thing to learn to improve your sales skills.
  • How to use The Chamber of Commerce as a resource.
  • Selling is not what most people think it is.
  • The 2 extremes in personalities and temperaments.
  • The traits of the best sales people.
  • The greatest investment a person can make.
  • The importance of Practice.
  • Practice, practice, practice, (lessons learned from watching Tiger Woods practice golf.)
  • Repetition is the mother of skill.
  • The importance of using scripts and elevator pitches.
  • How to overcome your fear of sales.
  • Using rituals to improve your confidence.
  • What is a shower card?
  • The importance of gratitude – count your blessings every day.
  • People say yes to your enthusiasm and excitement before they say yes to your technical skills.
  • Consider doing 2 things at once.
  • The steps to truly master the art of selling.
  • How to get started in selling for absolutely nothing.
  • The basics of negotiation.
  • What is the difference between an objection and a negotiation point?
  • “5 Words to Live by, Do What You Fear Most. It’s what most Top Producers Do!”
  • We all have 86,400 seconds in a day. Do the most productive thing possible at every given moment.
  • Focus and set priorities – don’t waste time.
  • “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job to become a person people like and trust and want to listen to.” – Tom Hopkins
  • Love people and use money. Never love money and use people and you will make all the money you could ever spend.” – Tom Hopkins
  • “You’re in the people business, work on the skill of getting along with people.”
  • The things that have made the biggest difference in my life.

Book recommendation: How to Master the Art of Selling

Stop Setting Goals for Number of Calls!

prospecting goals for number of callsWhen setting calling goals, stop setting goals for the number of calls you’ll make when prospecting! If you write down this as a goal: “I will make fifteen prospecting calls starting at nine tomorrow morning,” you can make all fifteen of those calls and have nothing.

Instead, set success goals: “Tomorrow at nine I will start telephone prospecting, and I will continue prospecting until I have three confirmed meetings to demonstrate my product to people I believe can and should own it.” Set a reasonable success goal and then do it. Stop for meals, go home nights, but keep prospecting until you achieve your success goal. [Read more…]