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 Los Angeles (San Gabriel) 2018
March 2 & 3, 2018 
9AM to 4PM each day

We have set aside a block of tickets at only $595
just for past graduates of Tom’s multi-day training events.
When you act quickly, you’ll save $200 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 California 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).

 

Know someone in your network that can benefit from
Tom Hopkins Sales Academy Training?
Click the image to get more details and
download a special training MP3.
Click to download Tom Hopkins qualifying MP3

 


 

If you have a question click
Click here to contact customer service
or call us at 1-800-528-0446

Monday through Thursday from 8AM to 5PM
Mountain Standard Time

Tom Hopkins International
465 E. Chilton Dr. #4 Chandler, Arizona 85225 U.S.A.

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

Professional Selling – Automotive

Professional Selling AutomotiveMany automotive salespeople who haven’t yet reached the professional stage think professional selling is exactly the opposite of what it really is. They get started. They learn the product and what the special offers are then push them on the next client who comes into the dealership.

When you entered the selling field, you may have thought, “Now my job is to talk and talk and talk.” So off you go. “Here it is folks. The single, best answer to your driving needs. Oh, you’re going to love it. You’d better get one now before we run out of inventory!”

The professional automotive salesperson, the true Champion, realizes that people have two ears and one mouth, and that they should be used in those proportions. This means that after talking ten seconds, you switch your mouth off, switch your ears on, and listen for 20 seconds. This also means that instead of overwhelming your future client with your knowledge of the automotive industry and your particular line of vehicles that, you encourage them to tell you what they know, what they need and what they want.

Let’s compare the two methods. [Read more…]

Earn the Right to More Yeses

Even though you may have won a yes from your buyer, it’s important to continue to earn the right to more yeses. People buy from sales pros they trust. Once trust is established and the buyer is satisfied with their purchase (becoming a happy client), it’s time to get some referred leads.

You begin this step of the sales process by creating an exceptional buying experience for each person. Realize that this is just the first step. Just because people love buying from you doesn’t mean they’ll give you referrals. You will still have to ask for them–in a completely professional manner.

It’s highly likely that your new clients will be telling others about their new product or service, and about how nice you were. People love being the one who referred others to a great product or excellent service. It allows them to become somewhat of a hero in the minds of those other people. And, who doesn’t want to be a hero?

Setting the stage to ask for referrals should happen fairly early in your sales process. It can be as simple as stating, “Our objective is to provide such exceptional service that you can’t wait to refer us to your friends and colleagues.”

Or, you could incorporate a story about another client into your presentation as you tell about a benefit of your product. That might sound like this: “A client referred me to Sheila, an office manager who said her company had a challenge with…” It’s a bit more subtle but still gets the point across that “people refer others to me.”

more yesesAnd, here’s an extra little hint for getting multiple referrals. When your buyer goes to their contact list to get you the information to reach out to Aunt Martha or Bob in another department, their whole world is right there at their fingertips. It’s super easy to ask them to also grab the contact information for three to six other people who could benefit from your product or service.

When you incorporate asking for referrals into every client contact (professionally, not in a pushy way), you practically guarantee yourself a successful career. Don’t think of it as asking for something else from buyers. What you’re really doing is offering to serve the needs of their friends, relatives or associates.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

The Myth of the Natural Salesperson

It’s sad, but true, that many people think they can’t do well in sales because of The Myth of the Natural Salesperson. This common fallacy is a destructive idea that I’d like to eliminate from your mind right now.

Having trained more than five million salespeople on five continents, I’ve met a lot of strong individuals who are on the fast track. I’ve met with large numbers who haven’t put their foot on the lowest rung of their potential yet. And sadly, many of these people never will climb very high on their potential’s ladder because they are firm believers in the myth of the natural-born sales wonder.

The myth cuts two ways.

  1. A few believe they’re naturals. That’s great for confidence, but it’s often the source of raging overconfidence. When this overconfidence persuades people that they don’t have to bother learning to be competent like ordinary mortals, they trap themselves far below their potential.
  2. Many more people believe they’re not naturals, think it’s hopeless to work at becoming competent–and trap themselves far below their potential. “I’m just not a salesperson by nature. Wasn’t born with the golden touch like Joe Whizzbeau over there. If I’d been born with his wit, charisma, and bear-hug personality, I could tear ‘em up, too. But I wasn’t, so I’m never going to make it big in sales.”

Don’t be too quick to say you’re free of this myth. I hear it far too often from my seminar audiences to take it lightly. In fact, I’m convinced that most salespeople who operate far below their potential suffer from it.

Let’s attack this dangerous idea now and get rid of it.

There never has been a great salesperson who was born great. Imagine a woman in the delivery room. Her newly born infant is saying, “Make yourselves comfortable, folks, and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask me.” Pretty silly, isn’t it? The little feller has a long way to go before he can even start learning how to walk, talk, and operate without diapers. He’s got a lot to learn, and if he’s going to be a great salesperson, he’s got it all to learn.

Psychologists still argue whether it’s instinct or learning that causes us to jump at a sudden loud noise, but they agree that everything about selling is learned. So stop excusing yourself from the hard work of learning how to be competent in your sales career. It doesn’t matter whether you think you’re a wonder or a non-wonder; you still have to pay the learning “price.”

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

13 Self Instructions for Sales Success

In my book, The Official Guide to Success book, I teach about the power of self instructions for sales success. These are also called affirmations. They are positive messages we develop for ourselves. After all, no one else can motivate us as well as we can motivate ourselves, right? Our internal, self-motivations are ten times more powerful than an external motivation we could ever receive.

The book is filled with affirmations on varying topics, but I’ll share the 13 most popular with my long-time sales students. When you begin speaking these words to yourself on a daily basis, or even several times each day, you’ll be thrilled with how your life and career start improving.

  1. I’m alive. I’m awake. And, I feel great!
  2. Today, I’ll meet the right people in the right place at the right time for the betterment of all.
  3. I take full responsibility for my actions, and for my life. My well-being is in the best hands it could possibly be in: my own.
  4. I am a winner. I am a contributor. I am an achiever. I believe in me.
  5. I read something positive every night and listen to something helpful every morning.
  6. I avoid negative people and negative input from the media. When someone tries to dump some negative thinking on me, I refuse to accept it.
  7. It’s amazing how often I meet interesting new people who have an enthusiastic outlook.
  8. I get paid a lot of money because I’m terrific at what I love doing.
  9. I’m always finding new ways to make my life better and new things to learn and enjoy.
  10. I have a high degree of personal integrity that leads me to put out extra effort.
  11. I emphasize the positive in everything I do. I look at the good that can come out of every situation. I talk about the best qualities of every person I meet. I concentrate on the good aspects of every place and thing.
  12. I’m organized because I plan my days and follow my plans.
  13. I understand that life comes down to how I invest my seconds. I do the most productive things at every given moment.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

The Buyer’s Mindset

As a sales professional, it’s critical that you put everything else out of your mind when approaching buyers and focus on the buyer’s mindset.

When put into a sales scenario, the buyer’s mindset subconsciously shifts, asking important questions which must be answered before they are comfortable moving ahead with the sales process. Because this is a subconscious process, we know that it is always at work. We can count on it. More than that, we can make it our ally.

How often have you heard yourself, or others saying the words, “I’m just looking” when approached by a salesperson? It doesn’t matter what the buyer’s individual personality style may be, this is a universal, knee-jerk reaction because of the mindset change we all undergo when a sales scenario starts.

We are thinking,

  1. “I don’t need you, your product or service;”
  2. “I don’t have any reason to trust what you have to say;”
  3. “I don’t need any help to determine if you have a product or service that interests me;” and
  4. “I’m in no hurry to make a decision.” So, basically, “Let me shop by myself, thank you.”

One of those four thoughts will be the starting point in most sales situations you encounter. Once you understand that and work from that point of view, you will more quickly reduce sales resistance and increase sales acceptance.

The following four words, and the questions they bring to your customer’s mind, control every sales situation: Need, Trust, Help, Hurry.

Here’s how.

NEED

 “I feel no need.” Your goal as a one-call closer is to help them change their mindset to one of “I feel some need.”

TRUST

“I feel no trust.” No one will let you persuade them to do or own anything if they don’t trust you. So, you must work toward helping them think, “I feel some trust.”

HELP

“I want no help.” No one ever wants to admit they’re helpless. However, you can certainly help someone see that you can provide answers in areas where they may not be as educated as you are. After all, you are a trained professional in your field. So, you need to change their mindset to one of “I want some help.” And, that you are the one I want to have help me.

HURRY

“I feel no hurry.” Your job is to help them see that by taking care of the buying decision today, they’ll be better off than if they wait. They need to think, “I feel some hurry” in order to take action. It’s your job to create urgency.

It is extremely important that you learn how these four very specific words help define your potential client’s sales resistance. They are the primary barrier between “no sale” and “sale.” They are the main line of defense. They will keep you from providing the prospective client the very product or service they agreed to talk over with you and/or need the most.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc. Excerpted from Sell It Today, Sell It Now.

 

Blog Survey Results

042BZC01Our blog survey results are in!

Recently, we decided to use our own strategy of asking just a couple of survey questions of our clients to get some feedback … possibly on how to change course in our direction and serve them better with this blog. We asked three questions, but rather than limiting the answers to one per question, we offered multiple options, which provided a ton of information. And, we included a comments/suggestions option for those who wanted to expand upon their multiple-choice answers.

Our first question was “What day of the week would you prefer to see a new blog post?” The largest percentage of respondents (33%) chose Monday. We had been posting on the blog on Tuesdays. Only 5% of our blog subscribers chose that day. Hmm. Looks like we missed the boat on serving the majority, didn’t we? We are re-vamping our blog postings … and guess which day of the week we will now be posting?

Our second question was about content. “Which topics would you most like to see covered?” The percentages were pretty close for “Addressing Concerns/Handling Objections,” and “Prospecting.” Running at third place was the topic of “Presentations.” As we move forward with our blog editorial calendar you’ll see more of those topics covered.

Our third question was about whether or not to continue with guest blog posts. We had been including them on the last Tuesday of the month for a while, but noticed a low rate of response to them. (Reference our first question results above.) Our respondents overwhelmingly enjoy the guest posts (79%) because they know I only include posts from people I trust in the training world. I will continue to request posts from others speakers, authors and trainers that I know.

The greatest wealth of information gained from the blog post survey were suggestions for 33 topics for new content! I can’t thank the respondents enough for this input. It’s easy to sit here and say, “We haven’t covered this … or that” but to know for certain what our clients need does what, Champions? It tells us what they want to “own,” doesn’t it?

When is the last time you’ve conducted a survey of your clients? If it’s been a while, it’s time to develop a simple survey that you can do by phone, in person or via email. Use a mix of open and closed questions to gather information … and don’t overwhelm yourself by sending it to 50,000 clients. If you have a large number of clients, break them down into smaller groups and ask questions specific to their use of your product or service. You’ll get better information.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

7 Ways to Re-Think No / Selling Skills

MazeA big part of your job in sales is to be the person in the company who gets the “no’s.” My job as your sales coach is to provide you with ways to re-think no.

In the English language, the word “no’ can carry many meanings. It would be a financially costly mistake for you to assume that the meaning your buyers assign to the word “no” is the same as the meaning you assign to it. Some of the possible meanings of “no” are as follows:

  1. Lingering questions: In sales, the word “no” very often means that the buyers haven’t had all of their questions or concerns addressed yet. Perhaps they’re confused about how your product compares to that of the competition. That’s a challenge you must be prepared to address. A confused mind often says “no.” It’s an instinctive protective device of the human psyche. If buyers don’t see a clear way to go with regard to your product, they’ll put off making any kind of decision.
  2. Inadequate explanation of benefits: If you’ve done your job of qualifying your buyers and are confident that your product will indeed serve their needs well, a “no” just means you haven’t completed the client education process that’s inherent in selling. If this is the case, it’s not necessarily a flaw in your presentation. Different buyers need different amounts of information delivered in different ways before considering a decision.
    Generally speaking, it’s better to give too little information and have  buyers ask for more (in this case, by saying “no”) than to give too much information and lose buyers on the basis of information overload or boredom. Trust your instincts during your presentations and close when you feel buyers have enough information to make an educated decision. If buyers consistently ask for more information after your initial closing attempt, then it is time to make an adjustment in your presentation.
  3. Additional discovery is required: A “no” may mean that you need to investigate further to determine what aspect of your presentation wasn’t clear. Remember, a confused mind says no. You may need to be more direct and persuasive during your presentations.
  4. A misstep in qualification: You may need to go back to the qualifying or needs identification step in the sales process to be certain you are presenting the right product for their situation. This “no” may be due to you missing something when you were identifying needs earlier in the sales appointment. It also may be due to a buyer being unclear as to his or her true needs. Because your presentation was effective in educating the buyer on what you incorrectly understood to be the appropriate product or service, the buyer may say “no” to your initial offering. The buyer may not be aware that you carry another product that will meet their newly-realized needs. Only with further conversation can you discover this epiphany and then present the better product.
  5. Unrevealed questions/objections: Perhaps the buyer hasn’t told you everything yet about their circumstances as to needs and their ability to afford what you’re offering. What? Don’t buyers tell you everything up front that you need to know to offer a win-win opportunity and close the sale? Sometimes this is merely an issue of trust. After buyers say “no” is one of the most powerful times to build trust.
    As mentioned above, buyers are often unaware of their real objections and questions until they start to become educated about the products and services that provide solutions. Or, perhaps they like the product but not the financial terms you’re offering. The point is that by using the proper selling skills, tools, and strategies in the correct manner, you can continue to move the sale forward despite initial reluctance from buyers
  6. Timing: Their “no” might just be a way of slowing the sales process down. It might mean “no, not right now.” Good timing is important when you make purchases, so why wouldn’t it be important to your buyers? By discussing options in timing, you may discover a time-frame that is quite agreeable to your buyers even if it isn’t for today.
  7. No, not you: With some buyers the “no” you hear could even mean “no, not you.” Please realize that with some product sales the buyers don’t just buy the product—they’re buying future involvement with you. In many cases, the sales person becomes the key connection between buyers and the company and they may just not have been “sold” on you. They may not feel comfortable with your ability to serve their needs. You always have to demonstrate your own level of competence right along with demonstrating your product’s benefits. Remember, people like to do business with people they like. It’s an important part of your job in the sales process to help them to like you and to trust you, so they’ll listen to what you have to say – to take your advice and want to be involved with you in a long-term business relationship.

There are many reasons that potential clients might say “no” but lack of interest is probably not one of them. Disinterested people won’t waste their time meeting with sales people and listening to presentations. So, when you have their attention, it’s because they’re truly interested in knowing if you, your company and your product can resolve an issue or challenge they’re having. The job falls to you to identify or discover what their needs and expectations are as they relate to your product or service.

You are the only one who can ultimately determine what each “no” means in every one of your selling situations. You do that by keeping the conversation alive through the use of precisely-crafted questions. By mining the information you need to know in order to determine if and how you can help them, you’ll close more sales that previously would have gone by the wayside.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc. Excerpted from When Buyers Say No by Tom Hopkins & Ben Katt. We match or beat Amazon’s investments on Tom Hopkins’ books.