9 Stages of Selling

July 29, 2009

Most people that I talk to think they know how to sell.  But most people I talk to only have 1 or 2 of the basic 9 steps down.  This is why their closing percentage is 10 or 20%.  If you want to get your closing percentage to 50 or even 75%, here is an outline that will help you sell more deals and make more money.

1.  Make a Friend – Selling is all about relationships.

2.  Find common ground – People need to like you and it works best if they have something in common with you.

3.  Ask intelligent questions – Remember that you just need to have a conversation with people and that you want to learn about them.  The best way to do that is to ask questions.

4.  Dig deep – Don’t stop at surface level questions.  If someone tells you where they want to go on vacation, ask them “How long they have wanted to go there?”  Or  “What they plan to do while they are there?”  Really get an understanding of what that is important to them.

5.  Listen – Not much needs to be said here.  2 ears, 1 mouth, use proportionately….   You learn a lot about someone when you let them talk.

6.  Help them Visualize – Selling works best when people can visualize themselves using your product or service or reaping the benefits of them.

7.  Get a commitment – Nothing worse than having a great meeting with a prospect and then leaving them hanging.  You need to get a commitment for the next order, for next Tuesday, or a check/credit card today.  TIP:  Not doing this wastes the first 6 steps.

8.  Make them want to buy – I really hate selling.  I love helping people buy stuff, and people love to buy.  This is important because it will not only increase your sales it will bring you more repeat business and referrals.  It also eliminates buyers remorse.

9.  Ask for the money– This may be the toughest step for most sales people.  Many people just won’t ask for the money.  I’m not telling you to get crazy about this or act like a telemarketer (no offense to telemarketers), but at some point in the sales process, you have to say, “is this going on your credit card or are you paying with a check today?”  Doing this step alone will double your conversion rate.


What Have You Written Today?

July 15, 2009

No matter what industry you are in, it makes sense to write something each day.  You have some bit of unique knowledge about your industry or the way you perform that makes you special.  Writing it down and posting in a blog or some other place where people can read it, makes you more special.

A major benefit to writing is building credibility and getting your name out there.  And always remember that you don’t have to be a professional writer.  Just write the way you speak and be sure to spell check your writing.

It’s always good to put some links back to your website if you post on an external site like a blog, facebook, or some other site.

You have something to share so be sure and write it or type it before the thoughts are gone!

Google Alerts

July 15, 2009

Here’s a quick, but valuable suggestion.  I recently started monitoring Google Alerts for my name and industry.  Simply go to www.google.com/alerts  and setup keyword alerts for any words you wish.  I have two setup that I monitor daily.  I focus on one for my name and one for business coaching.  This allows me to see any news posted about me or my industry. 

Very handy for many reasons.  One big reason is to see if someone is posting good or bad press about you on the web.  If they are posting good things about you, you can thank them.  If they are posting bad things about you, you can work with them to resolve these things.  And don’t kid yourself, no matter how great your service is, people are going to complain about you.  And here’s an insider tip:  They almost never complain to you if something is wrong.  So be smart and monitor your personal profile and your industry keywords.

On the industry side, it’s great to see some of the press that happens in your industry.  For example, Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt just posted a video on how everyone needs a coach.  It’s a great video and it shows how he didn’t think he needed a coach until he got one.  Here’s the video so you can check it out.  http://money.cnn.com/video/fortune/2009/06/19/f_ba_schmidt_google.fortune/

Review of Zoho CRM

July 10, 2009

I recently started using Zoho CRM free edition.  I have to say that I am very impressed with their software.  Especially a free edition.  I have used Salesforce.com for a while now and loved it.  But since I was looking for something free, I thought I would try Zoho.  I also tried freecrm.com, but I wasn’t not very impressed with it.  Most of the features I wanted to use were not allowed in the freecrm.com version.  However, every feature that I use is completely free in the Zoho free edition.

So if you are looking for a great way to track leads, potential business, forecast your sales, track activities, setup reminders, and much more….  Zoho is a great solution for you.  It comes with 3 free users and 100 MB of storage which is more than you think.  Add-ons are cheap and a good buy.  One other thing.  It comes with the capability to track leads right from your website.  That is a great add on that isn’t free with most products.  It also has built in free workflows.  Pretty awesome if you ask me.

And if you need help setting it up, I can help you with that.  It’s very intuitive, but I’ve had quite a bit of experience with CRM’s and would be happy to consult with you.  Just check out my services at www.michaellejeune.com/Services.htm

12 Proven Strategies to Boost Your Business During a Recession – eBook

July 7, 2009

Times are tough for many business owners, but here is a little secret. They don’t have to be. Here are 12 proven strategies that will get your business humming during any economic climate.

1.Give the best value – Never sell on just price. People want the best value and are usually willing to pay for it.

2.Market to your customers – Current customers are 7 times more likely to buy from you than someone who doesn’t know you.

3.Get a website that works – If you don’t have a website that works, you are missing out. 60% of all consumers in America search the web before making even the smallest purchases these days.

4.Business networking – Get out and meet other business owners. It’s not who you know in business as much as it is who knows you. Meet people and provide value to them. They will return the favor with business for you.

5.Customer service – I have done business in over 80 countries. The one thing I hear most in those countries is the need for customer service. An extra smile, a cute note on a bill, or a simple “is there anything else I can do for you” go a long way.

6.Create a business plan – I’m not talking about a 30 page proposal for a bank. I’m talking about a 2 page action plan with weekly steps toward your business goals. Always know where you are heading.

7. Collections – Make sure you are on top of the money people owe you. Show some concern and be fair but firm.

8. Focus on your strengths – You’ve probably heard this one all your life, but are you doing it? Do what you do best and beat all the rest.

9. Keep your business tidy – Chaos repels customers and the best employees. Make sure you keep things neat and clean at all times and you will attract more business.

10. Know your numbers – You need to know your break even on the day, not just the month. Have sales targets per day. Understand where you are at any given point in the month.

11. Get some training and help – The best business owners and sales people go to 3 or 4 training sessions per year or have business coaches they meet with regularly.

12. Social Media – Learn how to connect with your clients on their terms in a setting that suits them. Facebook, twitter, and wordpress blogs are a great place to start.