I Don’t Know You. I Don’t Trust You. I’m Not Buying.

I Don’t Know You. I Don’t Trust You. I’m Not Buying.

Many sales professionals believe their biggest selling roadblock is that they “Don’t Ask for the Order.” When sales managers review their team’s progress, they ask, how many times did you attempt to close the sale?

An old sales myth is that you must hear NO! 10 times before you get to YES.

Here are some of the “excuses” sales managers hear when dissecting a lost sale.

  1. I guess I didn’t ask for the order at the “Right Time” or use the “Right Words”.
  2. I was afraid they’d say NO.
  3. Rookies blame customers who didn’t allow enough time to listen to the whole sales pitch.
  4. Some reps use the excuse that “I caught the customer on a bad day.”

I believe that a significant portion of the customer sales reluctance is because the sales rep did not gain the customer’s trust.

We live in a rush, rush, close the sale quickly world. With email, voicemail, virtual meetings and on-line presentations, digital contract signatures, and a plethora of non-face-to-face sales tools, we constantly hear about efficient selling.

What I find is that many sales people do not invest the time to conduct face-to-face meetings. Some say that driving to an appointment for one prospect is a waste of time. It’s smarter to have a virtual meeting with many prospects every day.

Last year, I taught a Body Language workshop for 75 real estate professionals from a large brokerage in my part of the US. We discussed reading their seller’s Body Language. The agents admitted that they ‘re not great at reading Body Language because they usually only get in front of a customer one time. They said that most customer communications were via phone or email. They rarely saw their sellers or buyers.

If the prospect was a seller, they met that individual at the time of the formal “Sales Presentation.” Big Money Realtors have real estate assistants who looked at the seller’s property, talked to the customer and did information gathering.

I was shocked at learning this. The slam, bam, thank you ma’am technique was not new to me. However, when dealing with the biggest asset a family will ever own, could the investment in up close and personal time to establish trust and build a relationship, be an antique idea? How about in your organization?

My husband sold real estate for 20 years. He always took the time to get to know his buyers or sellers over a cup of coffee. He visited them in their home, met their pets and maybe their children. He took time touring and admiring the sellers home. He laid groundwork for a trusting friendship.

He was known as the agent who could save his fellow agents deals when it looked like all was lost. I believe that was because he had honed his skills at reading customer’s silent signals and knew how to gain trust quickly.  He knew that Trust Takes Time.

How about you? Are you getting to know your prospects? Are you letting technology keep you from gaining your customers trust?

As Zig Ziglar, the first motivational speaker I ever heard said, “If people like you they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you they’ll do business with you.”

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Body Language to Watch for During the Proposal Process

Body Language to Watch for During the Proposal Process

During every step of the sales process, it is important to observe your buyer’s body language. As you lay out your proposal, be sure to watch for certain movements, positions, and other facets of body language. If you are able to understand the clues listed below, you will have the inside track on your prospect’s thinking:

  1. Body Posture: Do they lean towards you or away from you? Leaning closer is usually a good sign, unless they are hearing challenged and must do this to understand your message.
  1. Hands: If hands are in their lap, it may mean they are hiding something from you or their mother taught them that a “lady” never puts her hands on the table.
  1. Are their arms folded across their body? This can signal that your client is cold or are they closed to your message.
  1. Eyes: You’ve probably heard that eyes are the mirror to the soul. That may be true unless your customer is taking a medication that dilates their eyes or they are a trained liar. There are those individuals who can look you straight in the face while lying.
  1. Head: Nodding is a good sign, right? Yes, unless the customer is just a nice person who wants to encourage you to keep improving your sales skills and has absolutely no interest in your product or service. They just like you as a person and don’t want to hurt your feelings.
  1. Voice: If your prospect is a woman and her voice rises an octave or it becomes deeper and her pace slows, she may be excited with your presentation. However, this can also mean she is angry and losing her patience.
  1. Feet: Yes the feet can tell you if you have a chance to close the sale or your buyer is ready to walk out the door. Drop your pen on the floor and bend over to pick it up. See if their feet are facing you or the exit. If they are facing you, you have their attention. Feet facing the exit means you better finish up or retrace your steps. The prospect wants you to leave.

Body language is not easy to interpret. It takes study and practice. Once mastered, you will be able to modify your own body language as well as accurately interpret your customer’s hidden signals in order to close more sales.

Mary Redmond is a top-rated female professional speaker, author, consultant and business coach.  She is a negotiation and body language expert that instills confidence, inspiration and expert knowledge that sets up her audiences for success!

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Who do you sell to? Clients or Customers?

Who do you sell to? Clients or Customers?

Recently, a Pennsylvania commercial printer, we’ll call Mike, called me for help. He heard that I specialize in equipment lease negotiations. Mike was at the end of a three-year lease on two digital copiers. He wanted to buy the equipment. As I live by the rule “everything is negotiable if only you ask,” I assured him I could help.

Do Your Homework

Negotiation step one is to research all available facts. “Knowledge is power,” Sir Francis Bacon advised. The more I know about my customer’s wants and needs the better I am at negotiating.

Here’s what I did to prepare.

Step 1. I researched Mike’s short-term and long-range equipment plans, and gathered copies of the lease contract, information on the leasing company, equipment dealer and investigated used equipment values.

Step 2. Prepared a plan for the various negotiation outcomes.

Step 3. Located the right person with whom to negotiate. I started with the leasing company and was told that the dealer controlled the end of lease purchase price. Not to spoil the story, however, sometimes what we are initially told is not the final word.

The dealer salesperson was identified as my “go to guy.” It became obvious after two discussions that he: 1) Had little authority and 2) If he had power, he was unwilling to lower the purchase price. He felt that he had given the customer several opportunities to accept HIS proposal for a lease extension. What did the customer want? Mike wanted to purchase the equipment, not sign a two-year lease renewal.

Numerous telephone conversations ensued. The dealer position remained unchanged.  The salesman’s voice indicated his boredom with the negotiation and an unwillingness to make any concessions. He had no further interest in helping Mike. He was only interested in his position. Did he win the battle but lose the war? YES.

Step 4. Don’t give up. Go back to the beginning. Mike’s story concludes happily. I returned to the leasing company and finally reached a manager that uttered the beautiful words “You’d like to negotiate? I can help you.” She immediately reduced Mike’s purchase price by 50%.

Are you listening to your customer? Do you work as their partner or are you in the deal for a commission check? That is transactional thinking. Instead, build relationships. I refer to my “customers” as clients. I am an adviser and confidante. What do your customers call you?

Mary Redmond is a top-rated female professional speaker, author, consultant and business coach.  She is a negotiation and body language expert that instills confidence, inspiration and expert knowledge that sets up her audiences for success!

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Can You Resist Change and Not Get Fired?

Can You Resist Change and Not Get Fired?

National, State or Local political outcomes may not be what you had hoped for. Or you’ve received your invitation to the inauguration ceremony, swearing in or oath taking and are tickled pink about it.

What some referred to for the past 4-8 years as the New Normal will be a fond memory. There will be those who reminisce about the “the good old days” while others say, “Thank goodness those crazy times are over. Let’s repair what’s broken or die trying.”

Perhaps you chose to ignore the political battleground. I guarantee that there will be change for everyone in 2017 even if you didn’t vote.

Change is inescapable. John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States said, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

I don’t want to miss the future and I choose to embrace the present. The past is over. All that we can change about the past is how we remember it. Stories about past adventures, mistakes and successes grow richer in every retelling. However, I usually cast myself in a bigger starring role with each recitation.

Maybe your 2017 change will come as a corporate restructure, right-sizing, retrenching or layoff. Your political views will not have anything to do with your 2017 changes.

Maybe the change will be in your health, home life, marital status or in the life of someone you cherish, perhaps they are a dear friend, a family member or in one of your work colleagues.

The bottom line for everyone is that “Change is Ahead.” How we adapt, accept and manage change is the key to a prosperous and serene life.

When facing change, whether it’s wanted or mandatory, I remind myself of how I managed recent life adjustments. Change brings fear of the unknown. There are five poor ways to face fear:

  1. Fight: Refusal to accept a new plan. Active resistance.
  2. Flight: Run away. Maybe that comes as a job resignation.
  3. Fold: Give in. Stumble forward. Head down . Keep out of the firing line. Passive-aggressive.
  4. Fake-It: Lie about acceptance. Continue to perform as if nothing had happened.
  5. Freeze:You take no action towards or away from change. You hope for a reprieve.

Ask yourself how are you going to prosper, despite forced changes in 2017.

Use the HOW PROCESS. The process is simple. Embrace the HOW when it comes to change, be: Honest, Open and Willing:

Honest with yourself and others.

Open to new ideas, methods, ways of thinking and new action.

Willing to do the work necessary to implement changes to the best of your ability.

As author and motivational speaker, Brian Tracy says, “Develop an attitude of Gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.”

Mary Redmond is a negotiation expert that provides workshops, presentations and coaching for companies and organizations.  She is a well-known professional speaker, author and consultant that can help you achieve success.

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Test Your Lie Detection Skills

Test Your Lie Detection Skills

People say, “I know when someone is lying.” Others relate that they get a gut feeling when in the presence of a prevaricator. Some believe liars won’t look you in the eyes. Those folks never faced off with those big brown liquid-filled eyes of a 3-year old who said, “No mommy, I didn’t break the glass.”

There are verbal and visual clues galore to assist you in your lie detection diagnostics. Whether you are buying or selling, it’s critical to accurately decipher between truth and dishonesty.

Prior to passing judgment of someone’s truth telling, engage your subject in casual conversation. This is known as conducting the baseline observation. You are observing their normal body language signals when engaged in a low stress situation. Following this step, you search for changes in their earlier relaxed signals.

How many Body Language Lie Detection Signals do you spot in the following situations?

SCENARIO #1

You consider leasing a car for the first time. You ask the car sales person if you can pay off a lease early without penalties. Before answering your question, they hesitate for 2-3 seconds; look up and to their right, then down to their right. Finally while looking you boldly in the eyes with a long unblinking stare they respond, “Uh, sure, yeah uh, no problem.”

SCENARIO #2

You easily hear and observe the sales person’s excitement about their newest product. Their breathing is shallow and rapid; their vocal pitch has risen since arriving at your office. They blink frequently as they lean forward to extol you with product factoids.

Now turn on the human lie detector skills. You’ve heard that the manufacturer is having challenges meeting delivery deadlines. You ask the sales person if their company can deliver the new equipment in 30-days. Their breathing grows more rapid, they stammer a little, their eyes open wider, the rapid blinking ceases, they scratch their nose, shake their head from side to side and say “yes, sure, absolutely, no doubt about it.”

SCENARIO #3

It’s time for a heart-to-heart with your teen-ager daughter about her disappointing college grades. You inquire about her study habits and plans for improvements in next semester’s performance.

Before responding, she attempts to moisten her lips as if parched, pulls one leg up under her into the chair, rubs her hands on her thighs, looks away into the distance and in an unusually slow and low raspy monotone voice she replies, “the plan for the next semester is to study more and party less.” Then she adds insistently, “Honestly Mom, I’m not lying. I’d never lie to you.”

Every example is jammed with signals that the speakers are lying. Some body language examples are thrown in for amplification. Most clues come oozing out. No matter how hard we try to control them, body language is hard wired in our brains. Learn the basic body language detection clues or face a lifetime of lies. Good lie detecting to you!

Mary Redmond is a negotiation expert that provides workshops, presentations and coaching for companies and organizations.  She is a well-known professional speaker, author and consultant that can help you achieve success.

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Take a Challenge With Me for a Successful 2017!

Take a Challenge With Me for a Successful 2017!

Ready for the Big Game? Not the Super Bowl. Are you geared up for the sales game? Are you prepared for the challenges, hurdles and victories in your 2017 personal Sales Super Bowl?  You’re not a bench warmer. Be a key contributor to your company’s success.  If you didn’t track when your customer’s lease ends, that’s no excuse to avoid contacting a company.

For at least eighty percent of the US, it’s cold during January and February. If you’re like me, the cold and snow is an excuse to avoid sales calls. “No one wants to see me on a snowy, freezing cold day. However, your phone works.

Even though your car may not be able to pile-drive through snowdrifts and traverse treacherous black ice covered roads, prospecting calls are always in season.

If you no longer want to see the same results as in prior years, join me in a challenge for 2017. We’ll have to make behavioral changes to see new results. Let’s make 2017 one of our best years ever.

Take five steps with me.

  1. I will make more “warm” prospecting calls. A warm call is one that is a result of some prior communication. Warm calls may be the result of a chance meeting at a networking event, a former customer that slipped through our sales net, a referral from a current customer or someone who has received one of company marketing letters.
  1. I will prepare a series of well-written marketing messages.
  1. I will commit to make a specific number of marketing calls each week. How many calls is the right number? It’s different for each of us. Write a goal that is consistently achievable. Powerful results come from consistent calling efforts and a written goal. Hold yourself accountable and reward your successes.
  1. I will create a three step follow-up process for those I meet face-to-face. The process must be easy to put into place or the temptation to abandon the plan will hit by February.
  1. For everyone from whom I collect a business card, I will:
    1. Send a brief note or email within 3-5-days of meeting them. Personalize the message. Add a detail from your conversation. Form letters are a waste of time. In 2012, we must do that which is unexpected.
    1. The second contact includes your company qualifications as it relates to your ability to solve the prospect’s biggest problem. . All communication is from a customer’s perspective focused on needs and the outcome that comes with your solution.
    1. Step three is a phone call. The message is problem and solution oriented. Ask open-ended questions. No drive-by spontaneous visits allowed.

We will have an improved 2017 if we work this plan together. Let me hear from you when you hit a bump. I’ll be on the journey with you.

Mary Redmond is a negotiation expert that provides workshops, presentations and coaching for companies and organizations.  She is a well-known professional speaker, author and consultant that can help you achieve success.

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