Everything Leads to Something

Posted by Chris Mott on Mon, Feb 19, 2018 @ 16:02 PM

 

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On Friday I interviewed a true hunter. I was struck by his mindset.

He was absolutely sure there was no substitute for picking up the phone and calling people. For him social selling, conferences and networking were all a means to an end. His message was to talk to as many of the right people as possible and as quickly as possible. Do this consistently and everything will work out. It’s no surprise he has a track record of consistent quota overachievement and numerous new business awards.

In sales mindset is everything. How badly you want to succeed, a conviction that you must ask the hard questions, knowing you belong, expecting a positive outcome (including no), demanding equality and calling things as you see them occur because you believe.

Along the way he said, "When I call people, I always get the names of at least two other people I can call."

This got me thinking about the simplicity and absoluteness of human connectively. In our technology abundant world, we take “connectivity” for granted, almost to the point of how we see electricity. When we are off grid or off network we notice. Behind the devices and the lights are an endless chain of connections, each talking to another in a very organized and predictable way.

Joe Girard credits his consistent practice of tossing business cards into the stands at baseball and football games for much of his success. It’s quite likely that someone who picked up a couple cards gave one to their friend. And so, everything leads to something, at minimum another fork in the road through which opportunity knocks.

Over the past two years I have had the great pleasure of working with thirty-five corporate clients, twenty-nine, or 83%, come via an introduction.

I’m going to give you a simple challenge for the next two weeks. All I ask is that you commit to it fully and see what happens.

  • Identify and call five people from your social/personal network. Get together with three
  • Each week, call five clients from a previous job, find out how they are doing, and tell them what you are doing
  • Each week, identify five prospects in your Linked In network using second level search and ask your connection to make an introduction.
  • Each week, call five current clients and check-in, ask how you can help and ask for an introduction
  • Each week, find five people you can help and do something for them
  • Talk to five people each week when you are out and about i.e. coffee or grocery line

Why do this? Besides getting out of your comfort zone which is always a good thing, you are practicing talking to people, asking for and offering help, and putting yourself in the flow of human connections.

Send me an email at the end of next week and let me know what has happened. Remember, you must fully commit. What’s the downside? Status quo.

What to find out more about what makes you tick? 

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Topics: referrals and introductions, prospecting tips

Do You Leverage the Most Powerful Selling Tool of All?

Posted by Chris Mott on Mon, Feb 05, 2018 @ 14:02 PM

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Depending on which data you use, the percentage of salespeople who make quota each year is no bigger than around 50 percent. While no one is happy about this and the year-over-year quota attainment doesn’t vary by much, many of us seem to have accepted this as being “normal”. There are few business leaders I’ve meet who would tolerate performance like this in other departments and in a moment, I'll share a powerful tool that can help every salesperson attain quota, regardless of skill level.

The top priority for virtually all the companies I work with is new business.  This is a combination of new accounts, expansion of share in existing accounts, selling a company’s complete product and service lines, and penetrating other groups and divisions.

Salespeople that don’t make quota typically have a pipeline without enough (number and size) quality new opportunities while a small percentage of salespeople have good pipelines but aren't very good at closing.

As a sales development expert, experience has proven that real, sustainable sales force improvement requires a change in culture. This means greater transparency, more accountability, constant focus on training and coaching, the recruitment of stronger salespeople, impactful sales management and great systems and processes. The return will be profound, but it takes time, effort and commitment.

Everyone needs short-term wins.

Do you have a structured, milestone based, KPI driven referral and introduction program? If the answer is yes, I’m preaching to the choir. Unfortunately, it’s a rhetorical question and the vast majority of companies and sales organizations say, "No." Your size, sophistication, verticals served, products and services don’t change this answer by much.

Among the many reasons why, discomfort asking clients/customers for help is at the top of the list. This may well include you. Here are some of things I hear when I ask, "Why?" 

  • What if they say no?
  • I’m not sure if they are really happy.
  • Have I / we done enough for them?
  • They might be uncomfortable being asked.
  • I don’t want to upset them.
  • …..

If you have an established business with some happy repeat customers, you must create and execute a formal process that nurtures and drives introductions and referrals. This includes everyone.

An effective process sets the expectation that you will be asking for help (with introductions) when the time is right. It nurtures existing customers, fostering their desire to help you and assures you are helping them in unsolicited ways. Everybody from the CEO to line staff needs a role, defined expected behaviors and measurable metrics. It needs to be fun, rewarding and celebrated.

I’ve asked thousands of salespeople what percentage of their time is spent in “real high-quality selling situations”. I have never heard more that 25%. The power of introductions is significant particularly when measured against effort. It’s ongoing, helps with pipeline challenges, improves relationships, is great practice and can leverage the entire company.

The table below uses traditional, generic conversion ratios to show how much more effective and simpler it is to generate revenue when you are getting quality introductions.

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You can do this - it's easy.  It's actually easier than what you are doing today!

Image Copyright iStock Photos

Topics: getting referrals, referrals and introductions, reps making quota

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