In this series, you have read the many ways in which these 10 bloggers have changed how I approach and implement selling to my clients.

What are you selling with your elevator pitch?

Jill Konrath changed they way I design my elevator pitches.  Now when I give people a concise summary of what I do for a living, I include specific numbers and percentages of benefits that past clients have enjoyed from using my services.

Specific numbers and percentages give a clear contrast of the benefits of using my services versus not using them. The numbers and percentages are not detailed because they are not intended to lead listeners to buying decision!

When giving an elevator pitch, I am not trying to sell my products and services.

Instead, I am selling the listener to give me 15-30 minutes of their time for a sales call. During the sales call, I will sell my products and services.

Simon Sinek changed what I sell.  Before Simon’s teachings, I focused more on WHAT my products and services did for buyers and HOW they did it. Now I focus on showing WHY buyers want to buy.

Starting with the WHY saves time and leads to more sales

WHAT our products and services do and HOW they do it can be very exciting! Consequently, it can be tempting to focus our prospecting and presenting on the features and benefits of the WHAT and HOW.

We should be excited about those aspects of our products and services! The risk lies in assuming that prospective buyers will “connect the dots” between the exciting features of WHAT our products/services do and WHY they should buy it now.

Starting with the WHY ends in more sales!

A huge and frequent mistake among salespeople! Because of Simon’s teachings, I now begin with WHY prospects should buy my products and services.  That is what counts the most for buyers.

 

Geoffrey’s James changed how I view working in my home office.  Before reading his writings, I accepted working alone as part of my work situation, but I did not fully embrace it as a strength.

Now I see solitude as one of the tools of productivity in my work.  Being alone, without distractions, allows me to do my best work.

As a result, I now take steps to protect the quiet solitude of my work environment.

the new IQ is focus, not intelligence.

Living in our world of hyper distraction, it is not how “smart” we are, but rather how deeply we can work for extended amounts of time without being derailed by the barrage of constant distractions in our environment.

Home office work requires focus.

Jeffrey Gitomer encouraged to give more thought to why prospects hesitate to buy and how I can more effectively help them take immediate action.

Jeffrey reminded me that there are many reasons for NO.

By thinking through those potential reasons, we can create additional, more effective questions that draw out the reasons for a buyer’s hesitations.  Once we know the real reasons, then we can respond more effectively.

Think it through. Make a list. Create more effective questions. Sell more.

Joanne Black changed how I prospect for new business because I now development most of my new accounts through current customers.

Is your prospecting focused on cold prospects or referrals from current customers?

Is it better to fill your long prospect list with names of cold prospects that you have never contacted yet, or with the names of referrals from current prospects?

Referral prospects lead to more sales!

If you are just starting out in sales, then you may not have a choice.  The only prospects you have are cold prospects. If so, roll up your sleeves and get after it. This may be the only time in your sales career that you must start from scratch!

For everyone else, Joan teaches us to develop the contacts and business relationships we have already created to develop warm and hot prospects who are more likely to buy.

Daniel Pink changed the amount of attention I pay to my preparations and plans for selling and for managing my business.

Many salespeople sell by the seat of their pants.  They show up, give a presentation, answer a few questions and see what the prospective buyer does next.  That is called Lazy Selling.

Daniel teaches the importance of practicing perfectly.

That, of course, assumes that you practice at all!  In this application of the “practice perfectly” principle, that means preparing for your prospecting calls or upcoming sales appointment.

Perfect practice includes visualizing the result that you want. First, envision the result you are seeing: that by the end of your sales call, the prospect…  Second, envision the process.

Interactions include: establishing and maintaining rapport, the prospect answering your Discovery Questions and participating in your presentation, asking relevant questions as the close… and then buying your product or service.

Mentally rehearse in advance what you want to occur during your sales call.

That is the application of “perfect practice” that Daniel encourages and that I now do more thoroughly.

Nancy Nardin changed my focus on using technology sales tools. Now I ask:

Does each tool help me sell more, at better profit margins, or does it distract my time, focus and energies away from selling more?

Gerhard Gschwandtner expanded my global perspective on selling practices that are persuasive in most cultures on planet earth. He writes from a global perspective, interviewing the top sales trainers from around the world, he expands my global perspective of selling.

Like Math, selling has some common global elements

Likeability increases the probabilities for a sale: Discovering the prospective buyer’s needs and then customizing your presentation to address those needs.  Remaining silent after asking the prospective buyer to take immediate action. Responding to a negotiation request with a request of your own.

Those are examples of how a global selling perspective has helped me sell better locally.

There are common elements of selling around the world.

John Maxwell changed how I see leaders all around me. Many salespeople think leadership is only a title.

Before I was exposed to John’s teaching, I recognized leadership from the front of the room. I saw the leaders with the titles and the big offices.

After being exposed to John’s teaching, I now see leaders in everyday life, in all areas, demonstrating all levels of leadership. As a result, I now more clearly see ways in which I am a leader in my work.  That allows me to embrace more fully my responsibilities as a leader.

Anthony Iannarino changed how I view big and profitable accounts. Now, I give more attention to having a full pipeline of prospects, so I am not putting all my “sales eggs” in one basket.

Big clients are exciting, but…

The bigger the account, the greater the risk

The greater the risk that

  • your sales career and income could go up in smoke… at least temporarily.
  • you lose your selling edge because you’ve stop pursuing new accounts
  • you are entitled to the good income you are receiving from the big account.

Too many eggs in one basket can lead to…

Now I keep my prospective client pipeline full, regardless of how great my current clients are.

That is a summary of how these ten influencers have changed my selling. How have your influencers changed your selling?