Archive for Tip of the week

What does a successful salesperson look like?

My answer continues to change. As a matter of fact, just about everything I learned about sales has changed. I went through a lot training when I was selling advertisement, cars, timeshares and landscaping. I was also taught that a successful sales person was the one “closing the most deals”.

What if the most successful people don’t sell anything? Crazy right. I have been meeting with more and more folks who are helping new clients on a daily basis, continuously growing and at the same time, telling that they are not salespeople and hate everything about selling. How can this be?

The most common way I see this accomplished is that these folks have positioned themselves in very unique ways or with specific expertise and are referred in such a way that they are more of a consultant and instead of making a sale, they are simply offering solutions to problems. They don’t have to create the need, their clients come to them already in need. They don’t have to “close the deal”, they simply offer the solution and the client either agrees to the terms or walks away.

As a salesperson, I was constantly under pressure to find another lead, try to convince someone else to buy and then enter that ugly world of negotiation. Have you been there? Do you want to explore a different path? Does this change your prospective of what “success” looks like?

Have you taken a vacation this year?

Things are not as simple as they seem. Our training topic of the month, Do You Want To Be A Leader, has been introducing a lot complexities. To say the least, it has created some great conversations and really opened my eyes to a lot of new thoughts about the topic.

Who is the better leader, the person who is the first one to the top cheering for everyone to join them or the person at the end pushing everyone to finish? The person rewarding others for what they have accomplished or the person pushing people to do even better?

I would enjoy anyone writing in and sharing how you would answer these questions and your additional thoughts on the subject. I’ll share my answer in next week’s letter.

As with so many things, I think the answer falls in the middle. It’s a balancing act. I think the best leaders are the ones creating even better leaders and it is my hope that many of our members will further develop their leadership skills by becoming facilitators and then helping other members to do the same. 

Our next quarterly facilitator meeting is coming up and I am looking forward to it. It’s shocking to see how much progress we have made in just over a year. I’m excited to see how much more we can do in the next year! Do you want to be a WAM! Facilitator? If so, just let me know. 

Meanwhile, I hope you have a fantastic and productive week.

Do You Want To Be A Leader?

How do you define the word leader? What are bad examples of leadership? What are good examples of leadership? What are the benefits of becoming a better leader? What are some of the reasons you might be hesitant to be a leader? 

This is our monthly training focus and the questions pertaining to it. The first two meetings last week explored these and came up with many more.

I was reminded of why I joined the Marine Corps. Many may be surprised to find out that I was first enlisted in the Air Force. My father had discouraged me from joining the other services and all for different reasons but a great friend of mine, Brian Peters, pushed me hard to talk to his Marine Corps recruiter and I finally gave in just to get him off my back. That recruiter, Sargant Kirk greeted me with something completely different than all of the other recruiters had. Instead of sharing with all that the service could give me in the way of more tangible benefits he instead introduced me to the 14 leadership traits. He had a ring with 14 plastic tags on them, each with a different trait listed. He went through them one by one sharing with me what they were and meant. Justice, Judgement, Dependability, Initiative, Decisiveness, Tact, Integrity, Enthusiasm, Bearing, Unselfishness, Courage, Knowledge, Loyalty and Endurance. I haven’t spent any time on these since my active duty days but will definitely be digging back into them this month. 

One big one I got from the feedback of the members in the two meetings this past Thursday was that good leaders look to create good leaders. I hope that I can be a part in helping people in that direction and that I can become a better leader myself in the process.

I would really like to hear from more of you on this topic. Look back to the questions in the first paragraph and bring your thoughts to one of our meetings or write me and let’s explore this and help each other.

Why Do I Need To Know This?

Ever meet a person who is intensely curious and loves to learn, but in school was a rebel and struggled with academics?

Strange contradiction right? Do you remember that teacher-infuriating question they were always asking?

Why do I need to know this?

Industrial education is pretty bad at answering this question to the satisfaction of the class clown, and the human brain asks the same question every time it’s confronted with new information.

The more complicated the information – the better the answer needs to be, but most of the time we don’t even bother to answer the question before launching into a complicated explanation.

Then we wonder why nobody seems to want to listen.

Nobody has time to learn everything. Most of our day is spent ignoring the irrelevant. The first step to successfully educating somebody on something important is making sure it’s relevant to them – and second helping them see why.

Like the class clown who goes on to launch a billion dollar business after school – you’ll find most people are eager to learn something – if they understand why they need it.

The People I know who receive the most referrals, don’t ask for referrals.

The people I know who receive the most referrals, don’t ask for referrals. The people I know who receive the most referrals, don’t ask for referrals.

I wrote it twice on purpose. Take a moment and ask yourself how that is possible. Think a minute about the last person you gave a referral to. Not a lead, but an actual prepared and pre qualified referral for someone. Did that someone have to ask you to give that referral or did you do it for other reasons.

My experience is that when given the opportunity to refer someone I want to do the best job I can do in referring them. I want to refer them to the person I think is going to best serve them. Often, this person is not in my immediate circle and I even refer people that I don’t even like very much. Why would I do that? If that referral is the best person for the job and I want to truly help the person in front of me, then it’s the best decision.

Are you the person I should be referring my friend to? I bet a whole bunch of people reading this answered quickly and with a “yes”. What makes you the best? Does your answer truly separate you from your competition? In most cases, it doesn’t. If your answer centers around the best customer service that might be work if my friend is looking for the provider that offers the best customer service. I was speaking with a loan officer recently and they were explaining to me how great they are at closing on time. I think I shocked them when I responded that, closing on time, was not a concern of mine.

I had a friend recently ask me to help them find a realtor. I ask my friend what they were trying to accomplish, what type of home it was, where the home was located, etc. I found that they were selling an 80’s built home with some minor issues, that was located in western Hanover and that they had already worked with a couple different realtors. I am close with a lot of realtors and want to help them all but I instantly remembered one realtor who has shared with me on multiple occasions that they specialized in helping clients sell mid-range homes in the Hanover and New Kent areas after they had already worked with other realtors. WAM! I felt that they were the perfect fit for my friend and made the referral.

There are a lot of moving parts and pieces to this but once you figure it out, it actually becomes much simpler and much more effective. Come sit at our table, brainstorm with us and see what WAM! is all about.

How Receptive are you to constructive criticism?

Throughout my education and pretty much my entire professional career, I feel as though all of my mentors have pounded into my head that I must be able to listen to constructive criticism. As a “9 to 5’er” I’ve spent my professional career working for a small business. Between networking and the nature of the small business I work for I have had numerous interactions with small business owners. Despite what my mentors have always told me, I’ve seen a pattern of the exact opposite from small business owners. 

It could simply be the nature of the construction industry, but I have to wonder. Many of the interactions I’ve witnessed or been involved with the business owner refuses to listen to anything that contradicts the way they do things. It could be something that’s large and involves many moving parts, like how they manage communication from their employees to their 50+ customers or something as simple as how they keep their financial records. 

As a business owner who has recently launched their business, I am trying to learn as much as I can from other bookkeepers and other business owners in general. I feel that change is necessary for growth and that being uncomfortable is a good thing because that means you’re changing your norm. However, I see so much resistance to change and even hearing others out when they’re trying to provide constructive criticism. 

I strive to be as receptive to constructive criticism as possible and remember that the criticism is a potential opportunity for me to improve myself and my business. How receptive are you to constructive criticism? Is it about the delivery of the criticism or possibly just a mind set that certain people have? I’d love to have a discussion about it, so please reach out and let me know what you think! 

Shelby Haydel
The RVA Office Sub
TheRVAOfficeSub@gmail.com

Are you struggling with goal setting?

Here is one method that might help you. Start by envisioning where you want to be three years from now? How much do you want to be making, how many clients will you need at that point or some other combination or single measurable goal.

Now break down it down and work it backward. Reverse engineer it. Work it back to the annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly and then to daily goals.

Make these goals or transcribe them into items that you can control. For example; if your goal is to have 200 new clients in 36 months start by breaking this down to 67 new clients per year, 17 per quarter, 6 per month, 1.3 per week and then .25 per day! A fourth of a client per day, doesn’t that sound much better, easier to accomplish, then 200?

So what can you do each day to achieve this goal? Look at your last new client acquisition and reverse engineer how you got them. Why did they contact you, how did you meet them, etc. For some this might translate back to the knocking on 10 new doors every day, calling 20 new phone numbers, emailing 30 new contacts, etc. each day. Everyone’s how is going to be differ and will continue to be adjusted as more data is collected, methods are perfected, etc.

Breaking your goals down to daily actions that you can control and that you can accomplish will help to prevent one from “winging it” and will increase successes. The success of achieving today’s goal will help encourage you to achieve tomorrow’s goal and eventually it will become contagious and even better, will become habit. Creating good habits is always a great thing.

For the month of July we are going to focus on goal setting. Come sit at our tables and see if you can help us with ours and if we can help you with yours.

Why instant gratification?

The desire for instant gratification is a big enemy for small business owners and sales people. You know that good things come with time and it’s no secret that the best things in life don’t come easy. So why are people so impatient?

The most common reasons are financial ones. Making decisions based on your immediate income more often than not, have a negative effect on your potential long term income. We have all seen the salesperson who after twenty years is still chasing one more sale, the business owner who twenty years later is still complaining about the same things and both are still not willing to make decisions that will change their end game.

There are a lot of hours in the day. If we don’t have enough money in the bank to support ourselves we are working on our business. We are limited on how much time we work on this. Limited time not “no” time. My challenge for you is to make sure that you schedule time every day or at least every week to invest in your long term goals. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in just half an hour a day if you just stick with it and be patient.

Do you need some help figuring this out, defining your end goal, creating a plan in which to achieve it and identifying the difference between the reactive and proactive decisions you are making? Then join us at one of our meetings. You have three more chances this week, Tuesday at lunch, Thursday morning and Thursday at lunch. Here is the link to the calendar of meetings – https://www.wamrva.com/events/

What are your 2019 goals?

Sometimes you have to start at the finish!

Don’t know what your niche is, how much you should charge or where you should focus your energy? This is just a sampling of the many questions I hear members and clients struggling to answer.

They struggle to answer these questions because they don’t know their end game. When you know what your ultimate goal is it you can often work backward and better answer these questions.

If you know you want to make $100,000 a year and you work this backward to the $1900 per week, divide this by the number of billable hours you can produce each week and factor in expenses, you can better see what you actually need to charge per hour. The exercises get a little more complicated but starting at the end and working our way backwards can also help with identifying the ideal niche for you, understanding where you need to focus the most time and energy and much more.

So, what is your end goal?

Bring these and more of your questions and thoughts to your next mastermind meeting and let’s see what we can all come up with for you.

Sales Strategy

The secret to the quick easy sale!

I’ve heard many of sales person and sales manager now explain to me how it’s all about the numbers and how easy it really is. Is it easy to make 50 prospecting calls a day? Is it easy getting all of those NOs? Is it easy work 50, 60 or 70 hours a week? That doesn’t sound like easy to me.

What sounds easy to me is working less and less hours and closing more and more deals. Doesn’t that sound easier to you? Do you think you can achieve that by continuously making more prospecting calls or by working more hours? I don’t. However, this seems to the trend I see most often.

If you want to get yourself in a position in which you can indeed be on a path of continuously working less hours while simultaneously making more money it does take time and a strategic plan. The plan that I help people with includes things like identifying target markets, developing of a niche and building relationships with and training strategic partners. It’s not easy to build but will make your life easier.

A big question to ask yourself is what will happen to your current business if you stop working like you are now? If the answer includes you losing your income, then you might want to really think more about developing a strategy like this for your future.

Join me in a WAM! meeting or sign up for some one on one time with me and let’s see if we can make you more successful too.