Which Is The Key To Sales Success?

Charts of sales growth

Two major philosophies of salesmanship are prevalent among experts today, and the disagreement is understandable as both views have their valid points to make. The first approach is to emphasize being a strong closer over all else, while the second approach is to lean more heavily on being a great prospector. In other words, the philosophical tussle is between the importance of finding great prospects and converting the prospect you have.

Those who emphasize closing will offer such advice as the following:

  • Empathize with your potential customers, but don’t end up agreeing with them on the reasons they have for not purchasing your product.
  • Educate the prospect with truly valuable information they are interested in, giving them reasons to buy and a reason to return even if they don’t immediately buy.
  • Avoid the topic of price as long as possible. Spending money is not a subject that motivates many, and saving money only makes sense after you have already convinced the person that your product if worthwhile.
  • Avoid total closure. Getting a “maybe” is better than a “never,” and “yes” on a small point is better than “no” to everything. Have a plan to prolong the conversation in order to find at least something the prospective customer can agree to.

On the other hand, those who emphasize prospecting will promote such strategies as these:

  • Focus on making every page of your website attractive, engaging, easy to navigate, and full of opportunities to fill out a sign-up form.
  • Take full advantage of social media to promote your business since it can connect you to an immense audience and can be a source of friend-to-friend referrals.
  • Use highly targeted and situation-specific email follow-ups to turn leads into customers.
  • Offer a blog and other solid content that will build a loyal readership, from which you can “mine” future loyal clients.
  • Don’t go 100% digital. Still network face to face at trade shows and other events. Exchange contact information with interested parties and add them to your database.

Sales success must ultimately entail both prospecting and closing, but building a strong, detailed list of prospects is the foundation of the whole process. Furthermore, it is much easier to close when you have good prospects to begin with and much easier to practice your closing skills when your have numerous prospects on your list. Thus, good prospecting
is the more crucial of these two important sales-steps.

USA Today: How to reach your small business customers

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From USA Today

How to reach your small business customers

http://usat.ly/1IeuswR

Today’s Small Business Week article highlights the challenge of acquiring customers.

No surprise small business owners say word-of-mouth is their most effective marketing technique. That said, Rhonda Adams reminder to us to not overestimate our word-of-mouth efforts and at the core of word-of mouth is a great customer experience.

The “Do-it-now action items at the end of the article outlines a great starting point for all of us.

Strategic Alliances are “Where it’s at” for Small Business

100-Days-to-Abundance-smallA big challenge faced by small businesses is scarcity of resources. Larger businesses have substantial cash flow, numbers of employees just to name of few of the more critical resources a business needs to grow and be successful.  If you are in business by yourself or you own a smaller business, marshalling those resources is critical and a high bar to hurdle.

That is why strategic alliances are critical to small business growth and success. In fact, strategic alliance is one of the “don’t leave home without it” factors of small business success. It is one of the fastest, most flexible ways to increase resources in your business.

Here is what I mean. Let’s say a financial advisor and CPA were to forge a strategic alliance in which the CPA scheduled each of their clients for a financial review session with the financial advisor to provide the CPA with a better understanding of their client’s total financial picture. As a result, the financial advisor instantly has an additional source of prospects and the CPA gains a greater understanding of their client’s total financial picture.

The possibilities of strategic alliances are limited only by your creativity and endless. Strategic alliances can be utilized to:

• increase revenues
• decrease expenses
• expand your services
• increase your competitiveness
• and more.

Strategic alliances are so important, I’ve figured out a way 100 Days to Abundance can be utilized to support strategic alliances among small businesses. Strategic partners can participate in 100 Days to Abundance at the same price as one person attending $349.00.  That is the fee for one person attending and it is the same fee for  2 people from different businesses attending if they sign up at the same time. In fact 3 businesses can attend for a total  of $349.00 and even 4 businesses can attend for a total of $349.00.

Have your strategic partners right there with you in 100 Days to Abundance so you can forge a highly effective strategic alliance build around the same prove concepts, strategies and tactics of small business success.

How have you utilized strategic alliances to increases your business’s capabilities and growth? Share with us in the Comments section below.

The Day After the Kick-Off is When The Real Fun Begins

100-Days-to-Abundance-smallYesterday, was a big day. It was the Kick-Off Announcement Day for 100 Days to Abundance. A winning program for small business owners and sales professionals that I am reintroducing to the market.

The announcement went out to almost 2,000 people. The $349.00 program has a great track record of success and during the Kick-Off period I’m offering a whopping discount of $249.00, which means anyone signing up by March 29th will pay the same price as participants in 2008/2009 – Only $100.00. (The promotional code is: Retro100)

That may sound like plenty to fill the program. It is necessary, but it is not sufficient. Or another phase that captures it is “You drive for show and putt for dough (money).”

Here’s what I mean. No matter how valuable or successful 100 Days to Abundance is or has been, it is an intangible. It is an experience. It is not a product, so you cannot touch it and the description will never be exact. So no matter how much flash and discounting is done in the marketing, there is still going to be a pretty good believability gap left. If you own a service business or sell a service, you know what I mean.

So let me tell you what day two (putt for dough) looks like. I call that the KLT day. I fact it goes on until the last day of the program. KLT= Know, Like & Trust. People want to do business with and through people they Know, Like and Trust. Remember the 2,000 people I sent the emails to on Kick-Off day? That’s right. I need people they KLT to tell them about 100 Days to Abundance.

Day two was spend asking previous participants of 100 Days to Abundance to help me by sharing their experience with at least 5 of their friends and associates.(notice I asked people that KLT me.) I know this worked because as I was writing this blog my phone rang, and someone who has received an email from a previous 100 Days participant called to ask me a few questions about the program. They said they’d register right after dinner… And they did!!! Then I sent an email to the key person in a number of small business groups I am associated with and asked them to share it with their members.

The seats in 100 Days to Abundance will be filled by word-of-mouth by the people the participants Know, Like and Trust. Its the most effective client-acquisition tool I’ve found.

How do you close the believability gap for the service you provide your clients?

Quantum Business

Hear it first hand from the participants!!!

Derrick LeMay of  LeMay’s A/V Integrations, LLC shares his experience of participating in 100 Days to Abundance.

100 Days to Abundance (2+98=100% Growth) is designed for small business owners and sales professionals. Join the over 500 small business owners and sales professionals that have benefited from this program.  Don’t put your success off another day!!!

See some of the Team Nimbus All-Stars that have participated.

Discounts available when 2 or more sign up together.

Unlimited Supply of Prospects

Grace Thompson of Lendor Consulting shares her experience of 100 Days to Abundance.

100 Days to Abundance (2+98=100% Growth) is designed for small business owners and sales professionals. Join the over 500 small business owners and sales professionals that have benefited from this program.  Don’t put your success off another day!!!

Discounts available when 2 or more sign up together.

Making the Best of Your Networking Efforts

Clients often asked me how they can improve the effectiveness of their networking efforts. Thanks to Kevin Corrigan of Caring Senior Services, my thoughts have been captured on the video below. My comments were made during a workshop with the Wake County Senior Alliance. Make sure to turn up the volume so you can also hear the questions I’m asked during the session.

Exert YOUR Independence in your Business. Imagine higher profits by September….

“All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

Can you imagine MOVING your business to the next level in as little as 100 days? Imagine finishing up the third quarter of 2011 with a glowing PROFIT…

Yes, that is what many previous attendees of 100 Days to Abundance have experienced for themselves.

How about you? Is it time to take the leap and experience 100 Days to Abundance? This is the LAST in person class that we will be offering.

I will make room for you if you are interested. Comment below or email me at bdavis@tnofnc.com

What is Team Nimbus of North Carolina? FAQ by Bill Davis

I am often asked “How can Team Nimbus help my business grow to the next level?”

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It is one of my favorite questions from a small business owner, because I have seen so many powerful results from previous attendees I am happy to share.

Team Nimbus of North Carolina excels itself on the “Getting down in the trenches” with our clients.  As a small business coaching and consulting firm, Team Nimbus of North Carolina is able to personally connect with the struggles, hurdles and challenges of a small business owner.

1. Connection with the Expertise of Other Business Owners

We are a Small Business peer-advisory firm specializing in helping small business owners and sales professionals rapidly grow their businesses so they can have the time and money for the life they want for themselves and their families.

2. Peer to Peer Support

Small business owners and sales professionals participate with Team Nimbus as members of peer-advisory groups.  There are three different type groups depending on the size of the business.

 

3. Get a Fresh Perspective

A Team Nimbus peer advisory group is a group of small business owners from diverse businesses who get together on a monthly basis to solve problems, share best practices and offer each other peer support.

• Sounding Board: A peer group acts as an informal board of directors and an opportunity for real-world experience sharing.
• Overcome Isolation: It can be a very lonely being the owner of a small, growing business. Your friends and family do not understand the issues you face. You cannot confide in your employees. However, every business owner in your peer group has the same sense of isolation and can offer support.
• Handle Personal Issues: Small business owners are limited in sharing personal issues. With a peer advisory group your peers are in the same situation and have a high degree of empathy.
• Improve Odds of Success: Business success takes vision and insight. Your peer group can help you turn your focus away from the day-to-day issues and look at the bigger picture that can have a major impact on your company.
• Facilitation: Insures that members of the group know when/where to meet, have the tools available to insure success of the group meeting, keep the sessions on track and provide objective insight, advice and guidance.

Small business owners and sale professionals can also participate in programs such as 100 Days to Abundance and various workshops focus on specific aspects of client acquisition and business growth.

4. Do You Qualify?
While some new business owners and sales professionals take advantage of services offered by Team Nimbus, all of the services offered by Team Nimbus assume that clients have at least one year of experience in their business or sales position.

Team Nimbus is focused on assisting you in growing your business and clients instead of focusing on teaching how to get a business started.

5. Beginning Steps

I encourage small business owners to sign up for the 100 Days to Abundance program to get your business to the next level, as well as see the inter business relationships that are built at Team Nimbus.

See my below video for a detailed explanation:

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6. Limited Availability

When is the next 100 Days to Abundance program start?

A complete listing of upcoming Team Nimbus programs including 100 Days to Abundance is available at:  Upcoming Team Nimbus Events

Where is Team Nimbus located?

Team Nimbus of NC Center is located at 3801 Computer Dr., Suite 101, Raleigh, NC 27609

 

I would love to see you at Team Nimbus of North Carolina. You don’t need to be in the trenches alone as you begin your business journey. We are here to help!

The Math of Sales: (SxA) x U=R By Art Radtke

It is often said that sales is a “numbers game.” Although this is true on one level, it does not clarify how to improve one’s sales performance. We must dig deeper.

The numbers game is described simply: you just need to see more people. In most cases, this is accurate; very few sales professionals see enough prospects. The challenge with this view is that it can be very discouraging. If one’s closing percentage is too low, it could take an impossible number of contacts to reach an acceptable level of production. To tell a salesperson, “Just go see more people!” tends to discourage more sales people than encourage. This is demonstrated by the number of sales people who fail to see enough prospects. The better solution is to promote the mathematical formula of success expecting that, if we understand the formula, we will gain the perspective that allows us to move forward.

The Formula:
(Skill x Action) x Urgency = Results

This formula gives us more perspective on how to improve our results. When our skills of closing or ability to connect with the right prospects are lacking, no amount of effort will make us successful. Equally true is the fact that no amount of skill will make up for lack of action. The two work together to create the results we want and the way to maximize them is to create urgency. Now let’s take a closer look at each of these items.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines skill as, “the ability to use one’s knowledge effectively and readily in execution or performance.” Sales skills are like any other skill; they can be developed by purposeful effort. As the musician can improve his/her ability to play difficult arrangements or the golfer can improve his/her ability to putt, the sales professional can improve ability in each of the sales skills. Interestingly, the musician or golfer, when he doesn’t get the results he wants, knows instinctively that he needs to improve his skill level and will, therefore, practice intensely to develop the needed skill.

The sales person, however, will often come to a different conclusion if his strategy didn’t work. Once he has come to this conclusion, he moves on to the next strategy, rather than developing the skill he needs to make the first strategy work. This leads to a continuous search for the right strategy rather than the development of the correct skill set. Though that a good strategy is important, I believe it is impossible to measure the effectiveness of a strategy until it is executed with an acceptable level of skill. We tend to move from one strategy to the next so quickly we never develop the needed skill.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines act as, “the doing of a thing.” The acts of selling are the steps we take to reach our desired result. The better these steps are planned and the more often they are done, will increase our results within the limitations of our skill. The most common actions that a salesman needs to take are: 1. Prospecting, 2. Relationship Building, and 3. Presenting and Closing.

The result of the two variables Skill and Action, are multiplied by the state that we are in at the time we are executing them. According to John Kotter, the author of A Sense of Urgency, we all operate in one of three mental states: 1. Complacency, 2. False Urgency, or 3. Urgency.  Mr. Kotter maintains that complacency exists when we feel that we have it figured out and, thus, don’t have a lot to learn or change. This feeling traditionally comes when companies or people have experienced success and can lead to the possibility of losing their competitive advantage.

False Urgency is the state of fear that bad things are going to happen and we act out of panic or depression when in this state. While complacency comes from experiencing success, false urgency comes from a person or company experiencing loses. True urgency comes when a company or individual sees opportunities that excite them, it is in this positive and optimistic state that we multiply our skills and actions, creating results that seem to be greater than the effort put in.

The greatest change in results comes when we maximize our skill development and actions by the positive energy of true urgency. Thus, the greatest change we can effect is through the elimination of complacency and false urgency and the creation of true urgency. When we do this the results we create are both larger and quicker than we expect.