As a salesperson your ability to set expectations in the sales process will help you work towards closing a deal. As you set expectations with your client they can "see" or "hear" the goals.
As a salesperson, your roles, responsibilities, and self-image will evolve over time. This evolution is something you can take within a few years or over your lifetime of sales.
How to prepare for a sales job
There are multiple approaches to interviewing salespeople. If you have never been in sales there is a feel to the interview. Some people fly off the seat of their pants while others use a full structure. It is important to note that some Business Owners and or Sales Managers like to see salespeople squirm. You will want to be prepared for an easy sales meeting or a difficult one. Either way, it will come down to your skills, conversation, rapport, and charm. You can learn from sales job interviews as to things
Why do sales interviews matter
A sales interview is a way for a company to decide to hire you or not. This seems simple enough. Some companies cant find a closer and are willing to hire someone to train. Sales interviews can range from easy to difficult. The better you prepare and the better your answers are you can improve your chances of getting hired. If you are looking for a sales job, this content could prepare you for what to expect.
Questions you may get on a sales interview for a new job
To start with this is not really a question but a view of an action. In this day and age people, can't say they didn't know how to get somewhere. Most employers will look at:
- Did they show up on time prepared with notes, pen, and or paper?
- Do they initiate the conversation at the office
- Are they friendly with the office staff?
- Are they a closer and can they prove it – do they have docs and or awards
- Can they deal with pressure –
- Are they relaxed in the conversation even with no rapport
- Can they deal with the pressure of constant questions and also deal with constant interruptions
- Are they Good looking, funny, or socially awkward (pay attention to the laws in your jurisdiction
- Do they have a slight edge, chip on their shoulder, or anything similar – confidence vs arrogance
- Can they hold a conversation
- Do they engage in the conversation / do they get annoyed easily
- Can they deal with tough follow up questions?
- Do they have direction in the conversation, Are they leading or trying to lead
- Have they found achievement in their life?
- Sports – college
- Adversity – Jail to redemption, broke to money
- What is their favorite adversity story?
- Are they willing to follow a system?
- Are they willing to make a cold call on the phone live or at least willing to attempt it?
- Are they willing to role play in the appointment and if so why?
- Do they know how to articulate what they want?
- Will they push back or will they agree with anything?
- Do they ask for the next steps?
- Do they love people or hate them, do they have a disdain for others?
- Can they talk about good and bad experiences in their life?
- Are they a people pleaser and go with the wind – this may be a problem – they will get pushed around from they buyers?
- Do they seem eager about the job or the role
- Do they push back with rejection – Call me back -
Questions to ask new salespeople
When someone is new to sales the questions asked may be different than questions asked to veteran sales reps.
- Would they be willing to start with just following up or at a lower level position?
- Have they achieved anything in the past that they are proud of?
- How did they prepare for the call?
- Can they hold a conversation with questions, directions or anything else?
- Do they ask good questions or look for clarification?
- What happens when they get pushed back?
- Are they willing to talk about their fears of selling?
- Are they overly confident, this can be a problem?
- Are they willing to try to sell in the appointment?
- What is the most expensive thing they have recently bought – ask them to see “you buy how you sell”
You have tons of options when looking for a sales job. Just so you know sales interviews are not supposed to be easy.
The reasons why your sales team is failing
This may be a tough conversation for some Executives, Business Owners as well as Managers. It's not always the sales team's problem that creates a lack of sales. For this reason, we are not going to talk about salespeople. We will exclude salespeople from this conversation just for a moment. For a moment we will imagine that they are perfect. This is the only way we can examine this side of the conversation.
The problems internally in your business
When you look at the people inside your business running they show, are they the right people? You could have the right team inside the sales department with a great manager and great team. You could have a wrong culture outside of the sales team. Your support staff may be the problem. There is no common goal to take care of the client. There is the idea “I need to get my job done and the client will work around me”. This is where the office makes it difficult to do business:
- They reschedule
- They don’t call back / email
- They don’t care about the outcome of the client
- The process is more important than anything else
- They talk trash on salespeople
- They say persnickety things to salespeople
The office created problems for salespeople
When the office staff doesn't want to help clients or help salespeople in their roles it creates chaos. Salespeople can hit downturns in sales for the sole reason they get caught up in all of the office issues. These feelings can make salespeople question, their role as well as if the buyer is going to be happy with the product, service, install or delivery. This is a tough feeling for salespeople as they can think internally:
- You want me to close the deal but you don't want to give me the help I need
- You want me to get the “gross profit” but the office can hinder the process
- You want me to keep clients “happy” after they have had problems with the office
- You want a ton of things, but what you don't want to do is focus on the client
Salespeople end up thinking "Now I'm worried" and they are not focused on closing the deals. They start to focus on all of the problems they are going to face after the deal.
How your office also creates problems for salespeople
Sometimes your staff looks for perfection that can never be obtained. People in the office are paid by the hour or by salary from the deal that has been closed. They just want to get "their task" done. Sometimes the office just doesn't care. There are also times where there are bullies in the office. Where this business disconnect comes from:
- Ownership and or upper management that doesn’t see the problem – they don’t know its happening
- Ownership and upper management doesnt care – things are good the way they are
- People who have never seen the other side of the rainbow – small companies that have never been big
- Legacy managers – those who want things the way they have always been
- Bullies – someone who always has to get their way or always be in control
- A belief in the office that salespeople are evil and overpaid – I am going to punish them for past sins of horrible people
- The lack of saying what needs to be said in company meetings
- Poor accountability over time
How to make your sales team perform better
Your sales team has the capability of being great. There are actions you can take as an Executive, Business Owner, or Manager. Some of these truths may be uncomfortable to hear and or see. Here are the places you may hear about the problems you have in your office:
- A consultant friend hears and shares this episode of the "How to sell show"
- A Sales manager goes to the ownership and or management
- The topic is brought up ion a sales meeting
- Old employees bring it up
- A new employees bring it up
- People leave and the conversation happens at the end of the term
- Your clients cancel and or complain
Why your sales team fails from the office results in
There are real-life problems created by issues in your office. The repercussions of a office that is stuck in doing things their way hurt your business. They also can make Executives, Business Owners, and Managers look ineffective and weak. You can end up with:
- Lost deals
- Lost revenue
- Lost office staff
- Lost salespeople
- Bad reputations
Here is how you can fix poor office performance
There are ways for you to get back on track. Your ability to find a path to helping a sales team is possible. Here are some steps you can take to get a high-performance sales team:
- Really examine what happens in an organization
- Listen to what the team is saying – sometimes you will have to go to them and ask. If you have people that don’t complain and now they are… there is a problem.
- Allow for candid feedback – Know some Managers held meetings before the meetings to “put everyone in their place”.
- Outside interviews – Hire consultants
- Client surveys – on-site interviews and face-to-face conversations.
How to use emotions in sales to close deals
You can use emotions in sales to close deals. Please make sure to do this right or you will be seen as manipulative. If you are not careful you can induce reactance and skepticism in your presentations. When you reach reactance or skepticism in your sales process you can close the deal but it will probably take hard closing or heavy discounting to close. When you use emotions incorrectly or push too hard enough you can trigger contempt and that will lead to no sale.
Should salespeople use emotions in sales?
You should absolutely use emotions in sales to close deals. If you are not using emotions in sales to close deals it, you are leaving money on the table. There are times where you must pay attention to how you ask questions and interact with your buyers. Some ground rules for using emotions in sales:
- Your vocabulary has to match your style
- Vocal pitch and tone matter
- You can mirror your buyer
- Questions and stories rule – tell the story and insert the word or the word track
- People buy with emotions and justify with logic
Where salespeople struggle using emotions in sales
You do have to know something about using emotions in sales. You use emotion in sales with the buyers you meet with but you hold fast about your beliefs and conversations. You don't allow the conversations to move you too far emotionally. If you get too emotionally wrapped up it creates problems later on down the road. You being too emotional takes you out of control. You need certainty, they need emotions. In sales, your buyer is looking to you for leadership.
How to make your competition in sales work harder
You should make it harder for your competition to sell against you. How you present ask questions and interact should make the “competition” job hard implicitly and explicitly. There are a few ways to make that happen:
- Show they are not prepared
- My presentation is more thought out as theirs and it leads to an outcome of saying yes.
- That they only have a minimal offering
- Their solutions are sub par and irrelevant
- Paint the picture of their limitations when true
- I want the competition to feel like the guy on infomercials that can do anything right
Emotional word tracks to use in sales
You can use emotional words to your advantage. These words can be found in any thesaurus you can get your hands on. You will want to add these types of words in your presentation. The key is for you to use emotional words in your sales presentation before your buyer does. Here are some words and word tracks that you can use in your presentation:
- You – the favorite word of everyone: you, your, yours (name)
- Happy words: you use these words to explain the outcome your buyer will face. As a side note please be truthful about what you say and do: Animated, Delighted, Eager, Energized, Enthused, Excited, Excited, Happy, Jovial, Love, Motivated, Opportunistic, Opportunity, Pleased, Thrilled.
- Positive execution word tracks:
- At the end of the day
- Here is the outcome you can expect
- Here is what to expect
- Success looks like
- You will find
- Your final result
- Your needs will be met
- Negative execution emotional words:
Abuse, Awkward, Bumbling, clumsy, here is what to look for, inconsistent, inept, malpractice, Neglect, poor execution, Unimpressed.
- Frustration - I don’t want you to choose the wrong option and be frustrated – Aggravation, Agitated, Anger, Annoy, Annoyance, boring, consequences, content Disappointment, Dissatisfied, Disturbance, disqualified, enrage, Hindrance, Provoke – you use these words to talk about their problem and the competition.
- Danger words –AKA bad boy words, banned, Beware, Cautious, Clandestine, controversial, covert, Exclusive, Hidden, out of bounds, private, secret, Sense of danger, unpublished, Veiled, warning, Stealthy, Underground & Silent.
Using negative emotional words in your sales process
You can use these words to talk about your product and or service without the negative attachment. You use these words to explain the negative consequences of using the competition's products or services. – build doubt
How to use Primacy and recency in sales
You can use the power of psychology with your buyers. There will be times where you want to engage with the people you meet within a way that can trigger emotions. Sometimes this is the feeling of missing out (FOMO) and sometimes this is just convrsational.
- Miss out – You will regret missing out vs I don’t want you to miss out (words that can Convery this are) Get in while you can, Last chance, Last ones, Last time ever, members-only, Only time ever, limited quantities, Prices will be raised, This offer is going away, Time will expire, your secret special.
- Imagine – The imagine words paint pictures in the mind of the buyer. You can use all of the senses to make this happen. Visual – here is what you see, feel – here is the feelings of buying, hear – this is what you will hear, smell – the scent of the product or service, digital – this is the analog feelings (facts for some people are emotionally charged – not the whole population)
When to use emotions in sales with buyers
At the beginning of a conversation, most of your buyers will need to be enticed to talk about their emotions and or feelings. You do have to set the pace with this and use your emotional words first as well as questions.
Use silence to your advantage. It takes 03 – 06 seconds for most questions to be answered. The magic happens at 15 – 20 seconds.
Invite people to share more with you. Not every question can be an emotional-based one. You will trigger manipulation feelings with the buyer. Once again be aware that you have to control your feelings as you may include your buyer's emotions. Remember, even angry people will buy
How to use goals to sell more
If you look at goal setting there are so many pieces of information from you to choose from. You have to find what works for you. There isn't a one size fits all goal-setting process for everyone. It's ok to try something and if it doesn’t work find something that does. Your job is to find a plan, stick to it and work it. You can always modify as needed, in the end, this is your recipe.
Goal setting and sales
One of the common mistakes salespeople and entrepreneurs make is to think they have to wait until January 1st every year to start with their goals. You will find consistency in sales starts with expectations and tracking. Plenty of salespeople and companies struggle with consistency and tracking.
Goal setting data points
Most stats about goal and goal setting have no attribution. Most studies have too small of sample sizes. It's tough to judge off success off of 10 people vs 1000 people. The Harvard Study Study has been shown to be fake or nonexistent. Here are the 2 constants you will find when you study goal setting.
- You are 33% - 43% more likely to achieve a goal if it's written down. 2015 Gail Matthews
- You are 76% - 81% more likely to achieve a goal if it is tracked - No attribution
- Use ranges when setting goals – Particpances averaged 2 pounds per week when they targeted to 1-3 pounds per week. (https://hbr.org/2014/11/when-you-give-your-team-a-goal-make-it-a-range)
- Goal setting success can be linked with motivation, self confidence & autonomy (Locke & Lathan, 2006)
The goal-setting common experience
There are some common traits in goal setting that seem to be a strong constant. These items are mentioned in just about every example, article, podcast, YouTube video as well as goal setting courses:
- Write your goals down
- Review your goals frequently with tracking
Area 1 - You do have to have your foundation (the 4Ds):
- Discipline – How strong is your discipline – do you need someone to monitor you or tell you what to do?
- Devices and Systems – What framework do you have besides your beliefs?
- Dates – What are your timelines: daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semiannually, and yearly
- Data - Where do you put your outcomes – how do you track them?
Area 2 – Reason why
Have a strong reason why to escape from struggling. This concept is the main drive above all and everything else that I see help people propel. There are 4 main topics with plenty of subtopics. 3 of these are common ideas and 1 isnt.
What is the deep-down reason for your goal? Not the reason you tell everyone. If you were to speak to a confidential source what would you tell them? This conversation may be super personal. For others, it can be an open book.
Your desires and personal outcomes matter
- Prove yourself right – It was something I wanted to do, Show others what you can do – I want others to see me and hear me
- Prove others wrong – Everyone said I couldn’t
- Conditions you grew up in – poor or even in wealth
- Phantom – Natural drive – not normal in the distribution of people. Some people just don’t have this, it who they are
Questions to ponder for your reason why
- What does the goal mean to you, how have you attached to the outcome?
- Do you really want the goal or is it a platitude?
- Are you trying to impress someone else?
- What is your level of commitment?
- What are you willing to sacrifice?
- What is in your way to get the goal accomplished?
- Who is in the way of your goal?
- Is the goal worthy of you?
Area 3 – The groupings and explanations
These are typically tied to a date and a sum of money or outcome. You can set a time and date fairly easily. By March 30th I will hit 500k in gross income from all of my businesses. Royalties, equity, mastermind and consulting. You can then add these 14 dimensions or groupings:
- Actions – Things you want to do and or achieve
- Events – Meetings and or groups you would like to be a part of. This could be courses, masterminds, philanthropic
- Locations – Places you want to be, want to go, want to attend. Purchase
- Money – the income you want to achieve, the money you want in savings and or investments
- People – The people you want in your life as well as the people you would like to do business with and connect to
- Philanthropy – the places you want to donate time and energy to
- Physical – How you work out, your weight
- Products – The things you want to purchase or acquire. Cars, watches, houses, businesses, buildings
- Purchases – things you want to buy
- Recreation – what you want to do for fun
- Relationships – How you treat the people in your life and how they treat you. Family, significant others, friends, and colleagues
- Rewards – this is an if-then statement style (when I do this, I will do that) this is the ultimate dopamine rush for your goals
- Spiritual – Your relationship with your creator and your style
- Stretch goals – These are the additions to a goal a “push up” in case you hit something quicker
Area 3 – The underpinnings
What you have as moving parts inside of a goal (here are the elements):
Light version goals vs master planning may be easier. The light version may be how you talk about the goal. Master planning is what will it take for you to get there. What will you need to have to reach your goal? (what framework is needed to make what you want to have happened work out)
- Attention – how much time do you have to put towards the goal?
- Routine – things you are already doing vs new routines
- New skill – this is something you don’t know how to do
- Current skill – this is something you can enhance
- Experience – this can be what you already have (people /courses / classes
- Taking action – your ability to take the first step
- Continuity – What you will do when things don’t work out or you get busy
Adversity map advances planning – this is where I point out what could go wrong and what to do to get back on track. This is not super detailed. This is about saying “___________” could happen. The unexpected is unexpected. This helps with planning. In business, these could be called red team events.
Who you can name in your goal adversity map:
- People – what if the wrong people enter my life, how will I know?
- Economy – this is always a moving target
- Events – these are things that can cause problems
- Government agencies
- Weather / natural disaster
When you look at this preparation you don't look at it every day. This is just prep for what may be. This is more of a “who is in my way or could get in my way session”
Side notes about goal setting
Pie-in-the-sky goals can be spotted by people who know how to listen and or watch. There are items that can be red flags "I am going to be the top salesperson this year". You will find that the more steps needed the fewer actions people take. What can you do to streamline your goal-setting process? How can you make your goals stepped up?
You can imagine and "Feel the feeling" with as much imagination as possible. When you think through success, where do you share your wins, who do you share them with?
Things you can do to reach your goals:
- Less can be more when you work on your goals and goal setting. There are multiple ways for you to streamline the sales process.
- You can keep your goals on 3x5 index card and look at them during the day.
- Review your goals frequently, you can record them on audio
- You can share goals with others. You only want to share with the believers and the people you trust. Nonbelievers will tear you down and say horrible things to you.
- Talk about your goals as if they have been accomplished – put a point on the horizon and march towards it. I heard Taylor welch call this directional certainty.
- Ask the right people if they can help you with a goal. You don’t say it this way. You could go to social media and ask for a connection or a collaboration. Speak your goals and to an extent, they will manifest.
- If you work for someone ask them for more. Listen you gave me the goal of $1,000,000 in sales. What would you be willing to pay out if I hit $1,200,000. You need to be able to explain why this helps the person you want the bonus from. And extra 200k on a business not expected is a good thing for most divisions. You just have to know that as you increase your number it will be ratcheted up yearly
Here is where I differ
Once again this is what works for me, you may need to find your own path. You can use an accountability partner – I talk my goals out as a check in with a good friend and they do the same. We poke holes in ideas – not as an aggressive action “have you thought about_________” have you considered __________” and or “could you make this pivot __________” – sometimes these meetings are hard.
I have learned from great marketers around me “everything is a test” I take that for actions I take and don’t really beat myself up when things don’t work right
- Knowledge is power
- Applied knowledge is power
- To learn knowledge is wisdom
- End of the month, quarter, year review
- There will be goals you miss and it may bum you out
- What did you do that increased your skills abilities and knowledge – celebrate all wins, look for where you gained. I didn’t hit all of my goals last year. I didn't make some huge improvements in my life.
- Look for the areas where you need to do better so you can recalibrate your goals
Money is emotional in business and sales
You will find that when you spend money or make money it is emotional. This comes down to the money spent vs time to make it. You will want to understand this concept in order to close more deals. When you can grasp the money vs time concept you can have better communication with your buyers. If you add in the understanding of risk it's that much more impressive. When older people tell you their age, it’s a money issue.
Trust helps close deals in sales
As consumers, we have a fear of being taken advantage of. We don't want to lose out. This fear comes down to protecting your back end and not losing. When you win there is a dopamine rush, when you lose there is panic.
Time vs cost in sales and emotions
When you make money you calculate the time, energy, and or effort it takes to make a purchase. This is normal for most people for mid-range and large purchases. Sometimes what you sell will take weeks, months, or years to pay for. This comes down to time, energy, and or effort. People buy on emotion and justify with logic:
- There is an emotional feel to spending money
- there is an emotional feel to winning and or losing money
- Some people put more weight on either way or both – greed
As a salesperson, it helps to understand these concepts not just for the purchase, but also the objections as well as the problems faced after a deal. There is emotion to a sales presentation:
- Sometimes you hit it off immediately with buyers
- Sometimes you lose the sale in the first 3 minutes of the appointment
- Angry people will still make a purchase
- Its not just the buyer its you as well that does this
Think about how upset or angry you get when you make a mistake or when something goes wrong. There is risk in making a mistake, you could be:
- Passed over for promotion
Talking about emotions in sales
Early on in your sales career, you may have fears about emotional conversations and questions. You can use emotional questions with your buyers and be ok. You do need to pay attention to how often you have them so they don't feel manipulative. Ways you can lock in emotions in the sales process:
- You can ask for the feelings, the right amount. How many emotional questions you choose to ask is a personal decision
- You can anchor the feeling and or emotion
Set the expectations emotionally with your buyers
You can reduce problems and or issues with your buyers by setting the expectation. Explain to buyers what will happen emotionally if they go the wrong way. You can talk people through their decision-making process. The way you communicate can be:
- This can be explicit or a hint
- This can be a story
- This can be a testimonial
How to explain the outcome with emotions
You can use emotional words to explain and set expectations. Remember to not use too much, just in a few places. You can mirror the words of the buyer when you ask emotional questions. A mismatch may not work to your favor. If they say upset don’t use anger for them, save that for another example.
- Use certainty – I am certain you will be happy with this
- You can use priming with images of smiling people
- You can use testimonials where someone didn’t think the product, service, and or idea would work
Things you can do when sales go sideways
- Contact the person immediately – the sooner the better
- Listen to what they say, the story will repeat a few times -
- You can agree with them -
- You can ask them what they want to solve the problem, get them to go first. Sometimes its just the venting. Sometimes its money
Making money is emotional and spending money is as well
You have to remember money is emotional. Spending, making, losing, saving and thinking about money can bring in emotions. To sell more you will want to think through people sell how they buy. Setting expectations can help close deals. Tell them what to expect. Tell them what to do if something happens. Last of all don’t sell perfection.
How to create a buyers guide
One of the coolest things you can do for your service and or industry is create a buyers guide. A buyers guide is an explanation for what a buyer could do to make a good decision. This guide is your way to influence the sales process. You get to put your ideas out in front of the buyer before, during, and after the sale. You get to have some help with some of the buyers purchasing behavior. Part of the buyers guide is to help overcome things like getting 3 bids, shopping on the lowest price, and time stalls.
Most consumers dont know how to purchase items
Most people don’t know to buy the products and or the services they need. Most companies make it all about the price so it becomes a discounting game. Having a buyer's guide automatically makes you an expert. You are distilling information to make it easy for the buyer. In essence, you can become their hero. At the same time you get to distill the concepts and or ideas that you think are important.
Buyers psychology and buyers guides
Your buyer has risk when they make a purchase. Nobody wants to look dumb or silly when they buy. As consumers, we all want to make good choices, and we will go out of our way to not look dumb. This buyer's guide targets people's fears and or risks and helps reduce them. Most salespeople skip visualization of what they do – touch, feel, see, hear. Most salespeople leave a brochure behind that doesn’t answer questions and its just fluff
Building a buyers guide framework
You will want to put some thought into this project. You can do some research by looking for the most common questions your buyers ask. Once you look at the questions you can ask the people you work with. If you still need more content you can look at reviews. You will want to write down all of these questions and confirm they are what is asked. You dont want to create objections you dont have. You then take the objections and turn them into questions about your product and or service. The good new is, you already have all of the research to make this happen
The aspects of a successful buyers guide:
- 10 FAQs – the FAQs are just that, these are the most highlighted common questions – a few of these can be against you competition
- 10SAQs – This is where you get to differentiate what is your wheelhouse – what do you do better – a few hours reframe -
- 10 common mistakes people make – these are the protections you can explain to the buyer. There is a mix of what you can do to help and a mix of common objections. Story
Tips on how to build a buyers guide
Salespeople and even business owners struggle with buyers guides. The hope for them is the first version is the final version. You may have multiple versions of your buyers guide before you feel it is complete. Start small and then validate that it is what you want. You do have to start somewhere. Here are a few concepts to help you out.
- This is going to be a living doc so it will change over time
- You will find better ways to use it and need to modify as time goes on
- Do not print tons in the beginning, make the first few batches small runs
- MVO - a minimal viable option - you want to just get this document up and running
Items to add to a buyers guide
Once you have your 10 frequently asked questions, your 10 should ask questions and the 10 common mistakes salespeople make you can add more items. You need to have your base work down first so you know what else could be added.
- Awards from groups
- Awards from clients
- Awards from Manufacturers
- Testimonials that overcome objections
- Warranties -
- Guaranties – risk reversal
- Risk reductions
- Agreements for service (contracts)
- Service level agreement
- Qr code – sizzle reel
- Chat link
- 800 number
Your goal is to list out all of your best features and figure out how to highlight them. Once you have the framework built out you can turn this into audio – video with a download.
How to make your buyer's guide even more powerful
If you want to go even further there are other elements you can add to your buyer's guide. You can go to a graphic designer and have them design this item. You will want to make sure it isnt too perfect. It does need to have the feel of easy and not expensive. You can add images of people smiling as a priming factor.
How to make a buyers guide even more exceptional
Giving someone words on a piece of paper is one thing. Being able to walk someone through a decision is even better. You can add a small section in the back of the guide that uses a matrix pre-filled out with your best benefits and options. You can use checks and X’s to fill in the blanks of your service and or business.
Ways you can use the buyer's guide to help influence the sales process
The whole goal of the buyer's guide is to make the sales process easier for you. This document is meant to be a tool you can use to help influence the buyer's decision. You can use this document as a lever before, during and after your presentation.
- The buyer's guide can be used as a closing technique
- Your future buyer can download the buyer's guide and or even pay for it
- You can use your buyers guide in your presentation
- You can send out the buyers guide before your sales presentation
- You can try to get on the news if you have a regional company
- Use this as the framework for a video or a podcast(s)
The mistakes when building a buyers guide
The goal of the buyer's guide is to reduce friction in the sales process. If the whole thing is a pitch fest you will lose the power this item holds. If the writing is too technical it will be hard to read. If there are spelling errors or punctuation errors people may lose interest in reading it. Yu can always run a FK (Flecsh Kincaid Score) on the writing to make sure it works. Here are a few other things to consider when building a buyers guide.
- Include images, graphs, charts, or anything similar
- Make sure the content is friendly and not condescending
- The content being delivered is something someone would want to consume
- You will want the content to be slightly controversial but not over the top. this creates interest and conflict.
- Make sure to add a call to action at the end or in a few strategic locations
- You do need to make sure your buyer's guide is quality built but not perfect
Last notes about creating your buyer's guide
Your buyer's guide does need to be released into the wild. You will get ripped off, its part of “the game” be willing and ready to modify what you have and what you do. It will happen within 90 days. As your competition builds theirs out be willing to up your game. You can buy a good url howtobuya__________.com for people to hear or see in a commercial or ad. Add a reference to your buyer's guide in your call to action. If you are a regional company you could license your idea. You could get sponsorship or coop from a vendor to help pay for your guide if you choose.
The legal parts of a buyers guide
You may want to consult with an attorney or solicitor to make sure you have not created a legal risk for yourself. Copyright laws and work laws may be in play here so the few dollars you spend on legal qualification can help you. You do not want to specifically name a competing company and or salesperson. Make sure there are not any implications
celebrate all wins in sales
Sometimes in sales, we are our own worst enemies. It's easy to discount the accomplishments made over the course of a day, week, month, quarter, or year. You may have achieved something great only to tell yourself it wasn't that good. What you tell yourself after you close a deal matters. So often salespeople struggle because they ont see the good in what they have done. Part of this conversation comes from content from Blair Singer and part of it from coaching salespeople.
What you say to yourself in sales matters
Your inner voice is your operating system. How you talk to yourself about your wins can either propel you to close more deals or give up on winning. Its easy to look at others and minimize what sales have been made because someone else was able to do more. In sales, we have a way of minimizing what we do because it isn’t big enough. If you look at social media everyone is crushing it. In your mind, you end up with a "success measuring contest". The universe feels small when you want it to.
Deal size and deal flow can play games with you
You can literally psych yourself out of closing deals. You can look at a skinny deal and say it isn't good enough. You may think the easy win was too quick. You may say the difficult sale was not worth it or the tough buyer was not a good deal. When we minimize deals we invalidate our work and may not even realize it. The comparisons you make can cause havoc with your closing process.
Minimizing accomplishments hurts sales
You can work your but off to close a deal and then look for reasons why it wasn’t a good deal. You close a deal with ease because of your learned skills and you invalidate it. You can ask yourself this tough question "Is this a deal I would have won as a previous version of myself" There is a point where looking to improve in places crushes the work you have done. Sales training and kaizen hurt sometimes, sit down and marvel in all of your glory for a moment. We have enough people that beat us down in life:
- The evil manager / boss
- The horrible co-worker
- The jerk neighbor xx
- The family troll
You don’t have to add yourself into that mix. In fact, you should do everything possible to not include yourself in those groups.
What you can do to celebrate your wins
"Success is 20% skill and 80% psychological" – Tony Robbins, think about what this quote means and how it applies to what you do. You can focus on the outcome. You sold the job, product, service, and or offering you should make a big deal about it. Sometimes you do have to work towards mile markers. You can take a large goal and break it into smaller ones.
Head trash hurts sales
Negative self-talk is one way to describe head trash. Sometimes we pile the trash in our heads deep and it causes repercussions. Sometimes we are our own worst critics and hold ourselves back. The self-talk can range from fantastic to horrible. Your goal is to give the focus of the win the fuel and not everything that went wrong.
The 4321 Process in sales
The close-out you do with your sales process matters. You can use the 4321 processes to help remind yourself of what you did. Here is how the process works
- Find 4 things that you did great in the sales presentation
- Find 3 things that went well
- Find 2 things you can improve on
- Find 1 thing that was completely wrong
That list will give you 7 things right and 4 things that need work. You end up with better than 2:1 odds. The 188.8.131.52. process is meant to show you did things correctly and not everything is wrong.
What to do when you close a deal
There are multiple things you can do when you close a deal. The sky is the limit for you to find what works for you. You have to get started somewhere to make this happen. Here are a few ways for you to memorialize your win.
- Write the sale in a journal – what you went through and why you think you closed the deal
- Anchor the feeling
- Make it a big deal or celebration to enter the win in your CRM
- Thermometer like little kids do at schools and for fundraisers
- Record your win in an awesomeness swipe file
- You talk it out to the universe – I am the greatest man alive (A take on the I am the smartest man alive – Billy Maddison)
- The whole idea is for you to create a celebration routine in whatever way you do it
Where focus goes energy flows
There is a saying that where focus goes energy flows. When you focus on the success of the deal and not the outside scope it helps with the reframe. Here are some external things to focus on:
- You can have a team or a squad to celebrate with
- You can put something on social media
- You can call someone you love that will be there for you
- Celebrate with others when they do something cool, awesome, and even when they close a deal. Your celebration may be the thing that keeps them going. We all want approval whether we want to admit it or not.
Secondary ways to celebrate wins
You can use the momentum from a win to your benefit. This is something that you can do to help perpetuate new ideas and or thoughts:
- Make follow up calls, emails, and or videos for people who have not bought yet
- Start something new and take a small but not dangerous risk
- Reach out to the dream client you want
- Call someone and tell them you love them – family member, significant other, etc
- Donate money to a charity
- Donate time and or effort to an event
We all have weak moments where we doubt ourselves and our capabilities, you have to find a way to have more positive thoughts than negative. If you are struggling right now one of the easiest things to do is make a list of what is working in your life no matter how big or small.
Risk vs reward in sales and business
Google the words risk or reward and you will see exactly what they have to do with your sales presentation. As you meet with your buyers they are thinking about the risk they have of doing business with you, they just may not say it that way. The risk vs reward levers are used in purchases you make as well as your buyer.
- Risk - a situation involving exposure to danger
- Reward - a thing given in recognition of one's service, effort, or achievement.
“The juice has to be worth the squeeze in sales and business”
This is really the framework of offers, and or deals in business, marketing, and sales. One of the movies that explain this thought the best is Tommy Boy. At the end of the movie, Tommy needs to sell brake pads. He wants to show a superior product so he talks about guarantees. Some people, not all reduce their risk by wanting a guarantee. Here is the exchange from Tommy and Ted:
Tommy: Ted, why would somebody put a guarantee on a box? Hmmm, very interesting.
Ted Nelson: Go on, I'm listening.
Tommy: Here's the way I see it, Ted. Guy puts a fancy guarantee on a box 'cause he wants you to fell all warm and toasty inside.
Ted Nelson: Yeah, makes a man feel good.
Tommy: 'Course it does. Why shouldn't it? Ya figure you put that little box under your pillow at night, the Guarantee Fairy might come by and leave a quarter, am I right, Ted?
People buy on emotion and justify with logic
You will hear people buy on emotion and justify with logic. People are emotional creatures and do think about the emotions in the deal. People will outweigh what the risk is of purchase and compare it to the reward for what they are getting. Worrying about failure or risk is something people have issues for just about any purchase. Look to risk reversal to help understand how to help serve them.
How your own stories can reduce risk for buyers
People want to find comfort when they buy. Stories about your clients' successes and even failures will help you overcome objections you face. You can also reduce reactance and oscillation or the back and forth on a decision. Stories will come to play before you need them. You will want to have some well thought out stories of how you helped people. The stories can be based upon:
There is a risk to a low price in sales
Think through the reasons why risk vs reward is important. What are all of the risks when someone only buys on price? When people solely buy at a loser price their reward is the cheap price, their risk may be high but they are willing to take it. If someone goes with a full offer company the risk may be that they pay too much, the reward is the warranties and guarantees put in place.
Tough questions to ask yourself about risk vs reward in sales
Here are a few questions to think about when it comes to dealing with the reward of purchases as well as risk. These questions could be asked about your buyers:
- How many of the objections you have had over the last 90 days have happened because the buyer felt like they had more risk than reward?
- How much of your presentation deals with the risks alternative options have?
- How much of your presentations counters with the true rewards you have to offer that nobody else does?
- How many deals have you lost because your competition has better risk reversal and are not afraid to use it?
- What company takes your lunch money, not because of skill but because of expression of risk reversal?
- How many deals could you have sold for more if you had better risk reversal?
- What is the best risk reversal in your industry?
- Whats the best risk reversal you have ever heard of
You can close deals with outcomes
The objections you face may not be about “the money” it could be about the risk. There are image issues when someone makes a bad purchase. There are people who can be harmed in a company with a poor decision.
- Risk of implementing and failure
- Risk of using relational capital in meetings -
- Risk of going too fast
- Risk of shame in front of a team or owner for a bad decision
Rewards from making the right decision
Rewards on the other hand can be the dopamine rush people are looking for.
- Savings that come from the product or service
- Speed of implementation and fixes
- The ability to get someone out of a pickle
The fear in business is making a mistake, to be judged by others, or to be harmed. The truth is there isn’t 100% indemnity from mistakes. You have to be able to help your buyer explicitly see their risk vs reward:
- Guarantees – meant to help people reduce their risk
- Warranties – Meant to help people reduce their risk
- Reputation – Meant to help people reduce their risk
Nothing works 100% of the time. You have to be able to show your buyer why they are “safe” you may not be able to use that word, you can convey it.
You sell how you buy and risk vs reward in sales
Your personal life is part of your business life. You sell how you buy and if you need all sorts of risk reversal to make a purchase you will push this idea hard in the sales process. If you don't need risk reversal you may skip over it.
- In your own life look at how you evaluate your own risk and reward
- Look for places where you got upset about a deal or a struggle and map out why
- Look at other peoples offers
- Specifically, search for guarantees and warranties – look at where they are weak and where they are strong – how would you modify them
- Study strategies from others – read books about deals
How to understand risk vs reward to close more deals
If you really want to understand what your buyer faces you can map it out. There are 2 steps here to get you going. First, make a list of all of the risks your buyer faces when they make a purchase. Second, make a list of all of the ways you take care of those risk factors and fears.
- Keep track of the questions you get in presentations – if you are new ask a closer / pay a closer / role play with a closer
- List them out in order of priority
- You have to know them – you don’t have to put all of them in your presentation use the 80/20 rule
- You have to script out all of the concerns in order of what could be asked
- You may have to group source this and talk through it
- You may have to practice answering the questions / concerns / risks
- Practice in front of closers
- Take your script and have the most doubtful person try to poke holes in it
Questions to end on
You can do this short exercise in order to understand risk and reward better. There are a few questions about listening to this episode:
- What was the risk of listening to this episode
- What is the risk of not taking some action in your presentation
- How do you bridge the gap from what you heard to take action
How your competition can be left to deal with risk vs reward in sales
You can explicitly talk about risk vs reward with your buyers and put the onus of work on your competition. You can point out problems your competition has and explain the risk using the work "risk". You can get the buyer discussing their problems with the purchase to make it more powerful.