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The Sales Evangelist

Author: Donald Kelly

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Just like most of you, I am a real life B2B sales professional hustling in the world of software sales. If you were like me, you had no clue how to really sell when you started in sales. Over the years I’ve received training/coaching from some of the industry’s leading experts. I applied what I was learning and started seeing a significant difference in my performance and income. I started doing “BIG THINGS”!



I personally feel that when you find something of value you should share it! That’s why I love sales so much. I became very passionate and started “evangelizing” about sales. A good buddy of mine, Jared Easley, then dubbed me “The Sales Evangelist”. He recommended that I further my reach by sharing sales tips to others through the medium of a podcast.



Today I interview some of the best sales, business and marketing experts. They provide invaluable training of how you can take your career, business and income to a top producer’s status. I know you will enjoy it. Welcome to The Sales Evangelist!
156 Episodes
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TSE 1031: Show Our Customers Love Through Effective Onboarding
As sales reps, we often forget that we can show our customers love through effective onboarding. We invest so much of our focus on getting new customers that we don’t necessarily think about how we can deliver an awesome experience once they’ve committed. Jamie Masters has been a business coach for over 10 years. She has interviewed close to 500 millionaires and billionaires in business in order to learn what they actually do, as opposed to what is written about them in books. As a result, she has extensive knowledge about how successful people run their businesses. THE NITTY-GRITTY DETAILS She says business is never pretty and certainly never perfect. But there are many cool ways, she has learned, to make the nitty-gritty details easier, better, and less stressful. Many entrepreneurs and salespersons are visionary, big-idea thinkers who sometimes find themselves frustrated when they try to implement their ideas. It is imperative that they find someone who can help accomplish all the minor details; to help with the nitty-gritty. Jamie used to work as a project manager – she identifies as a Super Geek – but yet even as the owner of her company, she struggles when dealing with details. She just hates it.  Her right-hand operator, however, has no problem handling details, for which Jamie is eternally grateful. Business owners and salespeople, generally speaking, have many similar qualities. Most of the time, for example, the owner is often the salesperson for the company, particularly in the beginning. It can be difficult, however, to concentrate on the visionary quality and relationships of the business without having to worry about dropping things. BACKUP PERSON Having a backup person who can help with the nitty-gritty details provides that opportunity. The freedom to maneuver without worry makes a huge difference. Jamie knows from experience that people are usually super-excited about a sale at the beginning. But if important details are dropped as the process moves along, the customer will begin to have reservations and will doubt the legitimacy of the product and the sales rep. There are ways, however, to automate the sales process which will not only allow you to keep your customers but will impress them. If you are successful in sales, the process will only repeat itself – hopefully, many times over – so why not put a system in place to make it easier for everyone? When a company is organized, when it has a great system in place, it is exciting, as a sales rep, to execute the vision. It is exciting to share a level of expertise with your clients. It makes the clients feel important and valued as well. THE PROCESS If, for example, you can’t find the onboarding documents to send to your new client, or you don’t know which revision to send, it only creates confusion and unnecessary stress for everyone. As a business coach, Jamie’s clients begin by walking through each step of their current process to evaluate what works and what doesn’t work. Each piece – every email, every document – is analyzed from the viewpoint of a prospect and a client. Are the forms up-to-date? Are they relevant? Jamie learned of many instances when a client was turned off by the onboarding experience despite the broad value of the product or service. They simply would decide to look somewhere else. If money has not exchanged hands yet, however, you are still in the sales process. Onboarding does not begin until a payment has been processed. She prefers to frontload the payment and to begin the onboarding experience after. Handshake deals require a lot of work up-front but offer no guarantee. Of course, it does depend on the industry. It is important to know and understand the differences between those requiring high-touch and those that are low-touch, for example. YOUR STRENGTHS Jamie’s operator keeps things running smoothly and makes sure Jamie is doing what she needs to do. Salespeople don’t always think about the benefit of having an assistant but they should. Jamie believes it is important to decide how much you are willing to invest in the onboarding of your customers. If you are dealing with high-touch sales, for example, the number of nitty-gritty details can be overwhelming. In some instances, it can involve sending welcome packets and gifts. It just depends on how you want to set it up. Jamie usually sends a welcome packet to increase the level of touch. Her customers also have the opportunity to follow up with a person via an online forum. It enables her to gain as much information from the client as possible so that she can, in return, ensure that she meets their needs. LOVE LANGUAGES The 5 Love Languages is a book with an online quiz that Jamie recommends. It will let you know if the use of love languages is appropriate for your industry. Jamie discovered that, for a business coach, it is completely appropriate. Each person thinks differently about things. Some clients might love to receive gifts, for example. Jamie sends very tailored gift packages to her clients to make them feel special. The contents are unique, interesting, and useful, and the effort makes her business stand out. It is also a way to acknowledge the sometimes large amounts of money your client has invested with you. It is a handwritten note but on a larger scale.  The time and effort spent personalizing the interactions you have with your client will deepen the relationship with that client. Something as personal, yet as simple, as an actual phone call also shows that you care and are willing to go above and beyond the usual. The goal is to reduce the number of touch points without sacrificing value. When the process is automated, you can maintain the number of touches without creating more work for yourself. Then, instead of sending one overwhelming welcome packet, you can divide the content into several gifts. It is why Jamie prefers payment up front. It allows her to then focus on collecting the data she needs to learn more about her customers so that she can find the best way to proceed with the onboarding experience. She sends one email or questionnaire at a time so that no amount of required paperwork takes up too much of her client’s time. It is all automated. The forms or emails are sent only as the information is needed. In this way, the client is never overwhelmed with nitty-gritty details. EMPATHY FOR CUSTOMERS Jamie’s newest program, Ownerbox.com, is for busy entrepreneurs who are all working 60 hours a week. The last thing they want to have to do is more paperwork, which creates more work with no results for the effort or the money. Jamie doesn’t allow them into the site or the program at the beginning. Instead, they receive one video which she personally views with them. She does not want to overwhelm someone who is already super busy and stressed. She strives to make sure their experience is smooth and simplistic. It helps to imagine herself as the customer and to then tailor the onboarding experience the way she would want to experience it. Sometimes, as sales reps or business owners, we are too close to our own work. We continue to do things a certain way because ‘it has always been done that way.’ It is easy to see the gaps in another person’s process and realize how small tweaks along the way can make a huge difference. GAME TIME Think about what you can do to make the process easier. What can you do to create an experience that will excite your client?   Focus on the things you do best and hire an assistant to take care of the nitty-gritty details that you don’t enjoy. #Outsource CLICK TO TWEET   It has been said that ‘insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result.’ As entrepreneurs, it is sometimes all we do! We gain another client but then scramble to find the right documents. The whole goal is to gain more clients and make more sales, but we can’t do that when we are distracted by the nitty-gritty. Jamie strongly believes that it does not take a lot of time to rethink and clarify your onboarding experience. Something as simple as knowing the client’s birthday and setting up an automated system to send out a card will return dividends. YOUR SOFTWARE Nine times out of 10, people don’t like the software program they have. All software has problems but knowing your software well and making it work for you and your team is vital. Make a commitment to the software program you’ve chosen, learn it, and love it. It will save you time in the long run. Jamie insists that we make time now in our calendars to take action on everything discussed here today. While it is not urgent to the onboarding process, it is important because it will make all the difference in the long run. Spend an hour and make the necessary tweaks. “EFFECTIVE ONBOARDING” EPISODE RESOURCES Jamie has kindly put together an entire landing page of checklists and other information especially for TSE listeners. Find it at www.eventualmilllionare.com/TSE. You can also learn more about Jamie and her team at www.ownerbox.com. This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program, which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals. The next semester begins in April. This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link. I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility. If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode, and share with your friends! Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.
TSE 1029: Sales From The Street: "Be Bold, Take Action"
As entrepreneurs, many of us run into difficulty, especially when we are just starting out. The key is tobe bold and take action. Dr. Tye Caldwell is the CEO, co-founder, and visionary behind the success of ShearShare. Realizing what the future could hold for both the beauty and barber industries, he created a platform for licensed professionals to move from working in their homes to working in salons, barber shops, and spas. This created not only opportunities to work in places where they could be classically trained, but created an opportunity for increased income as well. Dr. Caldwell has been in the industry for 25 years. He’s an instructor with a doctorate degree in professional barbering and cosmetology and co-owner of an award-winning salon. Dr. Caldwell is also the author of Mentored by Failure, a best-selling book about how to be successful in the industry. CHANGING DYNAMICS When he approached his wife, Courtney, with the idea for ShearShare, she admits to being hesitant. He reminded her how they used to have stylists on a waitlist who wanted to work at their salon, but that it was no longer the case. Instead, he had stylists who just wanted to rent a space for one or two days a week. Courtney liked the old-school way when stylists signed a long-term contract and became part of the team and the culture. But her husband was persistent. He knew he’d rather collect some money on the empty chairs than none at all. It was a success. Everyone loved the experience and flexibility. So much so, that they began to call other salons to find spaces for stylists who were traveling. Word got out quickly. More and more stylists called looking for spaces where they could work by the day. Fast forward three years and the Caldwells knew they were on to something. The beauty industry, as a whole, has been archaic for years, according to Dr. Caldwell. With only four ways to actually work – by commission, by renting a booth, in a salon, or as an employee, stylists were unable to work where and when they needed. ACCESS OVER OWNERSHIP The Caldwells wanted to change that and they knew technology was the key. These days, because of advancements in technology, people can press a button to get a ride, to have food delivered, or to rent a room in someone’s home instead of a hotel. The beauty industry needed to be more on-demand as well. Because they both serve on advisory boards for beauty schools and barber colleges, the Caldwells knew it was something the next generation wanted. ShearShare is the first mobile app that allows a stylist to rent a salon or barber shop space by the day. Taking three years to fully develop and implement the idea allowed them to realize the different ways it would, and would not, work. The industry is fragmented in some areas which made it difficult. Barbers differ from salon stylists who differ from cosmetologists, for example. The Caldwells had to consider the viewpoints of the various professionals and they had to consider both sides of every issue from an owner, and user, viewpoint. TAKING SHAPE Once they listened to what the stylists and clients really wanted, the app began to take shape. Users, for example, want to know that the stylist is licensed and how long the stylist has been in the industry. Users also want to see pictures of the salon, read reviews, and see map locations. The Caldwells had no idea, however, about how to start a business or find investors.  They only knew that the app they wanted to create hadn’t been created yet, so they drained their savings account and hired someone to build it. Looking back now, Courtney is glad they spent three years as a concierge service. It allowed them time to learn the questions that stylists always asked as well as the expectations of the host salon. They learned the required data that the app would eventually need to succeed. The app works similarly to an Airbnb app in that the Caldwells are paid a percentage of the booking fee whenever a stylist reserves a space. Word-of-mouth is the best way to grow in the beauty industry so the Caldwells visited salon owners and attended many stylist events to fan the flames of interest. DETERMINATION The fear of rejection never entered into their minds because they knew rejection was simply part of the process. Instead, they were determined not to quit. Many entrepreneurs sit on their ideas because they are waiting for approval from someone else. The Caldwells understood from the start that not everyone would sign on right away, or realize their vision. It is easy to give up when those around you don’t share the same dream. Once they plant a seed of doubt in your mind, it is easy to talk yourself out of trying to achieve your dream. The one-percenters of the world take that next step. It is how we know the name Oprah Winfrey, or Tyler Perry, for example. They are the people who kept with it. They moved past the rejection and the negative comments. Look at the people who are doing successful things and know they are doing so because they put their mind to something and because they possess the willingness of heart to achieve it. Focus on your dream, stick with it, and keep pushing. The Caldwells were able to lean on and support each other. They had no technical background upon which to build the app but they knew people who could. And they had already proven the marketability of the idea. MEET PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE Despite the complications and challenges, they knew it could be done because they had listened to their customers. They knew the struggles of both the salon owners and the stylists. The Caldwells were able to bridge the gap by talking to people on both sides of the industry. The Caldwells credit the beauty industry community, which they have been a part of for over 25 years, as the foundation of their success. Instead of emailing or posting on Facebook, for example, they send text messages to their community. They know from experience that it is the best way to reach a stylist or a barber; folks who don’t carry their laptop to work. They found a way to use today’s technology to meet the new demands of a business that has been around for generations. ADVICE FOR NEW ENTREPRENEURS Dr. Caldwell knows that you must turn your idea into a solid plan. Then, find a mentor and build relationships with people who can give advice and breathe optimism into the plan. In the case of ShearShare, they had a friend who was able to connect them with app developers, who in turn told them about a contest for new businesses, which pushed them into an incubator. It all boiled down to having solid relationships. When Courtney thinks back to the early struggles, she is thankful that they had people they could rely on. It got them through the days when things weren’t going as planned. She is also thankful that they were not afraid to make cold calls. Don’t ever think that someone is too busy or too successful to help others. Courtney has found, instead, that once people realize you are trying to do something positive, they are willing to give back and help.   If the idea is good – and you put in the work – you will get the dollars. #Work CLICK TO TWEET   The best piece of advice she ever received was from her husband: “Just jump. Grow your wings on the way down.” “BE BOLD, TAKE ACTION” EPISODE RESOURCES You can learn more about ShearShare at www.shearshare.com. The Caldwells are also on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. If you’d like to follow Dr. Caldwell’s crazy life as a startup founder in the beauty and barber space, you can find him on Instagram at drtyecaldwell. This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program, which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals. The next semester begins in March. This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link. I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility. If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode, and share with your friends! Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.
TSE 1030: TSE Certified Sales Training Program - "Emotional Connections"
Emotional connections are an important part of life but sometimes sales professionals forget that those emotional experiences can help us make genuine connections with our prospects. In some cases, those emotional connections can help us close more deals. On Valentine’s Day, we’re sharing some ideas for ways that you can build emotional connections with your prospects. TSE CERTIFIED SALES TRAINING PROGRAM The TSE Certified Sales Training Program began as a result of my inexperience as a seller. I wasn’t a great sales rep, but I went through training that transformed me. I created TSE Hustler’s League, which was my own version of a sales training program. Since then, that program has evolved into the TSECSP. You can take the course alone or with a group to gain from group coaching. The new semester will begin in April. CONNECTING WITH BUYERS Salespeople often overlook the importance of connecting with buyers on an emotional level.   People make decisions emotionally, but they justify them logically. #EmotionalConnection CLICK TO TWEET   At some point in your life, you were likely interested in someone but you were afraid of letting that person know. You might have even been rejected by that person. Imagine your buyers in that scenario. They encounter emotional experiences daily. They have problems and challenges daily that they need help solving. If you step into that role, you have an opportunity to create emotional connections. BEST CLIENTS Think back to those clients you’ve successfully brought on board. Perhaps they were afraid of losing their jobs if they couldn’t solve a problem at work. Or afraid of losing track of invoices. Or unable to follow up on opportunities that came through their pipelines. They likely signed on with you because you were able to demonstrate to them how they could solve a problem. You created a connection by helping them. SENDING EMAIL If you’re sending email as part of your prospecting process, are your subject lines boring? “Join us for a free webinar.” Your prospect doesn’t care about your webinar. He cares about his problem. He doesn’t care about your business or your product until you show him how it can help him. Tap into his struggles to help him care about your business. If you’re dealing with finance directors who are frustrated with the invoicing process, try this subject line: “Dave, are you frustrated with these invoicing situations?” That may not be exactly his struggle, but if the rest of your ideal customers are struggling with this issue, it’s likely that Dave is, too. If Dave is, in fact, frustrated with this issue, he’ll likely click on your email. When he opens it, the first line will include his name, and will immediately tie back to that subject line. “We’ve helped more than 10,000 finance directors solve the problem of not being able to process invoices on time. We’ve helped them avoid miscalculations and lost invoices.” PROVIDING SOLUTIONS Once you’ve made an emotional connection with your buyer, you can offer the solution to his problem. Then, after you’ve explained the remedy you offer, you can invite him to join your masterclass or webinar. It’s possible that your prospect won’t respond to the first email because he’s busy, but you can grab his attention with email number two. When you demonstrate your understanding of his pain and his challenge, he’ll likely feel connected to you. USING VIDEOS Videos help you build emotional connections because the prospects can hear and see your emotion. Tools like BombBomb, Loom, Wistia, and Soapbox allow you to embed videos directly into your email so that your prospects have an opportunity to make a human connection. That 20- or 30-second video allows them to hear and see your emotions. You can share an experience you had in the past or a solution you’ve provided to a previous client. Sellers who do this well throughout the pipeline can tap deep into emotions. It’s one thing to tell a prospect that you can save him $50,000. It’s quite another to talk about the extra fees that a company is needlessly paying each month because of missed reports and missed opportunities. People lose their jobs over those kinds of issues, and VPs feel the pressure to fix those problems. When you can demonstrate how your company can prevent those people from losing their jobs over missed reports and missed opportunities, that $50,000 savings feels more personal. BUILDING VALUE Build value in your stories and demonstrations. Tap into their frustrations. Reiterate their challenges and explain how you can help them tackle those challenges. Work to build emotional connections. This stuff works, which is why we share it here. “EMOTIONAL CONNECTIONS” EPISODE RESOURCES This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. If you put in a lot of hard work in 2018 but weren’t able to close many of your deals, we can help you fix that. We have a new semester beginning in April and it would be an honor to have you join. Visit thesalesevangelist.com/CST. Check out BombBomb, Loom, Wistia, and Soapbox to help you make emotional connections with your prospects by embedding videos into your emails. If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more. This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out. I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility. Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.
TSE 1028: Your Customer Journey Starts with the Prospect Experience
So often, as sales reps, we neglect to realize that the customer journey starts with the prospect experience. Sean McDade, PhD, is the founder and CEO of PeopleMetrics; a software and services company that helps organizations measure and create a better customer experience by listening to their customers and prospects.  Sean is also the author of “Listen or Die: 40 Lessons that turn Customer Feedback into Gold,” a book about how to listen to your customers, clients and prospects in order to create a better experience for them. CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE Any time that a company interacts with a customer or prospect, they are providing a customer experience. It could be a digital experience on a website, an in-person experience through a meeting with a sales rep, or customer experiences via contact centers or online chats. A great company is one that consciously manages those interactions to create positive experiences for their customers. As a sales rep, the experience you give to your prospects is very important. The prospect’s interaction with a sales rep sets the tone for the experience he can expect as a customer. This is especially true if you are selling B2B products, software, professional services, or any high-end consumer products that a prospect is likely to spend significant dollars on to purchase. A sales rep can increase the value in the sales process by answering questions in detail, by solving problems, and by reducing pain for the prospect. The metric used to measure customer experience is substantially higher for sales reps who add value over those who do not. When a prospect feels that he was lied to, or misled, at the beginning, it is difficult to recover. The great sales reps are the ones who set the tone for a great customer or client experience over the long-term. As for the sales reps who are not setting a positive tone – Sean believes they are creating the very real possibility that the client will churn in the future instead. MARKETING VS SALES Marketing sets the brand promise. They set the expectations but it is up to the sales reps to bring it to life. The prospects will remember their conversations with sales reps long after they’ve forgotten the marketing campaign. The sales rep has more credibility and is more effective, as a result, in setting a positive – or negative – tone with the prospect. POSITIVE PROSPECT EXPERIENCE PeopleMetrics measures various attributes by sending a survey to each prospect to determine the experiences that the reps create. In this way, Sean has found the prospects always feel that value has been added to their experience whenever a sales rep is able to provide these five things: Be prepared. A great sales rep is one who is super-prepared. They know the prospect inside and out; the reps don’t ask questions that are easily found online, for example. Be comfortable answering questions. A great sales rep understands their prospect’s situation and can suggest solutions. Be a good listener. A great sales rep listens more than he talks and will really understand the needs of the prospect as a result. Be knowledgeable about your product. Be able to answer questions beyond what is already available online. Be proactive. Be timely and follow-up.   When you add value to the experience, the prospect will not only be a client that buys more, he will be a client that provides referrals. #Referrals CLICK TO TWEET   Referrals are key, especially in the B2B market.  At that level, buyers actually seek out referrals from other buyers before making big decisions. THE CONSULTATIVE SALE REP As sales reps, we sometimes feel as though we are simply taking orders when, in truth, we should aim to be more of a consultant for the buyer. The company we work for should be one that values the consultative element: providing training, experience, and hands-on opportunities for the sales reps to really learn the product well. As an example, Sean has a great rep at his company who is generally tasked with opening doors by understanding the prospect’s needs, identifying problems, and introducing solutions. On his own time, the rep learned the product inside and out to the point where he can now read the reports the analysts write for similar-type prospects. He knows the industry, the language, and the company so well that he is extremely credible as a result.  The value that the company placed on his training continues to pay off. Unfortunately, a lot of smaller companies are unable to provide training, so it is up to the rep to become consultative through proactive measures. Learn as much as you can about the product and the industry and talk to account managers who are servicing similar products, etc. LEARNING YOUR CUSTOMER As sales reps, we don’t need our buyers to know all about our business. Rather, we need to learn as much as possible about theirs. We need to be able to help them see their blind spots and identify their weaknesses so that we can create a great prospect experience by providing solutions. Nothing annoys a buyer more than having to answer questions simply to bring a sales rep up to speed, especially when it is something the sales rep should already understand. Instead, if you can offer the buyer insight into the many ways that your product can reduce their pain, or further them in their careers, you are already ahead of the game. You’ve got the inside track. It reminds me of a story where a sales rep friend of mine was shadowing a more established rep. The established sales rep, however, was also a really cocky and arrogant guy who didn’t feel the need to do any research on his prospects before a call. He was confident that his knowledge of the product would be sufficient to land the sale. Long story short: Because the sales rep failed to take the time to research an acronym that he had seen on the prospect’s website, the sales rep misused the acronym and was unable to recover. It was a horrible experience that could have been prevented with a little research. THE STATISTICS PeopleMetrics researched 800 B2B buyers and discovered some fascinating reasons as to why they buy or don’t buy. Seventy-eight percent of B2B buyers actively seek recommendations from their trusted colleagues as their first step toward a purchase. They rarely look online or make a choice based solely on an interaction with a sales rep. Seventy-six percent of the time, the recommended company wins the contract. The losing providers, on the other hand, are almost never recommended. Furthermore, the sales rep makes a huge difference as to whether or not a company is recommended. Sixty-one percent of B2B buyers that bought something report that the sales rep provided high value: he was consultative and he was prepared. He provided a positive prospect experience. And here’s the kicker: the sales rep that provided the high-value experience for the B2B buyer got bigger contracts – up to $100,000 more within the 800 buyers. THE CHAMPION CYCLE Seventy percent of B2B buyers who experience a high-value meeting recommended the provider to others. It is a cycle that goes around and around and around. It all comes down to the experience that the sales reps have with the prospects. Sean highly recommends reaching out to your prospects after interactions with your reps. Ask them what they did well and what they could do better. At PeopleMetrics, the survey takes less than a minute and they regularly see a 75% response rate.   Was the meeting valuable? Was the rep prepared? And most importantly – do you have any concerns related to moving forward? This is a beautiful question because, as sales reps, we waste a lot of time chasing leads that are going nowhere. This question offers a non-confrontational way for a prospect to let us know if our product is not a good fit. Then we can focus our efforts on prospects who are. E-COURAGE The survey is sent to every decision maker in the group who attended the meeting.  Sean does not recommend, however, having the sales manager call the prospect with the same survey questions as it is unlikely they will provide completely truthful answers. People are more likely to provide honest feedback via digital means than in person. THE NET PROMOTER QUESTION “How likely would you be to recommend our product or services to a colleague?” Sean is working with a company that is taking this one step further. Their sales reps call and thank every single customer who provided a 9, or 10. This simple act has resulted in even more referrals! The mindset of most sales leaders is very hard-charging, or maybe marketing owns the customer experience side of things. Once the sales leader recognizes customer experience as a revenue-generating opportunity, he is more likely to implement it. Sean recalls a client who left a meeting feeling very confident that he had landed the sale only to receive lukewarm feedback.  As a result, he was able to get on the phone and determine where a misunderstanding had occurred. He was able to turn it around and make the sale. PeopleMetrics Valuable prospect experiences can be easily and systematically incorporated in very low stress ways. At PeopleMetrics, they are super passionate about the prospect and customer experience.  Their software automatically sends the survey to your prospects. Once prospects complete the survey, the company sends an email alert of results along with recommendations on how best to proceed. PeopleMetrics also provides the ability to focus on which reps are doing well, and which ones might need more assistance. It is a complete solution for improving the prospect/customer experience by helping companies listen to their clients. The prospect experience is the key to delivering a great customer experience that can hopefully last a lifetime. Take the guesswork out of it.  Know how your sales reps are interacting with your prospects. “CUSTOMER JOURNEY STARTS WITH THE PROSPECT EXPERIENCE” EPISODE RESOURCES You can reach out to Sean via email at Sean.mcdade@peoplemetrics.com , or find him on Twitter @smcdade. Learn more about the company at Www.peoplemetrics.com. If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more. This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals. The next semester begins in March. This episode is brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out. I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility. Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.
TSE 1027: 3 Simple Things You Can Do To Offer Exceptional Customer Experiences
When you’re working to stand out from the pack, there are 3 simple things you can do to offer exceptional customer experiences. In this day and age, it is easier now that ever before to stand out by offering a great experience because so many others, quite frankly, are not. We can get almost anything we want quickly and easily. That focus on speed, however, eventually causes the quality of the customer experience to decline. Think about it. So many organizations focus on speed in order to beat their competition or to attain the numbers, that they neglect to put their customers first. While it is certainly possible to have both, it takes effort. The bar has been set low today. When we focus on the speed at which we deliver our product or service, or focus only on finding and getting new customers, we neglect the people we already have.   THE BUCKET ANALOGY We neglect the people we already have that are easier to sell to … the ones who can give us referrals … the ones we can upsell ….We neglect them and waste our time running back and forth, here and there, instead. It is the bucket analogy all over again. We work hard to fill our buckets by bringing people in only to have them fall straight out the holes in the bottom. We need to be sure to plug those holes so that our hard work doesn’t drain away. One of the things we can do to show love and care and respect to our current customers is to woo them, right from the start, with a great experience. What happens too often is that we knock on doors, blast emails, and get their attention with great marketing messages. We sell them on a dream or a vision, and we deliver our product quickly. But we neglect to consider our client’s experience. EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES YOUR CLIENT’S NAME Dale Carnegie once said that “a person’s name is to him/her, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” It’s true.  We can be in a large crowd but if someone calls our name, we immediately turn around. We want to know who knows us. Using your client’s name in conversations creates a more personalized experience. It is as simple as “What can I help you with today, Amanda?” I know for sure, that if you are going to call my company or connect with me, I will respond much better if you use my name. Be sure to address your client the way he prefers to be addressed. For example, does he sign his emails as ‘Dave’ or ‘David’? If you aren’t sure, just ask. The simple task of asking about something that is important to him shows that you care.   HOW YOUR CLIENTS MAKE MONEY If you plan to teach them how to save money, or how to bring in more money, you best know how they already do it. This is why it is important to study how various industries work and operate. If your client is a nursing home, for example, a simple google search can help you understand if the client makes more money via patient stays or from insurance payments or Medicare payments. Having a basic understanding makes the conversation so much easier. When the client knows that you understand the challenges he faces, he’s more likely to listen to your solutions. PERSONALIZED INTERACTIONS Send a thank you note at the very end of your conversation, even if it is the first meeting. “Dave, it was amazing to connect with you last week” or “I look forward to talking to you again soon, Amanda.” It doesn’t have to be elaborate or lengthy. In fact, what you say in the note isn’t as important as the fact that you took the time to send one. It is great to send an email as well, but a thank you note demonstrates a higher level of care. It gives an added touch. Additionally, the thank you note will be delivered 3 or 4 days after your conversation. It serves as a nice reminder of the conversation, and it helps you stand out. You can also personalize your presentations. Use your client’s logo and tagline in every presentation you make for them. It is another added touch that shows you care and that you are willing to take the extra step. It will help you stand out significantly over your competition. If you can combine these 3 simple things that offer exceptional customer experience with the delivery of amazing speed, you are going to be totally fine. I’m sure of it. “EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES” EPISODE RESOURCES This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program, which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals. The next semester begins in March. This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link. I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility. If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode, and share with your friends! Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.
TSE 1026: How To Do High Quality Customer Interviews
Sellers must understand what drives their customers and their core needs in order to help them be more effective, and conducting high-quality customer interviews is an important piece in that process. Hannah Shamji is a conversion copywriter who has a degree in Psychology and training in counseling. She likes to merge her understanding of human behavior through customer research with producing an effective customer interview. It brings about accurate feedback and insight and provides a valuable asset to your business.         CHALLENGES OF CUSTOMER INTERVIEWS Focus groups are a popular way of conducting interviews, but Hannah has found them to be time-consuming and not very effective in getting pure, unbiased answers. When we ask the wrong questions, we often get empty answers. There are time constraints in creating the right questions to ask. There is a difference in just writing a question and coming up with a question that sparks the emotions of the customer to draw out the purity of their response. WHY DO CUSTOMER INTERVIEWS You want to speak to the emotional drivers of your audience. This helps bridge the gap between what you might think will sell your product or service to actually selling it. Doing these customer interviews correctly will help you answer the questions of what you should sell, how you should position it, what people care about, and what features or aspects you should focus on. In the past, I’ve done things just because they seemed like a good idea rather than being sensitive to whether it was something people wanted. An example of this was for a college class, my classmates and I had the opportunity to create an on-campus business. What created excitement for us ended up being a complete failure, and ours was one of the first companies in the school’s history to lose that amount of money. We were more concerned with our own interests rather than what the rest of the student body was concerned with. This is why it is so imperative to find out the products and services that appeal to your audience. STARTING THE CUSTOMER INTERVIEW Find your target audience and connect. This audience could be an existing customer you’ll propose something different to or a prospect you aren’t sure will be a good fit. Figure out the target market and pursue it. When Donald first started out in the business industry, he worked for several small companies that did not have a target audience and they just wanted him to go out and sell. The mentality of not having a specific audience to market to is not a good sales strategy. Once you establish who you want to market to, the kinds of questions you ask are imperative. Avoid asking “why” questions. Research shows that when people are asked “why,” they feel like they have to justify or validate their answer, which can lead to defensive answers that may or may not be accurate. Instead, ask the customer questions directly relating to the product or service. FOLLOW LEADS Ask questions to understand the customer better. Find out what drives them, what situations they have encountered in the past, and how they resolve problems when they arise. This can shed light on how the customer can benefit by investing in what you have to offer. Define an anchor. What do you want to accomplish or gain from this conversation? Follow the leads. Ask things that correspond to what the customer is discussing and try to bring about different responses to the same topic. Don’t be afraid to go deeper with responses. Listen for hints about what motivates your customer: why is he interested? Why was he willing to make the investment in your product or service? What sets you apart from competitors? To those managers working to position their companies using messaging, Hannah offers the following: Avoid pitching your product or service. This keeps the customer feelings unbiased and honest. Use these conversations as pure research to better your business. Unbiased customer answers can lead to a successful, productive and efficiently-run business. HIGH-QUALITY CUSTOMER INTERVIEWS EPISODE RESOURCES You can reach Hannah Shamji through her website at www.hannahshamji.com. She provides a guide with do’s and don’ts for customer interviews on her website. If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more. This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals. The next semester begins in March. This episode is brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out. I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility. Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.
TSE 1025: TSE Certified Sales Training Program: "Give Them Your All"
One of the best ways to show your appreciation for your customers and provide value to them is to give them your all. Tiffany Southerland is a career confidence coach who works with both young, and experienced, professionals who are ready to make their career mark on the world and who want to increase their fulfillment in the work they do each day. She helps individuals evolve, thrive, and perform to the best of their ability. A business cannot exist without clients, so it is crucial to have a solid relationship with your buyers. Tiffany serves individuals one-on-one in a group setting and believes that, if they are not happy - if they have not improved or realized results - she has not done her job. It is, therefore, very important for the success of her business that she continually better herself in order to do better for her clients. The goal is not to simply make more money but rather to help the clients. A salesperson who pushes her own agenda over the needs of her clients is likely to lose those clients. The natural by-product of happy clients, however, is increased sales. Tiffany recalls failing to launch a group program twice because she had locked herself into reaching a specific number. She was focused on that target instead of the service she wanted to deliver. Once she removed the target and focused on the experiences, services, and opportunities she wanted to provide for her clients instead, she began to see results. Her level of stress was replaced with positive energy. People began to react differently to her as a result and her new goal was reached. Our unique gifts Tiffany knew that she wanted to build her business for the sake of changing people's lives and she wanted to leave a legacy. She had to realize and believe that she was capable of doing so. She needed to believe that she was uniquely gifted to provide her services in the way her clients wished to receive it. Tiffany was serious about reaching her goal. She knew she was capable of making an impact in a way that only she was qualified to do. Tiffany believes we are all uniquely gifted because our lives are all different. We came into our particular roles in a way that no one else did, even if we are doing the “same job.” Once you internalize that concept and apply the difference to the way you do business, you begin to walk authentically and in your own unique voice.  Regardless of the metrics or the sales targets, if you can show up authentically, it becomes easier to do anything. You are no longer working to fit somebody else’s mode. You will be perceived differently. People can tell when you are trying to be something you are not. Instead of thinking about making a sale, think about serving a need. If your product or service can meet the need, the entire perspective and experience for both the buyer and the seller shifts. Rather than ‘just selling,’ you are literally meeting a need. Comparison is the thief of joy It is easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others in the same field and to doubt your ability to provide any unique service. Realize that you don’t have to reach a million people. Rather, you need to show up and impact just those people who need to hear your voice. We live in a world now where some people have thousands of followers. But if you have 10 people behind you - who really believe in you - that is a foundation upon which you can build everything else. Tiffany does not claim to be a celebrity by any stretch but she has a podcast audience that shares and believes in her. She, in turn, benefits when they share and connect her to others. It is impossible to be grateful and to take advantage of what you have if you are too busy comparing your achievements to others. Don’t worry about what other people have. Be appreciative of what you have. Have the right perspective and learn how to make the best from what you have been given. When Tiffany embraced this change, she was able to launch her business successfully. She was free to focus on her clients as opposed to focusing on herself and the bottom line. A call to serve Tiffany strongly believes that, regardless of industry, we are called to serve first. Focusing on metrics, for example, serves no purpose other than to appeal to our vanity. As soon as Tiffany changed her focus to the creation of a great product that would change the career trajectory of other women, she was able to truly connect with her clients. It was no longer the work she did for herself; it was the work they would do together that made the business successful. The feedback from her clients has been wonderful. They feel heard. They feel that they are getting so much more out of their experience with Tiffany than they expected. For Tiffany, that is the only result she really needs. Her clients register to improve their interviewing skills, or resumes, but they leave knowing how to clearly articulate what it is they are really good at doing and what they want in their careers. They are able to figure out, and seek out, the right opportunities with increased confidence. Tiffany says the change has been phenomenal and the impact extends well beyond career confidence. The work self and the personal self will eventually collide so they have to be congruent. Don’t go to work as an employee. Go to work as the individual that you are. It will give you the clarity to determine what opportunities are for you, and which ones are not. Have faith not only in the qualifications on your resume but in your ability to deliver. You have to believe in yourself. Focus on service. Take the pressure off yourself by focusing on the people around you instead. Focus on the company you work for, your colleagues, and your clients. When the focus is on them, the pressure you used to place on yourself no longer exists. “Give Them Your All” episode resources Tiffany’s next ‘Elevate your Career Academy’ will launch in March. It is an 8-week faith-based, group career coaching program for women. Learn more about it and register at www.Howdoesshedoitpodcast.com or www.fourcornerscoach.com. This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program, which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals. The next semester begins in March. This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It's super easy, it's helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You'll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link. I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility. If you haven't already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won't miss a single episode, and share with your friends!
TSE 1024: Sales From The Street: "Selling To Everyone"
Selling a product or service that expands across multiple industries is possible when we realize that selling to everyone takes a team effort. Phil Sweeney worked in sales while in college because he enjoyed talking with people and problem-solving. Now, just two years after graduating, Phil is still working for Negotiatus, a fast-growing tech start-up business he first joined while in school. There were only a handful of employees when Phil first signed on. Now they are at 60 employees and Phil is loving every minute of it. SELLING TO EVERYONE It was exciting, as a salesperson, to have totally green fields ahead in terms of being able to work with, and sell to, any company. Phil had to quickly learn how not overextend himself. He had to learn how to hone in on the ideal customer profile. He had to understand who had the biggest need for the platforms he offers. When Phil first joined the sales team in its infancy, the company really could sell to everyone. It was a huge undertaking. They were also faced with the challenge of being a new company with little success to promote. They were shooting from all cylinders to determine where the biggest impact was in terms of the types of companies that they were attracting. From there, they were able to focus more and more on those types of clients. Phil dedicated blocks of time to the task. For 2-3 hours each day, he would not take any calls, schedule meetings, or go anywhere. Ideally, using blocks of time outside of selling hours, Phil would focus solely on who he was going to call the next day. He used many of the brilliant resources now available such as Sales Navigator, to find the people he needed to find and to learn more about them prior to the call. SHARING THE IDEAL CUSTOMER PROFILE Now that he is part of a larger sales team, he is having conversations not only within sales but also with success teams and operating teams to understand, in their opinion, which clients have been the most successful and easiest to work with. When selling to everyone is possible, it is easy to find yourself going nowhere fast. It is hard to know the correct verbiage for each industry. Selling in the medical industry, for example, is much different than selling in the automotive industry. It can be hard to land a good appointment until you narrow your focus to the industries that work best for your company. DIVIDE AND CONQUER Success begins when the teams can focus and then specialize across multiple industries. Phil believes it is important to identify as an expert in whichever field or department you are selling to. It is massively beneficial when you can speak the same language as the people you are selling to and when you can understand their struggles. Only then can you hone in on the pain points in order to solve those problems. Phil is closing sales now within 1-2 weeks of his first meetings because he has established himself as the expert in the field with the ideal solution/product. The need for his product is real and he is positioned to offer the main solution to satisfy that need. First and foremost, Phil recommends setting goals and dedicating time to the task. Most salespeople work in teams, so use that to your advantage. In Phil’s team, they announce the number of new contacts, for example, that they hope to reach in the next two hours; it is written on a whiteboard for all to see – and then they get to it. At the end of the time period, they check in on each other. Did they get it done? Or do they need to work longer? They hold each other accountable. Get familiar with the industry. Share tips and resources. Google Alerts, for example, is an excellent tool to stay on top of specific topics in a particular industry which can help you at every stage of your pipeline. Put in the time at the top of the funnel and it will pay off when it comes time to close the deal. In this manner, Phil’s sales team is leading the pack with a 115-150% quota attainment on a month-to-month basis. As a company, they have seen month-to-month revenue growth between 15-30%. STAY HUNGRY, STAY HUMBLE Everything is measured by the week or the month; even the hourly way of team progress is measured. It all resets to zero at the end of each period, so don’t hang your hat on a certain closed deal or a really good day of selling; stay humble. You’ve got to start each day mentally fresh and hungry again. “SELLING TO EVERYONE” EPISODE RESOURCES Reach out to Phil via email at PSweeney37@gmail.com, or give him a call at 631-901-2685.  He is also active on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn as PhillipSweeney. Additionally, Phil is part of The Sales Evangelist Facebook group and would love to connect with you there. If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more. This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals. The next semester begins in March. This episode is brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out. I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility. Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.
TSE 1023: Generating Business Referrals...Without Asking
When you bring value to customers and care for your clients, you’ve taken an important first step toward generating business referrals… without asking. Stacey Brown Randall considers herself a contrarian in the sales world, because she believes that if you’re asking for referrals, you’re doing it wrong. She helps small business owners and solopreneurs generate referrals and she dispels myths about referrals. She didn’t set out to focus on referrals, but after her first business failed, she discovered that business owners have to figure out how to touch business development every day. You also have to figure out the ways in which you’re willing to do it. TONS OF OPTIONS Sellers have countless options for bringing in clients and prospects to their pipelines, but they have to be options that the sellers are willing to do day-in, day-out. When her own business failed, she asked herself what went wrong. Although there was more than one mistake along the way, she realized that she never figured out how to fill her pipeline consistently. She never found an activity she was willing to do on a regular basis. She researched and found that referrals offer an amazing way to bring in clients, and they’re often quicker to close. They also trust you before they ever meet you, and they are less price sensitive. Everything about referrals is just better. REFERRAL PIECE Stacey was determined to figure out the referral piece when she launched her second business, but all the information she could find said you had to ask for referrals. To her, asking for a referral felt like a second-cousin to a cold call. She didn’t want to do it. In order to help her second business be successful, she decided to figure out how to generate referrals without asking. Once she did that, she moved into teaching other people how to succeed in the same way. REFERRAL MISTAKES Referrals are not about you. If you ask for them, or make them part of your marketing plan and develop promotions around them, you’re making the referrals about you. Stacey discovered that the sales process has three buckets: prospecting activities, marketing activities, and referral activities. What we do to generate referrals looks different than what we do compared to prospecting and marketing. When I’m in prospecting mode, I’m looking for someone who will say yes within 30 days. With marketing, it’s a little more long-term but there is always an ultimate mindset. Referrals, however, require different activities and a different mindset. The biggest mistake people make is treating their referral process like part of the prospecting effort. Or, they think about it like marketing and make it promotional and gimmicky. GREAT WORK If you’re going to hand off the client at some point, you have to make sure it’s a great process and great client experience. Nobody refers to crappy work and no one refers a choppy customer experience. That’s a foundational piece, and none of these suggestions will work if you aren’t referrable. You must do the things that make people want to refer you. The most important person in a referral process isn’t you and it isn’t your prospect; it’s your referral source. You must understand who is referring you. ACTION STEPS Begin by pulling out your list of clients, at least from the last two years, and figure out how those clients learned about you. (Pull data from as many years as you’re willing to do the work for.) You may have this information in your CRM, or you may have to do some digging. Determine who those people are that already referred you in the past, and begin there. You’ll likely realize that you don’t have that many, and you’ll probably discover that you haven’t been intentional about building relationships with those people. Figure out what you’re doing to take care of your referral sources. Because sellers often get paid on commission, it’s tempting to move quickly from one client to the next. Sometimes sellers don’t recognize that it’s a lot of work to constantly seek the next big win. Instead, sellers can spend their time doing activities they enjoy doing for people who know that they truly care. Then, the sellers can watch clients drop in their laps.   If you do the right kind of work at the right time for the right people in the right way, they will fill up your pipelines for you. #Pipeline CLICK TO TWEET   It saves a tremendous amount of time and money. YOUR JOB No one wakes up in the morning thinking about ways to make your job easier. They aren’t thinking about how they can refer you. Your job is to make sure that you’re doing outreach to referral sources and that you’re being memorable and meaningful. You want to use the right referral seed planting language so that you move into their subconscious. When you take care of people, they naturally want to take care of you back. We want to be the person who is constantly giving to them so they think about us in a different way. When an opportunity arises, we want them thinking about us. It’s all about how we take care of people. TOP OF MIND When you know who your referral sources are and you focus on them, you start to notice and develop patterns about those sources. When Stacey was a business and productivity coach, she noticed that her niche happened to be working parents. Their world was her world. Her previous business failure gave her a unique perspective she could share. She initiated a touchpoint that included “off-guard holidays.” In order to be meaningful, she sent Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gifts to her top referral sources. She sent a Wonder Woman water bottle to the moms reminding them that they are heroes. It didn’t include Stacey’s logo and it wasn’t about her. It was about her client. Those clients have never forgotten who sent that bottle. They were seen and recognized. That effort can’t be a one-and-done. The touch points must accumulate over time. Clients will always think about you in return when you’ve thought about them first. Anything you do must be all about them. PLANTING SEEDS Begin by using the word referral when you’re talking to your clients. When someone sends you someone, send them a hand-written thank you note that thanks the referrer by name. It’s noticeable because it’s a thank you note that you took time to write. Then, when people ask how your business is going, use the opportunity to plant a referral seed. Consider this: “You know, I on-boarded three new clients last week who were referred to me. I love receiving referrals because it tells me I’m doing something right with my business.” Be honest, but plant the idea of referral. The seed may not always fall on fertile soil, but eventually, it will. Aim for the 30 percent who will actually refer you. Like the other steps, it must be a consistent effort that builds on itself. We’re seeking to create a habit for how our clients will behave. “GENERATING BUSINESS REFERRALS…WITHOUT ASKING” EPISODE RESOURCES You can connect with Stacey at staceybrownrandall.com where you can figure out your skill level at generating referrals by taking her Referral Ninja Quiz. The quiz identifies three different levels, and it will help you determine whether you should learn more about referrals. Her website includes all kinds of free content to help you figure out how to move to the next level. This episode is brought to you in part by our TSE Certified Sales Training Program, which teaches you to improve your sales skills, find more customers, build stronger value, and close more deals. The next semester begins in March. This episode is also brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link. I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility. If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode, and share with your friends!
TSE 1022: The Redheaded Stepbrother of Sales...Client Success
The Red-headed Step Brother of Sales … Client Success; we don’t pay attention to it. But, we should. There were times, growing up in Jamaica when we would have issues with getting water into our house. The pressure wouldn’t be strong enough or a pipe would burst, and we would have to take buckets down to the community water source and haul them back home. Imagine me, Little Donald, carrying a bucket of water a quarter mile each way …and I’m sure I filled that bucket to the very top. Naturally, some will spill out as you walk along, but imagine my surprise to see the bucket only half-full when I got home … A small crack in the bucket caused me to lose most of it. What incentive would I have to go back for more? I needed to fix that bucket. Client success is the same way. Nobody pays attention to it but it is critical to the organization’s success. CLIENT SUCCESS Client success is the function of a company responsible for maintaining the relationship between the client and you, the vendor. The goal of client success is very simple: to make sure your clients are as successful as possible. This, in turn, improves your relationship with the client and the lifetime value of that client. It helps the organization in many ways. As with my bucket example, client success is the source that helps to make sure the holes in the bucket are sealed. We don’t lose water – we don’t lose customers. [02:17] Compare the lifetime value of your client to my bucket of water. The last thing you want to do is lose your customers after working so hard to get them. It would be such a waste to work for a year and a half to land an amazing client only for them to move on after only a year. Multiply that scenario across multiple clients and you’ll find yourself in a whole heap of trouble: you need to fix that bucket. You need to address client success. [03:26] I read a statistic in an article published by the Precision Marketing Group which states that86% of buyers will pay more for a product if they receive a better customer experience. This may not occur immediately but imagine a client does come on board who has an opportunity to purchase more of the licenses, or services, that you offer. Let’s use furniture sales as an example. You sold a nice desk and chair to your client. In the future, what prevents him from going elsewhere if he needs another chair? [04:11] MAINTAINING RELATIONSHIPS What if your client success team was able to actively work that account and learn the goals of the client? If you knew the client was planning to expand in six months, for example, would it not make sense for you to create an opportunity to help them reach that goal? In some companies, sales takes care of this but it spreads the sales force thin. They are asked to find new people, build value, close deals, AND actively farm the account, fix problems, and keep the client happy. You need new business to come in but you also need to maintain relationships with your current clients so they will return to you over and over again. It is virtually impossible to do it all. Something has to give and, in all likelihood, new business will stop coming in. [04:58] Again, 86% of buyers would pay more for a product or service if they receive a better customer experience. Let’s say your product is at premium value and a buyer could go somewhere else next time to get it for less. If the buyer perceives a value in the sales experience he has with you, however, he will stay with you. [05:48] CLIENT SUPPORT Client support, on the other hand, is basically a range of client services to assist clients in making cost effective and correct use of a product. This includes assisting in planning, training, troubleshooting, maintaining, updating, etc. Using the office furniture example again, the client support team helps install and assemble the desk. The client success team does not. In smaller organizations, however, sellers often do it all. Solving problems while also maintaining accounts can certainly be overwhelming. You can see how this could affect new net revenue. [06:32] The emphasis on new business causes client support and client success to be pushed to the side: they become the red-headed step children of sales. CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE Another statistic from the Precision Marketing Group states that the companies who prioritize customer experience generate 60% higher profits. Instead of hiring three new salespeople, would it not make more sense to hire two sales individuals and one client success individual instead? Hire a client success person to ensure that everyone brought on board by the sales team stays on board. Instead of losing new clients each year, keep them for five or six years – even longer. Give them an amazing experience. Help them. Guide them and fix any problems they might have so they don’t feel neglected. [07:29] It has been said that the client success team is just an appendage of customer support and it is not as important as sales. But we all know that it is much easier, and cheaper, to keep a client than to find a new one. If you give your client a great experience, he will give to you in return with referrals and repeats sales. A happy client will continue to feed you new business. The client success team can then create more opportunities for more sales. [08:46] THE POD APPROACH A ‘pod’ is a term some companies are now using to refer to a three-system approach: one person from sales, one person from customer support, and a third person from client success working as a team. Together, they create a cohesive relationship that keeps new business coming in, solves issues, and works toward the success of the clients. It makes a huge difference. [09:30] Finally, I previously shared a story about my experience working for a software company where I didn’t really know what to do. I learned, however, from working with client success (known as customer support back then) the type of clients not to pursue, which helped me to recognize the type of clients I did want. I was able to retain those types of clients, build stronger relationships with them, and close more deals. Customer support helped the clients be successful. If they recognized a problem that I could fix for the client, they would bring me in. It worked amazingly. I suggest considering such a system in your organization. If you already have one in place, be sure to evaluate its effectiveness. What is the lifetime value of a client right now? How much money can you expect from that client? Is there a process for upselling or cross-selling? [10:07] Don’t waste your time and energy on a client only to have him fall through the cracks. Don’t go home with a half-empty bucket. EPISODE RESOURCES FOR ‘THE RED-HEADED STEP BROTHER OF SALES … CLIENT SUCCESS” If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode. Share it with your friends who would benefit from learning more. This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach. It allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same. Prospect.io is offering three months at half-price. Previously known as TSE Hustler’s League, our TSE Certified Sales Program offers modules that you can engage on your own schedule as well as opportunities to engage with other sellers in other industries. This episode is brought to you in part by mailtag.io, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. It’s super easy, it’s helpful, and I recommend that you try it out. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link. Mailtag.io will give you half-off your subscription for life when you use the Promo Code: Donald at check out. I hope you enjoyed the show today as much as I did. If so, please consider leaving us a rating on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. It helps others find our message and improves our visibility. Audio provided by Free SFX and Bensound.
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