November 20, 2017

6 Tips for Salespeople to Stay on the Road to Success

John Sligh Founder of GoSellGo 300x225 6 Tips for Salespeople to Stay on the Road to SuccessAs salespeople, we are always looking for ways to stay motivated and gain an edge.  It seems there are certain fundamental truths common to all selling champions.  Here are six tips to help all of us who are sales professionals stay on the road to success in business and in life.

Stay the Course with Personal Development

Personal development is an ongoing process and needs to be worked on consistently, everyday no matter how much success we’ve had in the past.

If our goal is to reach the top in selling we need to study sales.  Read books on sales.  Write down selling ideas and then practice what we learn.  Find out what works and what doesn’t so we can change and improve our approach.

While each of us develops our own unique selling style, it’s useful to learn new techniques from sales experts by reading, attending seminars and then making their ideas our own.

As we learn and improve, our confidence will increase and we’ll become more effective at selling.

Be Your Own Best Salesperson

How do we become the best salesperson we’re capable of becoming?  One of the mistakes I’ve made in the past is to compare myself to other salespeople.  Maybe this has happened to you.  Sometimes we forget that everyone comes from different backgrounds, circumstances and life experiences.

Successful people in sales make it look easy.  What we see are the results of a lot of hard work, perseverance and dedication on their part.  We need to focus on our own journey, our own self-improvement and forget about comparing ourselves to others.

Break Your Own Goals, Not Others Goals

Ask yourself the question, “Am I the best that I can be?”  If the answer is no then go to work on improving your situation.  Set goals based on your own personal records.  For example, think of what you would have to do to double your sales.  Then write down as many ideas as possible and make an action plan.  If we do this every day, we will become successful.

Earl Nightingale defined success as “the progressive realization of a worthy goal”.  By that definition, if you’re working on making yourself better today and everyday you are a success.

Read Books to Improve Yourself and Increase Your Sales

Reading books from a variety of authors has really helped me in my quest for self-improvement.  In the morning after breakfast I sit down in my office or in a quiet place when I’m on the road and read motivational material.  Try reading books from people like Jeffrey Gitomer, Earl Nightingale, John C. Maxwell, Darren Hardy and anyone else who writes positive information.

Replace Bad News with Good News

In the morning limit your newspaper reading to the business section.  Scan the headlines to get a feel for what’s happening, however, don’t read about all the negativity in the newspaper.  Don’t start the day on a downer.  Make a conscious decision to skip the bad news sections of the newspaper.  Replace bad news with good news by reading positive messages in the morning.  It starts the day off on a positive note and gets the day moving in the right direction.

Focus on What Matters

After reading positive, motivational messages, review your goals.  Next, write down tasks in your day planner that will help you accomplish your goals.  If you’re like me there are so many goals on the list you need to take time to prioritize. So write down the top six or seven tasks each day and list them in order of priority.

It’s too overwhelming to consider all your goals at one time.  Consider what goals are most important to you at the time and assign yourself tasks to get moving in the right direction of your most pressing goals.

Review your goals each and every morning.  Keep your goal list within easy reach.  Don’t file them away or you’ll forget about them and then at the end of the year wonder why you didn’t reach your personal and sales goals.

Conclusion

As salespeople, it’s easy for us to get lost in the details of our day-to-day tasks.  We need to look more long-term at the big picture on our path of personal development and to recognize it’s a personal journey.  We are unique and should focus on making ourselves the best we can be and not be concerned about how we compare with others.

Personal development has a lot to do with our attitude.  Let’s keep bad news to a minimum and only be concerned about the things within our control.  One thing we can control is the information we put in our minds.  So let’s commit to spending more time reading positive messages through books from expert authors and less on the newspaper.  And finally, let’s spend more time in the morning thinking about our goals and how to reach them.

Follow these tips to stay on your own road to success.  You’ll be glad you did and at the end of the year marvel at how much you accomplished.

Direct Sales is an Option to Earn Extra Income

The Graduate 300x225 Direct Sales is an Option to Earn Extra IncomeRecently we attended our daughter’s college graduation which got me thinking about the exciting future she has in store and wondering what she’ll be doing next year, five years and ten years from now.  How will her career unfold? Will she get into sales or carve out her own niche using her unique skills?

Direct Sales for the New Economy

One thing is for sure, the economy is different than it was when my wife and I graduated from college.  Back then most new graduates were looking for a company they could work for that had benefits and a long-term future.  Today it seems that many companies are going in the other direction and hiring people on a contract basis to complete projects and provide services.  A different type of strategy may be required to make it in the new economy and Direct Sales may be the answer for some people including those entering the workforce for the first time like our daughter.

Direct Sales is Big Business

Direct Selling as an option to earn extra income on a part-time or full-time basis deserves serious consideration whether you’re a new graduate or have been in the work force for years.  According to the book, “The Business of the 21st Century” by Robert T. Kiyosaki, Direct Selling is a business model that provides over $100 billion in sales for major companies and significant income for the salespeople involved.

Multiple Streams of Income

In today’s business climate, more and more people are looking for ways of making multiple streams of income. Direct Sales has helped provide extra income for thousands of people.  Why not you?

The Direct Selling opportunity is especially attractive in today’s economy.  People are looking for ways to earn extra income to pay for their kid’s college education, pay off mortgages and everyday expenses.  Also, wouldn’t it be gratifying to help other people achieve their dreams and at the same time earn extra money to help you reach your own financial goals?

The Law of Compounding

One of the interesting aspects of Direct Sales is team building.  You can build an organization with people all over the country through the people you know and the people they know.  As the law of exponential growth begins to take effect it will help you grow your organization and your income.

Initial Investment is Low

Direct Sales opportunities that don’t require stock piling products in your garage, have no automatic monthly purchase requirement and a lucrative compensation plan is something to consider.  People with a positive attitude can make this work if they sell the opportunity through their relationships.

Conclusion

Today’s economy is ripe for salespeople, business owners and new graduates to look for creative ways to earn extra income.  We all need to think about developing multiple streams of income and write out plans to make it happen. Direct Sales is one way to add another leg to the stool and provide a solid financial foundation for you and your family.

 

Friendly Salespeople Have a Selling Advantage

Friendly Salesperson 300x164 Friendly Salespeople Have a Selling AdvantageAs Salespeople, it is important for us to be friendly and congenial to everyone who comes into contact with us.  People on the street, in the elevator, wait staff at restaurants, cab drivers, flight attendants, fellow salespeople, competitors, sales managers and of course customers.

Being Friendly is a Winning Strategy

In selling, we’ll all get further ahead if we get in the habit of being friendly and helpful.  Helping other people get what they want.  Being supportive and acting as a cheerleader for people will encourage others to do their best.  Being helpful and friendly is a goal we all should consider if we want to win in sales.

Congenial Salespeople Sell More

Over the years I’ve noticed that people in sales who are friendly toward others are well received and sell more.  Buyers go out of their way to do business with and accommodate friendly salespeople.  For those of us who sell for a living its important to get in the habit of being congenial toward everyone so it becomes second nature.

We’ll not only get better service at our favorite restaurant, we’ll also develop better relationships with our customers and make it so they want to do business with us instead of our competition.

High Pressure Sales Tactics Don’t Work

High pressure salesmanship is unnecessary and out of character for friendly salespeople.  Sales will naturally occur in the course of conversations with your customers, so why push?  Our relationship with our customers will deepen if we don’t use high pressure sales tactics.

Low key, friendly and congenial.  It’s a winning combination for those of us in sales.

Everyone is a Salesperson and Needs to Improve Selling Skills

John Salesman and Founder of GoSellGo 300x225 Everyone is a Salesperson and Needs to Improve Selling SkillsAre salespeople born or made?  That’s an age old question and something worth considering.  Here are some other things to think about as it relates to selling.

Everyone Sells

What about the idea that everyone is a salesperson?  All people sell their ideas.  Kids sell their parents on letting them take the car to go out or go to a sleepover.  In job interviews, applicants sell themselves to the prospective employer and the company to sells to the recruit.  Girl scouts sell cookies.  Boy scouts sell Christmas trees.  Waiters sell themselves to restaurant patrons to increase the size of their tips.  You can’t get around selling no matter who you are.

Take Inventory of Your Sales Skills

Now that we’ve established the fact that everyone sells, how do you stack up in your selling skills?  For those of us who sell for a living, it is in our best interest to study sales, practice and work to improve ourselves everyday.  For engineers, lawyers, CEO’s and administrative assistants the same holds true.  Honing your selling skills is important.

Commit to Ongoing Personal Development in Good Times and Bad

When things are going well it’s easy to postpone personal development.  For me the 1990′s were a great time to be a sales representative in the furniture business.  Looking back it didn’t seem as necessary to study sales, self-improvement or spend time and effort on personal development.  Business was good.  It was relatively easy to sell furniture if you had good products to sell at a fair price.  I found out later that postponing personal development was a mistake.

Fundamental Changes in Business Require Different Strategies

As the calender turned over to the year 2000 business continued to be brisk.  Then on September 2001 everything changed.  Consumer confidence was shaken after the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York City.  The furniture business went into gradual decline.  Imports continued to increase.  Deflation occurred and for salespeople in the furniture industry you had to sell 25 to 30% more units just to earn the same commission dollars compared to a few years earlier.

Retailers, fellow sales representatives and management of the furniture companies would say “it will get better, business will improve.”  What we didn’t realize at the time is that things would never go back to the way they were before the year 2000.  Fundamental changes were happening in the economy and in the furniture business that would require different strategies to get back on track.

For Things to Improve We Must Improve

Now ten years later, most of us realize the way we do business has changed and will continue to change.  For me, I recognize that in order for things to improve, I must improve.  So I’ve taken on the mission to pursue personal development.

It’s important for me to share what I’ve learned with other salespeople through our website GoSellGo.com™ which has information related to selling and personal development.  It’s a personal quest of seeking out resources important to salespeople and sharing sales tips and motivational information through my blog, articles and email newsletters.

I hope you enjoy the results.

Jeffrey Gitomer’s Sales Attitude Seminar

John Sligh Jeffrey Gitomer 12.3.10 300x225 Jeffrey Gitomers Sales Attitude Seminar

John at GoSellGo & Jeffrey Gitomer

I recently attended a Jeffrey Gitomer Sales Attitude Seminar in Minneapolis and found his talk packed full of practical selling ideas.  The broad appeal of the Gitomer brand was apparent by the number of salespeople in the room from a variety of industries.

My First Exposure to Jeffrey Gitomer

Several years ago, while browsing the aisle in a bookstore, I came across a copy of Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Red Book of Selling and was hooked.  Since then, I’ve read more Gitomer sales books in an attempt to adapt and apply his ideas to my own selling style.

So, when I heard he was coming to town, I signed up right away for his sales seminar.  Jeffrey’s speaking style is easy to listen to and casual.  Several of his ideas stuck with me including these gems conveyed in typical Gitomer fashion.

Don’t Puke on Your Customer

On sales calls, salespeople should resist “puking” on the customer.  That is, don’t immediately start talking about your company, products and yourself.  Instead Jeffrey Gitomer gave us this advice when calling on customers; “Don’t talk business until you see the other person smile.”  When you see the other person smile, that’s the point when your customer is more relaxed and receptive to buy from you.

Ask Questions

Ask your customer questions to draw out information.  Do less talking and more listening.  The best way to listen is to ask pre-planned questions with a purpose in mind.

Sell More to Existing Customers

Look for opportunities to cross sell and up sell to your current customer base.  If you take care of your customers they’ll want to buy all kinds of products and services from you.  Make it easy to buy.

Keep Your Customers Loyal

Customer’s aren’t loyal if they buy from you strictly based on price.  Be a resource to your customer.  Be an expert in your field.  Buying decisions are based on many factors, not just price.  Present your ideas and products in terms of making your customer more profit, reducing their costs, or giving them a competitive advantage.  Do this and you’ll set yourself apart from other salespeople.

Talk to Your Customers Like You Would Your Grandma

During the seminar, Jeffrey Gitomer said, “Talk to your customers like you would your Grandma.  For example, ‘you’re on credit hold Grandma’, doesn’t sound good so don’t say it to your customer!”  Talk in language that is positive and moves the relationship forward.

Build Your Personal Brand

In the last part of his sales talk he emphasized the importance of building your own personal brand through the internet and social networking.  He asked the audience, “How many of you have your own website?  How many have a Twitter and Facebook account and You Tube channel?”

After a few hands went up, Jeffrey scolded us and said if we want to succeed we need our own online presence. We need to build our own brand and take it with us wherever we go.  His message was a wake-up call to everyone in the room.

Meeting Jeffrey Gitomer in Person

During the break, Jeffrey worked the room and introduced himself to several salespeople in attendance.  He’s all about networking.  When I introduced myself, he made me feel at ease and was more than happy to have his picture taken.  He’s easy to approach and friendly which makes it obvious why people continue to read his books, follow him online and attend his seminars.

Conclusion

Meeting Jeffrey Gitomer, Chief Sales Officer, in person and listening to him talk was a thrill.  If he ever comes to your hometown, do yourself a favor and sign-up for his seminar.  You’ll be glad you did.

Success Strategies of Top Salespeople – Goals and Plans

GoSellGo Goals and Plans Pic 300x225 Success Strategies of Top Salespeople   Goals and PlansWhat success strategies do top salespeople use when it comes to goal setting and planning?  How can you implement the same techniques of top achievers to increase your sales?  It’s simple, follow these six basic rules for setting goals and making plans and watch your sales soar.

Set Goals Based on What’s Important in Your Life

Don’t let life just happen.  Ask yourself, what are my life dreams?  Then set goals to make them a reality.  Goals provide focus and direction to ensure you’ll live a life based on what’s important to you.

Set Exciting Goals that Create Passion

Imagine how difficult it would be to be passionate about a goal such as “increase sales by 10 percent”.  Is this goal exciting to you?  Probably not, so let’s try rewriting the goal.  First, think about what inspires you and incorporate it into your goal setting process.  If spending time with your wife is important and you like to travel here’s an example of how you might rewrite the goal: “Increase sales by 10 percent to earn a bonus of $5,000 which will enable me to take a dream trip to Australia with my wife by March 1st”.  Now that’s exciting!

Set Aside Time for Goal Setting and Planning

Set aside time each day to review your goals and write down tasks to help you achieve them.  Early in the morning is an excellent time, when it’s quiet before work day distractions.  Devote time to reading positive, uplifting messages including; books on sales skills, positive thinking and other material geared toward self-improvement.  Then review your goals and write down what needs to be accomplished for the day.  Do this every morning to start your day with the right attitude and moving in the right direction.

Set Specific Goals with a Deadline

Be accountable for your objectives and set specific dates when they’ll be reached.  For larger goals, break them down into smaller tasks with target dates leading up to your end goal.  For example, a daily goal of making five sales calls, or 20 phone calls, may be less overwhelming than selling $1 million.

Review Your Goals When Planning

Keep your list of goals close by and refer to them often.  Top salespeople incorporate tasks into their daily plans that help them reach their objectives.

Prioritize Your Tasks

To be effective in selling, focus on activities with a high return on investment to get a clear idea of what needs to be done on a daily basis.

During you planning session, write down all the tasks you’d like to accomplish.  Next, review each task and decide which is the most important.  Repeat the process and list your six or seven most important tasks in order of their importance.  Work on your highest priority tasks first  and do it on a consistent basis.

Conclusion

Try following these six rules of goal setting and planning.  Set aside time each day to think about how you want to live your life and go to work setting your goals.  Figure out a plan and work it.  When you do, you’ll soon find yourself in the top echelon of salespeople everywhere.

It’s Time to Reinvent Yourself

Girl Leaping 300x225 Its Time to Reinvent YourselfIn a recent issue of Success Magazine, several articles were featured about people reinventing themselves.  Over the past 10 years, a lot of people have changed careers, or started part-time businesses to supplement their income.  Some people have been forced to look at other career options due to company layoffs and downsizing.  Others have been proactive in the process, making a complete career makeover to follow their true passion.

Perhaps you’re at a point in your sales career where you’re not satisfied.  If so, think about your dreams, goals, how you want to live your life and let’s go to work on your reinvention.  Here are some things to consider in the process.

Gradual Reinvention through Self-Improvement

For salespeople, self-improvement is a great way to continually reinvent yourself on the way to achieving your goals.  Seeking the advice of others is especially useful if you apply the lessons you learn to improve.  One way to do this is by reading books on sales, trade magazines and listening to audio programs.  Our GoSellGo Store™ has several books related to selling, entrepreneurship, business, self-improvement and motivation to help you in your quest.

Improve Your Current Situation

Another place to look for reinvention is in your current career position.  If you’re in sales, think of creative ways to improve your effectiveness.  Have you considered asking your boss to expand or realign your territory?  Maybe focusing on a vertical market or targeting small businesses with high growth potential is a sales strategy worth considering.  Try writing out new goals and plans to re-energize yourself.

Switching companies or careers is not always the answer.  Figure out how to improve your current situation first before moving on to a different company and product line.

A Complete Reinvention is Maybe What You Need

While gradual improvement and improving your current situation are worthy goals, you may be at a time in your life when it’s better to completely switch gears and change direction.  Consider, for example, Magic Johnson, a famous basketball player, who won national championships in college and the NBA and a gold medal in the Olympics with the Dream Team.  And who successfully transitioned into a career in business.

In an article featured in Success Magazine titled, “Magic Touch”, by Don Yaeger, Magic discussed how he recognized his playing career would not last forever.  So while still in the NBA, he began preparing for a business career.  According to Success, “He sought the advice of successful businessmen to help him chart a new course.  Now 22 years later, Magic Johnson Enterprises owns and operates gyms, Starbucks franchises, Burger Kings, movie theaters and other businesses in 85 cities across 21 states”.

Life Goal Assessment

Magic Johnson recognized his need to reinvent himself.  How about you?  What is it that you want to accomplish?  Are you currently doing what you’ve always dreamed about doing?

If not, it’s time to do a life goal assessment.

If you’re in sales working for someone else, ask yourself, “Is this what I want to do the rest of my life?”  Do you want to sell for one company or become an independent self-employed sales representative for multiple companies?  Have you ever thought about starting a direct sales career in network marketing and becoming your own boss?  Or maybe you’re ready to become an entrepreneur and start your own company.

Whatever your dream is, the time to reinvent yourself has come.  The time is now.  What are you waiting for?

Email Marketing Tips for Salespeople Everywhere

Email Marketing 300x199 Email Marketing Tips for Salespeople EverywhereFor people in sales, I’ve found a great way to stay in touch with customers and prospects on a regular basis.  Over a year ago, a sales representative friend suggested using Constant Contact for email marketing campaigns.  I took her advice, signed up for a free 60 day trial and ended up subscribing to the program.  Now, each month we send an email newsletter to our list of contacts featuring different product lines.

Do-It-Yourself Newsletters Made Easy

Constant Contact makes it easy for salespeople to produce do-it-yourself newsletters.  The program has professional looking templates that allow you to customize the look of your newsletter.  And it’s easy to upload pictures from your computer to give it a personal touch.  Like anything else, it takes some trial and error to get your newsletter to look just right.  If you run out of time, simply save your drafts and come back later to edit your email before sending.  The end result is your emails will have more visual impact compared to text only messages.

Target Marketing

Salespeople can make separate email lists for different target markets.  For example, we use a different mailing list for each one of our manufacturers.  With one click of the send button our newsletter goes out to over 450 targeted buyers, dealer salespeople and prospects.

Email Marketing Achieves Sales Results

Our Constant Contact email campaigns have achieved results.  We’ve seen an increase in inquiries, appointments and sales that can be directly traced to specific campaigns.  Constant Contact automatically tracks the number of clicks, opens and forwards for each email and lets you know who performed each action.  This information is helpful for following up with those people interested in your products.

Four Reasons Constant Contact is a Great Tool for Salespeople

1.  Saves Time – One click of the button sends your message to hundreds of people.

2.  Saves Money – Low cost do-it-yourself professional looking templates.

3.  Increases Exposure – Sending email newsletters keeps your name in front of customers and prospects on a regular basis.

4.  Generates Warm Leads – Pre-selling through email marketing makes it easier to set-up appointments with people in need of your products or service.

In summary, if you’re a salesperson looking for an effective way to stay engaged with customers and prospects, I recommend using Constant Contact.  It works for our sales business and could work for you.

5 Ways to Maximize Sales at Trade Shows

Furniture Rep Friends High Point Market 300x225 5 Ways to Maximize Sales at Trade ShowsI just returned from the High Point Furniture Market in North Carolina.  According to the High Point Market Authority here’s some interesting facts about the semi-annual furniture market.

-  Over 85,000 attend including; buyers, interior designers, exhibitors and sales representatives.

-  There are over 188 showroom exhibitor buildings with a capacity of 12 million square feet.

-  There are more than 2,000 exhibitors with tens of thousands of new product introductions.

With so much competition at trade shows, salespeople in a variety of industries are probably asking themselves the same questions.  How do I attract buyers to my space?  How can I increase sales to customers and prospects attending trade shows?  Here are five ideas that may help you answer these questions.

1.  Prepare – Prior to the show, make a target list of dealers and prospects.  Send out emails and make phone calls to your target list to determine who will be attending.

2.  Promote – Mail invitations and send personalized emails to your target list to create a buzz about your manufacturer’s new products.  On your sales visits prior to the show, talk about your company’s new product introductions.  Create excitement.  Gather as many cell phone numbers from buyers and prospects prior to the show as possible.  During the show send short text messages encouraging them to come to your space.

3.  Appointments – For key customers and important prospects, set-up a specific time to meet at your space.  You may not get a specific time commitment, however, if you can narrow down the day and time, the chance of them stopping by the space increases dramatically.

4.  Plan for Trade Show Appointments – After you’ve made your appointments, it’s time to start planning specific recommendations for each buyer.  For example, in the furniture business there are regional style preferences and nuances for each store.  Think through what you’ll recommend for each customer and prospect.  A focused presentation will save you and your buyer valuable time.

5.  Follow-up – Memories fade, so it’s important to make notes on your buyer’s comments, likes and dislikes.  Referring to your notes later will help you plan your follow-up sales call and help close the sale when you’re back in the territory.

Follow these five tips and watch your sales grow.  If you already follow these steps, congratulations, you’re well on your way to maximizing your sales from trade shows.

Product Demonstration the Old Fashioned Way

history 1935 trailer Product Demonstration the Old Fashioned WayMy Grandpa Chuck showed by example that there’s nothing like a great product demonstration to help close a sale.  Back in 1933, Grandpa carried a desk up five flights of stairs to sell a buyer at a department store in Dayton, Ohio.  He had a carrier made on the back of his car where he secured the desk for travel.  Later, he had a custom trailer made which became his traveling showroom that he used to show furniture products to dealers around the country.

I wonder what would happen if more salespeople today used product demonstration techniques from the old days.  Rather than showing your buyer a picture of your product, why not show them the real thing?  Product demonstration is so important in closing sales especially with new prospects.  Imagine how effective it would be to carry your product into a buyer’s office to show how it works.  Do you think your closing ratio would improve?

The next time you question whether or not you want to go through the hassle of lugging your product with you on your next sales call, think about Grandpa Chuck and his commitment to product demonstration.  Grandpa’s techniques helped him close more sales and they could help you too.