Losing Your Sales Mojo

Losing Your Sales Mojo

When the deals are not coming through at the end of the month despite your efforts, it’s easy to lose your mojo. When you lose your mojo, you lose perspective and the ability to see clearly. Then all of a sudden, before you know it, your territory is running you, rather than the opposite.

Before you can get back into action you need to get your head on straight and that alone can create a challenge.

It’s so easy to stay in action mode and be busy, in fact, very often that’s what we think will clear it all and while that may be true for some of you, there comes a time when it’s beneficial to take a timeout and assess why it’s happening in the first place. Is it the market, product or client target group needs changing? That alone will require adjusting your approach. 

When we stay busy and keep pushing through the day, are we really productive?

One of the most common things I see many salespeople not doing is reviewing their business plan on a regular basis.

The most successful salespeople that I work with on the other hand are very focused and intentional in everything that they do.

Now how they go about this will be very different. If you’re familiar with CliftonStrengths® you’ll know that we operate from not only different strengths perspectives but also domains. What that means is that we all have a unique mix of executing, influencing, relationship building and strategic thinking which makes how we approach our sales challenges equally unique.

Someone strong in executing will, in all likelihood, create a plan before executing but at the same time will be eager to get into action and just do.

When you’re strong in influencing, on the other hand, you may actually be best served by being out and about just talking to people, networking and while an outsider may judge it as random and unproductive to you this is how you make things happen.

Connecting with people is important if you have relationship-building talents, your actions come from the heart and build trust and business from that space. 

Lastly, we have the strategic thinking domain and you need to have some alone time to process and think things through or even dream and visualize what to do next before taking action.

So what do you do to get out of your funk? Here are some ideas to consider:

You’ve heard it before – take some deep breaths – are you?

What I found is that many of us forget to breathe deeply when we’re stressed out and while it may seem like we don’t have the time even – 2 minutes can shift things. The cool thing with breathing exercises is that you can do it anywhere even while driving (keeping your eyes open and on the road in that case) or simply pull over and take a 5-minute break. 

  • Turn off the radio and take in your surroundings
  • Take long deep breaths for 2-5 minutes at whatever pace you desire. This alone can shift your mindset and at a minimum make you feel present in your body
  • Go ahead and take a deep breath from the top of your head all the way down to the tips of your toes
  • Imagine your breath going into the earth and then up to, and in through your head all the way down to the tips of your toes
  • Repeat this a couple of times while just focusing on your breath

CLICK HERE to listen to a 2-minute guided audio.

Invite a friend or group of friends to meet up for a brainstorming session or simply go for a hike and talk. Go to the beach or out in nature. A movie or a workout does wonders for clearing your mind.

What would be fun for your to-do, right now?

Do You Know What Your Purpose is and Why?

Do You Know What Your Purpose is and Why?

When people ask you what your purpose is, what your “why” is, why you’re in sales for example, do you know what to answer or do you freeze up and say, “I don’t know“?

For me, if anything, it was always about having fun and wanting people to be happy. I had no clue what my purpose was. This in itself was a clue to my why long before I knew what it was, so there were many “I don’t know’s” in the process.

The more experiences you have in life whether you are living the dream you envisioned as a kid or young adult, or not, it often comes down to if you are clear on what your actual why is – why you’re here – and if you get to apply it. It doesn’t have to be complex, and while I still think being happy is a priority I now know why, it’s my “why” that creates more of that, and also my “how” and “what.” 

So many of us get stuck in a brain freeze of significance or confusion while trying to get clear on our purpose. The confusion often originates from needing more information or resisting inner awarenesses – your truth. Even when you have a desire to know, it’s easy to distract yourself to avoid the truth of how gifted you are. So many people stay in the space of not knowing. 

What creates the results you are seeking can be found in many places. 

Getting clear your “why” starts with your talents and interests, what you love to do and inquiring into why you’re drawn to doing this in the first place. Assessments are helpful tools that can open you up to new clues and get you out of over-analyzing yourself.

In my quest to becoming my best self I’ve taken numerous assessments over the years to drill down to the core of what’s important to me. When I started seeing the patterns of similar responses it helped me embrace the gift I am and the needs I have. 

I’ve also continually taken courses to expand my awareness, get tools, educate myself as continuous transformation and growth are two of my passions in life. What I learned by taking on all different teachings at the same time first of all was that they all provided different aspects of the same thing  Now, that doesn’t mean that you need to, we are all drawn to different activities which ties into our talents, what they each bring and need, and why you’re doing it in the first place.

Imagine what life you would be living if your basic needs were taken care of — where would you live, who would be around you, what would you do, how would you contribute and why?

Questions like this help you get clear on what’s really important to you.

Getting clear on your why

When it comes to finding your “why” there are many teachings to sort through and while CliftonStrengths® is all about HOW you approach everything, it also offers clues to your “why” too. 

Knowing your “how”, and getting clear on your “why” and then what you do to express it is equally important.

I read the Finding Your Why by Simon Sinek several years back and later did the exercises found the How to find your Why book which helped me get my purpose which was very similar to the tagline I created from my dominant CliftonStrengths® talents.

Now, there was still something missing that I couldn’t identify and when I made friends with Jamie Douraghy at a course a couple of years back, he took me through something called a “Why Stack”. Through a series of questions you get what your “why” is, “how” you express it and “what” you’re able to do as a result of that. He recently published a book about it, On Guard and On Point – read it, it’s a short read, focused and packed with great insights.

Consider this:

  • What are the things that really trigger you? Why?
    “It drives me crazy when________ (trigger) when it can be ___________ (like this). 
  • What can you not stop yourself from doing?

In short, your inquiry will lead you to select three of the following whys:

  1. To contribute to a greater cause
  2. To create relationships based on trust
  3. To make sense of the complicated
  4. To find a better way
  5. To do things the right way
  6. To challenge the status quo
  7. To seek mastery
  8. To clarify
  9. To simplify

My Why Stack is: “I simplify (why) by challenging the status quo (how) so that I can contribute (what)”.  My greater cause is connecting people to their rock star self. This is who I am at the core in everything I do. 

If I’m in situations where things get too complex it would trigger my need to simplify. Added to that, if I’m asked to behave or dress in a specific way then I don’t get to live full out and contribute which is how my why is expressed at its core. 

To take the Why assessment click here or contact Jamie directly HERE.

So what would this look like for you? Comment below.

Learn how we can work together HERE.

What’s Your Sales Process?

What’s Your Sales Process?

Have you ever sat down to map out YOUR sales process?  

Just as with your strengths, your unique process can be found in how each talent shows up for you. 

Do you have an office day every week where you plan, organize, setup up appointments or cold call or is it random or on the weekend because you’re too busy?  

Do you include fun in your planning? Making time for playtime is just as important and needed for you to enjoy your success. 

What systems, if any, do you use to stay on top of your territory management? 

To be successful in sales you need to have a plan, a framework, even if it’s a “loose” version that includes the components that you need to take action on to be successful. 

Looking at the numbers tells one story, talking to your clients can often tell another one. Having an accountability partner or understanding manager/co-worker is sometimes all you need to stay in action. At other times more hand-holding is needed to guide you and that’s when a coaching program could be an option. 

How do you know you’ll hit your targets? 

It comes down to simple math even if sales is a non-linear game. Break down your annual and monthly targets to a weekly number and choose the higher number as your target to give yourself some cushion. Now, how many prospects do you need to connect with daily/weekly to hit your targets? 

Where do you find your leads? 

That can be the tricky part depending on what business you’re in. Whether you’re a business owner or in sales for a company. Did you know that you can easily track down leads via LinkedIn? Simply use the search bar on top of the page once logged in and enter your version of “salesperson, Los Angeles” to see who you can connect with. Narrow down further if needed.

What’s your elevator pitch? 

How do you even begin to craft that when you’re selling different products without coming across as too pushy? Hint: If you crafted your tagline and ideal client profile you’re almost there. More on that below. 

Let’s say today is a day that you’ve dedicated to prospecting and you need to get some pointers down that you integrate into your elevator pitch. 

How you connect with people and how you can craft a compelling story.  

The easiest way to do that, as most of you know, is to be interested in what your prospects have to say. Asking questions mixed with sharing is often the easiest way to get that going.   

So what questions can you ask? What do you know and want to know about this person you’re calling on? What is the message you want to get across? Asking open-ended questions are key!   

When you talk too much you kill the sale. You know that, and when you’re on a roll it’s tough to simply stop mid-sentence yet that can be what makes the difference between getting the sale or not.

Focus on the person in front of you, stay present, and wait for them to share what’s up. When you only have 5 minutes, it becomes even more important to get your pitch down, or rather the questions that will evoke curiosity. 

Your elevator pitch needs to include space for spontaneous sharing — scripting can only take you so far. If you truly want to connect, be willing to improvise. 

Listening is a powerful skill that builds trust with people. Trust opens up a possibility for sales. 

When was the last time you took a deliberative pause in a sales convo? Please do yourself the favor of simply counting to 30, allow things to be awkward if needed, your prospect/client might just be thinking things through in their mind. 

When you hit your targets – CELEBRATE  your achievement, and then set sights on your new targets and achievements.

Do you need help creating your elevator pitch? CLICK HERE for your Elevator Pitch

Now go out there and see what you can create!

 Try it and let me know how it goes!

Learn how we can work together HERE.

Who Do You Sell to and How?

Who Do You Sell to and How?

Last week I talked about crafting a tagline from your dominant strengths that you can use as your guide for selling more while being your best self. This week we’ll talk about crafting your ideal client profile.

The products you sell will speak to specific people whether you have your own company or work for someone else. Either way, there are variables and connection points within that target group and with that room for you to find your niche based on your needs and what you bring (think Apple vs. Microsoft and how they’re clearly targeting different audiences). 

Let’s face it, when your prospects like who you are and what you bring, it increases your chances of closing the sale.

When you become more selective in who you prospect and interact with, people that you enjoy being with and appreciate what you bring, you create value and a win-win for both parties.

The industry you’re drawn to often serves as an indicator of what’s important to you. While some feel they can sell any product they are rare, or more focused on short-term vs. repeat sales in a long-term sales cycle.

When you’re clear on what you bring and need, it’s easier for you to find a product, business or company culture that nurtures you.

Creating your ideal client profile 

While creating your ideal client profile may seem like you’re limiting who you do business with it’s actually the opposite. When we get really clear and focused on our message and speak to that one person we would love to have as our client, anyone who relates to that message will connect. While it’s easy to fall into the scarcity trap and serve anyone who you can close, you’ll actually attract and close more clients the further you narrow down who you best serve. 

When you focus on prospecting people or businesses that would be fun and energizing to connect with, you create a different game and reality for yourself. Remember, when you’re using your dominant talents you’re in the zone, energized, and learn faster. Why not use this to your advantage and be the pro in an area that’s fun for you with clients you enjoy spending time with?

What can you create if you include your needs in the process with your targets, would that make the sales game more fun? Would your performance increase or decrease?

To do that, consider the following questions:

1. Who are you?

What are the benefits you provide your company as a salesperson? Include yourself in the equation, in other words, what do you bring as a person that makes you unique? Use the tagline exercise as a guideline that was posted last week.  

2. What business are you in?

What industry—Tech, dental, creative arts,…? Selling to—business owners, consumers,…

3. Who would you like to sell to?

List their characteristics, like personality, business owner, employee, age range, male/female, urban/rural, income range, education, and other demographics, interests, profession, etc. Dream big.

4. What are their current needs or problems?

What keeps them up at night that you have a solution for? What’s important to them? How can you impact and help? How can your products help?

Include you in the equation, who you are will be how your prospects and clients experience the brand. For them, you are the brand, and you are unique. Look at your strengths and see which ones help you create solutions and be of service.

5. Competition

Many of us are in business offering what could be perceived as the same products, yet when we take a closer look, they’re very different. Just think of how you experience one car brand compared with another and what it feels like to interact with one company over the other. Some of it is marketing, some of it comes down to the small details and quality in materials, emotional experience, design, performance, and more. We choose products that we connect to that we feel will enhance a specific area of our lives.

How are your products different in experience, quality, handling, materials, speed, system, market size, business size, etc.?

What’s important to your prospect?

It’s easy to compare yourself to other companies that carry similar products, let’s say dental implants, as that’s an industry I’ve been in for many years. While the products have a similar principle, the experience of using the different companies is vastly different. From the size of the companies, people, number of parts and pieces, products offered, features and benefits, and support.

Are the products really the same? Then why compare?

For some clients, it’s important to purchase from a big company, and for others, they prefer a startup environment where they can impact the business and be heard just like the employees that are drawn to small-medium and large businesses, different personalities are drawn to different products.

What do your competitors have that you don’t, and what do you have that they don’t? 

Create two columns and write down “what they have” vs. “what you have”.

6. What are the benefits your products provide as a company? What problems do they solve for your clients?

Use the information from “what you have” that you created above and list what problems these products/features provide and how they solve your prospect’s problem. Start with your overall solution, whether it’s simplicity, a luxury experience, revenue-generating without talking about the parts & pieces. How will they feel when choosing your products? Create a couple of short pitches around each of them. 

Ask probing questions to find out what the issue for each prospect is and focus on one solution at the time, and let them do the talking unless they ask you to.

What makes you different?

Look at your tagline combined with your company tagline/mission and play with words to create an elevator pitch for you and the company/product you represent. 

Download this fillable PDF of Who do you sell to

 

Did anything shift in how you approach your prospects from doing this exercise? Please share below.

Learn how we can work together HERE.

Crafting Your Tagline – the Secret to Selling You

Crafting Your Tagline – the Secret to Selling You

Being in sales you know that it’s not necessarily about you when people say “no.” It can range from a hard NO to a soft “not now, but I’m interested.“ When you’re great at closing you also know what questions to ask, how and when to ask for the sale, and when to walk away. When nothing is working despite all that, how do you get more yes’s?

As with most, if not all, things in life, it starts with you. When you know what your strengths are it becomes easier to be more intentional in all of your interactions. People’s experience of you will shift and that too will affect your sales. 

Authentic selling SELLS, it’s what you bring just by being your best self. Your talents and strengths provide you with clues of how you contribute in ways that you may not have thought about before. When you dive deeper into how your strengths show up for you, your life to date will start to make sense in a different way and you’ll have the language to express your talents and how they contribute to you, and those around you. 

When you craft a personal tagline that is created from how you contribute that includes your needs and what you bring it’s easier to stay connected to what makes you special, as a person and professional, and with that, you can sell yourself without telling people and simply show up.

Who are you?

I spent many years trying to find an answer to that question. And while there are many methods for this including reinventing who you are, why not start with how you’re uniquely wired independently on growth, transformation, titles, career, etc. 

Allow your talents to guide you to what comes so easy for you that you don’t think about it.

For example, when you have Strategic® you bring creative anticipation, imagination and persistence and an ability to find the best route forward. One of your needs is to have the freedom to make mid-course corrections

Market these parts of you. Your specific talent lineup is unique, your top 5 in your exact order is 1 in close to 34 million! Just knowing that makes any internal monologue about not being enough silly.

Some talents are more common than others, like Strategic® which happens to be the #5 talent theme globally and in the US of the close to 22 million people that have taken the assessment so far. Yet, while many may share this specific theme, the talent themes surrounding your specific theme lineup make how you express it unique to you. 

In other words, how you serve your customers and who you are is not something that can be replicated, and even if you tried the experience of interacting with you vs. someone else would be different. When you add your skills, experience, and education, it makes the odds of finding someone just like you close to impossible. 

Stand out and show the world what you bring! 

So how do you do that? Start by looking at what you bring and what you need (you can find this in your reports and on your Gallup® dashboard) for each of your dominant talents. Your dominant talents are who you are 24/7 – which tends to range from your top 8-15 talents.

Narrow down the words until you have the top-level word for how you would describe how each theme is expressed in the world for you. You can create a word cloud and plug in all the words in your customized report (All34 or Strengths Insight Report) to get started and notice similar words that stand out throughout your lineup.

What you will start seeing is a theme or a vibe. Maybe sayings and phrases you’ve often expressed throughout life will start to make sense and take on a deeper meaning. What often happens is a deeper understanding of what your drivers are with anything in life. You realize that it’s not a coincidence even when how you express seems random.

When I created my own tagline I started seeing patterns quickly (my #1 is Strategic®). Prior to that I had also read the book, “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek and later the exercises in the book “How to find your why” by Sinek, Mead & Docker only to find that the end result of these exercises “finding your why and how” is spelled out in my strengths reports. When you know what your strengths bring and need you get how you do anything and with that also your why. The bigger scope of what you’re here to create and contribute.

Find your compass

From the theme/vibe you see emerging through the words you’ve narrowed down for each of your dominant talents you’ll be able to create a tagline that speaks to you. This is what you bring to anything you do on and off the clock. Let that serve as your main compass in life and with that stay true to you.

What I created for myself is “Connecting People to Possibilities,” and that includes my main BP10™ role of Conductor. For me to be my best I need to be with people that actually have a desire to change, evolve, grow. 

With that tagline alone I know what I bring and who I serve (my ideal client), what and who to say yes to and with that increase the likelihood of closing a sale, and more which I’ll talk about in later blog posts.

  1. List your top level words

  2. What does your talents & strengths each bring and need?

  3. What sayings, mottos, etc. have you spoken or lived by, that connects with these words?

  4. What are your Top 4 BP10™ talents

  5. What is your main BP10™ role (Conductor, Expert, Rainmaker)?

What is your personal tagline?

 Try it and let me know how it goes!

Learn how we can work together HERE.

3 Simple Ways to Stand Out and Sell More

3 Simple Ways to Stand Out and Sell More

When you’re in sales you represent a company, brand, and product.

Depending on the size of your company, it’s easy to forget what you add to the equation.

Let’s face it, no matter what the size of the company is, in direct sales, at the end of the day it comes down to a person selling to another person.

So, how do you sell yourself when the competition is breathing down your neck? 

First of all, stand out by staying true to who you are as a person, know what you bring and add to their business and/or life, depending on your sales cycle.

1. Who are you?

Hint, your strengths are a quick way to find a language to express your hardwiring. Added to that are your skills, experience, interests, and more. Being yourself authentically is an attractive quality.

What do you offer as a person – salesperson – experience – knowledge? 

How can you improve your client’s business and even their lives because they were lucky enough to interact with you, ie how are you and your products helping them? What is the need that you’re helping them solve?

When you know what you bring, and have confidence in what you deliver others will too. 

2. Listen to…. [your people?]

To know what your prospects or existing clients are asking for, ask them open-ended questions,  and then shut up and listen while taking notes.

To build trust you need to listen and zap the word vomit pitch that will kill any sale or relationship. Focus on finding out what their problem is and then customize a response on how you and your products can help.

3. Review how you dress

When you present yourself in a way that brings out your best you feel great. You can dress stylish and professional and be comfortable. You can be stylish in a casual way too. Different industries have different dress codes and there’s still room for some personality.

Suits come in more colors than black and gray after all, and does the shirt really need to be in a crisp white? Pick fabrics and styles that make you feel and look awesome that match your personality, and compliment your skin tone, eyes, and hair color.

If you’re in the tech industry and wear jeans, your tee doesn’t need to be in monochromatic colors, it’s OK to add a pop of color. Pick some rad shoes or socks if nothing else.

So, what colors and fabrics make you feel like a rock star, successful, confident, happy, [fill in the blank with how you want to feel at work]?

The clothes you wear say a lot about you. Shoes too.

You don’t have to be into fashion unless that’s your thing. What do your clothes say about you? I’m not talking about a fashion image, I’m talking about what story you’re creating about yourself, does it align with who you are?

When you dress with intention, you add another layer to the sales conversation. People buy when they trust you (unless you have “THE” product that everyone just wants to get their hands on) but even there I’d say the sales experience comes down to the personal touch of the salesperson.

What impression do you want to project and leave behind?

When you dress in a way that complements who you are without apology, and I’m talking about the best version of you, the people you want to do business with, will be drawn to you, and the rest, will not. Saves a lot of time, doesn’t it?

This works in dating too, whether you’re in a relationship or not 🙂 Create your business with people that actually appreciate what you bring, and who you are.

Here are some resources for you:

  • To get help with colors and styles that work for you, and create your “After” CLICK HERE. Jennifer is someone I’ve worked with for over 15 years and I’m super grateful for everything I’ve learned from her. She’s a genius in selecting colors that bring out the best in you so that you can project who you are and dress in colors that match your personal intensity.
  • There are of course a number of other people around you that you can work with or simply ask for ideas from. Ask the people that dress in a way that you like where they shop or who they use.
  • Many men that I know use stylist services like Trunk Club (for men & women), StitchFix and Bombfell so that’s another option. They will follow different criteria like your budget, body shape and desired look.

Here’s a link to an article I found on Business Insider that might be of interest too “12 places to find affordable men’s workwear online.”

 

Try it and let me know how it goes!

Learn how we can work together HERE.