15 Questions Your Prospect Wants Answered

March 28th, 2012

sales questions you must answerWhen it comes to making a buying decision, prospects have a lot on their minds. Whether they’re consumers or business buyers, they have a lot of fears, concerns and doubts. And as long as those uncertainties remain unresolved, they’re going to be hesitant to buy.

The challenge is, prospects don’t always voice their fears and doubts. That can lead a salesperson to think those anxieties don’t exist.

Trust me, they do.

If you want to close the sale, you need to answer these questions that are swirling around inside your prospect’s head:

1. Can I trust you?

2. Can I trust your company?

3. Will your product or service actually work?

4. Is this the right product or service for me?

5. Will your product (or the results of your service) last?

6. Will you deliver on time?

7. Is it worth the money?

8. How can I justify the expense? (Note: A very different question!)

9. Can I feel good about buying from you?

10. Will you make me look good?

11. How can I minimize the risks involved?

12. Who can help me if I have questions?

13. If something goes wrong, will you fix it?

14. Can I get my money back if it doesn’t work?

15. How can I make sure I’m making the right decision?

Notice these questions have virtually nothing to do with the features and benefits of your product or service. They have everything to do with your prospect. So reciting a list of all your product’s cool features won’t get the job done.

Instead, come up with good answers to these questions and build them into your presentation. You’ll connect with your prospect on an emotional level, which is, of course, where decisions are made. Alleviate their fears, concerns and doubts, and you will have paved the way for a sale.

How to Find 30 Minutes of Free Time Every Day

March 20th, 2012

save time for salesBy guest blogger Mary Kelly, Ph.D.

By better managing your time, you can free up 30 minutes every day while increasing your productivity at work, working more effectively, and decreasing your stress level.

Being Busy Doesn’t Mean You Are Being Effective

You may be busy, but are you really getting work done? Are you effective? Are you accomplishing? Many people waste too much time organizing random thoughts, second-guessing themselves, and not focusing on the task at hand. The interesting part? Most people don’t even realize it.

This leads to feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and frustrated.

According to a study conducted by the American Psychological Association, the majority of Americans suffer from moderate or high stress. A shocking 44% claim their stress levels have increased over the past five years. Topping the list of stressors includes worry over money, work, the economy, family responsibilities, and relationships.

How do you reduce stress and do what you need to get done? Give yourself more time!

5 Secrets to Having More Time

The average adult needs seven to eight hours of sleep each night. (We really do function best on enough sleep. Give your brain the sleep it needs and it will reward you with higher concentration and productivity at work and at home.) That leaves you with 17 hours each day. How can you manage that time effectively?

1. Actively manage time as a resource.
Assign time parameters to each activity you need to complete to make sure no one task is getting too much attention. Plan your day the night before, use a calendar, and budget minutes. Carve out the time you need to get tasks finished, and stay focused until it is complete. Actually making a list so that you can cross off the completed items helps some people stay focused and motivated.

2. Manage your time spent on email and social media.
Resist the temptation to respond to every bit of email as soon as it arrives. Try to limit yourself to checking and responding to email just 3-5 times per day. I find I get distracted answering one email that leads to another email that leads to doing a Facebook update then I decide to write a blog and while I am there I might as well also post on LinkedIn and Tweet. Set aside a time, assign yourself a time limit, and stop when the time is up.

3. Limit distractions.
Phones, computers, coworkers, family, and my latest distraction, Words With Friends (oh, I love that game!) all provide endless distractions that take your mind off work. Plan your workspace to avoid these distractions. Clear your desk. Close your office door. Wear headphones. Stand up when people come by to engage you in idle chatter. Don’t have a chair for visitors in your office. Stay away from Angry Birds and people who want to be computer farmers.

4. Use 60 second increments.
Allowing your brain to rest for even 60 seconds allows it to refresh and prepare to work more effectively. If you find you are not 100% engaged in your work, give your brain some much needed rest and be amazed at how it rewards you in time-management and increased productivity. Try a one minute yoga breathing exercise. Get up and stretch. Touch your toes (or get as close as you can). Close your eyes for 60 seconds and dream of vacation. If your mind is still wandering, give your brain a sprint. Look at the clock and give yourself a minute to fully focus on what you are doing. Think about focusing for just one minute. Then increase it to 2 minutes. You can use this exercise to increase reading ability, to plow through paperwork you just don’t want to do (think, “I am going to get as much of this done in one minute as I can, ready, set go!”), and to increase overall focus.

5. Take time to enjoy your day.
Hard workers think they are optimizing time-management by eating at their desk and continuing to work, but they are just bringing one more distraction to their workspace. Take a little time to eat a healthy lunch, give your brain a rest, do something unrelated to work, and you will find that you will be better prepared to focus. Or use that time to take a walk. Go outside. Walk around the parking lot. Read a magazine. Plan a lunch with friends. Giving yourself an intended, enjoyable distraction also serves to renew energy.

Managing your most precious resource, your time, increases your productivity, allows you to feel better, gives you more energy, and saves time.

Mary Kelly, Ph.D., is an internationally-acclaimed leadership and communication expert. Her clients include the FBI, Aramark, numerous universities, and more than 70 insurance companies. Mary is the author of four books, including 360 Degrees of Leadership, 15 Ways to Grow Your Business in Every Economy, and the award-winning Master Your World: 10 Dog-Inspired Leadership Lessons to Improve Productivity. To learn more or to contact Mary, visit www.productiveleaders.com.

How Much Profit is Fair?

March 7th, 2012

fair profit on your salesDo you wonder whether you’re charging enough? Are you afraid you’re charging too much? Are you reluctant to raise your prices but quick to offer a discount?

If so, you’re like most people. You want to charge a fair price for your products and services. But just how much profit is fair?

Listen to my appearance on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio with Michele Price. In this eleven-minute segment, I answer this vexing question and discuss the implications for your business, whether you’re a salesperson, professional, small business owner or CEO.

To listen, just click on the link below. Or to download the segment to listen later, right-click the link and select “Save Target As…”

How Much Profit is Fair? Don Cooper on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (mp3)

To learn more about Michele Price and listen to her interview other business experts on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (which I definitely recommend), check out www.WhoIsMichelePrice.com.