Six Directions for Growing Your Sales

April 24th, 2013

Directions for Boosting SalesHow would you like two hours of free consulting with six of the smartest strategists in business? Do you think that would help you boost your sales?

That’s what Michele Price was thinking when she brought together six of us for an episode of Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio so powerful, it was deemed a “Staff Pick” by the staff of BlogTalk Radio.

In addition to my thoughts, you’ll hear brilliant sales insights and tactics from:

Stephanie Calahan, The Business Optimizer
Daniel Cohen, Owner and Lead Writer at RedShift Writers
Dino Dogan, co-founder of Triberr
Geoff Livingston, co-author of Marketing in the Round
Andrea Waltz, co-author of Go For No

The program is two full hours, so I’d recommend downloading it to your favorite device so you can listen to it at your leisure.

Click here for the episode. It will start playing automatically. To download it, right click on the link in the player that says “Download this episode,” and select “Save target as…”

For more insights and ideas from Michele, Stephanie, Daniel, Dino, Geoff and Andrea, click on their names above to follow them on Twitter.

59 Ways to Agree with Your Customer

April 17th, 2013

Agreement Words and Phrases for Better SalesWhether you’re building rapport with a new prospect, negotiating the fine points of a big contract or working to resolve a customer problem, one of the best things you can do with your buyer is to agree with them whenever possible.

Agreeing with customers helps to reassure them that you’re actually on the same side, working toward a mutually beneficial outcome. It also demonstrates respect for their thoughts, feelings, needs and values. Even more importantly, it helps them feel more comfortable because they’re dealing with someone who understands them and can relate to them.

The result is that they lower their defenses and become more agreeable as well.

The challenge is, if you use the same word or phrase over and over, it starts to sound rote and insincere, which can undermine your credibility and cause your buyer to trust you less, leading to more conflict. To avoid this, you need to vary your agreement vocabulary.

In no particular order, here are 23 words and 36 phrases that communicate your acknowledgement, support and empathy:

Words
1. Yes
2. Yeah
3. Yep
4. Okay
5. Uh-huh
6. Right
7. Sure
8. Surely
9. True
10. Truly
11. Absolutely
12. Definitely
13. Certainly
14. Precisely
15. Exactly
16. Naturally
17. Undoubtedly
18. Unquestionably
19. Indubitably
20. Indeed
21. Bingo
22. Amen
23. Hallelujah

Phrases
1. I agree
2. I understand
3. I see
4. You’re right
5. I concur
6. I feel the same way
7. I would feel the same way
8. I don’t blame you
9. Me too
10. Me neither
11. You’re 100% correct
12. That’s true
13. No question
14. No argument
15. Sure thing
16. You got it
17. Right on
18. Too true
19. I’m sure
20. I bet
21. I believe it
22. I don’t doubt it
23. I can see that
24. I hear you
25. You know it
26. You got that right
27. I know what you mean
28. I couldn’t agree more
29. We’re on the same wavelength
30. No doubt
31. Of course
32. By all means
33. I see your point
34. Point taken
35. That makes sense
36. You bet

Which words and phrases are best for you? Depends on what you feel most comfortable with and what will resonate with your customers. (Personally, I don’t think I would ever use the word “indubitably” in a conversation, but if it works for you and your clients, hey, go for it.)

The right word choice also depends on the situation. Each of these words and phrases has its own tone and subtext—even more reason to expand your repertoire.

Make a conscious effort to practice these expressions of agreement, not just in sales and customer service situations, but with everyone you interact with: friends, family, colleagues and others. The more you practice them, the more naturally they’ll come to you, and the more agreeable you’ll find everyone around you to be.

Did I miss any? Do you have a favorite expression of agreement that’s not on this list? If so, leave it in the comments section below!

The Problem with Relationship Selling

April 9th, 2013

Relationship Selling and Your SalesThe term “Relationship Selling” has become a cliché. Sales speakers and trainers throw the term around as if it’s a panacea for poor sales performance.

There’s a problem with the cliché of relationship selling, though—prospects don’t actually want a relationship.

That’s not what they’re there for. A relationship might develop, but that’s not their goal. It’s not even on their radar.

Nobody ever walks into a store thinking, “I hope I find a good relationship in here.” No manager or CEO meets with a salesperson and thinks, “Oh boy! A chance to create a new relationship!”

On the contrary, buyers are looking to buy something. The salesperson is the necessary evil they have to endure to purchase it.

So if you’re trying to get chummy with your prospect and they’re having none of it, that’s the reason why.

Understand that a buyer isn’t going to invest time and effort into forging a relationship with a person they may not encounter more than once.

So instead of trying to force a relationship with a person who isn’t looking for one, be the kind of salesperson your prospect wants to build a relationship with.

Keep in mind that good relationships are built on respect, trust, support and communication (read: listening). And it’s up to you to exhibit those elements first. Your prospect has no reason to respect, trust, support or listen to you until you respect, trust, support and listen to them.

Which means ask good questions and listen to the answers. Respect your prospect’s time, intelligence and values. Think of ways you can support them in their goals. And trust what they say, rather than falling into the trap of believing “buyers are liars.”

A relationship with your customer is a good goal, but it’s not your primary one. Your first and most important goal is to serve your prospect’s immediate needs. Do that well and you create the opportunity for a strong relationship down the road—one that’s mutually rewarding.

Six Things You Need to Invest In to Boost Your Sales

April 2nd, 2013

Sales InvestmentsSales isn’t easy. And there’s no magic bullet for success. If you want more sales, you need to make investments in a variety of areas.

Which areas, precisely?

Listen to my appearance on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio with Michele Price. In this eleven-minute segment, I discuss three specific resources you need to invest and six areas to invest them. And if you’re a CEO, business owner or sales manager, there’s a bonus strategy just for you!

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…”

Six Things You Need to Invest In to Boost Your Sales: 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 strongly recommend), check out WhoIsMichelePrice.com.