As a professional speaker and trainer on the subject of sales, I am, naturally, a member of the National Speakers Association. So last week I was in Philadelphia for the 2013 NSA Annual Convention.
More than twelve hundred of the world’s top professional speakers and trainers got together for four days to learn from each other. The result—as always—was an amazing outpouring of business insights and ideas.
Here, in no particular order, are thirteen of the best:
1. “Being good isn’t good enough.”—Ron Karr
These days, everybody is good. If you want to succeed, you have to go beyond that. What can you do besides simply “being good?”
2. “We can’t control the market. We can’t control our customers. We can only control our actions.”—Lisa Ford
Salespeople, professionals and business owners constantly complain about and blame their circumstances. But the fact is, nobody controls their circumstances. The key is to focus on the one thing you can control—how you react to your circumstances.
3. “After your sales call, your prospect is thinking ‘Did we like him?'”—Walter Bond
All sales are personal. Your prospect is basing their buying decision as much on you as on the merit of your product or service. Are you likeable?
4. “Scarcity drives sales.”—Carolyn Strauss
We can sabotage our sale efforts by being too available. Saying things like “We’ve got plenty in stock…” or “We can start right away…” actually decreases a prospect’s confidence because it suggests a low demand, implying you’re not very good. Limited supplies or availability convey the opposite message: you’re in demand, because you’re great.
5. “Crowds move. Go where the crowds are.”—Jim Ziegler
Typically when a business owner or CEO tells me they’re not actively using social media as a marketing tool, they say something along the lines of “I don’t get Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest. I think it’s a big waste of time.” It doesn’t matter what you think. It only matters what your market thinks. If you want to boost your sales, you need to spend time where they spend time.
6. “When you know more about your prospects and clients, you’re better able to relate on a personal level, ensure relevancy, close more deals and highly customize your presentations.”—Sam Richter
Too many salespeople deliver a canned presentation to a prospect they know little or nothing about, creating minimal impact. Spend more time researching your buyer beforehand and you can dramatically increase your impact in every interaction you have with them, radically differentiating you from your competitors.
7. “An ungenuine smile does you more harm than good.”—Connie Dieken
A genuine smile is powerful for building rapport, connection and trust. An ungenuine smile, however, makes you seem fake and untrustworthy, causing people to not want to do business with you. Always be genuine.
8. “A great brand makes people feel good about themselves.”—Bruce Turkel
Everybody has to buy stuff, but we prefer buying things that make us feel smart, special, safe, cool, healthy, successful, responsible, helpful, environmentally aware and morally just. How can you inspire one or more of those feelings in your customers?
9. “What makes you a great leader is not what you know, but what you’re willing to learn.”—Robyn Benincasa
The most successful people in any field or industry understand that however much they know, there’s always more to learn. And that thought excites them.
10. “When your buyer has a lot of choices, it’s harder for them to make a decision.”—Brian Palmer
Often, salespeople present as many options as possible to a prospect, hoping that one of them will trigger a desire to buy. But the opposite happens instead. Help your buyer narrow down their options to make their decision easier.
11. “Stop doing stupid.”—Mary Kelly
Whether you’re a salesperson, manager, VP, business owner or CEO, you could use more time. One way to free up some time is to stop wasting it on tasks, processes and people that make no sense. Figure out what’s “stupid” in your life and cut it out.
12. “To survive in business, you need to be a resource.”—Don Hutson
In a world where almost everything is a commodity, arguably the most important way to stand out is to provide information and assistance that helps people reduce their problems and achieve their goals. How can you help your prospects and clients above and beyond the products and services you sell?
13. “Change your words. Change your world.”—Nido Qubein
Words have power. Power to help and power to hinder. Power to heal and power to wound. Power to enlighten and power to mislead. The words you choose have enormous impact on you and those around you. Not getting the results you’d like? Change the words you use.
For more ideas and insights from these great speakers, click on their names to follow them on Twitter. (To follow me, click here.)