Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Five Step Sales Process: For Success:FULL Sales

By Kevin J. Barrett

It is interesting!, that if there is anything that you want to get, or if there is anything you need in this life, then it will probably involve someone else’s help in getting it. This is true no matter who we are and what we do, It is particularly important if you are in “Sales”. No matter what you do, the ability to develop and maintain rapport with a large range of people with varying backgrounds will allow you to get what you want most of the time. Having rapport with someone will allow you to do most anything. In the sales process probably the most important skill to develop is the skill of “establishing rapport”.

The basis of rapport is that when people are like each other, they tend to like each other. We tend to associate and relate to people better when they are, similar to us. When people are not like each other, they tend to not like each other. A successful Sales professional needs, to he able to expand the range of people they will be able to relate to. It is important to remember that the “Sales Process”, is really the process of “communications”.

Each person is 100% responsible for their own communication, and the true meaning of communications is the response you get from that communication. Your response equals your meaning and all meaning iscontext (process or structure) dependent. This means that the words we use require context for meaning. (Alfred Korzyhski, General Semantics, 1933). If you are not getting the response you want, It is up to you to find a way of communicating what you want in a manner that will obtain the response you want. This means increase rapport. It is not the fault of the other person. This is one of the hardest concepts for people to accept. It is so much easier to blame the other person for not understanding.

When it comes to communications and establishing rapport it is important to remember that 93% of the meaning (response) in the communication process takes place on an unconscious level. Only 7% is based on objective words or at a conscious level, while 38% is based on the tone of voice and 55% is based on physiology, which is by an large unconscious.(Robert Birdwistle, University of Pennsylvania,Kinesthetics and Communications. 1970).

Have you heard the saying; “Buyers are Liars”? I don’t believe Buyers are liars. I believe it is up to the Sales Professional to polish their communication skills and “sensory acuity” to obtain the responses they want, and to assist their clients in “Buying and owning” what they want. Helping them achieve what they want. People do not like to be sold, but they love “Buying and Owning”. It is the “Sales Professional’s” responsibility to assist people in “Buying and Owning”.

What often happens in life is that we associate with people who are most like us. If people are not like us we move away from them. This can limit our life experiences. In sales, this can limit the number of prospects in which we can relate effectively with and in turn limit those where we can have successful sales outcomes. I believe that successful living is really Success: Full Living, and successful sales is reallySuccess: Full Sale.

One of our goals in life is to be able to achieve and have what we want. To do this it requires that we have the help and support of others. To gain the help and support of others we need to be able to establish rapport with them so that they want to willingly help us. The greater range of people we are able to relate with improves the scope in which we will be able to have Success: Full Living or as we say in sales,Success: Full Sales.

The following is a five step sales process that can quadruple your Success: Full Sales. It outlines a proactive approach that will enhance your ability to dynamically adjust and control the sales and communication process so that it is exactly matched to the client. Everyone is different and once we can determine the various strategies people use we can assist them in achieving what they want in their life. The following is based on an N.L.P. communications model. To learn more about these strategies and models contact Kevin Barrett at

1. Establish Rapport: Remember, people who are like each other tend to like each other. Match and Mirror the other person, their:

• Physiology

• Tone of voice

• Representational system

• Breathing

• Key words

2. Ask Questions: The questions you ask are directly related to the business of the person who you are interviewing. Talk their language. Ask questions in the language of their business.

• “For what purpose.....”

• Discover client’s internal representations (fear or pleasure, moving toward this or away from things, etc), desired states.

Meta Model

• Discover their internal strategies and anchor their needed to those states

• Discover Meta Programs and Values.

3. Find a Need: Establish need - establish value. No need? Stop here. Find another client. There are plenty of clients to work with that have needs.

• Anchor it - Anchor it (Need)

• Conditional close

• Tag questions.

4. Link the their Need or their Value to your Product or Service:

• Conditional close (“Is it fair enough....)

• “What would happen if…

• “Compared to.. . .“ (Contrast Frame)

• Because “ I agree with you because….)

• Agreement Frame

• Fire Anchors that supports them

• Use strategies and language patterns

5. Close:Ask for the order. Chain anchors to:
Handle Objections

• If no: (go to #3)

• If yes: Future pace. Fire! The reassurance anchors. Get referrals

Resistance to your message almost always indicates lack of support. If that happens at any point, build more rapport. Remember there is no such thing as uncooperative buyers or clients, only inflexible sales people. In 1930 Norbert Weiner, in his book Cybernetics, came up with the Law of Requisite Variety, which means that the system/person with the most flexibility of behaviour will control the process or system. The Sales Professional with the most flexibility of behaviour will have the most Success: Full Sales.

This is a very effective outline in achieving Success:Full Sales

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Truth About Testimonials.

Who is the easiest person in the world to sell to? That's an easy question to answer, yet one most business owners, unfortunately never ask themselves.

You see...the easiest person to sell to is one you've sold to before. It's someone who already trusts you, someone who's already had a "Wow" experience with your company. Tony Alessandra called this creating "Moments of Magic" for your customers. Usually, it's someone who is willing to give you a testimonial...if you ask for it. But, you have to ask for it!

Tony also said, "The very best time to ask for a testimony or a referral is when the sale is made."

Here are 4 quickfire ways to build your store of testimonials like crazy:

  • Use industry endorsements and/or respected experts

  • Put together user groups

  • Create a feedback form on your website

  • Ask directly, and then help your clients write the testimonial
One of my favorite ways to get testimonials is a trick I learned from my friend, Clate Mask at Infusionsoft. When a customer tells you something great about your product or service, ask this golden question, "Can I quote you on that?" Then write up their quote, email it to them for their approval, and voila! You've got a great testimonial!

Why are testimonials so powerful? Because, what someone else says about you is much more believable than what you say about yourself. If you're talking about your own business, you're bound to say how good it is. Everyone expects it, and no one really believes it. But if someone else raves about your business...then it's a whole different ball game.

So, if you don't have need them fast!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Instant Gratification of an Autoresponder

As you are very much aware, consumers today are eager to receive fast, efficient service. Whether it is the fault of the Internet, a characteristic of the rising generation, or some other reason, swift responses to customers and prospects has become an absolute must for small business owners.

An autoresponder is the perfect solution for small business owners who have more to do than simply respond to inquiries all day. The benefits of an autoresponder are clear.

1. They give your customers and prospects a swift response. Just because you don't have time to answer an email right away doesn't mean you won't get to it later. Give your customer the immediate response they are looking for without having to stop what you're doing.

2. They inform your customers and prospects of your absence. Feel like taking a vacation? An autoresponder is the perfect way to redirect your contacts to someone who can meet their needs, or lets them know when you'll be back. Customers will excuse absences. They are less likely to accept no response at all.

3. They can answer some of your prospects and customers questions for you. What are the most common questions your contacts ask you about your products or services? Often times, an autoresponder can take care of the mundane task of repeatedly answering the same questions.

4. They let customers and prospects know when a payment has been received. Do you sell online? Whenever your contacts make an online payment, your autoresponder can let them know that their credit card was successfully processed. (Which of course eases any concerns.)

With an autoresponder, YOU decide when to get back to your customers and prospects...but you get to respond on their timetable.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Use the Magic Word!

When it comes to marketing, "free" is one of the most powerful, most overused, and most wrongly used words in the English language. You see, when most people want to use this word in their marketing, they'll write it in big, bold letters, slap it in the headline, and wait for it to work its magic.

Make no mistake... "free" is an extremely powerful word, but if you don't know how to wield it with precision and skill, you're in for a nasty surprise! It's a little bit like the difference between a scalpel and a machete. Both are extremely sharp and powerful tools... but you must have the right skills to use them safely and effectively.

One of the best places to use the word "free' in your marketing... is when you use it to offer your customers and prospects a free report.

So, what is a free report? A free report is exactly what it says: a free source of useful information you give your prospects. You see, you are an expert in your industry, and there are things you know that your contacts can certainly benefit from. Offering a free report is an excellent way to:

  • Build your relationship with your customers and prospects
  • Give your customers and prospects value
  • Bring in leads (when you offer your free report as a download)
  • Keep your name in front of your prospects
  • Educate your prospects about your services

There is NO doubt about it: the value you get from giving a paper-and-ink report returns a value far out of proportion to its cost!

The advantage of giving away information is this: because you are the expert and because you've done your contacts a favor (by giving them something of value), they are going to feel comfortable with you and indebted to you. And, that will drive more sales!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Measure Your Marketing: What You Can Track

Several months ago, you were sent an email about the difference between marketing and advertising. Hopefully you took that message to heart. After all,one of the greatest benefits of marketing is the ability to measure your efforts. And, for a business owner, this is a valuable ability.

You see, when you measure your marketing efforts… and then take the time to make the appropriate changes, you are going to see the results in the increased number of sales.

A few months ago I attended a seminar, where Jay Conrad Levinson (Father of Guerrilla Marketing) spoke, I was actually able to get some quality one-on-one time with him. One of the things that he stressed during his presentation, was“So many businesses STOP marketing when they do not see immediate results.”… “It takes a little bit of time to determine if the advertizing and marketing you are doing is working!!!!”

You will never know what is working with out MEASURING!!!!!

Early in my career I worked briefly learning from Dr. Deming, (Father of Total Quality Management and the primary reason of the Re-Birth of Japan in the early 50’s) He used this phrase and it has has stuck with me for many years…“If you can’t measure it, you can’t change it., If you don’t measure it, you will never change. Know what to measure and use it to change for the better.”

In fact, this last point is one of the primary reasons, people and businesses keep doing the same thing over and over again. They can’t measure the results they are getting back… Interesting.

So how can you measure your marketing efforts? Well, good tracking and measuring is going to take a combination of Internet know-how and automated, marketing systems. But, between the two, you can easily track and measure:

  • Lead sources
  • Email open rates
  • Email opt-in rates
  • Email links
  • User interactions
  • Promotion responses
  • And, of course your resulting sales!

When you are able to SEE what is working, your marketing will become more specific, targeted, and successful. Even with a stellar marketing campaign, there is always room for improvement. Measuring your results gives you the chance to keep getting better, and bring in more and more sales.

Remember Dr. W. Edwards Deming words, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t change it., If you don’t measure it, you will never change. Know what to measure and use it to change for the better.”

Also remember Jay Conrad Levinson’s words, and I will paraphrase here, “Do what you are doing long enough to get good numbers to MEASURE….”

When uncertainty rules… marketing campaigns are nothing more than a shot in the dark! With the ability to measure, track, and tweak, you can become a marketing powerhouse and start adding more money to your bank account!

Monday, March 06, 2006

What is Customer Retention? How does it relate to the Customer Life Cycle?

Or Is this really Important for a Small Business Enterprise?

By Kevin Barrett

This is a very interesting topic…. Trillion’s of Dollars are spent a year on Sales Training… most of that training is focused for getting New Customers….

IIn effect, trying to find new Professional Sales Techniques to gain a "competitive advantage".

It is also interesting that Customer Retention Programs are usually an after thought.

We advocate companies “Developing a Loyalty Ladder” customer base….. rather than a “Revolving Door” sales process. Customer Retention Programs are just as important…. I will even say they are more important than, new customer generation….

Once , customer retention is setup properly it cost very little to maintain, “Open Regular Communications” with your existing customer base and it frees up more resources to expand your sales into new areas…

I wrote an article awhile back on this topic and the full article can be downloaded at the link….

Matching Your Retention Strategies and Customer Life Cycle

It has some very interesting concepts….

I have used some references from Adam Ramshaw a Director at Genroe Pty Ltd… Adam and his company in Australia are experts in this field..

The graphic on Customer Life Cycle was provided with his permission.

I would recommend to everyone checking out there website…. Genroe and I have collaborated in the past and they are exceptionally good at what they do….

After reading the above article, my question is How many of the companies you work with or for that matter your own… company… really factor in to their Sales Plan the Product Life Cycle?… ( it has also been called the “Itch Cycle” of the product, when does the customer start needing the product again, and need to satisfy that desire?)

I believe that this is an important aspect of “Increasing Sales” and it is “Vital” for companies to factor these principles into their “Sales Programs” and “Strategic Plans”…

Every Sales Professional, must consistently explore ways to make regular contact with their “Loyalty Ladder”…..

Kevin Barrett

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

To the Sales Professional, What is your Prime Motivator? And How important is it to you?

By Kevin Barrett

A Professional Sales Technique that will make all the difference.

A friend of mine wrote a very interesting and informative article on “Networking”… One of the responses to her article was by a gentlemen that suggested that the “Motivation behind Networking” is also of importance.

This caused me to reflect on the impact and importance for a Sales Professional.

The prime “Motivator” for our networking and for that matter Sales, is very important. I relate this to a “Purpose”, when I am working with companies. A “Purpose”, is your reason for being….

That will most likely be different for each person on this net.

My over all “Purpose”, my reason for being…. Not just for myself but also my company, Is in just a few words:

“To make a positive difference”

That one statement carries through everything I do…. It is my prime “Mover”…..

When working with companies, over the last 20 years I have observed a refinement with companies to further define themselves as a company… this is particularly important for “Start-up” Companies.

We all have that a Business Plan is important, and we have all heard that we need to have a 5 year plan… we have heard words like, “Mission Statements”, “Value Statements”, “Vision” and “Action Plans”… extolled as the “ways and means” for achieving success in business.

In the late 90’s I was involved in a “Change Management” program with the largest insurance companies in Australia. The Program was called “Working from the Inside Out”….

One of the topic’s to be covered, was related to the perceived ineffectiveness of “Business Plans” … These companies had business plans, but they did not think that they were really of any value.

They had put in 5 year plans and because of revolutionary changes in that industry that took place, they found that everything changed… and they were left scrambling…..

A lot of finger pointing in many different directions… The real motivation behind this program, was that “Management wanted to change their employees, so that they would obtain different results.”

The true is you can not change the outside very much with out getting in deep and at the core of things. Hence, the name of the Program.. “Working from the Inside, Out”..

For this desired change to take place a change in “Management” had to take place….

We have all heard and seen the “Pyramid” style structure for “Organizational Charts”, CEO (one) at the Top and individual employees (Many) at the bottom…

What I did, is take that “Organizational Chart” and turn it upside down….

The CEO the (One) holding up the rest of the Organization… the response… Impossible, to achieve… even the mythical Atlas, was not able to hold the world on his shoulders….

My response was.. Let’s take a “Holistic” approach to the structure, much as Deming advocated, in his Total Quality Management program and empower the top the many to be able to function as an integrated unit. This would take much of the weight of the CEO and in effect permit “Atlas to hold up the world”.

You must remember, that this company was hemorrhaging. They were using words like, we have to kill the competition, we have cut out the dead beats, we are at war…. We must win at all cost. Their new “Marketing Campaign” was like a “War Campaign”.

My comment to one of the “Senior Executives” at the time was, and I really don’t remember where I had heard this before, but it came to me as an answer to his “Motivation” for wanting this “Change Management” program… I guess, in a nut shell, they wanted to “Train the Troops” to do battle.

My comment, “I recall seeing a young girl in a war torn setting. The village had just been bombed out, smoke was still, rising from the ruins and devastation. A reporter on the ground was asking this young girl, what she wanted to BE, when she grew up?”

This young child’s response?..... “I want to be alive”

I asked the “Senior Executive” if he wanted to “Do Battle” or have is “Company alive” and well…..

To be alive and well, they needed to change how they were doing things…

One of the reasons that their 5 year plan had not “Seen” the change in their industry coming was because they did not take a large enough View…… They were looking too locally and not Globally….

So… I changed the Business Planning Model, from their current planning model, which was:

Mission Statement
Action Plan

We included several new areas and their planning process became:

Global View (or Purpose)
Vision or Business Overview

Mission Statement
Action Plan

We started at the top…. And worked down…….

We also found that there needed to be something to link this purpose or global view with the “Vision” and this is called the “Values”.

These Values and Beliefs are important for making change. It is just as important for companies. Once this was in alignment with our “Purpose”, things started to move forward, move forward at a fast pace.

There are many companies that are following this the Visionary Model, (which does not include the Global View or Purpose perspective)

James Collins and Jerry Porras, wrote a book called “Built to Last” were they studied Visionary Companies and tracked their success over the last 100 years. Exceptionally good reading…. These companies had different values, but they all had a “Strong Governing Value”, that impacted their actions and decisions… In effect… in influenced every step of the planning process.

I believe that when companies begin to take an even large starting view (Global Impact and Purpose) and link their “Values” with this model, we will see even greater success at all levels of business, large and small business ventures…

The statistics with companies failing in the first 3 years in business is not improving much….

Back to the original, point of this thread, related to “Networking”…. And integrating Christophe, suggestion that the “Why we network”, is of importance….

I would suggest we explore each of our individual “Purpose Statement” and it will provide some very interesting insights as to ourselves and our businesses…

Be careful however, it could change your “Success Ratio” significantly for the better.

How good are we at handling “Change”? and “What impact do we want to make?”

Kevin Barrett