What You Can Learn About Sales Hustle From an 8-Year-Old

Sales hustle

Eight-year-olds think they know everything. Trust me — I’ve got one.

They think they understand how life works and they don’t want help from anyone.

Now, as the adult, I can easily look at a situation and see the problems. But, if I ask my daughter, “Hey, can I help you with that?” or “Why don’t you try this instead?” the answer is a quick and determined, “NO!”

See, kids like to figure things out on their own — and so do your prospects.

The Sales Hustle Fail

If we’re honest, we’ve all got that little eight-year-old kid inside us — and we see it clearly in a sales hustle.

Here’s how it plays out:

  1. The customer is interested.
  2. The customer signs up to learn more.
  3. The customer is bombarded with emails, phone calls, etc.
  4. The customer says, “Not interested.”

What happened? They showed interest. They opted in. There was something they wanted more of — but then they declined. Here’s why.

Over the last 10 years, there’s been a big push to start the sales hustle as soon as someone shows interest. They give us their email or phone number and we put them into our sequences. We focus less on outside sales and more on the internal sales team’s follow-up strategies.

Sure, our internal sales teams have great systems for following up, but in creating them, they’ve sacrificed the customer experience.

Dial Back the Hustle!

How do you get back to really connecting with potential clients? Dial back the sales hustle. Focus on the customer, not the sale. Truly put yourself in your prospect’s shoes.

  • What did the customer actually want when they signed up?
  • Why did they sign up for a piece of content?
  • What are they responding to?
  • If you had that need, what sales approach would be comfortable for you?
  • Would you want someone calling you immediately?

Yes, the customer showed interest — but they don’t want someone looking over their shoulder while they figure out what to do.

As a customer, this is where our inner eight-year-old comes out. Maybe it’s best for someone to call immediately and tell us exactly how to solve our problem, but we want to figure it out on our own. When we feel too much pressure, we say, “No!”

Give customers the space to learn more without hovering over them. Sure, you know more than they do. You know how to solve their problem. But they THINK they know more… and they don’t want to hear otherwise.

Check this out: The Psychology of Sales: 4 Important Principles to Help You Close More Deals

When people give you their info, they’re obviously interested in what you sell. But don’t scare them off by asking too much too soon.

Use the Cold Call Perspective

Consider the people who sign up to learn more about your offer “new leads.” Don’t assume they’re ready to buy. Don’t automatically push them three steps down your sales funnel.

Instead, treat these prospects like a cold call list. Reach out and get to know them. They’re in the market for something. They’ve clicked through your email sequences and shown interest. Now it’s time to start a conversation.

Give them a call — not to close the deal, but to book an appointment so they can learn more.

People want the real deal. When they’re ready to buy, they want to deal with a person — not an automated sequence. So let them know who you are. You can even say, “Hey, I know you’ve seen some of our content, so I wanted to touch base. If you’re happy with your current situation, great! Stay with them — good partners are hard to find. But if you’ve become disenchanted with your current provider, I’d love to have a conversation with you. I want to earn your business, but only when the timing is right. And if you just want some advice, I’m open to that too. I’d like to get to know you.”

Related: Be Brief, Be Brilliant, Be Gone: A Lesson in Sales Cold Call Training

They’ll see you as a real person who’s willing to help. Then, once they think things through, they may be ready to have a sales conversation about the next steps.

Identify +/- Triggers

You don’t have to ditch the sales hustle entirely. I’m not telling you to abandon your internal marketing strategy. It’s obviously effective to some extent.

But you do need to look at what triggers your prospects to bail and what might win them back. We can’t give you these triggers — they’re specific to your sales approach. But if you can figure them out, they can play a big role in your sales conversion.

For example, a friend of mine owns an e-commerce company. When prospects go through the purchasing process, entering their name, email, and phone number, but bail before they buy, someone calls them immediately and asks, “Everything okay?” With a simple phone call, they recoup about 70% of those sales. It works for them.

Finding what works for you will take testing. But once you find a trigger that works at least 60% of the time, you’ll know you’ve found a way to better reach your customers.

We all like to believe we know what’s best. We like to control our own destiny. So, if your prospects are showing sudden signs of disinterest, take a look at your strategy. You may be coming on a little strong.

Yes, you could fix their problem if they let you, but remember, they’re acting like an eight-year-old! Let them know you’re available, then give them a little time and space. Eventually, they’ll come around!

 

How to Double Your CRM Adoption Rate

Double your CRM adoption rate

“You’ll lose your job if you don’t use the CRM.”

That should work, right? Surely your salespeople will get on board if their jobs depend on it.

Not exactly.

Even when people’s jobs are on the line, only 40-60% of sales reps are using their CRM — leaving your company with inaccurate data, stunted growth, and extra work.

And if you only have half the data, you have nothing.

How Data Drives Growth

When you’re trying to grow your business, you need the facts. If you’re missing 40-60% of the data, you can’t accurately make projections and plan for growth.

A wise sales manager bases their projections, goals, and strategies on the data. You need to know how many cold calls it takes to book an appointment and how many appointments it takes to a close a deal. Those numbers drive your expectations for your team and indicate if salespeople will hit their marks. If half the data is missing, those forecasts aren’t just slightly off — they miss the mark completely.

Sure, you may grow a little, but that’s either dumb luck or growing existing accounts. If you really want to boost your business, you need to be able to control your growth — and the only way to do that is to know what variables are present and what methods move new prospects down the pipeline.

Why Most CRMs Don’t Work

Salespeople hate using CRMs. They often have a system they’ve used for years and they don’t want to add hours to their workweek punching in data.

But you need the data so you buy a CRM that has all the output features you need and hope your team will get onboard. Here’s how it usually plays out.

You buy a new CRM. You set it up, roll it out to your team, and train them on the software. Then they just do what they’ve always done — write everything down. The only difference is now they have an added responsibility to keep up the software (that they didn’t pick) for five hours a week.

Most salespeople weren’t hired because they’re awesome at data entry. You hired them to be out in the field meeting prospects, pitching the product, and closing deals. These CRMs then become a weight they’re dragging along as they try to keep up their regular workflow. They take a few steps forward, then lose time backtracking as they catch the CRM up to speed.

Plus, delayed data is garbage. It’s not intentionally wrong — it’s just susceptible to human error. When you put a week’s worth of info in the system on Friday, details fall through the cracks. The data doesn’t accurately reflect what really happened.

Not only is your team resistant to using the CRM — but when they do use it, the data is inaccurate.

What’s the solution? You need usable software that reports real data in real time.

2 CRM Essentials for Every Sales Team

If you want reliable data from a CRM that your salespeople will actually use, you need a solution with two qualifications:

1. The software must match the workflow.

Salespeople need a CRM that works in the field. If they’re out meeting clients all day, they need a way to update their data from their mobile device, not their desktop. And it needs to be quick — automatic if possible.

2. You need a CRM partner — not a vendor.

If you want your CRM to work, you need more than a vendor — you need a partner to walk you through the entire process of CRM adoption. They spend their days setting up CRMs and bring their experience to you.

When you set up a CRM on your own, you miss some key factors — not because you’re dumb, but because you lack experience setting up CRMs.

Setting up a CRM is like doing repairs. If I need to change the drain in my dishwasher, it’ll take me all day and I’ll probably mess up a few times. But, if I call in the pro, they’ll finish in an hour. Why? They have experience. It’s not that I’m not capable of turning off the power, using a screwdriver, and watching YouTube — it’s just the first and only time I’m going to do this, so I won’t do it as well as a pro.

Related: A Complete Guide to Sales CRM Implementation

A CRM partner is the pro that sets you up for a great start. They sell the idea of using the CRM to your team. They know how to present it so the sales reps see the value in using the CRM rather than viewing it as another box on the checklist. It’s not just about training — it’s about training from a perspective that works.

When It Comes to CRMs, Simple Is Better

CallProof breaks the cycle of ineffective CRMs. We partner with you and we provide a solution that’s easy to adopt. If you’ve been around sales a while, you’ve seen CRMs cycle through your company. You’ve tried CRM after CRM — each adding about 3-5 hours per week of extra work. People don’t adopt it, the data isn’t accurate, so management tries another one hoping it’ll be better. It won’t be.

Interested in other tools that make your job easier? Check out 11 Essentials to Have With You in the Field.

Companies that use CallProof have an 80-90% CRM adoption rate because it’s different from the CRMs you’ve used before. It doesn’t need those extra 3-5 hours a week to gather accurate data. It’s simple. It integrates with your existing calendar, email, calls and messages and keeps track of the relevant info. It doesn’t change what you do — it works alongside you. When you use a CRM like this, you won’t have to threaten people’s jobs for not using it. Using this tool makes sense.

7 Conversations You Should Never Have With a Prospect via Email

Email is easy. But easy isn’t always best.

People try to send emails instead of having conversations all the time. Sometimes it works. But in these seven situations, it just doesn’t.

Even if you’re tempted, don’t have these conversations via email. It’s time to pick up the phone.

1. Anything that starts with “Just”

I was just emailing…
Just following up…
Just checking in…
Just dropping a note…

NOPE.

Call them instead. When you’re speaking with someone, you can control the conversation and really take their temperature. Listen to them and propose something that’s reasonable.

If you think they’re a hot prospect, they’re worth a call. Say, “Hey, making sure you have everything you needed. When should I follow up with you next?” They’ll tell you where they are.

Maybe you thought they’d close next week, but they tell you, “Well, I need to run it by this person…” Now you know they’re not ready, while your “just” email would have likely gone unanswered, leaving you wondering where you stand.

Related: Use These Sales Follow-Up Strategies to Replace “Just Checking In”

2. Negotiations

Don’t negotiate over email. No one gets your inflections so it’s tough to communicate nuances. It’s difficult to distinguish between value and price in text. Everything is literally black and white while negotiations work best in the gray. Sometimes negotiating via email is unavoidable, but avoid it whenever you can.

3. Introductions

Pick up the phone if you can (and if it’s appropriate) to make an introduction. The point of an introduction is to connect with a new person — and email doesn’t provide the best channel for connection. With a phone call (or better yet, a face-to-face opportunity), you’re better able to put a personality to the name and establish a connection they’ll remember.

4. Become Someone’s Friend

Email isn’t the place to build rapport and make friends. You’re not pen pals. Again, there’s no inflection in text. We all read emails according to our moods — which leaves too much to interpretation. Save rapport building for a conversation.

5. Cancel Vendors or Customers

If you have a customer or vendor that’s not a good fit, still give them the respect of having a conversation about it. You need to listen to them, and you can explain why the relationship isn’t working out. If the conversation goes well, you may even get a referral out of the deal.

You’d never get a referral from email. They’re not thinking about that. But every time you talk to someone, as long as the conversation goes well, you have the opportunity for a referral. If you ask them about it in the course of a conversation, they may know just the person to send your way.

6. Apologies

It’s too easy for an apology to be misread via email. It’ll be misconstrued depending on what the person wants to see. If you keep an email apology too brief, it seems like you don’t care. If you make your email too long, no one will read it.

Plus, it always takes too much time. It probably took you 45 minutes to craft the message that’ll be misread anyway. Just call them or make an appointment to meet so you can apologize the way you intend.

7. Pitch a Sale

Sales pitches rely on interaction, which makes them near impossible to do via email. Even if you send a video sales pitch, you end up guessing about the client’s needs. You’ll spend a lot of time on disclaimers, “I think this is probably what you’re looking for based on…”

If a client asks for an emailed pitch, you can always try it. It won’t be as effective as a face-to-face pitch, but you’ll miss 100% of the shots you never take.

Related: Tell the Story, Make the Sale: Sales Conversation Starters to Improve Your Pitch

Sales is all about the relationship… and emails don’t allow for the back and forth you need to have the conversations that build sales relationships. So, whether it’s time to negotiate, check in, or apologize, pick up the phone. It’ll be worthwhile.

How to Create a Sense of Urgency in Your Sales Team

Sense of urgency

As an employee, it’s always nice to hear, “It’s okay. Just wait until tomorrow…”

But if you want to build a winning sales team as a sales manager, you need to build a sense of urgency.

You need your sales team to get excited, to crave a win today, and to move on leads quickly. And as their manager, you have to lead the charge. It’s your job to instill a sense of immediacy. You’re the one who emphasizes the importance of taking immediate action.

So how do you do it? It all starts with casting a vision. Then you help them get there with the right tools, fewer distractions, and accountability.

Here’s how to create a sense of urgency in your sales team that keeps them focused on meeting those goals ASAP.

Clear a Line of Sight

Set clear goals for your team. What are you trying to accomplish? Cast the vision and sell them on it.

Tell them, “Here’s where we need to be by the end of the quarter. If everyone does their part, we’ll get there. If we don’t get there it’s on me — but I’m not going to fail.”

Whittle Down the To-Do List

After you set the goal, look at what tasks help salespeople achieve it… and what don’t. Start eliminating the things that seem productive but aren’t — like research, filing emails, or anything that doesn’t result in an immediate sale. You can even tell them, “Hey, we all spend time (researching, filing emails, etc. ), but we’re not going to do it for 90 days. Instead, I’ve made arrangements for how we’re going to handle it.”

It may seem that the time spent doing these non-urgent tasks is minimal, but it adds up. And when your team takes some of the little things off their plate, they’re better able to focus on more productive work.

Brainstorm Together

Get your sales team involved in figuring out how to achieve those goals too. Explain how activities lead to sales. Then ask for input:

  • What tasks do they see as non-productive?
  • What time-sucks keep them from making a sales?
  • What “jobs” have nothing to do with meeting people and making a sale?
  • What ideas do they have for getting stuff done in a different way?

People are probably harder on themselves than you would be on them. And the more involved they are in thinking of ideas, the more dedicated they’ll be to acting on them.

Look at the Pipeline

Also, look at each person’s pipeline. Salespeople should not have 50+ leads in their pipeline — they should have about seven. Look at each contact in their pipeline and ask the salesperson what the next step is. If the next step isn’t, “I need to call them,” “I need to get this from them,” or “I need to find out…,” move them out of the pipeline.

Related: How to Increase Sales By Returning Calls Faster

Only keep the leads you can act on now. The pipeline is not the place for delayed action. It’s the place for leads you can act on immediately.

Communicate Consistently

As their manager, communicate regularly and consistently. If you can, have salespeople call or email you after every appointment or meeting. We call it an “after-action report.” If they know you’re in the loop, they’ll automatically be urgent.

Without accountability, people move at their own pace — which often isn’t as efficient as it could be. You’re not their babysitter or their auditor. But you are holding them accountable. This kind of communication is all about sharing, working together, and staying on the same page.

Should you pay them more or offer incentives for reaching goals?

Honestly, they don’t really help. Incentives won’t fix a lack of urgency.

Creating a winning sales team is all about establishing the right culture — a culture that feels a sense of urgency and gets things done!

Gear Load-Out for Outside Sales Pros: 11 Essentials to Have With You in the Field

Gear load out

We’ve all seen the frumpy sales guy come into a meeting fumbling through his stuff. His pen doesn’t work, he’s scattered, and his breath stinks. Don’t be that guy.

You want to be the guy who walks into a meeting cool and calm. You know your stuff and you’ve got the right stuff.

Here’s what you’ll need:

A Mobile Device

A mobile device is a must. Have it charged and ready to access your calendar, email, and a speech-activated CRM. But keep it in your pocket until it’s relevant. Turn all notifications off and resist the temptation to check it haphazardly.

Only pull it out when you need to send your contact information to the person you’re meeting or look at your calendar.

A Swiss Army-Style USB Charging Knife

Keep a swiss army-style charger in your pocket. You probably won’t need it since your phone is already charged, but someone else in your meeting might.

Digging for a charger is a sign of inferiority. Sure, people have legit excuses about why their phone isn’t charged, but it makes them look bad. Pulling out the cool charging knife shows you are one step ahead of the world. If someone’s phone dies, just toss them this tool and move on.

Five Sugarless Breath Mints

With breath mints on hand, you keep your fresh breath AND you have a literal exit strategy in your pocket. If the meeting is going long, keep listening intently while you pull out a breath mint, pop it, and lean back in your chair. They’ll take the hint and start wrapping up.

Pro Tip 1: Take mints out of the package so they don’t rattle. Either put them in a plastic bag or an immaculately folded napkin.

Pro Tip 2: Only buy sugarless mints — sugar causes bad breath so you’ll end up with worse breath than you had before.

Two Pens

Sales meetings aren’t the place for your Mont Blanc, but you will need two functional pens. You don’t want your pen to distract anyone from the conversation. You want them to focus on you.

And if one runs out of ink, you have another.

Two Sheets of Folded Copier Paper

Take these two sheets of paper, and fold them into a square. Leave them in your jacket pocket — don’t just set them on the table. When you need to take a note, pull them out and write down what you need. Do not unfold them unless you’re just refolding to get a clean space. After you jot down your note, put them back.

Why plain paper? Sheets of paper are easier to deal with later. If you write your notes in a journal, you may just tuck it away and forget about them. But if you have loose paper, you’ll read it right away and do what’s needed.

Plus, journals and legal pads make you look like a secretary — you’re not. Don’t try to take minutes on the meeting. If you’re only writing down selective notes, it’ll highlight what you’re paying attention to. And it’ll make the things you write down seem more important.

Five Tissues

If you need a tissue during the meeting you don’t want to pull out a bulky tissue packet, but you also need enough for yourself and to offer to someone if they need it. I always put tissues in my back left pocket with nothing else. Then, when I pull them out, nothing else comes with it.

And don’t use a handkerchief — they’re outdated and kind of gross.

Five Business Cards

Don’t hand your business cards out like candy. These are a last resort — only hand out a card if someone directly asks for it.

Your first choice should be an email. (Pro Tip: Have a My Contact Info email queued up on your phone ready to send when the need arises.)

Try to avoid participating in the business card exchange at the beginning of a meeting. When everyone starts passing around their cards, pull out your mobile and email or text them directly. I typically say, “I have cards if you need them, but I’m sending you my info now so you don’t have to type it in later.”

You don’t want people looking at your card — you want them looking at you.

A Sport Coat or Suit Jacket

The sport coat is a pro’s briefcase. Use the inside pockets only (never the outside) to store your essentials. I put my paper and pens in the left breast pocket and my phone and mints in the right. Everything is always in the same place so I never have to search for what I need.

Edge Dressing on Your Shoes

Keep your dress shoes looking brand new with edge dressing. If you can’t take care of your shoes, how will you take care of your customers?

Taking meticulous care of your shoes makes you look intentional. If you pay attention to details like this, your clients will know they’re in good hands.

A Nice Wallet

If your wallet comes out of your pocket, it should look like the nicest thing you own. In a sales meeting, a high-powered wallet with no money is worth infinitely more than a beat-up wallet with $700 inside.

(A Few) Keys

Of course, you need your car keys to get home. You don’t want to be the guy waiting on AAA in the parking lot as everyone else leaves. However, bring the smallest number of keys possible, make sure they don’t jingle in your pocket, and never pull them out in a meeting.

Related: The One Essential Habit That Transforms Good Salespeople Into Rainmakers

You can also use your keys as an exit signal. If the “walk you out” lobby chat starts to drag, grab your keys. The other person will get the picture without you being rude.

Leave Your Bag Behind

Notice we didn’t recommend a bag. Bags intimidate people and create an unnecessary barrier. If you can, avoid bringing one. The only time you may need a bag is if you’re doing a presentation with your computer.

Otherwise, you don’t need your laptop. You don’t need one for a calendar. You don’t need it to take notes. If you have documents to share, think about printing them out. You can carry hand-outs in a folder.

Your gear should support your killer sales strategy — not detract from it. And with these essentials on hand, you’ll be ready for each and every meeting.

5 Must-Have Elements of a Winning Sales Proposal

Sales proposal

Sales proposals aren’t magic.

They won’t make your reluctant prospect suddenly say yes. They won’t save a bad deal. They’re not the secret ingredient to your recipe for success.

But sales proposals are essential. They may not seal the deal, but you can’t seal a deal without them. When a potential client is ready to move to the next step, you’ll need a proposal to communicate your quote and provide another reason to follow up.

The Must-Have Elements of A Sales Proposal

So how do you do that? Start with these five essential parts of a sales proposal. With a winning proposal, you’ll keep the ball rolling on the road to a sale.

1. Cover Letter

Start every sales proposal with a cover letter that gives a general overview of the entire document. Limit it to one page on which you clearly address what you’re going to do for them and name your price. This is your opportunity to explain the deal in bullet points.

Plus, cover letters look great. Include contact information (for both you and the client) along with company logos. You want the client to know exactly who this came from after glancing at the first page.

With an intentional design and clear writing, you’ll start your proposal in a polished way that leaves your client ready to learn the details, not frustrated because they don’t know what they’re getting.

2. Bullet Points

Some proposals tend to drag on and on. Not yours. Write your information in bullet points whenever possible. Bullet points break up the monotony of your details. Rather than make your client hunt for the information they really need, highlight it with a clear point. Then, if you need to explain it in more detail in another section, you can.

3. Pricing Overview

The price should also be easy to find. Don’t make your client search for a price point buried in the text. Clearly state your price in the first couple of pages — you can even include it on the cover page.

If you don’t charge a simple flat rate, write out the math so they see how you came to the total cost. Maybe you charge by the user so you spell out $ x USERS = TOTAL rather than just saying, “It costs $1,000.”

You’ll quickly make your client mad if they can’t find the price. So make it clear exactly how much it’ll cost them to do business with you.

4. Next Steps

What should your prospect do next if they decide to partner with you? Tell them! You want to paint a picture so they visualize doing business with you. They shouldn’t have to figure out how to proceed. They should just have to focus on the next step you’ve already explained… or sign on the dotted line.

Related: Field Sales 101: Follow These 10 Solid Tips for Success

5. Purposeful Delivery

Give your client a hard copy of your proposal. Deliver it personally when possible, or send it overnight.

When you ensure the sales proposal gets in their hands, you show your prospect that you’re diligent with your customers. This isn’t some document you just emailed on a whim. You were purposeful in crafting it and delivering it especially for them.

What NOT to Do in Your Sales Proposals

Not everyone writes a great proposal. Some proposals drag on too long. Others seem to miss the client’s needs entirely. Others come unexpectedly. Don’t fall into the trap. Here’s what NOT to do:

Don’t Add Fluff

If there is too much writing, no one’s going to read it. Your client will just skip to the last page to try to find the price. Yes, you need to have sections of the proposal where you explain details, but organize your proposal intentionally. Consider putting pricing on the first page.

Also, only include information relevant to the client. They don’t need to read long paragraphs about your background. They need to know what the product will do for them and how much it’ll cost.

Don’t Skip Client Requests

Not including the specifics you discussed with the client in the proposal is a big mistake.

Your proposal is a chance to show your client that you’ve been listening. Explain how you’ll address their specific requests if you do business together.

Then, when you give them the proposal, point out those areas so they’ll know that you understand their importance.

Don’t Send Without Approval

Don’t push proposals on people who don’t want them. If your client isn’t ready to move forward, a proposal won’t suddenly change their mind. Instead, offer a proposal as a way to take their temperature.

Say something like, “If it’d make sense, I’d love to send you a proposal.” They’ll tell you if they’re ready for it or if they want you to hold off. Either way, it’s a great opportunity for you to figure out where they stand.

Related: 7 Rules for Getting Past the Gatekeeper

Plus, you’ll also gain insight on the decision maker. If they say, “Yeah, go ahead and send the proposal. I’ll take it to this person to see if they’re ready to move forward,” you’ll know who holds the keys to the deal.

Proposals may not be magic, but they’re they perfect next step when your client is ready to move forward. You just have to be sure you’ve written them the right way.

How to Minimize Turnover on Your Sales Staff

Turnover in sales is high — to say the least. With an annual sales turnover rate of 27%, it’s actually double the rate of the overall labor force.

Not only are the rates unfortunate, but they’re also costly. The time and money you spend on sales training are lost. Your investment doesn’t bring the return you needed. It’s back to square one every time a salesperson leaves.

Why do salespeople leave so frequently? Mainly because they don’t hit their goals. Instead of individually fixing the problem, managers usually try to treat everyone the same and find a one-size-fits-all solution to sales challenges.

But different people have different challenges.

Most salespeople don’t want to do a bad job — they just don’t know how to do a good job. They don’t know what steps to take to be successful. They need a strategy. And as their manager, it’s your job to help them find it.

Here’s how to get them on track.

1. Be Present

Good managers are aware of what’s going on with their team. They’re keyed-in and alert to how everyone’s doing and what their team needs. They look for ways to specifically equip their salespeople and help them improve.

Good managers do NOT do the salesperson’s job for them. A lot of sales managers were good salespeople who want to be friends with their sales team. But it doesn’t help anyone when this relationship turns into favor-asking and oversights. Instead, be aware of how your team members operate and show them the path to improvement individually. Give them the flexibility to decompress. Empathize with their situation. Then give them the tools they need to turn that stress into a challenge, not a threat.

2. Match Pay to Effort

No one wants to be a part of a get-rich-quick scheme. We’re too smart to think that easy money is all it seems. At the same time, no one wants to be underpaid for what they do. People start looking for other jobs when the pay doesn’t line up. If you pay too much, they don’t feel good about their work. If you pay too little, they start looking for another company who will pay them the real value of their contribution.

The compensation has to be commensurate with their efforts. The best compensation structure is typically one that mirrors the way your business makes money. If your salespeople profit as your business does, everyone is motivated to make the company more successful. If there are certain activities that are valuable to you, then pay them for it. But make sure those efforts help achieve results that benefit everyone.

3. Recruit the Right Employees

As you’re building your team and structuring compensation, you’re also cultivating a positive environment. Keep HR in the loop on how your team works. Make sure they know your core values and the positive culture you’ve established. In the interview process, ask questions that give insight on their values. You need to know if they believe in your core values. If they have the potential to become a core value violator, don’t hire them.

Also, have your salespeople recruit when you’re looking to hire a new team member. If they’re active in recruiting, interviewing, and hiring, you’ll eliminate a lot of red-flag candidates and therefore eliminate a lot of sales turnover.

Each person has a unique approach to sales, but everyone wants a boss who’s in their court. They want someone on their team who’s rooting for their success. If you’re a tuned-in manager who helps each salesperson hone their sales approach, offers fair compensation, and hires based on values and positivity, you’ll build a team that will last.

Increase Sales in Your Organization by Building a Culture of Positivity

culture of positivity

B Positive isn’t just my blood type — it’s also my philosophy.

How do people reach success? Well, the common thread in my past endeavors is happiness. When people are happy and begin to envision success, they become an unstoppable force.

If we want our organizations to be their best, we need to be positive. We need to lead by making good decisions that produce end results that benefit everyone.

How to Build a Positive Culture

Sure, there’s the mentality that if you’re going to make an omelet, you’ll have to crack a few eggs. Yes, there’s stress in any organization. You’ll need to have tough conversations with people as you lead them and hold them accountable.

Yet in a culture of positivity, people realize you’re all on the same team. You’re working towards the same goal. People with a common goal and positive attitude view tough conversations as a challenge, not a threat. Ultimately, they move forward for the good of the organization. (Or they don’t make it in sales and you’ll hire someone who wants to get on board.)

This is how you create that culture… the culture of positivity.

1. Create a Clear Line of Sight

Show your employees the big picture. When we understand the reason for our work and our role in the team’s success, our work becomes easier because it’s purposeful. So explain to your team:

  • What’s the end goal?
  • What happens when the organization is successful?

Then make sure each person knows how they fit into the big picture. How do they help the company reach its goal? Why is their role important?

One of the best ways to do this is to explain what problem you’re solving as a team. Everybody is happier solving problems than they are identifying problems. So focus on how you’re effectively resolving issues and making the workplace better.

2. Set the Tone

As a leader, you need to cast a vision and lead by example. Communicate your focus and then lead from the front. Think of it like pulling spaghetti. When someone makes spaghetti, they have to get in front of the machine and pull the noodles out. They don’t sit in the back and jam it through. They actually guide the dough from the front.

That’s your job as a leader. You guide your employees in attitude, work ethic, and values.

3. Surround Yourself With People who WANT to Be Part of Your Culture

You need people on your team who are willing to be positive. Establish core values and hold people accountable to them — even your customers. Only work with companies that align with those values. If you have any core value violators — customers, employees, vendors — get rid of them immediately. Core value violators are like a virus that can infect your entire organization.

Once you have your goals and culture established, make sure you’re recruiting people who are willing to join that culture. Everybody from the bottom to the top needs to feel as though they have a stake in the outcome and be willing to positively contribute to the team.

What’s So Bad About Negativity?

It isn’t hard to find negative people. We can write negativity off as the norm or even chalk it up to humor. But who really wants to be in the culture negativity creates?

We’ve all been part of a negative culture — even if we didn’t realize it at the time. In these organizations, you’re told what you did wrong… constantly. You’re never told what you did right. Your boss brings their shortcomings and negativity to the table. They’re leading by example. They don’t feel successful, so you don’t feel successful. You feel like you’re barely scraping by as you eat your way through each day, ready for the evening. You’re watching the ship sink without the energy to run any rescue ops.

No one wants to work in a place like this. No one thrives in these cultures. See, most of what goes on in our lives is internal, not external. If we’re not in a positive culture, it affects our internal selves. We’re negative about life, finding faults rather than silver linings.

I just talked to a friend who was promoted this week. The new job is awesome! She’ll be doing what she wanted to do and earning more money… but not as much as she expected. Now, she doesn’t know if she should take the promotion. She’s been in a toxic culture for a while and that negativity is skewing her perspective.

I told her, “Life is going to be better! The only negative is that the money isn’t exactly what you wanted — but you’ll enjoy what you do. You spend about 70% of your awake time at work — the money isn’t as important as actually enjoying your work!” That’s the big picture. But because she’s been in a negative culture, she couldn’t see it.

Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest when we’re in the trees. And even the best of us can lose perspective when we’re surrounded by negativity.

Start With You

A positive culture starts at the top and works its way down. Effective leaders create the vision. Then they take their vision from “me” to “we.” They cast that vision for the entire team and get everyone working in the same direction.

Leaders impact and administrators preside. Be the leader. Leaders make changes and grow their people. They make a difference. Administrators just make sure there’s governance on what everyone’s supposed to be doing. Leaders make it happen. They’re leading the pack to accomplish goals that benefit everyone.

Great leaders, positive leaders, do what it takes to make the entire team successful and create a culture that keeps that success going.

How to Master Door-to-Door Sales in 2018

How to Master Door-to-Door Sales in 2018 (2)

Door-to-door sales isn’t what it used to be… or is it?

In the past 25 years, technology has changed (to say the least). We have the internet. We communicate via Facebook, LinkedIn, email, and web forms. But before all this, we relied on good ol’ conversation. Back in the day, you didn’t get the best deal out of the phone book, so you needed relationships.

Now that we have more virtual storefronts and fewer brick-and-mortar stores, is door-to-door sales still a viable strategy?

Absolutely! But you’ll need to look at your industry to determine how prevalent its role should be in your marketing approach.

Selling Products Vs. Services

What you sell determines how effective the door-to-door strategy can be for you. Door-to-door marketing has value for everyone — but how much value depends on your industry.

Actual products tend to sell better door-to-door than services. Here’s why. The people you meet when you stop by — the receptionist or the office manager — make decisions about commodities. If you’re selling a commodity, you’ll likely meet the decision-maker if you drop by. They can look at the price you offer compared to what they’re paying and make the choice.

However, if you’re dealing with a principle-led sale, you need to talk to the CFO — who usually isn’t available without an appointment. When you drop by unannounced, you won’t get far with the office manager on these decisions. They just don’t have the authority to make the purchase.

Top Industries for Door-to-Door Sales

Door-to-door sales also works well in places that haven’t changed much with the times. It’s not that they’re resistant to change; it’s that the industry relies on traditional customer relationships. They’re used to face-to-face communication and place great value in it.

Medical Equipment

Purchases in a doctor’s office rely on consistent interaction. Doctors are used to lunch-and-learns. Vendors bring in lunch and teach them about new products, treatments, or pharmaceuticals. Doctors and their staff are used to talking to people in person about potential purchases.

Plus, most doctor’s offices don’t rely on email the same way other industries do. Why? Because spam filters filter out lots of clinical content. There are also liabilities involved in sending medical information electronically. So, if you’re trying to sell medical equipment, they still expect you to show up in person.

Are you a pharmacy rep? Check out “Why Pharmacy Reps Should Use a Sales Tracking App” for more ways to use door-to-door sales in your industry.

Car Dealerships

All business at a car dealership is client-facing. A car salesperson’s schedule is built for interruptions. If you handle auto financing, auto restyling, or another service for dealerships, stop by so you can talk to them in person. They’re used to it, and it works with their daily structure.

Grocery Stores

Grocery stores are another great market for the door-to-door approach. Click here for more info on selling food products to grocery stores (without competing on price).

Practical Tips for Marketing Door-to-Door

Whether you’re in an industry that thrives on door-to-door sales or you just use it occasionally, these five tips will help you make the most of your time.

1. Decide if it’s worth the effort

Think about what you’re selling. Will you see the decision-maker if you drop by? If you’re selling to the receptionist or the office manager, go for it! You’ll see them every time you stop in — that’s a 100% contact rate. But, if you need to speak to the CEO, you’re likely wasting your time.

2. Set a goal for each prospect

Each drop-in should help you reach a goal. This isn’t busy work.

  • Is your goal to get a name? If so, could you get that more quickly online or by phone?
  • Do you need to find out more about the gatekeeper? That may require a visit. Is there someone there you can speak with?

Have a clear objective before you walk in.

3. Work the numbers

How many people do you need to see for door-to-door marketing to be worth your time? Make sure the numbers add up before you make a visit.

4. Capitalize on proximity

How can you see multiple people in the shortest amount of time? Use your location to your advantage. You need a solution that shows you what’s near you so you can maximize your time. If you have an appointment on the West side of town, you need an app like CallProof to sort customers and prospects geographically. Then you can search for who’s nearby and drop by while you’re out.

5. Follow up

No drop-in is worthwhile if you don’t follow up. If you get a business card and enter it into your database, but don’t do anything else with it, you’ve wasted your time. You MUST follow up — and don’t let anything stop you from it. You have to close the loop for new contacts. Otherwise, it’s useless.

Door-to-door sales may still be around, but the days of going back to the office to update your CRM form with your notes are gone. With CallProof, you can speak your notes into your app as soon as you leave a business. Then you can click on a follow-up reminder so that you’ll actually do something with that information. This keeps your notes more accurate and your follow-up timely.

Sure, door-to-door sales is old-school, but when you use it well, it still works!

4 Tips to Share With New Sales Reps Before Their First Appointment

4 Tips to Share With New Sales Reps Before Their F

1. Don’t barf on the customer’s shoes.

2. Dismal failure is highly unlikely.

These are the two most basic lessons new sales reps need to understand before going to their first solo sales appointment. New salespeople are nervous, to say the least (hence the vomiting advice)! As a manager, it’s up to you to set your new sales reps up for success.

Maybe you’re a manager who attempts to tell new hires all you know about sales before their first appointment. Or maybe you’re the type who kicks them out of the nest to see if they fly.

The key is to find the balance — new sales reps need guidance, but you don’t want to overwhelm them with new information. Here’s how to be the leader they need and four essential tips to get them started.

Be the Leader New Sales Reps Need

Inexperienced sales reps look to their sales managers for leadership. As a manager, you need to coach them in the skills it takes to be successful: consistent work ethic, deliberate work flow, strong listening skills, and realistic expectations.

Set clear expectations.

Be clear about what each salesperson should be doing with their time. Then inspect what you expect. If you expect someone to meet ten new prospects a week, check to see whether they’ve done it.

Explain the value of activity.

There’s more to the sales process than closing a deal. Just because the prospect doesn’t buy, doesn’t mean the sales rep wasted time. There’s value to each step of the process. Explain the different types of value each interaction offers: the prospect knows who you are, they’re in your nurturing process, and they may lead to a referral.

Model listening.

When you go to the first few appointments with your new sales reps, take a step back and observe. By doing so, you don’t compromise their authority with the prospect. If you interject and take charge, the prospect will want to work with you, not them.

More importantly, you model how to listen. Listening is an essential sales tool. As a salesperson, you have to listen to prospects so you can learn about their needs and figure out how to meet those needs. By listening to your reps, you teach the value of listening by example.

Tell them the realistic outcomes.

What can a new rep realistically expect from their first appointments? If they think they’re going to close a deal during their first meeting, they’ll likely be very disappointed. Then reassure them they won’t completely fail.

Four Tips That Lead to the Right Mindset

To really help new sales reps enter their first appointment with the right perspective, share these four tips. It’ll help them see the big picture without getting overwhelmed.

1. You can’t lose what you don’t have.

Let’s say you cold-call someone — you don’t have their business anyway, which means there’s nothing to lose. The worst thing you can do is nothing. Just by going to the appointment, you’re better off.

2. Set easy goals.

Your goal for a first appointment isn’t to make a sale. The goal is getting the prospect to agree to the next phone call or meeting. It’s an easy win — be brief, be brilliant, and count it as a success.

Keep setting easy goals the whole way through the process. Every time you meet a simple goal, it’s a win! These baby steps help a new salesperson focus and lead prospects to buy. Buyers need someone to guide them through the sales process — and easy goals do just that!

3. No one will remember your screw-ups.

It’s unlikely you’ll see your prospects again. You won’t run into this person weeks from now and hear, “Stop! You’re the idiot who messed up that appointment!” It won’t happen.

4. End with action.

Always end sales conversations with a next action. Even if a prospect seemingly turns you down, you can end the appointment gracefully with a next step.

If they’re on board and say, “Let’s get together sometime next month to keep talking about this.” Say something like, “Great. Let’s get it on the calendar. What about Thursday the 15th at 10:00?” Set a specific date and close the loop.

If they’re not interested, you can still have a next step and closure. Maybe they say, “My brother-in-law handles this need for me. I’m not going to mess up our family dynamics, so I’m not going to buy from you.” You reply, “I totally understand. Here’s what’s going to happen. Keep my contact info in case you get in a pinch and we’ll touch base down the road.” They agree to it, and you close the loop.

Always have a next action, tell them what it is, and get them to agree. Don’t be bossy — just be organized.

Empowering young salespeople has benefits for everyone involved. The more successful they are, the more successful your company. Plus, if they’re successful and supported by your team, they’ll likely stick around (which means you’ll spend less time training replacements).

Do you have other newbie sales tips that have worked for you? Share them with us in the comments below!