Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wednesday on Twitter from 8-9 pm ET. This is excerpted from my recent interview with Jeffrey Gitomer, @Gitomer. Jeffrey is a creative, on-the-edge, writer and speaker whose expertise on sales, customer loyalty, and personal development is world renowned. He is the author of The New York Times best sellers The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Black Book of Connections, and The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude. Jeffrey’s syndicated column, Sales Moves is read by more than four million people every week. For more information: www.gitomer.com
SmallBizLady: The word ATTRACTION is a misused word in small & big business. How do small business owners attract leads in today’s social world?
Jeffrey Gitomer: All business social media must be combined with your traditional business and Internet outreach. To attract, the key ideas are “personalized messages” and “value-based” messages.
If you’re looking for more attraction (who isn’t?), here are some of the small business, internet, AND business social media value-based messaging and marketing elements I use to transfer my messages. My messages and posts both attract and connect. Go to these links and follow me. Then study them, learn how do what I do, and emulate it. And get the rest on my upcoming webinar so you can implement yours.
- LinkedIn – Jeffrey Gitomer – The number one business resource. I post my thought of the day or link of the day. RESPONSE: People like it and share it with their connections. That has led to more than 15,000 connections.
- Twitter – @gitomer – I tweet three or four times a day. I usually send out one link a day. RESPONSE: I am re-tweeted or favorited more than 100 times a day, and I gain between 50 and 100 new followers a day.
- Facebook business – /jeffreygitomer – Like me, then read a bunch of my posts, then be inspired to comment or post. RESPONSE: All of my followers (likers) read it, and when they like it or comment, all of their connections can see it too.
- YouTube channel – BuyGitomer – People watch a few of my 300+ videos. RESPONSE: more than 23,000 subscribers.
You cannot control how people search. You must be findable by company, person, product, topic, and keywords that will get your name to pop up.
It’s not one thing that creates attraction. It’s a strategic combination of a social, online, and face-to-face outreach MIX that attracts interested buyers. It’s a confluence of value-based things that are available to customers and prospects.
I just shared 4 of mine so you could see the diversity of my offerings and the multiple opportunities that prospects have to find you, be attracted to you, connect with you, and buy from you. All 13 of my attraction outreaches will be shared on my webinar series How To REALLY Generate Sales. Sign up today at www.getsales14.com
SmallBizLady: What do you do EVERY DAY to build attraction and brand?
Jeffrey Gitomer: What do you do to create consistency in your daily business habits? And I wonder how many of your daily habits take the long-term view. Or are you just trying to make sales to make quota? Big mistake.
I want to talk about one element of your personal business habits: Your personal outreach, your daily outreach that builds attraction, personal brand, authority, known expertise, recognition, position in your industry, Google rank, social media presence, top of mind awareness, and reputation. Oh, that.
Sounds like a LOT of work. But actually it takes LESS time than your morning bathroom routine once you’re set up and rolling. And these are habits that create attraction. Real attraction.
The cool part is it costs (almost) nothing. All you have to do is allocate the time, and (most important) commit to DAILY OUTREACH.
Here are two of my consistent actions
- Blog or personal website. A starting place, a landing place, and a jumping off place for stories, ideas, opinions, photos, videos, training, and anything else your customers or followers would find BOTH interesting and valuable. On a blog you can mix business and personal, as long as it’s not offensive. Your posts can be subscribed to and delivered by email. OUTREACH: Blog with a minimum of a weekly, if not daily, post. You have unlimited space for text, photos, and videos. Your blog is an opportunity for people to realize both your intellect and your passion.
- YouTube. Video is the new black. This is a chance to convey messages, training, subject matter expertise, testimonials, and offers of value. Your viewers can subscribe, and your posts can be cross-pollinated on your blog, your Facebook page, and your LinkedIn profile.
The rest of my consistent actions will be given on my upcoming webinar series: How to REALLY Generate Sales. Sign up today at www.getsales14.com
SmallBizLady: How do I attract leads at a face-to-face networking event?
Jeffrey Gitomer: Most people take networking for granted, and think of it more as a place to meet friends and clients rather than capture an opportunity. They also fail to realize that people, whether you know them or not, are cultivating an impression of you – not just about you look like, but also based on how you act, and how you dress.
Your physical presence, your physiology, and your communication prowess can determine whether the outcome is business or no business.
On my upcoming webinar on Attraction, I will give a few networking attraction tips. Here are 3 for your learning and connecting pleasure:
- I shake and look. When I shake someone’s hand, it’s a firm grasp and a direct look in the eye.
- I smile. Even in New York City. I find that by giving smile, I get a smile.
- I ask before I tell. Whether I ask for their name, or a simple “how are you?” I want to hear the other person before they hear me.
Face-to-face networking is still a GREAT way to attract and connect in the world of social and online sales.
SmallBizLady: How come people don’t call me back?
Jeffrey Gitomer: People not calling you back is not a problem, it’s a symptom.
Here are some of the real reasons people don’t call you back:
- Boring message
- Insincere message
- Sales message not a value message
- Self-serving message
- No humor employed
- Non-compelling message
How should you leave a voicemail?
- Give your name and number first
- Offer facts and valuable info on what they want to hear (not what you have to sell) – 30 words or less and ASK for a callback OR text
- Give your name and number AGAIN
NOTE: If you have nothing of value to say, don’t bother picking up the phone.
SmallBizLady: What is the FIRST question I should ask at the start of an in person or telephone sales call?
Jeffrey Gitomer: The first question sets the tone.
The customer is making a judgment on you from the moment you enter the door and begin the selling process. The old sales adage says, “All things being equal, people want to do business with their friends. All things being not quite so equal, people STILL want to do business with their friends.”
Rapport and engagement begins in a relaxed atmosphere between or among friendly people. You cannot control how friendly the other guy will be. But you have 100% control over yourself. When you walk in the door, or the meeting starts, it’s likely that you will talk first. Your words set the tone and the atmosphere for whatever is to follow. If you talk about the weather, if you talk about the news, if you talk about your flat tire or your problems – you will lose respect, you will lose all chances for rapport, and you will lose the sale. Miserably.
And it’s most likely that you will leave the sale blaming its loss on everyone except the person who lost it. That would be you.
I begin conversations, whether in person or on the phone, asking people where they live and where they grew up. Because I’m well-traveled, it’s likely that I will have something to say or even something in common with where they live or where they grew up.
Get relaxed with an emotional based, non-threatening, personal question, and you will have tacit permission to ask your way to a sale.
SmallBizLady: Why is cold calling a waste of my time?
Jeffrey Gitomer: The three word definition of a cold call is – waste of time.
No one likes cold calls. Not the salesperson that makes them. And, surely not the prospect who receives them.
“Cold calls are a necessary evil of selling” is a false statement. “Cold calls are a necessary evil if you don’t employ the correct selling strategies” is a true statement.
Here’s what waits for you at the other end of a cold call.
- You’re calling people who don’t want what you’ve got.
- You’re calling people who don’t know what you’ve got.
- You’re calling people who don’t want to be bothered.
- You’re calling people who resent being interrupted.
- You’re calling people who resent intrusion.
- You’re calling people who resent your call.
- You’re calling people who will get angry at you or your company.
It’s not a “cold call.” It’s an intrusion without an invitation. A gate-crash. And if handled poorly, will ruin future chances for a legitimate sales call.
Let’s see… poor timing, having a tough time getting through, and when you do – you fight for attention. 95% of those who get through are wholly untrained and incapable of selling anything anyway. What’s the point? Isn’t there a better way? Look at the other side – there is no worse way.
SmallBizLady: How did my mother help me make sales?
Jeffrey Gitomer: Mother’s rules make for great salespeople.
I know this sounds hokey, but if you want to be a great salesperson, you should have listened to your mother.
Your mom said it best. As a child, when you were fighting or arguing with a sibling or friend, your mom would say, “Billy, you know better than that! Now you make friends with Johnny.”
Here are two major sales tips right out of mouth and memory of your mother:
Make friends. There’s an old sales adage that says, “all things being equal, people want to do business with their friends.” I say, “all things being not quite so equal, people still want to do business with their friends.” Your mother never told you to use the alternative of choice close or the sharp angle close on Johnny. She just said make friends. That may have been one of the most powerful sales lessons you ever got.
Say nice things. Your mother told you, “If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing.” I’m certain she only told you this a hundred times. Somehow after you got your business cards printed, that lesson was lost – especially when you begin speaking about your competition. I’m sure your mother would approve of referring to them as, “My worthy competition.”
More motherly advice in one of the upcoming 5-part webinar series. How to REALLY Generate Sales. Sign up today at www.getsales14.com
DON’T MISS ONE OF THEM.
SmallBizLady: What is the BEST WAY to make a sale?
Jeffrey Gitomer: The easiest way to make a sale is to lower your price to a point that you make no profit. Not a good option.
REAL ANSWER: There is no EASIEST way to make a sale.
And, just like there is no easiest way to make a sale, there is no BEST way to make a sale – BUT there are several elements that contain the word BEST that you must self-evaluate in order to discover why the sales takes place, or why not.
KEY POINT OF UNDERSTANDING: Selling is NOT manipulating. Selling is harmonizing.
Oh, you can occasionally make a manipulative sale. But if you’re still in the 1970’s trying to “find the pain,” or “sell an up-front contract,” or “make a cold call,” or “close the sale,” you’re toast. Sales toast.
Here are a few of the BEST ways to make a sale:
- The best way to make a sale is to have your reputation precede you by word-of-mouth from your Google ranking, and from your business social media presence.
- The best way to make a sale is to be known as a valued resource before you start.
- The best way to make a sale is to be friendly before you start.
- The best way to make a sale is to meet with the CEO or actual decision maker.
- The best way to make a sale is not to be salesy, or cocky, or condescending.
- The best way to make a sale is to find some common ground before you start the selling process.
I’ll give you the rest of the list in my upcoming webinar on how to close a sale.
Sign up today at www.getsales14.com
SmallBizLady: What is the BEST WAY to close a sale?
Jeffrey Gitomer: Try this: Change your mindset. Don’t close the sale, assume the sale. A good ending must be decisive, set-up, and inevitable. YOU have to be engaging, believable, passionate, and offer a compelling message. You have to be prepared with testimonials from other customers, and you have to prove that your future customer will have a positive outcome for their business. And you must assume the sale is yours.
The assumptive position is the strongest selling strategy in the world.
By definition, you believe you will make every sale you attempt.
It sounds simple. It is simple — but, it’s not easy. In order to utilize the assumptive close, you must be qualified.
There are two major prerequisites that make the assumptive close possible:
- Your personal preparedness. In your company, people assume that everything revolves around your product or service, but that’s not true. You have to find a balance between product preparedness and mental preparedness. You must display self-confidence, have total product knowledge, have a positive mental attitude, exude so much enthusiasm that it’s contagious, and have a desire to help that exceeds a desire to earn money.
- Your sales preparedness. That means that the needs of your prospect have been determined. The buying motives of the prospect are known to you. You’re established as a person of value in the mind of the prospect. The prospect has confidence in you. You’ve removed any objections, barriers, or perceived risks they may have. And you’ve built solid rapport. Your job is to know everything you can about your prospect’s business, their market, their needs, and their customers, their people. Know their buying motives, how they profit and how they produce.
Learn more strategic information in my Close the Sale webinar coming soon. Sign up today www.getsales14.com
SmallBizLady: What is the BEST WAY to overcome a sales objection?
Jeffrey Gitomer: Over the years I’ve defined objections as barriers, because there is normally something hidden way beneath the surface. And in order for the sale to take place, the barrier must be lowered. Sometimes, even eliminated.
I’ve also defined the biggest objection besides price to be the unspoken risk that the customer perceives, but won’t talk about.
Let me give you a couple of examples. When the customer says price is too high, what they’re really saying is, “My perceived value in doing business with you is not high enough to meet your price.”
Salespeople and sales managers try to address the price issue with a tactic or some kind of sales talk. It doesn’t work – not, it never works, but it almost never works. And even if the salesperson is persuasive, and manipulates his or her way to the sale, the buyer will often have remorse and want to cancel the transaction.
HERE’S MY RECOMMENDATION: Rather than trying to give you some slick sales talk, I suggest you re-engage the customer with dialog that uncovers real reasons and eventually gets down to their buying motive. If I uncover the buyer’s motive, I will make a sale regardless of price. If I engage the prospective customer in a value-based and value-driven discussion, I might be able to get them to see my perspective.
SmallBizLady: What is the BEST WAY to build a relationship?
Jeffrey Gitomer: The root word of relationship is the word RELATE.
If you can’t relate, you can’t hope to build a relationship.
Maybe it’s best understood this way:
The key to relate and relationship would be the word “mutual”
You both understand and you both think relatively the same way or feel relatively the same way. Democrats can’t relate to republicans – but republicans can relate to republicans. In fact, democrats think all republicans are nuts. And republicans think all democrats are nuts. KEY POINT OF UNDERSTANDING: The good news is, they’re both right.
My “eat-your-spinach” plan for you – the 7.5 “one- a-day” strategies that will earn you ten times what the cold call will produce, build your reputation, and keep your customers loyal will be revealed on my 5th webinar in the series. Here’s one of the strategies
- Visit one customer a day. Talk to the people that love you and already buy from you. Find out why they do, and ask them if you can record it. Video is best. Just a documented minute about their “why.” NOTE WELL: If you’re reluctant to do this, it’s because your relationship with the customer is weak or non-existent.
SmallBizLady: Why is coffee still for closers?
Jeffrey Gitomer: My goal each day is to have an early morning cup of coffee with someone that can help me enhance relationships, make connections, build value, and make sales. As a traveler, I can’t do this every day. But I try my best to do it as often as I am able.
A coffee meeting is a brand new way to look at the value of a cup of coffee. You may look at coffee as a cost or an expense. To me, coffee is an investment of time. It’s not “how I drink it.” Rather, it’s “who I drink it with.”
KEY POINT OF UNDERSTANDING: Whenever I meet someone for coffee in the morning, I find the meeting is relaxed and fun. It’s a genuine exchange of information. It’s always informal and humorous. And it’s usually with someone I do business with or could do business with.
I try to have these meetings early. Very early. Between seven and eight in the morning. Sometimes I have two breakfasts – one at seven and one and eight.
Oftentimes my appointments meet each other, so it becomes an additional networking opportunity. Many of my customers, prospects, and connections have done business with my other customers, prospects, and connections.
PERSONAL NOTE: When I’m done my with coffee and my meeting is over, I get back home as fast as I can so I can take my young daughter to school by nine. And no, I can’t do it every day, but that is the goal every day.
Think about the impact of that. A sales call BEFORE the day starts.
HERE’S HOW THAT IDEA APPLIES TO YOU:
If you have one cup of coffee a day with a customer or prospect, that’s equal to 250 sales calls THIS YEAR that will be relaxed, build relationships, make sales, gain referrals, and create business opportunities. Coffee and sales – not just coffee.
If you could use even more help with your sales, join Jeffrey Gitomer for SmallBizLady’s FREE five-part webinar series: “How to Really Make Sales!” Mark your calendar. The Webinar series will take place LIVE on GoToWebinar at 1pm ET and replay at 4pm ET and 7pm ET that same day. Register here: http://www.getsales14.com.
- Thursday October 30, 1pm ET – How to Attract Customers
- Thursday November 6, 1pm ET – How to Network and Make an Appointment
- Wednesday November 12, 1pm ET – How to Make a Sales Call
- Thursday November 20, 1pm ET – How to Close a Sale
- Thursday December 4, 1pm ET – How to Build a Relationship
If you miss one, not to worry, it will replay twice after it’s recorded, so it will be available for you when you are ready to learn. Don’t miss out! Register today http://www.getsales14.com
If you found this interview helpful, join us on Wednesdays 8-9 pm ET; follow @SmallBizChat on Twitter. Here’s how to participate in #SmallBizChat: http://bit.ly/1hZeIlz
For more tips on how start or grow your small business subscribe to Melinda Emerson’s blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com