At the end of the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy learned that she had the power to return home all along. All she had to do was click her heels three times and say, “There’s no place like home” and just like that she was back on the farm in Kansas.
If only it were that easy to improve your company’s Onboarding strategy.
Well, my little CEO . . . get clicking! It can be easy.
At the end of a 3-hour workshop I led recently for a group of CEOs on the topic of improving Onboarding processes, I asked each participant to share the one big “Aha!” of the day. When more than a few of them mentioned that their big epiphany of the entire session was to ask their current employees the four specific questions I shared, I had my own epiphany.
What seems obvious, sometimes isn’t.
In preparing the content for the workshop, I was advised not to share the magical four questions because they seemed too basic. However, when a CEO asked, “How do I know what’s broken with my current Onboarding program?” I decided the questions may be basic, but basic is sometimes exactly what the doctor ordered. I told the group that one way you can begin to discover what’s broken is by asking four simple questions of current employees. It turned out that getting back to basics was exactly what was most valuable, even to seasoned CEOs.
You may have watched the CBS hit TV show “Undercover Boss.” If you aren’t familiar with the show, each week the cameras follow around a corporate executive who goes “undercover” to participate in various jobs. They get a first-hand look at how their decisions impact the employees and their morale – and much more.
Yes, it a bit of “Hollywood,” but don’t miss the incredible lesson it can teach us. I read an article in the Detroit Free Press (www.Freep.com) that featured David Dillon, the chairman and CEO of Kroger, one of the largest grocery store chains in the world. Dillon gets out from behind his desk and spends time in the stores, standing in lines with customers and listening to their comments. He gets a view from his customers’ perspectives with the intention of learning how to make their experience even better.
According to the article in Freep.com, Dillon tells Wall Street analysts that Kroger gets sophisticated data from Dunnhumby, a marketing company based in London. However, the data can only tell part of the story, which is why Dillon chooses to “go undercover” to mingle with his customers and get first hand consumer experience.
Do Your Homework!
Sorry for yelling but I just got off a very annoying call with a sales rep who was following up with me from a Sales 2.0 conference I went to recently and it reminded me how little prep/homework many of us do before we call our clients and prospects. I won’t name names this guy was selling a service that automates/aggregates information on prospects (quotes, events, press releases, etc) and helps you do research on them before calling or e-mailing them.
I think you see where this is going but I’ll continue. To add to this, for those of you who don’t know, we (Kensei) train sales professionals how to use compelling information when reaching out to executives that will get them to respond to our e-mails and calls. So, you’d think the rep who called me would at least know what the hell we do right? WRONG!
As he dove right into his ‘pitch’ and started asking me all the basic questions I realized he had no idea what we did. So, I let him go for a while and answered a few of his questions before I stopped him and asked “do you even know what my company does?” He had no answer for me. At that point I stopped the conversation and told him (in so many words) that he is the type of sales rep that gives the rest of us a bad name.
Social Loafing May Be Lowering Your Sales and Marketing Effectiveness
Sure, some of your employees may spend too many work hours on their favorite social media sites, but this productivity drag pales in comparison to the rising problem of social loafing that occurs in almost every firm. Social loafing is a widely researched phenomenon that suggests people exert less effort to achieve a goal when they work in a group than when they work alone.
What are the two primary causes of social loafing?
As any seasoned sale force representative can tell you, too many sales are lost in the closing moments. While experience is the best teacher, it is important to take advantage of sales training that specifically targets the art of the close. While securing a great sales technique through your experience and sales education is important, setting up the sale properly can save you time and money in the long run. While every “no” may bring you closer to a “yes,” too many negative experiences in a row is quite discouraging. Here are some tips from the pros to be sure your sale is set up for success from the moment you contact a prospect:
Make sure Your Prospect is Qualified
We’ve all read sales articles about a stellar performance and wonder how the rep pulled it off. The articles make the accomplishment seem like magic, but in sales the magic is made. If you want to be sure those sales don’t slip through your fingers be sure that your prospect is qualified. Specifically make sure that:
Some people have Self confidence while others need to develop it. Self Confidence is the inner force that leads a person doing something independently. Self Confidence is a quality that is there without the intervention of the parents, spouse, teacher and it is force that pushes one along. At any place whether the workplace or in personal lives, having self confidence or personal motivation is very important. Lacking self confidence would lead to set backs in our lives but there are reasons why some lack motivation and there are ways to develop it.
Though many of us have in born self confidence and it gets shown since our childhood. Development of self confidence has to be there at an early age when the child is in preschool or school going stage. It so happens that those who do not have self confidence and have been pushed by their parents throughout their school days for studies and finishing other activities of school fail miserably when they reach to the college days as they do not have teachers pushing them for studies and ultimately they become a failure in their work places.
It never ceases to amaze me how many business people assume that a budget dictates what the buyer can spend. In my experience, this is almost never the case. The truth is that in most cases, budgets are guidelines, and nothing more than that. Additionally, they are sometimes based on a flawed or limited understanding on the part of the buying party of what is actually required.
Of course, most sales people fall into the trap of selling to the budget. They build their entire proposal around this number. They assume that their recommendation must conform strictly to, or be below, the budget threshold. They ignore the issue of value. They don’t take the time to find out what the customer is actually trying to accomplish, and they miss opportunities to both increase sales and serve their customers better.
It is worth noting, also, that budgets are often the domain of people who do not have final approval authority. In other words, when a person tells you, “my budget is $”, this statement usually means “I have been given permission to spend no more than $”. This tells you that you are talking to a person who is not a decision-maker. The real question here is this: who gave the permission? The person who approved the budget is the one who buys based on value – and isn’t limited to the budget number.
Influencers spend based on what they are allowed to buy. Decision-makers get whatever they want. Put another way, if your decision-maker decides that they need what you are recommending, they will simply purchase it. This is an important point. Before you assume that you are constrained by a budget, you must first determine if the person that you are talking to is the “right” person.
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Cleaning the shark’s teeth
Sounds like a dangerous job? The little remora fish is the master of that job…and the shark allows the remora in its mouth because it’s more beneficial to work together than work apart. That’s called a symbiotic relationship and it’s the best kind of relationship with your customers. Focusing on your customers is the theme of this month’s issue… and your success (as well as your customers’) is dependent on you putting their interests first and helping them achieve the results they want.
Forget the lingo! Speak the customer’s language
A major takeaway from this month’s issue is how much more important it is to listen to your customers instead of them listening to you. Not only is it the best way to learn what they really need from you, but also you’ll hear the words they use to express that need…and those are the words you must use when communicating with them. Forget the sales jargon and all the “techno-speak” about your products and services. Ask questions… listen… speak your customer’s language… and you’ll be able to deliver the goods and a great looking sales report to the boss.
Take SOLDLAB.com wherever your opportunities take you
Need more courage and support to enter the shark’s mouth? You’ll find them at SOLDLAB.COM! Your online repository of ideas and information and podcasts for today’s salesperson and sales environment is available 24/7… and in whatever corner of the world you’ve found a new sales opportunity. Even though the time gaps in your busy schedule may be small, use them wisely to check our Facebook page and Twitter feed throughout the day for updates.
What's inside April 2013:
Are you icky when you negotiate? When negotiating, the icky factor is not only a turnoff, but it can also be the death knell of the negotiation.
With a U.S. Congressman being perceived as being icky, as the result of recently getting caught in a spectacle that was made worse by the manner in which he addressed the situation, the question becomes, what makes one appear to be icky?
If you wish to avoid the perception of being icky in your negotiations, observe the following four insights.