Tag Archives: hiring sales people
Success means staying on one path
“Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing until it gets there.”
– Josh Billings
What are you going to be when you grow up? It’s a cute question to ask a 5 year old. Sadly with the endless array of choices, it’s easy to get trapped into asking this throughout your entire life. There are all these different pulls and pushes that tempt us to stray from our path. But being a jack-of-all-trades can be detrimental to your success; it’s about choosing one thing and getting really good at it!
But how do you know what is worth sticking to?
Ultimately you don’t. It’s a decision you make.
Many of the worlds greatest achievements and success stories resulted from stepping into something radical but then many failures are too. Business plans and market research will give you some clues and it’s worth spending a few (many???) months doing these before you decide. But there are no guarantees and ultimately it’s just your choice to commit.
Once you commit there is nothing else but to persist, till success or bankruptcy do you find.
If you want to find out if you have the tenacity/persistence/endurance to stick to your path we invite you to complete a Sales Inventory Profile.
5 ways SIP shields you from poor recruitment
When we think of poor recruitment outcomes it is easy to imagine the financial loss of salaries, resources and training that having the wrong person in the team will cost the business.
But even interviewing the wrong ones can have a subtle more devastating effect on your business. These are why we recommend everyone who applies for your job or approaches your business should complete a SIP before you make any contact with them.
- Don’t waste your own selling time
Never waste a manager’s time reading résumés and interviewing candidates who a low probability of success. Every interview you conduct with the wrong candidates is an hour of productive work lost and potentially a sales hour lost. We are all strapped for time; this is easy to conceptualise but saving your time is just the tip of the iceberg of issues to be avoided.
- Never miss a superstar
Selling capable candidates, especially for listing real estate, are incredibly scarce and their lack of industry knowledge means they often appear in disguise, as accountants, nurses, tradesmen, barristers and, the trickiest of all, as school leavers or retirees. LJ Hooker’s first million-dollar agent was a 45-year-old retired nurse and recent migrant who had been passed up by five offices.
What happens to your market when this star does eventually emerge at your competition?
- False hope in candidates can destroy your reputation
Building false hope in candidates can have an incredibly long negative impact on your business’s reputation. Candidates who feel they have been shunned at the eleventh hour after a huge build-up can have very long memories and retell their story to hundreds of people. Candidates have invested the time to come for an interview, (maybe taken time off work and lost a day’s pay), dressed up (bought something special, maybe the entire outfit), researched your business, rehearsed their answers and then had a great interview. That is a lot of personal investment to turn against you.
It’s also a much deeper, more personal rejection than if they didn’t meet one of the ‘standard’ criteria at the very beginning, like completing the SIP in the privacy and convenience of their own home. People apply to tens, if not hundreds of jobs, each year and completing a SIP will just fall into the mill of many uneventful hours of job hunting. Getting an interview and feeling it went well is something significantly different.
- Is it too late to contradict yourself?
No one likes it when the video referee overturns the on-field decisions. When you have met someone who is really keen on your role; who interviewed well enough to be seriously considered, any warnings provided by SIP afterwards may be too hard to accept. At this point, if SIP contradicts your judgement it is often too late emotionally to turn back from the candidate. But their SIP results will linger between you like a little black rain cloud threatening the relationship from day one.
- Setting candidates up for a lifetime of failure
Finally, when you interview and worse still recruit someone who does not make it; you can have an irreversible impact on their entire life. Candidates come to you with their careers, if not their hearts, in their hands, trusting that if they work hard this will be the beginning of a fabulous stage in their career. Hopefully the beginning of greater wealth for themselves and their families.
But if they don’t have enough of the core capacity to sell, no matter how hard they work, no matter how genuine they are, they will become a statistic; one of the 90% of candidates who fail and leave the industry within two years. They leave you feeling lousy, maybe even angry, having wasted their precious time and now uncertain of their next step, with the flow on effects in their family life that no-one can foresee when they could have gone on to find a job to be good at.
The industry is littered with the walking dead, sales staff who have spent years, decades even, barely breaking even. People, who have moved offices countless times, fixated on self-improvement, read every new sales book, attended every seminar, spending hours listening to audio files and then berate themselves for not being focused/motivated/something enough and believing when they just get the ‘right’ mental attitude their career will rocket them to success.
Is it time for a better way?
To find out how using SIP as your in-house recruitment specialist can give you 90% accuracy:
call +61 407 005 290 or
Could you have a career in real estate sales?
Ever dreamed of a job in the country’s highest paying industry? Why not a professional career within your own community that can give you a six figure income after 2-3 years and where it is possible to break through the million dollar personal income barrier.
Start at $35,000 and in 5 years build to $350,000 and in 10 years the world is your oyster. Spectacular success is possible for those who are suited. You cannot achieve the same in any other industry that quickly no matter what your qualifications.
But what happens to most people that enter the industry? 90% fail and are gone within 2 years. Luckily 50% of those that start in residential sales are gone within 3 months. Lucky that they haven’t wasted more of their lives living at the basic level before working out it’s not for them
Find out which job within Real Estate will suit you so you build a career around work that you will be successful at doing.
There are a few very different paths in the industry and they each require a different temperament of person.
Our selling IQ system, Sales Inventory Profile, will show you where your natural abilities are the best match. Then you have to develop skills. There is no point in learning about the whole industry if you are best suited to one area.
The major roles in real estate are;
- Residential listing and sales (this is the best paid but hardest to do)
- Buyers agent
- Property Management
- Commercial property
- Project sales or Display homes
Once you know your fit the best way to get a job is to approach the bigger agencies within 10 KM of where you live and ask for an interview. Most owners will say yes just out of courtesy to members of their local community. Agents out side of 10 KM won’t be interested in hiring you anyway as travelling longer distances every day and at night is too hard and you will exhaust yourself and leave them.
If you are under 25 or have been out of the work place for a while you will need to work on reception for a few years to build skills and area knowledge. Don’t let yourself be rushed into taking on more than you can do well.
Feel free to Email me directly if you want to discuss any of this.
How To Series Episode 6: How to Sell
Many of us get into selling entirely by accident and many of us are petrified of being sold to. But selling is just a conversation – it is as simple as that. But selling is a conversation with a purpose; selling is a conversation at the end of which someone makes a decision. As a salesperson, you need to guide the conversation to a point where somebody can make a decision and that is the only thing to it. It’s deciding when is the end, and how much information do you need, to buy?
So, it’s a conversation between people, which means you need to ask as many questions as you’re giving answers because in order for a customer to make a decision, they need to have all of the facts and figures. Yet, when they come to you when you first meet them, they don’t have any questions because they don’t know, yet, what it is that’s missing in their framework, and that’s why it’s a conversation. You need to explore what they know, and what they believe in order to fit the new information in so that it makes sense to them. So, giving your blanket product information and the Ten Top Benefits of buying my teaspoon is not a conversation, and therefore, it’s not selling. You need to find out, first, what they know, what they believe, and why they wish to buy one. And then, you present your information.
Emotions in Selling program provides lots of various, specific things about how to converse, how to provide information, and how present yourself in such a way that engenders trust. Because if they don’t trust your information, then they won’t accept you.
Selling is a conversation – it is as simple as that.
How To Series Episode 5: How to Close the Sale
Selling is a conversation. At the end of which, somebody gets to make a decision. At the end, we close.
How do you know when that conversation is at its end?
Some training programs will say, close, close, close. Close a million times. Close all over the place. Close every second that you can. In fact, that’s not true. If you close too soon and all of the issues haven’t been fully resolved, in your prospect’s mind, they won’t be able to make that decision. If you force it or in some way try to corner them into it, you get a generic reaction where they will automatically say no and it’s very hard to recover from a point blank No. you can also let the conversation ramble on way too long, spend way too much time, give them way too much detail, not be really clear on what the final aspect that they need to resolve is, and talk your way around the conversation so that you totally confuse them, and then you can’t close because now they are overwhelmed. You need to be really clear about what sort of information they need form which they are capable of making that decision.
So what sort of information needs to be contained in the conversation?
While selling is a conversation and we all know how to converse, it is much more complicated than that and you need to understand both the psyche of the person that you’re dealing with, the content of your product, and how that fits into their current situation or their current… the way they run their current business.
If you are interested in learning how to sell and learning how to close and when that moment is, and how to maximize your calling rate, you really need to understand those facets. We run a training program called Emotions in Selling which clearly identifies how people make decisions. What will get in the way? How to build trust? Because if they don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you no matter how well you explained the product. Finally, when have they had enough content that they can make a stable decision that they won’t freak themselves out the next day or when they talk to somebody else back at the office or at their own home, and see that in fact, they’re not ready to decide? They need to be fully aware of what they are buying and confident before close will stick.
Learn how to identify what the needs are thoroughly and how to have that conversation so that your product answers those needs before you close them.
For more on Sales Training & Coaching, contact Maya on 0407 005 290 today.
Enjoying the series? Check out the next episode: How to Sell
How To Series Episode 4: How to Build Trust
It’s a fundamental process in human interaction whether you’re building a relationship or trying to sell a product, and the process is exactly the same.
In the Emotions in Selling program we spoke a lot about the mechanisms of fear – and fear is an instinctive and absolute reaction; we are hardwired for survival. And that means that the tiniest, little flicker, of uncertainty or danger, will instantly freeze the person you’re speaking to. And why is that important? Because you can only develop trust in the absence of fear.
So if your friend, your customer, your business partner, is in a state of fear they cannot trust you because you are bundled into the equation. So you have to look at your environment, the really simple attributes of where you’re standing and what’s happening around you, through to how you look, and how you dress, and how you speak, and then to the information that you’re giving, because that person will take the data in from the biggest cues down to the most sophisticated.
So what you say, matters least. If they’ve already been frightened by standing in an environment that’s a bit open, exposed, their fear of being overheard…or you’re wearing something that’s out of context with what they expect of you. So if you’re a professional, then you need to dress like a professional. You need to dress like that person expects of you, not how you expect, or would like to dress. So if you’re a medical professional, you have to look like their vision of a medical professional, not your own. And when selling, same in any important financial transactions, we have this stereotypical accountant or bank manager impressions of the world. People expect, when they go to the bank, to see people dressed like their stereotypical visions of a bank manager. So exactly the same thing applies to the words that you use and the things that you say; what you say has to be congruent – that’s a really big word – it means, it needs to fit in to the context of their current knowledge, including their belief system.
So say if you’ve got a piece of knowledge that conflicts or is incomplete then they cannot accept the truth of what you’re saying. So you may have to start at the beginning and educate them if it is some important and complicated procedure that you’re explaining. Or you may have to have a really long chat about what they currently believe so what you say, is then fitted in with what they currently know. And if it does contradict then you’re able to discuss why it’s still safe information, despite the fact that it doesn’t fit in. Developing trust is the first step in any relationship – it’s the most important in selling.
If you’re in sales I recommend that you explore the Emotions in Selling program and understand how to guide your clients through a simple process of conversation to making stable decisions.
Learn how to build trust with the Emotions in Selling Program blog series.
Call Maya on 0407 005 290 or send her a message on Facebook.
Want more? Watch the next episode in our How To series: How to Close a Sale
How To Series Episode 3: How Resumes are Killing your Business
Recruiting sales people is the trickiest part of your company.
Recruiting sales people is harder than recruiting any other part of the business because the number of people who can sell is actually quite small. But the number of people who think they can sell and are certainly interested and willing because sales people earn such good money, have flexible working hours and all the benefits of being in the sales department, amounts to a huge level of interest. There’s a larger level of interest than the people who are capable of doing it.
How do you work that out?
Traditionally, we’ve been doing it with resume. Resumes are incredibly flawed as recruitment tools. They talk about the past. They are full of historical facts or historical fictions sometimes. They’ve been edited somewhat but regardless of whether its fact or fiction, it’s about the past and where that has been and what they claim to have done for themselves. It’s totally impossible for you to prove any of it. It doesn’t tell you what they are capable of doing for you. It doesn’t show you the feat between their history and their abilities and your job.
What we do in the Sales Recruitment Process is identify people’s ability to sell and their ability to sell is based on 75 different attributes so impossible for them to articulate that document. We, however, have a sales IQ process that will identify all of that in 30 minutes of their time online before you meet them. Don’t rely on what they say about themselves. Allow us to measure their current ability which is core to their capacity regardless of whether they have already started to learn the skills and have had some experience.
Learning skills and having experience is important, but even how small a population can actually sell, you sometimes don’t have the luxury of recruiting just within the pool of people who have already done your job for another company.
Find out who can sell and whether or not they are sufficient of those attributes before you interview them, not by reading their resumes but by allowing them to do the sales inventory profile assessment.
You can contact us, Corporate Coach Australia, on the details provided below and allow us to help you recruit people who really can sell.
Call Maya on 0407 005 290 or send her a message on Facebook.
Next in the series: How to Build Trust – watch it here.
How To Episode 2: How To Cold Call
The first part of the process is, can you really do it? It looks easy and many people think that anyone can do it. We all have phoning blitz or a called calling day, get the whole company out there, do a bit every day or have some major function where we all get out there on the street and hassle up some new business – but less than 5% of the sales population, now that’s 5% of the sales population, not the total population, can actually do it.
The first part of how to cold call is to find out if you are able to because you don’t want to spend. This is the hardest part of the sales cycle. Despite it looking so simple, you don’t want to spend endless hours following my instructions first of all and perfecting your script or rehearsing your technique only to find that really you can’t do it. It’s going to slaughter your energy. It’s going to make you feel miserable and dejected and horrid.
First of all, do our Sales Inventory Profile IQ system. It will identify a whole bunch of things about your selling ability and one of those is whether or not you can cold call. If you can cold call, then develop the skills Then, prepare a magnificent killer script, rehearse it to depth so that it performs naturally and practice it to a whole bunch of people before you start doing it with prospects. Because cold calling regardless of how clever you think you are or how magnificent your product is, take the whole bunch of energy. It’s really emotionally draining.
So, how do you develop a killer script?
There are 3 key components. The first 10 seconds is the most important. In the first 10 seconds, you want to do only 2 things. You want to identify yourself in the simplest, clearest way possible, and you want to give them a reason to listen. A reason a listen so that you can interrupt their current activity. You can bring their attention to you and your content. They will make all sorts of polite noises about whether or not they are listening. You can ask them on what hours they come home, if they’ve got a moment to talk and most polite people will say yes certainly. But what you really want to do is slice through their attention so that you’ll have a 100% of it yourself, that is about what is in their current environment that you can fix. So the first 10 seconds is about knowing what pain your product will address and clearly articulating how in those first 10 seconds.
When you introduce yourself that’s, “Hello, this is Maya.” That simple, right? That clear. My name is a bit harder than hopefully yours is, but you don’t want to say, “Hello, this is Maya from Corporate Coach. That’s just too many words. And why do you want to listen to me? Because I know how to improve cold call outcomes. That’s the biggest pain that most of my prospects are in, is their ability to generate cold call outcomes. “Hello. My name is Maya. I’d like to talk to you about increasing your cold calling rate.” Those are really clear why they should listen to me and it has identified a specific pain that my business can address.
Next is, how your product does that and the final thing is getting permission to take further action. In the middle is a little bit about your product and how you do that. Then, is the permission to proceed.
What is the next step that you can gain permission for during that one cold call? Is it to meet in person? Is it to send them some information? Is it for them to attend an event? Is it to do some sort of demonstration? Be really clear about what you’re trying to achieve. Introduce yourself and your product and then ask permission to proceed to the next stage.
First of all, find out if you or your staff can in fact cold call, then get really clear about the script and do some rehearsing before you engage with clients.
Lovin’ the series? Check out How Resumes Are Killing Your Business here.
How to choose a Business Coach
Lets leave aside the question of when do you need a business coach and skip to: How do you choose the right one for you?
I often hear comments by people trying to sell their coaching services that only current superstars in any profession have the right or capacity to coach others to excellence.
What I think all good coaches need to have is not the ability to perform particular activities well themselves, but the ability to bring to consciousness your performance on those activities so that they can help you improve. But – changing human behavior is a difficult thing. Thus, the profession of coaching has moved into the business world as the bridge between classical training, i.e. giving people new information about how to perform tasks and creating sustainable changes in behavior.
Coaching is about helping people move from ‘knowing’ to ‘doing’. That is a complex process.
A good coach – a coach that will give you the outcome of better performance – is one that is able to translate your current performance, which you may be unconscious of, into consciousness, then help you to improve from there. A good coach is someone who understands the psyche of the human being; how to guide people through change; how to support people through levels of insecurity and fear and doubt, all of which dominates the process of change and learning; who are able to guide you through that process, and bring to consciousness your abilities. Then they have a good long look at where you’re currently at, how much runway you have ahead of you (i.e. ability to change) and formulate a plan that has absolute clarity from your perspective about how to make changes in your current behaviors to create a performance improvement.
I often hear coaches selling their personal sales success as the key to being good sales coaches. You know, currently, the best blah, blah, blah in the whole planet, or, the most squirms of any human ever blah, blah, blah. Well congratulations on your personal success! But often these people are successful, but can they coach someone else? They may have a great natural grasp of their topic and they may have been on a journey of growth, maybe they’ve received support or good training from somebody else and they have merged all of those things together into a system that works really, really well for themselves. Their intuitive knowledge, their education, the support they’ve received from people around them whether that was from an official coaching process or just from the warm and the encouraging words of their peers or their parents or sometimes even the insults and challenges that they’ve received, that they’ve been able to rise and prove them wrong.
But, as a coach, how do you recreate that process to another person?
How we motivate ourselves, how we change, how we responded to fear, how we deal with the uncertainty, these are the things that stand in the way of our success. And what you want in a good coach is somebody who knows how to systematically guide you through your fear, uncertainty, confusion, boredom, irritation, etc.
You don’t need a coach who is good at the individual tasks but has no consciousness of how they got good at these things themselves. A good coach is someone who is conscious of how success comes, and thus will be able to guide you through change.
I’ve recently saw this awful caption of “Is your Coach yesterday’s Hero?” Meaning, have they been a great performer in the past but have long since lost their touch. First of all, I find that kind of thinking offensive and secondly, it’s actually irrelevant whether the coach is yesterdays or today’s superstar in the performance of the actual activity. It would be like saying that you can’t coach Olympic athletes unless you were yourself currently an Olympic athlete. Unless you hold the world record in breaststroke, you cannot teach, or more to point, coach to excellence a current star in the swimming pool.
For more on training and improving your sales skills, check out our Emotions in Selling training blogs here
How To Episode 1: How To Recognise a Sales Person
You need staff and you need to interview a pool of candidates and see which one of them can sell.
There is a myth that some people believe that they can recognize sales people as soon as they see them, as soon as they chat. To some extent, that is true because during the chat, they will exhibit some of their selling abilities. Certainly, they will exhibit their communication style but whether that style is the right one for selling or not is harder to tell, so being able to be a good communicator is a really small fraction of the equation for being able to sell.
Another myth is that, it’s their energy, the twinkle in their eye, the spring in their step, their motivation, their ambition that really counts, so people that really want to succeed, that are passionate about selling or the product, or some other aspect of their life, this energy will exude when they are selling. This energy may indeed exude when they are selling but it isn’t going to help them sell. Their energy levels is about how interested they are in selling all their product which is certainly helpful, but their ability to sell is what’s crucial. There’s a huge chasm between being interested in something and then you are able to do it.
I have a great passion for quantum physics and a whole bunch of engineering topics but I’m never going to make an engineer because despite my passion and interest, I don’t have any of the relevant abilities. So we have a sales test that identifies the 75 attributes which you can never see in an interview that allows people to sell. It’s not a skill-based test because skills are something that people can develop, you can teach them, you can change them, and you make skills better. what you need is that they have the core capacity on which to build those skills. Find out if your candidates can sell before you interview them, before you get mesmerized by their passion and certainly do observe for yourself as many of those skills that they may possess, but remember the current skills can be topped up, that core capacity. It’s either there or it isn’t.
Visit our Facebook page and leave a message for Maya, or call her on 0407 005 290.
Next in the series: How to Cold Call
Spotting a Top Gun Listing Agent
Spotting a top gun listing agent in a 40 minute interview just from their external attributes is impossible…
As a Sales Psychologist with 20 years experience I have found in my research of top guns that they come in all personality shapes and sizes. There is no obvious type. Some are ego maniacs and brash however, as of yet I haven’t met one that is revolting.
I have also found that the very best can be humble and mild mannered in their external persona and can have a very ‘soft’ style.
Back in 1995 I conducted extensive research with a large group of known guns (i.e. new business agents with certifiable great sales results over more than two years). Using Clinical Psychology tools these guns were tested on 500 different attributes that it’s possible for a person to possess. The analysis showed they had 75 of those attributes in common and a whole bunch more that weren’t in common.
My research showed that the more of these 75 attributes you have, the more of a purebred Hunter you will be i.e. if you possess over 80% of these attributes then you can be classified a Hunter. You also need over 70% to be a good account manager style rep.
Hunters: Can endure prospecting, think on their feet well, compulsively persistent.
Farmers: need to plan and organise themselves in advance of engaging the prospect to perform well and be confident.
So a Farmer who has prepared well before an interview can appear to be a better agent than the-shoot-from-the-hip, off-the-top-of-my-head’ style Hunter. This is what we call in Real Estate as being “good in the lounge room”. But Farmers cannot prospect. Alone, farmers don’t get into many lounge rooms and they don’t usually persist long enough to get the listing.
But how these required ‘selling’ attributes combine with all the other attributes these people possess varies, to give them all very different external personas. That’s why it’s so difficult to spot these people accurately during an interview. Plus in an interview you are seeing them in a specific sales call and not at a time when it’s possible to exhibit any Hunter-only capacity.
There is one characteristic style all the pure Hunters have and that is an Exocet missile attitude to achieving the goals they set for themselves. For them, goals set by anyone else don’t work as an internal guidance tool, so they miss these targets.
So knowing all these differences, what can you do?
How to build sales results
- Hire people who have enough of the required attributes to become listing agents. The only way to do this with confidence is to use the SIP recruitment system which incorporates a clinical psychometric to search specifically for these attributes. See www.salesinventoryprofile.com
- Now that you have them in the business…train them. I cannot emphasise this enough. Capacity is a necessary foundation for skill. Skills are developed over time from training and practice. Like babies learning to walk, their capacity is inherent but to realise this they need to observe others walking and copy (starting with copying very badly). A good listing agent needs to see and hear lots of good techniques and then try them for themselves. If you leave them to work it out alone or observe the under performers in their environment they will be like babies who watch people walking with only one leg. They will eventual walk with a limp.
Traditionally we have spent very little time or money training new staff in Real Estate partially because most Principals are themselves still selling so their time is very scarce but more because 90% of new recruits will fail and the money, or time, spent training will be wasted.
This need not be true if you hire people capable of hunting.
- Finally you need to manage or coach them over time to help them stay focused and energised. While hunters need to work alone, all humans are herd animals and perform better in groups over time. So a hunter is a very special blend of working best alone and needing to feel like they are being supported. The best way to do this is one on one with weekly coaching sessions. Again because of time constraints this can be difficult for business owners to provide, it can also be unwelcome by the staff if the Principal is a listing agent competing with their hunters. So if the business owner is still listing then you will need a Sales Manager or an independent Coach.
Interested in more sales training articles?
More on achieving Sales excellence | Read about how to change Sales Results in your Staff
Alternatively, to talk about getting your staff trained and coached, call Maya on 0407 005 290
Starting a Sales Career Part 1
In this short interview, Maya Saric – Sales Psychologist and founder of Sales Inventory Profile – will be talking to Eliza Doueihi, a member of the Sales Tribe team. Eliza starting with Sales Tribe as a Business Development Manager, moving on from her career as a Business Analyst. This interview looks at why selling – especially cold-calling – is so difficult, and the components of success in real estate.
Maya: Hello, welcome back. Today, we are talking to a sales person who has journeyed from watching from the sidelines to being her own personal superstar. Today, welcome, Eliza Doueihi, a member of the sales inventory profile team. Eliza you were in IT, tell us a bit about your pre-sales career.
Eliza: In my pre-sales career I was a business analyst role.
Maya: Yep. Sounds boring.
Eliza: Business specialist, basically. I’ve been in the company for quite a while and my ultimate passion was to get into sales. I love to talk to people and I really wanted to move to sales but my boss just love so much and he valued what I contributed to the business that he wouldn’t let me go. Really, it came down to that. it wasn’t though I wasn’t able to do it, it wasn’t that I couldn’t sell – because I’m sure if I got the right training, I could. It’s just that, he wouldn’t let me go. That was really frustrating. It’s where I wanted to be. then I got the opportunity to move into real estate and that’s when I started really building relationships and talking to people and helping them out, getting them to where they want to be.
Maya: Alright. So before you go into real estate, what was your perception, what did you reckon?
Eliza: Well, I thought it was crazy, and I thought this will be so good. I’ll be driving a Merc in 6 months time…and I have my home line paid off. My kids are going to be doing all of these extra things that they never dreamed of. I didn’t get that far but I’m getting there, the thing was, the challenge was the fact that I didn’t realize how much work was involved in building my profile within the community and building my sales, and building my pipeline – which is really critical to a successful sales person. It’s to keeping that pipeline of funnel filled.
Maya: Right. So real estate has to be the most popular sales job on the planet because it does look easy, doesn’t it?
Eliza: Absolutely. [Chuckles]
Maya: Those beautiful people wearing lovely business suits, standing at the front door greeting – that part is easy.
Eliza: Not in the cold winter morning, Maya! Have you ever done that? There’s frost on the grass, 8 o’clock in the morning. It’s not pleasant. Putting sign boards, it’s not pleasant. And I tell you that. [Chuckles]
Maya: Eliza is an Australian who had a small voyage into New Zealand land, but there are natural hazards as well. But, back to things, that part where you see them in the house and you first meet them is easy.
Maya: But what is the hard bit? Knowing, as the failure rate is astronomical.
Eliza: Okay, the harder bit is when you’re got that list of contacts that you’ve taken from an open house and qualifying them and saying whether they’re going to be buyers or they’re actually sellers having a bit of sticky beak. So it’s taking that list and work again basically. The other harder bit is the actual building up of your client base, so actually cold calling. Building relationships.
Maya: That has to be a dirty word, cold calling. Back to the ice and snow of New Zealand. Why is cold calling so difficult?
Eliza: You can imagine you’re picking up the phone and you’re talking to someone you don’t know what they look like, you don’t know what their situation is and you want them to trust that you know what you’re talking about, and that you’re there to will help them out.
Maya: They’ve never met you before and you’re probably ringing in the middle of dinner.
Eliza: Yes. That too. That too.
Maya: How many people survive that in the real estate world?
Eliza: Not that many. I’d say 5% to 10% of people can really prospect and cold call.
Maya: 5% of the population can cold call which is to pick up the list from the phone book or get on the street and knock. A small percentage can warm call, which is the ringing the people that came to see the house on the weekend. What’s the next component of success in real estate?
Eliza: The fact that you close the same I guess would be the next one. You’ve got a buyer there and they’re still trying to decide what they’re going to do and it’s just working out how you’re going to get them to that next level. That’s another challenge on its own. Working at negotiating price that’s going to suit both parties. It’s just basically…a sales person rings 2 people like in real estate, you’re bringing 2 people together. So you’re bringing a buyer and a vendor and working out, finding a common ground. That’s really what an agent does from a selling perspective.
Enjoyed this video? Watch Part 2 here. Remember to ‘like’ us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more videos!
Starting a Sales Career Part 2
Continuing on from part 1 this short interview Maya and Eliza talk about using SIP – the Sales Inventory Profile – to recruit people who can really sell, and why this is.
Maya: So Eliza, you’ve journeyed from not selling to selling, you’ve entered in an industry that you didn’t have any significant background in…what would you recommend to other people who are thinking of the same thing?
Eliza: I would highly recommend you find out if you can cold call, first and foremost. Because if you can cold call, then you are more than half right there. So, that’s the first thing I will recommend because if you can’t there’s plenty of other sales positions where you don’t need to make cold calls, whether it’s real estate or in other industries. There are jobs out there that you can still sell without that cold call but if you want to move into real estate particularly as a listing agent, you need to know if you can.
Maya: And how do you find out?
Eliza: You have to use SIP. That’s the only way you that you can find out if you can cold call. It’s the only accurate measuring tool that can tell you that.
Maya: SIP is a profiling system that allows you to see if you have the inherent attributes to sell even if you’ve never sold before like Eliza and allows you to identify whether you should be in a new business cold calling environment or more in the account management, or in retail which is sort of half way. What’s your recommendation to businesses looking for sales staff?
Eliza: My recommendation to businesses is, cold calling is critical to business growth. For you to have a staff that can’t cold call it means that you won’t be growing. You need to find out if the people that you’re recruiting can cold call and the best way to do that is to use SIP.
Maya: What would you say to people…I’ve often spoken to business owners who say, well I don’t cold call, so how can I possibly make them do it?
Eliza: I would say to business owners that say that, you’ve had the experience; you’ve been in the industry for a long time so you won’t need to cold call. You’ve already built the relationships. When someone comes in new into the industry, they need to cold call to build relationships. They need to fill that funnel, and it’s the only way to do it. If they can’t cold call, don’t take them on.
Maya: Right. So it is as simple as that. If they can’t cold call, don’t take them on. You as the business owner might have 5,10, 20 years experience and a reputation and a client base. They have a telephone. They need to be able to pick it up.
Eliza: I also remind them when they say that to me, to cast their mind back to when they first started. I’m almost 100% certain they would cold call to build that client base in their area, and to build the reputation they now have.
Maya: Right but like with all things that are painful and difficult in our lives, they’ve wiped it from their memories, right?
Eliza: That’s right. They’ve forgotten. They absolutely have forgotten.
Maya: There are no shortcuts.
Maya: If you’re in a cold calling environment, it’s the phone and real estate is a cold calling environment to get the listing.
Maya: Eliza, thank you for your time.
Eliza: Thank you, Maya.
Enjoyed the interview? Check out our latest How-To Series. Happy watching!
Sales Myths Episode 5: Anybody can sell
Sales Myths: There’s no skill required to sell. Anybody can do it.
Indeed, there are lots of people who have tried to sell and failed miserably. The mutli-level sales organizations of the world would testimony to that. They have thousands of members but less than 1% of those are generating their revenue. It’s a very small percentage of the population. It’s less than 5% if you need to proactively make phone calls and initiate sales conversations.
Find out if you are one of those 5% before you waste your life and oodles of your money learning to sell when it just isn’t you.
Liked our series? Watch more videos: Starting a sales career
Sales Myths Episode 4: Selling is not a real career
Selling is not a real career. Indeed, many people do get into it by accident. But, 90% of managing directors having during their career been sales people. Sometimes for a long period of time, sometimes for 4 or 5 years, sometimes for 10 or 15. You cannot lead an organization without understanding how to generate revenue.
Selling is a skill that you can perfect and hone and develop if you have the real capacity. SIP — Sales Inventory Profile will identify that for you. If you’ve got it. You can make it. If you’ve got those attributes, you can then craft a really spectacular long-term sales career and perhaps management career.
Watch Part 5 here.
Sales Myths Episode 3: There’s only one sort of sales person
Sales Myth – the myth that there’s only one source of sales person. I have tested 30,000 candidates and I know that that’s NOT true. There are at least 2 types in the simplest definition. There’s the sort that can generate new business and there’s the sort that nurtures the existing client base. It takes totally different skills, perceptions, and style to successfully do those 2 different jobs.
The new businesses go out there into the world as people have to be agile, adaptive, fluid, sometimes they’re spontaneous, sometimes they shoot from their hip but that’s the sort of style they need to be able to work their way through the unknown respond to whatever comes at them with precision and become proactive in the smallest little nuance of opportunity they’re able to move themselves to effectively deal with it.
Account managers are very different. They will be effective when they’ve had plenty of time to think about, strategize, plan, thinking through the details of what does my customer need, where does my customer need to be in a years’ time. How will I help them get there? That is a stay-home-and-think process. If you interchange those jobs or if you interchange the people who have to perform those jobs, you will NOT get the optimal outcome.
You can keep the hunters at home, the new business people at home and make them tend to the crops. You can. They will be willing. They will think. Oh, lovely. I can rest. I will just, you know, have a chat to the existing customers because, you know, I created them probably 3 years ago, they will know me. It would be lovely to catch up with friends and have a bit of a yang. But if you keep your hunters at home, they become lethargic and stroppy and careless because to perform well, they need to stay on their toes and deal with the unpredictable.
You cannot make the farmers go and hunt. They are not able to do that, willing or otherwise. There are lots of times business do telemarketing of promotions for Christmas or something where they think they can get the whole company on the telephones, 5% of the sales force is capable of initiating a sales conversation. 15% are able to continue a conversation. That’s the account managers. So, be really clear if you are hiring people. What you need for this job and be able to identify them.
Sales Inventory Profile is able to identify, to the last degree which sorts of sales person, if at all, your candidate can become.
Bringing your more Sales Myths Videos here with Part 4.
Sales Myth Episode 2: Selling Ice to Eskimos
Another sales myth that is the most popular is that if you can sell, you can sell anything.
And a lovely cliché of selling ice to Eskimos. That is also not true.
There are several types of sales people and they perform better if they stick to their marketplace. So, there are people that can generate new business, and we often call them hunters and they have a series of different formal business names. And then, there are those people who can nurture and grow an existing client base, we call them account managers and farmers. They are not the same people.
If you move people between the two jobs, they will fail. The hunters who are agile, adaptive, fluid, capable of dealing with the unknown and that ultimately means people that are new to the business, new to your client base, will get bored and stroppy and lazy if you make them step on and farm. They won’t object though. They’ll agree happily because farming is easier, or it is to them anyway. So they’ll happily say, “Sure. I’ll take over the client base and the prestige of being the account executive,” but they would do a bad job for you.
On the other hand, the strategic long-term precise people who are really good account managers who can sit themselves down and really think about what they need to say and why and how, and prepare the tools that they’re trained, who don’t need to improvise and don’t like doing it. They cannot ___. Not just won’t they willing, they actually can’t. The different mentality. It’s a different skill sets. So, you will waste their skill and capacity if you make them go out and do it. Lots of businesses, when they’re short of cash just get everyone on the phone, let’s all make cold calls including, yes. I’m the managing director. I will sit down because I’m brave and I will do it with you.
Five percent of people are able to do that. Don’t torture and discourage and demoralize your staff by making them do something that they really cannot. It’s not about their willingness. It’s not about them being being diligent.
Find out more by contacting Maya.
Watch Part 3: Answering whether there’s only ONE type of Salesperson?
Sales Myths Episode 1: Willing to sell is able to sell
Prefer To Read?
The Importance of the Herd effect in selling
Having started in previous posts to talk about the role of fear and trust in selling, we now introduce two additional concepts; “herd” and “separate”. The Herd response signifies safety in numbers and falls into the trust side of the decision making process as they keep as safe. Much as media use the term “following the herd” as a negative concept it is fundamental to our nature as we as humans are, after all, herd animals.
The alternative to being part of the herd is to be “alone” and “separate”. Being separated is scary for most of us as humans; we only have to see psychology experiments which confine people in rooms to see how much it really affects us. Being alone and separate heights our fear response and subsequently triggers our expectations of danger or death. This heightened anxiety is no state for calmly making commercial buying decisions or splurging out on personal luxuries.
How does this relate to the commercial world? Being part of the “herd” is about staying with the majority, doing the things the majority are doing and definitely buying the things that the majority are buying. There are only a few brave souls who are able to explore uncharted territory, implement unproven technologies or make decisions without regard to the opinions and reactions of their peers. There may be a reasonable number of people showing interest in new products but few will take action and buy them while they are in the minority.
Obviously then, when making sales, you want your prospects to feel the comfort and safety of staying in the “herd” and keep them miles and miles away from this dangerous “alone” and “separate” zone where they associate themselves, or you, with danger during your sales call.
The first issue in the safety of the herd is whether they perceive you to be a trusted member of their herd or an outsider. Do you clearly belong to a herd they expect for the product you represent? Or do you appear as an obvious outsider of their herd or any they want to relate to? Your membership of the herd can be about simple appearances and dress code or it could be about the content of your conversations. Are you making them feel like they belong to a safe herd when they are talking with you? Or are you talking about things that are unknown and are trying to draw them away from what is known and safe?
Making prospects feel safe buying your service or product is easier if your product is well established with many testimonials, great client case studies or endorsements from people they trust and admire. As the old advertising said “no one ever got fired for buying IBM”. Getting fired is definitely a commercially dangerous outcome to be avoided by clients.
However if you’re selling something new to your market, no matter it’s obvious revolutionary benefits you are effectively asking your prospects to make a stance alone by taking the risk of a new product. To achieve the sale you will need to develop much more trust on other issues to compensate for the lost sense of safety being alone in a new market will trigger for them.
Stay tuned for our next installment about what motivates people to make decisions to change their current state including making decisions to buy new products.
The Role of Trust in Overcoming the Fear Filter
Continuing on from The Role of Fear in Selling where we looked at how the fear filter works, we continue to discuss the Trust barrier in selling.
To recap, the fear filter separates the Primal brain and its flee or freeze or flight response and the Modern brain with all its logic and rational decision making; it’s the bit that can make or break your deal. Expanding on this, this article introduces you to the critical Trust barrier and how it is the foundation of stable buying decisions.
As we established, the fear filter blocks your prospects from being able to think logically and rationally if there is any risk of harm in your sales processes. Now here’s another thing: the same filter, this same line, can stop data coming down to the primal brain where the ability to make a final decision resides. In short, information and data must pass UP to the Modern Brain and then DOWN again to the Primal brain for any decision to be made, as seen below.
This means that the information you give a customer and the conversation you conduct with a customer has to pass through two filters in order for them to make a decision. We talked about the fight or flight mechanism and the survival instinct.
As we mentioned, data doesn’t go up from the primal brain unless it’s not frightening, and when coming back down, the data will not come down from the modern brain unless it is trustworthy. And now we have the second filtering process – the Trust barrier.
Now say your information gets past the prospects fear filter the first time your prospects are able to make sound, rational and logic decisions thanks to the modern brain. This information must once again come down and pass the trust barrier.
So once again, your prospects are assessing the risk of decision. Will the decision to buy have any negative consequences? If it does then they will not make the purchase; that is, they cannot act on the decision despite having come to it in a logical and methodical way.
To optimise your prospect’s decision process, you need to be really conscious of how to communicate data so that it is absorbed by the logical brain and processed complete enough for them to make a decision that they can confidently act out.
Part of this is the way you explain things but an equal part is knowing their current knowledge and beliefs on this issue. Until you know what they already know and believe you cannot make sure the information you present will make enough sense to them to be trusted as correct and used reliable to make the decision to buy it. If you say something that contradicts their beliefs or they cannot understand completely they will not be able to use your information as part of their rational processes.
Next, we’re going to talk about the data you present to your prospects. Tune in for the next article on how to gain their trust, overcome the fear filter and the trust barrier, and sell your product/service.
More in the series: The Herd Effect and Selling
The Hunter vs. The Farmer
In our world, there are a lot more Farmer types than Hunter types. The people that interview and hire you, such as HR Managers, Sales managers, and even some Managing Directors, tend to be Farmers. This means that they are more likely to “buy in” Farmers to their organisation – and if you happen to be a Hunter, it is much harder to come across as someone they would like to hire, and much harder to show them your sales abilities in the interview if the interview is geared towards showing off Farmers’ skills. It’s like trying to show how fast you can swim, when you’re made to fly!
Bottom line: It’s important to know your sales style so you can present yourself well during an interview. If you are a natural new business style salesperson rather than an account manager styles you will most likely be the exact opposite of the people who hire you.
Know how you are coming across to ensure you are really understood and appreciated….and get the job!
More on BDMS vs Account Managers here
All about SIP Recruitment: Why we write your adverts for you?
All about SIP recruitment program is that we write the adverts for you. We use your logo, your identity, and we write elaborate detailed adverts that are designed to attract a broader and deeper candidate pool.
So if you are a well recognized international brand, you may be swarmed with candidates. But to find those rare and few sales people who are suited to your job, we need as big a candidate pool as possible. The SIP software means that you only need to relate and to talk to the ones that are an exact match. So the staff who takes care of the majority of the people who are not going to be suited to your selling position, so it’s very time efficient. We attract the candidates. You only interview the small population who are suited to your job.
More videos about SIP: Why you should recruit with SIP
All about SIP Recruitment: Best Sales Recruitment tool in the world!
Sales Inventory Profile. I like to call it SIP, is the world’s best recruitment program because at its core is a selling IQ program.
We’ve recruited hundreds of sales people around the country; 70% of those are still in their jobs, 70%! That’s a huge retention rate for sales people. Many industries are averaging 10%. It’s a recruitment system. It has an IQ-based program at its heart that identifies the 75 attributes required to be successful at selling. From these attributes, we are able to detail exactly what’s in a sales person your candidate will become, whether they can cope which is really important to some new business jobs but not all. Whether they are generally a new business or account manager; and whether they have, if they are an account manager, the attention to detail and long term perspective.
We help you with the advertising so that you attract the biggest pool of candidates possible because the number that is really qualified is very small. The program does the short listing. Every candidate who applies to your role has to complete the SIP process, and then you only interview from the shortlist of people who are capable of doing your job.
More on how SIP started: A Lesson in History
All about SIP recruitment: A Brief History of SIP
Sales Inventory Profile. Its acronym is SIP and it has been in the market since 2008. The research was conducted in the mid 1990s.
When I was offering sales training, I was going around the world saying, “Let me help your sales team.” “Let me make them do better.” The biggest objection to my sales training was nothing to do with the training or the quality of the content, or its workshop material. The greatest objection I’ve got through the training was the candidates. My customers will tell me over and over again. No matter who we train them with. No matter what program we put them through. They’re not getting better. One of my clients said that he would spend all of his budget on finding out who could sell before he trains them, and that has been my mission since 1994. It is to work out who can sell before you recruit them and then before you train them.
So you got people in a company that might be good at selling, don’t move them across and say you got _____, find out before you move them. If you move people who are currently not in selling to a sales job and they failed, you’ve lost them forever. Nobody wants to go back to their old life, their old job. We’re able to test your current staff and find out if any of them has this heated dominant sales potential and we are definitely able to recruit only amongst that pool of candidates who are able to sell.
More about SIP and the value of recruiting with SIP for your business
The Role of Fear in Selling
We get it when salespeople freeze up in fear when they start out. But what about when prospects refuse to listen no matter how convincing you are because they are in fear?
How does this work and how do you help them overcome this and close the sale?
To understand how to achieve anything , we need to look at the psychology of fear – the why’s, what’s and how’s of customer fear and overcoming it.
Let’s have a look at this diagram of a person’s head. Let’s pretend it’s transparent so we can see what’s going on inside.
Now at the very top of your spinal cord is the first part of the brain. That’s the part of the brain that all animals have in common. Among its medical terms, It’s also called the primal brain.
All animals have that sort of brain at the top of their spinal cord, and what that is designed to do is take in information from the senses. Your eyes, your nose, your mouth, from your body in terms of touch and your ears.
Now what does this primal brain do with all that information it receives from the senses? Essentially, it is responsible for keeping you alive. It manages all of your bodily functions, eating, digestion, removal, and all those good things.
Why it is important to you to understand this process is that predominantly, it is also a fear filter. When something is coming in from the senses, it is the first and dominant decision processing facility. We’re talking about how people decide to buy the Ferrari, the house, or the new pair of shoes. It’s exactly the same process. So this is the bit that can make selling a huge pain for you.
The first thing we have to think about – our primal brain has to think about – is whether that data about the new shoes/car etc passes our fear filter. And if it doesn’t pass the fear filter, as you already would know, then the primal brain triggers the flight, fight or freeze response.
Activating the fear reactor shuts down the rest of the brain, turns off our modern and bigger part of the brain and sends data back to the rest of the body to flee or freeze or fight. It quite simply makes decision making impossible.
So you have to be careful and aware that when people walk into your shop, car dealership, or you enter their home as a real estate agent, you could be sending people into instantaneous freeze, fight or flee response.
So how does it affect my ability to sell if the brain is in fear respond mode?
As mentioned, when in fear response mode, the larger part of the brain, the modern one, will shut down, meaning it will not be able to process information for logic. So…logical thinking? Gone. Rational thinking? Gone. Decisions making is still working as that is in the primal brain, but after the fear response is activated the only decisions the primal brain is willing to make are about survival.
So until the fear reaction is resolved, no other useful processing will occur.
You can understand this through the diagram where the Modern Brain is being “blocked” by the Fear Filter. The Fear Filter can thus be seen as the gatekeeper to which the Modern Brain can be accessed (or not).
So really, if you have triggered the fear filter, nothing you say after that, nothing coming in from those ears is being pushed through to the logic part of your client’s brain. They are not thinking about return on investment or how glamorous they will look in that new Ferrari or how fashionable the new shoes are, or any other positive thing that your product gives them.
They won’t be thinking about any of it.
They will be feeling and acting on fear.
That’s something you need to be aware of in how you present yourself, how you present your product and how you conduct the conversation with a client.
So how do you get past this tricky fear filter and start selling?
Read on about the role of trust in overcoming the fear filter for the second part of the article.
Eliminate time-wasters and finish your to-do list!
Time management is an essential part of everyone’s lives. It’s particularly important for salespeople as if you’re not careful you will only spend 10% of your time selling. SO what really happens to the remaining 90%? Here’s a breakdown:
Since a whopping 90% of your time is spent outside of direct touch selling – effective time management is not just helpful; it’s Vital (with a capital V)!
Although we always talk of time management and getting organised – it’s hard to actually get started, especially when we have a million things buzzing through our minds and tasks continually piling, and piling and piling on our schedules and to-do lists. Selling isn’t called ‘life in the fast lane’ for nothing and that’s never going to change. It will never be quiet enough to make tidy detailed lists of EVERYTHING that needs doing.
What you need is an easy strategy to help you work out which 2-3 things you will make sure get done each day and how to priorities the rest to get most of it done.
So, firstly, just stop everything, take a deep breath, slow down and implement the following tips that you will read in this article.
Key Tip to Successful Time Management for Salespeople –
Be clear on what your primary role is and your top 3 sales objectives.
If you have any doubt re-read your sales plan and the commission rules or if you are working for yourself you may have a business plan. If you don’t have a plan consider this; if there were only 3 financial targets you could achieve in 12 months what would they be?
Write a list of the activities that contribute most directly to your top 3 objectives above. If you are an account manager define your highest yield customers. If you’re a BDM or new business sales person define your target prospects for these objectives.
Schedule only these activities into the time of day when you are most effective. For some people this will be a personal choice based on your own productivity issues, like energy levels. For others your schedule is defined by some characteristic of your clients’ business or by the availability of an important resource.
Do not book more than half of the available time for these primary activities as no-one can maintain that level of concentration every day. This gives you the rest of the day to respond to immediate tasks that you could not plan for. As other activities arise during the day ask; ‘does this help me achieve one of my objectives?’ Or my favourite questions ‘will this help me close a sale?’
Then consider the most productive environment for your primary activities and if there any ways to boost your output. Perhaps you need to work away from your desk somewhere quieter to help with concentration; or just hide in a meeting room (café or car or someone else’s office) for a few hours to prevent interruptions. Perhaps you need to be away from your PC and all the electronic traffic. Saying you will only answer email or browse the internet for a specific time rarely works for most of us.
MAXIMISE YOUR ENERGY
Be realistic. No-one ever has time to complete all the tasks they would like to do or that are asked of them. To decide which ones you WILL NOT DO ask yourself a different question; ‘will not doing this get me fired/result in bankruptcy/land me in jail/lead to divorce?’ There will be some consequence in the tasks left not done so choose to complete the ones that contribute directly to your objectives and avoid the ones that will not create a disaster. For those second level jobs – they are neither a selling priority nor prevent disaster – fill your day to a reasonable level and sleep well at night knowing that you squeezed every productive movement out of your day and that no more was possible.
Take care of yourself.
Your body and your concentration are as much your tools of the trade as a phone or PC. Create some time each day to do something simple to recharge your batteries. On a sunny day take yourself for a walk for at least 10-15 minutes. Walk briskly or stroll and ponder but move your muscles, breath deeply, enjoy the sun and let the pressures of the day go for a moment. If you cannot walk, perhaps a drive or even some simple stretches away from your desk while you wait for the kettle to boil i.e. ‘move your muscles, breath deeply and let the pressures of the day go for a moment.’
Take an interest in nutrition and have real food available throughout your day. Don’t rely on having to drive out to buy everything each day as you may easily find your time too is tight and you’re having lunch from the vending machine and surviving on coffee and complimentary biscuits.
Learn a few stress relief techniques which you can do at your desk or in your car and finally sleep. Sleep, along with letting your muscles relax, is your brains why of tidying up and preparing for the next day. If you toss and turn when you go to bed, your brain hasn’t finished for the day. If it’s rehearsing for an important event then stay in bed so your muscles can continue to rest and let your mind rehearse. If your brain is full of activities not completed, get up; reach for your diary and start at the top of these tips by defining what is most important, which ones can feasibly be done, scheduling when to get it done and where you will be most productive; then return to bed.
More tips to help you prioritise (we recommend you print this off and keep it somewhere visible)
- Set a monthly goal – calculate number of prospects/clients needed to hit that goal
- Calculate the value of your time per hour by dividing your annual one target earnings by 1920 working hours per year
- Designate priority time to make calls and prospect
- Post your revenue goals somewhere completely visible and mark off as you progress
- During work hours stay away from people who waste your time or make you feel low.
Reach those 2013 Goals without goal setting
Happy New Year! It’s always great to launch into another year; put the last behind and start afresh – of course, remembering what worked last year and learning from what didn’t – kicking off the New Year with renewed ambition and a whole new set of targets. It will be great to pull the team together and lay out the grand battle plan; 2012 was good but now let’s set the bar higher and get everyone working towards bigger goals – it’s an exciting time!
Now for the bad news – goal setting just doesn’t work.
Let me qualify that. Of course every good sales manager sets goals and of course these goals need to be communicated to the whole team concerned with achieving them. However these goals or sales targets in themselves have very little potential to generate the behaviour required to achieve the goals. If I can talk a little about the psychology of selling – after all that’s my main game! – sales targets have very weak motivational power for sales representatives who are experienced and capable; these representatives are in a comfortable space (relatively speaking,) and simply setting a larger sales target for them will not influence their work methodology greatly.
After all, what generates more leads and sales? Prospecting; and prospecting is seriously hard work. As a task in itself prospecting isn’t a huge amount of fun; it requires effort, discipline and resilience to stick with it until results start to flow from it. When a representative starts out fear of failure is a massive motivation to keep on prospecting hard. The situation of having no leads, no sales, no network of referrals or existing clients is extremely fear provoking and exerts a powerful pushing force upon the representative. Once a representative becomes more established, builds networks and has momentum from previous work generating ongoing sales then they find themselves in a safer place. They have moved some distance from the source of their fear which is no longer a powerful motivator. Motivations are now primarily about maintenance of this happy state.
How to encourage a representative in the “happy” zone to achieve more? Goal setting only provides a weak pulling force on the representative’s behaviour – not a pushing one. Anyone with a mechanical bent will know that it is much easier to push things than pull them.
In my sales training program Emotions in Selling I explain the Action Continuum to describe the process of motivation as it applies to understanding how prospects move to a decision to purchase. The psychology of this process also applies equally well to understanding how sales representatives make a decision to change their existing practice and perceive their own goals or “wants.”
Just as I train representatives to understand how and why prospects do or don’t make decisions to buy or in effect move from the position they are in I also like to help sales managers understand what motivates – and also demotivates – representatives from moving from the selling space they are in.
Those who have taken my Emotions in Selling course will readily understand why it can be difficult to motivate individuals to take a course of action which will actually benefit them – you are in effect asking the individual to cross a barrier; possibly even two barriers. And as is the case with prospects, even experienced sales professionals are subject to these same emotions and barriers.
Understanding why goal setting doesn’t work (or perhaps more fairly, why goal setting is a weak change driver,) is the first step. Knowing how to transform those goals into powerful change mechanisms is, of course, the answer to the $64- question; that’s a story for another blog ….
How will you drive yourself in 2013?
If something is truly important to us we are motivated to do whatever it takes to make it happen.
Very few people think getting more money is important enough to endure the angst of prospecting.
To have people push through their pain they must be clear on how important the result of their prospecting really is; self pride, glory, respect, providing for their children. It has to be really important to them.
— Maya Saric
Hire the right Sales reps and training them will also be easier
We don’t expect to be able to do accounts in order to employ an Accountant. So…why do we expect to be great Sales Reps before we allow ourselves to employ great reps?
Can we really expect a new sales person to prospect when no-one here does?
If you choose people because they can do it (SIP can spot them for you)
You hire them with the clear plan that they will do it.
They take the job knowing they will need to do it
When they start you teach them how to do it!
They will do it!
If you have hired well, it is a simple process to get great results. Yet, without SIP, finding the right people will be hard.
— Maya Saric