Commonwealth Oil belongs to the Yes!Network, which is a group that hosts motivational speakers every other month. This month, Jodi Duff-Burns (Purchasing), Kristin Knechtel (Customer Service), Brian Lowe (Sales Representative) and I headed to Novi, Michigan to hear two very inspirational speakers.
The first was Mark Sanborn, who seperated his time in two parts. The first explored ‘Perpetual Achievement, How to Succeed When Times are Good, Bad or Inbetween’. One of the points that stuck out for me was his concept of ‘Learner’s Leverage’. Mark explained that, most people only read about things that interest them, and those are things they typically already know. He suggests reading everything, this is how you can stay competitive in an always changing world.
The second half of Mark Sanborn’s talk was entitled ‘Team Work Strategies That Work, How to Create Synergy with Anybody, Anywhere, Anytime’. You need to find people who are prepared to work together, for a common goal. There are 6 skills that a necessary to have a successful team:
1. Locate: find the right people
2. Educate: make sure they have the necessary tools
3. Cooperate: encourage them to work together
4. Communicate: facilitate effective and clear communication
5. Motivate: help motivate the team
6. Celebrate: It’s important to celebrate the teams successes
The second speaker, Shep Hyken’s presentation was entitled ‘Moments of Magic: Seven Strategies to Create an Awesome Customer Experience’ The premise was to make sure you use negative customer experiences into moments of magic. To do this, there’s 10 strategies you can do to create an awesome customer experience:
1. Manage the First Impression: Using a warm smile, carrying yourself confidently and greeting someone with care can help create positive first impressions.
2. Be Knowledgeable: Being knowledgeable in what you’re talking about is a great way to emit confidence. If you’re confident in what you’re saying, people will want to to do business with you because they trust you.
3. Build Rapport: People love to talk about themselves and their kids. By asking questions about their family, and remembering the answers from visit to visit, you begin building rapport.
4. Show Enthusiasm: Be excited about what you do.
5. Communicate Fully. Ask the extra question. If someone says ‘we need this done quickly’, ask them what ‘quickly’ means to them.
6. Transform Moments of Misery: You are being judged the most during Moments of Misery, in other words, how you recover when a mistake has been made. By fixing what needs to be fixed with the right attitude and with urgency, you can transform the Moment of Misery into a positive customer experience.
7. Deliver Quality: Make sure your products do what you say they are going to do.
8. Under Promise, Over Deliver: If you tell someone the product will arrive at their doorsep in 15 days, and it arrives in 10, they will be happy. If it were the other way around, you’d be getting a phone call on the 10th day from an upset customer. By setting the expectation and then exceeding it, you will make a happy customer.
9. Maintain Consistency: Even your worst day has to be your best effort.
10. Show Appreciation: Customers have an abundance of people they could buy from, but they chose you. Be sure to say thank you over, and over again.
Asking for the order and getting the sale is one of the most important parts of being in sales. If you do not make any sales, then are you really a salesperson? In a riveting article by Geoffrey James, he explores tips for selling (click here ot read the full article).
Here are some tips to help you close the sale, read carefully:
• Do not make your sales ‘gimicky’. Having the ‘trick sales’ that force people into making decisions are ineffecient and do not represent your company, or your person well. Saying “you can get 15% off, but only if you order right now,” isn’t going to work- especially in coolant sales. Even if it does work, your customer ends up buying something they didn’t really want, leading them to resent you and potentially hinder future business opportunities. Now that we’ve talked about what NOT to do, here’s some tips on what you should do.
• Find people who are good at closing and study then mimick their behaviour. Our experience with good closers shows us that good closers are incredibly prompt and incredibly persistent. If you get a lead, get on it immediately. If you tell someone you are going to do something, do it right away. Closing isn’t the last step, follow up with the customer and ensure future closings to come. It’s all about relationship building. Here’s an excellent excerpt from the article, “If you aren’t willing to be vigilant and inexhaustible in your focus and your ability to understand customer needs, you’ll never be a great closer. If you aren’t willing to constantly improve your skills at dialog and questioning, you’ll never be a great closer. If you aren’t willing to do the extra mental work to build confidence in your own ability, you’ll never be a great closer.”
• Set specific and measureable goals. Customers make a lot of decisions in the selling process, the first is the decision to let you pitch, then the decision to recommend a product, then the decision to try that product. You need to have objections in mind for every conversation, that are measureable and ‘appropriately aggressive’. Examples of appropriately aggressive objectives are, “i will get a list of the decision makers”, “I will close the deal today.” Be sure to keep the customer involved every step of the way, listen to their problems and their suggestions, and set measureable goals!
• There are a lot of things to be afraid of when trying to close a sale. Fear of Rejection. Fear of Financial Loss. Fear of Failure. Here’s a few tips to get get you over fear, and into closing the sale:
1. I notice that I’m putting something off because of a fear that it won’t happen.
2. I re-confirm that the goal is worth pursuing.
3. I “remember” that the fear is just a signal that this is a desirable goal.
4. I feel grateful that I have the opportunity to achieve that goal.
5. I briefly think about all the things that I don’t have to be afraid about.
6. I recall all the times that I’ve overcome similar fears.
7. I imagine myself taking the action that I’ve been putting off because of fear.
8. I repeat the above step 5 times, visualizing a successful outcome.
7. I use the momentum of all of the above to push me forward.
• You must have confidence in yourself. If you’re not sure about yourself, other people won’t be either. By speaking with conviction, and believing what you’re selling you are a step ahead of most people. Most importantly, be someone you would want to buy from. You’re all in the industry, you know what’s important and what’s not. Be the salesperson you would like.
Any extra tips to add? I would love to hear your tips for closing, or which point you think is the most useful. Comment!
Commonwealth Oil had a great staff meeting last week, here’s some pictures:
Pat Menogue was the chef for the excellent lunch we enjoyed: steaks, salads and delicious pie!
Steve Russelo, Production Foreman with Fred Herdman, Owner waiting for the food to be ready.
Jenny Brown, Jodi Duff-Burns, Brian Lowe and Dwayne Demars enjoying the food!
Kristin Knechtel, Fran Iacono, Ken Hennin and Michele Breault at the staff meeting.
Geoffrey James, blogger for bNet.com highlighted 6 iPhone Apps every Salesperson should have. You can read the full article by clicking here.
Here’s the best of the best:
GetPaid! : This app produces professional invoices and time sheets in PDF format, so that you can more easily bill your customer, submit your time sheet, and move on to the next job. It also tracks time, inventory and the payments that come in.
Worldcard Mobile: You snap a picture of a business card and the application converts it into a contact in your contact manager, usually with everything filed in the right field, including the photograph (if there’s one on the card.) – Cool!
Bump: Makes sharing contact data (and other types of data) as simple as bumping two phones together. Just pick what you want to send, then hold your phones and gently bump hands with another Bump user.
Lead Qualifier: Helps you create, while the information is still fresh in your mind, a qualification summary that records critical information about the lead. Then you can email it or automatically log it as an activity on Salesforce.com.
Here is a few I recommend:
Dragon Dictation: Perfect for when you’re on the road and want to get work done. You can tap and dictate text messages, e-mails and notes. It works pretty good and is a safe alternative to typing & driving.
Sales & Commissions Lite: An easy way to track sales and commissions for yourself and other employees. Enter the amount of items sold and let it do the calculations for you.
TraveLog Mileagle Tracker: This app makes it easy to track your vehicle mileage for business. Get rid of your standard log book and enjoy this easy-to-use mileage tracker.
What Apps do you use for work?
Commonwealth Oil has joined the world of YouTube and uploaded our very first video! The video entitled ‘How to Use a Refractometer’, shows how easy it is to maintain regular coolant maintenance by using a refractometer to check concentration.
To watch the video, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAlpFjgpSyA and be sure to subcribe to our Commonwealth Oil YouTube page!
You will now be able to comment on the blog entries on this site. I am hoping you will all consider joining in on the conversation by sharing your knowledge, experiences or interesting articles you have read.
I look forward to hearing what you have to say!
The price of oil has forced many finished lubrication companies to raise their prices. You may be hearing lately, more than usual, “it costs too much.” What should you respond to this?
The Sales Machine, Geoffrey James from Bnet.com suggests saying: “If we set price aside for a moment, is this the product you want to buy?”
Here is his reasoning: “The reason is simple. Prospects often raise price objections as a smokescreen for other objections. For example, the prospect may feel that the price is too high because it doesn’t do what they want it to do. Or they may have a competitive product in mind that’s cheaper. Or they may not be clear about the benefits that the product provides. Or, of course, there may not be money in the budget, hence the worry about price.
Asking the prospect if they want to buy the product does one of two things:
- Smokes out the REAL objection so that you can address that objection first.
- Confirms that objection really is the price, which can then be addressed.”
Mistakes happen. Sometimes they can be small mistakes, but other times they can be big ones. If you make a mistake at work (or outside of work) here is a few things you can do to recover- given by John Baldoni (bNet.com Blogger):
1. If you make a mistake, admit it right away. So often the cover up is worse than the transgression because it shows you are deceitful. Admit the mistake and take the blame.
2. Do not lie. Especially do not tell lies repeatedly. You’ll get caught. Once people realize that you can lie straight to their face, it will change their opinion of you. Everyone makes mistakes, just tell the truth and move on.
3. Apologies aren’t enough. No matter how long you drone on. You have to show you’re not just sorry you got caught. You’re sincere. That means make reparations. Apologize for your actions, but also do anything you can to remedy them. If you don’t know how you can fix it, ask.
4. Shut up and go back to work. Do not dwell on the mistake. Once you have completed all these steps, go back to work and learn from your mistake.