The REAL Reason Sales Revenue is Sluggish

It’s a Thursday morning, and you’re stuck in YET ANOTHER sales meeting.

It’s beginning to feel like the movie Groundhog Day where you’re living the same day (or possibly the same meeting) over and over.

Top line revenue growth is at a standstill and as you go around the table, you’re hearing the same old same old:

The sales people say we don’t have enough market share, our prices are too high, the competition is getting all the business...

And the sales manager says, “This is out of our control.” It’s because we don’t have enough new business, if we had more inventory, if, if, if….

But strangely enough, the competition seems to have increased revenue who have less sales people, less inventory. In the exact same time period.

So what do they know that you don’t?

And it’s not like you’ve been sitting on your hands. Over last quarter you’ve tried:

  • Replacing salespeople
  • Opening 2 new locations with lots of high traffic
  • Replacing the sales manager
  • Dropping your prices
  • Or doing …. Nothing…because you just aren’t sure what to change or fix.

Because although you are pretty sure what the problem is, you have no idea how to fix it.

And not knowing has robbed you of 10% last quarter and if this continues… the Board of Directors will take you to task, maybe even replace you.  And for sure, you could lose even more market share. Or your dreams of exiting or selling the company in the next few years now looks like nothing more than a pipe dream.  

Honestly, this problem is not your fault.  Oftentimes we are too close to the problem to find the right solution. Kind of like not being able to see the forest for the trees.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been brought into a situation like this only to discover that the reason my client was stuck was because they were trying to solve the wrong problem.

Which is understandable because organizations are complex.

And sometimes the pain from a particular problem shows up in a seemingly unrelated place.

A little like how having tense shoulders sometimes leads to lower back pain.

You can’t fix the back pain without addressing the shoulders.

So if you’ve been struggling for months trying to figure out what to fix…

If you know you can’t have another quarter like last quarter, but you feel like you’re shooting in the dark…

Call me.

My specialty is fixing the RIGHT problem.  Which saves time, money and energy.

And you don’t have to take my word for it. Give me 15 minutes on the phone and I will help you find what’s actually keeping you stuck.

Here’s a link to my calendar

You have better things to do with your time than sit in those meetings.


Regards,

Barbara

800-700-6507

Top Earning Salespeople Use This 1 Easy Strategy to Outperform Everyone Else

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Sales is one of the most common jobs in the US. But top salespeople know a secret--that can make them rich.

By Darren MarbleCEO, CrowdfundX@darrenmarble

Let's start with the obvious: salespeople have a bad rap. That's because most people employed in sales are--wait for it--crappy salespeople. These are your typical pushy, slimy, or aggressive salespeople that make you feel uncomfortable. They may even include your friends who hawk insurance, weight loss products or oils on Facebook (no offense).  

But there is another group of salespeople--the elite one percent--who are an entirely different breed. These salespeople make it rain. They have bottomless expense accounts, fly first class, and negotiate luxury auto leases or relocation packages into their employment agreements with ease.  

They often have entire teams dedicated just to them, such as executive assistants, pre-sales resources, or others, because a support infrastructure empowers them to spend more time doing what they do best--sell.    

The bottom 99 percent and the top one percent of salespeople actually have something in common: they are both creatures of habit. The bottom 99 percent push their products or services on unwilling victims. They sell features, benefits, and ask for the order. Oftentimes they are very likable on a personal level, will smile, and speak with conviction, energy, or enthusiasm.

They know that if they smile long enough and keep closing, they will eventually sell something. After all, sales is a numbers game, right?   

But the top one percent of salespeople know a secret--one that can generate a million dollars a year in personal income, or more. Sometimes these salespeople realize that they have the critical skill set needed to launch a business--so they do, and become billionaires.

These elite salespeople also repeat a behavior, over and over. Except it's a different behavior than the bottom 99 percent. What is their secret to sales success? 

The top one percent of salespeople ask the right questions. 

The best salespeople don't pitch--they ask questions. They ask smart, savvy questions, immediately on a first call or meeting. They don't interrogate, but they do ask calmly, methodically, almost in hypnotic fashion, and create a cadence where the prospect is responding to one question after the next.   

This simple strategy is exceptionally effective. The more questions the salesperson asks--and the more information the prospect yields--the better equipped the salesperson is to sell the deal. 

Top salespeople start with qualifying questions to determine if the prospect they are speaking with is even worth their time. They ask questions around personal or business pain points, decision-making process, timeline and budget. Within fives minutes, they will know if there is a qualified deal worth pursuing, or if they should move on to the next. 

They hone in like a hawk on pain points, asking the prospect how the pain is manifesting itself, how it is impacting them, and whether it can be quantified. They take notes and mirror back answers not only to confirm what they've heard, but to let the prospect know that are listening. And listening they are.  

In a business-to-business sale, top salespeople ask specifically about the prospect's evaluation criteria, and how each decision-maker in the deal prioritizes those criteria. They ask who the signer is--the key decision-maker--and how the closing process will work in the event they have the winning solution. 

It's not uncommon for prospects to interrupt the salesperson and ask their own questions about the product, service, pricing, or delivery. But top salespeople are massively disciplined and will politely push back in order to continue their line of questioning.    

In some instances, the perfect first meeting is one in which the salesperson says absolutely nothing about their product or service. They prefer to come back for a second meeting, armed with intimate knowledge on how to sell the deal, and close. 

The next time you're on a first call with a prospect, challenge yourself to not to talk about your product or service at all. Ask the right questions instead and map out your strategy for the next meeting. When you come back, you might be pleasantly surprised as to how easy it is to seal the deal--and begin your transition to the top one percent.

Don’t know how to ask Good questions? Great questions? Tough questions?  We can teach you how to do this.

4 Summer Reads for Top Leaders

Summer is here and it's a great time to head to the pool or beach and catch up on some reading. You may think that books about business are the ideal read while trying to relax by the water. But we have found four books that keep you entertained and educated while you are enjoying your summer time.

Psyched Up: How the Science of Mental Preparation Can Help you Succeed

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Closing the sale. Asking for a raise. Nailing the big presentation. Of the 2,000 hours you work every year, your success or failure is determined in the couple of dozen crucial hours when you need to bring your absolute best. Will you?

The last few minutes before a major challenge can be terrifying. Ever wished you knew how to make sure you ace the make-or-break test, audition, or interview?

We often feel the most powerless just before we’re expected to act powerful. As you’ll learn in this life-changing book, practice might make perfect, but perfection is useless if you can’t summon it when it counts. Pulling off a great speech or the pivotal at bat also requires the right kind of mental preparation.

In Psyched Up, journalist Daniel McGinn dives into the latest psychological research and interviews athletes, soldiers, entertainers, and others who, despite years of practice and enviable track records, will ultimately be judged on their ability to delivera solid performance when it’s their turn to shine.

Shoe Dog

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In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and CEO Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.

In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and created a company with a simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the trunk of his lime green Plymouth Valiant, Knight grossed $8,000 his first year. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. In an age of startups, Nike is the ne plus ultra of all startups, and the swoosh has become a revolutionary, globe-spanning icon, one of the most ubiquitous and recognizable symbols in the world today.

But Knight, the man behind the swoosh, has always remained a mystery. Now, for the first time, in a memoir that is candid, humble, gutsy, and wry, he tells his story, beginning with his crossroads moment. At twenty-four, after backpacking around the world, he decided to take the unconventional path, to start his own business—a business that would be dynamic, different.

Knight details the many risks and daunting setbacks that stood between him and his dream—along with his early triumphs. Above all, he recalls the formative relationships with his first partners and employees, a ragtag group of misfits and seekers who became a tight-knit band of brothers. Together, harnessing the transcendent power of a shared mission, and a deep belief in the spirit of sport, they built a brand that changed everything.

 

 

 

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

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From Facebook’s COO and Wharton’s top-rated professor, the #1 New York Times best-selling authors of Lean In and Originals: a powerful, inspiring, and practical book about building resilience and moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks.
 
After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. “I was in ‘the void,’” she writes, “a vast emptiness that fills your heart and lungs and restricts your ability to think or even breathe.” Her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, told her there are concrete steps people can take to recover and rebound from life-shattering experiences. We are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. It is a muscle that everyone can build. 

Option B combines Sheryl’s personal insights with Adam’s eye-opening research on finding strength in the face of adversity. Beginning with the gut-wrenching moment when she finds her husband, Dave Goldberg, collapsed on a gym floor, Sheryl opens up her heart—and her journal—to describe the acute grief and isolation she felt in the wake of his death. But Option B goes beyond Sheryl’s loss to explore how a broad range of people have overcome hardships including illness, job loss, sexual assault, natural disasters, and the violence of war. Their stories reveal the capacity of the human spirit to persevere . . . and to rediscover joy.

Resilience comes from deep within us and from support outside us. Even after the most devastating events, it is possible to grow by finding deeper meaning and gaining greater appreciation in our lives. Option B illuminates how to help others in crisis, develop compassion for ourselves, raise strong children, and create resilient families, communities, and workplaces.

Many of these lessons can be applied to everyday struggles, allowing us to brave whatever lies ahead. Two weeks after losing her husband, Sheryl was preparing for a father-child activity. “I want Dave,” she cried. Her friend replied, “Option A is not available,” and then promised to help her make the most of Option B.

We all live some form of Option B. This book will help us all make the most of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

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In this instant New York Times bestseller, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed—be it parents, students, educators, athletes, or business people—that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.”

Drawing on her own powerful story as the daughter of a scientist who frequently noted her lack of “genius,” Duckworth, now a celebrated researcher and professor, describes her early eye-opening stints in teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience, which led to the hypothesis that what really drives success is not “genius” but a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance.

In Grit, she takes readers into the field to visit cadets struggling through their first days at West Point, teachers working in some of the toughest schools, and young finalists in the National Spelling Bee. She also mines fascinating insights from history and shows what can be gleaned from modern experiments in peak performance. Finally, she shares what she’s learned from interviewing dozens of high achievers—from JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon to New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff to Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll.