This is the time of year that drives every sales professional crazy.
You’ve been trying for a few weeks to get in touch with someone – anyone – who can buy something. You’ve been calling prospects, referral sources, former clients and even clients. Nobody is in the office. People who do return calls leave you a message late at night or early in the morning. They tell you they are away and they’ll be in touch when they get back to work. Even people who are working cannot make decisions now because someone, somewhere who needs to give some type of approval is on vacation.
You have to produce results. You’ve got a budget and it doesn’t have a place for “vacation when nothing happens.” Even more important, you’ve got to eat. You’ve got bills to pay. The supermarket and cable TV provider don’t care that you can’t get a hold of anyone.
So what do you do to make this slow time of year more productive? How do you make the most of the vacation season?
Here are five things to make August more productive:
Research Ideal Clients
This is the perfect time to do the deep research you’ve been putting off. Use this time to find the exact person that can authorize that million-dollar purchase. Use LinkedIn, Hoovers and any database program you have available to find out who the ideal person is. Call the company. Talk to people who actually answer the phone. Find out the name of the assistant to the key person. Often the assistant will be in the office and you can potentially schedule an appointment. At a minimum, you can begin to develop a relationship with the assistant which will make it easier to get in touch with the ideal buyer.
Write, Write and Write Some More
Update your website with new content. Update LinkedIn with new content. Write articles to pitch to publications. You’re always complaining you don’t have time to write because you are too busy. This is your chance. Get ahead of the game now, while things are slow.
Take a course. There are thousands of courses you can take online. You can enroll in a course on technology with a local training company. Don’t want to sit in front of the computer for hours or go back to school? Okay, read a book. Great knowledge can be found through reading. Sales, self-help, psychology, biographies all offer great lessons you can apply immediately.
Clean and Rearrange Your Workspace
This is the perfect time to reset the area around you. Rearrange the furniture. Organize the files on your computer. Clean out the closet in the office where you throw everything before clients come to visit. If you work virtually, and your computer is completely organized, clean out your garage. The symbolism of “resetting” things will help you jumpstart your productivity.
Relax and Unplug
Spend 3-5 hours each day for a week without electronics. Turn everything off. Unplug for a few hours each day for a week. Sit on a beach and stare at the horizon. Hike a mountain trail. Talk to a friend. Get to know the members of your family. This will help you reduce stress and you may want to continue this habit after the summer ends.
August seems like the end of the world. Nobody is working. You can make any deals. Potential clients do not answer the phone and they take forever to return calls. But do not despair. By the last week of the month, people will be in back-to-school and back-to-work mode. They’ll be thinking about all the money they spent on their vacation and they will be ready to have you help them.
Enjoy the time you have this month to get ready for the best 4th quarter you’ve ever had.
Not long ago I was really fat.
Doctors told me to lose weight. People with whom I worked told me to lose weight. Family members (but not my wife) told me to lose weight. Years went by and I did nothing about this situation even though I suffered from heartburn, pain in my knees, fatigue, and lack of energy.
Then I had a big change in my career that changed the way I perceived myself. Subconsciously, I was successful because of my income and position in my firm – working for someone else. Not true. I was in control of my success. If I wanted more income, I knew how to go get it.
I thought I was destined to be a jolly fat guy. Subconsciously, I thought it would be too difficult to change my behavior and slim down. Once I realized it was possible to start my own company and make whatever money I wanted and needed, I knew the same was possible with my weight.
I am now at a healthy weight and in a healthy place mentally after realizing that change is not only possible but well within my control.
Here’s the thing you don’t want to hear but you need to…
It’s time for you to make some changes to your business. You’ve wanted to make them for a while. You deserve the rewards that come with these changes.
But you’re not going to do it by yourself. If you were, they’d be done by now.
You need help.
Once you realize you cannot do this alone, you will have taken the first step toward real change.
Don’t let your ego prevent you from asking for help.
You’re at a crossroads in your life and in your business.
Pick up the phone and give me a call. (786) 436-1986
When I was ten- years-old my parents bought me an Atari Video Game system. I loved that thing. I was only allowed to play with it on weekends and holidays (so it didn’t interfere with my school work) and I looked forward to getting a new game each week and mastering it.
Of course, the first time I played a new game I would struggle miserably. I’d fail repeatedly but I never got frustrated.
Because on the far-right side of the game console was a lever I could push to reset the game and start over. If the game gave me three attempts at something and I was in a bad position, I’d reach for the lever and start again.
A fresh start was always within reach and that gave me comfort.
When the calendar moves from December to January you examine your progress and make changes. You want your future to be better than your past. You make lists. These lists include things you are going to start and they include things you are going to stop.
The New Year’s zeal begins to fade about a week into January. That’s when you get back to work. That’s when the kid’s go back to school. It’s when the snowfall from the “White Christmas” begins to take on the gray sludge-like shade you know will be with you through March.
The change you wanted – the change that seemed so attainable in your mind – now seems so far off in the distance, you are hardly able to muster the energy to take the first step.
Enthusiasm gives way to your old routine and that leads to melancholy.
But it doesn’t have to.
You don’t have to wait for the calendar page to flip to start something new. You can push a “reset button anytime.
Today, right now, you can start over. And if you are unhappy with the actions you’ve taken today, you can hit the reset button and start over tomorrow.
It is that simple.
If you are hesitant to start over, or if this feels uncomfortable, think about these things when preparing to start something new (a weight loss and fitness program, a new business growth plan, an attempt at acquiring new skills and knowledge):
Failure Does Not Exist: Whenever you start something new, you struggle. That is part of the learning process. If you learn, you are not failing, you are growing. In fact, the process of making mistakes is essential for growth. Do not fear failure, embrace it.
Ignore Comparison with Everyone Else: You are in a class by yourself. Do not compare yourself to anyone else. Focus on what you want to accomplish right now. Comparisons lead to frustration, and frustration leads to complacency.
You see evidence of this in the world around you every day.
This past weekend my son, Nick, played in a baseball tournament for the first time (he has played recreational baseball for a year but tournament play requires a higher level of skill). Nick’s teammates’ play in the field far exceeds his ability at this point in his baseball career. They are more agile, have better situational awareness, and better command of the tools of the trade.
Nick played every inning of the tournament and gained extraordinary experience. He made many mistakes but also made a couple of successful plays. At bedtime, last night, we took stock of his performance and focused on how he had grown as a player in the past few months. There was no talk of his play compared to the other kids. That would have only served to demotivate him (and me). We agreed we were pleased with his growth.
This morning he enthusiastically announced he was looking forward to the new season.
Review your own progress and never compare yourself to others.
Enjoy the Process: You must find a way to appreciate the growth activity itself. Look for the positive feelings that come from any small success and celebrate.
If you start a fitness program and your muscles ache, recognize pain and soreness as a temporary feeling indicating progress. (Muscle soreness dissipates as your body begins to adjust to the new stress and recovers more quickly.) Appreciate these signs of progress as precursors to success and you’ll have a more enjoyable journey.
Your life is a gaming console just like my Atari. You have an opportunity to insert a new game anytime and, if you want to start over, just hit that reset button.
No calendar, no person, no situation, should hold you back.
Start over right now and enjoy the results…but more importantly…enjoy the growth opportunity each new day presents.
This article is taken from my daily live video show on Facebook on November 1, 2016. Join us each day for more great info on relationship-based sales.
Here is the transcript of this show:
Hi, everyone. Welcome to the first ever episode of this new show I’m doing on Facebook. It’s on my Facebook business page. I’m Dave Lorenzo. I’m your host of the show. We’re going to talk about ways that you can run your business more productively, ways that you can make more money and ways that you can make a great living and live a great life. Those of you who have never seen me before, or those of you who are just meeting me for the first time, my mission is to help business leaders and sales professionals make a great living and live a great life. I’ve done this for the past twenty-eight years.
I know I look young and beautiful of course and I try to keep in good shape, but really for the last twenty-eight years, my focus has been improving productivity, growing sales and driving real change in people’s lives and in people’s businesses. I want to welcome you here today. Each day at 8:30, we’re going to be live on Facebook. The reason that we’re doing it live at 8:30 is because I want you to kick off your day, I want you to have a great start to your day and I want to give you one thing you can use to make more money today. I figure 8:30, you’re just settling in at your office. Maybe you’re grabbing a cup of coffee. You’ll spend ten minutes with me focusing on one thing in particular. You jot it down, you implement it, and it improves your business and it improves your life as a result.
Today, we’re out in front of my house here. This is my front door. The reason we’re here is because our first show is November 1st. It’s the day after Halloween. Last night, there was all sorts of mischief going on right out here in front of my front door, and it really is the one night where people get dressed up and they pretend to be something they’re not. People get dressed up. They pretend to be something they’re not on Halloween. Really, you get dressed up and you pretend to be something you’re not almost every day. At least at some point during the day, you pretend to be something you’re not.
What does this mean? I’m not saying it in a bad way. I’m saying it in a good way. Here’s what happens. You go out and you look at something that you should be doing or you want to do or something you could do in order to achieve your goals and you say, “I can’t do that. That’s not who I am.” You’re essentially putting on a costume and becoming someone you’re not or something you’re not. Let’s take sales as a perfect example. You say to yourself, “I’m not a salesman. I can’t sell. I’m not going to go out and sell something to someone because that’s not who I am, that’s not what I do.” You’re putting on a costume of somebody who is unsuccessful because sales drives everything in your business.
Sales drives your revenue growth and with revenue comes business growth for you. What I’d like you to do is I’d like you to put on the costume of the successful business leader. I’d like you to put on the costume of the person who has everything you already want. That costume, when you put it on, looks a lot like somebody who goes out and delivers value every day. You go out, you deliver value to people and you help them. My friends, that’s what sales is all about. That’s what sales is all about. If you’re going out and helping people, you’re selling. Do this today. Here’s your action item for today. I want you to look for two or three or maybe even a half dozen, six opportunities to help people.
I want you to see what they’re doing and I want you to say to them, “You know, if you’d like some help with that, I can help you,” and when they say, “Well gee, what would that look like? What would that help look like?” you tell them, and you ask for compensation in return because you’re providing value and they give value back to you. You’re helping them solve a problem and they give value back to you in return. Now, I’ll give you a couple of examples of this.
Right now, my kids are at the dentist. That’s right. I’m the most proactive dad in the world. The day after Halloween, my kids are going to the dentist. When they get to the dentist, what’s going to happen is this. My kids go every six or eight months to the dentist. When they get to the dentist, the dentist, the hygienist is going to do a cleaning. She’s going to look at their teeth and she’s going to say, “You know what? It’s been, I think it’s been two years since they’ve had a deep cleaning. They really need a deep cleaning.” Now, the regular cleaning at this dentist is a hundred bucks. The deep cleaning is four-fifty. When she says to my wife, when the hygienist says to my wife, “Your kids need a deep cleaning,” do you think my wife is going to say, “No?” My wife of course is going to say, “Yes.”
She doesn’t want my kids’ teeth to rot and fall out of their head. Is she going to perceive the hygienist as selling something? No. She’s going to perceive the hygienist as helping my kids be healthier. Put on the costume of someone who delivers value and people will want what you have to offer. Don’t think of yourself as pushing something on somebody who doesn’t need it. Think of yourself as putting on a costume and delivering what people are looking for in that costume. Last night, one of the kids who came to the front door was a ghost. What he did was he hid right over there in the bushes and when kids came out to the front door, he jumped out and went, “Boo.”
You know what? It did startle some people. It scared some people. Is he a ghost in real life? No, but he was playing the role in that instance and people were entertained. People got value from it. If you cannot envision yourself as a salesperson, put on the costume, play the role of someone who’s helpful and it will become more and more natural for you and it won’t seem like you’re wearing a costume in the future. Selling should never be a negative thing. If you’re providing something of value to someone in exchange for financial compensation, that’s a good thing. Think about how you can deliver value. Think about who you need to be in your mind. That’s where the costume goes on. Think about who you need to be in order to deliver that value for other people.
All right. I want you to get back to work, so a couple of things as we leave today for our first live show. Two things to think about. This is my business page and we’re going to be doing more of these live shows as things come to mind, as I find myself in situations where I can help other people. Every day at 8:30, you and I have an appointment to be here. I want you here with me at 8:30 in the morning, but on my page throughout the day, wherever I am, if I come across an opportunity to share something with you, I’m going to do it. Make sure that you have my page selected to come up first in your Facebook feed.
What I need you to do is I need you to go to your Facebook page where it has the Friends tab, click down, click on See First, because when I do a live video or when I post something here, I want it to come up first. We post things all day long, articles, and now we’re going to be doing more and more videos. It’s great content. I’m delivering value to you for free. The other thing I want you to do is I want you to send me questions. I want to hear from you. Those of you who send me questions during the first few weeks of the show, I’ve got something for you. Look at what I did here. I’ve put it behind my back. This is a great book from a gentleman who’s been a mentor to me and whose work I have followed for years and years and years.
The name of this book is Million Dollar Maverick, and it was written by a really smart man named Alan Weiss. He’s the dean of consulting. He’s a rock-star in consulting. He’s taught me a lot. This is his latest book. He’s written over sixty books on consulting. Now, even if you’re not in consulting, you can use this book. I’m going to give this to you free. I have a handful of copies that I purchased from Alan specifically for this purpose. I want to share this book with you. I want to give it to you for free. All you need to do is send me a question on my Facebook page, put a question right here where you’re seeing this video, and if I use your question in one of these shows or any of my live videos, I will mail you a copy of this book.
Now, don’t put your address on this Facebook page because I’m not going to be responsible for what happens. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’m not going to be responsible. What I want you to do is I want you to put your question on the Facebook page. When I use your question, I will private message you and get your address. I’ll send you this great book. The book is phenomenal. It will help you tremendously. Here’s the thing. You don’t have to wait for me to send you the book for free. You can go to Amazon and buy it right now. You can go to barnesandnoble.com and buy it right now. It’s a great book. I highly recommend it. If you want a copy for free, drop me a question right here.
When you see me in the office, I will do these things from my office from time to time, at that point, I will be answering your questions in the moment, live. That’s when I’ll have access to the screen where I can see it. Right now, I’m recording this. I have the front end of the camera pointing to me. I’m not taking questions in this particular episode, but in future episodes, when I open it up for live questions, I want to hear from you, and if I answer your question live, I’ll also give you a copy of Alan’s book, Million Dollar Maverick, as well.
Thanks for joining me today in my first episode. Remember, think about the costume you’re wearing at the time, and if you want to be a superhero, you can put on a superhero costume and go out and deliver value for people in exchange for compensation. That’s what selling’s all about. All right, we’ll see you right back here tomorrow at 8:30 in the morning. I’m Dave Lorenzo. Until tomorrow morning, I hope you make a great living and live a great life.
Around my office, we have a saying.
“We attract the clients we deserve.”
This means if I provide valuable experiences, offer outstanding service and deliver an exceptional work product, I will attract amazing clients.
In reality, that’s only part of the equation.
Attracting great clients also requires respecting myself and the value I provide and communicating that to the world.
It can be a challenge to convey this to the clients with whom I work. Especially when the majority of people in professional services follow the crowd when it comes to business development.
One thing is sure: If you do what everyone else does, you get the same results as everyone else.
That’s the definition of mediocrity.
So what kind of attitude do you need to have to attract great clients?
How should you behave to convey the value of a relationship with you?
Here are some thoughts:
Speak the Language of Value
If you talk about “costs” or “expenses” as they relate to your services, people will view your “fee” as a cost or expense.
Instead, discuss your fee as an “investment.” People invest in you, and they invest in their future when they engage you.
Did you catch that? People “engage” a lawyer. They don’t “retain” him (put him in a pen and fence him in). A business owner “invests in” a lawyer.
If you provide professional services in the legal profession, financial services profession, real estate profession, accounting profession, etc. – people engage you. The invest in you and receive their business or their life improves as a result.
This is the language of value. Always speak this way when discussing your work with clients.
Excellent clients invest in valuable products, services, and experiences. Help them see you as a person who can facilitate the delivery of all three.
Surround Yourself with Outstanding People
Successful people think and act with purpose and determination. Spend fifteen minutes speaking with a successful business leader and this quality will be evident.
Put yourself in a position to interact with people who have clear goals and take massive, decisive action to achieve them.
One of my clients left a comfortable role as an in-house lawyer for a manufacturing business to start a corporate law practice. His goal was to replace his $200,000 annual salary with the same amount of money in profit from his solo firm by the end of his first year and double that by the end of year two.
He made the decision early on that he would reach his goals faster if he went after clients that would/could pay him $100,000 per year versus going after small individual transactions from dozens of clients.
Today, 22 months into this venture, he is working with six clients and his firm will produce approximately $480,000 in revenue by the end of year 2 (and he is still developing new relationships). This income is coming from six different clients, each of whom has signed annual agreements for him to represent them.
If you ask this lawyer what contributed to his success in developing these six relationships, he will tell you surrounding himself with other lawyers who took this approach toward their business strategy.
“Every lawyer I know goes after transactional work on a piecemeal basis. Drafting a $10,000 agreement, putting together an offering memorandum for $3,000. Early on I met a group of attorneys from other parts of the country who only worked with clients on a flat annual fee. Seeing them do this successfully gave me confidence that it was possible. That’s the only way I work with my clients.”
Surrounding yourself with people who have already achieved the success you desire, especially when it comes to client attraction, is not only inspiring, it also provides you with behavior you can model.
Ask People to Invest in the Value You Provide
Great clients recognize value. You must help them see the value you provide.
People value the products, services, and experiences they invest in.
If you do not ask for the investment, people will not value you or your advice. If you give away your advice, they will not view it as valuable.
Do you offer free consultations? What message does that send to your client?
Everyone else does it? Is everyone else successful? Most aren’t. They pretend to be. They tell you they are.
I’d rather do three paid consultations and command a 50% fee premium (compared to my competition) than do six free consultations and make the same amount of money. Why work harder for the same money just because “everyone else does it?”
Great clients take you at your own appraisal. Free consultations say to a prospective “I have nothing of value to offer in an initial meeting and I have little confidence.”
But don’t believe me. Try it.
That’s the only way to really determine if it will have an impact on the clients you engage.
Never Take Anything Personally
Everybody has an opinion and people will not hesitate to share theirs with you.
As stated above, if you want advice, seek someone who has experience achieving the success you desire and ask him/her for assistance. If your client offers you advice on how to work with him/her, listen and take action.
Completely disregard all other feedback.
Why? Because less than 2% of business leaders achieve their goals yet 90% have an opinion on how you should live your life and run your law firm.
If they’ve done it successfully and you respect them, or if they are a client and they pay you, take their advice.
Ignore all others and NEVER, EVER take criticism personally.
When people offer you “friendly advice,” it says more about them than it says about you.
Clients (individuals who pay you) and your peers doing what you want to do, offer a roadmap that will point you toward success. Follow the road map but don’t mistake it for a mirror.
Great clients are attracted to people who provide valuable experiences, products, and services. They will invest in a relationship with you if you create that environment.
These are just a few of the steps you can take to make this happen. First, you must decide if you deserve great clients.
Here are three additional articles you must read now:
There are only three ways to grow your business. Master them and you master your future.
This audio program will help you ask for what you want, every time.
Leverage your strengths. Maximize opportunity.
When I started my company, I was excited.
The feeling of complete autonomy was invigorating.
“Never again am I going to do anything I don’t want to do,” I told myself.
Out into the world, I went, business plan in hand, feeling good about the value I could provide to my clients and prospective clients.
I wrote a book.
I gave speeches.
I held breakfast and lunch seminars.
I developed relationships, and people referred me business.
By the end of my first year, I was making enough money to pay all my bills and support my family. Each year, for the first three years, we had just enough money.
The money I needed seemed to “show up” right when I needed it.
After year three I noticed something odd. My income hit a plateau.
I would attract new clients, different types of clients, clients in different parts of the world, yet when I looked at my financial statement at the end of the year, I was within 10-15% of the previous year’s revenue and profit.
And, curiously enough, my income was about the same as my income in my first few years as a corporate executive.
When I discovered this insight, I shared it with a friend who owns a successful technology company. He asked me the million-dollar question:
“What forced you out of the loop of making that income when you were in the corporate world?”
“My boss, our CEO, challenged me,” I said.
“How?” he enquired.
“He told me a story about how one of our competitors, his former brother-in-law, stole an account from him.
The CEO explained that this account was the first big client he and his former brother-in-law signed up when they started the business.
When the CEO’s sister and brother-in-law were divorced, the brother-in-law took that account and started a competing company.
The CEO challenged every new leader of the New York office to get that account back because it meant so much to him personally.
Nobody could ever do it.
In fact, our competitor had run everyone from our company out of New York for years. Their business was smaller than ours on a national level, but they crushed us in New York.
I not only got that account back within six months of that conversation, but I also took eight of the competitors most valuable accounts away within the year.
The CEO was so happy he proposed me for partnership, doubled my base salary, give me profit distributions in the company, and bought me a membership in an exclusive private club.”
“So some external motivation forced you out of your comfort zone and made you exceed your personal expectations?” My friend astutely concluded.
“Yes,” I replied.
“Why don’t you force yourself to do the same thing for your own business?”
That’s when it hit me.
I was waiting for some huge breakthrough.
I was waiting for my boss to come and sit down and tell me some story – so I could go out and crush the competition.
That doesn’t happen when you’re an entrepreneur.
You tell yourself your stories.
My story was: “I’m a survivor.” Which translates into: “I make enough to survive.”
That’s not sufficient.
So I started telling myself a different story.
I’ll keep the details to myself but suffice it to say that story involves flying first class, putting my kids into a great school, and having the freedom to say “NO” to anything I don’t want to do.
I needed the shock of that conversation with my friend to break me out of my comfort zone.
Well, that’s not exactly true.
I needed the shock of that conversation with myself.
What conversation do you need to have with yourself to break through to the next level?
What beliefs are holding you back?
Why are you letting them?
Here are three additional resources you can use to break through to the next level:
This is your seven step guide to building a powerful sales message.
These are five qualities that will make you more successful in sales.
Here is my secret to writing great proposals.
People often ask me for the “one thing” they can do to be successful.
Unfortunately, I can’t give you just one thing that will produce business success.
I can give you a guide that, if followed, will produce positive results.
This is the guide for business success I share with my clients:
Organization + Education + Entertainment + People X Persistence = Business Success
I outline this guide in some detail in this video.
Here’s the video:
I’m really excited, because I’m going to share with you our simple formula for success. There are lots of success formulas out there. I’m sure you’ve heard about some of them, seen some of them. This is the formula I share with my clients when we first start working together, so that they know what they have to focus on in order to be successful in their business.
Here it is. Very simple. Organization, plus education, plus entertainment, plus people, times persistence, equals success. Now, what does this mean? Start with organization. You need to have your ducks in a row. If you cannot process a huge number of orders, then when you get a huge number of orders, you’re not going to be successful. So, from day one, from the day you open your doors, you need to have a plan in place for how you’re going to onboard new clients and process their orders, or provide them with a high level of service, and then how you’re going to follow up with them after you’ve done that. You should also have a plan in place for how you’re going to attract and acquire these clients in the first place. That’s organization. That’s the first element.
The second element? Education, and it’s not your education. It’s the education you provide to the people who you’re looking to attract into your business, or your professional services firm, as clients. Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “Why should I educate these people?” You need to help them understand exactly why it’s important they hire you, why it’s critical they hire you right now, and why hiring you is important, because you’re different than everybody else. All that requires education. You have to be able to do that in a way that helps them feel good about what they’re hearing, what they’re receiving. Educating the community, educating the market, is critically important.
The third element? Entertainment. Think back to the last accounting class you took in college, or maybe even high school. How exciting was that class? It probably wasn’t. I had a fantastic accounting teacher, and he made it really exciting. It was thrilling to go to that accounting class. I’m not even joking. This man helped us understand how accounting was a critical function to business, but even more importantly, how accounting would help us make more money. He was entertaining, and entertainment is a key element of any business. You can have the most mundane business in the world. If you provide an entertaining experience for your clients, they’re going to come back time and time again. Even more importantly, they’re going to bring other people with them. That’s the element of entertainment. Entertainment is critically important in getting referrals, and getting people to talk about you, word of mouth.
All right, the next element is people. Every business relies on people. Even if you’re a sole practitioner, you’re a lawyer working in an office by yourself, at some point you’re going to need the help of someone else. Who you select to help you is critically important. You have to look for people who have complementary strengths to you. They have to be able to fill the gaps where you’re not able to. If you are a great people person, and you’re able to attract clients, that’s fantastic. You have to have detail oriented people in the office, looking to help process the client orders or get the products out on time.
The final element, and the reason it’s multiplied, is persistence. No matter how many mistakes you make, if you keep coming back, and keep trying to get things right, you will be successful. Persistence is the critical, most critical, element in any business. No matter what happens, you should never ever give up. You should always keep coming back. No matter, even if you get all of these other elements wrong, if you’re persistent, and you persist until you win, you persist until you get it right, you keep coming back, you will be successful. Of all the elements here, all the addition elements, you can make mistakes with over and over again until you get it right, as long as you have the multiplier element correct, and that’s persistence.
That’s my simple formula for success. In the last 4 minutes, we’ve given you something to focus on that could make all the difference in the world, if you take the time to apply it to your business.
Here are three additional articles you can use to drive your own business success:
The people who surround you are influential in your growth and the growth of your business. Who are the people in your inner circle?
People invest in you before they ever invest in your product of service. Here’s how you can influence that buying decision.
It is powerful to be underestimated. You can use this to your advantage. Here’s how.
Early in my career I transitioned from a job managing a business for Marriott into a role where my responsibility was primarily to develop new business relationships in the world of consulting. I had some management responsibility. There was an office with some administrative people, but as the guy in charge, for me, job number one was to get clients in the door.
When I was hired, my boss, the majority shareholder in the firm, told me in no uncertain terms, that the doors to the New York office would close in six months if I didn’t find $1 million in consulting business for the team to work on.
The guy who was in that role before me had only lasted a few months. He was brought in from the home office in Lincoln, Nebraska and he had a rough time making the transition to New York.
I received a full month of training on “how to be a consultant.” Then I received two weeks of training on the company’s capability. Then they turned me loose.
I was recruited for this role because of my background in developing businesses in New York. Sinatra was correct. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. But selling consulting services to the FORTUNE 500 was uncharted territory for me. Add that to the gun-to-your-head pressure of massive Manhattan overhead expense and you can be sure I was motivated.
Focused as I was, I wasn’t scared. Yes, I had some anxiety about doing something new and completely different but I didn’t fear failure because I felt like I had nothing to lose. Here’s why: The last guy in this job failed and he had been in consulting for 20-plus years. The odds were stacked against me and the expectations (in my mind) were very low. I figured, what the heck, I’ll give this my best shot and if it doesn’t work out, I can always go back to planning, developing, and opening hotels.
I brought in the first million in new business in three months. Three months later I had secured a $5 million contract and a couple of other contracts worth $1 million plus.
At the six-month mark of my tenure in this role, I had secured about $9.5 million in new business. We hired more people. The boss was happy. Things were humming along nicely. In a company where the average contract value was about $250,000, the average value of the contracts for my team was north of $1.4 million.
Then, about seven months into this job, they flew me down to Washington, DC, where all the company big shots worked, and a bunch of the partners in the firm took me to dinner. They wanted to find out my “secret.” The benchmark for success in this firm was securing $1 million in new contracts within 18 months of being hired. Anyone who did that was considered a success. The most successful partner in the firm, that year, was carrying a book of business valued at about $11 million. I had closed $9 million in six months. These guys though I was some kind of savant.
Nothing could have been further from the truth.
After dinner in Washington, as we all sat around and smoked cigars and drank an aperitif, the boss asked me, point-blank how I did it.
“Since you told me I had to find $1 million in new business or the office would close, I looked for companies with well publicized problems. I met with 12 and five gave me the opportunity to present to them. One of them asked me for a proposal and, since we needed a million, I asked for it.”
Everyone was stunned.
“And the $5 million dollar deal?” the Boss asked.
“Well, one of the 12 companies called me a couple of months later and had a slightly different problem. Since they called me, I knew they really needed help and they saw some value in what I initially introduced to them. So I decided to quote them a more significant fee, since they valued our services at a higher level. They agreed.”
Then the questions started flying:
“What about your methodology? What about the competition? What about the economy? What about the client’s decision-making process?”
I just shook my head and said:
“I never thought about any of that. I just focused on their problem and the value of solving it.”
By the end of that dinner, my genius (or lack there of) had been exposed. It was my ignorance of all the obstacles that SHOULD HAVE been in my way, which enabled my success.
Since I was a complete novice in this industry, I was unencumbered by the psychological baggage everyone else had weighing them down.
Here’s how you can use this in your world:
Return to your own ignorance. Forget your industry norms. Forget all the reasons why something can’t be done. Forget about the miscellaneous crap everyone else is whispering in your ear. Go out and solve some problems and communicate the value of doing so.
Make your business as simple as possible. Be as easy to work with as possible. Ask for a fee you are really worth.
Be fair and don’t be afraid.
You’re better than you think you are.
Have a great week.
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Many people think being flashy is good. They believe that showing off your wealth, your knowledge, or your skills is the way to win people over.
Nothing is farther from the truth.
If you want to attract clients, this may be the most important piece of advice you will ever receive.
When it comes to sales you should never let the prospective client see you coming. This means you should always let the other guy feel superior.
Let him think he is smarter than you (at least when it comes to his business). Let him think he has more money than you do. Let him think he is more successful than you.
People are constantly comparing themselves to one another (both consciously and subconsciously). If they think they are more successful than you, they will want to be around you.
It’s human nature. The ego needs to be placated.
Providing the other person with the illusion of superiority allows you to control the interaction.
Need a case study? Watch a Colombo rerun.
Back in the 1970’s there was a television detective named Colombo (played by Peter Falk). Colombo appeared to be forgetful, disheveled and generally pathetic looking. His appearance and behavior always made the suspect feel at ease – as they did not believe Colombo was smart enough to crack the case. Of course this meant that they would be less guarded when having a conversation with Detective Colombo. This always led to the bad guy’s demise.
What does this mean for you? How can you use this in your day-to-day business?
In a sales situation avoid appearing or sounding superior. Dress professionally but not extravagantly. Be low-key in your behavior. Never boast to a prospective client. When your work is successful, always deflect credit. Let others sing your praises. Make the client look good.
The real reward in a selling situation is getting the business.
You want to earn the client.
You don’t go on a sales call looking to have your emotional needs fulfilled.
You go on a sales call to discover how you can provide value to this prospect in return for financial compensation.
That’s the goal.
Show off after you close the deal – but only to your friends and family.
Here are three additional articles you should read right now to help you close your next big deal.
Resilience is the most important quality for a sales pro. How resilient are you?
Most sales professionals think selling is about brute force. You kick in the front door and you start making your pitch. If you’re not out in the field, in front of a prospect, you’re not selling. That’s not true. Read this article right now and stop making this common mistake.
Perfection is the enemy in sales. Read this article and watch the video to see why.
Things are tough for sales professionals. Although many will blame the economy for their lack of success, the truth is that a lack of persistent, aggressive activity is really to blame.
Consider these statistics from a business study conducted by Herbert True of the University of Notre Dame:
- 2% of all sales are made on the 1st attempt
- 3% of all sales are made on the 2nd attempt
- 5% of all sales are made on the 3rd attempt
- 10% of all sales are made on the 4th attempt
- 80% of all sales are made after the 5th attempt
This supports the assertion that sales efforts must be persistent. It also supports the theory that business development requires patience and persistence.
Now in the face of those statistics, consider the following information (also from the same study):
- 44% of sales people quit trying after the first call
- 24% of sales people quit after the second call
- 14% of sales people quit after the third call
- 12% of sales people quit after the fourth call
This means 94% of people looking for new business quit after the fourth call.
Those are sales people. We are talking about people who are trained to gain the interest of a prospective client and engage them to do business. And THEY are giving up after the fourth call.
How many emails are in the average email sequence to your client base?
How many months do you send out a newsletter before you give up?
If you want to get clients you have to be able to sell. You can use various techniques to help you get clients to come to you but ultimately selling is your job. If you give up before the fifth, sixth or seventh opportunity, you are going to miss out on many significant chances to represent good clients.
What to Do with This Information
Here is what you should do with this information: Build persistence into your sales process. Set up follow-up systems that engage EVERYONE you meet. Make sure your message gets in front of them at least once a week.
This gives you 52 opportunities every year. It is 52 attempts to get them to consider working with you.
You have to be interesting and each approach should be slightly different. But ultimately, if you quit, you miss will many, many opportunities. Start today and never, ever stop.
Do you have what it takes to be successful in sales?
Here are three articles to help enable your sales success:
Getting started is half the battle. This video shows you how to get going on your next big idea.
Relationship development has been around since the beginning of time. Here’s how you can use some of the techniques that worked years ago to your advantage.
Pride can be expensive. Make sure you focus on outcomes and do not let your pride prevent sales.