At SalesPartners we highly recommend that you get
involved with local networking groups to help expand your business.   Networking group and local chamber lunches, dinners and events can greatly increase the number of referrals that you receive on a regular basis.   The following are basic networking tips that will help you maximize the efficiency of your networking experience:  
  • Don't blanket the event with business cards.  Each time you go to an event you want to make at the most 6 quality contacts.  The more time you spend with one person the more likely it is that they will become a client.
  • Don't say what you do until asked.  You should be more interested in the person you are talking to than your own business.  If you do this the person with whom you are talking will feel important to you.  We call this technique entering the client's world.  The unwritten rule of reciprocity states that if you ask someone what they do for a living they will return the favor.
  • Don't give a card until asked.  If you shove a card in someone's face it is likely to end up in their database of leads.  If you are looking for clients (rather than becoming one) you need the people you meet to want a business card.  Remember at these events you should spend 90% of your time talking about the people you meet and 10% on you and your business.  Again utilize the law of reciprocity - if you want someone to ask you for your business card, ask for theirs.
  • Focus on what makes you different.  When you do get a chance to talk about your business focus on the qualities that set you apart from your competitors.  Make sure to back your pitch with statistics.  Be concise, so that they know exactly what you do and more importantly what you can do for them.
The following are five questions that will help you get into your potential client's world.   
  1. What do you do?
  2. How did you get into that?
  3. What do you like most about it?
  4. How did you find out about this event?
  5. What other events do you go to?
Use these questions to get the ball rolling.  The rest is up to you.  Good luck.
 
We often address the topics of objection handling, and finding your target market in order to increase your success in first-time sales, however, repeat customers should be a huge priority for your business especially in a recession.

The trick to creating repeat customers is simply:  keeping your promises, or following up.

If you look at the sales process as a whole the first step is to make a promise to a customer.  In order to close a sale you have to promise that your product or service will improve the quality of your customer's life.

The reason that sales has such a bad name is that, though some greatly exaggerate the results of their product or service, many times salespeople do and say what is necessary to get the sale and forget to follow through with their client.

If the product or service doesn't live up to the client's expectations (expectations that you built during the sale) then they will perceive you as a liar and will probably speak ill of you and your company.

If you follow up with your clients on a regular basis, by phone or in person is preferable, you will be able to handle complaints that they may not be comfortable bringing to you.  Thus giving you the chance to keep disgruntled customers in your favor.

Believe it or not, by inviting a client to complain you may even have the opportunity to up-sale them.  Often times customers, in attempt to be frugal, will go for a less expensive item that isn't what they really needed or wanted.

If you follow up and find out about their disappointment you will have the opportunity to improve their situation and make an additional sale.  It's a win-win.

Needless to say the follow-up should be an integral part of your business system.  Your employees should have regular obligations to ask your customers:

"Are you happy with your experience so far?"
Or something of the sort.  If the answer is yes, great!  If no, then invite them to complain and handle their objections accordingly.

For more information on how to handle objections please refer to our SalesDogs Training School Kit.
 
When it comes to success there is one major characteristic that separates the rich from the rest - their mindset.  Your mindset is a conglomerate of your beliefs, training, experiences, etc.  It is the process by which you operate.  It is your past shaping your present.
Successful people have either been born pre-wired or have reprogrammed themselves to believe that they are or will be successful.

If you walk into a sale with the belief that a client is not going to buy, it becomes a likely outcome.  Most likely when this happens you are recalling a previous pitch with a similar client that didn't go well. 

If you are going to have any luck in your current sale you need to focus on what you learned from your previous experience and forget the rest.

If you are not where you want to be in life you need to re-evaluate your mindset.  (For help with the evaluation and re-programming of your mindset please refer to Blair Singer's book "Little Voice" Mastery or attend one of our workshops.)

You also need to evaluate what it is you are and what it is you want to be, so that you can see if your mindset matches your goals.

In Robert Kiyosaki's Cashflow Quadrant, Robert explains that there a four types of workers in this world; employees, self-employed, business owners and investors. 

Not only are these positions but they are mindsets as well.  An employee is willing to trade their time for pay, the self-employed only makes money when they work, a business owner makes money to delegate their work, and the investor makes money by lending money and does little else.

Most of the workers in the world fall into the categories of employee and self-employed, however a vast majority of the world's money lies in the hands of the business owner and the investor.

Look at what you want in life.  Are you content with a simple life - security, family and a hobby?  If so you have the mindset of the employed.  If this is the case you would be horribly unhappy and unsuccessful as a business owner.

One of the biggest problems with businesses today is that most business owners operate as if they were self-employed.  They think they have to be involved in every process of the business (our SalesPartners are experts in assisting business owners in the establishment and automation of the systems that govern your business.  Call today for a free assessment.)  A true business owner wants to make loads of money without lifting a finger.

Ask yourself these questions:  What position am I currently in?  Which position best matches my mindset?  What do I want?  How do I define success?

Your answers should provide you a personal roadmap to success and happiness. 
 
When it comes to hiring staff it is important to remember that the people that you surround yourself with have the ability to bring you up or break you down.  What you should be looking for in a teammate is somebody that will support you and hold you to high standards. 

The ability to question your decisions objectively is a great quality in a staff member, but too much negativity or resistance to conform to your organization's processes is a detriment to your business.

Here are six qualities to look for in current or prospective employees that will indicate whether or not your employee is, or will be, a valuable part of your team.

1.  Energy.  Our motto at SalesPartners is, "Highest energy wins."  Energy is contagious, it makes people gravitate to you.  Are your staff members inquisitive, engaging, positive, always looking to help?

2.  Insatiable Desire to Win.  Are your staff always looking to be the best, or are they just waiting for the day's end to pick up their paycheck?

3.  Willingness to Let A Teammate Win.  Are your star players willing to sit the bench and cheer on another if it's best for the team?

4.  Personal Responsibility.  Are your staff members able to own up their mistakes without blaming others or justifying their actions.

5.  Submission to the Code.  Does your staff member follow, and agree with, the rules?

6.  Unique Talent or Ability.  When you assemble your team make sure that you put them in their proper role.  You want each staff member to be focused on what they do best.

If your team members, or perspective members, don't posses all of these qualities then maybe they are just not a good fit for your company.

If you are having problems with a team member you'd be well advised to meet with them and discuss their goals to assure that everybody is on the same page.

For more information on the six qualities of a great team player please refer to Blair Singer's book The ABC's of Building a Business Team That Wins.
 
We often address the topics of objection handling, and finding your target market in order to increase your success in first-time sales, however, repeat customers should be a huge priority for your business especially in a recession.

The trick to creating repeat customers is simply:  keeping your promises, or following up.

If you look at the sales process as a whole the first step is to make a promise to a customer.  In order to close a sale you have to promise that your product or service will improve the quality of your customer's life.

The reason that sales has such a bad name is that, though some greatly exaggerate the results of their product or service, many times salespeople do and say what is necessary to get the sale and forget to follow through with their client.

If the product or service doesn't live up to the client's expectations (expectations that you built during the sale) then they will perceive you as a liar and will probably speak ill of you and your company.

If you follow up with your clients on a regular basis, by phone or in person is preferable, you will be able to handle complaints that they may not be comfortable bringing to you.  Thus giving you the chance to keep disgruntled customers in your favor.

Believe it or not, by inviting a client to complain you may even have the opportunity to up-sale them.  Often times customers, in attempt to be frugal, will go for a less expensive item that isn't what they really needed or wanted.

If you follow up and find out about their disappointment you will have the opportunity to improve their situation and make an additional sale.  It's a win-win.

Needless to say the follow-up should be an integral part of your business system.  Your employees should have regular obligations to ask your customers:

"Are you happy with your experience so far?"

Or something of the sort.  If the answer is yes, great!  If no, then invite them to complain and handle their objections accordingly.

For more information on how to handle objections please refer to our SalesDogs Training School Kit.
 
An excerpt from Blair Singer's book, "The ABC's of Building a Business Team That Wins."    

"I assert that everyone can lead and that everyone leads at some time or another in life.  Not everyone can lead a multinational corporation, and not everyone can lead a family of five.   

But in our respective worlds we all have the opportunity to lead.  There have been hundreds of books written on leadership.  

There are "level - 5 leaders," servant leaders, charismatic leaders and so forth.  Some push from behind, pull from the front, inspire from the middle...  I could go on.  

I subscribe to what I call 'the Roulette Wheel of Leadership.'   

Sooner or later the ball drops on your number and you have the chance to offer direction, inspiration, support, education or advice.  

One hopes that will happen more than once.  It's whether you have the courage in that moment to step up and lead that matters.  

You may not follow any 'popular' descriptions of what a leader is, but you lead nonetheless.  

We were all born with natural gifts.  And in this lifetime it is our job to discover and deliver them.   

When that happens, you will lead.  Not because you want to, but because it's natural for you to do what you are best at.   

When that happens, others will follow you to learn.  

In order to establish a great team, you have to lead.  You may not be the designated leader, or maybe you are.   

Either way, you have to sell your ideas, teach others how to improve and rally your team.   

You don't have to be superhuman to learn or use leadership skills.   

But every time you use them, you'll be leading."  

For more on leadership and establishing an invisible code of honor that will take ordinary people and turn them into a championship team, please refer to Blair Singer's book, "The ABC's of Building a Business Team That Wins."
 
As you may already know, your ability to sell is vital to your success in life.  Whether you realize it or not you sell yourself on a daily basis.  Not just at work but in your personal life as well.  

How well you present yourself directly impacts your ability to get what you want.  

The following is a formula that will increase your success in sales and life.  This process is intended to precede your presentation and will work for large groups as well as individuals.  

Step 1:  Scan your audience.  Feel out your audience's energy.  If they are lively and attentive you are ready to present.  If not, create energy and interest by being energetic or interesting.  Be creative.  

Step 2:  Ask two enrolling questions.  It's good to be interesting, it's better to be interested.  Show your concern for your audiences' needs.  Get them involved early.  Fight boredom by engaging your audience.  

Step 3:  Acknowledge your audience and thank them.  Compliment your audience on a wise choice for attending.  Thank them for coming, let them know that you understand that their time is valuable.  

Step 4:  Earn the right to their time and attention.  Take a brief moment to introduce yourself.  Mention your accolades, education and experience.  Explain why you are worthy of their time.  Don't spend too long here, remember your presentation should always be about the audience first, you second.  

Step 5:  Convey the benefits (WIIFM?)  Explain what the audience will come away with by the end of your presentation.  Sell the presentation.  Answer the question "What's in it for me?"   Once you have covered all these steps you will have checked most peoples' cynicism, and will have their permission to talk about your process, product or service.  

For much more detail on sales presentations please refer to our Powerful Sales Presentations Training Kit.
 
The best way to ensure that you aren't wasting money on ineffective marketing is a two step process.  First of all you need to find and understand your target market and second you need a tracking system.
 

You've created a product or service that is meant to solve a problem.  To find your target market all you have to do is ask yourself, "who has this problem?"  Once you identified the people who need your product the most the next challenge is to find them.  

Try asking friends and family about their problems or searching the Internet, research is the most important step in any business.  Ideally you should know your target market before you even open your doors, if you didn't now is the time to find out.
 

Once you've collected your data you should put your collected market research into a one page form.  Lay it out in three sections; demographics, problems, and wants/desires.  Be as specific as possible.
 

Here is a brief example:
 

Demographics:
  Single mothers who live within the greater metro area of my city, age 20 to 40.  These women are working to support their children.  They may or may not be well educated.  They average 2.5 children.
 
Problem #1:  Day-care concerns about finding proper and reliable care for their children.
Problem #2:
  They don't have a social life.

Problem #3:
  Improved Employment.
 

Wants/Desires:
  They want clean, affordable, and reliable day-care.  They want romance.  Flexible work schedules.
 

Now you have a guide to work from.  How does your product or service solve their problems, or fulfill their desires?  The answer will be your sales pitch.  Where do these people typically spend their time?  That's where you need to focus your advertising dollars.
 

Now that you are advertising in the right places with the right sales pitch that hits your target's "hot buttons" you need to develop a tracking system on the back-end of your business.
 

Survey your clients.  Ask them how they heard about you.  Find out where the spend their time.  If possible watch the percentages of returns from different ad campaigns.  Focus your money on the ads that yield the highest percentages or revenue.
 

For more on target markets and charting market research please refer to our
Automatic Lead Generator Training Kit.