The Law of Fractional Advantage

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I was watching a basketball game this past week and the winning team missed almost two out of every three shots they took. How can you win a game shooting only 35.9%? The opposing team only shot 28.9%!

Later, I decided to look into what was going on in the world of golf. You don’t have to be a big golf fan to know about Tiger Woods. He is the top rated golfer in the world. His scoring average is 67.91. In other words his average score is less then 68 shots a round of golf.

What I saw next really amazed me. The second rated golfer on the top scorer list is Mike Weir. He had a scoring average of 68.56. As good as Tiger is, and as dominant as he has been, the only difference between he and the number two player on the scoring list is 65 hundredths of a point.

Can such a small advantage make such a large difference in results? The answer is yes. This phenomenon is called “The Law of Fractional Advantage.”

Simply put “The Law of Fractional Advantage” states that all you need to do to win at anything is to be slightly better than your competition.

Think about it. In baseball are you rewarded more if you win 15-0 rather then 1-0? In the one hundred meter race, the winner is usually only a few hundredths of a second ahead of second place. It would not matter if you won by three minutes. A win is a win.

In business it is very much the same. You need to out perform your competition, but many times we want to achieve something so big or so grand that we choke on it. We try to achieve greatness all at once rather than over time.

The “Law of Fractional Advantage” goes on to mandate that you take the long view to business. It is not about a home run today. The only get-rich-quick techniques I know about are to win the lottery or rob a bank, and the latter has some grave consequences.

If you can put yourself in one additional networking opportunity a week, that would translate into fifty opportunities a year. If at each meeting you met two new people, then you would grow your prospect list by one hundred people a year. Get the picture? Time works to your advantage when you are looking for small gains and consistent performance.

There are several areas in your business that you can look to improve your performance and achieve fractional advantages. The greater the number of these disciplines of business in which you can generate fractional advantages, the greater growth you will achieve.

Marketing:

How do you generate leads?
What is the quality of your leads?
Is your company getting the market exposure you need?
Do you have a memorable marketing message that appears in everything you do?

Sales:

Do you use a proven sales system?
Do you track your closing ratio and other important numbers?
Are you getting the referral business that you should?
Have you completed a self assessment of your sales strengths and weaknesses?
Do you get additional sales training on an annual basis?

Customer Service:

How do your customers view your customer service?
Are your systems designed to solve problems or keep them from occurring in the first place?
How long does it take someone to reach a live person when they call your company?
Do you return all of your phone calls in under two hours?

Products/Services:

Are your products/services unique from your competitors?
How do you package your products/services?
Do you use unique warranties and services to differentiate yourself?
Does the way your customers interact with your company enhance the value you deliver?

Management:

Do you have a strategic plan?
Does everyone in your organization know what the company goals are?
If you are a small company do you have a board of directors?
Are you a part of a Mastermind Group?
Is your business designed to operate in your absence?

Evaluate each of these areas. Brainstorm ways that you can create an improvement. Remember, you are looking to create a fractional advantage. If you can do so in each of these areas the total advantage and bottom line growth will be significant.

Then, start implementing the ideas you just created. Do so one at a time. You will see small improvements at first, then greater ones.

Sometimes a small improvement will become a larger one when a secondary enhancement is also made. Some of the changes will be synergistic. The long view of business will help you remain patient as you let time magnify your improvements.

“The Law of Fractional Advantage” says you only need to win by a little to finish first, and that you must take the long view of business in order to build the strongest organization.

Apply this concept — you will be on your way to Building a Better Biz!

G-8 Level Communication

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In a recent G-8 economic summit a large concern for the group of major world leaders was the proliferation of nuclear arms in Iran and North Korea. Additionally, the peace process in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinians seems to take two steps back for every step forward.

Most world problems over the centuries have been related to communication issues. Many times it’s been the lack of communication or ineffective communication.

In business, communications is critical as well. How you communicate as a business professional may very well determine your success or failure. Internally within your organization it’s important that you have good communication with your peers, with those above and below you on the company ladder, and all people in the organization in which you come in contact.

External to your organization, your communication in the sales, marketing, and customer service arenas will determine your success not only today but as you move forward.

When it comes to marketing communication it’s critical that you have a clear concise message, that you’re able to convey what you do and who you do it for.

By conveying this message, an individual is able to immediately determine whether or not they can use your goods or services.

Are you capable of delivering a memorable marketing message in a clear and concise manor and in a very short period of time? My memorable marketing message is delivered in 8.5 seconds!

My prospects know right away whether or not I’m addressing their needs and wants. And, if I do, based on my memorable marketing message they will ask me for more information. That’s just what I want!

Now they are inviting me to:

Give them a sales presentation
Tell them more about the services I offer
Engage them at a deeper level
Probe and ask questions about their specific needs
Discuss their problems and where I may be of service

Your memorable marketing message comes from your business model. Your business model is a triangle with three sides. The sides are:

What do you do?
Who do you do it for?
How do you do it?

Your memorable marketing message contains just the who and the what?

Once you have your memorable marketing message you are able to move from the marketing phase of business to the sales phase of business.

Selling is really nothing more then discovering the needs and wants of your prospect and then providing a solution for those needs based on the products and services you offer.

It’s not about your products and services. It’s about the needs of your potential clients. Many times professional sales people are focused on the wrong issues. They inadvertently focus on:

A product presentation
The products features
How long the company has been in business
Past success

And while all of these elements may be relevant, they are only important at the right time. The real critical issues is how can you solve someone’s needs. Your customer is not buying the features of your product. They are buying the benefits that they will receive after they own your product.

Are you product focused? Or, are you customer need focused? The sales pros that I’ve worked with in the past that have been the most successful have always been customer need focused.

By delving in and finding out the needs and specific interests of your customers and then focusing the products and services you offer to provide benefits and solutions, you put yourself in a position to make the sale.

Quality communication is imperative for you to build a better business. Work on your communication skills. Be able to define and deliver a memorable message to your clients in under fifteen seconds. When you move into the sales arena, understand what your prospect’s needs are. Then communicate to them exactly how you’ll fulfill their needs and help them be more successful in their business or in their life.

The G-8 meeting brought leaders together and helped facilitate better communication. Improving the way you communicate and the content of those communications with your market and your customers will ultimately lead you to Build a Better Biz!

Too Much Lost Business

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Last week was an interesting week. Three sales people didn’t call me back, and it was only Wednesday.

Monday I spoke with a hotel sales representative, a web services company, and a bank Vice-President. They all said they would call back that day. I must have moved, because I am still waiting for
their calls.

Guess what? I booked another hotel for one of my upcoming seminars. We contracted a different hosting company for our new web site. And, we formed a new banking relationship to handle all of our on line merchant service needs.

All told it was a lot of business that was directed away from companies not responsive to our needs.

Many times it’s easy to get away from what we really do. We focus on the product or specific service we want to sell. We should be focusing on the pain and the needs of our clients and prospects.

The reality is that they don’t care about us or our products or our services. What they care about is being able to successfully complete their daily tasks, enjoy life, or make a profit. They only care about us to the degree that we can service them. It’s all about the benefit they receive from our products and services.

Not returning a call on a timely basis takes away from their ability to achieve their goals.

So, what could be keeping someone from returning those calls on a timely basis? Some people fear rejection and therefore put off making the calls. Of course by not calling they are in fact getting a “no” to their product or service by default

You are not going to sell everyone anyway. You will get some “no’s,” but you have to work through the “no’s” to get to the “yes’s.”

The other reason I see that many people don’t return calls on a timely basis is that their work area is a mess. It’s hard to be efficient when you have too many of those little pieces of paper with phone numbers on them running around rampant.

Top producers have an efficient system of organizing their office and maintaining contact with their relationships.

Now let’s look at where you should focus to give the best possible service to your clients and prospects.

Return all calls within one hour of when they were received. With cell phones and other office technology there’s no excuse for being tardy.

When you tell someone you’re going to call on a certain day or at a certain time, do it!

Use a good contact management software system to keep track of all the commitments you make. “I’m not up on technology,” is not an acceptable statement anymore.

Spend time looking for the true value you deliver. What is it that your clients are really getting when they invest in your products and services? The answers to this question can have an incredible impact on your business.

Ask your clients what is important in their eyes and give it to them.

Commit to making these things a habit. Practice them consistently for 21 days and you’ll wonder how you ever got by without them before.

Another important aspect about any client contact is the message you leave them. It’s important to communicate clearly and concisely when you call clients. You must be brief with new clients and respectful of their time.

Can you communicate exactly the value you provide and who you deliver it to in a few seconds? My memorable marketing message takes 8.5 seconds to deliver, under 8 seconds on a good day! It’s critical that you have an oral command of your service so that you can leave your prospect with a memorable marketing message.

Customers and clients want to be treated great. There are too many people out there who sell the same products and services. We would like to think that what we offer is unique, but the reality is that who we are and the way that we treat people characterize our uniqueness.

Stop procrastinating. Return all calls promptly and watch your sales soar It comes down to making a choice. Do you choose to look for other’s needs and then serve them, or not? If you do, you will be Building a Better Biz. If not, well you can figure that out.

Three Reasons Your Business Will Fail This Year

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All around the world there are businesses failing. In the United States alone, almost 200 businesses fail every day of the week!

You may see companies that are doing great, people prospering, and business booming. But don’t kid yourself. There are also markets that are collapsing, industries that are disappearing, and a constant flow of bankruptcies.

Why do business have problems? Why do good intentions turn into failure? What could drive you out of business? Here are three reasons that your business could fail this year.

1. You Lack a Strong Business Model

Many business professionals are running their business as usual. They market, they sell, and they deliver their goods and services. Unfortunately they haven’t taken the time to strategically design their business model. They do things because that’s the way they have always done them, or because fate led them in that direction. To be successful today, that way of thinking just isn’t good enough.

You must take the time to evaluate three factors, and then design a business model that will serve you well moving forward. First, what is the value you deliver? Maybe you sell books, but the real value you deliver is information, knowledge, solutions to problems, or entertainment. People invest in your products and services, but they are buying the true value you deliver. Once you understand this concept you are in a position to make your offer so compelling that most prospective clients will not be able to refuse you.

Second, to whom do you deliver this value? This is your target market. It is important to know who is best suited for your value and who will benefit the most from it. It’s a matter of efficiency. You don’t have the financial resources, or the time to try and market to sell everyone. If you can clearly define who is best served by the value you deliver, then you can focus on that group and increase your success rate.

Third, how do you deliver your value? The “hows” become your products or services. A professional speaker sees himself as a “speaker.” In other words, they just speak for a living. Once that professional speaker realizes that the value they deliver is knowledge or information, then they can realize that speaking is only one way of delivering that knowledge. Speaking is one of the “hows.” Books, audio CDs, video learning systems, and the internet all become additional ways of delivering that same value to their marketplace.

Take the time to determine the real value you deliver. You may wish to ask your clients. It may surprise you what their response is. Then determine whom you deliver it to and list all of the other possible “hows.” From this information you can create your own business model.

2. You Are Not Surrounded By The Right People

You really are only as good as the people you work with. Your suppliers, employees, peers, and anyone else you rely on can have a major impact on the results you achieve.

You only have to think about the busy sales professional that almost misses a deadline to submit a significant proposal to realize that the assistant who reminded the sales pro of the pending deadline to realize how true this is.

The old expression; “No man is an island,” is very much the truth. All business professionals are dependent on the people they associate themselves with, both inside and outside their companies. Do you have a great team around you? Are your suppliers making you look good or bad? Do you have wonderful customers? Are they referring you to their peers?

As you can see, your success is going to be impacted by everyone you associate with.

3. You Do Not Have a Dream Big Enough To Attract Others.

Dr. Martin Luther King said, “I have a dream.” President John F. Kennedy said, “By the end of the decade we will put a man on the moon and safely return.” These were bold statements, but they were dreams that were big enough to attract others to their cause.

As an individual, you only know a limited number of people. You only have twenty-four manhours in a day. Your knowledge base contains a set amount of information. Ultimately, alone you can only accomplish so much. By bringing in others to help you achieve your goals you expand, the time, energy, knowledge, and resources that are available to tackle your dream.

Dream big, and make it big enough to attract others, because they will help you along the way. Your goals will be reachable and the results you achieve amazing.

Don’t fall into these three traps, and you will be on road to Building a Better Biz!

Enhancing Your Brand

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Do you have a brand? Do you know what it is? Perhaps, more importantly, do your clients know? And what about the marketplace?

All great questions, but they are not always easy to answer. Your brand is your promise to the market place. When someone does business with you they know what they will get based on this “promise.” A great brand will have clients flocking to you a bad brand repels them. When someone thinks of you they should think of your brand, and conversely when someone thinks of your brand they should think of you. It’s simple – on paper.

When you go eat at McDonalds you know ahead of time what you are going to get. You know exactly what type of service to expect and what quality of food you will receive. If you are not satisfied with your meal, then my guess is that it was your fault for not having your expectations properly aligned with their well-known brand.

When business professionals think about themselves, their organization, and their brand many times they fall into the trap of only thinking about the products or services they offer. It is true that your brand should cover the quality and type of products and services that you sell, but your brand should also be related to the experience of doing business with you.

Dominos Pizza built their business around a brand of “your pizza would be delivered in 30 minutes or it was free”. You knew just what you were getting when you did business with Dominos. If you liked their pizza, and you wanted it fast that was the place to go.

When evaluating your brand it is probably best to go to your customers and ask them what they think of when they think of you. Put together a survey that they can fill out with questions about your products and services, the people that make up your organization, the experience they have at all points of contact, and adjectives that they associate your business.

Before reviewing this information, have everyone in your organization answer the same questions. With all of this feedback in hand you can learn how others perceive you, combine their views with your own knowledge of how you want to be perceived, and then take the steps to bring both of those visions into alignment.

If your brand is strong, easily understandable, and memorable, then you have the opportunity to really build your business.

A brand is so much more than a slogan that looks great on your letterhead. It may look nice on paper, but a brand that is only in words and not delivered in reality is a false promise. Create a strong brand, deliver it, and promote it — you will be on the road to Building a Better Biz.

Refer Your Way To More Business

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There are many ways to grow your business. You can increase sales to existing clients, you can add additional products and services to your offering, and you can even merge with another organization. The easiest and fasted way to grow your business is through referrals.

Cold calling is a proven way to develop business. The only problem is that it can be slow and tedious. And, although there is a time and place for cold calling, other ways of building your business may work more effectively for you. Certainly advertising can pay off, but you had better have significant funds available to you so that you can stay visible long enough for your advertising to pay off.

Referrals tend to buy quicker and place larger initial orders than other types of new clients. Some of the most successful business professionals today have developed a system of gaining quality referrals that works very well for them. Below are six ideas that will help you in developing your own system of cultivating referrals.

1. Be Great

The level of service you provide must be outstanding, and the quality of products you deliver must be superior before any referral system will begin working for you. But, if you are great without being asked to be, then your clients will automatically start sending referrals your way.

Like life in general, you rarely receive something unless you deserve it. Do you deserve referrals from your clients? Have you done everything in your power to stand out and be great in both quality of service and quality of products? If you can say ‘yes’ to these questions, then you are on the right track.

2. Ask

This may sound simple, but all too often, business professionals just simply fail to ask for referrals. There are specific times in a relationship that it is natural and normal to ask for referrals. You need to be aware of those moments and take advantage of them.

Right after you complete a sale and you are thanking your client may be a great time to ask for referrals. If you use a standard order form, print two or three blank lines on the bottom. After your client signs off on the order, point to those “blank lines” and tell your client that your business is built on the satisfaction of your clients and the potential clients they refer. Then ask them if they know two or three people who may be in the same situation that they could refer you to.

Always give specific “types” of people to think about. Don’t just ask if a client knows “someone.” Say, “Do you know any other small business owners?” By defining groups of people for your client to pull from, you will help them hone in on potential referrals for you.

3. Reward

When a client does provide you with a referral, be sure and reward them. Depending on your business, a dinner for two would be appropriate. Also, you can have a program with cards printed up that promote referrals and states the reward your clients will earn. For example; if they send in a prepaid post card with a referral on it and the referral buys then they receive $50.00.

If you want to take this idea one step further, mail to your client base twice a year. In this mailing you can promote your products or services, and you can also include some more referral cards for your clients.

4. Newsletters

Newsletters are a great way to stay in touch with your clients. They can be traditional printed newsletters, email newsletters, or a combination of the two. Be sure and mention that you appreciate referrals somewhere in your newsletter. You’ll be surprised by how just reminding your clients that you appreciate referrals can pay off.

5. Thank-You Notes

If you’re not already sending your clients thank-you notes on a regular basis, then you are missing out. Thank them for taking the time to meet, thank them for considering your product or service, thank them if they don’t buy, and thank them if they do. You should also thank them for referring clients your way. When you write a thank-you note sometimes you can add in that you would appreciate any referrals that they send your way.

You can also call your clients after the product has been delivered and your thank-you note has arrived. Toward the end of the conversation ask for a referral.

6. Create An Army Of Advocates

If you excel at building relationships, which is what business is all about, then over time you should be building an army of advocates. Advocates are those people who love you, your company, or your products and services. Let those people know how much you appreciate them. Also, let them know how you build your business and they you need and appreciate their referrals. If they really like you, they will promote you to their associates.

Stay in touch with your advocates on a monthly basis. Maybe send them a hand written note. Maybe send them an article that you think they will be interested in. Maybe send them a book that you feel would help them in their business. You could write a personal note and sign the book for an even greater impact!

Take care of your advocates, and they will take care of you.

A referral program is not a one-time thing. It is an ongoing effort that, over time, will produce significant results for your business. If you are looking to add quality clients that will buy quicker and place larger orders then referrals are the way to go. Design your own referral program. Stay consistent in your efforts, and you will be on the road to Building a Better Biz!

Which Direction Is Your Business Heading

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Two years ago John’s business was down ten-percent, but he figures that the economy was a bit slow and he would make it up the next year. Last year, John’s business was off another ten-percent. He was not very happy with the way things were going, but he figured that this year was the year to turn things around. By May, John’s business was off fifteen-percent from the prior year. His repeat business is down and so are his referrals. John is worried that he isn’t going to be able to stay in business much longer. He is angry at the economy, he is frustrated with the people he works with, and he is depressed.

Unfortunately John’s situation is not all that uncommon. We think that just because we’ve been in business for a number of years, our business should automatically continue to grow and flourish. The truth is that it takes an ongoing commitment to marketing, sales, and relationship building to not just build your business, but to maintain what you already have.

When external factors affect your business, you must make internal changes to combat those forces. Here are three steps to being more strategic in the way you run your company and manage external changes.

1. Monitor Your Numbers and Watch For Trends

It is not enough to review your financial information at the end of the year or at tax time. Each month you should spend time reviewing your financial statements. Over time, you become so intimate with them that you will spot a change or problem immediately.

You should also know what drives your business. Are your sales dependent on the number of clients you have, the number of sales calls you make, or maybe the number of presentation you give? What are the key numbers that most consistently impact your business? I call them critical drivers. Know what they are and monitor them. Many successful organizations I work with track these numbers on a daily and weekly basis.

Look for trends in your numbers. Is there a trend illustrating an increase or decrease in your critical drivers? If your drivers are moving in a positive direction you may need to act in order to maintain a good level of customer support and other post-sale issues. If the drivers are decreasing, then you may need to increase your marketing efforts or make changes where it’s necessary.

A great place to review your critical drivers is with your Master Mind Group. If you don’t have a Master Mind Group already, then you may be missing out on one of the most powerful business concepts used by successful entrepreneurs today.

2. Don’t Accept the Status Quo

I hear it all the time, “The economy is bad.” Well, so what? Are you just going to sit around and let the economy, your competition, or someone down the street dictate your success? Just because there is something going on beyond your control doesn’t mean that your business success should be totally out of your hands.

You don’t have to accept external factors as the final word on your success. Evaluate your situation. Make changes when it’s necessary. And, keep moving your business forward.

3. Look For New Opportunities

The economy changes, business changes, industries evolve, and your business should look different in ten years than it looks today. What are you doing now to make that happen?

The entire universe is continually evolving and changing. It would be crazy to think that your business could stay exactly the same. Maybe you’re using different technology to get the job done. Maybe you’re entering into different markets. Maybe you’re selling different products. There are so many opportunities for change and growth!

Constantly evaluate what you are doing. Stay educated about your industry. Look for additional ways to deliver value to your existing clients, or, new clients that you can deliver value to. If you stay focused on delivering value, you will always be ahead of the curve, and discovering new ways to grow your business.

Do these three things, and you will be on the road to Building a Better Biz!

It’s 5:11AM. Do You Know Where Your Car Is?

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It’s 5:11 AM and I’m about to make a left hand turn onto I-270 and head to the airport. I have a 6:35 flight (yes, I know I’m cutting it a little close) to Phoenix. There is a car facing me at the light, and I wait for it to pass before I make my turn. It is a golden yellow Ferrari F430. This car is sleek and beautiful. It is flying down the road even when it is sitting at a red light. Forget about practicality. This car is a true car lovers dream. We’re talking about a $175,000 car! You don’t even test drive this car unless you’ve achieved serious success.

As the car went by and disappeared into the darkness I made my left turn and realized a couple of things.

1. You don’t acquire a car like this by sleeping in. The sun was not up and this person was on their way to work. Obviously they knew what it took to create success.

Many times we want to achieve greatness but we have three false ideals about how that should happen.

We want to achieve success quickly. Success doesn’t happen quickly. It takes time. Success is the result of planning and patience. We see people who seemingly came out of nowhere. They are an “overnight success” we think. In reality they probably spend years working in obscurity before all of a sudden showing up on some list of the most successful people or the fastest growing companies.

We want success to be easy. Well it isn’t. Sometimes you have to fail over and over and over again before coming up with the right idea or right formula to achieve personal and professional success. Even the simplest of concepts usually isn’t easy to implement successfully.

We want success on “our terms.” In other words, we want the system to work around us, our hours, our schedules. If you want to achieve success faster, then sometimes you have to mold your terms to what is happening in the real world. Be willing to put in the long hours, make the phone calls, have the uncomfortable conversations. Learn something new if that’s what it takes, but figure how you need to adapt and then do it.

2. When you achieve the success you are seeking don’t forget what got you there. Keep doing what works.

It is so easy to create a mindset of entitlement. Just because you can afford to do something doesn’t mean you should. If you change your philosophy about what effort you are willing to put into your success then others around you might do so as well. You should continue to do what you need to keep moving forward and also to set an example for those around you.
Yes, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. Just don’t lose the ideals and values that helped you achieve what you have.

And, it’s not just about buying an expensive car. Your financial success can help you pay off your home, max out your retirement plans, or allow you to pick up the tab for that college education you want for your four children!

But if it is an incredible car you desire, then by having a better understanding of what it takes to create success, I’m sure I’ll see you out on the road the next time I’m headed out of town on that early flight because — you will be on the road to building a better biz.

Three Secrets to Increase the Productivity of Your Team

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We depend on those around us to produce at a higher level. If you manage a
sales team, your success is the cumulative success of your team. If you are in
an office setting, then the productivity of others in your office will support
your goals and eventual success.

If you can effectively help those around you to produce at a higher level, then
you will enjoy a greater success also. Here are three secrets to boosting the
performance of those on your team.

1. Forget Their Weakness

All too often I see sales managers and business owners try to eliminate a team
member’s weaknesses. The manager literally itemizes all of a persons weak
spots and then sets out to exorcise them like they were demons. The truth is
that we all have strengths and weaknesses. A person’s weak points are slow to
change. Many times someone is deficient at something because they don’t enjoy
doing it. Either way you are sure to push a good team member away when you
only focus on the areas that they don’t enjoy and are weak at.

Here’s the secret. Focus on someone’s strengths. Whatever someone does well
will make a positive impact on your business. Reinforce those skills. Let
that person do more in the areas they are great at. They will have more fun,
produce better results, and be a happier and more committed team member.

Another tip is to find another qualified person to handle that part of the
workload that someone else is weak at. Now both people are happy.

2. Help Them See the Vision

We all have good and bad days. That is a part of life. It is easy to work
hard on a good day. We feel great and we want to get lots done. On the tough
days, when things aren’t going well, we tend to want to mope around. We are
not focused, and our productivity plummets.

If we are focused on the emotion of the moment it is very easy to get caught up
in it, and let the negative issues affect our performance.

As an entrepreneur or business manager, we should have a clear grasp of our
vision, or, of our organizations vision. We use that knowledge and information
to drive our actions and therefore produce our results.

Here’s the secret. Make sure that everyone on your team clearly sees and
understands your vision. Use it as a driving force. Keep your team members
focused on the vision, not on the emotion of the day. Success should be
measured as small steps toward the realization of your vision.

3. Catch and Reward Their Successes

Your workload today is greater then it has ever been. You have deadlines to
meet, goals to achieve, and bills to pay. It is so easy to get overwhelmed in
your workload that you don’t take the time to participate in your team member’s
daily activities.

Employees are most loyal to an organization when they feel appreciated by that
organization and the people who comprise it. Team members look for a new
environment (read: your competitor) when they feel that their efforts are going
unnoticed and unappreciated.

Here’s the secret.: take the time to observe what is going on around you. Know
what your team member’s goals are. Know their trials and tribulations. Know
what gets them excited. Learn about what is happening in their personal lives.
Any time someone makes a positive step forward, let them know that you’ve
noticed, and that you appreciate what they are doing. Reward results, and
reward effort.

Use these three productivity secrets to increase the results your team is
achieving, and you will be on the road to Building a Better Biz!

Three Steps To Overcome Price Objections

Sam Articles 3 Comments

I had barely turned the lights on and sat down the other day when my phone rang. It was Ray. Ray had been in my mentoring program for about thirty days and was facing a perplexing problem.

He said, “I made three sales calls yesterday but didn’t make a single sale. This is starting to look like a trend.” I asked him what was the reason his prospects gave him for not purchasing. He said, “They all say my price is too high. Do you think if I lower my price that I would sell more?”

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard that comment. “Your price is too high” is the most common sales objection used. To build your business you must be able to master the skills necessary to overcome price objections. Here are three techniques that will allow you to not only deal with price objections, but they will enable you to use your client’s price objection to help you close the sale.

1. Amortize the Price

“It cost too much.” Yes, we have all heard this statement by a prospect. Sometimes they say it because it is like salmon swimming upstream. The phrase just comes out like it’s instinct. Other times prospects say it because we didn’t build enough value in the product. Other times we haven’t illustrated enough need or shown that our solution was clearly the best way to satisfy that need.

When a prospect tells you it costs too much try asking them the following question: “About how much to much do you feel it is?” After asking this question sit quietly and wait for their response. Once they give you a number you have something to deal with.

You can deal with the amount they give you in several ways. One way is to reduce the amount by amortizing it out over the life of the investment. Let’s say you are selling a piece of equipment and they say it costs $600.00 too much. You could say, “Based on this piece of equipment serving your needs for at least three years that would be $200.00 per year, and then that of course would be the same as $4.00 per week. So, are you willing to give up the extended warranty, higher production rates, compact design, etc. (and here you list all of the features and benefits that you know the prospects like and need) over 80 cents a day?” When they say, “no” they just bought. Start writing.

2. What Exactly Do You Like

Here you respond to the comment that the price is too high by reviewing all of the features and benefits of your offering. Remember, you client doesn’t really care about the features. It is the benefit that they will receive from your products and services that these features deliver that they really care about.

List all of the benefits one-by-one. Confirm their importance. Then, politely ask your prospect if there are any benefits they would like removed. They should respond with a “no.” Then you will need a closing statement. I like the following: “It seems like we both agree that this product really fits your needs and that all of the benefits I’ve covered are important to you. It looks like this decision really makes sense doesn’t it?” You must pause here and not say a word! This is a closing question. If you talk you will lose the sale.

3. “Me” Close

This technique is only for professionals. Do not attempt this unless:

You dress and look like an expert.
You have sent thank you notes on every possible occasion (thank you for meeting, thank you for talking on the phone, thank you for reviewing my proposal, etc)
You have presented the product in a manner that is considered superior to others in the industry.

In other words, you must look and act like a supreme professional. Your service and attention to detail must be second to none. You must treat each prospect and client like they are your only ones.

If all of this is in place then, and only then, may you attempt the following:

“Bill, we have reviewed all of the features and benefits of our product, (list them again here). You’ve stated that you like the resources and financial stability of my company. Here’s the bottom line. When you invest in our product not only do you get a product that will satisfy all of your needs and give you a great return on investment over time, and not only are you dealing with a company that will be there if you ever need them, but you are getting me. My customers know what a difference I can make for them in saving time, money, and aggravation. (Here you could add a story, if you have one, about a time you bought a car or some other product and how the person you dealt with took care of you, loaned you a demo, always made sure your service was expedited, and how doing business with that sales professional made your life so much better.) Quite frankly, and I don’t want to sound braggadocios, but when you invest in this product you are also getting me as part of the transaction. Now, you can’t take me home with you but I will always be available to share new technology and ideas with you, run interference with the service department for you, and look out for your best interest. Now that makes sense doesn’t it?”

Again, this is where you shut up and wait for them to reply. If they say “yes” that means start writing. Don’t ask them if they want to buy!

These techniques work by themselves or together. Great sales professionals have enthusiasm and persistence. It is the buyer’s job to buy. They should try to get the best possible price. It is your job to sell. If you explain the value that the prospect will be receiving they will be able to justify the price and you will get the sale. Now you’re on the road to Building a Better Biz!