Six Success Tips For Creating Selling Enthusiasm

What do gasoline and enthusiasm have in common?

They both give us the power to drive us forward. In an engine, gasoline is ignited, unleashing the power to drive our vehicles. In much the same way enthusiasm — properly ignited –drives us forward in our business, in our relationships and in our lives.

Enthusiasm is the number one predictor of sales success. I’ll choose enthusiasm over any other character trait. Intelligence, talent and hard work are of lesser value on their own. Mix in some enthusiasm, and now you’ve got a potent mix! Enthusiasm breeds greatness. As an example, think about the people you know who have accomplished great things. Chances are, they all share an enthusiastic zeal for what they do.

“Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your objective. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Don’t confuse enthusiasm with excitement. Excitement is that heart palpitation you feel at the stadium after seeing a bottom-of-the-ninth walk off home run. Enthusiasm is that inner drive you feel when driven to become a baseball player. Enthusiasm is excitement, supercharged with inspiration, motivation and determination.

Enthusiasm is powerful stuff and can power you to success. It also powers the physical body. Enthusiastic salespeople have lower blood pressure and resting heart rates. They tend to be happier, healthier and feel more fulfilled.  Fortunately, enthusiasm is contagious; it tends to rub off on people.

So how do we get more of this tonic we call enthusiasm? Here’s an Enthusiastic Six List to help you dig down deep and generate some more enthusiasm for yourself.

1. Know your products and services up and down, inside and out. Product knowledge means understanding everything about them so you can handle anything that a prospect or client throws at you. It means you have an intimate knowledge of how it works, its features, its benefits, and how what you sell is presented in brochures and on websites. It means that you listen to clients so you can understand how your products and services benefit them. Product and service knowledge gives you self-confidence that comes across as genuine passion and enthusiasm for what you sell.

2. Know your company. Know its history, core beliefs and values. Understand and live the mission. Know what it means to be world class in your industry and how clients benefit from your value proposition. Know your best clients, understand how they benefit from your products and services, and why they keep coming back to you. As you learn you will develop a new appreciation for the company that will come across as enthusiasm for what you do. You will become a walking testimonial as to why new clients should work with you.

3. Share the power. Every product and service you sell has created powerful results that have changed your client’s business – even their lives. You need to be able to tell these stories in compelling ways. Take a minute and write down your company’s top five client success stories. Focus each story on how your product or service enabled your client to reach his business or personal goals. After you get the stories down on paper, go ahead and practice telling them over and over again. Tell them to your colleagues at work, tell them to your boss, tell them to your prospects, tell them to your clients. Success breeds success and potential and current clients want to know how your company has benefited other companies.

4. Personal pep talks. Successful people create a vision of what success looks like to them. Then they break that vision down into specific goals that drive their day-to-day activities. Goals create enthusiasm. Imagine how excited a child is on Monday morning when he knows he’s going to Disneyland over the weekend.

During their daily toil successful selling professionals experience the ruts and rejections that all of us do. Sales is not for the feint of heart. To succeed you have to be able to handle rejection on a regular basis. Rejection is no fun and can kill enthusiasm. That’s why personal pep talks are so important.

Psychologists tell us that we have an inner dialogue 80% of the time and that talking to ourselves in the positive can have a tremendous impact on our mood, energy and self-confidence. During your personal pep talks lean on your vision of success to generate the get-up-and-go you need to realize your vision. Successful people constantly tell themselves how good they are throughout the day. Talk yourself into rising above the challenge and going for greatness.

5. Fake it ’til you make it. Action and feeling are intertwined. Have you ever felt really tired during the middle of the day and then went out to get some exercise? Usually the exercise reinvigorates and re-energizes you. That’s why doctors recommend exercise for people who are feeling blue. A great way to overcome lethargy or a bad mood is to muster some get-up-and-go. Many times when you act enthusiastic or happy, the genuine feelings follow.

A corollary to “fake it ’til you make it” is “think it and you’ll be it.” Cognitive psychologists tell us that the best way to change our feelings about what we’re doing is to change the way we think about what we’re doing. The brain tells the body how to feel and the body acts accordingly. It’s true, we can direct our own feelings and our outlook on life by changing our thoughts. Next time you feel down and out change your thought process and see what happens. Think about the positives of your situation. Think about attaining your goals and see what happens. You do have the power to change the way you are and future outcomes by adopting a more positive thought process.

6. Get in shape. Mustering enthusiasm is so much easier when you’re feeling good and your energy is high. Your body is a temple and there really is no substitute to regular exercise, eating well and sleeping well. We’re not talking about running a marathon…a 20-minute walk will do just fine. When you’re body is feeling good, your mood will usually follow.

People gravitate toward those who radiate enthusiasm and bring with them unique opportunities and valuable resources. Today, strive to be a person of enthusiasm by using one of the Enthusiastic Six from the list above and see what happens. Chances are you will feel better about yourself and that feeling of well being will generate even more enthusiasm.

“If you’re not fired with enthusiasm, then you’ll be fired with enthusiasm!”
~ Vince Lombardi

Six Tips For Getting More Out of Sales Training

Interviews with more than 6,000 sales professionals revealed that 85% of the dollars companies spend on customer service and sales training is wasted. We know the goal of training is to educate and change behaviors, but you don’t change habits over night. Sales and customer service professionals have to practice new behaviors for at least a month before they become part of their professional DNA. The key to lasting behavior change is follow up. Without it, employee behaviors regress back soon after the training event.

Our research shows that a six to eight-week follow-up action plan is the most effective way to iron in the new attitudes, habits and skills that were learned during training. During the follow up sales and customer service professionals should be working side-by-side with their managers to ensure that the performance of the team continues to improve long after the training program is over. Here are six best practices for effective follow up:

  1. Communicate expectations: Sales and customer service professionals need to know what is expected of them. This means that expectations have to be communicated often in different forms (e.g., emails, in meetings, memos, postings, etc.)
  2. Inspect what we expect: Sales and customer service professionals need to be observed using the new skills and behaviors with live customers.
  3. Offer realistic feedback: Sales and customer service professionals need to hear real feedback including positive reinforcement (to keep them doing the right behaviors) and constructive feedback (to remind them to do the right behaviors).
  4. Skill ransfer sessions: Managers and coaches need to continue to teach and refine the skills and behaviors learned during training. These skill transfer sessions can be 1-on-1 and/or in a group.
  5. Acknowledge and reward: New behaviors stick best when they are acknowledged and rewarded.
  6. Hold reinforcement training: Typically conducted 90-120 days after the initial training.

By following up sales and customer service training with these six best practices, you will make sure that your training dollars are not wasted. In fact, implementing an effective follow-up program is your best guarantee to getting a great return on your investment on sales and customer service training.

Two ways to Increase Your Sales In A Shrinking Economy

These are trying times, but it’s no excuse for lack of performance. Sales pros in every field can take advantage of this down market and actually increase their sales. In markets like this, the order takers are weeded out and the sales pros with a more systematic, pro-active and disciplined approach are rewarded.

Here are a couple of strategies to grow your sales in a down economy . . .

1. Develop a System.
Top performers use a process that helps them build solid sales relationships in a systematic and predictable way. I’m not talking about an inflexible process that standardizes every prospect/client interaction. Instead, it’s a loose framework that provides the structure for every interaction. Our process here at Silver Bullet Selling includes the following six steps:

  1. Pre-Call Planning
  2. Building Rapport
  3. Discovery
  4. Tailored Solution
  5. Addressing Concerns
  6. Closing the Sale

2. Set Goals that Drive Sales Activities
For example, a top performer we recently interviewed is a banker with a weekly goal of selling additional products and services to three clients. This banker knows it takes around 12 contacts to make a sale. So, every week she makes at least 40 calls (eight every day) to her current clients.

During the conversation, the banker asks questions to determine her client’s current and desired situation. Then she uses the right products and services of the bank to bridge the two. She closes the call by asking for a referral. Because of her activity, this banker is consistently in the top 5% on the score board.

So two key strategies for moving up regardless of the economic outlook are "system" and "activity." What are your experiences? Give me your own thoughts on driving forward in a down economy . . .

Clearly Define Your Meeting Objectives

Defining what success looks like is one of the most important fundamentals of running effective meetings. We need to understand before the meeting what we are trying to accomplish and then set the agenda with items that will help us efficiently accomplish it.  And don’t get too ambitious here.  Each meeting should try to accomplish only 1-3 objectives.

Sales is a Full Contact Communication Sport

In very much the same way, if you want to be very successful in sales then you need to learn how to communicate effectively to your audience in the sales arena. Few of us have had the pleasure of working with a Sales Professional with truly excellent communication skills. We’re talking about a professional who is able to succinctly and effectively communicate:

  • What he does and how he does it
  • His buyers’ current situation, desired situation, and the tailored solution that will create the bridge between the two
  • How his products and services benefit his buyer
  • On-target, non-confrontational responses to objections
  • Ask for the order in a clear and persuasive manner

The Bullet Selling process will help you become a much better communicator. And not just at work! It will help you develop what you want to say, how you want to say it, and even when you want to say it.

Successful Meetings Require Pre-Call Planning

We’ve run more than 10,000 sales meetings and have found that the best predictor of the outcome of the meeting is the pre-call planning that happens before the meeting.

Pre-call planning is all about walking into an appointment with a buyer and being totally prepared for and focused on the job at hand.  And when you’re prepared, you’re confident and pro-active.  Pre-call planning includes everything we should do to prepare for a meeting, from attire to directions to research.  The more prepared we are for the appointment, the more effective the meeting will generally go, increasing our probability of success.