Question of the Day

“Judge someone by their questions rather than their answers.” – Voltaire

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“Get out now while you still can.”

The guy on the other side of the table told me this as he stared at me with no expression.

I was a year out of college and struggling to make a job I disliked (working in a CPA firm) work.

The guy was a senior member of the firm asked to mentor me.

At our very first lunch outside of the office, instead of showing me the ropes, he tried to show me the exit.

Turns out he was miserable.

He hated being a CPA.

But he felt stuck.

He told me he was married, had young kids, car payments, and a mortgage.

“It’s too late for me to get out. Don’t get stuck like I did.” was the way I remembering him putting it.

Warning given.

Warning taken.

I jumped ship (and careers) a few months later.

SALES & LIFE

When I was an accountant, I knew many unhappy accountants.

They did not like their job:

  • The hours.
  • The monotony.
  • All those memorable lunches sitting at your desk alone staring at an Excel spreadsheet.

They may have been unhappy, but they were excellent at what they did.

They produced high level CPA work.

They delivered for their clients.

That’s not possible in SALES.

I’ve never met an unhappy, high achieving sales person.

Never.

An unhappy sales person has almost ZERO CHANCE of:

  • Engaging.
  • Connecting.
  • Building Trust.
  • Providing Value.
  • Helping someone else succeed.
  • Getting invited back.

ELEVATE YOUR QUESTIONS

What’s the best way to feel fulfilled in your career?

That’s hard to say.

It’s different for each of us.

There are no magic answers.

But there are MAGIC QUESTIONS.

The fastest way to elevate your MINDSET is also the fastest way to elevate your sales game:

Elevate the quality of your questions.  

10 QUESTIONS TO JUMP START YOUR SALES (and life)…

  1. What needs to happen for today to be a success?
  2. Who needs my help today?
  3. Who do I need to ignore?
  4. What do I need to stop doing?
  5. What do I need to get over?
  6. Who do I need to spend more time with?
  7. Who do I need to walk away from?
  8. What am I excited about?
  9. What’s missing?
  10. What am I grateful for?

High level questions attract high level answers.

U2’s Bono said, “We thought that we had the answers. It was the questions we had wrong.”

No need to get stuck anywhere.

What tough questions do you need to ask yourself?

That’s the…

#QuestionOfTheDay

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

2 Ears & 1 Mouth

“A wise old owl sat on an oak.  The more he knew the less he spoke.  The less he spoke the more he heard.  Why aren’t we like that wise old bird?” – Ernest Hemingway

 

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Early in my sales career I worked for a VP that would personally lead our training sessions.

Her philosophy for a “successful” sales call was for the team to spew out the amazing facts about our product.

We were NOT encouraged to ask questions.

She thought asking questions gave up control of the conversation.

She believed we had a much better chance of connecting and influencing by making strong statements and doing all the talking.

Yikes…

Would you be shocked to learn that despite having some of the most talented, energetic people I ever worked with, this team never hit their quota?

Shocking.

No question, this was a bad idea.

This week we continue with our series on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Habit #5:  Seek First to Understand, Then Be Understood.

What’s one of the worst characteristics of sales people?

For me, it’s listening to respond rather than listening to understand.

The fastest way to connect with another human is by LISTENING.

Listening will separate you from the masses.

3 Killer Phrases to Understand, Before Being Understood:

  • “So what you’re saying is…”
  • “From your perspective, you feel that…”
  • “So what I am hearing is that you think…”

2,000 years ago the stoic philosopher Epictetus wrote, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”

It takes courage to stand up and speak.

It takes even more to keep quiet and listen.

Listen.

Understand.

Connect.

-Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

 

Plan to Win

“Everyone has a plan ‘til they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson

Last week’s Vibe focused on the value of attending customer conferences.

This week we roll out the game plan.

Our conference goals are to:

  • Engage.
  • Connect.
  • Establish access.

We will focus our plan on 2 scenarios: 

  1. Meeting an existing customer who does not yet work with us.
  2. Meeting a potential new customer.

Game on…

Scenario #1:  Existing Customer  – No Access

Step 1:

  • Get a copy of the conferences pre-registered attendee list.
    • Is there a customer attending that you have not met?
  • Select the customers you want to meet.

Step 2:

  • Do you have any customer advocates who can introduce you?
    • Is your advocate attending the same conference?
      • “Dr John – I saw your name on the EMG conference list.  Would you mind introducing me to Dr Kelly during one of the breaks?.”
    • If your advocate won’t be at the conference:
  • “Dr John, Would you mind introducing me over email to Dr Kelly?  I would love to connect with them at the EMG Course.”

Step 3:

Work the room!

  • Not everyone will visit your booth.
  • You may have to proactively walk around, find that person & introduce yourself.
  • Remember your goal:  Establish Access.
    • Sell the appointment, NOT your product.
  • “Dr Kelly – Dr John said you were someone I should meet. There are a ton of new resources available.  Could we set up a time to discuss?”
    • “What day of the week works best for you?”
    • “What’s the best way to stay in touch?”
      • You will usually get an email address.
    • Ask for their cell #.
      • You will get it 50% of the time.
        • Send them a brief text the next day:
      • “Great to meet you!  Look forward to working with you.  Joe Ciccarone”
    • If you can’t get their cell #, ask for their admin’s name & phone #.

Scenario #2:  Potential New Customer 

Step 1:

  • An endless stream of people will stroll by your booth.
  • Your job is to:
    • Engage.
    • Gauge their potential.
    • Connect.
  • You’ll need at least 3 engaging power questions prepared in advanced.
    • 3 Conference Power Questions: 
  • 1) “What’s been your experience with __________?”
  • 2) “When you see __________, what’s your first move?”
  • 3) “When you hear the word _________, what comes to mind?”
    • This question is killer.
      • The answer gives you a glimpse of this customer’s top of mind awareness of your product / service:
        • You will hear:
          • “Can’t get paid.”
          • “Doesn’t work.”
          • “I need more training.”
          • “I refer out.”
            • Respond, “Really?  Why’s that?”
            • Don’t cut them off.  Let them finish speaking, no matter how off base their reasoning may sound.
            • Tell them you have a few ideas that may help.  Ask when is the best time to stop by and discuss further?

New customers are the life blood of any business.

When you expand your influence, you expand your impact.

Create a plan.  Be intentional.

Success never happens by chance.

#PlanToWin

-Joe Ciccarone