To Be or Not To Be?

“Remember your ‘To Do’ list but don’t forget your ‘To Be’ List.” – Richard Branson

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Monday Fun-Day…

Another week gets rolling.

Some of our “TO DO” lists are longer than a Springsteen concert setlist.

Before we sprint out the door, take a minute to think…

What’s missing?

Maybe we need to focus less on what we want ‘TO DO’ and more on who we need to BE.

Here are 12 things that may BE missing from your “TO DO” list:

430 years ago William Shakespeare asked, “To be or not to be?”

It’s an amazing quote.

It’s also a great philosophy to live your life.

#ToBeOrNotToBe

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

(Big Thank You to Seth Godin for the inspiration!)

 

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17 Ways

“I’m not saying that you have to be a reader to save your soul…I’m saying it helps.” – Walter Mosley

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Life is made of moments.

Last week was a special one for me.

I had the opportunity to present Sales Vibe Live to our national sales team in San Diego.

The presentation was based on the principles and ideas I write about in SALES VIBE.

We discussed ways to:

  • Prepare.
  • Engage.
  • Build Trust.
  • Organize.
  • Strategize.
  • Question.
  • Close.
  • Get Invited Back.

Over 60 people attended.

It was an awesome experience.

After the presentation, I received multiple requests for the list of books referenced in the talk.

Below is that list with a brief summary following each book.

Here are 17 WAYS to elevate your SALES & LIFE:

MINDSET

Meditations  by Marcus Aurelius. The most powerful man on earth writes notes to himself on how to be a better person .

The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need by Anthony Iannarino.  Iannarino writes “To succeed in sales you need three things: a Mindset, a Skillset, & a Toolset.”  Same goes for life.

Mindset:  The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck.  This book made the term “mindset” hip.  Greatness is created, not born.

The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday.  Holiday distills ancient stoic wisdom into 1 actionable thought each day.  Holiday is the modern day Robert Green. 

The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude by Jeffrey Gitomer.  Gitomer is the best sales trainer on the planet.  He also wrote one of the best books on how to create a winning attitude.

Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink & Leif Babin.  Willink spent two decades training & leading US Navy Seals in combat.  He shows how the lessons learned on the battlefield can be applied to the boardroom. #GetAfterIt

Secrets of Closing The Sale by Zig Ziglar. Ziglar is famous for saying “You will get all you want in life if you help enough people get what they want.” Written in 1985, it’s still one of the greatest sales books ever.

SKILLSET

The Art of Exceptional Living by Jim Rohn.  Tony Robbins was working as a janitor when he met Jim Rohn.  Rohn taught him these principles to lead an exceptional life. Gold.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.  Covey’s book is one of the top 10 read books on Amazon.  He boils the secrets of success down into 7 habits.

The Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer.  This book is the best selling sales book of all time.  You can put Gitomer’s ideas in to action 30 seconds after you read them.

The Little Black Book of Connections by Jeffrey Gitomer.  Gitomer teaches how to connect, engage, and get invited back.  Hint:  “Start friendly, or don’t start at all.” 

Good To Great by Jim Collins.  “If you have more than 3 priorities, you don’t have any.”

The Lost Art of Closing by Anthony Iannarino.  A salesperson job is to ask for and obtain commitments. This book shows you how to be a closer.

TOOLSET

The Sales Bible by Jeffrey Gitomer. The Sales Bible is the most complete book on selling ever written.

Power Questions by Andrew Sobel. I read books then give them away.  I kept this one and refer to it often.  It’s filled with killer questions.

Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. “Strength and growth come only through struggle and effort.”  Timeless wisdom.

The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday“What stands in the way becomes the way.”  Struggling through something? This is your book.

Lists can be overwhelming.

Start by picking one.

A great book will lead you to the next one.

There is a Latin Proverb, “Liber Medicina Animi – A Book is the Soul’s Medicine.”

Take the next step.

Go…

#17Ways

-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

 

 

 

The Gift

“Feedback is a gift.  Embrace it.” – Anonymous

The fastest route to customer access is to provide REAL value.

A HUGE problem for new salespeople is that they have no clue what value looks like.

This killer question can help.

It allows your customer to share their top of mind thinking.

It provides a path to the real value they are looking for you to provide.

“On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate…”

  • the outcome of your last chronic migraine patient?”
  • your confidence in your reimbursement process?”
  • the quality of the toxin training your residents receive?”

Any response less than a “10” gets a series of follow up questions:

  • What’s missing?
  • How would you change it?
  • What do you think the next step should be?

The difference between the customer’s answer and “10” is the VALUE that customer is looking for someone to provide.

The person who does gets the access.

If you are really brave, you can use a version of this question to see what your long time customers think of the value you are providing:

  • “Dr Smith, I have been calling on you for over 5 years.  I am always looking to get better and be a better resource for you.  On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the value I bring to your office?”

Yikes…

This question takes guts.

This question helps you figure out where you need to be.

The answers will not always be pleasant.

It took me years to learn how NOT to get defensive when someone gave me feedback I did not want to hear.

Just remember, feedback is a gift.

Feedback shows you a better way forward.

Average sales people get defensive.

Good sales people embrace it.

Exceptional sales people seek out feedback to become more.

#BeTheException

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

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The Big 3

“There are 3 things every successful salesperson needs: the right mindset, a refined skillset, and an effective tool kit.” – The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need

Mindset is everything.

We must dial in the right mindset before we go anywhere near a customer.

Below are 3 questions that will help you create a killer pre-call mindset.

These 3 questions are applicable to any selling situation.

Below each question is a micro question related to our customers.

Mentally rehearse these before your next appointment:

  • 1) What can I LEARN?
    • What’s been their experience?
    • What do they perceive?
    • What outcomes do they see?
    • What’s most important to them?
    • Where are they apathetic?
  • 2) What VALUE can I bring?  
    • How comfortable are they with dosing?
    • When do they hold off injecting?
    • What muscles are they afraid to inject?
    • How strong is their reimbursement?
    • How efficient is their schedule?
    • What are they working on in the new year?
  • 3) What ACTIONS can we take?  
    • What idea can we agree upon?
    • What 1 patient can we identify?
    • Who can I connect this customer to?
    • Who can this customer introduce me to?
    • What project can we work on together?

LEARN what’s going on inside your customer’s head.

Bring VALUE to every interaction.

Facilitate ACTION.

Do these 3 consistently, take your access and influence to the next level.

#TheBig3

-Joe Ciccarone

Don’t Be Sorry

“When customers yell at you, or blame you, don’t say, “I’m sorry.” Just say, “Thank you!” Jeffrey Gitomer 

It’s inevitable…

Something is going to go wrong with your product or service.

You’re going to walk into one of your busiest offices and run face first into an angry customer.

Your fault or not, the customer is going to take their frustration out on you.

The interaction usually begins like this:

  • Your customer looks at you and says ,“I need to talk to you. Come in here.”
  • You get hustled into an empty exam room.
  • The door is shut a bit too energetically.

Game on…

When this happens, no matter how upset your customer is, DO NOT say “I’m sorry.”

Thank them!

They just gave you an amazing opportunity to connect & prove the type of value you can bring them.

When you respond:

  • Take full responsibility for fixing their situation.
  • Substitute the words, “I’m sorry,” with the words, “Thank you!”

The situation may be about finances.  It may be a misunderstanding.  It may be real or perceived.

Whatever it is, thank them:

  • “Dr Matt – Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I really appreciate you letting me know your perspective.  I will work on this immediately and fix this for you.”

The advantages of “Thank You!” vs. “I’m Sorry.”:

  • Creates an opening to partner with your customer.
  • Turns an obstacle into an opportunity.
  • Shows your desire to take action.
  • Exhibits a ton of self-confidence.

If you feel personally responsible for what happened, add:

  • “I apologize this happened.  You got my word I will fix this.”

Being confronted by a customer is not fun, but it’s an awesome opportunity to take your relationship to the next level.

It’s not what happens, it’s how you respond.

Respond by empathizing, engaging, & serving.

#Mindset

-Joe

 

The Last Time

“Start where you finish.”

One of the first principles you learn in public accounting is that your ending balance becomes your starting point for the next period.

This principle is just as important in the world of selling.

A killer way to start your customer conversations is by picking up where you left off.

The last time we spoke…

Use this phrase to set up your OPENING.

This phrase is engaging and grabs the customer’s attention.

Make this tactic even more impactful by adding “you said..” at the end.

  • Dr Dawn – “The last time we spoke you said…there were 2 patients you identified for chronic migraine treatment.  I’m following up to see how their injections went?”
  • Dr Jamie – “The last time we spoke you said…it may be time to conduct a chronic migraine training for the residents.  I’m here to see if we can schedule a date?”
  • Dr Kris – “The last time we spoke you mentioned…you heard that the department was losing money on Botox.  I am here to see if we can set up a meeting with your billing staff and our business practice specialist.”
  • Dr Andreas – “The last time we spoke you asked me … to get you a list of ULS proctors.  I have 3 names for you.”

The last time we spoke…”:

  • Gets your customer’s attention
  • Builds on your previous work
  • Creates a call continuim

#ConnectTheDots

-Joe

Before We Get Started…

Begin friendly. Begin by finding common ground, or don’t begin at all.”  – Jeffrey Gitomer

We all have them: customers we struggle to connect with.

Our call starts with the customer’s arms crossed and them asking, “What’s up?”. 

The customer’s style is transactional.  We struggle to build rapport.

“Before we get started…”  can help.

Insert this phrase after your opening, but BEFORE you get to business.

It only takes a little preparation & creativity on your end:

  • “Dr Meredith, there are 2 ideas I want to run by you, but before we get started…I saw the residents just named you best teacher.  How did that come about?”
  • “Dr Jim, I’m here to follow up on _____, but before we get started, Amy told me that your daughter just left for college. How’s that going?”
  • “Dr Thought Leader, there is a resident training idea I want to run by you, but before we get started, I saw on the hospital website that you are leading a new committee. What’s that all about?”
  • “Dr Dan, the last time we spoke, you asked me to look into_____. But before we get started,  I heard you just ran your first half marathon.  How did that go?”

“Before We Get Started..” is a tactic that will help:

  • Build rapport.
  • Expand your time.
  • Give your ideas a better chance of being heard.

#EngageOrDie

-Joe Ciccarone

Power Up

“Small salespeople ask weak questions.” – Anthony Iannarino

Our job is to ask power questions to people in power.

Below are 3 POWER QUESTIONS to ask your thought leaders, chairpersons, & key influencers:

  • “_______________ has been a hot topic to many of our top customers, how are you handling this?”
  • “As you look out to the year ahead, what is the most exciting project you are working on?”
  • “From your perspective, what is the most important issue we should be discussing today?”

#PowerUp

-Joe Ciccarone

Fair Game

 

Below is simple question that doubles as a direct close:

“Fair enough?”  

  • Describe exactly what you want your customer to do.
  • Immediately ask, “Fair enough?”
  • Dr Mary, if you schedule that patient we just discussed for their first injection, I’ll provide the samples.  Fair enough?”

If they agree, the sale is closed.

If they won’t commit, ask What’s holding you back?”

The real objection will surface.

This idea was taken from a Jeffrey Gitomer seminar.

#PlayFair

– Joe Ciccarone