Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Do You Need to Fire Your Employer?

If you're involved in sales for your company, think about all the things your employer does for you. Your employer pays for virtually 100% of your training, your marketing, your gas and cell phone expenses, as well as client lunches and entertainment. Your employer invests hundreds of dollars per month in your career, yet knowingly allows you to:
- waste time or blow off work.
- go home early or come in late.
- stand around and complain with other salespeople.
- pad your call reports.
- perform at a level far below your potential.

Whoa! Why would an employer pay for all this, then allow you to waste that investment? Do you really want to work for someone who says they want you to succeed, then knowingly allows you to do those things that lead to failure? What kind of employer does that?
Unfortunately, the one for which the majority of sellers work. And if you work for that person, you have no one to blame except yourself - because you're the boss.

You are your own mini company with a single client - the one that you sell for today. You're leasing yourself, your knowledge, and your skills to this firm. If you have strong relationships with your prospects and clients, you're also leasing them to your client. When you revoke your lease to the company you currently sell for and take on a new client, you take all your training, skills and abilities with you - as well as your clients. That means that one hundred percent of the time, money and energy you invest in your sales business is for your benefit - not the company for whom you sell. No matter your product or service, you're the boss. As such, you must hold yourself accountable for your actions and investments in you - your company.Do you demand the best from yourself, or do you allow yourself to go through the motions of selling? Do you seek to get the most from the time and money you invest, or are you satisfied to just get by?
As an employee, are you happy with your employer? Do think your boss demands enough from you and helps you achieve your full potential?

Just because you receive a paycheck doesn't mean that you aren't self-employed. In reality, you sign your own commission check. The company you're leasing yourself to simply verify your earnings and then signs them back over to you.Don't be fooled into believing that you work for IBM, GE, Microsoft or any other “employer” other than yourself. You're your own CEO and, like any other CEO, you must demand the best. If your company isn't capable or willing to hold you accountable, maybe it's time to fire your employer!

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Open mouth - change feet

Wow! I understand stage fright, but I don't understand this... Odds are, if you're much of an internet surfer, you've seen this clip already:

It's a clip of Laura Caitlin Upton, the Miss Teen America contestant from South Carolina, giving her answer to a question about education and geography: "Recent polls have shown that a fifth of Americans can't locate the U.S. on a world map. Why do you think this is?"

Seeing it written out word for word is almost scarier:
"I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some people out there in our nation don't have maps. And I believe that our education, like, such as in South Africa and the Iraq, everywhere, like such as, and I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S. or should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future for our children."

Maybe she got left behind, if you know what I mean.
This story is a few weeks old, but I just thought the clip with the subtitles was hilarious and when I saw it, it made me (of course) want to relate it back to persuasion and sales. This comes under the title of "Why talking too much loses the sale".

We're not all on stage in front of thousands or hundreds of people and so, in all fairness, don't understand the pressure the girl was under. On the other hand, there are fifty states (I think, I'll have to send Laura an e-mail to verify this) and I don't see video clips all over the internet and television of the other forty-nine contestants blathering on nonsensically.

When we persuade, (as Ms. Upton was trying to do with the judges - persuade them to choose her above the others), it is not about filling the air with words. It is about aiming our messages straight at what the client or prospect needs.

Regardless of whether or not her physicality was pleasing enough to win is really the issue in this case and the fact that she came in third is truly an indication that this was not a brains contest, but a beauty contest. She appeared poised, at least. I'll say that for her. Also, she's not hard to look at, just hard to listen to.

Without proper training, you may be perceived as a bumbling idiot. If we take a lesson from Ms. Upton's "answer" to the question, it should be this:
Sometimes less is better. If we don't have answers, we need to keep our traps shut unless we are blessed with the gift of gab and can fake it until we come up with something passable, at the very, very least.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Procrastination. Never taking NOW for an answer!

Here's a situation I heard several times while reviewing recorded calls from salespeople.
Prospect: "We're not ready yet. Give me a call back later in the quarter."
Sales Rep: "Umm, how about the beginning of November?"
Prospect: "Sure."

Here's another.
Prospect: "We're still giving it some consideration. Just not ready yet."
Sales Rep: "OK, how about if I call you back in a couple of months?"
Prospect: That's fine.

One more:
Prospect: "Not a good time for it now. Maybe later."
Sales Rep: "Well, how about I check back with you at the end of the year?"
Prospect: "OK."

Notice the trend? What's happening here?

In each case, the salesperson is in no better of a position after the call than he was before it. Actually, he is worse off, since he has now scheduled a follow-up call to a person who may never buy anything. This is why some salespeople are always busy, but never show any real results. And it compounds over time.In each situation, the prospect validated the delay by suggesting a call back time, instead of focusing on the reason for any interest, and the delay.

I urge you to follow two basic premises:
1. If you're ultimately going to get a "no," it's much better to hear it today than six weeks, six months, or six calls from now.
2. If you're placing a follow-up call, know why.Consider that if you allow someone to put you off, and you ultimately hear a "no" on the very next call (if you're lucky), you likely didn't just waste that one additional call. Think of how many attempts it might have taken to finally reach them. To illustrate the magnitude of this problem over time, multiply that number by the number of times you let some people put you off. Then multiply that by the number of times this happens to you per week. Mind boggling!

RECOMMENDATIONS OK, so what should you do? Again, let's find out why they say what they do. Don't dwell on the "when" of a call back; instead focus on WHY they feel a call back would even be necessary.
Let's take each of the examples and provide better responses.
Prospect: "We're not ready yet. Give me a call back later in the quarter."
Sales Rep: "I'll be happy to give you a call back. What will make that a better time for you? What will have to happen for you to move on it?"

Prospect: "We're still giving it some consideration. Just not there yet."
Sales Rep: "I see. What is it that you are considering?"

One more:
Prospect: "Not a good time for it now. Maybe later."
Sales Rep: "Hmm, what would make later a better time?"

Notice, again, that we're trying to understand the reason for the delay. And we're using their terms whenever possible.
And don't think that this approach is pushy; it's simply direct. If there is a future event that would make later a better time for them, so be it. Let's just find out what it is.

Feel free to pass this on and that goes for the Gobshites that copy and paste from this blog in Nottingham.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

You know you are living in 2007 because...

You know you are living in 2007 because...
1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.
2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards for years.
3. You have a list of 15 numbers to reach a family of 3.
4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and relatives is because they don't have an e-mail address.
6. Every commercial on TV has a website at the bottom.
7. Leaving the house without your mobile phone, which you didn't have for the first 10-40 years of your life, is now a major cause for panic and you turn round and go back and get it.
8. You get up in the morning and go online before you get a coffee.
10. You start tilting your head to one side and smile. :)
11. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.
12. Even worse, you know exactly who you can forward or e-mail this message to.
13. You are too busy to notice that there's no number 9 on this list.
14. You actually looked and checked to see that there was no number 9 on this list.


Go on, cut and paste or forward this to your friends. You know you want to.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Introduction to 'Get Connected'

In the late eighties I took delivery of a Sky satellite system. At the time I was selling Timeshare Ownership’s to unsuspecting customers in Leicester Square and I was taking home around two thousand pounds a week in commission. It was a phenomenal amount of money to earn in those days but the SKY system was a phenomenal amount of money to buy so, in my head, it balanced out.
My then girlfriend, Wanda, came over and we sat down that first night on the sofa and we ate pizza and drank wine while we surfed the channels in wide-eyed amazement. Before that night we only had four channels. Now we had at least 40 channels to choose from. The world was our lobster and life would never be the same again. Eventually we pitched up at the WWF. Wrestlers like Randy Savage, The Bushwackers, Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior were battling it out nightly. It was a lot different from when I was a kid and World of Sport was showing Mick McManus, Jacky Pallo and Catweazle. “Have a good week, till next week”.

We switched to the movie channel and watched films that were only just out on video (DVD’s hadn’t arrived yet). The sports channels were amazing. Not only live Football and golf but obscure stuff from around the world like Ladies Beach Volleyball (my favourite) and synchronised drowning. I could get up in the middle of the night and watch as Mike Tyson pulverised someone live. I saw Spinks go crashing through the ropes. Marvellous. It didn’t get much better than that.
As we watched TV it occurred to me that this was all just too good to last. It was too perfect. I wondered how long it would be before there was competition to SKY or if they would start charging for the things that were included at the moment, like movies and sports. Would someone have a monopoly on all this or would it be a fight, a war waged between predators in a ‘my company is bigger than yours’ kind of punch up that had corporations slamming their dicks on the table.

Where would the competition come from? Another satellite company? Surely it would take a long while before anyone could offer an alternative to this? I looked at my mobile phone. It was called a portable phone in those days but it was like carrying around one of those big plastic petrol tanks that people keep in the boot of their car. It looked like the sort of thing you would use on army manoeuvres when you were trying to radio in to HQ to give them your bearings. I had another mobile phone, which was light grey and looked like a housebrick with an aerial. It weighed a ton but Gordon Gekko had one in Wall Street so that was good enough for me.
As I looked at the phones I can remember thinking to myself that those were the future. Being contactable anywhere or making a call while on the move was what people would want. I had no idea then that within twenty years people would have panic attacks if a small object that played music, took pictures, surfed the internet, woke you up in the morning, recorded messages, sent texts and made phone calls was not in their hand, pocket or bag or clamped to their ear 24/7. The telephone side of things tends to be overlooked now but that was its original premise. Now they do everything but make a cup of tea and the phone call is an afterthought. It’s all text and pictures, web and MP3. Technology was going through another change.

Things were a lot different in the nineteen-fifties. It was a polite, respectful society, so I am told. People were grateful for what they had and many didn’t have much. It was all national service and manners. A trip to the coast and wearing a tie for dinner. That all changed. The world rolled into the sixties and, boom. Flower power, the summer of love, man went into space, Sean Connery changed cinema forever by putting a dinner jacket on and the Beatles were bigger than...well, they were big. And then, man landed on the moon. Somehow, technology had received a kick up the arse. We had gone from one channel of TV to three, colour footage from the moon and Hendrix played his guitar behind his head and then set light to it.

Things remained steady until the mid seventies when suddenly there was a space station, more and more people had telephones, they had credit cards and cash machines had arrived. Groups like Yes and Pink Floyd got bigger and toured with so much equipment they could invade a small country. Cassette tape decks allowed you to record your records. The world had received another technological kick up the arse. Where had that come from?

The eighties arrived. Punk was over, people were going back and forth into space again on the Shuttle and men were dressing like women and wearing make-up. The bands got smaller but shoulders got bigger and colours got brighter. Nearly every TV was a colour set too. The yuppie arrived with ‘loadsamoney’ and cash was king. Then we had Walkmans, Microwaves and mini cassette recorders. CD’s began replacing vinyl, Portable Phones were introduced and Satellite TV had arrived in my lounge. We had received another kick up the arse on the technology front. By the late eighties, I was sitting watching TV wondering where it would all end. It didn’t and it hasn’t. Technology has been kicked up the arse on a more regular basis.

I had no idea that the competition to satellite would come out of the ground. I had no idea that 200 channels would be commonplace. Nor did I think that BT would have competition for its phone lines. I had no idea I would be a part of all that.

This is what happened...

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

How about this for a Job Spec??

How about this for a Job Spec??

Superb Ad for a Sales Manager. It doesn't mention 'one hand tied behind the back' but...

Manages the promotion and direction of the sales or service activities among customers or prospects in a region.
Reviews market analyses to determine customer needs, volume potential, price schedules, and discount rates, and develops sales campaigns.
A combination of over four years of directly related training and/or experience is typically required for carrying out the responsibilities for this job.
Typically reports to a National Sales Manager and has supervisors and/or subordinate sales staff who call on existing or potential customers reporting to this position.
Ensures that representatives keep informed of changes in territories that might affect product sales.
Holds sales meetings.
Makes forecasts on anticipated market sales.
Analyzes sales statistics to formulate policy and assist in promoting sales. Studies schedules and estimates time, cost, and labor estimates for completion of job assignments.
Develops and implements methods and procedures for monitoring work activities, such as preparation of records of expenditures, progress reports, etc., in order to inform management of current status or sales activities.
Represents company at industry association meetings and trade shows to promote product.
Acts as liaison between sales and other departments.
Participates in budget preparation.
Assists other departments within establishment to prepare manuals and technical publications.
Prepares periodic sales reports showing sales volumes and potential sales.
Interprets company policy to ensure company objectives are met.
Directs product simplification and standardization to eliminate unprofitable items from sales line.
Promotes satisfactory customer relations.
Works closely with company personnel to ensure prompt service to customers. Keeps informed on company contract procedures and product pricing.
May direct staffing and training to develop sales program.

£22,000 per annum!!! Wow. C'mon you graduates...I bet your pleased you took all those exams now!!

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Commission Impossible - In AdSpace, no one can hear you scream!

Now here is one for the archives.

Please remember this point before reading on: A company (let's call it RoboKrop) gives you a contract, you read it, you sign it. Nowhere in that contract does it say that if your client decides not to pay, we will clawback your commission.

OK? Well, hang on, because you are in for a bumpy ride.

You are a salesperson selling advertising space over the telephone. Your job is to convince your prospect that advertising in one of the magazines and journals your company produces is a great idea and you use your skills to liaise with all of the relevant people to ensure that you get a faxed booking form back with a signature on it. That is success. That is your job, end of story. You have made an agreed percentage of the total amount of the deal as commission and that is paid to you at the end of the sales month which is the month you sold it in. In other words: sell in June, up to the 25th and the money is in the bank at the end of June.

What you do not do is worry about anything else, like chasing copy, chasing payment or even the printing process. Or so you would think...

You sell a half page advertisement to a company in Barbados and the deal is that they get a free half page. The deal is £2,950 for one half page. When the copy arrives for the two half pages there is so much information on the two half pages that someone, other than you, decides to give your customer a FULL page in the magazine. Not only that, they give them an additional full page free of charge. The cost of the two full pages is actually £9,900. Your customer has only paid £2,950. Someone other than you, the Directors themselves, made that decision.

You go to print and the customer is very, very happy. A couple of months later, in October 2006, you contact the customer and say that you want to secure the space again in the next issue. You explain that you know, and they know, they got a fantastic deal last time. The rate card for a full page is no longer £4,950 but now £5,450. Last time they only paid 29% of the value of what they got. To sweeten the pill you allow them to not only have a free full page but you will only charge them the old rate card of £4,950. They are happy, and they fax back a booking form for the amount, SIGNED! Your job is over. Two weeks later you are paid on that deal (along with some others).

The company have fixed terms of: "payment is due within 14 days of invoice".

2006 rolls into 2007 and you, and the rest of the sales team, continue to sell. As the time of publication approaches you hear that "a couple of the advertisers have still not paid". You pay no attention because you believe, like everyone else would, that there is an accountant/ legal team dealing with this.

Then the accountant disappears off the face of the earth (on holiday) and one of the Directors starts to call lots of people asking for money. To all of you it sounds like he is calling everyone that has advertised. That can't be true?

It transpires that, rather than only a couple of people not paying, only a couple of people have paid and the Director is chasing them for payment. He even states that the accountant 'wasn't doing his job properly'.

You, and the others, carry on selling.

We are told that the Bank Manager is making a visit to the company. Can we all look busy and dress in a businesslike fashion? A massive clean up takes place. he arrives, they take him to lunch.

Quote: "Have you got half a sec?"

That is the Directors way of telling you that he wants an important word with you, and he only has 'half a sec' as he is running out the door at 3:30pm to have an acupuncture session. Instead of telling you during the day when he had more than adequate time to sit down and discuss the matter in a professional way he opts for the cowards way of, "look, I am very busy and I am off to have some acupuncture, but..."

"Patterson haven't paid and we will have to take your commission back."

Let's look at the comments made and then the facts.

"They are not returning our calls and we cannot get them to pay" True, but then they have signed a contract and that is binding.

"We cannot sue them, it's too costly." No it isn't. What's more, they have signed a contract and you have them over a barrel. Furthermore, they are members of the tax organisation which you are publishing the book for so they will not want to jeopardise that, especially as the President of the organisation, who you publish the magazine they were advertising in, is the person paying you to publish it.

"They work in a far flung island offshore and they are financial experts." So what pal, that's your problem. It was ok to call them and sell them. If they are financial experts then they shouldn't have signed the fucking contract in the first place if they didn't want to go ahead.

"They won't tell each other that we don't pursue. They don't talk to each other." The organisation is a membership which holds three meetings a year for networking purposes. The directory we publish gives names and contact details of the members so they can call each other up. The organisation actively promote networking!

"You'll find that we can clawback the commission because it is in your contract." No it isn't. Nowhere in the contract of employment does it state that commission can or will be clawedback.

The killer points are these:

The deal was done at the beginning of October 2006. They want to clawback the commission almost 9 months later!

It's a legal/ credit control issue: nothing to do with the salesperson.

This 'Director' has given the salesperson no warning as he told him at the time his salary was due to be paid.

It contravenes the contract of employment as this issue is not covered in the terms.

If you do not pursue them you will send out a message that clearly states: Sign the contracts, you don't have to pay, don't worry about it. They are too scared to sue you.

In the end, it's a joke. A financial joke that will have massive and painful repercussions. If you think I am making all of this up, I am not. This is really happening. In the 21st century!

Who lives in a publishing house like this?

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

The New Law of the Jungle

It’s the new law of the jungle we are breaking.

Every time I use a ball-point pen I am reminded of my dishonesty. It has an ex-employer's name written on it. I borrowed it, permanently. Does it keep me awake at night? No. I am a member of a new criminal class who have helped themselves to something at work. We are middle-class master criminals. Some laws we consider unbreakable - but only some.

Almost one in five of us steals paperclips and stationery from the office. One-third of us pay tradesmen in cash to avoid paying VAT. Fraud and white-collar crime are now so widespread they will soon cost the nation more than offences such as burglary, according to an academic study by Keele University called Law Abiding Majority?.

Oh, the irony of it. The middle classes who rail against those evils of modern society - the hoodie, the mugger and the vandal - are criminals, too.
It all seems such small fry when seen from behind the privet hedge. Why shouldn't the middle classes dodge VAT on the plumber's bill when private equity billionaires pay less tax than their cleaners? I know which one I think is the crime. If Gordon Brown is happy to let them pay 10p in the pound on their billion-pound fortunes, I have no conscience about getting a washer changed minus VAT.

I'm more honest than many of the new criminal class. One-third of those questioned said they wouldn't hand back change if they were given too much in a shop (I wouldn't and haven't). I have worked in shops and I know how the shop assistant feels if their take doesn't tally at the end of the day but I subscribe to 'concentrate on what you are doing'. They can face an accusation of theft or ineptitude. The same goes for the 6% who admitted to asking a friend working in a bureaucracy to bend the rules for them. That's corruption in my private rule book. Then again, that book is called: 'The only rule is, there are no rules!'

This moral weighing and balancing is what it is all about. The pen from my employer doesn't prick my conscience because I don't have a working relationship which is measured in such minutiae. Like many people, I worked unpaid overtime and sometimes incurred expenses I didn't reclaim. It blurs the boundaries. As far as I am concerned, a stray pen or notebook is neither here nor there in the equation. It's just a perk of the job, like the odd personal phone call or using the photocopy machine for party invitations.

In fact, what the Keele academics called criminality is really nothing more than a measure of the difference between legality and middle-class morality.
If you don't think you're in this report, if you're congratulating yourself as set apart from all criminality, cast your eye over your book shelves. I bet you'll find a library book or one loaned by a friend many years ago which you didn't return. Isn't that a form of theft?

Then walk to the window and see where the car is parked. It's probably in a legal slot because the risk of fine or being towed away is too great. But is it always parked legally or do you, like me, busk the parking meters when you have no change or won't be a minute or simply resent being ripped off every time you go to the shops? Now imagine this: you are driving on a wide, straight, empty road on a clear day. Does the speedometer read 60 or 65? If it reads 65, you are breaking the law. Do you rationalise this to yourself that what matters is to drive safely and that driving at 65 on a straight road is perfectly safe?

A relative had an interesting experience when she lost a valuable ring. She claimed its value from the insurance company. Months later the ring turned up and, honourably, she returned the cheque (no, I wouldn't have either!). The official who dealt with her wrote to say that, in his experience, she was the first person to return a cheque. To have kept the money would have been fraud yet people justify it to themselves. According to the academics, 6% of those surveyed actually admitted to padding out insurance claims. No doubt they count up the premiums they have paid and tell themselves it is victimless crime.

According to the report, it isn't poverty but a dip in wealth that triggers this criminal behaviour. The worst offenders are highly-paid people who hit hard times temporarily. No doubt their situation no longer seems "fair". They will pocket £500 on an exaggerated claim against an insurance company but would, hopefully, be scandalised by a £50 theft from a door-to-door insurance salesman.

If a bank that has regularly charged us extortionate amounts in overdraft penalties then accidentally credits our account, how many of us would feel a moral obligation to draw its attention to the mistake? Or might we recall the billion-pound annual profit and multi-million-pound bonuses paid to banks' executives and ask ourselves who are the real robbers? I know someone who had an amount paid into his account by his bank accidently and he immediately transerred it to another account. The bank didn't realise but he was taking no chances.

We live in a world where people are increasingly valued according to their bank balance. Wealth is the new religion; the glitterati bedeck the top of the social tree and it doesn't seem to matter how they acquired their money.
Virtue has always been its own reward but never more so than now. We see politicians disgraced then read about their lifelong pensions. We see business executives who ruin companies and destroy employees' pensions, but walk away with golden handshakes and secure futures.

Money talks. In the past decade the new super-rich have quadrupled their wealth. In the past year alone they have seen it rise by one-fifth. There have always been people of vast wealth but until recently they were so rare we could name them. There was Onassis, Getty, the Kennedy clan. Now there are more than 1000 super-rich families in London alone. Their spending power is fuelling the house-price rise and thanks to legal tax avoidance those who are "non-dom" pay no stamp duty.

On paper, the middle classes, too, are worth more than ever since all houses have raced up in value. But, relatively, they feel worse off.
Job security is poor, pensions prospects are low and uncertain, and they find they cannot give their children the financial leg-up they need to become property owners themselves.

Some conclude that to be squeaky clean and scrupulously honest in such a society is to be a mug. I contend that once that becomes acceptable, the law of the jungle takes over.

There is very little wrong with forgetting to return a book or dodging a traffic warden or asking an official to bend the rules for you. There is everything right with being clever enough to make multi-millions on the financial markets and paying only 10% tax on it. It's legal, but utterly immoral. But after a while you could live with it and sleep easy.

Friday, 22 June 2007

Lesson #7: Never leave loose ends.

How many people do you know say, 'Let's just sign the paperwork and we will get all the other stuff sorted out at a later date!'?

Here is something I find really strange. Why on earth would anyone, if they are in their right mind, allow you to lock them into a contract that at a later date may change?

Would you want to be signing a piece of paper that would be either worthless, or worse, turn out to be even more costly to you and have deep implications into your business or wealth at a later date?

No, is the answer, so...

Lesson #7: Never leave loose ends.

My mentor, Ari Onassis, would always tie up all the loose ends of a contract at the very start. It is like my lesson 'kill the monster early'. If you do all the finer details at the start then there can be no questions later, and no problems either. Nor can there be any costly surprises.

I have a phrase that I have used on many occasions in training and in my own life and it serves me in good stead. Every time I have negotiated a contract I have thought of it and I have worked by it, and it is this:

"If you tie up all the loose ends at the start they will never become undone. If you leave the loose ends undone at the start, they will remain undone and you will never, ever, be able to tie them. What's more, they will become very expensive!"

Coming soon... Lesson #8: You only need one golden apple!

Monday, 11 June 2007

GR8 G8?

The G8 Summit, for all of its pomp and circumstance, is really just a big sales meeting. That's all.
That's not to say that this makes the gathering any less significant. It's not.
Sales meetings, whether they be between two small companies or eight big industrialized nations, is how things get done.
Meeting face to face is essential in effective selling. Certain types of business can be conducted long distance, or over the phone or web, but high level big-ticket items usually require a little face time. And at the G8 Summit, that's what you have: World leaders gathering for some valuable "face time".
The goals in attending the G8 Summit are broad, but just like any other sales meeting the bottom line for attending is simple: More economic and relational opportunities with trading partners around the world.
Even on the world stage, it still all comes down to doing a deal by making a presentation and closing the customer.

Paris Hilton Saleswoman

Paris Hilton's on again, off again, on again jail sentence is just the latest in what is sure to be a lifetime of ups and downs, successes and failures, highs and lows.
So why are we talking about her here?
Because what she has done with her career can serve as a roadmap for any aspiring sales professional who wants to set himself, or herself, apart from the competition.
First, answer me this: What is it that Paris Hilton does? Sure, she has some video experience that she can list on her Hollywood CV, but seriously...what is it that Paris Hilton does for a living? A recent news report said that Paris Hilton, and other celebrities, is paid as much as $250,000 to attend a party (note to party organizers everywhere: I'll come to your party for $50,000. Have your people call my people).
"Career"? You tell me.
But there's no denying that she is famous. And, she has built a career for herself (whatever that career may be). All of that makes her one of the best saleswomen ever.
Here's why:
She believes in what she's selling. What is she selling? Herself. She is the brand. She is the product. And she believes she's the best. Do you have the same kind of passion for yourself, and your product or service?
She presents a unique message. There are a lot of imitators in Hollywood, but theres only one Paris. Are you unique and memorable? You see how its worked for Paris...if your sales career is languishing, you might want to think about redefining yourself in a more memorable way.
She's someone you can't look away from. I'm not talking about the way she dresses, or whether or not you think she's beautiful or not. I'm talking about her "persona". Her whole personality, her image, and that "x-factor" that has the nation glued to their TV sets waiting to see a picture of Paris Hilton in jail.
Here's my point: She generates attention.
Do you? Does your sales message? Is your sales message unique and memorable in such a way that it rises to the level of being Paris-worthy in its presentation? If not, your prospects are probably looking away from you...and what you're trying to sell.

$250,000 for attending a party??? Come on...

The long nightmare continued today, as a Los Angeles judge ordered Paris Hilton back to jail.
The past few days we've been subjected to wall-to-wall Paris Hilton news, non-stop on the 24-hour cable news channels. A lot of us ask, "Why????"
What in the world did Paris Hilton do to earn the right to interrupt the G8 Summit and the launch of the space shuttle??? How has she done it!?!? Those of us who are entrepreneurs would spend 45 days in jail if it would bring worldwide publicity to our enterprise, right?

The whole thing got me to thinking about the lessons that her inexplicable rise to fame, and our ongoing fascination with her daily exploits, has for today's entrepreneur. "The Paris Principles" for business success:
You gotta look good. Paris Hilton focuses almost manically on her appearance. Do you spend a lot of time making sure your business looks good to the outside world?
You gotta be seen. Paris Hilton gets publicity. If she parties, we hear about it. If she gets arrested, we hear about it. Paris pays attention to getting noticed and staying on people's mind. Are you doing all you can to publicize your business?
Have fun. Love her or hate her, you gotta admit that Paris Hilton knows how to have fun. And secretly, we kind of envy her for that. As a business owner, do people have fun when they interact with your business? People like to have fun...that's why we keep tuning in for the latest Paris Hilton news.
Use the "new media. Paris Hilton rose to fame by starring in a home-made video. We won't get into a discussion about the content of that video, but suffice it to say that if you search Google and YouTube, you'll find plenty of videos and pictures and news on Paris Hilton. Is your business using these new publicity portals to publicize your business?
Give them something to talk about. If you're not a little edgy, you probably won't get talked about. There are lots of movie stars that aren't getting the kind of attention that Paris Hilton is getting, even though they're more talented and more deserving of attention. Yet, because Paris Hilton pushes the envelope, she gets the attention. Are you as edgy as you can be with your business?
Laugh at yourself once in a while. Did you mess up? Have a product launch that went haywire? Screwed up a grand opening of your newest product?
Learn to laugh at yourself. Paris Hilton turned the concept of laughing at herself into a hit TV series, "The Simple Life". Follow her lead!
Be nice. As I think back to everything I know about Paris Hilton from the stories I've heard in the media, I can't remember anything that talked about her being mean. Not public feuds to speak of, at least not any that turned really nasty by today's Hollywood standards. Love her or hate her, you have to admit that Paris Hilton has fostered a reputation of being nice. Clueless, maybe, but nice. Make sure your business is known for being "nice".
Don't be a Lindsay or a Britney. Paris Hilton comes close to crossing the line with her behavior, but she never goes over it too far. Compare that with Lindsay Lohan or Britney Spears, who have gone way, WAY over the the point where their careers have taken a serious hit. Know where the line of acceptability is in your business market, and don't go over it all that often, and not very far over when you do cross it. Edgy is fine, drunken stupors are another story.
The Paris Principles: Follow them, and you'll probably have a successful business venture!

Thursday, 7 June 2007

The Dave Vinci Code

I was asked a question the other day that triggered off a three-hour conversation about two or three subjects. What was the question?
‘Do you believe in Aliens?’
How many times has that question been asked or the idea of alien life been raised in your life?
Well, I have to admit I am a big believer. I think it would be a very sad state of affairs if you stood at night, staring into space at the millions of stars out there, and believed that we were the only planet with life on it.
Have aliens been to this planet? I think so.
I was only a small kid when the Americans landed on the moon. I have watched the footage since and it always amazed me at how quickly the Americans advanced in those eight or so years from when JFK said that they would go to the moon to when Neil Armstrong placed a foot on the surface.
If you look at the competition, the Russians, you have to ask yourself: what happened?
The Americans were sending colour film back showing them tanned and fit, nice space suits, smiling at the camera in the cockpit of the Apollo capsule.
Cue the Russians. Grainy, black and white footage, incomprehensible sound, bits of wire hanging down and rubbish floating around.
The Americans were on their way back from the Moon.
The Russians were barely in orbit.
Even Apollo 13 played its drama out in Technicolor with the crew without a hair out of place.
Go forward another ten years or so and there are the Americans again, having toyed with SkyLab, the Spacestation (!), launching a re-usable space shuttle.
Where were the Russians? Still in orbit. Sometimes.
I really do believe that the Americans had help from some technology they recovered or found. I know it sounds like a scene from the Men in Black movies but believe me, they have something in Area 51 and they know a lot more than they are letting on.
Area 51 by the way is that place in the desert that everyone knows is there. It has so much new and unheard of security technology protecting it that they probably know if you are just ‘thinking about’ having a look at it. It is the place that has been only photographed from the air. It has hundreds of people working there. It has numerous people who used to work there talking about it to people who know it is there. It is also the place that, if you get near it, the army tells you ‘doesn’t exist!’!
Even in this country, after the Rendlesham Forest UFO sighting a few years back, Margaret Thatcher was quoted as saying/ordering: “The public must never know”.
Why? Because the average man and woman on the street would panic like hell and life, as we know it, would be over. You would have riots in the streets (because people think ‘that’s what you do’), looting, shooting and marshall law. The army would be called in because the streets would be full of people fighting for no other reason than to overcompensate for the fact that they are scared.
The thing that the majority of people would fail to understand is that if your planet is going to be invaded or destroyed...where do you run to? Why would you bother? You can’t stop the world because you want to get off.
If a spaceship landed...I would get on it.
End of story.
No questions asked.
I would jump at the chance.
I might print off a list of the last years winning lottery numbers and ask to be dropped off in the same spot but one year in the past, but then I am a salesman and I am always looking for an opportunity.
Alien life led onto something else.

‘If there is Alien life, do they worship the same God as we do?’’

Ah, religion. Where do I start?

I believe that Jesus existed though I firmly believe that he was an extraordinary, but normal, man. He had some amazing ideas and was very enigmatic, told a good story and people listened and followed. I believe from what I have read that he was married, probably to Mary Magdalene. If that sounds like the Da Vinci code, wash your mouth out. I read the Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and around thirty other books giving contrary opinions. I also read about the council of Nicea and Constantine turning Jesus from a normal man to a Holy man and labelling Mary Magdalene a prostitute to distance Jesus from her.
I have also read the Gnostic gospels, the ones removed from the Bible we know today.
So what about the miracles? Well...
There was no TV, radio or newspapers in those days so all you had to rely on was word of mouth and, in some cases, word of mouth with translation thrown in.
Jesus got a group of followers together, the disciples, and they were his right hand men. He travelled around speaking and preaching his beliefs. People liked him, trusted him, believed him and then followed him. That’s all. That’s what I think. But the miracles?
The other day, in our office block here, the girls in reception said that a woman was having some form of seizure. When Mark, a pal of mine, and I went to have a look, the woman was lying on the floor shaking violently and lashing out. A so-called therapist was sitting on the floor watching her shaking his head: doing nothing. That’s helpful isn't it?
“She grabbed her throat and collapsed” he told us.
I checked her airways, turned her on her side and put her in the recovery position. I got the ‘therapist’ to go and call 999 and tell them a lady is having an epileptic attack.
She was shaking violently. I put my hand on her head and whispered in her ear, “Listen to me, hear my voice, calm down, come back to me, listen to me, hear my voice, calm down...” etc. I then did a form of EFT (emotional freedom therapy) on her and started to tap her wrists to slow her down a little.
I then held both of her hands and she gradually came round and looked at me. I told her who I was and what I thought had happened and asked her to keep calm. She did. The paramedic team arrived; Mark and I left them to it.
If that had happened in Jusus’ day then by the time 50 or more people had passed the story on, it would have become: “There was this woman and she was lying on the floor. Her head had been cut off. Her body was shaking. These two guys appeared out of nowhere, they just appeared. One of them bent down, held her head back on, whispered to her and brought her back to life! Then, bang...they disappeared into thin air. They must have been angels!”
That’s all it was in Jesus’ times. He may have done a few wonderful things but they weren't miracles as far as I am concerned.
Of course, if it could be proved that Jesus wasn’t ‘holy’ and that he didn’t ‘rise from the dead’ and he was married and had descendants then the Christian and certainly the Catholic Church would collapse. The Catholic faith is based on the resurrection and if that one fundamental point could be proved to have never happened; game over. That proof, I think exists and that is what I think the Holy Grail is. The bloodline.

At the council of Nicea it was argued that Christianity, though it was recognised as a faith, could not continue with a woman as the head of the church or even as part of the line of descendant heads.
It has only been in the last century that women have been allowed to vote and only in the last twenty years that have we seen female clergy.
The only way for Jesus to remain as the head of Christianity would be for him to be immortal (for want of a better word) and the only way to achieve that was to make him holy. He would be the head, eternally.

Saying that, I do have a few questions about the Bible.
Nowhere in the Bible does it say anything about prehistoric animals or cavemen and yet we know they existed. Why not?
If we are to believe that Adam and Eve were the first two people on earth and they were the beginning then...we are all related! Is that right?
God supposedly made the heavens and the earth and then said ‘let there be light. That means he made the heavens and the earth IN THE DARK! Why?
If Adam and Eve were the first people on earth who was running around making notes at the time God was creating the heavens and the Earth? So who wrote Genesis then?
How did Noah get two of every animal on the Ark when the majority of them were on the other side of the world? SkyNews?
How did Moses carry two stone tablets down a mountain without a forklift truck?
Why does every film, TV and school nativity have three wise men and yet nowhere in the Bible does it state that there were THREE of them? Where did that come from?
Why do the four books of the Bible that depict the crucifixion detail four DIFFERENT accounts? Were they all there or was it word of mouth?
Then again...when Moses went up the mountain to get the Ten Commandments the Bible states that there was a lot of noise, like thunder. Could that thunder have been an engine?
There was mist, like smoke. Could that smoke have come from the engines? And he came down with red skin like it was burnt,. Could that have been radiation?
Hey, perhaps it was a UFO and we are all some aliens experiment? Perhaps the Aliens came back? Will they come again?
Where are those lottery numbers?

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Are you waiting for your Probable Buyer to call you back?

Some people find the prospect of knocking door to door a very scary thing. This is real cold calling, when you knock on a door with no idea who or what is behind it and sell to whoever opens that door. It's a very special skill and it takes a lot of knowledge and ability to be able to do it again and again and again. You have thirty seconds to put that person at ease, get them to like and trust you and convince that person to either call you in right now or let you in later at an appointed time. If you can do it, you will make a lot of money. I know, because I did it for years and was regularly the top salesman in the company.

Some people also attribute the same level of fear to calling someone on the telephone and pitching them. I have done that too and I have seen many people fail or give up because they cannot deal with the fear factor. Many people agonise over what to say when they finally do get on the phone.

The challenge you have in selling over the phone is that you very rarely reach the person you want to speak to so you are forced, against your will and better judgement to leave a voicemail message. And then, nobody calls you back. Never. Ever.

It can get to the point where you feel discouraged, let down and even angry. You could put the phone down, walk off and get a can of coke or a coffee and think to yourself, “Why the hell am I wasting my time ringing these shmucks?”

If you sell door to door you are dealing with the public. You do your door knocking at a prime time, when you know when your customers are going to be home. You will have already worked out the area and discovered the comings and goings of the area so you know the most profitable time to do business. If you knock at any other time of day, look for another job.

When you sell B2B (business to business) you could be doing that in person (Direct) or over the phone. A large percentage of telephone selling is to business PB’s and nearly everyone who works in a large company is up to their neck in sales calls.

Work expands to fill the time available and everyone has way too much work to do, or so they would like you to think. The thing is, while you believe your product or service is the best thing around and it’s very important to you, for most of your PB’s you are way down the list of priorities.

There could be another reason other than them being too busy to speak to you. It could be that your voicemail message was rubbish!

Change jobs for a second. Imagine that you are the PB. You just came back from a meeting where everyone was shouting and making demands. You are frazzled to the extreme. You have another meeting in one hour. Your CEO is asking for a report that you had promised would be ready. When you switch on your computer, 57 emails appear.

You check your voicemails. There are 14 of them. You quickly scan through them, listening to the first 5 seconds to prioritise.

When you get to this one, what goes through your mind?

“Errm, hello. My name is Max Cost. I’m an account manager at Widget Systems. We’re a leading global supplier of software security for companies like yours. In fact we supply the system to Your Competition inc. We have some new technology that will help increase security even further and we are really excited about them and what they could do for your company.
I would love to set up a time to speak with you and determine your needs and requirements and explore how we can help. You may have seen an article in the Bullshit Times about our systems. I want to get together with you so you can find out more and hear just what we can do for you. Please give me a call at your earliest convenience to set up a time when we can get together either in person or on the phone and explore how we can help. My number is 012-345-6789. And again, this is Max Cost from Widget Systems.”

So, as a business professional, a PB, what did you think? Self-promoting? Boring? Long-winded? Load of rubbish? Did you listen to all of it/

The question is, would you do business with this person? Would you take valuable time out of your ever-increasing business schedule and call or meet this person?

I don’t think so!

No decision-maker in his or her right mind would even listen to the whole message. After 15 seconds, maximum, you would have been zapped into infinity and beyond.

You may find the message funny, or unreal, or just an example, but salespeople leave this sort of message again and again. I wouldn’t mind betting that if you altered a few of the words it would look suspiciously like a message you have left for a PB recently. I wouldn’t mind betting also that they didn’t call you back!

Do you believe me? Well, if you don’t, call yourself right now and leave yourself the message you leave on the voicemail of your PB’s. Then go into your voicemail and listen to the message your PB gets. Hear it from their perspective. Hear it how they hear it. Hear it with your customers ears.

Here's the question:

Would you waste your valuable time and call or meet YOU?

No? Well, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and rewrite the pitch.

You need to wake up and realise something. Your PB doesn’t want to ‘hear’ or ‘find out about’ your product. They despise adjectives full of fluff. They don’t want to ‘explore’ how you can help.

Plus, your PB already has a job. They don’t need another one. Your job is to do the research, make a relevant pitch and sell. Their job is purely to buy, nothing else. They listen, ask questions, sign, that’s it! You do the work because that’s what you are paid for.

While you think about what you could say on that message, think about:
· How to incorporate your pre-call research.
· Real results companies have achieved from using your product.
· How your product ‘specifically’ solves a problem your PB’s company faces.
· How your product can assist them in achieving their goals and plans.
· How you can hook their attention and pique interest.

The essence of ‘a call back message’ includes these elements. If you change your approach you will change your results.

Harry Truman, a former US President, used to say, and in fact had a wooden plaque on his desk engraved with, the words “The Buck Stops Here!” He took responsibility for the result. YOU are responsible for your outcome. You are responsible if your PB does not return your call.

Why? Because you have the knowledge and ability to create the result you want.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Author! Author!

I have been asked a couple of times about the process of writing. Once by someone about, 'In Plain Sight - the Hunt for Jack the Ripper' and again about the Dynamic-Life Sales Book 'The Pitch is Back'.

I think the best answer for all budding authors comes from my pal Jeffrey Gitomer at with...

The 3.5 tips for writing a book are:

1. Don’t get an agent. They only make deals that are good for agents.

2. Don’t listen to publishers. Not only will they lie to you, they will only do things in their best interest, not yours.

3. Be prepared for a long list of rejections and people trying to tell you which end is up. When in doubt, follow your heart.

3.5 Capture your ideas whenever they occur.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Police Intelligence?

This is a real news story just sent to me. It appears in Technology News.
Those of you thinking of firing up Tomb Raider this morning should be aware that Lara Croft is currently unavailable - a guest of Manchester's Boys in Blue after armed officers cornered the gun-toting minx in a suburban living room.
The house's owner - computer shop owner David Williams - phoned police at around midnight to report "nuisance phone calls", The Daily Mail reports. Officers duly made their way to his house in Dukinfield, near Ashton-under-Lyne (UK), but quickly spotted the silhouette of a gunman in the front room.
They cordoned off the street, called for armed back-up and, when Williams failed to answer the front door, piled in mob-handed through the rear entrance.
In the event, the armed perp put up little resistance, since she was a life-size representation of Lara Croft which Williams had taken home for disposal on eBay. He recounted: "It would have been laughable if it hadn't been so terrifying. One of the police held a gun and yelled, 'Where's the weapon, where's the weapon?'
"I didn't have a clue what was going on, I assumed they'd got the wrong house. I couldn't believe it when I realised they'd mistaken a Lara Croft dummy for someone with a gun."
A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Police explained that "officers peered inside after Mr Williams failed to answer his front door". She added that they "believed they saw a silhouette of a person pointing what appeared to be a firearm inside the house", and had accordingly followed "correct procedure" by backing off and calling in armed colleagues.
Williams was arrested at the scene and held for 13 hours. He's now been bailed on firearms offences and will find out next month if he faces further action. He says he is "speaking to lawyers about a possible claim for wrongful arrest".
Lara Croft, meanwhile, remains "impounded as evidence".
I think the fact that the models of her have a 12 inch waist and the silhouette obviously didn't move AT ALL was a bit of a give away but you have to love the level of intelligence. It makes us all feel safer, I know.

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Lesson #6. A leopard never changes its spots; but it does disguise them.

There have been times in the past when we have all been sold a dream. An idea, a plan, a future reality of how life will be if...
It sometimes pans out but many times you find that the person giving you the ‘dream’ is a habitual liar or fantasist. Yes, you know who you are.
Too much going on under the surface...

Human beings are inclined to give someone the benefit of the doubt. We assume that people will learn from their mistakes. They wouldn’t lie to you again, surely?
We tend to make a first impression in the first 30 seconds. Someone will make his or her mind up about you in that first half a minute.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression...usually. But we, as human beings, give people the benefit of the doubt. Surely they wouldn’t lie to me. Surely they wouldn’t spiral out of control. Surely they wouldn’t betray me: again?
They present a valid and interesting idea to you. You climb on board.
You are now on the highway to hell.

Lesson #6. A leopard never changes its spots; but it does disguise them.
If you have had an experience with someone that, to say the least, leaves a lot to be desired my advice to you is to heed the warning above. Anyone who is capable of lying to your face is more than capable of lying to themselves and even hiding their true intentions. They can also disguise the fact that they have an ulterior motive and in some cases have planned a completely different outcome to the one outlined to you to get you on side.

Like a cancer, festering away, these leopards eat their way through your life, your money, your possessions, and your ideas. If you decide to have a life of your own, or you decide to pull away and do your own thing, they play the victim. It is everybody else’s fault but theirs. The world has conspired against them. You will now be the enemy and they will spend a lot of time and energy trying to convince others that their idea of you is correct.

Remember that the leopard never changes its spots.
A liar is a liar and a cheat is a cheat. Leopards never change their spots. The spots are faults, dirt, lies, envy, betrayal, theft, the list goes on.

Once bitten twice shy. If you have had an experience, remember it. If you have a first impression, remember it. The leopard will disguise the spots just to get under your defences. Don’t fall for it. You have two options.
One, ignore it and don’t get involved.
Two, buy a gun and go hunting.

Coming soon...Lesson #7: Never leave loose ends.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

3 Strategies for Curing Connectile Dysfunction

An excellent post from Jill Konrath arrived today and I suggest you click on the link in the sidebar and sign up for her email newsletter...
3 Strategies for Curing Connectile Dysfunction By Jill Konrath
It was only 11:30, but already I was far behind in what I'd hoped to accomplish for the day. Despite all my best intentions, my To Do List was only getting longer.
That's when the mail arrived. A whole stack of it was plopped on my desk. Without even thinking, I started sorting it into two piles: important info and junk – which goes directly into the wastebasket. I take great pleasure in tossing out this unsolicited correspondence without even opening it.
But when I got to the postcard from Sprint, I stopped. There it was, staring me in the face – a big headline declaring: The Power to Cure Connectile Dysfunction.
It was so unexpected and such a great twist on words, that it totally jolted me out of my routine. I couldn't throw the postcard away. I even read the whole thing - something I never do.
Suddenly I was thinking about the connectile dysfunction issues we sellers face every day as we valiantly attempt to reach inaccessible decision makers. Our hopes of cracking into corporate accounts go unrealized, dashed by unreturned phone calls or brusque prospects who bring up impossible-to-address objections.
For some sellers, connectile dysfunction is terminal. For others, it's a severe handicap they try to overcompensate for by making more phone calls.
Fortunately people can recover from this disastrous condition. If you're suffering from it, here are three tips you can use to get your sales health back on track.

1. Provide a Jolt!
That's exactly what Sprint did. I was so immune to the typical self-promotional marketing messages most companies send that I literally throw letters out without taking a peek inside. People are like that on the phone too. If you say the same thing that every other seller says, you're deleted.
As you prepare your account entry campaign, ask yourself: What could I say/write that would make someone sit up and take notice?
Ardath Albee created a winning title for a white paper she wrote for Einsof that's been downloaded thousands and thousands of times. Apparently lots of people are interested in the topic: " Why Naked CRM Systems Don't Work."

2. Be Immediately Relevant
Focus your approach on a high priority business issue that the company is facing right now. Don't plead ignorance on this one. There's absolutely no reason you can't go the Press Release section on your prospect's website to find out what's happening. Also, check the local business news where you'll find lots of up-to-date reporting about the company's financial condition, primary initiatives and growth strategies.
Any time you initiate contact with a corporate decision maker, make sure you demonstrate your knowledge of their firm in the first 10 seconds. If you don't, they'll promptly delete your emails and voicemail messages or toss your letters right into the trash.

3. Shake Their Status Quo
In selling, you're fighting the status quo. Busy corporate decision makers will stay with it as long as they can, only changing when their goals can't be achieved with the current way of doing things. In order to get an appointment, stress the impact of your offering on their business.
When you tell a prospect you can slash operating costs by 23% while increasing customer satisfaction, they'll be interested. When they hear you're able to increase sales conversion rates by 23% or improve average order size by 11%, they'll be interested. When you talk about a similar customer who realized savings of $480,000 in just 3 months, they'll be interested. These kinds of statements practically demand that prospects re-evaluate their status quo. And that's exactly what you want to happen.

Here's the Good News
While you may be suffering from a severe case of connectile dysfunction today, you can be symptom-free in just days. Start by applying the strategies mentioned above and you'll notice an immediate improvement. Finally, if symptoms reappear in the future, just take out this dose of sales medicine and re-apply it to your new prospects.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Once in a Lifetime!!

At Three minutes and Four seconds after 2 AM on the 6th of May this year, the time and date will be:

02:03:04 05/06/07

This will not happen again in our lifetime!

Monday, 2 April 2007

7 Steps to Always Be Closing

Have you ever read a post on here and wondered what it was about and then, for whatever mysterious reason, you started to think differently and realise that this is one of the most relevant posts to you? I find that when I, think about the other possibilities these teachings will give you, and you open your mind, to me, its as if this is going to help take you to the next stage. In my career I have trained people in how to sell. That’s what I do. I teach people how to Firewalk, Glasswalk and smash wood Karate style. I also teach people how to communicate effectively. I have done this all over the world. In all that time I see common thread throughout all of those seminars. The successful people are the ones who study, listen, learn and then go out and do it. The Mega-Successful are the ones who do it without thinking about it. It has become part of them, its second nature. That's because they do it on a consistent basis.
Selling is the oldest profession there is. Some say prostitution is the oldest but even that is someone selling themselves to someone else. Wherever you are reading this, if you are at work, in an Internet cafĂ© or at home, look around you. Apart from nature, everything you see was sold to someone by someone else. If you have skill in selling you can sell yourself and that’s what we do with the opposite sex. We put ourselves in the market and we make ourselves a hot commodity. We have all the tools we need within us.
I run workshops and seminars on a number of subjects and all the time I hear of ‘rejection’ and ‘objection’. These are related, you reject because you object and vica versa. In a sale, in a pick up, if they object, what do you do? I spent years looking at and learning different ways to counter objections, what to say when they say...etc. These were really good but they didn’t work well in the real world and then I had what is known as a BGO. A Blinding Glimpse of the Obvious.
Objections are state related. I hear people like Bandler and Ross Jeffries saying the same thing. If you don’t like the answer, change the state! The objection is now over there, they can’t cling onto it. The point I am making is that in the teaching of all of these tools and techniques you have to take them on and make them second nature.
Basic facts of approaching anyone, be it conversation or to sell them something (yourself?) are:
1. Never take their first response as being something written in stone.
2. Anything they offer is a toy for me to play with. Like Jeet Kune Do.
3. They can say and do what they want; I control where my energy goes.
4. Anything they offer is information I can use.
5. 90% of people are running on autopilot 90% of the time.
6. Never attach excessive meaning. Nothing has any meaning except the meaning you give it
7. Never think by your own agenda. Don’t bait your hook with food you like.
That is the 7-step rule that will allow you to walk through the world getting the best of anything you want. Do not make the mistake that these tips are exclusively for sales. You can use them on anyone to get anything. You will have the tools and techniques at hand and you can call on them without thinking. Once you have the techniques, don’t stress about them. Don’t even attempt to remember them. Just use them. It’s like a new language. After a while you think in two ways.
We have 2 brains. We have 2 different kinds of intelligence; rational and emotional. When we cannot decide we say we are ‘in 2 minds’. The techniques you are learning form a part of your EQ. That’s your Emotional Intelligence. Your EQ is more important than your IQ. The IQ test may help you get a job but your personal EQ will help you keep it. A high IQ is around 135. Many people with IQ’s of 135 and above work for people with IQ’s of 100 or less. Why? Because the person with the high EQ, the one who knows how to relate to other people, talk to other people and interact with other people in a manner they like, is always going to be way ahead of the game and have people following him, more so than the guy who knows how long it will take for two men to fill a bath up with water in the dark at 22,000ft. Because they interact naturally and in a manner that is second nature.
I always, now, describe the techniques, tools, patterns, closes, etc as a raft. A raft is very handy if you want to get from one side of a river to another. You may want to get from the unsuccessful side of the river to the side where infinite power and success are available. But once you have reached the other side, you no longer need the raft itself. In fact, if you want to grow, and continue your journey, you have to leave the raft behind. The challenge that we have, as humans, is that we tend to fall in love with the raft.
We start to think, “This raft has been good. It’s a useful raft. It’s served me well. This raft is tip top!”
But if we hang on to the teachings they will become a hindrance. No words, anyone’s, can see for you. You must do that yourself The trick is this. By integrating the raft, or what we took on board while on the journey, into our being and into our unconsciousness it becomes second nature and we see opportunity, we hear opportunity and we create opportunity all around us. Being awake to openings, opportunity and life is the best way to be. Your energy level is high, your awareness is at peak level and your state is at a higher level. You become a magnet for opportunity. It seeks you out. And once you become one with the teachings, you will always be ready.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Adventures in Advertising

Take a reality check to determine how clearly you understand what your prospects are thinking each time they look at your advertisement.
The owner of a small business takes a leap of faith and contracts to run a weekly ad in the local newspaper with a frequency of once a week for a full year. After five weeks, the results displease him so much that he cancels his contract.
Five ads in five weeks seems like a lot of frequency in marketing. Five exposures do, indeed, establish some momentum. But they don't even come close to create enough desire to motivate a sale. To truly comprehend how much frequency is enough to spark that sale, you've got to know just what your prospects think from each exposure.

Here is exactly what each one thinks as he or she looks at the ad you've run:
The first time a man looks at an advertisement, he does not see it.
The second time, he does not notice it.
The third time, he is conscious of its existence.
The fourth time, he faintly remembers having seen it before.
The fifth time, he reads it.
The sixth time, he turns up his nose at it.
The seventh time, he reads it through and says, "Oh my God!"
The eighth time, he says, "Here's that bloody thing again!"
The ninth time, he wonders if it amounts to anything.
The tenth time, he asks his neighbour if he has tried it.
The eleventh time, he wonders how the advertiser makes it pay.
The twelfth time, he thinks it must be a good thing.
The thirteenth time, he thinks perhaps it might be worth something.
The fourteenth time, he remembers wanting such a thing a long time.
The fifteenth time, he is tantalized because he cannot afford to buy it.
The sixteenth time, he thinks he will buy it some day.
The seventeenth time, he makes a note to buy it.
The eighteenth time, he swears at his lack of ready cash.
The nineteenth time, he counts his money carefully.
The twentieth time he sees the ad, he buys what it is offering.

The list you've just read was written by Thomas Smith of London in l885.

The 21st Century Salesman who sells advertising must now ask how much of that list is valid right now, today? The answer is all of it.
Closers know that the single most important element of superb marketing is commitment to a focused plan. Do you think commitment is easy to maintain after an ad has run nineteen times and nobody is buying?
It's not easy.
But Closers have the coolness to hang in there because they know how to get into a PB's unconsciousness, where most purchase decisions are made.
They know it takes repetition. This knowledge fuels their commitment.
Anyhow, they never thought it was going to be easy.
Thank God it isn't easy...otherwise everyone will be selling it.
As real estate is location location location, Advertising, like selling, is frequency frequency frequency.

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Lesson #5 Revenge is a dish best eaten cold.

My mentor, Hal Stamford, used to have this amazing ability to keep calm in a crisis. He kept his feelings, anger, frustration etc. below the surface. After a while, he taught me how to do it. It has become invaluable and more powerful than blowing your top or running around like a headless chicken. I have seen him in a meeting being verbally battered and beaten up. He has presented his case, increasing targets or increasing salary and reducing commissions etc and he has sat passively while the people he has presented to ranted and raved. One time he stood in front of a room or 120 salespeople and told them that targets had to increase. There was uproar. Shouting, abuse, insults, chairs being thrown people arguing and pushing each other and there, in the middle of it, was Hal sitting there looking at his nails and toying with a pen. He was totally oblivious of all of the tirades. When the arguing abated and a couple of people were saying, ‘you can’t increase targets’, and ‘you can’t do that you are asking for trouble’ he looked up. He put his pen in his pocket, stood up and looked at them.
“Right!” he said, quietly, and walked out of the room.
The arguing started again. This time though, they were arguing about the argument.
“You shouldn’t have said that”, “What do you think he will do?”
Just that calm and impassive temperament and the quietly spoken, “right” with a slight smile and a nod before walking out had instilled more fear and trepidation in that room than if the Terminator had walked in packing.

Lesson #5: Revenge is a dish best eaten cold.
The last thing you want to do is telegraph a punch. You know, one of those real haymakers. Your opponent can see that coming a mile off. You are almost handing a calling card over prior to launch. If you stomp and shout, rant and rave, BACK at people you are communicating to them two things.
First, that their argument has hit a nerve like a root canal job and has sent you 30,000ft and climbing.
Second, you could accidentally tell them what you will do next because your anger will be obvious and they will expect some form of retribution, from YOU.
If you are of the mind to either ‘up the ante’ or exact some revenge then it’s best not to let them know that you are going to do that.
Terrorism is the fear ‘of’ an act: and not the act itself.
You can create fear by saying and doing nothing. but making it clear, albeit in very ‘matter of fact’ terms, that you are going to do something.
When you finally decide ‘when’ to act your act will come out of the blue. If you had stood there and screamed ‘I am going to (fill in the blank)’ then you will be the first person they will accuse. You telegraphed it.
They will have lived in fear for a long while and they will have no idea it was you who had exacted revenge in the end.

Coming next, Lesson #6. A leopard never changes its spots; but it does disguise them.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Lesson # 4: It’s not personal; it’s business, what a lie that is!

Have you ever been turned down for a job? Had your proposal rejected?
Have you ever talked to a member of the opposite sex and attempted to get a phone number or a date only to be told to get lost, or worse?
Have you spent time calling a company to tell them about a fault in service, like your cable system being down, only to find that the person you are talking to has no brain or is being deliberately obstructive?
In life we are often presented with conflict and it can come from everyday situations.
In business we get the same thing on a more consistent basis. Salespeople get rejection. Part of selling is handling and dealing with rejection. In business we get rejection as well as acceptance.
“Life is a hard surface” Aristotle Onassis.
Sometimes a colleague that has worked for you for a long while, one that you see as being content and happy with his position, decides to leave. They move on.
Sometimes a company that you have presented a proposal to decides to ‘go with someone else’ through no fault of yours. They just make bad decisions.
Sometimes people do not do what you tell them to, they don’t take your advice. They go their own way, at cost.
It’s nothing personal…it’s just business, ok?

Lesson #4: It’s not personal; it’s business, what a lie that is!
It’s PERSONAL. Take it personally.
If someone doesn’t listen to you or ignores you; take it personally.
If someone decides to go with someone else instead of your product or service; take it personally.
If someone disrespects you in a meeting or some other consultation; take it personally.
The thing is - I read Mario Puzo's book ‘The Godfather’ once every couple of months and watch the movies more than that. I know that the phrase ‘It’s not personal; it’s business’ is always taken taken out of context.

This is what Michael Corleone actually said in the book:
"Tom, don't let anybody kid you. It's all personal, every bit of business. Every piece of shit every man has to eat every day of his life is personal. They call it business. OK. But it's personal as hell. You know where I learned that from? The Don. My old man. The Godfather. If a bolt of lightning hit a friend of his the old man would take it personal. He took my going into the Marines personal. That's what makes him great. The Great Don. He takes everything personal. Like God. He knows every feather that falls from the tail of a sparrow or however the hell it goes. Right? And you know something? Accidents don't happen to people who take accidents as a personal insult. So I came late, OK, but I'm coming all the way. Damn right, I take that broken jaw personal; damn right, I take Sollozzo trying to kill my father personal."

Business IS personal. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. And if someone lies to you; take it personally.

Coming next, Lesson # 5: Revenge is a dish best eaten cold.

Friday, 16 March 2007

Lesson #3: Kill The Monster Early

I have a friend who got a parking ticket. He stuck it in a drawer to deal with later. You know, later? When he had the time? Three days later he pulled the ticket out and saw that he was being fined £40. He had a week left to pay it. He put it on the hallway table and went to work. A week later it was still there. When he remembered to look at it he had one day left before it increased to £60. Should he reschedule his meeting so that he could go and pay the fine now? In his mind he did a quick calculation.
“It’s only another £20 for Christ’s sake!”
Is it?“I spend more than that on cigarettes each week!”Well, that’s that rationalized!Another week went by. And then another.
He forgot all about it.
He went on holiday.
When he got back his car had been lifted and impounded and to get it back he had to pay the costs on top of the original fine.
The fine, if he had dealt with it straight away, was only £40.
He paid out £480.00 that day to get his car back.
Lesson #3: Kill the monster early.In business we make choices every day. We decide what direction we are going to take, what strategy to use, who to send on a particular job. All those choices are pro-active. We have to react in the same positive way. When something happens we have to decide right away a course of action otherwise things change.
Some people tend to sweep things under the carpet.
Someone causes a problem or a challenge? Sweep it under the carpet.
Some people keep on doing that again and again until nobody can open the door because of a huge pile of crap under the carpet.
Problems (£40 fine?) can be brushed off or ignored for a while. They turn into concerns.
Concerns (£60 fine increase) cause a little consternation and can be time consuming but, some people deal with them by delaying action. The concerns turn into a crisis!
A crisis (car towed and £480 bill) is when and only when some people act. All that trouble and financial cost and yet, back in the days of the £40 it would have been so simple. Just deal with it at the time and get rid of it. Do it NOW!
In business, never ever let anything just sit and rot away. Always deal with things immediately if that can be done. Never, ever, put things off to another day. Do the tough stuff first and then do the easy stuff.

Here’s a case in point...

You must have seen the Alien films. They are great and I always get a kick out of watching them. Do you remember that scene in the first film when Cain has that alien burst out of his chest? The pic at the top is the scene.
I always think of how different it would have been if I had been on that spaceship. Just as the little alien runs across the table I would have twatted it with a sledge hammer and flattened it. Then, I would have said a line that would have been immortal:
“If we had let that out of the room it would have killed everyone!”
Roll credits!

Coming soon,
Lesson #4: "It’s not personal, it’s business". What a lie that is!