This morning started last night (Sunday) for me. I had booked a 10AM to get docs signed for a new color wide format MFP. It was about 9:30PM when I tried to access our CRM and it was down. The site wasn't down but I couldn't access it because I still needed to be setup as a user and didn't have credentials.
The plans of printing off the order doc, the ma and the lease wasn't going to work. Next course of action was to pull up order docs that I had already used for other accounts. Never the less there was much redacting and editing of those pdf's and the final result was a set of documents in the printer just waiting to be signed.
My other dilemma was creating the second set of documents that I wanted to email to the client for the order I received a verbal for on Friday. That was a $15K order and I wanted to send the docs super early to give the DM enough time to sign and email back to me. It was about 9AM when I finally had access to my CRM and I was able to complete 50% of the order docs. It was then off to my 10AM appointment. There's just no way you can be late for signing orders with a client.
The 10AM meeting was my second on-site meeting in recent weeks. The meeting was another masked event and after some great conversation with the client I was back at my home office by 11AM. Once I arrived I had to tune into our weekly TEAMS meeting. Thank goodness we ended a little early today.
All I could think about was if I would get the documents signed and emailed back to me before the end of the day. The thoughts of, did my client take an extra day for the holiday, did I sent the docs too late and were there other pressing matters or maybe there was a change of mind. Funny how all of these thoughts process in a few seconds when you don't have ink in paper.
It was around 12PM when I finally sent the docs, now the waiting game begins. I started with processing the the docs from my 10AM meeting which took a good 30 minutes. Just about 1PM I checked my email and there it was the second set of signed docs and the order that put me over $200K for the month!
Never have I had such a month in my 40 years of doing this. For May I processed eight or nine orders, placed 14 units, 12 of those devices were sold in the AEC market and a net new in a CRD. Thus this month made up for the first four months of the year which were terrible. Coming into June I'm thinking I'm one month ahead now in my annual quota.
In the past I would have maybe taken a couple of hours and enjoyed the accomplishment, but today I took a different road. If I can do $200k in a month, why can't I do it again? The funnel is somewhat there, and continued prospecting will only increase the funnel right? Why not try and do it again I thought.
After making sense of why not I dove right into to a $40K opportunity and started the wheels in motion to move it down the road.
The month of May is over for me, the accolades are over and I'm back to only being as good as your last month.
Goals for June is to add $100K in opportunities, take a day off and goal fishing when the weather is spectacular and look under every rock for an opportunity.
End result for May:
- I never thought it couldn't be done
- I never gave up prospecting
- I worked my tail-off
- Some times you are in the right placed at the right time
- I was patient and let the ball travel with some clients
- I planted seeds early in the month with clients
- I still love what I do
Down to one day left in the month on Tuesday. Going to enjoy tomorrow however need to put in a few hours of work in order to make things happen.
Enjoy these awesome threads from ten years ago this week!
"The desire of knowledge, like the thirst of riches, increases ever with the acquisition of it."
Feedback isn’t just for rookies. As the leader I know you are, it's part of your job to evaluate yourself, solicit feedback, and then hold yourself accountable for how you apply it.
Throughout your sales career, the feedback you’ve earned is necessary for continued growth.
Sales is a competitive and tough. It's not for the weak at heart. The highs are high and the lows are low.
There is a massive difference between a sales rep and a sales professional.
Some may say it's the competitive inner drive. How do sales professionals continually get better?
- They constantly work on their mindset, heartset and skillset
- They are locked in on their goals
- They have relentless determination
- They have uncompromising discipline
- They have a huge desire to outperform their best and others’ best
“Feedback is a gift. Ideas are the currency of our next success. Let people see you value both feedback and ideas.”
Jim Trinka and Les Wallace
I believe there is ONE THING that separates sales professionals from sales reps. It's the passion and thirst-quenching feedback they get from their clients.
THE THIRST FOR CLIENT FEEDBACK
If you fail to continually find out what your clients think about you and your service, you'll never be able to give them the best experience they deserve. It's their opinions about the experience they have with you that is helpful to use to adjust your support to fit their needs more accurately.
Insincere and canned emails soliciting feedback doesn't cut it. And, lord knows you know what I mean because many of you send them out.
To truly serve your clients is to listen to them.
Sales professionals intently listen to their "client voices" through consistent and constant feedback. They treat clients like royalty, providing everything to match their wants and needs all the time.
Together, let's think for a moment...
- How do you know if what you're doing is working?
- How do you know if your clients are happy with their experiences or with you?
- What do they like and dislike?
- How are you keeping up with what's going on inside their company?
Sales professionals quench their thirst with client feedback
Feedback is the breakfast for sales champions. They quench their sales thirst with meaningful and heartfelt feedback.
The best thing you can do is to go to your clients and get feedback.
"When you give your buyers feedback, you are giving them a gift. In turn, they'll understand what works and what doesn't work in your interactions. When you seek and respond to feedback from your buyers, you differentiate yourself, set an example, and make it easier for them to hear your suggestions."
You must be willing to look for honest, candid and sometime uncomfortable feedback from your clients. Sales professionals know this makes them better. To get great feedback, one must become vulnerable and shall I say, surrender.
QUENCH YOUR THIRST WITH A CUP OF COURAGE
How can you take your sales career to the next level? Simple, feedback will set you free! It's the feedback you get from a cross section of your clients that will provide the avenues to grow relationships, grow yourself and grow your referrals.
Here is a suggestion, place your clients into three buckets. Sort your clients by...
- You love them and they love you
- Middle of the road clients, ones you just don't hear much from
The best place to start gathering feedback is from those clients who have been placed in the "middle of the road" bucket.
Why? You may not see them on a consistent basis and you may tell yourself, "all is well" but in actuality they may become vulnerable to a hostile takeover.
You must be willing to quench your sales thirst with feedback. Your clients are the best source of help. You must be willing to ask.
You have not because you ask not
THE THIRST AND DRIVE TO BUILD RELATIONSHIPS
The opportunities for growth inside your client base are enormous. I'm sure you've established a relationship, but the question becomes, "How credible is the relationship?"
Professionals dig in and ask...
- What can I do differently?
- What can I do to improve or enhance the experience I provide to you?
- What can I do to help you do better business?
I'm asking you to rock the boat on this one because a comfortable mindset with your clients is a terrible thing to waste. Think of the all your competitors circling your clients just waiting for the right moment to reel them into their establishments of paradise.
STAY THIRSTY MY SALES FRIENDS
The client comfort zone is a terrible place to be in. You will be amazed what you learn outside this zone.
Imagine for a moment that your smack dab in the middle of the Sahara Desert. You've been wandering aimlessly for hours, you're tired and thirsty. Suddenly you come across a watering hole or is it a mirage, a figment of your imagination.
Well my sales folks, investing in your client relationships shouldn't be a mirage. Fill up your pipeline with client feedback and stay thirsty my friends.
Client feedback is a terrible thing to waste
I understand, I get where you all are coming from. Every day, I walk in your shoes. I am fully committed to helping your sales team integrate social aspects and heartfelt strategies into your current sales process to grow new business. I want you to get results. This is why I am passionate about doing this the right way, the genuine way, the authentic way! It's about understanding value before visibility.
Selling From the Heart is making a difference! I poured my heart into every page of this book and I think you're going to love it. You can find it on Amazon in paperback, kindle and in audio. You can click on the book image below and this will take you to Amazon.
You can find more material inside Selling From The Heart.
In a world full of empty suits, I'm passionate about helping sales reps succeed by getting valuable before they get visible. I help sales teams understand the true value they bring to the market.
I appreciate getting the opportunity to share my stories. Integrating the use of social and sharing my story on LinkedIn was my “game-changer” in the highly competitive office technology world. With great pride I transform, challenge, coach and inspire sales teams to grow new business by helping them share their story and how they communicate it out by integrating the use of social inside the sales process. You can follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and on my podcast by clicking on Selling from the Heart.
Yay! It's 4:47pm and I'm getting to write my blog for the day.
In order to stay sane with each passing week I'll turn to jibjab and create some ecards for my team members. It's easy to do because you can get their images from facebook, instagram or Linkedin. Today I had some extra time to search for ecards where I could input 5 people.
No on is safe from these videos!
I had time to cut three of them today. Just a few minutes ago I sent them to our team with the subject line "a little pick me up for Tuesday". Tuesday the 26th is the last day of our month and orders will count for the week! Matter of fact I'll see if I can put one of the video's in this blog for everyone.
We're Not Gonna Take It (is our mantra during these times)
This morning I had to prep for my 9:30AM because I didn't have time last night. It was right around 8:45am when I received an alert for my 9:00am meeting. What! I checked my email and then checked my calendar and wtf, my client accepted the meeting for 9:00, however my email stated 9:30am. I hopped on TEAMS asap and there I sat for 30 minutes. I figured maybe they saw the difference in the schedule and was still going to log in at 9:30am. I waiting another 10 minutes and nothing. Okay, this is serious I need to call them now, called and got my DM on the phone and received an apology that they forgot all about the meeting. It was all good because he did have the time now.
Our meeting was centered around upgrading an A3 device to an A4 device. The savings in the MA and the device would save them about $100 per month. We continued the conversation where I told him about my last three weeks and general consensus that I'm getting hearing from all of my accounts. My accounts are going to stay in business however they are concerned about future risks and the need to cut business costs is at the top of the list for all of my SMB accounts. By the time we finished I received the verbal for the A3 MFP along with an order to replace their wide format MFP. End result is we've scheduled for Tuesday the 26th to do the docs.
Right, $15K for this one and my appointment on Tuesday to get docs signed will give me $22.5 for the last day of the month. If all goes well I'm expecting to finish the month with $214 and more than 400% of quota. I still have one other opportunity for net new out there. TUESDAY, TUESDAY
It's not done yet, but it's close and Tuesday will be a fun day to say the least.
Don't count on it Tim!
Looking back at the month the one thing that jumps out at me is productivity. I don't think I could have ever done this with driving to appointments on a daily basis. Could this mean I can do $200K each month?
It will be interesting to see how next month pans out especially if we're still in lockdown in Jersey.
Everyone have a nice Memorial Day Weekend and remember to honor those that made the ultimate sacrifice for our great nation!
Two selling days left in the month and I looking for another $10K to get me over the hump. Two days of pushing coming up and it should be exciting!
Enjoy these awesome threads from 5 years ago this week!
Many times you'll see me use the phrase "the harder you work the luckier you get". Many years ago Jack Carroll (Partner with Century Office Products) use to tell me this every time I brought in a decent size order. The first time I met Jack was way back in 1986 and that was the year I started my dealership Atlantic Office Systems in New Jersey. After selling the business to my partners in 1998 (best thing I ever did) I took a sales position with Century Office Products in New Jersey. I believe it was 2010 when Jack and his partners sold the business to Stratix Systems.
What I could never figure out is why all the sales people did not stay on board. I was the only one that stayed and I guess you could say that I came with the deal (lol). Anyway that phrase has stuck with me all of these years. It was not until today that Coach told me what the "luck" part actually stands for, it's Labor Under Correct Knowledge. Guess I've been ahead of my time all these years!
It's after 10PM here in Jersey and the memory of what happened today is fading fast. I prepped for a 10AM meeting that never happened, after three phone calls and one email I moved on to bigger and better things. One of my plans was to secure an existing order for $8.5K and get a meeting with a net new for the $11K opportunity.
I was able to meet with the net new account, we went over the specifics of the offer and this was after the proposal was sent. I was told the DM was a numbers person, thus I was asked to simplify the quote for the three proposed copiers I was offering. I wasn't going to sell three but I made sure that I was quoting three different copiers that would meet their needs with the hope that there wouldn't be any shopping. I do hate to bring up the shopping bit in a conversation because if they we'rent shopping they might be after I made mention of it.
I thought it was best to rely on what I do best and leave it at that. I finished up the revised numbers and email with one caveat that the two extra items I put in had a expiration. I guess that's quid pro quo right? You give me this and I'll give you that as long as we get it done by x date. Seems this might roll till the last day of the month.
I tried three times in the day to reach my existing client that was stated he would upgrade as long as they could save money. I had sent the closing email the other day and today was do or die. Nothing on those three calls, just about 4PM I dialed again and got my guy. He was swamped with work and stated he didn't have time to review yet and stated maybe Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. Oh frak Wednesday that's not going to work for me I thought. With that I stated my month ends on Tuesday and can you at least review it then or we could do everything via email. He came back with that's no fun, I'll look at this over the weekend and you plan to come in on Tuesday okay? Did anyone think I was going to say NO.
That's a verbal in my book, and I'll be there with docs that need to be signed. K, as long as this one goes I need another $10K to hit my goal.
The horse race is on!
I am so looking forward to having an extra day off next week! The last 75 days have been extremely stressful. It will be nice to have three days to wind down a bit.
Does anyone feel like me that this year is taking forever to unfold? Most years it seems that the months and quarters fly by. So far this year seems like everything is going in slow motion.
I had a plan for today and it consisted of researching three possible existing clients for upgrades along with prospecting via the phone, email and Linkedin. At one point I was doing a pretty good job with marking the calls, the emails and the appointments until I got side tracked from an existing account.
In a Teams meeting (NJ) the other day I was roasted for still keeping a daily hand written journal of things to do and opportunities for the month. A point was made that I have all this software and you're still hand writing stuff! MY response was that at any time I could glance down at see my opportunities and my things to do. For me it's all about instant satisfaction that I can cross something off my list or put check next to a clients name that I touched. Yes it may be old school but it works for me and it keeps me on track.
With one of the existing clients I sent out a closing email and I think we've all done it from time to time. I bullet pointed all of the advantages to doing business now and then put the close at the end for "Is this something we can do this week". Is it not right to ask for the order? Many of those self proclaimed sales guru on Linkedin will say it is. I'm thinking many of those sales guru's don't have a monthly quota and most probably weren't decent at selling thus why they moved into writing and coaching. Rant over
That closing email went out early in the AM and since I have three days left in the month I was okay with letting the ball travel with this client for a day.
Out of the prospecting today I yielded no appointments, and no new opportunities that could close in a few days.
Tomorrows plan is to call the one client with the closing email, and then call one of the net new opportunities and give the Ron Popiel offer. That's where I review the existing proposal and add two additional items that will make the offer to good not to move on it now. Using this strategy can only go two ways, one is you get the order and the other is the client backs off. I'm the camp right now of I don't have the order so I might as well go for the order.
In the AM tomorrow I'll be prepping for a 9:30AM with an existing client and then it's back to my favorite task of prospecting.
Thinking back about today and was there anything that I did that was unique or special? Yes there was! One of my clients needed help with printing from their wide format. They couldn't figure out how to direct the prints to the front or rear exit tray. It took me a few minutes and I created a video showing the process. When finished the video I posted it my YouTube channel and sent the link to my client. Now I have the video archived and can create a blog around the feature and incorporate the video. I still love what I do!
Yesterday I had my first appointment in the field in more than two months. It was time to get back in business attire, that meant the dress shoes needed to be shined, the pressed slacks removed from the closet and of course that neatly pressed dressed shirt that's been on hiatus for the past 10 weeks.
Looking in the closed I spotted a nice blue shirt with very think white lines and thought that would do the trick for the day. As I reached for the shirt I thought that this can't be my shirt, I never had one like this. I pulled the shirt off the hanger and looked at the tag. The tag read a 2XXL, okay I never bought a dress shirt this large in my life and it dawned on me that my cleaners gave me another clients shirt. Over the course of the last year I switched dry cleaners because my regular guy passed away (was with him for seven years) and I went back to the dry cleaner that I fired year ago. I had left them seven years ago because they ruined a suit jacket on me.
Over the course of the last year I could swear I was missing shirts from time to time. I have so many dress shirts that I can't keep track of them. I thought it was me and the fact that I had some many that I couldn't keep track. This blue shirt I pulled out was the proof that I needed that yes my dry cleaners was losing shirts on me. I'll be going there tomorrow and will do my best to be calm and have a polite conversation, however the last time I had a polite conversation when it came time to admitted that the business owner had screwed up, suddenly his command of the English language wasn't quite as good as it used to be.
I wanted to tell that story because at times many of our clients can get aggravated with something goes wrong. Thus we as sales people need address the problem and diffuse the issue the best we can. When we do that we'll get to earn the trust of the client and it will enhance the client experience. We'll then have a client for life. I hoping my cleaner guy goes the extra distance tomorrow and does not have a timely memory loss for the English language again.
Today I gad the chance to do some real prospecting after our weekly sales meeting was over. Our meeting starts at 11AM ends at Noon, by 1PM was busy with emails and phone calls. In fact today produced more phone calls than emails. The end result was four meetings scheduled for this week and I created two opportunities for about $9K each with existing clients. One of those opportunities has a really good chance of closing this week or on the 26th which is the last day of the month for us. Another appointment was scheduled for Friday of this week with an existing client with a $5K opportunity. There's a chance this can happen by the 26th also.
Late in the day I had a call from one of my net new prospects in reference to the proposal I provided which turned into a short meeting. The meeting went well but no commitment at this point in time. However I go the feeling that this too could have a chance to close on or before the 26th. End result of the day was three opportunities that have a shot at closing for a total of $25K. Not a bad day right?
The work is not over though and the reason for that is many times I've been in this position before and everything that I thought would close did not. In order to feel comfortable with 4 days left in the month (still 20% of the month left) I need to find another $15K -$20 to have a real shot of hitting my goal of $200K for the month. Thinking by the end of this week I can be at $190 now.
Ah it's a horse race now and we're getting down to the finish line. Now it all becomes how bad do you want it?
Another day of prospecting tomorrow and this should get interesting. BTW Greg Walters and I have our lunch chat this Thursday and you're all invited to join the call. I do love these calls!
Day Forty-Five and in no time it will be a full quarter since being optioned to the home office. Our blessed Governor post this on Face-book today and the response was WILD!
Of course you can only guess at who captioned it with "The fool on the hill". Within a few short hours there were more than 5,000 responses with 90% or more of them being negative. Geesh I wonder why?
Monday was a good day since I was able to roll through my list of things to do pretty quickly. In addition I also submitted my week forecast which was for $30K. That $30K will be a stretch but when thinking about forecasting a little more what does it actually mean? When weather people forecast the weather they are not always right and in many cases they can miss the mark. The definition of forecast is to calculate or predict. Okay, I understand the calculate part but what about the predict part of it? If I could predict the outcome of every opportunity I sure as **** would not be selling copiers and I'd be right up there with Nostradamus. Maybe we should start calling it "what can you close" in a given time frame. I'm just really really bad with forecasting and the term frustrates the crap out of me.
I had my first on-site appointment in more than two months today! Here's a few takeaways that I pondered on.
Travel time back and forth along with appointment time ate up three hours of my day. Frak that's almost 50% of the day lost. Maybe this entire gig with on-line meetings is the way to go. Mind you I don't mid the driving bit but the time lost is gone forever.
What do you get when three 60plus year olds are gathered around a table with masks on? I found out today, it was foggy glasses! Something I didn't expect and neither did the other two people in the meeting. We had a good laugh about that. Another item of note is that with masks on I can't see a frown, a grin or a smile. Thus I had to focus more on the their facial expression from their eyes along with body language. The end result was awesome and another signed order for $12K. Brings me to $182K with five selling days left in the month.
One of the issues for this week will be Friday since most clients get out of Dodge early. Should be interesting to see what Friday brings.
$18K left for my goal with 5 selling days. I can make this happen with one net new wide format order and a preowned MFP. Now I liking that the last day of the is the 26th and the day after the Holiday. Time will tell