Month: May 2014

Why Sales Don’t Go Through…

By Arnold Sanow, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional)

 

Closing sales is an art not a science. Everything we do from our communication style, our dress to our understanding of the customers wants and needs can affect our success or failure in closing sales. The way you close a sale depends as much on the product/service you’re selling as it does the customer you’re dealing with. There are many reasons why sales don’t close…. Here are 7 of the most common mistakes:

  1. Not Asking Questions
    Too many times we pre-judge or jump to conclusions about what our customers want or need. By asking open-ended questions to determine such things as lifestyle, hobbies, spending limits and previous experiences we can get a true picture of what our customer really wants. By understanding the customer we can then focus on the right products and services to offer.
  2. Not Communicating in the Communication Ingredients Important to the Customer
    If we communicate to everyone in our primary communication style then we will lose about 75% of our sales. In other words everyone is different and therefore everyone needs to be treated differently. For example, some people just want the facts and details about a product or service where others may be more comfortable if you tell stories or anecdotes. So, to persuade, motivate and influence others, communicate in the ingredients they find important.
  3. Interrupting the Prospect
    Whenever you interrupt someone, sensitivity, commitment, closeness and rapport are lost. In addition, by interrupting we may miss what benefits the customer is really seeking
  4. Not Paying Attention to the Prospect
    To develop the like and trust that are essential in developing any relationship, we must give our full attention to the prospect. Taking calls, talking to other customers, looking bored or uninterested can detract or enhance from the relationship we develop with our potential customer.
  5. Showing No Empathy or Sympathy
    Empathy means putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. For example, if a potential customer wants to go on an adventure trip we offer, but has had bad experiences in the past, we must first understand those experiences before we can discuss why our trips are a best buy.
  6. Not Selling Benefits… Only Features
    Understanding the difference between features and benefits is crucial to your success. Features are about you, your product and service. Benefits are the specific results your product or service offer to your client or prospect. When meeting with a prospect we need to address the buyer’s critical self-interest questions such as, “So what?”, “Who cares?” or “What’s in it for me?” You see people don’t buy things, they buy results like happiness, making and saving money, saving time, comfort, safety, security and easier ways to do things.
  7. Pressuring Prospects
    People don’t like to be pressured. They like to buy but they don’t like to be sold. By planning your presentation carefully and understanding the wants and needs of the potential customer, you’ll make more than your share of sales.

How to search for a Job: Step by Step

In your job search, you’ve got to be organized. Use this step by step guide to track your professional goals and your progress towards them.

1) First, create a timeline for your job search.  Although there’s nothing quite like the passage of time between pay days to keep you motivated, give yourself a broad time line: set a career goal, a date to achieve that goal and lay out a quick road map of job searching, applications, networking and interviewing. Then, start your search!

2) Begin with an online job board like SoftwareSalesJobs.com or a career building tool like Glassdoor to brainstorm job titles and potential companies. It’s great to know what you want to do in your work, but you must also know which job titles encompass the work you’d like to do. Make a rough list of potential companies and jobs you are interested in. You can make a list on paper or use a Word doc or Excel worksheet. Then, using your list…..

2) Review each company’s website. You can review company Career pages to see roles they are hiring and get an initial sense of fit. Check out the “About”, “Who we are” and “Media” sections for information on company philosophy. You may even discover what skills sets they are looking for or potential gaps that you can fill. Next…

3) Review job boards to see their active postings and add to the list of potential companies you are interested in. You can now begin refining your list of jobs/companies of interest to a list of jobs you will apply for and people you will contact to pursue openings.

4) Head over to LinkedIn and create your profile if you do not already have one. Here, you can find out if you have any contacts that work in your desired field. This will give you a sense of what your network looks like and opportunities with which you may have greater success. Add any new information to your job search list.

Following this initial search, you’ll need to start applying to jobs, begin networking and continue tracking your progress…..

6) Start Applying! In your timeline, note dates that applications are due or start a calendar to schedule networking meetings, job application due dates, dates to follow up on applications, and follow up with contacts and future events you’d like to attend.

5) Continue to review LinkedIn, job boards and company web pages. This may alert you to job fairs, conferences, meet ups or events in your area. At these events you’ll meet potential contacts or employers or even apply directly for jobs – you may even find out about other fields that you may have the right skills for.

6) Consider where you spend your time and where people can find you. Is there a shared work space in your neighborhood? Entrepreneurs, tech starts ups and software companies often use shared work spaces. You can also communicate with these industries and the people in them via Twitter.

7) Attend a class or get a certification. Whether in person or online, you are sure to make yourself a more appealing candidate (with up to date skills and dedication) and may meet other job seekers who can offer moral support, new contacts or inform you of job opportunities. This will also increase your understanding of what you are best at or what you like to do in your work.

8) Check your progress throughout this process. Are you making headway toward your goal? If you have a few leads and are zeroing in on a desired goal, you are on the right track. If you need to refresh your online search and networking efforts….

8) Keep up with the news. Read local and national news and check out technology, sales and business sites like Forbes and Fast Company. Doing this will alert you to new companies and products and keep you up to date on trends, in demand skills, training and events.

9) If you need a break, read for pleasure or head outside for some exercise! A walk outdoors or some light and fun reading will refresh your mind and attitude.  If you are up to it, try a book on personal growth, happiness or productivity – you may find renewed motivation and come back to your job search with a better target in mind.

Next week, we’ll post the first in a three part series on perfecting your resume. Come back to check it out!

5 Quick Tips for a Smarter Job Search

Looking for a job can be a high pressure situation. Keep these tips in mind during your search to reduce stress and get to the interview – and the offer – much faster!

Know what you are looking for: You must be certain about what you want to launch an efficient search. Do you need to make a quick move from your current position? Looking for the same role, but at a higher rate of pay?

Look at job titles and job descriptions: Scan a wide range of job descriptions to make sure you apply to the right opportunities. Do you have the right skill set? Do you see opportunity to grow?

Determine your skill level: Are you entry level, experienced or management/executive level? If you are not getting a response to your application, you may be applying to the wrong career level.

Align your experience with the jobs you’re applying to: Use keywords and highlight relevant tasks, projects or job titles in your resume or cover letter to increase your chances of catching an employer’s eye.

Network! Let people know you are looking for a new opportunity. This may spark interesting conversations and alert you to jobs in your field.

Remember that this in an individual process, you want to make the right choice, don’t get discouraged along the way, keep searching!

Check back in a couple of days for a Step by Step Job Search process you can use. We’ll tell you where to start, how to set goals and how to check your progress to ensure you are on track in creating your fulfilling career.