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Sandler Advisor Summer 2014 courtesy of Sandler Training in Lone Tree, Colorado

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The Sandler Advisor is an interactive e-zine which is published quarterly. Sales and management tips, tactics, and ideas courtesy of Sandler Training in Lone Tree, CO. Sandler Training in Lone Tree …

The Sandler Advisor is an interactive e-zine which is published quarterly. Sales and management tips, tactics, and ideas courtesy of Sandler Training in Lone Tree, CO. Sandler Training in Lone Tree serves the Denver metro area and well as Southern Colorado including Colorado Springs

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  • 1. 1 Table of Contents summer 2014 1 7 5 2 6 7 8 Summertime Selling and the Myth of the Eleventh Commandment YouTube Corner Case Study: Stevens & LeeYou Got the Lead. Now What? Targeting Your Sales Prospects With PPC Advertising When Your Foot Hurts, You’re Probably Standing on Your Own Toe The Two-Minute Coach By Dave Mattson President & CEO of Sandler Training continued on page 4 ® Have you noticed? Temperatures are rising, which means summer is about to make its big entrance. For most of us, that’s entirely good news, because summertime means things like vacations, cookouts, and maybe even some time at the beach with a good book. For salespeople, though, the advent of summer is likely to be a bittersweet development, one that leads to an unnecessary drop in annual income … because of the Myth of the Eleventh Commandment. Most salespeople, whether they admit it or not, act as though there’s an Eleventh Commandment that reads as follows: “Thou Shalt Not Expect Anything Significant to Happen During the Summer, Inasmuch as Thy Clients and Prospects Are Likely On Vacation, Preparing for Vacation, or Returning from Vacation.” There is no Eleventh Commandment  — or if there was, it never made it down the mountain with Moses, and that means it doesn’t count as a Commandment and isn’t binding. Below, you’ll find some tips you can put into practice right now, as the so-called “slow months” begin. They’ll help you avoid the income drought that observance of the (mythical) Eleventh Commandment always seems to produce. 1. Don’t make half-hearted commitments. (Click to Tweet!) Salespeople often find themselves falling behind on their yearly goals during the summer months. Why? First and foremost, because they fall into the trap of making half-hearted activity commitments to themselves during this period. They don’t take full responsibility for identifying the new actions necessary to support their income goals. So yes, some people are indeed going to be on vacation during the summer months. That means that, on any given day, you may not be able to get in touch with as many people as you usually would … if you were to do exactly what you usually do. So change your plan! If it usually takes you sixteen dials to generate one new scheduled appointment, set a new daily activity goal. During the summer months, you might make a personal commitment to make twenty dials every working day, because experience has shown that that’s what you need in order to maintain your pipeline at the level you want. A lot of salespeople let the daily dial total drop to eight, or four, nothing at all … on the theory that 3 Little, Mid-Sized, and Big & Summertime Selling THe MythoF Eleventh Commandment the
  • 2. Now What? 2 By Evan Polin, Sandler Trainer Every salesperson dreams of getting good leads. But what are you supposed to do when you get one? Let’s assume Marketing has gone to the trouble of generating a hot lead for you. Now it’s your job to treat that lead with the respect it deserves, by maximizing the possibility of turning it into a sale. How exactly do you do that? Here are three time-tested steps you can follow. Step #1 Do a little homework. Before you reach out to this person, make sure you understand why he requested information, gave you his name, clicked on an Internet link, or did whatever else he did to get himself on this list. If you don’t understand that much, you can’t possibly expect to craft a message that relates to this prospective buyer’s circumstances. If it’s possible for you to do so, you should experience first-hand the process by which people become leads. Step #2 Understand the likely pain(s). Now that you know a little about this person’s circumstances, think about why your product or service is likely to be valuable to the people on your lead list. What problem(s) are they trying to solve? What goal(s) are they trying to achieve? What outcomes are they trying to produce ­— or avoid? Once you have clear answers to those questions, move on to… Step #3 Make sure there’s a message-to-market match. (Click to Tweet!) Now it’s time to hone your message until it matches the market’s dominant concerns. When you finally do connect one-on-one with the lead, you should be prepared to engage prospects with a question that’s relevant to the reason that they identified themselves as a prospect in the first place. For instance, if you do a lot of work with homeowners who reach out to you because they are unhappy with their high monthly mortgage payments and are looking for a way to lower them, you might ask: “What is your current mortgage rate?” “Have you refinanced in the past?” And so on. You Got the Lead. You should be prepared to engage prospects with a question that’s relevant to the reason that they identified themselves as a prospect in the first place. Want to be recognized as the BEST of the  BEST? An entirely new level of distinction for Sandler-trained Sales Professionals. Sandler Training® Certification measures sales training knowledge and successful application, moving beyond classroom to success in the field. How would your sales skills stack up? Speak to your Trainer today for more information or to see if you qualify. Introducing
  • 3. 3 Little, Mid-Sized, and Big What kind of business do you want to close, and from whom, over what period of time? The answer to this question should not be “Anyone I run into.” Our clients find it helpful to think of clients as coming in three different sizes: Little, Mid-Sized, and Big. We call small clients (in terms of both profitability and revenue) Littles. There’s nothing wrong with Littles, but you don’t want to try to build your entire income stream around them. Determine the number of Littles that you are willing to service over a given month, year, or quarter, as well as the minimum amount of revenue a Little client will give you to make it worth your time to take on that new, smaller client. There are also Mid-Sized clients in terms of the revenue that they generate for your firm over time. In addition to revenue, you probably want to look at the profitability of your client work when identifying a Mid- Sized client. These clients should produce revenue in areas that are more profitable for you and your firm than your Little clients. Determine what amount of revenue for you and/or your firm should be coming from Mid-Sized clients, as well as the total number of Mid-Sized clients that you will need in order to meet your goals for the year, month, or quarter. The really large clients, the Bigs, are part of the picture as well. Bigs are the clients that generate the largest amount of revenue to the firm, but because of their size they typically take the most amount of work to close. Another potential downside for Bigs is that they can also take a great deal of time to service and will often ask for increased services at lower rates. What percentage of your total revenue do you want to come from Bigs in a given month, quarter, or year? We’ve seen some firms rely on too much revenue coming from one or two Bigs. As a result, they’ve suffered major setbacks after losing one of them. We’ve also seen firms come close to going out of business because they were servicing too many Littles – clients who were taking up all of their time, but not generating enough revenue for the firm to be profitable. The key is to find the right mix of Little, Mid- Sized, and Big for your business and your own career. dmamConmtne senpmrosIsi cepsProt adleSnr eltitL kwomreHo igB ettmimoCmn nreGaete bosiltPyisi mngaetEgnge WORD SCRAMBLE June 2014 Excerpted from Sandler’s latest book, Selling Professional Services the Sandler Way, by Chuck and Evan Polin.
  • 4. 4 July and August somehow don’t count when it comes to prospecting goals! That’s a classic example of a half-hearted commitment. 2. Focus on giving rather than getting. David Sandler was an avid advocate of the proposition put forth by Ralph Waldo Emerson on “compensation,” a subject near and dear to the hearts of all salespeople. Emerson’s essay on this topic dealt with the dualism of the human condition: there is no effect without cause; no ends without means, no shadow without light. Emerson goes on to suggest that the universe is in perfect balance. What you get out of life is equal, measure for measure, to what you put into it. Translation: there is no getting without giving. Unselfishly giving to others—friends, family, colleagues, customers—whether in words or deeds, creates a deficit in nature that must be filled. This role holds true in the summer, just as it does during the other months of the year. Since you may have a bit more time on your hands during these months, you now have some time to spend with existing clients. Add value to their day! Summertime is the perfect time to conduct a semi-annual review of key accounts. (Click to Tweet!) Take the pulse of the business relationship. Look for ways to improve it. Make sure they’re happy with what you’re providing … and if they’re not, figure out what you need to do to fix the problem. Each and every day of the year, there are numerous opportunities to give—a helping hand, words of encouragement, advice and counsel. When you contribute to others, others contribute to you. When you help customers meet their needs, they help you meet yours. 3. Do your homework. Summertime is the optimal time of year to peruse your company’s records and find out who buys what, when. Don’t assume that all of your clients slow down on purchases and purchase decisions during the warmer months. Check the data. You’ll probably find that some people are actually more active buyers during the summer. Identify these people, and then make a point of calling on them. 4. Look for possibility. If you only focus on roadblocks, you’ll only see shadows. (Click to Tweet!) If, on the other hand, you shift your focus and look for paths over, around, or through the roadblocks, quite often you’ll find roads that lead you into the light of new opportunities. During the summer months, for instance, you can choose to call on leads you might have overlooked at other times of the year, opportunities that, for whatever reason, didn’t fall into the “low-hanging fruit” category. These leads might take a little longer to cultivate, or might require a little more research on your part. Now’s the time to set up a plan of action for creating a business relationship with potential customers you did not make a top priority when you were busier. If, by temporarily suspending your disbelief and taking action, you are able to realize only a portion of what you set out to accomplish with such leads, you’ll still be further ahead than you would have been if you had done nothing! 5. Develop a sense of urgency. If you are looking for motivation when it comes to carrying out items one through four, above, consider this. Some of your marketplace competitors may still be stuck in the limiting belief of the Eleventh Commandment … but you can’t assume that all of them are! It’s only a matter of time before someone you’re competing against figures out that the “slow months” are actually months of opportunity in disguise. Make a personal commitment to get to the decision maker before they do! Summertime Selling and the Myth of the Eleventh Commandment — continued from page 1 When you want more Sandler Training… Join us online. SANDLER ONLINE® Sandler Online provides 24/7 access to Sandler Training audio, video, and written resources organized into specific sales and management categories. Access Sandler’s expertise and engaging content whenever and wherever needed. Speak to your Trainer today for more information or to gain your SANDLER ONLINE® access.
  • 5. TargetingYour Saless ProspectsWith PPC Advertising 5 It’s no secret that sales prospects are more informed than ever. Thanks to the Internet, search engines, and social networks, buyers can find out anything about your products without relying on a salesperson to explain features and benefits. How can sales organizations position themselves to make the sale before getting the chance to earn a customer’s business? Savvy sales and marketing professionals can team up to target prospects with highly relevant and informative Pay Per Click (“PPC”) advertising at each stage in the online research process. Because you are only paying when someone clicks your ad to visit your website, PPC campaigns can generate qualified leads efficiently and effectively with a predictable Cost Per Lead. Follow the steps below to reach, engage, and convert prospects as they work their way through the sales funnel. Reach Prospects Early And Often Pay Per Click advertising is flexible and can be targeted to buyers based on their search keywords, demographics, geography, browsing behaviors, and shopping patterns. Reach your prospects at multiple points before and during their decision-making period. Don’t be afraid to look beyond Google. (Click to Tweet!) The table below lists a few advertising channels to reach sales prospects at each stage of the buying process. Measure Conversions & Engagement The beauty of PPC advertising is that everything is measurable. At the very least, set goals and measure the following Key Performance Indicators to determine the effectiveness of each PPC channel, ad variation, and targeting method: • Clicks: The number of clicks your ads receive • Impressions: The number of times your ad appears • Click-Through Rate: The percentage of people that click your ad (Total Clicks ÷ Total Impressions) • Cost Per Click: The amount you pay for each click (Total Cost ÷ Total Clicks) • Conversion Rate: The percentage of people that take a desired action after clicking your ad, e.g. submit a lead, download a white paper, or buy online (Total Conversions ÷ Total Clicks) • Cost Per Conversion: The amount spent to generate one conversion (Total Cost ÷ Total Conversions) Over time, the total Cost Per Conversion should generate enough profitable sales to justify continuing to invest money in PPC. Take the time to monitor results, test new strategies, and optimize your campaigns for better results. Tying It All Together PPC advertising can be your competitive advantage when your strategies are designed to reach customers before, during, and after the sale. Measure the results and optimize your campaigns to improve your performance. PPC advertising can yield outstanding results and can be just what your company needs to attract the next generation of customers. By Andrew Miller, Founder, Your Search Advisor Andrew Miller founded Your Search Advisor in 2007 to help clients grow their businesses with targeted online ads and measurable ROI. He has been excited to come into work every day since. The beauty of PPC advertising is that everything is measurable. PPC Channel Best For Targeting Options Display (Banner) Ads Raising awareness & brand recognition User Interests, Browsing Behaviors, Demographics, Geography LinkedIn Ads B2B advertising Job Title/Function, Industry, Company Size, Geography Search Ads (Google, Yahoo, Bing) Converting prospects at the moment of decision Keywords, Geography Facebook Ads Increasing engagement with social content Likes/Interests, Demographics, Geography, Shopping Behaviors YouTube Ads Promoting video content & increasing brand recognition Keywords, Video Categories, Demographics, Geography
  • 6. 600 percent increase in clients in a key practice area 6 Business Challenge Attorney Jo Bennett of the Stevens & Lee law firm had challenges with business development and needed to expand her client base. While she knew her way around the job of being a lawyer, she didn’t have the vocabulary to initiate conversations that ended with prospective clients saying, “Yes, I want you to be my attorney.” Bennett recalls, “Personally, I was uncomfortable with selling, but I was very comfortable talking about my field of legal expertise — probably too comfortable. I was giving out a whole lot of free legal advice, and I wasn’t seeing any positive results in terms of broadening my client base or generating good referrals.” In order to gain insights into the art and science of selling herself and increasing her client base, Bennett started working with Sandler Training. Sandler Solutions Bennett came to Sandler looking for help in the following areas: • Increasing business development performance • Expanding business network • Increasing referrals • Reducing personal stress Early on, Bennett’s Sandler trainer shared some critical principles that were absolutely foreign to her way of doing business, including (1) going for the “no” and (2) seeing a “no” answer as a positive outcome. Bennett quickly came to see that the “no” wasn’t a reflection on her and that getting quickly to the “no” — if there was no chance of doing business with a prospect — saved her time and effort. Bennett remembers a meeting shortly after she began working with Sandler Training in which it became clear that the prospect simply wanted one-time, free legal advice. Before working with Sandler, Bennett would have persisted, trying to create a relationship where there was none. “I normally would have started doling out bits of advice in the hopes that he would sign on. Then I would have tried to persuade him to hire me, maybe by discounting my rate. During this meeting, it hit me that all of that would have been pointless, so I just stopped the exchange and said, ‘Look, it’s pretty clear that we’re not in a position to help you. But thank you for coming in.’ I had the ‘no,’ and I was free to move on to something else that would be a better investment of my time.” Results After going through Sandler Training, Bennett: • Doubled her base of business in one year • Increased the number of referrals arising from networking activities by over 100 percent • Used internal cross-selling to expand total clients in a key practice area from two to 12 over a period of 30 months, a 600 percent increase “One of the biggest lessons I learned from Sandler is that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with one professional saying “no” to another. From that point forward, my prospecting and networking results went through the roof.” – Jo Bennett, attorney Have a success story to share in the next issue of the Sandler Advisor? Submit your organization’s story at CaseStudy@sandler.com. Stevens & Lee Case Study: Stevens & Lee About the Company: Founded in 1928, Stevens & Lee is a full-service law firm representing clients on a regional, national and international scale. The firm has established a reputation as one of the preeminent providers of sophisticated legal services in the Northeastern United States, and regularly handles some of the most complex and challenging transactions and litigation for clients in a variety of industries. Company Website: www.stevenslee.com One of the biggest lessons I learned from Sandler is that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with one professional saying “no” to another. From that point forward, my prospecting and networking results went through the roof. – Jo Bennett, Attorney, Stevens & Lee
  • 7. 7 YouTube Corner When Your Foot Hurts, You’re Probably Standing on Your Own Toe Facing a problem in the sales process? Be honest with yourself. Whose problem is it, really? Salespeople can sometimes be their own worst enemy, creating roadblocks and detours that prevent their own efforts from moving forward. (Click to Tweet!) All too often, they are tempted to blame the prospect for those occurrences. This is a little like standing on your own toe, and looking around for the person who’s making your foot hurt. Whenever you encounter an unpleasant surprise in your sales pipeline, you must ask yourself: whose responsibility was it to uncover this problem in the first place? You shouldn’t become angry with a prospect for doing something that appears to stall the process…when it is your responsibility to discuss the potential roadblock in advance. Don’t even think about blaming the prospect. This is your problem. How do you avoid standing on your own toe? Make sure that you cover, in detail, each and every facet of the sale. It is your responsibility to uncover potential deal-breakers before they occur, not the prospect’s. (Click to Tweet!) Excerpted from the book, The Sandler Rules: 49 Timeless Selling Principles and How to Apply Them, by David H. Mattson. © 2009 Sandler Systems, Inc. The 2014 Client Summit was a huge success. Join us on March 12 & 13, 2015 in Orlando, Florida and feel the difference it can make for you. Find out more from your Sandler Trainer. Salespeople can sometimes be their own worst enemy, creating roadblocks and detours that prevent their own efforts from moving forward.
  • 8. 8 Today, rather than answer an individual reader’s question, I’d like to focus on a phone call I received one evening. The analysis of the call will provide answers to many of the recent prospecting questions I’ve received. The call was from a real estate agent who was “farming” his territory. Farming, if you don’t know, is real estate industry jargon for prospecting in a defined neighborhood or subdivision. The term comes from the notion that the act of contacting people plants the seeds for future business. The only seeds planted by the call I received were seeds of doubt…about the purpose of the call. The caller introduced himself and gave the name of the company with which he is associated. So far, so good. But then, he said the following: “I’m just calling to see if your real estate needs are being taken care of.” Up until that point, I didn’t realize that I had real estate needs. Evidently, I had been overlooking them. So, in my quest for enlightenment, I asked, “By real estate needs, you mean what?” He replied by simply repeating his “I’m just calling…” statement. As you may have guessed, the conversation ended quickly. Most realtors use postcards for their farming campaigns. So, I give the caller credit for making a phone call. But, the message of his well-intentioned call was meaningless. It failed to establish any reason for us to have a conversation. Whether you’re prospecting by phone, in person, or by direct mail, your prospecting message must be tailored to your target audience. (Click to Tweet!) And, it must be relevant and meaningful to them. The realtor, for instance, knowing that he was calling a neighborhood of predominantly large single family homes, might have said that he was working with homeowners in the area who were looking to downsize…and then ask if that was something I was considering… or if I knew of someone who was. If he was calling an area of predominantly smaller homes, he would change his message to describe working with homeowners who had outgrown their homes and were looking for larger homes. In either case, the message would establish a foundation for a conversation. So, here’s my “farming” tip for all who engage in some form of prospecting: If you want your prospecting efforts to bear fruit, match your message to your market. Howard Goldstein, Sandler Training © 2014 Sandler Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. S Sandler Training Finding Power In Reinforcement (with design), Sandler, Sandler Training and Sandler Online are registered service marks of Sandler Systems, Inc. Sandler Training Certification (with design) is a service mark of Sandler Systems, Inc. Was this issue a good read? Share with your network using the Share Icon. If you want your prospecting efforts to bear fruit, match your message to your market.