Business is always changing and evolving. While that brings many challenges it also creates opportunities for sales success.
Salespeople need to stay on the cutting edge and keep their knowledge of best practices and strategies current.
I was asked, along with other members of the Forbes Coaches Council, for advice on staying relevant and finding success in sales. Our tips for sales success are wide-ranging, from the use of technology to managing relationships. You can read the full article at Forbes.com.
Among the important topics discussed:
- Relationships, including understanding human behavior, focusing on relationships and developing trust
- Communication, including how to make it more personal, how to practice active listening and tailor your approach
- Technology, and how we use it in the sales process
- Creating value, including knowing what your customer wants and needs
You’ll find valuable advice on these topics for both new and experienced entrepreneurs to become and stay relevant in a changing landscape.
For more advice on sales success, read Embracing Your Inner Salesperson
Your feedback style can be helpful or it can inadvertently do more harm than good.
At some point we’re all faced with offering someone negative feedback. If it’s not received well, you’ll have to undo the damage. But you can avoid any harmful effects by carefully planning and thinking through your approach.
I believe constructive criticism is knowing when someone is ready to hear the truth, but harmful criticism means you are not compassionately assessing the other party’s state of being.
Thirteen members of the Forbes Coaches Council, including me, were asked how to spot the difference between feedback that’s helpful and criticism that’s hurtful. From knowing what you want to achieve, to understanding if you’re offering an actionable solution, we discuss 13 ways to assess your feedback style.
To learn more about offering negative feedback effectively, read the full article on Forbes.com.
You may also be interested in reading Five Ways to Convert Criticism into Competitive Advantage
Here’s the unvarnished, uncensored truth about success. Even if you’re a rock star sales person who knows how to sell, if you don’t put at least as much effort into taking the deal and your client relationship successfully through the back end post-closing process, you will not ultimately achieve the success that you initially thought you had “in the bank”. And, any gain realized at closing, could be lost, or even worse, cost you more than you initially banked.
I don’t want you to think this post only relates to business, because it relates virtually to every aspect of your life. The success of your life (personal, financial, physical, emotional and spiritual) is contingent upon an on-going commitment to actively engage in efforts to do what you need to do to keep all your affairs operating in good working order.
Too many times, I’ve either witnessed or been a part of a deal gone bad because someone who sold something dropped the ball on delivering the goods, services or warranties that were promised.
Baby, if you ain’t got back end, you’re gonna regret it down the road. It just ain’t worth the risk. Take the time to take care of the deal, transaction, contract, relationship, or account. If you do, instead of regrets, you’ll achieve maximum sustainable success…and be a whole lot happier, healthier and wealthier in the long run.
You don’t close a sale; you open a relationship if you want to build a long-term, successful enterprise. ~ Patricia Fripp
Here Are the Top Six Things You Must Do to Achieve the Optimal Back End Strategy for Long-Term Success:
1. Live the Reality the Sales Cycle Does Not Stop at Closing the Sale. See it as phase 2 of building a successful long-term relationship and nurture it.
2. Maintain A Balanced Achievement of Pursuing New Sales and Servicing Existing Customers. Repeat business is the biggest payout you can achieve. If you’re only focusing on new sales and new leads, you’ll shortchange your success.
3. Realize Achieving a Successful Deal Is Found in the Details. Fearlessly pay attention to the details of the deal. Many people fear losing a deal if they assert their boundaries on deal points and contract terms.
4. Be Honest with Yourself and Others. Don’t offer something that you realistically can’t manage to maintain over the term.
5. Value and Prioritize Your Relationships Over Money. When you care more about people than money, you will begin to see both your wealth and well-being skyrocket.
6. Habitually Go the Extra Mile. Exceed in delivering more service and value than necessary or expected.
At the end of the day, your relationships are what makes you or breaks you. Whether it’s your relationship with yourself, others or God; as you consistently and continuously serve, appreciate and value them, they will, in turn, serve you by adding long- term value to your wealth and well-being. If you got back end, they’ll in turn, cover yours.
In Closing My Shocking Confession: I had just signed a long- term lease agreement with a great company to provide their product to my enterprise. The terms of the deal allowed them hefty earn outs and commissions during the life of the contract which would far exceed the purchase price. Both the provider and I were very excited about our new relationship and we sailed through the closing. They banked the purchase price. And, within 60days, all the problems began. A whole host of issues arose from not having the support staff as promised, to constantly charging for non-contract driven items. After months of friendly attempts to get them back on track, they finally come forward in stating they didn’t have what they had promised and didn’t have the resources to deliver on the contract. However, they expected me to honor the terms of the contract by solving and financing their problems for them! Their belief that they “had me over the barrel” for all the time, effort and expense I’d invested, emboldened them to attempt to extort more from me. They didn’t believe I would walk away. I’m sure you can guess what I did? I cut my losses and got out. And, legally recouped cash.
You work hard every day to achieve your goals, but you worry if what you’re doing is going to work out. Why? Because you can’t see any tangible results while amid all the effort you’re putting out. You are not alone! We all face this very common concern.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a way to gauge if what you’re doing each day is working towards the attainment of your goals and the achievement of the successful life that you desire? Guess what? There is a way!
I’ve learned through decades of being a serial entrepreneur that if you rigorously discipline yourself to do Six specific things daily, you’ll be assured to attain the success that you are working so very hard to achieve, regardless if you’re seeing tangible results on any given day.
“Discipline is choosing between what you want now, and what you want most.”— Abraham Lincoln
Below is the Daily Six Point Checklist. By doing them each day, will lead you to the success you want tomorrow.
1. Focused Mind Control: Directing your thoughts only on what you want and not on what you don’t want or on what doesn’t require your attention. Staying focused by not allowing distractions.
2. Impulse Control: Delaying gratification by using self-discipline not to take immediate action on inconsequential things that interrupt your work flow or do not directly benefit the advancement of your goals.
3. Emotional Control: Making decisions and taking actions only when in a rational, calm and balanced state of mind. Act don’t react.
4. Rational Analysis: Performing objective fact finding and using rational, logical thinking when making decisions. Keeping emotions out of the process.
5. Minimalism: Keeping it simple by not engaging in or pursuing non-essentials (any person, behavior or thing that does not support the advancement of your goal).
6. Compassion Action: Not engaging in anything that hurts yourself or another human being.
At the end of the day, each one of us has within us the power of personal choice to do the things that serve to advance us or distance us from the success that we wish to achieve.
In Closing My Shocking Confession: I was young and wanted it all! I didn’t mind working really, really hard to get it. The 12 hour days to get ahead was no-problem for me. I was killing it at work putting in the hours, effort and also helping others to get ahead too. But, why then, I was wondering to myself, was I not any closer to my ultimate goal? The answer didn’t come in a soft and gentle way. It was one of those hard lessons. I hit bottom on all the overdoing…especially over doing the one thing I was keeping secret. The cocaine. I justified it because it helped me work the long hours. I justified it in 100 ways. Until that one day when I realized I no longer controlled it, but it controlled me. I was hurting my own self and hurting those around me as well by not really “being all there”. I got and stayed sober and learned a very important life lesson that I carry with me each and every day. A successful day is one in which, when you put your head on the pillow at night, you can honestly say that you haven’t hurt yourself or another person that day.