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“A no-nonsense approach to building your business through relationships.”

~ Jane Applegate, syndicated Los Angeles Times columnist

Archive for the ‘Endless Referrals’ Category

The Immense Importance of Follow-Up

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

follow-upRecently I was a guest along with leadership authority, Jon Gordon on an EntreLeadership® Podcast. The host, Ken Coleman first briefly chatted with InfusionSoft CEO & Co-Founder, Clate Mask, asking why he believes follow-up is so critical to the sales process.

Paraphrasing just a bit here, Clate replied:

“People buy when they’re ready to buy, not when the salesperson is ready to sell. It’s all timing. So, if we’re not staying in front of the prospect in a polite, educational, friendly way; if we’re not there when the prospect is ready to buy, we’re not going to be there for the sale. We can either be there when they’re ready to buy or leave it to chance.”

I certainly agree with that. Follow-up — or, as I like to call it, follow-through — is often the difference-maker because it respects the buying cycle of the customer.

“But” one might ask, “what if the product you sell typically sells in one appointment?”

That’s fine. So, where might follow-through come into play?

Perhaps it was the follow-through that allowed you to set that appointment in the first place. They weren’t ready to meet with you until their need or desire for whatever you sell was strong enough. And, even after the sale, keeping in touch on a consistent, value-based manner is what keeps you on your customer’s mind for referrals and introductions.

So, however you choose to follow up, be sure it is a regular part of your business model. As Clate says, so often it really does come down to timing…the customer’s timing!

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Making The Customer Feel…Special

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Two of my least favorite activities are shopping for clothes and taking new headshot photos. The first nauseates me and the second…well, I simply don’t enjoy the process.

This brings me to a recent experience. As a panelist at Michael Port and Amy Mead’s recent Heroic Public Speaking live event, I took advantage of the opportunity to get a new headshot done by renowned photographer David Heisler. The always-classy Michael and Amy had brought him in from Austin, TX.

Being that it’s getting time to update my website photos in order to reflect my ever-more graying hair, The timing was right. Still, that didn’t mean I was going to like it! :-)

Y’know what, though? For the first time ever I didn’t keep repeating to myself, “when will this be over?”…”when will this be over?”…”when will this be…?”

David has a way of making it fun. More than that, he also has a way of making you feel as though you are the most talented, professional person in front of the camera that he has ever had the honor and pleasure to work with. He and his wife/business partner, Crystal know just what to say, what to do, and exactly how to say and do it so that you get caught up in the process of sharing your awesomeness. ;-)

Max and Agent 99 - Bob Burg and Kathy Tagenel
“Would you believe…?” Max and Agent 99 checking in with the Chief

Yep…that’s exactly how they make you feel.

And, checking with some of the other speakers and attendees, that’s exactly how they made them feel, as well. And, I wasn’t surprised.

This is really such a key to how we as entrepreneurs (or, intrapreneurs if working inside a company) can separate ourselves from others.

Aside from being excellent at the technical aspect of what we do (without that, the rest simply won’t matter), to the degree that we provide our customers with the kind of exceptional experience that makes them feel good about themselves, that’s the degree to which we will be untouchable in the marketplace.

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Learn more about David Heisler Photography at davidheisleratx.com.

Duct Tape Selling – A Chat with John Jantsch

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

He first stepped onto the national stage with his bestseller, Duct Tape Marketing. Then, The Referral Engine.

When it comes to marketing and sales, John Jantsch simply knows what he’s talking about. The man is GOOD!!

Duct Tape SellingSo, I was very excited to hear that he was coming out with a new book entitled, Duct Tape Selling.

Being a salesperson at heart, I might be just a bit prejudiced here, but I think this is his best one yet. It is truly a soup-to-nuts of how-to information that practically anyone in any field can take and apply to their business and sales success. He makes a key point right at the beginning that it’s no longer a matter of the marketing department creating the overall message and the salesperson handling the relationships. The best salespeople do both!

And, in this book, he shows us exactly how to do it. Of course, always as it relates to providing value to the end user, the customer or client.

His work has been cited by — amongst others — Forbes (100 Best Websites for Entrepreneurs) and Huffington Post (One of the top 100 “Must Follows” on Twitter).

John JantschThis is one of those interviews that — if we’d tried to cover everything we all need to know — could have taken hours. So, instead, we focused on just a few key areas. And, in true John Jantsch fashion… if you’ll just apply this information, you’ll see a significant difference in your business.

Enjoy this chat with one of today’s top experts in the world of marketing…and sales!


A few surprising tidbits tucked into some immensely-valuable information, wasn’t it? That’s typical John. Now, if I may suggest, buy his book and make a study of it. And, of course, “Think Like a Marketer, Sell Like a Superstar.”


TECHNICAL NOTE: If you are having trouble playing the interview, please make sure Adobe Flash Player is installed in your web browser. If not, then download Flash Player. Or right-click here and select “Save Link As…” to download the audio file to your computer.

In the Eyes of the Beholder

Monday, March 24th, 2014

In-the-eyes-of-the-beholder-Bob-BurgWhile price is a dollar amount, value is the relative worth or desirability of a thing (product, service, idea, opportunity, etc.) to the end user or beholder.

If you want to sell successfully, it’s vital to remember this…

“Value is always in the eyes of the beholder.”

Ask questions to better understand THEIR wants & needs. What we (the salesperson) believe to be the main benefits and value of our product or service may not be what our prospect believes them to be.

And, the selling process is not about us; it’s about them.

So, be sure to ask the right questions and then listen for the answers that will help you to connect the benefits (value) of your product or service with the wants, needs and desires of your prospect.

Because, remember, it’s what they find to be of value; not what we find to be of value, that ultimately counts.

The Secret of Selling Need Not Be A Secret

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Harry Browne The Secret To Selling AnythingLast post featured a quote from a brilliant book that, while published posthumously just several years ago, was written back in the late 1960′s by Harry Browne.

The quote was, “Profit is a reward for satisfying the desire of someone else.” Though not the actual secret, it’s pretty powerful, in and of itself.

The book quoted from is The Secret of Selling Anything. The subtitle says a lot: A road map to success for the salesman…who is not aggressive, who is not a smooth “Talker” and who is not an extrovert. This is a book I am recommending to EVERYONE, whether directly in sales or not.

Part of the greatness of Harry Browne was his ability to see people and life through a very reality-based lens. He understood people. A very kind and gracious man, his sales philosophy and methodology — simple, fun and easy as he made it — was based on several immutable laws of human nature that he figured out early on:

  1. Everyone seeks happiness. People do what they believe will make them happy. Not every act brings happiness. Individuals make mistakes. But every act is aimed at bringing happiness.
  2. Happiness is relative. In other words, people experience happiness in different ways. People place different values on different things. What brings happiness to one person is meaningless to another.
  3. Resources are limited. Please don’t confuse this with lack thinking. Our universe is indeed abundant. However, there are limitations in certain regards. No matter who we are, we all have a limited amount of time, money and options. Thus, we must make choices. Your buyer will choose whether or not to buy from you based on whether your product or service is likely to bring him or her happiness (according to their personal values) as measured against their resources.

When accepting the above, we can now look at our prospect in an entirely new and productive light. We know that the sale is not about us…it’s about them. It’s about satisfying their needs, wants or desires.

In this masterpiece, not only does Harry bust numerous traditional sales myths, he provides perhaps the best pure advice on how to sell that I’ve ever read.

So, what is the big Secret of success in selling? (Italicized because, as Harry wrote, there’s no reason it should even be a secret):

“Find out what people want and help them get it!”

Harry believed there was no need to try and motivate a buyer because every buyer is already motivated. As the seller, our job is simply to find out what they are already motivated by and then align that with the benefits our product or service provides.  Of course, he was quick to point out that if there isn’t a match and you cannot satisfy that desire, you should make that clear, as well.

Harry explained that in every free-market exchange there are always two profits: the seller profits and the buyer profits. Each exchanges one thing for something they consider to be of greater value than that which they are exchanging. For example, the widget seller wants the $100 more than she wants the widget. The widget buyer wants the widget more than he wants the $100. The same principles holds true regardless of the product/service and amount of money involved. Each person exchanges a current situation for a situation that will bring them more happiness, based on how they value happiness, and based on their limited resources.

With that in mind, Harry’s five steps for the sales interview makes perfect sense and can be easily applied.

  1. Discover the buyer’s motivation. Remember, they’re already motivated. By asking the right questions, you’ll discover what that motivation is.
  2. Summarize the motivation. Be sure the two of you agree that your summarization is correct.
  3. Present Your Product. Show him or her how their motivation can be satisfied through your product or service.
  4. Answer Questions. Answering questions or objections becomes very easy assuming you covered steps one and two correctly.
  5. Close the Sale. Using Harry’s system, this is simply a natural conclusion to the discussion rather than a source of discomfort for either of you. After all, you have demonstrated how you can help him acquire exactly what he or she has told you they want.

I’ve often said that, at it’s very essence, selling was about finding out what people wanted, and simply helping them to get it. When you see selling in that light, it’s so much easier and more fulfilling.

Very rarely do I suggest a book this strongly, especially (irony alert) without knowing it’s what someone wants. ;-). I’ll just suggest that if you are in sales, and would like to make selling more fun, more meaningful, provide more value to a lot more people, and earn a lot more money while you do it, I can’t imagine anything that would be of greater assistance.

The book may be ordered in paperback form online via The System Press or directly by telephone at 1-845-757-5037. Or, you can order the kindle version at Amazon.com.