Tag Archives: epidemic

How to Close Sales Faster In a Pandemic

BY: MARK HUNTER|PUBLISHED ON: AUG 26, 2020|CATEGORIES: SALES MINDSETSALES MOTIVATIONSALES PROCESS0 COMMENTS

My newest book, A Mind For Sales, relates to what we’re dealing with today in the middle of a pandemic. So much of it has to do with our mind. There’s a tremendous amount of business out there; we just have to be flexible and willing to adapt to go find it.

I’m going to share with you 10 steps on how to close sales faster in a pandemic.

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1. Keep It Simple for Your Customers

This is not the time to get into a complex sales process. It’s not the time to get into major, major deals that are going to take years to close and involve multiple people. With a lot of people working from home, it’s much harder to get people together. You have to keep everything in your sales process and in what you sell. All of it must be simple in order to help the person or maybe the two people you’re speaking with to make a fast decision.

2. Focus on Your ICP

Now more than ever, you have to stay tight with your ICP – ideal customer profile. Stay focused. It is too easy to chase the shiny object for the sake of trying to find business; however, when you get outside your lane and start dealing with people not within your ICP, it will take you much longer to understand them and for them to understand you. That will just slow down the process. Stay in your lane and stay focused on your ICP.

3. Fast Prospecting

What is fast prospecting all about? It means you need to double down and triple down the speed with which you’re interacting with customers. This is not the time to sit there and say that you’ll slowly continue to reach out to them like every month. No! It’s not the time for that. You have to take whatever your process was, cut the time in half, and double the contacts. Prospecting must be faster than ever. In other words, if you normally reach out to your prospects every two weeks, now it needs to be every week. If you usually reach out every week, reach out every three days. Speed is what it takes. Speed sells!

4. Narrow the Solution

When you talk to a customer and engage them, the solution is not to start throwing out all of these ideas as to what they can do or all these things that they’re going to be able to accomplish. No, it’s not the time to sell world peace. This is not the time to try to find a solution for hunger. Now is the time to narrow the solution and help the customer achieve that one specific outcome that they’re looking to achieve.

5. Shorten the RSI

Remember that customers don’t want to be sold to and really, I don’t even think they want to buy. What they desire is a return on their investment. That is what they truly want, so it’s your job to show your customers how they can quickly receive a return on their investment when they buy from you and invest with you. Therefore, let them know that when they buy “x” service or product from you, they will immediately get value back. I have to do everything possible to shorten the ROIC, because things are just too unstable as we look long-term.

6. Limit the Options

When you get to the point of putting things out on the table, don’t say, “well, hey, why don’t you pick from one of 18 different items?” This is not the time to play buffet. No, no. You must limit the options. Any time you present too many options, you automatically slow down the decision-making process because the customer needs more time to think about it. Don’t put more than three options out on the table.

7. Trust

One of the reasons I am able to only put two or three options on the table is because I’ve earned their trust. Without a doubt, trust is key. Everything in your sales process must be centered around helping the customer understand that they can trust you, because you trust them.

Confidence starts in the listing and the respect. Confidence creates integrity, and integrity is really the sister or brother of trust. The greater the level of trust you have, the faster the customer is willing to make a decision with you.

8. Two-Way Street

Have you ever driven down a two-way street and noticed there are cars on the other side? They’re coming at you from the opposite direction. So, what is a two-way street and how does it relate to sales and prospecting? When it comes to helping you close sales faster, you have to understand that there will be give and take on both sides, but stay in your lane. This does not mean that you give the customer everything he/she wants. No, not at all. You don’t do that. Just understand that there may be wiggles and shakes that you need to be prepared for, and that’s okay.

9. Land and Expand

I want you to put this simple phrase on your computer. Put it on your phone. It’s your objective to make it so simple for your customer to do business with you that you land them as a new customer. Then, once you do, you expand that customer and begin building into and getting them in additional ways. But you have to create that initial sale first.

10. Value your Time

Your time is your most prized resource. It’s not what you sell. It’s not your customer. It is your time. In order to use your time wisely, go back through this list of nine and ask yourself where you need to change things. When you begin to understand the value of your time and that you can’t put a price on it, you’ll be able to close sales faster than ever. Time is priceless.

For more tips on valuing your time, go check out my blog post and video on How to Gain An Extra Three Weeks Every Year.

Copyright 2020, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog.  Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.


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Why Empathy Is One of the Most Overlooked Skills in Business

Empathy fuels productive conversations.

Aytekin TankVIP CONTRIBUTOREntrepreneur; Founder and CEO, JotForm 06/11/20

It was a sunny day in April. The air was crisp and the walk ahead of us enjoyable.

I stared at the beautiful Embarcadero situated near our San Francisco office, feeling grateful for working close to such a stunning view.

Then I shifted my gaze over to Tim, my walking mate for the afternoon. We were on one of many walking meetings we’d shared over the past year. But this time was different.

Tim, a normally talkative employee, was dragging his heels and appeared disgruntled whenever I asked for status updates. He kept his head down, answering only in curt replies.

Something was off.

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As his supervisor, I could have easily approached his behavior with a stern stance, by grilling him, or asserting my authority. But 14-plus years of entrepreneurship have taught me one thing: A harsh, adversarial response is never the answer.

Instead, I slowed my pace and asked him how things were going at home. “Is everything OK?”

Tim confided then that his father had recently had a stroke, and that he was taking turns spending nights at the hospital, leaving him tense and run-down.

I nodded. “I’m so sorry, that sounds very hard.”

“How can I support you?” I offered.

We spent some time talking over how to alleviate some of his load at work, and even scheduled some days off for him to be with his family.

After our conversation, it was as if a weight had been lifted. In our meeting afterward, he began eagerly participating, even offering feedback I hadn’t asked for.

Showing genuine care and concern only took a few seconds of my time, but it was enough to let Tim know that I was on his side. 

Related: How Companies Are Leading With Empathy

One of the most overlooked skills in business

Empathy — the capacity to recognize and understand other people’s feelings, to “put oneself in someone else’s shoes” is a critical leadership skill. Common sense tells us that it’s a basic human quality most founders would have in their arsenal, but in fact, it’s one that many leaders often get wrong.

In a commencement speech on June 15, 2014, American business magnate and philanthropist, Bill Gates, stood before an audience of Stanford grads and spoke of channeling optimism into a conviction to make things better.

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“If we have optimism, but we don’t have empathy,” he said, “then it doesn’t matter how much we master the secrets of science. We’re not really solving problems; we’re just working on puzzles.”

This has been true to my experience as the CEO of my company JotForm. We started with one goal: Create a drag-and-drop tool that enabled people to quickly build forms, even if they didn’t know how to code. As a software engineer, I’ll be the first one to say I’m the biggest nerd I know. I enjoy taking a complex issue and making it easy and accessible.

I’ve had the privilege of growing our small startup to a business with over 250 employees and seven million users worldwide.

And what I’ve learned from being a founder all these years is that people, not software, matter most. Connecting with our team and our customers is the real vision that keeps us moving forward.

I believe the secret to our success lies in empathy.

Beyond sympathy

Our culture admires a certain business stereotype: the die-hard leaders who push the envelope and only care about themselves. But at what price?

A shortage of empathy in the workplace accounts for an increasing lack of employee engagement, which impacts productivity. This costs businesses more than $600 billion per year.

How does this happen? Simple: by confusing empathy with sympathy.

Sympathizing — feeling sorry for an employee’s situation isn’t the same as understanding their feelings and needs, or building rapport.

Instead of becoming annoyed with their employees or commanding them to pick up the slack, effective leaders know how to express themselves by showing real concern and asking how they can improve the situation.

While valuable, sympathy is only a surface-level response that keeps you at a distance.

Empathy, on the other hand, is a perspective shift — it’s genuinely imagining yourself being in the other person’s shoes, and allows you to connect on a deeper level.

 

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Related: You Must Lead With Empathy to Achieve These 5 Crucial …

Empathy fuels productive conversations

“As a leader, you should always start with where people are before you try to take them where you want them to go.” – Jim Rohn, Entrepreneur and Author

Many entrepreneurs mistakenly believe that empathy is something you’re either born with or not. But as CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, emphasizes, empathy is a muscle that needs to be exercised.

Nadella, who went through numerous personal challenges — trying to obtain a green card to come to the United States, building a new life for himself and his family, adjusting to his children’s disabilities — all of these struggles gave him the emotional insight and sensibility to create a collaborative company culture.

He didn’t just relate to employees and customers on an intellectual level, he understood that everyone needs to feel supported in one way or another.

Empathy isn’t only human and caring; it’s also practical, as Peter Bregman points out in a story for Harvard Business Review. It can turn a confrontational conversation into a collaborative one — allowing all parties to arrive at a shared truth.

When we can take our hard lessons learned and channel them into the ways we communicate with our team, we foster engagement. We do this by actively listening, being open to feedback, and approaching employees with attention and care.

“Empathize first,” Bregman writes. “It doesn’t take long, and it’s not complicated. Just start with the relationship — even if you don’t feel like you have an established one — because showing care and concern is what creates that relationship.”

Simply asking if someone is OK is enough to let them know you’re willing to show up when it counts.

Related: 3 Ways Increasing Your Empathy Makes You a More Effective Leader

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The Wealthy and Everyone Else

Originally written and published on 04/27/20 by Grant Cardone

It’s not a secret I have always been interested in wealth. Since I was a little kid and watched my mother worry about money I have been interested in learning what the wealthy knew that we didn’t know. I have spent a lifetime studying the differences and been lucky enough to adopt some of the principles that separate the wealthy from almost everyone else.

In one month twenty-six million people in the USA lost their jobs and even more had their pay reduced…the stock market lost trillions in valuation, people worldwide are concerned about their finances and their health…and thirty two million businesses in America had their revenues either stopped or interrupted.

While money won’t buy you happiness, it’s the only thing that pays the rent, health care, toilet paper, mask, food and the like. Unfortunately during this time, like any other crisis, the wealthy will get wealthier and everyone else will end up with less. It’s sad but it’s true. And this redistribution has been happening since the Great Depression (or before) and it makes me question again, how the wealthy treat money differently than others.

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HERE ARE MY TEN OBSERVATIONS OF HOW THE WEALTHY VIEW AND TREAT MONEY DIFFERENTLY THAN OTHERS.

The Wealthy                               Everyone Else

1. Money is Good                         1. Money is Bad

2. Investors                                   2. Spenders

3. Uses Debt                                 3. Used by Debt

4. Money & Happiness               4. Money or Happiness

5. Tax Savvy                                  5. Tax Victims

6. Seeking Freedom                    6. Seeking Comfort

7. Buys Time                                7. Sells Time

8. Multiple Flows                         8. Single Flow of Income

9. Wealth Driven                         9. Income Driven

10. Opportunity Focused           10. Obstacle Focused

I am sure there is more you can add to this list. Add your favorite difference in comments and if you have a question I will do my best to answer. I wrote a book called The Millionaire Booklet that covers these difference in detail and you can get it free.

I trust you will get through this time and are in a better position on the other side.

One more big difference between the wealthy and the non-wealthy is the ability to execute.

In Atlanta, Working Even Harder for Clients Affected by Riots and Looting

They see their small-business clients suffering–and they fear being judged by the actions of others–but Lyfe Marketing’s co-founders are doubling down on optimism and faith in other entrepreneurs.

BY CAMERON ALBERT-DEITCH, REPORTER, INC.@C_ALBERTDEITCH

As nationwide protests against the killing of black Americans by police continue, Inc. has asked black business leaders in or near hot zones to tell us what they are experiencing.

The founders of Atlanta-based Lyfe Marketing were on a high-flying growth trajectory, overseeing digital marketing for more than 400 small businesses and landing the No. 299 spot on the 2019 Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing companies. But in the past week, Keran Smith and brothers Sean Standberry and Sherman Standberry watched many of their clients suffer from looting sprees. Below, they describe living and working in that atmosphere–and how they will help their community move forward. –As told to Cameron Albert-Deitch

Sherman Standberry: It’s definitely tense. We all live in midtown Atlanta, and this week, I literally saw protests crowding the street that I live on. Businesses by our office building are being vandalized and destroyed. Emotions are definitely high in the city.

It’s tense over the racial issues, and then marrying that with the pandemic: Atlanta had a spike in cases a few weeks ago, so it’s really weird seeing these huge crowds of people gathering despite the health concerns.

Smith: While I’m jogging down the street, I actively see military vehicles, military personnel blocking off highways. That’s something I’ve never seen before.

Sean Standberry: When I step outside my doors, I have this internal fear that I, as a black man, may be judged by the actions of others.

Internally, at our company, I feel really encouraged. We do stand for diversity, and we stand for equality, and our team is really just one unit. When we see stuff in the outside world fragment and pull apart, our team pulls together even stronger–communicating more, smiling more, uplifting each other more, putting inspirational quotes in chats, and stuff like that.

But it does worry me when I step outside of that environment and face the real world, so to speak.

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Smith: I think we’ve done a good job at doing our work when it’s time to do work. And then keeping any emotions we have outside of that, during that time. It’s a luxury to be able to do that. There are a lot of people who are protesting at 1 p.m. because that’s what they are called to do in that time.

Sean Standberry: The business has been an escape route. It’s something that I love. Just being able to escape in the world of business, work hard for a better future, is really the only thing that’s keeping me sane right now.

We stand for peaceful protests. We don’t stand for the opposite–the rioting and the looting. It’s truly something that’s destroying our community before our eyes. It’s hurting small businesses, and that’s the part that directly affects us, because our mission as an agency is to help small businesses grow.

We’ve had several clients who’ve been abused by rioters. I got a call this week from a client with many offices downtown in Atlanta. They’ve all been broken into, looted. We’re trying to be as flexible as possible, as understanding as possible, with clients like that. We’re likely going to have to pause advertising campaigns, stop marketing, and just try to give our clients solutions in terms of how to get back on their feet.

Sherman Standberry: I don’t think our roles as leaders have changed. If anything, it reemphasized what I care about. For me personally, as a black business owner, I’ve always known the risk and the challenges that we face. I use my voice to encourage people–and in some cases, explain to people how to best deal with it in a peaceful way.

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Smith: Now more than ever, equality is important. Diversity is important. Loving everyone equally is important. Diversity of a company’s infrastructure is important, because it promotes loving everyone equally. If your company, your board, your team doesn’t have a diverse nature, what does that say to the world around you? Your actions in this time promote what you believe.

Sean Standberry: We move forward with more hope, more optimism that the entrepreneurs and small businesses we work with aren’t pushover types of people. These are fighters. They’re going to keep going to work, keep repairing. They’re going to figure out how to operate even when it doesn’t look possible. We’ll support them in any way we can.