Your Number One Job Is Selling
From the first glow of your computer screen in the morning to the last loose end you tie up before heading home, you need to be selling. Whether your business has one employee or one thousand, you have to sell.
- Don’t Kill Your Customers
Stop selling. Really. Stop it right now. You’re killing yourself and your customers. You are alienating the people who might love what you have to offer, and you’re missing out on the huge upside of using your product or service as a tool for helping others.
Want to sell more? Stop selling. Help instead.
- Get in Bed with Your Customer
What do you think is the number one quality of the most effective sales and marketing messages?
It’s empathy. Feel them. Climb into their beds and into the worries of their minds and the hopes of their hearts. Write down what you feel, and be as descriptive and raw as possible.
- Don’t Be a First Date Fred
Sales is filling a customer’s perceived need, not your need to sell something.
- Pull—don’t push.
- Investigate—don’t present.
- Probe—don’t pitch.
- Ask—don’t assume.
Ask questions, find answers that serve as solutions, and then (only then) build your presentation or sales message around the answers you receive.
- Sell Like John Lennon
The secret to John Lennon’s success, and to your success in sales, is that he is the ultimate Connector. John finds his client’s most important desire, need or hot button and connects the solution he has to meet it.
Are you selling like Lennon? Do you connect to your customers by asking questions and genuinely listening to the answers?
- Find a Bridge
Find a relationship bridge between you and your desired client. Get referred from a credible and trusted source. Brainstorm who knows the person or company you want to do business with. If you don’t know anyone right now, then find out who their vendors are. Find someone to get you personally introduced.
- Sell in Bulk
Instead of taking each sale one by one, sell in bulk, box by box. Seek out influencers, those who are connected to broader networks of potential customers. Sure, it might mean you don’t have a date to the movies, but sometimes that’s the price of success.
- Deliver Shock and Awe
You lose 1 out of 5 prospects for being too aggressive. But you win the other 4.
Ask yourself this: Are you shocking enough in your approach? Are you awe-inspiring? If not, it’s time to stop being scared of scaring clients away. Instead, be excited about the customers who will admire your willingness to go big.
- Sell to the Best, Forget the Rest
The key to greater profits is rarely capturing more clients. The key to greater profits is capturing more valuable ones. Best buyers are about 10 percent of your client base, and you can probably picture them in your mind right now.
- Find Your Dream 50
You are one or two dream clients away from changing your future. Go get ’em!
Talk less, listen more, build bridges, and don’t be afraid to shock and awe your way to the top!
Recruiting Like a Master
Principle 1: Know What You Want
An A-player in your business will meet these three criteria:
- THEY ARE BETTER THAN YOU. Your goal is to be the dumbest one in the room.
- THEY HAVE THE CHARACTER. You don’t train your people to be successful. You hire successful people.
- THEY ARE IN LOVE. The right person in the wrong culture (for them) is the wrong person.
Principle 2: Know What They Want
- PEOPLE. Great people want to work with great people. It’s self-perpetuating. It’s the number one thing people are looking for.
- CHALLENGE. Each night, great people want to climb into bed feeling exhausted yet satisfied by the great work they did that day.
- OPPORTUNITY. they don’t want to be a spectator—great people want to participate in company progress, to help “make it happen.”
- GROWTH. They want to feel good about what they do, but they also want to know they are going to grow, develop, and become more of who they want to be
- MONEY. Money is not the primary motivator for an A-Player. Don’t just recruit with a paycheck. They’ll take a job that gives them great work with great people over a crappy job with great pay.
Principle 3: The F-Factor
No one knows this third principle of recruiting great people better than Sir Richard Branson. “I can honestly say that I have never gone into any business purely to make money,” he says. “If that is the sole motive, then I believe you are better off not doing it. A business has to be involving, it has to be fun.” That’s the F-Factor.
Is your business involving? Do the people who work for you look forward to coming to the office for eight hours every weekday? Does their work mean something to them? If not, it’s time to put on your party hat and make some changes because there’s nothing more eerie than a roller coaster in motion with no one on the ride..
Leading in 21st Century
- Leaders Set the Pace
People don’t go as fast as they can. They don’t work as hard as they can either. They aren’t as disciplined as possible. They aren’t as positive-minded or enthusiastic as they can be.
They’re only as fast and disciplined and positive as you are.
Your people don’t listen to you, but they do watch you. They are always watching. BE the example. You’re always on stage.
- Leaders Do What’s Unpopular
Rest assured, if your name badge is going to say “leader,” you will be called to ruffle feathers, ride roughshod over poor performance, fire nice people, kill sacred cows, terminate pet projects, and veto the democratic vote. All of which will likely make you very unpopular.
But the aim of the leader is not to be liked. It’s to lead. To do the right thing. And more often than we like, the right thing is not the popular thing.
- Leaders Grow Others
It’s easy to be distracted by the job of growing your business. But never forget that your job as a leader is also to grow people.
The leader’s responsibility is to draw out the talent, drive, and capability of the people on your team. Your job as a leader is to grow your people.
- Leaders Let Others Lead
You want to turn labor into leadership. As the founder and CEO, you should not be doing anything. You should only be leading.
You’re the head coach, not the player. Imagine if the head coach ran onto the field to throw a pass, make a block, or intercept a throw? They’d throw him out of the stadium. But business leaders are doing that to their people all the time. Do your real job, and let your team do theirs.
Know Your Vitals
- Your Vital Functions
Every endeavor that you do has a few vital functions. All you have to do is figure out what they are and become excellent at them
Take the example of open heart surgery. A surgeon isn’t involved with all the functions of a successful procedure, just the few vital ones. He isn’t the one to clean the instruments or make up the operating table or get the supplies ready. He doesn’t even do the several dozen procedures happening inside the body cavity that lead up to his vital few. When it comes time for those vital few, he walks in and performs them with excellence and well-developed expertise, removes his mask, washes his hands, and exits, leaving the rest of the procedure to his capable team.
The big secret of how to get it all done? Don’t. Just do the vital functions (amazingly well) and build a great team who are excellent at the rest.
- Your Vital Priorities
How is it possible that a lion tamer—a tiny man in a silly suit—can control a lion using nothing more than a barstool and a measly whip? The answer is that the lion sees each of the legs of the barstool as four separate, simultaneous threats. In the face of those four threats, even the king of the jungle is overwhelmed. His primitive brain is unable to cope or decide, so he simply submits to the overwhelming threat. He becomes docile.
We respond similarly. We, too, suffer from the “lion syndrome.” As an entrepreneur, you’re faced with hundreds of potential priorities in any moment. Any time you feel overwhelmed, there’s a good chance the culprit is a lack of clear priorities.
Here is Warren Buffett’s three-step method for prioritization.
- Write down all your priorities.
- Narrow it down to the top three.
- Throw the rest of the list away
This is because if you have more than three priorities, you don’t have any.
- Your Vital Metrics
Measurement plays a key role on the entrepreneur roller coaster. First of all, it lets you know when you’re off track. When was the last time you saw a roller coaster with a straight track? From beginning to end, there are unexpected twists and turns.
Second, measurement helps you correct your course. When the ride takes you off course—and you will be taken off course—you’ll need to know in which direction to head
You should find about half a dozen metrics that summarize the critical data you need to monitor your business’s progress and make effective decisions. You’ll need to decide exactly what they are for your business, but they can be metrics like:
- New sales transactions
- Cash on hand total
- Receivables total
- Payables total
- Your Vital Improvements
Do you really need to read another book on how to lose weight? You already know how. Do you need another seminar? Another audio program? Knowledge is not power. That’s a myth. It is the potential for power, but it is not power itself.
There is a significant difference between learning and improving, and the difference is taking action and producing measureable results. Here is the basic framework for significant improvement that will last:
- IDENTIFY. Focus on improving those skills that are the most vital to the achievement of your BIG 3 goals.
- INVEST. Not in the stock market. Bet on yourself—it always yields the highest returns.
- RINSE AND REPEAT.
Six Brain Hacks to Conquer Fear
- GET REAL
It’s not a lion—it’s a phone. If you dial it and the other person answers, they can’t eat you. If you stand in front of a small group, they are not going to pillage your village. If you stand alone onstage to give a presentation, the audience is not going to attack you. You are in no mortal danger.
A good question to ask yourself before doing anything you think you fear is, “If I do this, am I going to die?” If the answer is no, then your fear is made up.
- IT’S THE FEAR OF FEAR YOU FEAR
It’s the anticipation of doing it—which is, once again, an illusion of the mind. Once the reality of the event took over, the fear vanished.
This “pre-fear” is what happens before you pick up the phone, before you go on stage, and before you walk across the room to introduce yourself to a stranger. It’s the anticipation of fear kicking in—your ancient mind’s illusion.
- TWENTY SECONDS OF COURAGE
You can be a coward 99.9305556 percent of the time. That’s your whole day, except for just 20 seconds, three times a day. Why 20 seconds? Because in just 20 seconds, you can…
… pick up the phone to call that “Big Kahuna” prospect.
… introduce yourself to your dream client at a networking meeting.
… walk up to a circle of strangers and say “Hi.”
… volunteer to come up on stage.
… ask him or her out on a date.
… begin your pitch presentation.
… take a plunge into icy cold water.
… start a tough conversation with a loved one or employee.
Those 20 seconds of courage are enough time to get engaged in the activity and for your brain to realize it won’t get eaten. From there on, it’s all easy breezy.
- FOCUS ON TASKS, NOT OUTCOMES
When Michael Jordan is about to get the ball to take the winning shot, he isn’t thinking about the outcome and how this shot will define the season, the championship, the Sports Center highlight, his career, and legacy. He’s only thinking about the shot—one he has taken a million times.
When Tiger Woods is standing over the final putt on the eighteenth green of the Masters on Sunday, he isn’t thinking how this one stroke could be the $500,000 difference between victory and second place. He is only thinking about the task. That one putt. A stroke he has made a million times.
- HABITUATE YOURSELF TO FEAR
The thing you fear over and over again, until you train your brain that it’s no longer something to be feared. Not only will the fear lose all power over you, but that fear can become the very thing that separates your success from everyone else’s mediocrity.
- MAKING FEAR AND FAILURE FUN
You cannot experience one side without an equal proportion of the other. This is the mistake most people make: They think they can have success without failure, love without heartache, and happiness without sadness. As sure as we have gravity, we have the pendulum swing of success and failure.
- Level One growth is recognizing that rejection and failure are not bad. You start walking out of the shadows of your fears.
- Level Two is accepting failure as part of the process along your journey. That’s where many good salespeople and entrepreneurs are. They don’t like it, but they accept it as part of the process.
- Level Three. When you don’t just see failure as good or just accept it as part of the process, but when you really love it, seek it, celebrate it, and become addicted to pushing yourself to gain more of it.
Remember: The key to success is massive failure.