Traits of Top Salespeople

"Top salespeople are insightful: they offer deep and meaningful advice that goes beyond surface-level observations, helping to guide their clients effectively."

Month: May 2018

My book “Eliminate Your Competition” is available from your favorite book retailer

My book “Eliminate Your Competition” is available from your favorite book retailer

You may purchase my book Eliminate Your Competition from your favorite book retailer. The ebook version is available at the most popular retailers such as Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble. The paperback version is also widely available at such retailers as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books A Million.

Only the winner of the order is not eliminated. Make sure that your competition is eliminated – NOT YOU!

Most salespeople lose the deal before they ever get started! It isn’t uncommon for the customer to have already made a decision before most salespeople even learn of the opportunity. Most salespeople have to beat the preferred competitor by a significant margin just to be considered equivalent. Don’t you wish that you could be the preferred vendor for all of your opportunities?

Selling is a difficult career in which to make a living; it is not uncommon to have the commission check denied before the salesperson even gets a chance to win. Analysis of thousands of sales situations has made it phenomenally obvious that most salespeople begin their sales campaign so late in the decision-making process that they are virtually guaranteed to lose the order. To make matters worse, when they do start the campaign early enough, most salespeople do not know how to control the prospect adequately so that they can guarantee their victory.

The typical turnover for a sales department is 10-20%. Many companies see turnover that approaches 40-60%! This turnover costs them 50% of their revenue-generating capability. In any organization that exceeds 25% turnover, the loss of trust with the customer can be astounding as the new salesperson tries to rebuild the entire relationship.

In any given quarter dozens or hundreds of companies do not make their forecasted numbers and are dramatically punished by Wall Street. This book will provide the management of a company with a framework to teach their salespeople how to attain their quotas with higher profits. It will also allow salespeople to rise to the top of their organization and be the super-achievers who win awards, trips, bonuses, and respect.

In this book, I will show you how to eliminate your competition and maximize your commission.

How to make a memorable slide presentation

How to make a memorable slide presentation

I speak of some of these tactics in my book Eliminate Your Competition but this infographic is excellent for discussing this basic problem.

Ten minutes after your presentation, your audience will start to forget up to 50% of the content. This gets worse. By the next day, your audience will have lost 75% of the content and a week later, you will be down to 90% loss.

It is inevitable that you will lose some memory of the conversation but you need to take steps to maximize the retention rate. As I discuss in more detail in my book, the human mind is best if it only remembers 3-7 items. Try to remember that as you go through your content.

This is likely the best commencement speech ever given

This is likely the best commencement speech ever given

A commencement address is supposed to be a motivating speech that propels graduating students on for the rest of their life. It is supposed to be those nuggets of wisdom that the graduate can look back at and understand the secrets of success as understood by the presenter.

Regardless of your profession, be it sales, management, accountant, shopkeeper, truck driver, or construction, most commencement addresses fall short of that ideal but this one does not. In my opinion, it is one of the best commencement addresses of all time and it is applicable to any and all people in the US and the world.

The University of Texas at Austin, 2014 Commencement Address, Admiral William H. McRaven Remarks by Naval Adm. William H. McRaven, BJ ’77, ninth commander of U.S.Special Operations Command, Texas Exes Life Member, and Distinguished Alumnus.

We all need this advice in life. Do the small things and the big things will take care of themselves, don’t back down to fear, and together, as a team, we can do great things.

  1. Make your bed – take care of the small things if you want to do big things
  2. Find people to paddle with you – you cannot do this along
  3. Measure the size of heart, not flippers – everyone is different and that is okay and it doesn’t matter to be successful
  4. Get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward – failure is a constant part of life just deal with it
  5. Don’t be afraid of the circuses – it will make you stronger
  6. Sometimes you have to slide down obstacles head first – sometimes it is important to take risks to get ahead
  7. Don’t back down from the sharks – your courage will get you through
  8. You must be your very best in the darkest moments – in the darkest moments is when success is the closest
  9. Start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud. Hope for everyone – together, we can succeed
  10. Don’t ever, ever ring the bell – quitting is a final act and you don’t get “do overs” in life
Evernote as a business card reader

Evernote as a business card reader

If you want to manage your relationships with your prospects and customers, you will need an effective and quick way to scan business cards to your personal and professional database. Evernote provides an effective way to accomplish this tedious task.

It is very possible that your employer requires you to put this information into their corporate database. This is perfectly acceptable. Your employer pays you and you represent them to your prospects and customers, therefore, they have every right to ask you for information about those that you meet. However, this does not preclude that you maintain your own list of people that you have met – you are not forced to forget everyone that you met when you leave an employer.

Regardless of where you store your contacts, you need an efficient method for taking the information off of a business card and getting it into your computer. Your basic choices are:

  • Pay an assistant to transcribe the data.
  • Manually transcribe the data yourself.
  • Use an optical character recognition (OCR) tool to accelerate your own efforts.

I have used several OCR tools in my past. My current favorite tool is to use Evernote. I find it to be very efficient and quite accurate. I use an iPhone and here is some assistance in using Evernote to increase your efficiency with scanning business cards.

The business card camera captures the clearest possible images of your business cards and saves everything into a contact note including:

  • Name, title, company, and additional contact info
  • An image of the card
  • A photo of the person and LinkedIn profile information (when available)

Business card scanning is an Evernote Premium feature. Basic and Plus users can currently get 1 year of business card scanning for free when they connect Evernote and LinkedIn.

Using the business card camera

Start scanning cards

To start scanning:

  • Make sure your device is connected to the internet.
  • Open up Evernote.
  • Hold the “+” icon on the bottom of Evernote and three icons will appear. Slide to the ‘Photos’ icon from the quick note panel on the home screen of Evernote on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Position the camera over the card so that the edges of the card remain in view. The camera automatically detects, focuses, and captures the business card (there will be a green overlay on the card). Note: If the business card isn’t automatically detected, tap the button in the upper right corner to turn Auto Mode off.
  • Once the business card is captured, Evernote displays all the information recognized from the card. If you are logged into LinkedIn and the email from the card matches a LinkedIn profile, Evernote pulls in additional information about the contact.

Review and edit contact info

It is a good idea to review the information scanned from cards to verify if it is the way you want it to appear. If Evernote finds a matching LinkedIn profile, Evernote imports additional contact information from that profile and adds a LinkedIn icon beside any of those corresponding fields.

If any of the scanned information needs to be edited, do the following:

  • Tap the field to edit the information.
  • Tap Save to save to Evernote as a new contact note. To scan additional cards, tap Back to camera or tap Done to finish.

Connect with LinkedIn

Evernote automatically build a content-rich note around business cards you scan. Business cards become searchable contacts in Evernote with full contact information, a link to their current LinkedIn profile, and a photo, plus a section for notes.

You don’t have to be connected with the person on LinkedIn for this to work. As long as you’ve connected your LinkedIn account to Evernote, you’ll automatically get the person’s profile info and photo. After scanning their card, you’ll have the option to connect on LinkedIn, share your own contact information, or save the new person’s info as a contact in your device’s address book.

If the scanned business card email address matches a LinkedIn profile email address, you can send a LinkedIn connection request from Evernote in one of two ways:

  1. Scan the business card and save the note. When you see the confirmation message, select Connect on LinkedIn. A notification appears to let you know the invitation has been sent.
  2. If you’ve already scanned the card, open that note and tap the Connect link.

Easily save new contacts

There are two ways to save contact information from every scanned card to the contacts on your mobile device:

  1. Automatically: To save information from every card scanned, simply tap your account name and select General > Camera > Business Cards and toggle ‘Save to Contacts’ on.
  2. Manually: Select Save to contacts from the options menu.

By default scanned cards are saved to the ‘Business Cards’ notebook. You can change this notebook and how cards are tagged from the Settings screen. Simply tap your account name and select General > Camera > Business Cards and select Notebook or Tag to change your preferences.

Photo by shinya