2014 In Selling

2014 In Selling - Click to Enlarge
2014 In Selling was all about transformation.

Most of the people who visited SalesTactics.org, however, were looking for advice on how to sell. Proven methods. Here are the five most popular posts at SalesTactics.org in 2014:

Copywriting Case Study: $600K In One Week

The Dummy Curve In Selling

How To Get To the Decision Maker

Become The Influential Expert: Book Review

Simple Plan for Sales Success

The Dummy Curve one is a surprise to me.

But my question to you about 2014 In Selling is this: What is your focus in sales?

The past?

Or the future?

2014 In Selling: Looking Forward Instead of Back

To succeed in selling today means looking to the future. You must transform yourself. I encounter far too many people who just want to know "HOW TO I MAKE A FREAKIN' DOLLAR!??" and have not yet discovered what is required to become an effective salesperson.

Consistency is one big factor.

Most people I know don't stick with a business idea beyond three days of sustained effort.

When you contrast this with the fact that it typically takes a couple weeks of sustained effort to get a business idea off the ground...well, you can figure out the results for yourself.

And a couple weeks is still a drop in the ocean in terms of time.

The Flywheel and Your Success

I began this blog on January 22, 2014.

It was after a period of serious reflection at the beginning of the year, in which I re-thought the model for my business. You'll see from the "post pattern" image above (click to make it larger) I was posting almost every day at the beginning. This was getting the flywheel starting to turn. Effort. Inertia. I didn't stop after three measly days. Or three measly weeks.

Now you wonder what happened after August. Why didn't I write so often anymore? At that point, the truth was: I didn't have to. I just didn't have to put so much effort into this blog in order to keep the traffic up.

The flywheel was spinning well on its own.

I just searched, and found out I don't have a post about the flywheel on this blog. Well let's get into it. The flywheel is a critical concept from Jim Collins in Good To Great. He explains it in detail here, following the heading "How change does happen".

Be prepared to be surprised.

Fanfare and bombastic talk about change does not produce change. Lurching from idea to idea does not produce change.

"Now picture a huge, heavy flywheel. It’s a massive, metal disk mounted horizontally on an axle. It's about 100 feet in diameter, 10 feet thick, and it weighs about 25 tons. That flywheel is your company. Your job is to get that flywheel to move as fast as possible, because momentum—mass times velocity—is what will generate superior economic results over time.
Right now, the flywheel is at a standstill. To get it moving, you make a tremendous effort. You push with all your might, and finally you get the flywheel to inch forward. After two or three days of sustained effort, you get the flywheel to complete one entire turn. You keep pushing, and the flywheel begins to move a bit faster. It takes a lot of work, but at last the flywheel makes a second rotation. You keep pushing steadily. It makes three turns, four turns, five, six. With each turn, it moves faster, and then—at some point, you can’'t say exactly when—you break through. The momentum of the heavy wheel kicks in your favor. It spins faster and faster, with its own weight propelling it. You aren't pushing any harder, but the flywheel is accelerating, its momentum building, its speed increasing.

This is the Flywheel Effect."

When do most people give up? After just a few days of sustained effort.

Instead of quiet, consistent effort, most people search for that magic bullet. The loud, fast thing that's going to transform their life forever. Well, unfortunately that doesn't work.

2014 In Selling should have been about transformation and quiet, consistent effort for you.

How close or how far did you land from that target? What will 2015 In Selling be about for you?

>> Jason Kanigan is a business development expert. Was this information on 2014 In Selling helpful to you? Please Like or Share to let others know. And if you have a question, please Comment below! <<


Most Popular Jun Posts

Most Popular Jun Posts at SalesTactics.org

Most Popular Jun Posts at SalesTactics.org

The $600K copywriting case study lead the pack for a second month. People are eager to know how this feat was accomplished. What disappoints me is the constant search by lower-level copywriters for the "magic beans" or secrets of how it was accomplished. The fact is a number of factors contributed to the success of this campaign, including:

  • choosing a client who was already educated about traffic, split testing, video presentations etc., and was well capitalized
  • having a list and target market that was "warm"...some who already had moneymaking experience with my client
  • a great, unique product that had been completed and worked
  • the client's desire to get expertise from other sources, such as high level strategy sessions, special programming, and proven video sales letter scripts
  • the ability to "heat the target prospects up" with education they couldn't get anywhere else.

This was a four-week campaign with a winnowing process to go from a list of 55,000 to under 5% of that; two weeks of specialized education, in which we showed these key prospective customers the difference in what we were teaching, and essentially made them "drink the Kool-Aid" to start viewing the world my client's way; and then a week when the offer was open, giving them the opportunity to buy the software that totally automated everything they had learned about in the past two weeks.

Instead of looking for the magic beans, look for the elements of success that were built into this project even before I was invited to join.

Expert Sales Interviews Draw Attention

Most professionals are so busy branding themselves they don't have time to interview anyone else. I'm happy the Most Popular Jun Posts clicks show you're interested in the fact that I can interview and share the discussions with fellow experts in sales, marketing and business development. The chance to reach and connect with skilled people who operate with large multinational firms, or Fortune 1000 companies, or help local organizations reach their markets more effectively, is exciting and powerful.

The six experts interviewed here, plus some of my own interviews, are a goldmine of knowledge and experience in the world of selling. To learn what these professionals share here would cost you thousands of dollars in their billable hours. And nobody is taking the time to interview them and give the content away as I do here.

The Dummy Curve In Selling

The mystery of why salespeople do worse as they get more experience in their job is explained by the first half of the Dummy Curve. The first instinct of salespeople is to imbibe as much technical knowledge as possible. "If only I knew more about the product, I could sell more," the salesperson thinks--and says! Their employer, who often believes the same, is more than happy to indulge this request. But the fact is, the more features and benefits you throw at prospects, the more they turn off and look somewhere else.

No one wants to be overwhelmed by technical knowledge. Most of the terms are foreign to the average person. So why are you blasting this stuff at your poor prospects? Because you think it's the right way to go about selling. Unfortunately, no. Knowing about features and benefits is fine. But keep it to yourself. When a prospect asks a question, instead of responding with knee-jerk technical factors, ask something like, "Could you share with me what about that is important to you?" Get to the deeper question. Play dumb. And by that, I mean don't assume your technical knowledge is the answer the prospect is looking for. You'll sell more effectively, because you will get at the real reason the prospective customer is asking the question. This Top Three result of the Most Popular Jun Posts is a hidden powerhouse of selling skill.

My Take On The Most Popular Jun Posts

We've had fewer posts lately because ever since I reorganized my business at the start of this year, I have been invited to work on larger and more complex sales and marketing projects. Those eat up a lot of my time, naturally. But I am always burning to share effective sales tactics with you here. I plan to share more case studies.

We all want to know what creates success. Often we're hoping it's some kind of laser zapper, one cool thing, that's responsible for the win--but that is not the case. Success is the peak of the iceberg. You don't see all the hours and effort under the surface, without which you would not reach the top. I'll share a real secret with you: the road to success is often boring. It means spending your evenings reading about your subject. It means writing, writing, and writing some more. It means discipline. Writing this blog is a discipline. How many people do you know who started a blog, but dropped it after a few days? SalesTactics.org has been steaming along for over six months now! In a viral post sharing group I belong to, I'm the ONLY blog writer who has stuck with it this whole time.

Are you "sticking to it" in your business? I don't find many people who do.

>> Jason Kanigan is a sales force developer and copywriter. If you have an opportunity that requires a top orchestra conductor to get everyone playing together and pull it off, we should speak. Do you have a question about the Most Popular Jun Posts? Comment below to let us know! And please Like us on Facebook, or Share this content if you know it will help someone. <<


The Dummy Curve In Selling

The Dummy CurveThe Dummy Curve is a curious concept most salespeople have never heard of. Yet it is extremely effective in lowering the natural skepticism and other barriers of the prospect. We must accomplish this during the complex sale if we're going to have a true conversation. Remember, if we don't find out anything about our prospect's world, we probably won't make the sale.

Easy Sales and the Dummy Curve

What the Dummy Curve pictures is the accidental ease with which a new salesperson makes sales...then the trouble selling once they begin to mature in the role and collect knowledge of features and benefits...and then the potential return to effective, productive selling by consciously practicing the very methods they used at the beginning of their career.

Technical knowledge about the product or service you offer can block you from making sales. As soon as you drop into the technical patter, your prospect tunes out. You may feel comfortable, because it's comfortable to know and share technical facts; however, those things are not why prospects buy.

Prospects buy because their underlying needs or wants are met. Sometimes this can happen because somewhere in the blast of features and benefits coming from the salesperson is hidden the one thing that satisfies the prospect's hidden need. But wouldn't it be much more effective to deliberately uncover that need or want, so we can take it out into the sunlight, turn it around and really know what it is?

Especially since our competition will be using the features-and-benefits firehose?

The secret to the Dummy Curve is in questioning. We revert to being a newbie in our sales role on purpose, and ask the "dumb" questions a new salesperson would ask. And in doing so, these hidden needs and wants of the prospect pop to the surface without resistance.

Sandler trainer Jeff Schneider acknowledges that we human beings are not very good at listening. Then he shares a number of simple "Dummy" questions

The Dummy Curve In Action: An Example

A fictional character--a police detective--is fully competent with the Dummy Curve and this kind of deliberate questioning. Yes, the rumpled, seemingly-bumbling Columbo.

Watch here as Columbo disarms his suspect by his apparently disorganized manner, "reaching" for questions, and literally going away and coming back--things you can do as a salesperson.

The suspect views Columbo as an amusing annoyance. He shakes his head in disbelief that the detective could ever be closing in on the truth.

Questioning Skills from Jason Kanigan on Vimeo.

A salesperson who is genuinely interested in helping the prospect, rather than just making the sale, will ask questions that uncover why the prospect wants to buy.

Doesn't that sound incredibly simple and right? Yet what do salespeople with a dash of technical knowledge do? Revert to "show up and throw up" with those features and benefits!

Columbo is genuinely interested in solving the case. And the effective salesperson is genuinely interested in helping the prospect.

How have you been conducting your sales conversations?

>> Jason Kanigan is a sales force developer. Want proven expertise to help you or your sales team be more effective? Click here! Questions about how you can use the Dummy Curve in your sales conversations? Comment below to let us know! And for more details on effective sales processes, check out our books on Kindle. Like or Share if you know someone who would be helped by this info! <<