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Getting Real Or Not Playing

Getting real involves challenging lazy thinking and penetrating façades, games, defenses, fears, and illusions." ~Let's Get Real Or Let's Not Play by Mahan Khalsa

let's get real or let's not play sales book mahan khalsa

Let's Get Real Or Let's Not Play is one of my favorite sales books: I've been referring to it since first discovering it in 2010. The premise is that buyer and seller need to cut past the baloney and posturing, and get down to a real, emotional, in-depth discussion of what's truly going on and how help may (or may not) be available.

As the salesperson, you have to be completely willing to walk away. If the prospect won't admit to having a serious problem that you can fix, you politely end the conversation. If they won't open up and let you into their world, at least a little, you don't continue.

By the same token, you as the salesperson are not walking around with a hammer looking at everything as a nail. If your solution isn't the right fit for this prospect, YOU TELL THEM SO.

Yes, it takes bravery to sell this way. And getting real is totally worth it. The price of honesty and open discussions will give you much better client relationships.

The Power of Getting Real

"As trust goes up, speed goes up and costs go down. As trust decreases, everything slows and costs rise." ~Mahan Khalsa, Let's Get Real Or Let's Not Play

Speed may not be a shocker here, but costs?

It's worth thinking about, isn't it: that when trust is low, costs go up. Think about implementation alone. People drag their heels. They spend time looking for other options, or trying to shoehorn their own pet solution into place in direct competition. Nobody tells anyone else what's going on, so things break. And of course there's the opportunity cost of dilly-dallying when you could go ahead and get the problem corrected.

Effective ways of gaining trust are to ask a lot of questions, and not push your solution a The One And Only. At The Closing Engine, we ask the people who'd like to work with us a lot of questions. We're not sure, at the start, whether we're a fit for one another just yet. We don't want anyone and everyone to sign up.

How has trust been impacting speed and costs in your projects? Have you been getting real?

>> Jason Kanigan is a conversion expert and sales trainer. To book an appointment to speak with Jason, click here. <<

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How Getting Fired Saved My Sales Life [Guest Post by Matthew North]

Matthew North has genuine sales experience to share with us here. It's about the lazy attitude towards training displayed by many companies. That their focus is on making sales by whatever means—and if it grinds the salesperson's soul into dust, who cares...and the shift you can make so the process of selling can become much easier for you.

Let's join Matthew North as he describes the trainwreck of an experience that lead to his personal shift in selling...

~Jason

matthew north afraid of selling fired sales

This is a guest post by ex-sales pro turned writer Matthew North. You can follow him on Facebook for more posts like this and see if he'll write for you.

Let's talk about getting you in front of a trove of qualified people whose wallets are wide open, ready and waiting to buy from you.

I'm reporting from experience of being on the front lines. As a former sales guy, I became desperate to connect with people who actually wanted to speak with me. I grew tired of being the marauder of phone books and telephone directories. Sick of calling fax machines and the dominion of secretaries.

But things were good. So it never occurred to me why some people were easier to sell to than others. You just had your good days, then your bad days. And besides, the sales were easy. People kept buying, so I kept selling—which was fine until we ran out of leads.

I didn't suspect anything at first. Fewer people than usual called me back, and a couple of proposals fell through. No problem. I was going through a downswing, and soon I'd be on my way up again.

Things continued like this for a while. Each sale we lost would expand the pressure on the company to keep itself standing. Consultants of many different hats and titles were called in to doctor the cause. None of this mattered. The business had been kicked and dragged around towards bankruptcy.

But we had a plan: a list of old recycled leads. These people had shown interest at some point, and it was my job to close them. Just as I started calling, secretary commandos paraglided in to subvert me. "James? Is that who you want? Well, he doesn't work here anymore." "Brian is in meetings all week. Why don't you leave your number and he'll call you back if he's interested." "I don't really see why I should put you through unless can you tell me what this is all about." A whole calendar worth of presentations, gone. Management roared with criticism. They then gave me an opportunity (as they called it) to either meet target, or get out.

All this would culminate on a Wednesday morning. I was pulled by the neck to a small room; inside, my manager had waited. He closed the door, and handed me an envelope. I knew what was coming. He looked at me. I looked at him. We both stared. They then kicked me out, to a street that was laden with garbage. "Send him back where you found him," I heard them saying.

Over the next few months, everyone watched as our former employers went out the back door, and left behind a death knell of lawsuits and press releases addressed to anyone who'd read them.

Matthew North: Lessons Learned

It didn't matter how many dials I made, how polished my pitch was, or what kind of jokes I told: nothing had made a difference. Prospects had turned into brick walls.
A decade later, things are now clear: once the walk-in buyers were gone, it left only the "Not interested" punters behind. There was no real finesse to what we were doing, no process. We chased, and they ran, that was about it.

So if my company was wrong about selling, what's trick or sneaky shortcut to making huge bags of money?

Mature thinkers know that nothing worthwhile is easy or guaranteed. So there is no a magic close that will force someone to buy, or a pitch so persuasive it sells itself. To seek the easy answers is a misunderstanding of what sales is really about. We cannot force people to do anything.

Instead, give people what they want, listen, and see things from their point of view. Because it's the customer's situation that determines if they buy. We don't call the plumber if our taps aren't leaking; we don't want to shoot the breeze with the cable guy. We engage with companies because we want something, and it's the same for why people will buy from you.

Don't listen to the marketer's jingle of awareness to transaction (which is from the businesses' perspective.) What is going on in your prospect's world? There will always be some unsatisfied need or want if a sale is possible. And if you can't help someone get what they want, it doesn't matter about your prices, how good your product is, or anything else.

What all of this means is that you do not make sales; you find sales. The opportunity of a sale being made is either there or it isn't. And yes, everyone has a fishing story or two of turning somebody around—but how often does that happen? Selling is not alchemy.

When people buy from a salesperson, it's because they were thinking about buying already. The salesperson was just kind of 'there,' handing over what they wanted. In practice, this means there are two distinct, yet concurrent parts to any good sales conversation: qualification, and what happens after. When we talk of simply finding the buyers (qualification), it's the first and most important step of the sale - not the close, nor your glossy sales kits, but who you speak to that matters the most.

This was a guest post by ex-sales pro turned writer Matthew North. You can follow him on Facebook for more posts like this and see if he'll write for you. For a live interview with Matthew North on SalesTactics, click here.

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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! <<