PD Strategies Blog

PD Strategies Blog

Performance and Development Strategies Blog is the informational place to get timely and purposeful articles on the issues that concern you most.

STOP SELLING AND START BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

STOP SELLING AND START BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS
STOP SELLING AND START BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS Sometimes we can all use a friendly reminder that sales today is more about developing relationships rather than closing sales. Here are 7 ideas that will open up your current sales thinking and help you become more effective in your selling activities: 1. Don’t use a sales pitch but instead start a conversation. When you call someone, avoid making a mini-presentation about yourself, your company, and what you have to offer. Start with an opening conversational phrase that focuses on a specific problem that your product or service solves 2. Your central goal is always to discover whether you and your potential client are a good fit. Let go of trying to “close the sale” or “get the appointment.” If you simply focus your conversation on problems that you can help potential clients solve, and if you don’t jump the gun by trying to move...
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IS SOCIAL MEDIA A SHINY NEW OBJECT?

IS SOCIAL MEDIA A SHINY NEW OBJECT?
People approach social media as if it is something cool like a shiny new object. In fact when discussing social media the word “cool” is used repeatedly. Is social media a fun cool object or is it a business tool. I think that the answer to that question is both. People use social media for fun and entertainment but since this blog is about business performance I would like to talk about using social media to get business results. Today businesses and professionals use social media that same way they used to use the Yellow Pages, the newspaper, magazines, and flyers. How did business decide where to put their marketing dollars? To begin with, they analyzed their market. Here are three very simple questions. Who does your business help? How does your business help? Where does your business help? These are basic marketing questions. You may have heard a business coach...
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HOW TO MAKE SOCIAL MEDIA WORK FOR YOUR BUSINESS

HOW TO MAKE SOCIAL MEDIA WORK FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Many business owners know that they should be using social media for their business. However, many are bewildered by all the choices. To make matters worse there are many different social media experts telling them what they should do and what they should say without understanding the business. In my opinion this approach is counterintuitive. Social media is simply a new form of advertising and communication that requires a plan and strategy to be effective. To help connect business reality with the new media I recently teamed up with a social media strategist. Here is some of what we discuss. It is important to have a clear message? How do you differentiate yourself from others? What is your unique value proposition? These questions will take some thoughtful analysis. Ask yourself the following questions: What is the best thing you do?Who is you target market?How to people learn about and acquire your...
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FOUR STEPS TO GETTING MORE SALES

FOUR STEPS TO GETTING MORE SALES
Many salespeople start the sales process by asking a closing question. For example, did you ever look at a car in a showroom and have the salesperson approach you with the question, “What would it take to have you drive home in this new car today?” An experienced salesperson will tell you that you shouldn’t ask a closing question until you are sure that the answer will be “Yes!” Let’s begin with a typical sales call. You start by building some rapport and trust with your prospect. This might include a warm welcome, some opening questions about them or their business, good eye contact, and other such techniques to establish a productive relationship at the beginning of a sales engagement. Once you have established some trust, follow this four step process which will help uncover their wants and needs so that you can offer the solution. 1.   Start by asking your...
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UNCOVERING PROBLEMS AND OFFERING SOLUTIONS IS THE KEY TO SALES

UNCOVERING PROBLEMS AND OFFERING SOLUTIONS IS THE KEY TO SALES
There is a paradigm shift in sales. And why is this happening? According to Dan Pink in his book “To Sell is Human” it is because we have gone a world of Caveat Emptor (buyer beware) to one of Caveat Venditor (seller beware). Information is readily available on the Internet and sellers no longer have the upper hand. The old term in sales, ABC (Always Be Closing) has been replaced by consultative selling. Now it is important to help identify needs and then assist the buyer in finding solutions. In the past salespeople were taught to concentrate on making the sale and closing the sale. However, today’s buyers are no longer willing to be sold. Linda Martin, founder of Resource Associates Corporation said, “People do not like to be sold but they sure like to buy”. Doesn’t it make sense then to assist the client in the buying decision rather than...
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HOW TO BECOME A TRUSTED ADVISOR TO YOUR CUSTOMER

HOW TO BECOME A TRUSTED ADVISOR TO YOUR CUSTOMER
Becoming a trusted advisor is a process that is built on credibility, trust and respect. Many business advisors and sales consultants talk about how they want to be a trusted advisor to their client. For some, achievement of that objective for some will require a paradigm shift in conduct of the buying selling process. I have recently read Dan Pink’s book, “To Sell is Human”. In my opinion this goes to the heart of being a trusted advisor. Those who remember sales from years ago remember ABC which means Always Be Closing. This is a tactic no longer works in today’s information rich environment. Using gimmicks to get sales in the past was based on the fact that the seller had a deal or that the buyer did not know what the seller knew. Today we buy things from the Internet. In fact anything a buyer wants to know is on...
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USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO PUT YOUR MARKETING MESSAGE OUT THERE

USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO PUT YOUR MARKETING MESSAGE OUT THERE
According to the American Marketing Association, “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large”. That is a complex statement. Marketing is simply defined as being top of mind when your prospect is ready to buy. Know your target market. It is important to define the parameters of your ideal prospects because it will help you to focus on those areas and people with whom you have the highest probability of success. When defining your market less is more. Start by identifying your competitive advantage and determining who is most likely going to benefit from doing business with you. The tighter you focus that market on your competitive advantages, the more likely you’ll convert those market members to prospects. For example, a financial planner I know differentiates himself by providing specialized services for...
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