Most of us have heard of an elevator pitch. Wikipedia defines is as “… a short summary used to quickly and simply define a product, service, or organization and its value proposition. The name “elevator pitch” reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes.”
In Small Message, Big Impact, Terri Sjodin takes this concept a step further by combining this idea with the Butterfly Effect coined by Edward Lorenz, to get the Elevator Speech Effect. What’s the difference? Whereas the traditional elevator speech is about providing information, Sjodin’s elevator speech effect focuses on further action.
Sjodin explains, “The impact and almost magical ripple effect of a well-crafted and beautifully delivered three-minute elevator speech in today’s changing and challenging market cannot be denied.”
We all have those times when we need to make a big impact in a short period of time, and when our future can be on the line. Sjodin provides the tools to prepare us for just these sorts of situations.
If you’d like to learn about these tools, join us on August 21st for our Soundview Live webinar Small Message, Big Impact, where Terri will share the lessons she’s learn out in the field, and will take your questions along the way.
Have you ever received one of “those” sales calls? You know the kind I mean. The caller starts out by seeming like they know your business and what you really need to be more successful – and then they proceed to push for more information and ask questions for which the answer is of course “Yes”. “Do you want to grow your business?” “Do you want to reach more customers?”
Then, when they aren’t making any headway, they attempt to make you feel stupid that you don’t see the need they can fill with their product. You feel like you’re being “techniqued” as they try each ploy to try and get further in the conversation toward a sale. I’ve had some sales calls where the only way to end the call was to hang up in mid-sentence.
Jill Konrath, in her book Snap Selling, points out that “focusing on your FABs (features-advantages-benefits) creates insurmountable obstacles. Using clever objection-handling techniques insults your prospect’s intelligence. And employing “always be closing” tactics is the surest way to prematurely end potentially fruitful relationships.”
Selling has changed as budgets are tight, people are more busy than ever, and as the Internet plays more of a role in the selling process. Konrath continues, “Today you need to personally bring value to each interaction you have with these people. Also, even if you sell commodities, your new role in working with these well- educated customers is as a ‘business improvement specialist’.”
Konrath provides a list of four factors that you must have in mind when working with these crazy-busy people, her four SNAP factors:
Simple: Your ability to eliminate complexity and effort from your prospect’s decision-making process will improve your chances for sales success.
iNvaluable: In a world of copycat products and services, the value you personally bring to the relationship becomes essential.
Aligned: You must stay relevant to your client at all times; they don’t have time for anything else.
Priority: With an ever-changing business environment, you can’t afford to have your prospect deem your services non-urgent.
If you’re finding that your sales techniques aren’t working as well as they used to, then you could benefit from our upcoming Soundview Live webinar with Jill Konrath called The 4 SNAP Rules of Selling. This webinar is coming up on August 8th and is free to Soundview subscribers. For non-subscribers the price is just $59, and you can fill your conference room with sales people for this same low price.
I recently ran across a great article written by Jimm Fox of One Market Media on the many business uses of video. I’ve listed his main categories below, and you can check out the full article for more details.
Customer Reference – video helps with collecting and showing customer testimonials, case studies and interviews.
Product & Service Promotion – companies use video for product presentations, demonstrations and reviews.
Corporate – corporations provide their company overview, executive highlights, facility tours and more with video.
Training & Support – video is the latest thing in employee training, sales presentations and maintenance support.
Internal Communication – video is now being used for business plans, company achievements, event coverage, employee orientation and health & safety education.
Marketing – video promotions can take the form of commercials, viral video, content marketing and landing pages.
PR/Community – video press releases are becoming more popular, along with video PR materials and community relation pieces.
Events – at an event, presentations, roundtable discussions and Q&A with experts can all take place in video.
Other – videos are also being used for recruitment, vlogs (video blogs) and research/surveys.
On the internet search side of the equation, research shows that a webpage with video is 30% more likely to end up on the first page of search results in Google then the same page without video. Google is now giving preference to video content in their search algorithm.
At Soundview, we are following this trend carefully, and have expanded our own offerings to include video. Our iPad format of each business book summary includes a video introduction from our Editor-in-Chief Sarah Dayton. We now produce Executive Insights, a series of videos which interview active executives regarding key business skills. And we’re developing additional video content to be released soon.
Video increases engagement time, deepens emotional connections, and gives your company more trust and credibility with your customers and other stake-holders. And the cost of entry is becoming less every day with new technologies and web tools. If your company or organization is not currently using video, now is the time to jump in.
There are probably as many books written about methods to increase one’s sales as there are cold calls made in the average quarter. Unfortunately, the bulk of items in the first category does little to help the second group result in a successful sale. In response to the flood of titles that offer much in the way of theory but little in the way of results, sales performance experts Mike Schultz and John E. Doerr offer a field-tested model for sales excellence in their book Rainmaking Conversations: Influence, Persuade and Sell in Any Situation. It’s the newest sales title available in multiple digital formats from Soundview Executive Book Summaries.
Even seasoned sales professionals will discover new techniques as they explore the authors’ RAIN system. Schultz and Doerr examine the critical steps of Rapport, Aspirations and Afflictions, Impact and New Reality, and they provide advice to help salespeople shape the relationship with the customer and keep mutually beneficial goals at the forefront of any sale.
One of the book’s strengths is its ability to stay grounded. The authors realize that so much of today’s sales process is done at lightning speed, with clients that barely have two minutes to spare, using communication methods that put face-to-face at the end of the list. The RAIN system is clearly defined, practical and gives salespeople a template for success that doesn’t resort to scripts or practices the sales professional already knows.
After the devastating rains that we’ve experience here on the east coast, you may not want to hear anything more about rain, but today I’m talking about a different kind of rain – the kind that will make you money.
“Rainmaker” is a term used in business for the sales people who bring in the most new clients and revenue. From this term, Mike Shultz and his partner John Doerr of the RAIN Group have developed their sales training approach around the acronym RAIN, which stands for Rapport, Aspirations and Afflictions, Impact and New Reality.
In this training program and their recent best-selling book Rainmaking Conversations, Shultz and Doerr provide a proven system for leading masterful conversations that they guarantee will fill the pipeline, secure new deals and maximize the potential of each account.
In their book, the authors start with the salesperson. They suggest that you must ask some hard questions of yourself if you really want to become a rainmaker, questions that I found to be very insightful.
How strong is my desire to achieve in sales?
How committed am I to doing what I need to do to succeed?
How energetically will I pursue success?
How’s my attitude?
Do I accept responsibility for my outcomes or do I make excuses?
Am I willing to face my sales demons?
There is real wisdom in this approach, because if a salesperson is not properly motivated, no amount of training or coaching is going to help them succeed. If you’re involved in sales, you might want to ask yourself these questions as well. And if your answers reveal real motivation for becoming a rainmaker, you’ll want to join us on October 6th for our Soundview Live webinar with Mike Shultz entitled Mastering the Art of Sales Conversations.
Mike will explain his approach in-depth, and you’ll have the opportunity to ask those nagging questions you have about your own situation. Then you’ll be saying “Let It Rain sales.”