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Archive for the ‘Schmoozing’ Category

Arrogance vs. Confidence

Posted by Shane Murphy on Wednesday, December 13, 2006

handshake1.jpgArrogant vs. Confident… have you considered the difference in your presenting? Do you know how you come off to a potential client?

This distinction popped out at me as I was looking around the net for something great to blog. I found it at BidBlog:

In short, arrogance kills listening skills. And where there is no listening, there is no learning. Where there is no learning, there is no way to determine the most meaningful way to differentiate your offering for the customer in question. Without meaningful differentiation, you are a commodity. When you are a commodity, you compete on little else but price.

I’ve learned in my days that when it gets to just competing on price, you’re in trouble. If your price is the best, you get the business. But what happens when your price, when your rate isn’t the best? Can you overcome that objection with confidence, or does your arrogance get the best of you?

I know, I know… you’re sitting there thinking “I’m not arrogant at all!”

Well, I’ve made that mistake many times over in my career. It’s still a struggle for me to keep my confidence appearing as such, and not spilling over into that ugly arrogant style. It usually doesn’t rise up and slap me in the face until I lose a deal and review what the devil went wrong.

Selling isn’t about just being the best. It’s not about being the best-priced. It’s about caring for the needs of the client. It’s about giving the client what they want, not just what we want. It’s about creating those win-win opportunities and working them out together.

It’s a little bit preachy, I know…

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Posted in Pitching, Schmoozing | Leave a Comment »

The One Piece of Advice You Can’t Sell Without

Posted by Shane Murphy on Monday, August 14, 2006

moneyroll.jpgI’ve never hidden the fact that I’m a loyal reader of RainToday.com. I subscribe to their newsletters, I visit their site several times per week, and I take a lot of their advice and put it into action.

So imagine my glee this weekend when I came across a free ebook that they’re offering up. 34 pages of quick-hit advice from some of the best in the business. This baby is an easy read, but it’s one that you’re going to want to read, read, and read again.

One of my favorite entries in this fantastic ebook comes from Alan Weiss, who wrote the book Million Dollar Consulting.

If you’re talking about price, you’ve lost control of the discussion.

As salespeople, we all know that to be true, right? When I first started my career, I would cringe every time I heard that dreaded, yet almost inevitable question, “How much is it?” I always go back to that Zig Ziglar standby nowadays — “Price is a one time thing, but cost is a lifetime investment.”

And it doesn’t matter what you’re selling, really. Once you get that mindset, I’m convinced that you could sell anything. Weiss drives that point home flawlessly, using time-shares as his vehicle to do so.

And his contribution to the ebook is but one of 11 contributors. Have you downloaded it yet?

Posted in Closing, Organizing, Pitching, Planning, Prospecting, Reporting, Researching, Schmoozing | Leave a Comment »

Compose That Elevator Speech This Weekend

Posted by Shane Murphy on Thursday, July 27, 2006

elevator.jpgI’ve discussed the importance of your “elevator speech” more than once here on AccountHUNTER over the past few months.  The elevator speech… you know, that little 30-second ditty that you really need to burn into your memory so that you can explain to anybody exactly what how it is that what you do can be of help to them.

So as the weekend approaches, have you actually taken the time to sit down and either write yours or attempt to improve it?

This week, I decided that I need to revamp mine considerably.  But before I got started on it, I found myself wondering if there was any good advice about this on the good ‘ol internet.

What a silly question…

I came across an article on a job hunting site (makes sense, right?) that explains in pretty good detail a great exercise in constructing your elevator speech.  This piece gives multiple processes that you can use to make your speech sing.

Take a little bit of time this weekend and work on yours.

Posted in Schmoozing | Leave a Comment »

Developing Loyal Clients

Posted by Shane Murphy on Wednesday, July 26, 2006

handshake.jpgDeveloping loyalty in your client base.  Sometimes, it can seem as far away as the next universe over.  But it doesn’t have to be, right?

Of course, we all dream of a day when prospecting is but a limited part of our days.  When the business comes to us, not the other way around.  It seems like a pipe dream much of the time.

But it doesn’t have to.

Your day, if it’s anything remotely close to mine, consists of a good amount of prospecting, with a much smaller percentage of selling to existing customers.  So how do we build up that loyalty in our existing clients?

It’s all about relationships, of course.  I came across a short blog post today citing the words of a research psychologist.

When people feel like they’re being recognized as a human being on the other side of a transaction, as opposed to being the transaction, then they have a more positive response.

On it’s face, that seems like a pretty simple concept.  But sit back and take a look at your daily activities.  When you call on an existing client, what is the interaction like?  Not for you… for the client…

I challenge you to take a few moments to consider that question.

Posted in Planning, Schmoozing | Leave a Comment »

Honest Abe’s Take On Customer Relationships

Posted by Shane Murphy on Friday, July 21, 2006

lincoln.jpgHow do you perceive your relationships with your customers? Just as important of a question… how do you perceive your prospects?

It’s easy to look at a prospect — and at face value, simply dismiss them for a variety of reasons that you may swear up and down you would never consider.

Dan Tudor over at LandingTheDeal penned a pretty strong blog item last week discussing the customer relationship philosophy of Abraham Lincoln. Specifically, Lincoln’s simple understanding that it is indeed your attitude that defines your relationships with others… including your customers and prospects!

“Hey, guess what: This isn’t high school. You aren’t passing notes in your home room, and your customer isn’t going to ask you to the prom. It’s a professional business relationship, and you need to grow up and act your age when it comes to being patient with your customers, even when they don’t return the favor to you at first.”

That couldn’t be more true. Sometimes in life, and in selling, we have to get past our personal issues and biases and realize that when we decided that we don’t “like” somebody, it very well may be our problem to overcome.

To simply write that customer off may seem logical in the short-term… but what about long-term? Think about it…

Posted in Prospecting, Schmoozing | Leave a Comment »

The Cherry On Top

Posted by Shane Murphy on Wednesday, July 12, 2006

sundae.jpgYesterday was a fun day in the grand scheme of my world.  I pitched a pretty large company with a proposal for a sales training opportunity.  A few weeks of prep work, followed by the development of my proposal and finalizing my presentation.  Training is something that’s near and dear to my heart, but the process that I used to put the package together is one that I write about on this blog on a pretty regular basis.

Lots of research, lots of work, and the presentation went great.  When I got back home last night and hit the sack, my mind was already churning about the “thank you” letter I intended to draft the next morning.  As I tried to conceptualize the words I intended to use, I started thinking about just how many people never take the time to extend this simplest of gratitudes.

Of course, if my competitors choose not to send a letter of gratitude, all the better for me, I suppose…

I was talking to a good friend of mine today about the “Thank you letter.”  He’s a small business owner and he’s used to making these sorts of buying decisions.  Notice that I didn’t say “hiring decisions,” but “buying decisions,” because when a client buys your proposal or an employer hires you for a position, it’s a purchase, isn’t it?

My friend compared the “Thank you letter” to the topping on an ice cream sundae.  “The thank you letter is the cherry on top,” he told me.  “If the sundae was no good, it doesn’t matter.”

The next time you wrap a pitch, keep this in mind.  Make sure that your sundae is top class, then add that nice juicy cherry to help you stand out from the crowd and win the business.

Posted in Pitching, Schmoozing | Leave a Comment »

Killer Interview – Jeffrey Gitomer

Posted by Shane Murphy on Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Every day as I sift through the amazing information that is available on the Internet for the things that I write about, I'm pretty impressed by the stuff that I find. But never, ever, have I been so stunned to find something as I was last night when I landed on an incredible series of interviews with my favorite sales trainer – Jeffrey Gitomer.

The interview was conducted by Dan Tudor over at LandingTheDeal.com, and is not your ordinary run-of-the-mill article. This stuff is absolute gold!

One thing that stuck with me, from the this portion of the interview, deals with firing a customer:

"If there were no ability or desire to change the situation, then I would try to find another source for them — the competitor I hate the most!"

Like everything I've ever read, heard, or seen from Gitomer… he once again drives straight to the point.

Kudos to Dan over at LandingTheDeal for landing this fantastic interview.

Posted in Closing, Pitching, Planning, Prospecting, Schmoozing | 2 Comments »

The ‘Essential Message’

Posted by Shane Murphy on Monday, May 29, 2006

message.jpgHave you ever given consideration to such a, well… essential question? We've heard it before, every one of us at some point. The elevator speech. What you do and how you sell it.

I hear people talk about this sort of stuff all the time, but how many people have perfected their 'essential message?' I can tell you with little doubt, that the majority of successful people have!

"The reality is, if you can't articulate in a compelling manner who you are, what you're especially good at and why anyone would want to do business with you, then the problem is worse than just blowing an opportunity to get a new client when you go for coffee."

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Pitching, Schmoozing | Leave a Comment »

10 Minutes Better Spent

Posted by Shane Murphy on Sunday, May 28, 2006

clock.JPGI stumbled across this very short blog entry from SalesTeamTools.com over the weekend and found it very interesting, especially given the short time that we all seem to have on a daily basis to live our personal and professional lives with any sort of success.

The entry starts with the question "Do you realize how much more people in this world could accomplish if they used 10 minutes every day more effectively?

So, do you?  Take a look and see!

Once you've read it, I challenge you to take some time and expand their list.   

Posted in Organizing, Planning, Schmoozing | Leave a Comment »

The How and Where of Networking

Posted by Shane Murphy on Sunday, May 21, 2006

moneycup.jpgMake no mistake about it. If you read this blog for very long, you'll notice some common themes of the points that I try to make. One of those themes will be the teachings of Jeffrey Gitomer. A lot of people that I know are familiar with his "in-your-face" teachings and are — how to say it — really uncomfortable in putting his concepts to use.

I can see that point, but there's one thing that is undeniable. The guy gets results.

So today, take a peek at this wonderful article on Networking. Remember, that thing that I mentioned heading into the weekend? I knew that you did!

Gitomer asks the question leading into the piece: How important is networking?

"If you're trying to be successful, it's the difference between mediocre and big."

Read it and heed it, folks. Put it to use and you'll see results. Trust me.

Posted in Prospecting, Schmoozing | Leave a Comment »