Stop being such a salesperson!

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Stop being such a salesperson!

One of the biggest mistakes I see salespeople make is spending too much time selling, and not enough time teaching. If you pay close attention to the best salespeople, they educate their customers more than they sell them. 

People don’t want to be “sold” your product or service. They want to learn how it works. They want to understand how it will benefit them. And if it will help your customer enough, they will buy from you!

Here are 3 EASY ways to be an educator and not a salesperson!

Market the benefits, not the features of your product or service

People don’t buy your product for its features. They buy for the benefits. It’s not about gigabytes, or cooling per KW  - it’s how much time or money will it save them. Or it’s how it will help your customer make more money. Benefits sell, not features or specs. 

Create content that is informative and helps your customer with their job

Write an article, or create a 2 minute video about how important it is to service screw compressors, for example. Keep the content light and informative. Share tips on how to stay out of trouble on new installs (even if you aren’t getting the business). Make your customers look good in front of their boss!

Share industry updates that your customer should know about

What is going on in your customer’s world that they should know about? What are the new energy codes that they need to watch out for? What new technology is being developed that would benefit them?

If I can share one piece of advice it is this: When you communicate to your customer, make sure you have THEIR interests ABOVE yours. If you care more about THEIR success than your sales, I promise you the rest will take care of itself. 

Stop being a salesperson. Educate the market and watch your sales grow! 


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Brad Telker
Vice President, Applied Systems Group at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of the Applied Systems Group, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys reading, running and spending time with his family


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How I lost my passion for sales

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How I lost my passion for sales

I’m feeling off my game. I don’t have the same sense of urgency I had last year. I’m not as energized about sales as I should be. 

What was going on?

I stopped training. I stopped reading sales and business books. I stopped practicing. 

A lot of people see all the books I read (because I share them often on social media) and they tell me to stop reading so many business books, and to start reading other stuff.

I took their advice, and I lost my edge. 

The first two books I read this year were sales books, but the next 13 were NOT. They were great books and I learned a lot, but I realized I need to keep on my game. I need to be studying sales every day. 

So I picked up a copy of Sell or Be Sold by Grant Cardone. And I finally have my edge back.

Here are my 5 biggest takeaways from Sell or Be Sold. The first one is probably the most important.

Train every day  

If you want to be a successful sales professional, this is the most important thing you can start doing TODAY. Look at the top athletes in the world. They practice every day. LeBron James practices free throws every day. Tiger Woods is on the putting green every day. Mike Trout doesn’t miss a chance to hit the cages before each game. 

And the pros are not practicing “just to practice”. They intentionally work on specific skills they need to improve for THAT day, or THAT week. 

Clients pay more for a positive attitude 

You may not think this is true, but it is a fact of life. Just think about who you like to work with. Are you drawn to people that are always in a good mood? Are you compelled to work with people who are excited to talk to you? Absolutely. 

No matter what, always be in a positive and up-beat mood when working with your customers. Especially when you are fixing a problem.

 
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Follow up on all of your opportunities from the day before, no exceptions 

Not a whole lot to discuss here. Follow up on every opportunity from the day before. This could be a handwritten note after a first meeting, or a phone call to follow up on a proposal. Follow up, follow up, follow up.

ALWAYS agree with the customer

Is the customer always right? In their mind they are, so agree with them before you give them your 2 cents. One example Grant gives in the book is a price objection about a new roof: “It’s too much money,” says the customer. Grant’s response is, "I agree it’s a lot of money. Your new roof is going to last for thirty years and there won’t be any more leaks or costly repairs. You will have to do it sooner or later, so let’s get it done now.”

The second sale

This is not a new concept, but it’s worth a refresher. When the customer is handing you an order, this is a great time to look for the second sale. Don’t think of this as a tactic that only helps the salesperson though. This helps the customer too! If they already have a PO ready, and have something else that needs fixing, why not kill two birds with one stone (or with one PO in this case)?

Giveaway

I enjoyed this book so much that I am giving away a couple free copies. Just forward this article on to someone that would benefit, or share it on LinkedIn. Once you do either of those, shoot me an email at b.telker@cfmkc.com and I’ll send the first two people a copy. I’ll enter the remaining people into a drawing!


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Brad Telker
Vice President, Applied Systems Group at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of the Applied Systems Group, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys reading, running and spending time with his family


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The 5 biggest marketing mistakes salespeople make

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The 5 biggest marketing mistakes salespeople make

Marketing is hard. It’s difficult to measure. It is hard to know if you’re making an impact. 

With the advent of social media, you can share your message instantly without thinking through the important details. Back in the day, when your ad was going to cost thousands of dollars, people spent more time crafting the ad and getting executive approval. This is no longer the case. 

This post by the way, is not just geared toward traditional marketing strategies. It's for salespeople that send their customers emails about a new promo. It's for the sales professional posting a picture on LinkedIn. Anytime you are communicating to your customers or prospects, you are marketing. 

Before you market to you customers, take a stroll through this checklist. Here are the 5 biggest marketing mistakes I see people make:

No call to action

What do you want the viewer to do after consuming your content? Do you want them to go to your website? Do you want them to call you? Do you want them to comment on the post? Every time you create an ad or a marketing piece, include a call to action. Preferably just one.  

Posting “to get the word out”

Do not create or share content just to “get the word out”. Marketing is a tool that should be used to create change. So, what behavior do you want to change? What is the goal of the ad? How do you want your customer to feel when they see this ad? What do you want them to do after seeing it? (CTA).

Too broad of an audience 

One mistake I see often is content created for everyone. The problem is when you create an ad for everyone, it benefits no one. Make sure your content speaks to an audience of one and you will have a greater return. 

Not spending enough money on Facebook and Instagram 

Companies are starting to finally catch on to the cost effectiveness of Facebook and Instagram ads. The biggest problem though, is companies don’t stay committed to boosting the best ads. Figure out which video or post has the best results, and continue boosting it for months, or an entire year. Don't just boost it for 2 weeks!

Selling instead of teaching 

Stop selling and start teaching. People hate being sold. People have their own opinions and their own worldviews, and it is very hard to change them. So instead, teach your customer something that benefits them. People love to learn. And if they learn that your product will benefit them, they will buy it. 

What is the biggest marketing mistake that you’re making right now?


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Brad Telker
Vice President, Applied Systems Group at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of the Applied Systems Group, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys reading, running and spending time with his family


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The Top 10 Rules for Success

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The Top 10 Rules for Success

With over 2 million YouTube subscribers, Evan Carmichael spends his time sharing how successful people reach peak performance, how successful people break down barriers, how they build their mindset, how they think. And how they act. 

In December 2017, Evan released his second book, “The Top 10 Rules for Success”, where he documents the rules of the ultra-successful. He breaks down their own videos into quotes, and delivers each person’s top 10 rules for success. 

His book features tech icons like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Actors Will Smith, Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington make appearances. Also making the cut are entrepreneurs like Tony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey, Zig Ziglar, and many more. 

At the very beginning of the book, Evan, having spent years studying these successful people, shares his own "Top 10 Rules for Success" list. You can think of this list as an aggregate from all of the successful people he has studied. 

Evan's Top 10 Rules for Success are:

1. Follow Your Passion 

"You become the best by loving what you do more than anyone else and following that passion through."

2. Have Self-Awareness 

"Having the self-awareness to understand how you work best and then build a business around it gives you the best chance at success."

3. Raise Your Standards 

"You’ll end up being the average of your five closest friends."

4. Focus 

"Success in any field comes from focus. An obsessive, dedicated, absolute focus to see your mission through."

5. Hard Work

"Quite often the people at the top aren’t the most naturally talented. They just outworked everyone else. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard."

6. Embrace Failure 

"You don’t have to take a big risk but if you take no risk at all, if you wait until you have 100% of the information, then it’s too late."

7. Ignore the Little Man 

"The #LittleMan is the person in your life who tells you all the reasons why your ideas won’t work. You will never have the success you’re after if you’re living your life according to other people’s expectations."

8. Build a Team

"As you grow, the amount that you contribute to the business shrinks compared to what your team creates so bringing on skilled and passionate people, as well as managing your office culture will be critical to your success."

9. Model Success 

"Study people in your industry who have made it as well as your heroes outside the industry."

10. Believe 

"If you start your day with courageous self-belief every day for the next year, you will not recognize the business and the life that you will create for yourself one year from today. So get building and start believing!"

What do you think?

What are your Top 10 Rules for Success?


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Brad Telker
Vice President, Applied Systems Group at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of the Applied Systems Group, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys reading, running and spending time with his family


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5 reasons you're not good at following up

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5 reasons you're not good at following up

Follow-up is one of the most important steps in the sales process. The simple act of calling your customer after sending a proposal will drastically increase your close rates. 

But most salespeople don't follow up. Here’s why.

You don’t know how

If you haven’t read a book or sat through a training class on how to follow up, then you probably don’t know how. There is a lot more to following up than just calling your customer back, or worse, sending an email.

Here is a follow up training article that will get you started. But there is still more to it. You need to develop your own process. 

Sit down with your team and decide what your follow up process should be. Then work it and tweak it until you hit your stride. 

You don’t have the right tools

10 years ago I was terrible at follow up. I didn’t have the right tools. I was using an excel spreadsheet to track all my deals. It was a horrific system. 

There was barely enough room to write one sentence about the progress of each job. There was no reminder system. Once a job was more than a month old, it no longer appeared on the screen. I would have to scroll up to find it, which meant it no longer existed.

Excel also doesn’t hold you accountable. You can just scroll aimlessly for 10 minutes until you finally get distracted with something else. I was making 5 follow up calls a week instead of 50.

PRO TIP: Make sure you have a sales pipeline tool you can enter all your deals into. The tool should be simple. When you enter in the data for your deal, it should only include a few pieces of information: Who is your customer. What is the job name. What is the deal size. And most importantly, a reminder for when you are going to follow up. We increased our close rate by 30% using a tool like this. What are you waiting for? (It doesn’t have be expensive either. The one we use starts at $10 per month). 

You’re afraid of rejection

I get it. We all want to be liked. We don’t want to be told no. Plus, if you don’t follow up, the deal remains open and you still "have a chance of closing". The harsh reality is if you aren’t following up because you’re afraid of rejection, sales probably isn’t the career for you. 

3 PRO TIPS: 

First, realize that 99% of rejections aren’t personal. Your solution is rejected, not you personally. When you are told no, find out why and learn from it.

Second, think of sales like your favorite MLB player. Their failure rate at the plate is 70%. Understand that you aren’t going to close every deal. Deal with it. 

Third, pick up Jia Jiang’s book, Rejection Proof. You will learn valuable lessons about rejection. And you will enjoy the book!

You find other busy work

The trigger for this could be a lot of things. You might tell yourself “I think my customer is in a meeting” or “I don’t really want to bother her again this morning”. So you find something else to do: “Oh, I will take care of this warranty issue real quick.” Or “Oh I need to take care of scanning in a few receipts for expenses.” Next thing you know you get busy and haven’t done any follow up. Don’t get distracted!

What can you do to avoid distraction?

You don’t schedule it for the right time (or it’s not scheduled at all)

For most of you, follow up calls should be done first thing in the morning. Your rule should be that you don’t look at email, or make any other non-follow up calls until your follow up calls are complete. Your willpower is at its maximum strength in the morning. Your mind is sharp early in the day. And you have the rest of the day to put out fires.

PRO TIP: Decide when you will follow up. Then put it in your calendar. A recurring appointment for the same time. Then don’t schedule other appointments during this time. 

Following up will make or break you as a salesperson. 

What is your follow up strategy?


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Brad Telker
Vice President, Applied Systems Group at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of the Applied Systems Group, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys reading, running and spending time with his family



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