Stop checking your email and start growing your sales

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Stop checking your email and start growing your sales

If you haven’t noticed, your email inbox is filled with everyone else’s priorities. Not a single one of your priorities can be found in your email. But for some reason, we all start our day checking email.

Then we keep our email open all day, compulsively checking it, anxiously waiting for someone to tell us what to do. That’s not enough though, so we have email alerts turned on, you know, just in case we get an email while we’re working in another program.

Stop the madness.

But seriously, why do we do this?

I know we get a hit of dopamine every time we receive an email. But honestly I’m not sure why. Ninety percent of the emails we receive aren’t exciting, or rewarding.

I’m not saying to completely abandon your email, but you need to find time in your day to work on YOUR priority list.

Do you have days where you feel like you didn’t accomplish anything? It was probably because you were stuck in your email all day.

So here’s your tip of the week:

Before you start your day, write down 2-3 priorities that you want to get done THAT DAY. Write the MOST important item FIRST. Make sure you’re specific.

Don’t write: “schedule some appointments” or “work on customer training module.”

Instead write: “set up 5 appointments with current customers to determine XYZ.” Or “complete first draft of the XYZ training module.” The more specific you are, the more progress you will make and the more fulfilled you will feel when you finish.

After the important tasks, write down everything else that should get done today. But remember, you do NOT have permission to work on these items until you finish the top priorities.

Living your life checking email is like telling your brain that you don’t know what to work on, so you need someone else to tell you what to do.

Chose how you spend your time wisely!


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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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Don’t be a problem solver, be this instead

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Don’t be a problem solver, be this instead

Most salespeople are problem solvers. They fill customer “needs”. This isn’t a bad thing, until you realize that with the ubiquity of information online, a quick google search provides all the answers. Or so we think.

In his book, To Sell is Human, Daniel Pink discusses how the best salespeople are problem FINDERS, not just problem solvers.

The example Daniel gives is about a consumer (let’s call him Bob) shopping for a vacuum cleaner. Bob researches all the vacuum cleaner options online until he finds the one he wants. Then Bob scours the web to find find the best deal. He doesn’t even need a salesperson! What a great experience for Bob.

Bob doesn’t need a vacuum cleaner though. He needs cleaner carpets. But we need to dig even further if we want to know what is really going on.

What if the carpets are getting dirty for another reason? What if the real problem is the screens on the windows aren’t sufficient to keep the dust out. Or maybe the underlying issue is the carpet needs to be replaced.

See what’s happening here? Bob solved what he thought was his problem. But the real problem was not that he needed a new vacuum cleaner.

Where was the problem finder when Bob needed one!?

How does this translate into the HVAC world? When a building owner calls and asks for a price on some rooftops or a new chiller, she doesn’t really want a large piece of equipment that costs thousands of dollars to operate. She wants to provide a comfortable environment for her employees. Or she wants her manufacturing process equipment to be cooled.

You could just send over a price to replace her old equipment. Or you could be a problem FINDER!

In this fictitious example, let’s say the owner asks for high efficiency equipment to save money on her energy bills.

If you are just a problem solver, this is easy. You call up your HVAC distributor and ask for pricing on high efficiency equipment. Easy peasy.

But if you are a problem finder, you find out that the building has no insulation. And upon further investigation, you learn that a $2,500 investment in insulation will cut the cooling load by 25%, and thus will require less equipment and will save MORE energy than the original high efficiency equipment would have.

If you’ve been in sales for a long time, this is probably a new way of thinking. Pink explains how the sales profession has changed over time: “In the past, the best salespeople were adept at accessing information and at answering questions. Today, they must be skilled at curating the massive troves of data, and at asking questions, uncovering possibilities and finding unexpected problems."

How can you be a problem solver on a project you are working on today?


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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 to Succeed with Passion

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How to Succeed with Passion

Don’t focus on the success. The outcome. The final goal. The final destination.

Focus on doing activities that draw your passion.

I heard Brenden Burchard energetically communicate this from the treadmill and I replayed it a few times, to let it really sink in. It made me realize that that I am HAPPIEST when I’m doing anything involved with sales. It could be working directly on a sale - either handling a customer objection, following up, closing etc. It might be reading about sales, or writing an article about sales.

But mastering sales is not the only path to happiness and ultimately success. You just have to find SOMETHING that gets you excited.

That SOMETHING, could be:
-Marketing yourself or your company
-Product knowledge
-Application knowledge
-Industry knowledge
-Networking

If you become one of the BEST in any of these areas, you will be successful in your position.

But you first must answer the question, what gets you going? What gets you excited? What activity do you completely lose time while doing?

You still need to be decent at the rest, but figure out what you enjoy learning about, and then spend every minute you can learning about that topic.

Listen to a podcast everyday. Or pick up a book.

Then teach others about that topic (<— this is where massive growth happens).

If it’s product knowledge, start doing youtube videos to share your knowledge. Or do training sessions with your customers or prospects.

Yes you still have to be strategic. But how awesome does this sound?

Remember, don’t focus on the final outcome, or the destination.

Focus on the activities that DRAW your PASSION.

The rest will take care of itself.

Do you agree?


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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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Great Salespeople Don't Sell to a Need

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Great Salespeople Don't Sell to a Need

"It’s not that you can’t sell, you can’t diagnose. Your product doesn’t drive the sale, your customer’s problem does. Being a great salesperson means being able to diagnose your customer’s problem and understanding the impact the problem is having on their business.”

This excerpt is from Gap Selling, by Keenan. (yes, he goes by just his first name. Or is it his last?).

Keenan’s book is all about “The Gap” - the distance between the customer’s current state and a (better) future state. A SMALL GAP = a SMALL PROBLEM = NO NEED (Which means no sale for you!). A large gap, however, means there is a BIG problem to be solved, and therefore a need for a solution.

Keenan further simplifies GAP SELLING by stating: "Sales happen when the future state is a better state.”

Here are some FUTURE STATES desired by YOUR customer:

  • An edge over their competition

  • Paths to previously unexplored markets

  • Increased profits

  • More rapid path to market

  • Heightened investor interest

  • Millions of dollars in savings

  • Streamlined manufacturing process

  • The eye of the new generation

  • Faster communications

  • Happier, more engaged employees

  • Better customer retention

  • Improved personal service

  • More leads

  • Increased response times

  • Increased revenue

 
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The first step in the Gap Selling process is to gather info on the customer’s CURRENT state, which has 5 critical elements (This is similar to Neil Rackham’s SPIN Selling process: Situation, Problems, Implications, Need pay-off). Here is everything you need to gather:

  • The literal and physical facts about your customer. This includes PROCESS facts (specifically how they do processes).

  • Their problems

  • The impact of those problems

  • The root causes of the problems

  • What effect those problems are having on your customers’ emotional state.

The goal is not to ask specific questions. It’s to get specific information.

One major thing to note as you begin this process: Your customer or prospect has to WANT you to help them. They have to be vulnerable and willing to give you information that helps you uncover THE GAP. If they aren’t sharing information you need, you haven’t established the credibility to help them.

Once you know exactly where your customer is NOW, and what FUTURE STATE they desire, the selling process becomes much easier. Handling objections is a cinch.

The rest of Keenan’s book dives deeper into all aspects of the sales process, including prospecting, proposals, following up, handling objections and closing.

It is definitely a book I’m recommending to everyone in the sales profession.

If you read it let me know what you think!

I’ll leave you with this: Great salespeople don’t sell to a need, they sell to problems. Don’t focus on selling your product, focus on selling the desired outcome.

What is your favorite sales book? Let us know in the comments!


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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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10 Rules for Sales Success

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10 Rules for Sales Success

I read a lot. Probably too much.

So far this year I’ve annihilated 32 books (as of July 7th).

While reading all these books I consistently stumble on thought-provoking quotes. The topics of these quotes are everything from sales, to marketing, to motivation and leadership.

Here are my 10 favorite success quotes so far this year:

  1. "All you have to do is to make it your business to find out what people want–instead of assuming it, instead of telling them. The one rule that sums up the job to be done–the one formula that is fully in harmony with the real world–the secret of success is: Find out what people want and help them get it!” -Harry Brown, The Secret to Selling Anything

  2. “You are responsible for your reality. Decide what you want of the world and go make it happen. No clarity, no change; no goals, no growth.”- Brendon Burchard, Motivation Manifesto

  3. "If you are not creating new problems for yourself, then you aren't taking enough action.” -Grant Cardone, 10X

  4. "Success in any field comes from focus. An obsessive, dedicated, absolute focus to see your mission through.” Evan Carmichael, Top 10 Rules for Success

  5. "It’s not that you can’t sell, you can’t diagnose. Your product doesn’t drive the sale, your customer’s problem does. Being a great salesperson means being able to diagnose your customer’s problem and understanding the impact the problem is having on their business.” Keenan, Gap Selling

 
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6. "If you limit your goals to what you know you can achieve, you are setting the bar way too low.” Ray Dalio, Principles

7. “If you look back on yourself a year ago and aren’t shocked by how stupid you were, you haven’t learned much.” Ray Dalio, Principles

8. "Happiness comes from solving problems. Don’t hope for a life without problems. There’s no such thing. Instead, hope for a life full of good problems.” Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

9. "Problems never stop; they merely get exchanged and/or upgraded. True happiness occurs only when you find the problems you enjoy having and enjoy solving.” Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

10. "The facts are irrelevant. In the short run, it doesn’t matter one bit whether something is actually better or faster or more efficient. What matters is what the consumer believes.” Seth Godin, All Marketers are Liars

What is your favorite quote from this list?


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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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