Mar 14

The Humor Advantage

I recently co-presented a sales seminar with my daughter, Stephanie Dupre, in San Antonio. And she brought up a very important point that I discovered I am uncomfortable with. Adding humor to your sales scripts. I don’t consider myself a very funny person. I’ve told many a joke that fell flat. Or I got in trouble for saying the wrong thing, and then laughing. Do you have that experience?

Yet, humor has powerful benefits for the sales professional.

  1. It reduces resistance.
  2. It builds trust and rapport.
  3. It helps people relax (including you!)
  4. It gets people in a more receptive frame of mind.
  5. It helps illustrate the benefits of your product or service."A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing." - Laura Ingalls Wilder“A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder

I recently saw a slide show by Hubspot that shared 23 tips by well-known comedians on how to use humor effectively in sales. Here are 3 of my favorites:

Ricky Gervais says: “The safest humor involves personal stories.”

He goes on to say, “As a creator, it’s your job to make someone as excited and interested about your topic as you are, and real life tends to do that.”

What stories in your life can create excitement about your service or product?

U.K. comedian, Jimmy Carr, says, “Writing comedy isn’t really about writing; it’s more about editing.”

When it comes to humor, less is more. It’s more about what you DON’T say. (Ever had anyone ruin a joke by talking too much??) Get to the funny part quickly, and let the listener’s imagination do the rest.

Not sure how to do  this? Google “one liners” and look for short quips that will work well for your presentation.

Darren LaCroix, former public speaking world champion, recommends you look at your firsts and your fails.

“When people want to find funny, I recommend they look in the mirror. People love openness and humility.”

When I bought my first investment property, I worried because I didn’t get any phone calls for the house, until someone asked me why I didn’t have a for rent sign in front!

What are your firsts and fails? How can they help you relate to your customer and build trust?

dreamstime_s_43804118

© Vickimiller6 | Dreamstime.com – Humorous wood sign

 

Want to read more? I recommend you click here and check it out!

Not sure how to use humor? Want some help? I offer 30 minute FREE coaching calls to help you find solutions to your biggest sales challenge so you can close more sales and make more money. Sign up here to get on my calendar.

I would love to hear your one-liners and funny stories. How do you use humor in your sales presentations? Shre your comments in the space below. (Please keep the jokes clean!)

I look forward to hearing from you!

Mar 09

Black Belt Selling–Closing with Confidence

My husband, Phillip, introduced me to Eric. When Deena challenged me with those four painful questions three years ago, I started reading books about sales. Two months into my quest, Phillip forwarded an email invitation for a free conference call about objection handling. I cleared my schedule to be on the call. Because he was a sales trainer, I assumed Eric had always been good at sales. However, that is not true.

Going from fearful to Confident!

Going from fearful to Confident!

Do you feel like a sales failure?
“I actually start off as a sales failure,” Eric shares. “I was terrible at it! The first sales team that I was on was comprised of about 15 sales people. I was the bottom producer my entire first year. At the end of that year I missed quota two months in a row and was written up because of it. My sales manager told me I had one more month or I would be let go.
“Dr. Moines took a scientific approach to selling. He wrote his PhD dissertation on what separates sales super stars from average sales people. If you ask people who are naturally gifted at selling how they close so many sales, they will often say they don’t know. They just do it. Dr. Moines studied these sales super stars to uncover what makes them so successful.
“Through his extensive research , he observed several striking traits they shared in common. They told the same stories, presentation after presentation. They closed in the same way. They asked similar probing questions and prepared for their clients in the same way. Dr. Moine literally cracked the code!”

Systems work!
Dr. Moines taught Eric a system for selling based on his research. When Dr. Moine said, “Do this here, do that here,” Eric did it. He taught Eric to create an outline of the presentation that he was going to deliver. To this day, if Eric has a presentation tomorrow, today he is going to spend time creating the outline of what he is going to cover and in what order.
That first month , Eric made his quota of $10,000. The following month, he sold more than five times the quota, becoming the top producer in his division! Since then, he’s never looked back. According to Eric, “It’s kind of like riding a bike. Once you learn how to do it, you know how to do it for the rest of your life. ”

 

You are reading an excerpt from my new book, “Black Belt Selling–Closing with Confidence”

To purchase your copy on Kindle, go to this link.

Be sure to listen to my radio shows this week and join the party. Click on the links at the appropriate time.

Thursday 10:30 a.m. Sales Mastery: Interview with Eric Lofholm

Friday 12:30 pm Black Belt Selling–Closing with Confidence

 

 

Mar 02

Time Freedom–How to Make Time Work for You

Have you ever felt like you were on a treadmill? Always moving, but getting nowhere? Or you have so many things to do that you can’t seem to get it all done?

If that is you, then read on. Because I’m going to share some great time hacks to help you become the master of you time, and not it’s slave!Be in control of your time.

Time Hack #1: Keep a journal of how you spend your time.

The first step to time management is discover how you are really spending your time. When people want to lose weight, they keep a food diary. This helps them see what they are eating, how many calories they are actually consuming. In the same way, we often don’t realize the small ways we procrastinate or how much time the project is really taking! A journal will help you see what you are really doing, so you can start to make corrections.

Time Hack #2: Before Monday arrives, write down all your appointments for the week.

Have you ever forgotten an appointment? I have. It is so frustrating!! Suddenly I have to shift my plan to hurry up and put something together because I hadn’t planned properly. Writing all you appointments for a week on one sheet of paper can help you see if you are leaving enough time for preparation, or if you need to reschedule an appointment. Either way, you can be more in control of your schedule, and less driven by it!

Time Hack #3: Prioritize your activities.Prioritize your list!

Our days are often filled with interruptions. These interruptions, in turn, can derail the whole day! Part of time management is accepting interruptions and managing them. When you prioritize your activity at the beginning of the day, you can ensure that at least 1 priority activity toward your goal is accomplished, in spite of what your day may bring.

Time Hack #4: Stay focused on the task as hand.

More time is wasted thinking about something else you should be doing instead of paying attention to what you are doing right now. To help me stay on task, I have a timer running in the background so that I know I can move onto something else when the timer goes off. This helps me stay focused, and not worry about everything else on my list.

 

For more time hacks, listen to my radio show this week on BlogTalkRadio

Has this helped? Comment in the thread below, and I may include your time hack in a future blog!

 

Be sure to Like  my facebook page to know about my soon be published book, “Black Belt Selling–Closing with Confidence!”

Feb 24

4 Lessons that Sales Teaches about Life!

Before I received sales training, I was very frustrated. Not just in my business, but in my personal life, as well. I’m one of those peacemakers, who is always working to smooth the waters. But my family members often accused me of not listening to what they had to say! I couldn’t figure it out!!listening

After receiving sales training, I began to view my interactions with my family much differently. For example, when my husband and I would talk about money in the past, I kept thinking about my next response, not really listening to his side of the story. Once I started applying the sales process to my marriage, I started seeking to learn more about his perspective. Here are some lessons I’ve learned about how sales can make you a better person.

1. Realize that sales is part of life

. In many conversations we have with people, we seek to understand and be understood. We may need to convince our teenager to clean their room, or create a win/win scenario in our workplace. Each of these situations requires the persuasion skills used in a sales conversation. Understanding that much gives us a good starting point to influence the behavior of other people.
2. Sales is other-person centered.
Most of our conflicts occur when we only consider our own perspective. True sales is all about serving the person in front of us. When you are having a conversation with your child, are you working to discover what his needs are? Using the same skills to uncover a prospect’s objective can help you uncover your child’s true needs!

3. Create a win/win.

Reputable sales people work to create value in exchange for the cost of services. In the same way, when you are negotiating with a co-worker, consider what can you offer the other person in exchange for their cooperation. Is it a running an errand that they need to take care of? Perhaps it is writing a rough draft for her to edit to save some time. Solve a problem for them so they can help you with yours.

4. Listen to the other person.

Sales is 60% about listening, and 40% about talking. I recently listened to a client talk to a prospect. The prospect tried to say something, but my client kept talking over him. In our conversations with family and friends, are we really taking the time to listen or are we talking over them? So many conflicts would be avoided if we would simply pause when someone takes a breath, and wait for them to finish.

Since studying sales, I’ve become a better listener and a better influencer in my personal life. These skills can help you, too. Sales is really learning to serve others through persuasive communication.

I’m curious. How has sales training helped you in your personal life. I certainly would love to know. Post a comment in the thread below

Feb 16

Tips for Engagement on Social Media

When I first got started in social media, I had no idea what I was doing!! It began with Facebook, you know,

How are You Engaging on Social Media?

How are You Engaging on Social Media?

stalking my children to find out what they were up to! (Fess up! You know you do that, too!)

As I grew my corporate housing business, I learned about other platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. And then I got educated on the benefits of using social media to reach out to my target market.

Now as a sales trainer and business coach, I use social media to engage people and find potential customers who can use my services. Here are some keys I have learned along the way, that will help you better utilize social media platforms to reach your target market and make more sales.

  1. Find the best platform(s). Each platform serves a particular demographic. Is your target market families? Then you might want to expand your presence on Facebook through pages and groups. Are you business to business? Then beef up your LinkedIn profile and join like minded groups. Twitter followers are more serious about buying, so think of ways to connect with people using 140 characters.
  2. Showcase your expertise. One of the biggest mistakes people make on social media is they broadcast instead of engage. Almost every post is, “Buy from me. Buy from me.” Instead put out content that helps your audience solve problems you can help with.
  3. Engage in other people’s posts. My mentor, Eric Lofholm, calls this “social currency”. Let people know when their posts resonate with you. Don’t just like the post! Comment! Add value to the other person. Begin to build your network through social media engagement.

Want to know more? Watch this blab I did with Samantha Kelly, the Tweetinggoddess, and listen for more information.

https://blab.im/anna-jo-scheller-sales-and-engagement-on-social-media-with-tweetinggoddess-salesstrategy

I’d love to hear your comments. How do you engage on social media? What platforms are you active on? Comment in the space below.

Until then,

To your greatest success!

Anna

Feb 11

Do You Have a Success Mindset?

Mindset is critical to your success!

When I first began my black belt training, I struggled to see myself as a black belt. As a matter of fact, I didn’t see myself as a black belt, at all. When I compared myself to the younger students who were faster, stronger and better than me, I couldn’t imagine that I was good enough to be invited to the training.

I was recently interviewed by Susan Joy Schleef, host of Creative Marketing TV, and in this short clip, I talk about the Mindset of Success and how my black belt training helped me learn this very important principle.

 

In my new book, “Black Belt Selling, Closing with Confidence”, I share an interview that I did with Eric Lofholm. He says, ”
You will not behave in a way that contradicts your own self belief.” If you don’t believe you will succeed, then you won’t. He goes on to say that if somebody has a negative view on selling, as long as they hold on to that negative view, it’s going to negatively impact their ability to persuade, and influence other people.” Mindset is powerful stuff! Do you agree?

I’m curious. What are your thoughts about mindset? Do you struggle with seeing success? If so, what areas pose the biggest challenge? I’d love to hear your comments. Post them in the thread below.

Until, then–

May you see much success!

Anna

Speaker, Coach, Author and Trainer

P.S.

At the end of the video, click the link to listen to the whole interview. And If you like what you see, you can get great content like this every week in your inbox by signing up for my newsletter. Click here so you don’t miss another issue!

Feb 04

5 More “Must Read” Books for Your Success Library

Formal education will make you a living. Self-education will make you a fortune. ~ Jim Rohn.

To be successful in business, you have to be committed to lifelong learning and reading. In my last blog, I listed 5 books that are in my self-education  curriculum, and I promised to give you the names of 5 more books you may want to include in your library. Books, courtesy of Clever Classroom

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini.

In this classic, Dr. Cialdini shares research on several different aspects of influence we all wield in business and life. He goes into great depth about the use of authority and scarcity, as well as other methods of persuasion, citing research and sharing stories. It gives great insight into human behavior.

Verbal Judo by Dr. George Thompson.

Sales is about using language to persuade. Told in a narrative form, Dr. Thompson shows how we can use language patterns to influence others like a judo practitioner uses specific techniques to redirect an opponent’s energy. Being a black belt in Taekwondo, I love the parallels he draws between the martial arts and  nonviolent persuasion.

See You At the Top by Zig Ziglar

What sales library would be complete without a book by the late, great Zig Ziglar? In “See You At the Top”, Zig gives a step by step plan to realize success in business and life. His emphasis on personal character forms the foundation for any serious sales person. I love his practical application and emphasis that “You can have everything you want, if you will just help enough people get what they want.”

Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard

Sales may get the money, but customer service keeps it coming in over and over again. Ken Blanchard uses a story of a young manager’s fictional journey to improve his department to illustrate simple principles about customer service. For example, if your customers are not complaining, are they happy? This quick read will give you keen insight to evaluate your level of customer service. It’s what I call, the sale after the sale.

The Bible

I listed this book last because it has been the most foundational to my success in business. Did you know there are over 2000 references to money in the Bible? I personally read a chapter from the book of Proverbs everyday for guidance in business and in life. Whether you believe in God or not, you will still find this book a treasure of wisdom to achieve personal success.

What books are in your library? What has helped you achieve success? I’d love to know. Comment below and I may include them in my next list!

Jan 27

5 Essential Books to Master Sales

I am often asked what books I read to help me with sales. And yesterday, during a Q & A session on Blab, the question came up again. So I thought I’d write this blog to answer that question. Sales is such a bigger conversation that just clever phrases and closing techniques. So here are 5 of the top 10 books that have changed my life and helped me with sales mastery.

What books are you reading?

What books are you reading?

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.

This is the book that started everything for me. As a military wife, I enjoyed the security of my husband’s paycheck and upcoming retirement. At the beckoning of a friend, I read about the value of being in business for yourself and my life has not been the same since!

Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill.

My real estate mentor, Rob Hoerntlein, assigned this to me when I first started in business. This classic is not just theory. Mr. Hill gives action steps to put his concepts into practice. If you want to make more money, this book will show you how.

The Greatest Salesman in the World, by Og Mandino.

I love stories, especially ones that teach. In the book, Og Mandino tells the story of Hafid, a wealthy man who is waiting to bestow 10 precious scrolls to the right person. The parable relates how the scrolls led Hafid to his great success. I still read the scrolls for their powerful affirmations.

How  Raised Myself From Failure to Success, by Frank Bettger.

This is the first book about sales I ever owned and I wasn’t in sales! I love Frank’s story! After being fired from a baseball team for being lazy, Frank became a life insurance salesman. In his book, he shares the lessons he learned to become successful. Lessons like, “Act enthusiastic” and “Listen”. His advice is timeless.

The System, by Master Sales Trainer, Eric Lofholm. Eric  is my mentor. He taught me that sales was simple and that I could learn it. I use his book like a selling Bible. He lists steps you can take your customer through to lead them to a buying decision. Using his system, I grew my corporate housing business by over 50% in just one year. If you are serious about sales, you can’t afford NOT to have this book in your library!

Wow! This is already quite a list! In my next blog, I’ll give you five more.

Like what you see? Want to know more? Then click here to get this information and more in your inbox every week!

 

Jan 21

What Sales Masters do that You Might Not Be Doing

Rehearse your scripts!When I speak to an audience, I ask the question, “What do people think of when they think of a sales person?” Often the comments include, “pushy, liar, self-seeking.” Referring to telemarketers, someone will often say, “They don’t listen. It’s like they’re reading from a script.” Essentially, people feel that using a script lends to the speaker being insincere, focused more on their quotas than they are on you.

The truth is that scripts can help you close more sales while freeing you to truly be present to your client. If you are serious about making more money, then consider these truths about scripting:

Definition of a Script

Scripts are merely words spoken in sequence that make sense. Everyone uses a script! (People who don’t make sense are usually on medication or sequestered off in a mental health ward!) So whether you use your words with purpose or you don’t, you are still using scripts. Sales scripting is about creating intentional conversation that guides a prospect to a buying decision. When you practice those scripts, like a black belt practices kicks, the conversation is no longer canned, but an authentic part of who you are!

Power of a Script

Scripts are powerful! My mentor, Eric Lofholm, says that scripts work because people respond in predictable ways. So if your prospects regularly tell you, “I need to think about it,” then you can examine at what you are saying that is eliciting that response. Why? Because something in your script is triggering that response. If you write down what you say, you can study it and change it to help people move in a different direction!

Freedom of a Script

Scripts free you to be creative! Some people find 2 or 3 phrases and use them over and over again. True masters, however, study and memorize 5 or 6 ways to respond. They practice them. When these masters are with a prospect, they are not rolling their eyes to the top of their head, trying to remember what to say. Instead, they are listening intently, making eye contact, and using appropriate responses to their customers, because they already know what to say.

Results of a Script

Scripts help you close more sales consistently. Sales masters keep script books on their desks and refer to them often. They close more often because they study and use the same language patterns again and again. That may seem to contradict what I just said, yet in truth, sales pros make their scripts disappear! How do they do that? Through practice. Practice with colleagues, practice with actual customers. Make your scripts disappear!

Want to improve your scripts? I can help! Email me at annajoscheller@gmail.com and let’s take 30 minutes to find ways to improve your scripts, so you can close more sales and make more money!

 

Jan 13

Surprising Block to Success

You have good intentions

You set a deadline to finish your project.

You’re ready. Or not.

You might be thinking, “I need to do one more thing to make it perfect, then I can launch!”

But the truth is, you’re afraid it’s not perfect!

Often, when I ask people what is holding them back, they will say a fear of failure, or the fear of success. Those things as bad. Right?
As detrimental as they are, another mindset paralyzes us worse, because we believe that this mindset will INSURE success!

In this video I did on Periscope, I discussed the perils of perfectionism.

Don't Let This Become Your Enemy

Periscope: Is This Mistake Keeping You From Taking Action?

Perfectionism is the enemy of success! The fear of making a mistake is the number reason most of us don’t take action! And yet, perfectionism is the mistake that most hinders our success!!

  • What part of the sales process are you most afraid of making a mistake?
  • Does your own sales resistance get in the way of asking for the order?
  • What do sales masters do to close more sales that you could start doing right now!!?

 

If any of this is you, then join me next Tuesday for my free sales webinar on 3 Keys to Increase Your Sales.

Whether you are in business for yourself or you work on a sales team, you will walk away with at least one great action step that you can use right away to make more sales and grow your revenue.

The antidote to perfectionism is to take action. NOW!  Don’t wait until every thing is just right. You will never get started!

Sign up for the webinar! Click here to register!

 

 

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