60 Is Work-Life Balance Even Possible?

Is Work-Life Balance Even Possible?

 

Michael is an Elite Seller, one of the best you will ever find. The demands of his job were high, to the point where he often spent over 60 hours a week immersed in work-related activities. He rationalized that this was the price he had to pay to achieve the highest level of success in his field. 

 

Then life threw him a curve ball. Significant health issues emerged that made it difficult for Michael to continue performing at the highest level. 

 

The wake-up call with his health made him fear that if he continued trying to work such a demanding schedule, he would end up sacrificing years off his life. 

 

With the long hours he worked, he hadn’t always had the time to be active in his children’s lives. And what if his health problems continued and he wasn’t even around at all to guide his kids as they grew up? 

 

So, he made a dramatic shift. He completely blocked out his schedule on the weekends so he could take care of his own health and be there for his children. He still worked long hours during the work week, but completely dedicated Saturdays and Sundays to his family. 

 

Michael was astonished that even with his two “scheduled family days” he wasn’t sacrificing results in his business life. He actually became more productive by working fewer hours. His mind was more focused, he could think more clearly and make better decisions. 

 

Michael did make one concession to his “weekends off” policy. On Sunday night, after his kids were asleep, he spent thirty minutes to plan his priorities for the upcoming week. Afterward, he enjoyed a restful night of sleep so he was fully energized and ready to hit the ground running on Monday morning.

 

I’m DJ Sebastian, for more info on what it takes to become an Elite Seller, visit my website at thetechseller.com 

 

59 Say what you mean – to be honest

Say what you mean – to be honest

 

A prior briefing discussed “Junk Words and Phrases” and how you should focus on eliminating them from your vocabulary and from all customer communications. Remember that Junk Words and Phrases are just extra words that creep in to our language, but they provide no context or meaning. Without them, your verbal communication will just sound clearer and more professional.

 

Sometimes salespeople will begin a statement, or answer a question that starts with 

 

“Honestly,” or “to be honest,” or “to tell the truth . . .”

 

These are junk words and you should work in eliminating them completely. 

 

Let’s say a customer asks a question: “How do you recommend we proceed?” 

 

You reply: ““Honestly, the best approach is to start your program tomorrow.” 

 

Or the customer asks: “Are you sure that is how this works?” 

 

You reply: “To be honest, that is how it works”

 

Or the customer asks: “How long before you can ship?”

 

You reply: “To tell the truth, we usually ship within 48 hours”

 

I know, you are trying to assure your customer that you are genuine and truthful, but whenever you preface your statement with  Honestly,” “to be honest,” or to tell the truth”,

 

your customer could be thinking: “Whenever you don’t use the preface of “honestly”, “to be honest”, or “to tell the truth” are you really lying? Are you not being honest or truthful?”

 

You are actually raising doubts about whether you are trustworthy. 

 

Leave out those meaningless prefaces and just get to your point. Your credibility and believability will be much higher. 

 

I’m DJ Sebastian. To learn more about what it takes to Become a Great Communicator, visit my website at thetechseller.com.

 

58 Drop the Umms and Ahhs

Drop the Umms and Ahhs

 

Eliminate Junk Words and Phrases

 

Junk words and phrases are those that you should work hard to eliminate from your vocabulary and from all customer communications. They provide no context or meaning. Without them, your verbal communication will just sound clearer and more professional. 

 

One of the biggest offending junk words are those dreaded “word-filler” twins “Ummm . . .” and “Ahhh . . .” 

 

Here’s how they are used: You can’t think of what to say next, so you just utter an audible sound to continue a voice communications stream: “Ummm, at the end of the day, ummm, we believe that the best approach is, ahhh . . .” 

 

Excessive “ummms” can really distract your audience. On a phone call, or web conference, a speaker might utter an “ummm” while thinking of what to say next, or after a pause, just to signal to the other parties “I’m still here.” That can be OK for occasional  use, but too much will lead your audience to tune you out. 

 

You will notice this a lot on TV, radio, and with nervous or inexperienced speakers… and it becomes very annoying after a short time. 

 

Here’s how you can eliminate the offending junk words  from your vocabulary: 

– Whenever you have the urge to say “ummm” or “ahhh”, substitute a silent pause. 

 

This might take some practice—a good way to practice is to present in front of a small group of peers or friends. Whenever your audience hears you utter an “ummm” or an “ahhh”, have them clap their hands or pound on a table or desk. After a short period of time you will lose the urge to “ummm”. 

 

You might feel like you’re being conditioned like Pavlov’s dogs, but your communication will be much clearer and far more professional.  

 

I’m DJ Sebastian. To learn more about what it takes to Become a Great Communicator, visit my website at thetechseller.com.

 

57 The Dreaded No Decision Part 2

The Dreaded No Decision Part 2

 

This is a followup to the prior briefing which discussed why the dreaded No Decision happens. In this briefing, we will provide ways you can avoid No Decision. 

 

When customers make “No Decision” they actually do make a choice: they choose to DO NOTHING; they choose the STATUS QUO. 

 

Here are FIVE ways that you can reduce the number of deals that fall into the No Decision category.

 

1) By building relationships with multiple power sponsors. Don’t be single-threaded in an account. Be sure to build consensus support from multiple power players so you are not counting on the preference of a single person. 

 

2) By proving that your solution will work for your customer to reduce their perceived risk. Lay out your path up front, so the customer understands the major capabilities that you can prove. Be careful not to turn this into a major project. 

 

3) By having a positive, emotional impact – Make it a personal win for them as well as a company win. How can you make them a hero for choosing your solution? 

 

4) By implementing the integrated selling/buying process as outlined in a prior briefing is a great way to win against that dreaded competitor, “No Decision.” 

 

5) By showing substantial business value they will realize and gaining agreement from the customer on that value so they own it. Don’t assume they will figure it out themselves.

 

A salesperson’s failure to win a deal is often a result of a failure to transform your value proposition into a compelling one that your customer embraces as their own. 

 

To reduce the number of deals that result in No Decision, focus on building relationships with multiple power sponsors, showing substantial  business value the customer will realize, and demonstrating proof.  

 

I’m DJ Sebastian, for more info on what it takes to become an Elite Seller, visit my website at thetechseller.com 

 

56 The Dreaded No Decision Part 1

The Dreaded No Decision Part 1

 

When salespeople struggle to meet their quotas, it is often  because they waste time working too many opportunities that end up resulting in the dreaded “No Decision.”

 

In their careers, most sales professionals will lose more deals to “no decision” than to any specific competitor. It can be devastating to progress through an entire sales cycle only to have your customer make the frustrating decision NOT to move forward. 

 

Towards the end of a sales cycle, a salesperson’s refrain can change to “come on… just make a decision… pick someone”. Certainly, salespeople never want to lose, but when the customer just walks away from a deal, salespeople openly question whether they did the right thing by throwing their hat in the ring.

 

Why does No Decision happen?

 

– Perhaps the customer’s source of funding for the initiative was cancelled, or diverted to another, seemingly more important project. 

 

– Maybe the expected benefit wasn’t great enough to bear the perceived risk and cost of the project. Maybe you did not show compelling value that would make the undertaking worthwhile. 

 

– There may be concern about the uncertainty of the potential outcome… Will the solution work? Is it too risky? Will the difficulty of implementing the solution be worse than the current way things are done?

 

– Maybe the customer team couldn’t agree on the scope of the problem or choose the solution…

 

– And here’s a more nefarious reason for No Decision… Free research… the customer calls in some vendors without ever planning on initiating a real project. This might not happen often… but it does occur. 

 

– Maybe it’s inertia. The customer might say: “Well that might become a problem down the road, but right now, we’re good.”

 

I’m DJ Sebastian. Stay tuned for the next briefing for insights on how to address the “No Decision” dilemma.