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“I love cold calling!”

Recently while having breakfast with my friend Kelly, she said, “Connie, I love cold calling.”  I was totally shocked because a few years ago when she was a sales person for a technology company she “hated” prospecting and cold calling.  So what changed? 

Well. . . Kelly is now working with a global company and marketing a product that her target market absolutely needs to hear about.  (She is calling on CEOs in the healthcare industry.)  She is totally convinced that her product will save them money and make them much more efficient.  She uncovered three quality leads in one week in a very competitive market.  Granted Kelly is engaging, but most of all she is succeeding at cold calling because she believes 100% in her product.  You must be believed to be heard. 

Who is the hardest person to sell?  YOU!  What are you doing to convince yourself of your value and the value of your products and services?  What are you doing on a daily basis to protect your confidence?

Selling In Challenging Economic Times

The other day someone asked me “what do you recommend salespeople do during tough economic times?”  My instant answer was “double your prospecting time.”  Yes, Double it!  Buckle down and get strategic.  Work closest to the money.  No one can argue that the more people you talk to the more people you will sell.  There is a definitive correlation between success in sales and prospecting.  Prospecting is defined as the proactive steps you take to identify, qualify and get in front of your ideal prospect.  Double your prospecting time, doesn’t mean just get busy with activity.  Put your qualification hat on.  A qualified prospect has five characteristics:  1) they have a need you can solve 2) they have a sense of urgency 3) they are the decision maker and can authorize payment for your product or services 4) they trust you or can develop trust with you and 5) they respect you enough that they will listen to you.  The first three are vital.  Most objections come because salespeople are not talking with a qualified prospect.

Let’s hear it from other sales professionals.  What are you doing in these times to ensure your pipeline stay nice and full of qualified prospects?

Is Self-Promotion the Missing Ingredient in Your Job Search

Last week I was the guest speaker for Scottsdale Job Network and facilitated a workshop re: Self-Promotion and Job Search.  According to pioneering researchers George Dudley and Shannon Goodson performance alone does not determine success.  They discovered something more important!  Self-promotion.  Some of the most highly paid and powerful people did not attain their positions by being the most technically competent.  They did it through purposeful self-promotion.

For many people self-promotion is emotionally uncomfortable for a variety of reasons.  Some are that their mother told that it is not nice to brag, or most people have been exposed to the slick guy who is loud and always talking about how great he is, or have had a boss who was incompetent, but kept getting promotions.  So people identify with the negative of self-promotion and choose to keep a low profile so they won’t be thought of negatively.

Well. . . . that’s a choice.  However, what would happen if you truly took an inventory of your unique gifts and talents and back them up with factual proof?  That is one of the tips I gave job seekers.  You must be able to articulate confidently why you are the best candidate for the job.

When you hear the word self-promotion?  What immediately comes to mind?

I look forward to hearing from you!

Let’s Get Real about the Cure for Sales Call Reluctance

Overpreparer

A veteran salesperson who is highly respected in his industry called last week and admitted to experiencing Sales Call Reluctance.  He knows that despite his sales success, his bank account could be much more exciting if he overcame his Sales Call Reluctance.  Because he is motivated and goal oriented and he knows his industry inside and out, we were able to get down to the nitty gritty in short order.

Sales Call Reluctance is the emotional hesitation to initiate contact with prospective buyers on a consistent basis.  Prospecting is not an intellectual exercise. It is an emotional exercise and Sales Call Reluctance is an emotional interference.

My question to him was: “When you are in your office and you reach for the phone and you stop, what is it that is causing you to stop?”  He replied slowly, “what do you mean, what causes me to stop?”  That is a normal reply of most people who experience call reluctance. They are so trapped in their fear, that they do not stop to consider what their thoughts are at that very moment.

My question to you my dear reader is:  When you reach for the phone to prospect and you stop and swing around to check email one more time, or check the stock market — in essence when you avoid prospecting — what is the thought that is causing you to stop?  Until you identify the thought or “negative intruder” you will not be able to address your call reluctance.  All the tricks, such as “think positive,” “remember your past achievements,” “relax” will not be sustainable over time.

With a little coaxing, the veteran salesman, said “I don’t know what to say.”  Yeah! Victory!  He has identified at least one negative intruder that is causing him to NOT prospect.  This is the first step in overcoming Sales Call Reluctance.

To overcome Sales Call Reluctance you have to be a realist and attack your negative intruders headon.

Write down your negative intruders.  Your freedom is in capturing them on paper.  Then you can do something about them.

My goal as a coach/trainer for salespeople is NOT to have you LOVE prospecting.  The goal is to get you neutral about prospecting.  When you get neutral, not hating it or loving it — you are well on your way to consistent prospecting that will produce sales results.

Is it REALLY possible to overcome Sales Call Reluctance?

A sales manager asked me the other day in the most sincere tone of voice “is it truly possible for a salesperson to overcome Sales Call Reluctance?”   It was evident that he had his doubts.  He was right.  Call Reluctance is a complex, perplexing problem.    It is not as simple as most sales managers want to make it by saying “just pick up the #$()@#* phone.”   

My sincere answer to him was “yes, it is possible IF the salesperson goes through the four steps to overcome Sales Call Reluctance with a coach/trainer/manager who truly understands Call Reluctance.” 

1) They must be aware of their call reluctance.  Call reluctance shows up first in the commission checks and second in the appointment calendars.  How happy are they with their commission checks?  How many appointments do they have this week with NEW prospects?  There is no better indication of call reluctance than checks and calendars.  If the salesperson is not willing to be honest with themselves and are confused about this first step, they are most likely NOT going to address their call reluctance issue.

2) They must assess their call reluctance.  The only way to truly assess Sales Call Reluctance is to take the SPQ*Gold assessment, the only assessment in the world that is validated through psychometric methodology that measures the 12 types of Sales Call Reluctance.  They will find out what kind of call reluctance they suffer from and to what intensity.  Some types of Call Reluctance are more easily overcome than others. For example, Telephobia is relatively easy to overcome, as well as Referral Aversion.  However, Yielder and Overpreparer Call Reluctance are more difficult and take longer to overcome.  Precise Diagnosis is the KEY!

3) They must admit they have Call Reluctance, which is the emotional hesitation to initiate contact with prospective buyers on a consistent basis.  Sometimes this is the most difficult step.  If they have the courage to be honest and admit their Call Reluctance, the chances of them overcoming Sales Call Reluctance is entirely possible.  If they half-heartedly pay lip service, forget it, they are fooling themselves and until they get out of the illusion, any investment to train or coach them may be for naught.

4) They must be willing and motivated to apply proven techniques in overcoming Sales Call Reluctance.   These techniques or prescriptions were researched and developed by behavioral scientists George Dudley and Shannon Goodson.  The prescriptions are designed for particular types of call reluctance.  One prescription does not work for everyone.  If the wrong prescription is prescribed, it can actually make someone’s Call Reluctance worse. Different prescriptions are prescribed for different types of Call Reluctance. 

Once people have gone through these four steps, they will be able to free themselves and start earning what they are worth!

Question:  Why is it that salespeople want to hide and deny their call reluctance?  What are they afraid of?

Let’s hear from you!

Facilitated Training in Rwanda

Rwandasmall

Last week I facilitated a public speaking workshop for the Rwanda Women Parliamentary Forum through a French interpreter.  The Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda mandates that at least thirty (30%) of their parliament be women.  They have exceeded those numbers with 49% of their members being women.  President Paul Kagame is quoted as saying that “. . . women are indispensible in the reconstruction and collective effect to shape our country’s destiny.”

Since these are elected positions, the focus on the workshop was to assist these women on building credibility statements into their introductions and openings so that people will listen to them.   They were given exercises to provide emotional and logical proof to the structure of their presentations.  They had received training in the past for public speaking on technique, i.e., how to stand, what to wear, how to hold microphone, etc.  They were delighted to receive training on content building and making sure that they are believed and heard.  It was great fun to work with an ambitious group of women who are dedicated to serve their people as they rebuild their country.

What I am Doing In Africa

For Immediate Release
To Contact Connie Kadansky
For Interviews: 602-997-1101

Connie Kadansky is traveling to Rwanda, in East Africa, July 12th to teach business development and speaking skills to women leaders and entrepreneurs in a program sponsored jointly by Rwanda Women Parliamentary Forum and WomenforWealth.com, USA.

Kadansky, a Phoenix native, is founder and president of Exceptional Sales Performance, an international performance improvement company, specializing in new business development consulting and coaching. Connie has extensive training experience with diverse industries from food distribution, to financial services, to print media to solo entrepreneurs.

She was selected by WomenforWealth.com to join the Forum because of her diversity of experience and exceptional training ability in the area of sales and business development. “You can’t succeed in business development without the ability to sell, and this is an essential ingredient often overlooked by entrepreneurs around the world,” say WomenforWealth.com Co-Founder Elizabeth Uible.

The American Embassy in Rwanda has stated that this will be the first time an American group has gone down to present a conference for the Women in Parliament, something they’ve felt is long overdue. “We expect the results of this Entrepreneurship Conference for Women to have great ripple effects in terms of women starting businesses here, and a very positive impact on the economy in which the average income is $290 annually,” says Danny Stoian, Commercial Attache.

With regard to her trip, Kadansky says, “What I find so encouraging is the fact 49% of Rwanda’s legislature is composed of women – thus women are an integral part of the country’s reconstruction. This follows the country’s massive genocide of 1994, when more than 800,000 lives were lost in just 3 months.”

In addition to the international business training Kadansky will be doing in Rwanda, her stay at the WomenforWealth.com Retreat Center will include a menu of activities including trips to small villages and coffee plantations, a visit to the native Gorillas of “Gorillas in the Mist” fame, and social gatherings with Rwanda’s top political and business leaders. Also included will be Micro Lending site visits, where WomenforWealth.com has donated thousands to women to start businesses, and become self sufficient. “Women can start a thriving business for as little as $100, and when they pay the loan back it re-circulates to another woman,” says Co-Founder Uible. “I can’t think of a better way to create self sufficiency in the world! We’ve had so much interest that we are starting regular trips there with donors so that they can see and feel the outcome of their generosity.”

Those interested in helping the women of Rwanda through their micro-lending program may donate at WomenforWealth.com by clicking “make a donation” or by contacting its co-founder at Liz@WomenforWealth.com

Get Psyched Up to Make Prospecting Calls

Recently someone asked me “What do you recommend salespeople do to get mentally prepared to make their prospecting calls?” 

Great question.  Take quiet time every morning to review your long and short-term goals and dreams.  Prospecting takes discipline.  Discipline is simply remembering what you want!  Get emotionally connected to what is important to you first thing in the morning.  Review your business plan.  Review your vision board.  Begin with the end in mind.  Set your intentions for the day.

To mentally prepare for your prospecting activity remind yourself of the value you bring to your clients/customers.  How do you serve them?  How do you make a big difference in their lives and businesses?  For example, I serve people by helping them enjoy more career satisfaction, to develop deeper levels of confidence and make more money.  Let’s go deeper into career satisfaction.  When people experience more career satisfaction, they smile more and have fun. Therefore everyone around them has more fun.  The more fun they experience, the more positive energy they generate. When someone is having fun, they are more tolerant and less critical of themselves and others.  In essence, I help people feel better about themselves and others.  That is truly serving humanity!

When you are focused on being of service to people, you cannot be immersed in self-centered fears that keep you from initiating contact. 

Please share how you serve people.  Love to hear your comments!    

The reality: A salesperson’s inventory is their prospect list

Yes, a salesperson’s product is not their inventory.  It is their prospect list!  If a salesperson does not have an ever growing list of qualified prospects, they are living a miserable life on the edge of chronic inconsistency.

There are five (5) components to any sales model:

1.Identify prospects (true, qualified, targeted prospects)

2.Initiate Contact

3.Introduce Yourself, Your Product/Service

4.Inform (sales presentation)

5.Influence them to buy from you!

Most sales training programs focus on Step #4 — once the salesperson is in front of a qualified prospect.  This is an important step, however, unless a salesperson has the ability to get in front of qualified prospects, all their sales training is moot.

Many salespeople are not emotionally comfortable with prospecting because they have not developed the emotional skill to handle their feelings while prospecting.

There are four steps in overcoming Sales Call Reluctance:

1.Aware

2.Assess

3.Admit

4.Apply

Aware:  How do you know if you are experiencing Call Reluctance?  Take a look in your wallet!  That is where it shows up first.  Then take a look at your calendar.  How many appointments do you have with new buyers this week?  That is where call reluctance shows up — on your calendar.

Assess:  The SPQ Gold is the only assessment in the world that measures the 12 types of Sales Call Reluctance.  This is the current reality step!

Admit:  Sometimes this is the hardest step.  Admit that you have self-imposed limitations and beliefs that are keeping you from profitable prospecting.  Sometimes people are trapped by their pride and cling to their limited beliefs.  It is refreshing to take a deep breath and admit.

Apply:  Yes, the good news!  There are proven techniques to overcome Sales Call Reluctance.  There is no magic bullet. With a disciplined process you are on your way to consistently building your inventory of qualified prospects.

Connie Kadansky

Facilitator of Behavioral Change

SPQ Gold Sales Assessment

Did you know that the SPQ*Gold Assessment developed by George Dudley and Shannon Goodson is the only assessment in the world that measures Sales Call Reluctance?  This assessment has 21 different measurements and “telephobia” is only one of the 12 types of call reluctance.  Have you ever hired a call reluctance salesperson?  What was your experience?