Posts Tagged ‘negotiating’

Million dollar real estate broker Ryan Serhant observed that one reason why you may not be finding success is because you are replying and not responding. In this automated, ever-growing commoditized world, your greatest asset as a sales person is differentiating yourself by responding instead of replying.

In this automated, ever-growing commoditized world, your greatest asset as a sales person is differentiating yourself by responding instead of replying.

We salespeople often reply when the customer we’re currently working with is the cherry to our crap-filled month. Nothing’s been going right & no one is buying, so it’s no surprise this one isn’t either. While everyone around you seems to be swimming in deals, you just so happened to have caught the one picky customer who has NO CLUE what they want; or the customer who seems to be 11 yrs out from buying; or the customer who you just don’t seem to jive with… In defense, we shut down mentally and lay up lame ass replies to their questions & concerns. Replies are words placed in the right order, said at the right time, yet void of any emotion.

We had a customer come in recently who was all busted up. Her life was turned upside down. She left her abusive husband while he left her with bad credit and a repo’d car. Obviously she was an emotional soup-crying, confused, & no idea what to do from here. A tuned out salesperson would’ve pulled her credit & replied with, “Sorry, your credit is too bad I can’t help you,” but a tuned-in salesperson would respond by saying, “Look, your credit has taken some hits, so which family member can we get on the phone right now, to get you back on track? Today is going to be your new birthday!” The responding salesperson aligned with her emotional state & offered a specific course of action.

Think about it…they’re not called First Repliers, they’re called First Responders because they come onto the scene, asses the situation, & work to get you to safety. Customers need that from you. They come in with a range of emotions & need you to asses and respond in a way that aligns with their emotions & the results they need to see. The one they do business with is the one who responds best.

That might as well be you. 😉

I’ll see you in the Sales Life.

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Graham Betchart a sports psychologist & mental toughness coach to professional athletes begins coaching his players w/ 3 plays. These 3 plays set the foundation toward continuous growth that you & I can use…the good news is we don’t even have to run sprints or stadiums to be one of the best!

  • Play #1: W.I.N. stands for What’s important now? Simply controlling the controllables. You can’t control the ultimate outcome but you can heavily influence it. Outcomes can be influenced by the 3 things within your control: Attitude, Effort, & Focus. If your attitude is one where you’re walking around blowing your breath in big huffs- looking like a big ass eye roll emoji then you’re going to get back what you put out- negative results. But if your attitude is that of being open minded- in his book Principles, billionaire investor Ray Dalio calls it being radically open-minded, this mindset keeps the channels of your mind open and flexible. Look, things are going to ebb & flow- some things will bounce your way, other times, even when done perfect will not, but you’ve got to keep the attitude and keep plugging knowing things will swing to & fro. If you think about the times that you’re all pissed off, you usually have a rigid, closed mind, don’t you? You’re also in control of your effort- concentrate on giving full effort to each day, customer, & encounter. I find that when your attitude trails off you tend to be more me focused– worried more about what you’re getting & less of what you’re giving. You just give it all you got- you’ll get what you deserve. You also control your focus. Ask yourself, What time zone am I in right now? We live in 1 of 3 time zones: Past, Present, or Future.The only one that’s productively real is what’s happening right now. Stay local (not loco).
  • Play #2: Be present. Graham says it’s reeeeel easy to play present when you’re winning and everything’s going right- but can you play when your in the shit spin cycle of Life…can you play present even when you’re in pain? Graham has a saying that I love & use that re-centers me back to the present when I feel like I’m starting to drift into the past or future, “Play where your feet are.” It’s an instant slap back to reality- where are your feet right now? Play there…
  • Play #3 Next Play Speed: Athletes don’t have time to get hung up on a blocked or missed shot- Graham coaches his players to hurry up and get into the next play. This prevents them from getting stuck in an action that has already happened. Whenever I don’t do well with a previous customer, I try not to park & bitch about what I did or didn’t have/do- no, I quickly get back in the mix by looking for the next play- the next opportunity or activity that I can possibly capitalize on.

So that’s it! 3 plays is all you have to remember & run today. W.I.N. (What’s Important Now); Play Present, & Next Play Speed.

Blow the whistle- You’re in!

I’ll see you in the Sales Life!

⭐️⭐️Subscribe to my weekly podcast The Sales Life w/ Marsh Buice. You can find it on iTunes, Spotify, or Google Play

I had a salesperson that I just couldn’t seem to get her to work with more customers- being she was new, I would repeatedly emphasize to her to work with more customers, but when they would come in, she’d usually fall back & let another salesperson Up (catch) them. I couldn’t figure it out..she knew her product, she was technically sound, & she was used to competing against the boys because she came from a male dominated industry …so what was it? When asked, she responded, “Marsh, I don’t have a huge need- the other salespeople around me have to struggle to make a sale in order to pay rent & car notes- I don’t have a huge need so I don’t need to make much.” Leaning back I asked her, “So what’s your end game…” to that she told me that she planned on being in the car business a long time. “Then if that’s the case, you’re not doing yourself much good- here’s why…

First, you can’t teach what you don’t know & you’ll never know until you first do. In his biography, Arnold Schwarzenegger said the 3 keys to him becoming a 7x Mr Olympia, successful businessman, & one of the highest paid actors at the time in Hollywood were reps, reps, reps.”

Reps weatherproof your career. You’ve got to work with hundreds of experiences, objections, scenarios, & obstacles while fading & maneuvering through thousands of rejections not only so that you can learn, but so that you can pay it forward and help others succeed who are starting out as well. Reps also give your customers the needed assurances that you can help them with their current situation because you’ve helped other customers maneuver through similar circumstances as well.

This brings me to my 2nd point,” I told her, “When you’re not working with enough customers, not only do you not possess enough of the necessary skills that they desire & deserve, but not working with enough customers means that you’re OK with them buying from an inferior salesperson- if you say that you’re here to help customers, then you’ve got to follow through with actions to those words.”

Which brings me to my 3rd point,” I quipped, “Do you have kids?” She told me that she had a boy and a girl- Mason & Madison…”Do you want them to do well in life,” I asked knowing she’d say yes. “If you want them to do well, then be their teacher- set the example because they can’t be what they don’t see. The reason why so many struggle as adults today is because, no one played the part…no one showed them the pattern… no one chalked the outline, nor showed them what they could be because no one helped them see…no one showed them more so they’ve accepted less.”

You must do well…you must reach beyond your comfort zone…you must dig deep and get back up…you must set audacious goals & kick the door in when Life tries to slam it in your face…you must reach higher because this isn’t just about you.

It’s way bigger than that…

….but first you’ve got to set the bar.

I’ll see you on the Blacktop.







Humps, roadblocks, …detours are a part of life, but they’re humps not Himalayas. Sometimes we get to a hump in Life & we turn the hump instantly into a Himalaya- the hump we face goes from waist deep in reality to a 22,338 foot mountain in our minds.

Soooo many things in Life are humps miraged as a mountain. They look that way to us for a couple of reasons: 1) It’s something that we’ve never faced before so we think that we’re no match for it. 2) We’ve faced a similar situation before & resulted in a shit sandwich- so we think we’re about to eat another. It’s all Bullshit.

Isn’t it crazy how we have a Redbox Rental state of mind sometimes?! You know the Redbox rental that’s right outside the store where you can rent a DVD for less than 2 bucks? We rent our problems much the same way- we walk our happy asses to the box covers of Life’s problems & we select a cheap B Flick negative rental and we play that negative movie, over & over in our minds. It’s impossible working for something to positively manifest while thinking something negative.

Look,you may be facing some big mountains in your life- no doubt, but I am telling you that you need to look at your problems through different lenses. First, stop calling it a “problem-” I call them challenges, Eckhart Tolle calls them situations. Whatever you call it, call it something other than a “problem” because often the mere utterance of the word problem stunts us right in our tracks- 1 minute we’re galloping through Life & the next scene we’re like Lt. Dan from Forest Gump, flailing around handicapped with our legs blown off. Try using the word challenge or situation & watch your whole perspective change. Your mind will shift to that of a solution mindset and will begin looking for ways to solve it by tinkering and poking at the situation.

The 2nd thing I want you to realize is that mountain that you’re facing is nothing more than a bunch of humps stuck together- they’re like big words…I tell my daughter all the time that big words are nothing more than small words clumped together. Break the bigness down- declump those ganged up humps…you don’t get to the summit in one leap.

So back to the beginning…

Humps, detours, & roadblocks are necessary in life-they’re needed for you to grow- I mean think about it, would you voluntarily subject yourself to pain, hardship, embarrassment, recourse, and ridicule? Hell my hands would be in my pocket and sure as hell not raised to be subjected to the harshnesses of Life, but we need the stimulation- i.e. kicked in the ass, in order to grow. I don’t like it any more than you do, but I know in retrospect I’ve liked who I’ve become and what I’ve accomplished on the other side of the bleakness. Yes it was painful…yes it was lonely & dark… no it wasn’t fair…but it was necessary. There isn’t a single one of us reading this that cannot look back at some cataclysmic event and not say yes it was hard, but I learned so much.

So I need you to do 2 things: 1rst charge the mountains in your Life one hump at a time..and (2), don’t look at every hump as a Himalaya.

You’ve got this!

I’ll see you on the Blacktop!

(HT to Deepak Chopra)

In hopes of improving our sales career, we recently peered into the world of fine dining in order to gain an insight of what great servers do so well to enhance their guest’s evening and to improve their paycheck. We now know that great servers make themselves approachable to their guests, are attentive to their needs, and have extensive knowledge about the foods they are serving. Here are a few more lessons sales consultants can learn from great servers:

  • Be Deceptive: Great servers are masterful deceivers.  They make their guests feel exclusive. Although no tip was given, guests did leave the charred remains of crackers and foods strewn about by 3 children who apparently have never had the priviledge of feeling the leathery, disciplinning power of a belt, great servers deceive their anger and do not carry their frustrations from one table to the next. Servers act like a host of the Emmy’s, keeping the atmosphere light, festive, and moving. Servers have the ability to glide from one table to the next as if they were on ice- making it seem effortless. Lesson learned: Deception in the world of sales can be interpreted as a  nasty, negative word, unless put in its proper perspective. Sales is infested with rejection, missed quotas, product failures, and disgruntled clients. A masterful sales consultant deceives the fact that although calamity may be happening all around, it must be put in its proper perspective by dealing with one issue at a time. If sales were easy, you would have never replaced the person who jumped ship in hopes of finding an easier gig. Be grateful that you have the rare quality of being able to handle rejections, fight through missed quotas, give superior service when a product fails, and be empathetic toward your frustrated clients. Sales consultants wear many hats. It is not your client’s responsibility to deal with your personal problems, but it is your responsibility to care for theirs. Do not let all of the hard work you have worked for hours, days, even months get flushed away because you are having a bad day. Solutions to problems are the mortar in the building blocks of your character and you must never take things personally.
  • Be alive not a corpse: Waiting in a state of repose is not what great servers do. Servers do not believe in hovering over their guests, as if working for the Secret Service. Great servers are experts of running a covert operation making the guests feel alone, but never further than a glance away. Lesson Learned: Great consultants should be in a constant state of motion. I teach my consultants to appear to be busy-even if they have nothing to do. Clients like to work with people who do not look like they are standing on a corner waiting for a cab. When negotiating with your clients, a great consultant should follow the 3 P’s: Prepare, Present, and Patience. Preparation is critical when working with a client. An unprepared sales consultant can be snuffed out within seconds. Uninterested clients make comments like, “We will think about it and get back to you.” They then take a 3 year business trip-always away on business each time you call to follow up. A made-to-order presentation is presented showing what the client will benefit from your product. If the first two have been done correctly, a sales consultant can then display patience by asking for the order and silently waiting for an answer. Great consultants are wave makers, they strike the water (preparation) causing ripples of more waves to reverberate (presentation) and continue to sell even when nothing is being said at all.
  • Servers are artists: A great server is an artist who uses his unique creativity to show sensitivity and imagination to his guests in hopes of making the evening as unique as a thumbprint. A magical, memorable evening creates a relationship and has guests coming back for more. My wife and I have a restaurant we frequent on very special occasions, but if our favorite server is not there, neither are we-she makes the evening that special. What a great server is to a restaurant is what a 3 wine reduction sauce is to a steak-the missing link. Lesson learned: You are the award winning artists of Market yourself in such a way that through selling a superior product, creating a memorable experience, a relationship will be formed. People do not buy great products, they buy good products from a great consultant. Relationships trump price every time.

Congratulations, you have rekindled your relationship, brought your pallet out of hibernation tasting five star delicacies, as well as put your sales career back on the right tracks toward your quest of being a superior sales consultant. Eat from the tree of success, be fruitful in your relationships, and multiply your sales exponentially.

If your sales career has hit a slump worse than the New York Yankee’s Derek Jeter’s “0 for 32” hit-less streak in 2004, let me suggest an affordable seminar available to help get your sales swagger back. In fact, this seminar is offered in nearly every city in America. Can you name a seminar where you can enjoy a nice meal with a special person, have a glass of wine to unwind from the long day, and get a crash course in sales? Make a reservation, grab your coat, and head off to your favorite fine dining restaurant. Now when I say “fine dining” I do not mean 2 for 1 food and drinks, I mean the one with candle-lit tables, linen napkins and table cloths, all surrounded by your favorite love ballads being hammered away on the ivory keys of a grand piano nestled in the corner. Look at this evening not as an expense, but as an investment in both careers, personal and professional. A great example of superior salespeople are servers of fine dining restaurants. Like many of us, they make a living based on their clientele’s satisfaction.

In this 2 part series, we will look at examples of what great servers do on a consistent basis and we can learn from them:

  • Be Approachable: Servers realize you never get a second chance to make a first impression (or commission). Diners immediately make a decision if they like you based on how you approach them. A great server introduces and carries himself in a personable, professional manner at all times, no matter how tough the evening may be. Lesson learned: No matter how hard you may prepare for a sale, your client may never give you a chance to showcase your knowledge if you approach them in an unprofessional manner. You may have sparred 12 rounds with your last customer, but do not take a negative experience from one client to another. Your clients depend on you to enhance their buying experience not destroy it. The better your customer’s experience, the more they will show their appreciation (commission).
  • Be Attentive: Great servers are very quick and attentive to their client’s needs performing even menial tasks without being asked. Behind the scenes, a restaurant can be a zoo, but a great server never will reveal it. He has an eye for detail and pays attention to the needs of his guests (e.g. refilling a glass without being asked). Aside from being detail oriented, servers assume the sale by offering a nice bottle of wine paired with a savory appetizer and salad. How many times before arriving at a restaurant, have you vowed to only eat an entree only to be influenced by your server to “try” a succulent appetizer, saying, “Well…I’ll work it off tomorrow.”  Join the crowd my friend, a sale has just been made. Lesson learned: Taking care of the small things builds trust, credibility, and influences your customers to want to do business with you. The road to a sale is similar to dating. The person you are dating really appreciates the small things you do for them-your customers are the same way.
  • Obtain your PhD: Professional servers have extensive knowledge and are able to recite from memory what the appetizers, entrees, and desserts are for the evening. They do a great job by painting a mental picture of the sauces and preparation of each dish. When dining at a new restaurant my wife likes to ask, “What is good here?” My faith in a restaurant tumbles faster than Enron’s stock when a server has not taken the time to try certain foods in order to relate them to his guests. They make comments like, “I don’t know, I never ate that,” or “I don’t like fish.”  Even if a server does not eat certain foods, they must get feedback from previous guests who have eaten it in order to relate to others. A great restaurant is only as great as the experience a server gives to its guests. Lesson learned: Every sale is an emotional decision followed up by logic. If you can appeal to a client’s emotional side, they will make a decision and be able to justify it logically. Being knowledgeable about your product gives you the confidence needed to make a sale. Being knowledgeable about your product allows you to build a foundation of value. If a customer perceives the product as valuable, they will pay the price for it. Clients depend on your expertise in order to make an educated buying decision. Also, using clients’ testimonies is a powerful way to gain credibility and trust in your product.

Next time we will look at more examples of what great servers do and what we can learn from them. What was your experience when eating out? I would love to hear your comments and how a server made you feel?

Not a day goes by that a salesperson is not asked, “What’s your best price?”  If this question is handled in an insincere way (if answered at all), it could send a customer in a rage with smoke billowing out of their ears ready to pummel the salesperson for not answering the question. Price has very little to do with making a sale.  Don’t believe me? If price had anything to do with purchasing a cup of coffee, why would anyone pay 5 times the amount for a cup of “celebrity” coffee when they could pay far less at the “get-it-and-go” gas station? Customers pay for two things: experience and value. When experience and value outweigh price a purchase is made. A wise investor, aka customer,  will always question what the potential gain will be for the risk taken. Put another way, will the return exceed the investment?   It is time to stop being defensive on price and begin to embrace the thinking behind P.R.I.C.E.

P- Prepare.  Henry Hartman said, “Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity.”  I was taught discipline will beat talent every time.  Building the proper foundation of knowledge is critical toward becoming successful.  As it is written, “It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock.  When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built.” If you are disciplined to study not only everything about your product, but also the relevant information of your competitor’s product, you will beat the most talented, undisciplined salesperson. Talent is what you can do naturally; discipline is a regimen that develops or improves a skill. “Nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.”

R- Remember.  Patricia Fripp put it best when she said, “Remember it’s not your customer’s job to remember you.  It’s your obligation and responsibility to make sure they don’t have a chance to forget you.” Your stage is an opportunity to showcase what you and your product can do for your customer. Keep in mind that even though you have performed your show (product presentation) many times each day, six days per week, the customer has not seen your show.  Think as a Las Vegas performer-performing for the audience as if every night is opening night. Create a carnival-like atmosphere for your customer that will be enjoyable to both you and them.

I-Identify the needs of your customer.  Each customer’s needs are as unique as a thumbprint- they are all different.  Do not make the mistake of giving a “canned” presentation to every customer.  If your presentation is not geared specifically towards your customer’s wants and needs it could result in a lost opportunity for a sale. You should present your product that will address:  Who the main decision maker isWhat is the need for your product?  Why is your product superior to your competitors’? When will they need your product? How will your product serve their needs?

C- Collate everything into a professional, tailor-made sales presentation.  You must, must, must display enthusiasm when presenting your product. Zig Ziglar maintains, “For every sale you miss because you are too enthusiastic, you will miss a hundred because you are not enthusiastic enough.”  Preparation breeds confidence; confidence makes way for enthusiasm, enthusiasm paves the road for the sale.

E- Establish a relationship with your customers. This is the most important stage in the sales process. Customers do not want to know what you do, they want to know you care…about them. Selling is just like dating.  When you meet someone, you work hard to establish rapport, credibility, and trust.  If you can establish those key ingredients, you may get a second date. (Sound familiar?) In his new book, The Sales Bible, Jeff Gitomer wrote, “If you make a sale, you can earn a commission. If you make a friend, you can earn a fortune.”

So the next time a customer asks for your best price, confidently respond by saying, “I am glad you asked.” Know that your best price comes from all of the preparation in your product, remembering to make their experience unique and fun by identifying their wants and needs, Collating all of it together onto your “Vegas-style” stage- all the while remembering throughout the sales process you are establishing a personal relationship with them.  As long as you walk on this earth you are going to be something; you might as well be successful.