Author of Selling For Fun and Profit, teaches how to take the 'Icky' and 'Scary' out of selling. Read this lively interview to on vital information to know about your potential buyers.
PDB: Welcome, Hugh Liddle, author of Selling for Fun and Profit: How to Take the Icky and Scary Out of Selling. Please tell us about your book.
HL:Selling For Fun and Profit is simply a book about how to sell more effectively and with more ease. If applied, the principles in the book will help a salesperson make more sales, make more money, and have more fun selling. In turn, their prospects will ENJOY the sales process as well. All of us have probably been on the receiving end of a "hard sell" and have negative feelings about it. When I asked one sales class how they felt when a salesperson pressured them, one of my students wrinkled up her nose and said, "Icky!" That was the inspiration for the subtitle of the book, "Taking the 'Icky' and 'Scary' Out of Sales."
PDB: Hugh, besides being an author, you are an accomplished speaker and coach who teaches salespeople and business owners to become highly effective at selling by using "the new sales model." Please share with us about how this model is different, and why it is so successful.
HL: The new model of sales is based on building rapport and relationship. Sales Trainer Jeffrey Gitomer says that people don't like to be sold...but they love to buy from people they know, like, and trust. So approximately 40% of the new model deals with getting to know people and finding common ground with them. When they know you, like you, and trust you, then, and only then, will they buy from you.
Asking lots of good, open-ended questions is another vital step in the sales process. Sales used to be about telling people all about the product and service. Now it's about asking questions to find out what the prospect's problems are, what they really want, and what they really need. Then the salesperson can determine whether her product or service will solve the problem or produce a desired result. The salesperson and the prospect literally become partners in solving the prospect's problem or helping them get what they want and need. I also teach my clients to ask for the sale and effectively answer objections.
The results have been outstanding. My clients, if they do what I teach them to do, see a dramatic increase in sales and income, often doubling or tripling production. One of my clients in Colorado went from a 32% conversion rate from prospects to an 83% rate in just two short months.
PDB: Talk to us a little bit about your expertise in helping businesses create their own online marketing blueprint, and why this is so important.
HL:In sales, as in every other aspect of life, planning is crucial if one wants to experience success. So in order to increase sales, a business must find its ideal clients and find ways to communicate with them. It's important to find the answers to questions like: What does my ideal client look like? Where do they live? Are they male or female or both? How old are they? What is their socio-economic level?
Then we need to know: Where do my ideal clients hang out? Chamber of Commerce? Networking groups? Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn? Church? The golf course? An association? When we get the answer to those questions, then we can determine how best to connect with them: Social media? Email? Phone calls? Personal contact? TV? Print ads? Website?
And then when we are constantly in contact with our ideal clients so we can build rapport and relationship, then sales and revenues will increase.
PDB: Red Cap offers several different kinds of seminars, one of which is a "Personality Styles Seminar." Please tell us why it's important for salespeople to understand different personality types.
HL: The Golden Rule is "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." That's a Biblical rule and it's a good one. But it doesn't mean that we can relate with or sell to everyone in exactly the same way we would like to be realated with or sold to. So I think it's important to find out what different personality styles want and need, and then adapt our approach to talking with them and selling to them to meet THEIR needs. That means to "Do unto others as they would be done unto," according to their style.
As an example, with one personality style, you have to talk faster, bullet point your demonstration, explain how your product will help them be more successful in achieving their goals and help them maintain control. When you ask this style to buy, they will make a buying decision immediately and tell you what it is.
With another style, you need to present all kinds of documentation, research, charts, graphs,etc. You have to take more time, speak more slowly, present in detail, and explain why doing business with you is the right thing to do. This style will typically make their decision slowly. These are just two examples. You can see how important it is for the salesperson (regardless of his or her own style) to assess the prospect's personality and and then sell in a way that is comfortable and effective with that prospect's style.
PDB: I enjoyed your "Time Out" blog with your video of you at the beach. Share with us why taking some time away from work is essential to everyone's well being.
HL: The old saying, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," is absolutely true. We need to get away from work for a while on a regular basis, even if only to take a walk around the block. Taking a break for a few minutes, or an hour, or a weekend to get away and do something relaxing has the effect of refreshing our bodies and minds so we can bring new focus and concentration to our work. And my sister once told me, "Nobody, on their deathbed, ever says, 'I wish I'd spent more time at the office!'" As a former work-a-holic, I can tell you that she is right!
PDB: What one piece of advice would you like to pass on to our Polka Dot Banner authors and readers?
HL: If you want to increase your book (or other product) sales and revenues, you really need to find a great sales coach, whether it's Red Cap or another reputable sales coach. Why is coaching so important? Think about this: Every professional baseball player, no matter how good a hitter he may be, takes batting practice every day. And there's always a coach looking on and making corrections. The result is that the hitter keeps doing the things that make him successful and avoids the things that will send him into a slump. So unless you are already better at selling books than A-Rod is at hitting a baseball, you need to get a great coach and practice your sales skills every day so you can do the things that will make you successful and avoid sales slumps.
PDB: How can we get more information about your coaching and speaking?
HL: You can go to our website, http://redcapsalescoaching.com. There you will find a link to a FREE sales survey. If you take a few minutes and answer the 12 questions, you'll get a complementary (FREE) 45-minute sales coaching session. We'll talk about where you're strong in your sales process and where you might want to make some changes. We'll give you some ideas and tips that will help you immediately increase your sales. And we'll let you know how you can get more assistance from us if you choose to. You can also sign up for our newsletter there.