ACTG Sales Management Blog

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Why Selling is Part of a Great Client Experience

Posted by Jeni Wehrmeyer on Thu, Dec 30, 2021

There are specific traits that skilled salespeople possess in order to build strong relationships with prospects or clients.

They create a great client experience by providing value, asking the right questions, listening to understand, and demonstrating patience.

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Client service or selling, what is the difference? If you will think for a moment about your own buying experiences. When I shop on Amazon, I actually now look for the recommended and related items and often will purchase them. Recently I was at a big box store making a tech purchase and had the benefit of working with a great salesperson who asked all the right questions to steer me to the right item. Ray (the salesman) didn’t “sell” me the item, however, he did help me explore what features I needed and provided options. With his knowledgeable questions, Ray helped me come to the right choice and purchase decision. Some may call this service, but this is really selling because service is in the heart of all great salespeople.

I am going to borrow from the wonderful book Go-Givers Sell More by Bob Burg & John David Mann for this post. Bob and John David have identified The Five Laws of Stratospheric Success and these include: The Law of Value, The Law of Compensation, The Law of Influence, The Law of Authenticity, and The Law of Receptivity

Let’s look at the Law of Value first. Here is what Bob and John David say about that: Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment. Now that is a wonderful definition. In addition, we know from our sales data source Objective Management Group that there are specific traits that skilled salespeople demonstrate when they build value for a prospect or client and these are:

  • Focused on value over price
  • Knows & believes in their value
  • Comfortable discussing money
  • Always positions value
  • Sales process supports value
  • Learns why prospects will buy
  • Asks enough & great questions
  • Avoids making assumptions
  • Not compelled to provide a term sheet

Learn More About the  21 Core Competencies!Think about your own best salespeople. Do they build a great client experience because they ask enough of the right great questions and do not assume anything? Value-based selling is trainable and should be a focus for your organization’s customized sales training in the future.

Let’s look at one more of Bob and John David’s Five Laws – The Law of Influence, which they describe as; Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first. All organizations recognize that the days of showing up with your box of products are over, in large part because the buying process is in the hands of the prospect now. So, if everything can be found online, how do you differentiate as a banker or an insurance or investment advisor? Consultative sellers put other people’s interests first with their core selling skills and behaviors. Borrowing from our 30+ year sales data warehouse again, here are the skills and traits of consultative and caring salespeople:

  • Able to stay in the moment
  • Uncovers compelling reasons to buy
  • Able to listen/ask with ease
  • Will build trust
  • Able to ask tough questions
  • Takes nothing for granted
  • Has appropriate amount of patience
  • Develops strong relationships
  • Presents at the right time
  • Has a healthy skepticism

How good are your client-facing people with listening with ease and demonstrating the appropriate amount of patience? Are they building relationships or are they taking care of the transaction at hand?

As you evaluate your sales team and your client servicing, it makes sense to think about how your sales process integrates with a great client experience. According to Bob and John David, “Selling is not at its core a business transaction; it is first and foremost the forging of a human connection.”

Learn More About the  21 Core Competencies!

Topics: relationship selling, customized sales training

Showing Gratitude and Relationship Selling

Posted by Tony Cole on Thu, Dec 23, 2021

Working with clients can sometimes be difficult. But in successful relationship selling, it's critical that you are regularly showing gratitude and thanks.

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Where time has gone, I am not sure. But one thing I am sure of is that the upcoming holidays are a time to give thanks for the wonderful blessings in our lives.

It can be difficult, can't it?  As humans, we tend to remember and harp on much of the negative, instead of recognizing each and every day as a privilege. And, often, we do the same in our businesses.

  • "Our numbers are down this month?  Sound the alarm!"
  • "We received a bad review on Facebook?  Call a companywide meeting!"
  • "Marketing and Sales aren't aligning?  These people are hopeless!"

Sound familiar?  Now, I know I'm being a bit dramatic for effect here, but these statements are not that far off.

Wouldn't you say we act the same with some of our clients?

  • "Why don't they take any of our ideas?"
  • "How do they expect us to finish this proposal on time?"
  • "They are starting to get on my nerves!"

We've all been there.  Working with clients can be tough work.  We all expect so much from one another that one little instance can make us tick and might even ruin a business relationship forever.

So, I am asking that you send something to your clients, former or current bosses, colleagues, mentors, loved ones, etc. today thanking them for sticking with you.  A thank-you email/letter, a free piece of merchandise, flowers, a company t-shirt, free access to an online course, cookies (who doesn't like cookies?), or whatever else you can come up with.  Trust me, it will feel GOOD.  We will do the same. 

It's the least we can do for the great folks who have stuck with us through thick and thin and have represented our brand as advocates for the Anthony Cole Training Group.  It's also the least we can do for the loved ones who have stuck by our side in tough times.

So, I leave you today with these four questions. I'd encourage you to print these and hang them in your office so that you remember to give thanks every single day and not just during the holiday season.

  1. What are you most thankful for in your personal life?
  2. What are you most thankful for in your business?
  3. What are you most thankful for in your clients?
  4. Why haven't you told someone about it yet today?

Have a very happy holiday and a joyous New Year!

Watch Our Holiday  Message

Topics: client experience, relationship selling, building sales relationships

Catching a Wave with Hispanic Consumers

Posted by Sebastian Fuentes on Tue, Sep 01, 2020

Within 10 years, Hispanics will account for over 21% of the population in the United States. There is a valuable opportunity to understand and proactively adjust to this coming shift in demographics.

 

What are you and your organization doing to appeal and speak to this growing group of consumers?

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Many people know the basic Spanish word for hello is hola. Do you know what happens when you drop the “H”? The resulting word, ola, means wave. And wave is the perfect word to describe the Hispanic market in the United States; it’s growing by the day, gaining lucrative force, and coming your way! Moreover, if you don’t give any consideration to how it will affect your business, the opportunities could be washed out to sea. 

    

Business in our country is becoming increasingly cognizant of Hispanic consumers because they are becoming increasingly powerful. The purchasing power of Hispanics was forecasted to hit 1.7 trillion dollars this year. Look for the signs in your own consumer experience…How many times have you called a customer service line to hear “for English press one, para Español oprima dos?” Even your entertainment experiences are increasingly highlighting Hispanic actors, characters, or subjects. ABC’s Magnum P.I. reboot features Mexican-American actor Jay Hernandez as the iconic Thomas Magnum. Netflix makes our stomachs growl with Street Food: Latin America and our hearts pound with Money Heist (the most popular non-English show on the entire platform).    

 

By 2030, Hispanics will make up over 21% of the population of the United States. Take a moment and think about what that means for your business. The fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population will make up 1 out of 5 consumers in fewer than 10 years. No other segment is even close to that pace of growth. Even if you’re not currently operating in a state with a large Hispanic population (think California or Texas), that doesn’t mean you can afford to ignore the numbers. There is a valuable opportunity to understand and proactively adjust to this coming shift in demographics. Is your business ready to make a splash?  

 

Simply translating your current advertising, sales, or service materials into Spanish is valuable, but you can’t stop there; Hispanic consumers can’t be won over by a solely linguistic sales approach. This market segment is multi-dimensional, intersectional, and language is only one element. Think of it this way- Colombians and Mexicans speak Spanish, as do Cuban-Americans hailing from South Florida. Are these Hispanic communities alike? Absolutely not. The vibrant tapestry of Hispanics in this country may share a linguistic thread, but it’s essential to acknowledge their distinct cultures. In fact, a study conducted by PwC shows that reaching Hispanic consumers has become less about language and more about connection with the content. Culturally relevant news sources such as Mitu and the increasing visibility of Hispanics in media (remember Magnum P.I.?) show the power of representation.

  

So how does all of this affect your business strategy? You have to start by thinking about the specific populations that are already where you are, or where you want to be. What do those cultural pockets respond to positively? Are the most influential Hispanic consumers in your operational area older or younger? First-generation? Third-generation? Are you making an effort to understand them?      

 

Here are some important points to consider regarding your business and its positioning with Hispanic consumers:

  • What is the regional scope of your business? In other words, are you always going to operate in a singular geographic area, or are you in multiple places?
  • How populous is the Hispanic community in your regional scope? The numbers may surprise you!  
  • Do you have a strategy that is properly equipped to sell to Hispanic consumers? (We’re not talking about overhauling your sales strategy. We are talking about honestly examining your sales/market penetration strategy so you’re getting the most out of it.)  
  • Even if your Hispanic customer base is small in numbers, that’s OK. Use this opportunity to think about your long game and generate ideas about how you could adjust if your regional scope were to see a change in demographics.    

 

Chances are, one or several of these considerations will present you with an opportunity for improvement. That’s a good thing because addressing areas in need of reinforcement now could translate into bigger opportunities for the future. Winston Churchill once said, “If you don’t take change by the hand, it will take you by the throat.” Give your business the attention and positioning it needs to meaningfully connect with this important demographic and you’ll gladly say “Hola, ola!

Topics: develop relationships, closing more sales, Sales Growth, Target Marketing, relationship selling

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    Anthony Cole Training Group has been working with financial firms for close to 30 years helping them become more effective in their markets and closing their sales opportunity gap.  ACTG has mastered the art of using science-based data and finely honed coaching strategies to help build effective sales teams.  Don’t miss our weekly sales management blog insights from our team of expert contributors.

     

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