Ice Melting Lines

ice melting

Have you ever felt a little awkward after that first five seconds of an initial sales conversation? Using those “Hey, how you doing?” mundane type of initial phrases that lead to you just talking over your prospect and not making a quick connection. I hear and see it all the time!

Everyday initial conversations starters DO NOT work in the selling world, and DO NOT forward your sales conversation. If you’re wondering why you’re not growing, as you should be in sales, this may help you break through. Shake things up a bit. Make your lead in phrases you!

Where do we start?

Bring your personality into it…literally your personality!

Examples:

  • “Hey is this John Smith? Great, do you have 79 seconds for me really quickly?”
  • “John, I’ve been trying to catch you for months I literally thought you were    kidnapped man, were you kidnapped?”
  • “Hey John, this is Dave, are you ready for this?”
  • “John, how is your office staff running over there today? (don’t let them respond) Who’s winning, you or them?”

Shake things up then lead into what you are doing and what you’re calling about. You’re melting away the tension that could exist when you use those icebreaking lines that can immediately connect you with your prospect because you’re different. If you are a prospecting master, you are an “ice-melter” with these types of initial phrases!

Let me leave you with your prospecting golden nugget for the week…

When prospecting, be YOU. Nobody in this world has your design. Daily you choose to cater to the world, or make it your masterpiece. Make it your masterpiece when you are prospecting today. Get out there and melt the tension, use your ice melting lines to get in and connect with your prospect quickly.

What are some of the ice melting lines you have used? Tweet them to me @davebrown_swc #meltingtheice #southwesternconsulting

Being Positive vs. Positive Self-Talk

zzself_discipline

The wealthiest man I know once told me the key to success is having amazing self-talk. I remember feeling disappointed when receiving this advice over a nice dinner. What a conundrum that I’m getting advice from the a man who was featured in Forbes Magazine as one of the most successful people alive and I’m having a negative response to advice about positive self-talk.

I decided to investigate further what he meant by “you have to have amazing self-talk”. He went on to explain that self-talk is defined as what you say about yourself to yourself, and what you allow others to say about you that you believe. Then it hit me, my whole life I thought being positive is what having positive self-talk was all about. But after my conversation with Spencer, I realized that my self-talk had nothing to do with being a positive person. It had everything to do with looking in the mirror and honestly saying what I think about myself.

Most people have the wrong idea around what self-talk is all about. Most people, myself included before this dinner, consider being a positive person as what it means to have positive self-talk. I think of a funny Saturday Night Live skit like this one when I hear motivational speakers talk about having a positive attitude and living in a van down by the river.

Your self-talk is the most important thing in your life. The core of your self-talk is your belief system. Your beliefs construct your attitudes. Your attitudes determine your actions. Your actions come from your feelings. Your feelings come from your self-talk. If someone stuck a recorder inside your brain over the past 24 hours, I’m willing to bet the things you tell yourself about yourself would be scary. Most people spend their entire lives telling themselves what they can and cannot do. And as Henry Ford said “whether you think you can or you cannot, you are right.”

Your self-image is directly tied to your self-talk. When you look in the mirror, do you see someone who is fat, ugly, dumb, a failure, a bad husband, a lousy father, a victim, a martyr, a jerk, a nag, a mediocre worker…Or do you see someone who is fit, sexy, smart, a winner, the world’s best husband and father, someone who will go over, under, around or straight right though any obstacle in their way!?

In 1st grade, I flunked phonics, then in 2nd grade I flunked spelling, then I proceeded for the rest of my schooling to make F’s in any subject that had to do with reading and writing.  I developed a very real self-talk issue around the topic of reading and writing. I would say things like “can someone else read instead of me, I’m good at other things and not good at reading.”  One day a sales manager at the Southwestern Company challenged me when he said, “You know as long as you keep saying you aren’t good at reading, you never will be.”  I went home that night and made a decision that I would never again say anything about being less proficient at reading and writing.  Instead, I would say things positive about reading and writing.

I created “Positive Affirmations” around reading and writing, and I started saying them everyday.  My affirmations included “I am a wordsmith”, “I am an author”, “I am an avid reader”, “My lexicon is vast”, and “I am the world’s best Scrabble player”.  After a few months of saying these “Positive Affirmations”, I found myself picking up a book and started reading every day. Additionally, I opened up a Word document and started writing every week. More than 14 years later, I’ve read over 100 books and am the author of several books.

As humans, we are programmed to think a certain way, whether we like it or not. Either you choose to give up control of your own programming and let the media, society or your friends and family program you with what you believe about yourself and the world…or… you take control of your self-talk and start programming yourself with the things you want to believe about yourself and the world. If you want to take control of your self-talk, the most impactful exercise you can possibly do is to take out a piece of paper and write out a minimum of 10 positive affirmation and then make copies of your affirmations and carry them with you, post them on your walls, share them with other people and, most importantly, say them to yourself out loud every day.

Here are some of my personal affirmations: 

  • God gives me all strength, courage and confidence… and with God anything is possible.
  • I always communicate with confidence, unwavering Relentless Truth.
  • I always put God first, Kyah second, Haven third, friends fourth, work fifth, and myself sixth regarding how I make decisions.
  • I am an athlete. I am consistent with working out at least 3 times per week and walk with Kyah 2 times per week, and eating a Paleo diet.
  • I raise the belief, energy and confidence level of every single person I interact with.
  • I empathize with others’ struggles, pains and regrets and help them embrace truth, forgiveness, mercy and love through God.
  • Most of all, my life mission and what God has called me to do is help others reach their God-given potential every day.

 

Do Your Words Really Matter?

I AM....Do you talk to yourself? I already know the answer to this, YES, you do!  We all do.

But have you ever thought about if the things you say to yourself really make a difference in how you think, act or react?

Do your words encourage you or discourage you?

Do they give you confidence or do they make you self-conscious?

Do they make you want to keep going or do they make you want to get back in bed?

What you say when you talk to yourself is one of the most untrained on parts of being a sales professional, but one of the most important. It’s what we at Southwestern Consulting call “the power of positive self-talk.”

Learning how to talk to yourself is a really powerful element of building confidence on the inside so it shows on the outside. If you don’t believe in yourself very few will believe in what you are selling.

Positive self-talk is talking about yourself in present tense, which starts to create the vision of who you want to become.  Watching your words must be an intentional act of discipline to constantly reassure yourself that you can do this, you can learn this and it’s all possible.

The benefit of positive affirmations can be life changing. It can change your personal life, your work life, your confidence, it can change everything about you.

So here’s what I want you to do: make a list of all the things you want in your life.

What are the things that you want to have?

What are the things that you want to be and how do you want the world to see you ?

Do you want the world to see you as a loving father/mother? A loyal husband/wife? A hard worker? How do you want to be seen?

Writing positive affirmations allow you to physically see what you want written out giving you something real to look at and work towards

Long before I was any good at sales, my affirmations said things like, “I’m a million dollar producer, I’m a great speaker, I’m the top sales person in our company, I am a top leader.”

I may not of be all those things right now, but I want to be them. So I’m going to talk to myself like I am that person today.

My husband is a great example of this. He’s such an inspiration to me in this very specific area, because when he puts his dreams on paper, his affirmations, what he believes about himself, it always seems to come true. Not always today and not always tomorrow but eventually everything that he puts on paper, he finds a way to make it happen.

Years ago, my husband wrote down on his affirmations list “I am a New York Times best selling author.” He didn’t have a title, pages, or a topic of what he wanted to write. But he knew that’s what he wanted to be.

Five years ago, I wrote, “I’m a million dollar producer” down on my affirmations list. And I was very far away from being a million dollar producer. In fact, my best year at the time was probably just over $300,000 in personal revenue. In 2012 the same year that my husband became a New York Time Best-Selling Author, I sold over a million dollars in revenue for our company.

I believed it before it happened. I talked to myself as if it were already true, so when it came true it wasn’t that much of a shock. I’d been preparing myself all along to be the person I wanted to become. I spoke it out loud every single day.

So, here’s what you need to do right now. You need to write down 10 affirmations of who you want to be, present tense. I am a marathon runner, I am a million dollar producer, I am a loyal and devoted wife, I am in fantastic physical shape, I am the best friend anyone could have.

“I am . . . ” are the statements that you want to use. Present tense, to tell yourself that you are the person that, one day, you want to be.

FREE TRAINING: Mastering Your First Impression Conversation

conference_call_xsmall3

Just in case you missed last month’s sales training conference call, we are making it available to you here!  Each month Southwestern Consulting™ brings together our finest Top Producers to train on today’s most relevant sales topics.  These calls are free and you don’t want to miss out on these opportunities to learn from the absolute best.  Some of our past topics include closing, referrals, prospecting with LinkedIn, follow-up and selling with social media.

Listen to last month’s call on Mastering Your First Impression Conversation When Selling:

InfoGraphic: The Evolution of a Salesperson

Here’s a great look at how selling strategies have evolved over the centuries from DKNEWMEDIA. Where do you find yourself on this timeline?  evolution-of-a-salesperson_502916144a1bd_w594

 

Sales Tips: Characteristics of a Great Closer

From: Gary Michels

Gary MichelsAll great sales closers have a few things in common. They are:

  1. Great closers have a burning desire to close the sale. They know that closing one additional sale per day, per week, or even per month will greatly increase their income. As I have traveled around the country with great closers, I have noticed that they often have a score sheet on the wall or in their car and they can’t wait to fill in the numbers after closing the sale.
  1. Great closers really believe that their prospect is going to buy. Believing the customer will buy and selling with conviction greatly increases your chance of making the sale. Great closers expect success. They don’t think it was just “their lucky day.” In the car on the way to the presentation, they do a lot of positive self-talk, assuming the person is definitely going to buy. They say things like: “I am now pulling into the parking lot of my next big client!”, “I know that I have the best product and the best price for this customer, at this time. Now I will prove it to be true!”
  1. Great closers are sincere. People can tell when you are not sincere. Sincerity will always sell more than anything you do, and your lack of sincerity will almost always kill the deal. Look people directly in their eyes and tell them how it really is. Listen and really care about what they are trying to accomplish.
  1. Great closers talk low and slow. When you are calm and talk low and slow, your prospect will listen and believe you. If you talk too fast in a high pitched voice, you come across as pushy and tend to sound like someone they cannot trust.
  1. Great closers keep the close simple. Your prospect must fully understand what you are talking about.
  1. Great closers ask a lot of questions that will elicit a positive response. The more you get prospects saying “yes” during your presentation, the more likely they are to say “yes” during the close.
  1. Great closers realize the importance of names and examples. They will “name drop” appropriately throughout the closing process. Once again, remember that the close is supposed to be a natural ending to your presentation that makes people feel comfortable to move forward. By using names of other people whom they know, you subtly make them feel comfortable because they feel they are not taking such a huge risk. After all, others they know have done well with your product or service, and so should they.
  1. Great closers never argue with their prospects. They agree with objections and continue closing the sale. Whenever they must disagree with a prospect, they do it in a light, agreeable way. The rule of thumb that I like to follow is: “If I win the argument, I lose the sale!”
  1. Great closers never lose their cool. They let customers upset them occasionally, but they never show it. They always keep their voice low and a friendly expression on their face. If you get the reputation as a friendly sales rep, you can more easily build a large client base. Remember, more often than not, if people like you, they will overlook some of the bad points of your product or service.
  1. Great closers are politely persistent. They are not overbearing, yet they give prospects a number of chances to buy before judging whether or not the sale will actually happen. The key here is to walk the fine line of trying a little harder to get the sale without the prospect feeling any pressure from you.
  1. Great closers leave people happy. They make sure their prospects are in a good frame of mind before they leave. They want to brighten people’s day. They are also aware that their reputation precedes them in the community. Additionally, they know that by leaving prospects happy, they, too, will be happier, thus increasing their chance of making a sale at the next appointment. When I walk out the door of a prospect or client, I always say to myself: “I hope he or she thinks I am a cool guy!” If the prospect thinks that, I will likely get to work with that person at some point in the future.

To learn more about Gary Michels visit his website here.