Thursday, October 8, 2009

The 7 Paradoxical Sales Principles

The 7 Paradoxical Sales Principles

  1. To win more sales, stop selling. When people feel like they're being sold, they react negatively and put up barriers. Focus on helping your prospects achieve their business, professional and personal objectives – not making a sale.
  2. To speed up your sales cycle, slow down.  The more quickly you push to a close, the higher resistance you encounter. Go one step at a time. When your prospects know you want to help them make the right decision, not a rash one, the process moves faster.
  3. To make decisions easier, offer fewer options. When you increase the complexity of the decision, you decrease thelikelihood of winning the sale. To help your prospects move forward, give them less to choose from. Keep it simple – always.
  4. To be more natural, prepare like crazy. Today's customers suffer no fools. If you're not ready with the right message, questions or presentation, you'll stumble or be stilted in your meeting. When you do prepare, you can be your best self.
  5. To get bigger contracts, start smaller. When you pursue the "whole shebang", decisions are more complex and costly, making it much tougher to get approval. Reduce the risk by starting small and proving your capabilities. Then, it's easy to grow.
  6. To speed up your learning curve, fail fast. It's inevitable that you'll make mistakes. So don't wait till you've figured out the "perfect pitch" before moving forward. In sales, there is no failure - just lots of opportunities for experimentation, learning and growth.
  7. To differentiate your offering, become the differentiator. That's the biggest reality in today's market. Your products, services or solution are secondary to your knowledge, expertise and the difference you make for your customers. Ivest time in yourself.
by Jill Konrath, author of Selling to Big Companies. Share

Monday, September 14, 2009

Qualifying Questions - The Critical Skill

Qualifying - The Critical Skill
Communications - Questioning Skills
Written by Kelley Robertson

For many business people selling is not usually one of their favorite tasks. Salespeople are often viewed as greedy, unethical and unscrupulous - determined to close a sale at any cost. Yet, a business cannot survive without generating sales so selling skills become a critical competency.

Selling is an honourable profession and everyone who operates a business should learn some fundamentals. From my perspective as a business owner, sales trainer, and consumer, the most important skill to learn is how to effectively qualify your prospect.

The most common mistake sales people make is to immediately launch into a product presentation or “pitch” when they first meet their prospect. They extol the virtues of what they sell and tell the prospective buyer how good, fast, reliable, inexpensive or easy to use their product is. They talk, talk, and talk hoping they’ll convince the buyer that their product or service is of value.

The problem with this approach is that the “pitch” seldom addresses the issues or concerns of the buyer. Because their needs have not been addressed, there is no compelling reason for them to consider using your machines or to change vendors. If you really want to give prospects a reason to buy from you, you need to give them a reason. One of the most effective ways to do this is to ask a few well thought-out questions to uncover what is important to the prospect. Here are a few examples:

“I notice you currently use XYZ Company. How long have they been your supplier?”

“What do you like most about them?”

“If you could change one aspect about your current arrangement, what would it be?”

“What are the most important issues for you?”

“What have your experiences been with ABC Organization?”

“How many…do you sell in an average week/month?”

“Who is your primary customer?”

“Where do you see your greatest challenge?”

Notice that each of these is an open-ended question which means it begins with “who”, “what”, “where”, “why”, “when” or “how.” These types of questions encourage the prospect to open up and share information of what their needs and wants are. An important note here is to be cautious you don’t inadvertently turn these open questions in to close-ended ones by saying something like;

“What are the most important issues for you? Timeliness of service? Income?”

This is a very common mistake that now gives the prospect an answer. I don’t know about you, but selling is hard enough without making it even more difficult. Never assume you know how they are going to answer. Ask your question and wait patiently for the answer. Even if you have been in the industry for ten years or longer and think you’ve heard it all, don’t make the mistake of assuming you know what the prospect’s needs are. Let them tell you, rather than you telling them.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in sales is that people will tell you ANYTHING you want to know. All you have to do is ask. Most people love to talk about themselves and want to share information about their current situation, their challenges or problems, likes and dislikes. But, in most cases, they need prompting. This prompting comes from you in the form of asking the right questions in the proper tone and manner.

It amazes me how few salespeople actually take the time to learn about their customer before they launch into their presentation. I recall interviewing several companies for a training initiative I once worked on. The first two salespeople I met rambled on at great length about how good their companies were, how long they had been in business, how they could help me, and so on. Not once did the salespeople ask me what I was looking for. Nor did they address any of the issues that were floating through my mind. Finally, after thirty minutes, I called the interviews to a close. From my perspective, they had just wasted half an hour of my time.

If you really want to begin differentiating yourself from your competitors take the time to learn about your prospect’s situation. By doing so, you’ll begin to give them a reason to do business with you instead of someone else. Share

Saturday, May 30, 2009

How to 'work a room' and Network

Networking at an event is a great way of getting your name or service out in front of potential customers. In fact, in the past few years my clients have forged a number of relationships that have led to more sales and sustained growth for their business by attending events with friends and business associates, and working different parts of the room with a plan to meet their target market.

While there are a number of ways to “work a room” that offer varying degrees of success, here are some good, fundamental strategies to keep in mind. By applying these techniques, you’ll give yourself the best chance of establishing sustained relationships that lead to more sales!

•Start with the end in mind – You want to create a positive first impression. Dress appropriately. Take plenty of business cards this makes it easier for others to contact you. Decide that you want to make the most of the event. Be open, upbeat and enthusiastic. Choose an event that is closely matched with your target market. Wear your own personalized name badge or wear a badge with your personal tag line.

•Arrive early and scout the room – Look over the room and pick three to four key areas where traffic will flow but also allow you to acknowledge people. At a recent event I chose two areas where people had to go by and get their refreshments. It allowed me to meet seven new business contacts and I renewed six old acquaintances in my target market. Out of this event three prospects have recently become clients.

•Set a goal for the number of new people (Prospects) you want to meet who are in your target market – Consider how many people you would like to talk to and how many cards you would like to take away. Ideally at a two hour event a minimum of 5 to 10 new people in your target market should be your goal. Make sure your goal is a stretch, yet achievable, and don’t leave until you’ve met your goal. This can give you the impetus to move on in the conversation.

•Act like a host, not a guest – If you adopt the mindset of a host you are more likely to be proactive in greeting people, introducing yourself and asking people if they would like to meet others. You can create as strong an impression by being a conduit for people. Be open in posture and do not square your shoulders to your prospect, boxing people in. Keep an open stance which will allow others to join in your conversation and give more opportunities to meet people.

•Breaking into groups – Avoid approaching two people who seem to be talking intensely. Instead approach groups of three or more. Stand close by and acknowledge what’s being said through your body language and facial expressions. Seize the right moment to make eye contact and say ‘hello’ or add something to the conversation. Even better, look for an acquaintance or business associate and stop by to speak with them when they are speaking with someone you do not know.

•Make your introduction interesting (Elevator Pitch) – An effective introduction is brief and memorable it needs to have sufficient impact to get the interest of the group. That’s why you need an Elevator Pitch – a short description of your business that enables prospective buyers to know who you work with and what value you bring to the relationship. An Elevator Pitch conveys your marketing message in a manner that literally attracts the right customer to you.

•Listen and aim to give value – Listening is crucial when networking and it’s only too evident when someone is not paying attention to you. Find out about the person/people in the group, uncover ways you can be a useful resource to them. Show a genuine interest in the person – you’re more likely to find common ground as they open up. People want to spend time with people they like and trust.

•Change your focus from ‘what’s in it for me?’ to ‘what can I offer you?’ – People quickly work out if someone is aiming to sell to them or is only interested in taking what they can get. Networking is about developing relationships with others, so meeting people at events is about starting the process, not ending it. If you give value by helping them in some way – by introducing them to a referral or offering some information – they’re more likely to spend time with you and respond to your follow-ups.

•Breaking away professionally – You may feel uncomfortable or rude breaking away from a conversation, even though such events or cocktail parties are designed for people to circulate. If you’re enjoying the company, suggest that you both join another group. If you want to get away completely, or the conversation has run its course, say something like ‘it’s been great to meet you, I hope you enjoy the rest of the event’ or ‘let’s keep in touch’. Don’t over-complicate your exit, just make your voice tone sound final, and then move away. As you leave mention that you will follow up with them later in the week.

•Follow up afterwards – Ask each person you meet for two cards – one to pass on and one to keep. It’s a powerful way of demonstrating you’d like to refer them to someone, or vice versa. Make a note on their business card of what you’ve promised to do for them, so you don’t forget. If they were open to your “Elevator Pitch” suggest that you will send them some further information. Once you have stepped away, note down a memorable feature of their image, or the conversation, to remind you of who they are. If you’re meeting lots of people, it’s easy to lose track. As soon as possible afterwards, drop them a line or give them a call and do what you said you would do. They’ll be delighted that you remembered them.

Agree how you’ll keep in touch going forward so that you can “Build Your Business”

Donald Robichaud is the President of FloodLight Consulting and can be reached at or at 250-768

As posted on Castanet


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Why do procrastinators procrastinate?

In my thirty years of sales and marketing experience I have had to deal with many clients who cannot make a decision. They literally procrastinate and delay moving forward for many reasons. As a small business, the survival of your business may depend on the positive outcome of many sales calls. If your main prospects are all vacillating, you will need to move the sales process to the next step.

People procrastinate because they don't know what the next step is. If they don’t know what it is, they can’t take it. It's that simple!

If you are currently dealing with a procrastinator who professes real interest but keeps putting you off, you’re probably dealing with a genuine procrastinator. They don’t procrastinate intentionally. It’s just in their Buying DNA.

Here’s a great question to ask to help you get the ball rolling with all the procrastinators you encounter. Please don’t underestimate the potency of this question.

The Great Question”

“What would have to happen” for you to place an initial order of three units of our new XYZ product?

The key words are, “what would have to happen”?

Trust me, it works.

Insert whatever is appropriate for the situation after the phrase, “What would have to happen...?”

This question works like magic. It literally forces the procrastinator to think what the next steps ought to be. He tells you what the steps are and at the same time he tells himself what the steps are.

I can’t tell you how many times I've seen this work. It may be the single best way to un-procrastinate procrastinators.

Ask better questions and “Build Your Business”

Donald Robichaud is the President of FloodLight Consulting and can be reached at or at 250-768-9415.
As posted on Castanet


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Do Testimonials work?

When you’re selling, you’ll have to make a claim about your product or service to appeal to potential customers. However, because research suggests that people are reluctant to believe hype, it’s essential that you’re able to validate your claims in some way.

Using testimonials provides a perfect way to do this because positive statements from happy customers are much more believable than the words of a company spokesperson.

By using a customer testimonial, research shows your business could increase by around 30%.

Do they work?
Testimonials may not seem like an incredibly powerful selling tool but when used correctly, they are extremely effective. By informing readers of the positive experiences your existing customers have had, testimonials lend credibility to your product or service.
Without using testimonials, any claims you make will remain unsubstantiated and customers will find it hard to trust you and ultimately, will be reluctant to buy your product or service.
It is very important to solicit testimonials from your target market. People want to hear from people in their industry. If you’re soliciting realtors to work with you then you need to have one or more testimonials from this market.
When you solicit a testimonial, you must remember to ask after a ‘moment of satisfaction’. This is the moment when the client has expressed satisfaction with your service or product. This is the moment in time when they are most enamoured with you and your service.

Example:Client says: “That’s the best service I have ever received.”

To Client: I am glad you’re satisfied with my service. Can you provide me with a testimonial that speaks to how you felt before you used our service, how you felt during our service and how you feel now about our service?
Testimonials do work!
Use a testimonial to ‘Build Your Business’
As posted on Castanet

Donald Robichaud is the President of FloodLight Consulting and can be reached at or at 250-768-9415

Thursday, March 5, 2009

All sales begin with a A great elevator pitch

I recently attended a Kelowna Chamber of Commerce networking event with 200-plus people and had the pleasure of meeting many new business owners. When I meet someone for the first time at one of these events, I usually start with something like, “So, (use their name here), what do you do at (their company)?”
It helps to be a good listener, and ask open questions. I let the other person speak first. While they speak, I’m able to assess if my services are the right fit to their needs. I can take it one step further and deduce the specific area where I might be able to help, by breaking it down between Sales, Marketing or Branding. If my service is appropriate for their business, I use my tried and true Elevator Pitch to explain my services.
I spent time with all my friends and business acquaintances and as I left the event, I realized that I had made ten new business acquaintances and found five new leads. Another successful night of networking!
You need a Great Elevator Pitch
Every day you meet people who could use your products or services, or people who know others who could benefit from what you do. But unless you tell them what you do in a clear, concise and compelling manner, these relationships go nowhere.
That’s why you need an Elevator Pitch – a short description of your business that enables prospective buyers to know who you work with and what value you bring to the relationship.
An elevator pitch conveys these marketing messages in a manner that literally attracts the right customers to you. In today’s fast-paced world, the average person is bombarded with thousands of marketing messages from multiple mediums every single day. Advertising is everywhere and most people don’t even notice them anymore.
To break through all this marketing clutter, it’s imperative to have an enticing elevator pitch that speaks directly to the needs of your customers.
And it has to roll off your tongue easily, naturally and conversationally – and in about the time it takes, you guessed it,...for an average elevator ride.
As Posted on Castatnet
Donald Robichaud

Saturday, February 14, 2009

How do I increase my Sales and Sell more in Kelowna ?

Do you want to sell more in less time and make more money?

Do you want to sell more and have your business grow in Kelowna— even in a down economy?

FloodLight Consulting's 16 week program prepares you to sell effectively for the rest of your life!

Seek to understand and then SELL!!!!
Our clients are able to communicate with potential clients, separate prospects from suspects quicker, faster and better and once engaged, they know precisely which communication tool to utilize in order to move the client to the next step of the sales process.

At FloodLight Consulting we work with entrepreneurs, small and mid size businesses assisting them with their Sales, Marketing and Branding of products and services.

What they say, how they say it, and when to say it!

What our clients like best is that we help remove the bottle necks in their business and change the way they think and feel about Sales, Marketing and Branding. All of these approaches help to increase sales and profits.

FloodLight specializes in Sales, Marketing and Branding programs for Entrepreneurs and Small to Medium- sized Businesses (SMB).

FloodLight's core competencies were designed specifically to meet the operational needs of any business relying on standard sales practices.

With our 16 week program, you'll learn the secrets of the top sales professionals:

1. The 10 Steps required for Life Success
2. What you need to do to Attain your Goals
3. What you need to know about Selling!!!! What is the Process by which people use to buy on a daily basis ? - "Your 15 minutes of Fame"
4. Elevator Pitch – Why it’s important and why you need one.
5. FloodLight Communication System. Repeatable Reusable and a Real Time Saver.
6. Close more business deals by asking the right questions.
7. Using the telephone to make more sales.
8. Referral Process – We teach you how ask for referrals in a manner that works!
9. The Seven Key Steps of the Sales Process – How and when to Close!
10. We teach when and then how to ask for Testimonials . These will then become the cornerstone of your sales process.
11. We will teach you how to deal with procrastinators
12. With our Program, you will have a strategic goal for your target market. This will deliver results.
13.This program will will assist us in reviewing and defining how best to target your market.
14. We will work with you to decide what corporate literature to use and when to use it effectively.
15. We will work with you to develop a sales campaign in your community.

Click here to Contact us today for a complimentary coaching session, to assess your specific needs, and to receive a
complimentry lesson on how to write an Elevator Pitch!!

Call : 1- 250-768-9415
Savvy business owners, entrepreneurs, new sales people and FloodLight's clients are implementing sales strategies taught in our program. Share

Listening is the key to selling

In today’s business world, unless you go into the sales arena with a strategy in mind, you will fail more times than you win with prospective clients, as they are busy with their own businesses.

When selling in these times, you must learn to ask the proper questions in order to gain the appropriate information that then leads to increased knowledge.

Knowledge is power, and as you listen to your client’s answers, you will discover a tremendous amount of information that will be pivotal in the sales process.

Once you fully understand the client’s situation, you will be able to make effective presentations which will enhance your personal credibility.

This will give you the confidence to express your own ideas clearly, specific to the situation, and visually when necessary. All of these factors will significantly increase the probability of making the sale.
Give us a call or send an email for a complimentary coaching session at which time we will assess your needs.
Donald Robichaud
FloodLight Consulting

Still not sure??

“As a business coach, I'd like to learn about your situation and the priorities you have for building your business.
If appropriate at this time, I would take the opportunity to explain how FloodLight Consulting - Online Internet Business Coach might approach these issues.
We would move to the next stage if we can agree on some common ground.

"The next step is yours!!
The steps to success are a call away.

Give us a call or
send an email for a complimentary coaching session at which time we will assess your needs, and impart a very important message.
Donald Robichaud
Regional London Courses Training Lessons Classes FloodLight