Follow me if you want to win the sales game
We all have major events in our life that change our path.
Some are planned, and some are totally out of blue yet radically change everything.
I'm a Master of Reinvention because it's not about what happens to us, but what we do with it. Can we adapt, reinvent, and bravely take the new path that's being offered?
What happened last year left me broken into million pieces, yet I couldn't afford to crumble.
I was going back and forth about this post for a while.
Do I share my recent loss with you here or do I just quietly resume my business activities as if nothing happened?
But it did. And I always wanted to be honest. For the longest time, it wasn't easy to post anything cheerful and pretend it was business as usual. I always wanted to be a positive influence in other people's life.
I do appreciate this community so much – and a few of you reached out and supported me throughout this toughest time of my life, even though we just "met" virtually. I’m...
Want to make sure you crush it in 2022?
Before you start making vision boards, plan your manifesting schedule and set up New Year's resolutions - let's set you up for success. This time for REAL.
If all you're counting on are self-determination and never-ending motivation - you're doing yourself, and your business, a great disservice. We both know it's hardly sustainable for a long period of time. And there's no shame in it, ALL of us deal with this on regular basis.
We know what needs to be done. But we can use some help sorting the priorities so we don't get overwhelmed in the process.
To make sure things get done, to be the most efficient, successful, without wasting precious time and energy on things that don't bring you results? Try one thing that works like magic.
"Committing to someone that you will achieve your goal ups your probability of actually doing it from 8% to 65%, and ongoing...
We all know them, "the closers".
They walk around proudly, bragging about deals they closed a week, how much $$$ they've made. It's all about the numbers, the goal, the game, the competition.
It's their high.
Don't get me wrong. They're successful. They love to show off their award golden watches, their ego walks in the room before they enter, and often condescending to those who aren't just like them.
They don't concern themselves with worries about who may really need their product, afford it, or if it's even useful to them. The number one concern to closer is to CLOSE as many deals as humanly possible in the shortest period of time. Everybody who's breathing is a customer.
But what if you despise this kind of sales? Yet you need to be successful in order to sell and pay bills - and all that you plan to do with well-deserved profit in your business.
In the life insurance business, back in 2000, I saw closers in action. Engaging with...
Are you good at listening? Did you know that a really great listener is as rare as a pink tiger or a super blue Paul Newman’s eyes?
No kidding! We all think we’re such good listeners, but are we really?
Years back I was an underwriter for a British insurance company in Prague. The first official sales training rubbed me the wrong way. One of those YES “special questions “during the sale's closing, to which the only possible answer is yes – until “the brain of the client is used to agreeing so much” that when you drop that killer closing question they automatically say yes, too. Because – you know, the word NO would feel weird at that point.
I knew that’s not going to work for me. I also hated cold calls (prospects) we were required to make. Calling random people, asking them if they want insurance wasn't my thing. So I hired a kind elderly lady who didn’t mind being hung up on, to call my prospects, and I threw...
One of the most important skills in (any) sales is – L I S T E N I N G.
I know, duh! How many times have you heard – “you’ve got to listen to your clients”. If you’re a good salesman, you listen more than you speak.
"But Vera, I do listen. What am I supposed to listen for?"
Let me tell you a short story.
I have a nice aunt, Marie. She’s this loving, bubbly, caring person, interested in everybody, always smiling and welcoming. She has one bad habit – every time she asks a question, she would then enthusiastically start finishing the sentences WITH YOU. A loud. She would speak the words you’re ABOUT to say.
It’s incredibly annoying. Knowing what kind of person she’s, I know she doesn’t mean it in any negative way. But if I didn’t know her – I would feel like she was telling the other person – I already know what you’re going to say, I can say it for you better, look I know what words...
The other day, I answered a landline (am I the only unicorn that still has one?). One of those random numbers we never answer anymore - out of curiosity.
It never disappoints.
The line is either quiet when the automated dialer wasn't quick enough to connect with whomever wherever. Or, a robot starts with “oh-so-natural-voice” about your auto insurance/warranty, Google search engine, or warning about that outstanding warrant for your arrest unless you do XYZ. I once got a person reading the script so well I thought it was a recording.
This time, a friendly voice, excited that someone actually answered, said, “Is lady of the house there?” He lost me right there.
Why, because women are more compassionate, therefore generous, open to charity, or fundraising when you play the emotions right? Deep down, it just brought back all those cheap pickup lines I heard over the years. You know, those that never...
Anything that could go wrong that day went wrong.
It was October - the busiest month of the year for wholesalers. All the holiday buy-ins, all the discounts also meant brutal push to make sure we bring in 50% of the yearly revenue (that usually falls into the last quarter of the year).
Only an idiot would plan a complex wine tasting during that period.
In my defense, we worked on it for months and talked about it even longer. I put an enormous amount of work into it. It was also the first time I let go of some production control and half an hour in, I already regretted it.
The owner of the wine shop I was organizing it with, was in charge of the venue, and the invitation list. I selected the wines and prepared everything else for a smooth event. What was supposed to be a maximum of 40 people, (selected guests only), turned out to be 80.
The venue he chose couldn’t accommodate the demand, despite assuring us it’s not a...
Solve your client’s problem – and you have a business.
Sounds right. That’s how it works. Does it?
Now imagine your favorite wine shop. You’re a wine salesman who just walked in with a bag full of bottles to taste, a suitcase with pricing sheets, shelf talkers, and brochures. You got a sales goal to hit every single month. You also have numerous new placements to make, new vintages to sell, different brands (often completely unknown) to introduce. The pressure is on.
No empty spots in a desperate need of filling with new products, nor free space waiting for new...
She looked around a little confused and said with a smile:” Oh, OK. I see what you’re doing. “
No... No, she didn’t.
Her facial expressions gave up what she was thinking: “Yeah, right... Guys. Making fun of me here, he‘s testing me, maybe he wants to get the price lower or just playing around ….because I’m a woman.” That’s all she saw and looked offended.
She read the situation all wrong. None of it was as it seemed to her.
This moment, I still remember to this day as one of the most amazing examples of great leadership; happened after one of our sales meetings.
Our fine wine wholesale company’s owner Tom (himself an unmatched wine expert) together with our wine director (think walking encyclopedia of knowledge, experience, and super-palate) was meeting one of the new vendors. She brought in samples of her wines, convincing Tom to add them to our portfolio.
Illustrative picture - one of the best perks of my...