Your Third Biggest Sales Mistake

…On your Marks, Get Set, GOOOO!!!

All too often I see Sales Agents in a HUGE hurry to talk to their next customer. They have no idea WHO that customer is, WHAT that customer Wants or Needs or WHY the customer might want or need it.

Not knowing anything about your prospect is a BIG sales mistake.

Don't rush your sale
Rushing into a sale is a sure way to lose it

 

Slow Down and Smell the Roses

[bctt tweet=”Honestly, Sales is not a race.”]

I realize you might have sales quotas and a boss breathing down your neck, but it is not actually a competition on how many customers you speak to, but really it is about how many sales you get.Is it not preferable that you speak to 5 customers and sign up 4 rather than speak to 30 customers and sign up 1?

I often see it with rookie sales agents. They are in a tremendous hurry to knock on that door, or pick up that phone and they have no idea who they are calling or why.

If you read my earlier article where we discussed Newton’s Law, then you should know that when you rush headlong into a sale, you are going to get the equal and opposite reaction of the customer rushing headlong AWAY from the sale.

It is not a pretty sight.

Do your Research

Before you approach a customer, do your research. You need to know who the customer is, what he does, why he is there, why he might need your product and any other data you can glean about the prospect.

E.g. did he ever buy a similar product, did he hate it, love it, etc.

Does he have a wife, a child or children, what is his age, what are his likes and dislikes? ANY data you can obtain about the customer is going to help you to talk to him. Does he live in a big house, a small house? Is he frugal, is he a spender, is he married, divorced, etc.?

Why do you need all this information? Well, think of it this way; if you found out that 30 people were in a bus in some remote village somewhere in the world that you have never been to and never heard of and ran off the road and they all died, does it really ruin your day? No? Exactly!

But what if you found out that a bus that contained 30 kids from your kid’s school. You find out it ran off a road and they all died.  Then that makes a HUGE impact.

Why? Because that school is YOUR kids school, you know that school, you have seen that school, you have walked the grounds, you may not know the kids personally, but you might have seen them. It is a completely different story.

Familiarity breeds affection.

If you discovered something killed your worst enemy you would be more shaken up than finding out something killed someone whom you have absolutely no idea about. You have more affection for your worst enemy strangely enough.

The more you know about the customer the more you will like him. And the more he will like you. Whether you like someone or not has a lot to do with whether you want to speak to them or not.

You are not really interested in speaking someone that you do not like. And how familiar that person is to you determines whether you want to speak to them as well.

By way of example, if you are Chinese and you are walking around in China where there are 1.4 billion other Chinese people, you are not inclined to go talk to everyone you see.

But if somehow you find your way into the middle of Africa amongst nobody but Africans and then one day you see another Chinese person there? You are going to have a huge smile on your face and immediately run over to talk to them. They will be just a happy to see you.

Knowing something about your prospect makes it a lot easier to talk to them and them to you.

Why Else Should I slow down?

Well, nobody appreciates being pushed into things. Taking your time, not rushing into the sale, and spending some time just getting to know your prospect s not only more fun, but pays handsome rewards. We all trust friends more than strangers, right?

Don’t just rush into the sale. Make friends with your prospect, be interested in him or her. I tend to not even talk about what I am there for until I know the prospect and I are getting along.

The Lady on the Porch

I was once training some door to door guys and I had them go and try sell our product to an African American woman. She was sitting on the front porch reading a book. She shot the first rookie agent down in flames. He went up and immediately started pitching the product.

After he came back defeated, I sent the second rookie. Of course he received an earful because she had only just managed to kick out the first chap. The third poor victim had it even worse!

I went in and closed the sale once they were all completely convinced that the prospect was impossible. First, I approached her and told her that I was sorry that we had disturbed her reading. I mentioned that it looked like a book about Africa and that I had been born in Africa. She said yes. She remained irritated.

I concentrated on the book and asked about the title, and the author and whether it was any good. Then I wrote down the information and thanked her. I then pointed out the broken drain from her gutter and suggested that the water might damage her foundation. I asked her if she wanted me to do a temporary repair.

Of course she did and I did a 10 second repair that would last a few months until she found someone to fix it properly.

I then asked her if she wouldn’t mind telling me why she thought the first three guys were so irritating. She happily obliged. We were friends before long and I told her why we were selling the product we were selling and she happily bought it.

It’s not magic

There was nothing magic about this. But the third biggest mistake I see sales people make is being in a hurry. Maybe it is laziness, maybe it is not. But in Sales, slow down, research, learn about your prospect and make more sales from fewer prospects!

 

5 Key Tasks Your Small Businesses Should Outsource Overseas.

Small business owners often make the mistake of trying to do everything themselves.

Let’s face it, starting or running a small business is a lot of work and keeping expenses down is always a critical factor. But trying to do everything yourself to save money is not always the best idea. But you can outsource overseas.

[bctt tweet=”It is better to concentrate on what you are good at. Don’t become a jack of all trades.”]

Small business outsourcing

But outsourcing is often expensive. Is there a cheaper alternative? Yes! Do what the big boys do and outsource overseas.

Bookkeeping

Doing your own bookkeeping or paying an expensive bookkeeper in the USA to do it is not the best idea. With rates for bookkeeping services in the USA ranging anywhere from $50 to $100 an hour, sending that task overseas for $15 an hour just makes good financial sense.

Bookkeeping is a task that requires accuracy but does not require a degree in Finance. However, in the Philippines one can find a University Graduate to do your bookkeeping at a small fraction of the salary a worker at MacDonald’s receives in the USA.

Payroll

Just like bookkeeping, payroll can also be outsourced overseas at similarly low rates. Doing payroll yourself is an expensive and time consuming endeavor. Not doing it properly can make it even more expensive. The IRS exacts heavy penalties for failing to pay payroll taxes.

Making a mistake in this department is not something you want so let someone else worry about it.

A professional outsourcing company will ensure that yo are meeting allet  the current rules and regulations freeing up your time to do what you need to do – growing your business!

Marketing and Sales

All businesses live or die based on their ability to sell and market. But we don’t always have time to do all that is necessary to increase sales. You can outsource overseas Lead generation, Email Marketing, Website Maintenance and SEO, Inbound Sales Calls and many other aspects of sales saving you a lot of time and money.

Administrative support

You can outsource Invoicing, collections, data and order entry, maintaining your schedule, appointment setting, voicemail, email management, legal research, booking travel arrangements and a host of other tasks you are probably doing yourself right now for a lot less.

When you first start a small business the time it takes to do these tasks can consume a quarter of your day or more. Having someone perform these tasks for you gives you a lot more time to get things moving.

There are many administrative tasks to outsource.

Telephone Answering – you can also outsource overseas

It is very clear that a telephone answered by a live person is much better received than one answered by a machine. Outsourcing your phone answering overseas will not only improve customer satisfaction but also increase sales.

By outsourcing these tasks to an English Speaking country like the Philippines you can cut your costs dramatically and improve your sales.

We are now in a Global Economy. This self evident fact definitely affects Small Business as well. Fortune 500 companies have been outsourcing these tasks and becoming more competitive. Small businesses need to find a way to realise the cost savings of outsourcing overseas too. You can outsource overseas!

Your Single Biggest Mistake As a Sales Person

Biggest sales mistake
Looking to increase sales? Don’t make this sales mistake!

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Sir Isaac Newton said it best: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Funny how people will look at the laws of physics and never even wonder if perhaps the same laws might apply to them on a mental level. However, this one most certainly does. The Psychology term is “Reverse Psychology”.

Why reverse psychology? Why “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction?

Well, look at it this way; Being approached extremely enthusiastically by a sales agent in the store, what is your reaction really? Is it returned enthusiasm?  The answer is a resounding NO!

The sales agent’s overly enthusiastic approach will definitely meet with you cringing and telling the sales agent that you don’t need any help thanks. And that is a big sales mistake.

Let’s look at it another way. If I tell you I have something in my pocket that can explain the complete mystery of why some sales people close almost everyone and some sales people don’t close anyone but I am not going to show it to you.

Sorry, no matter how much you beg, it just is not going to happen.

Now what happens is that you become very curious about what I have in my pocket. See? The equal and opposite reaction to me telling you that you can’t see it is that you very much want to see it.

[bctt tweet=”In sales: For every Action there is an Equal and Opposite Reaction.”]

Overselling vs. Taking it away

I so often see sales people convincing and persuading and pushing and shoving to get a sale. Sure, sometimes you can succeed using the tactic of completely overwhelming your customer and forcing him into submission.

But that sale is likely going to try cancelling later on and you will have to force the poor prospect into submission again.

Sales people are often despised because of this, and rightfully so. Nobody wants to feel forced into anything!

A good sales agent lets the customer think he bought the product on his own determinism, not because a sales agent forced him to!

Three Possible approaches to the customer on the sales floor.

Approach One: High enthusiasm: “Hello Sir, How can I help you today”.

Seems reasonable. So why is it so frequently met with the customer backing off and muttering “I am just looking thanks”? Or worse, the customer practically running out of the store!

Approach Two: Don’t even talk to the customer. Well, it is an option, but then the customer feels ignored and the boss is none too pleased either.

Approach Three: In a mildly interested tone: “Hi, I see you are looking at the stereo systems. If you need any help, I will be standing over there and so feel free to come ask me. I am kind of the expert in the store on the subject”.

And then walking off a few steps… and then in an almost curious fashion and kind of over your shoulder “By the way, are you looking for yourself or someone else?”

What’s the point here? First, the force of high enthusiasm is like a brick hitting something and the equal and opposite reaction is that something becoming thrown backwards.

A bored approach is not nearly as high energy and so does not create such a force hitting the customer. So while the customer will back off a bit, it is not nearly as much as he would back off if hit with high enthusiasm.

Second, when the sales agent delivers his pitch and then withdraws a bit, it creates the equal and opposite reaction of a reach from the customer. When the agent then asks a mild question, the customer is still on a reach and so is more receptive.

So what is the biggest mistake?

Well, the biggest mistake a sales agent ever makes is over-reaching. Back off, take it slow, don’t be afraid of losing the sale, and let the customer reach instead.

My goal in sales is always to reach at least an 80% close rate. Keep checking back for more articles about how to make that happen and more about sales.

Bookkeeping Service – Advice for Small Business

So you started a Small Business – What to do about Bookkeeping?

One of the huge advantages of having your own business is tax write-offs. Tracking them is an entirely different story!

Without proper bookkeeping and record keeping, a lot of the expenses of running your own business will never be recorded and instead of deducting those expenses, you will be paying tax on them.

Many startup businesses are not keeping proper records and thus paying far too much in taxes.

Finding a bookkeeper

The average small business begins looking for an accountant and asks the accountant about bookkeeping. Of course, the accountant will offer to do that for you at prices far above what you need to pay. The average hourly rate for a bookkeeper in the USA is between $40-60.00 with some charging as high as $100 an hour.

What is the difference between a bookkeeper, an accountant, a tax preparer and a tax advisor?

Bookkeeper – a person who records the accounts or transactions of a business. A bookkeeper does NOT have a 4 year accounting degree.

Accountant – A person who is skilled recording and summarizing business and financial transactions and analyzing, verifying, and reporting the results. An accountant has a 4 year degree.

Tax Preparer – A person who prepares the tax returns for a business or person. A tax preparer does not necessarily have an accounting or other degree. The IRS attempted to regulate Tax Preparers; however following losses at the lower court and the appellate court which held that IRS did not have the authority to regulate preparers, the IRS dropped the matter. A Tax Preparer is required to have a preparer tax identification number (PTIN).

BookkeepingBookkeeping – Profit and Loss Statement

Tax Advisor – (or tax consultant) is a financial expert specially trained in tax law. Tax advisers use their knowledge of tax legislation to provide advisory and consultancy services to clients, ensuring that they pay their taxes in the most efficient way and benefit from any tax advantages and exemptions.  A tax advisor normally has at least an accounting degree and many have both a legal and an accounting degree. They keep up to date with changing tax laws and explain complicated legislation and its implications to their clients in simple terms.

Depending on your goals, you might use none, one, two, three or all of these professionals.

Most small businesses when they start off should be at least consulting an accountant to get advice about how to save on taxes. Additionally, a small business owner should know that there are a lot more ways to keep your records than the way your accountant may tell you. He wants to do your bookkeeping and your accounting. He also wants to get business just like you do. But having your bookkeeping done by your accountant is not necessarily a good idea.

Available Resources

There are many accounting resources available to a new small business and many accounting packages that will help you keep your books.

The 500 pound gorilla in the resource pool is Quickbooks by Intuit.

If you haven’t looked at Quickbooks, now is a good time.

Proper bookkeeping means properly setting up your books and Quickbooks makes that easy. It also means tracking your expenses and Quickbooks makes that very easy with an App that can be downloaded to your smartphone and used on the go to do many functions your business needs.

Quickbooks will also process your payroll for you and ensure that the proper taxes are paid keeping you out of trouble with the IRS.

Even without an accounting degree or a bookkeeping background, most small business owners can quickly learn Quickbooks, but it helps to have a trained bookkeeper who is experienced with Quickbooks to help you set up everything the right way first and keep track of everything after that is done.

Outsourcing your bookkeeping overseas

Many small businesses have found out that outsourcing their bookkeeping overseas is not only convenient, but saves them a lot of money.

While Tax Advice and Tax preparation is better done in the USA, bookkeeping can be outsourced at prices far below USA prices. Rates in the Philippines are as low as $15 an hour and your books are handled by a trained bookkeeper.

If your bookkeeper is doing their job properly then you will not need to spend more than $100 an hour with an accountant just to have proper records. Overseas bookkeeping companies should be working the same hours that you are and so are readily available. They will also speak excellent English and can be reached by calling an American phone number. You will begin to forget that your bookkeeper is even overseas.

Outsourcing the bookkeeping part overseas saves you money to spend on a better Tax Advisor or accountant giving you tax advice and filing your properly prepared tax return at the end of the year.

At the end of the day, if your books are properly kept and you are getting proper tax advice, then you are most of the way there. Outsourcing your bookkeeping and using solid proven accounting software like Quickbooks will not only save you time and money for bookkeeping and accounting, but save you more money on taxes as well.

Small Business Outsourcing

Make your Small Business Succeed by Effectively Outsourcing

Starting a small business is a time consuming endeavor that requires an enormous amount of multi-tasking and handling of everything from communications, accounting, legal, reception, marketing, sales, etc.

Or does it?

Many small business owners attempt to do everything themselves. Generally that is due to the fact that they just cannot afford to hire an in-house attorney, accountant, receptionist, bookkeeper, lead generator, etc.

Enter the world of outsourcing. Even large multi-national firms outsource huge amounts of work.

In many instances outsourcing is definitely less costly and more efficient than doing it all yourself.

Larger companies have long ago realized that with the advent of the internet, outsourcing can also be done to countries that offer far lower employment costs and operating costs than their home country.

The Philippines, for example, generates about 9% of their GDP from providing outsourced services anywhere from medical back-end work, to legal research, to call center work. And most of those services are provided to Fortune 500 companies looking for any method of cutting costs to boost profits.

Small business already frequently outsources their reception work through a call-answering service, and outsources finance to a local accountant or bookkeeper. But why stop there?

By outsourcing your telephone answering service to a local company, instead of paying $2000 a month for a receptionist, a typical phone answering service charges $1.00 to $1.50 a minute for answering the phone for you. With the average small business not likely to receive more than 300 minutes of receptionist service a month, the savings are enormous.

However, instead of using an in-country answering service, try using an overseas based answering service instead. A Philippines based outsourcing company can provide excellent service at a fraction of the cost of a Stateside service and due to the close ties between the Philippines and the USA, many Filipino speak excellent English and with an American accent! The savings here would be almost 50% of using an American company.

Many Process Outsourcing Companies will offer you answering services but can also do your bookkeeping at a fraction of the cost as well. In fact, all kinds of work can be outsourced to the Philippines including lead generation, bookkeeping, back office administration, etc.

Keeping your costs down when starting or managing a small business is vital to success. Every dollar saved is worth more than a dollar earned as earning money costs money, whereas saving it costs nothing!