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If You Don’t Care – Don’t Ask.

Posted By Mike Leeds, Pro Sales Coaching, LLC, Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Sales Tip of the Week from Mike Leeds – Pro Sales Coaching

If You Don’t Care – Don’t Ask.

“How are you today?”

 

Sounds good – doesn’t it? If the person asking really cares, it’s great. However, I bet if you keep track of the number of people who ask you this question over a period of time, you’ll find that they may not care about your response.

 

This topic has always been intriguing to me. I believe most people feel uncomfortable answering this question honestly when they don’t know the person who’s asking. It’s considered personal, inappropriate or not relevant to the topic at hand. (When we know the person, and have a relationship with them, this may be very relevant and appropriate.) It’s a “cheesy” way to break the ice when the caller is looking for an answer of “fine” and then hoping to move on to the next topic.

 

My goal is to make sure that people really care when they ask – or that they just don’t use this approach to start a conversation. As a salesperson, please think about this point when you don’t have an existing relationship with the contact.

 

When I receive calls from people I don’t know, and am asked this question – I answer them honestly and with details. They may be looking for a “fine”, but they may get a lengthy answer. For example… Question: “How are you today?” Answer: “Great. I got up early extra this morning, had a great workout at the gym. Then, I stopped by Starbucks and got some coffee. Normally, I have a grande size of their bold coffee of the day, but since they had Sumatra, I had a venti size (large). It was so good; I ordered a second one for the road. Then, on the way to the office…” You get the idea.

 

Another option would be “busy” - which can instantly kill a call.

 

Or, I may say “terrible” and give them some details. This normally will also kill a call; however, you may be surprised at the number of times this response gets no answer at all, or an answer like “great”. In either case, it’s obvious that the person either doesn’t care or isn’t listening. Try one of these answers next time you’re asked “How are you today?” from someone you don’t know (live or on the phone).

 

If you’re looking for an ice breaker, consider making a statement, like “I hope you’re having a great day” or just go into “the purpose of my call is…”

 

In either case, please keep this blog in mind before you ask “how are you today?”

Tags:  Customer Service  Data Gathering  Increasing Sales  Needs Analysis  Networking  Relationships  Sales  Sales Coaching  Sales Commission  Sales Education  Sales Goals  Sales Management  Sales People  Sales Professionals  Sales Questions  Sales Quotas  Sales Results  Sales Skills  Sales Teams 

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Just one call a day!

Posted By Mike Leeds, Pro Sales Coaching, LLC, Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Sales Tip of the Week from Mike Leeds – Pro Sales Coaching

 

Just one call a day!

 

That’s approximately 250 calls per year. Good things will happen when you make 250 new prospecting calls per year (even better is 2 per day = 500 per year, and so on).

 

I have a client that no matter how busy they with their current clients, makes 1 ice-cold prospecting call per day. She calls it her “Random Call of the Day” and it usually is at about 9:30 every morning (when it’s time to refill her coffee). So far for the year, she has converted 18% of these calls to clients, and another 13% are in the current pipeline. That’s nearly one third of her total calls resulting in sales or future potential. These are excellent results for prospecting calls! The secret to her success is that she has no fear whatsoever making 1 call. She truly believes that the worse thing that can happen is that they say “no” or don’t return her call. That’s okay with her, because the answer was already “no” before she made the call. “Anything I get is a bonus” she says.

 

In the words of Col. Hannibal Smith of the A-Team, “I love it when a plan comes together!”

 

Have a great week!

Tags:  Customer Service  Data Gathering  Increasing Sales  Needs Analysis  Networking  Relationships  Sales  Sales Coaching  Sales Commission  Sales Education  Sales Goals  Sales Management  Sales People  Sales Professionals  Sales Questions  Sales Quotas  Sales Results  Sales Skills  Sales Teams 

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Call Me After the Holidays

Posted By Mike Leeds, Pro Sales Coaching, LLC, Thursday, November 30, 2017

Sales Tip of the Week from Mike Leeds – Pro Sales Coaching

Call Me After the Holidays

If you haven’t heard this comment from a prospect or customer yet, you soon will.

They may not want to see you until January; however, you certainly can try to set an appointment now for a future time in January.

Next time you hear this comment, instead of just calling back in January, consider a response like… “I certainly understand. Can we schedule a time now for a meeting after the holidays?”

Having appointments set up for the first couple of weeks in January will help you start the year strong. Otherwise, you may not be able to see these people until late January or even February – losing valuable time. If you sell a product or service with a recurring, repetitive, or a trailing revenue stream, getting a fast start to your year is critical. Mathematically, the first quarter of the year can be worth as much as 42% of your annual revenue opportunity or potential.

Lay the foundation now for a great 2018!

Have a great sales week & enjoy the holiday season!

Tags:  Customer Service  Data Gathering  Increasing Sales  Networking  Relationships  Sales  Sales Coaching  Sales Commission  Sales Goals  Sales Management  Sales People  Sales Professionals  Sales Prospecting  Sales Questions  Sales Quotas  Sales Results  Sales Skills  Sales Teams 

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THE PLANE IS AT THE GATE

Posted By Susan F. Moody, Starshine Associates, Saturday, April 1, 2017

Are you a female entrepreneur in the Phoenix area?  Then you are in the fastest growing demographic of business owners in the country!

Last week, Kristin Slice of the SBDC (Small Business Development Center) and leader of Empowered PhXX gave a presentation at StarshineAZ in Glendale on the latest research, data and trends on building women owned businesses in our community. “I am so pleased that StarshineAZ is opening this May”, says Slice. “I love to see women helping women to collectively grow their businesses.”

 

Research provided by Empowered PhXX has proven that women business owners are a key economic factor in creating sustainable, dynamic, local communities. Also noted was that there is a huge gap of support for women-owned businesses in the ready-for-growth stage.

 

StarshineAZ is planning to fill that gap in the West Valley by offering a collaborative co-working space and co-op that provides female entrepreneurs the opportunity to thrive in connection with others and make a positive impact on the community while fostering their personal health and well-being. 

“There are so many local resources in place for the start-up entrepreneur,” stated Susan F. Moody, Starshine co-founder. “but what is available for those of us who have already launched our business and need a community and connections to continue to grow?”

Plans are well under way for creating this innovative, collaborative space in the West Valley at the Glendale Airport. With a launch date scheduled this May, Starshine is pre-selling memberships. “There are only so many seats on this plane,” says Leeanne Gardner, Starshine co-founder, “so you may want to buy your ticket now. And, yes, early bird pricing is available!”

StarshineAZ inspires, supports and mentors women business owners who find their passion and their purpose through their company and provides them with the Systems, Training, Advice and Resources so they can achieve greater success in their business and happiness in their life.

For more information on The West Valley’s 1st Co-Op and Co-Working Space for Women, check out their website at www.StarshineAZ.com

Tags:  bu  coaching and mentoring  co-op community  co-working space  female entrepreneur  networking 

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Small Business Talk with Shark Tank Participants

Posted By Ashley Vizzerra, Arizona Small Business Association, Monday, May 23, 2016

In partnership with Cox Business and Cox Communications, blogger, Diana Elizabeth, reported her takeaway from this year's AZ Small Biz Con.  Read the full article and watch her video report here.  

 

Diana Elizabeth Blog

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Last week, in partnership with Cox Communications and Cox Business, I attended the Arizona SmallBiz Con 16, held at the Arizona Biltmore hotel.

It was part of SBA, the U.S. Small Business Administration and was a day full of information, practical advice, awards, breakout sessions and networking.

Arm Chair Discussion with Shark Tank Participants

I’m going to assume you watch ABC’s Shark Tank like the 48% of the over 2,000 American consumers polled by Cox Business, who claim it was their favorite small business reality show!

The Mr. and I can hardly do much in moderation so we DVR it and binge watch – you may recall the Veteran episode that featured two Arizona veteran run businesses – Bottle Breachera beer and wine bottle opener that’s a 50 caliber ammunition, and Major Mom, an organizing company. This is when I say, oh my goodness look, celebrities!

The day kicked off with an armchair discussion, seen above. Eli of Bottle Breacher and Angela of Major Mom talked about the journey of their businesses and challenges along the way.

Eli and his wife Jen (a UofA grad) started selling their creative bottle openers on Etsy. After popularity began to soar, Eli sold his motorcycle for a laser engraver and it increased his sales in one month by 2.5x! It allowed him to personalize the bottle openers which were a hit for wedding gifts – like groomsmen.

Angela was in the real estate business until it tanked and realized after waiting tables she decided she wanted to start an organizing business. She took a SBA emerging leaders course, learned her numbers. She remembered hearing, “If you are not profitable then you are not a business, you are a hobby.”

A few takeaways

  • There are over 100,000 small businesses in Arizona (small businesses are 20 employees or under)
  • Since appearing on Shark Tank, Bottle Breacher has made over $8 million. Buying a laser engraver helped enter wedding business.
  • “Work as hard as you did to become (US service) if you apply that to business, you will be successful,” said Eli to fellow veterans in the audience.
  • Angela, aka Major Mom practices good time management and blocks her schedule from 6-8 am and 3-6 pm for kid time. There are some circumstances she’ll break away but typically not to keep her focus on her family.

Continue reading the full blog post here.  

 

 

 

Tags:  Arizona  entrepreneur  networking  small business 

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7 ways to get a Jump on Leap Year!

Posted By Mike Leeds, Pro Sales Coaching, LLC, Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Sales Tip of the Week from Mike Leeds – Pro Sales Coaching

7 ways to get a Jump on Leap Year!

We all wish we had more time in the day; however, this year your wish becomes your reality – you get a bonus sales day. Leap year only comes around every four years – so let’s “jump” on it! It doesn’t cost you anything – it’s pure profit. You can use the extra Monday to plan and/or execute any of the 7 suggestions below:

1.    Schedule to meet a former networking/referral partner for coffee or lunch. This is a great opportunity to reconnect, and see how you can assist each other this year.

2.    Make a list of old (or dormant) customers that you’ve been meaning to contact – and commit to this call time on your schedule within the next 30 days. This is another great opportunity to reconnect, see what changes have occurred in their businesses, and assist with their success.

3.    Make a list of former target prospects that have told you “no” in the past. If you feel these are still solid targets for you, schedule time to contact them within the next 30 days to see what (and who) has changed. A “no” yesterday can turn into a “yes” today (or tomorrow).

4.    Go through those rubber-banded stacks of business cards you’ve collected, and see which ones may be relevant to contact now – and commit to this call time on your schedule within the next 30 days.

5.    Go through that “possible or future projects” file you keep (or maybe you call it – things to do when I have time). See what’s relevant – and commit to this call time on your schedule within the next 30 days.

6.    Do that prospect researching that you’ve been putting off. Make a list of prospects to contact, and commit to this call time on your schedule within the next 30 days.

7.    Review your list of old contact names from your previous jobs to see which may be relevant again today. Make a list to contact, and commit to this call time on your schedule within the next 30 days.

You may come up with other ideas to add to this list. The important take-away from this blog is to do something with this day that you haven’t had time to do.  Take advantage of this extra day – and let it contribute to your 2016 success. 

Have a great sales week!

Tags:  Customer Service  Data Gathering  Increasing Sales  Networking  Relationships  Sales  Sales Activities  Sales Coaching  Sales Commission  Sales Goals  Sales Management  Sales People  Sales Professionals  Sales Prospecting  Sales Questions  Sales Quotas  Sales Results  Sales Skills  Sales Teams 

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Networking is to Your Business as a Bee is to Honey

Posted By Julie Armstrong, Arizona Small Business Association, Monday, November 2, 2015

Many people tell me, “You make it look so easy”.  My response back is “networking” is not easy, however it should be worthwhile.  I have found over the 20+ years I have been interacting in the business to business social scene that very little has changed, given the prevalent changes in technology and the social media surge.  The formula to successful networking is to focus on the outcomes you wish to accomplish during the event.

 

Be prepared…here are some tips to get you there:

  1. Bring your smile, it will increase your face value

  2. Know your business, know your brand.  Focus on the benefits of your product/service rather than the features

  3. Speak with conviction and confidence

  4. Listen, Listen, Listen – genuinely engage in conversation

  5. Ask questions relevant to conversation

  6. Make eye contact with the person you are speaking with (don't be looking around the room to see who else is there)

  7. Bring your end game.  Know what is it that you want to accomplish from attending the networking opportunity

In addition to these tips, here are things you should always practice when preparing for networking.

Remain positive.  The attendance and audience size are a consideration; smaller numbers can render greater outcomes.  Choose networking events you know will be advantageous for the audience (clients) you are seeking. Research the event, check history, sponsors/partners and search for feedback from past events the organization has hosted.

 

Dress for success.  Ensure you present yourself in a professional, well-dressed manner. Your name badge should always be on your right upper chest for clear visual during handshake and other exchanges.  Have a place to store collected business cards, keeping your hands free to meet and greet people.  Have your business cards handy and bring plenty with you.

 

Be aware of your non-verbal communication and the message you might send with wondering eyes and looking around the room while trying to communicate.  Chewing gum, tobacco and smoking is a distraction in any networking environment. Be respectful of others.  Breath mints are a suggested sidekick.

 

Use technology only as a means to exchange ideas or show people your website or other business related content.  No texting, talking on your phone or communicating with non-attendees during the event.  If you need to make a call or text, step outside.

 

Many times I will circle back to an individual before leaving to gather further information or ask a few more questions, if necessary.  After the event, take notes for appropriate follow-up.  Make a quick assessment of your brief meeting with the person; ascertain the benefits of furthering a conversation or another meeting with them.  What can they learn from you, what can you learn from them.  This will be good information when following up via email to set an appointment.  Do not rely solely on social media to relationship build with your new contacts.  Send an email to make initial contact, then pick up the phone and set an appointment with them.

 

Happy Networking!

Tags:  asba  asba news  b2b  brand  networking  thinksmallbiz 

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Networking: 4 Ways You Might Be Doing It Wrong

Posted By Bob Wilson, Bob Wilson Solutions, Friday, June 5, 2015

If you accept certain commonly held beliefs about networking, you may be wasting time without even realizing it.

Let me shine some light on four myths and suggest how to network more effectively.

Myth #1: Network as much as possible

This is the more-is-better mentality. Sometimes more is better. Sometimes. As a small business owner, your are pulled in many different directions. As such, your time is extra valuable. Critical to your success is effectively evaluating every activity with an eye toward the return.

If one of your networking groups isn’t yielding referral partners and/or clients, why are you going? Always keep your eye toward what kind of return you are getting. Break free of any groups that aren’t a good return on your investment (time).

Myth #2: Even if I don’t get new business, the group is worth it because it fires me up.

Enthusiasm is great. But the real question is does it translate into productive action?  i.e. does it help you get more clients or create stronger relationships with referral partners? If the only thing the meeting does is get you fired up to complete more tasks on your to-do list, there are other ways to get fired up that take a lot less time.

Instead of getting fired up from a networking meeting wouldn’t you rather get fired up from:

  • Signing a new client
  • Meeting 1-on-1 with someone who gives you a quality referral
  • Collaborating with another business owner

I know I would.

Myth #3: Meet as many people as possible at a networking event

It’s easy to fool yourself that meeting as many people as possible is your goal. But are they the right people? Don’t fool yourself – quantity is no substitute for quality.

My goal at a networking event is to meet 1 -2 quality people. If I meet more than that, great.  But if I only meet 1 quality person I consider the event a big success.

Be sure you schedule 1-on-1’s with the people you meet.

Myth #4 Magic happens at networking meetings

Yes, great things can happen at a networking event. But the real magic happens outside of the meeting, when you meet with someone individually.

Remember, businesses run on relationships. Relationships aren’t built in group settings. In a group setting, you can

  • Initiate a relationship
  • Strengthen a relationship
  • Weaken a relationship

But building a relationship only happens in a 1-on-1 setting.

What have you found that helps you network more effectively?

Bob Wilson is the owner of Gilbert, AZ-based Smartful Coaching. If you need help networking and building stronger business relationships, contact Bob at (480) 710-0340 or bob@smartfulcoaching.com to schedule your Free Consult. 

Content @2015 Smartful Coaching All Rights Reserved

 

Tags:  more effective networking  networking  networking mistakes  networking myths 

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