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Anchor appointments can help you “gain” additional time in your day

Posted By Mike Leeds, Pro Sales Coaching, LLC, Friday, June 29, 2018

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

 Anchor appointments can help you “gain” additional time in your day

Let’s face it – most of us aren’t making money while we are driving to and from sales meetings. In larger metropolitan areas especially, many sales people waste huge amounts of time in their cars (or using public transportation) and are seeing fewer customers or prospects.

I suggest dividing your sales territory into specific areas or quadrants, and scheduling specific days to be in those areas. When laying out your schedule in this format, you can target accounts you need to visit on a proactive basis. Yes, there are occasionally going to be those days when you have to drive from one end of the metro area to the other based on customer need; however, these occurrences can be dramatically reduced with effective planning. Start with setting up a primary appointment in the area (an anchor appointment) and build your schedule from there. Ultimately, this technique is most effective used when a sales professional can spend an entire day in a single office building or business park (and never need to move their car).

I have found that customers are very understanding when you share with them the day(s) you will be in their area. Of course, if it’s an emergency situation or a customer schedule issue – you make that work. Also, if you haven’t scheduled that particular day yet – this could be your anchor appointment.

The results are more productive time management (so you can focus on what’s important to you), higher quality appointments (since they’re planned and thought out), and a reduction of your expenses (like gas at $4/gallon).

 Have a Successful Sales Day!

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

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Creating Awesome Customer Loyalty

Posted By Mike Leeds, Pro Sales Coaching, LLC, Wednesday, June 1, 2016

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

 

Creating Awesome Customer Loyalty

 

If you want to stay on top of your game, you need to know what your customers think of your company as well as the products and services that you provide.

 

Getting feedback from customers can help you understand future purchase potential, consider product or service enhancements, and help determine commission or bonus plans. Overall, when reviewing customer service levels, we find three major categories of customers:

 

·         Highly satisfied customers tend to tell many people about their experiences, make recommendations to others about the company, and usually return for future purchases.

 

·         Satisfied customers tend to tell a few others, but generally don't go out of their way to recommend the company, and may return for future purchases. However, other competitive offers may impact the amount of future business.

 

·         Dissatisfied customers tend to tell the largest number of people about their unsatisfactory experiences, will make recommendations to others that they buy from different companies, and most likely won't return for future purchases.

 

Strive for highly satisfied customers who perceive your service levels as excellent. This ultimately translates to customer loyalty. In a competitive marketplace, satisfactory is not good enough. You need to stand out, and be considered excellent in your field. This will help build a loyal customer base that will continue to purchase from you, and be extremely valuable in regards to referring you to others.

 

Activities to consider when creating customer loyalty:

 

·         Always exceed any commitment you make to a customer, be specific when discussing times/dates and be aware of your customer’s work hours/time zone.

 

·         Ask for feedback early in the process so you can resolve any issues before it becomes too late.

 

·         Create short surveys or feedback requests (5 questions maximum), and add space for specific comments. Scores are good, but customer comments will be more valuable to you.

 

 

 

·         Let customers know why you are looking for their feedback; consider sharing some of the results of your findings, and any changes you plan on making. Be appreciative of their time and feedback, and most importantly, make this an opportunity to once again thank them for their business. 

 

Activities to avoid when creating customer loyalty:

 

·         Don't over-survey your customers, but consider having a feedback link in your website to supplement input from your customers.

 

·         Don't bribe all of your customers with a gift for completing a survey. This could slant the results, and could look desperate. If there is a drawing for a single prize, make it public so people know it's legitimate.

 

·         Don't ask customers to submit their survey directly back to you. Consider an unbiased third party to collect the data for you. This helps your customers know your feedback request is both genuine and legitimate.

 

 

Asking for feedback is great; however, if you're not going to listen to what your customers have to say - don't ask. It's a waste of their time and yours. Be willing and prepared to implement changes in your business, and understand that inflexibility may lead to unsatisfied customers - and lost business potential. 

 

The goal of this topic is to help you keep your highly satisfied customers at that level, and move the other customers (satisfied and dissatisfied) up one level.

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

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Chunking Down Your Sales Activities

Posted By Mike Leeds, Pro Sales Coaching, LLC, Thursday, February 4, 2016

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

Chunking Down Your Sales Activities

As with exceeding sales quotas, there are two majors areas of concern when looking at annual sales activities needed to exceed quotas on an annual basis. First, the number can seem impossibly large and unattainable. Second, the large number of months remaining can reduce the sense of urgency for immediate success.

When walking, I have different routes that range from 1.5 - 3 miles. I know these routes well, and can gauge at any point how far I've walked, how much further I have to go and how much time it will take. This gives me a sense of accomplishment, and helps me reach my target. On a shorter route that requires several laps to equal a mile, the sense of accomplishment can be even more immediate. It's very easy to say "just 1 more" and really stretch the target.

As mentioned before, when looking at annual sales activities that are needed to drive annual sales results, the number can seem overwhelming. For instance, it may be necessary to make 1,000 new contact attempts in a calendar year to assist with achieving a sales quota. Good things will happen to your sales results if you attempt 1,000 new quality contacts over the course of a year. 1,000 contacts sounds like a lot; however, chunking it down equates to only 4 new contacts per sales day. This is based on 250 work days, and is a very attainable number. This method works well if you can discipline yourself to achieve the daily activity, and will lead to 20 contacts per week. If some days are more challenging than others during the week for calls, you can spread the 20 contacts in different amounts for each day over the course of the week. The important item in this topic is to make sure you hit your daily target, and not wait until Friday to accomplish a week's worth of contacts. (The activity may not be completed or not completed at the quality level that is needed.)

After you calculate your "chunked down" sales activity target, consider the methods below to assist you with improved short-term success. These methods can be used on a weekly basis, but daily is highly recommended if your schedule permits.

1. Stroke Tally. Use a whiteboard, spreadsheet, or simple pad of paper that is visible and accessible in your work space to track you success. You can track contact attempts, people reached or both.

2. Marbles or Pebbles. This method involves moving items from one container to another container to track success as each activity is completed. Colorful marbles or pebbles in some sort of festive container that is visible and accessible in your work space can help keep you motivated. 

3. Playing Cards or Flash Cards. For this method, you use cards to create a "count-down" of activities that need to be accomplished. A suit within a deck of playing cards gives you up to 13 (starting with the King as 13 and working downward through the suit to an Ace as a 1). Punch a hole in the upper corner of the cards, and connect with a key ring or loop. Starting with the King (or whatever your highest activity number is), you can flip the cards over through the Ace to get to a blank card (which I recommend customizing to celebrate your accomplishment). Keep the key ring/loop with the cards on a hook in your work space so they are always visible and accessible to help motivate you.

With any of these methods, your co-workers or teammates can also see your progress, celebrate your success, and help keep you on track. Using your imagination, there may be other methods you can develop to track your sales activities. The bottom line is to keep yourself motivated to attain daily/weekly targets - so whatever works best for you!

As with sales quotas, you can "over assign" the activity numbers. Rounding up, or using higher numbers will help you compensate for vacation and holiday times. The results of "chunking it down" will enhance your opportunity to blow through your sales quota, and maximize your sales commission earnings potential.

Have a great sales week!

Tags:  Accountability  Customer Service  Data Gathering  Increasing Sales  Networking  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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Princess For A Day : How One Local Business Made A Little Girl Feel Like Royalty

Posted By Michael Arce, Loud Rumor, Friday, January 29, 2016

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Local businesses are a very unique type of company. Unlike nation-wide or global brands who can, for the most part, look at their customers as a statistic and still be very successful, local businesses have a much bigger connection and commitment to their community. And if it’s done right, that business can really expand and possibly take that concept and move it to many other locations.


I'm very proud to say that I had a great experience with one local business that's doing it right, an experience that was so great it makes me want to continue going back. I had the opportunity to take my daughter Gianna on a date, which I regularly like to do. She's 4 years old and I believe that it's important I show Gianna how dates should be when they’re treated properly.  That means doing all the right things:


  • actually going outside and ringing the doorbell

  • waiting in the hallway for her to come down

  • having small conversation with her mother and letting her mother know that we’ll be back at a certain time  

  • opening the car door for her and letting her in

  • proudly owning my relationship with her as I hold her arm as we walk in together.


The thing you have to understand about my daughter is that she loves princesses! She has a collection of princess dresses. This time Gianna chose to wear her Sleeping Beauty dress. As soon as she walked in to Arrowhead Grill many people, who were either walking out or in the lobby, immediately began to compliment her on her dress as they could tell this wasn’t just any dress. My daughter's face lit up every time somebody made a compliment. She said thank you very bashfully to every person. We noticed that the hostess immediately treated us differently.  She called Gianna “your majesty” as she walked us over to our table, which our waiter did as well when he greeted us.


My daughter wanted to have a tea party so the first thing we ordered was tea. We came to Arrowhead Grill hoping they could make our tea party wishes come true and they did not disappoint. She got to pick out the tea she wanted her daddy to have and the tea that she could bring home to mommy. They brought in tea cups so she could drink her “make-believe” tea, which was water. They even served the ice water in an actual teapot!


The person who brought in the tea was different than our waiter, but they also called my daughter “your majesty” and complimented her on how beautiful she was. It gave the restaurant such a sense of unity. Everybody that was there loved being there. The entire staff came out throughout the night to compliment her. Even the other guests seemed to be really digging the vibe at Arrowhead Grill!


Afterwards we ordered dessert. He made eye contact with my daughter as he talked to us, treating her like an adult princess the whole time. When the dessert came out, we heard even more Your Majestys  as the staff continued to make my daughter feel special. When we finished eating, I asked for our check. The waiter, who’s been amazingly kind and professional throughout this whole experience, came back out and said “This one is on us.”


I have a background in the restaurant industry: I worked in it for four years. I know how hard it can be, so I insisted on paying. He refused me, saying that there isn’t anything in their computer so it’s totally free. He said that he wants more people to take their daughters out and have family experiences like this and that this is a gift to us for doing this in the first place.


As I thanked our waiter I asked to speak to the general manager. The GM came out: He was a very kind and well-dressed man, who greeted my daughter as “your majesty” too. I told him that I would really like to pay, that I would love to leave cash on the table but I didn’t bring any with me. I asked him to charge me for something. He matched the waiter word for word and told us that “this is something that we want to do for you because we feel that this is a special night… a princess should never have to pay.”


On our way out I decided to give it one more try. Our waiter had worked really hard for us and I didn’t want to walk out without leaving him a tip. I snuck over to the bar and asked the bartender if he could ring me up for an ice tea. “I don’t even need to drink it,” I told him. “Please ring me up for it and I’ll leave a tip for my waiter.” He said sure and went to the back with my credit card. A few moments later my waiter came back out with my credit card and handed it back to me! He said, “I’m not doing this as a way for you to like me more so you’ll tip me better. I’m doing this because I really wanted to do something for you guys. And if you really want to pay me back and make me feel good, then just pay it forward. The next time you see people doing something really nice and kind and good, do something for them that will make them feel great.”


I’m sharing my story with you today to pay it forward to Arrowhead Grill. How they treated my daughter and I really displayed why they’re in business. They’re not in business to collect the $20-30 we owed for our order of tea and dessert; They’re in business because they love serving people and they love creating memorable experiences that their customers will never forget. Because of their kindness and dedication, they gave my family an experience that we’ll never forget.


I had such an unforgettable experience that I want the world to know about it. Arrowhead Grill kindly refused to let me pay my $20-30 bill so I’m going to pay it forward by spending $50 to advertise this story to all the people in their target audience. I’m not doing this because they asked to. They are not a client of mine. And I’m not doing this because I feel guilty for not paying. I’m doing this because I believe this was one of the greatest experiences I’ve had at a local business and I think more people should know that there ARE local businesses like this out there creating wonderful experiences for people. That there are businesses like Arrowhead Grill who enrich and brighten their community with their exemplary service. I’m paying $50 to advertise this piece for all the people living within 2-3 miles of your area, Arrowhead Grill, so that they’ll understand what an amazing restaurant you all have. So that they’ll understand that you have an incredible staff that all seem to speak the same language- the language of kindness.


Thank you.


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Tags:  Arrowhead Grill  community  customer service  small business 

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Chunking Down Your Sales Quota

Posted By Mike Leeds, Pro Sales Coaching, LLC, Wednesday, January 27, 2016

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

Chunking Down Your Sales Quota

January is almost over, and December seems so far away.

There are two major areas of concern when looking at annual quotas and goals on a yearly basis. First, the number can seem impossibly large and unattainable. Second, the large number of months remaining can reduce the sense of urgency for immediate success. Please consider that as of next Monday, will still have 92% of 2016 to go.

Below are three simple ways to consider "chunking down" an annual sales target to improve short-term success.

1. The Football Technique. Divide your annual sales target into four quarters like a football game. For example, a $1,000,000 annual sales quota for 2016 translates into a quarterly sales goal of $250,000 by March 31.

2. The Baseball Technique. Divide your annual sales target into twelve "innings" (yes, a slight modification from baseball's nine innings). For example, a $1,000,000 annual sales quota for 2016 translates into a monthly sales quota of $83,334 per month.

3. The Year-Over-Year Technique. This method takes into account any seasonal impacts for your business, and directly compares a month of the current year with the same month last year. For example, we have a $1,000,000 annual sales quota for 2016. Last year’s sales results were $800,000. Specifically, last February’s sales results were $128,000 which was 16% of 2015 total sales. For 2016, we would assign February's sales quota at 16% of $1,000,000 which translates $160,000. This methodology is the repeated for each month going forward.

Using any of the above techniques, you can apply a quota shortfall from January, 2016 (if any) to the total months remaining, so you stay on track. Additionally, you can "over assign" these smaller sales quotas into less months, or assign a higher number to cover vacation and holiday times. This enhances your chances to blow through your sales quota, and maximize your sales commission earnings potential.

There are many other techniques available to calculate smaller sales quotas into shorter timeframes (including calculating to a weekly or daily basis). Facts to consider when establishing these "chunked down" numbers are the size of the average sales order, the length of the sales cycle, and the number of sales activities required to close a sales.

The next blog topic will offer tips for "chunking down" sales activities to ensure sales success.

Have a great sales week!

Tags:  Customer Service  Data Gathering  Increasing Sales  Needs Analysis  Networking  Profes  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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