Your Customer is Leaving

In today’s business environment, we are constantly seeing how businesses are failing or succeeding based on the relationship they have with the customer.  We can see the global consumer is leaving.  Both physically and mentally, they are getting further away from businesses and how they will interact with them.  

I consistently see many historical businesses that have been successful and developed great financial results, all of a sudden suffer and grumble in this new age of customer evolution.  Because of this evolution, we today more than ever, have to get a very clear understanding of who our customer is, what they need and how we will connect with them.  

Darren has worked in high pressure competitive environments that have evolved through the need to connect with the customer and hold value.  

Topic outlines:

  • “Understanding who our Customer is”
  • “Understand how they are changing”
  • “Understanding what creates value”
  • “Understanding how we transfer value and owner relationship”
  • “How we now trade and trust”

Why your event?

Darren is one of the newest and most engaging presenters for your event. Through a high energy, engaging and activity focused session, Darren will take your team on a journey to get them to understand the importance of their customer, how to develop relationships with your customer and create long-term enterprise value.

Key outcomes:

  1. The awareness of the customer is changing
  2. The importance of the customer
  3. The long-term value of the customer
  4. Importance of developing trust and connection

Enquire now

This popular session really takes your business or industry on a new journey for the 21st century. Through practical examples, industry relevant topics and an ability to get off the stage and engage with your audience, you will have a presenter that will create a lasting memory for your event.

Keep building your Credibility

One of the key areas of developing trust is the ability for you to develop your credibility with your client base.  One easy way to do this is to create a summary for your future clients explaining what you have done and how you have ended up in this industry.  By doing this, it will enable you to explain the length of time you have been in the industry, the roles that you have had in the industry and how you have learnt important skills and knowledge that can really help the customer in their selection of product but also the ongoing relationship.  

Building your credibility is now becoming one of the key important components in developing your service proposition and some real serious consideration needs to be given to ensure it forms part of your future success.  

Developing your skill

Recently I was at a presentation where I was talking to the audience and through some light-hearted banter with the audience participants, one of the front row attendees was discussing how they had been in this industry for over 34 years.  This got me really thinking.  Over the 34 years that this person had been in their industry, I was considering how much skill and knowledge that person had built up in their role.  I think this is something we all need to consider as we progress in our chosen careers.  How much time and effort are we putting into developing our skills, knowledge and improving our proposition.  As we enter some industries, we are often pulled into believing that we will continue to just do what we have always done and that will be fine.  

A key component we have to keep considering is how we get better in our role and keep developing the skills to become more and more valuable.

We all know that as technology and new systems enter our workforce, there are always those that will be left behind because they have not continued to keep up.

Please write down the 5 key skills that you have working in your current role and have a think about how you could get even better in these 5 key areas this year.  What training, what education, what mentorship would be of benefit for you to become that one step better in 2019.

The Power of Silence… The biggest secret to successful negotiation

5 ways to increase your authority and negotiation skills.

Do you believe that silence is golden?

Why is it that so many in the sales profession don’t value the art and skill of remaining silent? 

Why do many of us think of silence in a negative fashion?  According to the Washington post… “Silence, it turns out, is one of the mostpowerful weapons an individual can bring to the table.”

FIVE POSITIVE POWERS OF SILENCE

1….. When Negotiating

Silence will give you immense power when negotiating. Most people dislike silence and will replace silence with constant talking. You will be surprised what you can learn from the other party when you are silent. If you practice the skill of remaining silent, you will be amazed by the additional information you receive which may have been kept previously to themselves.

Silence may not be easy, but the results are worth it.  Using silence usually put you in the far more powerful negotiation situation.

2…..When Presenting

when speaking in public, many of us suffer from nerves, and that leads us to speak more quickly than we would normally do. Slow it all down and introduce some silent pauses.

Check out www.jdouglasedwards.com.au….A master of the silent pause.

When presenting, the power of silence can deliver greater credibility when used by the presenter. When delivering a key point, try using silence is a positive tool to bring the audience back to you and also emphasise the key point.

3….. When responding.

Rather than responding to someone’s enquiry or question immediately, the positive power of silence before you respond as greatly to your response. By pausing, you are showing you are thinking about and reflecting on your reply.

Silence always expects a response. When you give people silence to respond, they will give you far better, more thought over responses.

4….. When building trust

In order to build and develop better relationships, trust must be built. One of the best ways to build trust is to actively listen to the other party.

When you are actively listening, you are silent. Maximise the power of silence by making notes and using your head in acknowledgement of what the other person is saying.

Your feedback to them during the conversation will show that are interested in what is being said and the speaker will appreciate that.

This action of active listening will create and build trust.

5….. When listening

Very few of us perform well in the art of listing, particularly active listening. The power of silence plays a big part in you being highly effective in this area. Having silence is your first response will in many people’s eyes make you wise you will see more useful and more intelligent if you can resist the urge to respond immediately when something is said, it will serve you well because you will only give will thought out and more intelligent responses.

QUOTES ON SILENCE

“Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence
Leonardo da Vinci

Silence is a source of great strength
Lao Tzu

Silence is better than one meaning words
Pythagoras

I am rather inclined to silence
Abraham Lincoln

Silence isn’t empty, it’s full of answers
Anonymous

Silence is one of the great art is of communication
Cicero

Silence is sometimes the best answer
Dalai lama

Sometimes it’s best to stay quiet. The silence can speak volumes without ever saying a word
Anonymous

Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer
Mohammed Ali

WAYS TO EMBRACE  SILENCE…..FROM C. P. GATTI

UNPLUG

Disconnect your laptop and mobile devices and have an evening of silence.

Spend more time with an inspirational book to bring you insight in the day

NATURE

Enjoy the silence of nature that is around you. Rise early to take a stroll around your neighbourhood

PEACE

Practising silence can bring in a piece to you, to Brit business relationships, and to your world

REFOCUS

When we grab a moment of silence, it gives us a chance to refocus on what is important to you e.g. your family and friends. Additionally learning to be silent will help you become a better listener

DREAM BIG

Dream big by writing down your deepest wishes and thoughts. Right ways of accomplishing these goals in the future

About David Jackson CSP 

David is internationally known as “THE SALES DOCTOR” for his Vitamins for Success and prescriptions for uplifting Profits.  He has over 30 years of experience as an internationally recognised Sales Skills and Communication Coach including Keynote Public Speaker. David brings the ability to positively transform the skills and attitudes of his audiences with humour and real world experiences. He will lift you to a new level.

10 Tried and True Proven Strategies for Sales Follow-Up

FACT ….. 48% of salespeople NEVER follow-up with a prospect

Most salespeople never follow-up a customer after the product or service has been delivered.

There is so much opportunityfor the sales and customer service people who want to make follow-up a priority and habit.

So much business is left on the table through a complete lack of any systemised follow-up.

We all must follow-up, follow-up, follow-up….It’s one of the most successful strategies for exceptional and consistent results and improved incomes.

Excuses for not following up that I’ve heard

  • I just don’t have the time
  • I don’t know when I should follow-up
  • I don’t know what to say
  • I’m uncomfortable when making follow-up calls
  • I feel like being a pest
  • I have enough new inquiries to handle on a daily basis
  • If they’re interested, they will call me

Remember….Over 48% of salespeople never follow-up with a prospect. The professional. Do what the pros do. Don’t listen to the whingers and whiners that haven’t adopted follow-up as one of the key priorities.

The calm true sales pro and adopt the following 10 proven strategies.

10 strategies for sales follow-up

STRATEGY 1….. Making your priorities a priority

Fact: People do business with people they like.

They also do business with people, on a regular basis who follow them up on a regular basis.

Follow-up must become one of your top priorities EVERY DAY. You must allocate a certain amount of time per day for this important priority….Follow-up.

The amount of business you can do by making eight previous customer calls per day will make you a member of the winners circle. 40 calls a week to previous owners of your product or service will give you enough new business opportunities and referrals to keep you more than busy.

Add to this activity, the follow-up of your current prospects. Many of these prospects will have already decided that they want the product, but they haven’t decided who they will entrust their business with.

Your follow-up should put you at number one on their list, because over 48% of all salespeople will never call them.

STRATEGY 2….. Get and use their name

One of the biggest gripes we get from customers is that sales people either do not use that name at all or say it incorrectly.

When asking for someone’s name, ask them “how do I spell your name?” Once you have done that, repeated back to them for correctness and use it often.

Make sure that when you are data basing your prospects or customers’ details and that their name / partners name is spelt correctly.

STRATEGY 3…..Ask what is their preferred communication channel?

It is essential for you to know your prospect or customer’s preferred communication channel. This will be either:

  • Phone call….. My preferred option….. Quick, use a script you. This strategy allows you to gain feedback on your product or service and the much valued opportunity to ask for a referral. You can also update your database as to their degree of ITCH for a new updated product or service.
  • Text message….. quick, very fast response time.
  • Email….. Good for short messages.
  • Letter….. Be different, stand out from the crowd. You competitors don’t send letters.
  • Via social media… LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest.
  • E-newsletters….. Helps you to remind your database of upcoming news and reminds them of who you are and where they can find you.

It definitely pays dividends for you to ask what the customer wants regarding their preferred style of communication.

STRATEGY 4….. Always have a reason to follow-up

A great line to use is…” The reason for my call is…..” It lets the caller know that this is a professional and courteous follow-up call. You should have a list of beneficial reasons to call. It is really beneficial to prepare and use a list of say 20 reasons to call. Examples include:

  1. Happy birthday
  2. Merry Christmas
  3. Product upgrade
  4. New product released
  5. Sale starts at
  6. Limited time offer on manufacturer’s rebates
  7. Special offer….Limited time
  8. Product anniversary purchase date
  9. So many people don’t call because they have not planned any reasons to call.
  10. Be prepared….Get yourself a list

STRATEGY 5….. Sending out hand written Thank you cards

3 a day. That’s the goal. Sending out 3 hand written thank you note per day, which equates to 15 a week, which equates to 60 people a month receiving your personalised thank you notes.

If you’re looking for a business edge, you will be creating 60 positive impacts per month and building your business network.

With many businesses now focusing on the value of referral selling, you have just created 60 opportunities as a result of your thank you cards.

It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just a printed card on one side with THANK YOU and a place on the inside for you to write a handwritten note and have your name contact details et cetera printed. My strong suggestion to you is to immediately get organised and have a thousand printed. The three day habit is one of the best strategies for follow-up I could ever recommend.

Some benefits for sending out thank you cards include: 

  • It’s a tangible way of showing your appreciation for their business.
  • It is an unexpected gesture.
  • Many people keep thank you notes as keepsakes.
  • You will be different! Very few businesses take the time and effort to use thank you cards.
  • It gives you a reason for follow-up phone call
  • It’s a great habit to have.

STRATEGY 6….. A current, clean and methodically updated database/CRMsystem

A good CRM program will assist you in organising your contacts and tracking important dates. It can also keep for you huge amounts of information regarding your prospects, their buying habits, a section for notes, and likely times of next purchase. I have always regarded my database is my goldmine. The more good stuff you put into it, the more valuable it becomes as a resource for you in gaining more business, more easily.

STRATEGY 7…..Persistence

There is nothing truer than the statement – “Persistence overcomes resistance”. Our statistics show that over 50% of all salespeople lack any form of persistence when it comes to follow-up. That leaves the door open for anyone who can adopt the award-winning habit of persistence. With a little bit more determination and a focus on an extra 1% effort in all you do, you’ll be amazed by your results.

STRATEGY 8….. Always end your communications with a proposed next step

As most of your follow-up will be on the phone, it is always good to finish your call with a proposed next action step.

  • “May I have your permission to……” – Is an extremely courteous and nonthreatening question to ask of your prospect/customer. This question is answered YES in 99% of time…. “ May I have your permission to call you in one week”.
  • “May I have your permission to email you the…”
  • ”May I have your permission to send you a proposal regarding….”
  • “May I have your permission to visit with you and….”
  • “May I have your permission to send you important information on …”

This step guarantees continuance of the conversation.

STRATEGY 9….. Ask for referrals

FACT: You will never lose the sale for asking for a referral… But you can lose a lot of business if you don’t ask for one. Your choice.

Most sales pros set a target for referrals on a daily weekly or monthly basis. Why not set yourself a target of 1 referral per day. That will deliver you 20 referrals per month. These referrals will be the most profitable and easily closed business that you can get.

When asking for referrals, the key term you must use is… Who do you know…?

 STRATEGY 10……. Creating customers for life

In his bestselling book, CUSTOMERS FOR LIFE, Carl Sewell asks… “How good you want to be?” He also asks… “Ask your customers what they want… And give it to them”.  Your customers will be the best barometer for you in gauging your level and provision of good customer service.

MUST READ… CUSTOMERS FOR LIFE written by Carl Sewell

In his book, Carl Sewell gives 10 Commandments of customer service.  My favourite chapters are:

  • Under promise and over deliver… Customers expect you to keep your word, exceed it
  • Your mother was right….Show people respect. Be polite. It works
  • Japanese them… Learn how the best really do it, make their Systems your own. Then improve them

The strategy of creating customers for life is not all that hard when using the above eight time tested strategies.

Remember….Relationships are like plants, you must nurture them or they will wither away and die.

About David Jackson CSP 

David is internationally known as “THE SALES DOCTOR” for his Vitamins for Success and prescriptions for uplifting Profits.  He has over 30 years of experience as an internationally recognised Sales Skills and Communication Coach including Keynote Public Speaker. David brings the ability to positively transform the skills and attitudes of his audiences with humour and real world experiences. He will lift you to a new level.

15 Key Benefits of using Sales Scripts

Ever been stuck with the right things to say? 

Have you often thought that what you said could have been delivered in a better way? 

Most people don’t utilise the power in any way of using a prepared sales script. These people just shoot from the hip and hope that they will get the results they want. These same people do not keep score of their customer activities and therefore have no record of what works and what doesn’t work. 

Let’s now look at some of the myths that people spread. 

7 MYTHS YOU NEED TO DESTROY ABOUT USING SCRIPTS 

  1. They don’t work, tried one in previous job, nobody used it.
  2. People can tell when you are using a script. 
  3. You sound like a SALESPERSON, trying to sell something, whether I need it or not.  
  4. Limited customisation. You are unable to tailor your presentation to the individual needs and wants of your clients. 
  5. You sound like a robot. You have a limited flexibility of what you can say. 
  6. You sound like a telemarketer with the call centre as your background. 
  7. I am a PRO, at the job for 10 years. I know what to say! 

15 KEY BENEFITS OF USING A SALES SCRIPT 

1. Improves how you sound 

We believe when conversing with another person, particularly on the phone, your results will be improved dramatically through the use of scripts. This is because there are no gaps in the conversation and no awkward moments of not knowing what to say. You have a script/plan. 

2. Improves the impression you make 

By sounding more confident and more professional, you will automatically improve the impression you make. With time on the phone a critical issue, a script will give you a measurable improvement in the impression you make. 

3. Improves rapport 

Rapport is improved in concert with the impression you make. Remember, that people do business with people they like. Customers love to hear their own name and a courteous tone when building rapport. 

4. Improves effectiveness 

Your effectiveness on the phone or in person will immediately be improved when you follow the key points of your professionally prepared script. Confidence will be improved, retention of what the prospect says to you will also be improved along with a more professional discussion. 

5. Improves confidence 

When your sales and service team members know that they can rely on a good script, their confidence when handling a customer enquiry will grow. 

6. Decreases stress 

When new people join your sales and service team, they will be unfamiliar with what they should be saying and how they should be responding to your customer enquiries. A book of scripts or computer link to where they find your company’s tailored scripts makes this a far less stressful situation. 

7. Increases activity level 

You will be able to do more in less time with a professional script. They keep you organised and totally accountable for your results. With a happy and good attitude, you really can increase your activity levels with a good script hugely. 

8. Promotes consistency 

Consistency in what they’re saying is really important for your sales and service team. When the team has a company tailored and agreed-upon scripts they become more powerful. Consistency brings with it professionalism and better results. We need the same response given every time to a customer enquiry. 

9. Increases your confidence 

Following a script will increase your confidence level because by using a script you are asking all of the relevant information required to move forward with your prospect. You don’t have to remember anything……Just use your script! 

10. Reduces training time 

The length of training sessions can be reduced for individuals and teams by using script books, charts and computer-generated programs. 

11. Increases customer satisfaction 

With a script, you will be able to measure an individual’s KPI’s and performance. With this information, you will be able to spend time with poor performers in order to increase the customers’ approval rating. 

12. Assists in maintaining compliance 

Compliance to laws and regulations today is not a choice. They must be regulated and adhered to 100%. We must ensure all of our sales and customer service team members are using compliant scripts and replying truthfully and ethically to all customer requests. 

13. Avoiding human error 

When we have a script, we are encouraged to cover all of the points in the script. When we do this, we avoid human error of forgetting certain key questions that need to be asked. 

14. Measuring results 

When scripts are used, we can hold people accountable for their activities. We are able to measure KPI’s in all of their activities. This gives us the opportunity of continuous improvement. We can highlight problems and tweak scripts when necessary. 

15. Overcoming objection 

You will handle objections so you much more easily when you have a script or a list of bullet points to cover when responding to your customer’s objections. This gives you the power in any conversation. 

It’s in front of you….You don’t have to keep thinking of what you have to say. It’s all in front of you on your script. 

KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER 

  • Update and refresh your scripts often in order to keep staff motivated to use them. 
  • Actively listen to your customer….Never interrupt the customer. 
  • When you listen, you learn. You will gain more information with little effort about your customers’ needs and wants by listening, and nodding of your head to indicate that you are listening. 
  • Know-how and when to deviate from your scripted approach. 
  • The customer will often ask you for information and advice not covered in a script. It is important that these be answered when you are asked. Make a list of things that the customer may say or object to in your script, so that you are prepared no matter what. 

BENEFITS OF REAL PLAYS 

Here are four of the major benefits that are achieved by those who do some role-play, or as we prefer “real play”, with these proven and time-tested scripts. 

1. Practising 

No matter the activity, all professionals practice their skills. Practising and fine tuning your scripts can really be fun. It will also allow you to personalise the scripts you are delivering to your client with a more meaningful message. 

2. Building confidence 

When you review or practice something constantly, your confidence will grow. Real plays develop confidence in you leading to a far more successful sales winning conversation. 

3. Developing active listening skills 

When you use a script, because you have the words in front of you, you don’t have to be constantly thinking about what you’re going to say next. This allows you to listen a lot more intently to what your prospect is saying. 

4. Developing group problem solving abilities 

When in a group situation or group discussion, fine tuning of your scripts will pay huge dividends. Concerns and problems can be raised and extinguished through meaningful discussions and changes to the set script. It is essential that everyone, and I repeat everyone, is happy with and uses the same script. 

IN CONCLUSION 

  • Be different 
  • Be and sound professional 
  • Be a user of customer friendly and results measured scripts 
  • Ask for referrals 

About David Jackson CSP 

David is internationally known as “THE SALES DOCTOR” for his “Vitamins for Success” and highly effective “Sales Problem Solver”. He has over 30 years of experience as an internationally recognised Sales Skills and Communication Coach including Keynote Speaker. David brings the ability to positively transform the skills and attitudes of his audiences with humour and real world experiences. He will lift you and your team to a new level. 

Cool questions for the Christmas table

Here is a list of cool questions for you to ask your attendees at the Christmas table to foster some amazing discussions about 2018:

  • If you could have any job for a day, what would it be?
  • Which item on your bucket list did you sort this year?
  • What is your stand out news event for 2018?
  • If you could read one person’s mind, who would it be?
  • Where will you go on holiday in 2019?
  • Best Christmas when you were a child?
  • If you could get a new pet in 2019, what would it be?
  • What is the craziest thing you have eaten?
  • You are given a yacht, what would you name it?
  • What if your favourite holiday dessert?

Pat on the back!

I really want you to consider patting yourself on the back and create some sense of reward from the year that’s been.  Many in business today are constantly fighting for the future, looking ahead and charging at new opportunities, being under pressure to deliver on timeframes but what we want to do at this time of the year is have the ability to be able to sit back and actually consider what we have achieved and pat ourselves on the back.  What will be your small congratulations gift to yourself for all of the things that you have achieved this year?

Opportunity for 2019

I want you to consider now especially at this time of the year, two or three things that you can see as clear opportunities for 2019.  These opportunities are going to be vitally important for you to start off the next year with a great sense of urgency and opportunity.  By having a think about the opportunities for next year now, it will give you a sense of motivation for the Christmas period to have a great break, relax and enjoy friends and family.  

A big thank you

I wanted to say a big thank you to all of our clients for 2018.  This has been a truly amazing year for darrenpratley.com and INK Consulting Associates who have massed some amazing numbers.

We have completed over 210 events; 

We have taken over 90 flights;

We have worked with over 25 teams.

This has been an exceptionally busy year with lots of opportunity in both New Zealand and Australia and we are certainly looking to develop more closer strategic relationships to help develop your businesses in using our expertise for 2019.  

We have had some great success and seen many clients truly excel in their market place and I want to congratulate them for the hard work that they have put in place. 

2 New Consultants joining the team

I am pleased to announce that we have 2 new specialist consultants that have joined the INK Consulting Team.  

1. Jason Borowicz – Customer Experience Designer

We are pleased to have Jason joining our team as our specialist Customer Experience Designer.   Jason has had experience in numerous medium to large enterprises and has been fundamental in focusing businesses on developing customer experiences that own their customer relationship.  As you will know, my key topic that I speak about is “Your Customer is Leaving” and it is great to have someone on our team now that can help our clients design customer experiences that really stand out in their market place and creates a unique service offering that really stops the customer leaving.

2. Allan Lloyd – Compliance

Allan comes to us from a long history in compliance and audit as many of the industries that we work in start to enter into a more compliance focused regime.  It is great to have support of a specialist that can provide practical support for businesses looking to ensure that their compliance requirements are meeting their industries legislative requirements set by Government.

SEARS receivership creates important learnings for you

There was a recent article in the NZ Herald on Wednesday 31 October which talked about the retail giants SEARS facing receivership.  

In the article it talks about how one of the largest  and successful retail chains in America was about to be put into receivership with debt of 11.3 billion dollars US and assets of only 7 billion.  It was interesting to read this article where as a brick and mortar retailer, SEARS had struggled due to a series of blunders, financial oversights and mis-management.  In the article it states that the ultimate business failure was that it did not acknowledge the needs of its customers and displayed a staggering inability to embrace and implement the sorts of technology the customer expected.  I look at this in a NZ concept and I still continue to see many of our service and retail providers encouraging their clients to use on-line platforms or on-line portals where one of the key service propositions is actually the face-to-face connection with the customer and holding relationships in the real.  Many of NZ customers want to have the loyal transaction with a business that they can trust.  

This is why this trust concept is so important in business today and the work that we are doing with many businesses is around how to deliver this level of trust and engagement with the customer in real and ensuring that it provides your customers with value which keeps them coming back over time.  The last thing that we want to do is to encourage clients to use unconventional formats without business structure and position correctly structured beforehand.  Can I ask you to consider today “how are you connecting with your customers in the real, bringing them into your environment wherever possible and creating greater experiences that will keep them coming back to see their trusted advisor.  

One of our key skills is to help companies identify if service propositions that brings the customer into your environment for a productive transaction.