Category Archives: Self Improvement

The Real Secret to Sales Success

There’s a secret to business success – which, if you’re already doing it on a regular basis, won’t be that much of a big surprise – but that’s probably only around 5% of all the salespeople out there – so I think it’s worth sharing.

It took me quite a long time to recognise this little nugget of truth for what it really is, and then distil it into a couple of memorable, tweet length sentences – but here they are.

The reason my career soared, while others around me splashed around in a muddy pool of bitterness and mediocrity – was due to this simple fact;

I went out and got business – most people want to be given business, so they can go out and get it.

Go on, read it again – it’s deeper than you think.

But that’s how my career stepped up – one rung at a time – and kept on rising.

When there didn’t appear to be any business – I found a way to create the opportunity

When there was a shortage of customers – I went out and found some prospects.

When the fishermen went home hungry and defeated, telling me not to bother even trying – the first thing I’d do was dredge the pond – in case they’d missed something.

Then I hiked over to the lake and tried again, while they all went to the pub and talked about the one that got away.

Hey, sometimes I went home with less than they did.

But they made a habit of giving up – I made a habit of never giving in.

Some will tell you the secret of success is simply rising and then staying above mediocrity.

That’s not far wrong.

I’ll add to that and say, while you’re pulling yourself above mediocrity, make sure you also develop your tenacity and positivity muscles too.

This wasn’t me being better than anyone else – or smarter, or more knowledgeable, or being given a better patch with better prospects.

It’s just that – when people gave me the opportunity (and wage) to go and grow their business – I didn’t expect them to give me leads on a plate.

I went out and found business for them – and brought it back with my tail wagging.

So the real secret is this;
Below average salespeople wait for their business to create sales leads. Above average salespeople create business opportunities, and become Sales Leaders
(Average performers, who aren’t putting in the effort, are just riding a wave of luck – which never lasts long)

You can sit at your desk just hoping, hitting the send/receive button if you like – or maybe leave it to chance that the social media campaign, website or marketing department will bring prospects directly to your door – and hey, some probably will.

But that’s the same business everyone around you has access to – including the competition. It was coming anyway – with or without a salesperson to pick it up

There’s a reason diamonds are tough to uncover– the really valuable stuff isn’t found just lying on the beach for anyone to pick up.

Fill your pipeline with pebbles if you want – but diamonds are what they’ll congratulate you for.

So where should you start – where’s all this business hiding?

  • You find it with new clients
  • You find it with disgruntled old clients
  • You look for new opportunities within existing clients
  • You portfolio sell across the board

On top of that;

  • Don’t moan when there’s no business – that’s your job – go and get some
  • Don’t treat customers like one night stands – learn how you genuinely help and watch your results prosper when you start to put that into practice.
  • Learn what you don’t know and get better at the stuff you do
  • Listen to, emulate and take advice from winners – never whiners
  • Stop trying to find the quick way of doing absolutely everything – find the most effective way, and then perfect it.
  • Do one more call, every day after what used to be your last call. Forty weeks a year, equals two hundred extra calls. If we work on one in ten, ask yourself – what would twenty more opportunities do for your pipeline?

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Thanks for reading this blog post. On my blog, I regularly write about Sales, Sales Management and Customer Service issues, topics and trends. I’d also be delighted to connect via Twitter, YouTube and of course, through Varda Kreuz Training.

About: Chris Murray is founder and Managing Director of Varda Kreuz Training, a company created to deliver sales training that really works – not in theory and not just sometimes, but sales training that really works. You can find out more about Varda Kreuz Training HERE or give us a call right now on 0844 923 9777 (UK)

His latest book, The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club is an Amazon Number 1 Best Seller and has been heralded as the Da Vinci Code for salespeople.

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Filed under Sales Targets, Sales Training, Self Improvement, Varda Kreuz

Are Your Sales Team Managing You?

I don’t mind admitting, in certain things, I like to think of myself a bit of a perfectionist – one of those is the creation, and continuation, of positive customer perception.

I’m also well aware, that certain teams I’ve managed in the past, thought I worried about that kind of thing far too much.

But there’s a phrase I once heard a top Chef say, that sums up my feelings perfectly.

“Never let your mistakes leave the kitchen!”

Perception is reality – and someone else’s perception of you, the way they believe you are, is their reality.

Someone else’s account of the brilliant service they received at a restaurant matters not a jot if that wasn’t your experience, you will create your own perception on what happens to you.

So, during my very first management role, I decided that everything that left the desk or computers of my team would be a direct reflection on the way I ran the operation to anybody viewing it externally.

Having worked hard to achieve a half decent reputation in previous roles, I was aware that certain buyers were only booking initial appointments with my new account management team because they had been treated professionally and effectively by me in the past.

Therefore, I spent a great deal of time ensuring that I retained that perception by keeping a careful watch over everything that left the office.

However, I didn’t realise what I was letting myself in for.

They were creating letters that resembled thank you notes from a ten year-old, proposals that I can only assume were put together on the way in to work and their presentations had the professionalism of a high school PowerPoint project.

So I worked late, I polished that rubbish until it looked good enough for human consumption – everything that left that sales office looked so good it could have been written by me.

And do you know why? Because on most occasions, it had been written by me!

I remember perfectly the exact evening this all came to a climatic end.

I was in my office – an hour and a half hard drive from home – it was eight o’clock at night. I was polishing up a proposal for a fairly senior, but lazy regional manager, and I decided to give him a call to discuss the project we were both working on.

I had missed my children’s bedtime, I hadn’t eaten since my hurried sandwich hours earlier, the cleaners were the only other people in the building and the Account Manager – who I thought would follow me to the ends of the earth because of the dedication and loyalty that I was currently showing him and the cause – said;

“Can you give me a call tomorrow about ‘10ish’; I’m just in the pub doing personal stuff!”

When we talk about ACCOUNTABILITY in regards to the Sales Management FAME Effect, we ask the question – WHO – as in “Whose job is it?”

I mentioned in my last articleAs a sales manager it is not your job to hit the sales target – it’s your job to ensure the target gets hit!

Subtle difference in words – massive difference in results.

So, if you’re an over worked, underappreciated sales manager; here’s a question I want you to think about. Let’s see whether you’re focusing your efforts in the right direction and being as effective as you possibly could be – or whether you’re just acting like some kind of sales martyr, working yourself to death without anyone ever actually noticing.

Ask yourself this;

“Who is better off – The Manager who earns £1,150 (£60Kpa) for a 60 hour working week or the team members who earn £770 (£40K pa) and work a 35 hour week?”

Sure you get the big bucks in every pay packet, but by the hour you’re actually earning 15% less.

If you went for a job interview and were told that – as the manager you’d be earning £19 per hour – and your sales team would be earning £22 per hour – you’d think they were mad.

And yet without getting FOCUS and ACCOUNTABILITY right – the first two sections of the FAME Effect – that’s probably exactly what you’ll end up doing.

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To launch my latest book – The Managers Guide to Achieving FAME – I’m holding a number of FAME Sales Management Workshops throughout September.

The UK Workshop is taking place at the beautiful Mottram Hall in Cheshire on Thursday 25 September – and to ensure that I get to spend the appropriate amount of time with each of those attending, places are extremely limited.

I hope you can make it – together with a full day’s management training and all workshop materials, those attending will also receive a signed pre-publication copy of the new book and four exercises exclusive to this workshop to take back and use with their teams at their quarterly sales meetings.

I’d be delighted if you could join me on the day – if you can, take a look here for more details.

Best regards

Chris Murray

Managing Director – Varda Kreuz Training and Author of The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club and The Managers Guide to Achieving FAME

T: 0844 293 9777

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Filed under FAME, Sales Management, Self Improvement

Sales Managers – How Do You Want to Be Remembered?

FAME Remembered Jigsaw

A quick exercise for Sales Managers and Sales Directors, that will enable you to work out what you’re really trying to achieve.

There are four pieces of the sales management jigsaw that come together to create the FAME Effect;

  • Focus
  • Accountability
  • Motivation
  • Education

During our FAME Workshops we view the first – FOCUS – from a number of different angles.

It’s FOCUS that makes us ask – WHAT – as in “What jobs really need doing?”

Which is all fine and dandy – almost the easiest bit to achieve – for all the external stuff like the sales figures you need to hit, or where you want your brand to be in three years’ time – but what about you? 

Where are you going to end up in this plan? What bits of this really matter to YOU?

Getting focused is great for creating your overall vision and setting your goals, but have you ever considered how you – the one who manages the sales team – want to be spoken about when the Board meet up to discuss next year’s promotions and pay-rises?

Now, you might think that that’s not a very important question – but, trust me, if you really want to FOCUS on the real goals – the important stuff – and create a compelling vision that people will be inspired by, then you’ve got to work out how you feel about the things that really matter to you.

You can’t simply plan this stuff from where you are right now, from your current viewpoint – what you’ve got to do is look right to the end – and then work backwards.

So How Do Sales Managers and Sales Directors Figure Out What They’re Really Trying to Achieve?

Try out the exercise below, and I’ll bet you discover one or two key elements – missing from your current plans – which actually define your true version of success. 

Imagine it’s the last day at your current job – members of your sales team, all your peers and colleagues, the entire board of directors and even a few of your favourite customers are gathering to watch you make a little speech and share out the supermarket celebration cake.

Just then, four people step forward and say;

“Due to your outstanding contribution, we’d like to say a few words, if that’s OK?”

These four people are;

  • Someone representing your entire team / direct reports (past and present)
  • Someone representing all of your team’s customers (past and present)
  • Someone representing the heads of all the other departments in the company
  • The Big Boss

So, what would you want them to say?

Write down the four headings.

FAME - How Do You Want to be Remembered

Take around five minutes per person and write down a shorthand version of all the actions and personality traits that you would like people to remember you by and the activities and results of your team which you would be proud to be associated with.

Now – take a look at that list.

What do you need to FOCUS on to make each and every comment a reality?

Now, take your existing business plan, mission statement and vision – and start to figure out, how you’re going to make sure that it’s more than just the numbers that are achieved at the end of each year.

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To launch my latest book – The Managers Guide to Achieving FAME – I’m holding a number of FAME Sales Management Workshops throughout September.

The UK Workshop is taking place at the beautiful Mottram Hall in Cheshire on Thursday 25 September – and to ensure that I get to spend the appropriate amount of time with each of those attending, places are extremely limited.

I hope you can make it – together with a full day’s management training and all workshop materials, those attending will also receive a signed pre-publication copy of the new book and four exercises exclusive to this workshop to take back and use with their teams at their quarterly sales meetings.

I’d be delighted if you could join me on the day – if you can, take a look here for more details.

Best regards

Chris Murray

Managing Director – Varda Kreuz Training and Author of The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club and The Managers Guide to Achieving FAME

T: 0844 293 9777

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Filed under Management Training, Personal Development, Sales Management, Sales Targets, Self Improvement

The 7 Reasons You Just Lost That Sale

Recently I posted a question on the four most popular of LinkedIn’s Purchasing and Procurement Group’s discussion boards, which gave me the opportunity to ask almost half a million professional buyers one simple question;

“How do most sales people let themselves down?”

After working my way through the answers, it turns out there are 7 recurring issues that cause salespeople to lose the sales that they really didn’t need to.

The full article will appear in the Institute of Sales & Marketing Management’s Winning Edge Magazine later this month – but here’s an early, sneak peek.

You can download a PDF of the full article here.

For more information on the ISMM or how to receive Winning Edge magazine, you can find out more by following this link.

Best regards

Chris

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PS – My new book The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club is getting rave reviews and I am humbled by the number of people who have already discovered it – thanks for all your support. If you haven’t read it yet, you can download the first four chapters for free by clicking on this link.

New Varda Kreuz Case Studies HERE and Video Testimonials HERE

This year, I want to help you and your sales team become more successful than they’ve ever been before – call my office now on
0844 293 9777 or request a call back by going to our Contact Page HERE.

You and I can work out a sales training programme that suits your requirements perfectly – foundation level sales training, field sales training, account management training, selling value over price, FMCG sales training, customer service training, whatever it might be – but it’s a big old world out there and if you don’t take two minutes to invite me over, I may never know you need me.

We create bespoke sales training days from as little as £228 per person, so give my office a call today and we can get a date in the diary to start working on tailoring something just for you.

Chris Murray

0844 293 9777

By the way, if someone has forwarded you this newsletter, you can sign up to receive it directly from Varda Kreuz here

Varda Kreuz Sales TrainingManchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Liverpool, London

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Filed under Advanced Sales Training, Business Development, Cold Calling, Customer Service, Sales Training, Self Improvement

The Wright Brothers Version of Advanced Sales Training

Marketing guru Perry Marshall tells a great story regarding the difference in thought process that led to the success of the Wright Brothers and the failure of all the others who were trying to achieve the same aim.

He explains the main reason that Orville and Wilbur Wright were the first guys to build an air-worthy vehicle, was that they focused on making the most elegant, efficient and aerodynamic plane.

What they didn’t do was focus on creating the most powerful engine.

At that time, everyone was obsessed with powerful engines. But powerful engines, especially back then, were really, really heavy.

And of course “heavy” is not a quality you want when you’re trying to defy gravity.

So, Orville and Wilbur concentrated on designing a machine that would stay in the air…ride the wind…float. They knew that once they achieved that goal, they could strap a good engine to their bird and the thing would stay up.

Meanwhile their engine-obsessed competitors were building powerful, heavy machines…and crashing back to earth.

What’s that got to do with sales training?

Well quite a lot actually.

You see, the sales model and mind-set your team work with, needs to be an aerodynamic plane…if they thoroughly understand the motivations behind peoples buying decisions, have the ability to uncover opportunities and turn those opportunities into recognisable needs and then keep moving every genuine prospect forward during each call or meeting…then by all means, you should go ahead and take it to the next level by helping your sales team to improve their overall effectiveness with some advanced sales skills and techniques.

To be extremely successful, both are crucial.

Skills and techniques that genuinely work and are useful within your industry, together with a foundation in buying motives, effective questioning, presentation skills and a real understanding of how and when to close.

A strong engine and a wind-worthy plane.

Unfortunately strapping those skills and techniques onto a team that can’t fly is just a waste of time.

When you next decide to invest in sales training for your team, ask yourself the following questions and work out whether or not you’re being sold an engine that doesn’t go anywhere, or a plane that’ll take you wherever it is you want to go – and can continuously be improved.

  • Put yourself in the customer’s chair – If these techniques were used on you, would you buy from the salesperson using them?
  • If you answered yes to the first question, following the purchase, would you feel – in any way – that you had been manipulated or bullied?
  • Does the training sound like a collection of techniques for selling AT someone or a toolbox that can be dipped into, to help your customers make great buying decisions?
  • Does the title involve the word advanced? If so, how much of the non-advanced training have your team already completed previously?
  • Also, which bit of the content allows this particular training to call itself advanced?
  • Is the training focused mainly on helping the salesperson sell or the prospect to recognise why they should buy?
  • Has this training been built to achieve the specific requirements of your team and business – or is this the same training they do for everyone?

Until next time, have a great summer

Chris

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PS – My new book The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club is getting rave reviews and I am humbled by the number of people who have already discovered it – thanks for all your support. If you haven’t read it yet, you can download the first four chapters for free by clicking on this link.

New Varda Kreuz Case Studies HERE and Video Testimonials HERE

This year, I want to help you and your sales team become more successful than they’ve ever been before – call my office now on
0844 293 9777 or request a call back by going to our Contact Page HERE.

You and I can work out a sales training programme that suits your requirements perfectly – foundation level sales training, field sales training, account management training, selling value over price, FMCG sales training, customer service training, whatever it might be – but it’s a big old world out there and if you don’t take two minutes to invite me over, I may never know you need me.

We create bespoke sales training days from as little as £228 per person, so give my office a call today and we can get a date in the diary to start working on tailoring something just for you.

Chris Murray

0844 293 9777

By the way, if someone has forwarded you this newsletter, you can sign up to receive it directly from Varda Kreuz here

Varda Kreuz Sales TrainingManchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Liverpool, London

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Filed under Advanced Sales Training, Business Development, Drinks Industry Sales Training, Personal Development, Sales Training, Self Improvement

Why Salespeople Should Learn How to Sell Lemonade

Lemonade

So, this weekend, my nine year old daughter decides to set up a lemonade stand at the front of the house as her first commercial enterprise.

To be fair, she’s been nagging me to help her do it for over a year – since she saw that bank advert with a similar age girl doing the same thing.

I only realise now, that right up until the point she set up her tiny table and chair (sandwiched between her hand-drawn poster and little plastic till) – that I was acting like your typical “don’t go into business” advisor.

I recognised it, because I heard so many myself before I set up my first company.

Are you sure you want to do this? What happens if no one comes? You might end up looking stupid? Is what you make really good enough for someone else’s money?”

But, like all good entrepreneurs and pioneers, she appears to be able to phase all that nonsense out, and crack on with what she knows to be right.

Here are a couple of things that a nine year old girl selling home-made lemonade could teach a few salespeople I’ve met along the way.

1. She sat down and worked out her USP

So why is anybody going to be buy this, honey?”

Why wouldn’t they?”

Well, there’s a lot of competition, we live not far from the local pub and a can of fizzy drink from the shop is only 50p – why would they stop and buy yours?”

So she sat and she thought about it – then redesigned her poster to explain why it was worth stopping and giving her your money – in fact she had five reasons why her Lemonade was worth stopping for.

Question: What are the 5 reasons people buy your product or service instead of the competitions?

2. She knew why it was worth the money

So – it would have been really easy, to spend £10 on ingredients and plastic cups and then just let her play shop – but she wanted to do this properly.

We put all the costs down on paper, she realised what price we couldn’t go below and why, and we justified it with facts.

Question: When someone raises a price objection do you feel uneasy, mixed with the need to knock a little off, or can you justify the value and the cost?

3. She was ready for objections

We sat down together – and I was an awkward customer – I gave her every reason I could think of why I wouldn’t buy lemonade off the side of the road, from a 9 year old girl.

We then came up with conversation pieces that overcame drawbacks, misunderstandings and scepticism.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud.

Question: What 5 objections do you regularly get? Have you sat down and worked out how to overcome each one so they’re no longer a problem?

4. She was passionate about the work

Two days she sat out there.

She wanted to be out there, setting up her stand straight after breakfast – we had trouble getting her in for lunch or dinner.

She chatted, she poured, she went and got complimentary bowls of water for customers with dogs.

Admittedly, it seemed to come quite naturally to her – but she wasn’t daunted by anything or anyone, intelligently delegated most of the grunt work to me (concentrating on the actions that would bring in the most money) and she really, really enjoyed it.

Question: When was the last time you sprang out of bed and went looking for new customers? If those who work with you were asked, what would they say to the question – does that salesperson spend most of their time on actions that only achieve their goal?

Until next time, best regards

Chris

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PS – My new book The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club is getting rave reviews and I am humbled by the number of people who have already discovered it – thanks for all your support. If you haven’t read it yet, you can download the first four chapters for free by clicking on this link. Also, make sure you take advantage of these great summer offers for the book – some are extremely time sensitive.

New Varda Kreuz Case Studies HERE and Video Testimonials HERE

This year, I want to help you and your sales team become more successful than they’ve ever been before – call my office now on
0844 293 9777 or request a call back by going to our Contact Page HERE.

You and I can work out a sales training programme that suits your requirements perfectly – foundation level sales training, field sales training, account management training, selling value over price, FMCG sales training, customer service training, whatever it might be – but it’s a big old world out there and if you don’t take two minutes to invite me over, I may never know you need me.

We create bespoke sales training days from as little as £228 per person, so give my office a call today and we can get a date in the diary to start working on tailoring something just for you.

Chris Murray

0844 293 9777

By the way, if someone has forwarded you this newsletter, you can sign up to receive it directly from Varda Kreuz here

Varda Kreuz Sales TrainingManchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Liverpool, London

Leave a comment

Filed under Business Development, Drinks Industry Sales Training, Personal Development, Price Objections, Product Launch, Sales Training, Self Improvement

Discover the 7 Secrets of Success this Summer

The Extremely Successful Salsman's Club

For all those of you heading off to laze around a still, cool pool while sipping ice cold rose – but haven’t yet decided which book you’re taking with you – here’s a great opportunity to bag a bargain.

Those fabulous people at Amazon, Kindle and Audible have put The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club on offer this week – in all formats.

The book’s been extremely successful in its own right in all its various formats since it came out earlier this year – appearing in the top 20 sales books over 3 consecutive months.

Here’s what the reviewers are saying about it;

The rules of success are told in such a captivating way that I could not put this book down. Those seven rules guide salespeople – novices and veterans – to create a solid sales foundation.”    Lee B. Salz – Best Selling Author of Hire Right, Higher Profits

“I very much loved the resolve and direction, very quotable quotes. Especially – ‘In this world of half-jobs and liars I will prevail’.” Perry Marshall – Best Selling Author of 80/20 Sales and Marketing

An enjoyable, easy to read story with deep meanings to reflect on, and practical advice to apply in sales and leadership.” Omar Halabieh

What I loved about this book was that the author has opted to give advice on becoming a successful salesman not by preaching a boring how to book, but by creating a story.” Emma Bull

“Excellent; easy to read, nice story that helps to bring home the truths about selling. Well worth reading, even if you have been in sales for many years.” Theo Eleftheriou

The Offers

Kindle Countdown Offer

You can get the E-book at an amazing price – if your quick – it’s on offer for only £0.99 ($1.69) until this Saturday at the Kindle store.

Audio Book

Or you can listen to the unabridged audiobook by clicking here, which is currently reduced from £15.49 to £9.53 – or Completely FREE with an Audible.com trial.

Paperback

And of course for all those like me who like to recline in the sun with a paperback that I can fold in two, scribble on and keep my place by folding the corner of a page down – the best prices on Amazon are £6.72 (plus P&P – RRP £8.99) and $13.41 (RRP $13.95)

Special Bonus

On top of that – once you’ve read or listened to it and discovered the word that means all things – you can pop the secret word into the form here and we’ll send you a free download of The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club Workbook, the step by step companion guide to enable those who have enjoyed the original, to fully incorporate the 7 Rules of success into their daily life.

The workbook is launched officially in September, and includes questions and tests together with a selection of exercises to ensure you can put the ancient secrets of the club to the very use they were first intended – making those who know them extremely successful.

All you have to do is fill in the form at this link.

Of course, if you’ve already read the book, you’ll already know it.

It’s the word that Simeon puts together throughout the story, as he solves the clues and mysteries, while visiting all the secret and hidden spaces across Victorian London.

This particular offer doesn’t have a time limit – fill in the form whenever you’re ready (even after the workbook’s been published) – and we’ll send it through to you.

Happy reading and have a fabulous summer

Best regards

Chris

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Filed under Book Launch, Self Improvement