Category Archives: Sales

Windmills of your Mind

By Gail Z. Martin

Remember Don Quixote who jousted with windmills?  The image evokes a noble but losing battle.  There’s also the old song Windmills of Your Mind, homage to the thoughts  on the edge of waking and sleeping, ideas that go round and round in your head.

Recently, I saw a rather dangerous combination of the two ideas that, unfortunately, is all too common among business people.  It’s the vicious cycle of attract/repel that keeps some people frozen in place, never able to make true progress.

Twice now I’ve had business owners seek me out for my opinion on marketing and ask for my advice.  However, as soon as I toss out a few ideas, the windmills crank up and the negative winds start to blow.  Every suggestion or idea is met with a reason why it can’t work.

One person got quite heated about it, declaring that it was impossible to market in her industry for a variety of reasons.  Now true, that particular industry has more hurdles than most, but as I pointed out to this person, some of the largest companies in that field do have a blogging and social media presence.  She immediately proceeded to tell me what it would work for them but not for her. She was so busy defending her position that nothing was possible that she could not hear anything I said.

In the other case, outdated assumptions severely limited the person’s options.  She was an accountant who wanted to create a package of services/educational products related to estate planning but outside of actual accounting.  She came to me to ask how to get people to attend the events she planned to hold.  When I started to suggest traditional and new media ways to promote the new package, she told me quite heatedly that accountants don’t advertise, can’t advertise, not by law but by convention.  Funny, I heard that line of thinking from physicians 25 years ago, and now physician advertising (tasteful, understated but still promotional) is quite common.  I’ve also seen similar low-key but effective promotion for accountants.  And I pointed out that the new package was not accounting.  No matter–her mind was made up.

What happened?  In both cases, some desire compelled these two people to seek me out for advice.  They knew my line of work, so it should have come as no surprise that I suggested ways to market.  Yet the windmills of their minds–outdated ideas, critical voices, fears and doubts, were too strong.  They were trapped going round and round with old, limiting ideas and fears, unwilling to even consider a new way to approach the situation.  They missed the chance to move forward.

How about you?  What windmills do you have in your mind? Where are your thoughts trapped by fears, doubts and outdated ideas?  They may be costing you valuable opportunities!

Comments Off on Windmills of your Mind

Filed under Gail Z. Martin, Intentions, Sales

Finding your Sasha Fierce

By Gail Z. Martin

If you’re a Beyonce fan, then you know  that according to the star, she’s actually not as “out there” as her stage persona.  In fact, Beyonce psyches herself up for performances by mentally playing a role, a character she calls Sasha Fierce.

I think that’s brilliant, and it got me wondering—have you found your own Sasha Fierce?

There are so many times in business that you have to go public when inside, you’re thinking “I’m not ready yet!”  And yet, you have to go.  It may be doing a presentation that you wish you had another month to practice, or making a sales pitch to a prospect that is a big opportunity.  Maybe it’s rolling out a product that is as good as you can make it but not perfect.  You focus on the maybes and the fear, instead of strutting your stuff.

Time to find your Sasha Fierce.

Pretend you have an alter-ego (all the superheroes do, why not you?).  This alter-ego is whatever you think you’re not—extroverted, comfortable on stage, never at a loss for words, quick on her feet, good at closing a sale, etc.  Imagine you’re writing a play with the alter-ego as a character.  Describe him/her in detail.  Make it like a real person.  And when you’re done, try on your “secret identity” for size, like a suit of clothes.  (Ever notice that superheroes always change clothes when they go from alter-ego to hero?)  You don’t even need a phone booth (what does Superman do now that everyone has cell phones?).

Step into your version of Sasha Fierce, and pretend you’re the actor playing the role.  No one needs to know except you.  In the role, could you be bold?  Could you take charge of the situation?  Make the sale? Close the deal?  Could you get on stage without shaking?  If so, then you’ve learned what Beyonce already knows—everyone needs a Sasha Fierce.

Comments Off on Finding your Sasha Fierce

Filed under Gail Z. Martin, Inner Coach, Sales

Does Your Web Site Have 20/20 Vision?

By Gail Z. Martin

Does your web site have a clear focus on communicating with your ideal client, or is your focus a little fuzzy?

Can you see your statement of intention in your web site—its design, content, and wording? If not, your focus is probably fuzzy, and your target audience is probably not getting a clear message.

Start with a clear statement of intention. Who do you want to attract to your web site? What do you want them to do when they reach your site? What impression of you do you want them to carry away? How often do you want them to return?

When your intentions for your web site are clear in your own mind, you can view your site with fresh focus and new eyes. Imagine that you are one of your ideal prospects. Look at your home page. What does it say to you? Does it offer value or promise to help you solve your most pressing concern? Are there no-risk ways to get to know the expert (you) better—such as a free downloadable article or ebook? What is on the site that will improve your (the prospect’s) life?

Now that you’ve had a chance to take a 20/20 look at your web site with fresh eyes and clear intentions, what changes will you make?

Comments Off on Does Your Web Site Have 20/20 Vision?

Filed under Gail Z. Martin, Marketing, Sales

Apply sales techniques to all endeavors to skyrocket your results

by Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, LLC
International Speaker and Author

On the occasion you have ever been disappointed that others did not understand your viewpoint or grant your request, you should give thought to learning sales techniques that work to your favor for obtaining the right job or the preferred clientele.  Most people unfortunately view sales as unethical.

My advice to overcome this negative perception is to view sales as simply making friends whether it is the hiring manager or your next prospect.  Work to build relationships and put the interests of the other person first.  As you build trust and confidence in you, the next step is finding commonality between you and the other party.  You are now getting the idea that the low key and earnest sales approach works best.

The next tip is to grow your business exponentially and by that I use the concept of the Power of 10.  For every service or product you offer or interview you go on, try to multiply each by 10 to find amazing results.  For example, 3 services multiplied by 3 x 2 x 1 equals 6 possible audiences.  When you multiply 10 x 9 x 8 etc. the calculations comes to 3.6 million plus!

Using my own advice, I began with sales training.  Next came business coaching and the Smooth Sale product line followed by my writing Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results, Sourcebooks.  The book translated into several languages, was featured in TIME Magazine and grew into an International Best Seller.

My speaking practice grew, my website was overhauled and a blog was implemented.  Interviews came my way.  Community service was always a piece of my business designed to help job seekers understand how to sell themselves on interviews.  My good deeds were rewarded with the realization that it was time to write, HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews, Career Press.

HIRED! provided a new venue for me to work with colleges.   College bookstores are carrying both books, and I am speaking to the student body, alumni, and training local communities along with the students.  Both media attention and sales attraction techniques on social media are helping to sell many more copies.

Given my books are successful, I have begun teaching others How to Write A Book and Sell More Copies Online in addition to providing the traditional sales training and how to build business exponentially.  I plan to write more business books and love providing motivational keynotes at conferences.

As you can see one venue develops into the next.  There are always setbacks.  But when you make a commitment to continual education and perseverance (the salesperson’s motto) your opportunity for success increases greatly and you soon experience the Smooth Sale!

You can listen to the audio from when Elinor was a guest of Blog Host, Gail Z. Martin’s Shared Dreams podcast here:

Comments Off on Apply sales techniques to all endeavors to skyrocket your results

Filed under Guest Blogger, Sales