Let’s talk about sales and what it means for you and your bottom line. My first question is,
“Why do you even need to sell?”
Maybe you sell to make good money; after all, a career in sales is one of the highest paying there is. Maybe you’re a small business owner and you’ve got to do everything including sales. Maybe you’re a person who wants to work part-time or have more flexible hours so you choose sales. Possibly, you’re a stay at home mom who wants to supplement your family’s income. And finally, maybe you just need to put food on the table and want to know the best way to do it. These are all great reasons to hear my secrets on sales.
Just two weeks ago I was listening to a live conference call with a marketing guru. She asked her online audience if they had any questions about marketing. Several people answered her that while they didn’t have any marketing questions, they did have several questions about sales. Some things they asked were, “How can I get going?” “How can I start my day?” “How do I get in the right mindset?” and, “How do I stay motivated?”
These are all things that are powerful and can certainly play into your success, but your ability to stick with a career in sales is the secret sauce to getting the money to roll in. I’ve always found that successful sales people are the ones who stick with their product or service for at least two years. That’s when the changes really start to happen because of the longevity. And yet, so many of us want to jump into something and think we’re going to be a six-figure earner within the first month. That’s just not the case. It takes a lot of foundational work and a lot of skill and practice on your part.
Why does selling seem so hard?
It’s the highest-paying industry, yet it wouldn’t be if everybody could do it. Selling pays so well exactly because it’s difficult. Selling is a skill. Just like learning how to program computers or learning how to cut hair. Anything that requires talent to do it really well is a skill. It’s something that needs to be learned, practiced, and actively worked on to stay sharp.
Selling is not just talking to people. That’s only one part. There are so many other parts that go on behind the scenes in being able to make sure you manage yourself and your clients so that you actually get closes. And the most important part about closing is offering value to your clients, and in return you get to take some of that value home with you so you can put food on the table.
Why aren’t more people successful in sales? Maybe they don’t have the right mindset or the skill level to deal with people. Prospects are busy these days. They’re bombarded with offers. How can you differentiate yourself from everybody else that’s out there? Also, how can you actively manage your clients through the funnel to get them to close? There are so many steps involved with moving a prospect forward, and it’s important to understand when to help your prospect take that next step.
I remember years ago when I was working in Corporate America there were two different sales territories. I had the northern territory and my counterpart, Chris, had the southern territory. He’d been there almost a year, and yet he just couldn’t quite cut it. He left right at his year mark, and I was able work his territory while the company was hiring his replacement. Of the 20 prospects he had on his target board, I closed 15 of them within 2 months – something he hadn’t been able to do for the past year. Part of Chris’ issue was he just wasn’t a closer, and that’s what it takes to actually make money in sales. Being successful in sales takes understanding and managing your clients through the funnel to close so you can, once again, take home the big bucks.
When I started in sales 25 years ago, my efforts were pretty pathetic. I had a lot of motivation, but I didn’t have a lot of skill. I didn’t have much experience with regards to selling. As I look back, I realize I didn’t even know what I didn’t know. When I would get on the phone to make cold calls – which you know is always the least favorite thing for a sales person to do – I would set maybe two appointments for every ten calls that I made. I was frustrated with my inability to move clients through the funnel to commit and close. I didn’t know how to do it. I made mistakes. I would go out on sales calls and come back and say, “Well, I learned something today. I learned how not to do it!”
Making so many mistakes was always embarrassing for me, and once again, set me back and made me feel frustrated. I just didn’t understand why my hard work wasn’t paying off. What did I need to know? What wasn’t I doing? When I did close a sale, I was just getting mediocre results. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be average. I don’t even want to be better than average. I want to be great, and I want to be rewarded for the effort that I put into it. That’s where I was in the beginning, and for the first few years it was very difficult. I considered getting out of sales many times in the beginning.
After I had been selling for 20 years, everything had changed. I had stuck with it and had experience. When I would get on the phone to make a cold call with someone, 9 out of 10 people told me, “Yes, you can have the appointment.” Why? Because I finally knew what to say! I knew how to persuade them. I knew how to talk to them in a way that made them interested in what I had to say and to make it worth their while to take 60 minutes out of their day — their busy day — to listen. I made it valuable for them.
The other thing I learned to do was actively manage my prospects through the funnel and get them to say yes. To get them to actually buy is a big thing. Like I said, not everybody can do it. They can meet people. They can talk to people. They get a lot of people who say their interested, but when it comes to putting their money down, that’s a different story.
Towards the end of my career in Corporate America, I was the number one senior sales rep for the entire Fortune 500 Company. To know my efforts have paid off after so many years of trying to figure the whole system out was very gratifying.
A few years later as I was having my annual review in January my manager said, “Well, you know, you’re doing good in some areas, but you’re not doing enough in your job. You know, you’re not closing enough.”
I said, “Whoa, whoa. Wait a minute. I’ve seen the numbers. I know that I did two to one in new business over everybody else in the region. So, for you to tell me that I’m not pulling in the revenue, that’s not true.”
That’s the way Corporate America sometimes manages their people. They never want to tell you that you’ve done well enough, because then you’ll sit back on your laurels. I was able to break away from Corporate America and take those sales skills that I had learned to strike out on my own. I learned something really important when I did so. I learned that my success and my ability had nothing to do with the company, but it had everything to do with me.
I was able to take what I had learned and move forward into other selling careers where I performed just as well outside a corporate structure as I did within one. To be successful out on my own was very gratifying, but it was a double bonus to have a flexible schedule which was something I had dreamed of for many years.
During my years in sales, I developed a system that helped me reach the top of my field. I’ve been actively teaching these principles for several years and wanted to share some results with you. Cameron is a small business owner in his late 20’s. He hadn’t had a lot of experience with sales and didn’t really know what he didn’t know. He came to one of my classes last year. When I met up with him about a month after the class totally unprompted he said, “Lark, I want to tell you something. I think about you every day!” This sounded a little awkward, but then he clarified by saying, “I think about what you taught me every day. It’s made a difference in my life. Every day I get up and I think, Okay. This is what I need to do today. This is how I need to manage my clients. This is what I need to do.”
This conversation happened was several months ago. As a matter of fact, I just happened to talk to him today. He called me again and said, “Lark, this is so amazing. I’m buying my second truck today. I have expanded into an additional city, and I am hiring hew people. I have two new techs that are helping me out in my business, so I am growing.”
He’s probably doubled his business by now. It was nine months since he took that course, and he is doing phenomenal things. He knows how to move his business forward and to close sales. Think about that. What would it mean for you if you were able to double your sales? I’m sure that next year he’ll probably be doubling again, if not sooner.
Another person who gives a testimonial about my program is Leta Green. She is a fantastic builder and trainer with a huge down line and is quite high up in her direct selling organization. Her testimonial for my course is insightful, and I appreciate her endorsement of my program. Leta said her team learned quite a few things from my course. As they started to implement what I taught them, they were able to see an increase in their sales because they understood the activities that were the most important. They understood how to talk to people, how to move people through the funnel, and how to get them to commit to actually buying something. It was very gratifying for them to see the rewards from all their efforts.
Their success was very beneficial to Leta as well. She feels that my course could help anybody in sales. That’s the beauty of my system. It can help people in sales from B2B all the way to direct sales. If you’re a small business owner, where you have to go out and actually meet with people, it’s important to be skilled in sales. You need to understand not only the operational side of things but also the sales side to move your business forward.
What does the program look like?
First of all, we address the mindset, because that is huge in sales. With sales, you are your own worst enemy because you so easily sabotage all your hard work. That is something that we absolutely have to avoid. We do not want to sabotage what we’re doing. What we want to do is create the mindset that’s going to help us move forward and change our thinking about how we relate with other people.
The other thing is learning how to actively manage the funnel. I was able to do this very, very well. I understood how to best use the target board, how to break it down, how to address each level as the people moved through, and how to get the people through the funnel to actually close and buy. That’s huge.
The third module is about scripting. What do you say? How do you say it? Because you know that in the beginning you’re tripping over your words. You sound awful. You don’t know what you’re doing. You don’t know what you’re saying. Scripting helps us to plan out what to say and be able to deal with objections. You need to plan for objections, so we talk about it. People are going to say no, and it’s okay. It’s actually good that people have objections.
The fourth module is all about closing. You want to get the person to commit to saying yes. How do you do that? How can you close with confidence? How can you feel that you’re not just out there, like a used-car salesman who’s just in it for themselves? Do you feel good and confident when you close?
Finally, the fifth module is about time management, because in sales that is huge. I had three young kids when I was working hard. They’re now two teenagers and one 21-year-old. They’re older, but I find that teenagers actually need you a lot more than when they’re younger. Now that I have a flexible schedule, I’m able to spend more time with them. That alone is worth more money than anything to me. Being able to support our family and yet still have time with them is very important.
So how do you manage your family, the home, your career? How do you do all that and still be able to maintain a balance? I talk about that very specifically in each time period of my life when I was first working in Corporate America with young children, as a 1099 contractor with younger teens, and finally now as I’m running my own business with older teens. I outline what did my schedule looked like in each phase and how I was able to manage my career and still have time with my family. This is an important module with which busy parents can relate.
Finally, there are three bonuses. The first is about your image and the things you need to focus on as one going out in public to sell. The second bonus explains how The Blame Game can cheat us of our ability to control our outcome. The third bonus, which is my favorite, talks about managing our emotions and the specific steps I took which allowed me to double my income four times in one year. Think about doubling your income from whatever it is right now – then imagine doing that another three times in one year.
Interested in finding out how I did it?
When I was new to sales, I thought I could have issues at home with my husband or children then go out into the business world without carrying any of those negative emotions with me. I didn’t see how problems at home would affect my sales. Well, I found out that I was very, very wrong. I needed to learn how to actively manage myself before I could manage my clients. I had to remove the negative feelings I had in my personal life so that I could go out and actively work with clients. As I did so, the clients could feel a difference in me, and it made a big difference in my bottom line.
If you’re interested in learning more about my sales system, I encourage you to take action. If you’re just starting out, my program teaches you those activities that will pay off the most for you. If you’ve been in sales for a while, my course can help reinforce what you’ve learned and probably teach you a few additional things that can help move your career forward. If you’re in sales and actively managing prospects through the funnel, this course will benefit you!
I pay mentors all the time to help cut my learning curve. It’s just not worth it to struggle for years without seeing positive results when I can get there so much faster with help. Cutting your learning curve is what I’m offering. Before I go out and buy into a mentor’s program, I want to know what their results are. I don’t want to work with someone who hasn’t achieved more than I have or hasn’t been where I want to go. That’s where I’m coming from. I have actually done this. I have actually been a multiple six-figure income earner with 85% coming directly from commissions.
I’ve been able to work with individuals and sales teams to improve their selling ability and earn more money. I invite you to be part of the group who has taken advantage of my 25 years in sales to cut their learning curve and come out at the top of their industry!
To your success,
P.S. For all the Secrets in my Sales Success Systems Course, go here.