You must sell to people who are like you best clients.
Right now, you are selling to the wrong people.
I know what you’re thinking.
You’re the best sales executive in your office. You’ve gone on some company trips and received recognition. Your closing ratio is above 50%. Everyone tells you how good you are.
But you’re working too hard.
You subscribe to the hype about sales. Hustle and activity is all you need to be successful.
Before you hustle, before you jack up your activity, you need to use your head.
Apply your effort to the right target, and in the right way, and you’ll improve your already-high closing ratio and you’ll connect with better clients.
Today, you’ll take a sales meeting with anyone. If they have any interest, you’ll sit with them.
You prospect from a list of people created by someone else or you prospect from a list of people who are currently using your competitor’s product or service.
Invest your hustle time in really getting to know your IDEAL client and you’ll find out you’ve been going about the prospecting process all wrong.
Schedule a meeting with your best client and ask them:
1). What groups (industry, social, philanthropic) do you belong to?
2). What industry (community) publications do you read?
3). Who in your industry (social circle) do you admire?
After you get the answers to these questions, act.
Go to the conventions your best clients attend. Read the publications they read. Learn everything you can about the people they admire.
After you do those things, put together your target list and match your solutions to their biggest issues or most important goals.
That’s where you invest your “hustle time.” That’s where you put all your effort.
You’re closing rate will go up and your average client value will double almost overnight.
Instead of chasing ANY client go after clients who are identical to your BEST client.
Adjust your target and you’ll close more deals and make more money.
In my new book The 60 Second Sale, I have an entire list of questions you can ask to get inside the mind of your best client. Use these questions and you’re closing ratio will explode. You will have a better understanding of your client’s needs and you’ll increase the lifetime value of those client relationships.
You sell more when you offer your buyer options.
Offering a “yes’ or “no” is forcing the buyer into a corner.
Nobody responds well to that.
Find a way to give your buyer choices and you raise the probability of closing the deal.
This video provides you with more detail.
Here is the transcript of this video:
Want to close more deals?
Offer people options.
When you offer someone only a yes or no option, you got a 50% chance of getting a no. That’s something I can’t live with. When people come to me for a deal, I always offer them choices of three options. Let’s phrase it like a good, a better, and a best. No matter what you have to sell, people will be more inclined to work with you if you give them three choices and they can choose what they want to say yes to. People love to buy but they hate to feel pressured. They hate to feel stuck in a corner. That’s what a yes or no deal gives them. It gives them all kinds of pressure and they think, if I do this I may get stuck. But when they have choices, when you give them options, they feel like they’re in control, because they really are. They have the opportunity to select from three things instead of just a binary choice of yes or no.
How do you do this?
Typically what you’ll do is you’ll have one option that exactly meets their needs. That’s the good option. Then you’ll have a second option which meets their needs and exceeds their expectations. Maybe it gives them just a little bit more comfort, gives them just a little bit more pleasure, gives them just a little bit more status. Then you’ll have the third option. That third option is the absolute best you have to offer. It is the highest status they can achieve in working with you. It is the option that is going to set them apart from everyone else.
Think of it like a line of cars. You have the basic transportation. Then you have the luxury transportation. Then you have the ultra luxury, which only the top 1 or 2% drive. That type of selection will generate enormous revenue for you when people select the top tier. About 10% of the time people will select the top tier, but people will be hesitant to select the tier that just meets their needs, option number one, the tier that just meets their needs. The reason they’ll be hesitant to do that is because of fear of missing out.
You can put it to work for you right now.
You want to close more deals?
Conventional wisdom in sales is that everyone is a potential customer. You hustle as much as you can, get in front of as many people as possible, and always be closing (ABC). Following this thinking, your clients decide if they want to work with you and then you feel an obligation to accept them.
Basically, anyone who can draw breath and pay your fee, is your client.
That is a horrible way to run a business.
Don’t get me wrong, I hate to turn away a client, and I really hate turning down money, but as a business owner who knows how to sell, I have limitless opportunity. Here’s why:
I know who my ideal client is.
I know what they read.
I know what groups they belong to.
I know what issues keep them awake at night.
Since I know the answers to these questions I go out and speak to rooms full of people who are ready, willing and able to work with me. I write articles that are published on websites my ideal prospects visit. And I address the issues of greatest concern to my ideal prospects.
Then, when these ideal prospects seek me out, I choose my client.
Here is a transcript for this video:
You chose your clients. That’s right, you get to pick the people with whom you work. Most sales folks, most business leaders, and every professional I know thinks of themselves, I got to go out and I got to find as many people as I possibly can and ask them to work with me because most people are going to say no. This isn’t true. You get to pick exactly who you want to work with, and I’m going to demonstrate how you do that.
The first thing you do is you look at your ideal client, you interview them, and you ask them what groups or associations they belong to. Then you ask them what they read. Do they read trade magazines, or do they read websites, or do they get newsletters? Then the third thing you ask them is what is their biggest concern? When you ask them what their biggest concern is, think about it in layers. What are they concerned about related to the economy? What are they concerned about related to their industry? What are they concerned about related to their company, and what are they concerned about personally? Look for things in there that all people who are like your best client have in common, and then you’ll get some clues as to who they are, where they go, what they read, and what they’re concerned about.
Your goal is to get into a room with people who are just like your ideal client. Imagine being a room where 90% of the people were like your ideal client. Then you demonstrate your value to them. You do this by speaking, or by writing an article that addresses an issue that they’re all worried about, or you do this by solving a problem for one of them and helping that person communicate your value to everyone else. At that point, people come to you instead of you going to them, and then you get to pick your client.
That’s how a sales system truly works. A sales system helps you identify your ideal client and drive those people to you. Then once they come to you, you select who you want to work with. You pick your client.
You see it all the time. The host of a TV show asks a “sales expert” to sell him a pen in 60 seconds of less.
Selling is not a parlor trick.
The first 60 seconds of any relationship are critical but not because you can put the ideal pen in the hands of a prospective client. That time is critical because that’s when you sell your most valuable product – yourself.
So how should you spend the first 60 seconds of any interaction?
Asking questions and finding out how you can help the person standing in front of you.
That’s when people learn if you are selfish or if you have an external orientation.
Think about the relationships in your life. Think back to how they started. Imagine walking up to someone at a cocktail party and saying:
“Hi. My name is Dave. I’m currently looking for a best friend. I like baseball, camping and working on cars. Would you like to go on a hike with me tomorrow? If the weather is nice we can go camping. Want to share a tent?”
You wouldn’t do that. If you did, people would run away from you as fast as they could. Now, if you approached, introduced yourself, paid a compliment, and asked a question, that would get things off to a good start.
Here’s an example:
Last month I was traveling for a week and I had to check a big bag. As I approached the First Class check-in counter I noticed the guest service agent had unique eye glass frames. They allowed her to express her originality even though she was wearing the mandated drab uniform.
“Hi. My name is Dave Lorenzo and I’m flying to New York, JFK.” I said as I handed her my identification. “I love your eye glasses. Those frames are fantastic.”
“Thank you.” She said.
“Do you have others you wear regularly or are those your favorite?” I replied.
She went on to tell me the story of how she picked out her eyeglass frames and why these were her favorite.
I told her the story of how I picked out my favorite frames. We laughed about how hard it was to get frames that made us feel good about wearing eye glasses.
We continued to chat for a few minutes as she checked my bag and then I said: “Can I ask you for a favor?”
“I have to send a couple of emails and I’d like to relax before my flight. Can you sell me a day pass to the Admirals Club?”
“I can’t sell you one, but…take this up to the desk and they will help you.”
She wrote a note to the agent at the desk and whatever she put in that note gave me access to the club immediately – at no charge.
Total time of the interaction – 3 minutes. Did I sell something in the first 60 seconds? You bet I did. I sold myself.
I started a relationship and I put the other person first before I asked for anything.
How Does This Apply To You?
So, you sell fractional jet ownership, or you sell medical devices, or you sell commercial property and you’re wondering how you can use this to your advantage.
The next time you start a conversation, ask the other person an appropriate question and be genuinely interested in the answer. That’s how you demonstrate an external orientation and that is the first step toward a productive relationship.
Each time I give a speech on sales someone asks the question:
“How do I close more deals?”
There is not ONE THING you can do to increase your closing percentage. But there is a PROCESS you can follow that will make it easier for people to work with you.
Here is your step-by-step guide to closing more sales deals:
Step One: Be confident
Lose that stink of fear. You cannot want a deal so badly everyone can smell it on you. Believe in yourself. Believe you can solve your client’s problem or fill a need. Believe that the guy in front of you is important but he is one in a long line of people who will sit in front of you this month. If he walks out, you’ll find someone else.
Step Two: Listen
Stop talking. When you talk, you miss out on how you will close the deal. The client will tell you what he wants. When he does, give it to him. But none of that can happen unless you shut up.
Step Three: Remember Why You Are There
When you sell, you’re part psychologist. You must be a kind, nurturing soul whose goal is to help solve a problem or fill a need BUT you’ve gotta eat. You receive compensation for helping people. This isn’t a charity. The guy across from you expects to pay so don’t forget to take his money. Always ask for the business and never hesitate to talk about money.
Step Four: Remind Your Client Of The Value
After the client signs on the dotted line, remind him he is solving a problem. Use his own words to help him understand the value he is receiving. Show him the great deal he got. Make him feel like he won the game. If you don’t do this, he will back out or at minimum, feel bad. People who feel bad don’t refer business to you.
Step Five: Ask For A Referral
At the end of this process, you owe yourself one more thing: A referral. If you’ve done everything correctly, your client should be feeling great about the deal he got and he should feel great about you. Ask him to give you the names of three people you can help. Ask if he will bring those people to your office. Tell him he is the kind of guy who likes to help his friends and that’s what he’s doing by introducing them to you.
I know you were expecting a “say this, do that” kind of process. That’s not how selling works. You can say and do any number of things to close more deals if you have the correct mindset.
Sales is a game played between your ears. It’s a game against yourself. You win each time you reach out to someone else and offer to help.
You’re a winner, now go out and help somebody.
Dave Lorenzo is the leading expert on selling for professionals. He helps business leaders make a great living and live a great life®. Call him today: (786) 438-1986
How to Sell In a Regulated Environment
Do you sell a product or service under strict scrutiny by the government?
Are you looking to make progress in the healthcare, medical or dental industry?
Isn’t it frustrating working with a long sales cycle?
Selling in a regulated environment is a challenge but it doesn’t have to be.
On this episode of the 60 Second Sales Show we speak with Leila Chang the CEO of Florida Dental Benefits. Leila helps us cut through the red tape and close the deal in a highly regulated industry.
Dave Lorenzo: Hi there, Workplace Warriors. I’m Dave Lorenzo. You’ve only got 60 seconds to make a first impression and I’ve got half that time to convince you to come with me to the place to be. It’s the place you know that will make your wallet grow. It is the 60 Second Sale Show. Welcome, everyone, to the 60 Second Sale Show. I’m your host, Dave Lorenzo, and today we’ve got something really special for you. Today, we have an inside look at how to sell in a regulated industry. I know many of you out there are concerned because we’ve been helping you develop relationships. We’ve been helping you build and grow your book of business, and you’re focused on developing relationships, but you tell me, I hear all the time, I get emails, I get phone calls, I get text messages, I get shout-outs on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, “Dave, look. This is all great and I have great relationships with my buyers but I’m in a regulated industry. I have no choice. I have to answer an RFP. What do I do?”
I heard you and we’re answering that today. I have the best expert on the planet or at least the best expert I could find to answer this for you, my good friend Leila Chang. She’s the CEO of Florida Dental Benefits. She’s out there right now, her staff … She’s out there pounding the pavement. Her staff, her sales team, they’re out there pounding the pavement every day looking to help the toothless population of Florida and she’s going to teach us how to sell in a regulated industry. At least, she’s going to give us some insight. She’s going to give us a window into how you can break through if you have to follow an RFP process or if you’re in a competitive industry or if you’re in an industry that is ridiculously overregulated, this is the show for you. Now, I don’t want you to tune out if you’re not in a regulated industry because we’ve got all sorts of great stuff for you today. We’re going to talk about the experience you provide to your clients. We’re going to talk about that right now, but before I get into that, I’d be remiss if I didn’t welcome in my partner in crime, the person who makes all this happen, the wonderful, the talented producer of this show, Nancy Pop. Hello Nancy, how are you today?
Nancy Pop: Hello, Dave. I am just not getting out of bed from Thanksgiving. How about you?
Dave Lorenzo: You know, it’s funny. I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who are … They’re gonna listen to this show probably seven days from now or even into the future, and they’re gonna be like, “Thanksgiving? What are you talking about? It’s sunny, I’m at the beach, I’m listening to this podcast,” and that’s fine, but as we’re recording this show today, it’s one week from Thanksgiving, seven full days. It’ll be seven full days tomorrow. I didn’t really have the tryptophan coma this year. I did fry the turkey. If you listen to last week’s show, we had my friend, Enrique Fernandez on the show last week and in addition to being an expert on developing systems, he also gave us some thoughts on how to fry a turkey. His insight was really, really good. I used a couple of his tips when I fried my own turkey on Thanksgiving. I think it came out pretty well. I’m gonna do another one next week. We have another group of people.
As many of you know, those of you who have been listeners for a while, we here in the Lorenzo house have a bed and breakfast that opens a couple of days before Thanksgiving and it closes a couple weeks after Thanksgiving. We have people just rolling in and rolling out, my wife’s family mostly. Last week, it was my family. So we cook extravagant meals from week to week. Next week, I’m gonna do another turkey and I’m gonna use what I learned in my Thanksgiving turkey fry and I’m gonna make the turkey even better. Those of you who missed it, you didn’t catch the turkey that I fried, you can go to Instagram, @thedavelorenzo on Instagram, and check out me pulling the beautiful, they say it was a 25-pound turkey. I think it cooked a little faster than that. I think it was probably more like 20 pounds. Maybe it was 25 pounds with all the guts inside before we took ’em out, but it’s a beautiful 20-pound bird. You can go look at it on Instagram. You can marvel at my capability as a fry cook. It worked out very, very well. My house didn’t burn down and everybody had a good time. So that was great.
Let’s talk about the experience that you provide now. As an entrepreneur, as a business leader, as a sales professional, there’s three things we provide our customers. We can provide our customers with a product, we can provide our customers with a service, we can provide our customers with an experience. Some of us provide all three, some of us just provide a service and the experience, some of us just provide a product and an experience but what we always forget about is the experience. My friends, this is where your competitive advantage really lies. You as a sales professional can create a competitive advantage with the experience you provide. Let me give you an example. Nancy traveled to Erie, Pennsylvania for her Thanksgiving and I’m sure that was a fantastic trip. How was your trip to Erie, Nancy?
Nancy Pop: One speeding ticket later, I’m safe and sound back in New York, and that’s all I have to say about that.
Dave Lorenzo: Oh, speeding ticket. New York state speeding ticket or a Pennsylvania-
Nancy Pop: Pennsylvania.
Dave Lorenzo: Oh, Pennsylvania. Wow.
Nancy Pop: Now I have to go all the way back to go to court if I do that.
Dave Lorenzo: Well, you could just plead guilty. How fast were you going?
Nancy Pop: I was just going 80 on a 70 mile per hour highway. It wasn’t even hailing yet.
Dave Lorenzo: Here’s the thing. How much is the fine?
Nancy Pop: $150, not that bad.
Dave Lorenzo: Don’t go. Don’t go.
Nancy Pop: Yeah.
Dave Lorenzo: Save up, pay the $150. Where was the ticket? What was the township of the ticket?
Nancy Pop: I was somewhere in central Pennsylvania, like in the boondocks somewhere.
Dave Lorenzo: Okay. Yeah, it’s not worth it.
Nancy Pop: Yeah.
Dave Lorenzo: Save up your money and just send in the $150 and be done with it. It’s not worth a trip. You’ll plead it down and what are you gonna pay, $75 plus court costs? You’re gonna save yourself $50, and then to drive to central Pennsylvania-
Nancy Pop: Even then, it’s gonna cost me.
Dave Lorenzo: I love Pennsylvania, but the drive through Pennsylvania in the winter time, to me, it’s not worth $150.
Nancy Pop: Exactly.
Dave Lorenzo: So I had an experience over Thanksgiving. My family was here, we were having a great time. My son’s birthday is a couple days before Thanksgiving. It’s between Thanksgiving and my son’s birthday and we’re all sitting around the table reminiscing, and my father gets a phone call. Unfortunately, my uncle passed away. So we ended up having to fly out, my mother, my father, and I. My parents were gonna stay an extra week. We ended up having to fly out back to New York. They had to flight out back to New York, I had to fly out with them for the services, and to pay our respects, and to comfort some family members, and for me, it was gonna be a quick trip because we had a ton of people here in the house and I didn’t want to leave my wife alone to have to deal with all of them. I flew up with them on Friday and I flew back on Saturday. The services were Friday night and Saturday morning and I was able to get all that in in 24 hours.
We fly up and back on American Airlines, and if you live in Miami, you know that American Airlines has an absolute stranglehold on the gates here at Miami International Airport. Thanksgiving weekend, the only flight we could get out of Miami into JFK, go up without incident, we’re coming back, and I go to the airport. It’s immediately after the funeral. I come right from the cemetery. I’m in a suit, I need to change, and I’m tired. I’m just kind of out of it. I said, “I’m gonna go to the Admiral’s Club. I’ll get a day pass.” That’s the American Airlines lounge. I’ll get a day pass and I’ll have to pay whatever I have to pay. At least I can change in a clean facility, and I can get a drink, and there’s wifi there. It’s free, it’s included, it’s fine.
I go and I approach the podium, and the woman says, “Hi, how are you?” I say, “I’m great.” She says, “Really? You’re great?” This is Concourse B, JFK. I say, “Yeah, I’m absolutely great. I’m going home and I’m thrilled to be going home.” So she says, “Hm,” and she types in the computer. She’s like, “First class to Miami?” I was flying first class. She said, “That doesn’t get you the lounge.” I said, “I know. I want to buy a day pass. I’m happy to do it.” I took out my credit card. She said, “Nope, no day passes. Lounge is under construction.” I just looked at her. I said, “Okay.” I kind of sighed and I put my wallet back in my pocket, and as I turn to walk away she looked at me and she smirked and she said, “I guess you’re not great now.” I was shocked. I was absolutely shocked that someone would say that to me. As a premium passenger, I paid first class prices for the ticket and the experience provided to me by American Airlines, and this incident in this instance was just absolutely awful. This is why I avoid flying American Airlines whenever I can.
The lesson here, the thing that I want to impart on you, the reason that I tell you this story today is because I want you to understand that when you are out there, everything you do from your first point of contact with your client, or your prospective client, or your referral source, everything you do, everything you do affects the experience the person with whom you’re interacting has with you, everything you do. Along the way, if you’re cold calling, you’re breaking down that door, you’re kicking in that door, if you call 15 times and you hang up and the caller ID has your name on it or the caller ID has your phone number on it, that person’s gonna know you’re calling 15 times and hanging up. If you’re sending 30 emails, that person’s gonna know you’ve sent 30 emails. Maybe that’s what you’re going for? Maybe you’re going for persistence, that’s fine, but if you’re pushing your way in, that’s the first impression. That’s the way you’re starting your experience with your customer.
The way we do things around here, our system, The 60 Second Sale system is about love at first sight for business. It’s about how we develop relationships with our prospective clients. When you go out and you look to initiate that interaction, are you doing so by extending value to that potential client or are you doing so with your own best interests in mind and pushing your way in? Think about the experience you’re creating. Think about the competitive advantage you want for yourself as a sales professional, as an entrepreneur, as a business leader. The experience you provide is everything. That’s your competitive advantage. When you’re selling, if you lead with value, if you lead thinking about the best interest of the other person, you’re creating a tremendous competitive advantage that other people will not be able to replicate because the experience you provide is unique to you. I’m gonna say that again. The experience you provide to someone else, the experience you provide to your client, is unique. No one else can replicate that because you’re you.
It’s a snowflake. Remember that? Everybody used to say when you were in grammar school, “Everybody’s like a snowflake. No two people are alike.” Your grammar school teacher used to say that to you. Fine, great. Let’s use that then. The experience you provide is like a snowflake. It’s like a beautiful gentle snowflake falling on your eyelashes. Perfect for the winter time, right? You are providing something unique, something different, and that’s your goal. Think about that on your approach when you sell and now, let’s think about the unique nature, the snowflake-like nature of selling in a regulated industry. How is that for a clumsy segue? Nancy, do me a favor. Read the marvelously impressive bio of our guest today and then we can get into a really interesting conversation with one of my favorite people.
Nancy Pop: So today, we have the marvelous Leila Chang. She is the CEO of Florida Dental Benefits, a dental benefits company headquartered in Miami Beach, Florida. Leila started her career in healthcare in 1988 working for a south Florida HMO. Leila has worked in all aspects for the dental benefits industry. Previously, Leila was a founder, investor, and CEO of Atlantic Dental Benefits, a manage dental care company in Florida. During her tenure, Atlantic Dental has returned a significant profit to investors and has grown the organization to more than 700,000 members and 2,000 dentists throughout Florida. Wow. Miss Chang is a graduate of Florida International University in Miami with a bachelor of science in computer science.
Dave Lorenzo: Leila Chang, welcome to the show.
Leila Chang: Hi, Dave.
Dave Lorenzo: Hey, look at that. You like that bell? That’s a new addition here.
Leila Chang: That’s awesome.
Dave Lorenzo: I don’t know how that ended up on my desk, but I figured I would ring it just for you. What’s happening, Leila? How are you today?
Leila Chang: I’m great. I’m great. I can’t wait to get into this.
Dave Lorenzo: So 700,000 members, 2,000 dentists. Let me ask you a question, Leila, and this is probably the most pressing question I’m gonna ask you, okay? Four out of five dentists surveyed recommend Trident to their patients who chew gum. What does the fifth dentist recommend? I think you need to go out to your 2,000 dentists and I need an answer to that question. Will you do that for me?
Leila Chang: He recommends not chewing gum. That’s what he recommends.
Dave Lorenzo: I don’t know what’s wrong with him. Anyway, a bunch of doctors used to smoke back in the 70s too. I don’t think they’re recommending that anymore either. Leila, here’s what I’d like you to do for us, if you don’t mind please. You have one of the greatest family stories that I’ve heard. Will you give us the two minute overview of your background and what brought you here to Miami?
Leila Chang: Sure. My dad was Chinese. He was born in Canton, and my mother is Cuban. My dad made his way to Cuba via the Philippines. He met my mother, and got married, and had me. When my mother was pregnant, my dad actually was able to exile himself in Guantanamo Bay to come to the United States so that he could claim us. Then we came here in 1966.
Dave Lorenzo: Wow. All right. Great story, and we are just a few days past a historic event. Those of you who are time shifting and listening to this at a later date, there’s no way you can possibly understand the impact on the Cuban community here in Miami as to what happened. Fidel Castro passed away just days ago. Leila, give us a sense for what that event means to the Cuban community and what it means to you personally.
Leila Chang: I can’t speak for the Cuban community. I can tell you what it means personally. My dad came over first, then my mom, my grandparents, and I came over shortly after. Actually, that’s not correct. I didn’t meet my dad until I was two years old, but we all lived in a little apartment, probably about 500 square feet, all five of us, and my parents, who had worked at businesses in Cuba had to come here. My mother had to work in a factory making wigs, and my dad had to work as a restaurant worker. My grandparents, who were well into their 60s, had to start working as well. My grandmother was a maid for Holiday Inn and my grandfather worked at the back of a cabaret type of show. He worked the coffee in the back. My family had to really start from scratch with nothing but what they could carry with them on the freedom flight. It was quite a struggle, but they made it happen. When people start talking about Castro and about the benefits that he brought to Cuba, it’s just difficult when you have firsthand knowledge and firsthand experience of the sacrifices that people had to make to leave the country.
Dave Lorenzo: I understand. Your family story is one that … It’s so important for those of us who have been blessed to be born here in the United States, those of us who really have this as our birthright, we take it for granted. These stories, anytime you have the opportunity to hear these stories or any time you have the opportunity to hear someone tell a story like this, you need to avail yourself of that opportunity because it is what makes up the fabric of our country. Stories like your family’s story remind us of how great this country is and the opportunity and what people will do in order to have this kind of opportunity, an opportunity that we, I, being born here, my kids born here, take for granted every day. We need to hear these stories as often as possible, so thank you. I appreciate you telling us this story. So how did you get to be CEO of Florida Dental Benefits? How did that happen?
Leila Chang: As I mentioned, I started in healthcare by mistake, actually. As Nancy mentioned, I have a computer science degree, but once I got out of college and started working in computer science, I found that I really hated it. A friend of mine was working for a local south Florida HMO selling Medicare door-to-door. She said, “This is a great opportunity. Why don’t you come work with us?” That was my first entry into healthcare, which was going door-to-door and selling Medicare products to the 65 and over community. I liked it, I liked the interaction, I liked being in healthcare, and then an opportunity came up in dental. It was a better opportunity. I didn’t have to go door-to-door, I was working in customer service, and just started, like I said, by mistake, just kind of fell into it and loved the industry. I like dental because it deals with healthcare but it doesn’t deal with all the catastrophic things that happen in medical. Like I mentioned, just kind of by mistake, and here I am.
Dave Lorenzo: All right. Well, we’re glad you’re here. Tell us about sales in healthcare, sales in the dental industry. What’s the process like and how difficult is it to sell? You have an enormous amount of regulations. Give us a quick overview of how tough it is to sell.
Leila Chang: You and I have talked about it. The sales cycle in healthcare is incredibly long. Everyone has what we call an open enrollment date. If you don’t speak to the person before the open enrollment date, you have to wait a year. Most companies renew their benefits in January or in October. If you don’t speak to them three to four months before that date, then you won’t have an opportunity in the following year. You might start a conversation with them that they might not be up for renewal that year. They might have a two or three year contract and so you’re speaking to them for two or three years before you even have an opportunity to quote on their business. It’s really about developing that relationship.
Secondly, this kind of business is pretty much controlled by the agent community. An agent will represent several lines of insurance or they might work with three or four different carriers, and they’re the ones who are presenting the information to the employers to make the decision. About 90% of the business is controlled by agents. The other-
Dave Lorenzo: So-
Leila Chang: Go ahead.
Dave Lorenzo: No, please. Continue.
Leila Chang: The other 10%, as you mentioned before, is controlled through the RFP process, the request for proposal process. That’s mostly larger employers, municipalities, and they normally go out to bid, I would say, every three to five years.
Dave Lorenzo: All right. So talk about the relationships. Who do you have to develop relationships with and how do you have your sales team develop relationships?
Leila Chang: There’s three ways that we develop relationships. The first way is we develop relationships with the agent community. An agent will control multiple employers. It’s a great way if you get a good relationship with an agent, he’ll quote you on multiple accounts. With dealing with one person, you can have access to a multitude of employers. That’s the best way. Secondly, is you can develop a relationship with the business and then they might have an agent that they work with, and then they can introduce you to the agent, and you can get in that way. The third way is the RFP process, which is normally done through a purchasing department, but again, if you wait to speak to someone, if you wait to present right before the RFP process, it doesn’t work. You have to develop the relationships way before the RFP is ever written or the RFP is ever sent out.
Dave Lorenzo: So if you have a good relationship with the purchasing people and the RFP process comes around, you have the opportunity to really shape the RFP, right? You can help shape the requirements and help them with crafting the way the RFP is worded. Am I correct on that?
Leila Chang: Exactly. Sometimes they might not realize that the way that they’re writing the RFP limits the people that can respond to it. So it’s important to have them understand that if they write it a certain way, only the, let’s say, top three or top three largest carriers will be able to respond. So they’re leaving out the local carriers. It’s important to have that conversation with them ahead of time. Again, if you’re waiting ’til the RFP is written, you’re never gonna have an opportunity.
Dave Lorenzo: What’s the farthest out you’ve developed relationships? In other words, how long have you waited for relationships to pay off for you?
Leila Chang: The longest sales cycle, I would say, is three years.
Dave Lorenzo: So you developed a relationship, and then you wait, and you wait, and you wait, and three years later, all of a sudden, 100,000 people jump on board?
Leila Chang: Exactly. Ours, we had 40,000 members, but it took three years, and this was over a relationship that I’ve had previously. So I’ve known this person for, I would say, 10 to 15 years, but they were very happy with their current carrier. We just kept the conversation going. I’d check in with them every three to four months to see how they were doing, and when they were actually thinking about going out to bid, we spoke and responded to it. Then we had follow up meetings and we were able to get the business three years later.
Dave Lorenzo: You said there’s three groups, right? How do you initiate new relationships with, let’s start with companies? In fact, let’s just focus on companies. You use companies, agents, and RFP process. RFP process, if you’re listening and you’re interested in learning how to develop business through an RFP process, there’s a ton of information on the website. I think I’ve done a couple of videos. We even might have done a podcast on it. That’s out there. I want to know about companies. So tell us how, Leila, you initiate a relationship with a company knowing that it could take three years?
Leila Chang: For example, I was just calling someone today from an automotive part company that has probably 200 to 300 employees. It’s about getting in, finding out who their HR person is. It’s about making cold calls, finding out who the right person to speak with, and then I use LinkedIn a lot. I use LinkedIn to see if there are connections that I can get to get an introduction to that person. Then it’s just about speaking to them, sending emails, following up until I am able to get information on who they have currently, what’s their effective date, so that I can put them in my tickler file and reach out to them six months before their effective date.
Dave Lorenzo: Give me a LinkedIn success story if you can think of one. How have you used LinkedIn to research and connect through to somebody?
Leila Chang: One of the big home runs for us is when we are able to get an HMO. A medical HMO will offer dental and most of the times when they’re offering dental, it’s not them offering dental, they outsource it. So they would outsource it to someone like us, like Florida Dental Benefits. I actually was prospecting on LinkedIn and the contact person on there, which was the Director of Provider Relations, I saw there was a connection with someone specifically from BNI, a business networking group that I’m a part of. I was able to contact that person, say, “Do you know this person? Could you recommend that they speak with me?” It took about three months out of the sales cycle, or at least the contact cycle because it was a warm introduction.
Dave Lorenzo: You went on LinkedIn and you saw the person you wanted to target, and then you looked through and saw who was a mutual connection, connected to you, connected to them, and you noticed that this person, who was in a business networking group with you, was also connected to both people. So you went to that person, you said, “Hey, I can provide significant value. Can you make an introduction to me? Here’s what I’d like to do for them.” They introduced you and they gave you a shortcut to the sales cycle by three months.
Leila Chang: About three months, exactly. I think it’s important to say you have to really … With LinkedIn, you might be connected with someone and they don’t know you. It’s really important to take that step to find out if that person knows them versus calling them and saying, “Oh, we have a common connection.” That doesn’t work. It’s really about doing your homework and reaching out to that middle person to make sure that they have a good relationship with the person you’re trying to contact.
Dave Lorenzo: Yeah, I completely agree. I find that LinkedIn, basically, is a trail of breadcrumbs that leads you home.
Leila Chang: Correct.
Dave Lorenzo: It’s not a map, it’s not the actual path, it’s clues, it’s hints. What I do with LinkedIn is I use it to figure out who the exact person is. Sure, if I have a first degree connection, I call them up and I say, “Hey, do you know this guy?” What I’ve found is nine times out of 10, they don’t know ’em and it’s just somebody who spammed them and they clicked on Yes or who is somebody who they spammed and that person clicked Yes, I’ll accept your connection, but if gives you a frame of reference. It gives you a place to start. The beauty of LinkedIn, you can upgrade your membership, but it’s free. You can connect to all these people for free and see who people know. It’s a great resource tool. Speaking of which, what other resource tools do you and your team use to find out who the ideal person is in a company?
Leila Chang: It’s religious trial and error. For us, the people that make the decisions are usually the CEO, an HR director, or a purchasing director, depending on how large the company is. Really, those are the three people that we’re targeting. Most of the times when you call, you’re able to get that information and those people are open to speaking with you or providing you the information, and most of them will refer you to the agent that they’re working with.
Dave Lorenzo: Okay, great. We have just a couple of minutes left. I want to ask you if you can remember the biggest success story you’ve had in sales, the thing that you’re most proud of in sales and selling. Tell us that story, if you can think of it.
Leila Chang: Hm. I think every time you close a deal is a success story. As long as I’ve been in business, it always surprises me how successful you can be if you just keep at it. You talked about persistency and you’re right, there’s a fine line between persistency and being annoying. It always surprises me. If you’re persistent, and you are professional, and you’re providing something of value, eventually, you’re going to get an opportunity. I think you were the one that said to me something about you don’t end the sale? What was that? You know what I’m talking about?
Dave Lorenzo: Yeah, I know exactly what you’re talking about. The client doesn’t decide when the sales process ends. You decide when the sales process ends.
Leila Chang: That’s one of my favorite things. I read that all the time.
Dave Lorenzo: That’s the thing. The sales process is over when you decide it’s over. If the client isn’t interested today, you simply haven’t shown them enough value or the right value. What you need to do is you need to figure out what problems they’re having and how you can solve them. Until you figure that out, you need to just keep coming back and asking them. Here’s the thing. If you do that in a way that is non-threatening and that is focused on them and benefiting them, few people will ever say, “No thank you. I don’t want help. I’m not interested in you doing something great for me.”
An example that I give people all the time is I’ll regularly talk to people and I’ll say, “What’s the biggest issue you’re having right now? If you could wave a magic wand and solve one problem, what would that be?” For example, with me, if it’s a problem with financing, I don’t have anything to do with finance. I help people with business strategy, productivity improvement, I can help you with a merger, an acquisition. I can help you sell more stuff, but finance is not my thing. However, I know a lot of bankers and I know a lot of people who can do some creative financing with really, really good results.
Somebody says to me, “I’m having trouble. I have to purchase heavy equipment.” Builder, “I have to purchase heavy equipment to buy a block of homes, and if I can’t get this equipment, I’m gonna be up a creek because I’m not gonna be able to build this new development.” Well it turns out, not only do I know somebody at Wells Fargo who does that kind of financing, but I also know a couple of people who will do financing short term for you ’cause you want to get started tomorrow. I got a guy who can get you the money tomorrow as long as you have a path to getting longer term financing.
That has nothing to do with me. I don’t have anything to do with that other than making the connection, but what does that do? It furthers the relationship. So when that person says to me, “Gosh Dave, I can’t thank you enough. You saved my business. I’m now gonna be up 30%, 40% for the year. Thank you so much.” I look at the person and I say, “You’re welcome, it’s my pleasure. I know you’d do the same for me, right?” They say, “Of course.” When you’re ready to sell those homes that you’re building on that lot, I want you to give me a call. I’m gonna help your team sell them faster than you sold out your last development. That’s how you handle providing value and developing relationships based on value.
The sales cycles may be three years, but the investment you make today will pay off down the road. That, my friends, is the big takeaway that we get from my good friend, Leila Chang. Leila, I thank you so much for joining us on the 60 Second Sale Show today. All of our guests here on the 60 Second Sale … This is my game show portion of the show, by the way, now Leila. All of our guests here on the 60 Second Sale Show receive two fabulous parting gifts. They receive the book Obsessed by Grant Cardone and they receive Million Dollar Maverick by my mentor, Alan Weiss.
I am going nuts with the bell I found on my desk today. Leila, thank you so much. Thanks, as always, to the wonderful and talented Nancy Pop for being our producer. That’ll wrap up our show for this week. Remember, if it is … Well, I don’t know. This show may not be on Wednesdays anymore, but if you’re listening to this show, it’s the 60 Second Sale Show. I can’t even speak. If you’re listening to the show, it’s the 60 Second Sale Show and I am Dave Lorenzo. Until next time, here’s hoping you make a great living and live a great life.
Sell Me Something NOW! That’s what I was thinking last week.
It was 6PM on Thursday evening. Our family was in the kitchen having a casual conversation. The television was on in the background and suddenly my seven-year-old son screamed: “look at the TV!”
The picture had gone black.
The sound was still working but the picture was gone.
After fiddling with the remote control for a while I was convinced the television was broken.
“Dave, we are having company over to watch the game tomorrow night,” my wife said. “Please go out and get another TV now so we can install it this evening.”
Our current TV was a 48-inch LCD TV mounted to the wall in our family room.
Off I went.
My first stop was Kmart. Those stores are generally a disaster but for electronics, appliances and tools, you can often get a good deal.
The place was empty. Only a few customers were wandering around and the employees who were there were either engaged in the task of dropping pallets of product in the customer aisles or congregating in remote corners of the store whispering like they were plotting the overthrow of a regime.
Once in the electronics department I searched the shelves for a good deal.
There was on model that met my specifications. SMART TV, 50-inches in diameter, and a good brand name.
Next I set out to find someone to help me buy it.
I searched the electronics department and no employees were around. I checked the next department over – toys – nobody. The third area I searched was linen and, again, nobody to be found.
Finally, I went to the front of the store. I asked a cashier for help. She called someone on a walkie-talkie.
About 10 minutes later a man came up to me in the electronics section and said: “You need something?”
“I want to buy this TV,” I responded.
“We don’t have anymore.” he said and he started to turn away.
“Wait a minute. You didn’t even look in the back room. How do you know you don’t have any more?” I asked.
“None on the shelf below it. That’s where it would be.” Replied the gentleman.
Before I could ask another question, he was gone.
There I was. Ready to spend money. I basically had a sign on my head that said: “Sell me something now!” But the guy wasn’t interested.
Here’s why this matters for you:
People show up in your world all the time and you are too busy doing something else to take their money and provide them with something of value.
The guy at Kmart could have easily sold me one of the other TVs. I would have purchased anything reasonable. But he didn’t even offer me an alternative.
Remember, when a client comes to you he is looking for something of value. He may be asking for something specific but he will take an alternative as long as the value is clear.
Do not make assumptions or pass judgement on the client or his intentions.
Understand what he finds valuable.
And when he says, “Sell me something now,” by all means, sell him something.
That is the title of this week’s episode of the 60 Second Sales Show.
On this show, we discuss the four things you should ask for in a meeting. They are:
- Ask for business – sell something
- Ask for a referral
- Ask for a testimonial
- Ask to keep in touch
We go into detail about each of these and share some ideas on how you can ask for at least one of these things in each meeting.
Here is the transcript of this episode:
Hi there workplace warriors, I’m Dave Lorenzo. You’ve only got 60 seconds to make a first impression and I’ve got half that time to convince you to come with me to the place to be. It’s the place you know that will make your wallet grow. It is the 60 Second Sales Show. Hello everyone. Welcome to another edition of the 60 Second Sales Show. I’m your host Dave Lorenzo and on the other side of the glass we have Nancy Pop. I always get a chuckle out of that Nancy, when I say on the other side of the glass. It’s like you’re in the engineering booth here when actually you’re 1200 miles away from me. Welcome Nancy Pop, our producer. How are you today?
I’m doing great Dave, how are you?
I am fantastic. Today one of the things we’re going to do is we’re going to talk about … The title of this episode is The Ask. One of the things we’re going to talk about is what you should ask for in every interaction. Any time you’re sitting down with someone, you should be asking for at least one of 4 things. That’s what we’re going to talk about today. That’s your tease for today’s episode. Before we get into today’s episode Nancy, I want to tell you a little bit about what I did this week that I think was really exciting. I want to tell you and our listeners a little bit about how I spent the last couple of days and explore, really the value that I got out of it and demonstrate to our listeners how they can benefit.
The last couple of days, on Monday … We’re recording this on a Thursday, just so you know. For context, we release it on a Monday. It doesn’t really matter because you listen to it whenever you feel like listening to it but I want to give you some context so that you can have an idea of what I’m talking about. On Monday, I took 3 days off of my schedule which is a significant amount of money for me because either I’m making money selling something to someone or I’m making money delivering a service or I’m making money coaching an executive, so to take 3 days off of my schedule is a huge deal.
I took 3 days off of my schedule this week and on Monday morning, super early in the morning, I flew up to Rhode Island and I invested a couple of days spending time with a gentleman who is a mentor to me. He is the foremost authority on consulting. His name is Dr. Alan Weiss. For those of you who are not familiar with Alan Weiss, maybe you’re not in the consulting field, he’s written over 60 books, six zero, 60 books on consulting. He is my mentor. He’s a mentor to a lot of people in consulting. He helps people who do what I do, and he helps us focus our offerings, get our business in order. Really, he serves as a sounding board for people.
Exactly what I do for you, whether you’re an entrepreneur, a sales professional, or I work with a large number of people in professional services like lawyers, accountants, real estate brokers, that sort of thing. I do what Alan does for consultants, I do that for other people. In order for my life to be congruent, in order for everything to be in line, I have to do what I recommend my clients do. I took 2 days. I flew up to Rhode Island, spent 2 days with Alan and laid out my business plan, say for the next 5 years. I was originally thinking I was going to do it for the next year. We sat down, we said no, let’s do it for the next 5 years.
I laid out my business plan for the next 5 years with him and we went through everything from strategy to specific focus tactics to mindset and what I found is that every time I do this, 3 things happen. Every time I spend time with someone and bounce ideas off of someone, 3 things happen. The first thing that happens is my ideas come into sharper focus. There are days when I’ll run in the gym and I’ll get a great idea for a seminar, or I’ll get a great idea for developing a new product, or I’ll get a great idea that I want to share with one of my clients. I write that down and I come home. If it’s something to share with a client, I immediately call the client and share it with them, but if it’s a seminar or a product, sometimes I’ll write it down and I’ll put it on the back burner. Nancy, have you ever done that? You come up with an idea and you put it on the back burner?
Of course. Who hasn’t?
After a month or two, you wind up with a list of 10 or 15 ideas and no action is ever taken on them. When you do something like this, take a couple days off your schedule and meet with a mentor and really talk about your business at a high level, all of those ideas start to take shape. If you have 15, 2 or 3 of them are probably really, really good. That’s the first real value that comes from that. The second real value that comes from taking this time and thinking about your business in a different way, the second thing that comes from that is you create an action list for all the things you need to do to move your business to the next level. You’re out of your business, the phone’s not ringing, your clients are not pounding on your door, your employees aren’t pestering you every 5 minutes so you have this time to really put some action steps together.
You can align the action steps so that you can build momentum. You can select your quick wins, the things that you can do today, so that you can feel good about the momentum. Then you align the things you’re going to do over the next week, over the next month, over the next year so that you’re now a rock rolling down a hill. You have all these action steps. You know clearly. You have a clear path that you set and you know what you’re going to do. The third thing that comes from this time when you unplug and you spend time with someone who really knows your business, who’s intimately familiar with your business is they can help you really focus on your mindset.
They can help you identify when you’re feeling guilty about things you shouldn’t, when you are not focused and giving 100% to the things you say you want, and when you’re making judgments based on things that are not real. When you’re making judgment based on things that are not in actual evidence. These two days, which if I looked at what I invested in these two days taking them off my schedule and then the one day for travel up to Rhode Island and back from Miami so really it’s 3 days as a whole. If I look at this and I said to myself, “Wow, that’s a huge amount of time and money I’m investing in this,” I will make back probably tenfold, fifteenfold, 20 times the amount that I invested just based on what I’ve come away with. The happy by-product of that is that I’m all fired up. I’m excited, I’m in love with my business again. I was in love with it when I went up there but I’m all excited.
I’m fired up about the value I can deliver to you and the value I can deliver to my clients all the time. That’s what I worked on this week, and that’s what’s gotten me really excited. If you’re listening to me right now, the point for you in all of this is take time at least once a year, preferably more often that that. Twice a year, once a quarter, to strategically look at your business. If you have someone like I do, if you’re fortunate enough like I have Alan, if you’re fortunate enough to have someone who is a mentor to you, who can take that time with you and really focus on the business, who intimately knows your business and can focus with you, it’s that much more valuable because that person will keep you on track.
Incredibly valuable couple of days. I was excited to do it and I’m excited to come back now and get back into things with you here today. That’s what I’ve done the past couple of days. I am adjusting this mic so it doesn’t keep hitting me in the head. We don’t have that annoying noise. Let’s talk about the ask. Nancy, we have a question that I think is a really good one. Let’s kick off the episode today answering the question and then we can get into the ask. You have Amy’s question there. Why don’t you go ahead and give us Amy’s question?
Yes. We have a fantastic question from Amy Brennan in Tacoma, Washington. She says, “Dave, I’m embarrassed to ask for testimonials. What is the best way to get people to give you a testimonial?”
Thank you Amy for that question. Thanks Nancy for reading it. Here’s what Amy is talking about. I have a rule, and the rule is this. Whenever you go to a meeting, whether it’s a meeting with a client, meeting with a friend, a meeting with someone who’s a business associate, you have to ask for one of 4 things. Amy brings up the testimonial, and that’s one of the 4 things you have to ask for. You can ask for a testimonial but you can also ask for business, which is called selling. You can ask for business. You can ask for a referral or you could ask for permission to keep in touch. Again, there’s 4 things. You have to ask for one of the 4 things every time you meet with someone.
Every time you meet with a client, every time you meet with a prospect, every time you meet with a referral source, you have to ask for one of these 4 things. That’s my rule. Let’s go through how you can ask for each of these 4 things. Business. We spend a lot of time talking about how you can ask for business. Let’s address Amy’s question as it relates to the testimonial, first and foremost. You’re meeting with a client. You’re sitting down with them. You’re maybe having a lunch or a cup of coffee or whatever, and your meeting is about 3/4 of the way over. It’s almost done. You say to the client … Nancy I’m going to use you as a client, Nancy, let me just check in with you. How are things going? Are you happy with the work we’re doing together? Pretend you’re happy, Nancy.
I’m very happy, Dave. Very happy, indeed.
Thank you. That’s great to hear, Nancy. If I asked you for one thing, the one thing that you’re most proud of in our work together, what would that one thing be?
I’ve learned so much and I’ve really been able to put it into practice and my sales have doubled in the past 3 months.
Wow! Doubled, that’s fantastic. Nancy, I appreciate you saying that so much. It makes me feel good to hear you say that. Would you mind taking a moment and I can get out my phone and you just give me an example of one of the things that we’ve worked on together that has helped you. Just give me a brief testimonial, a 2-minute testimonial about one of the things we’ve worked on and how it’s helped you and how your sales have doubled over the past couple of months. Could I pull out my phone now? You look perfect. Your dress is beautiful, your makeup is great, your hair is absolutely ravishing. Would you mind if we just do a 2-minute testimonial now? That’s it!
I don’t see why not.
It’s that simple. Not everybody is going to want to be on camera. I could say to Nancy, “Nancy, I really appreciate you saying that. Would you do me a favor? Would you just jot that down in an email and send it to me? I’d love to have a testimonial and use that as a pull quote on my website, and it would be great if I had it in an email. In fact, what I’ll do now is I’m going to send you an email on my phone. You said that your sales have doubled in the last 3 months. It would be great if you gave me an example of one thing we worked on that helped you double those sales. Here. I just sent you an email to remind you. Just reply to that email with the exact quote and then I will send it to you once I clean it up and you can tell me whether you like it or not, and I can use that as a pull quote.” That’s what that’s called, a pull quote, from my website. Nancy would be happy to do that, right?
That’s how easy it is. Simply ask people, “How are things going?” Look, here’s the thing. If Nancy is a client of mine, I need to ask her how things are going all the time. Every time I see her I should ask her how things are going, right? She’s my client. I want to make sure she’s happy. Then once in a while, ask her if you can use that as a testimonial. To Amy’s point, if you’re embarrassed, here’s the best way to get a testimonial from someone who’s not a client. What you should do is you should say to someone who’s not a client who’s a referral source, “Listen. I used your service. Your service is fantastic.” You write a great testimonial for them. Put it on your letterhead and hand it to them.
Nancy’s my chiropractor. “Nancy, thank you so much. I really appreciate that adjustment you gave me last week. It made it possible for me to run a half marathon and I completed it in new personal best time.” I write that up on my letterhead. “You are my first choice. Any time I have a little ache or a pain, I will do business with you until I die.” Boom. Put it on my letterhead, sign it and I hand it to Nancy. Nancy says, “Gee. Thanks so much for that great testimonial.” You say, “Oh, you’re welcome. I know you’d do the same for me.” Write that down. That’s a money sentence right there. That script is money. When they say, “Thank you so much for the testimonial,” “It’s my pleasure, I know you’d do the same for me.” When I hand Nancy the testimonial she says thank you, she says, “Well, I really appreciate it.” You say, “My pleasure. I know you’d do the same for me.” Nancy, what’s your reaction?
Absolutely. You want me to do it right now? I’d be happy to do it for you, right? Then you decide whether you want the testimonial now or whether you want it later. When you want to ask for a testimonial, you do your check-in. “Hey, how are things going? How are you enjoying the service? How are you enjoying the product?” Then the response is, “It’s fantastic. I’m going to double my sales.” “Great, would you mind jotting that down?” Here’s how we’ll do it. You jot it down on an email, send it to them. They give you an exact quote. You ask them if you can clean the quote up a bit, get out the uhs and ums, and then you send it back to them. They say, “That’s a perfect quote,” you put it on your website.
That’s how you get a testimonial. Or you can whip out your phone and do a testimonial video right then and there. Amy, that answers your question. That’s how you ask for a testimonial but that’s only one of 4 things that we should do whenever we meet with someone. The second thing is ask for a referral. You heard me give you this methodology before, I’m sure. When we ask for a referral, we have to have somebody in a referral mindset. We have to talk to them about someone they’ve met in the last say, few years or someone they met who’s famous. Nancy, if I said to you, “Tell me about a time when you met a famous person,” would you be able to tell me a story?
I have a couple stories.
Tell me your story about meeting a famous person.
My first ever concert that I went to was when I was 13 years old. I went to a Hilary Duff concert. She touched my hand because she was on stage and I had front row tickets. I didn’t wash my hands for a week after that.
Let’s set aside the hygiene issue for a minute Nancy, because that’s really disgusting.
I was a big fan, Dave. I was a big fan.
That is so gross, I can’t even begin to tell you how disgusted I am that you used the bathroom dozens of times over the course of that week and you didn’t wash your hands. Let’s just set that aside. Forget about that for a minute. That is a great story. The fact that you told me that story now, what it has done is it’s opened the file in your mind where I got you to think of someone that you met in the past. If I said to you, “You know, Nancy, I would love to meet someone who is in the modeling industry. I’d love to meet someone who owns a super successful modeling agency. The reason I want to meet with them is because I have this new program, and the program is designed to help them attract the best models because I know the industry is so competitive. You wouldn’t happen to know anybody who’s in that industry who owns a modeling agency in New York City, would you?”
I do, as a matter of fact. I could certainly introduce you.
See, it’s so easy then, for me to get someone to access the part of their brain where they open the file and they know somebody. They can give me the exact person. You could do this with any … It has to be reasonable. I know Nancy is in modeling and she’s worked in that field forever so it was a no-brainer for me to ask. In fact, I could probably just walk up to her because I know her and say, “Hey, Nancy. How’s it going? Do you know somebody who owns a modeling agency?” She would probably be able to introduce me because she was immersed in that world, but most people when they are thinking about other things draw a blank when you ask them for referrals. They just draw a complete blank, “You know, I have to think about it. I’m not really sure.”
That’s what frustrates folks. That’s why they get embarrassed and they don’t ask for referrals. Getting the person to tell you the story first opens up that mental file. They access that file in their mind, and they can produce a story. The famous person, that gets them thinking about the time when they met the famous person. As you saw with Nancy, they get emotionally engaged. All those good feelings come back to them. They associate the good feeling with the introduction, so it associates good feelings with accessing that information. Then when you ask them, they can very easily give you the ideal person you want to meet. The right referral for you, on the spot.
Now, notice the way I asked Nancy for that referral. I did it in a specific way. I asked for the person specifically, their title, what the industry that they were in. Modeling CEO, the owner of a modeling agency. Their title, and I gave a reason why I wanted to meet them. Those 3 things. Their title, the industry they were in and the reason why I wanted to meet them. Why is that important? She may not know the owner of the modeling agency but she may know a manager of a local office. That would be just as good so I said modeling agency, modeling. I said that industry. The industry is important. The title, the owner is important because I want to start at the top and even if she doesn’t know the owner, she’ll push me down to the right person.
She’ll push me down to the person she knows, and that person may be able to get me to the person that I want to meet. Then the third thing I do is I gave her the reason why. This is what’s missing when everybody asks for referrals. If you don’t give the person the reason why you want to meet their friend or why you want to meet the person they know, if you don’t give them the reason why, they’re never going to introduce you because they’re not going to know what to say. You have to give them the reason why you want to meet them, and you have to make that reason why non-threatening. I want to meet them because I can save them money. I want to meet them because I have someone who will be perfect for them, for the agency who is going to model. I want to meet them because I know that I have something they need.
Here’s what it is, give them very specifics so that when they call the person up they say, “I want you to meet my friend Dave. He knows he can save you money, because he’s saved money for 15 different modeling agencies this way. I’d like to set up a meeting.” You’ve got to give him those 3 things. That’s the second thing you do when you ask. The number one thing, of course, is to ask for business. We talk about that all the time. You’re meeting with your best client. You’re meeting with your absolute best client and they tell you about a problem they have. You know you can solve that problem and you say, “You know what? I understand you’re having problems with your manufacturing of widgets. We have a new process that I think would be perfect for you. I’d like to come over and demonstrate the process. If it works, it’ll only add a small investment to your monthly bill but it’ll save you thousands of dollars. Can I come over and demonstrate this process?”
That’s a way of asking for business. If you’re working with a client now … The example I give to people all the time is, I work with a guy in New York who makes my suits. His name is Chris Cartisano. He’s an excellent clothier and I’d be thrilled to refer him to any of you. Chris, I know you’re listening. I hopefully will generate some business when people listen because you are the best of the best. Chris does something that is phenomenal. Every time he comes over to deliver a suit to me, I put the suit on. When I go to New York he comes. He delivers the suit, I put the suit on. He looks at it and we make sure it fits absolutely perfect. Then because I am a fashionably challenged kind of guy, we talk about what I would pair that suit with.
What kind of tie, what kind of shirt, and then he always gives me a tie or some type of accessory. A pocket square to go with the suit, and then I say to him, “You know what I really need now? I need a shirt.” By giving me the tie, he suggestively sells something else. If I don’t offer to buy the shirt, he says, “Do you want a shirt to go with that?” Or he says, “Now, I just gave you the grey suit,” he says, “We haven’t done a blue suit for you in a while. Would you be interested in getting a blue suit?” He’s never offended if I say no, and frankly if I meet with him 3 or 4 times a year I say no to him probably 2 out of the 3 times. The third time, you know what, he’s right. I do need to update my blue suit or my grey suit, so let’s go and do another suit.
He gets me to buy every time, or almost every time he makes a suggestion to buy almost every time we meet, and it conditions me one out of every 3 times I’m ready to buy from him. When he comes to deliver the suit, I know. It’s not a secret, I know he’s going to ask me to buy something else. We have a relationship. I’ve been working with him for 10 years, more than that. I know that this is going to happen. I have no problem saying no to him. Don’t ever be embarrassed. As long as you’re providing something of value, don’t ever be embarrassed to ask your clients to buy from you every time they meet with you. As long as you’re providing value, don’t be shy about asking for more business.
The final thing we’re going to talk about, the final ask, and remember. You are going to do at least one of these 4. The other 3 were we just said, ask for business. Ask for a referral. Ask for a testimonial. Number 4, ask to keep in touch. I meet you. Nancy introduces me to her friend who owns the modeling agency. We connect, we talk a little bit. There’s obviously nothing that’s going to happen. We’re not going to do any business there. I say to the friend from the modeling agency, “Joe, it was really great meeting you. Would you mind if I kept in touch with you? I publish a weekly newsletter. It comes out on Wednesdays at noon. I’d love to put you on my list. It’s educational information that you can use to grow your business. Would it be all right if I add you to that list?”
You’re going to ask to keep in touch. That’s the easiest thing. The easiest thing. Ask for permission to keep in touch. My friends, nobody ever says no to this. I think one person in the last 15 years has said no and that person was a complete jerk. I wouldn’t want them on my list anyway. “No, I don’t want an email from you! What, are you kidding me?” Obviously the 45 minutes I spent with you was a complete waste of time so I’m glad you told me you didn’t want the email now. That’s the 4th thing, you ask to keep in touch. Every meeting you go to, you’re going to ask for business or you’re going to ask for a referral, or you’re going to ask for a testimonial or you’re going to ask to keep in touch.
Now, if you feel really adventurous, do a couple of these things. Ask for a testimonial and then ask to keep in touch. Or ask for a testimonial and ask for business. Or ask for a testimonial and ask for a referral. Clients expect you to ask them to do things. They expect you to ask to buy more stuff. They expect to be able to do a favor for you. In fact, if we’re friends, if I trust you and you’re my client, I’m happy to go out of my way and introduce you to somebody I know. If I’ve been your client for 5 years, I’m happy, I’m thrilled to give you a testimonial. Asking for these things has to become a habit. If you make this a habit, not only will you make more money but you’ll also have more testimonials, you’ll get more referrals, you’ll have more business. Think about it.
Think about the appointments you have this week. I’m meeting with 6 people this week, either over the phone or in person. If I ask each of those people for one of these things, if I ask all 6 of them for more business, 1 out of the 6 will do more business with me. If I ask all 6 of them for referrals, 3 out of the 6 will provide me with referrals. If I ask all 6 of them for testimonials, 6 out of 6 will do a testimonial for me. I’m providing them with something of value and if I ask all 6 of them if I can keep in touch with them, they’ll all say yes. You have 6 meetings with prospects, you’re going to grow your list by 6 times this week. Well, not by 6 times, but you’ll add 6 more people to your list. You know what I mean. You’ll add 6 more people to your list. The ask is critical. Do not leave any meeting without going for the ask. That’s your takeaway for today. Nancy, any final thoughts before we wrap things up?
Yes. In regard to these testimonials, I have always wondered, I recently graduated school, less than a year ago. I’m in the early stages of my production career and I’ve noticed people that have … This is in regards to LinkedIn but people that have good LinkedIn profiles, they tend to have people they’ve worked with going on and writing comments or writing recommendations under their work experience. I think the answer is yes, but I’m wondering if this same method that you are talking about today would also apply to LinkedIn?
Absolutely. Great question. Yes, go to my LinkedIn profile, thedavelorenzo. T-H-E-D-A-V-E-L-O-R-E-N-Z-O. You’ll see all my testimonials up there and I’ll tell you how I got those. Here’s your 3 step guide. Step number 1, identify the perfect person to give you a testimonial. Step number 2, write a testimonial for them and send it. Step number 3, ask them if they like the testimonial and ask them to do the same thing for you. That’s it. That’s the easiest way to do it. You go and do a testimonial for them, send it, make sure they know you’ve done the testimonial.
Ask them if they like it, and then ask them to do one for you. Now, do not get discouraged when people tell you that they will do it and they don’t do it, because the general population of the world is very poor at follow-through. In fact, I’ll tell you maybe 1 out of every 5 people who says, “Yeah, I’ll give you a testimonial. You’re the greatest.” 1 out of every 5 will do a testimonial for you, but that’s fine. If you ask 50 people you’ll get 10 testimonials. That’s how I got the testimonials on my LinkedIn page. That’s how you can get testimonials for you on your LinkedIn page. Testimonials are great.
Then what I do with those LinkedIn testimonials a lot of times, in fact I haven’t … Nancy, you mentioned that. Here’s what we’ll do. I’ll do a testimonial for you on LinkedIn, you do one for me. I haven’t got a testimonial on LinkedIn in a long time, what I do with those is then I pull those off of LinkedIn, with permission, and I use them on my website too. I’ll even take them and put them in with proposals. I’ll put the full testimonial in with the proposal, and here’s the thing. My friends, if you’re going to use testimonials in proposals or you’re going to send out testimonials to prospective clients, you’ve got to use full names. If you’re putting them on websites especially, a testimonial without a full name and a picture honestly is worthless.
Sounds so sketchy.
You can’t do that. This drives me nuts with lawyers. I go on a lawyer’s website all the time, and in some jurisdictions they can’t even use testimonials but I’ll go on a lawyer’s website and it will say, “Pete Smith saved my home. He helped me fight a foreclosure with my bank and he helped me renegotiate my payment terms. I highly recommend Pete Smith.” Then it says at the bottom, “Homeowner, Joe P.” I mean, come on. That’s not a real testimonial. Look, we live in a video age so if you’re doing testimonials on your website video is the way to go. If you can’t get a video, then a pull quote or a paragraph or two with a picture of the person. Preferably a picture of the person with their arm around you so that it shows, it gives you social proof.
It shows that you actually know the person. Then finally, if you can’t get a picture of them with you then just their head shot and their name. That will provide at least some form of credibility, but you have to use the full name of the person. Yes, Nancy, if you want to add a testimonial to your LinkedIn page, the best thing to do, you go do a testimonial for the other person. You send it to them for their approval and you say, “Listen, I did a testimonial for you. Let me know what you think.” Then after they say, “Oh, that’s so great. You’re the nicest person in the world,” then you just flat out say, “It’s my pleasure to do it. I know you’d do the same for me. How about tomorrow? Why don’t you do it for me?”
That’s it. Here’s an issue that comes up in conjunction with this, Nancy. People often don’t know what to write, so you never give someone the direct words to use. A lot of times people will say, “Well, why don’t you just write it and send it to me and tell me if it’s good?” No, you don’t do that. What you do is, you ask 2 or 3 questions so that they put it in their own words. You say to them, if it was you and I Nancy, I would say, “You know Nancy, remember when you came to me for business advice about that startup?” You’ll say, “Yes, of course.” You say, “Okay, I gave you the advice and what happened?” “Oh, I got funding. I got $50,000 worth of funding.” “Oh, that’s fantastic Nancy. Would you just jot that down exactly the way we just discussed it?”
“Sure, I’d be happy to do it.” Boom, they jot it down in their own words and you’re done. Never put words in someone’s mouth. It’ll come back to bite you. Ask them a couple of questions. Lead them down the path you want them to go, if necessary. You can do that in writing, you can do that verbally, orally, but better to ask them questions and have them respond than to put words in their mouth. Then you write it up nice and neat, take out the uhs and ums, take out any superfluous words if you want and then send it back to them and say, “I characterized what you said. What do you think?” They say, “Great,” and you’re done. That’s how you do it. Does that get it for you?
Sounds amazing, yeah. I’m definitely going to do that today.
All right. Thank you folks, it was great chatting with you this week. We’ll see you right back here next week. That will do it for this week’s episode of the 60 Second Sales Show. Reach out to me with your questions, comments and feedback on Facebook at thedavelorenzo, Twitter @thedavelorenzo, Instagram @thedavelorenzo. Walking down the street just yell at me, “Hey! That’s the Dave Lorenzo!” Thank you very much for listening. I hope you make a great living and live a great life. Until next time, bye bye.
People buy you before they buy what you are selling.
There is no sales technique in the world to change a prospective client’s mind if you turn him or her off.
Focus on relationship development first and selling your product or service second.
To sell yourself approach each interaction with these five things in mind:
One: Be Confident In Your Ability To Help
Selling is helping people in return for financial compensation. You must feel great about your ability to help the person sitting across the table from you. They have a need you can fill or a problem you can solve. Help them. That’s why you are there.
Two: Want to Close the Deal But Don’t Need It
Go into every interaction with a sincere desire to close the deal but do not appear anxious. Neediness kills sales. If you need the client more than the client wants what you are selling, he will smell it on you just as if you stepped in a giant pile of horse manure.
Demonstrate a desire to work with the client but do not appear desperate.
Three: Listen More and Talk Less
Ask great questions. Show a desire to understand the situation. Uncover the “who,” “what,” “when,” “where” and, most importantly the “why” of the deal.
Simply put: Gather the facts by listening 70% of the time.
Four: Emotionally Engage the Client
Facts tell but emotions sell. The client is motivated by how you make him feel and then he justifies his actions with logic. First, make your case on an emotional level and then give him the facts he needs.
This runs counter to what you hear from most sales gurus and it is contrary to what you learn in most selling systems – but it works.
Five: Stay In Touch
Do not let people forget about the value you provide. Keep the lines of communication open with clients after you make the sale. Help them solve problems throughout the course of your relationship and they will continue to do business with you over and over again.
People Buy You – In Other Words Develop a Relationship
Do not think of sales as a transactional process. Selling is advanced relationship development. Your prospective clients must get to know you, he must like you and he must trust you. Those are the qualities of true relationships.
Be the person they want to have around and you’ll be the person who can sell to them over and over again.
A couple of weeks ago I was with a business executive who, even after 15 years of selling, was amazed that a client did not instantly agree to work with him.
In his mind, there was a clear need, the client had money and the situation had to be handled immediately. Yet my client could not close the deal.
This happens to all of us. And it happens more often than we would like. Recognizing the four reasons why this happens will help us break through and get a “YES” instead of receiving resistance.
The client says he doesn’t need your services.
He believes he can handle it himself. Or he doesn’t think his situation warrants bringing in outside assistance.
It happens in EVERY business. I have seen people facing criminal charges refuse to accept the assistance of a lawyer.
Of course this does not mean he REALLY has no need for your services. It means you must help him realize he needs your services.
Step one in any sales process is identifying the problem the client is facing and making sure he sees it as a problem. You do this by asking diagnostic questions.
Questions get the client thinking about his situation and, they force him to confront reality.
“Why did you invite me over to your office today?”
“How long have you had this issue?”
“How does it affect your income?”
“Can you continue to operate your business without solving this problem?”
Help your client understand the need.
In this case the client is in no rush. Maybe he feels as though taking a wait-and-see approach will make things better. Maybe he does not realize the gravity of the situation. Maybe he is uneducated on the potential consequences of delaying action.
While this may seem like the perfect time to present facts and figures, it is not. A rational appeal will only lead to more justification for delay. Why? As you present your statistics, the client will conjure up his own to justify not moving.
Instead, present several case studies that show adverse personal impact because of hesitation, delay and indecision. Showing real people, just like your client, getting hurt because they failed to act, engages him emotionally.
People take action to avoid pain. Identify the pain your client will face if he doesn’t take immediate action.
If the client shows the proper respect for the potential adverse consequences of his situation, he will realize the urgency.
In most cases when the client says they have no money this really means they do not see the value in hiring you. I have had clients tell me they have no money to invest in my services and then go out and buy a new car or go on an expensive vacation the day after our meeting.
The best thing to do when you hear a client say they have no money is to immediately challenge that statement. A great question that gives people perspective is:
“We value things we believe to be a priority. Why is this not a priority for you?”
Do not rush a business relationship. Make sure you take time to understand the client’s situation. Make sure you really listen for issues behind the words. Reflect that understanding back to the client.
Invite the client to connect with other people who have done business with you in the past. Ask him to reach out to them. Present him with at least three references – people who have done business with you (preferably people who are just like the client).
Trust is a foundational need. If you do not have it, you have no chance of engaging the client.
Clients say “YES” when they understand the need for your product/service and they feel urgency. They say “YES” when the value you provide is greater than the money they will invest.
A client says “Yes” when he trusts you.
Focus on these issues – the client’s issues – and not on the features and benefits of your product or service.
If you have this “external orientation” you will close more deals and deliver more value to your clients.
Here are three more articles you can use to boost sales:
Many people are shy about their desire for money. Those folks are not successful salespeople. If you love money, working in sales is the right job for you.
You don’t need to be a sales expert to know how to make more money in selling. Take action. That’s it. Do the right things each day and you will be successful.
Every business in every industry has a slow season. If you want to jump start your sales this article is for you.