Most Powerful Element of Sales: Asking Questions

The following video is a short yet extremely powerful reminder for some people and for others a revelation. The most powerful element in sales is to ask questions. The simple act of asking questions begins a dialoge that engages your target audience. It is this engagement that allows you to deliver your value or the value of your product or service.

Do You Have a List of 25 Questions?

According to sales guru Jeffrey Gitomer one of the most powerful methods of asking questions is to make a list of 25 questions:

  • Questions you are “certain that your prospect (audience) has not heard before
  • Questions you are “certain your competition is not asking”
  • The more thought provoking the questions the more your prospective buyer will respect you
  • The more your prospective buyer respects you, the more likely they will be truthful with you
  • Questions can lead to the factors that determine the sale
  • Questions can lead to your prospect describing how the decision is made
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2 Jeffrey Gitomer Resources for Jobs Seekers & Entrepreneurs

Jeffrey Gitomer is a best selling author, world class keynote speaker, and one of the most important resources available for job seekers and entrepreneurs today. Gitomer specializes in many important facets of business including business development, sales strategies, and networking. Yet it is one very simple concept, that remains one of the greatest takeaways I have learned in my business career. Jeffrey’s mantra “Give value before you receive value.” When you network with people he instructs people to give value, give it continously, and give value without asking for anything in return. Here are too very valuable resources that help people understand networking and the sales process:

1. Newsletter: Sales Caffeine

This is a fantastic resource. Jeffrey asks a weekly question that is both thought provoking and instructive.

Q: What is the most significant long-term benefit of successful networking?

A. You will not have to cold call to get new business

B. You will build business friendships and relationships

C. You will be able to use your contacts for sales and referrals

D. You can call people later and they will already know you

Answer is here

2. Books: “The Little Black Book of Connections: 6.5 Assets to Network Your Way to Rich Relationships

Gitomer has authored 12 books from customer loyatly and sales principles to persuasion and success. The most influential book I have ever read that changed my mind set and results is Jeffrey’s “The Little Black Book of Connections: 6.5 Assets to Network Your Way to Rich Relationships.” Here are some of the concepts that changed my business life:

  • How to give value constantly without asking for anything in return
  • How to become a go-to resource of value
  • How to research before networking
  • What to give first in order to create value for my networking partners
  • Why your network building is the most important concept that must be a continuous process throughout your business career
  • Understanding networking etiquette for different networking groups
  • What networking is NOT
  • Where to find the best resources to network
  • How to assess your networking efforts
  • How to stay connected and relevant in today’s networking environment

Networking Skills Workshop CSIX Connect September 30: Learn How To Market Yourself Through Networking

Communicate your need.
State your goals.
Improve your networking skills.
eXchange Job leads.

CSIX’s mantra

Tuesday September 30 I will be facilitating a workshop “How to Market Yourself Through Networking” for CSIX Connect employment group at the iRestaurant in Cupertino, CA. The meeting begins at 10:30 and runs until 1:00. The admission is $12 which includes a wonderful lunch, networking opportunities with a group of experienced and expert Silicon Valley job seekers, and information on real world networking.

For my friends and the friends I have just not met yet on Active Rain: If you like this workshop or any of the individual subjects covered, I am more than willing to provide links. If you have questions please contact me at dean@innerarchitect.com or call me at (415) 410-7524

The Program Will Cover

Definition What does Networking Mean?

1. The #1 Biggest Mistake in Networking: The Hard Sell

2. The #1 Method For Networking Success: Giving

3. The 5 Benefits of Giving: Referrals, Relationships, Evangelists for you, Reference Point, Mentor

4. Exercise: The “Give” How to identify your value give aways and outline a plan on how and where to deliver this value

5. 8 Tips to Engage: How to Make a Connection

6. Listening Is a Skill That Requires Strategy

7. Procrastination: 5 Tips to Help You Follow Through

8. 10 Reasons Why You Should Maintain An Ongoing Networking Campaign During Your Career

9. Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts of Networking

10. The Secret of Networking Success: Get Your Connections to Benefit First

11. 5 Tips to Branding “You”

This program is designed to be a two hour program. I am going to blast through this program in one hour with the promise of providing more information to those people interested.

If you are interested in this information, consider the fact that I have written about every subject here on Active Rain on this blog. You can simply go back and “mine” my archive of posts to find ea article that matches the subject matter. If I can be of assistence, please do not hesitate to contact me!

Networking The Right Way Part 2: #1 Method to Networking Success

In our last adventure our fragile business networker was accosted by the unseamly hardsell tactics of Superman during a networking event. Superman was the epitome of the hardsell, offer nothing, talking to much, and in general acting like the blowhard we all try to avoid.

Don’t Be A Joker!

Director Tim Burton specifically refers to this image as "the duel of the freaks".

Courtesy Jack Nicholson Wiki

#1 Method To Networking Success

“Give something that others Value, give it often, and give it WITHOUT asking for anything in return” –Jeffrey Gitomer

If you give people what they value, continuously give it to them, without asking for something in return or trying to sell them–you will have mastered the method to networking success: The Give

The Ann Tardy Story: A Case Study for Giving

Ann Tardy left a successful law practice as well as her CPA business to establish Lifemoxie.com. Ann is a powerful keynote and workshop facilitator. I attended her workshop “20 Ideas To Relentlessly Self Promote You and Your Business.

The Approach: It’s All About Giving

Shortly upon the conclusion of Ann’s workshop I met her face to face and offered:

1. To give my feedback on her presentation

2. To write an article praising her work for my blog

3. To provide her a free consultation on blogging, blog marketing, and social media networking

The Rest of The Story

After staying in contact with Ann, and many communications and networking referrals, we finally had the opportunity to meet for lunch 2 months after our initial conversation at her presentation. We were pleasantly surprised with the story Ann related to us:

“I was in New York City last week as a guest presenter at a Women Entrepreneur’s Conference. An audience member approached me after my keynote to tell me that she attended the workshop because of a review she read from a blogger. That blogger turned out to be you dean and your deansguide review. As a result of your wonderful review this woman attended and brought a friend with her.”

The Result of Giving

1. Referral-Gifts: Ann has provided our Inner Architect business with 17 amazing contacts which have led to 12 speaking engagements for author Susan Hanshaw

2. Relationship: Ann has become a trusted friend and source of business

3. Evangelist: Ann is now an “evangelist” for our company and Susan’s work. She spreads the word aka viral marketing helping people understand our work

4. Reference Point: Ann is a well respected national keynote speaker with incredible name recognition. Her willingness to validate our business mission lends added credibility to our reputation and public perception

5. Mentor: Ann is walking the path we intend to walk. Her mentorship and direction have been an integral part of our business growth and expansion

Networking The Right Way: Superman vs Batman The Super Hero Syndrome

Networking Keynote Notes

Intro: How many speakers have you listened to who have begun their presentations with a joke? The obligatory, in their mind, joke. The joke meant to build rapport with the audience while providing a human element to the otherwise stiff speaker–that joke.

I AM NOT GOING TO TELL YOU A JOKE. I am a bad joke teller but I can tell a story

Instead I am going to help you network the right way by:

1. Describing the #1 biggest mistake most people make when networking

2. Offering the best method to win new networking relationships

3. Saving you time by helping you measure your aptitude

But first I will offer you a yarn to contemplate. . .

Superman vs Batman: The Story of Two Super Heroes

Intro: Imagine you are at a networking event in hopes of meeting a great connection and suddenly Superman walks up and launches into his pitch:

SM: “Hi, I’m Superman I own a Security Firm”

* “I’m faster than a speeding bullet”

* “More powerful than a locamotive”

* “Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound”

“Here’s my card, my cd, my dvd, my newsletter, and the number to my agent–when will you be calling?”

You: (Meanwhile you are thinking to yourself) “My Security firm is ‘Batman’ ”

“My guy has an employee- Robin, Customer Support Rep- Alfred, and a Call Center–the Bat Phone”

“My guy drives a really cool car, flys the Bat Copter, and he even has a boat!”

“With Batman I don’t have to deal with Jokers, Riddlers, or Cats!”

“And Batman has a beautiful home office–the stately Wayne Manner”

“This other guy is HOMELESS he even has to dress in a phone booth!”

“Why would I even consider changing firms? Especially considering that Kryptonite problem!”

—————————————

There you have it in a nutshell: networking is NOT launching into a hard sell sales promotional piece about you.

Stay tuned tomorrow as our fragile business networker describes the #1 Method To Networking Relationship Success

Same Bat Time, Same Bat Station!

Mr. & Mrs. Realtor: 5 Networking Mistakes You Make That Hurt Your Business

One of the most unproductive time wasting traps that Realtors can, and do, fall into is attending networking events without a plan, without a clue to who they wish to meet, and without qualifying the event’s effectiveness. Networking is the lifeblood of a Realtor’s business but in many cases this important function of lead generation and business synergy is relegated to low level status. Here are 5 common errors to avoid in networking:

1. “ROE”: Return on Effort aka Is this event worth the effort and time expenditure vs the return? Qualify each event to answer this question. Very few Realtors, I have met at networking meetings, have researched the events they attend every week.

2. Homework: I have asked many Realtors at networking events this simple question “So who are you here to meet?” The answer 60% of the time is “I don’t know who is here yet.” If it’s a first meeting that is true but if the meet is an ongoing event this should never happen. Have a plan to meet specific impact business people!

Tip-Make a roster of the attendees you want to meet, research their web or blog sites, understand their businesses. Then seek these people out and begin your dialog.

3. Networking Is NOT: Just showing up to an event; talking non stop; standing off to the side with no intentions; trying to sell your product or service with every breath you take. How can you understand what to do when you don’t understand what you are doing?

4. First Principle in Networking: Stop selling yourself, your product, or your services. Before you can receive you must first give something of value to your “targeted” partner, something they will find valuable, and you must give it for free with no strings attached. It is that simple yet very FEW people get it.

5. Follow Through: Not follow up but follow through. Lip service is so often the order of the day. Why is it that when you work to meet people, they agree that you should continue an ongoing conversation, and you exchange information you do not make the initial contact? The excuses of time, forgetfulness, or any other reasons are unnecessary.

Tip-If you tell someone you are going to call your reputation is on the line. If someone contacts you and you do not respond your reputation is on the line. If you spent the time to attend an event, with the goal of meeting people for business, and you do not follow through on your collected contacts what does that say about you?