1:30 pm | My First Blab!

What’s Blab? It’s like Periscope, but a bit more focused and flexible. Where Periscope is the wild, wild West of online realtime video, Blab is a topic-driven activity where up to four people can video chat simultaneously—and those four can change over the course of a single Blab. Everyone else watches, post text comments, and can vote for their favorite guest. Blabs can be recorded for future playback.

It’s still in beta as an iPhone or Android app (or online), but things are expanding and smoothing out quickly.

There’s a growing list of topic channels. Blab moderators can schedule Blabs for later dates. For instance, the general topic of my first Blab Show is Double Your Business in 90 Days. The purpose of the Blab show itself is to help entrepreneurs and business owners grow their business, have more profits, more time and more fun!

Show Title: Upselling & Cross Selling
Date/Time: Monday, February 22nd, 2016 @ 1:30 pm CST

Check it out. Just sign in with your Twitter account, and join me in my first Blab! Sign up at blab.me, or download the app, jump in with me on Feb. 22!

Twitter: @DebbieMrazek  Blab: @DebbieMrazek

 

 

Confidence Gets Results in Business

First published on LinkedIn
By Debbie Mrazek

Every successful business person has some degree of confidence. However, everyone, from the most successful CEO to someone just starting out in the mail room, can have moments when they believe they cannot overcome the challenges in front of them. This lack of confidence can go on for days, weeks, months and, in some cases, years. No one is 100% confident all of the time, but your insecurities do not have to keep you from achieving your goals.
Confidence in Business

When you feel confident in your business life you become more likely to speak out in meetings, present ideas to your superiors, reach out to potential clients and simply become more involved in your company. Confident people are not afraid to dream big and then do everything necessary to achieve their goals. These are the types of people that we often see creating new services and products that were once only ideas. They have the vision and confidence needed to take their idea and turn it into a profitable service.

Benefits of Confidence for Your Business

Confident people do not second guess their fees, and believe that the services they provide are worth every cent of what they charge. When someone is this confident in their services, it makes potential clients more inclined to believe in them as well. If you can instill a level of confidence in your clients, you will not only gain their business, but you will also gain their trust. Clients are more likely to trust someone with their business needs when they trust them and believe that they have what it takes to get the work done.

As your clients begin to see the results you are able to produce, they will often refer you to others they may know who could also benefit from your services. Being confident will not only breed trust and engagement from your existing clients, but it can also go a long way in bringing in a new client base. Those who are hesitant and do not engage with their clients, will likely not experience the amount of success as someone who is confident in what they can provide their clients. Confidence creates confidence, not only in yourself but in those around you as well.

Benefits of Confidence for You

As your confidence continues to grow, you will not only begin to notice that your clients have more faith in your skills; but you do too. Gaining confidence in yourself will not only improve your bottom line, but it will also help improve your self-esteem. As you begin to feel better about your skills, knowledge, and ability to produce results you will begin to believe in yourself. This improved level of self-esteem will not only improve your business life, but will also carry over into your personal life as well.

 

The Importance of Being Flexible In Business

First published on LinkedIn
By Debbie Mrazek

The Benefits of Being Flexible in Your Business

Teamwork – If you are flexible when it comes to your team and the projects they are assigned; you will notice that they are more eager to get the project done. You will see that your team is open to new ideas and new ways in which to accomplish them. When your team is not stressed, but more relaxed when faced with a large project, you will see positive results.

Satisfaction – As you become more flexible within your company, you will notice that the level of job satisfaction your employees experience is at a much higher level than it was previously. When people are afforded the ability to work in an environment that is not stressful, but more relaxed, they begin to produce work that they are more satisfied with.

Reduced Turnover – When you have a team of satisfied, happy employees you are less likely to experience high turnover rates. This means that your business will benefit from having staff members who remain employed by the company for years rather than months. Reduced turnover rates also provide your clients with the stability they look for when working with a company.

Discover New Talent – As you become more flexible in your business practices, either by offering flexible schedules or initiating new policies, you will be surprised at how much hidden talent you have in your company. Flexible positions, hours and work options can allow you to expand your workforce with individuals who possess talents you may not have realized your business was in need of.

Grow Your Business – It has been shown that businesses that operate with more flexibility in their day to day operations tend to grow at a faster pace than those that do not. This can be attributed to the fact that people are happier working for a business that allows them the freedom to do their job at the office or at home. This also allows businesses to hire individuals who live in different locations to represent their business in that locale.
Being flexible is not something that business owners should fear; rather it is something that can actually help you take your business to the next level. If you have been searching for a way to breathe fresh life into your business, you may discover that flexibility is all that you need.

 

Fear and Failure Are Not the Same Thing

First published on LinkedIn
By Debbie Mrazek

When it comes to FEAR, you have two choices; you can either forget everything and run, or face everything and rise. If you choose to run when you are faced with fear, you will likely fail every time; however, if you choose to face your fear you will find a way to succeed and overcome that fear. The choice is yours, below you will find some effective ways in which you can deal with the fear you face.

When it comes to FEAR, you have two choices; you can either forget everything and run, or face everything and rise. If you choose to run when you are faced with fear, you will likely fail every time; however, if you choose to face your fear you will find a way to succeed and overcome that fear. The choice is yours, below you will find some effective ways in which you can deal with the fear you face.

Learn to Face Your Fear

  • Acceptance – One of the most important things we can do in life, or in business, is accept that failure will happen. We tend to fear the unknown - Is our business going to succeed? Will we meet our sales goals this month? - and so on. What we need to do to be successful is to accept that we cannot control everything or everyone. Things are going to happen and not all of our plans and goals will be successful. If you can accept that failure is part of business, you will be well on your way to overcoming your fear.
  • Learn the Cause of Fear – While it is natural to fear failure, we have the ability to determine what the underlying cause of that fear is. If we take a step back from our situation and analyze it, we will likely discover the underlying cause behind the fear we are experiencing at that particular moment. Once we know what the cause is, we have the power to take control of it and keep it from holding us back.
  • Don’t Let Fear Stop You – You should never allow the fear you are feeling at any particular moment to stop you from achieving your goals. As real as the fear you are feeling is, you need to remember that your goals are just as real. Once you’ve accepted your fear, then you know what is causing it and how to keep it at bay. Once you gain this power, you can then follow through with your goals and do everything you need to in order to achieve them.
  • Face the Fear – When you face what you are afraid of, you take the control away from that fear. You realize that you have the power within you to overcome that obstacle and continue with your goals. It is common for us to fear what we want the most, if we can learn to accept that on the other side of that fear is success, we will be well on our way to achieving our goals.

It is up to you whether you choose to face your fear or run from it. If you can accept that overcoming your fear will allow you to achieve your goals, you will lead a happier and more successful life.

Have you faced a fear in your business? Share your story and inspire all of us!

 

The Importance of Focus

Focus TWIB.png

First published in
Thriving Women In Business
By Debbie Mrazek

We are all guilty of trying to do more than one thing at a time. In our minds we are tricking ourselves into believing LADY WITH TARGETthat are being more efficient and accomplishing more. That is one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves throughout the day. When you try to multi-task you are not being nearly as efficient as you believe you are. To help you stop trying to multi-task I have put together some reasons why you need to remember the importance of focusing on one task at a time.

Tricking Yourself – While you may believe that you are multi-tasking you are actually just task-switching. When it comes to attention to detail our brains only have a limited amount to invest on each task. When you move from one task to another, you are actually wasting more time than you believe you are saving.

Takes Longer – Contrary to what we tell ourselves, when we try to multi-task we are actually spending more time on a task than we are saving. If you pay attention, you will actually notice that it is taking you twice as long to finish multiple tasks as it would if you simply focused on completing one task at a time.

Mistakes – When you switch from one task to another, you are more likely to make mistakes. It has been shown that your brain can handle two complicated tasks without much problem; but when you add more tasks into the mix it becomes overwhelming for your brain and mistakes are more likely going to happen.

Stress – When you are not focusing on only one task at a time, you experience a higher level of stress. The more tasks you are trying to focus on will cause your body to remain in a constant state of high alert. This increases the amount of stress you are feeling and doesn’t allow you to relax.

Miss Details – When you focus on more than one thing at a time, you are more likely to miss important details. This is what is referred to as “inattentional blindness” which refers to your brain noticing its surroundings, but not actually registering any of them. This can be extremely hazardous if your projects require a lot of attention to detail.

Memory Problems – It has been shown that when you try to do two things at once, you will not remember important details. Focusing on more than one task at a time puts you at a higher risk of suffering short term memory loss. It is also harder to get back on track and focus on a task after having to remember where you were or what you were doing.

Relationships Suffer – Multi-tasking can place a lot of strain on relationships. This is caused by stopping a conversation or interrupting plans to check email or voicemails. If you are trying to avoid stress and friction in your relationship keep your priorities in check.

 

Why You Need To Implement the IDEA Concept into Your Business

First published on LinkedIn
By Debbie Mrazek

When it comes to running a successful business, or simply making more sales, the IDEA concept can help. When you implement the IDEA formula into your business, you will soon notice that you have a better understanding of how you can make more sales and connect with each one of your customers. To help you better understand the concept, I will explain each element.

The IDEA Business Concept

I – Identify the New Issue

When you take the time to closely analyze a situation, you will soon notice elements that you may have missed previously. Identifying the new issue will allow you to recognize the opportunity and follow the appropriate course of action necessary to help you reach the next level.

D – Develop the Opportunity

Each day you are presented with numerous opportunities to grow your business and client base. The important thing you need to do to ensure success is to develop each of these opportunities in order to achieve the desired result. When you are presented with an opportunity, you need to closely analyze it and determine how you should handle the situation to achieve your desired result. Once you look at the situation and develop a plan of action, you will then be prepared to act upon the opportunity and nurture it into a business relationship.

E- Engage the Customer

When it comes to building a relationship with your customers, you need to engage with them. This can be done by taking a personal interest in their own business, ensuring that their needs are met, and making them the center of your attention when you are speaking with them. If you can make your clients feel that what they have to say and what they need matters to you, they will see that you care about the profit they are going to make from the deal, and you value their thoughts and opinions.

A – Action Needed to Make It Happen

As you have likely learned throughout your business career, nothing ever comes easy. In order to achieve the results you’re after, you have to determine what you need to do in order to make it happen. When you can develop a plan, you will be more prepared for what comes next. Whether you are trying to expand your client base, or grow your business you need to determine the specific action you need to take in order to make that happen. Once you do, you will notice that the process is much easier and you are within reach of achieving your goal.

Each day we are faced with decisions and opportunities that can help our business grow; however, it is up to us to recognize each opportunity and determine the appropriate course of action necessary to achieve our goals. If you implement each of these steps in your daily life, you will soon discover that nothing is out of reach when it comes to succeeding at business.

 

Why Every Company Needs a Millennial for the Sales Team

Millennials-in-Sales.jpg

First published on Rocks Digital
By Debbie Mrazek

There are many stereotypes surrounding the millennial generation and they focus mainly on the negative aspects associated with the generation, rather than focusing on the positives including the fact that they are actually more tolerant, educated and optimistic compared to previous generations. With all the speculation about the career choices for millennials, I thought we should explore why every company needs to hire a millennial for their sales team.

Why Sales is a Good Fit for Millennials

    Ability to interact with many people throughout the day
    Value being rewarded for their personal efforts
    Autonomy experienced in the world of sales
    Sales has been rated as the 5th happiest job available in America

Millennials Have Strong Sales Skills

It will come as no surprise for those already in the field of sales that the specific set of skills required to be a successful sales person are the strongest among millennials. When you take into consideration their educational background and the types of jobs available for those with their level of education, it is no surprise that sales would be a good fit. The majority of millennials tend to have a strong background in research and communication which are excellent traits for any sales person.

Social Media and Technology Experience

Their extensive experience with social media and technology can help millennials become successful in sales since so many consumers are making buying decisions online. They are the most technically advanced and experienced generation we have ever seen and, because of this knowledge, they have an advantage over older sales professionals who may not be as tech savvy. When Millennials use this knowledge to their advantage they are able to broaden the scope of their sales reach.

Why Should Millennials Want a Sales Job?

For millennials interested in obtaining employment at a startup or even becoming an entrepreneur, a background in sales can be extremely beneficial. Knowing how to sell and close the deal is an extremely useful skill that can provide an advantage in the job market.

As an employer, it’s time you look past the negative stereotypes of the millennial generation and focus on all the positives aspects they offer your business.

Does your business currently employ Millennials on your sales force? Share the positives you have seen from their generation when it comes to sales!

Optimism Gets You to the Bank Faster

First published on LinkedIn
By Debbie Mrazek

How Optimism Can Improve Your Bottom Line

Business requires you to deal with many different types of people on a daily basis, which means you have likely discovered that working with optimistic people, and being optimistic yourself, leads to a more positive experience. Not only can being optimistic help you enjoy your job more, it can also help you make more sales. Your attitude and the way that you speak with and treat people during the course of the day, can have a huge impact on your bottom line. Below you will find information on how being optimistic can help make you more successful.

Optimism on the Phone

When you work in sales, you will likely connect with a prospect for the first time over the phone. This person has never met you in person and has no idea about your personality or how dedicated you are to your clients. In order for you to reach the next level with this prospect, you will have to create a connection in the short amount of time that you have. To do this, you will need to be someone that the person on the other end of the phone, enjoys speaking with.

This is the ideal situation where optimism can be beneficial for you. When you have a positive attitude on the phone, it can be contagious. If you’re upbeat and fun, the person you are speaking with will feel more comfortable speaking with you. This can not only help you establish that all important connection with them, but it can also help them begin to trust you, which is the foundation of any successful business relationship.

Optimism in Negative Situations

An optimistic attitude can not only help you turn prospects into clients, but it can also help you handle negative situations better. When you work from an optimistic center, you understand that every negative situation is only temporary. You know that there is a solution to the problem and you will likely work harder until you find the best way possible to resolve the problem. When faced with challenges, those with an optimistic attitude tend to handle adversity in a much more productive manner than others.
Being Optimistic Helps You and Your Customers Have a Better Experience

Customers would much rather work with someone who is optimistic than with someone who sees the world in a more negative manner. If you enjoy what you do and the people that you work with each day, you will notice that your sales reflect your positive attitude.

The amount of success you experience on a daily basis is based purely on the way that you approach your day. When you approach it with optimism and only see the good in a situation, you will be rewarded with happier clients and a high level of sales each month.

 

How to Resolve Conflict in Business

First published on LinkedIn
By Debbie Mrazek

No matter how experienced you are in sales, there is always going to be conflict. Whether it is with the customer or within your internal organization; conflict should be expected. However, if you are able to recognize them and resolve them in a short period of time, you help keep that conflict from becoming a much larger issue.
The Causes of Conflict and How to Resolve Them

The Causes of Conflict

The majority of conflict that is experienced at work is often the result of opposing positions, power struggles, competitiveness or just the result of someone having a bad day. However, it has been shown that the primary root cause of conflict is either poor communication or not being able to control one’s emotions. Whatever the cause behind the conflict may be, it is simply not productive to business. To help you understand and resolve conflict, I have listed some helpful information.

Poor Communication

Poor communication is the leading cause of conflict. It is often the result of poor information, lack of information, misinformation or simply no information. To avoid communication problems within your business and with clients, it is important that you communicate in a concise, clear, timely and accurate manner. This will help reduce the amount of uncertainty and avoid the majority of conflicts.

Emotions

Our emotions play a large part on how we react to people and situations. When we allow our emotions to drive our decisions, we will often cause conflict. Allowing our emotions to drive our decisions can often lead to the creation of situations that can dramatically affect our future. The best way to get a handle on our emotions and keep them pushing us into an unacceptable manner of action, we simply need to walk away. Take a few minutes to gain your composure and take another look at the situation. You may discover that your initial reaction was over the top and you can now see the proper way to address the situation. Not only will this help you avoid an embarrassing situation, it will also keep you from saying or acting in a way that could affect your position.

Preventing Conflict

While preventing conflict cannot always be done, you may be able to resolve that conflict before it escalates. This can be done by intervening in a decisive manner to prevent the conflict from escalating. Dealing with conflict quickly will help prevent it from escalating into a problem that becomes more of a distraction to those involved. When you step in and take control of the situation, it demonstrates to your employees, and those involved, that you are not going to put up with that type of behavior. Conflict is not only detrimental to the morale and effectiveness of your business, it can also damage your reputation.

What strategies do you use to resolve or even prevent conflicts in your business?

 

How To Get What You Want

First published in
Thriving Women In Business
By Debbie Mrazek

Get what you want at work,Throughout your career you have likely wondered why some people always get what they ask for at work. It is not that they are gifted or lucky; they simply understand how to effectively communicate their wants to those in charge. To help you become more effective at asking for what you want at work, I have put together some helpful tips.

Know What You Want

It is common for many people to say that they want something but not be able to clearly explain what it is. This is because they likely haven’t thought it through completely. To know what you want, you should begin by understanding what you want and deciding how you can put it into words in clear and concise manner.

Don’t Be Afraid

The most common thing that keeps you from asking for something is the fear of being rejected. The only thing keeping you from getting what you want is being afraid to ask for it. When you overcome this fear, you will be able to clearly ask for what you want and not be afraid of a negative outcome.

Know Who You Are Speaking To

It is common for us to lose sight of who we are actually speaking to when we ask for something at work. If you feel intimidated by someone, you will likely find it difficult to speak with them. To overcome this, simply keep in mind that they are human too and that they will likely listen to what you have to say and be respectful of your needs.

Pay Attention

When you ask for something at work, you may receive a counter offer. It is important that you clearly understand what is being offered and how your needs will be met. If you feel that the counter offer is acceptable, then you can agree to the terms without feeling as though you were not treated fairly. If you are not sure of what is being offered, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Small Wins

If you are after a long-term solution it is important that you begin by asking for small things at first. This will make it easier for those in charge to agree to your requests without feeling as though they have given you too much.

If you are met with rejection when you first ask for something, do not be afraid to try again. Simply try a different approach but remain determined until your needs are met. Those who are not driven will likely never get what they want. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, you may be surprised at the willingness of your superiors to agree to your terms.

 

Calculating the Cost of Acquiring New Clients

First published in
Thriving Women In Business
By Debbie Mrazek

Calculating costs of a new client, marketing, salesAs a business owner you understand the importance of maintaining and expanding your client base. If you have been in business for a long time, you may not understand the true costs associated with acquiring new clients while keeping your existing ones. To help you understand the costs associated with attracting new clients, I have listed some helpful information to help you understand everything involved.

Many business owners do not accurately calculate the costs associated with acquiring new clients, also referred to as cost per acquisition. To properly calculate your cost per acquisition you need to begin by making a list of every marketing campaign you have ran over a specific period of time. To obtain the most relevant data you should measure over a 12-month period. But many sales professionals believe that you can still calculate a relevant bit of data by going back six months.

Once you have listed all of the marketing campaigns you have used, it is now time to list the cost of each of the campaigns you ran during the time frame you are using. These fees should include any copywriting fees, media listing fees and design fees. You should also take into consideration the cost of you and your employees time spent on each of these campaigns as well as all of the other costs used during this time. These additional costs include utilities, rent, internet and cell phone charges to list a few.

After you have calculated all of these costs and added them up, you have successfully calculated the cost for one ad. Next, you will have to determine how many sales were generated by that particular ad. This may be one of the hardest parts of calculating the cost of acquiring a new client. To help you effectively measure how many clients a particular ad brings in, you may want to create a specific phone number or website to use only in that ad.

It is much easier to measure the effectiveness of online marketing campaigns because you can utilize all of the tools available on your website to monitor traffic. In many cases these numbers can be automatically tracked and produced in a report that is often emailed to you. However, you still need to take into consideration any costs associated with running an online campaign.

Calculating the cost of acquiring new clients can be somewhat tedious and confusing. But it is an effective way to see where you marketing campaigns are working and where they aren’t. If you are trying to determine the most effective marketing technique, this is a great way to do so.

Still Avoiding Video? YouTube Video Success Tips for the Newbie

First published on Rocks Digital
By Debbie Mrazek

You have spent years building your business and developing your products. With social media, you now have the ability to share those products with millions of potential customers. But how do you properly incorporate video marketing into your existing marketing plan?

YouTube Video Tips for the Newbie

When you add video to your marketing plan, you open up a whole new world of potential. When properly utilized, video can be used to add depth while promoting your products because video allows you to create stories to help sell your products. You could show viewers how you got started, or what goes into the creation of your products, or why you started your business. Video allows you to do this and people love special, behind the scenes content.

1. Keep Your Videos Short, But Don’t Rush

When it comes to the length of your YouTube videos, experts suggest that you keep them less than 2 minutes in length. Shorter videos have been shown to receive the most views from users which should really come as no big surprise in a world where attention spans are constantly shrinking. Although your video will be short, you should not rush. Take your time and get your message out in a concise and clear manner. Remember, you want to create more than one, so you don’t have to say everything in one video. Invite viewers to subscribe, so they will receive a notice when the your next video is available.

2. Create a Branded YouTube Channel

You definitely need to create a branded YouTube channel for your company. Having a company channel will make it much easier for your customers to locate your videos. Make sure to include your channel in the correct categories, use tags, create a search engine optimized channel description, and include links to your website and social media pages. Consider making a welcome video that will display to those that haven’t visited your channel before.

3. Be Ready and Committed

After you have spent the time to create your branded YouTube channel, you need to start creating content. When using YouTube as a marketing tool, you need to look at it as a long-term marketing plan. This means that you need to create and publish on a regular basis in order to keep your viewers interested and coming back for more. Consistency is the key to a successful YouTube marketing plan. If you are not sure where to start with your first video, look to your email inbox, discussion forums and social media. See what questions others are asking that relate to your industry and answer them in your videos. Next thing you know, you’ll have an entire series of videos you’re producing.

4. Utilize YouTube Analytics

With YouTube’s analytics you are supplied with a lot of data designed to show you how your videos perform. Look over the information thoroughly and monitor how many views your videos get each month, the average watch time of the individual videos, how the viewer found the video, and more. Using YouTube analytics in conjunction with your Google Analytics will help you to identify if your videos are converting to visits to your website, sales landing pages, usage of your contact form and more. Understanding the data behind the scenes will help you to shape your video content in the future.

YouTube is one of the most popular and widely viewed sites for video content. You’ll find that most all of the 3rd party video apps even have a way for their users to download their video content for uploading to YouTube. Google Hangouts and Blab have their platforms setup so you can upload your video straight to your YouTube channel upon completion.

There is even a podcast on creating video hosted by Jeremy Vest of VidPow and of course Rocks Digital has more content on video and YouTube.

Have you tried using video as part of your marketing plan? Now is the time to add video to your sales toolbox.

How to Handle Hearing “No” In Sales

NO-250x141.jpg

First published in
Thriving Women In Business
By Debbie Mrazek

Hearing the word No, salesAnyone who has worked in the field of sales has heard the word “no” at some point. It can be one of the hardest things to hear, especially when you are trying to close a deal. In some cases, rejection has led to many short lived sales careers. What you need to know is that it is something that everyone has had to deal with and it does not reflect who you are as a person or your level of professionalism. Below you will find some helpful ways to handle hearing “no”.

Wait

This is not something that many sales professionals are good at, but it can be quite beneficial. When you allow a potential client to think things over or continue browsing your products, they may be more open to hearing more about them. You may be surprised at how many times that “no” turns into a “yes” when they are given time to consider what you have to offer.

Persevere

Any time you are faced with rejection it can be devastating to your confidence. What you need to understand about rejection is that it is not about you. It could simply be that your timing is off, or the business may be experiencing difficulties you are not aware of. The word “no” is never about you; there is always an underlying reason behind it.

Connect

Creating a connection with your clients is a great way to cultivate a positive business relationship. When your clients know that your services and products are reliable, they will more than likely choose to say “yes” to you. In some cases, they may say “no” but that can simply be based on the fact that they are not currently in need of your services. When this happens, just reach out to them after a few weeks. Their circumstances may have changed and they may be ready to close the deal.

Listen

As a sales professional you need to become a great listener. This will help you learn what your clients are interested in and what they need. When you know what they are looking for, you can then design your sales pitch around their specific set of needs.

Likable

If you have a likable personality and are friendly and outgoing, you will likely hear “yes” a lot more than you hear “no”. If a client finds you to be likable and approachable, they are more open to doing business with you and your company. While they may say “no” at first, if your personality is friendly you may be able to still close that deal.

Knowledge

The more you know about the products or services you are selling, the easier it will be to convince someone of their benefits. While they may say “no” at first, the more you explain and demonstrate the positive aspects of what you are selling, the more likely they are to change their mind.

 

How to Become a Better Sales Professional

First published in
Thriving Women In Business
By Debbie Mrazek

effective sales professionalIt’s no secret that a career in sales is one of the most demanding and difficult career paths to follow. However, it can also be one of the most rewarding and satisfying; that is, once you learn how to become an effective sales professional. When you learn the skills necessary to become successful, you will discover that a career in sales is definitely worth the effort. To help you become a better sales professional, I have put together some helpful tips.

Listen

One of the best things you can do to become a better sales professional is to listen. When you listen rather than speak about yourself, your products or your services within the first few moments of meeting someone you have the opportunity to hear what they are actually in need of. When you meet a prospective client for the first time, you want to introduce yourself but remember not to ramble on about yourself or what you are selling.

Ask Questions

To improve your sales skills, you should not focus on trying to sell your product or services. What you should do is to ask questions and find out more about the needs of your prospect. When you forcefully try to sell something, you will likely encounter resistance. But, the more that you know about your prospective client, the easier it will be to approach them with information about what you have to offer.

Be Curious

When speaking with a client, you should ask them about the products or services they are currently using. Ask them if they are happy or if they see room for improvement. This is a great way to find out what they really want and offer them products or services that will fill those needs.

Pay Attention

It is just as important to pay attention to what your prospective client isn’t saying as well as what they are saying. You can get a sense if a potential client is too busy or is pressed for time. When you get this feeling, ask them if this is a good time or if they would like to reschedule. They will appreciate your flexibility and will often be open to rescheduling for a better time.

Be Brief

While it is polite to answer questions when they are asked, it is important that you keep your answers brief and to the point. Now is not the time to go into a long-winded response to a simple question. Always remember, it is not about you, it is about showing prospect why you are right for them.

 

Introverts Can Sell

First published on LinkedIn
By Debbie Mrazek

Why Introverts Can Be Really Good At Sales

It has often been a point of discussion in the business world if introverts are effective in sales. While many may tell you that there are other positions they may be better suited for, there are some who believe introverts can be effective in sales. In fact, some of the most successful sales people are actually introverts in their day to day life.
Introverts are better listeners

My personal belief is that sales can be an excellent career for an introvert. After all, who is better at listening to others than an introvert? Many sales people often overlook or do not hear the needs and wants of their clients. This can lead to the client choosing to go with another company, causing you to lose business. However, an introvert is experienced at listening to and hearing what the client is truly in need of. They have the ability to maintain focus during the conversation and this skill not only makes for successful sales people, it also leads to satisfied and happy clients.
Introverts will make the customer the primary focus

No matter what type of product or service you sell, it is important that you always make your clients your primary focus. However, in the business world, many sales people tend to make the conversation or meeting all about them and forget that they are there to help the client. These types of sales people tend to neglect the needs of their clients when they create a sales presentation. When an introvert is involved, they will do everything they possibly can to ensure that the client is the focus of the presentation and they serve more a background role. They tend to place the focus where it should be, on the client and not on themselves.


If you create a sales pitch based on the understanding that the problem, issue, or need of the client is important, you will be in a better position to create a solution based on those needs. Clients enjoy dealing with someone who truly listens to what they have to say and understands their needs. This will ensure that your client remains happy and loyal for a long time to come. The more comfortable your clients are with the sales person they are working with, the more they are willing to listen to all of your ideas on how your product or services can be beneficial to them.

Like many of us at Stanford, I was drawn here by the mystique of Silicon Valley. Although I’m digitally illiterate, I smelled tech wealth and hoped to bathe in serendipitous cash flow. I know now that most of the valley denizens don’t hit the jackpot, and none of my classmates seem on trajectory to breed billion-dollar unicorns.

Although Plato elevated the world of forms over its shadowy manifestation, I value earthly execution over ideas. So I offer these inklings for tech knights to breathe life into them. As I come from a family of dismal entrepreneurs (we’re better at healing and nurturing), however, take them with a grain of salt. If similar startups exist, I’m sure you can do better. Google and Facebook weren’t first movers either.

If you need a sinecure co-founder, I am ready. I was an entrepreneurship ambassador at Wharton, and had stints at Ashoka: Innovators for the public, and StartX, a Stanford-based accelerator. I also studied intellectual history, a useful degree for elevator pitches. Unless I drop out with you, I will earn an M.A. in East Asian studies to help you penetrate the world’s biggest market populated by beautiful people.

Reciprocity Ring

During the most popular class at Wharton, we embodied the concept of reciprocity ring by sharing our wish list in class. Then we ambled around and jotted our name if we could help other students fulfill their wish. Mine was to meet a travel writer, and I got introduced to a New York Times travel columnist. Every community harbors untapped social capital, and an app to facilitate matching communal resources with the desires of its members could unlock smiles and hugs.

Running Buddy

Although there is a plethora of apps like Strava to track mileage and pace, apps for finding fellow runners are more rare. As a decade-long runner, I know that runs are more pleasant when shared with other thumping hearts. While some are solitary wolfs, many prefer running in packs. The app need not be complex. Just a few questions about location, time, distance, and hobbies to break ice for friendship will do. We don’t need a fitness Tinder though, because sweaty ain’t classy.

Blue Days

None of us are immune from mood swings, and isolation can deepen our melancholy. Reaching out to loved ones can feel Herculean when depression reduces us to feel like a gadfly. What if there were a platform to share the literature, music, and film that provide solace during darkest hours? If we can see how our friends and role models rebound from failures and tragedies, perhaps that will also sublimate our grief. If you’re skeptical art can sooth broken hearts, check out the popularity of the Blue days book and this Reddit thread.

Geo-based Travelogues

Although blogs and photos of globetrotting friends often pop up on our Facebook newsfeed, they are not organized by location. If they were, perhaps we can have a richer experience gallivanting around the world as we can contextualize our escapades against those of our friends and celebrities. Although numerous apps facilitate sharing travel plans, few apps help disseminate and tag post-travel reflections. Travel can be expanded from a dialogue with physical travel buddies to encompass friends worldwide and even bygone writers and artists.

Although the heyday of Web 2.0 may be over, the rise of the sharing economy has reinvigorated demand for niche social networks. If you can alchemize these ideas into cash cows, please remember your muse, the starving writer. I will not ask for equity or copyright, but I can be hired.

Social Media and Sales

First published in
Thriving Women In Business
By Debbie Mrazek

Many of us have come to believe that any time we spend on social media is a waste of time. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Social media has opened new doors and marketing techniques that have proven to be beneficial for businesses. The only thing is, you have to commit to them in order to reap the benefits. As with any type of marketing campaign, you need to commit to it in order for it to be effective. While you may not notice immediate results through social media, as you continue to build your fan base and become more active you will soon notice that your audience is responding.

For this article we are going to focus on the most popular and widely used social media site, Facebook. Many businesses that are a part of this social network have seen their sales dramatically increase. This is because Facebook allows you to give your company a voice and a personality. Rather than simply being a logo on a webpage, your business becomes approachable. It now has a voice and can interact and communicate with your customers.

As your customers discover that you are now on this social media platform, you will notice that you are gaining followers and they are now interacting with each other on your page. As a business owner, this is marketing magic. Your customers now have a platform in which they can express their opinions about your products or services. But, you should not simply observe the interaction taking place on your page, you need to get involved. Customers love it when businesses respond to their comments. It makes them feel that their opinion really does matter and that you care about what is being said about your business.

Social media also allows businesses to offer special promotions that are only available to their followers. This is another way to make your loyal customers feel rewarded and singled out from others. You may want to consider offering your followers a coupon code or discount that can only be seen by them. Not only does this reward them for their loyalty, it also gets them to visit your website.

Facebook can also be used as marketing tool to promote a new product or service that your company may be offering. Using your Facebook page as a marketing tool allows you to promote your new products and services for free to all of your followers. If you product of service is beneficial or innovative, your content may be shared by your followers which can then increase your online visibility.

You do not have to limit yourself to only using Facebook, there are other social media platforms that have been shown to be just as effective. You may want to consider implementing YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram into your marketing plans. They can help you reach millions of potential customers which can help increase your sales dramatically.

Using Your Strengths to Connect and Sell More

First published on Rocks Digital
By Debbie Mrazek

The fact is you are a sales person, no matter what your job is, you are selling something! It could be an idea, a strategy or an actual product or service. When it comes to being an effective sales person, your natural traits are what set you apart from everyone else.
How To Use Your Strengths to Connect and Sell More

These traits affect your attitude, personality, and work ethic. Below, I expand on the strengths and benefits of each of these traits and how they can make you more attractive to your coworkers, customers and clients.

Do you want to know what makes you an attractive sales person? Keep reading and find out.

Empathy

This is the ability for a person to identify with their customers on a level that others may not be able to. People who are empathetic in nature tend to understand the concerns of their customers and are able to relate to them better than their co-workers. A sales professional who is empathetic is able to gain the trust of their customers and develop a rapport with them that will help put them at ease. Customers will feel more comfortable working closely with this person and trusting that they have their best interests in mind.

Focus

A person with a highly developed level of focus is someone who is typically driven to accomplish set goals and remain focused on one topic. They tend to be more demanding of themselves and tend to be self-motivated sales professionals. They possess the ability to organize themselves and see what needs to be done and what is required to achieve their goals. These types of sales professionals do not wait for their sales manager to give them direction, rather they see what needs to be done and act accordingly. A focused person will see what a customer needs before they do giving their customers the assurance that their needs are being taken care of.

Responsibility

A sales professional who possesses a strong level of responsibility will not place the blame on others for not achieving their goals. They tend to be people who get things done when faced with adversity and will take accountability for their mistakes. These types of individuals are also capable of taking criticism and using it as a way to improve themselves rather than allow it to bring them down. A sales person with this trait will take responsibility for the success or failure of solving their customers’ problems and will work harder to make a successful sale and help the customer.

Optimism

A sales person who has a highly developed level of optimism is someone who is persistent. This is one of the most important traits a successful sales person can have. When faced with failure, these individuals become more resilient and realize that hearing “NO” is not a reflection on them personally. It does not affect the way that they feel about themselves nor does it destroy the confidence that they have in their ability to perform their jobs effectively.

These traits are what set apart some sales people from others and makes them attractive to customers and clients. If you are lucky enough to come by some of these traits naturally, then you are likely going to be a force to be reckoned with in the sales world.

Which of the traits above do you see in yourself? Which ones do you see in others? Get busy analyzing and sell more.

How to Improve Your Introduction. It all Starts With Hello.

First published on Rocks Digital
By Debbie Mrazek

Improve Your IntroductionHow are your Jerry Maguire skills? Would you have those you meet at “Hello”?

Introducing yourself in a manner that will leave an impression with the person you are speaking with can be somewhat difficult. You may need to improve your introduction and the way in which you deliver it.You may have used your standard introduction, but for some reason it didn’t work as well as it had in the past.

When you introduce yourself at a networking event or meeting, your primary goal is to get the attention and interest of those around you and ensure that they remember who you are and what your business does long after the event has ended. This may be somewhat easier said than done, but with some practice you can master the art of introducing yourself. One important thing to keep in mind is that it is a networking event – meaning everyone is there for the same purpose – to meet others and that includes YOU!

Eye Contact is Key
If you’re attending a meeting or event and everyone is sitting in chairs or at a table, when the time comes to introduce yourself, make eye contact with each person and smile. People love to for you to really see them and connect – if even for just a moment. Research has shown that the best way to develop a rapport with someone is through eye contact. They will be more attentive to the words you are speaking. This is also a great way to demonstrate that you are confident in who you are and what you’re there to accomplish.

Become the Host
Another effective way to stand out and be remembered when you are seated at a table and no one seems to be initiating conversation, is to act as though you are the host. Would you ever host a dinner at your home and not make sure everyone at your dining table had met one another? Of course not! So, take that attitude about the table you are seated at and begin to introduce yourself to each person at the table and ask them to tell about themselves while gesturing to others at the table that you want them to hear what the person has to say as well. People are so grateful, especially first time visitors, when they have been made to feel included and welcomed. A great benefit to this is not only that you will know who all is at your table but it engages much more meaningful conversation with one another.

One final thing you must remember and apply – always give the person you are speaking with your full attention, this will make them feel important and that you are actually interested in what they have to say.

Have you improved your introduction? How? Let’s discuss below.

How To Let Your Customers Know You Value Them

First published in
Thriving Women In Business
By Debbie Mrazek

Customers, Letting Customers know you value them, salesAs a successful sales professional, you understand that you would not have reached the level of success you have without your loyal clients. But what many sales professionals often wonder about is how to express your gratitude for all that they have done. They have placed their faith and business in your hands, how do you properly say “thank you” for that. Well, there are quite a number of ways that you can thank your clients, to help you choose the ones that are right for you; I have put together a list of some of the most effective.

One of the first things you can do is to ask about their future needs. If you have been working with the same client for a long period of time, you may want to show that you are interested in growing with them. During your next call or meeting, simply ask them if there is anything you can do to ensure that your services will continue to be beneficial for them in the future. This will show them that you are interested in maintaining a long-term business relationship while also offering to make any necessary changes or modifications to your services that can be beneficial for them. If you are willing to expand and grow in order to meet the needs of your client they will likely remain with you for a long period of time.

Another effective way to show your client’s how much you value them and their business is to ask if the services or products you provide are meeting their needs. Are they consistently receiving their orders in a timely fashion? Have there ever been any problems with any of the services you have provided. These questions may be just what your client needs to express their opinions on your services, method of deliver, and speed of delivery. There may be problems in the system that you were not aware of until you asked. Your clients can provide you with valuable information that you can use to improve and enhance your business.
If you have a long-term client that you know is experiencing any type of difficulty in their business reach out to them and ask if there is any way you can help. It can be something as simple as cutting their monthly order in half or renegotiating the terms of their contract that can ensure they are able to remain in business. Reward your loyal customers by helping them in any way possible, when their business improves, you may be rewarded with a larger amount of sales.

Asking your clients to provide you with feedback is another way to show them that you value their opinion. There may have been things that your clients have wanted to address but just weren’t sure how to bring them up. If you ask them for feedback, they may feel more comfortable and open to sharing their honest opinion of your business and services. Client feedback is also a great way to see areas where improvements may be beneficial for current and future clients. Never be afraid to ask for feedback, it is a valuable tool for you and your client.

Maintaining an honest relationship with your client is also an effective way to show them that their business is valued. Rather than pushing the newest, most expensive product, show them a less expensive product that will still suit their needs. They will appreciate the fact that you were honest enough to recommends a different product, and they will trust that you have their best interests in mind rather than the profit you may have made from a larger sale.

In addition to these methods, you always have the option of sending each of your clients a small gift to show them how much you appreciate their continued support. It doesn’t have to be anything big, it can simply be a calendar or coffee cup; but your clients will know that you are thinking of them and that you see them as more than another sale. As a sales professional, you should always take a few moments out of each day to thank each and every one of your clients.