Rich Schefren/Todd Brown on Productivity

August 24, 2009

Love this article. Rich and Todd get a lot done. And it’s really more simple than most people think. I especially like the “self-imposed discipline.” Nothing motivating like a group of eager people waiting for something you promised them!

http://www.strategicprofits.com/effectiveness/10-tips-to-become-a-super-productive-entrepreneur/

To add to these top ten, here are some of the practical tools I use to control time.

http://www.accidentalselling.com/Projects


Vision Pipeline Assistant New Promo Video – MUST WATCH!

August 12, 2009

Hey everyone,

Just posted this on the Vision blog as well as the Vision website.  Trying to spice it up Billy Mays style!  Love to hear your thoughts and feedback.

Click here to get a free account


Feeling Productive vs. Being Productive

August 7, 2009

Here’s a section taken from chapter two of Accidental Selling. It’s important to your income, so listen up:

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There is a massive difference between “feeling” productive and “being” productive.  Truth is, few people ever have truly productive days.  I’m only just now getting to feel what it looks like.
I’ve spent years in business with various projects.  Looking back, my truly productive time could probably be measured by months, not years.  Sad, I know.

The major reason for my terrible lack of true production? Accidental Selling.  And the mindset that surrounds it.  Before I talk more about my past failures and current growth, let’s talk about feeling versus being.

Feeling productive is marked by busyness.  You run through a zillion different tasks in a day.  And maybe even check off a dozen “To-dos.”  Excellent, if you want to become an expert at completing tasks.

It’s a good habit to form.  But your goal is probably not to become an expert in completing tasks!  You are in business to make money, serve clients, and/or build a life for your family.

Even without knowing you, I would bet 80-90% of your tasks, and time spent on them, is not related to your major goals.  This is a big problem.  You may get done with the day exhausted and tell everyone, “things have been super busy”.

What does that even mean?  Busy isn’t profitable!  Busy is exhausting.  If you feel busy but are not reaching goals quickly, then you are not being productive.

Being productive is a state that few ever reach.  I will spend my whole life pursuing this goal.  Even now my true productivity is only portions of each day.

As I said before, you are in business for wealth, stability, security etc.  Whatever your specific reasons and goals, they are how you measure productivity.  Anything and everything you do directly related to these goals is productive.

Productivity may be defined as moving incrementally closer to your worthwhile goals.  Paperwork is not productive.  Errands are not productive.  Lunch with the girls is not productive.  Football with the boys is certainly not productive unless that’s your industry.

All these things are fine; but stop lying to yourself.  Your day may be filled and yet you really get nothing of value done.  I’m not saying you can’t do anything fun or even meaningless.  Your activity level depends on your goal.

I’m trying to help you reach your goals.  And the first step to any growth is recognizing where you are right now.  If you want to be productive you must spend a portion of every day doing work that moves you closer to your goal.  That work is different for every person because goals are different.

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If this helped, get the whole selling guide at Accidental Selling

And to help you be infinitely more productive you NEED to use Vision Pipeline Assistant


3 Touches To Sell Anyone

August 6, 2009

Y’know, it only takes three Life Touches to sell a prospect.  That’s it. Well, okay, depends on a few things. But it’s really as easy as 1-2-3. Let me tell you how because it could mean faster sales and more income to you.

First let me clarify “sell.” What does it mean to sell a prospect?  Does it mean you walk away with a check in your hand?  Not really, unless you’re into the sell ’em and leave ’em one-night stand selling style. I’m not.

I’ve found that a better way of selling is building long-term, trust-centered relationships. I become a trusted advisor that they “must” come to for their needs.  So, to sell means to sell them on YOU. And that only takes three Life Touches.  Do this right and you’ll walk away with check in hand MANY times over the next few years!

Here are the considerations to make it happen fast.

Quality interaction

Sorry, you can’t depend on email autoresponders alone to build relationships. Even top internet marketing gurus don’t just use email. They host webinars, teleseminars, live seminars, make videos, send mail, and even outbound phone calls!  Crazy!  They focus on multiple touch points to establish trust. Which leads me to the next point…

Purposeful follow up

EVERY interaction must have a purpose. I call the important ones Milestones.  Each milestone has a design to move the relationship forward in trust, connection, desire, and buying. A phone call just to ‘check in’ is usually worthless. Before you make a call or write and email, ask “what do I hope to accomplish from this?”

Building rapport

You need to be big in their mind. Your prospect is hammered every minute from all the people who want to see you fail. You need to stand out. What’s the defining characteristic about you (and your product)?  Sales people are given a list of 50 benefits and features and try to pitch them all. You need to focus on ONE THING that stands you out. Only talk about that.  Be so bold and convicted about what you are selling that every competitor fades into the background. You’ll be viewed as an expert. And they will be sold.

Magnetic personality

Suck them in. Draw them close. Pull them to you like a black hole. Your personality and engagement needs to be gravitational. Your prospect can’t resist you. Charm them. Ask about the important things in their life. Make small jokes (carefully). Give them a bit of your personal side. Let them know that you are a person trying to make your way just like them. Smile!  If you are instantly attractive, prospects will desire to be around you. And when that happens, you’ve sold them.

The three Touches

Here’s Milestone Map that I follow most times to get “intimate” with my prospect, or a networking contact quickly.

1) First touch. Usually a chance meeting or a phone call. This is the first time I make personal contact. It’s very important to establish a base for the relationship. Meaning there is something to talk about next time. Whether it is a need they have, an interest we share, or something I can help them with.

2) Follow up on the first touch. This should happen within a couple days. Can be an email or phone call. I like to write a personal note card and mail it if I have their address. Even better is finding their address and sending a note/letter. They are surprise because NO ONE does that. And everyone loves to get mail (other than the usuall bills).  I also use this second interaction to get an important piece of information used in the next touch.

3) Locking them in. I try to find out an interest, desire, or need during the first two touches. Then I find a related article, website, book, or something related to that topic. I mail, email, or fax the piece to them with a personal note. This step is AMAZING. So few people do it because it takes a bit of work. But it works wonders on the prospect’s subconscious. They will remember you forever.

Important note: Following this doesn’t mean you will get a check from every prospect. Sometimes, they just don’t want your product! But it builds a strong rapport that can then be leveraged for referrals, future business, and general goodwill in the marketplace.

Try it out and let me know how it works for you!

By the way you’ll need a system to help track and manage all this. I recommend Vision Pipeline Assistant. It’s simple, fast, and free.


To Leave a Voicemail or Not?

June 11, 2009

Doyle Slayton just did a quick post about leaving a voicemail. His post was just a question but the comments were great. Have a read and engage!

Here’s the comment thread.  Enjoy and learn!


3 x 48 Formula – Phone Call Technique

May 28, 2009
Telephone sales, like all sales, are down by about 25 to 30 percent. If you do telephone sales, you already know that. You can’t change the market, but you can combat the downtrend in your own company by making your calls more effective.
When going after new customers, most salespeople do the same thing. They call the prospect and leave a message. Then they call back a month later and leave the exact same message. And they keep repeating the process. Occasionally they get results, but it’s very expensive and time-consuming.
Nathan Jamail, writing in Newsletter on Newsletters, has a much better idea. He calls it the 3 X 48 formula. It goes like this:
Instead of making a dozen phone calls to a prospect, spread out over six months or a year, you make just three calls, 48 hours apart. If you haven’t gotten a response from him by the end of the week, you cross him off your list.
For example…
Call Number One: “Hi, Mr. Smith. My name is John Jones. I’m with ABC Company. The reason for my call is to introduce myself to you and to offer you a free analysis of your 2009 marketing plans. We have helped many clients increase their profits in difficult markets like this one. I would greatly appreciate it if you would call me back at….”
Call Number Two: “Hello Mr. Smith. This is John Jones with ABC Company. I left you a message a couple of days ago and wanted to follow up with you regarding your free marketing analysis. Again, my phone number is…. I look forward to hearing from you soon.”
Call Number Three: “Hello, Mr. Smith. This is John Jones with ABC Company. I left you a couple of messages this week – and I don’t mean to be overbearing, but I want to make sure I do a good job of following up by letting you know that I would love the opportunity to visit with you for a few minutes. I was hoping you would do me a favor and let me know if you would like to talk to me but have just been too busy… or if you don’t feel it would be good for us to meet and would prefer that I don’t call again. I know your time is valuable, and I would appreciate your direction as to how to proceed. Thanks again, and have a wonderful day.”
I like this system for several reasons:
* Your calls are assertive but not pushy.
* They are made 48 hours apart, o  your prospects will know you by the third call.
* Since you are calling frequently, they’ll begin to wonder if you will ever stop calling.
* When, on the third call, you give them permission to reject you, they feel relieved and even grateful. This increases the chances that they will call you back.
By the way, I think this approach, with some clever modifications, could work successfully with direct e-mail marketing too.

I’m ripping this post off from Michael Masterson’s Ready, Fire, Aim e-newsletter today.  He didn’t have a web-version so I can’t link but I do recommend getting his stuff for his valuable insight and experience.  The technique he teaches fits hand-in-hand with Milestone Maps and is an excellent way to save time and be more effective with your pipeline.  Vision Pipeline Assistant can help you with it!

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Telephone sales, like all sales, are down by about 25 to 30 percent. If you do telephone sales, you already know that. You can’t change the market, but you can combat the downtrend in your own company by making your calls more effective.

When going after new customers, most salespeople do the same thing. They call the prospect and leave a message. Then they call back a month later and leave the exact same message. And they keep repeating the process. Occasionally they get results, but it’s very expensive and time-consuming.

Nathan Jamail, writing in Newsletter on Newsletters, has a much better idea. He calls it the 3 X 48 formula. It goes like this:

Instead of making a dozen phone calls to a prospect, spread out over six months or a year, you make just three calls, 48 hours apart. If you haven’t gotten a response from him by the end of the week, you cross him off your list.

For example…

Call Number One: “Hi, Mr. Smith. My name is John Jones. I’m with ABC Company. The reason for my call is to introduce myself to you and to offer you a free analysis of your 2009 marketing plans. We have helped many clients increase their profits in difficult markets like this one. I would greatly appreciate it if you would call me back at….”

Call Number Two: “Hello Mr. Smith. This is John Jones with ABC Company. I left you a message a couple of days ago and wanted to follow up with you regarding your free marketing analysis. Again, my phone number is…. I look forward to hearing from you soon.”

Call Number Three: “Hello, Mr. Smith. This is John Jones with ABC Company. I left you a couple of messages this week – and I don’t mean to be overbearing, but I want to make sure I do a good job of following up by letting you know that I would love the opportunity to visit with you for a few minutes. I was hoping you would do me a favor and let me know if you would like to talk to me but have just been too busy… or if you don’t feel it would be good for us to meet and would prefer that I don’t call again. I know your time is valuable, and I would appreciate your direction as to how to proceed. Thanks again, and have a wonderful day.”

I like this system for several reasons:

* Your calls are assertive but not pushy.

* They are made 48 hours apart, o  your prospects will know you by the third call.

* Since you are calling frequently, they’ll begin to wonder if you will ever stop calling.

* When, on the third call, you give them permission to reject you, they feel relieved and even grateful. This increases the chances that they will call you back.

By the way, I think this approach, with some clever modifications, could work successfully with direct e-mail marketing too.


Why are you calling next week?

May 27, 2009

I talked with a sales trainer today. He relayed a story about a conversation with one of his clients.

The salesman said, “I’m following up with that prospect in a couple weeks.”  The trainer asked back, “Why?”  The salesman was stumped.

Excellent question. A simple question, but excellent. You need to ask “Why” about every single follow up. If you don’t have a great why, then you are wasting your time and your prospect’s time.

Before you make your next call, think about the purpose and the goal of that exact call. Better yet, use a system that maps this out for you… I’m partial to Vision Pipeline Assistant.

Keep in mind that the purpose is not always to make a sale. Depending on your specific sales cycle, you may have a dozen Life Touches before a sale happens.  So, the purpose of each Life Touch is to move the relationship forward.

When you build great relationships with prospects, you will have long-term and profitable clients.