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Stop Whining! Start Selling!Profit-Producing Strategies for Explosive Sales Results
By Jeff Blackman
John Wiley & SonsISBN: 0-471-46363-9
Chapter OneProfit Pillar
The Personal, Powerful You!
1. Never forget.
2. World's fastest strategic lesson.
3. Rise to the top!
4. You can't fly with two feet on the ground!
5. Push your paradigm!
6. Prospecting for gold.
7. Passion produces profit.
8. A great eight!
9. A fish story!
10. A champion's vision.
* * *
* * *
Never forget ... people invest in who you are and what you can do for them. One without the other assures only short-term success.
Never forget ... your customers, clients, and prospects invest in your ability to deliver to them a more favorable future.
THE PERSONAL, POWERFUL YOU!
* * *
* * *
World's fastest strategic lesson.
Where are you? Where would you like to be? How would you like to get there?
Rise to the Top!
* * *
* * *
Rise to the top!
How do you respond to the question, "So, what do you do?"
If you're a typical sales professional or businessperson, you might respond with:
"I'm an account executive."
"I sell industrial supplies."
"I'man insurance agent."
"I'm a corporate attorney."
"I'm a loan officer."
"I sell radio airtime."
"I'm a yadda, yadda, yadda."
"I specialize in blah, blah, blah."
BORING! Who cares?!
When a woman sitting behind me on a recent airplane flight was asked the "So, what do you do?" question by her seatmate, she answered, "I'm in sales."
Heck, how lame is that? Duh, we're all "in sales"! Thanks for the insight!
The preceding responses ain't eloquent elevator elixirs-as if you're riding on a rapidly moving elevator and you have only enough time between floors to make a positive impact.
Every day of your business life, you're probably asked the "So, what do you do?" question. And believe it or not, your answer has been either attracting opportunities or driving them away.
Years ago, when I was asked, "So, what do you do?" I would proudly puff my chest and exclaim, "I'm a speaker!" In retrospect, this weak and ridiculous retort merely prompted the obvious question, "Whatta ya speak on?" Perfect! (So I thought.) This was now my opening to wax rhapsodic about me.
Uh-oh. I soon discovered that although others politely listened, this was a colossal mistake. Okay, it was just plain stupid! Because little old me took a distant second to THEM! Others weren't rude; they were just far more interested in their stories versus mine.
Thankfully, I soon realized that to rise to the top, to ascend, I couldn't be typical. I had to be unique!
Therefore, I experimented. I played with possibilities. And then I revised my response.
So now when I'm asked, "So, what do you do?" here's my verbatim answer:
"I'm a business-growth specialist, who helps CEOs, entrepreneurs, their senior leadership teams, and salespeople sleep really, really well at night."
The evolution of the preceding was inspired by a client, Jim Alland, who once said, "Blackman, you know what you're not?" Somewhat sheepishly I replied, "No, Jim, what am I not?" He answered, "You're not just a speaker, trainer, or consultant. And that's because you've had such a significant impact on our company. What you really are is a business-growth specialist."
Whoa! That was good. That simple insight became a major keeper!
My "business-growth" response generates far more interesting dialogue, because now I hear, "So, how do you do that?"-which lets me reply with, "Well, that depends. Tell me more about your business ...," followed by other nonthreatening (yet powerful) probing questions. (More on power probes in the next Profit Pillar.)
Here are four more simple yet impactful "elevator speeches":
"I show successful business owners how to keep all their wealth, every dollar of it, in the family, without losing it to the IRS."
"I show entrepreneurs like you how to have absolute control over your wealth and business, for as long as you live."
"I customize tools to help executives sell more, in less time, at higher profit."
Kitchen and bath designer:
"I help homeowners turn their kitchen and bath dreams into realities, so their friends and neighbors will go 'Wow!'"
To help you create your own impactful "elevator speech," here are 17 crafting considerations:
1. Is it short?
Time is precious. Folks ain't interested in long-winded info-dumps, especially about you.
2. Is it clear, concise, and easy to understand?
If it ain't, you're in a heap of trouble. Simplicity works. Nuthin' fancy. The goal here is to communicate. Be fast and purposeful.
3. Is it creative or descriptive, generating intrigue and interest?
Creativity requires you to be innovative. Original. Imaginative. Inspired. Inventive. These are all good things! Your listeners dig flair. They're not big fans of dull and boring.
Being descriptive helps tell a story. People love stories. Especially ones that benefit and help them ...
... to sleep really, really well at night.
... to keep all their wealth.
... to have absolute control.
... to sell more in less time at higher profit.
... to have their friends and neighbors exclaim, "Wow!"
Intrigue and interest ... create and attract ... positive attention and results.
4. Is it meaningful and memorable?
Being meaningful creates immediate purpose and relevance.
Things that are memorable are unusual, different, special, or out of the ordinary, while being forgotten fosters futility and frustration, especially for you.
5. Is it conversational and natural?
Canned scripts or speeches reek of insincerity. They sound false and phony. They breed mistrust and skepticism-not exactly the fast track to success.
6. Is it capable of creating an appropriate smile, chuckle, or laugh?
When you can get somebody to smile or laugh, you have an immediate victory. A smile creates comfort, happiness, and a positive environment. This helps you lay a strong foundation early in the relationship-building and business-growth process.
7. Is it prompting a follow-up question-not a blank stare?
Questions promote dialogue. Dialogue encourages collaboration and discovery. Discovery uncovers opportunity.
Blank stares slam on the brakes! They bring conversations to a screeching and abrupt halt. That "deer-in-the-headlights" or glassy-eyed gaze of confusion turns prospects into suspects, and suspects into escape artists who want to flee your sleep-inducing rhetoric.
8. Is it identifying who you are, what you do, and, most important, who benefits and how they benefit?
Remember, decision makers invest in how you can help them attain a more favorable future.
9. Is it quickly positioning or allowing you to politely probe and stimulate conversation and dialogue?
Give others the opportunity to discuss their favorite topic, themselves! You'll be surprised to discover that when somebody is yakking about their business, hobbies, interests, goals, and dreams, they never interrupt themselves!
10. Is it focused on outcomes, benefits, value, and results, not yawn-inducing facts and features?
Facts and features are helpful, yet they are merely what something is. Outcomes, results, benefits, and value are what decision makers really invest in.
11. Is it logically and emotionally compelling?
Appeal to one's mind, heart, and tummy. Decisions are influenced and made on a variety of levels. Capture as many levels as you can.
12. Is it capable of avoiding the "Who cares?" test?
Ask yourself if your elevator speech passes the "Who cares?" test. Be brutally honest. If you can't give it a thumbs-up, why should somebody else?
13. Is it working on elevators, on escalators, over the phone, at networking events, at baseball and soccer games, and at the grocery store?
There's only one way to find out. Try it. If it's working, cool. If it's not, tweak it. Upgrade it. And if necessary, toss it-and start over!
14. Is it free of empty, boastful, and meaningless claims (i.e., "best, unique, superior, high-quality, state-of-the-art," etc.)?
When others hear hype, hyperbole, or superlatives, they immediately wonder, "Says who?" Grandiose or foolhardy claims cause listeners to retreat and seek protection beneath their b.s. deflector shields.
15. Is it adaptable or flexible for different markets or decision makers?
For example, a tax attorney might say: "I show successful ... business owners or doctors or corporate executives or high-net-worth individuals or distributors ...
how to keep all their wealth, every dollar of it, in the family, without losing it to the IRS."
Consider how you can design and structure your "elevator eloquence" to reflect subtle changes that show expertise for a defined market or type of individual.
16. Is it easily repeated or referenced by clients and peers?
When my clients and peers began to tell others, "Jeff is a business-growth specialist," I knew my elevator speech was working. It was memorable and easily repeatable. Sweet!
17. Is it generating results?
Is there any other metric to use? Results can include:
* New network contacts.
* New prospects.
* New prospect meetings.
* New proposals or action plans.
* New dollars in the pipeline.
* New sales.
* New clients.
* New referrals.
* New feelings of confidence.
* New volume.
* New earnings.
Before and After
During a recent workshop, I asked each participant to turn to a partner and ask and answer the "So, what do you do?" question. Then I shared with them my "business-growth specialist" reply, plus the four others given earlier (i.e., tax attorney, financial adviser, consultant, and kitchen and bath designer).
Then I gave them the 17 crafting considerations and one more assignment. This time, they had only 90 seconds to craft a new elevator speech in response to "So, what do you do?"
The transformations were startling. For example:
1. Before: "I assist people in reaching their real estate goals."
After: "I counsel families and businesses on maximizing the profit potential of their current and future real estate opportunities and goals."
2. Before: "I'm a systems engineer."
After: "I help you communicate with the world, quickly, efficiently, profitably."
3. Before: "I'm a sales manager."
After: "I help publishers get their books into the hands of people who need them."
4. Before: "I'm in the ticket sales department for the Minnesota Wild hockey club."
After: "I help businesses reach and exceed their financial goals, by helping them acquire and maintain key relationships with clients and employees."
5. Before: "I'm in ticket sales."
After: "I show families the true meaning of quality time."
6. Before: "I'm a mother."
After: "I shape lives for a better tomorrow."
7. Before: "I'm a loan officer."
After: "I elevate people's financial stature and fulfill their financial dreams."
Good stuff! Now, could the preceding be improved, enhanced, or upgraded? Perhaps. But remember, by design, I gave these folks only 90 seconds.
Imagine your possibilities, with the luxury of time and the bonus of thoughtful and creative deliberation.
To craft your elevator speech, jot down the key benefits, outcomes, results, and value you deliver to customers or clients.
How do you help others maximize gain? Minimize loss? Improve performance? Productivity? Profitability? Grab testimonial letters or e-mails clients have sent you with words of praise. Often, the great language or insight you seek is right there in print. Adapt it. Play with it. Make it work.
Enjoy your trip, as you ride your elevator of success to the top!
You Can't Fly with Two Feet on the Ground!
* * *
* * *
You can't fly with two feet on the ground!
My United Air Lines flight lands in Boston at 3:26 P.M. Not good news, especially when my connection to Hyannis is in only 16 minutes!
I bolt off the plane at 3:32 P.M. in Logan's C terminal, spot a United customer service rep, and ask, "Where's Cape Air?"
He says, "Oh, that's easy. Walk to the end of C. Leave the building. Head to the curb. Wait for the bus that'll take you to the A terminal."
I exclaim, "Wait for the bus?"
He asks, "What time is your flight?"
My response: "3:42. Why?"
He confidently proclaims, "It'll take you about 15 minutes to get there. You'll never make it!"
I run for the curbside. Luckily, an airport shuttle bus pulls up. I hop on, grab my cell phone, call Cape Air, explain my predicament, and request they hold the plane.
The Cape Air agent says, "You're kidding." I reply, "No, I'm serious.
Excerpted from Stop Whining! Start Selling! by Jeff Blackman Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of ContentsIntroduction: Let the Crusade Begin!
PROFIT PILLAR I: The Personal, Powerful You!
Profit Points: 1. Never forget.
2. World’s fastest strategic lesson.
3. Rise to the top! 5
4. You can’t fly with two feet on the ground!
5. Push your paradigm!
6. Prospecting for gold.
7. Passion produces profit.
8. A great eight!
9. A fish story!
10. A champion’s vision.
PROFIT PILLAR II: Probe & Prosper.
Profit Points 11. Conquer with questions.
12. Rain, rain, go away!
13. Good-bye to gab.
14. The answer is in the question!
15. Mr. Big said, “Sell me!”.
16. When is it over?
17. Child’s play.
18. 179 lessons from the network newsies.
19. Ascend The Ladder.
PROFIT PILLAR III: Winning Words & Wallet Wisdom.
Profit Points: 20. Yummy green bug juice!
22. Move your world.
23. A tip from Down Under.
24. The Fairness Doctrine.
25. A piece of the pie.
26. The Blue Suit.
27. Budget builders.
28. Total satisfaction.
29. Objection overruled.
30. Go A.P.E.
31. Winning the inside fight.
PROFIT PILLAR IV: A Profit Parade.
Profit Points: 32. Value on the vine!
33. The innovative interview.
34. Negotiation know-how!
35. Houston, we have a problem!
36. Hot town, summer in the city!
37. Peddler or partner?
38. Driving the C-class.
39. Pitcher perfect.
40. Get CRE8IV!
41. Lost or found?
PROFIT PILLAR V: Communicate & Conquer.
Profit Points: 42. Why? ’CAUS!
43. First impressions.
44. Psychiatric help!
45. On the way to this, I found that!
46. E-savvy versus Eeeh sorry!
47. Toot your horn!
48. Image impact.
49. The Rule of 4:1.
50. The good. The bad. The ugly.
51. Control and impress!
52. Push, pull, play, and profit.
53. Commotion, communication, and Costco.
PROFIT PILLAR VI: Referrals: Your Road to Results!
Profit Points: 54. All you have to do is ask! 187
55. Remember to R.E.M.E.M.B.E.R.
56. 230 million reasons.
57. Referral psyche: your mental mind-set.
58. Relationship power.
59. Swing from the VINe.
60. Is it time?
61. Before you bask, you must ASK!
62. Where else? When else?
63. Thanks, but no thanks!
64. People power!
65. Shake your O p p p o r t u n i t r e e !
66. Don’t be a sap without a R.A.P.
67. Fly the friendly skies!
68. Moment of opportunity.
69. It’s great to give!
PROFIT PILLAR VII: Mind & Money.
Profit Points: 70. Psychic debt.
71. The 1% Solution™.
72. Hustle, hope, and happiness.
73. Focus versus fear!
74. Savor the S.A.B.E.R.
75. Truisms or valuable stuff I have discovered.
76. Good-bye to status quo!
77. Fill your pipeline.
78. Class is always in session.
79. Lessons from a limo.
80. Bravo Leader!
81. Daddy, when do we hit the ceiling?
82. Who’s in control?
83. Who? You?
85. A lucky 13.
PROFIT PILLAR VIII: Serve & Soar!
Profit Points: 86. Massage magic.
87. Hot shower!
88. Who pays your salary?
89. Insights from the outside!
90. Tales of terror!
91. Anniversary angst!
92. Customer in training.
93. No-no. Yeah-yeah!
94. SERVice with a smile.
95. Have I explained this well?
96. Hawaiian hospitality.
PROFIT PILLAR IX: Fly like an Eagle!
Profit Points: 97. Forget time management. Manage yourself.
98. 21 tips for the 21st century.
99. To know me is to love me.
100. Focus Five.
Meet Jeff Blackman.
Jeff educates, entertains, and inspires!
Jeff’s growth tools accelerate your career, grow your business, and improve your life!
Special thanks to . . . .