So if you are in Sales, you are going to get an absolute kick out of this blog…..
and if you’re struggling in sales, reading and applying what I speak of below will change the game for you 🙂
If you have ever heard me speak at a seminar or were mentored by me one-on-one, you will always hear me speak of the M&M analogy when it comes to recruiting or sales. It is a very simple and straight forward way to get emotionally unattached from the sales experience with the customer or client and remember that you are there to do a job, sell stuff.
At the end of the day for most sales people, (especially those who work off of straight commission) if they don’t sell, they don’t eat. We have no time to waste in getting upset about the deal that didn’t close or the ones that got away because we cannot feast off of last weeks bread.
So here is the single most relevant story/experience that ever helped me as a sales person:
It’s a numbers game. If I know 1 out of 5 will buy, then the only way to truly track and measure that is to do the same great high energy pitch exactly the same all 5 times knowing that if the first 4 said no, then number 5 is probably going to go for it, if not #5, then statistically your chances of getting a sale go up every single person after that exponentially as you hit the ratio break.
Making sense? If not I explain in a different way.
I use this analogy about finding the green M&M’s. The Green M&M represents the person who will buy from you, it’s your job to find it! Confused yet? Ok let me explain.
One summer day I was sitting around in between meeting prospects that I was attempting to recruit in to the company I was working for. After being shot down earlier that day by a potential prospect, I was eating a bag of M&M’s waiting for my next appointment. As I poured a couple more out I started to wonder how many I would have to go through before I got a green one out of the bag. I poured a couple more out. It took 6 M&M’s before a green one came. 2 Brown, 2 Red, 1 Yellow, 1 blue and then the green. I thought to myself, “wow, that’s about how many people I have to go through until I find someone who will sign up in my business.” Over time, I would continue to do this with a bag of M&M’s and the ratio continuously stayed the same, about 1 to 5 if looking specifically for a green M&M. Then a light bulb went off in my head, the M&M colors represent the personalities of the person, and the “Green” is the only one who is going to sign up or buy from me. So I developed a methodology around this called “Finding the green M&M.”
Here is the Methodology Explained….
Take a bag of M&M’s, you have Brown, Red, Green, yellow, and blue. Think of them as personality traits. I’ll list them as if they were customer types.
Brown – The “you’re trying to F$%^ me type.” No matter what you do, what logic you try to use with this customer, they don’t believe you. Why? Because they don’t believe anyone or trust anyone, as a result they have probably missed lots of opportunities in life including the one you are about to pitch them, bottom line, no sale! They will beat you up and make you feel like shit, it’s not worth your time, and even on the rarest of occasions where they do buy, the abuse usually isn’t even worth the commission that you will earn on the sale. Don’t take that abuse, be polite, and professional, but never take abuse for no reason, and fire back if necessary! You may not get the deal, but you will walk way with your dignity which is funny because when they realize that you’re not a door mat, they may change their attitude and actually buy something from you 🙂
Red – “The Big Timer.” This person has perfected the art of what I call “big timing.” This larger than life person comes off more like a cartoon character then a human being. They are always trying to tell you what a big deal they are and how lucky you would be to have them as a client or customer. As if they are God’s gift to the earth and everything they touch turns to gold. Truth is, maybe they got lucky once or twice , but they are 95% full of shit, and 5% actually telling the truth. Bottom line is when you start asking the “hard” questions or try to run their credit to get them financing they recede back in to their shell and go on the defensive retracting some earlier statements and trying to explain their situation, and they always have a situation 😉
Yellow – “Mr. Indecisive” This person cannot make a decision if their life depended on it. If you were tied up on the train tracks and the person with the yellow personality was the only person around to save you, it’s highly like you will be run over and killed by a train while you sat there and watched the person pace back and forth weighing the options of saving your life. Will I get hit by the train? What if I try to save him and the people who tied him up come after me? Maybe he/she deserves to get run over by the train? etc. Bottom line is this person is so easily influenced by everyone that it makes it extremely difficult for this person to make a decision about anything, and on the occasion that they do actually make a decision, they are still never sure and will require 10 times more than the time it took to close them to have you re-convince them that they made the right decision after the fact. = Brain damage for you.
Blue – “Mr. Too Cool for School” This person is a control freak. They need to feel like they are in complete control of the situation all of the time. They are not teachable, they are not coachable. They get a crazy idea of the how the experience, product, or service that you are selling should work in their head and then run with it no matter how far from reality it actually is. Trying to use logic to reason with this personality is about as effective as pushing a wet noodle through a tiny hole. If they do buy or sign up with you, they will usually come back pissed off when it doesn’t work out the way they had planned it to in their imaginary world and worst of all, they start talking all kinds of shit about you and your company after the fact to justify their place in the world. You see, if they actually had to take responsibility for their actions, they would have to admit that they were wrong, and that they were unwilling to follow directions or the procedures set in place and failed as a result those actions.
Green – “The perfect sale or client” This person gets it. They are logical, have the ability to reason and negotiate, and most of all they understand that a sale isn’t a situation where someone is getting taken advantage of or “winning’ over the other person, they approach a sales rep knowing that having a good relationship with him or her can add serious value to the product or service they are about to purchase. Bottom line, they just get it, and you will know when you meet people like this when a person doesn’t end up buying from you but you walk away from the situation not pissed off and actually feeling good about the dialogue you had… Seems like that wouldn’t make sense but it actually does because even though you will usually get the sale on a Green M&M personality, on the rare occasion that you don’t you will still walk away from the situation not resenting that person for wasting your time. The only reason they didn’t buy or sign up with you was due to a timing or technicality issue, but keep in touch with that person because they will eventually buy in the future or in the very least refer you business.
Getting upset or thinking that you suck at sales is about as crazy as opening up a bag of M&M’s and when the first one or two come out not being green ones, you say “F%^$ this stupid sales S%^*, I suck at this and I will never sell anything” then you quit and walk away with your tail tucked in between you legs. Sounds crazy right? Well it’s not because that is exactly how I have seen thousands of people get flushed out of a sales position in 2.3 seconds and quit before they ever even get a start.
In the beginning you suck the most. If sales was easy, everyone would be doing it. If you do get lucky the first time, do get a big head because no one is immune to the numbers game or closing ratios. Sales is a craft and skill that you can work on and hone over time. The more time you spend perfecting that skill, the better your closing ratio will become. So keep your head up and always be closing!!!
Now go kick some ass 🙂 Hope this helps, now please enjoy the greatest selling scene off all time.
So, as most of my readers know, my blogs have a lot to do with business, working hard, making a life for yourself an most importantly living. All to many times, we get caught up in our day-to-day grind and lose perspective. If you lose perspective for too long, the mind starts to slip and unless you do something about it, you might end up like Jack smashing through doors with an axe trying to kill your wife and child.
Although that may be an extreme example, a life of monotonous mediocrity is really no life at all, or at least to me it’s not. Think of all the movies you have seen with this type of protagonist plot-line, Fight Club, The Shinning, Life of Walter Mitty to name a few, These stories are so commonly told because they relate to so many people.
You see, you don’t need to take a trip around the world, or start a fight club to break out of your daily grind, however, if that is what you want to do, then go for it and I will come with 🙂 Most people simply miss the little things. I know, because I do it too, it’s easy to get caught up in your daily grind, but today I intend to explain how to escape it.
Today, I am up in San Francisco, with a very busy week of clients to see, things to do, and deals to sell. The days can fly by real quick. The funny thing is that my performance across the board is in direct correlation with how I am feeling. If I am in a place of scarcity, I am may very well come off desperate blowing a sale or a potential investor. People have an innate sense for that kind of thing. If you walk in to place to sell anything gleaming with anything else but confidence and a bright smile, the person will know something is up with you automatically, and it will severely hinder your chance of success.
A sale by definition is “a transfer of energy,” and that is my favorite definition because at the end of the day, it’s a performance, and if you blow it, the customer is not going to buy your product or invest in your company. Why? Simple, because no one want to buy or invest in to a person who suck, is sad, desperate or incompetent. What ever your product is doesn’t really matter, nor the company you represent, it is you who they are buying, and if they don’t like you, they probably will not buy or invest.
Here is a great example of what not to do…. Love this movie
So, if getting to correct state of mind is imperative, what you do before and after your performances (aka sale / investment pitch). Coming prepared and making sure that you are in a peak state will change the game. Whether or not you get the investor to invest, the buyer to buy should have no effect on you.
So how does one get there? Well in order to come to the table calm, collected and prepared, you have to take care of your mind, body and soul. For example, if you spend all of your time hustling and making money, you probably don’t worry about what kind of food you are putting in your body. I know this all to well especially when traveling, some days I get going, get caught up in appointments and realize I haven’t eaten anything all day and it’s already 3PM. Not good.
Then what about my body, sometimes after being out all day long driving around the city and using all of my brain power to convince customers and investors to buy me, the last thing I want to go do is shed my suit and tie, and take my ass to the gym. You see where I am going with this?
The hardest thing I have found to do especially when traveling for work is keeping a routine, and of course it is, you are away from your comfort zone and everything you know. It’s ok though, because if you can find out how to manage this routine even while your on the road, then it will become even more reinforced when your back on your home turf. The point is that you can’t afford to get caught up in the hustle, you have to take time for yourself and make sure you are taking care of your body, exercising, eating right and taking small breaks to appreciate where you are.
Look how beautiful Pacifica is
It can be as simple as taking an afternoon to yourself and enjoying the beauty of the place you’re in. I did it just the other day. Again I’m in San Francisco on business, so there is plenty to see but the city doesn’t calm me, it’s fun to hang out in and catch up with friends, but it doesn’t put me at ease. So what I did was took the afternoon off in Pacifica (That’s a little city in south San Francisco on the beach) and spent some time just watching the waves and taking in the beauty that was surrounding me. I was a little worried because I was really trying to get another deal closed for the week, but knew that if I didn’t give myself some down time, it would hinder my performance.
I also found a Krav Maga Gym in San Francisco, for those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a style of hand-to-hand combat / Mixed Martial arts that I have been practicing for almost 2 years. Click here link for an explanation. It beats going to the gym and I go about 4 times a week back at home so to be able to keep that in my routine while traveling up here has been a bonus, usually I’m stuck going to good ol’ 24 hour fitness or if I am lucky finding a boxing or jiu-jitsu gym that will allow me to drop in for a couple of days knowing very well that I am not going to buy a membership or even return there in the near future. Either way, taking care of my fitness is also crucially important to my sate of mind, so adding that in with my day in Pacifica was healing to my soul.
Then, just like that I closed a deal later that day. Went back to the hotel, got a good nights sleep, woke up at 5 AM to trade on the FOREX market and then closed another deal that day!!! AWESOME, absolutely crushed it this last week, and it’s not just because I am a good sales guy but I attribute much of that success with being able to keep the routine and take care of my mind and body which always comes before making money!.
So here are a couple of tips for what to do to stay in a positive peak state while traveling
1. Get situated – When you arrive, go to google, plan your week, figure out where everything is, the gym, appointments, dry cleaners, post office, basically all of the places that you will need to go through out the week.
2. Pick out some fun things that you want to do in between appointments while you are there. This includes catching up with friends who live where you are traveling and things you are interested in that you can only see or do in that place you are traveling, something you couldn’t do back home. For example, I am going to see Alcatraz on Sunday! I have been to S.F. many times, but have never gone, so I’m doing it!
3. Get to bed early! I am up at 5 AM everyday trading on the FOREX market, I’m not saying you need to get up at 5 am, but I will tell you that I have a huge competitive advantage over any competition simply based on the fact that I have been up using my brain, showered, ready to go with all my shit together for literally hours before I see my first client. It’s a very empowering feeling.
4. Take pictures and Check-in on Facebook – Duh, you want to remember the experience, bottom line is even if you had a bad sales week, at least you got to travel to a new place on the companies dime and saw/experienced some cool stuff so have fun with it!
5. Work-out! You always feel better after you do, not only will your body love you for this but it is a great way to network to meet new people and get out of the hotel room.
6. Eat right, and if possible, never eat alone. A meal is a great opportunity to have someones attention for 30-45 minutes. Also when dealing with clients, they can tell a lot about you by what or where you eat, and vice-versa for them. Never eat alone if you can help it, it a waisted networking opportunity or simply a reason to meet someone new.
7. Check in Back home – Whether your married, have a significant other, or are a single person, checking in with familiar people back home will always raise moral! I do this often for a couple of reasons but mainly to reconnect because hotel rooms can get a little lonely sometimes and it’s important to remember that you are there on a mission and will return home soon, a friends and supporters back home remind us of this.
8. Have Fun. If you leave on a trip and go to a new place and don’t have fun, the only one to blame is yourself. I can find something interesting, exciting or beautiful about any place I have ever been, and I have been to some shitty places. The beauty is in the ey of the beholder. Boring people get bored. You can look at it as a shitty work trip in Wichita or an exciting adventure to a place unknown on a mission to find something cool about. That is up to you, but even I can’t fix a person who doesn’t want to be fixed, and I sure as hell can’t make a person who is hell-bent having a horrible time have fun.
I hope this brightened up your day! Ok now Im off to go explore the city, enough blog writing for today!!!