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My Predictions For 2015....

 

BlogPost12232014Hope you are well and are looking forward to a restful holidays.

As things start to quiet down for us over here at Unlock The Game, I usually spend this time of the year reflecting on all the changes we have seen within the businesses of our own private clients, our own business and the overall changes in the market place over the last twelve months.

Many of these changes started as little unknown variances and subtleties that we noticed within the many sales processes that we have analysed in the past year – which have now become my major predictions for the new year that could significantly impact (positively or negatively) your business in 2015.

I normally only share these predictions (which most have come true over the years) with the business owners and entrepreneurs in my Private Client Group.

But this year, I’ve decided to share them with all of my subscribers (all 73,605 of them, as of this writing) because they are so dramatic and everyone needs to be aware of them to head off major sales declines in their business next year.

On a side note, since I’ve been living in Sydney now for the last 11 years, usually during the month of December and January almost every business owner takes off for the holidays and doesn’t get back into action until late January.

Not this year. In the past couple of weeks I’ve never spoken with so many ambitious business owners who are working during December and asking to see me during the month of January for sales strategy advice.

What’s going on?

They are worried.

They know the global economy has fundamentally changed in the last 12 months.

Selling is getting harder, not easier.

If you’re planning on marketing and selling the same way you did last year, in 2015, you’re in for a rude awakening.

Here are my predictions:

1. “Random Selling” is no longer a sustainable strategy

The world of selling has dramatically shifted in the last 12 months. I don’t think anyone would argue against that fact.

What used to be a simple transaction, speak with a potential prospect and then make the sale, has become a faint memory of how it “used to be”.

The selling world has shifted from simple to complex.

Most likely you are feeling this shift in a very personal way -- through the sheer frustration of having too many choices for what you “should” be doing to create a steady stream of new paying clients.

Most Business Owners are frantically doing what I call “random selling”...meaning everything they’re “supposed” to do to feel like they are doing the best they can like: networking (not predictable or leveraged), referrals (not systematic or scalable), social media (not targeted lead generation), online content publication (the illusion of authority), and hiring new staff (huge fixed cost investment when they don’t bring in new business).

Random Selling is what happens when all the options around you reach the point where they all appear to have equal weighting. The choices are endless. Everything seems equally important, when in reality they are not.

2. Persuasion is OUT, Differentiation is IN

Selling in 2015 will truly become a battle of differentiation, and no longer a battle of persuasion.

That is a BIG statement if you believe that you or your sales team needs to get better at PERSUASION.

If you aren’t feeling the commoditization of the internet on your business (i.e. web leads only shopping you for price, being compared to a competitor one click away, low conversion from those calling you from your website, getting no respect when you are really trying to help someone, etc.), then you will real soon.

Here’s a little tip for you, even though you might think your potential clients are comparing you to someone else, the reality is, they aren’t comparing you, what they’re really doing is RANKING you based on how much they trust you and how much authority you convey.

When the world was less commoditised, conveying trust was enough to make the sale.

Now it’s only half the solution, the other half is you clearly and succinctly conveying authority and “market ownership” positioning in the niche that you do business. And by authority, I don’t mean trying to find something about your product that is different (almost impossible, since your nearest competitors can make the same claims as you), I’m talking about the total separation from you and your competitors based on your potential clients being drawn into your world as a “safe” place where by default, you are the best choice for them.

That statement draws the proverbial line in the sand that says it’s time for you to seriously consider changing the way you think about how you acquire new clients.

3. Social Media is a medium, NOT a Sales Process

I spoke with a business consultant yesterday on the phone who was looking for my advice on how to grow her business next year. I asked her where she is investing her time to create new clients, guess what she said:

a. Posting daily on her social media outlets

b. Posting daily articles to her blog

That is called BROADCASTING, with the “hope” that someone seeing her posts/content will enthusiastically contact her to inquire about her services.

Sure that can happen from time to time, but for a consistent high-growth sales strategy, that’s a pipe dream.

It’s kind of like the fantasy that we dream about sometimes hoping that a news reporter from a major news outlet will do a full profile on us and our business because we believe the general public wants to know about it. The news reporter isn’t calling anytime soon.

I worked with her on getting clear on who her ideal client is, how many paying clients she wants next year, identified where her ideal clients are clustered and outlined a strategy to draw them directly into a custom inbound trust-based funnel.

Turns out her ideal clients are not seeing her blog posts or social media posts. Now she is working with us on a targeted approach to make sure she earns the income she wants in 2015.

4. For B-to-B Businesses, the internet is like “quick sand”, take your prospects OFF the web and away from “e-media” as fast as possible

I ran a Master Class in Sydney a few weeks ago and the biggest issue that was talked about was this mad rush to keeping the majority of the sales process online.

a. Visitor comes to website

b. Submits form for white paper or widget

c. Visitor receives white paper link via email

d. Visitor downloads and reads white paper (hopefully)

c. Visitor is called relentlessly for “follow-up”

d. Visitor “hides” from the calls

What a nightmare process... the last thing you want to be doing is chasing prospects.

As one participant said emphatically: “Calling back and getting a hold of these web leads is getting almost as bad as Cold Calling!” Wow, now that’s a powerful statement.

In 2015, you need to COMPLETELY change the way you sell. When a lead comes in, do not send them anything that they need to fetch from their inbox.

Mail them something of substance in the MAIL that shows you can solve their problem and makes it clear that you are the AUTHORITY on the topic (like a “targeted” book).

Then, with the book, include a coupon for a Complimentary Business Growth Session (or whatever fits the problem you help them solve) that has an expiration date on it.

Now watch what happens when you call them back not to “follow up”, but to get some “feedback” on what you sent them.

You get RESPECT and trust, those two ingredients must be built into your sales process to succeed in the new year.

BlogPost12232014-rubiksToday’s selling environment has become like a “Rubiks cube”, you’ve got infinite combinations to figure out before you find the exact one that is perfect for your business.

The only person that can pinpoint and find that combination, is someone that is not in your day-to-day operations (not even your own marketing person), but someone who has a “forest” from the “trees” perspective.

I know these predictions may trigger more questions for you and that’s good, it’s got you thinking differently, which is my goal for you in 2015.

If you’d like clarity on how to differentiate your business and sales process in 2015, create a “moat” around it so your potential clients choose you over anyone else, I’m opening up a few Complimentary One-On-One Sales Growth Sessions for ambitious business owners who are ready for a re-think of how they sell and grow their business in the new year.

Your comments and feedback are welcome below....

To your success,

Aris Signature

5 Comments     Add Your Comments Here Email to a Friend

Luca P.,
Thanks for your precious insights Ari. Your material is helping me big time!
Adrienne Furness, Brisbane
Completely agree Ari. Most sensible commentary I have seen in such a long time, especially No 4. Everyone is overrun with automated systems and totally ignoring them. Overrun and overdone! Thank you for your wisdom.
Glen Parker, Sydney, Australia
Wow. I so needed to read this right now. It's spot on & affirms my current beliefs about selling B2B. Thanks again Ari.
Julie Renning, London, UK
This is why I love your work Ari, it's the exact OPPOSITE of what all the other experts are telling us to do.

You are so so right...
Mike Packer, Sydney, Australia
You are dead on right Ari...as business owners if we aren't ready to transform the way we sell, we might as well throw in the towel so we don't experience a slow death.

I'm seeing my business and conversion rates drop this past year and we even have the best solution in the market.

You speak the truth, it's not about our solution, it's about our ability to rise above our market and be the number one choice. I'm filling out your form to hopefully get your assistance in the new year.

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Diffuse Objections by Listening To Your Prospect’s Concerns...

 

BlogPost-11172014You’ve probably heard this over and over in your career: “If you hear an objection, immediately overcome it and move towards making the sale.”

That’s a very one-sided approach to a moment that could great really awkward quickly.

Objections are challenges raised by prospects. They put pressure on you, and they can bring your conversation to a halt, or help it grow.

Most approaches to selling insist that objections are challenges that can “lose” the sale if you don’t “handle” or “counter” them skillfully.

But if you’re coming from the Unlock The Game Mindset, an objection is simply a statement or a question that carries one of two messages:

  • First, your prospect may be telling you the literal truth. “We don’t have the budget” may mean just that. They may under a budget freeze and can’t consider your solution for the time being.
  • Second, your prospect may not be telling you the truth. Prospects may raise “objections” because they want to end the conversation or relationship without coming right out and telling you they aren’t interested.

But your goal is always to get to the truth of your prospect’s situation. The best way to do that is to train yourself to think of objections as ways you can learn more about that truth. That’s why I think it’s important to think of “objections” as legitimate “concerns.” It diffuses the rather confrontational aura around the term “objection.”

Many prospects carry a stereotyped “salesperson” image that comes into play whenever they’re approached by salespeople they’ve never had any dealings with but who come across as totally focused on “making the sale.”

If we keep in mind that people have had these experiences, we’ll find it easier to remain centered and calm. Then we can begin to reopen the conversation, which makes it easier for prospects to talk about their situation because they won’t feel pressured or threatened. They’ll trust that if they open up, you won’t take advantage of them by trying to “sell” your solution.

Trust is always fragile and easily damaged. When you hear objections that you sense aren’t true, they’re a signal that your prospect has started feeling mistrustful.

The Fight or Flight Reaction

People who sell typically handle objections in a defensive manner or in ways that try to convince prospects that their objection isn’t true.

But that’s actually an attack on the other person’s reality and puts them on the defensive. They start fearing that we’re going to try to “sell” them by persuading them, so they either challenge us more, or they try to get out of the situation.

They react with the classic “fight or flight” response. And so do we. Defensiveness, when we push back, is the “fight” response. Or we may choose the “flight” response. We may bow out and end the call or the meeting. If we’re in the traditional sales mindset, we may think that “fight” or “flight” are our only options when it comes to dealing with objections.

“That’s Not a Problem”

The Mindset gives you another option. You can respond to objections by diffusing pressure and reopening the conversation based on trust, so you and your prospect can determine together whether you’re a match.

When your prospect raises an objection, you can simply tell yourself, “Ah, here’s an ‘objection.’ I need to diffuse any tension, and to be sensitive to any defensiveness that they may be feeling so I can learn the truth.” So, whenever you hear an objection of any kind, in most cases you can begin by responding with these four words: “That’s not a problem.”

When you say this in a very calm, relaxed voice, you’re simply validating that whatever the other person saying has truth to it. You’re not denying what they’ve said, which might trigger fears that you have a hidden agenda. “That’s not a problem” diffuses tension and allows you to continue your conversation.

It may also be the last thing prospects expect you to say, based on their past experiences with traditional salespeople.

They may be surprised that you’ve validated what they’ve said as true, and that will increase your credibility and their sense of trust. And you’ll feel relieved because you haven’t had to “handle” or “confront” the objection. Confrontation often destroys trust and brings the relationship to an end.

By the way, some prospects may assume that “That’s not a problem” is just another script, canned phrase, or sales tactic aimed at moving them toward a “close.” In fact, traditional approaches often use a hurried, urgent, “No problem!” no matter what objections the prospect raises. But in the Mindset, this phrase is really a bridge that lets you continue the dialogue.

Reopening the Conversation

After you respond with “That’s not a problem” or another graceful, relaxed, low-key reply, your next step is to pause for a moment to let the other person take in what you’ve just said. They may be surprised because they didn’t expect that response. Let them have that time. Then, when it feels natural and comfortable, open up the conversation again with an appropriate phrase that goes behind or beyond the objection.

You can then ask a question that gives the other person the message, “I’m not going to try to persuade you otherwise, but I would like to know if you’re open to looking at this from a new perspective.” With this in mind, what you say next will really depend on the specific objection. You’ll notice that the suggested phrases “Would you be open to…” and “Would it make sense…” occur a lot in these examples. These wordings are important because you’re showing respect and simply asking prospects whether they’re open to considering something new, so it makes sense to continue your conversation.

The more you can shift from “Fight or Flight” mode to “re-engage” mode, the more you create trust and allow the conversation to re-open again without pressure.

To your success,

Aris Signature

4 Comments     Add Your Comments Here Email to a Friend

Mark Terzano, Lima Peru, Peru
It's a fantastic way to diffuse the client all the way and be on their side.
I was approached by a salesman in a shopping mall in Lima one day, they had 3 Hyundai cars for sale, a salesman was on his feet to start talking to me about the car - . He hammered me to death before anything else and he did not even qualify me I just looked at the thing. I told him in the end what he did. ...Unlock the game will work in Spanish also.
Brian Keen, Gold Coast, Australia
Very succinct Ari and a beautiful segue to a progressive next step...
Horace the Salesman, DC
Nice response reminds me of good ole Dave Sandler "Nuture, Nuture, Nuture" Keep it coming!
Mike Madden, Melbourne, Australia
Excellent Ari, so well thought out, if only all the other sales gurus could learn from you selling would be much more pleasant for the rest of the world!

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Check Out ALL Blog Posts


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BLOG • Latest Posts
My Predictions For 2015....
by Ari Galper
Hope you are well and are looking forward to a restful holidays. As things start to quiet down for u...
Diffuse Objections by Listening To Your Prospect’s Concerns...
by Ari Galper
You've probably heard this over and over in your career: "If you hear an objection, immediately over...
The "Wake Up" Call That Changed Everything
by Ari Galper
About two or three times a week, someone asks if I had a defining moment that inspired me to create ...
The Silent Zone: Lost Sale or Lost Truth?
by Ari Galper
If you've been in business for any length of time, you've probably experienced being dropped into th...
Can I save your marriage?
by Ari Galper
Something interesting happened to me last week that I thought I'd share with you. Last Monday here i...
Why is the truth so hard to tell...
by Ari Galper
Sometimes I ask myself: "Why aren't people comfortable with just telling the truth?" We live across ...
Who's the guru behind the guru...
by Ari Galper
My son Toby, who you probably know by now, is truly an inspiration. For the last six weeks, he's bee...
A life-changing message from my son Toby
by Ari Galper
Hope you are well and that the new year is turning out to be your best year ever. If it's not, this ...
The Power of Authenticity: Unlock Your Sales Potential by Getting to the Truth (Part 2 of a 2-part series)
by Ari Galper
Get Ahead by Being Yourself I know how much of a difference it will make in your work and life. Inst...
Could your life improve with more trust?
by Ari Galper
Lately I've been doing a lot of travelling across the "pond" to the US and back. My travels have tak...

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April 19, 2015         Quote Of The Day

"Learning to walk away may be the hardest part of selling because we've been so conditioned to pursue anyone who we believe could benefit from our solution or who shows interest in what we have to offer. The longer you've been in sales, the longer it may take you to rewind the tapes in your head."

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