Tag: Sales

Female Empowerment

Lori Cornmesser Permanent Injunction

In the first world, women are working even more than ever before. Coping with this change will be a great challenge of the decades to come.

The economic empowerment of women across thew old is one the most remarkable revolutions within the past 50 years, economically speaking. The remarkable aspect of this relies on the extent to eh change: millions of people who were once dependent on men have taken full control of their own economic fates. It is remarkable also because this has produced so little friction: a change that so greatly affects the most intimate aspects of our identities has been widely welcomed by men as well as women across the first world countries. Dramatic social change such as this seldom takes this much of a benign form.

Even benign form does have a sharp side – social arrangements have not caught up with economic changes as many children have paid the price for this rise of two-income households. Many women and men feel that they are caught in an enclosing tangle of commitments. if the empowerment of women was one the greatest changes of the past 50 years, socially speaking, dealing with its social consequences will be one of the next great challenges of our society.

Progress hasn’t been uniform across the board in many different nations. The change is, nonetheless, quite dramatic. Just a generation ago, working women performed menial jobs and were quite routinely subjected to casual sexism. Today, women make up the majority of professional workers in many countries.

What explains the revolution list hat politics have been playing their part. Feminist such as betty Friedan have fought domestic slavery and discrimination, as well as governments passing equal rights acts. Female politicians have taught young women that anything is possible.

The first world has seen a growth within the demand for female labour. When strength mattered more than brains, men had the inherent advantage. now that brainpower is the triumphant competency, the two sexes are much more evenly matched. The feminization of the workforce has been driven by the rise of the service sector, where women compete at the same level as men, and the equally relentless decline of manufacturing.

Demand has also been matched by supply as women are increasingly willing and able to work. Improved technology reduced the amount of time that was needed for the traditional female work of cleaning and cooking. Women, now more than ever, have the time as well as increased incentives to put effort in acquiring skills, particularly slow-burning skills that are difficult to learn and take many years to pay off. The knowledge hat women would not have to stop out of school to have a baby made school more plausible.

The expansion of higher education has also provided a significant boost for job prospects for women. This improves their value within the job market and shifts their role models from stay at home mothers to successful professional women. The best-educated women have always been more likely than other less-educated women to work even after having children.

A surprising thing about this revolution is how little celebration there has been. Most people do welcome the change and most Americans regard it as positive development. Few are cheering because young women take their opportunities for granted, and many women who work represent economic necessity rather than liberation. The first world’s growing army of single mothers have little choice but to work. The growing proportion of married women have also discovered that the only way they can preserve their households’ living standards is to work. In America, families with stay at home mothers have the same inflation-adjusted income as similar families did in the early 1970s. The reason is that the revolution has also brought many issues in its wake.

The big issue is that women’s rising aspirations have not actually been fulfilled. Women have been encourage to climb the ladder of business to only discover that the middle rungs are dominated by ben and the upper rungs are unfortunately, out of reach. the upper ranks of management consultancies and banks are typically dominated by men. Many women are forced to pick between motherhood and a career. The cost of motherhood is particularly steep for fast-track, career-oriented women. The world’s largest economy has adopted an idiosyncratic approach as America provides no statuary paid leave for mothers. At least 145 other countries provide paid sick leave as America allow sonly unpaid absence for serious illness.

So far with the combination of public and private-sector initiatives has only gone so far in terms of dealing with the problem. The children of poorer working mothers are the least likely to benefit from female-friendly companies. Millions of families are still struggling to make ends meet as insufficient child-care facilities are growing and a school day that bears no relationship to their working lies.

The Western world will be struggling to deal with the social consequences of women’s economic empowerment for many years to come.

Women Sales Leaders Share Their Tips for Success

Five Ways Women in Sales Self-Sabotage

Lori Cornmesser Permanent Injunction

The topic of equality in the workplace is still ever-present in this day and age. Society points towards a male-dominated scene in terms of companies and organizations. But what should women actually do? A recent article in Harvard Business Review talks about how a lack of significant confidence is the primary cause of stunted professional growth in women.

Here are the top five actions that sabotage success:

Being Afraid of Self-Promotion.
As young women, we were all thought not to nag. Bragging was a behavior that hinted towards boasting and improper actions. However, there is a difference betters bragging and self-promotion.

Kim Duke, owner of Sales Divas says, “Bragging is when you’re saying something that’s untrue and has absolutely no relevance to the audience that’s hearing it. with self-promotion, you’re sharing things that are true, and can build credibility.”

Modesty being an admirable trait outside of the workplace, it is foolish to behave in such a way within the professional world. it is similar to a tree falling in the forest: “if no one knows about your accomplishments, they don’t exist.”

Undervaluing Themselves and Their Services
When undergoing a sales pitch to a prospective customer, many women make the mistake of attempting to mind-read their buyers. They make an assumption that the buyer will reject their high price. Making this assumption leave money not he table. Women, and men alike, are scared of compromising the opportunity. In reality, they have nothing to lose. If you don’t currently have the customer, you lose nothing if you don’t win them. It is better go in with full confidence with a more ambitious proposal. If the customer gets cold feet, you can carve back some of the price and work more towards their budget.

Not Asking for Directions
Women in a male dominated business make every effort not to seem weak. therefor, those who are newer to sales fail to ask for help when they need it.

“There’s a way of asking for help that can be done such that it’s not a sign of weakness, but a sign of great strength,” Says Jill Konrath, an author and sales strategist. “It’s about sitting down with someone and just saying, ‘Here’s the fact— I’m struggling with this right now.’ You need advice and support from people who have been around, whether i’s asking about the sales process or understand what you’re selling better, it’s all stuff you need to learn. they key is to not feel weak int he process and to remember that you’re just a learner and that its a process.”

Making Relationships is Priority
relationship development is important when selling, but when the relationship gets in the way of the transaction, you have huge problem. Women tend to be more sensitive and place higher importance on creating a positive relationship than chasing the desired business result.

It does have to be one or the other. “When a prospect says no, women will tend to accept that answer focusing again on the relationship. Instead, they should focus on educating the prospect. this ultimately adds more value and will get you to yes almost overtime,” says Kristine Scotto, an executive with more than 25 years of experience in sales.

Being Afraid of Making Mistakes
We all try out best to be perfectionists, women especially. We do not want to let anybody down, including ourselves. Above all, looking foolish is never an option. As a result, many women in sales play it safe, which in turn sabotages their chances of growth within a company.

“Being willing to bring in big, creative ideas and take a chance on your customer is completely win-win,” says Duke. “even if they hate your idea, it could potentially have a domino effect where there’s some brainstorming with he client and the idea will change into something you both love. That also allows them to see that you are thinking for them and that you’re a part of the team.”

The important thing is to be aware of all these points and be sure that if you are guilty of some of them, to try to make adjustments in behavior and thought process. All of this is necessary to keep in mind for ling-term success.

Secrets to Selling Technology

Lori Cornmesser Sales VP

High-tech sales often comprises both intangible and complex sales. Many solutions are invisible as they run in the background and most people do not know that they even exist.

Stating that someone is associated within the high-tech sector or industry is an ambiguous statement in this time, as most organizations use technology for all most all business operations. Everything from engineering solutions, cars, phones, and legal services use technology as vital part of their work. You may not consider yourself to directly be “in technology”, but if you are in sales, you ay be selling solutions that involve technological services or programs at some point in time.

There are different types of people involved in the procurement of high-tech solutions and systems. If you were selling Customer Relations management software to a client, certain buyers may be involved in the decision making process to evaluate the necessity. Such positions include: The CEO, Finance/accounting, sales staff, VP of Sales, training department, and the IT department.

It is important to know how to explain the product to each position and level in terms that will appeal most to them in terms of how they will directly use and benefit from said high-tech solution. Communication is key as always, but it is important to do your homework in regards to knowing who you will be speaking with.

Most sales team members are comfortable communicating with one or two of these types of groups. The best salespeople have a strategy to address the needs of each type of group, which is unique and directly applicable to each buyer. Remember, you are selling to multiple buyers and creative communication is imperative as everyone must see the upside of the product.

Having an understanding of the market and niche is absolutely critical. Learning about any unique circumstances, competition, and business processes of the target marked is very important. This research and preparation better equips salespeople to address all the needs of the market as a whole.

It is also important to know all the applications and limitations of your product or solution. This requires spending time with the engineers to get the ins and outs of exactly what your product can offer. Being prepared to answer tough questions in a positive, constructive way is crucial to success.

Other things to think about are problem solving, consulting, and project planning skills. You are your own manager and team member; many large high-tech sales deal will need many people on their teams to help close a sale. Once the deal has been made, a need to continue monitoring the interaction is needed to ensure that the promises made are being carried out. This is the secret to being a great salesperson: it is not a one-stop shop. You are creating a conversation; an invitation for the buyers to return as a client or as a friend. Networking is a solid best practice within high-tech product sales.

The Future of IT Sales

Lori Cornmesser, IT Sales, Corporate

 

At a recent Micro Cloud Summit conference, Gartner’s analyst Tiffani Boca discussed a special Gartner report titled, “The Future of IT Sales.” Based on multiple surveys of IT buyers at large organizations, several key features were pointed out about what it will take to close cloud services deals in the future.

Focusing on benefits is a key shift in selling as one moves the discussion away tom features. While this sounds cliche, or something from Sals 101, this advice is often pushed aside. Maybe the fact that service features are asker to come up with than benefits make it easier to discuss. Features are attributes f the produce and service, while benefits reflect the impacts of that produce or service, directly related to the customer. This does require a bit more thought. In the future, buyers will be much more focused on the benefits and successful cloud selling will mean talking up the benefits.

A second important aspect of cloud selling is building trust and communicating differentiation by using customer case studies. Unlike selling hardware, cloud services are not as commoditized and have real differences in quality of service, levels of serve, and features. Gartner found that by using customer case studies, communication differentiation and creating trust has been revolutionized as high effective way to sell the product. Make sure existing customers are delighted and then trumpet that success to your prospects and other customers.

Keep in mind the decision maker. Vars are used to selling to IT management, however the future of IT sales is not necessarily in the IT/IS department. While IT may be called in to vet solutions, it has shown that the decision is increasingly being driven by line management. In this case the implications are that you need to speak the language of the functional business lines. In the future, be prepared to speak the specific language of vertical markets and function business units.

Resellers need to move to cloud via evolutionary steps. Sales people need to become more consultative in their approach. Sales management needs to envelop knew compensation programs for their sales representatives. marketing needs to revamp materials for cloud serves as accounting needs to implement recurring billing models. Operations needs to develop first line support capabilities and finally, top management needs to fully support these essential shifts within each department. It is important to remember that these changes cannot happen overnight. There is one very important caveat: Much like the dinosaurs, failure to evolve to quickly adapt to a changing ecosystem will leave many resellers extinct. The time is now to start the move to the future of IT sales.

 

New Book Urges Business Leaders to Address Blind Spots

Lori CornmesserLeadership in business often means having to grasp the big picture without necessarily being able to see the whole thing. And as startup mentor Marty Zwilling explains in his article on the Huffington Post blog, identifying one’s blind spots is key.

Zwilling discusses the book “Leadership Blindspots” by Robert Bruce Shaw, and points out that every business leader has blind spots that hinder their success. What’s more, it’s the ability and willingness to accept and address these limitations that can make or break most business leaders.

Part of the balancing act of being an effective leader is having enough confidence to push forward your ideas, while maintaining enough humility to acknowledge your weaknesses. Confidence and humility are two qualities that would seem to be at odds with one another and yet, both are essential for maintaining an intellectually honest assessment of the circumstances at play in a business setting.

Of course, acknowledging the need for a healthy balance of self-confidence and self-doubt is not the same as actually maintaining that balance. There are a few techniques from Shaw’s book to surface information that might be otherwise obscured from the view of individuals in leadership positions.

Some of these techniques may seem fairly obvious: favoring open-ended questions over those with a “yes/no” answer; being careful not to steer the conversation to confirm your own assumptions; and making sure to not accept evasive answers. Other suggestions are more novel, such as: paraphrasing and, in some cases, intentionally mis-paraphrasing what you’re hearing from others. This will force those around you to go into greater detail to expound on their point and may reveal specifics that might otherwise have been glossed over.

Part of being an effective leader is being a strong judge of character, and that includes one’s own. Taking into account personal strengths and weaknesses can help to limit the adverse effects of leadership blindspots.

Head over to the HuffPo blog, blog for the full list of leadership recommendations.

4 Sales Strategies That Challenge The Old Paradigm

Lori CornmesserIn his weekly article for The Business Journals, Simon T. Bailey, CEO of the Brilliance Institute and former sales director of the Disney Institute, outlines sales strategies that focus on the culture of sales. Bailey feels that a sales approach focused on simply “convincing people to buy” is a remnant of an outmoded paradigm. His vision for a modern sales approach is what one might call a “sales lifestyle,” which shifts focus from products and services onto the people and organizations that use them.

Connect with buyers by addressing their needs.

According to Bailey, sales is and will continue to be the driving force behind most business. What is changing is what drives buyers to buy, and adapting to that shift will be what makes enterprises profitable. First, Bailey feels that sales professionals must identify the problems that trigger a buyers need, and then orient their products and services to address those problems. In the old model of sales, simply pushing products was the modus operandi. But the modern buyer has choices and the means to explore them, so repositioning products to address client need is essential for connecting with potential buyers.

Identify opportunities and showcase possibilities.

Second, the article emphasizes surfacing potential opportunities. This involves a management approach that focuses less on articulating the benefits of the product to the client, and more on posing probing questions to determine the full depths of a buyer’s issues. Bailey says that often times buyers have only a tenuous grasp of the full scope of their needs. Salespeople need to ask in-depth questions and take advantage of the possibilities that may be unearthed by them.

Go above and beyond in customer service.

Third, sales is customer service. In Bailey’s vision, gone are the days when the sale was closed and the client became the problem of the customer service department. The modern client expects the sales representative to be their liaison to the company. A seamless, integrated sales/customer service strategy will increase customer satisfaction, and ultimately revenues.

Live to sell by promoting your team’s personal brands.

Finally, Bailey recommends that business and sales leaders instill in their teams what he calls a “live-to-sell” approach. This involves building personal brands within a larger sales team. Individuals who market themselves in turn market the company and its products and services. If done correctly, this approach can open up previously blocked opportunities for growth.

Sales Tips to Improve Your Success

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  1. Build Business Relationships: Don’t just think of how to sell your product, think of how to continue selling your product. Think of your work and relationships outlasting your job.

  2. Rely on Your Established Customers: Customers you’ve already created a relationship and who trust you can be a great gateway to more customers. Continue to build your relationship even with established customers so they can be used in this way.

  3. Understand the Needs of the Customer: Each customer will have a different type of demanded value. It is your responsibility to understand this and make your work about achieving the value the customer wants.

  4. Under-promise and Over-deliver: People are quick to blame if you do not live up to expectation or to what you guaranteed. If you promise less and you surpass what is expected of you, the customer will not be disappointed but rather impressed with your work.

  5. Time Management: Never keep a client waiting! It will leave a sour taste in the client’s mouth. Time management will help you reduce your stress levels as well, so it’s a win-win.

  6. Invest in Relationships: Every relationship you have is important in sales. Whether the client is established, prospective, or even in a different field, he/she should be treated like a vital piece of your sale.

  7. Always Look for Better Ways to Service Clients: Books, trainings, seminars, and the Internet are great places to start researching how to do this.

  8. Believe in Your Product: If you don’t believe in your product, then no one else will. Study your product so you know every little detail.

  9. Take Prompt Action: Being able to achieve more in little time makes you stand out.

  10. Work with a Mentor: Working with a respectable figure will help you to acquire the principles and strategies required to succeed.

To learn more about improving your sales skills and tactics, check out this article.  Thank you!

Tips for Successful Sales Calls

Lori Cornmesser

Successful Sales Calls

For anyone who works in sales, you know that the more people you can connect with in terms of trying to sell your product, the better.  While it is important to try to reach as many people as possible when selling, it also important that the connections you make be quality connections, so that you can get the response that you are looking for.  A recent article details some of the key points for having successful sales calls, which are also outlined below.

1. Draw the client in quickly–  A sales person has 15 seconds or less to capture the attention of the individual they are calling in order to keep their interest so that they can continue their sales pitch.  It is important to get the attention of the client right away before they lose interest and think you are just another telemarketer.  Make those first 15 seconds count!

2. Get the Client excited- When selling, you must maintain the mindset that the product you are selling has the potential to positively impact the life of the individual you are calling, and that you are contributing to their quality of life in extending the opportunity for them to invest in said product.  Show your enthusiasm, but do not overdo it.  Be confident in your product and what you are selling; if you truly believe in your product that will become apparent to the potential client and draw them in further.

3. Imitation Helps- When you are speaking to someone, try to speak with the same volume, tone and  speed as the individual you are talking to. When people feel like they are dealing with someone who is similar to them, they are generally more interested in talking with that person.  While not completely impersonating the individual, using a similar vernacular and speech can be extremely helpful.

4. Say the Client’s Name-  Studies have shown that people are most responsive to their own name.  Try to use their name roughly 3 times within a call. It generates a sort of familiarity between yourself and the client, making the salesperson more relatable, thus someone they are more likely to listen to.

These are just a few sales tips that are generally known to improve success when making sales calls.  To learn more helpful sales tips, check out the above article.