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5 Minute Motivation:
Sales & Leadership Thoughts

"As I travel across the country with the incredible opportunity to speak to so many corporations and groups, helping them create Sliced Bread Moments, inspiring them, and motivating them to Break Through the Stupid Rules that hold others back, I am often asked many Sales & Leadership questions. I wanted to highlight some of these questions  to continue to help those I’ve spoken to and those I hope I’m blessed to speak to in the future."- Adam Brest

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Referral Prospecting & Recognition – Yes… prospecting for referrals. Most people don’t equate any types of referrals with prospecting. Change the viewpoint, because I assure you, you should be prospecting for referrals and recognizing them when they cross your path. Should be, can be, will be, and should be a major focus. I find that a lot of referrals go unnoticed.. these are golden opportunities that we can easily capture with the right focus and questions.

Direct Referrals – These are personally vouched-for referrals. “I know Adam, I trust him, he can help you, he will take good care of you.” (Direct insight or introduction) These are Golden Opportunities, but as most salespeople will easily recognize direct referrals, I’d like to focus on the lesser known type of referrals… Indirect Referrals…

What are indirect referrals? Let’s take a service industry for our example. You are having trouble with your pool service company. You see another pool service truck in your neighborhood every week. You don’t specifically know the neighbor or know them well enough to ask about whether they like the pool company, but you’re willing to call the company to talk to them about a quote. Right place, right time.. you can make an inference about the company without searching online for them or performing any research about them. They are servicing your neighbor, they have for years, and you see their truck every week. You can make inferences about them and your neighbor’s satisfaction, so you’re going to give them a chance to earn your business before walking out into the crazy bid world and having 800 pool service companies calling you constantly. For a service industry specifically, these are a great way to grow in a particular area or niche… just by being there, opportunities will come your way.

Think about this from the prospecting angle… this works both ways.. If you’re a pool service company, I would be on Google Earth searching every neighborhood I service searching for any houses with pools. A picture is worth a thousand words. You can drive your own referrals.. But how do you recognize them when they call you? By listening… a new client will ALWAYS give you a clue why they called.. “You service my neighbor” – Indirect referral… “I saw your truck in my neighborhood” – Indirect Referral… there are hundreds of examples.. The trick is to recognize them quickly and to seize them.. They are Golden Opportunities that fall into your path. Go be the best you can be!!

-Adam Brest

The Cold Calling Game – Why is cold calling miserable for some salespeople? Scared of the phone? No. Scared of your product? No. Scared of rejection? Well….maybe… Let’s face it, for most people, cold calling is viewed as a necessary, yet tedious and marginally-productive exercise.

So how do we change the game to achieve better results? I begin with revising my own expectations. Simply ask yourself - What am I actually trying to accomplish with this call? Set an appointment? Introduce myself? Close a sale? Do they know my company already?

I find that most salespeople I’ve trained over the years start with the wrong goal… they are pushing for a sale when they are really trying to set an appointment. These are completely separate endeavors. Everyone has their own style and personality, but when I looked inward at my own activities over the years, I found that when my goals were outlined in my own mind (setting an appointment), I was focused on that task and opened the door for ancillary opportunities for closing a sale over the phone by being flexible. I cannot tell you how many sales I had “closed” on the phone and the appointment we set was merely an opportunity to sign the paperwork. Why? Because the customer’s time was valuable… while, in their perception, I was focused on having the best appointment possible with them, I was able to glean all of the information I need to be able to finalize the sale when I arrived in person.

For me, this approach gave them the opportunity to ask me questions, to offer their thoughts, to give me a chance to offer to bring information in person. They would receive Answers in our meeting, not simply a sales pitch. They would be looking forward to the Custom Solution I was bringing, not simply a one-sized-fits-all proposal without background. I was able to change the cold calling game for myself and my results skyrocketed. How will your results skyrocket? The next time you pick up the phone and dial a number…ask yourself…what am I trying to accomplish and watch the magic begin… Go be the best you can be!!

– Adam Brest

Personability in Action –

Personability: The inherent desire to relate to people you know on a deeper level than that of a mere casual connection. A human trait, regardless of career path, age or walk of life, which instinctually draws in passersby with an almost magnetic pull, charismatic charm, and the subliminal knowledge that he/she truly cares for others’ well-being.

This was how I defined my “made-up word” in “Who Made These Stupid Rules?” and is the character trait I strived for when I was managing my team, walking into a new customer’s door, or meeting a new person on the street. I try to relate this trait every time I speak at Leadership/Management conferences, because this simple thought can spark tremendous impacts for team building and growth. But how do we put Personability into Action in our fast-paced, goal-driven world?

It starts with a mental exercise… Ask yourself, “What could I do for you, which has no bearing on me?” In other words, what could I do for you (as your manager, co-worker, salesperson, or friend) for which I would receive no inherent benefit? This simple exercise can open a world of opportunities for insight by simply removing yourself from the equation for a moment.

This insight you’ll gain is the key. Think of it as “Optimism X-ray vision”… I find that the first step of creating the atmosphere of Personability around you starts with the the “little things” you notice or are able to anticipate that most people gloss over. You’ll begin to ask different questions – garnering better responses. You’ll begin to recognize previously hidden opportunities around you – highlighting those opportunities for others and capturing opportunities for yourself.

In the sales world, you’ll begin to recognize the unspoken things customers need to hear. As a manager, you’ll begin to align your team’s goals. As a co-worker, you’ll be the positive influence in the company. But most of all, when you’re able to build the Atmosphere of Personability around you, you will begin to instinctually draw opportunities into your own path…

- Adam Brest

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