Business

How To Get Beyond The Ghost

We are just four day’s away from the next Carrier Community Event and I am freaking pumped!
Today’s post is inspired from some answers from the attendees when it came to the question of how do you get beyond the ghost.  The ghost is referring to the person you were talking to and about to sign a deal with, but then all of a sudden they don’t respond to your text’s, call’s, emails… nothin.  Below are some of the ideas discussed, some of which I wouldn’t have thought of.  Since I have started creating this carrier community with others, these pieces of wisdom have become invaluable.
  1. Pay attention to the news surrounding their company and about items that would be of interest to them.  If their company has done something remarkable and it is being reported on, this is an easy way to mention it to them and possibly get them talking about themselves… which we all love doing.  If their company isn’t in the news and you sent a printed out copy of the article with a letter stating why you sent it, that shows that you actually know about them and their interests, and that you are not afraid to go above and beyond what others and sales do.
  2. Search job postings for their company.  You may notice that their company is about to hire someone who will be their boss, or that their position is now open.  If you see that the company is hiring a new person in logistics / supply chain, you can send a welcome note once that position is filled.
    • You should also pay attention to their LinkedIn.  That is the easiest way to see changes to someones status and to see if their company, if their company keeps up with their own LinkedIn, has new people that could help you get back in contact with “The Ghost.”
  3. Get existing clients to call prospects.  If you can’t get back in touch with your contact, see if you can get an existing client to call on your behalf.  If someone called me and was genuinely raving about the service they were receiving… I know I would be 100% more inclined to reignite those conversations and take a second and third look on what was actually offered.
  4. Take a personal visit to their office.  This is super old school, but a personal touch is always more impactful.  See if you can learn their schedule a little bit better before you go to visit because you may be able to catch them on their way back from lunch.
  5. Hold them accountable.  This is one of the more tough suggestions because you have to do it with empathy.  You have no idea what is going on in their lives, but whatever is happening shouldn’t keep them from helping out their company.  If they agreed to get back with you about a yes or a no, keep them accountable to that.
Any of these five points can be implemented over and over again, but the most important thing is to make the other customer the hero. Part of the reason they may be ghosting is because even though you may be saving them some money or solving a problem, you are positioning yourself as the hero bringing about the solution. Remember that in sales you are never the hero.  Your job in sales is to make the other individual realize that with your help, they are going to be the hero as they save their company money, solve a big issue, or help bring about positive change that the company has been needing for so long.
Getting beyond the ghost isn’t easy, but it is possible. What are ways that you are doing it with your potential customers?
Business

Be Mindful Of Your Expectations

I recently went to my first Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals event.  It turned out to be a much better networking event then I had expected, which was pleasantly surprising, and I was able to meet a handful of pretty awesome folks.  There was a handful of great things about the event and I may post about those things another time, but for today… I wanted to talk about my expectations going in.
Let me ask a question before I go further.  Have you ever been to a movie and had extremely high expectations going in, only to in the end leave the theater disappointed?  Yet, when you talked to your friends about the movie the next day they were blown away.  One of the main reasons for this is because of expectations.  I have gone into movies with low expectations and been pleasantly surprised and I have gone in with high expectations and been sorely disappointed.  Last night was more of the disappointed for me, but that is on me.
I was connected to this group by a friend and I went in with the purpose to talk to a few key people about an idea that I had to add value to the group. I know… stupid.  That thought process is against all that I always talk about, but sometimes impatience and our past lives can get the better of us.  The one saving grace though is that I was texting a friend before the event and as I was doing this I caught myself about to make a big mistake… going in looking for the sale.  Since I caught myself having too high of expectations I was able to temper them a little, but not fully, and that is why I walked away a little disappointed in the whole thing.
No matter the event you are going to, even if you are the keynote speaker, make sure you temper your expectations.  A guardrail that I am going to have in place is to go in wanting to share in at least one persons story. That doesn’t mean that I will do business with them eventually, it just means that I will pay attention to them and actually let them be heard.  If I can offer advice, fantastic.  If it leads to us connecting later on, great. If I can offer a smile, awesome.  The outcome doesn’t really matter.  I just know that from now on I am going to go in expecting to share in at least one persons story and let the rest fall where it may.
I am glad that I had that conversation with my friend beforehand because if I would have went in hot with barrels blazing, I would have missed the opportunity to connect with two pretty awesome guys that work five minutes from where I do.
Remember to check your expectations at the door because you don’t want to ruin a perfectly good experience.
Helpful Hints

Put Away Your Distractions

Whether you are on the job or behind the wheel, put away those distractions.  One of the areas I am most guilty of is having my cellphone out on top of my desk while at work.  Yes, my job requires that I have it with me almost at all times, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be in plain view.
Now I can hear some of you thinking and mumbling right now, “Well he doesn’t have my job.” “He doesn’t know all that I do and I need to see my phone at all times.”  Let me just stop you right there can call bull on that.  Most people reading this blog are not saving lives, so let me assure you that your phone doesn’t need to be in view at all times.  Even if you are saving lives, your mind needs time to rest and relax.  If it is constantly on and looking at that glorious screen, it will never be able to recharge.
When we are constantly distracted and are minds are always going, it makes it so that we are never giving anything our best.  We find ourselves tired and stressed because our minds are constantly wandering.  Oftentimes we complain that we never have enough time to complete big projects, and a huge part of that issue is that our concentration is constantly being broken up by buzzes and dings from our greatest addiction.   Once we are distracted, it takes time to get our focus back and be fully engaged.  When we are constantly being distracted and drawn away, it adds unnecessary time to our projects and puts us behind on all that we do.
Please, do yourself a favor and store your phone in a drawer on silent during those big tasks.  Keep it out of view for the bulk of the day while you are working. When are distractions are put at bay, it is amazing how much more we can get done and how we actually feel refreshed because our minds will have a moment to wander and recharge.
What are some of the tips you use to stay focused and keep the distractions at bay?
Business

5 Words I Despise

The five words that I hate the most are, “Let me have a chance.”  Whenever I hear these, and it happens frequently, it makes me want to hang up immediately.  Why should you avoid this phrase?  Let me explain.
This phrase comes up in sales all the time.  It is something that is taught and for the life of me I can’t understand why.  When I hear this, I hear extreme desperation and the possibility that what you are promising won’t come to fruition.  Then when something invariably goes wrong the follow up is “Let me have a chance to redeem myself.” To that the answer should almost always be “Ummmmmm Heeeeeelllll no.”
When this phrase is used, it means there are other fundamental things not being met for anyone in the conversation to feel safe and that this is actually a good idea.  The biggest ingredient missing is trust. Trust takes time and experience, both of which you clearly do not have when these worlds spill out of your mouth.
Do everyone in this world a favor and remove this phrase from your speech.  It doesn’t show grit or determination, but desperation and an ill guided hope.
Better phrases you could use are, “ What are the obstacles that are keeping you from using us? What is the best way to get an opportunity to do business with you? How can I build trust with you outside of doing X?”  These three phrases are massively better than the “just give me a chance,” one.  If you ask any of those three phrases, you need to make sure you listen and then deliver on what your contact tells you.  Then, and only then, do the fundamental building blocks for a sale start to form so that all parties feel comfortable and confident that this is the right decision.
Business

Why Empathy Matters

Why does it even matter for us to empathize with others?
This past year I had hip surgery. I knew the recovery would take time and be difficult in some aspects, but until I was going through it, I didn’t realize how hard it would be.  For two weeks I couldn’t drive and I never imagined how giving up that freedom could be so life altering.  I hated having to rely on others for every move I wanted to make.  There is so much freedom that comes with a car, and I now fully understand that.
Not only could I not drive for a couple weeks, but I also have a semi constant numbness and pain that I feel in the area around my surgery, and when I do certain movements there is a flash of searing pain.  Now I have not taken pain meds since after the third day of surgery, but going through this experience has helped me understand how people could take those meds longer than they should.  It would be so easy for someone to have this little bit of pain and want it solved through pills.
Since this experience, I can better empathize with others around me.  What I have come to realize is that most of the time we only no a small part of someone’s story.  Before we decide to judge or make a decision about someone, we really need to hear what is going on in their lives.  Showing empathy will further endear you to those you are in a contact with and is a great way to build a foundation that could eventually lead to a great connection.  If you want to build a strong relationship and show someone you really care, it starts with a massive dose of empathy and realizing that we are all in this together.  If you truly want to succeed in business, this is one of those foundational things you need to work on.