How do you take down an oak tree?

How do you take down an oak tree?   


You hit it in the same spot day after day.   Getting the next sale is the same thing.   You can have to consistently do the same thing over and over again, even when it feels like you are making no headway toward the tree toppling over.

Do you feel like you have read every book ever written on sales?  You will read many different approaches but generally, there are a couple of KEY things that you will read in every book, article or sky writing about sales that are the same. The reason that those couple of principles are static through everything you see and read is because it is the proven recipe that means success. The other pieces are just the fluff that different authors add to make themselves seem new or special. It comes down to these two fundamentals:

  • Get to know your prospect.
  • Follow-UpEveryone says do this but few ever really do.

Building a sales system that gets new business is double faceted. There are two separate parts but both are integral. One is not good without the other. The other is a waste of time without the first one. If you will approach sales with a keen awareness of BOTH prongs of sales, you will see your business grow.   It is a fact. The tree will come down.   With patience and tenacity, you can sell more.

If you go to the gym every day and exercise but eat fast food and sweets every moment you are away from the gym, you will not get healthier. It takes both pieces of the health equation to reach success. You need exercise and healthy eating. This is not an “or” situation. Sales is not an “or” mission either.

Get to know your prospect. Before you even cold call, do some research, know something about their business. If you are lucky enough to get a face-to-face meeting scheduled with a prospect, do your homework prior to sitting down. Use social media as a research tool. Look your prospect up on Facebook and LinkedIn.   Knowing that the person you are meeting with just celebrated their 10th anniversary with the company they work for can open up a fantastic conversation. To anyone who would say looking up people on social media is “stalking”, I argue that anything that anyone posts on a public media profile is meant for the world to know and see. Use the information that is out there to open up personal conversations.

While you are talking with your prospect, really get to know them. Particularly, try to find out what is causing stress to this person.   Your greatest value-add is going to be if you can do anything to alleviate or minimize that stress. In this chaotic world, the common thread among everyone is their desire for happiness.   People don’t necessarily tell themselves, “I want this salesman to make me happier in my life”, but it is human nature to long to feel better. When someone hears of something that can make them feel better and make their life easier, they will go toward it naturally. It is instinct.

If you are able to sell a product at such a good price that the prospect is going to have more money, that is great. But if you can position that idea with them after knowing what their stressors are, you then make a new level of contact with this person. You can increase the value of even money with the fringe benefit of less worry.

Example: During your initial sales intro meeting, you realize that one of the biggest things that stresses your prospect is making payroll every week.   Cash flow is a huge problem and you can tell that he/she worries often that there will be enough money to pay the employees. If you can position your product as being great quality and a better price while also reminding of the net benefit: Saving money (by buying your product), cash flow improves and makes payroll every week less of a burden. Less of a burden equates to personal happiness for your prospect.

Certainly getting to know your clients for the ability to sell to them more efficiently is important but I will also tell you to get to know your prospects or clients just for the benefit of getting to know another person on this earth.   I am the happiest when I can meet someone new everyday. God created us as social beings and He means for us to socialize together.   There is a huge net benefit in this deal for you. Relationships make us better.   Make more relationships. More friendships. This is a bonus value-add for you. You will be happier.

The second facet of effective selling is FOLLOW-UP. It gets left out of the equation most often.   The most impressive thing you can do for a prospect is show him you are willing to take your time to follow up with him. Impress him/her with your attention to details and with your desire to work for or with them.  Let them know you are patient and you are willing to do whatever it takes to earn their business.

The biggest inhibitor that keeps this second, required step from happening lies totally within ourselves.   It is the self-fear of rejection.   You don’t want to be told, “No.”. You don’t want to actually have to hear the person say, “I went with someone else.” because internally you translate that to them saying, “You were not good enough for me. Someone else was better than you.” This fear has to be dealt with by you alone.   You have to make the decision whether you are willing to give up the chance to succeed for some temporary feelings of failure.

I can tell you that the ones who have succeeded the most have made the most attempts. They have failed more possibly but they had to keep going.   Being told, “No.” does not define you. Quitting after being told, “No.” definitely defines you.

Thinking back to our oak tree that needs to come down, will it come down with one swing of the ax? No. Four? Not likely. Ten? Possibly. It takes as many as it takes but it will come down as long as you are swinging the ax.

Take this challenge:

Select 10-20 of your last prospect appointments that you have not closed and build a follow up system where you touch base with them via multiple methods 2-3 times per week.   Keep this system going for 12 months. I anticipate some significant results. Keep swinging.

Be A Guerrilla Markerter in 2016

shutterstock_250715179As we come to the end of 2015, companies are planning marketing efforts for 2016. A number of things have changed since your last annual planning period moving from 2014 into 2015. As you go into 2016, ask yourself, “How has the marketing landscape changed in the last 12 months?”, “How has my business changed?”, and “What gives me the most return on my investment?”

I believe the marketing landscape has greatly changed in the last 36 months. Reason being is social media has become such a dominant part of our world society. For the amount of money it takes to build a marketing campaign in print media, TV advertising or a seminar series, you can take a fraction of that money and focus on social media marketing and get a bigger ROI on your investment.  This doesn’t mean you ditch all the others… at least not for now. But you should lessen your efforts on the old school marketing and refocus your efforts on the biggest bang for your buck – digital marketing via social media.

Three areas to consider when building your 2016 marketing plan:

#1 – Are you focused enough with your marketing or are you all over the map?  In the past, I have been guilty of changing direction every month, every week and some would say every second. With a good shutterstock_315033812strong team and a dedicated man or woman, you can focus your marketing and keep on track toward your all ultimate objective. 2016 can be your best year ever. Having a person to keep you accountable will change your marketing life! We did it in our firm in the last three months. Jennifer took over being the point person in our marketing efforts. She is now full-time marketing and business awareness developer in our firm. Being able to focus means you know who your audience is and that is who you “talk to” via your marketing. Knowing your audience gives you a leg up on your competition. Knowing what they like, what they don’t like, what they need and what they value will give you the information you need to grow your client base and add business to your book. Your daily goal has to be to get to know your audience and then build a marketing strategy that lands in front of their eyeballs.

#2 – Create a budget and stick to it.  Building a budget based on the average three-year-past production level will give you a good guideline to allocate your dollars in marketing. It is important that you stay on budget. It is also important to know where those dollars will go each month.   Building a marketing calendar will allow you to price and budget the correct amount of dollars to each campaign efforts. Not doing this will eventually kill your marketing efforts. So do the research, price your campaigns, allocate dollars needed to achieve your goals. Remember the payoff will not be immediate but will be more than worth it when you are planning for 2017 next year this time.

#3 – Be able to ZIG when your competition ZAGs. Understanding who your competition is and who they are marketing themselves to can give priceless insight. Understanding who their market is compared to yours, can give you a leg up. It is really important that you spend the time understanding how your competition is growing their business. Once you know this and you know your audience, you can apply the correct marketing strategies to win business.

So to recap as you work on your 2016 marketing plan, you need to #1, Have a focus. #2, Stay on budget. and #3, Know your competition.

Trent A. Grinkmeyer, AIF®, CRPC® / Financial Consultant

Social Media in 2016

predictions CopyWhen making your marketing and business plan for 2016, if your question regarding social media and marketing your business is, “Should I start marketing on social media?”, the you are about 10 steps behind your competitors.  If your question instead is, “What do I need to do to keep up and get more business and even better not lose any business?”, then good for you.

I can help you no matter which of those questions applies to you and your business model.   Get ready to for 2016 to be a big year!

Click on my infographic to read the details on online and social media marketing predictions.


Truth of the Matter – Jobs

truth5 tag
You may have played a game or a variation of this game at a party or maybe even in school when you were younger.   The jest is a person tells a series of facts about themselves and then it is up to the others in the group to sort out which fact is ACTUALLY true.   I think it is a refreshing way to get to know someone rather than just a list of facts.  So, every so often, I intend to post some “Truth of the Matter” posts about myself.  If you have any questions you would like to ask me, I would love to hear from you and I would certainly consider answering your question online or even giving you a call and telling you the answer.   So here it goes….

I have actually had many different jobs in my lifetime.  While I would not say I have enjoyed every job as much as another, I think each came at a different season of my life when it just made sense.   Each of those jobs taught me different things even when I was a teenager.  I can look back and tell you something important that I carry forward from everything I have ever done professionally.

Which of these is the “truth of the matter?”

  1. I worked as a personal assistant for a fashion designer during my summer breaks in college.
  2. One of the jobs I had was an assistant chef at a Mexican cuisine restaurant.
  3. Right after graduation from college, I was a tax accountant.

Click here to find the truth.