Each weekend I have the pleasure and privilege to join business coach Clay Clark on the Thrivetime Show podcast. I wake up at 4 A.M. every Saturday and head to The Box That Rocks (since we record in the offices those mornings) and prepare myself for another fantastic Saturday of recording quality content. I do the exact same thing on Sundays, up by 4 A.M. and out the door no later than 4:30 A.M., with the only exception being that we record on Sundays from the legendary man cave. I appreciate the podcast because it is basically a free business college with the added benefit of actually learning something tangible and implementable each time I’m in the studio. I also look forward to the recording because I never really know what I’m walking into. Now in my typical fashion, I already know what you’re thinking after reading this, “Jason. J-Dawg. Don’t Go Jason Waterfalls… How could you work for Clay Clark and not have a set plan for each show?”. Let me be clear, Mr. Clark always has a plan and an outline written. He just doesn’t share them with me until the day of. This allows me to give unbiased feedback, reactions, and answers. However, the coolest part about this is the fact that it allows me to learn something brand new each time. Or if we’re addressing a previously discussed topic, it’s always approached from a different angle, allowing me to expand my knowledge on it even further. That’s freaking powerful, right!? Wouldn’t you sacrifice a few hours of sleep for that opportunity? Let me flex my powers of mind-reading once again and state what you obviously think at this point,” You’re insane J-Dawg. There is no way in H-E-Double Hockey Sticks I’m getting up at 4 A.M. on the weekend just to learn a new business approach!”. Okay, so maybe we’re different in regards to that, and that’s okay! I still love you. Now this previous weekend was no different. I walked into the studio excited to record and as per usual, Clay hit me with business coaching knowledge bombs like Muhammad Ali hit his opponents with combos. He was recording a helpful Ask Business Coach Clay Anything podcast for a client on the topic of sales. In fact, he broke down step by step on how to build a bulletproof sales system. Now, this is a topic that I am familiar with from his Boom and Start Here books, but his examples were so powerful I found my taking notes so that I could go back and apply this new founder understanding to my original takeaway processes. The following principles are some of the most powerful selling strategies that I’ve ever had the privilege of learning.
Equip Your Sales Utility Belt With The Best Tools
I’ve come to realize that in order to be as successful as let’s say… Bruce Wayne, you must equip yourself and your sales with the best tools and practices for the job. Do you think Batman charges through the streets of Gotham half-cocked with no plan? Do you see him ever leaving the Bat-Cave without the appropriate tools to complete his mission? Have you ever heard him say “Ya know Alfred, I think I’m just going to wing it tonight”. (Did you catch that amazing bat pun just now?) Hell no! So why choose to be anything other than the business coaching Batman? Don’t settle for mediocrity. Nailing and scaling sales can be done to your benefit by creating the following resources and implementing them consistently.
- Best practice call scripts (Inbound and Outbound)
- Install a Call Recording Program
- Schedule a Weekly Sales Meeting
- Role Play Training Until They Can’t Get It Wrong
- Have Daily Huddles With Your Team
What The Heck Is A Call Script And Why Do I Need It?
Your call script will act as a best practice for successfully executing a sale as well as a safety net to ensure your team are all selling the exact same way. A successful call script addresses the following areas in order to steer your ideal and likely buyers towards saying yes:
- Rapport: It is important to establish rapport at the very beginning of the sales pitch. Either over the phone or in person, people will inherently turn down what you are selling if they do not like you. It is recommended to start with an ice breaker such as a joke to help lower their defenses as well as humanize you. After all, nobody wants to buy from a robot. It is also important to bring the ENERGY for the entire pitch. The more enthusiastic you are and the more you believe in what you are selling, the more likely the customer is to actually make a purchase. We’ve all seen Captain Charisma at the checkout of any department store. Standing there eyes glazed over, cell phone in hand, and completely hating his job as he turns to you and mumbles with no energy whatsoever, “Would you like to sign up for our rewards program… or whatever. Saves ya 10% today”. Yeah, don’t be that guy.
- Needs: You want to assess what needs you can solve for your ideal and likely buyer. Find out what areas they are looking to have fulfilled by your product. (Fun fact, this is key for executing the next step)
- Benefits: After addressing what needs the potential buyer has it is now time to strike and provide all of the benefits that your services or products can offer them. Providing examples and testimonials is a sure-fire way to back up your claims and also serve as a sales conversion booster.
- Close: The final stage of the sale where you pull the trigger and use the first three points of your script to convert your ideal and likely buyer to “actual buyer” status. It is wise to include appointment setting details or transactional bullet points in this section of the script.
- Isolate Objections: This is the Hail Mary section of your sales script. This section will address frequently experienced reasons as to why someone might not buy. You want to answer rejections with questions in order to get to the root of the problem. Did they need more information than the script provided? Did they not understand the overall benefits? It is important that this step is not skipped. Rejections can almost always be turned into sales by isolating the objections and offering additional information.
Do I Have To Record My Calls?
Unless you want to live in the world of naivety and never have a clue if your systems are being followed all while your sales and leads plummet to the earth to die in a fiery explosion of awesomeness, you MUST install some form of call recording. I’ve learned from previously managing in a call center that people will automatically reject the idea of call recording. They’ll say such inspiring things as, “Is it legal for you to record my sales calls? I don’t get why you just don’t trust us. Is it necessary to micromanage us? Are you actually even going to listen to our calls?”. To which you must swiftly retort, “It is legal for me to care about the performance of my business. You are absolutely correct, I do not trust you. There is no such thing as micromanagement, there is just management and me holding you accountable for doing the job I pay you to do. You bet I’ll be listening to those calls. Now get back on those phones.”. But fear not! You’ll soon find that people are far more likely to follow that sweet sales script that you dedicated your hard work to in the previous paragraph when they believe you will be listening and critiquing their work.
Scheduling A Weekly Sales Meeting To Ensure There Is No Drifting
If you thought we were done with the knowledge bombs think again! Sure having a sales script and call recording in place is important, but what’s the point if we’re not tracking every week? It is super important to set a weekly meeting where you go over the vital Key Performance Indicators with your sales team, listen to calls, and provide needed feedback. I’ve experienced the benefits of this practice through my time at Elephant In The Room. Every single week Clay has a manager’s meeting as well as an all-staff meeting scheduled. The manager’s meeting is scheduled for every Monday at 8 AM. But what if Clay is sick? The meeting is still on Monday at 8 AM. Well, what if it’s a holiday? The meeting is still on Monday at 8 AM. How about if Jesus Christ himself wanted to record a podcast with Clay on a Monday at 8 AM? Clay would book Jesus on another day that doesn’t conflict with the necessary weekly meetings! The point of setting a weekly meeting is ensuring that you execute it each and every week. Our manager and business coach meetings are important as it gives Clay the opportunity to address the issues from the previous week and set the needed action items for the following week. It’s also the perfect time to make sure that each store’s manager is following the systems and to course-correct if needed. The same goes for the all-staff meetings. Held promptly at 8 AM every single Friday come hell or high water. Without these meetings, Clay would not be able to go over the key performance indicators with the team and educate them on how to improve or praise them for what they are executing well. It also provides a weekly time where the team can all meet and role-play the sales scripting until they can’t get it wrong. The reason that we are able to hit our sales quotas is due largely in part to the weekly practice of the script itself. If there is a problem with the numbers being low, chances are it is not with the sales script, but rather with an individual deviating from or not using the proven sales script.
Have A Daily Huddle Every Dadgum Day
I don’t think I made myself clear enough with that heading. Please allow me to clarify in the words of the great Ron Swanson, “Wait. I’m afraid what you heard was to have a lot of huddles per week but what I said was HAVE A DAILY HUDDLE EVERY SINGLE DAY.”. Most people would assume I am crazy at this point and ask what’s the point of having the same meeting every morning is. Well, my friends, consistency works. Doing the same scalable tasks over and over is the best way to ensure that you are continuing your business’s success. At Elephant In The Room, we actually have a daily huddles checklist for our managers. Every single morning for ten to fifteen minutes it is their job to address the exact same checklist when running the huddles. It is also imperative that you follow up on your daily items until your team’s heads explode. Simply telling someone what to do is jackassery. You must be the driving force that follows up like a crazy person in order to keep the team on task. Remember it’s better to be a delegation dictator than an abdication quitter. (For a refresher on the difference between delegation and abdication, please visit the previous blog post written by yours truly) Now it is time for the cherry on the top of the daily huddle sundae. Providing regular feedback to your team. Look, I get it. Here’s where you tell me I’m asking you to “micromanage” your team once again. However, this is not what you would call micromanagement, rather it is management by mentorship. Now ask yourselves, what do the best mentors have in common? Why was Yoda able to train multiple Jedi into becoming the galaxy’s most elite enforcers of peace? How did Mister Miyagi turn Daniel-San from the average 80’s teen movie lead into the iconic karate kid? What was it that Morpheus did to ensure that Neo would, in fact, become The Chosen One? They all provided regular feedback to their pupils! Regular and consistent feedback is one of the greatest forms of mentorship. Employees can rarely figure out how to improve without feedback from their superiors. Sure, some employees are self-disciplined and independent unicorns, but even the best employee ever can still find it hard to see every area in which they could be improving. It is good to communicate with your team on a daily basis to remind them of their path as well as to provide guidance so that they do not go astray.
Create A Culture Of Accountability
This will by far be the shortest section of this article simply because the title says it all. Hold yourself and your team accountable. It is important to set the standard for success and establish a culture of accountability early on. When an employee is welcomed into a team that operates under this principle it is far easier to business coach them and build them up. If you are a manager or business owner that cannot hit deadlines or one that regularly goes back on their word, your employees will find it hard to take you seriously when you set deadlines for them. That my friends is called cognitive dissonance and makes for a horrible foundation for a business to be built on.
So You’ve Made It This Far, Huh?
If you find yourself reading this final entry then you’ve successfully shared in the same lessons that I’ve benefited from this past week as a business coach. Sales isn’t hard, but it does require a strategic and repeatable game plan. If you don’t have these principles in place that doesn’t necessarily mean you suck at selling things, but it does mean that you could be selling infinitely better by implementing them. Take it from someone whose sales drastically increased after being taught this system by Clay. It’s not rocket science, however it does require taking time to sit down and plan how each of these systems can be incorporated into your business. I believe in the dream and I know you can do it. After all, if a knucklehead such as myself can learn, implement, and improve as a result of these systems, what’s stopping you?