The Alphabet Article Series – The ABCs of Solving Sales Problems – The 3 “T’s”

If you own a television, a smart device, a radio or any other outlet that plugs you into the digital world you’ve been subject to the world of marketing. I bet without me naming the companies, you could tell me who is responsible for the following: “Can you hear me now?”; “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands”; “Imagination at work”;  “The quicker picker upper”; and “I’m lovin’ it”. Why do these quirky little phrases have some much power? Two reasons – they have staying power, and, they conjure up images of a better life because of the company behind them.

Enter: Taglines                  Testimonials                      Tipping Points

Taglines. Whether your business is business-to-business or business-to-consumer, taglines can have a lasting impact on your sales. These catchy quips evoke an image of your brand in the minds of your prospects that allow people to make lighthearted associations with your business. They also can simplify and sum up all that you do in a way that make it easy for your prospects to understand and remember. As an example, our company EagleONE uses: Engage. Evolve. Elevate. No matter the number of strategies we have, or the subject matter experts and technology we deploy, these 3 simple words sum up what we do day-in and day-out.

Here’s where else they matter – with your sales team. The simpler and easier it is for your own team to embrace your tagline, the better it will be for the prospects they engage. There should be a certain amount of buy-in in all of this and your tagline should reflect your internal culture. The tagline is not just what you do, it’s also how and why you do it.

Testimonials. So, we all know this word. And we all know the weight they carry. So, I won’t drone on about the ones that come from your clients. You should gather them, you should use them, and you should make sure you have a current stock of them (and references) for use in applying an “outside” voice to the work you’ve done or the product you’ve provided.

But here is a completely different thought – have you ever thought about getting employee testimonials? And I don’t mean the forced kind, the kind of request that an employee is not advised to give their true opinion. I mean the kind where your team (both operations and sales) can’t say enough about the environment you’ve created, the comradery and culture, and, most importantly, the impact that it has on them doing their work. I’ve long been a believer that if you create a work environment that nourishes people so they flourish, the work they do will have an inherent, beneficial impact for your clients.

Tipping Points. There are 3 areas I want to cover with this “T”. Your team, your clients and prospects, and YOU. Let’s start with your clients and prospects. In my mind, a tipping point can imply a negative OR a positive outcome. But they are very real, and they often go unnoticed until the outcome starts to manifest itself. There will be times in your relationships with a current client or prospect where they are ready to make a decision but need to have a little help from you. The decision could be to come on board, to add more of your product or service, or to tighten their belt. Regardless, if the individual situation has a potential positive or negative outcome, you have the chance to influence it before it occurs. How? By listening and paying attention to the details in your dialogues with them. I know in a busy world things can get overlooked, but if you focus on the client, on their needs, and you are proactive rather than reactive, the positive outcomes will far outweigh the negative ones.

Your team. Just like with your clients, it’s important that you pay attention to your team.  And this is true of both positive and negative outcome scenarios. Let me focus on the positive first. If you are careful and aware, you will recognize when one of your team members has reached a place where they are ready to grow to the next level. And, provided there is a new position for that person, or a possible promotion, you should be going to them about it and not waiting for them to come to you, or worse yet, for their “annual review”. Even if there is not a potential next step just yet, you can still draw positive attention to it and celebrate it. Likewise, with the negative tipping points. If you are in sync with the day-to-day of you team and someone is in a backwards or downhill slide, being aware of where they are and how far they can continue to be challenged, you can prevent the loss of that person and help them regain their footing, especially if they’ve been a producer in the past and are just hitting a rough spell. We all know what attrition can cost.

Lastly, YOU. Not placing you last, per se, but as any good leader, I know you have your team and clients in a primary position and your needs come behind them. However, as a good leader, you also need to recognize your own tipping points. They are just as real as they are for your clients or your team. As for your negative outcome points, I’d encourage you to find a business mentor (and a spiritual one wouldn’t hurt either) that you can use for an ongoing sounding board. Having these critical outlets can help you regain your traction with a voice of reason and rationale. As for your positive points, CELEBRATE. Slow down long enough to treat yourself. I remember reading a book Urban Meyer wrote called Above the Line. There were a number of memorable items in the book, but he actually didn’t celebrate a National Championship victory because he was off to his recruiting responsibilities for the next year! Don’t let that be you. Enjoy your wins, you’ve earned them.

Put people first, use the 3 “T’s” as they can benefit you best, and know that I am here to help or just chat, should you ever want to discuss what’s best for your team.

To raising all ships!

P.S. Be sure to join us next week when we talk about the 3 U’s – Unbiased, Unique, Upbeat