Habitual Appointment Breakers Be Gone!

 

Have you had it with potential clients breaking appointments?  You are so psyched when the potential client that you have been working on forever finally grants you a sit-down meeting, only to have them cancel it days or even minutes before the planned meeting time.  How do you get people to keep appointments?  Here are three easy ways to get people to uphold their end of the bargain by showing up for your appointment:

1. Confirm: This one is simple, but too many sales professionals miss this step.  Confirming is always a good idea so that you don’t waste your time or energy preparing for something that the other party has simply forgotten about.  Not everyone marks their appointments on a calendar so don’t be the victim of a faded memory.  You, or your assistant should confirm each appointment 24-48 hours in advance.  By the way, one of the reasons I love tracking my appointments on Google Calendar is that it has an option where you can send an automated appointment confirmation to the other party so that they too will receive email reminders of the upcoming meeting.

2. Thank the Referral: If you got the appointment due to a referral from someone who already knows, likes, and trusts you, pick up the phone and call them to say THANK YOU.  Do not wait until you have already met the prospect to call and thank the referrer, you can call them again after the meeting.  By calling the referrer in advance of the appointment you create a situation where the referrer may mention the upcoming appointment to the person you are meeting with.  This makes it more difficult for the prospect to cancel with you.  As an aside, you should also call the referrer right away because you want to encourage the referral behavior even if you don’t end up getting a customer out of the deal.  For example, say someone refers you ten clients and you never call the referrer because none of those ten turn into customers, the referrer may stop referring because they think they are wasting your time or worse, they don’t even think the people they are referring to you are getting in touch with you, so they stop trying to refer others.

3. Send a Small Gift: If there is time between when the appointment is made and when it will take place, send a small gift as a token of your appreciation for granting you the upcoming appointment. Would you cancel an appointment on someone who had already sent you a gift to say thank you?  It’s not likely, right?  A little bit of guilt sets in when you even think about cancelling.  The gift does not have to be expensive.  I have used a greeting card system known as www.MyRandomActsofCardness.com for many years.  It allows me to send a personalized note with a small gift like scrumptious brownies or a candle.  If I send brownies I send a funny card that says “SWWWEEETTTT! Can’t wait to meet you next Thursday.  Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity.”

You work hard to get appointments to grow your business.  GETTING the appointment should be the hard part…not KEEPING it.  Incorporate these three simple tactics into your business and you may just find that cancelled appointments are a thing of the past.

Stacey Alcorn is the author of REACH! and Tuned In. She is a business strategy and sales consultant for large corporations and Global Fortune 100 Firms. She is also a keynote speaker, blogger, trainer, and start-up consultant. Her sales training products have been licensed by hundreds of organizations around the world who use her one-of-a kind sales training materials as the genesis for their own brand growth. Make sure to sign up here for my REACH! Weekly News for awesome interviews with Leaders & Visionaries that I only share with my VIP members.

Boston Herald Article on the Current Real Estate Market

By Paul Restuccia
Friday, September 21, 2012

In its first year on the market, Gordon’s Woods in West Roxbury sold only five condos out of 42, but this month there are just 10 left, and the sales team is averaging two offers a week so far this month.

“It’s quite a turnaround,” said Kerri Bonarrigo, director of sales at Gordon’s Woods. “All units sold in the past six months have been at list price or just a thousand or so below, with no seller concessions. Prices have stabilized, rates are still low and people are buying.”

CLICK HERE for entire article.

 

Stacey Alcorn is the author of REACH! and Tuned In. She is a business strategy and sales consultant for large corporations and Global Fortune 100 Firms. She is also a keynote speaker, blogger, trainer, and start-up consultant. Her sales training products have been licensed by hundreds of organizations around the world who use her one-of-a kind sales training materials as the genesis for their own brand growth. Make sure to sign up here for my REACH! Weekly News for awesome interviews with Leaders & Visionaries that I only share with my VIP members.

Stacey In the News

Featured in American Express Open article, The Pros of Niche Marketing, March 2013

Interviewed for Charles Careers Blog, How to Be a Rainmaker,  March 2013

Interview in Lowell Sun, Bidding Wars in Greater Lowell Real Estate Market, March 2013

Featured in Tuesday Tactics article, The Power of Habits, February 2013

Write up by Be Like Brit Foundation, Presentation to Large Sales Organization, January 2013

Referenced in Above the Fold Magazine, What it Takes to Be a Great Salesperson, December 2012

Featured in American Express Open, 3 Traits of Truly Great Salespeople, December 2012

Featured in CRB Magazine, Challenges for 2013 & How to Conquer Them, December 2012, page 20

Featured in Prospect Mortgage Press Release, Webinar with Stacey Alcorn and Andrew Armata, November 2012

Mentioned in The Boston Herald article, Housing Market Stays Hot Even As Temps Drop, September 2012

Interviewed on Sales Talk Chalk Radio, 8 Things the Successful Salesman Knew, October 2012

Mentioned in The Office Professional article, Energizing Office Company Spirit, September 2012

Mention in the Lowell Sun article, Your Realtor May Be Smiling These Days, April 2012

PR.com Press Release, RE/MAX Prestige Tops Real Trends, April 2012

Mention in the Lowell Sun article, Real Estate Rebound – It’s Pending, March 2012

RIS Media article, Stacey’s New Book Shares Valuable Lessons on Positivity in a Down Market, July 2011

 

 

 

Stacey Alcorn is the author of REACH! and Tuned In. She is a business strategy and sales consultant for large corporations and Global Fortune 100 Firms. She is also a keynote speaker, blogger, trainer, and start-up consultant. Her sales training products have been licensed by hundreds of organizations around the world who use her one-of-a kind sales training materials as the genesis for their own brand growth. Make sure to sign up here for my REACH! Weekly News for awesome interviews with Leaders & Visionaries that I only share with my VIP members.

When Not If

When speaking of your dreams, the word “if” is the kiss of death.  Instead use the word “when.”

When I become a Best Selling Author….

When I create world peace….

When I run a marathon….

You can accomplish any dream you commit to.  “If” concedes defeat before you have even started the journey.

– Stacey Alcorn, Author of Tuned In: Eight Lessons to Sales Success a Great Salesman Did Not Know He Knew

 

 

Stacey Alcorn is the author of REACH! and Tuned In. She is a business strategy and sales consultant for large corporations and Global Fortune 100 Firms. She is also a keynote speaker, blogger, trainer, and start-up consultant. Her sales training products have been licensed by hundreds of organizations around the world who use her one-of-a kind sales training materials as the genesis for their own brand growth. Make sure to sign up here for my REACH! Weekly News for awesome interviews with Leaders & Visionaries that I only share with my VIP members.

Nobody is Cheap All The Time – A Lesson in Value

Recently I had a coaching session with Carrie, a salesperson who had come to me with a problem that all too many salespeople face at one point in their career.  She said to me, “I don’t know why someone would hire me over another salesperson.  I am the same as every other real estate agent.  I am not unique.”  I told Carrie that this type of belief system is the kiss of death in sales.  If you don’t feel you have something better to offer a client then you will never make it in sales.  After all, rule one in sales, you must believe in your product.  For this young woman, like many people in a sales job,  her product as a real estate agent, is her.  If she didn’t believe in herself, she’d sink.

Carrie arrived at our coaching session with her iPad in one hand and a bottle of water in the other.  “I think I figured out part of my problem,” said Carrie.  She then went on to explain that she is very thrifty in life.  She always looks for the best deal when she is shopping.  She equates cheaper with better in her personal life and, if she were shopping for a sales person, she would most likely choose the least expensive option because in her mind cheaper is always better.

“Carrie, I would guess that there are certain times in life that you find things whereby the value outweighs the price, leading you to make a purchase of something that is not the least expensive option.”

“No, never,” responded Carrie.  “I always look for the cheapest option.”

“Well, congratulations.  You are my favorite type of coaching client.  Once you see why people make buying decisions based on value, not dollar, you will begin to see how you can build your sales presentations around the value you offer.  You are my favorite type of client because I’ve never met someone that makes 100% of their buying decisions based on price, never.  You are no exception.”

“I do make 100% of my buying decision based on price,” she said.

“I like your iPad,” I responded.

Carrie smiled.  “I know what you are thinking, but my Dad bought this for my birthday.  As much as I love my iPad, I don’t know if I would have bought it myself.  I’m too cheap!”

“Did he buy you that water too?”

“No,” responded Carrie.  “I bought the water.”

“Great.  How much did you spend?”

“$1.50”

“You spent $1.50 on a bottle of water?”

“Yes.”

“How often do you buy water?”

“I drink three bottles of water a day,” said Carrie.

“You spend $4.50 a day on water.  That’s about $1600 per year.”

“I never thought of it like that,” said Carrie.

“Right, because the bottle of water offers something more important to you than the $1600 a year you are paying for it.  What does it offer you?”

“Well, if you are asking why I buy the water there are a few reasons.  First, I like water because there are no calories.  Second, I like the bottled water because I can carry it with me, drink it in the car, and bring it to the gym.  Third, I guess I like the taste of it.  Fourth, the guy at the convenience store where I buy my water is really nice, and kind of cute.”

“What you just recited, Carrie, is a value proposition for bottled water.  You pay $1600 per year for something you could have for free.  Bottled water quenches your thirst, offers convenience, and the opportunity to interact with the guy at the convenience store.  A value proposition doesn’t have to be loud and over the top. It need not be obvious.  Your value can be subtle and discreet, but let me assure you, you do offer value to potential clients.  Like the water, your clients will hire you because you too offer convenience by being a phone call away for their questions.   You quench their thirst for knowledge about real estate and about the process involved in buying or selling a home.  You offer companionship throughout the buying or selling process by holding their hand during the bumps in the road.  Build a sales presentation around your bottle of water, concentrating on why you pay $1600 a year for something that is free.  Just like you appreciate your convenient bottle of water, so too shall your clients appreciate what you have to offer.  Get good at explaining the value you offer and you will have mastered one of the most important concepts in sales.”

There are billions of dollars to be made in sales because of this one important concept: Nobody is cheap all the time.

 

Stacey Alcorn is the author of REACH! and Tuned In. She is a business strategy and sales consultant for large corporations and Global Fortune 100 Firms. She is also a keynote speaker, blogger, trainer, and start-up consultant. Her sales training products have been licensed by hundreds of organizations around the world who use her one-of-a kind sales training materials as the genesis for their own brand growth. Make sure to sign up here for my REACH! Weekly News for awesome interviews with Leaders & Visionaries that I only share with my VIP members.

Disarm Clients Who Drive You Batty

My two year old daughter, Oshyn, has turned me into a world class negotiator.  She gives me the opportunity to test my skills daily.  Rarely do I win a negotiating round against her but I chalk each loss up to a lesson learned. Some lessons are so enlightening that I bring them to my business.  Last evening Oshyn taught me a technique that anyone could use when dealing with difficult clients.

Bedtime is a battle of wills in our household and last night was no exception.  We start our evening ritual ninety minutes before the projected time that sleep will set in because sometimes our negotiating rounds go on and on.  Last night we started the evening by watching a short cartoon.  From there it went to books.  Oshyn gets three books read to her before bed, but she recently came up with a loophole to this rule.  She waits until there are just a couple pages left in the story and then announces, “All done, I don’t like this one,” and she will quickly slide in a replacement book.  The first few times she used this unfinished book system, I fell for it, but not last night.  No, last night I read just three books.

After the books there came a typical round of questions.

“Can I go downstairs?”   No

“I need a juice box.”  No

“Can I pat the dog?” No

“Want to make a cake, Mom?” No thank you.

“What’s Dad doing?” Not sure, Oshyn.

“Can I watch one more show?” No

“Can you read me another book?” No

“I have to use the potty.” No you don’t.

“Can I look for the moon outside.” No, it’s bedtime.

Once the round of questions has been exhausted, she starts again.  Yes, same questions.  Round after round I patiently answer the same questions and requests.  Last night this lasted for our typical ninety minutes, and usually by this point I am ready to pull my hair out.  I’m exhausted, impatient, and beat down.  I’m just about at my breaking point when I ask myself, “Should I just let her put the tv on so I can go to sleep?”  I don’t give in because I want her to get her rest.

Last night, as I was approaching my breaking point, Oshyn says, “Mom?”  I’m bracing myself for another round. “Yes, Oshyn?”

“I love you too, Mom,” she says in her sweet little voice.

With that, my two year old has managed to re-frame the negotiating round.  My pent up exhaustion disappears.   I am no longer annoyed.  Now all I can think about is how much I love this kid, even though she drives me nuts.  With that, she has won the negotiating round because she has kept her cool and has managed to disarm me of my anger, annoyance, and my ego.  At this point, she has put me in a frame of mind that I’m ready to give her what she wants.  She drifts off to sleep.  I feel like I won because I didn’t give in.  I wonder if she knows that by saying “I love you too, Mom,” she understands that I won, only because she let me.

This technique will work with customers too.  If you are in business, you are fueled by customers.  If you are fueled by customers, they are sometimes fueled by anger, annoyance, and ego, and so they should be when we are asking them to part with their hard earned money to pay for our products or services. Next time you have a customer that puts you through the ringer with an intense round of negotiations, you have the ability to disarm them by zapping away some of the fuel from their engine.  You re-frame the negotiations when you eliminate anger, annoyance, and ego and you can do that by simply saying the thing that they least expect, “Thanks for being my client, I’m lucky to have you.”  Not only does this re-frame the negotiating session and the relationship for them, it does the same for you.  When you step back from a stressful client situation to declare your appreciation for the other party you put both sides in a more positive frame of mind and nothing bad can come from that.

Stacey Alcorn is the author of REACH! and Tuned In. She is a business strategy and sales consultant for large corporations and Global Fortune 100 Firms. She is also a keynote speaker, blogger, trainer, and start-up consultant. Her sales training products have been licensed by hundreds of organizations around the world who use her one-of-a kind sales training materials as the genesis for their own brand growth. Make sure to sign up here for my REACH! Weekly News for awesome interviews with Leaders & Visionaries that I only share with my VIP members.

This is Why Dreams Die

This photo explains the reason why so many people never accomplish their dreams.  It explains why we gain weight, why we start on the road to greatness and never show up, and why really smart, ambitious, and hard working amazing people will never amount to anything. Listen up, because if you understand this concept as I explain it below, you might end up being one of the few that achieves everything you set out to in life.

First, let me explain the photo.  On the right is my red Keurig coffee machine which no longer works.  Knowing that it would take ten days to get a replacement from Keurig, I bought a new Keurig since Lord knows I can’t go without my coffee for ten minutes, never mind ten days.  Of course, I had every intention of returning the broken, red Keurig machine, and upon receiving my replacement I would put it in storage so that next time my coffee machine broke I would have a back up.  That was three months ago and I have not yet contacted Keurig.  Procrastination can zap away your dreams, but there is something much worse than procrastination, and it is something I refer to as The Camouflage Principle.

Everyone knows what procrastination is and most have suffered from it at one time or another.  Procrastination is simply when we have every intention of doing something yet we choose not to, despite the intent we hold in our hearts.  Procrastination is an enemy to greatness for sure.  If we are consumed by procrastination, it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to move past the status quo. We become stagnant. On a positive note, however,  procrastination is something we are aware of and so, if we are really inclined to move beyond the status quo, we will eventually do what we said we were going to do.  That is unless procrastination’s ugly brother, The Camouflage Principle sets in.

Saturday night, three months after I had purchased my new coffee machine, I noticed that I still had two coffee machines sitting on my counter.  How ugly! How unusual!  If any stranger walked into my kitchen the first thing they would notice is that I have two coffee machines sitting side by side taking up counter space.  I had stopped noticing it because I was facing the problem (the coffee machine that needed to be returned) head on for so long that I stopped noticing it.  The reason The Camouflage Principle is so dangerous is because we can’t see it.  Procrastination is tangible…we know we are putting something off.  The Camouflage Principle is invisible.

What is The Camouflage Principle?  It’s the problem you stopped noticing. You become completely unaware of something which is necessary to accomplishing your dreams.  What I’m talking about are tangible steps that you once knew you had to complete in order to accomplish your goal.  These tangible steps which were at one time clear as day, slowly disappear, to the point you could look directly at the cues that would have one time inspired action and you now see nothing.  You go from a state of awareness to unaware.

Have you ever seen the show on TLC about hoarders.  There are people who keep hoarding so much stuff in their homes and yards that they don’t even notice that they are living in complete squalor.  There are dead animals amongst the piles of filth and yet these people don’t even see or smell anything unusual about their surroundings because they have become accustomed to seeing it.  Just like I had become accustomed to seeing two coffee machines sitting on my counter for three months.  This is The Camouflage Principle.  The dual coffee machines became part of my kitchen landscape just like the squalor becomes the landscape to a hoarder.  The necessary steps to move forward blend in with the background of our lives to the point we no longer notice them.

When was the last time you took a step back to figure out what business practices, marketing materials, and technology you are using that are costing you business.  Was your website state of the art twelve years ago and now it’s obsolete, but you are so used to seeing it that you have stopped really seeing it?  How about the collateral material you are using for presentations and marketing?  When was the last time you really looked at it?

Take a look at your daily routines.  Did you just kind of sort of stop going to the gym in March, and forgot that you have a gym membership, and so your goal of working out three times a week went by the wayside without your even noticing?  You see that gym payment on your credit card each month, but seeing it and being aware of it are different.  You are not aware of that gym payment any longer and so the payment no longer acts as part of the cue to get you to take action toward your original goal.  The gym payment has been camoflauged, you no longer see it, it’s now just part of the landscape.  How about that routine you started of getting to the office earlier than anyone else, or of waking up at 5 am to get two hours of solid work in before any of your colleagues woke up.

If you aren’t careful about being aware of your surroundings and what you are doing daily to achieve your dreams, then you cannot possibly get there.  There are moves that you must make daily to get where you want to go.  If you don’t make those moves, if you procrastinate, there’s a good chance that the moves will be camouflaged to the point that you will look at them daily but never see them.  Days, weeks, years, could go by and you haven’t moved an inch toward your goals.  Maybe you wake up and your kid tells you that you are living in squalor and the family cat is buried beneath the ruins.  Even worse, you wake up and realize that your dream, now ten years away, is much further than the remaining years of your life.

Today I will do something about that coffee machine because I know if I do that, it’s one step forward.  More importantly, by doing something about it, I remain sharp, aware that if I don’t pay close attention to where I’m going or how I am going to get there, I’ll be one of the average, the mediocre, who never achieves my potential.  What are you looking at without seeing?

 

 

Stacey Alcorn is the author of REACH! and Tuned In. She is a business strategy and sales consultant for large corporations and Global Fortune 100 Firms. She is also a keynote speaker, blogger, trainer, and start-up consultant. Her sales training products have been licensed by hundreds of organizations around the world who use her one-of-a kind sales training materials as the genesis for their own brand growth. Make sure to sign up here for my REACH! Weekly News for awesome interviews with Leaders & Visionaries that I only share with my VIP members.

Why You Have No Money

I have had the opportunity to study sales professionals in all types of industries and in all income categories. No matter what industry and no matter what income category there is one burning question that sales people often ask themselves, “Why do I have no money?” If you are in this category, listen up, I’ve done the research and I have the answer.

The number one reason why many sales professionals have no money is that shopping has become recreation. Why do you shop? If you are like many people, you go shopping for something to do! If you ever find yourself heading out to a store without really needing anything, you have become a recreational shopper. I can pretty much guarantee you that if you go to a store with stuff you like, you will find something to buy. Of course, shopping can be fun. However, it can and will lead to an empty bank account.

The fastest way to build a savings or retirement account is to stop shopping, except for when you need something. Find ways to build the same thrills of achievement that you get from making a purchase into thrills for reaching monthly or yearly savings goals.

Here are a few simple steps for curbing your spending appetite and putting that money into savings:

1. Don’t Go Shopping For Fun: Do not head out to a store if you don’t need something. You are simply asking for trouble! Keep your shopping to the bare minimum for items like food and clothing.

2. Pay Cash: The fastest way to dig a hole for yourself is to use credit. You definitely should not be shopping if you do not have the cash to pay for it. The credit card companies will charge you 20% or more above the purchase price for you to use their dime, so do not use it. Hold strong and if you don’t have the cash don’t buy stuff.

3. Mint: There are some great apps out there for helping you stay within budget. One of my favorites is a free app called Mint. You can set a budget for anything and it encourages you to track all of your spending. By doing this, you quickly see how your little expenditures add up over time. Your $5/day coffee habit is $1820/year. Compound that money over time and you’ve got a decent start to a retirement plan.

4. Fill Your Time: I’ve found that recreational shoppers often shop because there’s nothing else to do. All I can say is that to break your shopping habit cold turkey you must invest your time in doing other things. Take your family to the park, pack a picnic, go bowling, rent a movie with the family, go to the beach, read a book, you name it. Google “Free Stuff To Do” in your town and I’m pretty sure you’ll find a long list of events and programs that you can take advantage of.

5. Get Your Family Involved: Rather than teach your family the importance of buying new things, try teaching them the importance of saving money. There is an awesome new program for parents and kids called www.Tykoon.com that teaches kids the value of money, hard work, and savings.  Set up a free account with your kids and show them how to save.

It is all too common that I run into sales professionals that have no money. Often I’ll ask a few simple questions to see if I can offer ideas on how to start saving money, but the most important concept of all, is to stop spending. Nothing has a greater effect on your pocketbook as time. This is good and bad. If you get into the habit of saving a little every day, every week, and every paycheck, time will treat your money well. On the other hand, if you get into the habit of spending through recreational shopping, time will not treat you so favorably.

Stacey Alcorn is the author of REACH! and Tuned In. She is a business strategy and sales consultant for large corporations and Global Fortune 100 Firms. She is also a keynote speaker, blogger, trainer, and start-up consultant. Her sales training products have been licensed by hundreds of organizations around the world who use her one-of-a kind sales training materials as the genesis for their own brand growth. Make sure to sign up here for my REACH! Weekly News for awesome interviews with Leaders & Visionaries that I only share with my VIP members.

Enemies

It is your enemies that give you the greatest opportunity to be the best form of yourself, if you accept the challenge.

– Stacey Alcorn, Author of Tuned In: Eight Lessons to Sales Success a Great Salesman Did Not Know He Knew

 

 

Stacey Alcorn is the author of REACH! and Tuned In. She is a business strategy and sales consultant for large corporations and Global Fortune 100 Firms. She is also a keynote speaker, blogger, trainer, and start-up consultant. Her sales training products have been licensed by hundreds of organizations around the world who use her one-of-a kind sales training materials as the genesis for their own brand growth. Make sure to sign up here for my REACH! Weekly News for awesome interviews with Leaders & Visionaries that I only share with my VIP members.

Problems

Today, step away from your own problems and concentrate on helping someone else solve theirs.  You may find upon returning that your problems solved themselves or, upon observing another’s problems you might realize that you never really had any of your own to begin with.

– Stacey Alcorn, Author of Tuned In: Eight Lessons to Sales Success a Great Salesman Did Not Know He Knew

 

Stacey Alcorn is the author of REACH! and Tuned In. She is a business strategy and sales consultant for large corporations and Global Fortune 100 Firms. She is also a keynote speaker, blogger, trainer, and start-up consultant. Her sales training products have been licensed by hundreds of organizations around the world who use her one-of-a kind sales training materials as the genesis for their own brand growth. Make sure to sign up here for my REACH! Weekly News for awesome interviews with Leaders & Visionaries that I only share with my VIP members.