In a Distracted Environment Your Communication Must Be Varied

By Jeff Beals

I visited my alma mater last week and toured a brand-new facility that just opened on the first floor of the library. Back when I was in college, that entire floor was filled with thousands and thousands of books. When I really needed to concentrate, perhaps while studying for a big test, I would find a little corner on that floor. It was almost completely devoid of sound and just may have been the quietest place on Earth.

That has all changed. The rows and rows of dusty old books are long gone. Now the first floor is a hive of activity. Hundreds of trendy-looking tables and stools plus scores of ergonomically correct chairs fill the space. A Dunkin’ Donuts operates right in the middle. Hundreds of students were studying and talking.

The impressive renovations weren’t the only thing I noticed while walking around the new library commons: the students were extremely connected with technology while studying. Almost all of them had laptops open on their tables. Many were also using tablets and smart phones at the same time. In addition to all that technology, some students had old-fashioned text books in front of them. Studying is now a multimedia experience and a far-cry from my college days when the only thing on the table would have been a text book and some notebook paper.

I recently thumbed through a newsletter produced by Bozell advertising agency and a statistic jumped out at me: “78 percent of us use another device while simultaneously watching TV.”

I guess I wasn’t surprised to read that, because it feels as if I’m always using one of my devices, while television has become omnipresent. Everywhere you go there’s a television playing. Even at home while taking it easy, it’s common to have a television on in the background while you’re working on your laptop and texting someone on your phone.

Whether we’re talking about college students studying or any of us spending time at home, one thing is clear: we are pulled in many different directions and many different stimuli are competing for our attention.

In other words, we are quite distracted these days.

We now live in the loudest and most cluttered marketplace in human history. So many messages compete for your attention. We have unprecedented access to information, both journalistic and commercial.

If you make your living by marketing a company or selling products and services, it takes a great deal of effort to cut through the clutter and grab someone’s attention.

If you are a company or person looking to get your message across, you now have a lot of choices. On the other hand, all the clutter in the communication environment means it is harder now for your message to be noticed than it was in the past.

What are the secrets to success in a more fragmented, cluttered and loud marketplace?

1.   Be disciplined and assertive in your communication efforts

2.   Go back to the fundamentals of good communication

In today’s marketplace, you must constantly put forth messages in a variety of channels – a mix of social media, internet, traditional media and good old face-to-face communication. Furthermore, the effort must be constantly sustained. You can’t take a day off. Worthwhile and attention-getting messages must spring forth constantly.

More importantly, the quality of the message matters more than how you release that message. In other words, the medium used to communicate with your target audience is just that – a medium. Whether you are using the phone, direct mail, newspapers, television, radio, email-based marketing, blogs, podcasts, social media engagement, door-to-door salesmen or carrier pigeons, the product or service must stand on its own merit. The message must be compelling on its own merit. Fundamentals matter. If your product/service has a viable market, it will sell.

Instead of fearing or dreading all the distractions your clients face, embrace the opportunity to reach people in multiple ways. As a person who has messages to convey and services to sell, the more communication channels I have, the better.

Regardless of the medium and where we might be at any given point in technological history, human beings are essentially the same. They make decisions based on what they value and do business with individuals and organizations they trust.

Sure it takes more work, and in many cases more staffing hours, to prepare messages for new media that pop up. But new communications vehicles open the possibility of reaching new people.

Jeff Beals is a professional speaker, award-winning author and sales consultant, who helps companies increase their profits and associations achieve their missions through effective sales and personal branding techniques.

Here’s Why Should You Choose Jeff Beals as Your Next Speaker:

“Jeff is sure to deliver an engaging and motivating speech! He cleverly ties together his stories and makes the speech end with a punch. Being the closing speaker is tough, but he stepped-up to the challenge and hit a home-run. Due to the high ratings and overwhelming response to re-watch his speech, we are planning on using his video during our NextGen watch party.”  – Megan Dotson, Senior Client Success Consultant & Event Director, GovLoop.com, Washington, DC

“Your workshop was a huge experience for our attendees by giving them the opportunity to improve their work in the critical environment in which we are living today. Your talent as a speaker and your qualities as a person made the difference during your time with us. I would certainly recommend you to anyone who asks.” – Ana Paula Costa, Educational Planner, Febracorp, Sao Paulo, Brazil

“Our corporate partnership team had great takeaways regarding how to network smarter while also understanding the importance of our personal brand to current and prospective partners. Jeff does a great job weaving in real-world examples and how you can apply his teachings to growing your business and
building long-term partnerships.” – Jason Booker, Senior Director of Corporate Sponsorships, The Kansas City Royals Major League Baseball Team

“If you are considering hiring Jeff, I will only say this: do it now. His ability to connect with an audience and explain the importance of telling the story is nothing short of extraordinary. The true litmus of any great speaker is authenticity. And when authenticity is coupled with an incredibly high amount of energy, humor, and engagement – you get Jeff.  I would highly recommend him to anyone who needs a speaker attendees will talk about for a long time to come.” – Alison Cody, Executive Director, Manufacturers’ Agents Association for the Foodservice Industry, Atlanta, GA

“I’m in Phoenix and had breakfast earlier this morning with our semi-retired sales representative who is doing some continued work for us down here.  He attended your sales meeting last week and told me that in 43 years of selling, you were the best he had heard.  Thanks for a great experience.” – Drew Vogel, President & CEO, Diamond Vogel Paints, Orange City, IA

+1-402-917-5730

info@jeffbeals.com

 

Are You Selling the Wrong Thing?

By Jeff Beals

If you want to sell more widgets, stop selling widgets.

If you want to sell more real estate, insurance or financial planning services, stop selling real estate, insurance and financial planning services.

If you represent Tupperware, Avon or Pampered Chef, stop selling those things too.

The world’s most successful salespersons don’t sell products and services. They sell VALUE. In other words, instead of selling insurance, you’re selling security, protection and peace of mind. Instead of selling Pampered Chef products, you are selling prestige, coolness and an easier way to prepare gourmet food.

Now, before all you “non-salespersons” stop reading this article, consider this: Regardless of what you do for a living, you are in sales. Everyone sells. Here’s why: 1. If you work for a company, you have a moral obligation to promote that company whenever you have the chance. After all, your job might depend on it. 2. You’re always selling yourself – possibly for a new job, a promotion, a better assignment within an existing job or for perks/benefits. 3. If you have an idea that will make your employer more successful, you may have to sell that idea to the ultimate decision maker. 4. If you are involved in a civic or philanthropic organization, you may have to sell the organization’s mission in order to raise funds and attract volunteers.

Suffice it to say, you are indeed working in sales. Everyone is in sales. That’s why it’s so essential to understand the importance of “value” in your work.

You don’t want to be paid for the job, hour, gig, order, product, showing, presentation, contract, deal, project etc. You want to be paid for the value you bring to the client. And if you do a truly effective job of establishing value, you then can receive regular income from that client on an on-going basis. You must be seen as an investment, not an expense.

How do you go about convincing a client that you provide great value?

Delivery – Consistently deliver outstanding results. With so much competition in the world, clients have the right to assume that all providers are competent. Make sure you are more than competent in your operations.

Interpersonal Communication – You will have a hard time determining what the client values if you don’t communicate thoroughly and listen carefully.

Relationships and Trust – Do what it takes to build a strong bond with your clients.

Once you establish trust, you pave the way for value, which is determined by the client an only the client – not you or me.

Only once you have started to build a trusting a relationship with clients and have figured out what they value (or care about) is it time to start talking about what you can do for them. Too many business leaders and sales representatives start spouting off the features and benefits of their products before it’s time.

Focus on the client. Determine what is most important to him or her. Remember that the client defines value, not you.

Ultimately, you are not in the product- or service-selling business. You’re in the results-selling business. The right results, along with a trusting relationship are what your clients truly value.

Jeff Beals is a professional speaker and award-winning author, who helps companies increase their profits and associations achieve their missions through effective sales and personal branding techniques.

Here’s Why Should You Choose Jeff Beals as Your Next Speaker:

“Jeff is sure to deliver an engaging and motivating speech! He cleverly ties together his stories and makes the speech end with a punch. Being the closing speaker is tough, but he stepped-up to the challenge and hit a home-run. Due to the high ratings and overwhelming response to re-watch his speech, we are planning on using his video during our NextGen watch party.”  – Megan Dotson, Senior Client Success Consultant & Event Director, GovLoop.com, Washington, DC

“Your workshop was a huge experience for our attendees by giving them the opportunity to improve their work in the critical environment in which we are living today. Your talent as a speaker and your qualities as a person made the difference during your time with us. I would certainly recommend you to anyone who asks.” – Ana Paula Costa, Educational Planner, Febracorp, Sao Paulo, Brazil

“Our corporate partnership team had great takeaways regarding how to network smarter while also understanding the importance of our personal brand to current and prospective partners. Jeff does a great job weaving in real-world examples and how you can apply his teachings to growing your business and
building long-term partnerships.” – Jason Booker, Senior Director of Corporate Sponsorships, The Kansas City Royals Major League Baseball Team

“If you are considering hiring Jeff, I will only say this: do it now. His ability to connect with an audience and explain the importance of telling the story is nothing short of extraordinary. The true litmus of any great speaker is authenticity. And when authenticity is coupled with an incredibly high amount of energy, humor, and engagement – you get Jeff.  I would highly recommend him to anyone who needs a speaker attendees will talk about for a long time to come.” – Alison Cody, Executive Director, Manufacturers’ Agents Association for the Foodservice Industry, Atlanta, GA

“I’m in Phoenix and had breakfast earlier this morning with our semi-retired sales representative who is doing some continued work for us down here.  He attended your sales meeting last week and told me that in 43 years of selling, you were the best he had heard.  Thanks for a great experience.” – Drew Vogel, President & CEO, Diamond Vogel Paints, Orange City, IA

+1-402-917-5730

info@jeffbeals.com

What Business Are You Really In? It’s Probably Not What You Think

By Jeff Beals

During my sales workshops, I like to ask the participants to answer a couple questions:  “Who likes Nordstrom?” “Who likes Wal-Mart?”  It always creates a buzz and causes the audience to stir, because people tend to have strong opinions about those two retailers.

Nordstrom is a chain of upscale department stores based in downtown Seattle, the chic and sophisticated hub of the Northwest.

Wal-Mart is the world’s biggest discount retailer and is based in Bentonville, a town of 36,000 people tucked away in northwest Arkansas.

At first glance, you might think these two businesses could not be more different, but a closer look reveals they are very much alike.  Both enjoy huge, rabidly loyal followings.  Their customers love them and go back again and again.  Millions of families live almost exclusively on affordable products purchased from Wal-Mart.  Nordstrom customers are known to travel hundreds of miles to visit their favorite department store.

These two similar-but-different retailers have been successful over many years, because they know their real business.  They know what they really do as opposed to what it appears they do.

Wal-Mart is not in the grocery-and-general merchandise business. Instead, it’s in the “saving-people-money-so-they-can-live-better” business.  Nordstrom isn’t in the garment retailing business.  It’s in the “make-you-look-and-feel-special” business.  The experiences and feelings Nordstrom provide are, to many customers, even more valuable than the apparel and accessories themselves.

The key word for both companies’ success is “value.”

No matter what you sell, success ultimately comes down to your ability to deliver great value for the money your clients invest.

But how do you define value?

You don’t.

Value is determined by the client. Value exists in the client’s head. By making your clients feel truly special, you make it easier for them to see the great value you can provide.

The sales professionals understand that value is critical.

The most successful real estate agents are in the “help-you-get-your-dream-house” business. Insurance brokers are in the “keep- you-safe-and-secure” business. Financial advisors are in the “make-you-wealthy” business. Professional consultants are in the “keep-your-company-solvent” business. Risk managers are in the “keep-your-butt-out-of-court” business.

Clients feel most special when their service providers prove that it’s all about client. The successful person is the one who is in business to make someone else’s dreams come true.

As the legendary Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart once said, “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody, by spending his money somewhere else.”

Jeff Beals is a professional speaker and award-winning author, who helps companies increase their profits and associations achieve their missions through effective sales and personal branding techniques.

Here’s Why Should You Choose Jeff Beals as Your Next Speaker:

“Jeff is sure to deliver an engaging and motivating speech! He cleverly ties together his stories and makes the speech end with a punch. Being the closing speaker is tough, but he stepped-up to the challenge and hit a home-run. Due to the high ratings and overwhelming response to re-watch his speech, we are planning on using his video during our NextGen watch party.”  – Megan Dotson, Senior Client Success Consultant & Event Director, GovLoop.com, Washington, DC

“Your workshop was a huge experience for our attendees by giving them the opportunity to improve their work in the critical environment in which we are living today. Your talent as a speaker and your qualities as a person made the difference during your time with us. I would certainly recommend you to anyone who asks.” – Ana Paula Costa, Educational Planner, Febracorp, Sao Paulo, Brazil

“Our corporate partnership team had great takeaways regarding how to network smarter while also understanding the importance of our personal brand to current and prospective partners. Jeff does a great job weaving in real-world examples and how you can apply his teachings to growing your business and
building long-term partnerships.” – Jason Booker, Senior Director of Corporate Sponsorships, The Kansas City Royals Major League Baseball Team

“If you are considering hiring Jeff, I will only say this: do it now. His ability to connect with an audience and explain the importance of telling the story is nothing short of extraordinary. The true litmus of any great speaker is authenticity. And when authenticity is coupled with an incredibly high amount of energy, humor, and engagement – you get Jeff.  I would highly recommend him to anyone who needs a speaker attendees will talk about for a long time to come.” – Alison Cody, Executive Director, Manufacturers’ Agents Association for the Foodservice Industry, Atlanta, GA

“I’m in Phoenix and had breakfast earlier this morning with our semi-retired sales representative who is doing some continued work for us down here.  He attended your sales meeting last week and told me that in 43 years of selling, you were the best he had heard.  Thanks for a great experience.” – Drew Vogel, President & CEO, Diamond Vogel Paints, Orange City, IA

+1-402-917-5730

info@jeffbeals.com

How to Turn Your People into Portals of Profit

Crete Carrier Truck

By Jeff Beals

As I was driving on the freeway last week, I came upon a semi-trailer truck which had a message printed on the back in big red letters: “Our most valuable resource sits 63 feet ahead.”  As I passed the truck, I saw a similar message in even bigger letters printed along the side of the trailer: “Our most valuable resource sits here” and then a big red arrow pointing at the driver.

What a nice message! I assume the company, Crete Carrier Corp. decided to place this message on the truck as a way to:

1. recruit drivers;

2. remind drivers how important their work is to the company’s success;

3. make customers feel good knowing that their freight is being transported by high quality drivers;

4. all of the above

Indeed employees are important to the success of companies especially those companies that operate in highly competitive industries.

But employees are also critical to an organization’s success in a way that many people never consider: personal branding.

When most people think about personal branding, they automatically assume you’re talking about career advancement or something a salesperson, insurance agent or real estate broker would do in hopes of closing more deals.  Certainly, such images fall under the personal branding umbrella.  But organizations benefit from personal branding too.  Personal branding by employees helps companies make more money and organizations more successfully meet their missions.

Businesses large and small must realize that people – their employees – are the portals of profit.  In other words, customers like to come into a company through a human being.  Personal relationships are the most effective way to land big clients. Personal relationships are even effective in the highly commoditized world in which many companies compete.  The more a company’s employees are out and about among the public, becoming well known and building relationships with prospective and current customers, the better a company will do.

Too many organizations fear personal branding efforts by their employees.  In fact, conventional wisdom says that well-branded employees might be snatched up by competitors.  While there is a greater risk of losing well-known employees, savvy companies realize the benefits outweigh the threat of greater turnover.  What’s more, my gut tells me that employees who are encouraged to build their personal brands will be happier at work and therefore less likely to leave (even though they would theoretically have more opportunities to leave).

Organizations need not wait for a threat to tap the latent personal branding power that sits unused on their organizational charts.  Now is the time to empower employees.  Help employees build their brands and turn them loose as deputized ambassadors.  Employees must become famous in their own spheres of interest, so they can become the portals of profit.

Jeff Beals is a professional speaker and award-winning author, who helps companies increase their profits and associations achieve their missions through effective sales and personal branding techniques.

Here’s Why Should You Choose Jeff Beals as Your Next Speaker:

“Jeff is sure to deliver an engaging and motivating speech! He cleverly ties together his stories and makes the speech end with a punch. Being the closing speaker is tough, but he stepped-up to the challenge and hit a home-run. Due to the high ratings and overwhelming response to re-watch his speech, we are planning on using his video during our NextGen watch party.”  – Megan Dotson, Senior Client Success Consultant & Event Director, GovLoop.com, Washington, DC

“Your workshop was a huge experience for our attendees by giving them the opportunity to improve their work in the critical environment in which we are living today. Your talent as a speaker and your qualities as a person made the difference during your time with us. I would certainly recommend you to anyone who asks.” – Ana Paula Costa, Educational Planner, Febracorp, Sao Paulo, Brazil

“Our corporate partnership team had great takeaways regarding how to network smarter while also understanding the importance of our personal brand to current and prospective partners. Jeff does a great job weaving in real-world examples and how you can apply his teachings to growing your business and
building long-term partnerships.” – Jason Booker, Senior Director of Corporate Sponsorships, The Kansas City Royals Major League Baseball Team

“If you are considering hiring Jeff, I will only say this: do it now. His ability to connect with an audience and explain the importance of telling the story is nothing short of extraordinary. The true litmus of any great speaker is authenticity. And when authenticity is coupled with an incredibly high amount of energy, humor, and engagement – you get Jeff.  I would highly recommend him to anyone who needs a speaker attendees will talk about for a long time to come.” – Alison Cody, Executive Director, Manufacturers’ Agents Association for the Foodservice Industry, Atlanta, GA

“I’m in Phoenix and had breakfast earlier this morning with our semi-retired sales representative who is doing some continued work for us down here.  He attended your sales meeting last week and told me that in 43 years of selling, you were the best he had heard.  Thanks for a great experience.” – Drew Vogel, President & CEO, Diamond Vogel Paints, Orange City, IA

+1-402-917-5730

info@jeffbeals.com