The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbo Charge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies
By: Chet Holmes
Preface & My Intro:
All – in all – The material in the Ultimate Sales Machine is a bit dated as it was published in 2007 but I believe the principles and the process it teaches are still invaluable today. I’ve added my 2 cents in certain areas and have provided a snapshot as well as long summary version so I can reference in my own work. J
Machine Beginnings – I like this analogy in the book because it really hit home to me be being a student in martial arts since I was 7. Chet compares business to martial arts: Becoming a master of karate is not about learning 4,000 moves but doing just a handful of moves 4,000 times. This constant and focused repetition trains your responses to run like a machine.
In any skill; There are only a number of key areas that you need to focus on with absolute discipline and determination (becoming machine-like) to truly achieve mastery.
Implementation, not ideas, is the key to real success. We all get good ideas at seminars and from books etc. The problem is that most people and companies do not know how to identify and adapt the best ideas to their business and life. (I can attest to this being my #1 issue and hope to tackle this head-on in the New Year.)
What I thoroughly enjoyed was that aside from being one of the greatest sales trainers of his time, Chet Holmes also became an accomplished screenwriter and movie producer. He did this by writing a screenplay and targeting his Dream 100 (The top 100 Power players in Hollywood) until he was able to sign on a well-known actress and eventually get the movie picked up by Warner Brothers.
My Closing Thought: In sales – Relentless and persistent follow-up combined with a value-add education based approach will lead to optimal results. (Many times this can make or break your company – Chet’s strategies have opened up multi-million dollar contracts for his clients; Whether it be partnering with the right company that opens the flood gates for a business or scaling up a salesforce that operates like a well-oiled machine.)
As they say: Sales is the lifeblood of any organization.
The books is built into 12 chapters for the Sales Strategies to turbocharge your business.
Snapshot of the Book:
I thoroughly enjoyed The Ultimate Sales Machine and believe it has many timeless principles that can be applied from Startup stage through to Enterprise level sales. The book is built into 12 key strategies to turbocharge your sales efforts. My favorite quotes and lessons from the book were:
- Most businesses function in a reactive mode. (Quick meetings, client requests, e-mails etc.) In order to achieve optimal performance, a business should be in a primarily proactive mode to allow long-term planning and achieve goals.
- Every Salesperson should have at least 2-5 hours per day of new prospecting. Time and time again I’ve personally seen less than 1 – 2 hours of prospecting occur during optimal hours 10-3 PM
- The importance of education based marketing to educate clients on your solutions. Most “Salespeople” tend to sell why they’re so great which is much less effective than letting prospects get to see that themselves through education.
- People respect what you inspect – Tracking and measuring your goals and efforts is the best way to increase your KPI’s. It is so easy to implement basic KPI tracking ala Geckoboard/Google Docs/CRM on a real-time basis that you would be doing yourself a huge disservice not implementing the most basic KPI’s in the sales process.
- To find a sales superstar, initially reject a candidate while going through the interview process to see how they handle objections.
- There’s always a smaller number of “best buyers” than there are all buyers. Marketing to 100 “best buyers” is less expensive than a marketing effort to an entire audience of 10,000.
- Build and relentlessly target your “Dream 100” clients. These clients will buy from you more often and ultimately build your long term profitability. Make sure they know who you are and constantly educate them about your offering. This is the 80/20 principle at its best.
“What Gets Measured, gets done.” – Peter Drucker
- Time Management Secrets of Billionaires
Most businesses people and companies function in a reactive mode. Many distractions stop the flow of concentration (e-mails, quick meetings, 1-minute meetings to discuss minute details)
In order to effectively build your business, you need to be in a primarily proactive mode to allow long-term planning and achieve goals.
Six Steps to Great Time Management:
Step 1: Touch it Once – A lot of time is wasted filing e-mails to be responded to at “a later time”, answering phone calls for during times of concentration etc. This dramatically decreases productivity.
Note: If you spend 15 minutes per day to revisit, readdress, or reread documents or emails, you will waste 97 hours per year where no action is taken.
Step 2: Make Lists – Make daily lists, keep them short 5-7 action items. (This will ensure critical items being addressed on a daily basis)
Step 3: Plan How Much Time You Will Allocate to Each Task – Make sure to write the amount of time of the day it will take to accomplish tasks to ensure successful commitment to the day’s tasks.
Step 4: Plan the Day – Plan your days ahead of time to ensure optimal productivity. See Step 1: To ensure optimal times for emails, phone calls & meetings.
Step 5: Prioritize – We’ve heard it many times: 20 percent of your efforts bring 80 percent of your results. If 80 percent of your effort was focused on high-results-producing activities you could get a fourfold increase in productivity!
Tips for Salespeople; Every salesperson should have at least 2.5 hours a day of brand-new prospecting. If you are not managing a large list of current clients this should be at least four hours per day to build a pipeline. Most salespeople only spend 1 hours or less per day!
People Respect What You Inspect – If you want to get your people productive you should examine how they’re prioritizing and planning their day every day.
Step 6: Ask Yourself, “Will It Hurt Me to Throw This Away” –
- Instituting Higher Standards and Regular Training
Training Sets Standards – Constant training improves employees’ understanding of company objectives and raises and set standards of performance.
Training Makes Money – When clients experience top-notch service no matter who they are dealing with in an organization they will keep coming back. Training also saves money because it significantly reduces employee turnover
- Executing Effective Meetings
Conduct Workshops – Instead of management directing all employees on certain objectives, Workshops or open collaborative sessions where you get to work together on a problem, developing the ideas and insights to propel the company forward.
- Becoming a Brilliant Strategist
- Tactic is a method or technique used to achieve an immediate or short-term gain
(Make the Sale Today)
- Strategy is a carefully defined and detailed plan to achieve a long term goal
(Build a long term sustainable pipeline of sales)
To build the Ultimate Sales Machine, you need to think and plan like a strategist and implement like a great tactician.
One of the most strategic things you can do is to find market data that makes your product or service more important. This will position yourself as a market expert. Most companies focus on product data to sell things
(i.e. Our carpet cleaning service cleans 50% more dirt than other services)
(Government studies have shown that when you remove carpets from buildings, people get sick four times more often. The EPA has found that professional carpet cleaning gets carpets 1,500% cleaner than even vacuuming every day.) Buy Carpet Cleaning! J
- Hiring Superstars
What makes a Superstar?
Dominance – Strength of your ego. Superstars can assert themselves in every interaction.
Strong Ego – Crucial in sales because it means you will have the drive and personal ambition to close as many sales as possible and the armor take repeated and harsh rejections. Strong Ego = Action
Influence – High influence people love people and can put themselves in others’ point of view.
Compliance – Always plan ahead and can work accurately and precisely
Prescreen Method – Reject anybody who applies for the job telling them why you think they can’t do the job. See what their reaction is. A superstar will question your reasoning and may even tell you are wrong.
- The Art of Getting the Best Buyers
There’s always a smaller number of “best buyers” than there are all buyers. Marketing to 100 “best buyers” is less expensive than a marketing effort to an entire audience of 10,000.
Dream Affiliates – Work with complimentary companies that can open you up to more business than you can handle. Partnering with a niche company that integrates vertically or horizontally with yours.
- The Seven Musts of Marketing
- Direct Mail
- Corporate Literature
- Public Relations
- Personal Contact: Salespeople and customer service
- Market Education: Trade shows, speaking engagements and education based marketing
- Internet: Websites, email efforts, and affiliate marketing
Secret to throwing a great tradeshow party
- Do it at a popular club – Call the club ahead of time and tell them you’re throwing a party and going to have 200 people and you are deciding which club you want to use. Ask them about theirs > Buy 2-3 drink coupons per guest and have your salespeople give them out at the trade show (This will make them very popular). Make sure it is fun! Hire models at $100-200 for the night if you have to. Total Cost – < $10,000
MOST IMPORTANT RULE IN MARKETING: Always use education based marketing (Do NOT ONLY talk about why you are so great)
- Use Compelling Visuals
85% of information taken into the brain enters through the eyes.
Color is very important Use Visual aids: PowerPoint, storyboards, flip charts and diagrams to keep your presentation compelling
Rules for Effective Presenting:
- I.S.S (Keep it Simple, Stupid)
- I.F.P )Keep it Fast Paced)
- Use “WOW” Facts and Statistics
- Build in Opportunities for Stories
- Your Presentation Should be Curiosity Driven
- Think of Each Headline as Valuable Real Estate
- Be Confident but Not Obnoxious
You will get to see far more prospects if you offer education than you will if you try to just sell your product.
Do not call it a “presentation” (Too much like a sales pitch). Call it an “orientation” or “an executive briefing”.
- Getting the Best Buyers
After choosing your Dream 100 – Build your process to convert them with an organized, consistent and relentless program to win them as clients for life – No matter how many times they tell you they’re not interested.
Everyone respects persistence in the face of resistance.
- Choose your Dream 100
- Choose the Gifts
- Create your Dream 100 letters
- Create your Dream 100 colander
- Dream 100 Follow-up calls
- Present the executive briefing
Getting the best buyers is a process – not an event. Biggest weakness when companies utilize this strategy is being too inconsistent or giving up too quickly.
- Sales Skills
Secret to building an excellent sales team is repeating core training on the basics again and again.
Step 1: Establish Rapport
Step 2: Qualify the Buyers (Find the Need)
Step 3: Build Value
Step 4: Create Desire
Step 5: Overcome Objections
Step 6: Close the Sale
Step 7: Follow Up (Ask for Referrals)
- Follow-up and Client Bonding Skills
Most important element in the sales cycle that will build repeat clients as well as endless referrals for your business. Many businesses stop at the sale which can be detrimental to building evangelists.
- All Systems Go
Goal setting and measuring effectives is the 12th core skill area. Setting goals is not about writing them down periodically but about mastering your focus so that achieving those goals happens quickly and automatically.
RAS (Reticular Activating System) < Computer in your brain
What We Think Defines Who We Are
I think, therefore I am.
People respect what you inspect – Put all kinds of measurement into place to record success