“I think we are onto something”!

All Systems Go- The Journey Begins.

In my last blog, I talked about Selling what you can’t see, and how Doug Gold, my business partner and previous owner of the More FM network came up with an idea to sell media inventory that went on to dominate the direct media sales world for well over 20 years.

After his first launch of the Gold Key Programme in Wellington New Zealand, we knew we were on to something special. The product and the problem had changed, as had our approach.  Spots and Dot selling were out, and membership was in.

Looking back, it was revolutionary, no one was selling media this way. Subscription-based selling had been around for 50 years, now everyone thinks its the ‘new new thing”. All we did was apply that model to selling inventory on media companies.

I was initially invited into the company as a consultant, but when I saw what Doug had created, it was as if a light went on, I knew that if I could build a sales system that could duplicate the concept he was presenting in that room in a hotel in Wellington, I could leverage it.

I sat in on all the presentations as an observer for a week, watched how all the salespeople sold. I monitored how the clients bought. I recorded the presenter’s speeches and analyzed all the ways that they presented the product. Then I went away and created the first Image Plus programme. A predictable lead generation product that would pretty much guarantee a result. Then I took it to my partner who had just gone to Australia to set up our consultancy services, the wonderful Mr. Duffy.

I think we are onto something”

Brian Duffy trusted me to package it up and take it to a client of his in Hobart, Tasmania. I went in and said, “If you follow this system, I can write a million dollars in revenue for you guaranteed” We launched the program and generated $1 million in four days. In today’s money that’s around $4.5 million. Our cut was a commission fee on the revenue generated.

Boom! We were smoking! I remember at the time watching Brian writing on a small business card how many we had sold each session, after the third session, he came over to me and said. ” I think we are onto something, I count thirty gone of our allocated 100 memberships and its only day one, I’m excited”!

Success is Natural

People look at that success and assume it takes a team of natural salespeople to develop and execute such an idea; they don’t believe they can do it themselves. Granted, I have a passion for the business, but I came from a very small country where nobody was doing this sort of thing. We had some brave, courageous risk-takers as our first clients.

The early adopters in Hobart said, “Yeah, we’ll give it a go” and we were grateful. You may not think you are a salesperson, but if you are in any kind of business, you are just as much a salesperson as Doug, Brian, and me, and you can find clients willing to take the leap with you.

Practice Makes Perfect.

Of course, the journey that NRS Media took has not always been easy. I remember one time I was presenting near Lincoln, Nebraska, expecting 300 people to attend our seminar. Five turned up.

When something like that happens, all you want to do is hide. If you could, you would actually crawl in a hole, pull the cover over the top, and not come back out. Sometimes it seemed like I was on my own and the rebuffs were never-ending. I had a bit of natural resilience, but it really is a lonely place, selling in America is a tough gig. Many people avoid sales because they fear rejection.

Sell something you Believe in.

What you have to remember, though, is that if you are doing something you love, selling something you believe in, then you are performing a service. You are not ripping off the customer, or doing the wrong thing by them. Someone is going to buy it from you. As long as you remember that, you can lift your head back up and start again.

Take Flight from Fright

You should realize that most people don’t take naturally to selling. I often see people so frozen they’re afraid to pick up the phone. Folks freeze with fear, unable to make the call. They’re paralyzed with fright. Excuse my language, but they’re sh*$$!ng themselves because they’re so afraid of the reaction. Many people find selling terrifying; it’s a natural human reaction.The thing is, this fear comes through in their work and makes them less effective.

If you own a product, service, or a business, you have to sell. If you’re passionate, believe in that product, and know that your customer should have it, then don’t be afraid to go and present it.

Try not to think of it as asking a yes-or-no question. Instead, picture yourself helping the customer through the decision-making process. Simultaneously, you come to comprehend their needs, wants, and desires. If you can honestly say, “Look, this is my product. I believe in it. I think it’s right for you,” and you come from a position of integrity people will respond.  All it takes is a shift in perspective. Stop thinking, “I’m not in sales.” Reframe that thought.

Call it Something Else.

Call it something else. Recognize it for the relationship building process it really is. Changing my mindset has helped me personally banish the fear of rejection. At first, I tried half-heartedly and then gave up, just like anyone else. I realized, though, that if I didn’t change the way I thought about sales, I was going to lose. Today, I help salespeople change their frame of mind so they’re working steadily toward a reward rather than flailing about trying to avoid failure.

I remember working with a new salesperson on this issue. He was seriously afraid of going out and talking to people, so we gave him some new words to practice just before the sales call.

We asked him to say “relationship building” instead of “selling” in his mind and we saw right away the fresh connections he was making. His new vocabulary changed his mindset. He was much more comfortable—and successful—in his calls after he implemented this simple tool.

Successful sales also means maintaining relationships with clients over a long time period without getting the payoff of a “yes.” In the early days of my business, I remember approaching clients who would say no three, four, or five times. I considered that a failure. I thought, “Well, I just can’t do it.”

What did I learn?

Successful sales also mean maintaining relationships with clients over a long time period without getting the payoff of a “yes.” In the early days of my business, I remember approaching clients who would say no three, four, or five times. I considered that a failure. I thought, “Well, I just can’t-do it.”

What I discovered, though, was that I had to see rejection as a temporary setback and make plans to move on. I had to say to myself, “Okay, Mike, what did you learn and what could you do differently? Could you apply a different approach to that problem? Let’s try it and see what happens then.”

If you want to build leverage into your business like we did, then let’s talk. 

Selling is easy “it’s just how you think about it”

Mike

PS. Not ready for a catch-up call then dive  into my ‘new’ just-released audio programme

 

 

 

Selling what you can’t see

When I came into media, my main challenge was to sell something invisible. I learned that people buy ideas more than things. They buy concepts, promotions, and methods for getting people into their stores.

In the early 90s, the media industry in New Zealand was entering deregulation. The government had decided to “open up the airwaves” and issue new opportunities for starting radio/media companies. Doug Gold the original owner of More FM (now Mediaworks) recognized an opening when he saw one. He obtained several licenses to operate new radio stations in cities and towns all over the country.

Culture First- The Rest Follows.

Doug had created an amazing culture and fun way of doing business at media companies he had previously managed. Once word got around that he was starting a new venture, former staff flocked to be on the journey with him. Some would not be receiving any incomes for several months, but they trusted him and believed that his latest project was going to be special.

The challenge for the new media enterprise was that they would be working in one of the most competitive categories in the world. Media bleeds money like a wounded bull and it is riddled with failures, obnoxious personalities, and owners with huge egos.

Doug’s personality, on the other hand, was just the opposite. He had courage, belief, and an unbending single-mindedness; the usual hurdles would not present a problem for him.

Starting off on an unusual note, Doug launched his new company with a product called The Gold Key program. When Doug had researched the best way to enter the advertising market, he had sought advice from hundreds of clients.

Needs Matter

He asked questions about everything. He asked what they wanted in their advertising, examined the paths they took in sales and marketing and observed their needs.

He knew it would be a lot easier—and less daunting—to ask for someone’s business if he already knew what that prospective customer needed. He was involved in every aspect of the business, down to the formatting of his own stations’ programmes.

One of the insights Doug gained from his research was that his advertising clients were sick of just buying “spots and dots.” They wanted to belong to a group, a modern-day tribe of sorts.

Doug also discovered that clients needed to advertise and promote themselves on a continual basis. Constant exposure paid off and made advertising more affordable to small-to-medium companies. Many big companies already supported their products and services this way, and it worked well.

They were the big guys, though; they could afford it; with their resources, they could simply outshout anyone else’s marketing. Now even the little guy could compete.

When it has gone it’s gone.

Most media companies generate their income through advertising. It’s their inventory, just like all the stock in a retail store. The only difference is if that “inventory” is not sold that minute, hour, or day, then the opportunity at that moment is gone forever. Once the advertisement that was due to be sold at midday is NOT sold, it’s gone. The use-by date has expired.

The American Express of Media

Doug understood his clients and the market, so he created a membership program. Way before XERO and Apple introduced their subscription services.

He asked his clients to commit to him for twelve months. Each advertiser would receive a monthly allocation of commercials; in return, they received benefits like travel deals, access to unsold airtime, and upgrades to better commercial times. While perks like this are common today, they were a novelty in media back then.

Selling this way works best in a seminar situation, in what is often referred to as “one-to-many” selling. Every client who attended Doug’s seminar received valuable information on how to advertise and promote their business.

Any advertiser who agreed to a membership also earned a free chance at winning a brand new BMW. This was unheard of at the time. It was mind-blowing, really, and took the market by storm.

In year one, Doug and his amazing team sold $1.2 million in revenue before they even opened the media company and before one song was played. In today’s dollars that would be around $4.6 million. What sold it?

Creating a Selling System.

The key was a combination of belief, systems, a great team, and innovation. Doug generated hundreds of memberships and improved his already stellar reputation.

Over several years, Doug’s product became known as the Image Plus program. With my other founding partner, Brian Duffy, driving the helm, and me writing all the sales manuals and implementing the training programmes, we then took on the world.

These days, that one product is part of a suite that my old company NRS Media sells in over 400 media companies in twenty-three countries, in eleven languages. In the past ten years alone, the Image Plus program has generated over $300 million annually in revenue for its clients.

The start of something special. These days you would have called it a start up. The only difference that over the next 20 years, NRS Media never borrowed a cent, zip, zero. All self-funding.

An idea tested refined, then proved.

Why did it sell? The market was ready for it.The media companies advertisers wanted to buy it, and in the end, there were 40,000 of them that bought it every year for 15 years.

In my next blog, I will unveil the secret to creating the system that built that one product, which went on to dominate direct selling in media across the globe.

Until then.

Mike

PS. Dreaming of increasing your sales? Down load my FREE 7- Day Challenge Now! 

Five Things Every Business Owner should Know before they hire a Sales Trainer

I am always being asked what makes good sales training and coaching?  Here are five tips I hope can help you make the right decision when it comes to hiring any sales trainer or sales coach.

1.The sales team don’t see the sales training as relevant to them.

Usually what happens is that a sales person will be sent on a sales training course and they get there and it’s straight out of a manual. Taught to them by rote and disappointing.

2. The ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t suit their business situation.

The trainer has not spent the time to evaluate the sales persons needs. Tailor making specific programmes work better.  Before any training ask the sales trainer to work with you on YOUR outcomes for the training programme.   

3. Lack of Outcomes once at the course.

This is similar to point two, sales people have different needs, just like their clients, many times sales people arrive at course and at are never asked what their specific outcomes today for this course.

4. Sales trainer, not a sales person.

In this case, it’s more about creditability, if the trainer has no experience selling in any form, it’s difficult to build rapport with the audience you are training. The theory is fine, but not realistic. Sales experience is must for a trainer. 

5. Learning as you go.

If the training is not carried out in an environment of learning and facilitation it’s seen as boring and lacking in depth. In the ever increasing world of soft skills training involving your participants in ‘learning by doing’ is a must.

These tips have certainly helped my clients and may help you.

Good selling

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mike Brunel – Author, Sales Trainer and Coach at Mikebrunel.com. Mike started mikebrunel.com after being a successful entrepreneur. He was a co-founder of NRS Media a global leader in media sales. His products and services generated $350 million a year in revenue for his clients.  He sold that business in 2014 and now consults to business owners throughout New Zealand and beyond. He works with any business that wants to increase sales that have a sales turnover of  1/2 million up to $10 million. He works closely with digital and marketing services to help attract sales for his clients.

The One Thing You Must Do NOW!

Over the festive holidays I got talking with a young salesperson that sells hardware out of a super DIY store. His job is to be on the road most days, visiting building sites and converting builders, plumbers and such like into customers.

As we got talking I asked him, “What is your biggest frustration with your job right now”

Well he said “Writing up the orders” I laughed for a bit, but he didn’t. He was genuine, he found that the most frustrating part of his job.

The truth is that productivity is very critical to your success. I explained to him that if he could not do it himself or found it hard, then he better find someone who could help him.

Share the load

Productivity is so critical to your success. I wanted to make sure he saw this. I explained to him as far as I’m concerned, you MUST be doing this to increase your productivity, no matter how small or large your business is.

What is it?

Get someone else to do it… Outsource it.

I knew a top biller on a TV network that outsourced everything except his one to one, face to face appointments.

Here are 3 tips to get you thinking about how you can share the load and focus on what you’re good at.

  1. Spend more time on what you love about your sales job – Many salespeople do not like do the paperwork. Get someone to do it for you. It’s that simple. Doing up contracts and such like can be taught to someone.
  1. Stop wasting time on time consuming tasks – Very similar to #1. If you dread doing something in your work, then that’s a signal to delegate it. I learnt that a little while ago and it is so true, if you’re about to do something that you do not want to do, guess what happens? You procrastinate. So, therefore delegate it.
  1. Have more free time to spend with your friends and family – We all want time with our friends and family, don’t we? Outsourcing the tasks that free up spare time, it potentially allows you to be happy and organised. Do you want that?

As the year unfolds and you think about your workload, maybe also think about what you dread every day and delegate.

Whatever career you decide to take in sales, it’s always good to get some help.

That’s why you can get FREE in your inbox every morning for 7 days; the 7 Day Sale Challenge.

Hop on over here and subscribe.

For more content like this, please make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Mike Brunel started mikebrunel.com after being a successful entrepreneur and founder of NRS Media.  He co-founded NRS Media in Wellington, New Zealand, expanded it into a global powerhouse in media sales and training, and was eventually responsible for opening offices in London, Atlanta, Toronto, Sydney, Capetown, and Bogota. He has hired hundreds of salespeople around the world.

He made a lot of mistakes when it came to hiring his superstars. Check out his How to Hire A Super Salesperson Each and Every timeIt’s packed with tips and ideas on how to hire great salespeople. Don’t ever Hire Bad Salespeople Ever Again. Promise!

Tips on paying commission to new salespeople

Having worked in the commission remuneration space for most of my life,

I’m a great believer in Effort = Reward.

I’m asked a lot by sales organisations how does one structure a commission for newbies.

Standard Commission Rates

From experience if you do have a standard commission structure for your team it’s important to think about making sure that you do not tamper with that too much.

In the case of newbies that you want to harness and grow your business, it makes sense to offer a more attractive commission structure in the beginning than just the standard commission system.

In media sales for example, and I’m sure other commission-based companies, like real estate, mortgage brokers, and others could also do this.

Different Commission Rates

Rather than offer them a different commission to the rest of your team and then have to reduce it at some later point, it makes sense to offer newbie recruits an additional bonus percentage for, say, the first six months.

It may, for example, be an additional 2% or 4% above the standard commission rates. Obviously, the actual amount will depend on the commission structure in place at your company.

Why a Bonus Commission?

Because this is offered as a bonus commission, the new salesperson is always aware of what the standard structure is and does not feel that he/she is being disadvantaged when they go on to the normal commission structure.

Another option is to progressively reduce the bonus commission percentage until the new salesperson is on the standard rate. 

After six months, for example, the bonus commission might reduce by 1% each month until the salesperson is on the normal commission structure.

This allows a fast track approach to get your newbies up to speed.

If you would like any help on this type of remuneration and other ways to compensate your team let me know.

Whatever career you decide to take in sales, it’s always good to get some help.

That’s why you can get FREE in your inbox every morning for 7 days; the 7 Day Sale Challenge.

Hop on over here and subscribe.

For more content like this, please make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Mike Brunel started mikebrunel.com after being a successful entrepreneur and founder of NRS Media.  He co-founded NRS Media in Wellington, New Zealand, expanded it into a global powerhouse in media sales and training, and was eventually responsible for opening offices in London, Atlanta, Toronto, Sydney, Capetown, and Bogota. He has hired hundreds of salespeople around the world.

He made a lot of mistakes when it came to hiring his superstars. Check out his How to Hire A Super Salesperson Each and Every timeIt’s packed with tips and ideas on how to hire great salespeople. Don’t ever Hire Bad Salespeople Ever Again. Promise!

What do you do?

Have you ever been asked that question?

What do you do?

10 minutes later, three yarns in the mix, and don’t forget the glazed eyes, they either think you are:

  1. A salesperson
  2. Or a jerk

In the Sales Mindset Blueprint that I am releasing in March, I do an exercise to help you overcome the one mistake that every salesperson makes.

What is that mistake?

Talking about themselves and their solution and not the customer and their problem.

The skill is to come across with integrity and more importantly being authentic

Start with the problem.

If someone asks what you do, ask this question. “Are you frustrated with your sales team inability to ask for the business?”

Or

You know how when your salespeople come back to you and say “They are just not interested in our product.”?

That’s what I do, I help you fix that problem.

As you can see I try and start with the problem.

I try not to say.

“I help your sales team do this and that and then this blah blah blah….”

I do my best not to fall into that trap, and I know the most successful salespeople start with the problem.

Easy step by step process

My exercise in the Sales Mindset Blueprint elevator pitch module is to ask this simple question:

“What do you do”?

I then help show you how to nail your script using phrases to outline the problem as clearly as possible, focusing on their problem and then telling them how you can help.

This give me confidence, and also the client gets confidence.

Why does this approach work?

You may be asking yourself why this would help you.

Simple, it opens up the conversation, because you made it about them and not you.

At the end of the day it’s always about them isn’t it?

Have a great week selling.

Whatever career you decide to take in sales, it’s always good to get some help.

That’s why you can get FREE in your inbox every morning for 7 days; the 7 Day Sale Challenge.

Hop on over here and subscribe.

For more content like this, please make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Mike Brunel started mikebrunel.com after being a successful entrepreneur and founder of NRS Media.  He co-founded NRS Media in Wellington, New Zealand, expanded it into a global powerhouse in media sales and training, and was eventually responsible for opening offices in London, Atlanta, Toronto, Sydney, Capetown, and Bogota. He has hired hundreds of salespeople around the world.

He made a lot of mistakes when it came to hiring his superstars. Check out his How to Hire A Super Salesperson Each and Every timeIt’s packed with tips and ideas on how to hire great salespeople. Don’t ever Hire Bad Salespeople Ever Again. Promise!