Tag Archive for: sales performance

Whenever you sit down to plan a meeting, there are probably a number of questions floating around in your head.

  • “What’s the biggest problem challenging the attendees or my team right now?”
  • “How do I provide the most value for them so they feel good about stepping away from their work for a period of time?”
  • “Can I find a way to make this experience entertaining and engaging as well as educational?”

If your attendees are anything like most people, there are a few topics out there that could bring a breath of fresh air to these individuals, no matter what industry or role they work in.

Many employees are currently struggling with their emotional, mental, and even physical health. The pandemic has served as a collective trauma, and left many with unexpected challenges. When deciding on the focus of your next meeting, you may want to consider how to incorporate an aspect of wellness into your event.

Potential Problems Ahead

When employers neglect to focus on employees’ wellbeing, the bottom line is sure to suffer. Overworked and underappreciated employees experience higher levels of stress and more instances of illnesses that can lead to sick days and decreased productivity. Without intervention, these employees will become disengaged and will often seek new opportunities outside of the organization. And we all know how much money and time it cost to retrain new team members.

The situation is slightly better within organizations that foster a culture of teamwork. These employees often feel supported by their coworkers and are able to handle challenges better.

While a strong team can help, it’s still essential that you keep your employees’ mental, emotional, and physical health as a top priority. It seems that in today’s offices, conventions, meetings, and special events, health and wellness programs are becoming the “new normal”.

 

Wellness in the Workplace

Employees spend more time at work than anywhere else (at least while they’re awake). There are a number of ways to create a positive work environment that will improve employee health rather than take away from it, and many of these ideas can be incorporated into events as well. Some of the options to consider when it comes to wellness programs include:

  • Encouraging and rewarding exercise
  • Opportunities and space for meditation
  • Access to healthy food
  • Concierge services
  • Flexible work schedules
  • And many more

There’s also one that you may have never even thought of… drumming.

Health Benefits of Drumming

If you’re currently imagining people standing around a campfire, swaying to a rhythm of their own design, you aren’t far off. Scientists have been studying the effects of music on our health for years and have discovered a number of physical, emotional, and mental benefits. Some of these include:

  • Increased happiness: Drumming releases endorphins, “feel-good” chemicals that relieve pain and boost happiness.
  • Boosts immune response: Barry Mittman, MD, a neurologist and President of the Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute, found that group drumming naturally increases T-cells that help protect the body from infection and can even help fight cancer.
  • Creates a sense of connectedness: According to Christine Northrup, M.D., “Drumming circles and group drumming classes provide an opportunity for ‘synchronicity’ in that you connect with your own spirit at a deeper level while also connecting with other like-minded people.”
  • Allows you to be present: Drumming helps take you out of the “past and future” trap and allows you to be present in the moment.

These are just a few of the many health benefits. Now, let’s take a look at how drumming can improve business when it’s incorporated into meetings.

Business Benefits of Drumming

In case the business benefits of drumming didn’t jump out at you in that last section, let’s go one by one and see how those health benefits are great for your organization as well.

  • Increased happiness: Drumming is fun! Who couldn’t use a break from the daily grind to rock out and put a smile on their face?
  • Immune response: Healthier employees who are better able to fight off infection take fewer sick days and are more productive.
  • Sense of connectedness: Looking for a way to improve teamwork and encourage your employees to work together and support one another? Look no further.
  • Be present: Would you prefer employees to be distracted, stressing about the past and worrying about the future, or would you like them to be in the moment, focused on the task at hand?

Rhythms in Business

When Marvelless Mark was crafting his Rhythms in Business keynote, he didn’t set out to incorporate a health and wellness program into his presentation… but that’s just what he did! Now that he’s seen the scientific data on the benefits of drumming, and received feedback from meeting planners and attendees, he knows it’s a win-win. For the convention attendees, the meeting planners, and for him.

When you plan your next meeting, consider including the power of drumming in your program. Your attendees will have fun, lower their stress levels, enhance their team communication, and be able to return to work with a new excitement surrounding their job. If you’re looking for a way to energize your team, create happier and healthier employees, and improve your organization as a whole, it’s time to bring out their inner rockstars. The bonus, they all get to keep the conference branded drumsticks and receive an additional benefit of the power of collaboration and teamwork.

 

 

There’s nothing like a new year to provide the hope and inspiration we need to truly rock out at life. Chances are, you’ve come up with a list of resolutions that will help you become the best version of yourself at home or in business. Perhaps you’re planning to exercise more, eat healthier, send thank you cards to clients before the special occasion, spend more time with your family, or even learn to play an instrument. But what if you had new years revolutions instead of resolutions?

Imagine if you or your team, have new year’s revolutions versus resolutions? What would they be? In the spirit of a fresh start, we’ve put together 7 resolutions that will serve you better with a rock star mindset of revolutions that will lead to higher employee satisfaction and efficiency, and a better experience for everyone involved. Especially your customers or fans.

7 New Year’s Revolutions for a Better Workplace

Maybe, you’ve got a great team. They work hard, get along fairly well, and are all committed to one another’s success. Or maybe, you have a bunch of employees that strive to do the least amount of work possible, put up with one another because they have to, and would literally step on a colleague to get ahead.

No matter which scenario resonates (or anything in between), you have the opportunity to tap into the new year’s mindset and create real change within your organization. Just remember that a culture of teamwork begins at the top. If you want to see rock star results, you will have to take different actions.

  1. Improve communication

Look at any struggling team and you’ll see poor communication at the root of the problem. Encourage your band members to listen better, communicate with empathy, be honest (but not hurtful), and be open to people who may think and communicate differently. A lot of the time the work doesn’t get done or done correctly because of poor communication. As the band leader it starts with you being 100% transparent with your dreams, goals, or vision and making sure everyone understands that.

  1. Create a safe environment

Are your team /band members comfortable thinking outside of the box? Are innovative ideas met with gratitude and honest consideration or with scorn and dismissiveness? You have a treasure trove of wisdom within your department… but only if you create a safe space for employees to share their brilliance. Will every idea be a keeper? Not at all. But you never know what you’ll get when you encourage them to share. Remember Steven Tyler’s dare to suck band meeting principal? All of the band members are challenged to bring their worst ideas to the table and then they build off of them. It created some of the best ideas and music. So maybe you throw the box away, and by doing that there are no boundaries to the limits or ideas and creativity from your team. That’s a Revolution.

  1. Give better feedback

There’s always room for improvement. No matter how well your team is doing, there are always tweaks that can be made to make things even better. However, without specific, actionable feedback, your comments will do nothing more than offending your team members. Let them know exactly what they could do better (and how), and don’t forget to point out what they’re already doing well. With a Rockstar mindset, all feedback is positive. By taking action, even if it’s in the wrong direction, with positive feedback we will know when and where to turn around. Then we will know what direction we need to go. But if no action is taken then no feedback can be given. Do nothing, get nothing. That’s a Revolution.

  1. Accept feedback

You have to crave feedback. Beg for if need be. That you’re a band leader or band member. If you can’t take constructive criticism, and get defensive and angry when it’s provided to you, why would you expect your employees to react any differently? There’s a level of vulnerability that you need to show as a leader when it comes to feedback. When a team member comes to you with a problem or concern, put your ego aside and hear them out. Sure, their opinion may be completely unfounded… or it could be something you truly need to work on. The great thing to remember is that there is almost always more than one way to solve a problem. And the bottom line is it doesn’t matter if it’s your way, or a new way as long as the work gets done, gets done on time, and gets done correctly.

  1. Take responsibility

Much like taking feedback, you can’t expect your team to accept responsibility and own up to their mistakes if you don’t. Take ownership of your decisions, even if they have a less than perfect outcome. Seeing the maturity you exhibit will inspire your team members to stop pointing fingers and do the same. It’s wasted energy. Own it. Use it for an opportunity for growth or learning, and then move on. That’s a Revolution.

  1. Foster trust

When you or one of your employees says they will do something, does it get done? Being able to trust your teammates is one of the most important aspects of teamwork. If one person doesn’t do what they agreed to do, the entire operation could fall apart. Hold yourself and your team members accountable and you’ll foster a culture of trust. This all comes full circle. But having great communication, embracing and begging for feedback, giving everyone permission to speak freely when they don’t agree or understand something will also make sure that everyone has each other’s back, and help hold each other accountable to make sure the work gets done. Remember Steve Jobs of Apple used the Beatles as his business model. He said, “they were four young guys who kept each other’s negative tendencies in check, they balance each other and the total was greater than the sum of the parts.”

  1. Reward the behaviors you want to see

What do you want to see from your team? Do you want them to support one another? Contribute their fare share and pick up the slack (on occasion) when a team member is having a difficult time? Do you want them to focus on the goals of the team in addition to their individual goals? Whatever you hope to create more of, you’ll want to positively reinforce. Rather than only rewarding those who excel in carrying out their personal responsibilities (customer service goals, sales goals, production goals, etc.), reward those who support their fellow team members. And remember there is a fine line between reward and celebration. You always want your team to be in the spirit of celebration. It fuels and gives the motivation to go on. Not just the number one songs or the big wins, but the top ten’s and the top fifties, the small wins too. Trust me on this one the more your band celebrates, the more successful, the more fuel, the more momentum, and the more fun you will have.

Fostering a culture of teamwork starts at the top, but should include everyone equally. Exhibit the characteristics and behaviors that you want to see from your employees and band members and they’ll be working together in perfect harmony. To finish the quote from Steve Jobs, he said “and that’s how I see business, great things in business are never accomplished by one person there accomplished by a team of people.” If you need some outside help to create the high-performance team you’ve always wanted, or a band that constantly rocks, Marvelless Mark will get them rocking out together and playing in unison. There is a deeper dive into these revolutions in my latest book, Opportunity Rocks!

So, stop with the resolutions and start creating some revolutions. Here’s to an amazing new year! Cheers!

How to build high energy to motivate any business.

It’s been a while since we’ve had the opportunity to experience a live concert, but just for a moment, think back to the last musician or band you saw perform. Are you there? Remember how you could sense the crowd around you? You could feel the music coursing through you, making your heart beat faster. That, my friends, is called Rock Concert Energy.

What if you could call up that energy at any time or any place? Wouldn’t it be amazing to have that enthusiasm, that passion, and that excitement whenever you wanted it? We’re not just talking about in your spare time. Nope. You can feel that way in your business.

Gaining Your Energy Back From The Pandemic

“I love my work, but being that enthusiastic on a daily basis? I don’t think so.”

Yes. Not only can you, but you must. The COVID-19 pandemic drained a great deal of our energy. However, as we begin to see light at the end of the tunnel, it’s become evident that energy is the number one element of success in 2021! If you want to not only survive, but thrive in business, you need to build up your energy and turn it on at any time. This is something that rock stars have known for years. They can’t command an audience or lead their band without energy. The same goes for business.

“I never feel very energetic. Is good energy just something you’re either born with or not?” 

Nope! Energy is a muscle like our biceps or our brains. When you work it out daily, it gets stronger. When you don’t, it gets weaker.

Put your consumer hat on for a few minutes. Imagine you’re at Universal Studios in Orlando and all the Disney characters are lacking energy. You’d regret spending any time or money there and it’d probably be the last time you went. In general, would you want to do business with someone who has low energy? No! So don’t be that person either. When you or your team has low energy, you become sluggish in your thinking and in your performance. This leads to business atrophy. You can’t lead or manage your team effectively without energy. You must be able to teach your team how to have high energy and inject it into them whenever needed.

6 Ways to Having High Energy in Business

 

  1. Watch who you surround yourself with. This doesn’t just pertain to your team at work; it’s also about the friends and family you see during your free time. Jim Rohn is well known for saying, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” This not only applies to success, but to energy as well. Ask yourself if you are spending time with energy producers or energy reducers.
  2. Change your state. In 2012, Amy Cuddy gave a TED talk entitled “Your body language may shape who you are.” In it, she discussed how 2 minutes of “power poses” each day can change how we feel about ourselves. This is because of something known as embodied cognition, meaning that our brain influences our body, and our body influences our brain. Don’t believe me (or Amy, for that matter)? Notice how you are feeling right now. If you’re in a good mood, feeling strong and healthy, you’re likely sitting upright with your shoulders back. However, if you’re feeling down today, you’re likely slouched over, shoulders slumped, head down. Now comes the fun part. Switch up your posture and notice what it does to your mood. You now have the power to control your energy at any moment.
  3. Delegate. Sometimes, a lack of energy is due to overwhelming, stress, and the feeling that you can’t possibly get everything done. Imagine if the lead singer of a band tried to play all of the instruments at once, in addition to singing. It would be a disaster! That’s what the band is for, which is where your team comes in. Delegate some of your responsibilities to others and lighten your load. Your energy will lift and recharge immediately.
  4. Get moving! Imagine a rock star trying to do air kicks on stage without some stretching and cardio in his off time. What you do outside of the office affects what you can do inside. When you leave work, do you plop down on the couch with a bowl of chips and the television remote or are you outside, living life? Exercise is important for you, no matter what that looks like for you. For some, it’s just a walk around the block after dinner. For others, it’s an hour or two at the gym before the rest of the world wakes up. Get moving and your energy will soar. Motion creates emotion.
  5. Take time to recharge. Even rock stars get off the stage every so often. You need time to be silent and tap into your intuition and your inner rock star. You need time to have fun away from the stresses at work and surrounded by the people you love.
  6. Bonus: Listen to motivational music. This is a no-brainer. Music motivates. Use it to jumpstart, fuel, or in addition to what you’re already doing. As a Rock Star Motivational Speaker, it’s the easiest way for me to create instant energy in a room. It will work for your team-building activities, team meetings, or creative jam sessions as I call them.

The Bottom Line

Energy is a necessity in your business and your life. Rock stars have known for years that the only way to give an unforgettable performance, one that has the crowd pumping their fists in excitement, is to tap into the energy. If you need assistance building the energy in your business meetings and teams; Orlando Motivational Speaker Marvelless Mark can help.

Contact us today to find out how Marvelless Mark can motivate your business at your next event.

It’s a sobering fact that many business owners don’t fully realize before opening their doors 20% of businesses will fail within the first year, and by the fifth year, approximately 50% will be in danger (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, August 7, 2020). After all, you’ve put your heart and soul into your business. It’s your baby. You’d do just about anything to make sure that your business has longevity instead of becoming part of that statistic. This doesn’t include a pandemic in the mix either.

Luckily, to ensure that your business is in it for the long haul, the best thing you can do is look to the world of music. The music industry is notorious for chewing up musicians and spitting them out, yet some bands have managed to stand the test of time. Handled properly, you can become the U2 of your industry, rather than the Chumbawamba. (Did you just say, “Chumba who? Exactly.)

Rockstars who stick around for generations behave differently than one-hit wonders. Take a note from these titans of music.

Four Strategies to Make Your Business Last

Have a Clear Purpose and Vision

KISS went into the music industry with the intention to be the greatest rock band of all time. Everything they did, from the long days of practicing to the long nights of trying to get their makeup off, was in service of that vision. It served as their guiding star, helping them make decisions, and making sure that every bandmate was on the same page. The same was for the Beatles. They wanted to be bigger than Elvis.

Why did you go into business and what do you hope to get out of it? Understanding your purpose and your vision, and then clearly communicating it to your employees will help you stay on the path to a long, healthy business. Be very clear and be very specific. Clarity is power.

Maintain a Narrow Focus

Bands don’t set out to make music in every genre there is. U2 never sat backstage after a concert and thought, “We should incorporate opera into our songs… and add in some Country. Hey – does anyone know how to play the banjo?” Or if they did, at least the conversation never moved forward. Do what you do best first. Once you are on top of one mountain others can easily see you from the other ones.

This isn’t to say that rockstars (and you) can’t shift your focus throughout the life of your business. This will actually help you stay fresh and relevant. Just don’t try to do everything at once… in one song… unless you’re Queen and then you go ahead and do whatever you want, because it will be amazing.

Always Be Practicing and Always Be Practicing

Rockstars with staying power know that the hours spent practicing in the studio (or the garage) are what enable them to get on stage and do what they love to do. The same goes for your business. The most important moment in your day isn’t the time spent sitting across from a potential customer delivering your sales pitch. The most important time is learning your craft, perfecting your product, and preparing for that pitch. The more effort you put into that time, the more often you’ll get to do what you love and went into business to do. Don Henley of the Eagles said they never started a tour until they rehearsed their playlist one hundred times in a row, perfectly. Do you and your band have that level of commitment? Were you honing your skills during the pandemic?

Your Band is Your Best Asset

Frontmen (and women) who don’t appreciate their bandmates are destined to be solo artists. Or unemployed. When you start out in business, you may do so as a solopreneur. You may wear every hat in your organization from the CEO to the janitor. However, as your organization grows, you’re going to need a strong team or band that you trust and appreciate, to help you succeed.

Understand that your team is your best asset. They will help you make the Billboard charts or sink into obscurity. Choose wisely and then shower them with gratitude. Never (ever) make them feel unappreciated or easily replaceable. When you do, they’ll either hightail it for the door or make a slow exit, eroding your business as they go. Three key points about your band from my book Opportunity Rocks are, do what’s best for the band, honor everyone’s unique abilities, including your bass players, and check your ego at the door. Everyday. 

Could your team be working together better? I can help. Whether virtual, in-person or a hybrid meeting our team-building trainings will have your employees making beautiful music together and being heard above the noise.

It turns out there’s a lot we can learn from the rockstars of the music industry… and not just which makeup remover works best. Certain musicians have stayed relevant for all these years because they know their vision and their purpose, maintain a narrow focus, stay on top of their game, and appreciate their bandmates. Now, it’s your turn to be a rockstar in your business! Let’s unleash your inner rock star on the world.

As a sales team manager or salesperson, you are constantly concerned about improving your sales performance and increasing your bottom line. However, when you approach sales from an “I have a product for you” perspective, you miss the opportunity to solve your customer’s pain.

Rock stars don’t sell albums, they don’t sell concert tickets, they don’t even sell music. Rock stars sell emotions. They sell an escape from the grind of everyday life. People need a break from their daily lives and their responsibilities. Music allows them to forget about their problems, even if just for a few minutes.

So what are you actually selling? And how do you make the most out of a solution-focused sales strategy?

What problems do you solve?

Let’s use cars as an example. Almost everyone has had to purchase a car at some point in their life. Have you ever walked into a dealership and been offered a large hunk of steel? No. Car salespeople know that drivers have pains that they can cure. Such as:

  • No one likes to take the bus because it takes a long time and doesn’t work with your individual schedule. They provide convenience and the ability to travel whenever and wherever you’d like.
  • People are concerned with the wellbeing of their loved ones and themselves. They sell peace of mind and safety in the case of an accident.
  • Some people see their car as an extension of their personal brand. They sell social status.

What problems do you solve?

In order to answer this question, you must first talk to your clients to determine what problems they have. Once you understand the pain points they experience, you can offer the solution.

3 Tips for making the most out of your solution-focused sales

1) Listen to your customers: You can’t solve a problem you don’t understand. Take the time to speak with your prospects about the issues they are facing and most importantly… listen! Take notes of how they explain their struggles and what they are hoping for in terms of a resolution.

Marvelless Mark® suggests that in order to cultivate loyal fans or customers you need to develop an in-depth knowledge of your fans, first as a demographic, and then as people.

2) Use your marketing materials and communication opportunities to show that you understand their pain points. Whether you are writing an email, creating copy for a brochure, or sitting across the table from a potential client, show them you understand and sympathize with their challenges by using their own language. When done properly, potential customers will think “They really understand my problems and I think they can resolve them.”

3) Highlight how you are different from other solutions. No matter what pain points you solve, there are probably other companies and other products out there that claim to do the same thing. If your client’s issue is thirst, you could offer them water, however, there are sports drinks, colas, juices, flavored waters, etc. that could potentially all do the same thing. What makes you different? What makes you better? Understanding your unique value proposition or unique selling proposition will go a long way to overcoming objections and differentiating yourself from the pack.

“You do not merely want to be considered just the best of the best. You want to be considered the only ones who do what you do.” – Jerry Garcia

Solution-focused sales will help you identify your customer’s pain points and then provide them with a product or service that eliminates (or at the very least minimizes) their problems. If you truly want to be a rock star in sales, you must sell solutions, not products.

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.

 

 

Often times, when we seek to improve our team’s sales performance, we focus on ways to attract more customers. While it’s important to bring in new customers, one of the best ways to increase your sales performance is to keep your existing customers happy.

Rock stars are constantly cultivating their relationships with their fans. It doesn’t mean that they don’t strive to attract new fans, but rather that it’s important to nurture the people that already love you.

How do you improve your customer service so you can improve your bottom line? Adopt a customer-focused culture.

Marvelless Mark® tells his clients that rock ‘n’ roll stardom, much like any other business, is built on brand loyalty. He calls this “Vitamin F” and tells his clients that without fans you won’t have stardom.

Develop your Buyer Personas

In order to serve your customers, you need to understand who they are and what they want from your company. The more you understand about them, the better you can be at tweaking your product or services to cure their pains.

Rock stars know who they are singing to and it helps them understand what the fans are looking for in an album or a performance. Have you ever listened to a song and felt as if they were speaking directly to you? Understanding your customers will help you “speak” directly to them, making them feel special, heard, and in need of your service.

Give them what they need, not what you want

Train your sales team to understand that the sale isn’t about them… it’s about the customer. In order to meet their needs, members of your sales team should be listening more than they are talking. When they can more clearly identify and understand the customer’s problems, they can find more appropriate solutions.

“People say we are marketing geniuses, all we do is listen to our fans.” – Gene Simmons

Include customer service metrics

You already know this but it bears repeating: Happy customers will come back and send you referrals. Unhappy customers will never darken your doorstep again and they’ll let all of their friends know how you wronged them.

Include customer service in the metrics that you focus on. This can include:

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Average Reply Time
  • Average Time to Resolution
  • Resolution Rate
  • and many more.

When you already have a relationship with a customer and have already established trust, sales become easier. Loyal fans pay your salary when they buy what you sell, and they keep you and your business going by spreading the word.

Reward customer service above sales

Successes should be celebrated, however, they shouldn’t just revolve around sales quotas. Did one of your team members receive a touching Thank You letter? Has a customer or client reached out to say how impressed they were with their experience?

When you celebrate the customer service wins along with reaching sales goals, you communicate to your team that treating the customer well is more important than closing a sale and then dropping off the face of the planet.

Continue communication beyond the sale

Your customer may have been pleased with the service, but will they ever hear from you again? Following up after a sale provides you with the opportunity to foster a relationship, learn more about their needs, and eventually offer future products or services.

“Real musicians and real fans stay together for a long, long time.” – Bonnie Raitt

Cultivating a customer-focused culture will help you develop devoted, enthusiastic fans who will sing your praises and ensure that you’re team doesn’t become a One Hit Wonder.

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.

It stands to reason that when you are looking to improve your team’s sales performance, it would be helpful to have more prospects. Yes, cold calling is always an option… but it’s a painful option.

Think about it. Rock stars don’t pick up the phone and randomly call people to buy their albums. They get out into the world, playing gigs, doing interviews, and meeting the fans. The same goes for your business. The best way to meet more potential clients, and more potential brand advocates, is to network.

“Fans are my favorite thing in the world. I’ve never been the type of artist who has that line drawn between their friends and their fans. The line’s always been really blurred for me.” – Taylor Swift

But your sales team is tired, and after a long day at work, they just want to go home and be with their families. How do you convince them that networking will help them reach their goals? Here is a guide to discussing networking with your sales team.

Why Does Networking Work

You’ve probably heard the old adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” This couldn’t be any truer. The more “connected” we are through social media and electronic means, the more we yearn for actual human interaction. Networking provides the following benefits to  salespeople:

1) New business either directly with your networking contacts or through referrals.

2) Connections to people that you wouldn’t normally have access to.

3) Learn new skills. Whether you connect with a new mentor or learn best practices from someone in a similar position, you can really rock your sales.

4) Improve self-esteem by stepping out of your comfort zone and speaking to people you wouldn’t normally speak to. This will boost your confidence for making those dreaded cold calls, and making sales presentations to interested potential customers.

5) Create friendships. While the end goal may be to connect with potential clients or customers, you never know when you’ll actually be connecting with potential friends.

5 Tips to Network Right

Now that you’ve convinced your employees that networking will improve their sales and help them reach their goals, it’s time to provide some tips for your sales team to make the most out of their networking time.

Listen more than you speak

Some people feel the need to fill periods of silence and some just talk when they’re nervous. But speaking more than you listen is a sure way to bomb at your next networking event. When you listen, you learn about the other person and what pains they are experiencing, not to mention what clientele they come into contact with on a daily basis. You’ll learn if you’re talking to your ideal client, or if they have access to them.

Connect on a human level

If you approach someone as a salesperson, the only impression you’ll make is “annoying.” If you connect with them on common interests or experiences, you will be remembered as likable and friendly. This opens the door to sales and referrals at a later date.

Ask what you can do for them

It’s always better to give than to receive. Ask the person who they’d like to be introduced to. Who is their ideal client? How can you help them to increase their business? The more helpful you are, the more likely they will be to refer you at a future date.

Tell them specifically how they can help you

If you’ve taken the first 3 tips to heart, the person you’re speaking with will likely ask how they can help you. The easier you make it for them, the more likely they will be to identify and introduce your ideal client. Be specific. What industry do you prefer to work with? Demographic? Problem that you solve? Marvelless Mark® tells his clients that you need to be able to answer the key question: “Who wants what we have to offer?”

Follow Up

You’ve made a great connection at an event. Now what? Instead of just drowning in business cards and considering it a success, email or call the people you’d like to get to know and invite them out for coffee. The stronger the relationship you build, the more help you can be to them and the more likely they’ll be to help you with your business.

When done properly, networking is one of the best ways for your sales team to meet their goals, increase their sales performance, and reach the rock star results you’re looking for. Stop selling and start building relationships.

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.

In order to improve your team’s sales performance, you need to examine what is and is not working well and communicate that to your employees.

In the music world, feedback can cause an epic fail during a gig. In the business world, feedback takes on an entirely different meaning. Providing useful critiques of your employee’s performance can mean the difference between your band reaching the top of the charts, or never releasing a single.

How to Provide Feedback

Providing feedback, however, is often a sensitive and emotionally difficult conversation. If you truly want your employees to reach their full rock star potential, it’s also a necessary conversation.

Here are some tips to help you approach this conversation with confidence and ensure that the outcome is positive.

Show respect

The most basic rule of engagement is that you bring the love you want to receive. That means making eye contact, smiling and engaging, and asking questions (and then listening to the answers!).

Begin with a compliment

It may seem counterintuitive, especially when your employee isn’t reaching their sales goals. However, when you open the conversation by focusing on something your team member is doing right, you pave the way for a more productive meeting. When you dive into what they are doing wrong your employee will likely throw up their defensive walls and nothing you say will register.

Ask how they think they’re doing

Often times, an employee knows that they aren’t quite cutting it. In fact, they are probably much harder on themselves than you would ever be. There can be many reasons for this and asking them about their performance gives them the opportunity to express challenges that you may not otherwise know about. You might find out that they are experiencing difficulties in their personal life, that they aren’t comfortable with their role and need more training, or that they have no passion for what they’re doing but would be a better fit in a different position or department.

Inspire excitement and energy

Being a rock star at work means having passion, vigor, and enthusiasm. This means you! You can’t expect your sales team to be energized about their jobs if you have a negative attitude. This lack of enthusiasm will spill over to your team spelling disaster for your sales goals.

Marvelless Mark® tells his clients that “Rockstar energy is a well of inspiration and a source of drive. It is also the ability to share that power with others; it’s highly infectious, it spreads like wildfire, and it makes amazing things happen.”

“Once you get that two-way energy thing going, everyone benefits hugely.” – James Taylor

Ask for feedback

The hard truth is that sometimes, employees weaknesses are a reflection of management. In order for your employee to step up their game, you may need to step up yours. The only way to improve is by asking your band members for feedback.

Be honest

Yes, you want to be tactful. But if you aren’t honest and straightforward, your employee may not understand what they are doing wrong and what they can do to improve it. By being open and honest about their performance, you improve the chances that they will learn from the conversation and make the necessary changes.

Provide the opportunity for improvement

Instead of pointing out what your employee did wrong, reframe the feedback into what they can do better. Be specific about behaviors that need improvement rather than making sweeping statements about their characters. Behaviors can be changed. When giving feedback, always remember to end looking to the future. “The past is behind us and the future lies ahead.” – Former VP Dan Quale.

Making regular a feedback a part of your sales culture will go a long way to improving your employee’s performance and helping them create hit after hit. As the bandleader, it is up to you to feed everyone’s commitment to the vision, get everyone working every day to hone your chops, and write songs you believe in.

“You learn from a conglomeration of the incredible past – whatever experience gotten in any way whatsoever.” Bob Dylan

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.

All the goal setting, networking, feedback, and sales metrics in the world won’t help improve your sales performance if your team members don’t have the skills and education necessary to do their jobs.

Now that’s not saying that you shouldn’t use each and every one of these methods to bring out the inner rock stars of your team members, but in order to ensure that your sales team meets your expectations, you must first give them the tools they need to do so.

You wouldn’t expect a band member to hop on stage and show up Jimi Hendrix on the guitar if they’ve never learned how to play. So why would you expect it from your sales team? Read on to learn tips and tricks to properly train your employees whether they are new to your team or have been there for a long time.

Utilize in-person training and online training

There are many methods for delivering training materials and depending on their learning style, your employees may respond better to one than the other. Incorporating both in-person and online methods will ensure that you reach each one of your employees and can help them improve their sales performance and reach their goals.

Encourage hands-on training

Can you learn to play guitar without ever picking up a guitar?

Most often, learning by doing helps individuals make the most of their training experience and internalize the lessons presented. However, learning by doing wrong doesn’t help in the long-run. Make sure that you work very closely with your employees so that they learn the proper way to contact potential clients, present the information, ask for the sale, handle objections, and follow up with customers.

Only train employees for their specific job

When you start a band, you don’t ask the drummer to learn how to play bass.

Depending on how your department is set up, each salesperson may not perform every function throughout a sales cycle. If this is the case for your team, train them on the necessary skills to perform their job and really focus in on perfecting those skills rather than giving them a blanket training.

Provide mentorship from senior or top-ranking sales agents

Chances are that you’ve got a few sales people who stand out above the rest. They have a great deal of knowledge that can help your newer team members thrive in their positions. Organize formal mentoring relationships, or provide the opportunity for those who are crushing their goals, to address the team during meetings and guide them to better skills and best practices.

“The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.” – Michael Jackson

Bring in an outside perspective

Sometimes, no matter how knowledgeable your employees are, the team needs to hear advice from an outside source. A professional speaker or trainer provides not only education but motivation and can bring out the best in your team and help them reach new levels of success. Marvelless Mark® tells his clients that before you can party like a rock star, you must first learn to perform like a rock star.

There is nothing more frustrating than being asked to do a job that you aren’t trained to do. Avoid setting up your sales team for failure and instead invest in educating them to reach their goals and unleash their inner rock star.

 

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.

You’re hosting meetings with your team to improve sales performance, but they never go quite as planned. Time runs over, attendees are focused elsewhere, and there’s always that one employee who hijacks the meeting. You’re beginning to think that sales meetings are just a waste of time.

When meetings are executed properly, they’ll help foster rock star results from all of your employees.

What Sales Meetings Accomplish

Sales meetings are an excellent way to stay on top of your sales team’s performance. They are like creative jam sessions. In addition to keeping you aware of their goals, meetings also:

  • Create a safe space to communicate issues: Give employees the opportunity to air grievances and rather than defending your position, just listen. “We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” – Bill Gates
  • Identify where changes need to be made: If you wait until quarterly numbers are in, you may waste time with practices and procedures that don’t work. Checking in regularly will help you identify and fix these issues before they make a dent in your sales performance.
  • Teach sales skills and best practices: Continuing education should be a part of every sales team.
  • Change perspective: Bring in employees from other departments, customers willing to share their experience, or experts to dive into specific topics. This will help create mini-mastermind groups and identify vulnerabilities and solutions faster. After all, none of us are as smart as all of us.
  • Celebrate successes and failures: Meetings are the perfect time to highlight employees meeting their goals, and stepping out of their comfort zones for the good of the company.
  • Encourage your employees to work as a team: Your sales team is like a band and in order to make beautiful music, they need to learn to play together. As Robert Plant once said: “I owe everything to the musicians I work with.”

How to Have an Effective Sales Meeting

The benefits of sales meetings far outweigh the negatives. These tips will help you make the most of your time.

Schedule Regular Meetings

When you call an impromptu meeting, it can throw your employee’s schedules off kilter and cause resentment among the team. Even worse, employees often feel like they’re being called into the principal’s office and that they did something wrong or are about to get bad news. This puts people in defense mode. No way to start a meeting.

Create an Agenda

When a band plays a gig, they have a set list ahead of time. This gives them the opportunity to practice and prepare for the performance. When you create an agenda and distribute it to your team in advance of the meeting, they know what to expect and can come prepared with any numbers, concerns, or questions that pertain to the meeting.

Be Clear About Your Purpose

When you plan and execute your meeting, stick to under 3 major points for discussion. Any more than that and your message will get diluted, your employees will get confused, and any calls to action will be ignored.

Stick to the Schedule

Set a non-negotiable start time and a hard end time for the meeting. Your employees are busy people and no one needs to lose an afternoon to a sales meeting that’s gone rogue.

Don’t Allow Solos

You are probably already thinking about the guilty employee. They monopolize the floor, go off on tangents, and don’t let other employees, or you for that matter, get a word in edgewise. One way to handle this is to provide “Tangent Flags” to meeting attendees. If someone hijacks the meeting, anyone in the room can wave the Tangent Flag and bring the meeting back to order.

Create a Technology-Free Zone

Unless you intend on having attendees utilize their phone or iPad during the meeting, ask that they leave it at their desk. This will cut down on distractions and keep your employees focused on the discussion.

Be Choosy About Who You Invite

There’s nothing worse than being forced to attend unnecessary meetings. It would be like having musicians on stage who aren’t playing anything. Decide what personnel needs to hear and weigh in on your message and let the rest of the employees continue on with their regularly scheduled jobs.

As Marvelless Mark® says: “Your business, just like the music business, isn’t rocket science, it’s Rock-It science.” Regularly scheduled sales meetings done right will help you create the rockin’ results you are looking for from your sales team.

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.