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Handling Objections: Sales Tips from Pablo Picasso

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I read a great quote from Picasso (yes, the famous painter) the other day, and it really resonated with my sales philosophy. Here it is: “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” You’re probably wondering what that has to do with sales, and it’s simple: Most sales and marketing rep’s instincts are to adlib when they get an objection or when they get into a sales situation that isn’t going their way.
The problem with this is they haven’t first learned the rules of proper objection handling – like questioning an objection first, or isolating an objection, etc. – so instead they just wing it. And if you are doing this now, then you know how that turns out.

For years, we at Fire Inc Atlanta have been preaching, teaching, and training sales teams to put in the time and effort to learn the proper sales techniques first, and then after they understand and have mastered the fundamentals, then they can “adapt” them to each particular prospect or situation. Here is a quick example:

A common objection in sales is the, “I have to show this to my (boss, manager, partner, etc.).” How does your sales team handle this?
The “rule” a pro follows is to isolate this objection to make sure it isn’t a smokescreen hiding other objections like, “It’s too much money,” or “I can get a better deal elsewhere,” etc. Because pros know the rule above, they can then “break it like an artist,” by adapting their rebuttal to each prospect. This can include:

“I understand, just out of curiosity, what is your take on this now?”
OR
“I’m with you, let me ask you this, though: If your partner says ‘do whatever you think is best’, what would you tend to do?”
OR
“If your partner could go either way, which way are you leaning now?”
OR
“That’s fine and we talked about this earlier. But given what we’ve just gone over, what is your opinion on this?”
OR
“And if your partner asked you what you thought he should do, what would your answer be?”

This is the “art” of handling objections. Unfortunately, most sales and marketing teams have never been taught the rules or fundamentals of proper selling, so they adlib, lose sales, and get discouraged. And your company misses its revenue numbers.
It’s also one of the reasons that Fire Inc Atlanta grows each year. The solution to this is to invest the time, money, and effort to learn and master core marketing and sales techniques. Read more about our company here.

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2017 in Success

 

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If You Don’t Follow Up, You Lose.

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At Fire Inc (Atlanta, GA), we train individuals to be successful managers of sales and marketing channels for Fortune 500 companies throughout the United States. In our many years of training, we constantly see this little hiccup in the sales process. Any professional sales person knows that getting a prospective client to verbally agree to a deal is very different from having them sign on the dotted line. Once you leave that initial sales meeting, the impact you made starts to wane almost immediately.

This is why the follow up with prospective clients can be just as important as your first meeting. So how do you go about following up to ensure that they stay interested? Follow these great tips for an effective means to stay in control of the sale:

1. Assess Your Client

Few sales people realize that they may be wasting precious time and energy on clients that aren’t really interested in what they have to offer. First assess the client and determine whether they qualify as a prospective sale. Determine whether they have a need for your product or service, if they have the funds or budget available and if they really are interested. A qualified client is the best prospect.

2. Send A Follow-up Email

The follow-up email should be sent as soon as possible after a meeting but no later than 24 hours to have the greatest impact. Thank your prospect for their time and cover any personal information in your opening paragraph (how is your wife?). Then quickly and concisely cover the points that you went through in the meeting.

Ask them to get back to you with any questions or queries. Tell them you will be available at any time to assist them. End the email by suggesting a meeting date to go over any other information they need or to finalize the deal. You should receive a response almost immediately but if not, give it a couple of days.

3. The Follow-up Call

Don’t harass your clients with calls. Rather let them stew over your email for a couple of days before calling again. You don’t want to come across as desperate. Be friendly when you call and remember that the receptionist or secretary is your gateway to the person who really matters – so be personable.

On your call, always ask if your prospective client has a few minutes to chat. If not, tell them you will only take a moment of their time. Ask if they received your email, if they have any questions and if you can set up a meeting to cover these. Remember, you want to get that second face-to-face meeting.

Gage their responses. If they keep chatting, make time for them. If they seem hurried, ask if you can call or meet at a more convenient time. Call again in a few days if you get nowhere. After a few weeks, stop calling and just email them once a month as a reminder. After this, they probably aren’t interested and it is best to move on to better prospects.

Always remember to reaffirm your client’s needs and any points of agreement. The more you and your client have in common, the more likely they will be to buy from you. Read more about Fire Inc Atlanta on our website.

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2017 in Success

 

Why You Should Want To Be An Entrepreneur

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While it might not be the first thing that people think of when discussing their career goals, we at Fire Inc believe that being an entrepreneur is one of the best professions around. This is because of the freedom is gives, the ability to make a ton of money, and the company that you will be keeping as well. All of these things combine together to make a profession that truly has no equal and that everyone should aspire to if they want to have control over their lives.

Entrepreneurs are people who are always on the go, who always get to follow the amazing ideas that come to them. They don’t have to worry that they are going to get fired, that there won’t be a place for them, or that a company will move on without them. Instead, they get to be the ones who move on without the company, the ones who make it so that they are at the front of every new advancement. Many times they are the people founding, growing, selling, and creating deals with amazing companies.

Everywhere around us there are entrepreneurs who are ready to be the next big thing. They found companies like Uber, Lift, Microsoft, Google, and many others. They create solutions where none existed before, and they say that the world is their oyster. They don’t care if the best people work in another country, they can relocate there for a few months and find the people that fit their team perfectly. After a few years, they have contacts all of the globe, making it easy for them to deal with anything that is thrown their way. We find that people with this type of a go-getter/do whatever it takes attitude make the best managers within Fire Inc’s organization.

An entrepreneur is someone who goes to sleep and wakes up with an idea that they can actually act upon. Anything that they think of they can do. There is no “future” for them, there is only the present. They never have to wait to enact their plans, they are always able to do what they want when they want it.

And entrepreneur is also someone who is their own boss, they don’t have to worry about missing work or not having enough time with their families because they set their own hours. They can work at night, in the morning, in split shifts, or only on the weekends. They can work anywhere, taking vacations and still managing to pull things together. They can even take time off when they need to, allowing their family members to feel better cared for on the whole.

Finally, an entrepreneur is someone who creates new markets and jobs for people who wouldn’t otherwise have them. They see a need that is aching to be filled and they come up with a way to fill it. They don’t leave it up to chance, instead they stick to their guns and make sure that everyone they come into contact with is going to have the best possible life. They are the elevators of their community.

Here in Atlanta, Fire Inc promotes entrepreneurship within our company through merit-based advancement and corporate equity programs. Read more about our promotion structure on our website http://www.fireincatlanta.com.

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2017 in Success

 

9 Things that Make a Business Valuable

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The value of your company is partly determined by your industry. For example, cloud-based software companies are generally worth a lot more than printing companies these days. However, when businesses in the same industry are analyzed, major variations exist with respect to valuation. Because of the large number of Baby Boomer owners within the small business community, it is crucial for these business owners to consider building value now so they can obtain higher competitive offers when they transition out of the business. Here are nine things that will make your business more valuable than its industry peer group:

1. Recurring Revenue

The more revenue you have from automatically recurring contracts or subscriptions, the more valuable your business will be to a future buyer. Even if subscriptions are not the norm in your industry, you should be able to find some form of recurring revenue that will make your company much more valuable than those of your competitors.

2. Something Different

Buyers buy what they cannot easily replicate on their own, which means companies with a unique product or service that is difficult for a competitor to knock off are more valuable than a company that sells the same commodity as everyone else in their industry.

3. Growth

Acquirers looking to fuel their top line revenue growth through acquisition will pay a premium for your business if it is growing much faster than your industry overall.

4.Cache

Tired old companies often try to buy sex appeal through the acquisition of a trendy young company in their industry. If you are the “darling” of your industry, expect to get a premium offer.

5. Location

If you have a great location with natural physical characteristics that are difficult to replicate (imagine an oceanfront restaurant on a strip of beach where the city has stopped granting new licenses to operate), you’ll have buyers who understand your industry interested in your location as well as your business.

6. Diversity

Buyers will pay a premium for companies that naturally hedge the loss of a single customer. Ensure that no customer amounts to more than 10 percent of your revenue and your company will be more valuable than an industry peer with just a few big customers.

7. Predictability

If you’ve mastered a way to win customers and documented your sales funnel with a predictable set of conversion rates, your secret customer-acquiring formula will make your business more valuable to a buyer than an industry peer who does not have a clue where their next customer will come from.

8. Clean Books

Companies that invest in audited statements have financials that are generally viewed by buyers as more trustworthy and therefore worth more. You may want to get your books reviewed professionally each year even if audited statements are not the norm in your industry.

9. Happy Customers

Being able to objectively demonstrate that your customers are happy and intend to re-purchase in the future and consistently make referrals will make your business more valuable than an industry peer that does not have a means of tracking customer satisfaction.

Like a rising tide that lifts all boats, your industry typically defines a range of multiples within which your business is likely to sell for; but whether you fall at the bottom or top of the range comes down to factors that have nothing to do with What You Do, but instead, How You Do It. Consider the following eight value drivers:

Learn more about Fire Inc Atlanta here.

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2016 in Success

 

3 Business Lessons from Honeybees

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I have often admired the diligent work of the honey bee. Just stand in any garden for a few minutes and very soon you will see one or two honey bees foraging for food within the flowers.

These insects never seem to get tired of working, so it’s obvious why an industrious person is said to be as ‘busy as a bee.’

On deeper reflection, I realised that there are many insights that this tiny insect can give us about being successful in business. I did a little research on the practices of the honey bee and I was quite impressed with the systematic way that it goes about achieving its life’s work.

Here are some of the business lessons that I gained from studying the honey bee:

Create products that are highly valued

The honey bee is the only insect that makes food that can be eaten by humans. Honey is also the only natural food that contains all the vital ingredients for life – vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fatty acids and water.

Bees also produce other things that are of great nutritional, medicinal and economic value to people such as bee pollen, bee wax, bee venom and royal jelly. These insects are also self-sufficient as they create everything needed to sustain the entire colony.

Are you customer-focused when creating the products or services that are provided by your business? Do your offerings bring excellent value to many people?

Design efficient business systems

The honey manufacturing process is a perfect example of how an efficient production line can create consistent, predictable results.

Worker bees collect nectar from flowers; store it in special stomachs; deliver it to other bees in the hive; these chew on the nectar to break it down; drop it into combs in the hive; beat their wings on the combs to thicken the honey for long-term storage; then cap each comb with wax to preserve the food, and start the process again.

Have you created proper systems for all your business processes such as product development, manufacturing, sales, marketing, accounting, and human resource development?

Be persistent in your work effort

A honey bee will work diligently to fill its stomach with nectar; it may have to visit over 100 flowers before its task is complete. To produce one pound of honey, about 500 honey bees have to fly more than 35,000 miles finding nectar and taking it back to the hive.

This distance would be the same as travelling over three times around the world! In fact, the phrase ‘working to death’ is a reality for these bees as many pay the ultimate sacrifice to get the job done.

How committed are you to developing your enterprise? Are you prepared to give up leisure time and do whatever it takes until you have created a successful business system?

At Fire Inc Atlanta, we believe that by hiring the most talented individuals in the area and providing them superior training, we will become the Nation’s leaders in outsourced marketing and sales. Read more at fireincatlanta.com.

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Why Be an Entrepreneur?

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All over the world, people are breaking free from the traditional employment model and choosing to achieve business success as entrepreneurs. Will you be the next? Fire Inc is looking for people with an entrepreneurial spirit who can learn every aspect of our business from the ground up, then take the reigns on our next office. Why on Earth would anyone want to be an entrepreneur?

Let’s start by covering 12 of the most commonly-mentioned benefits of being an entrepreneur to inspire you on your journey:

1. You can choose your own schedule.

2. You are free to travel.

3. You can take sick days or vacation days whenever you need them.

4. If there are necessary tasks you don’t enjoy or have time for, you can outsource them.

5. You can select your own employees.

6. Learning to be a better boss also teaches you to be a better employee.

7. Your innovative ideas have a chance to shine unfettered.

8. You do not have to wear a uniform or follow a company dress code.

9. You enjoy better job security than most people.

10. Entrepreneurship teaches you the benefits of hard work.

11. You can always feed your curiosity by learning more about every aspect of your business.

12. Your ambition can always drive you to greater heights and business success.

As you can see, entrepreneurship is becoming popular because it comes with a whole new lifestyle for those who are willing to seize it.

Of course, entrepreneurship isn’t all sunshine and freedom. According to the United States Small Business Association, a third of small businesses fail within the first two years, and more than half fail within the first five years.

Not surprisingly, the challenges of entrepreneurship represent the flipside of the advantages we discussed above:

1. Choosing your own schedule can result in wasted time without the proper time-management skills.

2. Even while traveling, it may be necessary to handle work-related crises, because you are basically always “on call.”

3. There are no paid sick days or vacation days, so you must decide how much each day off is worth to you.

4. You are responsible for completing any tasks you can’t afford to outsource.

5. Hiring employees means you must learn how to conduct interviews, uphold workers’ legal rights, and coordinate payroll.

6. If you don’t yet have the leadership capabilities to direct others, you will be taking a crash course once you hire freelancers or employees.

7. You must narrow all of your innovative ideas down to the ones that have the most potential to help you achieve business success.

8. If you don’t maintain a professional appearance in person and online, it is sure to reflect poorly on your company.

9. You are responsible for funding your business, even if you’re operating at a loss.

10. Only results are profitable, not time clocked, so it’s possible you will work hard and still end up disappointed.

11. You must be familiar with each aspect of how your business operates, including those which may not interest you, to ensure everything is running smoothly.

12. Only you can motivate yourself to achieve business success.

To sum it up, let’s say that with freedom comes responsibility. If you can’t handle one, you aren’t yet ready for the other.

Of course, I don’t believe people should give up on their dreams. Just be sure to arm yourself with knowledge and understand what you are getting yourself into.

For more information on Fire Inc Atlanta, visit our website.

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2016 in Success

 

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5 Traits of a Great Salesperson

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There are some basic traits that all sales people need in order to be effective. If you have these traits, then sales might just be your niche. At Fire Inc, we fully train individuals in sales, marketing, and management from the ground-up. However, if you have some of the following traits to begin with, you’ll breeze through the training in no time.

A great salesperson is personable. You will get nowhere in sales if you can’t strike up a conversation with another human being. The person who can grab attention, maintain a conversation, and make the other person feel like all their attention is being given directly to them is a real salesperson. Fulfilling the need of every person to be heard is what makes great salesmen. Your customer wants to know that they matter to someone else. If you are a smart salesperson, you will be that someone else. And the sale is yours.

A great salesperson needs to be able to communicate clearly and concisely. You might only have two minutes to pitch your sale to your potential customer. Are you going to blow it rambling on about something that may or may not matter? If you can’t communicate clearly then you have already lost your sale.

Great salespersons keep their word and are honest. Being able to communicate and being personable will never help you if you can’t be trusted.If a customer comes to you with a complaint, they should feel reassured that you are handling the problem, and they can count on you to get the job done. In addition to that, if you are selling a product or a service then you need to be able to stand behind that product or service. If you can’t, your ability to sell will suffer tremendously.

Great sales people must be convincing. You have to be able to show your customer why your product or service is superior to other products or services. Or you have to show that your product or service is going to help them in some way and they should not live without it. This motivates your customers to not only buy from you, but to keep buying from you.

The final trait of an great salesperson is to be informative. There should not be an answer that you do not know. If a customer wants to know where the part number 11,342,051 was made, then you need to know exactly where that part was made and preferably the workers name who made it. Now this is an extreme example, but this is the mark of an outstanding salesperson.

For more information on our training processes and management opportunities, visit Fire Inc Atlanta’s main website.

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2016 in Success

 

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