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dinsdag 16 januari 2018

Just forget the Competition! Or not?

Just forget the Competition!

It is very important to think about the competition in developing your strategy and to try to develop a unique differentiated position for your products and services.

But when you’re selling, that is communicating with customers, thinking about your competitors, or even your differentiators, can be a very big mistake.

What customers are in the first place interested in, is what you can do for them: the end results or benefits they get.

But when you think about your competitors, your focus turns instead to yourself and what you do, and how tis is different from what they do. Your communication begins to move away from being more customer-focused, to being more seller or even more product-focused.

In fact, in the majority of cases, the best way to differentiate yourself is not to think about your competitors. Instead it is much better to focus purely on the value you bring your customers.

If you really understand that value, and you can communicate it clearly to your customer, then nine times out of ten you willl be the only one doing so. And that in itself will make a huge difference!

CRO Akwa Wellness
CJ Coaching

Sales Pipeline Management

What is Sales Pipeline Management?

In today’s increasingly competitive world, companies must focus obsessively on maximising their sales opportunities. They must ensure that:

They invest their sales time, resources and investments in the areas of highest return
They achieve a regular flow of sales into the company to avoid damaging “boom-bust” cycles
They are able to rapidly respond to the changing needs of customers and specific opportunities and adapt their sales tactics accordingly
They can identify and diagnose which areas of their sales approach are working well and which need improvement
They can accurately track and forecast their sales and take corrective actions where needed
Sales Pipeline Management is a key management tool which has been developed to address these issues – yet many companies fail to implement it effectively, if at all.

Many organisations still rely heavily on instinct, guesswork and “seat-of-the-pants” management to control their sales pipelines. As a result, many are trapped in a vicious circle where they over-focus on highly visible areas such as closing late-stage deals, and under-invest in key areas such as early-stage lead generation.

This leads to a further drying up of quality opportunities, a panic-driven focus on closing the few remaining opportunities in the pipeline at all costs, and more neglect of the critical front-end. For small or medium-sized businesses – and particularly for owner-managed companies – this can be even more crippling, as the key business-winners are often also heavily involved in the execution of sold work – and are easily dragged away from working on filling up the earlier stages of the pipeline.

The issue behind these problems is often the lack of a visible and rigorous sales pipeline management process. It doesn’t have to be complex – but it does have to be done.

Executive Coach CJ Coaching

Does Cold Calling Give You the Chills?

Does Cold Calling Give You the Chills?

Some people are great at it. Calling strangers and people they barely know comes easy for them. They speak with ease and don’t take it personally when potential customers are rude, curse at them or slam down the phone in their ear. Some people are born to be cold callers.

Then there are the rest of us.

Breaking out in a cold sweat, hands quivering, heart pounding so loud the neighbors think someone’s knocking on their door.

We put it off. “Making calls” is last on our to-do list every day and we conveniently never get to it. So we put it on the next day’s list. At the bottom. So the cycle continues. And it never gets done.

But there are times when cold calling can not only is a good idea, it’s necessary. Maybe you got a couple of leads and if you wait, you may lose the opportunity to gain new customers. You know it needs to be done but you’re stressing out at the thought of picking up that phone.

Here are a few tips for warming up to the idea of cold calling.

1. Write your script. To avoid fumbling over your words or forgetting important points, it helps to have a script in front of you when you call prospective customers and clients. Practice it out-loud several times so you don’t end up mechanically following your script word-for-word. You don’t want people to think they are talking to a robot. The first couple of calls might seem forced but before long your words will flow freely and an occasional glance at your script will be all you need.

2. Give away FREE stuff. People love to get something for nothing and when they hear the word, “free,” they are more likely to stop and listen. Offer a small gift or discount with their first order or just for taking the time to meet with you for half an hour. Freebies are a great way to get people to try something or, at the very least, listen to what you have to say.

3. Just do it. There is nothing like facing your fears head on to give you a burst of confidence. Making that first call may take all of your strength but you’ll gain it all back, plus some, by the time you hang up. Even if the call doesn’t result in a sale, you did it! You took control of your fear, which already makes you a success!

4. Brush it off. Chances are, you will encounter rude people, even if they requested information and are expecting your call. But keep in mind they are not rejecting you, personally. Maybe they just had a bad day or are in the middle of watching their favorite television show. Ask if there is a better time to call and quickly end the call. Then forget about it and move on!

Like anything else, cold calling takes a little practice not only to get your words to come out smoothly but to develop a tough skin and determination to keep calling despite rejection. You will see success if you simply keep at it. Who knows? The one who says “yes,” may turn out to be your best client yet. Soon, you’ll be wondering why you ever sweated over cold calls.

Executive Coach CJ Coaching

Ten Key Factors That Maximize Sales

10 Key Factors That Maximize Sales

Some sales people are successful today because they gain the majority of their targeted customers business. They manage the relationship and continuously build relationship equity. That doesn’t mean they operate with the "lone wolf"mentality doing almost everything for the customer.

These sales people are successful because they take full advantage of all the resources their company has to offer. Transactions and promos flow through a managed relationship. They also dedicate a specific amount of their time to new account development and penetration of those accounts with high potential rather than over providing service functions to existing accounts. Ten Key identifying factors that will help maximize sales success include:

1. Not being afraid to prospect for new accounts and new business. Have enough confidence to view rejection as simply a step closer to success.

2. Understanding the value of planning and actually documenting the key actions necessary to meet specific objectives at specific accounts.

3. Become professional with your planned presentations whether it is to an individual buyer or a group of customer decision makers. Perfect your elevator speech that clearly outlines your value proposition. Get it down pat for those opportunistic moments that may occur.

4. Goals are a matter of course and they include more than just revenue and margin growth. Milestones are established for target accounts to highlight progress toward their major goals.

5. No one likes record keeping and paperwork but the really successful sales professional understands the necessity and the value received in return for being methodical with their record keeping.

6. Time management should be forever on your mind and you need to continuously practice efficient time control.

7. You’ve got to be very, very, very hungy! Hungry for knowledge to improve your skills and demonstrate enough curiosity that you don’t wait for company sponsored seminars for education and training. Read, listen to tapes and finance your own self improvement in addition to company programs.

8. Don’t chase orders, chase customers. Be willing to lose an order but fight aggressively to never lose a customer unless you need to prune your territory garden due to unacceptable profitability.

9. Your objective on every sales call is to identify the customer’s real needs, not to just take an order. Take pride in being a solution provider and demand creator instead of a demand fulfiller.

10. Understand that often a key to your success lies in your ability to educate the customer. This may range in the form of business acumen to helping the customer understand real value. Become an expert at demonstrating the difference between price and cost.

The formula for success is simple:


Customers will pay plenty, if you can reduce their “ain” Find out what the customer’s problems are and where they are in pain. Look at it from their point of view, not yours.

Customers no longer spout off about quality products and reliable deliveries. That’s a given. Although all customers are trained to say “Your Price is to High”, if you find the pain, price is not an issue. Remember the emerging role of the sales professional today is not to increase sales. Let me repeat that— your role today is not to increase sales. Your role as a sales professional today is to systematically and consistently increase the number of customers who choose you to be their #1 supplier……..

And it’s not about Features and Benefits

Today it’s not about the features and benefits of your product or service. It’s about value and how your customers are going to make a profit. You no longer just sell yourself and everything falls into place. Today, relationships are still very important but they are the ante to play. Customers are smarter and more educated. You must bring every resource your company has into play and leverage those resources to create competitive advantage. Learn to really listen to your customers. Let them talk and when there seems to be a pause in the conversation resist the temptation to start talking again. Chances are good that the customer has more to say. The quieter you are the more they will tell you. Listen long enough with a few strategically placed questions and the customer might just tell you exactly how to gain his business. (And it won’t just be about price)

Executive Coach CJ Coaching

donderdag 11 januari 2018

After Sales Follow-Up Tips

After Sales Customer Follow-Up Tips

What do you do after your customer has purchased your product or service? Are missing out on future sales because you are not communicating with your customers and clients?

It’s easy to turn these first time buyers into future customers with a little follow-up. Sending out a letter may seem simple, but it can do a lot to bring customers back and get those customers to refer you to new ones.

Most experts recommend at least a 10-10-10 pattern when following up with a customer. Send out your first letter within 10 days. In another 10 days, contact them again. Then in 10 days contact the customer again. If you send a snail mail letter for the first contact, you could use email or telephone for the following two.

Always have an offer or some other incentive that is time sensitive included in your letter. This creates a sense of urgency. It will get people to contact you because they don’t want to miss out. Use the same offer through all 3 letters with the wording becoming more urgent in each one.

The 10-10-10 method is also recommended for people who are inquiring about your products and services. Statistics bear out that all kinds of companies, who don’t get back to people making inquiries, lose a customer. These customers tell other people about the bad service and businesses lose even more potential customers. It seems most businesses do not understand how important this is. It is a great way to make future sales and it also shows that you care about not only your customers, but your potential customers.

So what exactly should you put in your letter? Here are a few things that can be put into the first follow-up letter. The second and third contacts should contain the same information written in a fresh way.

1) A thank you; a heartfelt thank you for choosing your company for their purchase. A little appreciation goes a long way. You don’t have to gush, just state your thanks simply and to the point.

“Thank you for allowing us the opportunity of providing a great product to you. I am confident that you will be happy with your purchase and I appreciate your business.”

2) A re-enforcement of why choosing your company was a great idea in the first place. This will cut down on “buyer’s remorse”. Help them to feel their purchase was necessary and buying from you was the only way to go.

3) A time limited offer. Offer them something to complement their original purchase. In the case of a customer who has already purchased your product or service, you could offer them a limited time offer on another one of your products or for your service in the future. Develop a sense of urgency so the customer acts within the “limited time”.

Each time you contact the customer, enhance the sense of urgency. The second contact should build on the urgency of the first and so on. The third time you contact them you can even say something like “Only 3 days left to take advantage of this great offer.”

4) Refer them to another product or service (not that of a competitor) that would complement their purchase. Suggesting other products shows them you not only care they bought from you, but that they are happy with their purchase. This could be an offering from an affiliate program you belong to so that you can still make money.

5) Ask for referrals. A simple “If you like our service tell others, if you didn’t tell us!” might be enough. You can offer a percentage off their next purchase for referring a new customer or a special offer for those they refer.

6) You should include a coupon for your services. You could encourage them to pass it on if they are not going to use it themselves. They may know someone who needs your services and this could mean the difference between their friend purchasing or not.

7) Attach a business card to the letter. This gives the customer something to give to someone else when they tell them about your company. You never know how many times that little card can get passed along.

8) Another option is to send a survey or customer feedback form. Again, offer some incentive to fill it out. It will give you both the bad and the good of the customer’s experience with your company. This will give you information to use in your next contact letter.

Contact your customers. Make them loyal customers who keep coming back for more and bring new customers with them.

Executive Coach CJ Coaching

zaterdag 6 januari 2018

7 Reasons to Hire a Career Coach

7 Solid Reasons to Hire a Career Coach

The road to success is peppered with dangers at almost every turn. And no matter how gifted you are or how hard you work, there will come a time when you stall or plateau. So you can not go any further and achieve your goals. Fortunately, the advantage of obstacles is that they are often opportunities for growth - the kind of growth that can result in major breakthroughs. The challenge is to recognize obstacles for what they really are and then respond effectively to them. That is where a career coach comes in. Whether you are looking to jumpstart a stalled business, change occupations, or start brand new in a field that’s right for you, here’s a look at 7 very good reasons for hiring a career coach to help you realize your full potential.

 1.    A career coach can help you discover your true passion

We all seek careers that will bring us maximum fulfillment—to do the kinds of things we would do even if we weren’t getting paid. Unfortunately, when choosing a career path that is right for us, our often limited perceptions of ourselves can keep us from looking at all the options. Or maybe we’re already so stuck in a 9 to 5 rut that we feel like we have no other options. In hiring a career coach we are bringing in an unbiased observer who has the ability to see our situation objectively and can help us do the same. Utilizing special tools and techniques, career coaches offer fresh insights and perspectives that can lead you to discover new career options you may not have otherwise considered. And being that many career coaches have strong connections with employers in a number of fields, they can also help to open the doors that can lead you to a more rewarding career.

2.    Career coaches facilitate self-discovery

Career coaches have the ability to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses much more objectively than you can. And the coaching process will often lead you to learning new things about who you are and what you’re capable of accomplishing. These realizations can aid you in being more successful on your current career path, or give you the confidence to start a new path altogether.

3.    Career coaches can teach you new skills and techniques

In any given field there are always new skills to learn or tools to use that can help you to be more effective. But all too often you’re so busy doing what you’re doing that you don’t have the time or resources to explore them. A business coach who has expertise in your field will not only acquaint you with the latest tools and techniques, you never know you might become an expert in Aircraft Modification, they’ll also help you to utilize them for maximum success.

4.    Career coaches can help you to overcome fear and doubt

Whether you’re trying to land that first good job, changing careers, or starting your own business from scratch, having fears and doubts is a natural part of the process. In fact, if you’re not experiencing a certain amount of apprehension and uncertainty when making career decisions, then you are probably not setting big enough goals. Career coaches can help you to overcome fear and doubt by helping you to gain a clearer more realistic picture of the risks and rewards of your pursuits. In addition, they will help you to recognize and leverage your strengths and talents to overcome those fears and doubts that are keeping you from success.

5.    Career coaches can get you out of a rut

Even savvy entrepreneurs can get stuck in ruts if they’re not careful. And the problem with ruts is that you can fall into one and not even know it. Career coaches are trained to recognize the ruts that lead to career and business stagnation. Armed with a fresh objective eye, they can identify mistakes and help you to avoid repeating them. They can also provide you with unbiased information that will help you to be a better decision maker. And once you get back on course, a business coach can help you to maintain the focus and momentum that will get you to your goals.

6.    Career coaches help you to become empowered

Few things are more empowering than achieving success in a career that you love. And that’s what career coaching is all about. It’s about helping others to achieve success through recognizing and living up to their true potential.

Drs. Christiaan Janssens MBA
Executive Coach CJ Coaching
CRO Akwa Wellness

Finding a Job in Customer Service: Skills and Experience

Skills and Experience for Finding a Job in Customer Service

With the growth of social networks and internet connectivity, customer service has never been more important for some of the world's largest companies. Now that everyone is a publisher and can find products and services for his friends and followers, brands have to make more effort to let their customers enjoy on and offline. Jobs in customer service can be very diverse, from call center representatives to executive customer service consultants. This article is all about how to increase your chances of landing that role in customer services.


Excellent communication skills are needed for most customer service roles. Call centre operatives require good verbal communication skills in order to be heard and understood, as do customer service representatives who communicate with customers in person. Those dealing with emails, social media or other written enquiries require excellent writing skills.

People Skills

One of the most important skills you can possess, and demonstrate to a potential employer, is people skills. It doesn’t come naturally to everybody. Other customer-facing roles will help support a job application, but appearing friendly and communicating well in interview is a key way in which employers can tell if you’re really a “people person” or not.

Patience and Empathy

When products or services go wrong, customer can feel l let down, poorly serviced or just plain cheated, so customer service representatives often have to bare the brunt of these customers’ complaints. Arguing or being dismissive is only likely to make the situation worse, so it’s important that customer service people can empathise with even the most unreasonable of customers. Regardless of their language, rudeness or arrogance, customer service representatives need to do everything in their power to please them.


In customer service management, there are often set processes to handle certain types of communication. Social media customer service representatives might even have response maps which help them to respond quickly to messages and mentions without seeking the approval of their superiors. While sometimes this guidance can be provided, customer service representatives need to get used to showing initiative and dealing with requests themselves.
Of course, initiative means responsibility, and it can backfire, but it’s impossible for managers to train representatives in what to do in every conceivable situation.

Organisation and Multi-Tasking

Like almost any professional role, jobs in customer service will usually require excellent organisation skills, and employers will often ask for evidence of multi-tasking in previous job roles. Teamwork is also an important skill to possess as often customer service teams will need to pull together to manage customer enquiries effectively.

Drs. Christiaan Janssens MBA
Executive Coach CJ Coaching
CRO Akwa Wellness