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Business Thought

Brian Tracy

The Complex Sale Today

Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life. Brian Tracy

“Everyone wants to be popular with others. You want to be liked and respected among your friends, family, and associates. Above all, you want to like and respect yourself, and to feel yourself to be a valuable and important person. Fortunately, everything you do that makes other people feel good about themselves makes you feel good about yourself as well. You can actually improve the way you feel by making other people feel important. This is the key to great personal relationships.” B. Tracy

The 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 Rule is one of the most helpful of all concepts of time and life management. It is also called the Pareto Principle after its founder, the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who first wrote about it in 1895. Pareto noticed that people in his society seemed to divide naturally into what he called the “vital few,” the top 20% in terms of money and influence, and the “trivial many,” the bottom 80%. The Great Discovery

He later discovered that virtually all economic activity was also subject to this Pareto Principle.

For example, this rule says that 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your results. 20% of your customers will account for 80% of your sales. 20% of your products or services will account for 80% of your profits. 20% of your tasks will account for 80% of the value of what you do, and so on. This means that if you have a list of ten items to do, two of those items will turn out to be worth as much or more than the other eight items put together. The Greatest Payoff Here is an interesting discovery. Each of these tasks may take the same amount of time to accomplish. But one or two of those tasks will contribute five or ten times the value as any of the others. Often, one item on a list of ten things that you have to do can be worth more than all the other nine items put together. This task is invariably the one that you should do first. The Most Valuable Tasks The most valuable tasks you can do each day are often the hardest and most complex. But the payoff and rewards for completing these tasks efficiently can be tremendous. For this reason, you must adamantly refuse to work on tasks in the bottom 80% while you still have tasks in the top 20% left to be done. Before you begin work, always ask yourself, “Is this task in the top 20% of my activities or in the bottom 80%?” Getting Started

The hardest part of any important task is getting started on it in the first place. Once you actually begin work on a valuable task, you seem to be naturally motivated to continue. There is a part of your mind that loves to be busy working on significant tasks that can really make a difference. Your job is to feed this part of your mind continually. Managing Your Life Time management is really life management, personal management. It is really taking control over the sequence of events. Time management is control over what you do next. And you are always free to choose the task that you will do next. Your ability to choose between the important and the unimportant is the key determinant of your success in life and work. Efficient, productive people discipline themselves to start on the most important task that is before them. They force themselves to eat that frog, whatever it is. As a result, they accomplish vastly more than the average person and are much happier as a result. This should be your way of working as well. Action Exercises Make a list of all the key goals, activities, projects and responsibilities in your life today. Which of them are, or could be, in the top 10% or 20% of tasks that represent, or could represent, 80% or 90% of your results? Resolve today that you are going to spend more and more of your time working in those few areas that can really make a difference in your life and career, and less and less time on lower value activities.

The entire process of selling today is more complex than it has ever been before. It used to be that we would make a single call to a single buyer who would make a single decision on our product or offering. In this simple form of selling, we used the attention/interest/ desire/action (AIDA) model of sales presentation and focused intensely on numerous different ways of closing the sale. Then, once we had made the sale, in many cases we never saw the customer again. Today, however, everything is different. Today we must make multiple calls, an average of five or six, in order to make the sale. We deal with multiple decision makers in an organisation, each of whom can influence the purchase. Much of the sale takes place when we are not present. Sometimes we never even meet the final decision maker who signs the cheque. And it is not unusual for a sale to be derailed at the last minute by something completely unexpected. If that weren’t enough, there is more competition than ever before and it is more determined and resolute than it has ever been in the past. Not only must we compete on the basis of price, quality, services, capabilities, financing and warranties with many other vendors of our product or service, but we must also compete with every other vendor of every other product or service who is striving to get the same customer dollar that we are after. Our competitors are extremely determined, driven the same as we are by tight markets and careful customers. They are committed to starting earlier, working harder, and staying up later thinking of ways to take our customers away from us. Our prospective customers are beset on all sides by every conceivable sales offering. Because they are drowning in details, options and choices, they are in no hurry to make up their minds. With markets changing and contracting, the amount of discretionary funds they have available has shrunk and they are more careful today than they have ever had to be in the past. The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer. If a business does this in sufficient quantity and with proper cost controls, it will make a profit. The profit is the result of creating and keeping customers efficiently. As the president of your own professional sales corporation, your job is to create and keep customers as well. And just as a company must continually restructure and redesign its product and service offerings to satisfy the changing tastes of a demanding and competitive customer marketplace, you as a salesperson must constantly upgrade the quality and sophistication of your sales procedures and approaches if you are going to create customers in sufficient quantity. Now, here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action. First, be prepared to make multiple calls to a customer to close a large or complex sale. Plan your sales work systematically so you always have a new reason for calling back. Second, think continually about how you have to change and improve your selling and your offering if you want to succeed in a tough market. Work on yourself every day and never stop getting better.

The Four Factors of Risk The critical factor in selling today is risk. Because of continuous change and rapid obsolescence, the risk of buying the wrong product or service becomes greater as change intensifies. Our greatest single need is for security of all kinds and any buying decision that puts us out on a limb triggers the feeling of risk and threatens that security. There are four main factors that contribute to the perception of risk in the mind and heart of the customer. The first is the size of the sale. The larger the sale, the more money involved, the greater the risk. If a person is buying a package of Lifesavers, the risk of satisfaction or dissatisfaction is insignificant. But if a person is buying a computer system for their company, the risk factor is magnified hundreds or thousands of times. Whenever you are selling a product that has a high price on it, you must recognise that risk enters into the buyer's calculations almost immediately. The second factor contributing to the perception of risk is the number of people who will be affected by the buying decision. If you go out for lunch alone to a new restaurant, the risk is very low. But if you invite a group of business customers to a restaurant to discuss a large transaction, the risk factor can be very high. Almost every complex buying decision involves several people. There are the people who must use the product or service, the people who must pay for the product or service, there are the results expected from the installation of the product or service and there is the reputation of the person making the final buying decision. If a person is extremely sensitive to the opinions of others, this factor alone can cause him or her to put off a buying decision indefinitely. The third factor contributing to the risk perception is the length of life of the product. A product or service that, once installed, is meant to last for several years, generates the feeling of risk. The customer thinks, “What if it doesn’t work and I’m stuck with it?” How many times have you bought something personally that turned out to be the wrong item and you were stuck with it? You couldn’t replace it with something more appropriate because of the amount you had already paid. The fourth major risk factor is the customer’s unfamiliarity with you, your company and your product or service. A first time buyer, one who has not bought the product or service before, or who has not bought it from you, is often nervous and requires a lot of hand-holding. Anything new or different makes the average customer tense and uneasy. This is why new products or services, or new business relationships with your company, have to be presented as a natural extension of what the customer is already doing. Now, here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action. First, demonstrate and prove to your customer that the people affected by this purchase will be happy and satisfied. Tell stories about other happy customers. Second, show the customer that this purchase, even if it is new or unfamiliar is a logical extension of what the customer is already doing. Show the customer it makes perfect sense.

Never say anything about yourself you do not want to come true. Brian Tracy

It doesn’t matter where you are coming from. All that matters is where you are going. Brian Tracy

Successful people are simply those with successful habits. Brian Tracy

I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often. Brian Tracy

The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire not things we fear. Brian Tracy

Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What's in it for me?

Brian Tracy