3 Hours FREE CE – Tues. Feb. 28th– Water Damage Overview

ServiceMaster Quality Cleaning, Global Collision Centers, and Gary Wilbert Roofing are teaming together to offer 3 hours of FREE CE Credits on Tuesday, February 28th, 9am-12pm.  The course is “Water Damage Overview” (#993734) and I’m excited to be teaching it for them.

Where?  438 N. Ohio Ave.…come see this “brand-spanking-new” training center at ServiceMaster Quality Cleaning and tour their new and expanded facility.   Since my retirement, I’ve had fun working with many different ServiceMaster owners, including Mike Tate, the owner of SM Quality Cleaning, right here in Wichita.   I enjoy his team, especially working with Rory as we’ve teamed up on some fun and exciting projects.  I’ve enjoyed watching this business grow and expand and this new facility is a great move as part of their growth.  Help me break in their new training center with this very first CE Class at the new facility.

Sign up– RSVP (if possible) to rory@smwichita.com or call 316-983-SPOT (9834)  (or just show up and hope we can make room for you, no promises).

 

OPEN HOUSE

SAVE THE DATE for an OPEN HOUSE on Thursday March 30th, 11am-2pm.  Save that date on your calendar for the official ServiceMaster Quality Cleaning OPEN HOUSE as they showcase their new facility.   RSVP to rory@smwichita.com or just drop in.   You’ll be surprised to see how they’ve grown since Mike Tate purchased this business from Dan Kreis (over 5 years ago!) when it was located over on West Central.

Ending Before You Begin

Design + Process = Results

Maybe to begin something worthwhile in 2016 you first need to “end” something.   Many business leaders and sales people struggle to find the right balance by knowing when to keep trying and when to let things end in a “natural death”.

Time is a precious and limited commodity, a gift from your Creator to be used wisely.  Even if your resources are unlimited (and I doubt that), you cannot manufacture more time.  Beginning new things and growing existing things takes both time and resources.  So maybe in 2016 you first need to “end” something that is squandering time and resources but delivering less-than-stellar results. But how do you know whether to keep trying…or whether to try harder…and how long is long enough?

In Luke 13:6, Jesus told a story about a vineyard owner and his groundskeeper.
And He (Jesus) began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any.And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’ And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’”

While Jesus is looking for things eternally more significant from our life and our faith, other applications from his story are easily seen for choices you may be facing in 2016.

Imagine, if your “world” suddenly changed, the business environment became hostile, you lost a key employee, or some major competitor started gaining your market-share, and you had to make some hard choices about where to put your remaining time and resources….what is the first cut that comes to mind?  Your first impulse probably just showed you where you need consider an ending in 2016.

On the farm we used so say, “If I couldn’t grow anything in this field except weeds over the last 3 years, it’ll probably grow weeds again next year”.   Einstein is quoted as saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results”.  2016 is a year to take a smart look and establish priorities about what should continue…and what should end.

But let me give you a hint….it’s not always that simple or clear-cut.  We’ll talk how to weigh those decisions on the next article…or call me if you’re in the midst of a decision and can’t wait for the next Post!   Making sales work is what we help people do ….and I hope it’s what you also can do in 2016.

Jerry E. Winkley, President
www.MakingSalesWork.com

1987– Looking Back, Giving Thanks, Pressing Ahead

Jerry & Boys, 1988Sign 1

“Things have changed” is an understatement.  But looking back is always a good reason to give thanks and then press ahead.  Allow me a moment to thank all of you who have been part of my life and the wonderful team of people who have worked with me over the last 28 years.

On November 23, 1987, Lisa (my wife) and I prepared to leave the ranks of the employed, leave behind a steady (but meager) paycheck, and venture into the unknown world of entrepreneurship.  We purchased our first ServiceMaster license the day we brought our second son, Jonathan, home from the hospital.  Two men we had barely met, but eventually grow to love, John Holland and Dave Cowles, gave us a new ink pen and we signed our contract; the adventure began.

Change? Much has changed since 1987.   Today’s business climate is overtly hostile, margins are constantly squeezed, overheads are oppressive, and stable companies merge, change, and sometimes venture in significantly different directions than their historical roots and moral foundations.  But change has always been there, yet perhaps the rate of change continues to intensify.  We will always be faced with change…but the alternative of never changing anything is not usually better.

Constants?  I’ve heard the expression, “You can’t out run your fork”, meaning that losing weight involves both discipline & a healthy diet.  In the same way, pressing ahead in life & business means discipline and implementing the designs of business that lead to success, core elements of that design include consistent implementation, innovation, and proactivity.

You are the best predictor of your future success.   It’s been wisely said that success is where hard work and prayer intersect.  God is the One Who grants true success….the things that really matter…but He also gives us our ability to follow the designs which make a healthy business…and a successful life.

ServiceMaster’s historic Corporate Objectives summarize it well.  A strong balance is summed up in the following:  1) To Honor God In All We Do,  2) To Help People Develop,  3) To Pursue Excellence, and 4) To Grow Profitably.  Learning to embrace & master these principles, execute them consistently, stay focused on profitability, remain diligent at effective sales, and always keep the perspective that business (and life) is to honor God, these core disciplines will help us follow the designs of success & master change.

Thankfulness:  On Thanksgiving 2015, I want to especially thank all of my former staff members, ServiceMaster franchise friends (franchisees, staff, Home Office staff, etc.) and wish each of you God’s blessing.   I’m also very thankful for family, especially my faithful wife who survived all those years of 24 hour on call while raising a young family (including being called out for fires & water losses and leaving her alone on Thanksgiving family meals).   And mostly, I hope we will all stop to thank the Master Designer (God), receive & give thanks for the gift of forgiveness of sin and salvation through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and that you will follow the designs He has for your life and work.   It’s been an exciting last 28 years…here’s to the years to come!  When our faith is firmly placed in Christ’s payment for our sin, His resurrection makes the future always bright…and for that, we give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Jerry E. Winkley
Business By Design…making sales work

Referral Sales—Looking for better results?

Busy selling but lacking results?

  • “Agent & Adjuster Selling & Referral Selling doesn’t work anymore”
  • “Agents don’t get involved in claims anymore”
  • “Nobody has time to listen to me”
  • “So which company/franchise are you with? Aren’t you all the same?”

Yes, the world of insurance & the claims referral process is changing.   If you find yourself or any of your sales team saying any of the above statements, it’s time to regroup and rethink how you’re going to grow your company.

Fact—up to 80% of a sales person’s time is usually spent doing things that do not produce jobs (sales).   See if you or your sales team can answer the following questions:

  1. What is a PIF count?
  2. How many jobs has this agent/adjuster/plumber given us in the last year? 3 years?
  3. Are you sure the agent or adjuster referred them or did they come through a different source?
  4. How can I get them to schedule time to listen to me present my company?
  5. What would I present to an agent/adjuster/plumber who refers another company and not us?
  6. How is my company different and why should they use us?
    (Hint—being a “preferred vendor” is not enough to get you their next job)

Do you want help….or are you happy just being busy by filling candy jars and delivering note pads….then waiting for another program assignment?  Business by Design has several October openings for sales staff in their Monday morning sales training ($385.00/month for 3 months).    An updated 12 week sales module is also being developed for entry & mid-level sales staff…contact Jerry (jwinkley@business-by-design.biz ) for more details.

If you want to stay profitable and productive through the winter months, this is the time to rethink and regroup and get the help you need.  Contact Jerry (jwinkley@business-by-design.biz) for more details.

Reading Customer Body Language & Adapting To Its Message

Reading subtle body language is a critical skill in making sales work.  Even the average sales person can read the obvious signs like the receptionist rolling her eyes, the customer who “suddenly takes a phone call” when you enter the office, or the cold shoulder of someone who’s rude.  Making sales work requires that you be aware of these signs and much more. Begin watching for these signs below…and be prepared to adapt your call accordingly.

  1. Customer stands in the lobby rather than invites you to their office –
    (1) they want to be polite but they’re very busy right now, or (2) they respect you but they’re not interested at this time. The fact that they came out to see you communicates that they value you, even if they don’t want to hear you out.
  2. Customer waves at you and smiles…but doesn’t come to greet you—
    this often means they respect you and value what you have to say, but really don’t have time to talk right now but may the next time you come by.
  3. Customer invites you into their office but doesn’t sit down—
    they value you & your message but they are busy or they’re concerned that you will stay too long if you sit down. Be sure to never over-stay your welcome and do not sit down unless invited to do so.   Sitting down means you plan to stay awhile.
  4. Customer invites you to their office and invites you to sit down—
    the customer is inviting you to talk with them and they have time for you. Ask to confirm if they have time…and how much time..so you don’t overstay your welcome by becoming too comfortable or casual.
  5. Customer opens or closes a project or item on their desk—if they appear to resume doing small tasks, especially packing or closing items on their desk, they probably have an appointment or something they need to return to doing. Politely begin to pack your items and stand up to let them know you’re not going to stay longer.

How effective are you in making sales work?  Experts say that most sales people only spend 1/5 of their day on things that actually generate sales…and up to 4/5 just being busy.    The mediocre sales person and the effective sales person both have the same number of hours every day…the difference is time management.   Learn how to become more effective.  E-mail jwinkley@business-by-design.biz to find out more about our weekly sales training and webinar employee training.

Guiding Discussions On Insurance Sales Calls

You’ve been in this office 5 times…finally they give you a minute to talk to a decision maker.   Where do you start?  For how long?

1) Begin with a goal in mind– where do you want the conversation to go?   Being nice is not always enough to get you their next referral.

2) Ask intelligent questions & listen more than you talk.   Have prepared questions you can modify which move towards your objectives.

3)   Don’t dwell on small talk very long.  Begin to look for what is important to them then ask about it.   Awards on their wall?  Photos of successes & family?   See what you can learn about their company and their track record, find out what makes them unique and successful.

4)  Give honest praise– praise hard work, effort, dedication.    Praising ego is short-sighted and often gives way to manipulation rather than being genuine.

5)  Don’t overstay your initial visit.

Watch for our next post to learn about reading the customer’s body language and managing your own.   Business By Design is starting another new sales training group this fall with a 30 day free trial.   Register now at www.Business-by-Design.biz or email jwinkley@business-by-design.biz for more info.

Effective Selling Through Intentional Questions

Would you do business with a “salesman” in a brown plaid sport coat, white shoes, and bright tie who talks a mile-a-minute (while chewing gum) and tells you what your answer is regardless of the questions you try to insert into his presentation?   We laugh at that when we see it on TV….and most of us avoid it like the plague.

People do business with people they like and trust, especially if they become repeat customers.  Whether you’re selling to insurance agents, adjusters, Realtors, property managers, or commercial and residential cleaning customers…people do business with those they like and trust, even in spite of preferred vendor programs.

So, what is one of the best ways to build sales credibility with your customers?   Ask intelligent and intentional questions.  Why ask questions?   Because the right questions will help you better understand your customers needs (and wants) and will help you present how you can meet those needs.   And asking intelligent, intentional, thoughtful questions shows the customer you really do care about them and their needs (and wants).

How well thought through are your questions?   How effectively do they guide your customers in understanding their needs and your company’s ability to meet those needs?  Have you ever written down those important questions…..or do you find yourself just talking and telling, like the salesman in the plaid sport coat?

Want to be more effective?  Contact Business by Design (www.Business-by-Design.biz ) or e-mail jwinkley@Business-by-Design.biz for help in making sales work.

Answering Common Objections

If you’re spent much time selling, you’ve no doubt heard comments like these:  “I already use someone else”;  “We don’t refer anyone”;  “All vendors are about the same”,   “Which franchise are you and how can I tell you apart?”  “We never have any claims”;   “Someone is already on the job before I can refer you”, etc.

When you hear those comments, your first tendency is to give up or react…maybe even offer a logical explanation for why the customer’s assumption may not be correct.   But you normally get much further with a strategic question or two rather than the most eloquent speech about “why we’re different”.   Chances are that those objections are simply excuses, or questions, and it’s your job to earn the customer’s trust and respect.

Have you ever stopped and written out questions to probe deeper whenever you here those types of comments?  Ever practiced your questions on anyone?  If not, maybe it’s time you start preparing to turn those conversations around.

Business By Design’s sales coaching still has a few openings in their weekly Monday morning sales call teams.   Sign up and begin working with a team of your peers across the country.  Enjoy learning together as you work with Jerry Winkley’s nearly 30 years of sales and business growth experience, not to mention the expertise of your team members.

And by the way– how about designing some questions to politely reverse the question?  Chances are your customer has never realized how similar their desire to grow their business is with yours.   Sign up for a sales team opening and get more information at www.Business-By-Design.biz.   Our job is to make sales work!

CE Class Reviews…See What We’ve Been Up To!

We’ve been busy lately with all sorts of great, informative Continuing Education classes! Check out some of the reviews below from some of our satisfied attendees.


Mold – Answers To A Growing Problem, Continuing Education Class
Jerry is very informative and entertaining.

Continuing Education Class
I learned a lot about the “real” concerns about the presence of mold…..I will be better prepared to have an educated conversation with an insured that has concerns.

Mold – Answers To A Growing Problem
Very good info to pass on. I enjoyed it….

Ethics, Continuing Education Class
Liked it….Ethics are the foundation of what our company stands on and word of mouth is our greatest advertising.

Continuing Education Class
It’s always good to be remind[ed] the way we should handle ourselves.

Mold – Answers To A Growing Problem, Continuing Education Class
Educated me to present this information to others in the office.

Mold – Answers To A Growing Problem
Good information….

Have Jerry Winkley come and teach a Continuing Education class at your place of business! Check out our class list here or fill out the short form to get in touch with Business by Design today.