Cari: Welcome Eric.
Many of my readers are in business. You’re my personal mentor not only because I want to get myself out there more, but because I see you do it so authentically. I love when you talk about sales simply being the means through which we let people know what our gifts or products are so they can know if they want that set of benefits.
In addition to working with individuals, you’re working with major corporations and corporations are famous for separating people from their true selves. While you’re teaching them, how do you slide into helping them to stay more who they are while they’re doing these sales techniques that you’re teaching them?
Eric: One concept that I’ve intuitively known, but I’m much more aware of it now, is this idea called energy advantage versus energy disadvantage. It means we have certain things that we’re naturally gifted in, that we have natural talent for, and when we’re in our energy disadvantage, it’s like we’re swimming upstream. We’re going against a current.
What I have recognized recently, Cari, is there are some things that I’ve been doing that are in my energy disadvantage and I’m doing my best to let go of those things and focus as much of my time as I can in my energy advantage. From a business standpoint, you have people that are reading this article who want to build their business and their energy advantage may not be sales, but yet they need sales.
What I think is a great solution for somebody who is uncomfortable with sales or if their energy advantage is not sales, is to really work on two things. One is positioning and the second is automation.
From a positioning standpoint, if I go give a talk in a local Century 21 office, then I’m positioned as the local speaker. If I go to a networking event and I’m exchanging business cards with people, I’m positioned as a peer. I’m on the same level as them. If I go speak at the National Real Estate Association meeting attended by thousands of realtors and I’m introduced as one of the world’s leading sales experts, then I’m positioned as one of the world’s leading sales experts.
I’m the same person, but how the other person perceives me is different based on how they’re introduced to me. I think that there’re some amazing people who will be reading this article who are geniuses in what they do, but they’re interacting with people in business positioned as someone going to a networking event and exchanging business cards, when really they’re this absolutely amazing person at what they do.
Like in my case, I’m speaking at the local Century 21 office where they don’t understand when I go there … they don’t get who I am.
So I think it’s a really important thing to do in business, to look at how can we position ourselves and one way is through testimonials and endorsements. For example, as you do this write-up about me in your magazine, you’re giving me a testimonial and the difference between a testimonial and an endorsement, is a testimonial is from somebody who’s a client and an endorsement is from somebody who’s not a client.
Third-party endorsements create social proof that help position me. That’s something for everybody reading this article to be looking at for themselves: How am I positioning myself? How are people experiencing me prior to me discussing me doing business with them?
A second piece of this, which is a transformation that’s happening in my own business right now, is automation. My new thought, when we do business with somebody, is to have them have, if possible, an experience, in my case with me, or the readers’ case, with them, before they actually go into the sales process.
So if it’s a chiropractor for example, in typical sales and marketing, the patient would come in and their very first experience with the chiropractor would be that they show up for the initial appointment, the chiropractor gives them a treatment, and then offers them ongoing services at the end.
In this new model, I’m the chiropractor, I have the patient view some content, read some content, watch some content on video. This positions me properly so they walk into the initial appointment already having had an experience with me. I’m positioned effectively.
There’s some trust and rapport that’s been established, so I’m further along in the sales process, prior to them even walking in for their appointment, and there’s a way to do this, Cari, to get the person to mentally opt in or mentally opt out before the initial appointment.
What that means is, let’s say I’m approaching a corporate training client, the person who’s the decision maker starts watching content of me and they either decide Eric’s my guy or they decide Eric’s not my guy.
In either case, if they’re watching it through content automation, I win, because if they mentally opt out and go, “He’s not my guy,” well, in the old model, I’d have to go meet with them, and then when I met with them, they go, “Oh, he’s not my guy.” I’d rather have them make that decision beforehand so I’m only meeting with people that have already mentally decided they want to work with me. So two summary points are positioning, and then a second one is automation.
Cari: Is that a video that you would send them in an email when they make an appointment or would it be on your website that you would send them to, or if it was a chiropractor, would it be sitting in his office in the waiting room?
Eric: That’s a great question and it has to be taken on a case by case basis. But I’ll give you a really simple, simple model that’s very easy to execute and it would be a video on a website.
So they’d stop by my website for example and mine’s not this yet, but it will be in the near future. Video: “Hi, this is Eric Lofholm. Thanks for stopping by. If you’re looking to increase your sales results, you’re in the right place. I’ve put a webinar below that I did recently. It’s got amazing content. Take a moment, opt in, and you can watch the webinar.”
So then they’ve watched me on video, it caused them to opt in, now they’re going to watch the webinar, and at the end of the webinar it’s going to say, “If you’d like a consultation with me, fill out the form below.”
So they fill out the form below, by the time they actually get to me, they’ve already opted in twice and watched an hour of my content.
So the concept is to get them watching some content up front. Maybe the chiropractor has some tips that they can do at home to assist them with stretching exercises or whatever. And this chiropractor would position him or herself as an expert, talking about their credentials and their training, how they know what they know, their philosophies and so forth, and then give them some great content.
This could be on short videos or it could be on a recorded webinar that plays on demand. The benefit of the recorded webinar is the person watching the webinar is not expecting it to be edited. If you do videos, they’ve got to look really good because people have a high expectation on the quality of videos.
If you want to do a webinar, there’s a website that you can take a look at that has this on it; it’s Mojovideomarketing.com. When you go there, it’s a short video, and then you watch an on-demand recorded webinar and they offer a consultation at the end.
Anybody can do a recorded webinar with this simple tool, like Go-To Webinar, and record it and upload it. It’s very easy to execute this strategy.
The bigger thought whether it’s video or webinar or white paper or whatever, it’s more of the mindset. The mindset of “I want my prospect to be further along in the sales process before I meet with them” is really the main golden nugget here.
Eric’s Quiet Moments for himself
Cari: I love it. These are all great ideas, but like I said, the thing that’s most important to me about you isn’t even all these fabulous ideas, which really are all fabulous ideas. But when we’re all together in the Mastermind and in the course of your workshops, even when you’re teaching the closing workshop, I notice, again and again, how you remind people to make time for their families and their spiritual life.
I really want to talk about that aspect. Do you ever purposefully bring that forward or does it just come forward because that’s part of who you are? And how do you find – you’re such an incredibly busy person, how do you find quiet moments for busy people in your own life because that’s the tagline, you know, of this magazine?
Eric: Yeah. You know, I think we have to decide what parts of ourselves we want to share with other people. And in the type of work that I do, people come to me because they want to improve their sales skills, but anybody who wants to improve their sales skills, they’re probably also interested in having a successful marriage if they’re married, or being a great parent if they have kids, or improving their health, or having a nice spiritual life being connected to God or their higher power.
These are things that a lot of my clients are also interested in. And, so I have this really unique opportunity when people come to me for sales ideas that I can then share these other parts of me to help them in their life.
It’s something that I’ve gone through tremendous struggles with in my own life, as I think most people have, and for whatever reason, I’m just really comfortable sharing these setbacks and one of my energy advantages is the gift of encouragement.
And, so I will just speak encouragement into people and it’s something that I don’t have to work at. No one taught me how to do it. It’s just me tapping into one of my natural gifts. And I think there’s tremendous value for us in our lives to get connected to what are our natural gifts and to be our authentic selves.
I was talking to a woman the other day. We were having this conversation and she was telling me how, and this could be men or women, but in her example she was saying that some women will be put into like a cultural role of handling the finances, taking care of the children, cooking the meals, and it’s like the husband and wife, they’ll just assume this role that may not be her energy advantage.
You know, her energy advantage may be something very, very different from that. And, so it’s something to kind of put aside what we’re asked to do, you know, and when you have a job your boss tells you what you’re supposed to do and you do it.
The other day I asked one of my employees who wasn’t doing very well… I said, “Well, what do you think your energy advantage is?”
And he gave me an answer different from his current job. I said, “Why don’t we just change your role then, so it’s in alignment with who you are?”
I think that really where we can have our greatest success is when our natural gifts are in alignment with what it is that we’re doing – whether we’re working, whether we’re serving the community, whether we’re helping a friend – if we’re tapping into what those gifts are. The more I do that, Cari, the more effortless it is to succeed with what I’m trying to accomplish.
Cari: And in your own life, being so busy, how do you make time to have quiet moments to just be with You within the moments, when you’re interacting with your family, how do you make time to be with You within that? And when you’re interacting with your job, how do you make time to be with You? Do you purposefully carve out time or do you find that you can do it in a flowing way while you’re functioning or … what’s it like for you?
Eric: You know, my grandfather taught me something and I don’t know if I did it intuitively or if it’s something he actually taught me. But he used to pay himself, so he says. I was ten-years old at the time, so I don’t know if he actually did it, but he claimed that he paid himself $100 an hour to think.
He basically was saying I place high value on thinking and it’s an interesting thing because it’s like there might be this idea of, “I’ve got to constantly be doing” and he was like, “No, there’s value in just stepping back and just having quiet thinking time.”
So I’ve always embraced that. I regularly carve time out, even as busy as I am. I’ll have blocks of 30 minutes, sometimes as much as two hours. I’ll just go out and sit by the pool in my backyard and enjoy the sun, listen to some music, do some journaling.
Sometimes there’s journaling, sometimes it’s just, I don’t know if it’s meditating, but that’s probably what it is. I just have that as part of my routine. And I can’t do that everyday because some days are just packed, but it’s pretty consistent that I have time during the week of just quiet time.
Cari: Great. That’s just the kind of thing I thought I’d hear you say. In my online magazine that goes out to people twice a month, The Inner Light Gazette, Quiet Moments for Busy People, I give readers three minutes of insights. It’s amazing what I can say in just three minutes. I make it a really quick read for people, and then there’s an eight-ten minute meditation. So if you ever want to learn actual meditation, which is simply about being present, you could go look at that. I think that you would really like it. I think it might help you in those moments when you’re sitting there. It’s been really helpful for me, which is why I love to share it with my readers.
Cari: Thanks so much for talking with me Eric. Sales doesn’t come naturally to me and I’ve loved studying with you.
If anyone wants to find out more about what Eric offers, please use my affiliate link and let me know if it helps you like it’s helped me. Eric has much free info on his website and sometimes gives free workshops: http://saleschampion.com/go.html?p=CAlter&w=saleschampion.com