You can’t sell if you don’t advertise. How to increase your sales game.

My grandmother used to say this a lot – you can’t sell if you don’t advertise. She meant it in every way – now in a smarketing role (sales + marketing) I find this expression to be timeless.

I will start by saying this – I was not always breakin’ necks and cashin’ checks or making deals in heels. In fact, it took time, skill, mentoring and (yes) learning to achieve it. The ability to walk in a room or join a call and ‘own it’is something I was always meant to do, but it needed to be nurtured.

Recently, a colleague asked for some sales advice (2 specific questions stood out) – it reminded me that I didn’t always have the answers, experience and the confidence that I do today.

Here are the top 2 things we chatted about.

Q: How do you walk in a room with clients and ‘own it’?

A: Let’s be honest, walking into a client preso, joining a con call or live meeting with client – can be tricky… things can go wrong –  800 #s may not connect, people may run late, and heck you may trip when you walk into that room and spill your coffee.

Today, the ability to navigate whatever craziness (or lack thereof) is thrown your way is a special skill.  

Expect everything and nothing to happen at once. When you have good intros, jokes and comebacks to it; none of this will faze you. So start practicing all of the scenarios. Know this – nothing besides pizza and beer are good cold, so rehearse your pitch! There’s always a run-thru/rehearsal element to great experiences and sales pitches.

Be prepared for the client to be bored before you open your mouth.Clients are in a constant sea of ‘sameness’ – each pitch blurs into the next and nothing is unique. Everything that’s been done has been done before and the value prop of ‘why’ the deal makes sense is lost in a bunch of noise. So, they’re bored by design – stop that dead in its tracks, by doing something unexpected.

Stand out from the crowd, by being personable or telling a joke… show that you’re a human and not a robot (by action – this will set you apart). Many times clients put on their poker face – they are not expecting a human on the other end or ‘live’ in person to be interacting with them. By having a great opener or joke – it puts the client at ease and starts the oxygen flowing within the room.

For me – having an Asian last name throws people off… my clients in person (if they haven’t researched me socially) are expecting an Asian chick to show up (literally many have said this). Immediately they’re confused when I enter – I have fully just leaned into this, I play off their expectation and let them know I’m Shann Peng (pronounced ‘champagne’), and they can call me that… it makes them chuckle and it starts a good pace for what we’ll be talking about.

So, next time you’re prepping for a meeting – think what would spark up convo, make that client think ‘hmm’ that’s different, I’d like to listen to what they have to say and go for it.

Q: How do you avoid getting stuck in rabbit holes?

A: Rabbit holes are absolutely no fun – maybe the client loves putting you in one, but it’s your job to spot holes and be absolutely 100% rabbit hole free when you go into #BEASTMODE during your pitch.

First, before you go into pitch – get mentally ready… listen to some music, go grab a coffee, do some squats or jumping jacks – just BE ready. It’s your job to go all in and make magic happen for the prospect or client. If you fail to start strong, the odds are against you in getting ahead and essentially, out your self-inflicted rabbit hole.

Start by following the advice above on how to own the conversation; you’ll have sparked the clients’ interest and a ‘hole free’ zone is just ahead. I’ve found that most prospects and clients have specific questions they’re going to ask regardless of the occasion, so I always have those answers ready and then there’s the guaranteed ‘curveball’ they all ask.

The constant curveball I see –is a request for customization to a non-custom aspect of the product/solution/service/process. Depending on what you’re selling – you need to know the parameters of what is possible (or at least be willing to push those limits to get the deal done) and if you don’t have a way to overcome this objective – find one.

We all love to put ‘our stamp’ on things – so just begin to expect this from your clients vs. not. Because we all know they are going to ask.

Once you can open the meeting with a boom, overcome objectives and curveballs – you’re probably thinking you’re out of the woods…well, you’re not because the most important part is now approaching AND THAT IS – HOW MUCH, HOW SOON, AND WHEN DO I SEE ROI.

(How much) Do your homework – be versed in what you are charging and what the going rate for your product/service/solution is. (How soon) Be ready to let the client know when you can start up – some things you’ll sell are easy and straight-forward, others not so much – whichever it is, have a good response that shows the client confidence and ease of use. (ROI) I’ve always felt ROI as a term is used like ‘bless you’ – everyone says it by reaction and because they were trained to ask; but not necessarily because they understand it. So, have your data points ready and how you (or client) will measure this metric and report back.

And GO!

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NO MORE DINNER FOR LUNCH. How To Be A Better Smarketer In 2016.

Y’know what they say a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.

Today, I find this statement so relevant to what is happening to the sales and marketing ‘body’, as we expand into the information age. As a #smarketer (sales + marketer), we are serving our prospects and clients endless meals of mass emails, telemarketing, social cat calling, and advertisements. We are getting fat in all the wrong spots and (in turn) our clients are literally starving from it. 

IT’S AN EPIDEMIC.

We are in a constant stew of bland, stale and blubbery generic lead gen tactics, techniques and vehicles that add to the noise, but they do not solve the starvation and hunger our prospects and clients are facing. (#HANGRY)

We smarketing folk are gorging ourselves on big #greazzyy, unhealthy dinners for lunch and then dinner again and expect to be lean, mean, svelte fighting machines and have endless amounts of business from it. Our sous chefs have gotten sloppy during the meal prep of what’s intended to be a six-course meal and in turn, served us #SPAM.

In business (or life), you cannot have a constant diet of fat and expect to be lean, let alone healthy and relevant. Let’s face it – sales and marketing’s belt buckle is bursting at the seams because of the need to feed the beast.(#BEAST = the sales funnel’s insatiable appetite)

How do we fix this? It starts with trimming the fat, funneling responsibly and this pledge. 

If you are eating dinner for lunch:

I <YOUR NAME>, smarketer of <YOUR JOB/BIZ>, promise to stop eating dinner for lunch and personalize my marketing and sales efforts to my prospects and clients, where it makes sense to do so and do my meal prep to make sure I am not just blanketing a universe with lard. I pledge to use data and analytics responsibly, like the savory spices they are, and satisfy my audience’s hunger.

I will own the fact that today – our individual email inbox is our most precious place on our iPhone or device and that it shall be respected. I will make my clientele swoon by promancing them (‘romancing’ your prospect) and make them feel like an individual in my restaurant vs. being in a long line at a cafeteria.

I will not ask my prospects or clients if they eat food, but what they like to eat and where. I will ask how I may better serve them vs. the other way around where I just pig-out at buffet of non-personal emails/ads/outcalls and heaps of data I do not use; letting them watch and drop out of our privacy policy like flies.

To this I pledge – no more dinner for lunch or extra meals that endanger my smarketing strength, agility and power.

To making clients feel like each interaction is cake by the ocean.

#smarketinglivesmatter

Drive-thru Cabernet. The Importance of Fun when Adulting

The Importance of Fun when Adulting. 

This is going to be shorter and thus, sweeter than some of my other posts…

It’s Friday – we all look forward to Fridays, because we are one day closer to the weekend and ‘time off’.

As children, our jobs are to play, play hard, play harder, laugh and play some more and when we enter kindergarten – we are to go to school, have fun, play, learn, grow and have lots of days off most likely playing and hanging out and then there’s lots of days off with seasonal, national and summer holidays… so it’s almost like a cruel joke, when you enter the corporate workforce to hear – you must live your life within 2 weeks of PTO (at least I thought it was).

Today, I am a passionate #bossbabe – I absolutely can’t imagine a moment not being a careerist and having the opportunities each day to do and close deals in heels and make magic.

I’m blessed – I love being #dealsinheels… but I realized something recently – #dealsinheels needs to have fun too.

So…I took yesterday off – not for any other reason than fun… #truestory

Yup – you remember those days, of bliss, wonderment and anything is possible as you chose your own adventure – like – you’ll just sit at a café and drink 3 cappuccinos and then hit the mall for a spicy new look… just cuz – cuz you want to, cuz you’re not on a set schedule of a 9-5 with child care logistics and cuz YOU deserve it. #EarnedIt

I realized, I had been adulting so hard…I forgot the important childhood adage of ‘all work and no play make Jack a dull boy.’  

While I am no boy…  I’m sparkly, I’m bright and I go hard at all things – I give 100% to my career, my family, my side hustle and yet… I realized I was not going hard at my fun, in essence it was dull.

I’m busy, it goes without saying…  I am a careerist, wifey, mom of twins, digital gladiator, fitness enthusiast and doin’ #dealinheels – there is literally little to no ‘me time’… I am ‘juggling it all’ at every point in my day and the time I have carved out as ‘free time’– goes to my #fitnessjourney.

But it’s definitely not going to whoopin’ it up or just going out with my bestie to laugh and recharge like I did before I was all grown up with kids. #IamABigKidNow

I believe a lot of us busy #bossbabe careerists are in the same boat – we’ve been raised to go non-stop, sip caffeine when we’re tired and not complain. I mean heck – I frequently use the hashtag #cantstop #wontstop and I absolutely mean it, but it doesn’t mean I can’t have fun, too.

So, to days off… sippin’ caffeine or cabernet because you want to – not cuz you have to and to having it all and smiling for absolutely no reason other than the fact, you’re having fun.

To adulting so hard that you eat a Lunchable and sip a Capri Sun because it feels right. To taking a day off and ordering room service while you sit and watch Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in a hotel because you’re having a ‘Save Ferris’ moment. To a perfectly delightful day by the ocean with your bestie taking selfies because you can.

To that day off (or many) because you have to – you have to fun as hard (and as often) as you do everything else.

To fun. XOXO

Spaceships Don’t Come Equipped with Rear View Mirrors.

‘We drive in mommy’ car.’ – said my twin boys.

‘No, we are driving in mommy’s van.’ – said my husband(correcting our boys)

Hearing this exchange, it made me smile and reflect on my own choice to minivan. How far I’ve come – from the girl next door to a boss babe doing #dealsinheels. In truth, my choice to van is everything to do with my kids and me driving a minivan has only made me more fabulous.

Here’s my story.minivan-packed-1.4

“America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, badass speed.”― Will Ferrell

Love this quote. It’s true. We are all about speed. It’s why NASCAR is so popular and why we all want the fastest cars on the road. It’s also why – no one wants to drive a minivan. Because they don’t seem exciting, fast or sexy. For myself, I stopped obsessing about what I was driving and started focusing on why I was driving it, when I became a mom. There comes a point in every parent’s life they have to go minivan.

We dread it… this moment, the decision – to be bold and drive the ultimate mommy mobile. A car so grand that it can comfortably fits 6 passengers and 8 if you wanna squeeze.

A vehicle so opulent that when the Starbucks barista asks you if you want a cup holder tray with your to-go order you say, ‘no doll this ride has 30 cup holders so I think I got it.’

We know that going van represents a transition into a different part of our lives, a means to an end and (ultimately) a practical way to get around. And let’s face it – no one wants to drive ‘practical’… that’s not hot, nasty or badass.

It can make you feel like your freedom and dreams are disappearing as you go van. That you’ll be stuck in a big yellow submarine and never go above 30 MPHs ever again. I know for myself, when I made the decision that I would go minivan, that not only did I have a stir of emotions about it, but so did just about everyone.

They would say things like ‘whatever you do, never drive a minivan… your life will end if you get a van’ (I can only assume they meant the life of my coolness). OR they would say ‘you can do it in a normal car, so you definitely don’t need that mommy mobile.’ But, the reality of it was – I did (and still do).  What else would I fit the double stroller into or get two little kids the same age in and out of by myself?

The answer was clear – it was minivan or bust. But I couldn’t just have any van, it had to still make me feel alive and like I wasn’t driving a Winnebago. I needed a car that would make me feel like I had a ticket to go anywhere.

So the test driving began, I loved Toyota so naturally I thought the Sienna would be ‘it’…  I went to the dealership and the instant I drove it, I had an allergic reaction to its ‘Winnie-ness’… it was like I was driving a huge caravan (also a popular 1980’s minivan).  So, the Sienna van dream lasted about a second and then there she was… my van. On a car stand at the Toyota dealership, a Honda Odyssey lease trade in. She gleamed in the sun. Her tinted windows and overall sportiness spoke to me immediately.

But I had just gotten my heart broken by the Sienna, so I was hesitant and my hubby said ‘Babe it’s really nice, we should test drive it. It has everything we could ever want for our family in it.’

And so I did. 6 months pregnant, I felt like Ricky Bobby, like a race car driver with the Odyssey’s pick up and go. She turned on a dime and for the first time in my parenthood journey I was going van.#shakeandbake

To be honest, I have never really called my van a ‘minivan’. I lovingly refer to it as my swagger wagon. I did this at first, because I could not believe I was driving a minivan. I was far too chic for such things. But truth is – I realize the overall swagger of the wagon has absolutely nothing to do with the actual vehicle. It’s all me.  I’ve only gotten more swagger in the years of driving it and being a mom.

That’s the thing with life – some days you just need reminded of where you came from… from car to van and that becoming a mother is the most fast n’ furious experience of all. #momoftwins

To finding your need for speed and inner swagger – where you least expect it.

Now go drive a van. #swaggawagon