Sales and the steps to success

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Unless you have had a career in sales you have never considered yourself a salesperson. In fact, your first thought might be that salespeople are dishonest or manipulative. You might recall watching Matilda’s father using the drill to turn back the miles on the dashboard of the used cars he sold? The truth is if you have to lie about your product or service then it might be time to move on to another gig. Another common fallacy is that great salespeople are born and not made. While many are blessed with a "golden tongue," sales is a skill that can be developed. Self-improvement is crucial. “Talents you have naturally but skill is only developed by hours and hours of beating on your craft.” Will Smith.

As a salesperson, you want to transfer an emotion of certainty. You want the person on the receiving end to feel that you are there to help them. By becoming an expert in your field you will have the conviction that will have you believing in your product or service.  Product knowledge leads to you sounding confident, assertive and sharp. If you are certain that your product will solve the prospect’s problem they will start believing it as well.

You will find out quickly that a great salesperson is also a great problem solver. After all, you are solving a problem that your prospect either consciously or unconsciously has. Now you can break down this problem into two categories: wants and needs. The type of problem does not matter. The sales process is the same on both occasions. And yes there is a process to sales. The sooner you believe this the sooner you will begin to increase your numbers. So, that script you have been given is your outline to the sales process. Remember, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.

The sales steps can be broken into 5 steps:

  1. Prospecting
  2. Opening
  3. Gathering intelligence/ Qualifying your lead
  4. Presentation
  5. Asking for the sale/ Closing the sale

 

Prospecting

If you are doing phone sales, usually you get provided prospects and you can focus on the other steps. If you are doing sales in person then you will more likely need to do your own prospecting. Prospecting is basically identifying potential customers (prospects). Here you will be building your list or database of prospects that you will be reaching out to give your sales presentation and convert into customers.

Opening

If you are doing face to face sales you will find that the way you dress, speak your smile and even your body language plays an important role. If you are doing sales over the phone you might not have to worry much about appearance. While that might sound like a blessing at first you will find that it can become a limitation. The only tool you have is your voice.

Luckily, there are methods of overcoming this limitation. You will want to sound enthusiastic and have a winning smile. That’s right smiling over the phone helps to build rapport which is indispensable in any sales situation. Rapport is building a trust relationship with your prospects. Keeping rapport throughout the call is important as this will keep the communication flowing in both directions. Remember a prospect will make a determination whether to hang up or to continue talking to you within the first few seconds. Sitting up straight and having a quality headset helps with sounding clear. Have you ever spoken with a salesperson who was not an expert in their product or service? You have to be sharp as a tack and become an expert in your product or service. Trust me, confidence will take you a long way in sales. "All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like, and trust." --Bob Burg

Qualifying your lead and gathering intelligence

If you manage to get past the opening without the prospect hanging up on you it is time to start gathering intelligence while qualifying your lead at the same time. Trust me, it is not a good feeling to spend 30 minutes telling your prospect all about your product just to find out at the end they are not qualified. This is also where you arm yourself with the ammunition that will help you at the end of the sale. To aid in questioning you can turn to the funnel effect, the method of asking questions which allows you to gather the information you need. Open-ended questions can be used to get more detail or to get the prospect to open up about their situation. Probing questions can be used to get clarification. Closed questions are used to get short specific answers. This step will help you to find out the motives that the prospect has for reaching out to you. These include rational, emotional or patronage.

Transition and Presentation

Now that you understand the prospect’s problem you will present your solution.  When you transition it is important to let the lead know that you have been listening to their needs and concerns.  You might want to repeat the problem back to the prospect in your own words. This shows you are concerned and also ensures you are both on the same page.

Be sure to present your solution in a clear and concise manner so your prospect can understand and also picture a future free of the problem that they initially called in with. This is where product knowledge and being an expert in your field goes a long way. Do remember to keep building the rapport all throughout the call. You can also use micro-agreements and the prospect’s name during the call. This will ensure that your prospect is engaged and listening to how you paint the picture.

Asking for the sale and closing the deal

If you did a great job of presenting your product (solving the problem) then your prospect will be begging you to take their credit card.  So unless the prospect hits you with any of those dreadful objections, assume the sale. Now, as I’m sure you are aware the instances where this will occur are few and far in between. It will be more common to receive questions and objections at this point. Many salespersons will tell you that this is where the real sales begin. "Treat objections as requests for further information." --Brian Tracy.

Being able to recognize the difference between a question and an actual objection will save you a lot of time. You will want to provide a satisfactory response to questions and objections and get them back to the close. Remember it’s as easy as ABC, Always Be Closing.

You will want to address objections in three steps. You want to first clarify the objection. This will ensure you are addressing the right objection. Secondly, you want to acknowledge the objection. This ensures the prospect feels you are not just another salesperson wanting to get a sale. You are rather a human like them that wants to address their concerns and ultimately help them get the best solution for their problem.  The third step is to dissolve the objection. There are many ways you can do this. You can use the same information gathered earlier in the call. I worked as a loan processor for an online lending company that provided simple, short-term loans. While gathering intelligence I would ensure that I find out how quickly the funds were needed and the purpose of considering a loan. So when they would hit me with the objection that the interest was too high I would remind them of their deadline and purpose. I would assure them I can process the loan now and have it in their accounts first thing the following day.

What you use to diffuse the objection really depends on the objection but following the three-step process will ensure you always address objections in a systematic manner and are able to keep the communication going. Once you have addressed all the objections you will be able to get the prospect back to the closing and have them sign on the dotted line.

One thing to always remember is that the probability of closing a deal is the highest immediately after your presentation. So instead of asking, “when can I call you back,” when a prospect says they want to think about it you can instead use your questioning skills to find out if the prospect really needs to think about it or whether their concern is really another. Whenever you have successfully addressed an objection don’t hesitate to go for the close again. Depending on how huge of a commitment your product or service is and the personality of your prospect you might have to address many objections. As long as you remember to keep rapport, keep the communication open and keep the process moving then you increase your chances of closing your call with, “Thank you for business Mr. Smith and enjoy the rest of your day!”

 

Our Melting Pot of Culture

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Belize is a country of various ethnicities co-habiting in harmony. Today Belize boasts of cultural aspects from different cultures. Belize is a refuge, a home of diverse multi ethnic cultures with people of different skin tones, different languages, belonging to various ‘pots’ all adding to our colorful Belizean culture. Lying amidst the horizons of Central America and the vast Caribbean Sea. We are a nation with the most diverse population among its neighboring countries, rich with a blend of different cultural practices.

The first to inhabit Belize was the Maya; the Maya civilization is indigenous to the lands of Belize since 2500 B.C. After them the Garifuna migrated to Belize around 1802 after running from British invaders.Shortly after, the Mestizo fled from the Caste War of Yucatan to the northern regions of Belize in 1847. At about the same time in the 1800’s, the Creole were Being born into Belize from African slaves and European merchants. With indentured labor, here is where the East Indians and East

Garifuna Settlement Day Parade

Asians were brought to Belize in 1858 and 1865. They were followed by the Mennonites who came into Belize in 1958 pursuing a life free of religious persecution and the pressures of modern society. When it comes to the population here in Belize nearly half of Belize’s population is Mestizo. Mestizo is the beautiful mixture between ethnic American and Europeans, primarily Spanish. On the other hand the Creole is any person who has some African blood, and in a few instances some locally born ‘whites’. They are mainly the descendants of the slaves brought to Belize. Other Native languages include Mayan, English, Garifuna.

Mennonites in Shipyard

Belize a sanctuary; a harbor for cultures to spread and add coloring to the cultural melting pot.  A free pass to let culture seep through our hearts, showing the true colors from the soul.  This cultural blend indeed a jewel of a country from east to west creating peace and harmony amongst neighboring regions is what certainly makes up a melting pot.

Author- Limayri Guerra

A LITTLE PIECE OF PARADISE/ Staff Trip

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When most foreigners hear the word Belize, they don’t know that it’s an English Central American country nestled between Mexico and Guatemala.  I have always heard of people talking about exploring their country and getting to know those little hidden parts of nature that everyone else enjoys, everyone except you.   So when my boss decided to give us a company trip and an opportunity to explore my own country, I was excited.  I had never been to the heart of the western part of Belize so this was an experience I couldn’t wait to achieve.  We were going to Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve.  We were going to visit Rio Hond Pools and Big Rock Falls.

 

 

On the day of the trip we all gathered together in our bus, said a prayer and set off.  Most of us slept the 4 hours until we arrived at the junction of Pine Ridge. Most of my coworkers had never been to this part of the country so this was going to be an adventure for them as well. I personally didn’t expect that we were going to be on a dirt road for like almost an hour before getting to our first destination.  My boss kept saying that we were going to enjoy the view and the falls but after being in a bus for almost 6 hours, I was getting a little cranky.

 

When we got to Big Rock Falls I was amazed.  It was such a beautiful site.  The falls itself was gorgeous and the water was super cold. It was so refreshing to jump into that ice cold water and breathe in the freshness of Mother Nature.  Swimming against the strong currents to actually get under the falls was a weeks’ worth of exercise but it felt good.  The long drive was worth it at this point.

BVC Staff

We stayed by the falls for an hour before heading off to our next site, Rio Hond Pools.  We were going there to have lunch and just relax for a couple of hours before heading back to our home town of Orange Walk.  We got to Rio Hond and setup our grill to BBQ and take a dip into the icy water.  My friend and I decided to explore a little and the view we were met with was spectacular. We were able to get a view of the area from the top of the hill.  I was humbled by the beauty of this hidden paradise.

As we headed back home I realized that I had much to learn and explore in my own country.  There are so many beautiful places that I have never gone to and I need to change that.  In order for me to fully appreciate and enjoy my country, I need to know it.  I’m sure that many share the same sentiment.  I’m glad I got the chance to visit and enjoy this beauty.

 

Author- Catalina Funez

Destinations of Belize

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For those who have heard about Belize, but don’t know exactly where it is, or what all it consists of, this article is for you. Geographically we are located in Central America. Yet our language, culture and vibe mirrors the Caribbean. Fascinating right? Belize is a small country with a lot to offer.

Lists always makes things easier. So here is a short list of must see destinations in Belize.

Belize’s Great Blue Hole

  • If diving the Great Blue Hole is not on your bucket list, then are you really living? It is perhaps one of the most famous dive site in Belize. It is over 300 meters across and 125 meters deep; bursting with various marine life species.

 

 

Ambergris Caye

 

  • Ambergris Caye is Belize’s largest island and definitely the most popular destination in Belize. The island is much laid – back and is just filled with some of the friendliest people. Annually thousands of tourist flood the island to get away from all the hassle and bustle. There is a lot to do on the island. You can choose from water activities like parasailing, kayaking and snorkeling to name a few.

 

Cayo

  • The number one stop on Belize’s mainland. Cayo is located on the western side of the country and is Belize’s largest district. Adventure seekers often consider Cayo to be the most desirable spot, with its rich nature and high concentration of Mayan Sites. It is home to a number of spectacular caves and waterfalls that travelers enjoy to hike. It is the most diverse and can appeal to every type of traveler looking to experience Belize’s natural wonders.

Mayan Ruins of Belize

An important part of Belize’s History is the Mayan Ruins. A legacy of extraordinary temples once inhabited by the Mayan Civilization. There are approximately 12 Mayan Ruins in Belize all which are both essential ruins and some small but notable ruins. Altun Ha, Xunantunich, Caracol, Cahal Pech, Lamanai, Nim li Punit and Lubaantun are a few top Maya Sites to visit while in Belize. Mayan treasures have been found deep within the earth and amongst these temples. An example would be the sacred Jade head (Kinich Ahau).  Each ruin was held sacred by the Mayas and contained ceremonial altars, religious carvings, ball courts, stelas and remains of sacrificial victims.

 

 

Caracol

 

Author- Brianna Leiva

About Belize: National Symbols

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Belize is a nation on the eastern coast of Central America, with Caribbean Sea shorelines to the east and dense jungle to the west. Offshore, the massive Belize Barrier Reef, dotted with hundreds of low-lying islands called cayes, hosts rich marine life. Belize’s jungle areas are home to Mayan ruins like Caracol, renowned for its towering pyramid; lagoon-side Lamanai; and Altun Ha, just outside Belize City. Belize is the only Central American country with English as its official language. However, you will hear a variety of Spanish, Creole, and Maya in some greetings.

 

Belize is a small country but it is known for its high biodiversity! With thousands of species of plants and animals, Belize boasts one of the greatest hotspots of biodiversity in all the world. Of course we have equally cool National Symbols to go along with it! They include a flower, a tree, a bird, and a large mammal.

NATIONAL SYMBOLS 

 

The black orchid is the National Flower of Belize. This orchid grows on trees in damp areas, and flowers nearly all year round. The black orchid flower has greenish-yellow petals and sepals with purple blotches near the base. The "lip" is deep purple-brown, almost black, with conspicuous radiating purple veins.

 

 

The Mahogany Tree is one of the magnificent giants of the forest. Rising straight and tall to over a hundred feet from great buttresses at the roots, it emerges above the canopy of the surrounding trees with a crown of large, shining green leaves.

Our national bird which is the Keel billed Toucan. Best known for its oversized bill, the keel-billed toucan is a large and colorful bird with black plumage, a bright yellow throat and cheeks, vibrant red feathers under its tail and a yellow-green face. Its light green, banana-shaped bill is splashed with orange and tipped with red and blue, and can grow to be a third of the size of the toucan’s 20-inch body.

 

 

The Tapir is the largest land mammal of Central America. Known as the “mountain cow” in Belize, they are forest dwellers, active mostly at night as they forage along river banks and forest clearings. The tapir is the national animal of Belize.

Author - Tanairi Baeza

 

Benefits of Outsourcing to Belize

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Belize is slowly making its way to becoming a recognized outsourcing destination. The Belizean economy has always depended on agriculture and tourism for capital. Over the last years there has been a booming growth in the tourism industry, as well as in the BPO sector.  The BPO industry in Belize is still quite young. Yet there are clear signs that private industry and public agencies are seriously examining how to create the right ecosystem to foster long term growth.

Here are a few benefits that Belize offers to the BPO industry:

No Business Tax- Belize has created Export Processing Zones. Anybody looking to establish a BPO sector in Belize will need to attain an EP Zone license which would then exempt them from business tax within the country.

Primary Language is English- Even though Belize is surrounded by Spanish speaking countries we maintain English as our first language. Most of the population is well versed in speaking fluent English.

Education in BPO industry- Belize has established BTEC (Belize Training and Employment Centre). At this institution individuals will be trained with the skills needed to work in the BPO sector. After they have completed their course, they become certified.

Government Support- The government of Belize graciously welcomes any company of individual willing to outsource to Belize. They see a bright future for the BPO industry in Belize thus they assist in any way possible.