Thursday, October 29, 2009

Shut Up And Sell

Posted by admin On October - 25 - 2009

Contrary to popular belief, to be a successful salesperson, it doesn’t matter how much you know about your product or service. It also doesn’t matter how much of an industry expert you are. It doesn’t even matter how great your mother thinks you are. The only thing that really matters to be successful in selling is your ability to shut-up and listen. On numerous occasions, everyone in sales has heard how important it is to get the customer talking, so it’s imperative that they have an arsenal of great questions to ask. Despite trying to follow this guideline, every salesperson seems to overstate the amount of time they believe they allow the customer to talk. The many interviews I’ve conducted over the years with customers and salespeople alike confirm this reality. Therefore, salespeople need to take a step back and consider their sales presentation.
To talk less means you have to ask questions that truly engage the customer. However, this doesn’t mean you need to develop complex questions. Instead, the best tactic is to ask shorter ones. Long questions tend to result in short answers, while short questions will generally result in long answers. An example of a great short question is, “Why?” In my opinion, there isn’t a better follow-up question you can ask after the customer has shared with you some information. Consider how your customers would respond to other short examples like, “Can you elaborate on that?” and “Could you explain more?” These shorter questions elicit detailed responses and that’s just what you want. On the other hand, asking complex questions often tends to perplex customers. Because they are not sure what you are looking for, they respond with the universal answer representing total confusion, “What did you say?” Questions should not be your means of showing your customers that you are an expert. Save that for your statements.

When preparing your sales presentation, a guideline I subscribe to is to limit yourself from talking for more than 20 seconds at a time without asking a question. The question you ask should be one directed at the comments you just made. By doing so, you’re checking with the customer to see if they understood what you just shared with them. Again, this is something many salespeople overlook. They get caught up in sharing with the customer their expertise and the features of their product or service and forget all about what the customer is thinking. Even if your product or service requires a complex presentation, you should still follow this rule. Whether you’re selling software, high value medical equipment, or technical tools, it’s essential to check your clients understanding by asking a question every 20 seconds. Your goal on any sales call is to talk only 20% of the time. To help ensure that this takes place, you have to plan ahead. Before you start developing your sales presentation, create your list of questions. This is contrary to the pattern of most salespeople who often spend a substantial portion of their time developing their presentation and, at the last minute, develop their list of questions.

Consider that if you’re expecting to have a 20 minute presentation, you should have 40 questions (2 questions per minute). Even though you may not use all 40, you’ll definitely be more prepared. In addition, you’ll be able to pick and choose which ones you want to ask. If you’re following the rule of asking short questions, you’ll ensure that the customer is doing most of the talking. You’ll learn valuable information that will help you better understand the customer’s needs. If you want to move your questioning process to the next level, make half of the questions you ask be ones that help the customer see and feel the pain they have. By doing so, they will be much more open to receiving your solution. For example, if you’re selling computer back-up systems, you might ask, “Can you explain to me what happens when data is lost?” This short, concise question is designed to get the customer thinking about the risks they face. Furthermore, the beauty of this type of question is that no matter what the customer’s response is, some good follow-up questions will naturally arise. By adhering to these guidelines, you will be able to see dramatic results in the number of sales you are able to close. As simple as it sounds, the more you shut up, the more you’ll sell. And, the easiest way to achieve this goal is by asking more, short questions. So, shut up and sell!

Brian Tomkins Signs Deal With BFC Ventures and Alacrity Strategies

Posted by admin On October - 26 - 2009

(San Diego, CA) Brian Tomkins, Eric Rice (BFC Ventures), and David Turner (Alacrity Strategies)announced today that they are officially teaming up to form a New Media company, appropriately named Boom Media Inc. By combining the social media expertise of Tomkins and the gritty business savvy of Eric Rice and BFC along with the experience and abilities of David Turner, Boom Media will have the presence that other firms in the emerging sector will not. Having been through the IPO process, twice, David Turner is ready to “step on the gas” with this new project. “I am excited for the simple fact that we are all working together. This truly is a dream team of sorts, I have done millions in sales, Brian has been traveling the country for a couple of years teaching social media and David is simple the best business mind I have encountered” says Rice.
Tomkins states, “I see it all the time right now, social media companies popped up that is, and it bothers me a bit. Most of these guys have never done any real business and are supposed to be the savior of marketing campaigns now. We have the real deal here, this team has made millions and knows what to do to help businesses grow.” Brian Tomkins is an established writer, speaker, entrepreneur and social media icon. He is also an instructor with AMP YOUniversity and a very well know educator. Eric Rice is owns 10 companies and runs the San Diego Entrepreneur Incubator Program. Mr. Rice has also been involved in TV, radio and almost all sectors of financial services. David Turner has gone public twice and owns multiple companies in America as well as China. You can find more information about BFC and Brian Tomkins at www.localsharktank.com.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I saw this and had to share it with the world, what a deal

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tap the world's collective wisdom with social media

People ask me all the time, “How do I advertise on social media?” Advertising is part of the equation, but if you go into social media with an advertising mentality, you may set yourself up for failure.

Social media is about relationship building. Developing strong relationships with your customers, clients, referral partners and employees is more important than advertising. Social media also provides innovative solutions and amazing professional development opportunities because it allows you to connect with the collective wisdom of the world.

Napoleon Hill coined the term “Mastermind Group” while interviewing the most successful Americans 100 years ago. The general concept is to bring 10 to 12 like-minded individuals together to brainstorm and create solutions. It is a setting where people feel comfortable in sharing their business vision and challenges.

Some of us already know perfect candidates for our own mastermind groups. There are also excellent organizations here in the Chicago area such as BNI, ABN, DWPN and chambers of commerce that may provide these forums.

Despite all these opportunities, many people don’t always find the ideal candidates for their own mastermind groups locally and sometimes, they prefer not to. Social media can help you create mastermind groups with people you may have never been able to meet until now.

There are two different approaches to creating a successful mastermind group. One is to create a group where every member comes from a different industry to generate unique perspectives. If you belong to a group like this, do you regularly tap into the collective wisdom of the members? Sometimes the knowledge of the group can be more valuable than leads.

The other approach is to create a mastermind group within the same industry. This style of group can be the most difficult to put together, as the only other members are most likely a business owner’s competitors. Usually, the owner can’t just walk across the street and ask a competitor, “Why are you so successful? Can you help me?”

Salespeople are often put in a setting where bonuses are tied to competition. People in this scenario aren’t always willing to help each other. Social media helps find the right people for collaboration and those people are often in another state and thus, not competitors.

Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter offer amazing opportunities to create virtual mastermind groups. Facebook has recently upgraded their search feature. Use the Facebook search window and type in a word that is relevant to your industry. Until recently, Facebook only found people with that word in their profiles, but now it finds people that mention that word in their updates.

This search tool can help you find like-minded people from other industries as well as your own. A detailed profile helps you find the right people and it helps them find you.

Facebook also has thousands of groups users can join to connect with each other. These groups can be based on actual organizations or they can be groups created exclusively for Facebook. Join them and find innovative people like you.

Twitter also has an advanced search feature. You can find people talking about topics relevant to your business. An excellent tool is Twellow (www.twellow.com), which is a twitter directory. You can find people within this directory based on industry, interests and geography.

You should also list yourself in this directory so the right people can find you. Once you find the right people, no matter where they are in the world, you can collaborate virtually to reach your goals and overcome your challenges.

When I encourage people to share their business challenges, they usually resist. Quite simply, they don’t want to admit their business is struggling. 2009 has been a difficult year for many business owners and entrepreneurs. Many of us are like ducks on a pond: calm on the surface but churning our feet frantically underwater.

If you let your guard down and share your business challenge, you will be amazed at how many people step forward to help you overcome it. They may have recently overcome that challenge or specialize in solving your problem. When you share your challenges with the masses on social media, you can create a mastermind group of thousands.

I use Facebook and Twitter to tap into the collective wisdom of my network all the time. Challenges don’t always have to be major. Every time you have a question, you have a challenge.

I have asked for help finding dependable services, buying the right product and finding good meeting locations. Every time, I found people willing to help. On the other hand, I have found people asking for help with Facebook and Twitter and I was able to help them.

A man in Atlanta posted his four slogan choices on Facebook and people from around the world offered suggestions. A man in New York needed to hire a company to design his logo. He used Facebook and Twitter to offer a prize for a new logo. He quickly received outstanding designs from around the country.

Whether forming mastermind groups or posing questions to the masses, social media may be exactly what you need to reach your goals and overcome your challenges big or small. Remember, no one is as smart as everyone. The collective wisdom of the world is at your fingertips. Tap in.

By Brian Tomkins

Monday, October 5, 2009

Casa Financial is Back

September 23, 2009 --
Brett Mills and Casa Financial are doing some amazing things in San Diego. Casa Financial (www.cfsloans.biz) is a specialized lending firm that partners with current and ex-military, along with the general public to provide top notch service when looking for a home loan. In these times of question Brett and Casa financial have remained a staple of the San Diego mortgage community for years and have nothing but rave reviews from their clients. Brett insists that each loan is reviewed by him before going to the bank. “I just won’t write a bad loan, I have been in the business long enough and plan to stay”, says Mills. Casa Financial was founded by Brett and remains one of the true diamonds in the rough.
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“We lost our son, who we love dearly, last year and had to go dark for a period of time to clear our heads. We are back now and making sure that he sees us daily doing the good things we do. We want to continue to make him proud.” states Mills, an avid family man and pillar of integrity. This small and growing firm was once a powerhouse in the mortgage market before tragedy struck. Casa Financial ensures that each and every person that walks through the door has the same pricing as the last, a rarity in this market. They have not written one bad loan and still thrived as one of the top producing mortgage firms during the boom. Mills, who served 13 years in the Navy, booked the most submarine time in the military during his time in the military. He shows a level of dedication to his business that is only bested by his dedication to his family and this bleeds out into the file of every client Casa Financial serves.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Downtown San Diego Business Owners Support Entrepreneurial Incubator Established By BFC Ventures LLC

Oct 01, 2009 – Today, Eric Rice, founder of the “Fund the Youth” program at BFC Ventures, LLC, formally thanked the businesses of Downtown San Diego who will be participating in “teaching the next generation of entrepreneurs”. “The entrepreneurial incubator is the first of its kind. Our primary focus is to be the backbone for future business owners. We want to teach these kids early on in life the ABC’s of running a business and how to take an abstract idea and turn it into a reality,” Rice was quoted. He went on further to personally thank a few of the companies that endorsed his “Fund the Youth” campaign such as Girlfriend Approved.com, Java Jones, Gourmet India, Brett Mills of Casa Financial Services Inc., A Fond Remembrance, Nextvoice 247 and Unifik Music Co.

Eric Rice created the “Fund the Youth” program in four stages. In every stage of the apprenticeship, the participants would be educated in business strategies, marketing, online social media, management and funding prospects just to name a few. Applications are currently being accepted, and scouts will be available on San Diego college campuses to inform interested parties about the company and answer any questions that they may have.

If you are seeking an apprenticeship such as this or know of a talented individual who would benefit from our program, please contact our “Fund The Youth” Director at Vivian@BFCVentures.com

BFC and Girlfriendapproved.com Join Forces

Oct 02, 2009 – Earlier this month, BFC Ventures, LLC, publicized its plans to nurture and educate the young entrepreneurs of San Diego County through their “Fund the Youth” program. Today, the company welcomed its first enterprise from the entrepreneurial incubator. Eric Rice, Chairman of the Board of Directors, was not surprised when the Board chose the web-based company. “Our company is well-known for our active role in social media. Once we saw the business plan for Girlfriend Approved.com, we knew immediately that it was bound for success. We are overjoyed to provide the necessary resources and publicity for this venture. We support it 200%!” Rice asserted.

Girlfriend Approved.com is set to launch October 2009. The website serves as a review site and web community for beauty professionals and aficionados. For further information, please visit www.facebook.com/girlfriendapproved.

Unifik And The Fund The Youth Program Present Jaime Foxx

Oct 02, 2009 – “Blame it” on The Jay Brown Network along with one of their longtime business partners, Eric Rice of BFC Ventures, LLC and the Fund The Youth Program, to plan a star-studded event set to take place on Saturday, October 3, 2009. Jamie Foxx is confirmed and will be performing live at Stingaree, a posh and state-of-the-art restaurant, nightclub and event center located in Downtown San Diego. Following his performance, Foxx is also set to host the official “Blame It” After Party at the same location. Jay Brown of The Jay Brown Network provided a video earlier today to the hundreds of fans and supporters. He was quoted, “I hope you guys can come out there and join us because these type of events for me it’s all about creating a certain type of atmosphere. By bringing a certain type of people that exude the type of energy and vibe where you will be able to actually feel, physically feel, and have a great time! I want you to experience that Saturday night!” Without a doubt, Brown’s exuberance is shared by many. In a two-day span, the guest list nearly tripled in size, and the reservations will surely continue to climb. As a result, early arrival is strongly recommended.

No More Merchant Services

Oct 02, 2009 – Eric Rice, Chairman of the Board of Directors, announced today that the “Alternative Merchant Services” program is now available to network marketing providers along with their distributors. “The program is going to change the way America does business. Not only will businesses be able to provide more to its consumers, but businesses themselves will also be able to expand and boost America’s economy,” Rice stated. To date, BFC Ventures, LLC, has not officially disclosed its plans for the “Alternative Merchant Services” program. However, their representatives assure the public that the official details will be announced soon.

BFC Ventures, LLC, is a holdings company that partners with entrepreneurs and their organization. Founded by Chicago-natives Eric Rice and Adam Blejski, BFC Ventures, LLC, is a vital resource for small businesses that are experiencing financial issues or operational challenges. The company provides an array of services, including business analysis, entrepreneurial coaching and social marketing, to assist both service and product-focused businesses that are performing below their peak or need assistance in expanding. Based out of San Diego, California, BFC Ventures, LLC, has nearly twenty years of experience in the venture capital industry. Its team of experts specializes in rapid growth and problem-solving with the ultimate goal of doubling or tripling a business owner’s revenue.