February 2012 . www.conference-news.co.uk . 85 MOTIVATIONI've upped my sales - up yours!Motivation speaker Andy Edwards explains his new equation for winning businessI almost get bored with hearing it and seeing it print, so I try to avoid saying it myself; but this phrase really sums up the quest for better sales (or any) performance: 'If you keep doing what you've always done - you'll get what you've always got'. Variations on the theme suggest that the defi nition of madness is to expect something different from the same input.But there are always 'reasons':. 'We need to keep our noses to the grindstone'. 'Things will come good, as they have in the past'. 'This is no time to take risks, Andy!'. 'We need to hunker down, consolidate, cut costs'. 'It's tough out there!'Which is where the 'up yours' element of this article's title so beautifully captures the dual meaning. That is: 1) You, too, can get more sales by changing your approach and 2) I (metaphorically) thumb my nose at you as I win yet more business by being prepared to try something different.Things have, indeed, changed out there. Commercial decisions are taken with considerably more attention to the value of the transaction. This is a good thing, but you must understand what it means. Let me give you a couple of examples (taken from today's tough market).I have just accepted a speaking slot for a UK national conference. Nothing strange there, it's my job. But this relatively small organisation told me that my lowest quote was more than three times the amount they had ever paid for a speaker (which wasn't a lot!). But why did they book me?Or, what about last year, when I undertook a speaking tour of the West of England on behalf of a national business assistance organisation. They paid me 40 per cent more than my previous work with them, and gave me 25 per cent more work volume. Why?The reason for my own continued and systematic increase in business is based on the business growth equation at the bottom of the page. Simply put: the more people you know, and the better you know them, coupled with your ability to exert infl uence at the right time, is the extent to which you will make sales. Simple.The two 'biggies' here are Relationships and Value. Here are a couple of examples of how to up your sales based on each.Concentrate on the relationshipImagine meeting with a corporate client who is considering a series of conferences. Suddenly, just 30 minutes into the meeting, he jumps to his feet and says "Right!"Would you jump up, too, in order to match his body language, and (with respect to his personality type) tell him that you recognise he is busy and will get back to him with a proposal in the next few days? Most salespeople would.Doing something different (and quite brave) looks like this:You stay seated and trust the fl edgling relationship. You look up at him and say something like "Sorry Jim, I was hoping to (n business relationships x d) + t demonstration of value = salesWhere n = the number of relationships, d = depth of those relationships and t = timeliness.
86 . www.conference-news.co.uk . February 2012ask you a few more questions in order to get a proposal that makes sense. Is my time up today?"To which he answers. "Time up? Good God, no! I just need a pee!"This is based on a true story. The salesperson got another hour with the CEO and was able to fi nd a near perfect solution resulting in a lucrative international contract.Concentrate on the valueAn International banking fi rm asks you what you would charge for a one-day motivational conference locally for 'about 250 delegates next November'.A good salesperson might even ask a few questions of their own based on the mechanics/logistics of the intended conference before providing a ballpark fi gure.Doing something different (and quite brave) looks like this:"Jan, I'm curious, what will be the result of this motivational conference? Can I ask you what you mean by (and how you might measure) 'Motivated Staff'?The salesperson concentrates on the outcome of the conference - and helps the bank apply a value to that outcome by asking questions. This might involve a calculator - but my tip is to get THEM to use it.The bank says: 'Motivated staff are less likely to leave'.You say: 'What is the current rate of churn? What could you get it down to? How much does it cost to replace a staff member?' You work out they could save a total of £148,000 by reducing staff churn.Motivated staff are sick less oftenWhat's the current average number of sick days? What should it be? How much does a sick day cost the bank (salary for the day, cost of temp staff or overtime etc)? So, by reducing sick days by 15 per cent you could save the bank £60,000 in productivity costs?Motivated staff also put in more discretionary effort.If you were able to help staff fi nd half an hour per day, what would be the value of that over a working year? And £1,500 per team member can add up to a lot over a year.You are now talking the language of 'Value' rather than 'Cost'. As your client adds up the potential value they will start to see your involvement as their 'Investment' rather than your 'Price'.In terms of its intended outcomes, the value of the conference (a true case) was nearly £1 million to the bank (which they hadn't worked out). When the sales person put the proposal together, she included a value statement and suggested the bank's investment in her services as a percentage of this amount. She got the business.And so will you, if you build trusting relationships and illustrate compelling value.Motivated staff are less likely to leave and put in more discretionary effort Andy EdwardsAndy Edwards is a professional motivational conference speaker. For details: visit www.nine5three.com MOTIVATION