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Everyone Sells

Vincent Van Gogh is considered to be one of the greatest artists in the world. He had extraordinary painting ability and creativity that rivaled the Renaissance Masters. Vincent Van Gogh was a prodigy. Despite his raw talent, his art was either criticized or hardly noticed in his day. Now his paintings can go for over 130 million dollars. (1) Clearly, raw talent does not always lead to reached goals and a prosperous life. In the sales world, employees and employers search for the false idea of “the sales gene.” Employers look for the perfect sales person — a Vincent Van Gogh of sales — to hire; they look for someone with empathy, charisma, and boldness. We desire and strive to be that perfect salesperson: someone born with the natural talents needed to succeed. Obviously we all want to be successful, but nobody is born with a gene to see success. We are born with natural talents, but that doesn’t equate always to results. Without a success gene, we are dependent on a system to achieve results.

Although we may not recognize it, everyone sells in their life. There are many times in our day when we are engaged in the “sales process.” When we want to convince someone that our opinion on politics is the right one, we are selling. When a parent tries to persuade their child to do or not do something, they are selling. When we try to convince ourselves to do something hard, we are selling. Even when we make goals to improve ourselves, we are participating in the same principles that govern sales. Everyone sells.

Griffin Hill’s founder, Dr. Scott Baird created the Griffin Hill Integrity Sales System. In a Google search for “selling,” you will find that the most common topic is: “How do I get a sale?” The Griffin Hill Integrity Sales System is the answer. From the title, this system is founded on integrity, but it is also a principle based selling system – meaning that it is governed by natural laws in human psychology. It is the organic, natural, and pure element of the selling world. It is sales at its finest and brings the user to higher planes of success.

Everyone sells in their life, although most do not realize it. The System, because it is founded on natural principles can be applied and used to reach goals in almost any area of life – not just the world of sales and entrepreneurship. It is not uncommon for us to hear that the System has helped clients in their personal life. One individual learned from the “Overcoming the Objection Play” how to speak to argumentative people without becoming argumentative themselves. Another learned from the “Needs Audit” how to ask good questions to facilitate self-discovery. In short – the System can be put into the context of any worthwhile goal and it becomes the way to achieve it. We invite you to learn more and try it out for yourself.


Vision: What Is Your System?

Spring has arrived. Blossoms are bursting on the trees and in the fields. It is finally the season where we get to put seeds back into the soil and watch as the world re-grows and renews. Cultivating a garden is not always easy. Planting too early can lead to seeds frosting over and dying, while planting too late can lead to sun scorched buds that dry out and perish. With the renewal of life, let us also renew our vision of life and avoid those seeds being lost in the burnt or frosty soils of failure.

A proverb states: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” This little verse is one we like to consider at Griffin Hill. This adage states the truth regardless of how you apply it in your life, business or personal. In the same way that a flower dies without proper timing and nourishment, sales, business, and personal goals all require vision, or they will wilt. When there is no vision, we lose our sense of direction. Purpose and meaning vanish away from our day to day activities. Vision in business is the water, sunlight, and proper timing that will yield success.

It is important to realize that vision is quite different from just a dream. We talk about dreams like they are great ideas — good things that we hope will one day come to us. Dreams are vapor. They are as insubstantial as mist. They invite us to hope, but they sometimes fail to drive us to act. Vision, however, is a word with roots that mean “I know” and “I Clearly see”. Vision is powerful. Vision brings us, not to some imaginary “I hope so”, but instead, it leads us to our highest achievements. A vision drives us to act, because we know it is attainable. Vision may be currently out of reach, but with effort and correct systems it can be achieved.

The means by which we attain our vision all comes down to the systems we use. We use them in our thoughts every day, whether we are consciously aware of it or not. The ways we choose to think, the words we choose to say, and the actions we choose to take all make up our personal systems. Many of those day-to-day acts actually frustrate our ability to attain our goals. We are our own block to achieving our vision! If we master thinking thoughts, speaking words, and acting in ways that empower us to move forward, we can rocket ourselves forward towards achievement.

As we looked at the proverb before, it states: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” In Japanese, the translation has a much deeper meaning. It states that where there is no vision, the people act on their own selfish inclinations, and therefore perish!

Our own personal systems are not always the best ones to employ to reach our goals. Certainly our reflexes will tend to lead us off the path of achievement. One habit that will prove helpful to achieving our vision is learning to think positively. This is, of course, easier said than done. He who takes setbacks and challenges as opportunities for growth is on the right path. Guide your thoughts to a more positive level. Notice when you are beginning to slip into a negative mindset and change your perspective then and there. The longer we go down the path of negativity and laziness, the more difficult it will be to change our perspective. This is a very rudimentary example of a habit or “system” that can be applied.

At Griffin Hill we believe in employing a system because we know it works! That is exactly why the Griffin Hill Integrity Sales System is sometimes just called “The System.” It has changed our lives. It has changed our client’s lives. It can change yours. Find out how.

Process to Success

From field hockey to soccer, baseball to lacrosse, all sports have a well defined playing field. Even swimming has specific lane lines and distances. Staying within the lines and boundaries are crucial to gaining skill and ultimately winning. When it comes to the Griffin Hill Integrity Sales System, it is Process that establishes the boundaries of sales.

Although the Griffin Hill System is made up of Process, Plays, Metrics and Coaching, Process provides the structure for everything. Plays are the meat that hang on the skeletal structure of Process. Metrics are only defined by advancing a sale through the Process. Even Coaching is determined in the context of Process.

The Griffin Hill Six Step Sales Process, also known as “The System”, is the most efficient way to solve the problem of how to get a sale. Each step marks a psychological milestone on the road to qualification and persuasion. Because the steps are easily identifiable it is simple to track the progress of a sale from the first “hello” to the close.

The sequential nature of the steps gives clear direction of what steps to take along the way. With Process, the salesperson knows exactly what to do next as well as how to prepare effectively for the next sales meeting. That kind of clear direction builds confidence in the salesperson. Confidence is contagious; prospects will catch it, building the needed positive momentum in a sale.

The Six Step establishes the common language that defines the interaction between a salesperson and the prospect. Each step is rich with meaning and expectations via communication. That common language of Process facilitates a depth of interaction between peers, salespeople, managers, and business owners that will prove to be incredibly profitable.

The Six Steps begin by breaking the ice and stimulating interest through the Case Open. Then, the Needs Audit creates a mutual discovery experience for both the salesperson and the prospect. Prospects do most of the talking during the needs audit. The salesperson serves the role of wise guide. In the Solution Presentation the roles are reversed and the wise guide becomes more assertive with ideas and solutions. The salesperson consumes most of the clock as alternatives and their relative benefits are presented. Sometimes the process needs a little bit of flexibility and that is the role of the Adapted Solution and the Closing Interaction steps. The close does not complete the process. There is still Fulfillment and Follow-up. As a performer with integrity, the salesperson is required to deliver and insure that the customer receives what the salesperson promised.

There they are — the six steps of the Sales Process! Case Open, Needs Audit, Solution Presentation, Adapted Solution, Closing Interaction and Fulfillment and Follow-up. These six steps are the most efficient and effective way to parse the problem of how to get a sale. They make up the lane lines of the swimming pool, the boundary lines of the football field, and the path to success in sales.

You can learn more about what the Process can do for you specifically in a video of our founder Dr. Scott Baird that can be accessed here!

Positioning is Power in the Sales Process

In the Integrity Sales System, the Positioning Play, found in the Case Open step of the process, is an indispensable tool! The Positioning Play is a game changer! Even though the principle is introduced early in the system, it’s such a powerful play that it should be used throughout the sales process. It strengthens your credibility, establishes expectations, and elevates the experience for all parties involved.

The key for creating a strong positioning statement is understanding exactly what space you want to occupy. What space in your prospect’s mind would you like to own?

For example, when most people think of their “dream car” or “the most luxurious automobile” there are a few very specific makes and models that may come to their mind. At times the image of the “dream car” may even be as specific as its color! That make and model of car has occupied — has owned — that client’s space in their mind as “the most luxurious automobile.” When our prospects and clients are in need of the products and services that we offer, our name, our make, and our model must occupy their mind. This is what powerful positioning looks like.

Dr. Scott Baird shares with us the analogy of the different pieces in a chess game and how at the beginning of the game the queen, although the most powerful piece on the board, due to her position, is unable to be used to the fullest of her potential. Instead, the knight becomes the most powerful piece at the beginning. We must protect ourselves by understanding where we fall. Then we must position ourselves strategically on the board to win.

Maybe we are the biggest and strongest like the Queen piece. If so, then we must ensure our position protect us against the knights. If we be the knights in our space we must strategically position ourselves in a place and space that we can win. They that are strategically and deliberately executing the Position Play will put the odds of success in their favor.

Because we are desiring to stake a claim and occupy a space, it must be stated often. Repetition is key! For that reason, we strongly encourage your positioning to be twelve words or less.

For example, the positioning statement of: “We help our clients take control of the sales process!” can be used often throughout the sales process to strengthen credibility, establish expectations, and elevate the client’s experience.

Here’s an example: During my first interaction at the Case Open stage I state my position. Later on in the sales process as I’m making my proposal I could re-stake my claim by restating my position: “As a coach and an expert in helping clients take control of the sales process, my recommendation is . . .” This can come in handy even during an upset call or while overcoming objections: “I appreciate you sharing those concerns with me. Rest assured, you’ve called the right place. Our goal is to help clients take control of the sales process. Tell me more about the situation you are facing.”

There is great value in having a clear, specific positioning statement and using it often. There is value in having a positioning statement not only for your organization but for the title or role you have within the organization. A individualistic position reinforces in the mind of your prospects the role and value you have within your organization and the benefits of engaging in business with you.

I invite you to take it a step even further. On a more personal note, determine what your positioning in life is. What space do I want to occupy in my family’s, co-worker’s, or community’s minds? Am I staking my claim strongly and boldly?

The key of strong positioning is knowing the space we want to occupy. Too often we place fate in our client’s hands, hoping and wishing that because of our attributes and behavior they will recognize and state our desired position. We must take ownership of that and control our own destiny. Stake your claim, own your space and live in such a way that your actions are supportive and congruent with your claim. Go position yourself!

High Performance Journal: Key to Success

Life is saturated in goals. We often begin the New Year strong with resolutions which include daily, weekly, and annual goals. We set business, family, financial, and educational goals, and have to-do lists that litter our day to day life. It is human nature to want to achieve, grow, and gain. It is in our blood to have a constant need to reach higher. As common as goals are, failure to meet those goals is unfortunately common as well. We overreach, we get lazy, we don’t tap into correct resources, we don’t reflect, and therefore we don’t hit our goals. The High Performance Journal (HPJ) is the answer to the question of how to consistently reach our goals.

Thomas S. Monson, a religious leader stated: “When performance is measured performance improves.” This philosophy defines the principles behind the High Performance Journal. It is a place to record, reflect, evaluate and track progress; all of these features are structured in a simple and easy-to-use interface and tracks five dimensions of achievement to keep you on track. The High Performance Journal is infinitely greater than a store bought notebook or computer spreadsheet. It is founded on goal achieving research that helps keep the users eye on the target. It is by following true principles of evaluation that performance increases.

The High Performance Journal is easy to use and can be accessed from the internet or a smartphone. Keeping goals easily accessible will prove to be a powerful feature in helping users reach them, and that is the purpose of journaling in the sales world – achievement! Reaching seemingly unreachable goals! With the HPJ, users attain higher levels of success than ever before.

When used with goal setting and achievement, the HPJ insures persistent goal behavior. It protects against premature termination of the goal and goal-oriented behavior. It helps the user to capture important insights from instructional opportunities of all kinds. Classroom learning, webinar participation, even church meetings become more powerful performance enhancing experiences using the HPJ. The journal enhances critical thinking skills and helps users identify which elements of the instruction were most valuable to them.

The High Performance Journal works for more than just sales. Whether it is a diet, an exercise program, a desire to be more kind to others, or any other goal, HPJ is the key. By recording, reflecting, and using the five dimensions of achievement found in the HPJ users will revolutionize their goals and goal setting mindset.

Find out more about the High Performance Journal and what goals it can help you achieve. Revolutionize your goal setting by clicking here!

Build the Relationship

In sales we like to talk about making connections. You start a relationship, you hopefully get a sale, and then it’s over. You move on to someone else. In other words, we care about our prospects; we give them our attention and do all we can to assist them. We build a relationship with that prospect. But as soon as their money is in our pocket, we are out of there. This approach can feel automatic, the natural order of how sales work, and honestly, it can feel a little dirty. It lacks integrity. It does not include the idea of continuing the relationship.

When we talk to our prospects and tell them that we are going to do everything we can to ensure they receive the benefits we promise, we should intend to keep those promises at any cost. Even though their money is collected, it’s important to continue to schedule appointments with them. Participate in continuing the relationship. There are many effective ways to do so. One way is to discover more about what they struggle with and provide additional services. A second way is to continue to collect referrals. Third, and one of the most important, is to continue to follow up on your services to ensure your prospect is continuing to reap the benefits you promised.

First, continue to sell. Selling is not a one-on-one only situation. In the sales process, as you ask questions, you discover who your prospect really is. One way to continue that relationship is to return and begin a new sales process, offering something else that they may be in need of. Ask more questions to learn what other needs they have and ways that you can assist them in satisfying those needs. Just because you have already sold to you prospect doesn’t mean that there is not more value you have to offer. Continue that relationship by providing them with new useful services.

Sales can sometimes be isolating. We get so focused on our prospect that everything else fades into the background. We should remember, however, that they are a human being just like us! They have co-workers, friends, family members, and other companies they have networked with that may also be in need of your services. Strengthen your relationships with your prospect by getting more referrals. Ask powerful questions that stimulate faces and names in the mind of your prospect. To learn more about how to ask good questions in the sales process, click here!

Finally, use this opportunity to continue to ensure you are providing excellent service to them. Ask them how things are going. Bring statistics that you have collected as further evidence that you have delivered on your promises. Then, collect proofs from them of what they liked about the services you have provided them.

At the end of the sales cycle, we tend to drop our clients. We finish the deal and walk away. We search for new people to sale to. Avoid that mistake and instead, grow the relationship you have with your prospect. Reap the rewards of doing so, for they are rich and vast.

Relationship building is not just an aspect of the Griffin Hill system — it is the system. For more helpful hints and tips click here!

Cure for the Amateur Salesperson: Frame It!

Every parent is familiar with “fridge art” — the steady flow of drawings and paintings produced by children for household display. The gallery of choice for most families is the refrigerator. In our family, occasionally, we selected a piece of “fridge art” for framing. The transformation was immediate and astonishing. The frame made the chosen piece instantly more professional and attractive. Instead of child art trying to look professional, it became professional art conveying a childlike quality. The frame made all the difference.Child's picture

Frames are used to focus attention. They provide definition. They set apart a theme from competing subjects. But framing can refer to more than just a picture. Framing is a state of mind and cognitive processes. One’s frame of mind can influence choices, decision making and behavior. Influencing the frame of mind of a suspect or prospect is fundamental to persuasion and sales.

An amateur salesperson will ignore their prospects frame of mind. A skilled salesperson, on the other hand, will be focused on the influence they have over the frame of mind being established throughout the sales process. Even when a salesperson isn’t consciously aware, the Griffin Hill Integrity Sales System helps clients manage the frame of mind of their suspects and prospects.

The Case Open Routine helps to establish a positive frame of mind by telling the suspect who we are, what we do and why people just like them care. This leads perfectly into offering examples of how we have done that, followed by an invitation to talk about the prospect’s goals and priorities. In the Griffin Hill system, plays represent the key principles that help to establish the frame of mind. In the Case Open Routine, which is the first engagement between salesperson and suspect, the basic plays are Rapport, Position, Benefit, Proof and Schedule the Next Event. These plays create a favorable frame of mind in the suspect that stimulates interest in what the salesperson has to offer.

Often a gap of time sits between the Case Open Routine and the next step in the sales process, the Needs Audit Routine. In this in-between, the frame of mind created by the initial interaction decays and is lost, regardless of if you are an amateur salesperson or a professional one. In a complex or multi-stage sale, similar erosion can occur between the various meetings in the sales process.

Knowing how to create, nurture, sustain, and re-establish a favorable frame of mind is the domain of great salespeople. Lesser salespeople may appear to have the same level of maturity, intelligence, social skill, and work ethic as great sales people but for unseen reasons they simply can’t produce at the same rate. The answer to such an issue may be found in managing the frame mind.

Take a page from the Integrity Sales System. Create the right frame of mind in the very first interaction—the Case Open Routine. Using those same skills, start every meeting with the re-frame play—get everyone back into the same frame that you originally built around your sales process. Stimulate interest, desire, and urgency again.

Success is all a frame of mind. When you, as the sales person are armed with the right system of process and plays, it puts you in a positive frame of mind. Using the plays in a systematic way shapes the frame of mind for your suspects and prospects.

So, how do you break out of the box of the amateur salesperson and make the move to the professional? Frame It! Learn more sales tips at the Griffin Hill Youtube channel!

Objections — Stepping Stones to Success

For a salesperson, objections should not come as any surprise. Prospects objecting to a sales pitch is incredibly common—even expected. Yet still, when we hear an objection, our body seizes up, we break out in cold sweat, and we are tempted to pounce to silence all possible objections. We do so, usually with the best intentions, namely, we desire to help hush the fears of our prospects. Unfortunately, we typically battle the prospects objection aggressively. The question then becomes: how do you effectively deal with objections without making it a confrontation?

First, what most people jump to that you shouldn’t, is pressure the prospect. Do not apply pressure, not in the least. Should someone push against you, the natural human response is to push back just as hard – to resist. Obviously this is not a place you want to be as a salesperson. Pressure, pushing, and guilting your prospect is the kiss of death in an objection scenario.

In the ancient martial art of Tai Chi Chuan it is illustrated that to be rooted to the ground, you must be like a mountain. The same principle is true in the case of an objection. Should you choose to go outside and push against the mountain, you won’t find much success in moving it. However, the mountain equally does not push back at you. In martial arts, to push back would be to imbalance yourself, making you vulnerable to attack. In the case of a sale, pushing back will also throw off your balance and you will be vulnerable to losing this deal. Be like the mountain. Be strong, rooted, and confident in your reaction to the objection, but do not push back against your prospect.

In reality, objections can be a great stepping stone towards a successful close, rather than an obstacle standing in your way. Rather than immediately justifying or parrying the objection, ask additional questions. Seek to understand better the objection and where your prospect is coming from. The first key to solving a problem is naming the problem. You must understand your prospect’s concerns at the roots and it is essential that you understand it from their perspective, not just your own.

These same principles are used in many other areas to build relationships rather than tear them down. Asking questions has been used in marriage counseling, therapy, and relational communication. Asking questions about the objection leads to understanding. Contradicting the objection leads to arguments.

After understanding the objection, diagnose it. If you solve it—then solve it. If you cannot immediately solve the problem, then minimize it. This is one of the main plays in the Integrity Sales System that we call Overcoming the Objection Play. The beauty of it is in its simplicity. The power of this play is like the mountain—humbly immovable and resolute, neither yielding, nor fighting back. Overcoming the Objection is directly applicable to both the sales system and to every day relationships. By applying these principles, you will be able to use Objections as stepping stones. You will close more deals. Give it a try – and check out more on the Integrity Sales System and its series of effective plays by clicking here.