What is it going to take to win your business?

If you must ask, “What is it going to take to win your business?” you have lost the battle.  Pack up and go home.  You need to and should know the answer to that question BEFORE you submit any proposal.

This is a sign of a desperate salesperson.  A person that needs to make quota, save their job, or save the company by making quota.  No matter the reason, value and/or profitability are absence from the equation.  Plus, you have lost control of the sales process, winning any future negotiations, or selling on value through any referrals.

The sales process is structured in a way to determine and define value.  What is most important?  What are the reasons for someone to change?  What are the risks if someone does not change? [Read more…]

What Are You Willing to Tolerate?

Last week I spent a day on a ride-along with a sales rep visiting existing accounts and meeting new prospects. The conversations during the miles we covered were mixed between business and personal topics. One personal story was about how the rep can’t find her hotspot at home, so she has been using the cell phone as a hotspot. I asked her how long the hotspot was missing and she said about 3 months. She was not sure if her daughter hid it or the dog ran off and buried it in the backyard.

The following week when the sales report came out, she fell short of her weekly goals.  I reminded her about the story she told me about the missing hotspot. I asked her if she is willing to tolerate substandard results at home, she will also accept substandard results at work and she will never succeed if she continued to believe she doesn’t deserve anything better than what she is getting. [Read more…]

Define Yourself

During a political season, each candidate defines himself or her­self before their opponent does it for them. As the campaigns heat up and issues are tossed around in the media and discussed with friends and neighbors, you can base your beliefs on what you believe to be true, based on your evaluation of each candidate.

The effort to “define yourself ” is not limited to just political fig­ures. You do it for yourself as a salesperson who constantly opens yourself up for acceptance and rejection in the role you play. You also take the risk of letting others define you, causing you to live according to their definition of you instead of your own. But by defining yourself, when you are rejected by prospects, criticized by others and judged by strangers, you will know their judgments to be untrue because you have decisively defined yourself. who-am-i
When you define yourself, you are consciously deciding what your goals and values are now and in the future. To help stay on track when you are tempted to accept and believe criticism, these goals and values determine your daily behaviors and priorities. Here are three questions to ask yourself about who you are and want to be. [Read more…]

Fight and fail; the only option worth taking

Lately it seems I’ve be learning a lot of lessons.  Which is another way of saying; I’ve been attempting new activities and not achieving the preferred outcome.  This is frustrating for me and I imagine the same for others who are constantly doing the same.

I don’t want to learn anymore lessons for a while.  I want a normal day of mediocrity, filled with a calm contentment and no surprises; like working on an assembly line for a few months. [Read more…]

I’m a First Responder to a No Soliciting sign

Last week I made a visit to my neighborhood mobile phone carrier’s retail store and noticed a ‘No Solicitors’ sign in the window.  This gave me pause before entering.  I thought – “I’m a Solicitor, what’s wrong with me.  Why don’t they want me to come in?”

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I peered through the glass like a school boy at a peep show, wondering what is going on inside that I was forbidden to see.  Others inside the store began to look at me and I finally mustered up the guts to pull the door open and walk in.

I stopped as everyone looked at me and said, “I saw the No Solicitors sign.  I’m a salesman.  I sell for a living.  What do you folks do behind the counter?  Are you salespeople?  Can I come in?”  [Read more…]

You Don’t Need to Educate Your Prospects

At the beginning of class I usually ask the question, “What is the goal of your sales call; whether it is on the phone or in person?”  I always hear someone say, “I need to educate my prospect.”  I replied with “Educate them on what?”  They say, “On my products, our services, the company, my experience.”  “Is that where you want the focus during the rest of the meeting – on you?” I response.  “Well, they need to know what I offer in order for them to buy from me.” They say.  “And that’s your goal of the sales call?”  “Yes,” they reply. [Read more…]

The One Word to Stop Using

One of the services I offer clients is selecting and hiring superstar salespeople. I work with them on weeding through resumes and asking questions during interviews. During one of the interviews, last week, I asked a candidate to describe a superstar salesperson, and they replied with, “someone that is helping customers solve problems.” Is this how you describe a superstar salesperson? [Read more…]

It’s the bottom of the 7th and you’re trailing

Your team has just taken the field after another inning with no hits. You have 2 more chances at bat to change the score from being behind 5 to 3. Your focus is currently on being defensive with throwing more strikes than hits and making more outs than errors. But, you also have to get some hits in when you’re up to bat. What can you do to get more hits? That is the question.

OutfielderThis is the same question salespeople need to ask themselves when they are in the last two months of the year and they are 25% away of reaching their annual quota. You cannot have another year when you don’t make quota. At this point, with the current sales pipeline, you will fall short by $67,000 in revenue. What can you do to change the outcome of the year and make your quota? [Read more…]

Self-forgiveness Begins with Others

Jack was playing center outfield during the third game of the season. He’ll be 10 this year and is starting to refine his baseball talents. It’s his favorite sport with football a close second.

In the fifth inning a pop fly was hit in his direction. He got under it, adjusted his stance, focused on the falling ball but couldn’t hold on to it and dropped it. He grabbed the ball and threw it to second base. The batter was safe.

He had a tough time letting that error go. Jack is one of the better players on the team. He commits to keeping his skills sharp with additional practices in the off season and learning by watching professional MLB players on television.
Baseball player jumps high to catch a fly ballDuring the ride home, Jack was silent, though his team won. His father asked him what’s wrong. He just kept repeating he should have caught that pop up in the fifth. He couldn’t forgive himself.

His father reminded him of a last game they played when one of Jack’s teammates, Taylor, missed a pop up, causing the team to lose the game. Jack criticized Taylor all the way home and blamed him for losing the game. “Perhaps the withheld forgiveness that Jack held towards Taylor is the same withheld forgiveness Jack feels towards himself,” his father thought. He shared that thought with his son. Then he thought about it in his own life. [Read more…]

This is a No-Brainer Decision

He walked into my office, sat down and was debriefing the last sales call he went on and expressed some frustration on why they didn’t buy. He explained all the benefits of his product and how low the price is compared to his competitors. He closed his presentation with the statement “this is a no-brainer decision.” Yet he cannot understand why the prospect didn’t buy.

I replied with a simple question, “What are their reasons to buy?” He paused, but couldn’t think of any. He said, “It’s a simple decision. Can’t they see the value?” [Read more…]