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…]

Why Won’t They Return My Call?

Probably the most asked question when discussing frustrating situations for salespeople.  My response is; “Why?  Why should they return your call?  What’s in it for them?”

You had a conversation with them.  They asked you some questions.  You asked them some questions.  But did you uncover and help them discover their reasons to take another step in the sales process towards their desired outcome?  Let me stress – their reasons – to continue – not yours.

Prospects are motivated to act based on their reasons, not yours.  They are selfish that way.  And they should be.  They are guarded, cautious, protective, defensive, offensive and skeptical.  More importantly, they are cheap, frugal, tight, and prudent.  All of which can work towards your advantage, if you position yourself correctly.  Let me explain, but first, ask you a question. [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…]

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…]

7 Assumptions – Which Ones to Make and Others to Avoid

We define our reality of a situation based on our past experiences, judgments, internal beliefs and bias. All mixed together and weighed differently, we create our perception. No two realities are the same.

But is our perception of reality true? It’s real? Yes. No one can take away your reality. But what’s real, may not be true. That is the questions we need to consider as we encounter new situations.

Below is a list of assumptions that may be part of our reality, and should be given a second thought to determine if they are true. Be conscious of them as we engage with others.

1) Prospect will only buy from me if I have the lowest price. If the prospect is making their decision on the lowest price, and not dealing in commodities, they are probably not talking to a salesperson, they are probably buying off the Internet. Salespeople add value to the purchasing process. And that is a benefit salespeople often forget when fighting a prospect on price. Prospects mask their vulnerability and lack of knowledge by putting up a front of buying on price. Prospect are guarded and their own skepticism and misconceptions prevent them from being open-minded and learning more about what makes a product different and the impact of that difference to them. [Read more…]

Who Knows More About the Problem

Last week’s post, Whose Eggs are They? (http://mnsales.com/eggs/), generated a common perspective of the interaction between a prospect and salesperson.  Below is the comment with my reply.  If you’d like to comment, I welcome your perspective.

“I would recommend just a bit of twist on this analogy to really make it stick.  I think the comment of “we have to help our customers find their eggs” is just a slight bit off.  I think the customer knows where their eggs are most of the time, we as professional sales people have to help them feel comfortable in revealing their eggs (problems) to us!  It is human nature to hide or mask any weakness or mistakes. We know where they are most of the time. We don’t need help finding them, we need help in admitting to the problem and in guiding our customers to a better way.  I also would not start with the consequences for not buying from me.  I would start with connecting with the customer so they know and understand that I am competent and that I have character.  Once this is established, they will trust me and as we all know, you have nothing without trust.  My two cents!”  – Rob

Thanks Rob for your comment and sharing your perspective.  With your two cents, I see two areas I’d like to touch on.  And thank you again for submitting your comment.  I’m grateful and welcome your response. [Read more…]

You’re Not Being Tested

He walked into my office and sat down.  I asked him, “How you doing since our last session?”  He replied with, “I’m still struggling with confidence.  I wish I saw me how others see me.  I want to earn their (prospects) respect and when they come into the store, I want them to value working with me.  I want to offer them value, so they’ll buy from me.”

I asked him, “What do you think would be of value for them?”  He answered with, “The benefits of the machine.  What it can do.  To show them I know what I’m talking about.”

He obviously had been through the standard, new hire sales training program that emphasis’ features and benefits, with a summary test on product knowledge before releasing them into the wild.  This traditional onboarding program gives him great frustration, because he is not making his numbers and the month is closing in 12 days. [Read more…]

How Not to Turn Your Product into a Commodity

I was working in the office one afternoon when two salespeople from an office supply company walked in. After they introduced themselves, they wasted no time noticing the laser printer on my desk. One quickly stated, “I see you have the Brother 2170. I can save you money on your toner.” With a saddened look and tone, I asked, “Why do you have to be like that?”

They looked puzzled and one asked, “Like what?” I responded by saying, “You come into my office and insult me.” With a bemused look on his face he said, “I didn’t insult you. I just said I could save you money on your toner. You want to save money, right?” That statement only made it worse. [Read more…]

What is the Goal?

When I ask the entire sales department hierarchy, from the CEO to front line salespeople the question; “What is the goal,” the answers are not the same from everyone.  This can cause a lack of focus and collaboration from everyone trying to work together.

I recently attended a growing your business seminar with Alan Klapmeier as the keynote speaker and he defined personal success as 1) have a lot of fun, 2) make a lot of money and 3) change the world; and if you achieve 2 out of 3 you would be moderately successful.  If you only had one of them, you would have failed.  For instance, making a lot of money, but not having any fun or changing the world would be defined as an unhappy life.

Is that your definition of personal success?  Is there anything missing?  Take time to reflect.  (I will do the same and send an update if I find something.)

Let’s look at incorporating personal success and our professional career as a salesperson or CEO and answer to the question, “What is the Goal?”  [Read more…]

Sync or Sink

Salespeople and business owners risk sinking when their target is not defined and they try to be everything to everyone.  When a hunter goes deer hunting, how many pheasants do they bring home?  None.  The customers and clients you target will determine how successful your business will be in the future, because these prospects are in sync with your product offering. [Read more…]