Who Defines the Marketplace?

Remember your first day at a new company? Maybe you started the company and were so excited you can hardly sleep. There was an unstoppable ambition fueled by a desire to succeed. Do you still have that desire? What changed?

A successful life is built on a daily commitment to optimism. Optimism has two parts. The first is maintaining a hopeful outlook before a decision is made; the other is dwelling on the most positive aspects of a decision afterwards. With all the life changes we experience, voluntary and involuntary, we must be optimistic. [Read more…]

The Most Important Question You Could Ask a Prospect

Seems like the greatest competition we face is not another company targeting our prospects in a shared marketplace, rather prospects deciding to do nothing or to take on doing the task themselves.  Unfortunately, untrained salespeople that love to talk and demonstrate how much they know originate the option of doing it yourself (DIY) in the prospects mind.  This does a strong disservice to them, because the salesperson is suppose to know more than them, so they get hired.  Or the salesperson makes the buying process (i.e. making the prospect chose from too many different options) so difficult to understand, the prospect’s frustration cause them to stall in moving forward with the project. [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…]

What Makes You Think I Need Your Help?

There are two types of answers prospects will give a salesperson.  One will position them in the best light, which means they will not share their ‘warts’ or problems with you.  Tough to work with anyone that is not completely honest with you.  The other one is when they are upfront about the challenges and struggles they are facing.  The one the prospect uses is decided by the way the salesperson positions themselves at the beginning of the conversation. [Read more…]

FOCUS: Think Inside the Box.

How many times have you heard the saying, “Think outside the box?” I have to weigh in on a different perspective after hearing it recently and giving it some thought. After all perspective determines our truth and our truth is what we believe. Those beliefs influence our actions that deliver the met or unmet results and outcomes.

My proposal to you is that you consider; “Thinking inside the box.” Here is what I mean. Inside the box is defined by a set boundaries or walls. These walls are made up of rules that define the space inside and out. Within the box offers the freedom of creativity, and a specific focus. [Read more…]

Top 7 Mistakes Salespeople Make on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is like most business tools and sales techniques.  They are only as good as you use them.  And they want to be used.

Below are the top mistakes salespeople make when attempting to build credibility and demonstrate their professional commitment to their sales career, employers, clients and the marketplace.  All are possible with the free version of LinkedIn and you can start applying them today.

Attend our Workshop on Thursday, April 24th at the Better Business Bureau from 8:30 to Noon.  For more information  → CLICK HERE [Read more…]

Why Now?

It is common knowledge that people buy emotionally and justify the purchase intellectually.  And people will buy based in their reasons, not the salespersons; which is why you will want to focus your conversations on them, rather than yourself.

Rule #1 in sales is; “It’s about them.”  It is about their needs and wants, not what you have and offer.  When you focus on them, you will ask more questions, while you focus on listening.  You will let them talk and tell you their story.  People love to talk about themselves.  Let them be the storyteller, again, while you listen. [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…]