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…]

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…]

7 Words to Remove From Your Sales Vocabulary

Will Rogers said, “You never have a second chance to make a first impression.”  Often salespeople can use one seemingly innocent word that immediately defines a conversation as a sales-pitch and triggers the defensive shields of suspicion in the prospect.  Words have meaning and we want to make sure the words we use as content accurately represent our desired intent.  Just as important, words hold different meanings and significance based on one’s past experiences.  If we use one of these “trigger” words, we could easily insult a prospect and devalue the service we provide.  Here are the 7 in no particular order: [Read more…]

Leaders Never Stop Learning

This time of year there is a buzz with back to school and back to business, like the beginning of a new year.  As you probably know the school year was established around the harvest season, yet it has not changed as our country has evolved into a more industrial age.

Watching successful sales leaders, one of the first questions I ask is “What books have you read recently?”  There is never a hesitation to share a title or author.  Every day delivers an opportunity to learn something new if we have the Wonder.  The Wonder is the first step of change.

We have to ask ourselves, [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…]

When They Say NO!

Most salespeople will admit they don’t like hearing a “No” from prospects during the sales process. There is a small sting of rejection that is hard to accept with a lingering sense of discouragement. This is not uncommon and if you feel this way, you are not alone. [Read more…]

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…]