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…]

Prospects Define Value by Your Commitment and Persistence

Lately I’m hearing a lot of salespeople say they call prospects, leave messages and they never call them back.  Most times the prospect doesn’t answer the phone.  In an age where every phone has Caller ID it is a split second decision is quickly ignore the interruption.  When this is true most of the time, we want to ask ourselves, “Why?”

Salesperson Phone

The strongest influence in personal behavior is weighing the consequences of any action.  What are the consequences of answering the phone or returning a voice mail message of any unknown person?  Another factor in determining what we do and don’t is fear.  Combine those two and here is what the prospect is thinking; “I don’t know this person; I don’t know why they are calling; I’m busy; I’m afraid if I answer, I’ll never get that time back; and if I avoid it, it will go away.”  And guess what, you do.  You stop calling.  The prospect was right! [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…]

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…]

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…]