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…]

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…]

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…]

Differences cause wars

I’m going out on a limb here and today I’m going to balance out the popular conviction that salespeople need to campaign on what makes them different when promoting themselves.  The question, what is your “differentiating value” may be leading you away from a sale, not towards it.

This notion that prospects make their decision on differences is a myth.  Most attributes in a decision are based on more similarities than differences.  In fact, differences infuse more risks for a prospect in making a switch or decision.
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Dead Sea or Sea of Galilee

I sign off on my newsletters with “Enjoy the Journey.” Life is a journey with a new destination set every time we reach one.  Change is growth and growth is learning.  Our knowledge and beliefs evolve with new experiences.  This is how we keep up and keep current.

The marketplace changes every day with new experiences.  Your prospect’s buying process evolves when their needs become reality, and if you don’t grow and change with them, you will be left behind.  Your competition may have started the conversation with a prospect before they invited you to participate by submitting your proposal.  Once you submit yours, the prospect feels comfortable going with your competitor, because your sales skills were a little rusty in presenting your company as the winning solution provider. [Read more…]

Discussion: What are your favorite questions?

We have learned we sell more when we are asking questions.  Our questions prompt awareness, the first step in change.  Then we are able to submit the best solution in the form of a proposal.

What questions do you ask a prospect that give you the best insight into their challenges or the sales process?

Choking – we become what we think about most

Dr. Sian Beilock PhD worried so much about “choking” it changed her career direction in high school to learn more about it.  Here is a brief video on the subject and a quick tip on avoiding cracking under pressure.

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5 Outcomes of a Sales Call or Appointment

Every sales call or appointment ends with one, sometimes more, of these outcomes.  Knowing this will help guide your call and make yours and your prospects invested time more effective.

1)      YES – The best outcome!  You got the sale, closed the deal and the prospect signed the agreement.  Just don’t spend the commission until their check clears.  Now go make another 10 calls with this renewed enthusiasm.  Call on the ‘bigger’ prospects that you have been postponing until the timing is just right.  Now is the time.  Don’t take a break to celebrate when there is still time in the day to sell.  If you keep a journal, which I highly recommend, write this in it and refer back to it when you receive the 20 no’s in a row in the future. [Read more…]