It’s the bottom of the 7th and you’re trailing

Your team has just taken the field after another inning with no hits. You have 2 more chances at bat to change the score from being behind 5 to 3. Your focus is currently on being defensive with throwing more strikes than hits and making more outs than errors. But, you also have to get some hits in when you’re up to bat. What can you do to get more hits? That is the question.

OutfielderThis is the same question salespeople need to ask themselves when they are in the last two months of the year and they are 25% away of reaching their annual quota. You cannot have another year when you don’t make quota. At this point, with the current sales pipeline, you will fall short by $67,000 in revenue. What can you do to change the outcome of the year and make your quota? [Read more…]

Define Yourself

During a political season, each candidate defines himself or her­self before their opponent does it for them. As the campaigns heat up and issues are tossed around in the media and discussed with friends and neighbors, you can base your beliefs on what you believe to be true, based on your evaluation of each candidate.

The effort to “define yourself ” is not limited to just political fig­ures. You do it for yourself as a salesperson who constantly opens yourself up for acceptance and rejection in the role you play. You also take the risk of letting others define you, causing you to live according to their definition of you instead of your own. But by defining yourself, when you are rejected by prospects, criticized by others and judged by strangers, you will know their judgments to be untrue because you have decisively defined yourself. who-am-i
When you define yourself, you are consciously deciding what your goals and values are now and in the future. To help stay on track when you are tempted to accept and believe criticism, these goals and values determine your daily behaviors and priorities. Here are three questions to ask yourself about who you are and want to be. [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…]

Self-forgiveness Begins with Others

Jack was playing center outfield during the third game of the season. He’ll be 10 this year and is starting to refine his baseball talents. It’s his favorite sport with football a close second.

In the fifth inning a pop fly was hit in his direction. He got under it, adjusted his stance, focused on the falling ball but couldn’t hold on to it and dropped it. He grabbed the ball and threw it to second base. The batter was safe.

He had a tough time letting that error go. Jack is one of the better players on the team. He commits to keeping his skills sharp with additional practices in the off season and learning by watching professional MLB players on television.
Baseball player jumps high to catch a fly ballDuring the ride home, Jack was silent, though his team won. His father asked him what’s wrong. He just kept repeating he should have caught that pop up in the fifth. He couldn’t forgive himself.

His father reminded him of a last game they played when one of Jack’s teammates, Taylor, missed a pop up, causing the team to lose the game. Jack criticized Taylor all the way home and blamed him for losing the game. “Perhaps the withheld forgiveness that Jack held towards Taylor is the same withheld forgiveness Jack feels towards himself,” his father thought. He shared that thought with his son. Then he thought about it in his own life. [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…]

Not Everyone is at the Cabin

How many people go to the cabin every week during the summer?  I don’t know the answer and I’m guessing it would be hard to know for sure, but I’m positive not everyone does.  Businesses are still open, people are still working, budgets are being determined and spent, challenges continue to exist and problems need to be solved. [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…]

Stop and Wonder

Sometimes complacency can be interpreted as comfort or boredom.  This contentment will prevent change (and growth) and inhibit anxiety without exerting much energy.  Some people may welcome the predictability of the day, until something changes around them, outside their control that requires them to act without the skill, knowledge or experience needed to be proactive and able to manage the circumstances that will guarantee a favorable outcome.  Somehow they took a pause on life’s highway while everyone else kept moving.  [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…]