How Not to Turn Your Product into a Commodity

I was working in the office one afternoon when two salespeople from an office supply company walked in. After they introduced themselves, they wasted no time noticing the laser printer on my desk. One quickly stated, “I see you have the Brother 2170. I can save you money on your toner.” With a saddened look and tone, I asked, “Why do you have to be like that?”

They looked puzzled and one asked, “Like what?” I responded by saying, “You come into my office and insult me.” With a bemused look on his face he said, “I didn’t insult you. I just said I could save you money on your toner. You want to save money, right?” That statement only made it worse. [Read more…]

Be Hamlet

Every year the students in the drama class at Lincoln High School perform a one-act play for the student body. Students have their choice on what play and scene they want to act in. Johnny, a senior this year, wanted to do a scene from Hamlet. He was shy by nature, but one of the better actors in class, with aspirations for the theater after graduation. Johnny studied his part and knew his lines. After weeks of preparation, it was time for the practice run in front of the drama class before performing in front of friends, family and the entire student body. [Read more…]

Pilot in Command

Since I was 11 years old, I have wanted to be a pilot. Unfortunately, I was told I could never achieve that goal because my eyes are so bad. Though the barrier was not true, I maintained that belief until the fall of 1996. At the age of 30, I decided I was no longer going to subscribe to that belief. It was real, but no longer true. [Read more…]

define: Value

Sitting in on sales calls I hear the word ‘value’ being volleyed back and forth between the salesperson and prospect often wondering what each other thinks the definition is and if it applies here. I understand the pressure of the salesperson making their quota and the fears the prospect has of making the wrong decision. Often it can be compared to a pitcher-batter relationship with 3 balls and 2 strikes of a full count on the scoreboard and the weight of a possible win or definite loss wagered on the next pitch. If you can relate to this situation and want to remove the buying/selling pressure and make the experience a little more enjoyable for both parties involved, here are a few thoughts to consider. [Read more…]

What Happens When The Pigs Don’t Eat?

Wayne, a feed salesman, pulls into the yard and greets Donny, the farmer, outside his barn. He steps out of his truck and exchanges a hardy “morning” with Donny. After a few comments about the weather, Wayne asks about the new feed Donny has been feeding his hogs.20.8.04 Blythburgh Free Range PorkFree Range growers.

Last month Donny decided to start buying his feed from another salesman because its priced less. Donny says, “It’s going ok.” Wayne, reading the tone and body language from Donny, knows differently. Wayne asks, “How many bags are they going through a week?” Donny replies, “About 18.” Wayne scratches his head and asks, “You are down a few hogs?” “No”, Donny replies. The salesman reminds Donny that his hogs were eating about 25 bags of his feed and ready for market on schedule. [Read more…]

Turning Inquiries into Income

Everyday millions of amateur salespeople answer phone calls and emails without asking the prospect any questions. Companies are spending thousands of dollars to make the phone ring, only to have an untrained salesperson miss the opportunity to turn an inquiry into income. If you feel this happening to you or within your organization, hopefully the following questions will help you and your sales force improve their results and increase your company’s top-line revenue.

What made you decide to call today? This inquiry may uncover the buying motive. Have the guts to ask the questions and you may uncover the main reasons why your prospects and/or established customers are calling you today. When you go fishing next time, it’ll be nice to know what lures the fishing are biting on. This helps you become proactive with future sales. [Read more…]

Scott Plum Introduces the Minnesota Sales Institute

[VIDEO] The Minnesota Sales Institute is built on the understanding of the interaction between a prospect and a salesperson. Sales training involves a transformation of beliefs along with a change in behavior. Transforming a salespersons beliefs will translate into an improved mindset about their role within a company and create a more positive personal identity.

From Rut to Strut – Changing Your Outlook and Sales Results

In 2012, February 29th is a bonus day. Not one you usually get. How you spend it is your choice.

This full-day, interactive sales development workshop is designed to change ones outlook, behaviors and results in their sales career. As the adage goes; “no change – no change.” Unless you change something on the inside, nothing will change on the outside. [Read more…]

Common Reverses and Softening Statements

  • A lot of people ask that.
  • And
  • And because of that?
  • And if I could do____, what do you see yourself doing at that point?
  • And that would result in…
  • And what you want from me is…
  • And you’re pointing that out because?
  • Boy, I feel stuck. [Read more…]

Leave Your Mother on the Bus

How many people go with you on a sales call? Most of us would say there’s just me and the prospect. But who else? Does your mother come with? I don’t mean in person…but can you hear her voice repeating the messages that you heard when you were a kid? Messages such as… “Don’t talk about money. It’s not nice to ask a lot of questions. Don’t talk to strangers. Don’t be a Pest.” If you’re like most people, we often carry little messages in our head that people from our past have tried pounding into our ever-learning skulls. [Read more…]