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Sales / Growth : Seven Reasons Salespeople Talk Too Much

Posted by kevinb on 10/27/16 (1239 reads)

Why do we often talk more than we should? When other people talk too much, we notice immediately. When we talk too much, everyone else notices except us

Here are a few possible explanations: 

1. Anxiety. People who are anxious use an avalanche of words to avoid dealing with potential conflict (like a prospect saying "no"). Instead of balancing talking with listening, they believe that their wall of words will protect them from what they imagine as a threat. They often refuse to give up control of the conversation by adding a trail of words that echo the ones that they've expressed previously.

2. Lack of preparation. The less clear we are on any given subject, the more words it will take us to talk about the subject. Here is an eye-opening exercise. Ask a salesperson to make a presentation about your company as if you were a new prospect. Time the presentation. Next, ask the salesperson to write a brief, but concise description of your product or service in 180 words. Now, read the copy at normal speed. How much time did it take? About one minute. It should not take more time to engage a prospect.

Sales / Growth : Finding Pain Hurts

Posted by kevinb on 6/22/16 (1537 reads)

At the most basic level, people typically spend money on two things: First, they readily spend money to combat pain. Second, they spend money to pursue pleasure. But did you know that getting people upset is the fastest way to help them? Strange, but true.

In sales, you may think your focus should be on really relating to people and saying all the nice things to get them to be your friend. But here's the truth: they will commit to work with you only when they get fed up with a problem and decide to do something about it.

Sales / Growth : Become a Networking Guru

Posted by kevinb on 6/9/16 (1367 reads)

Effective business networking is the bringing together of like-minded individuals who, through relationship building, become walking, talking advertisements for one another. Keep in mind that networking is about being bona fide, building trust, and seeing how your relationship can genuinely help others. Here are 8 tips to help you be a more effective networker:

 1. Always figure out before you even walk into a room, what your specific goals are in attending each networking meeting. This helps you to choose groups or associations that will provide the best opportunities for you to get in front of decision makers in your target market.

2. Ask open-ended questions during your networking conversations: questions that ask who, what, where, when, and how. Try to avoid "closed" questions that require a simple yes or no response. By using an open-ended line of questioning, you can really open up the discussion and show listeners that you are interested in them and what they have to say. [Note: click here to learn 8 terrific networking icebreakers]

3. Become a walking resource center. When you become known as a strong resource, others remember to turn to you for suggestions, ideas, names of other people, etc. This keeps you at their "top of mind," which is where you want to be.

Sales / Growth : Overcoming Sales Fears

Posted by kevinb on 1/27/16 (1340 reads)

When you are in the business of sales, it's natural to have fears, but it's important to overcome those fears in order to be successful. Below are several common fears and ideas on overcoming them.

Undoubtedly, the biggest fear most people have in business is the fear of failure. There is nothing more demoralizing than a continual lack of success! Fear of failure has been ingrained since school. Remember all those tests when the results were posted by name or read aloud for all the class to hear? If you had a poor result, you never felt like trying again!

To conquer this fear, you need a rock solid positive attitude. You must have an inner voice that is continually pushing you. Embrace a "no" from a prospect by being grateful to them for allowing you to move on to the next.

Failure has to be seen as a learning opportunity. In every failure, there is a nugget of information, which next time, can point you in the direction of better success. James Dyson, the inventor of the revolutionary vacuum cleaner, summed up the need for a positive attitude, when he said, "Success is made up of 99% failure. You galvanize yourself and you keep going as a full optimist."

Sales / Growth : Four Sales Stealers to Be On the Lookout For

Posted by kevinb on 9/24/15 (1602 reads)

Many successful marketers began their careers as children setting up lemonade stands or selling newspapers. Years of experience and exposure to more mature and intricate marketing techniques changes things, but there is one aspect that is no different between selling glasses of lemonade and Internet marketing... customers have the power to decide whether or not to buy your product.

Products and marketing methods are changing constantly, but the driving force that motivates sales remains unchanged ... so do the four things that steal sales right out from under your nose.

1. The "I don't need it" attitude.
Let's face it ... need has little to do with what people buy or don't buy in the American culture. Want has everything to do with whether they do or don't buy. The most crucial aspect of getting a high number of sales is targeting the right market. It does little good to advertise to people who really aren't interested.

What are you advertising? Where are you advertising? These two questions go hand in hand. If you're trying to sell hunting gear, it would make little sense to target mothers with small children. Sure a FEW of them hunt, but your return for the cost of advertising is going to be pretty low. Pay attention to what your target audience reads and invest your advertising bucks wisely.

Sales / Growth : The Moment of Truth in Sales

Posted by kevinb on 10/15/14 (2199 reads)

Note: This resource is part of our Moving the Bar in Your Career and Your Life, a unique approach to professional development series: Building Enviable Customer Relationships. Click here to see the entire series.

Moments of Truth: let's use an Olympic athlete as an example. She was introduced to the sport like downhill skiing at age 5, took lessons, practiced, started to shine by age 9, took advanced lessons, attended special camps, traveled to where the best teachers were for private instruction during her teenage years, spent hours every day at the gym honing and strengthening her body, spent countless hours prepping her mind for success, participated in competitions all over the world, read many books about successful people and the will to win. She went through trials just to make it to the Olympics.

Now it is the official day and all her training and preparation have to come together for her seconds-long run down the mountain. Today is her Moment of Truth - where the rubber meets the road. It is when all the preparation, training, support from parents and friends, coaching from her coach, excitement, passion for the sport, equipment selection, and fierce will to win all descend into a couple of runs down the mountain that take only seconds. If she brings everything together well, her name will live on forever. The Moment of Truth is the culminating event or moment.

Sales / Growth : Fact-Finding and a Climate for Selling

Posted by kevinb on 9/22/13 (2470 reads)

How do you define a selling climate? It is the set of circumstances that make it favorable for your client to buy from you. How do you create a selling climate? Keep in mind the following 5 concepts:

1. Sell only the results your prospect wants. If your prospect's key issue is decreased sales and you keep going on and on about how you helped a previous client reduce employee turnover, is it possible you'll lose them in the tall weeds? You bet!

2. Ask questions that generate emotion in your prospect. "Buying is an emotional process that must be rationalized. Selling is a rational process that must be emotionalized." Develop a list of emotion-evoking questions you can ask your prospects.

3. Watch and listen for positive reactions. Your prospects will tell you if they're with you by a tilt of their head, their eye contact, and/or posture.

4. Be totally focused on listening to your prospect. They don't care what's in the binders. They only care about what those binders can DO for them.

5. Be sure you receive positive confirmation from your prospect before you move to the next step of the sales process. If you try to skip steps, that positive selling climate you've worked so hard to create can get stormy in a hurry!

Speaking of listening to your prospect, as the sales person all you need to do is be "dumb." That's right, dumb...

Sales / Growth : How to Lose a Sale in 5 Easy Steps

Posted by kevinb on 6/17/13 (2338 reads)

Now why would you want to know how to lose a sale? Awareness is the first step to acknowledging that it's quite possible the reasons for losing a sale reside squarely on your shoulders. If you know what NOT to do, you're on the path to figuring out what TO do

1. Don't Qualify Your Prospects

Skip over this step if you like spending hours and hours over coffee and a bagel and many lunch meetings with a "suspect" (not a true prospect), and you get nothing out of it but waste, spelled both ways: wasted time and a bigger waistline. All you need to know at this point is if they have a need, the money, and the power to make a decision.

Sales / Growth : Rediscovering the Buying and Selling Process

Posted by kevinb on 11/8/12 (2593 reads)

Fellow consultant and Regional Director at Paradigm Associates, Dick Ossi, challenged a group of sales leaders and business owners recently, asking: Is your company achieving at least a 15% annual revenue growth? Are you pleased with your sales force performance in helping you achieve your revenue target?

Their responses were underwhelming.

If you are not pleased and you feel your sales force can achieve more and be more consistent in their performance, then they need to constantly sharpen their sales skills. This need provides an excellent opportunity to redisccover the key elements of the buying and selling process.

Sales / Growth : Unclogging Your Sales Funnel

Posted by kevinb on 9/4/12 (3162 reads)

They completed each step: sent the letter, set the appointment, gathered requirements, presented the solution, completed the demonstration, prepared the quote, presented the proposal, negotiated but failed to close. They followed all the right steps.

So what went wrong?

Their sales funnel has plenty of opportunities going in but it must be clogged as too few make their way out. Is your sales funnel clogged? Check for the classic warning signs:

  • Salespeople are spending too much time servicing existing clients at the expense of finding new clients.
  • Salespeople are spending too much time with unqualified prospects, consequently spending too little time with qualified prospects.
  • Sales forecasts based on the information from salespeople are inaccurate.
  • Sales cycles are too long.
  • Closing ratios are too low.
  • Sales managers do not have a means of obtaining objective information to proactively uncover problems and therefore are waiting for problems to be brought to them by their salespeople.
  • Salespeople are looking at their prospects through rose-colored glasses, often underestimating the number of prospects necessary to reach their goals.
The truth is that most organizations look at sales as a linear flow. They follow the sales process in linear order and yet, in many cases, fail to close. The real question is not "Where did they go wrong" but rather "What does the sales process tell you about the buyer." The answer - nothing!

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