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Yesterday I received sad news. My first sales manager and sales mentor had died.
Bob was the mentor that every sales person should have and I consider myself extremely lucky to have had his guidance.
His door was always open, his advice always insightful and I was constantly amazed at what he knew about our industry (worldwide) and his worldwide contacts. He was fiercely protective of his salespeople and prepared to allow us the opportunity to back our own judgement and learn from our mistakes.
Occasionally, he would launch into a tirade, not at someone for making a mistake but when someone was putting forward a principle or course of action that he vehemently opposed. Yet he was a big enough to come and see you later with an apology and say he was wrong to have opposed your course of action (he never had to apologise for his principles) and that you should peruse it and learn from what happens.
On several occasions he put me on the spot. Once when I was in my twenties I was called in front of 2 Board members of the company we worked for (a large international company) to answer a complaint that had been registered to the Board about something I had done. The complaint was read to me by the vice Chairman of the Board. I began to answer the complaint and then Bob and the Board members burst out laughing. When Bob had been notified of the complaint he could have dealt with it himself but he organised the confrontation with the Board to see how I responded. He put me to the test.
He used to say, "you have two ears and one mouth… use them in that ratio". He refused to allow the use of the word "recession" in our office. No-one in our office could be referred to by their surname, it was all on a first name basis.
Bob was unique. His dress was often a bit way out. He laughed a lot. He worked hard and played hard. His favourite hobby was finding cheap restaurants that served excellent food. He used to say, "we are in business for fun and profit…if you are not getting both you are in the wrong business"
If only there were more like him in the world. There would be many more happy and wealthy salespeople.
I procrastinated in writing this post. Because I really wanted to get it right and because I had delayed catching up with Bob and left it too late to see him one more time and thank him for the influence he had been on my life.
To Robert J Willis, the world was a better place for you having lived in it. You brought a smile to many faces of your friends all over the world. You lived YOUR life, YOUR way. Personally, I thank you for all that you taught me. It was a pleasure to have known you.
A summary of Dr Cialdini's Influence principles
Little Red Book of Selling, worth reading or just colorful ?
A review of the excellent sales book, Integrity Selling by Ron Willingham.
Remove those obstacles to your sales succes by overcoming sales objections
This post discusses Follow through as an after the fact persuasion technique
This is a post from S. ANTHONY IANNARINO, many of you will look at it and say "I know this" the real question is though "Do You Do It".
Could you present to Donald Trump ?
"My presentation was on slides. As I started to set up my projector, he immediately objected.
Undaunted, I told him it would only take a few minutes and would fully explain the opportunity I’d come to show him.
Once the presentation began he interrupted me..."
To finish the story click the link
I think the #1 sales attribute is know by all but avoided by many.It's impossible to succeed at sales without it but it's not a sexy new technique.If you want to read about it click the link for an article that tells you what it is.
Answering sales objections using a neat little strategy.
Interesting discussion at the following link.
Personally, I almost always discussed price later but I can see there could be reasons to discuss price up-front.
This article from Tibor is right on the mark and well worth a read.
Mining the Gap involves a series of follow through questions aimed at getting the buyer engaged and thinking more deeply about the issue. By getting them to think about it, they will take on the issue.
You Are the Answer
By John M. RowleyI read this post today and wholeheartedly agree with what it says. I have condensed it below.
Everyone seems to be looking for answers to the economy somewhere out in the distance. A strong national economy starts with a strong personal economy, which requires energy, focus, creativity and discipline.
I don’t think it is a coincidence that one of the worst economies is accompanied by one of the worst health crises in history. Obesity is out of control and is wreaking havoc on people’s health and our economy. ...
When you are not at your best physically everything suffers. You don’t have the energy to produce what you should. You aren’t as creative as you could be. You take longer to do tasks than it should take.
President Kennedy said that “Physical fitness is not only the key to a healthy body, but the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”
The fact is, the same blood that flows through your body also flows through your mind.
Want a strong economy?
Then start by taking care of yourself and being the best you you can be.
If each of us would take personal responsibility for ourselves it would change us as a nation.
Sales, is a numbers game, yeah right, so is "Russian Roulette" but the stakes are just about as high sometimes.
This garbage about sales being a numbers game has irked me for many years.
It is about getting out and seeing people, yes. BUT it's not JUST about that.
Everybody knows that typically sales people get better as they get more experienced. Do you think that is because they see moe people as they get more experienced ? Or could it be that they get better at converting people into customers as they get more experienced ?
Spend time getting appointment by all means. Prospecting is critical as is activity. But spend the time to "sharpen your saw", that is , to improve your sales technique and understanding of how and why your prospects buy then you'll get better results and learn to love this wonderful game called selling.
In this modern world the competition can be fierce.
We all want people and prospects to notice us and note that what we sell or how we offer what we sell is superior to our competitors.
The following article gives a useful idea about how to do just that.
I ran across a post the other day that wrote about little things that make a difference is selling.
The FACT is that little things DO make a difference.
So, do yourself a favour and have a read of this post.
Pay particular attention to # 1, 3, 5 & 11.
The 25 habits of highly successful salespeople ? Why so many ? Is this book useful ?
Indeed it is Words that sell. What else have we got to sell with but words? Which words and how do we structure our sales language to achieve our sales goals?
Here is a quote from Mark Heerema, and although I do not totally agree there is a lot in what he says.
"THE most powerful gift you could ever give yourself is the skill of learning how to build and use the drivers that dictate if you win or lose the internal game, because the main ingredient in winning in sales, is first, winning the internal battle."
Furthermore he gives some tips to help you with these internal decisions.
"...here are 4 tips to jump start your decision making skills:
Ask yourself if the activity you are currently doing is TRULY the most important behavior that will help your business at that very moment (be careful, your mind will justify why you aren’t making the prospecting calls).
Know when negative emotions are pulling your choices to more non-threatening activities (IE: if an event creates disappointment, understand that yourself protection mechanisms will probably try and move you to actions that are safer until you are feeling “better.” This is the same reason why it’s so easy to make hard calls when you are kicking butt and taking names. Don’t let your emotions dictate your behavior).
Understand where your strongest skill set is. Why is this important? Because you gravitate towards what you are good at. So, this is a MAJOR problem for sales people who are good at gathering information (time killer if overkill), taking care of details (another time killer if not necessary), or gifted in any area that doesn’t directly grow sales. Another MAJOR problem with this is since they are good at it they think it is a good use of their time!
Identify what you are afraid of. One of the most common traps I identify when working with sales teams is that since sales people aren’t supposed to be afraid of prospecting they say they aren’t, but remember – ACTIONS ALWAYS SPEAK THE LOUDEST. How you are spending your time tells me everything I need to know. Be honest with yourself. Just because you admit a fear doesn’t mean you won’t take action. The opposite will actually occur. When you admit it, you will find yourself overcoming it more often because your mind won’t try to justify excuses."
Now go out and make those correct sales decisions
Telesales techniques are critically important in just about any type of sales career
Customer relationships determine your profitability as a sales person so maybe it makes good sense to learn how to build better relationships.
Skyrocket Your Persuasion by using Sleight of Mouth to answer any objection.
What selling techniques do you employ to make the sale and do you vary those techniques depending on the customer ?
What is the first question you should ask when you get a cold call client on the phone ?
Read the post for the answer
Do you follow a selling system, should you?
Some advice about selling in a recession.
An old priest I used to know had a saying that he applied when he climbed into the pulpit.
"If you don't strike oil in 5 minutes stop boring"
The following article offers similar advice to sales people
Are there any secrets ? What are the Secrets of Question Based Selling ?
This article goes into some more depth about relationship selling than you usually read.
What will a salesperson of the future be like ? What will they have to do differently ?
Some good advice in here and some I do not agree with.
Do you have an iPad ?
Do you use it on sales calls ?
Here are some tips to make sure you are using it well.
Sales reframing can help you turn objections into reasons to buy and helps you turn your own rejections into learning experiences.
How well is your prospecting going ?
If it could stand some improvement then the following article might offer some useful advice
Sales questions form the basis of any sales methodology.
What are sales objections, why do they occur ?
shorten the sales cycle Hi PJ, is it really the best thing to shorten the sales cycle. I ran across this post in one of my LinkedIn groups this week.
Sales Language is critical if you are going to be successful at selling and persuasion.
Building Rapport can build your sales results.
The Psychology of Persuasion is about preparing yourself to sell and adjusting how you sell based on your prospects perceptions and thinking patterns.
This post by Francisco is targeted to MLM sales objections but what it says is just as relevant to other sales areas.
To read the post click the link below
What are the top ten professional selling skills you need to succeed as a salesperson ?
What is the price that you will eventually pay for having not done what needs to be done?
What are the temptations you should remove from your life and replace with iron disciplines?
How much better would your results be if you didn’t do what you could do and instead did what must be done?
Power words turn normal language into persuasive language.
During my time in B2B sales I was competing against much bigger companies for quite a while. Frankly, the bigger companies made it easy.
Read the attached post to give you some ides of how they managed that unenviable task.
Two of the most powerful persuasion words
Short but good post by "stepper" on overcoming sales objections.
"Most conventional sales packages spend numerous time focusing on overcoming objections. However these techniques solely put extra sales pressure in your prospect, which triggers resistance."
To read about a better way click on the link below.
Persuasion article No8 discusses how having an intention and a clear outcome focuses your attention on making the sale.
Whilst others are working hard from 7-20 scrapping along with 1 sale a week, these salesmen make 3 sales a day and only work 9-5.