Anatomy of a Sales Call: Tailor Your Sales Process to Their Buying Process

tailoring your sales process to the buying process - field example buying shoes

Here’s an example of a retail sale that shows how evaluation and diagnosis both require the salesperson to get in the head of the prospect and tailor the sales process to the prospect’s buying process.

Not long ago I attended a U2 concert at Hard Rock Stadium in Florida with my family. We were down in the club level and I had all these salespeople from our client, the Miami Dolphins, talking to me. That’s when I happened to notice this one guy who works there as the head of Sponsorship. Continue reading

Sales Tip from Lance’s Training War Chest – Talk Like Your Prospect

 

sales tip - talk like your prospect and ask questions like a friend

In the last post, I wrote of using your questions not only to get your prospect’s attention but to also keep their interest by selling to the gap. I also wrote that your meeting is shaped by the questions that you ask, the order you ask them and how you ask them. As I’ve said before, sales is an away game – it takes place in your prospect’s mind. So, you control the pace of the sale by getting in your prospect’s mind, focusing their attention on the challenges they face, and leading them to a place they want to be. A vital piece of this process is talking like your prospect to increase rapport. Continue reading

Some Questions are Stupid – Asking the Right Questions

achieving persuasive influence in sales through the questioning process

In the last post, we looked at a process using questions to identify and build a sales opportunity, selling to the gap.

In addition to building the opportunity, your questions shape your prospect’s mindset and perceptions to achieve persuasive influence.

The questions you ask are important. But so is how you ask your questions, when you ask them, as well as how you order them. In creating your questions, you need to be cognizant of all of these factors. You want to leverage them to create a favorable environment in your prospect’s mind, conducive to moving the sale forward. Continue reading

Bridging the Gap: Asking Questions to Drive Your Prospects Interest

questioning process builds interest and bridges the sales gap

In the last post, we explored the potential of enhancing your evaluation process by asking sales questions. In this post, we’ll take a deeper dive into using the questioning process to build increased interest in your prospects.

Previously, we used a river as an analogy to develop a questioning model. In this river analogy, one bank represented the prospect’s current situation. The opposite bank represented the desired situation. And the river represented the gap that the prospect must bridge in moving from the current situation to the desired situation. Continue reading

The Secret to Boosting Your Evaluation Process: Effective Sales Questions

how to use sales questions to enhance your evaluation process

Guiding the Evaluation Process Using Sales Questions

When was the last time you were on a car lot to shop for a car?

You and I both know you weren’t there by accident. You were there for a reason and more than likely, you planned it all out.

However, the first question most salespeople ask is: “Can I help you?”

That question is a brutal sales starter, because the buyer answers the same way each time: “Nope, just looking.” Continue reading

The Secret to Closing Sales Is in Knowing What Your Prospect Wants

closing sales involves knowing what your prospect wants

Do You Know What You’re Really Selling?

As I addressed in the previous post, much of your success as a salesperson will hinge on an effective sales starter. Contrary to the popular belief, there is no skill in closing sales – it’s all about creating a great opening.  Your opening should quickly establish rapport with the prospect by engaging in brief pleasantries. But, you should also gauge how to make the best use of their time. Help them see that you value your time together.  You’ll find substantial part of creating that value is understanding what your prospect really wants and why they want it. Continue reading

How To Open Your Call To Get Your Prospect’s Attention

get your prospect's attention during the sales opening

Use a Sales Starter to Get Your Prospect’s Attention

Opening a sales call to get your prospect’s attention is no different than introducing yourself to someone of interest in your personal life.  Both situations require authenticity, interest, and relevance.

Beginning the conversation hinges on a good sales starter – something that captures your prospect’s attention favorably. To make this happen, you can compliment a prospect on an achievement or positive quality. You can highlight a referral. Also, you can leverage statements that educate or even startle your prospect to capture your prospect’s attention. Continue reading

sales and buying

Customizing the Buying Experience

The consumer’s engagement in the buying process is more intense than it has ever been. With all the information available to us, it’s no wonder selling has become more and more difficult. When buying a product online, 92 percent of consumers spend time reading online reviews ahead of time and 40 percent of those consumers form an opinion by reading just 1-3 reviews. They insert their own confirmation biases and make quick decisions based on how well that product is customized for their own pre-determined needs.

This kind of access to information is changing how customers buy across the board. And when you think about it—this new reality has made many activities accessible without the engagement of face-to-face interaction. From banking and dating to physical fitness and travel. Consumers feel empowered and want solutions tailored to them, or customizable.

What This Means for You

With this increased involvement from consumers, the sales process has changed and needs to be tailored in similar fashion. The buyer is going to be concerned about how much things cost, whether their opinion will be taken into account, and if they even have the time to listen. And the buyer is going to be armed with more information than they would have been in the past, which is going to make them a lot more confident than they once were.

As a result, sales professionals need a strategy—a sales process—that takes into account all of those pieces of the buyer’s mindset. It has to be flexible enough that they can tailor it to individual clients, but sturdy enough that it can be scalable and repeatable. There needs to be an element of predictability in the process despite the unpredictable consumer and their concerns.

Be Strategically Prepared

Once you are thinking strategically about the sales process, you can incorporate the tactics and skills you will need to use throughout the process. How? You’ll think in terms of if this, then that. If I get someone’s voicemail, what do I say? How do I deal with an objection about price? How do I give my impact statement? How do I present things in a logical fashion?

You’re also going to be developing skills that apply in any process: things like verbal brevity, resolving objections, being able to facilitate, selling over the phone versus selling in person. Remember, the sales process is simply the buying process in reverse.

In today’s marketplace, being a forceful, charismatic salesperson will not do the job. Consumers are different. They’re savvier, armed with more opinions based on the good and bad information. You need to have a repeatable system to address these and other complexities in today’s market. Learn more about what this proven and repeatable sales process is by visiting, the Tyson Group website or by purchasing your copy of, Selling Is An Away Game: Close Business And Compete In A Complex World.

sales tips

Very Fake News: Prospecting is Not Dead

Lately, there’s been a surge of advertising saying that traditional selling is dead, that prospecting is dead.

I have two words for that: fake news.

But, I get it…there’s a multitude of reasons to believe prospecting is dead.  At least, that’s what customer relation management (CRM) companies, or marketing automation companies, will have you believe because they want you to think that you don’t have to prospect anymore.

Even though social media avenues like LinkedIn make connections with C-level executives and decision-makers much more possible, every salesperson in the universe is using it, thereby making it difficult to stand out. Also, office staff has little time on hand, meaning that you only have a window of about seven seconds to get past the gatekeepers. Many salespeople end up as just another name in a missed call log or forever lost in a collection of junk emails.

Prospecting isn’t dead, but it’s certainly not easy.

Despite the plethora of information with which we feel inundated each day. In chapter three of my book, we found that 82 percent of sales reps feel challenged by the amount of data and time it takes to research a prospect just to make the initial cold call. What’s more, did you know that poor quality data is costing your sales team at least 30 percent of revenues? Clean, accurate data is the difference for professionals seeking to streamline and clarify the front end of the sales cycle. Our studies show that sales reps are spending at least 32 percent of their time searching for missing data, then manually entering it into their CRM. Quality data is all about working smarter, reserving your resources, and accelerating your team’s sales cycle. According to Salesforce.com, about 70 percent of CRM data “goes bad,” or becomes obsolete, annually.

Bad data is bad for business. But no data, by not prospecting, is worse.

You can gather quite a bit of information through LinkedIn, Google, your company’s CRM…but ultimately success comes from actually engaging with a prospect and gathering “data” from attempting to speak with individuals of interest.

Nothing will replace, or provide greater success than actually connecting with a sales prospect.

Prospecting is definitely not dead.

Learn more about how to effectively start that conversation by checking out Lance Tyson’s new book, Selling Is An Away Game: Close Business and Compete in a Complex World.

Build Your Credibility And Boost Your Sales

building your credibility will accelerate your sales process

Intuitive Sales Wisdom Regarding Credibility

Here’s a bit of insight I stumbled upon about credibility while doing a half day training with one of our regional sports franchise sales teams.

During the the session, I realized these guys were intently focused on their service.  And I needed them to move away from using that as a sales crutch to try something new. So, I started asking a series of questions regarding how salespeople open calls. Continue reading