Sales Training Exercise – Build a Sales Starter that Grabs Attention

use a sales starter and seize your contact's attention
In an earlier post, I cited an example where Jessica had unsuccessfully tried a few times to engage a prospect during her sales opening. Yet when she asked a question that cut to the heart of her contact’s problem, Jessica’s sales starter got her contact’s attention. And it earned her a meeting!

Here’s a tip: the more generic your sales starter, the less engaged your contact will be and the less effective your sales opening will be.

Instead, make your sales opening specific to the contact and to their business or industry. Jessica was successful when she created her opening to address her contact’s challenges down to a personal and career impacting level.To make that happen, Jessica had to do some research on her contact. She had to know something about her contact’s business, and the challenges her contact faced on a regular basis.

Mind you, these aren’t cold contacts. These are people in companies where you think you have a decent shot at driving some business. These are people who have already raised their hand and have in some way indicated that they are in the market for what you are selling. So take a little time to do some discovery work on these people.

Sales Training Exercise – Sales Starter Assignment

Here’s your assignment for the week. During your lunch break today, write down the top five industries that you serve. Then, for each industry, write down five companies that you are looking to break into or are looking to upsell.

Then, when you are back in the office, write down three contacts that are in a position to make a decision for each of the companies you have listed. Now, for each of those three contacts, write down:

  1. Their name
  2. A compliment on one of their accomplishments
  3. A startling statement or statistic about their industry that ties into the solution you provide

The information here is easy enough to find on Linkedin, your CRM, and their social media streams and blog posts. You don’t have to go overboard and discover every detail about their lives. But you do have to show them that you are seriously interested in their business.

Now, you have some options in creating your sales starter before you perform that follow-up call. And your sales starter will be more effective at grabbing your prospect’s attention because it leverages an issue, concern, or idea that already has their attention.

Remember, no one cares how much you know unless they know how much you care. So, do like Jessica. Use a sales starter that shows your prospect immediately that you have their best interest at heart. Your sales opening will seize your prospect’s attention every time.

 

Are you ready to take the quiz?

Want to know if your sales process puts you in the field of play and not on the sidelines?

Take our online sales evaluation here  and quickly assess how your knowledge and skills stack up in the industry.

The Prospect’s Buying Process – Leverage Powerful Insights

buying process gaining insights into your prospects thinking

The Specific Interest Statement in the Buying Process

To make the right diagnosis, the salesperson must align their sales process to the prospect’s buying process. The salesperson accomplishes this by making interim summaries throughout the process. For example: “Based on what you’re saying, you’re looking to address your number one or number two interest, and that’s going to address your motivation.”

This is where the salesperson makes a Specific Interest Statement. They can apply the product or service to the prospect’s needs and appeal to both the prospect’s logical and emotional reasons for buying. Continue reading

Sales Training Exercise – Resolving Common Sales Objections

sales objections sales training exercise

In a previous post, I gave an example where I coached a member of my sales team on how to resolve common sales objections at the start of the sales process before the prospect brought it up.

Here’s a tip. If you review your past sales calls and you find you’ve repeatedly addressed a particular class of sales objections, don’t become a prisoner of hope. Don’t run through your sales process *hoping* your prospect won’t bring up that particular objection.

Instead, create a general response to those objections and offer it as a solution at the start of your sales process. In the past post, time was a big issue when we sold training. I turned it around by transforming the time spent in training into time invested in personal and team improvement, a win for the company as well as the individual.

Sales Training Exercise – Sales Objections Assignment

So, here’s your assignment. Sit down at the end of today and review your calls from the previous week. Identify and write down all of the objections you faced. Keep a tab of your most popular sales objections; i.e. the ones you encounter multiple times throughout the week.

Next, create a solution, or solutions, to address those sales objections, and create a general response based on those solutions.

Then, when you deliver your presentation, lead off with your solution to address the problem before they bring it up. You’ll reduce your sales cycle time and your prospects will perceive you as a forward-thinking business consultant.

Want additional insights on your effectiveness in moving the sale forward? Want to know if your knowledge of the sales process puts you in the field of play?  Take our online sales evaluation here  and quickly assess how your knowledge and skills stack up in the industry.

The Secret to Influence in Sales – Making Your Ideas Their Ideas

sales influence how to make your ideas their ideas

In a previous post, I spoke about empathy and sympathy and how it’s better to be sympathetic to the client’s situation vs being empathetic and joining them in the situation. Let’s delve a little deeper into that and see how we can use this to influence the sale process. Continue reading

Buying Motives – Rocket Fuel for Your Sales Process

buying motives are rocket fuel for your sales process

Before we jump into buying motives, let’s revisit our doctor’s office analogy for a quick update.

When a doctor starts asking questions to diagnose the situation, the questions he or she asks are simple at first. They are based on their own general historical experience and their own historical knowledge of you. For example, “What’s your age? When was the last time you went to the doctor? How do you feel right now?”

The questions get more complicated as they proceed. Then he or she weighs your answers to figure out what problem or problems might need fixing. Then, based on their expertise, they can arrive at a proper diagnosis. Continue reading

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