3 Quick and Easy Steps to Achieving Sales Success

keys sales success tyson group

Sales Wisdom I’ve Discovered in my Career

Throughout my time in sales, I’ve researched numerous complex theories, process descriptions, tactics, and strategies. In addition to these, I have also come across a number of quips from sales gurus who try to encapsulate sales success in a simple phrase that can be easily understood, even by a 5th grader.

For example, Zig Ziglar was famous for saying, “Either you’re green and growing or you’re ripe and rotten.”

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Why ‘Maybe’ Is The Worst Sales Response You Can Get

why maybe is the worst sales response you can get

This post on sales responses was originally published on Oct 21, 2016  and updated on May 15, 2019.

When we get our prospects to clarify their objections, we want to get them to specifically identify the problem or challenges they are finding with our solution.

Remember, our overall goal is to get the prospect to say something. You’ve got to get them to say either yes, no, or maybe.

And for the record, maybes suck. Continue reading

3 Steps to Resolving Objections and Winning the High Ground

resolving objections and negotiations in the sales process

Here’s a tip I’ve learned in my travels through the sales landscape – words matter! The words you use help frame the situation. And how you frame the situation will either expand or limit your options in resolving objections and mastering negotiations.

Consider the negotiation process. There’s plenty of phraseology out there that highlights “battling” an objection. Now, if I’m trying to do business with you, I don’t know if we are necessarily going to do battle. I think the wiser choice is to first find out where we both agree. Continue reading

Sales Presentation Factors for Persuasive Prescriptions

sales presentation persuasive prescription

In a previous post, we looked at a few requirements to move the sale forward. We need to get into the prospect’s mind and answer 5 questions. We must also supply evidence to back up our claims. And we must provide third-party validation to ease the prospect’s concerns. Continue reading

Sales Training Exercise – Your Sales Close Depends on Achieving This

trial close to achieve sales momentum

In the good-old-days, sales was all about the sales close. In fact, corporate sales teams had manuals stocked with various phrases and tactics their sales reps could use to close the deal. They had the Ben Franklin close, the Puppy Dog close, the Assumptive close, the Columbo close, the Now or Never close… Continue reading

Sales Training Exercise – Building Powerful Sales Testimonials

sales testimonials thumbs up

One thing you have to remember when you’re standing in front of your prospect is that they perceive everything you say as suspect. After all, you are the salesperson. You’re supposed to say good things about your product or service. That’s why we coach our clients to answer one of the critical questions in their prospects’ minds – who says so besides you. Sales testimonials will do that for you.

Here’s a tip: If you make a claim about your product or service, your prospect will have doubts. If someone else make a claim about your product or service, your prospect sees the claim as more credible.

When we performed sales in our call center days, I encouraged my sales team to gather testimonials from their customers at every opportunity and to get those clients to print out the testimonial on their letterhead. My team then assembled those sales testimonials into a 3-ring binder. This became a tool for every salesperson when they went to a prospect and performed their solution presentation. The client then had physical evidence that someone else, a peer in their industry, was backing the sales team in their efforts.

This concept isn’t new.  In car sales, sales managers have been posting pictures of happy, satisfied customers standing next to their new vehicle for years. Letters of recommendation are a variation of this principle. And if you attend any webinar that is selling a service online, you’ll notice the speaker trots out several sales testimonials from happy, satisfied clients before they make their closing statement. The latest hype with online reviewers like Yelp is simply the digital incarnation of this principle.

Sales Training Exercise – Sales Testimonials Exercise

Here’s your assignment this week. Contact 10 of your best customers and simply talk to them.

Ask them:

  1. Why they bought your product or service
  2. Why they decided to do business with you
  3. How your product is currently performing
  4. If they’re satisfied with their purchase
  5. How the product or service has impacted their lives professionally and personally

You want to know everything about how your product or service has changed their situation.

There are three reasons for this:

  1. First, you need a reason to reconnect with your customers. Many salespeople don’t call their old customers back until they’re ready to sell them something new. While that may be a reason to call, it certainly won’t make your customer feel good about the interaction.
  2. Second, your customers need to remember why they did business with you. They need to reconnect with how you were a problem solver and how your product changed their lives.
  3. Lastly, ask them to write a testimonial for you. This testimonial will highlight everything you just asked them: the challenge they faced before your offering, how their situation changed after your offering, and the impact it’s had on them personally.

These sales testimonials are a powerful form of evidence that you can use to support your sales process. Now you have a response to the question that’s in your prospect’s head, “who says so besides you.” And it gives you more credibility when advancing your sales process.

 

Are you currently using evidence in your sales process? Want to know if your knowledge of the sales process puts you in the game?  Take our online sales evaluation here  and determine if your sales process gives you an unfair advantage over your competition!

 

LinkedIn Ain’t Selling – Insights Into Social Selling

linkedin and social selling

This post on social selling was originally published on Nov 17, 2016  and updated on Feb 13, 2019.

I often get asked to give a talk on the power of social media and how that works in the profession of sales. There’s still a lot of buzz around the topic of social selling and it makes sense with more professionals using platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter for business. But make no mistake, social media is not a substitute for strong sales skills and processes. Continue reading

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.