How to Maintain Your Key Accounts


For many salespeople, one single account provides as much as 30 percent of their total personal sales volume — a statistic that keeps many of us up at night!

But instead of causing you stress, it ought to be telling you something important about the amount of time you should be putting into managing your current customer list. Managing your relationships with your existing accounts is one of the most essential tasks you should be performing every day.

Key and strategic customers have unique requirements that the best salespeople monitor regularly and seek to fulfill. You can’t just assume that … Read the rest

Dislodging a Competitor


You have a huge account you want to win — but one of your competitors is already servicing the account. Dislodging your competitor is going to be a long-term, strategic process that requires persistence, patience and more than a little creativity.

And once you win the account, you’ll have to work hard to retain it — eventually someone is going to try to dislodge you too.

If you really want to win an account away from your competitor, you can. Let’s take a look at some strategies that can help you get these hard-to-win accounts and keep them.

First, the … Read the rest

If You Can’t Hire a Good Salesperson… Make One


Turnover for salespeople typically hovers around 25%, and at some organizations it’s even higher. As a result, managers spend weekends or lunch hours sorting through countless resumes, trying to find that elusive candidate who has demonstrated expertise in sales. And if you’re one of the lucky managers who has found a salesperson to hire, consider how long it has taken your new employee to get up to speed. And how much of your time has it taken to get him or her there?

If this sounds like your experience, I’d like you to think about an important question: Is a … Read the rest

What Your Buyers (Really) Want


“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”

The quote is so common because it’s unquestionably true. Of course your prospects would like a low price. But nine times out of 10 they know that “low price” can often translate into “poor quality.” The fact is your prospects value many other things besides low price, some of which can be just as persuasive, whether you sell products to end-users or services to major corporations.

In addition to price, there are countless other factors that get people to buy. Let’s take a look at … Read the rest

The Dumbest Things Salespeople Do


The truth is, knowing what not to do in sales is just as powerful as knowing what to do. Make sense? So I’ve assembled a list of the dumbest things that we’ve seen salespeople do — things that are virtually guaranteed to completely derail your selling career.

They Don’t Become Students of Their Craft

They begin strong selling careers, and they really get into it — but then they go to sleep at the switch and forget to do things like read industry publications or new books by sales masters. They don’t go to sales seminars. They don’t listen to … Read the rest

Use Questions to Gain More Selling Power


Studies show that most people approach a buying decision with some level of anxiety. The truth is, they really don’t want to have to make a decision. Believe it or not, your prospects are very often looking for an excuse not to satisfy a need or want. The decision‑making process is just too stressful for them.

What does that mean for you? Your job as a sales professional is to help your prospect overcome this anxiety — their desire to avoid making a decision — and commit to satisfying his or her need or want with your product or service.Read the rest

Identifying Buying Signals


For a salesperson, identifying buying signals is the ability to analyze the events in a sales situation and make a determination as to when the prospect is ready to buy.

A salesperson with good skills in this area is attuned to the verbal and nonverbal signals of their prospect or customer. A common mistake that many salespeople make is approaching a prospect or customer with a preplanned presentation and delivering a “pitch” — blatantly or inadvertently ignoring buying signals even if the prospect may be ready to buy.

This improvable skill of identifying buying signals is a combination of intuitive … Read the rest

How Important or Fatal Is a Strong Ego to Sales Success?


Which type of ego is more destructive for your business: one that is aimed toward conquest of accounts and assertive behavior to find, sell and deliver business, or one that focuses on internal destruction, empire building and self or departmental protection?

That is an interesting question, isn’t it? Research clearly shows that a strong ego is essential for sales success. It is also essential in strong leaders and effective executives and managers.

Here’s the rub: An out‑of‑bounds ego can get in the way of a lot of things. Friendships, business relationships, business strategies, alliances, careers and even entire companies have … Read the rest

Managing Your Most Valuable Asset — And You’ll Be Surprised at What It Is!


How do you manage the accounts you have already sold? In many cases, the most grueling and demanding part of dealing with customers is not in the sales process. It’s after the sale is made! And that’s when the hard work really does begin.

The most difficult part of being a politician may not always be getting elected. It’s delivering what you say you’ll deliver after the election — that’s the hard part for the elected official. As Lyndon Johnson once said, “It’s easier to throw a grenade than to catch it.”

Let’s take a look at some fundamental ideas … Read the rest

How to Be “Up to Par” in Your People-Reading Skills


In order for salespeople to succeed in today’s highly competitive marketplace, they must be able to effectively read their prospect in more ways than one to gauge where they stand with that prospect.

Unfortunately, far too many salespeople lack this essential skill. Here are a few of the 400 or so ways that you can become better at reading your prospect.

Body language could be the single most important way that a salesperson can read a prospect. These unspoken signals include power hints, insecurity hints, disagreement hints, boredom hints, evaluation hints and indecision hints.

Power hints are apparent when your … Read the rest