Sales success can be broken down to an almost mathematical equation that works every time. There is a direct correlation between work and results when it comes to sales success. If you do the proper amount of work in three key areas, you pretty much guarantee sales success. If you don’t do the proper amount of work in those three areas, you will struggle and may fail completely.
Tip #1 — Start Higher up the Ladder
The higher you start up your customer’s chain of command, the more likely you are to reach someone with the authority to say yes. … Read the rest
Recently I was speaking with a vice president of sales who explained he was having trouble motivating his salespeople. “They’re just not putting the work in. They’re doing the bare minimum and I can’t seem to do anything to get them going.”
First, when hiring salespeople, you want to hire people who are self-motivated. Just as you can’t teach honesty, integrity, and other key character traits, you can’t teach motivation and you can’t motivate anyone. That said, here are a few ideas to nudge them in the right direction and maybe even motivate them a little.
Keep in mind that … Read the rest
A couple of months ago, my article was centered around the number‑one sales success factor: hard work. This month I’ll discuss the second most important sales success factor: self-discipline.
Self-discipline is important because it ensures that you do the hard work every day whether you feel like it or not, because there will be days when you don’t feel like it. One of the most difficult paths a salesperson maneuvers is that of staying motivated throughout the day. The amount of rejection a salesperson faces, along with the other ups and downs of the job, coupled with natural physical cycles … Read the rest
Recently someone asked me how they can become the absolute best salesperson possible. This question caused me to go back and look at my 35-year sales journey in which I became a number-one sales rep in three industries during my sales career and number one in two more during my sales training career when I had to prove to two eventual clients my ideas would work in their industries too by outselling all their sales reps.
The plan below takes into account everything I’ve learned about what it takes to be number one in sales anywhere in any industry. It … Read the rest
The above title, “Why Less Work Is the Way,” showed up in my email box from a sales speaker and trainer in another attempt to make a ton of money with an online course. I see this far too often. Another example of telling salespeople what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear. The average salesperson is desperate to significantly increase sales while at the same time avoiding calling on strangers and facing rejection. Look, unless you have tens of thousands of dollars to spend on online advertising, or you can afford to hire a bunch … Read the rest
Here’s a quote that prompted this article: “I like making deliveries. I look at that as end-to-end sales. I sell it, make sure everything goes smoothly and then finally I deliver it and make sure they’re happy.”
On the surface, it sounds good, right? I mean that makes sense except for one thing: the definition of a salesperson is someone who sells, not someone who sells it, takes care of all the paperwork, financing, etc., preps it, and finally delivers it.
I find that for whatever reason, whether it’s the fear of rejection, or simply not wanting to call on … Read the rest
This week price has been coming up a lot on my coaching calls with sales reps, but there was one comment in particular that compelled me to write this article.
In a story related to a sale he made last week, a rep said, “I told the guy, ‘Look, you just tell me where the competition is, and I’ll cut my price to match it or beat it.’” After instructing him to never utter those words ever again for the rest of his life, he came back with, “Why not? It’s an easy sale every time. All I have to … Read the rest
Recently I met with a new sales rep who’s been in sales for a little over six months.
He’s made two sales; he should be closer to 30. I started by asking how many sales calls he’s been making, how many proposals he’s presented, what he’s been saying, and what his overall process has been. It didn’t take long to identify his problem.
Keep in mind that most prospects are simply trying to get rid of you. The average executive has 52 hours of work on their desk and gets 200 to 300 emails a day along with 25 to … Read the rest
I was recently in a sales meeting for a company that I just started working with. One of the subjects that came up was how to handle the first interaction with the prospect.
By first interaction, I’m referring to the first conversation with someone who seems to have some interest and has decided to at least give you a few minutes of their time. In sales meetings, I’ll usually ask if someone has an example of what they do in that situation and if they could share it with the group. In this case, Wayne volunteered. He’s a veteran at … Read the rest
Monday, January 2, 2023, was the perfect day to make some sales calls.
Because January 1st was on a Sunday, most businesses were closed to give employees an “official” day off from work. The closed companies included most of the ones I do sales training for. That made Monday, January 2nd the perfect day to test the sales reps I train, in particular, the ones I had coaching calls with that day.
I have different ways to test sales reps to see which ones are committed and have their head in the game and which ones don’t. One way I … Read the rest
There’s an idea I share during my speeches that massively increases the business of everyone who follows it. It is not for the faint of heart and it takes some work, but it will significantly grow your business if you’re willing to do it.
Many of you are going to groan, wince, swear, or do all three when you hear this. Few people will be willing to do it. Please don’t be fooled by its simplicity: after all, most problems have simple solutions, we as humans just like to complicate them so we have an excuse for a lack of … Read the rest
It amazes me how many salespeople don’t have an annual sales plan. Of those that do, many just put it together once and barely, if ever, look at it again the rest of the year.
We all know that people with written goals and a plan for their achievement, who focus on those goals continuously, are much more likely to hit their goals than those that don’t. Yes, it’s some work up front, and during the year, but the payoff is tremendous. Here are the steps to set up your annual sales plan.
Step 1: Set Your Goals
What ultimate … Read the rest
When I started my sales training business, I used to speak to some sales groups for free. Two days before one of those speeches I got an email from the sales manager saying that the salespeople wanted to spend the time in their next sales meeting learning how to use a new software program vs. listening to a speaker. She said the new software program promised to double, triple, or even quadruple their current sales. I had a similar experience while cold calling when a sales manager told me that he was holding off on sales training because they had … Read the rest
I belong to a workout group called Battle Ready. Basically, it’s everything you want to know about working out, weight management, etc. It’s run by Erin Alejandrino. We have a couple of group calls every week, and a recent one tied into sales.
The first five reasons for poor results in workouts, weight goals, and overall health were also the same reasons that some salespeople’s sales results are poor. Here are the five.
Reason #1: A Lack of Activity
I’ve said it many times, the number-one reason salespeople fail is that they don’t make enough calls to talk to enough … Read the rest
No matter the industry or organization, they all seem to have a historically slow time of year, the summer and holidays are usually the biggest. In addition, changes in the economy, the market or industry, pandemics, and supply‑chain issues can also lead to slow sales. That said, there are some things you can do about it. You don’t have to simply accept your fate as most companies and salespeople do.
Some Things to Consider Doing During “Down” Times
Be a contrarian. The average salesperson cuts calls and activity by 37 percent when there’s a hiccup in the economy or market. … Read the rest
Three times in the past two weeks, prospects or clients have asked me about hiring salespeople; so, here are my tips.
Keys to Hiring Sales Reps
Tip #1: Start with people skills.
If someone lacks people skills, they will never be able to sell effectively.
Tip #2: Look for self-esteem, self-confidence, work ethic, integrity, and the right attitude.
After people skills, these are the key character traits. These can’t be trained; people have them or they don’t. You have to look for these and test for them in your hiring process.
Tip #3: Be wary of unemployed salespeople.
Unless someone’s … Read the rest
These days it’s extremely easy to stand out in business and sales. Work ethic, sales skills, follow‑up, and attention to detail are all at historic lows in many sales forces.
Here are some ideas that will help you stand out from all salespeople, even the best. Some of these are tips for standing out among other salespeople from a client perspective, others are tips for standing out from a peer perspective. Many of these will make the average salesperson groan because they require next-level commitment and hard work. The top salespeople on the other hand will love these, and probably … Read the rest
Sales success simply boils down to talking to enough of the right people the right way. The right people are people who have a need or desire for what you have, they have the ability to make a decision on what you have, and they have the means to invest in what you have. Speaking to them the right way refers to saying the right things all the way through the sales process from getting and keeping their attention on the first call all the way through closing the sale.
All of that said, here are four major roadblocks that … Read the rest
I spent my first six years in sales successfully selling over the phone, making between 200 and 300 hundred calls a day. For me, the phone was an effective way to sell to strangers all over the country. If you use the phone at all, whether it’s initial calls or follow-up calls, here are some tips that will be helpful.
Tip #1: Have a Mirror With the Word “Smile” on It
As you are speaking on the phone you want to look into your own eyes in the mirror as if you are looking into the eyes of the person … Read the rest
As salespeople we’ve all had the situation where a decision maker told us they were interested, asked us to follow up at another time, and now after several follow-up calls and emails, we can’t get ahold of them and can’t get them to return our calls. So, why are prospects ghosting you and what can you do about it?
The #1 Reason You Get Ghosted: The Prospect Was Never Really Interested to Begin With
Solution: Make sure people are actually interested. If someone tells you to get back to them at another time, you can’t let that sleeping dog lie, … Read the rest
Do you want this year to be your best year in business and sell more than you’ve ever sold before? If so, here are four tips, plus two bonus tips, for having your best year ever.
Tip #1: Determine Why It’s Critical You Have a Great Year
What are you capable of if you set your mind to it? Pretty much anything, right? So, whether or not you’ll have your best year will pretty much come down to how compelling your reasons are for making it happen. Find your why in positive reasons for making this your best year and … Read the rest
The greatest in any field of endeavor have always been great at the basics.
Vince Lombardi, the great Green Bay Packers coach, said football comes down to two things: blocking on offense and tackling on defense, and his great Packer teams spent 80 percent of their time on those in practice. Red Auerbach, who coached the Boston Celtics to eight consecutive championships, had his players practice free throws and shots from very short distances over and over again. Bruce Lee, Pavarotti, Tiger Woods, and all the other greats have always known the importance of focusing on and mastering the basics … Read the rest
You’ve probably heard the sayings that “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” and “People need to know, like, and trust you before they’ll do business with you.” The truth is: until people know you care, most view you simply as a salesperson trying to make a sale. With that in mind, how do you build trust and rapport rapidly and let people know you have their best interest in mind so you can move toward the sale?
Here are seven ideas to build trust and rapport.
1. Treat Everyone You Meet as … Read the rest
Without closing nothing happens, products aren’t manufactured, trucks don’t move, people don’t work, and money doesn’t change hands. If there is no closing, there will be no business. So, arguably closing is the most important part of the sale; however, if you have a great presentation and you give it to a prospect who is not qualified, the best closing skills in the universe won’t bail you out. In this article I’m going to assume you’ve done everything else right, in other words, you have a properly qualified prospect, you have a good presentation, you’ve sufficiently matched your solution with … Read the rest
There are two primary character traits that almost guarantee success in a salesperson. Of course, they need to have people skills first and foremost, but assuming they do, these traits usually seal the deal.
Salespeople who possess these two character traits will move Heaven and Earth to reach success and if they have these, they’ll also have most of the other qualities you want in top producers. In addition, you won’t have to babysit them to make sure they’re doing what they should be doing, they’ll do what they should be doing automatically, provided of course, you’ve given them proper … Read the rest
I recently came across an old sales book, Secrets of Closing Sales, by Charles B. Roth.
In the book he wrote about a group of salespeople in Detroit who tried a new idea and increased their sales by 100 percent. He then described another group in New York City who used the same idea and increased sales by 150 percent. Finally, he cited several examples of individual salespeople who used the idea and increased their sales by as much as 400 percent.
Once again, what’s the number-one key to business building and more sales? Right, activity. Making lots of … Read the rest
If you’ve read past sales articles of mine, you know I talk a lot about the two major keys to sales success: lots of the right activity and great sales skills. That said, while a lack of activity is the biggest killer of sales success, a lack of great sales skills isn’t the second biggest killer.
The second biggest killer is more subtle. It’s so subtle, in fact, that most salespeople go through their whole sales careers and never figure this one out, and as a result, they never become the salesperson they could be.
The Second Biggest Killer of … Read the rest
Time hurdles and what to do about them.
When I talk to sales reps who aren’t hitting their numbers, it usually comes down to a lack of activity; in other words, they aren’t making enough calls to get the prospects and ultimately make the sales. “I don’t have enough time” is the biggest excuse I hear regarding why they aren’t making the necessary calls. Not having enough time can be due to a few factors. Here they are and here’s what you can do about them.
Time Hurdle #1: There Really Isn’t Enough Time
This is the person being pulled … Read the rest
Sales isn’t rocket science. We’re not putting a man on the moon. Hundreds of millions of salespeople have gone before you and they’ve left clues on how to sell successfully. The key is to put those clues into a system that works, something you can follow again and again with predictable results. This system is a sales process.
Without a process, you leave everything to chance and you can’t identify what you’re doing wrong because you do it differently every time. There’s no consistency, there’s no benchmark, there’s nothing to compare to. If something goes wrong, you can’t look at … Read the rest
Almost every time I get a new client and start to look at what the sales team is doing, I see the same patterns and mistakes over and over again.
Many times there is a plethora of things to fix but what I’ve found is that if you can just focus on two key areas, a lot of other things align and allow you to significantly increase sales. So, instead of overwhelming them with everything they need to fix, I break it down to two steps and tell them to simply focus on these two areas.
Step 1: Make Lots … Read the rest