I’ve been in sales for more than 30 years and I love it now more than ever.
That definitely wasn’t my attitude when I started out. So why do I love it so much, and now even more than before?
Let me walk you through 10 things I love about sales — which ones resonate with you?
1. Helping People Achieve Things
My definition of sales is helping others see and achieve what they didn’t think was possible. That’s what I love about sales. I get to help others make the impossible possible. And I get to do that every … Read the rest
Would you like to have more time to be prospecting and selling?
Perhaps a better, albeit obvious, question: Would more time for selling make you more money? (Of course it would!)
I want to help you have more time for what really generates money for you: selling.
Having a great process but not enough time to execute it properly is not a recipe for success. It’s a recipe for frustration.
I challenge you to read these five time-management tips, and then implement them this week.
1. Do Not Multitask
I’m going to pop the bubble right now.
When you multitask, … Read the rest
Who is in charge during your day, you or time?
As a sales professional, your time is valuable. And wasted time is wasted money.
Let’s explore six time management skills that could propel you to the top.
1. Be Ruthless
Top performers master their time. You see there’s two ways to look at the day. You can either control the day or the day can control you. Top performers control the day. They do this by being relentless with how they use their time. They are ruthless in terms of scheduling and following a process. This way, there is no … Read the rest
The price a customer will pay is a reflection of the value you create.
When learning about your prospect becomes knowing your customer, you can customize that value.
There are six things you should know and have in your prospecting tool belt before you present your next price.
1. Your Confidence Impacts the Price
Never allow a price to go out the door without legs being attached to it. In other words, allow your human presence to do the work. Don’t sit there and think, “Well, I’m not sure if they’re going to take it, so I’m just going to … Read the rest
There is only one thing we can’t make more of and that’s time. The new year is nearly half over — what do we want to make of it?
I choose to look at 2022 as the year of unlimited opportunity, and I see that not only for myself, but for you too. Regardless of where we’re at today, it’s how we choose to use our time moving forward that matters.
It’s time to make some decisions. What choices can I make for this to be the best year ever?
I can’t do everything. “No” is going to … Read the rest
Without a doubt, the easiest, most efficient and cost‑effective way to build your business is with referrals.
You simply cannot say, “But what if we haven’t been in business long enough to get referrals?” Excuse me, you’ve been on planet earth, haven’t you? That means you’ve got friends. You’ve got acquaintances. Referrals don’t just come from people who are actively doing business with you.
There are some great ways to integrate asking for referrals into your sales process. I’ve got 10 to share with you.
1. Build a Referral Network
Collaborate with other people who are like you, who you … Read the rest
Your annual plan in and of itself cannot be the end. It’s really just the start.
Preparing for the year ahead brings many benefits, including those that come via the process of just sitting down and creating one.
Assessing yourself and your business can bring about an awareness that allows you to avoid pitfalls in the upcoming year — because you’ve thought it through and done your research.
Of course, everyone could use an annual plan. But what you need is a really great one.
1. Greater Confidence
Your annual plan helps you enter the year proactively instead of reactively. … Read the rest
Does your lead even qualify as a valuable prospect?
Your time is valuable. Your skills are valuable, too. So, before you get too cozy with any lead in your pipeline, it’s worthwhile to take a moment to evaluate. Is this a prospect I can move forward with, or just a suspect?
I have seven questions you might ask yourself about a lead before you invest any more time and effort. If your lead can’t pass this test, you’d be wise to reevaluate the relationship.
1. Does It Match Your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile)?
I see so many salespeople who have … Read the rest
Following up with prospects is crucial to closing.
There are plenty of things that prospects like to hear, and can help make your follow-up more effective.
I think we both know the almost impossibility of making a sale on the very first contact. Without compelling follow-up, there can be no sales — and I’ve got seven ways your follow-up could improve.
1. Replay What They Say
This is the easiest one. You may have had one conversation with them, and they shared with you one piece of information. So, in your next email to them, you play it back. You … Read the rest
You’ve heard of ABC: Always Be Closing.
Let me tell you something: The days of ABC are gone. It’s closed. ABC is now ABV: Always Bring Value.
I want you to be thinking about this in every conversation you have. It is always about bringing value.
Let’s walk through the 10 things you need to be doing right now to be bringing value, because you will not be accomplishing this through ABC.
1. Ask More Questions
You create value by actually understanding what the customer is looking for. You understand what the customer is looking for not by telling them, … Read the rest
For now, I am going to walk through problems people have that make setting and achieving goals so difficult.
Here is the problem: Oftentimes, people simply set unreasonable goals or are even given unreasonable goals by their boss. However, your goal is only unreasonable if you fail to put a plan behind it.
If you are not willing to take the time then yes, it is completely unreasonable.
The unreasonable becomes reasonable when you have a plan.
2. No Commitment
The issue may be that you simply do not make a commitment to it.
You set your goals … Read the rest
Let’s not kid ourselves: Prospecting is tough. It is hard. I wrote the books High‑Profit Prospecting and A Mind for Sales because in order to prospect right, you have to have a mind for sales.
I want to walk you through 10 ways how you can make prospecting work.
1. Identify Your ICP
You will never be able to do effective prospecting if you are just spraying and praying.
You need to know who your ICP, or ideal customer profile, is. Get tight and get specific.
The tighter you are, the more specific you are. As a result, you are … Read the rest
This month, I’m sharing 10 ways to improve your selling skills in just 30 days.
You have to be disciplined in how you use your time and what you spend your effort on. You cannot allow yourself to be caught up in the shiny objects. You have to be disciplined to know exactly what you are going to achieve, and then be actively achieving it.
Do not waste your effort; if salespeople would simply be more disciplined in how to use their time, it is amazing how much more successful they would be.
This means consistency … Read the rest
Let’s talk in detail about how to have an effective demo call. I’ve broken it down into 10 things you can do to get better results.
1. Clear Outcomes
Make sure the customer is clear as to what the outcomes are at the end of the demo call. That means you have to be clear.
If you need to have a second demo call, then have a second demo call.
I commonly find salespeople going, “Well I’m just going to see where this goes.” No. I want you to have clear expectations because it’s going to help you stay focused.… Read the rest
I love sales. I absolutely love it. I hope you love sales too. At this time of the year, I want to share with you 10 reasons why I love sales.
1. It’s About Helping People
That’s what sales is all about. Salespeople help every day. We get to be out there helping others see and achieve what they didn’t think was possible. What could be more exciting? It’s our job day in and day out to help others! And add to that the ability to have a job where you could spend all day helping people.
2. It’s About … Read the rest
Oh, boy, we all have difficult customers. I’m going to walk you through the 10 ways to deal with these hard customers. In my book, A Mind for Sales, I write about this, however, I separate difficult and bad customers — putting them in separate categories. Bad customers are those that have ethical issues. They have issues with integrity. Other things come into play with bad customers, not just that they’re not good people to deal with.
Let me tell you something — bad customers are attracted to bad salespeople. When I hear a salesperson say that they have … Read the rest
In this column I’m going to share some lessons from the farm. Recently, as I was thinking about how I respond in difficult situations, I realized something that I want to share with you.
Growing up as a kid, I worked on the farm. No, that’s not sexy. And no, it’s not brutal. It was ugly. I picked strawberries. I don’t know if you’ve ever picked strawberries, but it’s hard work. The strawberry picking season would start right after school let out in June and through mid-July. Every year, the bus came by to pick me up about 5:30 a.m. … Read the rest
People continue to say how cold calling is dead and how in today’s environment, it no longer can be cost justified. The answer is both “yes” and “no.” Let me deal with the “no” first.
In the past few months, I’ve watched numerous salespeople shift all of their prospecting efforts to developing social media with such vehicles as Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook. The problem with this is it becomes a giant time sucker. The payout of social media in terms of developing sales short-term is very poor.
To develop a social media strategy requires time, and I’m a firm believer … Read the rest
Sell to the customer’s value expectations, not to your value propositions.
We’ve all heard the rule of listening to what the customer has to say, and there’s not a salesperson who thinks they don’t listen to the customer. Reality, however, is quite the opposite.
I find time after time when I’m working with salespeople across any number of industries that the failure to listen is a huge issue.
Too many salespeople believe that because they know the products they represent much better than the client, they know exactly what the customer will see as real value. It’s as if because … Read the rest
One of the new marketing trends is “disruptive selling.” This is defined as any marketing strategy that is bold enough, unique enough or out of the ordinary enough to create buzz and, consequently, sales. It could be marketing that runs counter to the time of year when competitors are running campaigns or that runs in the opposite direction of other campaigns.
This counter motion results in greater effectiveness and far less cost in terms of time and money.
Launching a successful disruptive marketing or sales program usually follows four basic steps. The first step is to throw out pre-conceived ideas … Read the rest
It’s been said that to be a successful salesperson, not only do your listening skills have to be great, but your closing skills have to be even better. However, I believe that while these skills are helpful, they are not essential. In my opinion, to be a top-performing sales professional, you must be a great leader. It is a fundamental character trait.
Although we have all known salespeople who have had stellar years based on the luck of a few great clients, those with sustained, long-term success always exhibit great leadership skills.
What is a leader? Leaders are people who … Read the rest
You will always be your number-one customer. It’s not the big account you service, nor is it the hot new prospect you just uncovered. It’s you. The reason is simple. If you’re not completely confident in what you’re selling, you will never come close to maximizing your sales potential. Your sales motivation will always lag behind what it really could be.
The current sales environment makes the need to sell yourself even more important. If you think you’re the exception to this rule and you’re not completely confident in the products or services you offer, ask yourself this simple question: … Read the rest
It’s the meeting for which you’ve been waiting.
Finally, you’ve been able to secure a meeting with the CEO of the company you know you can help. For the past year, you’ve been researching the company and developing relationships with as many people as possible.
In particular, you have gotten to know the two gatekeepers who have been up to now blocking your way to the CEO. Last week your call to the administrative assistant finally hit home and you’re on the CEO’s calendar in three weeks.
Now is the time to get ready.
The degree to which you prepare … Read the rest
Finding a quality person to fill a position is not an easy job. Although many people think they can be effective in sales, the reality is that few can do it well. Even more amazing is how many employers want capable salespeople, but are not willing to compensate them accordingly or invest in their development.
I once read a survey conducted by the employment organization, Manpower. They polled 32,000 employers in 23 countries. The results indicated that the number-one position they had trouble filling was not specialized like an engineer or accountant as some would expect, but, rather, sales representatives. … Read the rest
We all know that sales is really all about “closing the sale.” There is not a salesperson alive who does not use a variety of techniques to help them be successful with customers. However, I believe passion is the most underrated and underutilized sales tool in our arsenal, because it is too hard to measure and no one has found an effective way to teach it.
Why don’t more people use passion to their advantage? It’s simple. Passion exists in those who are humble, focused and unlikely to advertise their expertise.
Passion is an effective sales tool because it isn’t … Read the rest
Too many salespeople view their buyers as anything but smart, especially those salespeople who deal with purchasing departments. In far too many sales communities, there exists an attitude that buyers and purchasing departments are nothing more than barriers that need to be broken down.
Well, yes there are barriers. Ironically, though, they are barriers that more often than not are there due to the very actions of the sales community. One simple thing salespeople need to keep in mind is the fact the professional buyer sees far more salespeople in the course of a week or month than most salespeople … Read the rest
Anyone can sell if the price is cheap enough or if what is being sold is something people can’t live without. However, for the vast majority of us, neither of these luxuries are part of the scenario in our sales strategy.
The difficulty of selling is compounded by the fact that most customers have a wide range of options available to them regarding what they can buy. Therefore, in order to close the sale, it becomes necessary for us to stand out from other salespeople. One of the best ways to be different is by displaying a confident personality.
A … Read the rest
One position that has not been impacted by the economy is sales. Ask any CEO and you will hear that one of their biggest issues is finding and retaining good salespeople.
Something happened on the way to a sour economy: Too many companies learned the hard way that their salespeople didn’t know how to sell. Instead, their salespeople were good at taking orders and providing customer service. There is nothing wrong with this approach, as long as the marketplace is always going to serve up new customers and keep current customers in business. Does that kind of marketplace always exist? … Read the rest
I’ll never forget the first time it happened to me.
The presentation with the customer was going well. I had prepared extensively. In fact, I had not just spent more time than normal, I had stayed up nearly all night to make sure I had every element covered perfectly in my presentation. For me, this sales call was going to be a huge success. My boss had told me this was going to be a difficult quarter, and that’s all I needed to hear to motivate me to close this particular sale.
The customer I was meeting with was tough. … Read the rest
Salespeople love to complain about buyers. One of the complaints salespeople share the most is that buyers never seem to make up their mind. Just about the time it looks like they’re going to make a buying decision, they suddenly hold off.
Yes, there are times when a buyer legitimately can’t make a decision. Many times, though, the delay is nothing more than a tactic on the part of the buyer to get a better deal. This is especially true of professional buyers, who see numerous salespeople on a regular basis. Why should anyone make a decision quickly if they … Read the rest