Improve Your Closing Ratio

This is a trick post.  No, I don’t mean that you won’t learn how to improve your sales.  A good pitch with superior questions is the best way to improve sales. This is a fall back step for the time(s) that your pitch doesn’t go as planned and you receive an objection.

Reality is, is that most first (and second and third for that matter) objections are simply screens to the real reason the prospect isn’t buying.  The prospect doesn’t want to say no to your offer so they throw up a simple excuse to get you to go away.  A majority of salespeople simply accept that objection, try to handle it as best as they can through some methods they’ve learned, and then become frustrated that the prospect still won’t buy.

Now, most trainers teach objection resolutions that revolve around empathy and understanding, which I agree that you need those emotions and approach.  However, most salespeople will show empathy in the place of guts.

Beating the objection is a three (3) step process that will either lead to the true objection or a sale.

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Selling in a Tough Environment

Lets face it, most of us work in a difficult sales environment.  This doesn’t mean that we sell a bad product or work for a bad company/organization.  What it means is that we face fierce competition or work in an economy that is weak.  When unemployment is up, like it is in a lot of cities, it makes it very difficult to sell a product that can be labeled as a discretionary or “luxury” spend.  Put in competition for those discretionary dollars and you now face a difficult selling situation.

Given that we’re in these situations, it doesn’t make any sense to make it difficult to buy.  However, some of us still do that.  Status quo does not work in these situations.  So, whether you work for a team in the middle of a labor situation, work for a team that has no owner or an owner in financial distress, or you simply work for a team with a “rebuilding” product.  You can still put up league topping numbers if you create a low barrier to entry and sell your sellable assets.

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Make Informed Calls, Not Cold Calls

You are sitting at your desk making sales calls.   But now the computer is missing. A pile of 8 x 5 cards is stacked in front of you. Each card contains only a name, address and phone number.  Sliding your hand into your pocket for your cell phone, you find only lint. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over….into the Twilight Zone.

I don’t think any of us want to go back to the times of index cards and no computers.  How successful would be today if all you had was a name and number on a piece of paper?  Luckily for you, those days are over.

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Fish Where the Fish Are

This isn’t a hard concept, its common sense actually.  However, it is also paired with hard work and long hours, therefore, many ignore doing this.  Instead, they would rather bang out 100 cold calls and get nowhere… or, worse yet, they may spend half the day researching leads only to make a call and get shut down.  They do this because it is simply the activity that fits into their scheduled work hours.

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New Year, New Goals

It’s now the end of January and you should have had time to reflect on your achievements from the past year.  If you’re still reflecting, now is the time to stop.  The top producers forget about the past and are always moving forward toward the future.  They are not content with past success or past earnings, they simply know that the revenue must keep coming in for them to earn commissions and eventually get promoted.

My new year’s advice is:  Read the full post »

Effort or Experience? If You Must Choose, Which One Do You Pick?

The ultimate question for managers.  Most want both, and if you can find a salesperson that does both, do whatever you can to keep that person forever.  However, many times it’s a struggle.  For one reason or another, experience leads to less effort and sales behaviors that have the potential of harming the department.

So I ask the question – How do you handle the experienced salesperson who can put up some numbers but doesn’t exude the principles and effort that you would like in your department?

Here is the rub.  Salespeople believe that as long as they are putting up numbers that everything is okay.  They believe that revenue dominates every other action that may be displayed.  To a certain point, they are correct, however, we all know that other actions are taken into consideration.

This situation can be defined in that age old saying “Risk vs Reward”.  How much do you value this salesperson’s production versus the potential damage that is being done to the department. Read the full post »

Sell to Their Value, Not Yours

Over breakfast the other day, my friend mentioned how he was running in the morning but that the weather was killing him.  I then belted out, without thinking, “join the YMCA you can afford it”.  The look from my friend said it all.  See, he could more than afford the monthly membership to the YMCA, however, he never joined because he wasn’t sure if it was worth it.  This is a common mistake that salespeople make.  They pitch on what they “think” someone could or should buy, not necessarily what they want to buy.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t show a prospect premium items.  You should, but
only because you believe that the product you’re pitching is the best value for the prospect’s investment.

The secret to doing this correctly is to find the buyers’ value.  Below are subjects that can help identify what is valuable to them.  Once you find that, take those values and compare to your offering(s). Read the full post »

LinkedIn is the New Cold Call

Well…its not really, but let me tell you that it’s a nice way to compliment your current outbound efforts.  See, I believe that the cold call will never die.  However, I’m also a believer that you can take a cold call and effectively downsize the number of calls it takes to get to the decision maker.  LinkedIn is one of those techniques that you can use to complete this action.

To do so, you must first have an active account that is COMPLETED.  By completed I mean that you need to have a profile pic, past work experiences, list of organizations that you’re involved in, and give an overall picture of who you are.  If you can, get recommendations from past clients that you’ve helped.  You can complete a profile in only a couple of minutes, so there really aren’t any excuses on why you shouldn’t do this.

So, how exactly can LinkedIn shorten the process and help you sell?  Keep reading. Read the full post »

How Good Could You Really Be?

Have you ever looked up at the end of the year, see your numbers and thought you could have done better?  Even if you have had an outstanding year, if that July slump didn’t happen, or if that one big deal would have closed you would have sold and earned more.

The truth is that it’s not that one sale or that one slump caused you not to maximize.  Most likely it was the culmination of several acts that led to your final results.

You most likely hit a period of the year where you changed your behavior for the worse.

Sometimes success is our greatest enemy.  When things are going well we tend to think that our fortunes won’t change.  This causes us to become complacent with our actions, attitude, and strategy.  When this happens, we make ourselves susceptible for a slump, or off sales year.  While this happens to the best of us, there are certainly ways to minimize the risks.

Keep Your Focus:  When things are going well, we should not only keep doing them, but should maximize our efforts.  Ever hear the saying that the best time to make a sale is after a sale?  If you’re on a hot streak do everything possible to keep it going.  Do not change your behavior. Read the full post »

Time to Self Motivate, Double Down Effort, and Work Smart

Ever find yourself in a sales rut?  You’ve been cruising along putting up numbers but then suddenly your pipeline is empty.

Often times it is the successful salespeople who get stuck in neutral first.  They believe that they can kick it into high gear later on, but a majority of the time this simply backfires and they suddenly find themselves in the middle of the pack.  This is how a top salesperson turns into a mediocre one…they put themselves in neutral and they don’t take advantage of every opportunity. Read the full post »

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