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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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). (more…)

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. (more…)

Three Tips for Sales Presentations

Its funny when you are the prospect being pitched by some sales guy, it is also very interesting.  You get to critique his technique, you know what he is trying to do, you know when the close is coming, and you can talk circles around his pitch.  However, when you run into a really good salesperson, you find yourself enthralled with their talent.  I had this experience last week when a salesperson visited me at my home.  That salesperson was experienced, in both age and years of selling, and while I thought I knew how I was going to stop his antics, he surprised me by providing credibility, solving objections before they occur, and had the guts to close on the spot.  Lets revisit his techniques. (more…)

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