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 »

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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 »

Create an All-Star Roster

Every person who works in sports tends to loves sports and most think they can be a general manager.  They read the sports pages and talk around the cooler about how lousy of a job the local team’s general manager is doing.

Think further about this.  If you are a hiring manager, aren’t you, in essence doing the same job as a sports general manager?  You are managing a roster of people who have a common task to achieve, right?  Haven’t you made that “can’t miss” hire who interviewed well but didn’t deliver on the (sales) floor?  And if you have a stingy HR department that is over processed, you may as well be working with contracted employees since you can’t move on the bad ones.  Seems like you might be stuck with the roster that you drafted (hired).  You’re doing the same job just in a different function, look at it that way and it’s not so easy to be a general anymore huh?

If you can avoid the Jamarcus Russell picks while assembling a mix of superstars along with some role players, you’ll be set.  Just like any GM would.  There are some tips to help avoid these pitfalls, read below. Read the full post »

You are a Brand, Control It

I’m sick of hearing salespeople, or just employees for that matter, play the blame game.  They blame their spouse, they blame their leads, they blame their territory, they blame their employer, and so on.  In essence, they hold everyone else accountable except for themselves.  They blame others for their failure or mediocrity.  They let others dictate their brand.

Believe it or not, you are a brand.  Sometimes it’s referred to as a reputation when speaking to a person, but I believe that it’s bigger than that.  I believe that people are a brand that can add value to themselves regardless of the situation.

You build a solid brand by making yourself better, by accomplishing tasks, and by building a reputation as an expert.  You can’t do it by sitting in your cubicle, so get busy with the steps below. Read the full post »

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. Read the full post »

5 Tips on Speaking with a Gatekeeper

More times than note, the sales process begins with non decision makers AKA gatekeepers.  Keep in mind that a gatekeeper is not always a receptionists or secretary.

I wrote earlier about how to get around a gatekeeper by calling when at times when he/she won’t be at their desk, or at times when generally a decision maker is available. However, if you must talk to a gatekeeper, you better do it correctly or you have no shot at getting transferred.

Most salespeople simply try to bulldog through the gatekeeper. Does this approach sound like yours?

Gatekeeper: Hello ABC Company
You: Yes, may I speak to Jim
Gatekeeper: May I tell him this is regarding
You: Blah blah blah…you’re done at this point. 

As soon as the gatekeeper has to ask you why you’re calling, you’re pegged as a salesperson…a pushy one at that.  To get through a gatekeeper, you must first understand why you are being blocked. There are a few reasons.

  •  That you’re calling to offer something that won’t be beneficial to the company
  • That you’re hiding something or being a seedy salesperson
  • That you’re a pushy jerk, and if you’re a jerk to the gatekeeper, you are going to be a jerk to the DM as well
  • That you’re going to take a lot of the DMs time
  • You’re offering something that may make her look foolish for passing you through to his/her boss

Really, what it boils down to, is that there is a perception that you will make the gatekeeper look bad if they transfer you.

However, you want to do the opposite.  The gatekeeper should be worried about getting in trouble if he/she DOESN’T transfer you because their boss is going to miss out on a great opportunity.

You can do this by: Read the full post »

Change Can Be Good, If Its For The Right Reason

I have hundreds of conversations each week with salespeople about their career path.  It seems as if most are looking at the “greener grass”.  Either in terms of an employer or in position.

Lots of salespeople elect to change positions for the wrong reasons.  Some covet management positions simply so they don’t have to make sales calles.  Others want to look for a “better” employer because they don’t like their current one, or because the new one may sound sexier…they do this without thinking that the new employer might be the same as the old, or that management might not be their best fit.  In essence, they change just because.

The thing is, is that there is truly no such thing as a greener pasteur…only ones that look greener when you’re not actually there.

What really needs to happen is a self-evaluation.  Not in terms of skill set, but what you are looking for in an employer and career.  You need to look for the qualities that you want in an employer and position and base your decision on that.

While I cannot tell you what you should be looking for (you need to determine that), I can tell you what I would look for.  I defined them as the five (5) “E”s. Read the full post »

Find Better Talent

Sales managers spend a lot of time interviewing potential candidates.  The unfortunate thing is that most of this time is wasted because the interview process isn’t effective.  What I mean is that the interview itself is often canned and a true feel for the candidate is not received.

How can we make it more effective?

Some things are better than others.

Their personality is better than yours:  I don’t mean this in true fashion.  What I mean is that managers inadvertently look for people who act and have the same background as them.  This is often a mistake as the only person who can be you is you.  Just because a candidate doesn’t have the same work experience, doesn’t mean they won’t be a killer employee.

Read the full post »

Work Hard AND Smart

Mike Dunlap, coach of the Charlotte Bobcats, had an interesting quote.  He said, “Back in the day, hard work used to be a given, now its a talent”.

In sales, if you don’t have hard work, you’re not going to be successful.  Therefore, if you’re not top of the charts in effort metrics, you shouldn’t read the rest of this post.  This post is to help hard workers maximize their efforts.

This is not to be confused for a short cut.  This is to be used to enhance your efforts to make them more effective. Read the full post »

CRM WORKS

Fact:  SALES MANAGERS LOVE CRM

Fact: SALESPEOPLE HATE CRM SYSTEMS

Why is this?  Its because there is a disconnect between salesPEOPLE and sales managers.

Sales managers want to ensure their salespeople are working…while sales people, especially veteran sales people, want to do things their own way and not be micromanaged.

Can’t we all get along?

Here is the true fact, if the system is used correctly it is a benefit to both parties.

How can it be used effectively? Read the full post »

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