• All
  • Attitude
  • Hiring
  • Management
  • Meetings
  • Motivation
  • Planning
  • Process
  • Skills
  • Technology

How to Pull Off a Sales Boost

Every now and then a boost in sales is called for. At times, you’re “feeling it”, and setting a new personal record might be up for grabs. Maybe you’re behind on sales and something needs to turn around. The normal…

Selling Strengths Can Work Against You

While recently leading a webinar I mentioned how creativity, which I consider one of many selling strengths, can work against me. Being creative helps me solve client problems and present ideas in ways that help others understand. Creating is also something that…

Is Your Sales Compensation Plan Working For You or Against You?

Remember when your parents would say, “You’ll understand the value of this when you grow up?” They were trying to convince us to do what they were saying in hopes that someday it would make sense and we would appreciate…

What Do You Expect of Your Sales Team?

How is your sales team doing at meeting your sales expectations? Are they hitting their goals, following the sales process, completing their admin tasks and meeting your activity expectations? …..Sorry, I’m having a hard time hearing that loud, YES!  But…

Just Play and Win Sales

The competitive nature of selling can be a double-edged sword. On one side competition can turn up ones motivation and on the other side it can distract you from being your best. The chase becomes more important than what needs…

Sales-Team Meetings – Interesting or Boring?

What are the body posture and faces of your sales team telling you during your sales-team meetings? How willing are they to engage into discussions you initiate? I hope they’re engaged, but let’s face it weekly sales-team meetings can become…

Is Your Company Culture Attractive to Top Sales People?

Are you ready for sales growth through top performing sales talent? If so, it’s a good idea to examine your company culture. If you’re looking for someone who will take the bull by the horns and work till the goals…

High Return – Low Cost Sales Training

When I’m making a purchase I want the most out of the money I spend. Sometimes I’ll buy the most expensive choice and other times the least. But in either case I’m looking for the greatest value for what I…

Who’s A Better Salesperson, You or Your Prospect?

Just for fun, imagine one of your prospects from a recent selling opportunity who has no sales experience is asked to join your sales team and sell in your place. They are now the salesperson and you are their coach.…

Meaningful Selling Conversations Don’t Happen by Accident

Do potential client/customers trust you? Of course they do, right? How do you really know? Most of us base this answer on a gut feeling more than on factual information derived through meaningful selling conversations. The best indicator of trust…

How Much is Fear Effecting Your Selling Conversations?

I’m thoroughly enjoying the book, Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play by Mahan Kalso and Randy Illig. The authors not only provide an easy to implement methodology but they address what we as sales people need to do to get…

Retrofit Your Sales Communication Tools

We sell in a time that has an abundance of sales communication tools at are our disposal. The more tech forward tools include email, smartphones, text, and social media for the most part. Then of course, there’s what might be…

Make The Value Connection

The value that matters most in a sales conversation is the one the customer can connect with. Are your prospective customers making a value connection with your offering, or is it possible you are trying to convince them of the…

Selling Meetings – Prepare Twice and Meet Once

Dear Salesperson, I’ve seen the hard work you put in all day. I see you making calls, doing research, sending emails and making more calls. You put in this effort to produce selling meetings required throughout your sales process.  You…

The Joy of Selling In The Present

  In my personal selling experience as well as watching others sell, I’ve come to appreciate selling conversations that are enjoyable. They’re not a struggle or stressful. There’s no guessing or worrying involved. They’re simply a series of conversations that…

Desirable Sales Traits

It’s easy for me to write about sales people because I’m one myself. Being a salesperson provides me an insider’s perspective on who we are and what makes us tick. The most desirable sales traits of a good sales person…

Increasing Sales Can Begin With a Yellow Sticky

I remember when Angie joined our team. She was just out of college and eager to do her job well. It was her first sales job and she plunged right in. For months she was selling her quota of forty…

Tune Into Your Customers Buying Process

We’ve all been in those situations when a salesperson is trying to build your interest after you’ve already decided to buy. If the salesperson would just stop talking you could place the order. Then there’s the times when you’re not…

What Type Of Loyalty Are You Developing?

When you are at the check out at most big box stores you can expect to be asked, “Are you a rewards member?” The rewards are designed to encourage us to buy at the store more frequently. Loyalty is being…

The Selling Skills Blueprint To Strengthen Your Sales Team

If you’re a salesperson, you’re usually measured on sales revenue or account additions. When you’re ahead of the game it comes with a pat on the back and maybe a bonus. If you’re behind you get a reminder to work…

A Narrow Market Niche Can Lead to Preferred Sales and Profit

Most people will support the notion of having a narrow market niche as long as there is enough lead flow. Which sales person wouldn’t want to solely work with their ideal type of customer since it’s easiest to work with…

More Sales and Less Stress…Sound Nice?

If you’re a top performer you’re always looking for more sales. You also know the details of wrapping up new business can be stressful and get in the way of finding new opportunities. It can seem like no matter how hard…

Shhhh..Use These Listening Skills and Sell More!

No one calls and asks me for help to improve their listening skills. I’m often asked to help with approaching people or phrasing sales messages, but not how to improve their listening. Why do you think that is? I think…

The Most Important Decision In The Sales Process

In every selling process a buyer will make many decisions that lead to their final buying preference. They decide to research your product, take your call, meet with you, or visit your office. Every email they choose to respond to…

You’re Paying Your Sales People HOW MUCH?

The HOW MUCH in this blog title could be describing overpayment or underpayment of your sales team. Where does your pay plan fall? Are you paying your sales people too much or could it be you are under paying them?…

Fishing Secrets That Will Help You Land Big Accounts

There was a season in my life where all I thought about was fishing. I didn’t take it up until my late 20’s and for about 10 years I couldn’t get enough. Looking back now, I can see how it…

My Top 10 NFL Success Quotes for Selling

Two of my favorite things in life are watching NFL games and helping sales people figure out the game of sales. When you listen to many of the interviews by winning NFL players and coaches you’ll hear tips that can…

Seven Ways to Improve Your Sales Forecasting

Business becomes much more enjoyable when you can predict what your sales and profit margins will be. The problem is sales forecasts are usually less reliable than predicting the weather. Mark Denning, CPA and Author of  “Drive Your Business to Financial…

Sales Meetings Can Be Money-Makers

Have you ever heard sales people complain about attending sales meetings? You might hear comments like, “What’s the sales meeting for?”, “Do you know how long it’s going to be?” or “Do I need to be here?”  Does your company…

Five Reminders To Help Buyers Understand Your Value

There’s a verse in the bible that states, “Don’t cast your pearls among swine”.  I’d translate it in sales terms to mean, don’t present what you know as valuable to someone who’s not ready to see it the same way.…

Do You Run Your Sales Process Like The Tortoise or Hare?

Are there times when your sales process seems longer than needed to win some business? You don’t really need to ask all these discovery questions or meet with multiple contacts and deal with the CRM input, do you? Here’s a…

Listening Can Pay Back Up To $14,000/hour

I recently received a 60% discount on a medical treatment when I was calling to pay in full. Are you giving away discounts rather than listening or having a difficult conversation with a customer or client? When you get to…

Purpose and Profit: A Balanced Sales Approach

Have you ever heard the phrase, “he has dollar signs in his eyes”? It means the buyer perceives the salesperson’s more interested in their commission to be won or lost than they are with the buyers needs. Buyers don’t want…

Sales Conversations: Who Should You Be Calling Next?

More quality sales conversations equate to more sales. So how do you create a steady flow of sales meetings on your calendar? If you have a consistent flow of people calling you to do business each week then I say,…

Sales Management Made Easy

Wow! I just re-read an incredible article on managing in a way that frees up more of your time.  It’s titled MacGregor. It’s a research paper on management that is written in a nice story format. The story is of…

Where to Find Your Hidden Referrals

Have you run out of people to ask for referrals or are you going back to the same well too often? I know a place where referrals might exist that most of you have never explored. As with all referrals,…

Quit Using Closing Techniques

My wife Carolyn, and I were discussing the topic of closing a sale. I said to her, “A salesperson doesn’t have to close sales”, and she quickly replied, “Sometimes I want to be closed.” I asked, “Do you want to…

Managing Expectations Makes For a Pleasant Buying Experience

When somebody calls in and starts asking questions about your product or service, they usually want you to be “the man”. They’re hoping your product or service is the answer to their problems. They really don’t want to shop around.…

Mirror Mirror On The Wall..Have I Been Outsold?

Imagine yourself sitting in front of your CRM or meeting with your manager during a debrief session. It’s time to answer the question, “Reason for Losing the Sale.” The common choices are related to price, product, service etc. I’d suggest…

Maintain a Selling Edge – Be Different

Today’s buyer-empowered age makes it difficult to stand out in a buyers eyes solely through product knowledge. The importance and necessity of being knowledgeable remains the same, but it doesn’t provide the same differentiator as it once did. Standing out…

Whose Responsible for Sales Motivation?

I received a question on motivation today. “What’s the best way to motivate a sales team without high pressure?” Before going into the details and do’s and don’ts take a look at the question. What is the question presuming? I…

How Do You Change Sales Underachievement to Overachievement?

Revenue’s down, sales goals aren’t being met, it’s classic sales underachievement and there’s one group to blame, right? Or is there? Sales people obviously need to carry the ultimate responsibility of securing more business but they can only be at…

Patience & Urgency in a Sales Process Yields More Sales

How patient should you be in a sales process? I’d say as patient as you need to be as long as the process is continuing. Am I saying you should just let the buyer lead the sales process? No. At…

One Page Sales Proposal

I’d like to introduce you to an alternative approach to presenting and reviewing proposals with your prospective buyers. Picture the key elements of your proposal laid out on one page, either Letter size (8.5 x 11) or Tabloid (17 x…

Sales Plan – Work Smarter Not Just Harder

To plan or not to plan? Time to answer that question again. As the New Year approaches Sales Manager Now has been working on client sales and business plans for next year. In our experience more than half of the…

How Committed Are You to Your Sales Goal?

When unforeseen obstacles and challenges present themselves during a year, the commitment you have to your sales goal will be tested. Here’s a story of a team that passed the commitment test. Our United States space program plans for every…

Recruiting Sales Reps in Tough Times

Recruiting Sales Reps in good economic times can be a difficult challenge for small business owners and managers, especially when it’s not a regular practice. When times are tough and unemployment is high, it can be downright daunting. Sales Reps…

Are You Being Referred to Decision Makers?

How successful are you at having your contacts make effective introductions to the right decision makers (being referred)? If you’re not having as much success as you’d like, you’re not alone. Here’s a question I ran across on LinkedIn.

Conversations Build Trust While “Selling” Loses It

The best selling conversations are among two or more people that trust each other. How you communicate in your sales conversations will either build or lose trust with your prospect. I asked buyers on LinkedIn, Which phrases tell you someone…

Qualifying Prospects Means Saying No to Hopeium

  The definition of Hopeium is: “the irrational belief that, despite all evidence to the contrary, things will turn out for the best.” It’s a term that has made its way around society but is particularly relevant to the world…

How to Use a CRM System to Boost Sales

Unless your CRM system is used wisely, you’re better off without one. Yes, that’s coming from a veteran Sales Manager who, like most other Sales Managers, is controlling and directing by nature just as an effective Sales Leader must be.…

Increasing Sales is Not Always a Recipe for Increased Profit

We’re in the process of tightening up the sales process with one of our clients. In the past two years the focus has been on increasing sales (new business) and holding the line on retention. Sales Processes have been instilled;…

Recruiting the “Right” Sales Rep – Part II, Selection and Interview

In my previous blog, we discussed the critical importance of recruiting Sales Reps for your organization and the need for a consistent, continuous plan of action.  For long term growth and stability of your business, you should have a pipeline…

Recruiting the “Right” Sales Rep for Your Organization

Hitting “300” in Major League Baseball is excellent.  Not so in the world of Sales Rep recruiting.  So how do you drive up your average by limiting the old “swing-and-a-miss” to being few and far between?  Successful recruiting of Sales…

Does Referral Selling Work?

On LinkedIn a business owner asked, “Is business growth through referrals possible?” He further explained, “In B2B, is it possible to actively, positively encourage client referrals?” He continued, “I’m not talking about just doing a good job and waiting for…

Retaining Your Best Sales Reps – Sales Management ROI

I think we’d all agree that finding good Sales Reps is key to increased profits and a more enjoyable sales management experience, but finding them is only half the battle. Retaining your best Sales Reps is where greater profits and the…

Quit Sales Prospecting and Go Meet Someone

This blog is not about a new term for sales prospecting, it is more about what your mindset is when needing more prospective clients. When your mindset is to “find” or “get you” some prospects you might be focused more…

Increasing B2B Sales Does Not Happen by Accident

Most of us have heard the definition of Insanity, “Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.” In most sales departments as well as in the company in general, a little “Insanity” usually exists and it is…

Five Keys To Improve Your Sales Closing Ratio

To improve your sales closing ratio you need to focus on working smarter and harder. Once you have proven to yourself you can produce consistently at an acceptable level most good sales people want to sell more. Since sales is…

Sales Tip: Leave an Effective Voicemail Message

Should you leave a voicemail message or should you hang up when cold calling? I have seen both work, but with caller ID just hanging up becomes a little more obvious to the prospect and can work against you. I…

Selling Strong in a Weak Economy

If you have managed to maintain your sales volume and customer base during the past 14 months, I say well done! If business has been down or you feel like you have taken a beating during a weak economy, make…

Sales Manager Evaluation

I have received a number of searches seeking sales manager evaluation criteria. Here is a list to consider in your hiring and evaluation process.  LEADERSHIP – How effective is the sales manager at providing leadership for their sales team and…

Improve Qualifying Prospects and Managing the Sales Process

If you have sales reps spinning their wheels, pumping out proposals but not closing an acceptable percentage of business, they might need some help with qualifying and managing the sales process. In order to manage your sales people easily and…

Sales Tip: Disconnect and Refocus

Have you walked into a selling situation where the prospects seem completely sold on another vendor or approach and shows little interest in hearing about your solution? Sometimes it might feel as if they are defending their preference as a…

Sales Tips: A Strong Relationship Can Lull You to Sleep

Business relationships are no different than personal relationships. Things can go awry when we take things for granted, become less appreciative or neglect the details that first built the strong relationship. The relationship can begin to effect your upselling technique.…

Modern B2B Sales and Dangerous Leadership Gaps

Someone on Linkedin asked the question, “What is missing in the sales profession today?”. The fact is I don’t see much of a difference in today’s B2B sales people as in years past (30 years of selling, managing and consulting).…

Selling is More Than Closing Business

Are you building a sales career or living or dying by your next deal? Tiger Woods is working toward a career objective, and as we saw Sunday at the PGA Tournament, things don’t always go as planned. Closing business at…

Lead the Sales Process

There was a time when leading the sales process was very easy as buyers depended on salespeople to be the expert. Today, buyers are much more educated and informed and will at times tend to lead the sales process themselves,…

Build Lifetime Value Through a Referral Network

What is the value of the contacts you made today? If you have an answer to this question you are viewing the value of your contacts from a short term perspective. We never will know the value of any contact…

Build Direct Sales Motivation by Managing Persistent Sales Follow-up

Richard Saling on Linked in asked this great question. “When does persistence cross the line to diminishing returns. We all hear about the importance of persistence. That old saying “Persistence pays off”, but how much is too much where you…

Reduce Your Selling Cycle and Maintain Sales Motivation

We are selling in a different time (2009). The economy is lagging or flat out bad in some industries. In general I have heard these trends. Decisions are being delayed, pricing is more scrutinized and in general decision makers are…

Outbound Expertise : Unify Your Sales Voicemail & Email

I sat in a sales meeting a couple of weeks ago and heard a great idea practiced by a rainmaker. His approach to prospecting generates interest and increases his email response rate. It also qualifies prospects without talking to someone.

12 Tips on Selling in a Slow Economy

My clients and I have a motto, “Don’t Be Denied.”  What a great time for the cream to rise to the top. When weaker sales people are worried about a slow economy and the negative effects it will have on…

Service-Minded Selling is Not Always Easy

Service-Minded Selling sounds admirable until you are tested to choose between serving your client in a way that might cost you the sale. This week a sales rep (Jon) shared that a prospect was looking for a new system a…

Persistent Follow-up Leads to Sales

I am a firm believer that every contact I make is a potential sale waiting to happen. When a prospect says, not now, no or maybe it is only a delay in a purchase from them or from who they…

Business Sales Coaching: Spiritually Speaking

This blog is not intended to be a religous pitch, as I understand that each of us needs to come to terms with our own beliefs regarding sprirituality and religion. It is intended to share my personal experience as I…

Sales Follow-up With Class and Value

When it comes to sales follow-up, are you coming across as pushy or are you viewed as a partner? Here are some basic guidelines to making your sales follow-up a way to nurture the customer with class by adding value…

Three Closing Sales Questions

In most buying or closing sales conversations price becomes a focus or at least it should. We must know what the buyers acceptance level is with our price. If acceptance is high or low make sure you know the answers…

Sales Tip: Referrals – Alter What You Ask For

Yesterday I was talking with Mike, a sharp CCTV rep about referrals. He has been working on increasing his referrals, mainly by asking for them, and it has paid off.  I asked him how his last referral conversation went. He…

Sales Management Tip: Answer Three Questions

Lou Holtz, retired coach and motivational speaker says employees or team members want to know three things about their manager or coach; 1) Can I trust you?, 2) Are you committed to Excellence, and 3) Do you care about me.…

Simple Sales Process : “Making it Look Easy”

Developing Sales Professionals (SP) is what I love to do. Watching a seasoned professional in action is very exciting to me. Last week I had the privilege of doing just that as this Sales Professional worked through a simple sales…

Sales Process Management : Rigidity vs Flexibility

To achieve peak performance with your sales team you need to be consistent with team systems and processes and unique regarding individual relationships. All sales people are not the same but most sales people can perform above average with a manager that…

Sales Tip: Sales Compensation Guidelines

Cream rises to the top, oil and water separate and driven sales people will perform toward their compensation drivers. Early in my sales career a start-up wanted a fast increase in market share. To achieve this they priced aggressively and…

Sales Team Motivation Checklist : Identify Motivational Drains

Finding a sales reps “motivation drain” is a skill every sales manager should sharpen. It is needed when specific sales activity slows or stops.  I was working with a client and his motivation and activity to making new appointment calls…

Sales Tip: Use Analogies to Make Your Point

A simple and powerful tool to help prospects understand your message is an analogy. Yesterday a client sales rep was in a competitive situation, searching for a new way to help a prospect understand his company’s level of expertise. The…

Sales Networking Events : Introducing Value

At a sales networking event I overheard a conversation between a consultant promoting QuickBooks support and a potential prospect. The consultant was using terms like, “In my opinion….”,  “what you don’t want to do is……”, and “our system and process…

Sales Tip: Sales Discovery and Client Business Objectives

In the last blog I stated that most sales people don’t inquire enough to understand core business objectives because they are uncomfortable asking business questions or don’t know how. We all know sales discovery meetings can be tricky. Let me…

Sales Discovery Questions: Partner vs Sales Approach

Understanding your prospects business objectives will lead to a partnership relationship. This starts with a service oriented mindset that leads to asking valuable Sales Discovery Questions. Most, if not all business buying decisions are tied to a business objective which…

Land Large Deals Through Consultative Selling

A lesson I learned about fly fishing relates to the sales process of landing a big deal. I was taught my chances of catching a big fish were increased not by the amount of times I presented a fly, but…

Staying in Control of The Sales Cycle

You’re out of control of the sales cycle when the next step is decided by the customer or prospect. When I debrief with a new salesperson I often hear them refer to appointments that end with customer comments like these:

Scheduling Sales Appointments is Not Selling Time

You have probably heard the phrase too much information can be dangerous. It usually happens when a new rep is in training and his knowledge of sales and product is growing at a rapid pace. We are currently training a new…

Sales Tip: Sell More by Hearing ”No” Early

One of the sales people I work with shared that she was struggling with a prospect. The prospect was polite, but aside from agreeing to continue the sales process was not sending any clear buying signals. In fact, she seemed…

Predictive Tools for Hiring Sales People

Good people that can sell make great sales people. Good people that can’t sell, don’t. It’s easy to be swayed by someones charisma or charm. Just because you like them and they fit in with the team does not mean…

Sales Tip: Making Solid Appointments

Some salespeople I work with have a higher than normal no-show or cancellation rate with their appointments. They are hard working, honest sales people seemingly doing the right things, yet people are still no-showing them. Their problems might be in…

Managing Through Sales Activity Leads to Sales Coaching

This is a simple and short reminder on measuring sales activity. Have you heard the phrase, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure?”  It’s true.  If you want to manage a sales person/team you need data to base your coaching, support…

Is Pricing or Selling The Problem?

If you are a sales manager or owner you probably hear the same things I do related to pricing. Sales people will say they need to discount for this or that. It is either a competitive situation or a loyal…

Every Sales Person Needs an Advocate

Today a sales person called with bad news. Unresolved service issues caused a good customer to cancel service. The salesperson explained they had repeatedly worked with a vendor to resolve the issue but problems persisted. What the salesperson was saying…

Hiring for Team Qualities Improves Everyone

We just hired a new sales rep at one of our client businesses. We took our time and and followed our hiring process to find the best qualified person that was a good fit for the sales team.  In a world of…

Leadership Brings Life to Sales Team

H. Dale Burke in his book, “Less is More Leadership” has a great quote. “When your memories are more exciting than your dreams,  you’ve begun to die.”  If you find yourself talking more about what was, than what can or…

Sales Tip: The Most Important Sales Question

Wouldn’t you like to know what the most important sales question is to ask? When I started consulting I met with Harvey Meier (www.harveymeier.com), a 30 year veteran to management consulting and asked him, “If you were to give me…

Sales Tip: Sharpening Your Sales Tools

One of my client’s sales people called today and left me a message. He explained how he had a tough night with personal stuff and the morning had not gone much better. His day was heading down hill which included…