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Persistence Without Stalking
8 Sales Questions You Can't Live (and Sell) Without
Disarming the Price-Squeezing Customer
The Best Stuff vs. The Right Stuff
Winning the Battle of Commodization
"Referrals" are a Waste - Introductions are Gold
Preparation Equals Negotiation Success
Get Your Prospects MAD
"Send Me a Proposal"
Communicating a Price Increase
Persistence Without StalkingKelley Robertson on Prospecting Return to Top
You can't get the sale unless you persist. But how do you pursue your prospect without coming across like a stalker?
Persistence is a vital skill that every salesperson needs. It's been said that most sales are made after eight contacts with a prospect. However, most people tend to give up after just three or four attempts. Let's explore the behind-the-scene dynamics involved in a typical scenario.
Meet Mrs. Executive. Her day is booked solid, scarcely allowing her to catch her breath between each meeting. Some meetings are internal. Others are with clients and customers. A few are with current suppliers or business partners. She has a dozen balls in the air and spends most of her time trying to juggle them all. She has several major goals she wants to accomplish this year but progress is slow because the demands on her time are non-stop. Continue
8 Sales Questions You Can't Live (and Sell) WithoutJim Domanski on Sales Questions Return to Top
Questions help you uncover what you need to know to sell. Without good ones, you're just stumbling in the dark.
Make no mistake about it; questions are the key to good selling. Good questions will get you good information. Good information helps you sell and sell more. Here are eight great questions that you simply can't sell without. These are not the only questions you could ask, but they'll serve you well in every selling situation.
1. The Who Question
Never, ever assume that the person you are speaking with is the decision-maker. Your contact may be only one of a number of individuals who could influence the sale. Know the players so you can prepare strategies and tactics to deal with them. Your challenge is to find out if there are other participants in the decision without putting your contact on the spot. If you're too blunt, the prospect might mislead you. Here is a simple question that you can't live without. Use it every time: Continue
Disarming the Price-Squeezing CustomerPaul Cherry on Price Objections Return to Top
What's a salesperson to do when customers are more concerned with getting a low price than getting the best value for their money? Find out how to get customers to look past the price tag by uncovering what they value most.
You've been prospecting this company for ages, and finally got your foot in the door. You're apprehensive because you're meeting with the purchasing agent - not the big boss, but it's a start - and you know you'll get hammered on price!
The agent shakes your hand. "Tell me what you can do for me - and how much it'll cost me." Already, he's squeezing you on price! You want to make him recognize the value of your business solution. He only wants to dance around it, singing, "Sure, value's important. But how will you save me money?" To land this sale, flip the record and hear what he's really singing. Here are six techniques to build rapport with mid-level decision-makers and prevent them from getting hung up on price. Continue
The Best Stuff vs. The Right StuffThe Brooks Group on Establishing Value Return to Top
Find out what quality has to do with getting your full price, rate, or fee. It's not what you think. If your customers are haggling with you over price, you need this advice.
If you want to earn a serious income as a salesperson, you must understand not only what "quality" really is, but what it has to do with how much your prospects are willing to pay for the products or services you sell. You need to know how viable the quality of your product or service is as a competitive advantage: In some cases, it may be the single most important reason your prospect buys.
"But I can't sell on quality ours aren't really the best on the market."
Most salespeople believe that quality means "best." But quality does not really mean best. Quality means conformance to standards and expectationsyour prospect's standards and expectations. Quality means the right stuffnot the best stuff. Quality is the correct stuff for your prospect's requirements and needs, not the best stuff made. Continue
Winning the Battle of CommodizationJill Konrath on Standing Out Above Your Competition Return to Top
The other day, I met with executives from two very different businesses. One firm sells products that cost a couple thousand dollars; the other sells services costing hundreds of thousands annually.
Yet both have one thing in common in today's marketplace, their clients view them as commodities. Differentiation is difficult because truthfully everyone is offering pretty much the same thing.
So what can you do in this situation? It's a question most every organization is wrestling mightily with in today's rapidly changing sales paradigm.
Some tell their reps to stress their companies' great services. Unfortunately, since that's what everyone is saying, it's pretty ineffective. Others tout their technological superiority. But customers don't believe any one company can remain an industry leader for long. Product/service bundling is another option, but ultimately it drives prices down so much that only low-cost providers can survive.
Added value is another strategy companies are using in their misguided attempts to stay ahead of competitors. Continue
"Referrals" Are a Waste Introductions are GoldPaul McCord on Referral Selling Return to Top
Referrals get your calls answered and open otherwise closed doors, right? Not really. Find out what you really need to make referrals work.
Rick's client was somewhat uncomfortable with his request. The sale had gone well enough--everything considered. But this last question about referrals was a little uncomfortable. His client was completely caught off guard. He wasn't the least prepared to give a referral and wasn't comfortable giving one. But Rick asked and stood his ground until his client coughed up the name and phone number of one of his vendors that might be able to use Rick's services.
Rick was excited; as the referral he received was to a company he had wanted to get into for quite a while. Better yet, it was a referral to Nadia, the company's COO, the exact person he had been wanting to reach. He quickly thanked his client and headed to his office to call his new prospect. Continue
Preparation Equals Negotiation SuccessColleen Francis on Negotiating Return to Top
Going into a negotiation can sometimes feel like entering a battlefield. Great negotiators know that it pays to come to the table well prepared. Here are nine areas you need to address to be successful.
Mediocre salespeople are notoriously bad planners. It can be said that they habitually "play" more than they "practice." They go into most sales interactions unprepared, thinking they can "wing it" and negotiate "off the cuff." Top negotiators know differently. Top performers know that in order to successfully negotiate with clients they must plan carefully or risk being left vulnerable. Without proper strategy, your opponents will use your lack of preparedness to their advantage. In other words, you are likely to give up more than you intended because you didn't have a plan.
Here are nine areas of planning to consider before you start a negotiation with a client. Continue
Get Your Prospects MADSales Concepts on Qualifying Prospects Return to Top
You probably think you need prospects to like you before they'll buy. How about getting them MAD?
A key part of every salesperson's responsibilities is to keep their respective sales funnel full of potential opportunities. The opportunities can be new; some can be "organic" (from existing business). Either way, both count based on the prospecting you have done to drive business.
Whether you are at a trade show, over the phone, or face-to-face at a customer's facility, you will need to quickly determine a prospect's legitimacy. Wouldn't it be great if legitimate prospects wore buttons that said "I'm The Man!" (or Woman). Of course, selling is not that simple and the challenge of identifying the legitimate prospect is part of the fun and excitement of selling. Continue
"Send Me a Proposal"Chris Lytle on Proposals Return to Top
Wow, they must be serious -- they want to see a proposal. You'll think differently after you check out this advice.
Here are four words you really don't want to hear: "Send me a proposal."
If you have made a good presentation and the prospect has a problem you can solve, then you want the prospect to write you a check. That would be a better outcome than going back to your desk and writing a proposal, wouldn't it?
Too many salespeople stop selling as soon as a prospect says, "Send me a proposal." They take it is a buying signal and believe they have had a "great call." Whenever a salesperson tells me, it was a "great call," I know instantly that he didn't get an order. Continue
Communicating a Price IncreaseMark Hunter on Price Objections Return to Top
No one wants to be the bearer of bad news. So how do you tell your customers that prices are going up?
Even the most sales savvy among us have had to fight back the nerves that arise when we're about to tell a customer about a price increase. It never makes for an easy conversation. When relaying a price increase in a business-to-business environment, remember that your customers have probably had the same discussion with their own customers. A company exists only as long as it earns a profit and it can only do that if it delivers a quality product or service at the right price. The key to any conversation about raising prices is emphasizing that the increase will ensure product quality.
To prepare your strategy for announcing a price increase, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Does the customer take your product/service and add a standard percentage increase in price when selling to their customers? Continue