Friday, February 27, 2009

Celebrate Success Daily

Sales trainer Mark Hunter has a useful blog that he updates regularly with tips, advice, and inspiration for salespeople. He recently wrote this inspiring post that's perfect for a Friday - and everyday!

"At the end of each day, congratulate yourself for accomplishing whatever you believed was your most successful event of the day, even if it is something as small as getting an email from someone," says Hunter. "The key is to never allow your day to end with a negative thought."

"I use this technique myself and have shared it with thousands of others over the years. Those who do put it into practice often come back to me later on saying how much of a positive impact it had on them."

"Many times, the most successful tips are the simplest and this one doesn't require any great skill," continues Hunter. "It just requires you to find the positive in everything you do. Even on bad days, there is always something to be grateful for. Don't waste time lamenting about the bad stuff. Focus on the positive and use it to influence your outlook."

Read The Sales Hunter's latest thoughts and comments about consultative selling, sales development, and sales motivation techniques at www.thesaleshunter.com/blog

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Rules for Cold Calling - Part 3

Cold calling is not dead. Telesales expert Wendy Weiss made a successful living with cold calling and now has expert advice for you to do the same - the only thing is, you need to get out of the dark ages and look at new ways to cold call. Here's her last rule to earn money with cold calling.

Have a system


This is probably the hardest rule for most people to follow. I am always surprised by the number of sales professionals and business owners who do not have a good system to track their prospects--or even their customers. In 2009 there is no excuse for not using some type of contact tracking software.

In addition set up your "Best Practices" for prospecting. What are your systems for contacting prospects? How often do you try a prospect before letting them go? What scripts are you using? What scripts are you using for voice mails? What email templates are you using? What is your system to follow up with prospects? What other tools are you using to support your prospecting efforts? While the answers to these questions are outside the scope of this article, they are important and will have a great impact on any cold calling campaign.

While cold calling has changed in certain ways, the bottom line is that cold calling still works. It must be targeted and you must have a compelling, market-focused, value-centered message that will resonate with prospects. Rather than manipulation, cold calling is sorting--you are looking for those prospects who are looking for you. For cold calling to work best, it is about sorting your prospects with a system. Cold calling is about conversations that lead to conversions, it's not about closing on the telephone on the first call.

The "numbers game" and "open the phone book and call" days are history. Cold calling is not dead. Long live cold calling.

Learn more from cold calling expert Wendy Weiss at www.wendyweiss.com or email her at [email protected]

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Rules for Cold Calling - Part 2

Telesales expert Wendy Weiss is back today with a few quick tips to help you update your cold calling skills and earn more money. Keep these in mind when you pick up the phone today.

Use all available tools

While it is more difficult to get prospects on the telephone today, the good news is that there are more tools available to you to reach your prospects directly. While at one time the only way you could contact a prospect was via their office phone (or perhaps a letter) today you can also call the prospect's cell phone and/or send an email.

Always try to reach your prospect directly first. It is always better if you can have a conversation. If after several attempts and, if this is a prospect that you truly want to reach, you can leave a voice mail message or send an email.

Remember: As with your script, the rule for a voice mail or an email is to lead with the value that you provide. That is what will gain your prospect’s attention.

Look for the prospects that are looking for you

Rule 1 was to create your "Qualifying Parameters" so that you could create a targeted list. Keep your "Qualifying Parameters" in mind as you speak with prospects. Remember: You are looking for the best prospects, the ones who are most likely to buy, buy again and keep coming back to buy more. The myth is that cold calling is manipulating prospects into buying things they neither want, nor need. The reality is that you are looking for the prospects that are looking for you. So look to qualify your prospects out. If during your conversation with a prospect, you realize that prospect no longer fits your "Qualifying Parameters" then they are no longer a prospect for you. Let them go.

Learn more from cold calling expert Wendy Weiss at www.wendyweiss.com or email her at [email protected]

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New Rules for Cold Calling

A few weeks ago we ran a series from telesales expert Wendy Weiss with cold calling tips to bring your prospecting into the 21st century. This week Wendy's back with some final tips that will give you the push you need to convert those calls into sales, no matter what the state of the economy.

Craft your approach
Bottom line, cold calling is a communication skill. You want your prospect to understand the value that you represent and how it will positively impact them. You want the prospect to be interested and excited by what you have to offer. In order to achieve that result you must craft your language.

One thing that has not changed over the years is that you don't have a lot of time to grab and hold your prospects' attention. Because it is so difficult to get prospects on the telephone it is imperative to be prepared. When you get that prospect on the telephone you must have something compelling to say. If it is not interesting or relevant to your prospect they will not want to speak with you. This is not the moment to be winging it. If that prospect says, "I'm not interested" and then hangs up, you will not get another chance.

Lead with the value that you provide and use some concrete examples to illustrate that value. Make sure to ask for what you want, a meeting, an extended telephone conversation, or perhaps scheduling a time for the prospect to see a web-based demo. Over time you will memorize your approach. If you are just starting out, write it down so that you won't have to think about it or worry that you'll forget. You can simply concentrate on your prospect.

Create Telephone Theater
It's not only what you say; it's how you say it. Your voice conveys as much if not more than the words you say so take the time to practice out loud. Call your voice mail and record yourself, listen to how you sound. You want to sound warm, friendly and confident, happy to be speaking with your prospect and with the sense that you have something important to say.

Learn more from cold calling expert Wendy Weiss at www.wendyweiss.com or email her at [email protected]

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Quote of the Week

"Life is 10 percent what you make it, and 90 percent how you take it." -- Irving Berlin

There's a lot going on in the world that you have absolutely no control over. You can't exhaust yourself working to fix the economy single-handedly!

Concentrate on the things under your direct control, and make sure you're doing your best there. With everything else - keep your head and your attitude up. Things will change - and when they do, you'll be ready for them.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Are you forgetting your Bread and Butter Customers?

Sales Diva Kim Duke's grandmother was a young woman growing up during The Great Depression. She used to tell Kim, "You always need to have bread and butter money." Kim has been selling successful for over 20 years, on a nearly 100% commission basis by applying her grandmother's advice: she always takes care of her "bread and butter" customers.

So who are your "bread and butter" customers? They are the steady, consistent customers who buy from you regularly --Refer you on a consistent basis --Typically give you small to medium sized orders (which often turn bigger) --Pay within 30-45 days

Have you forgotten about your bread and butter customers?

"The bread and butter customers are typically the first ones to be forgotten and taken for granted during lush economic times," says Duke. "When the ball drops and your big, fat clients fall over and wither away into raisins you are left with nothing but bills and a dead database of previous customers you haven't connected with in a long time."

"If you've been smart, your bread and butter customers will still be there," says Duke. "You haven't forgotten about them while you were also attracting larger business. The bread and butter customers are still spending money with you every month - they are referring other customers to you and your cash flow is looking quite fine. But, if you're struggling with sales right now - it's because you haven't been treating your bread and butter customers properly."

How do you get your bread and butter back on the table?

Kim says:

1. Make A List.
Pull a report of all the customers who've purchased from you in the past 3 years.
2. Look at the Top 30% of those customers and get on the phone and meet them if possible for lunch or coffee. Or have a phone meeting instead.
3. Ask Them What They Need Help With. What their challenges are. Who you can connect them with.
4. Follow-up. Send the thank you cards, get the proposal together, ship the product - do what it takes to regain their trust.
5. KEEP IN TOUCH WITH THEM. Bread and Butter customers need to be kept informed - so get your newsletter or ezine together, blog, Twitter, use direct mail - don't fall off the table again. (You probably won't get another chance)

Kim Duke is an unconventional, sassy and savvy sales expert who shows women small biz owners and entrepreneurs how to increase sales in a fun, easy, stress-free way! Learn more and sign up for her free e-zine at www.salesdivas.com

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

What's hot, what's not?

If you're looking for someone who knows what works and what doesn't work in sales, then trainer Skip Miller is your guy. He recently put out a "Hot or Not" list that makes it clear what you should be doing - and what should be retired.

Not
Face to face sales calls. Seeing the same people just to ask them, "How's it going?." These can also be called doughnut drops, or fancy doughnut drops. If you are going to see a customer face to face, it better be with someone who is ready to spend money.

Hot
Qualification skills. Getting 5 or 6 out of 10 from 2 out of 10. You have to qualify over the phone, over the web, over the Internet. Qualification skills aren't just for the new or inexperienced salespeople, they're also important for the major account salespeople.

Not
Products, new products, and better products. If you are a company that is going to dedicate more than 35% of your company's sales kick-off meeting to products, you are doing it all wrong. It's about the value your customer will get from your solution.

Hot
Financial and ROI questioning skills. Have you read "Understanding Financial Reports" from Merrill Lynch? Google it and you'll be surprised how easy you can you can turn all that financial "stuff" into benefit selling.

Not
Prospect - Qualify - Demo - Propose. It is absolutely amazing the number of companies still selling demos and proposals. Please get a clue. The goal is not to sell a proposal or a demo. "Once we get them in the demo, they will see the value." You're dreaming, right?

Hot
Having the prospect qualify themselves. Come up with a questionnaire or a visual buy cycle map that walks the prospect through an evaluation of your product and service. Think of homework assignments your prospect must do before you give them a demonstration or a proposal. In these tough times you have to improve the quality of the pipeline, not just the quantity.

A recognized authority on the psychology of sales performance, Skip Miller has helped countless companies, already at the height of success in their respective fields, achieve an even greater level of sales productivity and success. Learn more at www.m3learning.com

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Practice Patience

One of the most important qualities a salesperson can have in today's economy is patience. Clients are unsure of budget, they're nervous to make a decision, and they're taking more time to do it. You need to rely on your patience to hang in there and get the sale. Today sales trainer Kelley Robertson shares a few more examples that illustrate the importance of exercising patience. Work on this skill, and you'll be in good shape!

According to Robertson, you need to be patient so you can:

Ask questions

The vast majority of people in sales can't wait to discuss their product or service. I can't count the number of sales presentations I have been forced to sit through when the salesperson goes through his pitch and then asks questions. This process is backwards. Your goal is to ask questions first, then present your solution.

Listen to your customer

I have seen many salespeople ask questions only to ignore what their customer says. This typically occurs because the salesperson thinks he knows the answer because the beginning part of the response sounds similar to what he hears from other customers.

Properly position your solution

If you are not patient, you won't follow the first two points which means you will not be able to effectively position your product or service. Having patience means you will have a complete understanding of the customer's situation. That will allow you to present the aspects of your offering that are most appropriate to your prospect's individual situation.

As President of The Robertson Training Group, Kelley has helped thousands of professionals improve their business results with his engaging approach to sales training and speaking. Learn more at www.robertsontraininggroup.com

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Your Voice Matters

Have you ever gotten a voice mail from someone where they mumbled, you could barely hear them, or they sounded bored out of their mind? I don't know about you, but I usually delete those without even listening to the whole thing. If they don't care, why should I?

Telesales expert Renee Walkup has some excellent ideas you should keep in mind when selling over the phone.

1. Use humor in your tone and speech.
By smiling and using light-hearted humor, not only will you look friendlier in person, you'll sound more confident and friendly when on the telephone. The reason for this is that your vocal cords actually lift up, when smiling.

2. End your sentences with a confident tone.
If your sentences are well-thought out, you won't end up trailing off at the end of your thoughts. Also, avoid "up-speaking" at the end of your sentences. This is sometimes a regional habit and you'll have more credibility if you can train yourself not to speak up at the end of sentences.

3. Avoid over-explaining.
As business professionals, we know much more than we need to share. That's part of being a professional! However, no one wants to hear the entire chapter and verse of your knowledge. You'll have more strength and credibility if you consider what the listener really needs to know in order to buy-in to your idea or sales presentation.

4. Steer clear of disclaimers.
For example, if you pepper your communication with comments such as, "I may be way off base here, but..." You've lost credibility. Maintain a strong speaking demeanor so that you are positioned as an expert without sounding cocky. Confidence is good. Self-deprecating speech doesn't strengthen your persuasion power.

5. Be diplomatic.
Everyone wants to avoid offending people, so be confident about thoughts, and diplomatic with people. For example, saying: "You are completely wrong", doesn't work as well as: "I have a plan that should solve these challenges."

Renee Walkup is president of SalesPEAK Inc. and author of "Selling to Anyone Over the Phone."

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Quote of the Week

"We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience." -- George Washington

Top sales professionals know that experience is the best teacher and they call on their experience in challenging situations. If you're facing a problem with a client that has you baffled, think back on similar past experiences. What has worked or didn't work for you? Reflect on what you've learned and you'll find a solution to your current problem.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Avoid Last-Minute Cancellations

Have you ever called a prospect to confirm an appointment for the following day, only to have them cancel the entire appointment on you? Sales trainer Al Uszynski has, and he knows it's a lousy feeling. Here's his take on what you can do to avoid this situation.

"In my desire to be professional, I didn't realize that my personal contact with the prospect was providing her with a reminder that our imminent meeting would be eating up some of her productive time for her now-packed agenda on the following day," says Uszynski. "My phone calls gave prospects golden opportunities to postpone, or even worse, cancel appointments."

"As salespeople, we always desire personal contact with prospects," continues Uszynski. "But I've found that when it comes to confirming an appointment, it's best to decrease the chances of a live interaction."

"Leave a voice mail for the prospect the night before or before 7:00 in the morning. Don't stop at confirming the time and place, express your enthusiasm for what promises to be a productive meeting."

"Another alternative is to send her an email. This is particularly helpful when you're meeting in a place that is unfamiliar to the prospect, so you can type the address and even directions if necessary."

Al Uszynski is a sales trainer and professional speaker. Visit his website at www.uszynski.com for more information.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Increase Profit and Revenues in Tough Times - Part 2

Yesterday sales trainer Ron Karr gave us some excellent ways to increase profits by avoiding lowering prices in this economy. Today he's back with a unique way to increase profit - raising your prices!

"You may be asking yourself how you can possibly do this in a down economy," says Karr. "The answer is simple. Just ask for it! You need to remember a few points of power you have, especially when dealing with existing customers."

--You are the devil they know vs. the devil they don't know. Things are going well. Why take the chance of screwing things up? There is a value for an insurance policy.

--Link your value proposition to how you can help them weather this storm and be ahead of their competition.

--Nobody will protect your value except for you. That is your job!

CASE IN POINT: Michele Litzky, Principle of a Hoboken-based PR firm was attending a meeting with a current client to discuss 2009 strategies. While waiting in the conference room, she noticed a piece of paper on the floor that had two lines: "Cancel firm Litzky", and second line said "reduce fee".

When the client walked in the room, Michele asked if this note was left on purpose. The President said no, it was left unintentionally from an internal meeting. Michele immediately changed the direction of the meeting and revisited the significant positive outcomes they had provided the firm with a recent publicity campaign. After restating her value proposition, the client, which wanted to either cancel her services or reduce her fee, wound up giving her two additional projects and agreed to a fee increase after 90 days.

This is a classic example of how one needs to operate in today's environment!

"Whatever you do, please do not act with a bunker mentality," continues Karr. "There are opportunities out there and there are people who are actually raising prices. If you don't believe me, look at the new sports stadiums going up. Seats in those stadiums are much more expensive than in the old stadiums. And they are selling them. Maybe not as fast as they would like, but they are selling!"

"People want to save money. People need to reduce costs. But more importantly, people need to succeed. Is your conversation centered on reducing prices? Or it is centered on how you are going to help others succeed?"

"Again, you may need to reduce your prices," says Karr. "However, make sure you do not do it until you have tried everything else first. If you do reduce your prices, remember to get something in return. And then be accountable for making up the lost profitability with increased volume somewhere else. Every action creates a reaction. At the end of the day, you still need to meet or exceed your quota."

Ron Karr is a professional speaker, consultant, trainer and author who specializes in helping organizations build and maintain high performing sales cultures. Visit him at www.RonKarr.com and sign up for his free Titan Sales E-Report.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Increase Profit and Revenues in Tough Times

Sales trainer Ron Karr recently posted an excellent article detailing ways for you to increase profit - advice we could all use! Stay tuned today and tomorrow for his expert advice.

"Think about this. If you reduced your fees or prices by 20%, you would need to increase your sales volume by 400% to make the same profit you were making before the price cut. This is what Donald D. Juschartz, County Extension Director at Michigan State University, discovered in his study of how Price vs. Volume relationship may alter the retailer's thinking."

"In declining markets, it is very tempting to lower one's prices to hold on to business, especially if your customers are demanding it. Yet, some are probably lowering prices too fast too soon. And in some cases, it may not even be necessary. Realize that for every price reduction you agree to, you are going to have to sell more to make the same."

"This is the time to hone your skills to avoid price reductions whenever possible," continues Karr. "And in case you need to give in at some point, there are things you can do to limit your losses and in some cases wind up ahead of the game."

--Many customers are going to ask you for a price reduction and even threaten to take your business away. Do not give in. You need to restate your value proposition and ensure the value they are getting from you far outweighs any price concession they are being offered by the competition

--Do not get angry. It is very frustrating to constantly have to restate your value proposition and continue to make it stronger. Get over it! That is the job of a rain maker and sales professional. In tough times, you have to do it more and you have to be better at it.

--If you have tried everything and there is nothing more you can do, make a strategic decision if this business is for you. Will the precedent of discounting affect your overall market position? If not, do what you have to do. If it does, then you may want to take the risk of losing that customer. Anytime one raises a price, 20% of existing customers usually cannot come along for the ride. In a declining market with declining prices, you may want to view the act of staying firm with your current price structure as a form of a price increase.

--If you decide to reduce your price, never do so without getting anything in return. Here are some examples of what you can request in exchange for a reduction in price:

- Longer term of agreement
- Increased volume for existing product
- Placement of additional products
- Reduction in service
- Improved terms
- Referrals

Keep going and do what you can to keep from reducing your prices. It's a slippery slope from there. We'll be back tomorrow with more ideas from Karr on increasing your profits, no matter what the economic situation.

Ron Karr is a professional speaker, consultant, trainer and author who specializes in helping organizations build and maintain high performing sales cultures. Visit him at www.RonKarr.com and sign up for his free Titan Sales E-Report.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Building an Internet Presence

Yesterday's quote was about positioning yourself as an expert using blogs, newsletters and tip sheets. All good things, but it's important to use caution when establishing an Internet presence. Sales coach Susan Friedmann has expert tips about building a web presence that brings you clients without ruining your reputation.

1. Posting Ads
The quickest way to lose credibility on a discussion forum is to post an ad instead of joining a discussion. Offer information and opinions, answer questions-but don't post ads except in the specific times and places where they are welcome. Check the rules before you post.

2. Getting Lost
Make sure you're posting to the right audience. No matter how useful or exciting your ideas are, they will just annoy people if you post them in the wrong place. Whatever your niche, there is an Internet community dedicated to discussing it. Spend some time Googling for your target market, then check out the discussion forums.

3. Spamming
Posting identical messages in half a dozen Internet communities, especially if they are on the same site, is also likely to draw criticism.

4. Forgetting your business site

Always link your signature to your home page!

"With these tips, you can safely harness the power of social networking," says Friedmann. Give them a try and make your web presence known!

Susan Friedmann, CSP, has traveled the world helping companies put their best foot forward at tradeshows and events. Her latest book is "Riches in Niches: How to Make it BIG in a small Market". Learn more at www.richesinniches.com

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Quote of the Week

"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." -- Benjamin Franklin

Do you have a newsletter you regularly send out to your clients? What about an industry tip sheet you give to prospects? What about a website or blog? If you know your stuff then get the word out in writing. You'll reach a larger audience and show prospects you're an expert in your field.

If you're not writing (or people aren't writing about you!) then get started. You'll be glad you did.

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Gaining Trust

Jean Baudrillard said, "Information can tell us everything. It has all the answers."

If you're looking to gain trust with your clients, information is a great way to do it. According to sales trainer Daniel Adams, "You can gain credibility and show concern by helping customers with non-solution-specific information that helps them run their business better or avoid pains."

In addition to using productivity analyses, industry benchmarking data, and your customer's own financial statements to gather information about your client and their industry, Adams also suggests using customer reference stories to give your clients information about you. Here he relays the perfect way to tell a customer reference story:

How to Tell a Great Customer Reference Story
References are another tool for gaining trust. If you can demonstrate benefits enjoyed by a specific customer, you can convincingly illustrate proven achievements with the use of your solutions.

Does your company have success stories to share? Typically these are available through your company's marketing team. If not, no whining! Simply create them yourself. Here's the best format for communicating success stories to your customers. Highlight four things: the customer, the challenge, the solution, and the results.

Here's an example:

The Customer:
ABC Corp. A large insurance company in the Midwest.

The Challenge:
The company had significant challenges with costs rising faster than revenue.

The Solution:
Implement enterprise wide software solution to automate the reporting and management of all employee purchases and expenditures.

The Result:
A significant savings due to the elimination of rogue spending and off-contract buying. Estimated year one savings: $5.4 million.

Daniel Adams, author of Building Trust, Growing Sales, and creator of Trust Triangle Selling(tm) helps corporations improve their profits by optimizing the performance of their sales teams. He is a frequent and popular speaker at national sales meetings, workshops and association events. Visit www.trusttriangleselling.com.

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Are You Easy?

No, we're not talking about being a "soft touch," we're talking about being easy to work with - something that's very important to your clients. "The key components to having a good long-term relationship with those you sell to are being someone who is flexible, responsive, and available," says sales trainer Adrian Miller. Here she outlines what you can do to ensure your client enjoys working with you.

Flexibility
Do you take a one size fits all approach with clients or do you design your product offerings and services to benefit their specific needs? Flexibility is a must if you have competition. When you are rigid with what you offer, you are giving your competition an edge, and they will most certainly accommodate your clients' needs. Don't give your competition the opportunity. Keep in mind that flexibility doesn't just stop with what you are offering; it also applies to how you conduct business. Find out what your clients' preferred method of communication is and use it. While you may like email, Joe Customer might prefer a phone call. It's your job to find out preferences to keep your clients happy and to maintain an ongoing image of being flexible and "easy."

Responsiveness
Don't underestimate how your success is affected by your ability to respond to a phone call or email. Let's put it another way - being slow to respond is a surefire way to lose a client. Even if you don't necessarily have an answer to what your client is asking, returning their call or email promptly is paramount. It's always better to respond with an "I don't know" than not to respond at all. Develop a timeframe in which you return all calls and emails and stick with it.

Availability
Availability goes hand-in-hand with responsiveness and is vital to keeping relationships strong and functioning properly. The goal should always be to make it as easy as possible for your clients to reach you. If you have a receptionist, make sure that the person is professional, friendly, polite, and knowledgeable. Your clients should feel welcomed each time they call. If you have an auto attendant, make it user-friendly. Don't drag your clients through a lengthy and unwieldy menu. If you are unreachable, have a default person or solution that can help your client.

Adrian Miller is the President of Adrian Miller Sales Training, a training and business consulting firm delivering sales-level performance training and executive-level business development consulting. A nationally recognized lecturer, she is also a sought-after conference speaker, and an accomplished author of "The Blatant Truth: 50 Ways to Sales Success".

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sell to their Need

Sales trainer Mark Hunter recently had some very practical advice on his blog. He writes about changing your sales strategy to fit in today's economy - something to consider if you're struggling right now.

"With the economy performing at less than stellar levels right now, it is important to make sure your sales strategy fits the economic environment," says Hunter. "In normal times, I've always been one to sell the future benefits because it allows you to develop a more attractive ROI. In the times we're in, however, many customers have absolutely no desire to examine what tomorrow is going to look like. They're only concerned about today."

"For this reason, I am strongly advocating salespeople to ensure their sales strategy is designed to appeal to current needs. Although I'm not wavering from my belief that sales professionals must not allow the economy to become an excuse, I do believe that we need to use the state of the economy to create opportunities, and the best opportunity in our current economy is to sell to today's needs."

Remember, the point is not to focus on the doom and gloom, but to focus on what you can do to help your prospects now. Giving your prospects what they need ensures you stay relevant - and when they start focusing on future benefits again, so can you.

Read The Sales Hunter's latest thoughts and comments about consultative selling, sales development, and sales motivation techniques at www.thesaleshunter.com/blog

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Cold Calling Rules for the 21st Century - Part 3

Telesales expert Wendy Weiss joined us last week with her updated rules for cold calling in the 21st century. Today she's back with her final rule - understanding the goal of your call.

Understand the goal of your call
Many people confuse the idea of cold calling with the idea of closing a sale. Every sale goes through a cycle from the introduction to information gathering to offering a solution to closing. Cold calling is not closing a sale. That comes later. Most sales professionals and/or business owners are making calls to set face-to-face meetings or have some type of introductory conversation. The cold call is not the sale--it is the introduction.

This concept frames your entire approach. On most cold calls you are not asking the prospect to buy from you over the telephone or to agree to let you replace their current vendor. You are only asking to have a productive conversation. This approach has two advantages: Your prospect feels far less pressure (you never want a prospect to feel pressure because they will run) and you also feel less pressure (you don't have to close on the phone.)

Learn more from cold calling expert Wendy Weiss at www.wendyweiss.com or email her at [email protected]

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Monday, February 2, 2009

Quote of the Week

"People die of fright and live of confidence." -- Henry David Thoreau

If you're terrified of picking up the phone or calling on a new prospect, you're losing money. The only way to meet and exceed your quota is to get out there and make it happen.

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