Friday Faves – 8.25.16

082616No post last week.   Overload happens.  (Like doubling up this week!)  Some good ideas as we head to the Labor Day long weekend.  (So, you’ll have time to read for growth & development.)

3 Things To Not Say In Prospecting Calls – The bane and core tool of sales – the cold call.  Some good thoughts here.

Why You Are Not Producing the Results You Want Now – The first step in solving any problem is – recognizing there is a problem in the first place!

How to Consistently Accelerate Buying Decisions – This assumes you have the first 3 processes in place:

  1. TRACKING – CRM or other system to track opportunities, each with standards to be met for each sale stage.
  2. COMPLIANCE – You and your team are entering and maintaining these records accurately and contemporaneously.
  3. REVIEW – A regular (weekly) self- review of your open opportunities to update for accuracy, planning next steps, adding any missing information/research.

How to Distinguish Yourself and Become a Leader – Don’t dismiss this post by its title.  Effective leadership is universally respected, by peers, managers and clients.  It conveys mastery, confidence and reliability.  Who doesn’t want to work with/buy from someone like that?

 

 

Friday Faves – 8.12.16

081216Summertime is like when the treadmill program increases the incline.  What do you do?  Press on, with MORE effort, or just try to get through it till you hit level ground again?

Keeping Customers Continuously Infatuated – Consider how there is a rise in satisfaction, engagement and follow through after you meet with a client.  Then, consider how that energy fades, requiring another engagement to re-ignite the interest.

How to Stay Motivated When Everyone Else Is on Vacation – As I have always maintained, there is progress to be made, just in different ways.  Consider this if you work the “Tweener” week, between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

It happens around the edges – A good reminder to step outside your comfort zone – randomly, not regularly.

Answering “I’m happy with who I’m buying from” – Some good ideas for dealing with an upfront/gatekeeper objection.

Making Space for What Is Most Important – Though not a fan of elephant hunting, spending your time where you get the best return is a cornerstone of effective resource management.

A COLD Call Voice Mail; Your Thoughts? – My thoughts?  In one word – OY!

Think Sales Reps Will Become Obsolete? Think Again – Only sales reps who ALLOW themselves to become obsolete will.  Failure to learn, adapt, be aware of industry changes will do so.

Seven Personality Traits of Top Salespeople – This (#4 in particular) relates to the previous post.  #5 surprised me, though.  Any surprises for you?  If you are a top performer, do you feel you exhibit these traits?

Friday Faves – 7.8.16

070816In the midst of a searing heatwave where I am, but found some cool ideas to heat up your sales.  (Sorry, must be the heat.)

How To Change Your Default Setting – This is hard, but if you realize it’s something you must do, you’re halfway there.

Why Your New Sales Technology Tools Won’t Solve Your Sales Problem – It’s never the tool that makes the job come out perfectly, it’s the skill of the worker using them.

How to Be Increasingly Less Dumb – A provocative title and good thoughts, but it misses the first step – COMMITMENT TO LIFELONG LEARNING.  No growth without that.

A One > Two Combination That Still Delivers Sales – It also works with managers/reps.

8 Sales Books to Read in Summer 2016 – Self=promotion notwithstanding (not that there’s anything wrong with that), I enjoy seeing what others are reading.  (and wish I had more time to read them all).

No One Can Hurt You as Much as You Can Hurt You – Sales – the original equal opportunity employer.  No one is in more control of your results as you are.

 

Friday Faves – 6/24/16

062416Ahh, summer!  Beach, mountains or wherever you like to vacation and relax, summer’s got it all.  It’s important to get away, refresh and recharge.  But it’s also important not to pay for it by coming back to a wilted pipeline.  Touching key opportunities before you leave, and scheduling next steps for after you return is a good way to keep things moving while you chill out.

Are Your Sales Relationships Painful? – There’s been a lot written lately about shifting from probing for pain to goals, objectives.  Here’s one to consider.

Protecting Your Relational Capital – I wince sometimes when a rep tells me they have a “great relationship” with a client.  Just because they may share some personal information with you, doesn’t mean that you’re buds.

What You Control, and What You Do Not – My reps find it frustrating when they have an issue that can only be addressed by others that don’t report to me – IT, Marketing, etc.  While I know “I don’t control that” is not the answer they’re looking for, it reflects an understanding of the points in this blog post.  Tilting at windmills didn’t turn out well for Don Quixote.

The Secret to Getting Calls Returned – Persistence.  What a concept.  Persistence = Frequency * Variety  You can’t sell someone who won’t talk with you.

BTW, the image is my beach, about 4 miles away.  (Although it’s never that vacant.)

Friday Faves – 6.17.16

061716Summer’s coming.  And with it vacations – yours and prospects.  Are you in touch with deciders for your key opportunities to know when they’re off this summer?  If not, your pipeline and forecasts may be off, too.  Sure, things slow down in the summer, but you need to keep these opportunities moving to close.  And, you need to put new prospects in your pipe during the summer, too.  (Sales never takes a vacation.)  Give it some thought now, and you can avoid the Dog Days of August.

Feature/Benefit – Or – Feature/Price – Interesting take on a time-honored belief.

Take One Small Action Now – For years, I’ve taught that closing a deal is the last of a series of smaller closes.  Here is the same principle applied to personal/professional development.

PROBLEM VS NEED – WHY YOU SHOULDN’T SELL TO A CUSTOMER’S NEED – Sorry for the CAPS, but it’s this writer’s style.  If you go this route, and discover problems, you must follow with these questions:  1.  How long has this been a problem (degree of impact on client company)? 2.  What have you done about it (what hasn’t worked)?  3.  How committed is your organization to dealing with the problem (willingness to listen/buy)?  If you start pitching to the problem before you ask these key qualifying questions, they could just be throwing you a bone.

Friday Faves – 6.3.16 (Sunday Edition)

060316NOTE: Work/family travel delayed Friday’s publishing, but the advice is just as good to start your week.

Summer’s coming, and so do the Dog Days of sales – when deciders and influencers vacation and deals slow to a crawl. What can you do NOW to push your pipeline forward and load it up for the Fall? Some good ideas here.

Many Have Forgotten the Most Important Attribute for Success – Character matters – always.

Sales Blind – Periodic honest  self-assessments can uncover deal-killing behaviors.

In the Best Sales Teams, About Half of the People Are in Support Roles – It takes a team and everyone’s contribution matters.

Leading or Following the Client – The fine art of driving the sale.

The Bad Sales Cycle – Just like networking, what you give is in direct proportion to what you get.

Stop Doing Low-Value Work – Time is a finite asset and how you use yours is critical to your success.

 

Friday Faves – 5.13.16

051316Baseball players are notoriously superstitious.  Wade Boggs, Hall of Famer with the Yankees and Red Sox reportedly ate chicken 90 minutes before each game.  Hitters on a hitting streak have been known to wear the same socks and underwear until the streak ends for fear of cursing it.

If you’re on a closing streak, why change things?  But, where hitters face the same pitchers over a season, sellers sell on a constantly shifting tectonic plate – market conditions.  Consistency is what we all seek – closing new business regularly, like an assembly line.  So, it’s almost an oxymoron to suggest that you regularly reassess, refine and adapt your tactics to changes in the market.  But, not to do so condemns you to the fate of the dinosaurs.  Harsh?

Certainly, there are best practices in discovery, prospecting, relationships development and perhaps time management that are foundation sales practices.  But two and two will never equal five, but everything except a few immutable laws (gravity, supply and demand, resistance and effort) are subject to external influence.

On this Friday the 13th, question your norms – hell, question everything.  The buyer’s world is in constant change.  It you don’t stay ahead of that change, you’ll be that log in the river the water flows over and around.

Who took Jobu’s rum?