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?

 

 

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Friday Faves – 7.1.16

070116Momentum.  It cures lack of confidence, phone fatigue, pipeline deficit, under-prospecting and most any other sales disease.  Yet, so many sellers let up on the gas precisely when they’re on a roll.  That’s JUST the time to throttle up ALL your sales activity.  When you’re 105% to goal, put forth 125% effort.  Increase your personal metrics targets by 25%.  Why?  Momentum creates:

Confidence – Prospects hear it in your voice, see it in your body language and everyone gravitates to confident people.

Energy – Like the quest for the perpetual motion machine, momentum creates energy.  If you allow it to escape like air from a balloon, it takes twice as much energy to restart it.

More momentum.

So, enjoy your Independence Day Weekend, but take care not to lose the momentum you built in closing your Q2.

Here are some good ideas to consider at the beach, lake or on the couch.

Dead Trees, Sales Pipelines & Loss Aversion – Do you love success enough to let failure go?

Stop Swimming in Circles – You can make 10 calls in the time it takes to make one excuse.

The One Budget You Need To Succeed – Time.  The finite, irreplaceable resource.

Why sales reps are always “Just touching-base”! – Ugh, just ugh to touching base.

Better Is Better Than More – But more qualified prospects is best!

 

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 – 6.10.16

061016Time challenges can create the most stress.  Lose a deal?  Well, there’s more in your pipeline and you can always prospect more. But time is a finite asset.  Some deadline pressure is forced on you, but the self-inflicted is what you need to control.  And make sure you save some for yourself – FUN matters!

Why the Hard Close Isn’t Working – Maybe this works for more emotional B2C sales like cars, but your decider is smarter, has more knowledge and is more sophisticated than ever. What will it take for you to buy TODAY simply won’t work.

Do Facts Matter? – Here’s where the tectonic plates collide.  You cannot sell without data, hard data, to support your argument, but people still like to buy from people they like and trust. Keeping the two in balance to satisfy the bean counters and end users is your challenge.

How the Best Sellers Treat Prospects – Expanding on the previous post.   So, what do you need to establish this sales buoyancy?

Lies You Tell Yourself About Writing – A comedian once said, “The most important thing in sales is SINCERITY.  Once you learn to fake that, you’ve got it made.”  Do we fake ourselves out?

Negativity Has No Upside – I spent some time with a senior executive yesterday, who is having a rough quarter.  You’d never know by his relaxed, confident and positive excitement about the opportunities he sees.  Glass half full in action.

Understand These 13 Customer Laws – Solid and logical.   Warren Buffett in a commencement address told graduates, “Don’t please your customers, delight them!”

Try better – Then, try harder.

 

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 – 5.6.16

050616Now that we’re in the 2nd month of Q2, have you revisited your territory plan for the quarter?  If not, you should.  When you do, check to see that you started everything in your plan you were supposed to.  If not, discuss it with your manager to see if the plan was too aggressive, you took your eye off it, or need some coaching on managing your time.  Also, check your progress on deals in process.  Have you touched them in an appropriate timeframe to keep them moving forward?  A territory plan that gets filed the first week of the quarter and not revisited until after the quarter ends is as helpful as sending your Mom flowers the week after Mother’s Day.  (This Sunday, BTW.)

The Power In Silence – The best ever close was a $300K deal where, after going through layers, on a transcontinental concall with the Managing Partner, I was asked what results I could deliver when.  I answered the question and SHUT UP.  There was silence, it was a bit uncomfortable, but I resisted the temptation and the MP said, “What do you need from me to make this happen?”  Closed deal – BOOM!

A Rich Source of Overlooked Leads – Years ago, a boss had a poster of a silverback gorilla glaring at you.  The caption read “Salesmanship starts when the customer says no.”  This post updates tha thought with solid strategy.

High, Wide and Deep: Better Buyer Relationships – I call this touchpoints.  Imagine a rock climber.  They want as many touchpoints on the rock as possible, for safety.  With clients, the more touchpoints you have (on both sides) the more secure the relationship.

Things That Won’t Serve You – In lieu of a spine, these will serve you well.

 

Friday Faves – 4.22.16

042216On Wednesday, I thought this week would never end.  Today, I wish I had another day to tack on to a killer week.  Has that ever happened to you?  Don’t get me wrong, I am TAKING my weekend, but doesn’t it feel good when it all falls into place?  It really doesn’t – you make it happen and here are some great posts to help you make it so.

Creating a Unique Value Proposition – A good primer on crafting yours.  Without one, you compete on price alone.

What Everyone Should Know About Running Virtual Meetings – I recently presented to a company-wide sales meeting on “How NOT to Conduct an Online Meeting.”  Some overlap between them.  I’ll try to turn it into a SlideShare and post on LinkedIn.

Where Your Focus Goes – As I’ve told my teams – “Know all that is knowable, control all you can.  Then, play jazz.”

They’re Not Interested – What Now? – You own this.  Creating a compelling upfront value proposition is your cost of entry.

Playing to Win or Playing Not to Lose – No risk, no reward.

3 Things To Leave Out Of Your Prospecting Call – For those of you who, like me, still believe in using the telephone for cold calls, reminder of some basics.