Friday, May 28, 2010

Recognize Resistance In All Its Forms

You may think you know when someone is interested or not - but communication expert Dianna Booher says resistance comes in many forms. See if you can recognize them!

Some people voice resistance openly: "I'm not interested." "I don't think the idea will fly." "I can't give it my full attention until next year." Others gesture their resistance: clock watching, foot or finger tapping, playing with objects within reach, doodling on paper, staring out the window or door. Others look for distractions to take them away: phone calls and fires to put out. Some try to make a game of it: They ask unrelated, distracting questions, nit-pick your data, and toss out silly comments. Some are openly rude and grow irritable. Some withhold key information and observations so you have to guess what they know. Others just sit patiently and wait for you to "get it over with" so they can politely say no.

Recognize all these signs of resistance so you know how far you are from agreement and can deal with their concerns early-while there's still time to resolve them and rally their support.

How? Engage the other person early. Make the interaction a dialogue, not a monologue. People believe their own data. They decide things for their reasons-not yours.

So what that means for you and me…is when trying to persuade, engage others in the conversation sooner rather than later.

Author of 42 books, Dianna Booher, CSP, CPAE, delivers keynotes, breakout sessions, and training on communication and life-balance issues. Her latest books: Speak with Confidence, Your Signature Life, Your Signature Work, E-Writing, and Communicate with Confidence.

The SalesDog blog will be quiet on Monday as we take time off to celebrate Memorial Day. We wish you all the very best - see you on Tuesday!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

That's A Good Question

If you have been in sales for any length of time you have probably read literature (books, articles or blogs) or attended some type of sales training program (face- to-face, telephone or webinar). This means you know the importance of asking questions.

But, how often do your prospects or customers say, "That's a good question?" If you seldom or never hear that phrase, you probably need to improve the quality of your questions because high value, thought-provoking questions force your prospects to think.

Picture yourself on the receiving end of a sales conversation. What question(s) would cause you to sit up and pay attention to the salesperson? What questions would actually cause you to think about your response? Those are the types of questions you need to start asking.

If you're uncertain what questions would prompt this comment, ask a few of your best customers. Tell them your objective and find out what questions they would like other sales people to ask. A key is that they need to be high-level, 30,000 foot view, strategic and tough. Senior executives love to sink their teeth into a good challenge and tough questions achieve that.

When someone says, "That's a good question" make note of that question and use it again with other prospects.

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

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Are You GIVING Referrals?

When was the last time you gave one of your customers a referral?

Our goal is to not just sell, but to help others. I get truly jazzed each time I get to help someone else by way of a referral. At the end of the day, that's what our role is - helping others. Professionals like you and me are not threatened by referring our customers even to a competitor. In other words, let's say you know of someone else who could better serve your customer in a particular area than you can. The true professional knows it's more important to ensure the customer is served at 110% than for themselves as the sales representative to get the sale serving the customer at 80%.

When a salesperson can refer a customer to someone else in place of taking the business, then they've truly reached the pinnacle of serving. It's a sweet spot of serving your customer...being able to put their needs above your own in this particular way.

Mark Hunter, "The Sales Hunter", is a sales expert who speaks to thousands each year on how to increase their sales profitability. For more information, to receive a free weekly email sales tip, or to read his Sales Motivation Blog, visit

Monday, May 24, 2010

Quote of the Week

"All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work." -- Calvin Coolidge

Sitting and waiting for the phone to ring will never make you successful. All success depends on your effort - how much you put into your work on a daily basis. That means that a slow day with little activity is taking you no where - you may as well not have gone into work!

Make each day as busy and active as you can - the more you put into your work, the more you'll get back!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Changing Your Customer's World

To reach the top in sales you have to have passion and a mission. Sales trainer Tom Reilly explains.

In its infancy, Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs, realized he needed a real business person to run his company, "...a respectable face who could sell corporate America." He chose John Sculley, an executive at Pepsi Cola. Why would Sculley leave a plush corporate gig to work for a four-year-old start-up that began in a garage?

"He looked up at me and just stared at me with the stare that only Steve Jobs has and he said do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or do you want to come with me and change the world?" John Sculley accepted Job's offer and became President of Apple Computer from 1983-93.

Steve Jobs tapped into the fundamental spirit of top salespeople - a sense of mission. We all want to be a part of something bigger and better than ourselves. We are all called to change the world in some fashion, using the gifts and talents that each of us possesses.

Value-Added Selling is a way for you to change the customer's world. What if you awakened to this challenge every morning: "What will I do today to help our customers get the most value from our proposition?" Can you imagine the impact that you would have if you embraced this mission to make a difference, not just a deal? Though changing the world is way too ambitious for most of us, rocking the customer's world is within our reach.

Do you want to sell widgets the rest of your life or do you want to change your customer's world?

Tom Reilly is the president of Tom Reilly Training. He is an authority on value-added selling, and speaks to thousands of salespeople and managers annually on increasing their value to their company and customers.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Are You a Sales Rock Star?

Today sales trainer Kelley Robertson explains the secrets behind rock star salespeople.

When Eric Clapton was first learning to play the guitar he would practice between 16-18 hours a day. Joe Walsh still practices before and after every show. And I recall watching a video clip of Tommy Shaw of Styx practicing chords in his dressing room.

So, let me ask you, how much time do you invest practicing and fine-tuning your selling skills? I know, some of you will say that you practice every you meet with a new prospect but that doesn't count because that's your live performance. Practice is what happens before you pick up the telephone or step into a prospect's office or deliver a sales presentation. Practice is what gets you to the show.

Rock star sales people continually hone their skill. They read books, articles, industry magazines and blogs. They listen to recordings in their car, when they exercise and even when standing in line at the grocery store. They attend teleseminars, webinars and live workshops and conferences. Then they practice their new skills before unleashing them on a prospect.

Invest 15 minutes a day this week practicing your skill. This can be perfecting your call script, using a new question, responding to a specific objection, or asking for agreement.

Kelley Robertson, author of The Secrets of Power Selling helps sales professionals close more sales with less effort. Kelley conducts workshops and speaks regularly at sales meetings and conferences. Receive a FREE copy of 100 Ways to Increase Your Sales by subscribing to his free newsletter at

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How to Write Emails That Get a Response

Email is the go-to form of communication for many business people - which means you need to be putting your best into every one you send. Sales trainer Mike Brooks shows you how!

I don't know about you, but my email open rate is going the way of voicemails - rarely listened to, and quickly deleted. What I've found, however, is that there are some techniques that can give you the best chance of getting your emails read and even responded to, but you have to be very specific in the way you construct them.

Follow these six email secrets the next time you write and send an email, and you'll be on your way to the kind of response you used to get - and the kind that will lead to more business:

Email Secret #1: Use the prospect's first name in the subject line. Think about it: what is everyone's favorite word? Their first name! Have you ever been in public before and heard someone call out your name? You automatically turned around and were receptive and ready to respond until you saw they were calling someone they knew.

You can get your prospect's attention the same way by putting their name in the subject line of your emails. To start with, doing so will distinguish your email from the hundreds of others your prospect gets, and because we are all drawn to our own name, it will draw your prospect's eyes to your email like a magnet. This is the very best way to get their attention and a great way to get them to read more.

Email Secret #2: Customize the first few lines of your email as much as possible. Many people preview their emails by reading the first few sentences in their email program before deciding to read the whole thing, so concentrate on writing a short and value laden opening that is addressed right to them. Something like:

"Hi Barbara, Mike Brooks here with HMS software. I've got some ideas about your networking issues for your new office that's opening in Houston next month. I think you'll find it useful if we talk."

Again, keep it short, customize it to what you know they're interested in and provide immediate, specific value to them.

Email Secret #3: Keep your email short and easy to read! Nothing will turn your prospect off more than long, information packed paragraphs. Their eyes will glaze over and they will hit the delete key faster than it took you to hit the send key!

Don't let any of your paragraphs be more than three sentences, and if possible, make them just two sentences. Recap the major ideas in short phrases, and make sure to engage your prospect by asking questions. An example would be:

"Hi John, I was wondering if you were still having trouble recouping all the available cash from your current collection program? If so, you'll want to speak with me about our new itemized IT solution.

I've got some time next Tuesday or would later in the week work for you? Please let me know either way. You can see more info here (your website address).

If I don't hear from you, I'll follow up with a call next week."

Email Secret #4: Ask for a return response - whether they are interested or not. This is a great way to end your email and a good way to get a response. Just think about how nice it will be to finally take someone off your list who isn't going to do business with you, and also how great it will be to find someone who is!

Simply thank them in advance for their consideration and let them know that you're looking forward to their response on this - either a yes or a no.

Email Secret #5:
Promise to follow up by phone if they don't respond. Let them know that you understand they are busy, and that if you don't hear from them, then you'll follow up with a call in a day or two.

This really increases your response rate and you can be happy when you get a "not interested" response. These prospects just disqualified themselves and saved you a lot of time and energy!

On the other hand, there will be others who don't respond and they become your follow up leads.

Email Secret #6: Proof read your emails before you hit the send key. Because your prospect can't see you, they only have your writing sample to judge you on, and if it's filled with misspellings and poor grammar, what kind of impression do you think this makes?

It only takes a minute to proof read your emails, and I'll tell you now I'm always glad I did. I almost always make them better, and when I hit the send key I know I've sent out the best message possible. Doing so allows me to make the best impression, and this once again separates me from my competition.

So there you have the six secrets to writing effective emails. Believe me, following them will give you the best chance of getting through to decision makers and getting responses that will give you an understanding of where you stand. That's a whole lot better than chasing and wondering, isn't it?

Mike Brooks,, is creator and publisher of the "Top 20% Inside Sales Tips" weekly Ezine. If you're ready to Double Your Income Selling Over the Phone, then sign up to receive your FREE tips now at:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Influence, Don't Just Inform

Whether delivering a presentation to your CEO, writing a sales proposal, or soliciting a charitable donation from a celebrity, one of the biggest hindrances to success is being informative rather than persuasive. Information overwhelms us. If your listeners or readers want information, they can read tweets, blogs, online posts, or newspapers. They can hear TV and radio talk show hosts and guests spew information on every subject imaginable.

What can you bring to the table? Action. To influence, make the available information actionable for your audience. Use all five prongs of persuasion:

Word choice. Positive, specific, precise words. Nix the negative, vague words. Give people positive imperatives. Do X, Y, and Z for the results you want to see.

Rhetoric. Powerful phrasing and graceful grammar pack a powerful punch on a person's memory. Put in the time it takes to turn a memorable phrase. Presidential campaigns can be won or lost on the power of a slogan.

Emotion. People will argue all day that they don't make decisions based on emotion--but they do. Create feelings of pleasure, fear, safety, discomfort, pride, acceptance, rejection, or prestige, and clients and colleagues will act.

Logic. People must justify their emotional decisions with reason. So help them interpret the facts, information, and ideas available. Take a point of view. Lead others to draw conclusions. In other words, serve your entree instead of asking diners to walk through a buffet line.

Trustworthiness. Demonstrate your integrity. People need to trust your personal values and genuineness before they'll believe or do what you say.

Author of 42 books, Dianna Booher, CSP, CPAE, delivers keynotes, breakout sessions, and training on communication and life-balance issues. Her latest books: Speak with Confidence, Your Signature Life, Your Signature Work, E-Writing, and Communicate with Confidence.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Quote of the Week

"Putting off an easy thing makes it hard. Putting off a hard thing makes it impossible." -- Charles Wilson

There are always things in your day that you'd rather not do - but the longer you put them off, the more daunting they become. Schedule your day so the hardest thing on your list is first - that way you waste less time worrying about it, and you sail through the rest of your day with a sense of accomplishment!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cold Calling Quick Tip

Sam Manfer has shared a lot of cold calling tips and ideas in his newsletter, and I particularly like this one, because it helps you probe for need, and determine when it's time to move on - two very difficult things to determine on a cold call. Read on for his advice!

Be Prepared to Expose and Entice -- No Pushing

When the prospect gives you the expected "Everything is fine" on a cold call, you must try to get the conversation going without putting them on the defensive.

Therefore, have two or three issues ready to offer, one at a time, that you think they should have. For example, in my business, creating more sales, shortening the sales cycle and cross-selling are three common issues among the prospects I pursue.
So when I get the -- "Everything is fine." -- I might say, "Well what about sales cycles. Is this an issue?" If s/he says, "No", I then might say, "And cross-selling, is cross-selling meeting your expectations?"

I will do this for a maximum of three No's, and then I give up, politely hang up and recycle this prospect for a future retry in three or four months. If however, one of these exposes and/or entices gets a "Yes", then I'll go into my selling mode.

The idea here is to see if this prospect has a need or want that she realizes she has. If she doesn't, you're beating your head against a wall and setting yourself up for rejection. You'll think you're just not good at selling. Whereas, the prospect just isn't interested.

Basically, the reward for her to change is less than the effort plus the risk to change. Think about that for a second. The key to selling is finding people that have an issue or want, and would like to do something about it. Give up on the idea that "I have to convince him or her." You need to find those that want help.

Since 1995 Sam Manfer has been speaking, consulting, writing and leading seminars in sales and personal development. As a keynote speaker and seminar leader Sam has addressed thousands of new and experienced salespeople and managers all over the world in all types of businesses and industries. Learn more at

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Want More Clients? Just Say No!

C.J. Hayden is a marketing expert who always has interesting, practical ideas about how to market your business. Read on for her great advice!

Much of the popular wisdom about how to succeed as an independent professional seems to center around saying yes. You'll hear that you're supposed to market yourself constantly in as many different ways as possible, network with everyone you can find, and take as many clients as possible in order to increase your earnings. The
implication is that you should say yes to every opportunity.

But it hasn't been my experience that pursuing all opportunities is the true path to success. In fact, my own success increased dramatically when I started saying no more often. Saying yes to everything is like opening too many windows on your computer. Eventually you run out of resources and you crash. When you say yes to every suggestion, request, or invitation, you are letting other people's agendas drive your business. Saying no can put you in charge instead.

Here are six examples of situations where you may want to consider saying no.

1. New clients who don't fit into your niche.

When business is scarce, it's tempting to take anything you can get. For a one-time or short-term project, working with a client outside your target market or specialty may not harm you. But making a practice of taking any business that shows up will get in the way of establishing your reputation and referral base.

These "outsider" clients won't lead to the targeted referrals or testimonials that will build your business. And they can take a lot more energy to serve, because you may need to learn on the job, scramble to assemble needed resources, or do work you simply don't enjoy much. Sticking to your niche, on the other hand, will lead to more business of the kind you really want to have.

2. Networking with people who have no connection to your niche.

Your networking time is precious. Say no to attending events that will attract few people from your target market, or to meeting with people whose niche has no relation to yours.

Just because someone invites you to a meeting or coffee doesn't mean you have to go. Don't worry, you'll have plenty more invitations to choose from in the future. Plus, you should be spending some time making your OWN invitations to folks solidly within your niche, who will be much more likely to bring you business.

3. Clients who take more effort to pursue than their business is worth.

Watch out for prospects who want to meet with you multiple times, see several proposals, or require a detailed response to a complex RFP before agreeing to work with you. Even when you ultimately land the contract, it may cost you far too much unpaid time. And clients who are so demanding before they hire you may be even worse to actually work for.

C.J. Hayden is the author of Get Clients Now! Thousands of business owners and independent professionals have used her simple sales and marketing system to double or triple their income. For more information, please visit

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Leave Your Agenda at the Office

The Whetstone Group provides valuable information in a problem-analysis-prescription format. Read on for their excellent advice on selling.

Problem: Alligator Software had just introduced a major revision to their software but, in spite of tremendous initial enthusiasm, sales fell far short of expectations and management started to receive complaints about the conduct of their overzealous salespeople.

Analysis: Alligator was proud of their latest upgrades, so much so that management was convinced that they were finally in a position to overtake their primary competitor who owned 60% of the market. A national sales meeting was held and the entire forty person sales team converged on San Diego for a quick one and a half day meeting to introduce the "new product." After the proud techies got their chance to demo the software, the marketing department spent a half-day helping the salespeople understand all the features and benefits and how the new product would help their prospects reach new levels of efficiency.

Finally, management got their chance, and did they ever turn on the motivation! With extraordinary zeal they introduced the new compensation plan for sales and it was generous, to say the least. They left the salespeople with this message: "The market is ready for this product. It's new and innovative and everybody needs it. We've invested megabucks in development and need to recoup our investment. So get out there and move it. Don't take no for an answer. You can make it happen!"

So the highly motivated sales force departed, full of high expectations and renewed enthusiasm, but with the wrong agenda.

How easily we forget! It's not about you. It's about your prospect. Alligator's sales force descended on their unwary prospects like a bunch of wild animals ready for the kill. Their attitude was…forget about what the prospect needs, we’ve got to sell this stuff, now. Consultative selling went by the wayside and the vultures showed up. And, nobody bought.

Prescription: Simple. Shut up and listen. People aren't buying because you've got a quota or because your management said to go out and move the product. Here's what Ray Smith, the former Chairman and CEO of Bell Atlantic has to say about salespeople:
"The great sales professional helps you eliminate issues that are not a problem, and then focus you in on the really critical dimensions of the situation. At the right moment, the good ones ask the right questions. You don't want someone peddling a solution that comes with an agenda, which many do."

Alligator's sales force came with an agenda – move the product. That was their focus on every call. They cared little about the prospect's issues and asked few questions. They were clearly under pressure and it showed. Their prospects felt like they were being pressured to buy a used car or a time share and they didn’t buy. People buy for their reasons, not yours, so stop selling and start listening.

Whetstone Group is a sales process improvement company that focuses on helping companies implement a proven sales process that will increase sales, shorten the selling cycle, increase closing rates, and improve margins. Learn more at

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Forget Doing Quotes. Create Personalized Proposals To Win More Sales

According to sales expert Jim Meisenheimer, "Closing the sale is much easier when you present your sales prospect a professional sales proposal instead of a quote." Read on for his advice on how to create a stand-out proposal!

First, if you are doing quotes, stop it. Don't use those automated run-of-the-mill quotation forms or programs. Instead, create value-packed sales proposals.

As an example, let's say you are working with a prospect and you're dealing with a committee of five decision makers. Also imagine they are seated around a conference table for a meeting to determine who gets the business. You're not there by phone or in person to represent yourself. What's left is your sales proposal. In order to stand out from the others it has be spectacular.

Let's assume there are four suppliers involved. Three of the suppliers have submitted boring boiler-plate quotations that scream out, "Hey, here's my price."
These are the people who are perceived as "vendors." The person who likely gets the business is the one who is perceived as adding value, at THEIR price. This is accomplished with a dynamic proposal.

Here are three ways to add pizzazz and value to your sales proposals.

1.The cover page is your headline. If there are five decision makers, be sure you have each person's name in large type on the front cover. Add a line that says
"Especially prepared for____." Put the date of the decision making meeting on the front cover too, not the date you send it. This also forces you to find out
when the decision is going to be made. (You are asking that, aren't you?"

2.Include an organization chart. Create a chart that includes the names of six to eight people in your organization who are most likely to have some interaction
with your potential customer. Traditional organization charts usually include names and titles. Go beyond that and include telephone numbers, fax numbers, e-mail addresses, direct dial extensions and a digital photograph the size of a quarter situated in the box.

Including this contact information draws attention to the accessibility of all key people--exactly what you want. Having pictures adds faces to the names. You can score some major points by introducing your support team.

3. Include a Benefits Page. At the top of this page, in very large type, put "(Their Company) Benefit Page".

List seven facts or features about your company and or products. But of course facts are simply facts. Under each fact express a benefit. This benefit statement should be indented, bold faced, slightly larger type, and printed in red so it jumps off the page at anyone who is looking at it.

Begin each benefit statement with these words: "Which means."

This will increase your sales and multiply your personal income. This page should be positioned as the page before your first page of pricing. What this means is your potential customer gets to see your benefits before he sees your pricing. That's a smart move and makes closing the sale easier for you.

Jim Meisenheimer publishes The Sales TrailBlazer Newsletter, a fresh and high content newsletter dedicated to helping you grow your business and multiply your income. To learn more, visit

Monday, May 10, 2010

Quote of the Week

"It is a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it." -- W. Somerset Maugham

We're often told that we can do anything we want if we work hard enough, but I feel like this quote takes that idea one step further, encouraging me to push myself to the next level at all times.

Do you want the best in your business? Well not accepting anything less means you have to work harder than everyone else, put in more time, try more new things, and be ready to take risks and fail. Even then, you have to be ready to keep going until you achieve your goal.

So, what are you waiting for? Let's all work hard to push ourselves to the next level!

Friday, May 7, 2010

What is Getting in the Way of Better Performance?

Today sales trainer Bill Caskey asks you to take a look at yourself and think about what you do that's keeping you from more sales. Read on for his advice!

As sales trainers, it seems like we're always out there to "help improve skills." Yet, after my conversation with Ralph Reiff, who oversees the St. Vincent Sports Performance Center in Indianapolis, he reminded me of something we often forget about in sales training.

When Ralph looks at an athlete to decide what kind of training he/she needs, he looks at "what is getting in the way of better performance?"

He claims there's always something that if remedied/fixed/addressed would improve the athlete's performance considerably.

What is Your Sales Distraction?

I equate that to some of the work we do in our work on sales strategy with clients. The bottom line question is: "What do we do that gets in the way of the sale?" Here are some thoughts that you can chew on.

1. We talk too much. I've literally heard salespeople talk themselves out of a sale, because they don't know when to shut up.

2. We fail to uncover the hidden pain. It's easy when you walk in and ask the prospect what their problem is and it's on the table in front of you. But what if you have to dig a little bit? What if the problem they have is something they've lived with for so long that they don't even see it as a problem.

3. We forget to have the economics discussion (or more conveniently, we ignore it). The money discussion is hard to have, because it can be emotional. But you must have it up front to see what the prospect feels about paying a premium (if in fact your product sells for a premium), or at least how he feels about the financial commitment that he needs to make.

4. We never show up in "get ready position." Are you ready for anything when you show up at a sales call? Or, are you hoping that the prospect says and does the right thing based on your prompts? You have a long tedious future in sales if you're not ready for anything the prospect says. The best way to be ready is to be "detached from the outcome."

5. We think old thoughts. The most common place this shows up is in prospecting. Continue to think that billboard advertising and cold calls are what are going to help you generate more business. The fact is, social media and the entire method prospects use to consume information has changed, and you'd better be attuned to it.

In conclusion, these are some things that you can either start doing or stop doing, depending on whether they're getting in your way. Good luck!

Bill Caskey is the President of Caskey, a training firm that specializes in training and developing B2B sales teams through face to face training, teleconferencing, written materials, custom podcasts and one on one coaching. Learn more at

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Quickest Path to the Top 20%

Sales trainer Mike Brooks is an inside sales expert who teaches his clients how to get in the top 20% at their company. Sound like something you're interested in? Read on!

What's one of the biggest differences between the top 20% and the bottom 80%? The bottom 80% are still using stale, phony techniques that don't work, and they are still trying to trick the gatekeepers and assistants as they try to get to the decision maker.

All this does is identify them as another pesky sales rep trying to sell something the prospect doesn't want.

The top 20%, on the other hand, have found that by being honest and real - I call it "Straight Selling"- they not only differentiate themselves from their so called competition, but they are also able to make a real connection and so establish the kind of rapport that is crucial for any sales transaction.

Here are a couple of scripts you can use to begin practicing straight selling:

If while cold calling your prospect says they are not interested, use this response:

"I don't blame you_________, you've never heard of me and you don't know what my company does or how it can help you. I'm sure you get sales calls all the time, but I'm also sure that sometimes a call turns out to be truly worthwhile. This happens to be one of those calls..." (Now provide a benefit, or ask a question)

If you reach an assistant and are told they will take a message, say:

"You know ________, I'm sure you work closely with _______, right? Great. Listen, I'll be honest with you - I don't want to bother you by calling and calling trying to reach ________, so let me tell you why I'm calling and you can tell me if you think this would be something he'd be interested in hearing more about..." (Now ask qualifying questions to see if they'd be a fit)

If your prospect is avoiding you after you've sent info, or is putting you off, when you finally reach them try:

"________I'm glad I finally reached you, and let me ask you something and please be honest with me - I've tried to connect with you several times, and the timing just never seems to be right. Level with me - is this just something you're not really interested in at this time, or do you sincerely want me to schedule another time later to go through this with you. You tell me..." (Now shut up and listen to their response)

As you can see, these straight selling techniques will not only give you the respect you deserve, but they will separate the buyers from the non-buyers. And that is one of the most important top 20% techniques of all.

Mike Brooks,, is creator and publisher of the "Top 20% Inside Sales Tips" weekly Ezine. If you're ready to Double Your Income Selling Over the Phone, then sign up to receive your FREE tips now at:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Three Steps to Double a Sale

We all want to make more money, and today sales trainer Tessa Stowe tells you how!

Step One: Be completely trustworthy

You need to be a completely trustworthy person when selling. In part, that means you need to be an active listener, be your word, be open, be honest, be authentic, be non sales-y, be appreciative, be caring, be a giver, be passionate and persistent about helping them. If your solution has a weakness, they should know about it, so tell them. If your solution really is not the best one for them, tell them and recommend a different one. If you are trustworthy, prospects will start selling themselves to you!

Step Two: Use a sales process which conveys trust.

It's all very well if you are being completely trustworthy, but (and it's a very big but) if you use a sales process that does not create trust, it will negate that personal trust.

You need a sales process that is focused on helping people get what they want vs. what you want. If you are using a sales process that is focused on persuading and manipulating and being clever with objection handling and closing techniques, it is obvious whose interests you really care about. Such an obvious sales process will destroy trust. You may get a "one-off" sale, but they'll pressure you on price and probably won't come back for more.

Take a critical look at your sales process and ask yourself if it does convey trust. Ask yourself if you were on the receiving end, would you trust you? If not, then find and implement a sales process that conveys trust. You'll know it when you come across it, as it will align with the trustworthy person you are being and it will feel good. You'll actually be excited about selling when you use such a sales process. Sales resistance from both the seller and the buyer side often comes down to the type of sales process.

Step Three: Make a longer term offer

Since you have created trust, they will want to be your client for the long term. This will be the first of many sales. Since they are going to be with you for the long term, make it worth their while to make a long term decision NOW.

When you present the pricing, give your clients both immediate and longer term options.

Option one is for their immediate requirements. This is what all your competition will be giving pricing for as well. It is also what the client expected to receive from you and your competitors.

Option two is for what they will need for a longer term and asks for a much bigger commitment. With option two, you are simply asking them to make a future buying decision now rather than later. In exchange for making that decision now, you will give them some additional value in return. This could be a reduced price on one of the items or you could add extra items. Perhaps it is a creative pricing and invoicing strategy that solve a client's short term cash flow problem.

Your clients are probably not expecting a second option, and your competitors have probably not offered one. Since they will be spending a greater amount over time anyway, it will be logical for them to buy more now. This is your chance to be creative and come up with an offer that is in their best interests and compels them to commit now. It leverages the personal trust you have worked so hard to build with another offer that confirms your intent to provide your clients more value over time.

When you win the larger sale with the second option, your competitors (who were probably focused on lowering their price to win) will be flabbergasted when they find out about the size of your sale! But even if the clients turn down the second option this, they will remember that you offered an attractive alternative, and that in turn helps to build more trust in you for the future.

Tessa Stowe teaches small business owners and recovering salespeople simple steps to turn conversations into clients without being sales-y or pushy. Her FREE monthly Sales Conversation newsletter is full of tips on how to sell your services by just being yourself. Sign up now at

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The pros and cons of a fast sale

A quick sale sounds pretty good, right? Well it is, but it can also put you in a precarious position for future sales. Read on for sales trainer Mark Hunter's advice on the subject.

The risk of the fast sale is you won't learn enough about the customer to enable you to make a second sale.

Many times when we make a "fast sale," we do so without really learning the needs the customer has. Sadly, we then don't learn how the benefits we can offer will help them. Knowing these things are critical if we have any expectation of being able to serve the customer long-term.

When a sale is made too quickly and we don't learn these things about the customer, we run the risk of having the purchase become nothing more than a commodity transaction where the customer is thinking of nothing but the cost. When the transaction becomes solely about the price, we lose all opportunity to become a valued partner. We become known to the customer as bringing only one thing - a low price.

If you have found yourself in this situation having made a fast sale, do not think you can't go back to the customer and ask them questions about the needs they have and the benefits for which they are looking. It may be too late to use them on the initial sale, but you can still use this information to help ensure there is a profitable second sale.

Contact Mark Hunter, The Sales Hunter for your next Conference or Sales Meeting. To see and hear Mark Hunter now visit

Monday, May 3, 2010

Quote of the Week

"If you don't fail now and again, it's a sign you're playing it safe." -- Woody Allen

While your business definitely depends on how hard you work and how much effort you put in, it also depends on the kind of risks you take.

If you call on businesses within the same niche and never try to branch out, you will never grow. Is there a way you can market yourself so you appeal to more customers? Can you change a part of your presentation to make it more interesting, and maybe even a little fun?

If you're not willing to put yourself out there, where there is a possibility of failure, your business will never grow. Take chances, and reap the rewards!