Wednesday, August 31, 2011

SalesDog Quick Tip

Find the real value.

If your company offers a lot of different products, think carefully about where their real value lies. What end result are your customers really buying from you? That's the best place to begin your prospecting and lead generation messages.

Today's quick tip comes from Kendra Lee. Kendra Lee is a Prospect Attraction Specialist and president of KLA Group. Specializing in the IT industry, KLA Group helps companies rapidly penetrate new markets, break into new accounts and shorten time to revenue with new products in the SMB segment.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Irritating Listening Habits

Today's article from sales trainer Tom Reilly describes the kinds of listeners we don't like to be around - people who don't actually listen, but are constantly thinking about themselves. Read about these types, and then make sure you're not one of them!

Top-achieving salespeople spend 60% of their time listening on a sales call. Listening is a core competency for salespeople, yet too few companies and managers emphasize its importance to success. Schools rarely teach it. Training budgets generally ignore it because it is a soft skill. Most people assume that if you have two ears you know how to listen. Wrong. Here are some of the irritating listening habits I have noticed in training salespeople:

Competitor —this person is a master of one-upping the other person. The competitive listener typically says, “You think that’s something, let me tell you about something I did.”

Anticipator —this person spends most of his or her listening time thinking about what they will say next.

Rusher —this person is always giving the other person the bum’s rush. The attitude is, “Hurry up and finish, I have something to sell you.”

Distracted —this person is a walking billboard for attention deficit disorder. Every little distraction catches his or her attention. Their being distracted distracts the speaker.

Disinterested —this person cannot even feign being interested. They find the conversation dull and make no pretense to be interested.

Multi-tasker —this person thinks they can effectively communicate with others as they check text messages and emails. This is the phone conversation when you can hear the keyboard in the background. This is just plain rude.

Effective listening requires the listener to put his or her focus on the other person, not themselves. Too many people fail to subordinate their interests in an effort to understand the other person. You can only fully understand what someone is saying (and feeling) when the conversation is more about them than you. This is good listening. This is good selling.

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.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Quote of the Week

"Don't let yesterday take up too much of today." -- Will Rogers, humorist

It's really easy to dwell on the past. We've all done it - after a particularly difficult day, we all sit there thinking about what we should have said or should have done. Here's the thing - while you're thinking about that, you could be making sales today!

Each day is a clean start, so make the most of it! Put yesterday behind you and focus all your energy on what you can control today.

Friday, August 26, 2011

"Free" Does Not Have Value

Happy Friday! Today we have a great post from sales trainer Mark Hunter. It will definitely give you something to think about over the weekend!

If something is free — or worse, available in unlimited quantities — how could it have any real value?

My problem with “free” is it’s what far too many salespeople and marketing teams are using as a way to try to create loyal customers. Ask yourself, “How loyal are you going to be to something that’s free?”

Yes, offering something for free can be part of a strategy to create awareness or to reward loyalty, etc. Unfortunately, “free” is being thrown around way too much, and as a result, it winds up becoming something people expect. Now we have a real problem — not only does “free” have little value, but it’s what people expect.

What makes free even worse is many times it’s used as part of a strategy to get somebody to buy something that would be considered high-price. This only winds up creating an even bigger problem, as the contrast between “free” and the high-priced item is too much for the customer to understand.

My other problem with “free” is it attracts customers and potential customers who can’t afford to stick with you when you attempt to move them to full-price. What results is a pattern of continued discounts all in the name of trying not to lose a customer. Ironic, isn’t it?

Yes, “free” has a place. You’re reading this blog for free. In fact, you might say my website is nothing but free stuff, and you’re right. Before you call me a hypocrite, let me explain.

I use “free” as a way to create awareness and to build traffic on my website. This is similar to the way another company may do direct mailings of a product sample or a salesperson might host a “lunch and learn” session with clients.

The goal of using “free” is to know how you’re going to use it in your overall sales strategy.

Before you offer anything for free, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

1. What is the goal of what I’m trying to offer?

2. How will I measure the results?

3. What is the process I’m going to use for moving prospects from “free” to “fee”?

4. How firm is my pricing plan to make sure I have a profitability plan that works?

5. Will I be offering “free” to everyone? If I don’t, how might it impact those who don’t get it for free?

Keep in mind as you develop your “free” strategy that your banker and your accountant don’t accept “free.” Offering something for free might make you feel good, but until you monetize the “free” you haven’t put any food on your table.

Finally, don’t think you can copy the strategy used by some software companies in becoming successful because of giving away millions of copies of something. For each software company that made that strategy successful there are at least a dozen or more that failed. I like to tell people if you want to try that strategy, then let me give you another one you can copy even faster.

Each month there’s at least one or two people who buy a lottery ticket somewhere that is worth a million dollars or more. Since that worked for them, then why not go do it yourself and let me know how that strategy turns out for you.

“Free” is over-rated and over-used!

Now, let’s all get back to work selling real value!

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

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Growing Your Business the Old Fashioned Way

Today's article comes from sales trainer Jim Meisenheimer. It's a great one!

I like reading the Wall Street Journal and I'm often inspired by the articles I've read. In a recent addition, there was an article about Lillian Brownstein Chodash who is now 91 years old. The article describes how she landed a job back in 1938, in the days of the Great Depression.

She'd been out of work and looking for work for 15 months. One day she focused on a nine story office building in Jersey City, New Jersey. She took the elevator to the top floor and started knocking on doors. She was relentless in her pursuit of a new job. She faced rejection after rejection and kept knocking on those doors. When she got to the second floor her luck was about to change.

Did it have anything at all to do with luck or was it just her persistence that turned the tide in her favor?

On the second floor Lillian knocked on the door of a father and son real estate and insurance company. It turns out they just fired their secretary.

After she passed a shorthand and typing test they hired her right on the spot.

It seems to me the big difference between not working and networking is making personal connections.

Whether you're trying to find another job or trying to find new customers it requires a very strong personal commitment.

Let's review what Lillian did and how to apply it to you and your keen interest in finding new customers.

To do this let's use the acronym PROF.

P = Persistence. Lillian didn't stop looking until she reached her goal of finding a new job.

R = Repetition. She was knocking on doors. She kept knocking on doors until one of the doors finally opened for her.

O = Overcame rejection. She never stopped looking for work and you should never stop looking for new business. She quickly got over the last rejection and immediately started knocking on more doors.

F = Formula. Lillian had a simple formula that she followed. She just kept knocking on doors. Remember, not all doors will open for you, but for sure some definitely will

Here are a few more things to consider when you're focused on growing your business.

1. Establish goals that make you stretch.

2. Prepare and practice how you will ask your customers for referrals and introductions.

3. Think like Babe Ruth, who at one time was the leader in both home runs and strikeouts. He had a terrific attitude. Every time he struck out, he believed he was one strikeout closer to his next home run.

4. Plan your work and work your plan. Making sales calls without a plan is a total waste of your time. This isn't selling it's being ridiculous!

5. Skip the morning newspaper and don't listen to the news in the morning. It's 90% negative and won't contribute anything to your positive attitude and sales effort.

The keys to success are in your hands now.

Being a PROFessional sales representative should have a new meaning for you.

If Lillian could knock on doors to find a new job, you should knock on more doors and make more sales calls everyday to find your new customers.

And don't forget to ask the right sales questions when you're talking with your sales prospects and customers.

Jim Meisenheimer is a Professional Speaker and a Sales Trainer . He has just developed and released 2 new Training Programs for Sales Managers and Salespeople. He has worked with 533 Corporations during the last 23 years - and he had 72.7% repeat business last year. Jim delivers practical ideas that get immediate results.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Create Your Sales Plan

Today sales expert Brian Tracy discusses the importance of a sales plan, and how you can go about building one.

Nothing happens until a sale takes place. Your actual ability to sell your product or service to your customer determines your profit or loss, success or failure, in business. The sales process, to be effective, must be planned and organized in detail from start to finish. Every word and action must be scripted, rehearsed and memorized. Nothing can be left to chance.

Sales Recipe
Making a sale is like cooking with a recipe. You must use the correct ingredient and blend them in the proper quantity with the right timing. All successful companies have developed a proven sales process that can be duplicated over and over. By using a proven sales system, you can accurately predict the quantity of your sales, the average size of your sales, and the profitability of your sales activities.

It is important to speak directly or by telephone to people who can and will buy and pay in a reasonable period of time. Start with your ideal customer profile. Who is he or she exactly-in terms of age, occupation, income, education? Who is he or she exactly—in terms of problems, wants, needs, attitudes, and experiences regarding your product or service? If you could advertise for perfect customers, how would you describe him or her?

Marketing and advertising is aimed at telling your ideal prospect that your product will help them. The ideal prospect has an immediate need for what you sell. The ideal prospect knows you, likes you, and respects your products or business. The ideal prospect can buy and pay for your product if he or she likes it.

Establish Rapport
Establishing rapport and trust with the customer is a must. The prospect will not listen to you or buy from you unless he/she likes you and believes that you are honest. Be friendly, straightforward and believable. Be punctual, prepared and properly dressed. Ask questions and listen carefully to the answers. Make no attempt to sell until the prospect is relaxed and comfortable with you. Identify what the customer needs so you can better sell to them. Ask carefully planned, structured questions so that you can fully understand the customer's situation.

There is a direct relationship between asking questions and sales success. Plan your questions word-for-word in advance. Make no effort to sell or talk about your product. Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

Presenting Your Product or Service
Repeat back the specific needs or concerns that your prospect has expressed. Position yourself as a trusted advisor, dedicated to helping him solve his problem or achieve his goal with your product. Position yourself as a teacher-showing her how your product works to help her satisfy her needs. Match the customers expressed needs and concerns to the product or service. Focus on helping rather than selling. Conclude your presentation with an explanation of how the product is delivered or used. Invite questions.

Action Exercises
List three phrases or questions you can use or ask to determine if this is a qualified prospect.

Brian Tracy is Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, a company specializing in the training and development of individuals and organizations. As a Keynote speaker and seminar leader, he addresses more than 250,000 people each year. Learn more at

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

SalesDog Quick Tip

Become a CRM Expert

Become an expert on your Customer Relationship Manager software. Learn the shortcuts and get into the habit of updating it with brief notes and a follow-up activity after every client call. You'll miss fewer details, and make more sales.

Today's quick tip comes from Kendra Lee, a top IT Seller, Prospect Attraction Expert and author of the award winning book "Selling Against the Goal" and president of KLA Group. Ms. Lee is a frequent speaker at national sales meetings and association events. To find out more about the author, read her latest articles, or to subscribe to her newsletter visit or call +1 303.741.6636

Monday, August 22, 2011

Quote of the Week

"The first part of success is "Get-to-it-iveness"; the second part of success is "Stick-to-it-iveness."" -- Orison Swett Marden, Editor, Success Magazine

When you start implementing new sales strategies they're going to take time. Time for you to get used to them, and time for you to start seeing results. Keep this in mind as you work towards your sales goals - nothing happens overnight, so make sure you stick with it and stay positive!

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Master Question

Today we're sharing a quick, but important post with you from sales trainer Skip Miller. It's just what I like - value and concrete advice in a short, easy to read format!

Quantify has to be the master question of the day.

“They have to do something soon.”
“It’s a really big deal for them.”
“This is really, really important to them.

Any of these statements strike home? It’s really cool when you can use them in combinations.

“They have to do something soon since this is really, really important to them.”

How soon is soon? How important is important? Senior executives live in a quantifiable world. When you hear a subjective measure, qualify it with a quantify question:

“How soon?”
“Can you define ‘big’?”
“On a scale of 1-10, how important is this?”

Want to get rid of the maybes? Get the numbers. Can’t get the numbers? Probably talking to the wrong person.

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

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Use Humor to Open Hearts and Minds

Today communication expert Dianna Booher shares how you can successfully weave humor into your presentations. Actually enjoying a presentation sounds good to me!

In our presentation skills workshops, a frequent question our consultants receive is this: "When is it okay to use humor in a business or technical presentation?" Answer: Almost always.

The follow-up question: "How do you define humor? And where do you position the humor so that it works best?"

Humor, whether in a presentation or a conversation, doesn't necessarily mean a joke or one-liner. In fact, jokes rarely work. If you've already heard them, assume that others have as well. Having a sense of humor simply means the ability to see life in a light-hearted way. Those who see everything as a matter of life-and-death wear a permanent frown and make those around them ill at ease.

Personal anecdotes, humorous quotations, or witty comments overheard on the street, a cartoon quip, a visual, a prop, a facial expression or gesture added at the appropriate moment--these are the humorous touches that work best after you've established rapport with your colleagues.

Your willingness and ability to "lighten up" can be invaluable in positioning yourself as a confident person, comfortable in unscripted situations.

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.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

SalesDog Quick Tip

Open emails with a welcoming greeting.

Start your emails with an inviting salutation. Use the prospect's name ("Hi Tom!") so when they glimpse it, they immediately know this email was written for them.

Today's quick tip comes from Kendra Lee, a top IT Seller, Prospect Attraction Expert and author of the award winning book "Selling Against the Goal" and president of KLA Group. Ms. Lee is a frequent speaker at national sales meetings and association events. To find out more about the author, read her latest articles, or to subscribe to her newsletter visit or call +1 303.741.6636.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Worst Sales Prospecting Email Ever

Today sales trainer Kelley Robertson shares a prospecting email he recently received - and explains why it's one of the worst! Thankfully, you can avoid these pitfalls with a few simple changes to your emails!

Good Friday Morning,

My name is (I left the sender's name out) and I live in Florida. I would like to know if I could possibly send your company some promotional product options and quotes via email?

We offer over a million items that we can add your company logo to including;

Pens, T-Shirts, Hats, Magnets, Tote Bags, Water Bottles, Eco Friendly items, Mugs, Key Chains, Stress Balls, Trade Show Items, Umbrellas, Flash Drives, and much more.

Please let me know what items you normally purchase or are looking for and I will send you quotes and try to save you money.

Sender's Name
Marketing Executive
Orlando Florida

This was the email that landed in my in-box last Friday morning. Here are a few reasons why it is one of the worst prospecting emails I have ever received:

No attempt was made to identify a potential business problem I might be experiencing.
The sender did not create ANY value.
"Possibly" and "try" are weak words.
The call to action was weak.
There was no website, company name or telephone number.
The sender used a Gmail address.

If you use email to prospect it is critical to demonstrate your expertise, identify a business problem and indicate how you might be able to help.

Avoid sending messages like this one.

Otherwise, your prospects are simply going to hit the delete button a moment after they open your email; if in fact, they actually take the time to open it.

Kelley Robertson is the President and founder of Robertson Training Group. He specializes in helping businesses increase their sales, develop better negotiating skills, coach and motivate their employees, create powerful work teams and deliver outstanding customer service. learn more by visiting

Monday, August 15, 2011

Quote of the Week

"Without courage, all other virtues lose their meaning." -- Winston Churchill, British prime minister

What have you done to push past your comfort zone today? Stretch yourself, and your work will be more meaningful!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Easy Exits

Today's post comes from The Whetstone Group, and shares with you how giving your client an easy exit may help you get the sale.

Problem: Salespeople are so predictable! They use the “pull” approach, constantly trying to convince and persuade their prospects to buy from them. Of course, their prospects are on to these tactics and are doing their best to “push” the salesperson away. Often, even good prospects feel trapped and push the salesperson away because they don’t want to be sold.

Analysis: Clearly a better approach is needed. Why not try the push approach when selling, from time to time? Giving the prospect an easy exit, pushing them away, can have magical results when you have a good prospect.

Prescription: An “easy exit” is an opportunity for you to make the prospect feel comfortable by bringing up situations that may still be a source of concern and let the prospect deal with them. In effect, you’re providing them with an “easy exit.” You’ll find that one of two things will happen: they’ll convince you that your concern is unwarranted and that it’s really not an issue (proving to you that they really are a good prospect) or they’ll admit that your concern is valid. This gives you a chance to probe for more pain or to take it to “no,” thus arriving at the right conclusion for both parties without wasting everyone’s time. In either case, rapport is maintained, even strengthened, and you’re doing the disqualifying, not them. Here are a few Examples:

During your initial meeting say, “If we don’t have a fit, it’s okay to tell me.”


“We may take some time together today looking at your situation only to find that we’re not the right solution for you. If we’re not, you need to be comfortable telling me that. Okay?”

When the prospect begins to discuss his challenges say, “That problem doesn’t sound like it’s causing you that much trouble. Are you sure it’s really that important to fix?”


“It doesn’t appear that this issue is a major priority at the moment. Am I reading the situation correctly or have I missed something?”

During your budget discussion try, “I get the feeling that this is much more than you had planned to invest. Do we need to talk further about that?”

You need to keep your "antenna" up at all times to assess what the prospects are implying when they make a statement. Often a prospect will not tell you the whole truth regarding a problem, but will send out bits of (mis)information instead. It’s your job to relieve pressure and help uncover what the prospect is really saying (see the above examples). Your role is to gently minimize the prospect's assertions of pain and their commitment to do something to fix it, thus getting them to defend their position and prove to you that they are a good prospect with real pain and a real commitment to finding a solution. Any time you give them a chance to run away from doing business with you and they don’t take that chance, they’re sending a message that they want to do business.

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

Thursday, August 11, 2011

SalesDog Quick Tip

Funnel your questions

It can be easy to miss key information about your prospect's needs, or forget to ask the right questions in the first place, if you don't have a questioning strategy. Use a questioning funnel to stay on track and ask the right questions in the right order.

Today's quick tip comes from Kendra Lee, a top IT Seller, Prospect Attraction Expert and author of the award winning book "Selling Against the Goal" and president of KLA Group. Ms. Lee is a frequent speaker at national sales meetings and association events. To find out more about the author, read her latest articles, or to subscribe to her newsletter visit or call +1 303.741.6636

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Pros and Cons of Your Career

I love today's article from speaker Billy Cox - it's a great reminder of how thinking positively can change your mindset - and your sales!

It is said that Benjamin Franklin made decisions by taking a piece of paper and writing all the reasons to do something on one side and all the reasons not to do it on the other. Then he would evaluate both sides and make his decision based on the results.

I challenge you to do the same. Take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle. On one side, write everything you love about your career. On the other side, write everything you don't like. Now, evaluate both sides.

Most of the time, you will find more things that you like than dislike. But you can't just look at the number of reasons on each side - you also have to evaluate the relative meaning and impact of each reason. For example, you might have three positives and five negatives. But the three positives may be huge, quality-of-life issues, whereas the five negatives are minor administrative headaches you could learn to live with.

This exercise will help you discover what motivates and excites you. When you focus on the positives, the negatives will become insignificant. And as you focus on your likes, you will love what you do even more. The more you love what you do, the more you win.

Billy Cox is a self-development speaker who has the unique ability to bring business and life issues together with a focus on business. He is the author of The All-Star Sales Book, The Dream Book and You Gotta Get In The Game. He can be contacted by calling 1-800-722-4685 or

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Why Do CEOs Buy?

Today sales trainer Mark Hunter steps inside the CEO mind to help you make more sales!

If you are wondering what drives a CEO’s decision to buy, I can guarantee you it is expectation, not price.

I should really be saying something like, “Why CEOs don’t buy anything.” That is the real tip.

You see, CEOs don’t buy — they only invest. In fact, that is what all companies do. They invest in outcomes, rather than buying “stuff.”

For the CEO, this means the investments they make are designed to deliver one thing — an outcome (an expectation that their company will benefit from whatever it is you are selling).

It is really a very simple concept; however, there is still another component to it.
CEOs make their investment decisions based on their strategies, and this means the timeframe under which they work is many times far longer than the salesperson’s time frame.

The time frame is not necessarily the time it takes for them to make a decision. Typically, CEOs make decisions far faster than any other person in a company.

Rather, the time frame they work under is the time frame when they expect to receive the benefit. I like to think that CEOs do not live in today’s world, but rather they live in the world they expect their company to be in.

This might a be a time period of 1, 3, 5 or even 10 years from now. When we in sales begin to accept the reality of the world in which the CEO lives, we can’t help but be in a better position to sell to that CEO.

Price will always be secondary to the CEO.

They understand this because they don’t buy anything. They only invest in expectations and outcomes. Again, for those of us in sales, this provides us with a huge opportunity to maximize our price when we know how to target our sales process to the CEO.

If you are using the same selling skills and strategy with CEOs that you use with purchasing departments or other lower-level personnel, there is no way you will ever succeed with both groups.

The sales strategy you use for the CEO needs to be 100% focused on the investment/benefit outcome they will receive within the time period they are working.

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

Monday, August 8, 2011

Quote of the Week

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." -- Mother Teresa

Kind words can go a long way in sales. They are essential to building relationships, soothing ruffled feathers, and maintaining client relationships. Take a minute to share a kindness with someone, and the effects will be long-lasting!

Friday, August 5, 2011

You and Apple

Today author and speaker Anne Miller shares a story that reminds us of the importance of shpwing value, not telling. Think about this great tip, and then make the change in your presentations!

One of the great joys of my business is that, while I frequently work in the digital and media space, I also get to work in other industries as well, e.g. investment banking, money management, professional services, even the pork industry! I am always fascinated by what people do and the challenges they have in selling their services or products. However while the industries differ, when these professionals tell their story, there is one failing they all seem to share...

They confuse laundry listing features, processes, models, and functionalities in excruciating detail with communicating the real source of their value: what their product or service does for the buyer. Does it increase ROI? Make buyers’ lives easier? Save them money? Give them a competitive edge? Enable them to sleep better at night? Increase their revenues? Cut their costs? Increase their transparency? Help them be in compliance? Avoid litigation? Protect their share of market? Reduce time spent on routine tasks? Make them heroes to their clients? Other?

That is what people buy, not the latest wrinkle in your model. The cliche about people not buying nails for the sake of owning nails but for the holes those nails make holds true.

Take a Tip from Apple
Writer Nigel Hollis' article in The Atlantic Monthly talking about the differences in advertising among consumer technology companies echoes this point very well. “Blackberry, Samsung or Nokia ads are often laden with so much information that the recipient is left in a blaze of numbers and claims. Instead of focusing on how people interact with technology, those companies focus on features and specifications...Now think about the Apple iPad. The first ads for the iPad did not focus on the product features, like memory, speed, or slimness. Instead they portrayed someone relaxing on their sofa using the product. The ads didn’t tell us what the product was. They told us how we would use it, accessing news and entertainment whenever and wherever we want.” The rest, we know, is history.

Are You More LIke the iPad or Samsung?
Whiz-bang technology notwithstanding, no matter what you sell, people don’t care what you have, or how you do what you do until they know what it does for them. So, step back from the descriptive minutiae of your offering and shift your gaze to the bigger picture of what that minutiae means to your buyers. Showing how your offer changes your buyers’ lives for the better will change your bottom-line for the better as well.

Internationally respected author, speaker and seminar leader, Anne Miller teaches sales people how to increase their business; coaches CEOs and senior management to communicate successfully to key constituencies; and enables technical people to transform complex information into simpler, meaningful messages. Learn more at

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Power of a Smile

Business expert Andrea nierenberg has such a positive, uplifting attitude when it comes to business. I love to read her positive messages, and this article is no different!

In the Chinese scriptures it is written that a smile affects every single cell in our bodies.

We all know there has been much research conducted on how smiling and laughing can prevent some disease and certainly stress and that it take less muscles to smile then it does to frown---so why does it sometimes seem so hard to give one away.

I recently watched someone totally change when I said to him - ‘you have a great smile’---it was like he became a different person and he truly did. I took a chance because in our meeting, at first he epitomized a curmudgeon...

I took a leap of faith and I’m glad that I did in this case.

However sometimes we encounter people who we feel are difficult in the way they appear to us and we really shouldn't assume anything---knowing that for every action, there is always a reaction. It is human nature to make a judgment and we all do - so this is only a reminder on some basic suggestions.

Often when I present on conflict resolution in my communications sessions, I start with a basic truth that the only person we can truly change is ourselves. So the next time we run into someone who seems difficult or who doesn't seem to have an approachable expression, we might need to change the way we interact.

Take a quick look at my S.M.I.L.E. principle. I hope it brings one to your face after you review the list.

S. Stay in control. Think about how your responses could be perceived by others. See things from the other person’s point of view.

M. Make yourself be 'heard'. This has little to do with volume or emotion. It is about speaking clearly, and in a style others can appreciate. To understand the other--observe and listen to them, discover their hot buttons and don't push them.

I. Involve the other person by asking questions. Listen to the answers carefully. Then you can respond to their concerns and ask more questions that will address issues that interest you both.

L. Let go. Sometimes the best thing to do is to walk away. Sometimes you have to give the situation a rest. When you come back, you will see it from a different perspective.

E. Keep your ego in check and at the door. Your conscience needs to be your guide and maintain respect for the other person. The goal needs to be for both parties to win the war over the challenge, even if you have to surrender the battle.

It is always our choice. We can go through life fighting a battle or we can choose to sign peace agreements. Not always easy - yet the rewards are much greater with the latter.

Andrea Nierenberg is the president of The Nierenberg Group, a business communications company with a total process for educating, motivating and connecting people. Learn more at

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The You Headline

Today's tip from sales trainer Skip Miller focuses on an important part of your sales language - changing the word "I" to "You."

Why is it we always want to talk about ourselves?

“Here’s what I would like to do…”

“What I need is…”

“If I could do this, we could…”

A sales person feels so powerful telling a prospect or customer what they will do for them. They want to let the prospect know how important they are to them, and emphasize this fact my using the word, “I”.

Well, this may feel quite empowering to the sales person, but from the customer perspective…it’s all about them… and we know this…but fail to use this tool enough.

Change it to

“Here’s what I would like to do…What you said you wanted to do is…”

“What I need is…You said you needed…”

“If I could do this, we could…You said if you could do this, and we can help, then you could…”

Always review your written correspondence for too many “I’s”. It’s about them, not about you. By using the word you and their name, the customer is feeling like your heard them. They feel validated, and their rapport with you increases. By using the word I, they think of you as a vendor doing something for them, just like everyone else.

You want customers to get back to you, and you also want to be in control of the sales process, right? Get rid of the I’s, and start thinking of them, not about “I”.

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

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

SalesDog Quick Tip

Hear More Than Words

When you listen to recordings of your prospecting telephone calls, use a checklist to see how well you're consistently achieving your primary objectives. Are you reaching decision-makers, using a confident tone, focusing on their business needs, handling objections well, and asking for referrals?

Today's quick tip comes from Kendra Lee, a top IT Seller, Prospect Attraction Expert and author of the award winning book "Selling Against the Goal" and president of KLA Group. Ms. Lee is a frequent speaker at national sales meetings and association events. To find out more about the author, read her latest articles, or to subscribe to her newsletter visit or call +1 303.741.6636

Monday, August 1, 2011

Quote of the Week

"If you want to conquer fear, don't sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy." -- Dale Carnegie, motivational expert

The sales profession has a lot of fear built into it. Everyday you deal with the unknown, you deal with rejection, and you deal with ruthless competition. These things will always be a part of the profession, so all you can do is think past them, and get started. Conquer those fears by working hard!