Friday, September 9, 2011

Are You a Student of Sales?

Today sales trainer Kelley Robertson gives us a great reminder - never stop learning!

The business world is constantly changing but many sales people don't keep pace with these changes. Instead, they continue to use tired tactics, outdated scripts, and ineffective approaches.

Consider these questions...

--When was the last time you attended a sales training workshop?
--What was the last sales book you read?
--How often do you implement a new technique, strategy or approach?
--What changes have you made in your sales approach in the last three month? Six months? Twelve?
--Are other sales people in your company achieving better results than you are? If so, what are they doing differently? What could you learn from them?

Several years ago I attended a conference and one of the breakout sessions focused on negotiating skills. I struck up a conversation with the guy beside me and learned that he was the chief negotiator for a prominent gravel company. When he told me that he had held that position for more than 15 years, I asked why he was attending this particular program.

"I can always learn something and even if the session only reinforces what I know, it will be worth it."

What a great perspective!

He truly epitomized the concept of being a lifelong learner and reminded me of the importance of keeping an open mind.

To succeed in today's challenging business climate and increase your sales, it is essential to maintain a student's mindset and constantly look for ways to refine your skill and update your knowledge.

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

Thursday, September 8, 2011

SalesDog Quick Tip

Think differently.

Not every group of prospects is going to be interested in the same things. Learn to differentiate between the companies and contacts on your list, so that you can grab their attention in your cold calls and lead generation activities.

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, September 7, 2011

Where Does the Time Go?

Today sales trainer Tom Reilly shares how a return to some old-fashioned selling may just be your best bet.

Salespeople spend most of their time on non-revenue producing activities. Really?

A recent study found that salespeople spend more than 70% of their time doing things other than selling. Our research found that salespeople spend, at most, 30% of their time in face-to-face selling. The rest of the time is spent handling administrative tasks, making collections calls, resolving logistics issues, attending meetings, and filling out reports.

How can we call these folks “salespeople” anymore when less than half of their time is spent selling? Maybe we should call them "support account administrators who occasionally sell." Who is at fault--salespeople or management? Finger pointing does not really accomplish much other than scapegoating the blame.

It confounds me when salespeople tell me that they cannot make more face-to-face calls. Why not? Do buyers perceive little value in the meeting? Do managers require salespeople to yield to administrative distractions? Is traffic that bad?

I grew up in a sales culture where we were required to make eight face-to-face sales calls per day. If we were in the office between 8 AM and 5 PM, our bosses assumed we were goofing off, and we probably were. Sales managers scrutinized our phone credit card statements to make sure we did not spend the day doing phone work versus face-to-face selling. We did paperwork at night or on Saturday morning. If it sounds a bit Draconian, it was not. We were salespeople after all, not office people. I learned a work ethic that helped me start and run two successful businesses, and I am eternally grateful for the lesson. Maybe it is time for some old-school selling rules again.

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.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Quote of the Week

"Someone might have a germ of talent, but 90% of it is discipline and how you practice it, what you do with it. Instinct won't carry you through the entire journey. It's what you do in the moments between inspiration." -- Cate Blanchett, actress

Time in sales means money. Make the most of yours by practicing, practicing, practicing.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Lost in Translation

Today's article comes from sales trainer Kelley Robertson. Enjoy!

Too often sales people use jargon, technical terms, acronyms, and other language that sounds foreign to their prospect or customer.

When I worked in consumer electronics, sales people constantly referred to product numbers when talking to customers. Because they worked with the products every day, they were familiar with the SKU numbers but their customers were not.

When you deliver a sales presentation (formal or informal) it is critical that you ensure that your presentation doesn't get lost in translation. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing the other person's attention, or worse, alienating them.

Before every sales call or meeting you need to consider the person(s) you're speaking with, their level of knowledge and expertise, and their position. Then you need to adapt your approach accordingly.

Unfortunately, most people don't think about the presentation from their prospect's perspective. They forget that the other person may not understand the terminology. They don't realize that their prospect may not be familiar with common acronyms or other jargon.

Take the time to simplify your approach before every sales call, appointment or meeting. Eliminate jargon, acronyms and other language that may sound foreign to the other person.

Make it easy for your customer or prospect to understand you and your presentation won't get lost in translation.

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