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The Sandler Selling System is a tremendously beneficial process for selling. Using the system and focusing on the correct behaviors has given me the power to move forward in selling situations that would have previously stopped me in my tracks. As my company continues to roll out Sandler concepts to others in the sales force I am hopeful that benefits I have received personally will begin to positively impact our firm with increased growth.
Thank You, Mr. Prospect read more
David Sandler wrote a Thank You to his prospects who gave him more lies, deception and mistreatment than he ever could have imagined.
Identify Unproductive Behavior read more
I forgot my calendar read more
Without an agenda that everyone is focused on, meetings turn into social gatherings. If that is the purpose of the meeting, fine. However, it rarely is.
He's A Really Good Client read more
Most salespeople want everyone to like them, believing that if they are liked, a sale will result. This is not why a sale is made. A sale is made because what the person bought from you solves a problem he has. Your job is to find out the problem, not tell him how much you like being around him.
Meet the Cast of the Sale read more
In almost every buying decision, you will work with a cast of characters who are involved in the process. Often, one member of the cast--usually someone at or near the top of the organizational chart--has the responsibility for making the decision.
Communicating Your Sales Message read more
The first few moments of interaction with prospects are the most crucial. It’s in those instants that prospects form an initial opinion about the value of investing time, any amount of time, to speak with you. In the first 10 seconds of your interaction, prospects decide if you have something worthwhile to offer that is relevant to their goals or challenges...or if you are “just another salesperson” attempting to sell a product or service—someone most often dismissed with a “send me some literature” request.
Just a half an hour of your time. read more
Begging a prospect for an appointment, when you both know it won’t go anywhere, not only wastes both your time and hers, but also leaves the prospect, should you ever call again, remembering that you wasted her time once before.
How much is "IF" worth? read more
Have you stopped to think just how much the word “IF” is worth? Judging by the way so many salespeople talk, it must be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
I have always done it this way read more
If you keep doing it the same way, is it because you are making more and more money, or is it because that’s the way you’ve always done it?
Five Things Salespeople Should Never Do read more
To ensure your success as a salesperson make sure you never do these five things (or should you)?
Meet with an Agenda read more
Meetings that are held with no written agenda start late, last forever, and accomplish only the wasting of everyone’s time.
Can or Can't Do read more
Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, wrote, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” Airplanes, space travel, lasers, the eradication of diseases, and even smart phones are evidence of the correctness of Hill’s observation.
But, Henry Ford reminded us, “If a man thinks he can do a thing or he thinks he cannot do a thing, he is right.”
Both observations are comments on the power of belief.
Put the Phone Down read more
Unless your job is to make one call after another, in other words you are a telemarketer, then being on the phone all day or most of the day is robbing you of productive work time.
Six Tips for Effective Listening read more
When you interact with clients, they should be doing at least 70% of the talking, which means you're doing at least 70% of the listening. Listening is crucial for effective sales-it's the only way you'll learn what your prospect or client REALLY needs.
Three Questions for the New Year read more
It’s not too late to set your 2013 goals. Start by asking yourself three questions.
Be A Stand Up Person and Get Things Done read more
Want to make meetings shorter and more productive? Stand up.
What Motivates You? read more
You set achievable those goals, but the question do you have the right motivation to do so?
Stop Selling Features and Beneftis read more
It sounds heretical for a sales trainer to say, "Stop selling features and benefits," doesn't it?
5 Strategies to Close Faster read more
For some salespeople, the amount of time it takes to secure an initial appointment with a prospect is excessive. For others, the amount of time spent defining and developing the opportunity is extreme. And for many, it’s the amount of time it takes to secure a decision after submitting a proposal or making a presentation that stretches the selling cycle beyond reasonable limits.
Haven't Got Time to Explain It read more
Always make time to explain. You never know just how important that one explanation might turn out to be.
Are You Obsessed? read more
Successful salespeople are. They are obsessed with doing what has to be done each and every day to reach their goals. They have an obsession for doing those things to their very best ability - no compromises.
Are You Selling Umbrellas in the Desert? read more
If you did your homework you wouldn’t be calling someone in the Sahara Desert asking them to speak to the person in charge of umbrella purchases.
If I want it done right, I do it myself read more
Do you believe that if you want it done correctly, you have to do it yourself? How is this impacting your co-workers?
If a tree falls in the woods does it make a sound? read more
Yes this is a sales question. If you have a great product but fail to put it in the hands of the people that can use it, is it really a great product?
Make the plan, skip some steps read more
Glenn is a salesperson who drives sales managers and upper management crazy. For months at a time, he can close just about every sale without so much as breaking a sweat. Then, for just as long a period, it is as if he has totally lost his ability.
Selling Professionals and Obstacle Courses read more
Michael decides to stretch his comfort zone and enlists in the Tough Mudder. He finds that he is applying many of his selling skills.
Defining a Good Fit in Sales read more
You can hide from it, do your best to avoid it, even refuse to recognize it, but a “no” today is still a “no” tomorrow. The sooner you disqualify an opportunity, the sooner you can direct your efforts to other potentially more rewarding opportunities.
Good decisions are ones made. read more
Many times in sales, the salesperson and the buyer reach multiple points where some form of decision needs to be made in order to go any further.
Agonize or Organize? read more
The most frequent excuse for not reaching a goal or completing a task is, "There isn't enough time."
Keep thinking. It will go away. read more
Postponing a decision because you are still considering all of information, both on-hand and yet to come in, can reach the point where the need for the decision ceases to exist. The sales opportunity is lost.
I Need More Time read more
A major frustration for salespeople is dealing with prospects that can't seem to make a decision. Perhaps the biggest of those frustrations is struggling with prospects who indicate the desire to make a decision (and to do so by a certain date), but when the date rolls around, they invariably need more time.
How often have you been on the receiving end of an "I need more time to make a decision" request from a prospect? Too many?
Save time, skip the planning read more
Planning on what to do takes time away from being out there doing it. So skip the planning. Who needs planning anyway? New salespeople. There is, however, one small problem with this method. The salesperson never has a steady income nor does the company have steady sales. When one salesperson burns out, move another one in. Move them in, burn them out, move them in.
Three Steps to Greater Selling read more
If you want to excel in the sales game, you only have to follow three simple steps. If you're already at the top of your game, following these steps will take you to higher levels of success. Even if you're at the other end of the success spectrum, in a slump perhaps and ready to throw in the towel, following these three steps will get you out of your slump and on your way to success ... guaranteed! So, what are these three magical steps?
Hard work isn't digging a ditch read more
He looked up, never breaking rhythm, and said with no trace of exertion, “Hell, this ain’t hard. I just make a hole from stake to stake. What was hard was knowing where to put the stakes in the first place.”
Knowledge Is Power read more
Do you keep up with the changes happening at your clients' businesses? If there were mergers, consolidations, layoffs, or acquisitions in the offing, would you know?
Midnight Oil Doesn't Exist read more
One of the great, and usually destructive, tales of business handed down from one business owner to another, and from older salespeople to younger salespeople, is the burning of the midnight oil. "The only way to succeed is to burn the midnight oil." "The sooner you start burning the midnight oil, the sooner you will have success."
Do They "Own" The Pain? read more
What are the biggest roadblocks to closing a new account? If you are selling a product or service the prospect is already buying from another company, the biggest roadblock is likely to be the relationship the prospect has with that supplier or provider. Not the company or the salesperson, but the relationship.
If The Competition Is Doing It - Stop read more
Successful salespeople are often experts at differentiating themselves from the competition. This isn’t a coincidence. It’s vital because if the prospect has no way of differentiating between sales people, they’ll default to their tried and true method, price. Poor and mediocre salespeople are the ones that cut their price and try to low ball a deal. Successful sales professionals avoid the situation and when circumstances place them in that battle, they usually walk away. So as a rule of thumb, if the competition is doing it, do something else.
Chase the "big" ones read more
Every million-dollar account started as a nickel-and-dime account. Every last one.
Stop Selling and Close More read more
When you really want (or possibly need) to close a sale, it's easy to drop into "convincing" mode. You begin to sound like the stereotypical "high-pressure" salesperson explaining the benefits of the various features of your product or service and "justifying" the costs. These are precisely the things you shouldn't be doing. Why?
Dispose of Disaster read more
Instead of Nick meekly accepting the disaster excuse, he could have pushed ahead and found out if it was for real, or was this the brush-off.
Six Tips for Effective Listening read more
When you interact with clients, they should be doing at least 70% of the talking, which means you're doing at least 70% of the listening. Listening is crucial for effective sales-it's the only way you'll learn what your prospect or client REALLY needs. Follow these tips for effective listening:
Customer for Life read more
Outstanding salespeople have learned how to ride along with their customers so that when a need arises, the first and perhaps only person they turn to is them.
You’ve heard the phrase, "out of sight, out of mind." From the customer's point of view, the salesperson who sold them disappears from their daily awareness once the product is delivered and performing properly.
Go Three More Feet read more
People who want to give up on a goal because of some short-term discomfort are invariably discouraged. They are seldom engaged fully in what they are doing or with whom they are doing it, and have no idea how to move forward. They are often resigned, passive people who suffer from profound inertia. And, their chronic complaining changes nothing!
Who pulls the trigger? read more
Every salesperson is told to make sure that the presentation, the talk, and the direct mail piece is sent to the decision maker. Sometimes in the rush to concentrate on the decision maker, those who also influence the outcome can be overlooked.
Motivation read more
Do your salespeople, individually, care whether or not your company is the "Best in the World" or "The Leader in Widget Performance"? Undoubtedly that is important to them, but is that what gets them up in the morning, and keeps them going out in the field?
Why did you ever consider us? read more
Why do many salespeople bail out when a prospect says that the sale is not going to happen? One reason is that many salespeople expect, before the call is even made, that the prospect will end it. "I call any 10 prospects and nine of them are a waste of time. Nine times out of 10 I lose."
Is Your Sales Cycle Set? read more
Many salespeople believe that their sales cycle pattern is set, and it can’t be sped up or done differently. They are convinced that, “It is what it is".
Does Your Prospect Have A Need? read more
If you are calling the appropriate prospects for your product, that someday everyone of them will buy that product. While it may not be from you, they will buy. There are, however, a certain number of prospects who will buy within the next two months. You need to uncover them.
When to Send Literature read more
Sooner or later, a prospect is going to tell you, "Send literature." It's a natural response to a salesperson. It's an easy way to reject the salesperson without getting personal. Before you agree to send literature, ask yourself, "Why is the prospect requesting literature? Is this a sign of no interest?"
The Prospect Tells the Story read more
A salesperson’s job is to get his prospects and clients to tell him a story. The story line is how much they need what the salesperson has to sell. The conclusion of the story is the sale. Notice that the salesperson is never the one telling the story.
Twelve Sandler Steps To Sales Success read more
This is a collection of twelve simple steps all salespeople should live by. 1. Being genuinely interested in your prospect's personal and professional opinions will do as much (perhaps more) to develop rapport as identifying his personality style or discovering if he is a football, baseball, or hockey fan. 2. It's just as important to disqualify a selling opportunity as it is to qualify it. 3. What the prospect wants and what the prospect actually needs are rarely the same.
Stop Being a Pest read more
Prospects don’t like receiving cold calls any more than salesperson like making them. Prospects also have a standard "get rid of this salespeople" script. Unfortunately, most salespeople are so well trained by prospects that they fall right into following the prospect’s script.
Confidence Builders read more
To work with customers, either selling or in customer service, you must believe in your products and services, in your company, and most importantly, in yourself. Your skills and your success depend almost entirely on your own self-confidence.
Do You Dare to Dream? read more
I have never been able to understand why some people can only see as far ahead as the end of the current day. Instead of aiming for long-term goals, they just wallow in their everyday problems. Sure, the job of running a business, selling, and hanging on to your clients day-to-day can be a full-time job. But a crucial part of that job – any job – is to look far ahead, to anticipate change and new challenges, and be prepared for them.
Don't Be A Spectator read more
Every salesperson is told to find the decision maker. But if the decision maker is hidden behind a group, then what? If the group makes the decision, then the salesperson should meet and make a presentation to the group. Can’t present to the group? Withdraw from the race. Tell the prospect that there is no point in going any further in the process—take the sale away. What’s going to happen? One of two things.
"What" Sales Questions to Ask Prospects read more
When a prospect expresses interest in your product or service, "what" plays a pivotal role in developing the potential opportunity. Why? Because asking "what" questions in the early stages of the selling cycle facilitates obtaining the information needed to understand the nature and scope of the opportunity. And, in the latter stages, "what" questions help you to determine if your product or service represents the best fit for the defined opportunity.
Take the price out! read more
Everyone who walks through the door, calls on the phone, or requests a meeting with you has some idea what the price is. It may be too low or too high, but they do have a price in mind. Everyone—without exception.
Include Customer Service Reps in Your Business Decisions read more
Rather than treating the customer service department as the ‘clean-up crew’ (any mistake down the line, and the clean-up crew is sent in to do damage control and ‘fix it’, begin to think of these employees as what they are: business people. Many know more about the products, services, and processes than even the CEO!
Key Performance Indicators for Sales Superstarts read more
Sales superstars identify the KPI for their business and use them to track and measure their goals. On a day-to-day basis, they update where they are in reaching their goals, what activity has been accomplished and the results that have been netted from it. Superstars have an in-depth system of tracking and measuring which lets them define their effectiveness and make changes as necessary.
Let the prospect clarify why he is there read more
The prospect comes in, regardless of the type of business, with some idea of what he wants to buy. But since most don’t know exactly, the prospect is also dealing with uncertainty and experiencing insecurity. No one likes nor enjoys being uncertain or insecure.
Rejecting Rejection read more
No one in any profession is successful 100% of the time. Keep rejection in perspective as you move toward your goal.
1. Expect your share of rejections.
2. Focus on the long term. Tomorrow you'll barely remember those rude words barked at you today. Next week, you'll have to struggle to recall them. Life goes on.
Referrals are gold. Ask read more
“I just don’t understand,” said Andy, “you always seem to have referrals to work from. Where do you get them?”
Nick was standing next to his desk. He picked his briefcase up off the desktop and paused, looking at Andy. “Well, some come from customers, others come from prospects... a few here, a few there, it adds up.”
“That’s what I don’t understand. Here I am, most of the time calling on prospects. I mean last week, our sales manager could not believe that I spent close to 35 hours prospecting.”
What lies ahead for 2012? read more
With a new year just over the horizon, it's time to take stock of where you are. Without question, 2011 has been a challenging year for some businesses. Many thrived; others struggled. Regardless of how your company fared, the question is the same: What are you going to do in 2012?
Prospecting With A Plan read more
A good pool of prospects is one of the keys to a successful selling career. Knowing how to prospect effectively keeps a career vital, and is truly the lifeblood of sales. Yet, so many sales professionals overlook the crucial element of having a prospecting plan. With a plan to follow, you can measure your efforts and results.
Get into their world read more
“We will build you a car,” said Ignacio, leading both the husband and wife to one of the empty closing booths, “and then I will work on the best price for you. How is that?” he asked, addressing the question to the husband. “Fine,” he responded, “but we already know exactly what we want. Here, I’ve typed it out.”
The Most Difficult Aspect of Selling read more
What is the most difficult aspect of selling? Accurately analyzing the growth potential of customers, Creating an effective territory plan, Developing an appropriate prospecting message, Formulating meaningful qualifying questions, Preparing responses for the inevitable stalls and objections or Developing an effective plan to meet sales goals. While all of these represent a challenge of one sort or another, the most difficult aspect of selling isn’t included in the list.
Second, Now comes Technique! read more
Four months ago, Jill attended a seminar on how to keep her customers and prospects think- ing of her, and not her competition. One simple method was sending a personal thank you note to everyone who stopped in and met with her.
First, Do The Behaviors! read more
A new day is dawning on my sales career, decided Andy. As he drove to work, basking in the afterglow of the outstanding sales training seminar he had attended the day before, he couldn’t wait to start.
The entire training seminar was on making new contacts. Andy was careful to remember it was no longer called “cold calling,” it was now “making new contacts.” He had underlined that spot in the training manual. You have to have a new attitude, he said to himself.
What Happened to the Motivation? read more
Why is it that so many salespeople start their selling careers with a great deal of enthusiasm—truly motivated to grow, to succeed, and to advance their careers—and then, somewhere along the way, the motivation fades, and the “career” becomes little more than a job…a way to make a living?
Can You Shorten Your Sales Cycle? read more
Almost all salespeople will agree that the shorter the selling cycle, the better. Why? Because long selling cycles have two negative consequences: You’re less likely to be actively prospecting for new clients while you’re working on an existing opportunity. Consequently, your pipeline thins out, and if the deal you’re working on falls apart, you have fewer opportunities to fall back on. The longer you work on an opportunity, the more emotionally tied to it you become, and the more likely you are to make concessions (which typically eat into profits and your commission) to keep it “alive.” What are the reasons for long selling cycles?
Out of your comfort zone! read more
“This looks like it’s going to be a really tough one,” said Nick turning to Gail. “I bet five bucks that if the sale ever happens, it will take some poor salesperson months to close it.”
Five Things Salespeople Must Have read more
While there are several factors that contribute to success in the sales arena, there are five things you must have in order to maximize your potential and the results you achieve.
Questions, Questions, Questions... read more
If you’ve ever hung up, or walked away from a conversation and not had a clear understanding of what should happen next, you may be a victim of ‘incomplete questions’.
The "More Prospects" Paradox read more
Logic suggests that “more prospects” will lead to more sales. While that may be true for some salespeople, for many others, “more prospects” actually leads to fewer sales.
You don't know me. read more
Mark was having his usual results from cold calling. But he was determined to make at least twenty contacts today no matter what. He knew that with that goal accomplished, he’d aver- age at least three appointments.
Back to the grindstone, he thought.
Warm Up To Cold Calling read more
Cold calling: For many of us, the word "cold" is the key. Just the thought of picking up the phone sends a chill up our spines. Unfortunately, if we approach cold calling with an attitude of negativity, we'll communicate that attitude to the prospect.
Do you want to send the signal that, "I'm a desperate salesperson in an uncomfortable activity?" Or do you want to indicate that "I'm a financially independent consultant who is comfortable making cold calls?"
What's the best that could happen? read more
“Chris,” said Joan Deloit, president of Peerce & Doogle, “I can’t begin to tell you how pleased we all are that you could make it on such short notice.”
Chris looked around the room at the group: head of production, head of marketing, the con- troller, the CIO, all of the heavy hitters in one place. Talk about reaching the decision makers, he thought, and they are all here for the first meeting.
I Want To Be Liked! read more
We all have a social need to be liked, but is it necessarily what you should strive for as a business development professional? It's a trick question - because if we are liked - that's a good thing, as long as being a good guy doesn't mean wimping out.
How do you suggest we do that? read more
Tim had gotten through to the president of the company on a cold call only to be told that he did not have any need at the moment for his service. Arnold, the president, suggested that "They get back in touch in a couple of months." "How do you suggest we do that?" asked Tim. "Well, the easiest thing to do is just call me." "That sound good, but usually, there is a big problem." "What problem?"
Why Prospect Buy read more
The reasons you give a prospect to buy are rarely the reasons a prospect buys. In fact, a prospect sometimes buys in spite of your reasons. Our reasons for buying are a stock list of features that many times mean nothing to a prospect or they simply don't care about them. Good salespeople discover what reasons a prospect has for buying and helps them understand why those reasons are valid. Allowing a prospect to give their reasons for buying lets you determine what is important to them and why they might want or need your product or service.
Let Them Toot the Horn read more
“Tony,” said Nick, “I’m going nuts with this one prospect who has been in here three times and just won’t buy anything.”
Close the Sale or Close The File read more
For many salespeople, there is an inverse relationship between the size of their pending file (filled with opportunities they are pursuing) and the size of their commission checks. The bigger the pending file, the smaller the amount of the commission checks.
Customers for Life read more
Wendy was not your typical car salesperson. There was a reason why I've bought my last three cars from her and, as I discovered, I was tot the only on who had been taken care of in a similar fashion. Once, looking into the side room where the dealership's computer system was, I discovered the ubiguitous "Salesperson of the Month" plaques. For the past 10 years, there were only 10 months out of 120 months that her name was not at the top.
The Fourth Wall of Customer Service read more
In the theater, the "fouth wall" is the wall between the actors and the auidence. Behind this wall - the world of the actors is exaclty as the audience imagines it. The good guys and the bad guys all fit within the story being told. If the fourth wall is "broken" the audience is directly acknowledge - the spell is broken. Once, broken, the fourth wall is hard to reconstruct and the auidence may not be happy.
How's Business? read more
When asked, “How’s business?” most salespeople respond with “Great!” “Terrific!” “OK, I guess,” “Not so good,” or “Good, all things considered.” Most of these replies translate to, “I don’t know.”