The Sales Management Challenge is a program where difficult, real-world sales management scenarios are presented and sales managers, executives and thought leaders share how they would tackle them. Our charge is to help sales managers make informed decisions in their roles through their participation in this skill development program.
Get involved in the discussions...
Come back to this site when you need sales management solutions: http://salesarchitects.net/smchallenge/How-Do-You-Counsel-Salespeople-Who-Have-PipeDREAMS-Not-PipeLINES
Cleaning the shark’s teeth
Sounds like a dangerous job? The little remora fish is the master of that job…and the shark allows the remora in its mouth because it’s more beneficial to work together than work apart. That’s called a symbiotic relationship and it’s the best kind of relationship with your customers. Focusing on your customers is the theme of this month’s issue… and your success (as well as your customers’) is dependent on you putting their interests first and helping them achieve the results they want.
Forget the lingo! Speak the customer’s language
A major takeaway from this month’s issue is how much more important it is to listen to your customers instead of them listening to you. Not only is it the best way to learn what they really need from you, but also you’ll hear the words they use to express that need…and those are the words you must use when communicating with them. Forget the sales jargon and all the “techno-speak” about your products and services. Ask questions… listen… speak your customer’s language… and you’ll be able to deliver the goods and a great looking sales report to the boss.
Take SOLDLAB.com wherever your opportunities take you
Need more courage and support to enter the shark’s mouth? You’ll find them at SOLDLAB.COM! Your online repository of ideas and information and podcasts for today’s salesperson and sales environment is available 24/7… and in whatever corner of the world you’ve found a new sales opportunity. Even though the time gaps in your busy schedule may be small, use them wisely to check our Facebook page and Twitter feed throughout the day for updates.
What's inside April 2013:
Are you icky when you negotiate? When negotiating, the icky factor is not only a turnoff, but it can also be the death knell of the negotiation.
With a U.S. Congressman being perceived as being icky, as the result of recently getting caught in a spectacle that was made worse by the manner in which he addressed the situation, the question becomes, what makes one appear to be icky?
If you wish to avoid the perception of being icky in your negotiations, observe the following four insights.
How Do You Manage a Salesperson Who Always Asks for Lower Pricing?
The Top Ranked Sales Experts suggest their solutions in real-time here http://salesarchitects.net/smchallenge/How-Do-You-Manage-A-Salesperson-Who-Always-Asks-For-Lower-Pricing
“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.”
He’s a high school dropout with two arrests and one night in jail under his belt. He’s also a billionaire. And he’s not afraid of failure. In fact, Richard Branson, Virgin Entrepreneur, holds the X Factor belief that failure is a good thing — and a necessary part of learning. He says, “You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.” As one who has fallen often, Richard Branson sure has learned a lot, despite the dyslexia and poor math skills that led to his early departure from formal education.
What does this mean for you as a sales professional? It means you should embrace failure. As Branson says, see failure as an opportunity to learn. When you fall, don’t well on what you “shoulda, woulda, coulda” done. Just think about what you’ll do differently next time. When Branson found himself facing a potential legal record on suspicion of tax evasion, he didn’t wallow in all the mistakes he’d made and everything he didn’t know. He paid his fine and spent the next two years learning money management so that he wouldn’t make the mistake again.
This X Factor approach also means that embracing challenge is a good thing. I always tell sales leaders that their job isn’t to make their sales pros’ lives easier, but to make them better. That’s an X Factor belief too — not looking for external circumstances to improve, but finding a way to improve yourself. Branson tackled the airline business when it didn’t make sense based on all external factors. But Branson did it anyway. He just found a way. It wasn’t based on everything lining up perfectly. In fact, he says if he’d always waited for things to line up, he wouldn’t have gone into any of his businesses. Branson said, “I mean, if I relied on accountants to make decisions, I most certainly would have never gone into the airline business. I most certainly would not have gone into the space business, and I certainly wouldn’t have gone into most of the businesses that I’m in.” Hello risk taker! That’s the kind of brashness that comes with being unafraid of failure. And it often happens to precede success.
Are you ready to be dangerous?
It’s a quality you wouldn’t expect to strengthen your relationships with your customers… but it will. In fact, they are likely to reward you for being “armed and dangerous.” Arm yourself with the content your customers seek and you build trust. Freely share that great content in social media and industry forums and you’ll build a solid network through association and participation. Like a rock star, you’ll be perceived as being dangerous, but having a presence your customers can’t resist.
SOLDLAB.com: the core of your network
One of the important takeaways from this month’s issue is that information drives successful networking… and SOLDLAB.COM is central to that success. You’ll learn more about networking and many other topics that are important to your sales effort. Plus, you just might find the one kernel of information that will help a customer move forward… and take you with him or her! SOLDLAB.com is always buzzing 24/7 with new ideas, the latest insights and powerful podcasts. Our Facebook page and Twitter feed are part of the SOLDLAB.com network and your first stop for updates.
What's inside March 2013:
I love everything about sales and the psychology of selling and I read as much as I can on the subject. I always have a sales, business or personal development book with me to learn from, to inspire me and to keep me on the sales edge. I am constantly refining the processes and strategies that I teach in my books, audios, DVDs and sales training seminars.
As you might expect I am not particularly squeamish when it comes to closing people down however over the last few nights I have been reading a book on how to close a client written in the mid-1980’s. It’s one of the funniest books I have ever read and if it was supposed to be humorous, I would pronounce it one of the funniest books that I have ever read. But as a sales training book, it is appalling and what’s more some of the tactics on how to close that are in it are based on the cheesiest of theories. Here’s one tip from the how to close book…
One of the closes describes how when the customer objects saying to the sale, saying that they need to think about it that you should hold up the book for the prospect to see and tell them that the book describes customers like them and tells you exactly how to answer their objections! It then says to continue and tell them that it outlines their personality and attitude and that you know that they don’t really have to think about it. Infact all they’re really worried about is the finances! It then says to talk to them about money!
Why do you sacrifice what you do to be a sales professional? Why do you work long hours and endure weekends and holidays away from your family and friends? The easy answer may be that you want to make more money (albeit with a bit of risk) than you could in an 8-5 job. But take it a little deeper. Why do you want to make more money? Maybe you want to travel or provide opportunities for your family. And why do you want to travel or provide for your family? To improve your life.
The X Factor sales pro believes buyers are motivated by similar desires and that tapping into. Just like you, they are looking for something to improve their lives. They don’t just want a house. They want a home for their kids to make memories, a place to entertain guests, and a gathering place for family events. They don’t just want a car — they want a fuel-efficient vehicle that keeps them comfortable and communicates their style as they travel from point A to point B. An X-Factor mindset will drive sales pros to ask questions to find out the whys behind client desires. From there, they sell to their deeper desires, not the surface ones.
This article is published in SOLD Issue #20.
What is one of the best ways (maybe the best) to promote and market your business? Public speaking! What is one of the best ways (maybe the best) to showcase your expertise, talent, confidence, passion, energy, and communication skills? Public speaking! What is one of the best ways (maybe the best) to meet, connect, and network with more people in less time? Public speaking! What is one of the best ways (maybe the best) to brand your name, message, and purpose to a group of strangers in a credible (and sometimes not so credible) way? Yup!
Yes, public speaking is a great skill to master but can be tough stuff! There were days (long ago of course) where before a presentation, you might find me hiding under a desk wrapped in a blanket – sobbing like a little girl, while curled up in the fetal position. Did I mention the sobbing part? OK, I’m exaggerating. A little. Maybe. But some of you have been there or pretty close to there. Yes, tough stuff.