After you have gotten to know your customers well enough, a great way to gain even more insight relative to their value systems and psychology is to ask how they grew up and, specifically, about their fathers. (A non-threatening way to broach the subject is to first offer a little insight about your own upbringing and your Dad’s role therein.)
The reason this is so interesting is because fathers often set the achievement blueprint in people’s minds relative to business, that is, what constitutes proper business behavior and success, also often setting the tone for how people want to be treated. Read more
August is a classic vacation month for many families. The kids are done with summer sports and everybody piles into the car for the lake. Unfortunately, these days, two other bits of equipment inevitably join the trip . . . our cell phones and our computers. That’s OK, unless . . . we really keep working all the time.
As most of you who have been selling awhile know, a prospect often wants to say yes, but needs just a little more encouragement to make a final commitment.
A great technique for the final push over the goal line is to pull out an “extra” benefit right before asking for the order. Here is an example. Read more
Well there is no question about it: the Internet is swallowing the universe. I just read yesterday that a group of scientists are warning that we need to begin planning on how to control artificial intelligence in weapons systems or the weapons may turn on us . . . can the Terminator or the Matrix be far behind? And will this brave new world even need salespeople . . . to buy real estate, cars or insurance? Read more
We received some great feedback last week to our questions about management vs. mentoring.
We asked salespeople, “If you could ask your company for one resource that would help you sell more/better tomorrow, what would it be?”
The responses to this question concentrated on a number of different topics. Read more
We had an unusually strong response to last week’s column when we suggested the difference between mentoring, which is guiding salespeople toward their highest potential with innovation, ideas and wisdom, versus more clinical sales management, where goals are set and salespeople are basically pushed to hit them on their own. Naturally the salespeople who read our column appreciated the nuance, but even many sales managers commented that the best management approach combines both mentoring and structure.
Anyway, this week we thought it might be interesting if we took a poll which might result in some good information for anyone interested in selling through relationships.
So here are our questions: Read more
One of the things we like to ask managers when we are invited to advise sales teams is whether they are sales managers or sales mentors. We are not just arguing semantics . . . the difference can be profound in terms of salesperson development and production.
Sales managers can tend to see their jobs as trying to drive a team to higher levels of production, a bit like a jockey tries to whip another two lengths out of a racehorse. The idea is that if the manager can just get the salespeople to make more calls, try a little harder, push a little further, the numbers will take care of themselves. The irony is that high-Drive salespeople do not need to be pushed . . . they push themselves, relentlessly. What they may need is new ideas, new ways of approaching their craft, different combinations of resources . . . in other words some coaching and mentoring. Read more
Here are five sales trivia questions:
1. When you have a choice about what order to present in a competitive presentation scenario, when should you choose to present?
2. In a typical 60 minute sales call, how many minutes did researchers find the salesperson talked versus the client?
3. Where is the best place to sit in a one-on-one lunch with a prospect or client? Read more
I have a service provider that unfortunately I depend on but, guess what; every time I talk to him he puts me in a bad mood. He is a grump – pure and simple – complains a lot and never has a good word to say about anybody. It literally takes me a half day to recover from the toxin he injects into the atmosphere. I know, I could stop using him, and I will, but I need him for now so I am tolerating it. But here is the real lesson for today’s column . . . he has no idea he is doing it!
You see, this fellow is a decent guy . . . he is not physically doing anything wrong and I am sure he thinks that by simply delivering what I am paying him for, he is fulfilling his obligation in the relationship. But, of course, his business is not growing and he is unhappy to boot, so it is not going to be a good outcome for him in the long run. His blind spot is killing him (and everybody else he interacts with). So the question of the week is: Do you have a blind spot? Read more
Authors Chip Smith and Don Heath cover an interesting selling dynamic in their book, Made to Stick. The authors cite all sorts of research and findings about how the buyer’s memory works, and there is one point in particular that stands out to me as a salesperson. That is:
“Our buyers are much more likely to remember an important part of our value proposition if it is communicated to them in concrete rather than abstract imaging.”
Here is an example. Read more