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YOUR SALES CAREER: WHAT SINGLE SHIFT IN PERSPECTIVE WILL CHANGE IT ENTIRELY?

Are you willing to undo major perceptions and rewire your understanding of your role in sales?

Here’s the catch: You’ll need to try something new.

If you do the same things in the same ways and you’ll generally get the same results, right? What if you’re one of the ones who is always wanting to improve and will try new things in order to achieve greater results?

Is that you…or, could that become who you are? That’s one thing about advertising you can control, how much you develop and grow as a sales professional.

Bill Caskey (@billcaskey) has put together a very interesting proposal around the concept of “the flower and the bee” in his recent blog post, “The One Thing That Will Change Your Sales World.”

Caskey explains:

The ‘flower and the bee’ phenomena goes like this: in nature the flower must pollinate itself. It sits there waiting for the bee (one of the many ways pollination happens) to pollinate it. The flower does not labor, nor does it stress about bees showing up. Bees, on the other hand, are scurrying about trying to find food, and pollinating the flower.
In business, sales people are typically the bees and the customer is the flower. Sales people scurry around the country looking for food.

Why does it have to be that way?

The article goes on to outline an action plan built upon the idea of constructing a very specific sales platform. This is something, he states, that “98% of people will not do.” And in my opinion, I believe he’s correct.

You may take an initial look at his 3 step plan and think you’ve heard them before, but he goes on to detail the purposes and execution of each step. Reading all of it will help you see how it’s all connected.

QUESTION ::: What’s the weakest part of your sales skill set? Would you be willing to make big changes in order to see significant growth? What would you change?

Let’s talk about it…

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

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[RESEARCH] A DEEPER LOOK INTO PERSUASIVE SELLING

Persuasion_280_shadowA lot has already been written about persuasive selling, or simply how to persuade people, and it’s been rehashed to death. Or so I thought…

Author Steve Martin (no, not the banjo-picking comedian, but the NYTbestselling author of YES! & The Small Big) put together another strong article for Harvard Business Review called “How Doctors (or Anyone) Can Craft a More Persuasive Message.”

In it, Martin doesn’t create and run down a long list o

f tactics. And truthfully, I rarely leave reading those articles feeling good about myself (read: “Um, no I don’t do that well,” “Well, that’s another area in which I really need to improve” and “Wow. Those 3 would really expose me if anyone knew I am poor at doing those as well”). Am I the only one?

Instead, Martin puts the focus on the Messenger of the message. I absolutely agree with this. Connecting the right messenger with the right message at the right time puts you in a position to win big.

He states:

There are lots of reasons why well-crafted messages fail to persuade, but one of the most common is because the communicator focuses too much on constructing the content of the message rather than choosing the right messenger. The distinction between the messenger and the message is an important one.
In today’s information-overloaded world, in which we’re exposed to lots of conflicting messages, people will often act more on the basis of who is communicating the message rather than the actual message itself.

But then, we hear these 3 traits mentioned (and we’ve heard them before):

Persuasion researchers have long known that the most effective messengers have three key attributes: expertisetrustworthiness, and similarity. Let’s take a closer look at each.

Don’t give up on the article. Martin helps us, on a very nuts and bolts level, determine what research tells us about these traits. It’s worth reading to observe the connections he makes in just a few paragraphs.

I’ll go as far as to say that, in the next 5 minutes, you can grow stronger in at least 1 of the traits by simply reading the article. Just look for the possibility of yourself in the examples, make some connections as to how they would play out in the sales world, and put some part of it into use today.

QUESTION ::: What stood out to you in this article, and what can will you put into action today?

Let’s talk about it…

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

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FRIDAY SALES GROWTH LINKS: QUALIFYING PROSPECTS, SOCIAL SELLING & MORE

metal chainsCome back and visit this blog every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I bring you some of the best online resources to help you grow in your sales career:

QUALIFYING PROSPECTS :::

The Sales Fix Blog
Sales Tip Video: You Can’t Get A Price Objection From A Truly Qualified Prospect
I’ve learned over the years how important it is to be wise in who I continue to pursue for sales. Holding on to an unqualified prospect takes away from the effective selling time you should be doing.

Andy Paul (@ZeroTimeSelling) does a great job of using the element of price qualification to explain how we sometimes hang on to an unqualified prospect when we should be investing our time growing relationships with true, qualified prospects.

PITCHES & CONVERSATIONS :::

Showpad Blog
Why Creativity is So Important for Your Sales Pitch
I like the reminders Maxim Baeten (@maximb93) offers in this blog post. There’s something to be said for the sales pitches you have down pat, but there should also be freedom for creativity to make appearances in your pitches in order to stay agile and effective.

Jeff Shore’s Blog
Do You Ask the Most Important Question in Sales?
“How can I help you?” sounds like such a helpful question. But it’s not selling. Here’s what Jeff Shore (@jeffshore) says the most important question you can ask in sales is…

GROWING LEADS :::

The Richardson Sales Excellence Review™
Social Selling: What It Is and What Sales Reps Should Be Doing
If 84% of B2B executives use social media to research buying decisions, then social selling is not an option; it’s a requirement. Even an old dog like me can learn some new tricks, but really, it’s more about carrying over traditional relationship-building skills into social media avenues. Is social selling a solid tool in your toolbox yet?

HubSpot Sales Blog
3 Criteria to Upgrade a Lead to an Opportunity (And They’re Not What You Think)
Zorian Rotenberg (@zorian) says, No, it’s not BANT (though it certainly has its merits). This will help some of you view the step of maturing your leads from a different point-of-view. A new perspective can sometimes lead to a breakthrough with certain types of prospects.

>>  View past posts for Friday Sales Growth Links  <<

 

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »

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FRIDAY SALES GROWTH LINKS: DISTRACTIONS, METAPHORS & COACHING IN THE MOMENT

Friday_Sales_Links_small_shadowCome back and visit this blog every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature:

TACTICS & EXECUTION :::

TheSalesBlog.com
Eliminate Distractions And Do Good Work
This is an excellent reminder to be a good steward of the limited time you have each day. Increase your selling time by remembering how good things become bad things when they take the place of the best things.

JillKonrath.com
[INFOGRAPHIC] Words That Sell: Using Metaphors to Drive Sales

An effective metaphor can definitely assist you in getting closer to “Yes.” This infographic from presentation and sales specialist Anne Miller, along with the list of scenarios offered by speaker/author/sales specialist Jill Konrath, give you a lot of helpful direction and ideas in about 60 seconds of your time.

RESEARCH :::

Harvard Business Review
SteveWMartin.com

What Top Sales Teams Have in Common, in 5 Charts
HBR.org offers a concise article from the results of this extensive research. It’s good information to know and hold up against the traits of your own organization. You may very well have some low-hanging fruit ready to harvest.


TRAINING :::

BillCaskey.com
When To Coach In The Moment

I believe too many opportunities for coaching sales professionals are lost when you fail to coach individuals in the moment. There are times for this kind of coaching and other times when scheduled coaching meetings are best. Listen to this audio blog post, from Bill Caskey, to learn more about when to stop in the moment and strengthen your team one member at a time.

Openview Labs
Sales Training Is a Line Not a Dot
Too much of what is learned in training is lost within the first 30 days following training sessions. Daniel Chalef offers an approach to help that knowledge and understanding stick with trainees longer. I can see this being effective in many organizational situations.

>>  View past posts for Friday Sales Growth Links  <<

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »

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ARE YOU A SALES PROFESSIONAL OR A SALESPERSON?

Sales-ProfessionalsAs I begin to work alongside the team behind the SalesFitRx app, my goal is to draw from my experience to effectively curate the truly valuable resources for you, the sales professional.

But first, to ensure we are on the same page, let’s look at some of the ways a true sales professional distinguishes himself or herself from a salesperson.

I recently read an article by John Graham called, “18 Characteristics of a Professional Salesperson.” There were a few key characteristics I wanted to highlight. I’d start with one of the single most important differentiators:

#7.  Seeks performance improvement. Comes away from sales presentations and asks, “What could I have done better?”

Perhaps the biggest reason I am beginning to blog here today is because my gracious hosts at SalesFitRx created an app I believe in for this very reason. It’s an app for sales professionals [and professional sales organizations] only; for those who want to improve their sales skills and will use any available opportunity to do so.

You will not see me mention the SalesFitRx app too often in my future blog posts; that’s not my role here. But keep an eye on the topics I’ll be covering. They will align well with why the app exists [and is award-winning], and also with you who, I hope, are the true sales professionals improving at every turn…even when it isn’t easy.

These points also stood out to me among the rest of the characteristics mentioned in the article. In my experience, these are also proven differentiators:

  • #3. Asks questions. Wants to understand the issues or the problem before offering solutions. 
  • #5. Keeps promises. Doesn’t leave a customer hanging or wondering. Does what’s agreed on without being reminded. 
  • #6. Knows that learning is endless. Doesn’t get to a particular knowledge level and stop, while others stick with outdated products, concepts and solutions. 
  • #12 Understands the harm of “cutting corners.” While taking the easy way out is often camouflaged as saving time, professionals know it can easily become a slippery slope. 
  • #14. Welcomes challenges. Sees difficult tasks as growth opportunities rather than as bothersome interruptions. 
  • #15. Wants to be ahead of the curve. Constantly works to be seen by customers as thoughtful and forward thinking.

QUESTION ::: If you were to tell me 3 or 4 traits that indicate to you the difference between salespeople and sales professionals, what would they be?

Let’s talk about it…

Click here to download our free guide:
2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales

Read more »

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