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What Aren’t Enough of Today’s Salespeople Doing Or Taking Advantage Of?

Image 1You, today’s salesperson, have a lot on your plate and a lot is expected of you every single day.

Even with all you do, there are missed opportunities and it could be said that, foundationally, it comes down to ensuring every minute of every day is spent doing the things that matter most.

We created a Sales Time Usage Survey and we would appreciate your help. It will, at most, take three minutes of your time to take part in the survey (participate here).

In return, and only if you desire, we will send you the results of how you compare to your peers.

Thank you for your consideration and your participation.

Related to this important topic of making the most of all you do in your daily pursuit of sales relationships, we asked many of the top sales industry influencers the following question. You can read their responses below:

What Aren’t Enough of Today’s Salespeople Doing Or Taking Advantage Of?

Too many sales professionals still fail to proactively manage their time. They waste time between sales calls, waste time on unqualified opportunities, and work reactively vs. focusing on their most important target prospects.  Discipline and intentional work on the right things are key!

Matt Heinz
President :: Heinz Marketing Inc


Salespeople are not taking enough advantage of their mindset. They fire, fire, fire, fire….then aim. If you want to make the sales profession better, spend less time with your nose pressed against a screen, and learn to think before you act. That’s something a third grader learns in school.

Gerhard Gschwandtner
CEO ::


Continuing education. And it’s not just salespeople, but we, as a group are guilty. I always ask my clients if they are practicing their craft as much as they are their golf game, tennis game or other avocations. They should practice their vocation just as much!

Butch Bellah
Speaker, Trainer& Author ::


Independent thinking. Why? Because they’d rather belong than succeed.

Tibor Shanto
Chief Sales Officer :: Renbor Sales Solutions Inc.


Today’s salespeople aren’t taking advantage of the opportunities to research the companies in their target sweet spot, nor the people in those companies that they’re going to have to contact. They also don’t research their competitors enough. This lack of research is laziness, and it’s costing these salespeople, and their companies, a ton of business!

Robert Terson
Author & Speaker ::


Cost effective on-line training that is easy to consume.

Why? They don’t know of it, they are too arrogant to realize they can improve, or they are waiting “to see if our company will pay for it.”

Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE
Sales Presentation Trainer, Keynote Speaker, Executive Speech Coach ::


Sales people are under utilizing the power of social to gain access to decision makers, identify all the influencers and stakeholders, leverage their connections to get warm introductions and position themselves as thought leaders and subject matter experts.

The power of platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are gateways into the minds and networks of their prospects but sales people rarely take the journey – or if they do they turn back before they bear fruit.

Brynne Tillman
CEO ::


Preparation. That’s what’s missing from sales people today.

The excuses sales people share are:  Time and Don’t Need To (know this business inside and out).  After working with sales teams worldwide for over 30 years, the sales people who adopt Preparation advance more sales and close more deals.

When should a sales person prepare?  Only when they want to make a sale. And the preparation can be as short as 5 minutes.

These 3 questions are the minimum ones a sales person should  ask themselves before picking up the phone or getting out of their car:

  1. What’s the objective of this conversation?
  2. What questions am I going to ask to accomplish the objective?
  3. What am I going to say to launch the conversation?

Alice Kemper
Founder & President :: Sales Training Consultants |


Most salespeople are not reacting to the market and to leads in real-time. Research suggests that the faster you respond to an inquire, the more likely that deal will close, yet most salespeople are working on their time, not the buyers’ time.

David Meerman Scott
Keynote Speaker & Bestselling Author ::


Each other.

I train sales reps all over the world and during my training sessions they always ask questions about specific challenges they are facing. My first response to all of them is “does anyone in here have a few ideas on how to address that?”

Inevitably someone in the class has a good answer or good approach they use to address whatever that challenge is.

We rarely stop and think about what we’re doing in sales and we’re always looking for the answer when most of the time it’s right in front of us.

Sales can be perceived as an individual sport but if you leverage your team you can figure things out a lot faster.

John Barrows
Owner ::


Many sales people aren’t actively involved with their current or potential customer until there is an active opportunity. By then it’s often too late, because one of their competitors has likely grabbed customer mindshare and influenced the buying process and decision criteria in their favor.

In researching Beyond the Sales Process, we learned that the average executive spends less than 2% of their time buying from you. What you do during the remaining 98% of that customer’s time can prevent you from falling into that fatal trap—only getting involved when there is “meat on the table.

Dave Stein
Author, Beyond the Sales Process ::


Salespeople are not learning how to uncover a client’s decision criteria and their values, because once they learn how to uncover a client’s values and beliefs, there will be no resistance to your proposal.

Alen Mayer
Sales Expert, Author & Speaker ::


Sales people do not effectively follow-up on leads. Mostly it is because:

  1. They are conditioned to expect poor quality leads from marketing
  1. They don’t know how to  follow-up on leads
  1. They give up too early – “I called them and they did not call me back so they must not really have been a lead”

This  blog goes into detail about how to effectively follow-up on leads. It also shows the actual vs. the perceived percent of leads that by month-by-month after a lead is generated:


Dan McDade
President, PointClear


As a field coach, I would like to see more salespeople asking more high-quality questions (and fewer low-quality ones).

High-quality questions are purposeful. They yield the information desired. They don’t sound random, oddly phrased, misplaced in the conversation or manipulative. Instead, they invite buyers to share fully and thoughtfully.

To ask more purposeful questions, a salesperson has to pause and consider ‘what do I really want to know?’ The question should be worded to plainly request the information that’s really desired. When driven by an intent to help the buyer, there’s usually a mutual benefit to purposeful questions.

Low-quality questions work against individual sellers and against the profession of selling. I cringe, along with buyers, when I hear trite questions (“what keeps you up at night?”) or obvious set-up questions (“if I could show you how to save, you’d like that wouldn’t you?”). Buyers resist time-wasting, low-value meetings featuring these kinds of questions.

By contrast, buyers respond favorably to questions that make them think or engage them in stimulating conversations. My book, DISCOVER Questions® Get You Connected, is packed with high-quality questions from actual sales calls. Salespeople in any field will ask higher quality questions and advance their sales more quickly to a close after reading this book.

Deb Calvert
Author of the Bestseller DISCOVER Questions® Get You Connected :: People First Productivity Solutions


Salespeople today are not taking enough advantage of utilizing social media.

Other than the time invested, social media is free. Social media has fantastic branding features combined with incredible reach.

Salespeople often think in terms of sales and not marketing. To reach the highest levels of sales, you must learn to market yourself and create a brand. It is easier to do today than ever because of social media.

If you utilize the power of “Intentional Congruence” in cross channel communicating and marketing on social media, you create a power positioning of expertise.

In sales, if you position yourself as an expert giving great content, you will no longer be positioned as a beggar as most salespeople are.

Also, remember that social media is just that social. Interact, engage, create conversations along with utilizing some marketing aspects but do not sell through social directly all the time or you will turn off your audience. It’s social media, not selling media.

Also, on social media such as Facebook, you can now take your customer lists, potential customers lists or segment potential audiences however you wish and reach them with paid ads or dark posts and utilize targeting marketing and retargeting at a very inexpensive price.

Compared to traditional advertising, social media is more effective for a salesperson and allows anyone to create a strong presence and get sales fast for low to no cost.

Mark Tewart
Author of How To Be A Sales Superstar ::


Please don’t forget to take part in our 3-minute survey.
(You’ll benefit from it too.)

We appreciate your help!

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Sales_Executive_X_for_Twitter-1I’ll be back soon with more blog posts.

Until then, here are some of our most popular blog posts to date. We highly recommend reading them before your competition does…

Which one is your favorite?


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dessert_3_-_322_shadowMy wife and I enjoyed a second honeymoon back in 2006, and I embarrassed her again and again…

It wasn’t that I was trying to make her feel uncomfortable, it just happened every time we paid for something on our vacation.

I believe in the power of empowering others, it played out on our trip in this very straightforward way.

I asked this simple question whenever it was time to hand over my credit card: “Do you happen to have any honeymoon discounts in your register today?”

Nearly every time I spoke those words, the sky opened up, the Hallelujah Chorus rang out and discounts and free items quickly came our way. I also mentioned to the wait staff, as we sat down at various restaurants, that we were on our honeymoon. The results of that mention were also off the charts.

We definitely reaped some benefits. Here are a few perks I still remember:

  • four-level upgrade for our 2-week rental vehicle
  • An upgrade at the hotel to a corner suite
  • A free custom dessert from the chef at Cowboy Ciao, as well as a visit to our table to congratulate us (I highly recommend this place in Scottsdale)
  • A free guided sunset horseback ride over South Mountain (Phoenix) to a Texas roadhouse for a steak, then a starlit ride through the pass back to the stables
  • A half-price hot air balloon ride with a 5-star brunch at our landing site (their chase vehicle located us just after landing in the desert, and that became our dining room)
  • Too many free entrees at restaurants than I can count

There are times in life when we don’t get what we want because we don’t ask for it. Both in our personal and professional lives, we can get more if we know how to ask for what we want and then do it.

Opportunities to practice our negotiating skills are all around us every day. I’m not the only one who thinks this way. I recently read a new blog post from sales trainer John Barrows (@johnmbarrows) and it’s right on par with this thinking.

The post is titled: Practice Sales Everywhere You Go.”

The big idea of Barrows’ post is that:

“Sales is the best profession in the world for multiple reasons. One of them is that we can (and do) practice it all the time and everywhere we go. The trick is to actively think about practicing it and pay attention.”

Much like the examples I gave you, Barrows gives us quite a few scenarios to get your thinking started about where you can be intentionally practicing your selling skills.

As the author mentioned, the important thing is to intentionally practice wherever you go.

It will only take a couple of minutes to read his post, so go check it out now and begin thinking about your next chance to ABP: Always Be Practicing.

As for my second honeymoon, it only took a couple of days before my wife’s embarrassment turned to excitement (and an elbow to my ribs when it was time to ask again). She loved seeing what would come our way next.

What will come next for you?

She still elbows me to this day, and now I’m the one who’s embarrassed when I ask for a honeymoon discount for a bunch of bananas and a gallon of milk on a slow Tuesday night at the grocery store…

[Reading Time For Barrows’ Post: 2:00]
QUESTION ::: Where have you practiced your selling skills outside of your conversations with buyers? And what did you receive as a result

Let’s talk about it…

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Fear_4_-_343_shadowFear is a powerful force. Have you heard about these interesting fears?

  • Alliumphobia: Fear of garlic #Dracula
  • Allodoxaphobia: Fear of opinions #Stalin
  • Caligynephobia or Venustraphobia: Fear of beautiful women #MeInJuniorHigh
  • Gnosiophobia: Fear of knowledge #KimJongUn
  • Lutraphobia: Fear of otters #What???
  • Microphobia: Fear of small things #Goliath
  • Nephophobia: Fear of clouds #ChickenLittle
  • Pogonophobia: Fear of beards #MyWife
  • Rhytiphobia: Fear of getting wrinkles #Hollywood
  • Soceraphobia: Fear of in-laws #SomeHusbands
  • Xyrophobia: Fear of razors #Samson

And my personal favorite:

  • Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia: Fear of Long Words

When it comes to our buyers, we often encounter different forms of Atychiphobia: the fear of failure.

Buyers don’t want to sign the contracts which may prove to be disadvantageous for their employers. We may think of them as being gun-shy, but they didn’t get to their positions by making poor choices when it came to spending their company’s money.

I recently read an excellent blog post by the head of Smart Selling Tools, and one of the most retweeted B2B marketers, Nancy Nardin (@sellingtools). Her post is titled:  Don’t Spook Your Prospects: 5 Sure-fire Ways to Keep Your Prospects From Fleeing in Fear.”

The big idea of Nardin’s post is this:

“Decision-makers are under pressure and short on patience. In a word, they’re easily spooked. They look for reasons to run away—or to avoid salespeople in the first place. Put these five tips into practice and assure your prospects they’ve got nothing to fear.”

In the post, Nardin gives us a quick, scannable view of each of her five tips in large content headers, and each tip is encapsulated in a single paragraph.

We’re busy people who want to learn quickly. Nardin gives us just that. But not just that, the tips are excellent.

You’ll find a nice collection of important reminders as well as some tips you think you’ve heard before but are, instead, her own personal take on each of them.

Go read Nardin’s post now.

[Reading Time For Nardin’s Post: 3:00]

QUESTION ::: How have you had success alleviating the fears of your buyers?

Let’s talk about it…

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The following series of advertisements reportedly appeared in a daily newspaper years ago:

Monday: “The Rev. A.J. Jones has one color TV set for sale. Telephone 626-1313 after 7 p.m. and ask for Mrs. Donnelley who lives with him, cheap.”

Tuesday: “We regret any embarrassment caused to Rev. Jones by a typographical error in yesterday’s paper. The ad should have read: ‘The Rev. A.J. Jones has one color TV set for sale, cheap…Telephone 626-1313 and ask for Mrs. Donnelley, who lives with him after 7 p.m.'”

Wednesday: “The Rev. A.J. Jones informs us that he has received several annoying telephone calls because of an incorrect ad in yesterday’s paper. It should have read: ‘The Rev. A.J. Jones has one color TV set for sale, cheap. Telephone 626-1313 after 7 p.m. and ask for Mrs. Donnelley who loves with him.'”

Thursday: “Please take notice that I, the Rev. A.J. Jones, have no color TV set for sale; I have smashed it. Don’t call 626-1313 anymore. I have not been carrying on with Mrs. Donnelley. She was, until yesterday, my housekeeper.'”

Friday: “Wanted: a housekeeper. Usual housekeeping duties. Good pay. Love in, Rev. A.J. Jones. Telephone 626-1313.'”

Miscommunication in sales happens quite often. It’s especially inevitable in sales coaching.

Fortunately, I know of someone who wrote an excellent blog post about this issue.

The post itself is titled: Coaching To Your Strengths Or Your Salesperson’s Weakness?It was written by sales trainer, consultant, speaker and board member for multiple organizations David A. Brock (@davidabrock).

The big idea of Brock’s post is this:

“To be effective, we have to step back from our own biases–driven by our strengths.  We have to understand the issue the sales person faces, we have to focus on correctly identifying their weaknesses, coaching to them.”

Brock’s post uses a pair of scenarios to clearly convey the problems that come with coaching to your strengths as a sales professional instead of coaching to your sales professional’s weakness(es).

Within each scenario, it becomes clear there are a variety of ways this issue could arise. As sales coaches, it’s up to us to accurately determine which type of coaching is needed.

Some scenarios playing out in your own sales team may look like one problem but are, in truth, entirely other issues to which coaching must be applied.

The problem of our natural bias toward our own areas of strength is a very real temptation for each of us, and Brock knows it too:

“If we are great closers, everything becomes a closing problem.  If we are great presenters, everything becomes a presentation skills problem, if we are great negotiators, everything is about negotiation, if we are great prospectors, everything can be solved by more prospecting.”

Read Brock’s entire blog post now and begin putting it into practice with your team today.

* The newspaper story leading off this post was taken from First United Methodist Church, Meadville, PA, Content The Newsletter Newsletter, August 1990, p. 3.

[Reading Time of Brock’s Post: 3:00 minutes]

QUESTION ::: If you were honest with yourself, what bias for training others do you need to watch for most?

Let’s talk about it…

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Whistle_-_Coach_353_shadowFRIDAY SALES GROWTH LINKS

This week’s resources are focused on Sales Coaching.

Whether you identify as a sales coach or manager, or if you’re a sales rep, there’s some excellent advice here from some true professionals in our industry.

If you’re already coaching others, you can begin putting much of this into action today. If you one day plan to coach others, this useful material will ensure you’re heading down the right path starting today

Return to this blog daily, and especially every Friday for my Friday Sales Growth Links feature where I filter online resources to help you grow in your sales career.

Be sure to bookmark and explore our Friday Sales Growth Links archives as well.

Coaching The Presidential Candidates
Sales trainer, podcaster and author Bill Caskey (@billcaskey) could certainly help many of the presidential candidates with this coaching, but it’s also (read: especially) meant for us to use in our own buyer interactions. The advice works well for us too.

KEY QUOTE: Try this: “I was sitting alone the other night with a piece of blank paper drawing out the real problems facing our country. And here’s what I drew.” Give people a look into your mindset and how you solve problems.”

This is expertly written. Don’t miss clicking on this one. #BeMorePresidential

[Reading Time of This Post: 5:00 minutes]


Bill_Eckstrom_125x125Sales Coaching Blog

Sales Managers: You Own It
EcSell Institute President Bill Eckstrom (@EcSellInstitute) puts a lot of hard truth into this post and it’s exactly what needs to be said to today’s sales managers. If you’re willing to change [a little or a lot] to produce a stronger set of sales team results, this post is for you

KEY QUOTE …all sales teams are perfectly coached for the results they produce.”

Don’t miss the “sales performance equation.” There’s definitely something to it.  #GrowingPains

[Reading Time: 2:30 minutes]


Steven_A_Rosen_125x125The Sales Management Blog

Top 10 Sales Coaching Quotes
Author, speaker and executive sales coach Steven A. Rosen (@stevenarosen) gathered this excellent list of top quotes about coaching. Be inspired!

KEY QUOTE: “An exceptional sales coach is able to extract the best from his or her sales reps. Often, this involves discovering new skills and talents in your sales reps that they were previously unaware of and developing them to be exceptional.”

Which are your favorites? #QuotesToBoostQuotas

[Reading Time: 4:00 minutes]


Rachel_Clapp_Miller_120x120Force Management Blog

Ten Questions That Will Make You a Better Sales Coach
Content generator Rachel Clapp Miller (@contentrachel) wrote another helpful post for @ForceMGMT. She offers 5 Opportunity Questions and 5 Sales Call Questions for sales coaches to be asking on a regular basis.

KEY QUOTE: Opportunity reviews and sales calls are two areas where you can make a great impact as a sales coach.”

What other questions would you add? Tell me in the comments for this post. #AlwaysBeCoaching

[Reading Time: 1:30 minutes]

>>  Read past Friday Sales Growth Links posts <<

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Training_346_shadowEven on your best days, you don’t know it all.

Today’s B2B sales environment is extremely competitive – which means any opportunity to gain an advantage over the competition should be embraced wholeheartedly.

Your sales reps are often your first point of contact when dealing with prospective clients – and since first impressions can make or break those interactions, it makes sense to invest in strengthening their skills.

A strong sales team doesn’t just close sales – they forge new and profitable connections for your company or organization, which makes them one of your most valuable assets.

The more well-trained and seasoned your sales staff, the better – which is why SalesFitRx has compiled this list of six of the Top Sales Training and Coaching Companies to Watch (in no particular order), to help you get the most bang for your training buck:

Richardson is an internationally recognized, award-winning sales training and coaching company. They work closely with clients to identify sales best practices, evaluate talent, and develop skills through ongoing, customized sales training and education.

Richardson strives to develop customized programs which are easily adopted, in order to drive positive change in organizational behavior, and provide measurable results. By encouraging sales team development with verifiable outcomes, Richardson draws on the best of interpersonal interactions to help build individual and organizational capabilities.

Recent Guest Blog Post – 7 Tips to Avoid Getting Crushed by the Competition


The Brooks Group is an award-winning B2B sales training company, who focuses on presenting sales managers and teams with simple, logical solutions to the challenges of sales force selection and training. Their suite of training programs are designed to provide the best available resources for hiring, training, and retaining sales employees, with a focus on ongoing sales management training and coaching, customized to your unique sales environment.

The Brooks Group was recently named a Top 20 Sales Training Company by Training Industry, Inc. and a Bronze Stevie Award winner for Sales Training Firm of the Year.

Recent Blog Post – 5 Things High Performing Sales Managers Should Be Doing


Recently named one of 2015’s Top 20 Sales Training Companies by both Selling Power and Training Industry, Inc., Action Selling focuses first on sales performance analysis and salesforce preparation, prior to beginning their training program. With a strong emphasis on benchmarking and performance review, their sales coaching and training programs are designed with accountability in mind.


Sales Excellence International is a global sales training organization with representation on six continents. Recently named one of Selling Power’s 2015 Top 20 Sales Training and Coaching Companies, Sales Excellence International strives to help their clients grow their customer base, increase revenues, and increase their profits through training programs, workshops, webinars, eLearning, and trainer certifications.They specialize in creation of custom, blended-format training curriculum and content, in order to reinforce concepts, creating lasting changes in salesforce behavior.


Sales_Performance_International_-_shadowSales Performance International

Sales Performance International is a global sales coaching and training firm, which helps companies drive measurable and sustainable revenue growth by improving operational performance.

Their Public Workshops and virtual training events are a convenient way to train smaller work forces and new hires, as well as provide ongoing training to a growing sales force. They also offer Regional Academy courses worldwide, in both in-person and virtual format.

Recent Blog Post – Five Best Practices for Sales Success in the Age of Evidence-Based Medicine


Alice Heiman leads her sales training and sales coaching organization and has won numerous awards over her two decades of teaching the art of selling to others, including: Saleswoman of the Year, Marketer of the Year, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Blue Ribbon.

Alice helps sales organizations build their sales culture through sales coaching and training programs, sales success coaching groups and through her keynote speaking events. She also focuses much of her online content on social selling skills related to LinkedIn. Also, her unique BizTalk Blender® approach to networking events is an extremely effective way to make those events more beneficial to all.

Recent Blog Post – Increase Your Sales 20% or More by Doing One Simple Thing

Remember: The more education, training, and ongoing support you can provide to your sales staff, the more equipped they’ll be to cope with the demands of your clientele – and the better the payoff on your investment.

For more information on how you can increase your selling time, improve the performance of your sales team, and boost your bottom line, contact us at SalesFitRx, today.

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Objection_334_shadowClosing a sale after you’ve been told “your price is too high” is all relative.

Albert Einstein, in his theory of special relativity, determined that the laws of physics are the same for all non-accelerating observers, and he showed that the speed of light within a vacuum is the same no matter the speed at which an observer travels. [source]

Sales are being made every day around the world after sales professionals are told their prices are “too high.” You are either accelerating along with that trend or you’re simply an observer. The sales will still happen and go to someone, whether it’s you or a competitor.

The key to winning those sales comes down to painting the picture of relativity for them, and I found someone who can clearly and quickly explain his approach to us.

Speaker, sales trainer, author, coach [and professional stand-up comedian] Butch Bellah (@salespowertips) recently wrote an extremely helpful post about “How To Answer, ‘Your Price Is Too High.'”

Relativity comes into play right away because Bellah’s advice centers around this phrase, and rightly so:

“Compared To What?”

Allow me to state what we both know. Each one of us currently has an approach to handling this specific objection. Butch’s post gives us value because we can essentially sit in on him having this conversation with a buyer and observe how he turns it around into a true sales opportunity.

Seeing how others effectively handle a common objection can spur on ideas to help each of us close more sales.

Why do we hear this objection so often? Most buyers use it in an attempt to leverage lower price. Others simply don’t have the budget, so they will need to settle for a product or service of lesser quality. Still others seem to say it out of habit more than anything else:

“It seems as if some people say it before you even get the price fully disclosed—it’s more of an automated response than an actual objection. They know their lines and they are going to get them out. But, it’s still an objection, isn’t it? We still have to overcome it, don’t we?”

The next words out of your mouth need to be, “Compared to what?”

Butch then goes into the variety of ways the buyer tends to respond and how to respond to those answers. This is where this post really gives us high value.

It’s critical that you maintain the attitude of someone who’s genuinely interested in knowing the answer to that question. Don’t allow yourself to become defensive. Don’t attempt to rush toward fixing or convincing them they’re wrong.

The only way they’ll change their stance is if they do so by hearing their own words in response to your questions. So, make sure your questions the right ones to ask.

Read Butch’s post now to understand all of this in the context of his example conversation with a buyer. It’s well-written and well-explained, and worth your time in reading it. [Reading Time: 3:00 minutes]

BONUS: You can get more ideas in another post by Bellah, titled: “5 GREAT Closes For Handling Price Objections.”

Now that you’ve read Butch’s approach regarding how to respond to being told your price is too high, you not only don’t need to fear hearing this phrase, but you can look forward to it. A perceived locked door becomes an open one when you know how to work through this very common objection.

The next time you hear, “Your price is too high,” get excited! Because you now have them exactly where you want them at that point of the conversation.

QUESTION: What advice do you have for other sales professionals about what to do or say when you’re told your price is “too high”?

Let’s talk about it…

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Questions_2_300_shadowNever assume. Instead, inquire.

It’s hard to comprehend how many sales were lost today, around the globe, because of a false assumption.

I don’t want this outcome for you. Neither of us do. So, before you go into your next sales call, please do 2 things for me…well, for you really:

  1. Scan your understanding of the prospect or customer for any assumptions you may have, then…
  2. …determine the right questions to ask to confirm what you were assuming.

That’s a good start, but I want to point you a great resource that will help you by giving you some excellent questions which can really open up the conversation. They can turn a sales presentation into a true conversation. It’s what they would prefer, so do it their way.

Co-presidents of RAIN Group, Mike Schultz (@Mike_Schultz) and  John Doerr (@JohnEDoerr), recently wrote a great blog post for the RAIN Selling Blog titled, “21 Powerful, Open-Ended Sales Questions.”

I could not agree more with this premise the authors propose:

… sometimes all you need is to ask one open-ended question and your client will share with you all the information you need to help them.

You may think, “Sure, that’s true once in a while, but not as a typical conduit to getting the sales signed.” What if…what if the right open-ended question could help you gain more sales quite a bit more often than you do now?

I believe this can be the case…and it should be.

This post from Schultz and Doerr offers 21 great open-ended questions you can use, in the right moments, to obtain the most important information you’ll need to get from the opening line to the closing of the sale.

The questions are smartly organized into four categories:

  1. Rapport-focused
  2. Aspiration– & Afflictions-focused
  3. Impact-focused
  4. New-Reality-focused

Without giving away the bacon, here’s a little sizzle, a taste of the questions:

  • RAPPORT: What’s going on in your business these days? How have things changed?
  • RAPPORT: It was good to hear the short version of your background at the meeting, but since we’re out for lunch, I’d love to get the long version. What’s your story?
  • ASPIRATION: Many of our clients are reporting problems with areas A, B, and C. How are these areas affecting you? What do you think about them?
  • IMPACT: If you were to make this happen, what would it mean for you personally?
  • IMPACT: If you don’t solve (insert the particular challenge here), what kind of difficulties will you face going forward? What won’t happen that you want to happen?
  • NEW REALITY: If there were no restrictions on you – money, effort, political issues and so on do not exist – what would you change? Can you tell me why you say that?

The authors make a good point with this statement:

As you ask any open-ended sales questions, bear in mind that the most difficult task is not sounding too contrived. While we’ve suggested wording here in this article, feel free to use the concepts, but make the wording your own when you ask the questions.

If you’ve read this far, and you have, then this topic is at least of some interest to you. I would also recommend this post from @SellingPowerMag: “The Power of the Right Question at the Right Time.”

As for this featured post by Schultz & Doerr, read it all. You’ll not only be able to pick-up a few more great questions to use in your sales conversations, but you’ll also be able to pass on this help so others can learn from you.

By doing that, by sales coaching when that isn’t even your title yet (if that’s the case), then word will spread that you’re the right kind of person who can help grow a sales team. Be proactive.

Don’t look only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others around you. That approach will serve you well. It has for me. You’ll all benefit from it.

QUESTION ::: Do you have go-to open-ended questions you use to get deeper into the conversation/into the funnel? Do you actively search for other questions, better questions, to build your arsenal?

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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Horse_Farm_318_shadowA discounted sale is better than no sale…right?

Certainly not always, and most likely not as often as you may think.

A common frustration among leadership above sales teams is that their salespeople give away too many discounts.

They’re giving away profits they could have retained if they were better prepared to respond to the steady stream of requests for discounts they receive from buyers.

Sales trainer, keynote speaker & coach Don Cooper, a.k.a “The Sales Heretic” (@doncooper), recently took on this issue head-on with a very useful blog post titled, Nine Reasons Salespeople Discount When They Shouldn’t.”

Cooper gets it right when he writes:

Buyers will never stop asking for discounts, for the simple reason that it’s in their best interest to. Salespeople need good reasons to be able to say no.

The post goes into the most common reasons why sales professionals give discounts when they really shouldn’t do so. Copper explains each one of them convincingly, and I agree these are the typical reasons why discounts are given.

A few of them include:

  • Fear of losing the sale
  • “Everybody does it.”
  • Unable to articulate the value

It’s the final reason, #9, that really sums up what’s needed at a foundational level. Addressing this issue with this one solution takes care of the other 8 reasons why discounts are too often given.

You’ll need to read Cooper’s post to find out what that ninth reason is.

With all of this said, are there times when discounts can or should be given? Yes, those situations certainly do exist. But, over time we gain experience and understand better how those moments are fewer and further between than we once thought.

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QUESTION ::: Can you think of a time when you gave a customer a discount when you really shouldn’t have done so?What was that situation and why don’t you believe a discount was the right call?

Let’s talk about it…

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

Read more »