Yes or No. There is No Maybe

You just finished a meeting with your customer. You asked for their business. And the customer responds with—MAYBE. Sigh. How you interpret that maybe is up to you. Let’s be honest, most sales professionals interpret a MAYBE for a yes.

It’s important to remember that there are only two responses: Yes or No. In fact, NO is my second favorite answer in sales. It’s the “Maybe’s” that cause a lot of heartache and frustration for sales professionals—not to mention the time wasted with unnecessary follow-up. (more…)

How to Handle I’m Too Busy

First of all, “I’m too busy” is not an objection. When a prospect/customer says “They’re too busy” they simply mean that you are not a priority. And you know what? They probably are busy—especially the construction industry.

Summer is here, and if you call on construction companies, you are now heading into their busiest season. So, how do you handle “I’m too busy?”

Here are some suggestions:
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Cold Calling: The Magic Wand for Struggling Sales Reps

Cold Calling is outdated. You’ve heard the phrase “work smarter not harder” right? But for some reason, sales leaders preach the quantity over the quality approach when numbers aren’t trending in their favor.

For years, Cold Calling has been the measuring stick for sales activity and consequently the birth of the sales cliché “Activity drives results!” No it doesn’t. The right activity drives results!

If sales professionals were not hitting their numbers the solution was COLD CALLING. So what’s cold calling? Let’s look further: (more…)

Sales Is About People

Do you want to see real growth in your sales organization? Here’s a simple tip: Start treating your sales professionals as people.

What does that mean? Right now, there’s too much emphasis on the company instead of focusing on people. Company culture begins at the recruiting/interviewing process. Treat a candidate as a human being during the recruiting process. If a sales professional is under performing, eliminate the “Coach ‘em up or coach ‘em out” mentality. If you take care of your sales team, they will in return take care of your customers—improving customer retention.

A culture shift has to happen. (more…)

We Have Always Done It This Way

These 7 words kill GROWTH. You’ve probably heard someone say this at some point in your career. Hearing these words makes me cringe like the sound of a fork scraping on plate. Unfortunately, many companies embrace this philosophy. Companies may not come right out and say these words, but they say it in different ways. I call this the “Fishbowl Syndrome.”

A goldfish will only grow to the size of its environment, right? No. That’s a MYTH. Here’s what really happens. (more…)

Focus on Strengths Not Weaknesses

You hired them for their strengths. Why focus on their weaknesses? Sales leaders, CEO’s, Management: Wouldn’t you rather focus on one’s strengths and increase the activities/behaviors that yield positive results? Unfortunately, most companies still focus on a sales professional’s weakness during reviews or “coaching” opportunities.

The first warning flag surfaces during the interview process: “Tell me, what’s your weakness?” Personally, I think it’s a lazy question without too much thought. C’mon, who’s going to admit their weakness while trying to sell themselves to an organization?

So how do we address what sales people should work on if we don’t focus on their weaknesses? Let’s discuss: (more…)

Why the Sales “HUNTER” Approach No Longer Works Today

Are you a hunter or a farmer? If you’re in sales, you’ve probably been asked that question or told that you need to spend more time hunting. “Coffee is for closers” has been the montage of the hunter’s society for decades. To my surprise, the term hunter is still a qualification in the majority of sales job descriptions. While the hunter approach worked several decades ago, the sales hunter approach no longer works today. When it does work, it’s for the short-term or for that matter a quick sale. I’m sure this article will cause debate (which is great). So let’s dive in. (more…)

An Open Letter to CEO’s and Sales Leaders

Theo Epstein did it again. In 2004, he ended the “Curse of the Bambino” and now with the Cubs winning the World Series, he just ended the longest drought in professional sports (in fact 108 years). Just how did he do it? Listen to what Cubs owner Tom Ricketts said about Theo: “He made sure I knew right away it wasn’t about one person. It was about the organization. We talked about how you treat people and the right people will create success. It takes time. It won’t come overnight. He’s honest with everybody everywhere he goes.” It’s all about the organization and people. Can you imagine the Red Sox or Cubs parting ways with Theo after 1 year or even 3 years of hiring him? So, here is some sales leader advice that will help any organization become successful: (more…)

3 Internal Questions Customers Ask Themselves During a Sales Encounter

Whether you’re in retail or outside sales, your customers/prospects go through an internal process during a sales encounter. As you present your product or service to your customer, they are observing your body language, communication style, listening skills (or lack of), knowledge of what you’re selling, and most importantly how your product/service will make their lives better.

Sometimes we as sales people are not as prepared as we should be or we start shooting from the hip if we don’t know the answer. Falling into the trap of not listening or asking questions we already know the answers to is another buzz killer during the sales call. So here are 3 internal questions customers ask themselves during your sales encounter:
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