It Ain’t About You

I had a sales rep cold call me the other day.  She started with, “Hi Louie, this is Lorraine Thompson.  Did I catch you at a bad time?”  I said, “Well, I’m eating lunch.”  She continued without missing a beat.  “That sounds good.  I’m really hungry too.  Here at my company, we blah, blah, blah.”  … Read more

I Don’t Sell Anything

It’s true. I have never grabbed someone’s hand, or keyboard, and made them authorize a sale.  They do that all on their own.  And therein lies the art of sales.  Your prospect must believe it is in their best interest to purchase your product and approve whatever order form or contract you have given them. … Read more

A Delicate Balance.

Over the years, my view of bringing in customers on a monthly or quarterly basis, and how it affects customer satisfaction, have evolved.  I’ve had the opportunity to look at delivering sales results from both the sales rep’s and sales manager’s point of view. The sales rep wants to grow his/her income, be the top … Read more

Sales Management: Week 16 – 21 Disciplines

Disciplines: 16 of 21 – Rules rule. Nothing helps keep the peace better in a sales team than sales rules.  These are sales rules that are followed regardless of the outcome.  I don’t care if your rule states that if you don’t call a customer in 30 days you lose it and that account belongs … Read more

Sales Management: Week 15 – 21 Disciplines

Disciplines: 15 of 21 – Teach them to draw…the lines. Business is a two-way street.  You obviously want to sell as much of your product as possible.  When your customer purchases your product they are, hopefully, purchasing it to fill a need within their company.  At that point they probably need you as much as … Read more

Sales Management: Week 14 – 21 Disciplines

Disciplines: 14 of 21 – Make them see themselves as equals. My first sales job out of college was an IT recruiter.  I was very envious of the people I was recruiting because they were getting good job offers and being courted every day by people like me.  I put them on an imaginary pedestal.  … Read more

Sales Management: Week 13 – 21 Disciplines

Disciplines: 13 of 21 – Make sure they know your product cold. (And how it warms up to the competition!) Product and competitive knowledge just get you in the door.  If your salespeople cannot explain and demonstrate the benefits of your product and why it is superior to the competition, do not put them in … Read more

Sales Management: Week 12 – 21 Disciplines

Disciplines: 12 of 21 –Elevate reps to become a “Trusted Advisor.” It takes a lot to earn the status of Trusted Advisor.  You have reached the pinnacle of the sales profession when your customer gives you this title.  It is a status you want all your sales reps working to achieve.  Because this is so … Read more

Sales Management: Week 11 – 21 Disciplines

Disciplines: 11 of 21 – Teach them to really listen.   Everybody talks about the importance of listening, but few people ever hear anything.  Most sales reps are so anxious to either get their pitch out or want to answer a question before it is finished being asked, that they never really “absorb” the question. … Read more

Sales Management: Week 10 – 21 Disciplines

Week  10 – 21 Disciplines Learn, practice or drill a sales lesson every day.   You never see a major league baseball player skip batting practice on game day.  And many of those players make millions of dollars.  Professional golfers hit the practice range with a coach before the start of every tournament round.  Professionals … Read more