Great Expectations Coaching - Sales Blog

A regular 3- minute "sales boost" to help you think through the complexities of selling in the modern market. New ideas, new perceptions, new approaches.

Jul 21, 2013

salestraining-sac2

<"A career enhancing sales training event for inexperienced sellers, or those without formal sales training. The “Selling Against Competiton” sales training programmechanges your future. ">

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Jul 21, 2013

sellingskillshome

Discover innovative selling skills. Many cutting-edge articles and resources showing proven ways to increase your sales.

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Jul 21, 2013

Sales training-sac1

Sales training by expert sales trainers is the catalyst for turning good sales people into peak performers. Sales training is not a luxury- it's a necessity.

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Jul 21, 2013

Sales & LifeChange Coaching with Great Expectations!-Dublin, Ireland.

Sales Coaching& Sales Training site. Business & Executive Coaching, Life Change & Image coaching are catered for. sales training, sales training ireland, sales,

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May 01, 2012

Contribute to Sales Coaching

Would you like to share your knowledge about sales coaching? Great, find out how you can submit your story or tip here.

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Sep 16, 2010

motivational quote

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Dec 14, 2009

Sales Training- An extraordinary slide show!

I'm saying nothing ....just watch this extraordinary video and think!
Keep Selling With Integrity.
Maitiu

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Oct 21, 2009

Turn Your Fear Factor Into Your X Factor …. Part 1

"Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses and some don't turn up at all.
Sam Ewing (1920-2001)American writer & humorist

Sometimes you suddenly get the thought that the experts have it upside down. That’s me at the moment. Every motivational book and article stresses the “be positive” attitude. Then I start thinking that some of my best business happened at times of sheer desperation, when there was very little left to lose.

Story One: My Real Estate “career”

I once "enjoyed” a brief career as an Estate Agent…...hey, everyone is allowed one bad career move…....It only lasted five months. I couldn’t give houses away....…I was hopeless. I sold two houses during the first four months, and embarrassed myself and my company by being found fast asleep in a show house in Navan one viewing day. In the last month the gun was put to my head....…”Sell five houses, or else!”. Fair enough. The target was ridiculous but would give the manager leverage to exit Maitiu left.

Funny thing. No future in prospect, no job to go to, no idea what I wanted to do….I was very young, and I don’t talk about it…..but I did sell four houses in the last three weeks!

The boss still suggested I’d be better suited to another career avenue, and thus I missed out on the boom in the housing market of the last few years….another fine mess I got me into….

The point is, that in terror of the “sack” I sold all round me! I focussed my thinking, I pushed for action and decisions, and generally behaved like a rotweiler on speed…. And it worked….Fear was the factor.

Maitiu

Read part 2 & 3 of this entry below.

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Turn Your Fear Factor Into Your X Factor …. Part 1

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Oct 21, 2009

Turn Your Fear Factor Into Your X Factor -Part 2

(If you haven’t yet read Part 1 of this entry ….. scroll up page. THX. Maitiu)

Story Two: The Seminar

Coming out of “Death Valley Curve” after about three years in the training industry, my finances were dodgy , to be charitable about it. Office equipment, salaries, promotion, rents, insurances etc…you know the story. Serious pressure from the bank to start making an upward move in finances.

A cockney barrow boy named John Fenton, had presented a hugely successful large audience sales seminar in Dublin , the previous year……over 1700 sales people attended. Colourful, clownish, ( if you were there do you remember The Skull?.. ”This is Yorick from Warwick”)..Nobody ever remembers a word of the “show”….. he wouldn’t describe it as a seminar.,… but everyone present remembers the skull. A crisp €50.00 note to you if you can remind me of the context in which the skull was used by John Fenton… and remember, I DO recall the Skull message!

A friend of mine suggested that if I looked at designing and presenting something similar, but more to Irish tastes, culture, and mores.

Nothing to lose, I designed a five hour large audience sales seminar, and reckoned it would have a shelf life of three performances maximum……Dublin, Cork, Galway. Taking everything into account wee needed an attendance of 500 to break even, and then we were into profit. A possible extra payoff- sales staff and their bosses from many companies would get a taste of me and my style.

Maitiu

Read part 3 of this entry below.

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Turn Your Fear Factor Into Your X Factor -Part 2

"

Oct 21, 2009

Turn Your Fear Factor Into Your X Factor …. Part 3

(If you haven’t yet read Part 1 & 2 of this entry ….. scroll up page. THX. Maitiu)

(If you haven’t yet read Part 1 of this entry ….. scroll up page. THX. Maitiu)

We were very stimulated by the concept. It was something different to our normal activity. I was driven by panic. I was investing a fortune in promotion with no guarantees attached. “S**t or Bust”.
We generated 1100 paying customers in the three venues…Profit!

More interestingly, I presented that seminar 17 times in the following three years both at home and abroad… I was invited to speak at over 30 company sales conferences directly as a result of the prospects attending that seminar. I presented it in the UK, Amsterdam, Zurich and (3 times) in Nairobi. And always the training spin-off after the conference presentations.

And that was the last time we bottomed out on finances.

A happy accident – yes….a bit like discovering Viagra whilst researching a cancer drug.
These days, I realise I am driven by my insecurity as many sellers are. Fear is a big driver. Think it through in your own situation and you will see that when fear was your factor, you developed the “X Factor” and gained the result.

Now where’s that guru who says “You have to be positive!” I want to let him in on the secret.

I continue to recommend “The Brain Audit”. A tour- de –force to wake up your sales thinking.
Check out The Brain Audit here

Keep Selling with Integrity!

Good Health & Blessings until next time.

Maitiu

More great content for those interested in improving their selling skills:
Great Expectations Coaching Home Page

CHANGING THE WORLD ONE MIND AT A TIME

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Turn Your Fear Factor Into Your X Factor …. Part 3

"

Mar 03, 2008

Candid letter to Sellers

Dear Seller-( I can't remember your name),

I don't know you from Adam, so I'm only doing this because my buddy Patrick asked me to give you a break. (You never let down the Lads, so it was a good move on your part to ask him to mention you to me).I only have a couple of minutes - three minutes to be exact -, but I believe you're interested in what you can do to capture my attention and entice me to want to meet you.

Read the rest of this interesting article HERE

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Mar 03, 2008

Candid letter

candid letter to sellers from prospective client

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Nov 20, 2007

If you can TELL, you can ASK!

Anything you can explain you can ask. Most sellers spend much of their so called "sales discussions" merely answering their customer's questions, and then pushing the wonderful merits of their product or service whether the customer wishes to hear them or not. Sellers then wonder why so many contacts end with a version of "I'll think about it and I'll let you know".

Top professionals in selling understand their role is to uncover dissatisfactions, and then enable the client to reach the conclusion that it is worth solving, and then that it is YOUR solution that offers the best overall outcome (even if it costs a little more).

A doctor or solicitor does not "do your head in" with useless information. They ask intelligent questions!

Try this for two weeks. Explain nothing to anybody, but formulate questions to uncover your clients dissatisfactions, problems, worries, doubts or fears. Then ask further questions, the answers to which will be your client telling you why your solution works for them.

Do it for two weeks- irrespective of outcomes. At the end of the two weeks you will understand the power of questions in selling, and your sales approach will have changed for life.

Keep selling with integrity.

Maitiu

Continue reading "

If you can TELL, you can ASK!

"

Oct 02, 2007

Price Cutting is for Cissies!

Apologies for the long break in Blogging. No excuses… just busy out the door.

Mark “Sales Hunter” Hunter (see site link below) makes this eloquent case in his latest article. I can’t say it better myself:
“Often salespeople will give a discount on an initial order because they believe they can make it up on the next order. However, there is no way to ever regain the lost revenue. Once the customer has accepted a lower price, that amount becomes his new level of expectation. Any other price is seen as an increase.
( I agree totally!…. Maitiu)

When a customer requests a discounted price, remember that giving one is an immediate reduction to your total profit. Depending on how drastic you are willing to go, you are ultimately the one taking the pay cut. Is that what you really want to do?

To hold firm on price you need to have a high level of confidence. One of the best ways to feel confident is by maintaining a full sales pipeline. This means that you have enough prospects and customers at each phase of your sales process so you don't worry about losing every sale. Your assurance comes from knowing that you don't have to close this deal if it means sacrificing on price.

Maintaining pricing integrity is a challenge. It starts by being self-assured and it extends not only to the service you deliver, but also to the expectations of the customer. Don't entertain requests for a discount. Be confident in both your price and the product or service you offer. Ensure that your sales pipeline is full by spending adequate time developing it at all phases of your sales process. Consider how your product or service can help ensure the future success of your customers. Don't believe the lie that you can make up your initial price cut on the next order. Without confidence in your price, you can say good-bye to your profits. Price cutting is for Cissies! “

Visit Mark’s site< a href =”http://www.thesaleshunter.com/.html”>HERE

Until next time, Keep Selling with Integrity.

Maitiu

Continue reading "Price Cutting is for Cissies!"

Jun 06, 2007

Put Your Focus Here and Close More Sales

Focus on the close too soon, and you may never get to it.
There's a reason for this.
The reason is that it's the customer's wants that drive the sale. Not YOUR wants.
You want to close the sale. The customer wants to solve his problem.

When you focus on closing, you are focusing on yourself, on your wants, and not on what the customer wants.
The customer couldn't care less whether or not you make your target, about whether or not you've got enough money to pay your bills this month, about whether or not you get to keep your job.

The customer only wants to talk to you to the extent he thinks that you can help him with his problem, his wants, his needs.

The most powerful place to put your focus is on your customer's wants.

This is why presenting and demonstrating are NOT the mostimportant skills to have in selling. Presenting and demonstrating are the "Peacock" skills that many sales people think are critical to their success.
The most highly successful sales people will tell you otherwise though.
The real selling happens before you get the chance to present or demonstrate.
It happens at the beginning of the sale when you and your prospective customer first connect.
In those first few minutes of those first two or three sales calls, you determine what kind of relationship you have with your prospect.

Do you have a relationship that is based on concern for solving hisproblem?

Or do you have one based on whether or not he can help you make your target this month?
The customer is more likely to be interested in YOU if you show interest and expertise in solving his problem.

Notice I didn't say to show a phony interest in him. You'renot meeting or talking with your customer to become best pals. As a sales coach, I don't teach people to build rapport around phony small talk.
You do want to build rapport around your customer's business problems. And you do this through asking good probingquestions. This shows both that you have expertise worth his time and that you are interested in resolving his concerns, problems, doubts, worries, and fears.

This is an ageless truth about selling that is forgottenin the drive to close more business.

Focus on solving your customer's problems and you'll close a lot more sales.

Keep selling with Integrity

Maitiu

Continue reading "Put Your Focus Here and Close More Sales"

May 14, 2007

Are You "Referable"?

The world's best marketing strategy is to be Referable ..... meaning your existing clients believe in you so strongly they want to tell others about you. It means that your best clients are cloning themselves - continually introducing you to people like themselves- or better than themselves!

Sales people are all referred to others for the same reasons, irrespective of their industry. And "Referability" depends on four crucial habits:
Show up on time.
Do what you say you will.
Finish what you start.
Say "Please" and "Thank You".

A surprising number of sellers do not practice these four habits. As a result, they are not referable. They have brians, intelligence, and charm, but their clients do not refer them.. In contrast, those who practise these four habits always are referrred into better/ bigger opportunities.

Show Respect and Appreciation.
These four habits are crucial because they convey an attitude of respect and appreciation. No client feels taken for granted. Respect and Appreciation are permanaent safeguards against indifference, arrogance, overconfidence, negligence, and sloppiness - all the reasons sales people lose business and are not referred onwards.

Brains and Charm are no substitute
Many highly inteligent people are not referable because the main attitude they communicate is arrogance. Many talented people are not referable because they are erratic. Charmers are not referable because they are not dependable. Even individuals with highly specialised skills are not referable because they can make the rest of us feel so thick! If they do not demonstrate the respect an appreciation they that makes us feel good, we will not refer them onwards to others like ourselves - who will also be turned off by them.

Make these habits the basis for the way you work.

You can begin to practice all of these four habits today. The rewards can be immediate. Withn your company, make these habits the basis of all soft skills training and procedures. Everything about your company should be perceived as respectful and appreciative by everyone who encounters it. This will result in a surge in the number of referrals you receive, and give you more opportunites for growth and success.

Keep Selling with Integrity.

Maitiu

Continue reading "Are You "Referable"?"

Mar 20, 2007

I "LOST" A SALE LAST WEEK... Part ONE

"Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it willbe killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn't matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle -- when the sun comes up, you had better be running."
-- unknown

I lost a sale last week.
Yes, like I am really crying over it.

I'm telling you this because I want to share an important lesson with you.

EMAIL FROM A LITTLE EGO TRIPPER

Customers often try to abuse us and pull power trips on us.

Last week a blog reader emailed asking if I would give him aspecial deal on both my Selling Against Competition training & my Essential Negotiation skills programme by meetinghis budget for both programmes.

I sent a polite and matter of fact reply back that I would not give him a special deal.

Then he emailed back as to why I wasn't putting more effort into "persuading" him.

And I replied back that I don't "chase" business. I don't needto work for "one more" sale.

Then this bloke emails me again inferring that he was "getting close" to purchasing from me. All I had to do was give him some free personal advice about a fairly big sales problem he had.

Hmmm, let's see now... personal advice about one's sales problems ... what's that called again?

Oh yes .... that's called Sales Coaching. And I make my living doing that.

But I digress, so let me get back to the story.

DON'T GIVE AWAY FREE ADVICE

I didn't respond to his email. I filed it as a possible topic to write about later in this blog.

Two days later, he sends me one more message:
"Sorry mate, you've blown the sale!Let me give you a tip: Never turn down bread and butter business, no matter what."

I bet sending that made him feel good.....apart from which, I am not his "mate" ...in any sense. *G*
He was feeling he was in the driver's seat. Feeling powerful. He was the one making the purchase, making the decision.

So with one little email he got to take out all his frustration with prospects that have milked him for free advice, demanded that he meet their budgets, and generallyabused him because he was "just" a sales rep.

Or so he thought.

For want of a few Euro, he lost out on two great learning programmes.

Me? I didn't lose nuthin'.

I maintained control over my time, and with that I'll make a lot more than if gave away free advice to every Jonjothat asked me for it.

And I avoided a potentially draining, high-maintenancecustomer...... a BIG plus!

(See Part Two of this article below)

Keep Selling with Integrity.

Maitiu

Continue reading "I "LOST" A SALE LAST WEEK... Part ONE"

Mar 20, 2007

I LOST A SALE LAST WEEK - Part TWO

(Cot'd from Part One above)

So why shouldn't you "chase business"?

When you chase any and every prospect just because they've got a pulse, a few things happen to you:
- Your time and focus get fragmented.
- Your closing ratio drops chasing bad / non deals.
- You make fewer sales and less money.
- You end up with more difficult customers to "serve".
- Your costs are always higher on difficult customers.

You eventually wind up chasing your tail.
You are paid to chase the sale.

HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITHOUT CHASING PROSPECTS

Here are some rules that I have followed for years that mayhelp you in becoming a high performing sales person.

1 - Know what problems you solve better than anyone else for a specific type of customer.

2 - Choose a target market(s) where you can excel with aspecific type(s) of customer(s).

3 - Position yourself so that your target market seeks youout because you are viewed the best solution for someone with the problems and needs they have in their industry orniche.

4 - Build prospecting systems for regular, consistent lead generation so that you have plenty of leads to qualify (e.g.sales letter campaigns, phone call campaigns, direct response ad placement,blogs and newsletters etc.).

5 - Have a system or rules for selling:
Who you will / will not do business with.
How you will / will not do business with them.
Conditions for when you will walk away from a deal.

No, I didn't lose a sale at all last week because I didn't chase the prospect.

In fact I made more from the good business I did choose to focus on as a result of my decision years ago notto chase difficult / awkward prospects.

What about you? How good are you at turning down deals so that you can focus on better business?

Keep Selling with Integrity

Maitiu

Continue reading "I LOST A SALE LAST WEEK - Part TWO"

Mar 05, 2007

Qualifying is for Wusses!

The other day I got an email from someone who believes he is smarter than moi. Fair enough, there are a lot of them around. And many actually are.

He wrote:
"Anyone can close 90% of their deals if they cherry pick and only go after the best leads. I think you're over the top, Maitiu."

Unfortunately this fellah doesn't get it.
He obviously subscribes to the brute-force school of selling. I am sure he believes if there is any interest atall then you must go after it until theprospect either submits to his will or they go with the competition.

I used to think that way too.
I used to see myself as being a sales rotweiler. I would sink my teeth into his ass, clamp down and hold on.Sometimes it worked.

Other times a stronger (or wiser) predator would pull that prey right out of my mouth.

And what I learned the hard way was that once I had committed to a deal, preparing proposals, RFP responses,product presentations, and customer visits were hard work. Very time consuming and valuable work.

I decided that this was work that I should only do if I had a good chance of winning.

And that's how you should look at your selling too.

Everything you do to generate leads and close deals is valuable, time consuming, hard work.

Don't waste it.

Here's the key insight:
You'll waste less effort and you'll close more deals by putting more of your time into qualifying.

This doesn't mean you throw out every lead that isn't perfect and ready to decide today.

What this does mean is that you prioritise your efforts, andyou make prospects show you why they are worth your sales time and sales resources.

Some gun slinger might call you a wuss for it, but you'll be the one laughing when you sell more than him.

,b>Keep Selling with Integrity,

Maitiu

Continue reading "Qualifying is for Wusses!"

Jan 29, 2007

"What if I could...?" -Part One

"What if I could show you how you could save money, would that be of interest to you?"
"What if our system saved you time, would that be of value to you?"
"What if I matched our competitor’s price, would you buy it?"

What if you were a buyer who heard one of these lines? Would you feel compelled to buy from that person? I highly doubt it.You are more likely to get ill!
Manipulative selling techniques are seldom effective when it comes to dealing with customer objections and they really have no place in the world of professional selling. Even though it’s an old and tired approach, I encounter sales people who think that the "What if" method of overcoming objections is still effective.

Address your Buyer's concerns.

The real key is to address your customer’s objections during the sales process. This means asking the right questions early in the sales process and positioning your product, service, or solution so that you answer their objections before they express them.

It’s fair to say that many people will have objections about buying your product and the most effective way to get past this is to uncover what their true concerns are before you start talking about your solution. This means that you need to invest time asking questions to learn more about their particular situation. It really doesn’t matter what you sell; this is a critical aspect of ALL successful selling.
You need to ask high-quality questions that make your customer or prospect think. This may sound easy but in reality, it is actually very difficult because thought-provoking questions are tough to ask. Many sales people perceive these types of questions as personal and often think that their customers and prospects will not be willing to respond to them. What’s important to remember is that most business people, especially senior executives ask tough questions, and as a result. have little or no hesitation in responding to them. In fact, their level of respect for you will increase when you pose challenging questions. I’m not suggesting that you challenge your prospect; I’m simply recommending that you learn to ask high-level questions.

One of the challenges sales people have in asking these types of questions is that they can’t always anticipate the answer which means they don’t have an immediate response available. But that’s not the objective. Your goal is to find out what problems your prospect is facing. Then, assuming your product or service can help them, you can position solution more effectively.

See Part Two below

Keep Selling with Integrity

Maitiu

Continue reading ""What if I could...?" -Part One"

Jan 29, 2007

"What if I could..." Part Two

Have you read Part One above?......

You need to develop the courage to ask difficult questions; questions that you may not feel comfortable posing. This means that you should practice asking these questions before you actually meet with your prospect. I remember a sales meeting with a new potential client and as the meeting drew to a close, I had one question that I was very uncomfortable asking. Fortunately, I had rehearsed this question before the meeting so I took the leap and presented it to my prospect. There was a long silence afterwards but I remained silent and after a few moments, my prospect responded and gave me the additional information I needed to move the sale forward. Had I not asked that particular question, I would have developed a proposal that would not have addressed their specific needs and situation. And I probably would have lost the sale.

That was a huge learning experience and it taught me the importance of rehearsing and verbally stating the questions I wanted to ask. As I reflected on this conversation, I realised that I could have posed this same question with other prospects in the past and achieved different results.

Let’s face it. Your customers and buyers are much more sophisticated than ever before and in all likelihood they have heard every line similar to this. And they despise people who use tired and traditional lines or manipulative approaches. If you have been selling for any period of time, you know that most people express certain objections about making a buying decision. In fact, you probably hear similar objections on a regular basis. Most sales are closed because your customer sees the value in your product or service or because you have established yourself as an expert who can help them solve a problem.

Asking, "What if I could......" is not an effective approach. It’s old. It’s tired. And it seldom works.

Keep Selling with Integrity

Maitiu

Continue reading ""What if I could..." Part Two"

Nov 13, 2006

Sales Training: "..because of the wonderful things it does..."

You always have reason(s) for what you do, and your buyers like to have a reason for what they do, too.

Here's an interesting paragraph from the book, "The Psychology of Persuasion", by Kevin Hogan

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

It reads:
Dr. Ellen Langer, in a Harvard University psychology experiment, set up a test participant to approach unsuspecting people waiting in line to use the office copier and made a request.

One request was: "Excuse me. I only have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?" Another request was phrased: "Excuse me. I only have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I'm in a rush?" In a third situation, the participant said, "Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?" There was no reason given for the need …just the words "....because.....".

Request #1 was granted 60% of the time. Request #2, the request coupled with a reason, was successful 94% of the time. But here's the clincher: Believe it or not (and you'd better!): with Request #3, 93% of the people said yes simply due to the word 'BECAUSE'!

It didn't matter that there was no reason given for the request. Just using the magic word "because" triggered the desired response -- allowing the test participant to cut in line.

"Because" will have the same effect on your desired response -- it will cause your customers to feel free to buy and then buy some more!

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Think about it!. Give your customers reasons to act with "because".....it's the equivalent of doing their thinking for them....but you can now direct their thoughts.

This is powerful psychology.

Keep Selling With Integrity.

Maitiu

Continue reading "Sales Training: "..because of the wonderful things it does...""

Oct 23, 2006

Sales Training: The Monkey and the Player- Initial Price Objections

The buyer says,” What are your prices like?”

The Sales Monkey says, “We’re very competitive”. Alternatively with that deep understanding the Monkey has of the power of words, the Monkey states, ”Our prices are very keen”

In both cases, the Monkey has just told the client he can get it for less money from someone else!

The Monkey will continue to claim that his product/ company offer is better than the opposition’s, without offering any shred of credible proof.

The Sales Player says, “We can be a little higher than some others, but let me tell why we feel we offer top value for the extra few Euro we are asking you to invest in our service/ product”.

The Player goes on to discuss the value for money being offered to the client, and backs it up with evidence, not baseless claims.

…….. Actually, the Player was having an off day, since he allowed the discussion get to the stage that the client could voice that concern.

On a good day, the Player raises the issue of Price (or whatever the client’s major issue is likely to be) before the client mentions it.

“You may point out that we are a little more expensive than some other suppliers, but let me show you the complete package you are getting for that extra few Euro.

The Player, by taking the bull by the horns, has now removed any opportunity for the buyer to raise later the “too dear” objection, since he pre-handled it before it became an objection from the client .…. And the focus switches to “value for money”.

Whilst Price is perceived by sellers as a major issue in up to 75% of sales discussions, it is seldom the only or most important criterion in the purchasing decision.

Be a Player …… stop eating those bananas!

Keep Selling With Integrity

Maitiu

Continue reading "Sales Training: The Monkey and the Player- Initial Price Objections"

Oct 09, 2006

Sales Training: Load up to load down - Part One

Take out that Motorola mobile from your pocket/bag and have a look at it.
It's a clock; it's a stop watch; it's a diary; it can help you pass time with ingeniouslittle games; it can take photos; send texts; it's an mp3 player and a torch.

You could probably call the moon with it.

Now let's go back in time a bit...
You were in the phone shop. Let's assume the salesman showed you a phone model that could only...eh...take and make calls. Would you buy that phone? Or would you want to see another model, with..eh..more features?

It's not that much different when customers buy yourservices/products.

They want the whole "kit & caboodle"

They know they won't use all the features you offer. But it doesn't matter one bit to a customer. And therein lies "the paradox of choice".

Customers want it all, when buying a product/service, and yetcan be intimidated by the post-purchase scenario.

"The Whah, Maitiu?"

So how does the post-purchase scenario roll out?
Let's take an example. Customers buy a software programme likePhotoshop for its dozens of features. Then end up using just a fewtools. They buy a DVD recorder that dances, sings and makes tea. But they only use it to record Ant & Dec while they are watching the "Marias" singing for their lives. And yet, justlike you, they will always go for the cell phone that has the mostesoteric features, but end up using the basic few.

Ok so we're greedy, but how does that make a differenceto your selling?

It's the intimidation factor of choice.

We like to play with the concept of 'more for less', but whenwe get more, we actually gulp. We don't know where to start.

What to do? Where to go?

And this is why you need to roll out two distinct steps to make theintimidation of choice go away.

See Part Two for the answers......

Keep Selling with Integrity

Maitiu

Continue reading "Sales Training: Load up to load down - Part One"

Oct 09, 2006

Sales Training: Load up to load down - Part Two

If you have read Part One of this article, you may continue. If not, Why not? :-))

Step One: Load up the whistles and bells.

When you're selling a product, don't hold back. Inyour sales pitch, load up every single benefit/feature youcan think of. Pull every single extra out of your bag. Stackthe stuff high.

The customer will see what you're offering. She'll drool.If the offer is right for her, she'll buy.

Which brings us to Step Two.

Step Two: Only show the customer the good stuff.

Take step one. Strip out all the whistles and bells, and youhave Step Two. In effect, in Step Two, you're out to make certainthe customer feels the least amount of intimidationpossible. So your post-purchase advice/instructions shouldstress only on the most important features.

Makes sense, does'nt it?

But look at yourself when you go to a buffet lunch. Logically, over-eating shouldn't make you happy. But your greedpulls you along to this feast. So you pay your pile of euros, and in you go.

Five minutes later, you don't know where to start.
Lamb chops? Savour the pasta? Curry? Pork? Beef? Bother with the salad? Choices, choices!

Now you see a sign that says: Chef's Recommendations.

Bingo! the solution!

It's no different if you have a service

If you're in consulting, the client wants the lamb chops on topof the pasta, with the turkey and asparagus tips of yourservice. Well, sell the damn thing to him. But once he's in thesystem, only concentrate on two or three of the most importantparts of your service.

The parts that helps the client see an instant growth in income,or customers or whatever.

It's the same if you're selling a product

Every product is bundled up with gadgets from here to Donegal, but eventually what the customer really wants to know arethe two or three most important things your product will let her do.

In other words: The Chef's Recommendations.

See Part Three for examples......

Keep Selling with Integrity

Maitiu

Continue reading "Sales Training: Load up to load down - Part Two"

Oct 09, 2006

Sales Training: Load up to load down - Part Three

Assuming you have read the previous two parts of this article, read on, MacDuff........

How does this work in real life?

Let's see some examples shall we?
1) Car Mechanic: You offer the works. You do the works whenyou're servicing the car, but only point out the main two-threethings when your client comes up to pick the car.
2) Web Designer: You offer a web site that can do it all. Yet oncompletion, you show the client the most important features toget the web site up and running.
3) Gym Membership: You show all the 57 varieties of what your gym offersbefore sign up. Then show the new member only what's importantto enable her to move around the club.

So does that mean you get rid of all the fancy features andbenefits?

No you don't. If I've been promised the earth, I pretty muchwant it. You're still delivering all you promised,plus the cherry on top of the cake. But to aid consumption of your productor service, you need to reduce the intimidation way down, bystressing only what's important.

The biggest problem a business faces isn't one of attraction

It's one of consumption. Because as humans, we like small bites.You and I are greedy you-know-whats when we're in purchasemode. In fact, in most cases, we don't even know what we'rebuying. We're just happy that it's all included as part of ourpurchase. The scary part comes a little later, when we have toactually consume it.

That's when you step in. And reduce the choice.

Yes, I bought because you were offering me more. But now thatI've bought, make sure you show me less.

That way I can make my call on my Motorola without wonderinghow I go about calling the Moon. ;))

Keep Selling with Integrity

Maitiu

Continue reading "Sales Training: Load up to load down - Part Three"

Sep 13, 2006

A Thought for Everyone's Day...Pass it on

Think about the following:

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five U.S Open winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss World contest.
4. Name ten people who have won a Nobel or Pulitzer prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for Best Actor and Actress.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remembers the headliners of yesterday.
These are no second-rate achievers - they're the best in their fields.
But the applause dies, awards tarnish, achievements are forgotten,
accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Now here's another quiz.
See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through difficult times in your life.
3. Name five people who have taught you some worthwhile lesson.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Easier? The lesson?

The people who make a difference in your life aren't the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards.

They're the ones who care.

(With THANKS to Ciaran O'Carroll. Visit his site here)

Keep Selling With integrity

Maitiu

Continue reading "A Thought for Everyone's Day...Pass it on"

Aug 29, 2006

When did it become OK to lie- part 1

I was in a training session with the sales team of a large telecommunications company. As part of the session, I asked one participant to role-play a cold call with me.

He said, “Hi, my name is Michael, and I’m hoping you can help me out for a moment.”
So far , so good.

“We’re conducting a survey to help us determine if our products really meet the needs of our market, and with your permission I’d like to ask you a few questions.”

It seemed like a reasonable request.

But a split second later, it hit me. I paused, thought for a moment, and then stepped out of our role play and said, “Are you really taking a survey? Or is that just a technique to try and engage the person you’re calling?”

He said matter-of-factly, “That’s what we use here when we cold call.”
And I said, without even thinking about, “Wait a second, aren’t you lying? You said were conducting a survey, but in reality you aren’t. You’re using a trick to get the other person to engage with you on the phone.”

All of a sudden, everybody in the room went quiet

Then finally the Sales Manager spoke. “Well, I never looked at it from that perspective. But you’re right. It really isn’t the truth.”

Back to the session in a minute but first let me ask just one question:

WHY HAS LYING BECOME AN ACCEPTABLE WAY OF SELLING?

I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up, my parents taught me to be truthful and that lying was a bad thing – a sin.

But notice how, for this sales team, not telling the truth was a perfectly acceptable way of doing business.

It threw me.

Everything I teach in >Selling Against Competition and my other training programmes is about being open, transparent, honest, and above all, always about seeking the truth of the other person, which is the basis of any honest human relationship.

Does Lying Really Overcome Resistance?

Many of those old-school selling programmes taught by the “sales gurus” tell people there’s nothing wrong with using “techniques” to get the sale.

Fake “surveys” are only one of those “techniques”. There are lots of them, including things like pretending to be returning a message when making a cold call. This is designed to confuse the prospect and lower their resistance.

The bottom line is, these “gurus” are saying loud and clear: in selling, lying is justified.

And they justify this sort of thinking and behaviour because they say it’s the only way to overcome sales resistance.

(cot’d in part 2 below)

Continue reading "When did it become OK to lie- part 1"

Aug 29, 2006

When did it become OK to lie - Part2

(cot’d from Part 1 above)

What the “sales gurus” don’t understand is that “resistance” is a reaction to traditional sales techniques. They’re the ones creating the vicious cycle, and they don’t even know it!

And they have no idea how to break that cycle either.

They don’t understand that if you stop using self-serving and sometimes downright unethical sales thinking and sales techniques, you won’t get resistance from prospects.

Then, the selling process will stop being a push and pull cat-and-mouse game. It’ll turn into a human relationship.

Here are some differences between the two ways of thinking so you can consider which one feels right for you…

Traditional Sales Thinking

When getting the sale is all that matters...* Use every technique you can to make the sale.* It's okay to bend the truth or lie if it'll make the sale happen.* Go for the "yes." If you hear a "no," push and pursuade harder to turn it into a "yes."

The Integrity Mindset

* Create a conversation and build a relationship of trust.* Focus on finding out whether you can help your prospect solve their problems or issues.* If you always tell the truth, your prospect will tell you their truth.* Focus on the "fit." Create a conversation that explores whether you're a match or not.

Now, Back to the training session…
I’ll tell you what happened next, after that awkward silence with the Sales Mananger and sales team.

I explained to them that traditional selling had gotten so embedded in their minds that it had clouded their sense of right and wrong. They got it immediately as soon as I said it.

I could even hear them sighing with relief as they realised that their new Integrity Mindset skills would help them eliminate resistance from the sales process.

They now understood how and why they’d veered off the ethical path, and that it’s OK to let go of something that deep down inside felt wrong.

How Would You Like to Be Treated?

Prospects ordering my Selling Against Competition programme often ask me why the Integrity Mindset is different from all the other sales programmes out there. I always tell them, “It’s a different way of thinking based on integrity, honesty, and truth”.

Do you personally want relationships with people who are comfortable not telling you the truth?
Well, selling is a relationship too, and you can probably understand why “techniques” endorsed by traditional sales trainers make building a genuine human relationship virtually impossible.

Keep selling with integrity.

Maitiu

P.S. Have you been the victim of someone trying to sell you something by not telling you the truth? Tell me about it here.

(adopted from an article byAri Galper)

Continue reading "When did it become OK to lie - Part2"

Aug 15, 2006

"You gotta see them to sell them"

Salespeople, by definition, tend towards action rather than thought. And many sellers tend to feel uncomfortable selling on the telephone. They’d prefer face-to-face contact. There is no logic in this if you regard yourself as a sales professional.

Taking it one stage further, consider the writing of sales letters of various types- letters, proposals, emails, brochures, direct mailers, ezines, and blogs. Whatever the form of communication, it is ALWAYS selling in writing (otherwise, why are you writing it?).

Here’s a Juicer recently received chez Maitiu:
“Our management approach utilises an effective strategy that optimises ten key factors in the throughput of primary marketing initiatives with bottom line measurability”. Whah???!!!! Convoluted doesn’t begin to describe it. Can’t you see the potential clients queuing up to let them loose on their marketing?

So just speak English. Tell your clients what they get. Don't be afraid to be bold, but make sure the message is above all clear, meaningful, and interesting. That will draw prospects closer, wanting to know more.

If you hear or read a sales or marketing message and your reaction is "Huh?" then it probably missed the mark!
A good one results in more of an "Aha!" reaction. It speaks to a real need you have and you instantly want to know more.
In developing your written sales messages, test people's reactions, not their opinions. Does it result in "Huh" or "Aha!"?

What are the other big mistakes people make with their written sales messages?
1. They write about process, not solutions: "We prepare your taxes with the X100 auditing protocol." Sorry, but nobody really cares.
2. They are just too general: "Profitability and productivity will increase." Bo-ring! What else is new?
3. They are unbelievable: "Your sales and profits will increase faster in one month than they have in the past twelve”. Good if you can really deliver. But you'd better prove it or lose all your credibility.

With so much selling now being done through electronic and written media, it’s time to learn how the persuasion process operates in relation to the written word. The day of ……“You gotta see them to sell them”…… is now very 20th century.

My best till next time.

Maitiu

Continue reading ""You gotta see them to sell them""

Jul 31, 2006

The Blame Game & The Law of Positive Negatives

“If you don’t get out of the box you were brought up in, you won’t understand how much bigger the world is”. Angelina Jolie

I was watching Oprah recently….. don’t ask! ……. and heard her giving this advice. “It's not what happens to you that matters, it's what you do about it.” I’ve converted this advice into a 5 step process that we can apply to our sales lives and beyond.

First, anticipate potential problems early. Whether it's the possibility of the demo crashing, four extra people showing up for the meeting, or a traffic delay on the bloody M50, it's our job to plan ahead. Leave extra time for traffic. Double check the demo system the night before. You'll know what to do if you think about it.

Second, have a plan B. This is especially true for the two T's:
Travel and Technology. Neither can be predicted with certainty. Do you remember Windows 98 crashing during Bill Gates' launch demo? Even the mighty have it happen to them. Bring a spare light bulb for the projector. Have someone else ready who can give the presentation (send the slides ahead via email).

Third, panic early! Don't wait until you are standing there in a cold sweat to decide what to do. When everyone is in the room and the demo system is clearly not having a good day, move to your screen shots in PowerPoint or call the whole thing off and rearraange ( it’s happened to me). Better that than having yourself looking like Mr. Bean in front of the client.

Fourth: If all else does fail, fail with grace. Keep your sense of humor, respect other’s time and move on. If you anticipated this situation, it's easier to be cool, or at least fake it.

Finally, remember that the world works on the Law of Positive Negatives. In other words, the world likes those who recover well. I've seen presenters who forgot their lines, get a standing ovation for the way they handled it. I've seen customers award contracts to sales people after they recovered well from a disastrous demonstration. Why? Because we are all human and we connect with people who are real; like us!

The big thing to avoid is the Blame Game. That's where we blame everyone else for the situation and take no ownership. I have had it up to my eyeballs with sellers whinging about the factory did this, or my manager did that. Who cares? Not me. Not your client. Certainly not your boss.

The sooner WE accept the blame, the sooner we see ourselves as the solution. In the end, it doesn't matter whose fault it is. All that matters is who is going to fix it and how. So put your ego in your back pocket and get on with it.

Keep Selling with Integrity

Maitiu

Continue reading "The Blame Game & The Law of Positive Negatives"

Jul 18, 2006

What are the three most stupid questions in sales?

Number 3: "Have you heard of us?"
If you have to ask this question you are probably not very well known anyway, or it means you are possibly trying to make certain that the customer has not had a previous bad experience, or knows nothing bad about you. And if something bad has happened, don't worry, your prospect will be sure to mention it.

Number 2: "Can you tell me a little bit about your company?"
....sigh.......this questions means you were too lazy or too stupid to go to Google and check them out. Don’t ask questions that you couldn’t have gone and found out from public domain information- the Internet, company annual reports, even a search of the records in the Companies Office. Ask around for others who know about the prospect’s company. Do your homework! When you force your customer to answer questions already known, they become bored. They may disengage. And it shows a poor reflection on you.

And the Granddaddy of all stupidity....

THE DUMBEST QUESTION IN SALES: (You should know it. You ask it all the time.)
"What will it take to get your business?"

It is likely you have asked this question dozens of times. And all you are actually asking your customer is, "How low do you want me to drop my pants....ehhh, my prices, to get this order?"

Can I ask if you have been in sales longer than one week? Don't you know what it will take to get their business? Wouldn’t it be one thousand times better to walk in and say, "Mr. MacCabe, I've been talking to your colleagues, one or two of your customers, and one of your suppliers, and I believe I have uncovered exactly what it will take to get your business. I have a couple of ideas I’d like to run by you, and if you like them, I'll ask you to buy them. Fair enough?".

If you walk in asking what it will take, you’ll likely leave empty handed or you will take a heck of a bath on the pricing. Either way, you are a loser.

Walk in knowing what it will take to get the business and you will be rewarded.

Keep Selling with Integrity.

Maitiu
P.S. To be informed immediately when this blog is updated request to be added to our mailing list here.

Continue reading "What are the three most stupid questions in sales?"

Jul 06, 2006

Don't forget the foreplay........

Working on a strategy for initial meetings with a coaching client set me thinking that men and women’s brains work differently, and that they approach selling in distinctive ways.

Once upon a time, women in selling were rare creatures. Now they have equality in representation in most business sectors – except in the car sales sector, interestingly – and in many business segments have proven to be better sales people than the male of the species. Even the oil business and construction sectors have been won over from their misogynistic ways. (I wonder what this tells us about the car sales sector? - a topic for another day).

Men (the Hunters) see life as a destination. Women (the Farmers) see it as a journey. And this shows in our approach to selling.

Think about it. In an initial meeting, where you need to establish a requirement, propose initial solution areas, gain credibility as a trusted advisor – the Lads go for the kill too early. “Let me tell you how our wonderful dooflicker will solve this problem” kind of thing. They forget to nibble the earlobe first. “ Can you see any way in which a dooflicker would be of use in this situation?” type line is often the more satisfying way forward for both parties.

To continue the analogy of the X and Y chromosomes, what’s the danger of sliding hand up skirt too quickly? There is an implicit lack of sincerity, the raising of the question, “Why the rush?", and a lack of appreciation of what a woman….ehhhh, I mean a buyer ….. wants.

So, Lads, when you next think of closing someone, consider whether a succession of closes, gradually increasing in amplification, will better get you where you want to go……

Keep selling with Integrity

Maitiu

Continue reading "Don't forget the foreplay........"

Jun 26, 2006

Referrals – Getting it right, getting it wrong

I need to thank two people this week . One is a client, the other a friend.

They both referred me to someone who had mentioned sales training and gave them my details for contact. They both rang to tell me to expect a call.

Both of them rang on Monday last. Today is Friday, and their referrals have not yet called me.

The bad news is they probably won’t, if experience is anything to go by. Over the years I have been told many, many, times that I have been mentioned to someone who needs my services, and with few exceptions those referred have not made contact.

But I do, truly, appreciate “getting the nod” from my well-meaning referrers and I greatly appreciate their efforts, but little business results. A straw poll indicates that other personal service providers think exactly the same way as I do about this.

What’s the Problem?The problem is usually one of the following:· My name was mentioned in a social situation. Who remembers the details the following morning? What the devil is the punch line of that joke you laughed at so uproariously last night?· Mentioned at a meeting with urgent agenda items. Urgent always wipes out Important!· My name or web site reference is written on a yellow slip or notepad page, torn out and pocketed. How many of those have you not been able to find later?· Life takes over and the matter is put on the back burner with intention to come back to it later.

You can see where I’m going with this.

What’s the Solution?It’s easy. First time, when someone tells you they have “mentioned your name to their boss” etc., ask them, in future, to suggest to the reference that they will get you to contact them”! Keep this message going to your regular referrers until they learn the script.

Staying in control of references is the essential skill to making them work for you.

I’ve built my business through personal referrals, but over the years being the one in control of making the contact has been the secret.

………Now, I have to go back to my friend and to my client and ask their permission to mention their name when I make the initial contact with their referee. …….sigh…. work, work, work! ;-))

Keep selling with integrity.

Maitiu

Continue reading "Referrals – Getting it right, getting it wrong"

Jun 06, 2006

The "7 Habits" and why they give me a pain

Why do some people become successful when others don’t?Why do some of us almost automatically “get it”, while others go struggling all the time?What is needed to turn your previous failures into your future successes?

I’ll be honest. The “7 Habits of Highly Successful People" gives me a pain in the a*se. And you can include many of the other “positive thinking” books of the last 50 years.

I have told you before how many of my successes came when I was under severe pressure, back to the wall.Nothing to do with “positive thinking”, everything to do, “win or die”.

Even now, 36 years after I started in selling, I’m often afraid that I’ll never sell anything again. I’m insecure about my skills, and probably over prepare in order to eliminate that horrible sinking feeling that you are not going to get the business.There are four types of thinking that I believe will get in the way of your success (def: “Setting and Achieving Your Definite Objective”):

”Comfort Food” ThinkingNot being able to “raise the bar” for yourself because you are comfortable with what you have is like signing your death cert. You will NEVER succeed if you are too comfortable with your present situation.

“No Fear Factor” ThinkingFear is a great motivator – knowing you could lose your job, knowing your business will die if you don’t keep up the pressure. Most people do not use their fear….they think all they have to do is “think positive” and things will work out. Centre cut BULL!Be afraid, very afraid, then USE it to your advantage.

“Closed Mind” Thinking

The crud that builds up in your brain over the years- stuff you believe is true, isn’t really, and as a result you can’t figure out the right thing to do at the right time. Because of it……this point alone qualifies for a full blog, maybe even an eBook…….. You need to think for yourself, not let others do your thinking for you.

How many ORIGINAL thoughts have you had in the last week? I mean REALLY original……? …….. Hmmmmm……..

“Distraction Disease” Thinking

Everything moves fast these days….your job, your life, kids to the football match, watch the rugby, get the dinner ready….Go, Go, Go!

We need to do a lot these things BUT……they can be simply distractions. Constant distractions to being able to focus on what you want. Take 15 –30 minutes per day (take an hour if you are serious), to FOCUS on what YOU want and HOW you are going to get it.

FOCUS on what you need to do to get what you want in any area of your life.

FOCUS on the “one step at a time” you need to take to hit whatever jackpot you’re after.

Most people suffer from this Distraction Disease and their brains are fried from too much external stimulation.

STOP – THINK- PLAN –COMMIT

My best till next time.

Maitiu

Continue reading "The "7 Habits" and why they give me a pain"

May 22, 2006

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Continue reading "info.txt."

May 21, 2006

Lose your mind and come to your senses

You’ve probably heard it a thousand times: people don’t buy features, they buy benefits. But are you falling into the trap of thinking that customers are looking to purchase your product or service? Find out in this article by Maitiu.

Believe it or not, no one actually buys your service. No one buys coaching. No one buys consulting. No one buys financial planning. So what do people buy? Well, there are, in fact, two things people buy.

The first thing people buy is a SOLUTION TO A PROBLEM.

People buy a service only because they believe it will solve certain problems and give them certain results. They are not buying the "how" of a service. Your service is simply the "how" you do it. Your service is the tool or method you use to solve problems and deliver results.

Do you buy a car because you just want a car? Do you go to the dentist because you happen to feel like being drilled? No. You are buying a solution to a problem; you are buying a result.

Just suppose you focus on telling someone all about "how" your coaching and consulting service works and what it is. At the end of the conversation (if they are still listening), they will have a good understanding of your "how", but they'll be left still wondering what problems you will solve for them .

If people do not understand what problems you will solve for them, it is highly unlikely that they will buy your service. If however you focus on understanding the results they want, you will be focusing on what people are buying and your chances of success will be dramatically increased.

The second thing people buy is YOU.

Once someone has decided they have a problem they want solved, they then make a decision on “From Who”. If you have focused the conversation on telling them all about your "How" and “What”, they will feel that you are focused what YOU need. When the focus is on youself, people get the sense that you don't really care about them. They will think you are simply trying to sell them something, and all sorts of sales resistance will surface.

If you have been focusing the conversation on understanding their problems, they will feel that you have their best interests at heart. They will start to trust you and open up to you. They will naturally decide or assume you are the person to solve their problems. So, don't focus on selling your services or products. Instead, ask questions and hold conversations where you focus on understanding your customer's problems, issues, doubts, worries and fears, and then people will assume you know the "how" of delivering results. The more you focus on understanding their problems, the more they will trust that you are the one they should be working with.

My Best until next time.

Maitiu

Continue reading "Lose your mind and come to your senses"

May 06, 2006

The "Fantastic" Carol Vorderman and a lesson for sellers

After a week in which I “straw polled” six sellers to describe their new product to me, to depressingly discover that the word “fantastic” was used by four of them within the first sentence -two of them also described their new product as “amazing” in their first descriptions, - I was then rooted to my chair by Ms. Carol “Fantastic” Vorderman, who managed SEVEN “fantastics” in three consecutive sentences …..I think she was going for a new PB…..

Anyway, I wanted to have a rant at sellers who simply do not realise that words and language are the tools of our trade. Unfortunately there are too many of us who believe it’s a game of “Outsmart them before they outsmart us”.

Precise, dynamic, descriptive, vivid language and communication is what distinguishes professional sellers from the “Del Boys” of this world. Every word we utter MUST be crafted, edited, honed, and designed to build the exact image…… not a millimetre of error allowed…… that we wish to develop in the customer’s mind.

An apocryphal story that I came across on a copywriting forum makes the point…. and illustrates “Precise, dynamic, descriptive, vivid “!:

One day, there was a blind man sitting on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet and a sign that read: "I am blind, please help."

A creative publicist was walking by and stopped to observe. He saw that the blind man had only a few coins in his hat. He dropped in more coins and, without asking for permission, took the sign and rewrote it.

He returned the sign to the blind man and left. That afternoon the publicist returned to the blind man and noticed that his hat was full of bills and coins.

The blind man recognised his footsteps and asked if it was he who had rewritten his sign and wanted to know what he had written on it.

The publicist responded: "Nothing that was not true. I just wrote the message a little differently." He smiled and went on his way.

The new sign read: "Today is Spring and I cannot see it."

Hits the nail on the head, doesn't it?

Words Tell. “Fantastic” and “Amazing” really do it for you, don’t they?…ugh!…..Words SELL. Descriptive, glamour image, “mind picture” language changes minds, changes the world.

P.S. Do you know that there are over 40,000 descriptive adjectives in the Oxford English Dictionary?………and “Fantastic” is the best you can do?

P.P.S. And if you are daft enough to admit to this…. please go and get a job that does not involve persuasion, influencing, or negotiating. You are a danger to yourself and others.

Continue reading "The "Fantastic" Carol Vorderman and a lesson for sellers"

Apr 14, 2006

Have you seen a customer back out of a deal at the very last minute?

Do you sometimes wonder why a certain sale falls through the cracks? Don't you feel powerless every time that happens? You know that your product or service is really good for your customer. You've done everything to get them interested and ready to buy. Despite being interested in what you're selling, they shift, fidget and then inexplicably walk away. And your certain sale bites the dust!

Read this article and learn some things that are so simple and brilliant,they will make your hair stand on end.Click here to electrify yourself!
And enjoy the blessings of Easter.

Maitiu

Continue reading "Have you seen a customer back out of a deal at the very last minute?"

Apr 07, 2006

"The Feckin' Price Pressure Is Killing Us!"

The rueful remark in the title, from a sales manager, prompted me to repeat the basics for you .....

So here are my best strategies for alleviating pricing pressure.

1 Is Price Really the Issue?

When a price objection arises, it doesn't mean you have to discount. First, determine if price is really the problem. It could be an excuse for a separate underlying issue. Your job is to reveal the true issue.

2 Create a Solution that Fits

Our customer liked our company, but our competitor was cheaper …..Aren’t they always?…..sigh……. We responded by talking with the customer in-depth to really understand what they needed most. By focusing our solution only on those things that added value to their operation, we were able to create a price-comparison to the competitor, much to their disadvantage. They were talking product at a price. We talked overall package at a price ….. we showed high added value, not just a similar product. The result was a good win-win outcome.

3 The Benefits are Bigger Than the Product

The benefit of your solution is often bigger than simply the product itself. We help our customers take a step back to understand everything our solution represents. We try to give them all round view of the solution's true value. In our environment, this includes our customer support that helps customers reduce the implementation time for training, helps them identify individuals who will benefit from one to one coaching, and a trusting relationship that helps alleviate risk. We make it easier for our customers to justify the business relationship through tangible results.

4 What Problems, Issues, Doubts, Fears, or Worries are you really solving for your client?

Today, customers see the role of the salesperson as the true differentiator. Customers want salespeople to help them solve their problems. If you are only interested in making another sale for yourself , it shows! If you are truly interested in your customers' business, it shows. In doing so, you're differentiating yourself from your competitors (often in a way that your product, of itself, can’t) and you've taken the first step toward reducing price pressures. You'd be astonished at how many salespeople never ask the customer what they are trying to fix, accomplish, or avoid.

5 Sell High At the senior level in the buyer’s organisation, price pressures are significantly reduced. Decision makers at this level are more concerned with value and return on financial investment. They are driven by how to improve the overall business, the bottom line of reducing costs or increasing profits, not just in one department or for a single area. By accessing senior-level decision makers you get a more intimate understanding of how your solution can address organisational business issues, which you can use to differentiate your solution from your competitors.

Health & Blessings until next time.

Maitiu

Continue reading ""The Feckin' Price Pressure Is Killing Us!""

Mar 06, 2006

"OK ,send me a Sales Proposal"

“OK, send me a sales proposal ….. email it to me and we’ll talk in a week”.

You’ve cracked it!. You are the first person from your company ever to get in front of this hard to reach buyer, and he has asked you to give him a proposal!

So you spend two days getting the proposal just right, you have the plebs running in all directions for precise technical info, you have a session with your Boss AND the Financial Controller to get the pricing right. You email the proposal to Mr B. Allbreaker……and three weeks later wonder why you can’t get him to talk to you to discuss the finer points.

LEARN TO HATE SALES PROPOSALS
What is the buyer’s thinking behind this request? Why do they want it?

1 It’s a request from a monkey who is collecting information for an organ grinder.

2 They want to get you into a comparative price war with competitors.

3 They need information to sell your proposition to their colleagues, other influencers, and decision makers upstairs.

They say that when you are playing poker, there is always a sucker at the table…and if you can’t spot him, it’s YOU!

Of all the reasons outlined above, the only one I want to work with isnumber 3.

MAKE THEM SELL YOU
How do I suggest you handle it when asked for a proposal?

- Ask them if they are going to purchase from you!

Most of your prospects and customers will be as surprised (as you are right now) at this question.

The answers you get will tell you a lot about where you are in the pecking order against your competition.

If you are told that you “have the same chance as other possible suppliers", you should know you are the sucker at the poker table.

Because if you were in the lead, someone would be telling you and helping you win!

Don't give a proposal until either you have an inside coach helping you and showing you how to win, and the proposal should only be the final step before final negotiations.

As an alternative when asked for a proposal, you can reply by suggesting a discussion on what would be contained in a proposal verbally for budget or planning purposes. Watch the buyer’s surprise, and listen to them tell you that you are supposed to give them a proposal because youare a salesperson. “That's your job”, they'll say.

And you can reply that your job is to use your time to find customers that are a good fit. And until you and thebuyer get closer to knowing that this is a good fit, any written proposal is premature and probably a waste of time.

If you test everything with the question "Is this worth mytime?" then you can get your closing rate to between 50-90% ofyour submitted proposals.

Health & Blessings until next time.

Maitiu

CHANGING THE WORLD ONE MIND AT A TIME

Continue reading ""OK ,send me a Sales Proposal""

Feb 09, 2006

Forget the Perspiration - go for Inspiration & Motivation

Check this out for a timely boost when your "get up and go" has got up and gone!Over 5000 inspirational/ motivational quotations to refresh your spirit:http://www.greatexpectationscoaching.com/motivational-quote.html

Dec 19, 2005

.....and the Wind said........

May you be as strong as the Oak,
yet flexible as the Birch,
may you stand tall as the Redwood,
live gracefully as the Willow,
and may peace and prosperity
surround you all your days"

American indian saying.

Sylvia and Maitiu

Continue reading ".....and the Wind said........"