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Danny Wood Enterprises, L.L.C. | Rutherford, NJ | 201-842-0055

Qualifying

Too many salespeople are willing to perform free services for their customers without any discussion. It’s as though by performing these extra, services the salesperson hopes the customer will give him future consideration in return. Not a bad idea … if customer understands there is value and effort associated with the service.

Characteristics of top sales performers is the ability to avoid two common, self-imposed mental handicaps: reachback and afterburn. Reachback is what happens when an impending event begins to have a negative influence on our attitude and behavior. Afterburn is what happens when a past event has a lasting negative influence on our present behavior.

If you lose a sale or something goes wrong in your life, who is at fault? When you blame others, you give outside people and events control over your life. When you take personal responsibility, you put yourself in a position to fix the most important thing you can ever fix—yourself.

Discover transactional analysis, a human relations model of three ego states; Parent Child, and adult.

Too often, we box ourselves into situations when we fall into the trap of answering questions a prospect poses … and we quickly find that we have reached a premature, and usually unnecessary, dead-end in the conversation. The key to avoiding this outcome lies in recognizing that prospects rarely ask the "real" question up front. In order to understand the true intent behind the question, it is usually necessary to ask several questions. In general, it takes about three questions to uncover what’s really driving what we’re being asked.

Determine a prospect’s budget using a questioning technique called “bracketing.” By suggesting a dollar range such as between $30,000 and $45,000, you can identify what amount the prospect is willing to pay for your product or service. With a range in mind, you can continue strategic questioning to uncover the real number and what the solution is worth to the prospect.

Salespeople describe on a regular basis how they spend 5 - 20 hours a week preparing proposals for business they are hoping to get. However, most of the time their efforts are unsuccessful.

Why are we compelled to provide proposals when our gut tells us we are wasting our time? Let's explore some of the reasons we feel inclined to provide proposals.

The “stripping line” is a sales technique taken from experienced anglers. They understand that they’ll have a better chance of hooking the fish if they don’t yank the line at the first nibble. Instead, they strip some line from the reel and create slack. The fish then pulls the bait deeper in the water and, feeling more secure, swallows it—and the hook. You can use this technique to get clarity on what’s really happening in the buyer’s world. Here’s how.

Troy Elmore, Sandler trainer, shows you how to succeed with the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques needed to be more successful at dealing with the competition and selling a crowded marketplace. Get the best practices collected from around the world.

Listen Time: 21 Minutes

How many times have you thought a sale was closed only to have the prospect call you, or leave you a voicemail, text, or email message, cancelling or delaying the order? All that hard work … and at the eleventh hour the prospect backs out of the deal. Another commission killed by buyer’s remorse!

Guess what? That doesn’t have to happen. There is a proven process for eliminating buyer’s remorse. It’s called the Post-Sell Step.

Many salespeople believe that they should respond to all proposal requests that come across their desks where the scope of the work falls within the capabilities of their companies. It’s easy to see the allure. Working on an opportunity that “fell out of the sky” is far more desirable than “beating the bushes” to turn up an opportunity.

Desirable, yes. But, is it smart?

The technique of answering a question with a question, or reversing, is particularly effective in the early phases of a discussion with a prospective buyer. Keep yourself out of conversational boxes and gain a much clearer understanding of the emotional intent behind prospect’s questions.

Excellent salespeople recognize that stellar results are only achieved by implementing their well-honed skills within the framework of well-designed systems. They continually strive to improve and perfect the strategies and processes they employ. For them, nothing is left to chance. They have elevated the tasks of initiating relationships, supporting relationships, asking questions, analyzing customers’ and prospects’ requirements, and crafting and presenting best-fit solutions to an art form. And they are all about process improvement.

Perhaps the easiest way to avoid wasting time with questionable opportunities is to be more selective about which ones you allow to enter the pipeline in the first place. A more stringent “pre-pipeline” screening step may be worth considering. What are the criteria for entering that active phase of your pipeline?

Salespeople often feel they must present complex solutions & proposals believing the perceived valued is greater or to justify to cost. Not necessarily so. Simple, well-organized, and concise solutions are easier for the prospect to connect with.

For some salespeople, the vagueness of their initial prospect meetings carries through to their eventual presentations. They fail to establish clear connecting links between the elements of their proposed offer and the specific aspects of the prospect’s requirements. Instead, their presentations focus too narrowly on their product or service, their company’s capabilities, and in some cases, on themselves.

If prospects don’t learn anything new by meeting with you, are you contributing any real value to the meeting? No. And, if you’re not contributing any real value to the meeting, will prospects have compelling reasons to do business with you? Again, the answer is “No.”

When you first meet with a new prospect, how do you position your product or service? How do you characterize its various features, functions, and advantages? What motivates people to buy? The prevalent theory is that people buy to either gain pleasure…or avoid pain.

Having a big pipeline of “prospects” is typically seen as desirable. The more prospects you put into the pipeline, the more will eventually emerge as customers. At least that’s the theory. And the theory is partially true. Some of the people you put in the pipeline will become customers. The question is, “How many will be customers and how long will it take for them to materialize from the other end of the pipe?”

At Sandler Training, we believe in not solely talking about features and benefits during your sales call, but rather focusing on the prospect’s needs. However, there is a time for presenting, once you have qualified the opportunity. Once a prospect is fully qualified in Pain, Budget, and Decision, then it is time for you to make the presentation, and you want to make that presentation as persuasive as possible.

If your goal is to find more prospects, get more and better referrals, and make more commission dollars in 2016 than you did in 2015, consider upping your social selling game. Here are four quick tips that will help you to avoid some common mistakes online.

Creating an effective sales pipeline can be a massive headache for sales leaders because reps have been known to stuff the pipeline with opportunities that have zero chance of closing. In a previous life, I took over a product specialist role selling a web-based media monitoring and crisis communications program. My first six weeks in that role was spent culling a $3 million pipeline down to $160,000 of real, qualified opportunities

Does this sound familiar to you? Prospect A says, "This looks very good. I think there's an excellent chance we'll do business." The salesperson thinks, "I've got one." Prospect B comments, "Your price is higher than we expected." The salesperson thinks, "I'll have to cut the price to close the deal." Prospect C reveals, "We were hoping for a shorter delivery time." The salesperson thinks, "I'll have to push this through as a rush order to get the sale."e