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

Sales Tips & Tactics

Do you sometimes struggle to get your message across to a prospective client? You know that what you have to offer is exactly what the prospect needs, but the more you try to make your point, the more you realize that the prospect is tuned to a different wavelength.

A sales call debriefing is an opportunity for the sales manager not only determine the progress with the prospect, but as an opportunity for coaching and education.

By “reading” your prospects’ cues, you can quickly establish rapport and begin to improve your sales proficiency. Your goal as a salesperson is to learn these bonding and rapport techniques and practice them repeatedly.

What can you do to close sales more quickly? If you start with the right people for the right reasons; deal with potential problems in the early stages of the process; rigorously qualify opportunities; and ensure that you and your prospects are on the same page at each stage of the process, you’ll be able to complete the selling process in a shorter period of time ... which in turn means more sales…and more commissions.

Have you ever given a presentation to a prospect who seemed to be showing you nothing but "green lights" ... until you came to the final page of your proposal? If you hold off making a recommendation until after you've qualified the prospect - not only for budget, but for the existence of a problem you can solve and for a mutually workable decision making process - then you'll find your closing ratios rising!

Your strategies for interacting with prospects from the time you first meet them to the time you make a presentation can have a greater impact on your likelihood of closing a sale than the actual aspects of the product or service you have to offer.

Has this ever happened to you? During an initial discussion with a prospect, you make it a point to review your pricing information. You put everything right out on the table. The prospect tells you the price you mention “looks fine” (or is “OK,” or “seems fair,” or is “in the ballpark,” or any similar piece of vagueness). The prospect then tells you to put together a couple of samples, designs, or prototypes. You agree, and you get to work.

The reasons you give a prospect to buy are rarely the reasons a prospect buys. In fact, a prospect sometimes buys in spite of your reasons. Our reasons for buying are a stock list of features that many times mean nothing to a prospect or they simply don’t care about them.

Ask salespeople to list their least favorite selling activities, and you can count on “prospecting” being at the top of the list. And, the least favorite of all prospecting activities is unquestionably making cold calls.

Cold calling: For many of us, the word "cold" is the key. Just the thought of picking up the phone sends a chill up our spines. Unfortunately, if we approach cold calling with an attitude of negativity, we'll communicate that attitude to the prospect.

A good pool of prospects is one of the keys to a successful selling career. Knowing how to prospect effectively keeps a career vital, and is truly the lifeblood of sales. Yet, so many sales professionals overlook the crucial element of having a prospecting plan. With a plan to follow, you can measure your efforts and results.

Often, being a salesperson carries a stigma of being a less than desirable profession. Obviously, that’s not an accurate judgement. Here are 12 steps all salespeople should live by to be recognized as professionals.

Is there anything you can do about your sales cycle? We will discover there are many patterns in the sales world. If we understand the patterns and what causes them, we have a chance to shorten the sales cycle. Many salespeople believe that their sales cycle pattern is set, and it can’t be sped up or done differently. They are convinced that, “It is what it is,” so they follow the outline that has been laid out before them, convinced that they are powerless to change things.

Successful salespeople are often experts at differentiating themselves from the competition. This isn’t a coincidence. It’s vital because if the prospect has no way of differentiating between sales people, they’ll default to their tried and true method, price. Poor and mediocre salespeople are the ones that cut their price and try to low ball a deal. Successful sales professionals avoid the situation and when circumstances place them in that battle, they usually walk away. So as a rule of thumb, if the competition is doing it, do something else.

There is an invisible barrier which holds you back. It was built brick by brick since the day you were born, unintentionally maybe, by people who would have wanted more for you. But, nevertheless, there it is - blocking your path to success. And since it is part of your inner core, it is hard to tear down.

No one in any profession is successful 100% of the time. Keep rejection in perspective as you move toward your goal. 1. Expect your share of rejections. 2. Focus on the long term. Tomorrow you'll barely remember those rude words barked at you today. Next week, you'll have to struggle to recall them. Life goes on.

A major frustration for salespeople is dealing with prospects that can't seem to make a decision. Perhaps the biggest of those frustrations is struggling with prospects who indicate the desire to make a decision (and to do so by a certain date), but when the date rolls around, they invariably need more time.

If you want to excel in the sales game, you only have to follow three simple steps. If you're already at the top of your game, following these steps will take you to higher levels of success. Even if you're at the other end of the success spectrum, in a slump perhaps and ready to throw in the towel, following these three steps will get you out of your slump and on your way to success...guaranteed!

Surprises can sometimes be fun, but not when you’re dealing with a prospect or client. Surprises during a meeting, either from the prospect or from you, can be a deal breaker or, at the very least, compromise a positive relationship between you and your prospect. But, there’s a Sandler technique to avoid this pitfall: Up-Front Contracts.

When you really want (or possibly need) to close a sale, it’s easy to drop into “convincing” mode. You begin to sound like the stereotypical “high-pressure” salesperson explaining the benefits of the various features of your product or service and “justifying” the costs.

For many salespeople, there is an inverse relationship between the size of their pending file (filled with opportunities they are pursuing) and the size of their commission checks.

Have you stopped to think how much the word "IF" is worth? Judging by the way many professionals talk, it must be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Al is a sales rep for a company that designs and implements learning management systems (LMS). He was contacted by Tom, the owner of a business equipment company, who wants to establish an online training program for his remotely located service technicians.

Imagine you and your significant other have decided to catch the latest thriller at the local multiplex movie theater. After purchasing your ticket, you head directly to the new candy station that allows you to choose a few pieces of each of your favorite brands.

One of the issues that salespeople struggle with in the Budget Step is the affordability of their product or service. Salespeople who sell a product or service that they can't personally afford frequently have trouble talking about money.

As you take buyers through the sale, you are dealing with people experiencing varying degrees of fear.

When dual-core computer processors became available, some people immediately bought new computers. There were the early adopters - people who just had to own the latest technology because ... it was the latest technology.

Many sales mangers attempt to manage their salespeople by "managing" their numbers.

The selling profession is not generally considered a high-risk profession, yet salespeople face big risks every time they speak to customers and prospects. What do they risk? They risk uncovering the truth.

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.

Fear could be the most powerful motivator affecting your buyers. In order to maintain an image of power and control, buyers may not reveal the underlying anxieties affecting their decisions.

“If I remember correctly, and I might not have so make sure you tell me, you are getting further and further behind on shipping because your packaging equipment can’t handle your increased business?”

Whether you’re attempting to “get your message across” or struggling to persuade a prospect that your product or service is the best fit for his or her situation, it can feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle.

It sounds heretical for a sales trainer to say, "Stop selling features and benefits," doesn't it? Traditionalists have been preaching features-and-benefits selling for ages.

When you're counting close friendships, loving relationships, acts of kindness, or the gold bars securely stashed away in your secret vault, the answer is, "Yes!" It's better to have more... rather than fewer of them.

Are you avoiding a task (for example: calling on a particular group of prospects, writing an article for a trade publication, or giving a speech to an organization) simply because you didn't consider yourself an expert in the particular endeavor? Perhaps, the perceived complexity of the learning process or amount of time it would take to become an "expert" has discouraged you from making any attempt.

Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, wrote, "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve."

If you could not fail, what would you attempt? Take a few minutes and jot down a few things you WOULD do (not COULD do, but WOULD do) if your success was guaranteed.

Becoming a good professional salesperson requires the same type of training that is required of other good professionals.

You completed your presentation; the prospect said "yes" and committed to have the purchase order faxed to you in the morning. Wait!! Before that commission is bankable, the sale must be closed...really closed.

Typically, salespeople are all too eager to show up on a sales call, present the features, benefits and advantages of their product or service soon after arrival.

Every so often, even if a salesperson’s product or service and company are the best, salespeople have to deal with upset customers.

The assembly line method of manufacturing- a sequential arrangement of specific production processes- is an effective and efficient means of reliably producing products of consistent quality.

While there are several factors that contribute to success in the sales arena, there are five things you must have in order to maximize your potential and the results you achieve.

Why is it that so many salespeople start their selling careers with a great deal of enthusiasm - truly motivated to grow, to succeed, and to advance their careers - and then, somewhere along the way, the motivation fades, and the "career" becomes little more than a job... a way to make a living?

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.

David Sandler’s search for knowledge about why and how people buy coincided with the Transactional Analysis (TA) movement in psychology. TA theory defines three ego states that influence our behavior—the Parent, the Adult, and the Child. Think of these ego states as internal tape recorders where childhood impressions—teachings and associated feelings—are stored.

What motivates you? ... Is there a purpose to your business career beyond making money? A company that wants to achieve more than just making money understands the difference between its mission, which is tactical, and its purpose, which is why the company exists.

Suppose, for a moment, that you are a salesperson or business owner. You’ve been working on an excellent new prospect for several months. If your sales manager or business partner were to ask you how the deal was progressing, you might say, “Pretty well. I’m very hopeful.”

Has this ever happened to you? You’re in the middle of your second or third “good discussion” with a prospect. The prospect seems engaged and positively disposed to work with you. The prospect poses an innocent-sounding question: “Say, how big is your company?”

Many of us have fished at one time or another, or at least seen a fisherman in action. The most common scenario is a line with a baited hook in the water, the fisherman waiting for a strike. When a fish hits, the fisherman yanks the rod up, often resulting in a return to the fisherman of a hook with no bait, and no fish.

Most salespeople want a brighter tomorrow. They want more opportunity, more customers, more business, and of course, more commission. Fortunately, there are numerous things they can do to ensure a brighter tomorrow. So, why aren’t they doing them?

When you hear the word “team,” you think about a group of people working together toward a common goal. If a football team is to win, everyone in the organization – from the last player on the roster all the way up to the owner – has to be on the same page. It shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s the same way in sales.

When you're counting close friendships, loving relationships, acts of kindness, or the gold bars securely stashed away in your secret vault, the answer is, "Yes!" It's better to have more... rather than fewer of them.

Whatever we do, whenever we interact with the world, we do so through our attitude, behavior and technique.

Scheduling appointments with prospects is hard work. You not only have to arm-wrestle with gatekeepers, but then you have to contend with voice-mail. But eventually, whether by sheer persistence or a little luck, you get through to the intended prospects and you schedule appointments. All of those efforts, however, are wasted if you're not properly prepared for those appointments.

The single most important factor to believing that you can achieve your goals is self-esteem. Maintaining a healthy self-esteem is an important component of Sandler's Formula for Success.

For most prospects, facing challenges (solving their problems or achieving their goals) is only a means to an end—realizing an outcome. It’s the desire for that positive outcome that drives all the behaviors associated with meeting that challenge, including the purchasing of necessary products and services.

Are you responsible for the outcomes of your sales team? Here are five things you can do to support your sales team’s efforts in improving their results.

Whenever we interact with the world, we do so through our attitude, behavior and technique.

When you apply a reversing strategy, prospects will reword or expand their question to reveal the motive behind it.

Planning and action are not mutually exclusive events. Once your "action" plan is implemented, you can make adjustments--refinements—based on the results you are achieving.

Do You Possess These Critical Elements for Success?Competence, confidence, and commitment are not only critical elements for success in the sales arena, they are the underpinnings of success in almost any endeavor.

Strategic planning is something many companies undertake, but not as many are successful in implementing them. Spend time working through an implementation plan and include your sales members in that process, your next quarter results will likely see a significant increase in meeting your strategic targets

If your prospect still won’t share any budget information with you, you’re not ready to present anything … because this person has disqualified himself from your sales process. Don't let "price" derail your sale.

Great opportunities begin with 5-star prospects, which in turn lead to great initial meetings. The result of those meetings leads to one of two outcomes based on how well the opportunity measures up to the benchmarks of necessity, reasonability, and feasibility: qualify or disqualify.

Prospects often give salespeople positive buying signals that they are going to close the deal. Salespeople often have "happy ears" hearing what they want to believe is true. It's not always that way.

Often, first-time managers are thrown into their new role with little to no management training. There are a number of signs and traits to look for in your new managers that may signify they need training.

Did you create a pre-call plan before your sales appointment? If you didn't and the sale went wrong, answer and analyze these 8 questions.

If you rush into answering a prospects question, you probably haven't uncovered the real reason they asked. Learn to use "reversing" to understand why the question was important enough to ask.

For some salespeople, the amount of time it takes to secure an initial appointment with a prospect is excessive. For others, the amount of time spent defining and developing the opportunity is extreme. Here are five specific strategies to shorten your selling cycle.

Competence, confidence, and commitment are not only critical elements for success in the sales arena, they are the underpinnings of success in almost any endeavor.

Whatever your goals for 2016, they must be specific. Your ability to see today what you want in the future, and your willingness to develop and implement a plan for accomplishment, will determine whether today’s picture becomes tomorrow’s reality.

Have you ever tried a closing technique that is supposed to transform hesitant prospects into instant customers? The problem with those techniques is that prospect can see them coming and they feel like they’re under attack – which they are.

Don’t waste time, effort, and good will trying to “turnaround” an objection that may not be an objection at all. Instead, use more effective questioning to get clarity on what’s really being said. Your commission numbers will improve.

Successful salespeople make it a point to deliver more than what is expected

As a manager, you are constantly navigating the course for your sales team, department or yourself. When personal visions and goals are in alignment with team visions and goals as well as company visions and goals, a powerful synergy is created throughout the company.

Don’t allow yourself to believe in the “think it over.” The only one of the two who will usually think it over is you, the salesperson! A “think it over” is nine out of ten times just a polite way of saying no.

Reinforcing behavior that we actually want people to end is called enabling. Try these methods to get the respect you deserve as a selling professional.

If prospects tell you that they are “looking into” or “thinking about” something, they probaby are not a prospect. You can’t afford to waste time with prospects who demonstrate that same tendency, despite their willingness—even eagerness—to meet with you!

If you want to get your message across in a meaningful manner—one that leads to an appointment rather than a request for literature—stimulate the prospect’s interest with thought-provoking statements, differentiate your offering in outcome-related ways, and validate the prospect’s recognition of the benefits of those outcomes.

Learn to proactively eliminate eleven common mistakes that will undermine any selling strategy.

When a prospect uses words or phrases that are vague, ask for an explanation. Don’t jump to conclusions. Get the facts.

The ultimate goal of customer service is to meet or exceed customer expectations. Can you define the hallmarks of quality service and products? Here are five suggestions to keep in mind.

Did you ever have a conversation with a prospect who suddenly became unreceptive to perfectly good advice? Be cautious of sounding judgemental. Instead posiiton yourself as a helpful, neutral advisor.

Any time a sales discussion starts out strong, and then dies the moment you move out of the “meet and greet” phase, there’s a very good chance you have lost the sale to your own preconceived notions.

Confirm or correct your understanding of the prospect's message by asking questions or making statements that will prompt the speaker to comment on your reflected message.

The more effort you put into qualifying an opportunity, the more quickly you can develop and close it if it measures up to your qualifying criteria…or move on to another opportunity if it doesn’t measure up.

Your expertise and service are your money in the bank. Don’t give it away! Charge what you are worth, get your price and make it stick.

By engaging your prospect to make clear commitments and to actually do something before the meeting, you’ll spend more of your valuable time with people who are just as invested as you are in producing a positive outcome.

Each time you break through to a higher level of achievement, you automatically carry with you a new comfort zone that must be left behind as you progress even further.

The groundwork you lay in qualifying the prospect is rewarded during the fulfillment phase. The fulfillment phase has four elements that will get you a signature on the dotted line.

Shortening the selling cycle requires more efficient actions. Greater efficiency comes with proper advanced planning and timely execution of scheduled activities.

A good sales plan establishes goals, priorities, timetables, and necessary resources. A sales plan that will achieve your ends has these characteristics...