Sales Call Checklist Module Seven-Stories

STORIES:

Individual people respond to stories about individuals.  Read the book Made to Stick. The authors are Dan and Chip Heath.  They tell a story of two different add campaigns soliciting donations of food for starving people in Africa.  One solicitation gave horrible statistics about literally hundreds of thousands of deaths.  The other spoke of the suffering of one particular seven-year old girl. The individual story about the individual girl’s suffering out performed the overwhelming statistics by far.

Think about the very short beginnings to these stories:

A wolf in sheep’s…

The tortoise and the…

The boy who cried…

You can fill in the story.  And, I will bet that you believe the principal demonstrated by the story.

Get your stories in order.  Have them ready and shorten them.  Then you will have success.  Use one of them in your opening sales statement.  Use an individual story of success each time you counter an objection. Use personal stories to connect when building rapport.

Example of use of a story in in your opening sales statement:

This is John Cameron, with customsalestraining.com.  Joe, over at Joe’s Insurance had me come in last month and coach his appointment setters for a day.  As of today,  Appointments are up by 14% and sales by 22%.  

This is a very specific story about a very specific success that will engage a potential customer.   The story, even with me identifying myself, took fourteen seconds to tell and is all of 37 words long.  Good stories are short.  Good stories are specific and good stories are about someone very similar to the person you are talking to.

Example of using a story to get through to a decision maker when talking to a receptionist:

Joanie, this is John Cameron with customsalestraining.com calling for Mr. Morgan again. I’m not having much luck getting through to him.  Now, when we had so much success over at Jones and Leonard, my contact was their Director of Sales.  Should I be talking to someone else here?

This story with introduction and a question was all of 48 words long and took 20 seconds to tell and ask. Again, the story was short, and specific.  And, the most important thing about the story was that it was true.

Action Items/Activity Triggers 

1. Get your success stories together in one place. You might call them testimonials.

2. Shorten them so that you can tell the meat of the story in less than 20 seconds.

3.  Identify places in your sales process, such as opening sales statement, getting through to the decision maker, preventing and countering objections, where these stories will be useful.

4.  Practice using your stories.

5.  Enjoy greater sales

Posted in Sales Training, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Distorted Thinking Hurts Your Sales

Have you ever gotten out of bed completely down because you had to face something?  Maybe you knew that you were going to have an uncomfortable conversation with your boss or coworker.  The idea of facing rejection on all of your cold calls is just to much for you. Maybe your spouse is in a horrible mood and taking it out on you.  Maybe it was something physical, like lower back pain.

And, it just brought you completely down.  When that happens with me, it’s almost always because of distorted thinking.  There are many forms of distorted thinking.

Buy ReWire my new biotech thriller as an ebook today on Amazon for only $4.99

The distorted thinking patterns that get me, when I let them, are filtering and polarized or black and white thinking. Filtering is seeing something, usually, through a negative filter and filtering out any positives.

Black and white thinking, in my case, is that if something isn’t perfect then everything is BAD.

Example: My back is killing me today.  Instead of remembering that I am in superb shape,  with great muscular definition, fantastic cardio respiratory fitness, wonderful muscle mass and great strength and power, I focus on nerve pain in my sacrum.  Instead of focussing on the fact that I had no back pain for a month and am physiologically 20 years younger than my calendar age, I focus on something temporary and capricious-back pain.

So, in selling, it’s very easy to think that ALL OF YOUR SALES CALLS WILL END IN REJECTION.  This is black and white thinking.  MOST of your sales calls will end in rejection.  Certainly not all.  Somewhere in your prospect list is someone who is fed up with their current vendor.  There is someone who has an immediate need for your product. There is someone who you will  ”click” immediately with.  There is someone who has the money in their budget and needs to spend it or they will lose it.

What kinds of little things are you letting ruin your wonderful life because things aren’t “perfect?” What temporary bad thing have you convinced yourself is permanent? Have that painful conversation with your boss.  Once it’s over, it’s over.  Know that your spouse’s mood will improve and you don’t have to own it. Just be there for them, just like they are for you when you have lower back pain.  And, it might take you a two hundred calls and  thirty painful or boring or inconclusive conversations before you eventually talk to that wonderful potential customer who will become a lifelong client, friend and great source of referrals.

Action Items/Activity Triggers 

1. Look up Distorted Thinking.

2. When you are down, go down the list and see if you are letting one or two of these distorted thinking patterns ruin an otherwise wonderful life.

3. Apologize to your co-workers and loved ones for having a few pissy days when you do let something get you down.

4.  Forgive yourself.  After all, you can’t be perfect. That’s distorted thinking.

Posted in Motivation, Sales Training, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Pre-Sales Checklist. Module Six-Preparing for Objections

More on preparing for sales calls.

OBJECTIONS:

As I said before, one of the best ways to prevent objections is to think about them before they come up and create a series of qualifying questions that answer them.  Many objections are what are called brush-off objections.   I like to think of objections as OGGI or Opportunities to Gain and Give Information.

When you are doing business development you must be able to deal with these brush-off objections.

  1. I’m not interested.
  1. I don’t have time.
  1. I’m happy with my current vendor.
  1. I don’t have any budget.
  1. I tried you before and you didn’t work.
  1. You are too expensive.
  1. Your quality isn’t good enough.
  1. It’s too hard to do business with you.

And, the way to deal with all objections is to use a principal from improvisational comedy.  It’s called “Yes, and…” Rather than “No, but…”

Think about your relationship for your significant others. Suppose you and your wife were discussing where to go on your vacation and your wife suggested staying at her mother’s again.  Would you say, “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard?”  You might, if you really, really wanted to sleep on the couch.

Join this author, John Cameron for a wonderful sales training webinar for one hour a week over seven weeks. John’s famous Selling When You Can’t See the Whites of Their Eyes 357 Page Workbook and the audio CD program is included.

You would probably say, “Sweetie, you make a very good point.  I do love spending time with your mother.  And, we spent the last two vacations with her.  And, what about this  as an idea? I can speak at the convention at the resort for an hour and they will comp us a suite for free for a week.  With your air miles the vacation would be almost free. And, your mom could join us!”

Do you have your “Yes, and…” responses to each of these objections?

Examples:

“I’m not interested.”

“Of course, you’re not interested Mr. Jones. If you were, you would have called us.  And, I completely understand that most people who call on you have no idea how to save you money on your production process.  Billy Bob, over at ABC Plastics thought we were wasting his time too-until we showed him how to save 4% on raw materials and 5.5% on labor on a process I believe is very similar to yours.  I would love to come by, check out your assembly line and see if we could get you that kind of savings.  What would it take to  book an appointment for a short meeting?”

Action Items/ActivityTriggers 

1.  Make a list of all the common objections that you have faced in the past.

2. Prepare counters to them use “Yes, and…” rather than “No, but…”

3. Practice these counters

Posted in Sales Training, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Objections: Re-sell a client after you made a mistake

How to re-sell a customer you lost when you made a mistake.  Good luck!  Making a mistake with a customer and losing someone’s business and then earning it back is a great experience. The mistake you made with this customer and the lost revenue and goodwill was a painful lesson that you will probably learn.

Making a mistake, and then atoning for it, allows you to demonstrate the things that are absolutely necessary to create a great relationship with a client.  You must demonstrate THC-not tetrahydrocannabinol-but demonstrate that you are worthy of your client’s  TRUST, that you can HELP your client and that you  CARE about your client.

Example: Let’s say that you, or someone on your team, made a material error in a  product or service that you provided to a client.  In other words, you or someone on your team, blew it.  If it was someone on your team, many sales people would throw them under the bus.  I suggest that you do not do this and accept full responsibility.

The conversation would go something like this:

Joe, I am so sorry.  I blew it.  I ended up delivering a product to you with the wrong specifications.  You chose to use us as a vendor because you were confident we could deliver the product to at the best combination of price and quality within the time frame you needed.  I didn’t do that. I know we can do what we promised in the future.  I accept full responsibility and ask that you forgive me and tell me this: What would it take to re-earn your business?  

Join this author, John Cameron for a wonderful sales training webinar for one hour a week over seven weeks. John’s famous Selling When You Can’t See the Whites of Their Eyes 357 Page Workbook and the audio CD program is included.

What did you accomplish by the above statement?  First, you reminded the customer that they chose you because you could HELP.  They didn’t choose you at random.  They chose you because you won the competition for their business.  Reminding them again of why they made the choice in the first place is a good idea.

Second, you showed that you cared enough to make the call.  You could have blown them off and simply gone on to the next prospect. You showed that you CARE. 

You also demonstrated the most important characteristic that a client looks for in a sales person; trustworthiness.  You showed that you were willing to admit to and own a mistake.  I will do business with people that I don’t trust.  Case in point-my local cable provider.  I don’t trust them as far as I can throw one of their service trucks.  I have to do business with them because I need download speeds of over 3 Meg. With my cable company I get somewhere between 5 and 20.  The promise 20.  I will do business with other people I don’t trust.  But, and it’s a big BUT.  They must be, by far, the least expensive, have the quickest turn around or the greatest quality.  And, whenever I possibly can, even if means a longer lead time or a higher price or lesser quality that is in acceptable limits, I will go with someone I do TRUST.

You also did two things that are not on the  THC list and are very important.  You demonstrated courage and courageous acts are admirable.  And, you didn’t take the opportunity to throw someone else under the buss.  Accepting personal responsibility is a dying character trait.  Demonstrating this sets you apart.

Action Items/Activity Triggers

1.  Show that you are worthy of TRUST by being truthful and admitting that you made a mistake.

2.  Remind the client of why they chose you to reinforce the fact that you can HELP 

3.  Take the time to follow up with an apology, and ask for their forgiveness to show that you value them and that you CARE .

4.  Be courageous enough to make the call and accept personal responsibility for the problem-even if someone else blew.  After all, they are your client.

 

 

Posted in Sales Training, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Pre-Sales Checklist Part 5. More on Questions

We know that being prepared improves any performance.  You wouldn’t dream of getting up on stage without practice or preparation.  You wouldn’t think of trying to take a test without preparing for it.  Are those things as important as putting a roof over your head, or food on your table or saving for your retirement?  Are those things more important than helping your customers keep their doors open?

Hopefully you are reminded again about why it is so important to prepare before you sell.

More on Questions.

In the last article on questions we asked a keystone or building block question of a potential advertising client who was a contractor,   “How much is your average job?”  This is not a question that gets asked right away.  It has to be set up.

So here is your math question.  If it takes six calls to lead to an appointment and two appointments to lead to a bid and four bids to lead to a job, how many calls does your advertising need to deliver to lead to a job?  48 calls per job.

Join this author, John Cameron for a wonderful sales training webinar for one hour a week over seven weeks. John’s famous Selling When You Can’t See the Whites of Their Eyes 357 Page Workbook and the audio CD program is included.

Example of another important question later in your series of questions:

The important question here is how much is each sale worth?  If you can’t take on any new jobs, then it doesn’t matter.  If you have idle crews on salary, then it matters a lot.  How much could you spend to generate those 48 calls and how confident would you be that we could deliver them at that price?  We have contractors getting 20 calls a month and others getting 80.  And, I have to tell you that there is a direct cause and effect with not only how much they spend, but how much freedom they give us to design the right 30 second radio spot. 

Questions are not asked in isolation.  They must be set up.

Some of my favorite questions in the prospecting process are, “Do you have three minutes now, or is another time better for you?  Would tomorrow morning at ten be better?”

Other great questions with their setup statements:

When selling training:  I know that finding the time to train is tough. What if you were confident that I could reduce your folks’ call reluctance by ten percent, increase their appointments by that same ten percent and increase sales and referrals? Would you be able to invest three hours a week of your rep’s time for six weeks and a few hundred dollars per rep?

Activity Triggers/Action Items.

1. Ask questions in the right order

2. Preface questions with supporting facts

3. Know enough about your target audience to identify the key questions

Posted in Sales Training, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sales Checklist Part Four: Know What Questions To Ask

You are always more effective and efficient when you are prepared.  This series of articles will give you a physical checklist to use before each sales call that will make you much more successful.   How much more successful? You will see a minimum increase of 10% in sales.

QUESTIONS:

Questions are the key.  When you ask questions you show that you care.  The person asking the questions leads the conversation.  What happens when you go into the Doctor’s office?  When you made the appointment they asked you why you wanted to see the doctor.  When you walk in the door the receptionist asks why you made the appointment and when you see the doctor she asks why you have come to see her.  Why do they ask this question at least three times?  They never want to assume anything about your health. And you never want to assume anything about your customer’s business health either.

Questions for Rapport Building:

One of the best ways to build rapport, which is absolutely necessary in selling, is to give information that is increasingly revealing while asking questions that match the information you give.

Example.   Hello Mr. Smith, my name is John Cameron, with Customsalestraining.com and this is a sales call.  I’m calling because a lot of my insurance clients’ sales people had call reluctance, mostly from a lack of skill in things like opening sales statement, turning the gatekeeper into an ally, countering objections, effective voicemail.  If I could help you like I’ve helped so many others in these areas would it be worth looking at?  

 What did I do?  In the 24 seconds I prefaced a question with a couple of pieces of information that built rapport.  I told the future customer who I was, why I was calling, demonstrated truthfulness and competence and then asked a question that could lead to a conversation.

There are questions for each business, when asked at the right place in a conversation, that really open up the sales process and frequently lead to sales.

Join this author, John Cameron for a wonderful sales training webinar for one hour a week over seven weeks. John’s famous Selling When You Can’t See the Whites of Their Eyes 357 Page Workbook and the audio CD program is included.

Let’s take advertising.  Advertising is about delivering eyes or ears to your message and helping convert those eyes or ears into calls, visits or clicks.  A conversation about advertising would lead to the key question.  The key question is all about some form of ROI.

Mr. Contractor, we’re in the business of delivering calls to your phone from qualified potential customers.  What’s an inquiry call worth in today’s market?   And, help me make sure I understand your business model.  Calls lead to conversations. Conversations lead to appointments and appointments lead to bids.  Bids lead to sales.  So the question   is-how many inquiry calls do you need, statistically, to lead to a sale?

This question isn’t the first question you would ask.  It might take ten questions to lead to this question.  And, this question is the key.   More on Questions in the next Article.

Activity Triggers/Action Items:

1. Prepare Questions to Build Rapport

2. Prepare questions to prevent objections

3. Prepare questions to show ROI

Posted in Sales Training, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Pre Sales Call Checklist Part Three Practice and Rehearse

You are always more effective and efficient when you are prepared.  This White Paper will give you a physical checklist to use before each sales call that will make you much more successful.   How much more successful? You will see a minimum increase of 10% in sales.

First, I will go over the important things to cover in a checklist in narrative form.  This will give you the reasoning behind the items on the checklist.   Then I will give you the actual checklist for your personal use.

PRACTICE AND MENTAL REHEARSAL

In other articles we talked about warming up your voice, and body and getting pumped.  Now it is time to talk about practice.  Practice doesn’t have to be role-play.  Role-play helps.  HERE IS THE GREAT NEWS-Olympic athletes have proven that accurate mental rehearsal has 85% of the benefit of practice or role play and it’s much less embarrassing and you can do it on your own.

Get your head in a place where you expect to win.  The best definition of sales is the transfer of enthusiasm.  Confidence leads to enthusiasm and confidence, unless you are born with it, comes from competence.  There are many non-experts who have unfounded confidence.  My goal is to give you real confidence coming from the knowledge that you are going to leave your customer better off than they are now and even in the worst-case scenario, you will DO NO HARM!

Join this author, John Cameron for a wonderful sales training webinar for one hour a week over seven weeks. John’s famous Selling When You Can’t See the Whites of Their Eyes 357 Page Workbook and the audio CD program is included.

KNOWLEDGE

What do you need to know?

Your must know your product or service inside and out.  Not just how it works for the customer, but the things that aren’t perfect.  You must be ready to set your current or future customer’s expectations.   You want to make sure to make few promises and keep them all AND OVER-DELIVER on those promises.

There is something hugely important.  If you overlook this even a great product at a great price and a great presentation won’t help you.  This is your understanding of the power of habit over your customer.   It is much easier for the customer to keep doing what they are doing, even if it costs them more money or time than using your product or service, than it is for them to change.  Everyone is resistant to change.   They are in the HABIT of using another product or service.

Not only must your product and you be superior, you must have a plan in place to make it easy for the customer to change.  If the change is hard then the greatest product or service at the lowest price won’t matter.

Next, you need to know your customer’s business.  Not just that the guy makes and sells pizza.  What’s the pizza business like?  What has a change in the cost of natural gas, or wood for his oven done to his business?  What have increased costs for the ingredients in his natural pizza dough, his cheese, his locally grown produce and locally produced meats, meant to him.  Is he using domestic olive oil and balsamic vinegar or importing it?  What have increased medical costs and workmen’s comp costs meant to him?  Is he still active in the restaurant association?  Your goal is to know your customers business well enough to run it for him when he takes a day off.  You don’t need to be at that level to make your first sales call.  When you do get there it will be very, very hard for anyone to compete with you.

Who is he using for your product or service now? Why should he change?  How can you make it easy for him to change?  Can you make it easy for him to try your product or service on a trial basis for a nominal fee?  Can you arrange a free test for him? Can you arrange quicker deliver or better terms or a better price?

Is he the real decision maker on your product or service or is it his head pizza chef, his wife or his girlfriend?

Activity Triggers/Action Items

1. Have A physical Checklist

2. Practice, and practice can be effective mental rehearsal

3. Make sure you have all the knowledge you need about your customer’s business.

Posted in Sales Training | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Pre Sales Checklist Part Two: Warm Up

You are always more effective and efficient when you are prepared.  This White Paper will give you a physical checklist to use before each sales call that will make you much more successful. You will see a minimum increase of 10% in sales.

First, I will go over the important things to cover in a checklist in narrative form.  This will give you the reasoning behind the items on the checklist.   Then I will give you the actual checklist for your personal use.

The Warm Up

Think about how an Olympic athlete warms up his/her body, focuses their mental and emotional energy and prepares and practices before a competition.  Aren’t you competing for something more important than glory?  You are preparing to take care of your customer, your company, your success, your security and that of your family.

Your voice is especially important whether you are making calls face to face or by phone.  Have you warmed up your voice?  Sing scales in the car on the way to work.  Repeat tongue twisters like She sells seashells by the seashore and Irish wristwatch, Swiss wristwatch, Irish wristwatch, Swiss wristwatch, Irish wristwatch, Swiss wristwatch, Irish wristwatch, Swiss wristwatch.  Then try saying A bucket of red blood, a bucket of black blood, a A bucket of red blood, a bucket of black blood. Focus on saying the ends of each word very clearly.  Before the days of wireless microphones stage performers were taught to project their voices, not by speaking more loudly, but by speaking more clearly.

Your voice is produced through a combination of body elements such as your breath, your diaphragm, the position of your tongue in your mouth, how hydrated your mouth is and very importantly, how relaxed your face is. All these elements come together to give your voice power and believability.

Join the author of this blog, John Cameron, for his best in class selling at a distance webinar, Selling When You Can’t See the Whites of Their Eyes- 7 one hour classes over seven weeks plus 3 Audio CDs and 357 page training manual. 

You don’t see opera singers sitting down during a performance because this closes the diaphragm and restricts breathing.  When your throat tightens or your mouth becomes dry your vocal chords become less flexible and more highly pitched and this translates into a nervous sound.  The listener frequently thinks something like this when they hear you- “He must be lying. Why else would he be nervous?”

If you are making the call face to face it is equally important to prepare your face and voice. And, you must add other warm ups.  You must warm up your body and your handshake.  Warm up your smile.  You smile honestly with your eyes.  A true smile is virtually impossible to fake.   Because you are meeting someone to persuade them to use your wonderful product or service to make more money, save more money or change their life for the better, you should BE SMILING!  Think about how successful other customers have been using your product or service and the smile will appear on your face.

If you are nervous or tense, breathing exercises will help.  Breathe in for a count of four, hold for a count of three and breathe out for a count of four and hold for a count of three and repeat.  I try to listen to comedy on XM radio on the way to sales calls.  Or, I will listen to music or stories that put a smile on my face.  If I am calling from my office I make sure to look at the picture of my daughter on her wedding day or look out at the trees or the American River.

I don’t listen to talk radio and become incensed about the government needing more of my money to waste.  I don’t listen to the latest news about the end of the world as we know it.

I listen to positive uplifting music or talk.  A jaunty peace of music such as Meyer 1B with Yo Yo Ma, Mark O’Conner and Edgar Meyer from Classic Yo Yo Ma, or You’ve Got to Fight for Your Right To Party by the Beastie Boys, or Adele’s Rolling in the Deep or School’s Out by Alice Cooper-whatever gets you happy.

If you have your iPhone with you or your Mac air, watch a video of someone skiing some powder of surfing a nice pipe.

Action Items/Activity Triggers

1. Have a physical checklist and use it before each sales call

2. Warm up physically and mentally before each sales call

Posted in Sales Training, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Pre-Sales Call Checklist Part One

You are always more effective and efficient when you are prepared.  This series of articles will give you a give you a physical checklist to use before each sales call that will make you much more successful.   How much more successful? You will see a minimum increase of 10% in sales.

How important are checklists?  Pilots use a physical checklist before they go up in a plane.  Why?  Checklists save lives.  If you want to see specific examples of how actual checklists save lives in hospitals read Atul Gawande’s Checklist Manifesto.  

Join the author of this blog, John Cameron, for his best in class selling at a distance webinar, Selling When You Can’t See the Whites of Their Eyes- 7 one hour classes over seven weeks plus 3 Audio CDs and 357 page training manual. 

In Checklist Manifesto you will see surgeons forget things that are ingrained in them from their first day in medical school.  You will see that by forgetting these things they endanger patients’ lives.  You will see that by using an actual physical checklist they endanger fewer lives and that the improvement is remarkable.  How remarkable?  Surgeons who used physical checklists in just one area saw a decrease in infections of 40%. Post surgical infections are the biggest accidental killers in hospitals.

This is very important- You must print this checklist and check off each item.  Do not do this mentally.  When surgeons check the items on their checklist mentally, rather than physically checking a box, people die, because they forget important stuff.  The same thing applies in sales.  You will forget things if you do not have and use a physical checklist. 

First, I will go over the important things to cover in a checklist in narrative form.  This will give you the reasoning behind the items on the checklist.   Then I will give you the actual checklist for your personal use.

Activity Triggers/Action Items

1. Have a physical checklist and use this checklist before each call

 

Posted in Sales Training, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How Long Should I Try a New Sales Approach?

How long do you keep slogging away at a new approach, or in a new market, or with a new product or with a new service before you give up or move on?  Good question! I won’t try to teach a statistics course in a short article so I won’t give you a scientific number.  If you want to know a scientific number, and not a “sales model,” then go to a statistician and ask them to crunch the numbers for you.   For a rough guess, let’s assume your sample size would have to be over a hundred selling conversations. If you are smiling and dialing, that probably means somewhere between a thousand and two-thousand phone calls.  Run the numbers and that means, even at a hundred calls a day, somewhere between ten days and twenty days, just to find out if you are on the right track!

That means two to four weeks of calling on customers.  If you are making outside calls, chances are you will talk to a higher percentage of decision makers and be able to make fewer calls.  If your territory is geographically small, you can probably call on twenty to thirty potential customers a day, counting on seeing one out of five or so.  This would mean you could make eight presentations a day.  So, two and half weeks worth of work just to find out if you are on the right track!

Selling When You Can’t See the Whites of Their Eyes-Selling at a Distance Webinar sign up.  7 classes over seven weeks plus 3 Audio CDs and 357 page training manual. 

These numbers only make sense if you have a short sales cycle. If you are in the long sale business, as I am, then it could take six months to a year to figure out if it is time to move on.  I am a speaker, trainer and consultant in leadership, management, project management and sales.  Getting into a training budget can mean a time line of up to a year.

There is a way to find out if you are making headway even in big-ticket, long-cycle sales.  You must have a smaller product to sell that has great value and is within the means of most decision makers to buy without getting approval from a higher up.  In my case I sell audio training coupled with workbooks on the sales training side and webinars on the leadership, management and project management side.

Another way to gauge success is by how eager people are to read your blog or subscribe to your newsletter or to attend your “free” webinars or talks.  If you are packing them in to your talks or getting great feed-back on your webinars or free tools, that can be a good sign that you have opportunity.  A good sign is not the same as being able to make your mortgage payment or send the kid to a good school without taking down a student loan.

Another thing to consider is timing.  You can have a great product and sell it in to the wrong cycle or a terrible product and sell it into a great cycle.  Example:  A monkey could have made money selling real estate or mortgage loans in 2005 or 2006 in a lot of US markets  The best realtor in the world would have had a tough time selling in the same market in 2010.

I have bailed on sales process and sales cycles way too late and bailed way too early.  Learn from my pain and have a plan.  Stick to it.  And, then, just in case you hit the cycle at the wrong time, dust off your sales process and try it every six months or so.  Another thing to think about. It could be you.  Some folks can sell the heck out of one product or service and be terrible at another.

Action Items/Activity Triggers

  1. Run a big enough test to be sure, say a thousand calls for a short sales cycle product
  2. On big ticket or long sales cycles products or services, judge success by entry level products or readership of blogs, white papers or webinar attendance.
  3. The problem could be the sales person and not the product or services you sell.

Try a new sales process or product long enough for your test to be statistically valid.  Because of business cycles, you might be bucking a trend.  Try another time.

 

Posted in Sales Training | Leave a comment