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Mercury Professional Development, Inc. | Phoenix, AZ

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One of the distinguishing characteristics of top performers in sales 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.  This is might be seen when the salesperson's outlook may be disturbed for hours or even days at the very thought of going into a fearful situation, such as cold calling.

Afterburn is the flip side of reachback. We’ve all experienced it. It’s what happens when a past event has a lasting negative influence on our present behavior. 

Read on to find out how to avoid these sales killers.

If you lose a big sale, have a bad month, or don’t make quota, what is your typical first response?
For many salespeople, there is a temptation to externalize.  A human relations model called Transactional Analysis helps us understand why we don't take personal responsibility, and how to address this gap.

A key success factor for businesses and professionals alike is identifying target metrics, and holding yourself and your team accountable.  

Sandler's sales management survey asks how many sales staff are achieving target results.  How does your team compare?

Stay Out Of The Box!
Vincent’s closing numbers were not what he had been hoping for. He asked his manager,
Lynnette, what she thought the problem might be. After a little role-playing, Lynnette
suggested that Vincent was spending too much time selling “from inside a box.”  

He was getting trapped answering questions from the prospect, before he had an understanding of the prospect's needs.

People hate prospecting, and that avoidance leads them away from it as their business grows. Get back to the basics of introductions, getting referrals, networking events, and even making cold calls.

Do you understand the prospect's decision process?  Are you reaching the decision maker?  Mary Crisci shows us how to systematically understand how the decision will be made, who will be involved, and what needs to happen.  The Decision step is step 5 of the Sandler 7-step sales process.

Successful prospecting is the combination of sales behaviors, attitude and techniques. We lead with behavior. And then we ensure our prospecting techniques are effective. Prospecting behaviors include....

Stripping line is a trick familiar to experienced anglers. Novice fishermen, when they feel a fish nibbling on their bait, try to set the hook by yanking the line. They usually end up with an empty hook—no fish—because the fish was only nibbling; it hadn’t swallowed the bait. That strategy is analogous to attempting to close a prospect at the first sign of interest or enthusiasm.