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Sales Training

Believe it or not, your parents were wrong. Money actually does grow on trees.

Skeptical? Don’t be. Just be willing to ask yourself: what kind of tree? And the answer is: a referral tree.

Think about how many referrals you received over the past, say, twelve months. Why did you get them? Were you being proactive? Were you utilizing a system for generating them? Did you make a point to ask clients to send referrals your way?

Elaine’s sales manager, Tom, had an unexpected question for her during their weekly one-on-one coaching session. It sounded like this:

“What are you going to do to cut down on your TIOs?”

You may have heard of the popular Sandler selling tool known as “reversing” and wondered what it was all about. No, it has nothing to do with backing your car up.
Reversing simply means you answer every question from a prospective buyer with a question of your own.

It's a simple skill that can help your sales team close more sales.  Let's learn more....

When you're in a sales call, the prospect should be talking 80% of the time. Use Sandler's Reversing technique to be the one who is asking the questions.

Our clients are asking for help: 

  • Help the sales team be successful in their new remote work environment.
  • Help the leadership successfully lead an all remote team.

One of the tools we recommend for successful sales professionals is competency assessments. And part of the competency assessment is identifying which competencies are important for a given role. In this framework, here’s 7 competencies for success as a remote leader:

Certain events or activities trigger companies as your potential client. Identifying these trigger moments is vital to your prospecting strategy.  They can drive marketing channels, sales channels, partnerships and messaging.  Based on the trigger moments, we can identify what pain indicators would be relevant, and how to intercept our prospect when they hit the trigger moments.

Aligning people's skills and aptitudes with the right role is vital to both their success and the success of your team. Yet, too many times, we rely on gut feel, or resumes to make this critical determination. As you might expect from a company focused on repeatable processes, Sandler has a step-by-step process for evaluating both your sales positions, and your people.

But let's start with the current state of most sales teams. Sandler's Sales Leadership research posed this question about role alignment to hundreds of sales managers.  The results?  About 40% of sales leaders are confident that they have the right people in the right roles.

No matter what the future holds, it will include allot more video meetings. As a result, our capability to sell remotely is an increasingly important capability. Let's look at 4 specific tips for successful remote selling.

1. Understand your ....

We don't have to like the change to embrace it.  Some changes are beyond our control.  But our reaction to the change is within our control.  

The Sandler Success Triangle says that success is a combination of Behavior, Attitude and Technique.  Which do you think is more important?

Personally, I'll start with Behavior, though I need... 


Driving successful sales can always be a challenge. In an economic shutdown and downturn, a success attitude is more important than ever.
Good techniques underlie successful behaviors. Yet maintaining an attitude of success holds it all together.
With today's selling challenges mounting, we need ...

I just finished an audio-only call. Funny how fast we get used to video calls, where teleconferences are now the odd-man-out.

The teleconference experience brought to mind the basics of communication: 1) body language (55%) 2) tone & pace, (38%) 3) the words (7%). While video calls, don't have the same level of body language communication as in-person meetings, the difference between video and teleconference was stark.

Perhaps most striking was the collisions of people talking over each other. Without the video, we lack the visual cues to signal who wants to talk next. Instead, we jump in, and if we're lucky, no one else jumps simultaneously. Or, we announce our intent "This is Mark....", since we can't visually see the name-tags that video provides.

And then there's the broader differences. After an hour-long teleconference, I don't feel like I "met" anyone new. There's dramatically less bonding and rapport, since I couldn't connect a voice and a key point to a face or a name.

Soon we'll have more options for in-person meetings. But remote meetings will remain more important than they've ever been in the past. Get comfortable with video calls quickly. Lesson's learned for all professionals:

Learn the "etiquette" and best practices for running an effective online meeting.
Learn to observe the body-language and ques, whether online or in-person, you'll increase your communication effectiveness.
Learn the tools. Breakout rooms, polls, quizzes; Chat. All these enhance the experience.

Managing your team to achieve quota doesn't have to be a guessing game.  Many sales managers and owners share their frustration that forecasting and pipeline management is not reliable enough.  Certainly, with the changing economy, this will increasingly be the case.  Yet, we can take some definitive steps to increase our confidence level, and identify where gaps are developing.  Let's take a look at...

As sales professionals, we all strive to achieve being a trusted advisor, as opposed to a vendor. But are we really? Mary Crisci shares with us how to use "Fuzzy Files" as a tool to become a trusted advisor. Among the many reasons to be a trusted advisor is...

Examining you and your team's sales performance starts with a diagnosis. Oour '4S' sales assessment tool can help you get started.

It's natural to be unsettled when confronting dramatic change. Yet, if we look at change as an opportunity, we can succeed. It all starts with attitude.
Selling remotely is a critical new skill set.  Embrace is quickly as an opportunity for you to get ahead of your competition.

With a shift in our behavior driven by working at home, we all need to consider new prospecting activities supporting our remote selling. Social selling, using platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook, is likely to enter your mix of remote selling prospecting tools.

There are many aspects of social selling:

  • A referral/introduction tool
  • A ....

How to use emails and DM for prospecting.

As our world changes, so must we adapt.  Selling remotely is a key new skill to master quickly.  Sandler offers our Success Triangle as a framework to help you adapt and succeed at selling remotely.  The Success Triangle focuses on three areas for your success:  Behavior, Attitude and Technique.  Let's look at each of these...

Common wisdom is that buyers lie. The reality is... buyers don't lie, prospects lie... 

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.

Have you ever answered a prospect's question about a product or service only to wish later that you hadn't? In professional selling answering questions too quickly can hurt us.

Have you ever assumed something that turned out wrong? I know I have.

Have you ever interpreted a statement as a question?

Questioning strategies are vital in understanding and motivating your prospect. However, effective question strategies require discipline. We need to understand how to reverse a question. How to find emotion. And, when to shut up and listen.

Let's use a third party story to illustrate one such questioning strategy.


Carlos was in a great mood.....

People don't buy features and benefits.  They buy solutions to their problems.  Their motivation to solve their problem with your product is based on you finding and understanding their "pain".  Once we know their pain, we're equipped to not only solve it, but to close the sale.

A young kid who graduated from high school and after a couple of interviews, landed a salesperson at a big box store. Working in the air conditioner and heater department, a customer asked, "Can you please help me pick out a heater?"  After some awkward questions (he didn't know much about the products), the customer bought from the young man.  It turns out, he was a very effective sales person.

However, later, as he gained product knowledge, and wanted to impress the customers with his expertise, his sales fell off. 

What happened?

Learn to ask questions, "like a dummy", on purpose.  It's disarming to the customer, and allows the customer to share their needs.

A young ambitious sales professional wished to be top dog, not just in his company, but in his industry, so he sought counsel from a wise man. "Tell me, oh wise man, what do I need, in order to be the best sales professional in my business?"

What does a spilled box of candy have to do with a sales call? Everything.

It's all about free consulting; Giving your information away for free without anything in return.

Ask yourself: If they already have your information, if they already have your pricing, do they ever really need to talk to you again? What’s to stop them from taking your information and shopping your competitors? What would you do in that situation if you were the prospect? Be honest. You’d shop around, wouldn’t you?

If you manage your sales process well, closing is the easiest part of the sale. In the Sandler System, Fulfillment is when we provide a proposal or a presentation. It comes only after we've followed all the steps that lead to this point, including

1. Bonding and Rapport
2. Up Front Contract
3. Pain
4. Budget
5. Decision
Now we're ready to present, but not before setting the ultimate up front contract. A yes/no decision when the presentation/proposal is presented.

Too many salespeople are willing to perform free services for their customers without any discussion whatsoever. The salesperson hopes the customer will give him some consideration in return.  But hope is not a strategy.  A few simple questions can help ensure your customer values the extras you provide.

People who set goals achieve more, even if the goals are completely achieved. The Sandler Goal-Setting process helps us set goals and build plans across all areas of our personal and business life.

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.

Do you ever feel like you're still a little kid trapped in an adult body? Maybe you just want to let loose and have fun? Or maybe you flash back to commanding or disciplinary messages from a parent or teacher?

A psychological concept called Transactional Analysis plays a critical role in your sales success. For one, we can't allow our inner child to attend our sales meetings. There's no place for the sales professional's silliness, reluctance or fear in a sales call. And while we don't want OUR child in the sales call, we DO want to talk to the prospects "Child". We want to make an emotional connection with their desire for fun, or safety. Read on for a brief ...

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.

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.

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....

Diane, a recent sales hire, is debriefing a sales call with her manager, Luis.  Luis said, “In your meeting, you immediately answered her question about delivery-time windows.”  Diane thought for a moment, and then said: “Was it a problem?” Diane remembered Luis teaching Diane about “reversing” – the technique of answering a prospect’s question with a question.

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. Some of the benefits
associated with reversing are....

Prospects don't always share the full picture with you.  Sometimes, they even use you for "free consulting".  Ensure your prospects are qualified before investing the time to provide a quote.  <Go to the Video>

Do A Reality Check
Eliza, a new sales hire, had posted an abysmally low closing ratio in her first 60 days on
the job. She was spending most of her time with prospects who ended up picking her brain
for advice and information … and then disappearing. Frank, her manager, asked her
during a coaching session why she thought that was happening.....

Are all of your customer facing staff prospect aware? Do they know what cues to listen for that may point to additional growth opportunity?
If you’re like many of the successful companies we talk to, the answer may be no. We all know that growing our business with our existing clients represents one of the most direct opportunities. However, all too often, our staff that is directly in front of the client on a regular basis are not prepared or trained to be prospect aware.

Using our bonding and rapport tools effectively is vital to developing our prospect's pain points. Thus we need to develop the trust that enables the prospect to reveal their true emotional pains, and then nurture them as we explore the pain. Revealing this pain not only builds the prospect's conviction to do business with us, but also creates an intimate bond between us and our prospect. This is a bond that is sustainable and the basis for a trusted advisor relationship.

Do you know how to get your prospect to listen to you? When you're on a cold call? When you're at a networking event? First technique. Break their habit loop with a pattern interrupt. .....

In sales, you want to get the "yes" or “no” as soon as possible so you can move forward. Otherwise, your prospect might drag you along for weeks on end without giving a definitive answer. To be an effective salesperson, you must be an effective communicator. This is where Negative Reverse can help

Myra, a sales manager, scheduled a meeting with George, a salesperson who reported to her, to discuss his closing ratios. She was concerned about the high number of presentations George was making that were resulting in a “let’s think it over” response.

Are "selling" ... or "telling?" Highlight a potential problem. Get the prospect talking about it ... then shut up! Here's a reliable selling principle: during any given sales meeting, the prospect should be mostly talking and the salesperson mostly listening. David Sandler suggested that the prospect should be talking about 70 percent of the time. Typically, however, the opposite occurs. The salesperson feels compelled to talk about as many features, benefits, and unique selling points of his product or service as time permits ... in an attempt to "capture the prospect's interest." "Selling" is not about "telling." It's about...

Mario was well ahead of his monthly quota, so he was surprised when Jane, his sales manager, asked him to set a higher sales target for the quarter
During their meeting, Mario smiled and said, “I thought I’d get a gold medal after the good month I just had – not a higher target!”



Two key aspects of the Sandler sales system are: 
- Don't be a sales person. People don't want to be sold, but they want to buy. Create an environment where people feel comfortable buying.
- Understand human psychology. That means understanding and being able to understand your prospect, as well as understanding yourself.

Once you’ve identified a goal that really matters to you, you’ll be more likely to attain it if you put the power of visualization to work on your behalf. Visualization is only one part of the goal-setting process, but it’s a vitally important part. It makes a goal seem much more real and attainable and harnesses the extraordinary power of your subconscious mind.

Some people are natural born sales people. Not me. I started my career as an engineer, and would never have imagined myself as a sales person when I left college. Yet, with a sales system, Sandler in this case, sales can become a transferrable skill. The Sandler sales system gives us a process and a toolkit so we know how to manage the sales process, step by step.

Mark’s sales manager asked him for his sales forecast for the month. What will really close?  Will Mark miss his forecast again?  ....

Will, a new salesperson, had just begun a face-to-face meeting with Maria, the CEO of a big company that Will’s manager would have dearly loved Will to close. Right after the two sat down in Maria’s conference room, Maria asked:

“So, Will – how much do you know about our firm?”

No sooner did Will hear those words than he embarked on a long monologue about all the research he did to prepare for this meeting. It’s quite a speech. In fact, it takes him about ten minutes to cover everything. If he’d been watching Maria a little more closely, he’d have noticed her eyes beginning to glaze over at about the fourth minute.

People want to buy, but the don't want to be sold to. Successful professional sales people learn detailed bonding and rapport techniques to help their prospects feel comfortable and in control. Use your bonding and rapport techniques, in combination with a solid understanding of the prospect's psychology to build and sustain trust. With a trusted relationship, you can ask the probing questions that will enable the prospect to buy.

Is Your Team Delivering on Your Customer Service Promise?

Bill, a veteran salesperson with a deep hesitation about approaching prospects online, had been trying to gain traction for months at a company called Acme Logistics. A competitor had won all of Acme’s business, but Bill felt certain that if he could secure a meeting with the company’s CEO, Mary Moore, he could make a powerful case for winning Acme as a client.

Ken’s closing ratio had been the lowest on the team for four months running. Juanita, his manager, asked him to meet with her privately so they could figure out, together, what the possible obstacles to better performance might be.

Sam was surprised when his boss, Juanita, called him into her office, closed the door, sat him down, and asked him:

“So what is it you guys do?”

Milt had missed his sales quota for three straight quarters. Maria, his new sales manager, had tried to get Milt’s previous manager, Bob, to share his thoughts on why Milt was consistently failing to hit his targets. Bob’s answer was direct: “The guy just flat-out doesn’t care about hitting quota. He’s not cut out for sales anymore. He used to be committed. Now he’s lost interest. Senior management is giving him one more shot. If he can’t cut it this quarter, with you, the plan is to let him go. This is Milt’s moment of truth.”

Betty’s quarterly numbers were low. Her manager, Milt, asked her to do some role-plays so they could identify potential areas for improvement. They spent about 20 minutes roleplaying through various scenarios – at which point Milt called a time-out and asked, “Betty, do you realize you’re positioning us in exactly the same way with every person to whom you speak?” 

Jane was struggling. Most of her deals weren’t moving forward, and her quarterly income target seemed well out of reach.

Too often, sales professionals make one fundamental mistake that could be costing them thousands in commissions. They believe that their job is to ... 

Actions speak louder than words
Many sales organizations get caught up in the details of educating or convincing their prospect to buy. Some sellers might even ask “What do we need to do to earn your business?” and worry about what they can do to facilitate the buying process. “What do you see as next steps?” is another common question that salespeople ask. These sellers lose sight of the fact that it’s the prospect that needs to do something for a sale to happen.

Juan’s sales numbers for the quarter were sharply down; lately, he felt he was struggling with his prospecting. He asked his manager Anita for help.

Bonding and rapport is the toolset we use to understand and interact comfortably with prospects and allow them to build trust. Among these tools are a pattern interrupt, active listening, mirroring and matching, as well as the psychology of interactions among people.

Juanita, three months into her first sales job, was having problems with her closing numbers. Her ratio was the lowest on the team, and she was far behind her quota for the month. She asked her boss Cliff for help.

At about the forty-minute mark of a productive coaching discussion – a session in which Juanita had addressed many tough questions – she found herself face to face with what Cliff called “the last difficult question of the day.” Here’s what it sounded like.

Referrals and introductions should be central to building a quality pipeline for our business. However, in my research, most of us are leaving up to 75% of the available referrals and introductions on the table..... 

Prospects have their own system for managing a sales call. And, as a sales professional, if you don't have a system you're probably falling victim to the prospect's system. The four-step prospect's system:

Are you selling Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions to non-technology companies?
Or perhaps data center solutions, enabling your clients to put their data in the cloud?
Maybe digital marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), or inbound marketing?

Customer service is an interesting aspect of any business. Whether you call it inside sales or customer care, your frontline employee may have the most difficult job in the company. Do you find that your most difficult customers and situations are handled by your least trained and lowest paid employees first? Have you ever cringed when listening to one of your frontline people on the phone? Do you find your staff to be too strict with the policies or too loose?

By  Mike Montague

The middle of a selling situation is not the right time to think about what questions to ask. We need to prepare our questions in advance. Start by developing pain indicator questions that help your prospect reveal their challenges.

Rosita had been behind quota before, but never by this much and never for this long. When her manager, Sam, offered to take her out to lunch, she figured she was either looking at very good news ... or very bad news.
“There’s no easy way to say this first part,” Sam said quietly once they were seated at their table, “so I’ll just say it. You’re on probation. You’ve got sixty days to turn things around or we’re letting you go.”

Even the best performers improve with practice and coaching. The world's best athletes don't rely only on their raw talent or even the skills they develop on the playing field.

Sales challenges can be either technical or conceptual. Technical challenges are specific skills and tools. Conceptual challenges are reflect our personal mindset and comfort level in various sale solutions.

Time is the most valuable thing you own. When you lose it, you can never get it back. make the prospect earn your time.

Have you ever waited for the end of your proposal or presentation to reveal your price to a prospect? Did you surprise your prospect? There is a better way.

Most of us are on a never ending quest to refine our 30 second commercial. Here's a few tips to consider for yours...

Understanding our prospect's behavior and decision process helps us be more effective. Technology professionals are often analytical types. Knowing how they behave and process information helps us sell naturally to their style.

Negative reversing is a technique where you play hard to get in the sales process. You take something away, and let the prospect pursue it.

Arizona Technology Council Appoints Mark Kirstein and Linc Miller of Sandler Training as Facilitators of the Council’s Phoenix Executive Roundtable

Do you have a clear and explicit agreement with your prospect about what's going to happen next? Did you hear 'smoke screen' comments in your exchange and avoided asking for clarity? This is mutual mystification.

We've all failed. We've all had successes. How much do you learn from each? Our failures sow the deep lessons learned that sets up the foundation for our wins.

People buy emotionally, and justify their decision logically. Use the Sandler Pain Funnel to get beyond surface-level problems down to the emotional reasons for your prospect to buy.

Sandler's "Dummy Curve" is when you act confused or uncertain to help your prospect draw their own conclusions.

Each of us has our own comfort zone—the assortment of choices we feel comfortable with. It’s unique to each of us influenced by our genes and life experiences. Typically the out-of-comfort-zone emotion is fear of change. Feel familiar? Then watch out.

Have you become satisfied and comfortable with yourself and your work? Have you become comfortable in the status quo? Are you comfortable with how your “book of business” is performing? Watch out. It’s at times like this when you can find your world is not as stable as you think.

Here’s one simple way. Apply the 90/30/20 rule. This rule is simple: - People remember 20% of what they hear - They remember 30% of what they see - And…. They remember 90% of what they do So, how do we leverage this rule when we’re engaging potential clients?

To create a great 30 second commercial, consider the “what do you do” question from the perspective of a prospect in pain who eventually turned into your happy customer.

Maria was quite certain she’d laid the groundwork for a really big order. Her prospect, Bert, was asking lots of questions during her presentation. He was smiling a lot. He was nodding his head. He was sending all kinds of classic “buy signals.” Eventually, Maria learned from Bert’s assistant that her company had lost the deal at the last minute to a competitor. What happened?

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.

For many salespeople, having a full pipeline not only helps their self-confidence, but helps their sales manager have confidence that they are on track to stay on quota. However, it’s critical that opportunities in the pipeline are qualified and real. Prospects that don’t progress or close can be real time sinks.

Take this short quiz to get a free, instant assessment of your overall sales fitness and tips for improvement. You'll also have the option to schedule a live, 30-minute, in-depth analysis of your sales fitness results. The quiz is easy, fun and takes only about two minutes. Work rapidly and don't spend too much time on any one response. Be honest and trust your first instincts! After the quiz you'll be asked to create a profile so you can view your results and personalized tips now and whenever you want.

Price becomes a roadblock when you present a product or service with a price tag that is misaligned with the prospect’s expectation. Either you didn’t uncover the prospect’s price expectations prior to your presentation, or if yo did, you ignored it and presented something higher than the prospect's expectations. Either way, price was not the real problem, you are!

Each prospect has a different level of discomfort or desire for your good solution. Let’s call that motivation whether positive or negative--“pain.”

Supervision emphasizes the use of authority. Coaching places more emphasis on persuasion, planning, encouragements, and repetition as a means of improving performance.

Prospects lie. Not because their bad people, but because they're defensive against overly aggressive sales people. Don't take it personally. Just learn how to help your prospect feel at ease and build trust and rapport.

The first thing you need to remember in your sales process is that your questions just begin when the prospect first tells you what they believe to be their "problem." When you treat their first symptoms with some skepticism, and follow up with carefully selected questions, you'll find that the real problem will later reveal itself.

Too often you may hear “let’s see what you’ve got” or "send me a proposal", which turns into a premature presentation (aka, free consulting). Maybe it matches your prospect’s desires—maybe not. It can be a wild shot in the dark. Try a better way. Get some answers first…

A winner has alternatives, a loser puts all the eggs in one basket. Maybe I should plan my sales call… I’ll say this…he’ll say that. Then, I’ll say this, and he’ll probably counter with that. And then I’ll bring this to the table…and I’ll win! And, you’ll probably be wrong.

How often do you promise to “try?” “I’ll try…” When you talk to prospects, clients, family or others…what they hear is a lack of commitment. Stop it! Eliminate that little word…”try”…from your excuse quiver....

You probably have some features about your product or service that you think make you the obvious choice . But you can't assume your prospect thinks the same way that you do. In fact, if you 'pitch' those benefits, you're really trying to read your prospect's mind! And it probably won't work. -Video-

Avoid talking about the advantages and benefits of your products or services until you've determined what they can do for your customer

As a pro in your business, you need to be skeptical (in a kind way) and diagnose the symptoms the prospect brings you. Play doctor—by asking the questions to reveal the underlying causes.

Your prospect should be the one talking.

Your knowledge of your product and industry is really important. However, if you’re not careful, it can be a thorn to your sales effectiveness.

We often think we have to overcome a prospect's objections. Instead, we need to ask better questions, get clarity and lead the prospect to overcome their own objections.

Have you ever made a prospecting phone call whose central message sounded something like this? We’ve helped our clients (X, Y, and Z) to deliver (so-and-so benefit) with our (Such-and-Such brand product/service), which has (so-and-so feature). I’d love to meet with you ....

When you’re selling… put “educating” your prospect aside. This means you don’t start with product literature, demos or trials. Instead, start your sales meeting by asking really good questions. In a good sales meeting, you need a dialogue, not a monologue.

Ask us about our free sales training scholarships

Your 'best' presentation results from everything you do BEFORE you deliver it. It’s the culmination of the smart questions you ask while developing an understanding of your prospects needs, and emotional pains. It reflects the third-party stories and questions you’ve used to get the prospect emotionally attached to your product or service as a solution. It confirms the investment and decision-making process your prospect has revealed ahead of the presentation.

When you go on a sales call, you bring your "box of candy." Your box of candy is your knowledge and expertise. Many salespeople are eager to show how smart they are, and they're excited about how great their product or service is. As soon as the prospect expresses a need that can be addressed by the salesperson's product or service, the salesperson moves into presentation mode, highlighting features and benefits. They spill their "Candy,". There's a time for all that "candy,": during a formal presentation, demonstration, or proposal review. But not before you've fully qualified your prospect and identified their true emotional reasons for buying. -Video-

Have you ever had a prospect tell you, "I need to think it over?" What does "let me think about it" mean? It usually means a "slow no". Here's how to avoid the dreaded think it over. Give people permission to say "No."

You’ve had a series of great discussions with a prospect, taken lots of great notes, and you’ve developed the proverbial “killer presentation.” You’ve started to deliver that presentation, and you’ve gotten all kinds of positive signals from the prospect: encouraging body language, words of approval, that kind of thing. Things seemed promising. Then you got to the final slide, the slide everything else was supposed to justify: the price. And all the positive signals stopped cold.

Two four letter words that make both sales people and prospects shiver. No one likes to make them and those who say they do probably haven’t made any.

If things aren’t going your way in the sales process…maybe you need to look at your own actions…

Have you ever had a potential customer suddenly go dark, after weeks or months of engagement? You’ve been building a relationship. The prospect has demonstrated interest in your product. They even asked for a presentation and then a proposal. All of the sudden…. Nothing. Calls go to voice mail. Emails go unanswered. What happened? ...

When you’ve tried all the things you know how to do, and your prospect won’t move forward. There’s still an option. Take on the role of a “consultant.”

Most salespeople know that listening to their customer needs is a critical part of their sales process. What salespeople often don’t understand is that listening is a two part exercise, and neither of them is passive. The first part is planning ahead and asking questions to get the prospect thinking about their needs --- needs that align with the salesperson’s product.

We've all failed. When it comes to zig and zag...we've all zigged when we should've zagged. But it's how we respond to those circumstances that can launch us ahead.

People generally don’t like being told what to do. Children don’t like being told over and over again to clean their rooms, employees don’t like to be told over and over again that the Monday report is due Monday at 8am, and prospects don’t like to be told what they should buy and from whom. So how are you supposed to “sell” your products if you can’t “sell” anybody anything? .....

Have you ever answered a prospects question only to find out that your answer actually stalled the sales process? Some questions you are better off getting clarification on before responding. At Sandler Training, we use the REVERSING technique to achieve this.

How many times have you left a sales call thinking something was going to happen only to find out later that your prospect pulled a vanishing act? Did you have "happy ears"? As a group, salespeople have a common flaw: They tend to only hear things they want to hear, and seem to struggle with just coming right out and asking a prospect exactly what they want to know. -Video-

How many times have you left a sales call thinking one thing was going to happen only to find your prospect had something else in mind? Or maybe you thought you heard the prospect say he was faxing a signed contract, but it never shows up. As a group, salespeople have a common flaw: We only hear things we want to hear. We have happy ears, and we don’t know how to just come right out and ask the prospect for clearly identifiable and mutually agreed upon next steps. Remember to ask your prospect to “sum up” what he believes the next steps are, so both of you are on the same page..

Has this ever happened to you? You’re in discussion with a prospect about the possibility of working together. The meeting is going well. You’re working your way all through the questions you know you’re supposed to ask at this stage. You’re paying close attention; you’re taking notes. One of the questions you ask strikes a nerve with the person to whom you’re talking...

Are you are ready to expand your online presence and start building your LinkedIn network strategically? If so, you should know that there are two ways you can approach your connections. You can either take the marketing approach, and build as many connections as possible, and expand your reach to as many people as possible … or you can take the sales approach, and limit your network connections to people you actually know and can build relationships with.

Think about your beliefs about sales, and ignore any excuses for a few minutes, and ask yourself…do you have any of these beliefs (or others) that may get in the way of your sales or leadership?

Sandler Rule #21- Sell Today, Educate Tomorrow So, why is that person interested in buying your stuff? You step onto a car lot, ready to buy a new car. You want something 1) luxurious, 2) safe 3) and red. The engineer-turned-salesperson is excited about the technological advances of the new engine of a car that is 1) tiny 2) thrifty and 3) blue. You hear about the high-compression engine, direct ignition and synchronizers. He talks so much…you drive away…in your old car. Are you so ready to educate your prospect about your great product features that you lose the sale? Imagine the examples for your business.

Some people believe that salespeople are born. After all, some people have natural born charisma. They love to talk and meet new people. But sometimes they just won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. And perhaps some people are born to be engineers, as well. They analyze and calculate the most mundane things… for fun. But can you teach an engineer to sell? And how about lawyers, and accountants?

Do your prospects have decision deficit disorder? Do you hear “think-it-over” more often than you hear “yes” or “no”? This often results from one of two causes, either:

Your mindset has more to do with your success than almost any other single element. There are plenty of salespeople who possess extensive product knowledge, have numerous influential business contacts, are well-spoken, and have appealing personalities, yet their sale performances are average…sometimes, only marginally acceptable..

Many sales managers continue to make hires from their gut— we can’t talk them out of that in 60 seconds. But we can offer a few suggestions.

Investing time to learn about your prospect before “pitching” your product helps build rapport and trust. When you understand your prospects, it’s easier to understand their points of view.

Have you ever been in the middle of delivering a presentation to a prospect ... when you noticed that he or she seemed to have completely tuned out of whatever it was you were saying? What did you do? Did you “sell harder”? Did you give up?

Some will say selling is selling. Indeed, most professional selling techniques and processes are transferrable across industries. However being aware of the unique characteristics of the technology industry and the common personality traits of technology buyers can help you be a more effective salesperson.

Have you ever put off prospecting and faced an income crisis as a result? The salesperson that claims to “like” prospecting hasn’t prospected. Often, when salespeople say the like prospecting what they mean is: “I don’t mind paying the price of prospecting to reach my objectives.” However, prospecting doesn't have to be as painful as many people make it.....