Articles By Steve
Overcoming Fear in the Marketplace - Interview by Selling More Homes Podcast.
Sales, Marketing Link Broken at Most Companies - Study showing problem between sales and marketing deparments.
How to Attract and Hire the Best…Every Time - you can download this imporatant article here. It is imporatant reading for anyone who is planning to hire a new employee.
70 Feet down and sinking fast!... |
Leaving your comfort zone
Saturday afternoon I was scuba diving off of West Palm
Beach, Florida (in front of Donald Trumps new place with
the 8,000 square foot living room). The seas were a
little rough but otherwise life on the boat “The Wetter,
The Better” was pretty good. The first dive after lunch
was supposed to be a drift dive into 70 feet of water.
That’s deeper than I had ever been before, but I had a
good team with me so I was ready. After we all entered
the water and signaled OK, we all started down.
A plane guy walks into a
car company… |
Ok, it’s a bad start to a joke, but Ford’s hiring of a
Boeing executive as CEO is representative of one of the
biggest problems facing sales professionals today. There
was a time when senior management was comprised of
people who had grown up in that business and had a deep
understanding and love of it. Those people were wowed by
your latest widget or version and instantly saw the
value you brought to their company.
Listen to the right voices
My friends Pam and Steve are incurable
Philadelphia Eagles fans. That’s how I found myself at
the movies on Saturday watching “Invincible”. It’s the
story of Vince Patelle, a working stiff from South
Philly who answered an open call for players and ended
up playing for the Eagles.
I’m losing touch
Communicate like the client
A recent study showed that IM'ing or Instant
Messaging is now five times more popular with young
people than E-Mail! Man am I out of it. I was one of the
first to use E-mail back when it was a secret military
communications tool. Now I risk being out of touch with
my own kids.
dollar mistake? |
Our clients look to us for more than just information
I just watched a ridiculous TV show. Well, it
might not be ridiculous if you like to see examples of
very poor sales skills. In this ‘reality show’ called
“Million Dollar Listing”, real estate agents try to get
big listings in Malibu, CA and then attempt to sell the
The UPS slip was stuck to the door… |
You are auditioning with every customer contact
There is nothing more frustrating than coming
home to find that you have missed an important delivery.
Ok, there is one thing more frustrating…BEING HOME and
finding that you missed the driver and the delivery is
your new laptop!
You have to trim if
you want to grow… |
To get to the top leave something behind
It cooled down a little this evening (under
90!) so Gina and I spent a few minutes trimming the
bushes and palm trees in the front of the house. It’s
amazing how cutting back a few branches can make the
rest of the plant grow healthier. The plan refocuses its
attention on the remaining parts and within days you see
1.65 Billion Dollars! |
Overcoming price objections
For those of you who have a tough time
quoting your list price to your customers because you
are afraid of what they might say, try this exercise:
Ask someone for $1.65B and try not to choke!
They won’t tell me anything
| Why we need to ask questions
I spent two days with a great new client this week.
These were bright people who knew their product cold but
wanted to increase their closing ratio. As a result,
they asked me to help them with their sales
presentations. Smart move! The presentation is where the
rubber meets the road in sales and a small improvement
can yield significant results.
We have it
all backwards | How to hire better
Yesterday I was working with a client who needed to
hire a few new sales people. He had asked me to help him
since he was not pleased with the results of he previous
searches. I asked, “Bob, what is your current process?”
and here is what he said:
Cans! | What your tech can teach you
Tim was dumbfounded at their request… Two months ago, I
had the pleasure of working with the technical training
group for one of my clients. You know these guys. They
are the techies who teach your customers how to use the
software and operate the equipment we sell. They often
come along on demos just to make sure we don’t make
total fools of ourselves. Unfortunately, too often we
fear that they will stray from their role and start
talking. Who knows what will happen then!
anyone want my business? |
Serve your customers well
This should have been simple. I had a 12 hour round-trip
drive coming up and I thought I should get an oil change
first. The car was over due and I felt it was really
important to get it done before I left. So Friday
morning I drove over to the local Jiffy Lube figuring
they could do it quickly (You know, in a jiffy!). Maybe
not. As a drove up, I saw that each of the three bays
was completely empty and the four guys inside were just
leaning against their tool boxes.
She stared at
the glass and froze… |
Products vs. Services
I love it when companies grow, merge and change. It
makes wonderful opportunities for the sales people
involved. One of my newer clients has just gone thorough
a buying binge and acquired a host of smaller companies
that all offer related products and services. I had the
privilege of working with the newly formed sales force
which was comprised of seasoned pros from all of the new
companies. Each one was an expert in selling their
Playing Your Role In Team Selling
| Maximize everyone!
I just had a conversation with a very good client on the
roles of non-sales people in the field. Specifically, he
was asking what non-sales people should do on client
visits to go beyond simply fixing a specific problem or
answering questions and become a valuable part of their
company’s strategic team.
Selling success is
in the punctuation mark | The
power of questions
Last night, on the way home from watching the Blue
Angels perform at Jacksonville Beach (by the way, they
give new meaning to team work!), we stopped with friends
for dinner. I was tired and was more focused on our
conversation than on the menu when the waiter asked me
what I wanted for dinner. As I have done a million
times, I ask, “What’s good here?” Now, typically, I get
one of two answers. Either they say, “Everything”, which
is the dumbest answer in the world, or they tell me
about their favorite dish. This
guy was different.
I used to do sales,
then it got too tough… |
Better leads = more sales
What makes sales so difficult for some people
and so much easier for others? Why do some companies
thrive and others fail to catch on, even when they have
a great concept? What is the secret to success in sales?
Obviously, there are many answers to these questions,
but I have discovered one that makes sales easier for
Window for IBM | No-fault,
just fix it
It was 7 am when I opened my office door and
saw my boss sitting at my desk. He had just two words
A leaf of lettuce on
her head saved the sale!
| No kidding!!!
One of my past coaching clients wrote to tell
me about one of her worst business lunches ever. I love
this story because it has happened to all of us in some
way. I also like it because Wendy has the ability to
step aside and see her own actions and learn from them.
That's a skill we can all stand to improve.
The most dangerous
letters in sales are RFP |
Respond, and you lose
One of my clients emailed me an RFP (request
for proposal) that they received yesterday. It came from
a company who had never done business with them and who
they had never even called on. They know my rule. RFP
means one of two things. It's either ‘Real Fools
Participate' or ‘Request For Probing'.
you want it to do? | That's consultative selling
My wife and I stopped into a car dealership
last night to look at cars. We were met by Robert who
asked politely if he could help us. After we convinced
him that we had no idea what we were looking for and
just wanted to wander the lot, he told us to take our
time and left us alone. Mistakenly, I thought I had
Top 10 Travelers Tips
for a Happy Family | Secrets
that make a difference for my family
As an international speaker and consultant, I
cover the world from Sydney to Dubai . Here are 10
secrets that have made the difference for me and my
family. Send postcards from everywhere. It makes younger
children look forward to your next trip and reminds your
spouse that you are thinking of him or her.
The Hidden Buyer | How to protect yourself against the unseen enemy
The meeting ended with smiles and handshakes
but the next day you learned the truth. You had lost the
deal. What went wrong?
I'll take it | Cutting prices can lose business
"If you can do
it for $12, you can have the business." With his next
three words, Bill lost thousands of dollars of business.
He said, "I’ll take it!"
| How to create business when the PO's all dry up
If you have not experienced a drop in sales recently,
you might choose to skip this issue. On the other hand,
if you miss it, you just might find yourself competing
with those who learned this technique.
Getting Beyond the
Buyer! | True decision makers live to solve problems
One of the most common questions I receive
from my clients and those I coach is, "how do I get past
the buyer to the real decision maker". This is clearly
one of the most important questions for any sales
professional to answer because so much rests on reaching
the real economic buyer. Only the true decision maker
can understand the total value that your offering brings
to their company.
How to Succeed in a
Tight Economy | it's the company that makes the difference
It's not the economy; it's the company that makes the
difference. Last year I was reminded of an important
truth: there is always someone who knows how to make a
profit in any given economic condition.
in a Soft Market
| Turn your sales team into a business generating machine
Yesterday, I worked with a group of wonderful
sales people who sell for one of the leading companies
in their industry. You would all recognize the brand.
They were complaining (only a little) that the market
was soft and that it was affecting their business. I
asked them two questions.
Tips for Team
Meeting Success | Improve your odds of success
This month's tips are on TEAM SELLING meetings. Here
are 7 tips that will greatly improve your odds of
success when selling in a team. If you already know
these techniques, forward this message to your team
members so everyone is up to speed.
Do Your People Get
the Big Picture? | Sales people are the front end of many businesses
Sales people are the front end of many
businesses. For many companies, they are the most
influential person in the client relationship. For this
reason, if for no other, it is critical that sales
people know, understand, believe and support the
company's goals and objectives. They should have
internalized the company spirit so that it comes across
to the customer.
Assume the Best | Watch the difference it makes
Much of the friction between members of a
selling team comes from unspoken expectations left
unmet. The sales manager expects the report to be in by
Monday or the marketing department expects the leads to
be followed up within the month. When expectations are
not met, we may begin to devalue the effort made by the
Rug Sales Team | Learn from the real pros in this world
I just returned from speaking in Istanbul,
Turkey where I bought, no, I was sold, a rug and in the
process learned that real selling, and especially Team
Selling, is alive and well.
Fire Bad Clients? | We can't focus on the winners until we shed the losers
Do you know what makes a good customer for
your company? I'll bet you do. You know whether your
company is better with the Fortune 500 or the Inc. 500.
You know what product lines your operations service best
and where the quality is the highest.
Technology Check List for Meeting Planners | Assume you will need it
Ask your speakers this important question,
"If the entire projection system fails and you still
have to go on, can you do your program?" The answer must
be, "Yes, I'm prepared!"
Alignment Process | Getting Your Company In Alignment
Many companies fail to meet stated goals, or
fail entirely, because communications and procedures
unintentionally do not support their mission. Here's how
smart companies can streamline their efforts,
intentionally aligning them directly behind the CEO's
Norman - A Customer Service Story | A Partner Or An Invader?
Roman Or Norman? It's The Difference Between
Being Seen As A Partner Or An Invader. With all of the
discussion in recent years about the importance of
understanding our customer's needs, it's a valuable
exercise to try to see ourselves as we might be
perceived by our customers.
Change Takes Time | Build a reinforcement regiment
I am writing this at the Philadelphia Airport
on my way back from meeting with one of my clients.
Three weeks ago, we offered a training program for their
staff in basic selling skills. She reported that they
saw an immediate increase in sales after the program.
Since these are all telemarketers, she listened in on
their calls to see what had changed.