sales management and sales experts

Why Aren't Your Sales People Selling?

Tony Cole

Tony Cole

Tony Cole, Founder and CEO of Anthony Cole Training Group


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How To Increase Your Sales By 67%


As sales people, we are always looking for the same thing – increased revenue. So, here’s a question for you: How do you get a 10% difference to equal a 67% return on investment?

Let’s start with the easy answer – you must put in 10% more effort. That does not mean that I am accusing you of not working hard or not exerting great effort. However, by observing many over the years, I have seen sales people who in reality have already “retired” and just haven’t told anyone. At least, not yet.

Increase ROI

Now, having thrown THOSE people under the bus, I will now address the REST of those sales people who DO work hard. The sales people who really DO want to improve and increase their revenue - the ones who hunger for success and eagerly want to know, “How DO you get that 67% increase?”

What I’m talking about today is putting 10% more effort in prospecting. That means increasing your efforts in asking for introductions, meeting with centers of influence, and turning association meetings into new suspects. It does NOT mean you have to cold-call more; so, go ahead and eliminate THAT objection from your thinking.

Now, with only a few minutes to work with, I will keep this very simple.

Actually, the steps for improving really ARE simple; they just take consistent and persistent application. You don’t have to invent a whole new way of doing things, you just need to improve on the things you are already doing by just 10%. Here is the list of things you need to improve:

  1. EFFORT: 10% more effort will result in 10 more appointments - even if you DON’T improve your skills.
  2. PHONE SKILLS: Improve your phone skills by 10% and convert just 10% more contacts to appointments.
  3. QUALIFYING SKILLS: Improve your qualifying skills by 10% and now you pick up 10% more opportunities.
  4. CONVERSION RATES – Even if you simply maintain your current conversion of opportunities to presentations and maintain your current closing ratio, you will increase your results simply because you’ve added more to your pipeline dramatically over 12 months.
  5. INCREASE AVERAGE SALE – Increase your revenue per sale by 10%. Instead of $10,000 deals, get $11,0000 deals. Now, don’t complain about price sensitivity. Now is the time to ask yourself: Are you a professional or a low cost provider?

Let me finish with a quick clarification about effort because I have heard the protests before. I want to address two things:

1)    GETTING NAMES: Once again, I’m not talking about cold-calling. I don’t care how you get the names. You still have to pick up the phone and call them. Just increase your effort to get names.

2)    “I DON’T HAVE TIME” MYTH: I want to eliminate the “I don’t have time” myth. We all know that if you attempt to call ten people a day, you will not talk to 8 of them. So… the question becomes, “How long does it take you to NOT talk to 8 people?” And the answer is…?

I guarantee you that if you increase your effort, improve your skills, and increase your average size deal, you WILL end up with a significant multiple of 10% improvement.

If you want to discuss this or any other questions you have about selling, Take a moment and leave a comment. Or, better yet, call us - 877.635.5371.

In the meantime, here are some additional resources:

−     Developing Your Success Formula Worksheet

−     Improve prospecting by phone - The 8-Step Process Worksheet

−     The Best Prospecting Book Ever Written

Did you like today’s post? If so, you’ll love our weekly audio Sales Brew and monthly newsletter! Sign up HERE and receive Tony Cole’s eBook, Why is Selling So #%&@ Hard?, as our thanks to you!

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How to Avoid a Sales “Choke”


Guest Post By Walt Gerano, Sales Development Expert

When working with prospects and clients, I’m generally a couple of moves ahead; I think well on my feet and I know what to say next. But, I must admit, that sometimes, I get excited or upset during a sales call because I get caught off guard by with a question or response from a prospect.

When was the last time you asked yourself, “Why did I do that? Why did THAT happen?”

Upset Sales Person

Do you know how to respond to critical sales moments… or do you choke? The moments I described earlier are what we call “choke situations”. You know, situations where we tend to get emotionally tangled and taken off-course by our prospect.

Have you ever felt or thought any of the following:
          - Frustrated?
          - Worried?
          - Intimidated?
          - Lost for words?
          - Stumbling over words?
          - Found yourself talking too much?
          - Wished they hadn’t said something or asked you something?
          - Wondered what you should be saying next or didn’t exactly know
            what you should do next?
          - Felt like the think you just said could have been the wrong thing?
          - Gotten back in the car and say, “Why in the world did I say that?” or
           “Why didn’t I say that?”

Well, the answer is, of course, that we all have.  The next question is, “What’s the impact on your business?” I’ll let YOU answer that one.

Ok, so if that’s part of the problem, what’s the cure? Well, I’m going to give you 5 steps to follow to avoid “choke situations”:

  1. Be sure to maintain what we call “clinical detachment”.  In other words, don’t get emotionally involved. By the way, that DOESN’T mean you need to lack enthusiasm.
  2. Sometimes in the course of an interaction with a client or prospect, they’re going to throw you a curve ball. You can hit a curveball IF you know it’s coming… so be ready. 
  3. Listen intently to what they say. Listening does NOT mean that you aren’t talking.
  4. Don’t think ahead - stay in the moment. Pay attention to what’s going on. Observe their body language, what they say and how they say it. 
  5. Have good pacing.  Slow down. Don’t be afraid to allow silent pauses in the conversation.

Now, your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to identify 3 situations where you find yourself getting emotionally involved, i.e. choking.  And decide how you will respond differently the next time it happens. Be patient; it’s a process. Remember, your main job is to qualify the prospect and you need to have a pipeline of enough qualified prospects so you can execute your strategy from a position of strength, not out of fear.

Thanks for stopping by. Now, have a great day.


Read more by Walt Gerano on his blog, Selling For Life

Did you like today’s post? If so, you’ll love our weekly audio Sales Brew and monthly newsletter! Sign up HERE and receive Tony Cole’s eBook, Why is Selling So #%&@ Hard?, as our thanks to you!

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Smart Numbers & Success Formulas Drive Successful Sales Plans


Guest Blog By Mark Trinkle, Sales Development Expert

How smart are you? Actually, how well do you know your smart numbers?

I’m always amazed at the number of sales people I meet who either have no idea what their key indicators or smart numbers are or who have no idea why tracking them is important to begin with. By smart numbers I mean those activities that are essential to your sales success and that, when done consistently, predict new business.

SMART Numbers

While there are only a few critical tasks in a sales person’s world, it is shocking how few of us actually know our numbers. That would be analogous to a baseball player not knowing the back of his baseball card or maybe the conductor of a symphony not knowing how many rehearsals are needed for each section of the orchestra leading up to a performance. But, how DO you figure out your smart numbers?

Let’s start with your sales goal. Then divide that number by your average size win which will give you the number of times this year someone will need to tell you yes. For example, if you have a $200,000 sales goal and your average win is $10,000, then you will need to hear 20 yeses over the course of the year.

But, to hear 20 people say yes, how many people will you need to see in a closing presentation? If you are a 50% closer, then you will need to be in front of 40 people so half of them can tell you yes.

Let’s keep going. How many people will you have to have an initial meeting with to get to the point where you will have 40 closing meetings? Obviously, not every first meeting gets to a closing meeting. Let’s assume that your first meetings become solid opportunities about… 1/3 of the time. That means, to have 40 closing meetings, you will need 120 first meetings, so about 10 a month.

And what kind of prospecting activity is required to have 10 prospect meetings every month? How many introductions do you need? How many times do you need to meet with your centers of influence? How many times - dare I say it? - do you need to dial your phone looking to speak with a prospect? Figure out many calls you need to make to get a first meeting and then you will know how many calls you will need to make to get to your $200,000 sales goal.

Here’s the deal. Successful sales people always know the back of their baseball card. They know their smart numbers. Those who struggle -  those who use hope as a strategy and see it maybe coming together for them someday - see this as micro-managing and not necessary. Which are you?

Additional Resources:

Sales Formula Worksheet

Are You on The Right Track?


Read more by Mark Trinkle on his blog, Sales Force One

Did you like today’s post? If so, you’ll love our weekly audio Sales Brew and monthly newsletter! Sign up HERE and receive Tony Cole’s eBook, Why is Selling So #%&@ Hard?, as our thanks to you!

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Why Success Formulas and Sales Plans Fail


If you have followed my blog, read our sales newsletters or listened to our audio sales brews, then you’ve heard me talk about success formulas.  The concept that is, if you follow the steps and execute the required activities to the required standards, you will be successful. Well, guess what? It doesn’t always work that way... if you are missing critical pieces of the process.

Success or Failure Sign

For most people, the success formula is a new exercise designed to create a logical and systematic approach to their sales process. It requires that one has clearly mapped the sales process and has some idea of what the conversion rates are from one step of the process to the next step of the process. It also requires an exercise where personal goals are identified and there is a financial or monetary value attached to the identified goals.

But… goals aren’t enough. There are a couple other critical criteria you must meet.

1. The goals have to be non-negotiable, AND...

2. The sales person has to be willing to do everything possible to succeed.

Without these criteria being met, then the success formula becomes just an exercise to complete rather than a fundamental business process that will increase the opportunity for success.

Once non-negotiable goals and a “whatever it takes” attitude have become established, then you can go about the process of building a success formula. This leads us to the next challenge and that challenge is data. Unless you’ve collected data on your sales results, then you won’t know the conversion rates or the amount of activity required to be successful. The success formula then becomes a “guess at success”. And that can be the problem with success formulas.

If you have gone through this process and you aren’t at the level of success that you had predicted, then you’ve got to back to the drawing board and re-calculate your formula. If you aren’t successful, it can be attributed to one of the following 3 things:

1.  Lack of performance of the required activity – In other words, just a flat-out lack of effort.

2.  The formula was wrong because the assumptions of conversion ratios or average size accounts were wrong or…

3.  The goals were actually negotiable and you, the sales person, are not doing everything possible to succeed. Not just in effort, but also in those steps in the sales process that are difficult or contrary to your personal belief systems, your buy cycle, or your need for approval.

The sales formula was never designed to be a perfect solution to cure poor or failing sales performance. The intent again is to provide a sales professional with a logical and progressive way to approach selling. If you are executing your formula at 100% and you aren’t getting the results, review the goals, the assumptions and the conversion ratios. Make needed adjustments and go back to work. One important thing to keep in mind: If you are not performing as effectively as you thought you would, then you must examine what it is that you’re failing to do to get the appropriate conversion rate. Your course of action will always be one of two actions: work harder or work smarter. The choice is yours.

Additional Resources:

Personal Goals Worksheet

Non-Negotiable Goals Worksheet

Sales Formula Worksheet

Did you like today’s post? If so, you’ll love our weekly audio Sales Brew and monthly newsletter! Sign up HERE and receive Tony Cole’s eBook, Why is Selling So #%&@ Hard?, as our thanks to you!

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Eliminate the Dreaded Sales Oops!


I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but occasionally I send out an email without the attachment. What is interesting here is that the sender replies that they didn’t get it, I deny it, go back to my email sent folder to validate that I did it and I sent it out… only to find out that Oops! I did it again. There’s no little paper clip in the corner which informs me that, once again, I failed to execute my email process completely.

Linda and I were working on a book and we exchanged chapters regularly. I remember completing chapter 15 while on my flight from California. I sent it via Outlook and so, when I landed and connected to the internet, BOOM automatically the email was sent.


The next morning, she asked me when I was going to send it to her. I replied that I already had and she said that she didn’t get it. I suggested that she look in her junk mail folder and she said that she had already done so. So, I said that I would check - confident that the problem was on HER end. Oops! Once again, I had failed to send the attachment.

So, what are you doing to make sure that you minimize the number of oops in your selling process and that, when you have an Oops!, you can verify and correct the situation immediately?

It has been my experience over the years that most people don’t have a system to validate that they have prepared properly for an upcoming meeting with prospects or clients nor do they have a great system to make sure that they don’t have any Oops! Too bad, because if they did – if YOU did – you would sell more business, more quickly, at higher margins.

Is it safe to assume that no one is perfect no matter how long they’ve been in sales? Of course it is. And, when you think about the deals you didn’t get and you eliminate all the excuses, what did it come down to? You failed to overcome price objections, failed to eliminate the incumbent, failed to deal with the real decision making process, didn’t create urgency because you didn’t ask if they wanted to fix the problem, and finally, failed to close the sale appropriately simply because you didn’t take the time to go through a systematic approach to make sure you had all the bases covered PRIOR to the meeting and/or you failed to go through a checklist AFTER the meeting.

In other words, unlike Outlook that stores all of your sent emails so that you can validate what you did or didn’t do, you probably don’t have a system or process to make sure you weren’t heading towards an Oops! or didn’t commit an Oops!

Oops! are always going to happen, but you can eliminate many of them if you have a pre-call strategy process and you can catch and fix most of them when they occur if you have a post-call strategy process.

If you would like to see how we fix this problem, click on the links below to download the forms for pre- and post-call strategy processes. You can access more of our valuable sales tools by clicking on the Free Resources link in the menu bar at the top of the blog or by visiting our website at .

Have a great day… and no more Oops!

Pre-Call Planning Process

Post-Call Debrief Process

Did you like today’s post? If so, you’ll love our weekly audio Sales Brew and monthly newsletter! Sign up HERE and receive Tony Cole’s eBook, Why is Selling So #%&@ Hard?, as our thanks to you!

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Consistent & Quality Prospecting From Sales People - Rules 4,5, and 6


There are at least 2 schools of thought regarding the types of appointments sales people should set when calling prospects to set an appointment.  The first school of thought follows the "mirror test" approach to prospecting - Just put a mirror under their nose, and if they fog the mirror, they are a prospect. Their thinking is this - just get in front of people. Because, if you don't get in front of people, then you cannot sell them.

I believe this may have been true prior to the internet and modern technology. With all the available information and technology to conduct meetings online, I'm not so sure that you HAVE TO be face-to-face with people to get them to buy anymore.  In fact, I'm sure of it.

Back in the day when the sales person initiated the sales process, that may have been true; but we no longer initiate the sales process. The Zero Moment of Truth AND, more times than not, the First Moment of Truth are now in the hands of the buyer/consumer.  With that said, it becomes imperative that we pay attention to the 2nd school of thought on scheduling appointments and that is: See only people that have expressed they have a problem and have told you they HAVE TO FIX it.  In order to make sure your sales people are going to the 2nd school of thought on prospecting, you have to pay attention to these 3 rules:

Prospecting Rules

4. The Purpoise Rule

5. The Chili Rule

6. The Rule of Shrek

The Porpoise Rule - This rule is a play on the word "Purpose".  (Don't ask me why I decided to call it the Porpoise Rule - it was at a time in this business when I thought it was funny to be cute with words.  Think "purpose" and you'll be okay). The idea of this rule is that, every time your sales people go out on a call, there should be a specifice purpose for the meeting. A purpose that can and should be specifically defined and consistent with effective selling. You find out the purpose of the meetings when you conduct your pre-call sessions with your sales people.  They should be able to tell you what problem the prospect has and that the prospect stated that IT (the problem) is a HAVE TO FIX problem. The purpose of the meeting is to find out more about the problem, the capacity for money, time or resources to fix the problem and to discuss the decision-making process.  Remember, in the end, the ultimate purpose is to disqualify the prospect.

The Chili Rule - I like to make chili.  Its a Texas/Soutwest type of chili. The "secret ingredient" is my homemade chili sauce. It's a combination of dried chili pods, onions, garlic, water, salt and pepper. One year, I could not find the right chili pods. It changed everything. The chili was good, but not great.  I have to follow the recipe and all the details to get it "right". The same is true of your sales people when they have a prospect on the phone and they are calling in an attempt to schedule an initial discovery appointment. If they miss a step in the process, then it just won't be the same "chili".

The Rule of Shrek - In the movie, there is a scene where Shrek and Donkey are walking through a field.  Shrek is trying to explain to Donkey what Ogres are like.  He tells Donkey that Ogres are like Onions (Watch funny video) - Ogres have layers.  Prospects have layers, or at least, the problems they are trying to describe have layers.  The sales person's job is to peel back the layers.  They must become masterful at 2 skills - asking questions and listening to the "real" responses.

More to come. In the meantime, here are some additional resources:

Improve prospecting by phone - The 8-Step Proces

The Best Prospecting Book Ever Written

Did you like today’s post? If so, you’ll love our weekly audio Sales Brew and monthly newsletter! Sign up HERE and receive Tony Cole’s eBook, Why is Selling So #%&@ Hard?, as our thanks to you!

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Consistent & Quality Prospecting From Sales People - Rules 1,2,3


Let's start today by looking at a couple findings from the Objective Management Group Sales Force Evaluation:

  1. Will Prospect
  2. Prospects Consistently
The difference between the two findings is this:
  1. Will Prospect - this is a sales person that will prospect as long as they are managed to do so.
  2. Prospects Consistently - this is the person that realizes that hunting/prospecting IS THE JOB and they do this with or without your supervision.
In recent studies of 50 Sales people from three different groups, this is what I have found:
  1. 1 to 2 out of ten (so let's call it 1.5) of the sales people are hunters
  2. 6 to 7 (6.5) can be hunters - have the potential to be hunters
  3. Somewhere between 1 and 3 out of ten will not be hunters, do not currently have the potential to ever be hunters.
What I can conclude is this:
  1. You either hired your team this way, or...
  2. You made them this way
Either way, this is your responsibility. The next several articles are designed to help you, once and for all, fix the problem of inconsistent prospecting hunting.  I'll take 3 rules or gottas at a time in each of the posts in this series.
3 Rules
Today, we will look at:
  1. The Vegetable Rule
  2. The Fun Rule
  3. The Fingerprint Rule
The Vegetable Rule: When you were a kid, or at least when I was kid, mom always told me "You have to eat your vegetables if you want to grow up big and strong like your dad!"  Well, I'm going to spoil the story with the following:  My dad was strong, but not what you would consider BIG physically - 5'10" and about 175 lbs.  (But I wouldn't want to fight him...)  For those who know me, you know I'm a little bigger than that. For those that do not, I'm 6'4" (6'5" in cowboy boots) and my weight will range anywhere between 228 and 240 depending on the time of year, my discipline to exercise and if I've spent the weekend down at the lake eating and drinking the wrong things.  I don't eat vegetables. But I should.
So, the rule is you have to eat your vegetables, if you want to be healthy. It's a good, solid, well-founded rule.  In selling, if you want your sales career to grow big and strong, you have to prospect.  No questions asked, no debate, no argument.  If you don't prospect, your sales career won't grow up to be big and strong! You don't have to like it; you just have to do it.
The Fun Rule:  I just told you that you don't have to like prospecting (vegetables) but you have to do it.  So, if you have to do something that isn't necessarily something you like doing, then you might as well have some fun at it.  Think about something you do in your life that you do because it's fun.... Go ahead, I'll wait.  Now, when you find something fun to do, you have a tendency to do it more often. Same as prospecting.  Have fun.  This is important (although it's not the end of the world if you don't...).  Find ways to make it fun for your team - have contests, recognize success, uncover funny stories or outcomes, be encouraging and be vulnerable with your own mishaps. Laugh a little and have fun with it.
The Fingerprint Rule:  I got this idea several years ago when I attended a conference in Las Vegas. The featured speaker was Joe Girard. At the time, Joe was considered by the Guinness Book of Records to be the most successful sales person in the world.  He demonstrated the idea of our uniqueness by talking about our fingerprints.  Our print is the only one like it in the world, in all time, in all humanity. Think about that - it's a bit mind bending.  No one, no one throughout all of history or in the future of the world, will ever have the same print as you do. So, don't look, act or sound like everyone else.  When you review what you say to people on the phone, ask yourself if you sound like other sales people.  If the answer is yes - stop doing what you are doing.  You are unique... so, act that way.
Additional Resources:
Did you like today’s post? If so, you’ll love our weekly audio Sales Brew and monthly newsletter! Sign up HERE and receive Tony Cole’s eBook, Why is Selling So #%&@ Hard?, as our thanks to you!

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What is the Toughest Thing About Sales?


Prospecting, prospecting, prospecting.

I may have shared this story in the past, if so, I apologize.  But it's a very good story.

I was in my second year of my insurance career with National Life of Vermont. This event took place at the Cincinnati Association of Life Underwriters Annual Recognition Holiday Dinner.  It was held at Western Hills Country Club, here in Cincinnati.  I was invited by my general agent, Dave Zimmerman, to attend. This particular year, the CALU was recognizing Jack Horan for his 30 years of service to the industry and the association.

The buffet dinner was served, speakers spoke, awards given out, and Jack was recognized. Jack was surrounded by his friends and peers, and I waited patiently to say congratulations and ask him a pressing question.  The crowd around Jack finally thinned out. I approached him, said my congratulations and asked Jack this question:

"Jack, after 30 years in the business, what's the toughest thing about the business today?"  I don't know that I was expecting a specific answer, but I certainly was not expecting the answer I got.


"Tony, it's prospecting."

I don't recall the conversation in detail after that; I just remember thinking -"Really?!? After 30 years, it's still prospecting!  Are you kidding me?!?  Even if I'm in this business for 30 years, prospecting is STILL going to be my biggest problem.  Damn!"

I didn't stay in the insurance business for 30 years.  I was in that business for about 6 and then started Anthony Cole Training Group.  We've been at it now for over 20 years.  I have a certificate from the chamber to prove it.  If someone were to ask me the same question I asked Jack, I'm afraid my answer would be the same as Jack's - Prospecting.

Not because it's hard work.  It's because it's difficult to have consistent success.  What I plan to do over my next couple of articles is to discuss how to solve the problems of consistency and effectiveness.  If we can tackle those 2 problems, then I'm convinced success will follow. We call this process the "Rules and Gottas of Prospecting".

The Rules:

The Vegtable Rule

The Fun Rule

The Fingerprint Rule

The Porpoise Rule

The Chili Rule

The Shrek Rule

The Gottas:

You Gotta Have Priorities

The Goooooooaaaaaallllll Gotta

The Gone Fishin' Gotta

The "Men in Black" Gotta

The Diversification Gotta

The "Use Your Time to the Max" Gotta

The Broke (or Poor) Gotta

The "Gotta Practice" Gotta


Did you like today’s post? If so, you’ll love our weekly audio Sales Brew and monthly newsletter! Sign up HERE and receive Tony Cole’s eBook, Why is Selling So #%&@ Hard?, as our thanks to you!

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Do You Know Where Your Sales Business Plan Is?


A guest blog post by Walt Gerano, Sales Development Expert

Growing up, I remember, just before the 11o’clock news came on, there was a message on the screen that asked the question, “It’s 11 o’clock - do you know where your kids are?” Well, it’s the middle of June and my question is, “Do you know where your business plan is?" Do you know where you stand?


Checklist & Magnifying Glass

We just celebrated Memorial Day a couple weeks ago, the unofficial beginning of summer, and so the year is nearly half over. Is your business where you said it would be? When we facilitate goal setting and business plan sessions, people often comment about how confident they are about their ability to execute now that they have a plan. But sometimes things get off-track.

As I said earlier, it’s the middle of June, and we are where we are. You are either ahead… or you’re behind. And no matter WHERE you are, there’s still time to have an extraordinary year if you’re willing to invest the time to work ON your business, not just in it.

Here are a few suggestions to get you back on track OR keep you going strong:

1)      You should review your plan every month. One of the biggest mistakes people make is they spend days putting together their plan and then put it in a drawer and then seldom, if ever, look at it.

2)      Review your smart numbers or your metrics. What are they telling you about your business? How are your ratios as compared to where you thought they would be and needed them to be to execute certain revenue outcomes? If you’re hitting your behavior targets and not the revenue results, ask yourself why.

3)      Be honest with yourself and take responsibility for success… and failure. You MUST pass the mirror test. You know, the one where the person in the mirror is the one who can fix the problem. Make necessary adjustments. If you discover some of your assumptions in the planning process were incorrect or things have changed, you should make corrections and track results.

4)      Finally, I mentioned earlier about spending time to work ON your business. If you are not on plan, take time away from the office RIGHT NOW to re-assess. As Lee Iacocca said in his book, “We can no longer work harder on the wrong things.” Make sure you are working on the right things. The time spent will be well worth it on your end.  


Did you like today’s post? If so, you’ll love our weekly audio Sales Brew and monthly newsletter! Sign up HERE and receive Tony Cole’s eBook, Why is Selling So #%&@ Hard?, as our thanks to you!

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Pay Attention and Avoid Sales Collisions


Ok, so are you one of those busy execs or sales people who continually conduct business or meeting while talking and driving? Well, if you are, you might be headed for a "sales collision."

If you have seen my previous messages, you know that I taught my daughter to drive. I taught her the right habits and gave her an opportunity to practice those habits. The principle being that, if she developed the right habits, she would minimize the opportunity for negative outcomes due to auto collisions. Not accidents... because there really AREN’T "accidents." There isn’t a Law of Accident. There’s only the Law of Cause and Effect.

Looking in Car Mirror

You see, if my daughter spends too much time talking and not paying attention to the road or other drivers, she may be involved in an automobile COLLISION.  Not an accident, but a collision.  You see, maybe, just maybe, the collision could be avoided if she pays more attention to what SHE needs to be doing – driving. Or paying attention to the other drivers on the road who aren’t focusing on what they should be doing – which is driving.

You see, the same is true in selling – there are no accidents. There are no political reasons not to get the business. There are no unknown buyers. Or, as David Sandler said, “There are no such things as bad prospects, just bad sales people.” You see, if you end up with suspects that don’t turn into clients, then the first thing that you should examine is, “How well did I pay attention?”

How masterful were you at asking questions and then listening to understand? Listening and paying attention to all the curves, the turns, the starts and the stops of the client? Or, instead, did you take things for granted because you’ve been driving/selling for 25 years?

When you talk instead of listen, you can bet that one of these three disastrous outcomes is going to happen:  

1)      You won’t find out what the prospect really wants so you won’t find out what’s really motivating them to take action.

2)      You’ll end up giving the prospect reasons to NOT buy from you.

3)      You’ll end up providing the prospect with enough information to help their current provider make more money.

So what should you do?

1)      Stop talking.

2)      Start listening.

3)      Pay attention to the prospect so you can avoid sales collisions.

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