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5 Really Important Sales Concepts - Today's Lesson - Be Unique

Posted by Tony Cole on Mon, Nov 12, 2018

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In our sales training classes, we spend a great deal of time on the appropriate "attitude" required to be successful in selling. With the right attitude, you can count on consistently executing the required conduct and sales techniques to be successful.  I once heard another sales development expert explain that "sales technique is just a change in language.  You already have a sales language; it just may not be as effective as it could be."  (If you want additional information on "attitude", you can find more posts in our blogs.) 

Today, and for the next 4 days, I am going to focus on 5 really important sales concepts.  You can also call them "techniques" but sometimes problems occur when someone tries to duplicate the exact technique that a trainer uses.  For example, if your facilitator is from the northeast part of a country where the communication style is a little more direct, faster paced and some would describe as "aggressive", but you are a mid-westerner, then you may find yourself failing to bond well with prospects, not because of what you have said, but more because of how you said it.  So, for that reason, we'll focus on the concepts and let you develop your technique. However, with that in mind, don't let your "record collection" or "need for approval" get in the way of executing the concepts. (There I go again- back to attitude)

Today's lesson:  Be unique.

You have your elevator speech, your 15-second commercial, your value proposition, your positioning statement, etc.  It doesn't matter what you call it.  The concept is this:  Have a concise way to describe to someone what you do when you first meet him or her.  Here's the problem.  Everyone in selling has been taught the elevator speech, the 15 second commercial, the value proposition and the positioning statement, etc.  You know it's supposed to describe what you do: 

"I help companies like yours manage their insurance risk." 

"I sell customized clothing to busy executives."

"I own a CPA and tax consulting practice specializing in the needs of companies that generate between 5 and 10 million dollars in revenue".

Sound familiar?  That's the problem.  There is nothing unique about the approach from any one of these statements. Here's the rule about the concept:

What you say should cause the person with whom you are talking to respond either verbally or mentally in one of three ways.  You have to give the prospect a compelling reason to keep listening. When you deliver whatever it is, they should respond with either:

  1. "That's me".
  2. "How do you do that?"
  3. "Tell me more."

Examples:

Insurance:  "I provide people buckets of money in the right amount, at the right cost and at the right time." (How do you do that?)

Banking:  "My clients are companies that discovered that working with a bank should be more than just a place to get money or leave money." (Tell me more.)

Accounting:  "I'm in the business of helping small businesses that are sick and tired of sending the government more money and keeping less." (That's me!)

The idea is to think about what people or companies have chosen to do business with you or your company or why they buy the product and service that they have bought from you. What problem was it that they wanted to go away or solve?  Or what benefit were they looking for that they weren't getting?  Take that information and create your "unique sales approach" (usa).

The technique:  Before you deliver your "usa", you may want to start by telling the person that you are talking to that it is easier to describe what you do by asking a couple of questions. "In a nut shell, what I do is...(deliver your usa)" and close by asking, "May I ask you a question?"

By the way, I work with presidents and CEOs that have at least 10 sales people, generate more than 10 million dollars a year in revenue and want more consistent and predictable sales revenue growth.  If you know anyone that might say, "that's me", send them my way.

Thanks in advance.

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Topics: sales attitude, improving sales, sales prospecting, sales techniques

What’s Your Funniest Sales Story Ever?

Posted by Tony Cole on Mon, Nov 12, 2018

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I'm heading to a sales training session about 12 years ago.  It's a client in downtown Cincinnati and I've been working with them for two years.  They know me as a high energy, enthusiastic and entertaining sales trainer.  In other words, I stand up, I move around, I'm engaged, I role play, we learn a lot and people make more sales.

I'm running late this one particular day, so I grab a chocolate chip bran muffin (These are the best bran muffins made in the world and they are made by my wife, Linda.) and a bottle of Gatorade then off I go.  It is early, about 6:45, and it is dark, mid January.

As I am driving and eating, I sense that something has fallen from my muffin onto my lap or more accurately under the crotch of my pants.  My best hope is that it is a piece of the bran muffin.  My worst fear is that it is a chocolate chip.

I get to the office early. Thank goodness no one else is there yet, and so I sprint to the men's room only to discover my worst fear.  As I turn around and look at my "disaster khakis" (They are called this because it seems that I always come home wearing some food on them somewhere), there in exactly the right spot on the back of my pants is a notable brown spot that will easily be seen by anyone behind me.

I get to the training room, set up my flip chart with my notes, the white board with further information and then firmly plant myself in the chair at the head of the conference table and I do not move again for the next 3 hours.

Now, I don't know what the participants thought.  Surely they had to find this strange as I never sit down during a session.  Certainly, I was polite as I shook hands with them as they left.  Then and only then did I find a way out of the office with my spot undiscovered by any of my participants. I immediately go home and rid myself of the disaster khakis once and for all.

So, what is YOUR funniest sales story ever?  We know that you have one!  What we're looking for here is a little fun over the next several weeks.  We would love for you to share with all those that view this blog your funniest or most embarrassing sales moment, sales call or selling situation.  After 30 days, we will announce a winner for this years' "Funniest Sales Story".

Come one, come all, let's have some fun.  As a matter of fact, I will call on our CMO, Jeni Wehrmeyer, to share her story.  It may be one of the funniest of all!

 DOWNLOAD our FREE eBOOK -   Why is Selling So #%&@ Hard?

Topics: sales people, sales techniques, training sales, inspirational, sales problems

Election Day 2008 - 5 Votes for Better Sales Success

Posted by Traci Powers on Tue, Nov 04, 2008
 

It is Election Day and arguably the single most important Presidential Election of our lifetime. In the spirit of making decisions that make a difference, here are 5 decisions to make that will impact your sales success:

  1. Vote to have clear and extra-ordinary goals. There is something inspiring about having goals and making them extra-ordinary. As Walt Disney said, ‘dream the big dream, there is nothing in small dreams that stir the blood.'
  2. Vote to be a leader within your peer group and be the dominate player in your market. Too many times I hear, ‘we are not the dominate player in our market'. So, what does that have to do with you deciding that you will be the dominant player in your market place? All of you have the product selection, the support and the resources to be the dominant player. Vote for yourself to be that kind of player.
  3. Vote to get decisions from prospects. In other words, get them to vote. Today you can't go to the polls and say, ‘let me think about it'. No, all the thinking has been done. Today you take action and decision making takes place. You can do the same thing with prospects. Ask them to do all of their thinking before you show up so that they are armed with questions, you are prepared to answer them and when done, people can decide. Yes or no is ok, but vote.
  4. Vote for prospecting. You have to understand that you can't get people to choose you unless you are out their campaigning for yourself. Establish your brand by getting into the market. Let people know who you are even if you don't get the appointment. If you call them and let them know who you are the first time, then the second call gets easier.
  5. Vote to qualify who you will work with. Not everyone is someone that fits your vision, mission and goals. Not everyone in the market place qualifies to pick you as someone they want to work with or represent them. You can't approach the market place hoping that you can serve all the people all of the time, it just isn't going to happen. Decide who you are best suited to represent and then do that to the best of your ability.

Thanks for listening to my stump speech today.  Go VOTE!

Topics: Prospecting, Selling, increase sales, How to Sell, How to Increase Sales, sales techniques, Sales

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    About our Blog

    Founder and CLO Tony Cole has been working with financial firms for more than 25 years to help them close their sales opportunity gap.  He is a master at using science based data and finely honed coaching strategies to help build effective sales teams.  Don’t miss his weekly sales management blog insights.

     

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