ACTG Sales Management Blog

Sales & Sales Management Expertise Blog  

Mark Trinkle

Recent Posts

It's the Little Things in Selling

Posted by Mark Trinkle on Wed, Jan 16, 2019

people-2588594_1920Selling is a 'slight edge business' that is driven by one more phone call, one more prospecting effort, one more cold email outreach, one more social media push, and one more effort to build a new relationship and land a new client.

In this article, we cover the basic principles of control in sales and how the little things are actually the big things when it comes to selling effectively and separating yourself from the competition.


One of the most frequently asked questions we receive from salespeople is, What is the secret sauce to sales success? or, Can you just give me the magic?  I need to sell more business.  Actually, there is a secret sauce, and if you will permit me to enter your kitchen, I am going to serve it up to you.

There is no one thing that is a big thing in selling.  In our organization, we refer to selling as a “slight edge business.”  By that we mean that the line that separates high performers from mediocre performers is usually a very small difference.  Think in terms of maybe just one or two more conversations a week, or one or two more presentations a month.

The Olympics are a perfect example of this truth.  Think of almost any race, whether that be swimming, track and field or skiing.  Do you know what separates the athlete who wins the gold medal from the athlete who finishes just outside the bronze medal?  The answer is fractional seconds, sometimes even as little as tenths of a second.

There is very little you can control in selling.  You can’t make prospects take your call.  You can’t make prospects agree to meet with you.  You can’t make them move forward in your sales process and you certainly can’t make them buy from you.  There are only 3 things you are in control of:

  1. Your effort on a daily basis
  2. Your attitude on a daily basis
  3. Your investment in becoming a better or smarter version of yourself (self-improvement)

Selling is not going to suddenly become easier.  Leads are not likely to become more plentiful. So, the question that is worth asking is this:  What are you doing to shave fractional seconds off your sales time in the 2019 race you are running?  What are the little things that when done week in and week out will amount to big things in terms of your 2019 production?  Maybe it is the one more conversation you need to have each day with a prospect.  Maybe it is the one book you will read or the one new connection you will add to your network that will make all the difference.

Sometimes little things are so small you won’t even notice them when you look back at your sales success.  But that doesn’t mean that it is not a big thing to worry about the little things.

Topics: salespeople, sales acceleration, sales advice, how to improve sales, things to do for sales success, sales growth and inspiration, sales competition

"I Could Sell More if Only I Could _____"

Posted by Mark Trinkle on Thu, Nov 08, 2018

can-chat-chatting-362

I've got a fill in the blank for you.

Are you ready?

"I could sell more if only I could _____."

What comes after could? We had the chance to ask that question around the country with a variety of companies both large and small and it's interesting to hear what salespeople say when you ask them to fill in this particular blank.

Sometimes, you'll hear...dare I say excuses. Sometimes, you'll hear...dare I say, valid reasons for why they're not selling as much as they would like or their manager would like. When we hear that answer, we immediately think about the core steps in the sales process.  

You have to go see people. You have to call them first. Then you must go see them, you must have meetings, you must qualify them and deliver presentations, and of course, you have to win your fair share. 

As you think about calls, meetings, dials, qualifying prospects, and closing deals, ask yourself these major questions.

If you're not where you want to be in 2018, ask yourself,

  1. Why are you there?
  2. How long have you been there?
  3. Are you fully committed to getting back on track?
  4. What's going to be required to get back on track?
  5. Do you have to get there?
  6. What happens if you don't?
  7. What is the problem costing you?
  8. Do you have to fix it?

If you know anything about our organization, you know that is how we encourage the unveiling of the sales process. 

Asking your prospects questions like:

  • What is going on?
  • What do you have to fix?
  • How long has it been a problem?
  • What have you done to try and fix it?
  • Do you have to fix it?
  • What happens if you don't fix it?
  • What's this problem costing you? 

All of that fits into one of two categories: Excuses or reasons

Just remember as you answer the question, "I could sell more if only I could ____."  If your answer is an excuse...

"Excuses are the nails used to build houses of failure."

Now go out there and get it done!

Topics: self management, how to hit goals in sales, sales productivity, solving sales issues

Your Future Self Cannot Be Trusted! 

Posted by Mark Trinkle on Mon, Nov 05, 2018

glass-hourglass-hours-39396

Today, I want to talk to you about time management vs self management. Now, here's one thing we know about time, it manages itself very, very well. In fact, you don't have to worry about time managing itself, what you do need to worry about, at least what we see around the country as we coach and train salespeople, is the concept of self-management.

The reason why you need to worry about it is because of this fundamental truth, your future self cannot be trusted.

How many times do you go to the grocery store and decide that, this is the week I'm going to eat healthy only to throw away most of it by week's end?  That's right, your future self cannot be trusted.

So, one of the things that we'd like to talk about today is the concept of what do successful salespeople do when it comes to managing themselves?

Self management, not time management.

I want to give you four things that we think successful salespeople do. 

  • Successful salespeople do not waste time Here's a number, 1,440 - or better yet, the number of minutes in a day.  Successful salespeople DO NOT waste even one of them.  So, make them count!

 

  • They abandon to-do lists - They abandon to-do lists. Sounds crazy right? However, research has indicated that about 41% of things put on a to-do list never get accomplished.  Instead, successful salespeople schedule tasks directly onto their calendar, which has a much greater likelihood of these tasks actually getting accomplished.

 

  • Successful salespeople only check their email a couple times a day! Maybe once when they get to the office, maybe once after lunch and maybe once before they leave for the day. Is it really necessary when that beep or that ding goes off to look and see "Oh my goodness, what is that?" It interrupts your flow of energy on the tasks you're working on and successful people do not allow email to be a "time suck" on their day.

 

  • Successful salespeople do the hard things first - I think it was Brian Tracy that said, "If you gotta kiss a frog in your day, kiss it early."  Successful salespeople embrace that. They do the hard things first. Including scheduling the hours that they will prospect. 1,440 - I've used 3 or 4 of them this morning...it's up to YOU to use the rest. Have a great day!


So, now that we've given you OUR top four, what are some other habits that YOU think successful salespeople should follow? 

Leave a Comment below for a chance to win a Free copy of our "9 Keys to Coaching Sales Success" booklet! 

 

Time Management vs. Self Management Video:

https://anthonycoletraining.com/self-management/

Topics: time management, self management, future self, sales advice, Sales Leadership

The Art of Asking Great Questions

Posted by Mark Trinkle on Thu, Oct 18, 2018

Watch Sales Guy Unplugged:  Are Your Sales Questions Courageous Enough?

Mark Trinkle, Chief Growth Officer

Need more information?  Download this free SalesTool with the Drill Down Questions.

Topics: create & convert leads, sales leads, how to improve sales, things to do for sales success

You Can't Handle the Truth

Posted by Mark Trinkle on Fri, Sep 08, 2017

At some point that title won’t make me think of the great Jack Nicholson and his role as Colonel Nathan Jessup in the 1992 movie “A Few Good Men” … but it is safe to say that point in time is a long way off for me. It is one of my all time favorite movies.  For now, that famous line from Colonel Jessup has me thinking about how selling has changed so dramatically even within the last few years.

So, if you can handle the truth, here is the truth:  selling has changed…but salespeople have not.

There are two significant changes that have swept over the sales landscape:

  1. The buyer is initiating the sales process…what HubSpot refers to as the buyer’s journey.
  2. The buyer is further along in their thinking than ever before.

The first change brings to mind the 2011 Google eBook titled “ZMOT”.  ZMOT is an acronym standing for the Zero Moment of Truth and is defined as the exact moment in the sales cycle that is between the stimulus (how the prospect became aware of a product) and the first moment of truth (a P&G term referring to the decision to make a purchase).  In short, ZMOT refers to the point in time where the buyer is researching a product or service offering and the seller is completely unaware of the buyer’s actions.

Here is a quote from the Google book:

“If you’re available at the Zero Moment of Truth, your customers will find you at the very moment they’re thinking about buying, and also when they’re thinking about thinking about buying.” (ZMOT, 2011)

So, it all comes down to three simple questions:

  1. Is your company winning or losing at the Zero Moment of Truth?
  2. How do you know that?
  3. What are you going to do about it?

It is inarguable that more and more buyers are finding and researching options online before they ever talk to a salesperson.  Some estimates have YouTube doing 3,000,000,000 searches each month and uploading 100 hours of video every 60 seconds.  And if they can’t find you…when they are looking for you…even if you don’t know they are looking are for you…. you are losing the Zero Moment of Truth.

As Colonel Jessup would ask “We live in a world full of prospects…who’s going to call them?  You?  They may have already passed their Zero Moment of Truth."

Find Out More about our Fall Sales Workshops

Topics: increase sales leads,, sales leads, sales prospects, generating leads, how to prospect

    Follow #ACTG

     

    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.

     

    Subscribe Here

    Most Read

    Recent Blogs