ACTG Sales Management Blog

Sales & Sales Management Expertise Blog  

Sales Commandment #3: Getting Introductions

Posted by Mark Trinkle on Thu, Nov 03, 2022

Get out of the cold-calling business! Share this video with your people who might struggle with getting introductions. This video is a part of our new series with Mark Trinkle: The 10 Commandments of Sales Success. Today we dive into Commandment #3! 

Watch all of the Commandments Here

Do You Need More Leads? –  Free Sales Prospecting eBook Download



Topics: sales skills, Sales Activities, getting introductions

Thou Shalt Always Be Prospecting: The 10 Commandments of Sales Success

Posted by Mark Trinkle on Fri, Oct 28, 2022

Do you ever hear that your salespeople don't have enough time to prospect? Share this video with your people who might struggle with consistent prospecting. This video is a part of our new series with Mark Trinkle: The 10 Commandments of Sales Success. Today we dive into number two-Thou Shalt Always Be Prospecting.


Welcome to today's message, which is the second in a 10 part series on the 10 Commandments of Sales Success. Today we are looking at the second commandment, and as you can see from the screen, the second commandment is Thou Shalt Always Be Prospecting. Now, I know you probably don't land in the office in the morning, necessarily fired up to prospect, but it's kind of like being a kid and eating your vegetables. And I can remember when I told my mom and dad, "Mom, Dad, I don't like vegetables." And their answer was (and you probably know where I'm going), "You don't have to like it, you just have to do it. You have to eat 'em." I think that's the same with prospecting every day. And here's the real danger.

You don't have to prospect on any given day. You can take a day off. You can probably take a week off. Heck, you can probably take two weeks off and you won't notice any concern right away or any danger right away. But down the road, your pipeline is bound to take a hit. Great prospectors prospect just enough each day, each week, each month to continue to put flow into the top of that pipeline.

One more thing about prospecting before I let you go... don't tell me you don't have time. You can tell me a lot of things, but don't tell me you don't have time. That's a myth. Our good friend Bigfoot is on the screen here to remind us that is a myth and here's why. If I ask you to go call a hundred different people, to make a hundred dials, our math tells us you're probably gonna talk to 10 people.

Now, I'm gonna try to trick you. I'm gonna ask you, "How much time will it take you to not talk to 90 people?" One more time. "How much time will it take you to not talk to 90 people?" And of the 10 people that you will talk to, my guess is you'll probably have short conversations with some of them. You might even set a few appointments with some others, but it's just not going to take much time out of your day.

You can add up the time and then you have to decide for yourself. Do you not have the time or do you not have the drive and the ambition to get after it?

Have a great day and as always, thank you so much for listening!

Watch all of the Commandments Here

Do You Need More Leads? –  Free Sales Prospecting eBook Download



Topics: sales skills, prospecting skills, how to prospect for sales

Pre-Call Preparation: The 10 Commandments of Sales Success

Posted by Mark Trinkle on Fri, Oct 21, 2022

Are your salespeople following the first commandment of sales success? Our new video series with Mark Trinkle introduces the 10 Commandments of Sales Success. Today we start with number one- Pre-Call Preparation.


Watch all of the Commandments Here

Do You Need More Leads? –  Free Sales Prospecting eBook Download



Topics: sales skills, pre call sessions, pre call preparation

Why Sales Coaching Matters

Posted by Jeni Wehrmeyer on Fri, Oct 14, 2022

It is an important distinction in sales – understanding the salesperson who can sell versus the one who will sell. A recent post by Dave Kurlan, on the Difference Between Selling Skills and Effectiveness does a great job of illustrating that difference. Think about your own business and those who consistently produce beyond the expected. There is something more than just their skills that drive their behavior and success. There is the Will to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals.

Why Sales Coaching Matters

This distinction between the can and will is why sales coaching really matters. Sales training can help develop a new producer so that they understand how to prospect, prepare, qualify and close business. But it is often the Coach who helps that salesperson uncover their will and their desire to sell, who stokes the fires by asking the right questions and helps them establish extraordinary goals. Sales coaching matters because it is personal, based on the salesperson’s situation, drive, hopes and dreams.

Sales coaching is also important to every organization because salespeople reporting to a manager with strong Coaching skills tend to have 26% more closeable late-stage opportunities.

But we also know from the data warehouse of Objective Management Group that less than 10% of sales coaches know the personal goals of their salespeople so while they may be well intended, how can a sales manager coach a salesperson until they know why that salesperson comes to work every day or what compels them to pick up the phone and make that next prospecting call.

Most sales coaches moved up through their company because they were good producers and they because of that, they are adept at translating the how to sell effectively, but may not be as skilled in helping to uncover a salesperson’s will to sell. Sales managers need a coaching system so they know when to coach their salespeople and follow an intentional sales coaching process to make it effective.

Here are 9 Skills in our Sales Coaching Skill Development Plan:

  1. Debriefs effectively after significant calls
  2. Effective on joint calls
  3. Asks quality questions of their salespeople
  4. Understands the impact of a salesperson’s Sales DNA
  5. Can demonstrate an effective sales system
  6. Is effective at getting commitments from salespeople
  7. Consistently coaches skills and behaviors
  8. Understands the impact of a salesperson’s Will to Sell
  9. Effectively onboards new salespeople

Just like salespeople, there are many sales managers who can do the job of coaching – they have the skills, but perhaps are not motivated by achieving success through the development and achievements of others. Those who lead and manage salespeople can lack the will to succeed in sales management. It’s an important distinction for every company to consider as they hire and develop their team.

Find out more about why sales coaching matters:


Do You Need More Leads? –  Free Sales Prospecting eBook Download

why sales coaching matters


Topics: effective sales coaching, Sales Coaching, sales coaching cincinnati

6 Steps to Start the Sale

Posted by Tony Cole on Thu, Oct 06, 2022

The start of any undertaking is the most important step. 

When it comes to building the confident and trusting relationship associated with a strong seller / buyer relationship, the start is especially important. I'm not just talking about the immediate "bonding and rapport" part of selling or a 5-minute segment of chitchat. The start I’m referring to is the entire first contact process whether it is a phone call or an association meeting or the initial meeting after the phone call.  The start will often, if not always, determine your finish. 

The 6 Steps to Start the Sale:

  1. Pre-Call Plan
  2. Have a Unique Value Proposition
  3. Ask Thoughtful, Open-Ended Questions
  4. Check Your Sales Attitude
  5. Get a Clear Next Step
  6. Qualify vs Disqualify the Prospect

  1. Be prepared (pre-call strategy).  Be prepared for the sales process. Know what questions you are going to ask to move the sale forward. These are not questions about the technical aspects of your prospect's current position or status.   Anticipate the suspect's answers to the questions you ask and be prepared with follow-up dialog.  Too many sales people take this step for granted because "they've been in the business for __ years." Don’t fall into this trap. Also, be prepared for the inevitable curve balls the prospect will throw at you. This is your chance to build credibility.

  2. Demonstrate your credibility by what you say and by how you conduct yourself.  You’re your value proposition different. Do this by the questions you ask, by your focus on the prospect and what is important to them, and by your reluctance to get into a sales pitch. Avoid doing the typical product dump.  Demonstrate your knowledge of the industry by stories, analogies and metaphors that work to show you understand their business. Demonstrate your professionalism by the way you ask penetrating questions.  Demonstrate your focus on their issues by not looking, acting or sounding like every other salesperson they have met.

  3. Have the courage to ask tough questions and have fierce/ honest discussions. You probably know the questions, but do you often leave an initial call having failed to ask:
    • How will you make this decision? 
    • When do I meet the decision maker?
    • If you don't have a budget, how will you pay for this?
    • If you are shopping for low price, what happens if I show up and I'm not the low price? 
    • Who wins a tie? 
    • When you told your current provider that you were unhappy with the current situation, what did they say?
    • When I show up to make my presentation, I need for you to be in a position to tell me 'yes' or 'no'. What objections do you have to that process?
  4. Check your sales attitude – the head stuff will drive your sales behaviors so leave your need for approval at the door when you leave the house in the morning.  Re-write your personal beliefs about how and why people buy.  Think about the impact of your personal buy cycle at the car lot where you debated for the last three weeks over which make/ model to purchase and where you haggled over price with the manager. Go out expecting people to buy.

  5. Qualify suspects / prospects to do business with you rather than the other way around.  Don’t go to a meeting feeling like you must audition for the business. You don't.  You shouldn’t. However, you should make sure that the person you are meeting with qualifies to do business with you. In an effective selling system, qualifying means the following:
    • Does the prospect have a compelling reason to take action and when?
    • Will they invest the time, money and resources to solve a problem they have or a problem they see coming?  Will they invest that time, money or resources in a timely fashion or are they in the information collecting mode of buying?
    • Will they tell you "yes" or "no" when you present?  In order to accomplish this, you must have eliminated their current provider.  You must have heard them say they want to fix it, whatever "it" is. And you must have a solution that is appropriate for their problem. 
  6. Get a clear next step.  There is always a next step even if you are in a "one appointment close" industry.  It doesn't matter if your business requires multiple meetings or is typically "one and done".  Always close per your identified objective for this meeting. Then move on.  I promise you, that if you get masterful at this step, you will have fewer meetings and your closing ratio will improve.  Ask for closure. Ask for a clear next step. Ask for the business Yes or No.

Master these 6 Steps to Start the Sale and you will close more business, more quickly, at higher margins.


Do You Need More Leads? –  Free Sales Prospecting eBook Download

Pink Minimalist Positive Four Step Process Instagram Post

Topics: meeting sales goals, setting sales goals, sales goals

    Follow #ACTG


    About our Blog

    Anthony Cole Training Group has been working with financial firms for close to 30 years helping them become more effective in their markets and closing their sales opportunity gap.  ACTG has mastered the art of using science-based data and finely honed coaching strategies to help build effective sales teams.  Don’t miss our weekly sales management blog insights from our team of expert contributors.


    Subscribe Here

    Most Read

    Recent Blogs