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The Four Cs of Great Salespeople: Part 4

Posted by Mark Trinkle on Thu, Mar 03, 2022

We have identified the four Cs of great salespeople and how mastering these traits will lead to better relationship selling and advanced selling skills.

This week we are focusing on the critical trait of Charisma and how being able to attract, charm, and influence those you engage with will help you be more successful. 

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Three weeks ago, we kicked off a blog series focusing on the four Cs of great salespeople. So far, we have covered curiosity, confidence, and courage. Last week we focused on courage and the two primary challenges salespeople face that require them to be boldly courageous. One of those challenges is when a salesperson must provide pushback or challenge a statement that a prospect has made. Secondly, walking away from a piece of business when it does not qualify or fit.

This week we are turning our attention to the trait of charisma. Great salespeople are usually quite charismatic. The questions worth asking are twofold: 

  1. What is charisma?
  2. Where do you go to get charisma if you don’t have it?

Let’s start by defining charisma. It is the quality of being able to attract, charm, and influence those around you. It is generally very easy to identify when someone is charismatic. The challenge is being able to pinpoint the skills or qualities that charismatics have that others do not.

Charismatic people are very interesting to be around. I love the coaching I once received that reminded me that to be interesting you must first be interested. As in being interested in the person you are meeting with (at least more interested in them than you are in telling them about you). How much time are you currently devoting in your pre-call plan to identify the questions you intend to ask your prospect that will convey that you are genuinely interested in them and their problems?

In terms of question #2 above, I don’t know of a place you can go to obtain more charisma. Like your IQ, which is typically fully set around the age of 20, charisma is similar. Some people are simply more charismatic than others. But don’t let that deter you. You can still improve your ability to attract, charm, and influence the people around you. All you need to do is to be interested. That may lead your prospect to find you to be interesting (if not even charming).

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Topics: relationship selling, advanced selling skills

The Four C’s of Great Salespeople: Part 3

Posted by Mark Trinkle on Fri, Feb 25, 2022

We have identified the four Cs of great salespeople and how mastering these traits will lead to better relationship selling and advanced selling skills.

This week we are focusing on the critical trait of Courage. There are two primary challenges for salespeople that require the most courage.

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Over the last two weeks, we have been building a blog series on the four Cs of great salespeople. So far, we have covered curiosity and confidence. Last week we focused on confidence and the three areas where that confidence is most evident during the sales process. Great salespeople are confident in; their company's value proposition, that they do not need to be liked to win business, and most importantly, their approach and sales process.

This week we will be focusing on the critical trait of courage. Great salespeople are always courageous. The question worth asking is, where does that courage come from? Maybe the other question worth asking is, how did they get that courage?

Mark Twain once said, “courage is resistance to fear…it is mastery of fear…it is not the absence of fear.” Great salespeople will always have moments in their sales process where they are challenged. Where they will need to have what Susan Scott calls a “fierce conversation.” For more on that topic, I encourage you to read Susan’s wonderful book titled Fierce Conversations.

It is my judgment that there are two primary challenges for salespeople that require the most courage:

  1. Providing pushback. The prospect has said something that is just flat-out wrong. They want to do something that is just not right. As a salesperson, you have two options: you can simply remain quiet and let it go, or you can push back and challenge the prospect. Remember – it is never ok to confront or challenge people. But is ok (and quite frankly essential) that you challenge the statements that people make. And this starts with asking permission. One example would be; “Hey Mary, you just said something that I have a divergent opinion on…would it be ok if I offered a different perspective?”
  2. Walking away. Salespeople hate what I call the “Crowded House” moment in a tribute to the rock band’s 1986 hit single “Don’t Dream It’s Over”. You know the words- "hey now, hey now, don’t dream it’s over." But what if it is over? Wouldn’t you want to know that so you could move on? Would you be concerned about wasting your time? Of course, you will only walk away if you have something else (other deals, other prospects) to walk away towards. If your pipeline is empty, walking away can be hard to do.

Do you want to be more courageous? Suppose I told you that you can be just that. Look for moments to push back (ask permission and be nice) and prospect like crazy, so you are operating with a full pipeline. Remember – you would like their business. But you certainly don’t need it.

Learn More About the  21 Core Competencies!

Topics: relationship selling, advanced selling skills

The Four C’s of Great Salespeople: Part 2

Posted by Mark Trinkle on Thu, Feb 17, 2022

We have identified the four Cs of great salespeople and how mastering these traits will lead to better relationship selling and advanced selling skills.

This week we are turning our attention to trait #2; Confidence. Great salespeople are almost always confident and express that confidence in three areas.

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In last week’s blog, we began a series focused on the four Cs of great salespeople, starting with the first C- Curiosity. We discussed that the two most critical skills that a salesperson must master are being good at asking questions and being even better at listening. Both of which are advanced selling skills and keys to being a great relationship selling salesperson.

This week we are turning our attention to trait #2; Confidence. Great salespeople are almost always confident, and they tend to express that confidence in three areas:

First, they are confident in their firm’s value proposition (how their firm helps businesses or people solve problems). They are believers. By that I mean they believe their company can do everything they say they can do. They have “proof of concept” and share that with confidence. By the way, these confident salespeople rarely, if ever, think they need to have the lowest price. They position value, and they defend that value.

Secondly, they are confident in their approach. They know that they must interrogate reality, as Susan Scott says in her book “Fierce Conversations.” They must figure out whether the prospect is truly a prospect with a problem they have to solve, the money with which to solve it, and the conviction and clarity to make a decision when presented with a solution. Confident salespeople ask the tough questions, and they ask lots of those tough questions.

Thirdly, confident salespeople are confident in their belief that they do not have to be liked for the prospect to do business with them. Don’t get me wrong – they do subscribe to the philosophy that people generally enjoy business relationships with people they like. But they confidently believe that the buying decision is made because the prospect has trust and confidence that the salesperson can do what the salesperson says they can do – and that is to solve the prospect’s problem. Being liked has very little to do with any of that.

So, how confident are you? And is that confidence contagious?

Topics: relationship selling, advanced selling skills

The Four Cs of Great Salespeople: Part 1

Posted by Mark Trinkle on Thu, Feb 10, 2022

The two most important skills that a salesperson must master are becoming good at asking questions and becoming good at listening which are advanced selling skills.

We have identified four traits that all great relationship selling salespeople have in common. In part 1 of this blog series, we will discuss the first most critical trait, curiosity. 

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Great salespeople are like diamonds in your collection and similar to diamonds, they have characteristics that make them shine. We all know the four Cs of diamonds are cut, color, clarity, and carat so what are the characteristics that great salespeople possess? In my role as a sales coach, I get an up-close and personal look at some of the greatest salespeople in the world. Some are young while some are older. Some are extroverted while others are more introverted. Some are extrinsically motivated, and some are intrinsically motivated. In short, salespeople come in all shapes and sizes.

But I have been able to identify four traits that the great relationship selling salespeople have in common:

  1. Curiosity
  2. Confidence
  3. Courage
  4. Charisma

Today, I want to start with the curiosity trait. Great salespeople tend to be naturally and intellectually curious in their conversations with prospects. Now if you have read this blog before, you understand I believe the two most important skills that a salesperson must master are becoming good at asking questions and becoming good at listening and these are advanced selling skills. The problem with listening is that too many salespeople simply listen with the desire to interrupt as opposed to listening to understand.

This is where great salespeople really shine. In their pre-call plan, they create questions that are tailored for resonance, meaning the questions speak the prospect’s love language. These questions are questions that invite discussion around the things that matter most to the prospect, the essence of relationship selling. And because the salesperson is “intellectually curious”, most of those questions start with why, when, how, what or when, which we know are “journalism questions.”

And that’s not all. Salespeople who are curious also rely on industry intelligence to make sure the questions they ask are both intelligent and that those questions resonate. One resource that thousands of firms around the world rely on to help in this research area is IBISWorld which can provide salespeople with real-time industry-specific knowledge. This allows salespeople to avoid having to tell their prospects how smart they are – they simply ask questions that allow the prospect to self-discover that the salesperson is knowledgeable about the prospect’s industry. As one of my mentors taught me years ago, great salespeople ask what weak salespeople prefer to tell.

So how curious are you when you speak to your prospects? Are your questions tailored for resonance? Let us know. We are curious about your skills!

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Topics: relationship selling, advanced selling skills

Mastering Advanced Sales Techniques: A Tribute to Meat Loaf

Posted by Mark Trinkle on Fri, Feb 04, 2022

When developing a salesperson’s advanced selling skills, it's important to focus on not only what the prospect says but also what the prospect doesn’t say.

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As many of you know, I am a music aficionado…and as such, I would be remiss if I did not note the passing a few weeks ago of the singer Meat Loaf at 74 years of age. Born with the name Marvin Lee Aday, Meat Loaf sold more than 65 million albums worldwide.

He also has something to teach us in terms of mastering advanced sales techniques around the topic of having clarity with the prospects in our pipeline. Go ahead and sing along with me:

And all I can do is keep on telling you
I want you
I need you
There ain't no way I'm ever gonna love you
Now don't be sad
Cause two out of three ain't bad

Now while the name of that song is “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad”, we can also refer to this as “The Dance of the Prospect.” Maybe it brings to mind a recent deal you chased. You know, the one you were sure you were going to win right up until the moment that you lost. I doubt you will disagree with me when I say that prospects can be quite elusive and quite vague when you meet with them.

When we are working to develop a salesperson’s advanced selling skills, we focus on not only what the prospect says but also what the prospect doesn’t say. Here is what they often say and all of this is enticing bait for salespeople:

  • We have heard good things about your company
  • We are open to new ideas
  • We think you might be able to help us
  • We would love to see in writing what you could do for us

That is your prospect saying, “and all I can do is keep on telling you…I want you…I need you”. But what you might need to consider is what they are not telling you, which is “there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you.”

But hey – for all you salespeople…don’t be sad. After all, two out of three ain’t bad.

Need Help?  Check Out Our  Sales Growth Coaching Program!

Topics: advanced sales training, advanced selling skills, advanced sales techniques

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    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.

     

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