ACTG Sales Management Blog

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It's the Little Things in Selling

Posted by Mark Trinkle on Fri, Jul 26, 2019

Selling 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: sales differences, little things, one more call, slight edge difference, extra mile

The Buyer Yesterday vs. The Buyer Today

Posted by Jack Kasel on Thu, Jul 11, 2019

Today’s buyer isn’t your grandpa’s, or even your dad’s, buyer.  They are coming to you much deeper into the sales process, meaning they are much more aware and informed than ever before.

As a sales rep, if you discuss things they can find on your company's website or discover themselves, how valuable are you? 


Should you choose to believe it was the Department of Defense or Al Gore that invented the internet, let’s just suppose that the internet did not exist today.  What would your client need to do to get information about your product or service?

  1. Talk to a friend, family member, or co-worker
  2. Do some research in trade magazines
  3. OR talk to a salesperson

Should they choose option three, the salesperson could discuss the product’s Features, Benefits, and Advantages, along with price and service guarantees.  All the things salespeople like to discuss.  Sadly (or not) the internet does exist, so the question I have for my brothers and sisters in sales is this . . .

Why in the world would you waste time talking about things that your prospect can find on the internet?

Today’s Buyer isn’t your grandpa’s, or even your dad’s, buyer.  They are coming to you much deeper into the sales process, meaning they are much more aware and informed than ever before. We believe if you are talking about you, your company, or your products and services too early in the sales process, you’ve lost.  Guess what?   If they are interested in that “stuff”, they will look it up.  Here’s are two things every prospect or suspect is thinking about when you call on them:

  • The goals they want to accomplish
  • The challenges they face in overcoming those goals

If you discuss things they can find on a website or figure out themselves, how valuable are you?  How different are you?  How memorable are you?  Yesterday’s buyer would tolerate you telling them things because that was the only way they could learn. 

Today’s buyer needs much more from you. 


Topics: sales reps, buyer, today's buyer, changing behaviors, sales differences

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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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