Browse Tag

bad selling habits

Breaking Your Sales Slump

Problem:  As salespeople, we sometimes struggle breaking out of our comfort zones.  You know when you should be or even need be to trying something new to get to things moving in the right direction.  Triggered by having an anemic pipeline of good opportunities we try to create sales momentum with a flurry of short-term sales activity.  If you have ever done this before, you realize that this approach rarely creates any lasting results. It is not just in our sales role where this approach does not work.  It never works in our diet program, exercise routine, or financial planning. read more

When and How to Use Your Sales Collateral Material

Problem:  Early on in my career, I was the king of sales sheets. That was the term we used for all our marketing material.  I made sure before I left for the day my briefcase was loaded with all the latest material. I wanted to be armed for anything a prospect would throw at me. We had a file cabinet in the back of the sales room where all the collateral sales material was stored; each with its own labeled slot.  One day I was excited because I had a full day of sales calls with prospects I’ve been working to get in front of. Excited, until I went to our marketing cabinet and found the slots empty! Checking in with the sales secretary, she informed me that the copier was broke and she would not be able to print more until later that day. Now panic set in. I had my presentation all set around these materials and now I was armed with nothing! read more

Set the Trap… for Yourself!

SQC smallProblem: Jack had been with the company for only two years, yet he was considered their most technically competent salesperson. He was the “go to guy” when the other salespeople needed someone to talk to about solutions, specifications, and competitive information. He was an expert when it came to product knowledge, yet he had the worst closing rate and was the lowest paid salesperson. read more

Sound Like a Salesperson? Get Ready for Rejection

SQC smallProblem: Jason was new to the company and was trying to develop his territory. He didn’t lack enthusiasm and was making his objective of 100 cold phone calls a day. He felt pretty good about that since he saw others make far less. But still, he was not making nearly enough appointments to keep his pipeline filled and wondered how he was ever going to achieve his income goals if things didn’t change. read more

Excuse Making

SQC smallProblem: Bert, VP Sales for ABC Company, was explaining to the CEO why they were 50% short of goal. “Our prospects tell my salespeople our pricing is 25% higher than our closest competitor, business is terrific so why risk change, and they (the prospects) don’t understand Web-based e-commerce yet.” Bert continued, “I can relate. We are pretty new. Maybe our goals are too ambitious.” Ms. CEO replied, “Those are all probably good reasons, but it’s your job to make goal, so deal with it.” (The CEO presented similar reasons to the Board of Directors for being off target.) Bert accepted that these were serious issues that had to be dealt with and worked with his people to make more effective calls. However, the environment didn’t change. Customers continued to have challenges around ABC’s solutions. ABC ended the year 50% off projection, Bert was gone and the new Sales VP took a new approach. read more

Eliminate Mutual Confusion

SQC smallProblem:  Ever go on a sales call where there seemed to be little structure, where both parties seemed to be on different pages, where expectations were not met, and little was accomplished? Even worse, you expected something positive to occur but simply got a luke-warm response such as, “I need to think it over. Call me in a few days.” Opportunities are squandered and the buyer seems to be in control. read more

Leave Your Agenda at the Office

SQC smallProblem:  Alligator Software had just introduced a major revision to their software but, in spite of tremendous initial enthusiasm, sales fell far short of expectations and management started to receive complaints about the conduct of their overzealous salespeople.

Analysis:  Alligator was proud of their latest upgrades, so much so that management was convinced that they were finally in a position to overtake their primary competitor who owned 60% of the market.  A national sales meeting was held and the entire forty person sales team converged on San Diego for a quick one and a half day meeting to introduce the “new product.”  After the proud techies got their chance to demo the software, the marketing department spent a half-day helping the salespeople understand all the features and benefits and how the new product would help their prospects reach new levels of efficiency. read more

The Sales Professional vs. the Professional Pretender

SQC smallProblem: Have you ever heard the term “sales profession?” How about “medical profession?” Which one do you think has the most credibility?  Admittedly I’m biased; I am a “professional” salesperson.  Which would the general public—the people who are our prospective buyers—give the most credibility to as a real profession? My guess is medicine. read more

“You Haven’t Heard the Best Part”

SQC smallProblem: Jim and Howard were presenting their case for doing business with one of the largest grocery retailers in the U.S.  Their company, Lincoln Inventory Services, sold inventory counting services to retailers.  Associated Grocers represented an important sale for them.  About halfway through their presentation Sam, Associated’s CFO, said, “Okay guys, you’ve said enough.  I can see that your program will meet our needs.  We’d like to sign the contract and get started immediately.”  Jim, the sales manager, relaxed visibly.  They had done it; they bagged the big one; it was over. read more