Sales Tip Tuesday

Sales Tip

How to capture cell phone numbers

“I Need Help Closing Sales!”


When I speak to sales managers and many sales people, their request for help most often centers around “closing sales.” They say, “Art, I need help with closing. I’m not closing enough business.” As we diagnose the situation together, it often times leads to one specific area where [Read more…]

Pre-Call Planning

Is it possible that when we think of selling, we first gravitate to outside selling?  What is the environment?  Inside or outside sales?  There are great ideas presented in this discussion, all of which are critical at different portions of the sales cycle.  In my 25+ years, I continue to see one issue repeatedly…failure to plan the call.  We think we can “wing it.”   It doesn’t matter if we’ve been selling one day or 30 years, preparing your call allows you to focus on the dynamics of what is likely to happen.  You plan your introduction, you plan your questions in the order you feel they should be asked (needs assessment) and you craft those questions to get the answers you need to provide a solution to their issues.  You plan the introduction of your materials and support statements and that keeps you from presenting to early.  It also keeps you from throwing up all over your buyer and forces you to listen.  Taking notes during the call also causes you to listen and sends the message to your buyer that you care.  I’m talking about real notes, not on the ipad, phone or computer.  Real notes your buyer can see.  What they are saying is important.  It’s not just about preparing for the initial call, it’s for each and every call through the entire sales process.  Athletes prepare before their games, events, and races, bands practice before their concerts and actors practice before their performances.  Our pre-call planning is the practice before the event and the preparation that prevents the “you know what” performance.

Sales Tips: Planning Your Call – What Questions Should I Ask My Buyer?

If you’re asking that question, it’s a great sign.  You are planning your call and that will always make it more effective than “winging it.”  Your answer should center around the following:

1.  What information do I need?

2.  Why do I need the information?

3.  What needs has my buyer expressed?

4.  What needs does my product or service satisfy?

5.  Are there questions I can ask where the answer would be a benefit of using my product or service?

6.  Does my buyer want to make the necessary decision to change?

7.  What additional information do I need to gather before I’m prepared to make a presentation or recommendation?

8.  Are there questions my buyer may need to ask?  Can I anticipate them?  What will my answers be?

9.  How will I “craft” the questions to maximize the effectiveness of my needs assessment?


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Good Selling,


Sales Tips – Is Simple the New Complicated?

Simple is the new “Complicated.”

All of us have encountered the “Smartest Man in the World” in our sales endeavors.  You know him (her) – they are the ones that have the answers to all business problems and even life’s problems for that matter.  They are the people that have to show you how smart they are either by “racing” to get the job done quickly or ahead of schedule, they have the best ideas on how to proceed, they say they want and value your input and then when you offer it they say “what we need to do is….”  something completely different from what you suggested.  They say they believe in brainstorming and use that session as an opportunity to take your ideas and make them theirs.  Although you may be flattered, it’s difficult to establish a relationship with a person who continually “takes.” Among their other wonderful personal characteristics, they use the corporate bingo language…collaborate, partnership, strategic alliance, best practices, well there’s even a name – “Business Lingo Bingo.” We’ve all played this game when we are supposed to be listening on some conference call, training session or internal meeting.  Not only are they annoying, they aren’t even fun to say!

Are these words fashionable?  Is that the point?  It’s great when you are the first one out with the “new” term but what if your aren’t?  “If you’re not first, your last!” As Ricky Bobby said in Talladega Nights, perhaps there is a hint of brilliance in that movie in that once a word like that saturates the marketplace, it’s no longer different and it no longer sets you apart from the others.  In fact, it does just the opposite, it makes you a “me too” individual.  How can you differentiate yourself from that label?  “Partner was used in the early 80’s. The early adapters acquired new business by the truck load.  It was fresh, new and sent a message of differentiation.  What does that word mean today?  Is it fair to question its real value?  If the value of the word has faded, why do professionals continue to use it?  Partnership throughout the 80’s, strategic alliance after that, and collaboration much later may all be words that have run their course..  They are all off shoots of “working together” and those two words differentiate you from everyone – and they are simple, easy to say, and far more meaningful than other words we have been asked to use.  Do you know why?  Working together is personal = you and your buyer, it’s you and the executive suite, it’s you and your client, it’s you and your customer.  Maybe your company requires this language and you will be left with no choice.  And maybe, just maybe, they are looking for producers, for those salespeople that can deliver; those who are looking for a way to continue to excel, those looking for The Selling Edge, and those that deliver on their sales plans.  If so, they may be looking for new ways to do things.  They may be looking for a bit more provocative approach.  How about using words that are far older than partnership and collaboration?  So, is simple the new complicated?

What ever happened to the KISS (Keep It Simple Salesperson) principle?  Perhaps the Smartest Man in the World has temporarily forgot.  Instead of Partner, what about “working together?”  Instead of Collaboration, how about “working together?” Instead of Business or Strategic Alliance, what about “working together?”  Isn’t that what we mean? Why can’t we say that?  Is it because we won’t sound as smart as others think we should?  Why does that matter?  Are we that insecure about ourselves?  Somehow that doesn’t sound like something a professional sales person or executive would consider.  We’re confident, educated, well spoken, caring, solution oriented and many other fabulous qualities.  So if that’s the case, why not just say what we mean?  You see, that DOES differentiate us from our competition.  Our buyers have heard all the insincere jargon from everyone else and when we talk about working together it’s simple, understood and above all it’s personal!  That will always make a difference with who we are speaking with and immediately send the message that we care – and we do.  We don’t need to tell our buyers how smart we are and impress them with our product knowledge.  We need to show them we understand and care about their issues and we will WORK TOGETHER with them toward a solution.  Isn’t that what they want?

Our world has been contaminated with the “need for speed” through acronyms, shortcuts, text messaging, video conferencing, web conferencing, email, ipads and you name it.  Everything is NOW!  The Top 5% are different – not only do they excel and outperform, they care about their buyers and their buyers know it.  They can communicate because they speak clearly and listen and don’t try to show the buyer how smart they are.  They prepare, they respond, they execute, and they deliver on their promises.

You can too.  Work together with your buyers and their teams and see if that makes a difference in your attitude and your sales performance. Just suppose it does. And then?  You see, Simple is the new “Complicated.”

Good Selling,


Sales Tip

There are 2 words that can keep you out of an argument – suppose and perhaps. Both words are non-committal and provide you with an opportunity to “set the issue” aside rather that keep in between you and your buyer (spouse, significant other, boyfriend, girlfriend, or child).

“Suppose we look at…perhaps we would see….” Try it and see how it works for you.

The Selling Edge – Closing the Sale Tips

ClosingLet’s exchange useful information on sales strategy, sales skills, questions and comments that concern our sales professionals.  Closing the sale tips can be centered around our ability to be extremely effective in the Needs Assessment, Needs Analysis phase of the sales process.  Let’s beat the down economy and continue to perform in the Top 5%.

Good Selling,