In the dynamic landscape of sales, one skill stands out as a game-changer: listening. A salesperson’s ability to truly listen can be the difference between a successful deal and a missed opportunity. Why is listening so critical? Because it holds the key to uncovering a buyer’s motives, needs, and desires.
The Art of Asking the Right Questions: Asking questions is an essential part of any sales conversation, but the quality of those questions matters just as much as the act of asking. Thoughtfully crafted questions serve as a gateway to the buyer’s world, giving insight into their challenges, goals, and pain points. These questions pave the way for a deeper understanding of the buyer’s perspective, allowing the salesperson to tailor their approach and solutions accordingly.
Whether you’re new to sales or a seasoned veteran, regardless of your “technique”, you’ll still hear “NO” more often than “YES”.
This is a truism of sales. Most salespeople know this, but everyday go on calls always seeking a “YES”. They not only create unbelievable pressure on themselves, but set themselves up for mental failure, as well.
How do we in the training business address this seemingly weighty issue?
You cannot manage time, but you can manage yourself through a disciplined process of maximizing your time by prioritizing activities which will help you achieve your sales goals. This discipline must be ongoing, not something you do once or occasionally.
How do you self-manage activities?
First, identify time wasters, then, identify the source of time wasters and finally, change your behavior pattern.
“It’s not WHAT you know…It’s what you DO with what you know!”
It’s either coming from your existing customer base or from new customers. Keeping the “funnel” filled with qualified prospects requires multiple prospecting methods used in a planned, systematic, and measurable method.
You’ve just hired a new salesperson. Now what? How do you get them productive…quickly? It starts with you the sales manager.
New hires look for leadership. Their initial results will be potentially meager, so lead by example. Success is what they’ll attract…by the salesperson they become. Teach them accountability and discipline, because lack of discipline in the first 90 days causes disasters.
Here’s a brief checklist for those first 90 days:
Establish clear STANDARDS of performance
Define and review the expected results of the job
Define & Track Behavior and Activities
What get’s measured, what gets done…put it in your CRM
Require activity/call reports
Have them track details of appointments and calls within your CRM
Review Progress: Coaching & Couseling
Ask: “What did you do right?” and “What would you do differently next time?”
Product Technical Training
Use to create confidence, competence and credibility, not necessarily expertise in the beginning.
Prospecting, Skills, Development, System/Reinforcement, Role Playing
Hands on Training IN THE FIELD
Finally, you need to measure progress every 30 days. Formally review their progress. Discuss learning, improvements, tracking, results, sales pipeline, strategies and next steps.
Now for the difficult part: At each 30 day interval be prepared to make a decision: Go or “No Go” with the new person. Why? You, as a sales manager, are measured for the results of your people. The longer a poor performer is with you…the more difficult it is for most managers to replace them. Expect success…plan for it, hold everyone accountable and the results will come. Start the off correctly: 90 day plans.
“I hold it more important to have the players’ confidence than their affection.” – Vince Lombardi
One of the most common complaints we hear from salespeople is how hard it is to get someone to commit to an appointment.
They find their prospects using the same excuse over and over again: “I’m busy, so call me in a month.”Then, when the salesperson calls back, they are busy again and use the same excuse… “call me next month.” To make things worse, they blame this problem on the prospect. However, it is not the prospect who is to blame, but rather the salesperson. The real issue is that most of the time when your prospect says, “call me in a month”, what they really mean is “don’t call me.” Although we sense this, we are afraid to hear it. So, instead of getting a “no” and discovering there really isn’t an opportunity for us, we would prefer to chase a prospect that is unwilling to see us.
“If I had a dollar for every prospect that told me to call them in a month, I would be a rich man.” – Frustrated Salesperson
The professional salesperson operates quite differently.
Eliminate Hiring Mistakes…Immediately and Avoid the High Cost of Hiring Mistakes!
The process of interviewing, hiring, on-boarding and training…and then suddenly losing salespeople is a very costly mistake. How much money and opportunity has your company lost on salespeople who are no longer with you? Keep reading….we’ll show you how to calculate an actual number below!
As managers, we often ask ourselves, “How are the troops doing?” The term “troops” is more than a euphemism, because these are the people we engage in the battle for sales. The battleground today is the “Uncertain” economy which many businesses face. Look at your troops, as a General might and ask some penetrating questions.
As a taste of what you will receive in our newsletters, please enjoy Part 1 of our "Sales Leader Playbook: Rules for Accelerating Sales Performance". Part 1 of "The Playbook" shares how Sales Managers can cut through excuses of sales people, hold sales people accountable for results, and surpass the team's sales goals through the Pipeline Review..
It’s the fourth quarter of 2023. Time for total accountability from each salesperson. What are the “MUST ACHIEVE” Sales Goals in Q4? Once the goals for Q4 are in place, accountability for time and Sales activity (behaviors) is the next critical … Continue reading →
The Power of Listening: Unveiling Buyer Motives
In the dynamic landscape of sales, one skill stands out as a game-changer: listening. A salesperson’s ability to truly listen can be the difference between a successful deal and a missed opportunity. Why is listening so critical? Because it holds … Continue reading →