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5 Ways To Kill Indecision In Your Prospect’s Mind

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It’s one of the biggest frustrations in a salesperson’s experience. You’ve done your research on the buyer and their company…you have uncovered all the possible objections the prospect has in mind…you’ve presented the solutions for their concerns…you’ve even discussed a reduction in price for increased orders.

It’s obvious the prospect is going to say ‘yes’. Isn’t it? There’s no alternative. Is there? The solution is right in front of their eyes. Isn’t it?

And yet…

They come out with the age-old deflater, “I’ll think about it and get back to you.”

Yes, this expression can confuse, frustrate and anger you all at the same time. What on earth is there to think about? You’ve gone though all the benefits. You’ve highlighted the appropriate product features. Are they just stupid, or what?

Well, you might not understand their reasons for procrastinating or not making decisions, but to the prospect, it’s very real. They may not be able to justify in words exactly why they are indecisive at that moment, but there are very real reasons why their subconscious reaction is one of fear and anxiety.

What can you do to kill off this indecision in the prospect’s mind to give yourself the best possible chance to get some progress? Here are some suggestions:

1) Don’t present solutions until you are absolutely clear on needs. Too many salespeople talk about solutions much too early in the process. This creates dissonance in the prospect’s mind, as they are unsure during the presentation how the solution you are providing will help their situation. It hasn’t been covered well enough yet.

2) Get the prospect to envisage the better future with your solution. This ‘better future’ might include higher profits, better productivity, lower wastage, increased turnover, lower staff loss or something similar. When the prospect is convinced that they need that better future, it creates awareness in their minds of the changes that have to be made to achieve it.

3) Make the changes they have to go through as painless as possible. So many prospects see change and associate it with pain. They are indecisive because the ‘pain’ they have to go through to get your stuff outweighs the benefits they will receive from going through it. If they are going to have to go through change in some way, ensure you explain how easy it’s going to be to achieve it.

4) Highlight the current reality and how it really needs to change…and quickly. The main reason for procrastination and indecision is because the buyer doesn’t associate enough pain to not changing the status quo. They are content or even happy with what’s happening and it won’t be worth the effort to make the change. If you help them see the result of NOT changing now, you open up the opportunity for the change to take place sooner rather than later.

5) Show proof that your solution has helped other prospects just like them to improve their business outlook. Imagine seeing a short video of another company in your industry who has benefitted by using the solution that’s being presented to you. You see how it has helped them overcome difficulties or improved their output. If you had the same solution, you would see the same results. Wow, won’t that make you feel that making the decision will be valuable to you?

These five ideas will help you accentuate the benefits of your prospect making the decision now, rather than having to put it on the back burner. Try highlighting what they will see as a result of making that decision, and you’re very likely to kill off any indecision anxiety for good.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat
Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image by D Dpavumba at

Have you downloaded my latest report “The Sales Person’s Crisis”? Over 10,000 sales pros have. Click on the image below to find out why your very existence as a sales person is in doubt…

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Two Things That Kill Motivation In Salespeople

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A salesperson once said on one of our training programmes that no manager he had ever worked for had been a true ‘motivator’.

He went on to describe how no-one he had worked for had even tried to find out what drove him forward and what would make him get up in the morning buzzing and eager to get to work.

If you ask many salespeople the same question, they would probably answer the same as this sales guy did. That it’s difficult to find great sales managers who create opportunities and environments for salespeople to motivate themselves.

Many managers still consider money to be the prime motivator. But they forget that money is only a satisfier when it comes to getting the best out of people. In other words, when the amount of money someone earns is adequate to supply the needs of the individual, it ceases to become a driver to improved performance and instead becomes a necessity, or a satisfier, as Hertzberg calls it.

So, if money (or the lack of it)  isn’t the thing that kills motivation in salespeople…what is?

Well, I’ve identified two components that will suck the life out of a motivated salesperson if things aren’t rectified quickly.

Firstly…one thing that squeezes motivation quicker than Pavarotti in a leotard  is a goal that is Unchallenging.

If something is too simple to achieve, it stops a person having the ‘motive for action’, which is the prime definition of the word ‘motivation’.

Think about it for a moment. If you had a very simple target to hit, and you could accomplish it with your eyes shut, what drive do you have to achieve it? When you hit it and say ‘easy-peasy’, then the drive, the enthusiasm, the energy all dissipate and the motivation fizzles and fades. So does performance, in the long run.

Far better to have a target that challenges the salesperson to stretch themselves and aim to achieve something that proves they are capable and driven to achieve. The feeling you get when the challenging goal is hit is far grander than if the target was easily achieved.

Secondly…another thing that let’s the motivational wind out of you like a whoopie-cushion is a goal that is viewed as Unachievable.

An unachievable goal is such a drainer on motivation that most wouldn’t even take the first step towards trying to achieve it. Yet, a goal that is in sight but just out of reach is one that inspires, drives and energises a person to at least attempt it.

These two components make up the deadly duo when it comes to motivation. If the goal doesn’t challenge or is seen as being unattainable, it immediately causes the salesperson to look for excuses and defend their poor performance.

It would be much better to set targets that are stretching and challenging, mainly because of the type of characteristics the salesperson has to show in order for them to achieve those targets. You can imagine the feeling of satisfaction and pride (and hence motivation) if the salesperson sees they have had to expend effort and energy to achieve them.

Keep those targets challenging and achievable. And you’ll see motivation rise as salespeople meet those lofty ideals.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat
Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image by Stuart Miles at

Have you downloaded my latest report “The Sales Person’s Crisis”? Over 10,000 sales pros have. Click on the image below to find out why your very existence as a sales person is in doubt…

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Ways To Make Your Value Standout In The Crowd

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We often get asked to help salespeople craft their cold-calling script so that the recipient drools at the very thought of meeting with the salesperson and has sleepless nights waiting for the presentation that will change their lives for the better.

 This utopian situation doesn’t occur very often/quite often/seldom/hardly ever/once in a blue moon/never in world history (delete as applicable)

What’s happening here, then? Why would many salespeople find it hard to get in touch with a company to arrange an appointment to show them products that will improve their lives or businesses?

We know the reasons. Most sales calls are desperately poor in their production and execution. They rarely, if ever, have the prospect feeling that they should spare their valuable time being sold to.

It requires a proposition that builds value in the prospect’s eyes in actually allowing you to take some of their valuable time. Known as your ’value-proposition’ , it offers the chance for you to show how others have gained results from your products or services.

In simple terms, a “value proposition” is the sum of the total benefits that customers receive when they purchase a specific product or service from your organisation. Your product or service value proposition is a powerful, compelling statement designed to capture the mind and the heart of your customers by demonstrating a relevant advantage in buying from you.

Getting the value proposition right for what your business sells is so important, because it provides the basis for your business relationship with your customers; and answers the question foremost in every potential customer’s mind: ‘Why should I buy from you?’

Most salespeople, however, use the initial contact as a chance to practice their product knowledge by outlining what they sell and what they do. Quite frankly, at this stage the prospect isn’t interested.

What is it at this stage that the customer/prospect wants to hear from you?

Put simply, it’s a statement that demonstrates that you understand their situation – that you recognise the problem they wish to solve, or the outcome they wish to achieve -followed by a specific offer or explanations as to how you are going to help them address their situation.

Ideally, the value proposition will not only explain how owning your product or using your service will allow the customer to achieve a desired outcome; it will also explain how it is that your business is uniquely positioned to create that outcome.

So it should focus on the results your prospect will achieve, rather than the features or benefits of the product itself.

So, DO NOT explain the product or services you sell, or outline their features.

INSTEAD, detail the benefits to the customer of owning your products or retaining your services.

Weak statements would include:

“We’re the best in class”

“We improve morale and motivation”

“Ours lasts longer than the competition’s offering”

Yeah, yeah, yada, yada, yada.

How can I say this politely? 

They’re Not Interested!

Today, you need to have a strong value proposition to break through the noise and pressure they are feeling from all sides. You need to speak to the critical issues they are facing, be they production, staff turnover, cash-flow, technical issues, profitability, stemming losses, health and safety, or others.

How about a stronger value proposition?

“We’ve helped our last 15 clients increase their turnover by an average of 9% in two years, and their profitability by over 12%. All without having to cut costs or make redundancies”

That helps prospects see the real value that you can offer and helps them make the decision to see you as soon as possible, just to see if their business could benefit in the same way. By talking about results rather than products (which are what customers really buy, isn’t it?), you create reasons for them to accept your proposition of a meeting or presentation.

So, don’t talk about what you do or how you do it; talk about the results of what you do and how the prospect will reap those rewards with you.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat
Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image by Stuart Miles at

Have you downloaded my latest report “The Sales Person’s Crisis”? Over 10,000 sales pros have. Click on the image below to find out why your very existence as a sales person is in doubt…

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The New Breed of Sales Person – They Don’t Actually Sell

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A great profession, isn’t it?

The world would stop if people didn’t sell things. I love buying things. I have toys and gadgets that surround me in my business and personal life. Many of them I bought out of choice, but many of them were bought by me after I was influenced by a salesperson, and I’m happy there was someone available to help me make the right decision.

You will know I’ve been preaching for years that the market most salespeople sell into has changed beyond all recognition. Buyers who existed 10 years ago don’t exist any more. Yet, there are still many salespeople who sell in the same way they did a decade or more ago.

There is a new kid on the block. Someone who is changing the way business is carried out forever.

Think of your typical salesperson, in many persons’ eyes. Brash, forward, assertive, pushy. Not really a nice image, is it?

The new breed of salesperson recognises the way the new buyer wants to be sold to. Here’s my list of qualities that the new breed lives by:

They have brilliant product knowledge: They know their product inside out. But more importantly, they know how that product will bring better results for their prospects

They are consultative: Rather than push solutions, they make recommendations. Rather than manipulate situations, they create suggestions and influence decision-makers.

They use customer experience: They are able to see the results customers achieved before and highlight the changes they will obtain by changing the format they use to obtain those results.

They know their competition better than the competition do: The new breed are on top of what the competition are doing. They use Google Alerts and other methods to improve their market-place knowledge, so when one of the clients mentions a competitive offering, they are able to show immediately how their product is still ahead of their new competitor.

They have a business head on their shoulders: Rather than highlight product or service attributes, they show their ability to assist the client by thinking of their business future and how they can help them achieve their future goals.

They concentrate on future results: Their thoughts are primarily on what the solutions will do for the client’s business, rather than on what the product or service does.

They challenge the client’s current thinking about their business strategies: This entails identifying the processes they use at the moment to drive performance and analysing, through your experience, how that could be enhanced and potentially improved.

What you’ll notice from all the above, and what is really happening in the great world of sales, is that successful salespeople are realising that trying to ‘sell’ is so old-fashioned. As my Head of Training keeps on telling me…”That is soooo 2013!”

Instead of selling, the new breed offer opportunities to businesses and individuals that wouldn’t exist if they hadn’t been there. Their advice and recommendations enhance people’s lives. They create situations where businesses advance quicker, solve problems more eloquently and build opportunities more effortlessly.

The new breed have future aspirations that have never been available before. They grab hold of the risks and play with them like they are rag dolls. Their offerings are just a by-product of what they do for a living. Not having to ‘sell’ takes all the pressure off them, and they allow themselves to see situations that they might have been blind to before.

This opens up so many doors and the great thing about it is every door is available for every one of us to walk through.

Happy ‘Selling’ !!

Sean McPheat
Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image by Stuart Miles at

Have you downloaded my latest report “The Sales Person’s Crisis”? Over 10,000 sales pros have. Click on the image below to find out why your very existence as a sales person is in doubt…

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The Best Sales People Make Effortless Rapport, But It’s Not What You Think

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Building rapport is the holy grail for many sales people. They think that if the relationship is cemented before they try to pitch their product, then they stand a better chance of successful outcomes.

What do most people think ‘rapport is? Most think it’s talking about the weather, some photos they see in office or how last weekend’s sports events went. However, the people we are talking with are busy people. Their mind is on something different…things like how their business is going now, the challenges they face at the moment, the problems they will experience if they don’t solve their current problems, etc, etc.

Am I suggesting you shouldn’t use small talk and just say something like, “Hi Mr Prospect, good to meet you. Now, how many of my product were you looking for?”

Err..not quite! There is a difference between building rapport through small talk and building Effortless rapport through talking their business language.

In other words, don’t think about the small talk as building rapport. It’s just getting the human interaction going.  Effortless Rapport is talking shop and finding things in common about the project, work, company news, something about the company etc.

The prospect is only interested in what you can do for them and their business. Rapport in this sense is being on the same business wavelength as they are on. This means creating rapport by identifying business needs and discovering or uncovering challenges their company is going through at the moment.

So, don’t view the small talk as rapport-building. All that does is create a start of the human interaction you are both going to go through.

Think of the rapport-building as the start of the conversation, because it’s at that point when the prospect begins to create awareness of what their needs or wants are. They need someone to work with them who they can see is going to be good for them, someone they can trust and someone who has a real interest in solving their problems.

It would go something like this:

“Mr Prospect, I’ve done my research on your company and I have two or three ideas that I might like to run past you. However, it would be good to make sure I have a clear picture of the current situation, so would it be OK if I asked a few questions to get us started?”

This builds effortless rapport in the beginning by

1) showing the prospect that you have done your homework and are interested in their business,

2) identifying the direction the meeting is going to go, and

3) asking permission to ask questions to help the meeting go forward.

The essence of this is to ensure you don’t think that just because you have spoken about his last fishing trip and how your holiday went, you are now in rapport. Effortless rapport is all about creating that foundation for the business discussion, when you talk about the real reason you’re there…to help their business grow.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat
Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image by jscreationzs at

Have you downloaded my latest report “The Sales Person’s Crisis”? Over 10,000 sales pros have. Click on the image below to find out why your very existence as a sales person is in doubt…

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