All posts by Sean McPheat

Hi! I'm the founder and Managing Director of MTD Sales Training - we offer sales training solutions for companies both large and small. I'm blessed to work with 25 of the most talented trainers in the UK....well, I did recruit them! ;-) Today, we've delivered training in over 23 countries to over 2,500 different organisations and 50,000 staff. Our clients include Xerox, Friends Provident, Starbucks, Taylor Wimpey, CISCO, Allianz and Lloyds TSB to name but a few.

The Sales System That GUARANTEES Quality Customer Responses

We’ve always been told that questions are the holy grail of the salesperson’s quest to achieve results, as they uncover valuable nuggets of information that may be hidden in a customer’s mental vault.

When we ask salespeople how they prepare their question bank for a sales meeting, it’s fairly obvious that this isn’t something that comes naturally.

We’re not talking about scripting the meeting, because that doesn’t allow for spontaneity or for diversity when the conversation goes a little off piste.

What we’re referring to is how the salesperson structures their questioning system, so they can follow a robust pattern that gets to the heart of the customer’s concerns and challenges.

Having this kind of system helps develop and acquire the knowledge required to build up value in your products and how they relate to the customer’s business.

To start with, the system looks at questions that uncover data and facts. Naturally, you will have completed your research so that you can get beyond the bare facts; here, we’re referring to the reasons why the data and information you have gleaned actually came about.

It would sound something like, “I see you turned over £xxx last year…..was this in accordance with expectations?’ or ‘When you said profitability was down, by exactly how much did it decrease?’

This gets you the essential information to develop the conversation.

Next, we look at the implications of those results and, accordingly, what actions the customer will need to take now. It uncovers the actions that need to be taken and the likely consequences and effects of those actions.

It would sound something like, ‘What have you tried so far to turn things around?’ or ‘What results do you hope to achieve when this is sorted?’

Following on, we look at the impacts and implications of the changes they need to employ to change matters. This gets to the reasons why the changes are necessary in the customer’s mind.

It would sound something like, ‘What would happen if….?’ or ‘What will be the relationship between…..?’

The most high-impact questions get to the core of the issues the customer’s business is facing. They identify what the end-results of the changes they are planning would be, determine the real challenges to those changes and help you create opportunities that might be fulfilled with your solutions.

It would sound something like, ‘What opportunities would this allow you to pursue?’ or ‘When you implement these changes, how do you see your results changing?’

As we said, the quality of your questions will determine the quality of the responses, so you need to design a system that allows you and your customer to develop harmony in your approach, seeking to find answers to their most pressing challenges and opening up opportunities for you to build solutions together that will bring better results with you than without you.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training
http://www.mtdsalestraining.com

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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6 Actions You MUST Take After Your Sales Presentations

I remember meeting a salesperson in my office who presented me with a product that would hopefully deal with some challenges we were having at the time.

The product was quicker, more efficient and easier to use than our current product. It was more expensive and would have meant us getting other quotes in, but all-in-all it would do the job.

The salesman went through his presentation, showed me the benefits and build a good platform for me to make my decision. I said that we were going to get some more quotes and that I would think about it.

He left and I never heard from him again.

It’s not he only time that salespeople have puzzled me with their poor salesmanship and professionalism.

Would we have bought if he had followed-up? Probably yes, because what we bought was specifically more expensive than his offer.

So, what should he have done? What should happen immediately following a presentation that will convince the prospect that you can offer benefits that will outweigh their challenges?

Here are six suggestions:

Get Immediate Feedback 

This allows you to get critical and constructive feedback immediately about the decision-maker’s state of mind following your presentation. They may not always be truly honest, as they haven’t had time to digest and assimilate your offer yet. But it gives you a chance to see if there are any immediate concerns or questions still lingering.

If they reply with a hesitant ‘yes, it was fine’, but with no eye contact and some negative body language, then you know you may need to ask one or two follow-up questions to determine their real emotional response.

Follow-Up Quickly

Decision-makers often judge the accountability of salespeople by the speed of the follow-up of promises. Great salespeople differentiate themselves from competitive presentations by writing personal notes to each stakeholder, thanking them for their time and attention. It just adds that personal touch that might make you stand out from the crowd. Whatever you do, ensure you keep your promises.

Keep Pertinent Records

This means documenting what’s been said, what you did, what actions need to be taken and how you are going to follow up. If appropriate, you could send a summary to each participant, so they have a record of what was discussed and any actions needed to be taken.

Send Additional Info To Add Value

Imagine if you had received a presentation from a salesperson, then a day or two later they followed up with a valuable and informative article on the systems they had presented, white papers that identify results others have achieved and some interesting industry information you hadn’t seen before. How would you view the diligence and helpfulness of that salesperson?

If it’s practical, make sure you build your reputation as a consultant, adding meaning to each individual who you presented to, so they see reasons why your offer increases its value in their eyes.

Assess How It All Went

Did you achieve your goals? Were the customer’s goals dealt with by way of your presentation? What did you learn if the presentation didn’t hit the mark?

By asking and answering questions relating to the success of the presentation, you build awareness of any changes that need to be made for future demonstrations of your products and services

Plan For The Next Steps In The Process

What needs to happen next for you to progress this possibility? Think short and long-term. If it was successful, what has to happen for you to ensure your promises made in the presentation are kept?

If it wasn’t, what can you learn so that future demonstrations are better suited to the customer’s needs?

Each one of these steps will help you progress and improve when you present solutions to prospects. Also, you’ll set yourself apart from your competition who may simply rely on price or product quality to sell for them.

You’ll look more professional and give prospects good reasons to choose your solution because of the trust and reliability you have shown even before they have bought from you.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training
http://www.mtdsalestraining.com

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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How These 3 Small LinkedIn Tweaks Will Increase Your Sales

lisFor many salespeople, LinkedIn is a bit of an anomaly; they know that many people can be found on it (over 351 million people, at the time of writing), but they don’t have the time or knowledge to develop their profile as it hasn’t brought them any business.

Your profile can be as good or as bad as you want it to be. If you see it as ‘the sales professional’s Facebook’ you may be missing the point and missing opportunities.

Your LinkedIn profile can often be left neglected and unloved, as other seemingly more important things take precedent over what is essentially a background portfolio for many salespeople. But just a few tweaks, one or two small changes, may make you stand out from a big crowd.

Here are just three little things you can do that may make a big difference:

Your Professional Headline should make people aware of what you can do for them

Many people’s Professional Headline simply acts like a business card. Saying something like ‘sales Consultant at ABC Ltd’ or ‘ Business Manager with XYZ’ says nothing about what you can do for people.

Instead, you Headline should shout out how you help businesses succeed or what results you have got for companies. You have up to 120 characters to convince people why they should approach and use you. Think of it as your ‘elevator speech’ that can be said in just a few words.

An example is: ‘Sales at A Printers Ltd – I help SME’s reduce their printing costs by 24%’

Here’s another: ‘BDM at BA Coach – helping people be the best they can be! Trainer, Speaker, Coach & Customer Service Specialist’

Your Headline goes with you everywhere; when you ask someone to connect, when you place a comment in a group, when you request information, when you share an article with a client or prospect, and a myriad other times.

A great Headline that says how you help companies or people to succeed will attract more interest, especially if it’s something intriguing.  Think: How do I help businesses succeed? What would make people sit up and say ‘Wow, I need to talk to this person’? Use those 120 characters wisely!

Your summary should make people think ‘I want to know more!’

Many people use their LinkedIn summary like a CV, outlining what they do or what they’ve done.

Instead, write it so that you answer the following questions:

  1. What results have I achieved for companies and individuals?
  2. How have those results benefitted businesses and others?
  3. What skills do I have that will be useful to others?
  4. If you worked with me, this is what you would get

Write your summary in the first person, and make it original, outlining why the viewer of your profile should get in contact with you. It’s your opportunity to get leads coming proactively to you, instead of making hard work of cold-calling and the challenges that brings.

Get recommendations! – They act as your testimonials and referrals!

The ‘Recommendations’ section is probably one of the most neglected parts of the LinkedIn profile and it’s easy to see why. Most people are unwilling to ask someone to recommend them as it seems too pushy or rude.

However, a healthy list of recommendations can be used to show prospects how you have helped others in similar industries or situations. Imagine having a portfolio stuffed full of people’s positive comments of how you’ve benefited their businesses. Wouldn’t you be willing to show that to everyone who asked? Then why hold back from asking for a quick recommendation from a client you’ve helped?

It’s easy. You can either make a quick recommendation for someone else and ask them to return the compliment; or you can write a quick three or four lines for a client, send it to them, ask them to make any necessary changes and add it to your profile.

A large number of recommendations is like a suite of testimonials saying how good you have been to them. When someone asks why they should use you, you can quickly send them to your LinkedIn profile, get them to click on ‘recommendations’ and there is a list of satisfied customers who wax lyrically about the results you have achieved for them.

These simple tips can make a real difference to the amount of business you can attract. If you’d like to know how MTD can help you with your LinkedIn account, contact us and we’ll give you the lowdown on how to make your profile stand out.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training
http://www.mtdsalestraining.com

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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Watch This Short Video To Fire You Up For EVERY Sales Meeting

I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for motivation.

Whatever I can get to drive me forward and help me achieve my goals is like gold dust, as it overcomes all the negativity that we often experience.

Sometimes, we come across a piece of literature or a video or CD that stops us in our tracks and helps us achieve.

I came across this video and just had to share it with you.

Play it every morning, or when you need a pep up, and see if it makes the difference for you that it makes for me.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training
http://www.mtdsalestraining.com

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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5 Mistakes Salespeople Make That Attract Customer Objections

It’s not easy being in sales these days.

All the pressures of hitting targets, completing your sales plans, competitive activity…it can sometimes feel as if it’s all too much.

Many salespeople heap more pressure on themselves by making mistakes that actually attract objections from prospects and customers.

The prospect may really want the product or service you can provide….then you make an error that immediately causes them to stop and wonder if you are the right provider.

Here I discuss just five of those blunders that can be avoided:

1. Being Underprepared

If you think you can go into a meeting and just ‘wing it’, you may succeed for a short time, and then eventually you’ll be caught out.

Customers won’t expect you to have the answer to every question they have, but if the basics haven’t been prepared for (e.g. not having proof of the claims you make for your product) then you stand to lose any credibility you had in the beginning.

Preparing for a meeting by knowing the customer’s business, being aware of what their business challenges are and how your product can overcome them, are the very basics expected these days.

Objection that may be attracted: If you’re unprepared for this meeting, how can the prospect have faith that you will take care of their account in the future?

2. Not Analysing Needs Deeply Enough

Salespeople often get excited when they approach a prospect with whom they have built rapport and see options that can be fulfilled. Jumping ahead, they go for the close too early and try to gain a sale before the customer has been truly convinced this is the best option for them.

That’s understandable, as enthusiasm is a great virtue when used correctly. It’s when it causes us to get ahead of ourselves that problems can emerge. Remember to fully cover the needs of the prospect before moving on and recommending solutions. 

Objection that may be attracted: The prospect will doubt whether yours is the right solution if you don’t analyse all their needs and cover them before presenting solutions.

3. Being Overly Assertive

Assertiveness is an attractive trait among salespeople when it is done to the right level. It gives the prospect confidence that you know what you are talking about and you that your recommendations would be good for their business.

Being overly assertive, though, can create an aggressive tone. When you step over that demarkation line, you cause the customer to switch from being honest and with you all the way, to wondering whether they are now being pressurised and being forced into making the wrong decision.

So make sure you don’t overstate your claims or create doubt in those claims in their mind. Be assertive but not too pushy.

Objection that may be attracted: They may go from agreeing to your ideas to ‘stalling’ objections, where they ‘need to think about it’ or ‘having to see other options first’.

4. Being Overly Prepared & Making It Sound Like Your Reading A Script

Hang on, didn’t I say that you shouldn’t be underprepared? Yes, but this mistake is making you sound like you are reading something that’s been prepared for you, and you lose credibility and integrity.

I remember being approached by a salesperson who recited his product’s benefits and stopped after the fifth one. He then said ‘I know there are two more benefits but I’ve forgotten them right now’.

Immediately, he lost his cool and any credibility that he as a salesperson may have built up with me. Instead, he should have discovered my needs and wants and then simply discussed how his product could help my business to achieve those wants.

Objection that might be attracted: Lack of trust in you, your product and solution because it’s simply a ‘cookie-cutter’ approach that doesn’t apply to his business or his specific need.

5. Becoming Defensive

It’s a natural tendency to defend yourself if you are being attacked. The brain switches to fight or flight mode when something occurs that makes you fearful or you feel there is danger ahead.

When a customer doesn’t see the benefit in your solution or questions the product in some way, it’s obvious that you are going to try to defend it or counteract the argument with the opposite point of view.

When you get defensive, though, what may come across is a lack of confidence, or some form of insecurity. You feel you have to persuade the prospect  or push the solution even more on them. You keep talking about why they should see things your way.

They may have misunderstood something, or got the wrong end of the stick. Or they may not have the full picture and so come to a wrong conclusion about what you’re offering.

Whatever the cause, you end up in some form of disagreement and it may sound like you’re arguing your case.

Instead, it’s always better to calmly ask why that’s a concern for the prospect and give yourself time to accurately assess what needs to be done to turn the situation around without it sounding like you’re belittling the prospect.

Objection that may be attracted: The prospect may feel pressurised by your defensive attitude and cease to see the relevance of your presentation, hence bringing up objections that will stall progress and cast doubt on any solution you recommend.

So, be aware of these mistakes and make sure you build proper rapport before trying to recommend solutions.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training
http://www.mtdsalestraining.com

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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7 Ways To Avoid The Sales Rut & To Stay ‘In The Groove’

We often hear sales managers talk about their salespeople’s performance and how they can manage it effectively.

They talk of motivation and engagement and how they can keep their people performing at the top of their game.

There are effectively three different levels of performance and they can be categorised as follows:

Being ‘in the groove’ 

This old expression means doing something easily or well, performing excellently, or being attuned to something, as in ‘I didn’t have a good first quarter, but now I’m back in the groove’.

It gives the impression of moving along, getting things right. Colloquially, it can mean performing at the top of one’s game and getting great results.

It requires focus and dedication and it is the level that most salespeople wish they could maintain at all times.

However, things can conspire to affect performance. or a person can get lackadaisical in their habits. So, after a while, the ‘groove’ can become deeper and form….

A rut 

A rut is simply a deep groove. Often it’s difficult to get out of a rut because it is something that one gets into unconsciously. You don’t wake up one morning and think, ‘Boy, I really am in a rut so I must get back into the groove’. It’s something that can creep up on you and it’s recognisable in the language you hear.

Things like ‘It’s the economy to blame for things not going right’ or ‘If only we were as cheap as the competition’ shows a mindset that means we are getting in a rut.

When we are in a rut, that’s the time to re-assess, re-calculate and re-affirm what is necessary to get back in the groove. Without doing that, we tend to get in a deeper rut, which is tantamount to being in….

A grave 

A grave is simply a deep rut. The difference though is that it is easier to get out of a rut than a grave. When standing in a grave, you need others’ help to get out. At least when you’re in a rut you can make your own steps to escape. Being in a grave requires assistance from others in the form of ladders or steps to climb up.

Remember, though, that even if others let down that ladder for you, it’s you who has to do the work of climbing it. No-one will drag you up out of the grave; you have to do the hard work yourself.

So, the three levels are metaphors for you to check out your performance. You can keep in the groove by:

  • Establishing goals that drive and motivate you forward
  • Planning effectively to overcome obstacles that may occur
  • Focusing on what you can control rather than whinging about what you can’t
  • Developing your skill-sets so you become stronger in those areas that clients need help in
  • Remaining positive towards all your objectives so nothing affects you without your permission
  • Being the kind of salesperson that prospects and clients alike would contact proactively to gain your advice
  • Becoming an expert in all aspects of your job, product, industry and specialisations

You owe it to yourself to be the salesperson you can aspire to be. By keeping in the groove, it continuously gives you the fuel to power your career forward.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training
http://www.mtdsalestraining.com

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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The 3 Main Traits Of The World’s Worst Salespeople

Asleep at workWe often conjecture at what great salespeople do to create the status of being ‘great’.

If, however, we were to study those people who are not so good, we can actually identify habits that act as warnings for us and enable us to avoid those activities that take us in a wrong direction.

One dictionary defines ‘trait’ as ‘a distinguishing characteristic or quality, especially of one’s personal nature’.

So when we think of salespeople who don’t succeed, we can often look at what these people do and identify their characteristics that bring them those results.

Here are my top three characteristics that I believe epitomise the worst salespeople I have come across:

They don’t take personal responsibility for results.

Sales is a long-term career where people will always meet with ups and downs. The triggers to the troughs and the supports for the highs will always be there, but the worst salespeople seem to disregard these inevitabilities, and tend to focus on what is wrong without accepting their personal role in making it happen and getting out of bad times.

We often here these salespeople blame everything on things out of their control. This blame culture, not accepting responsibility for changing what can be changed, can create a mindset of victimisation, where the person feels they are powerless to stop whatever is occurring from having a detrimental effect on their current and future status.

When this happens, the lack of personal responsibility holds the person captive to the lie that they are powerless. Instead of identify how they can personally develop skills to derail and overcome inevitable downtimes, they abdicate that task to other things or people and allow themselves to wallow in the despair that is blame.

The antidote is identify what can be controlled, working on those controllables and dropping the game of blame. Blame will only blind you to the realities of any situation and will always create a downward spiral that will be hard to get out of.

They are lazy.

Wow, this is a ‘cat among the pigeons’ trait, if ever there was one! How many salespeople would admit they are lazy, rather than pick up their mental tools and put them to work?

Laziness is displayed in many areas, from failing to complete their CRM files fully so that others don’t have the proper information to follow up, to allowing short-term frailties to derail them from long-term career goals.

It’s often displayed in procrastination, covering over justifications why something can wait until tomorrow. People will always be able to give reasons why something can’r be done; when they cover over the real reason that they are simply too lazy to follow though, it can develop into a habit that will eventually lay down a track difficult to get out of.

They lose focus.

This trait or characteristic is insidious, as it develops slowly and wheedles its way into people’s lives oftentimes unnoticed.

Staying focussed especially when going through personal or emotional turmoil is one of the more difficult facets of human nature. Personal challenges will always be with us in one form, and the ability to refocus away from those to concentrate on what is needed, even in the short term, helps you to create an ability to stave off emotional downers that can influence results and moods.

Losing focus reduces your positive state of mind, increases stress, sends mixed messages to others, loses your competitive edge and impacts on your ability to communicate effectively. Along with this could come blame, allowing others to control your emotional reaction.

Focussing on actions and results is the only way to overcome this trap. You may need to reassess the importance of what your are focussing on in order to develop your positive muscles and get away from the entrapment that many poor salespeople suffer from.

These, of course, aren’t the only three traits shared by poor salespeople around the world, though they do manifest themselves more regularly than others when it comes to identifying poor habits and characteristics in others. If you have more traits to share, please let me know.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training
http://www.mtdsalestraining.com

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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What To Do When Your Experienced Sales People Have Lost Their Edge

depressedThey were once the sales people that you could rely on every month to pull in the numbers for you.

But now for some reason they have gone stale.

They seemed to make it look so easy but for some reason they’ve either lost their motivation, their hunger, skills or all of them!

So what can you do to reignite your experienced sales people to get them to the top of the pile again?

Here are a few pointers:

Ask Them To Mentor & Coach Others

Can you take advantage of their undoubted knowledge and skills by asking them to mentor or coach other sales people?

It might get them reacquainted with what they used to and how they used to do it as well passing on vital knowledge and techniques to others in the team.

Prospecting RIP?

Check to see if they are struggling with the hustle and bustle of prospecting.

Are they turning more into farmers than hunters?

Are they better positioned for a relationship and strategic selling role now rather than them having to go out and chase new prospects?

Provide On-Going Sales Coaching

Can you provide on-going sales coaching for them linked to specific objectives? By continually having an ongoing dialogue on the areas that they are struggling on can help them to regain focus on what’s important. It will also hold them accountable for their actions and the changes they are making.

Can They Train Others?

As part of your company induction process can they help to deliver sales and product knowledge training for your new sales people?

By positioning them as someone with a history of high achievement it may get those fires burning again and give them the push to live up to the hype!

In summary…

Of course, if all seems lost you can part company but you’ll have invested so much time and effort into them over the years then this really has to be the last resort.

They’ve probably made your company a stack of money too and have got so much knowledge that it seems a shame to see it going all to waste.

But don’t change things for the sake of keeping them happy though. There has to be a concrete business case for making changes to what they are currently doing and are responsible for.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training
http://www.mtdsalestraining.com

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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How To Use Silence When Answering Objections

1880b3bI’m asked for phrases on how to respond to objections all the time.

But one phrase you could try is by responding by saying nothing!

“Your prices are too expensive” says the prospect.

You respond with……

Nothing!

All it will take is a nano second of silence and the prospect will feel the need to fill in the silence and they will normally fill in the time with the reasons why they feel you’re too expensive and hence you’ll get the information you need to make an informed response to them.

You might feel uncomfortable even with a second of silence but hold out.

They will respond with their reasons.

And of course if you’re really not comfortable with silence then respond with “What do you mean by that?” or “Why do you say that?”

Either way they will justify their reasons!

It can be very powerful especially if you get the feeling that they are “trying it on” and really want your product or service but are playing with you for a discount.

In this instance it can actually work against them in terms of you feeling let down by them and at times they will talk themselves around!

Try it out for size and see how you get on.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training
http://www.mtdsalestraining.com

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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If All Else Fails, Follow These 6 Golden Sales Tips

I believe in giving my sales team a lot of my time.

Why?

Well, I believe it’s an investment. And it pays off BIG TIME! 

Coaching my team is one of the most valuable ways of spending my time.

Whether it’s for input into a proposal, how to approach a prospect or how to structure a deal – I’m there for them.

So this got me thinking. If all else failed and I had to give a member of my team only 6 pearls of my wisdom, what would they be?

I thought that would be a good topic for a blog post, so here they are!

1. If You Don’t Build The Value It Will ALWAYS Come Down To Price 

You’ve got to make sure that your prospect knows they are comparing apples to oranges.

All things being equal there is only one winner – the lowest price.

So it’s your job to stack the value so much that when you reveal the price that they had a figure in their mind that was a lot higher when you tell them what it actually is.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • How are you building the value?
  • How are you making sure that the prospect knows the differences between your proposition and the competition to justify the price difference?
  • How are you making the decision a “no brainer”? 

2. Qualify In or Qualify Out – Quickly! 

Dead wood…

I bet that if I take a look at your pipeline that I’ll find a lot of dead wood in there.

One of the key skills in sales is working out who to spend your time on. You’ve got to qualify your prospect early on so you can determine this.

Qualify in or qualify out – I don’t mind which because each will be as valuable!

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What is your qualification criteria?
  • Are you qualifying hard enough?
  • Are you spending your time wisely or are you wasting it on “dead wood”? 

3. Opening Is The New Closing 

Chances are that you’re spending far too much time on closing techniques than you are on how you open calls and visits.

Your prospect will make their mind up about you in your early encounters with them which will position everything you say thereafter in light of how well you started. So whether on a call or on a face to face you need to manage those initial moments very carefully indeed.

If not, you will not even got the chance to close!

Questions to ask yourself:

  • How do you come across as an expert in your field in the early encounters?
  • How do you position what will happen in the meeting/call?
  • How do you build rapport in the early stages and throughout the call/visit? 

4. Building Rapport Is Not Talking About The Kids 

I asked you in point 3 above how you build rapport for a reason.

It’s not what you think.

For some, building rapport is a stage of the sales process. That is ridiculous.

Ok, you need to make some pleasantries up front but rapport should be built throughout the process.

Rapport is built not through talking about off topic things like kids or holidays. Instead, it’s about getting into rapport by body language and by coming across as an expert.

Instead of asking cheesy rapport building questions about their images of sporting heroes on their desk, ask rapport building business questions about the office move you just heard of in the news. It’s more on topic and is easier to transition into business speak thereafter.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you build business rapport? Or do you build cheesy rapport?
  • What research do you do so you can weave in business rapport into your conversations?
  • Pay close attention to your body language signals. Are they positive and in line with your prospects and clients? 

5. Don’t Reveal The Price Until You’ve Proved The Value First 

Closely linked to #1, if you reveal the price before you’ve built the value all they will remember is the price.

It will be an uphill battle from thereon in.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you give the price away too easy?
  • When asked the price question upfront, do you have a way of deflecting it?
  • When asked the price question upfront, do you give a range and then ask permission to ask for some further details so you can provide a more accurate quote? 

6. Questioning Is The Single Most Important Skill As A Sales Person 

There you have it in a nutshell.

Unless you can unearth the needs, the wants and the desires of your prospects then all you will ever be is a “pitcher”

You’ll be a show up and throw up merchant who pushes their products and services rather than someone who pulls out information and then provides a tailored response in terms of the features and benefits that is of value to the prospect.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you asking enough questions?
  • Do you move too quickly into the prescription mode?
  • What pre-planned questions do you create for each call/visit?

Ok, that’s it!

I hope you find these useful.

If you ever want to refocus if times are tough, chances are that it will be one or a combination of the above that you need to focus on.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training
http://www.mtdsalestraining.com

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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