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.

If All Else Fails, Follow These 6 Golden Sales Tips

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


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

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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5 Steps To Nail Your Sales Job Interview

This is a guest blog written by Stephanie Earle from Simply Sales Jobs

Job interviews are often a nerve-wracking prospect, especially if it’s a job you’d really love! Don’t be daunted by the prospect, as a salesperson you’re in the perfect position to smash it – just treat your interview as a sales pitch.


1. Do Your Research 

You wouldn’t make a sales call without doing a bit of digging about the company, and a job interview is no different. Check out the company’s website, but also their social media pages, to get a feel for how they operate. It’s also a good idea to search for your interviewer on LinkedIn, so you can get an early understanding of exactly who you’re going to be meeting, and prepare yourself accordingly.

2. Build Rapport 

If you can start building a strong working relationship from the start of the interview, you’re helping to show what you’ll be like to work with day-to-day. It’s all very well telling your interview panel that you’re great at building rapport – but you have the chance to actually do it! It’s far more convincing to an interviewer that you can do it if you prove it to them there on the spot.

3. Add Value 

A great way to demonstrate your sales skills is to show the value you will bring to their company. There are likely to be plenty of other candidates with similar experience levels – so what’s the added value that only you can bring? Perhaps you have relevant business contacts that you can convert to customers for your prospective employer. Maybe you’ve noticed no-one in the company is using social selling techniques, which is an area you could help the whole team with. It could be anything. Just be honest – don’t make promises you can’t keep!

4. Make It Memorable 

Busy sales managers and will conduct many interviews, often in a short space of time. So, you need to make yourself memorable, and a great way to do so is using anecdotes. Try to give as many real-life examples of your skills and achievements as you can, and if they have an amusing or interesting story to go with them, then all the better! It just helps your name stand out when they’re reviewing all the candidates.

5. Ask For The Job 

Many closing techniques are perfect for the ending of your job interview. Asking a question such as ‘are there any skills that I can demonstrate in order to prove my ability to do this job?’ shows that you firmly believe you have everything they need – you just need to know what’s important to them.

A sales job interview is just a pitch, so use it as a chance to show off all your skills. If the interviewer can see that you can sell yourself, you should have no problem selling their products!

Remember, if you’re looking for the next step in your sales career, we can help.

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7 Ways A MasterMind Group Can Make You A Superior Salesperson

Executive Office ChairGrowth and progress are two of the fundamental attributes that mark out a successful salesperson.

As the only constant in business is change, it makes perfect sense to create opportunities to enhance your skill-sets and abilities, building on your sales and business knowledge so that you keep ahead of the competition and drive your career chances forward.

So, what is one of the ways that you can support this growth and advance further in your career, while making it an integral part of your job and not eating too much into your personal life?

The most successful salespeople we have studied all have one thing in common: they each belong to, contribute to and gain from a network of colleagues, influencers and others who could be called your ‘mastermind’ group.

This group of knowledgable industry brains can assist in helping you advance and progress towards your already-set goals, and help you develop others that you hadn’t considered.

Having a group of people with whom you regularly interact with, online or otherwise, taps into that latent potential that can forge new relationships and increase your value to clients, team members, prospects and future possible employers.

The best way to determine who should be in your mastermind group is to assess the knowledge you have now and where you can go from here.

You won’t know what you can learn until you start interacting, so the best way to start is not to confine yourself to specific goals or targets. They will materialise as you progress.

Instead, create a list of people or qualities/attributes that you admire and would like to learn from.

My list includes people like Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and Jordan Belfort. These people give me a different perspective on business, attitudes and progressive thinking.

They make me stop and think about the direction life should be taking me.

You can do a lot worse than going to and searching for new people who will add to your knowledge base and create new angles to appreciate life.

Next, decide on how you could benefit from their musings and download some of their articles. Do a quick search on the person to check out other things they have written and contributed to.

Open files on your computer to which you can save articles to read and digest when you have time.

Depending on your industry, seek out those influencers who you know would add value to your search for knowledge.

Allow these people to see that they are valuable to you. One of the things humans appreciate most is knowing that they can be of assistance to others, so if you show your willingness to ‘follow’ a particular individual and tap into their knowledge and skills, they will be honoured to have you tag along.

What are some of the benefits of having a personalised ‘mastermind’ group?

  • You recognise that you don’t ‘know-it-all’ and start from the premise that you can learn something new every day.
  • Other people like to know they are adding value and being valued by others, so they tend to offer more when it is seen as being of benefit
  • You achieve deeper insights into new concepts and ideas and allow yourself to expand your knowledge and attributes, which in turn builds character
  • You learn new strategies that can be applied in the real world, as you practice these concepts in your everyday client contacts
  • You gain encouragement when things are getting tough for you, analysing how others are cutting through the challenges they face
  • Your motivation grows as you realise there a many different ways of seeing the world as they offers creative ideas that you hadn’t considers before
  • People’s different opinions expand your awareness of what’s possible and offer insights that will assist your development

Of course, any networking group would benefit from as much new and valuable input as possible, so think about how you can add your own knowledge and wisdom to the party.

As you apply much of what you’re learning, give something back so your influencers and mentors can learn from you too.

Write a short article viewing things from your perspective and ad it to the mountain of creative knowledge.

By belonging to and contributing to a group like this, you expand your opportunities exponentially.

You learn from the great minds that are driving business change today and when you apply some of their ideas, your growth will benefit not only yourself but everyone who shares your business interests.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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4 Ways To Push The Buying Button Inside Every Buyer’s Brain!

buy buttonsEvery person you have ever met has a strategy they use to make decisions. Whether it’s to go for a particular food or to choose a particular career, the way people decide is hard-wired into the parts of our brains that are designed for the job.

Scientists realised long ago that we have, not one brain, but three. Understanding the roles of these different brains is fundamental to tapping into the decision-making processes that people use.

The newest of our brains is called the neo-cortex. This is the outer layer of the cerebrum and is responsible for the seat of consciousness. We sometimes call this our ‘grey matter’ as the neurons making up this part appears grey in its many folds.

The ‘mid-brain’ is, as it suggests, in the middle of our heads and is responsible for our emotional connections and also visual, auditory and body movements.

Our ‘first-brain’ or ‘reptilian-brain’ is responsible for our instinctive reactions and  drives our unconscious decisions.

And it’s this section, in our oldest, always-on, uncontrollable part of our heads, that can drive our deepest buying-decision motivations.

When we make decisions, we like to think that we are being rational, logical, well-reasoned, consistent and objective. We try to justify our decisions and make them seem sensible to us. 

Little do we know that really we are being hoodwinked by our irrational, emotive and instinctive part of our brain.

This can be seen as our ‘buying button’ that, when pressed, initiates our thought processes that helps us determine what is good or right for us. We are wired to avoid pain and go towards gain.

Patrick Renvoise in his book ‘NeuroMarketing’ shows that there are six stimuli that drive unconscious decision-making.

He discusses how our unconscious brain can be influenced to make decisions based around drivers we have little or no control over.

The six are;

  • being self-centered, so marketing that refers to ‘me’ is more persuasive than a general marketing message.
  • offering contrast, so we can see the difference between where we are now and where we wish to be
  • being tangible, allowing us to recognise the benefits rather than having to think them through ourselves
  • have a natural beginning and end, helping us determine what the journey is between one and the other
  • being visual, appealing to the optic nerves that react 50 times quicker than our auditory nerves
  • connecting emotionally, making us ‘feel’ differently about the experience 

Each of these are key drivers to buyer’s decisions, so if we are to appeal to the ‘senses’ of our buyers, we have to direct them towards making decisions that are in keeping with their reptilian instincts, so it feels right for them, even though they may not be able to ‘rationalise’ it in their own minds.

These ‘hot buttons’ can be pressed at various times during the sales process. Remember, these are not to be used to manipulate the buyer, as they will see through it and will consciously be aware of the pressure you are putting them through.

Instead, these buttons can be pressed by appealing to the emotional processes that drive every human’s decision-making. Here are four ways it can be done:

  • Diagnose the pain they are currently experiencing.

They may not see the pain itself, but your solution may initiate that pain when they see what could be better. Have you ever ordered a meal at a restaurant and been happy with your choice, only to see someone else receive a different meal that seems tastier or more appetising than yours? Your were happy up to that point. What changed? Seeing there was something better than what you were currently happy with! So the pain to your buyer associated with their current position may not be obvious, until your solution shows them what they COULD be experiencing.

  • Differentiate your claims.

This means showing the contrast between what they currently experience and what you could offer. These differentials create incongruence between their current position and what future benefits they could be enjoying

  • Demonstrate the gains.

This is where you show them, through examples, testimonials and proofs what they could gain from using your solutions. We all like to have risk minimised before we decide, and this will help convince the buyer the decision is low-risk.

  • Deliver to the reptilian brain.

This means highlighting what they will instinctively benefit from by choosing you. These basic needs that have to be fulfilled before decisions are made will be easier for the buyer to assimilate if they are carried out in these four steps.

Selling the way your buyer buys is beneficial in so many ways, both to you and to the buyer’s business. By being on the same wavelength as the buyer, you make it easier for decisions to be made, not having to resort to tricks or manipulation in gaining agreement. You also will find it easier to find and press the ‘buy’ button inside every buyer’s head.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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building up value

7 Ways To Build Value In The Customer’s Eyes (Psst..It’s Not Always About Money!)

building up valueA recent straw-poll that we carried out with a series of buyers showed a interesting fact about how salespeople approach concerns that those buyers have.

We asked the question concerning how often salespeople resort to lowering their prices when price wasn’t really a concern.

Fully three-quarters of the respondents (74%) said that this happened most, if not all, of the time. In fact every buyer we contacted said that price concessions had been offered when price wasn’t the main issue.

One buyer stated that they probably are OK with the price on most occasions, but primarily need to know how it will increase productivity or increase their ability to get new customers. Another told a story of how a salesperson had returned an email the buyer had sent by saying he was willing to offer a 25% discount if the buyer chose today. And the buyer had already decided to buy! He said he pocketed the 25% with relish, thank you very much!

So, if price isn’t the only thing the buyers are looking for, what other items do you have that will build value in their eyes? What else would convince them that making the decision to purchase would be right for them?

Here are seven addition value-builders to consider:

  • Delivery options: Could it be that quicker or lower-priced shipping may have a bigger impact on the customer’s decision that price alone? Might the provision of deliveries actually save the buyer money in some cases?
  • Bespoke specification or features: Is it possible that you could personalise some of the product or service to match their specific needs. Could you support your buyers unique use of the product by matching something they want?
  • Warranties and guarantees: One thing that gives many customers peace of mind is the back-up they get from the purchase. Offering a cheaper warranty may offset some of the concerns the buyer may have in making a choice.
  • Payment terms: If the customer is struggling with the purchase because of cash-flow problems (something your solution may help them with) is it possible to offer favourable business terms so this ceases to be a reason to decline?
  • Back-up Service: If the product or service needs to be maintained, is there a way you could build value by offering a service package or contract that would allay some of the buyer’s fears? Could you include future upgrades or enhancements that would save the buyer money long-term?
  • Possible integration with current systems or products: Is it possible that your services could be integrated into other department’s services so that the cost of change is limited or lessened? 
  • Partnership integration: Would the benefits of working with you and your company bring added advantages to the buyer’s department or company as a whole? Would the buyer be able to help you with enhancements of the product or your services as time allows? Could a long-term relationship between you add a new or different dimension to the way you work together and progress new products or services?

Each of these could work together or independently of each other to show the value-adds that would make it more beneficial for the buyer to work with you.

By adding some of these ‘extras’ you are essentially saying to the buyer that there are more important things than just the up-front price that will help their company save more, produce more and make more profits.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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losing sales

6 Essential Strategies To Follow When You Lose A Sale

losing salesI had the privilege a few years ago of coaching one of the best salespeople I had ever worked with. He wasn’t particularly gifted; he just did so many things absolutely right and proved that the only place that success comes before work is in the dictionary.

We discussed many topics, especially relating to what kept him so motivated and on top of his game. One thing he said that intrigued me was the fact that he didn’t expect to get every sale. He realised that not every business out there had a need for his services.

But he also realised that if he didn’t get a sale, he needed a strategy to deal with that situation. I’m aware that sales can be lost for a variety of reasons, though it should not be because of poor sales skills, poor product quality or poor back-up.

Despite his great results and obvious love for the job, he did lose many sales. His intriguing comparison was that of Babe Ruth. Thought of as one of American baseball’s greatest ever players, his batting average was only 0.342.

That is, he only succeeded a third of the time. Yes, the greatest exponent of the game only hit out on one-in-three occasions.

This salesperson kept that in mind every time he didn’t succeed. Instead, he recognised that if he didn’t get a sale, he needed a strategy to deal with it. I wrote notes during our discussions and this is the essence of what we said a great salesperson has to do when they don’t achieve a final sale:

  • Always, always follow up with a personalised thank you note or letter, thanking them for their time. This allows you to make an impression even though they have decided against your solution.
  • Ask them for a quick evaluation of your product, your service and your sales approach. You absolutely must find out what you lost the deal on, so you can identify how to change in the future.
  • Keep the prospect on your list, keeping them up to date with the changes in their industry, putting them on your newsletter list or your LinkedIn article list.
  • Decide exactly what your competitor did to get the business. You may not have been able to have matched their price, but in retrospect, could you have highlighted something else that would have made a difference?
  • Accept that industries, people, companies, products and competitors change, so realise that their not buying now doesn’t mean they never will in the future.
  • Don’t let a no-sale affect your attitude toward the next sale. If Babe Ruth had ‘failed’ twice in a row, he knew that his next ‘success’ was just around the corner. That would have kept him positive and always looking forward.

By keeping to this strategy, this salesman knew his figures and recognised what he had to change in order to ‘win’ the next sale. This attitude kept him at the top of his game and ensured he succeeded where others may have fallen.

It was great to work with someone who had such an outlook and it proves that, no matter what results you achieve, you never fail if you learn something that will help you change in the future.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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When Your Customer Asks You To Match Your Competitor’s Price…

looking at priceYou’ve been there many times. You’ve convinced the customer that the product is right for them and the quality is just what they want.

Then the bombshell hits – they start talking about price.

Price is always a mirror of the value the prospect places on the solution, so if they don’t see the value, the price will always seem too high.

However, there are times when the buyer brings up the competitor’s price and asks you to match it.

This means you have to have clarity of thought to help you to redirect the conversation away from price and back onto value.

For example, if the buyer says something like: “Your competition are quoting 15% lower than your price. Can you match that?” you have to be careful you don’t get dragged into a discount war or a Dutch Auction that will just result in cheapening the perception of the product or services.

A good response may be something like:

“I appreciate you being open with me on this, though I am curious about one thing. Why are still looking and checking out our product if you can get the same value with our competitors? We’d really like your business. However, if they can give you the same value for the price you say, I really can’t blame you for choosing that option”

This is a good response for two reasons.

Firstly, it determines if the buyer is simply a price shopper, or if there might be something else on the buyer’s mind.

Secondly, it calls their bluff slightly, as you are advising them to go with the competition if price is more important than anything else.

This could help you in two ways. The buyer may be more open about what they are looking for and highlight items that are more important than just pure price. Also, they may feel they are wrong to discount your proposal simply because your price is higher. It gives them more to think about and creates some dissonance in their thought processes, as they contemplate the meaning behind the meaning of your response.

The fact that your competitor may be 15% cheaper may be a bluff or absolutely true.

At this point, it doesn’t really matter because you are trying to ensure whether the buyer is really interested in price or value. If it’s value, you should be so up-to-speed with the competition’s pricing structure that, even if they are cheaper than your offering, you have support items or guarantees or warranties or something else that is of more value to the buyer than a cheaper price.

Their answer to your question above may be that they want the product but are hoping that you are cheaper or will drop your price to match the competition.

The problem is that if you do match the competitor, they may go back to the competitor and try to negotiate down with them. It turns into a farce until one of you decides to bring some sanity to proceedings and refuses to drop any further.

Allowing the buyer to make the final choice with the questions mentioned above will help you see what’s most important. to them. The last thing you want to do is make the customer think you’re a soft touch – that will spoil the relationship for the foreseeable future.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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Use These 6 Questions To Sway The Over-Cautious Buyer

over-cautious buyerThe types of decisions people make can vary from person to person, based on many factors.

These can include concepts like time available, causes for concern and other resources’ availability.

But these days, one type of decision-maker can cause concern for even the best salespeople, and that type is the analytical and cautious thinker.

This type of person is a good critical thinker and may ask specific hard questions during a meeting.

They require you to be clear and precise on data and information. You may need to be overly prepared for this type of buyer.

The cautious buyer processes information differently from other buyer types and they ask many questions to find out precise information.

They like guarantees and warranties before making purchases because they want security, certainty and stability. Quality is high on their list of priorities, so do not rush in with discounts when negotiating because they may see this as a sign of product weakness, something that will be a warning to thye cautious decision-maker.

Here are some questions that you could use when dealing with this type of buyer:

  • Can you tell me what criteria you would use in making this decision?
  • What information do you need from me to help you make a decision?
  • When you bought this product in the past, what were your top three criteria?
  • Why those specific criteria?
  • How much will the quality of my products have an influence on your final decision?
  • What guarantees and warranties are you looking for?

You may find these types of buyers are slower than normal in making decisions because of their need for information and data. Sometimes you may feel they are suffering from analysis paralysis, wanting more and more information before they have the confidence to decide.

This will probably not be a quick sale so you must be willing to put in the hard work to determine how this person can be helped to be secure in their choice. Be aware that this buyer may cause you to feel there is no progress possible because of the time they are taking. This would be a mistake with this buyer, as sometimes the decision may take extra time, so don’t take this procrastination as a signal to not follow-up.

The cautious buyer can cause you some headaches; if you treat them as they need to be treated, you can give them the security that they have made the correct decision to go with you.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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Building sales rapport

Use These 5 Icebreakers To Gain The Most Info From Your Prospect

Building sales rapportWhen you have your first meeting with your new prospect, it is vital that you make a good impression, as this will create the impact that will determine the opinion of the prospect to both you and your products or services.

Having witnessed quite a few initial meetings myself, it often puzzles me why salespeople don’t think this stage of the sales process through more thoroughly, as it could make or break the relationship there and then.

Oftentimes, when a salesperson comes into our office, I overhear their opening ‘pitch’ from my office, and it sometimes makes me cringe.

  • What do you do to get their attention?
  • How do you make them think deeply?
  • What’s the best way to open the conversation?

These are questions that you should be thinking about long before you meet and greet the new prospect.

Imagine you’re meeting in their office for the first time. You’ve spoken to them on the phone and via email, and you’ve done your searches on their company profile through various search engines.

You’ve checked out their profile on LinkedIn and maybe even connected up.

Then how can you use your preparation to make a big impression?

After the usual small talk to build rapport, it’s time to get down to business. Read these typical opening statements and see what kind of impression they would make:

  • “So, Mr Prospect, how long has Acme Ltd been in business?”
  • “So, Mr Prospect, I’ve bought along a couple of samples, so would it be OK if I showed you how they work?”
  • “So, Mr Prospect, can you tell me your biggest problems that keep you awake at night?”

On the face of it, these opening statements don’t seem too bad. They are taking you into the business part of the meeting and act as a bridge to get you both mentally prepared to discuss what you’re really there for.

But they don’t make a BIG impression. They don’t make the prospect sit up and take notice. The first example above shows you’ve done no homework. The second makes it obvious that you’re only interested in showing up and throwing up. And the third is a cliched question that is too deep and intrusive in the first few seconds of the discussion.

So, what would be the best way to get into the meat of the meeting? What can you say that will make the prospect really want to converse with you?

Here are some examples:

  • “Mr Prospect, as you know, it’s important that I get to know something about your business first so we help you achieve your goals. Is it OK for me to ask a few questions first?”
  • “Mr Prospect, I’ve come prepared to show you how we can help ACME Ltd to achieve their goals for the future, but I have a few questions first, the answers to which will help me see how we can help you best. Is that OK?”
  • “Mr Prospect, my research showed that you’ve weathered the economic storm quite well and things are beginning to pick up now. You’ve opening two new offices and taken on over 20 new workers. May I start by asking what is driving this improvement and how you see things developing in the next year or two?”
  • “Mr Prospect, when I researched your company, I found a number of interesting facts that threw up a few questions. Are you OK if I share that information and ask you those questions?”
  • “Mr Prospect, I saw in the trade press that the operation is beginning to consolidate and that you’re interested in taking on more people. That sounds like it’s the sign of advancing sales. May I ask, what do you see happening to to sales in the next few months? Your answer will help me to see if, and how, we could assist you in selling more.”

What you’ll notice about these examples is that they politely enter the sales process by asking for information or confirmation before even thinking about talking about your products.

They put the prospect at ease, while showing them that you’re interested in their business.

They impress upon the prospect that you have carried out research before visiting. It shows that you’ve done your homework and that they don’t have to start from scratch in getting you up to speed with what’s happening.

This first impression is vital to get the prospect on your side and it enables you to advance the discussions much quicker than if you were simply to start with details of your company or products.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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not very sales savvy

4 Steps To Become More ‘Sales Savvy’

Not sales savvyBeing sales savvy is to have the business acumen, practical knowledge and active ability to carry out your sales job effectively and efficiently.

Most salespeople would mark themselves fairly high when asked if they are savvy when it comes to selling.

Very few would admit they don’t know how to promote their products or are unable to improve in their overall skill-sets.

Increasing your savvy-ness in sales will always be beneficial, as you will provide additional value at every step of the customer journey.

Here are some steps you can take to increase your abilities and become more savvy:

Become a highly-educated sales professional

This doesn’t mean going back to high school or university; it means finding out as much about your products and services as you possibly can. Then it means identifying how your customers can benefit from them. Finally it means knowing how your customers’ business can improve by using your services.

By being the expert in your area of responsibility, you encourage more and more businesses to approach you because of the benefits you will bring them.

Become a person of influence

You need to get your name known widely by writing articles, joining networking groups, adding information to LinkedIn and giving people reasons to see you as influential. To influence people, you need to become valuable to them. This means you show them how being a business partner with them will increase their productivity or productivity. Your influence is increased by showing them the results you have gained with other similar companies or businesses within the same industry. Buyers are more willing to discuss opportunities if they see you as an asset to their business, rather than a supplier of goods and services

Become street-smart in everything you do

This means recognising what works and what doesn’t, and learning from what does and what doesn’t. Savvy salespeople don’t ever fail; they learn so that they don’t repeat the same mistakes over and over. That isn’t failure…it’s improving at every step. You need to recognise how what you do gets the results you want. Then you need to see how each small step can be improved or corrected so that you progress closer and closer to your goals

Become a person that is results-oriented

Most salespeople become so engrossed in the actions they need to carry out that they miss seeing the big picture and get dragged down into how many calls they need to make or how many prospects haven’t been contacted. Instead, work on the results you are required to achieve, identify the best use of your time to achieve those goals and create opportunities to improve results by analysing the quality of the tasks you carry out in the time available rather than just hitting numbers. I’d rather my team get sales results than hit a call target.

Becoming smarter by becoming more sales savvy is a great way to improve your attitude and your abilities in every facet of your job. By highlighting how you can always be on the lookout to increase this key skill will give you plenty of opportunities to see success.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

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