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Do You Try To Add Value? – Infographic

Posted on Have Your Say: Leave a comment?

When selling to the prospect it is sometimes difficult to add value and get the message across to the client of all the wonderful features your product possesses.

Here is an infographic which gives you seven different tools to add to your armoury of adding value.

It can give your pitch or proposal that bit of added depth and will more likely than not lead to more sales!inforgraphic


Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

Posted in Pricing, Prospecting, Sales Interactions | Tagged , | Leave a comment

4 Easy Steps To Deal With An Explosively Angry Customer

Posted on Have Your Say: Leave a comment?

angry girl aiming a gun at youHuman beings have never and will never be predictable animals. What to one person will be a bit of a nuisance may well be tantamount to being the end of the world to another.

Certain people have standards that need to be kept, and if they’re not it can cause them to lose their temper or be aggressive. The reason is they feel reacting the way they do is the best way to get what they want or need to rectify the situation.

It might be difficult to deal with when a customer becomes angry, but it’s even harder when they become explosively so. By that, I’m referring to customers who swear, shout, offer threats or throw their weight around.

What can you do when the customer has lost their rag? You’re told to remain professional and offer great customer service, but what if the customer goes over the top?

One thing you shouldn’t do is tell the customer to calm down. 

They are acting this way because they feel they have been let down, embarrassed, or their rules or standards have not been met. Telling them that they should behave differently is like telling them they are wrong and their behaviour should change.

Remember, when a person is angry or highly-charged, they are not able to think straight. The emotional brain takes over and the rationale brain does not compute requests to think logically.

Instead, try this: Allow the customer to vent their feelings while standing tall, giving good eye contact and attempting to understand exactly what the position is from their standpoint.

It’s doubtful if the prospect will be absolutely clear on the facts if they are so angry, so make quick mental notes (or on paper, if possible) of what precisely has gone wrong but what might still need to be cleared up.

See if you can match the tempo of the person. Note it’s the tempo, not the temper that you match. By matching the speed of the customer’s approach, you appeal to their subliminal reflexes that make them feel you understand and are on their wavelength.

Get them to calm down by asking specific questions that make them use their rational-thinking brain. This will make them revert away from the emotion attached to the situation and make them start to think about specifics. You’ll notice the anger start to be put aside as they have to think about specific facts, not opinions.

After you’ve found out the facts and identified what needs ton be done, saying something like:

 “I’m really sorry this has happened. This is what we’re going to do about it…”

By making this statement: 

1) You’re apologising for the situation, not apportioning blame

2) You’re saying that action will be taken and you’ll explain what that action will be. 

This allows you to regain control and helps the customer think through a solution to the problem. Although the customer feels they are entitled to their anger, most will want an answer. If you are able to offer that control and some action, there may well be a turnaround as you see the customer’s mood change.

Although always a difficult challenge to face, by finding out what the customer really wants from the situation, your controlling action-oriented progress will help them see that the anger may be better utilised somewhere else.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

Posted in MtdBlog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The 11 Worst Excuses Sales People Make When They Miss Their Targets

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Dollarphotoclub_58605572-reWhen I managed a team of salespeople it was always interesting to hold meetings with them when their targets hadn’t been met.

I often had to smile to myself when they were avoiding eye-contact, rubbing their hands together, breathing heavily, umming and erring as they tried to find specific reasons to back up their poor performance.

It’s natural for someone who hasn’t performed up to expectations to find excuses (or reasons, in their mind) for the situation. The defense mechanisms churn over and the salesperson will attempt to defuse any potential bad feedback.

Just for fun, here are the top excuses I hear salespeople make when they don’t make their quota, plus what they actually mean…

What they say: “The Leads Are Weak!” 

What they mean: “I haven’t the motivation to make my own leads so I’m going to blame the company for not giving me an easy life and laying great leads on a plate for me.”

What they say: “There’s lots bubbling under…” 

What they mean: “I have lots of potential business out there but those pesky customers aren’t making decisions and until they do, they’re missing out on what I can offer…”

What they say: “I’ve got too much admin to do…” 

What they mean: “If you would get me a PA, secretary and admin assistant, I would have time to go out and get the business. Until then, don’t expect me to spend more than 9 hours a week actually selling”

What they say: “The client is on holiday” 

What they mean: “I knew he was going on holiday, but I left it too late to help him progress towards making a decision, so it’s on hold for another couple of weeks. Don’t blame me!”

What they say: “My email was down so I didn’t receive the message” 

What they mean: “I saw the email, but (delete as applicable) ignored it/didn’t want to deal with it/it was 4pm so too late to deal with it/thought it was spam/I couldn’t be bothered”

What they say: “I’m too busy” 

What they mean: “I don’t have the organisational skills to be able to see what was important and what was urgent, and I don’t have the PA, secretary or admin assistant to help me out and I’m always expected to do a 75-hour week and I can’t fit in 12 calls a week and so I’m obviously too busy”

What they say: “The targets are unrealistic” 

What they mean: “I know I could achieve these stretching targets if I work smarter, but it’s too much like hard work, so I’ll blame my manager for setting the targets too high. Don’t blame me!”

What they say: “The prospects are ignoring my emails and calls” 

What they mean: “I’ve tried to contact them twice, but they haven’t replied to my obvious desperate messages and I don’t have any ideas how to make them really want my product so I’ll blame them, not me”

What they say: “Their call was just a fishing exercise” 

What they mean: “I don’t want to do the necessary work to help this prospect see what we could do for them, so it must be their fault that they didn’t simply ask me for my product.”

What they say: “It’s marketing’s fault not ours” 

What they mean: “I don’t have the skills, talent, business acumen or competence to be able to sell my products so I’ll have to blame the marketing department for not making people make my phone ring day and night, begging me to sell them my stuff”

What they say: “My products are too expensive compared to the competition” 

What they mean: “I haven’t worked out how my customers benefit from the better value my products offer, so I’ll blame the price as that’s easier than building the real reasons why prospects should choose me”

So, these aren’t all the excuses salespeople use, of course, but they have been used since Adam sold Eve the first apple. Watch out for more to come!

Happy selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

Posted in Sales Commission, Sales Stories | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Looking At Sales Success From A Different Perspective

Posted on Have Your Say: Leave a comment?

Success path conceptOne of my team has been running a successful sales programme for a large international client and, during one of our recent meetings; he mentioned how the client’s sales teams have been intrigued by our perspective on selling in the 21st century.

Many sales programmes put the emphasis on the sales process and how we should present solutions based on our products and services. This is commonly known as the ‘push’ method of selling; that is, the product or service is the main subject of conversation and the salesperson’s job is to push these onto the decision-maker, highlighting features and benefits of the products so they can see why they should buy.

Most buyers tell us this act alone is enough for objectives to come up or value to be questioned. Why? Because the brain’s natural inclination when put under any kind of pressure is to resist or fight back. A ‘push’ style of selling will always induce a form of pressure or stress, because every buyer we have come across doesn’t want to be sold to….but they do want to be given the opportunity to buy.

My trainer told me how he has been discussing our new, quantifiable method called ‘180 selling’. The 180 refers to the degrees difference between our perspective as a salesperson and the perspective of the buyer. By turning your attention around 180 degrees, you see things from a completely different angle.

As an example, most sales people will approach a prospect with questions in their mind like “How can I sell this product or service into their business? How will my product help their business? What benefits can I highlight that will impress them?”

These are normal questions that many sales people have been asking for years. But the ‘180 selling’ process looks form the angle of the prospect. The salesperson asks questions like “What position is this business currently in? What market are they operating in? What solutions would be best for their business right now?”

These questions ask you to think about the prospect’s business, not your product. The focus becomes one of building trust with the prospect because of the nature of your interests, by concentrating on their situation.

For example, if you sell photocopiers, rather than concentrating on how your machine copies 15% quicker than their current model (a feature), think what benefits their business would achieve with your new model.

Saying something like “You said that you currently make between 1000 and 1500 copies per day, and it takes between two and two-and-a-half hours to complete. How valuable would it be to the business if you could save 15% of your photocopying time (that’s about 25 minutes per day) each and every day?” would show you’re thinking of their business rather than your wiz-bang machine.

The buyer is now contemplating how that time saving could allow them to invest in other more valuable activities. It’s making them think of their business benefits, rather than having to work out why they should go for a particular product simply because it’s quicker than what they currently have. Saying your machine churns out copies 15% quicker doesn’t link to their business needs or benefits. Asking how they would improve their time efficiencies, and what their business could do with those savings, does.

So when you are planning or preparing for your next visit, think of ‘180 selling’. Think about how you could position whatever it is you sell from the perspective of the business that will be using it in the future. Identify the benefits in the long term. In our example above, the business could save 500 minutes per working month. That’s over 8 hours, or a whole working day. With that time saving they could employ someone much more efficiently and effectively. They just need to see it from a different perspective.

Happy selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

Posted in Sales Mindset | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How To Guarantee Your Audience Will Sit Up And Take Notice

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bOnce in a while, I come across a film or video that makes an impression on me and I say to myself that I have to let as many people as possible see it.

This particular short film amused and intrigued me at the same time. You know when you fly in an aircraft that the safety film is really important, but most of the passengers simply carry on reading their newspapers or talking to their fellow passengers.


This film is guaranteed to have you sitting up and paying attention. Enjoy!




It’s a great example of how to ‘sell’ safety by making it interesting, informative and entertaining.

It may not be possible for you to make a film of your products or services like this but you could think about how you can appeal to your prospects’ sense of curiosity and wonder the next time you present.

Happy selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

Posted in Sales Stories | Tagged , | Leave a comment