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Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn

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learnIn sales, a lot can depend on the outcome and results of our efforts. If we succeed or progress with the sale, we tend to increase our motivation, improve our self-esteem and build our credibility. If we lose a sale or don’t progress, it tends to have the opposite effect.

Much of our motivation is dependent upon extrinsic or external events; those things that we often don’t have control over.  The increase in control that intrinsic or internal motivation gives us can help us improve our self-worth and esteem.

The title of John Maxwell’s book ‘Sometimes you win, Sometimes you learn’ has always intrigued me. Often, we have our moods and emotions affected by the results we achieve…if we win, we feel good, if we don’t succeed, we feel down and unable to lift ourselves.

Much of this has to do with the way we focus our attention. When we concentrate on what we are gaining, our emotions are affected in a positive sense, which drives us forward as we are focussing on what we can achieve. Our viewpoint is positive; it feeds our positive emotions and makes us feel good about ourselves. This drives us to perform better as we like the results we are achieving and aids us to find creative ways to improve our activities. We feel that we are ‘winning’

If we are not succeeding (in whatever way we use to judge that success), it tends to make us feel more negative because of how we focus on those results. They make us feel that we are not as good as we could be and this has a detrimental effect on the way we view ourselves. We feel that we are ‘losing’.

How can we change the impact that not succeeding has on our performance?

Well, instead of thinking of ourselves as ‘losing’ by not succeeding, a swift change in the way we view the situation can have a dramatic effect on the performance we create. Instead of thinking about what we have lost, how about thinking ‘what can I learn from this?

It may sound like simple semantics, but it actually makes a huge difference in the way we feel about ourselves.

When we tell ourselves we have lost something, we focus on the pain and on the past that got us here. We think about things we could have, should have and ought to have done, and often chastise ourselves for not doing them. We often feel bad about what we could have achieved and so can’t concentrate on improvements that need to be made.

Instead, when we tell ourselves that we could learn something from this, it triggers a different mindset. To learn something, we have to concentrate on the lessons gained and the future changes we could make to improve. Learning means identifying the changes that will make a difference for us and our prospects. Those changes will help us achieve different results, as we now concentrate on the future, rather than the past.

From now on, think about how you can learn from your experiences, good or bad. By learning, you build your self-esteem and self-worth and this increases your confidence. That confidence could prove to be decisive in your future success.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat
Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image by Stuart Miles at

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Everything is Expensive….Until You Want It

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ID-10067426Many of our clients have products and services they are proud of, and we are proud to work with them as clients.

Many of their salespeople have been on our programmes and have proved themselves to be effective at improving their abilities in many areas.

There’s one specific area, as you can guess, that always requires attention. It doesn’t take much imagination to know that the biggest challenges for salespeople who sell quality products is price-justification.

Much discussion has been made on how to sell expensive products, or products that are perceived to cost more than the competition.

They all revolve around increasing the value of the product to the prospect’s company or themselves. Of course, value is determined by the perception the prospect has of what they will achieve in the future with the product or service. If they see that the product will improve their productivity, lower costs, increase profitability or something similar, they are more likely to see the value in choosing it and be able to justify the price.

If a prospect claims that your product is ‘expensive’ it means they haven’t yet been able to justify why they should pay the asking price for it.

People will basically pay the price you ask if the prospect can justify in two specific ways; one, they need the product or, two, they want it.

If they need it, it can be justified around the future benefits it will bring them or their business. However, if they want it, it now involves emotions and desires.

We are more likely to see the value in something if we want it, more than if we need it. Even if something was priced at 50% off, if we don’t want it, we won’t see the value of it.

Increasing the desire is the catalyst that will increase the value in the prospect’s mind.

By making the person want what you are selling, you increase your chances of them justifying the initial outlay.

You do this by asking questions that highlight the emotional impact of the decision they are about to make.

It could be something like: “How will it feel to save 20% in overheads over the next 6 months with this product?”

Or: “What will your family think of this new addition?”

What you’re doing is involving the emotions in making a decision. When you increase desire, price doesn’t have the impact in the decision-making process that it would have if you were appealing to purely the rational brain.

Remember…everything is expensive…until you want it!

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

(Image by MTD Sales Training, please attribute if re-used)

(Header image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.Net)

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4 Sat Nav Sales Tips To Remember On Your Way – Infographic

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sat navSo, you’re on your way to visit a new prospect and you have all of the details you have prepared for the visit.

If it’s your first time visiting this new prospect – nine times out of ten you will use a satellite navigation system to help you get there.

There are parallels between setting up and using your sat-nav system and how you approach a meeting with a new prospect.


These are highlighted in the infographic below. 


03.07.2014 - Sat Nav


Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

(Image by MTD Sales Training, please attribute if re-used)

(Header image courtesy of graur razvan ionut at FreeDigitalPhotos.Net)

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The Distance Between Good and Excellent May Be Shorter Than You Think

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good better best - stuart milesWe see many salespeople through our sales workshops, our consultancies and coaching programmes and through our one-to-one sessions by phone or email. The variety of viewpoints and ideas are never-ending and our trainers always find it interesting to determine how their careers will progress as time goes on.

One of our trainers was having a discussion with one salesperson during an activity in a workshop where they were determining what ‘excellence’ in the role actually looked like. We enjoy talking about excellence as a standard, as it is always something we like to aspire to.

The salesperson said something interesting during the discussions. He said that sometimes he feels that he has done his best but his manager is always asking for more. The boss feels that the salesperson has loads more potential but he (the salesperson) feels he is doing well enough at his current performance level.

It got me thinking about this concept of ‘excellence’. It sometimes appears that the real problem is that we accept a level of performance that others consider to be ‘good’ and think that is acceptable. If we have that mindset, we create fake ceilings for ourselves. These ceilings act as a barrier to higher levels of performance, both now and in the future.

In other words, it appears that ‘good’ is the enemy of ‘excellent’.

If that’s the case, we stand the chance of being infected by the ‘good’ bug. This makes us feel content with doing just adequate work, because it looks ok. We don’t do what will actually make us look outstanding because the client, the stakeholder, the boss, the prospect or whoever will accept the standard of work we have produced.

The challenge is that we become blasé about our performance when we have this mindset. It means we cut-off from seeing opportunities for improvement because we think what we’ve done is ‘good enough’. I remember someone saying once ‘good enough, isn’t!’

Think about that for a moment!

If we are really serious about winning new business, identifying what makes the difference between ‘good’ and ‘excellence’ should be high on our agenda. When you’ve completed some piece of work, look at it and ask yourself is it just ‘good enough’ or is there something extra you could do that would place it in the ‘excellent’ mould?

Imagine looking back on your working day and asking yourself, ‘Is there anything I could have done that would have produced a better result today?” If there was, identify what that ‘something’ might have been and vow to improve it by 1% next time. Those one-percent-ers will soon add up and provide a solid route on the journey to excellence. Doing excellent work isn’t something that should happen just once or twice…it should become a habit of yours so you stop accepting ‘good’ as acceptable, and start thinking how it can be the new ‘normal’ in your life.

Excellence is an attitude and has nothing to do with competence or ability. The mindset of excellence will take you further than you will ever imagine in your career. Adopt that mindset now and see what impact it has on your results.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

(Image by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.Net)

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Buyers Don’t Buy What You Sell….Buyers Buy What Will Change Their Future

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increasingIn many salespeople’s minds, the most important thing they need to improve is their product knowledge.

They think that if they have an in-depth knowledge of everything their product does, they will give their prospect confidence that the information they are able to convey will make them choose their solution.

Our discussions with buyers, however, show that product knowledge, while being important in the mind of the salesperson, is actually not that important to the buyer.

The buyer is really only interested in one thing…how they can improve their future, whether this is improved profits, better productivity, lower staff turnover, or whatever would be their short and long-term goal.

In order to convince your prospective buyer that they should choose your solution, you need to develop a powerful statement that persuades and motivates your customer to take action. Simply telling them about your product actually makes this harder, as it forces the prospect to have to think about the connection between the features and how they will benefit from them.

You need to do that work for them.

Your statement of intent should focus on what they or their business will see in the future if they choose you. Here are a few small examples that should give you the right mind-set:

  • You don’t sell printing: Your buyer buys brochures and marketing information that will build their image and impact their sales
  • You don’t sell insurance: Your buyer buys security for the future for them and their family
  • You don’t sell cars: Your buyer buys the ability to travel in style, reducing the risk of breakdown and building confidence in getting from A to B, trouble-free.

These aren’t boring descriptions of what you sell or even what the benefits are of what you sell.

They are emotional, connective phrases that paint a vivid picture of how life will be if they choose your solution.

So what are some of the ways you can devise this impact statement that will make the buyer think about the change in their future? Think about these ideas:

  • Make the buyer think about the results they will obtain when they use your products and services (increased profits, decreased overheads, improved turnover, etc.)
  • Highlight how the needs and wants of the buyer are fulfilled with your solution
  • Give the buyer more confidence in the decision they are about to make
  • Make the buyer want to know more about the services you offer and how they can improve their business or their lives
  • Decide if your solution removes pain from their current situation or introduces gain for the future
  • Identify how your solution will bring them better results in the future than the competition will

Your impact statements will generate interest and build possibilities of more appointments as your buyer will start to see the real future benefits of choosing you.

An example of this could be something like:

“Increasing your productivity will improve your profitability. One of my clients improved their productivity by 12% and profits by 10% last year simply by using our new widget. We can improve your productivity in one month. Would you like to know how?”

It’s an attention-grabbing impact statement that builds interest and desire in your buyer to want to know more and help them see how their business or lives could be better with you as a partner.

Build a number of impact statements that you can use in various situations.

They will give you real confidence in discussions with prospects, help you see how their business could improve in the future, and paint a picture of what the difference would be if the buyer chose your solution.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

(Image by jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.Net)

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