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  • Jul 25 / 2009
  • Comments Off on Dave Kahle Sales Blog Guest Entry on Keeping Track of Names
Blogathon 2009, Leadership, Sales Articles, Sales Blog

Dave Kahle Sales Blog Guest Entry on Keeping Track of Names

Sales Best Practices: Keeps track of all the names, titles, and positions of all the key contact people within every account.

This is so basic, you would think everyone would be doing it. Not so.

I was sitting across the desk from the operations manager of the company for which I had worked a number of years earlier. We were reminiscing, and he told me this story.

In the time after I had left this company, it had been swallowed up by a large national company. Now, at number two in the nation, it was again being merged with number three. The government got involved, and mandated that every salesperson fill out a form for every account doing over $100,000 in annual business.

The operations manager described how he looked over the forms as he assembled them to send back to the government. As he did so, he got a sick feeling in his stomach. It seems that on many of the forms, the names listed were nicknames, and there was no title indicated.

He told me that he realized that his salespeople didn’t know the full name and correct title of the key contact people in their largest accounts!

While that may sound like an exception to you, I have since discovered that it is the rule, not the exception. The sad truth is that few salespeople have systematically collected and stored the full names and accurate titles of their key contact people. As a result, their proposals and correspondence are amateurish and they look unprofessional to their customers.

Such a simple little thing!

Yet, over and over again, it’s not the big things that separate the Top Gun performers from the pack. It’s the methodical, disciplined adherence to excellence in the little things.

I know there are thousands of salespeople who are reading this right now, thinking “I already know that.” Yet, most of them aren’t methodical and systematic in their execution of this practice. It’s not what you know that makes you into a Top Gun performer, it is what you do.

That’s why the best practices are called “practices.”

About the author: Dave Kahle is one of the world’s leading sales training educators. Since 1988, Dave has worked with over 400 companies, helping them to increase their sales and develop their sales people. He’s been published over 1,000 times, writes a weekly Ezine (subscribe for free at http://www.davekahle.com/mailinglist.htm), and has authored seven books. Dave’s website is available at http://www.davekahle.com, and you can follow his sales blog at http://www.davekahle.com/salesblog.

To Donate the the Vancouver Food Bank Click here or the image below. Every bit helps!

Blogathon 2009 for Vancouver Food Bank

Blogathon 2009 for Vancouver Food Bank

  • Jul 25 / 2009
  • 2
Blogathon 2009, Sales Blog, Sales Management Blog, Sales Training

Dave Kahle Guest Blog Entry – Sales Best Practices: Asking questions

Sales Best Practices: Asking questions as a means of facilitating every step in the sales process.

The single most powerful tool that a salesperson has is a well-phrased, appropriately asked question. Nothing else compares to the impact that a good question can have on the customer and the sales process.

That’s because a good question directs and influences the customer’s thinking. When you ask a question, they think of the answer. That simple statement neatly packages the latent power of a good question.

Yet, few salespeople understand that, and fewer still implement it.

A number of years ago, a study was done on this very issue. Here are the results:

“Out of 300 salespeople studied, 87 percent realize the importance of asking questions. However, only 27 percent displayed the ability to ask a well thought out, stimulating series of questions.”

In other words, thirteen percent of the salespeople in the world don’t even recognize the power of asking a good question. And only about 1 out of 4 could actually do it. That means that 3 out of every 4 salespeople, or 75 percent, don’t ask good questions.

There are two issues here: First, realizing the importance of using good questions effectively, and second, actually doing so.

This is such a big issue that my book, Question Your Way to Sales Success, is devoted entirely to this.

Everyone can ask a question. I have a three year old grandson. He can do it. This issue isn’t asking questions; the issue is asking better sales questions. While I can’t condense the book to a few hundred words here, I can point out a couple of things that the best do with this most powerful tool.

1. They prepare their major questions before the sales call. This gives them the time to select the best language and sequence.

2. They are mindful, at every stage of the sales process, of using better sales questions. They understand that there are questions, there are good questions, and there are better sales questions. So, they constantly focus on creating and using better sales questions. Whether it’s a cold call on a prospect, or following up after the sale, at every stage of the sales process, a more effective use of questions will produce dramatically better results. And they know that.

3. They collect good questions over time, and use them over and over again.

A master salesperson is a master at the use of better sales questions. That’s why it is a best practice of the best.

About the author: Dave Kahle is one of the world’s leading sales training educators. Since 1988, Dave has worked with over 400 companies, helping them to increase their sales and develop their sales people. He’s been published over 1,000 times, writes a weekly Ezine (subscribe for free at http://www.davekahle.com/mailinglist.htm), and has authored seven books.  Dave’s website is available at http://www.davekahle.com, and you can follow his sales blog at http://www.davekahle.com/salesblog.

To Donate the the Vancouver Food Bank Click here or the image below. Every bit helps!

Blogathon 2009 for Vancouver Food Bank

Blogathon 2009 for Vancouver Food Bank

  • Jun 05 / 2009
  • Comments Off on Vital Signs Day 18 to The 28 Days to Better Selling
28 days to better selling, Sales Articles, Sales Blog

Vital Signs Day 18 to The 28 Days to Better Selling

Revenues are not a measurement, neither are deals closed, they are results.  They are a result of core habits and behaviors driven into practice over time with discipline.  With any sales goal, you first have to start with an annual dollar figure that is broken down quarterly, monthly and even the daily.  Achieving that goal of course is dependent upon the activities we put into our plan.

Anthony McAleer top producing financial advisor for London Life says it this way: “If you’re not getting the results you want, you’re probably not doing the core activities.” Jim Janz, multi-million-dollar direct sales magnate calls these activities “vital signs.”

Vital Signs
When paramedics arrive on the scene of an accident they will check the vital signs of those injured.  Just because someone is standing upright and talking does not mean they’re healthy. Some vital signs to look for are:

•    Balance
•    Checking if the pupils in the eyes respond to light
•    Blood Pressure
•    Heart Rate
•    Breathing Rate
•    Brain function and nervous system response
•    Sensitivity to palpation
•    And many other factors

If any of these signs are out of sync, there is a chance that the injured is presently in danger, or could experience difficulties later on.

Your business, because you are a business of one, is responsible for bringing in revenues and turning a profit, has vital signs.  Just because you’re making phone calls and networking doesn’t mean you have a healthy business.  Revenues alone don’t mean your business is healthy.

Depending on your business some of your sales vital signs could be the number of:

•    Calls per day
•    In person meetings with clients
•    Proposals written
•    Networking events attended
•    RFPs completed
•    Hours per week organizing or planning
•    E-mails sent
•    Blog entries written
•    Presentations made
•    Prospects added to your list
•    Revenues
•    Number of repeat orders from key accounts

You could also produce and monthly, quarterly or even annual vital signs record sheet.  This process will give you a clear picture of how close you are to achieving your goals based upon your activity.  Over time you will also begin to notice a correlation between specific activities and revenues. These activities could be called “Core Vital Signs.”

In direct sales for instance,  Jim Janz could predict the monthly gross revenues of a group of people based upon the number of people who attended training meetings and how many new people were added to the group over the previous 90 days.  You may find that there is a direct correlation between the number of proposals you write and the number of new clients you close.  The number of cold calls could be irrelevant for instance.

One important fact to note is that once you determine what your core vital signs are, you should book those first in your calendar and make sure that your entire plan is focused on you executing those activities.

In sales often when we are no longer getting the results we want we are no longer doing the key activities that make us successful.  Knowing your vital signs and executing them daily is key to your long term success.

Your Assignment Today is:

1)  List all of your core activities that you daily and weekly

2) Determine which ones are your vital activities that lead to your desired outcomes

3) Map out and begin to measure these activities daily

  • Jun 04 / 2009
  • Comments Off on Sell the Price Difference Not the Total Cost Day 17 of The 28 Days To Better Selling
28 days to better selling, Sales Articles, Sales Blog, Sales Training

Sell the Price Difference Not the Total Cost Day 17 of The 28 Days To Better Selling

We will often get objections that our product or service costs more money in comparison to a competitor.

There are two main questions you need answered before proceeding:

Question 1: “Mr. Client, when you say the price is too high, how high is it? And compared to what do you feel it is too high?

When the client answers this question, you know what amount you are dealing with. The important thing here is to separate that amount from the total amount. By the client telling you the amount, you know what they are happy to pay, so you do not sell them on that amount, they are already sold on it. Focus on the difference.

Example:

Client: “I am sorry, but the purchase price of that house is too much.”
Salesperson: “When you say too much, how much too much?”
Client: “About $20,000 too much.”
Salesperson: “So what you are saying is that $280 000 is okay with you, but it is the additional $20,000 that is holding you back?”
Client: “Yes.”
Salesperson: “Well, let’s take a look at what you get for that extra $20,000 or $250 per month in payments. For an extra $250 per month:

  • You are just across the street from the elementary school, and you said you wanted to be close to the school.
  • The area you were looking in is 10 miles further away from your office. You save yourself 20 miles of travel per day, and in gasoline and wear and tear on your car it translates into $5.00 per day, which is over $100 per month. That is almost half of the $250 per month.
  • The house has a view and you really feel a view gives you a sense of freedom.
  • You have a two car garage that is very secure.
  • Your wife is in love with it.
  • You reduce your worry about your children walking to school.
  • You save time not having to drive or walk the kids to school.
  • You are closer to the office and save time again.
  • You end up with a view you want.

Salesperson:    “For a $150 a month on your mortgage I feel this one is the best option we have looked at today.” (You would not use the entire list but probable focus in on the top ones you would feel the client would relate too)

Note:     The salesperson does not say “for an extra $20,000 or for $300,000” which is the total price. The focus is on the difference and the lowest amount and then broken down to a monthly cost

Your Assignment today is:

#1) Look at which services or products you have where you have price objections

#2) Assess how much more they may be perceived to cost in comparison to similar products or services.

#3) Brainstorm all of the additional value financially and otherwise someone would get from paying the extra amount.

#4) Memorize your value added list.

  • Jun 02 / 2009
  • Comments Off on 3 Guerrilla Social Media Marketing Secrets Part 5
Internet Marketing and SEO, Marketing and PR, Sales Articles, Sales Blog, social media, social media training

3 Guerrilla Social Media Marketing Secrets Part 5

This is part part 5 of the 19 Guerrilla Social Media Marketing Secrets inspired by Jay Levinson and adapted by Shane Gibson (me). Here’s today’s 3 Guerrilla Social Media Marketing Tips:

12.     Dependent – “The guerrilla’s job is not to compete but to cooperate with other businesses. Market them in return for them marketing you. Set up tie-ins with others. Become dependent to market more and invest less.” Begin to blog, do interviews and profile your cooperative competitors online and many will reciprocate and help you grow your following and client base.

13.    Armament – Arm yourself with all of the social media tools that your customer consumes or uses.  Also find new markets through arming yourself with new social networks and mediums.

14.    Consent – Permission is number one if you are going to be a Guerrilla Social Media marketer. Take time to build trust and relationships and never overstate or overstep your relationships online with pitches and unsolicited messaging.

Guerrilla Social Media Marketing Secrets Part 1

Guerrilla Social Media Marketing Secrets Part 2

Guerrilla Social Media Marketing Secrets Part 3

Guerrilla Social Media Marketing Secrets Part 4

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