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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

18 Empathy Statements That Put Your Prospect at Ease + More

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We hope you've had a great week! It's Friday, and today we're sharing what we've been reading online this week! Here are our "best" from around the web.

18 Empathy Statements That Put Your Prospect at Ease — HubSpot

Sales is evolving. Today’s buyers won’t stand for being bullied into a deal. That’s where the empathy statement comes in. If your idea of empathy is throwing an “uh-huh” or “I see” into your conversations every few minutes, think again. This article highlights several empathetic statements that will show your prospects you’re more invested in their interests than closing a deal.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

3 Ways to Make Your Sales Team LOVE Role Play!

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The words "Role Play" immediately bring feelings of fear, dread, and anxiety for most salespeople. 

But why? 

That's easy. Most sales managers use role-playing as a form of punishment. We've all either done it or had it done to us.  

As a manager, we are often frustrated by a salesperson, team, or project when they fail to make the progress that we expect. We try all kinds of solutions: motivation, incentives and sometimes "threats," but when those don't work, what do we do? We summon the team for a meeting. A meeting where we ROLE-PLAY! That'll work! Right?

Well, it can, but only if we do it right! 

Topics: Needs Analysis sales management Sales

How to Shorten Your Sales Cycle

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I have been doing sales training and consulting for nearly 20 years and I always get a chuckle when salespeople tell me they need to find ways to close business in two calls. When I hear this today, I wonder where these people are living. Do they live on the same planet as I do? It’s not about the number of calls—it’s about the length of the sales cycle. And the sales cycle doesn’t start until the buyer is ready for it to start.

Topics: inbound marketing sales cycle prospecting

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

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As we dive into fourth quarter, life starts to pick up the pace from lazy summer days to hectic school and work days. Traffic is heavier, vacations are over and the hustle and bustle of the holidays starts to take shape. Before you realize, it’s a new year (with new budgets!). Avoid being caught come January 2nd and make a plan now to set yourself up for success in the coming year. As Benjamin Franklin so famously stated, “If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail.”  There is so much truth to this statement. 

Topics: sales management goals

The Importance of a Hot Button

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I recently had a coaching assignment with a highly ambitious salesperson. This person wasn’t prospecting for new business as often or as much as her manager would like. I’d had a few calls with her and given her a few assignments to complete between our calls in the prospecting part of the sales process. Her performance for me (and for her manager) continued to be lackluster. I've done a lot of individualized coaching over the years. Because of the talent interviews my company does, I am privy to the innate talents of everyone I coach. Often times my coaching assignments are to get people to do something they are not currently doing. Prospecting is often at the top of the list. 

Topics: sales performance Sales

How to Succeed in Sales as an Introvert + More

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We hope you've had a great week! It's Friday, and today we're sharing what we've been reading online this week! Here are our "best" from around the web.

 — Salesforce

The stereotype of a sales rep is an effervescent extrovert who charms people into buying anything at any price. But if you are an introvert, take heart. You can do it, and do it just as well as your extroverted competitors. This article, written by a successful introverted salesperson, shares a few strategies and techniques to help.

Topics: inbound marketing Sales Wrap-up

What To Do When Your Salespeople Hit a Sales Slump

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Slumps happen to everyone. No matter how good you are or how long you have been in sales, sooner or later you're going to hit a sales slump. And they always seem to come at the very worst times. (Actually, when is it ever good to go into a slump?) It’s never exactly the same, but it sometimes looks like this: You've put a lot of time and energy into a prospect, and thought for sure he or she would say yes—but the person gives you a NO. A client has been with you every month for the past 6 months, but then calls you up and says they need to take the next couple of months off. The appointment you have been working so hard to set tells you to call back in 6 months. 

Sales managers bemoan slumps just as much as salepeople do. If you're a sales manager, you need your people hitting their numbers so you can in turn hit yours. It’s difficult to watch anyone struggle, particularly people you feel responsibility for. As the manager, you are a developer of people and of talent. You need to grow your people, and you take that job seriously.  

So how do you get out of a slump if you're in one? Here are four steps to help your salespeople break out of a slump:

Topics: sales management Sales

The High Cost of Turnover [Infographic]

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Turnover is a costly problem for sales organizations. On average, companies experience a 17.8% turnover each year, and the average cost to replace an employee is 1.5 - double the employee's annual salary. (And it's even higher for high-level employees like managers and those with specialized skills.)

Take a look at the high cost of turnover in the infographic below. What you find may surprise you!

Topics: hiring salespeople Talent

Feedback: Your Most Powerful Sales Development Tool

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Feedback. It’s powerful, right? The people who work for us crave it. You like to get it from your boss. Studies show that employees who receive regular feedback (as opposed to intermittent or no feedback) are TEN times more engaged. Yet most managers don’t provide consistent feedback to their direct reports about their skills and achievements. In fact, in most business scenarios feedback is mostly confined to infrequent, formal reviews or budget attainment numbers generated by a computer.

Topics: Management sales performance sales management Sales

Are You a Salesperson or a Business Person?

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There are so many areas in life where balance is important. I believe a political view too far to the right or too far to the left is not healthy, and a workout routine that is exclusively power lifting will not make you as healthy as a more diverse exercise routine.  

This is true in the sales profession as well. Great salespeople are generally hard workers and focused on the job at hand. But if you spend all your time focused on selling and not on understanding the greater business climate, you will not be as effective in your selling or as helpful to your clients.

Topics: successful sales meetings Sales salespeople