The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

5 Ways to Increase Your Chances of Success in Your Sales Meetings

Earning that first appointment with a big prospect can be difficult. But you persevered. You were smart enough, creative enough, prepared enough, and persistent enough to nail it. He said yes. The date, time, and location are on your calendar and his. Getting this appointment was especially sweet because the guy has a reputation of being tough and demanding.

If you think the most difficult phase of the selling cycle is now behind you, I have some bad news. Now you need to measure up—to your claims and his expectations. I can’t tell you how often I see salespeople work hard and smart to get the meeting and then saunter in to his office, largely unprepared.

You “sold” the appointment.  Now you need to deliver.  Here are six things you can do to ensure that your first meeting with that big prospect goes well.  There are no second chances with prospects like this.

No-second-chances
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Topics: Sales

The 5 Greatest Quotations about Planning

Greatest_Quotations_About_PlanningThe leaves are turning beautiful shades of red and gold (well, not here in Florida, where the leaves just turn brown and it doesn’t happen until February), so it must be the time of year when thoughts turn to annual sales planning, to making next year markedly better than this year.

(Oh, the leaves don’t make you think about planning? If they trigger thoughts about turkey, click here. If they spark thoughts about skiing, look here. If the leaves prompt thoughts of romance, you must be confusing fall with spring.) 

I thought I’d approach the topic of annual sales planning by offering my favorite all-time quotations about planning. Which ones speak loudest to you?

Think before you act.

—Aesop

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Topics: Management

Do You Know The Next Step to Hit Your Goals?

find-selectHave you ever started the day feeling that there was so much to do that you didn’t know where to start? If you’re in sales, it’s not uncommon to feel you have too much to sell, too many follow-up tasks, and too many deals that haven’t closed. Which activities will allow you to hit your goals?

The best advice is often the simplest. Focus on the single, next step with each client or prospect.

Focusing on just the next step is the permission you need to focus on reaching an achievable goal. And an achievable goal is motivating. We use a 7-step process in How Selling that makes it easier to decide the next step in the sales process.

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Topics: Sales

The Worst Possible Talent-Related Advice

The_Worst_Possible_Talent-Related_AdviceI told my son a lie last night. I didn’t mean to, but it just slipped out. As a certified talent analyst, I should definitely know better.

I told him, “You know, you can be anything you want to be.”

This type of toxic talent-related advice has been handed down from generation to generation. I’m certain we have all heard some form of it:

  • “Just put your mind to it and you can accomplish anything you want!”
  • “Just try hard and you can be anything you want!”
  • “All things are possible!”
  • “You just have to want it!”
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Topics: Talent

Weekly Wrap Up: What We Wrote, and What We Read: Oct 20-23

What a great week! There are some great gems from our writers here, and wonderful news from around the web. Read on!

The Center for Sales Strategy Weekly Wrap-Up

  • Monday, Mike Anderson reminded us that lead generation was useless without need generation. What good are your leads if they don't need anything from you?
  • Tuesday, John Henley told us to kickstart 2015 by holding a Twitter drive with your team today. What's a Twitter drive? Find out.

 oct24

 

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Topics: Digital, Management, inbound marketing, Talent, Sales

Go Viral Inside Your Key Accounts

Going viral.

It's what a lot of people online want to do. They want a piece of their content to hit the right notes with the right people, propelling them, even for a minute, to internet fame status.

But what if you could go viral inside your key accounts?

The result would be even better than getting a million hits on a cat video. It would connect you with the people your key accounts trust and value, which would, in turn, increase the number of key accounts.

Which would increase your sales.

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Topics: Sales

The Problem is Not in the Proposal or the Sales Funnel

The_Problem_is_Not_in_the_Sales_Proposal_or_the_FunnelFrustration sets in when you look at all the pending business you have sitting in your sales funnel and realize that a good portion of it has been there for weeks! Those prospects you were sure were going to sign-off on your proposal right away are instead sharing reasons why they’re not ready or telling you they need more time to think it over. You know that with every week that passes, the chances that any of them will turn into a sale diminishes greatly and you’re kicking yourself because you are now reduced to emailing your prospect with the subject line Checking in since you really have no other options left.

Are you experiencing this uncomfortable, bloated feeling right now?

That bloated pipeline isn’t just uncomfortable… it’s frustrating and ultimately very expensive. Yes, it can sometimes feel rewarding to say you have “a lot out there,” but we all know that pending business is only good if it ends up closing. 

Spoiler alert: This is not an article on how to close your pending deals. It’s way more valuable than that. 

The problem is not in the proposal or the funnel, but rather with the process.

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Topics: Sales

Start a Twitter Drive Now to Increase Business in 2015

Start_a_Twitter_Drive_Now_to_Increase_Business_in_2015As we head toward the end of the year, it’s natural to start looking to 2015. Where will you find new prospects next year?

They could be on social media right now without you realizing it. Get your team to increase their use of social media (for more than just cat videos) this quarter by implementing a Twitter Drive, in order to increase business next year.

How to Start a Twitter Drive

  • Have a meeting on Monday where everyone notes the number of Twitter followers they have. Some may have 100, some may have 5,000. Some, umm, may not have any.
  • Set a follow-up meeting for four weeks from Monday to see what progress everyone made.
  • Brainstorm ways to find the right kind of new people to connect with.

What are You Tracking?

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Topics: Digital

Lead Generation is Useless Without Need Generation

Lead_Generation_is_Useless_Without_Need_GenerationLead generation and inbound marketing are two (of the many) hot topics in the marketing industry right now. But to make lead generation a smart strategy instead of just another marketing buzzword, it is critical to understand its role in the marketing process.

We used to live in a purely “push” world, where sales organizations would shove their product information and sales presentations toward the customer. Now, we’ve moved into an era where “pull” is just as important as push. Your company no longer controls access to the information about a product or service; that information is readily available online (from your company, from a competitor, or from some third party). The customer has the power, the will, and the skill to find that information on their own. Lead generation could be thought of simply as your company’s effort to be the prospect’s chosen information source and resource.

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Topics: Sales

Weekly Wrap Up: What We Wrote, and What We Read: Oct 13-16

What a great week! There are some great gems from our writers here, and wonderful news from around the web. Read on!

The Center for Sales Strategy Weekly Wrap-Up

  • Monday, Mike Anderson asked if you were really in love, or just fooling around... with customer-focused selling, that is.

 oct16

 

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Topics: Digital, Management, inbound marketing, Talent, Sales