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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Why your clients are more difficult today than yesterday (but easier than they’ll be tomorrow)

customer meetingMore price-sensitivity. Greater demand for “value added.” Remarkable scrutiny when it comes to determining “return on investment.” Why are clients so demanding, all of a sudden?!

Topics: new business development sales strategy Sales

"How" Selling Solves Your Business Problems

business problemsWhen cash from new business prospects starts to flow, business problems almost magically disappear. Here are five simple steps that will modify your sales strategy and jump start your new business machine:

Topics: Setting Appointments new business development Sales

6 Things the Best Salespeople Never Do

high performing sales personSo much has been said and written about what top sellers do to set themselves apart from the average and low performing salespeople. Let’s look at this from a different angle. What things do they make certain to NEVER do? In order to fully understand what makes a high performing sales person, it’s helpful to recognize behaviors NOT exhibited by this elite group.

6 things the Best Salespeople NEVER do:

1. They don’t lie… EVER

They develop relationships built on trust. In essence, they always do what they say they’re going to do, and they’re always honest about what they’re not capable of doing. Their clients know they can trust them; therefore they are willing to open up and share their real challenges and opportunities with them. High performing salespeople are trusted allies rather than vendors. 

2. They don’t go MIA

Nothing is more frustrating to a client than trying to track down their sales person with no luck when they really need them. This should not happen, ever! Elite salespeople are responsive and are always available for their clients. And if they know they won’t be available, they always let their client know who will be taking care of their business in their absence.

3. They don’t focus on themselves

It’s not about their budget, their quota, a contest they want to win or their desire to “close” a deal… the focus is always on the client. Elite salespeople put themselves behind their client’s desk, and they work hard to understand their client’s business, goals, objectives, challenges and opportunities.

4. They don’t show up unprepared

They don’t “wing” it. Their clients are much too valuable and important to show up without a solid plan. They take the time to prepare for each meeting and they know exactly what needs to be accomplished. They never want to waste their client’s time 

5. They don’t say “it’s not my fault”

Elite salespeople believe they are the real difference between working with their company and their competitors. They hold themselves accountable for their client’s success. If something is not working, they own up to it, diagnose the problem and quickly solve it.

6. They don’t sell products or services

They sell solutions. It’s never about why their product or service is superior; it’s always about how their clients can use their products or services to solve their business problems and/or meet their goals and objectives. 

Topics: new business development Needs Analysis Sales

There's nothing like the fear of death to bring people to life

innovationRecently, I was working with a client that was facing a tremendous problem. It was much more serious than the possibility of losing one of their biggest accounts. Due to some new legislation, they were on the verge of potentially losing an entire category of customers. Briefly, there was a period of shock… as if the sales manager and his team had suffered a traumatic (economic) injury. But then, very quickly, the group shifted into survival mode. Who knows where it came from—perhaps desperation, perhaps adrenaline—but the co-workers, led by their manager, started reviewing their capabilities and resources, and investigating where they might find pockets of revenue to replace the money that could soon vanish.

Topics: new business development Management Sales

Should Selling be Painful?

should selling be painfulIn most areas of life, we are faced with the choice of the Pain of Discipline vs. the Pain of Regret. If you exercise regularly, you are choosing the Pain of Discipline over the Pain of Regret. If you make mostly good food choices you are choosing the Pain of Discipline over the Pain of Regret.

Topics: new business development sales strategy Sales

Know Your Employment Value Proposition to Attract Top Candidates

handshakeAs part of your recruitment process it is important to know—and effectively communicate—your Employment Value Proposition (EVP), your employment brand. Your EVP defines what it is like to work for you and your organization, and can enhance your talent acquisition efforts by attracting the very best candidates, even those who are not necessarily actively looking for a new job.

Topics: hiring salespeople Management Talent

I’ll Make You Proud—Respecting the Value of a Referral

sales referralRecently, a gentleman asked me to introduce him to someone inside our company in charge of buying the products he happens to sell. I was a little hesitant, at first. After all, providing that referral would be like giving the guy my stamp of approval; if he did anything unprofessional, it might reflect poorly on me among my colleagues.

Topics: new business development Sales

Is it More Important to be Served or Seen? [Integrated Media Solutions]

ads servedIf a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Most of us have heard that saying before and it is that same premise that is creating a lot of buzz with respect to online display advertising this month. A recent comScore study found that roughly a third of online ads that are served are not viewed, and that those ads with a higher CPM do not necessarily mean that they are viewed more often. That study has a lot of people talking about served ads vs. viewed ads and the value of ads above-the-fold or below-the-fold.

The comScore study addresses some of the Making Marketing Make Sense (3MS) principles, specifically surrounding how display ads are served. The 3MSinitiative, a project developed by the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau), the ANA (Association of National Advertisers), and the 4A’s (American Association of Advertising Agencies), lays a framework for better digital measurement solutions in an effort to improve cross-platform comparisons. The first measurement 3MS outlined is shifting from a served impression standard to a viewed impression standard.

Topics: setting expectations Digital selling digital advertising

Dirty Dozen Rules for Email Etiquette

emailLast week I attended a client’s annual leadership conference where I had the opportunity to see a keynote presentation from Tim Sanders, former Chief Solutions Officer at Yahoo, and author of the bestselling book Love is the Killer App. Tim did a great job articulating the importance of why talent is the key to everything. He also spent some time talking to the audience about email at work and how it is currently the #2 cause of stress in the workplace (#1 is change). Tim mentioned that he has the Dirty Dozen Rules of Email Etiquette and shared a few of them with us.  

Topics: new business development Management Sales