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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Make Your First Impression Your Best Impression


There was a post on LinkedIn recently about the importance of making a good first impression. The post focused on professional men in beautiful, well-tailored suits, smiling, making excellent eye contact, and shaking hands. Surely there must be more than that.

First impressions are frequently discussed in the context of business meetings. Is it an important first meeting for a job interview? Or is it the first meeting with a client to conduct a needs analysis? It doesn’t matter what the situation, since memorable impressions are critical to both.

Topics: Setting Appointments salespeople

Use Consumer Psychology to Help Reel In More of Your Ideal Prospects


You can make the best and the most spectacular recommendations to your prospects, but what use is it if the prospect doesn’t share your point of view?

In B2B sales, you’ve probably spent a lot of resources to score an appointment. You’ve generated leads, qualified them, answered initial questions. And you don’t want to lose your ideal prospects now. Consumer psychology can help you reel the prospect in to sign on that dotted line.

Topics: salespeople sales process

6 Ways to Be a Better Listener


We all want to listen better. So why do we find it so hard to do? We are often either thinking too much about what we want to say next or talking too much. tweet-button-1.jpg

Let’s look at 6 things we need to remind ourselves to do in order to be a better listener.

Topics: Sales salespeople

3 Things to Start Doing Right Now to Hold Yourself Accountable


Today's post is from Kelly Klein, Business Development Sales Manager of KSDK-TV NewsChannel 5. Kelly is a highly driven, performance-focused sales leader with 14+ years of experience in media sales. She has a track record for developing high performing sales teams with ingenuity and strategic business plans.

Topics: salespeople goals

The Key to Improving Sales Performance


Which is more likely to drive strong sales performance: a focus on the numbers or great attention to the sales process?

I recently heard two people talking about the key to sales performance. One person started by saying that the key is to focus on sales process. Then a few minutes later, the other person described hearing a CEO of a very successful company saying he has learned that the key to driving top sales performance is to focus on the numbers. 

At first, this sounded like a conflict to me. But the more I listened, it turns out they were saying the same thing. It’s not either/or. The lesson is to focus on the numbers that are tied to the sales process. 

Topics: sales performance Sales salespeople

What Kind of Sales Dog Are You?


Moving into 100% commissioned sales in my 30’s was one of those “what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger” moments in my life. Truth be told, it wasn’t a moment, it was a journey. I remember trying to learn all I could from the veteran salespeople on my team, but when I read the book Sales Dogs I began to understand that the answer was not to be found in trying to copy the talents of other salespeople, but to learn how to leverage my own unique mix of talents.

There are core sales talents that people need to be successful in sales. Yet even the most talented salespeople will have a unique mix of those talents, and how they play out in practice is as different as one dog to the next.

What Kind of Sales Dog Are You?

Which traits of the five sales breeds do you recognize in yourself:

Topics: Talent salespeople

How Will You Become a Million Dollar Salesperson?


There are many roads to reach annual billing of $1 million. It’s a milestone in many industries. Most account lists are some combination of client levels, but let’s look at three possible scenarios to reach $1 million in billing:

  • 1,000 clients spending $1,000 each
  • 100 clients spending $10,000 each
  • 10 clients spending $100,000 each

The reason to stop and think about your client list this way is that it ends up determining how you spend your time each day and, ultimately, your sales career.

Topics: Sales salespeople

How a Holiday Party Can Help You Increase Sales Performance


When you pay attention, a holiday party can tell you a lot about your team’s talents. And what you learn about each person could change the way you coach them, and make them more successful.

Recently, I talked with a sales manager who took his team on a bowling outing to celebrate the holiday season. It was a fun team building activity, and it also taught him a lot about each person’s strengths.

The organized, fun salesperson on his team planned the entire outing down to the bowling teams and the gift exchange. Everything was perfect, and everyone had a great time.  

The relationship seller got everyone to participate in a hilarious game where you eat disgusting flavored jelly beans. Everyone did what she asked and completely trusted her when she said, “it’s really not that bad.”

Topics: sales culture Talent salespeople

Organizing Well = Saved Time and Better Productivity

For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.” — Benjamin Franklin

One of the biggest issues salespeople have is time management. We all feel busy, but busy doesn’t always equate to success. Salespeople often have the best intentions of working smarter, not harder. They talk about wanting to spend more time prospecting, setting up new Client Needs Analyses (CNAs) updating CNAs with Key Accounts, pre-selling Key Agencies, and building relationships with important contacts. These are the best use of their time.

Unfortunately, these things often get pushed to the back burner because a client needs something NOW, a mistake needs to be fixed, a manager needs a report, a collection call needs to be made, or a co-worker stops by his or her cubicle to shoot the breeze. Next thing you know, a whole day has gone by without any IMPORTANT work getting done.

Topics: time management Sales salespeople

How to Decrease Turnover and Save Your Company Money


Yesterday I opened my mouth and my mom’s voice came out!

Excited to visit our twin daughters in college and spoil them a bit, my husband and I spent last weekend in a tornado of tailgates, football games, happy hours, sushi dinners, and fall shopping. At the same time, our girls were also juggling advisory meetings and spring registration. It’s that time of year.

After a discussion at brunch about course requirements and degree expectations, I noticed a pattern in their responses. “I’ll just wait and see what I need.” “We probably don’t need to worry about that yet.” “No need to spend time on something if we don’t need to.” 

One minute I was listening and nodding and the next thing I knew, I opened my mouth and my mom’s lecture on the importance of planning ahead came out. I even channeled my dad for a minute there, pulling out the old adage, “measure twice, cut once.” I watched their eyes glaze over. 

I get it. We’ve all been there. But it’s easier to see clearly from the outside looking in.

Topics: Talent salespeople