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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

What If You Never Wrote Another Proposal?

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What if you never wrote another proposal? Outlandish statement? Maybe not.

Most people are anxious to get a proposal in front of their prospect as soon as possible. After all, the sooner we ask them to buy something, the sooner we will get an answer right? Correct. You WILL get an answer sooner when you ask a prospect to buy sooner. So, why not crank out those proposals?
 
Here’s why:
 
The quick answer you get is far more likely to be “no” or a “Let me think about it.”  Which you know eventually winds down into a “no." A woodpecker bangs its head against a tree a thousand times a minute. Is that how you see yourself?
 
So, what about this?
 
What if by the time you presented your proposal, you and the prospect had already confirmed that you are working on the right needs? Needs that warrant attention and a solution sooner rather than later?

Topics: Proposal setting expectations Sales

Traction… Whose Job Is It to Make Sure the Next Step Gets Taken?

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Maybe it's because I live in the great Pacific Northwest (the really cold part) that has me thinking about getting traction—both on the road and in sales. I talk a lot about traction when I'm coaching people through the selling process because it is the metric for how we move through the process.

If You Want Success, You Have to Take the Wheel

You can tell that you are moving the process forward when you get the traction to turn the wheels to move to the next step. Your prospects are not going to do this for you. You must take the wheel. They aren't going to be doing the contracting and partnering to move to the next step—that responsibility lies squarely on your shoulders. And amazingly it can be as easy as making sure you are at the same stage in the process and agreeing on what the next steps will be.

Take charge of the sales process with our How Selling Process.

Contract the Next Step

What does that sound like? How about this… "Thanks for meeting with me today Ms. Decision-maker. I learned a lot about what you do. I'm thinking my next step should be to review the information we've discussed and start to put together some preliminary ideas. I'll then bring those back to you so we can review them together. Would you agree that's the path I should take?"

Without clear contracting, you sit idle or even worse, start sliding out of control.

Download How Selling Steps

Topics: setting expectations sales strategy Sales

How to Avoid Setting Too-High Expectations in Media Sales

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Oops. In your enthusiasm to close the sale, did you promise the car dealer or medi-spa owner that the advertising for their grand opening will bring so many people that they will be lined up around the block? In your energetic attempt to close the deal, did you tell the roofing or HVAC company that their phone will “ring off the hook”?

What happens when there aren’t lines around the block and the phone doesn’t ring off the hook?

Your credibility has been destroyed along with trust. How can this all-too-often occurrence be avoided?

Topics: setting expectations Sales

5 Ideas for Running Successful Sales Appointments

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When a sales manager asks, “What does the client or prospect expect from this meeting?” too often salespeople say something like, “I don’t really know, but I definitely need to ask them some questions about their business.”

We spend so much of our time working to get the appointment, and then we fail to make sure the appointment will produce a successful sales meeting. What a missed opportunity! 

Topics: setting expectations new business development Sales

Digital Marketing: Social Media Can't Do These for Your Business

Top 3 Things Social Media Can't Do For A Business Or Brand"Things were so much simpler before Apple," says my 11 year old daughter after a recent panic attack over the thought of losing her Instagram followers and pictures. Her iPod Touch was a lemon and luckily under warranty, but the time between her device crashing and her logging back into her Instagram app was pure torture… for both of us!

Topics: Social Media content marketing content strategy digital marketing setting expectations Digital

Happy Birthday! Today, the Recovery Turned Four Years Old

happy birthday recoveryIf you’re in sales, it is not unusual to run into people (prospects) who tend to focus on the negative. In fact, some of us still run into people who consider the economy to be on the shaky side… as if we are still in the grips of the Great Recession. 

Topics: customer focus business development setting expectations Management Sales

Improve Sales Performance by Timing and Aligning Client Expectations

timing and aligningWe all know it's important to talk early and often about what your clients expectations are. After you identify a true client need is the time to start talking about expectations.

Topics: business development setting expectations sales performance Sales

When Getting an Appointment Can Actually Hurt Your Sales Strategy

sales strategy?So, you have an appointment with a new prospect. That’s good. Is it clear to the prospect what you’ll be talking about, or did you sort of leave a few important details out just to get your foot in the door?  After all, once they spend a little time with you, they’ll be charmed with you, right?

Topics: setting expectations Setting Appointments sales strategy Sales

Sales Strategy: When to Up-sell or Cross-sell a Customer?

sales strategy!Take a moment and think of times you were up-sold in the past.  It happens so frequently, that you don’t even realize it.  I wanted to order flowers on a website, another screen popped up and I ordered chocolates and I received free shipping…  I went to the auto repair shop specifically for an oil change and added two additional repairs that my service clerk recommended…  As a sales strategy, is this a bad thing or a good thing?

Topics: setting expectations sales strategy Sales

Sales Strategy: Please Don’t Leave Me

Please don't leave meAs a sales professional, you are accustomed to what it feels like from the seller’s experience juggling prospects, customers, details, and priorities.  But, have you ever stopped to think what life feels like from the prospect’s point of view assuming they stay with you through the sales process?  Do you sometimes disappear from the sales process only to reappear when you get back on track with your schedule? 

Topics: setting expectations Sales