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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Sales Strategy: Lost leader, or lost cause?

Lost Cause Price Tag photo
Topics: customer satisfaction customer focus setting expectations understanding target audience sales strategy Sales

Leadership Development: The root word of business is BUSY

leadership developmentIn their trend forecast for 2013, Trendwatching.com shares an observation called “Mobile Moments.”  The idea is that people are now making use of every available moment, since they can hold their news sources, entertainment, telephone and social network in the palm of their hand.   

Topics: using technology setting expectations sales strategy Sales

Why should you be happy when you fail?

sales goalsYou shouldn’t be satisfied if you nail your objectives 100% of the time. If you hit the bull’s eye every time, you are standing too close to the target. Challenge yourself and your team to stretch—to achieve great things. When you succeed, celebrate! When you don’t, congratulate the team for being willing to shoot for a tough goal. Then analyze what went well, discuss what could have gone better and set your next goal. 

Topics: setting expectations Management Sales

You’ve Got the Appointment – Now What?

sales appointmentOne of the most difficult aspects of selling is getting the first appointment with a new prospect. That is a fact, but it shouldn’t be the only focus. Simply getting the appointment is not the goal; the goal is to get a good appointment.

Topics: customer satisfaction customer focus setting expectations sales performance Sales

Is the Needs Analysis Meeting Really the First Step?

sales strategyWe often think of the needs analysis meeting as the beginning of the process with a new prospect. But, is it really?

Topics: setting expectations Needs Analysis Sales

Everything I Ever Learned about How to Have an Effective Meeting... I Learned in Kindergarten!

setting expectationsI recently visited my daughter’s kindergarten class as a volunteer. There were many routines the children followed including putting book bags away, sitting crisscross applesauce in circle time, and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. But one part of the daily morning routine really hit home. It was called “The Daily Itinerary.”

Topics: setting expectations Needs Analysis Sales

Does Your Sales Process Turn the Prospect into a Spectator?

sales strategyThink of the last family wedding you attended. Did you sit at a table with Aunt Nelda, picking at your salad? Or did you get up and mingle and dance? Did you do the funky chicken?

Topics: Proposal setting expectations new business development Needs Analysis sales strategy Sales

11 Things Your Clients Won’t Say Out Loud

  1. client needsIf you anticipate my needs before I know I need them, I would love you (and buy from you) forever. I went to a hotel recently. It had make-up remover wipes. I had no idea that I needed make-up remover wipes… now I don’t know what I used to do without them. Wouldn’t it be great if your clients didn’t know how they got along without you? Start by anticipating their needs.
  2. I want to feel included in the process. Find ways for your client to make decisions that are guaranteed to provide a good outcome. For example, if red is the best color for creative, let your client choose from a few pre-selected shades of red.
  3. I want to feel smart even if my ideas are missing the boat. Sometimes people have a misguided focus on a path that won’t be the best use of their resources. Asking good questions initially, and asking follow up questions based on the client’s answers, provides a great opportunity to discover needs—as well as opportunities to respectfully redirect.
  4. I always like getting a great deal. Help your client figure out the best pathway to their desired outcome by first defining exactly what that outcome looks like. Making sure you’re addressing the core needs is the best start to providing quality solutions that get results.
  5. I love examples. Clients hear you telling them, but make sure you are also showing them how you can deliver. Do you have a success story to share? Share it… everywhere. Share someone else’s success story (with appropriate permissions of course) and apply some of the key concepts on your client’s challenges.
  6. If you tell me to ‘Google it’ I will scream. If you reference online material, make sure to give clients specific web addresses. Double check that hyperlinks in emails, presentations, etc. are working properly.
  7. I want to feel like we’re friends (but not BFFs). Building relationships with a buyer is important. Try to find the sweet spot between being an outsider and developing a friendship.
  8. I need to know you’ve got my back. Clients are putting their trust in you and expecting you to deliver. Keeping in touch with clients as key steps of the plan are implemented is a great way to ensure they’ll feel like they’re in good hands.
  9. I expect to always be your number one client. Keep yourself accessible to clients (via phone, email and also through LinkedIn). Respond in a timely manner, and be reassuring of client decisions with you.
  10. Don’t make me figure things out. There’s lots of ways to help clients understand new ideas or processes. Start by breaking up the information. Sometimes full sentences aren’t needed and bullet points are easier to digest. Understanding how your client learns is also helpful, as some people want to read more information and others may want to walk through each step over the phone.
  11. I like doing business with people who respect my time. We’re all busy. Use valid business reasons to add value to communication with your client. Also, keep ‘word fluff’ to a minimum. Tell clients everything they need to know in as few words as possible.

You’re a lot more likely to retain a client long-term if you deliver the specific value they’re seeking. Download the retention checklist and see how you're doing!

Topics: customer satisfaction setting expectations Sales

How is Being Hospitalized Like the Sales Process?

sales strategyAs it turns out, there are several similarities! After a recent 48 hour stint in the hospital, I had a number of observations on how the selling process is perceived from the prospect or customer's point of view.  

Topics: setting expectations new business development sales strategy Sales

Four Easy Ways to Lose That Sale for Good

lose a saleCrickets. That’s what I heard when I direct dialed a bunch of sales reps to inquire about pricing, timing, delivery and credit. Here I was, flush with cash (to pay in advance of services, as the new corporation had no credit), and a very large percentage of sales reps from all industries were lax or never even bothered to call back. They literally left cash on the ground. I couldn’t believe it. I was a "call-in" with ready money.

Topics: customer satisfaction setting expectations new business development Needs Analysis sales performance Sales