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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Is a Customer-Focused Selling Approach Still Valid?


In a recent meeting one of the sales managers asked, “Is it still really valid for salespeople to take a customer-focused selling approach anymore?” At first I was taken aback, wondering what he believed the alternative was, but I soon came to realize that he wasn’t implying that salespeople shouldn’t have the best interest of their clients in mind. What he questioned was the process where you ask for the prospect's time to learn about his or her business so you can sell the right solutions. 

Prospects are no longer willing to give salespeople time to teach them about their business. And with what is now online, they shoudn’t have to. 

Topics: successful sales meetings Sales

Was It Really a Good Meeting? How to Make Sure Your Prospects Call You Back


“I had a really good meeting! But. . . I can’t get the prospect to call me back!” or “I had such a great meeting, but I never got an answer to the proposal.” I hear statements like these frequently when working with salespeople. They return from a meeting telling their manager how great it was, but then nothing happens. Wishful thinking sets in. Calls get made to the prospect on a weekly basis, managers ask about it in their weekly meetings, and salespeople start saying, “I don’t know what could have happened—the meeting went so well!”

What does “I had a really good meeting” really mean? For some, it means the meeting was long. For some, it means the prospect opened up and talked a great deal. For some, the client nodded and sounded interested. This list could go on and on.

Topics: successful sales meetings Sales

Are You a Salesperson or a Business Person?


There are so many areas in life where balance is important. I believe a political view too far to the right or too far to the left is not healthy, and a workout routine that is exclusively power lifting will not make you as healthy as a more diverse exercise routine.  

This is true in the sales profession as well. Great salespeople are generally hard workers and focused on the job at hand. But if you spend all your time focused on selling and not on understanding the greater business climate, you will not be as effective in your selling or as helpful to your clients.

Topics: successful sales meetings Sales salespeople

Three Sales Tactics You Should Retire Today


Even though I am not in charge of any buying services at The Center for Sales Strategy, because my name is on our company website I'm still often solicited by salespeople. Some salespeople also follow up with me after I researched or downloaded content from a website. In most cases, I overlook the solicitation, because what's in it for me? I'm not a decision-maker. But every once in a while, a salesperson's tactic catches my eye.

Recently a salesperson, who had not received a response from me after multiple attempts, sent me an email with a multiple-choice option. The last choice included telling him I was not interested. I found this somewhat clever and entertaining. One of my coworkers responded to my sharing of this salesperson’s email with "some sales tactics never grow old." That got me thinking. While some sales tactics never grow old, are there some tactics that should be retired?  

Topics: successful sales meetings Sales

Call Prep Beats Winging It Ten Times Out of Ten!


After 40 years of sales managing, sales consulting, and sales training, I have seen nearly everything. But I never cease to be amazed at those salespeople who pound their chest like Tarzan, have supreme confidence in their ability to wing it, and therefore don’t prepare adequately for upcoming meetings with prospects. They must think good prospects abound, that if you bust an opportunity there’ll be another one just as good right around the corner.

In the real world good prospects are precious, and blowing it because you weren’t prepared is unforgivable. A capital sin because it’s so preventable. The kind of mistake that should prompt your boss to show you the door.

Topics: successful sales meetings Sales

Top Five Sales Management blog postings this year

describe the imageHere's the most popular articles written this year about Sales Management. Don't miss reading these! Good luck with your planning for next week.

Topics: Management successful sales meetings sales strategy sales performance sales management Sales

Whose Sales Performance Are You Talking About?

key to successGood sales people and sales managers like to talk about their sales performance, and it’s this time of year that many sales organizations stop to honor those who had the best year as the calendar starts a fresh countdown. I support that idea and have a suggestion to add. What if every salesperson in your organization picked one client who had a good 2011 and asked that client to share two things:

Topics: Management successful sales meetings sales performance sales management Sales

Coaching Sales People: Sales Meetings Are Expensive and Overrated

sales meetingIf you add up the value of everyone who sits in on a sales meeting—including yourself—you’ll realize how expensive sales meetings are. You should also remember the best training takes place in the field, with real accounts, not in a conference room with theoretical examples. But, there are still some legitimate reasons for having a sales meeting: education, training, team building, problem solving, positive psych and recognition. 

Topics: Management successful sales meetings Sales