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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Alysa Hinshaw

Recent Posts by Alysa Hinshaw:

Set the Stage for Success: Prepare Yourself AND Your Prospect

prepare your prospect before a meetingIMAGINE THIS: After countless attempts to connect with a prospect, your persistence has paid off. You did it! You've got the meeting on the calendar, you are feeling great! Now, you have one chance to make a great first impression, and it needs to count. Luckily, you have a few days to prepare so you can ensure the meeting runs smoothly and the prospect views you as a trusted and valued partner.

While it’s important to prepare yourself for the meeting, you also want to prepare the prospect. This is one thing that salespeople often overlook prior to a meeting. Most prospects are going to expect you to come in and tell them why they need to buy your product or service. It’s up to you to go out of your way to be sure they know you are different and you are not going to do that. Don't just prepare yourself... also prepare your prospect.

Topics: Proposal Needs Analysis successful sales meetings sales strategy prospecting

6 Ways To Ask The Perfect Question

ask the perfect question salesHave you ever come back to your office after a solid Needs Analysis meeting and shared the exciting news with your manager? As you sit down to recap, your manager starts to ask you questions about the prospect, and you realize you can’t answer them. Critical information that you need was never even discussed. The assignment that you uncovered and thought was strong is actually vague, and you begin to understand clearly that you are missing key pieces of information. You start to deflate as you realize this meeting wasn’t as good as you thought after all.

Topics: Needs Analysis sales performance sales process prospecting

How Do You Stand Out?

salespeople stand out with personal brandingAs a sales coach, I work with many salespeople at all different stages in their career. When we first start working together, we spend time talking about who they are, why they love what they do, and how their current and past experiences bring value to what they do today.    

I remember getting a very excited call from a salesperson that I had worked with. A big prospect in the market had reached out to her. They had searched her company via LinkedIn and discovered many of her sales colleagues. But it was her profile that caught their eye. Why?

Topics: Social Media sales strategy salespeople personal brand branding

Failing To Do This One Action Stalled The Sale

stalled sales processI vividly remember early in my sales career meeting with a business owner of an up-and-coming beverage company. We met several times, and I was getting excited about the opportunities that seemed to be unfolding. We had built great rapport, he had shared his challenges with me, and I developed a solution that I thought was perfect. He loved my idea! We were on our way until I heard…

Topics: sales management Sales salespeople sales process sales training prospecting

6 Ways to Provide Superior Customer Service After the Sale

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Recently, I was preparing for a presentation about the retail industry. An interesting statistic about customer service jumped out at me. According to MediaPost, only 17% of consumers think manufacturers and retailers are extremely good at caring for their customers after a sale. This was a surprising figure to me. It’s tough to earn a repeat customer if you don’t follow through and offer superior customer service. This got me thinking about B2B sales and how the same basic principle applies.

Topics: customer focus Sales

Uncovering Real Needs Leads to Long-Term Client Relationships

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Every now and then it pays to stop and think about the big picture — why we do what we do and the importance of truly learning about our prospect and client’s needs. It’s so easy to talk about what we have to sell and why prospects should want to buy it, but taking the time to learn about the prospect will truly pay off in the end. 

Topics: Needs Analysis Sales

Prepare Yourself AND Your Prospect!

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You finally secured that all important meeting with a prospect you’ve been trying to reach for weeks.  Your carefully constructed Valid Business Reason along with persistence paid off and the prospect has agreed to meet with you. You are on an adrenaline high as you think about the possibilities.    Now what?! Give yourself a pat on the back and begin to prepare! Remember, the prospect is taking time out of their busy schedule to meet with you. They chose you over all of the other salespeople beating down their door. Make it count! 

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

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As we dive into fourth quarter, life starts to pick up the pace from lazy summer days to hectic school and work days. Traffic is heavier, vacations are over and the hustle and bustle of the holidays starts to take shape. Before you realize, it’s a new year (with new budgets!). Avoid being caught come January 2nd and make a plan now to set yourself up for success in the coming year. As Benjamin Franklin so famously stated, “If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail.”  There is so much truth to this statement. 

Topics: sales management goals

Why Working Out Is a Lot Like Developing New Business

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We are always told to maintain good health by eating right and exercising daily. In order to see the true benefits, it needs to be done consistently. It takes effort and planning to fit it into our busy lives but we do it. We want to remain healthy. If we stop, our health will suffer. It’s a constant in life that takes self discipline and motivation. It isn’t always easy but the benefits for both mental and physical health are tremendous.

Before I had kids, this was a much easier activity to fit into my day. Now that I have three little lives in addition to my own to manage, it takes real effort, commitment and persistence. In the end it pays off tremendously so I find the time. If I stop or take a break, I know it will be that much harder to get back into the routine.

Topics: Sales prospecting