<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=585972928235617&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Jim Hopes

Jim Hopes

Recent Posts by Jim Hopes:

Are Your Sellers Prepared for the Economy to Reopen?

Are Your Sellers Prepared for the Economy to Reopen

Perhaps the most anticipated grand opening of all times is occurring at various levels across our land right nowand it is joyous to see. But to say things are not quite returning to normal yet would be a great understatement. 

Most businesses are still adapting to the environment. Many are operating without key segments that were profitable just a few months ago or inventing new offerings in response to the changes we’ve all experienced.  Just as our clients are rethinking how they approach the market, so should your sales team.

Topics: sales performance COVID19 Resources

How To Drive New Business In Today’s Environment

How To Drive New Business In Today’s Environment

Everyone is looking for creative ways to drive new business—and we could easily provide a list of five hacks that would be helpful. But those five tips would not have the same impact that changing just one thing would have—your perspective.

There is a legendary story about a large American shoe company that sent two sales representatives to different regions of the Australian outback to scope out the business potential for the company.  The first reported, “No business here. The natives don’t wear shoes.”  The other wired back, “Huge opportunity! The natives don’t wear shoes.”

Same data, different conclusion. Which message would you have sent back?

Topics: new business development business growth COVID19 Resources

Never Waste a Good Crisis

Never Waste a Good Crisis

Given the sudden health and economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the phrase, “Never waste a good crisis,” has surfaced quite a few times. Noted public figures ranging from Machiavelli and Winston Churchill to Barack Obama have all invoked the phrase in times of trouble.

It’s often viewed as an opportunist looking to advance an agenda during an unfortunate circumstance. The reality is the phrase is more accurately a challenge to commit to doing things differently and better as a result of what we experience. And that’s the challenge we have for you.

Topics: sales management leadership COVID19 Resources

Sales Survival: Avoiding Panic, Paralysis, and Pessimism

Sales Survival Avoiding Panic, Paralysis, and Pessimism

Panic, paralysis, and pessimism —these “three P’s” are your enemy during any time of disruption and economic downturn. Your best strategy in business (and, in life) is to minimize each of them during this COVID-19 fueled business disruption. 

Parts of what we’re seeing have occurred in the past—severe shock to the financial system such as the Great Recession of 2008/2009 where banking system nearly collapsed, a shutdown of events and travel post 9/11, and a 50% drop in stock indexes in 1987—all crises in which we've managed to adapt. 

Part of what we're seeing seems new. Most of the world has not lived through a pandemic that has affected nearly all nations, but some have, like the SARs epidemic that served as a pandemic for many countries. So, if you’re in sales survival mode, how do you cope? Let’s take these three P’s one at a time.

Topics: sales management COVID19 Resources

Humanizing Your Sales Strategy [VIDEO]

Jims Video

Whether you’re a sales manager evaluating your team or in the field coaching salespeople who are trying to get quality appointments, you’re always looking to improve results.

Based on years of experience, we often see salespeople develop strong valid business reasons, but the delivery is too formal. Listen to the video for great before and after examples and keep reading for the secret to a successful sales strategy.

Topics: valid business reason sales strategy sales appointments

Time Management Tip: The Problem With Your To-Do List

Time Management Tip: The Problem With Your To-Do List

“Do you love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”

- Benjamin Franklin

Did you know that you’re 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down?

High-performing salespeople are intense; they typically have a long to-do list each week, and they attack that list with extreme focus. They’re dedicated, highly customer focused, competitive, and can typically accomplish more in one-week than any average Joe could in one month.

These days, life is so busy that we easily forget tasks and goals if we don’t write it down. However, writing down a to-do list is just the beginning; unless you prioritize that list, your productivity and time management is suffering.  

What does that mean?

Topics: time management priorities to-do list

Talk to Your Clients! Fostering Communication Through Service-Level Agreements

JIM_annual_contracts

We know it’s extremely important to maintain open and regular communication with clients. Each team should be consistently tracking their efforts and goals and addressing any concerns along the way. Due to time restraints and other factors, that rarely happens – and that’s where a Service-Level Agreement steps in.

As sales professionals, we love annual contracts because we know that clients are going to spend throughout the course of a year. However, we cannot become apathetic and only talk to clients once a year.

Topics: renewal service-level agreement communication

If You Want to Change the World, Make Your Bed

winning sales strategyRecently, I read a book by this title written by retired admiral William H. McRaven. He was a Navy Seal and eventually rose to the command of the worldwide Seal operation. The book is loaded with principles McRaven learned as a Navy Seal, each of which is an invaluable nugget that leads to success in about any venture.

The first principle is, if you want to change the world begin by accomplishing something first thing every morning make your bed. Now, it sounds simple, and perhaps even trivial, but he points out beginning each day with a measurable accomplishment sets the tone for a productive 24 hours ahead.

As you might imagine, a well-made bed for a Seal is one so perfect the drill sergeant can bounce a quarter six inches high off the perfectly-taught cover. Failure to deliver such a quality job can result in a hundred push ups or perhaps a two-mile run as the sun rises.

So, I began wondering what making your bed looks like for a sales professional? Beyond literally making your bed (which I happen to do everyday first thing, so I appreciate the adrenaline charge of that early accomplishment), what are the "first-thing" activities a sales pro should accomplish in order to insure a productive day ahead and improve sales performance? Here are some that come to mind for me.

Topics: sales strategy account list management

To Confirm or Not to Confirm? That is the question.

confirm appointmentsWe all know how difficult it can be to set an appointment with a prospect these days, and the last thing we would want to do is let that appointment slip away after making multiple contacts in order to secure it.

The question always seems to come up about whether a salesperson should confirm that appointment before making the call or not. I have sales professionals who argue on both sides of the question.

So, let’s compare the reasons for confirming or not confirming.

Topics: Setting Appointments sales process

Don’t Fear the Results Reaper

deliver on client results I've worked with thousands of salespeople over two decades now, and it's interesting that so many salespeople are still afraid to have candid discussions about the results a client is seeking and how well what they have sold them is working.

Many sellers wax eloquently about the features and benefits of their product, and especially why it’s a much better value than the competition. At the end of the day, whether or not you get an order, and certainly whether or not you keep your client onboard for a long time, depends on the results you delivereven if the person you sell to never mentions it.

Topics: sales strategy sales performance