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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Kurt Sima

Kurt Sima

Recent Posts by Kurt Sima:

The Proper Way to Start a Business Conversation

business questionI was lost. I had the address, I knew the destination, but I was lost. To make things more challenging, I was in a foreign country, and many of the people around me did not speak English.

I approached a man on the street, address in hand, and asked, “Can you tell me how to get to 157 Rue Saint-Honoré?” In reality, I did not say the address. I merely pointed to on the paper in my hand.

“No, no, no, no… this is not how we start a conversation in France!” was his response. “Let’s start over, you should say good morning or 'Bonjour!' and then ask your question.”

I smiled, and tried it again, “Bonjour, can you tell me how to get to 157 Rue Saint-Honoré?”

His response was, “Oui! Walk two blocks, go right, and the store you are looking for will be on the right. You see, that’s how to start a proper conversation.”

“Merci beaucoup!” I responded and went along my way.

Busy Doing What? 4 Steps to Implement If You're Working Hard and Not Seeing Sales Results

busy salesperson not seeing sales resultsSome sellers wonder why they miss sales goals on a regular basis even though they are busy as a bee. Making “plenty” of face-to-face calls. Presenting and closing “plenty” of proposals. Conducting “plenty” of post-sale follow-up tasks. All of these activities usually equal another month short of exceeding their sales goals. 

Topics: key account growth sales strategy sales process account list analytics account list management

A Great Way to Establish Trust & Create Value: Think Like an Owner

sales establish trust create valueGetting that first appointment with a new business prospect is difficult because most sellers do not take the time to establish trust and create value in the mind of the prospect.

Unknown salespeople do not have the best reputation in the minds of new business prospects because of the less than honest actions of some sellers. An essential element to overcoming this hurdle is establishing trust and creating value—one way to do this is to think like an owner. 

Topics: valid business reason new business development Needs Analysis prospecting

Finally… The Answer to the Unanswered Philosophical Sales Question

answer to sales questionWhat came first, the chicken or the egg?
No doubt you have heard this question. No doubt the debate continues.

Here’s is the chicken-and-egg version as it relates to sales:
What leads to more cash, more appointments, or more assignments from set appointments?

Topics: Setting Appointments new business development Needs Analysis prospecting

Do You Onboard New Sellers Like The Cleveland Browns Onboard New Quarterbacks?

footballAs I’ve mentioned before in previous blog posts, I’m a long-suffering fan of the Cleveland Browns. My team loses more games than they win. The Browns are also infamous for something else: the team has started 28 different quarterbacks since 1999! Many of these poor souls were drafted by the Browns and then thrown into the fire before they were adequately prepared, only to fail. 

Topics: sales management sales training onboarding

Not Enough Appointments? You Must Whip It!

inbound marketing generate qualified leadsWhen a problem comes along, you must whip it.
When something's going wrong, you must whip it.
Now whip it into shape… shape it up, get straight, go forward, move ahead.
Try to detect it… it's not too late to whip it!
Whip it good!
-Devo, "Whip It"

Topics: sales strategy inbound marketing sales and marketing alignment inbound sales

Busting the New Business Myth

account list analyticsI get it. I know it is important, but I’m sick and tired of hearing about new business. Truth be known, most sellers are sick and tired of hearing about new business… and their managers are sick and tired of talking about it!

Facts Behind the Myth

The majority of sales organizations are obsessed with new business because of one reason: they do a terrible job of keeping and growing existing business (AKA: customers).

Not all customers are created equal. World-class sales organizations segment them like this:

Topics: key account growth sales strategy sales performance sales management salespeople account list analytics account list management

Two Words You Need To Understand To Set More Appointments

set more appointments

 "My sellers do not go on enough sales calls."

- Every Sales Manager

I hear this all the time from sales managers. I also hear a similar version from sellers: 

“I could sell more if I had more quality appointments.”

 - Almost Every Seller

Imagine if every seller had one additional call per week, every week of the year. That’s roughly 50 additional appointments per year.

Topics: sales strategy sales performance Sales salespeople sales process sales leads prospecting

The Art of Asking Questions: 8 Surefire Tactics To Brush Up Your Skills

art of asking questionsWouldn’t it be nice if you had a list of ten surefire questions you could ask during a needs analysis meeting that would lead directly to cash? That would be sweet… show up, ask the questions, and leave with an order!

Too bad that list does not exist. There is a list of guidelines to follow that will elevate your questions and your method of questioning to a higher level… perhaps to Rembrandt level. Salespeople can reach this level by perfecting the art of asking questions! 

Topics: Needs Analysis salespeople sales process prospecting

Measuring Success: Your Renewal Depends on It

measure sales successDuring the sales process, it’s important to have open and upfront conversations about how advertisers measures success. Clients will make their decisions to buy again based on the success, or failure, of the campaigns and solutions you sell them. 

Questions about success and client expectations should take place throughout the steps of the sales cycle, and your questions will differ based on where you are in the sales process.

Topics: Needs Analysis sales process measurement sales pipeline sales cycle