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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Kurt Sima

Kurt Sima

Recent Posts by Kurt Sima:

How to Build a Proposal that Will Close

best sales proposal templateProposals come in all shapes and sizes. Some are highly-technical and data-focused, while others are more detail-driven. Some are filled with fluff, while others are pretty worthless. The best proposals are a combination of data, solutions, and detail.

Topics: Proposal sales accelerator sales performance sales process

Are You Giving Key Accounts the Finger?

don't give your key accounts the fingerMany years ago, I talked with the owner of a specialty grocery store in Columbus, Ohio called The Hills Market. During this conversation, I learned about the term “giving customers the finger.”

This unfortunate situation occurs when a customer asks for help locating a product and an employee points in the direction of the product and sends the customer on their way. From a customer service perspective, this is a no-no! The best way to help a customer is to listen to their request (problem) and take them to the product (solution). 

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

A Guide to Turning NO into YES!

prospecting no into yes"No. No, no, no. No!" Have you ever had someone tell you "No" before? Whether you're a sales manager coaching your sales team to success, or a salesperson eager to reach your goals, you've more than likely been told "No." BUT... that doesn't mean it's over. It just became a challenge. Are you ready to take on that challenge?

The next time you present a proposal and hear “No,” try some of these tactics designed to change the outcome. 

Topics: sales accelerator prospecting Proposal

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

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: prospecting Needs Analysis new business development valid business reason

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: Needs Analysis prospecting new business development Setting Appointments

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: onboarding sales management sales training

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: inbound sales inbound marketing sales and marketing alignment sales strategy

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