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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

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're 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

New Business Hack: Know Your Target Persona

identify target audience new business hackOur team coaches salespeople from markets across the country on tactical things they can do within their sales process to help them connect with a decision maker or decision influencer faster to grow their new business.

Many things can be done to accomplish this, but one that seems to be resonating with salespeople lately is identifying their target persona so they can clearly define WHO their target is and fine tune HOW they plan to approach a new business prospect.

This is not a new strategy, just one that is often overlooked.

Topics: Needs Analysis target persona sales process

A Better Way to Deal with Order Cancellations

how to handle order cancellations

The old saying “when it rains, it pours” seems to apply to order cancellations, and it seems like when cancellations occur, they occur in bunches. Here’s what many sellers do when they experience a bunch of order cancellations:

1. Have a negative reaction and argue with the client.

2. Panic and go after any account they can sell.

3. Look for ways to close a quick deal to make up for lost revenue—including dropping the price to close a deal.

4. Sell new prospects whatever they can sell without worrying about delivering results.

All items on this list ultimately lead to short term sales AND more cancellations in the future.

Topics: Needs Analysis Sales sales process

6 Things the Best Salespeople Never Do

6 Things the Best Salespeople Never Do

So much has been said and written about what top sellers do to set themselves apart from the average and low performing salespeople.

Let’s look at this from a different angle. What things do they make certain to NEVER do?

In order to fully understand what makes a high performing sales person, it’s helpful to recognize behaviors NOT exhibited by this elite group.

Topics: Needs Analysis Sales sales accelerator

Silence is Golden: 3 Ways to Improve Your Listening Skills

improve listening skills"Silence is golden"—usually this is said right after your children leave the room and you finally have a moment of peace.

As much as that is a "funny" joke for parents, the concept of silence is a rare one in today's world. Are we ever "silent?" And when I say "silent," I don't mean staring at our phones for hours at a time.
 
In the context of sales, silence has another meaning. Silence is an opportunity to stop talking, be quiet, focus, and listen. Yes, I know this is a radical concept for those us that are gregarious, loud-mouth, salespeople.
Topics: Needs Analysis sales performance prospecting

6 Tips to Help You Secure a B2B Sales Appointment

secure a B2B sales appointmentJust securing an appointment is one of the most difficult steps in the entire sales process. Having a referral or industry success story makes this task a little easier (so, use them if you have them).

But, what do you use if you don’t have either at your disposal? What if you just can't get the appointment?

Topics: valid business reason Needs Analysis sales process

Curiosity Killed the Cat, but Saved the Sales Rep

Ask-Questions-in-Sales-Meetings

Have you ever noticed how many questions little kids ask? Every parent has a story to tell about the funny or embarrassing questions their kids have asked at the most inopportune times: “Why is Grandma so wrinkly?" or "Why do I have to eat those gross green things?”

If you don’t take control of the conversation, the third degree can go on indefinitely—because the curiosity in children is limitless!

Somewhere on the journey from childhood to adult professional, much of that unfettered curiosity gets left behind. We've become a society of head-nodders where people are often afraid they’ll look dense if they ask a question. You’ve seen it—people nodding in agreement, as if they completely understand, when you're certain they don’t. Their fear of losing the respect of others actually keeps them from learning.

Topics: Needs Analysis Sales

3 Real Tips to Improve Virtual Role Plays

3 Real Tips to Improve Virtual Role Plays

What is mankind’s biggest phobia? Hint: It isn’t spiders, heights, or even dying. It’s glossophobia, the fear of public speaking.

Also, on the list of soft skills that people fear most are acting and the public test of career competence. In sales, there’s one awkward activity that happens to combine all three role playing.

As a sales manager, we often use sales role play exercises as a form of punishment. When salespeople fail to make the progress we expect, we summon a team meeting where we role play. Now, as everyone is working from home, the idea of practicing our craft with role plays seems even more difficult.

How can you improve something that was dreaded even before the pandemic?

Topics: Needs Analysis sales coaching

Is the Needs Analysis Meeting Really the First Step?

Is the Needs Analysis Meeting Really the First Step

We often think of the needs analysis meeting as the beginning of the sales process, but, is it really? Today's buyers are complex. Their needs are perplex and they're hesitant to share information. When speaking with a prospect for the first time, you must ask the right questions. First, you have to know what questions to ask.

To conduct a great needs analysis meeting one where the client is anxious to participate and is really open with informationthere are two areas you need to work on before the meeting ever begins.

Topics: setting expectations Needs Analysis Sales

Why Sales Training is Even More Vital During Times of Change

Why Sales Training is Even More Vital During Times of Change

When dealing with severe levels of change, it’s natural to reign in and hyper-focus on the activity we feel is most essential to surviving and thriving in that environment. In sales, that core activity would include things like the need to continue identifying quality prospects, connecting with decision makers, and discovering their needs and desired business results.

Activity is important, but a knee jerk reaction to keep approaching those activities the way you always have will not be effective when business cycles are at their most volatile.

Topics: Needs Analysis sales process sales training