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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

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

How to Crush Perceptions and Build Trust with Prospects

How to Crush Perceptions and Build Trust with Prospects

Someone once said that perceptions can’t be wrong because it’s a perception, an opinion and impression of someone else. However, perceptions are often wrong because if they were right, they would be called facts.  

Whether we deserve it or not, we’re judged by every person that we connect with. The words that come out of our mouth firmly establish an imaginary tattoo on our forehead as we stand in front of a quality prospect.

Perception is everything, and how you’re seen by your team, prospects, and clients is a key to success. New research shows that you have 27 seconds to make a positive impression and 1 minute to prove value in any given situation. Like it or not, how you look, dress, and speak helps people to form an opinion of you.

Topics: new business development successful sales meetings prospecting perception

Stop Working So Hard And Sharpen Your Axe!

 

Stop Working so Hard! And Sharpen your Axe.

If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my axe.

-Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln's productivity secret was to work smarter rather than work harder by simply using sharper tools to get the job done more efficiently. Inefficient tools waste your time and energy, and simply knowing what to do is never enough. It’s the matter of actually doing it that makes all the difference.

Great leaders grow themselves and their organizations by deliberately managing the present, letting go of old beliefs and behaviors, and purposefully creating a future by adopting new practices.

So, how does Honest Abe's philosophy apply to sales management today? 

Topics: new business development Management Talent Sales

How to Use Body Language to Increase Sales

body-language-sales-prosIt's not just what you say; it's how you say it. In fact, what you say matters a lot less than how you're perceived, especially in sales.

You have to exude confidence and calmness when calling on prospects. Because, if you don't, they'll pick up on it, and you won't be seen as trusted and valued.

If you can master eye contact (including eyebrow gestures), facial expressions, torso and arms behavior, and leg activity, you'll be on your way to a successful appointment.

Topics: new business development body language sales strategy

Tips for Balancing New Business Development and Servicing Current Customers (VIDEO)

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On a scale from 1 to 5, one being extremely easy and five being extremely difficult, how easy is it for you to balance between new business development and servicing your current customers? 

Topics: new business development 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, all those occasions their child has scrunched up their little face and asked, “Why is Grandma so wrinkly?" or "Why do we have to go to school every day?" 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, though, much of that unfettered curiosity gets left behind. I would argue that we have 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 are certain they don’t. Their fear of losing the respect of others actually keeps them from learning. 

Topics: new business development Needs Analysis Sales

Are Transactional AE's an Endangered Species?

prepare for direct new business development

As I look into my "crystal ball," I foresee a future where the transactional salesperson is an elusive and rare creature. Have they all been completely wiped out by Artificial Intelligent (AI) computer networks where all advertising buying and selling occurs? Probably not, but I do know they will be an endangered species. In the future, AI networks and computers will be placing a larger and larger percentage of ad schedules. And even for the business that is placed the "old fashioned" way, we'll have a need for fewer transactional sellers. And those sellers will probably be covering not just clusters, but states and regions for your media group.

I know that no one wants to admit it, but advertising sales are changing at an unprecedented rate. The way that companies have done business over the last five years will not exist in the next five years.

But, it's not all bad news. Media companies that want to grow revenue in a marketplace where 50-90% of their revenue is handled by computers or an endangered species transactional sales rep, will have to find people who can call on small and midsize businesses and develop new business. So, while we wait on our computer overlords to takeover transactional business, we should probably prepare for the days of direct, new business development.

Here are three tips to get you ready for our new media world order:

Topics: new business development

Prospecting - You Can’t Step in the Same River Twice

prospecting Early in my sales career, I got a call from a veteran Account Executive across the hall. He worked for one of our other properties and saw that I was working with a prospect he was calling on. He wanted to set up a joint sales call. I was skeptical, since I'd recently met with that prospect, and the manager made it abundantly clear that he had already placed his budget for the year, and he was not open to new ideas.

Topics: new business development prospecting account list management sales accelerator

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