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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

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

Prospecting is Dead… Long Live Prospecting

inbound marketing prospecting funnelDid you know that your chances of making a sale go up a gazillion percent when the prospect actually asks to be contacted by you? Of course you knew that! So how do you make this happen?

Topics: content marketing lead nurturing new business development inbound marketing

New Business Hack: Know Your Target Persona

identify target audience new business hackOver the last few weeks, I've been coaching a number of salespeople from markets across the country on tactical things they can do within their sales processes to help them connect with a decision maker or decision influencer sooner 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: new business development Needs Analysis understanding target audience target personas sales process sales leads

In A New Business Slump? Try Getting the Rats Out of Your Head!

new business sales slumpI was recently working with a group of sales managers on helping their sales teams develop more high-potential accounts. After listening to some of the challenges they feel their salespeople are faced with day-to-day, I added, "They need to get the rats out of their head!" One sales manager looked at me inquisitively and questioned, "The rats out their head?" So let me explain...

In our fast-paced sales environment, it's easy to let distractions get in the way. These distractions can sometimes hurt our sales performance and almost always get in the way of developing high-potential accounts. Then it's a domino effect... so many issues feel as if they need to be addressed immediately and almost always end up taking the place of the productive new business development activities that you know will help you improve performance. It gnaws at you and feels as if you can't get away from it - like rats, invading your space and eating up your time.

I have felt this way myself many times. A single working mom with three kids with an active career built on helping others improve sales performance is a constant juggle, and sometimes, I too let rats get in my head. Here's how I quickly re-group and get back on track:

Topics: business development new business development sales performance sales management salespeople sales training

Body Language Tactics For The Sales Pro

body-language-sales-prosIt's not just what you say; it's how you say it. In fact, I'd go as far to say that 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 Sales

Get that First Appointment — Master Your Approach

first appointmentHave you ever felt like taking a “Wild Wild West” approach to securing your first appointment? Think about it… if only it were appropriate to ‘lasso’ your prospect, ‘tie him down’ and force him to stay engaged so that you may cordially introduce yourself, establish credibility and politely present your value proposition. Honestly, if you could just get his undivided attention for 5-minutes… you know he’ll like you, and you know he’ll be intrigued and perhaps even excited or anxious to learn more, right?

Personally, I have indeed toyed with the idea (more than once) of taking the Wild Wild West approach to securing that first appointment. Fortunately wisdom intervened, because I’m certain I would have been greatly misunderstood and most likely thrown in jail if I had decided to draw from my Texas ancestor’s tactics and put those thoughts into action! Needless to say, my understanding of acceptable social behavior and, well… modern law kept me from utilizing an Outlaw Josey Wales sales approach.

Topics: setting expectations Setting Appointments new business development Sales salespeople prospecting

Sales Prospecting Tips from A to Z

sales prospecting tipsProspecting for new business is vital to the sustainability and growth of almost every business,  especially in today’s economy. And, whether you’re selling a service, product, or idea, it’s important to balance new business development (or prospecting) initiatives with key account development and growth. Following are sales prospecting tips from A to Z to guide and encourage you as you work to secure that first appointment.

Topics: new business development Sales prospecting

Improve Sales Performance by Changing the Conversation

meeting_with_salesperson.jpg

If you really want to develop new business with prospects—or even existing clients—try changing your conversation from WHY they should be buying your product to HOW they should use your products and all your other resources to meet their specific needs. (Of course, you have to know what those are, so plan and execute an engaging conversation to discover those needs.) Prospects don’t really want to talk about your product anyway—it’s boring to them.

Topics: new business development sales strategy Sales