October 2012 | Click links (>>) below to read articles
  • 15 Ways To Start Selling More by Jim Meisenheimer >>
  • What Customers Hate About You by Kelley Robertson >>
  • Shut Up and Ask Me Something! by Tim Wackel >>
  • Selling is a Contact Sport: Keys to Effective Phone Calling By John Boe >>
  • A Reminder On The Basic Laws Of Selling by Roy Chitwood, CSP >>
  • How to Loosen the Grip When Customers Try To Squeeze You on Price by Paul Cherry >>
  • Afraid of Calling? Try This by Art Sobczak >>
  • Selling to the Four Temperament Styles by John Boe >>


15 Ways To Start Selling More by Jim Meisenheimer

First, did you know that motivation is an inside job? The word motivate means to impel, inspire, hope, stimulate, incite, propel, spur, goad, move, induce, prompt, instigate, fire, provoke, actuate, cause, egg on, drive, excite, and to trigger.

Don't wait for someone to motivate you. Here are 15 ideas you can use to start selling more.

1. Set a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and lifetime goals. A goal is a goal if it's in writing. Goals get you going in the direction that's right for you.

Calculate how many sales dollars you need before the end of the year to exceed your sales plan. Then divide this number by the number of selling days available to the end of the year.

This is how much you need to sell every day to make your year-end numbers.

Then divide this number by 2 to calculate how much you need to sell every morning and afternoon. Chances are this will give you a new perspective on how valuable your time is.

2. Listen to motivational CDs. Record your favorite quotes, anecdotes and personal success stories. Play back your CD frequently. Nothing is more motivating than the sound of your own voice. Try it!
3. You can get motivated to make better telephone calls by buying Art Sobczak's new book, "Smart Calling." http://businessbyphone.com

4. To over achieve every quota you are given take this advice. First, write yourself a check dated for 12/31/ enter the year, payable to yourself and write how much you want to earn on the amount line.

Make three laminated copies of this check and put one in your briefcase, one in your auto console, and one on your desk in your home office. Always aim higher than the quota you are given. If you adjust your aim the results will follow.

5. Buy an inspirational book of quotations and keep it in your car. Read three quotes every day. Remember - inspirational words usually inspire us.

6. Invest 15 minutes every day to read books and articles about the selling profession. This is gourmet food for your brain. Don't skip a day!

7. Get a mentor, preferably someone outside of your company. The most successful people never go it alone. If you're receptive you'll be amazed at how much you can learn from a good mentor.

8. To jack-up your sales performance, prepare your own laminated cue cards. Create cue cards for making appointments, 12 best sales questions, for handling the price objection, and asking for the order. Each cue card should be prepared word-for-word. Do this and watch your selling results sky-rocket.

9. Buy a composition notebook for your car. Record your successes, failures, daily observations about your selling environment. Keep track of what works and what doesn't work for you.

It's also a good way to avoid making the same mistakes over and over again.

10. Read a good sales book like, "How I Raised Myself, From Failure To Success, In Selling," by Frank Bettger. This book is a classic and each time you read it again you'll learn something new.

One of the benefits of reading is it takes the pressure off you to invent stuff. Why not learn from the "Masters of Selling" and apply their knowledge to your sales territory.

11. Your self-worth increases proportionately with your net worth. Just remember the more you sell and earn the more you need to save.

While it may be hard to imagine today, your long-term goals should include having zero debt and no mortgage. Being in sales means you have a license to make money - as much as you want if you don't have limits on your commissions.

12. Tell your family if you achieve 110% or more of your annual sales quota - you'll take them anywhere they want to go on vacation.

13. Also tell your family whenever you reach a new monthly sales record milestone you'll take them out to celebrate.

14. Select one song that really gets you moving and motivated and play it every morning as you back out of your driveway. It's a terrific way to start out every selling day.

Whenever you hit a bump in the road during the selling day be sure to play your favorite song again. My favorite song is the "Theme from Rocky." That song just makes me feel good all over.

15. Schedule dinner dates with your spouse - because it says that you care. Never forget to appreciate your spouse's support as you climb the ladder to your sales success.

Finally, every day is a great day, especially if you don't see your name in the obituary section of the daily newspaper. When you're motivated you can make everyday productive and a masterpiece.

I hope you can use some of these practical ideas to start selling more today and every day.

About The Author:

Make sure you check out Jim's Sales Trailblazer program: http://salestrailblazer.com

Jim is a Sales Strategist and is the creator of No-Brainer Selling Skills. He shows salespeople and entrepreneurs how to increase sales, earn more money, have more fun, and how to do it all in less time. His focus is on practical ideas that get immediate results. He offers Advanced Sales Management Workshops, Sales Coaching, Consulting, In-house Sales Training Programs, and a wide variety of Learning Tools i.e. books, special reports, sales manuals, and CDs.Jim Meisenheimer is a member of The National Speakers Association, where he earned the C.S.P. designation, Certified Speaking Professional. He has authored five books including, "The 12 Best Questions To Ask Customers," and the recently published “57 Ways To Take Control Of Your Time And Your Life”.

Websites: http://www.startsellingmore.com

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What Customers Hate About You by Kelley Robertson

Recent research uncovered almost eighty reasons why customers dislike salespeople. Here are the top seven.

1. Not listening. This was the most cited reason customers dislike salespeople. Too many salespeople neglect to listen to what their customers or prospects say which means they fail to address the key issues that their customer has stated as being important. I remember an interaction with a couple of salespeople a few years ago. One of them asked some great questions to learn more about my particular situation. However, his counterpart did not listen to my responses, and as a result, his solution did not address my business challenges and buying requirements. In fact, his presentation was so far off base, I abruptly called an end to the meeting. Time is a precious commodity for people and when you don't listen you disrespect your prospect.

2. Talking too much. It still amazes me how many salespeople think that telling is selling. I see this in virtually every type of sales environment from B2B to B2C to Retail. My personal belief is that your prospect or customer should do most of the talking in a sales conversation. Sales people react to this idea by saying, "But if they're doing all the talking how can I sell my product?" The key is to let your customer do enough talking so that you can properly present a solution to their problem or situation.

3. Lack of knowledge. In today's information- rich world, there is no reason for a salesperson to lack knowledge about the products and services they sell. I was recently impressed by the person who gave us an estimate on a new roof for our house. He knew his products and was able to speak intelligently about them and the differences between each. I know that the life-cycles of many products are very short and that many companies introduce new products at an alarming rate. However, if you don't know enough about your products, you are going to lose your customer's respect, and in all likelihood, the sale. Do yourself a favor and invest the necessary time learning about your products and services.

4. Lack of follow-up. Many sales people say they will do something and fail to follow through. This ranges from promising to get information to taking care of a problem or concern. Many people use this as a barometer before they make a final buying decision. Here's how.

A potential customer asks for a particular piece of information and the sales person promises to deliver it by a certain date. The deadline passes and the prospect has to call and remind the salesperson. Because the sale has not been finalized, warning signals sound in the customer's mind. After all, if the sales person is this slow to respond BEFORE the sale is made (the courting stage), how long will it take him to respond AFTER the sale?

Lack of follow up results in lost sales. A person contacts two or three companies about a particular item or project. All three submit a quote but only one makes the effort to follow up. Who is more likely going to get the sale?

5. Lying. "I don't care about the customer and I'll tell them anything I have to in order to get the sale." Believe it or not, I heard this comment from a participant in one of my sales training workshops. Unfortunately, the number of sales people who lie or intentionally mislead their customers is staggering. This behavior includes; overstating the capabilities of your product, stretching the truth, or giving people the wrong information. Almost everyone has bought a product from someone who was less than truthful, and as a result, has become more skeptical with their buying decisions.

6. Failing to understand their needs. This is an extension of the first two reasons customers dislike salespeople. When a sales rep talks too much and listens too little, they don't get a full understanding of their prospect's situation. I have worked and interacted with thousands of sales people over the years, both as a trainer and a buyer. I can state without hesitation, that a mere twenty percent of them actually take the time to understand their customer's needs, situation, concerns, etc. And it's this group of individuals who are the most successful.

7. Refusal to take 'no' for an answer. Almost everyone in sales knows the importance of persistence. However, there is a fine line between persistence and stalking. While you shouldn't drop your efforts after the first 'no', it is critical to recognize that you won't gain anything by pressuring people. In many cases, the reason someone says 'no' is because they don't see the value in your product/service or because they are not a highly qualified prospect.

Sales is an honorable profession. Stand out from your competition by avoiding these behaviours.

© Kelley Robertson, All rights reserved.

Get your FREE copy of 100 Ways to Increase Your Sales by subscribing to Kelley's free newsletter, "59 Seconds to Sales Success" at www.Fearless-Selling.ca.

Kelley Robertson, author of The Secrets of Power Selling helps sales professionals master sales conversations and win more deals. Kelley conducts sales training workshops and speaks regularly at sales meetings and conferences. Contact him at 905-633-7750 or Kelley@Fearless-Selling.ca.

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Shut Up and Ask Me Something!
by Tim Wackel

Many sales reps have convinced themselves (and try to convince others) that their “communication” skills are exceptional. These folks are hired for their outgoing personalities and infamous gift of gab. They are fun to be around and are great at telling stories. I’m just not convinced they’re very good at connecting and creating real dialogue.

Talking comes easily for most sales reps, but getting others to listen is a bigger challenge—and a critical element to your long-term success.

Talk about what you’re interested in and your customer quickly loses interest. Their eyes turn dull as the conversation turns towards budget, timeframe or decision making process. These topics may be of great interest to you, but not to your customer. They have problems to solve and that’s the primary reason you’ve been invited to the conversation.

Experience tells me customers want you to understand … customers want you to care … customers want you to help. And it’s impossible to understand, care, or help unless you you’ve asked the right questions.

Asking better questions sounds easy enough – but there are many obstacles that get in the way. Here are the three most common “traps” I see reps fall into:

“I can’t ask lots of questions because I’ll look stupid or uncertain.”

Get over it! Trust me — the sales world could use a lot more humility. If the customer says something you don’t understand, ask them about it. It demonstrates that you’re truly listening and not just waiting anxiously to make more statements. I’ve always believed that the more you get them to talk, the better they end up liking you. Be genuinely interested, ask more questions and watch the dynamics of your interactions begin to change.

“Busy customers just don’t have time to answer questions.”

There is always enough time … even if you only have 10 minutes. What are the chances that you can talk for 10 minutes and all your ideas will be on target and accepted? Why not demonstrate your expertise and competence by asking well thought out, stimulating questions that get them to think in new ways?

“But wait!” you scream. “What if they insist that I just do my pitch?” Then politely share your concern that a generic presentation might not hold as much value for them. Let them know other clients prefer hearing tailored ideas rather than the standard 10 minutes of marketing fluff. Asking a few key (and POWERFUL) questions lets you diagnose before prescribing and ensures that you maximize the value of their time. If they still resist, then you need to ask yourself if this is the kind of customer that you really want to develop a relationship with.

“I didn’t prepare.”

This is the number one reason why most sales people fail to ask great questions. Without proper preparation you are choosing to wing it, and when you wing it you ask narrow, mind-numbing questions.

Don’t believe me? Set a recorder on your desk and capture your voice during a customer phone call. Play it back and analyze how much time you spent making statements versus listening (dead air is the goal!). Then pay particular attention to the quantity and quality of questions you asked. Are they open or closed? Did your questions get the customer to think differently or were they the same questions every other rep has asked them? Did they explore need, budget and timeframe, or were they designed to stimulate thinking around your specific benefits?

Asking great questions is a skill that top performers master. They refine their questions every week and benefit from increased insight, opportunity and bottom line sales.

Want to improve the quality of your business? Then improve the quality of your questions.


Tim Wackel

Tim Wackel is hired by sales executives who want their teams to be more successful at blowing the number away. Tim’s “no excuses” programs are insightful, engaging and focused on providing real world strategies that salespeople can (and will!) implement right away. Sales teams from BMC Software, Cisco, Fossil, Hewlett Packard, Allstate, Thomson Reuters, Raytheon, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Catalina Marketing, Philips Medical Systems, Red Hat and TXU Energy count on Tim to help them create more success in business and in life.

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Selling is a Contact Sport: Keys to Effective Phone Calling By John Boe

Its been said that salespeople who avoid making phone calls have skinny children. Prospecting for new business is critically important and for the majority of salespeople, it is by far the most challenging and stressful aspect of their profession. Successful salespeople are proactive and recognize the importance of prospecting for new business daily. They don't have to be reminded to ask for referrals or follow up on a sales lead, they do it automatically. This article is packed full of helpful phone calling tips and techniques which, if put into practice, will fill your appointment calendar with new business opportunities!

Don't shoot from the hip, use a script. If you want to sound confident and competent, I strongly suggest that you write out your opening and closing remarks. If you sound in the least bit nervous or unprepared, people will immediately sense this and rightfully assume that you lack experience. Using a phone script for your opening and closing remarks is a good idea for several reasons. A well-polished phone script gives you a consistent approach that keeps you on message and guarantees you don't leave out important information. Be respectful of your prospect's time by designing your phone script to be short, sweet, and to the point. Once you have prepared your phone script, it's now time to tape record yourself reading it aloud until you sound smooth and polished. While you might be tempted to skip this step, don't do it. Recording your phone script role-play session provides you with a golden opportunity to critique your performance and improve your delivery.

During a face-to-face conversation, first impressions are based primarily on appearance. While on the other hand, first impressions created over the phone are based on brevity, vocal quality, and attitude. An upbeat mental attitude is contagious and, unless taken to an extreme, builds rapport and creates a very positive first impression. Keep in mind that a smile can be heard over the phone. The best way to build trust and rapport during a phone conversation is to match your prospect's energy level. This is accomplished by "subtly" matching their rate of speech and tone of voice. For example, if you have the tendency to speak fast/loud and your prospect begins speaking slow/soft, you will need to lower your voice and slow your rate of speech down to match them. The psychological power behind the principle of matching is based on the premise that people want to do business with salespeople who they feel are similar to them.

There is absolutely no substitute for preparation and practice. Like most successful endeavors, the key to effective phone calling has a lot to do with preparation and practice. Practice builds confidence through repetition. Ask your sales manager or an associate to schedule an hour role-play session with you. This session is important because it gives you a dress rehearsal and the opportunity to work the kinks out of your script. As they say in the military, train like you plan to fight. Create a realistic training environment by role-playing over the phone. Begin the role-play session with minimal prospect resistance and then, as your confidence builds, gradually inject typical prospect objections. While it is impossible to have a script that might address every conceivable objection, you must anticipate key objections and develop scripts to respond to them.

Remember to stay positive, polite, and professional. It is best to make your phone calls during the morning when both you and your prospect are rested and fresh. Be organized, do your homework, and take good notes. Before you contact your prospect, take a moment to research their company by visiting their website. By reading your prospect's company newsletter, annual report, and press releases you become familiar with their products and services. Stay organized and save time by using a contact management system, such as ACT, to record your notes after each phone call. Relying on your memory alone is a poor business decision and is bound to cost you money.

It is important to keep in mind that the primary purpose of any prospect phone call is to make an appointment, not a sale. Most salespeople make the fundamental mistake of overeducating their prospect and dominating the phone call in an attempt to showcase their knowledge. Obviously you will need to respond to some questions, however, questions that require a detailed response become an excellent reason to secure an appointment. Use your precious phone time to gather information through the use of open-ended questions. Your objective is to build your prospect's interest and arouse their curiosity through a series of well designed, probing questions about them and their organization. Just before you ask for the appointment, summarize the key points of your conversation for clarity and agreement.

Top producers don't take rejection personally, because they realize that selling is fundamentally a numbers game. It really doesn't matter what product or service you are selling; the key to your long-term success is directly linked to your ability and desire to prospect effectively. Phone calling in today's marketplace is much more challenging than in years past, but fortunately the basics never change. Selling is, after all, a contact sport!

John Boe presents a wide variety of motivational and sales-oriented keynotes and seminar programs for sales meetings and conventions. John is a nationally recognized sales trainer and business motivational speaker with an impeccable track record in the meeting industry. To have John speak at your next event, visit www.johnboe.com or call 937-299-9001. Free Newsletter available on website.

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A Reminder On The Basic Laws Of Selling by Roy Chitwood, CSP

There are many laws of selling that are well known, but people rarely abide by them. Improving the use of even one can significantly improve results.

Among the laws are:

1. The more people talk, the more they like you.

I'm sure you've heard colleagues lament, "He's nice but he just talks too darn much."

But I doubt you've ever heard the opposite: "Darn, she's nice but just listens too much."

Most people, your prospects included, want to be heard and understood before understanding. Effective salespeople are listening 60 percent to 80 percent of the time, depending on the complexity of their offering. They accomplish this by becoming highly skilled at asking the right questions at the right times. View this need as a fundamental rule of communication.

2. A professional salesperson makes a sales call to be of service to the customer.

If you're making a sales call to meet quota, earn a higher commission, move the "special of the month" or any other reason not arising from your customers' true needs, it's time to check your integrity.

One of the main reasons selling has a negative public perception is too many salespeople sell for their reasons, not their customers' reasons.

3. A qualified prospect has the need, authority and budget to buy.

Ensure the person you're dealing with meets this criterion. If he or she doesn't, find out who does, or you're merely presenting, not selling -- which wastes money and time.

4. No one's born a salesperson.

Similar to every other profession, highly skilled sales professionals have studied and learned their trade. Much as a doctor, attorney or accountant isn't "born" neither is a salesperson.

Abandon this myth and learn your trade. Research reveals that regardless of age, race, gender or experience, a novice salesman with effective sales training can become as successful as his veteran counterpart.

5. What will it do for me?

If the definition of selling could be boiled down to a single sentence or question, this would be it.

Constantly put yourself in your prospects' shoes by asking this question. It will help you focus on their needs and the appropriate corresponding benefits.

6. People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Your prospect must believe that you will do everything possible that's in his or her interest. Without this trust, all the facts, figures and discounts don't mean anything.

Once you gain the prospect's trust, however, you become much more than a supplier -- you become a trusted counselor and partner not easily replaced, despite your competitors' lower price, supposed faster delivery and so on.

7. People buy emotionally and justify logically.

Contrary to what many salespeople believe, this reality actually works in your favor if you've done a thorough job of helping your prospect buy.

It's imperative that you reinforce your prospect's decision to buy with sound reasons for the purchase. If you allow your prospect to buy a new iMac computer because of the cool color -- without reinforcing the time savings, increased productivity and ease of use -- you might as well keep the shelf space open for the return.

8. Send thank-you letters.

Do this really need an explanation?

Send thank-you letters to anyone and everyone -- from the receptionist who set the appointment to each person present for your presentation. Short notes take a little time but show a lot of class. This professional courtesy can open an apparently closed opportunity.

9. Treat every person like the CEO.

It has been said that the true character of a person is revealed in how he or she treats someone who can do absolutely nothing for him or her. Nowhere is this truer than in selling. This makes good sense, because there's the rare possibility the receptionist will someday become CEO.

More likely, you'll encounter many employees who aren't decision-makers but quickly can become part of the decision-making process. You'd be surprised how many deals salespeople have lost by being rude or elitist.

10. Always ask whether anything has changed.

This simple question is imperative and helps minimize surprises. Never assume things are where you left off.

Asking this offers you protection and the opportunity to help the customer know you're working in his or her interest. You might discover the budget's been revised, there's a new time frame or, even that your prospect's company has been sold and all deals are off.

11. Set an objective for every call.

An objective is anything that keeps the sales cycle going -- making a presentation, sending additional information or scheduling a demo. Once the sales cycle halts, it's unlikely you'll get it moving again.

12. Discuss benefits, not features.

This law has become cliché during the past decade, yet most salespeople still don't apply it.

Consider this: There are more than 1 million half-inch drill bits sold annually, but people don't want half-inch drill bits. They want half-inch holes. Show your prospects the benefits of your product or service.

13. Sell value, not price.

Surveys reveal that price concerns often are as low as sixth in the order of importance of prospects. However, it's always one of the first objections raised.

If you're continually locked in price wars, you'll rarely win. You must demonstrate the value of your product or service.

14. Every prospect makes five buying decisions in precise psychological order.

The decisions are about:

- You, the salesperson, including your integrity and judgment.

- Your company.

- Your product or service.

- Your price.

- The time to buy.

Know these buying decisions, and tailor your presentation accordingly.

15. Every prospect buys for one, or more, of six buying motives.

Knowing and appealing to the motives will help motivate your prospect emotionally and logically, moving you closer to a sale. They are:

- Desire for gain.

- Fear of loss.

- Comfort and convenience.

- Security and protection.

- Pride of ownership.

- Emotional satisfaction.



Roy Chitwood is an author, trainer and consultant in sales and sales management and is president of Max Sacks International, Seattle.

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How to Loosen the Grip When Customers Try To Squeeze You on Price by Paul Cherry

In today’s topsy-turvy economy, it’s only natural that your customers have money on their minds—namely, how to make it and how to spend as little of it as possible while still getting value for their dollar. It’s all too easy for them to fixate on the price tag. Your mission: show them a true bargain has true value, not just a low price.

Once your customers comprehend the value of what you’re offering, they’ll stop fretting about whether your price is lowest. Value is unique to each individual, so it’s imperative to ask your customers what’s important to them. When you quantify costs for them to show how much money they are or will be wasting if they don’t do business with you, you’re not only showing them how to save money, you’re also allaying their fears about spending money on your particular product or service versus staying in their comfort zone with their current vendor. But how do you get them to look past the price tag?


When any purchasing agent or front-line manager squeezes you on price, it’s frustrating! All you want is to make him recognize the profitability and value of your business solution. All he does is dance around it, singing, “Of course, profitability and value are important, but how will you save me money?” Flip the record over and hear what he’s really singing.

Few kids say, “I want to shuffle paper when I grow up.” Your contact is probably toiling away in a basement office, standing on a chair just to look out the window, hoping to work his way into an office upstairs, where everything’s better—the view, the salary, even the vending machine food! He’s exerting what little power he has now on vendors like you, proving his worth by doing things such as, yep, keeping an iron grip on that low price. Plus, he deals with so many salespeople making promises that you become just another face in an increasingly maddening crowd.

So you see, for any purchasing agent, this issue runs deeper than price or value. He wants to belong, to feel like he matters. Without saying it out loud, he’s telling you his biggest values are:

  • Recognition from his boss and his colleagues. He wants to be recognized and rewarded for getting the lowest price, so of course he’ll try to get that price. Like all of us, he wants his boss to say, “Hey, you just saved the company thousands of dollars! You’re awesome at your job! High-five!” He wants his colleagues to think, “Wow, I want to be as successful as he is so the boss will high-five me, too!”
  • Justification. His self-esteem soaring, our money-conscious front-line manager thinks, “Great, I saved my company money! I’m valuable! My job is safe!” He’s justified his existence, confirming to his company and his boss that his contributions are worthwhile and that he’s a “keeper.”

Once you understand where low to mid-level decision-makers are coming from, you can lead them to a sale by stepping into their mindset and tapping into what they value in life as well as in business. You must:

Understand their fears. Most people are satisfied with something average. With fears ranging from leaving their comfort zone, to looking foolish, to spending more money than the boss would ideally like, to losing their job, they’re more likely to passively avoid what they don’t like than to actively pursue what they want.

Understand what they’re up against. People want to do a good job and make a decent living, but they also want to leave by 5 P.M. and have time for a life, especially when they have families. Meanwhile, they’re competing for resources, clamoring for attention, and mired in the minutiae of daily obligations. As a result, they unwittingly overlook the bigger picture. Show that front-line manager a solution that’ll bring the big picture back into focus. After all, pitching how you can help his company increase profitability may mean nothing to him unless it has a direct impact on his year-end bonus. He may be thinking, “Yeah, like my boss needs to drive another new Lexus while I can barely get around in my ten-year-old junker—which was ‘pre-owned’ when I bought it!”

Understand their need to feel appreciated. To some extent, many of the workers you deal with feel overworked and underrespected. All they really ask is that you make them look good. Provide them with solutions that’ll take paperwork off their desks and keep their bosses happy with them, and they’ll be happy with you.

When companies keep a narrow focus on increasing profitability, people can easily slip below the radar. When the company has a great year, the CEO rarely says, “We owe it all to our purchasing agents toiling down in the basement, saving us 5 cents apiece on widgets.” You can combat getting cornered on price by talking about the lowest total cost. On-time delivery, faster time to market, support, quality, peace of mind, ease of use—these all contribute to the lowest total cost. Now you’ll really be able to get into what makes your customers tick, see what’s really driving them. When you hear “lowest price,” don’t scamper like a squirrel—instead, take a deep breath and start asking good questions that go beyond the price issue. You’ll find out what they really want and why they want it, as opposed to what they’re telling you they want.


Choose some of the following questions to add to your arsenal of sales techniques:

“How do you measure success with your current vendor?”

“What alternatives are you considering now? What alternatives have you considered in the past? What alternatives are you considering for the future?”

“Share with me the criteria you use when you’re selecting a _____.”

“How important do you feel price is, compared to service? Compared to quality? Compared to availability? Compared to ‘time to market’?”

“How important is quality compared to availability? Compared to service? Compared to price?”

“When it comes to price, quality, service, delivery, customer support, and ease of use, which matters most to you? Which matters least?”

Let’s say your customer cited quality as a priority: “You mentioned that quality is important to you. Would you share with me your definition of quality?”

“Can you give me an example of when your standards for quality were not met?”

“Can you rank the criteria you shared with me, from most important to least important?”

“You mentioned that price, quality, and service were three important criteria. In addition to those, what other criteria might be important to you?”

“Let’s assume you are looking at three potential vendors who meet all of your criteria (including price). How would you make your final decision?”

“You mentioned that the most important thing for you is price. How does that compare to what engineering (manufacturing, design, production, marketing, fulfillment) thinks is most important?”

“Think back to when you first chose your current product. What were your selection criteria? Based on what you know now, how would those criteria change?”

“Think ahead to three years from now. What do you anticipate will be most important at that time—the initial price of the product? Or the peace of mind you’ll have, knowing you’re getting the necessary support long after a purchase was made?” “Which characteristics of this product are ‘must haves’ for you, and which are optional?”

“The changes we have discussed would result in an increase in profits. What would you do with that increase in available funding?”

“What alternatives to this problem have you considered?”

“You have told me that your company has allocated $_____ for this product. How was that amount determined?”

“Do you think the allocation of funds is sufficient for the project at hand?”

“Based on what I’ve presented, what do you like most about the proposal?”

“Of the areas we’ve discussed, what might cause you some concern?”

Show your customers your solution will help solve these problems. Get them to define value based on their specific needs, and it’ll be much easier to justify your solution as a smarter investment over lower-priced alternatives. Once you know your prospects’ needs inside and out, you’ll be able to present your services and solutions as a great value at any price.

About The Author:
Paul Cherry is President of the sales and leadership firm Performance Based Results and the author of QUESTIONS THAT SELL, published by AMACOM Books. Paul can be reached at 302-478-4443 or e-mailed at cherry@pbresults.com. When you subscribe to our quarterly newsletter at http://www.pbresults.com, download our free white paper, “Top Questions that Sell,” based on PBR's latest research on what salespeople need to ask in order to up-sell, cross-sell and win more customers!


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Afraid of Calling? Try This by Art Sobczak


Have you ever scrolled through your computer account records or flipped through your file folders while planning your day, stopped at one particular lead or account, got that sinking thud in your heart, and then...bypassed it?

And did you continue doing the same thing for weeks ... maybe months, maybe even longer?

If so, you're not alone.

Many of us can trace this reluctance to fear.

Fear we'll get blown off the phone, fear we'll sound like Elmer Fudd to this intimidating prospect, fear we won't know the answers to his questions, or fear of anything for that matter.

And if we do muster up just enough courage to place the call while in this state of mind, isn't it interesting how our fears become reality?

In the book, "High Performance Sales Training," by Lee Boyan & Rosalind Enright, the authors state that a fascinating psychological phenomenon is that the more we dwell on what we fear, the more difficult it is to forget it, and the longer it stays in your mind, imbedding its visual manifestation, ultimately turning into negative behavior. (This quite often happens to some golfers when approaching a hole requiring a carry-shot over a lake.)

To overcome fear, Dr. Victor Frankl, an Austrian psychiatrist suggests that you turn fear into a ridiculous, absurd event in your mind, and then allow the natural human reaction to absurdities turn it off completely. For example, when you hear of something that is totally off-the-wall, you shrug it off, saying, "No way."

Try this: Take what is hindering your success, and exaggerate it to the extreme. For example,

"I am scared silly of calling the Big Fish Company because my contact, Mr. Mackeral, is actually a demon with supernatural powers. He has on occasion actually transformed himself into digital signals, sending himself back through the phone lines, through the headsets of sales reps, into their ears attacking their brains, turning their minds into useless jelly, leaving their bodies slumped at their desks. In some cases, their managers couldn't tell anything was wrong for hours before they were discovered."

Absurdities are so ridiculous the human mind
immediately rejects them. And once we can ridicule our fears, these problems lose their power over us.

Harvard psychologist Gordon Allport wrote that any person who can figure out a way to laugh at his problems is well on his way to solving them.

So, what's anchoring your ability to excel?

Create an absurdity through which to view it, and you'll find it truly was ridiculous to begin with!

Your attitude truly is the key component to your success, and you must be proactive in order to keep it sky high.

Continue having your best week ever!

About the Author:
Art Sobczak, President of Business By Phone Inc., specializes in one area only: working with business-to-business salespeople--both inside and outside--designing and delivering content-rich programs that participants begin showing results from the very next time they get on the phone. Audiences love his "down-to-earth,"entertaining style, and low-pressure, easy-to-use, customer oriented ideas and techniques. He works with thousands of sales reps each year helping them get more businesses by phone. Art provides real world, how-to ideas and techniques that help salespeople use the phone more effectively to prospect, sell, and service, without morale-killing "rejection." Using the phone in sales is only difficult for people who use outdated, salesy, manipulative tactics, or for those who aren't quite sure what to do, or aren't confident in their abilities. Art's audiences always comment how he simplifies the telesales process, making it easily adaptable for anyone with the right attitude.

Contact Info
Art Sobczak
Business By Phone Inc.
13254 Stevens St.
Omaha, NE, 68137


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Selling to the Four Temperament Styles
by John Boe

Have you ever wondered why you seem to hit it off right away with some people, while with others it's more like oil and water? A person's temperament style not only determines his or her energy level, behavioral traits, body language patterns, and buying style, but it also influences compatibility with other people. Yin Yang, the ancient Chinese symbol for balance, depicts the strong attraction and complementary nature of opposites. Just as oil and water repel, while magnet and metal attract, we too are attracted or repelled by other people instinctively. For example, each of us have met someone for whom we felt an immediate affinity or, for some unknown reason, an instant dislike. In reality, we are intuitively responding to the natural chemistry, or lack thereof, between temperament styles.

Today we have access to revolutionary tools such as the Internet, cell phones, and video conferencing all to support us in communicating effectively. Even with all of these high-tech tools at our disposal, the alarming number of lost sales, disgruntled employees, dissatisfied customers and failed relationships are evidence that none of us are as effective at understanding people as we might like to believe. For example, what about that sale you thought you had closed, but for some unknown reason your prospect changed his or her mind and didn't buy... or at least they didn't buy from you. Chances are you lost that sale, not because of a lack of effort or product knowledge, but because of your inability to recognize and adjust to your prospect's temperament style. A temperament style mismatch is often referred to as a "personality conflict." Sadly, commission-based sales reps who don't know how to make adjustments to their sales presentation to match their prospects' temperament style or "buying style" end up with skinny kids!

Research indicates that there are four primary temperament styles; Aggressive, Expressive, Passive, and Analytical. Each of these four temperament styles requires a unique marketing approach and sales presentation strategy. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, is credited with originating the basic theory of the four temperament styles twenty-four hundred years ago. Since the days of ancient Greece, there have been many temperament theories and a wide variety of evaluation instruments, but essentially they utilize the four temperament styles that Hippocrates identified. Hippocrates observed that these four temperament styles have a direct influence on our character traits, personal preferences, and general outlook on life. A person's temperament style is determined genetically and has nothing to do with his or her gender, skin color, astrology sign, birth order, or childhood experiences. Environmental factors don't create a person's temperament style, they merely reveal it. For example, if you are born into the analytical temperament style, you will be shy and reserved for your entire life. This is why you can have children with different temperament styles raised by the same parents.

If you're making a sales presentation to a prospect with the aggressive temperament style, go with a "big picture" bottom line solution approach. Under pressure, this temperament style can quickly become aggressive, explosive, and ill-tempered. Can you say Mike Tyson? It's definitely a good idea to give an aggressive temperament style prospect many options so you don’t threaten their need for control. In addition, be very careful not to waste their time with a long warm up or too much chitchat... get to the point quickly and stick to business. While at the other extreme, the analytical temperament style prospect has a need for detail and therefore requires a great deal of information and a much slower-paced sales presentation. If you make the mistake of going "big picture" with an analytical style prospect, they will feel that you are not giving them enough information to make a decision. The analytical temperament style is often referred to as having an engineer's mentality. It's not that they want to be right; it's that they can't stand to be wrong. They would rather research information than make a premature buying decision. Their cautious, "numbers-driven" analytical nature makes them extremely susceptible to "paralyses through analysis" and buyer’s remorse. It pays to give the analytical temperament style prospect tons of facts, guarantees, testimonials, and continuous reassurance that they're making a good decision.

Tips for Selling to the Aggressive Temperament Style

  • They tend to tell not ask
  • Their major weakness is "anger management"... hothead
  • Oriented on getting Quick Results
  • They ask “what” questions. Keywords: Results, Bottom Line, Speed, Save Time, and Control
  • Warm up quickly and use a bottom line, just the facts approach
  • They may intimidate you with outbursts of anger
  • Give them options so they can be in control
  • Stay big picture and avoid details - use a colorful pie chart rather than a spreadsheet
  • Expect a quick decision

Tips for Selling to the Expressive Temperament Style

  • They tend to tell not ask
  • Their major weakness is "emotional management"... crybaby
  • Oriented on Entertainment and People
  • They ask “who” questions. Keywords: Exciting, Fun, Trendy, Improved, and Enthusiastic
  • Warm up quickly and use an entertaining, fast-paced approach
  • They may become emotional or talk too much
  • Give them compliments and ask for their opinion
  • Stay big picture and avoid details – use a colorful pie chart rather than a spreadsheet
  • Expect a quick decision

Tips for Selling to the Passive Temperament Style

  • They tend to ask not tell
  • Their major weakness is "self-esteem management"... doormat
  • Oriented on Service and Family
  • They ask “how” questions. Keywords: Family, Service, Support, Peaceful, and Caring
  • Warm up slowly and use a low-key, harmonious approach
  • They may withdraw if they feel “sales pressure”
  • Give them respect and show interest in family members
  • Use a step-by-step, detailed presentation – use numbers and or a spreadsheet
  • Expect them to procrastinate because they dislike change

Tips for Selling to the Analytical Temperament Style

  • They tend to ask not tell
  • Their major weakness is "stress management"... worrywart
  • Oriented on Quality and Accuracy
  • They ask “why” questions. Keywords: Logical, Safety, Precise, Craftsmanship, Economical, and Quality
  • Warm up slowly and use an analytical, detailed approach
  • They may become aloof or sarcastic
  • Give them accurate and detailed information
  • Use a step-by-step, detailed presentation – use numbers and or a spreadsheet
  • Expect them to want to “think it over” because they are frugal and would rather research than make a mistake and appear incompetent

While there are certainly many factors that influence the selling process, by far the most important factor is to identify your prospect's temperament style. Once you learn how to quickly and accurately determine your prospect's temperament style, you'll be able to close more sales in less time!

John Boe presents a wide variety of motivational and sales-oriented keynotes and seminar programs for sales meetings and conventions. John is a nationally recognized sales trainer and business motivational speaker with an impeccable track record in the meeting industry. To have John speak at your next event, visit www.johnboe.com or call 937-299-9001. Free Newsletter available on website.

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