Selling in an Unpredictable Economy – Article & FREE Meeting Agendas

It is a new selling climate out there and salespeople are, in some cases, frantically adjusting to new challenges every day. Sales Managers, how can you equip your teams to sell in this unpredictable economy? Jill Myrick of Meeting to Win shares some practical ideas for helping your team navigate the craziness.

SMT Annual Sales Conference: Mark your calendar and save the date!

I hope you’ll join me next month for the Professional Society for Sales & Marketing Training (SMT) Annual Conference, taking place Oct. 14-16, 2009 at the Renaissance Orlando Resort at SeaWorld.

This year’s theme is “Developing Sales Excellence in a Challenging Economy,” which covers a variety of topics focused on exploring ways to keep sales professionals sharp on a budget – a subject that will definitely appeal to Corporate America during the current economic downturn. Perhaps more than the theme, I was attracted by the caliber of guest speakers at this year’s conference, including nationally renowned sales training and performance experts Dave Stein and Gary Kunath.

Member testimonials about the conference can be found at the beginning of Sales Rep Radio.  To register or for more information, click here.

SMT is the only association fully dedicated to accelerating business results for its member organizations by improving sales and marketing performance through training. Since 1940, SMT’s vision has been to continue its role as the leading resource and authority for the sales and marketing training industries. SMT members include corporations and their inside training executives and practitioners, consultants, suppliers, and academic institutions.

SMT Goals Include:

  • To develop and enhance the members’ competencies
  • To be a resource for sales and marketing technologies
  • To facilitate the exchange of ideas and experiences
  • To reach out to those interested in the field of sales and marketing training
    To increase awareness and recognition of the value and quality of society

Join SMT today!

Are You An Affective Or An Effective Sales Person?

A leading psychologist observed that all of us have both an affective and an effective side. Only one letter is different between the two words, yet the difference in their meanings is great. Our effective side is the part of us that affects other people. Our affective side has to do with how much effect other people have on us.

 Effective people choose for themselves and influence others more than they are influenced by them. Thus the question, “Are you an affective or an effective person?” becomes one that you should answer for yourself. Naviga Partner, The Brooks Group, suggests you evaluate and connect with your own value system. It requires serious thought. You must ask yourself difficult questions and carefully analyze your actions and attitudes. Nevertheless, it is the only way you can truly know what values drive you. It is the only way to attain your highest sales potential.

How to Handle “Lying” Customers

The leading expert on developing C- Level Relationship Selling, Sam Manfer was discussing trust issues in business with his daughter, who’s looking for a house, and had recently said she doesn’t trust realtors. Around the same time, some sales people he was coaching said that prospects always lie. So who is it that lies—salespeople or customers?

Well, as a sales person or sales manager, you probably hedge, embellish, wing-it, and stretch the truth at times. So does that mean you lied and should be included in the generalization of never trust a sales person?

As a prospect or customer, you probably keep information close to your vest, play coy, act surprised, overplay comparisons, and prefer to be “just looking”. So does that mean when you’re the customer, you should get mixed into the generalization of never believe what a customer says?

The issue is not the answers (the lies). The issue is the questions asked.

How to Stay “At Will” Employed

According to VP of Community and Co-founder of Jigsaw Garth Moulton, despite what you might hear about sales being “all about the revenue” and “numbers never lie,” he believes office politics are alive and well in the corporate sales department. In fact, Moulton expresses that sales people are easy to cut- no one is going to notice an unfounded firing when the turnover is so high anyway. “Look at any salesperson’s resume, even the good ones, and there are 5 jobs on there for every decade of experience.”

 However, there are a few things that a salesperson can do to at least be able to predict their future, if not own their destiny at a company.

Lead with Credibility in New Relationships

The key to making a sale is first to create a forum in which the prospect and seller share ideas and proposals.  Tim J.M. Rohrer, of Sales Loudmouth, has been referring to this forum as engagement. Sellers or their corporate entities attempt to engage prospects through the use of credibility or trust.

Since both credibility and trust statements work to engage prospects, sellers often think of them as interchangeable.  However, when a relationship is brand new or in the absence of a relationship whatsoever the seller must lead with credibility.