No is Easy. Go For Yes

When you call your prospects and dream clients, they always start with the answer “no.” With good reason.

Most of the calls they receive create no real value for them and the salespeople making the call lack the ability to differentiate themselves in a crowded market. If the contact has been in their role for any period of time, they have granted appointments to salespeople who, despite talking a good game, completely wasted their time once when face-to-face with the contact.

They always start with the answer “no,” and it is a very easy answer to get. To succeed in sales you have to go for “yes.”

Anthony Iannarino shares three reasons that you may be getting more “no” answers than you should, and what you must do to go for “yes.”

Realistic Salary Expectations

By Paul W. Barada, Monster Salary and Negotiation Expert

So, you think you deserve a raise? Join the club. None of us are paid nearly what we think we deserve.
Now that we’ve established that, let’s take a look at how you might be able to fatten that paycheck.

Remember, if the economy is weak, an employer may not have much leeway with salaries. The best way to enhance your earnings, whether you’re currently employed or in the middle of a job search, is to clearly demonstrate your worth to the organization in value-added ways that would be difficult for any employer to ignore.

Sales and the Art of Persuasion

This week’s blog is by Cesar V. Teague & Peter Khoury, of NEXTLEVEL Consulting, who focuses on getting results for leaders of small and medium size businesses ¬- helping clients boost revenue and productivity.

Understanding and using the Seven Principles of Sales Negotiation

Principle #1:  Knowledge is Power – Gather and Manage Information Skillfully.
Henry Kissinger, one of the great American diplomats once said “It would be absolutely disastrous for us to go into a negotiation not knowing in advance what the other side was going to propose.”

Governments and companies spend millions of dollars to find out about the other side’s position before negotiations. Doesn’t it make sense that we spend a little time to find out more about our clients’ requirements in our day to day negotiations?

This is especially important if you are in sales. The best sales negotiators plan in advance.
 

So what kind of information do you need to get before hand?

Here is a list of 4 things that will serve you tremendously –
• Goals: What are the positional goals of the other side? What will the product/service you are selling help them achieve? What are the other side’s expectations?
• Power: Who has the real power to make the decision? Also, how much power do the clients have over you – if they don’t get the product from you, can they get it somewhere else? How much information do they have on your product/service? What are their potential objections and counter plans?
• Real interests: What is their real interest? What would getting the deal they like do for them? What are they going to use the product for?
• Real needs over wants: What is the desire behind the product/service that they want to buy from you? Can you satisfy their needs with another product/service?

How do you get the information you need?

Research the client – company news, trade shows, business journals, job boards, and talk to staff, for any hints of what’s happening with them.

Other sources of information on your clients are asking people in your network. You can even call previous clients and ask them questions on why they bought from you and what their objections were, what their true needs and interests were – to get better ideas.

If you are tech savvy, then do your research online. Keyword analysis will show you what clients are searching for when they are looking for your product and service. Forum questions search will help you uncover their objections, frustrations and desires around your product and service.

How to manage information?

Just like gathering information is important, so is managing that information.
There is nothing worse than talking your clients out of a negotiation deal, right?

Once, we did sales negotiation training at a Laser Treatment Fat Loss Center. We video taped the sales staff while they were talking to potential clients. One salesperson negotiated a ten thousand dollar plan with a client. Once she said yes, he got so excited and started showing her the other plans that the center offers. After fifteen minutes of him talking, the potential client said, “wait a minute, I have to think about this some more before I sign up because I was not aware of all these options before”.

Sometimes revealing too much information can destroy the negotiation.

Information is power, so gather it well and manage it very carefully.
Investing a little time before you negotiate can have a larger impact on your paycheck.
(For inquiries, contact Cesar Teague at NEXTLEVEL Consulting: cesar@nextlevelup.org)

Sometimes It’s Worth Saying

You know how it is sometimes; you are thinking something, and the next thing you know you just blurt it out. Not much you can do at that point it is out there, if nothing else you hope it serves as a lesson. This happened to Tibor Shanto the other day, sounded interesting in his head, wasn’t too bad when it came out, but in hind sight, he guesses he had his lesson.

Think before you speak, don’t antagonize the customer, this is no way to start a relationship.

You Can’t Handle the Truth!

It’s been Sales Expert, Marshall Northcott’s observation in business, sales and in life in general, that most people can’t or at least they don’t want to handle the truth. They get very comfortable being old and tired in their set ways even if those ways aren’t fruitful. They become complacent and more at ease living in mystery and uncertainty because of their fears of what the truth may reveal. If they are in a mess they think it may be a mess however, it’s my mess and I don’t want to invite anyone else in (actual they often don’t think because they are mentally stuck in neutral or oblivious to the fact that they need to think). They don’t wish to open themselves up to criticism even if it is constructive. There’s no shame or embarrassment in admitting that you have hit a wall or that you require knowledge or resources beyond your present information base.

Featured Company Q&A: SIMPLEXGRINNELL

This month’s Featured Company Q&A is with Carolynn E Ferris, Director of Sales for SIMPLEXGRINNELL, who shares with us her upcoming focus for the rest of the year, as well as strategies for sales success.

What do you enjoy most about working for SimplexGrinnell?
I have enjoyed being a part of building an organization striving to be the undisputed leader in the Life Safety industry.

What unique quality separates SimplexGrinnell from your competitors?
We have an extraordinary legacy.  The organization has roots going back almost 120 years.

We are all coming off of a challenging year, how has SimplexGrinnell handled it?
We have handled it in much the same way as other organizations — cutting costs wherever possible and leveraging our strengths.  It is interesting to note, however, that we invested a considerable amount of money, time and effort to develop a Strategic Growth plan even as the economy turned downward.  We recognized that now is the time to gear up for growth.

What would you like salesjournal.com readers to know about SimplexGrinnell?
We intend to be the undisputed leader in the Life Safety industry with the most professional sales organization driving our growth.

What specific goals, including those related to your specific position within the company, have you established for 2010?
-Grow our customer base
-Invest in a new Sales CRM
-Move the sales organization to more of an Account Management model
What creative strategies have you used to encourage/influence your sales team?
Workshops focused on identifying how our products and services are differentiated from our competitors, how to call on architects and engineers and how to use our customer data base to mine for opportunities.
What is your favorite methodology in sales training and/or business enhancement?
Anything that works.

Do you have a mentor that you contribute your leadership success to? Do you feel it is important to have a mentor?
Everyone has different needs and the means to develop as an individual.  I have been lucky enough to be in the right kind of situations to allow me to grow as a leader.  Others will develop more successfully with a direct mentor.

What sales advice do you have to offer our readers?
When I moved into my first management role, one of the first mistakes I made (one of many, by the way) was to hire salespeople based on their technical skill and their outgoing personality.  It did not take long to learn that there were very specific characteristics of an individual that led to more consistent sales performance.  I believe two of those indicators are a healthy sense of competition and being comfortable taking risks.

When you hire, how do candidates stand out in order to be selected to help with the growth of the company?
We are working with an outside firm right now helping us create a success profile for prospective sales candidates.  This profile is one we can test to and will help us more objectively identify those individuals that have more of the success characteristics.

Do you feel a sales professional must have experience in the industry they are selling in order to be successful?
Experience in the industry is certainly a plus; if nothing else it improves the ramp up time.  But it is absolutely NOT necessary.  We can teach someone the technical side of our business; we can’t as readily teach people how to be an effective salesperson.
If an individual or the team as a whole is not meeting goals, what is your approach to nurture this?
The key is identifying problems as early as possible.  Having someone struggle for long periods of time is debilitating to the individual as well as non-productive for the organization.  We try hard to spot problems early on and then do our best to pinpoint the areas where they need improvement.  At that point, we try to work one-on-one with them to coach them to success.

How much time do you need to know if a new sales hire will “make it”? What are some indicators/behaviors?
The time to success varies by sales position, but we generally have a good idea within the first 12 – 18 months.  Sales activity is the best barometer in the beginning period.  Making calls, follow up and proactive account management are key.