What a Loser I Was When It Came to Sales Prospecting

I’ve been sick the past 3 days.

Here it is summer, and I got a frickin cold.

My wife and I argue/debate over whether it actually is still summer or not. She comes from New York, and contends that summer is over after Labor Day.

Me, I’m a Californian, and summer is over when the calendar says it is as far as I am concerned. Fall starts in a just a few days. If I judged summer by the weather here, we would have another month and a half left of summer ?

Anyway, this cold sucks.

I’ve been layin on the couch at home, watchin cable news drone on about the election, and sleeping. Sleeping a lot.

I’ve hardly worked this week I’ve been so exhausted.

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Sales Prospects – Dump em or Tickle em?

A couple of days ago when I wrote about sales rejection, I wrote…

Dump fast and first and you will increase your sales.

This is true.

A few people wrote in to share with me that they have closed sales 2 or 3 years after first contact with someone who may not have initially qualified.

This is good.

I have closed many deals myself months or years after the first time I had contact with them.

But don’t get confused here.

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How to Sell Solutions Instead of Products

Lots of people want to sell solutions instead of products.

The trick is to actually have your prospect agree that he is being sold a solution, and not just a product.

The essential difference between selling a solution and selling a product is that a solution solves a problem.

You can’t sell a solution to a prospect, if he doesn’t have a problem that the solution will solve!

To sell solutions, you must start by looking for problems.

Effective solution selling is all about thorough problem discovery and problem analysis – before you spend any time talking about your products.

In probing for problems, hearing from the prospect that they want to buy a widget like yours, or that they want a specific capability that your widgets have is NOT uncovering a problem.

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Just How “Offensive” Can You Be When Selling?

Some people marvel at what I do.

Some are baffled.

Some think I am a real arse.

Yesterday Anthony Tudini asked me a serious question, for which I have an answer…

Hey Shamus, Serious question… What if your largest customer belonged to PETA and you included them in your distribution of the Pig Roast pics?

Good question.

It wouldn’t be a dilemma for me at all.

I would leave it up to the customer to decide if she liked me or not.

Yes, I might “lose” such a customer…

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You Are The Spark of Sales – Celebrate Yourself Today!

Does “Labor Day” have much meaning for you?

Frankly it never has for me.

Other than it being one of our American Summertime 3-day weekends, it isn’t really significant to me.

And I suspect that I am not the only one who feels this way.

Cause Labor Day is supposed to be all about “the worker”.

Well, I have never identified with being a “worker”.

I am going to say a few things here, that are going to tweak some people, but they gotta be said.

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4 Reasons Why “Shameless Shamus” is a Sales Success

One of my customers, Chris West from Melbourne, Australia wrote to tell me why me, Shameless Shamus, is a success.

I found Chris’ email an insightful message about sales success, so I am sharing it with you here…

4 Reasons Why Shameless Shamus is a Success:

1. You send your newsletter at almost the same time every day. Regular as clockwork. Great work ethic. You do the important jobs that make you money. You’re not afraid to do the work.

2. You tell it how you see it. And you look to see it first. Not every body has an opinion of their own (many just follow the crowd), but you do. And that earns you respect from your readers because you provide a fresh view.

3. You give something in return for something else. You provide a win-win situation in every exchange. I give you my time to read your newsletter, you give me something valuable to read every day. Solid.

4. Sales is a part of who you are. Not cheesy “closer” sales, but professional, independent, thoughtful, considerate and honest sales. The kind of guy who you’d invite over for a beer after work because you trust and like the company. (and then find yourself buying a house or something! haha).

Mate, I’ve got your training program and it’s top shelf in my library. Using your negotiation skills I’ve been able to negotiate my own wages in a job I love, working with my best mate and we’ve literally turned his business into a success in a matter of months (his business was about 6 months away from bankruptcy when I joined him).

I blitz the monthly sales targets almost by my self and I’m training my sales staff (and my boss!) how to do the same using your techniques. They truly are effective.

-Chris West

There are some great nuggets here. Make use of them.

Sell with Pride,

-Shameless Shamus Brown

P.S. Here’s the Top Shelf Sales Training Program that Chris used turn his business around and away from bankruptcy.

Just One Word Gave Him Away as a Fake

During a phone call the other day, I felt the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

Something about the way this man spoke was just “too nice”.

And something about the way he said “thanks” at the end of the call was a bit odd.

Now this guy is in the type of business where he deals with a wide variety of people. So he wears a “mask” a lot in public.

The thing is, I can tell when the mask is on.

And I think a lot of other people can too.

I think most people know when someone is a phony.

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One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

Yesterday got me thinking more about why some people succeed more than others.

One thing stands out for me.

And that is an attitude of constant improvement.

Somehow I got this programmed into myself at an early age – how I don’t know.

Back in my corporate sales days, when I would bring presales support people along on sales calls, as well as the occasional sales manager or VP, I would always debrief afterwards with my team.

No matter whether the call was a home run, or a flat out disaster, I would grab the team for a debrief (often over beers) to discuss what we did right, what we did poorly, what learned about the account and our competition, and what we could do better.

I wouldn’t allow anyone to be thin-skinned. Everything was fair game. Now I am pretty diplomatic when I need to be, or I can be blunt and to the point when the situation calls for it.

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4 Reasons Why This Guy is a Success

A few years back I got to mentor a young man who was selling home heating and air conditioning systems.

Now he is the CEO of a growing legal services firm in Washington DC.

Daniel Waldschmidt is his name, and he credits me with getting his head on straight and turning him into a Sales Allstar. Daniel is an interesting study in success. Read what he has to say in his own words straight from his CEO blog, The DEW View

I got a bad ass mentor the first time around. In my growing self-dissatisfaction days as an early twenty year old punk in sales (trying really hard but kind of clueless…) I hired Shamus to turn around my skills and make me the “CLOSER”… Shamus Failed!

He didn’t teach me how to close anything…

Starting with my first ‘zen session’, Shamus taught me that the head game was the most important part of the battle for success. He confirmed my disdain for the Zig Ziglar-esque ‘put a post-it note on the mirror that reminds you how good you are’ type of tactics and taught me to examine and qualify opportunities and LISTEN to client’s pain…

Imagine that! Instead of practicing fancy ‘lines’ or tricky ‘tactics’, I was taught to ‘listen’ and ‘empathize’… I learned and I became an AllStar…”

Daniel was doing well when he hired me as his sales coach, and after a few short months of working together he was doing even better (I call a 90% close rate an “improvement”).

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Why Making People Upset Gets You More Sales

This may be counter-intuitive for you.

I didn’t always know this.

But getting people upset is the fastest way to make more sales.

Strange but true.

This can be a bit hard to understand and accept at first. Especially if you are like me and most other sales people and you really like relating to people.

But here’s the truth:
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