When Do Sales Prospects “Close” Themselves?

Selling should be effortless.

But it’s not for most people.

Which is why our jobs as salesmen exist.

Because if selling were really easy, we wouldn’t get paid well to do it  ?

Some sales are effortless though.

The effortless ones are the deals where the prospect seemingly or literally closes themselves.

What does this look like?

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More Prospects is Not the Answer

Every year I see many sales reps get all fired up to start prospecting and fill up their pipelines.

Prospecting is a very important part of a salesman’s job.

So is selling.

In the big picture, there are two ways to increase the amount of sales you close for the year.

  1. Find a more prospects to put into your pipeline.
  2. Close a higher percentage of the deals that you put into your pipeline.

Prospecting is typically the more difficult activity of the two to make a big change on in a short period of time.

Anyone who has ever cold called knows that with about 1 in 30+ people ever answering their phones live, it takes a lot of effort just to get one appointment.

Other methods of prospecting such as building referral networks, newsletters, etc. often give great results, but only over an extended period of time. In the short term you can’t fill your pipeline off of such indirect methods.

So if you want to make a big impact on your sales results in the next two weeks, two months or two quarters, then you gotta get better at qualifying and closing deals this year.

Selling is pointless, if your qualifying criteria is that your prospect can fog a mirror.

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Lack of Consistent Sales Focus Will Destroy Him

Focus matters.

One of the things I learned pretty early on in sales is that you can’t sell to everyone.

You can’t be all things to all people.

You always have certain strengths. And certain weaknesses.

And your prospects always figure these out.

It’s just a matter of how fast they figure these out… and whether you help them to see your strengths and weaknesses or not.

Personally I love watching political races. I love watching them because political campaigns are salesmanship on a huge scale that we get to watch in real-time as they happen.

I wrote Tuesday about how Mitt Romney was persuading me to vote for him.

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“Mitt the Hair” Almost Has Me Convinced…

I didn’t really think I would really consider voting for the guy with the best hair for President.

But today I am.

Thanks to some politicians in California who moved our primary up to try and rewrite the term limits laws here, I actually get to cast a primary vote today that matters.

So I’ve got two real choices, and a purist vote choice. I was going to cast a purist vote for Ron Paul. But Mitt-the-Hair almost has me convinced to vote for him.

I read a lot of political blogs, news, and things like that. I listen to some talk radio. But the last few days I’ve been away on vacation and I haven’t done any those things.

What Mitt-the-Hair’s been doing is calling and leaving me voicemails.

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How I Beat a Better Sales Rep

I was just about to go out and celebrate one of my biggest win when the phone rang.

I shouldn’t picked it up, I remember thinking later.

The CIO told me not to book the Purchase Order yet.

My heart sank.

I had just gotten two valid purchase orders for a major software purchase for a help desk software system from PeopleSoft, which "used to be" a major company in business operations software.

Turns out that my sale that I thought I had locked up, that I thought I had won, that I had valid 2 Purchase Orders for was being challenged.

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Fed Cuts Rates, Recession Looms, Time to Party

Wow, the new Bernanke run Fed has cut interest rates for the second time in 8 days.  Greenspan never did this.

Seems that the Fed is getting more than a little scared about the US economy going into a recession, or possibly something worse.

So what though.

Maybe now’s a good time to party.

It is if business is going well for you.

And you know what?

Whether your business is going well for you or not IS all about you.

It isn’t about the economy.

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Will You Be Told to F-Off If You Do This?

Yesterday I wrote about a very smart salesman who knew how to cut his losses early and get on with more profitable bizness.

Seems some people though just can’t get this concept though.

I got quite a firestorm of email telling me how idiotic it was for this salesman to reverse the balance of power on the prospect, and that I was irresponsible for highlighting this.

Here’s what one reader had to say…

Am I going to go to one of my biggest prospects and more less ask them to convince me why I should do business with them? If I were the buyer I would say ‘F— You and the horse you rode in on’… then I would call my current supplier and tell them, that you do not have to worry about me buying from that sales person.

When a prospect brings you in and they already have a relationship with another company, you should assume that the other company has huge advantage over you.

You should compete as if you are way behind, and you should assume that your competitor is going to win unless you can find a major reason why they won’t.

This is the critical piece of information you must find out: why won’t they just purchase from the supplier they already know, or the supplier who has been in working the deal early?

You MUST find this out because the truth is that something like 70% or more of the time when they bring you in but they already have somebody else they are working with, you are going to lose.

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Shameless Shamus Weathers the Storm of ’08

Last night the power came back on at my house.

My family and I were living "off the grid" for the past 6 days.

Uggh.

Most people probably don’t know about this, but last Friday, we had a big rainstorm with some high winds all over Northern California.

60mph, 80mph, 100mph+ wind gusts in some places.

A lot of trees got blown over and uprooted with these winds. So our utility company has been working day and night since last Friday to get all the downed lines and poles backup and get power out to over a millyun people like me (thank you PG&E).

The good news though is that we are all safe, healthy, and my business is still making buckaroos in spite of the disturbances I’ve had this week.

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Close More When You Make Yourself Real

Selling is about relationships.

Frequent communication and contact is one aspect of building relationships, and probably the most obvious at a surface level.

But on another level, what takes a relationship deeper is revealing more about you.

Most salespeople are real good about presenting a polished image.

We spend a lot of bux on our cars, our clothes, and we like to eat and hang out at nice places.

This image IS important, as it helps to establish us as high quality and reputable.

But, presenting this image also has a downside. And that downside is that it makes us seem different from our prospects.

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The Only Way to Build Your Sales Territory

There really is only one right way to build your sales territory.

First of all you got to realize that you are an interruption when prospectng, and you have to be comfortable with this fact if you are going to be successful in sales.

You can’t let this fact bother you. And you can’t be too polite about it either.

Because you know what they call polite salesmen?

Poor.

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