Blog Topics

As you can probably tell, I have an opinion on almost everything related to sales. To date, I’ve been blogging about stuff that I see salespeople do that bugs me or stuff that I see that I really like. Kudos again to Corridor Nine for an awesome event. Thanks, while I’m at it to PeteDave, and Doug for their support, suggestions and help. Thanks to you for reading, commenting and voting.

OK, what do you want to read? Do you want me to blog about the cost of an bad salesperson vs. the cost of sales training? Do you want me to blog about takers? You know, the referral people who take but never give? Do you want me to blog about salespeople who don’t follow through? Do you want me to blog about being in control of the whole process? I’m not talking about the sales process, how about people who are always late? always disorganized? always getting ready? always have excellent excuses?

Something else?

Use the comment option to suggest a blog topic. Start it off with, “Rick, what do you think about ……..?” or, “Rick, I’m having this issue. Any suggestions?” or, “Rick, settle an argument. My friend says… and I say … Who’s right?”

It might be fun.

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11 thoughts on “Blog Topics

  1. Ok, I’ll play along… Rick, I was chatting with a friend the other day about his business. He is very concerned that sales to current customers have slowed dramatically over the last 6 months. He feels sure his customers are not also buying from another source and let’s assume that he is right – this the market for his product has slowed slightly. He said he wants to attract new customers and knows he has a good product at the right price they are buying, but feels what stops him is he can’t get past the prospect’s objection of LOYALTY. That is, the reason he says many customers don’t buy is because they are loyal to whomever they are buying from now. So we began to brainstorm: How does he get these prospects to give him a try? He’s tried a sales flyer – 50% off the first purchase but that got no results. What is my friend to do? How does he get someone to give him a shot if they are already happy with their current supplier?

  2. Hey Rick, Great blog. Perhaps a post for entrepreneurs who are hiring their first sales person. When is the right time? What to look for? How to best train? etc. etc.

  3. Rick, I was debating with a fellow networker today the pluses and minuses of networking to get referral leads vs. cold calling to get leads. Networking takes a significant amount of time, and since you need to give to your network and spend time developing it, it could take months before you get a decent referral. Once you start getting them, they are of good quality referrals with a much higher hit rate. With cold-calling it’s all a numbers game. How many cold-calls do I need to make to get a certain number of appointments to get a certain number of customers. While not glamorous if you work the system right it seems much more predictable. The question is, can you really compare one to the other and decide which is best for your business? I tend to shy away from cold-calling because it’s not my strong suit, but how do I know that it might not be a better process when you look at the total amount of time spent cold-calling vs. the time spent over months to build your network. I know the theory is that my network will grow exponentially and eventually will require less time for the amount of quality referrals it brings, but how do you really know? Any hints?

  4. Laura (and others), That’s an interesting one. I just finished reading an e-book on Socratic Selling. They say that the salesperson shouldn’t control the sales call. That the client should. The salesperson’s job is to ask questions to lead the prospect to the need. But you have to listen to the prospect so find out their pains and let them control the basic call. I like to socratic part. Asking questions. But I’m not sure about letting the propect control the call. Maybe we just let them think they are in control? Doug

  5. Ahhh! The ultimate conflict! How can we get competitors’ customers to do something, while at the same time, we’re trying to get our own customers NOT to do it? There are so many instances of this, but this is about loyalty. So, specifically, how can we get our competition’s customers to try us while not giving our own customers permission to try the competition? First, a couple of semi-serious responses. My wife clips coupons. Grocery stores, department stores, restaurants. This past weekend, we bought 100 lbs. of beef tenderloin (filet mignon) because it was $7.99 rather than $15.99. Most of it’s in the freezer, some of it got eaten. I don’t think she’s ever missed a one day sale at Filene’s, but she is already missing Filene’s. My wife loves to shop and although I am the beneficiary, I would never do it. It’s too much work. I’ve been insured by Marshall Katz for over 30 years. For years, whenever an insurance salesperson would call me with some “great idea”, I’d give them Marshall’s number and suggest that they call him and if he tells me to buy it, I would. Every time I got an offer in the mail, I’d send it to him with a note asking him if I needed it or if it was a good idea or better than what I had. He always took the time to explain that I already had or didn’t need the coverage that I was asking about. Eventually, I stopped wasting his and my time. Marshall is now one of my most important resources. If I need something, but don’t know where to get it, I’ll often ask him if he has a customer who sells what I need. If he likes you, chances are I’ll like you. OK. Now, the real answer. Experts say that you cannot expect your prospects and customers to have different buying habits than you have. Are you loyal? Do one day sales work on you? Do coupons get you to shop elsewhere? If you will change vendors for a discount, you will not be able to keep your customers that want to leave for a better price. If you put every major purchase out to bid, you will not be able to convince your current customers to go out to bid when your contract is up for renewal. If you love to shop, you will not be able to keep your customers from shopping because whenever your prospect or customer gives you any of these objections, you will sympathize. You will say, “That makes sense to me. I do that!” The solution is get to the Experts and say, “Please fix me! I can’t live like this any more.” OK. Now, if you are a loyal customer, ask yourself the question, “What would make me buy from somebody else?” In my case, there are two possibilities. I bought three cars from the same car dealership on my first day looking for a new car without looking at any other dealership. One day I got a flat tire on the third car. When I changed the tire, I noticed that the steel belt was exposed. A week or so earlier I had been in for an oil change and they had checked off my tires as OK. When I brought this to their attention, they said, “Sorry.” and charged me full price for my new tire. I told the owner, got lip service and have bought two cars since from other dealerships. So the easiest way to lose my loyalty is to screw up, not admit it, and not fix it. The other way never happens. Find out from the prospect, in their own words, where the chinks are in your competition’s armor and take another “at bat”. This sounds simple, but the Experts spend a lot of time on this. Tonality, demeanor, the words, the attitude, practice, role playing, tweaking. That’s why it never happens. It’s hard to do and now it’s time to go to work. So, if you’re loyal, get to the Experts and get the technique down. If you’re a shopper, get out of the business or get to the Experts and say, “Please fix me! I can’t live like this any more.”

  6. I just checked my email and today’s quote from http://www.justsell.com was there. I have to pass it along.”In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”Coco Chanel (1883-1971)French fashion designer & businesswomanintroduced pants for women

  7. Dave Kurlan was trying to reply, but my blog was “acting up”. He emailed his comment to me. Here it is.

    Laura and Doug,

    Control is a two-way street.  Socratic Selling is a complicated questioning process.  Having the prospect control the process is akin to having the passengers fly the plane. Y

    ou can control the process with your questions but the questioning process must be simple and actionable.  You can easily learn to do that by reading Baseline Selling.  Go to http://www.baselineselling.com for more information.

    Dave Kurlan

  8. Dan, Tough question! There are so many variables. Who’s your prospect? How savvy is your prospect? How savvy does your salesperson have to be? How leading edge is your product? How well is your advertising and/or marketing working? Is your pricepoint small ticket or big ticket? How well funded are you? What’s the territory? How “salesy” is the entrepreneur? etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum. The first sales that a company makes can be critical. My first choice (and the point of my blog) is that the entrepreneur should learn to sell their stuff themselves. The entrepreneur has the passion. The understanding. The dream. He should understand the reasons that customers need his stuff. However, passion is not enough. Sales skills can take significant time to develop and some entrepreneurs cannot learn. Check out the “Impact of Weaknesses” link at OMG. If an entrepreneur doesn’t do well on his evaluation, and he tries to sell himself, he is doomed. Many startups do what you have done with Matt and Jason. They need to find someone who shares their passion who can sell and be their partner. However, the entrepreneur will often put too little value on his salesperson, hire the wrong person because the price is right and not treat the salesperson with the respect that is necessary. If an entrepreneur does, in fact, plan on selling something, then the salesperson may very well be the most important person in the organization until customers are breaking down their door begging for product. I can make a simple suggestion. Every entrepreneur in the world who actually needs their product or service sold to a customer should contact Mike Eagan at David Kurlan & Associates. He can arrange to have the entrepreneur evaluated, review and discuss the results with the entrepreneur, and offer and implement a sales development plan with the entrepreneur if appropriate. If the entrepreneur’s evaluation indicates that the entrepreneur is better off hiring a salesperson, Mike will address that process. Incidentally, I don’t evaluate, hire or train salespeople. I am one. However, I get to interact regularly with Dave Kurlan. He is absolutely, the authority, on evaluating salespeople, both pre and post hire. Check out his BLOG. Ask for clarification on a post that’s on point or email him and ask him to blog about when to hire a salesperson, etc. Good luck and thanks for reading.

  9. The dawn drills around the scouting mix were apart the name involved with Cam Newton, but the reigning Heisman Trophy winner (and even potential top-three pick out) went through all the drills on the subject of Sunday, and this man threw passes to different heirs as each alternate participating qb did. You may definitely explain to that they have learning to passage in a real bodily sense out of your Auburn spread wrongdoing to some thing more consistent, and the Camera Newton I watched inside Lucas Petrol Stadium in the present day was a small hybrid relating to the athlete we have seen and the quarterback he knows he needs to be. Newton brings with a a bit overhead still very efficient delivery — if anything is constantly him away from NFL good results loop, clothing the way the golf ball comes out from his hands. He does not need to look like a spread attack guy coming from that view – there is no huge transport flaw being fixed since there is by using Tim Tebow(notes). He hit his radio on a couple of three slants : his hard work is respectable in that the nurse can now help to make three- five- and seven-step declines, but the maneuvering is still a bit gangly. [url=http://www.atlanta-falcons-shop.org/atlanta-falcons-player-jersey-matt-ryan-jersey-c-44_49.html%5DMatt Ryan Jersey[/url]You can inform that they’ve still implementing a lot of specialised issues for an under-center quarterback. Inside 10-yard out, your dog unfolded out of an important five-step drop using good movement. Results from an accuracy standpoint have been iffy through his throwing drills : he is usually wild higher and chucked a few air-balls considering that his neck doesn’t drive out through this throwing routine, leading to disparity. He moreover struggles considering the concepts of arcs for different punches, which is a not unusual problem just for college quarterbacks inside less-advanced passing offenses. On the 15-yard turn-and-in, she bounced onward from a seven-step shed and revealed the golf ball cleanly. This individual doesn’t appear to have issues with right time and goals – the crna can and truly does hit receivers in stride pretty reliably. Newton airmailed the 10-yard outs to make sure you his best – your dog threw all three of them about the heads involved with his receivers. He tweaked better around the post-corner, throwing web site a bit too very much to the part time (though yet catchable). The second post-corner pitch was a second airball, but the other was suitable target. Again, he viewable a better as compared with expected dropback about longer behaviour, though you can easily still see the rudimentary aspects of his / her ability to work in a non-shotgun predicament. I spoke to Greg Cosell connected with NFL Pictures about Newton As Greg is also the particular Executive Producer of ESPN’s Football Matchup, these legendary X-and-0 demonstrate that’s been looking strong ever since 1984. Greg announced as totally obvious as the “work-in-progress” title is in Newton, he’s getting this done the right way. “I think that when a fellow can’t make a move, and you’re teaching him to make it work, he consistently looks exaggerated at first as it’s something fresh. But that’s learning, and I think she’s absolutely engaging in the right thing : he should really be doing this stuff like precisely as he can, even in the event it doesn’t seem smooth along with fluid yet. It will check smooth not to mention fluid, given that he’s a fabulous big-time athlete.” Greg said – and these seem to be observations which can be consistent with my own , personal and many others pertaining to Newton – that the real troubles for your ex boyfriend at the NFL level will likely be mental and then schematic. How will your dog handle it again when the kicks he made at school aren’t receptive in the Nhl? How long does it take your ex to method things very well in a multiple-read criminal offense? How securely will his particular NFL team fit it is really offense so that you can his experience, and will the fact that team begin him prematurily .? Newton still has several questions linked to his list both don / doff the field, nevertheless one day following putting a handful of issues unwind in his marketing session, he / she showed that he’s trying to connection the difference between understanding and certainty between the creases, as well.

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