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The Competitive Advantage

tag: sales

June 15, 2021

If You’re in Sales, Your Job Is Not to Sell!

Yeah, I know… sounds kind of wrong, doesn’t it? But let me finish that statement. Your job is not to sell… it’s to help buyers buy.

This philosophy is based on the premise that ‘people don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy.’ Think about your last car buying experience. There’s nothing that feels quite as good as driving off the dealer’s lot in a beautiful, brand new car. But leading up to it, you dreaded going to the dealership because of the pushy salespeople. You didn’t want to experience that sort of pressure or be forced into buying something that wasn’t quite right.

Now think about your role as a sales rep or a seller-doer. If you make a sale, that’s good for you… you win. But maybe it’s not what’s best for the client. However, if you help the client make a good buying decision, that’s a win-win.

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April 13, 2021

Stop Using Lousy Salespeople… They’re Killin’ You!

This morning, I participated in a Zoom chat with the senior team from one of our clients… there were five of them on the call. At one point, the CEO mentioned that he was receiving sales calls from this particular West Coast fieldwork firm. And before he could finish his comment, two of his colleagues jumped in with comments of their own.

One of them said, “They call me all the time.”

The other said, “They are ‘relentless!’” [And he didn’t mean that in a good way!]

Then the CEO chimed back in, “The kid calling me was obviously new at this… he was so bad that I almost felt sorry for him.”

Nothing was said about their professionalism, helpfulness, that they shared good information, that they had something new to talk about, etc. Just that they were selling hard and pretty bad at it.

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December 8, 2020

Lead Nurturing for Seven Years? It’s True!

lead nurturingI first met with the founder of this particular MR services firm in early 2013. After his initial interest and a few phone calls, he said he was not ready to move forward.

A year later we reconnected… similar interest, a few more phone calls… same outcome.

And again, two years after that.

But now, it looks like it’s finally coming around and will actually happen. The interest, the need and the urgency are all higher than ever before. So, what happened? How did a sales prospect from 2013 finally come to pull the trigger (we think) more than seven years later?

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November 24, 2020

Generating Sales Leads is a Waste of Money… If You Don’t Follow-up

Sales leads are the lifeblood of any growing business. In the good ‘ol days… they came from networking at a conference, meeting visitors at your trade show booth and cold calling. Today, they come from hosting webinars, leveraging LinkedIn connections and creating downloadable gated content.

But here’s the problem (today and back then)… the vast majority of those sales leads are never followed-up on. It doesn’t matter if the guilty party is a full-time sales rep or a part-time seller-doer… this is where the sales process breaks down. Happens all the time! I don’t know if it’s because the sale rep gets lazy, gets distracted or gets busy.

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October 28, 2020

Sending cold emails? Then take the time to do it right.

cold emailI received a cold email this morning from a company pitching its products. It happens all the time. But this one was especially bad.

First of all, it was like so many of the other cold emails I’ve received over the years – selling products or services I simply don’t need. This happens so much that I started writing about this phenomenon as early as 2016 (read the first post here). This salesperson was just lazy. They likely found my name on an industry list somewhere and assumed I needed what they’re selling. Uh-h-h… no!

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October 13, 2020

Stop the Typical Capabilities Presentation… You’re Wasting the Buyers’ Time

We’ve been in business for 8½ years… and in all that time, I have never given a single capabilities presentation. Why not? Because every prospect already knows what we do. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t have been invited in to present. How do they know? Simple… they’ve been to our website, downloaded our materials and checked us out on LinkedIn. They already know who we work with… it’s on our website. They know the areas where we’re subject matter experts. You guessed it… also on our website. So, if they already know all of that, why would we waste their time (and ours) re-presenting it to them?

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September 30, 2020

Stop Selling… Start Helping!

I generally empty my spam folder every day, but for some reason, I had skipped a few days… and had a mountain of emails to be deleted.

As I was looking through them and getting ready to hit the ‘delete’ button, I noticed a consistent theme across all of them. Other than a couple of “I’m a barrister in Dubai I need your help to claim $20 million,” every single one of them was a hard sales pitch: SEO services, website design, app creation and so on and so on. And most from companies I had never heard of.

Even though this was my spam folder, I think there’s still a lesson here… if you want someone to take notice of you – in an email, over the phone or in person – stop selling and start helping. Or as one of my clients likes to say, “bring value to the relationship.”

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September 15, 2020

To Excel at Virtual Selling… You Need to Master Video Chat; Part 2

For the foreseeable future, using video chat for virtual selling will be the ‘new normal.’ So, if you want to be successful at selling, you’ll need to master one of these platforms. Last week, we explored the fundamentals of video chat. In this blog, will discuss how it applies specifically to the sales process.

To help, here are 9 guidelines to help you become a virtual selling superstar…

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