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Sales Tips

Hiring season is here, and it’s you’re chance to show off your skills and really shine. You may be one in a million, but you could be competing with dozens of others to secure the sales job you’ve been dreaming of. The right preparation and an idea of some of the elements that are commonly included in sales interviews can help give you an edge.

Mistake: Maintaining the status quo in your workplace. Solution: Complacency is like an electric, blinking neon sign of danger. When managing your team, don’t just think, “Is this working?” You need to think, “How can this work even better?”

All too often, salespeople focus on the wrong elements in their attempt to increase sales. They turn their attention to the features, benefits, and value-added aspects of their product or service in an attempt to differentiate it from that of the competition and ultimately convince prospects to buy.

Are you a member of a leads group, chamber of commerce, Rotary Club, or industry trade association that invites guest speakers to their events? Are you looking to expand their knowledge, motivate for growth, or just rebuild broken communication, and improve business practices? James Alberson of Sandler Training has spoken before such groups offering tips, techniques, and information to transform and motivate sellers, and business owners alike. James covers topics related to sales, business development, goal setting, sales management, team building, communication styles, closing, bonding and rapport, referrals, sales psychology, and other motivational topics. James' clear and concise teaching style results in audiences walking away with a number of practical ideas, and techniques that they can use right away. For additional information, and to schedule a time for James to assist your organization call 206-805-8848, or email James at james.alberson@sandler.com. Click Here to use our easy to fill out online form, and to be contacted by James Alberson!

Eventually, almost every interview turns into a question-and-answer session. You ask a question. The candidate answers as you check a mental tick-box (good answer? bad answer?). You quickly go to the next question and the next question and the next question, because you only have so much time and there's a lot of ground to cover because you want to evaluate the candidate thoroughly. The more questions you ask, the more you will learn about the candidate...or not.

What does a company need to be successful? Many people would say investors and a solid business plan, but in addition to these important factors, a company needs effective managers. These capable leaders act as the backbone for a company, guiding members of the team to become better salespeople. Great leaders make tough decisions to ensure the company achieves targeted goals and takes advantage of opportunities that arise. In addition to quick decision-making, effective managers need to identify and act against potential problems before they become company-wide issues.

When you get an email from a prospect with one of the following requests, what do you do?

How can having a sales template benefit your business?

One of the questions we get a lot from our President’s Club Members at Sandler Training Seattle is “When is the best time to ask for a referral?” The short answer is – Always. Why? Because the best way to grow sales and stop having to make cold calls is to build your referral tree.

One of the main reasons salespeople hate to cold call is because they fear interrupting people at work. After all, no one likes being interrupted at work or home by a telemarketer. Let’s face it. From the prospect’s perspective, the person on the other end of the line has just interrupted his day. He doesn’t know who this person is or what the call is about.

Anthony was really on a roll with his presentation to the committee. As he spoke, he looked around the table and decided, based on facial expressions, statements, and body language, that nine of the ten members liked what they were hearing.

CEO’s and sales managers often ask, “I wish I had a stronger team of people selling for us. What’s the Sandler secret to hiring winners?”

Are you concerned about whether your sales compensation program is designed for optimum revenue attainment? You aren’t alone. Many of the business owners and sales managers we work with at Sandler Training Seattle share those concerns. Following are my top 7 things to consider when designing an effective sales compensation plan.

What scares you about the selling process? Which part of the selling process causes you the most stress? Whatever it is (and maybe it's nothing at all), deal with it by using Sandler's Up-Front Contract.

A sales template is defined as the step by step set of interactions you want your prospect to go through because it will give you (the salesperson) a clear competitive advantage or otherwise increase the chances of you winning the business.

This week’s Sandler Training Seattle President’s Club focused on the importance of talking about the prospect’s budget up front. Most salespeople wait until the end of their presentation to bring up price or other money issues.

Everyone is a decision-maker until it's time to make a decision is a common Sandler Training saying. During the Decision-Making Process, the buyer is deciding to buy or not to buy and you as the seller is trying to qualify or disqualify whether it would be a good fit to work together. These decisions in theory are straight forward - black and white, but in reality, there is a lot of gray in between.

Given the fact that people tend to do business with people they know, like and trust, what is the best way to build rapport with a prospect? Most salespeople think bonding and rapport is accomplished in some cursory chit-chat about a common interest discovered at the beginning of the sales call.

Steve is frustrated that his salespeople are having difficulty understanding how to sell his products and/or services. Steve owns a relatively new company and hired 4 salespeople. He provided them with a week of “sales training” which consisted of mostly detailed information relating their product and service. Four weeks later all 4 salespeople had either quit or were let go. The cost of this turnover was estimated at approximately $115K per salesperson.

Is your networking “not working”? If so, it could be you are exhibiting one of the following five negative networking personality types.

A common death trap salespeople get themselves into is having “happy ears,” meaning they tend to hear what they want to hear. In actuality, what they (the salesperson) heard does not reflect the real intent of what the prospect said.

In the book “You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar” David Sandler compares learning how to sell professionally with learning how to ride a bike. “People don’t learn how to sell at a seminar,” writes Sandler. “To conquer the art of professional selling, you need to learn a system. You need to master techniques

“All prospects lie all the time” is one of my favorite Sandler sayings. It often triggers resistance from people new to the Sandler Selling System.

“What should I do when a prospect tells me, ‘Max with the truck can do the work for $500,’ when I know my starting price is $1,000?” asked Terry, one of our President’s Club members. The answer : Use an assumptive question to overcome price objections.

Having been in sales for over 25 years with experience as both an entrepreneur and sales executive, I am intrigued by what people think makes a great salesperson.

Are you concerned about whether your sales compensation program is designed for optimum revenue attainment? You aren’t alone.

Growing your business through referrals is about more than asking everyone you encounter “who do you know…?” When done correctly, building a referral business involves creating a Target List, defining your Ideal Customer Profile, contacting your Target List and asking for Personal Introductions.

People often ask me what sales book has most influenced my life. Without a doubt, the answer is “You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar, by David Sandler.”

As a professional, your reluctance to be perceived as a “salesperson” may cause you to have trouble being up-front about money issues. This can cost you money...

If you’ve been in sales for any length of time, it’s highly likely that you’ve had a run-in with at least one “nibbler”. You know, those people who nibble at the deal you just made.

What is it that separates those who “can” close and those who “can’t”? It’s an interesting question with a myriad of possible answers. Can you start doing something different today to become one of the best?

With the year more than halfway over, the pressure is on once again to achieve your revenue goals. How are you going to get your existing clients to buy more? If you lost any accounts last year, how will you make up for the loss?

In today’s marketplace where there is more access to information, more knowledge about pricing and competition, and more choices for your customers, all professional salespeople need to make all the right moves to build their business. First things first – make no assumptions! Assumptions like the ones that follow.

One can seem like a very small number, but it can have tremendous impact on your revenues. Make one more cold call every day One extra call a day equals 260 calls in a year. How many meetings could you set up with this number of calls and how many of those meetings could turn into sales?

Sandler Training, a world leader in innovative sales and sales management training, was named a top 20 sales training company for 2012 by Training Industry magazine.

My Mom was a funny lady and during my youth, she was constantly throwing riddles at me. Some of herriddles came in pairs and the pairs typically had a point. One such pair of riddles has been a huge lesson forme as I have gone through life. Here they are. Riddle 1: What did Tarzan say when he saw the elephantscoming down the road? "Here come the elephants." Riddle 2: What did the elephants say when theysaw Tarzan coming down the road? Nothing, elephants don't talk

In sales, as in life, the enemy of great is good. The reason so few salespeople ever become great is because they get good and they stop. They stop learning, changing, and stretching. They cease doing many of the things that made them successful in the first place. The key to avoiding the temptations is awareness – go over these with your team so they can be aware of the pitfalls that will prevent them from getting to the next level.

Prospects and customers don’t buy for literally hundreds of personal reasons, but most of them tend to not buy for the following reasons:

So many sales training programs are unsuccessful. A typical company can spend tens of thousands of dollars to put an entire sales force through the latest, hottest training program touted to increase the bottom line.

Whether quotas are arrived at through meticulous calculation or by throwing darts at a dartboard, one thing is for certain: a sales rep will have an excuse for why he/she didn't reach it. Sometimes the reasons are legitimate, sometimes they aren't. But at all times, the sales rep should be given the proper tools, training, and motivation to ensure they have the best chance of making that quota. Read the excuses and determine if you're giving or have been given all that is needed to succeed.

How do you know when you’re talking to the real decision-maker? You’ve finished your sales presentation. Your prospect is 100% satisfied with every solution you’ve presented. You go for the close, and suddenly the prospect, who assured you she was the decision-maker, has to run it by someone else.

Self-discovery, self-reflection, digging into the depths of your soul is important to make your brain and your heart healthier. Making time to understand yourself in its current state through these various forms...

Success in selling is the result of the interplay between three critical dimensions – attitude, behavior and technique – that function like the legs of a stool. Remove one or more, and the stool (sale) collapses.

“All prospects lie all the time” is one of my favorite Sandler sayings. It often triggers resistance from people new to the Sandler Selling System. After all, we want to believe in the inherent goodness of mankind, and it’s a sin to lie, right? Of course, when I ask people about their own buying behavior, it becomes clear that misleading on purpose (i.e. lying) is always part of the process.

In Monday’s President’s Club foundations class, we talked about the human relations model of Transactional Analysis (TA) and how it relates to success in sales. That sales professionals must have a good understanding of people is not a new concept. But, what does “good with people” look like in practice?

Have you ever considered what it costs your small business when you make a bad hiring decision? Most companies never consider the cost of a bad hire in terms of business disruption, opportunity cost, and lower morale. Most small business owners wing the interview and hire people based on their gut feeling.

Simply hearing the words that are being said to you is not the only thing involved in listening. Here are tips on how to truly involve yourself in the listening process.

Ask salespeople to list their least favorite selling activities, and you can count on “prospecting” being at the top of the list. And, the least favorite of all prospecting activities is unquestionably making cold calls.

How do you keep from competing on price in a down economy? Get your prospects emotionally engaged. This morning I had the pleasure of meeting a sales manager for a chain of KIA dealerships in the Seattle area.

Every sale is not a good sale.  About 25% of all sales calls are bad calls in one way or another. They either leave the customer disappointed or the seller with excess costs and diminished returns.

Sales isn't for the faint of heart. You don't just encounter negativity on a fairly frequent basis. In many cases, it is your job to sniff it out and address it immediately. Sandler Rule #3: "No Mutual Mystification," deals with an issue that often plagues sales professionals –  "happy ears."

Wednesday mornings are tough enough without our most annoying client calling in with the usual simple problem that he is over-reacting to. We sigh and answer the phone - all while making the facial gestures of a person eating oysters for the first time in their life. WHY does that client seem to be determined to drive you insane? It's your fault ... Every morning the manager from the operations department stops in to tell you how your team messed up his operations this weekend. She is soooo abrasive. You answer in abrupt sentences and quite rudely push her out the door