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January 2018

A Good Resolution for the New Year: Rewrite Judgmental Messages

Anita asked her manager to take part in a “ride­along” on her first sales call of the New Year ... so he could offer her some constructive criticism on the best ways to improve her selling technique. Anita was out to fulfill a New Year’s resolution: she was eager to identify one specific best practice that would help her improve her closing ratio. Her goal was to identify her greatest selling weakness early in the month of January, and then work to turn that into her greatest selling strength by the end of March. Her manager, Mike, thought this was a great way to start the New Year, and agreed to sit in on her next face­-to-­face meeting with a prospect.

February 2018

The Reverse

Jane was having problems uncovering accurate information during her discussions with prospects. Her conversations during sales calls tended to be unfocused, and she spent a lot of time pursuing options that her prospects ended up rejecting. Her manager suggested she try something called Negative Reversing.

November 2017

The Art of Qualifying For Decision

Myra, a sales manager, scheduled a meeting with George, a salesperson who reported to her, to discuss his closing ratios. She was concerned about the high number of presentations George was making that were resulting in a “let’s think it over” response.

After a little discussion, the two were able to identify the problem. George wasn’t qualifying his prospects on their decision-making process … and as a result, he wasn’t actually connecting with decision makers.

December 2017

The Email Trap

Eileen, a brand-­new sales hire, found herself struggling during her first week on the job. At her initial coaching session with Juan, her supervisor, she asked for some guidance on identifying promising lead sources. Instead of making suggestions about that, though, Juan decided to begin the process by asking a few basic questions.

“Just out of curiosity,” he said, “how many face-­to-­face meetings, phone appointments, or videoconferences are you aiming to set each week?”

September 2017

Setting a Goal? Visualize it!

Once you’ve identified a goal that really matters to you, you’ll be more likely to attain it if you put the power of visualization to work on your behalf.

Visualization is only one part of the goal­-setting process, but it’s a vitally important part. It makes a goal seem much more real and attainable and harnesses the extraordinary power of your subconscious mind.

October 2017

Expanding and Extended Business with Existing Clients

Mario was well ahead of his monthly quota, so he was surprised when Jane, his sales manager, asked him to set a higher sales target for the quarter.

During their meeting, Mario smiled and said, “I thought I’d get a gold medal after the good month I just had – not a higher target!”

“You know what they say about ‘good’ being the enemy of ‘great,’” Jane answered, smiling back. “And what I’m proposing is well within your reach. In fact, if it makes sense to you, I think you’ll find it a lot easier than hitting the monthly target you just hit.”

“I’m intrigued,” Mario said. “What have you got in mind?”

August 2017

What's In It For Them?

Tim, a new sales hire, was having trouble setting appointments. Miguel, his sales manager, wanted to know why.

After just a little one-on-one role-play, one of Tim’s challenges became clear. During his discussions with potential business partners, Tim was focusing almost exclusively on the features of what his company offered: in-house recycling equipment for users of manufacturing-grade solvents.

July 2017

Is It Time to Clean Out Your Pipeline?

Mark’s sales manager, Irene, asked him to forecast the number of sales he would close over the coming month. Mark came up with his best guess. Unfortunately, Irene didn’t find his best guess very helpful. As it happened, the new monthly forecast was identical to Mark’s previous month’s “best guess” – a figure he had failed to come close to reaching.

In a private meeting, Irene asked Mark to be candid with her. Was the number he’d provided based on something more concrete rather than wishing and hoping? Mark thought for a moment and had to admit that it wasn’t.

May 2017

Client-Centric Satisfaction (SM)

You just received an email from the chain hotel where you stayed last night. Along with offering its gratitude, the hotel is seeking your feedback through a survey–offered in the interest of continuous improvement. You’re asked to provide satisfaction ratings for some very important categories the hotel has chosen. Listed are food quality, staff friendliness, Wi-Fi dependability, room cleanliness, durability of shower cap, and other aspects of your stay that you’re supposed to rate from one to ten. It’s a comprehensive list, but there’s a problem. Your room was across the hall from an elevator that constantly unloaded chatty guests and next to a very loud ice machine. You didn’t sleep a wink. Room noise, alas, is not one of the categories provided. Shaking your head and still a bit sleepy, you delete the email, knowing you’ll never return to that hotel.

June 2017

Communication 101 For Salespeople: Know When To Ask A Question

June is Effective Communications Month. With that fact in mind, consider the following cautionary tale for salespeople.

Will, a new salesperson, had just begun a face­-to-­face meeting with Maria, the CEO of a big company that Will’s manager would have dearly loved Will to close. Right after the two sat down in Maria’s conference room, Maria asked:

“So, Will – how much do you know about our firm?”

March 2017 SandlerBrief

People Work Harder for Their Reasons than they do for Yours

Milt had missed his sales quota for three straight quarters. Maria, his new sales manager, had tried to get Milt’s previous manager, Bob, to share his thoughts on why Milt was consistently failing to hit his targets. Bob’s answer was direct: “The guy just flat-out doesn’t care about hitting quota. He’s not cut out for sales anymore. He used to be committed. Now he’s lost interest. Senior management is giving him one more shot. If he can’t cut it this quarter, with you, the plan is to let him go. This is Milt’s moment of truth.”

April 2017 SandlerBrief

Generate More Revenue - With Email Referrals

Bill, a veteran salesperson with a deep hesitation about approaching prospects online, had been trying to gain traction for months at a company called Acme Logistics. A competitor had won all of Acme’s business, but Bill felt certain that if he could secure a meeting with the company’s CEO, Mary Moore, he could make a powerful case for winning Acme as a client.