Posts Tagged ‘sales behaviors’

2017 New Sales Behaviors Replace Cost with Invest

Buyers are cost driven because the word cost has been in front of them since grade school.  This mindset limits your sales behaviors and your results.  However by replacing the word cost with invest or investment you can redirect and change the tone of the sales conversation.



Sales Coaching Tip:  People hear words, but think in pictures.

Words do matter. Cost has a negative connotation.  People hear or read the word cost and they see money leaving their pocketbooks, their cash flow never to return.

The word invest has a positive connotation.  People hear or read the word invest or investment and they see some money leaving their bank accounts, but with the knowledge some of it will return.

Additionally the word invest creates a greater emotional response.  There is an implied sense of spirituality not in the truly religious sense, but of something positive in the future.

Also when sales behaviors begin to replace the word cost with invest, the salesperson has demonstrated more research and the ability to connect to the value drivers of the sales lead or buyer.  People buy on value unique to them.  Top sales performers know how to discover and then connect to those value drivers.

For example, if selling a solution, the salesperson can demonstrate her solution increases business results by 20%, wouldn’t that have far greater impact on connecting to what the buyer values? Of course, there is a presumption the salesperson has already discovered it is important for the buyer to increase business results.

Our sales behaviors reflect our own personal philosophies, beliefs. I personally believe when we change our words, we can dramatically improve our results especially when we engage in those crucial sales conversations.

You may find these other postings on New Sales Behaviors for 2017 of interest:

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Time to Drink from the Glass of Sales Optimism

2017 appears to be one of optimism if we believe a recent poll by Morning Consult. Consumers have expressed the strongest confidence at 113.7 since August of 2001. All these positive indicators should also spur drinking from the glass of sales optimism.



Of course, if you as a salesperson are not feeling confident all the good news, positive indicators will not change your sales optimism. Maybe you are a half empty drinker?

Some Reflection Questions

Possibly it may make sense to ask yourself, what sales behaviors are you expressing as you meet with people?

Are sales leads feeling your optimism?

Are prospects seeing your energy?

Are colleagues sensing your excitement?

If your business growth or sales results in 2016 were not where you wanted them to be, what changes can you make to ensure different results in 2017?

Vision – Values – Mission

Here are some additional questions to ask yourself to change your sales results.

Where do I want to be by the end of 2017?  This is your vision for just the current year.

How will I behave to achieve those desired outcomes. This is your values, your business ethics.

What will I do each month or quarter to execute the necessary behaviors (actions). These are the action steps within your mission for 2017.

Words of Wisdom

Sales optimism always return to your own mind.  In the words of Henry Ford “Whether you think you can or you think you cannot, either way you are right.”

You have the choice to move forward, to preserve or to stay where you are potentially hunkered down in some corner with the mental hope things will get better.

Thomas Jefferson recognized that inaction is an action when he said “Action will delineate and define you.”

“Action is the foundational key to all success” and Pablo Picasso is right.

Possibly the beginning to sales optimism is within these words of Zig Ziglar

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

So get going, invest some time to plan each day, track your activity and your sales results.

If you require some assistance, please use what I call the 4 Points to Sales Success (see below) along with the guidelines.  This is a tool I created from my father’s old paper tracking of his daily sales activity results.

Download four-points-to-sales-success (Active Excel File)

Download Guidelines 4-pts-success-sales-tool-guidelines (PDF File)

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2017 New Sales Behaviors Replace Building Rapport with Building Trust

How many sales training programs focus on “building rapport?”  Shouldn’t our sales behaviors be more intentional? Shouldn’t we be building trust from the first handshake, the first exchanged words?

building-rapportWhen we look to the origin of the word rapport, we discover it is French and means to “bring back.”  I am not sure how one can bring back something that has yet to exist.

Now the word trust is from the Old Norse language and means “strong.”  To be successful in sales, one must have strong relationships with sales leads, prospects, customers, vendors and others.

In spite of all the hype about technology and salespeople becoming obsolete, people in the marketplace be it B2B or B2C still buy from people they know and trust.

Have you seen those billboards with the realtor or physician or salesperson smiling from ear to ear? Do you sense some lack of authenticity, some insincerity in their sales behaviors? Do those feelings build trust?

By building trust, we establish a more solid relationship that goes beyond just building rapport.  One can have rapport without trust.

In reading some data collected through Marketing Sherpa of 2400 consumers, highly satisfied customers top response was by 56% “I consistently have good experienced with it” and the bottom response at 18% was “It puts my needs and wants above its own business goals.” Yet for highly unsatisfied customers, the top response at 35% was “[insert Company name] does not put my needs and wants above its own business goals.”

Finally, some other research Professors Soutar and Sweeney for brick and mortar stores can be applied to B2B marketplace. Their findings suggested salespeople should not be too pushy at the point of sale or worse yet be artificially enthusiastic when following up after the sale.  These actions are anti-building trust because they are not authentic.

Building trust comes from being authentic.  You truly care about the other person first and foremost.  You are not putting your sales quota or desire to increase sales at the front of your mental imagery.

Consider removing the phrase building rapport and think about building trust from your sales behaviors.  Possibly this simple action will be just what is required to increase sales in the New Year.

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2017 New Sales Behaviors Replace Create with Connect

The last couple of years in the word of sales training there has been a focus on sales behaviors specific to how salespeople create value.  I find this word “create” to be misleading and very much ego centered (All about me!).  What I suggest to my sales coaching clients is to replace “create” with this more emotionally intelligent word of connect.

sales-behaviorsNow I must admit to my own negative bias. I believe no one in sales can create value because value is unique to each decision maker, each buyer.  Why does one person like blue and another like red? If salespeople could create value, then the person would be sold to like red.  And most of us know no one wants to be sold. We could literally live in a world where everyone drove a Yugo, ate at McDonald’s and shopped at Walmart.

When we think, speak and write the word connect, we are actually engaged in more authentic sales behaviors.  As salespeople we are looking how to bridge the gap between the buyer’s position and our position.

Another advantage of the word connect is it implies a more level relationship where a good ego is present.  Create is a word that suggests a very strong ego and strong egos are not necessarily beneficial when it comes to the ability to increase sales.

Finally, the word connect works with the sales buying rule people buy from people they know and trust.  When salespeople work to connect with the other sales prospects, they are actively engaged in employing those essential soft skills as well as emotional intelligence.

The last several days this leadership and sales blog has focused on changing sales behaviors by replacing existing words with different words to enhance the sales relationship.  If you missed any of these postings, you may find them below:

2017 New Sales Behaviors: Replace Plan with Campaign

2017 New Sales Behaviors Replace Help with Facilitate

2017 New Sales Behaviors Replace Obstacle with Limitation 

My own personal mantra is “Change your words; improve your results.”  Please let me know if you have changed your words and if your new sales behaviors have improved your sales results.

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2017 New Sales Behaviors Replace Obstacle with Limitation

How many times have you heard this word “obstacle” in many sales training programs or books on sales fact finding?  This word makes you sound like all the others salespeople out there peddling their solutions.  Considering changing your sales behaviors by replacing this overused and now almost trite word with this word – limitation.

When the word obstacle is heard, many people receive a visual in their heads because we hear words, but think in pictures.  This visual may be so large, so filled with a lot of hidden emotions, it possibly can shut down the sales conversation or make further sales conversation even more difficult.

Now speak the word limitation to yourself.  Do you see in your mind’s eye some foreboding potentially humongous obstacle?  Or do  you see something much smaller, something that may have been consistently ignored?

Possibly there are far more limitations keeping the sales prospect from moving forward than one or two major obstacles?

These limitations may have been ignored by other salespeople because their sales training told them to look to the obstacles.

One obvious but often overlooked limitation is alignment. There is misalignment between the various leaders, managers or departments. Rarely in my nearly 20 years when speaking with sales leads rarely have I heard any mention of misalignment until I bring up this limitation.

Check out Fail-Safe Leadership to better understand how misalignment can easily happen.

Our sales behaviors when they are aligned to the emotional, neuro pathways and experiences of our sales prospects can literally propel the sales conversation forward far faster.  Of course the challenge is to go with the flow of the sales conservation and not stick to some sales script that is several paragraphs behind.

sales-behaviorsThe words we speak, think and write do have a significant impact on our sales behaviors.  When we carefully choose the correct word in our sales conversations, we can change the results.

Unfortunately many in their daily sales behaviors are so busy thinking what we are going to say next, they fail to actually listen to what is being said. The good news is everyone has the capacity to change provided they are willing to do so.

If you are not happy with your sales results in 2016, then consider scheduling a free 30 minute conversation (CLICK HERE) to learn how to close the gap between today’s results and tomorrow’s goals.

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2017 New Sales Behaviors Replace Help with Facilitate

How many times have you heard salespeople say “I help” when engaged in sales prospecting at B2B events? Then they go on and on and on about how they help.  When words are overused, they are like water off a duck’s back. To increase sales means you must differentiate yourself from your competition and all the other salespeople. This differentiation starts with finding new sales behaviors.

sales-behaviorsWhen we examine the word help, there is an implication that the other person is helpless otherwise why would you be offering to help.? This implication may be subtly unconscious, but it is present nonetheless.

Now the word facilitate creates no implication of helplessness.  Instead from its Latin origin and French revision the word means to render easy.  Now in sales aren’t we supposed to make the sales conversations easy, to render them down for better understanding?

Even though help is a word that carries positive emotions so does the word facilitate.  The advantage again to thinking, speaking and writing the word facilitate is two-fold:

  • Not heard so differentiates you from everyone else
  • Does not imply subconsciously the other person is helpless

Also I believe there are two others advantages, though somewhat more subtle.  Since facilitate is to make easy, then it creates a top of mind awareness on the part of the seller to be more conscious of non-verbal communications as well as to his or her own communication style. Tools such as DISC can provide additional insight as how to better communicate.

The fourth advantage is emotional intelligence.  The word facilitate I believe has greater emotional intelligence because it does not make a subconscious judgment of helplessness.

The words we speak, think and write are a window to how others observes our sales behaviors.  To increase sales in the next year or quarter may require for us to look at our own sales behaviors and what actions we may wish to  take to secure those desired sales results.

CLICK HERE to schedule a time with Leanne and learn of a special opportunity if you wish to take the DISC.

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2017 New Sales Behaviors: Replace Plan with Campaign

Right now there are a lot of articles about resolutions from increasing sales to improving SMB operations. There is an implied focus on out with the old sales behavior and in with the new sales behaviors.

sales-behaviorsMaybe it is time to rethink the implications within this word resolution and instead intentionally focus on new sales behaviors.  For the next few days, I will provide some new words to replace the old tired, overused words because I believe if you change the words you think, write and speak, you will improve your sales results.

Say, Write and Think Campaign Instead of Plan

A Brief Return to History: If strategy means for a general to deceive his enemies, then in modern terms it means for you as a SMB owner or a sales professional to deceive and defeat your enemies.  To achieve this desired end result, generals used the word campaign instead of plan.

Possibly the word plan has turned into one of those four letter dirty words in business such as goal or hear. By thinking and using the word campaign a different mental image comes to mind.

The origin of the word campaign is Latin and means level ground. Later upon French influence, the word meant open country.

Now with that vision in mind of level ground, doesn’t it make sense to think about a campaign that may level the ground respective to your competition?

Doesn’t this word campaign provide a much bigger and more vibrant picture than the word plan? What visual images immediately come to mind when thinking of yourself as a general with a campaign in hand instead of a plan?

Now ask yourself these questions:

  • What marketing campaign can I create to deceive or defeat the competition?
  • What sales campaign can I create to deceive or defeat the competition?
  • What quality campaign can I create to deceive or defeat the competition?

Now the real important question to be answered is:

What new sales behaviors must I adopt and consistently demonstrate?

Years ago Henry Ford said “Whether you think you can or you think you cannot, either way you are right.” Ford recognized the incredible power of the human mind.

Our minds both conscious and subconscious filled with our beliefs (attitudes) drive our sales behaviors (actions) that generate our results. As in most aspects of life, you have the choice to change or stay with the status quo, that decision is yours and yours alone.

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Three Sales Behaviors That Kill Deals

When meeting with a new sales lead, we as salespeople must be extremely careful about our sales behaviors.  How we interact with the potential ideal customer is the first step in building trust and demonstrating our knowledge.




Cliche Rapport Building

Your sales leads are busy people just like you.  Wasting their time with cliche rapport building questions or comments does not strengthen the trust and knowledge factors. Also in this sales behavior is using “cliches” or acronyms to suggest you are truly knowledgeable.

Rushing into the Sales Pitch

Possibly the one sales behavior that is the most obvious and still is the most committed is rushing through the marketing phrase to making the sales pitch or sales presentation.  Yesterday I saw this again when speaking to a realtor who wanted to list our home.

She did not take time to see the extra features or values our home had, but wanted to get down to her sales pitch of a competitive price.  Translation for us a much cheaper price so she could sell the home fast even though we told her we were willing to be patient and wait for the right buyer.

Her sales presentation and what she did differently was similar to all the other realtors we have had sales conversations with.  Actually earlier in the week, we did have a realtor who did not rush the sales conversation and his sales behaviors built far more trust than many of the other ones we have met.

“I’m So Busy Impression”

Another common sales behavior is to share how busy you are as a salesperson.  “I am in a hurry because I have to meet with this client or that appointment.”  Possibly you are quite busy.  Then it is imperative that when you schedule the appointment to let the person know the length of the meeting.  Rushing in and rushing out does not speak well for your sales behaviors. Buyers are more educated and I believe more cynical today.

After nearly 40 years in sales, I believe it is the small things we say and do that kill most deals rather than the big things.  The big things we notice right away and correct.  Those smaller sales behaviors slip through the cracks and go unnoticed and therein lies the barrier to increase sales.


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Time to Stop with the Cheap Sales Behaviors – Part 2



Continuing with the cheap sales behaviors, here are another four (4) that may resonate with you.

Professional Development

How much time do you devote to your own professional development? Are you in the sales behavior of self-directed learning?  Sales continues to change even though in many instances it still remains the same.  With more educated buyers, understanding value creation, value articulation and value realization is essential if you truly want to increase sales.

If you say you don’t have time, do you waste 12 minutes a day? If you answered yes, that is one hour a week.  So time becomes another excuse to continue your cheap sales behaviors.

Common Courtesy

What does it take to send a handwritten thank you note?  No it is cheaper to send an email than to take the time to express your thanks for an act of kindness.  Loyal customers as well as centers of influence appreciate those acts of kindness and will remember you before the last salesperson who called on them.

Returned Phone Calls

Another cheap sales behavior is not returning phone calls.  “I don’t have time” or “I’ll call back later” is an inexcusable cheap sales behavior. With all the SMB in the marketplace, your sales lead or customer will just as quickly call your competitor.

Spraying and Praying Sales Behaviors

Possibly the cheapest sales behaviors are what I call spraying and praying. These behaviors are the result of no strategic planning including no market research.  SMB owners to salespeople spray their actions all over the place and then pray something will stick.

These are the folks passing out multiple cards at B2B networking events. There is no clarity as to their next marketing, selling or keeping sales behaviors.

Yes cheap has always existed, doing the least for the most. For those engaged in selling, cheap sales behaviors just may ensure you have cheap sales.

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Time to Stop with the Cheap Sales Behaviors – Part 1

Cheap has always existed doing or wanting the most for the least. In sales cheap usually means the buyer won’t pay the big bucks or little bucks for your solution. Yet, today there are a lot of cheap sales behaviors being demonstrated by salespeople day in and day out.



Promotional Items

“I want the cheapest pen as a leave behind.”  A colleague who sells promotional items has shared this story numerous times.  He tells his clients the cheapest pen’s cap comes off to the cheapest pen doesn’t write all that well. “Never mind” or “I don’t care” is the response. Give me the cheapest pen.”  Then when the cheapest pen comes in the client complains about the cap coming off or the bad writing.

List Building without Permission

Every day I receive several to ten new emails from people I have never communicated with or met. They bought a list and then added my name to their emails.  There is no double opt in because it is cheaper (time wise) just to add names.  This sales behavior immediately creates distrust instead of trust.

Pre-Formatted LinkedIn Invitations

If people buy from people they know and trust, why would any salesperson use the pre-formatted LinkedIn invitations?  Here again this is another cheap sales behavior.  Sure it is easier, but what message does it send? Are you unintentionally building distrust with that first outreach?

Sales Pitches

Making a sales pitch before establishing a relationship is 100% cheap.  People buy from people they know and trust. Top sales performers understand developing authentic relationships is essential especially given much of the buying decision has already been made before any contact with a potential vendor.  Yes this does take time and effort on the part of the salesperson.

There are many other cheap sales behaviors. Part 2 will identify another four more. The real two questions you may wish to consider asking yourself are:

“Am I demonstrating any of these sales behaviors?
What is the impact on my SMB business?”

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