Posts Tagged ‘sales solutions’

Have You Considered Your Sales Solutions to Have These Two Qualities?

Sales solutions that are both efficient and effective have a far greater probability of turning customers into loyal customers or continued sources of sales referrals.  What happens is in the hurry to “close the sale,” some salespeople focus on the efficient and not the effective.

Efficient Sales Solutions

When the sales solution meets all the criteria as in investment, delivery, etc., it suggests it was efficient.  Things were done right.  The right answers were given to the right questions.

Effective Sales Solutions

To be an effective sales solution means doing the right thing.  Possibly the salesperson knows even though his or her solution is efficient, it may not be effective.  For example, sales training during the holidays usually lacks short and long term cognitive retention.  People have their minds elsewhere.

Another no effective example might be given 2 – 8 hour days of training knowing full well the “brain only absorbs what the butt will endure.”  Such a schedule may be efficient and yet it is not effective.  A better sales training solution would be 2 hours a week over 8 weeks.  Sometimes there is push back on this scheduling, yet a good salesperson can demonstrate how such a sales solution can deliver far better results.

Losing the Sale

Many salespeople are not willing to lose the sale for a variety of reasons. Several times in the past I have been asked to deliver one or two day sales leadership training.  Given the behavioral outcomes the clients wanted, I had to turn down the sales because I knew the attendees would not change their behaviors. The clients were convinced this type of sales leadership training could be achieved.  I suggested to the clients to reconnect with their past vendors because given my knowledge and experience I could not secure those desired behavioral changes.

Sales solutions that are both efficient and effective may take a little longer to earn or close, but the results are far more sustainable from loyal customers to more sales referrals.

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Faith in Sales, in You and Your Solutions

A colleague of mine, Elinor Stutz, shared an article on LinkedIn Pulse in which she discussed a sales tip about commitment. She then went on to articulate numerous actions to ensure commitment. I added in my comments that having faith in sales is also important.

faith-in-salesFaith in sales means you first have faith in your overall sales process.  Have you invested the time to hone your process including marketing, selling and keeping? In today’s market, many focus only on selling and end up making sales pitches before the marketing phase has been successfully completed.

Yesterday I received a LinkedIn invitation from a complete stranger who wanted me to review his book.  He shared he had hired a researcher to find people who reviewed similar books.  From my perspective, he violated the number one basic buying rule: People buy from people they know and trust.

Peter Drucker said (paraphrasing) when marketing is done well selling is effortless.  Bad marketing makes selling that much harder.

Do you have faith in yourself?  Have you invested the time to improve your interpersonal skills to sales skills?

Do you have faith in your sales solutions?  Are your solutions sustainable or just another quick fix solving a symptom instead of the real problem?

I am reminded of the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  Jones had to take a leap or a step of faith to cross a wide and deep chasm that do not appear to have any bridge. Yet the bridge was there all along.  He just couldn’t see it.  In Stutz’s post she reminds us of the following:

“Progressing through the darkest tunnels leads to our brightest light.”

Faith in sales is what works with us to progress through those dark tunnels to lead to that bright light of sales success.  For without faith, we are truly lost.  Faith goes beyond confidence. Faith is something unexplainable because it defies reason and logic.

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Are You One of The Soulless Sales People?

Years ago it was said “those who do, do; those who don’t teach.”  With so many in sales positions not achieving their sales goals, walking or running around like zombies or ghouls, one has to wonder if some of these individuals have indeed become the soulless sales people.

soulless-sales-peopleWhen I looked up the word “soul” in my Webster’s 7th Edition New Collegiate Dictionary, I was surprised to read this one definition:

“b: a moving spirit : Leader”

This meaning may suggest soulless sales people lack a moving spirit and are not leaders.  We may hear them mouth the words of their sales solutions, but our intuition senses there is no authentic, passionate energy behind those words.

Soulless sales people are not bad persons.

They are in many cases in the wrong roles or positions.

Or possibly as past sales leaders they have failed to adapt to today’s changing marketplace?

This failure to change has drained their spirits and their sales leadership capabilities.

They have lost the fire in their bellies, complacency has stepped in and living in the past or the current status quo is much easier than forging new paths, new ways of marketing, selling and leading.

Technology may also be partially to blame for increasing the number of soulless sales people.  Some in sales now believe by stroking the keyboards they can increase sales, improve business growth and ultimately have a thriving small business.

Then maybe you are not one of the soulless sales people and good for you.

However when you begin to lose your moving spirit, the fire in your belly, your self leadership and sales leadership skills, then consider remembering this article so that you never, ever, turn into one of those soulless sales people.

Happy Halloween!

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is a heurist who disrupts the status quo by discovering new ways to guide and support rapidly growing small businesses; those who wish to grow beyond their current employees and executives in career chaos.  She is recognized as one of the Top 25 Sales Influencers in 2013 by Open View Sales Labs and can be reached at 219.759.5601 CST.



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Bait and Switch Is Still Alive for Small Business Owners

Today I had the opportunity to experience first hand bait and switch sales tactic.  I made an appointment to visit a new dentist because I was tired of traveling 35 miles to see my regular dentist of 30 plus years who is an exceptional dentist.

This decision came after receiving a direct mail marketing piece (yes direct mail is alive and still works) for a special offer ($60) that included x-rays and a cleaning. Now in all fairness, this marketing mailer did say if there was any evidence of periodontal disease the cleaning would not be available at this special offer price.

The good news is that the scheduled appointment happened at the agreed time. Also I had the opportunity through email to complete all medical forms. And the office was friendly and professional.

Now for the bad news.

  1. The young dental hygienist (probably 25 to 30 years old) was professional. However, between using the word “educated” more times than I can count and talking to me like I was a 3 year old, I must admit it was hard to keep a smile on my face.
  2. From the initial medical form to all the education that really was almost a hard sell, my distrust factor kept increasing.
  3. The dentist spent less than 2 minutes with me and then turned me back to the hygienist. Beyond hello this is Dr. so and so and “do you have any questions?”, there was absolutely no effort to build a relationship.
  4. Every action from the X-Rays to the inspection of the teeth was calculated to increase fear so that you the patient would buy.  Now since I do not fear dentists, I could observe this business model from a different perspective.
  5. One piece of education was the oral cancer was the leading cause of cancer deaths for Americans. Since one of my best friends is a doctor who specializes in oncology, I found this statement very curious and contrary to what I had just read from the US Center for Disease Control (CDC). Also when I quickly “Googled” the following number one type of cancer causing death oral USA, I discovered the Oral Cancer Foundation was the only source of this information and not anything by the CDC or other organizations.
  6. Educating your potential customer and in this case actual customer because I was paying for the Xrays should not be based on the premise of fear or misinformation.

After all of this information, I learned that if I wanted to have my teeth cleaned it would be $1,500 (in round numbers) instead of the $60 and this included extended treatment for the periodontal disease. To have everything corrected in my mouth would be another $3,500.

For years my dentist has removed my tartar build up for far less than $1,500. Obviously, the 35 mile drive is worth it because after I left this dentist, I immediately called my dentist and made an appointment.  So the $40 I spent for the X-rays was probably a good investment because there is no way I would become a patient of this practice.

One of the continued mistakes small business owners continue to make is to offer their sales solutions and not listen to their customers.  My sense is this not listening is behind what some myself included perceive as bait and switch. I asked for what only the extended cleaning would cost and received a far more detailed and expensive solution.

Another mistake is misunderstanding who the relationship is with.  Assistants are just that assistants.  The main relationship is with the person offering the service or product.  In the 90 minutes I was there, I had 2 minutes with the doctor, 5 minutes with the front desk administrator and 83 minutes with the assistant. However, the direct mail piece directly advertised the dentist and her practice. And they want me to invest $5,000 based on 2 minutes. Give me a break! Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Relationship selling is between the customer and the vendor.

After receiving the two proposed documents, I walked out of the office thinking about what I have deemed the 3Ps virus (Price, product or proposal) or what Jeb Blount calls in Pump and Dump. Regardless of what you call it, it stinks to high heavens, is not a viable strategy for relationship selling and bottom line it will not increase sales.

Graphic Courtesy of Bing-

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