Posts Tagged ‘Sales Training’

The 12 Days of Increase Sales Leadership Questions – Day 11

The ability to increase sales leadership begins from within. Outside resources from sales training to sales books to attending motivational speaking events support all those internal desires and emotions.

If your one action action to increase sales leadership was realized, how would that make you feel?

So often we ignore our feelings, our emotions. We are encouraged to seek more knowledge and skills. Yet it is our emotions that more than often contribute to our successes or failures.

Henry Ford said:

“Whether you think you can or you think you cannot, you are right.”

My sense is a better quote would be:

“Whether you feel you can or you feel you cannot  you are right.”

How often do we allow our feelings of discouragement, fears and negativity to keep us from moving forward?

We appear to gravitate towards the negative potential outcomes instead of the positive ones.

Feelings must be balanced with logic. However for that balance to be present, feelings must be acknowledged. Possibly this is why emotional intelligence in sales leadership is becoming more and more prevalent.

Our feelings is what makes us unique.  We can share those feelings in a positive, professional and sincere manner without being viewed as unauthentic or if you prefer “brown nosing.”

As I have shared before President Theodore Roosevelt said:

“No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

How can you increase sales leadership results if you are viewed as not caring?

When we apply emotional intelligence to our responses, we are not only recognizing and understanding the emotions of others, but we are simultaneously recognizing and understanding our own emotions.

In the play Hamlet, Shakespeare wrote “To thine own self be true.” However the verses before this quite famous quote as far more telling respective to individual feelings.

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The 12 Days of Increase Sales Leadership Questions – Day 8

How often when we look to increase sales leadership, we sometimes fail to focus on what we can control?

Today’s question is all about focusing on what you can control?

How much time do you invest working on your strengths or talents in comparison to the time spent improving your weaknesses or non-talents?

By the way did you notice I changed verbs in this question?  Invest suggests a positive result while spent indicates a negative or non-investment result.

Each year I plan for my own professional development with a far greater emphasis on my talents than my non-talents.  Some of this professional development is mandated through various state requirements and I have little control over those mandates. What I have control over is how I can connect and apply those mandates to my talents.

Of course, if you don’t know what you do well, you could be wasting a lot of time, energy, money and emotions focusing on the wrong solutions that inhibit your ability to increase sales leadership. Yesterday’s question discussed the need for absolute crystal clarity as to your own individual talents.

I am not saying to ignore weaknesses. What I am saying is by devoting more time to improving your talents, you will have better sales results and consequently more sales success.

Human behavior from years of earlier conditioning works against us. All those “red pen” marks to those less than satisfactory grades have us conditioned to look to our weaknesses.  We ignore the plethora of opportunities hidden within our own talents and strengths. What an incredible waste of human potential.

We read about turning potential into performance from a variety of sales training courses to sales experts to even sales leadership coaches. Yet, for this to actually happen starts with our own existing talents and strengths.

Remember:

Winning sales people and sales teams  win because of their talents not because of their weaknesses.

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The 12 Days of Increase Sales Leadership Questions – Day 7

Many believe to increase sales leadership begins with sales training, learning more stuff to improve existing known weaknesses, but in actuality the foundation for sales success lies within the strengths of each salesperson, not their weaknesses, This leads to question number 7:

If people succeed because of their strengths, then do you know with absolute crystal clarity what are your strengths?

During the last 10 years, what I have learned is the super majority of people do not know their strengths as well as they know their weaknesses.  Does this make sense? Think about it for a moment.

Would a legendary coach such as Vince Lombardi hire a quarterback with the weakest throwing arm?  Of course, not! He would seek the individual with the strongest and most accurate throwing arm.

Many psychometric assessments with the goal to increase sales leadership fail to identify the talents of the individual.  The variety of talents reaffirms the variety of salespeople and reveals how they are successful. Human beings are unique and salespeople being human beings are therefore also unique. One talent for one salesperson may not be equally shared by another.  However both can be very successful by leveraging their own strengths. This explains the diversity within any sales team.

Additionally, as Jay Niblick, President of Innermetrix said:

“People tend to turn non-talents into weaknesses.”

Again, the focus from years of negative conditioning is to look at weaknesses or talents ranked lower instead of focusing on those strengths or talents ranked higher.  To increase sales leadership must begin with knowing one’s talents not one’s weaknesses.

There are a plethora of assessments suggesting how to increase sales leadership. For years I did not include assessments within my executive leadership coaching and sales coaching practice because of the poor validity and reliability scores.  However, once I discovered the Attribute Index based upon the works of Dr. Hartman through Axiology, I quickly embraced this talent assessment.

To improve your sales results in 2018 and to achieve sales success, consider the earlier question and ask yourself do you know with absolute crystal clarity your strengths?

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The 12 Days of Increase Sales Leadership Questions – Day 1

To increase sales leadership results begins not on the outside by attending some sales seminar or reading some sales or business book but on the inside.  During the next couple of weeks, I will be posting 12 questions you can ask yourself.  These are questions of self reflection where you probably won’t find the answer in a book or a motivational speech.

Let’s start with probably one of the easiest questions I ask my sales coaching clients and build up to the hardest question that being #12:

What are you doing differently yesterday, the past week or past month that you were not doing in the past week, month or six months?

Think about this question and then schedule some time to write down EVERYTHING you have been doing differently from actual actions to actual thoughts.

Possibly start a journal and begin to documents what you are doing differently.  Writing these thoughts down brings greater clarity and focus to your ability to increase sales leadership as well as overall personal results.

  • Could you being to improve your overall sales results and reduce your stress levels by engaging in this question on a regular basis? 
  • What do you believe would happen if you did this internal check in daily, weekly or monthly?

If you are fearful of the answer, then attending more sales seminars, sales training or reading more sales books probably won’t help you to increase sales.

Your ability to successful in sales or any endeavor lies deep within you.  You can always find the knowledge and develop the skills necessary for sales success. However if you lack the proper attitudes and habits all the knowledge and the skills won’t transfer to your desired sales results.

These questions will be similar to eating the elephant one bite at a time. Please feel free to leave your comments below.

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Let’s Stop Selling to the Quick Fix Need

A great friend and colleague, Dan Waldschmidt, wrote an outstanding blog about the charlatans who provide success advice and are liars. What Dan was addressing was those in sales who sell to the quick fix need.

Read Dan’s blog posting – Why Most Success Advice Is Bullshit and What to Do About It.

These salespeople be them executive coaches, organizational consultants to even instructional designers, look to the quick fix need of a sales lead.  They usually know their sales solution is not effective (doing the right thing) and therefore not sustainable.  Maybe this is why so many salespeople hide from return on investment (ROI).

My History of the Quick Fix in Sales

I first saw this for me unethical sales behavior when I was involved in instructional design.  As a subcontractor I was tasked with writing sales training (instructions) for retail salespeople to sell through a series of computer prompts.  The way the training was scheduled was not going to be sustainable.  Additionally, these salespeople were not being trained on the entire sales process.  This sales training was all about selling without any solid establishment of a relationship.

Later as I established my own executive coaching and consulting practice, I had numerous sales opportunities where the client wanted a quick fix.  I knew that a one time learning event provided very little long term cognitive retention.

How can anyone change his or her behavior when he or she forgets the knowledge to change that behavior?

When the client insisted on a one time learning event and wanted “loosey goosey” outcomes such as “improve communications with customers” or “be better leaders,”  I respectfully declined and stated my sales solution would not be sustainable.

Every potential client told me “well, so and so” said he or she could do it.  I would respond with “Then I would reach out to that individual. I know from my education and experience, what you want will not happen in a one day or two day training event.”

Many people will always be attracted to the quick fix for a variety of reasons.  The only way to provide sustainable solutions is to stop selling to the quick fix.  Take the hit in your sales.

And before you hear some internal response such as “this is what the client wanted” to justify selling to the quick fix, remember your sales solution should be effective (doing the right thing) and sustainable.  You should be able to quickly provide a measurable return on investment (ROI).

As Dan said:

“Success is you doing the right thing. When no one is watching. When it’s hard to do.”

Dan goes on by saying:

“It’s the mindset and the actions created by that mindset that lead to the outward evidence of your success. Stop buying into other people shortcuts.”

The last sentence could be easily rewritten as “Stop selling into other people’s quick fixes.”  For the “quick fix” is a shortcut and truly not sustainable.

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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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Leverage Your Mindset to Increase Sales

If you want to increase sales, right now momentarily forget about your sales training, all the books you read on sales, your CRM, your To Do List, your sales funnel, your outstanding proposals, your appointments today, your sales leads, the calls you must make to whatever else is cluttering your brain.  Now think about your mindset, how are you going to approach all those tasks?

Far too often we allow all the clutter to keep us from seeing what is actually keeping us from our desires, our goals.  This clutter is in many instances negative as in “I gotta call so and so.”

Sales Coaching Tip:  I “gotta” is negative.  I “want” to is positive.

The Reality of Mindset

William James who is considered by many to be the father of American psychology said:

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.”

More Than Attitudes to Increase Sales

Our attitudes evolve from our belief system.  Many of our beliefs are subconscious, hidden in the far recesses of our mind. Depending upon the research and if we count our sleeping hours, the total number of daily subconscious thoughts range from 10,000 to 600,000. Here is were our deepest beliefs lie.

Attitudes reflect our beliefs both conscious and subconscious.

Negativity First

We are conditioned as children to negativity.  Parents tell us:

  • “Don’t touch the stove”
  • “Don’t talk to strangers”
  • “Don’t go to where you are not invited”

Sales Coaching Tip:  The last two bullets explain much of the fear of cold calling.

Our parents in their efforts to keep us safe from harm have started our brains on a negative path.  Unfortunately, they failed later to counter balance all that negative conditioning.

Then as we grow, we internalize these don’ts and place negative consequences on them.  Our DO NOTS have now turned into CANNOTS!

A New Mindset

If you wish to increase sales, there is a way to discover where you have gaps (clarity) and how to close those gaps (execution).

Here is the formula for a positive mindset regardless of your role:

(b) • {A+S+K} + mmG = PBC = IP ∴ IR

If you wish to learn this formula, have under 30 minutes and truly want to increase sales or improve your results, schedule a time to talk by CLICKING HERE.

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Why Are So Many Salespeople Hungry for the One Size Fits All Solution?

Right now I cannot count the number of articles, books to sales training workshops that promise to deliver what I call the one size fits all sales solutions.  From the top five closing questions to a proven sales process, each of these sales solutions fail to recognize these three critical buying axioms and one selling axiom.

#1 – People Buy From People They Know and Trust

The fallacy of these one size fits all selling solutions presume the salesperson has established a sound relationship with the buyer and every relationship is the same.  Building rapport in sales (I truly dislike that designation because most people can build rapport with a dog) takes time, a lot of time. Sales research continues to suggest very few people can earn the sale on the first contact.

#2 – People Buy First on Emotions, Justified by Logic

More and more sales research is being complied about the importance of emotions and how those emotions (emotional intelligence) are connected to the brain (neuro science).  Books like Sales EQ by Jeb Blount help salespeople to understand the power of emotions for both the buyer and the seller.

#3 – People Buy on Value UNIQUE to Them

Since each of us are unique individuals, what we value is unique to us. One of my dearest friends will only buy white or silver cars as her current house is white.  She has shared with me numerous times how car salespeople try to sell her a red car and ignore her desire (think value) for a white or silver one.

#4 – Most Salespeople Do Not Know Their Talents; Thereby Fail to Leverage These Talents

After working with hundreds of salespeople, I can honestly say the super majority, well over 90%, do not know their talents.  The one size fits all solution works against not with the talents of these individuals.

Yes I know salespeople are hungry to increase sales. However, when that hunger ignores these three buying axioms and one selling axiom, the goal to increase sales will not be achieved or it will be much harder to achieve.

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Are You Forgetting Sales Leadership Is Situational?

How many times have we read or heard about leadership being situational?  If any type of leadership is truly situational, it is sales leadership.

Leadership is first about leading yourself or self-leadership.  From your own leadership efforts you secure your desired results.

Peter Drucker said “Leadership is all about results.”

In sales, results do matter.  For without the ability to increase sales, those in sales would be quickly unemployed.

When top sales performers meet with new sales leads, the nuances of their sales conversation will adapt to the situation.  They understand people communicate differently.  In many instances, top salespeople know and leverage their knowledge of DISC to further the sales conversation and ultimately the relationship.

CLICK HERE to Schedule a call with Leanne to learn more about DISC and how it impacts your sales leadership and sales results.

Those new to sales or who have just returned from the “latest and greatest sales training” event in many instances wear blinders.  Their inexperience or recent learning conditioning has them so focused to follow a per-determined path they lose:

  • The relationship
  • Sales opportunity

Understanding how sales leadership is situational is incredibly important.  Knowing what to say and when to say what to say always returns to the situation.  Being present in the moment supports those strong leadership qualities from active listening to caring to respect.

Situational leadership happens from experience.  For those new to sales, securing a mentor or even a sales coach may support further sales leadership growth.

Additionally, those who understand situational leadership in sales as well as in business know the importance of leaving one’s ego at the door.  These leaders recognize each meeting (think situation) is potentially different because the other person is different from the last person they met.

Each person is unique and what he or she values is unique. 

If you want to increase sales, then start reflecting upon your own sales leadership. Find an accountability partner to review with you your recent sales meetings. And remember, your success is determined by your own willingness to recognize what you don’t know.

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The “Everyone Wants” Sales Mistake

Have you ever heard or made a similar statement “everyone wants” fill in the blank?  This statement is repeated in many sales presentations or just general sales conversations.  However using this statement may create you a sales mistake.

When blanket statement such as “everyone wants” or “everyone knows” are used, there often is a negative, emotional subconscious if not conscious reaction such as:

  • No, I don’t want
  • No, I am not like everyone else
  • No, I don’t know

With every sales lead or prospect, there is an opportunity in making a sales mistake because each of those new sales leads are unique individuals with unique experiences. In sales, one size does not fit all.

Recently I had a conversation with someone who took offense during a meeting when another person said “everyone wants quality.” This individual emotionally felt insulted because he did not want what the other person stated.

During our brief conversation, I restated what I had heard and asked him “If for the same dollars, your desire for safety excellence could be maintained while improving overall quality would you be agreeable?”  His response was “Yes.”

Read this sales coaching post about the importance of feelings in sales and marketing.

This sales mistake often happens during times of contention.  The person selling an idea, a solution attempts to secure agreement with “everyone wants.”  Unfortunately with people’s emotional receptors already subconsciously turned to the negative dial, this attempt at agreement fails miserably.

Possibly the reason for this sales mistake is much of the sales training truly looks to “asking proven questions” or “demonstrating proven sales techniques.”  Securing agreement is one of those proven sales techniques. In years gone by, this was called “mini-closes.” The caveat to the success of this sales technique resides in how the technique is employed.

Words do matter and many a sale mistake has been the direct result of selecting the wrong words.  This is why speaking less is far better than speaking more.

P.S. If you wish to discuss how sales coaching can increase your sales results in the next 2 months, schedule a FREE strategy coaching session by clicking here.

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