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Posts Tagged ‘consultative sales approach’

Sales Success – Namaste

Posted on: August 30th, 2018 by Monika No Comments

Free stock photo of person, woman, relaxation, girl

In Sales, only the numbers count. Sales Success is measured by closed business. In Yoga, the results show in peace of mind. Both practices require persistence and patience. What’s most important though is that Yoga and Sales lessons should be practiced on a daily basis, incorporated into our lives. For over a decade I have been practicing Yoga and it’s helped me stay balanced, as much as one can expect from a Dominant D-Behavioral Type (or Type A Personality) like myself. It’s been a process to focus on my breathing, taking time out of my busy schedule to stretch myself to the limit, but it’s paid off. I am certainly calmer and more focused than 10 years ago.

Take Yoga off the Mat!

One of my Yoga teacher’s mantra is: “What’s really important is that we take Yoga off the mat“.  At first I didn’t quite understand what she meant. But then, one day, I walked out of the Yoga studio onto the parking lot and one of my fellow Yoga practitioners almost drove into me. He was pulling out of his parking spot like a Formula One driver taking off from the pole position.

That’s when it clicked. Taking Yoga off the mat means that you practice Yoga and the principles every single day. That means that you should be more mindful, living in the moment, breathing, etc.

Take Sales Training Out of the Classroom

The same principles hold true when it comes to sales training. We need to take it out of the classroom. That’s why I am so passionate about our training model and process. Our Consultative Sales training program keeps the learners (= sales and service professionals) involved in the learning and real-life application process for 6 to 8 months. And I emphasize the importance of applying what they are learning.

It doesn’t matter how good sales training is, if it doesn’t impact with long lasting effects, it won’t make a discernible difference to a sales or service person’s performance.

But – and here comes the important part – the learner has to be willing to take the sales training out of the classroom. That means deliberately and strategically applying the principles of Consultative Selling every single day.

Persistence in Practicing Both Yoga & Sales

In Yoga, unless you practice on a regular basis you won’t see results. Calmness and being mindful is a result of regular practice and awareness. The same holds true for the sales environment. Practice, Application and Persistence are the best ingredients when it comes to achieving excellence. In sales it’s about performance, but we also need to be present and aware, otherwise we will not be good at listening to our prospects.

Sustainable change however will only happen if we take sales training out of the classroom to incorporate the lessons into our daily interactions. It’s important to learn about and improve on how to overcome objections, how to handle stalls, and to practice cold calling and prospecting techniques. More important however is application. Application is key to success.

 

Being a good student won’t necessarily result in revenue

I know many sales people who have read every single book that was ever written about sales. They follow thought leaders and diligently read and quote the newest articles. Some of them are top performers, but too many are just good “students”. And by that I mean, that they can theoretically talk about the concepts, but they can’t consistently and successfully apply them in real life.

We observe that in our sales training programs all the time. We ask participants to apply what they have learned. Their performance improvement is measured by their ability to transfer their knowledge to real live client interactions.

And the proof is in the pudding. The ultimate success shows in closed business. If sales training doesn’t result in long term, sustaining change, it’s not worth the investment.

Whether it’s practicing Yoga or doing Sales Training, we will only succeed when we are able to take our practices out of the learning environment and into our every day lives.

Namaste:)

Empower your CEO when it comes to sales

Posted on: April 11th, 2014 by Monika No Comments

Readers who have been following my blogs know that I am very cautious when it comes to C-Level involvement and sales, but that only pertains to day-to-day operations and not the conceptual involvement. Your sales process, your sales training or any other sales related areas will not be successful if the CEO feels that it’s not in line with her/his philosophy or thinking.

The most successful sales training programs we have experienced are the ones where the CEO spear-headed, promoted or at the very least approved and supported the program. Sales and sales training cannot be successful if the CEO is not on board.

1) Socialize your CEO with sales

In my experience, most CEOs are strong leaders and are passionate about their company.  That’s also a good reason why they are in the position they are in. Being strong leaders and passionate about what their company can do, many also think they are as good at sales as at leading an organization.  Though they may be quite skilled at promoting their business to investors, understanding Sales as a discipline is a very different cup of tea. We’ve found that the best way to get buy-in on your sales process is to invite your CEO to a meeting where you present the philosophy (consultative selling, customer-centric selling, etc.) and why you have chosen that approach, along with goals and outlines to support company objectives and goals.

2) Be prepared to answer questions

Preparation is everything and you need to be in a position where you can support your strategy (if necessary) with case studies (from previous experiences) or data that you have collected. Just to say that you believe in a consultative approach to selling without knowing why will probably not leave the best impression.

3) Be specific, or not – depending on your CEO’s personality

Graduates of our Consultative Sales Certification Program possess the knowledge and skills to identify personality styles, understand how people digest information and most importantly, how to adjust to most effectively communicate. If your CEO is a strong “D” or Director type, someone very results-oriented, a quick decision-maker, you’ll want to provide top level information, cut to the chase and show how the bottom line will be affected.

If your CEO however is more of a “C” or Cautious and analytical, you need to go into more detail, using data to support your claim as to why you want to do things the way you present them.

4) Build trust

By providing information to your CEO, helping her/him understand the sales process you are a step ahead and more in control. If your CEO has doubts about your sales process, you can talk about it, make adjustments and so you get her/his buy-in. This will help you build trust and allocate budgets and you and your team will share responsibility with your CEO for the outcomes.

5) Be honest

If your sales cycle is lengthy, make sure your CEO fully understands why. Now is your time to be honest and straightforward. It helps you to build rapport, gain trust and to manage expectations. Don’t paint a rosy picture if there are serious obstacles you are facing. If you have built a collaborative environment and your CEO understands the obstacles and the sales process, you will be more successful working towards your goals together.

Oval Callout: I want it, and I want it now!

In Sales: There’s Nothing to Fear, but Fear Itself!

Posted on: October 31st, 2013 by Monika No Comments

I sit in on many sales meetings with and for my clients and the focus is usually on numbers, prospects to pursue, accomplishments, etc. And while this is important, my belief is that it would be of additional help to management and sales teams if there were discussions about the “softer” areas of the sales process.

People buy from people and sometimes we don’t make numbers because there are deep underlying issues simmering. It’s hard to admit it, but we all have been afraid at times. Afraid to buy or afraid to sell. There is no shame in it. The sooner we understand the psychology of a process, the faster we will be able to face those feelings and to adjust our behavior. To borrow one of FDR’s most quoted statements that will forever hold true, ”There’s nothing to fear, but fear itself.”

If you don’t overcome buyer fears, you won’t succeed.

We need to understand and acknowledge a buyer’s fears in order to help our clients and prospects overcome that feeling and move forward. The most common fears are:

Fear of Paying Too Much – It’s vital to understand how important a buyer’s perception is and how it can affect your success.  Clients and prospects alike want to know that they have been able to get close to your bottom line.

Fear of Change – The fear of change is a very real fear for many buyers.  When someone is comfortable with the product or service they have been using for years, making a change to a new product or service is threatening to most people.

Fear of What Others Will Say or Making a Mistake – I dare to say that almost all of us wish to avoid ridicule.  Most clients and prospects are going to make sure that if they move to a new product or service, there won’t be a negative focus on their decision by their peers or their boss.

What can you do to help your prospects and customers overcome Buyer Fears?

  • Fear of Paying Too Much
    • Obviously, no one wants to pay too much for a product or service. It’s vital to understand how important a buyer’s perception is and how it can affect your success. But what does it really mean to pay too much? Clients and prospects alike want to know that they have been able to get close to your bottom line.
    • So, how do you deal with this?  How you talk about price (or their overall investment) and how you negotiate is very important. When speaking about their investment, stress the overall value that they will receive instead of the benefits or features.
    • In negotiating, make sure that the buyer will give something in return for each concession that you make. You definitely want to maintain your price integrity. This also supports your goal of the buyer realizing you don’t have a lot of leeway to radically reduce pricing.
    • Learn with our Consultative Sales Certified Training Program how to truly stand out as a top negotiator with our e-Learning Module: Negotiating For Impact
  • Fear of Change
    • The fear of change is a very real fear for many buyers.  When someone is comfortable with the product or service they have been using for years, making a change to a new product or service is threatening to most people. Change is harder for some than others.
    • So, how would you be able to deal with this? Use persuasion strategies aimed at calming fears of change. Make use of strategies to gain commitments and close the sale that match your customer’s or prospect’s buying psychology.
    • Some buyers see value in retaining a major portion of what works well and only changing minor areas that call for improvement.
    • Others prefer to see major change and improvement but wish to keep some things that do work well
  • Fear of What Others Will Say or Making a Mistake
    • I dare to say that almost all of us wish to avoid ridicule.  Most clients and prospects are going to make sure that if they move to a new product or service, there won’t be a negative focus on their decision by their peers or their boss.
    • So, how can you deal with this? Stress how your product or service has helped other similar companies enhance and/or improve their products or services. Suggest a final meeting with your contact’s associates or supervisors to reassure that everyone is on board with the change.

Courage in a bottle – Are you brave?

Posted on: October 15th, 2013 by Monika No Comments

Courage in a bottle?

Some words of wisdom from the Wizard of Oz. Since lions are supposed to be “The Kings of Beasts,” the Cowardly Lion believes that his fear makes him inadequate. He does not understand that courage means acting in the face of fear, which he does frequently. Only during the aftereffects of the Wizard’s gift, when he is under the influence of an unknown liquid substance that the Wizard orders him to drink (perhaps gin) is he not filled with fear. He argues that the courage from the Wizard is only temporary, although he continues to do brave deeds while openly and embarrassedly fearful.

Recently, I had a delightful conversation with one of my female clients who is also one of the smart women I am privileged to have in my professional circle. We were talking about sales (what else?) and prospects being hesitant to buy when she pointed out that the lack of courage is often the reason why people don’t buy. She said that if she had a wish, she would send a bottle of courage along with her business proposals. We then  continued to chat about courage in general, The Wizard of Oz and my client then suggested that I write a blog about it, so here it is.

Let’s look at the Wikipedia definition of Courage

Courage is the ability and willingness to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation.

Pretty straightforward and clear, but what lies underneath?

People who are not courageous are usually afraid. Afraid of the consequences of their actions (not understanding that not taking action also has consequences), afraid of trying something new, afraid of their own courage.

How much courage does it take to choose a new product/service?

My client who is the CMO of a newly established brand with a very compelling concept is trying to break into the marketplace and their offering is clearly new, innovative and of enormous value to consumer brands who in turn want to introduce their products. The approach is affordable, fun and with a clear benefit to CPG companies and the end consumer. So, why doesn’t the approach fly off the shelve? Because most people don’t have the courage to introduce a new concept and being a first adopter. It takes a lot of guts to take the first step. It’s a lot easier to follow but also more predictable and boring with few chances of standing out from the crowd and becoming a true leader.

There is a really good saying that I quote a lot and that is “Nobody ever gets fired for hiring IBM“. IBM is a well established company with huge brand recognition. Let’s just say (for the sake of the argument) that there are companies out there who offer the same solution as IBM but even better and cheaper, it would still be hard to sell. I know that, because some of my clients have tried.

Why is it easier to buy from a known brand?

There is no risk involved. Even if the solution turns out to have some areas of improvement, it’s still a safe bet and whoever made the decision to buy will hardly be questioned. But imagine, you are buying from a newly established company and there is problems. That choice might get a decision maker in trouble if things don’t turn out the way they were presented.

The Courage potion

On the other hand, choosing a new company not only helps diversity but also innovation. When my client said that she would like to bottle up a bit of courage in a bottle and send it to her prospects, just so they take the leap of faith and explore her new offering she really meant it. Sometimes it’s wise to stay with the “devil you know” but it’s also important to choose carefully and give new kids on the block a fair chance. If we live our life or do business, always trying to be on the safe side we will not be able to grow or innovate. The most courageous people are the ones who changed our thinking and the way we live. Nobody would have thought 30 years ago that a handheld device will help us to navigate through most situations, from getting driving directions to finding a good restaurant. I remember the times when people were afraid of computers and now grandmothers are on Facebook (for better or worse).   

Courage also helps sales people

In sales we often lack courage as well because of the fear of being rejected and not wanting to lose the sale. Many times sales people accommodate rather than push back. They oversell because they don’t want to lose the sale, forgetting that over-promising will have long-term effects.

Courage is essential when doing business in a successful way. Most successful people had to overcome ridicule and criticism and they had to muster up an enormous amount of courage to prevail. There is no success without failure and without courage we just stay mediocre.

Women in Sales – Are We Equals?

Posted on: April 17th, 2013 by Monika No Comments

Last week, on the train back from a business meeting in New York City, I started reading Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In”.  I honestly didn’t expect it to be a page turner but it turned out to be just that.  Sheryl has a writing style that I as a professional woman can easily relate to. Her stories are insightful and I was stunned how many light bulbs went off in my head when she was pointing out over and over that we “women in business” haven’t quite arrived.

Some examples that she featured were just simply eye opening and at some point I put the book down to reflect on my personal experience as a woman with many years in the business world.  While I could relate to most of the examples that she was pinpointing, I also felt that my personal journey, while tough at times, never left me feeling that I was inferior to my male colleagues or that I was treated differently.

After some soul searching I asked myself the question whether it had something to do with the fact that I was in sales.  Maybe, Sales is an equalizer, I thought.

Is the Business of Sales an Equalizer?

Most business practices cannot be measured in numbers only. In sales, that’s all that matters. If you put numbers on the book and you sell, nobody (sadly) cares how you do it and you are simply measured by your accomplishments.  It’s your performance that counts.

When I was employed as a sales professional, I was usually the only girl on the team. While my male colleagues were a bit suspicious and cautious at first, they had no choice than to accept me once I started producing.  They had to treat me with respect, because my managers were pleased with the results that I brought to the table and the ultimate judge is not your sales manager, but your prospects turned to clients.  If you cannot convert sales it doesn’t matter whether you sales manager likes you are not.  As a matter of fact, it doesn’t matter if anybody internally takes a liking to you personally or not as long as you keep closing business. It’s really all about performance!

It was at that point where my light bulb went off.  Sales is one of the few disciplines were women (when successful) are equal to their male counterparts.  In sales we are part of the group, we have a seat at the table, we don’t choose a chair in the back (just like Sheryl notes in her book).  Our voices are heard when we bring results.

Removed from the Politics?

I also remembered that it relieved me from having to play the political game.  Many years ago I was traveling to San Francisco to attend a sales meeting and the first night after dinner the team ended up at the hotel bar for a nightcap.  At first we were drinking wine and beer but then one of the junior sales people who wanted to impress our sales manager suggested to do shots.  One of my fellow team members, who happened to be a guy and I just looked at each other and we had a common understanding of what we will do next. Tim, a manly looking guy (Dwayne Johnson alias The Rock lookalike, anybody?) who is sensible, sensitive and also a good listener (which of course made him an excellent sales person) and I excused ourselves and went upstairs to our respective rooms. I myself decided to watch some mindless television show and Tim probably checked in with his wife who was at home with their small children. The looks we got indicated that people thought we might have had something going on because we left at the same time. But Tim and I didn’t care. We didn’t have to play the socializing corporate game. We didn’t need to impress our sales manager because we were both top performers.

The Equality Gap

Needless to say that women show results in every industry and every profession, albeit though, there are ways to put us down by questioning our style (women who are driven are often viewed as aggressive, but men aren’t?), or our approach (women who are competitive are often viewed as you know what, but for guys that’s what’s expected?).  Are our results measured with the same parameters as men’s results? In sales, my experience has been that none of that seems to matter as much as in other professions.

So, in closing, I am asking all my fellow sales women out there.  Do you also feel Sales is equalizer or has been an equalizer for you?

Trusted Consultant or Product Guru? Which Are You?

Posted on: February 21st, 2013 by Monika No Comments

When salespeople with traditional training (or none at all) start struggling, I have witnessed far too often that they tend to become overeager, focused even more so on the features and benefits of their service offering/product (or what I like to call the “bells and whistles”) rather than focusing on building relationships with their prospects and actually discovering what their prospects’ needs really are. This approach is encouraged and fostered by far too many sales leaders who often still believe that their customers need to be convinced and “sold to” by the “Product Guru”. Sound familiar?

Aside from the fact that nobody wants to be sold to, we also need to understand that in today’s business environment every piece of information can be googled or researched using all the technology available. We can use apps to find out what song is currently playing or to settle disagreements of any sort, and to look up almost endless amounts of information.
It’s no different in a business environment. Before salespeople step into a meeting, your prospect has the ability to research your company, your service offering, your competition and many other aspects they feel important in making a decision.

“Flirting with the Uninterested”?

My dear friend and former client, Maria Ferrante-Schepis (one of the most innovative and interesting women I have the pleasure to be acquainted with, and an expert in the financial services industry) recently launched her book “Flirting with the Uninterested”.

Here’s a link to the book: http://flirtingwiththeuninterested.com

A must read for people in the insurance field, but also really intriguing for business people in general. Maria was a heavyweight in the insurance industry, her experience includes positions as VP of Marketing at Prudential and CMO at The Guardian. Today, Maria works for a former client of mine, an Agency of Innovation based in Chicago. Maddock-Douglas helps their clients bring industry-changing products, services and business models from mind to market.

And here’s is a quote from her book that I personally like a lot:

  • Consumers have FAR less time for a pitch but plenty of time to surf the Web for what they are interested in.
  • Consumers must see/perceive some value in what you have to offer BEFORE they will even listen to you. They are way too busy to listen to a cold call.

Good news for Salespeople!
Ms. Ferrante-Schepis then goes on to point out that salespeople are used as a validation.

This should be really good news to salespeople who truly understand the science & art of selling, those of you who truly listen to your prospects, understand who your prospects are and build rapport, and, lastly be able to demonstrate value for your clients.

In essence, it’s the human connection is what weighs in the balance. Building relationships with your prospects, finding out who they are, what they really need and want, building trust and creating a solution that is of value to them. And if you really dig deep, you might be able to help your client in ways they did not even think possible. You can become a trusted adviser, your client’s consultant, a thought leader who will lend an ear to your prospect in truly trying to understand their needs, help them grow their business, secure their future and be of real value to their clients. That’s the World of Consultative Selling!

So, Life Insurance is Not Just Life Insurance!

Let’s take life insurance, for example. Is it solely an insurance to help the people you leave behind have a secure life? Everybody has a life and nobody would want their family to be without assets once they are gone. Of course, that’s a simplistic way of looking at it, but if it was that simplistic nobody with available funds would go without it, right?
Life insurance, just like many other product/service offerings will soon become a commodity if salespeople don’t learn to not only build rapport with their prospects but, most importantly, learn to create value in their prospects’ eyes. Why? Because today, you can purchase most anything, including life insurance on an ever-widening range of websites.

And if salespeople don’t provide more value than a computer screen than why would people choose to work with them? Because in the end, most people still prefer to buy from other people BUT only if they believe their needs are truly understood and they’re the best solution for them.

The Trusted Consultant

There really is no need to push features or point out competitive advantages unless it represents something of value to your prospect. In order to be competitive and ahead of the curve, salespeople will need to understand that selling doesn’t mean that you need to convince somebody of something that they don’t like or need.

As a sales professional, you have the unique opportunity to become a trusted adviser and to guide your prospect through a decision making process that makes sense for them.

Whether you sell or logistics solutions, life insurance, cars, heavy equipment or high-tech services this philosophy holds true. Becoming a thought leader, being an adviser, a consultant, building trust and creating value are key elements to a successful sales career in this new, information driven business environment.

… and do you think sales people should be pushy?

Posted on: October 4th, 2012 by Monika No Comments

For those of you who have been following my blog for some time, you’ve probably noticed that I often shine a critical light on sales professionals because I unfortunately receive a number of complaints from friends, colleagues and business partners about their encounters with salespersons. But why do I blog about that? Because I am on a mission to elevate the reputation of sales and its practitioners. Sales people are often the first introduction to a company and wise leaders choose them carefully. Smart companies also support their sales staff with training and guidance and they provide an environment where sales professionals feel comfortable with a consultative sales approach.

Spotlight
Spotlight on Doug Kushla
Well, today, I want to put somebody in the spotlight who left a positive impression on one of my business associates. A sales person who truly embraces solution-selling. His name is Doug Kushla and he is a Senior Sales Manager at Travelzoo.

According to their website Travelzoo (NASDAQ: TZOO) is, and I quote, “the most trusted publisher of travel, entertainment and local deals. Our team researches, evaluates and tests thousands of deals to find those with true value. We recommend only deals whose accuracy and availability we can confirm. With over 25 million subscribers, we are the largest publisher of deals on the Internet.”

Can They Walk the Walk?
Well, that’s quite a bold statement, but apparently they not only Walk the Walk, they also Talk the Talk as my friend Jane Coloccia experienced. Jane is the president of JC Communications LLC, (www.jccommunicationsllc.com) an award-winning marketing communications consultancy and is one of the people who shares sales stories with me. Many of them poor examples of sales people just trying to convince rather than listening to her needs. Jane is a very accomplished woman and is a type A personality with no tolerance for BS. She provides outstanding work and expects the same from people around her. Her tolerance for sales pitches is low. She just can’t understand why sales people think they need to be pushy. Neither can I, quite frankly.

 

Even Jane was pleasantly surprised

A couple of weeks ago, Jane sent me an e-mail with the following content:

Just had to tell you….you know how I “LOVE” salespeople, but I’ve had to talk to a bunch lately because I am putting together a marketing plan for a potential client that involves advertising, … I just got off the phone with a guy from Travelzoo who was truly amazing. I guess it is the consultative sales model — he asked about what I was trying to accomplish, I told him which of their products I was interested in, and he walked me through how it worked from start to finish…. When I asked him questions he gave me honest answers — even if it didn’t shed the most positive light on results, etc. Wow it was like a breath of fresh air in terms of dealing with a salesperson. He was charming, informative, funny, and incredibly helpful. And it’s sad that he really stood out from the crowd. Then again, it wasn’t a cold call — I called the company ….. But (it was) really a very positive educational experience. He never hard sold me — just left it for my decision…

Curious?

Well, I was intrigued. It’s so easy to be critical, but we should really take the time to acknowledge good service, whether it’s during the sales process or in customer service. So Jane’s e-mail triggered an idea to write a column in which I ask sales people and managers about “their world”. Hopefully, this will provide some fun and interesting insights, stories for us to learn from but also some food for thought.

So, let’s meet Doug Kushla
He’s been in sales since 2003. Here are some of the questions I asked and his responses.

Tell us a little bit about your sales world. What do you sell, who are your audiences?

“I work for Travelzoo and my vertical is the non hotel business. Travelzoo is a travel brand that speaks to travel audiences. I came from Budget Travel Magazine, so my background is in publishing. On a day to day basis, I talk to the “Janes” of the world. She was pitching a client for South American content. Travelzoo has a sales rep and a producer who talk to clients about their goals. This helps because we do the research first and it really works for the client. Really truly a solution sale. It’s a great way to vet our clients to we can determine if it really is a fit.”

What is your favorite thing about being in sales?

“It’s the fact that I can get out of the office and visit with clients. I just wouldn’t want to be at a desk all day.”

What do you dislike the most about sales?

(Laughing) “The quarterly crunch. The constant question whether I will make my commission.”

As you know, sales is very much about overcoming objections. Do you remember a time where you were successful in overcoming an obstacle?

“Yes. Our theme is to work with the client to determine their campaign’s objective before we sign the paperwork. Sometimes we can’t predict the future. Sometimes clients understand that, but sometimes they don’t. We had a client who didn’t perform that well. The client was disappointed in the campaign outcome that we designed. The client was complaining because there weren’t a lot of leads, and there were no sales. Here’s the thing. Our clients need to convert the leads into bookings, and that part is out of my control. This particular client claimed that they didn’t receive 200 leads, but only 20. A claim that I couldn’t disprove, but my attempt was to shift the conversation and to make the client think about conversion of leads, rather than number of leads. So I suggested that we work with the number 20, but let’s focus on the bookings. My question to the client was why they didn’t have any bookings. When we designed the campaign, the client had assured me that they usually convert 35% of the leads into bookings. So, I was trying to shift the spotlight so the client would understand that this is a partnership and while we can provide leads, we cannot guarantee bookings because we don’t have control over the conversion. My gentle suggestion was that maybe the problem might be lying somewhere else. That maybe, and just maybe there is an operational issue that causes no bookings in spite of leads. Here is the thing, all of our leads are price point driven. We qualify a consumer every step of the way. By the time the consumer gets to the client we have a very qualified lead on our hands. So we provide quality leads, but the conversion is up to them.”

 If you could share one sentence with your management, what would it be?  “Most critical one that I will write to my management about today is that we need to sell more products.”

Do you think that sales people should be pushy? If no, why not?

“Absolutely not. I started at Starcom Worldwide, an agency in Chicago, so I have a different perspective because I was on the other side of the spectrum. It’s the used car sales feeling, nobody wants to go through that experience. There needs to be a dialogue. I just feel that sales people being pushy happens when management pushes too much. While you want to be in control of a meeting or call, that doesn’t mean you should be pushy.”

Why do you think sales people have a bad reputation at times ?

“It really does boil down to sales people not knowing the other side of sales, people who have always been in sales and hardly were on the receiving end of sales probably don’t know what it feels like. So many sales reps are not reading their clients right, or are not understanding projections. So many sales people overpromise to management because they don’t know the sales cycle so they think the probability of closing is higher than it actually is. This then creates a skewed pipeline and the pressure is on.”
What is the one lesson you learned during your sales career?

“Manage your management, but also manage yourself well. Do I understand my own pipeline? Am I setting myself up for failure? Managing expectations is key to sales.

Consultative Selling in a Nutshell

In closing, I just want to say that Doug touched on all the areas that I usually address. He knows that he has to manage expectations. Not only with the prospect but also with his management.

He is personable, easy to talk to, he listens, asks question and he understands that not every promising prospect will turn into closed business. In the case of my friend, Jane, he won’t be able to close a sale as her client decided to choose a different route. But to Doug it doesn’t matter, because he understands that sometimes it’s just not a fit, just as he mentioned in the interview. Rather than trying to pursue, where there is nothing to purse he did what all good sales people should do. He left a good impression and helped elevate the reputation of sales and its practitioners.

DISCLAIMER

Consultative Sales Academy, MD Business Solutions, LLC, & Monika D’Agostino are not affiliated with, nor endorse Travelzoo. The Travelzoo logo is property of Travelzoo, Inc, which holds all copyrights and trademark rights.