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Newsletter Archive: 2004
How Win/Loss Analysis Can Improve Your Sales Performance

Win/loss analysis, the process of differentiating why one sales effort wins and others fall short of the mark, has long been a basic tool in the competitive intelligence toolbox. Most companies conducting win/loss analysis make some changes in the way they go to market based on findings.

7 Ways To Stop Selling & Start Building Relationships

Sometimes we can all use a friendly reminder to keep us from backsliding into old ways of thinking about selling that lead us down the wrong path with potential clients.

Managing The Sales Negotiation Process

How many times have you heard: * "You've got to drop your price by 10% or we will have no choice but to go with your competition."

Assumptions - The Hidden Sales Killer

Assumptions can kill a sale. In my sales training workshops, I frequently discuss the importance of not making assumptions about a person before, during, or after the sales process.

How To Increase Sales With Automation Improvements

How popular is online shopping? And is there room for improvement? Let's check out some pros and cons of automated shopping and see.

Are You Selling Value?

There is more to selling than offering the lowest price. In fact, sometimes "value" has absolutely nothing to do with price. If you are not offering a total solution that meets the critical needs of your prospect, then your buyer will likely buy from someone who can. Value is an extremely part of the selling equation.

Eliminating Objections To Increase Sales

You want to increase the flow of sales revenue, but you are stymied by prospects' seemingly endless objections.

Is Your Sales Process Foolproof?

A lot of energy is expended within selling organizations as they try to identify, adopt, and administer a sales process that works for them.

The holy grail of selling is to find a foolproof method for creating a customer, the ultimate finished product of the perfect sales process. Prepare to be disappointed.

Why Saying No Can Make Your Sales Rate Soar

Yes, it's true. Saying "No" is a great way of getting people to want what you've got even more.

The problem is, most small businesses rarely say no to anyone, so they never get to see the power of this two- letter word in action. While it's always a risky strategy, saying "No" can be a really good way of making your business even more desirable.

Preparing Sales For The Future

Distributors no longer have a lock on information needed by customers to make purchasing and sourcing decisions, since manufacturers and online sources will increasingly make such information more readily available. As a result, the salesforce’s perceived value in educating customers about new products and in-use applications will be significantly eroded.

Transforming Objections Into Selling Points
You've been working with a prospect, moving closer and closer to a sale. Just before you clinch the deal, they decide to go with a competitor's product or service. They may say that your firm is too small, or you charge too much or they decided to work with a friend in the business after all, or all of the above. How do you keep this from happening again?
Focus On A Trade, Not A Discount
Smart buyers will always ask for a better price. Unfortunately, too many sales people and business owners automatically think that reducing their price is the most effective way to respond to this request.
How To Really Make Money With Datafeed Merchants
I am not going to describe what a product feed (or a datafeed) is. There is a lot of information out there about how to use one to build sites. Instead, I want to talk about how you can actually make more sales with datafeed sites.
Hewlett-Packard Customers Showing "Brand Love"
Allison Johnson is the Senior Vice President, Global Brand and Communications for Hewlett-Packard and she delivered a keynote address this morning on "The Changing Role of Interactive in Global Marketing."
Overheard On The Street - On A "Sell" Phone?
A Salesman, traveling on Amtrak, placed a cell phone call to his client to follow up on an opportunity.
7 Steps To Test Prices And Convert More Sales
Here's a really simple way... to customise your product offer from the headline to the prices in order to suit local tastes.
Five Things More Important To Buyers Than What You’re Selling : Part I
No matter what customers say they want, what they’re really looking for is "something special." They can’t quite describe it, but when they find it, they know.
New Science of Selling and Persuasion
Bill Brooks, one of the country’s most recognized sales and sales management consultants, has spent almost 30 years working with over 2,000 companies to improve their sales effectiveness - all the while quietly observing and studying what his most successful clients do on a day-to-day basis to dominate their market and essentially drive their competitors to their knees.
Losing The Big-One: Salvaging Lost Accounts
After careful consideration, we have chosen our vendor, and it’s not you."

Hard words to hear. That big deal, the account you’ve been courting for months, has fallen to someone else.
How To Eliminate Price Objections
Virtually every person in sales experiences price objections. Unfortunately, the majority of sales people take the wrong approach and try to box customers into a corner by asking questions such as:
Differentiate And Grow Rich: The Importance Of A Strong USP
"With 50 other companies selling the same products and services, why should I do business with you rather than one of your competitors?"

The number of competitors you face as an online merchant grows daily. If you can’t answer that one question, it’s only a matter of time before you go out of business.
Who's Driving Your Product?
A colleague of mine is in a difficult situation - or so he thinks! He and a partner have developed a CD-based learning aid to be used in tertiary education institutions. They both have inside knowledge of what students require, they are well qualified in their field, and they know how to produce the product. So what's the problem?
Selling B2B Services - Converting Warm Leads Into Eager Clients
One of the difficulties in selling a service is that potential clients (we'll call them "prospects" here) often don't know whether they should be using what you provide.

Your prospect has a problem, but they may not understand how your service can help them. And even if they've tried a similar service in the past, or used a competitor, they're still not sure how your service will compare to that experience. They are full of doubts.
Getting Past The Price
I've written previously about how to attract customers and how to manage the sales process. But one thorny issue keeps popping up for my clients… what should they do when a potential customer asks "How much will it cost?" as one of their opening lines.

This focus on price is often a clue to indicate the prospective client may lack knowledge about what you really do. After all, if you were to engage someone else to do your work, you'd want to know more about them than just the price. Sounds obvious doesn't it.
Maximize Selling Efficiency By Minimizing $PACE
Contact ALL the market niche customers once - Play the percentages. Do it in such a way they will want to talk to you.

This is the step where many companies are weak. However it is not easy. All those potential customers out there are stressed for time. They do not want to be badgered by another salesperson. Yet you want to get their attention and get them to act. How do you do that?
Client Demands That Are Tough Or Impossible To Meet
In spite of your best efforts to meet client expectations, requests, and demands, there are times when you can't deliver exactly what the client wants and/or exactly when he or she wants it. When you can't meet a client demand, meet a time line, or deliver in spite of your best efforts, how you handle the situation can make a tremendous difference in how the client feels about it.
Business Ethics: How The Sales Function Can Transmit Company Values
I recently got a “thank-you” call from a man who read my new e-book Buying Facilitation. “Boy,” he said, “this method sure helps me close more deals and make more money. Thanks!”

“Glad I could help. Is that all you’re looking for? To make more money?”
Lead Generation: What Is It Worth?
Sales has become an ideology with the following obvious facts denied (in service of the status quo):

1. the act of selling is a solution in search of a problem;

2. by its nature (product sale), sales counteracts/contradicts the ability to discover a buyer efficiently, thereby necessitating the spaghetti-on-the-wall syndrome;
Sales Call Reluctance
I recently read of an Award winning salesman who in 1951 was known as 'The King of Cold Calls'. The article analysed his approach and the key to his success was that to him cold calling was actually fun.

So, why don't we all see it that way ? The answer is what is known as Call Reluctance. Research indicates that this is an emotional hesitation experienced by people when selling - an anxiety that stops them taking action.
Save Your Breath: How To Sell In Trade Shows Without Pitching
You stand there, in front of your great presentation material, wearing just the right suit or logo shirt, handing out some gimmick with your company name on it, wearing just the right smile or look of professionalism. You might even have a fishbowl at the table - or some type of contest material - to collect business cards of passers by for later use in your sales process. But the worst part of doing a trade show is losing your voice.
Exercise Your Ears
How often have you heard it said "Salespeople don't listen?" What does it mean not to listen? When clients say salespeople don't listen, they usually don't mean that during the sales call salespeople zone out. Few salespeople do that. In fact, most salespeople do try to listen. Yet they are perceived as not listening. So for 2004 let's start by exercising our listening skills.
How To Effectively Cold Call Leads
As network marketers we do a major part of our business by calling leads. For a person just starting out this can be rather intimidating and too often a person doesn't know how to "open" up a call, gets a lot of rejection, and then decides this isn't for me.

Today I'd like to give you the opening that I have been using with good success. It's short, to the point, friendly, yet business like.
What Is A Proposal And Why Do You Need One?
Do you know anyone who regularly wins bids? Or can boast a balanced relationship between doing the hard work of producing proposals and regularly winning the business?

I’m always amazed at how much energy people put into responding to a Request For Proposal (RFP) in relation to the level of success – or non-success – they realize. And yet they continue to put time and resources into this relatively unproductive activity.
Facilitating Your Prospect's Discovery Process
Our job is to help our clients find their best answers. We work hard at understanding what they need, what will solve the problem. We study the problem and all of its ramifications, call a colleague or two to discuss it fully, and come up with a solution that we think will fix the problem. We understand it's our job to offer the support and information that will lead the customer to his/her best solution.
How To Profit From Networking
Sales are frequently developed through the relationships we have created with other people. Networking functions provide the opportunity to expand our contact list, particularly when we create and nurture quality relationships. It is not enough to visit a networking group, talk to dozens of people and gather as many business cards possible. However, every networking function has tremendous potential for new business leads. Follow these five strategies to make networking profitable:
Alternatives To Handling Responses To Marketing Programs In-House
You are up to your ears in responses from your marketing communications programs. You and your staff are overloaded, budgets are due and the major trade show in your industry is right around the corner. You can't seem to find the time to manage the inquiries or sales leads as well as you know you should. Is there an alternative to handling them in-house?
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