Being an effective sales professional means constant motivation, learning, and support. Fortunately, we have scoured the internet to find some of the most provocative, research-based, and hands-on help to energize your sales week. From listening skills to learning how to make your prospects laugh, today’s round-up has the perfect blend of fun, facts, and figures to inspire you and your team all week long.
Entrepreneur Mike Brooks shares his experience as an inside sales rep trainer, highlighting the top skill of a good salesperson: the ability to listen well. Specifically, he discussed the importance of hitting your internal “mute button” when you ask a question or your prospect begins to speak. He also suggests of the simple statement, “Oh?” to get people talking. Finally, he encourages the use of open-ended questions to allow your potential prospect to explain their concern so that you can overcome or adapt your sales pitch to it.
This article is perfect for sales professionals who are in need of some concrete advice to help them close more deals. In this article, author Craig Simpson suggests focusing a sales pitch on benefits to the individual rather than product features. In addition to making your product “useful,” he emphasizes the need to minimize any risks the potential client has about your product. Finally, he encourages the use of testimonials, as well as A/B testing your discount pitch for dollar amount ($50 off) or percentage (15% off).
Heather Baldwin explores the five-point process shared in Ford Harding’s book, Rain Making, of “teeing up” your potential client in the first five minutes of a sales meeting. Baldwin explains the importance of establishing a personal link, setting the agenda, a positioning statement, stage-setting anecdotes, and asking the “big question.” The important through-theme is making sure your client knows that you are a friend who already helps clients like him or her, and that you have a mission to accomplish. This is a great article to read if you’re trying to improve your customer management, particularly those that have been on your prospect list longer than they need to be.
This article by marketing guru Mimi Miles is perfect for sales managers who are looking for a more organized way of dealing with leads and moving them down the sales funnel. Miles makes a case that small businesses should be managing their leads and marketing information in a methodical way so that the best leads can be cultivated and the whole team can feel confident in who they’re selling to. She shares great ideas such as implementing a lead scoring system, creating a lead turnover contract, and utilizing relationship management software solutions that incorporate a lead rejection option.
- To Sell Better, Make ‘Em Laugh (Sales & Marketing Management)
Writer Bill Rosenthal begins, “When a salesperson and customer laugh together, it builds trust and empathy and helps remove the customer’s body armor.” He then goes on to give some of the best advice about laughter in sales that you will ever hear. Not only does he explain why humor works to bond salesperson and prospect, but he explains what is too much, what is too mean, and when it’s time to put away the jokes. This is a perfect article to help reevaluate if you are using humor appropriately in your sales presentations.
In this article, Rachel Clapp Miller explains why sales professionals should be investing time into qualifying prospects. Specifically, she talks about how qualification can save time for both the buyer and the seller by defining the prospect’s needs up front and gathering data for better executive buy-in. In addition, she explains that qualifying customers means better leads and more time spent on money-making accounts. She offers a good qualification criteria as well, which takes into account the importance of good questioning tactics and other customer relationship management (CRM) qualification tools.
What Do You Think?
With so many excellent sales resources, it’s always hard to pick our favorites. If you’d like to read more great articles on how to dominate your industry, check out 4 Reasons Why No One Cares What You Sell. And, if you know articles that we should have included, please share your thoughts and links below. We love to know what is motivating you to be your best sales professional!