Selling Skills: How Much Time Do You Spend Actually Listening?

March 11, 2013

In the quest to better their selling skills, some sales professionals might resort to all sorts of gadgetry; from smart phones and tablets, to special apps supposedly designed to help them close more sales. Too many of them seek out the latest “surefire” gizmo while neglecting to use one of the most powerful pieces of equipment in any salesperson’s arsenal: his own set of ears.... read more

Developing a Killer Selling Strategy and Bringing In New, Quality Prospects

March 7, 2013

Although the value of formal sales training is known to most organizations, managers can often observe a lack of follow through after attendees come home from those pricey seminars. This doesn’t mean that they didn’t learn anything — it could simply indicate that these newly-trained salespeople “know the notes but cannot play the tune.”... read more

10 Reasons Your Employees Need Sales Consulting

March 5, 2013

At Asher Strategies, sales force consulting is something we are constantly evolving and improving on in order to help our clients make more money. Sales is the primary business driver in any organization, regardless of the industry, product, or service it deals in, and we feel strongly that sales consulting should be adopted by every enterprise seeking to “win” in business.... read more

Deciding What Sales Course is Right For You

March 1, 2013

Regular readers of this blog know that we are big on sales training courses, particularly ones that teach a consultative selling approach. While we can be said to be biased in recommending that every salesperson receive formal training (since we provide training courses), there is also a genuine desire to raise the status and competence levels of sales professionals. It is good for them personally, not to mention the companies they work for and the overall economy.... read more

How a Trusted Advisor Will Boost Your Corporate Sales

February 25, 2013

Corporate sales training has seen a shift towards the consultative approach in the past 30 years, but there is still a long way to go. It seems the whole concept of “trusted advisor” is not fully understood in corporate business sales, which leads to the failure to close and a lack of confidence in this sales philosophy.... read more

5 Sales Techniques To Use When You’re Out To Lunch

February 19, 2013

Taking a prospect out to lunch is one of the classic sales techniques which seems to have fallen by the wayside in many sales organizations, perhaps seen as too costly or simply impractical due to the time involved. But how much does a lost sale truly cost in terms of revenue and personal income? And how much time can be gained for both the salesperson and the prospect by using a focused, relationship-building lunch to provide the right solution to a business plan?... read more

How to Increase Sales in 2013

February 8, 2013

In most business markets, we are in a culture of rapidly changing, buying and selling rules. 2013 will be a banner year for changing trends and your sales teams will have to adapt rapidly. This post looks at 4 Major Sales Trends for 2013 and Sales Process Improvements you can implement to increase your company’s sales this year.... read more

Training for Best-Practices in Sales

January 29, 2013

Businesses are built on rigorous systems, information and processes.  It is a waste of time, energy and money to re-invent the wheel and to operate on assumptions.... read more

Effective Role Playing in Sales Training

September 25, 2012

Top salespeople approach their careers in a similar fashion as professional athletes. They practice, drill and rehearse all of their skills so that they can execute them without even thinking about it, and do not ignore any area of the sales process. It is useless for a salesperson to make a great presentation if she does not know how to close. And closing and getting the money will not lead to referrals unless proper account management is performed.... read more

What to do When Your Product is More Expensive than the Competition

September 20, 2012

An area where consultative selling excels when compared with impersonal, transactional sales is in handling objections. As the consultative selling process establishes a relationship and seeks to build trust before asking for the business, salespeople using this approach are more likely to successfully overcome common stalls and fear in prospects than those trying to “hard sell” someone into making a decision.... read more

Avoiding Buyer’s Remorse

September 18, 2012

Professional Sales coaching teaches a lot of valuable skills which enable a salesperson to take a prospective buyer from unfamiliarity with a product or service all the way to a successful close. The major skills in a salesperson’s repertoire include qualification, presentation, handling objections and closing, but there is another skill which should be taught as part of the sales coaching process — it’s called avoiding buyer’s remorse.... read more

The Importance of Silence During a Close

September 13, 2012

If you have been selling for many years, the following will probably be old hat to you. However, if you have recently joined the sales profession, or you are a veteran who needs to improve his closing percentage, then the following will be one of the most important sales closing techniques you will ever learn. It is so important, in fact, that any corporate sales training program that does not mention it is probably not a very good program at all.... read more

Reasons to Walk Away From a Sale

September 11, 2012

Professional sales training emphasizes that salespeople should have a high degree of “stick-to-it-ness,” meaning that getting hit with objections or flat-out rejection should not dissuade them from continuing to try to make the sale. In fact, they are taught that objections are actually milestones along the route to getting the final “yes,” as they show the prospect is interested and provide something which the salesperson can use to build more rapport and reduce apprehension.... read more

How to Find Competent Sales People

September 6, 2012

A significant amount of time, effort and money is wasted annually by sales organizations in recruiting, sales coaching, and eventually losing individuals that, while seemingly good candidates at first, never really had the “right stuff” to achieve lasting sales success with their companies. While some of this has to do with a mismatch in culture, as in the case where a type-A personality joins a lower-key sales team, the majority derives from a simple lack of sales competence on the part of new hires.... read more

How to Win in Sales Using Effective E-Mail Techniques

September 4, 2012

Sales and marketing training specialists these days tend to focus on content creation and social media as the most effective ways to build a brand and make yourself known to the world. While the stats on the number of “engaged visitors” gained by many businesses through content marketing and social networking are impressive, especially when compared with traditional outbound media such as TV and radio spots, the fact is that email marketing is still the clear winner for many businesses when it comes to Internet marketing.... read more

The Four Major Growth Processes Every Business Needs to Succeed

August 30, 2012

The media often depicts businesses as being overnight successes, similar to the way certain celebrities and professional athletes are glorified when they finally break through with a runaway hit or other major achievement. In reality though, there are usually years of blood, sweat and tears poured into each one of those successes, which often goes unremarked upon and therefore paints a false picture of what it takes to really “make it.”... read more

Gatekeeper: Friend or Foe — It’s Up to You

August 28, 2012

A  company’s sales process management needs to address all steps in the sales cycle, including those which occur well before the appointment, in order to qualify its sales process as a thorough system. Handling gatekeepers is one of these steps — an art form that is not stressed enough. Gatekeepers are defined as the assistants, employees, family and associates of a decision maker which control access to said decision maker.... read more

Overcoming the Dreaded “Price” Objection in Sales

August 23, 2012

Of all the objections that salespeople are hit with, the one that seemingly causes the most trouble relates to the price of their offerings. To inexperienced sales staff, phrases such as, “it costs too much” or “we can get it cheaper elsewhere” seem to be solvable only through price reductions, which take a chunk out of both a salesperson’s commission as well as his company’s revenue. Salespeople that compete solely on price have to take shortcuts somewhere to remain profitable, which can lead to dissatisfied customers.... read more

The Five Characteristics of Super Salespeople – Is Natural Talent a Myth?

August 21, 2012

The cost of hiring the wrong salesperson can be substantial, even for companies that do not pay a base or draw against commissions. Once advertising, trade shows, hiring bonuses, training expenses and lost revenue opportunities are tallied, the price tag for each failed salesperson can reach many thousands of dollars, even potentially reaching six figures for B2B salespeople selling complex, high-priced solutions.... read more

“Prove it!” – Smart Strategies for Product Demonstrations

August 16, 2012

After a salesperson gets their foot in the door and moves past the qualification stage, she earns her keep depending largely on what she does during the next stage: presentation. It can be said that here is where true salesmanship most shines, as the salesperson must communicate benefits, features and competitive advantages while holding the interest of the buyer and making a compelling case for the sale.... read more

Understanding the Four Personality Types

August 13, 2012

Once salespeople have been trained in the basics of a company’s formal sales process and product offerings, it might be tempting to simply let them out in the field and let them sink or swim. This, however, leads to tremendous waste due to the needless turnover of employees that might have turned into top producers with some continuing education in sales.... read more

Overcoming the Dreaded “Price” Objection in Sales

August 9, 2012

Of all the objections that salespeople are hit with, the one that seemingly causes the most trouble relates to the price of their offerings. To inexperienced sales staff, phrases such as, “it costs too much” or “we can get it cheaper elsewhere” seem to be solvable only through price reductions, which take a chunk out of both a salesperson’s commission as well as his company’s revenue. Salespeople that compete solely on price have to take shortcuts somewhere to remain profitable, which can lead to dissatisfied customers.... read more

The Art of Steering the Prospect to the Close by Being a Trusted Advisor

August 6, 2012

Salespeople acting as “trusted advisors” might be frowned upon by some corporate sales training professionals, misconstruing the term to mean taking a roundabout, feeble approach to selling. This is erroneous — the whole point of advising the client is to ensure they succeed in their endeavors by making the right purchasing decisions. If a particular company’s product or service truly provides the best solution, then obviously that is what the buyer should happily get involved with, and it is the salesperson’s job to help lead them to this decision.... read more

The Five Deadly Habits that Kill Sales

July 31, 2012

Sales coaching is a fluid, dynamic field that needs to be responsive to both changing technology and the mercurial tastes and sophistication of buyers. Despite the constant refinement of techniques necessary to be successful, there are several basic truths in sales that have always held true, and will always hold true, no matter what is being sold or to whom. Some of these truths include what not to do if one wants to make a living in sales.... read more

How to Recover from a Lost Sale Using the Consultative Sales Process

July 26, 2012

In the sales profession, it is inevitable that even the most promising transactions fall through despite the best efforts of the salesperson. One of the things that separate the top professionals from the lesser ones is how they deal with these failed closes. One can become severely dejected after losing out on a potentially huge commission, or leverage the lost sale as a learning and business-building experience.... read more

The Five Characteristics of Super Salespeople – Is Natural Talent a Myth?

July 24, 2012

The cost of hiring the wrong salesperson can be substantial, even for companies that do not pay a base or draw against commissions. Once advertising, trade shows, hiring bonuses, training expenses and lost revenue opportunities are tallied, the price tag for each failed salesperson can reach many thousands of dollars, even potentially reaching six figures for B2B salespeople selling complex, high-priced solutions.... read more

Sales Training Skills: Ghosting Discriminators – Not Spooky, Just Effective

July 20, 2012

Salespeople are in the fortunate position of being in an occupation where their own wits and determination determine their pay amount, as opposed to non-commissioned workers that are at the mercy of unchanging hourly or weekly rates. Maintaining this freedom, however, requires continuously updating their knowledge and skills as part of the sales process management cycle. New methods to improve basic skills like presenting, handling objections, and distinguishing themselves from the competition are therefore valuable to all salespeople, regardless of how long they have been selling.... read more

How to Use Social Media in Your Consultative Sales Process

July 17, 2012

Social media’s continued growth indicates it has passed the “fad” stage and is now a fixture in the marketing landscape. Some B2B sales organizations have been slow to develop social marketing strategies, and rightfully suspect the call of some gurus to abandon traditional outbound sales tactics. While social marketing enjoys certain benefits over traditional outbound methods, a good flesh-and-blood sales staff that has gone through professional sales training is still the best way to procure prospects and turn them into paying customers.... read more

Effective Questioning to Discover the Highest Needs

July 12, 2012

Executive sales training is needed for anyone selling to the C-suite, especially when the product or service is a highly complex, large-ticket solution with a much longer runway in getting each sale closed and fulfilled. In this high-stakes sales niche, consultative selling works very well due to its focus on asking questions and allowing the prospect to talk, rather than aggressive pitching.... read more

Sales Training Skills: Customer Retention Secrets

July 9, 2012

Successful companies share one secret – their ability to retain their customers. Instead of looking at each transaction as a one and done experience, they focus instead on building lasting relationships with their clients. With just a few simple changes to your sales process management strategy, you can take advantage of the benefits of high customer retention rates, and the referrals that these relationships can generate.... read more

High-Dollar Sales – How to Sell to C-Level Executives

July 2, 2012

Selling to C-level executives is a high-stakes, competitive endeavor that can provide years of revenue for a company and a lucrative stream of commissions to salespeople skilled enough to master this arena. The difference between selling to a typical corporate buyer and a corporate executive is that the buyer is usually trying to protect their job by playing it safe, while the executive is seeking real, measurable competitive advantages.... read more

Neuromarketing and the Mindset of Top Salespeople

June 25, 2012

Marketers have always sought every advantage possible in order to drive buying behavior, including studying psychology and attempting to apply that knowledge to sales training and development. One misfire in the past was the notorious subliminal marketing fad of the 1960s and 1970s, where hidden messages were placed in print, TV and theatrical ads in an attempt to increase sales by affecting the subconscious mind. A more modern attempt lies in the field of neuromarketing.... read more

How to Become a LinkedIn Rockstar and Grow Your Business

June 20, 2012

Social networking keeps growing, and despite Facebook’s recent spotty IPO, businesses continue to flock to it and other platforms to extend their marketing efforts and engage on a deeper level with their prospects. The king of social media for B2B professionals, however, is not Facebook, but LinkedIn, which proves especially popular with recruiters and job seekers alike.... read more

Sales Training Skills – Make a Positive First Impression (and More Money!)

June 14, 2012

One item that salespeople need to appreciate more than professionals in other careers is the value of a good first impression. Although stereotypes can be considered a negative thing, the truth is that in practical life we are all judged by others within seconds, even if unconsciously, as to our background, trustworthiness, and professionalism simply by the way we look, speak and move. Fair or not, salespeople should pay extra attention to this and leverage it to produce better results as part of their sales process improvement routine.... read more

Sales Training Skills – Growing Your Business by Referrals

June 11, 2012

Looking for an easy way to grow your business? Want leads that are already informed about your company and ready to buy? Look no further than the power of referrals. In today’s competitive business world, you need every edge you can get and having prior customers recommend your product or services will provide you with the leg up on your competition.... read more

How to Make More Money Using a Formal Sales Process

June 6, 2012

Salespeople are in the fortunate position of being almost fully in control of their earning power. While external factors, such as a recession, competitors, and government regulations do of course play their parts, in reality fortunes are made in sales even when those conditions are present. The difference in those that make the big money, and those that don’t, lies in the actions each performs on a daily basis.... read more

Sales Training Skills: Become the Problem Solver

May 29, 2012

One of the first things you will learn as a sales person is the power of consultative selling. Unlike other types of selling, this method relies on providing solutions and acting as a trusted consultant to your client. Once you’ve developed this kind of relationship, the selling portion of the process becomes very easy, in fact, you won’t even have to do anything special once you’ve reached this point.... read more

Improve Your Attitude – And Your Closing Ratio!

May 21, 2012

Sales can be a tough profession, full of pressures from management seeking to drive revenue, difficult customers, and income woes if there are insufficient closings in any given month. It is no wonder a 2011 Harvard University study reports that roughly 30% of the nation’s sales force quits every year. Despite these challenges, salespeople employing a consultative selling process must maintain a positive attitude or risk alienating a prospect or losing their business.... read more

Prospecting for Dollars – 5 Tips to Generate a Steady Stream of Leads

May 17, 2012

The lifeblood of every sales style, including consultative selling, is having a steady flow of prospects in order to build a pipeline of potential closings.  Without continuous prospecting, even leading companies will suffer from stagnation as customers are lost to competition, macroeconomic conditions, or other factors.... read more

Small Business Growth Strategies: 5 Reasons to Start an Inbound Marketing Program

May 14, 2012

Many small businesses have embraced inbound marketing as an effective way to increase their revenue. According to a report by eMarketer, 36% of small businesses are using Search Engine Optimization to grow their businesses and 35% are using social media. However, if roughly 35% of small businesses are using inbound marketing tactics, 65% are not.... read more

How to Ask the Right Questions to Overcome Sales Objections

May 7, 2012

During sales training, one adjustment that often has to take place in salespeople is to reduce the amount of time spent talking and increase the amount of time spent listening. Through listening, we find out about the prospect and her business, and determine the best way to address her concerns with our offerings. In every sales cycle, however, the comes a time when the salesperson must quickly switch gears and actively do some talking — and one of those times is when the buyer throws out an objection.... read more

Optimize Your Sales Process with Courage

May 3, 2012

Many hopeful men and women become involved in sales work with visions of closing big deals and earning top dollars. Unfortunately, a large number of them never realize these dreams. It is estimated that the sales profession experiences a 30 percent annual turnover, according to a 2011 Harvard University study of 100,000 business to business salespeople. This represents a massive waste of dollars in both onboarding expenses and opportunity costs as inept salespeople fail to close perfectly viable deals.... read more

5 Ways to Find the Right Marketing Message for Your Consultative Sales Process

April 30, 2012

Your marketing message has the potential to make or break your sales campaign. If you don’t have just the right message, you simply won’t reach your prospects in the way they need to be reached. Not only do you need to find the right way to impart your product or service’s benefits, you may also need to fine-tune your marketing message for each prospect.... read more

3 Tips to Overcome Negative Perceptions of Your Company or Product

April 26, 2012

In sales, external factors are less important to success than the actions performed by a salesperson. Meaning: even in a bad economy, with a high price-point and perhaps even an inferior product to the competition, salespeople can still win if they become extremely competent and knowledgeable about their tools and products. However, one external factor does present a real barrier regardless of the salesperson’s competence — and that is a bad reputation regarding her company or product.... read more

Become A Trusted Advisor by Using a Consultative Sales Process

April 22, 2012

In examining the various styles of salesmanship, it can be seen that there has been a major shift over the past few decades from the used car salesman or slick stockbroker approach, which can be expressed as “hook ‘em, get the money…and run,” to a more consultative style.  This style relies less on overwhelming the prospect with the pitch and more on becoming an expert advisor to the prospect that builds trust in order to win the business.  This new approach pays off in many ways, not limited to glowing recommendations and reduced marketing expense as clients are not “churned and burned,” but instead come back for more.... read more

5 Easy Ways to Build Rapport With Your Prospects

April 18, 2012

Handling prospects often requires a consultative sales process. This is a needs-based approach that requires a strong relationship between the sales person and the prospect. This relationship must be built on trust and that can often be a difficult commodity to come by in today’s marketplace.... read more

Research Your Prospects to Improve Your Sales Process

April 12, 2012

If you are noticing that your sales numbers are lagging, or you just can’t seem to meet your goals, it is vital to take a look at how you are selling and how you are handling your prospects.  Thoroughly researching your prospects is a necessary part of sales process improvement.  Let’s take a look at a few easy ways that you can find the gold hidden in your prospect list.... read more

Know When to Close: The Importance of the Buyer’s Shift

April 9, 2012

Sales training often concentrates on the beginning of the sales funnel, stressing activities such as marketing, prospecting and presenting. Some even get as far as drilling on handling objections. Too many salespeople are therefore only competent at finding people to sell and presenting, but cannot “seal the deal” when the moment of truth comes, costing both their commission and the firm’s lifeblood — revenue.... read more