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Sales Insights from
Reporter Paula Parisot

send Paula your comments and links for possible publication



September 22, 2005

Those prospects that just don't want to budge may need just a little bit of nudging in the appropriate direction. First, you need to understand what is holding them back. Fear of change? They don't see how your product/service will be any better than what they already have, so why bother making the change? Take away the risk factors and show them the benefits of doing business with YOU.

Barry Farber, author of The 12 Clichés of Selling, shares with readers at Entrepreneur.com his top ten tips that can help you "sell change" to your prospects.

It might be a question of pointing out their return-on-investment, giving them the product for a trial period, or simply showing them testimonials from satisfied customers, Farber says, that will make the difference in whether or not you can get your prospect to convert.

"Getting the customer to give you the right in-depth information gives you the ammunition to make an intelligent presentation on why changing to your business will make all the difference."

read story at Entrepreneur.com

review or buy Jack You're Fired

A new book called JACK, YOU'RE FIRED!: 66 Ways to Keep Your Job As A Sales Professional helps you understand how certain behaviors can send you spiraling into the "death of a salesman" whirlpool.

One aspect about a career the author, sales coach Jack Perry, points out is that if we look at our job as our "business" we see things through a different set of eyes. We can look out for ourselves as much as we do the company, in return we will gain respect from everyone, including our prospects.

In a book review on MortgageDaily.com, Perry points out how attitude may be the most important behavior of all in determining whether or not we succeed in our sales career.

read Paula's book review at MortgageDaily.com
(subscription required)

September 21, 2005

The ability to not only listen but to comprehend what your customer is telling you is imperative to closing the sale. You need to listen for key words that help you decipher what your customer wants. And while you are listening, make sure your responses are timely and politically correct.

Ask Annie columnist Anne Fisher advises a reader that listening, indeed, is an essential part of a successful sales career. Fisher lays out the ten top steps that Jacqueline Whitmore, author of Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work, advises business professionals should use to master the art of listening and enhance their conversational skills.

Whitmore suggests to readers at Fortune.com that sharing personal stories related to the conversation will "break the ice" and "make yourself more approachable," and she reminds to never offer unsolicited advice. Along the lines of etiquette, Whitmore advises you never interrupt, "practice empathetic listening," and remove all distractions before engaging in a conversation.

read story from Fortune magazine

September 20, 2005

It never hurts to take a refresher course in basic selling. And today's Basic Selling 101 comes courtesy of Sales and Marketing writer Barbara Mednick. Mednick has compiled an interesting collection of sales advice from a few different sales professionals to share with readers at the Star Tribune.

Yess! CEO Sue Lindgren points out that you need to be clear on who you are because "confidence and authenticity sell more than anything." And she advises doing little things that show your concern and care because it will strengthen sales relationships.

Idea Girls President Bev Bachel notes that if your service can stand out from the crowd your customers are likely to send you referrals, which will ease the burden of cold calling.

And don't forget an "old-fashioned" thank-you note can go far these days, Lindgren reminds.

read story from the Star Tribune

As times change so do the selling techniques. Different ideas, different mind-sets, different products. One of the key ingredients in a successful long-term career is the ability to adapt to change, many experts say.

In today's world salespeople need to view their position as a "business advisor" according to Jeff Thull, Prime Resource Group president and CEO. Today's salespeople need to be "highly intelligent, observant, focused and collaborative." And this means they need to shift their way of thinking from the old sales techniques of persuasion to that of the mind-set of a physician, Thull advises.

Thull discusses this new paradigm of selling with readers at MarketingProfs.com.

read story at Marketing Professionals.com

September 19, 2005

Remembering to take care of your current customers can lead to repeat business or easy upselling, increasing your sales volume. From returning phone calls in a timely manner to taking responsibility for a company screw-up displays your integrity and builds trust and loyalty with your clients, says LYNKA Promotional Service's international sales director Matt Lynch and John Lynch, president.

The pair say that bad customer service will lead to lost sales, compiled a list of the top ten customer service mistakes that could cost you money.

"Never over promise, always over deliver," they suggest. They remind readers at Warsaw Business Journal that if a client isn't happy with our service, they can always find someone else.

read article at the Warsaw Business Journal

Understanding why customers buy (or don't) takes a bit of investigating. John Graham, president of Graham Communications, a marketing services and sales consulting firm shares with readers at Westchester County Business Journal an eight-step guide to making the most of your sales career.

"Finding out what the customer wants to accomplish is the key to the sale," Graham explains. "How can there be a meaningful, compelling presentation that fails to take that into consideration?"

In a nutshell, it is all about the customer. Always has been, always will be.

What is new is the sales cycle, Graham says, which requires salespeople with "sound principles," someone who "understands the sales environment", who can focus on their prospects, communicate competence, plan for the long term, and be a trusted adviser to their customers.

read story from the Westchester County Business Journal

There are certainly times when you will be unable to sell your product/service to your customer due to varying circumstances but that doesn't mean it has to be the end of your seller/buyer relationship. Hey, a contact is a contact -- don't lose it just because there wasn't an exchange of cash and product/service.

Tom Hopkins, sales coach and contributing writer at Entrepreneur.com shares with readers at MSNBC.com how to overcome sales objections, if it is possible, and stresses the importance of hanging on to that relationship for future sales.

Hopkins suggests that if you can't help your client, find someone who can and you could still reap benefits.

"First, the prospects will remember you as being helpful and providing good service, even though it didn't result in a sale for you," he explains. "Second, the company or person receiving the referral will appreciate your efforts and, hopefully, will send referrals your way in return."

read story at MSNBC.com

September 16, 2005

What does it take to be a "great" salesperson? We have heard many answers to this question but usually there are only a few common sense factors at the top of the list and they may vary depending on the type of sales field you are in.

Jeffrey Gitomer, sales trainer and author, says in his column "Sales Moves" at Bizjournals.com that similar characteristics could be found in all top sales performers including "deep belief, ability to build relationships, ability to self-start and ability to maintain a positive attitude."

Kim Duke, sales trainer, gives a "bird’s eye view" of what it takes to succeed in sales in her column "Are You a Chicken?" Duke shares with readers at WebProNews.com her advice of setting fear aside to take control of your career and get the edge on your competition by being determined, creative, and a risk taker.

read story at Biz Journals

read story at Web Pro News

Paula Parisot reports news and reviews sales books for MortgageDaily.com.

articles by Paula Parisot

Email Paula at: PaulaParisot@CloserBlog.com

News By: MortgageDaily.com

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