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Why You Must Understand This about Desire for Sales Success

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Aug 20, 2014 @ 05:08 AM



Dave Kurlan is a top-rated keynote speaker, best-selling author, sales thought leader and expert on all things sales and selling.

desireOne of the most frequent questions we get from clients has to do with the second most important finding on Objective Management Group's (OMG) sales and sales management evaluations.  "This is one of my top salespeople - how can she possibly lack Desire for sales success?"

It's a great question and I hope to explain it fully here.

First, I'll answer the question that you formed with my opening statement.  "What is the most important finding?  It's Commitment for sales success.

Next, we'll set the stage.  We are talking about this issue in the context of an existing salesperson.  If the finding of Lack of Desire was for a salesperson who was failing, a client would say, "Well, that explains it."  Not really.  Their sales competencies and Sales DNA will explain lack of performance.  But the lack of Desire does tell us that the underachieving salesperson is unlikely to improve due to a lack of incentive to change.  However, when a top-performing salesperson lacks Desire, clients don't know what to make of it. They always wonder, "How could that be?"  Well, it's fairly simple how that could be.  In most cases, it's as simple as something must have changed.

I'll give you an example.  This week, I spent two days training a room full of experts from the sales training space.  These experts are some of the 150 or so who provide OMG's evaluations and assessments to clients.  This particular group was made up of veterans - sales experts who have been with OMG for as long as 25 years, so I can't really do sales or product training with this group.  Instead, we work on how they grow, improve, and get to the next level.  These sales experts are VERY successful, yet if we were to evaluate them, I'm certain that based on what I heard in the room this week, we would see Lack of Desire for most of them.

As a group, they were guilty of taking their foot off the gas.  They lost their edge.  Sure, they still generate a lot of business and are still successful, but the edge that got them there, the intensity that kept them there, and the fire that burned hot within them, was more like a pilot light these days.  My job then, was to reignite that fire while they were with me.

So this group presents a terrific example of top-performers who lack desire.  It simply means that the desire that got them there isn't there anymore, but it doesn't mean that they will no longer be successful.

One of the attendees at this week's training directed me to a video by ET, the hip-hop preacher.  This short video is a great example of what strong Desire truly is.  Check it out here, but you might want to skip the ad at the beginning.

When a candidate for a sales position lacks Desire, there are no questions.  Clients simply do not pursue candidates who lack either Desire or Commitment.  Why hire a new salesperson with that issue?

I hope that you better understand why Desire for success in sales:

  • is so crucial in a new salesperson;
  • explains why an underperforming salesperson will not improve; and
  • can so easily wane in a top-performing salesperson after years of success.

Can you personally feel how your own Desire for success in sales, sales management, sales leadership, or executive leadership has intensified or waned over the course of your career?

 

Image from Eric Thomas

© Copyright  Dave Kurlan All Rights Reserved





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Getting Emotional at Dunkin Donuts, and Over Social Selling

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 @ 05:31 AM



Dave Kurlan is a top-rated keynote speaker, best-selling author, sales thought leader and expert on all things sales and selling.

daydream

As I approached the window of my local Dunkin' Donuts, the woman said, "How are you today?"  I paid her and then replied, "I'm fine, and you?"  My response had an extreme delay.  Then she asked if I needed a tray, to which I replied, "No....Sorry, yes."  I was faster this time - with a trick question like whether or not I needed a tray, I had to be quick on my feet!  But I gave her the wrong answer.  Of course, I needed a tray for 3 coffees.

What happened to me?  Was I experiencing symptoms of the early stage of dementia?

My sudden inability to comprehend what was taking place is what happens when your mind is elsewhere.  It happens to salespeople when they aren't able to stay in the moment, maintain complete focus on what their prospects are saying, and respond without thinking several moves ahead or, more typically, about what they want to talk.  It's a form of being emotional.

I wrote about becoming emotional last week in this very popular articleThe Top 5 Mistakes Salespeople Make When Under Pressure.  While both are examples of becoming emotional, we get there in two very different ways!  If you are daydreaming, you are in your own head, and if you are getting frustrated, you are in your own head.  Neither scenario bodes well for selling.  For that matter, it's extremely difficult to coach a salesperson if you are in your own head.

Speaking of coaching salespeople, my annual Sales Leadership Intensive is fast approaching!  It's just 3 weeks away.

September 10 - 11 |  Boston Area  |  2 Days of intense sales leadership training  

If you have any interest in attending, please send me an email and I'll make special arrangements for you.

You might have missed the article that I wrote on Friday last week.  (I never got so many "out of office" messages!)  It was an important article on Why Inbound Cannot Replace Selling and you should read it before the next paragraph.

Not too long ago, the only options for prospecting were either to pick up the phone or knock on a door.  In the 70's and 80's, I would do almost anything to knock on a door rather than call on the phone.  It wasn't very efficient but, back then, I was more comfortable and more effective face-to-face.  Times change and today I would choose the phone over door knocking 100% of the time.  But while there were only 2 options in the 70's and 80's, today there are many more.  Social Selling allows us to connect using Twitter, LinkedIn, email, blogs, Facebook,Google and more.  The problem occurs when people use the newest 6 options instead of the phone.  Ideally, they should be using the newest 6 options in conjunction with the phone.

When people find something they like or an approach that is more comfortable for them, they tend to embrace it to the point of obsession.  But effective selling has never been about what is most comfortable or popular.  Successful selling is about what works most effectively, most of the time, for most people.  They call it Best Practices.

Image Copyright: dundanim / 123RF Stock Photo

© Copyright  Dave Kurlan All Rights Reserved





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Top 10 Reasons Why Inbound Cannot Replace Sales

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Aug 15, 2014 @ 12:34 PM



Dave Kurlan is a top-rated keynote speaker, best-selling author, sales thought leader and expert on all things sales and selling.

INBOUND V SALESWell, it's really happened now.

I was following a discussion in the Hubspot VAR Group on LinkedIn, where the question posed to the group was whether or not the first sales hire should be a sales or a marketing person.

[Disclosure:  Hubspot is a client of both Kurlan and OMG; This blog is hosted on Hubspot's terrific blogging and lead-gen platform and I was one of their very first customers back in 2006.]  

Hubspot's VAR's are all marketing agencies specializing in inbound marketing.  There were some terrific comments, but one particular comment stopped me dead in my clicks and scrolls.  The comment was from a well-respected Hubspot executive who said, "Do not hire a salesperson."  It's a polarizing comment for a number of reasons:

  1. I'm speaking at their international INBOUND14 Conference next month (if you want to attend, you can use this discount code: GOINB14) and my topic is, "Interviewing for the Inbound Sales Role"!  Should I back out?  Do you think anyone will show up to hear me?
  2. This comment, as well as articles and comments like this, are the source of exactly the kind of confusion that I spoke about in this cover story for Top Sales World Magazine last week.
  3. And it's exactly the kind of confusion that I spoke about with Selling Power Publisher, Gerhard Gschwandtner, in the video below, recorded at last month's Sales 2.0 conference in Boston.

Once again, it's imperative for everyone to understand that there are many scenarios where salespeople cannot be replaced by inbound marketing!  If you or your company are involved in any of the following 10 scenarios, you absolutely must have salespeople:

  1. Complex Sale 
  2. Big Ticket Sale
  3. Long Sales Cycle
  4. You are the Underdog.
  5. You Have a New Technology.
  6. You are Not the Market Leader.
  7. You are Not the Low Price Leader.
  8. You are Not the Recognized Major Brand.
  9. It is Not an Existing Expense for Most Customers.
  10. Your Product or Service is Not an Easy-to-Sell, Affordable Subscription.

So, it should be quite obvious why an inbound marketer, following up on an inbound lead, cannot possibly run the sophisticated sales cycle that would be required to successfully sell and close a prospect or group of prospects in the 10 scenarios listed above.

How do you feel about this topic?  Please weigh in below, regardless of which side of the fence you are on.

© Copyright  Dave Kurlan All Rights Reserved





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Top 10 Mistakes Salespeople Make on the Phone (Funny Read)

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 @ 05:44 AM



Dave Kurlan is a top-rated keynote speaker, best-selling author, sales thought leader and expert on all things sales and selling.

 

Seller on the PhoneEarlier this week, I wrote the "Get Your Butt Out of Your Head" article.  At that same tournament, I heard an even funnier story from its director.  He told us about a team who went 0-7, losing each game by the mercy rule.  For those of you who aren't familiar with it, if a team is losing by 12 runs or more after 4 full innings, the game is stopped, showing mercy to the team who was getting slaughtered.

As the story goes, while the parents were back in their hotels, contemplating suicide, worrying about the mental health of their kids, and calling their therapists to deal with their horrible week, the kids on the losing team threw a party!  They even invited the beloved tournament director, and when he arrived, he asked each kid for a word that described their week.  All the answers were great, but when he asked the last kid for his word, the kid said, "Joy."  When pushed for an explanation, the kid simply said that, "When a team plays against us, we give them joy!" 

Isn't that a great way to frame losing?

Speaking of losing, is it any wonder that most salespeople lose when it comes to their prospecting calls and emails?  Most calls end with a polite, but disappointed, "Thanks for your time" and most emails are either deleted or ignored.  Would you like to know why?  Well, both the calls and emails suck!

To help you understand why, take a look inside your junk or spam folder.  As you go down the list, I'm sure you'll see emails from people who want to give you free vacations, make your body parts larger, hook you up with people who want sex, need your help to transfer millions of dollars into your bank account, offer discounted prescription drugs, or a myriad of other offers.  Additionally, most of the subject lines are in ALL CAPS, all small letters, have ,punctuation' and/or "spellling errrors", or all of the above.  When you look at the FROM column, you'll see that most of these emails are from the name of an offer instead of the name of a person.  If you ever wondered how the spam filters and email programs know which emails to move to your junk folder, it's because they look, smell, feel and sound like spam!

Now think about most prospecting calls.  It's not a question as to whether or not they are bad, it's probably more about how bad they really are.  If you or your loved ones are guilty of any of the following 10 mistakes, the calls really do suck:

  1. The calls are scripted.
  2. They begin with "Hello", "Good morning", "Good afternoon", or "Yes".
  3. They have "My name is" or "This is" early in the call.
  4. They fail to ask a question in the first 5 seconds.
  5. They fail to get the prospect's attention in the first 5 seconds.
  6. They fail to engage the prospect in the first 10 seconds.
  7. They fail to sound like someone I would choose to speak with.
  8. They ask for a meeting without a compelling reason to meet.
  9. They sound too professional.
  10. They offer a demo without qualifying.

And as for the emails, they tend to be even worse.  The only thing keeping most of them out of the junk folder is that they usually begin with my name and, "I know how busy you must be."  Geez!  Emails are great for inviting people to events, but only if it's the right audience and the right event.  Emails are great for sharing a quick piece of information or asking a quick question, but they don't replace prospecting calls!  You can't have a conversation over email!  By default, that makes all forms of prospecting emails bad.

Sure, if an inbound web-generated lead comes your way, it's OK to respond with an email.  After all, that's pretty much how they reached out to you and it's fair to respond that way.  Other than that, if you want to succeed, pick up the phone, but make sure you don't sound like any other horrible salesperson who might still be using the phone for kicks.

 

Image Copyright: rawpixel / 123RF Stock Photo

© Copyright  Dave Kurlan All Rights Reserved





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Top 5 Mistakes Salespeople Make When Under Pressure

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Aug 11, 2014 @ 05:01 AM



Dave Kurlan is a top-rated keynote speaker, best-selling author, sales thought leader and expert on all things sales and selling.

 AngryCoachBefore I unveil the top 5 mistakes, you might be interested to know that last week, Top Sales World Magazine went from monthly to weekly.  I was featured on the cover, but I'm most hopeful that everyone will read Jonathan Farrington's interview with me.  He got me to be very outspoken about what's taking place right now in our industry and I believe that everyone will benefit from reading it.  View it online here.  

Now for the Top 5 Mistakes.  At a recent baseball tournament, a panicked coach watched as a 12-year-old did not not run as hard as he possibly could to first base.  Despite that, he reached on an error and the coach screamed so that everyone could hear, "Get your butt out of your head."  He also told the boy that in the next inning, he would be on the bench for not hustling.

The coach had become emotional and in doing so, he clearly overreacted, got the well-known expression backward, embarrassed the kid, and embarrassed himself. 

There are some sales lessons here.  

Many salespeople panic and become emotional when they hear certain objections, get asked certain questions, or are told certain things.  When this happens, several things can occur:

  • They may be completely unable to use their words (you might encourage a 2-year-old to, "Use your words.")
  • They may say something stupid.
  • They may say something completely unrelated.
  • They may become defensive.
  • They may become offensive.

Regardless of the type of reaction, when panicked, salespeople tend to lose control of the sales call, while their prospects become less comfortable with the idea of doing business with them.

There are some sales management lessons here too.

When a sales manager perceives that a salesperson may not be putting in the desired effort or time, or may not be as focused, he may not be able to bench or suspend the salesperson without being told where to stick it.  However, a discussion should take place so that the manager can learn why the desired behavior isn't there and offer some encouragement, coaching or counseling to improve performance.  If performance (effort) doesn't improve in the agreed upon timeframe, termination, not suspension, may be the appropriate course of action.

Many volunteer youth baseball coaches scream the outcomes they want, like, "Get on base!", instead of coaching kids on the approach they should take to reach base in their next at bat.

Many Sales Managers are guilty of similar mistakes when they instruct their salespeople to, "Go sell something."  Effective sales managers can pinpoint exactly why their salespeople are struggling and offer coaching to solve the problem.

Salespeople and Sales Managers alike must remain cool, unemotional, in the moment, and learn to respond rather than react.  When they become emotional, bad things happen.  The best way to stay in the moment is to stop thinking.  Just listen.  Don't think.  Don't strategize.  Don't plan.  Don't script a next move.  Don't get creative.  Don't engineer anything.  Don't worry.  

You know Nike's tagline, "Just do it."  Well, use my tagline, "Just don't."

You can always respond with something along the lines of, "How would you like me to address that?"  Listen to their instructions and respond to those.

Image Copyright: toonerman / 123RF Stock Photo

© Copyright  Dave Kurlan All Rights Reserved





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