What the Blizzard of 2015 Can Teach us about Sales Presentations

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Jan 28, 2015 @ 11:01 AM

blizzard

As most of you know, we were absolutely clobbered by yesterday's Blizzard of 2015 which gifted us with 34 inches of snow and even higher drifts.  Wishing to be prepared, I went to Staples the day before the storm and purchased every last one of the small devices that recharge phones and tablets.  That evening, I made sure that each was fully charged so that if we lost power, three of us could recharge our 7 combined devices and remain connected and productive.  As unlikely as it seemed at the onset of the storm, we never lost power.  But we were prepared!

I noticed a similarity to all of the occasions when we have taken winter vacations in Florida and especially Orlando.  It never fails that when we go expecting warm weather, it becomes cold enough that we need to purchase sweat shirts.  Of course, whenever we prepare and bring the sweat shirts along, we never need them - ever - but at least we were prepared!

The concept of being prepared is very misunderstood in sales.  Here's why...

Most salespeople believe that being prepared means being prepared to handle objections and present.  Of course, one wouldn't handle an objection that wasn't presented, but most salespeople over prepare their presentations and rarely present the right stuff, the right way, at the right pace, to the right people, at the right time.  Unless you are conducting a Webinar, there should be no such thing as a canned presentation, one that is appropriate for anyone and everyone.

Salespeople should be prepared to do take one or more of the following 10 steps relative to presenting:

  1. Not present at all when it isn't necessary
  2. Present only a subset of what you would normally present (right stuff)
  3. Present something completely different from what you would typically present (right stuff)
  4. Present in a different way than you would normally present (right way)
  5. Present only if the prospect(s) were completely qualified (right time)
  6. Present only if all necessary parties are present and accounted for (right people)
  7. Present not only your product/service or solution, but much more importantly, how you can uniquely help them address their most compelling reason to buy from you (right stuff)
  8. Ask questions as you go along (right pace)
  9. Change or abort your presentation in real time based on unexpected answers to your questions (right stuff)
  10. Explain how this impacts their business (right stuff)

It's also imperative that you not present until you have:

  • Uncovered their compelling reasons to buy from you
  • Differentiated yourself
  • Quantified the opportunity
  • Thoroughly qualified the opportunity

Preparation doesn't stop there.  You should also have done the following before presenting:

  • Role-played the anticipated call or meeting with a manager
  • Done enough research on the company so that you know what's going on
  • Know who you are competing against and how your prospect believes you compare
  • identified potential references if you need them (same size, same issues, same industry, same title, etc.)
  • Identified both a needs and budget appropriate solution

Preparation doesn't mean prepared to do a certain thing, a certain way at a certain time; it means prepared for anything and everything. When you are completely prepared you won't need to be, but if you aren't prepared, you'll pay for it.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales presentation, sales preparation

Fix Your Mediocre Pipeline for Accurate Sales Forecasts

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Jan 26, 2015 @ 13:01 PM

Most salespeople don't pay too much attention to this.  Even though we perform a pipeline analysis and restage the pipeline with every individual sales evaluation and comprehensive sales force evaluation we conduct, we typically discuss this exclusively at the executive level.  So imagine my surprise when a salesperson sent along his lessons learned from a session on closing deals and included this...

He said, "I went back to your evaluation to see exactly how you restaged my pipeline...You said the quality of my pipeline opportunities was:
U-Toronto - Medium 
Mt. Sinai - High
New York Genome - Medium 
Columbia - Low

If this is how your method determined the order - then it was spot on...On both the low and high ends. Columbia has fallen completely off the radar while Mt. Sinai has progressed to the proposal and closable stage.  U-Toronto and NY Genome are still progressing forward slowly - with additional presentations required and much more qualifying work needed by me. 
I staged the pipeline today and:
Columbia is a only a suspect
U-Toronto is a prospect  
New York Genome is qualified and
Mt. Sinai is closable" 
So what exactly took place?  Two months ago, this salesperson answered 19 questions about each of 4 late stage opportunities that were - and this is the key - considered to be proposal ready and closable.  After we analyzed the data, we rated the quality of those 4 opportunities as you saw above, and then restaged them as you can see below.  Keep in mind that if they were truly late stage - proposal ready and closable - his pipeline would have looked like an umbrella stand base:
pipeline1-1
However, based on what we learned from our analysis of his answers, instead of his pipeline looking like an umbrella stand base, it looked more like a top!  The image below is what his supposedly late stage pipeline really should have looked like:
pipeline2-2
Obviously, that's quite a difference!
The ability to place your opportunities in the proper stage of the pipeline is the key to a predictive pipeline and accurate forecast.  Gerhard Gschwandtner of Selling Power Magazine recently interviewed me about this very topic and you can watch the 5-minute video right here.
"Is your pipeline a reliable predictor of future revenue?" is just one of 19 important questions we answer when we evaluate a sales force.  And while it's quite helpful to see the actual quality and restaging of your pipeline, the additional 18 questions/answers/insights are usually even more important to most clients.  You can learn more about a sales force evaluation by clicking the image below.
evals .

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales force evaluation, sales pipeline, sales assessments, objective management group, sales forecast

Did You Lose a Deal You Had Already Closed? This is Why!

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 @ 14:01 PM

lost-customer

You closed a nice deal, you shared the news with everyone else at the office, you entered it into your CRM, you provided the information to get the deal invoiced, you went home and calculated your commission and before you could collect the money, it got taken away.  Ouch!  This story should explain exactly what actually happens nearly every time you take business away from another company.

I made a decision to follow my banker to his new bank.  I hate having to reeducate new bankers so it was an easy decision, especially after the new banker at the old bank started emailing his questions.  Yesterday, I called to get the payoff for our line of credit and that caused me to receive calls from three of the bankers at the old bank.

First I heard from the new loan officer.  He wanted to know what they could do to keep our business.

Then I heard from his new boss.  He told me he was brought there after 30 years with Bank of America to stabilize the turnover in the department and that he assures me that, moving forward, there would be stability.  He wanted to know when he could meet me to begin to develop our relationship.

Then I got a call from the underwriter who approved our line 5 years ago.  He asked, "if we can sweeten the pot and match the deal you got at the new bank, can we get you to stay?"  I told him that I didn't leave because of a better rate, but I got a better rate when I left.  I explained that matching the rate was a nice gesture, but it wasn't the reason I left.  I thought he was going to cry.  Then came the guilt trip.  "After all we did for you when you needed us, how can you leave us like that?  I thought there would be more loyalty than what you are showing us."  I expected the guilt trip but I didn't expect him to make stuff up!  I told him again it wasn't about the rate.  I was being loyal - to my banker - and thanked him for trying.  After he sent a few parting shots the way of my old banker, he hung up and I think he was actually crying.

When you close a deal to replace an incumbent, for any reason, you must expect that the incumbent will attempt to retain that customer and pull out all the stops to succeed.  If your new customer is moving their business to you only because you were able to beat the price they were paying, you will certainly be hanging over the cliff, ready to fall, because they will match or beat your price to keep their customer.  It costs a lot of money to acquire and replace a lost customer.  On the other hand, if this customer is moving to you because you uncovered their compelling reason to buy from you and you are uniquely qualified to solve their problem, all the begging and pleading in the world won't cause your customer to return to their old vendor, the one that was not able to solve their problem.

If you know that the incumbent will be calling to undo what just got done, what can you do to prevent an unhappy ending?  Prepare your new customer for the call!  Ask, "So what will you say when ABC calls and offers to match our price?"  "What if they lay a guilt trip on you?"  "What if they start to beg?"

What can you learn from this beyond the importance of selling the value instead of selling on price?

You had better be sure that all of your customers are happy with you or you may find yourself in the same position as my old bank.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, closing tips, selling value, lost a deal, after the close

A Good Look at Bad Salespeople - Companies Don't Get This!

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 @ 10:01 AM

goodv.bad

Copyright: 123RF Stock Photo

This week I received a cold call from one of the worst salespeople ever.  

I get to see the Sales DNA and Sales Competencies of more bad salespeople than anyone on the planet so I know bad when I see it or hear it.  Objective Management Group (OMG) has assessed more than 750,000 salespeople and when I compare percentages between the beginning and end of the last ten year period, not much has changed.  74% of all salespeople still suck and I get to see just how bad they suck.  Once in a while I get to experience sucky salespeople up close and personal.  What I am about to share is just such a story.

The caller said she was from [ABC Systems] and asked if I was the person that handled such things.  

Yes, the very first thing she said, did or ask was to qualify me as the decision maker.  No pleasantries, no preliminaries, no questions to see if we had any issues, not anything except, WAS-I-THE-PERSON?  BANT is an ancient qualifying acronym with A standing for authority.  But it shouldn't be used THAT soon in the call!  Even if they were using the ancient BANT method, I was only 25% qualified at that point. That didn't seem to matter to her though because upon learning that she had a decision maker, she stated that she would like to send a rep over to talk with me about it.  I guess she believed that if I'm the guy, then I must be qualified enough to meet with a salesperson.    I said I was happy with our current system and thanked her for trying.  In an effort to salvage the call, she said, "I can assure you that we can save you 40-50% off of what you are currently paying."  So much for credibility.  She didn't know what I was paying for my current system.  For all she knew I might have even been using her system. I do know this:  40-50% savings is a promise she simply can't make.

She was working the top of the funnel as an appointment setter. Those roles are important in a company but if she does make an appointment, can you imagine the poor outside salesperson who shows up for that meeting?  It doesn't matter that it's with the decision maker.  If the field sales rep can't save the decision maker that 40-50% he was promised, the salesperson will fail to meet expectations!  And what other expectations can there be after a cold call like that?  The decision maker will not care how it works, how it's different, or how it's better.  The expectations were set:  How much will this cost?  A sale cannot be any more transactional than that!

So what did she do well?  She made the dial, got me on the phone and got me a tiny bit qualified.  

What did she do poorly?  Everything else.  If she had been evaluated or assessed by OMG, she would have scored OK only as a Hunter, but horribly as a Consultative Seller, a Qualifier, a Closer, an Account Manager or a Farmer.  She wasn't even fun to talk with.  She didn't have any intangibles whatsoever.  She shouldn't have been in this role.

Everyone has sucky salespeople - it's just a matter of how sucky they are.  Companies tend to put these junior/inexperienced/ultra sucky people on the phones to do lead generation/inbound/appointment setting/top of the funnel work and this is a great example of everything that is wrong with that.  Why do companies do this?  It costs too much and is too distracting for their highly paid salespeople to be making these calls.  But salespeople are the very ones who can convert these conversations.  Salespeople are the very ones who want to schedule a quality call, as opposed to an awful call.  Salespeople have a vested interest in the outcomes of these calls.  If only there was a way to have salespeople in the conversations, but not waste their time trying to reach decision makers perhaps once or twice every few hours.

Oh wait.  There is a way!  ConnectAndSell has an amazing service that does exactly that.  As of this morning, the dashboard at the top of their website showed that they had delivered nearly 3 million conversations for their clients.  It really works.  Check them out here.

Topics: sales competencies, Dave Kurlan, prospecting, Sales DNA, cold calling, lead generation

How Critical Mass Accelerates Sales Growth

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Jan 21, 2015 @ 12:01 PM

critical-mass

I'm going to begin today's article with a recent example of how reaching critical mass changes things for the better.

Robert Lerose interviewed me for an article that appears on Bank of America's small business site today on How Salespeople Can Close More Deals.  This is just one of dozens of my articles, tips and interviews that have been appearing all over the web in the past 90 days. At the same time, Objective Management Group (OMG) has accepted nearly 25 additional Certified Sales Expert/Partners to its Network.  OMG is not a big company but it does provide the absolute finest, most accurate and predictive sales force evaluations and sales candidate assessments in existence. Are these two trends coincidental or are they connected?  (Would you make a good OMG Partner?)

In the past 90 days it seems that OMG has reached a critical mass.  Critical mass is important to growth because it marks the point at which customers, resellers, partners and investors begin coming to you, instead of the other way around.  And this presents both opportunities and challenges.  

Opportunities - When opportunities are coming to you, instead of you having to find and create opportunities, you can be much more efficient.  Efficiencies give way to being more effective and allow you to deal from a position of greater strength.  This creates momentum and after you are moving forward with velocity and consistency, you become very difficult to slow down or stop.  It's pretty exciting!  Salespeople can experience this in their territory or vertical, and sales managers can experience this when their team gains a certain level of experience and expertise and achieves a similar level of maturity, proficiency and satisfied customers.

Challenges - We become busier, tend to focus on low hanging fruit, and as a result, can miss bigger, better, yet more difficult opportunities.  Things like follow up, top of the funnel work, and follow through can slip through the cracks.  We can become rushed, lazier and complacent, skipping important steps, leading to undesirable outcomes.  In other words, we can completely screw up this new capability, send us right back down to where we came from, after we worked so hard to rise above.

Two recent examples of companies that achieved critical mass are Apple and RiM.  Apple scored big with its iPod, and parlayed that into the iPhone, iPad and next the iWatch.  RIM scored big, especially with the corporate world, with its Blackberry but became complacent and saw its market disappear.

Have you already achieved critical mass?  If so, how did you handle the challenges?  Are you close to achieving critical mass?  If so, how can you be sure not to fall victim to those challenges?  Do you need to achieve critical mass?  Then what must you do - think goals, plan, action steps, milestones, KPI's, time lines and results - to reach critical mass?

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales growth, objective management group partner opportunity

How to Pass the Objective Management Group / OMG Sales Assessment

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Jan 19, 2015 @ 09:01 AM

OMG_Logo

If you are looking for sure-fire tips on how to do great on this sales candidate assessment you have come to the right place and that’s exactly what you are going to get. How can you be sure? I am the developer – I designed it and wrote it – and I will tell you exactly how it works, how to approach it, and how to get the best possible score.

Here are the ten most important things for you to know: 

  1. There are no wrong answers.
  2. You can do great and still not be recommended for certain sales positions where your capabilities are different from what a company is looking for.
  3. You can get a mediocre score and still be recommended for those sales positions where you do match up well with what they are looking for.
  4. There is a sliding scale based on how difficult or challenging the position is. A score may be enough to recommend you for a less challenging position, while not being high enough to recommend you for a more challenging position.
  5. Honesty is the best approach. Answer the questions based on what you do, how you think, and what you have said and done in the past; not what you think the test might be looking for. If you try to game the test it will lead to inconsistent answers and that will raise red flags and then you won’t have a very good chance at a good score.
  6. Your first answer is usually the best answer. Don’t over think it.
  7. If you don’t receive a call or interview, it probably has more to do with the sheer number of candidates that applied, not your test results, as well as the subset of candidates that might fit the role even better than you do.
  8. Employers use sales assessment results as only a single data point. They also consider years in sales, experience in the industry, expertise with a product or service, the quality of a resume, cover letter, the length of time employed at prior companies, references, accomplishments, self-presentation, how good a candidate sounds on the phone, and how the candidate performs in a face-to-face interview. Some companies may also conduct credit checks, drug tests, criminal checks, or require personality, behavioral styles, cognitive, aptitude, intelligence and/or honesty and integrity tests.
  9. You should always take the assessment when an employer requests it. If you don’t take the assessment, you have no chance of getting an interview.
  10. The EEOC has Guidelines relative to employers’ use of assessments. Specifically, if they are going to administer assessments, then all candidates must be asked to take the assessment. Additionally, those assessments must be reliable and trustworthy as well as being validated. 

That’s it. There’s nothing more to it. I hope this helped and I wish you the best of luck.

Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, OMG Assessment, Tips for Taking OMG Test

Earthquakes Hold the Key to Accurate Sales Forecasts

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Jan 16, 2015 @ 10:01 AM

seismograph-modern

I love finding cool new apps for my iPad and I'm always looking for the next great weather app.  I recently downloaded eWeather HD and as I poked around, I found something I had never seen before and it has a huge tie-in to sales management, the pipeline, and accurate forecasts!

Appearing right next to the tab for weather alerts, eWeather HD has a tab labeled Quakes.  What the...?  Yes indeed, it logs earthquakes!  Did you know that today, as I write this at 10:18 AM, there have been 6 earthquakes in the past hour?  There was a quake in Eastern Turkey 31 minutes ago that registered 2.1 on the Richter scale, and in the past hour, there were 5 more:

A 2.8 in San Juan, Argentina, a quake in Eastern Turkey that registered 2.3, a 2.4 in the Ionian Sea, a 3.0 in Oklahoma and a 3.1 in Alaska.  And if we go back just 8 hours, there were 14 others, including a 4.3 in Mexico, a 4.5 in Japan, and a 5.0 in Vanuatu.  I don't know about you, but I had no idea that our planet experienced non-stop quakes.  I thought that the ones we heard about on the news accounted for all of the known earthquake activity.

If you run a company, lead a sales force or manage salespeople, you are probably in the dark about salesquakes in much the same way I was in the dark about earthquakes.  The salesquakes registering 5.0 and up on the Kurlan scale - issues that your salespeople come to you with - you know all about those.  But how many of the issues do you hear about when they register below 5.0?

You hear about the deal that's about to close, but then it falls apart.  That's a 6.0.  You hear about the big customer that doesn't renew because they are moving to a competitor.  That's a 7.0.  But do you hear anything at all about opportunities where a salesperson:

  • doesn't get to the decision maker and is talking with the wrong people?  A 4.0
  • doesn't get a firm budget and proposes something the prospect can't pay for?  A 3.9
  • presents or demos to gain interest instead of having a conversation to uncover compelling reasons to buy?  A 4.2
  • is competing against an incumbent and is told the only thing that matters is price?  A 3.4
  • doesn't identify the competition?  A 3.1
  • doesn't tell you that a good opportunity has stalled in an early stage of the sales process?  A 2.9

There are dozens more, but you get the point.  You should know about these salesquakes!

If you have the right CRM solution, and it was configured properly, it would be alerting you to salesquakes in much the same way that eWeather HD alerts me to earthquakes.   If you are using one of the most popular solutions, you probably couldn't identify these quakes even if you were looking for them.

That's one of the things I like so much about Membrain.  There's a ready-to-use version with my Baseline Selling process, Visual Pipeline and methodology built right in that you can get here, or you can contact Membrain for their loaded version with everything you need to run a sales force.

We may not be able to stop earthquakes or even forecast them, but we can put an end to salesquakes and improve the accuracy of our sales forecasts.

Top Sales World and LiveHive have gotten together and published a terrific ebook on getting a jump start to your 2015.  You can download the book here.

You can download the latest issue of Top Sales Magazine here.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Baseline Selling, sales management, sales leadership, sales pipeline, sales forecasts, eweather HD

Sales Tips for the Ages - 4 Things That Really Resonate

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Jan 13, 2015 @ 06:01 AM

4-aces

Copyright: 123RF Stock Photo

Friday, I made a stupid mistake and accidentally published a blog article around mid afternoon.  I had intended to schedule it for Monday morning, but clicked the publish button instead of the schedule button.  Subscribers and followers don't typically read business articles on the weekends and while this would not normally pose a problem, this wasn't a typical article and the response was not a typical response.  We have a cool VoiP Phone System at the office and my phone is configured to forward calls to my cell when I'm away from the office.  Starting about the time I left the office on Friday, my cell phone rang constantly right through to Saturday evening.  Here's why.

My Friday article resonated with so many readers that dozens of them started calling!  If you didn't read about the next big game changer for sales, read that article and feel free to do what my weekend readers did.  Yesterday, I returned every call except the one from Tom G in Atlanta who failed to leave his number.  I'll return your call too if you choose to dial.  That article resonated because it made so much sense to so many people and the tool I mentioned does not require a new skill set.  It's a no-brainer!

The last time an article got that much traction was my post about the Biggest Secret of Salespeople That Rock.  I received more calls and emails in support of my choice to tackle that topic than I could have imagined.  Why?  Because it resonated with so many people and I said what a lot of people had wanted to say, but were afraid to say in a business article.

Thousands of readers downloaded my mystery email template and I received many requests to use excerpts of the article when I wrote about Bringing Your Prospecting to the Next Level.  This article resonated because so many readers have prospects who have gone cold or disappeared and they were hoping that there was something out there that could lure them out of hiding.  It just so happened that I did!

The other article that really resonated was Leads Making Salespeople as Lazy as Golden Retrievers.  Most companies are experiencing exponential growth in the number of inbound leads, but were beginning to realize that most of these "leads" don't justify the time it takes for a salesperson to follow-up.  While 5 to 10% might be good quality leads, today, most "leads" are nothing more than contacts in need of nurturing.  As salespeople feel more pressure to do more with leads that are of questionable quality, this article was the voice of reason.  It resonated.

There are two more things that are important here.

#1 - There is a lot of noise out there.  There are so many best ways, practices, tips, and secrets that are simply masks to sell the blogger's product.  In the end, you need to filter which information you accept as truth, from that which must be labeled promotional or scare tactics.  If it resonates and inspires, comes from an authoritative source, and sounds like a practical solution to a problem you own, chances are it's advice you can trust.

#2 - Your message, to your prospects, must resonate with them.  How can you tell?  They will let you know!  And if they aren't letting you know, if they aren't telling you, if you aren't hearing very strong affirmations from your prospects, that you are right on, different in a good way, and the one they want to work with, then you are doing something wrong.  If that's the case, contact me and we will help you get it straightened out.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales tips, lead follow up, phone selling, phone prospecting, sales rock stars

The Next 'Can't Miss' Game Changer for Salespeople

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Jan 09, 2015 @ 14:01 PM

game_changer

Copyright: 123RF Stock Photo

Another game changer?  After so many in the last 5 years?  It's coming - no doubt about it.  I'll give you the background and tell you why this incredible tool will be the one to supercharge your sales.

Today, Social Selling (like blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter and others) is all the rage.  Experts are evangelizing these tools, touting their power to connect, and providing training on how to best use them.  And they're all correct about these tools.  Every seller should be using them, but therein lies the problem.

Soon, every seller will be using them!

Would you like to start blogging?  Good luck finding your audience from among the more than 2 million articles that were posted - not in the last 5 years, not last year, not last month, not this month to date - but more than 2 million posts today alone!  It's a very difficult time to start blogging.

Would you like to start sharing articles, asking questions, and commenting on LinkedIn or Twitter?  How will your tweets, comments and shares be noticed above the noise from all of the salespeople who have begun to do that?

Would you like to host webinars, or send a weekly or monthly newsletter?  How will you get people to read those when they are routinely barraged with hundreds of useless emails each day?

Would you like to have your own YouTube channel?  There are 4 billion YouTube views per day - that's a lot of people watching videos, but how can you possibly get their attention when there are millions of YouTube channels for them to watch?

Yes, friends, Social Selling certainly works - and can work well - for the people who already have well-established audiences and followings.  I'm fortunate enough to have an award-winning Blog with a nice loyal readership and get lots of organic traffic from Google searches.  A late start in any Social Selling channel may cause you to become very discouraged.

But there is hope!

I know of a tool that works better than everything I have mentioned so far.  While it doesn't have the power to reach as many people in as short a time as Social Selling, or as I prefer to call it, Personal Marketing, it is much more effective for targeting and reaching specific prospects.  Not only that, the communication is in real time, with no latency, lagging, or delayed response times.  Doesn't that bode well for having a real, rather than digital, conversation?

Even better, if you are an early, rather than late, adopter of this game-changing approach, you'll be one of the only salespeople using it, and unlike Personal Marketing, there won't be any noise!

Are you ready?

As has been the case for the better part of the past 30 years, I am way ahead of the curve on this.  Would you like to know about it?

I have become aware of a tool that allows you to reach any prospect, anywhere, at any time, without even knowing their email address, twitter handle, or public LinkedIn page!  There is no limit to the number of characters, length of message, or size of content.  Your prospect can respond to you as easily as you can reach out to them and the technology is readily available to anyone who wants to avail themselves of it.  And the best news?  It's covered by nearly all of your existing subscriptions and fees.  Doesn't that sound awesome?

It gets better.  Email, InMail and Twitter messages don't always convey how you wanted to sound and can be easily misunderstood or misinterpreted.  Not so with this technology.  

Introducing the Tool of the Future

Today, I would like to be the first to introduce you to the sales tool of the future.  A Direct Line of Communication to any prospect in the world.

You may have seen this tool before, but you may have to use it in a way that is different from how it was intended.  Today, most people use these devices to send text messages, tweets, emails and upload photos and videos.  But if you poke around enough, you will find that manufacturers actually included a nicely hidden feature that allows you to punch in about 10 digits and you can actually speak - LIVE - to anyone - anywhere - on demand.  It is SO COOL!  And the device will remember those numbers so that you don't have to punch them all in again.  Amazing.

cell_phone

Copyright:  123RF Stock Photo

Free Demo!

And for a limited time, I can provide you with a demo of how this works.

Go to your device, find the application called PHONE, and tap the following 10 digits in the field provided:  800-221-6337.  Press the green button.  You will hear a sound to indicate that you have initiated an attempt to reach me.  There is a very good chance that a live person from Objective Management Group will answer your very first ping.  I'm going to provide you with a promo code that will give you direct access to me.  When they answer, say, "Dave Kurlan, please" and the live person will actually reroute your ping directly to me!  And if I'm speaking live with someone else at that moment, I have a digital clone that will answer and you can tell my clone exactly what you wanted to tell me, leave any kind of message you want, and I can actually listen to it later and return your ping.  It's truly amazing, friends, and will revolutionize the way selling takes place in the future.

I'll bet that you're thinking that this entire article is a joke - that I wrote it with tongue-in-cheek.  Wrong.  I am dead serious.  Do you know how many phone calls I received today?  One.  Nobody uses the phone anymore and that's what makes the phone such a perfect and obvious choice for building your pipeline and accelerating sales growth.  Web-based tools are awesome for marketing and generating interest, but most of us have to sell!  And trust me when I tell you this:

It is a lot easier and much more powerful to sell on the phone, via video conference and face-to-face than it is hiding behind your computer screen.

Please take advantage of my limited time offer to demo this new technology.  Try it for yourself!  Call me now - 800-221-6337 ext 212.  Remember the promo code: Dave Kurlan

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Closing Sales, sales tips, social selling, lead generation, game changer

How Can a Simple Zero Derail a Sale or Deal?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Jan 07, 2015 @ 13:01 PM

derailment

Copyright: 123RF Stock Photo

Today, I was coaching a very talented salesperson, one who is even better at getting deals closed.  Yesterday, he closed a large deal when late in the day, and completely out of nowhere, he got the dreaded "we changed our mind" email.  This is his story.

When I debriefed him, it was apparent, even to him, that there was a moment toward the end of the meeting when he had happy ears.  He gets that.  He knows what he should have asked.  What really bothered him was, "Why did this happen?"   Not why did the deal come undone, but why the happy ears?  What caused his usually reliable and steady emotions to betray him?  And we better figure this out quickly because he was beating himself up so badly that blood would surely be dripping from his head at any moment now.

He accepted my statement about his having an emotional reaction at that moment in the call, but was adamant that it was abnormal.  We discussed the one thing that was different about this opportunity than others like it.  This opportunity was triple the size of his average sale and challenged his money tolerance.  Money Tolerance becomes a Sales DNA weakness when the deal size exceeds the amount at which money becomes "a lot" to the salesperson.  In this case, the deal had an extra zero and far exceeded this salesperson's conceptual $50,000 limit.

Bob's sales call was a veritable chain reaction - a 3-car pile-up.  The prospect said something, an alarm went off in Bob's mind, but instead of addressing it, asking a question, setting expectations, and clarifying that everything was still OK, he ignored it and hoped for the best.  That alarm was the voice in his head that pointed out that this deal was different.  There was a $50,000 commission at stake.  It was bigger than most.  It became more important than most.  That was his Emotional reaction to the Low (in this case) Money Tolerance.  The Tendency to Become Emotional is another Sales DNA weakness.  Those 2 weaknesses caused another Sales DNA weakness to rear its head.  Fear of Rejection would not ordinarily be an issue for Bob, but in this case, it was the truck that smashed into the first two cars that had collided.   Fear of Rejection morphed into the second voice Bob heard in his head.  It said, "You'd better not ask about that because that might cause you to lose the business.  Better just shut up and hope for the best!"

It's funny, but once Bob understood what happened, he calmed right down, called his prospect, and was able to calmly and expertly resurrect the deal.  Like I said, Bob is a very talented salesperson, but even great salespeople can be hindered by emotions, money and fear when the circumstances are right.

The bigger issue is salespeople who aren't elite, and how frequently they are besieged by some or all of the dozens of issues like these that affect salespeople, sales cycles, sales win rates, and revenue.  Would you like to know how, when, where, and how frequently your salespeople are impacted by things like this?  Watch this 4-minute video to learn about our Sales Force Evaluation.

evals

The year's first issue of Top Sales Magazine is now available for download.  In addition to articles by the heavy hitters of sales consulting and training, do take the time to read my article on page 8 - "What You Think Versus What I Think about Consultative Selling".

Topics: sales training, Sales Coaching, closing deals, hidden sales weaknesses, deals that blow up

About Dave

Dave Kurlan's Blog has earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award four years running and this year this article earned Gold. Read more about Dave.

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