What You Should Never Do on LinkedIn to Do Business with Your LinkedIn Network

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, May 16, 2018 @ 06:05 AM

linkedin

I don't know about you but for every benefit I get from LinkedIn, I get an equal amount of frustration.  Some people, like me, have criteria for who they will invite and whose invitation they will accept on LinkedIn. How many times has this happened to you?

Someone invites you to join their LinkedIn network or asks if they can join yours.  You accept.  And then it happens...

In the first example, I received this message a week after I accepted this individual's invitation:

Hello Dave,   I noticed we haven’t had a chance to talk yet having been connected now for over a week. I am following up to see if you have reviewed our [their product] that has changing the shape of businesses nationwide. If you want more info let’s schedule a time to get connected personally here: [their personal landing pageto gather more detailed information.   As always, if there is anybody you want me to connect you with in my network let me know and I will make it happen. I look forward to your response!

In the second example, I received this message from someone in a business similar  to mine who, as with the first example, sent this to me right after I accepted his invitation:

Hello Dave, I am reaching out because it looks like you are doing some exciting things that are really making a difference! I know the true value of an online network comes from creating meaningful connections through start-up conversations. I am passionate about helping organizations of all sizes to improve their sales performance. For over 25 years I have designed and implemented knowledge management and performance support systems for many companies including Hewlett Packard, ExxonMobil, Pepsi Co. and many others. Let’s chat. Please call me at [phone number] Ps. Here’s an article I thought you might find interesting. It explains more about the importance of Content Strategy in Sales Look forward to talking to you soon, [his name].

In the third example, the message was sent to me the same day I accepted his invite. While it was more tailored to me than most others, it was still wrong:

Hi Dave, I came across your profile recently on LinkedIn, and I got to know that you already are a published author. I’m the CEO of [company], one of the world leading “Done For You” Publishing company which provides all the services related to book publishing and marketing. You can find more about us at [their website[. Recently we have launched a Press Release Distribution service for authors which is worth $2,500 (FREE for you). If you avail this offer, then we will get your book featured in press releases to around 300+ media sites, including Top-Tier Newswire (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CW, etc.) which positions you as the go-to expert in your field. In exchange, we would just need your testimonial (video & written) which we can use to get paid clients. If you find that this is the right fit for you, then you can schedule a free 30 min strategy call with me today at [scheduling link]. I would love to spread your book with our PR service (for free). Thank you, [signature line].

Inviting someone to your LinkedIn network and immediately trying to pitch them is not cool and not how to effectively leverage LinkedIn.  There are plenty of LInkedIn experts out there and I'm not going to pretend to be one of them. The way to do business with people in your LinkedIn network is for them to notice your expertise on LinkedIn.  Engage in conversations.  Create and share content and ask specific people to comment.  Pitching your new connections will only cause them to remove you as a connection.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, prospecting, linkedin, social selling

Have the Promises of Inbound Sales Come to Fruition?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Nov 14, 2016 @ 06:11 AM

inbound.png

Last week, I spoke at Inbound, where 19,000 people attended this sold-out event in Boston.  Ironically, I spoke to a crowd that wanted to learn how to be more effective at engaging prospects by phone and converting those conversations to meetings.  Why is it ironic?  Well, the promise of the Inbound movement is that cold calling is dead. Salespeople will reap the benefits of inbound leads from prospects who had already expressed interest.  Has that happened?

There is no doubt that inbound has been a huge success.  Companies that effectively utilize the power of inbound generate a tremendous number of web submissions for their sales teams.  But whether we can call them leads is another story altogether.  Some of the contacts are interested and ready to buy.  More will be interested at a later date.  Most will never become customers, but were happy to take advantage of a free trial, sample or white paper.  Others subscribe to newsletters and Blogs but may never read a single issue or post.

At some point, a BDR, SDR or salesperson will attempt to contact the person whose name appears on the web form.  We know it may take 10-15 attempts before that person is reached.  But when they do answer their phone, what will happen?

The reality is that even though the caller knows something about the person being called, the contact knows nothing about the caller.  Do you know what that means?  After all the promises stating that cold-calling is dead, even the follow up calls to inbound leads are cold.  That's right, cold calling is alive and kicking, but it's less effective than ever before.

Back in the golden age of cold calling, a salesperson might spend two hours each day, make 40 dials, hope to speak with 10 decision makers and book 2-3 meetings.  And those were icy cold calls.  Today, a salesperson working the top of the funnel might spend the entire day trying to reach people who submitted a form from one of the company's landing pages.  They might make 100 dials, hoping to speak with 7 people, and book only 1-2 meetings per week!  Worse than icy, these calls are frozen solid.

Seth Godin first named what we now call inbound, permission marketing.  But most people who request a free download, white paper, sample or trial don't feel like they have given anyone permission to call.  They seem more annoyed over the calls from inept top of the funnel salespeople than prospects were in the old days when salespeople made traditional cold calls.  One reason is that most of the sellers in top of the funnel roles are millennials, many of whom are not well suited for the role.  If you want to see how poorly they fit, look at the science in this article.

None of this is bad, but it is confusing, misleading and ineffective.

Cold calling has not gone away but the approach has changed.  The problem today is that callers are still using outdated, ineffective scripts to follow up with people who requested anything except a call and are appropriately resistant.  None of the call approaches that I've heard deal with this obvious dynamic.

When we help clients make changes to their approach, teach them how to get the prospects attention, and show them how to get prospects engaged on the phone, everything changes.

But people are resistant to change and in this case, the people are often those leading sales teams.  And they have big egos.  It's simply time to set aside the egos, acknowledge that things are not working anywhere nearly as effectively as they should be, and make the necessary changes.

Some of it is simple excuse making - speaking of which, Will Barron of Salesman Red, completed a terrific interview with me and you can watch it right here.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, prospecting, Seth Godin, inbound, cold call

The 5 Questions That Get Prospects to Buy so You Don't Have to Sell

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Mar 30, 2016 @ 18:03 PM

Questions.png

It's a catch-22 that I find myself in all of the time.  In this business, I can't ever be better at training, coaching, evaluating, consulting, and general sales expertise than I am when actually selling.  If I am less expert at selling, I will lack credibility.  I become one of those people who, if they can't do it, they teach it.  On the other hand, I can't be better at selling than at providing expertise because it is often very threatening to potential clients. They fear being sold something - especially consulting services - from someone who could possibly fail to meet expectations, and my business would fail if I caused that to happen.  So what is a sales expert to do? Let's answer that question, discuss how it applies to you, and share some questions that will help you sell more of what you have!

I need to let and help people buy from me and cannot, under any circumstances, sell.  I've been doing it that way for 30 years and it has worked so far!  The balance is so, so important.  This is something that can be transferred to any sales force.  If you understand the delicate balance I described, you and your salespeople can apply the same balance to your prospects and customers.  Make sure they buy from you, but don't be found guilty of selling to them.

If you get the hang of that approach, you'll have taken the first step to becoming a consultative seller!  Because in order for you to help prospects buy, you must become adept at listening and asking questions.  If you do nothing but listen and ask questions, everything will change.  Of course, they need to be good questions.  As soon as you ask a dumb, stupid, moronic question, that conversation will end.  So what are good questions?  Any question that:

  • Helps your prospect to go wider and deeper in response to what you just heard,
  • Encourages your prospect to provide further details,
  • Uncovers the consequences of an issue they shared with you,
  • Gets your prospect to share how those consequences impact them, and
  • Monetizes the issues and impact they have discussed.

The only problem with all of this is that most salespeople can't do it!  This article discusses why more salespeople suck than ever before and this article explains consultative selling in much more detail!

Recently I was asked to take a look at this article on the Salesforce.com blog about the 3 must-have elements for building sales teams that soar.  They were hoping that I would not only share the article, but especially the infographic that you see below. They did a great job on the infographic. Some of the information in the article is good, some is good common sense, and some - well some contains made-up statistics!  When you see numbers like 50% and 100X, you know there isn't science behind those numbers.  And the days of reps calling 120-170 prospects per day?  Sure, maybe in 1970 when prospects answered their phones.  Sure, if the same reps don't also have to conduct actual sales calls/meetings.  Sure, if the sales manager wants to burn their reps out after a month.  Seriously,  if a dial that goes to voicemail takes an average 3 minutes and you have a ten-minute conversation with 10% of the 170 people that you dialed, you would have spent :

  • 10 minutes x 17 conversations for 170 minutes or nearly 3 hours,
  • 153 dials x 3 minutes for 459 minutes or 7.65 hours,
  • And with four 10-minute breaks and a lunch hour, that's an 11.5 hour day and no time to conduct any sales calls or meetings!

If reps are still doing dialing-for-dollars, 3 hours per day is plenty unless they are in a call center and all they do is schedule meetings for account executives.  Half a day for prospecting and half a day for following up with sales calls makes much more sense! And remember, you won't have time to sell consultatively if you are cranking out that kind of call volume.  That can only lead to transactional selling which, unless you sell something extremely simple, very inexpensive, and for the lowest price, transactional selling won't accomplish anything.

 

Click To Enlarge

The Three Must-Have Elements For Building Sales Teams That Soar

Via Salesforce

Topics: Dave Kurlan, growing a sales team, prospecting, salesforce.com

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

Can These 5 Keys Determine the Fate of Cold Calling?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, May 07, 2014 @ 05:05 AM

phoneThe May issue of Top Sales Magazine is now available and in addition to my monthly article, this month's issue is loaded with important reading on sales and selling.

Bob Terson posted my article, Are Your Salespeople Still Cold Calling - The Ugly Truth over at the Selling Fearlessly Blog.

When marketers and writers tell us that cold calling is dead, they never remember to qualify what they are trying to sell us.  The amount of death in cold calling is dependent on a number of variables that never seem to be discussed.  If we take a good hard look at these variables, we can see that taking a broad brush stroke to cold calling is a mistake:

  • New Salespeople - Even this needs clarification.  New to selling?  New to the industry?  New to the vertical?  New to the company?  New to the role?  Unless brand new salespeople are fed an endless number of leads, there may be no other way to establish themselves other than making cold calls.  On the other end of the argument, veteran salespeople who come from the industry, territory, or vertical, and are simply new to the company, may not ever need to make a single cold call to reestablish themselves.
  • Size of the customer pool - If the company has 12 potential customers in the entire world, cold calling is not in the salesperson's future.  On the other hand, if everyone is a prospect, there may be no other way of reaching them all without using cold calling to target the most elusive of them.
  • Size of your online network - If a salesperson has a large and influential online network, that individual might be able to generate enough introductions to keep a full pipeline.  But the key word is "might", and when it isn't happening, cold calls will be required to supplement.
  • Expectations - If a salesperson's role requires 20 new meetings to be scheduled each week and there aren't 60 leads flowing in to support that outcome, the salesperson will need to cold call.  On the other hand, if the salesperson is only expected to schedule 5 new meetings each week, it's possible that a combination of leads, customer referrals and online networking can support that goal.
  • Skills - This is clearly the biggest variable of them all.  IF cold calling will be necessary, then the amount of cold calling is in direct disproportion to the salesperson's skills at performing this.  I know this was true for me as I started 3 businesses in the 70's and 80's.  I hated it, but was willing to do it.  I vowed to get so good at it that I wouldn't have to spend a minute more doing it than was absolutely necessary.  While others spent their entire days making cold calls, I scheduled the meetings I needed to schedule in less than an hour.

As long as we are discussing the variables that must be considered before we say cold calling is dead, you might be interested in these additional 15 articles on the death of various aspects of selling.  These have all been written over the past 8 years or so.  Has my thinking changed?

The Latest Fiction for the Sales Force - No More Hunters and Farmers 

Double Article Friday and the Death of All Selling Forever 

Sales Candidate Shortage - More Proof That Sales Isn't Dead Yet 

Could it Really be The Death of SPIN Selling? 

Sales 2.0 - The Answer to our Prayers or a Costly Distraction? 

Sales Management Best Practices - Are Top Salespeople Challengers? 

Is There a Lack of Clarity on the Current State of Selling?

Insider Opinion - Why Sales Experts Can't Agree on Anything 

Has the Death of Selling Finally Arrived? 

The Death of Selling Revisited 

Seth Godin - Sales Expert or Marketing Genius? 

The Death of the Sales Force is Greatly Exaggerated 

Sales, Sales Force, Sales Call - More Death 

The Death of Selling Part 4 

The Death of the Sales Force Part 5 - Will Selling Live On?

 

Copyright: wavebreakmediamicro / 123RF Stock Photo

Topics: Dave Kurlan, prospecting, death of selling, appointment setting

Friday - Finding New Business & Sales Part 2 - How it's Done

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Feb 07, 2014 @ 13:02 PM

This is the second weekly installment of Finding New Business and Sales.  You can read Part 1 here.

This week I was interviewed by Jason Kanigan and he asked some great questions about using the phone for prospecting. The interview is a terrific listen if for no other reason than it has MY RECIPE FOR GETTING VOICE MAIL MESSAGES RETURNED, ALONG WITH HOW THE MESSAGES SHOULD SOUND!  

Here is a link to Wednesday's terrific Webinar on Leading the Ideal Sales Force Part 1 in case you missed it.  Register for Part 2, on March 12 at 11 AM ET.

WEBINAR SERIES - Baseline Selling Open Enrollment
Begins February 20 for 12 Weeks
More Information: http://hub.am/1fhbMvv 
WEBINAR - How to Get the Most from OMG's Sales Candidate Analyzer Tool
February 26, 11 AM ET
Register 
SALES 2.0 CONFERENCE IN PHILADELPHIA - What to Ask To Determine If You Need to Implement Sales Force Transformation
March 10 
Register
ECSELL SALES COACHING SUMMIT IN CHARLOTTE NC - What Does Commitment to Sales Success Mean?
April 15
Register
EO AUSTIN TX - How to Shorten Your Sales Cycle and Close More Sales
April 23
Email me 

Topics: Dave Kurlan, business development, prospecting, getting voice mail messages returned

My Top 14 Articles on More Effective Sales Cold Calling

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Nov 12, 2012 @ 22:11 PM

cold callerYesterday, I posted this article about why sales cold calling is so bad.  One of my readers asked what I would recommend to make the calls more effective.  I've written a lot of articles about cold calling more effectively, so I have linked to fourteen of those articles below.

A new book on sales, How to Close Deals Like Warren Buffett, was launched today.  Highly successful dealmakers themselves, authors Tom Searcy and Henry DeVries, have been studying Buffett’s unique approach for many years. Now they reveal the deal-making secrets of the Oracle of Omaha including 101 top deal-making maxims from a legend in his own time.

They round it all out with an abundance of their own experience – approaches that, added up, have generated billions of dollars in new sales.  When you order today (and today only), you’ll get more than $300 in game-changing bonus material from some of America’s TOP business authors (I’m honored to be one of them).

As long as we are talking about books on selling, these are links to articles on my Baseline Selling site which provide instructions for making more effective cold calls :

Saying Hello

Getting Through 

Getting Your Prospects' Attention

First Impressions

Getting More Appointments

The Five Biggest Phone Selling Traps

Obstacles to Scheduling Appointments 

Overcoming Negative or No Response

What it Takes to Get Appointments Scheduled 

Sales is Like an Obstacle Course 

Getting Your Calls Returned  

These blog links are to articles right here about cold calling:

Are Your People Still Cold Calling? The Ugly Truth

Best and Worst Cold Call in a Single Call 

The 9 Million Dollar Cold Call - Do Salespeople Still Sell That Way? 

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Baseline Selling, new business development, prospecting, cold calls, sales book, sales cold calling, warren buffett

Prospecting Trends for the Sales Force

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Jul 18, 2012 @ 23:07 PM

inmail

Three salespeople left voice-mail messages for me today.  They were all cold calls, they were all bad, and they were all following up on brochures they dropped off last week.  Nothing out of the ordinary here, as one of the callers wanted to know when our copier leases expire, one wanted to know when our commercial real estate lease expires and two wanted to introduce themselves as our new reps.

There are several reasons why they were so bad:  

  • They sounded bad on the phone - not like someone with whom you would choose to speak;
  • They were reading scripts - the first tip-off that you wouldn't want to speak with them;
  • They talked about what they wanted for outcomes from their calls instead of about what I might have been interested.  

I have always had a problem with the concept of dialing for expiration dates (think commercial insurance, commercial real estate and copiers) and following up behind brochure drops (think office supplies, hotels and copiers).  Distributing literature is not selling!

I also received 4 InMails through LinkedIn.  I responded to all of the InMails, but ignored the voice-mails.  

The voice-mails were easy to ignore - they were bad and the salespeople told me just enough to know that I didn't want to call them back.  The InMails were about me, I didn't get a chance to hear how bad they were and I was interested in what they had to say.

Salespeople should not use LinkedIn InMails to replace phone calls, as much as they shouldn't be ignoring the power of that social media tool either.  Sending well-written InMails to carefully-targeted prospects might help salespeople stand out and have a better chance of getting a response and/or meeting.  These days I get so few cold calls that anyone who is even borderline effective will stand out in good way.  In the end, these salespeople - both the callers and the writers - are being proactive, so at least they're actually doing something to drive new business!

Topics: sales competencies, sales culture, Dave Kurlan, business development, prospecting, Social Media, inbound leads, hunting, cold call

Are Your Salespeople Still Cold Calling? The Ugly Truth

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Jan 25, 2012 @ 08:01 AM

cold callCold calling.  It sounds so...20th Century.

Some industries still break-in their salespeople by putting them on the phone and having them dial - more than one hundred times a day - and attempt to schedule appointments.  You still receive calls like this from new, and sometimes not so new salespeople selling insurance, investments, copiers, office supplies, commercial real estate and long distance phone services.

Today, more salespeople are using the Social Network to find opportunities.  Whether it's incoming leads from Blogs, researching and requesting introductions on LinkedIn, or simply finding the target audience from a Google search, salespeople are using these tools to connect more and more often.

Of course, one thing that will never change is word of mouth.  Referrals and introductions from happy customers and clients will always be the finest method for generating new business.

Given all of the options, which salespeople are smartest?  Is it those that are cold calling, those who are getting introductions or those that are using the Social Network?  The answer depends on how you decide to measure what being smart means.  

If smart is measured by the easiest method, with less work, and no human contact, then those using the social network are as smart as they come.  

If smart is measured by following the path that most often leads to success, then those who ask their customers for introductions and get them are even smarter.  

If smart means making sure that no matter what else happens during the course of the month, the salesperson adds the required number of new opportunities to their pipeline, then those who are cold calling are the smartest salespeople on the planet.

Cold calling isn't enjoyable (for those salespeople who are truthful about it). Cold calling isn't effective except for the most brilliant of callers.  Cold calling isn't efficient anymore.  One thing that cold calling will always be is controllable and manageable.  

You can't control the number of inbound leads your salespeople will get.  Of course, if you are generating more leads than necessary to keep the pipeline full of quality opportunities my argument doesn't work.  But most companies aren't accomplishing that - yet.  

You can't control the number of introductions you will receive from your clients and customers.  

You can't control the number of introductions your social network will make on your behalf, even if you are asking for them.  

You can control the number of cold calls your salespeople make.  Even if the numbers are as ugly as this:

Attempts - 100
Connects -   10
Meeting Scheduled - 1
 

At least you can control that.

I don't think cold calling should still be the default approach for new business development.  However, if a salesperson needs to add 20 new opportunities to their pipeline each month, and the other methods deliver only 7, then cold calling becomes a necessary method to secure the remaining 13 opportunities required.

Cold calling is slowly but surely declining in use but some salespeople have discarded it before its time.

Reevaluate what your salespeople are doing, how they are doing it, and make sure that the emphasis is on the result, not the method.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, business development, prospecting, cold calling, in bound leads, introductions

Top 11 Reasons Why Salespeople Fail to Close Sales

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Sep 19, 2011 @ 12:09 PM

stop sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today I coached a salesperson who thought he had call reluctance - but I didn't agree.  He was pushing through, making calls - although not as many as he should.  He has some need for approval - but since he needs approval from his boss he needs to make the calls in order to get it.  He needs some approval from his prospects but can't earn that unless he gets prospects on the phone and impresses them. So he actually has reason to pick up the phone and make calls.

I wondered whether he loved selling - enough.

I wondered whether he was committed - fully and unconditionally.

I wondered whether it was something else entirely...

The reason I'm bringing this up is that in most companies, when certain stages of the sales process are not being exectued as they should, executives often don't know why.  That's one of the many reasons why we evaluate Sales Forces - to identify root causes of the known (and unknown) problems.  The second reason is that problems are often misidentified.  For example, half of the calls and emails we receive each day ask us to conduct workshops/coaching/training/seminars on closing skills, even though closing skills are almost never the reason why salespeople fail to close sales.  With sales and salespeople, you need to work backwards from what you know, and ask many "could it be?" questions to identify the real problem and more importantly, the reason for the problem.

For instance, problems with closing (delays, put-offs, losses to the competition, pricing, etc.) happen for any or all of the following reasons:

  1. not a qualified opportunity
  2. salesperson did not present an ideal solution
  3. lack of urgency
  4. salesperson did not create/build value
  5. no compelling reasons to buy
  6. lack of posturing
  7. timeline misunderstood
  8. not selling to the correct person
  9. salespeople lack opportunities so they continue to work the lousy ones too
  10. salesperson presented too early in the process and then went into chase mode
  11. prospect never agreed to spend the money required
Even if you identify which of the reasons are responsible for the closing problem or challenge, you must go through that same process and identify 10 more possible causes for each reason - and go through that process repeatedly until you have identified the root problem.  The root problem will probably have nothing to do with selling skills!

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales force evaluation, closing, prospecting, cold calls, presenting, sales assessments

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for six consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016 and this one for 2017. Read more about Dave.

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