7 More Tips on How I Sell More and Get More Done Part 3

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Jan 09, 2017 @ 09:01 AM

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Image Copyright: 123RF Stock Photo

Who knew that this would turn into a series?

Part 1 and Part 2 were very popular and centered around productivity and technology, but not selling competencies.  This post presents Part 3, which although having a different perspective on selling more and getting more done,  stays away from selling-specific competencies like the other two entries.

Focus - While most people are fairly distractable, I am not.  I don't flip to my email every time an email arrives.  I don't socialize in the office.  I don't answer calls if I am in the middle of something else and I am a slave to the clock.  If my calendar says I'm supposed to be working on something at a particular time, when that time arrives I am working on that project.  You simply cannot distract me.

Discipline - I believe that discipline can compensate for some of the gaps salespeople have with their selling strengths and skills.  They say that 50% of success is showing up. Discipline is the sales version of showing up.  It's doing what you don't feel like doing, saying what you don't feel like saying and asking what you don't feel like asking - always and without exception.

Energy - I know the times of day when I have the most energy and make sure that I schedule the most demanding work for my high energy times of day.  For me, that means nothing that requires a lot of attention, focus, emotion or energy in the middle of the afternoon.

Commitment - You can't be somewhat pregnant and you can't be somewhat committed.  Either you're all in or you're out.  Whatever it takes baby.

Selection - On the selling side of things, you must determine what kind of salesperson you want to be (and your sales manager might have something to say about this too). Option 1 - schedule calls/meetings with anyone who will talk with you and close what you can.  Option 2 - be selective about who you schedule calls/meetings with and close most of them.  Option 1 means working hard and option 2 means working smart.  Option 1 means your pipeline will always be full.  Option 2 means that your win rate will be high.  Option 1 means working hard but there won't be much pressure because you will always have closable opportunities.  Option 2 means working smart, but there will be tremendous pressure to close everything that is in your limited pipeline.

Pressure -  Speaking of pressure, you should know how effective you are at handling pressure and lots of it.  Ideally, you must be at your best under pressure but if you aren't, you must find a way to avoid putting yourself in pressure situations.  That means you must always be ahead of where you need to be.

Outlook - This is about your attitude and how you feel about yourself.  When your outlook is poor, it has a negative impact on bravery, tactics and work ethic. It can happen to anyone. For most salespeople, certain people, events or words can trigger a negative change in outlook that instantly shifts your focused, energized, committed and disciplined self to someone who suddenly isn't able to act that way. You must be able to identify those things or people that can trigger you.  What triggers you?  How can you prevent those triggers from occurring?  How can you prevent those triggers from affecting you?  At best, you are rarely triggered and recover quickly.  At worst, this can cause a daily interruption and consistently take you off of your game.  If there is one thing that you must absolutely learn to control, it is Outlook.  This 2-minute video clip from Game of Thrones is a great example of what happens when outlook goes south.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales disciplines, sales focus, sales targeting, commitment to sales success, energy, outlook

Salespeople Must Use & Embrace Life's Most Embarrassing Moments

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Sep 27, 2012 @ 11:09 AM

embarrassedCan you remember that time, back in school, when you did something so embarrassing that you wanted to run away and hide forever?  Of course you do - it was all about you.  But I will wager any amount of money that you are the only one who remembers.  The others who were there that day and anyone you might have told have long forgotten.  It - wasn't - about  - them.

The same phenomenon applies to selling.

You and your salespeople have made dozens of horrible, embarrassing calls to prospects and companies.  While you and your salespeople remember your act of extreme failing, the prospects don't.  They wouldn't remember you, your salespeople or your horrible attempts if their lives depended on it.  Doesn't that mean you could try again and nobody would be the wiser?

Why not make it next month's initiative?

With prospects whom you thought you'd never call again:

  • Prize for most conversations,
  • Prize for most (qualified) meetings scheduled ,
  • Prize for most opportunities entered into the pipeline,
  • Prize for most accounts closed/opened/sold,
  • Prize for the largest sale and/or
  • Prize for the first sale.
Everybody wins!

They won't remember.  Treat it like a first call.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales management, sales targeting, sales prospecting, sales incentives, sales contests

Your Salespeople Call on the Wrong People and Expect Them to Buy

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Oct 30, 2008 @ 10:10 AM

I speak quite often to groups comprised primarily of CEO's and Presidents.  Yesterday was a good example of that, with about 100 people in the audience.  There were 35 No-Shows, most of whom did not have the title of President or CEO. 

I speak about sales force issues that are meaningful to Presidents and CEO's.  At the end of these keynotes I learn who is interested in getting some help driving sales excellence in their company.  The historical data from about 14 years of these keynotes show that about 80% of the Presidents and CEO's say "yes" while about 80% of the sales managers and Sales VP's say "no".  Surprised? 

Let's translate this to your business. How many sales opportunities fail to convert because your salespeople failed to meet with the individual(s) in the company that:

  1. cared the most
  2. had the power to cause change;
  3. had the ability to spend money despite a spending freeze;
  4. had the ability to spend more in the face of "buy low" policies;
  5. was committed to solving the problem;
  6. didn't have to run your proposal UP the food chain.

Will you ever do business with some of the "wrong" people?  Yes. And that's the problem.  If it worked once, maybe it will work again so your salespeople continue to hope against hope when they should be doing whatever it takes to meet/speak with the right people, those who actually have the ability to do business with you.

I can count on one hand the number of sales managers or sales VP's that made the decision to do business with my company over the years.  In my world it always begins with a CEO or President and then, after we have evaluated their sales force, we work with the VP or sales manager.  I don't have enough fingers and toes to count the sales managers and VP's who felt it was THEIR job to provide the expertise for which CEO's and Presidents hire my company.  Their job is to manage the sales force.  They are not experts in sales force evaluation, sales candidate assessment and selection, sales training and coaching, development, leadership, and the development and deployment of sales systems and processes. If they were, that work wouldn't make up such a huge part of the work we do with them! 

Even after engagement with a CEO/President, most sales managers and VP's do their best to prevent us from helping although once they begin working with us they come to embrace our help.

Back to your world. Identify all of the ways in which the wrong people your salespeople call on can hinder, delay, stall, block, interfere or otherwise screw up your salespeople's ability to get the business.

Make your list here.

Got yourself a good list? Have five to ten items on it?  Good - Live by it!  It's very low percentage selling so don't allow your salespeople to sell to those people. 

(c) Copyright 2008 Dave Kurlan

Topics: sales, Baseline Selling, sales management, selling, Salesforce, closing, sales competenices, sales targeting, sales assessments

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About Dave

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

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