Sales Tips for Trade Shows and Major Accounts

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, May 25, 2010 @ 07:05 AM

behind the tableTwo topics that I don't seem to write about much came up in last week's episode of Meet the Sales Experts.  My guest was Sales Development Expert Chris Mott from Kurlan & Associates and we had a very good conversation about Trade Show Selling. We discussed the difference between an industry show, where buyers come specifically to meet with vendors and acquire new lines, versus general business shows, where most visitors attend for the event itself.  At recent general business shows where Chris exhibited, he noticed just how few exhibitors had activity at their booths despite the fact that these shows were significantly busier and better attended than similar shows just a year ago.  The exhibitor and visitor attendance is more good news relative to confidence, spending and outlook in the business sector.  The bad news is that the exhibitors were clueless as to how to get people to stop at their booths and engage.

Chris provided some timely tips for getting people to stop and chat.  He suggested that instead of exhibitors sitting or standing behind their booths they should stand out in front of their booths, in the traffic, saying hello to people as they walk by, calling their names (from the name tag) and asking, "why didn't you stop to say hello?"  I love that!

The bottom line on Trade Show selling is this;  When salespeople are successful in getting visitors stop, it's easy to get them engaged by asking what they do and instead of going into a sales pitch they should continue to ask questions to learn whether they have an issue your company can help with.  If the visitor has an issue, your salespeople should simply get permission to call after the show. 

Chris and I also discussed major account selling.  Obviously, the number of contacts, length of the sales cycle, people who influence the decision, and the relationships are substantially different  and more significant than selling to small and mid market accounts. One of Chris' points that I liked so much is the need to prove yourself first. This ties nicely into the question I posed in last week's article, Best Sales Strategy for Your Company.  It supports the strategy of getting in with something small enough to get the opportunity to prove yourself first.  He also talked about the importance of having patience.

I have always believed and taught that there is a fine line between too much and too little patience.  In a major account specifically, your salespeople must be impatient enough to cut through the superficial points and get to the compelling reasons why the individuals in front of them would buy, yet patient enough for the opportunity to develop.  They must be impatient enough to keep the opportunity moving forward, yet patient enough to allow people to do what has to be done in a big company to achieve buy-in and approval.  They must be patient enough to wait for the opportunity to become closable, yet impatient enough to get the opportunity closed when it becomes closable.

My guest on this week's episode (Live Wednesdays at 12 Noon ET) is Sales Development Expert Rick Roberge.  Do you have any questions you would like answered on the show?  You can email them to me and we'll try to (we usually do) get to them.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Closing Sales, chris mott, converting prospects, getting prospects to stop at your booth

Real Live Coaching Call - Coaching a Salesperson

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Sun, Feb 07, 2010 @ 20:02 PM

Clients who receive sales management coaching, training and development come to know what an effective sales coaching conversation sounds like.  You may not be privy to that so you might find last week's episode of Meet the Sales Experts helpful.

Chris Mott was my guest and he coached a live caller for about 30 minutes.  Listen to the show for a better sense of what every coaching conversation should sound like.  The following email was received from the live caller the day after the scheduled sales call:

"I did as you and Chris suggested...In the end, he suggested his PL department start quoting [us] more broadly to see how we perform, that he would reach out to one of the VPs to coordinate a meeting where I would introduce [our] products to
his producers, and also that I profile a book of his business.  It didn't
come easy, but it did come, at 'his suggestion'...Thanks so much for the

I've written several articles on coaching salespeople and one includes an actual email thread.  You can read them below:

5 Steps to Coaching Your Salespeople Beyond Happy Ears

When Coaching Salespeople Isn't Coaching

Coaching - 1st of the 10 Kurlan Sales Management Competencies

Sales Coaching - The Big Differeniator

How to Coach a Salesperson (contains real email thread)

Hierarchy of Sales Coaching - How to Change Behavior

Sales Coaching - Between the Lines 

10 Sales Coaching Examples

Sales Strategy and Tactics - Thoughts from the Super Bowl

Great Coaching Advice from Football's Greatest

Penn State Football Coach Just Like Dysfunctional Sales Management


Click here to listen to the show.  Click here to contact Chris.

If you listened to the show, what did you learn that will help you?

(c) Copyright 2010 Dave Kurlan


Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales management, Sales Coaching, chris mott, coaching salespeople

Why Some Lousy Salespeople Can't Get Any Better

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Sep 18, 2009 @ 08:09 AM

Chris Mott returned to Meet the Sales Experts this week and provided us with a show packed with good information.

We were discussing salespeople who don't improve, aren't motivated to do better and who resist training, development and coaching efforts of sales managers and outside experts.  Chris said that much of this behavior is due to negative personal experiences that these salespeople had when being sold to by other, basically, horrible salespeople. 

So I believe that as a result of this two things happen:

  1. They over compensate for those awful salespeople by simply presenting the facts, features and benefits as they see them.
  2. They avoid important strategies and tactics that are crucial to sales success, believing that  using them would make them like those terrible salespeople who either offended or hurt them.

These salespeople end up struggling in a big way and never understand why.

Chris also provided his revised view of the Economy.  He said we've been through massive changes and there are both money and plenty of opportunities out there.  He says there is a belief that once the economy gets better that everything will be good again but that is totally false.  Instead, he said it will require better skills, targeting, effort, and management - but not in the way people are used to doing it.  Chris said that this will be a burden for companies and their sales forces but that anything that forces us to be better is a good thing.

Listen to the show by clicking here.  Contact Chris by clicking here.

Speaking of doing better, I'll be keynoting a big Executive Luncheon at Bentley University on November 3, 2009.  My topic is After the Cutting - How Successful Companies are Selling Their Way Back.

If you're in New England, you can attend this event by clicking here for more information. 

Not local to the area? This event will be streamed live, direct to your desktop and you can get the live stream by clicking here for more information.

Attend live or via stream at no cost by using my Discount Code DK1103.

(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales management, Salesforce, Sales Force, chris mott, lousy salespeople, weak salespeople

Get Out of the Way and 8 Tips for Sales Success

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Jun 09, 2009 @ 14:06 PM

On today's (June 9, 2009) episode of Meet the Sales Experts I interviewed Chris Mott.  This was a very interesting, fast-moving show where Chris shared his 8 tips for sales success, talked about sales management's role in growing sales, the biggest obstacle he had to overcome in order to succeed, how to succeed in this economy, and much, much more.  One of his 8 tips?  Get out of the way!  Listen in to hear him elaborate on how to get out of the way.

On Friday's episode (June 12, 2009 at 12 Noon ET) of  Meet the Sales Experts, I will interview Bill Murray, who, among other things, will talk about taking strategies from 50,000 feet and turning them into actionable, real world sales tactics.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales training, sales management, sales competenices, chris mott, sales testing, bill murray, sales assessments, Meet the Sales Experts, sales radio

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader,  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned awards for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog for eleven consecutive years and of the more than 2,000 articles Dave has published, many of the articles have also earned awards.

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